Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The running obviously helped me burn lots of calories. My eating more healthful food didn't hurt, either. All in all, I'm proud to be able to say that I've lost 7.6 kgs so far (almost 17 lbs) and it's still going down. My goal was to lose 6.4 kgs (nice rounded number, don't you think?) so I'm way past that already. I'm happy the way my weight is now. If I lose more, that's ok, if I don't, that's cool as well. The Christmas season usually doesn't make me lose weight so we'll see how this year goes.The running has really gotten me in better shape. I've had less colds and feel better all around. Let's hope I can keep this up!
Friday, December 12, 2008
1. Started your own blog: obviously!
2. Slept under the stars: Not without a tent
3. Played in a band: yes, in music college
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity: I give to charity but never more than I can afford.
7. Been to Disneyland: yes, in LA
8. Climbed a mountain: lots of times
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo:I´m a music teacher, I sing solos every day.
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris: yes, with my parents, host parents, and later with my now ex-boyfriend. He broke up with me as soon as we got back.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch: does playing piano count?
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables: every summer.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France: yes, I thought it would be larger.
20. Slept on an overnight train:
21. Had a pillow fight: lots of camps.
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill: my host mom once told me she allowed her kids 1 "mental health day" per semester. I've done that before.
24. Built a snow fort: on skiing trips and in Indiana.
25. Held a lamb: growing up, our neighbors had sheep. I used to bottle feed the abandoned lambs.
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon: no, 6.5 km is my record so far
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice: no but I have been to Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset: I watched the sun rise over the Grand Canyon. That was very impressive.
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person: yes, in the snow in the fall of 2002.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors: Yes. I also live in the house of my husband's ancestors.
35. Seen an Amish community: yes in Ohio and Pennsylvania
36. Taught yourself a new language: yes, Italian (I've been taking classes for a while now but I started on my own).
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke: obviously. I'm a music teacher.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt: in July 1999 on my Rotary youth exchange West tour.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight: my grandpa lives 3 km from the sea so I've done this several times. Also in Crete on vacation
46. Been transported in an ambulance: no, thank goodness.
47. Had your portrait painted: I think a charicature counts.
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person: yes, last year.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris: yes, twice.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling: no, too claustrofobic to breathe through a tube.
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud: of course.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class: some self defence classes.
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies: no, I've bought them before, though.
62. Gone whale watching: we wanted to when we were in Vancouver Island, but they were too far out at sea.
63. Got flowers for no reason: yes, from my husband.
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy: my teddybear went to the USA with me and now lives in a basket in my bedroom (even in the trailer)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial: yes, in May 1999 with my parents.
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London: twice.
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person: yes in July 1999. I saw a lot of these things in 1999.
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican: a year ago.
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper: yes in local newspapers.
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House: I repeat, in 1999. It's not possible anymore, so it's pretty cool that we had the experience.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life: no, my husband has, though.
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous: define famous.
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake: my toe did, in 1999.
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day: I do this every vacation.
Well, I did 41 out of a 100 in only twenty-seven years.. Pretty good!
Saturday, December 06, 2008
One of the windows in the back wall!
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
My husband wasn't home. That's why I called my father-in-law, who lives down the street. This wonderful man rescued me from the evil slug-thing and released it outside. Yuck!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
One of the ways I exercise is "Start to Run". One of my friends told me about this. It's a podcast from a Belgian sports show. The anchor lady tells you when to run and when to walk, and plays music. In the meantime she sometimes says motivational things in an adorable Flemish accent. "Aren't you proud of yourself? I'm very proud of you!" and "Are you enjoying the surroundings?" and "Keep it up, only two more minutes to go!" are some of the things she says. It's really weird how something that a lady in a studio recorded two years ago motivates me as I'm running, but it really works for me. I haven't written about it sooner, because I wasn't sure if I'd like it or if I'd keep it up. But yesterday I ran the 20th session (out of 27!). At the end of the sessions you're supposed to be able to run 5 km in half an hour. The first time I went, I had to run for a minute, walk for a minute, and so on. Yesterday I was able to run for eight minutes, walk for a minute, and I repeated that three times. That means I ran thirty-two minutes in total yesterday! I don't want to brag but it makes me pretty proud of myself.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Sheila can't wait for that, though. She made a new header for my blog (isn't it cool? With a chicken!) and it's been up for two days now. She's home sick and probably checking my blog ten times a day, only to see that I still haven't thanked her. It's getting a little pushy so I'll thank her right now ;-). So head over to her blog soon and give her a compliment, that will give her something to read and hopefully she'll feel better soon.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
As you can see the bags have zippers. That way, when I have a lot of things to carry with me, I can enlarge the bags. The elastic bands across the bags also hold a box or purse in place.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Prairiecowboy had asked me how the baby chicks were doing. Time for an update!
Here's a before picture:
The little one that is face down didn't make it. But two other ones did, so four chicks survived. Three of these babies turned out to be roosters, one of them is a hen. She's lucky. Check out Prairiecowboy's site to see what will eventually happen to the roosters.
Let's start with a photo of Bjorn and Marloes. Bjorn is the white rooster, Marloes is one of his wives. Both these chickens were born here October last year.
If you wonder why Marloes's feathers are a little jagged on the side, well, let's just say Bjorn is to blame for that.
Here's a slightly scary picture of the four chicks in a row. The big ones are Marloes's boys (or her sister Piri Piri, it's hard to tell because they're identical).
Left to right: rooster, rooster, rooster, hen. They're all the same age, though different in size. The first rooster and the hen's mothers are a lot smaller than Marloes and Piri Piri. That's why their kids are smaller, too. Bjorn is the father to all of these kids.
This is Ellen and her son. You can tell they're alike. This little boy is the dark chick from the top photo.
The chickens were pretty freaked out by the camera's flash. That's why none of the pictures turned out to be World Press Photo candidates ;-). That's ok though, you get the idea!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
My M has been faring well on this diet (and the exercise combined). He's lost 8 kg (17.6 lbs) and toned up a lot since we started remodeling. I have also fared well... but in the bad sense of the word. I gained a little weight and definitely didn't tone up at all. When you live in a trailer you don't walk any stairs. I don't have a vegetable garden this year (there goes that form of exercise, gardening) and while rounding up the schoolyear I found myself sitting on a bench with the laptop on my lap all too often.
That's why I decided to make some changes. Starting the first day of summer vacation (6 July) I changed my diet. I banned unhealthy snacks, started to eat more fruit and vegetables, bought healthier versions of products (I like the words "light" or "diet" on a label), started weighing my dinner ingredients so I wouldn't get too many calories, and started keeping track of my calorie intake. I also started exercising more regularly (I try to get at least 30 minutes of moving my butt a day). The result so far? I've lost 3 kgs (6.6 lbs). That doesn't seem much in five weeks, but I'm ok with it. It's progress, and I can keep it up without feeling too sorry for myself. I've read that the faster you lose weight, the more likely you are to start yo-yoing. And that's not the poing of this plan. The point is that the numbers on the scale are slowly moving downward. And in another 3 kgs I'll be really satisfied (and then the challenge is to keep it that way). That means I'm halfway now. I'll keep you posted how I do!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
People know that I like to grow vegetables, however, and sometimes they give me plants. I can't throw away a plant so when I received two tomato plants and a zucchini plant, I went ahead and planted them behind the trailer.
When we came back from our two-week vacation, three zucchinis and a bunch of tomatoes were ripe. It's hard to keep them well in the trailer, because it gets pretty hot in here. On a sunny day 32 C (90F) is not uncommon. That's why I decided to freeze them to have easy pasta sauce in the freezer.
Inspired by the Pioneer Woman, here's the cast of characters:
Olive oil, three bell peppers, three onions, three cloves of garlic, three zucchinis and a bunch of tomatoes. There's also wheat macaroni in the picture but I didn't need that until later, when I actually converted the veggies into pasta sauce.
First, I cut the onions and garlic in little pieces, and started sautéeing them in the olive oil. Because I'm not the Pioneer Woman, I don't have a picture of that.
When the onions were almost transparent, I added the cut up bell peppers. I like to use three different colors, because it makes my dish look happy.
After they were softened a little, I added the zucchini pieces.
The tomatoes were next. After I had added them, I turned the fire down and let everything simmer for a while, stirring it occasionally. After about ten minutes, everything was nice and softened and there was a little layer of juice in the pot. I then grabbed my handmixer and blended everything. Not so smoothly that it looked like baby food, but smooth enough so it was a sauce with still something to chew.
I added some ground beef and italian spices, and voila! Easy pasta!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The back wall without the scaffolding.
The patio doors in the living room.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
- sleeping in;
- having coffee outside in the sun, while reading the paper;
- watching my husband do the same (and not DIY-ing for a change!);
- jumping on the trampoline with the girls nextdoor;
- having dinner with my parents on their patio;
- dinner being a salad with smoked chicken and ciabatta mmmmmm;
- going to bed after having changed the sheets (which had dried outside and smell wonderful).
And the best part is: all these things happened in one day!
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Monday, April 07, 2008
Friday, April 04, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
- 1 stem of leek, chopped
- stalk of celery, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- about 10 cherry tomatoes, halved (a few big tomatoes in chunks are ok too)
- 3 potatoes, peeled and diced
- salt and pepper
- about a glass of red wine
- the same amount of bouillon (chicken or herb)
- margarine and olive oil
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
My house looks like this. The big demolishing has begun!
Saturday, February 16, 2008
The plan is to move to the trailer within a few days. After that, the big demolishing can start. Fun, but very emotional for me!
Friday, February 01, 2008
Thursday, January 31, 2008
There's this extracurricular activity that another teacher and I lead. We've done it for a few years now, and some of the girls involved in it have become friends. Well, I don't know if that is the right word, because there's a twelve year age difference between us and obviously we don't confide in them. They do confide in us, though. Last night one of the girls told my colleague something that broke my heart. She told her that she had a problem involving auto-mutilation, and even showed her arm.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
So I counted, measured, went to Ikea to buy many metres of fabric, washed and ironed that fabric and started to sew.
Lots of hours in the past six months were spent working with my new best friend. Today I achieved my goal: I finished the last one. That means that I covered sixteen cushions. I did feel very housewify! And this, my friends, was the very last one. Now all I have to do is use the scraps to make a tablecloth and maybe two pillow covers. But none of that will take as much time as those huge cushions, or even worse, the corner cushions (look closely in the first picture and you will see one).
M laid new carpet and vinyl in the trailer (I'll show you a picture later) so it's starting to look more and more like home. Which is good, because we'll probably have to live in it for at least a year. So it might as well be as comfortable as possible!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Our school has had a new concierge for a while now. This man is very attentive, and thinks along with everyone in the building. He saw me racing around with the tv/dvd-set a lot, and he also noticed that the distance between the room where the tv-set is located and my classroom is pretty far. Not only is it far, but I have to cross two thresholds with the cart, so it's slightly dangerous to move the set.
The other day he asked me to step into his office. He showed me a brand new tv/dvd-set with an awesomely big and flat tv, and asked me if I would like to have it for my classroom!
Well, of course I did...
So now I'll never have to worry if the tv is available anymore, and anytime I want to use the tv or dvd for highly educational purposes, I can!
Saturday, January 12, 2008
I never expected to be going to Italy twice within six weeks, but I am. I'm so lucky!! (And I have a wonderful uncle, for taking me, and a wonderful husband, for letting me go!)
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
We spent 4 days in Rome, between Christmas and New Year's. We saw all the sights (well, all the major sights, anyway) and had lots of fun with two of our best friends. It was really cool. This was our third city trip with them (Barcelona and Copenhagen were previous) but it just keeps getting more fun, it seems like.
And of course, wish all of you a wonderful 2008!