lørdag den 9. december 2017

The definition of a “poopwich” and more about the much dreaded board game

Bailey is an exceptionally good dog, but sometimes there’s massive glitch. Like last night where Luca and I took him out for a walk. We let him off the leash, which is usually no problem at all, but this time he disappeared into the bushes and did not come out. We heard him crashing though the thicket until there was silence........ and no sight of the dog. I honestly worried that he might have gotten stuck somewhere so I went and got Ulrik and together we tried to follow his paw prints in the snow. Not very helpful.
Until the dog happily reappears carrying something rather big while wagging his tail excessively. Ulrik thought it was maybe a dead animal...... it was frozen poop with a hotdog in the middle🤢 And the smell....... 🤮.......
Hence the name “poopwich” and hence a super embarrassed dog being so terrified of his angry owners that he (almost) jumped into the bathing tub all by himself.
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Besides washing dogs it has also been the weekend where we finally got started on Luca’s board game. It is an assignment from Language Arts, where they have to turn a book into a board game. Luca chose “prisoner B-3087” about a Jewish boy surviving 5 years of concentration camps.
Easy peasy, right........
But I think we did it quite well. We went to scrap box and found a pizza box for the game a Holocaust calendar enough little thingies to make Luca get excited. For the marvelous sum of 5$ total.
Here he is with the front of his game:
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And here he is adding the actual game inside the box:
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We have come up with a game where your chance of survival is 67% as about one third of all Jews were killed during World War 2. During the game you will encounter specific scenarios described in the book and you will roll a dice to see if you survive.
It has also been the weekend where we finally got ourselves a Christmas tree. Last year we did not buy one and this year we just never really got around to it. And despite absolutely refusing to get a plastic tree it is somehow quite appealing not having to deal with a fresh tree every year. And before I could think twice one of my colleagues showed up with a nice looking artificial tree, that he never used himself. Et viola:
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I guess our Americanization is running at full speed these days😬😉

lørdag den 2. december 2017

Goodbye November - hello December

We have now lived in the US for so long that Thanksgiving starts feeling like a good old friend rather than a fluffy unrelatable concept. I like having a time of the year dedicated to being grateful (and for now I’ll turn the blind eye on how the Indians were treated and the people injured during Black Friday shopping for 2$ waffle makers). And on top of this it marks the first break from school of the school year.
This year we spent Thanksgiving with some of my colleagues. I had bragged about my amazing maple-bacon-pecan pie. I have made it once before where it turned out to be out-of-this-world delicious. This time? Not so much.....😬I still haven’t figured out how it got that dry but it sure did look nice:
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And after over eating all night and getting home way late there’s nothing quite as wonderful as setting the alarm for 5:30 to go Black Friday shopping, right?
Teresa and I (or maybe it was just me.....) made the grand plan of getting some of those awesome gift card JC Penny’s usually gives out. Well, this year they decided to pass them out Thursday night, and we were not the only super disappointed early birds. We walked around the mall for a bit and did not find a single thing we wanted to buy. After 45 minutes we decided to give up, go home, get the car and drive to Target instead. We did not get any really good deals, but we got all the Christmas shopping for family back in Denmark all done.
And then we blinked and suddenly it was December:
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And quite to my surprise Kristian has made me an advent calendar! For the first time in 20 years (I still remember opening a present containing hollandaise sauce......)! I have to admit that I was a little scared to start opening the gifts, but the first two have been awesome. Here are my “fleece navidad” socks:
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And we have started looking out for gifts for “pakkeleg” (the infamous Danish gift exchange game, where you are allowed to lie and cheat and steal - needless to say all (or maybe most..... or at least some) of my colleagues love it. Unfortunately Teresa won’t be home for it this year as she is going to Chicago with her German class. This has caused quite the comments form my coworkers: “yay. Team Frikke is one member down. That means that there will actually be gifts for the rest of us” or “Phew. I remember sitting next to her last year. She cheated SO much” or - from the professor himself - “remember, Danes can never be trusted!”.
I have no idea where they got their misconceptions about Danes from......

onsdag den 22. november 2017

Thanksgiving break

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and as the only one in the family I still have one workday left. And here I am, in Luca’s bed (so I don’t wake anybody up when I leave) at way-too-early-to-get-up-o-clock having been woken up by annoying dog. Sigh.Here he is BTW. “Annoying dog”❤️
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We have plenty to do. Some items on the list are more - ehm - interesting than others. Luca has a project in school, where he has to turn a book into a board game. Yup. We can do that👍🏻
But.........
The kid has chosen a book about a Jewish boy surviving concentration camps during world war 2. We are SO screwed! We have plenty of ideas for how to play the game (spoiler alert: the winner is the one who survives), but how to set it up in a way that’s true to the situation without offending anyone? That will be a hard one.
We also need to decorate for Christmas. Including getting a tree. Last year we skipped it because of travels. This year we are traveling again, but we will get that tree nevertheless.
And we will make desserts for thanksgiving dinner at my colleagues house. We have been binge watching Zumbo’s Just Desserts on Netflix the past few weeks, and now all we can think of is desserts. I’ll (re)make maple bacon pecan pie and then we found these:
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Yes please!
Last but not least I need to recover from watching Luca wrestle in a middle school meet. My precious little (well, actually quite tall), skinny, and loving 12 year old up against monstrous looking muscular 14 year olds! Sort of...... okay maybe I exaggerated a little.......
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That is Luca in blue. And even though he lost, he was happy and had fun (and did not get lifted up in the air and then slam dunked into the mattress like some of the other kids. Phew).
Well, time to start the coffee. Mondays and Tuesdays I’ll have to restrict my coffee intake as I do brain infusions and there is absolutely no way I can hit that tiny little hollow tube attached to the head of a moving rat, if my hands are caffeine shaking just a little bit. It does not make it any better that these rats are quite skinny and squirmy and curious and all over the freaking place all the time. Hrmpf. But today there are no restrictions. Yay. Bring the caffeine on!

lørdag den 11. november 2017

Killing cold and lethal spider balls

The cold has sneaked in. That kind of cold where even the dog - the “I love-lying-in-the-snow-eating-icicles” dog - tries every trick in the book to get away with not staying outside too long when we let him out to pee. And every time you have to tell him “no dog. You did not pee. Go back out!” is just more time spent standing in a freezing doorway. Yay......
The trees are giving up after having held on to their leaves until November. It’s almost like the cold just have them drop everything over one night. Here’s my office view change over just a few days:
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And as I was wheeling home yesterday (with my bike flash frozen in the second gear) I passed the spider ball tree by the golf course. It had dropped all its fruits all over the bike lane and sidewalk, so I stopped to collect some. And just as I was done, the tree aimed one last one directly at my bike, knocking off my front light by breaking it altogether. I am glad it did not aim for me! But here they are. The killing spider balls. Now tamed and without a chance to knock down on things and break them:
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søndag den 5. november 2017

November Thunder

sit here in bed on a grey Sunday November early afternoon in the company of a shaking scared-to-death dog, as the thunder rumbles outside.
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Thunder in November is kind of weird. It should only happen in the summer, right? But here in Michigan you just never know.
Teresa is at swim practice, which has turned into poolside practice as the YMCA has closed the pool for safety in case lightning strikes the building.
Luca is at Catechism (or “konfirmations forberedelse”) at Church with his dad. A monthly event stretching from 6’th grade until their actual confirmation in 8th grade. So it has just been Ulrik and me for lunch and we have sort of started a tradition to have a burger at Five Guys on those Sundays. I better enjoy it while he is still living with us. Next summer he will be going to college! Crazy! He submitted his first college application last week for the early decision deadline and since he will have heard back before the “real deadline” we have not decided on a plan B yet if he does not get in at University of Michigan.
This weekend has otherwise involved driving (always driving kids to and from activities these days. Sigh), but yesterday picking up Teresa from a friends house included pomegranate in dark chocolate treats. Nice!
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And we have been decorating cookies. Which turned out really funky. First of all the icing colors just wouldn’t get right and we ended up with some poop-brown, military green, light blue, and neon yellowish orange. In addition the icing was quite runny, but on the bright side is that these cookies were little works of art. Sort of. Maybe.....
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But they tasted nice 👍🏻
Oh, just got a text from Kristian asking if I want to go to Barnes and Nobles with him. Duh! Is there a better place to spend a grey rainy Sunday afternoon in November? I think not. There is a certain kind of magic being surrounded by all these books under the same roof as Starbucks, and currently I read 3-4 books a month so I am definitely easy to persuade.Ciao

torsdag den 2. november 2017

Hallowhatever

love Halloween. The combination of spooky and fun and downright creepy drizzled with tons of individually wrapped chocolates. And all the decorations somehow taking some of the focus off November being right around the corner.
And there was a time when the young members of the household got super excited:
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And then they became adult and teenager and tween and are no longer afraid to be out without their parents. Actually they would really prefer to be out without the parents and we just get to drop them off at places and pick them up, when they are done. Hrmpf!
Still I am proud of Teresa’s costume this year. She only wanted to get some facepaint but managed to make one of the coolest dress ups I have seen in a long time:
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And they have been much better at sharing their candy too. To the point where I do not think I can squeeze down a single additional chocolate bar.