mandag den 17. februar 2020

A busy Presidents’ Day weekend

This weekend has been one of the long 3 days one due to Presidents’ Day. For all of us! When we lived in Michigan it was only few holidays where we all had time off at the same time, but here it seems to match up a little better. And we have been busy!
Friday night (which also happened to be Valentine’s Day) one of my foodist colleagues had arranged for a king crab dinner at a Chinese restaurant. The kind of restaurant where jelly fish heads, duck tongues, and intestines are also to be found on the menu. But we opted for the nice dishes and it was delicious!
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Several of the dishes were cooked from this lovely fella:
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I opted out of crab but still got to stuff myself with Peking duck. Yum!
Saturday we cleaned. And then cleaned some more. The landlord has requested a 6 months walk through to make sure there he is up to date on necessary repairs etc. This has been a very good opportunity for us to get rid off the stuff that got relocated here but which we NEVER ever want to pull out of a moving box ever again (when someone else packs your boxes nothing really gets sorted and we also had a couple of IKEA dressers that didn’t handle a move very well as they were moved with all the drawers being full). Such as perhaps cutting down on how many shoes to keep in one closet:
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We did have a break on Saturday night though where we went to see Parasite (also with colleagues of mine). Wow! Have you seen it? You get a very different perspective on basements and housekeepers for sure......
Sunday we went to Philly. Kristian and Luca went to the car show with our neighbor:
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Whereas Teresa and I went to look at some stores rather then cars. We also had lunch at Hip city veg. A vegan fast food place that has super delicious fries, burgers, lemonade etc. and which is very conveniently located right next to anthropology. Where I bought at full price item! An owl pot holder! Yay. Or whatever.
Today we cleaned some more and now our shoes look like this, which is a rather big improvement:
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Bailey and I also had a long walk in peace valley park with yet another one of my colleagues followed by sushi (bailey didn’t get to go for the latter)
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So all in all it feels great to end the weekend in a crisp tidied up house after 3 days with lots of seeing other people too.

søndag den 2. februar 2020

Paintball do’s and dont’s

tried something new today: paintball. Or should we call it pain-ball......? It was a few weeks in the making as the first attempt to go out and “play” was kind of screwed up by our hill looking like this:
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I was super disappointed. Especially upon having received this encouraging text prior to going:
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So today we tried again. And I certainly learned a LOT! Primarily about what not to do😳
So here it goes:- do wear appropriate foot wear. Especially when the ground looks like this
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- don’t wear brightly colored clothes as you will feel super stupid and like a way-too-easy target should you go wearing bright pink or red. Ahem
- do make sure to look at the ground in front of your next hiding spot. If it’s ankle deep mud maybe you should find another spot....😬
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- do not get intimidated the slightest by the local Pennsylvanian Rambo-snipers pulling up in their pick up trucks wearing full camouflage outfits with GoPro cameras and hand held nasty paintball guns that can shoot WAY better then the worn-out crap they rent out at the field😖. They are super nice and will of course refrain from shooting at women in brightly colored coats.....
- do show off your paintball bruises to each-other once you make it home. Especially if they sit in places where you have to pull your pants down to show off the really nasty ones. You don’t want to do that in public!
Needless to say - Luca and Teresa would both love to go again.
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lørdag den 18. januar 2020

Snow day on a Saturday

Henriette yesterday: “I am definitely NOT sitting home all day Saturday. I want to get out of Doylestown and go to Philly”Henriette watching the weather forecast:“😖🤦‍♀️🥺”
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The Michigander in me is rolling her eyes of the patheticness of making a big fuzz out of 1-4 inches of snow but Pennsylvania roads are not for the faint of heart as soon as snow and ice hit so we’ll just stay here in top of our hill all day. Sigh.Luckily there is still a day tomorrow to go to Philly and even better - MLK day Monday where both our jobs and the schools have decided to give us time off at the same time. Yay! Luca is away on camp with church. Without his phone!!!! We hope the poor kid will survive. Teresa was gone for a similar trip a few months ago and here’s the exact moment she realized that they actually took the phones away for realz:
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Luckily she survived too. And I honestly think it is quite a good way to ensure that all kiddos have real life interactions in real life scenarios.
Otherwise we are making our way through January one day at a time. Like everybody else on the northern hemisphere I guess. We are still keeping up our intention of cooking two vegan meals per week. Last weekend we tried nacho dip for vegan nachos:
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Surprisingly good! And based off something as simple as potatoes after applying the no-go technique of blending them (everyone who has had babies has tried to short cut mashed potatoes in the blender and ended up with a sticky gooey mess. Not so good for babies. Awesome for nacho dip!).
Some of us are not vegan at all. Ever:
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This is “angry dog” chewing on the antler I happened to find in the grass next to the parking lot at work yesterday. Bailey did not want to share!
Well. I’ll get dressed and take doggo out for a good walk before the snow hits. Hasta la vista✌🏻🌨

lørdag den 11. januar 2020

Back to business

All good things come to an end. Also Christmas breaks and 2020 is in full swing. It has been good for me with a couple of weeks of mental unplugging to get 2019 all wrapped up and put behind me. It is almost like I can feel the cranks and gears in my brain has fallen into place - probably helped quite a bit by sleeping a lot. When my insomnia was at its worst I almost lost hope that I would ever get to sleep a full night again and it almost feels victorious to be able to sleep again.
So what’s on the agenda for 2020? Many many good things actually. I have a few 2020 resolutions (besides getting myself an assquatch - I have found someone who has a taxidermist friend, so there is hope). One of them is to eat 2 vegan dinners per week. For the climate, for my health, and also from sheer fascination of how to get by in a kitchen using common ingredients in almost magical new ways - aquafaba for instance. The liquid from a can of chickpeas that can be transformed into white fluffy foam as a substitute for egg whites. Here’s one of our dinners. Shepherds pie. Yes. It is vegan!
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I want to start investing just a little bit of money. In something that benefits others in a good way. I was thinking micro loans to women starting their own businesses in third world countries (hmmmm. You have first world problems and third world countries - what is the second world?) or investing in green technology.
2020 will also be the year where child #2 will leave the nest. Teresa will be going back to Denmark and (hopefully - we are working on it) spend a year in 3.G. (last year of high school in Denmark) to get back into the Danish way of doing things before deciding what to do and applying for university.
Luca will get to spend a large chunk of the summer in Denmark too. My sister gave him a trip for his confirmation and we have made plans to ensure he can stay for about 5 weeks since it is a big trip. He also gets to go back to Michigan to spend 10 days at blue lake music camp with one of this best friends from Ann Arbor.
And that leaves Kristian and the dog and I to sort of figure what we want to do over the summer. Luckily - or whatever - the American way of vacation will not leave us weeks upon weeks of time off so we’ll probably be doing everyday life like usual.

mandag den 30. december 2019

Goodbye 2019

2019 has been one of the more - ehm- interesting years in our life. We have had years before where it did feel a bit like a rollercoaster ride, but I would say that 2019 has been more in the category of haunted houses where new not-so-pleasant-surprises showed up around every corner. Still, when I look back at my photos, there has been plenty of wonderful memories made as well. It has been a year where we have lived apart as a family in various combination patterns and because of this, there are several experiences that I will share that has been mine alone and have not really included everyone else. Here it goes:

January:
We made a good head start of 2019 with a trip to Chicago in amazing mild weather, as we needed to stop by the Danish Consulate to renew the kids passports. I was worried about the trip because #midwesternwinter........, but it was awesome. Hanging out by lake Michigan in sunshine in January was one of my favorite things that month:
February:
So full of contrasts as I started my new job and moved to Pennsylvania by myself! In a mere 24 hours I went from fancy party thrown by my most favorite boss ever (with the requested "death cocktail" - a cocktail intended to look like euthasol which is pink, viscous, and used to euthanise animals):

..... to this! Eating off the floor in the worst apartment I have ever lived in in my life! It only took a few days, though, and then I had my IKEA delivery, but those first few days were not exactly thrilling.
March:
Things got better. And those weekends I did not spend in Michigan, I used to explore Philadelphia instead. I knew next to nothing about this city, but now I am so grateful it is only an hour away:

And after having spent my actual birthday crying into half a bottle of redwine, I got to cry some more as Kristian truly really surprised my with a surprise party back in Ann Arbor.
April:
Not every non-Michigan weekend was spent in Philly. In April I got to check of an item on my bucket list, which was to see the cherry blossoms in Washington DC (with about several hundred thousands of other people, but oh well):

I also got a visit from Teresa where we got to eat our way through Philly, with our favorite spot being this one:
May:
Highlights in May was to enjoy the explosion of flowering trees and also realize that my most favorite flowering tree from Michigan is also to be found here (it is a native tree called redbud and I just love to purple color of the flowers and how they grow directly from the stem):
It was also the month where I discovered that such a thing as "beer and cross-stitch" events exist. Yay! And this is what you get when I attend such events. I present the "hiding hipster".
June:
Luca had his confirmation in June. Here he is getting all ready. Technically he should not have been confirmed until 2020, but since we were moving, our church squeezed him in anyways.
I also got a visit from Tammy and tried something completely new. Goat yoga...... All I can say is, that some experiences might not be repeated. Ever. Especially since one of these little bastards headbutted my right in my ribs (while looking super cute of course. But still......)
July:
Moving the whole family over inched closer, and before leaving Michigan Kristian wanted to make sure I had experienced Frankenmuth. The town that feels just like being in Bavaria..... right? And on a hot summer day we enjoyed our lunch of everything meat and starch and sauerkraut. LOL:
It was also the month where I finally got to leave my shitty apartment where I had not been able to sleep for close to 4 months due to noise and heat, and move in with friends in Doylestown. For that I am forever grateful.
Life delivered another sucker punch in July, as I had to experience my very first crash course in Big_Pharma_101, and watch all my projects getting taken away overnight. Now I can of course look back with the knowledge that everything turned out just fine, but it didn't feel like that in the middle of it.

August:
MOVING! August was all about moving. First I moved into a rented house in Doylestown and then our Ann Arbor life got relocated. And of course the very first thing the movers packed away was our TV right as I was enjoying the final season of my favorite netflix show. Sigh.
And off we went. In our good old trusted/busted minivan:
We had to endure a few days of very minimalist living until our belongings arrived. Oh my gosh - how did we accumulate so much stuff!!!!!!
I also got to bring all 3 kids of mine to the best cake place in Philly. Something I had looked immensely forward to since I first found it:
September:
...... is a blur. Of trying to make ends meet with new schools for Luca and Teresa, and with Kristian still being in Michigan. Everyone survived, but mostly it felt like survival and I honestly do not remember much. But when I look at the pictures we apparently did have the energy to go Philly and hammock away:
 And we got to visit Scandifest and meet all the other proud vikings

October
.... rolled around with lots and lost of volleyball:

Lost and lots of sitting on the front step of the house and enjoy the sunsets over the fields:
And sneaking away to Lambertsville on a regular Wednesday night to see their freakin' awesome halloween displays:
November
Kristian got to move to Pennsylvania too! Yay! Finally we were all back together (except college kiddo, but that's kind of a given). My favorite things in November were our visit to Ringing Rocks park armed with a hammer:
And discovering how any leftovers taste amazing if you add mustard, cheese, and a panini maker:
December
And at last. The last month of this crazy exhausting year. Where we learned that even Pennsylvania gets ice storms:
And were we also (once again) enjoyed being close to Philly and enjoy their Christmas decorations:


I really wanted to end this post with a picture of the 5 of us. Oh well. This is as close as it gets. Cheers to 2020 bringing lots and lots of boring stability and visitors from overseas and Michigan