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What's in your life?
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

David - the news about your daughter in law is wonderful.
CB - I'm sorry for your friend, but hope her treatment will be successful.

As for my first day back at work - I"M SO TIRED!! I think I'll need an afternoon sleep before dinner.
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

See I'm so tired I forgot my manners. I meant to say thank you for all your kind thoughts. Thank you.
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carina



Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 28
Location: the Netherlands

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everybody- Thanks for your kind words!

It's true, if people only share the good things in life and never the struggles you tend to feel you’re the only one who doesn’t have a perfect life sometimes. In our society admitting that something is wrong still is sort of taboo and people always tend to say everything is great when you ask them how they are. So thumbs up for CB for starting this thread!

And even though there are stories of illness or other troubles, I still see at least a spark of happiness in each one. This makes me think its sooooo important to celebrate the good sides of life, especially with the ones who are dear to you. I recently lost a good friend of mine, already an elderly lady and she died in her sleep without ever being ill before (that’s the way to go, isn’t it?). I just saw her the day before she died, we had tea and lots of cookies and a big laugh and I am just so grateful I have this to look back upon.

Rainey- I’ll try to think of something Dutch which is good enough to share with you. The basic Dutch menu consists of potatoes, meat and veggies on the side, nothing culinary shocking. Or in wintertime, they mash the potatoes and veg together and call it ‘stamppot’. I say ‘they’ because my family is part Italian so we ate a lot of pasta, gnocchi etc. Something nice with ‘stammpot’ though is a regional specialty from the south called ‘zuurvlees’ (sour meat- actually not sour at all but some vinegar is used to get the stewing meat nice and soft). Variations of this dish occur throughout the country under the name ‘stoofvlees’, ‘draadjesvlees’ and ‘hachee’. The recipe we use here in the south is of no use to you because it requires ‘peperkoek’ to bind the sauce, but there’s also a lovely recipe with bread and mustard which I’ll translate for you.

Another part of the Dutch menu stems from the spice trade in the 18th century, since then the use of exotic spices, especially in cookies etc. is widespread. On the 5th of December we celebrate the birthday of st. Nicholas (Sinterklaas in Dutch) who brings presents to the children. Sound familiar? However, he comes on a steam boat from Spain and is accompanied by chimneysweep-helpers in brightly coloured suits called Zwarte Piet (black Pete) who deliver the presents to the children at night. Sinterklaas arrives a few weeks before the 5th of December. Actually this year, he’s coming tomorrow! (Saturday the 18th that is). In the weeks before the 5th children can put a shoe in front of the fireplace (preferably with a carrot or some hay for Sinterklaas’s horse) and maybe, if they’ve been good, Sint or Piet puts in a toy or some pepernoten (pepper-nuts), small nut-sized sweet cookie-like thingies flavoured with mixed spices. Or the first letter of your name in chocolate. He’s a great guy!
Besides the pepernoten there are several other nice things that are baked for Sinterklaas that you might find interesting. I’ll dig up some recipes and post them in the recipe-section.

An al-time favourite of mine is ‘gevulde speculaas’- two layers of spiced, slightly soft cookie-dough filled with marzipan. Ohh, or ‘amandelstaaf’- marzipan rolled in flaky pastry, served warm. I loooove marzipan.

Great, isn’t it, how nice food can always put this big smile upon your face! I wish you all the strength to deal with life’s blows, the joy that can be found in sharing the good things in life with the ones you love and the comfort that comes from sharing the bad things.
Enjoy everything while it lasts.
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melinda



Joined: 01 Oct 2004
Posts: 256
Location: Richmond, VA, usa

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad to get everyone's updates....we are trying to master empty nesting & my husbands schedule change (he only works weekends.....as u can see, we have no social life) It is nice to have him around during the week though & a lot more gets done around the house. Our son just got his first "real" job as a trainer at a Gold's gym so he may soon be able to pay for a few things himself. Our daughter is in Paris this year as a teaching assistant (english)....she also located a wonderful situation to be a semi au pair (demi pair??) for a family in return for a room near Montparnasse...I am really wanting to visit, but need to make some $$ first so I have signed up to be a substitute teacher but the paperwork is taking eons....so for now I am home with my 2 very old doggies (18 & 14) and 3 cats.....I hope u all have a wonderful Thanksgiving (neither child will be home so I am trying to lasso some neighbors to eat the huge bird I bought)
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Knifethrower



Joined: 29 Oct 2006
Posts: 218
Location: Heaven, actually.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I am one of the new ones, I thought it would be alright to post my two cents as well, if nobody minds.

I am headed to meet my boyfriend's parents tomorrow, for a week of giving thanks in Arkansas, of all places. Being the Adventure Girl that I am, it sounds like a nice, serene time, half working, half playing, half sleeping (we hope!).

We have been in the midst of a lot of changes. Brian has just been through a company buyout and is not interested in working for the new ownership conglomerate. He is finding it a limited market for jobs in Montana and we are trying to not leave for greener pastures right now, if we can help it. He is interviewing by phone next week.

I am four months into a new hospital and trying to learn how to do open heart surgery, which is like learning to walk all over again for someone my age. Its stressful and I do not have the constant exposure I need to become proficient in a short enough time frame to please the perfectionist in me. I was also asked today to be Momma Hen to a new student, once a week, to bring them up right into the world of surgery. Its a test of my skills both tactile and communication. Its the big league, in a sense, and I am honored and nervous at the same time.

It is coming on my second winter here in MT and it is brutal and long to say the least. Last year I trashed my knee out in the snow and wound up on dry dock, having surgery myself, and sitting out until spring. I dread the minus teens temperatures, the lack of things to climb without getting frostbite, and the icy darkness. I am better suited to rain like I had in Portland (my last home) than the frigid wind. I have a feeling I will be curling up inside my new stove this winter...

I get to cook Thanksgiving for my BF's family this year- my first time cooking in a hundred years or so. It should be a total gas...!

Its been great to get to know names in the past few weeks online, and knowing a little about the lives associated with the C&Z-ers is very, very pleasurable. I find myself rooting for people on a daily basis!

Thanks for this thread, its been such a joy!
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sweetbabyjames



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 357

PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So many illuminations. Life is so strange. It's a good night for a meteor shower.

I feel like Mary Poppins on my new job. Everyone buzzes around me.

My husband declared last week, following years of self-doubt and negative self-talk that he believes he may be a great photographer yet.

He wants to start an artists collective. So do I!

Did anyone ever hear from Gingerpale?
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooh, ooh, tomorrow I get to meet Madame Shawshank!!! ...ahem, excited, moi?!! he said with sorry attempt at coolness....! I am mucho excited. Excited with a side salad of excited and excited sauce! We meet outside the National Gallery in London, facing Trafalgar Square... ready to have a day and a bit.
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Griffin, you'll have a wonderful day. Give Madame and Sieg big hugs from me!
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

judy,

Hugs were given, tho' I didn't see your post having left home at 5 in the morning for London!

Oh what a day... what a wonderful perfect day... sigh!
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gisele



Joined: 28 Mar 2006
Posts: 154
Location: North of Auckland, New Zealand

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, thanks everyone for sharing...it's lovely to read about other people, and the things they have done, the things they have experienced, the people they have met etc.

Myself - well, I recently found out that the unit we are renting (and love living in) has been sold. The house wasn't even listed on the market :sigh:

Anyway, we will be moving into the loft above the garage at my mother's place, which will be great as we will be able to save LOTS of money (for travelling) while Sy is at uni (again).

And, I'm slowly winding up the busiest month of birthday baking. In my family alone, there has been 9 birthdays, and I am Chief Birthday Cake/Cupcake Maker. The last ones I made were beach themed, for the two "beach bums" who "thankfully" combined their birthdays.

Now I just have a month of baking for Christmas! :sigh: Very Happy

Love and huggles for ALL
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woodstocker



Joined: 08 Dec 2005
Posts: 224
Location: kingston, ny

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This seems like the best place to post this. My very favorite-est teacher ever has a son who is going to be performing at Carnegie Hall this week along with the INPRAVDA group! World reknown cellist and fiddler, Slava Moroz (his mom, Natalia Gutman) and his wife Olga Dyachkovskaya will also be playing. This young man has had many ups and downs (he has bipolar disorder), but music is his passion! As I'm sure you can imagine, she's super duper excited.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is very exciting indeed! We can't wish life's lows on anyone but we sure can join in wishing them the highs that only people who struggle can know. How wonderful to have this opportunity to know of such a triumph!

I often think that our society invents "new" concepts like "bipolar" to distract us from how narrow the road has become. In another era such people would have an opportunity to apprentice with the people who would treat them as individuals and know that everyone has something wonderful inside them looking for the person to show them how to develop it.

Cheers to your teacher and her/his son!
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