Sunday, February 28, 2010

Not a dog blog

Sorry for the ones who had been hoping for one, but I hope you will forgive me another ' normal' blog entry.
Can give you a teaser though…..
How about this:

Do hope this will get you guys going for a few more days.

Anyway, the reason for a normal blog is the fun evening we had last night.
The highschool my son is going to next year had organized a basketball game to raise money for the girls basketball team.  For this they had invited the Harlem Wizards over. They are a show team and they did a pretty good job.
Originally this would have taken place on Friday, but because of the weather it was moved to Saturday.
Which was the reason we hadn't gotten tickets yet, so we had to get in line.
A long, long line. And as we all know, there is no fun in waiting.
At least, that is how I always felt in the Netherlands. Sometimes here it looks more like an opportunity to meet people. As happened again last night.
The nice thing about the schools here is the amount of things they organize make it easy to meet people from your own neighborhood. And that was what happened last night again. It was fun to get acquainted
with  a few more neighbors and it made waiting a lot easier.

The game was fun, the Wizards put up a great show and involved the audience. They played games with the small kids and some times it got funny enough to laugh out loud, even for a 15 year old.

After the show we still had to eat. Before we left I had cut up a lot of stuff and gotten things ready, so it was pretty easy. Normally I wouldn't mention dinner, but for the people that know me, they know I don't like fish or any type of seafood. But because we all could loose a few pounds (ugh, ugh) we decided to try to eat healthy. And that includes fish.
Sooo, yesterday we had cut up vegetables with Talapia on top. The whole things goes into the oven for about 20 minutes. The trick is: Cajun seasoning. 
This makes fish ok to eat even for me.

For today we hadn't planned much, but Jack mentioned that we could do a Barnes and Noble visit.
Which is always fine with me. But this time we wanted my son with us. He has started reading and had ended his last book, the Road. He does have a few Dutch books left, but wanted English books because to him reading in English is more fun.
I am not totally sure if this has to do with the fact he is dyslectic, but fact is that he finds reading in English a lot easier.
So, off to B&N. It was hard to find something to interest my son, he just started and doesn't like the vampire stuff, Harry Potter or the reality books. But after talking it through a bit we found a Tom Clancy and Dan Brown book he wants to try.

Next to B&N is another favorite of mine. Pier One Imports, they remind me of Xenos, but a lot more expensive. This time I found a nice oil lamp, something I had wanted to get for quite some time now.
I have to say, it is quite funny to hear your son say: Jack, make her buy it, she likes it but never gets it.

So, now it is Sunday evening, I am typing away here, Jack is making taco's, son is playing games and the hockey game between Canada and the US is on.
Jack is for the US, I want Canada to win. 

And Canada wins!!!

One last thing, yesterday, before the highschool event it was the first time I witnessed the standing up for the national anthem. Something that hadn't happened yet to me. Remember, I am a stay at home mom right now. My son gets that every morning.
I have to say, it was strange to experience it. We live here.
Exactly 6 months now, but it isn't home totally….yet.
I was rooting for Mark instead of Shani.

But it was funny to see take Jack his cap off, it is one of the rare moments he will.

Friday, February 26, 2010

It can stop now, thank you very much...

Don't need more snow, we have had plenty.
And certainly no snowstorm with high winds.

Yep, that is right, we are having #3. Not a lot of snow this time, but high winds that are howling around the house and resulting in weird noises coming from the roof and windows.
Son is having another snow day because they can't get all kids save at school 'cause of the drifting snow. So this is day # 3 that he will have to make up for during vacation time.

Guess the only one not being phased by the storm of today is this little guy.
No matter how much the feeder swings in the wind, every time he falls off, he jumps right back on.

But for me, it can stop now, had enough and will never ask for a real winter again, promise!
It is time for other things, like for example our green card.
We did have some , probably, good news, our case was transferred to California. This means we may get our green card without having to do an interview.

Also have the feeling that if they needed more information or are missing paperwork, we would have had a request for it by now.
But, you never know, it is the USCIS we are dealing with.

And something else that I am really excited about. Monday is the start of photography class.  I am doing this with a neighbor and it will be 9 weeks in which I hope to learn the technical basics of using the camera. It also means meeting new people and getting out which will be fun.

Now you know also why it has been pretty quiet on this blog. Being stuck at the house does make me , not depressed, but somehow it feels like I am glued  to my chair and it is hard to get myself moving.
It also makes it hard for me to sit down and write here. But with things to look forward to I am ready to write again.

Part of the excitement we did have recently, wasn't fun. The new dishwasher started leaking and water ruined our new pergo floor. It took several phonecalls, a visit to Lowes and people coming to the house before we had the floor replaced and payed for by the installer. But it finally got done last Saturday.

And than yesterday… highschool parent orientation meeting.
Yup, Dear Son is going to highschool after the summer. And by the time I finally get what they were talking about last night, I'll let you know. Diving into a new schoolsystem is confusing.
But also exiting. Specially since DS is doing so well. Until now his grades are great and he seems to pick up the language pretty fast. At least well enough to start highschool at academic level.
Proud Mom here!

Next time will probably a dog blog, think it is time to give the four legged side of our family a decent introduction.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snowmageddon, the sequel

an they are calling it already.
Another major snowstorm is hitting us and we are stuck.
Interstates are closed because of the danger and no one should be out if at all possible.

And by now, it isn't funny anymore.
Last night we already got a phonecall from my sons school, they are closed today.
By than it had already started snowing and it looked like we would get a fair amount.

But I didn't expect this.
Since we were getting nowhere I got to sleep in, when I woke up around 9-9:30, we already had close to a foot (30 cm)
It is now 1:30 pm and it is still snowing. But we will leave the measuring to someone else.
Unless we have to, we are not going out.
The wind is starting to blow the snow into dunes and I can now believe that people can get lost near their homes.
When we took the dogs out some time ago, we couldn't see a thing at moments.

And to think I used to hope for this type of weather every winter.

A few pics from our yard, since I am not taking a camera outside right now.
Hell, I am not going outside unless one of the dogs is in danger of exploding.

blik op ons stroompje

                                                   onze achtertuin

vanuit de voordeur gezien. (net geschept)

Video van vanmiddag

Video van vanmiddag waarin de vogeltjes ondanks de storm blijven vliegen.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


or in plain Dutch, 'n bult sneeuw. Article in Algemeen Dagblad
A whole lot of snow and to be honest, I am impressed. We still have electricity and our little circle is already cleaned from the mess on the streets.
When it started last night I didn't expect it to be this much. I mean, those American weather people don't differ much from the Dutch, usually they are kind of wrong. I think you know what I mean.
But this time they hit the nail on the head.
We were going to have a snowstorm and we got it.

Just before 6 this morning Jack woke me up, not sure what to do.
The dogs needed to go out, but stepping of the porch was nearly impossible.
At that point the snow was up to half a meter. No sighthound in it's right mind would step into that.
Now, Paquita would be another question, but we had 3 others to consider.

The solution came from the dogs themselves, they peed on the porch.

Anyway, since I was awake, I got out of bed and after breakfast Jack started digging a path to the road.
By this time it was around 7 or 8 (I forgot) and the snow plough came through our street once already.
So the dogs could be walked, phew….

LOL, Cara and Paquita looked so small in the snow.

At that time it was still snowing, and it kept snowing, until around 1 this afternoon.
We ended up with a huge amount of snow. Jack measured 28 to 30 inches on our deck, which is 70 to 75 cm. Have to say I am glad the roads were taken care off really fast here, it meant we could more or less take the pups out. But besides that, we had nothing else to do than keep our driveway clean and relax all day. (And off course take Paquita out for an extra walk, she loves the snow)
We were downright lazy and tomorrow will probably the same until the moment we have to go to that superbowl party. Oh, another reason I am really glad we didn't lose power, I got to bake brownies and a lemon cake for tomorrow.

In a few we have to walk the dogs again, it is dark already and they say the temperatures are going down well below freezing point. Not looking forward to it, it will be slippery.
But at least the sky is clear now, so no more snow.
And we had a pretty sunset. Here seen from our kitchen.

And a few more pics from today, the house, our deck and our little stream. Enjoy. We are going to walk the dogs and than sit in front of the fire, having taco's for dinner.

Ohhhh, for the people who are following our Visa Journey?
I got an e-mail, our case is transferred to California.
Normally, that is good news, they want to speed up things and we might even get our green cards without having to do an interview...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Silence before the storm

Right now I am enjoying my breakfast. Coffee and an onion bagel.
Yummie, not my normal breakfast. But we went grocery shopping yesterday and got some extra yummie bagels for the occasion.
Normally we do our groceries Friday afternoon, never a problem since these places are so huge, you always can find a place to park and never have to wait long in line for checkout.
This time it seemed wiser to go on Thursday and for the first time I thought it was busy at Giant.
We had to park beyond the place we return the carts and that was a first.

2 things, first of all, it is Superbowl weekend. Meaning that Sunday everyone will be sitting in front of their widescreens, watching the big football game, stuffing their face with wings and other goodies. Or, they will have a superbowl party, in which case a whole group of people that doesn't have to be related, will sit in front of the widescreen tv, in the meantime stuffing their faces with , you guessed it right, wings!
A lot of those wings are bought at our local Giant, reason #1 to shop early.

Second, we have a snowstorm coming.
Sounds like it may be a big one this time, they are showing us the storm warning since yesterday.
Newsshows are talking about nothing else and tell us to make sure we have enough food, water and batteries for our flashlights and cellphones.
The snow is supposed to start falling around 1 pm here and there should be between 1 and 1,5 foot 930 tot 45 cm) when it stops tomorrow afternoon.
Schools are already announcing early dismissals since late last night and some schools are closed already. Ehhhhhhh, I haven't seen a snowflake yet?

Anyway, we stocked up on our weekend supplies and I got an onion bagel out if it :-)
Jack will try to get home early so we can bring enough wood in to last us for quite some time, just in case we loose power and I filled all birdfeeders to the rim, to make sure they can have their own superbowl party. It already is very busy at the feeders, birds seem to know when the weather is going to change.

Sooooooo, we are ready. My camera batteries are being charged,  I expect my son to be home early from school and hope Jack can get away early too.

I am off now, have to make sure I have everything to make dessert for the superbowl party with the neighbors. Hope we can get there Sunday, I may end up digging out Jack's old ski's.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Update on our Journey

First of all, today is our 3 month wedding anniversary.

It also means we are living here for 5 months now. Hard to believe it has been that long already.
For some reason time is flying and I have the feeling we are running after it, trying to catch up.
In itself that is a good thing I guess, don't they say time flies when you are having fun?
And it is true, almost every friday I am surprised to find out it is weekend already.

But last week wasn't one I would like to repeat, our new dishwasher started leaking, which I didn't know until the moment our new pergo floor started to curl up on the edges of every board.
The floor is 3 months old and is ruined. So we dropped in at Lowes on Sunday to complain and have them take a look at it.
Yesterday someone came over to do so and now we are waiting to hear when they will be over to replace the whole kitchen floor. Luckily we don't have to fight over it, they agreed very fast that something went wrong with putting the dishwasher back after installing the floor.
Still, I am not happy about having the mess of replacing the floor again.

Something that doesn't go fast enough to my feeling is our Adjustment of Status. Which hit me in full force last week also. With a friend in trouble and finding out my Mom is going in and out of hospital for medical issues I really would like to be able to travel to Europe.
Up to now, my son and I can't, we have to wait for Advanced Parole which will allow us to travel outside the US until the moment we get our Green Card.
All the paperwork is sent and the money for the procedures is payed. But as usual, things with USCIS go slow and we don't know anything yet. So were are more or less stuck here for now, even in case of emergencies.

We did get an appointment to have our biometrics done and that was scheduled for today.
So first thing this morning was a trip to York where we had our fingerprints and pictures taken.
LOL, I felt like a criminal. Not because of the people there, they were very friendly. But it all was done next to the York prison.

I did learn a few new fact from the lady who took our biometrics. Did you know for example that it is harder to get fingerprints from someone who works on the pc a lot, or does a lot of texting on their phone?
Or that the same happens when you work with cleaning stuff or other chemicals? And that for women it is usual the pinky that gives the biggest problem and with men the thumbs?
All useless trivia, unless you decide to move to the US.

How stuff works: fingerprinting