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Thursday, November 19, 2015

My day off - say cheese!

If you have read about me being busy then you will be glad to hear that today I had a day off. No fix plans, no obligations except making lunch and dinner.

This is how it went down:

After hockey practice last night I slept pretty well and only woke up quickly when Colin did his nightly thing... leaving his own bed to sneak into ours.

I got up and had coffee while he was still getting dressed and packing his school bag.

"This is going to be a nice, relaxing day" I said to myself. "Lots of me-time."

Still in my PJs I went online and almost fell off my chair. I don't know how or why, but over night I have gotten tons of new post views on something I wrote a year ago. The hits have been going on all day long.

I also got a message from Le Shop Drive that reminded me about my order that was going to be ready for pick-up between 10 and 11am. Oh, right! It contains stuff I want to send to our friends in Canada! 

This "gingerbread" house filled with miniature chocolate bars has been around since I was a kid. It's the ultimate holiday treat, especially if you grew up here but don't live in Switzerland anymore.

Which reminds me I also wanted to stop at cheese paradise and buy some raclette cheese for them.

I took a leisurely shower (because I had more than 25 minutes to spend, HELLO MEREDITH! :-) thinking of the things I was (not) going to do today. 

After all it was my day off!

Well, laundry happens, day off or not. Nobody else is going to do it...

Then off to the cheese place! 

I had to keep in mind that I should not exceed the weight maximum for international "mini parcels": 2kg = 4 pounds.

I got home in time to throw the laundry from the washer into the dryer and make lunch. Miniature cheese quiches. After all I just shopped at cheese paradise!

Since I was thinking of Annette who is a gifted baker I remembered that I needed to make some bread myself. Now of course I could totally buy it at the store, but there is something to it to make your own bread from scratch. With a kitchen machine it's not a lot of work, it just takes some time, so I can only do it when I have - you guessed right - a day off.

"Donations needed for Syrian Refugees" said the title of an e-mail message I got while I was waiting for my yeast dough to rise. Coats, boots, sweaters for adults, teenagers, kids, babies, you name it! My friend was collecting everything we might be able to part with.

There was a deadline, too. You know how that works, right? It makes you think you've got plenty of time only to end up not doing anything at all by that date. 

Well, not this girl, not this time! I wanted to help, and I can always use a good reason to purge, so - no time like the present! Bread dough can rise without me, and I have this Cheese & Chocolate package that needs to be taken to the post office anyway, so let's go before Colin's school is out!

What was I doing holding on to that baby snow suit? I have no idea! 

What a gorgeous day! I should use my day off and just take a walk, enjoy the sun!

Somehow time went by faster than it should have. 
What is it with you traffic lights, can't you go green for me, I'm in kind of a hurry!

I texted my friend to ask if she was at home, but by the time she saw my message I already dropped off my stuff and raced home with quite some time to spare. 

At some point I thought I heard him running toward our house, but then there wasn't the bell going. Instead I kept hearing some strange thud-like noises. 

When I peeked out of the kitchen window I saw him working on his wrist shot ;-))) 

When he finally decided to come inside he didn't feel like doing his homework, and I didn't feel like insisting, so we agreed to set the timer, and he'd take care of it. 

Usually it's snack, homework, play, but recently he's kept trying to do it the other way round or skip the homework part altogether. Maybe I should let him deal with the consequences. Sometimes I am so sick of that part of parenting.

I was gonna cook Red Thai Chicken Curry for dinner, but again, didn't feel like it.

Instead we had freshly baked whole wheat bread, 

cheese from you-know-where and a glass of wine.

I know you have been wondering since the morning coffee picture. 

Colin's books were still on the table, and I asked him to put them back in his bag. 

"Why would I do that, I haven't done anything yet" he said. 

I tried not to freak out. That's what you get for giving him some autonomy and independence. While I was cleaning up in the kitchen, I kept catching glimpses...

What are you saying? Halloween decoration is still up? Why, yes! I am supposed to take it down, but I had my day off today ;-) 

I did do the folding and putting away thing, though! 

All done. Night y'all!

PS: as for that post getting all those hits... as two nice readers told me all those people have been looking at my desktop fireplace picture. 

And there I was hoping my writing skills got discovered, and I was going to be offered a nice deal or something...

Friday, November 13, 2015

Use Your Words - One more time

Today’s post is writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once, and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: 

stunted ~ waitress ~ sister ~ convention ~ one more time

They were submitted by Climaxed - thank you, Jennyi!

Those words called for a story or an otherwise sophisticated post. 

Instead I was so busy all the time: dermatologist appointment, winter tire appointment, hair appointment, hubby away a lot, our usual crazy routine, so let me just tell you what we've been up to:

My Mom was on vacation, meaning I had to juggle work and Mr C on Tuesdays which is usually her day. The first week my Dad offered to look after Colin. This was the first time, (I guess he figured that by now his Grandson is 7 and the risk for diaper changes and the like is minimal) and it went very well!

The second week I had to get a bit unconventional. I had Colin walk half a mile from his school to my office and have lunch with us. He was all timid and polite with all my coworkers around the table.

When he was done eating, he asked to play with the race cars that my coworkers keep in the basement. What? Big kids need entertainment, too!

Can we race one more time?
When he returned from afternoon class, he chose to do his homework in the break room where people come for coffee or the copy machine all the time.
Who needs a  meeting room where it's quiet anyway?

Speaking of Tuesdays... Earlier this year he started going to "Jugi" (kids' gym) on Tuesday nights. 

This is what our very, very tight schedule looks like:

I work till 5:30pm - as soon as I am able to leave, I pick him off at my parents'. 

We get home at 5:40, we eat (it needs to be something that is pretty much ready as we arrive, thank you, timer function on our oven!)

Except this week. Hubby was working from home and used the oven to reheat some lasagna. He figured surely it would be fine to start the potatoes on the highest temp shortly before dinner. Uuuugggghhhhh!

Raclette! Melted cheese, steamed potatoes, pickles. Yum!

5:55 Colin needs to wrap up his dinner and get changed.

6:05 he needs to leave NOW! Mommy attaches some glow-in-the dark bracelets on his wrists, fills a water bottle that is half full with ice with regular water - cause that's how he likes it - and kisses him goodbye. It's at the school gym, and our neighbor's boy as well as a couple of his friends are going, so he usually has company.

6:15 warm-up exercises start.

7:30 End of practice.

7:45 He's supposed to be home, taking a shower and going to bed.

Now that my Mom was back - plus the weather was right - it was time for Colin to redeem his birthday voucher: A 15 minutes' flight from our regional airport!

Right after Halloween there was the annual turnip parade going on in our village. 

I wasn't involved in carving anymore. They got help from 5th or 6th graders, how convenient! 

The only thing I had to do was store that thing in the fridge overnight. I'm telling you, even several days after the parade, the turnip is long gone, the smell is still lingering in the fridge!

I'm always very touched by this event. There aren't many cuter moments than about 200 kids with their carefully decorated turnip lights marching through the village and singing a couple of songs in the school yard!

Hockey season started last month. He is in the group of the older kids now, meaning his practice starts an hour later. More time for me to prepare snacks!

Thank you, construction site, that makes cars wait at the traffic light for 15 minutes at a time during rush hour!!! Also thanks for informing us that maintenance work that was supposed to be finished by the end of October 2015 (= now!!) will now be extended till May 2016...

No matter how early we leave, we always seem to arrive late. I've gotten as organized as I can: In my transparent document holder I've got his multiple entrance ticket, a 20 bucks bill for the deposit for the skates, coins for my entrance fees and parking,...

I keep getting rewarded, though. For once he scored while I was filming! Colin is the guy in the yellow jersey #17.

And just because it was so beautiful, let's see my little top scorer one more time:

A couple of days later we attended his club's skateathon. 

Josh Holden - huge idol!

In between cheering and meeting the pros we went for dinner. There is a nice harbor restaurant within walking distance of the hockey arena. 

I asked the waitress what the "catch of the day" was that the menu was promoting. 

"I'm not even sure there is any left" she said. "But I'll go check for you."

She returned informing us that there was in fact some fried whitefish with spicy Asian veggies and rice left. Perfect. I ordered it. 

She was like "if you like fish I can recommend the trout, the perch,..."

I interrupted her, confused: "So you don't recommend the catch of the day, or is whitefish only called fish?"

One Friday night, when hubby had to work late, I took Colin and his friends to Burger King. They had recently remodelled, and the boys were enjoying the "touch screen floor" even more than the burgers and the fries.


Pretty much every year we like to meet our Basel friends at the Fall Fair. This year it felt more like Spring Fair, it was a gorgeous sunny day, 20°C = 68°F.

Can you believe the blue sky??? 

November usually is grey, foggy and depressing around here. With foggy I mean seriously foggy!

My Dad had to remove a melanoma in the back of his knee and a lymph node in his loin area which will be analyzed at the lab so we won't know if everything is well until in about 10 days.

For now he enjoyed his grandson visiting and gladly shared his hospital dinner - not because the food was bad, but because he loves Colin so much.

"By the way, I have a day off tomorrow" Colin said when I tucked him in. 

"WHAT??? WHY? And you're telling me NOW?" The other night he mentioned that it might be a bit late, but there was a parent teacher meeting the next day (= the day I promised to pick up my Mom at the airport!) He forgot to give me the note. 

"Teachers have to go to school, hahaha! Further education, something or other." 

Shoot, I knew about it, had even put it in my calendar right when the list containing all the important dates was being distributed, but of course forgot about it in the meantime. 

There goes my day off... I finally wanted to work on my post and enjoy some quiet time...

Instead I took the youngster to the mall. Holiday decorations were being put up. THIS is how they do it! ;-)

The ice rink is almost ready!

This is the Advent Calendar I want!
He also showed me other things he wanted. 

I took it as an opportunity to tell him how well he is being taken care of, and how that made him so privileged compared to most of the other children in the world. 

While he keeps telling me that broccoli, carrots and other healthy stuff should not appear on his plate, hungry kids in other countries who suffered from stunted growth would be happy to eat it! Of course I didn't use this exact term. I had to look it up myself when I got my prompt. 

"So should we send them my veggies?"

I discovered the coolest thing: miniature lockers to charge your mobile phones! You plug them in for 30 minutes, lock your compartment, walk away, and when you come back they should be fully charged! Free of charge. How cool is that?

Gingerbread houses! Cute, cute, cute!

Yippie, Christmas Blend is here! Red cups, too!

My hour of freedom, even though C didn't want to go to kids' paradise, was here! 
Or so I thought.

Wait a minute! What was that? Are they ?#@*&%ing kidding me? Not only wasn't I able to connect to Starbucks' network, the mall's seemed to be too far awayl?! 

I carried my notebook around all morning so I could get some writing done! 

How was I supposed to blog without wifi?

When we got home, I had to do laundry, make dinner, clean up,...

And this, my friends, concludes the reasons why my mind is all over the place and I couldn't do a proper post. Plus the dog ate parts of it.

PS: The other day my coworker made this Maslow's hierarchy of needs pyramid for me ;-)

Akku = Battery

PPS:  We don't have a dog, but you don't need to know that ;-)

Happy Friday 13th!

Now go find out what my blogging sisters' words were, and what they did with them:

Baking In A Tornado 
Spatulas on Parade 
The Momisodes
Sparkly Poetic Weirdo
Southern Belle Charm
Rena's World
Never Ever Give Up Hope
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
The Bergham Chronicles
Eileen's Perpetually Busy
Confessions of a part time working mom 
Someone Else's Genius