Shameless promotion

Mom and Dad have set themselves up with a dandy website about their vacation townhouse in Bend, Oregon. Now I would like to perform a Viva Bend!little experiment, and see if I can use my blog to help them be “found”. For anyone who is interested, it can be found here and the gallery is here. Even if you are not looking for a get-away, the pictures are fun. Doesn’t this sound nice?

“This is not your usual rental. The house is complete, with leather furniture, Turkish robes, cable TV and a wireless broadband Internet connection. In addition to the 2 master bed rooms upstairs, it has a sleeper sofa in the den. The townhouse sleeps 6 adults. Downstairs is a gorgeous vaulted ceiling living room, dining room (small patio off the dining room), and a wonderful, all gas kitchen. There is a small, private yard with a patio, a brand new hot tub and a gas barbecue. The former owner is a professional interior decorator and it shows! This is a quiet, comfortable place to make lasting family memories. It is located on a quiet street, close to main highways and local attractions such as the Old Mill district, Les Schwab Amphitheater golf courses and the Mt. Bachelor shuttle.”

Who’s house is this anyway?

I cleaned up the kitchen this morning. It actually IS a regular occurrence! The problem with cleaning up the kitchen is that it leaves no obvious morsels sitting about for the ants. And boy, do we have ants! Wildlife thrives in this country and I often feel like WE are the intruders! Why should I blame all these creatures for trying to reclaim this territory? I have finally come to the conclusion that the only way to control this many ants is with poison! And a lot of it! And well… I just really don’t want that in the kitchen. Can you blame me? So I have given up the battle… and it has turned into a race.
Ethan had his friend, Toby, over to play so I thought I would heat up some chicken nuggets to feed them. No use starting food battles with other peoples children by trying to serve healthy food 😉 Well, what I hadn’t realized is that all those ants trying to reclaim my house were STARVING! I flipped the nuggets halfway through cooking and left the spatula on the counter. Ten minutes later when I came to take them out, the spatula was swarming with itty-bitty ants! I had to wash it to be able to use it. Then I had to store it on a rack, on a plate, on an unlit burner, on the stove and hope they didn’t find it before I needed it again. The race had begun. Now little boys aren’t crazy about eating burning hot food fresh out of the oven so I was trying to figure out how to let it cool long enough but still be able to serve it to the boys before the ants got to it. I moved it around to a few different spots, so the ants wouldn’t find it as quickly and they seemed to be satisfied with the many crumbs that fell off the spatula. So the next question is whether to wipe them all up or let them finish carrying off those crumbs. And since I am really tired of my washcloths being covered in ants all the time, I think I will let them feast and wipe up the counter after they have all gone home.

Ethan the “Jiggler”

“I wish we could jiggle when we are laying down!” Huh? Living with a four year old is often very amusing. Not knowing exactly what Ethan was referring to Daniel responded with, “Some people can!” to which Ethan stated matter-of-factly, “Yes, but not us!” We finally figured out that he meant “juggle” which is what he has been trying to do this evening with ONE wadded up napkin. He isn’t doing too well. It will be a while before he can “jiggle” lying down.

My new weight loss scheme!

In the last few days I have had the misfortune, during meals, of crunching down hard on itty-bitty rocks in my rice. They are beastly hard to find since they blend in with the hundreds of thousands of grains of rice in the pot and picking them out before cooking is usually met with limited success. I have wondered why Filipinos don’t generally find this a frustration like I do as the best Filipino food I have tasted commonly has bits of rocks, bones or other small items I wouldn’t normally classify as food. I have noticed, finally, that some of my friends have an ingenious way of chewing their food without really putting their teeth together. Viola! No hideous crunching! One friend says that she is shocked when she watches her husband put a huge bite of bangus (fish with tons of tiny bones that English speakers usually call milk-fish) into his mouth and “chew” it by rolling it around until he has used his tongue and teeth to expertly separate out all those tiny bones, and without crunching or choking on them! So now I know there is a method, but I can’t shake this annoying American habit of putting my teeth together when I chew. So of course, I CRUNCH! And then I can’t swallow that bite that is still in my mouth because no matter how hungry I was just seconds earlier, I experience a sudden and total loss of appetite. So here is my weight loss plan to be used in the future if I need to lose a few pounds:

1. Find some relatively clean sand.

2. Wash it a few times and maybe boil it for a half an hour, so that it is completely germ free… cause we don’t really want to lose weight from an illness like amoeba!

3. Put this clean sand in a salt shaker and keep on the table with the salt and pepper. Warn other family members who do not need to lose any weight that they should avoid the sand shaker since… Hey, it adds NOTHING to the flavor!

4. After you dish up your food at meals, sprinkle with a few grains of sand.

5. Bon Appetite! If you mix it in good you might actually get a small portion of food consumed before that hideous crunch and complete loss of appetite.

Well, In the meantime, I think I will still work on perfecting that technique of chewing without my teeth actually touching…. cause I still LOVE the food in this country!

What a load of craft!

It is summer vacation. The kids are home ALL DAY and our pre-summer peaceful existence is over! In my desperate attempt to find activities for them to do so they will stop fighting with each other I pulled out a book of crafts. Each page has pictures printed on card stock that can be punched out, folded, and glued into something semi-3-dimensional. Somewhere in my telling the kids about this craft book, Ethan translated “craft” into “crap”. I can’t bear to correct him since it has provided me with days of amusement listening to him say things like, “Mom, look at my crap!” and “Can you help me with this crap?” and “Can I make another crap?” Since the finished crafts only last a few minutes until they fall apart, I guess he has made an accurate assessment!