Monday, June 26, 2006

Botanical Gardens

I just uploaded about 25 pictures from our date at the botanical gardens this weekend. Take a look on flickr.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

These are a few of my favorite things...

I finally recieved the package I sent to myself while in the States. It is difficult to understand the infatuation with comforts from home, particularly food, until you have been an expat. So I hope you will bear with me. Here is what I sent myself:

Laffy Taffy
Reeses peanut butter cups
various flavours of Jello
Jello chocolate pudding, instant, cook and serve, and fat-free sugar-free
chocolate Pop Tarts (Josh's treat)
Kraft parm. cheese
Dove deoderant (I can find it here, but I figured I'll get it cheap at Costco)
Starburst jelly beans (this really excited me as I forgot I sent this)
various flavors of instant mash
pasta sauce mixes
taco mix
Scotch tape
mini Oreos
cookies-n-cream Hershey bars
Andies cherry chocolates

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Feels like Friday

I worked today so it feels like tomorrow should be Saturday rather than Sunday.

I got off early enough for Josh and I to have a date. The weather was actually pretty decent today, as opposed to the cold, grey, wet weather we have had the last couple of weeks. We went to the botanical gardens and ate at their cafe. Well, we didn't ONLY eat there, but as it was a date we decided to eat there rather than plan our outing around a homecooked meal. It was a very enjoyable date. We then got ice cream at a stand and sat in a park that overlooked the city.

I guess it was a full week. I arrived at work on Monday to the sirens going off. The delivery guy didn't set the alarm right when he left. I had to stand outside the building with people walking by wondering why I was just standing there. We watched our first football (soccer) game. I worked 4 whole days! rather than the 2 that has been the norm lately. Josh had his first week of work. He gets to carry a purple key! Josh has been working hard on is dissertation. I got to talk to Andrea on the phone! Yep, that's our full week. It doesn't sound like much, but that's how I like it. Of course, there are the everyday chores in there as well: cooking, shopping, dishes, laundry. Every one of those made slightly more difficult by some crazy thing or another. :)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Longest day of the year!

My mom and Stacey are both priviledged to have their birthdays on the longest day of the year. Happy birthday to you both!

We were out late last night due to a necessary World Cup game watch at Sam and Peter's. We were walking back to our flat at nearly midnight. I had a hard time taking my eyes off of the norther sky because I could not believe how much light was still in the sky. About a month ago it just seemed like a light glow, like from city lights or something, but this was definate sunlight. It reminded me of our flight back to Scotland in May. The sun was only our of sight for a few hours, and while it was there was always a red glow on the horizon. It was so pretty.

Well, I do go on and on about the light here (or the lack thereof during the winter) but it is our first year here and it just amazes me. It will all be old hat next year.

Here you can see for yourself how light it can be at night. Remember that we are six hours ahead of Chicago time.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Ok, I am going to copy this from Steph's blog.

Accent: Chicagoan. North American. I would say I have none, but now that I get asked where I am from on a regular basis, I guess I realize that I do.
Bible Book that I like: Romans
Chore I don't care for: Dishes. They just never go away! I wish for a dishwasher one of these days.
Dog or Cat: none. I would love to have rabbits again.
Essential Electronics: Now that I have lived without all of my small kitchen appliances, including a microwave, for nearly a year, I know they are not essential, but I sure do miss my blender! My camera is definately essential.
Favorite Cologne: Be Delicious by DKNY. I hope to have some one day.
Gold or Silver: White gold
Handbag I Carry Most Often: I don't carry a handbag except for special events. Now my over-the-shoulder water-proof Eddie Bauer bag that Andrea picked up for me is very essential.
Insomnia: I have been having a hard time getting back on Scotland time. It is especially difficult now that it is still light until well after 10pm. Very annoying when I have to get up at 5am!
Job Title: shift supervisor in training/full-time housewife
Kids: we are child-free
Living Arrangement: living in student housing near the top of an ancient volcano with a castle at one end of our road and a palace at the other. Cool, huh? City-centre. We actually look forward to getting away from all of the tourists!
Most Admirable Trait: Hospitality. Loyalty.
Naughtiest Childhood Behavior: Hmm...Maybe mom can pipe in on this one...
Overnight Hospital Stays: never
Phobias: walking over bridges with water underneath. I also fear having to talk on the phone here (might get an accent I can understand!).
Quote: The amazing thing is not that you die. The amazing thing is that you live.
Religion: Christianity
Siblings: 1 younger brother,
Time I Wake Up: It has been very difficult getting out of bed before 8am now that we can't seem to go to bed before midnight, but somedays I have to get up for work at 5am.
Unusual Talent or Skill: not sure I have any. Can anyone think of something for me?
Vegetable I Refuse to Eat: califlower, brussel sprouts
Worst Habit: especially at work, I start something, have to go do something else, then forget the original project. I have many unfinished projects going at the same time.
X-rays: teeth, back, chest (one year when I moved from one building to the next at college I strained myself-everyone had to move at the same time, I ended up having to use the stairs, and I had to get to work at a certain time-and popped a hole in the lining around my lungs, or so the doctor said. To this day I will still get a slight pain in that area of my chest if I strain my lungs.)
Yummy Stuff I Cook: flourless chocolate cake (does baking count?), Chicaog-style deep dish pizza, my husband loves my Boston baked beans.
Zoo Animal I Like Most: monkeys in all kinds, shapes, and sizes.


As I have stated before, we get some great sunsets here. Take a look at flickr to see some of the pictures I took a couple of weeks ago from our window.

Friday, June 09, 2006

American Bacon!

You may have heard me mention that the bacon here is quite different. For one thing, you have to use oil to fry it. It does not render ONE BIT. I did not even figure out the oil bit until after trying to cook with it a few times. We never really eat bacon. I only use it for soups. I learned that I have to get what is called streaky bacon, as it has more fat, but it still doesn't render.
So, I was at the grocery store getting bacon for Boston baked beans when the familiar yellow package jumped out at me. Oscar Meyer! American! My heart lept and I thought "I can make BLTs! Never mind that I have never made a BLT in my life and haven't missed it one bit. Your stomach and mind do crazy things when you are away from what is familiar.
I made our BLTs for lunch today. When I was frying up the bacon (without oil!) I first thought "wow! grease!" Then I thought "wow! A LOT of grease!!" I made up some chipotle mayo to give our sandwiches a little kick. We used spinich rather than lettuce, as I posted about before and sprinkled on some of my home grown sprouts. So I guess they should rather be called BSTS: bacon, spinich, tomato, and sprouts. :)


I made a feeble attempt at growing sprouts a couple of months ago. I didn't have adequate equipment, or I just didn't know what I was doing. Last time we were at the healthfood store I saw a jar for growing sprouts. It was only 4 quid so I figured it wouldn't be much of a loss if it didn't work and it was worth a try. I was happy to see wee sprouts the day after I started them and just 6 days later they were ready to be 'harvested.' This was my dinner tonight. We never even eat lettuce anymore. We always use spinich in it's place for salads, sandwiches, and even tacos. I sprinkled on some sprouts and a wee bit of cheese, added Costco's Ceasar salad dressing and Voila!

I 'harvested' my alfalfa sprouts just yesterday. This container was full and now this is all that is left. We have been enjoying them on our salads and even on our BLTs today (that's another post). I am now trying millet. We will have to be patient as we find sprouts that we like (I liked the alfalfa).


Yesterday was such a slendid day! The sun was bright and warm. It must have gotten close to 80, or at least felt that way with as warm as the sun makes you feel here. Of course, I had to work. And work I did! We must have sold a record amount of Frappaccinos. It was constant. The same kind of weather was forcasted for today, my day off. I had plans to take walks and read in the park. I was disappointed when I woke to find a thick fog when I opened our curtains. I could not see the city below. I knew it would be colder. I put on my capris and threw a light sweater over my short sleeves just incase. And yes, it was colder. Probably mid 50s. And with the dampness of the fog it feels colder. I had a bit of hope a couple of hours ago when the fog seemed to be getting thinner and I could see the city, but alas, the city is lost again!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Tuesday in the park

Yesterday was probably the warmest it has been since we got here, reaching around 75 degrees. Of course, I had to work, but with daylight stretching well past 10:00, we could still enjoy the weather after dinner.

As many of you know, we are without a freezer (yes, STILL) and it has been a dream of mine to get a pint of ice cream and savor it in the park. Well, more like gobble it down as savor is not in Josh's vocabulary, and I was sharing with him. :) So we packed up a couple of spoons, some books, and my camera and headed out to the grocery store to pick up some Ben and Jerry's. We then found a nice spot in Prince's Street Gardens under the castle and dug in. Ice cream never tasted so good!
During our stay in the park there was a Scottish country dancing event going on. It was £2 to get in, but it was easy just to watch. I went to snap some shots, leaving Josh to read Origen...
Uh, well, he was supposed to be reading... :)

Again, look for more pictures on flickr--> (not just now, though. I have to work on dinner...)

Our favorite spot

Saturday was a sunny day so, true to Scottish style, we rushed out and enjoyed it while it lasted. We love to go up Arthur's Seat. Josh said he wouldn't mind going up every weekend, but we have only been up half a dozen times. This was the first time I didn't freeze once we got up top! The breaze was warm and the sun actually started to bake me (even though it was only in the lower 60s)! Josh was thrilled that I dind't ask to go back down after just a few minutes and he could enjoy looking through his binoculars. I laid out my jacket that I didn't need and took a wee nap. We enjoyed the scenery for nearly an hour. Here are some pics of our favorite spot in the city (though the River Leith is coming in with a close second). I can't believe we live down the street from this!

Look for more pictures on flickr-->