I'm sure you've all missed my thought filled posts, so here are a few things that have been swirling about in my head these past few days. I'm going to start with a few things that I find irritating in this country. Let's start with the cooking spray. In the states, I was too cheap to buy Pam, but even the off brand cooking spray did what it was supposed to do; it coated the pan. When I spray my can of Cook 'n Bake, I am always in for disappointment on many levels. Most of the spray ends up drifting around in the air, with only splotches of the pan getting anything close to a coating. The combo of the spray wafting through the air and the very strong artificial "butter" smell wafting up my nose is just too much for me. I don't like it.
Another thing that is irritating is all the power outages. We've been told many times that it is just a normal part of living out here, which is all fine and good, but it is annoying. It just is. In the states we have redundant power sources, which means that if one transformer goes down, there are other power sources still working just fine so you don't automatically lose power during every storm that passes through. It's not just the storms that cause the power to go out. Sometimes it's the wind, which is often heavy, but still it's wind. The other night I was hovering over our microwave trying to heat up some leftover taco meat for dinner. I'd start heating the meat and the power would go off. A couple minutes later it would come back on so I'd start up the microwave again. Then it would go off and I'd have to wait a few more minutes. I finally got our meal to a somewhat warm temperature before the power went off for good. I understand that this is normal for this country and especially for the area that we live in, but it just seems like something that could and should be dealt with, especially in an area that is hoping to attract a lot of tourists.
I do not like taxis and all their honking. I think this is mostly because I am still not a very confident driver, so when the taxi behind me starts honking, I'm not sure if I'm in doing driving wrong or if the driver is just trying to pick up new passengers
There are also things I like about this country. I like seeing the diverse groups of people inside each honking taxi; old women and young men, people with big parcels crowded in next to them and mamas with babies on their laps. I like the play areas that are available in so many of the restaurants. They have bounce houses, video game consoles and more importantly, they have play area attendants to keep an eye on your kids! These play areas are at real restaurants with grown up food, not just at fast food joints.
I also like what living in this country has taught me. I can drive stick shift, something that was bringing me to tears still back in Michigan. I think it's easier to shift with my left hand than my right. I can be the passenger for over a month and then get in the driver's seat and make it all the way to town by myself with no accidents (just the incessant honking of the taxis!). I am cooking from scratch more than I ever did in Michigan and I like it. I've made empanadas, which are Mexican fruit pies, twice in the last week. I even cooked down the apples and rolled out the dough and used a plastic bowl to cut out circles. This is just not something I would have done in my old life. If I wanted a treat I would have gone to Wendy's for a Frosty or grabbed some Twinkies from Meijer. I wouldn't have made Mexican fruit pies!
Ok, that's it for my thoughts, now onto the news! We have a boy with a loose tooth and man oh man is he ever excited. Darin actually noticed for the first time today that one of Tyson's bottom middle teeth is coming in behind all his other teeth. After pointing this out to Tyson, our boy started wiggling his teeth and has been at it ever since. He has also eaten an apple and several carrot sticks in the hopes that his tooth will just pop out. It is not quite that loose yet, in fact it is not very loose at all, but we'll be working hard to get that tooth out before the back tooth comes in much farther.
Tyson's other big news is that he gets to go to church camp without the rest of us in February. They handed out the info at church yesterday and our boy is so terribly excited; so excited, in fact, that he started packing his stuff yesterday afternoon, which is great, but camp isn't until the last weekend of February. We stopped for some groceries at Makro yesterday, which is kind of like Sam's Club (but not) and found a sleeping bag for about $8, so we splurged for our boy. I honestly have never, ever known a kid who can get so excited about things that most people are just kind of ho hum about. The lovely thing is, even after the campout is done and his tooth is out, he'll STILL be excited about those things. He still talks fondly about events that happened over a year ago. I hope he never loses his enthusiasm for life.
Darin and I finished season one of 24 and are almost half way through season two. I can hardly stand watching most of the episodes. I get so annoyed with the characters and the decisions that they make, especially Kim, Jack Bauer's daughter, and President Palmer's ex-wife. Her lips bother me. It is fun to have a show to watch together at night, but sometimes I get so stressed out and then I have a hard time sleeping at night.
I went grocery shopping today without Darin. Jori came with me and we had a nice time together at Pick 'n Pay. Other than a crazy taxi honking at me for stopping to let pedestrians walk in front of me and having to slam on the brakes for a driver that must not have known how to use his blinker, the trip went great.
We've had a small herd of zebra hanging out around just outside of our fence the past couple days. Yesterday a lone blesbok joined their herd for a while. I love it when the animals mingle together. We did have a nest right outside our home school room with two little baby birds in it. They were Paradise Flycatchers. I say "were" because yesterday when we woke up the nest was empty and the mother and father were gone. The chicks did not look big enough to fly and I've never heard of birds moving their young, so I'm guessing they fell out of the nest during the heavy winds on Saturday night. We were all enjoying the nest and its inhabitants, so this was a bummer.
We've started calling Jori "Suzanne" as in Suzanne Geha, former Grand Rapids area newscaster. She is always stating the obvious, which is just what good old Suzanne Geha used to do on Wood TV 8. She'll share a little tidbit with us and we say "Thanks Sooze" or "I appreciate the heads-up Suzi G." Speaking of Suzanne Geha, whatever did happen to her? We moved before the whole story was out and now our inquiring minds want to know!
And that's all the randomness for now.