Monday, May 21, 2012

Cats: All Your Base Are Belong to Us

 Do not be fooled. The internet may want you to believe that this meme came about as a result of a happy accident between an English translation mix-up and bored web-surfers, but any cat owner can tell you where it really began. I mean, is it a mere coincidence that the main character of the meme is named “Cats”?? I don’t think so.

 Let me demonstrate how cats can take possession of all your base…er…  I mean… all your stuff:

According to Ninja, this is her string. ALL string is Ninja's string.

This is Ninja’s blanket. It does not matter that Honor had it first.

This is Ninja’s science project

Actually we really do give Ninja her own ‘homework’ so she won’t ‘do’ the kids’ homework for them.   See, everybody is very busy after school at the table… 

This is Ninja’s towel. I bet you didn’t know that drying the table was a job worthy of hazardous duty pay.

Ninja has computer games, complete with her own personal game operator.

Ninja also plays board games

This is Pixie’s box

This is also Pixie’s box

Do not try and take Pixie’s box. You should understand the rule…

Pixie always gets to see what arrives in the mail.. FIRST…

Pixie has a personal elevated lounge chair

And her very own boy

Ninja has a mobile denim-covered scratching post that makes a mom-like screaming sound when she uses it…

Pixie has her own personal sister

Sometimes sisters need a bit of a wash

Sometimes, sisters need an attitude adjustment…

Yes, Ninja does have an attitude, and Pixie knows how to take care of her ‘belongings’… (oh! the language that they use at times!)

Pumpkin demands all the love

Ninja steals some of the love.

Ninja also steals the photo op

Brian has been telling me that he wants to get a queen-size bed. I mean, he is a very tall kid, but I’m not sure that he’s tall enough to need a bigger bed yet…  However, I do see this on a regular basis:

(I have no idea how he sleeps with one leg up and the other off the bed, but he does, and so I guess that I get why he thinks he needs more room!)

I also thought Honor had enough pillows. Nope! Wrong again. Ninja has all of the pillows.

So see… Cats: All Your Base ARE Belong to Us… and if it doesn’t now, well, then Ninja has this look that Honor calls “Those Big Eyes” and yea, what doesn’t belong to her now, soon will…
Go ahead, hand it over, it’s inevitable…

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Not FS Enough

I posted this on Facebook but thought I ought to share here too. I hardly know what to say because it is one of those situations that ... well... eloquence fails me because it’s too ridiculous for me to be eloquent about. It’s just plain ignorant.

For an explanation, let me link you to Jen’s page. She blogs at The Dinoia Family and her blog was recently deleted from the State Department blog roll because of her blog was ‘too personal’. She ‘dared’ talk about nipples… or perhaps it was the dirty ‘c’ topic  - that brought about the nipple conversation - that was the objection? Maybe that reality was just too unappealing?? Apparently, some contractor has decided to white-wash FS life and toss out those who have, and dare talk about, REAL lives?? The Good, The Bad, The Routine – do we really want potential officers to know this stuff?? (*sarcasm!*).

They said they wanted travel stories and individual stories … Jen replies:

“So you mean describing stories about life after a diagnosis of breast cancer while your FS husband is serving in Iraq on an unaccompanied tour 6,219 miles away is not an individual story?  You mean detailing how you got through said issue, how you managed to pick yourself up off the floor each day despite feeling like your world had completely fallen apart (oh, wait, it had) and managed to somehow dust yourself off and keep going with your Foreign Service life is of no interest?  Guess that means I am the *only* one who will ever have to deal with such a thing.

The fact that we ended up doing a second unaccompanied tour?  Booooring.  Or that I had what, 4 surgeries in the past 18 months (scheduled AROUND my husband's most recent posting, so that he would be able to complete his obligations?)?  Um, hello, that's *too* personal, repugnant even!”


Jen is an amazing blogger. As I told her on Facebook, her sharing the trials that she has gone through, that her family has gone through, while her husband has managed to continue to serve our nation, epitomizes the sacrifices and dedication of foreign service officers and family. REAL stories, from bloggers like Jen, are of immeasurable value to serious FS prospects. They don't need candy-coated BS... potential officers (and their families) will gain more from truth. Why not head over to her blog and look around, you’ll see what I mean. (We support you Jen! You *ARE* FS enough!)

For a bit of actual eloquence on this subject, I’ll link you to Life After Jerusalem, where eloquence and well thought-out rants, praise and musings on various topics are often found. Here, she talks about what makes a foreign service blog, and it’ll bring a tear to your eye.

“If you take a look at my blogrolls (two now because blogger has restricted the number of blogs per roll), you will see well over 300 (maybe 400...I am too lazy to count) Foreign Service blogs. There are blogs from officers, specialists, spouses and kids. I include them all because they are all serving. And even when they are not specifically talking about life in the service, they are still talking about life in the service. “ 

And just because she used the word NIPPLETASIC… and because she makes a good point about the foreign service community… I’ll also link you to Sadie’s blog: Sadie Abroad.

“Because we are a community.  We stick together.  We make our own corner of FS life more fun.  Sometimes more bearable.”

Monday, May 7, 2012

Nutella Peanut Butter Wheatabix Choco Oatmeal No-bake cookies!

It’s all Brian’s fault. He likes Wheatabix Choco cereal. They are, if you’re not familiar with it, a simple wheat cereal with tiny bits of chocolate flavor. These ‘bite-size’ cereals tend to crumble though, and often he’s left with a larger than normal mess of cereal crumbs in each box. What to do??

I made cookies!

Nutella Peanut Butter Wheatabix Choco No-bake Cookies!


50g butter (?3-4 tbsp?)

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup milk

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup nutella

2 cups Wheatabix Choco crumbles and/or oats (not instant)

In a medium to large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the sugar, milk, and cocoa powder – stir to combine. Stir in and melt the peanut butter and nutella. Stir in the crumbs and/or oats and mx very well. Remove from heat and immediately spoon out cookie-size balls (ping pong ball or smaller) of mixture onto wax paper lined cookie sheets. Allow to cool. Store in airtight container.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hot Weather Treat

If you take one of these:

Which comes with this Vanilla Ice Cream recipe (click for link).

Hand it over to two eager kids who are skilled with using this:


To find milk shake recipes as yummy as this one (click for link): 

Then, throw that ice cream and other ingredients into one of these:


This is what the results are:

2012-04-29 17.02.13


Just thought I ought to share the recipe the kids found recently. It was very good! And also thought I ought to share that we LOVE our Cuisinart ice cream maker and Breville Blender!! No, this is NOT any sort of paid advertisement or promotion! Just a sharing. With all of our moving and use of ‘alternative power supplies’ with varying levels of reliability, I thought it worth noting that both this ice cream maker (ours is about 7yrs old) and the blender (about 5yrs old) have really held up well for this expat family.

I’m also tickled that my kids are starting to use these things, and other items, in the kitchen, as well as becoming more interested in looking up recipes online through Google, so they can come help me make treats and meals that they are interested in… or, better yet, as in this case… they are learning to do these things by themselves. (I had to help only a tiny amount, as the blender is quite heavy, and pouring the ice cream mixture into the machine is easier for me to reach – I also do the cleaning of the appliances for them, for now…).

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Blowing Widespread Dust plus Drizzle Equals…

The forecast was for a 40% chance of rain today. Instead we had widespread dust and blowing sand… plus just a bit of spitting wet stuff. The truck, which was washed yesterday, is a mess!

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2012-05-01 15.59.57

Me, trying to look in at Honor…

2012-05-01 16.00.23

Looking out through the windshield!

2012-05-01 15.59.28

We still have rain forecast for tonight and/or tomorrow… I hope so… We need to rinse off the air!

Quilt Progress

Some people may count squares completed. Some might count how many motifs are left to stitch. I have no idea where I’m at. I seem to count progress by how often I can sit down and work on this quilt when not distracted by other projects. Being distracted is not a bad thing :)

When not being worked on, my quit is a fort for Ninja.



Pumpkin thinks it’s cozy!


DSC02296  And Pixie thinks she knows how to help me do the stitching..

“Right here mom… you missed a spot…”


“What do you mean by “Move your fuzzy butt?” My fuzzy butt is exactly where it is supposed to be.”


“I know how to do this… I’m the cat…”