Saturday, May 3, 2014

April Roundup

Linking up with Leigh, this time with a top-ten roundup of the month:

Top Book: Benediction by Kent Haruf

It's my first Kent Haruf read, and I hope to get my hands on some more of his books soon. Benediction is stark and delicate. Centred around one man's dying days, Haruf brings in neighbours, family, and even apparitions to explore loss and relationships in small-town Colorado. A beautiful, gentle read.

Top Outbound Visit: London, Baby!

coleslaw and chickpea burgers

It had been a year and four months since I'd seen my gal-pals, bar Kanga, who came to see me in November. Too long, and like I'd never left. Kanga organized two long, lovely brunches to ensure lots of gab time - it was so great to see everyone and catch each other up on our news. Kanga and I had heaps of time for chatting in the evenings - thank you to the Chef from Down Under who did all the cooking.
crustless quiche!
Top Inbound Visit: Madrid, Mom

My mom sometimes has to travel for work. As I type, she's at a conference on a canal cruiser going through Holland, Belgium and Germany. Anyway, when she has to come to Europe, she tries to book a layover in Madrid. It was only for a few days, but it was so nice to see her! She brought a suitcase full of things from home - steel cut oats, a vat of coconut oil, birthday presents, and the bird wall clock I loved from home, which Tall Guy agrees will go perfectly in our new kitchen.

I arrived home from work on Monday as she arrived from the airport, and we had a quiet evening. On Tuesday she did her favourite Madrid things and we met at the Prado Museum after work. We made sure to check out Las Meninas (her favourite), and what our family calls Cheesburger from Paradise, my Bro's favourite (when he first saw it, he said, "hey, the dove is bringing down a cheeseburger to Saint Peter!").

On Wednesday, my mom came with me to the doctor - not that exciting, but a long wait made for good talking time, and in the evening we had the "merienda" (Spanish tea/snack time) with my exchange partner and her mother. "We hope it's ok", they said, "we're not that experienced with tea..." It is amazing to think we've been friends for over twelve years now.

Top Day: My birthday!

taking a break at the summit with the dog
I turned 30 this year, and it was a really great day. Tall Guy and I were at the beach for Easter Vacation (11 days off from school, how great is that?), and we woke up early to go on a mountain hike with the dog. It was a beautiful morning and the views were stunning. We worked up a huge appetite and came down to a family lunch of paella, followed by a very tasty Spanish orange cake, presents and a nap, after which the two of us went out for dinner during which I tried octopus once again, and once again did not enjoy it. Despite the octopus, an amazing day.

click here for details!

Top Meal: Naked Burrito at Tierra

Tierra is a burrito buffet located dangerously close to our house. The burritos are the size of my face. For real. They call out to me. Fortunately, they have a naked option - burrito on a platter with no tortilla. Still huge, but less messy and also gluten-free. (I went with my mom.)

Top Laugh: The Hot Dog

After Easter, I asked 4B what they'd done over the holidays, if they'd been anywhere or tried any new food. One girl said she'd been to an American-style diner and had a really big hot dog, and she loved it. Another student put up her hand:


"I do not eat hot dogs", she said.
"Oh... ok... don't you like them?" I asked.
"No, I like them, but... I HAVE A DOG!" she answered. Some students were nodding in agreement.
"Ok..." I wasn't sure I was getting it...
"You know, hot DOG? When I eat them, my dog looks at me with a bad face and I feel bad", she explained.

they have a euro site!

Top Purchase: The Anthro Dress

I can't not buy things from Anthropologie. It just doesn't happen. I am resigned to walking out with a creamy carrier bag filled with something lovely. Fortunately, everything I've ever purchased from there has been on mega-sale. This trip was no different.

We have four weddings this year, two day time and two evening, two work and two friends, so basically I needed two dresses. This is the day-wedding dress, 65% off, plus another 30% on top of that. Hooray! Also fun to wear a faux-mini. The lace makes this a much better length for me.

Top Blog Read: Taboo Topics

This post by Emily really spoke to me, since I truly believe it all comes down to love. No, we can't just hold hands and sing songs, and we shouldn't ignore injustice, but if we framed our discussions and decisions in the context of true agape love, perhaps our problems would have more satisfactory outcomes.

Top Youtube video: Baby Talk

A friend shared this series on Facebook, and I watched all of them one day when I was sick. When it comes from a kid, it doesn't seem like anything out of the ordinary. Pop an adult in there, and ridiculous hilarity ensues... Here's episode one, but my favourite is the one about the cookie.

Top Feeling: Excitement!

So far, our renovation has been all about destruction. The other day when I went upstairs, we had some walls! They aren't bathrooms yet, but they will be!

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