Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christmas List

Penang has a great Little India. A friend and I were there yesterday, and I couldn't resist loading up on spices. It is a cooks Nirvana. I wish I could send the smell through the computer. I couldn't resist a picture in front of a huge barrel of whole cloves. I will let you all know of our return date and I hope you send me spice requests. FYI-- a small box of Saffron is only $3.00. Cardamom pods are pennies, those whole cloves were maybe a dollar for 50 grams. Nutmeg grows on trees here in Penang and they sell the fruits all over the island, so the seeds (our ground nutmeg) are very plentiful and cheap.

This is a cute getting to know you list that a friend sent. I think it will be perfect to use here.
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Our Santa just complains about the cost. When the kids were little we rarely wrapped.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colored tree, white house. Only if Dave puts them up.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? no. We just kiss everyone at random.

5. When do you put your decorations up? first week of December. Take em down the 26th.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Homemade Tamales

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Traveling home via Federal Ave. in Denver and listening to the radio updates of Santa sightings. I was so excited to get home and go to sleep.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I think my brother told me when I was about 10

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes, when I have bought presents, my kids like money.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? I have about 5 different tree decoration sets. A homespun crafty, chili pepper, blue, cranberry and brass , and a kids decorations set. I rotate, Just like Marie Osmond.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Snow IS CHRISTMAS!!!

12. Can you ice skate? I used to be able to, not sure if I could any more

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? 50$ my brother gave Dave and I when we were starving students. That was so touching!

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? God sent his Son to save the world.

15. What is your favorite Holiday dessert? Pumpkin pie, hands down, no discussion.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Making hundreds of Tamales as a family, then eating them until we burst. Then feeling that satisfaction of passing on a tradition to my kids.

17.What tops your tree? An angel or star depending on the year.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Giving

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? O Come All Ye Faithful. I always get the warm fuzzies and a burst of Christmas joy.

20. Candy Canes yuk or yum? yum! Only if they are peppermint!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Cockroach Hysteria

Okay, we got two new fish. When Christina and I lifted off the aquarium top, we saw a dark red cockroach scatter into the filter/pump area. We were astounded with the size of this monster. I think it has been living in the aquarium top, living off the moisture and slime for 2 years. It had to be at least 2 years old!! It was just a smidgen smaller than the one at left.

since our man Dave is in India for the week, we called Willis Stebbins our 10th grade neighbor on the 13th floor to come up and help us kill it . He came and took one look at it and was floored by its size. He was not going near that thing. So we called Danny Sullivan, the buildings resident bug afficionado up to kill this thing. This is a 12 year old boy who collects scorpions, centipedes, and even had a small cockroach friend. Even he said, "Too big." So here we were; no one wanted to deal with it, but there is no way I could sleep knowing it was there. The fate of this bad boy fell in my hands. This insect was in a location where it was impossible to smash with a shoe or newspaper, the only way to get it was to manually kill it.

As we were all screaming and freaking out; I took a pair of scissors and bravely manuvered it into a position where I could wack off its head. Do you know what kind of courage this took? That cockroach could have easily run up the blade of the scissors and scattered up my arm and into my open screaming mouth!! I closed my eyes, guessed as to the location of the insect and quick as a cat, snipped that head right off.

Mercifully the body and head fell into the water where it continued to jiggle and squiggle for an obscene amount of time. Even its guts where leaching out into the water. It was so insanely gross that the fish wouldn't go near it. So Christina and Willis fished it out with the skimmer and Willis disposed of it for us. I have yet to work up the nerve to pick up the scissors and sterilize them with rubbing alchohol. I would rather deal with a rat than a cockroach. We live on the 27th floor! Our aquarium is in the office! That cockroach came with the stupid aquarium over 2 years ago from the dealer!!! AGGH!!!