Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mike's Birthday

David and Katie were pretty excited about the presents! Oh and I was also informed that my 3 year old nephew had his first basketball lesson today!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Portland, OR and my short blonde friends

It was great to get the chance to spend a long weekend out on the West Coast. Bridget and Jen both moved out this way last year and so finally I was able to make a visit. And I admit that it was so much more relaxing than any of my work trips. I am so thankful that I could spend time out here with them and away from work. So refreshing.

Jen and I ventured to the Stash Tea store and I introduced her to my favorite Licorish Tea.
Jen's husband Mike and Bridget both joined us for dinner and we had a hilarious conversation telling bad dating stories. Jen and Bridget also talked a little bit about what it was like to move to Portland.

Bridget and I went to the Japanese gardens which were so beautiful. And this Bridge is on the cover of the book Heaven that I tell everyone to read. Randy Alcorn, the author, is also from Portland.Bridget and I made a fantastic chicken dinner and ate it in her adorable kitchen. While meandering through the city we stopped at the world's largest book store - Powell's - and it was pretty overwhelming. And since they didn't have my Gillian Bradshaw books I wasn't very impressed. There were some funny signs that we saw. This one warns bicycle riders about the tracks. And of course people in Oregon can not spell "Milwaukee" as you can see in this sign. At least the Oregon City, WI is spelled the right way!
The most ridiculous thing ever was on the way from Jen and Mike's house back to Bridget's apartment we had to go over the river. So we got off the highway, merged onto a one way street that was separated by a median. The two different sides of traffic (going the same way) had different traffic lights! Then we went under the bridge that we wanted to be on, and only 2 seconds later made a U-turn to go back under that very same bridge . . . at this point it would have seemed like we were lost but no the actual way to go is make a sharp right turn up a very steep hill through a neighborhood. Not only are there no signs to tell you to go this way but it litterally feels like the highway has completely disappeared. However, after making another turn and passing a few more houses you come to an entrance ramp. This again unmarked is finally the way onto the bridge. And of course Bridget had been explaining this silly path the whole time we were driving and I was laughing so hard "I bout fell out" (Linnea that was for you). For those of you who are curious - that is the Ross Island Bridge. And my friend Bridget is quite well acquainted with her new city - she was not lost, nor did she need a map. Impressive.

Vending machine for pencils

I may have missed out since I went to a private middle school. However I was excited to see such a funny little box on the wall at Bridget's church (it meets in a school)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Laughing planet

Eating in Portland is great! They have the best restaurants with organic natural yummy food. This one was particularly funny also.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The tragedy of the smashed ring

The summer of 2002 Bridget and I had a floss-a-thon contest. Even though I won she only missed one day out of the 2 months so I still got her half of her prize - a silver ring. She loved the ring and wore it every day for 5 years until just a few weeks ago when I was abruptly woken up in the middle of the night by a phone call. Bridget was crying and laughing at the same time as she was telling me how her ring rolled out of her lap into a busy intersection. (due to dry hands from her profession as a dental hygenist she was putting lotion on and that is how the ring was in her lap) She watched in sheer horror as a car ran over her beloved ring. She screamed out "NO!" and ran out for an attempted rescue only to find her mangled ring, meanwhile insensative motorists honked and yelled. I tried to console her with a small gift as you can see in the picture.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Finally! Purpose of Appendix

About 10 years ago I had to have my appendix out and following a relatively simple surgery and quick recovery I immediately started to have other GI track issues. Not to get into the gory details or anything but I was shocked that none of the physicians could actually pin point the problem. I had an upper-GI barium floroscopy scan, a colonoscopy, and a number of emergency room visits with NOTHING. When a family friend told my mother I should take a probiotic (Shaklee Optiflora) that is when everything got better. So I got to thinking . . . hmmm so now I don't have an appendix, and now I need to supply my body with good bacteria to keep it working well. So for the past 10 years I've been telling everyone that I think the appendix was designed to be a safe haven for your body to produce good bacteria. And low and behold the scientific community has made a huge discovery! Surgeons and immunologists from Duke University Medical School believe your appendix produces and protects the good bacteria in your gut. (Scientific Article) I am thankful that they have made this important discovery.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Mob Soccer

Since Katie wanted to play soccer like her Aunt Sarah I have tried to go to the games when I am home. It is so cute! All the little players go running after the ball like a little mob. Katie is the little brunette in yellow, she has a purple hair tie. She is also the one kicking the ball in the video. video
Here she is during a kick off.

Politics

I am certainly not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to politics. However I did find this little quiz to be very helpful in seeing who your views line up with. I do hope you enjoy it! I also liked the summary of where all the candidates stand on key issues - helpful for people like me.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bachelorette Blues

Ho Hum . . . I am single and nearly 32 and I think my entire life is falling apart.

1) I have ceased to fold laundry and have resorted to washing it dumping it in my spare room and just wandering in there for clothing selections.

2) I do not open mail anymore but just put it in a pile on my dining room table and stare at it like it should go away on its own.

3) Due to mail on the table I no longer eat there . . . not to mention that my peace lily is rebelling against my travel schedule and is beginning to look completely sick and instead of stare it while I eat I have decided to ignore it. Yes I am giving the silent treatment to a plant! I know it is pathetic.

4) Speaking of eating . . . when I buy milk I usually buy one pint size skim milk and it often goes bad before I can use it all! Honestly, most of my friends buy multiple GALLON size milk cartons weekly!

5) Dishes do not get put away either - I have decided that the left half of my sink is a perfectly good holding spot for the few items that a single person needs to cook with . . . that is if I even bother to cook. What is wrong with just eating raw broccoli off the stalk?

6) I have entirely forgotten how to brush my hair, blow dry it too, in fact I am not sure I even look in the mirror. Why bother - my computer screen at work doesn't mind.

7) Friday and Saturday evenings only have plans when I am traveling . . . traveling for work that is. I have absolutely no friends that are not dating someone or married. My weekend plans are so pathetic that if I am traveling for work I am wishing I was home . . . and then when I am actually home I think the distraction of work is exactly what I need to forget about how pathetic I am.

8) Fashion Amnesia is becoming a chronic disease. I often stare into my closet and think that there is nothing I could possibly wear - and then I remember that I have nearly no sense of fashion anyway (that part of your brain is deprogrammed in engineering school). The only thing I really like to wear are my yoga pants (TALL size - God Bless JCrew) which are faded and probably about 5 years old.

So here comes another weekend of absolutely no plans besides sitting home by myself. I hate being by myself - I am a middle child and never liked being alone. So call me if you are bored! I can assure you that I will be doing absolutely nothing important.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Dutch People Bike To Work

It is very common for Dutch people to ride bikes EVERYWHERE. So I decided that I should attempt such a thing. Eindhoven is the town where my hotel is and Best is the town where the Philips office is. My coworker, Clemens, was so kind to be my escort so I didn't get lost (I probably would have otherwise) and of course I informed him that he had to be my photographer too. Biking takes about 40 minutes, a taxi takes about 35 minutes, walking+train+bus takes 25 (+5-15 waiting time).

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Movies in Eindhoven

Beer and Popcorn . . . you gotta love the Dutch for watching movies in the original language. :) My coworker and I went to see Borne Ultimatum. I only had a hard time when they spoke Russian and then subtitles were in Dutch and not English.

Monday, October 1, 2007

How to stay awake

Well this is one way to not fall asleep in your dinner when you have jet lag.

Actually one of my coworkers met me when I arrived in the Netherlands and then we walked around and then went to dinner at this little bookstore where all the dishes are named after book titles (Dutch titles of which I can't read). So apparently I ordered an appetizer that is the response you give after some says they love you. My entre was called "drowned man floating by"