Monday, April 5, 2010

Why Hello There!

 Warning: This post contains content not suitable for those under the age of 12.

Now that I've shoved Michael off of his computer, I finally have time for a real, pictures included post and since there are so many, how about if I just let them do the talking.

I love my husband very much, but I were forced to pick out one flaw it would be his sentimental attachment to holiday decorations. For months I have been asking -- no begging -- Michael to let me get rid of our dried out and shedding Christmas tree. Finally, sanity prevailed and I promised him we would find something to fill the space. As you can see, he still wasn't very happy about it, but we got a lovely tree to fill up the corner (which I still need to take a picture of) and I must say that both of us are very happy not to stab ourselves with dried pine needles daily.

A few weeks into March, I planted some herb plants which I hope will sustain us through our remaining 9 months here in Metz. This picture of the basil pot was taken only days after planting and thanks to some sunny days the plants are almost an inch high.

And here is my other experiment, a white bean placed snugly between damp cotton balls and a jelly jar. The idea came from a science book belonging to Margeurita and Eleanora, in fact, we are growing lentil plants at their house but I am fairly certain they will be dead by the time the girls return from their spring break in Italy. As with the previous picture, this was taken weeks ago and two of the three plants are now growing and one is close to a foot tall!

My knitting has kept me sane since finding the thrift store. I am happy to report that gifts were sent home to Rosie and Heather for our little nieces or nephews to come and the two bibs above were made for Janice and Jeremy's next little pgirl. Since I do have the time and youtube instructional videos at my disposal I have been forcing myself to make sure everything I make is a challenge and forces me to learn something new. These bibs demonstrate my new found love of cable knit.

As you can see, the bib on the left is just the same as the two above and while I do love cable knit, I am now sick of cable knit bibs for the time being after making 8 in a matter of two weeks! The bib on the left however, was my first attempt at a design in knitting and also my first i-cord.

And finally, my first sweater (or shrug rather) in the process. It was an incredibly easy pattern and since it is made from the neck down, it can be made to whatever length is desired; mine was finished when I ran out of yarn. I still need to block it and figure out some sort of fastening mechanism (perhaps more i-cord?) but I will post updated pictures of that when it is finally totally done.

Janice hosted a wonderful baby shower for two other GTL wives who are (along with Janice) all expecting the arrival of their babies within the next month and a half! The shower was lovely. We enjoyed wonderful food, fun games, and good laughs and were hopefully able to help a few girls prepare for their first babies so far from family. Oh, and Kimber was a hoot, as always.

Our cravings for typical American take-out food never cease so along with pizza night we have been experimenting with quite a few Chinese take-out themed dinners. I know I've posted about General Tso's Chicken but we hit a new high this past week when we took a dive into the world of dumplings. Now that we know our little hand blender food processor attachment works as a meat grinder, I have a feeling we will be making many many more of these. The first half we fried up after eating some spicy, crispy green beans and the rest was used the next day for a lovely won ton soup lunch.

And yet again, Leah and Kyle came over for dinner and we managed to not take any pictures of the actual event. The dinner was initially going to be a very simple pizza and beer night (we though we should share some of the pepperoni sent by mom and Ben) but upon noticing the beautiful rhubarb at Grand Frais we couldn't resist delving into spring with a strawberry rhubarb pie. The night was great with lots of good conversation as always and some good, American style food.

Now for the part that should be censored from little eyes. As it turns out the Easter Bunny came and Stayed on Sunday. Of course he first hid eggs for us, which Michael found without much help (that Easter Bunny is a good hider) and left us with some delicious chocolates including the strange asexual cow pictured above...

...and for dinner he lent himself to a wonderful preparation of braised rabbit with mustard sauce. I know it sounds terrible and both sets of parents exclaimed "You're eating the Easter Bunny!?!" but we had been meaning to make rabbit here in France and Easter Sunday just worked out perfectly. For those of you that are not completely grossed out, the rabbit turned out beautifully. It was tender and very mild flavored. Which leads us to

Today which was the first nice spring day we've had in awhile. We took advantage of the sun and went for a nice walk down the road to a beautiful old cemetery (well, the picture above is of the new section) with stones from the mid-1800's. We walked around for a bit and finally decided that

Spring has finally sprung in northeastern France.

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