Day 4: (Backlog) Current Events

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Sometimes writing about our own problems and lives can seem so petty with so much going on in the world. I took a few days away from the keyboard to process what was going on and now there are a few topics I want to get out there.

Without getting political about it, what happened to all those people in the Malaysian airlines plane (and what continues to happen to their belongings and their remains) is unfathomable. There is no justification to bring down a plane carrying civilians, and much less to presumably move their remains and loot what is left from their belongings.

I lived through a civil war, and since have learned a lot about the unintended consequences and casualties of war; “collateral damage” as some will say. Whether whomever shoat that plane down knew it was a commercial airliner and wanted to make a statement, or whether it was a mistake (and what a mistake that was) this should open some eyes and shake some consciences into finding a peaceful solution to the issues in the region.

And the Ukraine-Russia regions is not the only one that needs to find solutions before more innocent people die. What is happening in Gaza is very tragic and very loaded given the historical context of the region. Everyone just needs to put egos aside, think about what is best for all citizens involved (and not just their political careers) and try to come up with a sensible solution. It probably won’t be a final solution, but something sensible enough to stop the killing of so many and destruction of so much.

I can go on for many more hours writing about the issues afflicting the world now and remembering why I felt so jaded working in the foreign policy, democracy and poverty reduction circles. Sometimes no matter how hard  you try to make the world a better place, there is no one definition of “better” and everyone is as convinced as you are that their way is the better way.

Day 3: Waiting

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It’s something I hate to do. It’s not having control, depending on others to make your own plans, not a fan. My job used to involve a lot of waiting, for country teams to send program information, for the finance team to approve budgets, for grant givers to review proposals, for projects to be implemented, for any sort of result. The more I think about it, the more I understand why I was always so anxious!

The things I wait for now are very different. A side of me is tempted to say they are not as “important”. However, given the context (my life revolves around home projects) I think I have all reason to dislike waiting now as much as I always have. It’s the eye of the beholder thing…

Currently I’m waiting on a few things, a few books from the library I’ve had on hold for a few weeks, a kitchen utensil holder I painted a week ago, my mother-in-law’s sewing machine which is getting a tune up, and worse of all, a new Castle DVD from Netflix. That’s the straw that is breaking the camel’s back. I’m only able to binge watch my new addiction four episodes at a time. It hardly qualifies as binge watching. 

The thing is, while I wait for all these things to show up, ideas and projects are pilling up. I keep checking out books from the library that lead to new projects, the kitchen counters are a mess because I urgently something to hold the excessive amount of wooden spoons we own, and I have enough fabric for weeks worth of sewing protects. Mind you, I have never sewn before so I have no idea how long the copious amount of 1/2-yard fabric cutouts in the closet will really last.

To take my mind off of things I’ve been practicing new embroidery stitches. It’s crazy how you can focus so much time and energy into a small piece of white muslin and colorful threads. There’s the chain stitch, the lazy daisy stitch, the couch stitch and my nemesis, the stem stitch. 

I have tried to work on this last stitch in my office, the living room, with and without an embroidery hoop, in the morning and evening (and even at night, which is crazy!), I have even tried to work on it with different color threads. Somehow it always manages to look off. The “stems” always look separated, uneven, not at all like in the pictures. 

I’m thinking that all this waiting is what’s throwing me off, and no matter how hard I try to get myself to pretend I’m in control of everything around me, I’m not. The stem stitch is just one of the ways through which it shows. Seemingly unrelated, waiting and the stem stitch have come together and become a nuisance. 

Am I lucky that these are my biggest problems? Yes, most definitely. I am very grateful that I don’t have much more to worry about. But honestly, I wish I could just get all my stuff, especially the next Castle DVD.

To end on a positive note, check out the Instagram picture from this morning. That homemade cinnamon swirl bread was to die for and tomorrow I will be making it into French Toast for my husband’s breakfast! 

Come back soon. More to come. Sorry for the wait!

 

Day 2: Polar Invasion Calls for Warm Foods

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This morning we woke up to 54F weather. Fall in July, along with the news that one of my good friends is getting married and moving to Paris, inspired a quick browse of David Lebovitz My Paris Kitchen in search for a nice warm lunch recipe. I ended up finding a warm lentil salad with goat cheese. Bonus, it required I walk out on the porch and clip some fresh herbs from our garden.

I had made lentil salads before, but generally I would sauté the carrots, onions and celery before adding the lentils and broth. This time, the recipe called for cooking the lentils for 15minutes at a simmer and then adding the chopped vegetables. I have to say I liked the final texture of Mr. Lebovitz’s recipe more so than the one I had been so accustomed to. It was great to use the same ingredients in different ways and end up with a very tasty result. 

I tried to take a few pictures, but they didn’t do the dish’s flavor any justice, so I decided to omit them and just refer you to My Paris Kitchen, pages 233-234. 

On another food note, check out my Instagram feed for pictures of the latest tomatoes from our garden. We had one with our paninis yesterday and they were the freshest tomatoes I have ever had! 

Hopefully tomorrow we will have better weather and I’ll post about more summery recipes and activities. In the mean time, I’ll try to enjoy the next few hours of natural light to walk Emma and practice some more embroidery stitches. 

Don’t forget to came back for updates!

Day 1: Post-World Cup Thoughts

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After 30 days of binge soccer watching and heart wrenching losses, the “Copas das Copas” has come to an end. While I will continue to follow “futbol” (I’m a born and raised Latin American after all), many will find that they no longer want to be in the bandwagon.

The Germany v. Argentina matchup was not the most exciting I’ve witnessed. I spent a few hours deciding who I was going to root for. On the one side I love empanadas, but I also love German beers. In the end it came down to the fact that I have not met a German I did not like and I happened to have a very dislikable Argentinean boss at one time. So I rooted for the Mannschaft.

113+ minutes later, I was as happy as any German. I put my heart and soul into team selection. I guess when Peru makes it to the World Cup again I will back them, until then, I pick a team every game. Let me tell you, its exhausting!

Now that its over, afternoons feel a bit empty. Good thing I just got hooked on “Castle” and that TNT runs a marathon of episodes every day. But there are somethings I won’t let go of, starting with my obsession with “Men in Blazers” and tiny bananas (just check my Instagram and see how adorable they are. The bananas, of course!).

Well, that does it for the first entry. I’ll try to be more enlightening on the following post. Stay tuned for recipes, organization tips and tons of puppy pictures. For now, futbol (and the lack thereof) is the only thing on my mind.