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4 posts from February 2007

February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

Img_0655 Kelsey is holding her Valentine's Day cards that she signed (her name at least), sealed and cannot wait to deliver.  Some Icelanders will tell you that Valentine's Day is strictly for Brits or Yanks.  Hmm, so the gorgeous spray of red roses being delivered to Kelsey's preschool as I was picking her up must have been for someone's birthday?

No, they celebrate it here, too.  It is not as widely known, but I found plenty of heart-shaped displays in the shops.  And, yes, despite our promises not to go overboard, fragrant olive oil soaps and goodies from Lush and the Body Shop, a few nammipokkars, an enchanting dinner at Apotek and perhaps, this, were graced upon us by Cupid himself.

Now, take a guess at who received what?  No, Pete was not the receiver of the fruit, but in fact, the giver.  Once this gem arrives,  we can once again partake of our weekly foray into the lives of Michael, Pam, Dwight & Jim without having to huddle around the desktop.  Sadly, as of a few weeks ago, the laptop has become nothing more than a very expensive coaster.

On that note, the day is not yet upon us, but as some of you know, our tenth anniversary hovers in the near future.  What is it we are supposed to give, according to bizarre gift-giving traditions?  Silver? Gold? Crystal?  Nope, I will just take an apple, thanks.  And, soon, Pete will regale you (should you choose to visit) with his Roman armor.

Traditional, no.  Fun, yes!

Special notes of thanks from Caitlin & Kelsey:
To Auntie (Dr.) Shannon for the stamps, cards, pants (see picture) and many other treats.  Caitlin's friend, T., surprised her family with a gorgeous homemade Valentine's Day card.

To Grandpa & Dibby:  for the cards we distributed to our friends, for the party ware and candy shared at ISI's celebration and  for the mixes and frostings so that we could make special treats for our classmates.

February 13, 2007

Finished with Finish or how there is nothing

like putting your dirty (not scummy or food-filled, just dirty) dishes in the dishwasher and have them come out, oh, say, clean?  Yesterday was the first day since July 22, 2005, that this happened.

Since we moved to gulla husid (yes, probably wrong declension) as Kelsey now calls it, we have had this lousy piece of *($&* the company AEG and our landlord called a dishwasher.  The only problem is that nothing ever came out clean.  Greasy and dirty, yes, clean and sparkly, no.  We did everything we could.  Oh, and neither our dinner plates nor our pots and pans could fit inside it.

Since it was a landlord appliance, it was much harder to have repaired.  However, no repair would allow it to fit our dishes and no repair would make the weak spray any stronger.  The water flailed around the dishes and towards the end, failed in so much as melting the dishwasher tab.  You can only imagine my delight as I would open the dishwasher and see that 3 of the 43 items I put in came out looking relatively clean.  I would then notice how the tab of soap had not even popped out of the OPEN soap box.

If I had nothing to do all day but twiddle my thumbs, fine. But we are living in a house that is too big, too old, too dirty and dusty (thanks to the open walls in the basement).  We have had to hire a maid just to keep up with the 'vacuuming of the cracks' or those obnoxious 1/3 inch spaces between each floorboard upstairs and downstairs in 3000 square foot (plus) home.  Both of us work, we have kids, pets, oh, and lives that preferably do not include 3 hours a day hand-washing dishes in a mini-bar sized sink with no disposal.

So, after 14.5 months of scalding my hands, soaking my clothes (don't think the spray thing on the sink works properly), and losing several hours a day to said activity, I had it.   I don't know what I said, or how I said it, or maybe "the department" lost the energy to listen to my litany, but within 4 days, we had a new dishwasher.

And it works.  It cleans AND dries the dishes.  I actually had two free hours last night that were fruitfully spent de-cluttering Kelsey's old room.  So, thank you to everyone involved.  I appreciate it.  My hands appreciate it. My husband's ears appreciate it.  Most of all?  My wallet appreciates it.

Why?

The old machine, when it worked, spewing out semi-hot water, would never even try if I put in an American dishwashing tab.  It was European or nothing.  So, I succumbed and painfully spent $5.00 - $8.24  on Finish dishwashing tabs.  Somewhat ironic, since it didn't finish anything for me. 

However, that is all in the past.  The new machine loves American tabs just as much as European.  Since I have a nice stash of them, even less for me to worry about.   So, now that I have a little extra time, perhaps I can finally get those snow pictures uploaded, since the snow has come and gone several times since the pictures were taken.

February 05, 2007

Faf

As many of you know, Peter's grandfather, "Faf"  had become ill prior to Christmas.  He improved while we were in the States and made remarkable progress between the time we landed and when we visited him a few hours before we departed for Iceland. 

Sadly, due to an unfortunate turn of events, he passed away the morning of February 2nd.  If you did not have a chance to meet him, here is a link to a little more about his long and intriguing life: Leonard D'Amario.

February 04, 2007

Dad, this one's for you...

Kelsey had a very exciting day today.  Her good friend, Steinunn V., from her leikskola, came over for a playdate.  Kelsey had long been fascinated by Steinunn's "cute little fingers" and "yellow hair".  Upon seeing Steinunn at school, Kelsey would run over and pat her on the back and they would just grin from ear to ear.

Since Kelsey has no problem with Icelandic, we figured it was about time there was a playdate.  It took a week or two, but we found a convenient time and Kelsey had fun introducing Steinunn to the Toys R Us of Reykjavik a.k.a. the disaster the playroom.

While S.'s mom and I were chatting, I was discussing possibilities for future postings and summer vacations.  I mentioned my father and was guesstimating his age as it was applicable to the conversation.

Caitlin was in the room playing with Steinunn and Kelsey and when she heard my statement, shouted, "WHAT?!"


"I thought he was in his forties!"