So, oops, we left the screen open to the window connecting the garage to the dining room a big crack . . . and the most enormous spider crawled into the living room while we were watching a movie on how beaver's are nature's super-heroes (worth checking out on netflix, truly inspiring creatures, beavers). The spider was not hairy, thankfully, but it was literally the size of my hand.
Abigail was there, unfortunately. She's been having nightmares about tarantulas, I can't imagine this will help. They don't have tarantulas here in the D.R., but they have their equally scary-looking twins called catacatas (or something like that). They're huge and hairy and their bite is like a bee bite. But, seriously, they are creepy.
So it was not ideal that she saw a spider that size in our house. We'll have to do a better job with the screens. Sometimes when we push one side across the other end sneaks open a little and we don't notice. This was great motivation to be more careful!
Monday, January 26, 2015
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Okay, admittedly, it is inexcusable that I have no picture of it, but I have to go ahead and post this soup recipe. It was so amazing (see title). We just polished off all the leftovers, and I feel like I have to share a soup this tasty and easy to make. I don't know how these simple ingredients combined so well.
Amazing Lentil Soup1 package ham bones/smoked ham pieces
3 large carrots, cut into small pieces
1 medium onion, chopped small
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1 package lentils
water (cover lentils, veggies, and ham generously)*
cilantro (added at the very end after you take it off the heat)
*honestly, I didn't measure this--just add more if it's too thick and leave the lid off if it's too thin
I cooked the first five ingredients in the crockpot and then stirred in the cilantro after I took it off of the heat (a good handful of leaves). I will so make this again. Even Owen loved it, and he is not a fan of lentil soup.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
I wanted to post this picture of some orchids my uncle and cousin brought me from the mountains. It took a year for them to bloom (probably because I didn't water them as faithfully as I should have), but now they are beautiful!
I also wanted to share a cultural observation. In Spanish (at least here), everywhere you go people shower you with complements and "palabras de cariño" (expressions of affection). "Hola, bella!" (Hello, beautiful!) "Hola, mi amor!" (Hello, my love!) "Que más, mi amor?" (What else can I get you, my love?) "Sí, mi corazon!" (Yes, my heart!) Algo más, mi reina?" (Anything else, my queen?) It is something that men and women will say to you at the grocery store, on the phone with the pharmacy or corner store, at church . . . nearly everywhere, with no trace of mockery or impropriety.
Well, recently a guard at the school started to practice his English on me. And he would say things like, "Hello, you are very beautiful!" And I realized once again that you just can't get away with translating everything directly from one language into another.
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Over break, I had another seminal Dominican moment. We stayed near the beach up on an overlooking mountain. It was only a 15 or 20 minute drive to get up the mountain from the beach, and it was breathtaking. It was twisty enough that my mom and I arrived up or down very carsick, but it was gorgeous. You could see the ocean from every room of the house, long stretches of ocean and the coastline. The first morning we woke up in our beach house, we discovered that a large chunk of our loaf of bread had been eaten through the bag and that a banana had been gnawed through. We asked people about it and they said, oh, well there's rats that live in the banana leaf roof. So you have to put all your food in the metal storage closet outside overnight.
And we were like, oh, right! Naturally! Just what we were expecting from a luxury property!
The bedrooms had concrete rooms, so as long as we didn't come out of the room overnight we were fine and had no sightings, but it wasn't exactly a cozy thought.
It was amazing, it was beautiful, it was sketchy. It was so D. R.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
This is my favorite van. Artificial turf glued all to the sides. Love it! I chased it in traffic once before for a picture, and didn't get one. Well, technically, I think I got a bad picture on my very subt-par camera that was then stolen. This time we caught it right around the corner from our house. The man driving the van was very amused and happy for us to take a picture. But then just as I was about to get one, a guard with a gun came running out of the house behind it shouting that I couldn't. It was bizarre and slightly alarming. I said I just wanted a picture of the van and he said No! So we drove around the corner and got this shot. And the man driving the van told me in English that that guard was crazy. Then he wanted to know if we had followed him just to get a picture of his van.
Hmm, will his story include two crazies?