Saturday, December 30, 2006
Fireworks are set off for everything, because anyone can buy them. We even got a catalogue in with the flyer's for fireworks.
With New Years Eve tomorrow night, the fireworks have been going off none stop.
Last night it started and since then not 20 minutes have passed without fireworks.
It sounds like I live in a really rough neighbourhood, with guns always firing.
I wonder if anyone knows they are to early. Do they see the cost when they are buying them?
We bought one, we will set it off tomorrow night.
I admit I am not a big fan of all these fireworks. They used to be so special and rare. It meant more when you only saw then one New Years and maybe Canada Day (if there was no fire ban that year). It was more of an event. This is just getting annoying. It is noisy and losing the magic of it.
All the guys getting together and having a potluck dinner, made by themselves.
I was calling it the Gay Dinner, and it went well.
The meal was supposed to happen at 7, but in a typical Icelandic way, was an hour late.
Ten guys, in total, cooked a dish. This amounted to a huge amount of food so I was very surprised when it was almost finished. (There was less then one plate of left overs)
Everyone brought to much wine for the meal. They also brought to much other alcohol.
And these are the highlights:
- Einar won at the board game.
- Ívar lectured Kasper on the consequences of drinking and driving.
- Einar was the only guy who even tried to do some dishes. He did well, but you could tell it was over whelming for him.
- Only one person remembered to bring his dishes home. The rest are clean and sitting on my table. There was also 2 chairs, one cell phone and a pair of glasses left behind.
- The guys drank 5 bottles of wine, a 26 of vodka and 24 beer. At least those are the bottles that I have found so far.
- Einar gave Kasper a geography lesson while he was doing dishes.
- Davið Roch slept on our floor and does not remember it.
- Some of the guys dressed up in the kids costumes. One was a pirate (with a hat and eye patch), another a princess (with a wand)
- Hemmi was the only one to bring a girlfriend.
I think that a good time was had by all. At least by those who remember it. We have pictures for those who do not.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
This is the one I enjoy the least.
- They do not recycle anything. Everyday I empty the garbage's one 2 floors offices. Every office has its own garbage and every one is full of paper. Imagine all that paper. Three black bags almost as big as me, full everyday. OF PAPER!!! They dump coffee on it, even chewing gum, making it clear enough they have no idea what they are doing. I do not think anyone in that building would know a recycling bin if it tried to bite them. In fact, I saw a recycling bin on the fourth floor, it was labeled papír, and was full of garbage. This is a terrible thing to see.
- Because this is some sort of shipping and receiving place everyone who gets an office gets free samples of all they food. This should be a huge perk in Iceland where it is so expensive to eat. I do not know how much gets taken home but I see so much being thrown in the garbage. This too is a huge waste. This is non-perishable foods! I do not know if Iceland has a food bank but if it does food you do not want should go there. If it does not, then it should be taken to the Red Cross.
- One man with a corner office called my boss at 7 a.m. to complain that I did not empty his garbage can. This was only my second day of work. My employer explained that I had just started and she was sure it was an accident. Until it was pointed out to me I did not even know his desk was there. The thing is hidden by boxes. When I went to empty his garbage that had been waiting for two days now, he had a very large pile of papers next to the bin full of papers.
- Everyone, with the exception of the kitchen staff, talks to me like I am stupid. They all ask if I speak Icelandic, as soon as I say very little, they start with the English. And I do not mean regular sentences. They point at things, make signals and use very small words. I know they can speak English, but they do not seem to think I do. Maybe if someone took the time to talk to me like a person they would see my English is fine, my understanding of Icelandic is OK, and that I am not stupid.
This is generally a very sad job, but the pay is good enough I can deal with it.
I wish they were not so wasteful an am currently brainstorming ideas on how best to confront them on it.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Thank you to Inga and Rob for the coffee maker. The real kind that brews the coffee!
The caffeine is feeling good.
It really is a magical time of year, but it almost drove me crazy.
Christmas Eve I made a turkey dinner at my house. Trying to keep it Canadian, but things were missing, like pumpkin pie. It was close enough though.
Rob and Inga came over dinner and I think things went well enough.
The kids opened there presents after dinner, they were so happy! It was crazy.
We spoiled them a little more then usual this Christmas because we wanted it to be extra memorable. After all, this is our first one all together as a family with no VISITS cutting in and disturbing things.
It was memorable.
They got lots of toys, games, movies, tools, puzzles, Lego and practical things.
Davið got lots of things he needed, like clothing.
I got things I really wanted, like earrings, a cupcake tray, a beautiful sweater and the Sims 2!!!!!
For Christmas Day we went out to Inga and Rob's to have a big family inner with everyone (Inga, Rob, Kristina, Mar, Garpur and Ulfrun). The house was very full and everyone had a great time.
Inga made a very complicated meal including lamb and Greek salad. It was great.
We slept over and just got home today, boxing day.
In Canada boxing day is the greatest shopping day of the year. In Iceland, everything is closed.
I am back to work tomorrow and am looking forward to things going back to normal.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Potato's, lamb, white sauce, vegetable. I got some lamb and potato's and instead of getting some white gravy I took some of the brown gravy that was much further down the buffet, At least I thought it was brown gravy.
It was caramel sauce.
When I sat down, people kept looking at my plate. As soon as I tasted it I knew why. I had smothered my food in caramel sauce.
Rather then admit I had made a little mistake, I managed to choke down all my food and act like this was my plan all along.
I would not however suggest this to anyone else. I like sugar more then most people and even I had a hard time with his combination.
I learned after that the sauce was part of the dessert buffet.
Then the little bastards started eating all the other fish. I am really mad at them. I know it does not do any good, but still, I am in shock.
They ate all the tetras. The black fish, the one that was fighting with all the other fish, hides for his life. The bottom feeder seems OK.
These gold fish are so violent. I even see them knocking the snails off the glass.
I had no idea they were like this.
I think we might have to flush them. I know it seems evil, but these fish are killers.
Last year we went to my dad's house for Christmas. As soon as we got there, everyone got sick. I am not talking about feeling a little bad. I mean we were all puking and sleeping the entire holiday. All I remember from the whole thing is my ad doing laundry because my kids kept puking on everything.
This year is looking the same. We are home but we have started to get sick. Davið has taken the last two days off work because of a really bad stomach flu. Kasper is not feeling well and Stefán has been puking for the last three nights. He has been fine during the day, but puking at night. This has made getting ready for Christmas a little difficult. I am not getting out much and staying up all night doing laundry.
If this is going to happen every year, I would like to move the holidays over a month. We might enjoy them more then.
Monday, December 18, 2006
It is just a cleaning job at Hreit, but I think it will go very well. It pays very well, I think, at least much better then the hotel.
I clean 2 office buildings a day. I do different things in the same place everyday. The same things do not need to be done everyday, so I do not think it will get to boring.
It pays almost 160,000 a month. I can not remember the exact amount, but it is about that. It does not matter how long it takes you, it is a set rate. This is nice because I think I could get very fast at it.
It takes less then 6 hours a day. That is what it took today, and it was my fist day. I had to look for everything. The girl I worked with said that after about a week it will only take 4 hours a day.
Bad side is that it is far away, like a 20 minute bus ride and that I start at 8 a.m. That means I have to drop off the kids right at 7:30, yuck!
Getting up at 6 again..... yuck again!
But I guess this is life.
But this was not enough. So now I am back to staying up far to late staring at a screen of fish.
There is something about it. I can just not get enough.
This is just someone I am so impressed with, and a little jealous of. He is traveling the country (the states) , getting rides and staying with virtual strangers. Just people he has met over the Internet.
This has been organized and is now being carried out by 'Sport Racers', a cult like following of Zefrank.
If you are bored, check on his trip
Thursday, December 14, 2006
I have having my classmates over tomorrow night (Friday December 15) at 9 p.m.
If you plan on drinking something, then you have to bring it yourself, but I will have lots of cookies (from that exchange) and chips or something.
Anyways, should be fun!
It was done on a smaller scale, 4 people, which saved us all from the all night bake - a - thon the night before.
Now we have lots of great cookies to eat.
Stefán got into them this morning and left 6 half eaten ones on the table. I think he wanted to make sure he tried each one with out getting to full.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
The police are here now and Davið is at the hospital to get stitches.
Lets start from the beginning.
Did I ever mention the assholes that live up stairs that forget there keys all the time. They seem to think we are the people to buzz to get into the building when they come home drunk at 3, 4 or 5 a.m.
This usually happens on weekends.
Right now it is a Wednesday. Middle of the freaking week. And they did not forget there keys. They were just partying outside and thought it would be funny to push our buzzer button. Again and again and again.
Davið went out there to confront them. Came back in, came back to bed and 2 minutes later the buzzing started again.
Davið went back outside. Some angry words were said and Davið hit someone. I guess more hitting happened after that because he came in bleeding all over the floor.
Mostly from his hand.
He called the police, they said if they still kept buzzing to call them back and they would come then.
Really I think they should have came right away.
Davið left for the emergency room and the buzzing started again.
I actually felt frightened to the point I thought I was going to throw up.
The buzzing did stop on its own but I called the police anyways.
Which takes us to where we are now.
Davið just called, he is on his way home.
I will feel better when he is here.
I do not know what some peoples problem is. Everyone in the building knows we have 2 small kids. We are not the party type. We have done nothing to them, yet they insist on this.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
I think I am close to being done. There are only two people that I have nothing for yet and can not think of anything.
Rob and Marcia
I need suggestions.
He is our visitor for tonight.
The boys boots are in the window and ready to go.
This guy is known for stealing milk from the cows. Although it is said he does not like the milk these days, all skimmed and sterilized, he still wants some. It is important to leave out a glass of milk for him.
Monday, December 11, 2006
He has come down from the mountain.
These are the things that I do know about him:
- He has very long wooden legs, maybe they are stilts. This makes it hard for him to bend over to milk cows.....
- He is very clumsy, probably because of the long wooden legs.
- He seems to like scaring sheep when they are supposed to be sleeping in the barn.
The boys have been good today so they got a treat in there boots that they left by the kitchen window. Kasper did not want them in his room because he did not want strangers coming into his room, even if they might bring a toy.
This is great. Stefan went to bed good, knowing he would have a surprise in the morning. Kasper did all his homework for the next three days, finished his supper and cleaned his room. But it is kinda like a bribe......
By the way I just cut and paste this.
Gluggagægir - Window Peeper
One Santa (prankster elf thing) is on his way down from the mountains as I type.
Tomorrow morning, if the kids have been good, there will be a present in there shoe.
If they have been naughty, they get a potato.
I met a girl who told me she got a tomato once because she was rotten the day before and her mom did not have any potatoes.
Could some one tell me what the Santa who come tonight is known for? I know one slams doors, one eats Skyr and one scares sheep. That is only 3 of 12. Which one is tonight?
We put Stefan in the stroller this morning just so we would have something to hold on to for the walk.
I barley survived the walk back.
Last night it snowed, then rain, then snowed and rained. This left a think ice on everything. There is no snow left, or rain, just ice everywhere.
It looks funny on the lawn. I can see the grass underneath but it is cover in half an inch of ice.
I imagine this is a reason why everyone had metal studded winter tires and why they are mandatory in the winter. It is not to drive through a lot of snow, but to make it on the ice.
Regardless, I imagine there will be a lot of accidents today.
So I joined her mailing list today! Now I can find out whats new straight from Britney herself.
This is going to be great.
Mostly I am looking forward to getting some emails.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Because it is a little small it has to sit on top of the biggest present.
It is one of those that lights up and changes colour, purple, blue, white, green, pink, yellow, red and orange.
It is even crooked!
All it needs is a little popcorn and we are set!
Davið has not seen it yet...
He will hate it!!!
When they got home Stefan was crying and saying his eye hurt. He had lunch and a nap. When he woke up he was still upset that his eye hurt.
We went out to the pet store and to get a movie. By the time we left the pet store Stefan would not open his eyes.
So I wanted to take him to the hospital. Two people accused me of over reacting.
Kasper went to play at a friends house and we took Stefan to the emergency.
We waited a while, I guess they called in an eye specialist right away.
After a grueling eye examination (who would not cry if some one was staining their eye and putting a stick on your eyelid to keep your eye lid flipped over) it was discovered that he had a small wood chip under his eye lid.
As soon as it was out Stefan was fine. OK, his eye was crazy red, but he could see. He even said it felt better.
So, all is well now.
The first thing I tried was the almond rocca. There was only one huge problem. I thought I bought a non stick pan that I needed, but then my husband read the label for me and it only looks like a baking pan. It is actually only a serving tray. It was a little late to find this out because I was already cooking the stuff. So I used an oven shelf instead. This is not ideal and I will have to buy a real non stick pan on Monday. The almond rocca also separated. I tried to get ride of the extra butter but there was just to much. It must have tasted fine because Davið ate the entire tray full last night.
The butter tarts seemed more promising. I started them. I had to make cute out all the little circles out of dough to makes tarts, that was a huge hassle. I burnt the filling a little. When I was putting it into the oven it looked fine. When I checked on it I learned something, I guess both the filling and the dough expand. What a mess! They ended up tasting OK too. Davið ate 8 of the 12 last night.
I ended up making banana bread today just to remind myself I can bake something. It turned out fine.
So it was a good thing there was a trial run. This gives me some time to get it right.
Friday, December 08, 2006
I am just going to make the filling from this one, I think I have an idea for the pastry. Marcia is bringing me a cupcake tray.
Butter Tart Filling:
2 large eggs
1/3 cup (70 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (215 grams) light brown sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) light cream (half-and-half) (10% butterfat)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins or
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts (toasted and chopped)
Butter Tart Filling: In a medium sized saucepan lightly whisk the eggs. Whisk in the butter, sugar, and cream. Place on medium heat and, stirring constantly, bring this mixture just to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. If using nuts and/or raisins, place about a teaspoon into the bottom of each tart shell and then fill the unbaked tart shells with the filling. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 15 - 20 minutes or until the pastry has nicely browned and the filling is set. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Makes 12 - 4 inch tarts.
If it goes well, everyone will get some for Christmas.
This Wednesday Marcia is having one at her house for us. There will only be 4 people so the baking will be much more manageable.
For the Humpty's ones I always ended up pulling an all nighter the night before trying to get everything done in time.
This year I will have to put much more effort into my baking. I used to always just buy the mix, add water and back. Never failed me, great cookies or cake every time. That stuff is too expensive here.
I thought about making cheese cakes but I can not find any pre made graham crumb pie bottoms. I do not have a mixer either and that could get a little ugly with the cream cheese.
Next choice is butter tarts. Gail style. But they do not sell the frozen tart things anywhere. So I might actually try my luck with some dough. I will look for a recipe today.
I do need a cupcake tray, if anyone has one...... Can I please borrow it???
Today I looked it up on Yahoo Weather.
And in case you wanted to know, it is not cold. Right now it is zero out. Hardly a harsh winter.
I am really hoping for more snow for Christmas. Right now there is some ice on the roads but that is about it.
It does not need to get colder, I do not mind the temperature, but I would like more snow.
It would really brighten things up.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Thank you to Angela
2c. brown sugar
2c. sliced white almonds
1/2c. boiling water
1 lb. creamery butter (has to be creamery)
1 package milk chocolate chips (300 some odd grams)
a really big pot (this stuff splatters)
rectangular non stick baking sheet
bake almonds in oven @ 300 degrees for about ten minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and divide into to parts: 1 1/2 c. and 1/2 c..set a side
remember you must stir from beginning to end! Melt butter on stove top at just over medium (mine says #7)
Once bubbling a lot add boiling water.
Stir until bubbles a lot again. Add brown sugar.
Stir until candy thermometer reaches 250 and add 1 1/2c. almonds.
stir until 290-295 then poor into baking sheet, spread evenly.
Sprinkle chocolate chips all over, wait 2-3min.,spread chocolate chips.
Sprinkle 1/2c. almonds on top.
Poke them into the chocolate a bit with spoon(or they all fall out when you break it into pieces)
let cool 30 min. put in freezer 30min.you can store it in the freezer for a long time, but if left too
long it does taste different.
If that happens just leave it in the fridge and it'll just go back to normal.if you're butter separates (it did the first few times i cooked it) you can mop some of it up when its on the baking sheet. It still tastes all right.I'm not quite sure what I do different now then I did then to stop the butter from separating but whatever, you'll get the hang of it.I usually bake the almonds while the butter is melting. and have the water in the microwave ready to push start for 1min 30s. to pour in with butter.
Caution your arm will get sore from stirring for half an hour and your hand may possible look jaundice from all the melting butter and stuff, mine usually looks like Ive been smoking too much after a batch or two.
Remember Marvin is the kid that picks on Kasper.
Up until last week it was just the usual, pushing, hitting, spitting. Not that any of this is OK, it makes me sick just thinking about it, but the school said the situation was under control. I made the mistake of believing that.
Friday the boys were in the shower after gym class. The person that usually keeps an eye on them had called in sick, so they were alone.
Marvin started hitting Gunnar, Kasper's best friend. Kasper tried sticking up for him. Marvin got his belt a hit Kasper repeatedly leaving marks from his buckle on Kasper's side.
The first thing anyone should be asking is: Where does a 6 year old get the idea to hit with a belt?
Magga, Kasper's teacher, went looking for them after they had taken 45 minutes in the shower. She found all the boys still naked and Kasper crying in the shower.
All I saw was Kasper walking done the hallway crying his eyes out. He told me what happened and I took him straight to the office.
They told me that they would meet with Marvin parents again and keep an eye on him, which they had already been doing.
The meeting with his parents is tomorrow but they have already said that he was never violent before and they do not know where he gets it.
Obviously it was a long weekend for Marvin. Monday he came to school and immediately began to hit kids with his water bottle. When it was taken away he became hysterical, swearing and threatening everyone that his dad was going to get them.
Today I was waiting for class to end with Agata, the girl from the after school program and class was dismissed. Marvin comes out singing a 'fuck you' song and waving his fingers in the air. Probably the only English he knows.
Kristina has called the school several times now as well to make sure they are fixing this problem. As an Icelander she is listened to much more then me.
So far the plan seems to be some therapy for Marvin and a staff member to follow him everywhere he goes until this is fixed. Even if it takes until he is 15.
I really hope this gets better. If it does not we will have no choice but to switch Kasper schools. I know there is better schools but he likes the one he is at. If he had to leave he would blame himself. He has a best friend there. Gunnar would have to switch schools to because without Kasper there he would get picked on twice as much.
I really hope they find out what the problem is and fix it.
At the beginning of the school year we were told there was a zero tolerance policy on bullying. Now is the time to see that policy in action.
Our last test this morning was supposed to be in room 307. The entire class was waiting outside the room, but so was some other class. When a teacher came and open the door the other class went in and started writing a test.
Time went by. We were standing and waiting, a little confused. About 10 minutes pass and our teacher walks by. She wants to know why we are not writing our test. Someone told her that some other class was in the room. She went to check it out.
After some commotion it was sorted out. The other class, the ones sitting there, were in the wrong room, and they were writing our tests.
So the tests were collected and the answers erased!!!! Then we got to write our tests.
This is a real example of disorganization.
The real question is why the Icelanders that were writing our tests did not notice a problem. Considering this would be their first language, it would look like a test for a 7 year old. But they wrote the test anyways. No doubt they were only too happy to trade their own exam for ours.
I can organize the drawers I have been stuffing all the papers into.
I can go to the gym everyday.
I can do everything else I was putting off because I was to stressed out to focus on anything.
Next week I will find out how I did.
I am not sure if I want to look, it might be a little ugly.
Today was the worst.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
It is the details that matter....
The cake was a big hit with the kids
I think he looks a little shy here
Or just picking at the stitches
Stefan's teachers just sent these to me. They are from September until now.
Kasper close up
Stefan on the hide - a - bed, I do not know why but the kids love that thing and are so happy when we unfold it.
Playing Play Mobile's
Stefan, and it shows he has been eating the 2 breakfasts a day, one at home and one at play school
Kasper always has a smile
Sometimes these smiles look a little forced
Stefan again, same place
Davið blending into our couch. This is the one that turns into a hide-a-bed. It is true it is the ugly couch but I like it best.This is Kasper sleeping on our other couch. This is the not the ugly couch, this is the one I hate.
Much to close up of Stefan
Regular slanted Stefan
Our back yard the was the place to build stuff. Lucky for us no one else in our building cares about the yard, so it is all ours to use.
Stefan in the hallway of our apartment, you have got to love that blue texture wall.
Stefan again, and that bike you see behind him has been there for monthes and is never used. Once I caught a pant leg on the wheel while trying to get past it. It tore my pants. I was really angery.
These were the girls that lived up stairs, you know the dancers.
Kasper's first day of school
First day again, close up
Stefan in his blue coat, his favorite colour is blue
Kasper at the playground program
some really evil looking kids. Notice the brown skin and white hair, 6 hours a day at the play ground will do that
Some bad tasting toast, I can only guess
These three worked at the playgroud program. They were great.
Stefan at the playground
I asked them to stand together for a picture, they started wrestling
A bit of the deer in headlights look
And I hope that explains enough!