Sunday, November 25


Originally uploaded by Traveling Em

More turkey day photos are up!

Saturday, November 24

Thanksgiving - Russian American Style

I had to work on Thanksgiving and the day after. Boo. Almost all the new hires, plus several other school veterans will be gathering today (Saturday) to have a large Thanksgiving potluck. There will be turkey, ham, pork roast, stuffing, all the "usual" suspects.

However, Bryn (a fellow American, also the HS college councilor) and I still wanted to celebrate on the day. So I volunteered my apartment and she and I put together a menu and invited 6 others to share with us - her boy Dima, their friend Kran, my friend Nat, Tyler, and a Russian/American couple, Dan and Arina. So all together 4 American's and 4 Russians. It was so wonderful to be able to share this holiday. I made 4.5 kilograms of Roast Pork Loin with Apple Cider Gravy (this was delicious and super easy! Well, super easy once I was able to convey to the lady behind the meat counter that I didn't want the pork sliced into pork chops and once Kran was able to find hard apple cider for me, much more difficult that I imagined). I also made corn muffins and mashed potatoes the night before and reheated (the potatoes) in the crock pot. What a time saver! Bryn went way beyond the call of duty making green beans with pine nuts, roasted sweet potatoes, an amazing pumpkin burbon cheesecake as well as an apple pie.

During dinner we all went around the table discussing what we were thankful for. And since I'm still feeling thankful I'll repeat mine here:
This year last time I was in Ohio with my family and grandparents for Thanksgiving. I'm so thankful that I had 28 years with them. I'm also thankful to myself for finally having the courage to go off and live abroad. That I'm came to a country where I knew no one and didn't speak the language. And now I'm meeting these wonderful people, making new friends and learning a new language.

Here I am with the table in the awesome apron that Sharon sent me:
Me with the Table

And a close up of the table:
Pre-Dinner Carnage
I love my napkin rings!

I'll have more photos in a while, but I let Bryn have my camera battery as hers was dead and she seemed more gungho to take the photos. So once I get her memory card, I'll add more photos :)

Sunday, November 18

Arch Angel Park

I got out of Moscow yesterday. A quick 30 minute bus ride brought Nat, Danielle and I to Arch Angel Park. It's a large open park with a small church,
Yet another chapel,
many trees Snow, Steeple
and fields which are host to many concerts in the summer time Jazz Concerts here in Summer.

It over looks the (now frozen) Moscow River where people were ice fishing Ice Fishing on the Moscow River.

And of course, being a Saturday and a park with nice architecture, there were brides!

Monday, November 12

Stinky Cheese

One of the things I like about where I live is that it is very communal. People host parties pretty often. On Wednesday I was able to have an impromptu dinner party by sending out an email at 2 in the afternoon:

I'm making stuffed cabbages (includes meaty bits) this evening (wednesday, nov 7). It makes a ton and I'm out of space in my freezer. So I'd love to have people come eat it with me. It'll be done around 7:30. The first 5 people to RSVP will earn a seat. If you want to bring a guest, no problem, just include them in your RSVP.

So, sure enough I got 4 RSVPs and a friend who just randomly popped by (lucky them!). It was delicious and I think I may make it a weekly event.

Then on Saturday night a couple who spent their October break in France hosted a "Stinky Cheese" party. They brought back at least 15 cheeses, everyone brought wine, it was great.

Sunday I came into school to finish my report cards - here we have to write narratives for each student, so they take quite a while. Then on Thursday we sit in the gym for 4 hours while parents line up to meet with us. Scary!

Thursday, November 8

Snow, Germany and Sweden Pictures

... have been added to flickr. Click on the photos to be taken to their sets.

October 13, 2007
It doesn't actually look like that now. It's colder, but not snowing. That was October 13th!

Aachen Dom
Aachen, Germany

Sun Set
Goteborg, Sweden

me and Linus
Me and Linus

Take Me Home, Country Road

The start of my latest sweater. It's mostly finished now, I just need to sew the seams, tonight's goal.

Tuesday, November 6

Baby, it's cold outside

Sorry I haven't posted much. After grandma's funeral, I worked for a week and then immediately headed off for October break :-) This was a real vacation with lots of lounging, eating, drinking, reading and knitting. I got to meet two new children both less than a year old and adorable.

I spent 3 days with Alfred, Julia and their son Philipp in Aachen, Germany. Alfred was the professor I did my senior research with at Rice. He has me reinspired to go out and get my masters in math, possibly a PhD. He took me to 3 countries in 30 minutes, as Aachen borders the Netherlands and Belgium.

Then in Sweden, I was again visiting Linus, Magnus and Petter. I cooked a lot of Mexican food, ironically. Mexican is becoming very popular in Sweden, so ingredients are fairly easy to find. For Linus and I, I made citrus fish tacos with a chipotle cream and then the next night we had a mini-dinner party with Petter, his fiance, Magnus and Hans joining us. Together Linus and I made a feast that included more fish, spicy ground beef, grilled chicken, sauteed peppers and onions, beans and rice, mango salsa, sour cream and cheese. I introduced them to quesadilla making and it was a great night.

But now I'm back in Mosco and I know this is just the beginning of winter, but it was -5 C for my walk to school today and the high today, and for the rest of the week, will be -1 C. That's cold.