day fifty nine**

11 Oct

** published a few days late because i was in milan and frankly, way too busy eating pasta to think about finding the internet and posting all about the pasta and pizza i was grateful for.

1. lactose pills

i know i’ve been thankful for these before, but seriously, i was in italy. i basically dreamed of cheese: on pizza, on pasta, just in my mouth, in every way possible.

so, i am so so grateful for the lactose pills that make it possible for me to eat cheese, especially while in italy. and though my stomach still doesn’t love it, it’s so worth it. yum.

2. hotel rooms

i could live in hotel rooms. always and forever. i don’t know what it is about them that i love, besides the comfort and cleanliness that someone else is responsible for. our hotel was really nice and the bed was big and comfortable and the shower was about ten times larger than ours is, which means there was actually space to move around while cleaning myself.

i’m grateful both for the room, and for the ability to pay for them, or more specifically, how hard my husband works to take me on weekend trips to italy.

3. random little café with the best spaghetti pomodoro ever

it’s always hard to choose a restaurant when you are traveling, because the touristy ones are usually overpriced and not as good as they should be, while the random hole-in-the-walls are hard to find, and could easily just be a gross hole-in-the-wall. but every now and then, you get lucky. and today, we got so lucky.

i’m still dreaming about it.


day fifty eight**

11 Oct

** published a few days late because i was in milan and frankly, way too busy eating pasta to think about finding the internet and posting all about the pasta and pizza i was grateful for.

1. tori amos

absolutely amazing, and the reason we went to milan. i have to say that out of all the concerts my husband has taken me to since we started dating (rufus wainwright, bruce springsteen, leonard cohen…), tori amos was definitely his least favorite, as i knew she would be. but that’s okay. he behaved himself and i didn’t mind, because all i was interested in was her! she was mesmerizing, gorgeous and so amazingly talented.

i’m grateful and frankly, awe-struck, that there are people in this world with that much talent. and i’m so glad that i was able to witness it live. now only tom waits remains of my top five… well, if you think morrissey counts for the smiths, which i don’t, because as fabulous and wonderful as he is, he’s pretty crappy live.

2. james giving me his pasta

it was a weird day. we had been up so early to fly to milan and i was exhausted and just in a bad mood, despite the fact that we were in italy and we were going to see tori amos. i had some food issues: there were just so many options and i wanted everything. so, in my confusion, i ordered the wrong dinner. i ordered tagliatelle ai funghi, which looked good and was alright, but just wasn’t what i wanted. so when my dinner came, i almost felt like crying (ridiculous, i know, but as i said, it was one of those days). my beautiful husband had ordered pesto pasta which is his favorite and was delicious, which made me want to cry even more.

without ever making me feel bad or complaining about not having his pasta, he traded with me and even pretended to like my dish better. he’s the best.

3. italian

oh my goodness, it’s the best language that there is. it makes me feel a little bit angry that i’m here in germany and that i have to learn german because it just isn’t as good as italian. neither is the accent when they speak english.

no matter what happens (and i hope that what happens is that i learn german), i will learn italian again at one point. even if it’s when i’m eighty.

just for fun, the song she ended on, before her encores (though this video is from a different tour):

day fifty seven

6 Oct

1. sunset

today’s sunset was gorgeous – and i haven’t been out in the evening to see one in awhile. it was a color that i couldn’t even describe right as the sun was going down, before the fiery reds and oranges took over the sky. but in that moment, it was like this pure yellow, but more than yellow and more than gold and not quite orange and you could see the beams extending across the blue. it was totally breathtaking.

2. baked macaroni & cheese with bread crumbs on top

yum. need i say more?

3. therapy makes everything ok

it isn’t even the therapy… well, sometimes it is, but not this time. today what mattered was just speaking to someone – someone who had gone through similar experiences as me and someone who could say “i understand” and give me advice, partially as a therapist, but mostly as a person. it’s almost like having a friend (except i pay her).


day fifty six

5 Oct

today was an interesting day, to say the least. first day of wandering the streets crying in germany – which happened many times in barcelona the first year. so, i suppose i should have expected it.

me and christin during the first week in barcelona

1. the opportunity to live in a foreign country

it is a fantastic opportunity. it is a fantastic opportunity. it is a fantastic opportunity. it could be worse. it could be worse. it could be worse.

i have to keep telling myself these things. and they really ARE true: it is a great opportunity. i learned so much from my time in spain, least of all spanish and now having lived in spain and germany – how many people can say that? and get to travel like i do? and meet the interesting people that i do?

it is a fantastic opportunity and it definitely could be worse.

2. i am a strong, powerful woman

not only am i grateful for the opportunities i’ve had, specifically as i’ve mentioned of living in spain and germany, but i also acknowledge that i make these opportunities for myself. i realized that i needed something more in my life and got up off my butt, sold all my stuff and moved across the world to a country i’d never been to before and where i knew absolutely no one. i met a fabulous man who is responsible and loving and created a great opportunity for us here in germany and i supported him in that and chose to pick up and move again. at least i’d been here once before. but still, i’m pretty awesome. and the life we’re creating, while difficult, is pretty wonderful.

3. crappy movies and chocolate cake

i’m pretty sure i was already grateful for my chocolate cake yesterday (you’d think i’d remember), but after my crap day of dealing with german i don’t understand still and getting fined 40€ for not having my ticket on the metro (even though i had it, i just forgot to punch it because they put the small box in one tiny little corner of the station and it’s really easy to forget), the best thing in the world is to get home and just be able to lie on the couch, eat chocolate cake and watch movies. and yes, i did watch enchanted again because it is just that good.

day fifty five

4 Oct

1. chocolate cake

wow. i feel sick now. seriously sick. because yes, i ate most of the missing bit there.

but, i made a really, really yummy cake today. the recipe was completely dairy free (except i used butter in the frosting) and it is surprisingly good. i knew i wanted to bake something and i didn’t have any eggs or milk (well, soy milk) in the house, so i searched and searched for a recipe that would allow me to make a cake without those things and it was so worth it.

it’s called crazy cake, check it out:

2. walk

it’s been too, too long since my daily walk. with people being in town and other stuff happening (that i totally forget now), it seems ages since i’ve visited my horsies and been outside breathing in that lovely damp that only a river surrounded by overhanging trees and greenery can produce. it was absolutely wonderful and i’m so happy to have started again. i can’t wait for tomorrow!

3. christmas planning

duhn-dah-dah-duhn! my family is visiting for christmas! yay! my mom said today that she was going to ask my grandmother (her mother) and my brother told me he was coming, which means he has to get a passport – something that he has been “doing” for the past five years, pretty much since i moved to barcelona. i’ll believe it when i see it.

still, i’m really excited. and they want to go to amsterdam possibly (no pot smoking with grandma though) and maybe even england to visit james’s family too.

but the big draw (for me, at least) is the christmas markets. i’ve heard about the christmas markets in germany, and cologne has some of the most famous ones and even the (crap) ones in barcelona were just fantastic. nothing says christmas like christmas markets: the smell, the smiles on everyone’s faces, the crisp winter air and the lights!

while i miss my family around the holiday season, which is why i’m so glad that they are visiting, christmas itself has been absolutely wonderful in europe. the lights in barcelona were gorgeous – every street decorated and every street was lit with season’s greetings, candy canes, snowflakes or beautiful stars. and if cologne will be even better, bring it on. so excited.

some examples of the lovely lights on the streets of barcelona:

avinguda diagonal

bon nadal, barcelona!

day fifty four

3 Oct

1. crossword puzzles

my husband and i often do crossword puzzles together at night and it’s a lot of fun. sometimes we’re good, sometimes not so much and he always tries to race against our time (which is usually annoying).

it’s been awhile and now we’re getting into bed and we’re going to start one now (as soon as i finish this) which i’m excited about.

2. my husband’s green hoody

i don’t know what it is about this hoody, but it’s more comfortable than anything else i could wear. he wore it to work a few months ago and left it there and i’ve missed it.

i realize, of course, that it’s his and so he can wear it and do what he will with it, and the wonderful part of it is that it’s his. if it were mine, it wouldn’t quite be as comfortable. it wouldn’t smell like him and be as nice to put on, though it would still be big and encompassing.

i’m grateful that he brought it home and that it makes me so comfy and happy.

3. last day of sun

tomorrow, it’s supposed to rain. and i’m pretty sure that after that, winter is coming. even though the entire summer was filled with rain, i’m grateful for the week we’ve had in september (and now october) of nice weather. and if today is the last sunny day for awhile, i’m grateful for it (even though i didn’t go out in it).

day fifty three

2 Oct

1. les misérables

i know that according to fancy-pancy music lovers that les misérables is like the red-headed step-child, but i really love it. it’s not quite as bad as phantom of the opera (which i also love), but it’s still sort of embarrassing around some circles. luckily, i try to avoid those folks. because, really, it’s just beautiful. and i’ve always said eponine is my idol, and every time i hear “on my own” (which i will admit is often), that belief is completely reinforced.

sadly, i usually listen to the soundtrack on my ipod. which means i walk the streets making dramatic faces while i mouth the words and raise my fist in defiance along with “damn their warnings, damn their lies”. and that is even more embarrassing than admitting that i like les mis among “real” musicians and snobby musical/opera lovers (like my little brother).

today, however, i watched the live taping of the 25th anniversary concert. so, i only embarrassed myself in front of my husband and he had his earplugs in watching some football game, and i doubt he even noticed.

just as a side note, the other song that always gets me is valjean singing “bring him home”. that chorus is hauntingly beautiful.

2. french toast

my husband still makes me french toast sometimes and it’s my favorite breakfast ever. it is also the way that he proposed to me, which was very cute. and though he hasn’t written any message to me in bread recently, i still appreciate the french toast. after all, it is pretty tasty. and he’s been perfecting his recipe for years now. he takes it very seriously, which i am also grateful for; he cares so much about making me happy, even in the little details.

3. bank holidays

i was going to write lazy sundays, but then i realized, nothing makes a lazy sunday better like the knowledge that the next day is a holiday. and tomorrow is indeed a holiday. so today we can be as lazy as we want, watching tv and just being at home and still have tomorrow to get out on our bikes and explore. i think we’re finally going to check out schlebusch, which is an area of town that we might move to. if we ever get our butts out there to check it out.

i guess this one is a bit of a double one. i’m grateful for the today-tomorrow combo.