Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Stress-free time

I love this part of the summer, when I am soooo relaxed all of the time. Most of my summer projects are finished (like painting and finishing up a bit of home improvement stuff), I do not have any school work, school itself is still a month away, and I really do not have much to do except for working.

Tonight I went out to eat with friends and then met David back at home. We went for a run and I got in tons of trouble when I petted a kitten on the way home. Of course, the sweet little one followed me home, bounding along, wanting to visit my house. I tried to convince him to stay home with his kitty friend but he did not want to listen. So David said that I had to get him back to his house and after I walked him back and put him in his yard, he started walking on the OTHER side of the street and still followed me home! I think he was trying to trick me.

So then David's ears started to steam and he said that he was going to take the kitty back himself.

Several people have asked about the cat rating system, and yes, four cats is the highest rating a book can get on my blog.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Book Review: Three Cups of Tea


I have decided to write book reviews whenever I finish a book, because I love sharing literature and I thought that it would be something fun. Also, this book inspired me to post a review because it was so amazing.

This book is written and about Greg Mortenson, a man who used to be a climber. A climber as in he climbed mountains. So he decided to climb a mountain called K2, which is the second-highest peak in the world (I believe). Unfortunately, one of his climbing partners got sick along the way and he helped the partner get down the mountain. This took all of his strength away, and long story short, he found himself in a village in Pakistan, watching young children sit in a circle, outside, scratching math problems in the dirt. This was the village school.

Greg decides that he wants to help these children, and eventually builds schools all around Pakistan and begins to build them in Afghanistan. I loved the book for several reasons:

1. It was so interesting to read and learn more about another culture
2. It was so inspiring to read about how this American used his limited resources to help hundreds of children who lived halfway across the world
3. This book completely changed my perception of Pakistan and Afghanistan. It made two countries that always seemed so far away seem a lot closer to me as I was rooting for the children, Greg's helpers, and Greg himself. For some readers, not only will it add to their knowledge about these countries, but I think that it would also debunk a lot of misconceptions.

So, since I loved this book so much, I will give it 4 Cats:

(Oh yes, I just used cats as my book review rating system. And yes, I am crazy for loving cats so much, but I don't care!)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hrmph

My stupid car won't start tonight, which makes me stressed out. I had to miss my pottery class tonight, and am hoping that everything is fixed by tomorrow so that I can make it up tomorrow evening! In the meantime, here are more cool pics. Above is a picture of the Hungarian baths.

Here, the Chain Bridge:
Two brothers:
The really cool old church:
A pretty angel in Kilkenny, Ireland:

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Favorite pics

I recently edited some of my favorite trip photos and thought I would share them with you!
Dublin:
Budapest:

Monday, July 21, 2008

Great weekend!

We had the best weekend. On Friday, I went swimming with a friend and her daughter, and then on Friday evening we had a barbecue with some good friends. It was a ton of fun--it felt good to be home, enjoying the weather!

On Saturday David had a golf lesson (he got some clubs from my parents for his birthday that they had stored somewhere) and then we went to the pool again, where we read and swam for a couple of hours. After church, we went to see Mamma Mia! the movie. It was really cute---I loved the songs and beautiful scenery. However, I did feel very sorry for David, considering that The Dark Knight was also out on the same weekend, he wanted to see that movie as well, and everybody kept talking about the coolness of that movie. I asked him to see Mamma Mia because he usually loves musicals, but this musical was extremely girly. While I loved it, I think that he thought it would have been a better rental. (Hehe)

Finally, on Sunday, we played tennis, hung out at our house, and did some little chores. I absolutely love weekends when we are just at home hanging out together. Fortunately, we have many fun friends and family who invite us to lots of fun engagements, but sometimes it is nice to just sit back and relax!

On another note, happy birthday to my mom tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sweet girl


Thorina has finally started acting like her normal self since Arwen arrived. The poor kitty was so nervous when Arwen first came that we were barely able to make it through a day without her scratching me and hissing at us one million times. Since then, she has slowly gotten calmer, nicer, and less aggressive. Finally, this week, she has started to lay in my lap, sit in front of my computer, and jump on my chest when my alarm goes off---all things that she stopped doing when Arwen arrived. She has even stopped scratching humans in general since lately, which is probably because she and Arwen wrestle 24/7. It is nice to have my little kitty back to her normal personality. It sure did take her a long time to adjust.

Last night David found a curler on the floor and wondered how it made its way into our house. I emailed my mom, who had showered at my house yesterday, and this was her reply:

You can thank Arwin for that curler. That kitty stole the curler from me and licked it and I refused to touch it because it was wet and nasty. So, tell Divad to take that issue up with the latest animal he chose to raise.

HAHA. Arwen has been playing with that curler since last night! David wrote back that he was going to send it to her, but considering that the curler is now on the kitchen floor and the subject of many kitty bites, I doubt she will want it back again.

On another note, David was born 23 years ago today. Tonight we are going to a Chinese Buffet (his restaurant of choice=pretty much blech except for fried rice) and coming home to enjoy a homemade chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream icing made by yours truly.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

More Buda

We loved exploring the castle area in Buda. Once we climbed a very long way, we saw ruins of the original castle (above- this particular shot reminds me of Greece!), and the new castle (that is actually a museum):
David loved this bird. I think he wants one for our yard:
View of Buda (of course, my camera could not capture the coolness of it!):
After drinking in the views and castle, we wandered toward the little Castle town that had been built and reminded me much of Prague:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

GAHHHHHH!!!

Our kitchen is INFESTED with fruit flies. GROSS! It makes me want to get sick at the sink, so I try to stay away from that place as much as possible. It all started when I left a rotting onion top in our sink overnight on accident (yeah, I know...I should know these things, but I don't). The next morning a few showed up, so I cleaned the kitchen really well and told David and my dad to not leave anything in the sink or out on the counters. Last night they were mostly gone.

Well guess what happened when I woke up this morning: I groggily walked into the kitchen, went to the sink, and a swarm of fruit flies came up to my face, greeting me for the day. AHHHH! David had left rotting strawberry tops in the sink, and had NOT TURNED ON the garbage disposal before he left this morning. So guess what? These fruit flies had a chance to get stronger, breed, and have babies in my sink for two entire hours this morning. I called David in my fury and he said that he "forgot" that we had fruit flies so he didn't clean up his mess. !?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

So just now, I spent an hour in the kitchen killing fruit flies, spraying them with Simple Green, and feeling like I had creepy crawlies all over me. Blech. I just set out fruit traps for them so that they will hopefully take the bait and I can get rid of them. I think that I am going to retaliate to David by "forgetting" that we are on a budget next time I go to the mall or something similar.

Tonight I still have to get ready for the garage sale. I am bound and determined to get rid of a lot of clothing. We will see if my plan works!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

This summer

Does this summer seem to be going by incredibly quickly for anybody else but us? It seems like yesterday that we got back from our trip. Pretty soon we will be starting school again! I have been having such a great, relaxing summer, filled with lots of fun times with friends and family. Our garden is really growing and I almost have some tomatoes, along with onions, more lettuce (my second batch!), hopefully an eggplant, and hopefully some peppers. We had three pea pods as well.

This weekend we are having a garage sale with a friend! It should be pretty fun and we are hoping lots of people show up. After that we have a wedding to attend. In the meantime, I hope to get another post completed about our trip. I have been so slow about that posting but I want to do a really good job posting about it. I hope you all have a great Wednesday!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

More Budapest

Above was a spectacular view that we had from the hill that we scaled (sorry for its late posting!). I really want to go through my pictures and enhance them/crop them to look cooler on my computer, but this task seems so daunting to me right now.
This was the funicular that brought visitors to the top of the Buda hill, where the castle is located. We elected to walk instead since it cost money and the views were likely to be pretty amazing on the way up--and we were definitely correct with that prediction:
AMAZING! Once we got to the top, the building was very gorgeous. However, I was glad that were looked kind of dorky and brought a tour book with us, because we were able to see ruins from a much older castle and realize that the castle in place was relatively new. The castle area was extremely touristy, which contrasted with our outing at the bath the day before. However, we enjoyed people-watching and just taking in the beautiful views and sights.
A bridge that was by the funicular:
At this point, I was sort of scared, as we realized that we did not have any outlet converters that worked in Eastern Europe. This meant that I had to simply hope that my cameras would not run out of juice. Luckily, when one camera ran out of battery, I was able to switch and keep taking lots of pictures without any trouble---and the second camera did not die until we were back in Ireland!

More castle pictures to come!