Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Pets over humans?

I've recently been challenged to think of how highly we think of our pets at times. A couple of my Albanian friends have mentioned that pals of theirs treat their pets better than them. I thought about it for a while and thought how true it really is. Why is it that some of us love up on our animals and treat other humans like trash? We get excited & call out to an animal when it enters the room, but sometimes ignore a friend who walks through the door. I'm not saying that we shouldn't appreciate our cuddly critters, but let's put our priorities back in the correct order!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Can I just say that I am absolutely loving driving here in America?! I love just rolling the windows down, cranking the music up (country, usually) and letting the wind blow through my hair as I sing at the top of my lungs like I'm the only person in the world. I love it. When people complain of traffic, I tell them "B-b-b-baby you just ain't seen n-n-n-nothing yet!" God hooked me up with a great reliable Nissan Altima with tinted windows & satellite radio! :)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Loving funky foods

So I'm loving eating all the American foods that got the nose crinkle in Albania...things like sweet meat (that includes BBQ, ketchup, anything sweet that we don't even realize is sweet), a little bit of salt in our sweet cookies (I tried explaining that we use it to activate the rising agents, but the response was "They were good, but make them without salt next time."), french toast and pancakes that are not deep fried or eaten with salty, sour cheese, and hamburgers that do not have cucumbers or yogurt sauce on them. Some of the food there was quite a challenge for me, especially since they eat "salad" daily that consists of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olive oil and some salt. Anyone who knows me at all knows my avid appreciation for tomatoes. And then there was all the sour yogurts, cheeses, and something that resembled cottage cheese, but it was sourer and drier. Things that are not available in Albania include: brown sugar, peanut butter, chocolate chips, caramel, maple syrup, salsa, only three kinds of cheese (only one kind that melts), McDonald's!, fountain pop, free refills, and until recently cheddar cheese, pecans, and limes. There are probably more that I can't recall at the moment, so I'll have to update the list later. But there are some foods that I do miss from sufllaqe (a pita with rotisserie chicken or pork, french fries, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and yogurt) and byrek (phillo dough with an assortment of fillings (the cottage cheese stuff mentioned eariler, meet and onion, spinach, or tomato and onion. Very flavorful.

Saturday, February 09, 2008


This update is in honor of my beloved friend Marianne who just reminded me that it's been way too long since I've posted anything. But part of that is because I had problems getting into my account. What can I say? I have been thoroughly enjoying living in Ohio, despite the lack of sunshine (it only shines like 1/3 of the year) and wretched cold (-20 with the wind chill occasionally). The whole time I was in Albania, I thoroughly missed the snow. After all, I'd rather have the beauty of snow over the gloominess of daily rain that goes on for days at a time. However, it's no fun when I'm running late for work and realized it snowed and now have to clean off my car! :) But I do really enjoy central heat and having it a comfortable 68 degrees in my house! And I enjoy the bathroom not being freezing cold when I have to go into shower. Ahhh...America!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Home for the holidays

There's nothing like being home for the holidays, although the term "home" is taking on new meaning as I "mature". One thing I loved about being home was the almost palpable anticipation of Christmas. It hangs in the air. There's Christmas music EVERYWHERE you go, some stations play nothing but Christmas music, the lights, even my least favorite part (the shopping) gets you looking ahead to December 25. And then trying to make the celebration last as long as possible once the day finally arrives. Some of it is just plain disappointing though. All the emphasis these days is on buying gifts. Where did that concept even come from? I know some people say it comes from the wise men bringing gifts for Christ, but they had to walk so far I'm sure they didn't haul a whole sack of "stuff" with them. And at least at the house where I celebrated this year, we prayed before ripping the paper off the gifts. But sometimes I just look at what we've made it into in our materialistic society. It makes those of us not raking in the big bucks feel a bit pressured to buy something with wow factor for the whole list of people we know. I would never want to receive a gift given out of obligation, and giving one doesn't invoke the kind of feeling that giving a heartfelt gift presents. So while I thoroughly enjoyed being with people I love for the holidays, there are parts of how we celebrate our best friend's birthday that utterly annoy me.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Black Friday, Whacked Friday!

OK, so this is the first time in three years that I've had to witness "Black Friday", the whacked out shopping spree that takes place on the day after you just gave thanks for all the great things God's given you when you go out shopping for all the things you lack. Does this make any sense at all? The fact that people get up to be waiting outside a store at 4 am is just plain insanity! The only thing that should take place at that hour is sleep! Who on earth would put themself through the torture of getting up at 3am so you can get to the store for the "once in a lifetime deals" just to have to push your way through swarms of people and wait in long lines? Oh, and let me guess you probably put it all on your charge card because you don't really have the money to be spending, but who can pass up a deal like this? Take a step back and evaluate folks, what the season of celebrating hope and joy coming to earth has turned into! It's turned into a season of materialism, debt, selfishness, coveting, and complaining. Not exactly what Christ pictured his birthday bash to be like.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Free minutes?!

One thing I'm loving here in America is free cell phone minutes! There is no such thing in pay for every second you talk and every text you send (roughly 20 cents/minute and 25 cents/text!). So every time I call and it's free or rollover minutes, I have an urge to sit back and say "Ahhh, some of the best things in life really ARE free!" :)