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Showing posts from May, 2011

Taken Up Residence

This morning I came down to find this in my yard. The fox sleeping all snug and comfy on my lawn. I went to let my cats out, saw the fox and quickly shut the door. It's taken up residence in my yard! I went and got my camera and took these photos from the window. It saw me and stayed put. We made eye contact and it was completely unaffected by my presents. If anything it seemed bored by me and just sprawled out and went back to sleep. Shortly there after, my cat Luka, jumped out the window, puffed himself up and went for the fox. The fox jumped up and ran with Luka chasing after it. I haven't seen either of them since and I'm trying to remain calm and hope that the fact that the fox ran away is a good sign that Luka is OK and just standing guard somewhere.

Book Blog

To all of my book blog friends - I'm sorry for the gap in book talk, but with planning my son's birthday party and having house guests for the last week, I haven't touched a book in a little while. I'll get back to it this week. Thank you all for the lovely comments and warm welcome! :-)

Our Murdous Neighborbood Fox

As you may have read in the my earlier post ( Luka's Misadventure ),we have a murderous fox in the neighborhood. He's lurks about day and night. So far he's killed the pet rabbit next door, a cat the night Luka (one of my cats) went missing and two seagulls 2 nights running. Tonight, I caught Luka chasing the fox. The photo is of the fox looking down at him after being chased onto the fence while I was yelling out the window for the cat to get the hell in the house. I only took the picture because Wayne was on his way out of the house to get Luka in. The creepy thing about the fox is that he's not afraid of people. He was in the yard next door the other day looking for food and when he saw me, he glanced at me and kept roaming around the yard and the day of Ethan's party, he sat on our fence and watched us for a few minutes before we chased him away. I'm not quite sure what to do about it. I've tried keeping my cats in, but they cry all day and stal

The party was a big success

Ethan's Birthday was a big success. He was so excited from the minute he woke up (and was still talking about it when I put him to bed). I went into his room when he woke up wearing a party hat - which he loved and requested his immediately (only his had to be pink because my little man - who is very secure with his boyhood LOVES pink). He opened a few presents before our guests started to arrive. At the party he had the time of his life! He had all of his favorite friends here. We had a bouncy castle, all kinds of party games and a house full of people. The party which was supposed to be from 11AM - 1:00, lasted until after 4:00 (but probably would have gone longer if the kids weren't so tired). We had a really great crowd. This was my first birthday party living in England where I actually had friends there instead of people I associated with for the sake of the kids (but never actually formed any relationships with) or was forced to have at my in-laws because I didn't

My Little Man's 3 on Sunday

I can't believe it, but my little man turns 3 on Sunday. This is the first year that he's aware of having party and he's been talking about it for months! He's requested a Lightening McQueen themed party. He asked for balloons, a Lightening cake, a bouncy castle - the works and of course Mommy has been planning it for months! At first I thought I didn't know enough people to have a party. Boy, did I cry the first time he asked for a birthday party. I thought I'd have to pay people to show up, but in the last few months my social life has taken a turn and on Sunday (including my in-laws who arrived on Thurs) I will have 15 - 20 adults and 10 children in my house. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't rain because I don't know where I'll put them all (English houses are NOT large). Needless to say, Ethan is thrilled and can't wait! I am off to start wrapping his gifts. I haven't stopped preparing for days and I am exhausted, bu

What I don't write about...

It may seem odd to some that I almost never write about my husband and our relationship. There are no heart-felt entries going on about him and how much I love him. The thing is, my husband requested I don't write about him a long time ago. He's of the mindset that our relationship is between us not the rest of the world. I respect that and therefore, don't write about our relationship. What I will say is that I am madly in love with my husband. We are very close. We are a team. We are complete opposites, but never fight(even when I sometimes yell). In our years together we have had maybe 3 serious arguments. He's the love of my life and the best dad I know. He knows me through and through which is why he's not bothered by the entries that involve any past relationships or love affairs (the ex files)because he doesn't expect me to forget what made me who I am today. What matters most is the here and now. We tell each other all the time how lucky we are to

For One More Day By Mitch Albom

For One More Day is the story of a mother and a son, and a relationship that covers a lifetime and beyond. It explores the question: What would you do if you could spend one more day with a lost loved one? As a child, Charley “Chick” Benetto was told by his father, “You can be a mama’s boy or a daddy’s boy, but you can’t be both.” So he chooses his father, only to see the man disappear when Charley is on the verge of adolescence. Decades later, Charley is a broken man. His life has been crumbled by alcohol and regret. He loses his job. He leaves his family. He hits bottom after discovering his only daughter has shut him out of her wedding. And he decides to take his own life. He makes a midnight ride to his small hometown, with plans to do himself in. But upon failing even to do that, he staggers back to his old house, only to make an astonishing discovery. His mother -- who died eight years earlier -- is still living there, and welcomes him home as if nothing ever happened. Albom has

10 LBS!!

I've gained 10 f@cking pounds! 10 lbs!! After I worked so hard to lose so much weight, in 3 weeks I gained 10lbs!! I'm so pissed off at myself! I have spent the last few weeks pretty much sedentary because of first, a flareup and then this damned flu, but that doesn't excuse for the comfort eating of ice cream, cookies and what ever else I could get my hands on. It was like being thin again gave me license to eat what ever I wanted. Thank God I'll be starting with my trainer soon. It will keep me in check and force me back to my diet (with another 10lbs to lose!). I am such an idiot!

Luka's Misadventure

I have two cats. Alfie, and Luka. They are brothers. They're full breed Tonkanese. I could have had any old cat, but mt stylish husband had to have beauty and style and that's what we got. Before Ethan, they were my babies and my only companions in this country. Alfie is an ultra sweet, super affectionate pain in the ass. He's verbal as hell. He walks around the house following me around like a puppy dog. He annoys the heck out of me, but I love him dearly. His only crime is he loves me too much. Luka is beautiful. I adore him. He's gentle soul. He's quiet and sweet, but he's not the sharpest tool in the shed. He's unbelievably skiddish. So much that his claws are permanently out; he doesn't know how to retract them so when he walks you hear his claws hit the floor with his little foot steps. The trouble with that is if he's lying on me when something spooks him, blood is drawn! Anyway, the first night my flu started, Luka went missing. My

Top 25 Expat Blogs from Circle of Moms

I just want to say thank you to who ever nominated me on the top 25 expat blog list with Circle of Moms. I didn't know anything about it until today. So a big Thank You and Thank you to anyone who voted so far. I think I'm in the running :-) To vote, just click the pink vote for me banner, scroll down to Pond Hopper and click thumbs up symbol. You can vote once a day until June 6th :-)


I am recovering slowly. I woke up this morning and in my infinite wisdom, decided I was sick and tired of being sick and tired so I thought I'd will myself better. Wayne left early so I took a shower, got dressed and walked Ethan to nursery school (an hours walk there and back - after 4 days in bed). I went to the grocery store, did some shopping and walked back carrying the bags. By the time I got home, I felt like I was going to drop. The coughing started again followed by the fatigue, nausea and headache. Needless to say, I took a cab to pick him up and I've been taking it easy for the rest of the day. I miss the days of having a car. Living in the UK (in our financial situation) a second car is just not an option. With gas prices being sky high & insurance rates being ridicules, I don't know who could afford it. I don't know too many 2 car families out here that's for sure. Plus, we don't even have a second parking space out side the house.

No one is to blame

After reading The book of Joe, I downloaded 'No One Is to Blame' by Howard Jones. When I read about the song in the book, I though - Great song! It didn't throw me back to the time though. No one came to mind. Nothing in particular came back to me. All I thought was 'Great Song!' Then I downloaded it. All of a sudden, it was 1989 and I was thrown back to a bright smiled, blond, blue-eyed boy that sang the song to me once. I instantly smiled, closed my eyes and just listened over and over again. I wanted to email him and share my little memory, but I fear those days of sharing that sort of thing have long passed so I'm writing this instead. It's funny, when he sang it to me, neither of us knew how very meaningful the words would become. He was just being a showman - wooing me (again, can't help smiling). Not long after, everything changed. We fell in love, he left and I'm going to be bold here and say neither of us would ever be the same... Peo

The Book of Joe ('Bush Falls' in the UK) By Jonathan Tropper

After high school, Joe left sleepy Bush Falls, CT and never looked back. 15 Years later, he wrote a book that savaged everyone in his hometown (a national bestseller & hit movie). Of course he never planned to go back - Until Now... I LOVED this book! It is rare to find an author who pulls me in from page one (and what a beginning it was!). This book was incredibly entertaining as well as thought-provoking. The story flowed and kept me intrigued. I loved the main character and highly enjoyed the sarcasm and wit. It made me laugh out loud, shed a few tears and even made me download a few songs I haven't heard in a great while. As someone who has moved away from their home town and also grew up in the 80s, I greatly appreciate it. The descriptions are wonderful and the characters are true to life - Bravo! I can't wait to read more books by Jonathan Trooper. Click the title above to check it out on or on this side of the pond, click here

The Dead of Summer

Synopsis - At thirteen, Anita was the sole witness to London’s notorious cave murders of 1986, which left three children dead. Told seven years later to the police psychologist who interviewed her at the time of the killings, Anita’s story reveals the savagery of the schoolyard one chilling detail at a time until the truth of what actually happened reveals itself with startling ferocity. This is my first book club book. At first, I didn't enjoy this book. the language made it difficult (80s English slang), but once I got used to it, I found it to be a captivating read. Narrator tells it like it is - foul language included. Although the story takes you from past to present, the narration remains a constant first hand account from the main character. The plot is full of intrigue and gives a twist at the end that I never saw coming (and I always see them coming). I have to say though, this book is DARK it's a book about the murder of children at the hand of another child. It&#

The Flu

I've had the flu for the past 5 days. I still feel like hell, but at least I'm some-what up and around (not that Moms get sick days). I'll be back as soon as I'm feeling better...

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Synopsis - Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, Skeeter is a southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends' lives (and a small Mississippi town) upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families. Aibileen, Skeeter's friend's housekeeper, is the first to open up (to the dismay of her friends in the tight-knit black community). Despite Skeeter's life-long friendships hanging in the balance, she and Aibileen continue their collaboration and soon more women come forward to tell their stories. Along the way, unlikely friendships are forged and a new sisterhood emerges, but not before everyone in town has a thing or two to say themselves when they become unwittingly (and unwillingly) caught up in the changing times. I downloaded this as an audio book to listen to while I worked or during workouts. I have tried reading it in book form several t

Book Club

Well, my first book club meeting was a complete success. We had a really great time. There were six of us (2 couldn't make it). I hosted. I haven't had that many people in my house since we moved here (not counting Ethan's Birthday parties). The wine and food kept flowing and we all really enjoyed our selves. Angela and her friends all came together and once they left, my new friend Deirdre and I sat and had a couple more drinks and laughs. Wayne must have had a hell of a time listening to us giggling like a couple of school girls in the next room. Here's the downside though. I NEVER drink. That combined with my new meds, was not a pretty combination! I was terribly sick that night and was in bed the entire next day! I have to say it was well worth it though. I'll just have to be careful at our next meeting...

Everything and Nothing by Araminta Hall

On the back of the book, they try selling this as a gripping, psychological suspense read. That it wasn't! To me, it was just dull. The story itself sounded promising but, I found it boring and the characters were unlikable - not just one of them - ALL OF THEM. I was really disappointed with this! I bought this book because it got such great reviews. Out of 26 people on, it got an average of 5 stars. I expected great things and had to push my way through it. This is one of those times when I start to wonder about the UK - US differences. On a whole, the book made marriage and parenthood seem bleak. Since I enjoy both my husband and being a mother, I just couldn't relate.

My Amazing GP

I finally go to consult with my doctor yesterday. It's his office that's terrible - not him. I love my doctor. I have had a great many doctors in my life and have had none I would say that about, but my doctor is the best! He in no uncertain terms, saved my husband's life with a house call. Yes, that's right - I said a HOUSE CALL. A little over a year ago, my husband was very ill for about a week with a scorching fever. He would not go to the doctor. Five days in, I convinced him to go. Dr Van Wyk (my doctor) was unavailable and we saw one we didn't know who didn't lay a hand on Wayne to even take his temperature. By only speaking to him, he came to the conclusion that Wayne had a bladder infection. He gave him a cup to pee in, told him to call in 2 days for the results and sent us on our way. The next day, Wayne asked me to call an ambulance. I knew it was bad because Wayne waited 5 days to even go to the doctor (he doesn't do doctors) I've

Hugless Douglas by David Melling

Hugless Douglas is an adorable brown bear on the hunt fr the perfect hug... This is one of the cutest storybooks I've had (and we have A LOT). Ethan had me read it to him 3 times the first day we got it and then again at bed time. I highly recommend it! Check it out on by clicking the title above or on by clicking here

My lastest attempts at a social life...

I'm starting a book club. I can't believe it, but I have 7 women coming to my house on Friday night. I haven't had that many people in my house since moving to this country. I'm hoping it goes well. Since the sun came out again (this country is gray and dark from November to March) and my mood lifted, I have been trying to be pro-active with building a social life. I do this every year when the sun comes out and every year I get disappointed. I figure if I keep trying, something has got to pan out eventually. With the help of Angela, my one and only English close friend, I have been really social lately. She's introduced me to a few of her friends (one who actually lived in NJ for a while) and we've gone out a few times. With the exception of one of the ladies that are coming for the book club, they are all Angela's friends. The other, I met at Ethan's nursery school. She's the only mom who talks to me. When her 3 year old first started the

We can re-build her - make her stronger...

Today, I am meeting with my new personal trainer. I had one before I got pregnant, but haven't been back to the gym in years. Now that I'm thin again, what I really need to do is tone. Because of my illness, I'm afraid of weight training. I don't want to do it wrong and make things worse for myself (which is why I had a trainer before. I need someone to help me to do the exercises correctly). We don't really have the money for a trainer, but I took the money out of my savings. I need to do this. I need to try to become stronger. If I become fit and strong, maybe I can keep the illness from progressing. Who knows, maybe I'll even start to feel better. I keep having the bionic woman words go through my head - 'We can re-build her - make her stronger.' I wish... I'm meeting with the trainer today to go over my illness with him. I'm bringing all of my documentation and exercises from when I had physical therapy. he's being pro-active

A soft spot for soldiers

I have always had a soft spot for soldiers - well ever since I fell for a man who joined the army anyway. He wrote me letters nearly every day for 2 years telling me every little thing about his training and experiences. I was so proud of him and all that he's been through and achieved. I've had friends that joined as well. One constant was that they always came back different than they were before they left. Whether those changes were good, bad or indifferent, I admired them for having been through it (even the ones that didn't get to finish their term). In these times of war, when I think of the soldiers that are injured or killed, I go back to the soldiers I have known and loved and it breaks my heart to think of men or boys like them having to die for their country & again, I am proud. Today, I heard of the raid that took down Bin Laden and I am without words. I am more than impressed with what those guys did. It was an extraordinary feat. It's an amaz

My little man

I just put my little man to bed. I am so in love with that little boy! He's just the sweetest little thing! The other day while walking on the marina, he stopped to look at a fish in the water. He said 'Look, Mommy a fish! I think he lost his mommy! We have to save him!' He was genuinely upset. I said, 'Baby, I'm sure he's ok. He's just going for a swim.' He said, 'No, Mommy! Save him! Please!' I was dumbfounded. I didn't know what to tell him. All I thought was, the poor thing is just like me! He's not even 3 and he wants to save the world! I was overwhelmed with love for my sweet boy and gave him a big hug. He said again, 'The fishy lost his Mommy. Please save him!' A man cleaning is boat near by called out to me, 'Yeah Mommy, Jump in and save him!' I shot the guy a look and said, 'Helpful! Thanks!' Luckily, a little further away in the water, I saw some more fish just like the 'lost one' and

They got him!

I woke up in such a bad mood. My husband was supposed to let me sleep in, but it didn't go my way. I went down to make coffee all annoyed and my husband called down to me to come up to the living room. I heard the Prime Minister's voice and thought, What on Earth is he calling me in to see (I'm usually very uninterested in British politics - posh accents put me to sleep). Annoyed and bitchy, walked in and said,'What??' he told me to look at the news ticker. I sat in disbelief and to my surprise, began to cry bittersweet tears. They got the f@cker! Bin Laden is dead! I was overcome with emotion. My only disappointment was that I didn't hear the news from my president in my country. I didn't get to celebrate with other Americans. All I could do was sit there and cry watching the footage of the Americans celebrating in the streets. I realized I would have been out there with them spontaneously celebrating that justice has finally been done. I felt enor