Wednesday, June 30, 2010
off to summer camp for two weeks! many stories to follow :)
bug juice, swimming, canoeing and hiking... here i come!
(picture above is of my actual camp!)
Saturday, June 26, 2010
a lovely little saturday of:
- strawberries and espresso for breakfast
- a quick house clean and some packing
- taking pictures out in the sunshine around the city
- playing with friends
- prague island hopping to watch different musical concerts (a special event this weekend only)
- going where the wind takes me :)
sounds like a great little saturday, and that's just what im gonna go do, ciao!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Once a week, usually wednesday, i make two stops on my way home from work. the obchod and the květinářství. As i leave with my grocery bag in one hand (a fresh baguette of french bread peeking out the top, fresh veggies, fruits, and chesses at the bottom) and my bouquet of flowers in the other (once a week i allow, and budget for, myself to buy a fresh bouquet of flowers, kate spade's words to live by...) i smile as i walk down the sunlit european streets.
Although today I did not smile, because my baguette was not basking in sunlight, but soaking up murky gray rain. By the time I got home, the first two inches of my bread were sopping wet. And i'm not one to complain, especially about nature, but it has been raining here for the past three weeks. and today? it was ra.in.ing. that's some serious rain.
so as vitamin D deprived as i am, im not even asking for sun for that reason, this is for the sake of my fresh bread. i just hate soggy bread. rain, rain go away.
love love love from a soaking wet prague.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
One of my grandparents' favorite shows on BBC is "Who Am I This Time?". I've watched the shows a few times with them, okay, okay and a few times on my own, and constantly found myself relating to that title. Who am I this time?
I started studying languages when I was eleven, in seventh grade. Technically, if you count my half year of studying french in third grade, seven. Anyhow, I have been studying languages with somewhat regularity for the past twelve years. Now, jumbled around in my head are, a lot of English, a good amount of Spanish, a decent amount of Czech, a little bit of French, and an even smaller amount of Italian. (Poor Italian being the shortest affair with these languages of love.) And after all this? All I can say is thank goodness I can still speak English. I can barely put together a phrase in any one of these without something of the others coming out. "What time are we going tonight?" "Nevím." "Oh, shoot we're supposed to leave by siete." "Quelle heure est-il?" "Already?" "Oh mio dio, we've gotta get running." That, is just a peek into what goes on in my head, and most of the time what my befuddled friends and roommates hear. Let's just say, it's a good thing i can still speak English.
In the end, I think i've decided I need to marry a man who can understand all these languages, (and maybe more, because knowing me, Ill end up picking up some more along the way...) so at least he will be able to understand what's going on in my head :)
láska, amour, amore from prague!
Sunday, May 30, 2010
if there is one thing i have realized after a week in the Šumava Mountains with my preschoolers, it's that little kids hate to be bathed. but more so than that, they hate having their hair dried with the hair dryer. each day after we would get back from "hiking", our long walks around the mountain countryside, we would shower the kids and then had to dry their hair. the boys would squirm and hide their heads and do anything to get out of the reach of the hairdryer.
it wasn't only the boys though; the girls didnt love the hair drying portion of the day either. they would stand there and every two minutes ask "are we done yet? can i go?" i finally had to have a talk with a few of them explaining that "it's just part of being a girl!"
one day i was drying Tomáš' hair and mid-squirm he started jumping up and down singing Mamma Mia. he looked up at me to see my reaction and burst out in a fit of giggles and i just belted it out with him. we both started jumping up and down singing (yelling) Mamma Mia over the hair dryer and dancing around the bathroom. not only did the hair drying go by so much faster, but i learned a new trick to make unpleasant things go by faster! Let's just say, this isn't the first time that knowing every word to every ABBA song has come in handy in the Czech Republic :)
love love love from back in the city!
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
happy birthday, mikey!! what a wonderful day to have a fifth eighth birthday! thank you for being such a wonderful father and devoting the last twenty three years to teaching me all you know, you've done a fantastic job. i love you so much! here's to another just as wonderful fifty eight :)
p.s tom crean wanted me to tell you he PERSONALLY wishes a happy birthday to his biggest fan.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Today we celebrate you, roomie! Carrie Maye is officially twenty three today :) We had a wonderful weekend of celebrating with dinners, brunches, and parties with friends and (french) families.
As most of you know, we take birthdays very seriously in my family. They are celebrated from start to finish (and usually a few days before and after). They are the one day of the year thats all about you! Just to celebrate being alive, how wonderful. Carrie has a tradition where on her birthday she makes a "resolution" or sets a goal to accomplish. She chooses her birthday rather than New Years Eve because you're much more likely to follow through with it when it starts and ends on a day special to you personally and not the entire world. I think this is a great idea, because then when your next birthday comes around you can check your progress and see how its going! Go ahead and try this at home :)
Rain, rain, rain this week, all over the world! Stay dry!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
aaaanyways, let's celebrate all the wonderful things mother earth gives us! in my preschool class today we made a list of the things we are thankful the earth gives us. "food to eat, clean air, clean water, oceans to swim in, land to play on, mountains, animals to play with, and animals to eat."
they then proceeded to list different kinds of animals you could eat (it was a mistake to do this right before snack time...). we made this list and hung it up next to the (ahem, awesome) picture of the earth i painted, complete with glitter of course.
my lovely co-workers then told the children they could thank their "treehugging teacher, allie" for that special lesson on the planet. you're welcome kids, because the earth is awesome. :)
i'll leave you with these fun facts.
recycle and love mother earth :)
- 1 recycled tin can would save enough energy to power a television for 3 hours.
- 1 recycled glass bottle would save enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes.
- 1 recycled plastic bottle would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 3 hours.
- 70% less energy is required to recycle paper compared with making it from raw materials.
dogs. there are dogs everywhere in this city. dogs on the street, dogs in the metro, dogs in the trams, dogs in purses, dogs in backpacks, dogs on bikes (in baskets of course), dogs in bars, dogs in stores, dogs tied up outside groceries and banks, dogs, dogs, dogs. now i love love dogs as we all know (and can't wait to get my own...soon!) but in the spring? dogs, dogs, dogs everywhere means dog poo, dog poo, dog poo everywhere.
There are 1,223,368 people living in prague. oh, and me so 1,223,369 (oh, i am still an illegal immigrant, don't worry about it). and over 40% have dogs, so that leaves us with about 489,348 dogs running around the city. and that is assuming that each person only has one dog. (and we know dogs, once you get one you just want more. although not nearly as bad as "cat people", ew.) anyways, assuming each dog poops once a day (which we know is not true)... well, lets just say that is a lot of dog poo.
it's even better when you have a line full of 25 preschoolers on a walk and they all start screaming about the dog poo and start running away from it. lovely. one afternoon earlier this spring one of my kids, joshua was the unlucky one to step in the dog poo. all the kids were grossed out by how bad it smelled and were yelling that josh was covered in "dog ca-ca". (ca-ca in czech is preschool lingo for poo poo.) we got back to school and got joshua out of his boots and left them on the front porch to air out. later that day when his mom came to pick him up she remarked that she couldnt find joshua's outside shoes (we have to wear separate pairs for inside and outside). i realized i left them on the porch and told her why there were out there. she simply laughed and exclaimed, "oh, good!". i was confused. "oh, no, no." i explained. "he stepped in dog POOP, and it got all over his shoes." she was russian and i was semi-explaining in czech (czenglish, as we like to call it at school. half english, half czech) and thought maybe she was confused by the language barrier. "ya, dog poop! it's good!" she said. she went on to explain that in Russian culture if you step in dog poop it is a sign of good luck and means you will go on to be very wealthy. so she was just proud of josh for stepping in some poo and making some money!
it just goes to show that every cloud has a silver lining!
love love (huff huff) from prague.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
-How do you change the salt in your dishwasher?
-How do you say "baking soda" in Czech?
-How many degrees Celsius is 350 degrees Fahrenheit?
These, plus many many more, are all questions I have asked tonight alone. I asked Carrie, she didn't know. Some of them I internationally called my mom to have her answer, (How long do you boil a chicken breast for?) but if i were doing that every five minutes things could get quite expensive. Also, I'm sure eventually the inevitable will happen, and I will call and she will simply give me the answer, "I don't know!" (But that won't happen anytime soon, between my mom and my dad they know everything.) But do you know who really does know everything? My trusty go-to, Google.
I honestly would be curious to keep count of how many times a day my fingers instinctively fly over the keys, "www.google.com". I have found out that living in the real world is much harder than "fake world" (age 0-22, apparently). Shocking development, right? Well these things that have always been taken care of, suddenly are my responsibility. Things that I didn't even know existed (dishwashers have salt??) are mine to figure out.
But Google is always there for me with an answer to my question, pictures to provide examples, blogs, video blogs, and much more. He always gives me all he's got :) I honestly wonder how all the twenty somethings before us made it without Google? And not only for answering my "how to survive each day and not burn down my apartment" questions. But when I march into the bathroom while Carrie is brushing her teeth and ask her "How does soap work? Why does it make us clean?" we just turn to our friend Google and he tells us all about lye and saponification. And yes, that happens more often than you think.
Eleven years old and you just keep getting better, thank you Google.
love love love from a curious prague :)
Sunday, March 14, 2010
spring is coming. how do I know? the first spring thunderstorm is happening as i type! the thunder is booming and the lightning is flashing. one of my favorite things to do is to get in bed and huddle under the covers and fall asleep to the rain on my window. what a lovely way to bring in the spring :)
love love love from under the covers!
Monday, March 8, 2010
As most of you know, my favorite food in the entire world is the strawberry. just simply, strawberries. no sugar, no whipped cream, not in anything or chalked full of anything, just plain and simple strawberries. (preferably grown in our garden, just outside our house back home.) and this has been the case, ever since i have even existed.
Around the age of three (guesstimate) my mother discovered something wonderful. quaker strawberry instant oatmeal. and this, for years and years, is what i would eat. everyday. for breakfast? sure! lunch? sure! midafternoon snack? sure! and even when i didnt like what was served for dinner, strawberry oatmeal was a fine substitute. as my grandparents well know from when christopher and i would weekend with them, in the morning set me up at the counter with some strawberry oatmeal, a bowl, and a spoon and im good to go for the rest of the day.
So im sure you can imagine my dismay when i found out that the czech republic has never even heard of strawberry oatmeal, let alone quaker instant. (imitation brands are simply not the same.) So as i have searched high and low, i just cannot seem to find it anywhere on this silly continent. bummer. big time.
However, i was in tesco (our british grocery store) the other day and i was purchasing a new slew of tea (often times my substitution of a snack) and i found a wildberry multivitamin tea. sounds yummy AND healthy, right? so i get home, open the box and set the kettle up. my first sip and i almost dropped my cup. this tea was strawberry oatmeal in liquid form. tastes EXACTLY like quaker. so wonderful. so although its not quite the same as the 10% oats, 5% strawberry, 85% sugar mixture that quaker has perfected, it will do until i move home to a country that has the sense to stock their shelves with strawberry oatmeal.
until then? i suppose it's tea time.
love love love from prague :)
Friday, March 5, 2010
I have no problem eating in restaurants alone. As long as you have a good book you are never alone (right, dad?) In the states I would frequently grab a quick lunch as I was out and about and pull my trusty book out of my bag, and boom: lunchtime entertainment.
But here it is even more wonderful to lunch alone. The streets are lined with darling cafes with overstuffed chairs and couches beckoning. With a group of friends or alone with a book, these are my favorite places to relax.
Today I had a half day of school and decided to run some errands and treat myself to a lunch out. I grabbed my kindle and secured myself a table in a cafe. Now, this is the part where I expect to get a lot of reading done, but nine times out of ten find what my neighboring tables are talking about too fascinating to progress much in my book. But in Prague, the beauty lies in the fact that I can really only understand about every fourth word being said, and listening in seems to be too much work for a really inane conversation about someone's sick dog (to the lady sitting next to me today: i hope he gets better soon!) Due to this, I end up getting much more reading done and enjoy a pleasant lunch; just me and (today) Julia Child. (Side note: I am currently reading Julia Child's My Life in France and would highly recommend it.)
What a wonderful way to start the weekend :)
love love love from prague!
Monday, March 1, 2010
What a lovely, lovely weekend. Prague gave us a glimpse of spring, with warm weather and bright sunlight flooding the streets. People were out and bustling about, so the streets were filled with families, couples, and friends finding their way around the newly sunlit city. The sunshine purely changes the city; that's all there is to it. It's such a bright and happy place, and as crazy as it sounds, even the cheskis are happy :)
Saturday morning we started our day out at our usual brunch spot, Radost FX. It's our favorite place to brunch, considering it has the best breakfast food we have yet to discover in prague, a happy inviting interior, and is centrally located. I also just found out it is where Rhianna shot her music video please don't stop the music. We watched the video while we were waiting for our food, sitting in the room where Rhianna filmed her video. Bonus!
After brunch the day was filled with sightseeing and wandering around in the sunshine with Carrie, Abby, and Farah. There may have been some boutique shopping and ice cream eating involved as well. We ended our weekend by watching the olympics and making homemade eggplant parmesan. A wonderful weekend, and a wonderful glimpse of spring. Let's keep that wonderful weather coming, Prague!
love love love from a bright and sunny prague :)
Sunday, February 14, 2010
well, im off to the Czech mountains for the week! im going with my preschoolers to take them on a skiing trip for the week (Olympian training starts early here...) :) it will be quite a handful taking twenty three-to-six year olds to the slopes, but it should be fun. skiing, good food, beautiful snowy mountains, and my darling children. im sure many stories to follow, but until now i am off the radar until friday!
love love love from a snowy prague.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
So i was on my tram this morning on the way to work, when suddenly it stopped. Not at a tram stop, not at a red light, just in the middle of the street. i didnt think anything of it at first, just kept reading my book. the tram conductor came out of his little box seat at the front of the tram and yelled something in czech down the aisle. perplexed, i watched as four big men (ages ranging from 30-60ish) got off the tram. being the curious person i am, i walked to the front of the tram and looked out the window, only to see these burley men lifting a car off the tram rails and moving it to the curb. apparently the car had parked in the way of the tram, and this was their way of dealing with it!
Monday, January 18, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
snow, snow, snow, snow, snow! (white christmas style, duuuh)
Thursday, January 7, 2010
every morning I catch the 9:02 tram from orionka. I walk three blocks from my apartment to the tram stop. when i get there there are three czech ladies that have just arrived to open their store. it's an odd store, i believe it sells chemistry equipment, mainly glass beakers and viles. they get to their store around 9am and as i get to the tram stop they are standing outside opening the display windows and standing around smoking their morning cigarettes and gossiping. i dont know them, and have not even ever spoken to them, yet i feel slightly comforted by seeing them everyday. i smile to them as i see them each morning, as they take a puff of smoke and burst out laughing at the latest gossip. its a strange sensation seeing these people that i dont know, yet i feel as if i do know them on some small level. coming from indiana university where i felt as if i knew everyone on campus, and before that zionsville, where i literally DID know everyone, its quite a change. there are people like this that i see everyday and have a "nonverbal relationship" with and enjoy seeing everyday.
i have a few people like this i see everyday. there is an elderly woman who lives on a first floor flat of a building i walk past each day. she is usually looking out her window at passerbys on the street below. i also pass a drug store and a dry cleaners where i see the ladies who open the shops smoking their morning cigarettes and getting a breath of fresh air before the day begins. i do enjoy seeing these familiar faces on my commute each day.
my favorite person to see is my boyfriend, honza. honza is an (approximately) seventy eight year old man who lives on the third floor of my building. he has a round face with rosy cheeks and hair as white as pure snow. he has a broad smile and a deep laugh and i hear it echoing through the stairwell. everywhere he goes he takes his darling little dog with him. ive never seen honza without a leash in his hand and a dog at his heels. we have always been cordial and said "dobry den!" to each other in passing but had never gotten to know each other.
when i came back from christmas break i passed honza walking his dog a block away from our apartment building. i greeted him as usual and he looked so excited to see me and burst out in a full paragraph of gibberish czech to me. i threw my hands up to cover my face and with an embarrassed laugh i admitted to him that i couldnt quite understand him (i couldnt understand him AT ALL). he smiled and grabbed my arm and very slowly and loudly (as if i were challenged...) said dva tisíce deset!!! (it's two thousand and ten!) "ah!!" i exclaimed. he was trying to wish me a happy new year. how sweet of him.
since he is the ONLY czech person i have gotten to know even in the slightest (aside from those i work with) i felt so touched that he was outgoing and kind to me (even though in a previous conversation i had admitted to him that i spoke little to no czech and was Amercian... he still talks to me :) ) so i bought honza a little new years present and wrapped it with a bright gold bow. i put a tag on it saying "PF 2010" (best of luck in 2010) and put in it my purse for our next encounter.
luckily that was today! i met him in the stairwell (dog in hand) and finally formally introduced myself. (i had to work up the courage to do so in Czech). He introduced himself as Honza and then said Joooohn! because honza translate into john in english. he beamed so proudly that he could make the translation. i handed him the gift and he exclaimed that he couldnt believe it and a lot of other czech words i couldnt understand. he thanked me kindly and pulled me in for a hug and a kiss on the cheek. i smiled all the way to the tram stop this morning. my encounters with sweet honza are my favorite part of my day, and i dont think he will ever know how grateful i am to him for being so welcoming and hospitable. you are wonderful, honza :)
love love love from praha!
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
ahoj loving friends and family.
first i must apologize for not blogging as of late. it is not because i was in a slump or had nothing to write about (although day to day life in prague is not ALL that exciting...) but it is more so that i could not bring myself to blog. As you know, my last blog was another (of many) blog about my best guy friend devon. shortly after this blog was published dev disappeared while vacationing in frankfurt, germany. one month later his body was found in the frankfurt river. especially since my last publish was a two parter about devon and his "new digital clock" it was too painful to finish and it averted me from blogging. i needed time to grieve and step back from it for a bit. with the strength and certainty that devon is looking down on me now, i am able to find comfort. the only light in this dark time is that i have found great comfort in his wonderful, loving, supportive family. they are so amazing and i have loved getting to know them. i consider them a huge part of my life now and talk to them often, and for that i am so grateful.
Devon, i miss you and love you more than you will ever know. i think about you each and everyday. coming back to prague without you, knowing that you will not return with me has been so hard, but our loving friends and your loving family have been so supportive, they have made it possible. you were the only guy i have ever felt comfortable enough with to tell him everything. you knew almost everything about me, and even the silly stuff i dont share with most people i told you. you didnt judge me or make fun of me, but you just understood that it makes me who i am and loved me for it. (and then of course would make fun of me for it later, but that's how i knew you cared :) ) thank you for being such a wonderful friend and helping me cope when i moved continents and was incredibly homesick. i missed my family, but you were always there to remind me that we were meant to be here together, and i honestly believe that. you made these past six months so wonderful, and for that i am eternally grateful. i love you, devon.