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My mom arrived last week.  After her flight from Cleveland was cancelled due to mechanical failures, she was rerouted through Chicago instead of DC.  That meant her Frankfurt to Muenster flight was delayed.  Which meant we would meet her later in the day.  We didn’t know this due  to well, to put it incredibly politely (you can thank me later sis), a miscommunication.

Since arriving, she’s been the extra set of hands we needed to find a piece of sanity.  Bubba Joe has taken to her as has Little Girl.  Of course, Little Girl gets held lots, so she’s more than content.

I’ve missed my mama’s cooking.  And her innovativeness at using up leftovers in a way that was different from the first.  She insists these things are simple – I do believe her, honest I do – but I just don’t have that much energy to spare on thinking! (I’d rather spend that brain power on shaving – which in spite of living inGermany, I still do!  and as a matter of fact, am about to do after I finish this blog post.)

One of the MANY things she brought us was good bouillon.  As Bubba Joe  was sick on Saturday (and is still fighting a cold … we’re back on breathing treatments, but this time with the added bonus of a nasal spray, eye drops and allergy medicine – his ped thinks Bubba Joe is not only fighting a bacterial infection but perhaps also allergies) I made soup using this bouillon.  I love it.

But we hadn’t used it up. 

Until today.

Mom insisted that we could make a great soup from the leftovers (which BTW almost no one ate the first time around – turns out my mom doesn’t like soup and BJD wasn’t in the mood for soup at the time.  Side note: BJD is sick.  Just got back from his doc with antibiotics for a throat infection. Another plus for Germany – he has a written excuse and cannot work for the rest of this week.  And he took off most of next week to spend time with mom.)

So here’s what mom made:

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

She used up the soup from Saturday’s lunch, the grilled chicken breast from Saturday dinner, flour tortillas from yesterday’s dinner, added a bit of tumeric and topped it all off with some chopped scallions.

It was delish.

I love having her here.

Oh yeah – here’s the bouillon.  She says she’ll send some with my sis when she visits this summer.  (In case you were not aware, there is no ready-made broth available in Germany.  The only thing you can find are bouillon cubes – very salty and just, well, gross.)

Better Than Bouillon

Better Than Bouillon

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But I have no one really to talk to.  G is in Florida, S is in Japan.  BJD is great, but honest, I need someone else, someone outside of family to just listen.  So dear reader, this comes to you.

***sigh***

Where do I begin?  I’ll try to make this story short.  I’m not sure how long my little milchmaedchen (MM – milk girl – is that better J?) will hold out.

Turns out that my BIL has a kid.  Not a billy goat.  A real live child.  And said BIL has not yet finished uni – his school stopped offering his degree at the end of last year and well, he “couldn’t come up with a thesis”.  Whatever.

And said BIL still lives with his parents.  He works.  Sure.  Part-time.  As a mover.  Schlepping furniture.  He doesn’t have insurance (which is mandatory per the government here in good old Deutschland).  He’s one of those that falls through the cracks. 

Back in 2006, when we still lived in Ohio, BJD and I took pity on him.  He had recently broken up with his girlfriend, was struggling with school, has/had a drinking problem (oh yeah, dear reader, did I mention that he has a drinking problem?) and was quite overwhelmed with life.  BJD and I had accumulated LOTS of miles flying for both work and pleasure (remember, we were DINKs – I still cringe when I type it but well, the acronym suits).  We used 100,000 miles and bought him a ticket to fly out to visit.  Even found him an ESL course to take in our hometown.

And what do we get for it? 

Nothing.

No thanks, nothing.

We had hoped for none of that though – all we wanted was to give him a chance to rejuvinate.  To feel better about himself.  To give him what he needed to push through to the end of his degree. 

3 years later – same sad story.  Only now, it’s compounded by the fact that he has a 2 year old son. 

Oh, he’s fought custody.  DNA proved it.  He has nothing to do with the child. 

Why is this bothering me so much?  Because it’s the damned elephant sitting in the middle of the room.  My entire family here AVOIDS this subject.  They refuse to admit that there is a little boy out there that is family.  And moreso, and to me this is far worse, they continue to allow my BIL to be a slacker, a loser and a deadbeat dad.

I’m horrified.

You see, I love and adore my inlaws.  They’re have their querks (dude, how the heck do you spell that???) but they’ve been my rock for so many years now.  Quirks? Qwerks?  Really, how do you spell that?

BJD and I had originally set up my BIL as guardian for our child(ren).  Since finding out about this child though, we’ve changed it.  And just yesterday, BJD took the bull by the horns and finally told his brother.  On the phone.  And while you might find that a crappy way to tell someone, sorry dude you’re not who we want anymore in case anything happens, we just don’t have time to sit him down (and well, we’d have to find the time when he was sober – that was a definate low blow from me) face to face.  And more importantly, it’s very hard to balance 2 kids and recovery from birth/c-section/complicated pregnancy.

Let’s just say that BIL didn’t take it too well.  How do I know?  Well, my inlaws are avoiding us.  Oh, not my SIL, she’s too passive to take a stand.  (Side note: she’s known about this child since the beginning.  Why is that important to me? She’s never once shared this  in any shape or form.  And worse yet, she’s just not the type to encourage her own brother to do the right thing.  I have so little respect for that.  Am I being too hard?)

Why is it that they avoid this child?  Why do they accept what my BIL says even when it’s (IMO) morally wrong?

Ugh – gotta run.  Bubba Joe is potty training.  Guess where he just went?

More later.

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Thanksgiving on Halloween

Today, we are celebrating Thanksgiving.

Ms. Thaing and her brother, T-Boy, are visiting for the week.

Our menu consists of:

Turkey Ballotine
Green Beans
Wild Rice Stuffing
Butternut Squash Soup
Pumpkin Pie
and last but absolutely not least
Pecan Pie

Yumm!!!

Hopefully I’ll remember to take some pictures!

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