China Jubilee

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Various Notes + Birthday February 2, 2013

Filed under: Friends,Life — missjubilee @ 12:38 am

What started as a “too many thoughts for a simple status update” post turned into a birthday-week run-down.

Listening to the Hobbit soundtrack (thank you, Jordan!) and wondering how I can get “Misty Mountains” as my ringtone. … And wondering if I would ever answer the phone if I managed it, or just listen to it ring until the caller hung up.  Actually, I’d probably want to shuffle “Misty Mountains” with Aragorn’s coronation song which, yes, I have memorized in its original whatever-Tolkien-language-it-is (but am not geek enough to know WHICH language, apparently). If this super-long soundtrack ever ended I’d go listen to that right now, but I’m not interrupting a new album for a song I’ve heard before!

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My sweater collar and pushed-back hair one morning made me think of Gary Oldman’s bad guy in “The Fifth Element” so I stopped to snap a photo.  This sort of thing amuses me.  The character was loathsome, mind you, but I like the movie and like Gary Oldman as an actor!

The internet has gotten, hm, more free-flowing?  Less constipated?  Something good.  Recently.  Videos from the US stream at watchable speeds – something they haven’t done in well over a year.  This morning I heard Amy K and Beth talking about the new Lizzie Bennet Diaries video and so I pulled out my phone, plugged in my headphones, and pulled it up – and it PLAYED!  I have NEVER been able to watch an internet video on my phone here before!!!  Even when videos loaded slowly-but-surely on my laptop, the phone used to load about a second per minute and after 5-10 minutes of trying I would give up in disgust.  Now I’d better remember I have only 300 MB 3G service per month… (and too bad it was the first day of the month today; I had over half of last month’s left yesterday!)

Thursday was not only the last day of January, it was the 100th day of school.  Three children brought in 100 of something to celebrate.  Fun 🙂

I’ve started knitting a pair of socks with the pretty green yarn Mom gave me last year for my birthday + the needles she gave me this year.  So far I’m 1-for-2 on finished pairs of socks – one finished pair with yarn she gave me quite a few years back, and one very-much unfinished pair with hand-dyed yarn I bought online another year.  I hope this pair follows the trend of Mom-given yarn and gets finished, and quicker than the last pair!

I love to drink a piece of fruit!  Not like with a juicer – just what it feels like when I eat it and it’s very juicy!  Usually it’s apples; this evening it was about 1/3 of a pomelo that I pulled apart last weekend and then kept forgetting because it was hiding under all the birthday leftovers in my fridge.

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(all the different yogurt in the bottom is to try as starters to make my own yogurt… once I remember to buy a couple liters of milk! till then it goes on pav.)

Birthday leftovers!  My fridge is still more than half-full, including 2 personal-pan-sized pizzas that Ayi made TUESDAY and I still haven’t baked because there’s been so much else to eat!  I wonder if the yeast is all dead yet?  Well, I’ll bake them tomorrow for lunch at last!

Other leftovers get a little story of their own – the story of a lovely birthday week!  Just before my birthday I started the ball rolling by leaving some regular-food leftovers in the fridge because I tend to suffer from empty-fridge, bored-tummy on weekends, but then I just snacked on my birthday while I cooked my birthday dessert – Pavlova! – so the mundane foods had to take a back-seat as the birthday foods began.

I made a double batch of pavlova (1 regular large circle and 8 small ones) and the thought I’d burned it – it certainly smelled burnt! – so I quickly whipped up another single batch, only to find when I took them out of the oven that in fact they were all wonderfully edible.  I still have 3 single-serving sized meringue bases left, along with some of the second batch of strawberries I had to buy to eat with them all!

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my first pavlova

I already had eaten some birthday dessert by then, though – Cindy P made some super carrot cake with frosting to share that morning!  And sent me home with 3 pieces (breakfast, snack, dinner dessert….)

My birthday guests that night made dinner and brought it with them.  Steph T brought yogurt and fruit that went on the pav along with the cream and strawberries I had for it – SO perfect!  That finally reached its end today after sharing it with my class (along with the other full-pav, my “birthday cake” this year).  Carrie made yummy sweet banana-fruit bread like I’ve never tasted before – it’s been snack or breakfast all week and isn’t gone yet!  She also made some of the best chicken in BBQ sauce.  Some of that stuck around with the fun pasta salad Edith brought (eaten up now!)  I’m either forgetting or misattributing something here, I know Sara made something – veg, I think! we must have eaten it all up right away, what a delicious night.

Also filling the fridge: I made applesauce from the small bunch of dinged-up apples in the big 44-lb box of apples I bought, and simmered down a jar of plums I canned with honey syrup and a vanilla bean last summer, and went to Canvas on Monday where I had perhaps the best hamburger I’ve had in China + an appetizer (unusual for me) thanks to a gift card from a student’s parent at Christmas. (I got 3 more for my birthday so apparently I’ll be back.)  Anyway the Canvas meal was so much good food that half the burger made it home to furnish another meal, and I brought home 3 slices of blueberry crisp from another A-mazing chicken dinner last night with the Budensiek family, and oh yeah went upstairs for “brinner” tonight where my homemade sauces were appreciated and I got to eat some yummy breakfast foods before settling down to work on masters stuff.

So yeah, a good food week, and food is important to me so that’s part of what made it a good birthday week, but it was beyond the food or the gifts.  Yeah, I was excited to get a birthday package from my family (thanks, Mom and Dad! thanks, Jordan!), which came perfectly on Monday, right after my birthday.  Even better was calling up Jordan to open it “together.”  It was fun being celebrated at school and at church – they all sang to me Sunday morning, much to my embarrassment as well as enjoyment (oops, just realized I forgot to go up front at Assembly today for my birthday pencil + song in 3 languages!)   Spending time with a family I don’t get to see as much since moving out of the downtown area, talking and stuff and being free to look silly dancing to a song from Lilo & Stitch with their Wii/Disney dancing game.

Lilys 2013 Bday party girls - Copy Lilys 2013 Bday party group

Birthday Party!

And it was really great to have time with dear friends in my apartment on my birthday.  I often feel like an inept party planner, but Carrie taking over the meal planning freed me up to enjoy the time.  I brainstormed ahead of time about what to do and it was kind of random, but it was “me-style” and since it was a small group I didn’t feel so stressed that people would be bored and since it was “my” day I wasn’t too worried they’d wish they were doing something else (yeah, I love to host but I’m not a secure hostess) so it was the right mix.  We talked, including a tradition of Rick’s family of asking the birthday person questions.  We played a goofy lego game I bought in Aus that involves sheering sheep (knitters love fiber, you know!)  We prayed for each other, for the upcoming year.  And my blessed, beloved parents got up extra-early on a Sunday morning US-time to video-Skype and “meet” my friends before everyone here went home to bed.

I don’t think I had the concept of a “birthday week” before I lived here; do you have such a concept in your life?  What was a good birthday or birthday week that you remember?

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