Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Man (or a Woman) Needs a Maid

10 Maid Cafe - AkihabaraImage by avlxyz via Flickr

Sorry Neil Young, I know my problems aren't exactly what you were singing about, but dang! I could sure use a maid here.

I'm so busy writing and working my affiliate stuff, I feel like every second away from the computer is a potential dollar lost. I miss my Ana - she was the best. But I'm glad she got a job she's happy with, and making more money than she did cleaning house, too.

My mom was a HUGE help while she was here, but I don't want her to be stuck doing housework all the time. That's not really fair for her.

Johnny and the boys help out, but now that J's out driving the taxi, he's not home as much to supervise the boys. And you know, almost teenage boys just don't clean the house as well as a paid housekeeper. ;) And while I'm a BIG stickler for teaching kids responsibility around the house, I also think they need to have some free time for playing football and PS2.

So - hopefully one more month, and I'll be able to look for a housekeeper. Live in? Maybe! That would sure be awesome. I always wanted a butler, like in Arthur - somebody to follow me around all the time and keep in line, pick up my dirty clothes and make sure my pants were zipped up. Hey - a girl can dream, can't she?
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Sunday, October 25, 2009

CouchSurfing, Take 2!

Day 344Image by SuperFantastic via Flickr

We now have 2 couples here at the house. Antti and Satu are here visiting from Finland, and Tammy and Lane have just arrived from Albuquerque.

It's really been a lot of fun having people here and getting to know them. I'm looking forward to having a lot more!
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Living Room CouchImage by Mini D via Flickr

I recently signed up with a great organization, CouchSurfing.org. If you aren't aware of them, it's an international website that hooks up travelers who need a place to sleep with people who have a couch (or bed, or floor) to share. I've been signed up for less than a week, and already have 2 people coming to stay with us in the next week. And others have contacted me for in the future.

It's a super awesome thing, I'm really looking forward to meeting people from around the world - the folks coming to stay so far are from Albuquerque, NM and from a small town in Finland. I've also talked to a lady from Turkey is hoping to come to Peru early next year, and is checking things out ahead of time.

So - anyone coming to Peru, look me up on CouchSurfing! If I don't have a bed available, you're welcome to share the couch!
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Keeping things cold in Lima

Yes, I know I've complained about the cold in Lima for the last 4 months or so. And the other day, i was complaining about the cold in my nose. But this, my friends, is a different type of cold. Actually - it's the lack of cold. I know it's hard to believe when the thermometer has been hovering at 61 degrees for days upon day. But this is a kind of cold that doesn't come from outside, it comes from within.

Within the refrigerator, that is.

More specifically, the cold that was NOT coming from within my fridge. My little LG has been on the fritz for months, and between having other things to spend the cash on and being lazy (i confess!), we just hadn't got around to having it fixed. It was something screwy with the automatic defrost jiggermabob, and instead of automatically defrosting, it would keep frosting and frosting until the freezer froze up and no cold air passed to the fridge part. I had to manually defrost it about every week to 10 days (a serious waste of energy, y'all). I finally lost my cool (haha!) this week when half the stuff in the fridge went bad after it froze up really quickly and unexpectedly. Moldy cheese! Smelly rice! I think I found cures for several diseases with all the mold, but before I could submit them for my Nobel prize, they got up and walked out on their own. (I hear "The Funky Fungi" are playing in a little club down in Barranco now, and doing quite well. )

Anyway - before I get so far off on a ridiculous tangent that i can't get back - We called a repairman today. He's fixing it. I'm happy. Things will be a lot cooler around here now.
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pizza Loaf

A meatloaf with a tomato sauce topping.Image via Wikipedia

I've been sick, and not feeling up to cooking the last few days. Stupid headcold! But I had some ground beef thawed out and it was getting to the point where I had to use it, or I was gonna lose it.

So, I decided to make a meat loaf. Now, usually, I make 'souper' meatloaf with Lipton Onion soup mix, but I have run out and won't have anymore until January when Mom comes back. I had switched to using Good Season's Italian seasoning mix, but that's all run out too. So, I looked around in the cupboard and fridge, and took stock of what I had on hand, and this is what I came up with.

Pizza Loaf!

1 kg (2lbs) ground beef
1 tbsp Nature's Seasonings
1 packet of saltines, pulverized to powder
1/2 small can of tomato sauce (I used roasted garlic flavor) - save other half for later
1 tsp garlic powder
1 egg
As much mozzarella cheese as you like.

I put all those ingredients except for the cheese together in a bowl and mixed until it was all incorporated.
Transfer half of the mixture to a casserole or baking dish and flatten it out.
Spoon a little of the remaining tomato sauce on and spread it around, like on a pizza dough.
Next, add a layer of mozzarella cheese. I used thin slices, because grating it just seemed like too much work today.
Spread the remainder of the meat mixture on top, flatten it out and press the seams together. This part was a little tricky, the sauce wanted to squirt out the sides. But I was prepared for that, and had made a little 'lip' around the edge of the bottom layer of meat, and flattened out the top layer as much as possible before laying it on top.

Cook it in a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes covered, then take the top off for the last 5 minutes. (I covered it with tin foil at the start, because I used a 9x13 pan instead of my regular casserole) Serve topped with the rest of the tomato sauce.

*Note - picture is NOT my pizza loaf - just a generic meatloaf I found on Wiki. We ate ours up faster than I could find the camera!
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Battle of Angamos

Today is a holiday in Peru - it's the anniversary of the Battle of Angamos. This was a naval battle that took place during the War of the Pacific in which one of Peru's greatest heroes, Adm. Miguel Grau, was killed. He was known as the Cabellero de los Mares - the Gentleman of the Seas - by his enemies for the way he always acted with honor during battle. He warned crewmen to leave ships before attacking, and rescued survivors from the seas. The Chileans were nearly as distraught at his death as the Peruvians.

The loss at Angamos - and the loss of Sr. Grau and his ship, the Huascar - was a turning point in the war of the Pacific. Without Grau to protect the coast, the Chileans had complete control of the seas, and the Chilean army was free to move up the coast.

So, today, let's raise a glass of Pisco for the man whose passing caused his enemies to mourn his loss. Viva el Cabellero de los Mares!
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Car!!!

So, we took the money from the new house and used it to buy a car. Yay! Here's some pictures.

It's a Toyota Corona. So Pretty!
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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Root Canal! NOooooooo!

I've had this filling in my tooth for about 20 years. About 8 years ago, my dentist told me it had a crack in it, and should be re-done.

Fiddle-dee-dee, said I... I worry not about such things!

Fast forward to today, and me sitting in a dentist chair with what felt like 4 hands and 42 drills, nozzles and tubes stuck in my mouth, and a long drill penetrating down to my jawbone... and I realize I probably should have listened back then.

'We might be able to save this tooth' says the dentist. 'We'll do a root canal, and see how it goes. If it still hurts, we'll just take it out'.


So the root canal is done, we'll see how long it takes for the anesthesia to wear off, and let me know if this thing is gonna stay or gonna go.
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