Monday, September 6, 2010

Where to begin?

Well, our sea freight arrived, almost all of it anyway. We had a few damaged items and a few missing items. Our biggest loss was an 11x13 Persian carpet we bought while stationed in Pakistan over 10 years ago. Of course, the boys think the most devastating loss was the missing power cord to the Wii. Talk about disappointment.

So, now all the boxes have been unpacked. But, this is a point of contention in our home. My preference would've been to unpack one room at a time, organizing that room before moving on. My husband, however, insisted that all boxes be unpacked in their appropriate rooms and then items put wherever they will fit for the time being until we have time to better organize. So, I did it my way and he did it his way. We now have our main floor pretty much put away and organized (this is the floor I worked on). All boxes on all floors have been emptied. But, the upstairs and basement are chaos. When I open closets or drawers I feel overwhelmed at the complete lack of meaning, pattern, or place to things. But, I will admit it is nice to have no boxes taking up space and it is also nice to see exactly what it is I need to organize. So much still to be done!

So, one thing that did arrive in decent shape was our Red Crab Sandbox. Only finding play sand is not easy. After hearing all this stuff about silica from quartz based sand, too much dust for little ones to breathe in safely, etc . . . . I started to worry about what we could do. All we were seeing in the stores was cement. And, geese, do they use a lot of cement. Then we saw some pretty colored sand-like substance. But, it turned out to be grout. Hmmm, no, don't really want my kids playing in cement or grout. We couldn't find any type of sand at all. Then, we happened upon a garden nursery with a bunch of sand. It didn't seem dusty at all. We asked where they got it from. Apparently they dug it up from the walls of a cavern on the river. So, it may not be the most ecologically friendly sand, but it appears to be all that is available. And, after searching all day for sand, we are willing to give it a try.

The other thing that arrived was our charcoal grill and chimney. Now, we've been gas grill fans for some time. It's so much easier than charcoal. But, we thought converting our American gas grill to European standard would be too dangerous and European gas grills are 2 - 3 times as much for the same product. So, we decided to go back to charcoal. And, thanks to Alton Brown, I think we have a winner. Back home, we just loved to watch Alton on the Food Channel. My oldest loves to watch cooking shows with me. We have learned so much from Alton too. This, by far, has to be the best tip ever. A chimney starter to light the grill means it lights fast, reliably and without the use of lighter fluid. Oh, and the tip about a drizzle of vegetable oil on the newspaper was fantastic! We tried it for the first time tonight and OMG what a difference. Charcoal is not so hard after all. Alton, we love and miss you very much. When are you going to start putting your full episodes on Hulu????

And with that last ode to Alton, I will say goodnight to all.

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