S is for Spanish

If you enjoy Spanish or are taking a Spanish class and need some help outside of the classroom activities I highly recommend this website: Study Spanish. It was supremely useful to me while I was taking college level Spanish. As far as I know you can access many of the beginning Spanish exercises without paying a dime. (Select study help from the bar of options running across the top). The page I linked directly to is for accented letters that we don’t find on U.S. keyboards. You can memorize the alt+letter codes, but I never could remember more than two letters.

Another fun Spanish link is Mi Vida Loca [my crazy life]. It’s a Spanish language learning drama series on BBC. Sadly, I got busy with class and life and never got to finish it, but I got over half-way done with the series. All the episodes appear to still be available for free on BBC’s website. I am seriously considering picking it back up again. Or maybe starting all over.
It encourages you to speak outloud while you “play” the interactive game/episode. You can make choices and learn new words as the character is getting chased by an unknown evil. Makes things interesting for sure.

There are tons of other Spanish helper and Spanish learning sites out there. My next goal is to find online games for children. Matching games that speak Spanish or help children learn new words would be a really good pace for me.

Spanish is really fun and I think learning the basics of Latin while I was in grade school really helped me in my college classes.
The only downside to language is that I am stuck in the horrible in between stage. I know enough vocabulary and grammar rules to speak Spanish but I am very shy about speaking to Spanish speaking folks. The Hispanic groups of folks in my area are very nice and forgiving. I think that most people would appreciate even an attempt at the language, but I am still having trouble making the leap.

Anyone have any tips on leaping the language barrier? Spanish is so fun….but I am sooooo shy. :)
In the mean time, I will keep my flashcards, translate music lyrics to my favorite songs and pepper my slang with Spanish words.

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Oppose PIPA/SOPA

I know that the whole internet is buzzing with this topic currently, but I wanna post it here too just in case someone is trying to find yet another resource.

WordPress joined in the blackout with censored blog posts.

Google has a sign-up for a petition against it: https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/

This is a pretty cool video that Moonlit Garden’s Murcia shared with me: http://vimeo.com/31100268 It summarizes the intentions and the bad side effects that will come about.

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ly0qpbDJvn1qasthro1_500.jpg
Funny image of a (real?) telegram sent because an individual could not be heard protesting via the internet’s Twitter.

Day One Hundred Twelve: Bedtime

Sleepy bears

I realize how many animal/cat & dog pictures I have posted recently and I will try to cut back. It is just so hard when they keep doing adorable things!!

This was a sight for sore eyes—No, it really was.
I had just come from the bathroom where I had been poking, prodding and squirting eye solution desperately trying to get my contact lens out.

They are day-wear only and I have had them in waaaaaay longer than 12 hours, so that is likely the reason they caused such grief.

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but in here it’s so delightful.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Day One Hundred Eleven: Pies, we made pies…

num nums

What do you think of my beautiful little pie?
This is my third chicken pot pie (you bet your ass I am keeping track) and my second pie that I have done a homemade crust for.

Tips for chicken pot pie:

1) I do not believe in stressing out over making dinner. It is fun, therapeutic and a easy way to snack pre-dinner.  So, to make life a little bit easier here is my suggestion: On a weekend, day off or day when you plan on making pot pie, cut up double the amount of ingredients.

Cut up double veg, boil a whole chicken and reserve the half that you don’t use. This works great when I want to make chicken an dumplings, two different meals and I don’t have to waste the chicken I cooked.

After filling up the pie shell toss all of the extra ingredients into a freezer bag (with a date). Trust me, when you come home and you want the amazing flavor of the homecooked meal during the week all you have to do is thaw, dump and bake.

2) Make life a little bit easier still. If you decide it is worth your time to make your own crust–It totally is by the way–then make double the amount of crust that you need, prepare your pie and then roll the excess into a ball and freeze that puppy.

Basically what you will have saved future-stressed-out-hungry you will be a whole lot of time and crankiness. Just think of it….You had to skip lunch because you went straight from class to work, just finished a double shift because your coworker is a doink and you have been craving pot pie all week.

You grab two bags from the freezer, empty the pot pie guts into a bowl and microwave that puppy. Flour the counter top, wash your hands and get to rolling out the dough. Pre-heat the oven, pour the guts in the shell, dump some garlic powder and cream-of soup before pinching the edges of the top of your pie nice and tight.

Ah-mazing.

Some thing I want to do in the future is make a little incision into the crust that is a face or my initials or something else fun like that. The Snow-White slits in the middle are adorable, but I want to play with my crust a little more.

I apologize for the length. I got excited about my pot-pie. It was soooo delectable for dinner, just in case you were wondering.

Day One Hundred Ten: Window Sharing

Cat: “Looking out MY window is a privilege.” 

The fact that they stayed at the window long enough for me to nab this picture with my cell phone is amazing. As you can see the siblings have made loads of progress in the last month and a half.

Typically if the dog runs up to look out the window Isabella will swat him away. For whatever reason today was a different story.

I have given up keeping the dog from lounging on the back of the couch. Sigh. His father let him do it so he stopped listening to me when I told him to get off. And I’m convinced that my beagle is a selective learner.

His relationship with Izzy is better, his weight is amazing compared to when we adopted him, he answers to his name (when he believes there is something in it for him) and he’s getting soooo much better about pooping/peeing outside.

Proud of my little “beetle hound” as the folk around here would say.

Now if we could only get him to sleep past 5AM…

Day One Hundred Nine: Siblings

Watering Hole

My new cat and my newer dog seem to be getting along a lot better in just a few short weeks. In the above, they have drawn a truce to drink water and eat diner at the same time.

Isabella still swats Tybalt and Tybs still chases the cat around the house when he wants to play. But they are much more civil with each other. Just like good siblings. Beat the fire out of one another until it the time calls for a truce.

Day One Hundred Eight: Le Bed

Tybalt's adopted bed

I have to apologize for the action shot for this day. He was wiggling while I took the picture. If you notice my little beagle is curling up in a tiny cat bed. This was not a one time occurrance. Pretty much, the cat doesn’t have a bed anymore because he loves this one so much.

I will do my best to get a picture of him curled up in it soon. He looks ridiculous but he simply loves curling into a tiny comfy ball. By the way, he has his own bed, but apparently it is not as good as this one.