Monday, November 30, 2015

Gratitude 30th

Last November gratitude. What to choose? I am grateful for the beautiful sunsets I can see from my apartment window, the brisk winter snow, and the sparkling light show Astana puts on every night between the bridges, buildings and Baiterek. I am grateful for good friends, warm apartments, games, books, and kitties (we're babysitting a friend's cat in a couple of weeks). I am grateful for family, technology, curiosity, and children being sweet and loving. I am grateful for the Wisconsin cheese of the month club gift my mom got Terry for Hanukkah, a gift that arrived early and gives to the whole family. I am grateful that at least some of the Hanukkah gifts for the kids have already arrived, since there won't be another mail run before Hanukkah begins. I am grateful that I have never once in my life had to wonder how I would pay for food the next day or electricity to keep the lights on.

There's more, but this is good for now.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Gratitude 29th

Today I am grateful for the embassy-supplied humidifiers.  They have a wider mouth so the tank can be cleaned more easily than the ones we brought over. And in dry, desertlike Astana, we run those suckers 24/7. The kids' rooms are smaller, so after about a week of constant use they have the humidity level of Pennsylvania or Massachusetts. Our bedroom hasn't gotten there yet, nor has the living room, but at least we aren't quite bathing in lotion anymore. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Gratitude 28th - A

I am also grateful today to my husband, who decided to try out the cinnamon roll recipe from the one cooking magazine we get. Wow. The kids agreed it was worth having to take a nap afterwards, they were THAT GOOD.

Gratitude 28th

Today I am grateful for the lady who sells me local eggs in the market.  The summer eggs are orange, winter a bit more yellowy but still a much deeper color than you find in USA grocery stores.  And she sings. Beautifully, like a bird. I will miss her when we leave Kazakhstan.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Gratitude 27th

I can't believe it has taken me this long to get to this one, but today I am grateful for public libraries. For those who have always had good quality libraries nearby, in a language you understand, you can't really fathom what it is like for a reader, having to always calculate how many books are on hand that haven't been read yet or that could manage a second (or third, fourth etc) read, and how to get your hands on new material, and how long it would take to arrive, etc etc.  I am forever grateful too, for Terry for convincing me to try a Kindle and my mother for buying me one last year, as that plus library means I am never far from something to read. Now excuse me while I download a book I've had on hold at my home library for a while.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Gratitude 26th

Today I am grateful for Canada, where (I have learned) the mamas of the turkey I eat today come from.  And I am thankful for good food and good friends. And the knowledge that the "hardships" I face, while real, are hardships some would dream to have.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gratitude 25th

Today I am grateful for the job I do.  This is something I had considered a dream when I first thought of the foreign service, then for various reasons chose a different path. And yet I still get to do it!  And sometimes I manage to do something meaningful. This week I have participated in debriefings for a number of Kazakhstanis I helped send to the USA to network and share information and best practices with people doing work in the same field. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Gratitude 24th

Today I am grateful for the new apartment having two showers. And not just two showers, but two showers that are independent of each others' hot water supply. Running late getting the kids ready for bed? they can shower at the same time!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Gratitude 23rd

Today I am grateful for my snowy walk to work. It is pretty when the sun rises over the pyramid.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Gratitude 22nd

Today I made bread and yogurt (well, trying. The chill of this apartment, while more comfortable than Nursaya, does introduce some new challenges). We went sledding (across the street!!), then had hot chocolate. The kids are watching a movie while I wrap Hanukkah presents. I am grateful for everything in my life.