Friday, April 28, 2017

Spring time trips to Tõrva and to the beach

During the spring break we visited my dad and grandma in Tõrva. There is a cool tower to jump off from. This lake is 5 minutes from my grandma´s house. I spent every day there when I was younger. Like literally lived there. Even when there were thunder storms, rain. That is where I became a pretty good swimmer and diver. 


Visiting relatives is always difficult because there is so much pressure with little kids. Like if I discipline them right according to ....... (add your own standards and habits and ideals). Sometimes people forget, when they get older and there are not many new babies born and not many kids around all the time, that kids are energetic, crazy, busy and move constantly, trying to touch every single possible item even if you have told them 25 times that they cannot do that. I just wish there are more kids around so that mine do not stand out so much. Lately I had a talk with a mom about how every parent thinks that their kid is the most energetic one, their kid is the most aggressive one, their kid has the most issues with behavior etc etc. And no wonder they think that because people around us do not say often that it is OK, that is what kids do or been there, done that. So my point is - people should take it easy, be supportive, be encouraging instead of judge-mental, especially in their own family. 

The kids love to climb, especially now when it is not freezing cold any more. Man, spring comes late here. It just snowed today and has been snowing past week, like every day. It melts fast but still. Super cold wind too. Yesterday was nice after a nasty rain pour and we went to the beach.


Here are some of the beach photos:





Our kids were just rolling on the ground like they have never seen it. But if you think about it then that is true, it has been nasty cold and muddy and wet and snowy for the past 6 months.


They were playing horses:


The younger one was sitting on the rock, contemplating. Love this photo:


Team work effort to drown the dolly:


And finally a forest shot, sun setting on the trees:


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Live below the line challenge 2017



This semester I am teaching a course non-traditional security, one of my favorite courses. One optional assignment we do is to live below the line for 5 days.  6.50 Euros was what we had to spend, this is what I was able to get.  The store was sold out of eggs which was a bummer, but on the other hand I lucked out when I found a block of cheese in the expired products bin!  How did it go?  Well not bad at all.  The key is that spice mix called Vegeta.  I just made noodles, sour cream and that spice mix every day and just loved it.  No matter how much I eat it never gets old.  Usually we make it with corn or ground meat but this time just noodles.  I had some potatoes but only made one of them.  The carrots were great.  Bread was what kept me going.  Black bread was on sale so I was happy to have that.  (Must leiva jõud!)  I busted out our old sandwich maker to have grilled cheese sandwiches (hard to do with no butter, fortunately the sandwich maker saved the day).  My first big meal after the challenge was done was actually more sour cream pasta with 48 cent noodles not the cheap 29 cent noodles that I got for the challenge.  Like very year it helped me understand a little better the nasty battle that so many face and helps me ask myself is there something else that I can do so that others won't have to live below the line.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Eesti laul

This post is a few months late but better late than ever!  Estonia has a great song picked out for Eurovision and the competition to choose that song was intense! I don't remember an Eesti laul with this many incredible songs. Well done Estonia!  Here are some of our favorites:

Our favorite was Kerli's spirit animal.  This got second and I couldn't help but feel that this was a missed opportunity.  To have a super start like Kerli with a winner waiting to represent your country? How do you not take that and run with it? Anyway, thank you Kerli!



The winner was Koit and Laura, a solid song.  It has a bit of slavic flair to it, I think it will do well with countries from the East.  It was also great to see Koit reclaim his status as the king of pop.  Ott Lepland is a good singer, Jüri Potsman has potential but there is only one Koit.  The hair, the voice.  I can't wait until May because it's Koit time!



Adriane had a great song, she did better than some expected.  The song is a bit boring but becareful because if you decide to listen to it a second time it might turn into 10 times, very catchy song.





This song was awesome but made me feel old somehow.  This had the spirit of a bunch of 20 year olds and I'm in my 30's.  I'd never be able to pull off the tennis shoe look, even though it should come naturally for an American.



Rasmus got third and had a really good song.  He is pure and rock and roll.  I thought about trying to get a hair cut like him but then I realized that there was no point in trying, it would take a lot more than a hair cut to bring out the Rasmus in me. 



Liis Lemaslu is a total super star, fantastic song.  When discussing death and the afterlife people often note that it will be Peter at the gate of heaven, I hope it's Liis Lemsalu singing this song.  What could be better right?



Ivo Linna is a national treasure.  Put this song on your play list, it will always make you happy if you need a good pick me up.



Hey Kiddo was an awesome song but it didn't make it to the finals.  I guess it was a bit too much for Estonians, but I love it.



I have no idea what this was but it was pure Eurovision.  There is something almost immoral to not vote for the essence of Eurovision.