An open letter

Dear Mr. Prime Minister of Spain,
It has been some time since our last written correspondence, but I would like to bring to your attention a couple of items which are of grave importance. I apologize that you have had to wait for these urgent concerns, but I have been quite busy lately. I know you spent many evenings bent over your computer screen, waiting for the notification of a new message from me, but I really must insist that you put more confidence in your own ability to direct the affairs of state without my help at every turn. Nevertheless, I hope these two items will give you something to work on over the next few weeks.
Parking spaces: Why do we have such small parking spaces in Spain? We are not hobbits, nor do we drive vehicles built for hobbits. Why then must all parking spaces be sized slightly smaller than a refrigerator box? Everyone else’s paint job will thank you if you widen them for me.
Bathroom lighting: Why do we insist on placing the light switches on the outside of the bathroom doors? We have junior highers here, right? Is there some back story behind why we can wait to turn on the light once inside the room for every other room in the home, except for the bathroom? Is there a safety hazard with allowing the occupant to be in control of the illumination?

And while we are at it, is it really necessary to set the automatic lights in public restrooms to under 5 seconds? I don’t know anyone who is in and out of the restroom in the amount of time given. I would have to argue that staggering around in the dark, running your hands over the bathroom walls looking for the activation sensor, is not necessarily hygienic. I could be wrong, but there is a possibility it would be frowned upon by the World Health Organization. Just a thought.
I trust your family is doing well you were able to resolve the issue with your cat and the neighbor’s parakeet. I completely agree that sometimes these things just escalate. Hopefully this next week will have fewer “complications!”
Your friend,


Driving School

One of the joys of living abroad in Spain is the opportunity to brush up on my driving knowledge and skills. Here in Spain they require that those from the USA start at ground zero in their driving endeavors, which means back to the books.
In order to receive a Spanish drivers license one must first pass a theory test and then a practical test. The tests are separated by at least a week, and you have 3 opportunities to pass the two tests until you fork over another large sum of money.
My inner tightwad encouraged me to study in order not to have to pay more than necessary, so study I did.
Along with reading the driving manual as though my life depended upon it, I also took approximately 100 practice tests. A practice test is made up of 30 questions from any topic in the driving manual, of which you must get at least 27 of them correct in order to pass.
Because of the sneaky way the questions are asked on the exam, others encouraged me to take the test in English.
While the official test was translated well, the practice tests were “questionable.” Here are some of my favorites:

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Very important in case Thor or Loki is riding with you.

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I hate it when I brokes down!

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I get to a point when my eyes burst out fatigue, and let me tell you…

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I thought so hard about what this question could be asking I may have gotten a nosebleed.

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Always, always, the rider of a motorcycle must riding wit free exhaust pipe. How many times do I have to tell you!

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If my car is ticking over too loud, I get upset.

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The right answer should always include extreming precaution.


Can anyone offer any suggestions on how to keep Elli, Tanzen’s stuffed elephant, from talking during nap time? Tanzen tells us that Elli keeps talking to her and keeping her up, even after Tanzen shushes her.

I have little to no experience with reasoning with stuffed elephants who refuse to stop talking, so any recommendations would be helpful.


The 25 Funniest Analogies (Collected by High School English Teachers)


I came across this post the other day while reading through my blog reader. Pretty funny! It is worth reading through.

Some of my favorites include:
– The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.
–  Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
– John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
– He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

Concerning the Leprechaun in our Freezer

I think we have a leprechaun in our freezer. No, not a toy, a picture, or some strange new food, but a real, live little man with a green hat. You know, a leprechaun. I think that he lives in our freezer and throws ice at the door. 
I am not sure why he lives in there. Perhaps he can’t get out. I try to make my visits to the freezer short simply because I wonder if he is going to jump out. Keeping a leprechaun in the freezer is a little scary, but not nearly as scary as if he got out! Or maybe he wants to get out, but every time the door opens he sees a scary giant reaching its hand in to grab him, so he hides behind the frozen chicken. 
I suppose he throws ice at the door because he is angry. If I was stuck in a freezer, I would be angry as well. I am glad he throws ice instead of frozen peas. I can’t stand the thought of frozen peas.
How do I know that he throws ice? I can hear him. It isn’t just me, Crystal hears him too. If you come over and hang out at our place, you will probably hear him as well. We are normally sitting and eating, or reading in our living room, or just talking when we hear the pop, pop, pop in our freezer. I don’t think it is because of what we are saying, because he probably can’t hear much behind the door. (I don’t really know though because I have never sat inside an operating kitchen appliance.)
Some try to reason themselves out of thinking that it can’t be a leprechaun, but merely the cracking and popping of ice as it expands. Those people are merely scared of reality. They are the same ones who say that a thunderstorm is caused by a warm air front and a cold air front colliding. The warm front rises and then cools, causing the moisture to condense and fall with a lot of static electricity being discharged in the air. Scared is what they are. I think that happens when the Maker has sent the Messenger of Rain. As he hurls the rain and the lightning the cold and warm air reacts appropriately.
I have also heard them talk about slipping tectonic plates when trying to explain what happens when Old Man Earth is groaning and shaking. They talk about orbits and rotation when trying to explain the Sun’s daily walk through the sky. They have all types of ways to explain volcanoes erupting, hail falling, waves crashing on the shore, and birds flying south. Scared is what they are. Scared because you can rationalize a warm air front and a tectonic plate and a lunar eclipse, but not the messengers of the Maker.
If you ever come over, maybe you will hear our leprechaun. I have been trying to make friends with him, but apparently he doesn’t like ice cream or guacamole. Not sure where to go from here.
By the way, have I told you about the manatee in our faucet? Maybe another time.