Category Archives: Observation of the Day

Oh, Tannenbaum!

I put up my Christmas tree tonight.  I didn’t get around to it last year, but this year, I had time this weekend, and with the snowy weather today and not much else on my to-do list, I felt motivated to get the tree and decorations out of the storage unit downstairs and put them all up.  🙂

I normally enjoy decorating my Christmas tree, but partway through decorating it this evening, a wave of sadness passed over me.  Many happy memories of decorating the tree with Mom and Dad, and of many Christmas road trips to visit family in other states flooded back.  Normally, that would be happy, right?  But, at that moment, all I could think about was how Dad wouldn’t be part of any future memories and that I was halfway around the world from Mom.  Most days, I’m fine.  Even though he often crosses my mind, most of the time, I don’t get too sad anymore when I think of Dad.  And, modern technology is such that I can stay in close contact with Mom, and we’ve seen each other twice in the last six months.  So, most days, that’s not that hard either.  But, sometimes, it hits you like a ton of bricks.  Or a Christmas tree.

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Filed under Cancer, Christmas, Family, Frankfurt, FS Life, Funeral, Germany, Holidays, Home, Homesick, Observation of the Day, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Snow, Technology, Texas, Texpat, Winter

Pumpkin Spice Madness!

Is it just me, or has the United States gone nuts with pumpkin spice EVERYTHING?  In Juarez, I did most of my grocery shopping in El Paso and in Ottawa I did most of my grocery shopping there, but did go down to shop in upstate New York from time to time.  And, even though I did most of my Ottawa grocery shopping in Ottawa, Canadian grocery stores aren’t that different than U.S. grocery stores.  So, I haven’t really felt disconnected from the American shopping experience.

However, one of the things that really stands out to me now that I’m back in DC and doing all of my grocery shopping here is the proliferation of pumpkin spice everything.  I’m familiar with and enjoy Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice drinks and have seen other pumpkin spice foods, but this year it seems like I can’t walk two feet in the grocery store without encountering something else pumpkin spice.  Thus far, I’ve seen pumpkin spice flavored cookies, M&Ms, PopTarts, coffee, coffee creamer, tea, yogurt, ice cream, peanut butter, and goodness knows what all else.  It’s everywhere!

So, is it just me or have the grocery stores gone especially pumpkin spice crazy this year?

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Filed under Autumn, FSI, Observation of the Day, Shopping, Washington DC

Stronger Beer

I heard this country song about the differences between Canada and the United States on the radio today and it made me laugh, so I figured it was worth a share. 🙂

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Filed under Canada, Observation of the Day, Ottawa

Observation of the day

Seeing six trucks of Policia Federal officers driving down the street is intimidating.  Seeing a bunch of them eating fudgsicles while as they pass by is slightly less intimidating. 🙂

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Filed under Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Observation of the Day