Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Zelia really loves shabbat so much. When we make hallah on Fridays I sing Hayom yom shishi and now she begins to sing it during the day. When she sees a candle or matches, the hallah cover, or the kiddush cup she says einu (from eloheinu)...I love it.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Rosh Hashanah 5770

On Friday we baked and prepared, cut up apples and made honey cookies and hosted Gisli, Gerdur, Tomas, Max, Tray and Debbie for Rosh Hashanah. Although Jacob and I were missing our families and being able to go to synagogue it felt really nice knowing that we had Gerdur, Gisli, Tomas and Tray for the hag last year - our tradition. Gisli joked that they were practically Jewish at this point:) What an amazing family! the hallot were great and the matzah ball soup delicious.

We decided that we would have a quiet family day for Yom Kippur and then have Max over for breaking the fast. Again, this is the oddest day without a synagogue but we will do what we can.

A Year has passed

Last weekend I organized the students and we headed to Betty's farm to hep her gather in the sheep. That was the first thing we did when we got here a year ago with Ima. This year, however, the weather was calm and even sunny at times - unlike last year's snowy pass and rain. I still stayed at the house with Zelia, which I fee sort of sad about. Jacob and 3 others went up into a bowl and around a mountain, others were driven further up or out to begin the round up. You would thinks dogs would help, but apparently not:) I was told there were 4 on horseback but they didn't bring them all the way in. It was a successful day and it was pretty neat standing outside in the field and all of a sudden seeing the sheep come in from 4 directions with groups of black specs (people) behind them converging on the sheep house. I got to do a few sprints running to ward off a sheep or two, sadly my attempts were unsuccessful but it felt so good to run like that.

We all headed into one of the farm houses for soup, bread, cheese, veggies and fruit. A well deserved lunch.

I hope we are able to bring the next crop of students there next year...

Here are also some pictures from Shabbat dinner the night before with Tray and some other random shots of Zelia playing.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I think we live the perfect life

What a weekend, really it was fabulous. On Friday we had Tray over for a Shabbat dinner, fresh Hallah, roasted pepper soup, spelt pasta and fresh plaice. Topped off with chocolate banana bread. Oh, we had ALL these peppers, so I roasted the rest and have pickled them!

On Saturday morning we had a slow wake-up and eventually headed to the garden with Aristou (new student) and dug up our new potatoes, pulled the rest of the turnips (delicious roasted with olive oil and salt) and found more rhubarb. We cleaned up at home and then headed to Gerður´s store for music time which had over 20 people. Then back home for Zelia´s short nap, some food and then in the car to the waterfall. We picked more blueberries and Tray, Jacob and Aristou looked for mushrooms - saw some bright red one, they looked fake and NOT edible:) Then we headed to the sand beach in Holt. By the time we got there, unfortunately, the sun was gone and it began to sprinkle. We tried fishing on the end of the wooden pier but no luck, so we headed to Flateyri and got a few fish for dinner. Once Zelia was in bed, Jacob made another loaf of the banana bread and a huge batch of rhubarb jam.

On Sunday we had another slow wake up with halla french toast. I made blueberry jam from the last of the berries and Zelia enjoyed two bowls, full of fresh berries. We headed out walking to try and find a car to walk to Bonus. The wind was blowing pretty hard and still is, but it´s a nice wind actually, warm and balmy. We ended up on the pier fishing some more and Jacob caught several cod! We borrowed Gisli and Gerður´s car, went to Bonus and ended up at their house for coffee and chocolate banana bread and with a delivery of mushrooms, pickled peppers and jam! We, of course, invited them for dinner.

Before Tanja left she gave us a Chinese home cooking lesson and we decide it was time for us to give it a go. So we did! Roasted eggplant with red onion, ginger, garlic and coconut milk and then my favorite savory egg custard with mushrooms and shrimp. Jacob also used cod to make an orange fish which was delicious. Thank you Tanja!!!! These will remain in our repertoire, simple and good.

This morning Jacob and I took Zelia to the doctor´s for her 18 month check-up and her MMR vaccine. She was NOT happy to have her clothes off at all! Everyone there is SO nice though. Then we took her to school, got her rain pants on, and off she went with the rest of the kids and Bryndis one of her favorite teachers. It was so sweet. Jacob and I walked to work together. I have to ask, does it get better than this????

Now, it is time to think about and prepare for Rosh Hashanah.

Friday, September 11, 2009

rugbrauð supa!

On Wednesday night Gerður and Gísli invited us for dinner, for a real Icelandic meal and it was AMAZING!

Gerður made her fiskibollur, fishballs, not too unlike gefilte fish, but eaten warm and golden brown. For salad, she finely grated raw carrots and rutabaga and it was SO good. Of course we also had boiled potatoes and butter. Then to top it off we rye bread soup for dessert. They make this delicious sweet rye bread here that we love and apparently they also make a soup from it. Cook the bread in water, with lemon juice, raisins and prunes, and then top with whipped cream - wow, delicious! It reminded me of Indian corn pudding and Saba Tom.

Yoga, Pilates and more

Well, I am happy to report that both my yoga and pilates classes have taken off successfully. Yoga at the University Centre has been filling up with about 13 people there at a time. It´s nice to have a small class but also really nice to see a full room.

On Tuesday I began teaching Pilates again, now at Martha´s studio. 11 people came on Tuesday and I was curious to see how many would return on Thursday. I arrived a little early and started putting out mats and kept putting them out and putting them out until they were all gone. I had about 20 students!!!!! We were packed in and it was a blast. We laughed and worked hard and had a good time. It is nice to feel like I am doing something people appreciate.

This good feeling was the icing on the cake because earlier that day I was told by a woman in the building that I will be missed when we go... I needed to hear that:)

I have also been getting a few editing jobs on the side which has been nice. Now I feel no guilt at wanting to buy the really nice yarn for a new dress!!! hehehe

All in all I had such a nice feeling of being part of this amazing place and I am grateful for that.

After getting Zelia today we will head home and make the hallah, we have been missing doing Shabbat and need to re-commit. So Tray will join us. It is no small thing that Zelia knows what hallah is and asks for it:) In this wonderful place that is perfect in so many way, we deeply miss being part of a Jewish community.

Tomorrow morning we will head to Heitt Á Prjonunum, Gerður´s store for music time.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Checking in

Well, I am happy to say that Jacob will be home tomorrow - 2 weeks is just TOO much...ugh. i won't say that it was the happiest weeks I have had since being here but that's how it goes I suppose. Al last year's students have left and the new batch has come in - 20 of them from all over, Finland, France, England, Germany, USA, Canada, Mauritius, Iran (on the way), Germany, Wales...I think that covers it. They are at the moment all congregating next door for an apartment hop...thank god for Jamie saying they had to be the first:)

Before Danielle left we got to go to Betty's for a visit. Zelia and i had not been since last fall when we went to gather the sheep - we will return for that in 2 weeks. Here are a few pictures from that, it was a cold, gray windy day, but the beach is always beautiful.

This will just be a random update entry I think....Zelia has been doing great in leikskola (playschool) and had one drop off this week without tears - just in time:) She is earning a lot more Icelandic but she doesn't usually use it with me, but I heard some words in school on Friday. She seems to like being there and especially likes her teachers, Haldora, Bryndis and Valdys and she really likes two little girls Sofia and Arna. Her friend Alexander began there as well and here are some pictures with him from playing in the park today - it was SO cute. She is learning SO many new words and I am trying to keep up with them in a book...and she is putting words together, like kiseh Ima (chair Ima) auto Daddy...we were sitting on the swings today and talking and all of a sudden she said Aba - Daddy, yay, so cute. I love when she knows she knows many words for one.

I am currently working on two sweaters, one for me and one for Zelia and finally found a dress that I want to make - but it's crochet so time to learn something new!