Improbable Phrases

Who says that?

Vacation Sort of Ate My Brain

I haven’t been keeping up here. I’ll try to fix that.

Ummmm…’s a picture from the Ohio River boat tour we took?



On the List

As a child, we would go camping as a family and my mother had a printed 3 column list that she would set out and we would cross things off as we added them to the car/camper, or if we decided that we would not be taking the item. I remember there being one word in ALL CAPS at the top of each column, but I can’t remember what the three words were.

Yesterday we had a 2+ hour meeting to discuss all primary students’ scores and since I only teach upper primary, I had a lot of free time during the lower primary discussions. So I made my own packing list. 3 columns, as the Lord intended, but different types of items. We didn’t take Indonesian rupiah on trips to Mohican State Park.


Who has horrible printing handwriting? Me! Pick me! Also, I wrote on that page upside down. That right there is the work of a college graduate and a teacher.

I puzzled out which of the three bags I’m taking that things have to be in. And since some things need to be spread across all three bags I have a system of doing the largest bag first and then taking the remaining items down the line. Basically the purse gets the stuff that no one else wants. Poor baby.

The bummer of it is that I could have taken the list home last night and be done today, but I accidentally left it on my desk. So tonight, this is what I’ll be up to. Obviously, some of these things I’m still using until Saturday night, but the vast majority will be put in order this evening. Basically, I hate the act of packing so much that I spent an hour to take all the thinking out of it so that all I’m really doing is following directions. We’ll see if it works. If it does, I might make my own printed 3 column list.

Far, Far Away

Today is May 4th. The Star Wars franchise considers this Star Wars Day because of a pun: “May the Fourth Be With You.” I approve.

I grew up on the original Star Wars movies. My dad had them on VHS and we would watch them every once in a while. I really enjoyed them. I was not as into the newer prequel films that came out while I was in high school and college. I went to see one or two of them in the theaters with my parents. As I recall, there was a lot of…trade agreement stuff? And poorly supported backstory. I have a vague hope for the new sequel trilogy that will start hitting theaters next year. Some of it was squashed by the fact that they seem to have only cast two (2!) women in the entire movie. But I’m willing to try the first one and see. Maybe it won’t be as sexist as it seems. Possibly.

If nothing else, more bad movies can’t take this away from us.

You preach it, Yoda. Preach that nutty space philosophy.


As the semester hurtles to a close in less than 8 weeks, I find myself wishing it would come sooner. I have things I want to do at home. I have things I want to see at home. I have people I want to hang out with at home. I want to be at home.

I remember as a child being almost unable to wait for Christmas. It was so exciting I could barely stand it. Working at an organization in Chicago that refused to give me more than 2 days off at Christmas cured me of that pretty quickly. It became one more scheduling drama. Now, I look forward to summer vacations. In Chicago, I would take a week off. This year I get about 7 weeks off in America. High fives all around.

So why isn’t it here already? Why am I stuck teaching my 5th graders, who always try to talk me into showing them cartoons instead? C’mon summer.

A Photo

So, apparently yesterday was Sibling Day. I had no idea there was such a thing.

I submit the following in recognition of this. We really like fish, apparently. Also, we need to take a better picture, this is the most recent one I could find with both of us in it.


Chicken, Indonesian Style

I find that I miss American food most during the last quarter of the school year. Last year was the same. Being able to make proper enchiladas, being able to try recipes like sweet potato and black bean burgers, being able to drink milk and enjoy it, I miss all these things.

I don’t want you to think I hate Indonesian cuisine. I don’t. Last time I was home, we made Indonesian Satay Ayam, and I really enjoyed that. Satay Ayam, Nasi Kuning, Nasi Goreng Ayam, and Kerupuk are all things that I do legitimately enjoy. Here’s the recipe from that we used last June. We used regular oil instead of peanut oil. I didn’t notice the difference.

Hopefully it will get warm enough over there at some point soon for you all to be able to use a grill. Sorry about all that snow and cold.


Indonesian Satay
Submitted By: Estherlita Suryoputro

Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour
Servings: 6

3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 pinch ground cumin
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast
halves – cubed
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup water
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1. In a bowl, mix soy sauce, tomato sauce, peanut oil, garlic, black pepper, and cumin. Place chicken into the mixture, and stir to coat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes, but not overnight. This will make the meat too dark.
2. Preheat the grill for high heat.
3. Heat vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat, and saute garlic until lightly browned. Mix in water, peanut butter, soy sauce, and sugar. Cook and stir until well blended. Remove from heat, mix in lemon juice, and set aside.
4. Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill skewers about 5 minutes per side, until chicken juices run clear. Serve with the peanut sauce.