Foraging in Denmark

Dear Optimists,

In Denmark, Nadia has been spending some time on learning how to make sour dough, which is fun for everyone (especially watching it rise).

She is also making food from things she and her family find outside. Imagine that, optimists? Foraging in 2020! These times have created such a unique opportunity to try new things with the family (or whomever you are stuck inside with!)

Nadia’s kids are now showing interest as well. They search for dandelion leaves, nettles (small plants high in vitamins), and more.

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Den wasn’t sure what nettles were or how to use them, so Nadia told him.

“They’re a certain type of plant. They sting so you have to be careful. It’s the new shoots of nettles that are good to eat. Collect, wash, dry and put them in the freezer. Smash them up and put it in your dough. Boom. Vitamins galore.”

Sounds like fun! But with Den’s luck he would collect poison ivy by accident.

Love,

Nadia & Den

Facetime is the New Playdate

Dear Optimists,
My daughter misses school. Who wouldn’t?
She’s been a little down with only mommy and daddy to play with. We have fun, of course, but let’s face it…we aren’t kids.
Facetime has become her new playdate. She talks to her friends, showing them all of her toys. She tells her cousins what she did today. She learns short lessons from her grandparents and great aunt, who are just trying to give me a nice, quiet 20 minute break.
Untitled-Artwork-2.pngAre you using FaceTime or Zoom or something else to have chats? I hope so. Everyone needs to have some sort of human interaction.
You can always start a comment conversation with us. We would like that. And we would definitely respond.
Love,
Den & Nadia

Bear Hunting

Dear Optimists,

This week, my neighborhood is doing something nice for the kids.

People are putting teddy bears in the windows. Why, you may ask?

Well, with all that has happened, people are walking around the neighborhood much more. We walk during breaks, or on nice days, or just to get our kids (or ourselves) out to move around a bit.

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Someone had the brilliant idea to start a trend; put a bear in a window that can be viewed from the street…then take the kids out to look for the teddy bears.

It’s called a BEAR HUNT! And it’s fantastic.

Love,

Den and Nadia

P.S. Nadia says in Denmark they are doing something similar with rainbows. Is anything like this happening where you live? Let us know in the comments!

If you miss us, dear optimists…

we apologize! We were finding it a bit tough to come up with content, what with the craziness of life and all. But if you miss us, here are some things to check out that Den has been up to:

Den’s blog, of course. Some of you probably already follow it, but just in case, he writes on there sometimes, and of course most of his stories are at least a little optimistic.

Children’s Literature: Den has been writing and self-publishing some kid’s books with his time off from D.O. He has been lucky enough to work with some TERRIFIC artists and has learned to create ebooks with some diligence. Here is some info on them:

A Day in the Dumps: the story of Joey, whose favorite toy is thrown out and his mom takes him on a quest to find the dump and locate the toy. It’s a nice bonding experience for mother and son, and Joey also learns of the importance of recycling. Artwork by Monica Minski. Available on Kindle and in the iTunes bookstore.

 

The Princess of the Land of Black: Princess Onyx is tired of her father, the king’s refusal to use anything that isn’t the color black. She knows there must be more out there, so leaves her father’s kingdom on a quest to learn about the world. Artwork by Lyndsaye Greke. Available on Kindle.

 

 

Even if you don’t have kids, they are fun reads. Or maybe you could recommend them to others! Either way, Den misses all of you and hopes everyone is well.

Today

Dear Optimists,

There’s nothing like defeating a video game, right? I just beat all of the zombies in Rebuild 2, an online game I happen to love. I saved 99 people and defeated every zombie in the town to make it safe.

I’m a hero.

What did YOU accomplish today?

Love,
Den
P.S. In case you missed it, this post was seething with sarcasm.

EBooks? EBooks!

Dear Optimists,

I don’t love Kindle, Nook or anything else. For me, an English major, my love of the novel, the feel of the paper and turning of the page itself are all romantic in some way. Sure I love playing games on my iPad, and using programs on it, but I just can’t bring myself to read on one.

As much as I don’t love e-readers, I found one wonderful use for them. It’s easier to carry one around than a book when you’re reading a Stephen King novel. πŸ˜‰


Love,
Den

Early Work Day

Dear Optimists,
I love when my work day starts early. Is that gross to you? Disgusting? Unfathomable? Well, shut up because I like it.

This semester on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I have an 8AM class. Yes, it hurts to get up. Yes, I have to plan ahead and try to fall asleep early.

But it’s so wonderful to get out of work and still have so much of the day.

Love,
Den

P.S. I love that Nadia actually captured what I’m like in the morning with one of my favorite things to say to people in the morning πŸ™‚

An Odd Thing to See in a Car

Dear Optimists,

Driving home from the mall (yes the same mall trip I wrote about yesterday) I looked in the car next to us and it was full of old people.

No, that’s not the funny part. The funny part was that in the back seat a little old lady was sitting on another old lady’s lap. The look on her face was one of misery. Although the one on bottom was laughing.

Hilarious.

Love,
Den

Male Bonding

A story about our encounter with a father and son bonding over my favorite thing in the world: Legos.

Dear Optimists,

If you read this blog at all, you already know I have a bit of an affinity – oh heck let’s call it what it is – an obsession with Legos. Well, this past weekend I had a $20 gift card to Toys-R-Us and wanted the cool Creator Log Cabin and was in the aisle looking for it when I saw a father/son by the little bagged figures. Do you know them? They’re in a bag and you have no idea which one you get. It’s fun and I definitely buy them when I see them on sale.


So I walk into the aisle and this father and his son have about twenty of the bags laid out on a shelf. I quickly figure out they’re going for the Feel the bag and guess which one is in it theory (which seldom works…I was trying to get the monkey trainer for the longest time but apparently the girl-hair part feels like a monkey), so Elle and I joined them. I wanted her to see the new series (she pretends to care because she loves me).

I said to Elle, “I really want the robot.” The little kid, who had thick glasses, looked up. The dad laughed. “That’s the one we’re trying to get!” “I can understand that…it’s the best one.” “We also want the leprechaun” the kid said to me. We had a little talk with them and I admitted it took luck to get the monkey trainer (yes, I did finally get it) and we had a nice talk with the kid and his dad. It really warms my heart, seeing a moment like this. The dad and son, working together and chasing down these toys, it’s one of those memories the kid will have forever. I hope to be that dad someday.

They ended up in line behind us as I was buying the log cabin (yup! got it!) and as we walked to our car I heard a voice say “Excuse me!” from the van next to our car. I look over and it’s the kid in the back seat.

“We got the robot!” he yelled. His dad and I both laughed, and I said “That’s awesome. I’m jealous now!”

What a trip to the toy store, huh?

Love,
Den