Sunday, May 13, 2012

Astral Toads and Crock Pot Miracles

"Praise the Lord for small miracles," is what my grandmother used to always say when something tiny but critical would go right for her.  Today that small miracle is that the crock pot, hidden away in the garage for countless years, still works.  My husband and I both have very late days Monday - Wednesday and I didn't want my mother to be stuck with toddler care and dinner preparation for three days running.  The obvious solution was to throw ingredients into the crock pot and let the cooking miracle happen without her having to be involved.  I selected three crock pot recipes for dinner this week and I'm hoping that this will be just the thing to solve the who's going to cook dinner problem.

I allotted myself points for one or one and a half servings of dinner this week.  I've never been one to really junk up too much on unhealthy foods, but I have a habit of eating too much.  My portion sizes have been way out of control and I'm quick to go back for seconds, and even thirds.  Old habits die hard, so I figure I can give myself the option of getting a second half-portion if I feel the need.  That will satisfy my internal desire to get more food once my plate is empty.  (Well, that is the plan anyway.)

On the Portuguese front, I am making good progress with my reading comprehension and I found a station that streams Brazilian television online too.  It is in the links section to the right, if you are interested.  My listening comprehension is very bad right now.  I catch a few words here and there and I might have and idea of the topic being discussed, but I am not getting any of the specifics. 

I went to the Aprender Português page and clicked on the Nivel Inicial link (beginner level).  This took me to pequenos textos - small texts.  The first couple of activities were easy as pie and I was feeling quite good about myself until I hit the grammar section.  "Complete the following by supplying the imperative form of the following verbs," they said, as if that had somehow been covered in the little reading about horoscopes I had just done.  The imperative forms?, I'm thinking.  Okay, let's see if this is anything like Spanish . . . .  The answer, as it often is when comparing Spanish and Portuguese is yes and no.  The subjunctive endings are used for imperatives and are similar to those in Spanish.  The next activity asked me to supply the future indicative and again I had to scratch my head and wonder how they figured I was supposed to get that from the little text I had just read but, I am a linguist so I forged ahead.  It seems the 3rd person singular ending is á and the plural ending is ão (both attached to the infinitive, as in Spanish).  It took me a couple of times, but I have it down now.

 But the real fun was in an external link to a Portuguese language astrology site.  I enjoy horoscopes even though I don't put much credence into them - they are fun.  Horoscopes are especially fun in Portuguese because I get to practice language and look into the future all at the same time.  And, the name of the website is Sapo Astral - which I translate as "Astral Toad."  Seriously, who could not love getting their future from the Portuguese-speaking Astral Toad?

Life is good!

Next time you will see less of me,



  1. As to portion size, I have read that if you get smaller plates it helps. According to my reading, smaller plates satisfy the psychological need for a full portion while allowing the actual portion size to be smaller. Let me know if you decide to try it.

  2. Becki - I have heard that too but in my case it would necessitate me getting smaller plates. And though I would love a trip to Pier 1 for new dishes (would really love that), it's not in the budget at this time. Soon . . . ~hugs~ --Anne