Monday, June 8, 2015


Today, I heard from Chuck in the morning as he crossed into Mexico at Mexicali.  I haven't hear from him since.  He is making his way down Mexico Highway 5, headed for La Paz, where I am supposed to meet him on Thursday evening.  I know that he is not calling because there is probably no cell reception in that part of Baja California.  Still, I will be relieved when he can contact me again.  I try not to think of him in the dark on the side of a desert highway, struggling to change a broken wheel bearing. Instead, I imagine him peacefully sleeping in some seaside campsite, snoring away on his futon in the back of the van.  I imagine him eating is fill of ceviche and drinking a couple of beers while trying to make conversation with some local guy in San Felipe.  If I did not have a doubt in my mind, this would not be an adventure. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

May Ends in PIctures

The construction project next door has a roof, now.

 Sara and I experimented with making chia seed pudding.  It's simple:  chia seeds soaked in almond milk overnight.  Add cocoa powder, a little honey and a pinch of salt.  That's it!  As Sara is demonstrating in her somewhat overstated fashion, shake before serving.
Add blueberries for extra yumminess.

We experimented with homemade English muffins, too.  They are a piece of cake.  Or they would be, if they weren't muffins.  The trick is to leave the dough rising at room temperature over night.
They mostly cook on a griddle, and just get a finishing-off in the oven.

The results are in, ladies and gentlemen:  they are very tasty; although a little chewy and biscuit-like in the middle.  With some apricot-habanero jam?  Worth eating...three.

 This is my first ever phone selfie!  I am old, I have decided.  As long as I don't look at myself, I can fool myself into believing I'm young.

Tobi in motion

 Had to empty the hot tub.  Sara had a party on Friday night and, let's just say the tub smelled like teen spirit.

Nathan likes to have a mosquito net around his bed.

 Sara and I went on a little adventure today.  In the morning, we were talking about how much she loved to draw horses when she was little.  She practiced and practiced until she was able to draw (what I thought was ) a very good horse, galloping.  I wondered aloud whether I had saved the "personal best" horse picture and we remembered that she is now sixteen!  That means that she can have her Memory Box. I started saving little things in their Memory Boxes from the time they were born, with a mind to letting them have the contents when they turned sixteen.

Sara called her dad, who was not at home, to ask if she could come to the house, and he said yes.  We stopped there on our way to the store.  I waited in the driveway while she went in to get it:  I'm not allowed in the house when Simon is not there.  Except the foyer, I guess.  I generally wait for the kids in the foyer.  However, she came out empty-handed after a few minutes and expressed confusion about whose box was whose.

"Well, I can't go in.  Where is your dad?  What if he comes home?"
"Oh, c'mon, Mom."
"OK.  I think I can sort this out, but we have to be quick."

We booked down to the storage area in the basement, and I saw what had happened:  it looks like I got confused in about 2009 and put some of Nate's things in her box.  I sorted as quickly as I could.  I don't know why I was so afraid of Simon coming home, but I was.  Actually, I do know why:  he and I have not been getting along well lately (too much discussion about touchy subjects like Sara's car insurance and college savings); and I didn't want to put myself in the way of his wrath.  Then, quickly, quickly out of the basement and up to the foyer.  I had just plunked the box down on the hall table when the door opened and Simon walked in.  I flipped the box open and said, "Yes, this is the right one," and then we said good-bye and got out of there, post-haste.  I was shaking all over.  Driving away, my leg was trembling as I pressed the clutch, as if I had just avoided an accident.

By the time we got tot he supermarket, he had texted me.

"Call me, please, when Sara is out of ear-shot."


So, he's mad, either because I was in his house; or he is concerned that there are items in Sara's Memory Box that have value.  There are a few such things:  a little Madame Alexander doll in her original box; a display of English coins minted on her birthday; a couple of little display boxes with sterling baby dishes.  That sort of thing.  Mostly gifts from his parents.

"Mom, just don't call him."

The contents of the box belong to Sara; and no, I'm not worried about the fate of the doll or the coins.  She will box those items back up and store them in her closet until they are moved to another closet and yet another.  Poor little keepsakes:  doomed to a life under wraps.  What she is really enjoying is all the art work, and photos of her with her little friends.

Yes, here we are in the supermarket parking lot, looking at drawings she (and her friends) made when they were little.

"This is my Family"
Clearly, all of us except Nathan were potatoes.

 Chuck has been working all weekend on a construction project in Park City.  He is home in time to get cleaned up and fry taco shells for our party this evening.
Happy Birthday, Darling!
The party...

The aftermath....

The exhausted birthday boy.