Friday, August 08, 2003


Early this morning I was up and writing about myself and mediocrity. After uncovering stashes of college papers I was forced to conclude that I was a mediocre student. At least I performed mediocre work. I doubt that it was a reflection of my actual intelligence (would I admit to that?) I think I was satisfied to complete assignments and move on. I wrote extensively on all of this, but it was too insightful and brilliant and gave me the feeling of walking through Target in my underwear, so I will not publish it.


Update on the whole ride to the mountains: The woman representing the PBS auction called yesterday. She was giddy with success. It seems that after several months she has found a car for the drive, and discovered a free day for both parties to participate. In a couple of weeks I will be picked up, not in a Rolls but in an '82 Ferrari, and whisked off for an informative driving tour of our local foothills and mountains. This is a gift to me from Geoff. It was meant to be a funny means of supporting Public Radio, and an opportunity for me to do something wholly unique. Geoff and I shared our joke and enjoyed the laugh, but the rest of it, so far, has only been mildly irritating. The only part of the process that was fast and efficient was when they charged our credit card. Since then it has been like an egg hunt, and I am getting bored with searching; after a long hot Summer things begin to spoil, and the thrill of the prize is less inviting.

Geoff says the Rolls would have been like riding in a glorified Crown Vic., and that a Ferrari is far superior. He added that his was a decidedly male perspective. I can only picture Magnum PI. Which is cool. Wasn't it a Ferrari that he toured around Oahu in, in the 80's? Well, that leaves only two questions in this woman's mind: Color and safety. I guess it will be either red or black. Geoff was sketchy on the topic of safety and concluded that Ferrari does not come up in the top 25% of safe vehicles. Not so good. I am particular about risk.

Tomorrow is the Tilili family reunion. We plan to get there early, since we want space to park our behemoth Green Goose. The reunion is an all day event and not in a good swimming spot, so I think we will need the luxury of our retreat. This will contrast mightily with the get together 2 years ago in Rosarito. I took the boys in the Suburban, and we spent the weekend living in the Big Blue Whale, in the parking lot of a beach motel. Again, the swimming situation was iffy, and our toilet/cold shower facilities were available through the generosity of actual motel guests. We were forced to choose between ventilation and being the live banquet for mosquitos, as we squeezed in for the night in the car. Where was my husband? He missed all the fun and bonding.

I must someday Blog about where all these Tililis come from...Sonora, El is far away. It is far, far away.

If you're going, it helps to have a horse.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

What's happening: I am waiting for the movers to arrive (between 8 and 9:30 a.m.) They are coming for Grandmother's things, like her bed and clothes, some bookcases and her rocking chair. They tried to come earlier this week, but somehow they had the wrong house number and the wrong phone number; after spending 20 minutes on hold for their dispatcher, twice, everything was figured out. We'll see. I am curious to see whether they can maneuver a big truck up our driveway. I hope not, because our driveway has suffered enough heavy traffic.

By the end of the day the room will be nearly empty. Grandma is leaving behind the 2 armoires we lent her, and we already moved all our games and puzzles in to them. Diego goes in there and stares at the walls. I can tell he misses Grandmother, and her slippers, and her Beanie Babies. Max misses the Grandmas; he told me so the other day. He thinks they should visit. Me too.

Other happenings include continued clearing of the garage (it's a big garage,) and caring for Alex, who has an evil virus. He has had fever and chills, and a sore throat. Happily he seems much improved this morning, and no one else seems to be getting the bug. Also, I am mentally preparing for Saturday's annual family reunion- the Tilili side. It is an all day affair, and family comes from both sides (there's a border in the way.) The food will be awesome, the politics perplexing and by the end of the day I will be relaxed and nostalgic, sentimental and homesick for El Valle, Ojo de Agua, riding in pick-ups, singing in the church, and the sounds of Abuela in the kitchen making tortillas.

I may be new to our Rancho, but ranchos are not new to me.
Sonora, Mexico about 1970

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Working title: "Our Garage," or "Another World"

Hey Bill, this one's for you: Do you remember this character? It's some kind of groovy bird puppet, and I think it was yours. Didn't you add ears to make it a wolf? I think it was for an Abraxas puppet show in Spanish class...Poor guy's beak is shredded. I showed it to Max and he callously said, "You are going to throw that away, right?" It takes tremendous resolve and a tender heart to preserve as much as I do.

Geoff brought down the Little Tykes rocking horse from the rafters in the garage. Okay, this one doesn't go back as far as the "Freak Beak," but it's still sentimental. I bought the blue horse from a great resale shop in Richfield, Minnesota. $11. It's lasted for 12 year, or more since it was second hand. Now it's wiped down and clean, and Max and Alex have been riders in the rodeo, racing jockeys.

They insisted I try too. "Come on! It's fun, " they begged.

What else have we got...Geoff's beer can collection, gathered from the finest establishments west of the Great Lakes, three sets of Smash Ball racquets, 4 jump ropes, a vial of green beach sand from Hawaii, three mouse pads, a sled, one cracked maraca, a bag of yellow tent stakes, my 45's, including The Car's "Shake it Up" and Los Tigres del Norte's "Un Dia a la Vez." We also came across Janice's cooler from the day she came with a carrot cake. I guess she left it behind, and once it made its way to the garage there was no telling when it would reappear. We are still finding things of Grandma and Grandpa's. Geoff sampled a bottle of merlot we found in a dark corner. When he asked what I thought of it I gracelessly spit my sip back in to the glass. Nasty. Or maybe "really good" and I just don't know any better.

We aren't ready for final inspection. We won't be giving tours any time soon, but we are beginning to see a difference, and the floor. Geoff brought home a shop vac; that's guy talk for a "honkin' big Hoover." Last night I pulled weeds and dead flowers, while Geoff assembled the new vacuum, and we agreed that we are on the right track. We got rid of fabric and light bulbs, hinges, wire, books, papers, kitchen ware, and clothes...and on and on. We kept the blue rocking horse. We're keeping the kids and the chickens, and our resolve to "use or lose it."

Monday, August 04, 2003

Max's number 5 birthday celebration, perhaps the social event of the entire Summer, and *everyone* was there!

Other guests included good friends like Adam and Jacob, Anne and Dave, cousins Nicholas, James and Jared, and Holly, Rich, Cristina and Spencer. We got together yesterday afternoon to run through Max's list of activities like; swimming, pinata busting, pizza eating, opening presents, and eating cake.

This was a high energy event with happy children making happy noises. Pikachu, a revered but ultimately defeated guest, was fortunate to last through eight children swinging a bat. Nicholas chose to observe the pinata event, but the rest of the children all contributed mightily to Pikachu's undoing. James made a good dent, so did Adam, Jacob busted him open and William swung the fatal blow. Mini Oreos and Gold Fish cracker bags flew everywhere.

The pace was set by Max's whims, so opening presents was next on his list. As a parent, one can only hope that gracious phrases will pass from our dear children's lips. (I would like to take a moment here to offer James my sincerest apology for Max's art critique; he is no less critical of his own work, and may I say? Max could hardly be objective; I found it to be a very good likeness.) Max received many "cool" presents (okay, can I just add that Max told me, quite emphatically, that I "do not know how to be cool." He's so wrong.) After reading his books and sorting his Pokemon cards, he can Slip and Slide across Sponge Bob and in to the pool, and with his light up underwater goggles he will be able to operate his remote control shark, while wearing new swim trunks, after which he can assemble his BIONICLE, while enjoying his motorcycles fleeing the "Imaginext Attack Wagon."

I'll add my "thank you" to Max's; thank you to everyone for coming and playing, for generous gifts, and generous thoughts. We had a great time, and Max did too; he fell asleep blissfully recounting the fun, and how happy he felt that all his friends came.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

All the way from Hawaii came a great poem about Max. I'm shakin' and bakin', busy makin a party for my Max...Tutu Blogs for us today:

Here are some fax about Max

Max likes Legos and books and yogurt and nuts,
Horses and kitties, and tiny geckos and such.
He's a champion gymnast, he jumps and he leaps,
And he likes a good party, with cake, soda and treats.

Max likes to lead, he points left and right,
He's smart and he's strong, he's got brains with his might,
Explorer, mapmaker, what will he be?
Where his talents will lead him we shall see.

Sometimes Max visits Hawaii, that's a fact,
Poppa Corn Man and Tutu really like that.
Happy Birthday to Max, you're five right on time.
Aloha and love, now I must end this rhyme.