Friday, August 29, 2003

Last year we received a pie from Rich. He and Holly and Ruth and Corm were out at El Rancho, and that morning Rich rode up to the mountains and came home with baked goods, including an apple boysenberry pie. It sat on our counter in the classic tempting, white pie box. It was Alex who could no longer contain his pie passion, and when he begged incessantly, I finally consented, "One slice."

He entered the kitchen singing, and giddy with pie joy. He set out his plate, poured a glass of milk, and sliced a generous single serving. What followed was a sound of mournful shock, then gagging dismay. Being too tired to sympathize, I barked "What? What is wrong?" Truthfully, it was probably a bit shrill; the sound mothers make at malls, when they forget they can be heard. And to my ears he answered too pathetically that the pie tasted salty. 'Oh brother,' I thought, and 'kids these days.'

"The pie is fine." And I proved my point by taking his fork and scooping a good size bite in to my mouth. The fruit was oozing and sweet. Locally grown apples and fresh boysenberries, stuffed under a flakey pie crust. The pie crust was golden and sprinkled across the top with...gag...agghh salt! Generous crystals of savory salt had been dashed across this beautiful pie. Alex and I invited everyone to come try the pie, and we warned them, "It's salty." We excavated the fruit filling, and laughed.

In the mountains, in the popular little bakery they were not sure how many of the salted pies had been sold. Bakers are up very early, and I suppose they are sometimes not fully awake. This particular baker, with only one eye open I think, brought down the can of salt instead of sugar and baptized several racks of pies before realizing her error. They were very apologetic over the phone and two days later we received a gift certificate for a free pie. The coupon expires on Sunday. We need to drive to the mountains, and get our pie.

Sometimes life is more interesting when we get salt instead of sugar. I thought I would finally be going to the mountains last weekend, on the driving tour we won at an auction. Dirk called the night before to confess a little mishap that had occurred. I thought maybe someone had barfed in the Ferrari, but it was something else, and the trip would have to be postponed, again. We'll get another pie, one year later, and someday I will ride to the mountains with Dirk and talk about interesting things and appreciate that life is good. Savory or sweet, it's still good.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Who's Fishy?

He's the beautiful blue betta fish that we gave to Max for his birthday. He lives in a bowl with pebbles and fresh water, on the counter by the kitchen table. We take turns for the honor of feeding him. Max named him Fishy.

What's epoxy?

Well now, that's a more difficult question to answer. Epoxy is a chemical compound, and this particular compound was formulated to adhere to the concrete floor of our garage. It hides stains and makes the garage look uber-special.

Why uber-special?

Uber-special is the way you want your garage, and indeed all your property, to look when you've decided to pack your saddle bags, pull up stakes and mosey out of town, which is my Rancho way of saying we are moving. Of course, before we can move we need to sell El Rancho, so now that it's been sufficiently spruced up we are putting up a sign and having an open house.

That fast?

It's not as sudden as you might think, and it certainly isn't an easy choice to make. This is a wonderful home, with many comforts to enjoy. I will miss the quiet and the view, the friendly neighbors, and the fruits of our labors. The time has come to try something new; maybe on a smaller scale, or in a new climate.

Are you sighing?

Ya. Sometimes I sigh, because I feel tired from all the work. Sometimes I sigh, because I feel emotionally overwhelmed. We are facing big changes, and it's sort of like working without a net...but that's not entirely true. We have a great safety net: our love, our faith, our friends and family, and our willingness to seek out possibilities and fulfill dreams.

Well, what's on for today?

I need to get to the nursery, and bring home plants to fill in bald spots in the yard. I also need to continue clearing clutter, fine tuning dusty corners and smudges, and maintaining a sparkling, showcase home, while still feeding and caring for three boys, three cats, three chicas and Fishy.

Monday, August 25, 2003

I think today I am Blogging just as an excuse to sit down. It's hot, and it is humid and also very hot. If I repeat myself it is likely the heat. Please excuse me.

Our weekend was very full, and as fulfilling. Friday night's MNO and collective birthday party was very fun. We enjoy each other's company too much for it ever to be a strain or effort. Invite us, serve some wine, light some candles...we'll do the rest. We laughed all night, and ate, and swam. B had the last laugh; when we thought we were surprising her on her birthday she came with gifts for all of us. Actually we all brought presents so we could play a game of exchanging and stealing. We all went home with something special for our birthdays. It seems like we all managed to leave with something we could really use, like a book titled "My Teen is Crazy," or that we really wanted, like a pedicure gift certificate. Looking at my feet in the picture below, I think I should have stolen the gift certificate!

Belinda bought us all slippers and flip-flops!

Saturday night, family came to see the Tilili slide show that I made from the reunion. We also swam and shared dinner. It was a relaxed evening, and they contributed a wonderful salad, and quite possibly the best ever chocolate chip cookies (I could be more certain about that judgment, but I'd have to have another sample.) Cristina, my sister, finally persuaded me to drag out my four boxes of neglected beads. They really were in a pitiful state. She couldn't resist organizing them for me, and I promised to keep them sorted and tidy until they can be put in to baggies. She went way beyond the call of duty, and I am grateful.

By Sunday I realized that I had all the makings for chile rellenos, and those always taste better when shared. I called Anne and Dave, Adam and Jacob, and they obliged us by coming to swim, and eat rellenos and beans, and papaya with lime. Mmmmmm. The pool felt wonderful in the early evening. Dave brought his camera, which is like ours. He uses the movie feature on the camera, and now I want to play with it too. I fully expect him to keep learning all about our camera, so he can pass his vast wealth of knowledge on to me.

Apart from all our fun with family and friends we are continuing to apply our sweat and imagination to our Rancho. We have always wanted a fountain to fill in the space at the entry, and we finally chose one, and bought it, and installed it. And the garage is completely organized and painted. The bright white walls, and all the clear corners should go a long way toward keeping down the black widow population.

Now I feel too hot even for sitting. Maybe we should watch the movie Ice Age or just get in the car and drive to the Oregon Coast, where my mother says Fall weather has already returned...