Saturday, September 27, 2014


Mac's flag football team had a great outing today against the Cowboys. The Lions scored a late-game touchdown to win the game. 

Then Mac spent 2 hours practicing baseball with a travel team that's "recruited" him to join their team outside of his regular Little League team. 

I'm so proud of that boy. He's smart, athletic, and well-rounded. I think we'll keep him. 


Mac went to our church's junior youth group meeting tonight and loved it. 

I went to a Bogota girls' dinner out and loved it. 

Jimmy went over to see Brasilia friends and loved it. 

"Let there be spaces in our togetherness" from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet


Jimmy and I returned to the rental house today to finish cleaning. 

The day, in photos:

Paper towels, after round one of three of cleaning the heretofore never-before-cleaned oven 

My red eye, after 3 rounds of oven cleaner fumes

Dirty water, after round one of three of mopping the kitchen floor

The shiny, clean floor

What Jimmy pulled out of the clogged bathroom sink

Slimy gunk at the bottom of the fridge

But one example of the damage done by all the smoking inside the house

The exterior of the house has now been pressure washed, and interior painting will begin on Monday. The handyman starts his list of repairs on Wednesday, and the carpet will be cleaned once all the painting and repairs are done. 

And then, the house will once again be ready for rental. 


Tonight Jimmy and I attended a party to celebrate the naturalization of a Brazilian friend who's now an American citizen. 

A little bellyaching is normal and expected, but it drives me nuts to hear Americans seriously complain about the US, the president, foreign policy, domestic policy, the post office, the DMV, the cost of gas, the nerve of the grocery store to reduce the organic produce section, etc, etc. 

Guess what, people?  There's a reason 750,000 citizens of other countries fought hard and waited years to become citizens of the US in 2012.  Whether they're fleeing war or political unrest, escaping atrocities that we can't even begin to imagine, chasing economic freedom, trying to practice their profession, or following the love of their lives (as our friend did), the US is still the land of hope and opportunity, freedom and liberty. 

It was a great celebration tonight for a friend, who, after 20 years with his partner and finally marrying last year in California, was able to realize his dream of becoming an American citizen. 

Hip hip hooray, USA!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Well, hello there Autumn. It's been awhile, but I'm happy to see you again. 

Monday, September 22, 2014


I drove down to the rental house to clean today. 

These people lived like animals. 

Well, not quite like animals, but I'm sure they must have all been sick a lot. 

The evicted tenants have three young children. By young, I mean under 5. Like the youngest was born in January. 

The house smells like you're rolling around in an ashtray.  Like your head's stuffed in a plastic bag full of cigarette smoke. They must have smoked nonstop all the time. Just puffing black grossness into their babies' lungs. Awesome. 

The black tar had to compete with all the dust for lung real estate. Who doesn't at some point dust their ceiling fans (below) or the tops of their window and door frames?!?!?

After I tackled the "easy" dusting, I moved on to the kitchen. The cabinets have never been wiped out, I'm sure. Between loose spaghetti noodles, crushed up crackers and a lot of Toast-Chee peanut cracker bits (below), I could've made myself lunch. 

I tried to clean the wall behind the stove, but none of the products I had with me had sufficient grease-busting capacity. I'm buying a new bottle of something before I return on Thursday, so I can get this wall clean:

I finally gave up and came home when I ran out of Windex and my multipurpose cleaner. Thursday's a new day. 

In the meantime, I've decided if this is how even a fraction of Americans live and manage to stay relatively healthy, we can start eating on my bathroom floor right by the toilet because I know it's cleaner than what I saw today. 


Last night we all went to the fall kickoff of our church's junior youth group, the aptly named Club 6/7 since 6th and 7th graders make up the membership. 

I'm not going to lie. None of us really wanted to go. Jimmy was afraid it would interfere with the Carolina football game (it didn't; we were home about 10 minutes after the game started). Mac was afraid he wouldn't have fun (he did; he left us about 3 minutes after we got in the door and we never saw him again until it was time to go). And I felt like it was pulling teeth to get everybody to agree to go so I was just waiting for both of them to be unhappy (which, of course, they weren't). 

The group meets a couple Friday evenings a month, and the meetings end with a Nerf war that takes place all over the 3-story church complex. 

Today, during the church service, Jimmy caught Mac looking around and scoping out the sanctuary. Totally not paying attention to the preacher. Jimmy correctly guessed that Mac was planning his Nerf war strategy. 

Boys will be boys, church or not.