Monthly Archives: June 2011

Saturday Tid Bits

Thanks for bearing with the non-photo phase of this blog. I now have photos and will share them soon – for sure! I want to tell you so many things, but do not have time to write them all down right now, so today you get ‘tid bits’. Bits of many stories that all involve our adventurous life here.

It is a cloudy morning after a cool, rainy night. It’s probably only down to 68 degrees, but I pulled out the fleece. We all woke up slowly (perfect for a Saturday anyway). You know something is up when your 4-year-old begs for chai. After 5 years in Kenya, we became rather accustomed to chai, and Anna learned how to ask for it before she was 2 years old. So Chai it is.

Monkey Business
We have some gorgeous fruit ripening on the trees right now. Our loquat tree is full. Our avocado trees drop beautiful fruit with each and every puff of wind. They hit the tin roof with a boom-shak-a-lack-a and then BUFF! onto the grass. Kent and kids LOVE mangoes and eat them with every meal during mango season. We have two trees. The one in the front yard gives a stringy, tough variety that is better used for juicing. (Local kids will pick them and rub them on a rock or tree trunk to release the inner juice from the fibers, then poke a hole and suck the juice out! Practically Tropicana.) But the backyard has the beloved mango tree! It gives wonderful, flavorful mangoes and there are many currently ripening on the tree.

So you can imagine where this is going. Someone in this neighborhood brought three wild monkeys in to sell or have as pets. Then they got loose (or were cut loose?) and now they maraud around eating people’s fruits! There are now only two of them left and I caught them yesterday in Kent’s beloved mango tree each with a mouth FULL of ripe mangoes. Grrr! Let’s just say he’s off to the market this morning to buy a better machete and cut down some of the surrounding trees. We’re hoping that will make it more difficult to reach the beloved fruit. And just for the record, monkeys are not cute or cuddly or fun in real life. FYI.

I have seen some of the horrible images from the mid-west of the damage a tornado can do, and I have to say, it sometimes reminds me of my kids’ rooms. Or the school room depending on the day. Just saying. That’s what Saturdays are for, right?

Life Without Closets
When we first arrived home last month, everything was so clean and empty. We unpacked our bags and still had room left over. Then we hit the storage room. We dug out all our old mess and now it is still laying around (what I did not immediately give away, that is). You see, some of this stuff is just going to take time to sort through. Kids artwork from last year? Extra curricular materials? Craft supplies? It’s the kind of stuff I would put in a closet or the garage until I had time to go through it. But this house was built without closets. Yes, you read that right. Without closets. So for now we have to walk around the occasional stack of dusty boxes. That’s just the way it is. I often joke that if I wrote a book about our life here, I would title it ‘Life Without Closets’. No place to stash and hide things. Hm…

Due to James’ diet changes, I feel like I am learning to cook all over again. Maybe I never really did learn how to cook in the first place… So far, my experiments with the industrial-sized pressure cooker we hauled over here have been tasty. It seems one of the only ways to cook meat that gets tender. Experiments with alternative salads, juicing and flours await me after school is out Friday.

Kent and I have been married 12 years next week, and we still learn things about each other all the time. Amazing. We’ve recently discovered that he thrives on novelty. He loves to try something new and figure out a new puzzle. This works really well here because there is always something new breaking! Today it is chopping trees and fixing our living room sink, which has been emptying into a pot for 3 weeks. On the flip side, I love the things I love (I ate PBJ sandwiches with a glass of milk every day of my 7th grade summer vacation. Every day. Still like them.) So trying new things is really not my favorite. Kent is understanding me on a whole new level with this knowledge. Thus the kitchen adventures I’m trying are a big step for me. When I start to panic, I can just call on my handy novelty man, and he’ll find a way to make anything work!

So looking at the calendar, as with so many of you I’m guessing, it’s the end-of-the-year extravaganza this week. Over here we have our little piano recital Wed., school ‘graduation’ on Friday, a friend’s birthday Sat., Father’s Day Sunday, and Monday I start an important checking session for a few days. Come July we have Joel’s birthday and hopefully some REST! May your summer be restful and refreshing too!