Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Happy Birthday Quentin

Fourteen years ago ... Quentin made his grand entrance.  Only a week late, and with no drama.  Of course, his early days were full of drama ... colic for 6 months.  There were times when he was in danger of being chucked out the window.  But we have forgiven him, and he has grown into a really great kid.  He is funny and handsome and full of personality.  I can't wait to see what kind of man he becomes.  Probably a stand-up comic.

We celebrated his day by going to lunch at a local drive-in that has been around for 50+ years.  It has the best cheeseburgers, hands down,  I have ever had.  Of course I had to embarrass him by taking pictures, but that's something genetic; my mother did the same thing to me, so get over it. 

David's new toy arrived today, all the way from Utah.  He bought a 1967 Mustang from a dealer out there, who had arranged to have the car transported to NC.  The trucker who was hauling it unfortunately did not have any papers for his trailer, and was pulled over by Colorado's finest.  Truck and all cars on the hauler were impounded.  Trucking company sent another hauler from Idaho (trucking company home base).  Finally they show up today, trying to get an 18 wheeler into our cul-de-sac.  NOT gonna happen.  So he backs the thing out and I direct him to the clubhouse parking lot.  The two guys are RUSSIAN ... straight from the Black Sea.  No wonder the Colorado Highway Patrolman said something about the Russian mafia.  Let's just hope it's all Russian and no mafia. 

David had a Mustang in college (named Jaws) that he adored, but had to sell it because it became somewhat of a money pit.  All these years he has longed for another Mustang, and finally decided that now was the time.  I drove it for a little bit this afternoon ... it's very rumbly and growly, a true Muscle Car.  It's going to be a blast to run around in Jaws II.


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Hoppy Easter!

<sorry .. that was quite cliche!>

Greetings from the metropolis of Charlotte, NC ... we celebrated Easter in fine form today ... we went to church without yelling at each other, a minor miracle in itself.  After the service I had a hankering for some Olive Garden salad, so off we went.  After lunch we came home and I was a victim of the rack monster for a while.  Then we dyed easter eggs and had an egg hunt in the back yard.  I just bought a DVD of "Beauty and the Beast" (my favorite Disney cartoon of all time) so we watched that.  Then we had a traditional Easter dinner of ... PIZZA.  David knocked himself out all afternoon cleaning out the garage (we've been in this house for almost 6 months; isn't it about time??)  Now we have room in there to unload our storage shed!  Yech ... time for a garage sale, I think.

The Southlake kids are off this week for their spring break (Colin's was the last week of March).  We don't have a lot planned; just enjoying sleeping late (I will of course dive back into bed after I wake Colin at 5 a.m.) and just being bums.

Over the weekend we had Bill & Leslie's youth group overnight.  22 people invaded our house!  They had driven in a van, a truck and  trailer and a large church van.  They arrived at 1 a.m., and the darn alarm on the church van kept going off.  I think our neighbors will be signing a petition to get us booted out of the subdivision soon.  It really worked out well, some kids even slept out on the screened-in porch.  We had breakfast casseroles in the morning, and they pulled off at 8:30.  Of course we were all dragging big time on Saturday.

Looks like David is headed to New Zealand the first week of May on business.  Gonna be a long week.  Stay tuned.  ** AOL Pictures is being snarky, so I'll try to upload them tomorrow.

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Peas and Quiet

Just sitting here with the doors and windows open, enjoying the cool spring air.  It's been so nice at night too, that we've been sleeping with our door open; the one that opens to the screened-in porch from our bedroom.  Everyone is at school and I'm enjoying being alone ... I had a busy morning:  Melanie to school, got my hair trimmed, the car washed and the grocery shopping done.  Ran by my favorite Mombo Boffo burrito place on the way home and indulged.  Now it's just me and the dog for another hour and a half.  Aaaahhhh.

David's bro and sister in law stopped by night before last on their way down to Mississippi to do some post-Katrina work with their church.  It was good to see them.  I can't believe the last time we saw them was at the Outer Banks last March.  Shame on us.

David survived the Cactus Tour just fine ... with a little farmers' tan and sore muscles.  It is sure nice to have him back. 

I want to find whoever it was who invented Daylight Savings Time and slug him.  This whole week has been awful -- I feel like I'm drugged.  One afternoon I slept hard for 30 minutes when I just put my head back on the couch.  And dreamed!  I feel like I'm in a fog.  I think today is the first day that I've felt halfway normal.

News flash!  I have invited my sister to come on the Kazakhstan playground trip with us!  I am so fired up ... I was kinda dreading going alone.  Not dreading so much as sad that I wouldn't have someone to share the trip with.  I never in a zillion years thought she would say yes ... she's very much a homebody ... but given the alternative between teaching summer school and going on a global, jet-setting adventure.... well, it was a no-brainer, I think.  The latest bulletin was that we are still planning to arrive June 10.  We'll be in a tiny town called Esik, about an hour from Almaty, and in Petropavlovsk, in the extreme north of Kaz., almost to the Russian border.  I'm hoping Debi and I can stop off in Amsterdam or somewhere in Europe for a day to break up the trip.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 1, 2006

Could you pass the US Citizenship Test?

Could You Pass the US Citizenship Test?

All this talk about immigration ... I wrote back in the early days of adopting Melanie about our visit to the INS (now BCIS).  I commented on the rainbow of people who were there, standing in line for hours.  I remember once I met a skycap at the airport.  He had a very thick gorgeous accent, and being the curious nut that I am, I engaged him in conversation.  Where are you from?  He was from Nigeria (I think .. it was somewhere in West Africa.  40 lashes with a wet noodle for me for not remembering) and he had won an immigration lottery to come to the US.  Only him though ... he left his family behind.  He was in the process of trying to get his wife to join him in the US, but oh the hoops through which he had to jump.  So many of us take for granted what we have here in this country.  We are snobs, that is the bottom line.  We look down on people from other countries -- or worse, don't bother to learn anything about them or their culture.  Why do I feel so strongly about this?  I am in the middle of reading a book called "Third Culture Kids" about kids like me who grew up overseas, immersed in cultures other than our parents'.  We come back to this country after having lived as a minority for most of our lives and are depressed and saddened by the apathy that we find in many of our classmates.  How civil wars and true, dirt floor poverty were once real to us (we touched it!), yet are only a black & white snapshot in a newspaper in this country that no one noticed, because it didn't affect them.  We are aghast at the flippancy of our so-called peers, who really aren't peers of ours at all.  We are older than our years, jaded, perhaps, and as a result we come across as snobs, or aloof weirdos.  We never fit in, always feel restless because we don't feel at home.  Anywhere.  We can't go back to the country we lived in before, and we don't feel right in the US.  So we are, basically, emotionally homeless. 

Do you ever give your skycap a second thought?  How about the guys who mow the highway?  Or do your landscaping?  Who are the maids at the motel you stayed in?  Aren't you curious about how they got here?  How many of their family members had to stay behind?  Mostly we just complain that they can't speak English.  But how many of us learn Chinese or French or Hindi?  Where the heck did this soapbox come from?