Sunday, June 30, 2013

Truly In Over My Head...

Courage is the art of being the only one 
who knows you're scared to death.
~ Harold Wilson

Sorry I've been "incommunicado" for such a long time.  My natural instincts and impulses have led me onto shaky ground and I'm hoping it is only temporary...  

This young woman (17.5 years old) from Honduras attended 2 of my ESL classes and thus had my name and phone number.  A little more than one week ago I received a frantic phone call from social services - her father had been put in jail and they did not have any Spanish-speaking adults with whom they could place her.  She had given them my information - could we take her in?  

When I talk about this in the abstract, it seems like I must have had two choices - to say yes or to say no.  But at the time, when she was on the phone with me crying and begging me not to abandon her, it didn't feel like there was any choice at all.  

She's been here for over a week and, on the surface, everything is going smoothly.  But the responsibility is weighing heavily on me and I desperately want to find a good Catholic, Hispanic family who can take her in for the last few months before her 18th birthday.  I've enlisted the help of many of my ESL students and I have hope that we will find someone soon.  

Please keep us in your thoughts...  Thank you.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

Guest Post: Gratuitous Kitten-less Photos

Me: Wow!  These pictures you took are beautiful!  May I post them on my blog?

My husband: Sure.  

Me: What should I call the post?

My husband: "Things cats like to eat"

Friday, June 21, 2013

Married to an Engineer

One has to look out for engineers; they begin with sewing machines 
and end up with the atomic bomb.
~ Marcel Pagnol

Don't worry - I won't let my husband near my sewing machines.  

But our new bikes will travel in style...   ;)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Where Angels Fear to Tread...

Life is nothing without a little chaos to make it interesting.
~ Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Over the last couple of years, I have gained some first hand experience with the chaos that can ensue when I take a group of kids on a field trip.  It turns out that kids - and you may have already known this, but I had to learn the hard way - don't think like adults do.  

They have poor impulse control - they'll run off impetuously - they don't think logically - they aren't particularly concerned with the question of how I'm going to round everyone up at the end of the day and get them all home on time...  Go figure!  ;)

Now, this summer for our vacation we are going to spend a few days visiting some Mayan ruins in Mexico, and we are taking Ana and four of her nieces and nephews (between the ages of 12 and 16) with us.  And I am bound and determined to return ALL FOUR children to their parents at the end of the trip.  

What can I say?  I'm like that - always setting the bar high.    

Even more than that, I'm hoping to avoid terrified moments of trying to find a child - without actually super-gluing everyone together...  ;)

With this in mind, I have assembled a gift kit for each of the four children.  Here is the content of one such kit:  

The contents of each child's kit includes:

  1. a bright yellow shirt that can easily be seen from far away
  2. a whistle that can be used to attract attention if someone is lost or hurt
  3. a watch that includes an alarm, which can be set for 10 minutes before we are all supposed to meet at a pre-designated spot
  4. a camera
  5. a molded plastic camera case that will hopefully protect the camera from assorted bumps and drops down five levels (or more) of stairs on assorted temple pyramids

What have I forgotten?  

You know, besides the simple fact that no matter how much I plan and prepare, the minute our group steps out of the bus, all bets are off and fate will take over, with chaos riding on her wings...  ;)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Gratuitous Kitten Picture

I saw the movie, 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' and was surprised 
because I didn't see any tigers or dragons. 
And then I realized why: 
they're crouching and hidden.
~ Steve Martin

Sophie watches an action flick.  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New Acquisitions

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, 
I no longer despair for the future of the human race.
~ H. G. Wells

My husband and I bought bikes.   You know the party line: we-need-the-exercise-it-will-be-something-fun-to-do-together-yada-yada-yada...  

It's probably been 40 years since I've ridden a bike and I've NEVER ridden a bicycle with gears...  

My bike is labeled "WSD" - let's just hope that this doesn't stand for "Weapon of Self Destruction" 

Monday, June 17, 2013


I went to a restaurant that serves "breakfast at any time" so I ordered 
French toast during the Renaissance.
~ Steven Wright

It seems like ever since I finally got over a nasty sinus infection, all I've been doing is eating in restaurants...  

First, as my ESL semester wraps up, I'm taking each student out to eat at a nice restaurant in town.  The event is half exercise and half celebration.  They have to call and make our reservation over the phone in English.  They have to order in English.  And we are supposed to spend the meal talking in English - although sometimes we slip into Spanish...  ;)

Here is Saturday breakfast with Hilda:  

And Sunday brunch with Cristina:  

I am regularly amazed by the life stories of many of my students - one or two years of school when they were quite young and then pulled out to work and help support the family at age 7, 8 or 9...  Moving to the United States to try to give their children better lives; working two jobs so that their children can go to college; dreaming of going back to school one day to earn a GED...  

NEVER let me say that my life has been difficult...  

Now, my other restaurant experience last weekend was quite a bit rowdier - here are some of my dining companions:  

It was a friend's stepson's 7th birthday and his first ever "real" birthday party - you know, with friends, a theme, at a special place, etc.  

He was pretty happy!  

He won lots of tickets in the game room at the pizza parlor...  

...and loved his presents - especially his new Hot Wheels track!  ;)

Each meal was special in its own way.  :)

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!  :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Under the Weather...

...but in good hands.    ;)

Sorry for the radio silence - it's probably going to be a few more days before I'm on my feet and getting into trouble again....  

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Gratuitous Kitten Pictures

For a man to truly understand rejection, 
he must first be ignored by a cat.  
~ Anon.  

Today, two photos from our screened-in porch for your viewing pleasure:  

Sophie is confounded.  What in the world could he be doing out there?


A strange cats invades their yard - this is not to be tolerated!

I must admit that I get a small bit of pleasure from the fact that the strange cat has turned it's back on our kitties - just as they so often turn their backs on us!  ;)

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Skirt: Follow-Up

Nothing makes me happier than when I can show you pictures of people IN the clothes that I made for them.  :)

Ana loves her skirt!   It's a great fit and she looks beautiful in it!  :)