I cannot believe that our Kidsave child “Rita” arrives Thursday! I also found out that the children’s chaperone from Colombia will rotate houses while she’s here, and she’ll be staying with us first, so she’ll be coming home with us from the airport on Thursday as well. (For those of you doing the math, that will make eight people in a three-bedroom house.)
I need tips from those of you who are domestically skilled: What is a nice welcome gift I could get for both Rita and the chaperone? I’d like to get a little special something to start out their trip on a nice note — preferably not too expensive and easy to pack for their return trip. Any ideas?
Baby Joy is finally getting baptized tomorrow! I’m so excited. Hopefully it will not be the flaming disaster that my son’s baptism was a couple years ago. One the plus side, I’m still holding out hope of America’s Funniest Home Videos riches.
This Tuesday is the last day to vote in the Catholic New Media Awards. If you’d like to vote, click here to create an account (it takes about two seconds — they only ask for a valid email account). Then you can click here to vote. I always discover a bunch of great new blogs every time I look through the nominees list.
Last week I told you guys that this picture was taken on my favorite vacation ever, and asked you to guess where it is, promising I’d give the answer this week. Nobody got the right answer! And now, the moment of truth…
Texas! A lot of people don’t realize that the Rocky Mountains extend down into Texas, Guadalupe Peak reaching 8, 750 feet (2, 667 meters). This picture was taken somewhere near Big Bend National Park.
We actually took this vacation to west Texas for our honeymoon. It was the best trip I could have imagined. It was a nine-hour drive (on open roads at high speeds) to get out there from the central part of the state, and is literally the middle of nowhere. All the towns had that eerie end-of-the-earth vibe where you feel instant camaraderie with anyone you encounter, and mixed in with the locals you’d meet people from places like Phoenix and San Francisco, passing through on cross-country trips.
Some of the towns really live up to the name “ghost towns, ” the “ghost” part coming not only from the vanished people but from that keen awareness of your own vulnerability to larger forces that you feel when you’re hours and hours away from the nearest Wal-Mart, and the only light at night comes from the stars. If anyone’s looking for a really unique trip, I highly recommend taking the same route we did, spending a couple weeks visiting places like Marfa, Lajitas the McDonald Observatory and Terlinguas. It’s an ethereal, beautiful part of the world.
So I found out as part of my guest post for Rachelle Gardner that it’s OK if I say who my agent is. For some reason I thought that my literary agent and I had an unspoken understanding that it would be best if I denied all association with him, hopefully saving him from comments from respected colleagues like, “That woman you represent wrote about scorpions on her blog again today. She’s quite adept with the caps lock key. You must be very proud.”
Anyway, in case anyone’s interested, I’m represented by Ted Weinstein Literary Management.
Speaking of my tendency to write about stinging insects, here’s a Yaya story from this weekend: Shortly after we arrived, I was on her back porch with the kids and looked up to see a thriving wasps’ nest right above my head. Under normal circumstances I would tell you that it’s important to control your phobias so as not to impart your own irrational fears to your kids. However, when I looked up to see 100 (OK, maybe eight) wasps buzzing around their nest about a foot away from my head, my reaction was something along the lines of “RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! NOW! NOW! BEFORE THE WASPS ATTACK US! THEY’RE GOING TO STING US!!! AAAAH!!! IT’S SO TERRIBLE!!!!!”
I had just dragged all the kids to safety out in the yard when Yaya walked outside, holding some scissors she’d gone inside to get. I shrieked a warning at her just as she walked under the nest. She looked up, shrugged, and knocked the wasps’ nest down with the handle of the scissors. The nest fell right next to her feet, angry wasps darting all around her, and she took a moment to wipe off the scissors with her shirt before strolling off.
And you guys thought I was kidding when I said that she’s nonchalant about being stung by scorpions in bed!
(FYI: Unless I bring my laptop and occasionally interrupt our conversation with “You mind if I blog a little bit?”, I probably won’t approve comments until I’m back at the house. And trust me, based on a couple of monitor-meltingly appalling remarks people have tried to slip in lately, y’all do NOT want me to turn off comment moderation.)
Have a great weekend, everyone!
I look forward to reading your posts!