October 13, 2014 § Leave a comment



October 10, 2014 § Leave a comment


When I was 23 I moved to the Czech Republic to teach English.  It was one of the more impulsive decisions I ever made, but also one of the better ones, if only for these text message I found written in an old journal while I was digging through the garage looking for a book today:

From a student (no romance here at all, just wanted to hang out again):
Hi Meagan, today I am going to Alps for four days.  I would like to see you again after coming back.  If you will agree.  Your presence is charming. 

From another student, regarding a billiard hockey team called Dragons Brno, of which he was a member (I still haven’t figured out exactly what billiard hockey is):
Dragons Brno has  9 wins 1 deal  0 lost. Is it great season?  YES,IT IS GREAT ,deffinitly.
WE are on the first place.We are the champions for year.

From the lifeguard at the pool, who scouted me to swim for a local Czech team, in response to a text I sent him letting him know I was on my way to a meet in Vienna:
Good luck my little white delfin!

And, a personal favorite, from another friend, heading to a party at my apartment:
I am coming, can you describe to me where is your castle?

DSC01565An ad for a tanning salon called Solarium Oranjito.  No translation needed.


October 5, 2014 § Leave a comment


Welcome back!  I’ve returned from the black hole that was at trip to Iowa (first time in Iowa!  What’s up corn and big skies?)…


…for a family wedding…



…followed by a getaway to vegas for some relaxation…

IMG_20141005_073011this book, btw, not the best light-hearted vacation reading

…and hiking….

IMG_20141005_073105red rock from the car window

…and Vegas stuff (though when we got there we immediately lost $30 at the slot machines, and that was pretty much the end of that.)


Vegas is such a weird place, I never know whether to feel excited or disgusted or totally impressed at what that city is. We stayed at the Palms, mostly because I was like EFF YEAH THE REAL WORLD LAS VEGAS bring it!  But, in a surprising turn, our 3 days there was nothing like Trishelle’s experience back in 2002.

We did, however, befriend this guy in the elevator on the way back down to our room the last night there.  So mission partially accomplished.

It’s been fun, great to see family, and nice to relax, but it’s good to be home.



September 22, 2014 § Leave a comment


We’re back.  And I came home to…


peppers peppers everywhere!  Our garden is exploding with peppers.  I don’t know if you can tell, but this misshapen (?) “sweet bell pepper” is HUGE, like the size of my hand.  It was pulling the whole tiny little plant over.


…and our red bell pepper, which is green…


…and two huge Anaheim peppers.  And our tomato plants are (literally) 5 feet tall.


I have to go find a stake to hold them up, they are so big they’re pulling the cages out of the ground and taking over the entire garden box.  Out of control.

I also came home to some mild disarray.  The fridge was barren, the garden more or less ignored, things had been put in the wrong place.  (For the record, I’m not knocking Paul at all. He’s working 13 hour shifts and flipping back and forth between nights and days, I don’t expect him to come home and worry about which cupboard the blue bowls go in.  I’m impressed they made it into any cupboard at all.)

So this Sunday morning I woke up at 6 and got to work.  I fed the baby and cleaned the kitchen and tended the garden and did 3 loads of laundry and put the dishes back where they belong.  I unpacked, cleaned our bedroom, folded clothes, made some fresh hummingbird nectar and hung up the feeder so I can watch them out the front window while I do work.  All before 8:30am.  Humming the whole time I did it.  I like putting things where they belong, having a clean house and a neat, productive garden and a kitchen that smells like something delicious baking.  I don’t just endure making these things happen, I LIKE it.


Time out.  Hold on.  What is happening here.  Is…is this middle age?  Is this how it happens?  Gradually, your life becomes so mundane that you look forward to mopping the kitchen floor and begin using phrases like “tend the garden”?  Is this how it starts?  Oh my god, am I a boring mom?  Is this how it all goes down??

But I had plans!  I was going to lead a life of international intrigue!  Of adventure!  I was going to do big important things!  I was going to save the world!  I was going to–oh my, look how my squash plant has started to come back.


Do you see?  Do you see how that just happens?  Can you fight it?  Is there any going back?

It may be time for a dramatic re-evaluation of my life trajectory.  But until then (and because it’s time-sensitive), there are some overripe bananas that were neglected this week sitting in our kitchen that need to be made into banana bread.


September 18, 2014 § Leave a comment


Someone has been banished from daycare for the second week in a row for congestion.  It has also been BRUTALLY hot in southern California (our house was a chill 100 degrees yesterday afternoon. Inside.) Which makes it close to impossible to do anything during the day except sit in one place and sweat.

Paul is still working nights.  We rarely see him.  And after the umpteenth time of daycare telling me that I can’t bring her back until the end of the week….


Seriously, is this normal?  For daycares to reject kids with runny noses that they picked up from…wait for it…daycare?  I mean, I get it, but it’s a vicious cycle.

Anyway, this inevitably led to a spontaneous mid-week trip to SB so Memaw can watch HH for stretches during the day and I can actually accomplish some work.  I honestly don’t know what I’d be doing if I didn’t work from home and have family nearby…aside from being let go from my job because I’d be bringing a little snot machine maniac to the office with me every day.

So here we are, back up north.  Enjoying some time with the Greats.  Hope you’re all surviving the heat.

How does your garden grow (Part II)

September 10, 2014 § Leave a comment


Like woah.

img_59345 weeks ago


I thought our garden in Kentucky went crazy one year, but it was nothing like this.  Plants loooooove LA weather or soil or something.  Whoever said don’t plant new plants in August should not be listened to.  Our garden is growing like a boss.

The basil, two tomato plants (Champion and Beef Eater), squashes, and peppers are all going bezerk.  The tomato plants are even pulling the cages–which I originally thought would be too big for the plants–over, they’re so huge. We have baby peppers and tomatoes, and we’ve already picked some beans. The onions are looking healthy, I just have figure out when to pick them (see: radishes).  It’s all very exciting.

One problem: the growth trajectory of the beans and cucumbers (that are in the left hand corner up against the back wall) were starting to flatten out.  I thought it might be because that ginorm, leafy, flourishing, flowering squash plant smack in the middle of the garden box was shading them from all their sun.

IMG_20140906_101502 copy

A little over 4 weeks ago my parents brought us another half wine barrel/planter.  I planted some rainbow chard, kale, and flower seeds in it.  After 4 weeks, it looked exactly like this:


Nothing.  Weeks of watering and loving, no sprouts or beginnings of sprouts or anything. (The dark stuff on the soil are recently dumped coffee grounds.)

It may have been a little premature, but since our garden box was getting pretty crowded and that was some prime real estate, we decided to move the squash into the barrel.

“Is it bad to move a plant that big into a new environment? With other seeds?” I asked Paul as he casually reached down and pulled the huge squash plant from the garden box.


We ignored the fact there are probably 50 other seeds in there, dug a hole, and stuck the squash in.

Went to check on it the next day:


Hm.  That’s not good.  Hoping it recovers soon.


September 8, 2014 § Leave a comment


Really, how far could he have gotten?

…but if you live nearby, please keep an eye out.


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