Let me explain. No, let me sum up.

Our round-the-world trip came to a stop just shy of the one-year mark. Last December, JM and I delayed our Hawaii-New Zealand-Australia return trip by taking on another house sitting gig in NY. In March we extended our US stay to the point of buying a house and me getting a job. So here we are in Houston, settling into the routine, deciding what’s next. I promise to let you know more, this time before another year passes.

A little color

I bought this string of lights at Pier 1 last week to perk up the kitchen. We can only remodel so much at once, so this adds some color to the unfinished ambiance. I’m now thinking of painting all the cabinet doors and drawers in these bright colors.

Too crazy?

Domestic vacation

JM and I are currently house sitting and one of the perks is a flourishing garden. I knew that fresh was delicious, but picked-this-morning-and-now-it’s on-my-plate-fresh is incredible! Today we made more tomato soup and tonight it’s another batch of veggies with brown rice. Tomorrow we’ll make some arugula pesto for the soup. And traditional pesto for grins.

I can only hope to leave the owners something good growing when they get back. I’ve read that garlic and onions are good to plant now in Seattle, but if you’re reading this and know of anything else, please leave a comment. Thanks!

I say tomato


Okay, I thought the tortilla soup I made yesterday was pretty damn fine mostly because 95% of it was from the garden around me, but then there was today. Tomatoes. We were being overrun! So I decided to make my first ever homemade tomato soup. I looked at a few recipes online and then cobbled my own together from everything I read. OH MY GOD. My first attempt may be my masterwork! It must be the exquisite freshness of it all. I can’t wait for the next bowl. Damn. Damn!

Elli, lately

Instead of composing an entry, I’ll just post the latest e-mail to Elsa because that usually says it all. I’m writing about my latest experience with skin cancer, the third one, that showed up on my forehead and was removed last week:

It’s good to be silly right now–it helps more than anything. I don’t look at myself too long in the mirror except to have a good giggle. The bandages are still on and the stitches come out tomorrow, which feels way too early. The wound is still fresh and painful, but the doctor said the sooner the better in terms of scarring. I trust him even though I’m pretty sure I’ll want to throw up during the stitch removal. I think I’ll take some xanax before my appointment–I got a prescription a few months ago before my parathyroid surgery in case the panic attacks came back and I really could have used them last week. The nurse reasoned that my twitchy, tear-filled reaction was due to all the adrenaline they used on the area in order to reduce the blood flow (in addition to numbing.) During the procedure, the doctor and nurse both kept urging me to talk about our upcoming trip as JM held my hand, but that didn’t work and the nurse and JM tag-teamed me with cold, wet cloths in order to keep the clammy, flop-sweat at bay. It wasn’t pretty and I apologized profusely thereafter even though my doctor insisted I did quite well. JM said the doc worked incredibly fast, but I suppose anyone would under threat of projectile vomit.

So here we are. Tomorrow I’ll see my new face without all the bandages. In just a tiny way I’m sad. I got used to the old one and even admired her awkward beauty from time to time. I think I might like this new one even better though. It reminds me of the time when I dyed my hair bright blue way back in ’88. Whenever someone looked at me, she or he would immediately look away in any other direction, la la la, acting oblivious which made me laugh. I think that experience can help me now. My face isn’t that different–the change is subtle. I still wouldn’t get cast as that odd extra in a Woody Allen film, but I’m exactly who I want to be inside and out. Life has been good to me…

For sale

This is the second weekend selling our wares for the people of Perth, and the people, they just aren’t showing. Granted, we haven’t advertised it well so it’s our own damned fault. Let me back up a bit by telling you that we’re taking to the road again, which is no big surprise, hey? If you know JM and me, you’re aware that we’re never in one place for long. We’ve been married for 11 years and the longest we stayed put in one place was a brief experiment in homeownership in Baden, Switzerland. We’ve been in Australia for over three years which is 21+ dog years of accumulating stuff. Please, please come buy it so we can take off again.