Friday, January 18, 2013


I used to work at Disneyland when I was in high school. For about the first year, my parents insisted on driving me to and from work, ensuring my safety if I wasn't behind the wheel. My dad is a punctual man, so if I ended a shift at 5, he'd be there promptly at 5:20 to pick me up, knowing that I would need those 20 minutes for the shuttle to drop me off in the employee parking lot.  Unfortunately, this meant that my mom would arrive at 6:30.  My mom has never been a slave to schedules. She was a career woman who prioritized time to be a mom whenever she could squeeze it in. (By no means are things exactly the same now, but this is half a lifetime ago for me.) We live about 15 to 20 minutes away, but honestly, this is just how she operates.
Mom would arrive in a hurry, honking the horn if I didn't approach the car fast enough. So one day, she picks me up the standard hour late.
She says, "Sorry. I really was going to be on time, but right when I was getting ready to leave, I couldn't find my glasses. I went and looked everywhere, and finally just found my old pair of glasses."
I stared blankly at her and said, "Oh. And then you realized that they were on top of your head?"

"What?!? They are?"

Those were the days before camera phones.  Oh how I wished I had a picture of it to show you.  My mom's old glasses were the huge ones that covered up half your face.  And the look of surprise was priceless, as she touched the top of her head and realized that I was telling the truth.

She insisted on sharing this story with everyone who would listen that week.

Monday, January 7, 2013


It's the last day of our tour of Asia. I'm leaving tonight, but my mom will stay behind for 3 weeks to keep her sisters company; they are still mourning the loss of their brother.

My mom says, "We're running out of time. What do you want to do? Go shopping or get a massage?"

If you know me, you know I'd choose a massage over shopping any day. I'd have an empty closet, but I'd be soooo relaxed.

But if you know my mom, you'd know shopping is the only right answer to this question. It's not even really a question; it's a trick...

Rather than play our usual game of selective hearing, I decided on a third option. I said, "Do you think that maybe we could just visit the orphanage you told me about?"

She said, "Oh, that's a good idea."
We walked across the Ayala bridge to Hospicio de San Jose, which turns out to be more of a community outreach center with religious ties. The grounds contain a nursery, sleeping quarters for school aged children, and residences for aging adults.
As soon as we were within reasonable distance from the sign, we stopped to take a picture. When we got closer... I came up to the side of the nursery where there was a turning cradle.  It was like a big drawer, where women could place their babies if they didn't feel like they could care for them properly. It made me more than a little sad, thinking about what a difficult choice that must be.
Then she called my name. She got impatient when I didn't turn around right away. "Debbie! Turn around!" Her next word shocked me the most. "Smile!"
She took a picture of me. Why she wanted me to smile in it is beyond me.
So I didn't smile.

Yup. That's the face I make when she confuses me.  
I will never fully understand her. So I just laugh a little inside.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Foodie Love from Walla Walla

I am ashamed. This post is ridiculously late, but life in the past couple of months has proven more hectic than I expected.  Nonetheless, here it is: 

November's box came from Megan from Walla Walla, Washington.  You can find her lovely blog hereMegan asked me if I had any preferences. I told her that aside from being vegetarian, I love surprises. 

And surprised I was.  It never occurred to me that you could pack produce!   
Three kinds of Washington apples and an onion!  Pictures of these are lost on a chip somewhere in my house...which I will hopefully find later and post.  

The sweet onion went great with the turkey-less roast that I got from Trader Joe’s. 

And my first Thanksgiving turkey in years.  Best turkey I've ever had. ;)

Any time chocolate and popcorn get put together, I'm there.

 Walla Walla Sweet Onion Mustard. It's amazing on the caprese sandwiches I've been making.
 My uncle kept asking me if I had already taken pictures of these biscotti so that he could eat them.

 My family and I marveled over the crust on this bread.  It tasted so good with the spaghetti we had for dinner one night. :)  And the croutons were perfect on top of salad and dipped in a roasted garlic and butternut squash soup we devoured.

She also included some information about Walla Walla that makes me want to go up there and visit. :)
Thank you Megan! Every bit of it was delicious!