A Taste Tester for Life

So I told you last week (or two weeks ago…?) that I had some news. Here goes….

WE’RE ENGAGED!

TP will now be my taste tester for life, my eternal guinea pig of strange curries and breads and baked goods. He will put up with my I-have-a-bag-of-white-beans-I-NEED-to-use-experiments (this will be in the vows), and he won’t complain when I suddenly insist on keeping a large bowl on the counter for days on end filled with flour, water and yeast (my attempt at a sour dough starter). He will not, however, permit me to become an extreme couponer, a hoarder of stray animals or tin cans or newspaper, or any other type of person who could one day wind up either on The (I’m Not) Learning Channel or in the loony bin.

Really I can’t think of anyone better for me. He went from being all anti-cat to permitting moments like these to happen regularly — for all the world to see.

So yay! Apparently it wasn’t official until it went to Facebook, but now that it’s in the blogosphere, it’s capital O Official, and we can commence in planning a ceremony that includes songs from the Mannequin soundtrack. You wish I was joking, don’t you?

And since he asked me to marry him, he won’t be mad if I post more pictures of him hanging out with FT on the couch. He’s well aware of all my shenanigans.

So, please don’t be mad if I’m not posting as often. I’ve got a wedding to plan. Suggestions are highly encouraged. Just for fun, feel free to post in the comments one or several songs you think we MUST include in the reception.

Love,

Blogwell + TP + Gatos 4 Life (Simba not pictured)

Time Lapse

In less than a month, I’ll be 26. Closer to 30 than to 20. An adult with a job, grocery lists that include things like cat litter and spanikopita, bills to pay and a family that lives farther away than I ever thought possible. There are days when I wish I could curl up in my mother’s arms again and have her rock me to sleep. And I know there are days she wishes she could do the same.

On my recent trip home, my mom and I reenacted a photo taken of us shortly after she gave birth to me. We were sitting on the front steps of our house. It’s the same house my parents live in today. I love everything about these pictures. There’s a different car in the driveway now (my mom’s Big Fat Cow), a different tint in each photo, and different hair cuts (or in my case, hair where there once was none). A wonderland of flowers now frame the house where once there were just fledgling blooms. My mom was an inexperienced mother then, nervous no doubt. Now, she is an expert, an advisor, a co-pilot, a friend — she’s even a mother to nature (as evidenced below).

On my last day home, this fawn showed up in our backyard one morning. I’m sure the squirrels and birds and skunks and raccoons that my parents have been feeding for many years spread the word throughout the neighborhood that generous people live in the yellow house.

She lay in those leaves all day long, standing up occasionally on jello legs to munch on ferns. The mama deer came back for her baby later that afternoon. My mom pulled into the driveway after dropping me off at the airport to find them both standing there and watched as they trotted off together. I guess that’s what all good mothers have in common. They take wobbly legs and teach them how to sprint.

I Heart Cleveland

Oh my stars. It’s been exciting few weeks round these parts. The computer is back, so that means I can get back to blogging. I have a lot to tell you, but I can’t cover a month in one post, so you’ll have to be patient. For now, resist the urge to react with shock and horror at the title of this post. I’m about to shoot your preconceived notions right out of the flammable water.

Before all the computer drama, I went home for a long overdue summer visit. Typically, my visits to Cleveland are limited to once a year during the Christmas season. Snow, ice, seasonal affective disorder, the kind of cold that penetrates your bones… Enticing, isn’t it?

But Cleveland in the summer is a whole different city. First, it’s a respite from Texas in the summer. Texas sucks all the joy from my favorite season with one hot breath. Second, my amazing family lives in C-town, and my parents’ backyard is like the forest in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – animals flock here from far and wide.

I won’t be able to successfully document my trip in one post, so I’m going to do multiple posts (at least two) with photos documenting the reasons Cleveland is actually a really cool place, full of art and culture and nature. The weather may not be ideal all year round, but it’s good to know a part of my heart is still here, rediscovered on a run along my favorite jogging trail. Mistake on the lake? Maybe in some ways. But no city is perfect. And nobody is gonna talk trash ‘bout my city.

Parade the Circle

Growing up, my mom and I had an annual tradition of attending a festival called Parade the Circle. Various schools, organizations and camps around the city spend weeks putting together elaborate costumes, making papier mache vehicles and learning how to walk on stilts to create a spectacle for the senses. Everyone gathers near the Cleveland Museum of Art to sing, cheer, dance and even cartwheel down the road. Each year it gets better, and the older I get, the more impressed I am with the level of ingenuity and creativity. See for yourself, and I’ll see you back here later this week with more about my trip as well as some exciting news.