It’s like deja vu all over again.  John and I are out on the tennis court taking a lesson and some how his feet got tangled up and the next thing I know he is tucking and rolling into the side wall.  Luckily nothing was broken this time.  The blood was even minimal -  just two or three scrapes.  But it made me think of my Modern Fable from a few years ago and I thought I’d post it once again.

Once upon a time there was a husband who was named John. John was tall and athletic. He liked to compete. By chance, two people asked John if he and his wife would like to play mixed doubles at the tennis courts at the YMCA.

“Oh no,” his wife said. “I have a terrible serve and do not play well.”

“Nonsense,” he said.

So they went to play. Back and forth they hit the ball, John taking most of the shots because of his superior ability. They lost the first set even though he tried hard. They switched partners. This time John won because he was not playing with his wife. But there was unhappiness. Finally they played together again.

“We will do better this time, now that we are warmed up,” John declared.

All over the court he sprinted taking as many shots as possible. Finally a ball came flying over and he went to retrieve it with his very showy running forehand. But his feet slipped.

“Uh oh”, he said to himself, “I am falling. I must execute my famous tuck and roll which I learned as a young lad.”

But alas, the tuck did not quite happen. What did happen was much blood and a broken bone.


1) Soft human tissues and bone are no match for hard things .
2) It is better not to try too hard to do something than suffer the consequences.
3) Even though your brain still thinks you are young, sometimes your body just doesn’t believe it.


The pause that refreshes

Originally uploaded by marymompics

Here I am out on the Chuckwalla Trail celebrating Earth Day. Uh oh, what’s that, a plastic bottle!!? Not to worry, the bottle says that it is “eco-shaped” and so much better for the environment. Seriously, plastic bottle makers, how dumb do you think I am. We’ve taken to refilling the bottles that we have. I saw some infomercial telling me that if I refill a plastic bottle that I am letting myself in for all sorts of dissolved chemicals. I don’t know if that’s true but I do know that it is true that the infomercial is trying to sell me some other sort of bottle.

World’s largest thermometer, Baker, CA

One thing I’ve noticed as I’ve been scouting around the internet looking for interesting things to see on our upcoming cross-country trip, is that towns like to have something to be proud of. You know, the first this, the biggest that, etc. Well, here’s one of them. Baker, California, tiny, dusty town in the middle of the Mojave Desert, has the world’s largest thermometer. At least that is what their self-erected sign says. It’s the tallest structure in the picture. John and I always play “Guess the Temperature” when we go by. John gives me the over/under and we see who wins.

Well, tada. On Saturday I was exactly right. At about 4 PM the temperature in Baker, California, according to the world’s largest thermometer, was my guess, 82F.

Planning central

Command central

Originally uploaded by marymompics

Here I am at planning central, trying to organize my thoughts for the upcoming cross country trip. See, the whole idea is to land in Boston on the anniversary date. But there are so many variables! We are visiting my sister before we get to Boston. So work into the equation that they won’t be home such and such dates. Then we want to see say, the Money Museum in Colorado Springs. They are only open Tuesday thru Saturday. So it’s tricky.

Put on top of this that we will be in tornado land (but we do want to see Dorothy and Toto in Liberal, KS)and the weather news for the mid-section of the country has been so bad. Maybe we just want to travel through Kansas, Missouri and Kentucky as fast as possible.

I have found a helpful travel site especially if you want to see a fence made out of bowling balls or a 51 foot Indian chief. Check out Roadside America for all the weird stuff near you.

Happy Birthday, Karen

Happy Birthday, Karen

Originally uploaded by marymompics

When we were in Italy, we took a cooking lesson from Aurelio at the Villa Ducale in Taormina, Sicily. We decided to celebrate Karen’s birthday by recreating the dishes. For the dinner we made fennel and blood orange salad, caponata, pasta alla Norma and veal involtini. We started with a mixed antipasto plate and bruschetti with tomato jam or chopped liver. For dessert I made Sarah’s great tiramisu.

I think it turned out pretty well. Karen was happy with it and that was the point seeing as how it was her birthday. Although we started the day before, by the time Karen and George arrived we were exhausted. That always happens. It seems standing in the kitchen for hours is really hard on the feet, hips and lower back.

Today we started cooking for our Passover seder on Sunday. I know, I know, we were supposed to do it on Wednesday. But since John had his tooth pulled on Tuesday and the kids are busy with their lives, our holidays are always celebrated when we can all get together. Anyway, John is braising lamb shanks and I am making a carrot souffle, asparagus saute and Karen’s great do-ahead mashed potatoes. Sarah is bringing a parsley salad and Ryan and Leigh are making dessert. Maybe with all this help we won’t be tired out.


I think we are finally over our jetlag.  While we were in Italy we really tried not to let the sleepiness rule the day.  After all, there was so much to see and do.  But at home, it’s a different story.  There is really no big incentive to keep going.  It’s so much easier to justify a little lay down.  So, of course, it took us longer to adjust.

But now it’s time for more trip planning.  I’ve been working on our next big opus.  After a couple of trips to St. George over the next two months (one in which we will have two sets of visitors!), we are heading cross country again.  This time we will take a middle of the country route.  Our goal is to visit every state (during our life not on this trip).  John is missing two, North Dakota and Hawaii.  I am missing several – Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Kansas and Hawaii.  By going across the middle of the U.S., I will pick up Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas and Kentucky.  On the way back we’ll take a more northerly route and travel through Minnesota and North Dakota.  We’ll both be left with just Hawaii unvisited.  I guess that will have to wait for a non-car trip.

Although I’ve just started planning, there’s potentially so much to see!  Goblin Valley in Utah, Mike the headless chicken in Fruita, Colorado and the petrified wood gas station in Lamar, CO.  We also plan on taking industrial tours such as Coors in Golden, CO and Cape Cod Potato Chips in…I have just looked on their website and can’t find out where it is but I’ll bet it’s somewhere on Cape Cod.  And now that we have our computer for in the car with its Verizon hookup to the internet we’ll be unstoppable!

But for now it’s just in the planning stages.  And our anniversary dinner in Boston is months away.  Still it’s fun to start the planning process and discover all the weird things to see in U.S.  If you’ve got any places that you think we’d enjoy, let me know.