Browsing Archives for July 2009

 

We arrived safely in London almost six days ago. I have not been able to post due to the gruelling schedule that the Country Doctor has kept us on. In fact, I have decided to call him the Country Cyborg from now on. He is and always has been completely unaffected by major changes in his environment the way the rest of us mere mortals are.  The four boys and I were reduced to piles of clear gelatin due to jet lag and a complete lack of uninterrupted You Tube time, but the Country Cyborg responded to a new time zone with increased vigor and an unbreakable determination to drag the sagging carcasses of his pallid family from one end of London to the other.

 

As a result, I have no clear memories of anything about London.

 

 

 

 

I do have fuzzy visions swimming around in my head of a brief visit to Platform Nine and Three Quarters.

 

 

 

 

 

And a hazy dream-like memory of some time spent in the Kew Gardens…

 

 

 

Which was punctuated with the biggest slice of Victorian Sponge on the face of the earth… which did a great deal to heal my broken body, but I am still not strong enough to piece it all together.

At this point, the only unequivocally wonderful thing about London that I will always have fond memories of were our delightful hosts…

 

 

 

 

Pete and Ilona…

 

 

 

Pete and Ilona, their son Louis and daughter Zita, opened up their home to us for our four day stay in their city.  

 

 

 

My boys learned how to play cricket in their backyard while Pete cooked us a fabulous spaghetti dinner.  

 

 

They helped us get to the right trains, and tubes and buses.  They sent us off with coffee and breakfast every morning.  It was so nice to stay with them and gave us an inside experience of what life as a real Londoner must be like.  Pete and Ilona are the Brits who visited us last summer.  (Except that Ilona is not a Brit, she is a German who married a Brit.)  I bet they never thought that a simple overnight visit at a farmhouse in Kansas, would result in a family of six showing up on their doorstep for four days and nights!  

 

 

 

I told them they were welcome to come stay in Kansas as long as they liked for their next vacation, but for some reason, they chose to book a trip to Greece instead.  

Go figure. 

After saying goodbye to Pete and Ilona, we headed off to Paris via the ‘Chunnel’ or the Eurostar… the train that actually goes under the English Channel.  

And all I can really tell you is that ahem…

 

 

 

 

 

Paris is much better than London.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waaaaaaaaaaaaay Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY BETTER!

 

 

 

 

Sorry London.

 

 

 

 

 

But Paris is better…

 

 

 

 

 

I never want to leave Paris…

 

 

 

 

 

Ever…

 

 

The Country Cyborg can take our children back home…

 

 

 

 

 

I am staying right here.


Dear Mom,

Thanks so much for coming and staying at our house during our vacation.  It is kind of strange that you would wait to come when we are gone, but I am glad someone is going to be around to keep our home from getting lonely.   Following, are a few special instructions to help you take care of all my problems as I will be taking a vacation from all my problems (name that film).  I have divided my problems into categories to make it easier for you to grasp the overwhelming responsibility of being me.  

 

 

Show-cats - It is especially nice that you will be staying with our beloved show-cats, however, it took them weeks to recover from the last time you stayed with them.  As I remember, they seemed to have forgotten how to carry themselves to the door and they cried until someone picked them up and carted them wherever they wanted to go.  They also turned up their noses at their regular cat food for weeks.  You must practice tough love on them… or my favorite… benign neglect.  Our cats are surprisingly used to being ignored most of the time.  Please try and remember to put them out at night.  As genteel as they appear, they are also fierce nocturnal hunters, and if they aren’t allowed access to fresh game in the great outdoors, they will opt to hunt you… while you are sleeping… all night long.

 

 


 

The Garden in Three Sections - 

Watering…

a.  I watered the garden right before I left.  It will be good for three days and then will need to be watered again.  To water it, I use the red tractor sprinkler.  Run the hose around the middle flower patch to give the tractor a path to follow.  Watch it like a hawk from the dining room windows as it will surely tip over every three minutes, get stuck in a mud hole just as you sit back down on the couch or impale itself on the wooden stake as soon as you pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee. 

Harvesting…

b.  I check the garden for produce everyday.  I bring the tomatoes in when they are orange-ish and let them fully ripen on the kitchen counter.  I wash up the green beans and the cucumbers and add them to the plastic bags in the fridge until the plastic bags are full to bursting and then I start a new plastic bag.  My fridge is full of plastic bags.  Feel free to eat as much as you want and to give away as much as you want and to throw anything that is even slightly unappealing into the compost pile.  If for some reason the show-cats are slightly unappealing, please resist the urge to throw them into the compost pile.  They do not decay fast enough and their rotting carcasses will only draw flies.

Admiring…

c.  My garden needs to be admired everyday.  It has come to expect this.  Even if it is an overgrown jungle of insanity, it still needs to be looked at with much love and care.  I also tour the other flowers and shrubs on a daily basis and check for signs of want.  If they look dry, I water.  If they look weedy, I weed.  If they look like they could benefit from a puppet show, I hastily erect a stage and put on a two hour performance. They also like modern dance routines, especially when I wear your orange double knit polyester evening gown with the coordinating jacket.  

Show Cat Petty Jealousies…

d.  You will also need to admire the show-cats every day.  You don’t even want to see the rage of a show cat who feels that he/she has been up-staged by a lilac bush. 

 

3.  April’s rug rats…

I have heard scary rumors that April’s children might visit you while we are gone.  I have never forgotten the time that Ellen bit her way down a freshly painted piece of trim on my banister in our house in Salina.  She left tooth-marks the entire way and I had to re-paint it.  Isaac and Levi have a strange tendency to open all the game boxes in the entire house and pour the contents out in the middle of the living room floor.  Seth usually just wants to play with the most expensive electronic item he can find… outdoors… while standing up on the canoe… in the middle of the pond.  So please watch them carefully.  Extra carefully!

 

 

 

4.  Chocolate cake…

If you feel the need to bake a chocolate cake for us to eat on our arrival back home… or to do all my laundry… or to make curtains for all the windows… or to wallpaper my bedroom… that is fine with me.  I certainly want you to enjoy yourself, but whoever said it wasn’t enjoyable to wash windows and mop floors while house-sitting for your favorite daughter? 

Thanks for coming to visit mom.  Even if we aren’t going to see you.

 

Love,

Rechelle

My mom called earlier today. We talked about a lot of things as my mother is house-sitting for us while we are gone, but eventually we came around to what I was going to wear on the trip. My mom was very relieved to learn that I had purchased a few new things.  She grows weary of her daughter’s hobo look.   My mom longs for the days when I hot rolled my hair every morning and wore pantyhose and heels and carefully coordinated outfits in which to attend high-school… because what?  I was having a job interview?   When I went to college, I fell apart quickly, and I have never recovered.  However, a trip to Europe (did you know we were going to Europe?) is worth a spit-shine.  When I drove to Kansas City back in June for my gig at Prospero’s, I had a little over an hour to shop before I was due to rehearse with Forrest Whitlow.  Due to panicky time constraints,  I made a few uh… hasty decisions.  Here is how I described it to my mom…

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Mom – What did you buy?

Me – Uh… well I bought a few summery tops and a few summery… uh… bottoms….

Mom – What do they look like?

Me – Uh… you know… summery…. and I bought this weird dress…

Mom – What do you mean weird?

Me – It kind of looks like a hospital gown…

Mom – Why did you buy a dress that looks like a hospital gown?

Me – Well… it’s more like a hospital gown from a really artsy hospital.  Like a hospital that Yoko Ono would check herself into when she is feeling kind of wobbly.

Mom – What?

Me – It looks like a dress they would force people in certain types of communal wellness camps to wear.  Or maybe what people at hippie drug re-hab wear.  Or a Folks Festival!  Yes!  It looks like something you would wear to folk-festival that had an emphasis on recovery.    

Mom – Why did you buy it?

Me – I don’t know mom!  It fit!  It covered up a multitude of errors!  It made me think of my light headed college days when I wore Birkenstocks 24/7 and I had just met the Country Doctor!  So I bought it!

Mom – Are you going to take it on your trip?

Me – I don’t know!  Everytime I try it on, it gets worse… I look more and more like someone escaping an artsy fartsy Japanese theme park for guitar players. 

Mom – I want to see it.

Me – Okay… 

 

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And because I know she’ll want to see everything that is possibly going in my suitcase…

Which I still have not packed…

But I did iron everything!

Mom!

I ironed everything!

 

 

 

I give you Rechelle’s poorly lit, blurry, strangely yellow, fashion wardrobe for the streets of London, Paris, and Beyond…

To promote further confusion, I have named all the outfits.  

 

 

 

The Warden at the Women’s Prison….

 

 

 

 

Polka-dots on parade.

 

Smokin’ hot… NOT!

 

Part-time waitress at a Spanish Restaurant.

 

 

 

 

 

Trying Too Hard…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not trying hard enough.

 

 

 

 

 

The Looney Bin…

 

 

 

 

 

Night on the Town… with four kids in tow.

 

 

 

 

 

And let me just remind you mom… at one point in your life, you purchased this little number…

 

 

 

 

 

With a coordinating jacket for inclement weather…

 

So I guess the old apple doesn’t fall too far from the old tree.