Thursday, June 29, 2006


    I've been thinking a lot about my country lately. I miss the food, the wine, the good conversation, the noise, but mostely my family.
    In days like these I find myself just standing in my kitchen with a glass of table wine trying to emulate some typical recipe. I have some spices I carry with me when coming back to the States after visiting my family, and I even handled to bring some hand made clay pots.
    My mom says that she can hardly believe I'm the same person I was when living under her roof. She had all these rules that I hated and some I found quite useless but now I have my own kitchen they make perfect sense. Mostly it was all about cleaning.
    - Never cook before washing all the dishes.
    - Always use hot water to wash the dishes and just enough soap, otherwise is a waste of both things.
    - Make sure to wash all the utensils and tools as you use them. That way things don't pile up and make a big mess around the cooking area.
    - Pull you hair back in a pony tail or something that assures you and everybody else it won't be appearing in the soup.
    - Never cry on top of the pots and pans.
    And the GOLDEN RULE: NEVER EVER cook while sitting down. Otherwise you are a lazy woman and God knows that there is no worse curse than being called that.
    My mom and the rest of my family have a very strong opinion of lazy women. She would die if she sees what I've seen here sometimes: women at the store wearing pijamas. I honestly don't know if it is a trend or what, but I've surprised myself disgusted at the sight of such a sacrilege. It's like if my mom was taking over my body and soul to say "Lazy woman, that is disgusting! You must be smelling terribly, not even taking a shower today, what a shame. There is nothing I hate more than seeing women doing the houseshores in Pijamas, I have the impression they must be stinky!!". I hear my mom's voice loud and clear in my head in absolute disapproval with her always dignified look.

    As I review all the rules my mom enforces in the kitchen I make sure the stove plates are as impecable as it can be and that the pots and pans get washed, dryed and stored as they are meant to be. In a few more minutes I will take them out again to cook with them, but it doesn't matter, because at the end all the rules make perfect sense to me, above all when I'm missing my mother so badly.
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Friday, June 16, 2006

Delayed Post

I wrote this blog 2 days ago but I'm too cheap to pay for connection to post it right away.
Anyways, here it goes

June 14th 2006.

I’m at B&N again. This is my second night in a row.
I came here because of the wireless but I don’t feel like paying almost 4 bucks for an hour and a half of connectivity. Borders is yet worse. I like that bookstore but they are charging 6 dollars for just one hour. It’s absolutely outrageous to pay that amount just for a bit of bandwidth when they have so much available. Greedy bastards!

Anyhow. I went to an ESL orientation at a community college to see if that is useful for my sister. She is visiting me at the end of the year (Woohoo!!!) and I want her to use the time I’m going to be working in taking classes to improve her English. This one turned out to be something different from what I expected. It was more for people that is actually living in the USA, and it was for free but as a way to invest in the people that is actually taking those classes to be part of this society which is not what my sister wants to do anyways.
The orientation was still kind of funny. It was a Spanish orientation (which took me by surprise since the person that gave me the information on the phone neglected to mention this detail) directed by an Iranian woman that openly admitted never studying Spanish and speaking very little. Mostly it was spanglish and a very confused one. She spent most of the time trying to make the attendees (everyone there was Latin) that USA was a great country and the land of opportunity and how they could be millionaires if they learnt English.

I think I’ll end up again at the university level, and although is a lot more expensive is more oriented towards the goals my sister has in mind.

And changing the subject. Today my garden looked wonderful but I had to cover the seedlings because it was getting cold outside, which is very weird given that we are reaching summer. My tomatoes are growing big and pretty and my herbs look just beautiful. The only thing I’m obsessed about is getting a Lemon Verbena for my herbal garden. I want to put a leave or two in my mate, like my mom does. I can’t remember the name we give to this herb in my country. Also, I have these seeds of Nasturtium I haven’t sown but I can’t find a good spot for them. It has to be sunny and it has to be somewhere that they can climb because is a vine after all. Another project is making a planter to put outside my kitchen window. It’s not very sunny but I think it has enough light to have some herbs and some flowers growing.

I know it’s little too in advance but I can stop thinking about the winter and how is going to affect my garden. It kills me to think that some of my herbs will not survive it.
I try to think in how to make a greenhouse that will protect my herbs and plants for the winter but I can’t really come up with any idea that makes good sense.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

My Minnesota Home

We just got out of the movies.
We went to see A Prairie Home Companion after several attempts during the whole busy past weekend. I cried so much and laughed so much that I was unbelievably upset for not being able to control this hurricane of emotions that was shaking me. I don’t know if all the other people felt like I felt watching the movie or if it had some sort of special meaning for me. The music has a lot to do with it. It was real music, the one that comes out of the heart of people that works the land and the country. Those that really know about hard work and hard life period. It reminded me of papaw and his stories. It made me feel like I should write a song myself about simple things that fulfill the souls of those hardworking people, like my parents and grandparents, including my adoptive grandparents. Oh boy how close to home all that felt! And I’m not even a native from the Midwest! It was like all of the sudden I had my own memories of a place in which I never lived and in a time where I wasn’t even born.
All these small details that should be meaningless for me turned out to be embedded in my heart after all. It is very hard to describe what was going on inside me while sitting in the theater. I was able to relate to almost every character in that movie, like I knew them all for a long time, and not because I listen to the radio show every weekend, but because in some moment of my life I’ve met every one of those characters for real.
All that theater environment, the music, the singers, the whole show seemed like it was a very familiar place, a place where I should be right now.