Tuesday, August 22, 2006


So, last week the kids' school celebrated International Month (well no, not just last week, but that's when it affected me personally, so that's when it counts). By the way, if anyone would like a construction paper flag of virtually any country you could possibly think of in the ENTIRE WORLD (and in duplicate), please just drop me a line.

But anyway, all parents were asked to do a presentation about where their family comes from. Yes, a presentation! No, no, without the powerpoint and laser pen, but still...the PRESSURE!!!!

Although I was very tempted to just sarcastically point at the map of Texas, a few hours before the big event (a remnant from my college days), I printed out 2 color maps of Mexico, 48 color labels with a picture of a wolf spider (common in Mexico), and zipped off to the school to teach the other 46 monsters in Saia & Chago's respective classes how to say the word "araña" (spider in Spanish) and to sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider in Spanish (audio coming later -- of the kids, of course -- not me). :P

Everything went over really well -- especially the empanadas de calabaza (butternut squash turnovers) I'd made the night before. Money may not be able to buy you love, but just the right recipe can move mountains. Which brings me to my real reason for writing today. My favorite part of this particular recipe (thanks, Mom) calls for an anise extract. I usually boil some anise seed and a couple of cinnamon sticks to get the extract...and the smell always and will forever remind me of my Grandma Queta, who passed away in January of this year.

But it's a nice memory. And I was happy to have it.

Thinking of you often and missing you so very much, Mamo.

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