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Just a Little Tea/Pot



Posted by on Apr 21, 2014 | 4 comments

German Countryside

I’m out of breath riding backwards on a train sitting across from an Asian student who doesn’t speak English but who does speak German.  She’s working on an exam of some sort, using a pencil and block eraser and painting her words beautiful, none of which I can read.  Not just because they’re upside down to me, but because they’re auf Deutsch and upside down.  I recognize the language mostly because so many words have more than 20 letters.  She turns her paper and starts on page six.

Castles and farms, rolling green and tilled earth are blurring by, a whirr of places I’ve never seen, visions of which have become familiar.  Living in this foreign country seeded a deep appreciation for her, an expansion of love for people and place. And history and art and architecture.

I haven’t yet learned the art of traveling light God help me so I lug my aubergine suitcase past 18 trains and 18 tracks with a 20-pound pack on my back (four bags of sugar feels about right), my red purse pouched on my chest like an infant, my turquoise flight pillow clutched tight.  I reach train RE 4077 and scale its two steps laboring to drag my bag with me, when a beautiful young man holding a box of spaghetti proves that chivalry isn’t dead.  He speaks a little English, enough to offer help, and he hands me his box of food so he can lift my box of clothes.  I confirm my train with him and he shakes his head no, but at the same time we realize he’s just not going as far as me, and that yes, he hadn’t just wasted time and effort to help the breathless American with her bag.

I had arrived on Platform 8 and my next train was on 26, supposedly a 10-minute walk with one minute to spare before departure.  My heart’s pounding is slowing to a quieter rhythm, the boiling adrenaline now purring to a simmer. I inhale thanks and exhale relief.  I made it with 90 seconds to spare.

It is only now I realize an earlier decision in the day has consequence now:

I bought a ticket for a regional train.  Had I stuck with my intention to purchase an ICE (high speed) ticket, I would have had food service available.  The miscue was made primarily due to the language barrier and my train clerk wanting to save me money.  Why it has bearing now is I’m thirsty.  It’s well after lunchtime and the hunger doesn’t bother me near as much as the thirst.  My desire is at least partially fueled by knowing I don’t have anything to drink–it’s human nature to want what you can’t have, after all.  But my mouth is dry and my lips are chapped so I’m pretty sure it’s not all in my head

And then I remember a birthday gift from my friend Suzanne.

It was a gag gift of sorts, the kind born of getting to know one another just a little bit better.  Though I can’t recall the context of our conversation, I admitted I had never smoked pot.  Alcohol was my drug of choice back in those oat-sowing college days. The one time I was passed a joint, I  handed it off like a hot potato, sure the police were about to burst through the door, catch me with illicit drugs and cart me off to prison to do Shawshank time–fine incentive to Just Say No.

Looking back, I can’t honestly say why I didn’t try it.  I’d like to think it was a faith conviction or my good-girl sensibilities…but maybe just my penchant for following rules.  The drinking age was lower when I was in college so I wasn’t breaking any laws.  But pot?  Illegal then, and everywhere I’ve ever lived.

So when Suzanne was shopping yesterday, she saw something with my name on it and couldn’t pass it up–

Cannabis Tea

C+ Swiss Cannabis Tea contains only 5% hemp flower syrup with a scant trace of THC (0.0015%); you’d have to drink over a case of 24 before feeling any effect. It tastes just like…wait for it…bottled ice tea, a blend of sugar, lemon juice, and black tea extract.  (Sorry, kids, it’s virtually impossible to get high, if that’s what you’re going for…it’s LEGAL!)


THIS is the kind of gift I love–its value is in its story.

It was fun, outrageous, unexpected and anything but conventional, but mostly it’s tied to knowing me.  As Suzanne quipped, “when you drink it you won’t technically be able to say you’ve never had pot anymore.”  Not like this is any banner of achievement, but something about it was just…me.

Because I couldn’t carry liquids on the plane, my plan was simply to tuck it away in my suitcase when we returned home and keep it as a conversation piece until curiosity got the best of me.

Until, that it, I was on a train riding backwards and out of breath, in a foreign country where I was traveling alone and didn’t speak the language, when there wasn’t time to stop for bottled water without missing my train; when I was hot and thirsty and a tangle of nerves.

So now I’m happy to report, though I can’t still say I’ve never had pot before, I can truthfully testify in a court of law with my hand on the Bible…




I’ve never inhaled.


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BEHOLD one of life’s greatest mysteries



Posted by on Jan 9, 2013 | 7 comments

When I visited Venice last summer, one of the most unexpected discoveries was a fair trade shop somewhere off the beaten bath canal, whose name escapes me now (but I probably couldn't say anyway).

The shop was overflowing with interesting bags and accessories, but parked just inside the front door was a tee shirt you couldn't help but notice.

MacChettemagni - what does it mean?!
We wandered around a while and tempting were many of the store's offerings; but as much as I distained anything so American being sold in a fair trade Italian shop, I couldn't ignore the rising wonder of the crimson tee, her golden arches and that peculiar word.  

If you know me, you're well aware I couldn't leave without asking.  I found the owner and begged its translation.  In beautiful, Italian-caressed English, his eyes twinkling as he let me in on the secret and confided–

"What the hell are you putting in your mouth?!"

It was all I could do not to buy one.

Especially with the reintroduction "for a limited time" McRib.  


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On our first visit to Salzburg: how I almost wet my pants



Posted by on May 9, 2012 | 3 comments

Salzburg is famous for a lot of reasons ~

  • 6828973357_6f317ff1cb_zbirthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • where The Sound of Music was filmed
  • beautiful baroque architecture with some of the most famous churches in the world
  • it sits at the northern boundary of the Alps and borders the Salzach River.
  • it’s 45 minutes from our German home (okay, that’s not so famous) and I discovered the most delicious, thick, frothy hot chocolate IN THE WORLD.  I’m pretty sure that’s not an exaggeration.

But the first time we visited I almost froze to death despite wearing thermal layers that had me walking like the Abominable Snowman.  Impossible to take pictures with gloves on – temperatures below freezing – I gave up when my naked fingers stiffened into claws.

I haven’t seen so many ankle-length fur coats since I played dress-up at the Fur Department in Belks, or either giant minks with human heads had taken over the city.  

We braved the Salzburgian Arctic Tundra as long as humanly possible; but before heading home, Tad needed to use the restroom.  As we’ve discovered in several European cities, public restrooms might require payment.  

And, get this:  some demand that you declare your business!  Number 1 costs less than Number 2, which to me is just TOO MUCH INFORMATION but I suppose it’s based on water consumption and they’re just trying to be fair.

But I’d prefer anonymity and injustice and pay a little more to protect my privacy. My shy bladder looks bold compared to my reclusively private bowel!

Which is likely TMI for you.

Though I didn’t need to “go” I decided to blow my nose while Tad “went”; I wandered into the women’s side of the public WC to hunt for a roll of toilet paper.  My frozen nose hairs were holding back a dam of snot, which sounds mildly offensive, but what IS the nice word for snot?  Mucus?  That doesn’t sound right, so please–I’m beggin’ for your suggestions.  

But I digress.


I discovered coin slots mounted on all the stall doors, and since I had no euros to open the doors, I turned to paper towels hanging over the sinks.  While I blew my frozen, raw nose with the equivalent of sandpaper, I noticed another wall of sinks and mirrors on the other side of a little hallway, vaguely hearing but dismissing a voice inside my head that said “The bathroom sure didn’t look *that* large from the outside….” 

When I got to the end of the hallway, I noticed a small yellow basket with coins in it sitting in a chair to my right; in a nano second I tried to reason “Why does this side have the honor system…?” when a man’s voice thundered “WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN HERE?!”

Well, I might not have had to go but I about wet my britches and jumped backwards into the ladies room.

Had I just looked to my left, I would have seen a row of urinals and my husband turning and zipping up.  Thankfully, only my husband.

Why there are doors for a men’s side and a women’s side is beyond me when it’s one big happy bathroom with a teensy hallway dividing the genders.

This isn’t quite what I had in mind when I declared 2012 The Year of Adventure.

~ smile ~

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If this doesn’t make you laugh, we can no longer be friends.



Posted by on Dec 4, 2011 | 21 comments

This is four minutes of the funniest, cleanest hilarity I've ever seen, and it's Greg's and Ryan's reactions to reading each other's lists for the first time that put this video over the top for me.  Over one million hits to You Tube suggest if you haven't seen it, you need to.  

Daddy butter made me giggle, eye removal kit had me rolling, and by the time the circus clowns were storming the beaches at Normandy, I almost needed Oopsie Daisy adult underpants.  Laughter is the best medicine after all, and if you've been ailing, this might just be the cure!

Your turn:  what item did you lose it on? 🙂


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[Twisted] Veggie Tales



Posted by on Aug 18, 2011 | 7 comments

"What happens when you play Barry White to your carrots….."

twisted carrots

Reason #128 while Jill aka The Diaper Diaries is one of my favorite bloggers on the planet–this was her Facebook status this morning.  And in consideration of my bi-polar week–I'm more up and down than the price of crude–I don't think she'll mind my blatant plagiarism (especially if you click her link and visit her darling blog).  

After yesterday's tearjerker (well, maybe only my tears…) and thinkin' about what's in store for me tomorrow…I think we all agree I could use the laugh :).

Don't you think these naughty veggies beg a caption? Please chime in with YOUR best in comments; bonus points for haikus (or poems of any kind).  Most clever commenter wins a prize!

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Baseball bats and the difference between friends and BEST friends



Posted by on Jun 30, 2011 | 3 comments

Sometimes I do or say things my kids don't care for.

Like when I tell them "Do (or don't do) ________, or I'll take a baseball bat to your knee caps."

For example, "If you or any of your friends ride your RipStick down our VERY STEEP driveway AGAIN, I will take a baseball bat to your knee caps."

Bloody carnage seems to beget bloody carnage, and the gruesome pictures recently texted to me of their friend warrant my obsidian warning.

Now it's not that I'm a violent soul or that they feel threatened in any way; it just sounds awful.  And based on its hyperbolic ludicrousness, it's funny to me.

Just not to them.

So imagine my sheer delight when I discovered this in an etsy shop

Best friend button

Let's just say my children don't share my enthusiasm and the oldest is questioning why-in-THE-world she ever called me perfect….

I'm okay with that.


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