pair of pears

supply and demand

The anticipated supply chain problems have exacerbated my shopping and hoarding tendencies. I don't even know what our baking situation will be like in December but I ordered holiday sprinkles during my last Target haul. We follow the want/need/wear/read formula for Christmas prezzies and I already sent my list to send to Mo and purchased Mo's and Zacky's gifts. I have the habit of replenishing supplies once something is opened, we have a full pantry, and emergency food storage. I always order the big packages of toilet paper. We have a complete medicine cabinet, including (childhood memories) Vick's VapoRub. Nothing to worry about!

We finished the current season of Miraculous Ladybug in French and have started in on Captain Underpants (Les Aventures Du Capitaine Slip). Something I never had anticipated in 20+ years of studying French.
pair of pears

halfway to Halloween

We have a huge plastic bin of Halloween stuff that I haven't put up because (1) we don't have room and (2) real pumpkins are better than fake pumpkins, no matter how artful the fake pumpkins are. Unearthing the box reminded me that last year I had gone a little nuts at the post-holiday clearance at Target. Also, every year we just collect stuff along the way. Now we have 4 or 5 plastic trick or treat pumkin pails. Z will be dressing up as a Star Wars Rebel pilot or Captain America Falcon.

The past couple of weekends have been pretty mellow. I recently discovered Julie James' books and have read the entire back catalog. She hasn't published anything since 2017 and is only active on IG, and doesn't update about her writing. I love that her heroines are so smart and confident and her heroes are not...intimidated. And: So Much Banter.

Another recent discovery is Fish Taco. They have several restaurants in MD and one in VA. We were going to a show at Adventure Theater and the Fish Taco in Cabin John was the nearest restaurant so I ordered online since Glen Echo Park has a picnic area. It was SO delicious. The show was cancelled because of one of the actors was injured (but is OK) but Fish Taco made the trip worthwhile.
pair of pears

scheduling

We have had to re-jigger Z's schedule several times since the start of the school year. He is reluctant to give anything up (except French which is non-negotiable) and he loves soccer so when the soccer program at school (belatedly) finalized the fall schedule, we had to move around violin and French. Ugh. He has a golf class Tuesday afternoons so that couldn't budge, unlike his individual violin and French sessions.

Golf is at 4pm and luckily the public golf course has good wi-fi so I was able to work from my laptop while enjoying the late afternoon sunshine in an Adirondack chair. Two ladies next to me - they looked to be in their 30s - loudly made travel plans. "MOSCOW. Just look for M-O-S. That's the airport code." At the same time Z's golf coach from the summer was taking around a group of young people escorted by police officers. I had been researching used sets of kid-sized golf clubs and I was thrilled when Z got a set for free because of a generous donor.
pair of pears

staycation's all I ever wanted

I had a long list of virtual and analog tasks for my staycation but they were thwarted by the unexpected task of moving our stuff around. Our floor tiles got replaced while we were in Morocco and as a result all of our furniture and other items were piled in the middle of the living room. It was like moving again. So I had to spend a couple of days sorting that out.

Things I got done, at least:
* transferred leftover funds in an old retirement account from a former employer to my main retirement account
* washed all the slipcovers
* ordered new glasses
* did the paperwork to renew my passport including taking the dreaded passport photos
* did all the exit stuff like returning my laptop and destroying my security badge so I can start a new job
pair of pears

blog bankruptcy

Have you heard of email bankruptcy? It's when the the number of emails is so overwhelming that it's worth it just to delete everything and just start over. I hereby declare social media bankruptcy. I apologize for missing birthdays and other special milestones, thanks to crappy internet in Morocco and just generally unplugging, as one does on vacation.

Z did great - he rarely whined or complained, and didn't get sick which was my biggest fear. Overall a good trip, and well worth the stress of getting ready and getting things done. Out of many favorite memories, one is that when we landed in the US, everyone clapped. I hadn't witnessed that since I was a kid going to and from the Philippines.
pair of pears

artifacts

I haven't been on a plane since December 2019 (Malawi) and I leave for Morocco Friday night so I had to dig out all my travel stuff. I indulged myself by buying a copy of Lonely Planet's Morocco guide over the weekend - although I lived in Rabat for three years, it was twenty years ago (!) and I spent very little time then as a tourist.

I unearthed my suitcase from storage and found that I just had to toss some expired snacks. I had honed my travel routine to the point where my stuff is pre-packed and I only had to add my phone and wallet. I was sad though to find some relics of my last trip, like a printed itinerary tucked away in a pocket (Washington DC - Addis Ababa - Lilongwe). Also for some reason I couldn't find my yellow WHO card. I normally keep it with my personal and diplomatic passports but it's disappeared. The original vaccine passport. Thankfully I'm on an overnight, direct flight so hopefully less stressful then my usual work travel.
pair of pears

hatoba (wharf)

Is it possible to be addicted to a certain dish? I don't even remember the first time we ordered from Hatoba (which means "wharf" in Japanese) but it is now our Friday night ritual along with a family movie. Either Mo picks it up or I get it via UberEats. I don't even know if it's good ramen, I just know it's the only ramen I like eating. I've tried all the other well-known ramen places in the area but for some reason my body only likes shio as prepared by Hatoba. And Z feels the same way. We are such good customers now that once our order came with a paper crane on which someone had carefully printed "thank you."

It has cooled down a bit. This month is our big family trip to Morocco. I haven't been since Mo's mother passed away, in 2003. Of course Mo goes regularly especially now that there are direct flights and he has taken Z in alternate years. We are planning on visiting the north. None of us have been to Chefchaouen and we are also going to Tangier and Tetouan, which will be the first time for Mo.
pair of pears

winding down on day #499

Mo and Z leave for Morocco on Saturday and so my scramble to complete everything before my departure in three weeks left has begun in earnest. This morning we got our respective letters for consent to travel notarized. It shows that one parent knows and authorizes the other parent to take their child out of the country. Mo has the Moroccan family record book so that works for Morocco and then returning to the US he has never been asked to show this letter. I'm coming back alone with Z and we have different names so it'll be interesting. When we've traveled to and from the Philippines we've had to show the birth certificate *and* the marriage certificate.

I got the Eloquii romper dress from Walmart and it fits fine but...it's a romper dress. Mixed feelings. Also so many logistics involved for going to the loo. But it's cute and suprisingly comfortable.
pair of pears

specialty products

I'm more into fashion than beauty, and I've never been a nail person. I've had occasional pedicures but never a manicure. Once in a while I wear nail polish. Luckily I have healthy strong nails and apart from regular moisturizing I haven't done much with my hands. Lately I noticed my cuticles were a real mess. I bought a cuticle clipper and tried various remedies, including stepping up application of Aquaphor or coconut oil, with few results. I finally caved and bought cuticle cream. I always thought it was silly to purchase single-purpose products but I grudgingly admit that Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream has done a very good job. It also smells nice. That's the extent of my nail care regime though.

Since we will all be together in Morocco we will take this year's family photos there. Mo and Z have their traditional outfits but I do not, so my first couple of days in-country will be shopping for a caftan. I've worn djellabas but never a caftan. They just seem really heavy and cumbersome with all the accessories.
pair of pears

halfway through summer (already?!)

For a little while I was really good at updating regularly and writing in my personal journal and now I am back to my usual flaky self. I gauge the passage of summer by what camps Z is in during any particular week. He has already done soccer and golf, and now he is in tennis. He didn't like the tennis coach last year, and this year I enrolled him with the caveat that he has a different coach, and even now he is not thrilled. I told him that it's the only sport that the three of us all play, and that he needs to distinguish between the sport and the coach. But so far it has been his least favorite camp. Z has baseball Mondays and Wednesdays, lacrosse on Tuesdays, violin on Thursdays, swim lessons on Fridays, and fencing on Saturdays. And he has to read a chapter of his book every day. Yet with all of that, and playdates, and general hanging out, he *still* spends a lot of time in front of a screen.

We are going to Morocco in August - that is, Mo is taking Z, then I am joining them mid-way, and returning with Z in time for the first day of school, while Mo stays on. I have not been to Morocco since 2004 and we have never been together as a family. Plans include visiting northern Morocco so it should be "interesting." Neither of us have been to Chefchaoun, and Mo has not been to Tangier, Tetouan, or Asilah. And of course everything has changed since I lived there in 2000-2003.