You know how sometimes you stop what you’re doing and you take stock of what you’re doing and then you have a meta-analysis moment? Well, in the middle of mending CLH’s pants on the sewing machine while a loaf of bread was baking in the oven tonight, I had one of those moments. And, inside my head, it kind of sounded like this:

“You know, no one would believe that you are sewing and baking bread right now.”

“Oh yeah? Now why would you say a thing like that?”

“Because you are wearing a pair of shit kicking black boots and your head is shorn and you have been known to swear in front of children”.

“Well, that doesn’t mean i’m all spit and vinegar, does it? I can have a soft side too, y’know. I can be domestic.”

The sewing machine was my mom’s. It’s tempermental (not unlike my mother). During my childhood, I knew when she was using the thing because a) it sounded like a small train coming through the house and b) my mom would let fly from her mouth a string of curses like you’ve never heard. (Think: the father from “A Christmas Story”). I didn’t understand the need for such language until I inherited it. Now I find myself also tearing at the needle and bobbin with both hands and cursing the little baby Jesus himself. She didn’t use it often- I remember the year she made our Halloween costumes. I remember every rage infused stitch. Ah, homemaking.

But, let’s get to the list, shall we?

Okay, so first things first. Friend, mugging, South America. Well, my friend is okay. She can tell you all about her adventures here. She’s alright. She’s better than alright. She’s cruising around on a motorcycle with her male traveling companion behind her. In a Latin American country. Gutsy, I tell ya.

I only bring this up because this was a huge reality check for me. See, lately I’ve been thinking i want to live someplace sunny and tropical. And that place, in my dreams, is somewhere around the vicinity of Panama. I know, I know. What’s with Panama? I don’t know, to be quite honest. You know how you things come to you in multiples? Like when you can’t explain why you’re thinking about oranges all day long and then you see a sign on the way home from work that involves the word orange and then your friend calls when you and tells you he’s just invested in the orange markets and then you find the next morning you’ve unconsciously chosen your orange shirt to wear? Yeah, well, Panama is like that for me. People were talking about it. And seriously, too. Moving to another country is no small thing. So, for lots of different people to be saying all the same thing at the same time… well, don’t think I didn’t sit up and listen. CLH and I just bought our tickets to go visit in December.

In my mind, the whole visit thing goes down smoothly. We arrive, we kick off our shoes, and we don’t put them on again for a whole month because all we do is lay on the beach and read 56 novels each and occasionally we get up for food. Maybe we venture out into the hinterlands and we take some pictures and we find a cave or a pile of rocks and we feel like we’ve explored. We ask around about where 2 ex-pats can live and we get used to wearing white linen. Here’s what’s missing from this la-la land adventure: other people. There isn’t anyone standing in the way of our being completely and totally lazy. There certainly aren’t any criminals. So, when my friend wrote that she’d been mugged, I finally came back to earth. Right. There will be other things to navigate besides palm trees and pina coladas, dummy. Get this: people may not want us there. And even if most of them are cool with us, there are still the rogue few who can see only our wristwatches and passports.

On a totally separate note, the garden is coming along nicely. All the angst I felt about how big a job it was going to be is melting away. We’ve cleared out three beds and put our seeds in. Here’s what we’re growing this year: beans, peas, tomatoes (at least six different kinds), turnips, beets, radishes, squash, pumpkins, cucumbers and zucchini. I’ve also got parsley, thyme, basil, marjoram, chives, mint, and cilantro starting in the greenhouse (which has finally mostly been rid of its former occupants, the rats). Alongside the herbs in the greenhouse are rows and rows of pots with zinnia and sunflower seeds in them. This is the first year I have ever really grown flowers from seeds and I’m pretty excited to see how they turn out. The apple trees and the rest of the fruit trees are flowering. I hope the bees come back this year. The raspberries are finally breathing now that we’ve got some of the grass cleared out from around their bases, and the strawberries are being weeded one plant at a time. The rhubarb is also exploding like something from another planet. There’s so much stinkin’ fruit on this property, it’s almost too much to manage. It’s been amazing to watch everything return to green. Summer’s gonna rock.