Friday, December 28, 2012

God Respects Me When I Work...

"God respects me when I work, but He loves me when I sing.” - Rabindranath Tagore

Amel Larrieux  (

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dragon Daughter, Dog Mother

By Mai Brehaut

When chance delivers a baby dragon to a hound mother,
everything is turned upside – a taxonomy unlike any another.
How to explain such an odd couple?
Only understanding can remedy such a kerfuffle.

For they are an ecology of opposites,
a fire spiting draco to a docile bellied basset.
The female hound follows her wolf instincts -
to protect her offspring, her duty she must hoodwink.

After repeated attempts, the dragon does not fancy fetch.
Instead, she prefers hours to herself producing a sketch
burned on rock with laser breath, magical landscapes she yearns to explore.
All kept from mother hound, will she understand what she is likely to abhor?

Observe the daily rituals, long hours pink licks labor
from thorny crown to rapturous toe, and
sniffsorials on social etiquette – the followers path held in high favor.
All the while, the dragon daydreams of mountains and mythical lakes,

away from the clay den that was dug,
crouched over she squeezes - her size reduced to a bug.
At mealtime, proudly the mother hound nuzzles the choicest of bone
and barks aloud, eatit is yours and many more will you own!

In one tiny gulp, the dragon swallows and puffs out smoke.
Perhaps this is being played out - an evolutionary poke.
The dragon curses her iridescent scales, her thundering tail,
How she loathes her steamy nostrils - all the dross she entails.

For in her heart, she wishes to soar further.
What of the legends of Arthur and Excalibur?
For the power and mystery of her unworldly wings -
Why can’t she learn like a good hound daughter to bury her feelings?

Yet even, as she slaps a woeful claw over serpentine brows
Almost blaming, the dragon cannot help but realize this
Acceptance – after all, she must espouse
for there is nothing more important and gentle as its kiss.

Amidst protesting whines and howls,
mother hound does what she knows best:
safety, a home, the material needs –
Doesn’t that matter? Life’s good deeds?

With courage she glides on, in truth she confesses
to find her own pack, the dragon daughter leaves the nest.
For it is her nature, as it has always been – as old as science and cosmology,
admire how the Heavens created her morphology –
See the mother hound wag on too, who cares for her as her own –
each one different – Love not separate but grown.

Friday, November 30, 2012

We did not come to remain whole...

By Robert Bly

We did not come to remain whole.
We came to lose our leaves like the trees,
the trees that are broken and start again,
drawing up from the great roots.

On Art + Writing

"My idea of art is, you write something that makes people feel so strongly that they get some conviction about who they want to be or what they want to do. It’s morally useful not in a political way, but it makes your heart bigger; it’s emotionally and spiritually empowering.” - Mary Karr

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Udder-less-ly Delicious

As a working class foodie, I love a good pizza and a good challenge. Can pizza be just as good without the pizzazz of cheese and meat?  Sacrilege, you say?

Last week, I treaded on this treacherous territory with some homemade vegan-ish inspired creations made my way. You might be thinking of the taste of card board boxes right now. But oh no, amicis! I knew that the secret had to be: 

1. Awesome dough (nicely rested dough. Rolled out thin, then on a heated pizza stone - everything in the oven no more than 10-12 mins on 500F). 

2. The toppings (fresh, tasty, seasonal ingredients from the farmer's market and local stores. Again thinly sliced).

So, as a baker, there was some dough I made with home brewed yeast conveniently sitting in the fridge. I had some fresh, post summer vegetables from the farmer's market. And some homemade pesto and red pepper sauce. Thai peanut sauce anyone? Surely, I was ready to make proper homage to the pizza gods.

As a lover of all food, I was highly, highly skeptical! But darn it, if you start with the best ingredients,  you won't be missing a thing. In fact, the pizza love ranneth over!

Here's some evidence. Can you just smell it? Sending you a slice :)

Buon appetito!

My name is alota...alota veggie....

zucchini, portabellas, peppers, red onion on homemade pesto and dough 
eggplant on red pepper sauce - before oven
after the oven - forgive me, some cheese was added on the other half for the boy 
thai peanut sauce, zuchhs, cilantro, whole wheat crust

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Pink oyster mushrooms from the Alemany Farmer's Market

Even prettier on a bed of homemade pesto with spaghetti!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Brunch, oh My!

On sun-kissed Cupertino Sunday, I had the sweet and gratifying pleasure of catering a brunch for an old college roommate, My. Now, do not be fooled by her cute little exterior, for My has a deadly talent. She can eat. I mean seriously EAT...anyone and I mean anyone under the table WITHOUT gaining 1 single pound. So, if scientists could isolate this unique gene of hers, bottle it up...she could very well be on her way to world domination.

Lately, I've been playing around with a brunch catering idea - something that combines both my passion (obsession really) for baking and food. So, as I was thinking of this experiment, the image of My popped into my head. She invited friends, some with kids in tow and amidst paper planes, DuckTales and feasting, an excellent experience was being savored and treasured.

My and I go waaay back. (Actually, I knew "of her" even during my senior days in high school. Although we went to different schools, a mutual friend put us together. In hindsight, I think he probably had a little crush on her ;) Anyways, she left such an impression on him that he was emphatic that I meet "My!" - especially since we were going to go to the same college. Long story short, we talked for hours over the phone, kept in touch throughout college, probably walked on the beach during sunset and lived together for 2 years after we graduated from Santa Clara University. We had a lot of fun in those days - many parties and culinary dinners that involved exotic ingredients like beets. 

Today, she's married, has 2 lovely boys (who I want to kidnap) and a really cool hubster by the name of Alex. It's a wonderful pleasure to cook for people you care about and who care about you and who knew you when you were just a young thing. Much love My & Alex!

Now, for the food...

Le Brunching Menu for 8
2 Poulet encroute - chicken baked in bread
2 Cinnamon roll loafs with cream cheese frosting
1 Galette des rois with creme d'amande (equal parts almond flour and pastry creme) + raspberries
2 pitchers Orange Julius with freshly squeezed farmers market oranges

Bon appetit!

panzanella salad - heirloom tomatoes, basil and the bread crust (soaked in chicken juices!) 
special galettes des rois with creme d'amandes et framboise
so light and fluffy - these are my killer cinnamon rolls
me and mz My in front of the spread (plus devilish eggs made by "beet" man Ed)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ode to Autumn

by John Keats

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,        
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease;
For Summer has o'erbrimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barrèd clouds bloom the soft-dying day
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river-sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Friday, September 14, 2012


by Lucinda Williams

We were blessed by the minister
Who practiced what he preached
We were blessed by the poor man
Who said heaven is within reach
We were blessed by the girl selling roses
Showed us how to live
We were blessed by the neglected child
Who knew how to forgive
We were blessed by the battered woman
Who didn't seek revenge
We were blessed by the warrior
Who didn't need to win
We were blessed by the blind man
Who could see for miles and miles
We were blessed by the fighter
Who didn't fight for the prize

We were blessed by the mother
Who gave up the child
We were blessed by the soldier
Who gave up his life
We were blessed by the teacher
Who didn't have a degree
We were blessed by the prisoner
Who knew how to be free
We were blessed
Yeah, we were blessed

We were blessed by the mystic
Who turned water into wine
We were blessed by the watchmaker
Who gave up his time
We were blessed by the wounded man
Who felt no pain
By the wayfaring stranger
Who knew our names
We were blessed by the homeless man
Who showed us the way home
We were blessed by the hungry man
Who filled us with love
By the little innocent baby
Who taught us the truth
We were blessed by the forlorn
Forsaken and abused

We were blessed
Yeah, we were blessed
Mmm, we were blessed
Yeah, we were blessed
We were blessed

Thursday, September 13, 2012

On Knowledge

"I know one thing, that I know nothing" - Socrates

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I Talk to My Inner Lover

by Kabir / translated by Robert Bly

I talk to my inner lover, and I say, why such rush?
We sense that there is some sort of spirit that loves
birds and animals and the ants--
perhaps the same one who gave a radiance to you in
your mother's womb.
Is it logical you would be walking around entirely
orphaned now?
The truth is you turned away yourself,
and decided to go into the dark alone.
Now you are tangled up in others, and have forgotten
what you once knew,
and that's why everything you do has some weird
failure in it.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Thirty Spokes Unite One Hub

by Lao Tzu

Thirty spokes unite one hub

It is precisely where there is nothing, 
that we find the usefulness of the wheel.

We fire clay and make vessels

It is precisely where there's no substance, 
that we find the usefulness of clay pots.

We chisel out doors and windows

It is precisely in these empty spaces, 
that we find the usefulness of the room.

Therefore, we regard having something as beneficial

But having nothing is useful.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I Learned This...

"I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws will be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings." - Henry Thoreau

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Home Again

At 1:15 pm, on July 17, 2012, the cargo van pulled up in front of Calle Cabrera. It was scheduled to pickup the couple and their 2 dogs from the Palermo Soho neighborhood of Buenos Aires to the EZE airport. The family had been living on the road a little over a year. Today, they were headed to their final destination, San Francisco, California. Home. The last leg of the journey.

I am in the front seat of the cargo van. Cedric is in the back with the dogs and their crates. We set off with 13 suitcases, now 5 remain. There are no seats in the back of the van, except for two mounds in the rear that mark the outside wheels. Cedric makes a seat on one of those mounds. Roberto, the driver hands me a cherry menthol. He hands it to the back to Cedric. He apologizes; he normally carries cargo, not people. Hopefully, it was clear on the phone when the arrangements were made. Roberto, has curly brown hair and a round buddha belly. Next to the hand break, there is a mate gourd stuffed like a fat cigar – the dry leaves fill the edges of the gourd. As customary, its companion, the thermos in fire engine red sits beside it.

It hasn’t really hit me that we are going home. It feels like any day, when the mystery of the road beckoned – and we, its pilgrims were guided by the compass of our intuition and the wisdom of our hearts. I don’t want to feel the finality of it, but it seems like something is permanently ending.

Rather than linger in this discomfort, my mind wanders in the world of worry making. I worry about the dogs and their long flight ahead.  I worry about Cedric sitting in the back – should he have taken the front seat? I worry if Roberto makes conversation with me - what will I say?

There is an unopened 6-pack of paper towels wedged between my seat and Roberto’s. When the van stops at the red light, a white dog stands over the white paper towels and licks my hand. Roberto, seeing her, strokes her head. Biela says relax.

Roberto's eyes meet mine. He asks about our trip. Insecure, I open my mouth and Cedric’s voice emerges from it. The conversation begins and meanders. The topic is now about the black glaciers of Argentina. And the discussion carries on without me.

I watch the Portenos on the streets. The motion of their bodies – swinging hands and legs, orchestrated like a sidewalk dance. The last look of Buenos Aires. Hazy, busy, congested. 2 1/12 weeks ago, I was in Puerto Madryn walking barefoot on the pebble sand, walking next to whales.

I try and breathe deeply to stay present. But the breath comes in shallow and the out breath even shallower. I’ve been avoiding this feeling since we arrived in Buenos Aires.  Loss ruminating on the edges of consciousness.

It started with the hat. I don’t know if it was in Puerto Madryn or somewhere on the road – as we took the course on the Atlantic side of Argentina from Ushuaia. Somewhere in a parking lot, a gas station, a field pit stop, somewhere - I lost my Peruvian hat. It was the only thing I bought as a souvenir of the journey. Stitched with hand spun yarn from the Andes. Shapes of vicunas, triangles, tribes. The color of pink freesias, mountain lakes and plains – the colors of the flowering landscape: earth, fire, water.

I wore it in Lake Titicaca, through the long coast of Chile, Bariloche, El Calafate, Ushuaia….it kept my head and spirit warm.

Then a corrupted hardware drive whipped all the photographs I’d taken on the journey. I have a selection of photos on the blog and there are photos on Cedric’s laptop, but these are his selections. Mine are gone – lost in binary ether.

And then the car we named Boris. Who carried us and protected us inside him. I never thought I’d love an SUV, but I do now. I love that car – every single part of him. Solid, loyal, sound. We drove through sand storms, jungles, streams, fog, desert, ice and the highest point along the Andes. We would have never gone as far as el Fin del Mundo, Ushuaia without that wonderful car.

It’s hard to see beyond the loss when you’re in it. Dead leaves over delicate grass. No drink or sleep can cure it. Only complete and total acceptance.

How to end a chapter and begin anew?

Back in San Francisco, only 2 days after we land, at a gathering, a friend asks me about the trips’ highlights. I take a sip of red wine then start recounting the places, midway – there is a long pause, then complete silence. I don’t know what to say…

Words sink into sand. I’m already forgetting the names of the places. I am forgetting, the details of the trip...the hat, photos, the car and now the memory slipping into a hidden place where I can no longer access.

Where did they go? All those wonderful experiences when facts are forgotten? Like the sound of the morning bells in San Miguel de Allende – not like a rounded cathedral bell, but with a clank, that lovely clank of a ball inside a can. Or the canons that boomed with certainty, marking a celebration, a special day named after the saints. Or the color of the sunrise on the pampas en route to El Calafate, as the sun streamed upon the gloss of a golden fleece on the horizon. The circling of a solitary condor while trekking on the glacier of Perito Moreno. The sauna heat of midday cooled by the ocean breeze on your calves walking along Playa Hermosa, the beaches of Santa Teresa. Or the time when you are so lonely, you cry out to the Spirit above, and a green lizard emerges next to you in a tree. Crossing the path of a turtle on New Year’s day, on her way to lay her eggs. Waking up to the sight of a volcano or writing morning pages under the gaze of La Virgin del Panecillo.

Some things are encoded in experience, not revealed in words alone.

We are back at the pink cottage – our refuge before we left on the journey a year ago. It is part of our reentry. For the next 2 weeks, we stay here until we find a home again. We have made a full circle like the ouroboro, the ancient symbol of a snake or dragon eating its own tail representing the cycle of change. The eternal return.

Even though, I am back, something has transformed from within. Something is lost, but I am forever rich in this mystery of change. I am back, but nothing is the same. A new perspective emerges. I begin to see what has always been in front of me - all along.

I do some grocery shopping at the Castro. The cashier has on black eyeliner and smiles, in that flamboyant Castro way. “Your hair, I love it!” While, carding me for the sparkling wine. “Good work!” He says when he sees the birth year. Something I used to loathe, the whole IDing ordeal now I actually don’t mind. In fact, I like the little exchange. “Work it!!” He says as he bags my items. “Have a good night, sweetie.” I wish him a good night too and step out into the open streets, the smell of bay water mixed with marshmallow clouds.

I would have overlooked this exchange in my old life. Such delight and energy. Mystery. Vibrancy. There is a couple walking in front of me. The man hands the woman a purple dildo. For some reason, this is hilarious to me and I start laughing hysterically. In religious Latin America, you would never, ever see such an open exchange in broad day light. And the old me would have surely judged this act, condemned it even. But now, now it’s wonderful. Unexpected, outrageous, perfect. It’s perfect. Everything is the way it should be. And so I begin to realize, how grateful I am for the rainbow flag, the Castro that is audacious enough to exist. I see its magic and I am grateful - to see beyond the purple dildo!

We are walking up Kite Hill. The tree that fell over a year ago is no longer there. Biela looks like May West, her white fur blows against the wind. Manly plants his wet brown nose amidst bushes. A gossamer of fog surrounds the city momentarily. Then a strong wind blows it away and reveals her lovely face. There she is – my City by the Bay. I love you, I shout to the Zephyrs. I love you San Francisco. Thank you for loving me back!

view of the city from kite hill

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On Words

"All my life I've looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time." - Ernest Hemingway

Monday, August 20, 2012

On Parking and the Dalai Lama

On Saturday, I drive to the Ferry Building to meet a friend. Ask anyone in the city, and they’ll tell you how crazy parking can be during this time – especially, on a warm cloudless day – the sun, a bouquet of marigolds. Imagine a link of cars strewn like sausages along the Embarcadero, the familiar patchwork of tourists stamped on sidewalks - socializing, shopping, sunbathing. It’s a typical day on the tourist side of San Francisco.

Luckily, I know of a secret parking place only a block away from the Ferry Building - the Golden G Tennis Club (one of the perks, when I was a member). Minor detail: I’m no longer a member and therefore, not technically entitled to park here anymore.

However, it doesn’t hurt to just drive by - have a quick look, the mind taunts. I mean, I’m just looking like anyone and everyone – even if there is a big sign with words like club members only and tow away under penalty.

So, given this information, how does it happen that I find myself in the GG parking lot, amidst parking spaces aplenty? Then crawl in, so naturally into a perfectly usable parking space like it is meant to be?

I close the door and speed walk, then awkwardly march with head on feet, to freedom.

I fake my way to the club entrance – then slyly turn the opposite direction to the Ferry Building. I pass a man with glasses; taking an awfully long time to feed the parking meter. Coin. Drop. Clink. Coin. Drop. Clink....

The coast is clear. The Ferry Building is in my horizon.

EXCEPT for the life of me, did I remember to lock the door?

I turn around, speed walk, then casually inch closer to the parking lot and using the remote control key like a wand, try and lock the door from a bush.

EXCEPT, a damn car rolls up and blocks my line.

This is crazy Mai. You did lock the door, my mind keeps reassuring me. Just turn around and walk away.

EXCEPT, I don’t fully trust myself and what my mind is saying.

I walk up ever so cool-like to the car, open the door, then assume the ostrich position hiding its head into the seat. I close the door, lock it twice and then speed walk/stroll casually away. Double fake directions, then turn around and cross the street toward the Ferry Building. The coast is clear. Easy.

EXCEPT, my mind starts projecting into the future. What if I the club finds out. What if I come back, discover the car has been towed away and the only way to get it back is to hire one of those pedicabs, that I'm seeing more in the city. And we'll need to stop by the ATM first, because I don't have enough money to pay the exorbitant fine. What if…

My body stiffens. A razor pinch ruptures on the neck and shoulders. It’s now 20 minutes since I’ve parked the car. And I’m still playing tug of war with myself. This doesn’t feel good or wise. I try and remember a quote from the Dalai Lama that was recently and beautiful shared with me. Something about the heart and the mind. About being divided inside – the war inside. The heart will never understand why the mind will try to rationalize.

The man with glasses who was feeding the meter earlier, passes me and smiles.

I stop dead in my tracks. Remember to breathe deeply. And I ask my heart. What do I feel? What do I do?

Move the car!

For the third time, I walk back to the car. Start the engine and pull out. As I leave the parking lot, a car moves out of a parking space on the sidewalk.  I take the space. I step out, feeling content and peaceful and look for the meter. There is no meter. A bike cop rides next to me and tells me that he’s seen people park in this spot; he explains that there is no parking meter, he can’t fine me, but I would need to talk to someone at the club to find out if it’s ok for me to park here since the space is right in front of the club’s drive way. Fair enough. I thank the cop, walk to the reception desk and ask if I can park in the space right next to the driveway.

“Are you a member?”

“No…..but I was.”

Long pause that feels like a century.

“For today, you can park there.”

"Thank you!" Big smile beaming brighter than fireworks.

Realization – when I divide and separate my mind and heart, I feel worry, anxiety and doubt. Harmony is the alignment of the heart, head and voice. Be still, present, listen to the heart – it knows best.

Here’s the story/quote from the Dalai Lama:

At the end of a talk someone from the audience
 asks the Dalai Lama about war. The Dalai Lama looks down, says with a gentle smile, "Well, war is obsolete, you know " Then, after a few moments, 
"Of course the mind can rationalize 
fighting back...but the heart, the heart would never understand.
Then you would be divided in yourself, the heart and the mind,
 and the war would be inside you."

Ps Gratitude and thanks to Jeannie Zukav!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Billboards on the Panamericana

simply impeccable

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

DirecTV - comes with sheep

Enroute to Cuenca, Ecuador

Mary does social media

Enroute to San Miguel, Mexico

candy, it's iso 9001 certified

Enroute to Oaxaca, Mexico

when the billboard needs implants

Enroute to Oaxaca, Mexico

faga motors, king long...yes, this is real...

Enroute to Lima, Peru

mega silkey smooth

Ushuaia, Argentina

oh dear...

Enroute to Guadalajara, Mexico

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Ich Komme Aus Meinen Schwingen Heim

By Rainier Maria Rilke 

I come home from the soaring
in which I lost myself
I was song, and the refrain which is God
is still roaring in my ears.

Now I am still
and plain;
no more words.

To the others I was like the wind:
I made them shake.
I'd gone very far, as far as the angels,
and high, where light thins into nothing.

But deep in the darkness is God.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Privilege of a Lifetime...

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” - Joseph Campbell

Friday, July 27, 2012

Oh Soul...

by Rumi

Oh soul,
you worry too much.
You have seen your own strength.
You have seen your own beauty.
You have seen your golden wings.
Of anything less,
why do you worry?
You are in truth
the soul, of the soul, of the soul.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

On the go: Buenos Aires - San Francisco

July 17, 2012 @ 1:30pm on the way to BA's Ezeiza international airport. Our flight is actually at 9:30pm but the dog's check-in is a lot earlier at 3pm. This is a beautiful cargo van, the biggest and best, Cedric has arranged for the family to carry all our luggage and doggie crates. The driver offers us some raspberry menthol candy and apologizes because he normally only carries cargo and not passengers...


At the airport, the van drops me off first with all the luggage. Then the dogs and Cedric get taken into another section of the airport - the special cargo area. As I step off, I thank the driver and plant a deep kiss on each of my doggies soft heads. I send a prayer out into the universe for their well being and safe passage. I leave Cedric a piece of bologna I've been holding onto as a final treat.

After the dogs, are taken care of, Cedric rejoins me and it's then the long 8 hr wait. We find a quiet place upstairs with wifi. Then the refueling of liquids. Salud to the flight home. An amazing road trip, 1 year and 2 weeks ago - we set set off July 2, 2011 with only a couple days planned. No expectations. Open hearts. We can't believe we've arrived at this moment. SF, here we come!

On the news: trash collection resuming in BA! Right as we're leaving. Cedric and I are chuckling because trash was a constant topic of ours every time we walked the dogs twice a day in our Palermo neighborhood. I mean constant! Bags full of garage strewn alongside the street like a broken necklace. As every weekend approached, the city got messier and messier. Granted, it has improved, we remembered an even dirtier version of BA - 3 yrs ago. (Not to say that we encountered the same experience in other parts in Argentina. No, just BA.) Luckily, we started to look beyond the trash to make the most of our 2 1/2 week stay in the mega city.

6pm, as the sun starts to set, it's time for the humans to check-in...


Next day, 6:30am. Houston Airport (George Bush Intercontinental Airport) - 7hr layover (incl. 2 hour delay). I was little hesitant about returning by way of Don't Mess With Texas. But by the time, we're in the immigration line, I start getting teary eyed when the "Welcome to the US" is announced in different languages, spanish, chinese, english, german. I take a step back and look at everyone around me, we're from all walks of life, different parts of the planet, different colors, converging in one undulating wave length. It's good to be home. Welcome home!

A couple minutes before we board, a petsafe van whips by and deposits 2 crates next to the plane. Both doggies have been crated now for 17+ hours. Have you ever tried to hold it in that long? Cedric and I are in panic mode at the sight of a blue crate! Both dogs were in grey crates (in the first pic). We put the zoom feature on the camera to the test...

Fur_white. Eyes_brown. Match complete. Señora Biela Brehaut.

Fur_chestnut.Snout_brown. Match affirmative. Señor Manly Brehaut. (We're hoping Manly will one day spill the beans and finally tell us the story).

Home, sweet home!! At least for now temporarily. We have this cool cottage rental until Aug 1. This is the same, yes, peppy pink cottage we made our nest after we sold our home on Roosevelt, over a year ago before we set off on the road trip. Full circle. So, in the picture, I'm kinda stuck on the doorstep. No keys to the cottage! (The lock box doesn't work; I need to go to the leasing office). No money. No ride. No way to reach Cedric who is out buying supplies for the dogs and humans. Our friend Lee (who lived with us in Costa Rica for a month), has just and I mean, just entered his house from a work trip in Nebraska, when he gets a frantic text from me. "It's ok" I tell Lee on the phone. "I'll wait for Cedric. It's no big deal, really.""Mai, will you just tell me how I can help??" Lee says. Remember, when I was  working on my receiving and asking for help issues (I wrote about it in God as a Maid and How to Ask)? Well, I think I'm making progress. Lee and his lady friend arrive to the rescue keys in hand - almost 10 - 15 minutes after Cedric arrives (finding me still on the doorstep). By 7pm, we're toasting champagne glasses with a gorgeous view of San Francisco. The perfect homecoming all around.  So, glad I reached out. Muchismas gracias, Lee and Kerri :x

9pm. Cedric is in the kitchen, making final preparations for bedtime. He's calling me. "Baby ready for bed? Baby?" ZZzzzzzzzzzz....snore, snarf....zzzzzzzzzzzz. See you in the morning.


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