Friday, September 26, 2008



Shortly after arriving in the good ol' USA I went to the store to buy a few things. My list read something like this:
l). bath soap
2). cotton balls
3). Q-tips
4). mouth wash
5). etc.

I was looking for modest portions that would be sufficient to cover my four-month stay in the USA. My eyes searched the shelves for one bar of soap (we have bins of soap packaged that way in Brazil) but I woefully discovered it would be virtually impossible to buy just ONE bar of soap or a small quantity of anything. I was forced, (coerced?), obligated or what-have-you, to buy WAY more than I wanted and I was not happy with supersized America. I went home with 1.5 liters of mouth wash, 300 cotton swabs (I call them Q-tips), 100 jumbo sized cotton balls, 3 bars of soap and 10 razor blades. I only have 35 days left in the USA and I have close to 1.2 liters of mouth wash left, approximately 291 cotton swabs, 89.5 cotton balls, 2 bars of soap, and 7 new razors. I think we should change the national anthem to read:
America, America, too supersized for me,
Let fly the cry: "We want to buy
In smaller quantities!"

Monday, September 22, 2008


From the airport we all converged at Michael & Cari's place for a grand reunion and Christmas in July. One of the gifts was a video in Portuguese that the kids loved. I was in my glory with my kids close to me and my grand kids dancing about. In the midst of all the hullabaloo it was clear that families were meant to be together and enjoy one another and it seemed almost wrong to have missed out on so much of their lives. For now, though, life was wonderful!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


The cheering section!

Penélope Elizabeth

Gabriella MayLyne

Caleb Michael

Pat & I split up for the ride home from the airport: he in Michael's car and I in Michelle's. The grandkids won my heart immediately. Caleb's winsome smile makes the sun come out, and you know there's hidden mischief behind Gabriella's sparkling eyes. Penélope, prim and pensive, charmed me with her demure self. And then there was "Baby," "Monkey,"and the others who accompanied us all the way home.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Grandpa meets Penélope & Caleb for the 1st time

These two were only a month old when Grandma last saw them.

A BIG bear hug for Michael.

...and a squishy squeeze for Michelle.

Yes! This is the terminal that fouled us up.

As Flight #851 descended at the Minneapolis airport that Tuesday afternoon we could hardly contain our excitement at the anticipated reunion with our Stateside kids and grandkids. Would the little ones be shy and afraid to come to us? Pat had yet to meet two-year-old Penélope and Caleb, and three-year-old Gabriella would not remember us well either. Much to the dismay of our children, our Airtran plane landed at the Humphrey Airport instead of at the main terminal where they were waiting. Thankfully, we had just been loaned a cell phone and were able to connect with them. And here's the photos to tell the story.

Monday, September 08, 2008

KEY WEST is a key spot to visit!

From a map, the keys look more like pebbles in a vast ocean, but as our van headed south, those pebbles turned into little towns with long bridges linking one to another--imagine driving between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean! The coral lent beautiful shades of green and rose to the water and we had to stop at one point to follow a path out into the shallow water while watching the wind surfers!

But the town of Key West was the best of all! Home to Ernest Hemmingway and the Little White House, it charmed us with its artsy look, tropical vegetation and Spanish-style homes. And the ice cream was the best!

We can now say we have been to the "bottom" of the continental United States and they say that on a clear night, one can see the lights of Havana.