The girls found a caterpillar in the yard. They put it in a plastic container, with some twigs, leaves and water. They asked me if they could bring it to school and I said yes. When I picked them up after school, they walked toward me with the container and a funny expression on their faces. “Is it dead?” I asked. “No – it’s poisonous!”

Apparently when H walked into class with it, all her classmates ran in the opposite direction. They claim the black fuzzy caterpillar can give you a rash and fever. I pulled over to the side of the road and we dumped it.

When I got home, I did some research, this is the best answer I could find:

“Most of the fuzzy caterpillars belong to the Tiger Moth Family (Arctiidae). Some species have the ability to cause a rash or at least a burning sensation on contact with sensitive skin. This helps to protect these insects from various predators. They will not hurt you if handled, you almost have to get the hairs into your nostrils or rub them into your neck to get a reaction.” – David Herlocker, Wildlife Expert

Lesson learned.


My friend – artist, author, teacher, designer, consultant, blogger – Jenn Mason encourages folks to be their most creative selves.  I have not been that creative lately, so I decided to try to find a creative solution to a furniture situation here.

Furniture is really really expensive here – even for crappy particleboard stuff.  I would give my big toe to have an Ikea here. Since we are scheduled to be here for only another 18 months, I didn’t want to make any kind of grand expenditure.  Plus, I couldn’t find what I wanted – decent escritorios (desks) for the girls. 

I had an Aha moment in Home Depot the other day. My solution was only semi-creative, since folks have been doing it for years. I picked up two saw-horses and a door to make a big desk for the girls (and also solved some toy storage issues) for less than $70 USD.


The creative part is actually to pass along Jenn’s mantra to my kids and encourage them to be creative.  I presented the desk to them along with their bin of crayons.  They are encouraged to put their artistic spins on it however they want.  They divided it in half.  My only rule is that they can’t write anything mean.

U+2191.gif J is filling it like crazy. U+2191.gif


U+2191.gif H is going slow and steady to leave space. U+2191.gif

My mother-in-law will surely remind me that she became the pariah of the neighborhood when hubby was young.  She designated a wall in his room that he could write on, which was great until his friends went home and started writing on their own walls!

We’re headed home to Boston for a much needed visit (the girls have been away over 5 months).  They have been five fun months though! Here’s a look back…

(Click to enlarge)

Hasta Luego!

Yesterday, I was invited to join some friends for a birthday brunch. My friend Cristina was turning 39, so I joined Christina, Alma, Blanca, Monica, Estrella, and Alicia for a fun moms’ morning out.  How Cool, you say.  Mexican friends, a Mexican birthday – what kind of cool Mexican restaurant did you go to?

We don’t get NBC or MSNBC here, we only get CNN International & Fox News.  This is the most exciting political election in my memory and through every event and every speech and every debate, I have asked the cable gods to please beam in Tim Russert to break it all down for me.  I curl up with my computer to watch Meet the Press after it is broadcast.  I used to pray that he would run for president. I am so sad to hear that he is gone!

Maria just arrived.  She’s our cleaning lady (Mexicans would say she’s our maid or muchacha but I just can’t do it). She showed up looking quite hip.  She dyed her hair black, and was wearing cute jeans and a pink polo. I’ve never seen her not in a dress or skirt.  Wait a minute, those are my jeans and that’s my polo.  I gave her a bunch of clothes the other day including some Ann Taylor jeans I bought during last year’s skinny-stress days when all my clothes were dripping off of me. I’d be lucky to get a knee into them now that I’ve been rehabbed with unemployment and empanadas.  Here she is, needing a belt no less, looking fabulous.  I wish I had looked as cute in that outfit!

This was me at 10:50am today:

OMG – it’s here.  It’s really here.  I’ve dropped the kids at school, Hubby at work, and Maria is busy cleaning my house. I have no errands whatsoever to do.  No appointments. No returns. No Home Depot. Nada.  It’s really here.  The time I have awaited at least eight years is finally here.  I can go see  a movie.  By myself.  If I can find something that gets me out before the kids get out of school at 2, that would be cool.

Here’s one that starts in 20 minutes – in English.   Does it get any better than this?!! Girl bliss.

PS – When Charlotte decides not to eat in Mexico, because “it’s Mexico” – there was an audible gasp, not laugh, in the theatre!


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