I've been back from Atlanta a week and feeling out of synch. Settling back into my daily routine after being away from home for a couple of weeks or more is always a struggle. I made a mental note of stuff I want to do: update my blog, read my friend’s blogs, answer emails, organize and label the photos of my recent trip but so far I've only accomplished the first item on the list and made a small dent on the second.
Before updating my blog, I wanted to check out what my blogging pals have been up to. For the past few days I've been staring at my Google Reader. It tells me that I have missed reading more than 200 blog entries. I have slowly begun to take a peek and have enjoyed reading about on-the-road blogging, after trip blogging, trip planning, Salad Samplers, about Thailand, about music and shrines.
I also wanted to thank everyone for your thoughtful birthday wishes for my mom and son. My husband and I hosted a very animated birthday party for Pablo the day before taking off for Atlanta. Needless to say, waking up early the following day to catch the flight was dreadful but we made it. My mom's birthday celebration at my brother's house was wonderful, with cake, wine and a lot of little ones running around. Afterwards we all went to a Mass in honor of my mom, while she stayed at home, quietly resting after all the commotion. The day ended at Scalini's, an Italian restaurant in Atlanta.
I'll come back to the blogs and leave a comment soon but first I must get ready for leaving again. This one is a short trip, only four days and within our home state. My husband and I are going camping with our two kids and daughter-in-law to the Arizona high country. Weather in the Valley of the Sun has been a real scorcher and we are ready for some greenery and cooler weather. We will set our tents in the Ponderosa Campground, located in the Tonto National Forest. We don’t have much planned other than hiking, checking out a nearby lake, and possibly going to a goat farm in Payson which my daughter recently visited and says that they make the most delicious fresh goat cheese.
And speaking of goats, I want to share a photo of a very special goat. Last month Annie blogged about her visit to the Goathouse and Cat Refuge in Pittsboro, NC. I commented that I had a pet goat when I was a child. I mentioned I had a photo of me and Pepe where I pretended that he was my pony. I recently found the photo at my brother’s house. I'm about four years old and wearing my PJ's. I was very fond of Pepe and looking at him now, I can see that he was very young. I wonder what he thought about having a wild child as his human. On the second photo, it looks like I'm choking him but I'm sure he was fine and breathing after I let him loose. He probably ran away from me, as far as he could.
Today, July 23 would have been my dad's 90th birthday. Per family tradition, we will have a Mass in his memory and I, along with my brothers in Georgia and Florida, will make my dad's all-time favorite dish: black ink rice. Some of you might recall that last year I posted a photo of the dish. Since we're going to be on the road today, I made the rice yesterday and ate it for dinner. Tonight I'll toast my Dad with his favorite drink: Vermouth with a splash of lemon.
Here's a 2002 picture of my Dad and me taken when my parents were living in Woodstock, Georgia.