572: Family


Family can be your greatest treasure and resource, the source of unending strength and encouragement.

Family can be your greatest disappointment, the source of incredible angst and unmitigated pain.

Some family members are the most stalwart, loyal, got-your-back, genuine humans on Earth

and some can’t be trusted as far as you could throw Mount Everest on a clear day.

Some show you a genuine and honest face of acceptance and unending love

others show a mask of genuineness and honesty that is as pretty and as false as a cubic zirconia – and is worth even less.

As you grow older and wiser, you learn to appreciate and honor those who return your love, and to avoid those who don’t.

Even if you gave birth to them.


161: Training, and Cats

I just found under the sofa: 4 wine bottle corks, 5 bottle lids, 4 wads of paper, 12 pens, pencils and markers, 2 chicken bones, 4 gumballs, 3 q-tips and a toothpick, 4 small stones, an acorn, an M & M, 1 wood screw, 1 hair clip, 2 packages of prescription medicine, my swim nose clip, one chunk of coal, an ear plug, one dice, a broken clothes hanger and 3 tubes of lipstick. And ONE cat toy.

You would think they would play with the toys we purchased for them, we stupid kitty parents, but no. I have found the business card to the dentist, coins and other smallish things pushed under the rugs to maximum kitty arm length that they obviously lost while playing. My apartment is like a treasure hunt, you never know what you will find when you move something.

And trying to do something with them around is interesting, too. Every time we scoop out the kitty potty we have to be “supervised.” Three of them are very concerned that we might not do a good job, so they MUST come and watch – the whole process. And you should see the intense feline interest whenever we get a shower. It is apparent that they think we are nuts, because what sane kitty person would willingly get in water, but they are fascinated with the shower, nonetheless.  They have to inspect the  stall when we are done, minutely and with great care. You can see the wheels turning in their little kitty heads, trying to figure out this conundrum. WHY are mom and dad in that water??

And Lord forbid you clink two saucers together in the kitchen – that has evolved into the KITTY FOOD signal, and everybody comes running, meowing loudly for their eagerly anticipated treats. I wonder, do we have them trained, do they have us trained, or is it a mutual effort?

72: The joy of doughnuts

Morocco, where I am currently living and working, is full of pastries. Pastry shops abound, nearly on every street corner. Most of these are delicate, multi-layered French pastries, often with fruit filling or cream filling in several varied flavors and types. The problem is that I am a doughnut fiend, of Krispy Kreme fame. Dunkin’ Donuts are OK, but they are not the “real” ones: yeast dough, fried and drenched in sugar glaze. Here in Morocco, I was going through withdrawal.

And then, my husband and I moved to Azrou. Azrou is a much larger town that the smaller village of Ifrane, where we had been before. Once we were living there, and I started walking around the smaller shops on the back streets, a real treasure I discovered was two small shops that make doughnuts. These are not quite as light and fluffy as the Krispy Kremes from home, but they are HUGE, and they are dipped on one side into granulated sugar, so they are a little less messy than the liquid sugar glaze that is on the Krispy Kremes. AND, like the KK doughnut shops in the U.S., you can watch them make them right in front of you – no glass wall between you and the goodies. You take home a big bag of fresh, still-warm, yeasty, sugary doughnuts. I am in heaven!!