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18 May 2007

Dear Consort, #2

Let’s call this essay: Frustration.

Ooo, but first, let me tell you what Impera made Wednesday night for my Mother’s Day supper. We had spinach dumplings smothered in pesto sauce. And for dessert: chocolate mousse! (Even I have never gotten up the nerve to make chocolate mousse.) It was all delicious, and very very filling. I took pictures, but because I borrowed a camera from a friend but forgot to pick up the cords, I can’t download them or post them. Just imagine it, if you can.

Okay, back to the theme. (Remember, it’s Frustration.)

First, you aren’t around.

Second, you know how I mentioned the girls and I are going camping this weekend? Well, I thought it would be a good idea to put up the tent Thursday afternoon and let it air out a bit, make sure it’s swept out and ready to go … you know, that kind of prep stuff. Now, you recall that we own the little 2-man (technically, it’s a 4-man, but they must be gnomes or dwarves to fit four of them and all their gear in there) tent that we bought before we traveled through Europe 18 years ago. But since we’ve been here at Mr. Duck U, we’ve been using one of the larger tents owned by your Program, purchased by the guy who started up the Program, and who liked to spend petty cash on things like Eddie Bauer tents and Jeeps. Because you and your students go camping at most twice a year, we’ve been keeping one tent useful here with us. Remember that? And, maybe you remember that you and your students went camping at some point this spring, and that you took the tent we use with you, despite the fact that only about half as many students as sign up for a trip actually show up to camp at any Program outing—despite that, you thought you might need it? Yeah? You know, the tent that was put back in the equipment room, I’m guessing, because it isn’t in the garage or in the basement? Yup, THAT tent. The one that therefore the three of us can’t use this weekend? *Sigh.* We decided we’d make the little tent work. Because we’re hopelessly optimistic that way.

After we all lay in the tent and gave it the thumbs up, I went inside to start supper. The asparagus and frittata dinner I said I’d make Thursday night. I promised. I took out the asparagus and reached for the egg carton. It felt pretty darn light. I opened it up, and instead of the six eggs I expected to find (the six eggs I counted and found to be more than plenty when I planned to make this dinner), I saw three eggs. Hmmm… Of course!—the spinach dumplings required eggs. Well, here is frustration #3! I scrounged around in the fridge, and found that half of the pseudo flatbreads (they call themselves “pita” but they are unlike any pita I ever saw) were still good, and the haloumi cheese my mother brought two weeks ago was also fine (since we hadn’t opened the package). There was one ripe tomato on the windowsill, and I had bought a handful of mushrooms to put in the frittata. So, I roasted the asparagus in olive oil, garlic, and sea salt; I sliced and fried up the haloumi; I sliced and sauteed the mushrooms in butter; I sliced up the tomato; and I warmed up the flatbreads. And we ate.

And then! A double-whammy frustration. I drove the girls to fencing, and as we approach, I noticed lots and lots and LOTS of cars parked along the side streets. “Oh, right!” say the girls. “This neighborhood’s Farmer’s Market starts tonight.” This means that I can’t park where I normally do, seeing as it’s the main strip down which the stalls are set up. So I dropped the girls off at the back door of the community center, and spent longer than I wanted to finding a place to park. Then I decide that I’d walk the market, see if I can find something quirky for my Secret Pal.

Consort, let me tell you something: the suburban farmer’s market may be lots bigger than our neighborhood’s market, but it is all (1) prepared food to eat on site and (2) potted plants. There was maybe one produce stand, but that’s it. Sheesh! What kind of a farmer’s market IS this? Not a well-rounded one, that’s for sure.

So, I hope you had fun staying with families at the fair trade organic coffee plantation. Was your Spanish adequate? We check on your itinerary every day, you know.

Talk to you soon,