Memorial Day….and stuff.

Firstly, Happy Memorial Day to those that serve, have a spouse/son/daughter/family member who are serving or have served, and to those who sacrificed their lives for our great country. The Rodriguez family, consisting of Pedro (my grandfather), Zoila (my grandmother), Pedro “Tony” (uncle), Ramon (Father Snort), and Carlos (Uncle) immigrated to this country from communist Cuba in 1962; they got here just a couple of months before the missle crisis. I also have an aunt and several half aunts/uncles but they really don’t figure into my life story. My beloved Dad and my two uncles were so proud to be American; they learned English right away, got Naturalized as American Citizens, and were ready to serve their country. Dad’s number was called up in the draft in 1969 when he was 19. He was ready and willing to serve his country but was denied after having his physical examination. My Uncle Tony was not drafted, but I know that with his love of all things military he would have served if called upon. My Uncle Carlos enlisted in the Marine Corps as soon as he turned 18, and after serving 20 years he retired in 1996. A distant cousin on my mother’s side of the family, named Tony O’Neal, was killed in Vietnam; that, to my knowledge, is the only military fatality in my family. I have two cousins who did time in the Navy, and one who just finished his time with Army. So to Jason, Melanie, and TJ, thank you for your service. I also have several friends from high school who have run the military gamut from reserves to 20 year careers. I’m afraid I will forget their names, so I won’t list them, but thank you guys for your service.


Footlong officially finished the 1st grade on Thursday. We wanted to do something really nice for his teacher (she is wonderful), so I came up with the idea of making her a basket full of things to help her relax. I involved Footlong in the choices by asking, “What are things that would help someone relax and feel good?” He thought and thought and then said, “Fluffy pajamas, bubble bath, and a book.” He shocked me by dragging out his gallon-size Ziploc bag of change and absolutely INSISTED on going to use one of the CoinStar machines to turn his “little monies” into “paper money.” I told him he could have his money, but he said he wanted to give it to his teacher. We poured that gallon-size bag of change in the machine, and came away with $49.37. I took him to JC Penneys, and he picked out fluffy pajamas (a short sleeved shirt and capri bottoms) and a matching lightweight bathrobe. My heart is so blessed and happy to know that my child thinks about others and enjoys giving and thinking about how other people feel.  6-inch and I ventured to my most favorite store in the world (TJ Maxx), and I bought the following:  2 bars of Cynthia Rowley milled soap, 2 bars of Ralph Lauren milled soap, a container of Cynthia Rowley body sugar scrub, a Smashbox neutral eyecolor palette, an eye mask that you chill in the fridge, a small bottle of Vera Wang perfume, 2 wine glasses (which I tied pretty polka dotted ribbon to the stems), a novel, and a box that had 5 bottles of OPI nail color. Basically, I spent exactly the same amount that Footlong did. And to go with the wine glasses I picked up a bottle of chardonnay and a bottle of pinot noir to add to the basket. She cried when we gave it to her, and Footlong was so proud to show her everything in the basket. He told her, “I love you, Ms. Xxxxxxx. I hope you will relax and use your soap this Summer.”


While at TJ Maxx I also broke my shoe buying fast and bought a pair of Juicy Couture flip-flops. Designer $75 flops for $9 because one of the charms was missing? Yes, please! I went and found two matching charms at another store and clipped them where the original charms went.


I don’t know where all of you live, but let me tell you:  it is hotter than Hell already in the Sonoran Desert. Maybe I should be a total asshole and give Arizona a name like “Unfrozen Desert” or “Cacti-Studded Valley.” For the last week the temps have consistently been 100+ with lows in the mid 60s. In case you’re wondering, my personal “best” out here is 122 degrees, and that was in July 2010. Since there is so little humidity out here right now it isn’t all that bad, and it cools right down after sunset; what we are dreading is Monsoon Season. Monsoon Season is the rainy season in the desert; storms form off the Western coast of Mexico and up to Southern Arizona. It starts July 1st and runs through mid/late September. During that time we have afternoon thunderstorms 4-5 days a week. Some areas get more, like on the Tohono O’odom Indian reservation, and some areas get less. The humidity combined with normal summer temps of 110-115 degrees (sometimes 120) makes going outside a living hell. I do miss rain, clouds, and storms, so aside from the horrible heat and stickiness I love Monsoon Season; last Summer we had heavy winds, thunder, hail, brilliant lightning storms, and some areas of Tucson experienced flash flooding. After Monsoon Season we are dry until the Winter rains (a 4 week period during mid-Jan/Feb) where it rains a few days.


I asked Footlong what he wanted for dinner tonight, and he said, “Lima beans, bacon, and cornbread.” Awwwwwwwwwwww. I love that even though he was born and raised in Arizona that he has some Southern in him. And some Cuban too—you should see that boy dance!


6-inch just farted and got the giggles. J farted and 6-inch laughed so hard that no sound was coming out of his mouth. Boys will be boys, I guess.


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