Since I’ve baked a little, I guess I should probably write a bit about where I live.

This is my house. The place where all the chaos magic happens.

I can just hear it in my head: “Little boxes, little boxes, and they’re all made out of ticky-tacky…and they all look just the same.” That’s because the houses in our little subdivision really do all look pretty much the same. IMHO, we happen to have a slightly better landscape design but it wasn’t any of our doing. The previous owner was a landscaping guy and did pretty much everything. And because of the prickly nature of desert wilderness, I’m eternally grateful to him.

There’s a pond just under the front window and we keep a variety of kitschy critters. OK, three. What’s home ownership without lawn ornaments or their spiritual equivalent?

This is Friederich and he came all the way from Germany with us.

Rather aristocratic, I’d say. His companions on the waterfront are less high brow, but probably friendlier. Friederich almost didn’t make the moving truck when we left Deutschland.  After everything that had happened with preparing for a transcontinental move, running around after a (then) 2 years and lugging a newborn baby, one would have thought I’d have just let it go. But no. I was not moving halfway across the ocean without my frog from Tchibo. (For anyone that doesn’t know Tchibo – it’s a fabulous German thing. On any given day you can get a cup of coffee, a pastry and a hair dryer…or perhaps a baby sleep sack … or maybe a set of golf clubs. For not a lot of geld/money. You never knew what would be there until  you went in – it was different every week.) The movers graciously made a box to fit him and unceremoniously squished him into one of the moving crates.

And now on to the back of the house.

Yes. Grass in the desert. Which don’t have to water right now because of the ‘monsoon’ that’s currently upon us. I’m ever so grateful for this grass – in a desert there’s not much green..or at least there shouldn’t be. And even though it’s indulgent, it’s a soft place for little people’s bottoms to land or for their feet to run. Because the rest of the year is not so friendly to soft skin. It really isn’t a garden.  It’s definitely a yard (although we’re doing a bit of suburban farming – more on that later). But it’s got…well, to put it mildly, a view.

Here it is:

Not bad. Probably the saving grace of the town in which we live. 90% of the time, it doesn’t look like this – there’s usually bright blue skies and a strong sunlight. Which is fine, unless you burn in 5 minutes. The sunlight actually makes you appreciate the rain and the clouds, especially when it looks like they might join forces and do something productive. Also, the mesquite doesn’t usually look like that either.  But it doesn’t take much water to help perks them up into a real green, although I’m pretty sure that Irish people would think that statement hilarious.

So that’s our coordinates. We’ve been here just over a year and half and it’s only now that I’m getting used to it. I’m not sure that the exterior of my current dwelling is home or will ever be. I think I’m actually ok with that. It’s a little piece of earth.  A normally dry, dusty, brown piece of earth. But a piece, nonetheless.