1. El Salvador has the best coffee in the world. Jamey and I made a four-day trip to visit our 5 students who are in San Salvador for the year. They are doing great (which made our visit wonderful and easy) and it was fun to go to some of our favorite places again, like Viva Espresso. I have seen coffee growing along the slopes of the volcano in El Sal...maybe it's the soil, or the climate, but whatever it is, I have never had a better cup of coffee (truth be told, I don't really know a lot about coffee. I just know that the worst coffee is the kind that comes from truck stops, and whatever brand they brew at my church, sadly). We brought back a couple of pounds for ourselves and I was really bummed when it was gone.
2. It might be harder to be a mom than an athlete during soccer tryouts. Jason tried out and made the JV soccer team at the high school. I tried my best not to worry...I knew he would be fine either way...I knew that only a few freshmen would be chosen...When I found myself awake at 4 in the morning, I tried to think about other things and go back to sleep. I told myself I was being absolutely ridiculous (that didn't really help). In the end, he made the team and is having fun and we are all enjoying watching the games no matter what the weather. And I feel much more rested.
3. Grace is amazing. I actually already knew this, but it is good to be reminded. In October, Grace applied for early admission to Cal Poly SLO, to major in psychology. She has wanted to attend Cal Poly since she was five years old. I wasn't worried about her being qualified - after all, she did great on her SATs, has way over a 4.0 GPA, and has done all kinds of volunteer work. But, working at Cal Poly as we do, I also know that about 45,000 other kids, many likewise qualified, also apply for admission every year and most don't get in. It feels a little arbitrary, but it is supposed to be 'fair'. Let me just mention that this was also partly responsible for my lack of sleep in October and November. But, 2 weeks ago, she got a letter in the mail that began, "Congratulations!..." and is now looking forward to being a freshman this coming fall. Yahoo!!
4. There actually are wild pigs in the neighborhood! I have heard the rumors. I know men who cross the road and go over "on the ranch" and hunt them. One of my friends (whose property actually is across the road and backs up to "the ranch", which is 14,000 acres - yes, it's a real ranch) had several of them come into her yard, fight with her dogs (the pigs won), and uproot/eat her iris bulbs (I should mention that she runs an iris farm at her home, so having the bulbs dug up and eaten is not good). But I have never seen any sign of one....until Jason came home from a friend's house and mentioned that there was one by the side of the road (it had had a run-in with a vehicle and this time, the pig lost). Then when I was at a neighbor's house, she mentioned that she actually knew the guys that had hit a 300-pound wild pig - gross! Of course, in true Garden Farms fashion, my first comment was, "His poor truck!!!" It was apparently totaled - so now we will be watching out for yet another critter on our country drives.