posted by Lisa

Of course, it was bound to come to an end.

On the plane ride home, a red-eye, I got sick.  It’s generally been a great way for us to travel, but not this year for me.  Later, I would be diagnosed with severe migraines, but at the time, I didn’t know this and, by the time we arrived in California, in the very early morning I felt like I had an ice pick in my head, a sledge hammer pounding my sinuses.  I was exhausted and sick to my stomach.

To make matters even more pleasant, our house had been fumigated while we had been away, so while we it was spotless, it was also completely evacuated of comestibles.  Everything edible had been donated, disposed, or doubled wrapped in large “nylofume” bags.  We had one very sorry bag of baking goods-mostly decorating sugars, baking sodas and powders and vanilla, that kind of thing–at the back of our pantry:

Plus several liters of my homemade limoncello, also doublebagged in my freezer, which wasn’t helping the situation much.

But there was another circle of hell designed just for us: no hot water.

PG & E had arrived the day before for the post-fumigation return-to-service call.  I called the number on the frightening yellow sheet immediately.  I was told: no appointment for 3 days.

I explained the situation.  I begged.  We had a fancy wedding to attend the next day in Sonoma, for our best friend The Sommelier at a very fancy winery. I really did have to wash.  I groveled, very, very calmly.  I explained that it was entirely my fault, having noted in my calendar our return date accurately but had overlooked the fact that our flight was an overnight flight, meaning our arrival home was actually not coeval with said departure date, etc. etc.   I was exceedingly polite and completely desperate.  I explained that I had 2 young children.  I was more desperate.  How does one function without hot water? The dispatcher was very, very kind.   Within the hour, someone came out. We had hot water.

Then, we all slept until noon, and when the kids were awake starving, of course, Kory rallied and took them to our local market for provisions. On his own, he managed to buy enough supplies to last a couple of days. These included:

1 gallon milk

orange juice

1 loaf white bread

peanut butter

strawberry jelly

hamburger buns

romaine lettuce


ground beef

chicken soup (for me)

macaroni and cheese (for lunches)

rice krispies




eggs (good for dinner & breakfast)

cheddar cheese




green beans

I had some canned tomatoes and black and cannelini beans, so he had actually purchased enough to get through several days of breakfast lunch and dinner: hamburgers (which Kory made that first night home); cereal, PB & J, scrambled eggs; cereal, mac & Cheese, simple pasta; cereal, quesadillas, more pasta; etc.  I was pretty pleased. Our meals were pretty bland and boring, but this wasn’t exactly Kory’s fault.  Being sick, it was hard to get food on the table, and there was little in the house to choose from.  It took several days to get to the market, and a full week before the farmer’s market came round again and our home was fully stocked.

Until then, well, we didn’t starve.  But it did prove once again that all things start with The List.