I really wasn’t gone very long. I left Friday at midnight and was back to pick the kids up from school on Tuesday. I spent close to 48 hours on an airplane and the other 36 fully immersed in the Australian Rheumatology Association’s conference.

Now, when I say fully immersed what I really mean is that I spent a few hours having dinner with the team from AbbVie and Dr. Irwin Lim absorbing the subtle differences between American and Australian healthcare. It’s clear that, much like the US there is public and private healthcare. It seems though, that the difference in quality of care isn’t as disparate in Australia. To be fair I was sitting at a table with folks in pharma and medicine, they’re all working hard to provide care. When I wasn’t with the AbbVie team I was prepping for my talk or running along the river. Okay, jogging. Whatever, I was fast walking but I was totally moving. After flying half way around the world I really wanted to stay in motion. All that stillness in the air beats me up.

While I was gone Mr. G took the kids to Hooters and the Rolling Stones. My son slept through most of the Stones concert which I find to be totally inexplicable and my daughter liked the food at Hooters, which is easier to understand. There are chemists involved in those recipes, I’m sure it was delicious. Our friend was bummed that Mr. G missed taking the best picture of all, having Jane pose like she was filling out an application for employment. I will never be a good enough feminist to stop being overly protective of my own daughter.

The weekend is no big deal. Mr. G is perfectly capable of parenting and though he may miss me a bit, he’s perfectly capable of parenting solo. Monday and Tuesday mornings were probably a bit tricky. Our neighbor brought the kids to school and Monday afternoon my mom picked them up, hung out with everyone until Mr. G got home from work and then ordered everyone dinner from California Chicken Cafe, she brought a salad from home. The best part of having my mom pitch in is that when I came home there was a half empty bottle of Sangiovese and Mom’s homemade salad dressing to enjoy. Okay, the best part of coming home is obviously in the being home but at any age it’s really nice to have your mom take care of you and by taking care of my husband and kids she was taking care of me.

So as I rumbled around my kitchen this morning looking for something to defrost for dinner I found  this.

frozen pizza junk

Mr. G is obviously trying to kill the kids again. That man is too smart to be out in the world buying frankenfood like this. Now I have to go to the grocery store and return it. It’s not a matter of money, it’s a matter of principle. I’m unwilling to pay for that thing, whatever it is.

Of course I brought home good wholesome food for the kids.

kangaroo crocodile jerky

Shut up. I know…

While in the Virgin Australia lounges I stuffed a few of these in my purse for my Aussie friends here in the US.

vegemite solo packs

And as I was stealing food from Virgin Atlantic I smiled and thought about how our food ties us to each other, to our families, and to our countries. It’s good to be home. It’s really great finding my mom’s salad dressing in my refrigerator.

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