Friday, February 29, 2008

Spring Break

Lovingly said goodbye to the boys this morning and sent them on their way to school. As in, push-push, shove-shove, bye-bye. Grumpy, grumpy, grumpy...

It's the last official day of M's spring break, so he and I hit the road. Filled up with gas and found it at a bargain price along the beach. I paid $3.45/gallon yesterday in our town...wowza!

Kept driving north on PCH, heading to an area that our Long Beach family had told us about...Belmont Shore.

Cute little shopping street with lots of restaurants and many, many coffee shops, but we were there for one reason, and one reason only.

La Creperie.

Feeling a little grumpy ourselves, we quickly...very quickly ordered a cup of coffee for the boy and a hot tea for the girl.

And sighed.


So many great things to choose from, but it's a crepe place. So we ordered crepes. To share.

Maple crepes with bananas and walnuts...

...and chicken, artichoke, and goat cheese.


Life was going to be OK. The food was great and light and made us feel good.

Back in the car, we drove along the beach looking at all the charming, cute, little million dollar houses. I like my Balboa cottages better, but these were pretty adorable.

Driving, driving, driving...listening to the B52's and the conversation goes kinda like this:

Where do you wanna go?

I dunno. Where do you wanna go?

I dunno.




fist pump.

So, an hour after leaving the crepe place where we ate a whole meal, we were at Schooner or Later drinking schooners of Fat Tire and ummm...eating fried calamari with the best durned cocktail sauce ever.

We befriended our neighboring table and just chilled under a heat lamp.

(Have you ever shared a meal out with my husband? By the end of any given meal, he honestly knows everything about our server. Or the people next to us. And their whole extended family.)


Back in the car having consumed 2 meals in the time frame of less than 2 hours, we head south.

By now the sun is out and we're in a convertible. On vacation. Life is good.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Food, Food, Food

It's been all about food lately.

Yesterday, I learned to make empanadas from my Argentinian neighbor. OH MY.

First off, my hair. I am almost there! My God-daughter and I were doing Locks of Love together...we started at the same time and she cut her 10 inches last summer. I am still growing and growing and growing...

Adriana and Alba. Those are some mighty spicy women!


It was so fun learning from Adriana...she was worried about her English, but it wasn't even a problem.

Empanadas...savory and sweet. Both are meat filled, but the sweet ones also have raisins in them and a little powdered sugar on the outside. Sound strange? Maybe...until you taste them!

We cooked and talked and sipped champagne and laughed...and then sat down to an amazing lunch.

Once again...OH MY.


Home in time to whip up chicken parmigiana for my birthday boy. I keep saying it over and over...18. 18. 18. He gave up chocolate for Lent, so he had berry cobbler for his birthday dessert...YUM!

Uncle Greg and Aunt Joanna and the whole crew came for supper. We've all been busy, so it was great to see everyone! The fun of the night? Building castles out of the bricks...though the other fun was watching Miss Sophie pose. I'm thinking Sophia Michele is actually a blond Sophia Loren! She is a crack up!

Check it out...he's sitting. He's still. He's quiet.

Having raised one like him...actually, currently raising one like him, all I can do is smile. And pray for them!


Fast forward to today. I had to work this morning but M had the day off. First up was dropping the car off to be fixed. Lovely. Would've left it as is, but that whole thing where the hood flies up while driving was a problem. Money tree, money tree...bloom, bloom, bloom. After, we met up and did Meals on Wheels together. I sure did miss him!

So, while waiting for the car estimate, M read about a new burger place on the other side of town called The Counter. (Holly, there is one by you...RUN THERE.)

Ready everyone?


It's a 'designer' burger place. Not cheap, but probably the best burgers ever. EVER. You choose from 20 some toppings...OH MY.

But, the main reason we went was because M had read about the sweet (as in potato) fries and fried pickles. He doesn't even like pickles, but if they're on the menu, then you just have to try them!

I'd never order them again...not bad, but not my cup of tea. The sweet potato fries, though, with the horseradish mayo...OH MY.

We made a quick Trader Joe's run and then my boyfriend planted the front porch barrel with Lavendar for me. Did I mention how glad I am that he's home??? And how thankful I am that he is ditching his conference???

There are now a ton of high school seniors raiding the fridge...the old gang is here. I am not cooking least not a 'real' supper. There's left-over chicken parmigiana and cereal and grilled cheese. And empanadas...OH MY!


Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Strong. Faithful. Smart. Funny. Serious. Wise. Secure.



Happy birthday, Matthew.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Field Trip

Mission San Juan Capistrano. My 3rd and final time with the 4th grade.

Palm trees on a perfectly sunny day.

My group. A really, really nice group. They always give me the rowdy boys..I wonder why, but this time I had all the ones who like to listen and learn. A refreshing change.

I was so tempted to pick one! We have room for one more fruit tree in the backyard, but I am still leaning towards figs. Or olives. Oranges would be nice, though.


I think I am going to sneak in a little nap!


Monday, February 25, 2008

My Job

While the husband is away, the wife will...
  1. handle all the sports driving, including dealing with the broken hearted son who missed the last shot in the final second of the game and had his team lose by 1 point. Even a cookie didn't help this, for him or me.
  2. oversee the book report that needs to be written by son #3. the topic is the bald eagle and well...he already knows everything, so why research? it's due the day you come home, by the way.
  3. deal with the 1st college rejection and all that goes with that. also deal with the 1st audition and the immediate acceptance to a different college. ups and downs.
  4. manage the car and all the emotional stuff/drama following the car accident today. it wasn't me and no one is hurt and the other car has no damage. his isn't pretty but is still somewhat driveable.
  5. meet with the financial insultant/consultant regarding FAFSA and all paperwork is in. your signature has been forged. we are rich on paper and in heaven...prayers that some cash might fall from the tree. soon.
  6. replace the cracked crown in my mouth. lovely. bloom, money tree, bloom.
  7. comfort the 9 year old in the middle of the night. all night. bad dreams about giant spiders. once he's back asleep, the mom feels them too. sigh.
  8. dream of a faraway place. alone. check on expedia and alas, the money tree is still not in bloom.
  9. play? thought she was supposed to play. it's ok...see's candy helps. lots.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

On the Road

M's choir, loading up. I had dropped him off so his car wasn't sitting there all week and now Matthew is begging to drive it.

Sorry, but your dad reads this blog, so he'll be calling you in a little bit.


I managed to get a walk in this morning around the lake. The clouds have been gorgeous lately and the rain is supposed to stay away until this afternoon.

Matthew is gone to another choir festival today, so he was up and out of the house early.

Alex has an away game today...way away, actually. We'll hit the road around 2:20pm and won't get back until 8pm or so. Tomorrow morning is church and yet another game in the afternoon. Matthew has an audition in the afternoon and Brian and I will drive him. And buy him a shake on the way home.

Brian is playing outside with friends today...they were just in the backyard playing Stratego and are now using my broom handle as a sword. It'll never be the same again...

The laundry room has been shoveled out and I am about to start on the linen closet. After that, I am done. Spring can come now...the house is clean.


Friday, February 22, 2008

All Done

It is finished.

And by finished, I mean the attic. The attic is clean. Very clean...or actually, a better word would be organized. Need to find anything? No problem...everything is either on a shelf or in a clear bin on the floor.

If you've ever been in our attic you know what a big deal this is. It's the little things...but it makes me incredibly happy.


Last night's supper was a big ole' slab of grilled beef with some sweet potato fries and roasted asparagus alongside. Not a bite was left!

Not sure you can see this, but Alex added his own extra line on the wall. The high heels he's talking about are mine, though they did look good with his skinny ankles.

Today was a blur. It's been raining on and off and that meant that I was once again stuck in the gym. On an elliptical machine, which would be much more fun if I could sit in a chair next to it and watch the TV's.

I then met a girlfriend for lunch, managing to squeeze in all of my errands beforehand. I had the best butternut squash soup...I have got to try and make that at home. I'm definitely a squash-y, pumpkin-y kind of gal.

I just dropped off the middle boys at basketball, but not until they raided the fridge. Chef Alex made quesadilla after quesadilla...I am thankful for Costco! Matthew is at a choir festival somewhere far away, so he won't be home until late, late tonight. Brian has a group of friends over and they are playing MarioKart...can you hear them? Loud is an understatement! M left today for almost a week on tour with his choir, busing to some exotic location. Is Arizona exotic? He'll come home in time to turn around and leave for yet another conference, though he told me last night he might ditch. (please, please, please, she says under her breath) I already miss him...

We're having a gourmet supper of messy guiseppes. Basically sloppy joes but made the Italian way. My boys love husband does not. In fact, he's missing lots of gourmet wonders this coming week.


After supper, I am going to take a hot bath with a hot cup of tea and then watch a movie with the boys. It's a Sandlot kind of night, I think!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


We have very few mornings (thankfully!) where all 3 boys need to be up and showered and out the door at the same time.

But this morning they did and unfortunately for all of them, NO ONE under the age of...ummm...38, uses my bathroom. Especially if you are male and are NOT married to me.

House rule.

So they need to work it out and deal.

I mean share.

Which they kinda sorta did last night before bed, with my help.

However, the one child who was supposed to get up 1st and get in and out of the shower overslept and that infringed on the one child (who is still a child until next Wednesday) who was to get up next and rush through his shower and that left a wee little child who would've used the outside bushes if I hadn't renigged on my rule about being under 38 and using my bathroom.

I mentioned to M that we had happiness and harmony
in our home this morning.

He said not to worry...happiness is leaving for college soon and harmony is only a few short years away.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I've been on the wrong day all day...probably because it's a short week this week. I worked this morning and then ran errands, meeting up with a girlfriend for lunch. It's cold and drizzly and grey outside and everyone and their uncle was in 'our' favorite place. Turned out to be fun...we met some old friends whom we hadn't seen for awhile and were able to play catch up.

Came home and made an orange pound cake..actually 1 big one and 4 small ones. Alas, only the big one is left...seems I forgot to put a 'do not eat' sign on them and Alex came home while I was in the attic. Gotta love him. He did yell up to me that they were good. =0)

The azaleas are blooming and I am loving staring out the kitchen window at them. They'll unfortunately drop their flowers before spring hits, but for now I am enjoying the view.

I am dreaming of last years spring seems so long ago. My toes have forgotten what warm, soft sand feels like. It won't be happening this year...drum corps finals are in Indiannapolis this year, so if I go anywhere, it'll be East. In August. With humidity. And mosquitos.

I have potatoes in the oven and when they are done, they'll become baked potato soup. Everyone is home tonight and American Idol is on...I still have 1/2 of last nights to watch 1st. Isn't my Simon cuter than ever?


Tuesday, February 19, 2008


The house is quiet.

And I am all alone.

It was a fun, but LOUD weekend. Emphasis on LOUD.

Matthew spent Sunday playing paintball...probably one of the last times with this group of high school friends. After drum corps on Saturday and paintball on Sunday, he was moving rather slow yesterday, but had a smile all day.

I like that.

He eliminated a college this weekend, simply because of the dorm life. His decision, not ours, but one that I am thankful for. This school has only apartment living with no cafeteria/meal plan and that would make things more complicated.

Alex had this past weekend off from basketball; however, we'll pay for it now. The next month is loaded with games, so we'll be on the road. A lot. Fingers crossed that they make it to Nationals...his team won (as the under dogs, too!) last year. Same team, but no longer the under dogs, so the pressure is on.

Brian had more friends over, in, under, and at our house this weekend than I can count. Actually, I am pretty sure that almost every male within a 1 mile radius between the ages of 9 - 17 walked through our front door at some point yesterday.

They either ate, used the bathroom (don't EVEN get me started on that one!!!!), tossed a ball, chased a cat, and/or watched some sort of show on TV. Loudly.

A few of M's students stopped on by, too and had tea. And cookies. Which they made. Yummy! It's that homesick time of year and I always welcome a little girl talk in the middle of boy talk.

M himself had a long day of work yesterday. Lots going on and he is one tired guy. Next week is Spring Break and he'll be on the road for most of it, but then he'll get a few days off. He needs it...

I am off into the drizzle to run a few driving for me tonight and I am pretty sure everyone is home. Supper will be something with the pork chops that are thawing, as well as an eggplant that is begging to be used.

And I'm thinking we need more cookies...


Saturday, February 16, 2008


It's chilly today...probably in the high 50's, but the sun is shining and the neighborhood kids are out in full force.

Matthew drove himself to drum corps...40 miles and 4 freeways away. He's texted that he made it and the big news...he's marching trumpet. It's his primary instrument, but for the last 3 years he's marched mellophone during the summers. Very cool.

Michael and I did a big Costco is it that $300.00 can fit into a tiny convertible's trunk?

Home in time for Nico to come and play...Brian gave him a concert.

And lunch? OH MY! Got a deal on artichokes at Costco and while M was unloading, I stuffed 'em and used that scary pressure cooker thingy. 15 minutes later and they're done!

Took the boys on a little field trip to a gelateria nearby. They had chocolate...I had hazelnut. M went to TJ's next door and stocked up on wine.

And now a surprise! Our mailbox has been stuck shut since Tuesday (just add it to the list!) and this morning M had time to break it down...I mean, fix it. Inside was a valentine's package full of treats...thanks, Mom!

Supper tonight will be grilled salmon. Matthew is gone and doesn't like it...his brothers love it, so tonight is the night. The washer and dryer are doing their thing and I am almost caught up. I got a few DVD's for valentines, so we're going to watch some Audrey Hepburn later...isn't she divine?


Brian and Nico...Isla d'Elba, Italy.

May, 2000

(look at that red hair!)

Nico and friends forever!

Friday, February 15, 2008


It's that time of year!


Our town is known for it's strawberries...YUM!

There are just a couple left...I had grand plans for a beautiful strawberry cake and strawberries on my pancakes tomorrow morning. Or even just a big bowl of them.

Should've bought them earlier in the day and hidden them.

My new favorite...a flirtini.

This morning I went on another long hike with a friend and then out to breakfast. Kind of defeats the purpose of the hike, doesn't it? We split breakfast, though, so I guess it's ok.

See...I can justify just about anything.

We sat and watched all the videos of the faculty doing their singing valentine's on campus yesterday...priceless. Youtube is amazing...I now know that most of our friends cannot carry a tune.


Supper tonight was Linguine fav and one of the only things my middle son doesn't like. He had practice, came home long enough to shower and eat a bowl of cereal and is now at a dance. M is at a concert, Matthew and Jen are here watching a movie, and I am 'watching' the SpongeBob movie with Brian. (I'm in the same room...does that count?) Tomorrow we'll hit Costco for a big shopping trip and other than that, we have nothing on the books. For the most part, that is. Matthew has drum corps from 9am - we go again!

Trouble... in, I will be in BIG TROUBLE when he finds out I posted this! Faculty singing Valentines were sold as a campus church fundraiser and well...this says it all. =0)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

love is daisies. buckets of them. and buying them because they're what i love more than any other flower.

love is sitting outside under the heat lamp, sipping limoncello and trying to figure out how we can move to italy.

love is the message you left on my cell phone last week. i saved it. =0)

love is pork roast. tonight. just for you.

love is this tiny little house.

love is working so hard doing what you do so that i can work hard doing what i do.

love is three boys.

love is me and you. together. for always.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sweaty, Stinky, Grumpy

Yesterday was my 'meetings' day. It began with an almost 2 hour PTA meeting and ended with an hour long School Site Council meeting and somewhere in the middle was my non-profit meeting. You know...the 'girl shoes' one.

I was pooped.

And my house looks like it.

I need a wife.


This morning I was at Brian's school volunteering and then worked for an hour. Making the big bucks. Yep, the big, big bucks.

Then, I met K for a long hike. Uphill.

Sweaty, stinky and grumpy, I decided to run into the grocery store for the milk we were about to run out of and the bread we did run out of. I ended up, since I was already there, doing a big shop and stocking up. I also ran into every person on this planet that I would not want to run into while I was stinky, sweaty and grumpy. Came home, put everything away and watched Brian walk down the street. He's now eating a nutritious snack of pizza rolls and tater tots while watching SpongeBob.

Now, I am sitting at the computer searching Craigs List for a wife. Must clean, do laundry (including the folding AND putting away), sanitize a bathroom shared by 3 boys, gas up the cars, pay the bills, and make hot tea for me. She must also make NO money. I'm not seeing anything like that listed, so I may have to put out my own ad. I am sure I will get lots of responses!

Tonight I am making baked ravioli for supper. Good, old fashioned comfort food. I am going to cuddle on the couch with M and watch all the shows we taped last night because we were playing a game. All my boys are home tonight, too. Matthew is finishing up his housing applications and I am writing deposit checks for schools he may not even go to. Alex has no basketball afterschool but will, I am positive, go up and shoot hoops until dark. He did call already to tell me his team won the SuperBowl during lunch time sports...and he didn't break anything.


The new fav game is Dance, Dance Revolution...and let's just say that I rock! M and I have been competing, which is just plain old scary. Fortunately, he starts laughing and can't move, so I win. Whatever works!

Monday, February 11, 2008


  • 3 bowls Honey Nut Cheerios, with milk

  • large glass milk, on the side

  • one banana

  • 2 cheese quesadillas

  • 2 frozen burritos...I think they were spicy bean and cheese

  • a turkey sandwich

  • gatorade

  • supper...baked rigatoni with eggplant and sausage, 2 bowls

  • salad with ranch

  • applesauce, 2 bowls

  • french bread...lots and lots

  • c-chips...his name for chocolate chips. Cannot live without them. In a bowl.

  • 2 bowls of raisin bran. With milk.

  • large glass of milk, on the side

  • one more banana, for good luck.

Just an average day with my teenage son, and the day is not yet over.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Drum Corps

I've said it before, but Matthew was born into a drum corps family.

M marched 2 playing trumpet and the other as drum major, and then went on to become an instructor for many years. I marched 3 years (all colorguard) and for me, more so than M, it was a life changing experience. Made me grow up. Oh, and it gave me a husband.


All of our boys have grown up going to shows, but only Matthew fell in love with it. He already has 3 years under his belt and until last night, thought he was done.

Until Blast!

I'm sure you've all heard of it. M and I saw it the 1st time 7 years ago when it 1st came about. It was then at California Adventure for quite awhile.

If you liked it, you'd like drum corps. If you loved it, you've probably either marched, are marching or will march...or paid for someone to march.

Matthew had decided not to march this year. He had thought about getting a job and saving up some money for next year. He thought he'd want a summer vacation.

M and I were so thrilled that we had all but booked our summer vacation to Hawaii. Yes, a family of 5 can travel to Hawaii for around the same cost.

Aloha means both hello and goodbye.

Last night, Matthew went with a group of friends. And ended up seeing his corps director and a bunch of old friends. Who miss him. There were only 3,000 people there...of course they would run into each other??!?

Of course!

So this morning on the way to church (and yes, our church is just under 30 miles away), he mentioned that he kinda sorta really wants to and has reconsidered and is hoping we'll let him march again.

He's a really good kid and I am thinking at this point, we'll keep him. I should've known something was up...he cleaned his room when came home last night.


Saturday, February 9, 2008


Todays high?

78 degrees!

M and I escaped from the boys and walked around the lake this morning, coffee in hand. It was so beautiful! We then spent a little while in my garden, pulling weeds and encouraging the broccoli to grow quicker.

I hope it listens.

This afternoon, M took Brian and his friend to the pool. They swam and he spent a few hours studying his Bach scores.

Everyone was happy.


Supper tonight should be something on the grill, but instead will be a pot roast with dried porcinis and a bottle of red wine in it...sure hope it's good!

Matthew is at a trumpet lesson now and is going with friends to see BLAST! tonight. He'll love it and will undoubtably rethink his decision to not do drum corps this summer. It was a hard decision he made (after 4 years of being on the road all summer long) and one that didn't come easily. So we'll see what ends up happening...

Alex is spending the evening with friends playing video/computer games. He's already spent most of his day shooting hoops...can't keep him inside for long. I need to do a whole blog post on what he has eaten today so's quite humorous!

Tomorrow is church and an away basketball game, plus Michael is guest conducting at an afternoon concert, so we'll be on the road most of the day. It's supposed to be nice again tomorrow...gotta love SoCal in February!

Friday, February 8, 2008


I. Cannot. Move.

But 1st, Matthew is preparing for his auditions. As in college auditions. As! time flies when you are having fun...

Shaggy time for a haircut until next week, though.

The reason

Last night my neighborhood girls and I went to the gym. I had an anxiety attack about going in...but they made me, and in the end I am glad they did. Did I like it? NOPE. There is so much...ummm, sweat in there. But for 45 days it is free, so that is what I am committing to.

This morning I have already been on my 5 mile hike with a girlfriend. Day 3 and still going strong!

Or the real reason...I blabbed to too many people what I am doing and I'm afraid of looking like a quitter.


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