Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lots to Talk About

OK.  OK.  OK.


I got the hint.  And I am blogging.

We are readjusting back to being a family of 5...and it took a week of squishing and squashing and packing and unpacking and laundering and climbing up and climbing down to get us back to normal.

Cuz we live in a tiny house.

On purpose.

  On our first date, M and I sat on the beach and talked for hours and hours about life 'when we grew up'.

Which I guess is 'now'.

Weird, huh?

He talked of wanting to be a church worker and wanting to go to school forever.


I talked of wanting to live in a small house (with lots of sons) because "people in big houses have bad marriages".

Yep.  I said that.

And although God has thrown curve balls at every single human decision we have made, that guy that I like so much IS a church worker who has a wall full of degrees AND we live in a tiny house.

All is well.

BUT, that being said, we are packed to the gills at this moment.  And with all 3 of my boys filling my house, I have been cooking.  And cleaning.  And laundering.  And hiding out in my bathroom.

Yep.  The only place that I can find quiet is in the bathroom.  No, I do not have bathroom troubles but yes, I probably spent 4 hours in there yesterday to escape the basketball rivalry that is happening within our 4 small walls.

Boys, boys, boys.  Everywhere I look, there is a boy.


Friday was a holiday for most of us, though Alex did have school.  And he was thrilled, let me tell you.  Thrilled.

We did a big 'ole bbq that night and splurged on a couple of these babies.  With butter.  Oh my.

Saturday morning was a ginormous german pancake with fresh blueberries.  And chocolate chip pancakes.  Cuz you can never have enough carbs on Saturday mornings.
Sunday lunch after church...Super Mex.  Big boys, huge bean and cheese burritos and a 40 minute drive home.

Reread the above and then feel my pain.
Above our kitchen sink is a copper pot that I found at a small antique shop in Pisa, Italy.  It was just a few euros and the woman working said,"you come italy and you buy old pot?"  She just kept saying how everything in America was so new and beautiful...funny how the grass is always greener.

Anyway, our pot is FULL of our wine corks.  Not quite sure why, but it is.

Memorial Day brought even more broccoli from the garden, this time turned into a yummy salad.  
It also brought Logan, who at 2 years old serenaded us (when he wasn't running, climbing and getting dropped on his head by his favorite cousin...oops!) with God Bless America.

I especially love how life is just happening all around him....gotta love lots of family in a little house.


This morning in the chilly, cloudy morning...zucchini's are growing!  I almost picked those beautiful flowers, stuffed 'em with goat cheese and fried them up...but I'll do that with the next batch.

And then I spotted these.  Tomatoes.  Homegrown.  On the vine. 

I am SO ready.
Guess what?

I've got MORE to blog about!

Yesterday, that guy that I like so much and I headed a town or two over for lunch at Felix's.

Cuz sometimes nothing in the world will make everything OK except really great cuban food.

The food doesn't look pretty but is AMAZING.

This is basically the filling to their awesome empanadas, served with white rice, black beans and fried plantains.

I am not kidding when I tell you that this will be on the menu in heaven.  For reals.  I can also tell you that they have a huge menu and I always order the SAME thing.
We then strolled and shopped and browsed and talked and shivered. was cold!

And then we found this store, which our friends Josh and Alison have been telling us about forever.
Cheese, cheese, cheese.  And MORE cheese!

Thankfully, we were full...but did end up with a French goat cheese and an Italian blue.

Oh my.

Now I need to go back to playing FarmTown on Facebook.  I am scarily addicted.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Taking Lots of Pictures

I keep my camera close at hand at all times, and I've been known to yell 'QUICK!!!  Grab my camera!' whenever anything of excitement is happening.

Drives my family crazy.

But I love when I finally sit down to the computer and plug my camera in...that all sorts of daily life stuff pops up in my iPhoto.  I take LOTS of photos on any given day...probably between 40 - 50.  

I have to admit that most of them are crooked.  Or blurry.  Or of my toes.  Or cats.

Today I sat down, plugged in my camera and up popped 43 pictures.  Of my tomato plants.

So, hello.  My name is Michele.  And I have a picture problem.


I do have to say that my tomatoes never complain about being photographed.  They never walk away or cover their faces.  They just smile at the glorious sun and let me shoot away.

Introducing my San Marzano romas, mixed in with a few Borghese romas.  These beauties don't need to be staked and will all ripen at the exact same time...which means I will have a freezer full of marinara for the long, cold, hard winter.
A sampling of the heirloom patch...all in all, there are a dozen different varieties.

Shine, sun.  Shine.
Last night for supper I made a pot of gravy.  

Made for some very, very happy boys.
This morning bright and early at Brian's school was the annual teacher cooked pancake breakfast.

Not that I am counting or anything, but this was my 13th pancake breakfast.  And we are STILL there.

I will say that I have embraced the new regime and am actually kinda happy about the inner workings, but was a rough transition.

This is the pool that is between my little house on my little street.  There are 20 something different pools in my community to choose from...and each one is different.  Some have diving boards.  Some have life guards.  Some are adults only.

But I will say, my very favorite is this one, cuz we hang out with all of our friends here on hot summer days.  And some not so hot winter ones.

Brian got out early today and is now off for the 4 day weekend.  He brought home 5 friends with him and after playing football up at the school, they came home, ate popcorn and made duct tape wallets.

Life is so much better when you have a duct tape wallet.

We just ate supper...grilled teriyaki chicken (on buns, with grilled pineapple...YUM) and the majority of my household is yelling at the TV in the other room.

The Lakers are playing the Nuggets and we have a divided house...seems some of my brood love their birthplace of Colorado more than they honor their father.

Or so he keeps telling them.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Sun is Shining

Last night, the very oldest in our house and the very youngest spent an evening out.  That left me, the Queen, home with the teens...who screamed like girls when Maggie brought yet another bird into the house.

A flying bird this time.

And yes, I (the Queen) was able to rescue us all (including the bird) and life is now back to normal in our little house on our little street.


Today brought yet another day of me, the Queen, convincing that guy that I like so much to not go into work and spend yet another day playing in the sunshine.  With me.  The Queen.

Off to Blemont Shore for brunch at Le Creperie.  A lotta sunshine, some glorious crepes, a stop into We Olive for some bazillion year old balsamic vinegar that I've discovered I cannot live without, and a new discovery.

A cupcake store.

And since I had been talking about taking a detour on the way home to Sprinkles, this was just a wonderful, wonderful little shop.

Because sometimes, or maybe all the time, life just gets a bit better with a red velvet cupcake.

Back to real life and a house that needs to be cleaned, laundry that needs to be laundered and boys that need to be fed.  

No problem...cuz I'll be nibbling on that cupcake all afternoon.



Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Why I Am Mother Of The Year.

Update...please view the following link which proves that I truly AM Mother of the Year.

(thanks, Cheryl!!!)



I am Mother of the Year.


If there is any question about that....just ask.  My kids'll back me up.

I've earned my title, especially in the last 24 hours.

We had Costco pizza for supper last night.  Physical therapy for Alex ran long, so for $20 I had two ginormously large (and as mother of the year, I get to make up all the words I want) hot pizzas in my car (and a hot dog for Alex who was starving and couldn't wait for the ginormously large pizza...but hey, I am Mother of the go ahead and eat both) that were large enough to feed my 5 plus a few stragglers.

I then made Brian's lunch last night and in it I put some of the ginormously large leftover pizza...cuz leftover pizza in a lunch totally rocks.

Breakfast rolls around and Bri (who asks for things like eggs benedict and homemade waffles for breakfast every morning...he's a 3rd child) heats himself up a piece of pizza.  Yum.

Off to school with his pizza lunch, I remember that he and his dad have an event at school tonight...and guess what they are serving for dinner?


Four back to back meals of pizza.  Perfect.

As Mother of the Year, I also get to address my court.  And refer to them as 'you people'.  And do it in a 'crazy psycho muttering - yes - I've become my mother' sort of way and carry on for an hour or so.  And then repeat it over and over until someone cries Uncle.

As in...YOU PEOPLE keep leaving all your stuff all over my house and I am so tired of picking up after YOU PEOPLE and I am going to start throwing it all away and then YOU PEOPLE will be like those children who have nothing and I will be happy because I won't have to pick up after YOU PEOPLE anymore and when YOU PEOPLE come crying to me about not having any shoes to wear I will tell you that I have sent them to the poor children who would appreciate them since YOU PEOPLE obviously do not.

Or somethin' like that.

Monday, May 18, 2009

An Almost Perfect Day

I needed to escape town for a few hours, from the mess and piles and testosterone that has taken over my little house.  

BUT...and this is a BIG but, I wanted some of the testosterone to come with me.

So I convinced that guy that I like so much to play hooky (yeah, that was super hard...I mentioned it and he ran to the car and waited, patiently,  for me to come out) and take me for a ride.

Except we didn't have time to go far, so we drove 10 minutes in search of lunch.

Introducing...Newport Beach, California.  Home to sun and sand.

Parked and got a tad bit distracted.  The view is unreal...including the silly pasty white tourists sunbathing in the chilly 70 something degree weather.
We were thinking fish and chips, but were once again distracted by Charlie's institution in Newport, known for solving the late night munchies of college students.
Plopped ourselves at an outside table and ordered a beer...served in a paper cup, thankyouverymuch.
And shared a bowl of red, with toppings.

Yum.  Yum.  Yum.
Finished eating and walked back to the car, which was all of 50 yards from where we were.  My toes plus warm sand makes for a happy momma.

Not wanting to go home yet, we walked the pier.
And watched the fisherman hard at work napping.  I mean fishing.

Drove home and M went to go pick up Alex at school...and was then side swiped by a parent in the school parking lot.  Who then drove off.  And we have a $1,000.00 deductible.


God has his reasons.  God has his reasons.

I really DO believe that.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Catching Up

It's been a marathon of events around here, but as of yesterday we found the finish line.

Sort of, anyway.


Friday morning at 10:30am, I was in the theater seeing Angels & Demons.  Friday night at 10:30pm, I was in the theater seeing Angels & Demons.  

Good thing I really liked it.  Both times.

In between, M sat through 2 graduations and baccalaureate.  I filled jewelry orders and then met up with M on campus for the preview of the big gala show that Matthew is playing in.

Saturday was a big day in our house...that guy that I like so much celebrated a rather big birthday.  

And after a week of cooking some really, really strange things...I actually cooked some tried and true favorites for the birthday boy.

Breakfast was a german apple pancake, which even roused the teens out of their beds.  Shocker.

All of this became...
...fritto misto, which basically means mixed fried.  And for the record, I am not a frying kind of cook...I can't stand the way it makes my house (and my hair) smell, but I really like the guy that really likes it.  

Drank my favorite champagne.
Watched boys devour fried food.
And made a rockin' great amaretto white chocolate cheesecake.  OH...and somewhere in all of there was chicken cacciatore, too.  Pretty sure we will be full for days.  And days.
Happy birthday, Michael!  Fun party, too!


Thursday, May 14, 2009


What a great way to start the morning...with warm from the oven orange muffins.

Oh wait...I just baked them and then went to the gym.  There are only a couple left, so I am assuming they were good.  I'll know soon...I am going to eat one for lunch, along with a diet coke.

It is that time of year...that time where I am tired of making school lunches.  Tired, tired, tired.

Is it summer yet?  
After the gym I ran into Target (needed shampoo, toothpaste and tootsie rolls...all necessities of life) and I kept noticing this, ummmm....strange smell.  Every aisle I went down and it was there.

And then I realized that it was ME.

Oops!  Nothing like that lovely SWEAT smell!


Came home and watered the newest plants in my garden and picked this strange looking beast.  Any guesses?
Isn't she purty?  I've been waiting (and so has the hollandaise sauce!) for a long, long time for it to ripen.

Brian is bringing a friend home from school, Alex has therapy again ($$ chu-ching! $$) and Matthew is moving home bit by bit.  That guy that I like so much is barely holding on...but summer is coming.  

Summer is coming.  

Summer is coming.  


Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Just dropped Alex at physical therapy...he'll need 15 to 21 visits over the next 4 to 5 weeks.

At $35 each visit.


Anyone want a 15 year old who eats an enormous amount of food on a daily basis, plays year round basketball and always seems to be inured..or caught jay walking?

Applications are being accepted.

Quickly, please.


While I was gone I am thinking Matthew came home.  Not sure what gave it away...

He has to be out of his dorm room by 8am on Friday morning, though he is playing for the big Gala on campus on Saturday I am not expecting to see him much until after then.

And then the big room switch will happen here in our little house.

The boys are all going to sleep in one room for the summer and the other bedroom will become a hang out room...just like when they were little.  The biggest difference will be the addition of cable for the summer only.


Let's other news...which reminds me!

A girlfriend sent me an article about 'what not to blog'...and the top thing was what you ate for lunch.


But anyway, for lunch I didn't have anything because I had two breakfasts.  I was meeting a friend for breakfast and we always meet at one of two places.  I got there early, ordered, and started reading my book.  She went to the other place, ordered, and started in on her work.

And then we texted each other.

Packed my food to go, drove to her and laughed the whole way through breakfast.  

Ran to the garden center after...a fresh delivery of chicken manure had come in, so I loaded up my car and spent the rest of the morning/afternoon in the garden.  My tomatoes are looking lovely and the whole garden smells like paradise...or at least until I spread the chicken dung everywhere.


Supper tonight is a brisket that I have been slow cooking all day in the oven, mashed potatoes and some sort of veggie on the the last of the applesauce I made in the fall and froze.

My outside freezer is in desperate need of a thaw out/clean down, so we are eating strange things from the trenches for the next week or so.

We just need to work our way through the 10 boxes of fudgesicles that are in there...they were on sale for $.50/ each!  Bargain!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Haydn

Matthew was one of 2 freshman chosen for the honors recital yesterday...he did a great job!!!


Monday, May 11, 2009

NOT For The Weak Of Heart

This morning found us back at an all too familiar place...the orthopedist.  The same office who has seen us through a ruptured achilles tendon, a broken thumb/surgery, broken ankles, toes and knees...and the latest?

Sprain after sprain of Alex's MCL.

The doctors haven't changed...and they know us by now.  The view hasn't changed...and I still find it hard to believe that anyone would eat at that Carl's Jr. right there.
What did change was my SOS call to my DR friend.  Our last few visits have not gone so well, so I was whining to her this morning.

Lo and behold, we are now royalty.  Pays to know people.
(which in our house is pronounced pee-oh-puh-lee.  In case you were wondering, that is.)

So this morning we saw the big kahuna who checked out the big knee.
And FYI...Alex asked me to video tape this, which I found disturbing.  So I just snapped a picture instead.  Even more disturbing?  The 12 ounces of fluid they removed.

All together now....EWWWWWW!!!!
Instant relief.  And an instant plummet in his blood sugars...but I was prepared and all is well.  
The good news...lots of PT, crutches and a brace for a few days only, and he'll be back on the court soon.  As soon as he is cleared from PT...who happens to be the trainer at our school, so he'll be well cared for there.

He is now home eating a massive amount of food from Burger King and will be going back to school after lunch.  I am going to find the nearest bridge and jump.

Guess I shouldn't put that in writing, eh?


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Weekend + Mother's Day Fun

Friday morning I drove my chariot to get a new battery.

OK, so it was Matthew's car and it was SO dirty that I couldn't see out the front window.  And, of course, it was out of windshield washer fluid.

But it was OK...I just hung my head out the window, like a dog, and drove on my way.

Whatever works, I tell ya.


A sad sight, but this was kinda sorta my mood for the last few days.  We have been too busy.  And I am pooped.
Mother's Day...I slept in and we went to late church.

Not church late, but late service AT church.

And after, we went to Arby's.  It is 3 for 5, you know.  So I had my first beef n cheddar in probably a decade.  Or two.

And it was yummy.
Came home and checked the mail and voila!  A package from Holly.  

A Dom DeLuise sad that he died this week!
Drove a town over for supper with our clan-people.

And spent time doing what clan-people do...putting incredibly cute small children on top of my car.


And yes, those are crutches.  Again.  And yes, my nephew is wearing what appears to be an apron.  Or two.

I'm thinking this boy needs to spend some serious time at my house this summer with my houseful.  And I'll go sleep at his.

Knee shmee.

Can it be?  Again?

Yep...once again, this child of mine is injured.  Same knee.  Same injury.
He is sad.  And mad.  And hurting.  And frustrated.

And I don't blame him.

So tomorrow I'll be on the phone, making appointments that hopefully won't have him missing any school.  He's feeling like he'll never play again...poor kid.  

But he is strong and we'll get it all figured out. 

Yep.  We will.
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