Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Road Trip

  • On Monday, Brian left for outdoor science school (on a bus) with the rest of his 6th grade class, 87 miles (and up a mountain) away.
  • On Tuesday, I drove 87 miles (and up a mountain) to the camp and picked him, along with 4 others (3 were planned, one was sick) up and then drove them 87 miles (and down a mountain) home.
  • Wednesday morning, I picked up 4 kids and the principal and drove 87 miles (and up a mountain) AGAIN, hung out at the camp for a few hours (to stretch my legs and steal some of the teachers snacks) and then drove 87 miles (and down a mountain) home.

So they could perform with the Irvine Honors Orchestra at Segerstrom Hall last night.

Utterly, totally, completely cool.

We've got some talent in this city of ours...and a district that 'gets' the arts.

But now there is no way I am sitting in a car again today.

Except that guy that I like so much is taking me out to dinner and I am not walking, so I guess I will be sitting in a car again today.


Here's a little taste of my baby up at camp:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Weekend

Last night, in celebration of the dryer being fixed (by the most condescending male I have ever met), I cooked a pork rib roast thingy which I slathered with dijon mustard and rosemary.

I then took a picture of it while all the males that currently live in my house gathered around with silverware in their hands.


I must say, it rocked. Like, totally rocked.

And not the dryer.

Or the males with silverware in their hands.

The roast rocked.

This morning brought church at an earlier hour than what we are used to, thanks to the youngest shrub and a special class he is taking on the Lord's Prayer. In n Out followed and then back to back basketball games for my middle son, who is currently playing on a team as an illegal alien.

Current high school players can only play on club teams during off season and this isn't a club team. But oh well, his coach saw him and axed the idea, so now my Sunday afternoon's will once again be free.


A run to Target followed by me sitting on a stool watching that guy that I like so much cook.


I was thinking he was pretty darn great and then he set this plate down in front of me and I went all weak in the knees.

Seriously now.

Some woman like diamonds.


A little bleu, a little sundried tomatoes and a little 20 yr old balsamic.

Want to come over? I'll share!


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Random Pictures

I have spent the last two days filing and sifting and sorting and throwing away piles of junk that have somehow accumulated in my little house.

I wish I could tell you it was cleansing and fulfilling and fun.

But it's not.

It's a lot of work.

And while I should be finishing up, instead I am going through all the pictures I have downloaded now that I have a camera cord. fig tree.
A bug on the wall outside.
The traffic I was driving in.
Free breakfast at Marie Callender's.
My pantry.
Other than that, I don't have much to share.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Can't Sleep

It's 12:12am.

Insomnia can be a bear.

I cleaned the pantry today (actually yesterday, since today is yesterday's tomorrow) and made jewelry.

Mother's Day is bigger than Christmas round these parts...and the most popular seller this week are these little guys:

My only complaint is that I keep whacking my thumb. Ouch. And I have pretty unattractive thumbs to begin with, but now at least I can blame it on the hammer.


I trained a new crossing guard today (I mean, yesterday), a retired engineer. I didn't ask him when I interviewed him what his profession had been, but I knew when he read the hand book cover to cover before our first training session.

Every now and then I get a good one.

Tomorrow ( I mean, today) I need to clean the laundry room because on Friday my new dryer comes. Buy LG. That's my plug. Not that anyone from LG reads my blog, but if they did I would want to let them know that I appreciate their customer service. And so do my clothes.

It's now 12:34am. Time to sleep!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On The Go

Today, we drove.

Not far, mind you, but all over the county for various reasons.

But the best reason of all was for this:

...and this. The Beachcomber. Proabably one of my very favorite 'get away from the OC' places. It's quite literally a cottage turned restaurant on the beach with really, really yummy food.
And sand. Warm sand, please meet my toes that are in desperate need of a pedicure.
Half of this was mine because I was sharing with....
KATHY!!! Our funniest friend ever who came to visit (and take a break from all the famous people she is in contact with in that big city that she works in) and play with us for a way too short time.

And she shared pancakes with me, too, and I'm not even famous.

And I met a new friend (who I think I might've scared just a little...but at least I didn't eat off of her plate, which is what I usually do...) and we had such a nice time just eatin' breakfast on the beach.

And after driving for new tires (major $$) and new brakes (more major $$)...none of which were for my car thankyouverymuch, my car did celebrate a little birthday.

100,000 miles.

One hundred thousand miles.

It rained today, too. Just a bit, but enough to send SoCal into StormWatch.

Oh brother.

But the air is clean and Glee is on and we had butternut squash ravioli with fresh sage for supper and I didn't have to fire anyone today.

Life is good.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Few Pictures

Pictures, glorious pictures.


Nutella and Peeps.

Living on the edge.

Brian and his dream meal...rice, black beans and mahi-mahi.

Life is good.

Bon-Bon's. Peanut butter. Would've been better without the chocolate.
Sneaking snacks into a concert. Mmmm....gummy bears.
Being silly. Crazy kid.
Mother's Day orders. Thankful.
Our kitchen post-party. Seriously considered selling and starting over, but I suppose the new kitchen would get dirty, too...and how many times can you start over?
Time. to. sleep.

Physically tired.

Walked 2 miles. Ate granola pancakes. Walked 2 miles home.

Emotionally exhausted.

Had to suspend someone this morning.

Have to fire them tomorrow.

Made them cry (hard) in between.



Guess what?

I found my camera cord!


It's been an extremely full, The Messiah, some fun new jewelry designs, parties, and the annual college/senior dinner.

Lots of pictures to come tomorrow.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Follow Up

Alas, my son's car has been returned.

And what an adventure it was.


First off, the man who was fixing his car was not a stranger. He was a mobile mechanic (which is quite common here, believe it or not) and the kind of guy you could call to do simple things at your home or work. He was recommended by friends and has done work for us 5 or 6 times.

He was cheap. And reliable. And cheap.

Did I mention cheap?

Which is perfect for an older car like Matthew's.

Anyway, Morales came out to my son's school right before Easter to replace the starter. That went well, and then we asked him to take care of another bigger problem which required him to put it up on a lift.

One other time, he had to do this for us and had taken the car to do this, returning it later in the day. Back then, we had followed him there because we were a tad more smart...but this time, we just let him take it.

At the end of the first day he called and said he would bring it back in the morning. No problema. phone call. And when I tried to call him back, his phone was disconnected.

In all honesty, I still wasn't worried. I mean, we 'knew' him, kinda sorta.

But then that one day turned into two and then into three.

By now, M and I instead of being panicky, thought it was sort of funny. I mean, come on...did we really just 'lose' a car?

No way.

I tried to find the shop (among hundreds) in Santa Ana. I kept calling his cell, with hopes that it was turned back on. I had his business card, which after closer examination, had no last name printed on it.

We were in a state of shock...and dealt with it by laughing. (OK...and praying. But it seemed silly to pray for a 'car'...KWIM?)

Anyway, on Wednesday as I was leaving a meeting, Morales called me. He apologized profusely and told me that his ex wife had taken his kids to Mexicali ( map it) and he had had to go and get them. He was sorry. The car was fixed and he would bring it right over.

I didn't think to ask where the car was. He was so nice and apologetic that I did what I do...I trusted him to bring the car back.

Problem was...he never showed.

No car.

I called. Left a message. No return call.

Thursday rolls around and now I am mad. I leave more messages. No call back.

Finally, Thursday evening I get a voicemail (I was on the other line...grrrr) from his nephew. He says Morales is in San Diego dealing with family business, doesn't have his cell phone with him but he (the nephew) will return the car on Friday at 1:00pm.

Of course he calls from a restricted number, so I cannot call him back.

Friday. I am home waiting. 1:00pm comes and goes. By 2:15pm, I am getting angrier. I call Morales and leave a message giving my address one more time, just in case the nephew doesn't have it. I was nice on the phone, but firm.

No return call.

No car.

By 4:15pm, I had reached the boiling point. I call his cell AGAIN and told him if my car isn't returned by 6pm, then I am going to the police and reporting my car stolen.

By this point, I am done. I walked to my neighbors house to share the latest development. And then my phone rings.

It was Morales' wife. And she speaks not a lick of English.

But my neighbor speaks Spanish. She tells her we are coming for the car, finds out where it was and off we go.

Two chicks in a mini van, drivin' to the hood.

The car was in a parking lot. She met us there, gave us the keys and told us (not that I understood much...and I took 4 years of Spanish. Lovely.) that he had left her and she was trying to clean up his mess. That someone else had called the police and she was dealing with that, too.

But in the end, we got the car back.

(and yes, it had been fixed.)

Today, the questions are there. Why would he go to San Diego without his cell phone? Why was she driving his car?

Seems fishy...

The End.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Letter To My Family

Dear Andrew and Matt (and Rachel, too!),

I would like to tell you that while you think I am crazy (and you think correctly), it is not because I live in California.

It is because the blood that flows through my veins comes from crazy people. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that same crazy blood (from crazy people) flows through your veins, too.

Your great-Grandparents were a little on the quirky side. Your Grandma and my mom used to talk about them and us kids would overhear. Now, we talk about them and you overhear. Someday, you will talk about us and your children will overhear. It's the circle of life.

My Mom is crazy. I know you've heard the stories and just so you know, they are all true. Your Grandma is crazy...did she ever tell you about the time she got a little angry with the toll booth that ate her nickel? She actually got out of her car (with rush hour traffic piling up behind her station wagon loaded down with all of us kids) and proceeded to have it out with the machine. As in, violently shake. And kick. And she just might've called it a bad 'stupid'.

I am still recovering from that episode.

That crazy blood flows through all of us. And yes, I believe we are all doomed.

On the flip side, we are definitely not boring. Crazy is better than boring.

your Auntie Michele

PS. Here is my lunch. A hot dog (with mustard and relish...yum, yum!) and a diet coke from Costco. Just thought I would share.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Smelly Squid (and a car update)

This morning I helped 6th graders dissect squid.


Is the plural of squid, squids?

And I have to tell you...I love that my youngest still wants me around. I know what's coming...the whole 'please don't walk near me because someone might just think that I have parents' scenario, but child #3 hasn't hit that yet.

So this morning when he asked if I would come and help, I jumped.


It smelled bad. It looked bad. It was just icky.

But he's a cutie, which totally made up for it.

(picture taken courtesy of my camera cord is on it's way!)

And alas, no sign of Matthew's car. Yet. This morning while I was out checking crossing guards, I had a quick convo with one of my favorite motorcycle cops.

Me: Hey John...can I run a scenario by you?

Him: Sure thing.

Me: Well...what would you do if...(I recap the story, speaking entirely in the 3rd person.)

Him: Wow. Unbelievable. You work with some real winners.

Me:'s not one of my guards. It's actually a family member...

Him: What idiots!

Me: Actually, they're kinda educated. One of them has a PhD. The other has more common sense than anyone I've ever met before. I'm thinking it was just a lapse in judgement. How do you think they should proceed?

Him: (laughing) I pray they come to my station to report'll be the story of the year!


The good news...the mechanics phone is reconnected. He didn't answer, but I left a message! Think he'll call back?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

You Can't Teach Stupid

Dear Police Department,

My son's car has been stolen.

Sort of.

I mean, we did hire a mechanic to fix it. And yes, we did give him the keys and permission to drive it to his shop to have it fixed.

And no, we didn't exactly ask where that shop was located. I mean, why would we? We have his cell phone number!

OK, and we kinda sorta might've given him $200 in cash to order the parts with. He's such a nice and friendly guy, after all.

Oh yeah, we did see which direction he drove away from our house. In fact, we stood on our front porch happy and well fed, with Frank Sinatra blaring in the background while we waved bye-bye to him. My husband and I even gazed into each others eyes and talked about how lucky we were to find such an affordable automobile repairman.

It was going to be a 6 hour job.

That was last week.

I'm sure he'll call us when he gets his cell phone working again.

Thank you for taking the report.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I am...

  • ...feeling badly for my 16 year old. And his carpet. He woke up in the middle of the night and proceeded to...ummmm...spill his guts.
  • ...not cooking very much. We are a family in need of a shared meal together. An upcoming concert weekend (with extra rehearsals), recitals, basketball (both playing and coaching) and honor orchestra are all interfering.
  • ...making lots of jewelry. LOTS. Mother's Day is coming!
  • excited to have found the most perfect of perfect birthday gifts for that guy that I like so much. And no, I didn't buy him the whole museum, but he does have back to back reservations. (notice I said 'he' and not 'we'?) =0)
  • ...awaiting my new camera cord. $5.99 plus free shipping, though it will take 5 - 15 business days to arrive. Gotta love free shipping.
  • ...a little embarrassed to admit that last night I made nutella panini's for dessert and added....gulp...Peeps to them. And they were divine.
  • ...ready for warm weather. My toes are, too.
  • ...trying to be low key about GLEE tonight, but I cannot wait!!
  • ...tired of sharing my husband with GF Handel. There. I said it. Out loud.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Still no sign of my camera cord...and if I don't find it in the 'you've all gone back to school, so now I can really clean the house' clean-up, then I will know it is gone forever.

But I'm still holding out hope.

So if I had my camera, I'd show you one of the 22 pictures I took of my cats sunning themselves yesterday or the one of my brand new flip flops or the Peeps I bought on clearance for $.37 or of Brian and Alex each wearing a half dozen nerf guns during their nerf war in our tiny little house.

But instead you'll just have to use your imagination.


It's Sunday afternoon and I am currently sipping an absolutely divine cappuccino while eating a whoopie pie made with carrot cookies, all while trying to not think about the fact that tomorrow is a 'back to real life' day.

And yes, real life is good.

But nothing beats a vacation day.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring Break, Day 4

If I could find my camera cord, I would post lots of pictures.

But I can't find it.

Maybe it's a sign.


This morning we (the 'we' being Alex, Brian and myself) lounged. And lounged. And made bon bon's (for reals) and licked the bowl. For breakfast.

Cuz's spring break.

I then loaded my car with bikes and razors and skateboards and helmets and the morning was spent at the skatepark where I returned all the phone calls that I have been meaning to return while watching boys perform all kinds of scary (for me) stunts.

Then a trip to Wahoo's for fish and brown rice and black beans...Brian's choice today. When I was 11, my food of choice was fish, too. Not.

But he's a keeper, that's for sure.


Target followed for odds and ends and then home for a few hours to check the status of the bon bon's.

Which were tasty, by the way.

Off again to the chiropractor, home to heat up leftovers (the wine was new, though) and then I was out the door for tea with my two favorite girlfriends.

Tomorrow we're hanging here all day, though I may have to go buy a new camera cord in between loads of laundry and a sweep (or two) of the kitchen floor. Grand plans, I tell ya. Sounds perfect, doesn't it?

Please don't end spring break...please don't end.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring Break, Day 2

I am so totally digging Spring Break.

(can you tell from the so and the totally that I went to high school in the 80's? Like, yes I did!)

It started off a little quiet. Right off the bat, Brian was invited to play at his friends house the next town over, which then turned into a sleepover. Alex, at the ripe old age of 16, is experiencing (thanks to good grades and open communication) some new found freedom like never before. And that guy that I like so much is hard at work putting food on the table.

So the beginning of Spring Break was quiet.

And I was bored.

But eventually all these young 'un's that I love so much GOT HUNGRY and made their way back to me.

Whatever it takes, people. Whatever it takes.

And once their bellies were full of all sorts of Spring Break-ish kinds of food, like burgers and corn dogs and burritos and smoothies, I sprung the schedule on them.

"Sweet boys of mine?" I said as I placed another piping hot plate of chemical laden treats in front of them. "Tomorrow after the dentist, let's go get new shoes!"

"OK, Mom!" they managed to say with mouths full of food.

I smiled.

It was a full 10 minutes later when Alex comes back out from his man-cave.

"Did you say DENTIST????"

He's quick, I tell ya.

So on this Day 2 of Spring Break, we covered the dentist and the haircuts and the shoes and the doctor for camp physicals. I threw in some fun stuff a trip to the bank.

Tomorrow we play.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Monday

Dear People Who Make Peeps,

I love you.



Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Weekend

Saturday morning we received an SOS call from our oldest, whose car wouldn't start.

The exciting news...the call came on a day where that guy that I like so much had off, so together we went to assess the situation.

Turns out it needed a new starter, so a call was made to Morales...our handy, dandy cheap car repair man.

While waiting for him to come, we took a little walk through the hills surrounding the college. The sun was shining and it was warm and the mustard was in we brought home armloads of it and I now have vases of it all over my house.

And then we waited while the car was fixed.
Today, Easter Sunday, was glorious. Church was amazing with all my favorite was one of those services that just came to life for me and literally brought me to tears. My Savior has risen.

Home...and the arrival of the bunny cake.
My nephew Logan brought us a charlie brown easter lily.

We ate antipasto for lunch.
Karen came over. All together there were 17 of us.

Matthew and Ella...the oldest cousin with the youngest. There's a 20 year gap!
More cousins...Garrett, Alex and Devin.
Pictures I wish I had taken:
  • Joey and Michelle. Sigh. My family.
  • Hyunjoo, who came and brought sushi AND korean beef.
  • My boys, who had both sides of the family there.
  • The rather large lasagna that fed us.

Oh...and did I mention the LONG and BIG earthquake that shook my little house on my little street? 7.2, centered a few hours south of here. Thankful that we were all here together when it happened!

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