Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mandatory Date Night

The temps here continue to hover around 100, which in turn has me hovering around insanity.

It's either the heat or the fact that I have been listening to The Star Spangled Banner played on the trumpet in the back of the house for the last 2 weeks.

Just kidding. Sort of.


But seriously, if we are going to be stuck in a little house with (gasp) the windows closed because the AC is on, can't the band teacher at least assign something...ummm...playable????

It all came to a head yesterday afternoon when I just couldn't take it anymore.

So I called Maggiano's and begged for a reservation. For reals. Begged. When the poor gal at the reservation desk said, "I'm sorry, we're full" I went into crisis mode.

"Please. You don't understand. I've been listening to a 16 year old who just found out he isn't cleared to play basketball yet and it's all MY fault AND to a 12 year old playing the gosh darn STAR SPANGLED BANNER OVER AND OVER AND OVER and I am HOT...and not hot in the attractive way but hot in the way that a 40 somethin' year old woman can only understand and I NEED A RESERVATION. PLEASE!!"

And I just may have had a little sob escape from my mouth.

Sadly, I did. Yep. I had a meltdown on the phone.

Call me crazy, but I suddenly had a 6:30pm reservation for two.


So on a rather normal Tuesday evening, that guy that I like so much and I found ourselves sharing a bottle of vino rosso.

And it's hard to see...but I really likey likey these monogrammed glasses.


So, if you have never dined (or met, for that matter) that guy that I like so much then you don't know that he befriends every single wait person we have at every single restaurant.

But now you know.

And I am totally serious about this. So within 5 minutes of us being there, we knew all about Kristy and her life story. And we liked her. A lot.

And since we sat there for almost 3 hours...well, we heard lots about her life.

All thru the evening she kept bringing us food. Food we didn't order but ate and ate and ate.

And then the kitchen made us a Happy Date Night dessert, complete with candles.

Today, all is well in my little world.

Alex has an MRI on Friday and a follow-up on Monday, so prayers that we get a better report than 2 weeks ago would be great...though he is in a much better place right now. Emotionally, that is. It's just hard. =0(

Brian is playing, as I type, the Star Spangled Banner and I have decided to just sing along with him over and over and over. We make a good team.

It's still hot, but oh well. Could be worse.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Way Too Hot (and a giveaway!)

It. Is. Hot.

Over and out.

BUT...and this is a good but...there is a Bella Michele Jewelry $50 Gift Certificate up for grabs at Dandy Giveaways!

50 bucks!


Head on over and enter...can't hurt, now can it?
Have I mentioned how HOT it is????

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Perfect Day

Today, Saturday, was the most perfect of days.

And let me tell you why.

It began last night when I fell asleep on the couch at 9:15pm and rather than fight it, I went to bed and slept straight thru until 7:00am.

That's 9 hours and 45 minutes of sleep, in case you were trying to count it on your fingers.


I then had the house to myself for a few hours this morning while everyone else slept in...and I used the time well.

Well as in 6 back to back episodes of Say Yes To The Dress, Atlanta that were on my TiVo.

And once that guy that I like so much woke up he made me a cappuccino and an omelette. For reals. And no, he's not for sale.


I then got dressed sometime around 11:00am after watching 4 more back to back episodes of Say Yes To The Dress, Atlanta.

Once dressed, I napped for 2 rather blissful hours.

After waking up I watched It's Complicated simply because I love Meryl Streep so very, very much.

I did throw in a load of wash, just because. Sigh.

Supper time rolled around and I took the easy route...Nick's. Trouble was, I had no desire to exhaust myself with dining there, so that guy that I like so much drove there and picked up our food to go.

Tapanade for me, pizza for Brian and his friend (Alex is hanging with friends) and mussels for that guy that I like so much.

Life is good.
After dinner we enjoyed Dean Martin and candles and limoncello and amaretti and nutella.

Have I mentioned that life is good?
It is now 8:30pm and I am back in my jammies, watching Mr and Mrs Smith.

Yes. It's been a most perfect day.


Friday, September 24, 2010


Autumn, in Southern California.


My heart is thinking soups and stews and homemade brain is telling me salad and anything grilled.

102 on Monday.

102 in September.


Oh...any ideas why my little house is covered on the outside with caterpillars? Weird. And icky.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Our Girls

Three years and a few months ago, my neighbors indoor cat escaped from her cozy little house and disappeared for a few days.

Everyone in their family was so sad...everyone except for the cat, who eloped with some other cat from the neighborhood and wound up pregnant with quintuplets.

She found her way back home and sometime later had a litter of the cutest, most adorable kittens ever.

A few houses down in my little house on my little street, that guy that I like so much had put his foot down regarding pets, which made me weepy and his children whiney.

Weepy and whiney.

Yep. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


(Mollie...reading Harry Potter 6)

My girlfriend kept MAKING the boys and I go on over to her house to see the kittens.


And one evening, after listening to my middle son beg and plead I caved and said yes to a kitten without consulting with that guy that I like so much. A little stripey girl kitty with a white chin.

We named her Maggie.

In the meantime, the youngest in our family fell in love with a blacker than black girl kitty with yellow eyes.

We named her Mollie.

(Maggie, cuddling with her daddy)

On a warm summer evening, I gifted the two kitties to that guy that I like so much. And everyone knows, you can't return a gift that has been given in love.


Now let me say...I don't recommend giving pets to someone who said 'no way' to pets, but after 20 somethin' years, I knew he wasn't going to throw me out of the house.

I'm too good of a cook.


But he was not thrilled.

(which still makes me laugh...not good. Not good at all...)

The best part about our 'girls'? They love him most of all. They sleep on his feet at the end of our bed. They snuggle him when he's on the couch. They meow at him and asked to be held.

In other words...they are BRILLIANT.

I love my girls.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Back From a Break

I had to take a little blogging break to figure out some sort of new schedule for myself.

And my houseful of boys.

Thankfully it wasn't too hard, but I just had to start getting things done that needed getting done (like laundry, for instance) and found I was spending too much of my time surfin' the 'net.

I like doing that. Too a break was in order.

I'm back this week into my get up early routine...the get up before anyone else in the house kind of early.

Not easy cuz it's still dark.

But I grit my teeth and roll out of bed and by the time I start opening the doors of various boys' rooms, I've already unloaded the dishwasher, brushed my teeth, made lunches, fed the cats and checked my email.

But the thing I do first no matter what, in the quiet of my kitchen in my jammies with a hot cup of tea, is spend time with God. Just me and him and my Bible.

And I find, and I am no expert, that all in my little world runs much smoother when I do that.


That guy that I like so much is working like a hound dog and we are spending most of our time communicating via text messaging.


But this too shall pass. We have a date on the calendar...October 14th if you must know, where we might actually go out alone together.


How crazy is that?
Let's other exciting and thoroughly interesting news, I bought chocolate milk at the market.

Like, ready made chocolate milk.

Like, who buys that?

Obviously I did and my boys are now kissing the ground I walk on.

Who knew that is all it would take?
Tonight is Back to School Night the high school. Year 7 of 12. We've been known to tailgate before hand (rebels that we are) but we are just too darned tired to do that tonight...instead we'll all sit down and eat supper together.

And last but not least, today is the first day of autumn.

My very favorite season of all the seasons...leaves changing and the smell of wood burning and crisp, cool temperatures.

(none of which we really have here in SoCal, but a girl can dream...can't she?)

What's your favorite season?

Thursday, September 16, 2010


You've gotta love the first weeks back at school...the humongous packs of papers to fill out, the extra supply lists for each class and the 'oh. I need $17 for this and $8 for that.'

Drives. me. batty.

And then you get the occasional parental assignment where they ask you in a million words or less to brag, I mean describe, your child to that particular teacher.

I used to write novels for those 'assignments'.

For my oldest I pretty much talked about how he was the brightest, most perfect child because, well let's just face it, I am the most perfect parent in the world. I used every one of the million words to talk all about it, too.

For the next one down the line I pretty much just wrote 'fasten your seatbelt'. I did use about 798,000 of the million words to describe him though...just to make sure I got my point across. I like to write after all.

Along comes Brian.

Can't they just read my blog?

Guess not.

(and yeah...instead of writing, I perused Facebook.)

I spent part of this afternoon with Matthew...he was having ear problems (the kid has had 5 sets of tubes...still has a permanent set in there, too and he is 20. maybe he'll outgrow it???) but his ENT was running late, so we spent some quality time (killing time) doing mother-son activities.

We bought a car battery at the auto supply store.


We discussed why girls say they are 'fine' when they obviously aren't 'fine'.


We went to Daphne's and ate hummus.


And for the record, Matteo...even girls don't know why they say they are 'fine' when they aren't really 'fine'. It's just the way God made us. Beautiful and complicated.

Keeps life interesting.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010


This has been such a stressful week so far...and it is only Tuesday.


I've been running around on autopilot...attempting to be everything to everyone and everywhere for everyone and I'm having a rough go of it.


I have been trying to do it all myself. Pilot my own ship, so to speak.

And that is the problem.

Rather than allowing God to be in control, I'm doing it all myself.


So this afternoon in the midst of trying to do it all, I turned it over to God. I asked for help...not a strength of mine.

From Psalm 4:
Answer me when I call to you,
O my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
be merciful to me and hear my prayer.

I almost, almost, almost ditched Bible study today. My to do list was a mile long, things at work seem (to me) to be out of control, there were jewelry orders to ship, groceries to be bought and laundry to be done.

Those 2 1/2 hours set aside for God's word seemed like a burden.


I forced myself to drive over there. I forced myself to steer my car into the parking lot. Once I parked my car and I thought to myself that nobody would even know if I didn't show up. I forced myself to get out and walk into the building.

Forced. Myself.

Seriously, my feet were like lead.

I walked in and was immediately enveloped into a world I love so much. My girlfriend was texting as I walked in...texting me, worried because I was late.


And then I sat and talked and laughed and prayed and ate yummy snacks, prayed some more and was then introduced to a gal that I'm going to become quite close to in the next few months...Esther.

I can't wait.

So tomorrow I am going to put one foot in front of the other. I am going to attempt to not run on autopilot, but to breathe in and out and take each moment as it comes. With God's help.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Kiss

This. Video. Rocks.

These are students of my husband and on our recent trip to Italy, we kept watching them dance. Now I know why.


Priceless...and EXTREMELY creative.

(Good job, guys!)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

All's Quiet

Yesterday I ran into Blockbuster (where I no longer have a rental membership because we NEVER rent movies) to buy a couple of their cheap (as in 4 for $20) previously viewed movies.

Among the 4 was the movie Leap Year starring Amy Adams, who I adore.

So once the youngest of my boys was tucked into bed and the middle of my boys was playing xbox in his room, I settled in to watch the movie.

But first, I made creme brulee with the vanilla beans I bought from India via eBay.

Did I ever tell you about the vanilla beans from India via eBay? If not, remind me to.

Anyway, I made a quickie (as in 5 minutes to make, 45 to bake and an hour to cool) vanilla bean creme brulee.


The creme brulee was perfect, the movie was too until it started to back to Blockbuster I will go (on Monday) to swap it out.

Other than that, it's quiet around these parts.

Too quiet.

Too, too quiet.

There's plenty I could do...just nothin' I feel like doing.

Any ideas?

Friday, September 10, 2010

The End of the Week


I love Fridays.

I especially love Fridays that come after my kids first full week back at school and my first week back at work.

(sort of...I guess Monday was a holiday, but Monday seems like so long ago.)

This week I threw myself back into the world of crossing guards...the good, the bad and the free breakfast at Denny's of it.


And in the midst of this week something really, really incredible happened.

Autumn arrived.

Not in full force, mind you, but just a kiss of Autumn...a tease.

A slight chill in the air and a few leaves have begun to change.

I'll take it.
So on this Friday, as if I wasn't happy enough, a friend delivered a bag full of homemade peanut clusters...which made a delicious supper.

Since that guy that I like so much is out of town and he just doesn't appreciate casseroles all that much (not that he would ever complain, cuz he doesn't...but he just doesn't do cheesy and/or gloppy) like the rest of us do, I made a favorite of the rest of us.

It's basically just macaroni baked with a b├ęchamel sauce and crispy pancetta.


(not that I've had any yet because I filled up on peanut clusters and then the 3 iced teas I shared with a neighbor...but I will later, if there is any left!!!)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Say Cheese!

All my boys were home last night so that we could have a birthday feast (spaghetti and gravy and sausage) and open presents (including a ginormous rapid fire nerf weapon) and try, try, try to get a nice picture.

Try again.
And again.
And again.
And yet again.
Until I gave up.

Uncle, I cried. Uncle!

I'll give them a few weeks (it'll be that long before we're all together again) to pull it together and we'll try, try again.

I'm sure bribery will be involved.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Special Wednesday

What I did on Wednesday:

(so far)

Picked up doughnuts early, early this morning in celebration of the baby's 12th birthday.

I should probably stop referring to him as the baby, but he IS my baby and always will be.

Forever and ever. Amen.

I then worked for a bit, became a brunette again and went thru the cheap gas station car wash.

Don't you love when I share EVERYTHING?
Stopped by Target for some random things like cat food, mechanical pencils, aluminum (remember calling it 'tin'?) foil and a $9.99 watch.
Met a girlfriend for a movie. The Switch...a cute movie, I might ad.

And just to keep you informed, I ate a hot dog with mustard and relish and drank a diet coke during the movie.

Just layin' it all out there.
Wrapped presents for the baby's birthday celebration, which will take place this evening.

(and made gravy, as in spaghetti sauce, and meatballs for supper. his fav.)
And greeted Brian (aka, the baby) when he walked in the door with lots of love and kisses.

Happy Birthday, Brian! Love you lots and lots!


Tuesday, September 7, 2010


This morning I woke up to the alarm clock while it was still dark outside, put my hair in a pony tail, threw on some lip gloss and my tennis shoes and headed to the beach.

It's back to work for me.

Happenings today included training a new crossing guard, getting yelled at by yet another (seems to be a trend) school secretary (the city cut their crossing guard, not me, so please don't yell at me...she says through a clenched-teeth-smile) and running into pretty much every one I know while looking like I just rolled out of bed while running into Costco for milk.

But really, it's been a good day. I just need to get back into the habit of waking up earlier and throwing myself together...pretty much meaning I take a shower and do my bible study at the crack. of. dawn. before I get everyone up and head out the door.

My life (which affects everyone around me) runs better that way.


This past weekend was so relaxing...we had a bunch of hungry students for supper (pasta with spicy italian sausage and fresh peas plus homemade focaccia) and this is all that was left:

The next day one of my BFF's mom brought us some INCREDIBLE bread up from San Diego.
The sourdough was awesome, but let me just tell you...brioche with bacon (pancetta) knocked our socks off.

Oh my.

Oh. My.
Last night I made one of my standard, go to, easy peasy meals...roast chicken. I make 3 if my whole crew is going to be here but with Matthew back in the dorms I usually only make 2...mainly because my 16 year old eats a whole one himself.


Anyway, all I do is stuff 'em with lemon and garlic and thyme, rub them with olive oil and bake them at 425 for 1 1/2 hours...perfect chicken every. single. time and a favorite of that guy that I like so much.
Alex (who got a hair trim, by the way) is working out with his team today...not playing on the court but running and conditioning. God is good. I'm trying to not worry...

Oh, and just in case you were curious...12 years ago today I was in the hospital. Laboring. On Labor Day. With an EXTREMELY grumpy and not at all happy doctor. But that's pretty much all I did 12 years ago today...labor. No baby until the next day...


And OH...I got a little bloggy make-over. I know my header was cute and you all miss it (thanks for the emails!), but a new one will be coming the meantime, my blog and my website now match. Soon they will be one site, but for now they just look alike. Thanks go to Michelle at Polka Dot Dandy for always making me (web-wise) look so schnazzy. Wish she could make me over in real life!


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