Sunday, September 30, 2007

End of the Weekend

We had to drive separately to church on Sunday...M had a concert to go to in Orange and I went to Alex's game with the boys. We did squeeze in lunch
at TOGO's before we split up.

I think he looks a tad toooo happy!

(must be because he is all ALONE while I have fighting young men with me...)

And you should never attempt to take a picture of your spouse while driving along side each other on the freeway. It does make the young men stop fighting long enough to scream, though.

On to Alex's game. He played an amazing game and they won, not easily, but they won. The high school scouts were watching, but Alex didn't notice until after.

I finished cleaning out the 'summer' garden, but I am still getting lots of peppers and eggplant. I finally made an eggplant lasagna...yum!

OK, and the house finally got decorated for fall. Remind me to take is so cute! I unpacked this bowl that I don't remember buying, but it has a hand that grabs you if you reach into the bowl. It entertained the kitties for hours last night. Who needs TV?

If I haven't mentioned it lately...I LOVE MY KITTIES! The funniest part is that they love M most of all...drives him crazy! =0)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Beautiful Morning

Saturday morning, 10:30am. Time to watch Brian play soccer!

He's a natural goalie...must come from YEARS of being stuck in the goal while his brothers kick balls at him.
The best part? Popsicles after the game!
Come on, Alex...let me take 1 picture!

Stopped to get bagels on the way home and then M and boys watched the Buffs play...and win!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday's Field Trip

The other night, in the midst of chaos, I leaned over to M and mentioned that we were in need of a field trip. Just the 2 of us, without those 'others' who cannot seem to pick up their wet towels up off the bathroom floor.

And lo and husband played hooky.

All day long.

Not from me, but from that place that has been causing him quite a bit of stress lately.


So, we got the last of the wet towel droppers off to school and climbed in the car. The cool car. It was 8:36am and a chilly 66 degrees, but it didn't matter. The top was down, the seat warmers were on, and we were off!
The car just steered itself to it's favorite place...PCH. It was overcast and smelled of ocean and bonfires. Paradise!
Had to stop and fill up for gas. Who would've thought that the cheapest gas could be found along the beach?
As for scenery? Check out the guy on top of the building. Wonder how much he makes an hour?
After a few hours, we headed towards HOLLYWOOD.
Drove past lots of paparazzi at the entrance to Paramount studios. Famous people? Who cares? We were off to...
PINKS! Remember when we went this summer?

It's just a hole in the wall with a ...well...hole in the wall.
OK...I had the same thing I had this summer...a Rosie O'Donnell dog. M had some sort of Hollywood dog (he felt it was appropriate) and it was so spicy, he had tears in his eyes. He was in heaven!
However, we did not drive 2 hours for a hot dog. That would've been crazy! For the record, we drove 2 hours for an onion ring. And you know what? I might just hop back in the car tonight just for 1 more of these beauties!
Around the corner is Grauman's Chinese Theatre, so we thought we would hang with the tourists. And bums. And dirt. It's a truly disgusting place, but we parked and went for a walk anyway, and it's a fun place to people watch.
Next door is the Kodak theatre...home of the Academy Awards. And bums. And tourists. And us!
The Harry Potter people!
And crazy man Tom Cruise! I do have to add that there are large Scientology buildings on almost ever corner. Thank you, Tom Cruise. =0(
Please pause for just a moment. I was THIS CLOSE to cleaning her star off by hand, but at the last minute decided that I might be mistaken for a tourist. Or bum. Take your pick.
The Hollywood sign, which my native California born and bred husband swears he has never seen?!
And back on the road again...a still chilly 68 degrees at 1:01 pm.
What a fun and much needed break from real life!


Thursday, September 27, 2007

New Printer

Last night was Back to School night #2, which was made much easier by the consumption of a margarita beforehand. Tonight is Back to School night #3 at the middle school. Supper is courtesy of Trader chicken, brown rice, and pot 3 incredibly beautiful mango's that are hidden away until dinnertime.

I did my Meals on Wheels run and am now home staring longingly at the box of vanilla cookies from TJ's. I am not sure how long I will be able to hold out on those!

Last week, one of the boys, who at this writing shall remain anonymous (all 13 1/2 years of him), came to me and told me he had dropped the printer and it broke.

Excuse me....did you say you dropped the printer?

How in the world do you DROP a printer? Especially if it's in an armour, all wired in?

Apparently, if it could possibly happen, it will.


I had just bought a bunch of ink for this particular printer and come to find out, these cartridges only fit this printer. Which the moment we bought it became obsolete. You know how that works.

We can't go without a printer because the boys, especially Matthew, needs to print stuff out. We are a strange family...we own one family computer. One internet. That's it, just the one. It works for us, so why change it?

So, I got on eBay and found the very same printer. New. Doesn't come with ink OR a power cable, but hey, we already have those.

I bid $.25.

That's right...25 cents.

And won!

I knew ahead of time that shipping was $10.00, so for a grand total of $10.25, we have a new printer, which was delivered yesterday and will remain safely tucked in the armour.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Moon Festival

A Chinese student of M's brought him a gift on his way out yesterday and told him it was the Moon Festival.

She told him "Go home. Look at moon. Eat cake."


Pretty box.

Moon cakes, cookies and tea.

Went outside in our jammies and looked at the moon. (full...aha!)

Ate cake!
Alex and Michael, the two most adventurous eaters in our family, dug right in. The rest of us watched for a minute. The cakes were like jello filled with jello. Very, very interesting!
Brian asked for ice cream instead.

And where oh where oh where is Mollie? Here's a clue!

Today I need to go to Verizon to have Alex's phone switched. It's been duct taped together for awhile, but even that isn't working now. I have a box of old phones, so he picked the 'new' old one that he wanted.

Other than that, I will keep attacking the laundry and get the bathrooms cleaned. Dinner'll be an easy's Back to School Night #2, this one is at the high school. We are meeting friends in the parking lot beforehand and tailgating. Sick and wrong, I tell ya, but life is too short to attend yet another back to school night without a little something to help us out.

Hope we don't get expelled.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007


We have had the most beautiful blue skies the last few days. Not Colorado blue, but definitely blue for southern CA. I just love this time of year!

I spent a few hours in the garden this morning. After the last boy left for school (Alex starts at 9:10am on Tuesdays), I pulled the cornstalks out of the ground and bound them together. I had purposefully let them dry in the ground...they'll look cute on the front porch once we decorate for Fall. I then planted broccoli, more sugar pie pumpkins, carrots, and an acorn squash. The eggplant is producing beautifully...I'm feeling an eggplant parm right around the corner!

Tonight is one of the very last Dream Dinners from the freezer. Chicken something. I love going so much, but my family HATES the food. Ah well, lesson learned. I've created food snobs. I do have one other double order lurking in the outside freezer, which I'll cook next time G & J come over. Not that they like bad food, but they are more understanding than anyone else!

Alex and Austin before one of Sundays games.

So, here I sit downloading pictures from the camera, and THIS IS WHAT I SEE!!! These boys are in big, big, big trouble!!! My poor the shirt I can tell that Matthew is holding her, so either Alex or Brian took the picture. They are so busted when they get home!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sunny Monday

Well, apparently blogger is having themselves some trouble. I cannot seem to upload photos today, but I'll be patient and try again tomorrow.

Type pad is sounding better and better.

Mondays are going to be one of the busier days around here. I volunteered in Brian's class this morning from 8:15 - 10:15am. From there I ran to the dry cleaners and to Target and then on to meet my friend Maria at the beach.

Maria is Greek. As Greek as they come. I love everything about her, but best of all...she LOVES to cook. There aren't a whole lot of cooks out there and together we can talk recipes for HOURS. We walked for 45 minutes to the Shake Shack, bought ourselves a Date Shake for lunch....YUM!...and walked the 45 minutes back to our cars.

Made it home in time to throw the morning wash into the dryer and do the 10 minute pick-up. The sort of thing where my husband walks in the door and thanks me for working so hard all day.


Don't worry...he's on to me. He knows the real scoop.

Supper is beef stew that I pulled from the freezer. No one will be any wiser. I just dropped Alex and his crew off at basketball and Brian and his 2 friends off at soccer. Filled my car with gas ($2.91/gal we go again!) and now I have about 20 minutes to blog.

I also made a quick batch of Hummus. Want to know why? It's Bachelor time, my friends! I will TiVo it and submarine M when he walks in the door after teaching tonight. Some hummus, some champagne, the Bachelor...he won't know what hit him. He will get sucked in just like me, kicking and screaming the whole way. He'll then tell all his students that I made him watch and go on and on about how wrong the whole show is. And then I'll convince him to watch it next week.

It's a fun tradition.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Football, Rain and Other Stuff

OK...I have to start off by talking about my figs. Life is very, very good!

Last night we went to the football game and had a great time. We sat with some new friends and laughed and laughed...I am going to miss these times. Oh wait, I still have a 9 year old...I'll still be at football games when I am like, 90.


Compared to drum corps, marching band is...well...different. Kind of like high school football compared to college football. Similar, but not. Their show this year is really good, and the rain held off until we got home.

It was fun to watch Matthew conduct. In order to take this picture, I became one of 'those' moms. I actually climbed in the middle of the tubas...felt like I was part of the band! He was too busy ignoring me to be appalled...

And on to my 8th grader. Sigh. As we were leaving the game, he and Kyle were walking in front of us. I cannot tell you how many pre-pubescent girls ran over to talk to to him. We are in such big, big, gosh darn BIG trouble with this one...

And last night? POURING RAIN! And thunder! Our 8am soccer game was cancelled and I am now sitting at the computer with a pumpkin bagel and a cup of tea. I love my husband.

A little off topic, but some news. Last year I was feeling the pull to cut back. I was running my own non-profit, plus doing 20 some hours of volunteer work, plus a bible study that required 6 hours or so of homework a week. I was busy...too busy. I felt God telling me to let up and for once in my life, I listened. I decided to take a bit of a sabbatical.

Now I know why.

Last week, I had minor out patient surgery. On October 19th, I will have surgery...major, but fairly common. It was not a shock and was something I knew would happen at some point. I have spent the last few weeks getting a few different opinions and they were all the same. I must say, if you ever have the opportunity to have a friend who is a doctor, it really, really helps cut through a LOT of red tape!

It will, I am told, better my life. Which I actually think is already pretty incredible.

I am blessed.


1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Friday, September 21, 2007


NODAD is Brian speak for No, comma, deep breath, Dad. As in, "I am the 3rd child and I know just about everything there is to know on every given subject, and what I do not know, I will by tomorrow morning."

Reminds me of someone else I know.

Brian's now alot like the musicians in Mexico who come around and serenade you and then want money. Everytime we sit down at the table, he grabs his violin and plays for us.

He knows 3 notes.

I absolutely LOVE this stage...he is so gosh darn cute!


And this is THE 'nodad' face. I finally caught it on camera! Michael was trying to explain something to him and Brian said, ' goes like this...."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Fig Tree

My love affair with figs began in 2000 during our European adventure. We spent almost 11 weeks traveling, with 8 of those weeks spent in Italy. We don't travel like most...we prefer to spend a week at a time in a small village and take day trips to wherever we want to go, but we just love being a part of a 'town'. We shop at the markets in the morning and buy all kinds of fun things...breads, cheeses, fruits and of course, dolci. We find a place to have a picnic so the boys can play...Brian was only 19 months old that 1st trip. At one of the markets we bought figs, which they then had us buy honey and fresh goat cheese, and a deep, deep relationship was formed. It has become a bit of an obsession, I must admit. Figs aren't easy to come by (even here in SoCal) and when you do find them, they are pricey. For the record..I always pay. I never ask....I just pay. Only during true fig season do I do this, when they are ripe and soft and sweet.

Ahhhh...the joy of figs.

Today I took my friend, Josephine, for lunch to celebrate her birthday. She is on my Meals on Wheels run and I ADORE her. We've gotten to know each other well over the last year (for the record, my Chicago family...she used to live on Nagle Ave and then moved to Des Plaines!) and next week is her 94th birthday. She's Polish and spunky and just a joy to be around. I took her to her very favorite place, Denny's, and then she wanted to go visit her friend for a minute. We drove up to her friends house and in her front yard was the most massive, beautiful, perfect beyond words fig tree...FULL OF FRUIT. Josephine smiled and told me this is why she wanted to stop by for a visit.

I told you she was grand!

Where o where o where is the camera? The camera that is always in my purse?
(on the kitchen counter...)

Greta handed me a bag and while she and Josephine chatted, I hiked up my skirt and well, in a not very lady like way, accosted the tree. I picked and picked and picked. I even scared away a crow. Heck, nothing was going to get in the way of me and my figs.

Aren't they purty? After taking Josephine home, I stopped at Whole Foods for some really good goat cheese and honey. Tonight we feast. =0)

But first, we have to go to Back to School night #1. Tonight is at Brian's school and this will be our 12th year of Back to School night at his school. Who knows....maybe we'll learn something new. I've made a pot of Italian Wedding Soup and a loaf of bread for the boys....M and I will eat when we get home. I may skip dinner and eat only figs! Yum!

Alex is excited because a new Survivor starts tonight, so that is also part of the plan. He is having such a great start to this school year and is settling in well. Praise God! =0)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Brian's Violin

Brian's 1st day of music was today and he chose the violin. We ended up buying a new one....with all of M's connections, they practically gave it to us anyway, so we'll donate it at the end of the school year.

He is so proud!

M reset my clock and I didn't ask, nor did he offer, how he did it. I don't want to know, but I do know that he was only in my car for maybe 7 seconds. He's a good man...not sure I would have been so un-vocal. =0)

We're all home tonight. Brian has a friend coming over after school; I will take them both to soccer practice after they play for a bit. Alex is supposed to have practice, but it's been cancelled for the 3rd Wednesday in a row. Not sure what is going on there, but we are paying a bazillion $$ for gym time. Matthew came home for lunch and together we ate and watched the Biggest Loser from last night. I have no idea why, but that show makes me want to eat! Sick and wrong, I tell ya!

I am making a roast beef and mashed potatoes for supper in celebration of having to wear a sweater in the garden this morning. I have 18 green peppers on my counter, so after I get off this crazy computer, I will stalk my neighbors until they take some. They can run, but they can't hide! I am going to make stuffed peppers and freeze them for later on...I am so loving this cooler weather!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Humble Pie

I should tattoo an I on my forehead.

For idiot.

I forgot to mention yesterday that when I called the car place about my radio, I kinda sorta started bawling on the phone. Most of you know that I am fairly stable....=0)....but yesterday, I kinda sorta lost it. This poor man got a run down (in a very nice way, through my sobbing) about what is happening in my life right now and that I am having a kinda sorta rough time. He was very kind, but still quoted me $95.00.

Late last night, M and I were talking (OK, I was talking and he was laughing) about what happened, and M encouraged me to call them back and actually talk to them about my options for the radio.

SO...this morning I call the rather large dealership and I get a woman this time. I tell her my name and that I called yesterday and spoke with Joe and that yesterday I kinda sorta got a tad little bit weepy on the phone.
She says," Oh! I am so glad you called back. Poor Joe was so worried about you!"


Lock me up, people! Psycho woman is on the loose!

She told me to drive my car over and they would help me figure it out. I am, at this point, a little embarrassed that they think I am a tad bit unstable, but hey!...maybe it'll save me $95.00.
(...she admits, sheepishly...)

I drive up. Krista, the woman I was talking to on the phone, comes over and gives me a hug. Joe comes out and shakes my hand and then runs away. Lovely...they think I am a nutcase. I hand her my card with the radio code and she tells me that that is NOT the radio code. She reaches over and opens the glove compartment and there is this sticker...this like, 4 inch long sticker, that says 'radio code."


Humble pie time, my friends!

Guess we didn't think of looking in there.

I now have a working radio and it didn't cost me anything. I cannot; however, figure out how to reset the clock. Yes, I read the manual and no, it doesn't work. I'll wait for M to come home and figure it out and HE can call the car place if need be.


Another good thing? Yesterday afternoon, I had a carload of boys that I was driving across town to practice. With no radio, Alex decided to serenade me, and pretty soon I had 5 teenage boys singing Beatles songs...loudly...with all the windows down.

That memory alone is worth $95.00.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Good and the Bad

The good news: My car is working fine and instead of just running in and picking up goodies from Corner Bakery, I ran into an old friend and ended up having breakfast there, too.

The bad news: Apparently my car has some sort of anti-theft radio thingy that if the power is cut, the stereo no longer works UNLESS you have a special code.

The good news: We have the code! Hooray!

The bad news: The code doesn't work.

The good news: You have 7 tries to use the code before it locks up and won't allow you to try anymore.

The bad news: I used all 7 tries and the code didn't work.

The good news: I can call Honda and they will help me!

The bad news: I called the dealer and they want to charge me $95.00 to pull the radio to reset it. $95.00!!!!!!! I can go to Best Buy and BUY a new stereo for less than that.

The good news: M answered his phone at work and patiently listened while I cried about the stupid radio not working and didn't make me feel...well, stupid. =0)

The bad news: I am refusing to pay that much money for a stinkin' code, so I am without a clock or stereo forevermore.

(or until I cave in and drive to the dealer. sigh.)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday Stuff

Matthew left home early this morning to play for an American Heart Association fun run. He came home long enough to change and then drove himself to his PC banquet...30 miles and 5 freeways away. He, of course, was fine with it...but I am not. He texted me when he got there and I am waiting to hear when he will head home. How did anyone ever do this before cell phones?

The rest of us went to church and came home for lunch. (Matthew's band is going to Disney World at Christmas time...payment #2 is due tomorrow. We'll be eating at home forevermore...)

Alex had his 1st game of the Fall season. His team is playing in the top division and Alex had an amazing game. How this child, born of parents with absolutely NO athletic ability, could play ball the way he plays, is beyond me! They ended up losing...63-66, but they played a really great game.

My car hasn't been driven for a few days and today it had a dead, dead, very dead battery. Again. M jumped it and drove it around for awhile, but it'll need a new one. Again.

Here's a bunch of my #5!

And now we are having a lazy Sunday afternoon. M is on the couch, Brian is on my bed, and Alex just went to the pool. My garden needs some love, but I am going to curl up on the other end of the couch instead. Supper tonight is something crazy that M has been wanting to try...chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. That's a lotta garlic! I need to do some's the 1st chorale rehearsal tomorrow night and I always do a big spread, but with all that has been going on I'm thinking a drive by of Corner Bakery tomorrow might just be the answer.

If my car starts!


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