Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Week

Our holiday week began in such a lovely and red wine at Nick's with our good friends, laughing and sharing life stories.  I am so thankful for not only the roots which are growing deeper and deeper here in southern California, but also for the branches that have grown...branches that represent friends and family and jobs and a really pretty little backyard.

I have struggled a bit with what I am thankful for this year.  True, there are the and life and love and protection, but for the first time in my life there has been something bigger that has been brought to life.

I am thankful for forgiveness.  Thankful for 2nd (and 3rd and 4th) chances.  Thankful that while we may only have one life to live, we have a life full of 'do overs'.  

Pretty sure that is our new family get a do over, but this time, how are you gonna do it better?

This year in the food department I tried quite a few new things...PW's mashed potatoes (made a day ahead and AMAZING), these sweet potatoes (added lots more brown sugar and cinnamon and butter) and Alton Brown's method of cooking a big 'ole bird (didn't brine...just followed his cooking method and for the first time ever, didn't stuff the turkey...and probably never will again).

All in all, given the fact that from start to finish our meal lasted all of 18 minutes, I think it was a success.


I was given a mere 48 hours with all three of my offspring all together under one roof...48 short hours in which to drive them all absolutely crazy.

Good thing I'm talented at cutting to the chase.  My oldest was rolling his eyes before he even stepped in the front door.  I just keep reminding him that my mother drove me crazy, her mother drove her crazy and so on and so on.

It's. My. Duty.

Sadly, for me, he doesn't even bat an eye anymore.  Come on...what fun is that?

The day after Thanksgiving, that guy that I like so much found himself back at Nick's,  this time picking up pizza's to go.  I just couldn't face another dirty pot or pan, another stick of butter, another grease spattered stove.  

Couldn't do it.  

I am now declaring the day after every holiday a no cook day for the cook in the house.

All in favor?  


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Through The Tunnel

That guy that I like so much and I had the most perfect morning planned.

A little drive.

A little walk.

A little chat about the light that is always at the end of the tunnel, even though sometimes it seems really far away...and other times seems so bright and wide open that you know clearly which direction to head.

A little beach time.

The beach at wintertime is my favorite, followed closely by the beach at summertime and the beach at springtime and the beach at falltime.

A little (or a lotta) love on a beignets with maple syrup and mounds of powdered sugar. 

And just in case you were thinking that this was the far too perfect, insert 100 million work calls that I recieved THE WHOLE MORNING.  Calls I had to take. One crossing guard crisis after another.  I'm in a tunnel job-wise right now and while I am sure there is a speck of light at the end I can't seem to focus my eyes on it.

OK, it's not that bad...but it was on Friday.  


But seriously, if you live in southern CA....take someone you really like and go have breakfast at The Beachcomber.   Order the beignets. 

 And turn off your phone.

You'll thank me. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Know What?

I'm having trouble keeping up...but tomorrow?

Tomorrow I am playing hooky.


BUT, it's not tomorrow yet.

Today?  Well, today is overly full.

I had a 7:00am meeting, which was actually an evaluation.  I was totally stressed about it and it went fine, but didn't finish and so the rest will take place this afternoon.  The good news?  I am so over it and found myself praying with all my might that I would get fired.

Sadly?  I don't think that is going to happen.

In between?  I volunteered at Brian's school for 3 hours helping with the vision/hearing screening.

Know what?  I really like middle schoolers.  I just 'get' them.

And then?  I popped home for 45 minutes and had lunch with Alex.  Kinda crazy that this child I have prayed over SO VERY MUCH has found his footing.  God is good.

And now?  Back to work to discover my fate.  Ugh.

(it's really not THAT bad.)



Sunday, November 13, 2011


Thick cut bacon, drizzled with maple syrup and sprinkled with pepper,  baked until sticky AND crispy.

Artichokes, stuffed with bread crumbs and pine nuts and fresh mozzarella and olive oil, baked in a smidge of white wine until tender.

Espresso with one heaping teaspoonful of sugar and a pumpkin candle on the side...not pictured, a hallmark movie on the tele.

And my verse for this coming week:

...pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
1 Tim.  6:11


How was your weekend?

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Last night I was woken up by a very, very tall person in the middle of the night.

I screamed, waking up that guy that I like so much and startling the very tall person who was waking me up.

I'm calm like that.

Alex was sick.

Almost 18, very, very tall and having a bad, bad ear ache...and what did he do?  He woke up his mama because he needed his mama.


He has been one of those kids that bypassed all the common childhood illnesses...but before you say anything, he has had his share of the 'things':

Broken bones.  Plural.
Stitches.  Many.
Staples.  Plethora.
Surgeries. Multiple.

Common colds.  Only a handful.

Ear infections?

THREE...including the current one.

The poor guy, all 17 years and 50 weeks of him, was in agony.

And he needed his mama.

After doing the mama thing (lots of meds and a few prayers), he was back asleep...and so was I, but the rest of the night was that kind of sleep where you sleep with one ear open.  Just in case.

I didn't mind a bit...and thankfully,  he's feeling a bit better today.  Needing a bit more TLC than usual, but that's OK with me.

This job of Alex's mom, is secure. 


All these pictures?  

A Friday night, pre-ear infection, dinner party.  Toasted bread soaked in olive oil.  Pot roast.  Risotto.  Homemade, by a talented 13 year old baker, chocolate chip cookies.  

And, not planned by me but the perfect addition...rain.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Firing Shoes

This morning I had to put on my firing shoes. Ugh.  I don't like wearing my firing shoes because they mean I have to, well, fire someone...and I would rather do just about anything else than fire someone.

I am not meant for this.

Raising boys?  Yes.
Cooking supper?  Yes.
Lighting candles and making things pretty?  Yes.
Telling someone their life as they know it is over?  No.

My firing shoes?  Back in my closet.  Buried.  Where they belong.

When this job is over...they're goin' in the trash.


For supper last night that guy that I like so much made margaritas and I made enchiladas.  They are totally unauthentic enchiladas, but they fed a crowd of hungry men-folk with no complaints.

Though the following was overheard:

"Wow, Mom.  Your enchiladas aren't normally good.  These are!"


The mornings have been soooo cold 40 some degrees cold, which for us SoCal peeps is FRIGID.  

I had to leave at dark o'thirty this morning to met my boss and midway through complaining about how cold I was, I looked up.

And saw a glimpse of heaven.

 Tonight was simple.

Pasta with sausage and broccoli.
A fire in the fireplace.

I like simple.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mama Bear

I can thank my car and the Del Taco drive-thru for supper last night...gotta love a huge bag of tacos for $10.

A boys dream when the papa is working late and the mama is tired.

I spent much of my day involved in a snarky email exchange between myself and  the commissioner of the basketball league.  I don't like snarky emails when I receive them and I don't like them even more when I send them...and I am guilty of sending them today (but only after receiving them...does that make it any better?) which gives me a stomach ache.  The low-down?  Brian is now team-less and I am a very mad mama bear.  Don't mess with mama bear.  Mama bear gets real ugly, real quick and mama bear does things she regrets when something is happening to one of her cubs.

I did remove the words 'low life' and 'scum bag' from the emails I was sending.

So there.

This instinct to protect, at all costs, reminds me of the shepherds and their sheep.  They protect every single one of their flock...even the wayward ones, foregoing time for rest until each one is huddled down safely for the night.

Us mama's...we are each the shepherd of our own flock.  But we're not doing this alone because we are still part of a bigger flock...and MY shepherd is still watching out for me.   And He let me know last night (by giving me a stomach ache and a very bad case of 'guilt-itis' when I hit 'send' on my last incredibly rude email that will now be out there for all eternity and probably caused this poor, rather rude man, loss of sleep last night) that I was a wandering sheep.

And I tossed and turned ALL NIGHT LONG.  So this morning, I got up early for my quiet time and sent off an apology for my rather rude behavior.

Within two minutes, my phone beeped in reply.


Noted?  THAT'S your reply?  How about a "thanks for your kind and thoughtful email.  All is forgiven.  And by the way, Brian is now on a team?"


I need an attitude adjustment.

And some chocolate.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Thankful...for a never ending magazine supply thanks to my sis-in-law, especially now that the weather is cooler and I'm curled up in bed under a blanket earlier than usual.  Just when it starts to get shorter, she brings more over.  Who doesn't love free magazines?


Thankful...for a lovely supper last week.  That guy that I like so much is working tons right now and has so many night time concerts/recitals/rehearsals, so I'll take what I can get.  

Thankful...for a job.  Even when I have to train crossing guards in the pouring rain.  

Thankful...for salted caramel mocha's.  Non-fat, of course.  A splurge that is worth every single sip.

Thankful...for the Aunties.  They met Matthew's girlfriend for the first time on Sunday...I am still laughing at Aunt Jill hugging Brianne and telling her, "it's ok.  I don't have head lice anymore."

Life is too short to have a boring family.


 Thankful...for my oldest.  He's a smart cookie.  A bit dramatic, which I am sure he gets from his father.  The big brains come from his mother.  

Thankful...for nutella panini's.  Joy spread between two slices of bread and toasted until warm and ooey and gooey.  Best eaten for breakfast.  Or lunch.  Or supper.  Or anytime in between.

Thankful...for basketball.  Brian's turn this weekend in a school tournament.  Fun to see all the parents.  Not fun that there was no place to sit.

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Hallows Eve

That guy that I like so much and I were anti-Halloween back in the day when we were the perfect parents...back before we had children of our own and were still in the stage of judging all other people's kids and discussing how we were gonna do it better.

What can I say...we were young.  And un-informed.  


And then, as so often happens when you plant your feet so firmly on the ground in a decision you've made, the ground moved.

Halloween became HUGE in our family.

We began hosting big parties on Halloween...soup parties followed by trick or treating and candy binging and hanging out late into the night parties.  Year after year of fun with friends...and then something happened.  The children grew up and started developing lives of their own, the parents got older and more tired and eventually, our annual party drifted off to sleep.

This was the first year in 21 years that we haven't had to take a child out trick or treating.  TWENTY ONE YEARS.  Crazy!

This year I fed a group of rather sorry costumed boys a big chili dog supper and sent them on their way...without a parent in tow.  

And then we did something cruel.  Fired up the barbecue and grilled ourselves some steaks, baked some potatoes, roasted some asparagus and opened a bottle of red wine.

 And feasted.  And handed out candy.  And reminisced.  And relaxed.

And gloated, just a bit.

Gloated, that is, until the 13 year old was up all night barfing after binging on too much junk food.

Should've gloated less.


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