Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

As I put, I mean "made sure" Santa put out the stockings for the girls this morning, thought of past Christmases. I have been very blessed. I remember being the excited child opening gifts before the crack of dawn. On the years we didn't get up early enough, my father woke us, sometimes at 3am! I remember my girls being the excited children opening gifts. At 13 and 15 they are still excited teens, which warms my heart. Charlie the dog was just like a two year old. He got one gift from the garage and then thought he was getting a new one each time we came in from there. Just the paper and boxes would have been fun for him. Yesterday we used a rawhide cigar, that my sis in law Phoebe sent him, to get back a gift she had given Katharine. Charlie took the gift and headed under the table. We coaxed him out, sans gift, for the rawhide and retreived the gift before he chewed it. He is getting better, although, much to Katharine's dismay, he chewed the toes out of her favorite pair of toe socks....Bummer.

This year was more laid back then previous years. I got all the shopping done early and wrapped early. Much less stress this way. It has been a quiet day. David made some unkneaded bread and studied his new camera. Zoe spent her time playing with her playstation2 games in her cozy TIVO slippers among other plush items she got today. Katharine bopped around from her new CD's and new outfits to try on to her new TV. Her new TV is very cute. Only weighs eighteen pounds. Her old TV broke months ago and she was happy to get a new one. We hooked it up without cussing once. I spent some time napping from a pain pill with an added muscle relaxer. I got some wonderful Body Shop lotion for seriously chapped skin. It rocks. My hands haven't felt this soft in eons. I got a car kit for my iPod. That's pretty cool.

The ham is in the oven. Katharine just finished the mashed taters. I should get going so I can find a veggie to put on the table.

I wish everybody a very Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah or Holiday Season..... I hope everybody got to spend time with loved ones and all are healthy and happy. And to all, a good night.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Here, taste this....

Don't you hate that? The croissant doesn't taste right, "Will you taste this for me mommy?" Uhhh, "No. I just brushed my teeth." What else can one say to that question? Once the mere thought of eating something thought to be "bad" is enough to make it so.

This meat doesn't smell right, "What do you think?" Too late for me. What about, "Does the color look okay to you?" Done. The old, "I just brushed my teeth" really works well with my kids, because nothing tastes as it should after that. Especially,
orange juice. If it's questionable, toss it, but don't ask me if it is okay.

Done Christmas shopping and with ninety percent wrapping complete. I feel great about that. Even got the tree this weekend. Decided to go with a "real" one this year. That pine fresh smell lasted until we got it home. Less time than that new car smell. The tree is pretty. Buying it was not such an ordeal. They have perfected the nets to keep them from going all over the place. We slid it down the tree and can slide it back up after we defrock it the day after Christmas. It is still taking water on, but I doubt it will continue to do so for much longer. I don't have the best luck with fresh cut trees sucking in sustenance.

While shopping for this tree, we pretty much let Zoe decide which one to get. She hugged some trees. Yes, she is a tree hugger. Who knew? Not only that, she was compelled to name it. She looked at it through the moon roof in the car, all the way home and came up with Peter. Petey affectionately....Have you ever noticed that all the trees start to look the same after you've seen five? It becomes so confusing we go back to buying one of the first two or three we looked at. I asked the guy with hair down to his butt and wearing a flannel shirt which tree he thought was good. Well, what were we looking for? We were looking for fresh! Oh, we get trees in daily. We don't clump them together by the day they arrive. Just look for the greenest trees. I set out with this mission in mind. Green, light green fresher than dark green? Well, that depends on the type of tree, they are all different. Tree sales guy listens and knows how to close this deal. "I would pick this one, it looks fresher." Of course, the fact that he cannot wait to get the tree on top of my car and onto the next customer is foremost in his mind. He is dripping sweat, the more customers he helps, the more tips he makes. I get that. I even like the guy very much. And we didn't end up with the tree he knew he wanted me to hear was best. We ended up with Peter, the one Zoe loved the most.

The one thing I haven't done is taken a photo of the girls for our annual Christmas card. That means after I get said shot, I will still need to copy the one most loved. Then to address the envelopes, add love to those we do and mail them before Christmas! The race is on!

Speaking of photos, last weekend Katharine had new headshots done. We got to meet and hang out a bit with a major ex-OLTL star. We knew that Katharine's manager handled her as well, but we were surprised to see her with somebody we had asked to come do Katharine's make up for the shoot. I tried to be cool and not be not star struck. Normally, I handle these things with grace and I believe I stuck to that, although, I wanted to ask a ton of questions. I suspect we will be seeing each other more in the future and I can ask some questions then. I did tell her that I enjoyed her work, which she was appropriately gracious about. Then on to talk of dogs, make up, the weather, ordinary stuff.....

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanksgiving, etc.

I really don't have much to post about, but it has been too long since my last post that it makes me anxious.

Thanksgiving was nice. It was just the four of us this year. Luckily I called my cuzbro and cuzsis because as it turns out, we weren't really invited like I had told the hub. We did go there last year and we did get an invitation this year, but it was for Christmas. Pammy my cuzsis called and just in passing mentioned leaving Wednesday for Arizona. I asked,"What?" She said, "We are going to Tere's for Thanksgiving." Tere is my cuzbro Ronnie's sister. I love her even though she used to babysit me and, well, I will get to Tere in my the next paragraph. Anyhow, I said to Pammy, "You invited us for Thanksgiving." She said, "No, I invited you for Christmas dinner!" I said, Well, good thing we talked before you left or we would have come up there to an empty house and no turkey dinner." My friend Jana and I went there once for Ronnie's birthday party and noticed the house didn't look very festive, only to find out we were a week early for the party. We hung out and had dinner with them, which was nice.

Now to Tere. Pronounced Teri. As much as I love Tere, she is my cousin and not my cuzsis. Ronnie and his wife Pam are like siblings to me. Hence the names cuzbro and cuzsis. Tere used to babysit my brothers and me when we were kids. She used to love to babysit us because she could shoot pool after she put us to bed. For some reason, she used to put me to bed before my brothers. Even my younger brother. Turns out, she did so to keep me from mentioning any boys she had over. I was a tattler for sure. She apologized to me as a grown up at a Cousin's Christmas Party that we used to have annually. I don't remember her making me go to bed early. To this day, we both shoot pool well though. A sign of a misspent youth no doubt!

I remember babysitting as a teenager. I loved it. Made good money at it too. I had one Thursday night gig for a couple of years. My boyfriend and another couple used to come over and we would watch The Streets of San Francisco with Karl Malden and Michael Douglas. I know you would have been pounding your heads trying to remember those names, so I threw them in for you! We also used to drink out of their nice beer tapper! Loved that thing. You really have to love beer to buy a keg and keep it cold. The kids were always in bed by the time I got there which made the job even more cush. I had babysitting jobs on Saturday morning when the only thing on TV was Soul Train and there were exactly seven TV stations. The kids loved cartoons but when they were over, I got to watch Soul Train and dance with the kids. Even white girl dancing was fun and the kids thought so too. I have a lot of babysitting stories...for another day.

I have started my Christmas shopping and am about half done. I am proud of myself for this! I want to be organized this year and not stressed. We have a fake tree with lights, which we have used the past three or four years. This year I was thinking it would be nice to have a "real" tree. Then I remembered I would have to put the lights on it....Not to mention, it may be in the sixties this week, but we were in the nineties last week! Typical Fall weather, but how fresh are the trees coming from Washington or Oregon going to be? They were cut weeks ago and then we had all that hot weather. I have never had a tree take in water after a couple of days. I anybody can tell me how to keep a tree drinking water for three weeks, will you please share with me???

Our heater kicked on last night for the first time since last year. It was in the forties. That's chilly for this area and we might even get some rain tomorrow. "Storm Watch" on all the channels with news. We might get a half inch. It's so embarrassing when they do that. I don't know why they cannot see it.

Hope y'all had a happy Thanksgiving and a lovely long weekend!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Couple of things to ponder

If you break a mirror and get seven years of bad luck, does that mean you will live at least seven more years?

I have been watching Impressionist week on Letterman this week. Rich Little and Fred Travalena (sp?) have been there so far. They have each had work done, without a doubt. I wonder if the people they impersonate are looking at a realistic version of what they will look like if they too, have face work done. I think the impressionists were better before the face work.

One thing is for sure. George Jones has had a ton of work done too. Did you know he travels with his Barber and always has? It's true. I don't care though, he can still sing like nobody's business. What a gift that man has, even now. No show Jones showed up on Letterman and it was good to see him.

Just sayin.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Does it really cost to get good service?

I was supposed to go to lunch with a couple of friends from GS the a few weeks ago and it never panned out. We were supposed to go to the Montage. Very expensive lovely hotel and spa. Seen the likes of Denise Richards and other celebrities. A stone's throw from Richie Sambora and Heather Locklear's place. One or the other's now, I guess.


Last week another friend told me she wanted to take me to lunch at the Montage. She had a gift cert, two actually, so her hub can go next time. We went yesterday. We had such a lovely time. Hard not to in this place. It is here in town, lovely old California architecture. Not overly pretentious. Superb service. We had a nice lunch with a gorgeous ocean view on a spectacular day. This particular restaurant called The Loft over looks the enormous pool and gardens, walkways and another restaurant as well. There are three on the property. I am pretty sure I saw one of those tabloid cover skinny girls with huge sunglasses, who like to party all night. I am not sure which one she was though. I should have snapped a photo and asked Katharine. She would have known.

View from lunch on the patio

The property used to be mobile homes and a green fence kept it hidden from Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). I am sure it was wonderful to live there before this huge place took over the land. You can be sure there was a lot of arguing about whether or not it should be made into a resort. It is not like the Ritz, which is also lovely. It is more subdued. You know the room prices begin at $500 a night, but it doesn't have the feel of a "ritzy" place. All because of the architecture.

Our gorgeous coastline

I told my friend yesterday that it has something that we used to take for granted. Good service and well trained employees. Remember when people would NOT walk in front of you when you were in a store or restaurant. They would ask if you needed anything. They would say thank you when you were done being served. Now days, I say thank you and the cashier or server tells me, you're welcome! That is just bass ackwards. It takes going to a five star resort to get the kind of service that we should get every day, no matter where or who we are?

The Loft

I miss good service. I think we should have an uprising and demand good service and manners once again. Do people not teach manners to their children any more? I know I do and most people I know do as well, so where the hell are all these unmannered people coming from? Is it lack of wages that make them think they don't "have" to be helpful and well mannered to customers? Do they think the world owes them and they are above being good at giving customers service they deserve?

This is where we had coffee after lunch

If I owned a place, the first thing my employees would get, is a course in customer service. How to make the customer feel like they are appreciated. Hopefully, they would feel special and want to come back. It doesn't cost a dime to be nice or to be helpful. It is an untapped resource. It didn't used to be! Why don't companies get that? How does a business stay one these days? Because we put up with their crap, that's how. Then we pay a fortune to get good service, like it is a commodity or something. At this point, I guess it is....Rant over.

View from the water

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Cleaning is endless. Illness is endless. We have endless bouts with both of late. Zoe was sick, then me, then Katharine. Zoe is sick again. She is doing Mock Trial as I have said before. She has journalism two times a week which gives her an eleven hour school day. She has honors chem, honors algebra/trig and honors English and she is learning Spanish. Mucho homework nightly. So when there is practice for mock trial until 9:00 two nights a week, those end up being fourteen hour days at school. Then they practice again on Sunday for three hours! I never spent that much time at school. I know, it shows too! Anyhow, she had homework after she has these long days and she is so tired. She came home from mock trial on Thursday with a 103+ temp. Her throat is sore again and she has a head cold. I am not sure if it is a relapse or a brand new one, because she has what Katharine had last week. Needless to say, she stayed home in bed Friday! I have yet to see her this morning, but she is feeling better. Still, she has oodles of homework to do. She actually enjoys what she is doing, at least I think she does most of the time.

Katharine spent the night at a friend's. She got out of school early (block day, you all have those?) then took the bus home with her friend. Went to the Boo Blast, which is a yearly carnival at a local school. She just called from her friend's house and they are making pancakes. I could hear the smoke alarm and people screaming all in fun. I wonder about her school year. Last year she had homework nightly. I had heard that 7th was the hardest year in middle school. It still bugs me though, because next year she will be back to having a lot of homework in high school. I wonder about homework too. I think often times it is work that didn't get done in class and came home to be finished. Maybe the teachers are better this year and the kids are getting their work done in class? Why would there be less homework this year? Why does 8th grade seem to be too easy to really be learining? This year is a piece of cake!

Had an issue with Katharine's manager too. She wanted Katharine's eyebrows waxed. I gave in and had them done, but not perfectly, still some innocence to them. She has the greatest eyebrows I have ever seen. Likened often to Liz Taylor's. Katharine went to acting class on Sunday and the manager was not happy. Wants a little more off. I asked why and she told me to pretend I was a casting director. I did. She said, when you look at Katharine's face, what is the first thing you see? I said, those spectacular eyebrows! Nuff said. She has beautiful eyes too, but they aren't as noticeable. So, back we go to have them waxed a little bit more. They will remain beautiful. She will never have skinny little eyebrows! Plus, she is only thirteen and she doesn't need perfectly tweezed eyebrows.

David and I cleaned off my pool table this morning. Trash bags full of clothes and linens to put and give away! It was piled about three feet high. Embarrassing, yet easy to access the clothes. My plan is to put away one bag a day next week. That sounds like a good one right? The Fly Lady way. I should also throw out twenty seven things a day as she suggests.

My main reason for somewhat cleaning the garage happens twice a year. Once at Christmas and once before GS nuts arrive. They arrive on a pallet at 10:00 tomorrow morning. Then I need to separate them into troops and people will come by for their troop orders. Maybe by this time next weekend, I will be able to use my table again! Then Christmas will come and we will use it to wrap gifts! Luckily I have a good cover on it. I had it refelted a few years ago and wanted to make sure the top stays pristine! Still, cleaning is endless.

Endless was posting this. It kept saying there was an error. Then it showed posted four times, but not to the actual blog. I deleted three and waited several hours to post and finally, it works!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

iPod crazy

Several years ago when iPods came out, David bought me one for Christmas. It stayed in the box for years. I had no interest whatsoever in having an iPod. I had my computer which had my music on it and I was happy with that. I had the radio in the car and was happy with that.

At some point, my stepdaughter Daniela was visiting and we got on the subject of ipods. I told her I had one and never used it. I offered it to her and she was stoked. I was happy that she wanted it and it was no longer sitting unopened in the garage.

So, with all that said, I wanted an iPod for my birthday this year. I think it will motivate me to walk. I hope so anyway. David and the girls got me one with a cover called skin. It is clear rubber and plastic and it keeps the black iPod clean and fingerprint free. Not only that, it has the cutest little video player ever! Two inches. Awesome sharp picture. I don't know how often I would use the video, but I did see Law & Order on it the other night. It was on my computer, left over from when the TV was broken and I downloaded some TV shows onto my laptop. This thing has amazing sound too. Now I need to think of a name for it! How fun is that???

All my songs have been uploaded to my new iPod. Until tonight that is. Katharine burned about a hundred songs for me, which I had to type in the titles and artist names before I imported them to my laptop. Tomorrow I will put them on the ipod. I cannot wait to hit shuffle and play the eclectic mixes of music I have.

I also got a sore throat for my birthday. It has been very sore for a week. Today is the first day I can swallow without pain, but there is still that little feeling when I swallow that reminds me it was sore. Also, ice water still kind of burns. Whatever this is, it seems to be going around.

We are watching Annie on TV right now. Katharine was recently cast as Lily for her school play. The version we are watching has Kristin Chenoweth playing Lily. Audra McDonald, Victor Garber and my fav Kathy Bates are in it as well. It is funny to listen to Katharine do a Brooklyn accent. She is great at accents, but usually British is what I hear. This is fun and different. I am sure she will have a blast playing the role. Tomorrow she goes up to LA for her acting class again. Every Sunday and David is kind enough to do the Sunday drive.

Today I took Zoe shopping for mock trial clothes. She is taking it very seriously. She was told what kind of clothes to buy. She plays the defendant. An artsy student accused of bringing a bomb to school. She says she didn't do it! They practice two times a week after school. They meet in the class and talk about the trial and then the actual practice begins at 5:00. She gets done about 9:00. David had five pizzas and other stuff delivered last Tuesday. Each night a parent feeds all the kids who are on the team. They have dress rehearsal in two weeks and then they compete against other schools in the actual courthouse. It has been great for Zoe and I am happy she is enjoying it so much.

That is about it as of now. Not much else going on. Weather has been cool and fall like. My favorite time of year!

Friday, October 06, 2006

My Birthday is Here Again!

Yes, my birthday is here again, actually it is in two days. No, sit down, don't get up. Thank you, thanks, sit down please....Okay now you are embarrassing me, but thanks for the birthday wishes....Not like the big four oh, or a big five oh. Just a forty sevenish birthday. Too close to the big five oh on one hand, but better than the alternative on the other!

When I was twenty seven or twenty eight, I seriously had to use the calculator to figure out my age. I had one handy because I was a purchasing agent and it was there. I really could have done the math in my head or with a piece of paper and a pen, but I didn't have to. I went back and forth with was I twenty seven or twenty eight? I believe I spent most of my twenty seventh year telling people I was twenty eight. People don't believe that anyhow. Oh, twenty eight or twenty nine, sure you are Nancy! I am not one of those perpetual twenty nine year olds. Neither would I want to be!

Especially bad when somebody asks my age and I have to think or do the math. That is what is happening again. I hate being born in a nine year. You know 1959. I am so bad with my nines. 1960 would have been nice. Easy to count how old I am and I would have been born in a whole different decade as well. As it stands now, I was born in the fifties! UGH. Two months away from being born in the sixties!

I have been ensconced in Girl Scout registrations and nut sales. I know most of you only heard about nut sales from the Girl Scouts last year when I mentioned it. Not the biggie like cookies, but still enough to keep me jumping. Everybody has to have all orders into the computer by 9am Monday morning, or it will cut them off. If they don't get their jobs done, I must hunt them down! This weekend is the final presales and did I mention selling magazines? Oh yes, the Girl Scouts are doing that as well as nuts, under the name fall product sale. I had a training meeting scheduled with about a dozen women. I think five showed up. This inevitably leaves me with a ton of emails and phone calls, last minute being my favorites, to ask questions. I will answer them and probably enjoy it to a point. However, it falls on my birthday weekend. Notice the pun? Falls...

It is next to impossible to get everybody to the table for dinner this school year. My birthday will be no exception. David has to take Katharine to LA for her acting class. Zoe is doing Mock Trial and they will be meeting Sunday afternoon to practice. It is really okay though. I am blessed with a loving husband and great kids. Just seeing the girls blossom and have fun being teenagers is great. Loving people who love me back. Truly a great birthday gift.

Monday, September 25, 2006

This made me laugh

I was having a stressful day the other day and needed a laugh. I looked up and saw this sign and it cracked me up. Katharine snapped the shot with the camera on her phone. I only wish the photo was larger!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Happy Birthday to Zoe

Zoe is 15 today. So beautiful, smart and funny. So grown up and sad in a way, happens way too fast.

We had chicken and homemade noodles for dinner. It was her choice. She and Katharine made the noodles, cuz they wanted to. Dinner was yummy and the cake was good too. 16 candles, all lit by Katharine. (One to grow on) Then Zoe lit them. Funny how kids like to play with fire.

All in all, I think she had a very nice birthday. It has been a very long day though and I just wanted to let you know that I am fine and still around. I planned on posting the other night and didn't get to it. But, I will.

Katharine in I were in LA the other day and I saw a funny redundant sign. We snapped a photo of it. I need to post it. Truly made my day. Well, that and singing songs with the radio from the seventies! Love that old rock n roll. Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, Pink Floyd, Styx, even Peter Frampton. Saw him the other night on the new Celebrity Duet show. Love that show and he looked so old with short white hair. Gone the long blond locks. It happens to the best of us.

Off and running. I hope to catch up on Sunday!

Oh and Happy Birthday Zoe!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day

It is labor day and I don't want to do a thing. It is too hot. We have had such beautiful weather for the past few weeks and I knew the heat was coming back, but I just hate it. We had a horrid heat spell in July, August was amazingly cool and now September kicks off with a scorcher.

School begins on Thursday. This summer totally got away from us. It never slowed down really. I have been terrible about posting on my blog and even worse about commenting on other's blogs.

I am happy to report this is the last weekend for the festivals. The orange cones directing traffic and slowing down vehicles near the crosswalks will be gone by tomorrow. Yippee. Less traffic, fewer people. I know tourism is important to our town, but it is nice to have our town back.

The Visitor's Bureau says it has seen at least a 25 percent increase in family visitors because of the MTV show called Laguna Beach, The Real Orange County. There have been a lot of questions about things people have seen on the show. It seems a lot of people must watch it because they renewed it for season 3. It is not the real Orange County. It is nowhere near the real Orange County. From what I saw of the one episode I watched, it is more like Beverly Hills. Orange County is very diverse in many ways. Laguna Beach is admittedly less diverse ethnically, however, not everybody here is richer than God, as this program shows these kids to be. I suppose the city is a bit richer this year because of the show and all the people who come up to see the school. I cannot believe how many people I saw this summer taking photographs of the school. In passing cars and people who stopped to pose in front of the Laguna Beach High School sign or people standing across the street just to get a photo of the school. Seems so surreal. My daughter is a sophomore this year and she couldn't be any more different than the kids on the show.

Speaking of my daughter, Zoe is turning 15 on the 14th. I told her the other day, only three years and she will be an adult. I told her it makes me sad. She said it makes her sad too. She is one wise young woman. I told her when I was her age, I couldn't wait to be older. She is so unlike me when I was her age and good for her! She beats to her own drum. She knows what she likes and pulls no punches. She doesn't pretend to like people or go along with things, to be liked. She is her own person and I am very proud of her.

I hope everybody is having or had a fulfilling send off to the end of summer. I like most things about summer, but I wish it could be cooler. Why can't global warming be global cooling?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Say What You Will

Say what you will, but Oprah Winfrey gets stuff done! This woman amazes me. Oprah's name is synonymous with spontaneous tears to me so much of the time. Case in point, her school for girls in South Africa.

I remember when she went all over So Africa to give out gifts to kids during the Christmas holidays years ago. I remember bringing my family to the TV to watch the show with me. While I cried again, seeing it for the second or third time, I wanted my girls to see how great it is to give and how little it took to make a difference in the lives of those kids. Kids who could not go to school for lack of a uniform, were given uniforms, backpacks, school supplies, shoes, and dolls that looked like they did. It was one of the most moving pieces of TV I had ever seen. One woman with a bazillion dollars made such a difference.

There are lots of people in this world with money, some or a lot, who give generously. There are way more who do not. In Oprah's case, she is in the enviable position to see where her money goes and to direct it to where it needs to be.

I just watched a video clip on CNN of Oprah's new school. She interviewed all the students herself. They had to be underprivileged and have above average grades. All the kids were brought to the school in typical Oprah style, under false pretenses. She then told the 150 girls on the stage that they would be the first students accepted into the Oprah Winfrey School for Girls. The girls jumped up and down, their families in the audience were thrilled, I cried. Tears streaming down my face crying. It was just such a magical thing to watch.

I am thankful that there is an Oprah Winfrey in this world. I am also happy she is not a politician. She can get a lot more done in the private sector. Although, we could use some smart, kind, generous, loving, caring, hard working, HONEST, promise keeping public officials in this country. Unfortunately, I believe they broke the mold when Oprah was created. Wow, what a woman.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

It's been too long

I have been thinking about posting. I looked at the date of my last post today and couldn't believe it has been almost two weeks. I truly don't have much to say though. Things are pretty mundane around here.

I yelled at a solicitor on the phone yesterday. Well, not really yelled, but told her off. I was stern and apparently not very nice according to my kids. In my defensive, these people had called yesterday, NINE times! In their defense, I didn't pick up the phone until the ninth time. Our phone tells how many times somebody calls and it adds up until it is erased, so I knew exactly how many times these people had called. No need to be here to count. When I saw they were at eight calls, I was already pissed. Their misfortune, that they called again. The phone rang, their name shows up and I asked Katharine to hand me the phone. She passed it to me as if they were a sibling in big trouble!

The poor girl on the phone, told me she was glad she got me because she had two specials she wanted to tell me about. I told her I didn't want to listen to her specials and that I had asked once before, that they stop calling me. I told her I didn't want eight or ten phone calls a day from them any more and that I would never order from them again, so take me off their list! For an instant I thought she had already hung up on me, but she was still there and said, "okay."

When I got off the phone, my girls were sympathetic to her. "That was sooooo mean!" "She was only doing her job." "I feel sorry for her." I explained that I was not trying to be mean but to get my point across to the little girl up in Nebraska who would probably have a lousy night because of me. For that, I am sorry. However, I am not sorry about telling off the company. Seriously, I did one online order with them because it was a pretty good deal. I didn't know I would be subjected to a plethora of daily calls for eternity. Hopefully, it is all over!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Little of this and that

There are two woodpeckers that I hear the same time each morning. I took my camera out on Monday and listened to their sounds to finally find one. I snapped one bird's photo, but never did see the other. The photos are just too far away. I just saw the woodpecker again and I am dying to know what kind it is. It doesn't look nor sound like the kind we are used to having around. The name completely escapes me at this point. Then again other things do to, I blame it on menopause or perimenopause, as it seems to be an epidemic amongst my friends and myself. Does that sound right?

This is finally the last weekend (three more shows) of Narnia! Katharine has a couple of weeks of play time or sleep time. Zoe is bored and would rather be back in school. The first couple of days are usually fun too and that is exciting to look forward to.

Spring registration seems as if it just ended for Girl Scouts. Now we will begin Fall Registration for those who didn't, wouldn't or couldn't sign up during spring. Not to mention, well, actually I am, Fall Product sales begin too. I am in charge of that as well. And while most of the nuts are are a good deal at $5, they are raising them. So, get out your quarter or two and pay the newly upped price of the GS nuts, in the can I mean. The cashews are still a good deal and they are really good. Usually they have some kind of peanut brittle or something in a nice holiday tin which is a perfect gift for a teacher, paperboy/girl, mailman/woman, gardner and anybody else you may want to give a small gift to during the holidays. Some people are upset by the quarter or fifty cent increase. I see it as a nice challenge for some of the younger girls to learn to count back change. A lost art if you ask me. And, these girls will tell you thank you. Not wait til you say thank you and then tell you, you're welcome. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. I may not have a lot of hobbies, but I have many pet peeves!

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend. I am off to get some yummy tomatoes among other things at the farmer's market with my friend Jana. We have make this a Saturday morning ritual. It is great fun. We have known each other for about ten years, when she was my youngest brother's girlfriend. We have an email and phone relationship and didn't see each other nearly enough. Now we see each other every Saturday morning before everybody gets up!!!!

Happy weekend and nice cool weather to you all.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Things work out

Sometimes things work out and I am happy about that. The play is good. It is fun and cute, but was way too long on opening night. I was not in attendance. It was three and a half ours! Their first show with out interruptions from the director and so they didn't know it was going to be so long.

Last night we went to see the play. We had a lovely night. We started by having dinner at a restaurant called Mozambique. My brother, sister in law, niece and her non-boyfriend were there. As well as a couple of my friends with their daughters and hub's in tow. We were escorted to a room with a long table and huge chairs with very high backs. The table was beautiful. We had a delicious dinner and felt like royalty. It was a nice change from the first time I went there, with the same two friends, and had terrible service.

After dinner we went to the high school for the play. They were handing out fans to the audience since the air was not working. Luckily we have been having the most beautiful August weather I have ever seen. In the seventies! We had record heat then pleasant heat. I am sure we are in for more heat until November or so. Anyhow, we had front row seats. The show was very good, the little kids were such hams and really were cute! The set and the costumes were stunning and could have easily been from a Broadway show. We were told by a friend and mom of two of the leads, that they cut the last scene. Apparently the producer made that call. He said he didn't want people walking out. Unfortunately the scene they cut was the scene when the kids come back thru the wardrobe and talk to the professor who has also been to Narnia. It would have tied it up a little better, and I don't think another ten minutes or so would have changed much. However, it was still good. The kids got lots well deserved accolades and it was worth all the long miserable nights of rehearsing. I am not convinced it was worth all the yelling the kids endured though. These are my thoughts, not Katharine's. She is pretty happy with the play.

One show Friday, two yesterday and one today at three o'clock. Now she is home with her friend spending the night and absolutely no plans for the next few days. A nice change for them. Four more shows next weekend and done.

I haven't seen my brother and sis in law since Christmas and we got to see them twice in one weekend. We saw them last night and then today as well. We headed inland to meet at a restaurant to get together with my cousin who is visiting from the Sacramento area. I don't think we have ever seen her without our folks being around. It was pleasant though. She told me that her mother (my aunt) said she should have been my mother and visa versa for her (my cousin) and my mother. She was the good daughter and I was the wild daughter. So true, so true. I told my cousin the least my aunt could have done was give my mother some pointers on how to deal with a wild child!!!

Yesterday would have been my parents 53 wedding anniversary. A week from yesterday, next Saturday, will be 8 years since my father's death. He died a week after their 45th anniversary. She, eight months later. I really thought about my mother today since seeing her sister's daughter. I miss her and my father.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

It's Frustrating For a Mom to Watch

As most of you know, Katharine wants to be an actress. She loves it and everything about it, including rehearsals and auditions. She misses it when she is not in the theatre or acting, she told me last night. Well, right now, she hates it and it is so heartbreaking to watch. I realize she is tired and over wrought, but she was so sad last night when she got home from rehearsal for Narnia.

First off, we got home at midnight. She got to rehearsal at 5:00. Katharine tells me each night how the kids get yelled at. She tells me how the director tells them not to ask questions. They should not "bother" her with questions. Some of these kids went thru a workshop to be in this play. These are very young kids and for some, this is their first play and perhaps their last! I feel so bad for these kids whose spirit has been broken by this director and the other "adults" in charge. These kids would no sooner sign up for this abuse again next summer, nor probably forget that it was this particular theatre putting on the play from hell for children. I would love to tell this director what I think of her and her tactics and how she is effecting these children. I would love to tell her that she is not doing anybody any good by making examples out of some kids and embarrassing them in front of their fellow cast members. I will say, most of the kids understand what she is doing and are very supportive of the "outcast" of the day. I cannot tell this woman any of these things though. It would be like me going to the school bully and telling him to leave my child alone. My child has to deal with this, not me. Although, if I were a mother of a younger kid, I might just have to jump in.

I realize these kids need to be tough for this complex play. They need to pay attention and work hard to make the show a success. Everything they do reflects on the rest of the cast, crew and the play itself. I can see why the director would get aggravated by kids not doing everything perfectly, the show opens tomorrow night. However, it is a show full of kids. Kids are particularly hard to direct, I would imagine. The way to handle them is not to constantly verbally abuse them. It is not to continuously yell at them. I know from personal experience that it does not work and it can scar for life.

The last few nights I have been at the theatre, waiting in the back, listening to how these mostly young actors and actresses are handled. They are constantly talked down to. They are afraid to ask questions they need to ask. I heard one young boy ask a question and he was told if he were not goofing around, he would have known the answer to that. He is a kid. A five year old. He goofs around! Especially after being in a seven hour rehearsal, ending at midnight! She cannot simply tell him the answer in a nurturing, quiet manner? Of course not, it is the theatre and they need to be professional. If she answered his question, she would have to answer everybody else's.

I have spent countless nights telling Katharine that this is the profession she has chosen. She will be working with lots of people with whom she will not agree, like or respect. She will be fortunate to work with people she likes, agrees with and respects. In this business you need a tough skin, I tell her. She knows. She really does. She is very talented. She is very critical of herself. She shows up on time and she works very hard. She has several costume changes and gets yelled at because she cannot get her wings on. Only one person knows how to put them on and he was there for one costume change last night. These are multi layered costumes. Beautiful costumes, but hard for adults and kids to put on. There is no down time with this play. She is running back stage to change and have her makeup redone after each scene.

It is a tremendous undertaking to put on this play in the six weeks or about that. Especially with the cast being children. My problem is I understand both the director's frustrations as well as Katharine's, but beating them down night after night is no way to solve anything. Katharine hates this play and doesn't want to perform it nine more times. At least last night she didn't think she could. She knows she can and she will. Will she ever work for this playhouse again? Probably. Will she ever work for this director again. Not likely.

The set is beautiful. The costumes are amazing. They have pulled out all the stops to put on a very fine production. Hopefully they will pull it off and everything will come together tomorrow night. I wish success to everybody. I would love to hear how fun it is at the end of the day, but I am unlikely to hear that. Which is the saddest thing of all. This was supposed to be fun!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Past Post Resurfaces

Last week I got more than five hundred hits in one day and subsequent high numbers in days following. As you know, I have not posted as frequently as I have in the past, nor have I written anything profound. Sparked by the curiosity of this, I needed to investigate. I found a link on a website had been linked to this post from last September. While I did not know why it was chosen, I did find out that Yahoo Search and Google both have it on their sites. If you put in good housekeeping 1955, up pops wifebear and this previous post.

I received this very article in an email from a friend this morning. It is going around again thus sending people to search to see if this was in fact how it actually was or if MEN want things this way. I can tell you from what I have read in the last couple of days, the answer weighs a lot on the side of, yes, they do! They want more too, but that is nothing new.

I posted this because I thought it was so damn funny. It is timely again though, as ribbons in the hair look so darn cute on 13 year olds and are a trend again. However, maybe not so cute on wife aged women. I won't even go to that topic and how young girls did get married back then. My grandmother got married at 13.

Here is the post, although I omitted my remarks from the original.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Good Housekeeping 1955

This is from an actual May 1955 Good Housekeeping Magazine. Fifty years ago.

The good wife's guide

* Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious
meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know That you
have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men
are hungry when the come home and the prospect of a good meal
(especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.

* Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he
arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-
looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.

* Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need
a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

* Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house
just before your husband arrives.

* Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper etc and then run a dustcloth over the

* Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for
him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and
order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will
provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

* Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and
faces (If they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their
clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the
part. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the
washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.

* Be happy to see him

* Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please

* Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the
moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his
topics of conversation are more important than yours.

* Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to
dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to
understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at
home and relax.

* Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and
tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

* Don't greet him with complaints or problems.

* Don't complain if he's late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night.
Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.

* Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have
him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

* Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing
and pleasant voice.

* Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or
integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always
exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to
question him.

* A good wife always knows her place.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Does this offend you?

See here

It does not offend me in the least! Whoopee a breast. I was a discreet breastfeeding mother of two children totaling 25 months. If they needed to eat, that took priority over everything else. If somebody got a glimpse of my breast or didn't like what I was doing, too damn bad!

We are taught that breastfeeding is the best for our babies. Why is it so disturbing for people to see a breast? The photo on the cover is of a sweet baby looking up at its mother. I remember that loving look. How can it be a problem to put this on the cover of a magazine with people thinking it is gross? Are breastfeeding mothers supposed to stay out of sight and only come out when they know their child will not be hungry? That is totally unrealistic. They eat on demand, they eat different amounts at different times due to growth spurts, among other factors. It is impossible to feed a baby and expect he/she will be content with full tummy for a shower, let alone a trip to the supermarket!

We live in a culture of teenagers and young women with their thongs or cracks hanging out of the back of their pants and that seems to be acceptable everywhere we go. I find this trend disturbing a lot more than a baby breastfeeding. I hope my daughters grow up and breast feed comfortably and without shame and if it helps now to "put it out there" so to speak, then I am all for it!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Long day, but worth it!

Friday we drove two hours north of here to a town called Fillmore. It has been used in many movies for its location and its retro look. Quaint little town. Great place to film a music video, or it would have been on any other day than Friday! It was 105 degrees and they had the kids dressed in black. Katharine was in black corduroy pants and a black sweater in that heat!

The video was for a band from Canada and apparently well know up there, not so much down here. We hadn't heard of them until we looked them up. Punk band called Billy Talent. They want to become more known here and have begun their US tour the day after they filmed their video for their new song called Red Flag.

We arrived at 6AM. Woke up at 3AM! The song is about how things are left for their generation. Every street, other locations and city hall was draped in red fabric, for filming. Red Flag about how we are leaving our world for our children. I think the video will be pretty cool, although a sad fact.

Katharine was among 24 other kids who were there to film scenes running down the street, around town and being in the crowd watching the concert the band was putting on. Military tank and smoke machine included. There were over a hundred extras as well. We hope when it comes out that Katharine will be scene! If so, she will be on MTV and We should know in a couple weeks.

It was miserably hot. I had to go to a hotel room to cool off for a couple of hours. At one point Katharine was filming around the corner from where we were hanging out and the band members came out one at a time and introduced themselves to everybody. Really nice guys. I got autographs and photos of all but one member, whom I didn't see. I told them my daughter was filming and they were so nice about how awesome all the kids were. All three band members that I saw, posed very graciously for me to get a photo or two in some cases for Katharine.

We left Fillmore for LA about 8:30. Took about an hour to get to the hotel we booked for the night. I picked up some friends from the airport on Saturday morning and saw no need to go home to Laguna for ten or so hours. We had a beautiful room with heavenly beds. Took hot showers, had room service and passed out in the heavenly beds. We were awakened at 8:30 by the phone. The operator told me room service was there with breakfast and we slept through their knocking. We ate and waited for our friends to call. Picked them up with no problems.

Hot as it was Saturday, Katharine and I set out to find another hotel. Anywhere with a/c. Everything was booked from here to about 20 miles away. We found one hotel and after hanging out for two hours with a broken a/c, we got our money back and left. The owner told me it was hot out and there was a high ceiling. No shit! Still hot though! We finally found another hotel for the night and slept okay. Wasn't a posh place like the first night, but it had air.

Today, foggy and a beautiful 75 degree day! Just in time. People are snapping and cranky! We picked up Zoe and David from their DC and NYC vacation. They got back just in time for a nice cool day! I don't think they believe how hot it has been out here. LA county saw the hottest recorded temp on record the day of the filming. 119 degrees! Okay, that's hot.

We are happy to have Zoe and David home. So are the animals. Glad they had a nice vacation.

I will post some of the photos later. Off to get Katharine from rehearsal. Only a couple more weeks of this nightly stuff, although pick up time moves to 11:00 soon, for a week or so before the show, which I believe opens a week from Thursday....Finally.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


Titled: World Class Talent

I have cooled off since I first wanted to post this. I called Circuit City today to discuss somebody wiring our TV and other connectable items and I got to talk to a woman in India! She spoke so fast that I could not understand most of what she said and I asked her to repeat every question at least once. I cannot even tell you how much this PISSED ME OFF!!!!!

What the hell is wrong with our country? Okay, bad question. Why are we sending phone calls to India instead of giving them to some people who can work from home? I mean, seriously, come on! It can be anybody who needs money who answers the phone. Just as long as we can understand them. How about those unfortunate people who call us and we hang up on them for bothering us during, well, anything. Telemarketers are in dire need of money to take the haranguing they get. Why not keep the customer service in this country and give those verbally abused people a break? In turn, giving the rest of us a break because we can understand the person on the other end of the call!

We could do this here! DUH!!!

After she takes my information, she has to call somebody in the states and they have to call me back. Seems pretty damn stupid if you ask me. I know AOL does it, I know other companies do it as well. I was rather surprised to hear the Indian woman on the phone today. I am sure I sounded annoyed. I could have probably been nicer, but we have so many homeless and poor people making below poverty line minimum wages in this country. It seems pretty lame to be sending away jobs that they can have.

Outsourcing really pisses me off! For the record, I am reasonably sure the woman I spoke with and others in the past and future, are perfectly nice people. That is not the point!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Long time no post

It seems like forever since I posted. It has been a busy summer. Hot too, as I am sure you know.

David and Zoe are leaving at the crack of dawn tomorrow for DC and NYC. I am taking them to the airport about 5 AM. I think they will have a great time. They are meeting David's sister Phoebe in Charlottesville, VA, then going to see Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. Next they will do some touristy things in DC and make their way up to NYC to see Phoebe (again) and other relatives. I think they will have a very good time. Zoe is not too keen on seeing old mansions. She has seen enough of those in our own state capitol apparently. I bet she will like the Smithsonian though.

Katharine is still doing nightly rehearsals for Narnia that will open and play eight shows next month. Exciting news is that today she auditioned for a music video and got the gig! They asked Zoe if she wanted to audition too and she said no. I told Katharine last week that people get offers like Zoe did all the time in Hollywood. A couple of weeks ago we met sisters who were auditioning. Only one was auditioning one day and they took her sister too. Now they both audition. Not Zoe though, we need her to be the shrink for our family.

Anyhow, I had never heard of this band until we researched it a few nights ago. I like them, they are punk rock and play to younger teens. They shoot the music video for one of their new songs next Friday. Katharine plays a tough funky teen. Serious acting for this role! It will be about 110 degrees, but it is her first real gig and we are very excited for her, but not as excited as she is! I will share more details after it is done.

I have not been feeling well this week. Better tonight, but the heat is a killer. Drinking lots of water and keeping it down is a good thing. Tomorrow I will hit 21 weeks (or five months!) of no smoking and have over $700 in my non smoking account. My brother reminded me that my dad bought a 1969 VW with money he saved with his cigarette fund.

We did go see The Devil Wears Prada. I loved Meryl Streep in her role. Sarcastic and just great one liners! This movie is not for young girls who have a tendency to think they are fat. They say in the movie, that size six is the new fourteen. And one girl says that she is one good stomach flu away from her goal weight. I actually thought that was funny. I know, that is bad of me. Good movie though, one I want to own and see again. I bought a couple of used DVD's from Netflix. Nothing is over 9.99 and they are guaranteed. Some of the videos are 5.99. I think the most recent video I got was the Family Stone, it's pretty good.

I am done with Girl Scout registrations finally. I have to admit, it was a lot of work. I will be getting on to cleaning off my pool table, cleaning out junk drawers and sending some Barbie stuff to a little girl in KY. Things I have been meaning to get to forever! Not to mention visiting blogs that I haven't read in far too long!

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The 4th of July

It's quiet this morning. People are sleeping in or they are headed downtown to stake out a spot at the beach for the fireworks tonight. Enjoying the quiet while I can. The birds are up. Katharine noticed the birds were up at five something yesterday morning. She is not used to that time of day and was surprised. They didn't let her get back to sleep. She has a very bad cold and needed to sleep. The birds don't seem to be disturbing her this morning.

We have no plans for this day. No bbq to go to. No invitations. None given. Just a wide open day. It feels strange being a Tuesday. A broken weekend for some. For others, day four of their long weekend. They cannot sleep it off tomorrow either.

Fireworks here in town are beautiful. They start at 9pm and last a whopping fifteen minutes. People are already staking out their spots on the beach or the nearby grassy areas to get a good seat for the show. Funny thing about fireworks, you don't need to sit near them to see them. The traffic will be insane. The number of people in town will swell to probably four or five times our normal population. Take the bus, take the tram. The tram is free. Leave the car home. By 9:30 tonight a line of tail lights from here to there will be seen. From up here, almost as pretty as a firework show.

We don't need to go down to the fireworks. Up here we can see several firework shows. Unless the fog rolls in too early. Since the trees have been cut, trimmed and generally cleaned up, we have great views all around. Enjoy it while we can because these trees grow back fast. Did I mention that CNG (creepy neighbor guy) got a tree trimmer with enough guys to hold tarps under falling branches? They tied tarps in some areas over the "sensitive" plants. Did I mention that said plants are bent and tattered from the tarp itself? Oh how I take joy in that. Bad, I know.

Thanks to the soldiers who are away from their families on this Independence Day. Thanks to the families who are one short of a perfect picnic today.

"Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness), it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government.”

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), from the Declaration of Independence

Saturday, July 01, 2006

So I Thought

Summer if off to a busy start. Things were going to slow down, or so I thought. As I sit here yawning, thinking of going back to sleep, I know I need to be up.

I normally give Charlie chicken jerky treats first thing in the morning. I am out of them this morning. Instead I gave him a bone with vitamins in it. He dropped it and looked up at me. I walked away and he took the bone to his bed. He seemed to handle being out of the jerkey treats better than I thought he would.

It is going to be hot again and I have been shutting the blinds early to keep the sun out. This morning, I am leaving the doors open to let the cool air in. I will close the blinds in a bit. I am not sure why I do this because it will get hot in in here later anyhow! With no a/c the only thing that really would work is opening skylights that will let the heat out of the roof. We don't have those though. Actually, we have a perfectly good a/c. It just doesn't work on our non-insulated home. I hate the heat!

I got a call on Wednesday night from K's manager. She told me there was an audition in the morning at 9:45. We got up there around tenish. There were lots of little kids running around in costumes for this commercial. We called the agent and she said that K's audition was there and the part was for a girl rolling her eyes. We were finally told at 11:45 that her group would begin auditions at 12:30. We stayed. I tried to get her to go try out for a Ford commercial while we were there. The guy kept coming out and asking if there were more people auditioning for Ford. Obviously they had not found the right person for their commercial. K would have no part of it! One mom quizzed her about how much she really wanted to be an actress and mentioned that her mother (me) would rather be anywhere else but there. She took K over to sign her up and K would have no part of it. Called the woman psycho. The woman said she has no patience for that. She said if they wanted to act, then they better act! Then she hauled her son over for the audition.

It was past 12:30 and they still had a lot of parents and neighbor handing out candy auditions before K's group. Finally, the woman gave her a script to read all of thirty seconds and took K and a boy in to read. The director told K that she is a very good actress. She was stoked to hear that. Finally we were out of there.

On the way home, I missed two sigalerts. Sig was a man who designed these alerts, which were for major traffic tie ups. I am getting used to all the freeways in LA that will take me home or to Egypt. I listened to the radio and heard about the sigalerts. I took a different route and thought I was so smart! I got off the fwy in Long Beach (about half way home) to get gasoline. I had to drive for miles to find gasoline. Got back on the fwy and there was a sigalert and I was right in the middle of it. Apparently a big rig had gone thru the center divider and there was also a fuel spill. Both sides of the fwy, and three lanes on each side, were closed. It took an hour for me to reach the first off ramp where I could get off the fwy. I followed the road the GPS told me to follow. It took me back to the fwy. I looked at the fwy and it was empty. I had gone around the accident and had the surreal experience of being with less than dozen cars on a wide open fwy in the middle of rush hour.

Stopped at the store. Got dinner fixings, cooked them, ate them and then back in the car to take K to her rehearsal for Narnia, the play.

Poor Z and cousin L were stuck in the house all day. I dropped them off yesterday. Z is staying with cousin L for a couple days. Today they are going to the huge Anime convention. They will register and get their neck tags. They are going back tomorrow as well. Cousin L is dressing up. Z is not. I think they were pretty excited to be going to this event.

Last weekend my cuzsis Pam stayed in line at Disneyland for 14 hours so they could all see Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp for the premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean. L got a kiss on the cheek from Bloom and a hug from Depp, so it was worth the wait. 14 hours, that is a good mom!

I am off to Farmer's Market. Have a great weekend.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Anger Management or Venting???

I wonder if I need Anger Management. I am not postal or anything. Things just annoy me and they don't seem to be getting any better!

I will begin with a couple tips to avoid road rage from somebody, unlike myself, who is sick and tired of a few things and they are so damn simple to fix. But, people need to play by the rules!

Number 1. When you are turning, please signal! How hard is that, put the lever up or down. Can't remember? POINT! I am not talking about a four way stop out in the middle of the desert where no other cars are. I am talking about being on, for instance, a street that turns onto another without a stop or signal for turning traffic. If say, I, were waiting at a stop sign and say, you, were turning onto my little road, you would be kind enough to signal, so I could then turn safely, knowing you are not going straight. This is sooo simple, yet, people refuse to turn on their dang signals. I know in some cases, it is space cadettes, in others, it is because they are on the PHONE!!!!!!

Number 2. Hang up and drive! I know I have said this before, but it is worse than ever now. Here is a simple hint to avoid being rammed by another vehicle by a person who will later have no recall of the event. Be it Ambien or short term memory loss! Oh, not me....Seriously. Tip. If you are at a four way stop and you are chatting with your bud about your new breasts or Botox injections and it occurs to you that you really should go because the person behind you honked, WAIT! Look around to see who is new at the intersection since you have been there and let them go first unless they let you! Just cuz you have been there for three or four minutes does not give you the right to just go! Pay attention.

Can you tell Summer is here? Traffic is a nightmare again. Tourist season has begun. As long as the side streets are still available, all will be fine. Now, if people would remember driver training and apply lessons learned, it would just be a little simpler!

On to the creepy neighbor guy. (CNG) It may not be capitalized if I don't feel like hitting shift! Anyhow, my daughter says that I am obsessed with talking about him. I just wanted acknowledgement that I am right about him. I got it too! HA

David and the CNG talked about getting our shared trees trimmed. Huge Eucalyptus trees. He found a guy who was going to trim the one going thru our back eave for $450 each. David agreed to this. I called my guy, cuz I figured I could get a couple hundred off that price. I did. CNG told David he was okay with our guy, but he wanted him to come next weekend so he could supervise! After a day of Euc branches falling and being put into a truck, the front yard tree looked great. CNG told Bruno (Trimmer) that was exactly how he wanted his trees too. Bruno left and came back yesterday. One of his guys got here first and started on our side of the shared tree. CNG was watching. He then began yelling at the guy in the tree. One of his plants had been damaged. I believe it was a horse tail plant? Green, like bamboo, about the circumference of a straw and can be a kid's best friend when they pull them apart every four inches or so. Anyhow, the guy in the tree had not been in his yard, nor had he dropped any branches over there.

Bruno shows up and after verbally sparring with CNG, he tells me he is not trimming his side of the tree or the other trees that he wanted him to cut! CNG is outside picking up leaves one by one in his yard. Picking them out of the dirt from in between plants. My cuzbro was here and he said CNG was about to explode over a mere 25 or so leaves. Bruno and his guys finished and were going to do one more tree in the front that the nice neighbor on the other side was paying for. When he began to pull away from the curb, after they had cleaned the yard, the CNG said to Bruno, "That is all you are going to do? You are not going to do my trees?" Bruno told him he didn't want to damage his plants! CNG said all Bruno had to do was have two guys holding a tarp and a guy in the tree cutting. Bruno told him no. CNG told him his guy was better anyway and to get out of his face!!! Bruno has more that enough work and doesn't need to work for people who treats him like that.

So, David who told me he thought I was just nagging about the neighbor has decided that the guy is a genuine ass. Also, Bruno and his guys concurred with me as well. All I had to do was sit back and watch!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Three More Days

Three more days of school! Half days as well. Finals this week too. Doesn't that just suck? Last week of school and three days of finals. Last year they had three days of finals and the last day was basically for yearbook signing. This time, they will be busy for the final three days. It lessens the excitement of the end of the school year for the kids. Zoe isn't feeling the excitement and when I picked up Katharine and a friend yesterday, they concurred.

Actually, Katharine, who is in middle school has two days of finals and one day of yearbook signing. She will have fun on Thursday afterall. They will get their yearbooks and spend the half day signing each other's books. The way I think it should be.

These kids work very hard. Much harder than I did when I was in high school. The amount of homework is insane. I realize that the teachers don't have time to go over everything in the curriculum, but to send it home every night is rough on the kids. As in years past, the teachers have spent the past couple of weeks cramming in the remaining work that was not done thru the year. This is very hard on everybody. The teachers also have to keep the grades up to date on the computer for students and parents to get with a click of a key. You can bet there are parents who call the school if the teacher has not updated the site in a day or two! While handy to have all this information, it is more work for already overworked, underpaid teachers.

Had this technology existed when I was in school, I probably would have been a better student. Well, that would also have depended on whether my parents would have used the technology. We got cut notices in the mail every Saturday like clock work. I got them before my parents did and destroyed them every week. The school did not call either. It was pretty lame. We had minimal homework given. Nothing like today. And we had a blast the last week of school. Ditch day, off to the beach daily after school. No finals the last week! We got to be kids and I wish my kids could be feel the excitement of how the last week is supposed to feel. I know they have in the past, maybe as they get older, things are just different!

In other news....31 years ago today I was having a baby. 6:51 AM, June 20, 1975. He is 31 today. If he is still alive. I hope he is and that he is having a wonderful birthday celebration with his family!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Another Eight Days

It has been eight days since my last post. Doesn't that sound like I am making a confession to a Priest? It does feel that way, the guilt is real!

I know we are all busy right now. Beginning of summer. Kids finishing school. Finishing up work that must be taught by the end of the year, which is next week, being crammed into their already full schedules. And all the shows for elective classes and after school activities!

Last night we went to Zoe's Chorus Concert. It was AWESOME. They sang all eras of Broadway show tunes. Most poignant was their singing For Good to the outgoing Principal. The songs lyrics say, "Because I knew you, I have been changed for good. It was so very touching. The one thing that hasn't happened to me in a long time happened though. I got a tall guy in the seat in front of me who seemed to move his head to the left or right simultaneously with mine! Not to mention, I was first in line at the door, got a good seat and at the very last minute, Mr. Six Foot Five sits his ass right in view of my daughter singing! UGH

Spring Registration for Girl Scouts just ended. This is important to me because I am the GS Registrar for Laguna Beach. We are just going online so I am now a glorified data entry person as well. It will take a lot of time to input all the registrations, but it will be worth it and it is fun. I just flashed on writing this or a portion of this before. Oh well.

I was listening to Bill Gates yesterday. He still sounds like a very young man. Nerdy guys really come into their own in their fifties! They finally look better than the rest of the boys they went to school with. They look younger, their wives have updated their clothes, their glasses and tossed the pocket protectors as well. Good for them! Good for us that Mr. Gates and his wife will work to help the world. We need it. So, thank you to them!

School gets out on Thursday. I am stoked about that. There will be plenty of things going on this summer, but the schedule will be more laxed. Katharine has rehearsals for Narnia, lots of them! Hopefully, more auditions in LA during the day. I do hope she spends time playing at the beach too, just to relax.

Zoe will be helping David at his office this summer. She will be running the place by the end of summer, I have no doubt. She is going to an Anime (Japanese cartoons) Convention soon with her cousin. Her cousin is dying her hair and dressing up. She is also coming to stay with us for a week, right after school gets out. Again later in the summer as well. Zoe and David are going to DC and NYC in July. Seeing family in NYC and being tourists in DC. It's gonna be hot!

That's about it. I hope everybody is well and I will be blog surfing very soon, I hope! Unless of course I run off to Tahiti for a few weeks! Don't laugh, it could happen!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Just Another Crazy Week

We finally got the new TV put up last Friday. It works, even in HD, but the Tivo and DVD players and speakers are not hooked up yet. Mark, who put up the TV, is going to rewire all the other stuff. I had to purchase a TV stand for the living room that is no wider than 18 inches. We have decided, while nice, the entertainment cabinet is impossible to work with. It is low to the ground and all the wires are in the back and it is dusty and dark. Now they will be easily accessible and easy to dust, plus they will stay cooler. We can take all the DVDs and CDs that are on top of the entertainment cabinet and actually put them inside and shut the doors. Right now, we have to keep at least one door open to use the remote controls. It will look much nicer when it is all closed up. The cabinet would not have been my choice if I were out purchasing one for the living room. The fireplace mantle and the cabinet are made of Koa wood from Hawaii. It is very beautiful wood and I am not sure they can still cut down Koa trees. The cabinet is L shaped and takes up a whole wall. Limits rearranging furniture in that room! Anyhow, it is nice to have a TV upstairs again.

Zoe had her award ceremony at school last week. She got most outstanding in Biology and Geometry. A couple of nights ago was Katharine's award show. She got an award for most outstanding in Social Studies. She seemed surprised by this. I was happy in was an academic award. She would have been happier if it were for Drama! She and Zoe are both straight A and A+ students, any award is icing on the cake to me! I am very proud of the girls and how well they do in school. I am a lucky mother.

Katharine had her first two auditions for commercials on Monday. She was only supposed to do a Bratz Doll audition, but we got a call before we left home to do another one while we were in LA. She did a cell phone audition at another location. The first one was rather silly, but she can play younger. The second one, she had a blast doing.

The building we needed to be in for the second audition was above a Petco store. We parked in the parking lot and a security dude told us we could not park there. He saw Katharine had her head shot in her hand, so he knew we were going upstairs. Anyhow, I asked the guy if he meant we could not go into Petco. "We cannot go into Petco?" I asked a couple of times. He told us we could, but we had to come right back out and move our car. He told us to park down by Ralphs. Apparently, he didn't care what that security guard had to deal with. We went into Petco and bought a toy for Charlie. When we came out, I pointed out that the sign said "ONE HOUR" parking. He said it was only for those still in the store! Finally we left after I gave him sufficient shit! We went around the block and parked on a busy street, right in front of the store. We went inside, up the stairs. Katharine finally did her audition and we headed back down to the car. Wait, there is something on my windshield, I thought. Shit! A freaking ticket. I looked and I was one inch into the red zone. ONE INCH and I got a ticket for $65.

I asked David if he would fight it for me. He told me he would if I came with him to court in LA. Plus it will be 120 miles round trip and he would miss a morning at the office. Overall, it is better to just pay the damn thing. It really burns me up that I have to pay that ticket. I imagined the way it would play out in front of a judge.
Me: I was only and inch into the red.
Judge: What does red mean?
Me: No parking.
Judge: And you were in the no parking area, yes?
Me: Yes, but only an inch.
Judge: Pay the $65!
Me: #$%# $% running!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Nancy Drew

No really, Nancy Drew the sleuth.

Years ago Zoe finished the whole collection of Nancy Drew books. I think there are sixty five books in all. A while back she brought them all upstairs and boxed them up. She needed the space on her wall to wall, ceiling to floor bookshelves. The space was filled up quickly enough. Anyhow, normally I take the books up to the elementary school library. Last haul I took, I was told to take them in to the library. I took them in and thought it would at least warrant a "thank you!" Not.

I was happy about giving books to the school over the years, but with no appreciation, I was pretty done! We gave them several hundred books over the years. I should have been giving them to a needy school instead. This time with a full set of books in hand, I thought why not put these on eBay? They have been sitting in the garage and need a home. I thought maybe we could make a couple of bucks on eBay. Apparently, that is about all they are worth!

I went to to see what they were going for. Little did I know the books go up to more than 175 currently! I thought the writer Carolyn Keene was real too. Apparently that was a pen name and there have been and continue to be several writers for the Nancy Drew Series. So, we no longer have a full set of books. Neither does my friend Jana. She has 56 books that she read when she was a girl. I called her and she is now giving away her books as well. Used books are going for up to about two buck each. New books cost about eleven bucks these days. By the way, all the new books, which come out every other month or so, are in paperback. We have hardcovers. The books looks are updated, but that is to be expected for something that has been ongoing since 1930!

Here is a link if you want to read all about it. Nancy Drew

The first book shown is number 2 of at least 175. Then it shows a Gameboy game of Nancy Drew. Also shown, the newer look, is book number 134.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Here is the new one

As you may or may not remember, our TV has been busted for months. For a while it was on all the time because the on/off switch was broken. Just left it on. One Sunday morning, power failure in the neighborhood. Shit, the TV! Of course, it doesn't come back on. We push the button every so often hoping...Nope, doesn't work. Even though it sort of reminded me of Lost. You will not understand this unless you watched them pushing the button every 108 minutes in the hatch on the show.

I have been researching for weeks. The TV, officially dead for weeks too. Our TV is about six years old and Plasmas have come a long way since then. Lots to research. LCD? Plasma? When spending that kind of money it is good to do lots of research. At least know what the hell you are talking about when you step into the store. Right? Well, yes and no.

Consumer Reports rates Panasonic as the best Plasmas this year and last. I was all set, armed with new knowledge of big screens, which changes often by the way. We walk in, see the Panasonic and it sucks. The picture truly is the worst of the dozens of TVs we look at. Salesman says that Consumer Reports picks always suck. We see a Samsung, 42 inch plasma. Beautiful picture. And no tuner box like our old plasma. All the buttons are on the TV like our little LCD in the bedroom. One less box will be nice.

While ringing us up, I see the TV next to us has a crappy picture. I mention it and the salesman tells me it is because he has to use one cable for all the TVs in that row. I begin to wonder. Did they do that to the Panasonic so we would buy something else? Perhaps some other TVs they got better deals on and need to get rid of? Or they want to save the Panasonic's cuz they know that CR's says they are the best, those will surely sell after the holiday weekend.

I begin to feel quite manipulated. Much more so when I got home. So much more so, that I went online and read reviews for the TV we brought home with us. The reviews were encouraging. I wonder if I am on the edge of a good 20/20 story. It would make sense for then to show a poorer picture if they didn't want to sell a particular set that day. Or to make it beautiful to sell a lot. Manipulation.

We will know more when we get it on the wall next week. I could do the wiring myself. Putting up a 75 pound TV on the wall would not be wise. Towel racks and toilet paper holders fall down when I put them up. I use the screws that come with and I should use bigger stronger screws. Anyhow, for something that costs this much, a professional is in order.

Have a nice weekend.

Monday, May 22, 2006


I haven't been here in so long that my auto speller in the browser window didn't work and I actually had to type out the whole! I have gotten a couple of emails asking if I am okay. The last time I posted was Mother's Day...

I am fine. Super crazy busy. End of the school year, after school activities. Life. Girl Scout Registration which is my new volunteer gig. I am the new Registrar for our service unit here in town. I had a training class on Saturday because the Girl Scouts are moving into the new millennium and finally doing a pilot program to put all registrations online...Woohoo. Just think of the possibilities! Boring to you perhaps, but it is fun for me. Especially since I can use my Mac with Safari and was told it would have to be done on a PC...Wrong!! I would have been bummed if I could not do this because it was not Mac compatible.

I love paperwork and forms and things like that. When I was a kid I wrote on everything I could get my hands on. I would fill out those bothersome subscription cards that fall out of magazines. I would fill out the front of the school district's books. Any scrap of paper in range had "Nancy was here" written on it. When anybody in my family had a form to fill out, there I was! To this day, I enjoy the act of physically writing. I also enjoy typing. Typing I learned when I was eight. My father had an Army manual that showed where the home keys were, etc., and I practiced without a typewriter. Finally, my mother got out the old Smith Corona. I loved it. I got a Brother portable typewriter for Christmas that year and you would have thought I won the lotto...My brother (not the typewriter) mentioned how obsessed I was back then and I told him of my new position with GS and he laughed and said it could not be more perfect. I still wonder why my father had the Army manual that taught typing of all things. Odd. Looking back, learning to type at eight was no big deal. Kids today all learn early to become computer literate. Back then, we learned in Jr. High. I loved my typing classes, hated the teacher. Mr. Cox, military issued glasses, they had to be. He made me put my bubble gum on a board with my name under it for the whole day once. I was embarrassed, which was his point, he made it.

There was a dinner and award event tonight at a local Mexican eatery. Yummy. Margaritas were good too. I have not had much to drink since I quit smoking 93 days ago. It is to the point now that I forget exactly how many days it has been. I had to look it up. But, I didn't want a smoke at all and I was nearly ecstatic about that. It used to be that I would love bars where I could go out and have a smoke or I would start craving a smoke and would want to leave so I could get in a smoke between the bar and the car! All that is gone and it is such freaking relief.

I started walking with my neighbor a few weeks ago. We have lots of hills around here and they are not conducive to walking with my twice broken, shattered each time, ankle. We now go downtown after I drop off the last girl at school and walk on the flat lands and at the beach. It is nice to walk in the mornings, even with the fog and drippy low clouds we have hanging around this time of year. We actually got more than a half inch of rain last night and today. It is the first time since the 1920's that it has rained on this day. Exceptionally rare to get rain this late in the year, especially a winter storm or what passes for one here in So Cal.

Okay, lots to tell, lots going on. I am beat and want to go watch Prison Break! I finished, actually I am all caught up with Lost. Love that show. Our plasma still is not working. Nor have we replaced it. I use my computer and watched all of Lost. I have now downloaded Prison Break to see if I would like it and after three shows, I am hooked. I can watch til the wee hours of the morning.

Hope everybody is well and I have missed reading all of your posts! Be reading you soon. Nighty night.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

I know this is a couple days early, but the lull in my hectic day of mostly running around to and fro, makes this the ideal time to write this.

Being a mom is the best. Not always easy by any stretch. Worth the job and the best job on earth? Absofreakinlutely.

As a mom of now teenagers, I see babies and try to remember when my girls were that little. I wrote a lot of things down. I took zillions of photos. Not nearly enough videos. I do remember many things, of course, but I don't remember more than I do remember I am afraid. There is just too much to remember. When something happens or I hear a story, I remember something from when the girls were little. I hadn't really forgotten it, I just hadn't thought about it in a long time.

I guess what I am trying to say is for those of you with young ones, take the time and make those videos of those adorable little voices just beginning to speak or saying or doing funny things. Take videos of those creative, colorful outfits that they put together themselves that a photo will not do justice to. You need to get the whole picture with words, signing, music, songs and dances. You can pop those in the machine when they are teenagers or just when you want a warm loving feeling in your heart. Just to remember.

Same thing goes for your mother. Do you have videos of your mother? I don't. My mother died seven years ago last month and I don't have any way to hear her voice. It makes me very sad and I hope that you will get that video cam out this weekend and film your mother with her kids and grandkids. I hope your husband, partner or child will film you as well.

Motherhood for me, has me beaming with pride, as usual. Zoe just got a letter informing her she got into Honors Chemistry next year! David said, "I never took Chemistry, I cannot help her." He, by the way, is the smartest person I have ever met, so I am sure they will both be taking Chem next year. I have no doubt that Zoe will excel at Chemistry all on her own. The other night they had an award ceremony at the high school and Zoe got two awards. One for Outstanding Student in Biology and one for Outstanding Student in Geometry. I am so proud of her. She is very smart. I would say she works hard, but she will disagree with that statement. It comes to her, she just gets it. In case you were wondering....I stopped giving out math help about fourth grade!

Katharine tried out for Narnia. They are putting it on in a one of the local theatres. It seems all her friends, well several, are trying out for the play. They did call backs on Wed. We could not go to the Thursday call back because Katharine had a showcase in LA. The showcase was from one of her acting classes. She has been going to two acting classes on Sundays. Anyhow, there was a casting director there to see the kids perform. It was also our second time up there this week. We met and are going with an agent we met on Tuesday. Very energetic and a good fit I think. Now a manager and an agent. Apparently, she will have a tag team. Agents for specific jobs. TV, movies, print and commercials. Anyhow, it all seems so real when we are up in LA with all the new or up and coming actors.

Being a mother right now seems to be mostly a taxi and cook position. I don't mind at all. I mind the gas prices, but I don't mind driving 65 miles, one way, twice this week. This is what we signed on to do. I was not happy with the schedules at school this year. Middle school and high school are off just enough for me to go up and down the hill four times a day instead of two. I figured it out though. The schools are about a mile apart. One is higher on the hill than the other. But there are only two roads that lead in and out. If the schools got out simultaneously, it would be a worse nightmare than it already is. So, I get it and I accept it. Zoe has journalism on Monday and Wednesday, so she could call for a ride any time from 2:30 til 5:30. Katharine has dance and guitar two different days as well. Lots of driving, but I am honored to be able to do it for them.

Happy Mother's Day to all you who eat that broken egg, or have to clean up the cat's hair ball or dog's mess, because your children gag at the thought. Also, to all of you who cry (without being noticed) when your child wins an award or scores a goal or brings home awesome grades because you do not want to embarrass them! And those you who fight the school boards/districts and or teachers to better the situation for years to come, long after your child has moved on. Finally, Happy Mother's Day for those you who are just there!

I hope you all have a wonderfully lovely day!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Asparagus/Prosciutto Appetizer

I am winging this recipe here. I have had these at a friend's home and I have made them a handful of times and they are simply delicious. You may omit the prosciutto if you don't do meat or you may substitute other things. I have done this with other veggies on hand, for instance, broccoli. I just eyeball the amounts but will try to be more precise. The recipe here will make about 15 appetizers, if you have 15 stalks of asparagus.

1 pack fillo dough (squares)
asparagus, cut off bottom inch
1/2 pound prosciutto
About 15 shavings of parmesan cheese
1/2 cube melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Melt butter for brushing on fillo dough
Roll small piece of prosciutto around asparagus stalk
Place on buttered fillo square (triangles are OK too)
Add a piece of parmesan
Asparagas will be longer than dough
Wrap dough around asparagus/prosciutto and parm
Put seam down on greased cookie (Pam) sheet
Bake for about 10 minutes in preheated oven @ 350 degrees

Done when light brown and flaky. This may be made with several variations. Use your imagination.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Geography Today

Have a go at this. It's fun!
Click here

Okay, how long has the little wheelchair been next to the word verification box in the comment section? I clicked it and it speaks what you should type! Hmm, what will they think of next?

Friday, April 28, 2006

Crocodile Attacks Chainsaw

I love these strange but true stories!

SYDNEY, Australia (Apriil 28) - A 14 1/2-foot crocodile mauled a chainsaw a worker was using Friday to clear up debris left by a tropical storm that lashed northern Australia. While the croc and worker were both uninjured, the saw's woodcutting days are over.

Freddy Buckland was cutting up a tree that fell against a crocodile enclosure at the Corroboree Park Tavern, 50 miles east of the northern port city of Darwin when the crocodile, called Brutus, apparently took exception to the chainsaw's noise and attacked.

"As he was trimming up the tree on the outside the croc jumped out of the water and sped along the tree about 18, 20 feet and actually grabbed the chainsaw out of his hands," said Peter Shappert, the tavern's owner.

"It must have been the noise ... I don't think he was actually trying to grab Freddy, but I'm not sure. He had a fair go at him ... I think he just grabbed the first thing he could and it happened to be the chainsaw," Shappert added.

Neither Buckland nor Brutus were injured.

The saltwater crocodile, which Shappert said he now is considering renaming Two-stroke in honor of the saw's fuel, appeared to like the snack.

"He chewed on the chainsaw for about an hour-and-a-half, then we finally got it out," Shappert said, adding that the saw was destroyed when it finally was retrieved from Brutus' giant jaws.

Saltwater crocodiles have been known to attack small power boats, apparently because they do not like the noise of outboard motors.