Thursday, September 9, 2010

Altitudes, Lattitudes, Changes in Attitudes

I need to give some credit to Jimmy Buffet for the title of my blog via a semi-stealing of his line in one of my favorite songs...I have fallen so far behind in blogging. I promised myself that this trip to Grand Lake would provide ample opportunity to do some catching up. However, that "ample opportunity" never materialized. But here's a bit of an update...

Today I realized that our family is in FOUR different time zones. Pacific Daylight Time - Alyssa and Charlie in Morgan Hill. Mountain Daylight Time - Ralph and I in Colorado. Central Daylight Time - Ashley, Jim, Gracie and Emily visiting Jim's family in Chicago and St. Louis. Eastern Daylight Time - Rob in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on a business trip. Whew! Bet this won't happen again anytime soon. Feels like we are aligning the planets or something.

A few weeks ago I decided to join Alyssa in her homemade baby food efforts and I bought some organic apples, peeled them, cooked them up, and put them in my food processor and - Voila! Applesauce, baby food style. It was very enjoyable and made me a little sad I didn't do this when my girls were babies. Or when Gracie was a baby. Oh, well. I DID make my own yogurt once-upon-a-time. Does that count?

Little cubes of organic applesauce are ready for the freezer.
Charlie is one happy baby boy. One of my favorite things is watching him go to town on his "One Man Band" toy. Don't you just want to bite into that cute little thigh?!!! Oh, ok, I admit, I do, and it makes him laugh like crazy :)

Yummmmmmmm....I'm all ready for my organic applesauce, Mimi!

And then it was off to the pool at the Aquatic Center to watch Gracie and Emily take their swim lessons. The Strombergs found the Aquatic Center was a cool place to hang out in August! Here Emily and her mommy discuss the intricacies of the breast stroke. Or perhaps Emily is just chewing on a pool toy...

Ok, big breath, Emily Mae! "But Mommy - chlorine is SO bad for my pretty hair!"

Gracie climbs out of the pool with a little help from her teacher. That's a BIG step up to the pool deck!

Brrrrr....ok, everybody line up for a dive back into the pool. "Kinda hard to swim with my teeth chattering like this!!!!!"

And then we said so long for a couple of weeks to the Strombergs and the Wagners and on September 1, Ralph and I left for Grand Lake, CO to visit our little vacation home and for me to go to my 45th - yep, big gulp - 45th class reunion in Pueblo.
While we were shopping for groceries in Granby, we saw something very un-grocery like that was a MUST have for our cabin. We'll purchase one every visit until we have fishing poles for every one of our sweet grandbabies.

Barbie fishing poles...who'd have thought?!!! And here (below) is a perfect place to cast a line - into the stocked lake across the street from our home, Columbine Lake. There's even a picnic table for a little lunch when everybody's caught their limit.

When we arrived in Grand Lake the very first night we saw FIVE moose - four yearlings and their mamas. No big-racked bull moose so far. And where was my camera? Yep, back at the house. So, I made do with a little bit tamer side of wild life and took this picture when Ralph spied this little squirrel working on a pine cone at almost the tip-top of a tall evergreen outside.

And tomorrow I travel to Pueblo to begin the first day of our three-day class reunion! I'm sure I'll have lots of stories to tell from that experience....or not......

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summertime and the Return of Sunday Dinners

When I lived in Long Beach and was caring for Gracie during the week we started a little tradition that I enjoyed. On Sunday I invited Jim and Ashley and Gracie (who wouldn't eat my food because she preferred her own gourmet items such as breast milk and pureed peas) for dinner. We didn't have dinner together during the week, usually, because I felt it was better that the little Stromberg family have time to themselves without "Mimi" butting in. Not to mention Mimi collapsed in exhaustion on the sofa with barely enough energy to push the "on" button of the TV's remote control. So on those weeknights, even though I'd often cook for all of us, Ashley or Jim would jaunt on over to "Mimi's Cassita" to pick up what I'd made because let's face it - who really wants to cook for one person? Plus that gave Ashley and Jim a little more time to focus on Gracie without having to focus on what to fix for dinner.

Now that the Strombergs have relocated here in our neck of the woods, I thought it would be fun to resurrect the Sunday dinner theme. The deal is, I'm cooking, and whoever's not busy can come. So although the invite is open for the Wagner clan, as it turns out, Rob, Alyssa and Charlie have had a very busy social calendar and haven't yet been to Sunday Dinners Reincarnated. I know once the Strombergs are more established, they will probably have less Sunday Dinner time, too, so for right now I am enjoying this Big Time.

So here's what I love about Summertime and Sunday Dinners. All that FRESH PRODUCE that we see in abundance right now. Earlier, during Spring, I finally, finally, FINALLY planted an herb garden. I'd been planning for years to do this but all of a sudden I'd notice it was, like, Halloween and still no herb garden. (Eventually I would like to plant veggies, but hey! Let's break one bad habit at a time here!)

So here are a couple of pics of the bounty from the herb garden...I LOVE, simply LOVE the combination of tomatoes and basil. I cut the tomatoes into chunks, rustic style, and tore up about 30 leaves of basil to toss on top. Throw in a little fresh mozzerella, also rough cut, and - VOILA! It's a fresh-as-heaven Caprese salad. Shown above, this freshness on a fork is pre-dressed...just before serving I finished it with a nice drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of coarse salt and pepper. And if it looks like there is a lot of basil on this puppy, well, there is. It's from my own herb garden, don't you know...Besides, my motto of the day is "Go big or go home." 'Nuff said.
When Rob and I kicked off our "Eat Healthy and Get Cute" campaign last month (oh, ok, Rob is already cute), Rob introduced me to the "Big Ass Salad." This is tons of fresh spinach or interesting lettuce of some sort (no, not iceberg since the poor iceberg has practicaly zero, zip, nada nutrition) plus a virtual salad bar of goodies to add in such as beans, corn, artichoke hearts, onion, cucumber etc. I finish my "BAS" off with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, fresh ground pepper, and it is YUM! So at my last Sunday Dinner I re-created the "BAS" using my new favorite serving vessel: the platter. Yes, it's Salad-on-a-Platter and is ever so elegant, don't ya think? PLUS - with my now famous herb garden, I finished it off by scattering lots of fresh herbs (such as a lovely French least I think it's French - at any rate it's from another country) over the salad. Again, no dressing on the salad yet - that came later in the form of, yep, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Also good is seasoned rice vinegar. And at the risk of repeating myself, may I just say again - YUM.
Now, please take note of the lovely basil that has gone wild on my deck...I have to trim it back since it's getting those little white flower thingies on the end, but I'm working on it. Plus it's trying to crowd out another little herb planted in the front, which may or may not be thyme...I kinda forget now...

And here is my lovely new herb planter pot...I can't believe how much all of these tender little plants have grown. Looks like they're happy in their pretty new home.
So even though my adventure in cooking from the wonderful "Julia" cookbook that I attempted earlier in my blog seems to have stalled out for awhile, I am simply happy about my re-creation of my simple little Summertime Sunday Dinners.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June: Could it have been any better?!!

When June rolled around I knew it would be a busy month. June was LOADED. With three birthdays, Father's Day, the much-anticipated move north by the Stromberg Family and Charlie's 6-month 'birthday' - how much more 'happy days' could we squeeze into one little old 30-day month?!

So the cousins had an opportunity to get re-acquainted at the end of May when Ashley, Gracie and Emily came north for a visit. Jim has been up here working and sponging, er...visiting and staying with his California fam since April 24. Charlie seems very enamoured with his older, more worldly cousins, but just wait. Mr. C. is going to be giving these girls a real run for their money in another year or three.

I think Charlie has that "deer in the headlights" look - what do you think? :)

Charlie is going to enjoy knowing "TiTi" Ashley (or is it "TeeTee?") and his Uncle "Jimmy." Here's a good group photo where Charlie is saying hi to Auntie while Emily (Em-i-wee) wonders what happened to her spot on Mommy's lap...Daddy is apparently chopped liver at the moment. That's ok. Mimi can relate...and fortunately that feeling is short-lived.

Other monthly milestones... Charlie has discovered that rice cereal is extra yummy when it's made with Mommy's milk. What d'ya know...he already knows where the business end of the spoon goes......

Yep - good to the last molecule, right Charlie??!!!

And you just never know...if you store a little bit of cereal on the edge of your highchair tray, you can always come back for seconds. Or leftovers. Whatever.

Other milestones we celebrated this month...Alyssa's BIG 30th birthday where I rocked my Little Kid Party theme...we ate mac and cheese, hot dogs, jello salad and birthday cake on "Dora the Explorer" paper plates, napkins and the like. We blew the roof off (well, not REALLY) with noise makers that didn't make noise, silly, curvy straws for our pink lemonade and fun sunglasses. Pictures would be here except unfortunately they are on the home you'll just have to use your imagination. We capped the 30th celebration with a rousing game of "Pin the tail on the donkey" where the "pins" are history and you "Stick the tail..." instead. Oh, those safety police people! Rob and Ralph went at things with a scientific approach and were most accurate while Alyssa's tail was pretty much hanging out of the donkey's mouth. No prizes for the birthday girl!

Plus we had Ralph's birthday celebration at Rob and Alyssa's where we made the s'mores we didn't get around to making for Alyssa's party, and where Ralph purchased the first NEW vehicle of his entire lifetime, an awesome Ford 150 pick up with a neat-o backseat for his golfer buddies and Mr. P.

We traveled to Long Beach for the last visit by Mimi and Poppy to the Stromberg abode for Gracie's big 3rd birthday bash! Gracie was the hostess with the mostess at her Fancy Nancy party - and where a real live "Fancy Nancy Fairy" arrived and did fun games including painting a pretty butterfly on Gracie's sweet face.

And THEN we traveled back to Morgan Hill in time to celebrate Father's Day - and Rob's FIRST Father's Day - with the Wagners, Kathy and Michael and little Carla (and where Kathy and Michael announced that, yes, MORE little bundles are on the way), Lorraine (Michael's mom) and Rob grilled his great big heart out with a yummy dinner of steak, chicken, grilled veggies and Alyssa's famous chocolate cake. Yumm-o!!!!

Finally, the end of June drew near - and so did the Strombergs. Jim, Ashley, Gracie and Emily pulled into our driveway about 10:15 Saturday night...June 26. Tired and ready to call it a day, we welcomed the Stromberg's to Morgan Hill and put them to bed - and the next day they began the move into their cute little rental home on Via Corfino. The girls stayed with Mimi while the movers arrived at the rental, moved in the boxes and set up the furniture. Yesterday we visited Ashley and the girls to see their new casa - it's adorable in my book - ESPECIALLY because it's about 10 minutes from our house to their's. With ALL of our kids in Morgan Hill - at least for now - I couldn't be more happy.

So what a month! Whew...I think I need a vacation. Which is what I would love to do NEXT June. Rob and I are dedicating a few months to the prospect of getting back into shape. Rob has lots less "getting back into" than I do, which is why I thought next June would be a lovely time to take a Family Cruise - or whatever - if I can manage to keep both oars in the water and make some SIGNIFICANT progress on my weight loss journey. Rob is a great coach (I have nicknamed him Jillian after the infamous personal trainer on Biggest Loser). He has been kicking rear end and taking names. That's ok - if he can get some junk out of this trunk I can sure take it! has been a looooong time between postings, but reading over this entry - I now know why. Adieu for now :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Um...I don't think so...

For quite awhile now I've been getting "Comments" that were most perplexing. They were "written," apparently, in Japanese. The few words of English that appeared here and there were innocent enough, but I didn't get it. I had no idea who was making these comments, and I was unable to find a "Delete" option for comments made on my blog.

My opinion is, if I can't read the comments, why leave it there cluttering up things, but since these strange "Comments" wasn't at the very tip top of my priority list, I just let it slide. It did slow me down a bit in my blogging enthusiasm, though, because as much as I love "Comments," I'd prefer they be in my native tongue and from people I might actually know. And I was starting to feel a little bit, you know, violated.

So...last night as we were eating dinner with Rob and Alyssa after Alyssa got home from work, Rob told me these Japanese characters were actually links to a Japanese porn site. HUH??? Well. The priority shifted quickly, and tonight I perused my "Dashboard" to again search for a way to delete comments. Still no luck. I did, however, find a way to "Hide" the comments portion so at least anyone that I know who is reading my blog won't be tempted (and you know you who are, haha) to view Japanese porn.

Sad to say the Internet can be one big sleasze-fest - but as long as there are ways around it, that's the more important part.

Tomorrow: (or Sunday) - some real blogging, photos etc. At least I will do my best!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Today was the first day of our New Adventures with Charlie! Three years ago (almost) I began taking care of Gracie Elizabeth in Long Beach. And now a new chapter.

Alyssa returned to work today (May 18) and I arrived about 8:20 at the Wagner abode. I was running a couple of minutes late due to being in a frenzy of "What to Take." You'd think I was packing for a week in the mountains...THREE - count 'em - THREE pairs of shoes...with my icky torn ligament I wanted to make sure I had comfy shoes, and what did I end up wearing the better part of the day? Socks. Yep. The shoes were history. Plus lunch, snacks, a book (in case Charlie slept - now THERE is a concept!) plus the usual bring-alongs - Advil and nasal spray for stupid allergies.

Rob and Buddy greeted me at the door and we did the official "hand-off" - Buddy had a short walk, a short booty-wash, and Rob headed upstairs to begin his day with a call. Charlie was a little champ - he was soon due for his morning nap so "Mimi" (that would be me) decided to go for broke and try putting Charlie in his "pak'n-play" crib for his nap. His mommy (like me) hasn't found the failsafe method of putting Charlie down for his naps in the crib and Charlie much prefers the "Lay-down-with-me-on-the-big-bed-if-you-don't-mind" type of daytime napping. But...Mimi's first attempt at putting Charlie in his bed...well...was a big fat flop. I have recorded Charlie's comments below:

"Umm...excuse me, Mimi? I am in my CRIB. I don't SLEEP in my CRIB. Please remove me from my crib right now or I will begin to wail...Mimi? I mean it, Mimi!"

Oh, yeah. THIS is more like it...zzzzzz.......

"Wow! I feel GREAT! I had a one hour and thirty-five minute nap! Yes!"

"What d'ya wanna do now, Mimi? Huh? Huh?

"Hahahaha...Look at Buddy's butt...I just slept next to Buddy's it time for MILK yet Mimi??"

Oh, ho-ho-ho, Mimi - I like my chair and playing with my toys. Is it time for Milk yet, Mimi? BTW, what do you think my MOM is doing????

"Yep, 'bout time for the old milk bottle, don't ya think, Mimi?"

"Ummm...ok, that bottle was mighty good, but when do you think my mom might be getting home with THE REAL THING???"

"Maybe I have time to do a little work out before Mommy gets home...did you know I can touch my feet, Mimi? I am REALLY limber!"

"OH YEAH, OH YEAH, OH YEAH! MOMMY IS HOME!!!!!!! Thank you, Mimi, but I think you can go home now" :)
See ya Thursday, Charlie Bear. Love you...xoxoxoxo

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Joys of...taking your kids out to dinner!

Today Alyssa (see photo above!) e-mailed me to see if I could watch Charlie one evening in June so she and Rob can go to their supper club Charlie-less. Of course I said yes - how lucky when a family lives close enough to be able to do this because an occasional "date night" is a fun way for mommies and daddies to have a chance for a little get-away and it also provides an opportunity for some "Mimi-Baby" bonding.

This is so much nicer than when Ashley and Alyssa were little - both sets of their grandparents lived out of state - and when they finally DID move closer to us, health issues prevented them from watching the girls for us. So we adapted.

Early on I decided our family should have dinner out once a week both to give me a break from the kitchen and to "teach" the girls about manners when they were in a restaurant. Needless to say we went EARLY to dinner in order to avoid annoying the least amount of diners :)

Our very first experience was when Ashley was 2 weeks old or thereabouts. Her favorite activity for practically her whole first year was being fed. She tended to be a little fussy otherwise - tummy issues I'm sure. But my plan for the restaurant was to ask for a more secluded booth and if the situation warranted it, I would simply "hook her up" - I carried enough receiving blankets with me, plus with the looser clothing styles of the day, I knew we could be modest. Not to mention I could learn to eat one-handed.

On that fateful Saturday night, we entered our favorite restaurant - we lived in the Santa Cruz Mountains of all places when Ashley arrived. Our favorite restaurant was the one closest to us (a fortuitious choice) located on Highway 17, near Summit Road. It was a busy little restaurant/coffee shop - casual and just right for us.

So on our maiden voyage, I explained to the hostess that we'd like a booth in the back because of our baby, and she was very obliging. However, this meant walking all the way through the place and passing through almost a FULL house of people having dinner or waiting to be served.

You know the stir a brand new baby causes. Ashley was tiny - only 6-1/2 lbs. at birth so there we were making our way along with this teeny little bundle - that EVERYBODY wanted to see. We weren't as aware of germs, I guess, back in the day because I dutifully stopped and showed off my sweet baby girl to all who asked before finally settling into our booth.

And, right on cue, Ashley began to howl because there I was sitting and she wasn't being fed! But - no problem-o - we were in a secluded part of the restaurant. I opened my menu with one hand and nestled Ashley into position with the other. Soon she was happily nursing away.

And then. Wouldn't you just know it. One of the diners, a nice lady, "missed the baby" on our way in because she had been in the restroom and asked if she could please see "the baby," Well. I don't know what I was thinking (or more correctly, I WASN'T), but being the kind of person who aimed to please, I quickly pulled Ashley away from her dinner. AND if you've never experienced this extreme pleasure, let me just say it is NOT something I recommend doing. Ever.

Of course the pain of such a violent removal is, well...painful. Then there is the mighty suction sound as Baby abruptly leaves the Mother Ship. And finally there is the horrific howling that takes place as Extremely Unhappy Baby is prematurely removed from her "play station." So the face the nice lady saw as I turned Ashley around was definitely not the same pink, placid little baby face that all the other diners witnessed on our walk in.

To say we kept up our weekly outings would be to tell a big fat lie. We did go out - occasionally, and I can't say it was always a happy, fun, family bonding time. But when we moved to San Jose, we found another family-friendly place we visited now and then called Uncle John's. Just the name sounds friendly, right? And it was. So the night we had dinner there and the roof pretty much caved in on our dining-out-with-the-kids excursions, they were very understanding. Here's what happened.

Ashley was a picky eater. But she did like soup. By now she was probably 3 or 4 years old - I believe it was shortly before Alyssa arrived, but I am not positive about that. You know, some things you just tend to block out. So on the night in question, our dinners had just arrived and Ashley was scooching up closer to the table and to her little bowl of soup. She was sitting on the inside near the wall and I was at her side.

Suddenly, in slow motion, I saw the soup bowl tipping over toward my little girl - and I was unable to stop it in time. So there, with the entire contents of an entire bowl of hot soup smack in the middle of her lap, sat my Ashley with the kind of look on her face that you just never want to see on the face of your child.

Immediately, without even thinking, I grabbed my full glass of ice water and hurled it onto her lap. And even though I think it prevented the soup from burning her worse than it did, it's just not the kind of restaurant behavior that Emily Post would write about. So we cleaned up the mess, with the help of our understanding waitress, and headed home.

In the picture below, you'll see that Ashley survived this traumatic experience just fine. I selected this photo because Ashley's hanging out with her baby sister, Alyssa, who (in this photo) is about the same age as Alyssa and Rob's little cutie, Charlie. (And check out that TV-as-Furniture unit behind the girls. Awesome.)

And - were there other dinners out with these two young beauties, you might be asking? Yeah. Probably. But I honestly don't want to remember...

Friday, April 16, 2010

A few of my favorite things...

I am SO behind on my poor blog...from approximately June of last year I have had such good intentions (and you know which road is paved with THOSE) of posting my favorite pictures and accompanying stories here. I'm happy that Alyssa is a blogging trooper and keeping things going with their little family and Charlie as he gets bigger and cuter every day and that Ashley has now started a blog so we can watch Gracie and Emily grow...But still!

With being "Mimi" to these three sweet babies, I need to get it into gear. Therefore, here are a couple of my favorite things - thanks to Alyssa's posting of this picture. Rob must have taken this one - good job there, Rob!

So, above is our little man, Charlie, age 3-1/2 months with his pretty mommy, Alyssa.

Is he a Keeper or what??!!!

Columns: A "Two-fer"

My friend Linda sent me an e-mail today that made me laugh out loud. She'd just read my column about my torn ligament that appeared in today's paper ('Das Boot') and said, "Like other great writers, you have taken your pain and turned it into literature. But there's gotta be easier ways to get column material..."
Now, everybody needs great friends like Linda (because she said "great writers" in a sentence that involved me, and if I pretend hard enough, who knows - I might just believe it). Not only that...I had just this week mentioned to my physical therapist that I have to stop becoming fodder for my own her words hit close to home.
Therefore, if you're so inclined, you can check out "The Column" link above for the account of my latest mishap. The scary part? Every word of it is TRUE!

And, since my prior column arrived on driveways shortly before "Tax Day" what else was a girl to do other than - yep! do the annual tax column. Since I am in my 5th year of writing for the South Valley newspapers, you'd think I'd run out of stuff about taxes, right? Well, you'd think. But if you can handle one more thought-provoking (not) missive about everybody's favorite date, simply click on 'The Column' and read for yourself that there is something about those tax deductions.....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Happy First Birthday, Emily Mae!

Emily had a lot of fun collecting Easter eggs on Sunday - 4 days before her first birthday. We enjoyed watching her run - yes RUN - in her backyard - chasing her big sister Gracie and looking for more eggs. And when the eggs had all been found it was time to scatter them all over the lawn and begin yet another new hunt!
I think there were about four Easter egg hunts in all on Sunday...a new game for the Sensational Stromberg Sisters :)

Emily shares a moment with her mommy.

Emily is still mastering going DOWN the steps to her backyard, but she can go up the stairs just fine! Here she gets a hand from Grampy as she navigates going down the steps.

Emily had lots of fun - as she does most every day - playing outside in the warm California sun!

And today she is ONE!!! Happy Birthday, Emily Mae. We love you tons! xoxoxoxo from Mimi...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I like it like that...

Flowers and the there anything better??? Below are a few more of my favorite things...

Today I began a big, big job. Cleaning out my file cabinet. Mr. H. just bought a new desk that is quite a big deal so he started a clean-up of his files yesterday. Since I was inspired with all his activity, not to mention I haven't done this task in approximately, oh...forever! I decided to have a go at my files today.

Well. The biggest, most nerve-wracking obstacle for me is the actual filing system. Oh, sure, I could just get the folders and the label and say "Health Insurace," but what fun is there in that? Plus I can NEVER remember what I filed where and under what name. Health Insurance could be "Health Insurance" or "Insurance, Health" or "Cigna" or "Health Care Bill-What We Gonna Do Now?" - you get the idea.

So I put on my thinking cap (whatever that is) and decided to come up with a brand new system that is FUN. Or if not "FUN" then at least less tedious. And here is what I came up with. Now I am going to ATTEMPT to paste my new Index here, but you probably won't be able to see the actual "Papyrus" type font, which is actually quite pretty. But again, you'll get the idea.

The basic concept is alphabetical order. BUT instead of "A, B, C" and the like, I thought of a WORD that I liked that began with each letter. So I'll always know where they belong in the drawer, right? Then the contents of that file will contain items that more or less go along with that particular word. Now this is pretty loose, but hey. That's why I made an Index - and anyway, it's my file, so there you go!

My files will contain articles I've clipped from magazines, brochures I've collected, medical records and the like. If you see a word and it doesn't have anything following it, well, I just haven't made a match for it yet...and if you have any ideas or suggestions - I'm all ears!

Here's what I have so far:

Apple…Eating well, nutrition

Breezes…Ocean destinations, cruises

Catalina…Travel, places to go

Delphinium…Family history

Evergreen...Holiday inspirations

Fresh…Fashion ideas

Grass … Landscaping, flowers, container plants, outdoor ideas

Heavenly…Certificates, licenses, awards

Imagine…Photography, other art

Joyful…Baby showers and other celebrations





Oxygen…spas, relaxation

Peaches…Ashley and Alyssa, notes and cards…

Quince…periodicals and neat catalogs

Radiance…Beauty, Hair


Tapestry…Decorating ideas

Unleashed…Puddin’ and other critters



X-chromosome…self improvement


Zest…Exercise, working out, health and wellness

If you're wondering what "Delphinium" has to do with "Family History," that's because many years ago when I was a little girl my parents decided to purchase a brand new home that was being constructed in a development in another part of town. Everything was humming right along, we'd drive by the house to observe the progress of the construction and to plan what kind of trees and flowers we'd plant in the front yard (my mother loved to garden and was good at it).

All was well UNTIL...yep, maybe you guessed it. My mother learned they were going to name our street "Delphinium." And what my mother had against that innocent little flower I will never know - but I wish I'd asked her. Maybe she thought it was too hard to spell (although she was a champ at writing AND spelling) - but whatever the reason, that was it. They somehow got out of the deal and we stayed put. On "Brown Avenue." Now if that's not a colorless name for a street, I don't know what is!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Column: We need a king of the road to recovery

With the endless debate about the health care bill and all the mud-slinging, threats, name-calling and downright ugliness that accompanied it, I had to get a little frustration out of my system. How did I do that? By writing a column about it, of course. It’s a great little outlet. Although a bubble bath would probably be more relaxing…or a trip to the spa…or…hmmmmmm…well, lots of things, but any port in a storm, you know.

If you would like to read my solution to all the bickering in Washington, just click on “The Column” link above – and see if you don’t agree!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's Official,Mon!!!

One month ago today... I got a telephone call early one morning. It was about 7am Pacific Standard Time. I was in Colorado at my brother's house in Pueblo, waiting for my friend Nancy to pick me up. We were going to coffee and then to a meeting for high school reunion business.

The call was from my first born, Miss Ashley, who was at that moment driving to her job at school. In the backseat were the young Miss Gracie and even younger Miss Emily along for the ride and on their way to Miss Phyllis, their wonderful day care provider.
That early morning phone call was like I'd wandered into a whole field of bright green 4-leaf clovers - just like those in the picture above. "It's official," Ashley said. "We're moving north." Yes, Jim's company was sending him to the Bay area.

Now this was great news - of a sort. Because it wasn't going to be simple. Or easy. And I have honestly been afraid to say ANYTHING to pretty much ANYBODY until just recently. Because I didn't want to jinx anything. After all, hadn't this ALMOST happened a few years ago and then everything went KaPLOOEY!!??? Yep it had. But on the other side, hadn't I just a few short days earlier written on Facebook that it's hard to be in Long Beach (because of missing Charlie) and it's hard to be home (missing Gracie and Emily)? Yes, my heart had been split in half for a long time. Pretty much since Ashley moved to Arizona and then Long Beach some 13 years ago...

But today we're getting closer to having this move become reality. It's still in baby steps, but agreements are being negotiated and plans are being made and a path is being forged. So today, on this St. Paddy's Day that harkens back to the Luck of the Irish...I'm putting it out there. It's still a bit of a tentative whisper, but today these Irish eyes of mine are smiling because... Me Lads and Lassies...Me thinks it's official!!! :)