Friday, January 29, 2010

Flower power

I'm feeling a bit frustrated right now. Looking for a job...not fun. I haven't worked outside the house in a few years. So I go on Craigslist and click on some listings that I think suit me my schedule and reply. And wait. And wait. Guess what? Waiting for someone to respond to your email (that you're not even sure is saying the right thing!) makes a day go by very s l o w l y.

So here are some photos of flowers from my grandma's garden to banish my blues.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Scenes from a postcard

*for some reason my pictures loaded backwards*

Last summer we went to Laguna Beach which is a beautiful but small beach surrounded by cliffs. On the day we went the surf and tide were so high that basically the beach was covered in water. No dry sand to be seen.

The next day we went back in the evening and saw a beautiful sunset.....
gorgeous colors that aren't even as vivid in this picture as they were in real life.....
lots of interesting things in the tidepools, including a teeny tiny octopus too small for pics.....
tons and tons of colorful and sometimes very sharp shells.....
and more seaweed than I have ever seen in my life in one spot (miles worth) that was washed up from the day before.....
We had a great time hanging out that night and sometimes still reminisce about all we saw.

Friendly house

On our recent trip to Flagstaff, AZ this totally made me laugh. This house is smiling at us! Or maybe it's just a grin, huh?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I heart

O.k., so our son's 13th birthday is coming up. The boy loves Disneyland and the only thing he wants to do is go there for his birthday. Easy to do since we have passes (the cheapie ones that aren't really that cheap :/ ), but I want it to be more special than just a day there. I figure if we can surprise him by staying at the Disneyland Hotel, we'll be the coolest parents around. Decision made and it's on.

Fast forward to me clicking happily through the Disney web site hitting buttons and filling in dates like I'm the only person who could possibly be on said site at 1:30 a.m., right? Wrong. As I found the appropriate dates available at the hotel, I decide to see what a better view (why?we're only sleeping there, right?) would cost. I'll tell you what it cost: the availability I previously had!!!!!! DRAT! Frustrated, I try to find another hotel (not any of the Disneyland ones; all booked) so Hubby says "Did you try Expedia?" Me "No." So I do and guess what?! THEY HAVE A ROOM AT THE DISNEYLAND HOTEL AND NOW IT'S MINE, ALL MINE. Well, ours, but you get the drift. ;) YAY!

It took me about 20 minutes to get through my thick skull that the Disney site was a bust and about 1 minute to get the stinkin' room found, booked and paid for on Expedia.

Thank you, MUAH!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sky shots

On our one year anniversary cruise in Mexico 15 years ago, I (accidently) took some really great pictures of the sky. That was back in the day of 35 mm cameras and film! Remember those days? Not knowing what the picture was going to look like? Oh my, the suspense! Anyway, since then I've taken more and here are a few shots from Orange County, CA in the last couple months.

I love how it looks like the sunlight is pouring over the clouds in this one.
In the parking lot at the grocery store. I thought the 'tube' effect was what was interesting. Like it's almost a spiral. At first I thought it was a fire or something else, not clouds.
At sundown on the way home. Love the colors.
What is your sky like?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A 'Storm Watch' to believe

Whenever it rains here, the newscasters scramble to bring the first coverage of 'Storm Watch whenever". It's always very dramatic and not always necessary. It seems that so much of the weather systems blow right over us. But for the last few days it's been very wet here in sunny southern California. I personally love it and would take it for a lot longer than it's predicted to stick around. It's usually the same here every. single. day. Boring. My whole life I have loved the's like it wakes me up or something. Very energizing.

Yesterday though, my son and I thought it would be fun to spend the day at our favorite library in Huntington Beach. Central Park Library. It's a great big older library with lots of huge floor to ceiling windows. There are tons of tall trees outside and lots of water features inside and out. A very cool place to spend a wet day in our opinion. So we get there with no problem and nothing to speak of as far as the amount of rain falling. Pretty standard 'storm'. We decided to take a quick drive down to the beach (it's only a 2 minute drive, if that) and saw that the waves were pretty big and that the ocean was as grey as the sky. After a few minutes we noticed that the wind was really whipping the trees around and so we decided to head back to the library. We park and the rain starts coming a bit harder, nothing major, and so we get out of the car. Big mistake. Within literally one minute we are soaked as if we just jumped into a pool! Head to toe. Down to our underwear. Even with an umbrella (that broke instantly-the wind was worse than I had thought). So there we are running in what felt like 20 directions to either get inside or get back to the car. We were so disoriented and were laughing so hard, to keep from crying, I think, it seemed like forever to get to 'safety'. We couldn't even hold our heads up enough or keep our eyes open to see the car. It was as if someone had a hose pointed directly at our faces. (If you've ever been to Niagra Falls on the Maid in the Mist boat, it was like that). We got out of there as soon as we could; we were freezing and dripping wet! As soon as we hit the freeway, it mostly stopped. It was bizarre.

At home, hubby was at the TV with the news channel on and was watching an emergency broadcast with actual information about what was going on. Neither of us had ever seen one in our lives that wasn't "only a test....repeat, only a test." Apparently there were tornado watches in Huntington Beach. !!! We hadn't been there in months (we moved away two years ago) and of all days we go, a flippin' TORNADO WATCH! Insane. At home it was pretty calm, minus a fallen 25+ foot tree that blew over at the park across the street from our house.

A very wild day in our book.

Monday, January 18, 2010

To TV or not to TV

We were TV-less for the last 7 months. We all lived. Our neighbor was impressed. It wasn't like we didn't watch anything; we have all seasons of The Office on DVD and are now full and complete experts on the show and every DVD extra thrown our way. Go ahead, ask me a question. Anything about that show. ;) We watched everyday and it never got boring or too repetetive. Promise. I know it sounds a bit silly, but each episode has a new 'treasure' to find at each viewing; be it a newly funny line or a face made by Jim to the camera that we missed. (My favorite Jim face has to be during Dinner Party when they're playing charades and Jim is messing with Michael about his clues and then peers behind Michael to give the camera the smallest grin.) We also spent a lot of time at Blockbuster renting some new, some old movies.

J (hubby) and G (son) were getting a little antsy what with the middle of hockey season in full swing. They go to Ducks games (the local team) and that's all well and good, but the Ducks are kinda stinkin' it up right now. They were desperate to watch some good hockey and wanted the NHL Center Ice package. It's really a great deal if you can get it in your area. Lots of interesting shows, not just games.

So the cable guy showed up a few weeks ago and I have to admit I was a bit excited. I have favorite shows to watch and hadn't seen them in so long, I wondered if they were even airing anymore. They are. Literally the SAME EPISODES I watched 7 months ago and earlier. I caught new episodes of What Not To Wear (I love Clinton), but they changed the format a bit (and no more Nick Arojo. Whatever. I love his accent), and a new House Hunters or two, but mostly reruns. I had developed a shameful love for crazy, sometimes trashy reality shows too. Housewives of Orange County? Check. The lovely Kardashian girls? Check. Little People Big World? Check. Housewives of NJ? Double check!! They aren't on just yet, but I love them the most. Caroline? Come on. She RULES! I also really liked Tori and Dean, but we don't get Oxygen. I'll even admit to liking QVC. The only thing we haven't seen are new episodes of The Office. I believe that will happen on Thursday. Gotta get some snacks...we always had Snack Thursday when we watched regular programming.

I guess this means we're a normal family again? I don't know about that, but now thanks to the DVR feature we can live our lives, keep up with our fave shows and the Joneses in peace and harmony.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Two things

First: We used to have an HP computer and I knew how to do everything on it; everything I needed to do, anyway. When that computer died, we got a MacBook Pro. I hated it for a long time and am only now warming up to it. Beyond checking email and searching the web I couldn't do anything deliberately. It was all accidental and I could never figure out how to do it again. Anyway, I finally learned how to upload photos. (baby steps) Easy, right? Not so much for me (I listed needed to become acquainted with technology as a goal for the new year). So now I can add pictures to posts that deserve them. Quite exciting for me! :D

Second: On Thursday of last week, we drove to Phoenix to see the New Jersey Devils play the Phoenix Coyotes. The Devils are a big deal in this house...hubby is from NJ and therefore is a big fan and son is a huge Martin Brodeur fan (what with his being a goalie and all; in fact Martin inspired his love of the game and the position) so all things Devils are good things. So we roll up to our hotel after a 6-sixish hour drive and see a huge bus out front. Hubby and son get very excited that it's possible the bus belongs to the Devils. It does. After we check in, we start seeing them coming out of the main lobby. They are a really nice bunch of guys whom we have met before in 2003. It was a very cool thing. The game was lost 4-3 by the Devils, but it was awesome just to watch them play. :)

Devils general manager (and all-around hockey big-wig)
Lou Lamoriello, son and hubby.
Goalie extraordinaire Martin Brodeur and his biggest fan.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I finished I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb. Wow. It was LONG....897 pages long. I wasn't too sure about the story to begin with but quickly became engrossed in the lives and trials of these characters. I really enjoyed the book and have only read one other book, She's Come Undone, by Wally Lamb and loved that one, too. Not quite as long as IKTMIT, but lengthy.

The story tells of identical twin brothers, Dominic the 'normal' and Thomas, schizophrenic, and their family and the way Dominic takes care of everyone around him even as his own life is fairly falling apart. It's definitely a timeless story that could apply to anyone. One to make a person think. I would recommend it to anyone. Have you read it already?

I read to escape, so as much as I like to glean knowledge from books, I mostly read to relax and 'go' somewhere else. I've listed some of my recent reads on my Shelfari Bookcase (scroll all the way down and you can see mine and get your own) and am in the process of adding more (The King of Torts by John Grisham, my first time of reading his work).

Who is your favorite author and what types of books take you away?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Goodwill, here I come

So, I'm biting the bullet. Getting rid of stuff we just don't use/need anymore...for real and for good! The garage is in the middle of a cleaning (hubby started it and it's still in disarray) and I finally tackled the school/craft room. It feels really good actually, and I'm anxious to get the extra stuff out of the house. Learning to let go isn't easy for me; I learned to love everything at a young age and keep things for their sentimental value. I'm slowly realizing that I don't necessarily need the object in order to have the memories and that's a good thing. I'm loving the free feeling of not holding on to 'things' anymore. I didn't realize how stifling it is until I cleared it out. Hopefully someone else will benefit from our used goods.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Funday

I had immense success with my new stylist; she gave me the haircut I wanted with no funny stuff!! I couldn't be happier about it. :D

After my cut I came home and went to the park with my son to shoot hoops. I'm not even remotely good at basketball (or even just shooting around), but we had fun anyway. We played Horse, Courtesy and a few others we sorta made up. After we had enough of shooting, we went on the swings. That is always fun for us and it makes me happy and proud that he can see beyond how he should act according to his peers and do what he thinks is fun at the moment. What we did mostly was laugh and that was good enough for me. He's turning 13 in a few weeks and I'm so glad that we can still have so much fun together and hope it lasts a long time...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Vanity vs. Sanity

I firmly believe in the power of a (cue scary music and shrieking) Bad Hair Day. It's been about 4 months and 3 inches since my last haircut. Not a long time for some people, but for me it feels like a lifetime. I'm not a long hair kinda girl (my profile pic is the primo length for me) and right now my hair is touching my collarbone and it's making me crazy. This is the longest my hair has been in about 15 years. I am fully aware of the fact that this isn't a 'big picture problem' and doesn't change my life in any real way, but dang it, if I'm having a B.H.D., EVERYONE suffers. Seriously.

I had a lady doing my cuts and color for about a year or more and it was great when she started; perfect cut, excellent color, and suddenly the process went from a normal 2 1/2 hour ordeal to 4 and 5 hours!! She would occasionally make color mistakes (almost black once and purplish-red stripes instead of medium brown low-lights) and/or have to re-cut because it wasn't short or layered enough. I don't have the time or patience for that anymore so today I had to finally find a new place. I go Monday for my cut and whew! am I glad. I was on the verge of angry tears with this over-grown mess on my head. Seriously considered cutting it myself. I did hack at my bangs a bit (I always do that right before a cut....don't ask why, I don't even know) so I knew it was time.

Why is a stylist/client relationship so much like a romantic relationship? I mean really, you only see that person maybe once every 6-8 weeks and not even for very long. Normally, anyway. It seems like when you decide to leave that it has to be done gradually, or after a long absence (the method I chose). I understand the personal-ness of the service and the confiding that goes on, but why the guilt in leaving? Or is that just me? I always see in women's magazines where it suggests telling the person you're leaving and why, but wow, that seems like it's so rude. Picture it:

you: "Hi, I have to tell you that I'm going to be having someone else cut my hair."
them: "Why, are you moving or something?"
you: "No, really it's you, not me. I don't like what you do anymore."

Kinda on the mean side, I feel. I couldn't do it. In my fantasy, she doesn't even notice that I'm gone and we both go on about our lives.


p.s. Wish me luck on Monday....

Friday, January 8, 2010


I'm really not one for New Year's Resolutions. I admit to not having that kind of dedication/determination and I'm o.k. with that, but sometimes I have to wonder if it's better to make those resolutions and at least have those goals as a whole. Don't get me wrong; I have goals, it's just that sometimes I feel overwhelmed by them being all across the board. And I prefer them in smaller doses. Normal, I'm sure.

Here are some of my scattered goals:

~ Use what I already have
~ Deep clean every room/closet
~ Finish cleaning out the garage
~ Get better acquainted with technology
~ Use my crafting stuff more often and branch out more
~ Learn to forgive and FORGET...that's the hard part for me
~ Start something and finish it
~ Be more patient with people and situations
~ Say what I mean and not beat around the bush
~ Go to the gym regularly
~ Smile more and mean it; courtesy smiles are tiring
~ Be more positive

I know there are SO many more that I could list, but those are enough to get me through at least the first half of the year, don't you?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Yucky days

Family. Neighbors. Kids. Ideas. Places. Strangers. Errands...whatever, your choice.

Why can't anything just go smoothly from start to finish some days? Why does it seem like some days that EVERY LITTLE SIMPLE THING is such a hardship??
Screaming seems like a logical response, but also one that would get me escorted out of most public places, so I try to refrain from doing so. It would be so great though, wouldn't it? Just once.

Days like these call for some Haagen-Dazs Banana Split ice cream with fudge topping and nuts, so that's what I'm gonna do.

So there.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Back home

We had so much fun in Flagstaff! When we made our reservations, the inn keeper said there was snow on the ground. Good. We were really looking forward to that; it's been in the 70s for the months of November and December. ugh. So you can imagine our surprise when we rolled into town and for the last hour of our drive it was SNOWING!! Actually falling from the sky! It snowed the whole next day. Beautiful is all I have to say. Never in my life have I been in actual snowfall. I FELL IN LOVE. The way you can see all the directions the snow falls, feeling quiet, the sound it makes if you listen hard enough. The peacefulness it brings to your surroundings. It was like being in a picture or something....words can't describe it. I must sound 'simple' to be so giddy, but it can't be helped. I need snow!!

The dogs were all still there and our son spent most of his waking hours with them. They're in pens, but this year he got to go inside and 'meet' them one-on-one. He was so excited. The dogs were the only animals we saw this time around. Last year we saw an elk in the center of the road, deer and squirrels. Probably too cold this year for them to just be galavanting around.

We had the most delicious Italian food at Pesto Brothers in downtown. Great pasta and divine pizza. We watched the pinecone drop. Not quite as fun as Times Square (we spent two New Year's in a row there), but fun in it's small town-ness. It was freezing, though. The snow had stopped that day, but boy the temperature didn't go up (not that we minded). As fun as it was, it was nice to get back to the inn and get cozy in our room!

All in all it was a great way to start the new year. Now if I could just motivate myself to get to the gym on a regular basis.....