Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Second Day

We went to San Diego on Thursday. Our first stop was Mission San Diego de Acala, yet another mission I'd never seen. That's something to add to my bucket list: visit every California mission. This was the mission I had to build in 4th grade! We made our own adobe bricks, using a mold built of popsicle sticks.

And yes, I found the right place. Hi, Cheri!
Now, I really owed my husband some man-friendly sightseeing. I like old things, so missions and museums are just my cup of tea. But the HH needs to see something mechanical every so often. So our first stop in Balboa Park was the Automotive Museum of course! I learned there is a difference between a hot rod and a street rod. Hot rods are old things--1949 or earlier. This car is neither, but he likes it! Sweet dreams, honey! (Truly, he's going to build his own car. Posts on that later!)
We also went to: Air and Space Museum (car guys seem to like airplanes too), Natural History Museum (the Body Worlds exhibit was incredible -- the HH really wanted to see it, but admitted to being a little freaked out afterwards), Timken Museum (Beautiful and FREE!), and the Art Museum (the Richard Avedon photographs are a must-see). And then we were tired. Darn it, we missed quite a few other museums.

This multiple-didgeridoo-combo is the most unique instrument I've seen in a long time.

After all those museums, our feet hurt, so we rode the park trolley back to the parking lot. Still smiling.

We checked into the Hotel Del Coronado. We had stayed there for one night, oh -- about 20 years ago! (And paid cash, which even 20 years ago freaked them out and they had to find some special form to deal with it.) This time, the credit card was well used.
We drove by many appealing restaurants, but since our feet hurt we had dinner at the hotel. Yes we had food, too, but the drink was just so pretty!

Monday, June 29, 2009

My Long Weekend

With Ernest gone for 3 weeks, the Handy Husband and I decided to take a really long weekend for ourselves. After we said goodbye at the airport, we headed down the coast. We had a wonderful time, with great food, beautiful sights, and perfect weather.

The Point Vicente Lighthouse in Palos Verdes.
Wayfarers Chapel. The HH wondered why I wanted to go see a church. "But it's Lloyd Wright (son of Frank)," I exclaimed. Absolutely beautiful.

Mission San Juan Capistrano.

The view from our room at the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel. Gorgeous place, lovely room, impeccable customer service.

The view of our dessert!

Day 2 tomorrow.
(Oooh, I just realized this is my 500th post! Whoo-hoo!)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Signs of Summer

The summer Chinese print in my bathroom:

The artwork in the hall. I didn't have anything summer-themed, but I loved Ernest's Picassoesque self-portrait.

There's something wrong with this thermometer. While we often do get 90 degree days, I swear it wasn't really that hot. 78-79 according to the weather reports.

When Ernest packed, he worried about running out of socks. He wanted to borrow some of mine, but his feet are bigger than mine now. I told him to borrow his dad's.

Summer means we need to stock up on these staples:

Something is growing in my garden.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Stress Relief

If there are animals lying around, Ernest will pet them. He's attracted to them like a magnet. Sometimes it causes delay in the morning. "Ernest, time to go to school." "But mom, I'm petting the cat!" He must have really low blood pressure.

Our cat, his aunt's cat, his grandpa's dog.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Bye, Mom

Wednesday, 10:30 a.m. There he goes!

Mambo Italiano

Here's another wine I bought just for the label, because who can resist a "sultry" wine?

It was pretty good. But we need some music with it...

Do you prefer Rosemary?

Or Dean?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Animal Handling

Once Ernest accumulated 200 volunteer hours at the zoo, he was eligible for animal handling training. The TGW kids who do this will be able to handle animals at the Junior Keeper shows. On Monday he got to handle some of the "Eew" exhibit creatures (all photos from Wikipedia):

fox snake

tomato frog

blue tongued skink

Skink? SKINK??? As a small child he was obsessed with skinks at the various zoos we visited, so life has come full circle for him.

And here's the Broadway version.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Belated Father's Day Wishes

Yes, I'm slow. I'm always slow. But it took a while to find the pictures, and to get a turn at the computer.

Happy Father's Day to all my guys.

My dad tried early on to instill a love of backpacking in Frank: It appears he was unsuccessful. However, Frank inherited the genes for my dad's great beard.

My Handy Husband's dad. Watch out for your hand! I love this picture, taken on the day Ernest was born: Coming from a long line of Handy men, I hope my sons will also be great dads someday.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Spring Cleaning

If you're here from Mrs. G's, welcome!

I had intended to clean out my sewing/crafts room but I made no next to none nada zilch zippo very little insignificant progress on that.

However, the bathroom is done! Twenty-one years ago, our upstairs bath looked like this. (The other baths were worse.)

We stripped off the floral paper and, like an archaeological dig, found another layer underneath. We painted most of the room white and put up some 1989 wallpaper on the main wall. Would you believe, 20 years later I still have no picture of it? Or a picture of the hideous floor? A big chunk of it had been cut out and sloppily put back in again. It used to drive me crazy when I gave the boys baths.

Anyway, I have a thing for new toilets. Water-saving, easy-to-clean toilets. The other toilets in the house had been replaced, so I begged for one last new toilet for Mother's Day. And a new floor.

Here it is, in all it's PEZ decorated glory.

While a bathroom may not be the heart of the home, it is certainly a vital organ!

Monday, June 22, 2009


I haven't done much with the sewing room mess, but I've gotten two other rooms under control.

More on the bathroom tomorrow.

I've also been tidying up the guest room, since we are going to have company in August. This mostly involved:

  • shoving lots of things into the closet.

  • hanging paintings on the wall.

  • taking other paintings in to be framed.

  • unsuccessfully trying to scrub the stains off the wall. Frank used to toss cans and bottles at his trash can and apparently missed a lot.

  • rediscovering some beaded garlands I got from Pottery Barn years ago. I always intended to drape them around the windows, so finally I've done that.

Update: Louise asked for a picture of the window... (Yes, that is a mini Leg Lamp.)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Recap of Another Day

We had a wonderful breakfast at Esau's Cafe. Excellent food and service. The Handy Husband could not finish his Bacado Omelette! (I was wise and substituted fruit for the hash browns. I'm not that diet concious -- I had corned beef hash which had its own potatoes.)

We decided to skip the parade. Yes, we did go to the beach. And sat on a bench and watched a flock of pelicans fly overhead.

For a gorgeous photo of pelicans in flight, look here.

We looked at iPhones. We were tempted. When we picked up Ernest and found he had cracked the outer screen of his phone, we decided to buy the new phones so we could give him one of our old phones. But unfortunately, we found out we're not done with our committment to the old phones and the price would be $299 each instead of $99. Ouch. So we're still waiting, and Ernest doesn't get a hand-me-down, either.

Another Day

Today's yet another day when I will make no progress on the mess.

But spending a day in the big town with my husband, while Ernest is at the zoo, is much more appealing. We plan to drop off the boy at 9, then have a lovely breakfast. A dilemma...should we brave the crowds to watch the parade, or go somewhere a little more serene?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What the Heck was I thinking, Part 2

I've found some interesting objects during my cleaning.

Here's one of my beloved vacuums...
Ernest left some Lego hanging around (this used to be his bedroom)...
A bearded SpongeBob with a disco ball?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Travel Plans

Ernest leaves on this year's People to People trip in a week!

London, Paris, Bruges, The Hague, Amsterdam, Cologne, Heidelberg, a 3 day home stay, Freiburg, a Swiss village called Scuol, and Zurich. He received a charming e-mail from the 12-year-old of the home stay family. That boy plays piano and likes swimming, and his mother is an architect. How did they match them up so perfectly?

Here's a bit of what he'll see.

Paris (photo from Paris Daily Photo)

Bruges (photo from Bruges Daily Photo)

Scuol (photo from About.ch)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What the Heck was I Thinking?

What have I gotten myself into?

Mrs. G is doing a "spring cleaning" version of the heart of the home.

And while the heart of my home is a little dusty, I decided the sewing room is the place that needs some help. Or a shovel. Or a bonfire.

It wasn't always this bad. But I never put the Christmas things away. And then Frank pulled out all my junk from his storage area. Now it all has to go back into this closet:

Fortunately, there's room in there. And spiderwebs. But I don't know...Mrs. G's open house is on the 23rd. That's only a week away. What have I gotten myself into?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Piano Recital

We enjoyed Ernest's piano recital Sunday night. Unfortunately I had forgotten to put the memory stick back in the camera, so I feverishly deleted the few photos from the camera's internal memory and managed to take this short video...

I wish I'd been able to get the end of the song.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer's Start

The summer vacation is off to a good start, at least for me.

Last night my beloved niece invited me to see Les Miserables. She had free tickets! It was great.

Today I made reservations for our "long weekend getaway". After Ernest leaves on his trip, we will head south for a few days.

Then I had a massage.

Tonight I am going to dinner with my Rose Sisterhood (we all used to work together many years ago...and we eat at Rose Cafe, hence the name).

Tomorrow -- the bathroom floor will finally be installed.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Last Day to Tattle

What has bugged me most this school year has been the tattletales.

tat⋅tle⋅tale  /ˈtætlˌteɪl/ –noun 1. a talebearer or informer, esp. among children.

Nothing makes this group of children happier than to tell on someone else.* And not because they honestly see wrongdoing and want to correct it. They are only interested in getting others in trouble, and they enjoy it. One boy can't go 15 minutes without a tattle.

But usually it backfires on them, because there's always backstory.

Take last Tuesday's Biggest Tattle: Girl tattles on boy. But wait! I asked her what was going on before that. Guilt flashed in her eyes. "Well, I was... I was...grabbing him." As in grabbing at his arm and pulling on him, which he confirmed. And I've told her before to keep her hands off other kids! Because that's one of the school rules: KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF! So I said, "What he did wasn't right. But you started it. You both apologize, and stay away from each other." We'll see how long that lasts.

An Ongoing Tattle: "They're playing tag on the structure." But wait! The tattler? Was also playing tag. I hear this tattle all the time. Tag violates the "Keep Your Hands and Feet to Yourself" rule. Tag drives me crazy. I've told them over and over again not to do it. So Thursday I kicked everyone off closed down the structure for the day. Oh, the excuses! One boy admitted he was playing tag, but said, "They MADE me." Really? If you know you're not supposed to do it, just say NO.

So do you want to tattle on anyone today? Go ahead, I'm used to it. But beware, it could come back around and bite you in the you-know-where!!!!

And at 11:55 this morning. I am done listening to the tattlers! Whoo-hoo!

*A teeny-tiny footnote, because I am generalizing an eensy-weensy bit. There are a few students who will bring something to my attention because they know it is important. And I respect them for it and show it. But they've been rare this year.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


My son is ditching school today, with my full permission. (Yes, I am confessing this to Ernest's teachers who may read this blog.)


*It's the penultimate (love that word!) day of school. They're not doing anything.
*Tuesday is the "orientation" meeting for Theater Gone Wild. The schools near the zoo are already out, so the program is starting already.
*Ernest is desperate to reach a total of 200 volunteer hours before Friday, so he can train with the animals (then he will be allowed to handle snakes, turtles, etc. during the Zookeeper shows).
*And the boy has straight A's.

I think he deserves a "ditch day." He won't be lying around, though. He'll be working hard:

9-10 rehearse old shows
10-11 rehearse sheila and primate
11-12 plan auditions
12-1 lunch
1-3:30 audition newbies
4 animal training for those who have 200 hrs (hopefully)

And I am counting down: 2 days.

Monday, June 08, 2009

No Sale!

Vanessa has a new blog, The Aisle Files, which highlights the crazy shopping experiences we all have, most notably at Target.

I don't get to Target too often, but I did have a run-in at my local Rite-Aid, and you can read about it here.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

A Beautiful Day

My day did not start out beautiful as I got up at 5:30 a.m. and found the lawn TPed. Getting up at 5:30 wasn't beautiful either...but Ernest was getting picked up at 6. So I spent an hour plus cleaning up the lawn in my pajamas, then went back to bed.

But the day rapidly got better, as I met the beautiful Barbra for lunch. This is the first time I've met another blogger! Barbra is just as kind and lovely in person as she is on her blog.

She was visiting my neck of the woods to sing at a wedding.

She had enough time, so we talked, strolled through town, bought some socks, and had a delicious lunch. The waiter kindly took our picture!

And yes, we did a shoe picture too! I wore the leopard slides so you all would recognize me!

It was a pleasure to meet you in person, Barbra. I hope we get to do it again.

Friday, June 05, 2009


It's raining today. Obviously, I haven't been paying attention to the weather reports!

I'll have to dig out an umbrella...

And maybe there will be a rainbow later...

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Rest of the Battle

The battle escalated from balloons to buckets. It got a lot wetter.

You have to spray yourself before you refill the bucket.

Now it's Ernest's turn.

Good thing they had a helmet.

I have no idea why they were sitting in the blue bucket.