Friday, July 31, 2009

Five for Friday

  1. I had a wonderful Greek lunch today (celebrity sightings - Rona Barrett and Laura Wright, Carly from General Hospital). That must be the new "in" place. There seems to be a Greek theme running through my weekend, as I am making lamb kabobs tonight, going to the Greek Festival tomorrow, and I enjoyed looking at a friend's daughter's photos of Greece on Facebook the other day.
  2. Animal sightings: a skunk on the patio yesterday evening. It was still light. We saw it head down the path to the back yard, and hopefully down to the creek and away from here. Far away. The only skunk I like is Pepe Le Pew.
  3. Animal diet: The squirrels have been busy eating up all the pinecones. Then, THUNK, they drop the spent cones on my bedroom roof, and TINK TINK TINK they roll down and THUNK drop on my deck.
  4. Frank made jambalaya last night. It was good. However, Farmer John Hot Louisiana sausage isn't really that spicy.
  5. July's books are listed on my book blog. I finished the True Blood books - any recommendations for other fun reads?

    Have a GREAT weekend!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Gold Mine (San Diego Day 5)

Time to finish up the San Diego trip. You can't leave Julian without an apple pie. Or apple somethings. I wish we'd brought a few of these home.

We did bring home an apple pie for Frank, to thank him for housesitting.

Since Julian is a mining town, we thought we'd better visit the mine.

At 10 a.m., it was already 90 degrees out. Not to worry, the mine was a refreshing 55 inside!

In one adit...

And out the other...

Then, the long drive home. Faced with a choice in roads, my husband and I will both choose the road less traveled, either the twisty windy country road or the freeway with the least traffic. We did both on the way home. We followed several roads past numerous casinos until we hit I-15 in Temecula. Stayed on 15 all the way to the 210. The nav system threatened us several times, but we stood our ground. And had no traffic problems whatsover. Take that, you nav system who wanted to shunt us over to the 405 freeway from hell.

It was really hot...I do not lie:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cuckoo Cuckoo

Ernest got his clock.

Thumbs up!

Monday, July 27, 2009


My dad is doing great. Thank you everyone, for your support!

The Handy Husband has been busy in the garage. He has a blog now (but it's me doing all the blogging so far! Mwahaha!)

We've never been able to fit two cars in the garage until now.

We had a lovely Saturday afternoon with family at the beach. Frank taught Ernest how to solve the Rubik's cube.

Frank is making an effort around the house (based on some not so subtle suggestions from me) and cooked spaghetti for dinner last night. I think he's going to cook on Wednesday, too. In Ernest's limited spare time, he has been working on his cousin's treehouse. He is waiting for his cuckoo clock from Germany to be delivered today. (UPDATE @ 2:45: Clock is here!)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Great news!

My dad is doing well! It was not a tumor, just a big blood clot!

Update - latest news: "Wes did well; an hour later he was wide awake and in good spirits. Tomorrow (Saturday) he gets a routine MRI, and maybe he'll get to go home."

Update Saturday evening. He's home. I talked to him and he sounds great! Whoo-hoo, Daddy!

Noises in the Night

There's always something that wakes me up in the middle of the night.

Last night it was a beep. A beep? Turns out it was a text message on my phone, which was in the kitchen. Loud little bugger.

The night before, it was snoring as usual. And when I went to the bathroom, through the open window I could also hear the next door neighbor snoring! Sometimes there's no escape.

Prior to that, it was quarrelling squirrels.

I wonder what tonight's noise will be. (UPDATE: The HH talking in his sleep. I wish I could have figured out what he was saying.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What the Dads are Doing

My dad is having surgery tomorrow. His doctor is optimistic. I decided not to make the trip to Seattle for the surgery, we are going to wait and see how his recovery progresses.

My husband's father is also in the hospital. Nothing so serious, but he's had a bad month and the combination of stress and reaction to medication laid him low. He hopes to be released tomorrow.

And the handy dad in our house? Is excited but nervous, since his "baby" was delivered yesterday. His labor pains were far less intense than mine were. It's funny, he had the delivery before the gestation! Now he's got months of building ahead of him.

Ernest likes the project already and is in the garage helping his dad. [I don't dare upload pictures right now since Ernest is multi-tasking and also downloading digital copies of movies for my iPod.]

Dinner is late, as usual. Life interferes!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Nothing Wrong With This

There's some controversy over the President's jeans.

No, these are not "mom jeans." They are "dad jeans" and they look just fine.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits

I started a blog for my husband's car project. But I think I'm going to be the one updating it. He'll be too busy in the garage. Of course, our garage has never been so clean empty. That won't last long. I am longing for some checkerboard garage flooring right now. What do you think? And maybe some spicy red cabinets? I've got Garage envy.

He was supposed to have a delivery between noon and 2 today. So we waited ALL DAY. And we're still waiting. Tomorrow? (UPDATE: Not Tuesday, but supposedly Wednesday. We'll see.)

In other news...

My favorite toothpaste, Crest Citrus Clean Mint, has been discontinued. I am devastated.

The Oscar Meyer Wienermobile crashed.

Discussing Ernest's schedule next week, he said "I want to get more hours." Damn, if only he was getting paid for this. Meanwhile Frank sits around, unemployed. Oh, the difference between the two who are similar in many other ways. Ernest, can you get Frank a job?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cleaning Gold out of the Suitcase

I strategically pick my battles. It took 4 days, but finally I forced Ernest to he cleaned out his suitcase. And we found a goldmine:

He is a golden god, or at least a junior Robert Plant in this caricature.

I love it. (Especially that tiny bit of beard, which right now is wishful thinking but will be reality pretty soon.)

Sign me up for his fan club.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Next Generation

Our family is blessed with a whole crew of wonderful young men. (Somehow the 2 granddaughters/nieces didn't make it into this picture, taken in December 2007. I apologize, ladies.)

This is such an interesting picture. Look at Ernest, perched on the chair, between the younglings (the next-next generation) and the big boys. There's some deep psychological meaning there. If we are ever able to get them in the same room at the same time repeat the picture this Christmas, he'll physically be with the big boys.

You know my sons and my great-nephews, but I would like to introduce the other two big boys.

Nephew on the left, age 30, teaches chess in one of my favorite cities. You can't see it in the picture, but he has a long curly ponytail. (Another long-haired boy - I love it!)

Nephew in the middle, age 26, is the one who scared the hell out of the whole family last week by having a heart attack. We are so thankful that he is doing OK now. My MIL and I saw him last weekend and he is still the same sweet boy that patiently put together Frank's wooden train set one Christmas, oh, about 14 years ago.

I love you guys!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Well, Hell

It's been a crazy month in the Smalltown Mom extended family.

A few weeks ago, my father-in-law's wife passed away unexpectedly.

Last week, our 26-year-old nephew had a heart attack. (He's doing OK now.)

The Handy Husband and I were really hoping that bad things wouldn't come in threes. But there's old Murphy skulking around in the background, doncha know.

My father has a brain tumor.

Hello? Powers That Be? Universe? We're done now. Please stop with this stuff.

P.S. I love you, Daddy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Beer Me! (San Diego Day 4)

We stopped at Old Town on our way out of San Diego.

And then there was the MAN THING for the day. Not cars or planes or aircraft carriers today, but beer. When we were planning the trip, the HH said, "We need to go to the Stone Brewing Company." That was the only place he specifically wanted to see. So I looked up their website and printed a map. Which is good, because the nav system couldn't locate them. They don't even have a sign on the building! But thanks to their accurate map, we found them in Escondido. The tour is free, and you get 4 shots of beer afterwards!

The tour guide can drink beer on the job! Best job ever???

Not too far away was the Wild Animal Park. Grazing Giraffes...

And feather-fluffing flamingos.

We drove into the mountains to Julian, a gold town. We stayed at the Julian Hotel, a charming B&B, in our own private cottage.

No TV or wireless -- we had to rough it on our private deck, watching Iron Man on the laptop. It's a tough life!

So what do you do in a gold town? Stay tuned.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The First Thing He Said

Ernest's plane landed at 7:41. It took ages to get his luggage. There were massive group hugs before the delegation disbanded. The kids really bonded on the trip.

I think we hit In'N'Out Burger around 8:30, because that's the first thing he asked for. (Go north on Sepulveda just a short distance from the airport, in case you need to know.)

As I handed him the delicious tasty fragrant burger, he said, "Mom, I haven't had food in over 20 hours."

"Seriously, nothing?"

"Well, airplane food. That doesn't count."


Ernest will be home tonight!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Shed

To fit all the kit car stuff into the garage, something has to go. Into storage, that is. So we hired Frank to build us a shed. It's big boy lego!

Ta da!

Thanks, Frank. You rock!

But what to do with the boxes? Frank suggested we save them for Ernest and cousin McQueen to build forts. I'm thinking there is a lot of fort material there...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Vending Machine

The Handy Husband saw this vending machine at one of the airports he passed through.

Look closely: it sells cameras and nintendos and iPods...

Can you imagine what nightmares this machine causes? "Can I have one, can I have one, can I have one? Mom, pleeeeeeaaaaassseeee????"

Of course, if you're a grown up you just swipe your credit card and away you go.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Back to San Diego (Day 3)

You may all be bored by my trip but I am enjoying reliving it.

Jenn braved the bridge (as seen from my window) to join me for lunch.

Parking at the Del is ridiculously expensive, so she picked me up and we drove a few blocks and found a spot with a meter. Cost? About a dollar! And just around the corner was the Costa Azul. How perfect was that? Their tasty margaritas hit the spot. Jenn and I had a wonderful lunch. She is just as open and inspiring in person as on her blog. Jenn, I truly admire you.

If I'd planned ahead, I could have gotten a pedicure. As it was, the spa's available times conflicted with lunch so I forged ahead with naked toes (but those are a brand new pair of La Plume Leopard slides just for the occasion).

Perhaps the margarita was responsible for my directing the HH the wrong way on our way to the harbor. Fortunately the car's nav system pointed us in the right direction. We toured the USS Midway. He liked the Pink Floyd sticker on the berth.

We walked around the harbor and enjoyed the Urban Trees Project.

We ate some great italian food and walked around the Gaslamp District. He saw some hot cars down a james bondian Aston Martin, and the Bentley which passed by us at dinner. (Although I don't think there are any hot cars in this picture.) There were so many wonderful places to see... the weather was great... the people were wonderful -- oh, I forgot to mention the Italian waiter who looked even more handsome than Handsome Rob and was so happy we liked the wine he recommended)...

I like this sign! But truthfully, I didn't buy myself ANYTHING on this trip.

He'd BETTER say that, after what I told you about yesterday!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Why My Husband Went to Miami Without Me Last Weekend

My husband went to Miami without me last weekend. It was to visit what we may soon be calling "the other woman" .... (Not this one.)

Yes, he bought a kit car. From eBay! (He's been wanting to build a car for...his entire adult life? The planets aligned and serendipity is allowing him to do it a little sooner than expected.) What you see above is the fiberglass body set on top of the frame. All the guts of the car, except the engine, are here (the transmission is stuffed down into the tires):

It's been stuck in a Miami warehouse for a year, due to customs issues, so the Chilean car-collector owner decided to sell it. Yes, the HH checked out everything thoroughly and it is all legit. It's shipping from Miami on Friday, and should be here in 7-10 days after that. I hope he gets the garage rearranged in time.

And he plans to build this in our garage. And I am letting him. And he thinks I am the most awesome wife in the whole wide world universe.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

In Search of The Hangover

That sounds like a suspicious title, doesn't it. But really, we were just trying to see a movie.

For a week, Frank and I have been trying for to see The Hangover. Day 1, extended family events interfered. Day 2, our local theater changed movies 2 days early, and it wasn't playing any more. Day 3, the next closest theater, 20 miles away, also changed movies a day early. Then the long weekend interfered. Today, Day 7, we finally found it 35 miles away.

It was hilarious and well worth the wait.

A strange coincidence: The Handy Husband, far far away out of town and needing to while away the hours before his return trip, also saw the same movie at approximately the same time but about 2800 miles away.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Local Headlines

Seriously, these were all in the paper this morning and took place in the Big Town to the south:

Transient attacks man for saying he smells

Intoxicated student confused about race [his own]

Father forced to watch movie at knife point

and the best,

Burglar blames "little green man"

I thought I was reading Yahoo's Odd News.

What's the oddest thing you've heard lately?

Saturday, July 04, 2009

See You At the Parade

I'm sure we'll be at the parade today. (Here's Ernest in 2004.)

There's always something fun to see.

If my husband has the camera, there will be lots of car pictures.

Thanks to the boy scouts for picking things up afterwards.

I know those boy scouts. They're brothers. The younger one got stuck with the dirty work!

Anyway, don't rain on my parade.