Friday, August 27, 2010

And His Eyes Were Bugatting Out

One of the great perks of living in this little tourist town is all the interesting things that pass through. If you're into people-watching, every day is an experience. My husband is a car guy, so he always alert to anything interesting that is parked in the street. When the Mini Coopers first came out, he spotted one and looked it over thoroughly. He was literally crawling under it on the street...crazy man!

Last week, when a Bugatti club appeared at a local hotel, the Handy Husband passed it on his way home, and walked in the house quivering with excitement. Where's the camera? So we went back to take pictures.

The cars ranged from very old and basic race cars,

to ostrich lined luxury,

to the very newest million dollar Veyron.

This weekend he will again be in luck -- it's the annual Wheels to Windmills car show and the town is already filling up with cool cars.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Whole Lotta Scaping Goin' On

There's been some "scaping" around here.

First, there was a bit of landscaping. The 40-year-old two-thirds dead pear tree decided to fall over. Not a surprise, since the dead part was termite-ridden.

The Handy Husband cut it down, but we were left with a bit of a stump.

I didn't want to have yet another stump lying around, because I want to put in another fruit tree. Since Ernest's stash of cash was running low, I suggested he dig out the stump and then I would pay for the video game he wanted. So he was an ordeal but he plugged away with his dad's help. After they dug down knee-deep and chopped through 3 giant roots, we now have a large hole in the ground. (Size 11 feet in there for scale.)

Knowing nothing about gardening, I wonder...would it be better to wait until winter and put in a bare-root tree? Perhaps my ultimate gardening friends could weigh in here? Handy wants a red apple, Frank and Ernest want green, so the compromise might be one of those with grafted limbs? And nephew McQueen weighs in with a desire for a pomelo, but citrus tends to freeze here in the winter. Ernest would also like a pomegranate, but I think they're too bushy for the space. He can have one further out in the yard, if he digs another hole!

On to the next scape... There was a bit of manscaping. Frank got contacts. He's got gorgeous eyes. It's nice to see them a little better. He also got a haircut.



Any other scaping going on? Moonscaping? Seasacaping? Escaping? Please tell me about your escapes, because I've got to go back to work tomorrow morning.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Strawberry Smackdown

Frank wanted to make some ice cream. Strawberry ice cream. Ernest wanted strawberry sorbet. Why not both?

Ernest made his sorbet last week, and it was delicious. Then we waited and waited for Frank to make his. To be fair, he was waiting for the Wednesday Farmer's Market strawberries. And then after we got them on Wednesday, he waited until it was too late. Those berries have to macerate for 2 hours. Finally, last night, he made it. And it was delicious. Thanks, Cheri, for the recipe.

So, who won the strawberry smackdown? If you want the sweet succulence of strawberries alone, the sorbet wins. If you want the dreamy creaminess, the ice cream wins. In my humble opinion, I swear it was a tie.

And Frank, he's a triple threat now. Cookies, pie and ice cream.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ready for School?

Ready for School? I think some of you are quite ready.

But my answer to that would be a big, loud, resounding "NO!" My sons have been wonderful companions this summer and all that childish bickering is thankfully years in the past. They are helpful and considerate and I am one lucky mom. And Frank's strawberry ice cream is on the menu tonight.

But I still feel I haven't had enough summer!

I have to go in for a meeting on Friday, then back to work Monday the 23rd. Frank also starts that day. Ernest is gleefully gloating because he doesn't start until Monday the 30th (with an all-day orientation on Saturday the 28th but that will be part play because he's supposed to bring swim trunks).

Where did that darn summer go? Summer, hello? How did you sneak by so fast? It's not fair. I want more.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Date Night

I had a date with my nephews last night, while the rest of our respective families went to a Primus concert.

My dates and I had dinner (tacos) and a movie (or two). McQueen has lovely manners and even opened the door for me at the restaurant. Mr. Thomas introduced me to his new hamster, Sparkles. Then we watched Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Back to the Future part III.

It was a fun evening.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I'm in love...

...with a bathroom. That's right. We stayed in a nice hotel Friday night and the bathroom was delightful. There was a TV in the mirror. IN the mirror. I love it.

The rest of the room wasn't too bad either.

And we had a view.

Monday, August 09, 2010


I've been trying to do close to nothing lately. Presumably in recovery from the Tahoe weekend and in preparation for doing a lot later this week. Must store up energy, like in a video game!

But a few nights ago, yet another noise appeared in the middle of the night. Aaargh!

Now I have been awakened at odd hours by all sorts of strange noises, so I have a pretty good sense of what's what. That scrabbling noise outside? Raccoons. That CLUNK-CLUNK-CLUNK-CLUNK? Pinecone rolling down the roof. That chittering? Squirrels. The chick-chick-chick? The sprinklers at the apartment complex across the creek. The coughing? The neighbor in his bathroom (yes, gross!).

The other night it was a chirp-chirp-chirp. I instinctively knew it was a cricket. So I got up to shut the glass door, but it was already shut. Investigating further, it was coming from the living room! So at 3 a.m. I was prowling around with a flashlight, and found the culprit behind the computer...but he escaped behind the refrigerator! Curses, foiled again. The next night, he started chirping while we were still awake, so I pulled out the fridge and Ernest humanely trapped him and took him outside. That night was quiet, but the cricket came back the next night...and I had no sympathy anymore, so I sucked him up with the vacuum.

Sorry, cricket. Maybe if you'd worn a top hat?

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Cross Another One Off the Bucket List

We had a whirlwind way-too-short long-weekend at Lake Tahoe. The main purpose of the trip was to go to my great-aunt's 100th birthday family reunion. Had I known how lovely the trip would be, I would have planned for a few more days.

We have not been on a "road trip" with our kids in a number of years, possibly because of those lingering distasteful memories of the back seat bickering. But guess what? At 14 and 19, they don't bicker any more (except for one small incident which shall appear later in this post). They talked about music and guitars and games, and seemed more like friends than brothers. It's what every mother desires and I am oh-so-grateful for this.


I did elect to ride in the back seat for much of the trip, behind the handy husband driver. This was a leg room issue, not an Idon'twanttositnexttomybrother issue. It was such a great trip, we are almost considering going to the Grand Canyon next year, but we might need a bigger car for that. We could rent a van! We've never had a van....ooh, I'm distracted here...back to the point.

I have lots of pictures and family things to talk about which will wait for another post, because I am so excited about what we did Monday morning. "We" meaning Frank, Ernest and Me. The Handy Husband is averse to heights and chose to stay earth bound to watch us, but the rest of us crossed off another item on the bucket list... PARAGLIDING!

It was totally AWESOME. 5 STARS to North Tahoe Watersports. 1400 feet, 15 minutes, the Magnum experience. We had some debate about the time and height...Frank was always my more cautious child and didn't want to go so high, but you could only get the longer time with the higher height so Ernest and I won out.

On the boat, they asked who wanted to go first. Ernest said, "we do!" The little girl in the other party said "no." So they loaded us up first. Way to go, no time to get scared.

We took off so fast!

Kinda high? The view was incredible.

That little moment of brotherly bickering? Ernest was swinging his legs and Frank didn't like the shaking. I can't blame him. Looking up, it looks a lot higher! Looking down, it was like the best google map ever!

For me, this was my greatest moment since when? Kissing the Blarney Stone? I confess, I was a little nervous. I'd had a horrible headache the night before (I blame the hike back from Vikingsholm, which will be in another post.) But when I woke up headache free the next morning, I said, "Self, you have to do this. You will regret it if you don't." Sometimes my Self needs a little talking too. And I was right.

Oh, it was amazing...

Frank thought we were landing just in time.

Ernest and I would have gone up again if we'd had the chance.

And Self? She felt so great! So Self, how are you? Self had the best time. Self could not stop talking about how awesome it was! Self wants to go again!

Here's to new adventures!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


We just got back from a short long weekend in Lake Tahoe, including a family reunion. Pictures soon!

Some of us crossed off another item from our bucket lists! Does that intrigue you?

Monday, August 02, 2010

On the Rocks

Lava rocks, that is.

How many iguanas can you count in this picture?

Yes, he's really here.

Ernest says this is one of his favorite pictures.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Flora in the Galapagos

POW! I think this is the greatest picture ever!

Hungry for naners?

Here's a little fauna.



These are some of Ernest's best pictures ever. They may be going up on a wall, if I can find some wall space.

Join us on the rocks tomorrow.