Monday, July 6, 2015

We've Been Where?


The big garden is in transition and as of this week is looking so...alive, even though this picture makes it look kinda brown.  There are tomatoes and green beans and pumpkins and watermelons and grapes and peppers and cucumbers and beets and radishes and zucchini and yeah, I went a little overboard this year but it just feels so good to be digging in the dirt while the sun is shining.

It's my quiet place and let's face it, I need a quiet place.

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So that guy that I like so much and I headed out of town with some friends for a few nights to Temecula.  We had our own villa overlooking a vineyard and my oh my oh my...the bathroom.  THE BATHROOM!  I have never before had bathroom envy but we had the most incredibly beautiful bathroom I have ever been in.

It was perfect. I know, because in 2 days I took 4 baths in the most incredible tub ever.

Sigh.

We played cards and ate really good food and went wine tasting and toured a winery and played lots of cards and didn't turn the tv on once the whole time we were there.

Quiet seems to be my theme lately.

In the midst of the heat God sent us the most incredible thunder and lightening storm ever.  We drank wine and watched it happen around us and once the storm passed over the air...oh, the air.  It smelled and felt so fresh and clean.

I love that.

I should have bought this sign.

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Luke and I work together and can't seem to ever leave our line of work.  Stop signs are everywhere.

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That guy that I like so much and I needed this getaway.  He's been working so very, very hard and there is just a lot going on in our little world right now.  It's not all bad and it's not all good but it's all part of the greater plan and sometimes I feel as if I'm on the outside looking in and watching it all unfold.

But then I sit back and realize that that is how God wants it...that he wants me to not be in the drivers seat no matter how hard I try.  He wants me to sit.  He wants me to wait.  He wants me to stop bargaining with him and to definitely stop trying to control every little aspect of my life.

The thing is...I feel as if I am being cradled in love.  I feel it...yet I still question? 

Rested, and feeling ready for re-entry, we took the scenic way home with the top down on the convertible.  The road was windy and so beautiful and then suddenly we were back on the freeway and headed towards a barky dog and a boy who needed an MRI on his hand and a toilet that keeps flushing itself all. night. long.

(That guy that I like so much fixed it.  Whew.)

And then, because we can't seem to sit still, we drove out to see Matthew and his drum and bugle corps.  See the guy in the yellow shorts conducting?  That's our boy.

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He and his sweet girl are touring all summer, teaching.  Matthew is a trumpet instructor and Bri teaches color guard and it was so nice to be able to sneak in one last dinner with them before they head out on tour.  It is so fun to see our growing up boys do what they love to do.

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Back in town, Brian marched in our neighborhood parade, cast (and flat top and glasses) and all.   We actually went to see an afternoon movie, Alex was in Santa Barbara with Emily, Brian was hanging with friends and so it was relatively quiet around here.

Quiet again.  It feels good.

I'm not ready for it all the time, but I'm appreciating the moments.

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And now, here we are on another Sunday night.  I'm eating the last of the lime pie and making my list for the coming week.  Hiking is high on the list...there's been a bit too much pie consumed lately.

It's worth it...but I've got a lot of miles in my future.

Summer, so far, feels good. 

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Monday, June 29, 2015

One Week Into Summ

I have a summer list and on it are the following things:

paint the house
clean out all the closets
organize the kitchen
have garden parties
watch hallmark movies

And so far, I am failing miserably.

Let's see...we've had a few garden parties and I think I've watched a show or two but for the most part we have been on the go, go, go.


Matteo was in SoCal and both he and Bri had a morning off...they're both on the road teaching drum and bugle corps for the summer.  We breakfasted at Snooze and soaked up the few hours we had...I'm loving those times as a mama now that my boys are beginning to make that trek into the real world.

It's so fun to watch them live life and listen to them tell their tales.

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That guy that I like so much knows I have a thing for the California missions and we're slowly crossing them off the list.  We visited Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside and it is so beautiful, especially the cemetery.

I love cemeteries...they are so quiet and it's fun to wonder what their lives were like.

I've visited 7 or 8 missions now and some day, we'll do them all as one big road trip.

Right, honey?

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We have eaten out soooooo much in the last few weeks and we're all just kinda over it.  Brian's basketball games are all away and all begin at 5:30 or 6:00, so we've just been picking up things to go.  

Alex finally came home and asked if we were ever going to have 'real' food again...and he wasn't asking in a rude or snotty way.

Finally, we had a night home and I made a fast meal and it tasted so good.  Nothing fancy...chicken and a pasta with asparagus and proscuitto but sometimes simple is just the way to go.  


Last week we bought a box full of the freshest, most delicious peaches I have ever had...our whole house smelled like a giant peach tree.  We're big fruit and vegetable eaters here but even we couldn't devour these fast enough, so into the blender a bunch went and they became the bestest bellinis ever.

Ever.

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My age caught up with me a bit.  We had a garden party for my girlfriends birthday and suddenly the disco ball AND a microphone made an appearance and the dancing began and while I like to think I am still 18 and can dance the night away, the next morning I could barely move.

Yowza.

But man oh man,  it sure was fun.

On another day last week, we drove to Pasadena to the Rose Bowl to watch a drum and bugle corps show.  Matteo is the trumpet instructor for PC and their show is fun this year but my real loves, Phantom Regiment, are phenomenal this season.

Not according to the judges, sadly, but according to me.  

Here's us.  We've spent a lotta time in the car together lately and a lotta time in traffic.

Not the norm in our real, every day lives but seriously, how do people do this day in and day out?  It's  exhausting.

And then, while sitting 59 rows up at the Rose Bowl and smack dab on the 50 yard line, the call came that Brian was on his way to the ER in Lake Tahoe.  He was up there for a tournament, fell during a game and hurt his hand...no fracture but there's an issue with his tendon.  They put it in a cast and he's home now; we'll be at the Dr's tomorrow.

Poor baby.  Basketball ends next week but football begins...praying it's nothing major.

I'm just glad he's ok.  There's nothing like your baby being hurt and you're not there...and we are ALWAYS there.  His coaches know us well and handled it all but still.

=(


While waiting for Brian to get home I did a bazillion loads of laundry...was that on my summer list?  Was lots of drs visits on the list?  How about stress and worry and maybe even a little panic?

Time to ditch the list and just live life, eh?

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Settling Into Summer


I've spent the last few day working in the big garden, building new beds, repairing fences, shoveling dirt and finally planting a few things.  I'm late in the game but that's just how it goes sometimes, but come the end of summer there will be tomatoes and peppers and pumpkins and watermelons and beets and radishes and cucumbers and zucchini and eggplant and beans.

Wow.  

Sometimes you just need to write things out to prove you've accomplished something.  

My great Grandfather is the dude in the picture above, sporting a cool pair of shades.  My Uncle tells of him meeting me and that makes my heart happy even if I don't remember that time.  I've been dreaming a lot about those that are gone...my Grandparents and those before them and of course, my own dad.  

It's hard to know when to forgive ourselves, when to let go.  I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who wishes things had been different or if I'd done more and I have to keep reminding myself of one really, really big word.

Grace.

This God of mine...wow.  He just keeps giving and giving.  

So this afternoon, when my brain began to play those crazy games that it tends to do whenever I slow down long enough for it to do so, I cooked.  I made homemade, from scratch, ricotta cheese and hung it to drain over my kitchen sink.  I made pizzas and rolled that dough out nice and thin and roasted tomatoes and grated cheese and sipped wine while that guy that I like so much grilled everything up.

Busy hands make for a happy heart...or something like that.  But for me, it's true.

One boy, who is using us as his mailing address this summer, as well as a place to store his bicycle and trumpets, is somewhere in SoCal for the week and we're going to see him not once, but twice.  One boy is in LA taking a big test and another boy is heading up north to Lake Tahoe for a basketball tournament.

Everyone is spread out and the house is rather quiet.  And clean, which is a shocker.  I've got grand plans....plans to paint and clean and launder and, well, so far I've watched more than my share of hallmark movies.

Bliss.

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In the small garden we have an issue...a big issue.  The grapes (according to our wine making friend who we called with an SOS) got wet with dew and have mildewed...so if you come over and see moldy grapes hanging from the vine then you know what's up.

Sad.

But that's kinda who we are...3/4 put together and 1/4 moldy grapes hanging from the vine.

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Tomorrow is more of the same.  More cleaning, more cooking, more waiting, more praying, more resting and more settling into summer.  But the biggest thing?  More sleeping...not so much in more hours of sleep but just sleeping past 5:00am is a treat.  Of course I've been up a few minutes after that anyway but there's just something about waking up on your own versus waking up to an alarm.

It's the grooviest part about summer.

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Is Here


Summer.

It's here.

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I do have to laugh at the fact that summer arrived and with it, the youngest son's crazy schedule.  It's a season of firsts of lasts in our little house on our little street and we're soaking it all up as much as our tired selves are allowing.

It's our final summer (after 12 straight summers) of having a boy play either high school sports (or perform in a drum and bugle corps) and while our backsides are going to be relieved to not be sitting in bleachers almost every single day, our hearts are going to miss cheering these boys of ours on while they do what they love.

A season of firsts of lasts.

So, in the 3 days since summer has arrived, we have had 6 basketball games, Father's Day, church and one very, very special day.

Those two cool cats below?

Yeah...that's us.  Me and that guy that I like so much.  On Sunday we celebrated 29 years of marriage.

TWENTY NINE.

Whew.

Happy Anniversary to us.

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 Thanks to some rather amazing gift cards, we had a fancy schmancy dinner at a fancy schmancy, way out of our price range dinner.  Cocktails (I had a blueberry lemon drop that was outrageously great) and wine and great food and then...a little candle in a little cake.

I'm still full.

This morning I was up super early...I had forgotten to turn my arms off on my phone.  How funny is that?  Anyway, I got up, spent some time praying and working on a summer bible study I'm starting, did a load of laundry, drank a few cups of coffee (they discontinued my amaretto creamer...boo hoo), worked in the big garden for an hour or so, did some more laundry and now we're off to an away basketball game followed by dinner at one of our favorite hole in the wall, non chain burger places.

I'm dreaming of cooking.  And of deep cleaning my little house...and maybe painting, too.  There are all sorts of boys (and girls!) in and out all summer long and I'm feeling this sense of peace and calm like I haven't for a long while.

Hello, summer.  Let's get this party started.

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Oh, What A Beautiful Morning

Oh, what beautiful day.

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Today marks my last full week of work before I am on summer vacation as well as Brian's last week of school.  That guy that I like is much is also officially off for summer, too.

If you need us, we'll be the house that is still asleep at 6:30am.

Ahhh...I cannot wait.

In the meantime, life goes on.  My middle sons truck has had a mystery that was solved,  I ate a really incredible breakfast of chilaquiles, made a summer menu plan and created a 'to do' list as well as a 'let's do this' list.

I like lists.  The joy of crossing things off cannot even be described.  It's the little things, you know.

 Last Friday we left town for a quick getaway.  First up was a stop at Langer's because seriously, you just haven't lived until you've eaten their pastrami.  

If you are ever in LA, stop by and order a #19.  Better yet, order two...one for me and one for you.

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We then headed towards the dessert.  This state of mine is the most incredibly diverse state...we've got the mountains and the snow and the desert and the ocean and the redwoods.  Aside from the cost of living, I love it here so very, very much.

We had a mini reunion with family to celebrate my nephews high school graduation.  I love my people.  A lot.

 Their property butts right up to the mojave desert and it is so still and quiet there.  Every night they are treated to the most incredible sunsets followed by a glorious sky full of the brightest stars you've ever seen.

Hello, God.

 I'll be honest, I've felt a bit like our little house on our little street is like a hostel this summer...people are in and out and coming and going.  That whole hostel things has left me feeling...well, hostile at times.

Hostel = hostile.

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It's also fun and lively and messy and never, ever quiet.  Never quiet.  Never, ever, ever quiet.

Have I mentioned that it's never quiet?

Once home a last minute dinner invite came and we walked a few houses over for an incredible feast.  I love how that happens...how you just need someone to cook for you and then it all works out.  I ate so much that I am still full this morning.

Happy and full.

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So now the final work push is on.  I've got tons of paperwork to do and then the summer can begin.  In the meantime, there's a guy to see about some pupusa's and a trip to costco for supplies and a lake to walk around and a bathroom or two to clean.  

It all just feels a bit calmer...the whole knowing that summer break is right around the corner.  I like that feeling.

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Oh Weekend


Oh weekend...I loved you.

You went too fast and I feel like we just began to find our groove and then whoosh, you were gone.

The good news?  

You'll be back soon.

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The sign of a good party is the shape of the kitchen the next morning.  This was a good party.

The 'cookies' below?

2 overripe bananas
1 cup oatmeal (not quick cooking)
1 handful chocolate chips

Mix all together and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

They taste like banana oatmeal.  The Busch Boys?  Not impressed.  I thought they were pretty good.

I downloaded tons of summer reads on my iPad and am counting down the work days until summer vacation begins.

There are 10 days left, in case you were wondering.  I'm almost giddy.

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Girlfriends.

Women need girlfriends.

I live a life surrounded by males...girlfriends are a necessity for my sanity.  

There've been lots of cards being played in the garden and seriously, how many games of gin rummy can one person lose?

I'll let you know at the end of summer but for reals, I lose 50 times for every game I win.  

Grilled asparagus and lemon.

The boys devoured this batch...I had hoped to toss the leftovers into a morning frittata.

No such luck.

The big garden needs lots of loving today, so BuddytheDog and I will head there in a bit.  I've got some work to finish up and laundry to tackle...all typical Monday stuff.  Somehow things feel a bit lighter...work is pretty quiet right now.  Still busy but not as stressful, which is a nice change.

First, though...coffee.  In the garden.

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