Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Memories

Here is a fun little game... Leave a comment on my blog of a memory that you and I have had together. It doesn't matter if you've known me for a short time, or a long time - anything you remember!
Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.*
On your mark...get set...blog your memories!!

*Even if you don't have a blog, it would still be fun to hear about a memory you and I have had together! Can't wait to hear from you!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats. - Voltaire

I spent the morning having breakfast with my grandma. That little woman can pack more food away than most men I've seen, and yet she's small and spry. We went to Mimi's Cafe. I don't like their lunch and dinner food, but I do love their breakfasts: wonderful French Toast, huge omelettes, quiches, and all manner of eggs served with bacon and country fried potatoes. Even oatmeal, which they serve with milk, brown sugar, and raisins. So good and creamy. The occasion was contrived: it's her 97th birthday on August 14th, but my parents are going to be out of town, so they took her to lunch yesterday. I was working, so my version of the birthday celebration was going to breakfast this morning. Apparently, grandma was up anticipating our little feast at 6am - we weren't to meet until 9... but I'm glad she was excited to go!
We met at out house, and as Scott was helping her into the car, she sprang up into into the seat with a quick "I've got it!" Scott laughed and said "Nana, you're going to be 150 years old, and still jumping into the car without help, saying you've got it."
I'm so glad my children have had the benefit of associating with this wonderful woman, and having her influence rub off on them. She's happy, optimistic without being naive, loves people, and loves all of the absurd things that occur in our lives. She has a wonderful sense of humor, especially when it comes to laughing at herself. She is exactly how I would like to be - and I know I'm sadly lacking, but I continue to try because she's such a joy to be around. I'd like people to like me that much one of these days.
It's not that her life has been perfect - like the quote above, she's had her share of shipwrecks, but she never forgets to sing in the lifeboat, and in doing so, she lifts up everyone around her. I'm kind of a collector of quotes, and I love to read lots of different blogs. One blog I was reading had the title quote, and the quotes below in one of the postings (the blogger was a lover of literature like myself. I don't know her, but I wish I did.)

I don't like that man. I must get to know him better. - Abraham Lincoln

Oh, my friend, it's not what they take away from you that counts. It's what you do with what you have left. - Hubert Humphrey

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. - Anthony J. D'Angelo

Anyway, I liked these quotes, so I copied them for this post. I think they're good things to remember, as there will always be people we don't like or understand, there will always be hard times, and we always need to bring our own sunshine, in case none is provided. Happy early 97th birthday, Grandma - I love you! On your real birthday, we'll have a cake, and candles for wishing!

P.S. I know, I know - there are no pictures...I had the camera in my purse, even. But I was having such fun having breakfast out with everyone, that I completely forgot to take a picture until Grandma and Margie drove away... I'll blame the lapse on the good company!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mama Mia - You'll Be Diggin' the Dancing Queen

I loved Mama Mia! Can you tell? I've been singing the songs all afternoon! I don't know whether I thought I would like it as much as I did, but it was great fun! The first show we went to was sold out, so we "had" to hang out at Golden Spoon, eating frozen yogurt (LaMar: Chocolate and Vanilla swirled. Me: Island Coconut and Lemon swirled) until it was time to line up. LaMar was getting a little worried, as at first he was the only guy in line. But he was a stalwart, true companion, and soon we counted 18 other stalwart, true companions braving a room full of girls and women. But they were rewarded with so much fun: Meryl Streep is brilliant, and the whole cast was wonderful. Funny, touching, warm - all of it. You'll love it. But you'll love it more if you don't go see it with someone who would rather be at "The Dark Knight" or "HellboyII" grooving to violent comic book characters. I promise that will ruin it for you. Go with the girls, and you'll all be singing and dancing in the aisles. But if you're lucky enough to have a husband or loved one as cool and open-minded as LaMar, grab him and go. It'll be an afternoon well spent, and you'll come home in the best mood!

Mama Mia - Here I Go Again to Colorado

I'm excited today because we're going to go see Mama Mia! I've been looking forward to seeing it for a month now, singing Abba songs in my head, and mentally dancing in the aisles. Scott thinks I'm crazy - he thinks I should go see The Dark Knight, but I don't want dark and scarey comic book characters; I want fun, singing and dancing, and Greek wedding sunshine! I'll let you know how it all turns out.
In other news, I'm looking forward to going to see Rex, Ronna, Lexi, and newcomer Matthew! The plan is to go in September: Ronna will be here visiting her family, and I'll fly back to Colorado with her and the kids. I like that, because it's nice to not have to go alone. It may NOT be nice to have crying babies, but I have a feeling that Matthew will be a champ, and I know that Lexi will chatter the entire ride. It'll be fun! I haven't seen them since...hmmmm... April, I think, and I can see that Lexi is starting to grow her golden locks. I'm excited to see the change and growth AND to get to know her little brother. I've attached a few of the latest pictures of Lexi playing with her bubble machine, and some of Matthew, well... doing what he does best, right now: sleeping.

Now THAT's relaxation!
It'll be a September trip, and hopefully, the weather will be a little thunderstormy there. It always brings back childhood memories of summer storms, and playing in the garage with the door open so we could watch the rain come down. The smell of the rain washing the dusty hot ground is one of my favorites, and if there's accompanying thunder and lightning: bonus. Yep, summer rainstorms are the best. Maybe I'll even be able to take a walk in the rain with Lexi.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bananas: Fried and Frozen

This was a totally kick back weekend. Nowhere I had to be, and really nothing that had to be done. Well, the wash, but other than that... Saturday started out really hot and muggy. You know, that really thick air and heat that makes the sweat just roll down your back (Katie, I know YOU know what I'm talking about!) In the morning, I just ran around to the beauty supply, and picked up a couple of things, ran into a friend, and had the freedom to just stand and visit for awhile. WOW it was hot, though! Too hot to sit by the pool, or anything like that, so I indulged myself and read my book for a couple of hours. I'm reading Pattie Boyd's autobiography, "Wonderful Tonight." It's fascinating, filled with all the inside Beatles/Eric Clapton scoop. She's had a crazy life. Not noble, or uplifting stuff, but very entertaining. I'll read noble and uplifting next time.
About 5pm, LaMar and I headed for downtown Brea. We were thinking we would eat at a Brazilian restaurant down there, but when we looked at the menu, it wasn't exactly what we wanted, so we jumped back in the car, and headed to the Orange circle for Cuban food! Felix's Continental Cafe: fried bananas, seafood, and the most delicious garbanzo bean and sausage soup I've ever tasted. I would go back just for the soup. Right about the time we were ready to leave, a whole party of Cuban people came in. The ladies were in their 70's with bright red hair, jeweled hair ornaments, and lots of sequins and sparkle. Big night out, I guess, and there LaMar and I were in flip flops and shorts. Cubans love that red hair...
We took a quick walk around the circle, and watched the cops rousting some old homeless guy. We kept watching for Dan, LaMar's brother, who is a cop in Orange. No luck there. We sat by the fountain for awhile, watched people with their dogs, and i was reminded of all the times Marion and I would walk from home to the circle to shop, and then walk all the way home. We were only in about 7th or 8th grade, and had a lot of energy then, I guess. It was so much fun, though. We finally set out for home. No big doings, nothing really to write home about (or blog about) but it was a really nice Saturday. So relaxing, which is just what I needed.
Tonight I have a craving for a frozen banana on Balboa Island. I love going down there on a summer evening, walking over the bridge, and getting a frozen banana with sprinkles AND nuts. Fantasize about living at the beach, pick out my favorite house or cottage. Walk along the water, and watch the lights from the ferris wheel across the bay at the fun zone. That's summertime. That's livin'.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I Love Shoes...


Ballet Slippers

What kind of shoe are you?

Princess For A Day


You Are Belle!
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Intelligent and kind. Your beauty goes much further than your apperance. Also, you make judgements of people based on their personality and not their looks. Attaining all the knowledge that you can is one of your major goals in life, but you are also a person who can make things happen.


Which Disney Princess Are You?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Lively Visit (but an empty pantry...)

We had unexpected company today. Well, not totally unexpected, but I just wasn't sure WHEN. The couple who housed Scott for the last year or so of his college life have been on a road trip, and today was the day they came to our neck of the woods. What a great surprise seeing the Huntingtons! Justin is a quiet man - a musician, quite talented, and totally soothing to be around. Nichole, his wife of several months (see the link to her blog: Nichole Huntington) is a ball of energy. She loves everything outdoors, and together they have travelled, and camped, and rappelled, and gone scuba diving - so many adventures! She's a restless sister... and I was getting quite envious (and feeling quite slug-like) listening to her. I'm not so very outdoorsy, although LaMar is, and I can see that I need to exert myself a little more so we do more things that LaMar is wanting to do. Like hike. And maybe camp. Really, though, I can't sleep on the ground; I wouldn't be able to move in the morning. Perhaps an air mattress, or an RV bed.

But back to the Huntingtons: I was so flattered that they wanted to stop by, and I tried my best to not be geezerish. They just make me want to appear vital and active - like I'm training for a marathon or learning to skydive. The first time I met Nichole, she was making dinner, and she (without batting an eye) just included me in the dinner. So nice, and it was so delicious. I was frantically thinking today what I could cook for them, but they had other plans, so after a short, but very nice visit (during which they invited us to Utah for outdoorish canyon things at least three times) they were off with Scott - lured by the promise of something exciting towards Los Angeles.
I am vowing here and now to always have something nice at the ready in the freezer for just such an unexpected occasion. I'm embarrassed to say that had they taken me up on my offer of food, it would have been no more than a smoothie or perhaps a Cutie (Trader Joe's soy ice cream sandwiches. Delicious, but very small.)
Seeing them was a good surprise, and I'm so happy they wanted to stop by. Scott had some good times in their house, and hopefully he's made some lifelong friends. On his graduation day, they put together a lovely BBQ at their house for all sorts of people. Oh my - now that's twice they've fed me... I really do owe them a good dinner, don't I? I'm posting their picture here, but I wasn't even on the ball enough to get a picture of them while they were here. I ripped it off of Nichole's blog. Preparedness needs to be my motto from now on. Really.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth! (Thanks for the Firework, Uncle LaMar...)


Today is the Fourth of July - always an important holiday. I remember them as a child, and being almost sick with excitement when we'd go with Dad to the fireworks stand to pick out the fireworks we would have for our celebration. You could already smell the smoke in the air from the countless Piccolo Pete's and snakes that had already been set off. The collection in hand, we'd go back home to wait impatiently for darkness - would it NEVER come??? At last: time to party. A few sparklers were first to get the party started. Half afraid, we'd hold them out, and trace patterns with them through the darkness. Sometimes a little spark would feel hot on your hand for a second. Sometimes we'd drop them mid-sparkledance, and they'd play out their sparkle in the grass or on the street (this being the only time we could play in the streeet!), until someone inevitably would step barefoot on a hot sparkler stick. Tragedy for a moment, and then the real show would begin: the fountains and cones. OOOOOooo - was anthing ever more exciting than watching those? (Unless it was being the person to be old enough to light them). Next came the more minor fireworks like the pinwheels, to be followed by the remaining snakes and sparklers. Sometimes a pinwheel would break loose from wherever it was fastened, and sort of chase you around the yard. Scarey! - it was like a piece of fire possessed. All too soon it was over, and time for bed. Sometimes we'd have fireworks as a family in our backyard, and sometimes with neighbor families out in the street. Either way, what a great time!

As we grew up, and fireworks have become illegal in more and more cities, we have become resigned to the community fireworks shows. They're great, and still lots of fun, but nothing can beat the excitement of a small child holding his own sparkler, or a 12 year old finally being old enough to light the fireworks out in the middle of the street. Big stuff.

Whatever you do, take a moment this year to give thanks for this wonderful country, and all that we're blessed with. And say a prayer for all of those brave men and women throughout the world who give their all to protect us. It's more personal for our family: we have my nephew Arron in Iraq, and we all pray for his safe return. He's an amazing young man, who has come very far in this life.

I'll leave you with this favorite memory that LaMar and I have. A few years ago, LaMar's mom was having a get together on the Fourth at her house. LaMar had purchased one large fountain at a fireworks stand in another city (it being illegal in Placentia). Someone else had brought sparklers for all of the kids. We all went to the community fireworks show, but the real excitement for the kids was coming back to the house, and lighting sparklers in the back yard (away from the cops' eyes), and shooting off this one fountain. We finally came back, and commenced to burn up every last sparkler, and then it was the main event: the ONE FOUNTAIN. LaMar lit it, it shot up in a glorious blaze of color, and then, too soon, it was over. One of the nephews, Jason, signed contentedly, and said "Thanks for the firework, Uncle LaMar." Jason, I wished we'd brought 20 of them.

Adios, Mia & Katie: the Party's Over

It's been so long since I've posted that I barely know where to begin. The time with Katie and Mia just flew by, and before I knew it, we were at the airport saying goodbye. It was all too much fun, and one of the best things that happened was the bond that developed between Mia and Papa LaMar. They are real buddies now.

We had Mia's birthday party on Saturday, the 28th. It was fun, and predictably crazy. Two year old birthdays always are. Mia wanted her tea set out so she could have a tea party with everyone. There were cups and saucers and spoons everywhere, and Mia was pouring gallons of tea for all who would accept. We had a quick and hectic lunch once everyone arrived (I always forget how just a few people seem like a lot in my little tiny house), and then it was time for presents. With all eyes on her, Mia got a little cranky. Gifts of clothes weren't impressing her, but suddenly, from one of the bags a purse appeared. And what was in the purse? A little stuffed white puppy! Now this was something to smile about! The party took on an upward swing from there, and when the last gift was a Princess PHONE, that brought the biggest smile of all. Happy birthday, Mia!

Monday the 30th was their last day here, and so we got up and went to Fashion Island for the traditional carousel rides we love to take. It was a glorious day, the ocean was beautiful in the distance, and my mom and dad met us there. We had a few rides, followed by a few tantrums as we left to do go see some other fountains that are there. Check out the curls on this picture snapped at one of the fountains:
We played for awhile, and then it was lunch time. California Pizza Kitchen! As always with a two year old, there is no leisurely lunch with conversation. It's a rushed and hurried affair, punctuated with many demands for "juice" (Diet Coke). When she could take no more of the monotony of lunching with elders, Mia was led outside by Katie, and we all soon followed. We had two more carousel rides, and it was time to go - but not before finding the cutest little plush purple hippo to purchase for the trip home.
It was back to Brent and Becky's for naptime, and to finish packing. When Mia woke up, we went to my house for a little dinner, and, all too soon, it was time to go. When dropping off the car, we lucked out: a man was just finishing with his luggage cart, and offered it to me. SCORE: I saved $3! We trekked across the street to get the luggage checked, and everyone commented on what a beautiful baby Mia is. I was swelling with pride, even though I had nothing to do with it. When there was nothing left to do but say goodbye, we walked outside to wait for LaMar to swing by and pick me up. We snapped this picture of our final moments together. Don't we look like the happy sisters we are?

I almost cried when we drove off (Katie waving goodbye...sniff...) but I managed to keep a grip. As consolation, LaMar took us to Mi Casa, where we drowned our sorrows over tacos. The whirlwind visit was over, but we're left with lots of fun memories. Here's a picture of Mia that Katie's friend Michelle snapped. (Please see her phtography website in my favorite links to the right - she is amazingly talented!) It perfectly captures Mia's funloving spirit, and it leaves me impatiently waiting for our next adventure.

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