Monday, September 29, 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Signs of Fall are-a-fallin. They arrived in band uniforms, baking and dunk tank. 
This weekend, between both boys, I churned out a bundt cake, big pumpkin brownie (or tomatoe?) and six-dozen packaged brownies. All this sweet stuff for Lucas' regiment band and the "cake walk" for the Back to School BBQ with Daniel. My Teckie picked up the dunk tank in lovely Pt. Hueneme and hauled it because the eighth grade class "puts on" the BBQ, which translates into "the parents" do the work. That's okay, this is Daniel's last year and despite the big-momma-cast on his wing, he helped make the day a success.
Daniel, friends and Ye' Old Dunk Tank
 We count down until this Thursday when the two pins are pulled out of his arm and a shorter cast put on. He is MORE THAN ready for it to be over. I am too, but remember that this is not "Open-heart-surgery. "  This will pass without lingering physical or emotional scars. Keep perspective and PTL!
Lucas is second from left on piano
Friday night we attended the first home football game at Westlake High School. Football is a sure sign of fall, no?  We really just went to watch Lucas perform at the half. Then, we left because Westlake High School was creaming the other team; quite uneventful. And, frozen yogurt was calling our names. So, we answered ")
Speaking of football, it is with great sadness that I share that I am out of the suicide football pool. I made an impulsive decision on Thursday night that doomed me. Never make decisions when emotional! My Teckie is still in the pool so I pass the baton of winning to him, Dave or Cutie-Pie.
Oh, I'm sorry dog, am I boring you?
Cinco is hanging on and tolerating us.  Her parents return this Saturday from a three-week European vacation and she is sure to pee herself when they reunite. I know we don't give her the amount of attention she is used to. Although, staying with us allows her to chase squirrels, be walked by Lucas and she has low-riding dog company 24/7!

Touring two colleges last Thursday was interesting. It led to the my "emtional-ness" that turned into the bad football pick (another sign of fall) that booted me from the pool.  I'm an idiota! There was valuable conversation with Lucas about what he wants. Honestly, he wants nothing more than to move out and away from "all the pressue" he feels from home.  Like, we require he shower, unload the dishes and keep school a priority. Due to the crazy cost of college his wish to splitsky will wait.  We don't always get what we want, right? But -- we get what we need. Thank you, Mick Jagger.
I have been talking to others, asking about their "college story" and realize they come in all shapes and sizes. There is not ONE WAY to accomplish an undergraduate degee.The goal is that you land with a diploma in hand at the end of the ride.

The tour was fun :)
 And, talk about pressure ... I feel it on the parent-end when people ask "what colleges we've toured."  Um,  ... the State College down the street and private college over the hill. I feel like I've failed because I haven't flown Lucas up north and back east and upside down to experience all the options. Jeez! So, perhaps it is ME that feels burdened. And, what a LAME one it is!
We love us some Fro-yo around here
Enough about college.

Fall is the time of our anniversary!  Today we lined up our car rental which was that final Maui detail. Now, let's hope that this Fallin-sore throat will fade by the time we hop on that plane in 240 hours from now. Aloha!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Proof of Purpose

 Admittedly, I wasn't looking forward to Lucas's Back to School Night. Once arrived, I was thankful I went. His regiment band performed and he's playing piano, although, with all those instruments going off at the same time, it's tough to hear his piano solo. I don't have a trained ear. 
 I do know they sounded amazing!
I also realized that there is MUCHO work to do in helping him prepare for college admissions. It's overwhelming. The process is much more complicated than when I applied to San Diego State University in 1985. Attending a forum run by the school counselors last night pepped me up. Their talk provided much needed motivation. Today, I scheduled tours of private schools in our area...NOT that we can afford them, but it was suggested he tour one to understand the different choices out there. Made sense to me :)

I won't lie, the financial reality of college is frustrating.  I wish we had spare thousands available to send him to a private Christian college. Or, a blossoming money tree would be handy right now.  I have to trust his college career will pan out. The bottom line is that God has a plan for Lucas (and you and me). He hasn't carried him this far to have him live in a box under the bridge. I pray that God opens doors for him and sends wisdom our way.
Finally, I saw this online today, and LOVED the truth that if your heart is beating then your life has reason, a plan, a purpose. After the college anxiety, it was the perfect reminder to move forward and BELIEVE.
 Don't give up.
 Whether it's applying to college, surviving a rough morning or difficult life season, trust that God has a unique direction JUST FOR YOU! If you don't believe it, the confirmation is under your hand when you place it on your heart.
It's Your Proof of Purpose :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Welcome Cinco and New Tooth

Cinco arrived on Sunday for a three week stay. Her parents are traipsing through Italy visiting friends and relatives. She seems to be enjoying our backyard and playing with her Wiener-dog Cousins. They get along great, except Cinco can run faster and jump over them with ease. That has to be frustrating for my stubby-legged doggies. I put Cinco's food on a counter height chair that only she can jump up on. That eliminates the problem of Sara and Goldie eating her food, which they would devour, the little piglets.

I had some fun with the three of them yesterday, 
creating a photo session. All three were cooperating, sitting still and close.  I had to seize the moment. When I showed Daniel the many great shots, he looked at me and said, "How bored are you?"
I had to laugh and think of my answer to that one. 
Daniel's broken wing is healing nicely, however, he is  still behind in school work and aching to visit the beach. This broken arm experience is his test in patience.
Last Saturday night we celebrated Cutie-Pie's 40th birthday. Hard to believe my "baby" sister is four decades old! 

We played a game to guess the sex of her baby due in March. Let's just say I was wrong.

I also managed to survive through week 2 of our NFL Suicide pool.  Of the 64 enteries, only 28 are left! The many upsets the first two weeks eliminated over half the people! Teckie and are I still "in" ... watching some football on Sunday and keeping our fingers crossed. We can both think of one hundred different ways to spend $1600! I am sure you can too.
Another dramatic highlight of the weekend was that Lucas's front composite tooth fell apart. He has had it attached for about seven years; it had a good run. So, he looked like a hillbilly for a day, then the dentist squeezed him in for a repair. It stinks having to deal with a chipped front tooth for the rest of his life. However, it's not "open heart surgery" or even close to "broken bone pins." So please note this is not a complaint, just a report :)
It is a blessing to have dental insurance!
Here he is sporting the new tooth after an hour "in the chair." In about two years, when he is done growing, he will have a permanent crown made. Until then, he better not chew on another Popsicle stick!
Here is a picture from 2005 when the metal limbo pole hit him in the mouth while messing around on the playground. He sure has grown into his teeth the last  ten years!
You water them and they grow :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Funny Bone

 I know I've mentioned before that when I have the time I like to surf the web and discover new things that make me laugh ... you know tickle the old funny  (unbroken) bone. 
There were many, so I whittled it down to three.
This was just plain-old creative. I wish I thought of it first :)
This one made me think of Lucas.
 He is pounding on the drums as I type this.
In light of all the immigration problems, I found this sad and funny. All at the same time. Really, the American Indians were here first, waaaay before anybody else. We have managed to push them to the Indian casinos and then called their land OUR HOME.

 Not that I am for immigration. I mean, if folks want to come to America there should be some basic requirements.
Ah forget it. I don't want to get all political.

Nuf said.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The more "hands" the better. Literally.

Uncle Lui and Miss Piggy cooked us a delicious dinner with their "loving hands" the night before surgery. Then Lui took Daniel for a night walk on the beach, which he LOVED. I have to "hand it" to those two; they are consistently fun and kooky. 
The next morn we popped (that might be to exuberant of an verb for 5AM) out of bed. Dan had to shower and Miss Piggy gave me the "hand off" of a toasted bagel and coffee. She was so helpful! It's true that "many hands make light work.

We headed to Summit Surgery Center, arriving at 6AM. This surgery place was ten minutes from Miss Piggy's house. How "handy" is that? The anesthesiologist told me that there was a four-hour delay on the 101 freeway going north. Had we NOT slept at their place in Santa Barbara, and drove from our hometown, we would have "hands down" missed surgery. No bueno. I'm thankful for the "hand of God" putting us in the right place at the right time.
His Xray. It just doesn't seem right, does it?
 Daniel was at the "doctor's hand" for only 45 minutes! That's all he needed to reset his bones and put two pins in to hold it all in place. When  Dan came out of the anesthesia his pain level was "out of hand" so they gave him some heavy drugs that worked beautifully "handling" the pain. I stayed with him, holding his "free hand" then we headed home a couple hours later.

 Now, we wait four weeks to have this cast removed and pins pulled out. Then, a shorter cast will be put on. But, let me slow down ... let's  "get a handle" on this jumbo-cast-with-pins-in first!

All day yesterday, he was on the painkillers. He hurt. Finally at 8PM, he wanted something to eat. Since I am his "right hand man" I  "man-handled" some salami and turkey, creating his favorite sandwich. The hungry kid ate "hand over fist" devouring his first meal of the day.
Salt and Vinegar - his favorite chips
The last two days he's had many visitors. His favorite chips, cupcakes, an Oreo Mc Flurry, hugs, and a bag of Almond Joy were received "at the hands" of supportive friends and family. He was really touched that folks thought of him. I have to "hand it" to Cutie Pie for giving him a gift card to In-N-Out which is, "hands down" his favorite place to eat. I was feeling the love because Overboard was able to "lend a hand" and pick up his medications and some ginger ale. My life would rage "out of hand" without her "helping hands."
Today we laid low, but did make one trip out to Target, then "handed over" the gift card at In-and-Out Burger for a late lunch. I've only "handed" him Advil  today, which is awesome because he goes back to school tomorrow. Being out and about today made his "hand" and fingers swell up like fat sausages. The good doctor wasn't kidding when he told me "first hand" to keep his hand UP!
This kid deserves "a hand" after all he's been through!
That brings you, the reader, to "the time at hand" -- 7:10PM on Tuesday. Dan is sitting on the patio and has "set his hand" to catching up on homework.  His nose is buried in the book Johnny Tremain ("one handed") and Goldie is parked on his lap. All the while, he keeps his broken "hand up" as instructed.  

 It has been a blessing to love and nurse my son "with my own two hands." But "on the other hand" it will be nice to get back to real life tomorrow; with Daniel's "hand up" of course!
Um... I hope you can "handle" my corny side...
 I've had "too much time on my hands" 
-- Does it show?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

God's Way of Remaining Anonymous

Deciding to skip church, I felt guilty. Teckie was playing guitar and I have never missed a Sunday of listening to him. However, I hadn't exercised in a couple days and was feeling the need to get out. I knew today would be busy with a  friend's birthday and then heading to Santa Barbara for Daniel's 6:45 AM surgery tomorrow. I felt internally pushed to get out and move. I don't know why, but I decided to walk a different path than my usual. 

Returning home, I crossed over a busy highway bridge, I saw that there were  cops up ahead, an ambulance pulling away and lots of commotion. The on-ramp to the freeway was closed.  I knew I'd have to walk through the closed-off intersection to get back home. Approaching, I saw a crunched-up bike in the street. Many witnesses stood around. To my left was a young girl, sitting on the curb. I looked at her and realized ... I know her! This is my friend's daughter!

I sat down next to her and hugged her. She had hit the bicyclist that was taken to the hospital. She was alone and clearly in shock. I held her while she let it out and then called her mom. Not a happy call to make. Police interviewed her and then we waited. We prayed together and I talked her through deep breathes. I was shaken up; I can't imagine how she felt.
 Was it our God who orchestrated me to be there for her? I am a firm believer that
coincidences are God's way of remaining anonymous.  
Why did I walk a different path and ditch church? The guilt of missing church lifted as I comforted her, as maybe God wanted me somewhere else?

 Ten minutes after her Mom arrived I continued my walk home.  Shocked over what just happened,  it  reminded me that God is in the middle of all things and providing for us in unimaginable ways. I will depend on that as Daniel goes into surgery tomorrow. God has already worked out the details, I just have to trust.

Friday, September 5, 2014

The NFL Advantage

Evidence of NFL football starting is felt in season change, pre-season games, and increased beer, Viagra and sports car ads. Another clue?  Football pools and fantasy football teams have formed. My Teckie and I bought spots in the pool I won last year. It is coordinated through I love the name of that website. Surely employers everywhere cringe at that name :)

This year there are 62 spots sold, so if one person wins, it will be a $1550 pot! 

Like last year, I bought one spot and managed to win 8X what I invested (there were 3 winners). This year, I noted that many folks in the pool have purchased 2-4 spots. The upside for them is that there is wiggle room for picking the wrong team in this suicide pool.  Only having one spot, verses folks with spots-galore, shouldn't bother me because I have something that NOT ONE of those other participants have:
 My bright-yellow-lucky NFL cap. 
When I say yellow, I mean, a fluorescent-lemon-colored yellow. Not my first color choice, or second, or third.  But, this was a gift from a friend who worked at the NFL Network at the time. It was a freebie he passed along, probably because it was the color that didn't sell or no one else wanted. However,  I have come to love it! I think there is good "mojo" in this hat I wear when my can is parked to watch my game of the week.

Some folks find luck in an old copper penny, a four-leaf clover, a rabbit's foot, or a horseshoe.  I know one sports fan with a "lucky t-shirt" he can't wash or the luck is cleaned out.  Don't sit by him.  You know how kooky these things can get.  I'm not superstitious, but since I DID WIN  with odds stacked against me last year, you know my  "NFL Advantage" will again sit on my melon this football season. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Ortho (Dis) Appointment Update

Not planning on posting again today, I decided to write for cathartic reasons, as well as letting "Dan's fans" know how his orthopedic appointment went today. You care, right?
 I took this when he thought the cast was coming off;
Note the smile
We headed to Santa Barbara hopeful to have that big-honkin-blue cast taken off.  He was excited. Instead, we received some bad news. As the swelling had gone down further, his bones "slipped" like a cartoon character on a banana peel -- but not  funny ... at all. This is a problem. One bone is at a 35 degree angle. Surgery is needed to straighten things out and put a pin in to hold those bad boys in place. 
The bones have definitely slipped
Talk about a DIS-appointment! Daniel was devastated. I kept thinking this is "not open-heart surgery" ... we got this. Trying to cheer him up, I explained how thankful I am that this it's not his brain, lungs or heart... you know, life threatening. Seeing he was reallllly disappointed I decided to shut up.  Because, in his world, it probably does feel BIG ... Like open-heart surgery. He clearly needed affirmation and time to work out the unexpected news. This stuff happens to everyone in life. However, this is the first time for him. What can I say, other than he has been a blessed healthy little human :)

Beach and Burgers heal many things ... Try it!
However, Daniel's interpretation?  Pure frustration over having to start at "square one" with another big-honkin cast, no swim or surfing for even longer now, school with his left hand and showering with a bag for another month. Not to mention the smell

So, on the way home we stopped at In-and-Out Burger in Ventura. We sat our cans on the beach for some precious "fill-up and healing" time. It worked! When we left the sand, he was in a better mood and we shared some good laughs driving home. I'm figuring out that his secret remedy to disappointment is "la playa" (translated:beach).
Surgery is on Monday; not sure what time. It doesn't really matter because we will definitely be there! 
Although, I know that this is "NOT near open-heart-surgery" prayers are certainly welcomed and appreciated  :)

The life lesson of this experience? 
Keep your boys from climbing those trees. 
Good luck with that!

My FB Flub

Months ago, on her birthday,  I realized that very few were wishing Miss Piggy happy birthday, I mean those people that REALLY knew her were. That was it. Because she didn't advertise her birth date, things stayed on the "down low" (if there is such a thing in social media). I wanted to do the same. 

So, I tinkered with my settings which are now as complicated as a Boy Scout trying to unhook a bra (but he can tie a knot forty different ways). It was near impossible to rid my profile of my birth date. Too much time was wasted on this stupid task, so I temporarily plugged in a date similar to my birthday, swapping the month and date and then making me ten years younger. Why not?  

My real birthday is 3-9, not 9-3. Although I had long forgot about my 9-3-78 FB birthday, many did not, as FB wont let others forget it. Personally, it's become annoying.
At first,  I was confused why this was happening. I mean, Daniel's birthday was days before, so I figured there was an information glitch. By the 20th "friend" wishing me "Happy Birthday," it clicked! 9-3! I never went back and deleted the date. I was tickled by the responses from my friends that knew the truth ...

--Hmmm. I'm confused. Today isn't your birthdaty. Did FB screw up? If it's on the internet it has to be true, right?

--Really, how many birthdays are you going to have this year?

--Hey Pisces! LOL

--Another year! Wow, does time fly! I'm in denial and you are having  one every 6 months. We are now the same age. Some people will do  anything for cake!

--So you are 50 now? So many birthdays!

--I'm always confused so it made sense to me; happy birthday early!

--Oh, what the heck, have two!
Then, there were the "friends" that I thought knew me well enough to smell a rat. But no,  they called me special lady and throughout the day wished me a beautiful day, FAB day, happy day, special day and blah, blah, blah. Kind words are always welcomed, but I had to laugh.

So, the moral of this story?  If you want to see who really knows you, change your birthday on Facebook and see what happens :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

14 years ~ A Labor of Love

We started off this Labor Day and new month with a sausage-egg scramble with bell pepper and red onion. My family devours the stuff. I actually had to buy eggs for the first time in years. With all the quiches and baking this past week, our chickens couldn't meet the demand. 

Currently, Teckie is helping Lucas with some college application stuff before he leaves to see Jack Johnson in concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl.
The day Daniel was born
Otherwise, today is a lazy day.
 No "labor" going on here. Well... there was yesterday in that it was our BIRTH-day. Daniel officially turned 14 and I celebrated the day I gave birth, as in labor. It's a stretch I know, but I think mothers should celebrate on their kid's birthdays, because it is, literally, their BIRTH-day too. Pushing out a baby is no easy task people, and, if I remember correctly it hurts, even with help from Ms. Epi Dural. 
It's work, that's why it's called "labor." Right?
 Thankfully, the memory of pain vanishes once that precious bundle is placed in your arms. 
Daniel's birthday morning was kicked off with a box of doughnuts welcoming us home from church.  Miss Piggy and Lui were passing through town and thoughtfully delivered some "fat pills" as my family calls them.  Miss Piggy wrote "Birthday Donut Tips" on the box sides.  One was to "treat yourself to something special because this is YOUR DAY!"
 My fav was the "well known fact" that donuts on your birthday contain zero calories. I immediately chowed down the pink cake doughnut.
Me gusta.
Daniel's first birthday!
 "He is so darn cute and amazing"
said his mother every year for 14 years.
In the afternoon we ate at a favorite Mexican restaurant where they surprised him with "Happy Birthday" sung in Spanish, a ginormous sombrero and plate of flan with a candle in it. Mid-singing the hombre forced a big spoonful into his mouth; leaving his shnoz covered in whip cream and face in laughter.
Here we are celebrating his Cumpleanos recalling that wonderful day he flew out the shoot and into this world. A day that I will never forget, as it was a life-changer, and only for the better. 
August 31, 2000
We let Daniel steer the day and it was definitely custom-made just like that big blue cast he's still lugging around. 
He wanted to end his birthday watching the sunset.
 That is "so Dan."
 It never gets old.
The four of us headed to the beach and soaked up God's amazing artwork. We spotted many sea lions swimming around with their long whiskers and pointy snouts poking out of the ocean. We agreed the sea lions looked like our dachshunds. Or, maybe we were just missing the Wiener Sisters? That happens often around here.
Later that night,  he chose to watch the latest Spiderman 2 movie. How many times can they remake that one? I'll never know. Daniel's birthday weekend caught up with him and he was asleep half way through the movie he wanted to watch. 
He sure has grown up, as babies are meant to do.
You water them and they grow :)

I pray for many more days like yesterday ... those punctuated with good health, laughter and family together time. It just doesn't get any better than that. 
Cheers to my forever Baby Daniel!