Long Weekends, Mint Infused Limeade and a Birthday!

Grab Your Book

Guess what, guys? Today is my Friday! I know some people have to work over the holiday but I think many of you are off. What do you have planned for the long weekend? BBQs? Picnics? Trips to the beach? Initially I thought we might have some people over. At least, that is what The Girl thought. She dreams up these gatherings on her own. Unfortunately, after working all week the last thing I want to do is throw a party of any kind. Call me anti-social. I’ll forgive you.

Right now, the plan is to make a big pot of chili, grill some burgers and hot dogs and watch a bunch of movies. The movies? Haven’t picked them out yet but it doesn’t even matter. Me, in front of the TV with my feet up is all that matters and if that happens, all will be right in the world. I also plan to mix-up some Mint Infused Limeade. We sampled this drink a few weeks ago and it was very refreshing! This drink is non-alcoholic but you could add a little vodka if you wanted to add a little something to it.

 

Mint infused limeade

Photo & Recipe from Food & Style

Somewhere in all of this we will watch the Nathan’s hot dog Eating contest! It’s a tradition to watch but depending on who is in it, I sometimes have a mini-gag fest with myself. It’s just not attractive to watch a bunch of guys scarf food down in that manner. And yeah, it somehow does not affect our own hot dog eating, which is a little weird if you ask me.

Fireworks? We might all pile into the car last-minute to see the fireworks in progress,  but I doubt we will want to after the sloth of the day. None of us like crowds and we have the Otter Pup to consider and she’ll be 4 years-old tomorrow! We knew she was about 5-6 months old when we rescued her so we picked July 4th for her birthday. She has been a joy. I think she likes us too. Can you tell?

The Otter Pup and The Hub

The Otter Pup is 4 years old!

Oh, and I can’t forget the reading can I? That is a huge part of my weekend. Especially since I am still limping along with The Goldfinch. Much more fun to discuss is The Summer of King. I started The Regulators and it’s reminding me a bit of Mr. Mercedes, at least in its opening. It takes place in the summer so it’s the perfect read for me right now. I just want to drop everything to read it. I am not that far in, only about 15% but I can already tell that I am going to like it.

That said, grab your book, pour a refreshing drink and enjoy your weekend!

The Sunday Salon: Father’s Day 2014

The Fam

It’s been a great weekend so far. Due to the fact that none of us enjoy crowds, we celebrated Father’s Day on Saturday by visiting the George C. Page Museum and the La Brea Tar pits. A few years ago, when they added the underground parking structure, they found not only fossils but a near complete mammoth skeleton. Can you believe it? Had they not developed that one section, they never would have known about it. Part of it was on display. I should say, parts of it were all over the museum. They haven’t had the chance to put him back together again.

After the tooling around the museum we hit The Grove for some window shopping and a nice lunch at Maggiano’s. UCLA graduated yesterday too but we managed to slip lunch in before the crowds hit. Our timing could not have been better because when we left, that place was packed.

Today, we relaxed with coffee and then hit church. The Hub was not feeling it but when he got there, he volunteered to sing a song (Take Me Out to the Ball Game) and won an all day retreat package from the church! Breakfast, music, teaching and then a VIP bus ride to Dodger stadium which includes the all-you-can-eat pavilion! He’s pretty happy right now.

Now, we are all back home and just doing our own thing.

The Girl still has two more days of school and summer school starts for The Teen tomorrow. Mid-week, summer day camp begins for The Girl. She’s excited.

Sunday Salon

What am I reading?

I am reading Mr. Mercedes and a little over half way done. I am really enjoying it and don’t want to rush through it too fast, but I am way behind on my book club book, The Goldfinch so I may have to pick up the pace.

What am I cooking?

Tonight? I am not sure. We just had a big lunch and I have stuff to make spaghetti tonight but I am not sure anyone is in the mood for it.

What am I watching?

It was a free HBO weekend for us so I recorded some movies, Moonrise Kingdom and Oblivion. I am thinking we will be in the mood to see Oblivion later. I am not a Cruise fan but he makes some pretty good action flicks.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there and to you single moms…happy day to you as well!

The Sunday Salon: It’s Mother’s Day

Sunday Salon

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. I hope you are having an enjoyable day. I am having one of those days where I go from happy to sad at the drop of a hat. I don’t know. The stresses from this year and then last week’s injuries have pushed me over the edge. I am just too emotional today and all over the place so I will keep it short.

What am I reading?

I just started Cutting Teeth. It’s starting off very strong. I sure hope it stays that way.

What am I cooking?

I am hoping to pick-up some Chinese take-out later.

What am I watching?

I am about to go on a Netflix binge, beginning with the dance movie Center Stage.

Hoping that some good food and a little TV binge will fix me right up.

The Sunday Salon: An Easter Hello

Sunday Salon

Hello all. How’ve you all been?

It’s been busy around here. Mostly, good stuff but with nightly activities and the spring break that came up  out of nowhere, I felt as if I was Fred Flintstone in his floorless car, running  just to keep up.

A few updates. I had some health stuff going on and the biopsy came back NORMAL. I was very relieved to get those results. I really started to think about what I’d do if they came back abnormal. Not a fun topic of discussion right before vacation so it was a huge relief that the news came in right before I left. Thank you for the prayers and support.

I also alluded to stuff going on at work. I have been known to feel a re-org coming on and sure enough, I returned from break and it happened. The details are not solid yet but my job, it-is-a-changing. Again. Wish me luck with that.

Oh and one other thing, one BIG thing. I got baptized this past Friday! Let’s just say that as a child, my childhood was less than ideal. I had guardian angels along the way that steered me in the right direction so I always felt a spiritual connection but could never find a church that I felt comfortable going to. About a year ago, we went to a special service that a local church was holding and for the next couple of months we’d either watch the service online or go every once in awhile. It’s not traditional. There’s music and lights and a coffee shop, but the Pastor really clicked with us and although the message is what you’d expect to get in church, it’s delivered in a comfortable, friendly way.

On Good Friday, my family and I decided to take the plunge and participate in the baptism celebration. It was SO not me. Cameras, lights and lots of people cheering us on. I was so embarrassed but at the same time, very happy to have finally found a church that we love.

Here we are, freshly dunked! The Hub was getting the car but he participated too.  It’s a horrible pic of me, but you all know me so I know you will forgive the matted hair and the lack of make-up which seemed to disappear once dunked. Not pretty but that’s okay. 

Just baptized!

Just baptized!!

In case you are wondering, The Teen did not participate but he went with us. He has been going to the Mormon church and although I had hoped that he’d join us, he decided not to. Religion is a very personal thing, and I don’t like it to be jammed down my throat so I am letting him take this journey on his own. As a mom, there are lots of decisions I have had to make recently that have been difficult, but knowing my own struggle with religion, his choice of religion should not be one of them.

I was so worried about stupid stuff like the temperature of the water and looking like a dork once dunked but with everyone cheering you on, you stand there dripping wet, but happy. I thought The Girl would get scared last-minute but nope, she wanted to be first!

So, that was my excitement this past week. Yesterday , The Girl had a track meet. It was held on a really old, dirt track and none of the kids knew how to run on it. Out by us, all of the tracks are turf so The Girl struggled a little with her times, but still enjoyed herself. We then had her best friend over for dinner and a sleepover. It was a fun night. They colored eggs and got barked at by the Otter Pup.

The Teen had to work the prom last night so he’s not up yet. I suspect he’ll sleep right into the afternoon.

Here are a couple of photos from yesterday:

Chatsworth Track Meet

The Girls at the track meet. Mine, is the one in the middle.

Dinner with the Girls

A fun dinner with The Girl and her BFF.

What am I reading?

I am reading A Wild Sheep Chase in bits and pieces. Murakami is always so enjoyable and thought-provoking that I find myself savoring his writing. It’s not a book to blow through quickly. I am also reading The Walking Dead governor books. VERY good. I am in the middle of And The Mountains Echoed, a good story but my interest is waning.

What am I cooking?

I wasn’t going to make anything special but then last minute decided to cook-up a ham. I saw a recipe for a peach & brown sugar glaze and I was craving greens so we’ll have the peach-glazed ham, collard greens, mac & cheese (both gluten-free and non), mashed potatoes, carrots and rolls. I picked up a peach pie for the Fam and then I got a creme brûlée for myself. Yum.

What am I watching?

I’ve been watching Chrisley Knows Best. Have you seen that show?? It’s crazy but I can’t stop watching it.

That’s my week and weekend. I am helping myself to another cup of coffee and then hopefully I can take a nap later. What’s your plan for today? I am glad I went to church on Friday because I am dragging this morning.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sheldon Card

How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day? I remembered last week that it was coming up and then promptly forgot about it. In fact, I booked a doctor’s appointment for today and a tax appointment for tomorrow. How romantic! Honestly though, I am just hoping to cook a nice meal and enjoy some down time this weekend. We did nothing but eat out last week and my body is begging for  a home cooked meal, even if I do have to make it myself. No, seriously, I do not mind.

The photo above is not the card The Hub gave to me but if you watch The Big Bang Theory, you will get the humor. My idea of fun at the moment would be a Big Bang marathon, some yummy food and my fave spot on the couch. Yes, I have a fave spot too. Just like Sheldon.

Today, my kids are off from school but The Teen is all over town doing singing telegrams for choir so The Girl went to work with The Hub. I will be enjoying a Valentine buffet lunch with co-workers at the University Club and then I will be leaving early for that doctor’s appointment. Tonight, no plans really. The Teen will still be singing and the rest of us will probably grab a burger and come straight home which is perfectly fine by me. I am just so, so tired.

I hope you have a wonderful day!

The Sunday Salon: Are You Ready for 2014?

Sunday Salon

It’s taken me until now to realize that it’s Sunday. My clock is off. Always happens when I am off for a long period of time! Well, the day started off lovely but now The Girl is tossing her cookies. I knew something was up after she got up two times last night. She never gets up and when she did, not once, but twice, the first thing I said to The Hub was, “God, I hope she’s not sick.” Oh well! She’s perky. No fever. I have her camped out on the couch right now, just to be safe.

We didn’t have plans today anyway. In fact, my plan for the entire week is to just camp out here, but the kids might have something to say about that. Both the kids and Hub cannot lie low for any length of time. They get antsy. Me? I could hole up on the couch for days on end. Just throw some snacks at me every now and then, maybe some iced tea to go with them and I am good to go.

By the way, it’s like summer here. So Cal can be very unpredictable this time of year. We have a wind warning and man, is it windy! But it’s warm and sunny and so NOT like December. My Christmas stuff is still up and will be until after the new year. Speaking of which, The Teen is going to a New Year’s Eve party at the church he attends. Yes, he attends a different one than we do. Long Story I think we plan to order Chinese food and just hang out at home. New Year’s day will be spent at home as well.

Are you ready for the new year? I enjoy a fresh start and have already cleared out some clutter from the year. Also, between you and me, I really like the even years. I am hoping 2014 is a good year. I’d like to spend more time as a family and not be so stressed from extra-curricular activities and all the back and forth that goes with them. I’d like certain members of the household to be a little more responsible when it comes to schedules. YOU know who you are.

What am I reading?

I took a year off from book club and have been thinking about attending again. The book for this Thursday’s meeting is Canada by Richard Ford. I’ve never read him before but I started Canada yesterday and I am about 60% done. I am enjoying it but the last chunk is not as enjoyable as the first half.

I got my Goodreads year-end report the other day and noticed the numbers were off so then I had to go through alllll of my reviews to see which ones I forgot to add. I HATE that. Now my stats report is off for the year. What can you do? My numbers were down anyway. I hope this year will be a better year for reading. I just wasn’t into reading this past year. Funny, coming from a book blogger.

What am I cooking?

The weather is like summer so we will be grilling these ginormous steaks I picked up. And to go with them? Nothing less than ginormous baked potatoes and buttered green beans. I’ll be careful eating the potato. By the way, my throat is feeling much better. Not sure if The Girl will be able to eat but I’ll fix some soup for her if she can’t.

What am I watching?

We’ve been watching a lot of movies. Mostly, stuff we have on Netflix. We saw The Great Outdoors and Only You (Robert Downey Jr. version) last night. Oh, we also saw Death Becomes Her. Remember that one? It’s so old. I’d like to see a drama tonight but The Girl is all about comedy and rarely lets us see a drama. I’d also be okay watching back-to-back episodes of The Wonder Years. I love that show.

What are you doing today?

The Hot Potato Incident

Did you make it through the holidays okay? I’ve been enjoying all of the updates on Facebook and Instagram and replying when I can to blog posts. From the looks of it, everyone had a pretty good Christmas.

Our Christmas was very nice. We started off with that trip to Disneyland which put me in just the right mood. I needed it. Christmas Eve at the in-laws was very mellow and laid back and Christmas dinner at the 94th Aero Squadron was perfect.

We even managed to see Saving Mr. Banks and if you know anything about me, you know how I detest the movie experience these days. Cell phones and talking drive me nuts and sure enough, a group of teens almost ruined the entire thing until MY teen went over and told them to shut the heck up! That’s right! On Christmas, my teen told those girls off. Surprisingly, they left! Everyone was thrilled. Merry Christmas moviegoers.

By the way, the movie was very good. A little sad, but good.

The only thing that has plagued me since Christmas Eve is the damned hot potato I ate. With the lupus and the food allergies and all, my esophagus is a mess already but a bite of hot potato, that was as hot as say…lava, burned the hell out of my throat and my throat has been swollen ever since. If it wasn’t better by today, I was going to go to the ENT but it seems to be a little better today. Oddly enough, the only thing that distracted me from the pain was cleaning.

Books

So, I have been cleaning. I organized by bookshelves although from this pic, it sure looks as if I am not finished with them. They were horrendous before. I cleaned out drawers and cupboards and tackled The Girl’s room. What a mess! I cleaned out the garage and went shopping for food. I’m set, at least for a few days.

Now that all that pesky stuff is out of the way, my focus is reading. I asked everyone on Facebook if I should take a break or start another book and they told me to start another. Unfortunately, the one I chose was all over the place but a quick read. Now I am wondering what to pick up next. Probably the book my book club is reading right now, Canada by Richard Ford.

Are you reading right now, or just catching up on TV shows and movies? Did you have a nice Christmas? What are your plans for New Year’s Eve? WE are staying in but The Teen is going to a dance at the church. I am perfectly happy with my cozy couch and a good movie.

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