Saturday, January 31, 2009

Driving Miss Crazy

This year will mark 30 years of driving for me.
Number of times pulled over: THREE
Number of tickets: ZERO

The first time I was pulled over was when I was 16--the policeman asked me for my phone number.
The second time was when I was about 30--my registration was expired.
The third time was about a year ago--
the policeman said I was 'weaving' within the lane.
Then he asked me for my phone number.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Beneficial Friends

I loved this night! My friend, Laura (left) made a DELICIOUS dinner for Claudia and me..grilled chicken salad, assorted CHEESES and grapes and breads...add a movie and a bottle of Chardonnay (OK--TWO) and you have yourself one amazing night. Seriously...I love these friends. And tonight was exactly what I needed.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cold house, warm heart

My heater has been broken for about a month. I KNOW! And DAMN, has it been cold in this house--especially at night. I've been wearing flannel pajamas (with the legs tucked into my big wool socks), a long sleeved t-shirt--and a sweat shirt! (I know, so sexy, right?) Then I 'd bundle up in a blanket and go to sleep under my down comforter. As long as I stayed in bed, I was warm!
But when I got out of the shower at 4:30am...YIKES!
I would touch all the buttons on the heater, flick the switches back and forth TRYING to get the heater to start up every day! Sometimes it would stay on for a couple of minutes--warming the house up 2 degrees or so--but then click off. (Every single time I would cuss...damn heater!) Then I swore I was smelling I stopped trying. And threw another blanket on the bed.
This morning it was 51 degrees in my house when I woke up. Sorry, but that's downright cold. I decided it was time to call the Gas Company.
"Dave", the nicest Gas Man in the world (34 years with the company!) tapped a bit here and did a couple of twists there, and it was fixed! When I asked Dave if he smelled gas...he said no, but that he definitely smelled something. He asked when I had last changed my filter.
Gulp. Um. Never? Yeah...I have lived here for 2 1/2 years now. And, no, never.
Dave pulled out the filter on the left in the picture above. Not too pretty, huh? (I went straight to Lowes and purchased the new filter...the old one was also the wrong size!)
While Dave (my new best friend) was running a few tests on the heater, he was also admiring all the photographs on my wall. He asked me questions about my sisters, my children (said he didn't believe my kids were in their 20s), and my childhood. He told me about his wife, about a time in his life that he had been homeless...and that he loved Jesus! He was so kind. Then, he asked if he could pray with me. (I am not making this up--it was incredible--and at this point, I had tears in my eyes!) He took my hands--right there in front of the heater--and prayed for me and for my family and thanked God that he was able to fix the heater for me. At the end of that prayer...totally out of the blue...Dave asked God to bring a beautiful man into my life.
And so, tonight, I am warm.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Is this Heaven?

Oh dear in friends in Ohio, Montreal, Tennessee, Texas and Michigan (and everywhere else there is snow and/or ice on the ground!)
It was 72 degrees in Laguna Beach today!
It was absolutely spectacular down at the beach...the sun was warm, the flowers all in full bloom, we saw dolphins in the ocean, pelicans flew above amazingly gorgeous day!
We actually had our meeting ON THE BEACH this afternoon! (With Graham and Chase above.) We sat on beach towels and--for a brief moment--we closed our eyes and breathed in the fresh air and felt the ocean breeze. It was magnificent! The girl who was leading our meeting asked us to stop and look around for a few minutes...she encouraged us to realize and appreciate the incredible beauty around us. We did! Oh man...we did!
And I thought of you, dear friends in cold places.
It's January 28th in Laguna Beach...
wish you were here...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Go Dodgers (Fans)

How about that? And you know how much
I like to have a checklist of things to do!
I can't wait to see how many of these 100 things I didn't know or haven't already done yet...I'll get right on it!
The book comes out in April...til then,
check out Jon Weisman's blog HERE

My so crawled life

Each and every time I leave a movie, I walk out thinking, "I could write something BETTER than that." By the time I get to my car I m thinking, "OK--I'm on it. I'm gonna write a movie." The movie would be (very loosely based on) my life--and told (in voice over) in line with what my hopes and dreams were along the way. The movie would SHOW my experiences, but be TOLD hand in hand with what my mind and heart were feeling at the time. Oh yeah, you'd laugh, you'd cry...and I think, overall, it would relay a sense of empathy, hope, and encouragement to the audience. Yes, there would be moments of sadness, but good would triumph and we would be cheering for the heroine--(Meg Ryan? Kate Winslet?)--as she gets up off the floor, scrubs the mascara out of the carpet and jets off to see Europe! OK...then she returns, and works very hard, yet is consumed in so desperately longing to find--not only the love of her life--but the reason for her life--the purpose for her very existence!!
Come on, it's good.
Yeah, I'm on it.
Just the events of this last four years--becoming single and living alone (I see scenes involving pancake and beer dinners) the trips abroad, the fabulous new job, great new home...throw in a little bit of dating and a whole lot of baseball--and then TELL it all with what my hopes and dreams were at the time!! (finding love and Dodgers winning the World Series) and you have yourself one great flick!
OK. I believe I could write this movie. And these 1255 blog posts would easily script the first couple of hours! There is only one very small problem at this point...
How in the world does it end?
Does she find the love of her life and travel the country stopping at each baseball stadium? What a great last couple of minutes THAT would make in a movie, huh? The scene shows the happy couple walking into all the stadiums, kissing, donning the hat of each team, kissing, eating hot dogs, kissing and singing "take me out to the ballgame"...probably could even get a few baseball players to make cameos. (Please note that the man and woman will kiss a lot in this film!)
Or does she decide that destiny can wait and do we see her at the In N Out drive thru as she finally realizes that the Double Double with cheese she has been forsaking for her figures' sake is just too damn wonderful after all? Again, the last couple minutes of the movie could show her ordering at the drive through, balancing the meal in her lap, taking a huge bite of burger and savoring the flavor!! Oh and sipping on a milkshake while shoveling in a handful of fries! AND...she would be smiling all the way home because no one is telling her how fattening it all is!
Hmmm....I hear loud music playing! Oh my gosh...just think of the KILLER soundtrack the movie would have! Oh yeah!
I can write a movie, right?
I know. It probably wouldn't be that good...and it would take a long time. And I'm kinda tired right now.
One thing for sure though...she will live happier ever after.
Trust me on that one.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A little wine and (say) CHEESE!

From the wedding Saturday night...
(well, a little wine and a little champagne...ok! and a martini!)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wedding Attendance

Yesterday I attended one of the most beautiful and special weddings I have ever been a part of. I have known both the bride and the groom--and their families--for many years, so it was also an amazingly enjoyable reunion for me and SO many old friends! For a few reasons, we were not able to take photographs of the ceremony or reception--but, I assure you, it was absolutely gorgeous. And I did want to share a few photos of the great people I was able to spend time with was SUCH a fabulous day!
Jaime and Todd were smiling the whole time.
And so was I.

Friday, January 23, 2009

External Monologue

These are pictures that I have been setting aside in my 'blog' folder on my desk top.

Stuff I want to blog about. Or stuff I just like, want, think of, obsess about...lose sleep over, or just want to share with you. Like the photo of my friend, Sarah and her new puppy, Beau.

And an old shot of me and Gina and friends at Halloween...and Jeff Kent holding back in my new pink Dodgers cap...And the 2-week Special K diet. (It's working!) And that freaking beautiful Rawlings bag. And money.
My brain never stops. Never.
oh, and Brad Pitt.

Abe, I need your lovin'

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Shower the people...

Tonight we celebrated Jaime...who will be married to Todd--this Saturday! I have been friends Jaime these last four years through work. But what makes this even better is that I have known her fabulous aunt and amazing cousins for over 15 years! OH, and I worked with her incredible future mother-in-law forever at Saddleback Church. AND I have known her wonderful husband-to-be since he was in high school! SUCH a joy to be part of this couples' lives!
The girls from work...Molly, Jaime and Patty
Jaime's cousin's wife, Chrissy. I didn't know Chrissy, but, yep, I've known HER husband since he was in high school too! (Saddleback Church is like a small town...we all know each other!)
Congratulations Jaime!
You are magnificent...and Todd is one lucky man.

Ooh, Abe I love your way

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Shoe on the road

Once upon a time, a pair of well-loved Rainbow sandals went on an African adventure. On a dark and stormy night, the truck carrying the suitcase in which the sandals were riding, turned over in the rain, scattering luggage and clothes--as well as the sandals--all over the side of a small dirt road in Kenya. Though many of the items were eventually returned to their owners, many things were mixed up, given to the wrong people and, sadly, many possessions were just plain lost.
Poor Mr. Left Rainbow Sandal was among the items safely returned to me...but, sadly, his twin was lost in the accident, the whereabouts a mystery to everyone. We searched through all the returned luggage, through everyone's belongings in hopes of finding Mr. Right Rainbow, to no avail.
That was five months ago.
Oddly enough, I have kept Mr. Left Rainbow all this time--in crazy hopes, I guess, that one day, his mate would show up. Though I often thought of throwing him out, I realized that seeing that shoe alone in my closet was a reminder of how wonderful those days in Kenya were--especially those first few days of no suitcases, of borrowing each others' clothes and of how we all quickly realized that it was such a minor inconvenience compared to the tasks we were to carry out in Kenya. Mr. Left Rainbow made me smile each time I saw him in my closet. Truly.
Last Friday night, I saw my friend, sweet Caroline at our Kenya reunion. She came over to me and said, "Oh, guess what? I have your sandal at my house!" Caroline, who stayed through October in Kitale, went on to tell me the sandal 'miraculously' showed up one day! I couldn't believe it.
So guess what arrived in my mail today?
Mr. Right Rainbow Sandal--returning from his extended vacation! Amazing! After nearly FIVE months of separation, the shoes are together again!
I had since bought another pair, of course. But, no doubt, this pair will be in my possession for a long, long time.
shoes will always have a very special story to tell. And, they will live happily ever after...

Hmm, do you think the moral of the story is...'never stop looking for Mr. Right'?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Admittedly, I am not much of a tree hugger. Sure, I recycle my shampoo bottles and three or four empty cans of Diet coke each week...but that's really about it.
But, let me tell you that I freaking feel like I am saving the world when I BMOB (bring my own bags) to the market!
I just feel 'cool' going in with them tucked under my arm and even COOLER walking out with all my groceries tucked inside! (Mostly, I think it makes me look like I have my sh*t together enough to remember to bring them into the store. Right?)
To make this practice even more rewarding, most stores are now offering "credit" in one way or another when you use your own bags for your purchases. (I even brought my bags into TJ Maxx the other day. Jealous?) Some stores take 5 or 10 cents off for each bag you bring in and some are giving 'points' on your in-store value club card. Henry's market gives customers 5% off your total when you BYOB! From what I am reading, many stores will be discontinuing the use of plastic bags altogether as of Earth Day this year.
Just in case you need a bit more convincing, let me add that the bags actually hold more, are stronger, and way easier to carry...and, come on, it's probably the easiest thing we can do to truly make a difference!
Of course, I have had friends tell me that they have had a couple of problems with these bags:
Umm...getting them BACK into the car after the groceries have been put away. And, yeah...remembering to take them into the store with you in the first place.

It's a Sunshine Day!

Happy 9th Birthday to
my fabulous niece, Sunny!