Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Home Again...

I am back in my routine at home. I must say I am torn between being a beach bum and my life here. I will try my best to strike a balance which you would think wouldn't be too hard as I am minutes from the beach.

I definitely prefer running down country roads to running on the beach. It's hard enough on a flat road, I don't need sand and the hassle of avoiding waves. On the plus side for beach running though I certainly don't have to worry about the Perdue chicken trucks barreling by. It's one of those deer in the headlights moments when you see it coming and you are but a lowly pedestrian. All I can do is say "Shit!" and close my eyes, nose, my mouth and run faster. You may not have these in your area. They are big flatbed type trucks stacked with wire cages, stuffed w/chickens who have been in these massive chicken houses and are stinky and dirty and the whole truck has a cloud of feathers and dried chicken shit dust following. Can you get the gist of my dilemma?

It's been very humid here and no matter how early I get up (6:15)it doesn't help. The running is hard (for me anyway). Everyday I run past a huge field that's been over-taken by honeysuckle. The scent is so heady, so intoxicating that it makes me want to stop and lay down in it like Dorothy in that poppy field in The Wizard of Oz. Of course I am sure the bees wouldn't let me do that.

I have been working on a lot of mosaics in my studio and just got a job to do a fireplace surround. Yeah! Here is a picture of a little table that I am not too displeased with but I would do it differently next time.

These tiles are vitreous glass and very small. I don't like working w/them as much as tiles that are bigger and I glaze myself. And to me the placement of the dragonfly is wrong. Whatever.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Safe for now...

Good news! Michael will not be going to Iraq for now. The fact that he is unpacking everything they just spent months packing is making me very HAPPY. It makes me think he won't be going anywhere anytime soon. He is not happy. He wants to go. But I don't care, I don't care, I don't care. (He did however get tickets to the world cup and is very happy about that.) Joy.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Beach Stand

I wish I could say Lisa is enjoying the same kind of carefree summer Johnny is but this is her first summer job. She has a beach stand that rents umbrellas, chairs and boogie boards. Somedays are cold and windy and some are hot and humid and she has to stay all day.

It's not all bad though. She always has friends who come by and sit w/her, she has a great tan already and she always has a chair and an umbrella. After work her and her friends have all of OC.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Boys of Summer

I unexpectedly had the opportunity to stay right on the beach for a week and I took it. It is hard to tear myself away from all the things that I think are important but I do try to take every opportunity I can that comes my way to enjoy life these days. I have just run home quickly to water plants and feed the cat and then I am back to the beach.

I live only a 5 minute drive from the beach but staying right on it is different. Especially for the kids. So Johnny grabbed a friend or two and has been having the time of his life. He has been tinkering in surfing for about a year but never really had any help w/it as John and I don't surf. A friend of ours is a big time surfer and board maker and took Johnny out for a couple lessons and he's hooked. He picked it up rather quickly. So I get the boys out there every morning a 8:30 (can't surf once the guards come on at 10) and again at 5:30. Johnny is riding a high that he can't stop talking about.

There's a lot of camaraderie going on and its really awesome to watch it and see these boys just totally enjoying life.

It's a great life for these boys and I am VERY grateful to be able to give it to them. A little surfing zen to balance those months of competitive lacrosse. Yeah...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Mother: Crazy, Father: John

I started dating John when Taylor and Michael were 3 and 2. One of our first dates was to the National Zoo in D.C. It was hot as hell and Taylor and Michael couldn't have been more misbehaved. I figured I'd never hear from John again. But he kept calling. He always included the children in our dates and in fact assumed they would be there. (A rarity in the world of dating.)

Taylor (my oldest child) recently sent me one of those questionnaires thingys that get passed around in the email. You answer one word to the question. One question was Mother? Her answer: Crazy. (whatever) Father: John. When I read that I was very proud and happy. I knew John really deserved that. He has been a father to all the children in the hardest of times.

Never quit or gave up or walked away when the going got tough. It wouldn't even occur to him. He fixes all of our problems. We all MUST constantly check in with him which is annoying but he is the glue that holds our family together. The very best DAD ever.

Happy Fathers Day from all four of your children!

Happy Fathers Day

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Google finds

I googled my last name. My maiden name I mean. Lots of stuff. A hotel in Italy I would love to visit. Lots of historic stuff on the name. Who knew there was more than one person with my exact name.

There were two big surprises. One was my blog came up because Mark of The Follow Spot made a comment about me not being from "Virgin"ia where he referred to my maiden name to link me w/my sister Carla. My sister Carla and Mark used to work together in theatre. Both very talented. Both nominated for the prestigious Helen Hayes Award . Which brings me to the second surprise, Carla came up on this site that I didn't even know about and what beautiful pictures. I had to brag. That girl takes some damn good pictures. The first photo reminded me of the picture below which I took of her when I was probably 13-14 and she 7-8? I thought I was dressing her up as Mae West. If I remember right she did a pretty good imitation.

She certainly got all the good stuff. The olive skin from the Italian side that she never exposes to the sun and some height from the Irish side. I got white skin from the Irish that I always expose to the sun and I am short like the Italian side. And then there is the name. I have always harbored some resentment at being named Mary when I have sisters named Carla and Rita. Their names always seemed so exotic to me. My two other sisters (Anne and Margaret) never seemed bothered by it but that's just me. I always want what I don't have.

Chili Burger

I think this recipe came from a Sheila Lukins cookbook. I've made it so many times I have it in my mind. This is the best burger and I have to turn you on to it. Made some last night.

1lb ground beef
1 tomato diced
1/2c. chopped black olives
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp dijon
1 TBS chili powder
couple TBS chopped FRESH basil
Zest of one lemon
Salt and pepper

Mix all that together.
Form your burgers and cook on the grill.
They are best w/pepper jack cheese on them but use what you like. You will love them.

Johnny Got a Drum...

Like his father and grandfather before him Johnny is a drummer. As promised he got drums for his birthday. They just came in the other day and we got them set up. Luckily for me we have a small house (which we used to live in) on the property. We use it for guests and now....DRUMS!

Sunday, June 11, 2006


The good thing about living at the beach is people DO come to visit. There is nothing better than getting together with friends and family. I am trying to do that more because that is fun, fun makes me happy, and I am gonna get- that- for- myself of course while the getting is good. Last weekend the friends came to me so this weekend I went to them.

John and I were invited to a friends Luau back in our home town. It was a tight squeeze fitting it in between (YES) another lacrosse tournament. We left after Johnny's 2nd game of the day at 2:30pm (3 hour drive) and met up w/Johns brothers and were on our way. There were many friends from our school days.

New friends and old...

My first roommates Abe and Albert. Abe was our very gracious and generous host. I wish I had a picture from when we were 18. Umm...lets just say we've seen better days.

My beautiful sister-in-law Tosh and my also beautiful friend Denise.

John, his best friend and his twin.

I've got my summer hair (can't fight humidity)and I think I've kicked off the season pretty well 2 weekends in a row. So come on baby let the good times roll!

(Of course my ass is dragging today. John and I slept at John's mothers last night which was right down the street from the party. We were in bed by 2am and up before 6am to get home by 9am to get Lisa to work and Johnny to the last tournament game. Yikes! BUT it was worth it. You never know when the good times will end. Don't miss one. And with that I will be in bed in about 15 minutes.)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Birds Without Wings

"For birds with wings nothing changes; they fly where they will and they know nothing about borders and their quarrels are very small.

But we are always confined to earth, no matter how much we climb to the high places and flap our arms. Because we cannot fly, we are condemned to do things that dont agree with us. Becuase we have no wings we are pushed into struggles and abominations that we did not seek, and then, after all that, the years go by, the mountains are levelled, the valleys rise, the rivers are blocked by sand and the cliffs fall into the sea."

from "Birds Without Wings" byLouis De Bernieres

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A New Teenager Enters the World

13 years ago today I had my last child. I was only 30. Most people these days are just starting at that age. I did think being a younger mother would make it easier to relate when my kids were teens. Oh how silly I was to think that. But Johnny is my youngest and today Johnny is officially a TEENAGER!

Showing off his new duds...

At cake-time he was spotted still wearing the shades proving once and for all that he IS a teenager.

My LAST teenager. Last of 4. Hey, that's not a bad thing.

Can you imagine with me the stress-free days that are just within my reach...

You think so?

Seriously...Johnny is a great kid. Very thoughtful and caring. The other morning he left a note on my bedroom door that said "I left pancakes in the fridge for you." Can't beat that. And he always asks how my day was. I am sure, just like his delivery, Johnny's teen years are going to be a piece of cake!

(Yea, he just turned 13 but I only had 12 candles and all I could come up with was the number 4. I'm a good mother like that.)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Girls Nite Out!

Great weekend w/the girls. 2 nights in a row! I couldn't do that very often but it was very fun. So fun in fact that I really don't have good pictures. Here's one from the first nite that started at Ruth Chris and ended at Fagers.

There was a great band a Fagers both nights. Didn't catch the name... It was all drinking and dancing and laughing our asses off.

Second night skipped the eating part, added more girls and went straight to drink, dance, laugh. No pics for that night (the evidence has all been destroyed! Kidding. ;-) No pictures of me at all either night. Always the photographer....

I love hanging with the girls.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Tuna Sandwich

It's hot and humid and I am holding out on turning the air on. Don't want the children getting used to AC so early in the summer. Gotta toughen them up. I don't want to turn on the oven so tuna sandwiches for dinner. I always get creative w/the tuna. Johnny ONLY likes his w/shredded carrots. Everyone else is a little more open. Here's last nites version.

I mixed mayo, lemon juice, fresh basil, chopped tomato, shallots and pepper in the tuna. Layer it on the bread of your choice w/some really good roast turkey,lorraine swiss and lettuce.

The boys are going away for the weekend to a big lacrosse tournament. Can you say girls nite out? That should be a good post. I will bring my camera. Actually I prefer to go out w/John. I think my friends and family will concur that he is lots of fun. But a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.
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