Saturday, November 27, 2010

I'm Stuffed!

November 8 came and went with no auction of the rental home we are living in. I have been informed that the auction date has been reset until December 9. This should all make for an interesting holiday season, yet again. Just as we do with most things, we will take this one day at a time and just wait and see what will happen. If there is anything that I have learned about life, it is that life does not follow a plan and that worrying seldom changes the outcome. Of course, worrying never changes the outcome but sometimes it is hard to control that as well.

It has been a very busy November. Winding down from one soccer team to ramping up for the next soccer team brings new experiences for all. I volunteered my assistance with the new team and, hopefully, I will meet some interesting people in the process.

I had a large cupcake order to fill this month. This particular order was delivered out over a number of days. I forgot how much work it is to bake all the different flavors of the season and add the appropriate toppings to them. To finally package and wrap each box up with the most gorgeous ribbon I was able to find, I must admit, is quite satisfying. You have to see the pictures of the packages that we did this year.

Even though I have a pretty large family we spent Thanksgiving with friends this year. My family is spread out all over L.A. and we are out here in Orange County so it is sometimes difficult to get all of us together in a place large enough to accommodate us all. We had a very nice Thanksgiving dinner with our friends and we played cards as we tried to digest the large meal that seemed to anchor us to our chairs. It was a pretty lively game of 31 and at one point someone's wine glass took a dive. The wine made its way across the tablecloth and was only halted by the wall that stood in its path on the way to the living room. We were thankful that the cleanup was quick and there was no permanent damage. I wonder if we will ever get invited back.

Friday brought a repeat of the Thanksgiving festivities, or should I say, a repeat of the menu. Andrew's parents came to visit and this time I made the turkey dinner with all the sides, and I even baked another apple pie. I won't lie, my turkey and stuffing were amazing. I tried a new recipe for pie crust so my apple pie was even better than before, and that says a lot, even though I do say so myself, I make a kick ass apple pie.

Today I am nursing a food hangover so I have been lounging all day. Recovering from baking, delivering, cooking, grocery shopping, eating and drinking. Of course, it all causes me to consider a return to the gym and workout routine I was once so dedicated to. I know I need to do it, I feel it in my bones, or to be honest, I feel it more in my gut.

In the meantime, the two Andrews are bringing in boxes of Christmas decorations and urging me to get to work. They have been busy little elves today, planning their attack of lights on house. Its a large project to be sure because I am married to the real life Griswold. Andrew always has the Christmas spirit like no other and it makes for some pretty amazing curb appeal at our house.

I think I will sit here in my sweats for a while longer while I stare at those big blue Rubbermaid containers marked "Xmas". Just thinking about that project is making me hungry. Hmm, maybe I'll get to it after I have a turkey, stuffing and cranberry sandwich...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Today is D-Day!

Upon our return from retrieving the kids from school on Friday, we were welcomed back home with yet another note posted on the front door with a phone number to call. "Immediately", I believe was what was written on the note. The author of the note explained that this house we are renting was going up for auction, yet again, slated for sale on November 8. You might note that that day is today.

One might wonder why I am not in a panic about it. I am sure that most of you will remember that we already went through this once before in September. Truth be told, there is absolutely nothing we can do about it, even if its true, and I have my doubts. We will just wait and see, I'll keep you posted, this could get interesting.

We made it through the election this past week and I am glad to be relieved of the political advertising that found its way through television, radio and the web. Now comes all the political posturing during the lame duck session. I have to turn most of it off because it has a tendency to make me crazy, or is it that I have a tendency to become crazy? Oh well, either way I know my limit.

I have been reading a lot of books over the past few months, I LOVE to read. I read all the the Steig Larsson books and they are incredible, not for the faint of heart mind you, but a truly amazing ride. Andrew and the kids gave me John Stewart's new book, "Earth", Gabi jumped on that one and she enjoyed it as well. Also on my literary menu was "Thomas Paine's Rights of Man" and "God is Not Great" by Christopher Hitchens, all very interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed "A Happy Marriage" by Rafael Yglesias and "Under the Dome" by Stephen King.

While visiting my mom, I quickly blew through her copy of "Wishful Drinking" by Carrie Fisher. Now Ms. Fisher has some interesting stories to tell but to be quite honest, I thought her book was crap. One of my favorite reads this summer was Anthony Bourdain's "Medium Raw", I just love him.

Right now I am on a quest to educate myself so I picked up a copy of "The Greatest Show on Earth, The Evidence for Evolution" by Richard Dawkins. Not a page turner or an easy read but pretty amazing stuff to be sure. I am not an intellectual by any stretch of the imagination as one might have already ascertained by reading my blog, but I try to stay informed and knowledgeable about as many things as I possibly can. Its my latest venture, an attempt to expand my way of thinking. I know what you are thinking, "Good luck with that!" and to that, I say, "Thank you!"

Gabi reads books like most teenage girls go through Starbucks beverages, or should I say how most Starbucks beverages go through teenage girls, or would that sound too unseemly. But I digress. What I love about Gabi's love for reading is that it gives us some really great things to talk about. She just finished "To Kill a Mockingbird" for the second time (she had to for school). I never read the book but I saw the movie with Gregory Peck, so I had her watch it prior to her having to read it for school because I felt it was an important film for her to see. We have had many discussions about it ever since she finished reading it. She now insists that I read the book because there is so much more to know about the story. It's next on my list.

I gotta get back to reading heresy, so, until next time....may the force be with you!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween, its Bittersweet!

We have been living in our rental home for close to a year now. Its a little stressful not knowing what will happen at the end of the year, if we will stay or if we will go. We only just started to get to know our neighbors here and they seem really great and I have to say, its really nice to have a huge park at the end of our street.

Gabi mentioned something about the lottery this morning and I started to think that maybe winning the lottery was a viable option for our financial crisis! Wow, I need a break. Hopefully we will get some good news this week (got a few things in the fire you know).

Halloween was really fun in this new neighborhood. We had tons of kids (some were not really kids anymore) in numbers that we had never seen in the old neighborhood. That was a treat (no pun intended) for Andrew because he loves to go all out decorating the house and scaring all the kids. He set up a monster on a pulley system to fly towards the porch as the kids turned and walked away, as well as a fog machine and a big, hairy spider that jumps out at you when you get to close to it. Our neighbors gave him rave reviews for all of his efforts. He also carved all the pumpkins and we roasted the pumpkin seeds right away. I baked mummy cupcakes for a friend and for a dinner party that we had the night before Halloween. It was a great weekend, Gabi's soccer team even won their game and I discovered a new martini drinking buddy!

I wrote a few more food articles but the website still places them under the wrong category so that is beyond frustrating. Hopefully they will get that resolved soon or I will have to move to greener pastures, green as in moola baby!

Currently, we are mired down with much to do about fundraising, for soccer and for science camp. So many things to sell for these kids but its part of the gig when have kids. I think we may have had to do more when the kids were in private school, on a much higher level. I would rather sell Sees candy than golf tournament fees or luxury vacations, thank god I am currently surrounded by normal people, of course I could be overstating that a bit.

By the way, anybody want to buy some See's candy?