The Ballad of Kelly Thomas

•September 18, 2011 • 1 Comment



Justice for Kelly Thomas

•September 12, 2011 • 1 Comment

If you haven’t yet heard about the beating death of Kelly Thomas, a homeless man in Fullerton, Ca, here is a link  to the story and how it has brought out protestors of all stripes. I have been down at the police station almost every Saturday since the protests started, sometimes only for a couple of hours depending on the kids’ needs.
This is my youngest, Sophia, holding up a sign she helped to make. We have friends on the police force and are NOT anti-police, but I want to do everything I can to make sure that the mayor and police chief here in Fullerton know that their citizens won’t just accept this lying down. I am also trying to teach my kids that you need to speak up and try to make a change when you see something wrong.

Next weekend, there is going to be a memorial concert combined with a food and clothing drive for the homeless. The whole family will be going to show our support.

The first day of school

•August 29, 2011 • 2 Comments



And so it starts…the eager kids lined up in front of the classroom, the wistful (or relieved) parents greeting old friends and new teachers.  Since her last name starts with “A”, Sophia got the first seat in the classroom, right up front.  I think it’s going to be a great year for her.

My oldest started high school this morning.  Nick took her to Starbucks and school today.  She is loving it already.  She started the frosh-soph basketball team the first day of summer, so she already has a lot of new friends as well as a few from junior high.  She chose to go to the most challenging local school, instead of the one most of her friends are attending.   Seventy Five percent of the students go on to four year universities (99% go to some college), and graduates from 2009 and 2010 went on to Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins, Harvey Mudd, MIT, Amherst, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Princeton, Stanford, Caltech–you get the idea.  In a recent year, they had more graduates attend USC than any other public high school (or private, for that matter), something like 39 kids.  Not bad for the local high school Nick and I went to years ago.  Isabella is extremely bright, but tends to do what her friends are into, so we are hoping that having studious, academically competitive friends will inspire her.

Been Away

•August 7, 2011 • 1 Comment







Oh, the whirlwind of June

•June 15, 2011 • 3 Comments


promo dance, originally uploaded by Temeculamom.

June takes me by unwilling hands

To spin me in her dervish arms;

The whirlwind of her fleeting days

Obscuring gray and obvious charms.

The sun, the sun, is briefly glimpsed

His summer promises opaque.

But June twirls on at reckless pace

Impetuous wind that will not break.

Here is a quick poem I jotted down to try to capture the feeling of the past month. And some photos from the last two weeks. It has been fun, and stressful and enormously busy. Why do they put Father’s Day at the end of a week when the kids finish school and we have teachers’ gifts and graduations and dances to worry about as well? So not fair to the dads!

Pancake Breakfast for 300+ (Phew! Glad that’s over!)



Guitar recital at a Local Punk Rock Cafe/Bar



Gold Rush Days at the Elementary School




My sister’s birthday party


Best One Ever

•May 23, 2011 • 6 Comments

On a happier note than my last post, I am delighted to report that my youngest has been to the cardiologist and received a clean bill of health. Woo hoo!!!!! According to Terry Pratchett, using 5 exclamation marks is “a sure sign of someone who wears his underpants on his head” (thanks to my friend at Another Tricky Day for that morsel of punctuational parsing). So she is free to go back to her six hours of dance class a week and do as many celebratory cartwheels as she likes. I only wish I could do one, but none of you would enjoy watching that debacle. Hmmm, perhaps it would have some entertainment value at that, but my dignity is still worth something to me, despite my metaphorical choice of headwear today. I will have to confine myself to doing the happy dance. And saying woo hoo!!!!! A lot.

Spring Is Springing Up Everywhere

•April 4, 2011 • 4 Comments

After an unusually rainy season, I am enjoying the signs of Spring all around me. Every morning, I see my hedge exploding with pink flowers, the busy bees bustling from one to the next, legs fat with pollen. My walks are fragrant with the scents of jasmine, wild sage and even plumeria, thanks to the wonderful gardens in my town. And the trails are bursting with oxalis, what my kids call sourgrass, a favorite treat when they were little. This bee was helping himself, so I couldn’t help but catch him in the act. But the thick stalks are crunchy and wet and sour, like a pop of lemon juice in your mouth. Hurray for Spring!!

I guess we thought it was the 80’s

•March 26, 2011 • 2 Comments

Last weekend, my husband and I actually hit not one, but two parties on Saturday night. This was kind of a big deal, because I tend to be a social butterfly, while still shy on the inside, but it is painful for Nick to go out and socialize. And he doesn’t even indulge in alcoholic beverages to lubricate the social tension any. First, we went to the elementary school’s annual Parents Night Out fundraiser, which had an 80’s theme. Naturally, I already had everything I needed in my closet. I wore a lace prom dress ($1), a blace leather bomber jacket from the 80’s, which I just love ($1), Rod Stewart and Duran Duran pins that I had lying around in my jewelry box, a studded necklace I had picked up cheap at Halloween when my daughter and I went Goth, and some pearls and bright yellow hoops I also had around the house. Nick wasn’t up to dressing up (We kind of got ready at the last minute), but he ended up having a great time and didn’t complain one bit. We sat with my friend Tracey whom I’ve known since she was in 2nd grade and her husband Paul, and my other dear friend Kathryn, and her husband, also a Paul. There were so many hilarious stories of the 80’s, and everyone wore the best outfits!!

The Rockers

Tracey and Paul
Love Them!

Me and Nick
Me and my Man

Kathryn and Paul
Members Only

Rocker and Lucky Star
Lucky Star!

Aqua Rock, Baby!
Aqua Rock, Baby!!

We skipped out of the 80’s party a little early to head over to my friend Leslie’s (of Love Train fame) house. I should have taken more photos of the interior, because Leslie is a decorator, and her house is really done up so cute in modern cowgirl chic. I love it!! She threw a St. Patty’s Day party with corned beef, carrots, potatoes and lots of great music.

We stopped off at home for me to change and by a liquor store to grab a six pack of “mojitos” for me. I drank two over the course of the evening; I hadn’t drunk anything but water at the 80’s party. I find as I get older that not drinking much, if any is the key to being able to handle “going out”. Since it was BYOGreenB, I, naturally, had to bring a little green food coloring to doctor my mojitos for the occasion. Three of my sisters and my brother showed up to the party, along with a lot of people who had been at the earlier event.

Cute hostess (on the right)
IMG_1874Me with 3 of my sisters and my brother


Aaron and Carrie

Nick pretending to be shorter than our next-door-neighbor, Bobby

Unfortunately, in true Irish fashion, my brother got good and hammered and actually got into a bit of a tussle with another party goer. Those two were tossed into a cab and invited to leave early. And then the cops were called at 11:00 on a Saturday, and we were asked to stop playing music. This in a neighborhood which is almost exclusively commercial, and only has about 3 homes. Oh well. The music turned off, and everyone continued talking. We headed home around midnight, which was late enough for us anyway.

It was a lot of fun to get out and see so many friends in one night! I guess if there is a fight, and the cops are called, then it’s a great party. ;p And if you don’t drink too much (or in my husband’s case, at all), it’s even better. We not only partied hard, we got to wake up the next morning with no regrets!! It’s good to have learned something in my middle age.

Weekend Thrifting Finds

•March 21, 2011 • 5 Comments

I had a very fun filled weekend, which I will blog about soon, but I did manage to get in a wee bit of thrifting on Friday, and did a two-minute drive-by one yard sale on Saturday. The thrift shop is a new one in town, and their selection is poor, but the prices are generally good on their bric-a-brac. My favorite item was this darling vase with a red and yellow bird singing his heart out on the front and a smaller version of the same fellow in back.

Vintage White Vase with Singing Bird

I also found this cute little set of kissing salt and pepper shakers:
Vintage Salt and Pepper Shakers

A sweet wicker basket to hold my fabric softener sheets (Disclaimer: We rent. I didn’t pick the wallpaper!):
White Wicker Basket

A pretty brass cherub frame with just a bit of verdigris patina on it:
Vintage Cherub Frame

A plain silver frame–but isn’t it perfect for this old photo of my boy?

On Saturday I found these shabby chic syrocco bookends at a yard sale down the street. One is more worn than the other, but I don’t mind a bit.

Syrocco Bookends

Syrocco Bookends

I’ve linked up to Apron Thrift Girl for Thrift Share Monday.

A trip to the Castle

•March 18, 2011 • 4 Comments

My friend Mary Therese recently moved into a local home we jokingly refer to as “the Castle”. She says she will just keep an invitation open to us at all times as she is not one to stand on formality (very true). We got the not so grand tour the other day as she was unpacking boxes and her son was doing his homework. It is a wonderful Spanish/Mediterranean style, which I love, and it has five bedrooms and a great, huge basement where the giant TV and game systems will go. Are you ready for a partial tour?

Here are some photos for you:

A side view of the house

The arched window in the living room (there’s a ginormous fake Christmas tree that came with the window):
"The Castle"

The dining room chandelier:


The foyer:

A settee from the previous owner:

A tiled staircase:

Zack climbing the stairs:

The “welcome home” banner looks tiny!:

Love the stained glass!:

She kept a photo of the street where she used to live (and we still live). Isn’t it gorgeous?

Another chandelier:

A pink tiled bathroom:

Seriously, these tiles are amazing!

Love these 1920’s houses. Lots of work, but really worth it.

A chandelier and built-in storage in one of the many closets:

And a built-in dresser:

A black bottom pool:

Lovely little side yard:

Thank you for having us! We’ll be back to take our prom pictures here.
Thanks again!! Actually, this dear friend is a doctor, and she was sweet enough to fill a prescription for me today after a quick exam. I am actually off to the pharmacy to pick it up. Thank the Lord for good friends and good neighbors. I hope you enjoyed the tour half as much as we did.