Monday, February 22, 2010

It's Monday

After a really nice relaxing weekend, I decided today would be a good Monday. I don't know about you but sometimes I just wake up agitated on Mondays.I feel bad for my unsuspecting husband because he doesn't even know what he did to make me mad yet. I have an uncanny ability to get mad at him without even leaving the bed. Today during morning devotions I told him I was "upset" because our house wasn't organized enough and the "vibe" of it was making me sick.
I can't believe he puts up with me sometimes. Ya know what he did? He actually made and effort to pick up all his clothes today. When I came home everything looked amazing. I was so happy, until I went into his bathroom. I peered into his bathtub..yes bathtub and what do I see? I see a huge pile of laundry clean and dirty piled up in there. He muttered"Um you weren't suppossed to see that! I'll get to it! Just pretend it's not there!" What is he the Wizard of Oz? How can I pretend my bathtub in the guest bathroom isn't overflowing with clothes? Is this a guy thing or a Ron thing?
I don't know.
I took Ron to go shopping tonight and bought him some clothes because he's lost 35 pds. He actually let me shop with him for over an hour, which is a first. Lucy was having a ball ripping all the belts off the racks and pulling down all the ties. Then she found a kick ball on the shelf that she grabbed and put in her lap . She then started throwing the ball at me yelling" Turn around mama! Turn around!"
I'm tired! I should go to bed but I feel it's my duty as an American to watch the Olympics. I gave it a try tonight with Ice Dancing and I was bored. Oh well..Men of A Certain Age is on in 10 minutes! I love that show!
Tommorrow is another day. I like Tue's!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Boom Boom Room (Golden Globes Celebrity Gifting Suite)

Last month, Ron and I were invited to come by and check out the celebrity swag for kids and moms. We did some interviews, found some cool stuff and got to interview some celebrities like Scott Baio (shh! don't tell Ron).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My mom's adventures with our family

Hi guys,
My mom Barb is also a blogger and author. You can read more about her books and travels here: and on my site where all her blogs are posted on my writer page at
This was her blog from our recent Christmas time adventures with family!


Our Christmas, 2009 adventure began on December 21 when Dick and I boarded a plane in Atlanta for the 5 hour trip to Los Angeles. We had opted to leave in the afternoon in order for us to have time to leave our home spotless since it is for sale and we just knew the perfect buyer would be coming through during the holidays and we would be signing sale papers in January. (Alas that did not happen) So we were relieved to settle into our seats and relax for a few hours. Dick promptly went to sleep which he always does on planes, but not in any bed where he lays his head. I played trivia the entire trip and actually won several games so the 5 hours passed quickly. We actually arrived in Los Angeles 30 minutes early but since there wasn’t a gate open we sat on the runway and waited. I called Kerri and she, Ron, and Lucy met us at baggage claim. Thankfully all of our luggage arrived and there were no delays.

Now by that time it was 9:00 P.M. EST so Dick and I were tired, hungry, and ready for bed, but we would have a short detour before we were fed and put to bed. Instead of going home Kerri and Ron wanted to take Lucy and us to see the lights in one particular neighborhood where all the homes are decorated extravagantly and the streets are closed off so you park and walk. It was called “Candy Cane Lane” and I will admit it was beautiful and it was fun to watch Lucy as she exclaimed over all the lights and decorations. After about 45 minutes we said goodbye to Santa and all his playmates and headed home.

One of Kerri and Ron’s friends were kind enough to let us use their condo which is right down the hall so it was very convenient and extremely nice to have our own space. After eating and unpacking we were in bed and I slept while Dick rested. Since Kerri and Ron are enrolled in an early morning fitness class and leave at 6:30 I was designated to rise early and stay with Lucy so I was up and at their condo at 6:15. Lucy was up and playing as she is used to going to class with them. Alas I wasn’t able to relax with my wake up cup of coffee and early morning news shows while reclining on my heating pad to loosen my back muscles. Instead we watched Sesame Street and Curious George.

After Kerri got home Dick and I made a trip to the grocery store to stock up on staples and snack. The “fitness healthy” family does not have any snacks in their cupboards and we cannot exist without sugar. I will say that my thoughtful daughter had traveled miles out of her way to Chick fil A to buy her mother a gallon of sweet tea (the southern elixir which I crave). Then my sweet son in law had researched how to make sweet tea on the internet and made 2 gallons. I was very pleased with the gestures but didn’t want to tell them it would take at least 3 people to drink 3 gallons of tea before it lost its taste. It was a very thoughtful of both of them.

Mark was to arrive by train at 6:30 that evening and since the station was in downtown LA Kerri, Dick, Lucy, and I left at 5:00 to meet him. The traffic was bumper to bumper on all 6 lanes and it was after 7:00 before we arrived at the station. Mark’s train was early so he had to wait about an hour for us so was outside ready to leave when we pulled up. The ride home wasn’t as bad and we used to time to visit with Mark and catch up. Lucy was excited to see Uncle Mark as he was her.

The next afternoon was Kerri’s internet show on Mom TV which she does every Tuesday afternoon. She usually interviews interesting and sometimes famous guests or just talks about subjects she and the producers think moms would like to hear. That particular afternoon she was interviewing a prominent Nutritionist, but before she started the interview she wanted me to show everyone how to decorate Christmas red plate chargers with white polka dots to make them look festive. Some of my “sisters” at home had showed me how to paint the edges and when I told Kerri about it she said she would like to decorate her chargers so I took the paint and brushes to California with me. It was going to a “mother/daughter” bonding project. So Kerri introduced “mom” and I proceeded to paint dots while she asked questions. I’m not sure they were even as I was probably nervous about doing anything in front of an audience. I then showed some of my handmade Christmas cards that I had made with my new Cricut machine. So for a few minutes I was an internet star and Kerri actually got some emails from ladies saying they liked the demonstration. She then interviewed the Nutrition lady and I listened and learned that I’m eating all the wrong foods, but I’m too old to change. Besides what is life without “sweet tea”.

The next morning after Kerri’s exercise program we drove over an hour to her hairdresser’s apt. The stylist actually works in the famous Fred Segal Salon but she does some clients at home and charges about half the fee to it’s worth a drive for Kerri to go to her home. She was going to color Kerri’s hair and just blow dry and style mine. We took Lucy with us so Dick could sleep. Now Lucy has a “minor” issue that we don’t like to discuss because it has caused Kerri to shed many tears. She likes to bite other children and sometimes adults. Kerri and Ron have consulted with every known specialist, book, internet site on the subject and they all say she will out grow it, but in the mean time just keep a close watch on her. Easier said than done.

As we neared Wendy’s (not her read name so she won’t get fired from Fred Segal) home I asked Kerri if the neighborhood was safe as it looked a little run down but not ghetto like. She said “of course it’s safe, it’s where The Karate Kid” lived when he moved to LA”. No comment from me but if you saw the movie you know the neighborhood. We made our way up to Wendy’ apartment and after introductions to her one year old baby who was just starting to walk and very cute, she proceeded to put the color on Kerri’s hair. My job was to watch Lucy and make sure she didn’t bite Michael. I thought I was doing a good job, when all of a sudden Michael started screaming and Lucy was standing next to him with a look of innocence on her face. At first I didn’t notice anything but Wendy looked over and started screaming hysterically that Lucy had bitten him on the face. Sure enough he had teeth marks on his little chubby cheeks Wendy immediately picked him up and got an ice pack while Kerri took Lucy in the bedroom and spanked her bottom. We know from past experience that doesn’t work, but you have to do something. After things settled down a little Kerri asked me to take Lucy down to car and keep her there until she got the color off her hair. We would have left, but you can’t leave with color on your hair. So Lucy and I spent 30 minutes in the car with the windows rolled up as I watched some unsavory looking characters walk down the side walk. I was also lamenting the fact that now I wouldn’t be able to get my hair done and would have to do it myself or pay someone $40 to do it for me. My phone rang about that time and Kerri said she would come down and sit with Lucy while her color processed and Wendy would do my hair. When I got back upstairs, Michael was in bed asleep and Wendy was calm and very understanding about the incident. She finished my hair and I gave her a $10 tip because I felt so bad about not watching Lucy close enough. She then called Kerri and told her to bring Lucy back up so we all managed to make the best of a troubling situation. Lucy was oblivious to all the trauma she had caused, but Kerri was devastated for the rest of the day. However our “coifs” did look good so that helped.

That afternoon Kerri, Mark and I went to post office and grocery store. Our Christmas Day plan was to have dinner with Ron’s parents at his sister’s home and we were to provide desserts for the meal. I offered to make my southern coconut cake and help Kerri make 2 buttermilk pies. Kerri was also going to make her northern grandmother’s stuffing so we had ingredients to shop for. While Kerri and Mark stood in the long line out of the door at the post office I started the shopping foray through the store. Much to my disappointment but not surprise (after all we were in Ca. not the south) they had no frozen coconut which is pretty essential for a good cake unless you want to grate a fresh coconut which I wasn’t in the mood to do. So I picked up 2 packages of dried coconut off the shelf knowing full well that it was going to ruin my cake recipe but what other options did I have.

The next day Kerri and I started early (after her workout and me getting up at 6:00) on our cooking projects. Now I had 2 recipes with slightly different ingredients for the buttermilk pies and I was trying to find bowls, measuring utensils, cake pans, and pie pans from both Kerri’s kitchen and the condo where we were staying. Now Ann who lives in the condo is a gourmet cook, but it took quite awhile and a few phone calls to Ann to gather all the things that I needed. She has a very fancy Kitchenaid mixer which I didn’t want to try and figure out how to work so I just used Kerri’s hand held mixer which was adequate but not great. If anyone was watching the whole process it was probably comical to see me running back and forth between Kerri and Ann’s condos and cooking in 2 stoves. The results were that the buttermilk pies almost never got done and it was probably because of mixing 2 recipes. They sure didn’t look like any picture or buttermilk pie that I had ever seen and I made Dick test them before taking them to dinner. He said they were good and I hoped he was telling the truth and not just trying not to hurt my feeling. The dried coconut was a poor substitute for the frozen but it was passingly (don’t think that’s a word) okay. Kerri’s stuffing was very good so something was a success. I think the moral of that story is just don’t try to cook in someone else’s kitchen in another part of the country. Some of my special friends would probably say that I don’t try to cook in my own kitchen and they could be right.

Since that was Christmas Eve, we decided to go to an early Mass and have dinner afterwards. Kerri map quested the church and we still got lost so were late arriving. People were standing along the sides and in the back but someone said we could go up into the balcony so that’s what we did. There were only 5 rows of chairs and since we had Lucy we opted to sit on the back row where we couldn’t see anything and could hear very little. A few minutes after we sat down, everyone in the balcony heard the theme from “Gone With the Wind” as my phone started ringing. Now the only way I know to stop it is to answer it so I did and it was my brother calling from Alabama. He of course had no idea we were in church and when I told him I thought he said “call me back; it’s important” so I immediately went outside and called him back. He said he had said “it’s not important” but with all the confusion I misunderstood. He just wanted to see how we were doing and wish us a Merry Christmas. I went back upstairs and we made it through Mass by everyone having a turn at following Lucy up and down the stairs.

After Mass we proceeded to the Buggy Whip Restaurant which is a famous steak house where Kerri just happened to have a $50 coupon which she had gotten off the internet. We were shown to table but given no menus and told that they don’t have high chairs. Now that would be an indication to me that we should try a restaurant that welcomed babies, but no one else agreed with me. Then the waitress came over and Kerri told her she had a coupon and the waitress said it wasn’t good on a holiday. Kerri who is not intimidated by anyone quickly explained that she had called earlier and the manager said it would be honored. So the waitress who was kind of snippy and not a happy camper to start with (and who would be if you had to work on Christmas Eve) went to check. She came back and said that yes we could use the coupon. She then noticed that we didn’t have menus so found some nearby but said they didn’t have enough for everyone and we had to share. Now that wouldn’t be a problem at McDonald’s but you would think that a 3 or 4 star restaurant would have enough menus for everyone. We wisely didn’t say anything as she took our drink orders. When she came back to take our food orders I asked her a question and she acted a little “put out” and said she would get back to me later. She proceeded to take everyone’s order and was leaving when I told her she had forgotten me. She stopped and acted like she was doing me a favor as she took my order. After she left I made an unkind comment and Kerri said we should be nice because she might be having a bad day so when she came back with our drinks, Kerri asked her name which was Dianne and everyone tried to be especially nice to her. I like to think that it worked but not certain. We waited and waited and Lucy was getting restless going from lap to lap with no high chair and at one point reached over the back of the booth and touched a woman’s hair. Fortunately the woman didn’t yell so I guess she didn’t pull it. At that point Dick decided to take her into the other room to listen to the piano player. They stayed for quite awhile until our food arrived and he said Lucy was the hit of the lounge and the pianist played “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” for her. The entrees were good and Ron treated and left Dianne a nice tip so hopefully her next customers were treated a little nicer. It had been a long day and we were all tired and ready for bed.

Christmas Day arrived and everyone was up early except Dick and Mark. I went over to see Lucy’s presents and when I walked into the condo, I saw pieces of her train set scattered everywhere. Kerri said they had spent hours putting it together and it took her just minutes to take it apart. They discovered that she loves trains when they took her for a train ride around Santa Land during Christmas. She also likes to watch Thomas the Train on television. So they thought she would love a train set. Well she liked it for a few minutes and then discovered it was fun to take apart. She was busy going from one thing to another and it was fun to watch her exploring all the gifts.

Kerri made chocolate pancakes for breakfast and served them on her newly painted polka dot chargers so the table was very festive. She and Ron decided they could skip the diet for one day so started off with a big splurge. After breakfast Lucy opened her presents from Nana and Rocco which were numerous. We had purchased a book from Hallmark that you read and record your voice on each page and we thought it would be a nice book for her to have to read and listen to our voices after we had gone home. I just knew she was going to love it. Well a 2 year old is more interested in buttons than voices so she would turn a page and press the record button (which was turned off, but said “turn the battery on to record”) and of course would drown out our voices. Oh well, maybe she would read it after we were gone.

We arrived at Ron’s sister’s home around 3:00 and were greeted by his parents, sister’s husband and 2 children, plus a cousin and her family of four so was a large group. Ron’s mother and sister cooked a feast of Korean dishes plus a baked ham and sweet potatoes probably just for us. Kerri realized that she had forgotten to bring the stuffing and was devastated, but there was no shortage of food. Everyone dutifully ate our pies and cake, but I’m not certain they were a huge hit. One of Ron’s comedian friends who is single joined us and brought fudge and that was devoured in short order.

After dinner we opened presents. Dick had filled 2 huge piƱatas with dollar bills for the 2 children and they proceeded to hit them with a bat until the money went flying everywhere. We let Lucy have a turn and she was fascinated by the whole process. The biggest hit of the day was the big box that we had brought with our packages in it. Lucy and Erica spent the afternoon hiding in and being carried around in the box. We could have skipped the presents and just given them a box and they would have been happy. Ron’s parents gave us oranges, lemons, tangerines, and avocados from their garden plus a big box of Asian pears which Dick loves. We gave them pecans and southern barbeque sauce so it was fun exchange. It was a lovely day and a very memorable Christmas.

The next evening Dick, Kerri, Ron, and I went to see a play in Long Beach which is a 45 minute drive. Kerri had called Dick before our trip and gave him a number of options for plays to see and he chose “Radio Lux Theater” because we had seen a radio play in Atlanta and enjoyed it very much. Well that day Dick had been very tired and slept most of the day and actually had to make himself get dressed and go with us. I’m sure he would rather have stayed in bed but didn’t want to disappoint Kerri. The theater was small with seats on 3 sides of the stage which was in the center. The play started out slow and I kept thinking that it was going to get better but it didn’t. Dick’s head kept dropping and he would start making snoring noises so I kept punching him to wake him up. I didn’t know if he was bored or just very tired. We were so close to the stage that I knew the actors could see him sleeping. Ron was the only one who laughed and I think he was just trying to be supportive because the play wasn’t funny.

The intermission finally arrived and I asked Dick if he would like to leave and he said no. I then looked at Kerri and asked her if she liked the play and she said it was okay. I told her I thought it was boring and she said “well it is a little boring”. She then asked Ron if he would like to leave and he said he could go or stay. After some discussion we decided to leave so we quietly exited the theater. Kerri was worried that it would be rude to leave since the audience was so small and being an actress she may have experienced audience members leaving a show, but I’m sure not because of “her” acting or speaking ability. We had to walk beside the building past the dressing room windows which were open in order to get to the parking lot in the back of the theater. Kerri told us to be very quiet and not say anything negative in case some of the cast were in the dressing rooms and could hear us. So we walked quietly and as we reached the rear of the building Kerri said very loudly that Dad had slept through the whole play. About that time we heard a voice say “we weren’t as bad as that were we?” and looked over and saw the 2 male leads smoking cigarettes at the back door. Kerri immediately turned and said something like “we have a baby at home and can’t stay out late” and one of the men said “oh they all say that”. By that time Ron and I were laughing hysterically and Dick was trying to find the car in a hurry. Kerri caught up with us and joined in the laughter but kept saying how bad she felt that the actors had heard her comment. I said they shouldn’t have been smoking and then wouldn’t have heard us. AT any rate it provided laughter for most of the ride home and we hoped the second act would have been more entertaining for those who stayed. Another memorable Pomarolli evening.

Two days later on Sunday morning, we packed our bags and took Lucy along as we drove Mark home to San Diego. Mark had not been feeling well because of side effects of his medicine so was anxious to be home and in his own bed. Thankfully the traffic was not heavy and the trip only took 2 hours during which time Lucy had a nice nap. Dick had made reservations at the Marriott Residence Inn where we had stayed when we visited earlier in October. It never occurred to us that school was out and all the kids in California would be staying at the hotel because it was close to Sea World and the Zoo. Plus it was right across the street from the football stadium where a Bowl Game was being played on Monday night. When Lucy and I walked down to have breakfast the next morning kids and their parents were lined up out the door for the complimentary breakfast. Now I have stayed at hundreds of motels over the years and never experienced that many people in a lobby trying to eat free food. I would have just skipped it and had coffee in our room, but I knew that Lucy needed to eat so I took her back to the room and left her with Dick while I went back and stood in line to get her some “just okay” food. She did like the fruit and milk. The next couple of mornings I got up early and went down before the crowds and brought food back to the room. So Lucy and I ate and watched Elmo on Sesame Street.

Since Mark couldn’t drive Dick and I drove him to the pharmacist, doctor, bank, grocery store, and other places that he needed to go. Each day he picked out restaurants for lunch and dinner and we enjoyed a variety of very good gourmet meals. Ocean Beach where he lives is a beautiful little community right on the ocean and is filled with shops, boutiques and interesting restaurants and fortunately are in walking distance of his apartment. Not that his mother walked to any of them. Why walk when you have a car? Lucy loved the water so every day Mark or Dick would take her for a walk down to the water where she could watch for boats. We also took her to a nearby playground which was very nice and we saw soccer moms and kids alongside the homeless. Apparently Ocean Beach and probably San Diego is a haven for homeless people because of the warm climate and wonderful treasures in the garbage cans. Several times when we pulled up behind Mark’s apartment we saw men with long sticks going through the garbage cans. They always had bicycles with baskets overflowing with items they had found. It’s always sad to me to see homeless people and I wish I knew the answer to the problem, but I guess no one does at this point. At least those people weren’t cold or hungry.

One afternoon we tried to take Lucy to the zoo but we forgot that all the kids were out of school and apparently at the zoo, because we couldn’t find a parking space. After 30 minutes of driving around we decided that even if we could park it would be too crowded to get close to the animals so we left and went shopping instead. Mark had given me a gift certificate to an antique mall for Christmas and I needed to use it while we were there so we drove to the mall. I have to admit I really didn’t expect to find a treasure but thought either Dick or I could find something to use the gift certificate on. Low and behold as I walking around I looked into a showcase and saw a Madame Alexander Scarlett doll. It was similar to one that I have but the price was right and I thought Mark would be pleased that he had added to my collection so I purchased it. Of course then we had to ship it home since I didn’t want to take a chance on it getting lost or broken in my luggage. Dick also found a rare record album and a Blue Angels airplane model so it was a fun and successful afternoon. Mark and Lucy spent most of the time outside playing while we were shopping. Lucy does not enjoy antiques and neither does Mark for that matter.

That afternoon it became cloudy and a rain shower followed which was unusual for San Diego but they do need rain to help prevent the forest fires that occur quite often. It was also the night of the bowl game which was outside so when we got back to our motel, some of the rain soaked fans were walking in complaining about the weather. Then someone asked if we had felt the earthquake and we said no. Apparently there had been a small quake in Mexico which had been felt in San Diego, but thankfully we had missed it. I talked to my brother that night and he asked how we were enjoying the rain and the earthquake so it must have been on the news.

I discovered quite by accident that Lucy has the potential to be a hairdresser. I already knew that she was all female as she loves purses, shoes, and makeup and won’t leave home without all of the above. Well one night as I was sitting on the sofa in the motel watching TV, she came over with my comb and brush and climbed up beside me and began to style my hair. She would comb a little and lean down and look me in the eye and say “okay, honey” and then “you so pretty”. Then if she pulled my hair I would say “ouch” and she would say “I so sorry” and continue combing. That kept her occupied for about an hour. I told Kerri that was the first

time I had seen her concentrate on anything for long a period of time. She is usually flitting or running from one thing to another. We had several more hair sessions during our stay and she did it as well as most of the high priced hair stylists that I visited.

On New Year’s Day Dick, Lucy, and I checked out of the motel and drove over to have lunch with Mark before heading back up to Orange County where we would be staying at one of Kerri and Ron’s friend’s home for the next week. On the way over I planned to stop by Chick fil A and pick up a gallon of sweet tea for the week, but of all the things the exit ramp was closed and we didn’t know how to find another road to the restaurant. After a quick lunch we were on the road headed north. Now the plan was that we would open the home and Kerri and Ron would come down on New Year’s Day. They had big plans to celebrate New Year’s Eve and we just wanted to rest which is kind of difficult with a 2 year old speeding bullet named Lucy.

The ride up took about an hour and a half and we found the home with no difficulty. Ron had given us a key and told us that the couple has a nanny who lives with them, but she wasn’t supposed to be home that day or night. We were not too comfortable going into a strange home but Ron had given us a few instructions as to which bedroom to use, etc. The home is a lovely home with 6 bedrooms, a pool, hot tub, fountain, and complete kitchen in the backyard. It is a tri-level with the master bed room suite and their daughter’s bedroom down stairs and 4 bedrooms upstairs. Ron told us to choose one of the upstairs rooms and he and Kerri would take one the others. After unpacking we decided to go out and find somewhere to eat dinner. While we were out driving around we spotted a Chick fil A so I was able to get my sweet tea and Lucy enjoyed chicken, fries, and some time in their play area.

When we returned from shopping, we noticed a car in the driveway and knew it must be the nanny’s car. We did not meet her until later in the evening as she was in her room. She then told us that Dick and I were supposed to sleep in the master bed room and we just said since we were already settled in upstairs we would let Kerri and Ron use that room. Dick slept in one of the twin beds and I slept in a twin bed in another bedroom. Ron had brought Lucy’s bed down earlier so her bed was in Rocco’s room. Lucky me.

I was sleeping well when around 5:00 A. M. I heard from the next room “Cuddle with Nana” and in a few minutes in walked Rocco with Lucy who climbed in beside me in the single bed. She went immediately back to sleep curled up under me and after an eternity I must have dozed because I was awakened by a big thud and realized that she had fallen out of the bed. She was down between the bed and wall and fortunately didn’t seem to be hurt because I picked her up and she went back to sleep.

Kerri and Ron arrived around noon and after they unpacked we drove to Ron’s parent’s home for dinner. Once again his mom had cooked a feast and we enjoyed visiting with them. The guys watched football and everyone relaxed. I commented to Ron’s mom that I loved her warm soft throw which she had on her sofa and she immediately said “you take it, I have another one”. I of course said I couldn’t do that but she insisted and I went home with her beautiful throw as well as more avocados, oranges, and lemons.

The next night Kerri asked me to go to a prayer meeting with her and a friend at someone’s home. She said they prayed for people to be healed and she knew I needed healing so I said okay if we don’t have to stay all night. She said no we would only stay 30 minutes and leave. The meeting started at 7:00 and after getting lost trying to find her friend’s home, we arrived at 7:45. We were greeted at the door by the leader of the group who owned the condo where the meeting was held. The living room/dining area was packed with people sitting on chairs, the floor, stairway, and standing up as well so we squeezed our way into the kitchen where Kerri found a chair for me. A man and woman were playing guitars and leading praise music none of which I knew so I just listened and thought it would probably end soon.

Well as the singing progressed, the front door opened and a young woman walked in carrying a life size red head of the devil. I thought it must be part of some kind of program, but then I realized that everyone in the room was looking at the woman wondering what she was doing. The host gently tried to escort her out of the door and she held up the devil’s head and said “If he has no power over you, why can’t he come in?” Then we realized she must be a kook trying to disrupt the meeting. Eventually the host got her out of the door and we could see him talking to her for quite awhile as the singing continued.

As we were sitting (at least I was sitting) in the kitchen 2 men were having a conversation behind us and Kerri turned to one of them and said “you sound like you have a southern accent” to which he replied “I’m from Alabama”. So she said “my mom’s from Alabama” and I felt like I should introduce myself so I did. After asking where he was from and telling him my roots, the man proceeded to tell me that his whole body was filled with metal plates from war injuries he had received from several tours in the Marine Corps and he had even been rescued from a body bag by a Navy nurse who felt his pulse. The story continued with him saying he had just finished working on some kind of energy invention which would save millions of dollars, but in the process he had almost blown himself up and was in the hospital for weeks recovering from his injuries. I’m sure I was sitting there with my mouth open having a hard time believing all of the stories, but trying to act interested. He went on to tell me he had recently left his wife of 4 years after he followed her to the mall on his Harley and found her with another man. Apparently his first wife had died and left a child that he didn’t know he had until last year when her family contacted him to tell him they couldn’t take care of the little eleven year old girl. So at the moment the child was with his parents in Alabama and he visited as often as he could.

Now during this whole conversation a lady was standing behind us singing all the songs being sung by the group in the other room. As I was trying to stay focused on all the stories I was hearing and checking my watch frequently, the lady leaned down and whispered in the man’s ear that he should be quiet. Now first of all I appreciated not having to hear any more stories, but I didn’t understand who appointed that lady the sound monitor and why if she was so into the singing she wasn’t in the main room. I wisely kept quiet except to ask Kerri how much longer we were staying. Her friend leaned over and said they had never had 2 hours of singing and she just knew it would be over soon. So much for our 30 minute visit.

About that time a young woman came up to Kerri and asked if she was Kerri Pomarolli to which Kerri answered yes. She went on to say she had seen one of Kerri’s shows in Dallas 5 years earlier and had followed her career on Kerri’s web site since that time. She just went on and on about being Kerri’s biggest fan which was very flattering. As it happened she was from Bulgaria and Kerri has a very good friend from Bulgaria so they were chatting away when the lady sound monitor walked over and asked them to be quiet. So they dutifully started singing and following instructions.

At 9:00 the singing stopped and the leader of the group introduced himself and gave about a 45 minute talk about the Christian walk and made several references to Jesus and his disciples healing the sick, etc. Then a couple of people gave testimonies about how they had been miraculously healed and I had no reason to doubt anything they were saying. The leader then said they would take a break and afterwards pray for anyone who needed prayer. I told Kerri it was after 10:00 and time for us to be home and she agreed that we should leave. She then told me to look behind us and there surrounded by a group of women was the girl who had brought the devil’s head. Now I still don’t know how she got into the kitchen because we were at the door and she had not passed by me so she must have somehow gone around the building and come through the back door without us seeing her. Either that or it was magic. At any rate the women were praying for her and hopefully they were successful.

On the way out, Kerri introduced me to the leader as her “frozen chosen” Presbyterian mother who had never attended that kind of meeting before. Boy you can say that again. He was very nice and asked if he could pray for me and I said of course so he did. I appreciated his concern and prayers even though I didn’t receive a miracle that night.

When we got back into the car, Kerri remarked that her gas gauge was on empty and we would have to stop for gas. Now I am forever telling her not to let her gas tank get below ¼ empty and to never stop at gas stations after dark, but she thinks its just mom being paranoid. I don’t think she realizes the danger of even driving alone after dark in a big city much less stopping at gas stations in unfamiliar territory. We were fortunate to find a station in a well lit area and I was very relieved to be back at our “borrowed” home safely. Needless to say I was tired and Kerri kept saying that I would probably never go to another prayer meeting with her. I hope I kept quiet but not certain of that. It was certainly an unforgettable night and I had made a new friend from Alabama.

The next morning Kerri and I were up early so she could make her specialty deviled eggs and I could help her make a salad for a baby shower we would be attending that day. She cooked a dozen eggs to make 24 halves and placed them in her Tupperware 2 tiered egg carrier. We had also worked on and completed a 3 layer cake made out of diapers and decorated with ribbons which was an idea from her friend Ann and a cute way to give diapers as a gift. So by 11:30 we had the car loaded and were off to drive about 45 minutes to the shower. When we arrived we unpacked the goodies and put the food in the kitchen. Kerri asked me to take the eggs and put them on the dining room table while she helped the hostess with a few last minute details. So I picked up the eggs and as I almost reached the table the bottom tier fell off and all the eggs on that tier hit the floor and went splat. The filling went every where including on my new black skirt. I was mortified and knew Kerri would be devastated as she had worked so hard making the eggs. At that moment Kerri walked in and saw the mess on the floor and was horrified at the loss of over half of her eggs. She looked at the floor and quietly asked if we could salvage some of them since they were still intact. I have to admit I was tempted but in the end decided that we’d better toss them in the garbage which we did. We then proceeded to clean up the floor which fortunately was wood so we just wiped up the eggs. I was able to get most of the eggs off of my skirt as well. Kerri later told me that was not the first time the egg carrier had fallen apart so we decided to toss it out when we got home. The few eggs that were left disappeared in a hurry and food was plentiful so I don’t think anyone missed having more eggs. The shower was lovely and I visited with some of the Kerri’s friends that I had met over the years.

Since Kerri’s church was meeting that afternoon in a friend’s home we had to leave the shower a little early. Too bad we had to forego some of the games which we both “love”. We arrived at the church meeting to find Ron in the front yard playing with Lucy. They have a bible lesson for children but since Lucy has bitten some of the children Kerri and Ron take turns watching her away from the other kids. The meeting was already in progress as the small group of about 10 people sat around listening to a praise music CD so I took a seat next to Dick on the sofa. Almost immediately everyone heard “Tara’s Theme” above the praise music as my phone started ringing. At least it wasn’t during a prayer. I was embarrassed but as I said before the only way I know to stop the ringing is to answer it so I did and it was my friend Ellen calling from Georgia. Of course she had no way of knowing we were in a church meeting in the middle of the afternoon. So I walked outside and had a short conversation and then went back in to join the meeting. As the meeting progressed Kerri and I both took a turn watching Lucy so Ron could participate. After about 2 hours they adjourned to the kitchen where everyone partook of a pot luck dinner. Since Kerri and I had eaten a late lunch and we had a long drive back to Orange County, we opted to leave as did Ron and Dick with Lucy. It had been another long, but interesting day.

When we all arrived at the house, Ron told us that the owners of the home had called that afternoon to say that an exchange student from China was coming over on Tuesday to look at the room that I was using to possibly rent it. If he liked it, he would move in on Wednesday. So we made a quick change of plans. After much discussion it was decided that Dick, Lucy, and I would drive to San Diego on Tuesday and stay until Thursday when we would go back to their condo. Kerri and Ron would go home and get things in order since they had someone installing wood floors in the living and dining area while they were away.

The next morning was an exciting time as we were all taking Lucy and Ron’s niece and nephew to see “The Chipmunks Squeakquel” movie. Kerri and Ron had discovered in December that Lucy loved the chipmunk’s music after she had seen a preview of the movie on TV. They bought the Christmas CD and every time we got in the car she would say “play Simon, play Simon” until someone turned it on. So we listened to Simon, Theodore, and Alvin for 3 weeks and hours in the car between San Diego and LA. One of Ron’s brothers had sent the little stuffed figures plus Brittany, the Chippette from the new movie and she took them every where she went. Since she is only two I thought it was risky taking her to the movie theater but we went at 10:30 in the morning in hopes there would only be children who wouldn’t care if Lucy made noise.

Ron brought Lucy’s booster seat with a tray for her to sit in. Dick bought popcorn and drinks for everyone which by the way cost more than the movie tickets. Kerri put popcorn on Lucy’s tray and she sat mesmerized watching the movie and eating her popcorn until almost the end of the movie. It was so much fun to watch her expressions during the dancing and singing. She was jumping up and down and trying to dance in her seat.

As we were sitting quietly watching the movie everyone heard music that wasn’t coming from the screen. Yes, it was my phone playing “Gone With the Wind”. I had to answer it to stop the music and that time it was Mark so I just told him we were in the movie and he asked why I had not put my phone on vibrate. I always do that in movies but in the excitement just forgot. I don’t really think anyone but my family noticed, but they were certainly looking at me and making me feel uncomfortable. It could have had something to do with the fact that it was third incident of my phone ringing in inappropriate places. Oh well, I’m old and forgetful.

After Lucy was sated with popcorn she decided it was time to get out of the chair and let everyone know she wanted out. So Ron took her out and let her stand in front of her seat. She stood there holding on to the seat in front of her dancing and singing. No one in the theater seemed to mind.

The movie was cute and entertaining and what a treat to experience Lucy’s first visit to the movies. Afterwards we stopped for hamburgers and fries and then went home for a much needed nap.

We departed for San Diego around noon and since the traffic was light we arrived at our motel in less than 2 hours. Fortunately it did not look as crowded as the previous week and Mark said that was because most schools were back in session. After unpacking we went over to Mark’s condo and picked him up to take him to the Dermatologist. Lucy went to sleep in the car so we just waited while Mark saw the doctor. As it was diner time when he came out we went directly to Old Town and to one of his favorite Mexican Restaurants. He and Dick love Mexican food and I am always limited in my food choices because I can’t eat anything spicy.

Dick is my taster and tests everything for pepper before I try it. During the meal 2 men with guitars came over to table and asked if they could play for us. Dick told them Lucy’s name and they sang a song with “Lucy” in it. I’m sure they just substituted her name, but since we couldn’t understand Spanish we didn’t know what they were saying anyway. Dick gave them a nice tip for their efforts and Lucy was fascinated by the guitars and singing.

We know she loves music and drawing but not certain those occupations will take precedence over hair styling or phone operator. We also know she could be a track star as she’s faster than a speeding bullet.

After dinner we dropped Mark off and went back to the motel as we were tired and I wanted to wash my hair. It was after 9:00 by the time I showered and was ready to dry my hair. I took the motel hair dryer off the wall, turned the “on” switch and nothing happened. I checked the reset button and tried every thing I knew to do and the dryer wouldn’t work. Of course I was asking “why me Lord”. Since I couldn’t go to sleep with wet hair I knew we had to call the desk and try to get a new dryer.

The desk clerk said an engineer would be up to look at it shortly and around 9:30 he arrived. After working on it for several minutes he said it was broken and he would have to get a new one. So he left and we waited. Of course Lucy couldn’t go to sleep since the bathroom was connected to the bedroom where she slept. She was happy to run around and play and I said “don’t tell mommy you’re up so late”. After what seemed like an eternity, the engineer brought a new dryer, installed it, and left. By that time my hair was partially dried so I rewet it, dried it, and Lucy and I went to bed.

The next day we picked Mark up in the late morning and drove to Balboa Park which is a famous park named after the explorer and is filled with museums, playhouses, exhibits, beautiful walkways, fountains, restaurants, and playgrounds. All the architecture is Spanish and the buildings are beautiful. Can you guess where we went? We had a quick sandwich in one of the cafes and then headed for the playground. Since the park covers hundreds of acres, it’s a long walk to get everywhere and I thought we would never reach the playground. Mark put Lucy on his shoulders and they left Dick and me in the dust trailing behind. It was a beautiful sunny day and the gardens and trees were beautiful so we just took our time as I wondered how I was going to make it back up the hill and to the parking lot. Lucy had a wonderful time on the slides and swings and would have stayed all afternoon but we knew she had to have a nap and the rest of us were getting tired. I had a map with all the tram stops and tried to find one we could take back to the car, but the nearest stop was further than the parking lot so we just headed back up the hill very slowly. Dick offered to go get the car and left us to wait in front of one of the buildings. I was extremely grateful and relieved as my back and sciatica had been hurting for days. Picking up a 2 year old will do that to a Nana’s back.

That evening Mark wanted to take us to the weekly Fresh Market in Ocean Beach. As we discovered, about 4 streets are blocked off and the sidewalks are filled with vendors selling prepared foods from around the world, as well as fresh produce, health food items, and a variety of crafts mostly jewelry. It was fascinating to watch all the chefs prepare the food and then decide what we wanted to eat. Mark suggested kabobs and meat pasties from East Africa which he liked so I agreed and we purchased a variety of dishes to take home. Dick found several desserts including a pie and chocolate fudge. I spotted a man frying mini donuts and bought 6. I knew they wouldn’t compare with Krispy Kreme but maybe they would be a good substitute. Well when we got back to Mark’s condo and I tasted a kabob I realized that it was covered with pepper so after one bite I knew I couldn’t eat that delicacy. I then tried the pasties since that was the only other food we had bought to eat and managed to eat several although I thought they just tasted okay. However the donuts were delicious so I finished my meal by eating 4 of them and sharing the other 2. After dinner we visited with Mark and his roommate for a short while and headed back to the motel in hopes of getting Lucy to bed at a reasonable time. Did we succeed? I’m not telling!

The next morning we packed and checked out of the hotel by 10:00 and drove over to take Mark to the grocery store so he could stock up while he had transportation. At around 11:00 we said our goodbyes which was very difficult since we didn’t know when we would see him again. Lucy wanted to stay with Uncle Mark and that made us sad as well. They are really a team and its fun to watch them together. So we were off and headed to Ron’s sister’s home where we were going to celebrate Ron and his nephew Tyler’s birthdays which were the following week. We actually met at a restaurant and had hamburgers before adjourning to his sisters for cake. His mom came over so we had a nice afternoon visiting with the family.

The drive to Kerri and Ron’s was hectic as we were in the middle of 6 lane rush hour traffic, but fortunately we had no tie ups and we arrived around 7:00. Kerri had been complaining all week of a toothache under one of her front crowns and apparently that day the pain had increased in intensity to the point that she felt she couldn’t wait until the next day to have someone look at it. So ever the resourceful person, she called 1 800 dentist and found a dentist in their neighborhood. Only in a big city can you find a dentist who works into the night and we were concerned about exactly what kind of dentist he would be. So Ron drove her to the office and after about 30 minutes she called and said the dentist said she needed a root canal that night and he was getting ready to proceed. We talked to Ron and he said the office was nice and everything looked respectable so they felt confident in the dentist’s recommendation. So we waited and waited and it was almost 10:00 when they returned home and Kerri seemed okay but was having some pain. We were all thankful that she had gotten the tooth taken care of and hoped the problem was resolved.

The next day Kerri and I bonded at the mall and found some sales which necessitated spending some of our Christmas gift money from Dick. Kerri was on a mission to find a new purse and I just wanted to add new clothes to my over crowded closet. Why is it that we can’t seem to pass up bargains even when we know we don’t need any more clothes? Or is that just my problem??? Anyway we had a fun time and it was late afternoon when we returned home. Dick had spent the afternoon taking Lucy to the playground, library, and just walking around the neighborhood meeting all the dogs and their owners. Kerri and Ron seem to be the only residents out of thousands who don’t have a dog or two or three. Lucy is on first name basis with most of them.

That evening, Kerri and Ron’s comedian friend Tommy came over to say goodbye and Kerri prepared a smorgasbord of all the food they had not eaten from their daily exercise regimen. For the past 4 months, a chef has prepared 3 meals and 2 snacks every day for them and most of the time at least when we were there they had not eaten a good portion of it. So it was an interesting array of healthy food and conversation. After dinner Dick and I finished packing as we were leaving at 6:45 the next morning. We had already shipped 3 boxes home so that tells you that we either received or bought a lot of “stuff” on our trip. We still had 3 big suitcases to check.

As is my habit when I know I have to get up early I don’t sleep well and I wake up at 4:30 and couldn’t go back to sleep. I lay there until 5:30 and then got up, showered and dressed. I knew that Kerri, Ron, and Lucy had to leave for exercise at 6:30 so they would be getting up soon as well. Lucy is such an adaptable child and she is always in a good mood when she wakes up even when she has to get up early in the morning. Needless to say it was difficult to say goodbye to her and her parents after 3 weeks with them. We were anxious to be home and sleep in our own bed but we knew we would miss them terribly and especially since we didn’t know when we would see them again. When Lucy wanted to stay with Nana and Rocco and not go with her parents that broke my heart and I considered kidnapping her. Somehow we let them go without me flooding the condo with tears. Then our taxi arrived and we were off to the airport.

We checked in quickly and found our gate with no difficulty. As I had suspected the terminal was a sea of Alabama crimson shirts, hats, and jackets. You see on Thursday night the Alabama football team had beaten Texas to become the Number One team in the country and the fans were making their way to Alabama via Atlanta on our plane. Since it was very early in the morning, they were mostly quiet and subdued, but I did wish I had thought to wear an Auburn shirt or jacket just to see what kind of reaction I would have gotten. Might be just as well that I didn’t since I was definitely outnumbered. Anyway the plane was packed and after everyone was seated, the flight attendant made an announcement over the speaker that welcomed all the Alabama fans and congratulated them on their victory. Well that led to shouts and yells of “Roll Tide’ from almost the entire plane. When they all quieted down I just up and yelled “War Eagle” at the top of my lungs. Well you should have heard the responses which went from “open the door and throw her off the plane” to some others that don’t bear repeating. I want to think that they were all in fun, but I can’t be certain of that since feelings between Auburn and Alabama fans run very deep and have for over a hundred years. At any rate it felt good to say “War Eagle” and I was proud of myself for being so bold. I was sure my Auburn friends would appreciate my courage.

I managed to keep a low profile for the rest of the trip and most of the Alabama fans seemed to be sleeping so I felt safe. Dick slept as usual and I played trivia so the time passed quickly. We were met at the airport by our friend Cliff and after dropping him off at his house and stopping at Chick fil A we arrived home around 7:30 so it had been a long day. The temperature was freezing and we missed the warm sunny weather of California, but were happy to be home. It had been a wonderful 3 weeks with our family with many adventures which we’ll never forget. One day when Lucy is older she can read this account of her second Christmas and say “wow, my Nana is a fantastic writer, but why did she have to make it so long”.

Here’s to you darling Lucy and to many more wonderful Christmases together.



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I'm going to give this a try!

I know I have a million reasons to be "as the kids are calling it" blogging! But somehow chasing my husband and my two year old prohibits me from sitting down to actually join the blog universe very often.I'm going to give this a try! I commit to blogging more, eating less, working out and living a healthier lifestyle. I think blogging is like working out. The more I do it, the easier it will become. I need to learn all the cool kid terms of the tech savvy world. I think it's time I came around. I just got a big screen tv and we do have cable. So I think I'm ready to blog. But, I'm not giving up my old people cell phone.It's the "Help! I've fallen and I can't get up model!"
Any advice out there, send it my way!