Tag Archives: friends

Snack Bar Duty

1 May

I have found a small, itty, bitty, teeny, weeny positive to my new, limited time on the trails…More of my friends want to run with me now!  I guess I used to be intimidating, but now that I am a slowly recovering peg leg, they flock to me.  Well, not really flock, but maybe two have trickled in.  This is fun.  A new batch of buddies to share the trails with.  Last week we did about 75 minutes of trails.  We laughed, we paused for texts for NCL and phone calls from realtors about escrow and we sweated and enjoyed a gorgeous morning.  We plan to do it again.  I guess this reinforces the notion that I can get it all done in an hour (see previous post), but it also shows me how many more amigas I can share this with if I am doing an hour or so instead of 2.5 hours.  I guess I have more sane than insane friends (but, J and K, you are the dearest insane friends ever!!!).

I worked the snack bar this evening for Princelightningbolt’s track meet.  Some brilliant filmmaker needs to do a documentary on high school sports’ snack bars.  Seriously.  What are the differences in menu, volunteers and overall success for various sports.  Why?  I was the chef for pasta bowls, quesadillas and anything involving chili and cheese.  While this sounds disgusting under normal circumstances, when you have spent 5-7 hours at a track meet, outside in heat and cold and God knows what, this food sounds and tastes delicious.  And if you can volunteer with a crew of cool people, this can be fun and hilarious…what is not to laugh at with rubber gloves, quesadilla makers (yep, these trump my George Foreman Grill), hot dog machines and green container parmesan cheese?  Can you make a meal of that?  Oh, ya, canned chicken, too.

For chili nachos and chili dogs we offer two kinds of cheese to chose from…shredded or smooth nacho cheese. When the lines were long and the people in line impatient, we somehow resorted to shouting, “Does he want shredded or liquid cheese on his nachos?’  Liquid cheese?  Nasty.  Who would choose that option?  Lots of people, apparently.  I gobbed spoonfuls of nacho cheese onto canned chili nachos, hot dogs and who knows what over the course of a few hours.  I think Michelle Obama may need to have a talk with these folks.

Getting it Done in an Hour on the Trails

9 Apr

Peg Leg LOVES to run.  You all know that by now.  But for me, it means a lot to reiterate it nowadays.  In the past week or so,  I have run one hour plus with both my running pals on different trails and different days.  I am content…kind of.  To catch up with my weekly trail pal was awesome…slow…but awesome.  We covered everything from sweet (ahem, annoying) husbands to seven year old birthday parties to college tours for Juniors in high school to varicose veins…all in one hour and ten minutes.  Did I mention we were warned by another runner about a bobcat?  I had a blast.  My foot was sore and tired and not happy afterward, but a few days later my other run pal was in town from Nor Cal and we hit the trails.  We hashed out work, kids, vacation, MAJOR extended family troubles and eyelashes…all in an hour.

Runners are efficient.  We cut to the chase.  When running, you don’t have to face the person next to you, so probing questions, amidst heaving breathing and high heart rates, are easier, they flow, we don’t concern ourselves with edicate and proper manners.  Put your head down, push the pace and ask, “Who the hell does your husband think he is dealing with?”  This is par for the course on the trails.

These conversations refresh and renew the spirit.  The spirit of the runner and the spirit of the woman.  I am sad these refreshing, renewing runs will be only one hour now, but I am grateful for how much we can cram in.  I am bossy and I can get it done.  Run Happy.

Green

19 Mar

Sirskatesalot’s family is Irish, so yesterday was a day for celebration…and they were here with us.  We celebrated at a dueling piano bar Saturday night with friends and a ridiculous crowd who thought they were Irish because they could drink and yell “Whoo Hoo!” at the top of their lungs every few seconds.  This was both entertaining and exhausting at the same time.  For St. Patrick’s Day, I have only made green pancakes and green cupcakes, so I needed Mscooksalot to help me with a dinner menu.  I was stuck on potatoes.  Let’s all admit it, the Irish are great with beer and probably some other stuff…no, not bagpipes…nope, not kilts…but definitely no other delicious food comes to mind.  Ack, Shepherd’s Pie.  Gross.

With Mscooksalot’s guidance, I made roasted potato leek soup with arugula, grilled cheese with Irish sharp cheddar and rye bread, and a green salad.  YUM!  Princessenpointe completed the green festa with grasshopper brownies…not Irish, but definitely green.  After a sunset beach walk, we enjoyed our green dinner, toasted, listened to the Celtic station on Pandora, and even discussed the IRA thanks to Princelighningbolt’s MUN education.  A true St. Patty’s Day evening with an Irish crowd.  I even smashed my big, glass salad bowl while doing the dishes…is throwing plates an Irish tradition?  I think it is not, but it seemed to make our green evening end on a funny note.

I hope to plan more evening dinners around a theme.  Imagine the possibilities!  Tomorrow is Bruce Willis’s birthday…I’m thinking of  a Die Hard dinner theme…any ideas?

Time Flies for Everyone Else

13 Mar

I ran into a bunch of friends and aquaintances today who were all happy to see Peg Leg doning not one, but two shoes.  So nice of them to inquire about the condition of my foot, my psyche, my running.  Funny how many commented how quickly my Peg Leg period flew by.   This is true, but ironic for the said Peg Leg.  It is reminiscent of a pregnancy that is unending for the woman growing the child, enduring the morning sickness (or in my case all day sickness), the weight gain, the aches, the pains, the ugly clothes, but so quick and painless for the acquaintances and surrounding circle.  They marvel, “Wow, I can’t believe you already had the baby,”  while inside you cringe and think, “Stupid idiot.  It was the longest 10 months of my life!”

OK, I’m exaggerating.  My Peg Leg was not nearly as tortuous as my pregnancies, but it did not seem quick.  It often felt unending and in reality, I am not yet myself.  I am thrilled to be up and about, but I have a few weeks or months to go before I am in full running rampage mode.  It’s funny, though, to think of all the events or traumas of our friends and acquaintances that fly by for us, the bystanders whose lives continue on at the regular pace.  Are those of us who are not amidst a life changing or life interrupting event missing something?  I kind of wonder.  I don’t wish setbacks on anyone because even in the best scenario, they are a pain the neck.  However, I wonder if that is the only way to slow us down nowadays…at least in OC.  When Sirskatesalot spends part of the winter spreading aloha on the islands, he comes home and swears he is going to hang onto that slower pace, that appreciation for what is at hand longer than he did the previous year.  It’s tough to do around here.  But setbacks force you to slow down, travel to the islands does the same.  If I have to pick one, I pick the latter, but maybe it’s just a mindset.

A New Nest

11 Mar

We have a potted ficus on our porch where a hummingbird has built a nest and filled it with eggs for the past two springtimes. This is a brave, brave mama bird.  The ficus is right by our front door and our house is a busy, noisy house.  Loud kids, loud friends, loud dogs, loud slamming of the door, yet this mama is remarkably tolerant.  I have no idea why she chose this location because I am certain our neighbors (one without kids, one with only one baby and a few who are retired) are much calmer and quieter than my raucous household.  But for some magical reason, she feels safe enough with our crazy family to raise her babies here.

This year she threw us for a loop and we found her dismantling her nest.  We were concerned as the nest we have lived with for two years was torn to shreds.  Was this a statement about our home?  Were we inhospitable?  Was our porch for some reason uninhabitable or an inappropriate place to raise babies?

Then, Sirskatealot and I started noticing a hummingbird buzz by at the end of the walkway.  After  a week or so, I spied the little gem of a nest in a schefflera plant in our jungle.  This perfect little baby home was reconstructed from the original on the porch but with fun new elements, like a shred of toilet paper hidden amongst our plants from years of being tp’d by girls because of Princelightningbolt’s charms.  There are two perfect, jelly belly sized eggs inside.   This mama hummingbird is the hardest working mama in the world. We are thrilled for our spring surprise.  Watching the mama keeping her eggs warm, watching the slow hatching process and the growth of sweet little birdies is a thrill.  Last year we even snapped some pictures as one left the nest.

Spring means new and great things. I am running (ahem, “lightly jogging”) a few days each week.  This peg leg is feeling ready to move on.  I walked on the beach with an old friend today for over an hour without much pain.   I have a new work out partner at the gym.  Track season for Princelightningbolt has begun.  We have had some rain…and a couple beach days.  Princessenpointe is counting the days until summer.  The time change happened last night.  We are ready for newness, growth, a renewed sense of who we are and what we want to do while we are here.

I’ll keep you posted on our baby birds.  We have one tom cat left in our hood (last man standing against the coyotes).  He’s a formidable opponent, but with the freshness in the air and a mama’s determination, I think I will have pics of new baby birds for you soon.  In the meantime, I hope you have a spring in your step.

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A House is Just a House

4 Mar

I live in an area surrounded by giant houses.  We had no idea where we were buying during that weekend real estate extravaganza I mentioned in “Moving…On.”  I love where we live and I adore our friends in those big houses.  However, I have never, ever wanted one.  I have friends whose hobby literally involves house maintenance and house decorating and care.  I appreciate this and admire the beauty of it all.  However, I hate house care and maintenance.  Both Sirskatesalot and I want less of it.  We are terrible with house maintenance like vacuuming behind the refrigerator every six months, cutting back trees, retouching paint.  How boring…we live near the beach and the mountains and have fun kids.  Who wants to stay inside and take care of a structure?.  Ugh, B-O-R-I-N-G!  I want to go.  I want a comfy space, large enough for two big dogs, two big kids, a kitchen for baking, but nothing more.  Really, there is a whole world to see.  Sometimes a house means seeing less of that because it is necessary to spend so much time maintaining that house.   I don’t want more time at home, I want more time exploring and enjoying.  Taking care of a house is not exploring and enjoying.

Homeownership is great, I’m not trying to knock it, necessarily.  I like our home, I keep it tidy, we use the heck out of it with friends and kids and relatives and fun, but it is a house.  It is only a structure.  I feel like some people around here treat it like the universe.  This is sad for many reasons, but one of which is that it is who occupies the house that is of interest, not the house itself.  I gag when I am asked if I want a “tour” of  a home I haven’t been in before.  Ahem, no thanks. How about a cup of coffee and some interesting conversation.  If you have seen one marble bathroom and remodeled kitchen, you have seen enough.  I want more travel or time to do new things.  Or, I am happy to sit at the beach for hours and hours.  I am not happy to organize, maintain, stay at home.  This is not a judgement, this is a preference.  However, I do sometimes feel sad for people I know who stay behind the Orange Curtain most of the year, perfecting their houses to the point where they have no time for friends, outings or travel because the structure has taken over.

A structure is just that.   A few walls to keep us warm and give us space to be a family.  A friend of ours just lost his structure in a natural gas explosion on the east coast (you can Google it…mind-blowing photos). Crazy and scary.  But this is just a structure.  The relationships and the world are still out there.  Just a little rebuilding is needed.  Don’t take these structures too seriously or you might find yourself voluntarily imprisoned in them.  Be careful what you wish for.

You Have Feet in Your Shoes

23 Feb

I wore two shoes tonight.  Ha, funny.  I know what you are thinking.  For me, this is a big deal.  Doc said athletic shoe should be worn on Peg Leg by this weekend.  I figured Friday evening is this weekend and slipped off sexy slipper and on my new running shoe.  Yuck!  This feels terrible, scary, insecure and it kind of hurts.  These bones, ligaments and muscles are not used to pressure and weight.  I am limping.

A limp looks great with jeans and black trail running shoes with neon pink and green accents.   What do you wear with these?  I have never cared what my running shoes look like, just cared how they feel.  No one notices your shoes when they are caked with dirt and out on the lonely trails.  Now I notice them.  Gross.  But, maybe not as gross as the sexy sandal.  And, yes, I am still elated to not be lugging around Das Boot.  My sense of fashion is just a little challenged with the athletic shoe appendage.

I went to a great lunch to celebrate a friend’s birthday today at a small cafe in a quaint town nearby.  I felt really old when we first sat down.  Not because I am older than my pals, but because they were all inquiring about my Peg Leg and I was obliging them.  This is totally what old people do.  They lament, in great detail, their physical ailments and doctor appointments.  I am not yet into my fourth decade (ahem, ya, I may be bragging a little bit), yet I realized, that is me!  Holy cow.  Has five weeks of an injury really brought me to a screeching halt?  I have nothing else to offer?  Where did I go?   I think I used to be witty and had lots of interesting topics to discuss.  Instead, I segued nicely into asking about a friend’s knee injury (she tripped over a kid at a haunted house and tweaked her knee badly…this is a true and interesting story).  Again, though, this is what old people do.  Ailments, doctor appointments and medication are the main topics of conversation.

I am hardly done with Peg Leg, but I have a shoe. I hid Das Boot under my bed.  I am slow.  I hobble.  But, I am moving on.  I am young and free (he, he, he).  Come with me on a new journey.  Bring your running shoes or your George Foreman Grill.  We will get there on a trail or recipe, by recipe.  Mscooksalot might even join the gym to exercise with me…pressure is on.  Limitations are exhausting.  Peg Legs can limp to fun and excitement and stories about living life rather than slowing down.  I’m too young for this shit.

Another one from the best:  You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.  You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the  guy who’ll decide where to go.  -Dr. Seuss

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To Grill or Not to Grill

22 Feb

My spoiling days are over.  Great big SIGH.  I am now thinking of dinner prep, actually grocery shopping and cooking and…arg…cleaning.  We were spoiled for over four weeks.  Wow, that part of Peg Leg-dom sure flew by.  It was very, very relaxing.  I had almost forgotten how much time and energy us mamas (and some papas) spend each day planning meals, prepping meals, buying food, cooking food, cleaning up after cooking food… and then all the snacks and desserts.  I don’t mind it, honestly.  I am just really out of practice and I thoroughly enjoyed having others do the work for me (Thank you, dear friends!!!)

Tonight I made chicken kebobs (recipe thanks to one of those dear friends who brought dinner), roasted red potatoes and salad.  I was kind of excited to do a full dinner for my sweet brood. Princelightningbolt arrives home starving around 530 after running practice, Princessenpointe is home for only 45 minutes between dance classes at 615 and Sirskatesalot wanders in sometime after that.  I have to coordinate creatively to make sure everyone has some sort of warm or ready to be heated up meal.

Last spring, Sirskatesalot got rid of our outdoor gas grill and decided he was going old school and bought a charcoal grill.  I don’t understand this at all.  What is cool about having to wait 20 minutes for the heat to be ready and then watching as half your dinner burns and half is undercooked?  This vintagey grilling idea is lost on me.

Once I marinate the meat and slice the veggies I start to think that firing up the coals is a bad, time consuming idea.  I google how to cook kebobs in the oven, but that seems lame.  How do you enjoy a kebob without the grill marks?

And this is where I come to my confession.  Yes, this is embarrassing.  I dug out my George Foreman Grill. I swear I have only used it three times.  Even more embarrassing …I bought it with a Groupon.  I know, you now think my kitchen is stocked with Spaghettios, canned soup and green containers of parmesan cheese.  These assumptions are far from the truth.  But that George Foreman Grill is now going to be a staple instead of a dust collector in the back of the pan cupboard.

George is onto something.  Our kebobs looked like they were grilled out of doors by The Marlboro Man…The Marlboro Man with a microbrew not a cigarette.  Gorgeous, delicious and I was in the warmth of my kitchen the entire time.  I won’t complain about how tiny it is, nor how long the ordeal took because I made a gazillion kebobs.  Beggars can’t be choosers and when you buy a George Foreman Grill with a Groupon, you definitely qualify as a beggar…or at least a cheapskate.

Settle the Unsettled

21 Feb

What is going on?  There was an asteroid close to earth, a meteor buzzed by Russia and made such a racket that people were injured and glass was shattered, there have been two deadly shooting rampages down here in So Cal and an Olympic athlete is accused of murder.  The world and my area of that world feel quite unsettled.  I don’t like that feeling.

Feeling settled is comfortable.  It takes effort to get to that feeling of calm, collected, “I know where things are, who is going to be there and where I fit in.”  The obvious example of this sensation settles into your bones a few months after a big move.  Your home starts to feel like a home and your routine starts to seem normal and comfortable.

I have been unsettled since my routine has changed with my surgery.  Not only has my running completely dissipated, but my relationships that come with running have changed.  My relationships in my house have changed..for the better?  The teens are much  more willing to help, Sirskatesalot is more protective and more helpful (Remember “Bubbles”?), my friends are caretakers of me.  Unsettled.

The randomness of the recent events in the atmosphere and down here in So Cal call into question that feeling of comfort and the need for vigilance.  But, I don’t think anything can prepare you for the random.  It’s too scary for me to think of all the ways to be more ready for things I have no control over.  So, whether it be a psycho running amok, a meteor boom or the concept that I may never run like I used to, I am not preparing, I am living this life now, for today, in whatever muddled state I can, enjoying those friends and family and the physical activities I can do (I am actually able to enjoy some of my swim time now…mind over matter).

These unsettled times seem ripe for some wisdom from Dr. Suess,  “If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.”

Mix Tape

15 Feb

Remember making mix tapes for your friends?  Spending hours over the double cassette player, trying to hit the pause button at just the right time?  Getting soooo flustered when one of the tapes would get caught, unravel and you’d lose all your hard work?  I would sit on my bedroom floor with piles of tapes trying to make just the perfect mix for a friend who had a birthday, did something special or had broken up with a boyfriend.

And then, there is the boyfriend mix tape.  Remember those?  A sign that things had moved closer to serious, but not serious enough to discuss this movement.  You had enough memories together to compile about a dozen songs, but not enough to fill up an entire 90 minute tape. Making sure to alternate the slow songs with the fast songs and always beginning and ending with the best, you cranked out a beautiful mix tap.  If you felt like this was going somewhere, you also decorated the tape (remember the white sticky label you adhered to each side?) and the case.  The best compliment a teenage girl could here was, “I really liked the tape you made me.”  Ahhhh.

This Valentine’s Day I made a mix CD for my sweetheart.  Sirskatesalot has everything he could possibly want, so I was at a loss for gift ideas.  Pressured by Mscooksalot to come up with something (because she is a romantic. She decorates the house for Valentine’s Day AND spoils the whole family with presents and lobster dinner…Why am I friends with her again?), I decided to spend all my sitting minutes…yes, ALL my sitting minutes…it takes a long time to download all the CDs and to decorate a CD case… yesterday making a love themed CD.  There are some good memories, some poignant ones and lots of smiles in the songs I chose.  We will have been together for a whopping 24 years next month.  We have tons of memories together now.  By the time I make the next mix CD, I will need two CDs to fit all the fun and memories.  I’m looking forward to another 24 years (Yes, we were teens when we met; We are still young).  Check it out:

Need You Tonight   INXS

Somebody to Love  Queen

Beast of Burden  The Rolling Stones

Let Me Put My Love Into You  AC DC

Don’t You (Forget About Me)  Simple Minds

Light My Fire  The Doors

Modern Love  David Bowie

You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You  Dean Martin

Let’s Pretend We’re Married  Prince

Tears of a Clown  The English Beat

At My Most Beautiful  R.E.M.

Lover’s Rock   The Clash

Take On Me  a-ha

Prince Charming  Adam & the Ants

Hold On  Tom Waits

Do You Love Me Now?  The Breeders

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