End of May Haiku Friday

Hoorah! Well done, you have made it through the month. How was it for you? Did you learn anything? What did you enjoy? What did you dislike? Sum it all up!

Not my idea
But BFF made me play
And then she dropped out
My blog turned cheesy
And didn't feel like my own
But it made me write
Back to normal now
With much less frequent posting
And my own ranting



Who inspires you? Are they close to you? Somebody famous? Or even somebody infamous?

My inspiration has always come from my friends, specifically Christine & BFF. I would say more-so them than my own parents. When I was young, my parents really stressed a strong work ethic but I was inspired to go to and finish school because I watched my best friends do it. BFF has two masters degrees and Christine has a PhD so obviously they're a bit more hard core than I am with my late-in-life bachelor's degree but they're still the reason I kept on keeping on.
Same goes for traveling. I never lived out of state but they did and I wanted to go and visit them whatever the cost. I would have never gone to London had BFF not been going there for school. That trip inspired us both to travel to Germany shortly thereafter. New York, Philadelphia - all because of them. I felt so brave back then hopping on an airplane alone and navigating taxi cabs and subway systems and trains just to see things I had never seen before. 
They both in their special way inspire me to learn more and be more. To watch what I eat and move more. To be a better mom. To be a better friend. I don't know who I would be without these two very special women in my life.  



I did today's question yesterday so here's yesterday's question today: What is the worst advice you have ever received?
Honestly? I don't think I really get bad advice because I have lots of good friends with good heads on their shoulders. I think I'll switch this up and respond as if it said best instead of worst. As I am sure most of you already know, Husband and I met sort of unconventionally. He responded to a blog post of mine and mentioned he had lived in my hometown at a certain point in his life and we began an email correspondence. It was all very innocent and we were each in our own relationships (although neither of those were ideal) so we just became friends and confided in one another. We had lots in common and got along really well so when it came time to meet face to face, I got advice from one friend to forget about what my "type" was. Husband was the polar opposite of anyone I had ever dated both personality-wise and by way of physical appearance. That was some sage advice, clearly. I was also advised to put off going to bed with him if I really liked him and wanted this relationship to last but that's another story for another day.


Two for Tuesday

From Monday:
What are you good at that nobody knows about? Tell us all about it.
Well, jeez, that sounds pretty personal right? I don't think Husband would want me blabbing.

For Today:
Tell us about what you do every morning to help you get ready for the day ahead.
I do my "day ahead" preparations the night before. The morning is pretty routine. Wake up with the boy. Get him some milk and throw on cartoons. Get in the shower and get ready for work and we get out the door in a hurry. Fascinating stuff.

This past weekend was sure nice. Saturday night Husband and I went out for our anniversary dinner. We went to Stella Mare's in Santa Barbara. The waiter gave us complimentary champagne. We shared a big ol' bowl of mussels in a white wine and butter sauce. I had pork with wine and he had beef with beer. Then we got a complimentary dessert where they wrote Happy Anniversary in chocolate sauce on the dish in addition to the desserts we ordered for ourselves. He had an espresso accompanied by salted caramel ice cream provided by McConnell's and I had the lavender creme brulee. All in all, dinner took two and half hours and it was glorious.

Sunday was my "birthday" Dodger game. Dodgers lost. Weather was gorgeous.  Hot dogs were delicious.

Yesterday we took a bike ride to the park nearby for what was about a 4-mile round trip. I am badly out of shape so I was paralyzed for the remainder of the day. I forget that I have an additional 30 pounds behind me because I'm hauling Casey. I got my first sunburn of the year so I guess I'm ready for summer!  

On a side note, a neighbor asked me last minute to watch her dogs over Memorial Day weekend. I went twice a day Friday through Sunday and then once on Monday morning. I brought in her mail and her package. I cleaned up her dog's pop. I returned her key and all I got was a thank you. No offer to pay me. Nothing. Do you think she's a b-word? I do. Never again.
***EDIT*** She has done nothing for us but repeatedly asks for favors from us. She is not a friend and only has my number because she got it off Betty's collar a year ago. I guess at least offer to pay me so I can at least refuse it. That's all. She just seems to be a mess of a person and caught me off guard so I couldn't say no to watching her dogs.   


Fantasy Dinner Party

Dinner party time - Who would you invite? What music is playing? What are you eating? Is there entertainment? Let your imagination go wild!

Let me just say up front that if I was having a dinner party I would definitely not be hosting because I would really just like to enjoy myself and not have to worry about serving anyone or cleaning up after them. There. I said it.
I would invite my closest friends to Suzanne's Cuisine in Ojai because it is hands down my favorite place to refer people to as well as to eat. Husband and I have been there on many special occasions and have never had a bad meal. I am sure there is some background music playing but it never matters. We sit on the patio near the outdoor fireplace and have a view of a beautiful wild garden. It's not overly formal but it's doesn't feel like casual eating either. It's always such a special treat.    


Music Love

What are your top 5 favourite albums and why? 
I'm going to revise this a bit because I'm not album specific for the most part. Mostly I just dig artists so here goes.
  1. Britney Spears - When I was 25, my first long-term relationship ended and I was inconsolable even though I saw it coming a mile away. For some reason I had picked up a Britney CD at the used CD store and I was in love. She made me laugh and dance and feel empowered so she will always be a favorite. Christine took me to her concert around that time and I knew I would be gay for her for a long time. Britney, not Christine, although both are equally lovely.
  2. Maroon 5 - Songs About Jane was very poignant in my second long-term relationship and boy did I groove to that CD. I still love it. However, after that dude, I married Husband and the first concert we went to was Maroon 5 at the Santa Barbara Bowl for what I believe was the Hands All Over tour. It was for his birthday and Casey was only a couple months old and I think that was our first date after our son was born so yeah. Sentimental.   
  3. Garth Brooks - I really fell in love with Garth when I was living with my friend Beanie. We'd listen to country and drink red wine and laugh and cry. Garth's music is never bad. Ever. I would die to see him in concert.
  4. Queen - I feel like I have liked them since Bohemian Rhapsody 21 years ago in Wayne's World and never stopped liking them. Now Casey really digs them because the Muppets have used them in several online shorts and commercials that he fell in love with. They've totally influenced so many artists along the way (like fun.) and I really can't stop loving them.
  5. Man this is rough... I guess this would be more of a genre thing because I want to include Madonna and Michael Jackson together. My last on the list would be any music from the 80s. For a long time I collected CDs of just 80s music and artists because I had a dream of having an all-80s radio station. Now Sirius and Pandora do that for me so I'm out of a job but I still have a ton of 80s music at home if you ever need any.  


What's In Your Fridge Haiku Friday

Some leftover steak
Anniversary dinner
Husband que'd 'em up
New Belgium Rampant
Imperial India
Pale Ale - my new fave
And almond champagne
Like we had at our wedding
That my folks gave us



Blog Every Day in May is wrapping up here pretty quick but today's topic is: Tell us about the best compliment you have ever received.

At first I wanted to say one of the best compliments I ever received was Husband asking me to be his wife since today is our four-year anniversary. That's pretty nice right? Saying to someone that you want to spend the rest of your life with them? Then I got to thinking a little harder and I realized it was actually something Husband said to me the other night before we went to bed. He said:

You're a great mom.

That one little sentence that he probably didn't give a second thought to really struck a chord with me. Casey is my pride and joy. I'm happy to hear that his dad thinks I'm doing a good job because when I met Husband, I knew he was the one I wanted children with. I knew he'd be a great dad and I knew I wanted to parent with him. Those four little words also made me realize how important it is to compliment our spouse/significant other on the simple, daily things in life. Sure made me feel like a million bucks to hear.


13-Year Old Me

If you could talk to your 13 year old self, what would you say?

Dear 13-year old Randi,
There are a lot of people in the world that might not be intentionally unkind and might not really grasp just how sensitive a person you are but you will get your feelings hurt a lot in life. This is only going to make you a stronger woman in the long run although right now it sucks a whole lot. All that teasing Grandpa does to you now might not seem so nice but he might just be trying to toughen you up a bit and is just trying to teach you how to take a joke. When your classmates tease you about those scratches on your legs that you have no control over, it's only because they don't understand it, not because they don't like you.
You're doing the right thing by not chasing after boys. It's really not that big of a deal that it will take you a couple more years to get your first kiss. There is no rush to give yourself away because you will eventually meet the man of your dreams even if he's nothing like you ever expected and it will be much later than you ever thought it would be. I wish I could stop you from falling for and loving all the wrong boys between 13 and 30-something but they'll just make you appreciate your future husband all the more.
Math is so hard for you and will frustrate you for years but it shouldn't make you quit college all together. Although the struggles you will endure by working several ridiculous jobs - at times three at a time - will make you well-rounded and teach you many things, leaving your family to go away to college to get a degree should be your priority. Keep that amazing work ethic. Never stop learning. Read as much as you can. Travel often. Don't be afraid to try new things.
No matter what path you take and how many times you may stumble and fall along the way, things will be all right. You will survive. You will be surrounded and supported by amazing friends and a family who could not love you more than they do. Even at your darkest hour when things seem impossible and you feel like quitting, rest assured that you will be rewarded by being a mom to the most amazing little boy you could have ever imagined having as a son. We turn out pretty darn well.
36-year old Randi


Dream Job

If you could do anything in the world to make a living what would it be?

This might ruffle a few feathers but if I could make a living being a stay-at-home mom/keeper of the home, I think I would sign up for that in a heartbeat. Feminists fought to get women into the workplace and I definitely dig working but there are times when I am riddled with guilt because I am not spending the majority of my time forming my son into the man he will one day become. While I have the utmost confidence in Maria's ability to do this while I'm at my 8-5 job, I wish I was the one that without a doubt heard his first words, saw his first steps or had the satisfaction of knowing I was the one that initiated the potty training business we're deep into at the moment. 
Being a mom is where I derive the most pride in what I am doing. I see my accomplishments when Casey is polite or hilarious. I am very satisfied with the way I can run my household. Not only can I get everyone out of the door on time, I dig making appointments to make sure all the basic housekeeping as well as our physical wellness is being handled. I love how it feels after I've cleaned my entire home to my liking and if I have time to wash my own car, I am always very happy with what I have done. Balancing a checkbook and paying bills promptly and seeing my hard work reflected in a good credit score? Kudos to me.
So yeah. That's me. Basic to the core. 


News Flash

Talk about something that is in the news today.
A Powerball winner hit a $590.5 million over the weekend so I guess I will tell you the first ten things I would do with that money:
  1. Pay off all my current debt
  2. Save and invest a good chunk
  3. Spoil the immediate family 
  4. Get Husband a new car
  5. Paint and repair our house
  6. Fix up the yard
  7. Take the whole fan-damily to Disneyworld for at least a week
  8. Make sizable charitable donation to Parkinson's research 
  9. Buy a whole new wardrobe
  10. Have a spa day for me and my girlfriends - The Works! 
How about you? What would you do with that kind of money?


Favorite Traditions

We all make up traditions that carry over year after year. What is your favourite tradition? Big or small, share the details and why you enjoy it.

My dad has been a Dodgers fan ever since they were in Brooklyn and he was just a little boy in North Dakota. Because of this, we were all born bleeding blue. There was never any other option, we were simply Dodgers fans at birth. We have been going to Chavez Ravine for as long as I can remember and I don't know when it became a tradition, but my parents started taking me every year on or around my birthday. That tradition continues to this day but since I was in Michigan for my birthday we are going on Sunday the 26th this year.
The picture above was taken on May 10, 2008 at one of my birthday games. Over the years I have brought a guest, usually my brother Curtis, sometimes one of my girlfriends. This year, my guest was Husband. He and I had only been officially dating for less than a month. Mind you, we'd met up several times over the course of a year and had been communicating for ages online but we had only just made it official with I Love Yous a couple weeks before this game. 
Prior to this game, we had put Kiyah in Christine's parents' backyard so she'd have space to safely roam around. I couldn't leave her at my folks' because their yard basically leads onto a golf course and I couldn't leave her locked in my tiny apartment. We got to the game and about halfway into it we got a call saying Kiyah had escaped. Needless to say, a lot of the game was trying to make sure we could get her back when we got back to Oxnard. Near the very end of this game, Husband asked me to reach into his pocket but I declined to do such a thing in front of my parents. 
A little later he mumbled something about me being his wife or something of that sort and I realized he was proposing to me. No jumbo cam involved, just us and my folks in our seats. Boy did I cry! And when we got back home we were able to retrieve Kiyah from a neighbor and our story ended well. That was probably my favorite birthday game ever of all time and another reason why Chavez Ravine is pretty much the happiest place on earth for me aside from Disneyland.  


Best Friends

Who are your best friends and what makes them so special?

I will take this opportunity to tell you why I chose these girls as my bridesmaids:
  • Caroline - we found each other in high school and have stuck together ever since. We've shared our best and roughest times together. I treated her very poorly when I was struggling with depression and she never once gave up on me. We had our babies at the same time. 
  • Christine - my oldest friend, so much so that I hardly ever consider her a friend since she's more like family. We met at age two and know each other like the backs of our hands.  
  • Kristi - She flutters in and out of my life but she's been around since Caroline & I first started kicking it. I can always count on her to take care of Rancho Viernes when I need her most. 
  • Kelly - My other non-Jew when I worked at the Camp Ramah. She basically forced me to be her friend and we moved in together and she made me shine at a pivotal time in my life. She also is the first person that made me feel like I could dance without feeling like a dork.
  • Olivia - I've known her since Kindergarten and though we hit a pretty lengthy patch of time where we didn't speak, we reconnected like no time was lost. She's my Hetero Life Partner and fellow movie lover. She has the most contagious laugh you'll ever hear.
  • Frances - My sister-in-law first, friend second. I admire her ability to not only love but stay married to my brother. She gave me my beautiful niece and best buddy of a nephew. She's super funny and has the best hair of anyone I know. 
  • Andrea - We share a kinship in being nerds and photographers. She was right by there when I was deciding Husband was going to be my one and only. When she is not on IM, her presence is greatly missed.


Catchup Haiku Friday

Internet was down
Like the dark ages at work
All day yesterday
I missed my blogging
So below you'll overdose
Cuz I'm catching up
Fun weekend ahead
The Strawberry Festival
Friends coming over

Saturday the 4th "Five Fave Blogs"
Share the blog love! Tell us about five blogs you love and why?
1 - Coodence's World: BFF's blog because she got me started  
2 - Adventures In Science: My oldest friend in the world! 
3 - Pant's Optional: Not only a bridesmaid, a daily IM companion
4 - Ly Family & Friends: Real life buddy with a cutie patooty daughter
5 - Hommemaker/Too Disgusting...: A good way to keep up with some sassy gays
But really? I love all the blogs I link to and check them daily.

Sunday the 5th "Fit and Healthy"
What do you do to stay fit or be a healthy individual? Share any useful tips and advice. Or tell us about your plans to get healthier.
Mostly I just walk the dog and chase my two-year old around. I should do more and will. I need to jump back on the diet plan now that I'm on the wrong side of 30. I'll likely start up again Monday.

Tuesday the 7th "Pets"
Tell us all about your pets, past and/or present. 
  • Samantha the cat
  • Ona the Akita mix
  • Cuddles the white bunny
  • Tippi the best mutt ever
  • Kiyah the husky malamute 
  • The Cat - must I say more?
  • The bunny I killed with a couch aka Bubba
  • The bunny that still lives with us aka The Bun
  • Betty
Wednesday the 8th "First Job"
Tell us about your first job. Did you love it or was it horrendous?
My first paid job was babysitting and I loved it and continued doing it for about 20 years. My first "real" job was Hallmark. What wasn't to love?

Thursday the 9th "Favorite Social Media Channel"
Are you a Twitter-lover? Or maybe you can't get enough of Pinterest? Do you need to share every meal on Instagram? Do you waste away the hours watching Youtube? Or Facebook is your comfort zone? Tell us about your favourite social media channel and why.
I love and hate Facebook with a passion. I'm digging Instagram a great deal. Those 2 are my main go-to time killers.

Friday the 10th "Travel Dreams"  
If you could go anywhere in the world right now where would it be?
Right now? It would be anywhere but Mayville Michigan. Ideally I would love to go see more of, if not all of, Europe. 

Saturday the 11th "Book Love"
Tell us about your favourite book. Or maybe give us a top 5 of the books that changed your life.
My all time favorite would have to be To Kill A Mockingbird but right now I would just love to get through any book uninterrupted by my very busy life. I stinkin' love reading.

Sunday the 12th "Collecting" 
Are you a collector? Maybe a bit of a hoarder? Tell us about something you like to collect. Or if you favour minimalism, perhaps tell us why?
As far as collectibles go, I love getting crosses and miniatures from friends who travel. I also pick up magnets for the fridge when we go to special places.

Monday the 13th "Go Green"
Talk about being green, eco-friendly or ethical. What do you do to make a difference?
I totally recycle and try not to get bags when I don't need them. In general, we are a pretty conservative family.

Tuesday the 14th "Food Glorious Food"
Share your favourite recipe. Talk about the best cocktail you've ever tasted. Or maybe share you fave restaurant experience. Lets talking about food!   
I love all food. I can't really expand on this. I love the delicious as well as the social aspect of it. My ideal date is dinner or going out for beers. I think that wraps it up. 

Yesterday's Topic:
What is your ideal way to pamper yourself and relax?
Massage, mani, pedi, haircut in that order.
Today's Topic:
Describe or photograph your walk to work. Or journey to work if you use transport. Is it pretty or incredibly dull? Can you find something of interest on your way?
I have a 3-mile drive to work. It's down one of the busiest streets in Oxnard. I turn one corner to drop Casey off at Maria's. I turn another corner and pass an elementary school where there is always someone not using the crossing guard at the crosswalk to cross the street. Then I sit at 5-points which is a five point intersection that is the longest light in Oxnard. Then I drive through a hideous industrial area and arrive at my office. Yah, baby. Glorious.


Life's A Lesson

Boy am I behind on the every-day-in-May blogging! We got back from Michigan on Monday night late (thanks for the LAX shuttle action, BFF!) and yesterday was playing catch-up like a madwoman all day at work. Today's topic is:

What is the single most important lesson you have ever had?

My response to this would be never to expect to go on vacation with a toddler and think you are going to rest or that your return to work will be a seamless experience. We sure had a fun time with the fam-bam but it was not much of a break for me. Casey got a cold the night before we left that didn't go away until we got back to California so there was a lot of snot and clinging to mama for seven days straight, about 24 hours a day. He does earn bonus points for being a champion on the airplane both ways this time, though! If you want to see pictures, I have a bazillion of them organized nicely in a Michigan set on flickr already.

OK! Back to work!


Bank Holiday Fun

Today I'm supposed to blog about what I like to do on long weekends, or as the UK calls them: Bank Holidays. Mostly I like to do what I did this past weekend which was definitely not long but super busy and full of nice people and fun times. I'd post the pictures but once again, Blogger is being unfriendly so please click here if you would like to partake in them.
On Friday night Hubby had to drive home from San Diego and it took him almost six hours thanks to the detour he needed to take to avoid the Conejo Grade/PCH which happened to be ablaze. When he finally got home, we cracked a couple beers, had chips and dip for dinner and basically vegged out in front of the boob tube. He had sent Casey down the hallway saying "Happy Birthday, Mama!" with my gift in hand but I turned them both away because I thought it would be nicer to open my gifts a little closer to my birthday. That went over like a turd in a punchbowl so I spent the rest of the night kissing Husband's butt trying to make it right.
Saturday morning, I convinced Casey to make his Dada give me my gift and it was a gorgeous pair of silver and diamond earrings with a matching necklace. I felt very spoiled! We spent the morning spending money we don't have at the mall buying things for vacation tomorrow, Betty got her vaccinations so she could be a legally registered puppy and then we headed down to the LBC to celebrate Miss Cindy's birthday. Her hubby threw down the best fish tacos I have ever had and we drank beers and chilled out with the kiddos and some super nice folks in the backyard, around a fire. Is there anything better than that? I simply don't think so. A cool side note: We saw five firetrucks in a row headed down the 101 South which is not something you see ever day. They were headed back to the LBC right along side us. Nice teamwork, SoCal!
Sunday morning was spent cleaning the H.E. double hockey sticks out of my house. I let go of the housekeeper so I got down to the nitty gritty and cleaned every nook and cranny that has been mostly untouched for a month. At noon my mom showed up with all kinds of Cinco de Mayo decorations for my wee family birthday celebration so we got everything ready around the house. I took a quick nap and then the whole fan-damily came over to our house for dinner catered by Yolanda's, my favorite Mexican restaurant in Oxnard. I got super spoiled once again and by the end of the night I couldn't have been more pooped. What a super fun weekend!


A Day In The Life Haiku Friday

Wake up with Casey
Rush to get us out the door
First stop: Maria's
Then it's off to work
Retrieve the boy, walk the dog
And it's dinnertime
Play, bath, rocking chair
He sleeps; I get alone time
TV then bedtime


Spring Is Here

It's sure weird to be given a topic of what I should blog about but I'll run with it. I suppose Spring really is here and as I look out the window I see the trees whipping violently to and fro with the arrival of Santa Ana winds. It's supposed to be in the 90s in Oxnard for the next few days which is practically unheard of but I won't be outside enjoying the warmth because I fear both blowing away and drying up and turning to dust. This also means Betty will not be walked and thus will be even more high strung than usual. Rad.
Weather has been heavily on my mind because next week we will be in Michigan and I have yet to be in Michigan where the weather has been "nice." We decided to go there in May instead of for Christmas because I thought I would be either pregnant or with a newborn by the time December rolled around. Silly, Randi with your uninhabitable womb. Also, my mother-in-law and I share a birthday on May 12th and this year May 12th happens to land on Mother's Day so it seemed like a good time to plan a trip and meet our new niece. Plus, no snow. Right? Cuz it's Spring?
Wrong! As late as the last week of April there was snow falling in Michigan! Casey and I just don't seem to be snow people so needless to say I have been sort of anxious about the weather. I guess it's in the 80s now but they just got through a seriously torrential rainstorm that flooded my in-laws' basement. Oh, Michigan. Why? I guess what this all boils down to is that I really take for granted how insanely awesome the weather is in Oxnard and there is a reason I moved back and decided to make it home again.


Five Lines

Because BFF is the boss of me, I will casually try to "Blog Every Day in May." I say "casually" because I hardly ever blog on weekends and then I'm going on vacay for a week so that eliminates many days in May. Today's challenge is "5 Lines" so since I am already at three, here are two more.

The biggest thing on my mind right now is my reproductive organs, mainly "¿Dónde está mi periodo?" It has been four weeks since the miscarriage and D&C and while I have most of the symptoms of PMS (like bitchiness, bloating and eating everything in sight), I still have nothing to show for it.