A really good friend of mine turned 60 on Saturday, and his wife threw the party of the year for him at their lovely beach house right on the ocean in Seal Beach. There were about three hundred people in attendance and it was like a combination wedding and bar mitzah. The food was great, an open bar, photo booth, dancing to a band followed by a DJ, face painting and henna tattoos. It was a blast.It was so great to be a part of a celebration for someone who is so well loved by everyone who knows him. Mark and Fran are the coolest, hippest, most loving grandparents on the planet. I am so lucky that they share them with me. The party went well into the night and I can honestly say it was one of the best parties I have ever had the honor to attend.The only problem is that he will have to have another party soon, to use the hundred plus bottles of wine he received as gifts. Happy Birthday Mark aka Big Babba .
While I was in Chicago, walking down the street with my sister and daughter, the phone rang and it was my other daughter calling to say she is pregnant with my first grandchild. My first born, having her first born. Needless to say, I was thrilled. After the dreadful year I have had, this is the best news I could ever receive. I want to get healthy now more than ever.
The strangest thing about that day was that earlier that morning I checked my email and I had one of those damn chain letters from my college roommate, that I only opened because it said "this is creepy". Turns out it said that if you made a wish, (I didn't) sent it to ten people (I didn't) that you would be getting a call that day that would change your life. Wonder what would have happened if I had really followed the instructions!!!!!
Today as I was wasting time on the internet, this message popped up on my screen out of nowhere. I think the Internet is telling me that it's sick of me, I need to get a life, and to stop stalking or else it will have to get a restraining order. I took the advice and spent a few hours collecting rocks and digging for worms with my three-year-old God son, his two-year-old brother, and had a very good time.
Right in the heart of the Art District in downtown Los Angeles is a hip, fun exotic sausage restaurant and beer garden with a hard to pronounce name,Wurstkuche. If you are unlucky enough to work or live in downtown LA, this is definitely the place to hang out. Because this is Los Angeles and nothing is ordinary, even the beloved hot dog, this place offers everything from vegetarian, seitan, rattlesnake, and alligator sausages to Belgian fries with strawberry ketchup. As interesting as the sausages are, the sauces are really cool. We tried the chipolte ketchup, sundried tomato mayo and sweet and sassy BBQ but passed on the blue cheese walnut bacon, Thai peanut, Tzatziki, and pesto mayo. I swear I heard my stomach thank me, later that night.I settled on the basic chicken sausage with Belgium fries and even though it was not as adventurous as the rest of the menu, it still managed to take my stomach on a magic carpet ride. My friends were also as risk adverse and therefore I wasn't able to sample some of the more exotic things on the menu. Next time I am getting the duck, bacon and jalapeno while I watch my stomach implode.
July is half over, and today in Santa Monica, we finally had the first taste of summer. By that I mean we were blessed by the sun coming out in the morning instead of five o'clock in the afternoon and it was actually warm enough to not wear a jacket.June gloom overstayed it's visit this year, and goose bumps have been the most popular accessory at the beach so far. But today changed all that, and it was sunny, hot, and a little humid (10% is a big deal here). Like I mentioned before, we have also had scattered earthquakes to add to our climate report.
Lately I have had a chance to spend time with people outside of my comfort zone, meaning people I normally wouldn't jump at the chance to share my space with. People who think they have so much to share and everything about them is unique. The reality of the situation is that the older you get, the more baggage you have. Some people love to unpack in your presence, sharing every detail of what has, or is making their life a living hell. They don't get the premise that if your luggage is overweight, it's time to unpack some of the heavier things such as ex-husbands, injustices, past hurts, resentments. Throw away the stuff you no longer want or need. When you have exceeded the mandatory emotional weight limit, do yourself a favor, and start tossing out these no longer relevant things from years ago. You will travel through life much lighter.
If I can spend Mother's Day with my daughter and son-in-law, her in-laws (whom I love) and my ex-husband and the stepmother (whom I don't love), at my request, in order to make peace, anyone can move forward. Even though it sucks, sometimes you have to be the better person.
Today I had a follow up appointment with my radiologist at UCLA. It's been six weeks since I finished my treatment and it felt strange to be back in this all too familiar setting. I had gotten there a little early and while I was in waiting room, I struck up a conversation with a woman whose husband was just finishing up his radiation treatments with the same doctor. She told me how they were from South Dakota and were staying with her daughter while he was being treated. I said t that I had met so many people from all over the country who came here for treatment. She said they were here because our doctor is the top radiologist in the country (which I already knew) and when I told her I lived a few miles away, I realized how extremely lucky I am.
When I got into the examination room and had all my questions answered and was reassured that everything was going better than expected, I told my doctor that I felt so privileged to be under his care. He then told me that it was his privilege to have me as a patient. After thanking him profusely, he said "now give me a hug." For the first time in almost a year, I feel encouraged.
It is taking forever for my hair to grow back from my chemo treatments, and the little that is there, is disgusting. I hate the color and for the first time in my life, I have curly hair. So I am still wearing wigs, and even though they help me get ready to go out in record time, they are very uncomfortable in the summer. Luckily we have had cool weather, with scattered earthquakes so far this summer, but the hot months are just ahead. It could be worse, I could be living in Chicago or New York.
One of the best things about having kids, is getting to know their friends as they grow up together. Even better, is watching them have their own kids. Fourth of July was really special as my daughter and son-in-law had one of their famous barbecues for family and friends. A great time was had by all, especially all the little ones.
The Mayfield girls and their offspring. I told them I hope their kids are as entertaining as they were growing up. Especially in High School!!!!!Shannon and Jerome's new nephew Xaviar, the newest addition to the family. What a little cutie pie.
Another nephew, Ignatius. Gorgeous blue eyes.
Every time I think of baking a pie, this song runs through my head, conjuring up memories of a summer spent at the Jersey Shore. A summer that happens once in a life time, before responsibility puts a damper on all things spontaneous. A time when having fun is your only goal. When all goals are also on vacation. I was invited to a Barbecue at friends in Seal Beach on Wednesday, and after a trip to the Santa Monica Farmer's Market, I knew I had to make something with peaches and apricots. These individual galettes are so easy to make. Just throw all the ingredients into a food processor, roll the dough into individual circles, and fill with fresh fruit. They come out of the oven tasting as good as they smell.
later I am living on the other coast, still enjoying summers at the
beach. Even though partying no longer has the same meaning it did in
the good old days, I still enjoy a good one. The difference now is that
I bake the pie, instead of dancing to it.