The Graduate (‘s stepmom)

Happy!  So Proud of Oliver ( my Nick Jonas).  I’m so glad that I got such a nice stepson.  It could have all gone so wrong.  Here we are ( with his grandma, Mark’s mom beaming in the background) right after the commencement.  While my pride and love for Oliver does not waver, but enthusiasm during the service flagged a tad.  Here I tell Rex what he missed.




what you said you would never do

This is one big reunion for me.It’s been a long time since I was on Momversation  ( or as I think of it the more successful spin off of coolmom)  Recently Momversation retooled and became a mega site, more like a magazine if you will.  With different channels of programming.  One channel is still bloggers talking like Old Momversation. So that is reunion number 1.

They are doing some stuff with Ricki Lake as a tie in with her new show.  I haven’t seen the new incarnation, but I use to be the token white comic on the last season of her old show and loved doing it.  I would get flown to NYC, jump up and say one or two jokes and then get residual checks.  Very sorry when she decided to not continure the show.  Ricki was a nice lady.  We got on well and I saw her some socially in LA after that since I knew a guy she was dating at the time.   I wish her well in her new marriage and show. That is reunion number 2.

When Momversation started out and was helmed by dear friend Rob Morheim  ( now producing a morning show in Chicago) one of the original panelist was Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks.  Karen is one of my virtual friends.  I have never met her in the flesh, but felt like I had.  I always enjoyed when we would versate on momversation.  Prior to doing this video we spoke on the phone for about a half an hour.  I adore here.  She is so much fun.  I hope to finally meet her at the Evo conference this July.  Reunion number 3.

I hope in the future if RIcki does more of these she doesn’t film the intro on her set.  She is warmer than that kind of staged setting delivers up. But, if she keeps it up fine, but I would like that pro lighting as well!


Jubilee reading

On this election day ( primary and stuff) I am proud and happy to be in the USA, however, I have always been a bit of a royal nut.  Which is why I jumped at the chance when asked to review This book about the Queen, “The Real Elizabeth”.  As you know there was just a bit of a fuss over her achieving the milestone of having ruled for 60 years.  It’s unlikely that another woman will get the chance for quite sometime.


I have read tons of royal books over the years, but the first 1/4 of this book offered a good historical, non gossipy grounding in the modern monarchy.  How changes that George V    ( her grand dad known as the guy who looked identical to his cousins the Tsar of Russia and the Kaiser of Germany) put in place influence her rule.

It lags a bit for me in describing much of her own rule partly because it is NOT a gossipy book.  Though the author did shed some more light on Prince Phillip which was interesting.  But, the good part is it’s more comprehensive than other books I’ve read.  At that point it’s impossible not rush ahead to the part about Princess Diana. Though on the way, there is an entertaining passage about the Queen’s relationship with Margaret Thatcher.   In a nutshell, The Queen likes to be a normal person sometimes and Thatcher was always a bit reverential which bugged Elizabeth.

It’s a good book that you don’t need to be ashamed to be reading.


June Gloom

IT has arrived IT is the haze that moves in on Southern California every June ( sometimes May, but we were spared this year).  People who live in colder climates will know doubt say, “cry me a river”.  For us who are use to days on end of perfect days the unceasing haze can drive us to re up long dormant prescriptions for happy pills, or try out new cocktails.

The trip I had postponed so I could be home for Oliver’s prom. With five offspring there is never a good time to get away. By going away this weekend we missed Viv’s best friend’s birthday party and spending time with my stepdaughter who is visiting ( we will see her this week however), but I would lose the money I had put down on the cabin so we went.

Just getting my husband away from striking distance from his restaurant has value.  He is trapped, he has to stay with us.  We drove north and stopped at this cute little place in Summerland.  I really wanted a non corporate cup of coffee and this place, Cafe Luna, reminded me of college days in Santa Cruz.  The kids loved their smoothies.Just when we were going to get back on the road to our “glamping” site Mark spied an outdoor oven in the back.  Ends up they have a chef and make a few things in this outdoor oven for dinner.  Oh, let’s stay I said.  I chatted up the owner ala John Carl Brogdonand ordered the roast chicken- fantastic and the meat loaf, good, but would use a tad less sauce and peppers.  The smashed potatoes had rosemary and truffle oil. Yum.  We brought in our bottle of Sancerre we had.  The kids could scamper on the patio.

a little self portrait

Great places for a family.  We hit the road the next morning awoke to a gloomy day north of Santa Barbara.  Sigh.  There goes the beach swim thing.

Fortunately, a Llama farm hike saved the day.  We hiked up a hill to visit with Llama and goats and sheep with a view of the water. Usually I only see this view from the window of a speeding car.  It was nice to be in it instead of looking at it. We didn’t need clear sun to make this a sweet outing.


For dinner we made tri tip over an open fire.  Great for the kids to scamper outside.  Dodge poison oak instead of cars, avoid skunks instead of creepy people who park their cars a little long on a street.  But, dang it, there is NO way to look pretty when you camp.  It can get to me. 

I told Mark that if we could cover our computers, TV and phones at home we could stay in our home comfy home with our full bar and save a lot of money.  He would have to vow to stay with us for 36 hours.  Even on the hike I caught him checking his phone sometimes, “put that down” I yelled.

That night the place we stayed had an awesome band, “The Rawhides”.  Country by way of rocka billy.  They were tight.  I loved hearing music, outdoors and being able to dance with my kids.  The normal schlep of concerts.  Babysitters, late at night, sitting down or standing up in a stinky bar does not appeal to me, but I miss out on the magic of live music.  Here we got it.  I danced some, but the sweetest thing was to see Viv and her dad dance.  They never sat down.

The next morning more haze.  I needed some reframing, ” let’s see the beautiful overcast beach” in my head I thought, “I’ll pretend it’s the Oregon Coast”.  My sensitivity to cloudy weather is a big reason I fled back home after many years in Northern California.  But, this morning I adjusted, we all did.  

I love this picture.

Of course when we got back to the big city the haze had burned off.   I did three loads of laundry. And more gloom with my dinner. It laid an egg.  Oliver didn’t eat it because I had served him a late lunch, Vivien said, “Is that all there is?”  Pork and Salad. What more do you want?

“all pork is dry”

” Where are you picking up these crazy ideas.  It’s pork shoulder not a chop.  I brined it.”

She was use to Sunday dinner with dad when their are more things on the table.  I found some leftover arancini balls and she ate those.  Rex was wound up. Literally.  He was lying in my suitcase, nearby as I had unloaded it’s contents into the washing machine.  ( Later I tricked him into eating while he watched Mickey Mouse on youtube)

I fell asleep holding Rex and smelling the campfire in his hair.  I’ll deal with that tomorrow.


My son wants nothing to do with me

It’s painful when your son rejects you.  I mean me, rejects ME.  But, one day after I had gone out for exercise and errand running I came back home expecting to send our beloved baby sitter Dolly packing ( you can hear her Bolivian accent early on) and spend quality time with my son.

It didn’t go down like that.  She stayed longer as he WANTED NOTHING TO DO WITH ME.  Months have gone by since we shot this.  I have felt very loved by son most of the time.  But, this morning he screamed for Dolly again.  I called her and as she was headed to another gig nearby she dropped by for a few minutes.  I’m glad I found someone who he likes so much.


Really, I am.

Have your ever been rejected by your kids?