Summer bucket list

I might not be the most prolific blogger this week.  I’m working on my summer bucket list.


Natural history museum= check

take kids on new light rail = check

picnic across town with old friend in favorite park = check

spend time with Oliver before he leaves for college = check ( and he is gone)

take Viv shopping for back to school clothes = check

Take the kids to the beach = check


see my friends who live in greater LA area, but are kind of far out. = 1 0ut of 3 check.  Malibu, yes,  OC, Castaic no.

The last thing on my list is 1) Vivien finishing her summer homework.  It’s so she keeps her academic brain in shape, but truley 70 % I do in the last  2 weeks of the summer. 2) GETTING OUT OF TOWN.  I’m  taking my kids to San Francisco.  I lived there for over 9 years and have some serious good friends there.  My kids are just old enough that a road trip with them doesn’t terrify me and also I think I can do it because I bought  a two screen strapped to the headrest DVD player.  Just used it to Santa  Barbara and with the headphones my life has changed.  If they take out the headphones I go nuts as I don’t think I can listen to “The Cat in the Hat” movie anymore despite my admiration for Mike Meyers.

From SF I am taking them to Yosemite.  The holy grail of spirituality for me.  Growing up we went every year and I was conceived there.  This is the longest I’ve gone without going there in my life.  The last time was the summer of ’08.  Halycon days.  I was pregnant with Rex and the economy hadn’t tanked.  We still thought we had money and had never heard  of Bernie Madoff.  I rented the most expensive cabins for family members, our treat.   The last couple of years between money and Rex being so little I haven’t gone.

little did I know that in a few months my life would be turned upside down

Now, I’m going to the lesser accomodations, but, it’s fine.  I just want to smell the warm pine, I want to feel the cold Merced River around my feet. I want Rex to experience it.  I want my kids to get addicted to it they way I did.  I’m already covered in mosquito bites here, so why not get closer to nature.  I want to walk in the meadow that I walked with my father, looking up at half dome.  Where he told me we owed this park to President Lincoln.  Where my sisters and I floated down intertubes in our river shoes, our mom making hot coco for us at our cabin or tent.

By they way, look how hot my mom is here.  How she could look like that sitting on a rock while staying up in the mountains I have no idea.  I remember my swim suit.  I loved it.

I feel a bit brave doing this without Mark.  I’ve never taken such a an extensive trip with my kids without another adult.  But, I’m tired of being a mommy shut in.  I think we can do it.

The right time would be when we could all go.  But, Mark has to work and my father is never coming back.

The right time to go would be when I could afford several nights in a comfy cabin with a full bath.  But, who knows when that will be.

The right time is right now.  I have to seize the moment. I haven’t been back since my dad died.  I will hear his voice cautioning me not to go to close the falls.  Yelling at me not to order a full entree at the Ahwahnee dining room because it was so expensive  ($12).

I think it’s a shame that the parks are pricing out the middle class.  The nicest hotel there, the Ahwahnee is over $500 a night.  The Curry tents with no bath are $150. Growing up our family would stay one to two weeks.  Not going to happen now.

Next week, we will be back to school.  I will be an assistant AYSO coach.  So, feel the sun!  It’s starting to set. ( slamm door, motor on, burning rubber, see yah)

Delusional hot weather dressing

I keep waiting for the heat to break.

No luck.

I dress differently in the heat, particularly in humid heat.  We have nothing like you all have in the South or parts of the East, but us in Cali, it’s been frizzing our hair.  So, is my look anything like yours?

Mommy body issues

As I keep telling PR people who want me to interview their clients, “Will they come to my house?”  I passed on people from Katie Couric on down ( she wouldn’t be interviewed on camera anyway).  But, Coolmom regular Sara Chana, Homeopath and Herbalist, Breastfeeding Expert, Birthing Instructor, keeps coming back to the cool mom studio ( today it’s in my living room).  As one who was raised on Merv Griffin I feel like she is my Shelly Winters, or Totie Fields.  A favorite guest who pops on whether they have something to promote or not.  It’s always fun to talk to her.  Maybe she is my Dick Cavett.

Notice that my cat is lurking in the back like a disgruntled band leader. I don’t know if it’s Apple or Julia.  I think she thinks if she gets in frame enough she get her SAG card.  Huh, kiddie, the web won’t help you that.  Maybe you want to run away to a movie stars house?

I can only hope.

So, How has your body changed?



The parent volunteer debate


Even though “Stunt Mom” got me out of volunteering in the video in real life I have said “yes” to leading a group of suckers new parents to weed and trim our pathetic  approachable school landscaping.

I was an RA in school ( actually we were CA’s become we were a “community’, but same diff)  and last year a school parent.  I’m kind of an enforcer at heart.  But, I also like to buck the system.  I was recruiting and training a mom to be a room parent this year,  “you can’t worry if people like you. Who cares, you have a job to do.”  Really true in life in general.

So, asked me to write a rebuttal to a lady who was complaining about mother’s who asked her to be more active in the school. She didn’t want to be.  She called people like me “PTA moms”. Not accurate.  It’s like calling a stranger who jumps your dead battery the Automobil Club, but I think she uses it as a catch all for involved parents.  Those pain in the asses.

Those know it alls.

Those ME.  So click here to see the essay I wrote.  Let me know what you think.

Learning to Handwrite (sponsored)

Back to school time!  Gotta get the school mojo back now!

I really try to keep Vivien’s sharp brain sharp over the summer. Sure she gets to watch more cartoons, but I always have a workbook that we do a bit of math and spelling and such throughout the hot summer. There is so much data about how kids forget over the summer and it takes teachers 6 weeks of instruction to get the kiddos back on track.
Since I am raising a 21st century kid I’m on her. As she enters 2nd grade I know the homework is going to be more and she will probably need to bone up on some handwriting. Though I plan for her to be a rocket scientist she is still a little girl and bright shiny objects are a great carrot to get her to work. So, when Papermate asked me to partner with them in a video I said, Oh, yeah, let’s write it up.



Trying to get the Daph Master Flash back

A continuing theme in Mom Lit is the search for self.  Or the maintenance of it.  Now doubt marriage and motherhood change you, as it should, but frankly, I don’t want it to change me THAT much.

The last couple of weeks I have a had more work, fun and hi jinx then the last couple of months.  All good.  All leading me back to smidge of the me I discovered back in The Greatest Decade, the ’90’s.” That I was the DaphMasterFlash.   What does that mean?  It means when I’m firing on all cylinders and things are coming together.   My creativity is on and I was improvising, hosting, producing ( whatever my job at that moment) really well.  It meant I when I use to set my cap for a guy and say, “you” and check please!  It meant travelling to other countries and having the best adventures.

My producer Brian on my Discovery Show “Perfect Partner” knew of my alter ego, greater self and use to exhort me to exhibit it when we were in the midst of shooting one of our 81 shows in the field for that series.

“DMF it, DMF it” he would say so I could bring our dog and pony show to an end and we could move on to the next set up.  Sometimes I would say, “I don’t have the DMF today.”  I think I haven’t had much of the DMF for a couple of years.   Or maybe it was put into a subtle survival mode.  Surviving selling my home while pregnant and losing most of our net worth.  Stuff like that.

So here is my little journey back to my  DMF.

My new look!

Beat today.  I shot 8 webisodes in my home the last two days for Cafe Mom.  I’m super excited to see them finished.  It was an ambitious schedule.  Most of my family participated.

I will let you know when they are post ( October date), but in the meantime.  Check out my new look.  The title is “How To Be a Mom”.

how remodeling remodels you

Since we moved into our house last year we have wanted to remodel the down stairs bathroom.  Give it a shower since Mark comes home from work late, I’m a light sleeper and if he woke me up I would be a total shrew.  I also wanted some tile in their and make it look more like a Guest bathroom.  Like in a nice hotel.  Meanwhile, we fixed up our back house as well as my oldest stepson is going to be moving in with us.  All of these jobs we wanted to wait till we had some more money.  Well, that part didn’t really happen, but we did it anyway.

I now don’t know how people deal with redoing a whole house.  It’s very disruptive and I spend a lot of time picking stuff up for the job.  . I will share the before and after when it’s done… if it’s ever done.  In the meanwhile… see how this has changed us from an educated, metropolitan family into this…

If I remodel anything else I fear we will become zombies.

this is what our house looks like now.


Here is my take on the Chick-a-fil-a CEO’s anti gay marriage stance.

Left or right when there is a dust up in the media like the Chick-fil-a controversy I usually tune it out.  Blah, blah.  But, between Sarah Palin and Pat Boone proudly buying their over salted chicken and me still looking at my watch waiting for Prop 8 to be overturned in California I snapped like a wishbone.

Before prop 8 was passed in California we had meetings at Campanile to discuss how we would revamp our wedding website to make sure it looked representative of all who could marry.  We talked about putting ads in gay publications.  No one cared who was coming to be joined at my husband’s restaurant, only ,”how can we cater to this customer?”  A Korean wedding is a little different than a Jewish wedding or a Catholic wedding.  Hospitality, our belief, is unjudgemental.  Open bar, great, Seafood raw bar, ok. Whatever. It was not lost on us that gay weddings could help our business.  Not transformative, but booking a one a month helps pay the rent.  So, we were all shocked when Prop 8 passed. I still believe some people voted accidentally.  They thought they were voting for tolerance, not against.  Yes on 8 was really a No vote.  Confusing.  Florist, caters, paper companies, a lot of small businesses lost when Prop 8 passed.  It’s one of the reasons I believe it will be overturned.  Gay weddings are a job creator!

My husband, Mark Peel, loves hospitality because he believes that his job “is to create magic moments for people.”  When he received a restaurateur award 7 years ago he gave a lovely speech where he said “People come to us ( hospitality biz) for the special times in their life.  We are a part of that.” I thought it was very dear.

Everyone should have their magic moments.  Bar Mitzvah, romantic dinners, baptism, weddings.  So, I was thrilled when Campanile put this on their Twitter and FB

“F-ck Chick-a-fil -a. Come have our Camp-a-nil-e Fried Chicken this Friday. Taste much better and we can’t wait to cater a gay wedding.”

Mark does make the best fried chicken.  He rarely serves it, but it was on the schedule for Friday. Why not eat really tasty chicken and tasty politics?

Most people cheered it, a few people did not like it and say things along the lines, of stick to your cooking.  These people remind me of those who told Martin Luther King Jr “can’t you just wait?”

I don’t get why people would work to block equal rights to gays.  Doesn’t everyone have someone in their family who is gay?  Okay, that’s my soap box.  Here is the funny.  Not my video, but cracked me up.

John Goodman as Colonel Sanders. Let me know your take on all this and watch this vid for a chuckle.