Friday, February 17, 2012

Meet my husband's new friend- Gina!

For Christmas, my daughter and I gave my husband a GPS. He is amazing at getting around in San Diego because he’s found his own shortcuts from all the driving he does in his construction business. Whenever we are out of state and need to find directions, it has always been my job to read the map and tell him where to go. Now….. my map reading skills are also amazing but occasionally….. our skills don’t match and a fight  strong words erupt.
So….thanks to technology…. We now have someone else to take the fall. So….. enter the TomTom GPS system.
 A couple of weeks ago, we had to drive up north to Long Beach. Not being familiar with the area, we thought it was time to try out the new toy. We’ve named her Gina the GPS since she has a very sultry voice.  So…. The three of us get in the car and off we go.
I’m sure we looked very similar to this video of the older couple trying to figure out how to work their webcam.
                        If you've never seen this....watch it. We  will all be here one day.
We got her programmed and we were doing very well and got to destination #1. Ok, so there may have been a quick road detour that I missed but I’m sticking with it being Gina’s fault. 

 I quickly reprogrammed her and off we went to destination #2.  Still doing well, she tells us quickest routes, she tells us gas stations and even restaurants. She is amazing. We should have befriended her long ago. I’m pushing all her buttons to see how much information she has. I tested different voices which they have actually named. Lance, from England, was my first choice but Fernando couldn’t understand the bloke. Go Figure!! Gina was easier on his ears although I pointed out that she couldn’t even say San Diego correctly. It was more of an electronic SAHN DIEGAH. For him, it was music to his ears.
That next week Gina and Fernando had to drive to a new customer’s home.  We kissed goodbye (Fernando and I) and off they went to work together.  What I didn’t realize was that with all the playing that I did with the buttons, I inadvertently pushed in "search for walking routes". So, what should have taken him a ½ hour on freeways….. Gina was telling him was going to take 6 hours. I don't know why he didn't think this was as funny as I did?

He started off listening to her and when he realized that she was giving wrong directions, he tuned her out! I know how you feel Gina….been there! Well, when he ignored her directions…. She began to repeat herself and repeat and repeat. Is this sounding familiar ladies? He finally figured out how to turn her off.

The next day, he was kicking a ball around the kitchen for the dog and making black scuff marks on the floor. I asked if he could stop doing that.
Do you know what that man said? He said….. “Darn, I thought I shut off the ‘nag-agator’!”
Will someone please come out with a GPS where you can program it with the wife’s voice? I have a few more directions to send him.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Parenting someone into a career path

Thanks for continuing to read my blog. I'm unable to post as often these days as I'm trying to finish up with my school work and come April...... I will be finished. So hang in there and keep watching for the occasional post and I'm hoping I'll be able to entertain you more often very soon.

My husband and I were out running errands the other day and ran into the father of our daughter's high school friend. Now we've never been very chatty with this man, he's always been kind of a quiet man but our girls had gone to school together and played sports for many years so the girls hung out quite a bit. Now the man.... I'll call him Mr. D walked by us and stopped to say hello. It was very nice. We filled each other in on our daughters' whereabouts. His daughter is in school to become a federal agent. Wow! Sounded impressive to me.

We get out to the car and as usual my husband can't remember who Mr. D is. So.... I try to remember stories that he can remember and relate the face to the story.

So this is the story I chose to remind him :

There was a time when our daughter needed a ride home from school but I was driving my other daughter to pick up her car at the garage. Now being law-abiding citizens when the law says this......

After you pass your driving test, you will be issued a provisional driver license.
This means you cannot give anyone under 20 years old (your friends, your brother(s), sister(s), cousin(s), etc.) a ride unless you have a licensed parent, a guardian or other adult 25 years old or older in the car with you. 

....we will abide by it. 
I know....crazy parenting right!! We follow rules and that rule applies for the first year of having a new license. So I told her to wait at school and she assured me that she could get a ride from someone who was OK to drive her home (aka someone who had past the provisional first year). So very shortly I leave the house to drive my other daughter to pick up the car and as we are driving away I see a black SUV driving down our street with Mr. D's daughter.....let's call her Kim. (She could be a federal agent one day....don't want to get her in trouble.) Now I know that Kim had just gotten her license within the last month.  

As we passed the SUV, I said to my daughter..... your sister is in that car. She said "No she's not.....Kim was all alone". I said....."No, your sister is crouching down because they just spotted us." 
So Kim drives perfectly past me without blinking or turning her head to catch my eye.
Kim pulls into the street just past my house and I quickly turned the car around and parked under a tree behind a van several houses up. I could see my house but they wouldn't notice me. Yup.... I'm staking out my own home!!

 I got my phone ready to speed dial my daughter and waited for Kim to pull in front of the house and sure enough....she.... I mean.....they did.
My daughter in the car with me, between fits of laughter and disbelief, says "Wow MOM.....you should be a CSI agent!!" 

I hit speed dial and my daughter now sitting in my driveway answers her phone. The conversation went like this:
Me: Hi honey, did you happen to get a ride home yet? Or do you still need me to come get you?
Her: Yeah..... Brian dropped me off. (Brian is older....I'm supposed to feel better.)
Me: Really, how nice! Because I think that looks like Kim. Wait.....yes I'm sure its Kim and if you look down the street....you'll see me waving at you both right now!! So..... you are busted. Get in the house now and we'll talk when I get back!!

At which point, very pleased with my parenting skill, I drove away laughing!!! 
So....my husband now remembers who Kim is when I relate this story. He says...... "Wow..... federal agent and she has you to thank for helping her find her career choice! That's something to be proud of!" 
I hate it when he thinks he's funny.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Empty Nest.....part two

We are getting close to the end of week three of empty nesting and this is what I’ve learned. 
1.      I need to learn to cook for two again. I AM SICK OF LEFTOVERS!
2.        I have lots of free time when I don’t pause for a minute to watch whatever TV show that Jess is watching….. apparently, I don’t need to keep up with the Kardashians or anyone else or to discuss the latest internet video of the marriage proposals that she and I love to watch.
3       If you save up all of your talking for when your husband gets home…..on the weekend he will take you to the movies so he can have a minute (or hour) of peace and quiet.  
4.     . If your younger child agrees to come home to visit…..it is not to see mom. It’s to do her laundry and sleep.
                   Extra points if you can find Melissa in there!


This is what Jess has been learning……

While Blaine was there....they did some sightseeing. 
They ate "lobstah" in Boston....

Did some ice skating.....
This is Blaine on ice.....haha....ouch! I mean falling on ice.

Spent New Years Eve in a cabin in New Hampshire.....

They took her to the local mall in New Hampshire. I hope she didn't spend too much money...she won't have room in her suitcases.

Blaine learned some new fashions to take back to California.
He must have gotten some tips from my nephew Charlie.....

After Blaine left and the vacation was over, Jess has been hard at work at her internship. She texted me that  it was 8 degrees her first morning. In my best mom pep talk, I told her this was good for her....that this was a good growing experience. (What else can a mom say?) She texted back that it was too cold for anything to grow back there. I couldn't argue with her on that one.
Love this picture of her with Aunt AnnMarie....what's funny is Jess is wearing two jackets. 

Today she sent this picture with the note......"It's time". 

Nope....I don't miss the shoveling and cleaning off the car every morning. I'm happy to be right where I am!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Home Alone...The empty nesters!!!

We are officially empty nesters. Well, temporarily, at least. Our younger daughter is away at college and now our oldest moved away for an internship leaving my husband and I……ALONE!!! Yes….alone for two whole months and possibly longer. Not sure if this is a good thing or not. Visions of Macaulay Culkins in Home Alone keep floating into my head. The shock in his face when he realizes that he just may have gotten what he wished for!!! 


So for the next few months….. I’m sure you’ll be hearing what it is like living with my husband with no children to buffer for us.
So Jessica went to Connecticut to stay with my sister and her family while she works in an outpatient physical therapy center. Jess is a home body by nature. She likes her space. She likes her California weather. This could be fun to watch unfold.

Packing was especially fun to watch. Prior to making the move, she did not own much in the way of warm clothes. We tried shopping for them. She wanted cute and fashionable which in California stores does not mean warm. I tried to explain that the boots she wanted would leak and that she needed warm sensible boots. She wasn’t liking what I picked out. Go figure!!



I tried to tell her that my sister had a washer and dryer but I think she packed enough clothes to not have to do any laundry for the entire two months. I tried to offer suggestions but all she could say was…. “Don’t judge me” with a grin on her face.

See what I mean….and those suitcases didn’t even have any shoes in them yet!!! My husband had to go in her closet last night to put something away. He came out and proclaimed “We’ve been robbed! There’s nothing left in Jessica’s closet.”

So Christmas night, we took them (Blaine, her boyfriend went along for the first week). We have a tradition of taking “first” pictures….day of school, car, job, etc. This is her “first” moving out picture. I couldn’t be in the picture because….well….being the mom…..my eyes may have been a little teary…..so I shoved dad in there.

Notice she has her scarf on and she hasn’t even left San Diego and its about 60 degrees out. Not a good sign if she’s cold already.
                    Happy Holidays sign from TSA..... see they really do like us!

So they arrived fine and had Christmas a day late with my brother, sister and families. I got a text that they were doing well but that “Blaine was eating Bambi.” Apparently, my brother was doing his best to break in this California boy with some home cooked venison. They opened gifts and Jess was surprised to find a little something under the tree from her dad. Jess and her dad have a little game going. It started one night after dinner with a crumpled up ball of foil that kept making its way into her work lunch or his work lunch which progressed to hiding it in closets or shoes which progressed to us having someone deliver it to her at the restaurant where she worked. By now, the foil ball had become a foil cross….none of us can explain why that happened. So the foil cross made its way to Connecticut and was wrapped and under the Christmas tree. Looks like she was surprised!!!


Yesterday they went shopping or maybe they were just in my brother’s closet finding her some warm clothes to wear.


Today was ice skating and looks like a trip down memory lane to see where she was born, the first house she lived in…and my old stomping grounds.

I hope they didn’t go in and use our family name… they may not get the warm reception they were hoping for. I was the 4th of 5 children to go there and by the time I attended….our last name was already getting some interesting looks and raised eyebrows. Ahhh…..but then that story is for another blog.

So….. my little birds have flown away….for the winter at least. What shall I do first??????? Not sure what to do with myself!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Preparations my way......

So on my last blog I told you about how my husband is so full of Christmas cheer. I didn’t want to sound like I’m an un-Christmas-Scrooge type person so I thought I’d share a little of the memories that I’ve given my girls.

I also like Christmas music..IF they are sung with the correct lyrics. One year, Fernando and my girls gave me a Reba McEntire Christmas cassette (this was before cars had cd players---yes---.it was a while ago). I used to play that cassette every time the girls and I got in the car and back in those days…..we did a lot of driving.  Now Reba has some stuff that’s not too bad but some of it is pretty "twang-y" country stuff. The girls hated that cassette after the first season or so. But being a woman that loves traditions (insert evil laugh here)….. I insisted we play it for years!!! Even in their teen years….I made them listen to it. Hey….they gave it to me….deal with it!!! Here’s a sample of it for your pleasure…..(go ahead....click on the link) 



If you happen to be talking with my girls..... ask them to tell you the story..... they have it memorized by now!! 
Last year Melissa was studying in Spain for a semester and was away for all the Christmas preparations. It did my heart good to get the following email from her:

"just thought you should know i just spent about 30 minutes telling my friend about reba's christmas music you used to torture us with every year. and then of course we went on youtube and looked them up and died laughing. thanks for this lovely childhood memory! love you"

You see I've learned that not every memory has to be Hallmark perfect.

Another year….. they gave me a Christmas sweater. Oh this sweater should get an award or two as Christmas sweaters go. Now when they were little and Christmas sweaters were bold and bright and every one wore them (not just to Ugly sweater parties) I would wear it and they were proud that they had bought that for momma. But as the years went on….their pride.... well it became more of a pleading to not wear it. I was especially fond of wearing it whenever they needed a ride home from a friend’s house.

See what you think….
You can't see it but there are teddy bears baking cookies on the back of that sweater. 
Can I get an OH Yeah!!!

So….it’s only fitting that my family does not do the typical family Christmas photo since most likely you are thinking we are not that typical. You would be correct. We tried that same year....this is what it looked like.....


 So this is this year's version of......ahem…..our family Christmas card. Be sure to click on the blue highlighted area. 

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!! Have fun, make memories and remember what it's all about!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Preparations at my home

As we are all in the midst of Christmas preparations, I thought you’d like to hear what that means in my house. As you’ve gathered by now….we’re not your ordinary  Hallmark-card  type of family. We probably lean closer to the Farsides type.

We start with my husband announcing in about February that Christmas will be here before you know it.  Then each month he announces it. Now don’t take that to mean that he’s an ugly Christmas sweater wearing guy that can’t wait until Christmas comes.

He definitely is not! It’s just his way of getting a groan out of me.

My husband was born good-natured. He whistles while he works. 

He sets his alarm at 5am EVERYDAY just so he won’t “waste the day”. I was NOT born that way. I prefer to not “waste the night”.  I think alarm clocks should only be used for emergencies….like when you need to get up early to leave on a trip. I certainly don’t get up whistling.

I’ve told you before my husband loves to sing…..his own way….his own lyrics. 


He’s been listening to Christmas music every day in his shop. The problem is….what he hears and what he sings are not the same. Here....see what I mean.....

“Winter Wonderland” has a line that says:
 “In the meadow we can build a snowman,
Then pretend that he is Parson Brown”

Fernando:  “In the meadow we can build a snowman,
Then pretend that he is partly brown”
Me: No, it says Parson Brown.
Him: Really? Who is that?
Me: A parson is like a minister.
Him: Oh, I thought they were just being politically correct in the carols. I thought they were finally including my people in it.
Me: Nope….pretty sure they were not talking about Ecuadoreans in that Christmas carol.

Or how about  “Silver Bells”:
“Silver Bells, Silver Bells, It’s Christmas time in the city.”

Fernando-lyrics say:“Silver Bells, Silver Bells, It’s crime time in the city.”
Me: No…not crime time but Christmas time…..remember Christmas carols are happy and about nice things.
Him: Are you sure? It’s a city…there’s always crime.
Me: Can you just stick to “Feliz Navidad”?

Then he puts lights on the house. They look amazing. In fact, the first year we moved into our present neighborhood, no one had lights up except our house….and we hadn’t even moved in yet! We bought it in December and the first thing he did was put up Christmas lights.
                           Not our house....but I thought it was worth sharing.

There was one year when he was in a hurry and tried to cut corners so he could come in to watch the Chargers game on television. I was on a long distance call with my sister when he asked me to come out and take a look. To my surprise…. He had made a Star of David out of lights on the front of our house.

                                My sister sent us a Hanukkah card that year!

Let me know if you need help with your preparations.....I would be happy to send my husband to help you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

To all of my faithful readers, I’m sorry that I have not blogged much this month. I’ve been working two jobs  and going to school and let’s face it….my blogging skills are not making me rich so I needed to focus my energy on other things. Thanks for your patience. I'm hoping to get back up to speed soon.

If you’ve been following my blog then you know that I find the practice of being grateful essential for staying positive. It’s not always easy to be grateful especially when life is beating you up but if you can get in the habit of finding the blessings, the positive things in your life then you can’t help but feel grateful and that changes your attitude.  Life is about choice. We can choose to be grateful or we can choose misery.

My family has a lot to be thankful for. We will all be home this holiday and so I won’t need to take pictures like this one I took last year…..

which I then texted to my daughters making them feel guilty for making their parents empty nesters on a holiday. (It must have worked….they’re home this year!)  

We are grateful for the time we got to spend with family this year:



For the little bit of traveling I did this year and the ability to see and experience all that this world has to offer...

For technology and all the fun I've had this year....texting, blogging, emailing and facebooking and especially for finding people I haven't seen or talked to in years. 

I am thankful for all of you that read and encourage my silliness. 

Here's wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving. Be sure to click on the link below....