Category Archives: family

Oprah Network Casting: L.A. Family

OWN has asked to get this out to local L.A. people/families, in case you or someone you know would be a good fit:

The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) is now casting families for an amazing new transformational TV Show!

A neighborhood support project – It takes a village

Seeking families in the Greater Los Angeles Area who are struggling with their kids:

Families must have at least 1 child age 6 to 17 who lives at home.

* Teen problems – all kinds!
* Kids being bullied – or worried parents of bullies!
* Single parents raising kids and working
* Parents struggling with their children’s behavior
* Military families struggling with active duty parents
* Families dealing with sudden change –  birth, death, divorce, illness

To Apply:
Please write a brief description of your family’s situation, or tell us about the family you’d like to help.
Please send ASAP – deadline at end of week!

Please include:
— Names and ages of everyone living in household
— City, and type of home (house, condo, apartment)
— 1-2 current photos
— Your contact info –  name, email and phone number

Please reference family last name and city in subject line.
Click this link to email your submission

Bonfire At The Beach: A SoCal Must

Bolsa Chica Bonfire 05.03.08_0072.JPG

Yesterday was a first for me.  It was my very first bonfire at the beach.  And it was as cool as I always imagined it would be.

It was our youngest niece’s 14th birthday.  And instead of sweating it out in the Inland Empire like we typically do, they opted for a day at the beach.  You better believe I was behind that!  And while I’m not a huge play at the beach and frolic in the waves kinda gal (long story…but it has to do with being a Jersey Girl and hypodermic needles and raw sewage visiting our local beaches), I was all over experiencing this California bonfire tradition.

We’ve driven past the Bolsa Chica beach many times and I’ve always been in awe of the bonfires.  Turns out, it’s one of the few beaches that allows bonfires in the greater LA area (here’s a list of CA beaches that allow fires).  What makes it such a cool experience is that they have the concrete firepits already there and waiting for you.  You still have to bring your own wood (or buy wood from vendors).  But other than that, it’s all good.

Being that close to the ocean, and the ocean breezes leads to some might cold temperatures and quite a bit of smoke and wayward ash.  But it’s so worth it if you ask me.  Though I can’t imagine what it must be like in the winter months.

We got to the party late (fully intending to just experience the bonfire part of the event), after the sun had already set and the fire was roaring hot.  Which was great, because it was freezing (even in late July).  Luckily we still had jackets and a blanket in the car (especially considering I dressed for summer cute and not beachy cold).

I even thought ahead to pick up the ingredients for some s’mores.  Too bad the fam forgot to bring the sticks – LOL.  We managed to make a couple using the BBQ fork, but with that roaring fire, it wasn’t easy.

Oh well, maybe next time.  And I’ve no doubt, now that the nieces and nephews are getting older, that there will be a next time.

Photo: C o l i n

The Love of My Life

Last night we hung out with the in-laws while the uncles held court. It was fun to get together with everyone and catch up. I was out of it for most of it having been dealing with a migraine. But by the time this rolled around I was feeling much better.

Check it out, my darling, moppet of a husband accompanying his eldest niece while she sang for the family. I was bummed that I ran out of space on the card (so be warned it will be cut short), they were sounding pretty good.

Not too bad considering they both *just* learned the song about an hour earlier.

It’s Christmas Eve and I Just Got Back From the Grocery Store

And yes, it was pure insanity.  Luckily, I prepared myself for the grumpy crowds and just soared above in my bliss.  Well okay, it might not have been bliss per se, but it was definitely not bah humbuggedness.  I often wonder who is crazy enough to do their holiday food shopping the day before.  Now I know, frantic people who buy up all the bread, lots of soda and alcohol and like to bump into people.

Yeah, yeah, I know I was there too.  The difference being, I knew I’d be there since I just kept putting off figuring out what I wanted to make for our Christmas contribution.  Of course, it doesn’t help that as of Monday the in-laws still hadn’t decided who was hosting Christmas or what time it would be, let alone what everyone should bring.  It also doesn’t help that I can’t have fun cooking and baking for the in-laws – if they don’t recognize it, they won’t eat it.

So once agian I’ll be making the cornbread casserole, along with a salad with “recognizable” lettuce and salad dressing (who knew greens with gorganzola, sugared pecans and cranberries with a cranberry vinagrette would be too strange *sigh*) and a tres leches cake.  I also picked up a spinach dip and some spreadable cheese for some appies (or for the hubs and I at home if it turns out to be too weird like the baked brie…again, *sigh*).  I also picked up some shrimp for he hubs and I to nibble on once the family gig is over and we’re home.

Tomorrow will be quite mellow for Case de LA Blogger Gal.  Since we had our Ireland trip last month, we won’t be exchanging any gifts here at home.  My dearest friend, who I typically “celebrate” Christmas with (across the miles as she’s still in NM) didn’t manage to get her gifts out this year yet, so nothing from her.  And we excanged gifts with our other good friend last night.  So we’ll just be chilling out tomorrow before heading over to the in-laws where we’ll get a gift or two to open.  Then back home to just hang out…oooh, we can have our shrimp with some proseco I’ve got chilled (or with some Jameson and Gingerale) while watching season 3 of Weeds.  Sounds like a plan!

And now, I guess it’s about time to wrap the gifts.  I think I’m going to follow Katelin’s brilliant suggestion and pop Love Actually into the DVD player.  What better movie to wrap to!

Wishing you all a happy & safe holiday!!

Migraines Suck; Our Two Furry Boys Don’t

They especially suck when they take a week to actually develop into a migraine.  Until then, they’re just dull and annoying ache for days and let me tell you, that sucks too.  Last night my week of dull aches finally turned into a migraine.  Believe it or not, I was happy to finally have it turn into a full on migraine.  Once it turns, the days of dull aches and twinges go away.

I tried a new migraine medicine, Maxalt-mlt.  It’s one of those that dissolve on your tongue.  Gross.  I will say that it had a nice quick reaction time and I felt things subsiding pretty quickly.  But I realized it was only good if I was still.  Once I started to move (to head to bed), the painful throbbing started up.  So in the end, I still needed a Vicodin to cut the throbbing pain (and I hate that – thankfully these only happen once a month or so).

I did notice that the throbbing wasn’t as bad as it can get when I take the Imitrex.  I also noticed that it didn’t knock me out like the Imitrex usually does.  So all in all, this might be able to replace my Imitrex (which I try to avoid at all costs due to the onset of the throbbing and the fact that it knocks me out within an hour).  I think I’ll ask my doc for another sample to give it a try a little bit longer.

All of this makes me wonder…when we head to Ireland, do I have to have all my meds in their original bottles?  Or can I keep them in a pill case with just a printed out of my prescriptions?  The only one I’m really worried about is the hubs Ambien (for flying and sleeping) and my Vicodin (I really only need a couple as a “just in case”).  Anyone traveling internationally and have any idea on this?

You know what else sucks?  Hairballs. I think my cat has had a hairball attack every day for the past three days.  And of course they’re big and messy and gross.  Today’s lovely gift was left at the corner of the bed.  Half on the bed and half off.  Lovely. Now I need to wash the blanket.  Guess I can take it in tomorrow after the dreaded dentist along with my batch of sweaters.

You know what doesn’t suck?  When I am dealing with a sucky migraine, the boys know and will both snuggle tight with me in bed (regardless of the time of day).  All that love and healing energy is just divine!

Uh…What Was I Doing Again?

Man, this stuff with my dad seems to really have affected me. On the one hand, I’m fine and going about my business as usual.  On the other hand, I can’t seem to stay focused on any one thing long enough to even remember what it is I was doing in the first place.  Not fun.

He had his pacemaker install (ha!) earlier today.  I called a bit ago to speak with his nurse and they said that he’s doing fine and was eating lunch now.  Can I just say that I’m surprised?  I mean, I know they say it’s an easy surgery (as far as surgeries go, anyway), but I didn’t expect him to be fine mere hours later.  But I am glad to know that he’s doing well.  That will hopefully take a huge weight off and let me get focused again (though it doesn’t seem to be having that affect just yet).

And can I just say as a totally unrelated sidenote here…soy creamer tastes just as crappy as soy milk.  Why do I even bother with this crap?  It totally ruins the taste of my tea.  No more.


As for Ireland, we are booked!!! Finally!

It was hard as hell finding a place both in Kinsale & Dingle (both are smallish towns) since it turns out many smaller, family-run inns and B&Bs close down in November.  So basically, it was pretty much just as difficult for us to book rooms in November as it would have been do book rooms in the middle of the tourist season in the summer.  Go figure.

Interestingly enough, in Dingle as it stands right now, it’s just us and the owner. Now that should be interesting. I guess the good news is that if we’re the only guests, we might be able to get breakfast served later since we’re such late sleepers 😉

I’ll assume that since Galway is a college town, it wasn’t nearly as difficult to book our rooms.  But even then, I only had two places two chose from (I went with the 4 star location over the 3 star since there was only a $20USD difference for the night).

So now the travel agent just needs to confirm Dublin and Belfast, neither of which are small hotels, so I don’t forsee any challenges. That puts us in three B&Bs in the smaller towns and two nice hotels in the city. And lucky for the hubs, he gets WiFi in all locations so he can keep tabs on all the post-election coverage.  Won’t he be excited?

All I need now is for the winter clothes to start showing up in the stores and all is good.  Such a relief.  Now I can just focus on worrying about my dad,  his stopping heart and the pacemaker surgery on Monday…as if that’s not enough.

A Pacemaker, Are You Kidding Me?

I called my dad today and he proceeded to tell me that just today his heart stopped twice!  What?!?!  No, he  didn’t need to be recucitated, he was awake and aware during all of it.  Turns out th meds may have slowed his heartbeat down too much. So now, there’s talk that he needs a pacemaker.

I’m fine with that.  No big deal.  But um, just whose idea was that?  I mean, he’s a 64 year-old, obese man in shitty health with NO money.  I mean all his medical bills and day to day living expenses are covered by Medicaid, Social Services and what I’m able to send him from time to time. Seems like a pretty silly and expensive procedure to go through when he’s in such poor health and there’s no one to foot the bill, so to speak.

Oh well, I’m just be happy that he’s getting good treatment and will live a longer, healthier life. Or more to the point, that he’s give the chance to do something with the new lease on lifethat they’re giving him.  So now it’s looking like he probably won’t be going home until Tuesday the earliest. So we’re off to a good start and now we basically know what’s going on.

It Was Indeed a Stroke (or two)

We finally have some answers.  My dad has his MRI yesterday and they can no confirm that he not only had one, but two recent strokes.  My dad also said something about a “stroke since February” but I don’t know if that refers to this second one or not since I got the impression that this second was was very recent.  The challenges of being out of state, you’re left with only your parents to tell you what the doctors said…frustrating.

I have a feeling it probably all came about because he wasn’t on blood thinners.  Back in January, the blood thinners were giving him nasty headaches.  For some reason only the doctors can know, instead of switching brands or formulas, they just stopped with them all together.  Needless to say, he’s back on them again now and they won’t send him home until the blood actually thins – plus they’re waiting on his paperwork from the other hospital.

He sounds so much better today compared to even yesterday.  His thoughts are much clearer and his speech sounds stronger now.  He said the I don’t need to head out there, so that’s a bit of a load off.  It doesn’t stop the worrying, but it feels good just knowing that he doesn’t need me there.

I’m still going to hang low and not make many plans or get too involved in anything just yet.  I think I’m handling things fine and then I feel the twinges of the migraines, I feel the tension of the jaw, I realize that I don’t want to talk to anyone.  I just need some time to process all of this some more.   Plus I still have Ireland to arrange and finalize.

Thank you everyone for your support.  Considering I’m not talking to my “real life” friends much, it’s nice knowing that I can still talk about things.

He Seems to be Doing Fine

I just got off the phone with my dad.  There’s still no confirmation or ruling out that he had another stroke.  But I can hear in his voice that it’s a little slurry.  He doesn’t know all too much about what happened before he got to the hospital and he doesn’t seem to know much about his current status.   He said that he may go home tomorrow, but since he’s yet to have his MRI, I doubt they’d send him home without a before and after MRI (unless they’e want him out ASAP since he’s on Medicare).

I reminded him to ask his nurses to help him to get me on his HIPPA clearance and he said he’d talk to them about it.  Though his last nurses said it wasn’t important and didn’t do it last time claiming that he told them who I was and to talk to me.  Worse case, I’ll ask his neighbor to help him with that once he gets home.  I’m also thinking that I’ll laminate a card that says “in case of emergency, please call my name & info” and mention that they have permission to call and release info.

I’m wondering when and if I should head out there.  It’s not just the time and expense, it’s also the fact that I can’t actually stay at his place (it gives me horrific sinus infections).  And this time around, he doesn’t need me to set anything up short of making some legal documents.  I had planned to head out there in December.

Man, taking care of aging parents long distance is tough work.

In the meantime, I’m canceling my upcoming workshop.  I haven’t yet sent out any advertising or solicitation for it, and well, since it’s in 2 weeks there’s no way of knowing I won’t have to fly back east.  I’d hate to have to cancel and deal with refunds while I was working on taking care of him.  Just too much of a hassle right now.

Until then, I’m off to do laundry and not much else.  I just don’t want to have to wrap my brain around something else right now.  I think today calls for a chick flick!