Diary of a SubUrban Housewife

June 25, 2008


Filed under: Family Stuff — Beth @ 5:03 pm

If you’ve been to Chuck‘s today, you know it’s our wedding anniversary. Lucky #13. You also know that for a variety of reasons, we never got our wedding pictures.

Yes, periodically we’ll drag out the proofs, still in pristine condition, in the boxes they came from the photographer in. I’m going to estimate that no more than 20 people have ever seen our “official” wedding pictures.

In fact, two weeks ago we were at Chuck’s mom’s house and she brought the subject of our wedding pictures up. What ever happened with them. How much she’s love a picture from our wedding. Blah blah blah blah blah. Chuck and I both laughed and were emphatic that there would be no wedding pictures. Yes, we have them. Yes, they’re lovely. Yes, the photographer is still in business, in fact, we drive by his studio regularly. But NO, there will be no wedding pictures.

It’s a bit funny (and frankly not surprising to me at all) that Chuck decided to document our lack of wedding pictures today. Not surprising because I too had been thinking of talking about that today, in honor of our anniversary. So when Chuck told me he had a new entry up and I went over there I laughed at his topic of choice. Then I was secretly a little crestfallen because I wanted to talk about it too.

But then I read his entry. The whole entire entry, complete with clicking on his links and re-reading our history (very convenient this whole weblog thing for remembering your past). And when I got to the bottom of his entry I was relieved. Because he had not stolen my Ace In The Hole (click to enlarge):

I now pronounce you...

Aren't we young?

Happy anniversary woobie. I love you.

June 17, 2008

I now pronounce you…

Filed under: Around the Neighborhood — Beth @ 11:45 pm

Watching this made me a little verklempt today.

Congratulations ladies. I wish you both all the best.

And the same heart-felt wishes to the hundreds of thousands of Californians who finally got the opportunity to stand up in front of God, their families, and friends and pledge each other their troth, in sickness and in health, till death does them part.

January 15, 2008

Parental Control

Filed under: Angel Music,Family Stuff,Zoe — Beth @ 7:32 pm

I come from a long line of holiday procrastinators.

If at any time during the mid-70′s/early 80′s you were strolling around the corner of Columbus Circle and Central Park West in July and looked up and wondered what kind of crazy person still had their Christmas lights up on their balcony, Hi, nice to meet you. I’m the daughter of that crazy person.

In fact, a few days after New Years my dad came by and was extremely impressed that all the decorations that had been out gracing our yard and eaves were put away.
My dad, however, proudly announced that his holiday decoration for this year (which will no doubt end up in our garage and on our lawn next holiday season) is a snowman. He insists that snowmen are not holiday specific and he put his up December 21, and it will grace his patio (which overlooks the Pacific) until March 21. Because, hey, it’s winter, so a snowman is appropriate all season long.

So while to our neighbors we are seemingly those people who are Jane and Johnny on the spot with cleaning up our holiday decorations, we cannot say the same for the in-the-house decorations.

You see, we have an environmentally correct (i.,e., fake) Christmas tree.

We moved into this house when Zoe was about 2. At the time her bedroom was on one side of the house and our bedroom was on the other side. Come Christmas I told Chuck I couldn’t possibly have a real tree because I kept having visions of a horrible fire caused by faulty wiring on a crispy dry tree. The tree would be in the living room which would be right smack in the middle of the two bedrooms and I wouldn’t be able to get my precious baby out of the house as it burned. So we have a fake tree. We’ve had the same fake tree for the last 9 Christmases.

And here it is January 15th and our fake tree was still standing in the corner of the living room, completely decorated. OK, we haven’t turned the lights on since a few days after Christmas but there stood our tree. Mocking me every time I walked in the front door.

Every day I say to myself, I really need to get that tree taken down. And every day I don’t do it.

And today I remembered what being a parent is all about and made Zoe (and Katie) take apart the tree.

They just finished. There is angel music coming from my living room.

October 29, 2007

Wisdom of the Road

Filed under: Around the Neighborhood — Beth @ 1:00 pm

A bumper sticker I saw the other day:


It’s all fun and games until they ask you to open up the trunk.

August 21, 2007

That Thing Zooming Past Me is Time

Filed under: Zoe — Beth @ 6:21 pm

I often wonder if times moves as fast for people without children as it does for those of us with children.

Zoe started 7th grade today.


Man....7th grade.

August 11, 2007

For the Record

Filed under: My Old Man,Webishness — Beth @ 8:09 pm

I have suggested to Chuck that we podcast at least half a dozen times over the last two months.

August 7, 2007

Attention California:

Filed under: Around the Neighborhood — Beth @ 7:34 pm

To People Who Live in The State of California: If for some reason find you have to go to the DMV, go here first and make yourself an appointment. You will thank me later. It’s the most civilized thing on the entire planet.

To The DMV in The State of California: Your appointment system rocks. However, if there was one teeny tiny area where you could use the slightest bit of improvement: it would be super nice if you put a small mirror on the back of the thing you stand in front of to take your ID/license photo. Last minute lipstick/hair checks would greatly enhance the picture taking experience.

August 2, 2007

Listen to that inner voice…

Filed under: All About Me — Beth @ 5:19 pm

It’s been a wacky week here. 

Monday afternoon Zoe and I were driving and out of nowhere a car turned left right in front of us.  I had to slam on the brakes and swerve to avoid hitting this brainless person.  A close call but we were fine.  A little shaken up, but fine.

Then about 10 minutes later we were about to turn left when a motorcycle came tearing around a corner.  Once again slam on the brakes.  No swerving this time since we weren’t even close to hitting anything, but we take extra care to be mindful of motorcycle drivers in this family.

After this second incident I told Zoe we needed to go home and get in bed for a few days.  We had no business being out and about in the world since obviously there was some bad juju for me out there.  I just had a bad feeling.

Next day it’s Tuesday.  I have to go into the office for a few hours.  I mean actually put on real clothes and drive 30+ miles to my actual physical office.  It was a blissfully uneventful drive down there.  Unforunately, I cannot say the same for the drive home. 

As I was merging onto the 5 Freeway I accelerated to get up to speed with the moving traffic (since 55 is a long ago forgotten suggestion and the average speed is 75), and my gas pedal got stuck.  In full acceleration mode.  I pressed on the brakes with my other foot and used the toe of my driving foot to dislodge the accelerator.  Mercifully, the freeway was wide open in front of me as I got the car under control.

I contained my freak out until I could get home, though I was a bit shakey and over-adrenalined (a new medical condition I’ve just invented) for the five or ten miles following the incident.

I once again decide that bed is probably the safest place for me.

Then Wednesday rolls around.  We stay indoors for the entire day, but I had a project that night that I had to go to and Zoe had a swim party to attend.  After dropping Zoe at the swim party I make my way across the Valley to my installation at a hospital.  It was an uneventful drive though I was extra cautious.  I was mindful of my bad juju.

I get to the area where we’re working and I put my stuff down:  my sunglasses, two cell phones, and my brand new clutch wallet which contains my car key fob, house key, drivers license, ATM cards, credit cards, and about $100 (yes, my entire life). 

I walk through the area with the hospital’s project manager.  Two of the rooms we’re walking in are in this area then we walk about 10 feet down the hall to the third and final area we’re working in.  As we walk down the hall it occurs to me that hey, I left all my stuff out in the open in the other room.  Then I figure it’s OK since my crew and their janitor are the only ones in this area at this time of day. 

Well, silly me. 

We return to the area where my things are less than five minutes after we left and my wallet is gone.  Poof.  Nowhere in sight.  I tear the place apart, getting more frantic by the second. 

I filed a report with the hospital’s security people.  They were as helpful as you might imagine, asking questions like whether I’d searched the area for my property.  Wow, that’s a great idea.  I wonder why I hadn’t thought of that??????

My best friend went by my house and grabbed my spare car key and drove it to me.  She even gave me all the cash she had ($6.00) so I would have something.  I found a locksmith who would take checks come over and change all the locks on the house last night.  I cancelled credit cards.  (Frankly, I was so pathetic that American Express and Capital One said they would Federal Express the cards to me at no additional charge.)  I filed a police report.   I made an appointment at DMV for a new license.  I filed fraud alerts.  I cried.

And I cried.  A lot.  Disproportionately probably to the size of the event.  I wasn’t hurt.  It is only things that are gone.  But I feel so voilated.

Today things are looking a bit brighter.  I’m still teary and since it’s been nearly 24 hours since my wallet vanished I can actually talk about it without completely breaking down. 

I was reluctant to even leave the house today but I’m hoping that since bad things happen in 3′s I’m finished.  I braved going to the bank since, though I was able to get someone on the phone at Wells Fargo last night, I was stymied by BofA.  The automated system was happy to tell me my account balance, but no matter how many times I yelled customer service to the horrible automated system I couldn’t actually get a live person on the phone.  The people of Bank of America were surprisingly kind and cashed a check for me even though I don’t have one single piece of identification.

So…I’m going to lay low for the rest of the day.  And the next time that inner voice tells me to get in bed, you know I’m going to actually listen.


July 15, 2007


Filed under: Fabulous Stuff — Beth @ 6:44 pm

Shortly after we moved into this house, about eight years ago now, I bought a peach tree from Costo. It wasn’t much of a tree. Mostly a stick with roots packed in sawdust. I planted that stick with roots and about two years later I started getting peaches.

The peaches on this tree are the “peachiest” peaches I’ve ever eaten. The flesh is a deep yellow. When I’m diligent about thinning out the fruit when it buds, we get nice-sized fruits. Even when I’m not so diligent we get decent-sized peaches. Frankly, these peaches are the best peaches I’ve ever eaten. I’m so spoiled by these peaches that it never occurs to me to even consider buying peaches at the store.

I pick the peaches from my tree when they’re perfectly ripe. As a result, they only last a few days in the fridge. The peaches ripen over a period of about five or six weeks. The first week or so we may only get one or two peaches every other day, but about week two things start to pick up. Some days five or six. Other days a dozen or more.

I’ve given bags of peaches away. There’s been peach ice cream. Peach crumble. Peach cobbler. Peach salsa. Sliced peaches on cereal. The most succulent, delicious peaches fresh every day. It’s been incredible.

But now we’re on week six of Peach Season 2007. And things are winding down. And that makes me sad. Soon there will be no more peaches for 45 more weeks.

But the thing also about week six is that all the fruit that’s left on the tree is ripe. And ready to go. Now.

So that means Peach Jam Season 2007 needed to kick itself into immediate high gear. Yesterday morning I went out to the tree with a small garbage bin and the ladder. I picked nearly every single peach that was left on that tree.

I spent a couple of hours blanching, peeling, and dicing peaches. I made two batches of jam and one badge of peach chutney.

I’ve never made peach chutney before but I found a recipe with peaches, raisins, onions, garlic, crystallized ginger, brown sugar and mustard seeds that sounded really delicious. I added a couple of jalapenos that I picked from our veggie garden (an entry for another time). I canned about 10 pints of that with a little leftover in the fridge that I’m going to serve with grilled chicken. Yum (I hope).


Now, if I only hadn’t forgotten to get peanut butter at the store…

May 24, 2007


Filed under: Fabulous Stuff — Beth @ 12:01 am

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