Posts Tagged ‘California’

Still a California Girl

November 15, 2016

Last time I visited my sister on Maui, the kids would do their schooling in the morning then I would excitedly announce right after lunch, “Let’s go to the beach!” because we were in Maui. DUH! Why would you sit in the house, even if you live here? Several faces turned and looked at me as if I had horns coming out of my head then uttered ridiculous comments such as, “Now?” and “Why?” and “It’s too late” and my personal favorite: the glance to the clock and then the look of confusion on their faces.

It was 1:00 in the afternoon. Warm weather. White sand. Waves rolling just two blocks away. I did not understand the problem. At all. We had an afternoon stretching out in front of us with NOTHING to do. WHY AREN’T WE GOING TO THE BEACH!?!?

“Well, it’s kind of late in the day.” Um, no. It’s 1:00.

“It gets windy in the afternoon.” Um, yes. And doesn’t that feel good breaking up the warm air?

“We usually go early in the morning.” Um, that hasn’t happened since I arrived a week ago. So let’s go now!

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Fast forward to today. Nora, the Hawaiian Colombian princess, and I sat on Wailea Beach with the afternoon sand blasting our faces. It was a tad windy. Okay, more like gusting to 57 knots, whatever that means. Prayers were being sent heavenward that our orange beach umbrella wouldn’t do a Mary Poppins and fly away. After all the spaces between my teeth were filled with sand, we made the decision to pack up after only 45 minutes on the beautiful white sand beach.

As we drove away, I started thinking about my senior year of high school when I spent every Wednesday on the beach in Santa Cruz, California with my friend Kendle. We would drive over 17 after my only class and be on the beach by 10:30 a.m. The Maui mentality probably would have worked back then because we would lie under our beach towels until the fog burned off. It was freezing, but we could say we went to the beach every week… all year long.

Maybe this is why I find afternoons perfect for beach time? Maybe it’s because every time we get to the Maui beaches in the afternoon there are other people there? I am not the only one who thinks afternoons are perfect for lazy beach sitting.

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Today’s beach adventure was saved when we drove past Wailea to Mekena State Park, home to Big Beach. Although there were clouds, the wind was mild. The waves were relatively calm and the beach was, well, BIG. We spent the afternoon staring at the water and the sand and the insides of our eyelids.

My new mantra is ANY TIME IS BEACH TIME! Come on, people, this ain’t the main land.

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Tours, Tiaras and Two T-shirts

August 8, 2013

Our summer travels for 2013 have come to an end.  For three weeks I have been away from home (2 of those weeks without my family!) and I have learned several valuable tidbits that I feel compelled to share with you, faithful reader.

Trip #1 Nashville, Tennessee.  I learned that I really am a jewelry diva…. you may be surprised I didn’t admit this until now, but I seriously outfitted my roommates with GREAT accessories several times!  On this trip to the South, I realized that I love the South.  I haven’t been there for several years and the greenness is intoxicating.  The rolling hills of swaying grass call to me.  The magnolia trees waved in the moist breeze enticing me with their ivory blooms and the brick homes with their neat and tidy yards make me wanna spit at the desert and move tomorrow.  The grand finale of the trip was touring Hermitage, President Andrew Jackson’s plantation.  Oh, did he spend good money paying an English gardener that is still making women swoon at the aromas of the flowers he chose!

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Trip #2 Southern to Northern California.  This was a high school girl’s roadtrip that reunited five friends after 30 years of separation.  It was non-stop laughs and stories of yesteryear.  One of the roadies brought us all Superwoman t-shirts with hot pink capes and tiaras with pink bling bling.  You couldn’t really miss us…. AT ALL.  It was great fun but tiring for this mama.  By day #4, I was a bit of a party pooper.  I’m still not back to my old self and the car accident was almost five months ago.

road trip nation

Trip #3 Family Vacation at Lake Tahoe, California.  Please see the last blog as to my dire straights due to my husband’s negligence.  So, here is the REST of the story.  In addition to my light blue ONLY shirt, I ended up purchasing one t-shirt, a pink v-neck that had tasteful Lake Tahoe lettering on the front.  I tried it on in the hardware store dressing room, yanked off the tags and wore it to the register.  The attendant commented, “Oh, wearing it out!  Showing your Tahoe pride!”  I shook my head and blurted, “You don’t know half the story!”  So, I wore each shirt on alternating days while the other was in the wash.  I wore my jeans every single day in Tahoe, save one when it was warm enough for shorts. And my two pair of socks took turns hugging my feet or wiping the insides of the washing machine.

tahoe pink shirt

Thanks to my hubby and parents who had pity on me, I flew home so as to avoid my already painful arm from sitting in the truck for 15 hours straight.  Yes, on the plane rides I wore my jeans and my blue t-shirt.  This was like a flashback to our trip to Colombia where we only had three shirts each for a month!  On the first flight, a neat-as-a-pin 20-something gal sat next to me with her head aimed at her book the entire flight.  She didn’t say a peep to me (and I kept my nose in my current historical novel as well) until she popped open her hand sanitizer and with pressurization it squirt all over my jeans that I have been wearing for nine days.  I thought it comical that they probably did need sanitizing at this point, but I didn’t feel like telling a stranger that I haven’t changed my pants in over a week.

Not nearly as entertaining as my flight from from Nashville sitting next to the narcoleptic man, I was in LAX on a layover and knew my seat number was 5D.  It is a smaller plane with only two seats on each side of the aisle.  Fine.  However, there was a family with two little blonde haired bundles of screams and energy also in the waiting area.  I hoped and prayed they wouldn’t be seated near me.  I mean goodness sakes, I was only 45 pages into an enrapturing tale from Reformation times set in the Netherlands.  Screaming + Reformation = NOT ON MY WATCH!  Right before boarding commenced, I visited the little girl’s room.  When I wandered back to the gate I heard the quite loud mother of the two girlies tell her husband matter-of-factly, “Whoever is holding the baby is supposed to sit in seat 5C.”  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  This was an emergency situation of gargantuan proportions in my mind.  I went straight to the desk to ask to be moved.  The kind lady at the counter asked, “What is your name, please?”  Not sure why she needed the information, I simply retorted, “Crosby.”  She looked down and then handed me a new boarding pass, adding, “I’m sorry, but we had to move your seat to 8D.”  If we weren’t in an airport surrounded by 87 travelers with cellphones that take photos, I would have jumped over the counter and hugged her little neck and kissed her over-rouged cheeks!

family ta da

Our story ends with me blogging at our home computer, contented to be in my own house with my two dogs licking my feet, sitting here in my jeans and my blue t-shirt.  :o)  Safe travels!

Back Off, Airbag!

March 27, 2013

I’m thankful that I am still here to write a blog for your reading pleasure.  The airbags did their duty, probably a bit more intensely than required at 35 mph, yet I am trying to keep a sense of humor in the midst of it all.  Please excuse any humor that may seem off color in our circumstances.  Remember also I am currently using narcotics.

My cute husband and I were enjoying a moment of peace and tranquility on the back patio yesterday morning, holding hands and loving the balmy Phoenix weather in March.  He squeezed my hand and conveyed a heartfelt, “I’m so glad the accident was not that bad.  I could have been going to two funerals this week!”  BAH!  I told him that his sentiments were kind but I knew he was WAY too cheap to pay for two funerals…. there would have been just one.

This morning I visited the spinal surgeon.  He had good news and bad news for me… but the good news outweighed the bad by 98%.  I am not free to discuss my injuries to the world at large, but spinal surgery was negated.  Thank God!  Then he proceeded to tell me that my spinal condition is appropriately degenerated FOR MY AGE.  What the heck was that supposed to mean?  I’m in my 40s!!  If he were a car salesman, this was the equivalent of kicking the tires and saying, “She’s got a few more miles in her despite the apparent neglect.” Good grief!

It has been 11 days since the accident and today was the first day I had a surge of energy and applied makeup!  Small steps.  It was my fourth or fifth visit to the chiropractor since the accident.  As I graced the waiting room the receptionist hollers, “OH MY GOSH!  You look so much better today!”  Yeah, thanks.  It’s just makeup.  I feel the same… still sore, achy and drugged.  My Dad always said, “If the barn needs painting, paint it!”  I gathered from her exuberance that my natural beauty was more in my mind than in reality.

I arrived home exhausted from more outings than my typical one-per-day.  While sitting at the table eating another wonderfully fabulous dinner that was delivered to us by our rockin’ homeschool peeps, my 9-year-old says to me, “I like your hair.”  Okay, seriously?  It is a day #2 hairdo with the back completely oily from a massage, and one flat side from my nap.  She kept going with her sincere flattery, “It makes you look like a teenager, Mom.  It’s pretty the way it’s not all puffy like usual.”  Wow.  What do you say to that?

By day of recovery #5 I finally felt like reading.  I read four whole pages of the 1850’s historical fiction of which I was in the midst…. during days 6, 7 and 8.  Yes, only four pages.  Then day #9 my reading juices were regenerated and I finished the book.  It was the last 1850’s historical novel I had in my possession and I was still on the couch for the better part of the day.  CRISIS!  I perused my bookshelves and discovered several stories that we were supposed to read for American History last year.  Yesterday and today I read Farewell to Manzanar a biography/history lesson about an internment camp during WW2 for 10,000 Japanese Americans on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevadas in California.  Every summer when we drive to Lake Tahoe, we pass right by the historical marker sign that reads   <—– MANZANAR.  Being the history loving nerd that I am, the desire to stop has surfaced every single time we pass the sign, but we have yet to stop.  Now that I’ve read the story…. we are stopping, baby.  10,000 American citizens who were considered dangerous simply by race… put in a “camp” like prisoners for THREE YEARS!  Unbelievable.  I’ve added this story here because I was hoping to see barracks, a mess haul, latrines, a pear orchard, etc.  The end of the book describes Manzanar today as a dusty, deserted piece of land with a few cement slabs if you know where to look for them.  Maybe I don’t need to stop as badly as I thought I had for the last 12 years.  We’ll see this summer.

Beachcombers R Us

April 26, 2012

We spent last week at Monterey, California and God blessed us with unbelievable weather for April on the coast!  Sunny and gorgeous!  My friend, Connie, got our whole family hooked on searching for sea glass…. I’m not quite sure why it is so addicting.  Possibly because it is FREE and the colors of glass are so amazing.  We found this little cove, after much climbing and crawling over large rocks, where the waves were bringing new pieces of glass with each crash and roll.  After my entire tennis shoe went under the water, in pursuit of a huge green treasure, even I joined the freezing barefoot ranks and took the plunge.  Usually I prefer to view the water, not feel the water.

The majority of our discoveries were green and brown….. 7-Up and beer bottles in past lives.  But we did find some rare gems in PINK!, red, yellow, white and royal blue.  My 15-year-old son saw a shining royal blue bottle in a thrift store and asked if we could buy it and throw it in the ocean…. for our next visit in three months!  GREAT idea!

What do we do with the sea litter, you ask?  There are mini jars at the beach house that have sorted-by-color sea glass…. so I added my finds to that happy color display.  For homeschooling we count this as math…. sorting.  :o)  It could also be categorized as history, science and social studies.  Whatever we call it, it was the BEST kind of schooling, in my humble opinion.  The rest of the family brought home their glass pieces …. I’m not sure why.  Possibly because they were FREE and the colors of glass are so amazing!

And no, we didn’t color coordinate our clothes with the ocean… it simply worked out that way.  It was a matchy-matchy sort of day all the way around.

The First Time

February 19, 2012

The first time I remember realizing that I was not a slim girl was in Mrs. Johnson’s third grade class at P.A. Walsh Elementary School in Morgan Hill, California.  I was EIGHT years old, for heaven’s sake.  For some reason… maybe we were learning how to measure things??… she weighed and measured everyone in the class.  AND she wrote the results on a L A R G E chart for all to see how they measured up.  Here we are in all of our 1974 glory.

That’s me in the back row…second tallest…with the tasteful mustard-yellow sweater dress …. without the glasses.  On the larger side of the scale is where I fell… heavily.  Pun intended.  The number 101 sticks out in my mind.  I weighed 101 pounds.  The only other kid in the WHOLE blinkin’ class that also had three digits on the chart was Raul.  He’s the kid in the back row on the far left…. we never said it aloud… but in our minds he was the fat kid in class…. the chart didn’t lie.  We all liked Raul and would never hurt his feelings, but kids do notice extremes and differences…. and triple digits on the chart. Raul weighed in at 103.  Slightly more than me.  Me and Raul…. the only kids over 100 pounds in Mrs. Johnson’s class. Did the other kids consider me the fat girl?  It never dawned on me until this moment. I don’t know. Hopefully they simply considered me “good German stock”… without a trace of German heritage.

Ok, but I WAS TALL for my age!  Height counts for more weight, right?  Right!  And our size didn’t dictate who are friends were at that age.  The girls I remember sharing tootsie-pops with while we swung on the bars were Johanna (pink shirt, top right), and Michelle (in a dress with white socks, front row).  If my fading memory serves me correct, the three of us enjoyed spending time with the three boys to the right of the teachers, Tony, Frankie and Jesse.  I could probably pick up each one of them and swing them around over my head.  I was tall AND strong.

The first time…. and sadly not the last time… I remember weighing more than everyone in the room.  Thankfully, that is over now.  Forever!

Can you say Haboob?

July 10, 2011

Our re-entry to Phoenix, after a cool and lovely trip to Northern California, was not only welcomed by the largest haboob (sand storm) in recent history… but HUMID heat.  Whatupwitdat?  It’s supposed to be a dry heat.  We’re famous for DRY heat.  We got into our van on the day after we arrived home and the thermometer was burning the number 118 into my sweaty eyeballs.  Nora, my 7-year-old, who is experiencing her first Phoenix summer, whined, “Why couldn’t we just stay in Tahoe?”  I wondered the same thing!  Dry 107 is NOT the same as humid 107.  Not even close.

Photo credit to Dan Z. http://www.flickr.com/photos/55358384@N04/5907025323/

My plan to have the garage cleared for my van’s shady shelter through the scorching months has not yet materialized.  It’s too hot to clean the garage.  Why didn’t I think of this in January???  I went out there quickly at 7:00 am and analyzed the situation.  Biggest obstacle: city-certified rolling trash AND recycle cans.  They are huge… and stinky on occasion.  All the other junk (hockey nets, weight bench, bicycles, hockey equipment, kayaks, huge alternative fuel gas tank, shop vac, etc.) can be put on the unseen side of the house in the backyard.  But the non-attractive rolling trash receptacles have to be accessed on different days and dragged to the road.  “Put them behind your side gate,” is the logical answer.  But we have Houdini, the escape dog, as a beloved pet.  Not only is our side gate double supported with plywood on the back (because of Houdini breaking the slats to escape) but there are cinderblocks on both sides of the gate, so Houdini won’t push through.  There is a 4×4 buried in the ground under the gate as well, to hinder dig-through escape attempts.  Houdini is only 11 pounds.  But she is a wily and surprising 11 pounds.

So, my plan is to keep the cans in the front yard on the side of the house that is least visible from the road.  AND, get this, put a huge pot with a prolific plant in front of them.  We have Nazis on our HOA board, but I think this might work.  Afterall, we haven’t received a letter from them in at least two months now.  The letters have come regularly… for six years…. every few months… for basketball hoops… wrecked cars in the driveway…. cars parked in the street… weeds…. garbage cans NOT behind the gate… and my personal favorite, 50 pink flamingos standing in our yard.  Hey, the pot-with-prolific-plant shield is worth a try so I can get the van in the garage.  I’ll keep you posted.

Road Trip Trivia

October 12, 2010

So in the past four days, we drove 24 hours… including stops.  It was all well worth it and we needed a break from the reality of sitting in our cozy house waiting for the phone to ring… giving us the information that will change our lives forever.  No, not Ed McMahon calling…. our adoption referral call.  Yes, I’ve mentioned it in every blog for the past month because I’M OBSESSED

Back to the road trip.  No Crosby family trip would be complete without original sayings that get repeated for all eternity and instantly take us back to the trip where the saying was first quoted.  This trip’s quote is a passionate, “WOW!”  It was voiced by both my husband and I simultaneously after a pause that followed a Snapple Trivia Fact from the inside of a cap of juice.  Larisa read it from the back of the van, “Everyone ready for a Snapple Trivia Fact?”  Silence commenced preparing our hearts for a truth from a juice cap.  “A three-day-old Caribou can outrun its mother.”  A quiet space was followed by dual “WOW’s!” from both of the front seat passengers.  Think about it… at three days…. it can run faster than its mama!  Wow!

Then we played Name That Tune, which is normally undertaken with humming, but humming is too quiet to effectively play Name That Tune in a running vehicle.  So we sing… without words.  There were some clever songs sung with no words.  There were some stupid songs sung with no words.  There were also some unknown songs sung with no words.  After about three Michael Jackson songs sung with no words, Larisa leaned over the back seat of the van and rummaged through her suitcase until she presented the new MJ cd This Is It!  So Name That Tune was ended by two go-arounds with MJ singing his little heart out.  Larisa commented during the second run-through that it’s ironic that MJ was singing the song This Is It…. and it was.  He never got to perform for an audience.  I added the fact that he also sang the words, “I’m the light of the world” in that song.  Those words should be reserved for the true light of the world, Jesus.  Yes, ironic.  Wow!

I Can Take a Hint!

October 4, 2010

My last post mentioned a book about fear that I finished reading today.  I haven’t read much on fear, how to deal with it and how it affects you and those around you.  It is a vice of great proportions. 

Also today, a former pastor’s wife friend of mine stopped by the house and was telling me all about this great children’s ministry conference that she went to in California.  The curriculum they went through dealt with childhood fears that develop into lifelong struggles.  I read anything I can get my hands on that will help us with our adoption and parenting a child with a five-year history that we will know next-to-nothing about.  She said I could borrow it, but warned me that it is deep.  What?  Don’t I look like the deep type?  It intrigued me and piqued my interest in dealing with a possible dark past for our daughter.

My friend was not gone for more than five minutes when the phone rang and it was another former pastor’s wife friend.  I seem to have a lot of former pastor’s wife friends.  She proceeded to tell me about a book that her counselor had recommended to her also dealing with deep seeded fears that cause children to act inappropriately.  She mentioned the name of the book, but it escapes me at the moment.  I will be reading it as well!

All that to say, I can take a hint.  I have done some self-analyzing lately, in light of the fear issue.  There are some unanswered fears that remain in my heart, but I believe they are the normal fears of any expectant mother…. Will I love this child enough?  Will I love this child the same as the others?  Will she fit into our family?  Will she have learning challenges or health challenges?  Will I think she’s cute?  I wondered all those things about all my other kids too.  Actually, after speaking with my father-in-law about the medical issues on his side of the family (“short” people, people with six fingers on one hand, etc.) I probably worried even more about having biological children.

God has a way of presenting the issues to me one at a time so I can handle them.  It’s been nearly four years of adoption issues and stories that I have researched and prayed through.  I’m glad God knows what we can handle and what we can’t!  Fear not!

My Son is a STUD!

September 4, 2010

This is a blog about my son Austin.  He is 13-years-old for 10 more days.  He is one amazing child.  Please allow me a few seconds for a proud Mommy moment.  After playing hockey for 8 years, he was told in March that he has had too many concussions for any future contact sports.  We all cried for three days and then went to California for a week to recover.  Aus is very athletic.  He has a clear glass trophy on his shelf that bares proof:  National Champion – Fastest Skater.  We could not be more proud… and then hockey was gone.

Since May, Austin has started riding his road bike…. not just around the neighborhood either….long rides.  Within the last six weeks he started riding  thirty-two miles 2-3 times a week.  Intense biking.  He even got some stretchy shorts!  In June he road 72 miles around Lake Tahoe in one day.  Amazing…. and when he got home he asked if anyone wanted to go swimming in the lake. (I said no.) 

Then Austin found out about triathlons.  They are very popular in the Southwest, where we happen to live.  Might have something to do with our amazing weather MOST of the year.  It was 109 today…. not amazing quite yet.

Austin can swim.  But he has never had swim lessons and didn’t know any strokes or how to breathe while swimming until last week.  And he can run.  But he only started running within the past two weeks for training.  It was 2-3 mile runs 4-5 times.  That’s it.

This morning, my brave and strong son entered his first mini triathlon, the Anthem Sprint Triathlon.  3 mile run.  12 mile ride.  400 meter swim. 

Not only did he finish, but he took first place in his age division (11-14 years old) and beat the second place guy by over nine minutes.   His time was 1:15:39.  Then we heard the results from the next age group (15-18) and we realized he beat the winner of that category by more than four minutes.  Wow.  Imagine how well he’ll do once he learns to swim smoothly!

When asked what his favorite part of the race was, Austin replied with a coy grin, “Passing people on my bike.”  He also told me during the run when he passed other runners and they saw his age on his calf many said in tired dismay, “He’s ONLY 13!”  Made me smile.

We are so proud of Austin and the way he has kept a great attitude through the whole hockey kerfuffle.  (That’s fun to say!) Seriously, he ate, drank, slept and breathed hockey since he was in diapers.  He never played another sport…. until now.  WOW!

Faithful Readers

July 12, 2010

I am in awe of your faithfulness to come to My Sister’s Jar day after day after day.  Really.  I am.  You amaze me.  I’m hoping it’s because I amuse you.  Haha.   I have been MIA for several days for good reason.  We got back late last night from a four-day camping trip up to cool high country here in the great boiling hot state of Arizona.  Up on the Mogollon Rim in northeastern AZ it rains every afternoon in July and I found it splendid.  Really.  I did.  So did my boys.

Today we set up tents in the backyard in stifling hot Phoenix and hosed off all the mud.  The tents were dry in less than 10 minutes.  It seriously is a dry heat today.  110 last time I checked.  Toasty, but perfect for drying wet camping gear.  I’m also engaged in laundry.  There was no white pile today.  It was renamed “Used to be White” pile.  Camping does that to socks and shirts. 

My to-do list today included, but was not limited to:  Post Office, Chiropractor & Massage, Library, Grocery Store, Tire Shop and Bank.  Buuuuuuuuuut, one of my darling offspring found my keys and unhooked the house key/mail key half of the collection in order to retrieve the mail.  The more important half of the keys is still MIA.  The half that is missing includes the van key.  So, I did borrow my sister-in-law’s van to get to the chiropractor, but it is my locked van with no key that needs tires. Also I did not stop at the library because the cd that is overdue is in the locked van sitting in the driveway.  A tad frustrating.

Last month when we were somewhere between San Bernadino, California and Lake Tahoe, Rick’s keys went missing.  They have not re-appeared.  He’s been getting keys cut for two weeks, but still has not accomplished getting his house key cut.  Rick had to get new keys to the airplane, hangar, his office, etc.  It was a bummer, too, because our friends in Mississippi got him an Elvis key for his house key.  So cool.  So, between the two of us, we do have all the keys needed for living, but I’m going to really miss the remote door opener on my missing half of the key ring if it stays hidden.  Please, oh please, God, show me where they are!!!!

The last time we were irresponsible and lost keys was in 1989.  Rick’s keys AND his Trinity Western University hockey jacket both went missing, never to be found.  Then in 1991, Rick and I watched in slow motion as his keys slowly slid off the dashboard of our ski boat just out of our reach on the Peace River in Northern Alberta.  But that was not so much losing them as it was not wanting to dive and find them.  We knew where they were.  So we’ve been pretty responsible for over 20 years.  I’m not sure what happened this summer?!?

I’m impatiently waiting for my dear, hard-working husband to get home from work to unlock the van…. so I can get a few more boxes checked off my to-do list.   We leave tomorrow for ten days in a cabin up north in AZ… where it is between 80 and 85 all day! (Yes, we will have been gone five of the first seven weeks of summer…. believe me when I say that is GOOD!)  I’m not sure if I will have internet service or not.  Please stay tuned.  Thank you.  That’s all.