I Heart Cara Cara Oranges

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I have a new favorite winter fruit. By February, I am sick of apples, and satsumas are past their prime. I tried my first Cara Cara orange about two weeks ago and was smitten. Thanks to Whole Foods for always having samples because I was able to convince Clover to try a slice with the promise that it tasted like candy. Since then, I’ve had one a day. No scurvy here.

They aren’t as acidic as oranges. I read a description that said they taste like oranges crossed with cranberries, but it’s not quite that either. Just good.

Superbowl XLVIII 2014 Party Prop Bets

Despite the fact that the best team in the NFL is not in the Superbowl this year, we’re still going to have a big party. Only the Superbowl makes a shopping list of only Cool Whip and tater tots acceptable.

One tradition is to have prop bets at the party. I like bets throughout the game to keep things interesting, even if the games slows down. For $1 a bet, everyone gets in on the action, including the kids. This year we’re adding commercial bingo, too.

Here are our prop bets for Superbowl 2014. If clicked, they should enlarge. If not, let me know and I’ll email a larger file.

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P.S. If someone from the government is reading this, we play with Monopoly money.

P.S.S. Go Broncos!

Summer in January: Our New Desert Life

tippytoes-CapitolabeachIt’s late spring/early summer in California. While everyone is buried under piles of snow, we’re at the beach and wearing tank tops outside, which is awesome until the tap water stops running because we’ve had no rain. Our cherry tree has blossomed and dropped blossoms. Our lawn is brown. Our front hose exploded (which is probably not related, but seems like it should be). Until then, surf’s up. 

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Getting a Glass Ornament Home From Disneyland Safely

In one of the many Christmas boxes, I pulled out a football-sized roll of packaging paper. It was light enough that I almost didn’t think anything was in it, but I decided to unwrap the roll just in case. Around and around  I unrolled until finally I could feel the glass Mickey-shaped ornament we bought at Disneyland last year. It had survived the remainder of our trip at Disneyland, the road trip home, being shoved into the garage during our remodel, then tossed into a box and put into the attic. If you have any doubt about buying glass ornaments at Disneyland, don’t. It will make it home safe. There is enough protective packaging around the ornament that you could probably drop the bag a few times without harm.

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This picture of the ornament next to the folded up wrap doesn’t adequately explain the bulk, so I unrolled it on the floor. It’s got to be about 12 feet long.

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I need to get this ornament on the tree before I trip over myself and watch it explode into pieces after hitting the ground.

Gratitude and Thanksgiving

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There are 27 minutes of quiet time left before school gets out for the long weekend. Not that I am counting, but that’s only because the minutes are going by faster than I can keep up.

In that time, I can fold more laundry, take more Advil, send off emails, or just try to enjoy it before things go chaotic until sometime in January. I love Thanksgiving most of all. I always have. I love the holidays and all of the anticipation, warmth and cheer that they bring. Thanksgiving is the gateway to that season. It’s full of all of the promise and fun, but without any sadness anticipating the end of the season. It’s what June is to summer.

We started sharing what we were grateful for each day at the dinner table some time back. It was mostly to counter negative rants one person would use to monopolize the dinner conversation, and to try to turn the focus into something positive. That person refused to participate the first day and the next few days it was a slow process of not only joining our grateful sharing, but now often leading it. Not only has it been a good practice of noticing the things in our day for which to be grateful, but it’s been a great way to get people talking and listening. It’s become more than dinner, too. Anytime we sit together for a meal, one of the kids will start. That has been the best part for me.

I’m thankful for my family, for my son who still allows me to call him baby, for my daughter who shares more interests with me as she gets older (we spontaneously watched episodes of Laverne & Shirley, and Full House last night, which was a fantastic mix of my past and present), and for a husband who is endlessly kind and supportive. While she’s not mine, I’m so thankful for the new baby in my life and for my sister who lets me smother her daughter.

I’m thankful for my friends who let me rant or make me laugh. It’s amazing how fast my energy can shift after I talk with one of my friends.

I’m thankful for the people and companies with whom I work. My kids – and me, but it really comes down to my kids – have been afforded some incredible opportunities. Anytime someone or a company does something nice for my kids, I am forever in gratitude. That applies to companies I don’t work with, as well. Yesterday I saw the photo I took of my son just after one of the Red Sox players handed him a baseball during batting practice. He’s beaming with happiness. Small actions can bring so much light.

Time is up. Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving to all!