Friday, September 30, 2016

house of TJ

Okay, so I've told you about these

and I really think I've written a post about all of the things I love and cherish at Trader Joe's, but holy shit, you guys.. look at THIS

You're kidding me, right?
Oh, my heavenly stars was this ever exciting. I was only hours into re-entry after an amazing vacation week in Hawaii, looking for quick fixes to the indulgent dining that both my kids (here) and I (there) had been snarfing all week, and lo. SOUP DUMPLINGS. 

Seriously. My heart. 

But was there any chance in hell that it could come anywhere even remotely close to the real deal? Let's find out. 

but first, wine. 
I decided to go for the full effect and try my hand at those garlicky, perfectly salty string beans. Go ahead and take another peek at the first photo. Yum.

smells like gahlick in heeeya
 Then I got the dumplings ready for steaming

Could they be any cuter?

into the steam bath, my little babies

into the olive oil bath, my little gahlick babies
and my little greenie beanie babies
it occurs to me that everything in this meal - everything in my life - is from Trader Joe's
I'd also like to note for the record that I don't enjoy nor do I understand the little holes in the lid of a pan with which I'm meant to be steaming. 

oh look, Trader Joe's!
At some point I consulted the acutely, adorably awesome cooking instructions

So we did.

And they were.....


Not great, not the same, not soupy enough.

But really good.

Mad respect to my boyfriend and soulmate, Trader Joe.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Lions and hyenas and gazelles...

So, a few weeks back I took my youngest to see the Broadway production of The Lion King. I had taken my oldest when she was young, and we loved it.

It's such a beautiful production. The costumes and choreography are truly stunning. The music is amazing too.

If you've never seen it, here are some photos I lifted from The Lion King Facebook page.

Incredible, right?

And although many of you won't have time to check this out, the video below gives life to these photos, and takes you back stage:

Incredibly, we were able to go backstage post-show too.  My awesome boyfriend has a friend that was with the production in New York for a few years. She jumped back on for the San Diego shows, and luckily for us, her first show was the very show we all went to.

She lead us around backstage, introducing us to cast members and pointing out all the various costumes. There are so big and so many in number that some have to be suspended from the ceiling. It was a sight to behold.

See all those gazelle head pieces behind us? Cool, right?

Oh, and who is this joining us here in this photo? Yes, young Simba!  He was so polite and friendly, as was his mom -- such a treat. (Please ignore my girl and her weird faces. I'm not sure what her problem is!)
It was really something special. I have no doubt that I'll go back to see The Lion King nest time around. Anything that makes me cry with its beauty is worth repeating.

For my boyfriend, the show lives on. So far during the production's stay in San Diego he's treated grown Nala, a hyena, the company dance instructor, and a few gazelles. And even given a surf lesson to one of the gazelles.

We'll miss them when they're gone!

Monday, September 26, 2016

The End of Summer . . .

Remember Summer?

Yeah, me too.

The only good thing about the End of the Wondrous Season is celebrating a certain someone's birthday every late September . . . 

Oh look! A wee one asleep in my Baby-Whisperer arms . . .

. . . and her big sister in the background.

Why yes, they both are pretty cute.

Anyway. We've been celebrating this kid . . .

. . . for seven years now. Seven! And it just keeps getting better.

(And no, you can't see the Birthday Girl. She's waving the Peace flag in the background for us. That's just how great a kid she is.)

Happy Birthday, G!

And speaking of birthdays . . .

. . . another sure sign of November, er, late September . . .

. . . is celebrating a November birthday early . . .

. . . with another Baby Whisperer . . .

. . . and more cute kids.

Why celebrate in November when you can celebrate in September? That's what I always say.


It was a good one. One of the best Summers ever.

And if all else fails, if starts to get too cold at the beach . . .

. . . there are always bars' outdoor patios.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


I've never hit this mile-stone before!

And, the fact that I was actually paying attention at the very moment it happened is sort-of momentous too.

Hopefully she's got 100,000 more in store for me.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Guten Tag

Approximately 26 million years ago -- okay, okay, 26 years ago -- I went on a business trip to Hamburg, Germany and met the lovely Katrin. I left my cute new boyfriend at home and completely hit it off with my German counterpart in the press room (meaning: xeroxing copies of speeches all the day), who spoke German and French and, thankfully, English, since that's all I've got, forever and ever.

We got along so well that Katrin came to America to visit us that November, then Bill and I went to England and Germany the following spring. Three visits in one year, and then twenty-five years of only letters and Christmas cards . . . until Friday.

Katrin's in New York for work and took the train up to see us on Friday, and the Full Moon joined us in welcoming her to New London.

Our planned 23-hour visit became a 22-hour visit because Amtrak is a jerk but we made the most of every second.

Meaning: we never stopped talking.

 On Saturday morning we basked in the Field . . .

. . . where it was very very bright. And where Mistah brought us brekkies.

And then we reminisced over the photo albums:

Hamburg in June 1990 . . .

And then Norwalk in November 1990 . . .

. . . for Thanksgiving. Hi Mom and Dad! And MB and Jane.
We were a wee family that year.

. . . and then West Haven where my cute boyfriend lived . . .

. . . and then, of course . . .

. . . New York City. . . 

. . . and that epic par-tay.

And in the Spring of 1991 . . .

. . . back to lovely Hamburg . . . 

. . . and oh the fun we had.

And then 25 years later? Well, Ocean Beach, naturally.

"Katrin, smile!" "I am. This is my German smile."

"How about a big American smile."

It was a sparkling day and Bill and Katrin could not stay out of the water . . .

. . . and why would they? It was a sparkly, beautiful, fun, perfect, wonderful, memorable visit.

And we're not waiting 25 years until we get together again.

Because we still have a lot to talk about.