July 31, 2008


Too hot and too tired to do anything, except make a pitcher of iced tea. Tony went with me to Barnes and Nobles. I had a $50 gift card from a student of mine and I felt the need to finally use it. I bought a cookbook (no surprise there), a journal (duh!), two classical guitar CDs (ahhh!), and two Godiva chocolate bars (yum!). I'm so mean...I used my gift card on me. Tony was upset that I didn't buy him anything. Oh well, when I take him shopping this weekend for school supplies, he'll change his tune. Night all...

July 30, 2008

A New Experience

Remember the post about Marisa getting on the bus? Well, she didn't get on the bus, but she did make it to the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder with her friend (her friend's mother drove them). Her friend met other friends there and they "chilled" in front of the courthouse. Picture this...a college campus in between classes and "kids" are hanging out on the lawn of the community center. Yea, that's what I thought.

I got a text from Marisa asking me to pick her up because the friends were going to "the creek" to "chill". Marisa didn't have anyone to ride the bus home with her and she was told by us to stay on Pearl Street. Mind you that Boulder is FULL of college students and other colorful folks "chillin'" everywhere. So, I left work at 3:30pm and drove like a mad woman to Boulder and rescue my kid.

I called Danny and told him about Marisa's text. He rounded up Tony and headed out to Boulder also. (Not a good idea to mess with a Garza kid). I arrived and Marisa guided me, via phone, to where everyone was "chillin'". I meet the friends and they were all respectful, but looked like pierced rag dolls...meaning that a couple had facial piercings. I inquired about "the creek". It was actually the amphetheater by the Boulder Tea House. I put myself out on a limb and told Marisa she could go if she wanted or she could wait for her Dad and we could go eat dinner at the The Cheesecake Factory. She chose the later (Thank you, Lord). I offered to take the friend back home, but she declined stating that she was going to stay for a concert (this was the first I heard of a concert).

Marisa talked non-stop about the experience. Danny and Tony arrived and we did in fact go to The Cheesecake Factory. We let Marisa talk and talk and process and talk some more. Danny and I interjected the phrase, "do the right thing even if you stand alone" a couple of times. We praised Marisa for following our instructions and for calling us when she felt in too deep. Finally, our last words were very parental...even though these friends attend the 40th top school in the nation, we told her that we thought these friends were too far off the bubble for us. Will Marisa listen? I think so.

July 29, 2008


I've never been tagged before, so I hope I do this right. I was tagged by Therese from Aussie Coffee Shop.

My 6 quirks are:

1-I really have a difficult time dealing with self-centered people.
2-I curse too much.
3-I love living in Colorado, but I miss Texas. Talk about extremes!
4-I would rather read a good book than talk to people.
5-I fall asleep with my iPod on.
6-I would love to go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

I'm tagging:

Alisha & Eileen

July 28, 2008

Get On The Bus

On Wednesday Marisa and one of her friends are going to Boulder on the bus by themselves. Other kids have been using the bus system for a long time. This is Marisa's first time without parents. I can just feel the grey hairs pushing their way through my scalp. My stomach hurts. My mind is totally distracted, so much so, that I made a big mistake at work today. But, ultimately, I have to let her spread her wings, test the waters, and stop hovering over her. Marisa agreed to call me on the cell phone each step of the way. But, for now, I'm calling it a night and going to bed. Patron St. Christopher, please intercede and help watch over Marisa on her day out.

Now, where are those sleeping pills, or that bowl of rainbow sherbert? Either one...

July 27, 2008


The moment we've been waiting for! It all started with this sheet of parachute material that Tony purchased at Boy Scout camp this year. Oh, I mean, the hammock that Tony purchased.

Danny assessed the project, determined it would be an easy project, and made a trip to Home Depot. Once he and Tony returned, the power saw came out.

Measure twice, cut once. Lay the entire thing out in the driveway for all the neighbors to see. We often have passers-by stop and ask about our projects. Really! That's just the way it is.

We must include lunch in this project. In order for the boys to let me take pictures without them grumping around about it, I agreed to make them a hearty-project-sustaining meal.

I'm beginning to visualize the specs. Did I mention that this contraption fell over on my car? I now have a hammock dent on the passenger side.

Tony is so dedicated to this project (and why wouldn't he be...it's for him). He got up early this morning and started painting.

OMG! I knew the hammock was going upstairs, but I didn't realize they were going to carry it through the house. What? Nevermind.

So, there you go. Tony has decided to replace his twin bed with this hammock that he and his daddy made with their own hands.

Aren't we cool parents? Well, at least Tony thinks so, and rightfully so! (I give this hammock thing a month. But, what do I know? I'm just the momma...) Love you, Tonster!

July 26, 2008

Something's Up

...but ya'll will have to wait until tomorrow. It's one of those "weekend projects". It involves the saw, paint, wood planks, screws, washers, hooks, a trip to Home Depot, and elbow grease. And with it comes sweat, sawdust, thirst, and a few laughs. The reward is Danny and Tony are doing this project together. I'm making them meals, laughing, and taking pictures. But, like I said, it's a weekend project, so by tomorrow, I may have something special to post. If not, I'll be posting my complaints that they didn't finish OR clean up the mess.

Betcha can't wait...

July 24, 2008

Jumanji's Playground

Yea, it's a lot to take in, I know. Some folks are obsessed with a perfectly manicured yard, like it's a status symbol of some sort or neighborly competition. But, hey, Danny went camping for a week and I have asthma attacks when I actually mow. However, I love the smell of fresh cut grass! Go figure...

This is why our Dish service goes out (see the Dish on the side of the house?) I promise, this monster ivy is from one, I said ONE, tiny pot from Home Depot last year. Now look, it's bumble bee heaven!

And, look at our poor freestanding front-loading outdoor fireplace with a bulbous body and a usu. We drove this specially selected chimenea from Mexico. It's now topped with the water trap from a pink plastic flower pot. The plan was to clean up the backyard yesterday, then it rained. So, tonight's the night, maybe.

July 22, 2008

Oops! I Did It Again!

I've double booked! I really have to not only charge my Palm Pilot, I must remember to use my Palm Pilot...that means I must take it with me everywhere!

Great news! My mom drove the car today. Now, mind you, she has a portable oxygen tank she has to wrangle. First, Mom and Dad wobbled their way to the white Cadillac, but the battery was dead, so they weebled their way back inside the house to "rest". Then, they wobbled out to the red Cadillac, and Dad drove to the pharmacy. Dad went into the pharmacy while Mom switched places, then Mom drove home!

The array of feelings that I experienced upon hearing this was: first, "OMG!". Second, after I used my inhaler and calmed down, "Thank you, Lord!". Third, after a tall glass of iced tea, "Good for them!". Fourth...I blogged it.

July 21, 2008

Recipes To Remember

I've started another blog! Yes, I know, another project! This project is to place online our family cookbooks that I've complied over the years. These cookbooks contain a variety of delicious old culinary traditions that spark cherished memories of the past and plan for future events and special occasions. My goal is to place one-recipe-a-day. Please take a minute to visit the new cite. In the next few days, I hope to get a blogroll up. Let me know what you think and if you want to be included on the blogroll!

Recipes to Remember

July 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!

My mom is 76 years old today! She was in such a good mood when I called. She has been feeling so strong that she has made it her goal to "graduate from hospice". Hear, hear! I'm all for that. Thanks to everyone for the prayers, food, cards and letters, flowers, gifts, company, shoulders to cry on, taxi service, pedicures (Ms. J), e-mails and phone calls, and general well-wishes. It's truly a wonderful feeling knowing you all care. Thanks!

This summer has been such as stressful season for my family. With mom going into hospice and my dad's mystery anemia problem, our family has truly been tested. With that said, our family has definitely "circled the wagons", so to speak. We did the same last summer when Marisa had her surgery. My brother and nephews, our cousins, our church community, our family friends (you really know who your friends are at times like these, that's for sure!), our extended families, my co-workers, and even my BFFs from high school have been supportive and compassionate. By the grace of God, the wagons are moving again, eagerly looking forward. Happy Birthday, Mom, I love you!

July 19, 2008

Prescription For A Happy Day

Each Day...
by Tony Garza
Whittled March 2004

1. Tell someone that you love or care about him or her.
2. Do something for fun.
3. Do something nice for someone else.
4. Do something nice for yourself.
5. Do something good for your mind.
6. Do something good for your body.
7. Think about something good that has happened to you today.
8. Pat yourself on the back for something that you did today that you're proud of.

Who raised this kid? Someone did something right, thank you very much. I really miss Danny and Tony. I usually dread the guys coming home from a week long camping trip with 2 large foot lockers of wet, dirty, smelly, nasty clothes and gear, but this time I'm really looking forward to them being home. God Bless...

July 18, 2008

Marisa's Legacy

I should have taken a picture! Marisa cleaned up (and out) her room. She has some really cool things...if your a preschooler. She has a basket full of Hot Wheels/NASCAR cars and loads of "kid" stationary. So, she packed them up and sent them to her little cousins. Marisa still won't part with some of the McDonald's action figures and other novelty toys...yet.

July 16, 2008

When The Cat's Away

After a hard day at work I got my hair cut, then Marisa and I ate dinner at The Huckleberry. Another reason we ate out AGAIN this week is because the electricity went out and would not be back on for 4 hours! Granted we don't have an air conditioner, but without electricity we don't have fans or the water coolers either! A third reason we ate out AGAIN is because Danny and Tony are off camping this week and we decided to treat ourselves to places Danny doesn't really care to go. So there....

Speaking of the boys being gong this week, we have had a couple of mysterious happenings. One night I heard the footsteps out in the backyard. It sounded like "something" was crunching through the back garden. We have our windows open 24/7 and I hear lots of things, but this sounded different and it was scary. It sounded like the "something" was heavy, more so than the typical squirrel, cat, or birds that frequent our backyard. I quickly turned out the lights and got the almight Boy Scout flood light. By the time I turned in on the backyard, the "something" was gone. All the outside lights remained on the entire night.

The next night Marisa and I were going upstairs to bed. We walked past the front porch to find a big ole' cat sitting on the walk, shwishing it's fat calico tail, just staring at front door. Freaky...we are NOT cat people to begin with and to see one hanging out on the walk was a bit pet cemetery-ish. So, in typical scaredy cat (no pun intended, because obviously THIS cat was not scared) we began turning on and off the porch light. It finally ran off behind the garage. Then...

Last night it was so hot in the house that I put a small fan in Tony's window. His room is on the north side so he gets a pretty descent breeze. I fell asleep in his room. Marisa said she tried to wake me up around midnight when she heard "banging" on the side of house. She said that Lucy was barking maniacally. Marisa said she looked out all the windows but didn't see anything. She told me today that she called my name several times, but I didn't wake up. My memory is that I heard her call my name and I heard Lucy barking and I told both of them to go to bed. I didn't hear any "banging". Then...

Today the electricity goes out for 3 hours and 25 minutes. It is now dark...

July 15, 2008

Leg Cramps

This is the second day that I got leg cramps while at the swimming pool. They are really scary! Once I'm out of the water, I can work the cramps out, but it is almost impossible to get relief while in the water. Any ideas on how to prevent these, please let me know!

I've been working long hours, so I haven't had the chance to read my favorite blogs. Tonight I plan to catch up.

July 13, 2008

Shopping, Cleaning, and Sushi

The boys are on their way to Peaceful Valley for a week of camping. Marisa and I dropped them off and went directly to Big Lots, Sears, and Walmart. Many, many dollars later, we were back at home cleaning and organizing. We put up a corkboard wall for Marisa. We packed up "middle school" year books, pictures, and journals and made room for future "high school" stuff. In between all this, I cleaned and laundered.

For a reward, we finished up with dinner at a sushi bar.

July 12, 2008

Everlasting Gobstoppers

Yesterday was the last day of VBS. My co-workers and I celebrated, or de-stressed, over dinner and drinks at 3 Margaritas! Needless to say, I'm a bit tired today. My family went to the mall without me. I laid down to "take a nap" and next thing I knew Marisa was telling that she was going to the mall. Later, I was awakened by the ringing phone. It was Marisa again. Danny had taken both kids to the mall and they were going to eat there. She called to see if I wanted them to bring me something.

"Why, yes!" I asked her to stop by the candy store at the mall and get a box of Gobstoppers. "And, if the movie theater will let you", I said, "get me a bag of popcorn".
Pause...silence...garbled noise...Marisa comes back on the phone: "Dad said we can bring you something from Panda Express and the Gobstoppers. What do you want? Orange Chicken and those noodles?"
"No," I said, "fried rice. And, the Gobstoppers."
"Okay, Mommy," said Marisa, "I love you."
Love everlasting, with Gobstoppers!

July 10, 2008

Who's On First?

Just one more day of VBS! We've had a lot of fun, but it is hard work. My two kids have been awesome helpers. I've received several compliments on how good they are with the little kids and how helpful they are in the classrooms. Tomorrow after VBS, Rochelle and I are taking the "school-agers" swimming. This weekend Danny and Tony leave for their annual scout camping trip for a week. Amazingly, my house stays picked up and clean while the boys are gone. Well, that's if for now. I'm just too tired to think of anything witty and I have to launder our VBS shirts...it's been 3 days straight of wearing these lime green things.

July 8, 2008

Is Your Home A Catholic Home?

I read this post from Aussie Coffee Shop, who linked from Ebeth who put this great quiz up for us all to see how Catholic our home is. Thank you, ladies!

Are morning and night prayers a daily occurrence in your home? Yes! I pray with my kids everyday on the way to school. We all say an evening prayer together.
Do you say grace before and thanks to God after meals? Grace before, but not after meals.
Do you say a family Rosary every night? No. We go to say the Rosary 20 minutes before Mass.
Do you carry a Rosary at all times? Yes! I have 2 of them, each kid has one, and Danny has one.
Do you wear a religious medal or a scapular? Yes. Marisa wears a scapular. I wear a religious medal as does Tony. Danny lost his.
Do you read and discuss the Bible often? Yes! Daily (but I do work at a Catholic School and teach RE).
Is your home dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus? Yes!
Is there a crucifix hanging in a prominent place? Yes!
Do you ask God’s help in the solution of family problems? Yes, constantly.
Do you have a sick-call set for Communion or Anointing of the Sick? Yes! My daughter was actually anointed last year, too.
Do you attend church as a family? Yes! We attend the Sunday evening Lifeteen Mass. The kids and I attend a daily Mass at least once a week. During the Lenten season I go to daily Mass.
Do you go to Confession regularly? No.
Do the children attend a Catholic school or Catholic religious instruction program? Yes!
Do you have religious instruction at home? Yes!
Are there Catholic periodicals in your home? Yes!
Do you have a crib at Christmas? No.
Do you send out cards that indicate Christmas is the birth of Christ? If I do send them out, they are Christian ones.
Does Christmas mean the coming of Christ or a chance to get gifts? The coming of Jesus!
Does Easter Sunday mean the resurrection of Christ or new clothes? Resurrection!
Do you ever invite lonesome or needy people into your home? Yes!
Do you ever provide a basket of food to a needy family, not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas but during the rest of the year? Yes! And, my kids participate.

July 7, 2008

Vacation Bible School

Today was the first day of VBS and it was a hectic. 100 kids signed up and 20 teen helpers (my 2 included). I was in charge of crafts. We made Buddy Beakers. All you need is a test tube, hair gel, water, and glitter. Finding the right mix, however, was the challenge. Why? Well, we purchased "mega mega hold" hair gel. Get the picture...

Off to put on my jammies and watch the finale of The Bachelorette. I don't want to see another kid for at least 12 hours...tomorrow is VBS Day 2!

July 5, 2008

A Down Day

We kept it simple today. We went to see Hancock with our AMC gift card and free movie pass. I'm a fan of Will Smith summer block busters. This one was a bit different, but I liked it okay anyway.

The kids are outside playing basketball. The dog is outside with them. I'm sure she (the dog) will come in stinky. I started on book number 6 for my summer reading and made rice krispy treats to snack on. Reese's Pieces are my favorite, but we are on a budget.

My Dad is in a regular room at the hospital and scheduled for discharge Tuesday/Wednesday. Mom fell last night trying to turn off the lights. She's okay, but I am feeling terrible that I can't be with them 24/7 during this difficult time. Any suggestions on how to deal with ailing parents while living 800 miles from them are appreciated!!

Ugh! The kids just let the dog in, then took off on bikes. I swear...

July 4, 2008

Happy July 4th

Happy 4th of July to everyone! I was hoping to get this post in before midnight. We worked in the yard all day waiting for night time. Finally at 8pm we headed over to the Commons Park. Here is Tony laying on his skateboard plugged into his Zune waiting. Here is Marisa watching.
A quick update on my parents...Dad is doing better, he will move to a "regular" room tomorrow. Mom is doing great by herself. She even went outside and picked a ripe green tomato from her backyard. Bless them both!

July 3, 2008

Prayer Request Trifecta

First, I asked for prayers for my Mom. Second, I prayed for more prayers for my Mom. This time, I'm asking for prayers for my Dad. He was taken by ambulance to the ER today and subsequently admitted to ICU. It's because of the myasthenia gravis. He just had surgery last week and he is so weak that he is unable to move around. Not only does this disease limit muscle use in the arms and legs, but also in talking and eating. He will be in the hospital for a few days to receive treatment. Please, please, please keep my Dad (both of my parents really) in your prayers this weekend. God Bless...

July 2, 2008

White Water Rafting

Hold on to your oars! Here are my boys at Brown Canyon on the Arkansas River, right oustide Buena Vista, Colorado (just down the road from South Park). The rapids were Class 3s and 4s. It was record snow melt and the speed and the height of the water were the highest it had been in 20 years. Danny is located in the front of the raft and Tony is in the back by the guide (same side as Danny). I'm speechless! Well, not really. I'm more stunned that Danny and Tony did this. After I saw these, my tunnel vision came back and I got a headache right between my eyes. My heart beats a little faster the more I look at the photos, but like all wrecks I can't STOP looking at them. Welcome to my mile high paradigm!