Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sundays In My City #52 - Before and After

It's a big weekend at our house. Saturday was Godson's birthday party. Can you guess what we did?


The kids had a blast and I was relieved that they all left with the same amount of fingers and thumbs they arrived with.


Packages in the mail are such a treat and I received a very special one from Nyne at Brilliance Found. I as lucky enough to win this beautiful crystal necklace in her recent giveaway.
Nyne is a very talented jewelry designer who lives in Vancouver, Canada and I thank her for this generous gift. Please visit her site HERE. (And shop til you drop!)

The clever and always entertaining Eddie Bluelight at Clouds and Silvery Linings pass the Versatile Blogger Award on to me so long ago I'm embarrassed to say. But better late than never, so I thank sweet Eddie for thinking of me. I'm supposed to share 8 riveting pieces of information about me which the world has been waiting for with baited breath...

1) Nearly everything in my clothes closet is either black, gray or white.
2) Being a cheerleader in high school was not nearly as fun as I thought it would be, but I liked the uniform.
3) I can parallel park (a car) really well. Too bad it's no longer a test requirement.
4) Pumpkin Ice Cream is a favorite this time of year.
5) Growing up I put mayonnaise on everything I ate-- literally, everything.
6) I still need to get a flu shot but I'm not over my cold yet.
7) I'll be heading to Ohio on Wednesday to visit my family one more time before the snow flies.
8) I would really like a crockpot. (Who said I was high maintenance :-)

As usual, Awards come with naming names and passing them on, but you know I usually break that rule, so if you want to play along grab the Award and run with it.

And be sure to check out Eddie's popular Sunday Roast interviewing bloggers from around the world. And if you're up for a good Roasting let me know and I'll introduce you to Eddie or you can email him directly. Seriously-- I did it, you should too.


How's your Sunday?
Welcome to - Joanna Jenkins

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Comes First

I expressed my unhappiness about the retail "hocking" of Christmas here. Many of you have expressed the same WTH? feelings that I have so this might be of interest to you.

Blogger Jim "Suldog" Sullivan has an annual tradition that takes a position on this annoying trend-- He's standing up to premature "holiday cheer" hitting the malls and television commercials way too early and I'm joining in. You can too. Here's what Suldog says...

Should you be as incensed as I am concerning Christmas schlock, [hitting stores way too early] please post a "
Thanksgiving Comes First" entry on your blog. Write from the heart. Everybody who visits your blog will find out how you feel. My guess is they'll agree with you. Perhaps they'll also write about it, and so will their friends, and so forth. I hope that, if enough of us do this, we might make some small impact.

Please title your post "
Thanksgiving Comes First". If we all do that - use the same posting title - it will make a bigger impact. If you wish to reference this post, or other posts with a similar title, please do so. It isn't mandatory. I'm not looking to drive people to this blog. I'm just trying to make a difference concerning something that truly rankles me.

If you wish to use the snazzy graphic at the top of this page, or any of the other original graphics here, either on your blog entry or as a semi-permanent graphic on your sidebar, please feel welcome to do so. I'd appreciate it. Having a visual symbol that folks see repeatedly would be a big help.

You can read his full post HERE-- It's good too.

So what do you say? Do you miss the Halloween and Thanksgiving celebrations of yesteryear? Would you like to get into the Christmas spirit after you've carved the turkey? Let us know and post about Thanksgiving Comes First! on your blog.

Welcome to - Joanna Jenkins

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Give Me A Ring

On Baby Sister's wedding day, as her Maid of Honor, it was my duty to keep the bride-to-be happy, so when she said she was having a "Big Mac Attack", I headed for the closest McDonald's drive through with her on the way to the wedding ceremony. No she wasn't in her wedding dress yet, but we were all glammed up and it was two hours before she became a "Mrs.".

This couple was smart-- From the moment they decided to get married knew they wanted a small wedding and managed not to get swept up in "wedding fever". Theirs was a deliberately small wedding that included their large families and only the couple's closest of friends.

Of course she was a stunning bride and very excited, but relaxed, on her big day as we hung out in the "Bride's Room" at the church, munching on burgers and fries before the ceremony. We ran down our "to-do" list and she casually gave me the wedding rings to "take care of" but I reminded her that it was the Bestman's job, not mine, and we moved onto the next chore-- grape juice substituted for the wine during the ceremony.

I was so careful with that deep purple glass jar of juice. The last thing I needed was to have a big purple stain all over the bride dressed-in-white or myself-- But I nearly tripped when I spied the Hubby-to-be on the way to deliver the juice. He looked a little on the nervous side with an odd smile plastered on his face-- A very green face which occasionally turned to ghostly gray. Oh, and he was sweating bullets too.

Groom gave me a quick thumbs up and assured me all was well but I asked the Bestman to keep on eye on him anyway. But otherwise, things were going smoothly and I swear I could hear the angels singing on this very happy day.

By the time I saw the Groom again later, at the end of the aisle waiting for his bride, I momentarily thought he might simply collapse in a heap-- or throw up all over the Minister's shoes, one or the other, but he managed to keep his nerves in check and greeted Baby Sister with a big smile and a tear in his eye.

The small gathered crowd of about 50 sighed collectively in happiness and we all turned our attention to the Minister standing a few feet away from me holding his opened Bible. It was then I knew we had a problem.

A major problem.

The Minister was wearing a huge gold ring. In a flash I remembered the wedding rings were never delivered to the Bestman and were in fact, still in the "Bride's Room" immediately opposite the church entrance.

I, in a moment of panic and less than gracefully, turned to my mother seated in the front row and mouthed the words "Oh sh*t, I forgot the rings!"

Not my finest moment.

The Minister, who knew my mother well, noticed she practically sprinted out of the church and into the "Bride's Room", looked to me in a Ministerly WTH kind of way. I whispered the situation to him and the Bride and Groom and prayed Mom could put her hands on the rings fast.

I give him credit, the Minister handled things beautifully and gave an impromptu sermon-like chat that was laced with enough wisdom and laughter that the Groom actually relaxed and normal color returned to his face. But after a good, painfully long three minutes, Mom was still missing in action and so were the rings.

I looked over my shoulder in the direction of the Bride's Room, which now had it's double doors wide open for all the guest to see inside-- And there was Mom tearing through suitcases, make-up bags, purses and even the McDonald's wrappers in search of the rings. Let me tell you things were flying around that room and I never remember my mother moving so fast in her life.

When Mom finally spotted the black velvet box on the dressing table she let out a squeal and raced back into the church where she was greeted with a huge round of applause by the guests and Minister.

Finally the ceremony started. Little Sister took it all in stride, her Groom-- by this point, was thoroughly enjoying himself, Mom was back in her seat huffing and puffing, and the Minister got to the task at hand.

Why I let the "take care of the rings" message go in one ear and out other the other remains a mystery to me... And believe me, I've relived that moment a thousand times. I was way younger back then so blaming it on a "Senior Moment" was out of the question-- I wasn't over caffeinated-- There's no such thing as a McDonald's hangover-- And I was very focused on every other detail of the wedding day.

I yiyi, I have no idea.

But there are no hard feelings-- just a lot of good humor ribbing each year on their anniversary and every chance in between that the subject presents itself. I deserve it and even open the conversation up when I leave a voicemail message at their home saying I just wanted to "give them a ring" and say hello.

Welcome to -- Joanna Jenkins
Photo Credit: © Evgenia Smirnova -

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sundays In My City #51 - Clack-a-clack...

I've missed a few Sundays due to vacation and traveling so it's nice to be back with Unknown Mami and the Sundays In My City community.

I was in and around Manhattan for a week and made two fun stops-- One that has always been a "must see" and one that will forever more be on my "I gotta go now!" list.

First up was the brand new Eataly-- My idea of the "Happiest Food Place On Earth". It's a 50,000 square foot Italian food paradise brought to you by Mario Batali, Lidia Matticcho and Joe Bastianich. And let me tell you-- They did themselves proud!

Eataly is a gorgeous, high end, grocery store, wine store, book store, housewares store, with multiple glorious restaurants and oh so much more-- All under one roof. I was in heaven, so much so that I only took one picture before I entered the store because once inside I was drooling too much for picture taking.

The only bad part was that since I don't live in NYC, I couldn't bring home most of the amazing foods they sold (homemade pasta, olive oils, balsamic vinegars...) Now my hope is that Eataly is so wildly successful they open one in Los Angeles. And if they do, I swear I'll apply for a job just to spend more time in the store! I wonder if they'd have a taste-tester position.

My other "must see" stop is Macy's in Herald Square. I've been going there for the past 40+ years-- Not for shopping, for it's original 1902 escalator....

Every visit I wind my way around the way too big, and a little confusing to navigate store, to step onto their vintage escalator for a clack-a-clack-a-clack step back in time. It's beautiful.

I take my hat off to Macy's for keeping the original escalators leading to their top floors. I'm sure parts are very hard to come by and it's expensive to maintain, but the escalators are a piece of history that has been in action for well over 100 years. It feels different, smells different, and sounds different from any other escalator I've ever been on and I love that Macy's has preserved it.

And the best part at the top of the escalator was that Macy's had this-- Cuz you know Santa rides into town after their Thanksgiving Day Parade....

But their Christmas department and decorations were still under cover... Not like the Macy's in Los Angeles who's been hocking Christmas for nearly a month already. Yeah!

How's your Sunday?
Welcome to - Joanna Jenkins

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It Was One Of Those Vacations...

Beloved Husband and I just returned from the East coast after meeting up for a wonderful family reunion that brought 15 of his relatives together all under the same roof. From two countries, speaking three languages, and with a whole lot of jet lag thrown in, we had a fantastic time catching up with each other, sharing family stories, sorting through old black and white photos and laughing til our bellies ached. In short, it was a perfect get together albeit it too short.


It was the kind of vacation that had me rummaging through my purse for my camera time and time again only to remember I left it in the hotel room that day....

The kind of vacation that had me reaching for my laptop only to remind myself I left it at home because this was a "real vacation"....

The kind of vacation with one great blog topic after another floating through my head as I reached for my iPhone to email myself the idea.... Only to totally forget the idea because my mind was just blown by a 90 year old granny wearing a gold sequined and chartreuse halter dress and 6 inch red platform heels in Time Square....

Yep, it was one of those vacation-- loaded with great blog fodder, but as I sit back a home, laptop at hand, I have no memory of what I was going to write about. Except for this photo I snapped quickly with my iPhone as we crossed a busy Manhattan street....

Mama with her Victoria Secret shopping bag in one hand, cell phone in the other, and the sweetest, most angelic looking sleeping baby strapped on her back wearing a colorful hoodie. I followed them for three blocks to get this photo because it was so, so, so-- New York and urban and in a strange way comforting to see the blissful baby amongst the hubbub of a big city.

I will be making the rounds on blogs to catch up on nearly two weeks of your posts. As I told one dear blog friend yesterday, 20 months ago I didn't even know what a blog was, now it's part of my daily routine and when I'm away I miss you, blogging, and everything that goes with it.

So while I try to piece together more stories from our vacation, I'll be by as soon as I can. Until them, happy October one and all.

How have you been?
Welcome to - Joanna Jenkins

Friday, October 8, 2010

Not Yet!

Halloween-- I
love that holiday! Actually, I love it so much that I think it should be an official three day weekend that's celebrated around the world.

Trick-or-Treating brings the best excuse of the year to buy too much chocolate and a guilt-free opportunity to pass out candy to little kids-- In a one for you, two for me, kind of way.

It's the time of the year when the Fashion Police take a day off so people of all ages, shapes and sizes can dress up in everything from rubber masks of Richard Nixon to Cinderella and Michael Jackson. I personally wear my usual orange tee shirt and Halloween socks with candy corn and bats on them-- And of course, I time October 31st so my Botox is pretty much worn off and wear my "real" face which I figure is scary enough.

Decorating for this holiday, and Fall for that matter, is a favorite pastime but I admit, my husband was shocked when he saw the movers unload box after box labeled "Halloween" into the house when we got married. I made lame excuses about it not realllly being all that much stuff but two months and three days after our wedding, Halloween arrived and decorations were in full, over the top, force. I smiled and assured him that his money back guarantee to return me had already expired. He was stuck with me-- and a house full of all things Halloween.

You can only imagine my thrill when Godson was born on-- you guessed it-- Halloween! I swear that kid came out saying "Boo!" and is as big a fan as I am. He's taken over coordinating decorations inside my house, which now skew a bit spookier as he ages, with a wide variety of spiders peaking out from every nook and cranny. And, he turns our front yard into a big, funky cemetery but he keeps in mind that we mostly get young kids knocking on our door so it pretty tame out there.

Ahh October and Halloween. It makes me happy....

Right up until I walked into Bloomingdale's on Monday and spied a huge Christmas section already in full twinkle light glory. It stopped me in my tracks faster than a record player needle scratching across Elvis' Blue Christmas.

I ask you, do we really need all the Christmas paraphernalia on store shelves before the smell of Milky Way Bars and Almond Joys have intoxicated me beyond reason? Is it okay to start hocking Christmas shopping before Charlie Brown's The Great Pumpkin airs on television? And if there really is a Santa Claus, don't you think he would-- Wait. His. Turn!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I've already made my Christmas shopping list but I don't have the packages wrapped by the fireplace yet. It wouldn't hurt them to wait a few more weeks to put out the giant white and silver Christmas trees covered in Bloomingdale's ornaments blinking and flashing while shoppers splurge on Godiva chocolates for Halloween! It won't spoil their sales quotas but it will dash this little girl's annual, one and only, Christmas wish for a full month of Halloween with treats and decorations and visions of goblins dancing in my head.

Sheesh, I've barely pulled out all my bats, witches and Fall fabulousness and Bloomies rains on my parade-- again! Grrrr. It's enough to make a girl cancel her credit card. (Well almost.)

Next week I'll be back in beautiful New York City to see family and get a huge dose of Fall foliage. I'll be shopping at Bloomingdale's too, so keep an eye on the 6 o'clock news. If their Christmas windows are already on display, I'll be the crazy lady you see NYPD's finest carting away kick, screaming, and begging for Halloween decorations.

Hope you are enjoying autumn and looking forward to Halloween!
Welcome to - Joanna Jenkins
Photo Credit: © chispas -

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


At the risk of opening a can or worms since I rarely discuss politics in this space...

It's that miserable time of the year again-- Campaign elections are in full, nasty, swing here in California, and perhaps your area too, with a record amount of money being spent to sway your vote.

We have one business woman candidate running for governor who makes no excuses about spending $140 million of her own money on the race. She's a billionaire so I guess that's a drop in the bucket if she really wants the thankless job, but in my book it's reckless spending and not confidence inspiring. Sadly though, her opponent doesn't inspire me either so I won't even bother to mention their names. All I will say is that I'm sick of their commercials smacking me in the face every single time I turn on the television.

For the senate race we have two women running against each other and let me tell you-- The. Claws. Are. Out! Little substance is conveyed in their tv commercials beyond caddy (bitchy) sniping and for one, it seems, a little too much Botox to go with her perfectly coiffed, expressionless, presentation.

Again, the senate candidates leave me uninspired and wishing we had real options to consider putting in charge of our failing state. This short commercial really gets on my nerves. Every time I see it all I can think is.... MEOW!

What do you think?
Welcome to

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sundays In My City #50 - Eggcellent

This Sunday I'm cheering on runners in this Race, but on Friday I had an eggcellent time with Godson in the kitchen.

Do you know how many eggs it take to master the art of egg cracking and then separating the whites from the yolks? With a lot of concentration and about 5 dish towels to wipe up the "oophs I cracked that one too hard" tries....

It takes about 8 or 9 attempts, before it suddenly all makes sense....

Then the next 18 or so are a snap-- or should I say an egg-cracking success!

Lemon Meringue Pie and homemade pasta are in our future using the separated eggs.

How's your Sunday?
Welcome to - Joanna Jenkins

Friday, October 1, 2010


When my two sweet 8 year old friends put the word out that they were having a Bake Sale to help support people with lupus, their friends, teachers and neighbors all turned out to help make it a gigantic success.

I told you HERE about Rosebud and BB, the 2nd graders who were the masterminds behind the sale. Both have been running in, and raising money for, the Lupus Race For Life for the past four years, but since Rosebud is struggling this year with a nasty kidney disease, they decided a bake sale was the best way to help raise funds, support Lupus International and still participate in a meaningful way.

Around 2:00pm on Wednesday, the bake goods and the girls' 2nd grade classmates started rolling into the shopping center to help. Before we knew it, Chris (Rosebud's Mom) and I saw how much bake goods we had and thought we'd be standing in front of the Albertson's supermarket all day and half the night trying to sell everything! So many people generously baked that the tables were overflowing and we had two additional shopping carts filled with donated homemade cookies and cupcakes!

But we had a secret weapon, actually several of them-- Reallllly cute 2nd graders holding handmade sighs promoting the sale. They were focused and fearless! "Bake Sale! Bake Sale, Get yourself some Bake Sale!" was the chant of the day. No one within 30 yards of the market's entrance got past these little dynamos without being asked if they'd like to buy some cookies to help sick people with lupus.

When shoppers would pass on the cookies but still make a donation they'd squeal "We got free money!". When the market's manager came out and invited the girls inside the store to sell goodies to the staff, they turned on their very best and most respectful manners and asked if they could "spare a dollar for a bad disease." And when their moms would come to pick them up for dinner, they'd beg to stay until everything was sold despite our scheduled end time of 6pm.

By 7:30-- a mountain of tasty bake goods were sold and.... drum roll please.....

The girls raised $800! Can you believe it?!? And by the way, we were mostly selling things for 50 cents and a dollar!

It was an exhausting and joyful day all rolled up in one. Rosebud was absolutely worn out but stayed til the end with her cousin BB cheering her on. Their young friends were so proud to have helped and accomplished so much. I think the kids all learned several lessons on a number of different levels-- the first of which was to step up and participate to help others.

I'll be at the Lupus Race For Life on Sunday, October 3rd in La Mirada, California supporting all the awesome people running to help people with lupus. The runners and this awesome group of 2nd graders are my heroes.

Hope you have a fun weekend planned!
Welcome to - Joanna Jenkins