Friday, February 29, 2008


My pictures were just here a minute ago! Seriously.
What happened?

The pictures in my previous post suddenly disappeared. Blogger seemed to be having a lot of trouble today with errors right and left. So I went back in and put my pictures back in! But I can't get rid of what I think is 2 of the original pics. I really hate it when I can't figure out something like that.

So - if anybody is seeing doubles - it's you. It's not my blog. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

From one day to the next

If you live in the Chicago area your whole life, or maybe for just a week - you understand quite clearly that the weather is ever changing. We tend to flip from one extreme to another in a matter of hours which will catch people unfamiliar with this place without the proper clothing or
with an umbrella when they need a parka.

Recently we've had some winter days like this -

and this ...

After a few days of freezing temps and windy gray skies we got this-

Brilliant blue skies

and this ....

Days so beautiful the trees are growing the snowballs FOR you!

And yeah. I just did a whole blog post about the weather, you wanna make something if it???

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Music with my meal would have been better

After a long day at work and attending to these doggone cats the minute I walked in the door, I settled onto the couch with my laptop to figure out what I was going to have for dinner.

Only my 2nd day on Weight Watchers but I have figured out why I think it works as well as it does for so many people. WW is more about what you CAN have, as opposed to what you can’t. You have points to ‘spend’ and what you choose to spend them on is your choice. Nothing is off limits, the question is – do I want to use my points for that?

I was perusing food choices and points values when my son passed behind me and went into the bathroom. Nothing unusual about that, and I continued to debate the idea of something frozen vs. possibly cooking something. You get kind of excited about the idea of getting the most bang for your buck so to speak, in picking your meals.

I will spare you the details of what happened next but suffice it to say – the word vomit does not adequately describe what went on it there.

So I may not be using all of my points today. Somehow eating just doesn’t hold quite the same appeal as it did when I came home.


**Edited to add: Contrary to what Andy thinks - he IS sick. He let me go out to get him some Gatorade. That's proof, he generally doesn't let me take care of him.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

It's your birthday, it's your birthday!

~ DANI ~

You've always had your own mind and your own style Honey. Although it IS a bit more sophisticated now. :)

Wish you could be home for your birthday but we will celebrate when you are able to make it. Happy Birthday Sweet Pea.
Love you! Kisses!


Birthday Myspace Graphics

...and the award goes to....

I read a lot of blogs. LOTS. One that always makes me smile and more often than not makes me laugh as well is Stimeyland. Getting very behind on my blog reading lately, I missed it that Jean had given me an award, until she told me. How bad is that? I mean, I had over 200 blog posts staring at me this weekend, that’s how behind I was. Slowly, I am catching up.

But back to the award. It’s the True Blue award and I am thrilled! I find there is very little loyalty these days in places where there used to be such as the workplace or the neighborhood. But holy cow is there loyalty in the blogosphere! Readers are so genuine and supportive I am constantly amazed and glad to know there are a lot of good and kind people out there. If you start to lose
faith in things – your readers will help you find it again. If you are feeling low they will prop you up. And if you need support - or want to share your joy – your readers are right there and willing to laugh or cry with you.

So I appreciate what this award stands for, thank you Stimey! Very much.

I’m not sure if this award came with rules but I am making up my own anyway. I want to give this award to those of you who continually come back and read my blog, who comment and make me smile. You are all so appreciated and have made me feel so welcomed when a year ago I didn’t really even know what a blog was!

I’ve had good days and bad and silly and stupid and you have been there to share it with me, so all of you who keep coming back should take the True Blue badge and display it proudly because – YOU ARE! True Blue, that is. And I thank you.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Doggone blog ads!

I looked at my blog this morning and saw a BlogHer ad for Weight Watchers. Sigh-h-h.

At work announcements are made over the P.A. saying "The weight loss group for really fat employees who want to humiliate themselves will be meeting in the cafeteria at 11:30. New members are welcome to attend." Ack-k-k.

The grocery store has magazines at the check-out lane with headlines saying "How celebrities swallow cotton balls and drink water to lose weight and stay fit". Or "How this lady lost 167 lbs and kept it off for 3 decades by eating only guppies and cream cheese!!!" Arg-g-g.

I get emails "Do you want to lose weight fast?" "Do you want to lose weight now?" "Do you want to lose weight and still eat all you want?" "Do you want to be more attractive to that woman in your life?" HUH? Gr-r-r.

Of course I take all of those things personally and LOUDLY ask "What are you saying?????"

So yeah. This morning I clicked on an ad on my own blog and joined Weight Watchers. I know that most people who do it have success with it. I dabbled in it about 7 years ago and it was working for me until something happened that put a damper on it for me and I stopped. But I need help.

Going to my doctor and yelling at him, telling him "I'm tired, have no energy and am gaining weight in leaps and bounds and I want you to FIX IT!!!!" hasn't worked. Doing it on my own hasn't worked. Thyroid meds? Nope. I thought Nutrisystem would be the answer but it wasn't. Diet tea? Uh uh. Diet pills from the doctor? Nah. And no I won't try that oily stool stuff 'Alli'.

Weight Watchers. I hope to be a success story.

Do you think I'll get paid for clicking on the ad on my own blog? I mean, I did join!


Riley the old man cat started himself on fire today. It was his own fault. He was being impatient for his food this morning, I wasn’t getting it quite fast enough for him and you know, he was starving to death after all.

I turned on the tea kettle that already had water in it (for me not the cats) and cleaned up the cat puke Riley had left for me in the utility room before I started getting their food. It seemed like
the thing to do.

The other cats were being patient, winding round my ankles trying to trip me and then going to their assigned places where they knew I would put their plates down shortly. We do it every day.

Riley decided he couldn’t wait and made a leap from the floor to the stovetop on my right knocking the tea kettle backwards and attempting to walk through fire to get to his food. As soon
as I felt him hit my side and heard the kettle I whipped around and grabbed him knowing he had just jumped into the flames.

It all happened so fast that I’m not sure if I saw the flame or just assumed it was there but by the time he was on the ground I saw one last lick of fire near his chest and I continued to smack him a few more times until I was sure it was out.

Then I did what anyone does who has a child who almost runs into the street in the path of a car – I yelled at him. “You DUMMY!!!” Yeah, that’s me, Miss Articulate. And poor Riley, he was just bewildered. I had grabbed him and simultaneously beat him while unceremoniously dumping him on the floor and then I yelled at him. I’m sure that’s how he saw it, and he still didn’t have
his food!

A quick inspection while he was eating (the only way to get him to stand still) revealed one leg singed, some of the fur on his chest as well, and his whiskers curled on the ends. I have no hair left on that hand and you can just imagine how the kitchen smelled! Nice.

I think he’s okay but it’s so hard to tell with a cat. I wrapped a wet paper towel around Riley’s leg for as long as I could hold him still - but can’t tell if he is actually burned or just objected to being restrained and having something wet around one of his limbs. I will have to watch him a bit but all in all I would say the stupid cat is just fine.

But he just about gave ME a heart attack!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I am not worthy

Somehow when I have not been around, not posting – reading or commenting much I have managed to receive an award! And not only a sweet award, but from 2 different ladies who write beading blogs! I am so ashamed. Because this is what my bead room looks like right now. You would not believe what the floor in there looks like!

I’m glad the award is not based on my beading because I haven’t created anything new in at least a month if not more. I sold something this weekend in spite of myself because I have not been putting any effort into it at all while my bead room is slowly moving forward. Apparently this award is based on my sparkling personality and that’s so much better anyway, isn’t it? (am I hiding my shame well enough?)

The first wonderful and talented lady is Jo from Gem Heaven. She has so much talent when it comes to creating jewelry I would wear everything she creates. Every. Single. Piece. Seriously. Gorgeous jewelry with incredible handmade beads and beautiful silver! If you want to see what a true jewelry maker can do, please check her out. Thank you Jo!

The second lady to give me this award has a different type of beading blog. Her name is Pearl (yes really) and she writes The Beading Gem’s Journal. She teaches people how to bead, offers tutorials and really interesting articles on beads and techniques. I’ve learned from her and frequently bookmark her articles to go back to. God knows I can never absorb enough information on the subject! Thank you Pearl!

Both of these ladies bestowed upon me the You Make My Day Award! How fantastic is that? I appreciate it so much. I’ve met some terrific people through blogging and they never cease to amaze me. I am not worthy. *see me bowing down* Thank you Jo and Pearl! Truly.

There are rules and regulations and guidelines to follow when it comes to awards and I am afraid I am rebellious when it comes to these things. There are times when I follow all of the rules and times when I follow none. I think I am too tired to follow the rules right now. I apologize. Or not.
:) But believe me when I say -
you, ladies, have made MY day!!!


Friday, February 15, 2008

Fabulous, I tell you!

Yesterday my son and I spent 5 hours on the road driving to my daughter’s university to see her performing in The Vagina Monologues. 3 of those hours we spent listening to coverage of the shooting at Northern Illinois University. Did I mention I live in Illinois? And my daughter goes to school at an Illinois state university? Yeah. Not that one. But it makes you incredibly aware of how little control you have once your children are out of your sight.

The play was wonderful, very funny, very poignant and meaningful. Dani did a monologue about pubic hair, oh I’m so proud. :) And I am. She was very good; she was funny and has such a flair for the dramatic. Her 2nd monologue was done as a 6-year old girl whom of course I found quite adorable seeing as I remember her at that age myself. Up on stage perched on a stool, swiveling and kicking her feet she was the picture of sweet innocence. Did I mention that her performance was fabulous? No? Well let me tell you, she was fabulous!

The sobering part of the evening was Dani’s boyfriend Tony telling us that one of the students shot at NIU earlier in the day is a young guy who lives just down the street from him at home. He was hit with shotgun pellets while trying to shield his girlfriend. He was treated and released but will have to have the pellets removed at a later date.

Dani had some frantic moments earlier in the day trying to find out if one of her close friends who attends NIU was okay, finally reactivating her own Facebook account to see if she could find news about her friend. She was relieved to discover he was fine.

When Andy and I arrived we went to the theater with Tony and settled into our seats. Looking up at the stage there was a black curtain behind the performers during the play and it was difficult not to picture someone stepping out from behind that curtain to confront those on the stage and in the audience. For the most part I was able to concentrate on the play in front of me but I will admit to feeling a bit unnerved by the comparison.

So very sad.

It was over all too soon and Andy and I needed to turn around and drive 5 hours back home. And listen to 5 more hours of coverage of the NIU shooting.

There was something surreal about seeing my daughter onstage, enjoying ourselves and laughing, sandwiched between the sad events of the day. Did I mention Dani was fabulous? Yeah, she was. Andy too. He spent 10 hours in the car with me to spend 3 hours with his sister. I love my kids and what happened yesterday was one of those reminders to hold them both a little closer, to enjoy them, and to appreciate them for who they are.

And they are fabulous!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Nothing says I love you more

Valentine's Day is the day I am going to -

February 14th, otherwise known as -

Enjoy your day - Valentine's or no. And to my Sweetheart - I love you - then, now,

.... and always.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Worst Mom EVER.

Stimey had an incident yesterday that left her feeling a bit bruised and battered in the parenting sense, and I know we’ve all had things happen that made us feel less than the perfect Mrs. Brady. And the ones who think they are the perfect Mrs. Brady? They’re kidding themselves.

We do the best job we can as parents but kids don’t come with a manual and we make mistakes. Things happen when we’re tired and overwhelmed but for the most part we don’t damage our kids. They are resilient and generally grow up just fine in spite of our blunders.

The good far outweighs the bad and we forgive ourselves for our missteps because we are
human. Then because we blog, we tell our stories and we laugh because the kids are wonderful in spite of the things we do sometimes.

When my son Andy was in 5th grade we got a note from his school saying he had failed the eye test. Really? Not a big deal, he’s probably having a little trouble seeing the board in class. We took him to the eye doctor for a complete exam and sure enough, he needed glasses.

Andy always sat close to the TV but I thought it was a kid thing; don’t all kids want to practically press their noses against the screen? When he held a book he held it up and in front of his face instead of looking down at it in a relaxed fashion like most kids do. I thought that was a quirk carried over from when he was a toddler. He learned to read at 2 and a half and I figured the way he held a book was simply a habit from early on that just “stuck”. I really didn’t think too much of it.

When they were ready we took Andy to get his glasses. It seemed so uneventful. Andy was not a kid to make a big deal out of many things. He let the technician check to make sure the glasses fit well, answered her questions about how well he could see, and waited quietly while she made a few adjustments and we were on our way. Again, no big deal.

In the car on the way home Andy started reading every single thing he could see through the car window. His voice was getting higher pitched and louder and frankly it was getting a bit annoying. I was about to ask him to ‘knock it off’ – but before I had the chance - in a voice filled with excitement and awe he asked “WOW. Does EVERYBODY see like this?!!???”

Okay? Worst Mom ever.

So what have you done that made you feel like the worst parent in the world?

Friday, February 8, 2008

I love you, but .....

To my Dearest Pets;

I would like to take my coat off when I walk in the door before you start yelling at me. Do you think you could manage that?

It would be nice to walk across a room without one of you following me. Why are you are absolutely sure that whatever I am doing has something to do with you?

Riley, what does it mean when you sit and stare at me making that annoyed sound in the back of your throat like Marge on the Simpson’s?

Abby, do you think I could walk past the back of the couch without you trying to bite me? Just once? I don’t have to let you live here you know.

Norah do you get points if I trip over you?

Since I am good enough to buy you the expensive food for senior cats with sensitive stomachs, don’t you think you could try a bit harder to not puke it up on the rug?!!

If I let you crawl under the covers with me at night, don’t you think I deserve not to get bit simply because I move my arm?

Just what is it you smell on the carpet that makes you sit with your mouth open that way?

Why is it if I were to purchase the most wonderful cat bed in the world, each and every one of you would still rather sleep on the stack of clothes sitting on my bed?

How come the minute anyone dons black slacks – one of you has to rub up against them? Are you so opposed to black pants that you must decorate them with a thick layer of hair around the ankles?

Is there a reason that if I bring home a plant it will turn out to be poisonous and you Jake will immediately eat some of it?

What’s the deal with an empty box? Does the world look better from inside it?

And Jake, I know you only want to drink out of the faucet in the bathroom. I accept that. But does it really only taste good when I am in the bathroom with you? Sitting on the toilet? With my pants down?? You check before you drink, don’t you?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

My pictures aren't that good

My snow pictures?

Not so great.

Whining about snow anymore?


Not since I've been following Leesa who has a blog called Peace of My Mind. She is a photographer who lives in Montana and measures her snow in feet, not inches. And of course - she posts beautiful pictures all the time!

Sometimes when I've had a long day - her photos are like a reward I give myself like putting my feet up or taking a long hot bath. Take a look, you won't be disappointed. :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I know you're going to understand this.

When I wrote about the fog and breaking my ankle I forgot to mention an important part. I mean, really important. Probably because I didn’t tell about what happened beyond calling for help.

Of course there was the ride to the hospital and trying to get someone’s attention in the emergency room. Standard stuff. There was the nurse peeling my sock off and exclaiming “oh my
God!” Not good to hear from a medical professional. And then hearing “I can’t get a pulse down here…” that was scary too.

But laying on a gurney with people bustling around and hearing them say to me “okay, we’re going to need to cut off your jeans” brought on more reaction than the pain! "NO-O-O-0-0-0-0-0-0-0!!!"

I was wearing clean underwear, could not have cared less if my legs were shaved at that point, but those jeans? My favorite pair. My favorite pair of jeans that fit me and actually looked good on me, and they were telling me they were going to take a pair of scissors and cut them from waistband to hem.

I needed pain medication for that part more so than when they set the bones. Arg-g-h-h-h!!

More snow

The snow we were supposed to get last night, is coming down now. I could probably get to work, but coming home would be as long as my work day I think. I've been looking for more pictures of that 1967 snowstorm and they are surprisingly hard to find! But I did find this. It would be nice if it had some sound with it, but really - the pictures tell the story. 1967, some super 8 home movies. The cars were pretty cool back then, what you can see anyway! I tried to embed that video but could not do it to save my life. Still, take a peek!

Here are a few more pics I was able to find.

The snow drifts were huge

A little blurry but you know these kids were having fun!

I love the walk to the house, the snow is piled as high as the kids!

Hopefully I can get some pictures of our current snowfall, sometime during the day.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


In 1967 I was 8 years old. Here in Chicagoland, we had a wonderful blizzard and ice storm in January of that year. I say wonderful because I was 8 years old! I mean really, what more do you need to know? Can you imagine the delight in getting somewhere near 2 feet of snow over the course of 2 days? Magical!

Of course I did not have to drive in it, all I had to do was play in it. What a terrible job that was!

We have had more snow this year than in recent years, or so it seems to me. Never let my
memory get in the way of the facts. Now we are waiting for more. The last time I looked outside it was raining, but it is supposed to turn to snow and do the worst damage between midnight and 7:00 a.m. Oooh, I can hardly wait! NOT. Not anywhere near '67, but north of the city they are forecasting possibly 8 to 12 inches by morning. Yikes!

I wanted to post some pictures of the snow but seeing as it's being rained on right now it wouldn't be very impressive. So instead I searched and found a few pictures from 1967 when snow meant
staying home from school and endless hours in rubber boots, coats, and mittens with scarves over our faces. They aren't my pictures, but they are from that snowstorm from so long ago that some of us still have fond memories of. Only a few, but you'll get the idea.

Yes, pictures were still black and white back then. And so was the TV! Wanna make something of it?

Buried cars in Chicago, Lake Shore Drive and Foster Avenue.

People dug their cars out and started to get around, but mostly still on foot. One of my favorite memories of that snowstorm was once we went back to school there were fabulously high snow hills all along every street and on either side of every driveway. I have no idea whether the sidewalks were shoveled because we kids didn't take that route anyway. We climbed to the top of the snow hills and walked up there - sometimes falling through, rolling off, or stepping down onto driveways and scampering back up in the other side. I don't recall ever being tired or out of breath - or even very cold for that matter. It was a terrific time to be 8 years old!

Monday, February 4, 2008

February fog

It’s foggy outside and I am drawn to it. Always have been and I don’t know why. It’s usually not too cold and there is a stillness that isn’t ordinarily there. Besides – it’s really the only time you can SEE the air. Think about it.

I haven’t walked in the fog since a February evening about 8 years ago. No, 7. Whatever. It was a wonderful night; there was a light misty rain and lots of melting snow on the ground and puddles on the sidewalks. And ice. Did I mention ice? Yeah, ice hidden under the water in the puddles.

Walking is the best form of exercise for me and I had gotten away from it somewhat. I was disappointed in myself and that night I pulled my car into the driveway when I got home from work, got out and started walking. Not sure if I even went in the house first.

I wasn’t going far, and while it was foggy and misty, dark and wonderful out, it was still winter. February in Chicago is rarely as gentle as it was that night. The combination of melting snow along the edge of the sidewalk, rain and cold made the going slower than usual. Coming to an exceptionally large and deep looking puddle I carefully stepped to my left to avoid the worst of it.

Suddenly there was an awful noise, the sensation of falling and total disbelief when I found myself sitting in the puddle with my foot bent at about a 45 degree angle from my ankle. When I moved my leg the foot just stayed there – frozen in that oddly abnormal position. There was no thinking at that moment, there was just action. I did what anybody would have done. I reached down and bent that foot back into place ignoring the crunching sounds it made as I did it. After all, if it looks normal, it IS normal. Right?

Uh uh. Looking around I realized I was all alone in a puddle in the freezing rain without my phone or another person in sight. At night. The house directly in front of me was completely dark. There was panic and nausea and the realization that I had to move. Trying to stand was a treat. Somehow I did get up but when I tried to put weight on my foot – there was no support in my ankle. It was like the foot was not attached anymore and indeed, when I lifted the leg – the foot just flopped, there was no control.

Down I went back onto the ground where I turned over onto all fours and proceeded to crawl up a wet icy driveway scattered with stones, dragging my foot. The people were quite surprised when they answered the door and found me sitting on their porch telling them my ankle was broken and asking to use their phone. Not a nice way to end a lovely walk in the fog.

It turned out I had broken all 3 bones in my ankle so there really were no bones attaching it to my foot at that point. There was surgery and pins, screws, and a plate. And 6 weeks on a recliner

watching Court TV. Every day. All day.

I still love the fog. Driving home this evening was great, and feeling the damp on my face walking to the car and to the house was wonderful. But these days? These days when I hear the fog calling my name? I ignore it!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sometimes even my favorites don't get any love

According to Google reader, I have subscribed to 73 different blogs. And that number changes daily, whether I find a new one to add – or take one off I added just to see if I wanted to keep reading it. Trying to keep up with that many blogs is like a full time job, oh to get paid for reading!! But something has to suffer.

I am the first one to tell you that housework is not my first priority so that gets done last. Then of course there is my jewelry making which has been sadly neglected lately in favor of living vicariously through all these wonderful people out there who let me peek into their lives on a daily basis! Or not so wonderful people, sometimes those blogs are interesting too.

My kids are old enough now that my reading blogs doesn’t take anything away from them, but really, like I told someone the other day – if I had had access to all this connectivity when my children were little they would have been raising themselves. No Mommy awards at my house if that were the case. I’m just glad I didn’t have that temptation at the time and I admire any of those Moms out there who blog and parent with balance.

Since I never ever never ever (really really) read blogs at work, ahem, my day job never suffers one iota. Ever. Really.

A huge casualty has been how much I comment on all the blogs I read. As the number of blogs I have subscribed to has increased, the number of comments I make has decreased. I used to try to comment every time someone commented on my blog. Or at least hop over to their blog and leave a comment there. But I find in reading so many, I tend to be governed more by my mood, or to be honest - the amount of posts I have to read vs. the amount of time I have.

A rant? Oh, I don’t feel like a rant today, I’ll mark that as read and move on. Funny? Okay, funny is good but I’m not really relating to this. Move on. Emotional? Oh, I feel bad but I really don’t know what to say, off I go. A post that makes me laugh that I can relate directly to my own experience? But, oh look, they already have 45 comments, there is simply nothing left to say that someone else hasn’t already! A post so incredibly clever and witty that every comment left is better than the next? I wither under the intimidation factor, lets face it I’m just not that funny. Off to the next. And on it goes.

But I feel bad about it. I enjoy all the blogs I read, but I will admit the sheer volume makes commenting on all - or even most of them impossible. Does it make anyone else feel bad to read and hop from blog to blog without commenting a lot of the time? How do other people manage it? Do they cut down on the amount they are loyal to? Do they only comment when they really believe they are contributing or do they comment because they feel they should?

What do you do?