Monday, April 27, 2009

melissa has tagged so I guess I'll play along.
i love these silly little quizzes...
more for learning a bit more about others
than for revealing the boring little intricacies of my own crazy life.

here goes...

8 Things I Am Looking Forward To:
1. the weekend - chica time with my girls
2. Wednesday being over with - it's a long story
3. shopping tomorrow night
4. going to bed and reading my book
5. spa time on Sunday - my toes can't wait!
6. seeing my son at his college this weekend
7. my stay-cation in a month
8. my hubby going on his fishing trip while
i'm on my stay-cation
(i adore him but i love my once a year space)

8 Things I Did Yesterday:
1. spent a few hours feeding my coupon addiction
2. made a yummy breakfast for me and my guy
3. yelled at my cats
4. scored big time at jewels and wags with my coupons:)
5. handed out free trees at the library
6. facebooked
7. hosted a "green program" at the library
8. drank wines and passed out on the couch

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:

1. blink like i dream of jeannie and have my kitchen cleaned
2. grow long gorgeous nails
3. sing really good
4. make a living on the public speaking circuit
5. the splits
(not really...i just thought it sounded funny)
6. become rich and famous by selling my kick ass granola
7. convince people to be nice to each other
(mean people suck - a lady was rude to me at the jewels
for no reason at all yesterday. it hurt my feelings)
8. let go

8 Shows I Watch:
(this is really hard - I'm not much for tv)
1. will and grace
2. frasier
3. house
4. the office
5. kath and kim (when it's on...where did it go?)
6. idol (sometimes. i'm not a regular)
7. movies on TCM
8. seinfeld
(i'm the rerun queen)

8 Favorite Fruits:

1. my hubby
(again, not true. he's not really a fruit. it just sounded funny)
2. strawberries
3. melon
4. apples
5. blueberries
(i list them on my grocery list as "bloobs" just cuz i think it looks funny)
6. bananas
7. my homemade applesauce (does that count?)
8. pineapple

8 Places I'd Like to Travel:
1. hawaii (again, over and over)
2. washington state to see the rain forests
3. aruba
4. cape cod
5. savannah, georgia
6. key west
7. the louisiana bayou
8. bali (to that place that elizabeth gilbert went in eat, pray, love)

8 Places I've Lived:
1. wildwood, illinois
2. waukegan
3. round lake beach (ew!!)
4. lake zurich
5. valencia, california
6. wauconda
7. um...i'm running out of places. a state of euphoria?
8. and a state of confusion?
there! done!

People I'm Tagging:
no one b/c i'm a loser and can't boast a host of blogger friends:)

the picture? why an eight note, of course!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

two really good days in a row...

tonight i'm hanging out with these two
Tosca, Figaro...
and we're listening to the rain, the thunder,
the crackle of the fire i've lit in the fireplace
Fig's under my feet
Tosca all curled up on the sofa
and we're just loving this quiet night, just us three
me with my wine, my crackers, my book
(gardens of water by alan drew -lvn it!)
them with me here, me and my opposing thumbs
able to pop open a can of treats
with a simple meow request

and as i'm sitting here with my little cat pals
i'm thinking about how wonderful it is that today i worked
if you could call it that. you see, i am in love with my job
and the people that fill my time there
but yesterday i had the day off
and had the time to take a long walk
through the forest preserve

three point six miles of
the music of spring playing out in full symphony

saying in song
hello i'm here
for real this time

to spend the next few months
with you

i'll bring you

i'll provide you a space
to contemplate life's challenges
(my grand-dog Jasmine
a chicken hearted and simply gorgeous
pit bull terrier gave this little slug
a fright - isn't his shadow amazing?)

what a morning, a perfect way
to spend time with my darling daughter Lindsey,
to enjoy the sheer bliss of a warm and wonderful spring morning
to spend my day off from work
a day to myself
and tonight...more time
to spend as i please
just a book, the fire, my cats
and me.

yesterday the sound of running water
sunshine warming my skin
celebrating the joy of hitting the path once again

and tonight
chilly but still so beautiful out my window

yay...i'm feelin' pretty blessed:)

p.s...i just noticed that the cats are batting around a christmas ornament.
i'm wondering where in the hell they found that?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's Sunday, favorite kind of day. And I think that its right here that I have to come clean with the fact that I'm a truly boring person. In a good way I think. I'm always blogging about my favorite day - a day spent at home. Well, today is filling the bill quite nicely. It's 4:30 in the afternoon, the house is quiet, I'm in my jammy pants, house is clean, my trusty washer and dryer are processing the last few stitches of laundry. And here I am sitting, washing down crackers with a good bottle of wine and relishing, REALLY relishing in my new favorite good book.

I tend to not play favorites when it comes to books. My top five list is a pretty exclusive place to be. I read so much which has made me a VERY discriminating reader. But I've found a new one, and I am LOVING IT. According to my reading calendar I should be cracking open the next title on my book club list. But I digress...The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein has put all other reading on my to-do list on hold.

This wonderful, heart wrenching story told is told in the first person voice of Enzo, a dog that knows he is different than other dogs, and the story of Enzo's family, his life. I don't typically tend towards animal stories, but when I think about it I was NUTS about Dewey the Library Cat (wow did I cry over that one). But this story is different...good writing (yes, I do mean GOOD writing) and an unforgettable story line. Let me just say that if you like anything by Wally Lamb then you're sure to love this gem of a novel.

Here's just a small clip from the book - a few lines I just read that pack a real WOW punch...
and keep in mind that this is the dog talking here:

"To live every day as if it had been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live. To feel the joy of life, as Eve felt the joy of life. To separate oneself from the burden, the angst, the anguish that we all encounter every day. To say I am alive, I am wonderful, I am. I am. That is something to aspire to. When I am a person, that is how I will live my life."

You see, Enzo lives his life with the firm belief that if he has lived his dog's life right, he'll return a human. Oh for goodness sake, I just can't say enough about this wonderful story, I guess except to say that it's so inspired me. And catch me if I'm wrong, but how can one argue with Enzo's aspirations? Isn't this what life is all about anyhow? Isn't this what we ALL should truly aspire to do? To live?

I must admit that I have to thank one of my library book club friends for suggesting this book to me early last fall. It's been a challenge to find it on the shelf at the library, and also to find the time to read for myself. But wow, I'm sure glad that I did. You will be too! For more info on this wonderful, perfect story go to

p.s. this book has me taking Tosca and Figaro, my crazy cats, just a little more seriously:)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

insult to injury...

Wow, am I ever glad this didn't happen to me. This morning in the midst of "goodmorningdidyousleepwellhaveagooddaydon'tforgetyourlunchiloveyougoodbye"
banter I passed along a warning to my husband to take extra care when stopping for red lights in town. Cameras have been installed at each stop light to catch unsuspecting drivers in the act of committing red light crimes. It seems our local municipality is in the red (loads, up to the neck) and is taking advantage of this new technology as an opportunity to pad the coffers. (thank you Peg, i made sure to come to a complete stop BEFORE the white line this morning).

The poor guy, I knew something was wrong last night when I phoned home to say that I'd be a few minutes late. You see I've found a new addiction, a new hobby. Couponing. Thanks to the super couponing lady that spoke at my library a few times this winter, I'm now playing the coupon stacking game. And I'm loving it. This is just one more example of my lemonaide out of lemons outlook on life. And I have to admit, sick as it sounds, I'm hooked. But anyhow, getting to the point. Following my warning to take care and smile for the cameras at every stop light in town, my husband confessed that he was issued a traffic ticket on the way home from work last night. It seems that he was cited for passing on the right, something I do all the time as I lack the patience to sit behind someone who is waiting, waiting, waiting to make a left hand turn.

Like I said, I'm just glad it didn't happen to me. Where he would have reacted in a manner not unlike every other male on the planet thus enforcing mass amounts of guilt resulting in me questioning myself on how I could have ever been so stupid, what was I thinking, where was my head, I simply said "oh Honey, for Heaven's sake. Don't worry. If you need a little extra money I'll share my allowance." I felt so damn bad for him. Never mind the fact that I was mentally calculating the number of tickets he's received over the course of our marriage (many) compared to me (few). As if things aren't already bad enough, as if he doesn't feel shitty enough already with the whole job thing and all, he goes and gets a ticket; $80 painfully donated to the police department.

But what could I say? I really did feel bad for him. I wanted him to know that so what, it was okay. Bum luck, that's all. But if it had been me, well...I'll bet you the story would have had a slightly different ending. That's okay though. This is just one more reason that I thank my lucky stars that I'm female. Life happens, sometimes it's shitty but mostly it rocks. And by the power and magic of the universe, females just seems to have this amazing ability to just roll with life. Up, down, all around. We just take things as they come, take care of the ones we love, and just live. I'm also doubly blessed with the fact that I've been able to talk myself out of just about every ticket a police officer tried to issue me. Another benefit of being female. But I'll be extra careful with those cameras at the stop lights. It's been my experience that cameras can be very unforgiving. As I stop at the white line I'll be sure to smile for the camera and blow a little kiss.


Monday, April 13, 2009

turn and face the strange...


That's what's up in my life these days. If I've learned one thing from life over the past couple of years, it's that things can change as quick as a heartbeat. And if you're not inclined to adjust to the foul balls life tosses at you, there's a good chance they'll plow you down like a runner making a fast break for home plate.

We learned late last week that as of June 1st the company where my husband has worked for over 25 years is shutting its doors, "restructuring" and moving to a downtown location. Only a handful of employees were asked to stay on, and of those most have declined the arduous trip to the city. My husband will not be making that move. Instead he will be joining the ranks of those seeking employment in increasingly uncertain times. One thing I am certain about though is that change can be a very good thing. Change, when it comes unexpectedly, can devastate. But it can also liberate, transform, regenerate and make new. I'm a big proponent of the latter. At least that's been my experience with change over the past couple of years.

We're all going to be dealt difficult blows, all of us, our time is coming. But it's how we handle the shift in the tides that determines how smooth the sailing. We're looking at this as yet another challenge to face together, and we're looking at it with optimism. We've planned carefully, lived well but conservatively, and love best the simple pleasures of life. That ought to serve us well in the weeks and months ahead. And the truth is, I'm really kind of excited for this husband of mine. Through his efforts in the days ahead he'll learn new things about himself. And of course we'll once again see the bonds of our marriage strengthen as we face the challenges that lie ahead. The great unexpected. With optimism, enthusiasm and a willingness to accept change we'll go where life leads us.

I keep a quote on my desk at work and refer to it frequently. These words were spoken a few hundred years ago by our very first "First Lady" as she and her husband faced trying, frightening times in our young country. These are words I live my life by...

"I am still determined to be cheerful and happy,
in whatever situation I may be,
for I have also learned from experience
that the greater part of our happiness or misery
depends on our dispositions,
and not upon our circumstances."

It's also my firm belief that it's laugh or cry in this life, and for all practical purposes, I choose to laugh. And I truly do believe in the magic and the power of change. Whether I want it or not. Change, crisis, the unexpected has had a profoundly transforming effect on me over the past couple of years, and it has been all for the good, although it wasn't easy. That's exactly how I feel about this latest bump in the road. Change - adjustment, metamorphosis, conversion, about-face, shift. Imagine the possibilities...


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

shades of grey...

how to stay focused
calm, centered, driven
when life is fogged with confusion
all direction, answers, the future
security like a well worn sweater
slowly at first
but quicker then
and before i know it
there's a big ball of yarn
where the comfort of my sweater
and i find myself
with a ball of yarn
two knitting needles
and no idea whatsoever
life back together

"what's meant to be will find a way"
(author unknown)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Feathering my...

nest. sibelius, mozart, haden singing me through
a glorious weekend of loving my home.
time spent in the kitchen.
beer cheese soup topped off with white cheddar popcorn.
a new, absolutely decadent oatmeal cookie recipe
complete with a pecan praline topping.
sunday night dinner with my hubby
by the fire - good old fashioned meatloaf
some good bread, a cold glass of milk.
a big bowl of granola, freshly made
laying in wait on the counter...
mixed with yogurt and fruit for
yummy, healthy work week breakfasts.

laundry folded, done. every last piece.
that's a blessing in itself!
and vacuuming, dusting, mopping, sweeping
my home into shape. what a good feeling.
like my little accent mirror?
found during a scavenger hunt at the
goodwill store with my sister
on saturday - much needed time spent together
just cyndi and me.

my gorgeous dining room "christmas" tree
i meant to take it down this weekend.
it's not really christmassy per se,
still beautiful with it's dried flowers,
twigs, berries...still enchanting.
and it's going to remain standing, right where it is,
i'll add a little here and there to give it a
spring/summer feel.
it'll be my way of making sure to carry
"christmas in my heart the whole year through."
my little grand beans get such a kick out of the fact
that i still have a tree up.
i just don't have the heart to take it down.

oh...and pure indulgence.
my favorite thing to do -
snuggle in with a good book
and cheezits - my favorite reading snack
i'm into two really good books right now
the brief wondrous life of oscar wao
little bee by chris cleave
time to read
time to fuss around
time for a nice long chat with my mom
time to take a good long bubble bath soak
time to blog:)

time's are tough. stress is the buzzword these days.
but i find my peace, my solace, my joy
right here at home
just my hubby, my cats and i.

may your home be filled with blessings and peace.


p.s. so sorry for not posting for the past week. i've missed connecting, sharing with you.
oh, and the pic of the little nest? found out on my driveway on a windy day about 2 weeks
ago. isn't it precious? after all the fussing, arranging, straightening only to land on the driveway! poor little mother bird. maybe with this weather she decided to head back south for another few weeks!