Thursday, August 27, 2009

meet me at the bongo room...

the rainy nighttime breeze blows through my kitchen window
meeting up with the scents of banana, chocolate, cinnamon
tantalizing my senses this end of summer night.
tomorrow is a big day for me.
i'm meeting with a marketing rep
from till creative in the city
to share my dreams.
i don't yet know quite how to describe them
but i can say they involve my kitchen.
my love of cooking, being creative.
my love of entertaining, cooking for people.
my passion for healthy, life sustaining foods.
this is the first item on my list:

1. turn my passion for food and cooking
into something more.

i'm not so sure right now what that something more is.
i had a spot up at the richmond farmers' market last
weekend and fared far better than i had dreamed i would.
i am inspired.
i'm so excited, and nervous at the same time.
i can't wait to sit down with jessica tomorrow
and spill my dreams out to her.

i'll be up in richmond again this weekend. can't wait.
and from now til then i'll be busy in my kitchen.
my absolutely favorite place to be:)

living my life one measuring cup at a time...

title? that's where we'll be meeting, jessie and i.
at the bongo room in bucktown.
home of pancakes so good they make you want to cry.
i'm having the lemon ricotta - i can taste them already!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

to market, to market...

am into hour six of making granola
labels have been designed
packages filled
chocolate, banana, apples, pecans,
walnuts, almonds, blueberries
cinnamon, it's spicy, irresistible scent,
wafting through my kitchen
windows open to an august night
that whispers october
on the boob-tube in my kitchen
kevin bacon dances to footloose
in the oven goes the last batch of granola
for the night...
while a dozen loaves of zucchini bread
wait their for a spot inside my overworked oven
cats snuggled up in a chair in a corner
of the kitchen
tomorrow i take the first steps
toward a number on my list
farmers' market in richmond
and after that, tyler's birthday party
and of course, as tradition rules,
the birthday cake which is my creation
transformers optimus prime
the flat-bed super hero of my little
grandson's heart
timer's ringing
time to stir a batch
of blueberry pecan crumble granola
my own creation
my own dream...
thanks cyndi for participating in "grocery gauntlet"
thanks girls for last night...
julie & julia, dinner at d&j bistro, a waltz through
williams sonoma,
snapshots of a simply perfect evening:)
thanks hubby for disappearing for the weekend
so that i could just be me:)

Monday, August 17, 2009

monday night football, a good book and a grilled cheese sandwich...

geez, i'm pooped tonight. after a LONG day at work going through selection journals (tough job selecting my favorite thing in the world - books, but hey, someone has to do it) D and i took a drive around looking at houses. actually looked at one on bangs lake. big time fizzer upper. went home, assessed blessing we have in house we already have. discussed refinishing the basement. sounded like too much work to me:) then i made grilled cheese, we opened a bottle of two buck chuck red and i've been sunk in my teen read (leaving paradise by simone elkeles) ever since. so, guess i'm saying good night. hope you had a good start to your week. i know i did. now i'm headed off to "smells like teen spirit" teen read. am loving it. i'm working on booking the author for an appearance at our local high school during teen read week in october. can't wait. looking for something good to read? take a step back in time and read for yourself. i bet you'll like it as much as i do. leaving paradise is a VERY good story.

thank god for monday night football. D is busy, engrossed in the game. i'm sneaking off to bed with my book tucked under my arm. happy monday many more hours 'til friday??


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Notes from a REALLY hot kitchen...

Okay, promises, promises. Or did I say "I promise?" My list is in my head. And I've worked this weekend on some of the projects that will go on my list. Hint...I'm up to my neck in granola. Batches are cooling on the counter (cranberry vanilla almond). Batches are in the oven with more lined up on the counter waiting for their opportunity to add to the ungodly temperature in my kitchen right now (blueberry pecan crisp). I've worked hours on my friend K's diet and meal plans...don't want to give any more away. Just wanted to touch base and say "I'm working on it."

How are your plans coming along? Are you making a list? Did you have a good weekend? I know I sure did. More to list is in the making. I promise, really, truly promise, to have it done this week. This is serious stuff though, right? I mean I don't' want to just go and put something "out there" without honestly meaning it.

Enjoying the last remaining hours of the weekend...

Saturday, August 15, 2009


list is "in process."
meant to post it today but am
enjoying a glorious saturday at home with huz.
errands this morning.
fussing around the house all afternoon.
margaritas, quac and chips, cooking out
this evening.
enjoying being with my guy
and the beauty of a perfect
summer day.
air conditioning is NOT on.
am loving the breeze, the buzzing sounds
of cicadas singing songs of summer love.
happy saturday loves...
will post list tomorrow, i think :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

someone i think you should meet...

"there's a moment, like tonight,
a profound and transcendent experience,
the feeling as if a door has opened,
and it's all because of that music,
that magic, incredible music..."

a perfect description of my thursday night.
last night at the library i hosted the final concert
in my summer concert series.
and for a finale', my patrons and i
were treated to a magical performance
by my very, very favorite musicians,
julie and bruce hecksel - patchouli.

their music transcends description,
mere words by this linguistically challenged writer
cannot express the perfection in their performing.
i cannot do them justice by simply saying
magnificent, wonderful, captivating, entertaining.
those words just aren't enough.

i can only describe the music of patchouli in feeling.
the feeling of my heart when it grabs onto
the melody, the soul, the energy
that comes from the listening.
it touches my heart. speaks to my soul,
takes me to a place of happiness and peace,
stirring my emotions such that it brings me to tears.
their music is a gift they share freely
and with so much love.

this music is simple. simply perfect.
julie's voice so smooth and rich.
bruce's guitar playing simply masterful.
i don't think i'll ever hear another guitarist
to compare with bruce. he's simply incredible.
and ifrom the comments i received
following the concert at my library last night,
i know there are many who feel the same as i do.

do yourself a big favor this weekend, the last of a few
in our glorious midwest summer.
visit long grove this sunday - it's arts fest weekend there.
patchouli is playing from 12:30 to 2:30.
sit down. treat yourself to a listen.
and i'll bet you'll discover a new favorite group.

i promise you'll be glad you went.
and when you do, tell them hello
from terri at wauconda library.
happy weekend!

if you can't make it to long grove,
pay bruce and julie a visit at
but as my daughter lindsey said,
"listening to them on cd is one thing,
but it's when you see them perform
that you truly understand just how
awesome they are."

coming tomorrow..."the list"
get yours ready!
boy, do i have my work cut out for me tonight:)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

tea tag wisdom wednesday...

When ego is lost, limit is lost.

Recognize that you are the truth.

Mighty powerful statements found on my Yogi tea tags.

And it's funny how these little messages seem to

pop up at just the right time in my life.

When I most need to hear them.

Most days I find it easy to be upbeat, positive.

Its just my nature. Its who I am.

But other days are like a dark room with no sun.

Like today.

We all have days like this, and can take comfort in knowing

that they can change like a switch in the wind.

By listening to peaceful music.

(gregorian chant is pouring out of my radio as i write)

By connecting with nature, moving the body.

(i'm headed out to the forest preserve as soon as i'm finished here.)

By diving into life and focusing on the positive.

(busy day ahead of me. fun projects. purpose. good people.)

By finding a creative outlet.

(here. writing. sharing. connecting.)

I'm not going to let a blue mood rob me of a potentially joyful day.

I feel much better already:)


photos - the gorgeous sky, taken while on vacation in july

ahead...getting my list ready. will post that list on saturday morning.

apology...blogger and i have spacing issues.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

August weekend...

The past three days in my life have been all about people.
The people that fill my life.
Celebrating professional success with the people
I'm incredibly fortunate to work with.
My writing group...seeing inside ourselves
and finding something new within,
something we'd never imagined we possessed -
the ability, the urge, a fresh voice.
Finding words we never new we had.

My son, his friends, who are like sons to me.
And I am so loving this time with him, what little I seem
to have had, during his break from school this summer.
Unlike his college buddies, he's been the lucky one this summer.
He has a job. And this couldn't mean more under our present circumstances.
Summer days are winding down, and before I know it
I'll be hugging him goodbye as he heads back to school.
A junior in college. Goodness, how time flies.
I've always said, time flies when you have kids. True, no?

Sunday began with a walk through the woods with my husband.
Talking, walking, sharing a classic summer morning.
Hazy sunshine making its way through the tree tops.
Spotting deer around every corner - mamas and babies.
It was honestly the coolest.
And spending the afternoon with my parents, my sister.
Just sitting around the kitchen table,
enjoying a few hours of over the table chit chat, precious time.
I'm so glad for that time well spent.

Stopping by a good farm stand
on the way home from my parents' place.
Drinking in the view, music dancing through my mind...
pieces found on the soundtrack from the movie The Hours
playing on my favorite radio station.
( - classical. the music of my heart.)
I was really caught up in the moment,
thinking about how lucky I am,
how grateful I am to be living my life, a true blessing.
As I came into the house carrying my "fresh from the fields" treasures,
my husband informed me that
we'd be heading over to our daughter's house
for an impromptu Sunday dinner with our kids.

I thought, what a perfect way to end a perfect weekend.
The proverbial icing on the cake.
A weekend spent in communion...
with those that I love.
In nature.
I really mean it when I say that this is all I need.
This life. These people.
Nothing more.
Just that.

And that's the way I began my day today.

In nature, on the forest preserve path with my husband.

Talking it all out as we walked in what feels these days

like the Garden of Eden.

And feeling so much gratitude, that it made me cry.


photos - on the way home from the farm stand I just had to head back
to the forest preserve to capture these glorious dancing beauties.
Perhaps it's just me, but aren't the Queen Anne's Lace
especially pretty this year?
I think they're my favorite summer flower:)
And one more thing...I was having lots of trouble
aligning and spacing my text in blogger today.
I hope it didn't detract from the writing!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

thoughts running wild...

Okay, this is going to be a rant, so reader - consider yourself warned. And I'm certainly not following any sort of rules on proper paragraph alignment, grammar, whatever. This is a no holds barred thoughts spilling out onto the page post. So here goes...

Since beginning this blog I've searched for some sort of direction, or meaning, for doing what I do here. I've shared a little of my life, what I love, who I love, what I love to do, all of that. But something's been picking at me, a little voice in my head telling me to use this space for a purpose. To share, to grow, to cry out and let others cry out with me. To inspire, to teach, to share the journey with all of you who read along with me. And trust me, I know there's no cast of thousands here, just a few loyal friends and readers who peak in on my life on a regular basis (and boy, do I feel honored that you do. Truly.)

But that being said, I feel I must share with you the task, the idea, the revelation of what has been given to me. On my early morning forest preserve runs, while I'm pedaling my bike as the sun comes up. As I lie awake at night solving the problems of the world, praying for order, answers, peace. And today, again, running in the forest preserve, a voice saying "Do this. Now. Go home, kick the huz off the computer and write." Today being a notable day, as this is the day that I was supposed to be setting off on my wild west canoe camping free to be me trip which I cancelled for a host of reasons, and wisely so as the huz has been out of work for going on 3 months now. Wise money choice. But that decision remains a bit of a sore spot with me.

I was thinking today about how I've been running around the same mile loop at the forest preserve for the past 5 five years. Around and around, mile after mile. Staying on the same track. And I thought about how that applies to my life as well. Same track, mile after mile, going over the same things I want to change in my life, or make better. And I thought about how we're all pretty much on the same track as far as that goes. We all have those issues in our life - things we know we need to do, or want to do, that would make us healthier, happier, give us personal pride - be it in writing, decorating, painting a picture, getting our body in healthy shape - feeling our absolute best - whatever it is that nags the back of our minds, screaming at us for attention.

Why is it that we put our heart's desire aside, continually, being too busy, not staying the course, not taking action, not allowing ourselves to be important enough? I'm afraid of getting to the end of my life and having a long list of things that I wished I'd done. Actions I wished I'd taken. Places I should have gone. People who I allowed to hurt me that I never stood up to. I know you feel the same way. Deep down we all do.

So here's my plan. In 226 days I will be 50 years old. Whoa. That sounds scary. But its also very exciting. A whole new decade of my life. And when I get there I don't want to be making excuses any more. I want to spend the next 226 days gearing up to celebrate. With you. Us together. I have my list of "Ter Improvements," my goals for myself. Things I want to accomplish and celebrate. If you're in with me, you make a list too. We'll check in with each other, cheer each other on - celebrate the journey of becoming the women our spirit calls us to be. And next March - on the day of the spring equinox (synchronicity or what -rebirth, new life) we'll celebrate our successes together.

I'm going to count the days off in my planner. Number them one by one. Somedays will be easy, others not so much. But I'll be here for you, and you can be here for me. We'll do it together. Make your list. Light a candle for yourself and say a prayer. Most of you see me throughout the month. Let me know if you're in. I'll be your cheerleader. Let's get healthy, clean out our mental closets. Plan a dream. Make it happen. And we'll celebrate together. I'm hoping it'll be a huge party for all of us.

For my part, I'll do my best to inspire both of us. You and me. I'll share my dreams with you, and if you're comfortable in doing so, you can share your dreams with me. I've actually begun the process of taking one of my dreams to the planning table. I'll share more about that with you in the next couple of days. And I hope you'll be inspired to do the same, and in the process inspire me as well.

In closing, because this is such a LONG post (and God bless you for sticking with me here) I just want to encourage you to believe in yourself. Believe in the power of what you can do when you put your mind to it. And believe in what we can do, in the company of friends, together.

In all honestly, just putting this down in words was really scary. But I'm glad I did. There, that's one thing checked off my list:)

growing day by day,
photo - a narrow walkway between two gorgeous homes in wicker park.
i snapped this photo last saturday on a wonderful visit to bucktown and wicker park.
somehow i just thought it fit my topic.
open the gate.
step into the narrows.
abundance lies in wait on the other side of the fence.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

friends are like windows...

through which you see

out into the world

and back into yourself.

last night i was blessed by being in the company
of three of my very favorite friends.
friends who make me laugh.
friends i've cried along with.
friends who have been there for me,
as i have been for them
and always will be.
friends which i've been missing
as it's been far too long since we've last met.
no matter the time, the odd directions our lives take
when one of us calls, we answer with love.
we're friends for sure, bonafide.
life will push and then it will pull
but when it comes right down to it
we'll all clear a spot on our calendars
to share an evening, an afternoon,
a movie, a shopping trip
making time for each other...
friends, us four,
close as ever
and lucky, so lucky
to have found each other.

roberta, kim, irene -
thank you for a perfect summer evening.
thank you for being my friend.