Sunday, December 14, 2008
After a really long week of VERY early flights... yesterday happened!

This was the first time I have been part of it....and all I know is I want to be part of it again!!!

A break away from my church is called Community 4:12. It focuses on the mainly Hispanic under privileged area of East Aurora, Illinois.

For the last 6 years they have given the community a Toy Mart... let me explain...

Our church networks, to gain toy and financial donations (for more toys) to then sell those toys to the families of 2 schools (Brady and Bardwell Elementary) in East Aurora, Illinois. The families are able to purchase up to 8 toys at $2 each (so it does not feel like a handout). Those monies are then split amongst the elementary schools for needed supplies for art, music, etc...

In addition to our congregations giving of their time and money... Both Starbucks and Caribou (rivals!!) donated both the time of their employees and enough coffee and hot cocoa to serve to 4000 parents and children waiting out in the cold yesterday morning... Starbucks also presented Community 4:12 with a financial gift at the end of the day! Let me also mention and thank Meijer for their gift certificates and assistance in purchasing more for the donation money would have allowed thanks discounts in cost!

I played a very small part of this whole event this year... 1 person out of 1000(!!!!) volunteers! But I really felt the Joy of giving back... and want to help that much more next Christmas and in the months to come!

This year, despite the economic fears... we exceeded our toy goal by 2000 toys for a total of 9500 toys...

We provided toys for Christmas morning (or Midnight as is the Hispanic tradition) for 3500 families.

$ 12,000 is going to the schools for their programs and needs... How cool it that!!

An amazing feat of logistics... from outside parking direction to crowd control to restocking to cashiers to gift wrapping to kid crafts and so on.... I am in awe and want to help it run even smoother next year!!
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Choas and Ode To Joy!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008
OMG... I love Andy Rooney!
This dates me... but how appropriate for this week... note women and men of color casting their votes... see... all that hope in the Seventies... all that hope now!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Huge deep breath now... now we all need to support this man... pray he has the strength and inner peace to weather the many storms ahead... pray he has wise men to guide him... pray he stays safe... pray this country can get past his color and see him for who he is... a bright, driven, eloquent, articulate, spiritual, man of vision and courage.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Well... I never even got a chance to listen to my Ipod. There were no lines at my polling location AT ALL... in fact at the A-L table I was the ONLY one in line... was in and out in 10 minutes...

I hope the lack of lines are not an indication of how many in my area are voting...
Friday, October 31, 2008
Spent a couple days in Frankenmuth Michigan for work... rented a car... nice to not worry about whether the car was safe to make it there and back or not... total miles driven... 700

The rental had a jack for my Ipod... so I was able to listen to a book there and back... Irish author Marian Keyes... fun mindless story...

Patient and his family was was gloomy, cold and wet... first hotel room smelled sour and mildewy... yuck... second hotel room was much nicer... slept well...

Today I will go to Lauren's Halloween Parade at school... Yeah!!! Then trick or treating tonight... Lauren returns after about and hour and helps hand out candy... will have to put Bella in the kitchen... she gets too over zealous in her greetings... pizza and watching The Nightmare Before Christmas after... Emma's choice...

Oh... Emma made High Honor Roll!!! 5 A's... 1 B+ in advanced math which counts as another A... and a B in gym... Yeah!!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Pet peeve... people in big SUV's who are in a huge hurry to get someplace important... "move it, I have a mani/pedi in 10 minutes!"... they feel compelled to weave in and out of traffic... coming right up on your butt... darting around you... only to end up RIGHT in front of you at the red light they beat you to. Bravo!
Fun morning... it was VIP day at Emma's Middle School... parents get to shadow the kids through their classes for an abbreviated day (half day for teacher institute day)... Talk other parents... Watch the wacky 6th graders...

Tomorrow Lauren and I will be making her Rubik's Cube costume... truly inspired... costing me about $5 to put together... a far cry from the costume Lauren wanted to buy at $45 all in... and she likes the idea of the cube... bonus!!!

Tonight is Family Game night at church... but the kids have actually said they want to stay home and play games, watch a movie and have Meijer pizza (another frugal idea)... we'll see... they could change their minds a couple times before this evening :)

Going to try and vote early next Wednesday when I get back from a 2.5 day work trip to Michigan... found the Naperville voting location and hours... will be nice to have this chapter finished... but I have no illusions that it will be "over" by any means...
Monday, October 20, 2008
Have not really felt like I have anything worthwhile to say lately...

Have been having a really hard time liking all aspects of my job... the long distance travel... the hotel overnights... having a car that really is not in a healthy place to safely do 300 miles to/from a patient is stressful... the isolation of not having an office of co-workers to interact with has been harder than I ever would have imagined... conversely... I love being home most mornings to get the kids on the bus... I am so blessed to be here most afternoons when they get home to see them and help them with homework... it's quite a Catch 22... times are hard... jobs are iffy... and my scope of nursing experience has taken me in a certain direction... to a certain salary... I am praying really hard to appreciate and thank the universe for where I have arrived and where I am going... but again... harder than I thought it would be.

Was a really nice day yesterday, despite having a full blown cold... A good friend and her husband were up from Florida... Kate and James... the girls and I went to church with them... I think they really enjoyed the service, the energy and how comfortable it feels at Community Christian... saying they wished they had a church like ours to go to... made a nice lunch and the girls colored with James while we caught up... and then the kids entertained us with charades... Lauren has a interesting style... funnily enough... Emma got her clues 9 times out of 10! They are more alike and closer than they want to admit... James was downsized and they might be relocating to Kansas... they would be closer then... and say they would be up for holidays more... yeah!

Here is a nice picture of Lauren from a trip to the pumpkin farm with their dad... Kate had mentioned how much Emma looks like me... here Lauren looks just like her fathere when he was a little boy...
Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Craig Ferguson... On voting in America for the first time

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I hope you dance

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat, but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you'll give fate a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance, I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances, but they're worth taking
Loving might be a mistake but it's worth making
Don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out, reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance (time is a wheel in constant motion always)
I hope you dance (rolling us along)
I hope you dance (tell me who wants to look back on their youth and wonder)
I hope you dance (where those years have gone)

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean.
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens.
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance.
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance (time is wheel in constant motion always)
I hope you dance (rolling us along)
I hope you dance (tell me who wants to look back on their youthand wonder)
I hope you dance (where those years have gone)
I hope you dance
"You must be the change you want to see in the world."


"People seldom see the halting and painful steps by which the most insignificant success is achieved.

Anne Sullivan
Saturday, August 30, 2008

Minutes before the "Rostypus" bit the big one...

All I can say is WOW...

To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out to others is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken,because the greatest hazard in life is to do nothing.
The person who risks nothing,does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing.
They may avoid suffering and sorrow,but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.
Chained by their attitudes, they are a slave,they forfeited their freedom.
Only the person who risks can be free
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I always know when Boo is spraying perfume or body spray in the bathroom... and she always thinks I am psychic when I call out that she needs to stay away from said perfume or body spray... Here's how it went tonight...

Me: What do I smell out there?

Boo: I dunno, my farts maybe?

Me: No, I smell perfume!

Boo: I don't know, I swear!

Me: ... And no it's not your farts I smell!

Boo: Well you will now.....

And with that, she ripped one off, giggled and left the room.

Who needs the Democratic National Convention, I ask you!?!?!?!
Although, I'm watching it like a "deer in headlights"... Thought Bill did better than his wife!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The first full week of school for the girls... already Mimi is stressing herself out :) Piglet meet Eyeore... Eyeore meet Piglet... Their love child would be a worrying pessimist... Something I have seen in myself lately in fact... So we will work on it together... Advanced math... look out... Mimi's gonna kick your ass!

Watched Michele Obama last night... thought she did a nice job... Teddy K. looked great!!!
Really interested to see how genuine Hillary comes across tonight... and Bill... well... let's see if he can keep his foot out of his mouth tomorrow...

Had a hawk in my lilac bush yesterday morning... was so engrossed watching it... I never got a picture... neat to see... along with the humming bird that came to my back door a couple weeks ago... on some levels can't wait for the leaves to drop so I can see the cardinals again...

Went to Church again this weekend... and felt instantly welcome once more... the girls really want to get involved as well... they offer so much for all of us... so many ways to be part of the community there. I am joining a class there next month... the book we will be discussing is called Boundaries with Teens. Am also thinking that the class they offer called Good Sense (a guide to spiritual financing) would be a really good thing for me. Never been my strong suit. Never. Never. EVER... time to fix that too...

I don't know why I feel so excited about getting involved with this church. I think that for many years I have been searching to fill a void that could not be filled by any one person or even a group of people... It just feels that this is the time for this journey.
Monday, August 25, 2008
From the mouth of Boo...

"is that Veet stuff in the bathroom soap?"

"um, no it's for hair removal..."

"oopsy... it works really well, my hands are really smooth."
Friday, August 22, 2008
Heard something interesting today....

"I want to live a literal life... not a virtual one..."

In these new days of... facebook, dogbook, twitter, my space, etc...

I know I am immeshed in technology... texting, voicemail, email, RML, blogging...

Live a literal life... connect with people... it will be much more satisfying...
Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sober and Loopy... TOO much driving...

At any rate... I am very well informed today... almost 500 miles of driving for work today... Point A to point B and back to A again...

And... since I can't update my Zune... I listened to NPR as I drove through Indiana... I love NPR... the cure for common road rage...

But it got me thinking...

  • John McCain... really??? If I had 4-7 houses , dude, I would know where each and every one of them was... not to mention keeping count of how many I have... sucks to be you... I think you are out of touch with the Target/Walmart shopping masses...

  • There are people who are against charging for plastic garbage bags and cutting down on their impact in land fills... one guy, in Seattle of all places, said he "always uses them again around the house and that was, like you know, recycling"... um hello... where do the bags go after you use them Dumas???

  • Russia ~vs~ Georgia... The smackdown... The more I listened... the more confused I became... I mean... South Ossetia wants to be Russians again... how come? Genocide seems like a pretty good jumping off point...

  • George is an idiot (okay, I already knew this)... it's called Checks and Balances you big jerk... in George's World... the Executive Branch has all the mojo... and, well ,those other branches are just eye candy... might as well just put the Constitution in the bottom of the birdcage... cuz I am pretty sure that George's intepretation is not what the Founding Father's had in mind...

  • Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech... Random House has pulled publishing a book that they feel would offend Muslims around the world... and while I respect that our rights and beliefs are not those of the masses... before 9-11 they would have published it... Remember Satanic Verses?

Okay... maybe I am more informed... I did not say that made me any smarter...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Random Thoughts

Isn't verdant a great word?
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Boo and Mimi went to the Dentist yesterday... both did well... however...

Both need some form of Palate Expansion... and Emma will need braces for her overbite (this may have been the other reason I was "crying" during E.T. :)

Mimi was/is a thumb sucker (and you just can't cut off a thumb)... but Boo was a "Paci" girl, and she outgrew it by age 2 (okay, she sucked a hole in it and we had a funeral)... so there did not appear to be a reason for Boo to have a narrow palate as well.

The dentist explained that Chronic Allergy kids are mouth breathers for the most part... and by doing so the tongue is not up against the roof of the mouth (where it is most of the time when the mouth is closed) helping to keep the palate expanded and moving in the right direction...

So... we see the Orthodontist next week... dentist gave me a name in our town, but he really liked the work done by another a couple towns over... so I made an appointment. Will be sure to photo journal all this... you can be sure... not to mention enjoy the lisps from the expanders immensely!!
Monday, August 18, 2008

Let the School Year begin

The girls go back to school tomorrow... 2nd grade for Boo... 6th grade for Mimi (Boo nick-named her)... Backpacks filled to the brim with supplies... clothes picked out... they even got a piece of cake leftover from "Dessert Sunday"...

We watched "E.T." (linked it in case you have lived the last 26 years under a rock) and it made me cry like every other time I have have seen it.

Mimi will have to get up at 6am... her bus comes at 7:20... she is a beast in the morning... I can't wait for this!!

Have a pot of coffee ready to go and the fixins for cornmeal pancakes and turkey bacon...

Will keep you posted.

Fuming turned into pondering...

A word (or two) about the picture in my header.

I was walking down Lombard Street in San Francisco. Admiring the wonderful Hydrangea and gorgeous Fuscia... I have walked it before. A couple times when we had been out there visiting... the flowers always got me... at the bottom of the stairs I noticed the most gorgeous rose... a perfect bloom... so I stopped to take a picture...

Just as I was snapping the digital... I heard someone snidely yell out from their minivan... "Stupid bitch... you would think she'd never seen a rose before"... Laughter... "Yeah... look around you lady"... I turned around to see a van full... the driver was an older adult woman... she was laughing looking at me.

I was so angry... I wanted to shout after them... "beauty is in the eye of the beholder you know"... and... "if I don't want to look at frickin' Alcatraz I don't have to"...

I think of that needless act of intrusion every time I look at my photograph... But it has made me realize something else...

We all have things we get excited about... different things... we are all entitled to find those moments that make us giddy over the little things... the minutiae...

I have not always been kind or accepting in those moments for others... giggling in disbelief... being overly dismissive...

But I plan to try really hard to let others enjoy the discovery of their perfect rose blossom.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
A better post than the last one.

The girls and I went to church today. Community Christian. A friend of mine attends there. She has been trying to get me to go with her for over a year.

My experiences with organized religion:

As a little girl my grandmother and I went to Easter and Christmas services at the small Protestant chuch in her country mountain town. I still know the hymns... they make me smile... but I never felt a connection... a sense of faith or spirituality.

When I was married... I felt that sense of Christian community was missing... we found a little Methodist church... The Blue Haired Brigade was so unwelcoming... so political... so judgemental... but we got involved... Family nights, pot lucks, giving back to the community... and the little old grannies fought long and hard against youth, family and change... I watched them push family after family out... and again... something was missing... all they talked about was money... and bickered about the contempory flavor of the service... they pushed and pushed... and got rid of the pastor they did not like... we followed soon after. Spirtually disillusioned. Sad and empty.

Today was a wonderful service. Full of music, warmth and welcome... The girls had a good experience too. Lauren went to the Second Grade Youth room... took some back rubbing and a few tears... but she loved it. They got to see the pool baptisms up close... They listened to Bible stories... they played...She made a friend... She wants to go back next week.

Emma did not want to go to the Junior High Student Community today (StuCo)... she came to the service with me... she really liked it. She, too, wants to go back and try her room next week...
I felt very emotional listening to the service, the stories, the music... it felt good to be there... it felt like something, someplace that I want to be a part of... maybe even find that sense of faith... who knows...
I feel so violated.

Today my car was broken into. He tried to take my GPS.

And no... I had not locked it... I know, I know, I know... and considering how I feel now... every lock in the house and on the car will be engaged from now on.

The police said to keep my GPS in the house for now... and hide it if I put it in the car... even the suction cup holder that goes on the window... they said that a window can be broken quickly and easily and that locking the car is not enough... a hard life's lesson.

Luckily my neighbor saw and screamed like a banshee... so he dropped my GPS and ran... one of my other neighbors followed on foot to tell the police where he went... but lost him...

The police came and fingerprinted everything... for about an hour... and now I have to go down to the station to give them "elimination prints" so they can remove my fingerprints from the mix...

I just feel crawly that somebody touched my things...
Saturday, August 16, 2008

Peep Show... just tickles me...

Even though I know Summer is coming to an end... which means Winter is on it's way...

I am excited to see Fall once more... every year since I have moved from the East Coast I optimistically hope for a New England Autumn full of Sugar Maple color... this year will be no exception...

The start of school for the kids, Labor Day, Halloween and Thanksgiving... Scarecrows... wreaths of leaves and dried flowers... blankets on the couch... watching the new season of something or other...

Brisk evenings, where the wind whips up the leaves and there is a sound in the air that just says Fall is here... I am ready.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bella, Bella, Bella

Her new thing is to eat loaves of bread... whole, partial, the heel... Three times the charm...

The first time she ate the heel and neatly removed it from the bag...

The second time she was left in the evening after the kids fed her, let her out and left her penned in the kitchen... I, myself, was stuck in Newark in the airport longer than I had even thought I would be... so when I got home at 1:30am... she proudly showed me the tattered light bread bag she had demolished (as well as eating the remaining half of the loaf)... kept watching her expecting her to get sick... but no... iron constitution... and everything moved along without incident...

The third time (today)... I had a new loaf out on the counter defrosting from the freezer... we left her for an hour and she fininshed off all of the bread and half the bag in the process...

Not sure where we are going to put bread and muffins etc. in our counter and cabinet deficient kitchen... but no more baked goods left out any more...

She really is a good girl... she does not chew on furniture or shoes or the girls toys... so I should count my blessings... and of course will wait anxiously to make sure this last bit of plastic passes.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Gotta love Elizabeth Bennet

My word for the day is taciturn... Emma is on a Jane Austen kick...
Sunday, July 20, 2008
My friend Cindys' beach house is adorable... and the beach itself is a hidden gem...

The kids had a blast getting wet... and Bella... OMG... we have never had her in water... and she loved it... kept trying to eat the whitecaps... whole mouth open... chasing the waves... hoping to catch just one and bite it...

The kids were great and had a good time... and considering... food and a house full of people... Bella was a doll...
Friday, July 18, 2008
Heading to a friends house tomorrow to spend the day laughing and taking the dogs for a walk on the beach. Kids too LOL.

Made 2 salads to bring... one I made up and I have to say it's pretty yummy...

Cold cooked wild rice with equal parts cold cooked brown jasmine rice. To it I added grape tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, kalamata olives and feta cheese. Then I tossed with a vineagrette of parsley, olive oil, lemon zest, salt, pepper and a sparkling wine vinegar I bought in St. Helena California in June.

Mmmmm... mmmmm....

The other salad is a BLT pasta salad... simple... tasty... radiatore pasta, bacon pieces, quartered cherry tomtoes, mayo, lemon juice, salt, pepper... toss in some thinly sliced romaine lettuce before serving.
Monday, June 30, 2008

Got Mead?

We made our first batch of beer yesterday. An American (Pale?) Ale that looked and smelled great from the get go... the little yeasts were munching away within just a few hours and the airlock was bubbling happily... I gave a big "wahoo" and Brad caught it chugging away on video for posterity...
Our first batch of beer made at home all on our own... so proud... THEN we made a batch of mead... we both agreed, trying to do 2 batches in one day was a little rough... sticky and fun... but a lot of juggling equipment...

My mead... Honey Child... I used 12 # Trader Joe's Mesquite Honey and Red Star Pasteur Champagne yeast... it has a high alcohol tolerance which will allow the yeasts to feast longer yielding a dryer mead... also added some tannin, energizer and yeast nutrient... I will wait to add the acid blend until we are through primary fermentation....

We drank glasses of mead from a little place on the South Side called Wild Blossom Wines... the mead maker Gregg is the owner of Bev Art Brewer and Winemaking Supplies, where we took our beer making class...

The best way I can describe straight dry/semi dry mead is this... a clean white wine flavor with an after taste of honey and flowers... crisp and green... really lovely... I am hooked...

Original Gravity 1.084.. it too was starting to bubble this morning... YEAH!

My thought at this time is to split the 5 gallons into 5 single gallon carboys when I am ready to rack to the secondary fermenter (and there could be a 3rd and a 4th and a 5th.... depending on when the SG drops to 1.000 or less and the mead clarifies) and add fruits and spices to a few...

Here is what I think I will do:

1 gallon still mead
1 gallon sparking (primed with corn sugar for carbonation)
1 gallon sparkling ginger lemon mead
1 gallon blackberry mead - maybe some cinnamon
1 gallon apple mead - using organic apple juice/cider concentrate... not quite a cyser since I am cheating...

I will have to pasturize the additions to 180 degrees F

Now we wait... wait to rack... wait for the drop in SG... wait for clarification... wait to bottle... wait to age into pure gold... I hope... fingers crossed...

I would like to use a local raw honey next time... have more control over the contents in the boil...

Friday, June 6, 2008
Lauren's quote of the day:

"Mom, I looked at my uvula and it's WHITE!!"
My poor Lauren has Mononucleosis. Her pediatrician says her left tonsil is a marvel. He is calling it Exudative Tonsillitis (Lauren's actually looks much worse than the pic in this link). We were very close to going to the emergency room as her left tonsil had almost completely blocked her airway.

Strep was negative. Which is good and bad... treatment for strep would have been easier and faster!

A course of steroids and antibiotics (which tastes awful) to stave off a secondary bacterial infection in the tonsils.

She is absolutely loving the popsicles and sherbet. Had a little chicken noodle soup and that went down ok.

And thank goodness she slept last night for the first time in 3 night.
Sunday, June 1, 2008

So I planted rose bushes last Fall. If you read my earlier posts, you know they flowered around Thanksgiving. Silly roses.

We then had an unbelievably rough winter and a very cold Spring. So only seeing one make any new canes... I was certain the other 2 had kicked the bucket... the pics above are the other 2!! This first is well ahead in foliage, but I am hopeful. Fed them some rose food today and will talk to them and give them pep talks daily!

And as far as my tomatoes! So far so good!!!!!!!!

.... and why IS Bob smiling?
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Lauren's quote of the day:

"I like being out in The Nature!"

Said while walking Bella around Herrick Lake this morning.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I took the kids to Bike The Drive on Sunday. That is, bike on Lake Shore Drive at 5:30 in the morning. We woke up at 3:30am and were down in Chicago by 5:10am.

This is an event sponsored in part by the city. They shut the drive off at 5:30a until 10:30a. The sunrise was glorious.

All in all it was a great experience and the kids did not whine as much as I thought they would. We ended up doing 8 miles on the North end.

I would have liked to push for the 16 miles on the North end of the Drive, but Lauren was having a hard time on hills with her “little girl” bike…. Considering she did not have a bike where she could shift gears, she did really well and I am proud of them both. I brought bananas and Cliff bars… along with some Propel…

I would like to take the kids down and drive it now that they have ridden it…

Next year we will push to do the entire North leg of the drive.

We went out for breakfast after... and as soon as we got home (at 8:30a) Lauren was out on her bike again!
Monday, April 28, 2008
So far the tomato plants look good... we had several nice 70+ days where I was able to baby them on the deck...

Now, however, we are due to snow flurries... so I have brought them inside...

Fingers crossed!

Tomorrow night Emma has her Greek Play production at school for Fifth Grade... hopefully a video to come!
Saturday, April 12, 2008

Oh.... and these are the baby Heirloom tomato plants we are growing.... How fun!!!

Can't wait to taste them!

Nothing too exciting here... we had a "tease weekend last week... sunny... mild... took the bikes out... now... cold, rain and snow this weekend... enough... enough... enough!!!!

We are going to watch the Indiana Jones Trilogy since it is crappy out... get ready for the next movie this Summer....

Making a fun dinner... got some nicely cooked pork Carnitas from the local market... smells great... and will have that in corn tortillas with avacado and some red cabbage with lime and cilantro... making some yellow rice with brown rice... which turns out well... maybe some black beans...

My new trick... freezing whole limes... limes are rediculously expensive in the well known chain supermarkets here.... 2 or 3 for a dollar.... nuts... and I use them in cooking all the time... the locally Hispanic market sells nice limes 10 for a buck... so I buy a bunch... freeze them whole and thaw as needed... the flavor is great... and the lime softens for easy juicing... voila... never EVER buy bottled lime or lemon juice... it is an abomination :)
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Spring is coming!! The bulbs I planted in the Fall have started to show themselves...

And........ I had started some heirloom tomatoes from seed last week and today saw that I have 3 sprouts... 6 varieties... all heirloom seeds... a multicolor, a green stripe, a purple, a white and 2 reds.

Brad will take some of the plants if they truly take and I am thinking about trying the upside down method to grow them... good thing the kids both like tomatoes... so if we do get some they will eat them... there is nothing better than tomatoes out of the garden... okay... there are a few things... but it is a true Summer pleasure... will be fun for the kids to see what happens... me too!

Will take pics as soon as there is more than a wisp of green to see!
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Yesterday I took Lauren out on her bike... we did about 3 miles... her tires were low... so she was a little whiny and tired...

Got a tire pump today at Performance Bike on sale and it made all the difference in her riding today... she said "I can ride faster today"... it was muddier today... we are all dirty... also a lot cooler without the sunshine....
I have taken to making homemade frozen treats for Bella... She loves Frosty Paws.... but I thought I could go one better...

Whole milk yogurt with active cultures, banana, frozen blueberries, natural peanut butter, flax meal, wheat germ and honey.

The consistency is not too hard when frozen... and she loves them... gets her some good things and a special snack...
Sunday, March 9, 2008
All in all not a bad week... did some consulting for one job and a trip to Colorado for my primary job... it was so nice there... 50 degrees on Friday in Denver... compared to 15 degrees in Chicago... I was in sunshiny heaven...

Yesterday we went to Caputo's... got some semolina and olive oil... and some other ingredients to make home made pizza... it was yummy...

Today I got a pine opened backed bookcase for the kitchen... for plants and small appliances (blender, kitchen aid etc...) I will put it together over the week... kitchen feels really homey with all my knick knacks and plants...

Then we went and got me a bike... A comfort bike... amazing sale price at Performance Bicycle... disc brakes... really smooth ride... can do roads and trails... Emma got a new bike from her father and Lauren is getting Emma's old bike all cleaned up and tuned up... can't wait for warmer weather... get us all out on the Prairie Path...

Made some bread dough for olive oil dipping and I think we are going to watch "Into The Wild" have been looking forward to seeing it after reading the book which I here the movie is very faithful too...

It will be a big departure from Horton Hears a Who next weekend LOL
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Emma took some videos of Lauren being... well... Lauren...

This is an original Lauren composition...

(Louder – Emma)
I’m fabulous, I’m fabulous
As Can Be…
(Louder – Emma)
I can drink tea
like nobody can
You can’t do that
because you might spill
But I’m fancy free
I don’t do any obnoxious
I can’t do anything obnoxious
(Louder – Emma)
(No you have to do it louder)
I’m done
Saturday, March 1, 2008
The personal post....

This week I had the Essure procedure done. Permanent Birth Control. It is a form of tubal blockage that does not require surgery. I have 3 gorgeous children and as the saying goes... "Hell yes, I'm done!"...

So... I did my research on ways to get off additional hormones (birth control pills)... found a wonderfull new OB/GYN who was not 35 miles from home (sorry Dr, Tong...) and talked to her about the procedure. She told me she would not do a true tubal ligation anymore if her patient's insurance covered Essure. No anethesia, No Incisions... 100% effective in clinical trials... Decision made... appointment made...

"E" Day... Nurses were wonderful... fluffy pink robe and a walk to the procedure room... it was not horrible... but not comfortable either... I got a little sweaty and my pressure dropped... irregular heartbeats... almost passed out from hyperventilating... from nervousness and a little pain... but she was done in 30 minutes... Dr, Wright was amazing., patient and soothing.. got to watch the whole thing on a screen... pretty cool actually... no narcotics, no incisions and I walked out of her office 30 minutes after that... a little crampy, sure... but the alternative would be surgery or an IUD of hormones or copper... toxic either way... this was a good thing.

Spent some time with a heating pad and cuddling that night... and was back at work yesterday... all in all... happy with the choice I made...
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Saturday night Tina Fey was the guest host on SNL... and while I don't agree with her (what I think is her real stance) obvious support of Hillary Clinton... I did love this line... (which I interpret to mean that being a strong woman who speaks her mind is classy and sexy)... "Bitch is the new Black"... Amen... or Awoman!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
It's Sunday and we are watching the Red Carpet for the Academy Awards. Have made some fun munchie food for the Oscars as we sipped a California Cabernet: homemade Hummus and pita bought from the Halal market down the street, wild rice and lentil salad, lobster ravioli in lemon garlic olive oil, homemade avocado mayonnaise on steamed asparagus, thinly sliced New York strip, Australian cheddar, and Raspberry Creme Brulee from Trader Joe's

Brad Brulee-ing the Creme on the patio with a welders torch (kids don't try this at home!!)

We got ambitious and rented Michael Clayton...since it has gotten several nods... but it's now 5:30... so probably won't get there tonight... but definitely a must see.

Last night was fun and busy. A belated Valentine's.

The afternoon started Trader Joe’s. For some of the Oscar night snacks. I also got some reusable grocery bags… goal is to remember to bring them whenever grocery shopping anywhere.

Then we headed to The Lantern (a local bar in Naperville) for a beer and popcorn... and a appetizer combo plate… good people watching... a cute waitress/bar tendress that is friendly and perky with everyone... and so sweet everytime we go there... the drinkin’ folks were out early! Latern is fun… a place I think we will enjoy a burger often…

After a while we went for dinner at Meson Sabika for tapas. I have wanting us to go there for some time... but "somebody" felt "tapas" was a little bit of food for lots of money that left you hungry when all was said and done... needless to say we practically rolled out and I think she were conservative... we started with really nice marinated olives, dates wrapped in bacon with red pepper sauce, and patatas con aioli (the most garlicky potato salad ever!!!)... nice small dishes to share... intimate... incredibly attentive staff... then we had an olive tapanade on grilled bread with jamon, manchego cheese and chorizo with a fruit kabob... a tuna cannaloni (which was just OK)... an OMG "Oh so good" beef empanada with a horseradish creme... and the straw that broke the camels back... a seafood cake over grilled eggplant... we waddled away.... sharing a comment with a couple of women walking in as we were walking out that "the last tapas is one too many" because they just taste so good... I think we will be going back some day!

Then we went to Bombay Market. Got some Indian incense and I fell in love with the Ganesha statues. I really want one. He is the elephant god of Success or The Remover of Obstacles. I think I would benefit from having him on my side.

I want to get one and I would rub his belly every day!

After that we and saw Vantage Point. Not the best movie every, but entertaining. He knew I wanted to really see a movie at the theater… not his favorite thing to do… but knows it is one of mine…

We finished the night up at Timpano Chophouse for dessert and coffee. The picture does not do it justice, but really fun. Little cheesecake lollypops on a tree of rose leaves. Cute mini servings of things like raspberry cheesecake and keylime pie. So yummy... and once again... despite little sizes, we were stuffed. I think our waiter was a little cranky we were only doing dessert there, but it was late and nobody else was in line for the table

Sweet and romantic... and a lovely evening spent together!

Sunday, February 17, 2008
We have watched some good movies in the last few weeks. The Kingdom and Eastern Promises.
I also recommend The Namesake.

For the first time in awhile I am enjoying reading again. Into The Wild was very upsetting. A young man so idealistic, yet so naive and foolish in his choices. I have not seen the movie yet. But it is supposed to be a very good adaptation. One Dead In Attic also affected me. It is a series of newpaper collumns from New Orleans the 16 months following Katrina. I have a few others on my bedside table, Gang Leader For A Day (which I am reading now) and When Character Was King. Oh yes, Marley And Me was a sweet book about a couple and their impish labrador.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ok... so I walked into the house and Bella was at her kitchen gate with tail going full Mock One Hummingbird speed... this was not a good thing... typically she is asleep on her dog bed and all I get is "the nod" until the gate comes down.... then I get tail wagging... licking... hopping... excitement... but not while the gate is up.... uh oh...

As I got closer... I saw the absolute havoc she had wreaked... also not her usual modus operandi ... aside from the odd yummy used paper towel getting knawed on. She is a really good girl while she is home on her own... barracked in the kitchen.

The garbage can contents were strewn from one end of the kitchen to the other... AND... there were drops of blood everywhere... it looked like friggin' Helter Skelter...

As it turns out... I had thrown away a broken glass jar of peanut butter (her favorite) I dropped this morning... and she knows she gets empty plastic jars to clean out... must have smelled it... tried to get it... can't see another reason... and no, no, no... she did not get into the glass from the PB jar... but she did find a soup can from the kids thermos lunch today... and did a very nice job slicing her tongue on the attached lid! Twice!

Oh my, but was she not the proudest dog ever... "See what I did mommy?"

Talked to our vet... no chew toys or Nylas for a few days, wet her food down, and give her lots of love... watching for infection obviously...

Woulda, coulda, shoulda taken a video of the carnage!! Hopefully this will be a lesson learned... hmmmm....
Thursday, February 7, 2008

Last June/July I took some cuttings from my mother's spider plants (OK I admit it... her Xmas cactus too... but that one died).... and the 3 cuttings took off... I now have babies off the babies... and I also have this one plant that just seems to grow and grow... I attribute it to the various crystals I put in the pot... anyway... here they are... green thumb at last... at least on some level.... I think I have 10 house plants now that are thriving... for me that is most definitely a record... African Violets are next :)
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Bella gets snow up her nose

(Click here to see)

Bella plays in the snow, supposed to get an inch... turned into three... Emma's giggle is the best

Bella stars in our first YouTube (click here to see) attempt... with a cameo by Emma :)
Sunday, January 6, 2008

The kids made handprint stepping stones for New Years... kind of a neat thing for a new year... wish we had made them every year... but it will be nice to have these... never too late to start.
As you can see from the middle picture I captured my brat and my baby (the terms are interchageable). Emma hides from pictures, but I will get her when she's not looking...
Today we are almost 60 degrees. Thursday we were 5 degrees. Crazy. The mud in the backyard would be a dogs paradise if Bella were not such a princess who hates getting her feet wet. Thank goodness for small favors.
Flying to New Mexico for work next week. As usual an in and out kind of day. Hopefully I will see some of the beauty. It is colder there right now than it is here.