Sunday, September 07, 2008

going on hiatus

So much to say...but so little to type. I think about my blog from time to time these days. Not all the time, not even very often, actually. You probably picked up on that.

There's quite a bit going on with settling our life in our new location, and it's much more involved than telling you (showing you) where we live and how the new cottage looks.

I've enjoyed keeping my blog for many reasons, one of which is that writing about my life sometimes helps organize my thoughts. It's strange, but I sometimes notice that it takes me typing or talking out loud about something before I understand how I feel about it myself.

But before I can organize my thoughts at all and wrap my head around this new life that we've launched, I need to simply live without capturing it - yet. So, although I will continue to be here, I won't be posting for awhile.

In the meantime, I'll be checking in on you. Hope you're having a nice start to your autumn season, and that the cool night air gives you a great night's sleep.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

from my inbox

This made me laugh...I wanted to share.

Summary of My Last Year on the Computer

***I must send my thanks to whoever sent me the one about poison in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet towel with every envelope that needs sealing.

***Also, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.

***I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl (Penny Brown) who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time.

***I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.

***I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, and St. Theresa's novena has granted my every wish.

***I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

***I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

***Thanks to you, I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an email to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

***Because of your concern, I no longer drink Coca-Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

***I no longer can buy gasoline without taking someone along to watch the car so a serial killer won't crawl into my backseat when I'm pumping gas.

***I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put "Under God" on their cans.

***I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.

***And thanks for letting me know I can't boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face,disfiguring me for life.

***I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be nicked with a needle infected with AIDS.

***I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

***I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.

***I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't support our American troops or the Salvation Army.

***I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica , Uganda , Singapore , and Uzbekistan .

***I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.

***Thanks to you, I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites me.

***And thanks to your great advice, I can't ever pick up $5.00 in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a molester waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.

***I can no longer drive my car because I can't buy gas from certain gas companies!

***If you don't send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00PM this afternoon and the fleas from 12 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor's ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's beautician...Have a wonderful day....

***Oh, by the way.....A South American scientist from Argentina , after a lengthy study, has discovered that people with insufficient brain activity read their email with their hand on the mouse. Don't bother taking it off now; it's too late.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

a new chapter

I think I must have left you with a little bit of a cliff-hanger ending there, what with me saying we were off to move, then no word from me for a few days. Visions of the moving truck careening off the highway may have entered your mind. Not so, not so! We arrived here safe and sound as planned, ready to start our new life.

The first few days after we got here was acclimating ourselves to our new environment, unpacking, getting the kids adjusted to their new surroundings. It's an adjustment, but so far, so good.

School started Monday. I know it's only been a few days, but, what a change.

After only 3 days my son seems to be happy - maybe happier - than I've seen him in school ever before. This is a little boy who has been attending fairly rigorous programs for 3 years now, so he knows school. Monday morning when I walked him into his classroom his teachers were right there, calling him by name, bending down to look him straight in the eye, gently directing him. They told him that they were excited to see him, and that they were happy he was there. I found myself walking out with such different feelings from my previous departures on the first day. Instead of wondering if he was in good hands, I just knew he was. It was a very liberating feeling. When I walked out I was thinking about other things - the day ahead, my schedule for the week, errands I needed to run. And except for a few fleeting thoughts about him during the day, my mind wasn't consumed by him/school/him/school/him/school. For once.

Son #2 is also adjusting, but it could take him longer to get used to things. He cried when I left on the first day and told me the second day was "worse than the day before". I don't know what to think about this just yet, but I suspect that part of his reaction is normal feedback for a 3-almost-4 year-old not used to school, dealing with a move and not knowing anyone around him.

More to report later, but in the meantime, thanks for checking on me and us. We are doing fine and I'll hopefully find my camera cord soon so I can download pictures to share.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

thinking of you

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

movin' right along

Tomorrow is my big move day, so this is just a quick hello. We are up to our ears in boxes, friends! When I arrive at my destination and settle in a bit I'll fill you in on what's been happening.

In the meantime, please check out Mary's blog. She has posted pictures of the lovely work she did on my mom's shelf. Remember my mom's shelf? Mary stopped by this week.... Wait until you see what she did with it!!
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Thursday, August 07, 2008

good intentions

Time is flying by this week as I prepare for our move. Yesterday was a day spent in the city, seeing a friend for lunch, going to an appointment, meeting a former colleague for coffee. More goodbyes in the series of goodbyes that have been happening lately.

Today I am feeling more inspired than ever to get serious (finally) about my packing up and discarding. Is it too late to host a mini garage sale this weekend? I mean, mini - as in 4 hours or less? No it is not. There's a website devoted to sales in my areas. I just set up an account with the site and now I'm trying to decide if I should do Saturday 8-12 or Sunday 12-5.

So, I'm all organized (at least in my mind) and down to business - finally! But of course it's easy to let my mind wander from time to time. I'm thinking about our vacation all the time, playing that game, what was I doing at this time last week?

Today it is easy to know exactly what I was doing. Gearing up for team volleyball! There were 12 adults and 15 children in our house, so plenty of people were willing to play. Oh, to be back there right now!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

we've been away

...and frankly, I wish we were still away. Being away is a great thing, is it not? When you come home your mind says, Ah yes. Back to the real world.

Your real world may or may not include packing up your things, renting a truck, and moving out of state next week. But mine does.

I will do my best to capture our moving moments over the next several days. This blog could use a little spicing up, me thinks.

Take care, everybody, and hope you are enjoying August. :)
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Thursday, July 17, 2008

a knight to remember

Last night my husband and I attended the Chicago premiere of The Dark Knight. It was held at Chicago's Navy Pier - the Imax Theatre - and about 400 people were in attendance. We saw a few famous faces, including Gary Oldman and Sir Michael Caine:

It was a great night for a couple of reasons. First, the premiere itself was so much fun. Being on the red carpet, meeting who's who amongst the Batman crowd, seeing the Chicago skyline on a beautiful - albeit hot - night. It was thrilling.

But it was special for us for another reason. Navy Pier is where we became engaged many moons ago. And today is our 9th wedding anniversary. Last night was the kickoff to our celebration. :)

Before the screening, the Chicago Film Festival presented an achievement award to director Christopher Nolan. He took a moment to speak about his appreciation for Chicago's beautiful architecture. According to him, it was the perfect backdrop in which to create Gotham City. After he spoke, we watched the movie - and if you are a fan, you will LOVE it. We both agreed - it is very dark, very sinister - and oh so good. Go see it!

After the film there was an elegant dinner at the Crystal Gardens. As luck would have it, we had a chance opportunity to meet and briefly speak with the director (before he became surrounded by Warner Brothers' suits.) He couldn't have been more gracious. Today I said to my husband, "we should have asked him for a picture." But maybe it was better that we didn't...we can simply remember the conversation in our minds.

Later, as we were enjoying our food we stopped by to visit the Batmobile (pictures are a little dark...but what do you expect, it's the batmobile!)

We also saw the Bat - hmm - I'm not sure what the right name for this is. The batbike? The batcycle? The batmotorcycle? Whatever it is, it is very cool. Both the bike and the batmobile were surrounded by guys with cameras. All night!

At the end of the night there were fireworks to watch out on the patio. It was a beautiful night, and that seemed like a fitting end. The special night - the fabulous knight - and us.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

bunny letter opener

Your kids might get a kick out of this one - mine did.
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Monday, July 14, 2008

service call

We have a service call today with the air conditioner repair man. Long time readers of my blog may recall that we bought a new AC (and furnace...and hot water heater) in December of '06. This past winter, the furnace broke down on what felt like the coldest day of the year (fortunately, it was fixed easily - and the service and parts were both covered under warranty.)

Today is supposed to be 84 degrees, but it looks like tomorrow is the kickoff to a string of days 90 degrees+. Too bad the AC is not working. But, like the furnace last year, it's going to be a relatively easy fix, and again, the repair/replacement part & service are covered under warranty. As far as I'm concerned, these repairs just go to show that life is indeed uncertain, and the only thing you can expect is the unexpected. Even if you go high-end with the appliances you buy. They still break when they shouldn't.

Our repair man is Jerry. He didn't know that when he showed up here today that he'd have an apprentice, waiting patiently to be told what to do:
An apprentice who, in this photo, is trying to casually add his own tools to the stash of tools and equipment Jerry keeps in the truck.

An apprentice who is 3, and so he loses interest in things easily, and moves on to the next thing that catches his attention. The tools? Toss 'em aside. It's time to focus on something else, which in this case happens to be a soccer ball outside.

Jerry will be here another couple of hours, then we'll head out the door - maybe to the pool - to cool off while our house is doing the same.
Hope you're staying cool, too, and enjoying this beautiful day.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins

Thanks to Tommie for the inspiration for this...and to Janet for creating it.

* * *

1. Oh, I can't wait until I have made significant progress in growing my hair (never gonna happen).

2. A big bowl of fresh cut strawberries is the first thing I see when I open my refrigerator.

3. I never leave home without my ???. Sometimes I leave the house with nothing and just start walking. I suppose then that I should say, 'comfortable shoes'.

4. If I were a condiment, I would be mustard because I like its color (the bright kind, not the honey mustard kind.)

5. Bad driving is really high up on my list of pet peeves.

6. The last thing I thought of before I went to bed was an upcoming family vacation.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to cooking out in the backyard with my family, tomorrow my plans include a day at the salon (highlights, no cut) and Sunday, I want to go to the pool with my husband and kids.
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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

the rest of the weekend

My mini report the other day was pretty lame. So here's the rest of the weekend, but keep in mind my earlier disclaimer...I didn't take many photos in spite of good intentions. Never seem to!

* * *

Saturday night was Ribfest. No pictures from that night, but you don't want to see a picture of me eating ribs anyway. Our entertainment that night was Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. They were great! The crowd loved her, especially when she played this one:

We couldn't help but sing along. It was contagious.

* * *


Sunday morning we got up early and had a quick breakfast, then got the kids in the shower and headed out the door to meet up with our friends for lunch. The boys rode their bikes to the train station, which isn't far away to us but is to them. It took them about 20 minutes to make it there, but they did so well. They were highly motivated - so excited to ride the train.

The train was packed, but we found a car with extra room for the bikes and even found a seat. There were a lot of extra riders on Sunday heading down to the Taste of Chicago.

The littlest guy brought his own silver train on board to recreate the scene of us riding. Both boys were on the lookout for train crossing signs and crossing gates. They loved seeing the cars waiting at the intersections as our train sped by.

Our stop lead us straight to our friends' house, but on the way we stopped at the park down the block from them to let the kids play a bit.

And, unfortunately, this is where the time sped up so much that I neglected to take any more photos and totally missed Brig and Dan's house. We got there, had a lovely lunch and visited a bit before having to head off again on our bikes to make it back to their train station to wait for our ride home. I did take this picture of our group walking back to the station, just so you can see the gorgeous neighborhood where we were.

By the time we got to the station, waited for the train, rode it home, and rode the bikes back to our house we had been gone a total of 5 hours. Crazy! It was still hot and sunny, so we did a quick change and got the kids into their suits before heading off to the pool for an hour to cool down. When they climbed into bed that night they were little zombies.

* * *
Remember how I wrote the other day that "it's not all peaches and cream around here"? Here's an example that illustrates my point. Yesterday morning I woke up, stripped the beds, and took all the sheets and towels from the bathrooms down to the laundry room in our basement to wash them. When I started up the washer, I forgot to take a rag out of our stationary tub that I had tossed in there the other day. Our washer empties into this tub as it drains, and as you would expect, if there's anything in the tub that blocks the drain, the tub fills up and overflows. When the tub overflows, the water runs down the sides of the tub, covers the laundry room, and seeps into the carpet in the adjoining playroom (this has happened more than once in the 5 years that we have lived here.) So yesterday when I went down to change the laundry, I realized that there was a small flood in our basement - and that it was my fault.

Quick as can be I raced upstairs, dialed a place in town that rents equipment by the day, hustled my son into the car, drove to the place in the rain, rented a vacuum cleaner that picks up water from carpet, somehow managed to get the thing home, get it out of my car, drag it down the basement, and vacuum the carpet for the next hour.

Here's a picture of the vacuum cleaner. Big (and heavy) enough to pick up even the worst of what your stationary tub can throw at 'cha.

So, I don't really want to talk any more about the basement water experience, because chances are, you have had water in your basement, too, or some other unexpected problem in your house. And you know that, for as awful as it is to have to deal with it, it's a little more awful listening to/reading about someone else dealing with it. So let's get back to happier themes.

* * *

MONDAY P.M. (a shower does wonders)

My husband had a birthday yesterday, 07/07. What a lucky birthday! He is a wonderful guy who is living a wonderful life. I was happy to help him celebrate it. Our sitter arrived at 7 p.m. and we headed out on the town for dinner together, but not before pausing to pose for a picture together (we continue to work on our New Year's resolution):

This is where we went to dinner...and treated ourselves to the best of the best. No regrets...

* * *

Before I go, here's something else to show you. Later this summer there is an auction in town to benefit the United Way. The auction is for painted sculptures, which they have been auctioning off for the past several year. This year's sculpture theme is a "garden party" - benches, birdbaths, little garden creatures are the art. Well, I've been eyeing one of the sculptures and last night I couldn't help but take a picture so you can see why I like it so much.

Here's the front:

And the back:

The auction is September 12th. I am wondering just what this will go for...

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Sunday, July 06, 2008

tiny report

We've been having a great weekend and I thought I'd pop in with just a couple of pictures of it (so far.) My picture taking has been sporadic, but I don't have any regrets. You know how it is...sometimes even with the best intentions you can't capture the moment with anything but your own eyes and your own mind.

Here are a couple of photos from the cookout on the 4th at my in-laws' home. They recently had a new patio put in, complete with a little waterfall and fresh train track. Remember my father in-law's love of trains...well, this is a beautiful extension. Needless to say, the boys loved it!
It is very relaxing being back there, listening to the water and hearing the train go by. We stayed until dusk before heading off to see the fireworks. The kids were excited for the show, but it was still hard for them to leave the trains.

At one point the inside trains were running as well as the outside trains. The boys were in heaven. It was about that time that I heard my sister in-law Maureen say, everyone should have a grandfather like this. And I thought, you know what? She is right.

* * *
There is more to report from our weekend, but I am out of creative juice tonight. I hope your weekend was a great one.

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

weekend 'o plans

Hello there!

We are very much looking forward to the 4th of July over here in the Little Cottage. Mother Nature is cooperating by giving us what looks to be a *perfect* forecast for the holiday and the remainder of the weekend. Let me tell you, I am so appreciative, because I know not everyone is having that kind of luck. Boo hoo to rain clouds that threaten to cancel fireworks and parades! Hopefully you will be spared where you live, too.

We really do have some great plans this weekend, and because it's so rare that we have plans - plural - I thought I'd share them with you.

Tomorrow we are meeting my husband's family for a breakfast & swim party at his parents' pool. Tomorrow during the afternoon I might pop in to work at the store where I am still employed, as they are short staffed and looking for help...and willing to pay time-and-a-half (woo hoo!) Tomorrow afternoon is a cookout over at my in-laws', with fireworks afterwards in the park down the street from my house.

Saturday we have a swim birthday party for the boys in the morning, then a cookout/gathering at a friend's house in the afternoon. Saturday night we've been invited to join some friends here, and they have sponsor tent tickets for us, which means free ribs, free beer, and PRIVATE BATHROOMS. Never been to this event, and we have a babysitter, so I'm excited. Our friends who invited us get the sponsor tent tickets every year and tell me, this is the way to go. Sounds good to me!

Sunday our little family will board the train and head to see our friends in their new suburban home (it's a cottage...get ready because I'm hoping to take pictures and get the ok to share them with you.) They have invited us for lunch, and we're excited to see them and catch up a bit.

And Monday, although technically the weekend is over, we have our own little celebration planned: my husband is having a birthday, and our sitter arrives at 7:00 so we can trot off to dinner by ourselves.

It's a nice mix of plans - plans with the kids, plans sans kids...terrific weather, too.

Now don't go thinking that it's all peaches and cream around here, but today it feels that way and I can't help but want to write about it. I'll be back after the weekend to post some pictures from our excursions.

I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing holiday!

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Friday, June 27, 2008

first tooth!

The big news around here is that my son's tooth fell out yesterday. In the middle of the afternoon - pop! - out it came. We don't really know exactly how it happened, but from what he told us through his tears, we understood that the tooth coming out was a little scary. He said it was in his mouth, and then it went down to his tummy. Gulp!

So here's the note he left the Tooth Fairy last night (we wrote, he dictated).

Dear Tooth Fairy,
Surprise!!! My tooth was loose and it fell into my tummy! And then I cried! But then I felt happy!

He signed it with a picture of himself, and on the other side he drew a picture of a big tooth with a big hole at the bottom.

It was pretty exciting around here last night, talking about the Tooth Fairy visiting us during the night. In the meantime, my younger son kept saying he had lost a tooth, too, but we finally convinced him that all his teeth are still in his mouth.

This morning there was another burst of excitement, as we looked in the pillow to see what the Tooth Fairy had brought. Something for the piggy bank, that's for sure!

What a day.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008


By the way, how did you like me using the word 'dearth' down there in that post? - what a winner of a word. After I typed it I had doubts about its spelling, so I hopped over to one of my favorite sites, Merriam Webster Online! Ol' is highly recommended for quick spell checks, thorough definitions, and of course the handy-dandy thesaurus.
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dry cleaning follow up

Thanks for the comments from my post the other day about the dry cleaner losing my jacket. What to do, what to do. Your comments show a variety of potential ways I could handle the missing piece, and I still haven't decided exactly what to do. There is a dearth of raincoats in the stores these days, but I suppose given enough motivation I could find a comparable piece and give my cleaner the ticket. More to come.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

such a gift

The weekend with my college roommates was great. There they are up there with me, just before we went out Friday night. Friday was a night here in town, Saturday was a night in Chicago. It was a lot of laughs, a lot of laughs, and just a general feeling of comfort that comes with being with people who know you inside and out, backwards and forwards, younger and now, older. The friends in life who came before everything else did - the husbands, the kids (between us there are 8), the career - they know you like no one else, n'est-ce pas?

Such a blessing to have friends like that. Such a gift!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

dry cleaning dilemma

I have a dilemma and I'm hoping you kind blog readers will help me figure out what to do.

My dry cleaner has lost one of my items. The item is my raincoat, which I bought about 7 years ago before a trip abroad with my husband. It was not the priciest at the time, but it was/is a nice coat in my favorite color, sky blue. I have no recollection for how much I paid for it. The coat is in very good, if not excellent, condition. I really only wear it when it rains, and really only in the spring. So it hasn't had that much use. Not like a regular, every day winter coat would, for example.

Here's my problem. The dry cleaner says they don't have it and they will most likely never find it. They want to compensate me for the loss. How do I come up with a fair price? There has to be a middle ground between the price of what the coat is worth now and how much it would cost for me to buy a new one.

I would very much appreciate your ideas. Thank you!
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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

washington hall

I am a proud graduate of Ohio University (the hot link there will take you to OU's website, specifically the virtual tour page. When you get a moment, I highly encourage you to take a look at one of the most beautiful college campuses in this country. Start on the "College Green" and go from there.)

When I was at OU I made a lot of friends. If you have read my blog for any amount of time you probably have an idea of what I'm like in real life. I like to meet and get to know people, hopefully my actions show that I like to meet and know a variety of people. The same was true when I was an undergraduate. When it came to meeting other people, I had plenty of opportunity and outlets in which to do it. There were a lot of student activities that I was involved in, and I branched out a bit. You know, a little of this, a little of that. I'm still the same way and still live the same kind of life. Which is why I tend to overbook myself sometimes, but now I'm going off on a tangent that doesn't have much to do with this post.

What does have to do with this post is the building situated in the picture at the top: Washington Hall. The building where I spent my freshman year and where I met my closest college friends. There are 7 of us in the group. Back at school we totally immersed ourselves in the goings-on at OU and between the pack of us, probably knew most of the undergraduate student population at school. Yet throughout our 4 years, and more telling, beyond, we never made closer friends than the ones we lived down the hall from in Washington.

Two of my special friends are coming to visit me this weekend, and I can't wait. Neither Lisa nor Betsy has ever seen my suburban town - the last time they saw my home my husband and I still lived in the city. Both of them live far away from me (and from each other), but we try to get together as often as we can, maybe every 6 months or so.

I will be busy making the Little Cottage look its best over the next couple of days, before my friends arrive. The forecast looks good and we have planned some special outings. It seems like we are destined to have a wonderful time, as we always have since our baby days back in the freshman dorm.
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Monday, June 16, 2008

have a seat

Please - if you live near me, buy this. I'd like to come over and sit on it.

Too.darn.cute. Can be found here.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

random thoughts

I have discovered a new favorite lunch: quesadillas. A fellow kindergarten mom told me how she makes them for her kids. Soft flour tortillas, in the frying pan (under med-low heat) with no cooking oil or even cooking spray. Sprinkle a little shredded cheese inside and flip back and forth until cheese is melted. Tortillas stay soft if you turn them often enough. This has turned out to be a great lunch for my kids. It's yummy, easy to eat, not messy, and completely portable. I think I like them more than my kids do.

* * *

A new blog has me addicted: You may have seen it already or have noticed that I listed it with my other links on the left a few weeks ago. It is for the serious j.crew connoisseur and I must admit, it's a wonderful link when you are supposed to be working but you want to procrastinate a little longer.

* * *

Last night was neighborhood bunco. Denise was hosting, and I had never been to her house before, so I was especially motivated to go. She is a decorator and specializes in window treatments. I was looking carefully at her windows as she gave us a tour of her lovely home. Nicole, my friend with the new baby, stopped by with her small bundle to say hello. She lives across the street, so it was easy for her to do...but still. We were so impressed that she showed up, after giving birth 4 days earlier. Everyone took turns holding the baby and we shared baby stories the rest of the night. Of course we didn't even play.

* * *

Standing under the street lights with my friends last night after the evening was over - we were out there talking for an hour - I kept thinking, I am so back. As in, summer is here, the air feels soft on my skin, it is such an alive time of year. You've all heard enough complaining by me over the past year+ about weather I despise. How about hearing for once that I am totally in my element now? I love, love, love, love, love how I feel in the summer. I have finally hit my stride again.

* * *

Speaking of stride, yes there I am up there, stretching after a jog. My stretching partner usually joins me every time I come back. I never say that I am a runner. If you saw me out you'd know - I am a jogger. Pant, pant, jog, jog. It has to be about 60 degrees out for me to say it's perfect for jogging outside.

* * *

I really do live in a little cottage. It is 1200 square feet, + our back porch which I think adds another 200 sq feet or so. Which makes me wonder this: if it's so small, why is it that I have a hard time finding the time to clean it?

* * *

I do not like receiving emails about politics, religion, or any combination of the two. It's occurred to me that people do not seem to think twice about forwarding on to me an email about these subjects. It seems to me that they think that I either: a) agree with their point of view (which is supported in the message of the email); or b) do not agree with them but should agree with them and this email states their point of view in a way that is friendly/joking/well written/inoffensive. It doesn't matter, I don't care. Whether you vote Republican or Democrat, whether you believe in the war in Iraq or are completely against it, whether you are for or against prayer in schools, for or against same sex marriage, I'd rather not hear about it from a message in my inbox. Let's wait until we are together, and you can ask me my opinion and I can ask you yours.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

s curve

Hi. I'm at my desk this morning, desperate to finish a project but distracted enough to check my email (and blog) regularly. Have noticed that I have a terrible tendancy for slouching while sitting here. It is so hard to sit up straight all the time, but I'm going to try today to keep at it.

have a great one!
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

HEMA page

Forwarded to me by my dad (Hi Dad.) Give it a moment to load.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

6 unimportant things

Hello! Long time no write. Happy June!

I hope things are well with you. Are you happy that summer is here? Me too. Is it hot where you live? Same here. School all done? Yep, and summer school begins tomorrow. Have you been spending time at the pool? You bet!

I am sitting at my computer after having been away for a week. I am supposed to be working but I can't seem to get in the mode. So thank you to Millie for a tag:

6 unimportant things for me to share with you:

1. Today I went on the Custom Home Tour going on in my area. There were 20 custom built homes featured - all homes built from teardowns, all new, all for sale, ranging in price from $1MM - $3MM. My friend and I toured 17 before we called it a day.

2. Of the 17 homes we saw, there was one that I loved. A couple more were pretty good. The rest were not for me. One was dreadful.

3. I decided that the reason that I didn't like most of the homes that I saw is because they are just too much. Not too expensive - though they are pricey - I mean, Just Too Much. Too ornate, too formal, too over the top, too custom. It is as if the builders are falling over themselves to create something that has never been seen before. It's hard to imagine a family living in space like that. Certainly it's hard to imagine small people feeling comfortable there.

4. There was another home that I saw today and loved. For sale (open house) but not on the tour. Same price range though. But...different. Beautiful, inviting, and although large it was intimate. I could totally see a (my) family fitting in there very well.

5. Switching gears a little bit here. After the tour my friend and I went to the hospital to see our friend Nicole, who just had a baby girl yesterday.

6. The baby is beautiful! And, what a lucky birthday: 6/7/08. I would think that with a birthday like that, she is destined to lead a charmed life. Don't you?

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I'm back this a.m. (Monday). I posted this last night and then realized....I think #s 5 & 6 are not unimportant things. They are important things!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

pool party success

The pool party was a success. The kids loved being in the water, even though they had huge goosebumps and trembling lips. The temperature reached about 63. Not so bad for a pool party in Chicago in May. It could have easily been 98; it could have been 48.

I brought a dessert that was a huge hit with both the small and big people. Originally given to me as a recipe with the title "crunch bar", I see that it is also listed as "pine bark" if you are thumbing through a Paula Deen dessert cookbook. People love this one, and it travels sooo easy. I highly recommend it for the next event in which you need to bring a sweet but you just don't have time to bake cookies.

Crunch Bar/Pine Bark

35 saltine crackers
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 6.5 oz. package semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400. Line a 15x 10x 1-inch jelly roll pan with tin foil. Lightly spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. Place saltine crackers, salty side up, in prepared pan. In a saucepan, boil butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in almond. Pour over crackers and bake for 6 minutes. Remove from oven; top with chocolate chips. Spread chocolate evenly over crackers as it begins to melt. Cool in fridge.

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Soooo rich and delicious. I break the mold into bite-sized pieces and transport in a tupperware tub. Travels great. Tastes almost like a chocolate will love it and people will be amazed by your talent! Enjoy!! xox
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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

ready to swim

Tomorrow is the last day of my son's kindergarten year. It's not so hard to believe, though the year has gone fast. We've had our ups and downs this year. Mostly ups, but a good share of downs. And you know our plans for next year. Truth be told, I've been looking forward to the end of the year for awhile now.

I haven't been writing much lately but I am still here, and I read your blogs every day. We are getting ready to jump into a major cyclone that will spin us out of our life here and (hopefully) safely deposit us on the other side. However that will be, whenever that will be - I can't say. But over the next couple of months, our plans will crystallize somewhat.

So I might not be writing all that often...then again, maybe I will. Whichever way it goes, I'll check in with you and let you know how we are doing.

In the meantime, after school tomorrow there is a swim party at a fellow kindergartner's house. But did you know that it's currently 48 degrees in Chicago? Let's hope a warm-up is headed our way. You know kids, though...they will tell us it's not cold at all!
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