Monday, December 8, 2008

Hey Its Monday!

How did it get to be Monday already?   I had a most wonderful weekend.  Friday night Illini ice hockey with J, then White Christmas with my guy on Saturday.  Now he had never seen White Christmas and it was marvelous on the big screen.  That being said, we missed the big brawl at the ice arena with 1:48 seconds left of the game that night!   

I have never seen our goalie get into a fight at center ice, but it appears that indeed it did happen. Looks like he will be sitting the next game out, after a game disqualification. In all eight players were ejected and 3 Illini were disqualified for fighting!  It seemed to start with a nasty slashing to Brad Hoelzer, an excellent player,  how dare they try to hurt his hand, just because we were up 10-1!  Anyway head over the the web site for details.

Sunday was a great day,  J and I went to mass, then went home and ate breakfast,  I did some Christmas cards(but I am not finished yet!) then S picked me up and we went to a junior league ice hockey game in Danville.  S is housing one of the players.   It was so much fun,  then we headed over to the old fashioned Christmas in an historic house museum in Danville.   That was fun!  Then up to see S's mom and back to my place for dinner.   Now I know I have found the perfect man for me,  I mean we went from Ice Hockey to a museum!   He is exceptional in every way.

So it was a delightful weekend that I was not ready for it to end.  It was really icy when I came to work and I want to get through the day and go home and finish those Christmas cards.  And I get to pick R up at the airport this evening.  I will be glad when she is home!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hockey Night in Urbana

”Hockey is like a disease, you can't really shake it.” - Goaltender Ken Wregget

Yes indeed, the Fighting Illini are home for two games this weekend.   They will be taking on the Eagles from Eastern Michigan University. I will be there on Friday night, cheering them on to victory!

White Christmas

"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas."   
Headed to the Virginia Theater on Saturday night to watch it on the big screen!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


"Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch  his woods fill up with snow."  Robert Frost

The first snow of the season came on Sunday November 30th! Just in time for us to fell our Christmas tree. Okay, so we don't really cut one down anymore, but we brave the long drive over to Prairie Gardens and get a great Fir tree.  

I was quite surprised by the snow.  I have been quite out of touch with the world; no news, no weather, no blogging!  I have been living in a splendid world of my own.  The Thanksgiving break was much needed and while I exhausted myself cooking a fabulous meal, I had three more days to just kick back and relax.  

R, R, J and I put up the seasonal outside lights on Saturday.  Then we put up some indoor decorations.  On Sunday, Steve came in with the truck to help us pack our tree home.  We spent some lovely time with the girls picking out the tree and their yearly ornaments.

I am hearing that more snow is on the way this night.   I am loving it all and hope that we have some lovely snow for Christmas!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sad Monday

I am brief this morning.  My favorite cat, Hodge, died very early today.  He was the best cat ever and I am going to miss him terribly.  Today I just feel sad.

Friday, November 21, 2008

End of the Week

"With out friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods." Aristotle

I am feeling happy and satisfied this morning.  I am spending an evening with my girl friends tonight, eating and watching a movie.  I am looking forward to it.  S is leaving today for a weekend in Wisconsin with his son, so while I will miss him desperately, I am looking forward to a night with the girl friends and a day of staying in on Saturday and getting the house ready for next weeks Feast activites, a day with my family... a lot of them.  I am so happy that my sister and her family and my brother and his wife and one of his kids,  will be joining us for Thanksgiving.

I was checking my Real  Age tips this morning and I came across this tidbit about being saving your sick days and being happy.    So this morning I am thinking about how happy I am;  I have a fabulous family, fun friends, and I am in love, for real!  My physical health is in tune with my emotional health,  at least for today,  so all is right with my world.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Literature for Tuesday

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

The Lady of Shallott  Part I

On either side of the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And through the field the road runs by
            To many-towered Camelot; 
And up and down the people go, 
Gazing where the lilies blow 
Round an island there below,
            The island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Through the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
            Flowing down to Camelot. 
Four gray walls, and four gray towers, 
Overlook a space of flowers, 
And the silent isle imbowers
            The Lady of Shalott.

By the margin, willow veiled
Slide the heavy barges trailed
By slow horses; and unhailed
The shallop flitteth silken-sailed
Skimming down to Camelot: 
            But who hath seen her wave her hand? 
Or at the casement seen her stand?             25
Or is she known in all the land,
            The Lady of Shalott?

Only reapers, reaping early
In among the bearded barley,
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly,
            Down to towered Camelot: 
And by the moon the reaper weary, 
Piling sheaves in uplands airy, 
Listening, whispers "'Tis the fairy
            Lady of Shalott."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Follow a team that wins!

If  you want to follow a team that actually wins,  come on out to the ice arena when the Illini ice hockey team is in town.  It is always an exciting evening.  This team knows how to play as a team and work hard as a team to win!  The 2008  ACHA National Champions (undefeated that season)  are great athletes, who represent their school well. 

The Illini defeated the Michigan Dearborn Wolves  9-1 on Friday and 10-1 on Saturday.  The Wolves played well, they just couldn't stop the Illini from putting it in the net!  The Illini power play was right on this weekend. 

So come an support a team that wins!

Monday Morning

"Never continue in a job you don't enjoy.  If you're happy in what you're doing, you'll like yourself, you'll have inner peace.  And if you have that, along with phyisical health, you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined. "  Johnny Carson

Well here it is Monday morning.  The work week has begun.  I am swamped with work, but at least I like my job.  

I could have used more weekend, however.  I managed to procrastinate the cleaning of the house until Sunday.  And of course it isn't nearly clean! I managed to twitter all day Saturday away.  Okay, so I did bag up some leaves and got some groceries.    I managed to get the bills paid on Sunday, after watching several films on tv.  I got the laundry done.   So it was fairly successful.

I saw two excellent hockey games this weekend.  Now it will be 3 whole weeks before the Illini are home again.  I toyed with the idea of driving to St. Charles  Missouri   next weekend to see th Illini play Lindenwood.  That should be a great matchup.  I could visit with my family and see the Illini play.   But,  I have a lot of work around the house to get done before Thanksgiving.  

So I will put my nose to the grindstone, get some excellent work done at my job and head home to work some more.  

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hockey Night in Urbana

Yes indeed   the  Fighting Illini take on the University of Michigan Dearborn Wolves tonight on the big pond.   J and I will be attending together. I am certain it will be fun!

My other thought for the day returns to Shakespeare:  Act I Scene V of Romeo and Juliet

I saw the opera by Gounod last night at Krannert Center.  It was absolutely wonderful, especially seeing it with Steve. The music was beautiful and the duets were perfect. It made me want to read the entire play  and watch the Zefirelli version of the film. 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Music and the Full Moon

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that , surfeiting, 
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall: 
O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound
That breathes upon a bank of violets, 
Stealing and giving odour!

William Shakespeare  from Twelfth night

More Shakespeare, which is quite appropriate for my evening entertainment will be Romeo and Juliet, the opera by Gounad.   I have never heard it, but I am looking forward to a splendid evening with Steve.  I hope the U of I school of opera does as good a job with this one as they did with La Boeheme .

The moon is full, I saw it in the western sky this morning driving to work.  It had just a few light wispy clouds around.  Last night the sky was shrouded in clouds and I was sad not to see the moon. Perhaps tonight, a clearer sky and a chance to see the beautiful moon with my guy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Literature for Tuesday

Today I am feeling like a bit of Shakespeare.  So here is one of my favorite sonnets.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments, love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come,
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom:
If this be error and upon me proved, 
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Walking on clouds

"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed. "  Carl Jung

Well there are no words to describe how happy I am feeling this morning. The feelings of being with someone you truly admire and enjoy being with are the best and I haven't experienced them in quite a while.  Oh I have been out with a guy and enjoyed myself, but not the way I enjoyed myself with Steve this weekend. There is a deeper feeling of joy and a sense that he is a genuine person, who I believe I can trust.

He suits my personality quite well.  We enjoyed a museum, a concert, a dinner and a movie.

This morning I am walking on clouds!

I really hope this feeling endures,  and I hope he stays around for a long time. 

Thursday, November 6, 2008

For the beauty of the earth

For the beauty of the earth, 
for the glory of the skies, 
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.   

Folliot S. Pierpoint

Driving to work this morning I was awestruck with the beauty of the earth.  I am adjusting to more light as I leave the house, with the end of daylight savings time, it is now light when I leave at 6:15am.  

This morning, I just smiled all the way to work.  I don't know if it was the wet spring, or the few cold days and then the warm ones,  but the trees are wearing the most brilliant colors I have seen around here in a long time.  Everything just looks so beautiful.  Before people get handy with their rakes,  the earth is blanketed in a brilliant quilt of reds, yellows and orange.  It is truly awe inspiring.   

The sky to this morning seems to be a blanket.  The clouds are carrying some rain, but the sun barely peeking through them this morning made the earth even more beautiful.   

So I raise a glass of cheer to autumn.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Weeks End

"He enjoys true leisure who has time to improve his soul's estate."  Henry David Thoreau

Plans for this weekend:   Visit the Lincoln Library and Museum on Saturday with Steve,  then attend the Sinfonia Da Camera perfomance of The Brandenburg Concertos.
Sunday,  Attend mass with the girls, fix Sauerbraten for supper,  attend the Sunday Salon Series Parker String Quartet,  meet Steve at home for supper and then a movie.

The mass, the music, and the company  will improve my soul's estate.  I hope to be fresh on Monday to do a good day's work.



Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thought for Tuesday

"Take it from Richard, poor and lame, 
what's begun in anger ends in shame."

"But in this world nothing can be said to certain, except death and taxes."

"Wish not so much to live long as to live well."

"To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals."

"Dost thou love life?  Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of."

from Poor Richard's Almanac    by Benjamin Franklin  

I thought it was fitting on this election day to remember a founding father and great American author. 

Monday, November 3, 2008

Life is good

"There is more difference in the quality of our pleasures than in the amount." Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Ah, November,  one of my favorite months.   The earth looks so beautiful dressed for autumn.  I hear people talk of dying and the coming of winter.  I get exhilarated in autumn.  I look forward to the winter, then the coming spring.  Autumn is my absolute favorite time of the year.  

The weekend was packed with fun and excitement.  I enjoyed a good game by the fighting Illini hockey team on Friday.  I sat next to Snow White!   The Illini won 7-1.  Then I moved my firewood to the back of the house on Saturday morning and headed over to the Illini football game with my friend Sandy. It was a pretty exciting game,  but let's face it football just isn't hockey!   After the game I headed over to watch the Saturday night hockey game,  yes indeed the won 6-0.

I got a phone call from my guy just as I was getting home from the hockey game.  He invited me to see My Fair Lady in Danville, put on by the Danville Light Opera.  That was a lot of fun, especially since I was with him.  We then went for a nice supper at The Possum Trot Supper Club.  That was a real treat, 1/2 slab of ribs with hot sauce, grilled asparagus and a delicious salad.  We then shared a piece of chocolate peanut butter pie.  Yummy!

We went back to my place, watched some tv, then put in Moonstruck.  It was a very pleasant evening.  Looking forward to our next date!

So I had both quality and quantity of pleasures this weekend.   Life is Good!

Friday, October 31, 2008

It's Hockey Night in Urbana!

"People talke about skating, puck handling and shooting, but the whole sport is angles and caroms, forgetting the straight direction the puck is going, calculating where it will be directed, factoring in all the interruptions. Basically, my whole game is angles."  Wayne Gretzky

Yes it is Hockey night and the Illini are home!   Hope the angles work for them against Robert Morris College, a conference game.  

I will we there, all alone tonight, as J is working the set at the IUB fall musical Jekyll and Hyde  at Follinger Hall(saw the dress rehearsal last night and the show promises to be a winner and I might add the set is wonderful), and R  is working, and my guy is also working.  But I will be having fun.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pavarotti sings Puccini

It just doesn't get better than this.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thought for Tuesday

Because it is Halloween week and because I love this series of books:

"Sure you can manage that broom. Potter:" said a cold, drawling voice. Draco Malfoy had arrived for a closer look, Crabbe and Goyle right behind him.
"Yeah, reckon so," said Harry casually.
"Got plenty of special features, hasn't it?" said Malfoy, eyes glittering maliciously.
"Shame it doesn't come with a parachute-in case you get too near a Dementor." 
Crabbe and Goyle sniggered.
"Pity you can't attach an extra arm to yours, Malfoy," said Harry. "Then it could catch the Snitch for you."

Thanks to J. K. Rowling for writing such wonderfully entertaining books, rich with full bodied characters.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Feeling Happy

"For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation." Rainer Maria Rilke

The weekend was so delightful.  I find myself feeling really happy today.  My new guy seems so suited to my personality and he seems to like me too.  When I find myself feeling blissfully happy in the moment, I begin to listen to Puccini.   I just can't help myself.  Puccini's operas are so full of emotion it suits me.  

So here I sit listening to Pavarotti singing love arias from Puccini's greatest operas, as I work, and feeling overjoyed. 

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hockey Weekend

”You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”  Wayne Gretzky

The Fighting Illini will be in Edmond Oklahoma this weekend.  

I will be cheering them on and checking each night.  The games are broadcast on the University of Central Oklahoma web page,  but I am going to be having some fun this weekend, so I will miss the broadcasts.

Dinner at BayernSteuben in Gibson City, on Friday night and then the Halloween Party at my friends house on Saturday.  Spending two evenings with my new guy  and really looking forward to them.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


"Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life."  Sophia Loren

Lately, I have been carrying around a lot of baggage. It comes in the form of men. Men I have been married to, men I have dated;  Men who have been jerks.

I feel like I am carrying around 5 large bags everywhere I go. They are just with me at present.

I feel like I have made some mistakes in my life.  

Recently, I have met a truly good man.  I am having a wonderful time with him and look forward to each and every time we can be together.  The funny thing is, when I met him for the first time, I didn't have any idea that I would feel this way about him.  It has blossomed gradually.  I am looking at this as a good sign. Perhaps all that "love at first sight" business; that immediate attraction, is a bad thing for me. I certainly have made some bad choices in the arena of love.  

I want these men out of my head ( the baggage that is).I want to board an airplane and have the airline loose this baggage for me.   I just want the one good one to be there, in a special place of his own.

I figure if a beautiful women like Sophia Lauren had made mistakes and lived through them,  then so can I. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thought for Tuesday

Because it is October and I am dreaming of Scotland. Something from Robert Burns

I DREAM'D I lay where flowers were springing
   Gaily in the sunny beam, 
List'ning to the wild birds singing,
By a falling, chrystal stream;
Streight the sky grew black and daring, 
Thro' the woods the whirlwinds rave;
Trees with ages arms were warring,
O'er the swelling, drumlie wave.

Such was my life's deceitful morning,
Such the pleasures I enjoy'd;
But lang or noon, loud tempests storming
A' my flowery bliss destroyed.
Tho' fickle Fortune has deciev'd me,
She promis'd fair, and perform'd but ill;
Of mony a joy and hope bereav'd me,
I bear a heart shall support me still.

Monday, October 20, 2008


"Travel only with thy equals or thy betters; if there are none travel alone." The Dhammapada

 Well I will have to admit that the people that I traveled with were every bit my equal!  I was just looking for a quote about travel and came across this tidbit.   

I had to actually, look up what The Dhammapada is-  A collection of 423 verses containging the Buddha's essential teaching on some 305 occasions for the benefit of a wide range of human being.  So there!

So the point of this post is that I traveled to Milwaukee for a professional conference.  I just love Milwaukee, but unfortunately I left my camera at home (with my chapstick and sunglasses).   The conference was pretty good,  I heard some interesting papers.   My paper went quite well, I felt like some one else giving it, so I guess the actress in me kicked in.   A malfunction of the remote control for the computer, during the paper just before mine, left me having to give a nod to the girl at the computer each time I needed a slide change.   She was marvelous and did very well.  It was a bit strange trying to look up at the audience without signaling a slide change,  but it all went well.  It didn't even freak me out when  the batteries died on the guys paper just before mine.

I managed to get to an ice hockey game on Saturday night (skipped the banquet, which I had not any desire to go to).   My friend had read that the Rockford Ice Hogs were in town to play the Milwuakee Admirals for their first home game.  The stadium was one block from the hotel, so after a delightful Thai meal, Alex and I headed over to the game. It was my first time at an AHL game and it was fun.  Alex is a Chicago Blackhawks fan, and the Ice Hogs are the farm team for the Blackhawks.  Being a Blues fan, I was less excited about the team, but had a great time anyway.  Felt sorry for the home team, as they lost in a shootout after the 4 minute overtime,  hard way to loose.  It seems the Blackhawks faired equally as well Saturday night as the Blues beat them in a shootout!  Go Blues!

Back at home the Illini swept the Buckeyes in two games.  My girls said Saturday night's game looked more like a practice than a game!   

On my return home on Sunday afternoon, I went to an Organ Spectacular with my very nice and thoughtful date.  This is turning out to be quite and exciting dating experience, as we have much in common, as he  his is a warm, generous, genuine guy.  I didn't know that I actually like pipe organ music!  It was fascinating watching a truly gifted organist play that beautiful instrument.

A whirlwind weekend, that was truly fun!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Magic Land

"The snowdrop and primrose our woodlands adorn, and violets bathe in the wet o' the morn."  Robert Burns

I pulled out of the garage this morning to begin my drive to work.
I was expecting to see the full moon still in the western sky.  I stepped outside last night at 10:30 to view the bright full moon in the crystal clear sky.

It seemed strangely dark and quiet out.  When I pulled out of the garage, the ground was damp, the sky shrouded in a fine mist.  Mist hung about the street lamps giving them a soft yellow glow.  

I was immediately transported to a magical land I once visited two Octobers ago.  That land, the birthplace of Robert Burns,  is known to the world as Scotland.  I long to return to that land and feel the magic once more.  I am even wearing the shoes I trudged all over Scotland in.  

I love  the wet o' the morn.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hockey Night in Urbana

”A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” –Wayne Gretzky

I can't believe it!  I will be in Milwaukee this weekend, which means I am going to miss Hockey night in Urbana. The fighting Illini take on the Buckeyes of Ohio State.  It has been a long while since the Illini have played Ohio State.  
My team is 6-0-0 so far this season.  
I may be gone in body, but I will be there in spirit. 

 Go Illini!

Thought for Tuesday

"Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable." Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott born November 29, 1832 died March 6 1888
I have always enjoyed her book Little Women.  I read it to the girls when they were young.   Here is a bit, from the end of the book.

Jo couldn't even lose her heart in a decorous manner, but sternly tried to quench her feelings, and failing to do so, led a somewhat agitated life. She was mortally afraid of being laughed at for surrendering, after her many and vehement declarations of independence. Laurie was her especial dread, but thanks to the new manager, he behaved with praiseworthy propriety, never called Mr. Bhaer `a capital old fellow' in public, never alluded, in the remotest manner, to Jo's improved appearance, or expressed the least surprise at seeing the Professor's hat on the Marches' table nearly every evening. But he exulted in private and longed for the time to come when he could give Jo a piece of plate, with a bear and a ragged staff on it as an appropriate coat of arms.

Friday, October 10, 2008


"Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work." Aristotle

We have  traditions at my workplace.  Four times a year we get together for lunch and we call these days Spring Day-or better known as Fish Day, Summer Day (hot dogs), Fall Day (barbecue sandwhiches) and Christmas Holiday(Papa Del's Pizza).  

These are truly amazing events.  We all bring in a dish to share; some bring in breakfast foods, such as tasty bagels, blueberry french toast, quiche;  some bring in tasty in between snacks, Tex Mex dip, salsa and chips, quacamole, cheese balls and cheese and crackers; some bring in dishes to accompany the sandwhich, such as potato salad, slaw, salads of all sorts  and some bring dessert!

This year we had delicious pulled pork bbq and sliced beef brisket from Foudini's.  It was so good I can't even do it justice with words.

It is a time of bonding and sharing and motivating us all to work and enjoy our work!

I ate myself into oblivion!  

As for the weekend,  I have no hockey game in town tonight, but I will attend the U of I homecoming parade and game with my friend Sandy.  I have a concert at Krannert on Sunday afternoon and a date in the evening.   I just might need Monday to recuperate from the weekend!  But, alas , I have to finish my presentation slides for the Midwest Archaeological Conference in Milwaukee, which I am leaving for next Thursday!  I will listening to the hockey game on WPGU  107.1!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

There is harmony 
In Autumn, and a lustre in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Driving to work this morning and yesterday morning it struck me that it is dark when I leave the house.  I used to love the dark, still morning drive to work. It took me sometime to adjust to leaving the house in daylight, seeing the sun.   I felt suddenly, alive and exhilarated in the wet darkness of this morning.  

A few trees have begun to show their color on my street.  My maple tree has started to drop yellow leaves on my deck and in the yard.  I love autumn!

If only I could take this autumn road and just enjoy the beauty around me.   But alas, I have to work.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Thought for Tuesday

A little excerpt from Lucy Maude Montgomery~ Anne of Green Gables 
If only I could be this optimistic in troubling times.!

"I'm just as ambitious as ever. Only, I've changed the object of my ambitions. I'm going to be a good teacher-- and I'm going to save your eyesight. Besides, I mean to study at home here and take a little college course all by myself. Oh, I've dozens of plans, Marilla. I've been thinking them out for a week. I shall give life here my best, and I believe it will give its best to me in return. When I left Queen's my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don't know what lies around the bend, but I'm going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend, Marilla. I wonder how the road beyond it goes--what there is of green glory and soft, checkered light and shadows--what new landscapes--what new beauties--what curves and hills and valleys further on."

Monday, October 6, 2008

Weekend update

"I was at a fight and a Hockey game broke out"   Bumper sticker

Friday night's game proved to be an interesting game of hockey. Oakland seemed to want to play hockey.  But the dominating National Champs were too much for them to take.
They became frustrated and turned to sloppy, fighting thugs. A gloves off fight, in the 3rd period, left Heredia without a jersey and a game disqualification.  The Grizzles player who started the fracas was also disqualified,  and the poor official ended up on the bottom!  Several other near fights occurred but we managed to make it to the buzzer and win 6-0.

I figured Saturday's game couldn't get worse,  but alas it did.  With the Illini up about 7-0 the in the first period the Grizzle's turned nasty again.  Another fight, two more players disqualified in the second period,  and a 3 Grizzle receiving a game misconduct and escorted off the ice.  The third period slowed down a little and the Illini won 12-3.  Three individual players, Pringle, Nemeth and Jennings had hat tricks (each scored 3 times).  

All in all it was an exciting two evenings!

Friday, October 3, 2008

It's Hockey Night in Urbana!

It is Friday, if you are looking for me you will find me at the Illini Ice Arena watching the National Champion Fighting Illini take on the Grizzlies of Okland University.

The Grizzlies make the trip from Rochester Michigan to take on the number 1 ranked Illini.  It should be an exciting weekend of ice hockey.

Face off both nights is 7:30pm.

Go Illini!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

See the Beauty

"Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see the beauty, believe in them and try to follow where they lead. " Louisa May Alcott

Fall is here, the sun is magnificent, the air is crisp.  Driving to work this morning, I felt happiness in the dark, early morning silence. 

It is a  difficult time we are living in, so many hurdles to jump each and every day. 

To be healthy, I will remain positive, see a better time ahead, remember my higher aspirations and believe.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Civil War Re-enactment

"Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles." Ambrose Bierce

Saturday last, I was invited to attend the re-enactment of the  Battle of Chickamauga, at Kennecuk Cove in Kicapoo State Park.   I was so very excited as I have been intrigued by the American Civil War for a long time, and have visited many actual battlegrounds.  I have always wanted to attend a re-enactment.

It was a beautiful day and I was absolutely in awe of the dedication of the re-enactors.  We arrived just a little early for the Ladies Tea and Fashion show, but Generals Grant and Lee were addressing the audience, explaining about the different uniforms they wore for different occasions.  Now the man playing Lee was pretty good, but the man playing Grant, was awesome.  He looked just like all the pictures of Grant during the Civil War.

The fashion show was so much fun.  The ladies had on dresses for different occasions and the host explained all the details of each outfit and the etiquette of the dress.

We then walked around the Union encampment, saw what they were cooking on the fire, looked in tents, etc.  When we got to the surgical tent, we saw all the medical instruments of the time, and the surgeon had a table of surgery set up.  He even provided models of the amputated hands and arms, which was so accurate for medicine in that time.

We visited the cavalry tents and saw the horses being readied for the battle.  We then took our seats for the battle.

It was absolutely fascinating to view the battle.  I mean I have read about them and all the strategies, but to see it played out, made so much more sense to me.  Watching the men bite off the powder packs and try to load their weapons in the midst of battle, and seeing the smoke from the cannons and the guns was truly amazing to watch.

I was looking for an appropriate quote for this post and I could only think of Ambrose Bierce who lived through the Civil War, wrote an amazing story, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and was a great American author. I took this one from The Devil's Dictionary and could not help but recognize how appropriate it is for the current political atmosphere.

I certainly would recommend everyone attend one of these re-enactments at some time.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Thoughts for Tuesday

I think i will share some of my favorite authors and poets works on Tuesdays. 

Today it will be Walt Whitman, born May 31, 1819, printer, journalist, teacher, poet. 

Song at Sunset

Splendor of ended day floating and filling me,
Hour prophetic, hour resuming the past,
Inflating my throat, you divine average,
You earth and life till the last ray gleams I sing.

Open mouth of my soul uttering gladness,
Eyes of my soul seeing perfection,
Natural life of me faithfully praising things,
Corroborating forever the triumph of things.

Illustrious every one!
Illustrious what we name space, sphere of unnumber'd spirits,
Illustrious the mystery of motion in all beings, even the tiniest insect,
Illustrious the attribute of speech, the senses, the body,
Illustrious the passing light--illustrious the pale reflection on
    the new moon in the western sky,
Illustrious whatever I see or hear or touch, to the last.

Good in all,
In the satisfaction and aplomb of animals,
In the annual return of the seasons,
In the hilarity of youth,
In the strength and flush of manhood,
In the grandeur and exquisiteness of old age,
In the superb vistas of death.

Wonderful to depart!
Wonderful to be here!
The heart, to jet the all-alike and innocent blood!
To breathe the air, how delicious!
To speak--to walk--to seize something by the hand!
To prepare for sleep, for bed, to look on my rose-color'd flesh!
To be conscious of my body, so satisfied, so large!
To be this incredible God I am!
To have gone forth among other Gods, these men and women I love.

Wonderful how I celebrate you and myself
How my thoughts play subtly at the spectacles around!
How the clouds pass silently overhead!
How the earth darts on and on! and how the sun, moon, stars, dart on and on!
How the water sports and sings! (surely it is alive!)
How the trees rise and stand up, with strong trunks, with branches
    and leaves!
(Surely there is something more in each of the trees, some living soul.)

O amazement of things--even the least particle!
O spirituality of things!
O strain musical flowing through ages and continents, now reaching
    me and America!
I take your strong chords, intersperse them, and cheerfully pass
    them forward.

I too carol the sun, usher'd or at noon, or as now, setting,
I too throb to the brain and beauty of the earth and of all the
    growths of the earth,
I too have felt the resistless call of myself.

As I steam'd down the Mississippi,
As I wander'd over the prairies,
As I have lived, as I have look'd through my windows my eyes,
As I went forth in the morning, as I beheld the light breaking in the east,
As I bathed on the beach of the Eastern Sea, and again on the beach
    of the Western Sea,
As I roam'd the streets of inland Chicago, whatever streets I have roam'd,
Or cities or silent woods, or even amid the sights of war,
Wherever I have been I have charged myself with contentment and triumph.

I sing to the last the equalities modern or old,
I sing the endless finales of things,
I say Nature continues, glory continues,
I praise with electric voice,
For I do not see one imperfection in the universe,
And I do not see one cause or result lamentable at last in the universe.

O setting sun! though the time has come,
I still warble under you, if none else does, unmitigated adoration.

Weekend wonders and woes

"As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death" Leonardo Da Vinci

This weekend was a wonderful time, with some sadness thrown in the mix.

First the sad news, the passing of Paul Newman.  Now, this phenomenal actor was one of my favorite people ever.  His life was well spent, not only in the entertainment arena, but in his charitable contributions to kids with cancer. His Hole in the Wall camps around the world give kids with cancer a chance to attend camp, absolutely free of charge.  Paul Newman defied the Hollywood marriage trap and stayed faithfully married to his wife Joanne Woodward since 1958, I think. A true testament that marriage can work.  I have a long list of Paul Newman films that I love, but my two favorite are  Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (favorite scene Brick with Big Daddy in the basement,  and of course the last scene, with Maggie the Cat, where he says with that look in those dazzingly blue eyes, " lock the door"  and you see the pillow tossed onto the bed)   and The Long Hot Summer in which he plays Ben Quick( I mean who doesn't love Faulkner and throw Newman in the mix and it sizzles).

Now the  wonder of the weekend.  The fighting Illini ice hockey team came out strong for two wins against the Michigan State Spartans.  Friday's win was close 2-1, with some great performances by returning players and the new freshman players.  Saturday night turned out to be pretty much a blow out  8-0.  Mike Burda played an amazing game at goal.  Saturday night, surprisingly gave us the first gloves off fight, 3 players ejected from the game, two injuries, with one Ilini player being taken off the ice.   What fun!

I also attended the Civil War re-enactment at Kennecuk Cove in Kickapoo state park.  It was amazing and I will save that for a later post.