Monday, March 31, 2008


"Light be the Earth upon you, lightly rest." Euripides  

Weekend,  the end of the week, time to rest.  I truly enjoy my weekends, especially when I live them spontaneously.  It if fun to have set plans sometimes, but oh, for those days that I may just decide on a whim what the day will hold in store.

This last weekend I did exactly that.  It was my birthday on Sunday.  I did a few dishes, but not much else in the form of  house keeping.  I just played.  My fun actually began on Friday at lunch.  My friends took me to lunch and we had a marvelous time. They are also very generous with their gift giving.  It always warms my heart.  Then another friend took me to supper on Friday.  What a wonderful way to start the weekend sharing time with friends.

On Saturday I  went to the movies with some friends, then shared the evening with my daughters eating pizza and watching movies. Then on Sunday, after church, we ate cake for breakfast!  There were presents galore! I don't usually like to be the center of attention, but what fun I had! We played some games, then my girls took me out to lunch at one of the newest attractions in town, Carmon's Creperie.  I enjoyed a very delicious Bloody Mary ( recommend them at this restaurant) and very good crepes.   Then back home to watch a movie that made us all sob unceasingly. Then it was time for the girls to go back to the dorm and to work. 

I took R to work and went into the bookstore to spend a gift certificate that I was given by a dear friend.  I found Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation on dvd and was thoroughly excited. I had her fix me a cherry-almond French soda and I just relaxed.

Another friend came over and brought me a present and watched a movie, between the time I dropped R off at work and had to go and pick her up.  Then R came home with me to munch on some veggies steamed dumplings and watch--wait for it--   another movie!

Yes indeed you can see movies make me happy( well and sad too when they are really good).

So I recommend a weekend of spontaneity, when ever possible. 

Friday, March 28, 2008

New and Exciting

"Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here." J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Right now I am listening to a compilation of music from Bollywood films.  My beautiful daughter made a cd for me.  I have been contemplating how much fun I have had watching these “new” films with her and enjoying the music.


For me, getting really excited about something new; music or movies, makes life fun. I still love all the “old” music and movies, but the thought of something totally new to me keeps me totally bursting with anticipation of the next movie or music to immerse myself in.


I have something to look forward to again.  It also works like this, for me, with books. If I find an author I truly enjoy, I wait in joyful anticipation for the next book and the next.  It can be any sort of book, if I enjoy the author.  I don’t always like the most critically acclaimed books and I often enjoy just plain fluff.


Television shows that I really love are like this too. I can’t wait for the next show. Although, there are fewer television shows that I love as opposed to movies, music and books.


Thinking about something new, awaiting somewhere in time, keeps me excited.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Love and Marriage

"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person." Mignon McLaughlin

Love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage...

I came across this quotation this morning, and for me it provoked much thought.  The entertainment world quick news this morning reported the after 19 years of marriage Robin Williams and his wife are divorcing.

What is the recipe for a successful, long lasting marriage?  Is it even possible in this day and age?

17 or 19 years is a long time to be with someone else. Do men and women forget what brought them together in the first place?  Are the events of daily life too much for a couple to sustain "until death do them part"?

I am saddened by the divorce rate in this country. I am saddened by the selfishness. I am saddened by the fact that couples just don't stay together. I realize it is often difficult to put up with someone after you know all their flaws, but what then is the answer?  Okay, I will concede that sometimes people marry for the wrong reason and the love just isn't strong enough. Well the horse and carriage are the thing of the past.  Are successful marriages heading in that direction?

So I think this quotation must hold some truth.  You have to keep falling in love with that same person to achieve success.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Happiness is Perfection part 2

"Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." Antoine de Saint- Exupery
Happiness is being present to witness perfection. The University of Illinois Ice Arena hosted a celebration for the Fighting Illini Hockey Team last night.  The boys were all introduced and then  the ice was opened for free skate for all in attendance.  There were lots of future hockey players who were more than ready to get out there on the ice. Championship T-shirts where donned and the fun began.
My girls put on skates and joined the masses. There were people of all ages on the ice. The hockey players, sharpie in hand, were ready to sign autographs.  Now I don't skate.  Tried it once a long time ago, and I am just to clumsy.  I do enjoy watching it however.  I threw my T-shirt over the railing from my seat in the stands.  My girl, R, graciously skated around and procured autographs on my shirt!  Her delightful personality is just perfect for approaching celebrities and asking for autographs.  Now, this group of hockey players are very nice young men.  They appreciate the fans that came out to cheer them on the road to perfection. 
As she approached one group of guys asking for autographs for her mom, she pointed up in my direction, and the guys all looked up and waved with smiles on their faces.  The smile on her face is what warmed my heart.
So a truly wonderful evening and a perfect way to honor these guys who worked hard for what they earned and to say goodbye to the seniors.  This team played Lindenwood University 5 times this season, 3 in regular season and they had to play them for the CSCHL championship and the ACHA championship.  That to me is truly amazing.  How many U of I teams do you know that can beat the second best team 5 times in a row, and they were hard fought games?  So Congrats Illini Hockey Club!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Happiness is...

"Man is the artificer of his own happiness." Henry David Thoreau

Yesterday I was uninspired.  I was looking for inspiration.  Well, it appears that 45 minutes on the elliptical at the gym is inspiring.  Today, I may not have anything interesting to say, but at least I feel like writing.  What else is there to do when jogging in place for 45 minutes, but think and feel!

My thoughts turned to why I was feeling so down.  I had a wonderful time with my girls over Spring break and Easter was lovely. We watched Godspell and I had never seen it before. We always watch Jesus Christ Superstar, but I had never seen Godspell. It was really good and I was taken back to the 1970's when I was a teenager.  I started to think about happiness because I was always happy in my teenage years.  I began to think about those drinking glasses that made an appearance some time in the late 70's or maybe early 80's.  You know, the ones you got at fast food restaurants, the ones that had "Happiness is ..." and some cutesy drawing of a boy and girl on them.  So I decided to start listing some of the things for me that mean happiness.  Here are a few of them, as the list could go on and on and on and on!

Happiness is-
1. The smiling faces of your children
2. The smell of bread baking in the oven
3. Lillies of the Valley in bloom
4. A large and loving family to grow up with
5. Being with my dad
6. Music, lots and lots of music of all kinds
7. Friends
8. smelling a new born babies head
9. a full moon on a clear evening
10. the view from atop a mountain
11. traveling in Scotland
12. visiting new places
13. the sight of a breaching whale
14. a Barbra Streisand movie
15. a Barbra Streisand song
16. going to the movie theater with someone special and sharing popcorn
17. watching the sunrise
18. the smell in the air after a spring rain
19. the changing colors in the fall
20. picking up a ringing phone and hearing the voice you have been longing to hear

Well there are tons more happy thoughts for me.  Maybe in a future post! 

Oh and this morning when I left for work, the waning gibbous moon was surrounded by clouds and appeared to be painted on the sky. The hint of rain is in the air and the wind was blowing so briskly that the flags were fully extended on the building near where I work.  It was an awesome sight.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Celebrate Perfection

For all the ice hockey fans, the celebration of the Perfect season will be March 24 from 6:30-8:00 pm at the Ice Arena.  There will be a presentation and the team will be there to sign autographs and to skate with the public.  Championship T-Shirts will be on sale.  What a wonderful way to celebrate these amazing athletes.

I won't be skating, but I will be around for the festivities!


I am feeling totally uninspired to write. Maybe it is because Spring break is over and J moved back to the dorm or the fact that I wasn't able to go to the gym last week, as I broke a blood vessel in my right hand and really couldn't use it.  The good news is that after a week I have use of my right hand again and plan to head to the gym today!

Or perhaps it is the paucity of men in my life right now that has left me uninspired. Who knows, i just don't have anything to say right now. 

 Well I will be looking for some inspiration and something interesting to write about.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Vernal Equinox

The vernal equinox happened at 1:48am central time. Vernal- in, of, or appropriate to spring. Equinox- equal day and night.  The sun was not up when I left for work, this cold crisp, first day of official spring. The trees are still bare, but I have seen the green beginning to shoot out of the ground, covered yet by fallen leaves, left over from the last raking.

It is also Holy Week for us Catholics, which means three of my favorite masses in the church calender, beginning tonight with Holy Thursday, the feast of the last supper. Easter Sunday morning is one of my favorite times of the Spring. We get dressed up and go to church where the trumpets sound and hope fills the air.  Then home to hunt for Easter eggs, that we dyed the day before. Yes, my girls may be grown up, but we still enjoy these fun and symbolic Easter traditions.  Then a day of laying about watching movies, and playing games.

Also, this is my last day of work for the week.  I am feeling a sense of freedom invade my soul. 
Happy Easter to all.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring Fling

"Spring is nature's way of saying,"Let's Party".  Robin Williams

Spring break, Spring is in the air, the rain is falling.  My girls are on Spring break from university this week.  I have to work, but I am taking two days off.

 Remember the old film Where the Boys are?  This is still my  favorite film to watch during Spring Break.  All three of us are waiting for our Ryder Smith.
Oh well, one can dream.  Our Spring fling consisted of a night at Fiesta Cafe, a basket or two of warm chips and salsa, delicious vegetarian Chile Renos, enchiladas, and black beans and a pitcher of Margaritas on the rocks for R and I, J was the designated driver, as she is not yet 21,  and drank a Dr. Pepper!

We had a marvelously enjoyable evening. On returning home, we popped in a Bollywood film, Janet made a golden layer cake, from scratch, and we lazed around watching singing and dancing and eating cake.  Who needs a trip to the tropics, we created our own right in our very own family room.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dating at my age?

"Grief can take care of itself but to get the full valute of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with." Mark Twain

Some people enjoy being alone, but I am not one of those.  I am contemplating meeting someone new, for the very first time.  It is a rather frightening thought, while at the same time  quite exciting.

When I was a teenager I liked to date. I liked to date lots of guys.  I got rather bored after just a couple of weeks.  I was young, thin, idealistic and full of hope for the future.  I am sure I gave up on some guys that I would be so willing to have in my life today.  

Being over 50 years old makes dating a very real challenge.  It is scary to put myself out there to be judged by another, who happens to be male.  Being alone for 7 years has had its ups and downs. I enjoy being alone sometimes,  but I really like to have fun and share my joy with another person. Now, I really love my game nights that I share with my girlfriends and I don't want to ever give that up, but at the same time I need to have a little maleness in my life. 

I realize that men and women are very different creatures.  We just think and act differently. I am so ready for something new.  I don't want just anyone either.  I don't want to just settle.  I want to feel passion and excitement.  I don't want to be judged on how I look, although, that is an important part of the dating process I suppose. I want a guy with gorgeous eyes and a winning smile who has nice hands. Guess guys have an idea of what they want to.  I am no longer young and thin, neither am I old and fat.  I am just me,  not exactly my ideal weight, but also more fit than I have been in years.

So I am setting my sights high and waiting for someone who will feel passion and excitement for me, won't judge me harshly, and is willing to know me for who I am.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Top o' the Morning

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of you with Irish ancestors and all of you without.

Take a virtual tour of Ireland at one of the many sites available. Better yet get on a plane and hop on over.

I hope to do just that when my girl studies abroad next Spring.

My plans for the day, since I am taking a vacation day, are to watch The Quiet Man and The Secret of Roan Inish, two very outstanding movies with great views of Ireland, cook cabbage and potatoes, with a little corned beef thrown in, and listen to Gaelic Storm, The Chieftans Lunasa, and a few more Irish groups.

There, I have given up plenty of ideas for a true Irish celebration. Have a great day.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I have been tagged

Oh what fun, I have been tagged.  I am very new to the blogsphere and I have been tagged by Soy is the New Black

So, I am supposed to share 5 facts about myself and  post the rules.

Five Facts about myself:

1. I absolutely dislike to make decisions.  The perfectionist part of me is always afraid that I will make the wrong decision. This is ridiculous since I live alone and have to make all the decisions!

2. I worked in pharmacy for 10 years as a pharmacy apprentice and never had the desire to become a pharmacist.  I loved the work, I just never wanted to be a pharmacist.

3. Before I was old enough to vote I was campaigning for George McGovern.  I walked a lot of streets handing out pamphlets.  A long time later, I got to hear him speak on the campus of the University of Oklahoma.

4. I have lived in 4 states; Illinois, Michigan, Oklahoma and New York.  I found something marvelous about each and every place I have lived. 

5. I think Fred Rodgers was an amazing person who had an understanding of how children should be treated.  I used one of his books when I was home schooling my children in during their pre-school years and into 1st grade.  I got a fabulous veggie burger recipe and a recipe for Spaghetti Marco Polo from that book that I still use all these years later.  I have a wonderful book of his philosophies and teachings that I still read today.

Link to your tagger and post these rules.
Share 5 facts about yourself.
Tag 5 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

The Best day in the year

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best in the year." Ralph Waldo Emerson

I was in great need of inspiration this morning.  So I looked to my old friend Ralph Waldo Emerson.  His writings are a constant source of inspiration for me.  I am tired. Two days of moving, while I found entirely invigorating, has left me just plain tired.

I am quite certain that if I  live believing that every day is the best in the year, I can be quite happy.  Today is Friday,  I am taking Monday off.  Monday is St. Patrick's day.  I can feel my Irish starting to show.  I will be listening to Lunasa, Gaelic Storm and the Chieftans today, well in fact, probably all the rest of March.   Actually, I listen to Irish  music most of the year.

So happy weekend to everyone and   Happy St. Patrick's day  on Monday.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Moving Day

I am happy to report that moving day was quite a success at work. Well okay, this was the first phase of the move.  Now comes the moving around of offices at the main office.  But, we accomplished getting everything and more to the new space, all of the map cases were moved and are in place, and most of us went out for beer and burgers  after we finished up a very long day!

Two moments of the day that I found to be prize winners.  First there was a rather large table that had to move through 2, 90 degree angles, with not much turning space.  While we were all off back at the main office, eating lunch and packing another load, two wonderful people managed to get that table through the doors to its proper space.  When I got back I noticed immediately that the table was gone!  When Amanda told me that she and Paolo moved it, and that Paolo had figured out the way to get it in, I was totally in awe.

The second moment came at our surplus outlet where we were picking up even more furniture and bookcases.  The truck was nearly full, there were 7 bookcases, 3 chairs, a table and file cabinet to be added to the truck.  Then someone found another two tables they thought they needed and 3 more small bookcases.  Steve repacked some of the stuff in the truck.  When he saw the last two tables he said, "It will be fine".  We were all tired at this point and we cracked up at his delivery of this line.  He managed to get all the acquired furniture in the truck with the aid of two very helpful people.

The beer and burgers were the best part of the day.  
Cheers to all who moved yesterday!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Light of my life

May 19 1986 turned out to be one of the best days of my life. My daughter decided to make her entrance into this world, one month early.  A friend is going to birth her second daughter this Friday. Watching her during her pregnancy has brought many memories from the recesses of my mind.

I was entirely happy being pregnant, all three times.  Sure I had to deal with some morning sickness, but most of the time, I was just entirely happy.

I have wonderful memories of each pregnancy, but for today, I am sharing just one.  I taught high school Earth Science, Biology, General and Physical Science and American Literature when I was pregnant with R.   It was often difficult to go into a classroom that smelled like formaldehyde, as my biology students were dissecting fetal pigs.  The windows were open and it was January.  But, my students didn't mind.  I loved teaching, I respected my students and they respected me.  One day in January, we planned to spend the day in the library, watching the teacher in space teach us a lesson.  Well, that day turned out so differently than we had expected.  Instead of watching a lesson from space, we watched in horror as the space shuttle Challenger exploded.  It was a time that will live in my memory forever. Being  pregnant, my emotions were even closer to the surface than usual,  and for people that know me, that is hard to believe.  

I prepared all of my class finals and had them ready to go by the second week of May, R was due on June 18.   Well I woke up one Monday morning, about to get ready to go to work and I started to feel just a little funny.  I called my (then) husband and told him I didn't feel quite right. I wasn't having contractions, yet.  Well he called the school and told them I was going to the hospital, he wanted to just check things out.  I had a couple of contractions on the way to the hospital, it was about a 15 minute drive.  We saw a pileated woodpecker by the side of the road on the way.  They decided to check me out in the emergency room.  As it turned out as soon as they checked my water broke.  The took me upstairs to labor and delivery.  The only family birthing room available was in use.  22 years ago, the family birthing rooms was just beginning to be used. I was moving along quite rapidly when they took me to the labor room. By the time they hooked up the fetal monitor, it seemed like there was no time left to get me to the delivery room.   The nurses used what they had available, a bed pan covered with blankets to elevate the area.  The doctor arrived just in time to deliver R.  The entire process, from the time I left home, took about 2 hours.

R was a beautiful little girl with loads of hair that wad red at the roots and blonde at the tips. The nurses were in awe of how gorgeous she was and how bonded she I an were from the moment they handed her to me. Now coming a month early, she had some jaundice problem and it took a week to get her counts down to normal.  When we went home, she and I and to lay by the large picture window so she could be exposed to the light of the sun.  Now was the time to stay home and revel in the joy of this marvelous person who had entered my life.

Last evening R called me on the phone to see if I would like to go get pizza with her.  It was quite spontaneous and quite enjoyable. My emotions were very close to the surface again, as my workday had been quite stressful, so as I sat across from her munching on pizza and discussing Bollywood, I was filled with happiness and on the verge of happy tears.  

Life for me, really is the sweetest when I am with my girls and my boy.


Nothing endures but change. Heraclitus 

Change- to make or become different.  This little verb holds so many meanings.
To be able to make changes in my life and to survive them seems to be turning into an art form for me.  

Going hand in hand with change is moving.  This week at work, 4 of my coworkers are moving into a new rental space, just down the road.  Going with them is the oversized map storage that is part of my responsibilities here at my office.  Moving map cases is not a fun thing to do.  I have 4 young strong guys that are moving 37 map  cases for me.  Now these same 4 guys have to assist with all the other moving too.

Emotions are being tested this week. The atmosphere is tense around the work place. Moving is one of the most stressful things one can do.  I know because during my marriage I moved 7 times within 4 states in the midwest.  The thing that I have found to be true is that once you get through the move, if you haven't damaged any relationships beyond repair, everything settles down, as everyone settles in and people learn how to be happy in the new space, or house or state.

As for the move at work,  I plan to be as open minded as possible and be helpful in anyway that I can.  Things may not be ideal in the new space, but they will be real, and everything will turn out fine.

For me, I have been in my home now for 10 years, the longest I have ever lived any place since I got married in 1984.  The divorce in 2001, one of the most dramatic and life altering changes of my life, (my mother's death at 48 being the biggest life altering change for me) left me at least in my home, with my daughters, and I hope to stay there for as long as possible. However, you never know when the next change is just around the corner.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Spring Forward

This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Spring forward,  we were told this weekend. So I did. Boy am I tired today!

I rented a car for a trip to St. Louis. I love to rent cars, it makes me feel like I am on holiday.  Driving a new vehicle takes me out of my real world and sends me to a world that feels like magic.

My brother's birthday party was at a Pizza/Arcade place in St. Louis. I always rent a car when I have to drive any distance.  My old car is great and gets me where I need to go, but I am not inclined to put 300 miles on it in a day.   Much of my family was in attendance. We ate and talked, presents were opened,  then it was on to the arcade.

We each had handy plastic cards to swipe to play games.  My daughter and I spent a great deal of time playing skee ball.  I was really enjoying myself, and I am not usually very good at these sorts of games.  But, I kept hitting the 10,000 point hole.  I think I rolled the small white ball into that slots 5 different times!  After one game the tickets were coming out of the machine so long, i wasn't sure it would ever stop.  The other game I was doing well at was a wheel of fortune sort of thing, the lights would circle around and I had to push the stop button when I thought I would get a lot of tickets.  It was a day of fun and family.  My daughter and I turned all of our tickets over to my great niece who is 6.  She had fun spending them at the Big Top and we enjoyed watching her.

My dad enjoyed the madness of the whole event, because there were so many happy children in the building.  This place was packed.  There must have been 6 birthdays going concurrent with my brothers. And there were even more before that. 

We had a marvelous time and I got to see family that I don't get to see very often.  Then came the drive home.

The car I rented was a Toyota Prius.  I wasn't sure that I would like it, but it was so much fun to drive.  The gas mileage on the highway isn't much better than the Corolla or the Ford Focus. But the car is very entertaining to drive.  It is also the quietest car I have ever driven. So I would give it a thumbs up! The long drive home seemed more fun than usual.

The downside of  the weekend came after I returned home.  I lost an hour of sleep, I was feeling like I needed more time with my family, and regretting that I live so far away.  Years ago my sister and I did so much together.  I had tickets for a concert at Krannert Center on Sunday afternoon.   The concert was marvelous, but I didn't have much desire or energy to get anything else done on the weekend.  So I have a clutter house, that needs sweeping very badly, some dishes in the sink to get done, and loads of laundry to fold.  But that stuff can get done at my leisure, as I am the only one that has to look at it.

Time marches on, and I am doing my best to make the most of it.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Shout out to Mothers

Wednesday while I was watching the championship game of the hockey tournament, I received a phone call. It was quite a surprise.  An awesome woman, who is the mother of  Dave, a man I dated, who I am still friends with called me up to say hello.  She was alone at Dave’s house, Dave and his Dad were off to Ohio to meet the bus carrying the players.

Dave’s dad would take over the driving duties of the bus, from Dave’s brother Doug and Dave would drive Doug back to Urbana. 


It was a pleasant surprise and I thoroughly enjoyed conversing with Dave’s mom.  She is a lovely person who raised 8 children.  I find that totally amazing.  She makes the trip to Florida with Dave’s dad every winter, even though her health is not what it once was.  They had stopped on their way home to visit Dave. I am inspired by her attitude concerning life.  She is aging, has health issues, but she never lets that stop her from enjoying life and living it.


I have watched Dave’s home movies of when he was a little boy.  What a nice family they have, and it brought back wonderful memories of my own childhood.  It seems like all of us born in the fifties have very similar memories.  Life was very entertaining for us as youngsters, we played outside and used our imaginations.  Mothers weren’t burdened with all the worries that the mother’s of today have. We didn’t have internet and we didn’t watch television all the time. We didn’t play computer games, we played outside, we didn’t have car seats and most of us survived into adult hood. I played with dolls until I was 12 years old and no one thought that was stupid or childish.  We were not pushed to grow up quickly, or be more intelligent or more developmentally ahead of  other children our age.  We walked when we did, we learned to talk whenever and there was no effort to growing up.  It might be said we had a stress free childhood. We had a happy childhood.  I have spoken to other of my friends about the time we grew up in.  Our parents trusted us to use the good judgment that they had raised us with. Maybe they worried about us, but I guess we never really knew that at the time.



Watching Dave’s movies, it seemed as if  you just changed the faces, it could be your own home movie.  I am awfully glad to know Dave’s mom and I am glad that I grew up in the time that I did.


Another awesome mother from that time is my ex- husband’s mother.  She was a wonderful mother, and an awesome woman. She welcomed me into their family with warmth, grace and love.  She treated me like her own daughters. I saw her be subjected to humiliation by her husband, and boy is that another story, and come out the far better person each and every time he verbally abused her. He was not so nice a person. She is a jewel and while I don’t much miss her son any longer,  I miss not being able to be around her more.  I do still get to see her sometimes, she has come to my home for graduation parties and we mail sometimes, but it is not the same as really having her in my life.


Now on to moms of today that truly inspire me.  There are two of note that I am giving a shout out to.  One is my friend, Corrine.  Corrine is about to birth her second daughter. Corrine is one of the most beautiful pregnant woman I know.  Yes indeed, you heard me right, I think pregnant women are beautiful.  It is not always easy being pregnant, but Corrine does it with style and grace.  She is an awesome mom. Her outlook on motherhood is something I admire and respect. She is happy and confident in her ability to love and raise two delightful little girls.  I can’t wait to see this one!


The second award winning mom of today, is my friend Ali.  Ali has two boys and is carrying her third child.  We don’t yet know if it is a boy or a girl, but what I do know is that Ali is an outstanding mom. She has a cheerful and happy attitude about pregnancy, motherhood, love and well life in general. 


I am so grateful and fortunate to know these two very intelligent, happy, delightful moms.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

My baby brother

"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it whoever you are, you need one."  Jane Howard

My baby brother is 40 years old today.  I remember the day he came home from the hospital. He is an amazing man with a wife and two terrific children.  He works hard, plays hard and knows how to have fun and make the most of life. When life threw him curve balls, he hit them out of the park.  

He was 10 years old when our mother died. What a confusing time of life for a 10 year old to suddenly be without a mother.  I stepped up and did the best for him that I could.  Shortly after we buried our mother, he got in trouble at school,  I think it was for talking. I was so angry at his teacher that she made him stay after school for detention that I called her and let her know exactly how I felt about her (it seems that Irish ancestor blood is rather strong in me).  I asked her to consider that this 10 year old just lost his mother and that she should be caring and compassionate with him for a while, I mean it wasn't as if he had done anything terrible in school.  She gave me a song and dance about having lost her mother too, and I just said to her but you are not 10 years old.  

My baby brother was happy from the time he was born.  He smiles and laughs and loves life. He married the girl next door and had a little girl.  Well, sometime later the girl next door jumped ship for another man.  My brother, instead of becoming despondent, rose to the challenge, raised his daughter, mostly on his own, and embraced life until he finally found a nice, intelligent woman and remarried.  He now has a little boy of his own, who is as happy and fun loving as his dad.  

My brother can quote lines from movies that he has only seen once!  He still has a zest for life. I am in awe of this truly kind, loving man.   Happy Birthday Mikey!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Illini Win!

Well it was an exciting and well played game.  Our Fighting Illini are now ACHA national champions.  Drew Heredia was named MVP and rightly so. They did it,  achieved perfection.  Record for the season 38-0!   I am feeling quite emotional.  Burda made 2nd team all tournament.  Brad Hoelzer made 1st team all tournament defense and Johnny Liang is 1st team forward.  Jason Nemeth went off the ice toward the end of the game with a shoulder injury.  It was a hard won extremely physical game.   I can now go home and rest!

Mood Elevator

Okay I need to get on the mood elevator today, as you probably guessed from my earlier post. I find that going to the gym to work out on the amazing elliptical jogger for 45 minutes, getting drenched with sweat and the leg muscles saying oy,  lifted the spirits pretty high. Now I am not in angst about the guy that didn't call, the bank account so low you can hardly see it and a week till pay day, the thought of my girl moving away and a multitude of other worries, got left in the mood elevator!

Trust yourself

"Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live" Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I think this must be a difficult thing to do, to just trust yourself.  I very often make mistakes. Sometimes I do trust myself, other times I have doubts.
I am not a great decision maker,  in fact, I really do not like to make decisions at all.
When I start to doubt myself, I have to stop and remember that most of the choices I make are good ones.  I am not sure why, but when I start to feel unsettled or unsure, my mind just returns to Scotland.  My daughter did her junior year abroad in Stirling Scotland.  My father and I went to visit her. It was a whirlwind trip that lasted only 5 days, but it has left a lasting impression on my thoughts.  
I think perhaps it was because I felt really happy in Scotland.  

Okay something weird happened with blogger and most of this post disappeared in posting. So here is my attempt to re-create it.

From the moment we landed on Scottish land, I felt a sense of happiness.  I was getting to spend valuable time with my dad, I was getting to see my daughter again whom I hadn't seen in several months and I was on vacation.  Everyone I met in Scotland was kind and charming and truly friendly.  I don't think I encountered one cross person,  oh wait,  yes the woman who was monitoring the booths at the pay toilet at the train station was rather cross,  but on the whole the people of Scotland are warm, inviting and very friendly, even the cab drivers!  Everyone calls you "Love".  It is very a endearing greeting.   We took tours to Loch Ness on the first full day in Scotland.  It was a long day, we had trouble finding the place we were supposed to meet the bus, we were walking around in Edinburgh in the rain, getting despondent because we thought we had missed the bus,  when we happened upon the travel agent shop,  where we found  all the other tourists, from various countries,  waiting for the bus.  It was a magical day and traveling into the highlands was breathtaking and awesome. Loch Ness the the most beautiful and extremely deep loch. The town we visited at the beginning of the loch, which I am sure thrives on tourism, was lovely.  I felt like I wanted to stay there for the entire rest of the trip.  I felt at home in the highlands,  perhaps in another life I was a highlander!  The bens and glens and lochs were the most beautiful awe inspiring places.  The history of the area is so fascinating it left me wanting  to read more. 

The next tour took us to the Trossachs National Park and to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond,  the weather was blustery and standing on the deck of the boat on the loch was tricky.  But I really didn't care how wet I was, as I was smiling most of the time I was in Scotland.

Perhaps another reason I felt so happy there was seeing my girl so happy and at home in this wonderful landscape.  She is an amazing person and will be graduating from University this May.  I have been gradually conditioning myself for the time when she is gone and off beginning a fabulous life and career somewhere.  Whatever she does I know it will be amazing.  She is one of the happiest, most delightful people that I know.  She has always been a bubbly, enthusiastic person, whose light shines brightly on all who encounter her.

So, I realize that part of the euphoria I was feeling was due to the fact that it was vacation after all, but I am wondering why it is such a trial to feel happy in the real world.  I seem to have to keep reminding myself of what I have to feel happy about.

To end this post on a happy note, tonight is the last Illini ice hockey game in Rochester New York, ( I love western New York by the way), here's hoping they come home victorious with a trophy!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Illini Win!

Illini win semi-final game, but it was a close one.  They need to be on game for the entire championship game.

Sadly Kevin Wicklin will not get to play as he ended up with a separated shoulder. That is so unfortunate because, number one he is a great player and brings so much to the game and number two he is a senior.  It was a very physical game and Liberty got away with a lot that the Illini got called for, like holding. 

Championship game tomorrow night at 7:30pm!


Snow and random thoughts

"It's not over yet."  Princess Leia    

It may be March, but winter is telling us very loudly that it is not ready to go.  The clouds this morning are laden with snow, you can just see it in the darkness of the clouds.  The local weather forecast is for a mix of sleet and freezing rain this morning turning to snow this afternoon, with possible accumulation of 3-5inches.  Somehow this thought doesn't depress me.  The clouds were very beautiful this morning and the cold air was rather refreshing.  Maybe, just maybe, I really love winter and I am okay with  spring coming later in the month.

I remember one April in the early 1980's when my sister and I drove to the St. Louis Ice Arena to see John Denver in concert.  It was a nice evening when we left to drive across the old rickety Lewis and Clark bridge.  When we came out of the concert late in the evening, as John Denver gave really great concerts,  the snow was falling and falling fast.  The snowflakes were as big as dollar bills; I am not kidding.  The snow was falling at such an angle as to mesmerize the driver of the car, which was me!   It also made it very difficult to see where in the heck you were going.
We drove to a local restaurant in a North St. Louis suburb and tried to wait it out.  It just kept snowing!   So we bravely, got back in the car and headed for the bridge!  It was a frightening bridge, very narrow, very old and the road surface was not exactly in prime condition.  If you meet a large truck going the opposite direction you had to slow down and pray you didn't hit the rail.  The Mississippi River is really deep around the Alton area.  

Well we made it across the bridge, but the 15 mile drive to our home north of Alton was prolonged into about an hours drive.  There were times that the only way I knew which side of the road I was on, was by the mailboxes!  They were supposed to be on my right!  We, of course, made it safely, but it was the longest and scariest road trip I had ever driven.  My sister and I had lots of adventures before I remarried in 1984.

I am staying late to work to watch the semi final game of the ACHA tournament, my computer at work far surpasses what I have at home.  So here's hoping I can get home!  Of course my commute is only 7 minutes!

Monday, March 3, 2008


"In these matters the only certainty is that nothing is certain." Pliny the Elder

I woke up this morning to the news on NPR.  I always wake up to the news on NPR and I lay there and wait for the local weather forecast.  This morning, in particular, I really didn't want to get out of bed.  I am seriously not a morning person, as I always love to linger in the comfort of my bed and get up leisurely.  However, I really love to get to work early in the morning and be in my office, which is actually a library, and sit and hear the hum of the air conditioner and the sound of my typing on the keyboard.  Yes, the air conditioner runs year round in my work space. The dreadful steam heat system we have makes the room so unbearably hot in the winter that the air conditioner must work continuously.

Well anyway, I dragged myself out of bed showered, dressed and went to feed the animals.  I was feeling rather dull as the local weather forecast for Urbana is thunderstorms later today, then turning colder and 4-6 inches of snow for tomorrow.  I was despairing over the weather, my single status, the fact I had to get out of my comfy bed, my financial status, as the NPR news was all about the economy and debt, and that is enough to make anyone despair and then I mentally slapped myself and said "Stop whining and complaining, about all that and think about all that you have to be grateful for."  Well that seemed to be sage advise, as my mood took a swing to the positive.  

My list of things that I have to be grateful for far over reaches all that I was despairing about.
And while nothing is certain in life, for now, I have a good job, co workers that I like and look forward to seeing every day, three fabulous children who light up my life, a sister and three brothers that I love and share great memories with, my Dad  who has been there for me in all times of trouble and happiness, I have a church that I love to go to and a strong faith, I and the bank own a home, I have two dogs and 3 cats to keep me company when I am alone, and a lot of friends.

So as i left for work and the rain was coming down, I transported myself to Scotland, where I never minded getting wet!  And as I was driving to work and the streetlights all went off even though it was still dark out, I marveled at the world that I live in and was thankful.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Illini Win!

Yes  we are on to semi finals on Tuesday!  Playing Liberty who are very physical.  Can't wait! Tonight was a great game 6-2 against Rhode Island and it was a very physical game, but Illini played so well!    GO ILLINI

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Illini Win!

The Illini Hockey team win the first round game in Rochester New York.  The Robert Morris team tried to be the 16th place team to beat No. 1 undefeated Illini but they fell short. The game was intense and the Illini didn't play their best game in the first period, but they came out strong in the second and third periods.  

I so want to be in New York!  I loved it there when I lived in Western New York and would love to go back to visit.  Maybe the Championship game!?

I am so excited how can I sleep now?  I also got to watch the Illini men's basketball team beat Iowa State in Iowa as I now have the Big Ten Network and so much more!

I have decided my favorite channel so far on dishnetwork is BBC America, and I love the Sci Fi channel. 

Well tomorrow is another exciting hockey game between our fighting Illini and Rhode Island at 8:30pm eastern!