Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day

"When there's snow on the ground, I like to pretend I'm walking on clouds."
Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka and Toshihiro Kawabata

Okay, so it isn't quite as bad as this picture,  but we ended up with 4 inches of snow!

I looked out the garage, as I was getting ready to leave for work, and the driveway didn't look too bad.  Guess the snow had blown off the driveway, because when I got on the road, my car was up to the door in snow!  Not sure how I actually got through that.  You see no snow plow had come down my street.  I find that odd, as we have a school a block away and I am on a major bus route!

I slowly made my way through the snow, wishing I had a one horse sleigh, instead of a car! Or maybe a two horse sleigh.

It was really quite out and extremely beautiful and dangerous to be driving.  Even the roads that had been scraped were slick.  When I pulled into my parking spot, I had to climb over 4 inch piles of snow to get to the sidewalk.

I am delivering Meals on Wheels today at 11:00am.  I think it will take longer than usual!  

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Burns Night Supper

Let other poets raise a fracas 
"Bout vines, an' wines, an' drucken Bacchus, 
An' crabbit names an'stories wrack us, 
An' grate our lug: 
I sing the juice Scotch bear can mak us, 
In glass or jug.

Robert Burns was born in Alloway Ayershire on January 25, 1759. Burns Night Suppers have been celebration of the poet of Scotland for a long time.

Steve came across a Burns Night Supper in Lafayette Indiana on January 31!  When he invited me to go, I was immediately very excited.  I had intended on going to the hockey game with Janet on Saturday night, it being the last game of the season for her, as she leaves for Scotland on February 5 to study at the University of Stirling.  You see we, Janet, Regena, and I are in love with Scotland, and all things Scottish. 

Regena got to attend a Burns Night supper in Scotland with her friend from Glasgow.  She told me how wonderful everything was and all the fun things that happen at the dinner  and I was envious.  Now I get to attend, not in Scotland (this time, maybe someday) and I just can't wait! Here is what I can look forward to:

Order of the supper
1. start of the evening
2. Host's welcoming speech
3. Entrance of the Haggis (usually piped in)
4. Supper
5. Loyal toast
6. Immortal memory
7. appreciation
8. Toast to the lassies
9. Reply to the Toast to the lassies
10. other toasts and speeches
11. Workd by Burns
12. dancing 
13. closing

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's Hockey Night in Urbana!

"A fast body-contact game played by men with clubs in their hands and knives laced to their feet." Paul Gallico

Finally, after a long stretch, the Fighting Illini are back for two games on the Big Pond! 

I have been feeling hockey deprived lately, so I am really excited.  

The Fighting Illini take on Indiana University on Friday and Saturday night.

There will be an Alumni game on Saturday at 4:30pm  and the former players will be at the Saturday night game.  I have never been to the Alumni game, but it is free and open to the public.  I might just try it out this year! Never the less, I will be at center ice on Friday and Saturday with J.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

La Rondine

"Soul meets soul on lovers's lips"  Percy Bysshe Shelly

Last night Steve and I saw the Metropolitan Opera HD live broadcast (but this was the encore, so not really live) of Puccini's La Rondine, at the Savoy Theater.

It was absolutely wonderful!  What an experience to see a performance from the Met, in your own hometown.  Now I long to go to New York and actually see a performance at the Metropolitan Opera,  but how happy I am just to go to the local theater, eat popcorn and watch a fantastic opera with my guy.

The love quote of the day was so appropriate to the theme of La Rondine.   Now I just need to obtain the cd!

Next Saturday, live from the Met in HD at Savoy is Orfeo ed Euridice.  I am sure it will be wonderful.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Wow I just noticed the Quote of the Day and the Love Quote of the day are both from Alfred Lord Tennyson!   Guess I need to go home and read some Tennyson!

Wednesday Morning

"Life's greates happiness is to be convinced we are loved." Victor Hugo

It is Wednesday morning, but it feels like Monday to me!   We had a holiday on Monday, no work, then I took a holiday on Tuesday, to watch the inauguration.

This I just couldn't miss one minute of and I thoroughly enjoyed it all, except for the anguish over Ted Kennedy having to be taken to the hospital.

I am just happy.  
Happy to have had a holiday
Happy with our new President
Happy with my delightful children
Happy Steve is home

I am just happy!

Friday, January 16, 2009


I am really thrilled that it is Friday!  I need to stay home and rest my knee,  but I'd really love to be at the above location, which is in Ireland.  A little cottage by the see,  that's for me.  I could read by the fire, take long hikes(once the knee gets better) and just sit and dream.

Now I would like to be in this place with Steve, and Regena and Janet. What fun we could have together in Ireland.

My knee; I am tired of hobbling around and asking people to do things for me.  I want the ligament to heal so I can be normal again.

I am missing Steve so terribly.  Only a couple of more days.  He will be home on Monday, late in the evening, but I cannot wait to talk to him.  Thinking of Steve made me think of this quote by Johann Wolfgang Von Gothe

That is the true season of love, when we believe that we alone can love, that no one could ever have loved so before us, and that no one will love in the same way after us.

So I will sit at home, rest the knee and watch winter movies on t.v.  (as if I am not cold enough already) and wait paitently for Steve to get home.  I'll be watching  The Shootist, K2, Switchback  and Dr. Zhivago!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


This morning I was listening to the BBC World News on WILL AM while I was driving to pick up J to take her to work.  

I was very interested in the story about Thomas Herriot, a British gentleman, who it appears drew a map of the moons surface, a few months before December 1609, when Galileo is credited with the first look at the surface of the moon with a telescope.

It seems that Herriot made a telescope and mapped the surface of the moon, which is also very early cartography, just before Galileo's discovery.  The Herriot papers are going to be on display somewhere in the UK, I have forgotten where they said.

I just thought how exciting.  Something new from something we thought we knew!

The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball.  
Doug Larson

Driving to work this morning, was just a bit hazardous. But, totally beautiful. I awoke to two inches of powdery, gorgeous snow!

I proceeded down the hallway to feed the herd, first the cats, then the fish and finally the dogs. When I opened the back door to let the dogs out for their early morning run and relief, my first thought was I wish this snow was wet enough to throw a snowball and make a snowman!

The city is not getting the roads cleared very quickly.  When you live in a town that gets snow, snow removal should be a priority, not a cut back.  I drove through 2 inches of snow on most of the roads on my route to work. Did not see one snow plow on the way!

It is so beautiful outside, not to mention cold, that I just want to go home, curl up by the fire and read a good book.  I am just about finished with Brisingr and have a whole stack of books that I am longing to get to.

Happy wintry snow day to everyone.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Here's a little Shakespeare for Tuesday.  I am really bored with Steve gone and it doesn't help that I am flat broke and the temperature is dipping into Siberian cold!   Oh well, at least I am not in the Ukraine where heating fuel is extremely scarce!

All the world's a stage,
and all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts...

As  you like it  Act 2 scene 7

I think I might get a lot of reading done with Steve gone!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Mixed Feelings

"Every sweet has its sour; every evil its good." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy that it is Friday,  sad because Steve will be gone for 10 whole days! So today I have mixed feelings.

Quoting Emerson today, one of my favorite authors to quote.  Last night Steve and I watch What's Up Doc.   We laughed ourselves silly.  This is one of my favorite films and Mr. Laraby quotes Emerson at the banquet!  Enjoy the scene!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

190 days until Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

"Take a rest; a field that has rested gives bountiful crop."  Ovid 

If you scroll all the way to the bottom of the page you will see a countdown for the release of HPHBP movie.  I am still utterly disappointed that WB decided not to release the film in November as it had originally announced! I just can't wait for the film to be released.  You can see a couple of good trailers on IMDB

I truly enjoyed my holdiay vacation.

I have been to see two very good films over the holiday;  Marley and Me  and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.   I was pleasantly surprised to find that both were very good films.

J and I went to see Marley and Me.  It was even better than I had anticipated. Dealing with ones life and who you thought you were as opposed to who you really are was an idea worth exploring. We liked the movie so much we bought the book!

Benjamin Button was a cinematically beautiful film. Now you know how sappy I am, so the ideas expressed in the film moved me deeply.  Plus I saw this one with Steve. We shared a big box of popcorn and just enjoyed being together.  After the movie we shared an Oreo Blizzard at DQ.  It was freezing out when we got out of the film, but it was a perfect time for ice cream with someone you love.

So relax,  go see a movie, eat popcorn and be happy.

Feeling Hockey deprived

"Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place." Mark Twain

Today I am in need of a lot of humor!  I am feeling hockey deprived.  I did get to go to a Danville Inferno game last Saturday and I really enjoyed it.  I watched some college hockey on T.V. the other day with J.  The University of New Hampshire pulled out a last minute upset against the University of Maine.  I think Maine must have out played UNH the entire first two periods,  but hey in hockey, you have to play until the end. I saw a minute of a NY Rangers/Penguins game. It was pretty exciting.  But I am longing to see the Fighting Illini! 

The second reason I could use a laugh is I somehow injured my knee and it hurt tremendously!
I think it happened when I lifted a heavy box of Christmas decorations to put away on Saturday.
I went to supper with J last night at our favorite Basil Thai in Urbana.  When I was getting in the car I felt a burning pain shoot through my knee.  Now I can barely bend it and am hobbling along.  I guess if it doesn't get better by next week, I will have to break down and see a doctor.

I do have to note that when I am with Steve he makes me laugh.  He is so kind and so funny.  We just have fun together, and I so enjoy laughing with him.  I get to see him once more before he leaves for China.  I am going to Steve deprived for 10 whole days.  I will certainly need someone to make me laugh then.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Gather the stillness around you

"In the bleak midwinter Frosty wind made moan, Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone; Snow had fallen, snow on snow, Snow on snow, In the bleak midwinter, Long ago." Christina Rossetti

This morning as I was backing out of the driveway to come to work, I was reminded of why I love winter.

The air was a chilly 18degree F.,  the sun was not yet up and the dark, coolness around me, filled me with exhilaration and anticipation.   The forecast is for snow, tomorrow.  One to two inches of snow!

I love driving to work in the cold, dark morning, even though I really am not a morning person.
I love being, for all intents and purposes the only person on the road.  Oh, I see a car here and there, but being alone in the dark and being able to enjoy the beauty around me without the hustle and bustle of other people on their way to work, makes me feel very thankful for everything that I have in my life.

It also made me remember this line from Christina Rosetti (1830-1894) from A Christmas Carol, a poem that I love and had to share again.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Who is making all the money?

It is winter in the midwest and it is becoming increasingly difficult for average income families to afford to heat their homes.  My question is who is getting rich from the cost increase for natural gas in the winter?  I am quite sure the people that own these companies don't have their thermostats set to 64 degree F during the daytime and 59 degrees in the overnight hours.
I have always been fairly conservative with the use of energy related fuel.  I care about the earth I live on,  but I have to say that I am becoming alarmed at the cost of heating fuel.  I don't think I can set the thermostat any lower without freezing all the pipes in my house! Not to mention my children!

You see I just got the gas/electric bill and it is a whopping $337.00!  The highest it has ever been.  The power company in our area just got approval for a price increase!  Now  I try not ever to complain,  but this bill is a tough one to pay on my budget.  I work hard, have good benefits, but not a tremendous salary.   

I would just like policy makers to learn that normal people still have to live in the winter and these monopolies that control our power are getting rich, while we freeze to death.  I have no choice as to who supplies my natural gas and electricity. 

So whom ever in the Illinois legislature that okayed an increase to Ameren IP I hope that you are warm and cozy in your homes. I just tested their theromostat calculator.  It seems that I can't turn down my thermostat any farther to save money!  It is cold in my house.  We wear sweaters, layered over sweaters.   My house is well insulated and is not that old (1970).  There is something wrong in a state where a low to moderate income family cannot turn the thermostat up to 68!

January 2009

"There is no remedy for love  but to love more." Henry David Thoreau

Well I have been gone from blogging for a  bit.  I have been so busy at work, then I was on a two week vacation for the holidays.  But, probably the biggest reason I have been on a blogging hiatus is the fact that I am so happy with Steve.

So I apologize to the two of you who read my blog( okay maybe it is the 4 of you).  

2009 promises to be a fantastic year for me as I am starting it with a wonderful man whom I adore.

I have had the best time since I met him in August.  We took a magical trip to Chicago on Dec. 19 and 20th to see Madama Butterfly at the Lyric Opera.  We saw the Aztec World exhibit at the Field Museum and then headed over to Shedd Aquarium.  We got the rare opportunity to see the Saw Fish in the large aquarium room.  They say she doesn't come out all that often and spends most of her time in the deepest part of the ocean.  It was truly a magical day.  

We stayed at the Palmer House and walked the 6 blocks to the Lyric on Saturday evening.  The gently falling snow made the walk so pleasurable.  Steve carried my shoes in his coat pockets.  Okay,  i had to wear my street shoes for the walk, because of all the snow, but the heels were so perfect with the outfit, and the pants were way too long without heels!  I had to hold my pants up away from the snow, because they would not stay rolled up.  So Steve ended up carrying my clutch also.  I remarked at how beautiful his bag was!   The opera was so wonderful and the walk home in the snow, which was still falling was delightful.  Then we finally found a seat in the lobby of the Palmer House ( the place was always packed with people)  and had a glass of red wine sitting by the Christmas tree.  We got to have many conversations over the weekend, but that one was very special.

On Sunday we headed home to Urbana, picked up the girls and drove to Alton for Christmas with my family.  Steve got to meet everyone  and that is saying a lot,  I think there were 29 of us at my sisters!  

So Happy New Year to everyone.