Tuesday, March 31, 2009


"I have enjoyed the second blooming... suddenly you find-at the age of 50, say-that a whole new life has opened before you." Agatha Christie

So another year has passed and I am a year older.  Hurray!   I had a very exciting day with my friends and loved ones.

Now, if you know me you know that I love birthdays,  mine and everyone else's.  It just happens that my mom loved birthdays.  We celebrated and had grand times.  I always miss my mom most on my birthday.

My day started with a sausage biscuit breakfast, from my friend Nate; Lunch was a grand affair at Bombay Grill.  I picked Regena up and she accompanied me and 8 of my friends for lunch. The buffet was extremely tasty.  The manager, who I think is beginning to recognize Regena and me, asked her if it was a special occasion.  She told him it was my birthday and how to spell my name.  Well, they brought out a delicious plate of desserts, mango ice cream and some other fruity ice cream with little dough balls and Happy Birthday Stephanie spelled out along the edge of the plate.  They sang!   Then the two managers and the waiter each shook my hand and wished me many happy returns of the day.   It was so much fun!

I got presents!   Flowers, for my garden and for my house from 3 of my friends, a lovely coaster to sit my wine glass on, and a collection of  Celtic music from two other friends. And birthday cards, lovely ones!  My friends are lovely people.   There was also coffee cake in the morning!

The fun has just begun.  After work, Regena helped me carry the flowers to the car and we went home and I  opened the presents from her.  You can guess,  3 DVDS that I wanted, a set of bamboo kitchen utensils to replace the ones that Uma ate, a lovely celtic symbol bedspread and cheese!  Lovely tasty cheeses including my favorites Stilton and Gorgonzola, a nice goat cheese from France and then another one that I can't remember.

Then Steve came.  I opened his presents!  Beautiful wine glasses(I have managed to break all of the ones i had), a lovely candle and a beautiful Willow Bark figurine.

Then it was on to pick up Liz so we could go to Kamakura for supper!   She gave me some lovely daisies in a vase.  Then on to the fun at Kamakura  and it being Steve's first time, we had fun.
Regena and I shared some warm sake  and we ate and ate!  Then home for Williamsburg Orange cake that Regena had painstakingly made for me!

Steve had to leave for work, but Regena and Liz and I then watched Dancing with the Stars and Castle.  I  got a call from Emma, which was delightful.  Then I had to go to bed!

Everyone's birthday should be this much fun!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Looking to the Weekend

"My opera was given yesterday with big applause for the third time," Mozart wrote in a letter to his father on July 27th. "In spite of the terrible summer heat, the theatre was packed." Mozart added, "it really feels good to hear this kind of applause."


Oh how I am looking forward to the weekend!  
On Saturday, Steve is taking me to see 
The Abduction from the Seralio
at the Lyric in Chicago.
But first we will stop in Chinatown to look around and eat.

Ah Mozart, I am sure this is going to be a wonderful 
This opera was commissioned from 26 year old
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart by Joseph II in 1782.  
For a full description and synopsis of the opera head 
over to NPR.
Here is a little scene from Amadeus:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Happy Car

"Patience is the best remedy for every trouble." Titus Maccius Plautus

As I watched the happy green beetle being hooked up to the big burly tow truck, I felt sad. I hated to see the happy little car being towed away. Oh, the driver of the tow truck was very nice and treated the little car with care, but still I was sad.

Steve had so generously let me borrow the car for a trip to St. Charles Missouri to attend the bridal shower of my nephew's fiance.  The happy little car is so much fun to drive and got us to Missouri and back quite nicely.

I drove the happy little car to work and decided to run an errand just before lunch, to pick up some pants I had taken to be hemmed at the alteration shop just around the corner.  Well I retrieved  my pants, went out to the car, put the key in the ignition and the happy little car would not start.  I was just shocked.  I was sure I had done something to the car, but could not figure out what.

So I was patient,  I waited first for 10 minutes,  tried to start it, still she wouldn't start; then for 30 minutes,  I went back to work and ate lunch, after my friend picked me up.  I hated to leave the happy little car in the lot, but I had no options.  Well another friend took me back after lunch, but still the happy little car would not start.  With no options left I had to wake Steve up and deliver the terrible news,   "I can't get the car started."

End of the long story,  the happy little car was towed to the shop.  Still don't know what is wrong with her, but I am sure she is going to be okay!  Steve was wonderful, as he always is, and wasn't upset with me at all.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hey Hey it's Friday!

"Listen, can you hear it? Spring's sweet cantata. The strains of grass pussing through the snow. The song of buds swelling on the vine The tender timpani of a baby robin's hear.  Spring.  Diane Frolove and Andrew Schneider Northern Exposure 1992

Hey it is Friday and it is the vernal exquinox. In the Northern Hemisphere spring officially begins at 7:44 a.m. ET on Friday, March 20, 2009—the vernal equinox, or spring equinox.

It has been a long week, I am glad that it is Friday.  A day of rest tomorrow ,well I have to go workout and I have to go buy a present for a bridal shower, but other than that I think I will partake of the 3 R's,   rest, reading and relaxation!

I feel truly happy and blessed.

Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Gordon Lightfoot on a Wednesday Evening

The man is a poet.  I have loved Gordon Lightfoot for a while.  I saw him 9 years ago at the Virgina.  Last nights performance was much the same as the last time I saw him.  

Here are the lyrics to a great song:  The Edmund Fitzgerald

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down

Of the big lake they called 'Gitche Gumee'

The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead

When the skies of November turn gloomy

With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more

Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty.

That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed

When the gales of November came early.


The ship was the pride of the American side

Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin

As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most

With a crew and good captain well seasoned

Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms

When they left fully loaded for Cleveland

And later that night when the ship's bell rang

Could it be the north wind they'd been feelin'?

The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the captain did too,
T'was the witch of November come stealin'.
The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the Gales of November came slashin'.
When afternoon came it was freezin' rain
In the face of a hurricane west wind.

When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck sayin'.
Fellas, it's too rough to feed ya.
At Seven P.M. a main hatchway caved in, he said
Fellas, it's been good t'know ya
The captain wired in he had water comin' in
And the good ship and crew was in peril.
And later that night when his lights went outta sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does any one know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searches all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her.
They might have split up or they might have capsized;
May have broke deep and took water.
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the rooms of her ice-water mansion.
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams;
The islands and bays are for sportsmen.
And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her,
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the Gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed,
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral.
The church bell chimed till it rang twenty-nine times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call 'Gitche Gumee'.
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Okay  it getting exciting!  The Illini will be battling their biggest rival, The Lindenwood Lions for the ACHA title again this year.

Oh to be in Cleveland for the game.  How much fun would that be?!

The Illini have lost 4 of the 5 games they played against Lindenwood this year.  Granted  we were short 5 players (due to the World Hockey games in China, in which the Illini sent the most players from any team) for two of those games. 

I believe the Illini can beat Lindenwood  and bring home the title for the second year in a row.

Go Illini!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Full Moon

"May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night and a smooth road all the way to your door. "  Irish Blessing 

I opened the door to let the dogs out this morning and was welcomed to the day by a brilliant full moon!

Now I had thought I would be unhappy that the weather has taken a turn for winter again, but I found myself feeling exhilarated by the bright cold clearness of the early morning.  I pulled out the coat, scarf, hat and mittens once again,  and ventured forth to meet the day.

The drive to work was a happy one, just looking at that beautiful moon.

Monday, March 2, 2009


"Imagination is more important than knowledge..." Albert Einstein

I am ready to chuck it all and go and work at the Lyric!  Okay, so not really.
After the backstage tour that Steve and I took on Sunday, my creative side got fired up.  Now there is not all that much creativity in this mind, so that is saying a lot.

We had the most magical time in Chicago.  The 4 hour Wagner opera, Tristan and Isolde, was worth going to just to experience the set!  It was tremendous.  The light slowly came on behind the firewall revealing what appeared to be a painting. Then the singers began to move.  The set design and lighting were so awesome that I felt like I was being walked through a beautiful work of art.  It was sort of like the moving paintings in the Harry Potter movies.

As we were having breakfast on Sunday morning, we noticed that it had started to snow.  It was so beautiful.  Now I would not have expected to be happy about snow on March 1, but it seemed to be just part of the magical weekend.

We set off for the backstage tour of The Civic Opera house.  We enjoyed a nice lunch in the lobby, watched a little of a new opera that is opening at the Lyric, which looks totally amazing, The Abduction of Seralio, by Mozart.  I have never heard of it, but it would be a fun one to see.
The tour started in the opera boxes!  Now one could used to the comfort of an opera box!  We got some history of the opera house and then on to more and exciting adventures.  We were on the catwalk, looking up 140ft at the flyway, we were in costuming, makeup and wigs (40 hours to create one wig!), properties room, the orchestra pit(got to stand where the maestro stands to conduct), and the stage.  The stage crew were disassembling the pieces of the set from Tristan and Isolde.  It was fascinating.

I wanted to work in properties, in costuming, in makeup  and on stage crew! What a fascinating career to be involved in. The lady in properties made reference as to what an imagination you have to have to work props.  I know this as both my girls were props head at the high school. They are full of imagination!

But, it is Monday morning and my sensible side has taken control again.  I am at work, bringing home the bacon!