Friday, August 27, 2010

Urbana Sweet Corn Festival

"One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love." Sophocles

One might ask, " What does love have to do with the Urbana Sweet Corn Festival?"  Well I will tell you.
Two years ago, the Urbana Sweet Corn Festival began on Friday evening August 22. I met Steve at the Courier Cafe that evening.  I wasn't feeling the best i have ever felt  and he had to go to work at 11:00pm, but that meeting changed my life.  So thank you Urbana Sweet Corn Festival!

 The next weekend on August 31 Steve picked me up and we took off for the Allerton Barn Music Festival to see Pacifica Quartet.  This was the beginning  of the best relationship I have ever had.

Now, two years later we will be at the Urbana Sweet Corn Festival on Saturday to eat some corn, Xinh Xinh will be serving Sweet Corn Egg rolls and Sweet corn Naitaing, and there will be ears of sweet corn and lemon shake ups and snow cones!   Then a chance to hear the Delta Kings.

It will be fun to be on the streets of downtown Urbana eating sweet corn.  I love it that Steve and I met during the Sweet Corn Festival and he use to grow corn.  Sort of corny, but it makes me smile!

Friday, August 20, 2010

My university town

"I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances."
Martha Washington

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense."  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Recently, I read a blog post, about the town I live in and it painted Urbana-Champaign in a very negative light.

I have been reading this person’s blog, off and on for a few years.  I stopped reading because I just couldn’t take it anymore, all the negativity.

So I began searching for some positive attitude quotations and was delighted to find Martha Washington expressing exactly how I feel about life and happiness.

I have had a tremendous amount of change in my life. I, like Martha, learned from all this change (yes some of if was terribly sad change) that I am responsible for my happiness. I don’t look to the circumstance I am placed in to be happy. I look to myself, and my attitude.

I was also happy to find my dear old friend Ralph Waldo Emerson had something to say about positive attitudes. I can always count on Emerson to have exactly the right words, that I cannot come up with on my own.
My town, Urbana-Champaign, has so much to offer anyone who is willing to make the effort to be happy.

I was at the wine tasting yesterday at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.  This is a free event, you don’t have to spend anything if you don’t want. There were two young
children running around playing while the parents, tried the wine and listened to the music. 

I was happy to see that these parents brought the kids along to be around a variety of people, to hear some good guitar music and to just have the chance to experience something other than the pop culture icons the children of today are bombarded with.

University towns have so much to offer everyone that is fortunate enough to live in them, especially families .

My children are grown, we always lived in university towns, and loved them all. My children were given as many opportunities and experiences we could give them. We did not rely soley on the current pop culture children’s tv and video of the day, or on just play dates. We brought our girls to just about every event we went to and let them have people of all ages to talk to and be around.

So for anyone coming to Urbana-Champaign, welcome and seek to find the best we have to offer.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


"The existing phrasebooks are inadequate. They are well enough as far as they go, but when you fall down and skin your leg they don't tell you what to say."  Mark Twain

Lately I seem to be even more clumsy than normal.  I have now fallen down twice in the last two weeks!
It has been quite awhile since my last fall, which was on the street in Chicago, but twice in two weeks is just crazy!

I know I have been preoccupied, but both times that I have fallen, I was in a pretty good mood, happy even, at least on the conscious level, and those falls seem to have come out of nowhere.

The first fall, i caught my shoe in a crack in the sidewalk going in to work. I went face first, down on the ground, splat. Bruised and slightly embarrassed, okay really.

Yesterday, I worked all day, went to the gym and did cardio for 45 minutes, then lifted weights for about 35 minutes. Feeling energized, and sweaty,  I proceeded to pull the extremely long blades of grass that were hiding my zinnias ( I mean you could probably make a thatched roof out of that grass).  Tired and even more sweaty, I went in and fed the dogs and let them out.   I proceeded to shower. It felt great, washed my hair and everything.   I through on a big tee shirt, hair in towel and started down the now empty hallway to let the dogs in.   When out of nowhere, my still wet foot slipped on the wood floor and down I went, with my knee bent and my lower leg behind, as if I was actually doing quadricep exercises!
Well I lay there in astonishment, for about 10 seconds, that I was actually on the ground again.  I then began to laugh and cry at the same time. Finally, I got up let the dogs in, combed my hair, fixed some nachos and got in bed with an ice pack on my knee!

Did that get me down? No way.  I got up dressed and went to the movies with my dear friend at 9:15pm!

I think maybe I had better keep my mind on just walking and try to actually stay upright for a while.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


No matter who says what, you should accept it with a smile and do your own work 
Mother Teresa

The other day I came across this absolutely marvelous quotation from Mother Teresa.  Now I think Mother Teresa is one of the true heroes of our times. She was totally amazing and helped so many people.

This simple little statement made me smile. I guess I have been a person who listens to what people say, but I seem to always do things the way I want them done.  I am quite sure I am different than a lot of other people.

Take my gardens for instance, I love the patch of Queen Ann's Lace that started growning in my front yard. One year I sprinkled some wild flower seeds in a small patch of dirt in the front of the house. For a year nothing came up, then a few Queen Ann's Lace appeared.  Now there is a fine bit of wild flowers just growing.  I will have to thin them out next year if they come back, but I find them totally beautiful!

My other flower gardens are sort of haphazard, and right now are overcome with grasses, which are just too persistent,  which I haven't had time to remove because I have been totally consumed with getting Regena ready for her move to LA  and spending a lot of quality time with her doing fun things.

Now I will have time to attack those grasses.  

So thanks Mother Teresa for such words of wisdom and for all the help you gave people for your life.

Friday, August 6, 2010

My time is definitely changing

I love this song. It was relevant 
when it was written
and it  seems timeless.


Come gather 'round people 
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters 
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon 
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin' 
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.
Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who 
That it's namin'.
For the loser now Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.
Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside 
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows 
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.
Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land 
And don't criticize 
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters 
Are beyond your command
Your old road is Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one 
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.
The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now Will later be past
The order is Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.
I am not quite sure of the how or why things happen when 
they do, but I think there must be a plan.

2010 so far has been a year of joy and pain and heart ache. 
Having to deal with Ryan's death and both girls moving away 
from home in the same year, is a
tremendous amount for my emotional self to deal with.
Having Steve in my life has been an amazing bit of luck. 
We have already had so much fun and done so many things, 
that it is almost too good to be true.  
We have an upcoming trip to Ireland in September, 
which comes at a perfect time 
for me. 
We have tons of things planned for the fall and winter 
at Krannert.  

I was able to spend a wonderful time with my Dad 
and my sister and my brother and his wife in Ireland.
I enjoyed an impromptu 3 day vacation with my sister 
and niece and great niece.  

I have good friends who I will definitely
 be spending time with.  
I have so much to  look forward to this fall 
and the new year. 

Ryan is with me always, sometimes more than others. 
My mom is with me too.
My girls will be in touch and I will get to visit.

While my time is definitely changing,
I plan to make the most of it.