Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tis the Season

"This little green one here seems to need a home." Charlie Brown

Well it is the season.  I look forward to the Christmas season all year long.  I started watching Christmas movies in mid November.    I have traditions I uphold, because i love them.  I hang decorations that my children made so many years ago.  It is my favorite time of the year.

So I am contemplating why I have a mixed bag of feelings this year.  So many joyous feelings mixed with a bit of melancholy.   Thinking about how much my mom loved Christmas and how many seasons she has been gone.  My mother really loved Christmas and she held it in her heart all year long. She made each Christmas special when I was a little girl, that it became a part of who I am.  I am missing her so much this year,  perhaps it is because I am getting older.  I am missing Ryan so much also.  I have a pair of purple flannel pajamas that he bought me so many Christmases ago, and a purple night shirt, and a gold necklace that has two hearts,  he told me it was mine and his.   I miss him.  I hung his stocking with the rest of ours, even though nothing will be put in the stocking.   He is my son and just because he is not here on earth with me, he is in my heart.

So, I guess aging, is bringing on these thoughts of Christmases gone by,but thankfully, I still feel an enormous amount of joy and anticipation at this wondrous time of the year.  I look forward to spending time with family and friends, and just enjoying the season.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


"Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon. July 1969AD.  We came in peach for all mankind." Neill Armstrong

In my quest to find beauty in each day, I sometimes get bogged down by life itself.  Most of the time my mind thinks I am 25 years old still.  But, occasionally my body says"  Oh no, you aren't 25  years old, you are more than twice that age!   Thanks body for reminding me.  I had a slight set back with my injured knee yesterday afternoon.  I have been having increased mobility and feeling pretty good, even started taking the stairs again.  Well, the knee rebelled, I stood up to do something at work and had searing pain in knee.  I hobbled home, took ibuprofen and laid down.  When i could move a little better I went to the store to procure a knee brace.  You see, the new medical system at the clinic I go to is so bad, that when I told them i could not put any weight on the knee,  they said "Well we can't get you in today, but i will leave a message for the nurse to call you back."  Well later in the day, the nurse called.  She could not even get me in the next day.   I told her to forget about it!  I would go buy a brace and take care of myself.  I was a little annoyed.

So, feeling a bit down,  I got up this morning, put the knee brace on and set out for work.  Just as I turned the corner,   the enormous full moon came into view in the western sky,  which was totally clear, and the air was crisp and cool.  It was so amazingly beautiful, I just forgot everything and was in awe.

"The moon is at her full and riding high, Floods the calm fields with light.  The airs that hover in the summer sky Are all asleep tonight." William C. Bryant

So, thank you Earth for sending me that beautiful message this morning.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How my mind works

"My formula for living is quite simple.  I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night.  In between, I occupy myself the best I can."  Cary Grant

Today  I am feeling a bit anxious and a bit alone.  I had a lovely weekend with my friends and with Steve.

I had a lovely dinner and chat with my good friend last night,  still however, I am feeling like I just want someone to talk to right now at this moment.

I never quite understand where these feelings come from.  Why am I such an emotional person?  I have a lot of work to do and I am very grateful for that; I have a lovely family and I am grateful for that; I have a wonderful person to spend my life with and I am grateful for that; I have delightful and caring friends and I am grateful for that.

So i wonder why i get these overwhelming feelings of be alone and needing just to talk with someone.

Whatever the reason, just writing it down helps me to just put that feeling on a shelf and get on with the business of being happy.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


"Here's what I tell anybody and this is what I believe. The greatest gift we have is the gift of life. We understand that. That comes from our Creator. We're given a body. Now you may not like it, but you can maximize that body the best it can be maximized." Mike Ditka

Needless to say,  I am feeling FAT!  This morning i put on my black jeans, which at one time i called my fat pants, because i had lost enough weight that they were baggy.  Well, I know i have been rather out of control lately,  and I keep making excuses, but the fact is I AM FAT!   I started a food diary, and have taken a long hard look at exactly what I am eating.  No wonder I feel fat!   I have gained back all the weight I lost, I have little desire to do much of anything and now I am flat out sick of the way I look.

Now I see this as a good thing.  Because  now I will take charge, get the will power fired up ( after all it really all comes down to will power,  I mean I know how to eat properly, but I just don't)  and give it a good try.

Partly I am blaming menopause.  Yes it is true things move around post menopausal,  and I am also blaming my alone time, which is a lot these days.   I will sit around in the evening and eat when i am not even hungry and i blame being alone so much for that, and the fact that I am a stress eater.

But, when you can't stand the way you look, and your fat pants feel tight in the morning, it really is time to get back on a healthy eating plan.  I need to turn down muffins and coffee cake at work  and grab a cup of green tea instead.  I need to grab a book instead of all those horrible things i have been eating in the evening.

         "Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading.
          I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning. " Thomas Jefferson

Yes I truly believe TJ.  My exercise routine has to get up to speed, once my injured ligament in the knee heals,  I am thinking next week for sure, starting out slowly.

So FAT PANTS,  watch out,   I am going to put you in the back of the drawer  and take out the jeans I bought last year and well actually can't zip now.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Autumn Color

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
Folliott S. Pierpoint

The colors this autumn have been magnificent.  I drove around after work looking for the most beautiful tree.  I couldn't actually  get a good photo of the tree i wanted, so I took off on a walk around my neighborhood.  Not the best shot ever, and the color just didn't show up as well as I would like,  but here it is anyway.

I am attempting to find some beauty every day.  The amount of alone time I have now seems a bit overwhelming at times and I need to remind myself that there is beauty to be found in every day.

The color red, one of my favorites has been really prevalent in the trees in my neighborhood. It is also the color associated with my favorite baseball team,  who by the way just won the WORLD SERIES.  I have actually had the good fortune to see my team win the world series 3 times, and I am old enough to remember 1964 and 1967 although being a teenage girl then I just barely remember.  But 2006 was so memorable because I was in Scotland with my Dad visiting my daughter  and we got up to head for the train station to get to the airport very early; we switched on the telly and were able to see the Cardinals win the World Series.  My dad proudly wore his red Cardinal hat all over Scotland, trying to get some information on how the series was going.    I think I will remember this 2011 victory for a long time. Even though I had to watch game 7 alone, it was so thrilling.  In 1982 my dad and I celebrated with champagne. For this win I celebrated by breaking the seal on my bottle of Oban 14 yr single malt, which i procured in Oban with my other daughter, while visiting her in May.

So I will continue to remember to find the beauty in each day, and not dwell on all that alone time I have now.  For today, I found the early morning sky filled with the most beautiful and brilliant stars. The cool crisp air and the brilliance of the stars should be plenty of beauty to get me through  today.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Riding the emotional roller coaster

"Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health."  Carl Jung

When I was in college, oh so many years ago,   I took several courses in psychology,  in truth, I really thought about majoring in that course of study.  Carl Jung, i found him most interesting.  As for this quotation, I just want to say   really?   why?

If you read the blog yesterday, you would know that I was all pumped up for a road trip.  I went home from work, showered, did my hair, got off my knee for a while ( oh yes I have a strained ligament from Monday when I fell walking the dog; she could not help it if that squirrel ran right in front of her! I had the suitcase ready to go, a bag of munchies for the car and a cooler with lunch in it, sitting patiently waiting for Steve to arrive and whisk me off for fun and exciting getaway.

Well, when he came in the door, the look on his face gave me a real scare.  I thought something really really bad had happened.  My heart so to speak was in my mouth.  Adrenaline was kicking in.

As it turns out, our road trip had to be cancelled.  Steve was forced to work on Friday, even though he had the shift covered (which should be the director of nursings job).  I felt so sad for him.  But, you have to accept things you cannot change no matter how sad it feels.

I put all the food stuffs away, so the dog wouldn't ravage the bag, and we headed out to Krannert Center for Uncorked.  A little wine and cheese and munchies to get our minds off our sadness.  I started a game of Scrabble on Steve's IPad while he was up procuring our wine choice,  a delightful Malbec from Argentina, with the taste of berries and chocolate. So we played and tried to relax.  Went to Basil Thai for a bowl of delicious Tom Yum Noodle soup with vegetables and tofu  to comfort ourselves.   Then home to watch game 6 of the World Series.

Now that was a game for sure, and while I was on the emotional roller coaster anyway, I watched anxious and filled with dreadful thoughts.  But, my team, the St. Louis Cardinals are a never say die kind of team,  and while i turned off the tv in the bottom of the 9th for about 5 minutes, I ended up staying up until nearly midnight watching the fun and festivities of the St. Louis win, in the bottom of the 11th with two out and David Freese up to bat.  How could I turn the set off after that!  Had to hear all the interviews and rewatch the wonders of bottom of 9th, 10th and 11th innings.

So today, I am at work, exhausted emotionally.  I have to say that the early morning sky was absolutey beautiful and clear,  the stars were amazingly bright and Orion was just hanging there about my building.

So, happy, fearful, sad, anxious, relaxed, sad, anxious, dread filled, and then finally elated.  How is that for a ride?!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Road Trip

"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." Saint Augustine

Travel, not a problem for me.  I plan on filling my book with many pages.   My Road Trip for this weekend will take Steve and I to beautiful South Carolina.

I really love Charleston,  I have been there when my girls were young. When we drove up the avenue to Boone Hall plantation, we all exclaimed with delight,  as we recognized the scenery.  Little did we know before we drove down that avenue that our favorite tv mini series  North and South was filmed here and we were driving up to Mont Royal!  I think i will always remember how the girls and I felt that day.

The weather should be beautiful and we will be visiting Fort Sumter.  Steve has not been there before and I delight in being able to go again.

There is nothing like a trip, even a short one to take away the cares of my world and transport me to somewhere magical.   It tends to motivate me to try to accomplish more in my work and home.

Look for future posts of magical trips I was able to take this year.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


"Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Well, it has been a very long time since I have written a word.   I have been undergoing many changes in my life all at once.  The so called "change of life" that a woman goes through, is exactly that, a change of life.  Almost everything about me seems different now.  I am not sure i really know me any longer.

Menopause, accompanied by the fact that both children left the house the same year to go to graduate school, and the loss of one child, has made me feel and look different.  I have been struggling with this change, in fact, I am not very good with change, even though i know it is a fact of life.

I don't seem to be able to gain control of my diet, it is really out of control.  I don't want to clean the house regularly, or to do large projects, such as clean out my garage.  I don't care about gardening anymore, it seems to be such a chore.

I long to just sit with a good book and a cup of tea, or watch a good movie, or travel.
I am very happy for my daughters. I think they are amazing, wonderful women.

I have a relationship with a loving and caring man, who sees to my every need. We travel together and have wonderful vacations and long weekends. We enjoy operas and eating out and hiking in beautiful locations, and museums.

So why might one as have I felt the need to write today.   The answer is I just don't know.  I know I have some hurdles to jump, and that i get through each day as it comes.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Funky Februrary

"The art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children." Elain Heffner

I am in my usual February funk.   I get it every year.  I think it may be a multi-faceted funk.

Tax time is rolling around and as usual I am thrown into the worrying of paying the taxes, I try to save the money every year so I don't worry,  but alas it never seems to work.  And now my paycheck will be getting smaller because even more will be going to the IRS and to the State of Illinois which is in dire straits!  So pay raises are frozen, my check is getting smaller, all while I am working to decrease the amount of debt I have!

But I expect that the main reason I get this funk, is that 33 years ago my mom went into the hospital to have a simple procedure on done on her sinus cavities. She was in the hospital for about 2 weeks.

She never came home.  My mom was the most delightful person.  She had a love for life that was contagious.  She mastered the art of mothering, because she gave me the gift of life,  living it to the fullest, laughing and just enjoying life. I think I am optimistic, a glass is half full kind of woman, because of her. 

I will always be grateful that Regena Daniels was my mom.  My delightful son, Ryan is now with my mom  again.   She never got to know him as an adult here on earth, but I feel they are together now.

I will be glad to be past the first week of March! 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January 2011

"It's so much more friendly with two."   Piglet      

I refused to have the after Christmas blues.  I get them every now and then, but this January I made plans to go to  L. A. to visit Regena!

Steve and I had a lovely Christmas together. It was different for me not having either of my girls home.  Oh I got to speak to them, Janet called from Germany on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Regena called from L.A. both days.  It was lovely to hear their voices.  But, I needed to see them.

I set out of a jet plane, all by myself!   First time for everything.  Darling Steve drove me to Chicago to catch a very early morning flight. What ever would I do without him! It was a comfy flight, no turbulence and my anticipation of seeing Regena had me very excited.

We drove straight to her apartment and I was in awe of her neighbor hood.  The apartment was great and the houses on the cross street were amazing. We set out on foot to visit her campus.  Which was so beautiful.  We went to a fabulous movie theater in downtown LA then home for some supper.

The next morning we set out for Griffith Observatory.  A fun hike from the park at the bottom to the Observatory at the top.  The planetarium show was awesome and the exhibits really fun.

Then it was off to Hollywood!  Hollywood was everything I expected and even more.  It was fun to think of the history of this studio driven era of movie making.   We of course went to Grauman's Chinese Theater.


And all the handprints in concrete!

Who could resist trying out Marilyn Monroe's hands,   wow! we have the same sized hands!  And of course the famous walk of fame   and finding our favorite stars!

Then off to the historic LA Farmers Market.  What a wonderful experience. So much wonderful food and produce and meats and all sorts of shops to buy delightful things.

Then we had a delightful dinner at Little Dom's in Lox Feliz.
A perfect end to a perfect day.

The next day saw us on our way to the Getty Center. If ever you go to L.A. , this is a must see.  It actually could be a two day event, there is so much to see.  We visited the exhibit of illuminated manuscripts from Belgium and the Netherlands   and then the ones from France.  We saw the painting which were amazing and to see The Irises by Van Gogh up close and personal was truly exciting.

Next stop Santa Moncia Beach
Stopping on the pier for a little pier food to munch on the beach!

Then back to the apartment for a fine dinner, via a trip to Trader Joes.

My January vacation and get rid of the after Christmas blues was perfect in every way.  Like piglet said,
"It's so much more friendly with two"