Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tonight I had an incredible experience: I let myself dream selfishly of things I would love to achieve/have/be. I can't even remember the last time I let myself do that! I have achieved some pretty lofty dreams. And I thoroughly enjoyed dreaming up some new ones! God, when was the last time you did that?
My dream started with an image of a horse. I really don't know much about them, or how to vet them or take proper care of one. But something about the beauty, strength and energy of this animal really touched me. I saw myself getting him. Living somewhere where I could have him. Live somewhere where I could pack up some of my attained dreams and share my new one. I saw myself happy. Living out of the city somewhere, somewhere where I could paint again, live a more uncomplicated life, and most importantly, again, be happy.
And all because of one single image of a horse.....

Monday, December 5, 2011

St. Nick's

Tonight is the night for as long as I remember as kids we used to put out socks for St. Nick to fill with sweets and fruit. In anticipation, we would go to our drawer and pick out the longest sock we could find! For me, it was usually the 70's era white tube socks with three rings of color around the top! I think my sisters were a bit less gaudy, and my brothers? Well, we WERE boys and tube socks rang supreme! Plus, they stretched to accommodate more sugary goodness!
So, I am continuing this tradition here on Hutchinson Street for my daughter. Two years ago she picked out a Tinkerbelle stocking- no mere tube sock for her! (plus her feet are so small her socks wouldn't hold much!) I am so giddy with anticipation for her to wake up and look at her stocking!!
So, YAY for St. Nick! Thanks mom for passing this tradition on for us! It is so much fun! I hope whomever reads this will pick up on this old tradition ( German? Polish? Prussian? Not sure of its origin), because it is so wonderful, fun, and memoryful!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Almost Turkey Time!

It's almost Thanksgiving!
Our house is getting prepared for our guests. I pulled the turkey (or simply "the bird" at it has been called by my mom) out of the freezer. I am told if it doesn't thaw fast enough to put it in water- good to know! Tomorrow evening it will be getting a brine bath so it will be tasty and moist.
I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to this holiday! It is one of the few that doesn't involve elaborate gifts; rather, it is about sharing a dinner, talking, and being thankful for whatever we all are thankful for. It is a time for family, those present around the table, those who may be having dinner at their own homes or in-laws, and also for remembering family that has passed.
This year is a little extra special for me: I am doing this with Layne. It will be our first Thanksgiving we've had together, and also our first Thanksgiving hosting! Olivia will be present of course, and she has the VERY IMPORTANT job of making the corn muffins. We will all have our hands full over the next few days as we clean, decorate and prep for this wonderful day!
So remember to be thankful, even if this past year has been trying. Be thankful for your health if you have it and all you hold dear, be it human, animal, or spiritual in nature.
If I don't post again soon, have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

They say fall (autumn) is like our second spring. The trees will be ablaze with color, and some bushes and shrubs as well.
Fall is also a time when our kids go back to school. Mine had her first day yesterday. She was all dressed up, a little nervous, but mostly excited to start kindergarten. As her little hand left mine and took the teachers and they walked into the classroom, I felt she is growing up and there is no slowing down time. I also cried a bit as the door slowly closed behind them.
I wonder how it is going to be as she grows- will she still reach for my hand as we walk down the street? Will she still randomly say "I love you daddy"? Will she still want to come into my bedroom when there is a thunder storm (God I hope so!!)? I guess the passing of the years will tell. I am hopeful that even when she's 30 she'll reach over, hold my hand, and tell me she loves me.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

An old friend

Funny how things turn out.
About 15 years ago I really wanted a cat. It was something I really, really wanted. I went all over looking for the perfect kitten.
Well, as I was walking through a pet shop on Wells I couldn't help but notice this little brown kitten staring at me. As I walked closer she became animated, and starting reaching through the glass door for me. That cinched the deal!
I named her Mocha, after her brown color.
Mocha was a very special cat. She went to the multiple apartments we lived in, then when we moved to Michigan she moved with us, enjoying the sunshine and being a really good mouser!
She also was also there for multiple pet dogs I've been fortunate enough to have- Sashle, Claude, Luke, Jack... two of which enjoyed long lives, the others not so fortunate, but happy dogs nonetheless.
She also helped comfort me when I was going through a very emotional breakup.
When I moved back to Chicago, Mocha stayed in Michigan in a "loft apartment" that overlooked the llama pastures. I knew she was well cared for and loved, so that made things a little easier.
So a few days ago I hear that Mocha needs a home as the farm has taken a new direction and is going to be rented to weekenders and vacationers. It wasn't fair to Mocha to be left outside, so Bob asked if I could take her back and find a home for her. I say yes.
Now, we already have two cats, and wasn't sure how this will all settle. I am a bit nervous. I take her immediately to the basement and show her where the cat pan in and food and water. I leave her downstairs to figure things out. When I come back, I call her name and she comes up to me, purring and rubbing against my leg! I know she remembers... images of our past come and go through my mind... and I realize, Mocha is here to stay.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


It's summertime in Chicago. That means hot, humid weather, trips to the pool with O, trips to the Montrose Dog Beach with Dixon, grilling and parties with friends!
I'm teaching Olivia to swim. She is doing great! She can tread water a little bit, totally get submerged without breathing in ( last year, when we started going underwater, we had a few rules: Rule #1- DON'T PANIC. Rule#2- You are not a mermaid, so NO BREATHING UNDERWATER!). She is dismissing the kiddie pool and wants only the adult pool. Granted, she never lets go and makes sure I am always holding onto her ( that makes me happy!). But I want her to swim freely in water and ME not to panic. As kids we always swam- in Lake Michigan, at Uncle and Aunt Tom and Nancy's, later in Beaver Lake, then back to Lake Michigan, and in the summertime in Vermont- the waterfalls, rivers and reservoirs, and I remember the water time fondly. I never was afraid of water, as far back as I remember. Even when we went to visit Nanny and Grandpa in Florida, going to the Gulf of Mexico, and me with some of my siblings on a floating raft, slipping off and sinking to the bottom- I remember not worrying, the sense of quiet, of being at peace in the water, then my sister Midge pulling me up- even then I wasn't scared or worried. So it is important to me to teach my only daughter to swim. I want her to feel secure in water, to respect it, and most importantly, enjoy herself in it and feel comfortable.
So, happy summer to all- enjoy the water, get out into nature, and have fun!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I had a very thought provoking moment at the salon today.
I was doing one of my regulars, talking about relationships, guys (like we usually do- LOVE her!), and she told me of a man she calls her one true love. I asked her about him, because I was really interested. She takes great care of herself, looks great always, and is always put together. This took me by surprise, because I thought she would be with the man she calls her "one true love".
She tells me she can tell when he is going to call. She also knows when he is going to be around, almost to a psychic level. It really intrigued me! She said the reason it doesn't work is that he has adult children that he, for some reason, won't fully let grow up, and it gets in the way of them having a relationship. They had been together dating wise for a period of time, but it ended three years ago. I could tell the way she was talking about him that she really loves this guy. I told her she should tell him her feelings and lay it all out on the line.
It made me wonder, is there such thing as a "one true love"? Or can love be measured? And who do we use as the measure?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My little girl is turning 5 this weekend. I can vividly remember when I first saw her- she was swaddled nice and tight in the nursery at the hospital. As I looked through the glass, it finally hit me that this is REALLY happening. Probably all my life I knew I wanted to have kids, and at that moment my hopes and dreams were in the shape of a little 8 pound girl. And when I held her for the first time, gave her that bottle in the hospital, I knew that the decision was the best one I've ever made.
Now she's going to be five- FIVE! I asked her tonight in a break from our playing what happened to the little baby from 5 years ago, and she said with a shrug, "I growed up"!
The first 5 years have literally flown by. So much happens from birth to one, one to two, two to three and so on. Each milestone is met with awe. Each laugh goes straight to my heart, each boo-boo kissed (and neo-sporined), and each mouth full of food she eats makes me happy (silly, I know!).
So, my little girl, here's to you turning 5! And here's to our time together, too- time that has proven to be the most cherished time for me in my life!
I love you so much!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Thoughts of home

There is so much more than four walls and a ceiling to a home. It's also more than a place to go for shelter.
It is where so much life happens. It's where your kids play with their toys. It's where your pets chase each other across the floor. It's where you cook, sleep, clean, laugh, cry, dream and hope. And mostly love.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It has been one of those days that I found myself reflecting on my immediate life.
Why? Because I am happy. Sure, I could use more money, and would be great if I got all that I've lent out back. Promises promises, right??!
But I can't help but smile.
I love my family (including my boyfriend in that statement!), my home, my goofydoodle Dixon.
After school today, we came home and played outside with her flying horses. Mine chased hers, hers knocked mine out of the sky (!). Then we had a simple dinner and decided to go to the park.
I chased her as I usually do, around the playground. Caught her as she came down the slide backwards. "Daddy, don't forget to catch me!"
Lots of laughing, lots of smiles- like a good, warm spring day should be.
On the walk back she asked if I could carry her. I asked if she wanted to ride on my shoulders (always the best for the back!), and she said no, to hold her. So I picked her up and she wrapped her arms around my neck and said in a tired voice she loves me. That made the ache go away, the walk go a little faster, and my heart swell even more.
It's no wonder I am happy!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mom's Day

Mothers Day!
If I were a person who designed cards for a living and needed to come up with one that embodied what my mom means to me, I think it would be the largest card EVER!
Some words to describe her would be:
Wound healer (both physical and emotional)
Role model
Wonder woman
Enabler of our dreams
Awesome grandmother, awesome mother
Very giving
Selfless for her children

So, as I am sitting here in my office at work writing this and getting all teary eyed, I'm also laughing, because as a card writer, how in the heck would you make that all rhyme?!?!
So, Happy Mothers Day, MOM!!! I love you, Olivia loves you, and I can speak for all my siblings, WE ALL LOVE YOU!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I had a few hours yesterday to myself and decided to take Dixon, our puppy, to the dog beach.
We got there, and he was so excited! He bounced around before taking off to meet new friends.
Now there were big dogs, little dogs, hairy dogs, skinny dogs, fat dogs- dogs of all varieties!
Dixon, in his floppy puppy self doesn't discriminate against any dog- any is fair game for a potential play buddy!
One dog in particular wouldn't leave him alone- it was some sort of chihuahua mix that was barking, snarling, jumping all over him. This happened for half the length of the park. The owner tried getting him, but he was more interested in antagonizing Dixon. Through the whole experience, Dixon didn't flinch. He tried engaging the dog in play, but the other dog wouldn't have it. Dixon would run up to another dog to play with the little guy bounding at him- Dixon just let that dog do what that dog wanted to do. So me, the guy who tries finding meaning in events that happen around me, came up with this: I should be more like Dixon!
He knows what he wants: play. Someone tries to squish his plans, and annoyingly so: but he continues his quest for play. How cool would that be if we had our eyes on what we want and not let the annoying people who don't want us to achieve our goals get to us? And more importantly, realize that sometimes it is us who are afraid of reaching our goals and sabotage what we want.
So I am not going to let the chihuahua mixes get in the way of keeping my goals!
Thanks, Dixon, for the lesson!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Although this past Sunday was Easter, we colored our Easter Eggs today.
It was so much fun, even though we used several colors a month ago (we couldn't wait!) and had three to use today!
We left some in a very long time, some not so long, and another batch right in between the two.
After the eggs dried, Olivia painted them. She had fun, and said this was the best day ever! And my sister Midge reminded me of us using the cracked eggs, too- and I remembered the cracks taking on more dye, and the egg whites being stained with whatever color bled through!
Coloring Easter eggs was always a fun thing to do growing up- we used PAAS dyes! I remember the box with the push out holes, the white crayon to make designs, and the transfer stickers that came in the box. Such fond memories! Definitely something we will always do in our household, too! It was always family time when it came to coloring the eggs, which SOMEHOW made it into our Easter baskets! Smart bunny! :)
I love hearing about others Easter traditions- so feel free to drop me a line and tell me yours!
Happy spring everyone!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Got a puppy or dog with a diahrea problem and can't get to the vet right away? I found a simple solution when Dixon started getting a little, uh, poopy!
Boil one package of ground chicken.
Make double the rice.
So, the mix is two parts rice and one part chicken. Mix them together.
For a medium/large size dog, give one teaspoon (that's all) of organic (if possible!) pumpkin. Not in the food, but mine loves licking it off the spoon!
Of course, take your dog into the vet if you think anything is wrong. This isn't a cure, but will definitely help with the poopies!
And, they love it!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Yes, I bemember when...

It's hard to believe that April is upon us. The daffodil's, tulips, and day lillys are popping up through the ground. A couple days of warm weather will make them grow even faster. The ancient crab apple in the front yard looks like it is going to bless us with many white and pink blossums again this year- I think of that tree as just too old and cranky to give up the ghost, though every year we seem to lose a major branch of it.
And then there is Olivia. This is going to be her fifth spring come May. For me, she is the most glorious flower I have ever helped "grow". Watching how she has grown from a wobbly toddler to someone that runs, turns corners quickly without falling... wow. And her laugh. That laugh that I sometimes want so badly to hear that I engage her in a game of "Tickle Monster". Every year is full of amazement. She is unfolding into the most amazing girl. We share the love of animals, of nature, art. And stories. It makes me happy to hear her start a sentence with "Papa, bemember when...." and she'll recall something from the past, sometimes right on, or sometimes with her own twist. She has a very healthy imagination, as most kids do, and I feel so priveledged to be a part of her life. My little flower.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's a beautiful world.
Forget for just a moment if you can the wars, both political and personal, close your eyes and listen. Listen to nature, your child's laughter, your partners breath. There is so much good happening around us, it is just as important to give energy and importance to those happenings, no- it is even more important to give energy and importance to them than to the negative! We should all bring the positive to the forefront of our days. Sometimes we have to find the good, but believe me, it is out there.
Yesterday we had a little break in the weather. I was able to open my windows and let some fresh air in. It was great, as not only did the house breathe a little, but as I was getting ready for work, the sounds of sparrows were heard. Sparrows, which my science teacher were brought over from England for the theater, and so that our English immigrant ancestors could hear a familiar sound they liked so much from their homeland in their gardens.
So, if your view is the side of a brick building, or your view is of the ocean, take a moment, take a deep breath, and think to yourself- it is a beautiful world.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

It's March 2nd and I am starting to feel the shift that comes with the onset of spring!
I have noticed the birds, for one thing, have been singing outside. I also heard the geese, and saw some on the ground taking a break from their flight up from the south.
I have been showing my daughter the signs of spring: the big buds on the magnolia's, the start of buds on the trees, the sounds of the birds... love the sounds of the birds..., and the melting snow. We are both looking forward to the colors that will come in the way of green grass, yellow daffodils and different color tulips in our yard!
Olivia is really into color. Her teacher recently gave the class "worry dolls", those little dolls from Guatemala. You tell them your worries before you go to bed and supposedly they make your worries go away. Well, she said they are also "wish dolls" (!), and you can tell them your wishes and they will come true. I asked her what her wish was, and she said she couldn't tell me or the wish wouldn't come true. I said she was right! Well, after school today she was sitting in her car seat and said, "daddy, my wishes didn't come true." I said,"oh, thats o.k., sometimes wishes take awhile to come true!" She said, "well, I wished that everything would be pink. The school, the houses, and our car!" Yep, my girl definitely sees her world through rose colored glasses! And thank God not every wish comes true!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's been a while since I've last blogged, and the reason is I've been busy being happy!
I love the people I have in my life now- an awesome daughter that keeps me focused on what is right and beautiful in this world;
a wonderful man that makes me laugh, makes me love, and makes me happy and excited to see him; and a wonderfully supportive family that I would wish for everybody!
For the first time in three years, I know what it is like to be in a good relationship. No hidden agendas, nothing to hide- just living openly and honestly, and with hope and honesty for a future!
So yeah, things are going well- busy being happy!

Monday, February 7, 2011


Today is my day off. This is the day that after I drop Olivia off at school, she won't bless our home for a week.
Mondays used to be such a hard day for me for that reason. Not that they have become any easier, for I always miss her this first night especially. One of the things I do on Mondays, my day off of work and parenting, is to clean and get some errands done.
And when I clean, I think. I think about all sorts of things.
I think of what makes these walls my home, and can't help sometimes of trying to parallel my home with the apartment in Milwaukee we called home. One of the most important to me is family. At one point, my brothers and I lived there with my mom. Then it was two sisters, my younger brother and mom. We were always welcome home, in between jobs, homes, after college, before careers started, and especially during holidays. A cornerstone of our family is our mom. She will still open her home to her kids with open arms and heart.
So here, I try to create my family, which seems abbreviated in week on/ week off. I have filled some of the void with my pets, but alas, no matter how much I like them, they aren't people. I have a wonderful man in my life who has been so good and patient.
Things may not be perfectly the way I like them in the "right now", but they are getting closer. A plan is in place. Goals are set. And with faith and a good sprinkling of hope, I am thinking things are going to be just fine.

Friday, January 28, 2011

In it. Out of it. Looking for it. Lost it. Whatever part of love you have right now, you have to admit it is probably one of the most powerful emotions we as humans can feel.
Right now, I am in it. Big time! One of the side effects of love is yearning. Another may be anticipation. Like seeing him again, and feeling, well, safe and whole. Not that one isn't whole by oneself, but if you have been in love, you know what I am talking about. It feels good!
And what about those little "coincidences" that happen when you are thinking about your love? Is there such thing as coincidence? Right now as I write this, his "morning song" came on. Have you ever experienced that? Thinking about your loved one and a song comes on that is special to the two of you? Or maybe a scent. Or an image comes to your consciousness, and the phone rings and there they are. Or a simple text.
No matter what part of love you may be experiencing, you have to admit it- love is a beautiful thing!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's the middle of January. Tonight it is going to be only 4 degrees, but with a wind chill of -20. And I am feeling good!
I have taken my own advice, the kind of advice I've given to friends before. This time it's for me. I am living honestly and openly, and for the first time in a long time, I am going to be living for myself. Of course I am still responsible for my daughter! But now, I am going to put more energy towards my adult life.
I want my two worlds to meet.
For awhile, I have worried about being public with my personal relationships. Not anymore. It feels good to talk to friends, clients about the man I am dating. I want the people to know the person I am choosing to be with. I really feel that way! And I want people to experience what I am experiencing- joy, happiness, and the ability to be free to love openly the person you want to love.
No more hiding. No more skirting "the question". Yes, I am in a relationship! Yes, I am very happy with who I am with!
And I wish that for everyone.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Making the Most

Today as I was driving to work, lost somewhere in my own thoughts (of course!), I happened to look up at a lady in a Statue of Liberty outfit handing out pamphlets for something on sale or for a business- Bedding Experts? Tax place? I was imagining myself in that costume, and how embarrassed I would be. Then I looked at the woman's face- she must have been about 60- and to my surprise, she wasn't looking depressed and long in face- she was smiling! And, maybe- really?- laughing! That took me out of my thoughts, and I started smiling, too! How cool is it that she was making the most of her situation! She was having fun! And as I was driving away, I was thinking that what I saw has to be a lesson. Make the most of what is given to you, and smile! You never know who's life you may be affecting!