29 March 2011


This morning in Bratislava.

Just decided to be a walker.

I'm on my way! You'd better come down out of that tree.

27 March 2011


CA and I enjoy breakfast today with our friend KG. Benedict's serves Intelligentsia coffee--a favorite. CA can't resist the Risotto Benedict again, while I branch out with poached eggs atop prosciuto with a tomato coulis plopped on freshly steamed asparagus spears. And, an English muffin floating with melted butter. Sorry WW...

Today's a sunny, but cold early Spring day and I'm too restless to stay home, so after dropping CA off, I accomplish some tasks in Woodstock, and then drive 25 minutes to Lake Geneva, WI. I'm not the only Chicagoan with this idea the streets bustling with friends and families, bundled up against the cold, but with sunglasses firmly in place.

I'm not overly tempted by the merchandise, but wandering about the lovely shops is creatively stimulating. Eventually, I find Starbucks for a grande mostly-dry, extra-hot capuccino. Good thing I've tucked a Greek yogurt in my tote bag because someone is grilling burgers and I'm hungry...

Before heading home, I check out Marshall's and TJMaxx in Crystal Lake. Have to do this at least once a week.

I've managed to touch base with two girlfriends during my drive time--with promises of future dinners and evenings together. I've missed both CF and NF. I haven't seen NF since her husband's wake... We try to get together, but our schedules don't always jive.

Tomorrow is Monday, so I'll be home--cleaning and arranging and packing for my trip. I love Mondays!

26 March 2011



Stood on-line at the Apple Store in Deer Park beginning at 6:20am on Thursday, then spent the night at RvH's so I could drive her to O'Hare early on Friday a.m. Thursday's adventure required a 5:00am wake-up-call and Friday's was 4:30am. I'm not a morning person... Thank you Starbucks on Randall Road for opening at 5:00am!

Lots of hunting and gathering has been keeping me busy for a few weeks now, and next Wednesday I leave for Europe. I am very excited.

Today CA and I sleep in a bit and then go to Health Bridge to workout. Another Starbucks run for cappuccino and oatmeal, and then we shop for jeans at Spring Hill and after head to Wheaton for lunch at Front Street Cocina, CA's first trip to The Perfect Thing, and Whole Foods. CA goes along to TPT under protest, but really enjoys himself. Lots of temptation, but no purchases today.

We wander and taste-test through Whole Foods, buying a small layer cake--milk chocolate and caramel--for CA's birthday, some Intelligentsia coffee, and some fresh mango.

By the time we get home we're done for the day. We haven't wandered and shopped like this on a Saturday for months. A fine day.

Tomorrow is brunch with a friend to review Sunday's Small Group experience, and then some errands and chores. We'll have a great meal and slow down enough to re-group for the week ahead.

22 March 2011


Just before tackling the iPhone, CA and I finally purchased the Canon Ti1 EOS Rebel digital camera to replace our film version. We have great lens that will fit this camera, so we've been debating getting this camera for almost two years...

I finally settled down to conquer the new camera yesterday. While we've had our Canon film camera for several years, I've hardly used it--prefering my digital point and shoot because it's just so much easier to fit into a purse, pocket, or carry-on.

Up until and including this week, all my blog photos have been taken with the Nikon Coolpix S4

I even gifted this camera to JE last weekend in Omaha, and then accidentally carried it home in my purse. Really. It was an accident.

I will use the new camera in Europe beginning next week. I will. In fact, I can hardly wait!

21 March 2011



So, I officially take every Monday off from errands and appointments. I don't work, so everyday is kind of an off day, but on Mondays I stay home. Sometimes I clean, sometimes I sleep, sometimes I do projects. The point of Mondays is that when a thought comes to mind that requires me to leave the house, I immediately remember that I stay home on Mondays and then feel no guilt about putting it off. Mondays I stay home. I love Mondays!

19 March 2011


Technology is hell! I'm no Luddite, but adapting to this iPhone is a challenge. First and foremost, my senior eyes are fatigued from non-stop staring at the too-smallish screen. And, my fat fingers are still learning the light touch required to spell correctly.

I've managed to upload my Weight Watcher app and my email and blog... By bedtime I can hardly focus on the pages of my big, thick book.

Normally I buzz through books, but I've been so scattered lately--all the birthday (husband, mother-in-law, grandaughter #4, grandaughter #1, son, RvH, nieces, grade-school-friend, etc.) cards and shopping; preparing for trip to Europe on the 30th, facilitating Small Group--that I haven't been reading as much. I'm really liking this book and am anxious to get to the other 14 books I have next to my nightstand. I keep renewing my library books, but they all have to be returned before I leave for Europe. I don't want to miss reading any of them.

I digress...

We will love our iPhones, I'm sure, but the transition is a bite.

18 March 2011


Such a fun lunch today. RvH and I meet KT at Buona Beef in Hoffman Estates (the best hamburger!) and spend 1-1/2+ hours catching up on each others lives. KT reads the blog and RvH and I speak several times a week,so it's far more interesting hearing the adventures of KT's lovely family and all about her job. She'd chosen to work less in the past few years--nannying for a friend's newborn and a few random things.

One day on Facebook a former co-worker asked for if anyone with admin skills was interested in working a day a week. KT replied, "He-- yes!" (In case you're wondering the missing letters are obviously c and k...) That job has morphed into almost full time--the best way to land a job is to taste-test and see what the stress levels-compatibility levels actually are. KT is loving the work, and she can do a lot from her home.

It's so, so good to see KT happy and centered. She's still nannying the darling little girl and is hoping to manage both jobs going forward.

Our time goes too quickly--KT really has to get back to work--and RvH and I continue on an adventure. After dropping her car off at home and collecting her Goodwill donation--which is somewhat diminished after I hand-select a few of her cast-offs--we drive down Rt. 59 toward Wheaton. I'm determined that RvH visit The Perfect Thing before their new episodes of What the Sell?! air on TLC, beginning March 29th. (I love the pairing of the ? with the ! Very Marielle... Now if they could fit in an ellipse or two...)

I've been on the lookout for a new glass beaker. This one is from
 an old pharmacy and is now the first purchase I've made at TPT.

We wander freely and RvH and co-owner Judy strike up a conversation. Both have military hero sons--KvH is a Marine who's served  in both Iraq and Afghanistan while Judy's Navy son is currently in the states having also served in both arenas and is just back from Japan with his young family. I believe I hear her say that his wife and three little girls left Japan the day before the Tsunami!

It just makes you proud to hear about these patriotic young men who dedicate their lives to democracy and freedom for our world. Both moms are overflowing with stories and concerns and love for their sailor-soldiers.

RvH wants to stop at Whole Foods and we have a fun 30 minutes or so of hunting and gathering. I buy some fresh mozzarella balls, organic cherry tomatoes (so, so tasty), and fresh basil. CA and I will have Socca Caprese tonight or soon--my version of what I enjoyed at Dario's in Omaha.

[I was searching everywhere at Joseph's for chickpea flour when a nice lady from Pakistan offered to help me. Turns out chickpea flour is Gram or Besan flour.]

I let RvH tell me which way to drive and the turns to take--she wanders these avenues regularly and while I do know my way around Wheaton, she loves to act as my GPS. She's back home before 4:00pm and I'm tired and glad to be heading home. All my shopping, traveling, and visiting has come home to rest and my increasingly smaller body (!) is very, very tired.

In the end, CA and I opt for leftovers tonight. We'll have the socca caprese tomorrow.

14 March 2011


Don't you just love the sagging leggings!

The slow wake-up.

Church friends.

So, so sweet...