Saturday, November 14, 2009


Just a quick reminder...

The Extreme Makeover - Home Edition house in Lena, Illinois which we worked on back in September will air tomorrow night, Sunday at 7pm CST on ABC.  I doubt you'll see me in any of the camera shots as most of my work was off-site in the volunteer check-in tent but I'm hoping some of my family and friends show up in the footage.

To read the original post of our week working on the site, click here and here and here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Random Dozen

Linda over at 2nd Cup of Coffee  is asking folks to share a "random dozen" again this week.  I've not participated before but thought this looked like a fun one to start with.

1. What was the last song you listened to? 
"To the Ends of the Earth" by Hillsong -- great worship music. 
It sets the tone for my day on the way to work and relaxes me on the way home.

2. Have you ever had “buyer’s remorse” over anything?
Not very often.  There's not much I can't live without but right now I'm wishing I would have bought these really neat clear coffee mugs when I was at a Crate & Barrel outlet last weekend.  I don't know how I would have carried one more thing back to the train but lovin' those mugs.

3. What is something in your life that you are thankful for now that you didn’t think you would be at the time of the event? (Something that seemed ill-timed, inconvenient or hurtful which turned out to be a good thing) 
A diagnosis of thyroid cancer three years ago this month.  It changed my perspective on so many things and deciding what's really important.

4. Do you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade every year? If so, do you have a favorite float or balloon? 
I watched it every year as a child but not so much anymore.  We did go to the Chicago Thanksgiving Day parade a couple of years ago and Kermit was most definitely my favorite balloon.  Doesn't he look great for his age??? He doesn't look a day older than he did when I was a kid!

5. Share a quote, scripture, poem or lyric which has been an inspiration to you lately.
Faith makes things possible, but not always easy.

6. This is meant to be a fun question, and this is a G-rated blog, but please share a “guilty pleasure,” something that you enjoy that’s probably not the most edifying, time-worthy or healthy thing you could be indulging in. Did I mention this blog is rated G?  
Lindt dark chocolate truffles, the ones in the black bag.  Ooh-la-la!

7. What Thanksgiving food are you looking forward to?
 Sweet potatoes with butter, brown sugar and pecans.  Yum!

8. What is your favorite book to read to children, or what was your favorite childhood book?
I liked to read Dr. Suess to the kids but I'm liking anything by Sandra Boynton for the grandkids.

9. Do you collect anything? (Feel free to post a photo.)
I wouldn't say collect, but I do get pretty excited about a cool new kitchen gadgets and fabric prints I haven't seen before.

10. Gift bags or wrapping paper? 
If I have the time, absolutely wrapping paper and beautiful ribbons and bows.  Unfortunately, most of the time though, it's a gift bag.

11. Share an after-school memory from when you were younger. What was your routine like on an average day?
Oddly enough, I don't really remember.  Sometimes I would get home before Mom and other times she would be there waiting for me.  I do remember going straight for the cookie jar though.  Mom always had it stocked with home baked cookies.

12. True story: Once, in a job interview, I was asked this question and told there would be no clarifying; I simply had to answer the question: “When you’re fishing, do you feel for the fish?” So what about you? Do you feel for the fish??
 How do you "simply answer" that?  Maybe I'm just clueless, I don't get it but if it has anything to do with real fish, I would never feel for the fish.  Eeewww!  Not a fish lover, either live or on a plate.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

R & R report

What a great overnight stay we had.  The hotel was beautiful! 

blackstone up shot

It had recently been remodeled and the best way I can describe it is a modern art deco.  Funky with some art deco influences.

blackstone lobby

Look at this carpeting.  I wouldn’t have wanted to be drinking and try and walk on it.

wild carpet me

and if the carpeting in the lobby wasn’t enough for your vertigo, step into the bath in your room.  Check out that wallpaper.  We wanted to color it in like a paint by number but thought better of it. :)


My traveling companions Joyce & Shelly.  Joyce was our navigator and a darn good one at that.
traveling companions

I enjoyed learning (from Joyce) how to navigate the many forms of transportation. 

We rode in from Elburn on Metra (the only way to go – just sayin’…),

then walked 6 blocks up to Millers Pub for lunch,
boarded a CTA bus to our hotel,
took the subway to dinner and back again. 

We used the subway again Saturday morning but I, for one, was extremely glad it was the last time.  Something about barreling down a dark tunnel in a train that’s rocking back and forth and feels like it’s about to launch off the tracks just isn’t my thing. 
(don’t ask me why the above lines are showing up as a link – don’t know what I did and am tired of trying to figure it out)


Before the day was over, we also rode the “el” elevated train.  Surprisingly enough, I liked that  the best.  Weird, since I don’t like heights at all but compared to the subway, it was a wonderful experience.

kale mumsAll over the city were planters filled with mums and flowering kale.  Gorgeous!  This one was in front of the art museum.

skylineWe were blessed with an outstanding weekend for our little adventure with warm temps and bright blue skies.   I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.




Thursday, November 5, 2009

Chicago…are you ready?


Ready or not…Chicago here we come! 

A couple of friends from church and I are getting away overnight tomorrow night.
Oh yeah!   Time for a lil’ R&R.

Can’t wait…

taking Metra into the city --
no parking hassles – gotta love that :)…


good food -- Millers Pub and Weber Grill


wandering more…

learning to use the subway and/or el..…

getting lost  learning new routes….

Trader Joes

enjoying a free night’s hotel stay –
thank you Sage Hospitality

Crate and Barrel outlet

more wandering still…

These two ladies are a hoot so it should be a fun 32 hours.  I’ll tell you all about it when we get back.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's all good

Our cosmetology department at the college where I work a very generous caring group of students and teachers. The last couple of years, they devote the month of October to raising funds for Well Woman of Northwest Illinois. The funds sponsor women who can't afford to pay for a mammogram so they can still be screened. They had a basket raffle and "wall of love" all to raise those funds and increase breast cancer awareness.

This year, as an added bonus, one of the instructors I work with agreed that if they raised $400 dollars extra on top of the other fundraisers, they could dye his hair, beard and eyebrows pink with permanent hair color.

Well, guess what?

The money was raised and we have a very pink Jeremy! What a great sport he is! ...and just a tad crazy!

I just can't help but smile and shake my head when I see him walking down the hall towards me.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Rainbow surprise

DH called me outside late yesterday afternoon to see the rainbow.  Not that a rainbow is such an unusual sight for us but it wasn’t raining nor had it rained all day.

Halloween 09 (7)

Our sermon church this weekend was called “Amazed” and were asked when was the last time God amazed us.   This rainbow really brought it home.  A rainbow and no rain!  Amazing! 

When were you last amazed and totally blown away by God?  Was it something in His world?  Was it an experience or event?  or one of those “God coincidences”?