Archive | August, 2014

Saturday: Several Extraordinary Women

31 Aug

“I was not born to live up to society’s expectations of who I should be but rather I define my own individuality and my uniqueness for I chose to follow the path of being an extraordinary instead of just being ordinary.”
― Elizabeth E. Castillo
I had the pleasure of attending a book signing at Sharla’s on the Square today. The book is called “McKinney Women Making a Difference,” and several of the women sharing their stories happen to be friends and neighbors of mine who have also made a difference in my life.

Erin Botsford, Sheila Johnson, and Stephanie Henry Ricchi have been
neighbors and good friends to me over the years, and indeed are courageous and extraordinary women. I am honored to know them. The other nine women are also talented women who have made a difference in our community and are wonderful role models. What they all have in common is, they appreciate their blessings and have felt the need to help others. They have chosen “to follow the path of being an extraordinary instead of just being ordinary.”

Sheila Johnson, Erin Botsford, and Maylee Thomas-Fuller

After my visit, I felt motivated and encouraged to continue my writing, and perhaps one day soon, I’ll be sitting at my own book signing, motivating others. I’d like to think that I am unique and extraordinary and not just ordinary. There are so many friends to make, lives to be a part of, and stories to share.



Friday First Impressions: Again and Again

30 Aug

“Whenever we have something that we are good at–something we care about–that experience and passion fundamentally change the nature of our first impressions.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
A sad/happy day, taking Matt to the airport at 4am for his early flight back to Chicago. Sad to see him go, but happy for the week he spent helping me move and get settled. Happy for all the lunches, dinners, and ice cream stops we shared, sad coming home without him.

Back to unpacking and the real world, back to visiting with my senior art group at Towne Creek. I stopped at the bank, and found yet another lucky feather at the base of the stairs.

At Towne Creek, we worked on more glass painting. I should have taken more pictures. Very cool stuff.

I stopped at Sweet Spot Bakery afterwards and visited with Miss Kathy and Miss Elizabeth. They are so sweet, really, We sat outside in the sun for a bit, while I waited for Linda Grossman (World’s greatest realtor), who was meeting me for dinner.

We couldn’t decide where to eat on the Square, but Linda suggested Amato’s Trattoria on Virginia. I was hesitant at first. I’d been there a year ago and was not impressed. But,we gave it another try, and I’m very pleased that we did.
The new owner, Rick Salcedo, was a charming gentleman who spent a lot of time chatting with his patrons. We talked about the previous business and the hopes and aspirations of the new establishment. Rick told us about the launch party of Lone Star Vodka that he sponsored, so of course, I had to share my recipe for chocolate ice cream Black Russians. I said he would have to name the drink after me. Linda had some great marketing tips for him, too. But, all-in-all, the food was delicious, and the cheesecake to die for.(Well, maybe just sit and rest for. It was huge.)

So, if you’ve been to the old Amato’s restaurant and were not more than pleased, your first impressions could have been stopping you from going back, especially if you didn’t know about the new owner and the new look. Now, Amato’s Trattoria, 216 E. Virginia St. On the Square is a fun, happening place for lunch or dinner. Give it another try. I will, again and again.



Theme Song Thursday: Welcome To My Nightmare

29 Aug

“In my sleep I have my nightmares, awake I have my thoughts, I am not sure which is worse.”
― Carl R White
The unpacking continues. Boxes and bins everywhere. I finally got my washer and dryer delivered today after waiting for the delivery all day yesterday. They messed up.

Matt put some shelves together for me and put casters on them. He also finished setting up all my electronic stuff. I finished putting shelf liner in the cabinets, and started putting things in their proper location. We took a lunch break around 2 and went to Blue Goose again. Can you say margarita?

When we got back, I took a one hour siesta. I didn’t fall asleep, but it felt good to be horizontal for a little bit. Then, more boxes and unpacking until 7:30, then a final trip to the old house for the remaining boxes and misc. stuff. For our last farewell treat, we stopped for ice cream.

Tomorrow, back to the nightmare!

“Welcome To My Nightmare”

Welcome to my nightmare, I think you’re gonna like it, I think you’re gonna feel you belong.
A nocturnal vacation, unnecessary sedation, you want to feel at home ’cause you belong.
Welcome to my nightmare whoa, ho, ho, ho…

Welcome to my breakdown.
I hope I didn’t scare you.
That’s just the way we are when we come down.
We sweat and laugh and scream here.
‘Cause life is just a dream here.
You know inside you feel right at home, here.
Yeah, Welcome to my nightmare yeah, hey, hey, hey…

Welcome to my nightmare!
I think you’re gonna like it!
I think you’re gonna feel you belong!
We sweat and laugh and scream here!
‘Cause life is just a dream here!
You know inside you feel right at home, here!

Welcome to my nightmare hoo, hoo, woo, hoo…
Welcome to my breakdown…



Will the nightmare ever end?

IMG_0600.JPGBut, there was a silver lining at the end of the day.


Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Intersecting Paths

28 Aug

“One never reaches home,’ she said. ‘But where paths that have an affinity for each other intersect, the whole world looks like home, for a time.”
― Hermann Hesse
Several winding paths led to my new home. I had put in an offer on a different house before this one, but when the offer of purchase on my old house fell through, I had to back out of the offer on what I thought was my dream house. I was heart broken, and thought nothing would ever compare to that perfect house. Well, I was wrong.

Linda Grossman, (World’s best realtor, blatant plug) not only found a new buyer for the old house, but found me the perfect new house for my new life. I didn’t even notice the green road sign at first. It more than convinced me that this was the way home. We had looked at so many houses, my head was spinning. Linda and I were scrambling, looking one last time for the perfect house. Then, we drove around past the sales office, and there it was. Ridgeway! The sign I was looking for. Ridgeway led to my new house. I couldn’t believe it. I was sold, and the house was bought.

I used to live on Ridgeway when I was a little girl. 2301 S. Ridgeway, Chicago, IL, Phone-LA-11344. We lived there when I was maybe four or five years old until fourteen. A lot of memories there.

Now, to make new wonderful memories here. The paths intersect.




Tuesday: Tough Times, Extra Feathers

27 Aug

There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’
No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.”
― Dalai Lama XI
I thought it was going to be an easy-peasy day, no alarm, no appointments, no agenda, no stress. Not the case. Long story short, while Matt spent some “alone time ” with his father, I ran some errands. I spent over an hour at the bank trying to get accounts closed and changed, then to Home Depot, and a jaunt to Walmart. Feeling pretty down and exhausted, I sauntered towards the entrance, looked down …there was a lucky feather. Ah , perked me up.

Wait, I’m not finished! I thought , WOW, I needed a lucky feather today! I took out my phone and took a picture. A few more steps, another feather. In the span of maybe ten feet , I found SEVEN feathers. Seven! Now, that was a huge sign. It was like a trail of feathers. A very lucky sign for me… Not so lucky for the poor bird.







Seven lucky feathers. Lucky number seven.


Montage Monday: IT GOES ON

26 Aug

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
― Robert Frost
Wow! What a week! Life goes on. It’s been a whirlwind of chaos mixed in with a touch of insanity, but I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. Packing, packing and more packing. Wednesday was “D” day, Thursday closed on the old house, Friday closed on my new house and picked up Matt from the airport, getting home after midnight. Saturday movers came and worked ten hours in the scorching heat. Sunday started out with church to thank God for His blessings, lunch on the square and more trips back to the old house for boxes. I averaged four hours sleep a night if I was lucky. Today, AT&T out to set up tv and internet. (Yeah! Internet and TV.) Then, Miss Kathy, Tim, Miss Elizabeth and Josh came with trucks to pick up my beautiful bedroom set from Miss Della and put it together at the new house, working in the extreme heat. (Only real friends would do that.) Then, a couple of more trips back to the old house for lamps and boxes, and a visit/financial consult with my dear friend, Erin. ARE YOU EXHAUSTED JUST READING ALL THIS?

Matt and I did take a lunch break at Blue Goose Cantina. Monday’s special was all day happy hour. Matt was driving so I had a margarita. The fajitas were delicious. I hadn’t been there before…going back soon.

Now, a week in a peek. It was crazy but almost done.

I’ll keep you posted.

Life goes on…and it’s good!

Supernova Sunday

25 Aug

I think that we are like stars. happens to burst us open; but when we burst open and think we are dying; we’re actually turning into a supernova. And then when we look at ourselves again, we see that we’re suddenly more beautiful than we ever were before!
C. JoyBell C.
When I search for an interesting quote to start my daily post, I’m always amazed that the most absolutely perfect words have been expressed for me to “borrow” and share. This one is fantastic, isn’t it?

This morning, although thoroughly exhausted, I got up early and went to 9 o ‘clock Mass. I needed to say “thank you” for all the strength, friendship, and love that I have been blessed with. Later on, Matt and I went up to the Square for lunch. I hadn’t been there for a while and needed a “Snug'” visit and a hug from Sandra. Then, of course, over to “Sweet Spot Bakery” for more hugs from Miss Kathy and Miss Elizabeth, and some yummy treats for later.

Matt has been my knight in shining armor. We made two long trips back to the old house to grab more things. Moving is such a pain. We stopped to get something to eat at Blue Olive, but they were closed. So after making another packing trip, we had lemon bars and a drink when we got home.

It’s been a long day, a long year actually, but just when I thought I was going to burst open and start dying… I turned into a Supernova. I feel beautiful!

( I forgot to mention, when I went into my suitcase this morning to get something to wear for church, there it was. A lucky penny to greet me. )

It was a good day.

Spectacular Saturday

24 Aug

I want every day to be a fresh start on expanding what is possible.
~Oprah Winfrey.
It was a very long day. I’m talking mikes long. It started out when I picked up Matt from the airport. His flight was delayed, then road construction, we didn’t get hone till almost 1 am. I stayed up packing more boxes till almost 5. Then up at 7:15 to wait for the movers.

I will summarize…they were amazing.

Matt was up early unhooking tv’s and pacing more boxes. Matt was amazing!

Lynne, Karen and Linda Grossman each stopped by for a visit. Can you say girlfriends? They came to wish me well and brighten my spirits.

I have the bestest friends in the world. Lynne brought pizzas and Linda brought my favorite beverage. Matt and I enjoyed the pizza, and I christened “the goose. ‘

Matt and I stopped back at the old house to pick up some things. Look what was waiting for me on the bathroom counter.

I am so exhausted now. that I’ve actually nodded off several times while writing this. Time to finish my drink and get to bed. Tomorrow I will get up early to go to church and thank God for HISang blessings. Miles to go before I rest
Bye! See y ‘a ll later.


Friday Firsts: A New Home For a New Start

23 Aug

“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.”
Maya Angelou quotes (American Poet, b.1928)
A bitter-sweet day of old memories jumbled with new beginnings. I purchased my new home today. I can’t say that I did it all by myself, because my dear friend, Linda Grossman, (world’s best realtor) held my hand through every step of the process. She is amazing!

Everything went smoothly at the closing. We stopped at Mi Cocina for lunch and had a celebratory margarita. I normally don’t drink during the day, but this was a very special occasion.

Here’s to you,
Here’s to me,
Life will be great,
Just wait and see.
Now, here’s a funny story. You know how I’ve been finding my lucky feathers and pennies. Well, after our celebration, we walked back to Linda’s car in the parking garage, and there on the ground was a lucky feather…inside an enclosed parking garage…waiting just for me! That’s not all. Linda was amazed and said she never finds lucky feathers. We took a few steps, and there was another feather meant for her. It was a lucky day,

My lucky feather.

Linda’s lucky feather. If you believe, you receive.
Here’s the other exciting part….ta…ta…ta…da…! Drum roll please! My new house…




Theme Song Thursday

22 Aug

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”
― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
I’ve always loved to sing. I know I’m a terrible singer, but that’s never stopped me from belting out a tune. The Fifth Dimension was one of my all time favorite group in the seventies. “One Less Bell to Answer” was my favorite song. Someone special bought me the album our first Christmas together, and I played it a million times. Now, forty-four years later, it’s only a sad memory. I’m never going to sing that song ever again. This is the last time. Only happy songs for me.
Last Sad Song
It’s gonna be the last sad song
That I will sing for you
What once was good is now all wrong
It’s time to start anew.
I loved this song when I was young
Back then the words weren’t sad
But time has altered how it’s sung
I’m tired of feeling bad.
So, now this is the last sad song
That I will sing for you.
I’m done!

Seriously, tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life. I’ll have a new house, a new life and start singing only happy songs. Not to mention…dancin’ in the kitchen.