Archive | June, 2015

Toni’s Tuesday Movie Review Preview

30 Jun

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” ― Albert Einstein


As an artist, I genuinely appreciate creativity and imagination. So, yesterday, when Joe, Lindsay, and I went to see the new Pixar movie, ” Inside Out,” I was thouroughly entertained. I can’t remember the last time I saw an animated movie. 

I loved the way the animated characters / emotions inside Riley ‘s head were located in her brain’s control room, and all her memories and feelings were stored there. 

It was funny, sad, creative and colorful. BUT, I must admit, it was a little too sophisticated for younger children. There were some seriously sad and scary parts mixed in with the funny ones. I asked Lindsay, who teaches 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades, what age group would understand the concept. She thought probably no younger than 8 or 9 years old. I’m in my  60’s, and I probably didn’t get all the subtle nuisances.  


I liked it enough that I’d see it again when it comes to cable or DVD , mostly to see what went over my head the first time. 

I’ll give it 3 1/2 stars out of 5… but I’m pretty hard to please.  


Montage Monday y Familia

30 Jun

“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it.”

~George Moore


Home sweet home. Be it ever so humble. Family is everything. 

Another great week with family and friends. A week in a peek. 

A picture’s worth 999 words… I was going to say a thousand words, but I wanted to add a special word. FAMILY. 

I have a strong army. 

Sunday Sermon and a Seinfeld Story

28 Jun

Life provides ample opportunity to test our mettle. When circumstances call for it, let’s give ourselves a break and ask for help.~Gina Greenlee, Postcards and Pearls: Life Lessons from Solo Moments on the Road


My Sunday sermon reference is actually from Saturday evening Mass at St. Norbert Parish in Northbrook. Joe, Debbie and I went to Mass at the church by Joe’s new house. I always enjoy visiting other churches and lighting a candle, saying a special prayer. (Joe and Lindsay are getting married soon, so, you know what my prayer was.)

The Gospel was Mark 5:21-43

A synagogue official, named Jarius, pleaded with Jesus to come and heal his daughter. When they arrived, she was dead. Jesus said , “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” Later He took the child’s hand and said ,  ” Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl arose and walked. 


Father Heinz pretty much agreed with my take on the Gospel. ” Ask and you shall receive. ” If you don’t ask for help, how would anyone know that you need help? So, give yourself a break now and then. Ask for help. 


So, now the Seinfeld reference. If you never watched the TV series, you won’t get it. But , that’s ok. My boys do. 

This morning Joe and I walked to the deli a few blocks away to get bagels for breakfast. There was a bakery next door, but I didn’t pop in. After we had breakfast, Lindsay mentioned that they had bobkas at the bakery. I smiled, rembeting that Seinfeld episode. I asked if they might have a black and white cookie. Matt likes them. So, I walked back and bought 5 black and white cookies.  ” I love the black and whit cookie.”

I came back and said, “I didn’t get a babka. There was a hair in the babka. It was the last babka.”

Here’s a cool picture from St. Norbert Parish. 


Saturday and Strawberry Festival

28 Jun

      “Life is a festival only to the wise.” Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes (American Poet, Lecturer and Essayist, 1803-1882)


The weather has been so variable here in the Chicago area. Yesterday, cold and gloomy, today, sunny and spectacular. I’m not complaining, I’m sharing my good fortune. 

My best friend, Debbie, dealt with annoying construction and a long drive in from the city to pick me up for a day of shopping and a trip to Long Grove for the annual Strawberry Festival. I haven’t been there since I moved away eleven years ago. It was a nostalgic trip back down memory lane.  Literally… I used to live just a few miles down the lane.

Are they talking about me???


I had an interesting conversation with a couple of statues. Needless to say, I had a captive audience, and I did all the talking. 

If ” life is a festival only to the wise,” I must be very wise. 


Friday Friends With a Side of Chocolate 

27 Jun

What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate.

Katharine Hepburn


A gloomy rainy day in Elgin. I was able to get my walk in this morning with only a slight mist. I was looking forward to a lovely lunch and lovely visit with my lovely friend Lin. (Too many L’s?)

We went the the Arboretum Shopping Mall and had a leisurely lunch at Mago, a very nice Mexican restaurant. Then we walked around a bit, but it was still raining. So, where is a perfect place to park on a dreary day? A chocolate place, of course. Anna Shea Chocolates. 

Well, they “had me at hello.” When we walked in, they had samples of their decadent handmade chocolates. Yikes! Lin ordered a cup of coffee to warm up from the gloomy chill, and we sat by the large glass window where they made the chocolates. Want to talk about torture and restraint!


We asked one of the chocolatiers to pose for a photo op. Very obliging. 

On our way out, the gal at the front counter asked if we’d like to try a sample. I hesitated and said, “I cannot tell a lie. We already had one.” 

The very sweet girl said,  “You can have another if you like. ”

Lin and I looked at each other with mischievous smiles and replied,  ” O.K.”

Grace was kind enough to pose with me for a picture, not to mention so I could have something to write about today. 

A wonderful  lunch, my best friend, and yummy chocolate. What else could you ask for?


Theme Song Thursday : Happy Birthday

26 Jun

“May today be the best birthday of your life, I give you my heart as the most precious gift I can give you and I promise I always will love you.” ― Auliq Ice


Today was the monthly birthday party celebration at The Greens of Elgin. They celebrated all the June birthdays, so Mom was excited. I was excited too. Cake and ice cream ! What’s not to like?

Mom is in the pale pink. She ate all her ice cream and I ate all her frosting. She doesn’t like frosting. Not sure if we are really related?

Today’s theme song. 

I’m having fun visiting with all these spry seniors. I hope that I’m this much fun and optimistic in twenty or thirty years. They are amazing. Perhaps the last of a more refined , gentile, and dignified generation. 


Look at this wonderful cake that Chef Tim made. I managed to eat two pieces , but after all, it was my breakfast. 


Wednesday Words of Wisdom in the Wain (Rain)

25 Jun

The richness of the rain made me feel safe and protected; I have always considered the rain to be healing—a blanket—the comfort of a friend. Without at least some rain in any given day, or at least a cloud or two on the horizon, I feel overwhelmed by the information of sunlight and yearn for the vital, muffling gift of falling water.
~Douglas Coupland, Life After God


As you can tell, I love to use alliteration. Rain-Wain, I don’t write with a lisp. 

It was pretty nice out this morning, cool, balmy, with impending muggy on the way. I did my morning walk/run around the big field in front of Mom’s condo. By the time I did my 20 laps, I was pretty sweaty. It’s just water. 

The rest of the day flew by. Breakfast , out to lunch and the store, some errands, visiting, then…oh my goodness…time for my evening walk. 

I scrambled , put on my gym shoes, down the elevator, and out the door. Darn! It was raining! Not hard rain, but substantial. 

So , what would any “waskily wabbit ” walker do? Yep, I ran back up and borrowed Mom’s umbrella. Off I went for 10 laps in the rain. I didn’t melt. Actually, it was rather refreshing. 

While I was walking in the “wain,” I said to myself ,  “Self, (and yes I do say self) You can do anything  you put my mind to. You are amazing!”

As the quote says, ” I have always considered the rain to be healing.” 



Tuesday Tip of the Day: Take a Little Time

24 Jun

My mission in life is not only to enjoy life, but to help others to feel the joy of life.Debasish Mridha


During my stay here with Mom, I’m trying to take time out to visit with and socialize with her “girlfriends.” These girls are al in their 80’s and 90’s, and they are so cute. They giggle and get around the best they can. 

This evening, I was sitting alone in a quiet corner downstairs by the activity room , deciding what I was going to blog about today , ( free wifi downstairs ), when a caravan of white -haired ladies in walkers scooted past me towards the elevator.  Mom’s friend, Miss Eleanor said,  “We ‘re going up to see Leona ‘s paintings. Wanna come?” 

I didn’t know Miss Leona , but she seemed very excited and proud to show off her artwork to the other residents.  So , off I went, trailing behind the parade of walkers. 

Once inside, we “oohed and awwed” at the paintings that Miss Leona had displayed on her walls. She said she doesn’t paint anymore , as her hands are no longer steady, but you could see the delight in her eyes when we all expounded on her amazing talent. 

It doesn’t take much to make someone smile or make them feel special… a kind word, a smile, or just taking a few minutes out of your day to listen or share a story. 

This quote is very profound. ..

My mission in life is not only to enjoy life, but to help others to feel the joy of life.

Debasish Mridha


Not only did I help make someone ‘s day a little brighter, I also found something fun to blog about. 

Montage Monday

22 Jun

“A photograph shouldn’t be just a picture, it should be a philosophy.” ― Amit Kalantri


A busy week visiting with Mom , my sister, and friends. Always something to do, people to see, places to go. A week in a peek. 

My philosophy…


Sunday Sermon and Some Amazing Cupcakes

21 Jun

 “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” –Steve Jobs, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, Apple


This morning started out with an hour walk/run, then, 10:30  Mass with Mom and her friends. The gospel was about Jesus and his disciples in a boat , crossing stormy waters… 

Jesus was in the stern through it all, sound asleep on a cushion. They finally woke him and said to him, “Teacher, doesn’t it matter to you that we are going to drown?” He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea: “Quiet, Be still!” The wind fell off and everything grew calm. Then he said to them: “Why are you so terrified? Why are you lacking in faith?” A great awe overcame them at this. They kept saying to one another, “Who can this be that the wind and the sea obey him?”


My personal interpretation… We go through stormy times in life, but if we have faith, God will calm the waters. BUT , it doesn’t hurt to have strong oars to steer and then hold on tight. We have to be sailors not just spectators. 


After Mass, my sister Jo Ann surprised Mom with two dozen amazing cupcakes from a local baker and friend. 

Maria Escamilla, not only is a talented baker, but she was kind enough to deliver these confectionary delights to The Greens, where Mom lives. Look how beautiful !

And yes, they were as delicious as they looked. 

Beautiful presentations. Mom shared with her friends. 

If you live in the Elgin, Illinois area , check out Maria Escamilla ‘s Facebook page, or Jo Ann and I have her phone number. Contact us. Gosh, I wished I’d known about her before the shower.