Archive | June, 2016

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

20 Jun

“The only reason why we ask other people how their weekend was is so we can tell them about our own weekend.” ― Chuck Palahniuk


How was your weekend??? I’m just asking so I can tell you about mine. It was great!

I had the pleasure of attending Mass at St. Helen in Chicago. Matt happens to live right across the street from several churches. I had my choice. ( Also, loud church bells clang, clang, clang from various steeples ALL DAY LONG!)

Magnificent church in a Polish/Ukrainian neighborhood.

The Gospel was interesting, but i liked the second reading from St. Paul to the Galatians.

Brothers and sisters: Through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus…

My take on it…pretty much the same as St. Paul. We are ALL brothers and sisters, all children of God.


So now to the other stuff. Saturday was a wonderful busy day with Matt. We walked 5 or 6 miles in the morning. He wanted to show me a very cool walking trail that the city made from an old unused elevated train track.

We worked up an appetite so I could rationalize eating a Chicago hot dog and fries.

Oh yah! Poppy seed bun, pickle, peppers, the works with…yes, celery salt. All smothered with greasy fries. Don’t be jealous!

Later that evening, Matt took me for gelato, and we sat by the river, with a beautiful view of the skyline.

Then, at 8pm, Matt got us tickets to The Improvised Shakespeare Company, an Improv Comedy show at the Del Close Theatre. Very, very funny. I’ll admit, I laughed the entire time.

That was my wonderful weekend. There’s more about today and deep dish pizza. I’ll save that for another day. I’d hate to give you too much Chicago fine food envy all in one day.

I hope your weekend was wonderful, too.

Saturday:) Special Family Memories

18 Jun

Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!~Albert Einstein


After a busy fun day at the Art Institute on Friday, Joe and I stopped in Milleniun Park, another tradition. I took pictures at the “Bean.” Then we caught the blue line, rushing down the stairs to catch it. 

Next, we scrambled up more stairs and raced a couple of blocks to catch a bus. 

If you know me, you know I had no idea where I was or where I was going. I just follow. I’m a good follower. We arrived just in time to meet Lindsay, Joe’s adorable wife. She spent nearly two hours crawling through Friday rush hour traffic to meet us. Poor thing. We had about half an hour before dinner, so we stopped for a beer at a quaint outdoor place on the corner. 

That’s my cute daughter-in-law. It hasn’t been quite a year, but she is really my daughter now. 

A very nice dinner at a very nice Italian restaurant, under the stars, a special evening with a special family. 

I am truly blessed. One lucky mom. 

Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!

Albert Einstein

Friday:) From The Art Institute

18 Jun

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.~Albert Einstein


Today, I took the train downtown. My sister drove me to the station and I met Joe downtown for lunch. Then we spent the day at the Art Institute. 

I love going to the Art Institute. It’s a family tradition and special day for me and Joe.

I can’t begin to describe or show you all the amazing art work housed behind the giant lions. 

Here are just a few. 

This is always my favorite. A family tradition.

A parody on “Ferris Buehler’s Day Off.”

A fine Friday at The Art Institute of Chicago. 

Theme Song Thursday:) Making New Friends and Visiting With Old Ones.

17 Jun

Smile at people everywhere you go. Don’t just give them one of those half-smirk/head nod things. Raise your eyebrows, show those teeth, and chuckle while you smile. Next time you’re at the store, give a full-hearted smile to at least three complete strangers. You’ll be amazed at what this does for them and for you.” ― Dan Pearce


My visit here with Mom has been a mix of visiting with family and old friends. But, I’m always making new friends, too. Today, I had lunch with Linda. We’ve been girlfriends since freshman year of high school. ( A few years back…holy cow, almost 50, not quite.) We had a nice lunch and a nicer visit.

If you know me, you already know I talk to strangers, I smile at people, and I enjoy chatting and getting to know everyone.

This afternoon, I went out for my walk around Mom’s place. An elderly gentleman with a cane was out shuffling slowly on the same path going in the opposite direction. When I passed him the first time, I smiled and said, “Wow! It’s getting warm out here.” He nodded and agreed as I swished past. As I made my second loop, he had a camera out and was taking a picture of some trees, still on his first loop. He asked me how many times I went around. I told him usually around ten times. He said his pedometer showed each loop was 4/10 of a mile. On my seventh loop, I stopped to chat and introduced myself.

It was cute because he asked me how long I lived there. I explained I was visiting Mom. (It’s a senior facility. Granted, I could qualify, you only have to be fifty-five.) So, I took out a little time and broke my stride to talk to a nice gentleman.

This is my new friend Jim. He likes walking,taking pictures, talking to strangers, and doesn’t mind selfies. My kind of friend. 

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom

16 Jun

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,”

~ Hippocrates


This morning, Mom and I went over to my sister’s house for a visit. She had bought a whole cart load of fresh fruit and vegetables, and we planned on washing, cutting , chopping them all up for her to have handy. She had seen a cool idea on Pinterest about making individual portions of vegetables and beans and putting them in mason jars. You do the work one day, then have a weeks worth of dinners. Since she has eliminated all meat, dairy, refined sugars, and junk food from her diet, she is feeling a lot better. So, between the two of us, we knocked out the job in a short time. 

Not only is this nutritious, but look how fun and colorful!

She filled up 6 jars and still had a large bag left, and then there were other large pieces cleaned available for roasting. We kept ends of celery leaves and stems of vegetables saved in a baggie and frozen to make soup stock another time.

I’m so proud of her and pleased that she is eating so healthy. When I got back to Mom’s, I was hungry. Guess what I had for lunch???

“I share words of wisdom and healthy eating tips. I didn’t say I follow my own advice, did I?”

Tuesday:) True Friends Take Time To Visit

14 Jun

“A friend visits with you when you’re in town. True friends visit your elderly mother because your family is their family.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaits


Celebrate the people in your life who are there because they love you for no other reason than because you are YOU.
― Mandy Hale


My visit to Chicago has been fun, and Celebrating Mom’s birthday has gone on and on. 

Yesterday, Lin and her granddaughter came to visit, bearing gifts, of course. I haven’t seen them since last year, my last visit and Joe and Lindsay’s wedding. Mom loved seeing Lin Lin, as she calls her, and her adorable little one.

Squishy selfie time.

Afterwards, we let Mom rest while we went to lunch, shopping and the mandatory turtle sundaes at Culver’s. That’s a tradition.

My dearest friends love my mom, always remember her birthday, and often call and/or visit her. My mom is their mom. That’s true friendship, that’s FAMILY.

Ice cream sundaes and coloring at Culver’s.

Now, here’s the amazing part. See this adorable little girl…when Grandma Lin wasn’t sure where to turn, she said, “Turn here Granma, behind the pizza place.” She’s only three years old! Then, when we were driving her back to her house, she guided us street by street, then said, “Here’s my home.”

Photo booth photo op!

Here’s our 3 year old navigation system. I need one of those!

Montage Monday:) Memories Made

14 Jun

 We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they’re called memories. Some take us forward, they’re called dreams.
– Jeremy Irons

A wonderful week here in Chicago. Making new memories.

Sunday Sermon and Some Special Visitors

13 Jun

“The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emmerson


Mom and I attended Mass in the community room of the Greens of Elgin this morning. A volunteer from St. Thomas More comes to officiate Mass and serve communion. Mom always goes down early to set up the table and chairs, and pass out the song books. 

It’s such a blessing that these volunteers come, otherwise many of these seniors would not be able to attend a service. God bless the volunteers in life who make such a difference.

Mom always reads the Second Reading. Today’s Gospel was the story of the woman who washed the feet of Jesus with her tears and dried them with her hair. The others said she was a sinner and unclean woman, but Jesus said that her sins were forgiven because she repented and saw the true way. My take on it…it’s never too late to be forgiven if you are truly sorry and change your ways and try and make things right. The key words are truly repentant.

It was a nice service. Miss Patty brought three dozen donuts to share with the group afterwards. That was so nice. I had a donut, haven’t had one in ages.

Now for the visitors. My dear friend Debbie picked up my sister-in-law, Ann, and they drove all the way from the city to come and visit me and Mom. Debbie is like my sister, and my sons still call her Auntie Debbie, she’s an angel. Auntie Ann is like my sister and always will be. She’s an angel too.  They brought sandwiches, candy, chocolates, and gifts to celebrate Mom’s birthday, once again. It was a great visit. We’ve been doing a lot of celebrating, with more to come.

Auntie Ann, Auntie Debbie, Mom and me. We’ve been family for a long time. “The true meaning of life.”

Saturday:) Some Spectacular Chicago Sunsets and Some Other Stuff

12 Jun

“Never waste any amount of time doing anything important when there is a sunset outside that you should be sitting under!” ― C. JoyBell C.


Silly me, I thought a nice vacation visiting family in Chicago would welcome cooler temps and lovely evening breezes. Wrongo! It’s been in the 90’s. I went for my morning walk, hoping to get 10 loops around the side of Mom’s building, but alas, after 8 loops, I started feeling queasy and stopped. 

Isn’t that a pretty view? Tall mature trees and beautifully landscaped grounds. Then, there’s a busy street on one side, but that’s OK. 

A pretty lazy day, just hanging out with Mom and my sister. By 7:30, the sun was starting to set and hide behind the tall trees. The temperature seemed a little cooler, so I thought I’d try and get a few more loops before dark. It was about 85 degrees with a slight breeze. I managed 10 more loops. Yay! The sky was lovely.

“Never waste any amount of time doing anything important when there is a sunset outside that you should be sitting under!” 

― C. JoyBell C.

Friday:) Funny Faces and Family Forever

11 Jun

The face is a picture of the mind with the eyes as its interpreter.” ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

I hope I never get too old to make funny faces in silly places with friends and family. I don’t know what we did before the selfie…I have NO SELFIE CONTROL. I’m a firm believer that laughter is the best medicine and being silly keeps us young. I learned that from my mom, the queen of silly.

I tried to take a selfie with Mom, and she said “No more selfies!” So, I took a picture of her trying to stop my silliness.

It’s Friday night folks! Time for funny faces and Black Russians..

Happy Friday!