Monday, January 2, 2012


Ok - it's a new year.  I'm back.  I think.  Much to say (maybe not).  Definitely not a lot of time.

But I do have a brand new header, compliments of my-sister-The-Artist.  And since my last post had beautiful photos of the fall colors of the tree in my backyard, well, let's just say, the oranges/reds/yellows clashed with the winter whites and blues of my updated blog.  So, I promised The Artist that I would at least post a new photo that doesn't clash so much.  Here it is:

Yes, a sample of CT's Star Wars Christmas presents that he received from the family  -- here we have Star Wars pancake molds, a puzzle, a Star Wars M&M dispenser, a bobble head, a calendar, and a Yoda figurine (which includes a book of the words of wisdom from Yoda -- like "Look this good in 900 years, you will not!")

I hope to be writing regularly in my blog soon.  In the meantime, I hope you had a great holiday season, and a very happy happy new year!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Reds... Oranges... Yellows....

The colors of fall... right in my own back yard!

Hope you are having a beautiful fall day too!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Ok, there is really nothing better to me than a great Sunday at home.  Why, you may ask?  Well, here are the reasons:

1) It is a cloudy, cool and slightly rainy Fall day here.  I LOVE these kind of days.  (And because of the rain, no yard work or outdoor chores to do!  Yippee!)

2) The aroma of my house is of the freshly baked Apple Crisp below.  Warm, appley, cinnamony.  Pure heaven.

3) CT is helping with the laundry (and that is always a good thing).

4) The BEARS are playing the PACKERS.  Kick-off is at 3:15 p.m.  So I have to watch an Indiana Jones movies until the game starts.  That's ok.  It makes CT happy, and THAT makes me happy.

5) Speaking of the Bears, I am wearing my birthday present that CT gave me last week.  CT found a lovely pair of earrings at the local jeweler. 

For you non-football fans, the "C" design in the earring is one of the logos for the Chicago Bears.  What a great gift! 

 So, those are just a few reason why I love Sundays.  What about you?  Feel free to share anything that you like about your Sundays.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

He Cooks, He Really Cooks (Well, Sort Of)

Hello Friends.

The time is certainly flying by.  Here we are practically in mid-September, and as I was driving home from work the other day, I couldn't help but notice how the trees are starting to turn colors.  Gone are the deep, dark greens of the leaves.  Now, the leaves are more of a light, pale green, soon to become yellows, oranges, and reds.  Oh, how I love Fall.  (STOP -- I just looked up at the TV, and CT is watching "Home Alone".  Isn't that a Christmas movie?)

Anyway, if you recall some of my previous posts, I have mentioned the fact that my beloved CT does NOT cook.  At all.  Nothing.  Period.  Nor does he ever give me any really good suggestions on what to cook, other than to say, "I'll take you out somewhere."  So, you can imagine my surprise last weekend when, out of the blue, CT announced, "I have a taste for some corn-on-the-cob."  My initial private thoughts: "Arrrghhhh... what a pain to clean and prepare."  I hate cleaning corn-on-the-cob.  It is so very difficult to get all those nasty stalky stringy things off the corn, and I usually end up with half of them on my kitchen floor.  So, I carefully said to CT, "Well, if you want, feel free to run up to the farm stand and pick up some corn.  And, if you'd like, I can show you how to clean and prepare it." 

Well, CT did something I NEVER expected.  He said, "Ok.  I'll be right back."  And off he went to the local farm stand.  Again, my private thoughts:  "Where is my CT and what have you done with him?"

CT soon returned with his bag of corn.  He was a good student and listened to the instructions of how to clean and prepare the corn.  And the proof is in the photos below:

While CT is not a kitchen kinda cook, he is pretty good at the grill, and proceeded to grill up his freshly prepared corn-on-the-cobs.  (I'm sorry I didn't take a photo of the end result.  It was delicious!) So, now I have hope and faith that CT may become a cook one day.  Who knows, it just might happen!


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Three Weeks

Hello bloggsters.  Hope all is well with you. 

It has been three weeks since my last post, and three weeks since I started my new job.  What a whirlwind it has been.  The first three weeks have been pretty darn good.  The job is going really well, and I really like the company, the people and the work.  I'm still on this learning curve (which I hate), but every day it gets just a little easier.  And there was even a three-day business trip to Washington D.C. thrown in during week #2.   (Thank goodness it was pre- East Coast earthquake and hurricane!)  Yes, I'm definitely back into the swing of working full-time again.

So last night I was thinking about the pros and cons of me working again.  I thought I'd share the list:


1) THE "ON" BUTTON.  The "pause" button that has been on our life (CT and me, that is) has been turned off.  The "on" button is, well, back ON.  Without me working, we put a lot of things on "hold" because of the unknowns of our future.  So now that the "pause" is released, our dream of retiring early is back on!  We hope to retire early and find a nice little condo in Arizona where we can spend the winter months.  We will never leave Chicago permanently, but we will run like the devils before the harsh Chicago winters coming barreling in.

2) A PURPOSE.  I have that feeling back again that I have some purpose in my life (other than cooking, cleaning, errands, etc.)  I missed that feeling terribly.  It is really a good feeling.

3) A PAY CHECK.  Friday was my first pay day.  WAHOOOOO!!!!  I can't even begin to tell you how great it felt to have a pay check and contribute to our family finances.  I had a lot of guilt about not having a salary to help support our family.  Fortunately (or unfortunately) for me, CT is the kind of guy that doesn't worry a whole lot about money.  It just isn't too important to him.  When I was unemployed, I was always concerned about cash flow.  I was always reminding CT about "wants" vs. "needs".  If CT and I were out shopping and I saw something for myself (like a scrapbook item, a piece of jewelry or clothing item, or a decor for the house, CT would always say, "If you want it, just buy it."  And I would reply, "Nope.  Cash flow.  Maybe next month."  Or I would say, "Nope.  It is a want vs. a need.  And I don't need it."  So, now that I can make a financial contribution, that guilt is starting to leave me.  Heck, we were out yesterday, and I ALMOST bought myself a Kelly Rae Roberts piece of art.  I'm still pondering that purchase... it is definitely a "want" here, not a "need".  But I just might go make that purchase today!

3) THE PROJECTS.  CT and I are talking about some BIG projects we want to tackle -- like some additional landscaping in the backyard and finishing the basement.  Our basement is HUGE, and we will have enough room for his man cave (he's talking about a 70-inch flat screen TV, big time surround sound system, etc.) a separate bedroom, a separate storage room, a full bathroom, and of course, a specially designed room for the Scrapbook Cellar.  Maybe next year.

4) A NEW CAR.  Maybe... in the spring.

Now, the CONS:

1) WEEKEND CROWDS.  So, I got very used to do all my errands during the week.  Stores are so much less crowded.  Now, I cram in all those errands into Saturdays, and it sucks.  The stores were NUTS yesterday.  How I miss my quiet weekdays.

2) TIME.  I had so much time on my hands before.  Time to plan and prepare good, healthy dinners.  Time to watch TV (not that I was a big TV watcher before, but there are a couple of regular shows that I watched, and now, they are justing sitting in the DVR waiting to be viewed. About 12 different episodes of a variety of shows.)  Time to chat on the phone with friends.  Time to bake cookies.  Time to read and comment on blogs.  Time to workout 5 days a week.  Now, time is a premium for me. 

3)  KATIE AND ELLA.  This is, by FAR, the hardest part for me.  Bar none.

(Pardon the photo above -- it was taken late last night, and as you can see, we were all exhausted!)  I no longer have my Katie and Ella days during the week.  I got really used to seeing the girls at least a couple of times during the week, either with full days of babysitting or maybe just a few hours here or there.  Now that is gone.  When I told Katie I was going back to work, she said, "Well, Auntie, I am NOT happy about that!"  And Ellie, well I'm not sure she gets it yet.  We had such a good schedule when Ella was a school, and she knew that I picked her up at school once a week, and she would spend the rest of her day with me.  There were even a couple of times this past summer when I was leaving Leanne's house, Ellie would say to me, "Good-bye Auntie.  Pick me up on Tuesday!"  It will be interesting to see what happens this fall when Ellie goes back to school.

So, with all that said, I am so very happy, and SO VERY GRATEFUL to be back at work.  I hope the next three week, three months, three years, are as good as the last three.