Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sights and tastes for the week.


I took this picture at Starbucks.
I looked across the table and liked the light on Katie and the way she was sitting.
She told me I missed her face.
I told her it was on purpose :o)

Chair shopping/93°

Katie and I went out on the hottest day to look at metal chairs.  This little shop in McFarland was charming in many ways.  We did not buy a chair...yet...but I'd sure like a few.


I got these tomatoes at a grocery store. They were labeled Heirloom.
I picked some really good ones!! They tasted farm fresh.  Yum.


Katie and I stopped at Mr. Beef in Chicago.  It is famous for it's Italian Beef.  It was very good.  Not quiet as good as my Carms.  But the meat was very well prepared and tender.  They prepare huge roasts and slice it right there.  Nice.

Lawn chair

Here is my lawn chair.  It is about to break.
It says does softball and that beautiful slanting sun.

Have a great weekend!!

Encourage one another and love.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Flash Back Friday


Five years ago last week, Matthew and Melinda were married.


We all helped make the bouquets.
Melinda's mom's church family helped with the rehearsal dinner.
Friends and family came from near and far.


Neither Matthew nor Melinda cared much for the whole fancy, formal wedding thing.


They just wanted to be together.
For ever and ever.

Congratulations on your anniversary.
We love you and are very proud of you both.

With love.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


After our quick visit to Oak Street Beach we jumped on a bus and rode down to Millenium Park.


This is called the Cloud Gate. We call it The Bean.




This place was crazy crowded. People love the art at the park. Big and interactive. Fun.


I don't know what this one is called, but I knew Katie would love it.



After our visit here we walked over to Daley Plaza because I had never seen to big Picasso in person.


I was surprised to see children playing on the giant un-named piece.


"I'm sitting on a Picasso!"


It's wonderful, isn't it?

All this before noon, people!

Oh my. I had to check out of my hotel by noon so we didn't spend as much time as I would have liked at all of this wonderful places.
We ARE the fast family, that is true.
But I do like to loiter a little longer than we did.

My kind of town.

Encourage one another,

What is your favorite city to visit?

p.s. hope there are not too many spelling issues...can't get spell check to work... is a pain in the butt.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Good Morning!

Monday night, Sher gave Emma a graduation party.
It was a party to celebrate the end of Emma's year at JustEmbrace.
It was a one year internship and none of us can believe it has come to an end.

Sher and Emma and JustEmbrace did amazing, wonderful things this year and JustEmbrace will go on.
Sher is continuing to gather a team and will even take over the whole house on Kenmore in Uptown.

They have so many friends in the neighborhood.

The people will be the hard part for Emma. She will miss them.

The city. Well. She's ready to come home and milk a cow.

Anybody have a cow?


Mary Z from our comments embraced JustEmbrace with her lovely family. They became big supporters and came to help with the Food Clinics each month. I have gotten to know them in real life and once again the people who read this blog are remarkable. Not one nut in the whole bunch, I tell ya! :o)

Mary took this picture of us.

(Becky, I promise I won't put another picture up of myself for a day or two! :o) hehe)

We had a nice picnic and even sat around a smokey fire in the JustEmbrace yard.
Many of Emma's new friends came to wish her love and to encourage her in her next step.

We gathered to pray for Emma at one point and that prayer meant so much to her.
To me too.

Tuesday we played tourists in Chicago. It was fun. We haven't really done this in a long time.



So alike. So different.




More tomorrow.

I'm tired.

Missed you guys.
Sorry I didn't tell you I would be gone.
I don't like to announce it for fear of robbers :op

Encourage one another,

Monday, June 25, 2012

Some people, like Melinda, are pros at taking "self portraits" with her phone. In fact, the whole generation seems to excel at this!

photo by melinda

Melinda took this family picture last fall. Isn't it adorable!!??

Dumb glare

I am not very good at using a little camera or cell phone. BUT, I can rock the computer camera. On my computer it is called photobooth. It's super fun. Now. This does not help me when I am out of the family room. BUT. I can get in the picture with my favorite twelve year old every so often!

Check your computer.
See if you have a camera on it.

Try it. You'll like it.

Companion part two

Ginny sits so close,
her breath is hot
on my cheek or on my arm.

Good thing she is not stinky.

p.s. I still have a few Christmas decorations on my book shelf. Can you see them?
Oh boy.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

I went to this movie Saturday afternoon.
It was very sweet.

I thought I would be seeing the hotel get spruced up...
but it is more about each person who visited.
Personal stories.

Wonderful actors.
Funny. Sweet. Colorful.

You might like it...and if you don't get a chance to see it at the theater...
put it on the list to rent!

Happy Monday!

Encourage one another,

Saturday, June 23, 2012


This picture tells a story. More than just who it is.

Look at that red and peeled face.
My little red headed girl has got to get the whole sun screen thing figured out.
She also needs to be more careful with her sunglasses. This is pair number two.
Pair one is lost.
She is on the way to dance.
She is wearing a sweater she found in her sister's closet.
We were on time today.
This was a big accomplishment for her....and a sacrifice.
She skipped a sleep over so she could be on time for dance.
It's important to me.


So happy to be the first ones at dance :o)

Love you Katie!
Thank you for trying so hard!


Friday, June 22, 2012


L to R.
Cindy, Janet, Donna, Sue

Cindy wrote on the back of the this picture;
Sisters, Sisters
Summer 1994

Janet and I are visiting Sue and Cindy in Columbia, Missouri.
I'm sure I heard Janet was going to visit and I tagged along.

The little boys in the picture are Janet's son James who just graduated from high school this month and Sue's son Jeffery (the blonde in the forefront) who is living in California.

I adore this shot.

Why does Cindy's chair have balloons? Could it be her birthday?
Look how cute we all look!
Look how uncomfortable I am having my picture taken.
Always so self conscious.

But you know what?
There is no picture of me and my little kids.
Gosh. Isn't that a shame?

Well it is to me.

All it takes is thinking of it and taking a minute to snap the shot.

Not having more pictures of myself with our children is one of my only regrets in life.


Just do it.

The Boss,

Thursday, June 21, 2012


It was a hot and humid night.


The baseball game was the only game in town.


Katie and I set out just after sunset to try something a little different with the camera.
She ran around in the night while I set the camera on top of the car.
It was fun to try.
Not the results I was hoping for but a starting point.


Source: via Donna on Pinterest

I thought this was a cute illustration.
It's by Cyril Cowell c. 1935


I'm especially distracted today.
Ginny gets into a lot of things when I sit down to the blog.  (and when I am on the phone.)
My thoughts get interrupted so many times that I get frustrated and find it difficult to write.
Don't tell me to exercise her.  She can't right now.
I need to outsmart her and just put her in the crate when I want to blog cause this up and down and back and forth is not working well for me at all.

So with that...I will just say,

Bye for now.

I hope you can find something lovely to take into your soul today.
It's there, that something lovely, I just know it.
Keep your eyes peeled!

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

10-5, 93 degrees. Strong wind. Great night!'

It's not easy to take pictures at a baseball diamond
With all those chain link fences.
I found a crack in the fence and snapped this picture of Katie as she was on deck.

Imagine my delight when I got home and saw what I saw.
My skinny little softballer along with the
corn fields and clouds, slanting rays and the American flag.

The only thing you can not tell is that is was 93 degrees out and that the wind was wild.

What a glorious night.

A night to cheer.
A night to feel my hair whipping around my face.
A night to play.
A night to chat.
A night to see.

A night to be.

So thankful for this life.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DSC_1232-8 copy

Can you burn your eyeballs?
Katie spent a whole lotta time in the pool yesterday afternoon and she came home pretty burned.
Yes. She had sun screen with her.  
She has troubles with her face tho because it washes off and then well...she doesn't get out of the pool for hours and the water glares and reflects and is hard on her melanin challenged skin.

Last night she cried as her eyeballs hurt.

I'm not sure if it was from open eyes in salty water or the suns rays.

A cool wash cloth helped with the pain and I forced her to takes some liquid Tylenol when she went to bed,
still in pain.

I'm sure she will feel better this morning.

Poor little red-headed girl.

Two sweet bee quotes to share today.

“Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don't they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.” 

Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

As Carol King sang...

You've got to take the bitter with the sweet.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Weekend Wanderings


katie's first visit to a batting cage


katie did great


i cruised by a farm stand
flapping flags
sound like the 60's

Old new car.

we drove over to farm and fleet
to settle a bet

i lost

Monona Blue chair

patrick and katie had ice cream at the union
the new blue chairs
were worthy of a photo


something in the way she moves
or looks my way, or calls my name
that seems to leave this troubled world behind
~james taylor

we had a nice weekend...
i hope you did too!

encourage one another,

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The verdict is in.

My kidney stone, that was giant and stuck in my bladder, has been tested.
It's been tested and I have been sent the results.

Here is what the doc suggests.

Drink a lot of water.
Drink a lot of lemonade.
Use lemon on everything.

Eat LESS salt.

Now, here's the dealio.

Drinking the eight glasses of water is practically a full time job for me but I have been trying to do this for about a month already.
I like lemon so that's not really going to be a problem.

But if you saw the list of salty foods and then you saw a list of what I have eaten in the last two would think I was eating off of the DO NOT EAT THIS list.

I'm not kidding you.  It's comical how I choose salty foods to eat....and I don't even know I'm doing it.
I even put olives on my apparently already salty bagels with cream cheese that has 95 grams of sodium.

So that's what I will be working on.

Drinking my brains out and trying to use A LOT less salt.


Wish me well.

Encourage one another,

Friday, June 15, 2012

Flashback Friday
The Sandwich and Song edition.


This is the food.
The food that says...Esther Jean.

White bread with liver sausage.
Hellman's Mayo and French's mustard.
Lettuce and tomato.

Cut in half.


Our mom would not have cut the tomato so thick.
And maybe not quite so much lettuce.
(But I was trying to get my veggies in.)

But I love this sandwich.  It was a summer staple.

Our mom was an excellent cook.  She made wonderful spaghetti and delicious roast beef, mashed potatoes and the best brown gravy you ever had!!!

I can not duplicate my mom's roast beef. This makes me very sad.

But this sandwich.
This sandwich makes me happy.  It says home.  It says mom.

This song.  This song would have been on the radio, playing on WLS over and over throughout the day.  We would be swimming and sun tanning and eating sandwiches and drinking Kool-Aid.

We would have taught our dad to do a front flip and teased our mom about her side stroke.

We would have been tan and happy.

It was the summer of 1973.

By that fall our lives would change forever.
But the easy and lazy memories of that summer linger.

What happens matters,

Thursday, June 14, 2012

In which I take the day off


Yes.   It was wonderful to live without the gate for the day.
My hip flexors, however,  have never been is such great stretchy shape.
Thanks Ginny.

Hey man...

We picked Ginny up right on time.
The cone they had on her was ridiculously over large.

Katie decided it was a perfect time to try sunglasses on the poor dopey dog.


Katie loves Ginny.  This is how she usually looks at Ginny.

She loves her and wants to sleep with her.  But I won't allow that.
Ginny sleeps in her cage in the family room.
And this works just fine.

But, last night we let Katie blow up a bed and sleep right next to Ginny's crate.
She listened for licking and cooed sweet words to her all night.

Right now Ginny has on her new Kong Cloud.
She is snoring like crazy.
Katie is watching last night's Modern Family.
They are both a little tired this morning.


Yes. I admit it.  This is my ring tone.

What is your ring tone?

Encourage one another!
Lots of love.