Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Brown paper packages all tied up with string....

these are a few of my favorite things....

New Pia Wallen Cross Blanket from Story North

Sometimes it's nice to treat yourself to something new.  

I love it!  

When the dog bites!
When the bees sting!
When I'm feeling sad.
I simple remember my favorite things...
and then I don't feel so bad.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Gone....perhaps the saddest word in the English language.

It rained today.  

I love the rain. 

 I'll never forget being home for a visit about five years ago.  My brother and three sisters were sitting on Lucinda's porch and the rain was coming down. 
Then the phone rang.  
It was my dad.  He called to tell me I got my thunderstorm.  He knew how much I loved them.  

I love that memory.  

But, the reality is...this sucks.  

I dread October...two years ago today, I lost my dad.  
People say time heals all wounds.  I'm not so sure.  And, maybe I don't want to heal.  It's like, okay, I accept it...but do I really have to say goodbye?

Sometimes, I hear a song, read something or see something that reminds me of feel like you have lost that person all over again.

There is a big giant void.

I spent the last 30 days of my dad's life with him.  A blessing yes.  Or perhaps a curse, as I watched him dying.  

It was the hardest thing, at the time, I had ever done.  

Now, it's living without him.  

I'm not trying to be dramatic.  It's true.  I lost a parent.  It's part of life.  Love and loss.   But at times, it seems crippling.  

Every journey ends.  

We move on.  We must move on.   

It's that he's's all I think about.  I wish I could tell him this...wish I could tell him that.  I sat at the doctor's office a month ago and cried after she took my blood pressure.  Are you okay, she asked?  I nodded my head embarrassed...thinking to myself, it's just that he would want to know.  He would want me to send him the print out of my blood work so he could analyze it and then tell me how proud he was I was so healthy.  Reminding me that if you don't have your know how that goes.  

It's hard to's the kind of pain that doesn't feel real or that it's even possible that he is gone and then you go to call them to tell them something...and then it feels socks you right in the gut.  And you sob and then you pull yourself together.  

As much as it hurts, however, I laugh when I feel afraid.  Or when I feel lonely.  Mostly, because I feel like I can do anything now.  

We all lose precious things.  Whether it is someone...or something...I believe that is what is part of being alive.  

Honestly, I'm not sure grief ever goes away.  How do you ever, forget?  I don't want to.  

It has been a defining moment on how I now live my life.  I carry everything my dad taught me...and make sure I bring them into my own life. 

It's how I will keep his spirit alive.

Tonight, although separated by miles, my sisters and I are eating steak and drinking a glass of red wine in his honor.

I love you Dad.  

 I miss you.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Old friends are the best!

L to R: Katie, Mel, Shelley, Laura

Butler grads...1993 to be exact...friends since 1989...the math puts us in each others lives for 23 years!  
 How lucky am I?  
The weekend randomly came together.  No kids...just four women...some time together...and lots of catching up.  
What a blast!

Katie brought everyone these Butler Tervas party favors!

Michigan Ave. for shopping and lunch at Banderas - YUM!

Dinner at Michael Jordans and dessert at The Purple Pig.  This is my fourth attempt to eat dinner here...finally!!  FINALLY!  I have an in!  Friended a her email address and the secret code!  I will eat here soon! 

What a great weekend of endless chatter...movies...walks to the and just being together.  I loved every minute of it!  

Thank you to my dear friends for making the effort to come together...take a leave from your families...sleep on air mattresses and make it feel like not a single day had passed in 23 years!  

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Photo credit: John Madaras

The man at the antique store who sold this to me said it was a Mexican cow skull...

I would have bought it if it was from Montana...or Idaho...or Indiana...

Looks like the bullet hit it pretty much between the eyes...

I think that's life least to those of us who aren't Vegan/Vegetarian.

Honestly, it could mean a lot of different things to people.  

You might choose to think...perhaps, from a decorator's perspective; this is so last year.  

From a Vegan's perspective; how cruel.  

Or maybe...just maybe...a reflection on urban landscape...the desolate West. 

In my opinion, I think it's a quintessential icon of the American West.  


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Putting aside the classics....

That's right...I got a goddam brand new TV!  

Pretty picture, eh?  

I'm gonna go plant myself in front of it...

I can't think of anything lousy about that!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Human Emoji.

I'm a texter.  I rarely listen to voice mail.  In fact, I currently have 23 unheard messages.  Do not bother. 
Eventually, I just delete them.  I do.


Better yet, EMOJI ME! 

For those of you who have an iPhone and have not downloaded the EMOJI should do this as soon as possible!

Emoji is the Japanese term for emoticons. They are used in electronic messages and webpages. They are so KEWL and so much fun!

For the record, this is how I communicate with my friends, via text message.  I simply send an emoji and they send one back.  An Emoji says it all. 

Photo credit - Cindy Burns

This picture makes me laugh out loud!  Seriously, it's so funny to me!  Katie's eyes!  How are they all cattywhompus like that?  
 When Cindy showed it to me...she was like, "It's human Emoji!!" 
 Oh.em.gee; it is and I love it.

I spoke to Katie about this photo and she seems to think this kind of facial awesomeness only happens after a night of libations.  This is also reflected in the picture...please note the hangover remedies: water, Diet Pepsi, Bloody Mary and iPhone.

I've heard the debate from the older generation on moving toward texting versus fielding a call With casual conversation, It's basically the way communication is it or not.  

 I do appreciate them staying strong when grammar was replaced with, wut r u up 2. 

 It's odd.  It's weird. But, it's fast.  It's decipherable.  It' 

I do make a promise...Emoji...will change your world.
I guarantee you will find yourself smiling...laughing...possibly, thinking about it later.  

Your world + Emoji = brighter, happier, funnier place. 

If you have any Emoji-related questions...I'm ready to field them. 
Otherwise, text away, Emoji-style and if you are able to...join Katie; human-style.

Please no texting and driving! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bittersweet October

I ended up closing out September with a bang.  I was feeling uncertain on Friday as to what my plans for the weekend were exactly, however, the weekend exceeded my expectations. 
 I was feeling a little mellow and somewhat sad summer was ending.  Well, officially, September 21st...but the weather is only now bringing the cool crisp mornings and evenings with a warm up during the afternoon.  
Fall is like a perfect pause between summer and winter, don't you think?  
The leaf-kicking, pumpkin-carving, cooler-boot and sweater weather is here...I am excited. 

I got a last minute invitation to one of my favorite bands, The Avett Brothers.  They put on a great outdoor show at Northerly Island along Chicago's lakefront. 

The Avett Brothers in action.

Saturday, my friend John invited me to go antiquing in Milwaukee.  I had never been and my entire life, whenever I have heard of Milwaukee, I think of two sitcoms I watched religiously; Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley.  Both of those shows took place in Milwaukee and often used the Milwaukee breweries as a backdrop for their storyline.  
I was dying to go.

Milwaukee lies along the shores and bluffs of Lake Michigan.  As we drove North, the leaves had already begun to change.  Fall is here! Milwaukee, known for its brewing traditions, is home to Miller Brewing Company which is the second largest beer maker in the United States.

 Al Capone, noted Chicago mobster, owned a home in a Milwaukee suburb where moonshine was made.  

This antique 'mall' was amazing.  Four floors of mid-century, vintage finds.  Here is some of what I took home.

These vintage crocks remind me of my dad.  I bought both; one is a gift.

Hard to see, but three tinted blue Ball Mason jars I quickly filled with foliage. I bought a few other items but I can't reveal them as they are gifts for others who read Off the Cuff.

Sunday, I met up with Katie, Braden, Cindy and Rick for brunch at Ditka's off Michigan Avenue. The Bloody Mary's are served with a beer joke.  Along with the steak sliders it may be my new favorite place.

We shopped on Michigan Avenue and had a great time being together.  Although the weekend concluded September, I was excited to begin October.  I want to make sure I take the time to sit and watch the leaves turn...and enjoy the company of friends.  

Here's to a good month!