Thursday, February 22, 2018

I Wrestled With A Sump Pump....

On tap for last night was another wonderful evening out with the girls for our dinner and trip to the Paramount theater where we have season tickets to see 4 musicals each year. "Cabaret" shined bright . And yes, it was raunchy and bawdy, but oh so fun. Terrific cast which always amazes me the extensive amount of talent that we have in the Chicago area and that we don't have to go into the city, pay over the top prices for a ticket and exorbitant parking fees to see a terrific Broadway show. And a definite #33 on my happy list. And #34 is having left overs from dinner to enjoy a second time around.

#35 Field Daffodils from Trader Joe's 

I had an arm wrestling match with my sump pump hose yesterday. I'll back up....first came the snow almost 10 inches, then the warmth which thus began to melt the snow, ground is now saturated from the melted snow and then the rains came and came and came. Last Fall I threw my sump pump hose in the garbage because Toby (sob) loved to chew holes in the plastic hose, thus making it rather useless for hauling water away from the house. OK, now the rains have come (as stated) and the sump pump is running constantly, literally every 5-10 second intervals. Water is pooling around the house because of da dah NO hose.

Definitely Duck Weather....

I'll shorten this long story, bought the hose, wrestled with getting it on the pipe because ofcourse it didn't fit, resorted to duck tapping the damn thing onto the pipe between gushing water but first had to slowly cut the old duck tape away from the rim of the pipe,  This whole event became so much longer than anticipated (isn't that the way everything goes as you age)...and to end this event I couldn't get my rubber boots off of my feet. Well, I finally did, but I pulled every muscle in my arms and back and legs struggling to release my feet from the death grip of those damn rubber boots. I know I have used the word damn twice in this paragraph and while I was in the midst of this event I probably uttered the word "shit" dozens of times. It's difficult to be pure of mouth when you arm wrestle with a sump pump hose. OK, happy #36 it's done.

Monday I played bridge with a group of ladies that gather ever once in awhile for a few rounds. Mostly dealt very low point hands, but at least once I bid 5 hearts and made 5, which makes for a happy morning, not to mention the absolutely best home-made sticky buns I've ever tasted bar none. So good bridge hands and Flour's Famous Sticky Buns #37 and #38.  Here is the link to the recipe....
It's long and tedious and I would never attempt to make these, but I so appreciate that my dear foody friend Ruth treated us to these little pieces of heavenly baked buns.

Oh my gosh, I almost forgot about my outing with a photography friend last Friday. Jeanne and I love to photograph barns, and the older the better. If you ask Jeanne what she enjoys shooting she will reply....old, crumbling, rust, gritty. So last Friday off we went to see if we could find some old barns. So #39 is definitely finding old barns to photograph.''

And #40, my Orchid from a previous post (see here) is still alive and blooming...

Off to Bunco this evening, which means good food, fun and friends...has to be #41.

Enjoy your weekend and do something that makes you happy!

Until next time...

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Fog Beautiful Fog....

Last night I could see the fog rolling in and then a Fog Advisory warning popped up on my I-Phone. We very rarely get fog here, but with so much snow on the ground and the temperatures rising, thus causing the fog to develop, my little heart was doing a happy dance. When I woke up this AM it was like pea soup. Yea!! Now if it will stick around so me and my camera can have some foggy fun I'll be a happy camper. I had a dentist appointment this morning, my last one for awhile....thank goodness, to finalize a crown that I had to have replaced, along with a root canal. Those 2 are in my top 10 of things that "don't" make me happy. I would say pretty much anything to do with Dr's or Dentists don't make it on my happy list. But I am happy that all that is over with #27.

Anywho...the fog did not dissipate while I had my mouth wide open reclined in the dentist chair. As I lay there I began to wonder where should I go to capture some fog shots. Then it came to me....a cemetery. We have 2 cemeteries in town, and believe it or not I've never been inside the gates of either one. I find that rather strange since I've lived here 41 years. Well, today is the day I take my first steps into St. Peter & Paul Catholic Cemetery. No one around, no wind, perfect. If it weren't for the 2 streets busy with cars and trucks surrounding two sides and a railroad track with trains running on regular schedules on another it would have been totally silent. Rest in peace is not happening here. But the "no wind" and "fog" made me very happy #28.

Back in the car....where to next? Ah ha...Seager Park, woodsy and on my way home. Many years ago this used to be a RV campsite. When my Mom and Dad were doing their summer trips all over the US and Canada pulling their silver Air Stream trailer they would set up their home base at Seagar Park while visiting us. The kids thought that trailer was the best! Now, lo and behold, many years later my brother has one that he and his wife trip to all the gorgeous places in the west and northwest areas of the US. Those memories of their visits are happy ones...#29.

On my way home, since I hadn't eaten anything I swung into McDonalds to pick up an Egg McMuffin and a Pineapple-Orange Smoothie, and yes, that is a happy #30 meal for me. There was a man standing by McDonald's with a sign that said..."need money to eat".  After picking up my order and driving past him again, I had to stop for the red-light. I handed him my bag with the Egg McMuffin and the shredded hash brown patty. He walked over to the car and thanked me. I didn't give him money, I gave him food. OK, now that left me without breakfast, I turned around  at the next block and headed back to McD's a second time and once again the man was standing there with his sign. I thought..."what the hell" I gave him food and he is still begging. As I pulled out I stopped and asked him what he did with my food that I had just given him. He explained that he has to eat before he takes his meds for seizures and the meds put him to sleep. I don't know if the guy was just telling me a story or what, but made me happy #31 to think I might have helped the man in some way.

Just a little reminder that Spring always follows Winter which makes me very happy #32....

Have a good weekend everyone and remember, do something that makes you happy.

Until next time.....

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Yes, It Snowed....

Yes, it snowed, we have at least 10 inches maybe more, and a weather snow alert just popped up on my I-Phone warning of another 3-5 inches overnight. Hmmm. And yes, I'm bummed because they cancelled the Out of Chicago Photo Conference scheduled for today. Oh well, can't fight Mother Nature. So what do I do instead....and no, I don't grab snowshoes or cross-country skis and head out the door, like some really exercise conscious people,  I grab my camera and take pictures of the tulips I purchased at TJ's on Wednesday.

Alright, I'm warning you now all you are going to see in this post is snow and tulips. That's about my limit for the last couple of days.  Now, what has made me happy for the past few days...#21 I loved The Phantom Thread. Daniel Day Lewis is perhaps one of the best actors of our day. The acting, photography, gowns, music, story...loved it. Probably my favorite movie of all that I have seen lately and that includes many of the Oscar nominated films. FYI....ladies, if you have a spouse, partner whatever, men probably would not enjoy this movie. I don't mean it's a chick flick or a mushy love story, but it's filled with women, beautiful gowns, smart dressing and many quiet moments.

#22 my book groups.  I belong to 3, yes 3. Two of them we read a book and discuss each month, meeting at alternating homes, and the 3rd meets at the Country Club where we have lunch and a book review usually given by one of our members. Delightful afternoon, but we don't meet during the months of Jan thru March, the CC doesn't serve lunch on Wednesdays in the winter-time. And we certainly can't meet without having a lunch....snort. Our bookgroup that I call "the 2nd Thursday Book Club" met this past week, reading "Before We Were Yours".  A past and present story of children who were swept up into the adoption sale to the wealthy who couldn't have children of their own. Very shocking,and is based on a true woman who did just that, kidnapped children, threw them into an orphanage and then sold them to the wealthy.One of our member's husband was raised in an orphanage and he had fond memories of his childhood, so not all orphanages were bad.

I don't know about you, but since Google came into my life it has saved me from laying awake nights trying to remember a certain movie star, a book, a song....whatever. So #23 is definitely the land of Google and all that information right in the palm of my hand.

One more picture and I'm done.  Come Monday or Tuesday I will be out and about with my camera, but for right now, I'm staying in. 

Thank goodness for Netflix #24 and Amazon Prime #25. Any recommendations for either one of those?  I'm in the middle of watching "Absentia" on Amazon Prime with Stana Katic, you remember her from "Castle".  The story picks up after Emily Byrne suddenly reappears after going missing for six years with no memory of what happened while she disappeared, the show is chock-full of mysteries to solve and questions to answer. In addition to solving the mysteries of the past, Emily has a quest to clear her own name of various crimes she's been implicated in. In the six years she has been missing, her son grows up not knowing his mother, and her husband remarries. Pretty riveting. 

OK, that's it for now. Stay safe, stay warm, stay healthy....oh just thought of another (I hope this doesn't jinx me) I am happy #26 so far I have escaped the terrible flu that has been spreading like wildfire. Like I said, I hope I didn't jinx myself for saying that. 

Until next time.....

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The List Goes On and On

Oh my, running behind again. It's that lazy factor that keeps raising its ugly head.  And now that it's cold and snowy, it causes me to just snuggle in my cozy chair and do absolutely nothing....maybe read or play a little Spider Solitaire...I did mention that is an addiction, right!?

And speaking of snow, we finally scored a decent amount, one that at least stuck to the trees and bushes. We have had snow but it has always been so light and fluffy that in my mind it wasn't quite photographable. I know that skiers prefer this texture but we photographers like that wet, sticky snow that clings to branches aka "heart attack snow". So #13 on my list of happies, is a good thick wet layer of snow.  Following with that my #14 happy is my neighbor with his "large" snowblower". It makes me very happy when I hear that snowblower roar and know that my driveway and sidewalks will be clear. He calls it his toy, I call it my savior.

Yesterday, after a very pleasant morning at Bible Study and a trip to Trader Joe's (I'll tell you about that later) I drove to the Riverwalk to wander and grab some photos of our pretty snow. I wore my heavy coat, but man, by the time I got back to the car I was a little icicle. Looked at the temp on my car thermometer and it was wonder my hands and fingers were stiff.  #15 is our lovely Riverwalk. Our city fathers have developed this beautiful walk along the DuPage River that is lovely any time of the year.

I know in my last post I mentioned something that was not on my happy list and that was my boob smashing event. Well, #16 is that I'm happy that my mammogram was normal....whew, that's always good to hear.

OK, so after Bible Study and before I drove to the Riverwalk I shopped at Trader Joe's for the and a bottle of Villa Alena Moscato.  I guess I better mention that Villa Alena Moscato is my favorite wine, and yes it makes me happy....#17. I picked up a few other items, but what was prominent in my cart was a beautiful bouquet of pink roses and a double bunch of  deep pink tulips. As I was checking out, the cashier (male) asked if these were for Valentine's Day and did I have a sweetheart to share them with... Uh, no my sweetie passed away in September. Following was..."I'm so sorry, hope you are OK.."  I assured him that I was fine, he suffered a long time, he's in a better place etc. Now, here comes the "18, he asks me to follow him on my way out the door, he runs over to the flower section and picks up this absolutely beautiful orchid, presents it to me and wishes me well. Now who does that, except Trader Joe's. I am convinced the employees are given permission to share kindness to their customers.  That's not the only time I have been gifted by a TJ's employee, I've been given a bag of their dark chocolate peanut butter cups, a can of their delicious toffee at Christmas time, and when in Arizona the cashier gave me a TJ's shopping bag with Arizona emblazoned on the front.

I'm headed to Arizona in March for 10 days. I almost decided not to go this year because I am leaving on a Riverboat Cruise to the Netherlands March 25th....tulip time with 3 girlfriends. But I so enjoy feeling the warmth and sunshine and visiting with friends that I decided, what the hey, and booked my flight this week. Visiting Arizona is a definite happy #19. How could I pass up this...

Today I'm heading to the movies to see "The Phantom Thread" with Daniel Day Lewis. Later today, more snow is on the way, so our movie and dinner will come early.

Saturday is The Out of Chicago Winter Conference" in Joliet.....a definite #20. I have made lots of photography friends through this group and always look forward to learning and reuniting with good friends. More about this next week. And PS I broke down and ordered a new Nikon D850 camera this past week. Supposed to be phenomenal. I'm sure it will make my top #75.

Have a great and safe weekend all...

Until next time.....

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Happy Post #8 - #12

Look at that tongue....Cinder isn't a tongue wagger unless she gets really hot and today was that day. She loves the sunshine but being almost all black her little body heats up pretty quickly. Today the sun was shining, the birds were out and about and Cinder was enjoying every last light beam she could handle before she became so hot that the tongue began to reveal itself. She would eventually give it up and jump off the couch to land where the beams weren't streaming. Very shortly tho, she would be back in that sunlight, basking again. Please don't remind me she needs a good groom, I know, she knows, and the groomers know. It's coming.  Cinder basking in the sun with tongue out is my #8 on the happy list.

Now you do realize that this list of 75 things that make me happy are in no particular order...please keep that in mind as my brain wanders through this list.

Yesterday 6 of us girls went to see "The Shape of Water". Have you seen it? All I'm going to say is the writer/director has quite the imagination. I did think both Sally Hawkins and Richard Jenkins were outstanding in their roles. Just a heads-up, you may come out of that movie theater with a big hmmmm. It's quite a journey.

Our WOW (Women on Wednesdays) Bible Study began again in January after our holiday break. Liz Curtis Higgs is the author of "Bad Girls of the Bible" and what a hoot she is. There is a video with each lesson and her descriptions and tales are a complete delight. Being with like minded women each Wednesday is always a delight whatever we are studying, but having Liz Curtis Higgs as our study guide makes my #9 happy list.

#10 has to be blooming plants indoors in February. Right now it is 14 degrees outside, but my blooming cyclamen plant is toasty warm inside on my table next to my winter chair with a pile of books to read.. I say winter chair because in the good ole summertime my wicker chair on the backporch is my summer chair. Both are my "safe havens" my "nests" my "relaxing" spots and my, yes, my "napping" spots. A  short snooze in the afternoon with those winter rays warming me is my #11 happy thing.

And #12 is my granddaughter's blog Cooking.Cats.Charisma  Bailey has quite a sense of humor and she loves to cook. Combine those 2 elements and you get recipes and a chuckle to boot. Check her out, you'll enjoy her witticism.

So tomorrow is boob smashing day...aka mammogram. This does not go on my list as a happy thing, along with Dr's appointments, colonoscopies, and trips to the dentist.

Until next time.....