Thursday, July 31, 2008


Were the license plates on the black Cadillac cruising underneath the el tracks along Lake Street this morning.

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that I think the driver was a lawyer.

Those of you that have been reading Susan’s Snippets for a while know that I have worked with lawyers my entire Chicago career.

Which has been a very, very long time – 32 years this past May.

So I have heard, read and seen it all when it comes to suing.

But, outside of my divorce proceedings, I have never sued anyone.

Until now.

Last June, while being driven to work by her friend, my daughter was involved in a serious accident – rear ended by a F-150 and pushed across oncoming traffic lanes and up into the grassy area underneath the A&W sign of where she works.

She had to be cut out of the vehicle and transported to the emergency room….all the while I was trying to make it home from Chicago – in a state of Mother’s panic after receiving a call from a passerbyer of the accident and hearing my daughter screaming in the background.

She remarkably wasn’t horribly injured, but did sustain injuries – one of which was to her back.

I immediately was contacted by a cheerful, southern-voiced woman from the hitter’s insurance company. I told her during that first phone call that I worked with lawyers, to let her know that I have some experience in this and I wasn’t going to just settle immediately (like the other girl’s mother did).

Thru a series of illnesses that summer (strep/mono), coupled with my just-suck-it-up work ethic and unreasonable-yet-to-be-expected fear of doctors - both my daughter and I did not recognize that the pain she was experiencing was still residual from the accident.

Until that November, when I took her back to our doctor and had it explained to us that what she has needed all along was physical therapy. An order was written and she diligently went for about two months.

All the while....the sweet-southern-insurance adjuster continually called me checking on my daughter’s condition, seemingly with care and concern in her voice.

The care, concern and sweet southern-ness were thrown out the window when I refused to accept their settlement offer of less than what we have paid out of our own pocket.

Actually she got down right mean and nasty and said “I KNEW you were going to sue from that first day I talked with you and was told you worked for lawyers!”When I tried to defend myself and let her know that in 32 years of working with lawyers – that I have NEVER sued anyone – that is not the cloth I am cut from – she stopped me short and said “Have your lawyer contact me – I can no longer speak to you!”

Since that time my lawyer has been speaking to her over the phone – twice. Both times the calls ended in frustration on his part. Since then all correspondence has been via fax and snail mail.

We have tried every which way to settle this for an amount that would, at the least, cover my costs out-of-pocket, and give my daughter a small bit for her pain and suffering – and so far we haven’t even tried to go after emotional injury – she still freaks any time a driver gets close to her back bumper.

Our last correspondence from this well-advertised insurance company was “send us a copy of the complaint when it is filed.”

So, for the first time in 32 years – I, as guardian of my minor child, will be suing.

I have been told by a lawyer that represents accident victims on a regular basis – that he does not even try to negotiate a settlement with this company – he just files suit immediately.

I hope that when the defendant in this matter is served by the Sheriff with the Complaint – that he knows what he is getting for his “smaller” premiums – he will now be drug thru depositions, statements, lawyer appointments and court appearances – all because they are unreasonable, greedy and mean.

money fein

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

222 Superior

was a building I passed during my lunch walk today and prior to last November it would have been no big deal that I happened to glance up at its address and see 222.

But the number 222 is stalking me.

Now it may very well be similar to when you get a new car – you start noticing all the other cars just like your brand new baby that are on the road.

But it might not be.

Last November when my daughter and I started our road trip to Nashville - I zeroed out the red rocket’s trip meter.

The next time I looked at it we had gone 222 miles.

Later that day I happened to glance at the clock and it was 2:22 p.m.

Since then that number has continued to come up.

Not just three or four or twenty-two times...but many, many times.

I received a piece of junk mail and the sender’s address was 222.

One of my posse recently joking referred to eating 222 pretzels.

Last Friday our office manager sent out the weekly calendar at 2:22 p.m.

And, for the record, I am not “into” numbers like some...

My son has 27 tattooed on his right arm (dumb, but that is for another blog); and

My Momma loves, loves numbers and has been very lucky due to certain combinations – but I will leave that also for a future blog - quite possibly about gambling.

Have you ever been followed by a number?

That just won’t let you be?

or is it just me

Monday, July 28, 2008

“Hey! Hey!!....

Can you tell me where Lake Michigan is?” the shirtless young guy yelled at the taxi.

Two good-ol’ white boys in a red Ford F-150 with Iowa plates were looking for a beach and they were heading due west...

too funny.

But that snippet reminded me that I need to mention the beautiful beaches we offer here in Chicago……

Over 26 miles of lakefront.

With beaches by the names of:

Oak Street;

North Avenue;

Montrose Beach;

12th Street Beach; and

Osterman Beach.

If you get a chance to visit our great town this summer....make sure you bring your suit and head to one.

You will be left wanting more.


Friday, July 25, 2008

With my Friday slipping fast away....

and no Chicago snippet to share...I figured I would steal one of Pioneer Woman's crazy steer pictures and say to you all...


be safe;

and "see" you next week.

i'm a geek

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lost: Half a Peck of Pickles!

Well...maybe not half a peck...but several.

Every Thursday from May 15th thru early October in Chicago's Daley Plaza you will find a fabulous Farmer's Market.

That market was my lunch walk designation today for some fresh veggies and sunshine.

My purchase of three ears of bi-colored corn, a bunch of pickling cucumbers and a green pepper were placed into a plastic bag that I slung over my shoulder as I headed back to the office.

Right around Wells and Randolph I pulled my veggie-filled-bag back around to the front to find that the ears of corn had punched a gaping hole into the bag and some of my pickles were missing!

So, if you happen to be wandering around the Chicago Loop this afternoon and on the sidewalk you find a stray pickle or two...

from Susan's Snippets cheerfully to you

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fashion Snippets

I am being graced today by the presence of my 17 year old daughter, so our walk into the office consisted primarily of fashion critiquing, which coincidentally, happens to be one of our favorite mother-daughter past times.


Some mothers/daughters spend quality time shopping/cooking/sharing.

We, being such fashion plates ourselves, feel qualified to critique everyone else's style and enjoy doing it.

A few of the fashion snippets we shared on our mother/daughter bonding walk are:

"Ewww..those pants were so gay!"

"See...when she walks that knit dress presses into and shows her 'area'.

"Did you see his hair - the 70's are calling - they want it back!"

"Her pants are too tight!"

"Outside of being homeless, just why would you be wearing a winter coat this morning?"

"She is too old to be wearing pleather pants!"

"That belt does not match that dress!"

We have lunch plans at an outdoor cafe, where you can be assured our fashion critiquing will continue as the people walk by.

such fashionistas - we set the bar high

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"Please tell me you are not a serial killer or an axe murderer!"

a member of my morning train posse had im'd to him last night while perusing a single's site.

I, too, back in the tween time of divorce, momentarily-losing-my-mind-summer-of-insanity, getting-sick-and-thankfully-recovering, and now Keith, had been a card carrying member of eHarmony and Match.

My experiences were.... well, I will just say some of my closest "friends" still quote lines from the stories I had conveyed during that time and they aren't quoting for positive reasons.

For example:

There was the guy from Wisconsin who told me that he was employed in the "meat" field.

Turned out he was a self-employed butcher...

he spent his days hacking up animals into little pieces...

aah, yeah - No!

Then there was the one that I actually spoke to over the phone and had dinner with...


We met at a nearby restaurant and the waitstaff all knew him by I said he must go there often, to which he responded that every Monday night they had free dance lessons and he would usually show up for them..."it's not too bad, you get to press pretty women up against you."

When I excused myself to the bathroom to momentarily get away, he said he was going to step into the bar to have a cigarette and thought that it was not a problem to leave his $300 suit jacket in the booth while we were both gone...

Nice...creepy and a braggart.

There were others...but I don't need to go get the drift.

The flip side of my on-line dating experiences are the people who have found Mr./Mrs. Right and are as happy as can be. I actually know several people who have been successful, one friend met her husband-to-be on-line and he lived just three blocks away.

Have you tried the on-line hook-ups?

Care to share your experiences....positive, negative or a mix?

i gave on-line the nix

Friday, July 18, 2008

"Doesn't it feel good to wear clean pants?"

my sister Wendy asked me this morning.

That kind of sums up this week of Camp Ladybug fun!

Because of circumstances that were not planned for...Camp Ladybug II has been relocated to my sister's house, one town north of the main camp outpost in suburban Chicago.

My house is currently under construction.

Before you start with the.."Now, Susan, WHY would you have your house torn up when you knew you were having Camp Ladybug?"....let me do some explaining...

I have a slightly maniac at times, wildly kindhearted friend, who is the financier and brains behind the operation of a newly formed home repair company and his top-notch-skilled employee had nothing on the agenda for this week. So, in return for my help in the design and decorating of a "flip" house that he has purchased, I was offered 40 hours of labor...I buy the materials and the work in my house gets done for free...

this week only.

Kind of hard to pass up - so a tile floor is being laid in my kitchen and the connecting bathroom (my only bathroom, that use to be the pantry in my lovely little ol' farmhouse).

Five girls and no bathroom - it just wasn't going to work, so we moved on north.

And between the oldest camper's singing/dancing workshops at the nearby local theater; the middle camper's three times daily infusion of antibiotics into the pick line surgically implanted in her left arm; and the littlest camper's hey-look-at-me-I-want-to-be-noticed-too shenanigans......I have had no time or gumption to wash my pants that I had worn, as of yesterday, four days in a row.

I have managed to brush my teeth everyday, twice a day.

And so far this morning I have been able to style my hair into something other than a Glamour Don't look.

After tomorrow afternoon's performance by the eldest bug at the local theater...the three ladybugs will fly home...and as exhausting and unkempt as it has me...I have loved it.

I will be posting photos from Camp Ladybug II later...for now I hear some ladybugs starting to buzz around and I imagine they might be wanting something to eat.

signing off - head counselor who isn't clean and neat

Monday, July 14, 2008

Camp Ladybug No. 2

This week Susan's Snippets will be spotty (no ladybug pun intended), because instead of working in that big, beautiful city that I mostly love....I am located in a far western suburb...being Head Ladybug to three of my nieces - ages 12, 11 and 8.

I came up with the idea of Camp "Ladybug" last year and we had so much fun that it is now today the second Camp Ladybug began.

The eldest ladybug is beyond beautiful and very talented in the performing arts. I was able to get her into a singing/dance workshop at a local, well-respected theater. When I went to pick her up after her first workshop today...I snuck into the theater a little early....she was performing a dance routine with about 12 other teens...I could tell by her body language that she was uncomfortable...her head hung down and her moves were about a half beat behind the others. She has no organized dance in her background....and was surrounded by girls that more than likely have a lot of dance in their backgrounds...I was beaming proudly thru moist eyes and I can't wait to watch her perform at the end of the week - she has no idea of how fabulous she is.

The middle ladybug...unfortunately has been in the hospital fighting a bad staph infection since yesterday...we hope that she is able to come for the last half of our little Camp.

And the youngest..dethroned from being the baby of her family thru a divorce, remarriage of her mother..who then went on to have a special needs baby with her new husband, this ladybug is a handful at times...but she has the determination to excel in life with a "don't tell me that I can't do that" type of attitude.

So this week....I might be posting...or I might not...for now I have to make sure that the two ladybugs under my care have brushed their teeth and I can then tuck them into bed...

and that third ladybug...I pray for a full recovery because I miss her special buzzing around camp.

this tired counselor..needs to turn off the lamp

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"What are you looking for?”

I asked a family that had just stepped off a CTA bus, map in hand, with both adults pointing in different directions.

I like to think of myself as a Chicago greeter/helper.

The woman speaking with a heavy accent said “Auto Café.”

“Auto Café?” I responded.

“No A-U-T-O CAFÉ!” she replied.

I said “I don’t understand.”

She then showed me on the map what they were looking for....

“Hard Rock Cafe!...Yes, right this way.” and I walked with them for about half a block until they could see the big guitar sign.

"Thank You!" they said as they left me....the premier Chicago greeter/helper - Susan Snippet!

zip it

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

"She would call every Thursday....

using a different name each week and the phone number she left - the last four digits was the room number she would be waiting for him in at the Bismark Hotel." is this morning's train snippet.

My inbound train posse has gotten larger - by one.

And what a character that one is....his stories rival up there with a favorite ex-home bound train character's - minus the drug references.

So this snippet was from an early mentor of his, who, hopefully only mentored him in the art of business.....and I am not talking monkey.

mentor was married, but spunky

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

"Mom fell...

yesterday in the Jewel parking lot and I am on my way over to her house now." my younger sister Wendy said this morning on an early cell phone call as I was walking into the office.

Upon arriving at Mom’s house....she called back to give me some of the details....

Yesterday afternoon while walking in the local Jewel parking lot - Mom fell.

And a guy walked past and chose not to help.

In the fall she cut her hand and it was bleeding so badly that she CRAWLED over to a puddle and placed her hand in it.

After lying on the ground for 10 minutes another man came by and helped her. She then drove herself to an Urgent Care facility where she received three stitches in her right hand and they soft-casted it – telling her to see an orthopedic doctor today.

At no time did she call any one of her 8 children.

So...there are a couple of things I need to say:

WHY for the love of GOD would you walk past an older person who has fallen in a parking lot where they could be RUN OVER, and NOT HELP????

If you fall and your hand is badly bleeding DO NOT put it into a parking-lot-puddle of germ infested water!

God gave you, Momma, eight that when you got a little older and had an issue you would be able to get in touch with at least one of them!

And a big THANK YOU to the guy who did the right thing and helped our Mom.

THANK YOU so much!

I will keep you updated as my two sisters get Mom to the orthopedic today to see if anything in her hand/wrist/ribs are broken.

helping people should be a rule that is unspoken

Monday, July 7, 2008

"May I have this dance?"

he forgot to ask....he just started waltzing with me - back-and-forth as I was walking to the office this morning.

Actually I was power walking-to-try-and-was-successful-at beating the severe thunderstorms that have enveloped the Loop as I type.

Over these years I have developed a 9-times-out-of-ten-successful way of avoiding the sidewalk back and forth dance by keeping my head up and looking in the direction I am going to walk....that usually gives those walking towards you a clue as to where you are headed and they will go the opposite way.

In the case of this morning's waltzing partner - residual holiday hangover could be the answer.

sidewalk dancer

Thursday, July 3, 2008

"Have a safe 4th!"

was this morning's snippet.

Unfortunately with my over-the-top-workload in preparation for Monday's almost-all-our-eggs-in-one-basket-makes-us-or-breaks-us-hearing...I don't have time to go into too much detail about what the 4th of July was like growing up in my family.

But to give you a snippet of that day……in the early 70’s I recall my father taping a railroad bomb to our metal swingset, lighting it.....and then yelling at us to RUN!!

fun, fun, fun

p.s. – don’t be dumb

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


That was my lunch today with Hedy of Hedyblog.

She is in a great spot right now and I couldn’t be happier for her. With her new company it appears that her employer-based faith has been restored...and it happened to a deserving, hardworking, brilliantly-talented gal.

so, so glad she’s my pal

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

“Let your conscious be your guide.”

The older gentlemen said to his equally-aged wife this morning as they were parting ways on the sidewalk.

It has been awhile since I have heard that expression.


Had it been a young couple saying their morning goodbyes, I might have thought he suspected her of cheating.

In this case my mind went immediately to just doing the right thing – she is probably having to make a decision today and he gave her advice that is well-proven with age.