Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I had a dream…

last night that was so vivid I awoke this morning knowing the most inner thoughts of the dream family.

The cast consisted of three – a middle aged, single mom filled with the hope that she is viewed by all as a dedicated parent trying her best; her almost legal-to-drink son; and a daughter who will graduate high school none too soon.

This family resided in a 100 year-old home…the layout still etched in my mind… two thin-walled bedrooms in a small attic, a tiny room off of the main living area where this woman’s son slept and one bathroom next to the kitchen.

How often is a dream so intense that you are able to remember such details?

Incredible!

As the mother laid in her attic bedroom debating if her aged bladder could make it through the night, or if it needed emptying one last time, she heard her son arrive home....a rare 10 minutes prior to his curfew.

After some time had past, she decided to use the bathroom - so she walked down the small, winding stairs and headed to the back of the house...upon entering the kitchen she witnessed her son scurrying from the counter back to the bathroom with a roll of paper towels in his hand.

I recall her asking “What is going on?”

He replied “I THINK I clogged up the toilet!”

“Think?"....she thought to herself in my dream.

With that she opted for the possibility of wetting her bed and headed back upstairs.

This mom was nearing sleep at about 11:45 p.m. (I know because I saw her alarm clock ever so clearly in the dream) when she overheard her daughter talking to her latest love interest on the phone.

With anger the mom picked up her cell phone and dialed the room next door...I recall their conversation going something like this:

Dream Mom (“DM”): Get off the phone...NOW!

Dream Daughter (“DD”): Okay...I will...but I have one question.

DM: Yes?

DD: Do birds have penises?

DM: WHAT?

DD: Do birds have penises?

DM: Well, I guess they have to inseminate somehow...so I guess they do.

DD: Thanks.

DM: GET OFF THE PHONE!

DD: I will.

Click.

I sat in bed this morning contemplating the vividness and details of it all.

What a dream....

or was it a dream?

parenting makes me scream

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

FAT Tuesday

A King's Cake....



Paczki's.....
Covered with sugar...


and filled with custard and such!


Isn't Fat Tuesday connected with Christianity???

So then why, oh WHY, do these show up on the office kitchen counter on my second day of eating "healthy"?

This can only be the work of Satan's hand!

fulfilling his 666 fat plan

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fall Out



I should not have been surprised when last Wednesday (the day after my stressful once-a-year appointment with the doc) I developed a sore throat that progressed into a cold.

I nursed myself at home on Friday and then continued trying to feel better over the weekend....resting as much as I could and feeding my ever increasing girth with comfort food (it is FEED a fever and FEED a cold, right?).

So I am back to work today running at about 80% of “normal” with the hope that someday I will be able to wrestle that demon called “Stress” to the ground and choke the ever-loving **** out of it.

shit

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Too Funny...


was my first thought upon seeing the hopefully-not-damaging vandalism that occurred recently to the above mural!

Inside the Apparel Center is a long hallway, the same hallway where I found my Bren Bataclan painting, and it has a mural along one wall.

I assume it was painted by art students who attend(ed) the Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago - a tenant in that same building.

The mural is an eclectic assortment of paintings, from a fish, a plated slice of cake, local politicians, a Chicago style hot dog in a poppy seed bun to a 19th century woman seemingly starting to nurse a cherub.

And as you can see from the picture of the painting above...it includes a full-on boob view...that was until recently....


when somebody decided to cover it up....well cover up the nipple part....possibly because the hallway opens to the outside and being in the middle of a typical Chicago winter...they thought she might get too cold.

making it look wrinkly and old

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

John....

is one of the first people you see upon walking into Loyola Medical's Cancer Center in Maywood.

John has been there for years...I know because at the end of 2001 and for all of 2002 I saw him on a regular basis.

John is always in his dark blue security uniform – greeting you, signing you in, giving directions and just generally making you feel welcome.

So yesterday upon entering Loyola I was dismayed to see that John wasn’t in his usual spot.

I had my blood drawn and because I had to fast prior to the draw, my sisters, our Momma and I needed to get some lunch, before having to return for the appointment with my oncologist at 4 p.m.

We left the campus and randomly drove around....seriously RANDOMLY drove, I turned the wrong way down a one way street (YOU ARE GOING THE WRONG WAY!); blew thru an unnoticed stop sign; went over railroad tracks, and then back over them again after noticing a restaurant that I have seen outside of my commuter train window for some 18 years....Connie’s Restaurant in Berwyn...a little Greek joint where we could probably get our Momma her favorite basket of rolls, butter and some good food without having to spend a fortune.

I pulled into a parking space along the tracks and we headed in.

We weren't two feet in the door when I spotted a very familiar face...

it was John!

“Why are you not at work today?” I shouted while pointing at him.

“Oh my God, look at you!” he responded.

John went on to introduce us to his dining companion, a childhood friend, who shared with me that even though John now lives in Oak Park...they have been meeting at Connie’s since they were 14 years old.

Now I know that there are some people that will say...”So what..you ran into this guy by chance!”

But I am here to tell you that I wanted to see John and it was “arranged” from high above that if I couldn’t see him at Loyola...I would happen upon a restaurant..miles away from the hospital and many miles away from where John lives, so that we could still have our yearly chat.

because God can do all that

Monday, February 16, 2009

Spring arrived......


at my house on Saturday in the form of beautiful flowers given to me by my guy.

Thank you, Valentine.

glad your mine

Friday, February 13, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sylvia


The bright spot of my debacle of a train ride home last night was a spry older woman that I ended up sitting next to after being forced to get off our broken down train one stop early and being put onto another train for arrival at our final destination some hour and 15 minutes later than planned.

And what a bright spot she was....she wore a white patent leather bucket hat, with a bright red thin scarf wrapped around her neck, dangling pearl earrings, and a coiled plastic key chain with keys and store savings cards hanging from her wrist.

We immediately started talking and she admitted to not being a commuter...which had her wondering if this was a "normal" train ride – I assured her it was not.

So my next question to her was what was she doing downtown? She had met up with a friend and went to the Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier where they saw a performance of Macbeth. They did not enjoy the play...it was, unbeknownst to them, set in modern times. After the play in an attempt to make the 4:28 train..they had to run for the Union Station bus...which worked out, selfishly enough, for me.

Sylvia talked about her love of the U.S. Presidents, how she had just been to my town library to hear a speaker talk of Abraham Lincoln; that she and a “younger” friend have traveled all over the U.S. visiting past President’s homes and memorials. She just loves to learn.

She also loves to bowl....and just so happens to bowl at the bowling alley some 2 miles or so from me. She shared that she always had thrown a 15 lb. ball, but with her age “getting up there” she was talked into buying a 10 lb. ball. With that lighter ball she started rolling some of the worst games of her life...so she bought a 12 lb. ball and last week had a 185 game!!

She is the daughter of Romanian immigrants and remembers as a young girl teaching her parents English. She has lived in Aurora her whole life, widowed some years ago and has recently moved into a condo from the home she raised her family in.

I never asked Sylvia her age – but my guess would be late 70’s or early 80’s and that was only from her telling me “if my mother was still alive she would be 100 years old." Certainly Sylvia’s beautifully sculpted face, sense of fashion, love of travel, zeal for learning and awesome bowling abilities belay her actual age.

So a tip of the bucket hat to you, Sylvia – thank you for sharing a small sliver of your life with me last night and in doing so reaffirming that you don’t have to grow “old” as you age.

use Sylvia as your gauge

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rainy Day Lunch Surprise


"Sues we are looking for a place to have pizza in Chicago...any thoughts?" my sister Wendy said over the phone late this morning.

It turns out that she and my brother-in-law were on the near west side of the city having their taxes done and were looking to have lunch.

"Well, if you can find street parking at Pizzeria Uno I can meet you over there" I replied and suddenly it was a done deal.


Good company and superb pizza made for a great rainy day lunch treat.

that cannot be beat

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Speaking of daughters....


today I stayed home so that I could attend Anna's IEP (individual education program) meeting at her high school - the last meeting of this kind in her high school career.

I walked into a room of adults who, before Anna arrived, told me that she is confident, mature "beyond her years", and in general is doing great!

Which, as a parent, I WANT to hear fabulous things about my child...but I had to be honest with them....I see a very, very different side of her at home..so much so I find myself at times wanting to bang my head against the wall thinking that she just isn't listening to anything I say!!

That was until the social worker told me that she had Anna talk with a student who was struggling in an abusive relationship with a boy and the social worker was present while Anna talked...and guess what?? Anna repeated over and over specific things that she credited to me...that's right ME...her MOMMA having told her and that I was RIGHT!!

Yahoo!! Some of what I say is sinking in...I LOVE that girl!!

still at times makes my head twirl

Monday, February 9, 2009

“You don’t care about me!!”

my daughter hysterically cried into the phone Saturday night.

Keith and I were enjoying a rare night out in Chicago with his brother-in-law, sisters and friends....celebrating his brother-in-law’s 35th birthday at a dueling piano bar called Howl at the Moon.

After being at the bar for about an hour or so Keith received a phone call from my sister....at which point I pulled my phone out of my purse and saw that I had 7 missed calls....all from my daughter Anna.

Both Keith and I left the bar area and hid in a small, just barely quieter, vestibule....him talking to my sister and me talking to my daughter.

It seems that Anna had a flat tire and needed help. Keith told my sister that we were at Howl at the Moon and were unable to help....and I let Anna know that we could not come and that she should call our next door neighbor's son who works at a service station and that I was sure he would be happy to help out a young damsel in distress. To which she said “I am NOT calling our neighbor!”...so I gave her a couple of other suggestions and it was finally decided that a friend’s father would come and change the tire. I left my phone out and visible after asking Anna to call me when she was back on the road again.

It wasn’t until the next morning while talking to our mom that I got the story of what was happening out in the western suburb that we live in...my sister thought that Keith told her that we were at the “Full Moon”....which is a local tavern in our hometown...just down the road from where Anna had her pothole/tire mishap! My sister had hung up after talking with Keith and said to her husband...”They are at the Full Moon and they must be too drunk to drive…because they aren’t going to go help her!”

And that is where the whole miscommunication thing began...not only did my sister not know that we were an hour and 15 minutes away from the flat...Anna DID NOT KNOW either....leaving all of them to think (at least overnight) that I was an uncaring, selfish, drunk Mom looking to cause my daughter possible harm and pain.

18 years of unselfish parenting right down the drain

Friday, February 6, 2009

It is Left For Me To Find Friday!!

Today's find, not only benefits the beauty of my train ride and every other commuter that shares the seat with this...but it also acts as possible food for stray roaches and/or mice that might frequent the train during off hours....


I LOVE IT when people are so unselfish in their actions, that they think not only of other humans, but include insects and rodents too!!

don't you

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Eight



is the number of years that have past since that February 5th day my family and I said goodbye to our father, Bruce Barr May, Sr.

A God fearing, imperfect, hardworking, could-kick-your-ass, family man who we are proud to have called Father.

After his death our Mom found this poem that he had cut out of a newspaper, tucked away inside his wallet...

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die!

I think that says it all.

in my eyes he was ten feet tall

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Strep, Strep, Strep, Strep.....


Strep, Strep, Strep, Strep!

Susan Snippets is home today dealing with an 18 year-old daughter, who, when not feeling well, reverts to infancy.

A long night of sore throat pain, waking up with a fever, a visit to the doctor's office to confirm what I already knew - she tested positive for strep, plus a 101.3 temp, followed with a stop at Jewel for popsicles, fruit bars, sherbet and Jello...then on to the pharmacy for the filling of her prescription.

She is now on the couch, full of an antibiotic, Advil, popsicles and some raw chocolate chip cookie dough.

What can I say? When I get stressed I like to bake and today is no exception - I can smell the aroma of chocolate chip and toasted walnut cookies that are ready to come out of the oven.

made with mom/nursemaid lovin

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl Food

Although I am a fan of football and all the hoopla surrounding the Super Bowl event, including the sometimes-funny-commercials shown during the game…

my motive in having or going to a gathering for the big game is food, with yesterday being no exception.

After inviting ourselves over to my sister and brother-in-law’s house with the caveat that I would supply a baked ham, made from scratch augratin potatoes, along with chocolate chip and toasted walnut cookies (which by the way did not make it to the table for dessert....an accidental oversight??? Hhhmmmmm???) I also promised a new appetizer.....

Jalapeno Peppers Stuffed with Cream Cheese and Wrapped with Bacon Thingies that I printed from Pioneer Woman’s cooking blog, which were fabulous!

And although my underdog Cardinals, after a valiant last quarter go ahead, were unable to raise the Super Bowl trophy high....the eats during the game were superb.

my food intake I could not curb