One thing I noticed about this time of year is how a week ago, I was staring at the beautiful treasure at The Chicago Botanic Garden and now I see people tossing out their trees. Life keeps rolling on. But I digress.
I was pretty quiet in 2015 and it was for a good reason because I was making many positive changes – the most impressive being that I am now employed at a place I love and have wanted to work for years. I really enjoy my job and delight in my 1 mile and 1/2 jaunt to work! Not only do I get to wear purple – it is encouraged! My quality of life in the last year has increased beyond my wildest expectations.
One of my favorite distractions has been learning how to play the guitar at my weekly guitar lesson down the street. It is quite the joy to be able to leave at 1:57 for a 2:00 lesson. Over the past year, I have almost lost my prized purple pick more than a few times to which my teacher, Dan, can confirm. Something happens when I leave my lesson and I think I am putting the pick in my pocket and I can never find it; but then I get home and it somehow finds it way on the floor of my walk-in closet. While there are many more purple picks that can be purchased to replace that one, I have to have THAT one. One week, my pick didn’t reappear before my next lesson and I showed up, dejected. I walked in to see my smiling teacher holding my purple pick! You would think he had given me a million dollars; it was a relief to be reunited with my pick!
We have worked on many songs and although I have been partial to Elvis Presley and Patsy Cline, I am exploring other artists now because I like to do mash-ups of various songs and improvise some melody mixed in within the chords. Per Dan’s observation, a break-through moment was working on “Always On My Mind“. It just flows for me, and I can easily connect with the song and not think when I play it. It gives me peace.
When I went to visit my brother and his family for Thanksgiving, I noticed a whirling circular object floating on the floor. It was the robot-like vacuum cleaner Roomba. While I had heard of it, I never thought I could afford one. Sure enough, it was on sale at Costco so I bought it as soon as I got home. My world has changed with Roomba! I guess you are supposed to name it, but I haven’t gotten around to it and I digress, once again. Read the rest of this entry
It’s that time of year again! The time to capture those delightful lights. The weather in the center of the US has been incredibly mild so I have yet to see the lights in snow, but I can’t say I am complaining since it has given me the opportunity to take long walks on many nights to take in the sights.
When I was a kid, I celebrated Christmas week in the rural midwest with my maternal grandparents and family. Christmas Eve was spent diving in gifts and wrapping paper in my grandparents’ living room. Afterwards, I had the option of doing the dishes or going to church.
On Christmas Day, my family and I would drive three blocks (still kind of crazy that we took the car) to see my eccentric great-aunt and gentle great-uncle, “the engineer” with a hard g. He was from Sweden and had really pretty eyes but when he spoke, it sounded like svenska gibberish, and I had no idea what he was saying most of the time.
When we arrived to the house, cousin Muggsy, an obnoxious Boston Terrier, would eagerly greet us by slobbering all over our legs, biting holes in nylons and causing overall chaos until he was gently directed to the basement. Muggsy morphed into Muggsy 2 and the trilogy ended with naming her last dog Hercules. Hercules made the previous Boston Terriers look like stuffed animals.
There were tons of homemade cookies in the back of the house and my other great-aunt would squeal, “Would you like to have a coooookie?” and her sister would back it up with, “Have one of eaaaaaach!” But I digress.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Take It From Me.” What’s the best piece of advice you’ve given someone that you failed to take yourself? This one is so simple. “You just start a blog and write about….” I find myself saying that to so many people in my life.
Yet, It has been weeks, if not months, where I have gotten back on track with my own blog. I keep giving myself an out with a cornucopia of vacuous excuses. I have the time NOW to do it and I haven’t.
Which leads me to the second bit of advice I give to everyone and abuse it chronically. “Do not squander time….”
Instead of directing someone to write about the topics on my mind, it’s time to step it up and get it done myself.
Read the rest of this entry
How can it be the 11th of Lauren, already? Birthday month is here!
Flashback: When my parents took me home from the hospital. They brought a fire truck, balloon, and a baby. That is the order of preference that my brother welcomed the gifts…
Imagine having a month dedicated just to you. Our expectations are way too low. This one day nonsense for your birthday isn’t enough. Each year we have more things we want to do and run out of time. So it only makes sense that this homage to ourselves get expanded. In my case, the month formerly known as May is Lauren. Today is Lauren the 11th.
How does one partake in the Celebration of the Month of Lauren? Here are some easy ways to be successful that are inexpensive on the pocket-book but rich in thought:
Holy cow! Three years of blog magic. It’s here. I never thought I would be ranting and raving for over 4,380 days – wait, isn’t that 12 years? Sorry, work on the brain, I was multiplying by 12 all day. 1,095 days…much better.
I have been neglecting my blog lately – actually all four of them…will get back on track. I haven’t done a free write in forever and it’s therapy for me so nobody really wins when I don’t write.
I have made some great blog friends over the years and I have enjoyed learning from them and getting their positive feedback – thanks for encouragement! For awhile I was trying to do the post-a-day thing and realized that was not practical. It was nice to have a topic given to me but it seemed forced.
Some points of interest: I’ve had Facebook fallout from not knowing how to direct someone to the canned salmon, crabby opticians making my glasses look crooked for important events, constantly doing alumni outreach for my various events, and climbed the Willis (nee Sears) Tower two times with some intense Insanity workouts mixed in. I have the coolest photo Read the rest of this entry
Last night, despite the frigid weather, I covered up in warm clothing so I could walk around town to complete my annual mission of capturing Christmas lights on film. The slabs of concrete were slick with ice and crunched as I spotted various delightful lit up displays. I waited for my blurred lenses to de-fog and used my fingers (slowly transforming into icicles) to snap some shots.
Tomorrow, I take on the beast known as the WIllis Tower. It’s 2,109 steps, 103 floors and 1,353 feet above the ground. Whenever people hear that I am doing Skyrise Chicago 2013, they picture me scaling the building like Spiderman or should I say Spider-Dan ala Dan Goodwin. Whatever happened to that guy who donned a Spiderman outfit and had suction cups for hands in the early 80s? But I digress.
My fundraising efforts have paid off (get it) and I’m delighted to say that the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago will see an impressive increase from Team Support Lauren over last year. I’m giddy with gratitude! My Facebook family has really stepped it up (oops, another pun) as well as the inner circle of people I can overload with spirited “give me your money” emails, who are really good-natured about it and supportive.
My training efforts had me climbing up and down a bunch of stairs at an outside venue with Lake Michigan as the backdrop. On the weekends, I shared the stairs with fellow exercise enthusiasts. I saw one guy who was probably in his 70s. He was taking two steps at a time and jumping up them. I was impressed.
I also saw a quartet of pre-teen boys jumping off the high stone walls at the top of the stadium. It was like a cut scene from the early 80s movie, “The Outsiders” – with their younger siblings, of course. Whatever happened to C. Thomas Howell? Again I digress.
At one point, one of the boys declared that they should take their bikes down the stairs to the stage and ride in circles. The grandma who was overseeing this scene didn’t think it was such a good idea. I heard this loud thump after thump as the frame of the ring leader’s bike got smashed with each step and the rims got trashed! He wasn’t carrying it down the stairs, he was almost pushing it down the stairs. Toward the bottom of the stadium, it was as if the bike had morphed into a dying horse as it spouted its last cough before its final collapse, teetering to the side.
The wheels were no longer round but misshapen like Read the rest of this entry