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Do You Divvy?

A few weeks ago, Divvy Bikes landed in Evanston, IL. It’s a great market given that Evanston is home to Northwestern University and neighbors with Chicago. Evanston has ten stations and three of them are located at Northwestern University.

Divy Bike

These bicycles are intended for quick trips (half-hour trips or less) and have risen in popularity among commuters.

The pricing structure includes: Read the rest of this entry

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Case of the Whippy Hair Snapper

Voracious Readers:

I have said for years that Weeping Willow mirrors hair….

Hair Flair

Hair Flair

But I digress.

While dining at a restaurant tonight with my mom, I noticed that she was smirking. I challenged her to release the cause of the humor but she assured me I would learn at a later time.

Shortly thereafter, my mom started to titter again. I turned around and a light brown mane, approximately two feet long, was unleashed over the back of the booth toward me as a teenage girl Read the rest of this entry

Roomba Always on My Mind

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.

Splendid calm at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Splendid calm at the Chicago Botanic Garden

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!

My musical world kept in tune with my purple pick, tuner, and guitar, of course.

My musical world kept in tune with my purple pick, tuner, and guitar, of course.

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

You Should Totally Write a Blog About That…

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

The 11th of Lauren

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…

Despite early hesitation, my brother became one of my biggest fans.

Despite early hesitation about his little sister arriving on the scene, my brother  has become one of my biggest fans. I constantly make him laugh. I’m glad I can help, Bro.

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:

Read the rest of this entry

Mom to the Rescue

It’s Mother’s Day 2015 and here are some developments since my original post that is below this one.

Flashback to last June on Friday the 13th when I was moving out of my condo.

  • Things are going well as I plot my new adventure at my new home, yet to be discovered. As I float down the stairs of my condo hallway and hear the jingling of keys in my pocket, I am at peace.  Delight turn to fright as I discover that my car keys are in my pocket and my condo keys are in my condo and I am on the wrong side of the door. Cell phone in hand, tears build, as I anxiously await to hear my mom’s calming voice. “Mom, I need you now!”  Normally, my mom wouldn’t be home at the hour, but I caught her and she rushed over with the extra set of keys that she hadn’t returned to me yet! Morale: Mom came to the rescue, movers arrived and the rest of the day was seamless. Sigh.

  • After all these years, we still play tennis and if top spin was a spice, hers would be extra hot.

  • I have been taking guitar lessons since last fall. It can be frustrating learning how to play but, thankfully, I now have a really cool teacher who has turbo boosted my muscle memory that allows me to play all sorts of songs. However, I wouldn’t be playing the guitar if my mom didn’t buy it for me.

  • She grew up playing croquet and a group of us still play during the summer – thanks to the Croquet Hostess.  She continues to channel her hometown roots and destroy the competition on the course, despite her routinely asking which wicket she is supposed to be shooting the ball through.

  • Last year, she introduced me to the Puzzle Island section of the Chicago Tribune. Since then, every Sunday, I go to her place and remove the coveted wordplay section and head over to the coffee shop to exercise my brain.

  • In the winter, we take walks and look at lights.  In the warmer weather, we study the gardens and architecture of the homes.  At night, we walk over to the lake and gaze at the Chicago Skyline, tranquil lake, and twinkling stars over our heads. If the timing is right, the fireflies come along for the ride.

  • I got her a memory rock from the rock store down the street, a couple of week ago. Whenever she forgets something now, she says it’s because she doesn’t have her memory rock – because she forgot to take it with her.

May her warmth, generosity, and amusing witticisms continue to impress all of the people who are lucky enough to encounter her.  Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, thanks for creating memories with me!

A Rocky Selfie with Mom :)

A Rocky Selfie with Mom 🙂

5-12-13 It’s Mommy Time

This weekend, many Facebook profile and cover photos are composed of mothers, be it a flashback or a recent photo. This is done, obviously, as an homage to Mother’s Day. That’s one of the pros of Facebook. I’m fortunate that I get to hang out with my mom frequently. Here are some things that everyone loves about my mom, including me.

  • She has voluminous hair and she passed that on to me. When I was younger, I used to call her mane “Bozo hair” and she hated that. It wasn’t THAT red but it was full of curls and actually quite pretty. When she grew her “natural” hair color out, to the bedevilment of our hair stylist, I commented that it looked like an “upside-down banana split”. She also didn’t like that too much, either.

Read the rest of this entry

4 Years of Ranting and Raving

Four years ago, the death of a close family friend, propelled me to take on this blog. Jeff  is a constant reminder NOT to squander time.

Yet, this past year, I have been somewhat inattentive to my blog. I shall put blogging back on my to-do list.  Because when I feel better, we all feel better.

Before I forget, quick guitar update. Totally nailed the most boring song ever, with the book closed and Teacher Man, formerly known as Fan Man (but that was lame), advanced me to my coveted “Are You Lonesome Tonight.” Giddy with gratitude! Any time spent with Elvis is time well spent. But I digress.

Per the site stats, here are the posts that had the most traction over the past year.

1. In the “You’ve got to be kidding me, it’s connected to my brother” category – a 30 second “Girl I Want to Skate Backwards with You” video featuring Read the rest of this entry

Life with a Gator

15 years ago, I bought a third floor, triple exposure, walk-up condo in the heart of a college town.  It offered a daily workout with the stairs and amazing treetop views but there was no outside space, among other things.

Flashback to the night before the move to the condo:

My brother is a Mensch. He flew into “help me move”.  When he offered his services, he thought he was helping me “settle in” my new condo. He was wrong.

The afternoon before, he arrived at my apartment to survey the situation.  I assured him that I was in good shape.

Bro: “Where are the boxes?”

Sis: “Huh?”

Bro gets on phone: “Dad, she hasn’t packed anything, there are no boxes!”

My dad, his then-girlfriend and my brother scoured the neighboring towns for crates and packing vessels to enable safe transport of my belongings. I just pointed and they packed. Really!

A few days after getting organized in the second bedroom of my new place, I saw a massive object on the floor. I thought it was a mangled car tire.  It wasn’t.  It was a condo warming present from my brother and the perfect gift for one without an outside space. Read the rest of this entry

Ride it Out

Weather permitting, I push myself to take long bicycle rides on the weekends. Given our brutal weather in the Midwest, I was pretty elated to be able to ride 40 miles this past Sunday.  There is nothing like a ride offering decompression that lasts for half a day.

From a cardio point of view, I wasn’t fatigued at all. In fact, when I got to my half-way point at 20 miles in, a part of me wanted to bike all the way to Wisconsin.  My brother did that once.

Great Lakes Naval Base - 1/2 Way to 40 or Do I Ride to Wisconsin?

Great Lakes Naval Base – 1/2 Way to 40 or Do I Ride to Wisconsin?

He would pedal on his bike until the sun went down. He didn’t concern himself with how he would get home. However, it did hit him that he could not ride in the dark on a major highway – without a light.

In an age that offered no cell phones, he promptly found a pay phone at McDonald’s and called our father hoping that he would be home. Moments later, our dad said, “Found your brother! Come on, we’re going to Kenosha to pick him up – he rode his bike there this afternoon.” I was so impressed that he had gone 50 miles on a bike at one time!

Some people are baffled as to why I would choose to spend four or five hours of my precious weekend time on a bike. It’s a gift and as long as I can keep pedaling, I will do it. It’s time away to reflect and re-group.  Granted, I have climbed 2,109 stairs of the Willis Tower, twice. But, I digress.

When I turned around, Read the rest of this entry

How to Blast Past the Blues

Melancholia seems to be all around us these days and it’s easy to get sucked into the negative vortex.  Those who get served constant helpings of unwanted or undeserved mind screw soufflé can become frustrated or blue. I have no shame in realizing that I am disenchanted by people who represent themselves as sincere but are disingenuous.

Fear prompts the blues and insincerity is caused by fear.

To get past this yucky feeling, I rant! I say some inappropriate words but am usually able to put a funny spin on a disappointing situation. I can laugh at myself and have to. During moments like these, my writer’s block is no longer an obstacle because I can just write without distraction.

Last night, one of my lifelong friends gave me a pencil because none of my pens were working and challenged me to wax poetic. I laughed at the thought.  I hadn’t written poems since college. For inspiration, I took out my old book of rantings and ravings which included my touching Wiffleball Wonderland poem that I wrote about my childhood neighbors, but I digress. Over the next couple of hours, I just blurted out words. By the end of the evening, eight words came out: Read the rest of this entry

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