July 4, 2011

FYI ...

I am great. And thanks to everyone who has asked. Lots of emails wanting to know if everything is okay.

Indeed ... everything is great!

Summer is literally FLYING by. It is the fourth of July, which means that next week fall clothing will be displayed in the stores I do not shop in. But here in Chicago, summer is halfway over and it has been the best in a long time.

We've had our air conditioning on a bit ... off and on to be exact. We both prefer open windows so we go that route whenever possible. And here in the north it is frequently possible.

The weekdays are filled with work which I love. And weekends are filled with the Butler and me enjoying every moment. Winter comes hard and fast in these parts.

So far we have gone on road trips a few times. Down south a couple of hours to see long-time, forever friends. Met their grandbabies. Seen their now-grown kids who grew up side-by-side with our now-grown kids.

We've been to the farmer's market nearly every Saturday morning, which is now in FULL BLAST of the summer harvest. Even early tomatoes.

We've spent afternoons with family. Grilling salmon, eating black bean salsa, munching on our favorite peanut butter chocolate cookie balls which are affectionately ... in our family only ... and only because our niece's fiance dubbed them thus ... called "marshmallow fritter". They have not a morsel of marshmallow in them however. Of course.

We've biked and walked and hiked and talked and planned. Our youngest and his girlfriend are coming in a couple of weeks. We are planning a 3 day visit like no other.

So it has been a wonderful month since I last blogged. And it may indeed be a wonderful month before I blog again.

Because summer ... and life ... is short. For now, the days are stretching into 17 hours of light, and I do not intend to miss a moment of it.

I hope life is as good in your neck of the woods.

May 30, 2011

Memorial Day ... and a Gratitude List

  • too much sunshine
  • sailboats on water
  • lawn chairs
  • color guards
  • youth
  • cool drinking water
  • flags unfurling in blue sky
  • open windows and balmy breezes
  • fresh sweet corn
  • children emulating their daddies
  • a weekday spent together
  • the best seat in town
  •  all branches of the military ... is that the Calvary?
  • the Armed Forces Medley

  •  marching bands with feathers in their caps

  •  tired children and remembering mine
  • nine uncles, two grandfathers, one father, and one father-in-law, all veterans in the fight for freedoms too numerous to list

    May 29, 2011

    A Three Day Weekend ...

    In my business, taking a 3rd day for my weekend simply means that instead of 3 days of work on Monday, I'll have 4 days of work on Tuesday.  And ... I have a (delayed) day-long orientation on Wednesday which means I will miss that day, have 2 days worth of work on Thursday, and at some point in all that mess I have to close up the month of May and open up the month of June.


    To cheer myself up from all this depressing work talk, I thought I'd sum up three things I did this week to make my life a little greener and decrease my carbon footprint.

    1.  Bought sweet corn in it's own wrapper (husks) instead of shorn, wrapped in plastic, and balanced with a tray of styrofoam.  REDUCE!

    2.  Bought 2 pair of Ann Taylor capris from the thrift store.  REUSE!

    3.  Emptied the recycling bin.  I am very thrilled to tell you that we recycle about 5 times more than we throw away.  RECYCLE!

    Anyone who tells you going green is expensive, hasn't compared the price of new Ann Taylor clothing with thrift store Ann Taylor clothing.  I bought these exact capris for $7.99, and another pair for $5.99 in pink.

    And anyone that tells you that going green is a political statement, hasn't read Genesis. 

    May 24, 2011

    A Mid-Week Post on Nothing at all ...

    It was an absolutely glorious day in Chicagoland today.  High 50s/low 60s and pure BLUE SKY with copious amounts of sunshine all day.  It was splendid to walk to work at 7:45 a.m. and it was a joy to walk home at 4:30.  I am hoping I will enjoy this all summer, but I know ... because I have lived her before ... that it can get very very hot.  Florida hot.   Just not for 6 months.

    I LOVE my job so much.  I keep thinking there is going to be something soon that I will discover I have to do that I do not like doing.  And so far, I have not found it.  I have, however, discovered the 2 occupational hazards of Health Information: 1) paper cuts, and 2) bruised shins.  From filing drawers to filing papers I do my share of "OUCH!" all day long.   And my hands are covered in little scabs.

    I dropped my just-heated lunch on the floor today.  I was so hungry.  All morning I was looking forward to that lunch.  And then I heated it and dropped it on the floor.  So I bought a 50 cent soup ticket and had some soup from the kitchen (and they threw in a cup of pineapple and a carrot salad).  Those kitchen ladies like to feed people and they take very good care of the residents and the staff alike.  Here is how the conversation on the carrot salad went:  Her: "Would you like some carrot salad?"  Me:  "No, thank you."  Her:  "You don't like it?"  Me:  "No"  Her:  "You are lying. You've never tried it.  Here."  Me:  "Thank you!" (giggle)

    She was right.  I had never tried it.  I was right too.  I didn't like it.

    When I worked in Long Term Care back in the 80s I was single.  I paid 75 cents for a lunch ticket and ate a generous meal which held me all day.  I would go home at night and have a bowl of cereal.  Now the lunches cost $2 but they are still huge.  I don't buy them, but if I did, this is what I would have gotten today:  Steak-rice-and gravy, fresh carrot salad, fresh pineapple chunks, chicken noodle soup, and banana cake.  The Butler has asked if I could buy him a meal and bring it home in a doggy bag.  But it costs $6 for a non-employee.  A very nice perk for sure.  You know, if you eat steak-rice-and gravy ... and carrot salad ...

    I was searching out plane tickets for one of our sons to come visit, and on a whim I typed in a round trip from Chicago to Atlanta for me to see my mama this 3 day weekend.  And to see that new baby grand nephew that I have not yet laid eyes (or hands) on.  And guess what?  The prices were a steal.  $94 to get there and $104 to get home.  And I thought to myself ... "I'll watch and see if they get any lower." 

    And they did ... all the way down to $69 and $59.  And so I decided to book a flight when I got home tonight.  And when I went to do it, they were gone.  Lesson learned:  I snoozed, I losed.  Or something.  Now it would cost me $256 one way! 

    The American Idol finale is on tonight and I am just tickled that the two kids who are left are both clean cut good old fashioned American teenagers from the south.  Country kids. Country music kids.  A cheerleader, and a guy with a voice that is so pure it is phenomenal.  And they both love Jesus. 

    So ... who to vote for?

    May 22, 2011

    Another Dump ...

    • it was a great work week, which went by very very fast
    • I LOVE my job
    • I discovered if I create a big blender-full (or Ninja-full in my case) of smoothie, pour it into 4 glass containers, freeze it, stick one in my lunch box at 7:00 a.m., and take it out at lunchtime, it is perfect for enjoying at 1:00 on the dot
    • or I can just eat ice cream from the ice cream parlor at work, free for residents and 50 cents for everyone else
    • bought a new REI bag to carry to work, full of all my "stuff"
    • very functional
    • enjoying my Kindle, which I won HERE to my delight
    • it's enclosed in a nice leather cover that I bought with the swagbucks I was saving to buy the Kindle
    • still have not had to wear my rain boots to work yet
    • did an audit on a doctor Friday who is notorious for not completing his progress notes
    • he's in trouble now
    • when I worked in a major hospital's medical records 30+ years ago a doctor who did not complete his charts on time would lose admitting privileges
    • doctors have horrible handwriting ... correction ... MOST docs have horrible handwriting
    • hey, the deadline for the end of the world came and went and we're still here
    • good thing I bought groceries
    • slept with the windows open last night
    • everything is so so green, and the baby ducklings are growing so so fast
    • the Butler is taking an intense 3 week business class that lasts 2 more weeks
    • after that he is taking the summer off of classes so we can have some fun
    • then he has only 2 more classes before he graduates from Liberty University
    • had Chickfila (the only meat I EVER eat) for dinner
    • and I was stuck in traffic today, with a sudden and intense craving for ice cream

    • weekends are just for something different

    May 15, 2011

    A Brain Dump ... the Weekend Edition

    • windy windy windy describes the weekend

    • windy enough to blow the hoods right off our heads
    • also cold, dreary, wet, gray, ugly enough to wear bright and cheerful rain boots
    • I love that they add a little joy to an otherwise sunless day
    • cleaned the apartment in just under an hour
    • baked oatmeal
    • piled spinach and mushrooms on my half of the deli pizza
    • read a book from my Kindle and bought 6 more (for free) from Amazon
    • ordered a Kindle cover
    • bought it with my swagbucks that I did not have to use for the Kindle that I was saving for but actually won
    • watched TPC Sawgrass, not once looking at the golfers but instead watching the galleries for my boys, who were supposed to be there
    • free tickets from the players themselves when they come in to order their coffee from their favorite Barista, my middlest
    • but they didn't go after all
    • great worship music at church
    • beginning to put One Thousand Gifts together with the weekly communion we have at church, and gaining a fresher perspective and a richer experience
    • a mama duck and her 10 baby ducklings
    • strawberries dipped in chocolate
    • our last small group until fall
    • spring day at 43 degrees
    • taking the Butler on a tour of my new work place so he can picture me there
    • meeting one of his employee's mom and grandpa, there to visit her grandma
    • seeing my favorite nurse, working her every-other weekend
    • napping under 2 blankets on the couch (note the 43 degrees and windy)
    • making a big tuna casserole to insure lunch, and lunch again tomorrow for both of us

    May 9, 2011

    A Brain Dump ... the Weekend Edition

    • wishing a happy mother's day to my sweet niece, a brand new momma
    • paying $4.35 for a gallon of gas and $65 to fill the tank
    • then using 2 gallons before Monday morning

    • lunching with the Butler at an outdoor cantina
    • walking downtown with everything in bloom
    • laughing with a young couple when I ask them where they got their ice cream and they answer, "The college dining hall!"
    • laughing through dinner with college friends
    • answering doorbells with flowers from "the boys"
    • phone calls times three, and one to my mom
    • eating key lime pie
    • throwing windows wide open
    • enjoying gorgeous ... not to be outdone ... weather ALL WEEKEND
    • buying a new tumbler which will fit under the water fountain at work

      • skipping outside with no jacket
      • wearing sunglasses
      • sitting on the porch, even if the view is just a parking lot

      • being stared down by a toddler sitting next to us in a restaurant
      • picking up what is hopefully my last paper and covered book from the library (my Kindle should be on its way)
      • watching NO IMPACT MAN on DVD with the Butler ... WONDERFUL!

        • taking more pictures, just for fun
        • remembering the Butler's mom, who died in 1989 and who I still miss like crazy
        • going to small group, which turned out to be very small indeed
        • drinking nettle iced tea to help with my allergies
        • being totally refreshed by another weekend