Thursday, November 6, 2014

Gridiron and Tutus

Welcome to Writer's Workshop, a weekly collection of posts by very creative bloggers who are inspired by prompts offered by Mama Kat. This week I was drawn to the prompt of "football."  I used to be a die-hard Rams fan when they were in Los Angeles. However, when they moved...and I moved...ironically to the same new interest wained and I found other outlets to replace the over-priced tickets, parking, snacks....etc.!  I found that my kids loved sports and I could enjoy a good soccer or football game from the comfort of my beach chairs and blanket!

I was elated when my boys showed an interest in playing football. I grew up watching my brothers play and watching games on TV with my dad.  I even dreamed of playing myself, but it was unheard of girls playing football back in the 60's! I still loved the game, just not the dog-and-pony show that it had become.  My boys played through middle and high school, and that was enough for me. I knew that at some point, it would end...I thought.

It was then that Edwina, my middle schooler at the time, expressed an interest in playing football.  She had played soccer, basketball, volleyball and took dance classes.  The Mister and I talked it over and agreed to let her give it a try, but she had to agree to finish the whole season, even if she hated it!  She was so excited, I thought she would jump out of her skin.  We found a local football organization that had never had a girl play, but that had nothing in their charter that prohibited girls from playing.  They let her register.  I don't know who was more excited...Edwina or mom!  I couldn't wait to watch another child of mine play the game!

The practices were grueling but she hung in there for all of them.  The majority of her teammates treated her as an equal, although there were a few that just couldn't accept that there was a "girl" on their team!  She was just as strong as any of the boys, but her conditioning was not on the same level.  She never let them see her sweat and she never complained of pain!

The day of her first game arrived.  It was and muggy!  After the second play, she realized just how out of condition she was and asked the coach to take her out of the game!!!  The coach made her stay in and told her never to make that request again!  As the season progressed, Edwina gained the confidence, the strength and the determination of a true football player and could stand toe to toe with her division!  She became quick and agile, and even sacked a few quarterbacks.

Edwina understood the plays and strategies of the game and when asked questions by the coaches she was the first to get that hand up in the air.  She could talk football with anyone (except her girlfriends...they just didn't understand...but they loved to come to her games and check out the "boy" players!)  She managed to get through two seasons with no major injuries, just bumps and bruises.  I was called into the school nurse's office to explain some of those "bumps and bruises."

By the time Ed reached high school, the boys on her team had grown into much larger players than when she first played with them.  Her 5'3" stature, along with her lack of really, really large muscle mass, helped with the decision to not play another year. She legally could have joined the team, but my head and heart felt that she would either get hurt while playing, or get frustrated sitting on the bench.  Thank God for Field Hockey!

Ed will always have those memories, and so will I! In a way, I finally got to experience playing the game through her.  She taught me that sometimes dreams can come true if we are willing to work hard and be prepared for the best.

Thanks for stopping by today.  Please drop by Mama Kat's Writers Workshop and enjoy the stories of other inspiring bloggers!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

SIMC - Kentucky Style

Got me some good 'ole Southern hospitality recently. Mr. NE and I are fortunate to have friends who run a Bed and Breakfast in the city of Bardstown, Kentucky.  Several years ago, we were guests at "Shadowlawn" (Bardstown) where we enjoyed the company of old and new friends, and soaked up the history of a part of the country we had never seen.

The house was built in 1815 and has a plethora of historical information. It has weathered many owners who have shared stories every time the house was sold.  This house has charm and beauty no matter where you are standing or sitting. Oh, and did I mention that there are resident ghosts dwelling at Shadowlawn?  It is both welcoming and eerie at the same time.  The basement light must stay on 24/7.  Yes, there is electricity, as well as, toilets that flush.  A part of the attic has a locked door to a small area. My curiosity was not strong enough to find out what was on the other side of that door.  Actually, I was plain gutless. 

Downtown is small and charming.  One can walk around and see original buildings that have been renovated to become restaurants, shops and other B&Bs.  Houses that are on the National Historical Society list line each and every street. There are 100 year-old trees that line these same streets.  Oh, to be a branch on one of those trees over time, and watch how life has changed!

The most popular beverage is Bourbon.  We took a tour of a distillery and learned just how hard people still work to make a good product.  I did not test a sample at the end of the tour, but my friends did.  I enjoyed watching them smile as the velvet liquid worked its way through their system. No, they weren't drunk....just very happy.

What a wonderful weekend we had...away from the kids (the dog - the kids have been away from us for some time, now!).  It's a 6-hour drive from Chicago...just enough time to listen to a thriller of a book on tape..."Hold Tight" by Harlan Coben. 

I live in Chicago, Illinois...but sometimes I visit other places, like Bardstown, Kentucky!  Welcome to my city!

Please stop by Unknown Mami's Sundays in My City (even though it's now Monday) and read about some very lovely places that you may want to visit someday.

Thank you for stopping by today. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Fragments of a Workin' Stiff!


I've been away....way, way away!  Like the way, way back of the mini-van!  It's the place where nobody wants to be because one misses all the action when one is in the "way way back!" 

For two years, I have been looking for full time work, all the time brushing up on "Office Gossip 101" and how to politely tell someone to "get lost" without them knowing it until I have made my escape!  I feel lucky to have found a part time job in retail, along with a few "temp" jobs through the one million agencies with which I am registered!  Well, guess what?  I have been working a temp job for three months...a 9-5er...M-F...and I'm so exhausted that I can't write as often as I was accustomed to writing!  I thought it was a phase and I just needed to "get over the honeymoon" and all would be hunky-dory!  I'm still pooped! Well, welcome back to the real world baby! How do so many of you manage?  I guess it's like cooking all day Sunday to make meals for the week because-you-know-how-exhausted-you-are-gonna-be-and-don't-really-want-to-cook-during-the-week... Yeah, something like that!

I'm blessed to be working, but am feeling guilty about not writing more.  I think I will try the Sunday writing blitz and see what happens!  I've missed reading my "regulars" and have missed putting in my two cents every now and then, as well!  I plan to play catch up with everyone!

We had flurries this morning in Chicago!  The wind has kicked up and Walenda is walking the rope this weekend!  A few extra prayers would be appreciated, I'm sure!

I must have seen a thousand Elsa Princesses this week!  That's okay...she's my new favorite.  What a voice, too!  Hope everyone had a great Halloween!  And for those pumpkins that didn't get carved... hang on to them for front porch snowmen decorations! No, Tom Cruise does not come with the pumpkin...sorry ladies!

Thanks to Mrs4444 for always being my bright light with Friday Fragments!  If you haven't already, please stop by and enjoy the weekly musings of some really great bloggers!  Just click on the logo below.

Thanks for stopping by today.  Have a "oh-great-we-get-to-sleep-an-extra-hour" weekend full of fun stuff with good people!

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Thursday, August 14, 2014

FF - Dizzy Miss Lizzy!

 Welcome to Friday Fragments, a safe haven for exhaling from a busy week, and sharing with others all of the fun stuff going on in our lives! Mrs4444, the hostess with the mostest, rocks as she invites many to come together for a virtual cup of coffee while we are still in our jammies!

I'm a little dizzy and my name is Lizzy... (I wanted to insert a YouTube video here, but once again, techno-challenged me...if I figure it out later, I'll come back!)

 I remember how I beamed when I heard the Beatles' "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" on the radio.  "They know who I am!  They made a song about me!"  How many other "Lizzys" were feeling just like me?  I'll bet a gazillion!   Just as Rita, Roberta, Michelle and dozens of other girls were mentioned in their songs, the Beatles made us feel like we were personal friends of theirs...just one of the many reasons why we loved them so much!

Today, Dizzy Miss Lizzy takes on a new meaning for me.  I have a condition called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).  It has come and gone a few times during the last five years or so, but the most recent bout began about a month ago.  Sometimes I feel like I'm spinning (or drunk) and other times, the room...or world around me, is spinning.  Either way, it has not been fun.  In the past, I've managed it with motion sickness pills and the dizziness has gone away.  This time, has not been so easy. I've been treated with medication and physical therapy...yes, there is physical therapy for your inner ear!  Mr. No Excuses compares the therapy to one of those little games from the Cracker Jack boxes where you have to manipulate a little box to get the silver ball to go through a small hole to get to the other side.  The therapist manipulates my head into positions that will cause the loose particles in the wrong place along the loops of my inner ear to find their way to the right place.  It's not painful, but it does make me want to throw up...for about three hours!  One session down; two to go!  And then, I will be HEALED...please give me an AMEN!

I started a new job in a REAL office, with REAL computers and telephones and stuff.  They sell x-ray equipment to dentists all over the world.  Don't worry, though, I won't be exposed to any radiation...although, maybe it could help my dizziness!  Wish me luck!  It's a great place to work and the people are very friendly, funny, silly, and wear cool clothes! 

I'm praying for those in my old home state of Missouri.  Will you join me?  We all need a time-out right now to stop, think and figure out how we can fix it.  I am reminded of the 60's riots in Watts, CA and the 90's riots in Los Angeles after the Rodney King incident.  We need to learn from our mistakes...all of us.  It was scary to live there years ago.  I knew people who knew people who were involved.  I know of blogger friends who live just a few miles from where the hot spots are right now. Hopefully, we can get through this one soon!

Thanks for stopping by today.  Please click on the logo below to catch up with many other friends who like to call Friday Fragments home for one day each week!

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Friday, July 18, 2014

FF - Feeling Pretty Good!

I feel na na na na na na...
Like I knew that I na na na na na na!
So good...that I got you!

Oh James, your music is ageless and classic!  My grand kids will be lip syncing to your songs at their school variety shows! Thank you for your talents and gifts!

I am amazed at how music can affect my moods, especially when I having trouble finding my happy place.  Music always brings me to that place.  How about you?  I love how some songs will bring out some of my best memories, and then others just make me want to throw up.  I only play the feel good songs while I'm driving in my car!

My place of work has several tracts of background music playing at all times.  Sometimes the songs are country or patriotic, but lately most of the music has been 60's, 70's and 80's. I find that  my work is a happy place when the music reminds me of my misguided youth!  All of those crazy "fall-in-love" songs, or dance party music...the parties where some of us played those kissing games!  Oh, to be 14 again!

In addition to music, I'm always looking for inspiration and motivation.  One of my (and I have several) addictions is the "face" book thing!  It is so bad, that I have to put the kitchen timer on to let me know when my "time" is up for this session.  But I must say that this particular media site has brought me back in touch with many childhood friends, as well as, a form of communication (okay, okay...a peek at who is doing what) with my kids who are 300 miles away.

I came across a site that has been around for a few years, but new to me.  It's called "Queen of Your Own Life" and is my favorite "go to and feel good" site.  It was started a few years ago by two very gifted women who wanted to help women learn to become empowered.  Kathy Kinney and Cindy Ratzlaff have written books about being Queen of your life.  In addition, their blog is filled with all sorts of fun information!

They frequently post on the face place with vintage pictures of women and a sentence or two about finding the courage, strength and desire to have a more fulfilling life. I can't say enough about how their posts have influenced and encouraged me to get out there and find joy in my day...every day!  Stop by and see for yourself!

This post is offered as part of Friday Fragments, a delightful weekly place where I love to visit!  Just click on the logo below and see what other friends of this site are doing!

Have a glorious and royal weekend...and thanks for stopping by!

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Friday, June 6, 2014

FF - Yay for Summer BBQ!

Welcome to Friday Fragments, a place to come and exhale after a long (or short) week full of excitement, stress, work, play and other activities!  Thanks to Mrs4444 (pronounced "Mrs. Fours") of Half Past Kissin' Time for sponsoring this delightful respite for writers and readers alike. Please click on her logo at the end of this post to see what her other loyal fans have been up to lately!

This past Monday was Mr. NoExcuses' birthday.  On Sunday, this conversation transpired:

Me:  Tomorrow is your birthday.  Where would you like to go to dinner? We can go anywhere you want!

Him:  How about if we BBQ?  This way I can have exactly what I want and stay in my jammies, too!

Me:  Alrighty, then...BBQ it is.

Here's a photo of the finished product.  I cooked the rice...the rice that comes in a package and all you do is boil water.  That was my birthday gift.  Oh, and I bought him a card, too!  I may not be so lucky next time! Mr. cooked the rest and I have to admit, there is no restaurant that could have provided a more perfect meal...while wearing jammies!

                                Thanks for stopping by today.  Hope your weekend is perfect!

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Finding In-N-Out In The Midwest!

This SoCal girl loves her In-N-Out Burger!  Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, has been able to come even close to the I'm-so-happy-feeling that I get EVERY TIME I eat at In-N-Out!  Since moving to the Midwest 20 years ago, I've only been able to enjoy my favorite burger a handful of times when I was either in California or Las Vegas! I've sent emails to I-N-O begging them to open a franchise close to where I live. I know, I's not all about's just business.  I get it!

Well, if there is anyone out there who shares my opinion and joy of the best burgers in the world, I want you to know about Van's Frozen Custard and Burgers in East Dundee, IL.  Click here if you want to drool voraciously and learn more about them! My Mother's Day gift was to have lunch at Van's (upon the recommendation of another happy I-N-O customer).  It was the best Mom's Day gift ever...except for the days that my darlings made me breakfast in bed!

Van's is a family owned and independent business started in 2007 by Chad Van Acker and his parents.  Visit their website to get a glimpse of their mouth-watering menu (click the link in bold above). It's an eatery that offers treat of frozen custard (ice cream to most of us...but better!) or a meal that includes all of the food groups!

I was warmly welcomed by both Nancy and Rick (Chad's parents) and made to feel comfortable immediately.  They are close to my age, which always gives me a good feeling to see my peers in a successful business.  The building is located on a corner in the downtown area of East Dundee, a place that still has a "small town" feeling. The decor is casual and very family-oriented.  As my hubs and I savored every morsel of our burgers and fries, we watched as other families came in to the restaurant, all with smiles on their faces.  I figured they were repeat customers and knew exactly what they wanted.  Nobody left without ear-to-ear smiles on their faces!

So, the verdict...I give Van's a 20 out of 10 licks for making this Cali girl smile, knowing she'll "be back" for more!  Thank you, Van's!!  See you soon!

For more Sunday stories from around the globe, please visit Unknown Mami at Sundays in My City by clicking on the logo below!

I live near Chicago, IL!  Welcome to my City!

Unknown Mami