Friday, December 14, 2012

Fraggin' Friday

Welcome to Friday Fragments, a positively wonderful weekly post from Mrs4444 over at Half-Past Kissin' Time!  It's a place to come and exhale after a great, or not-so great, week and see how others are reflecting.

Another week down, and I'm still alive!!  I'm tired and my feet hurt, but I feel so lucky to have a roof over my head, food that tastes good, and a job!  We are selling Christmas ornaments and decorations like crazy at work!  Some of them are marked down 60%!!!

Am excited to see the wee ones in St. Louis this weekend!  We finally sold the Hubs' "toy" Ghia and now the youngest will have a decent down payment for a car of "her" choice!  The next to the youngest will get the suv and we will bring back Hubs' "other toy", the VW bus, to drive on the snowy streets of Chicago!!!  I'm lucky the Hubs likes working on VWs!

Didn't get the school job...I'm a little disappointed, but that means that the Big Guy upstairs has something better planned for me.  In the meantime, my department store job will work just great! I can pick and choose my shifts which helps with scheduling interviews, doc appointments, and lunch with my new girlfriends!
Try bringing a smile to someones face today!

 Hope you all have a great weekend!  Thanks for stopping by!

Just click on the Friday Fragments Logo below and enjoy some great reads of Mrs4444's friends!

  Mommy's Idea

Thursday, December 6, 2012

College Lesson

From Mama Kat's Pretty Much World Famous Writer's Workshop, I give you a little story of a life lesson learned from a college experience.

I wanted, more than anything, to be an actress!  I took classes, called in sick to my day job so I could be an "extra" in non-union productions, and even took some work that could only be filmed from midnight to morning (grocery store commercial).  I was young and stupid, but not yet willing to let go of the dream.  When I tired of competing with the gazillion other young and stupids chasing the same dream, I thought about looking for work on the other side of the camera...writing.  I had no idea whether or not I was any good, but I had always enjoyed writing.  Let's give it a shot!  I went back to college and enrolled in a screenwriting class.  I was pumped!

For a project, I scoured the newspaper for a word or two that spoke to me. I found some, and began writing an outline and the first few pages of a script that included suspense, romance, and exotic locations.  I had a specific TV show in mind to work this story around.  It was fun, challenging and such a boost to my self-esteem to complete the project.  The creme was getting an "A" on it, which meant stamp of approval from someone who was currently working in the business.  "Someone who was currently working in the business" should have spoken to me, as well!

Flash forward a few's a 2:00 a.m. feeding for my second wee one...I turn on the TV to a rerun of a favorite show of mine.  The story seems familiar, and I just think that maybe I've seen it already.  Then the proverbial light goes on.  IT'S MY STORY!!!!!!!!!!!!  It's my story, with a few minor changes in dialogue. I curiously and patiently waited for the credits at the end of the show.  Guess what?  The screenwriter was one and the same as my teacher!  I felt robbed, and after the initial four-letter words spewed from my lips, I realized there was nothing I could do about it, and I actually conceded that maybe he needed the work more than I did.

My college lesson...and loving suggestion to all writers...protect your hard work. 

Please visit Mama Kat and enjoy some great pieces offered by some wonderful writers!  Just click on the link above!  Thanks for stopping by today!  Hope you have a great day!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Saturday Centus - Was It Just Last Week.....

I know, it's Sunday!  But I am just now getting a few moments to myself, so I thought I would jump in with my two cents and contribute to Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus.  This lovely lady of the written word (yes, Jenny, that's you!) challenges us each week to write a few words on a topic that I sometimes think she picks out of magazines that are meant to be thrown away!  Just kidding...I love a good challenge.  This week, our challenge is to write on the topic of "was it just last week", which for me, can go so many ways.  So, here is my contribution of 105 words or less, with a family-friendly photo of happy times last week!  My prompt is in bold.

Was it just last week that you went to first grade? I thought I could never love you more, but this week its crazy love!

Was it just last week that you played your first game? This week your love for others makes me love you more!

Was it just last week that you had your first recital? Here you are this week, in college and on your own. I’m so full of love I could burst!

Was it just last week that you learned to drive? And this week your hopes and dreams are closer than ever! Loving you has always been easy!

Thanks for stopping by and letting me gush all over about my babies...who are grown and on their own!  Please stop by Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus and read some great stories by the other kids in the class!  Just click on the logo below and enjoy!

Jenny Matlock

Friday, November 30, 2012

Fragments on Friday...whew!!!!!

Welcome to Friday Fragments #225!  It's a great place to finish up your week, catch up with the adventures of others, and prepare for a great weekend!  Mrs4444 of Half-Past Kissin' Time, sponsors this breath of fresh air each Friday, and I always look forward to it. 

It's been a whirlwind of a week trying to get back to a routine after having a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with my family in St. Louis!  I'm racking up the holiday hours working at a "fine" department store here in Chicago, which just might negate all the of the charging that Santa is doing for the family....

This coming Tuesday, I will have interview #2 at a local middle school, to work in the office.  XXX your fingers, please!  If it is meant to be, I will be able to get off my feet for awhile. If not, at least I still have the department store job...the job where I have a great employee discount!

For a great holiday gift idea, please check out my post from yesterday, "And She Sparkled", about a delightful book by Joan Steffend. 

Here's to a great Friday and hoping your weekend is nothing less than splendid!  I think it would be fun, and a great endorphin release to perform a random act of kindness!  I challenge you to find someone who could use a little help, and then sneak like a Ninja on them!

Thanks for stopping by!  Please click on the Friday Fragments logo below and pay a visit to some great friends of Mrs4444!

Mommy's Idea

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"And She Sparkled"

Welcome to Writer's Workshop, a weekly challenge hosted by the always fascinating Mama Kat at Mama's Losin' It.  Each week, Mama Kat challenges us to write about one or more of five prompts.  I chose the topic "something that sparkles" because I wanted to share a post I wrote some time ago about a book entitled, "and she sparkled" by Joan Steffend.  It's a great "feel good" book, as well as a,"quick" read!   To see my post, click here, or click here to see the book and to learn more about it and the author. 

This would make a great holiday gift for any woman in your life.  I found it uplifting, encouraging and empowering!  Joan Steffend is a remarkable woman who wears many hats, and I will add that she looks marvelous in each of those hats!

Thanks for stopping by today.  Please visit Mama Kat's Writers Workshop here and enjoy some of the other entries!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

At Least the Laundry Gets Done!

Jenny Matlock

Welcome to Saturday Centus, a weekly writing challenge hosted by Jenny Matlock at Off On My Tangent.  Each week, we are given a prompt to write about using a set number of words (100 plus the prompt-this week) which can be prose, poetry, fiction or fluff.  Personally, my favorite is fluff!  This week's prompt is "I finally understood the phrase ‘a deer in the headlights’” and is in bold below.  Glad you're here!

I recently moved 300 miles away from my kids. It’s okay; they are all consenting adults.

To feel closer to them, I visit their Facebook pages. This is not always the most cuddly, huggly way to stay in touch! Since they are consenting adults, they post consenting adult statements, etc., on their pages. I have no control, say-so or editorial discretion privileges concerning their posts. I no longer go there. Some days I want to cancel my account when I see or read their latest adventures.

When I saw this, “I finally understood the phrase ‘a deer in the headlights’”.  It’s not the worst I’ve seen, but one of the cutest!

Thanks for stopping by Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus!  Please visit Jenny by clicking the logo below and you will enjoy some really great short reads!

Jenny Matlock

Sunday, November 18, 2012

It's Not Just a Book Thing!

Welcome to Sundays in My City, a weekly passport to cities far and near!  Unknown Mami is the official sponsor of this engaging look at people and places that many of us can enjoy from the warmth and comfort of our computers. 

It is with great excitement that I am able to share with you our local library!  The Schaumburg Township District Library is a exhilarating example of how today's libraries not only serve and inform, but engage residents of all ages!  Since moving to the Chicago area a few months ago, and applying for my card, I have attended two computer classes, a job skills/employment search seminar, checked out numerous books and movies, and cruised throughout the building in awe of the incredible layout and interior design.  What follows are some pictures I'd like to share from a recent visit.

As I enter the building, I am greeted by a very quiet gentleman (who just happens to be a statue) sitting on a bench outside of the cafe reading a good book!  I inhale the distinctly rich aroma of coffee (to some of us, it's like inhaling the aroma of chocolate) as I pass the cafe.  "Should I grab a cup now, or can I hold off for 15 more minutes?"  I pass through a second set of doors and find myself in the center of a rotunda-type room, with open passages to areas that resemble a book store, a children's play place, and a video/music/movie theatre event, and, of course, a very people friendly information center and checkout!

But the piece de resistance is the new 6,000 square-foot Teen Place on the second floor.  Not scheduled to officially open until November 24th, I was given a private and exclusive tour of this extraordinary masterpiece of design and technology which involved input from local teens, ideas from innovative Library staff, and the expertise of Interior Designer, Denelle Wrightson.  Please note that the decor is unfinished in my pictures.

The Teen Place is designed for young people ages 12-19.  As you can see by my pictures (I am not a professional product photographer) there are many high-tech "group" stations for the teens to use.  They fulfill the needs of homework assignments that entail group participation, as well as just hanging out, with or without multiple electronic devices.  Actually, just about any type of electronic device is available to use by simply swiping a library card. 

In addition to the staples of fiction and non-fiction books, novels, magazines, there are copies of local junior high and high school textbooks, just in case students "forget" to bring theirs home. There is a large unit in the center of the room (much like a "Redbox") where the teens can access DVDs, CDS and video games to be used while in the Place. There is a multi-purpose room where teens can watch movies or play video games (either together on a large screen or smaller individual screens). 

The teens have access to iMacs, iPads, several current gaming consoles, two discussion rooms with white-boards and flat-screens, and a "silent" reading room (yes, there are teens who love to read!).   Additionally, there is a digital production studio complete with green screen, cameras and state of the art computer technology to work it all!  There is also advanced music creation and video production software for teens who want to practice and improve their skills learned in the classroom. 

I WANT TO BE 14 AGAIN.... (well, maybe just for a week or so...) 

Many thanks to the wonderful people at The Schaumburg Township Library for making me feel like a VIP every time I walk through their doors.  Please visit their website to learn about the many programs I couldn't fit in this post, at  A special thank you to Lori Teipel, the Teen Manager, for taking time to show me the exciting things to come for our young adults.  Thanks, also, to the library's amazingly knowledgeable technical team who introduced me to the very high-tech production equipment, computer assisted applications and the unending possibilities available to our local youth. 

I live in Schaumburg, IL (it's just outside of Chicago).  Welcome to my city!

Thanks for stopping by today!  Please click on Unknown Mami's Sundays in My City logo below to see some really interesting and fun places.!

Unknown Mami

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Crunch, munch...

Welcome to Saturday Centus, a weekly writing challenge produced by Jenny Matlock of Off On My Tangent.  Each Saturday, we are given a prompt, picture, or some other fancy of Jenny's to write about using a pre-ordained number of words (this week it is 100 words plus the prompt).  The prompt this week is "the leaves crunched under my boots until they didn't" and appears in bold below.  Hope you enjoy! 

"Oh, for Pete's sake!  I just raked yesterday!  Will you give me a break?"  I cried as I looked out the living room window.

I walked out to the front yard, rake in hand and grumbling.  I pulled my sweatshirt hoodie over my yet-to-be coiffed head of hair.  It was 40 degrees outside and I had left my favorite jacket at work!

Crunch, munch, rake...repeat.  As I approached the sidewalk, the leaves crunched under my boots until they didn't.  There was something soft, not crunchy, under my foot.  Not only was it soft, but it was wiggly.  The rake dropped and I was warm the living room!

Thanks for stopping by Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus!  Please click on her logo below to see some great, short reads from many of her friends!  Enjoy this beautiful fall weekend!

Jenny Matlock

Friday, October 12, 2012

Grateful for Fridays and Halloween Trees!

Thank goodness for Friday Fragments...a time for reflection, meditation, exasperation and appreciation to have the weekend in sight! 

Whew!  Dodged another few bullets this about you? 

Temps in Chicago came down a bit.  We revved up the old (and it really is an old one) heater and to my worked!  It sounded like being inside of a 747 taking off from the airport, but it worked! Gratitude for warmth until I get the rest of my winter clothes from the old house.  Gratitude for a working heater as I learn just how cold it is going to get!

Ongoing character building telephone conversations with the Department of Employment Security have taken place this week. Since my sparkling personality and short, but full-bodied resume, are not attracting the attention I thought they would, I have taken another route to secure funds to "keep" the house, the car, and all of the other necessary day-to-day expenses needed to keep a family together!  Since I haven't worked in IL, I filed for assistance from MO, since that was where I used to work.  It's a saga not worth your time right now, but will give me great fodder for future posts!   Gratitude for a roof over my head and food on the table for now! 

Can't say it's a good thing to see all of the Christmas decorations in stores BEFORE THE ACTUAL DAY OF HALLOWEEN, however, the child in me is loving the memories that the sparkling lights bring to my scattered brain. They give me a mini-break from the daily dose of reality that binds us all together!  Gratitude to know that we are all in this life together, doing the best we can!  By the way, the above picture is from a very creative young woman I found on Youtube at

Thanks go out to Mrs4444 at Half-Past Kissn' Time for sponsoring Friday Fragments, a wonderful opportunity for friends to share their week, sigh and prepare for the weekend festivities!  Please click on her logo below and enjoy this week's comings and goings of many of her loyal friends.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great weekend!

Mommy's Idea

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Marathon Madness!

Welcome to Sundays in My City, a weekly travel excursion to anywhere and everywhere sponsored by Unknown Mami and contributed to by anyone and everyone! 

We had a race this morning and many, many, many people attended.  I did not.  It was 37 degrees.  I stayed inside my warm little house and drank coffee in my jammies!  I'm sharing some photos taken by a local newspaper, just so you don't think I actually took them myself!  Hope you enjoy!

Please click on Unknown Mami's logo below to see what else is happening in the world today!  Thanks for stopping by!

I'm from Chicago!  Welcome to my city!

Unknown Mami

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Brrrrrrr Fragmentsss!

Did you catch the news?  It snowed in Fargo!  I know!  It's too soon!  Our temps here in Chicago are 20 degrees lower than 24 hours ago! Nooooooooooo!!!  Hope our Chicago Marathon visitors have come prepared!

All my "cold weather" stuff is still in St. Louis!  I guess that means a "road trip" to the house... getting hugs from my favorite girls... bear hugs from my favorite boys... and picking up that "miracle fiber" jacket that always seems to keep the cold out!  I know it's going to be a little bigger on me than it was last winter, but then I guess I'll just have to add another sweater underneath!  I love that jacket!  I don't really want to buy a new coat since this one still works!  Do you have a favorite piece of clothing that just keeps on "working?"  I'm embarrassed to say how long I've had it; sort of like that "favorite" chair that a spouse is always trying to dump at the next garage sale! 

It's been a week of job applications, resumes, phone calls and closet inspections!  What the heck am I going to wear if someone actually wants me to interview?  I'm good...unless I get called back for a second interview!  Then, it will be time to really get creative!  I hope that happens... because my butt is getting very sore sitting in front of the screen typing the same old stuff over and over and over.... patience and faith, my dear!

Whether you're running, driving or rearranging your closets, I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Friday Fragments is sponsored by Mrs4444 at Half-Past Kissin' Time!  Please click on the logo below and see how many of her followers are fairing this week!

Thanks for stopping by!

Mommy's Idea

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Try a Little Tenderness

Welcome to "Alphabe-Thursday", a weekly writing assignment sponsored by Headmistress, Jenny Matlock from Off On My Tangent!  Each Thursday, we take on subsequent letters of the alphabet and produce either prose, pictures or just plain pleasantness about a topic that begins with that letter.  This week's letter is not "P", but "T."

In case you haven't noticed, every month seems to host a new champion for various causes, all, of which I believe are important, but maybe not all are important to all people.  Case in point: last month, September, was devoted to Child Cancer Awareness, among other important causes.  Childhood Cancer has brought me in touch with many courageous and inspiring people whom I may not have otherwise met had I not been made aware through my blogging.  This month is Breast Cancer Awareness month, a cause which hits close to home for me, and I pray for and support all of those who have been affected.  October is also National Bullying Prevention month with activities and fundraisers throughout the month to promote the awareness and the urgency of change.  Click here for more information.

The job I left behind was one at a middle school that offers much needed help to those who have been bullied.  It's no longer acceptable behavior, and offenders are dealt with swiftly and efficiently.  I think this is a good first step.  I believe we have to take a step back, however, and look at why the kids partake in this destructive behavior.  What is going on at home, with friends, and at the homes of those friends, etc.?  I grew up in a home with bullying behavior.  I attended school with bullies.  Back then (when dinos roamed) it was "just a part" of growing up and I had "better get used to it!"  To fight back meant possible ostracism.  To dish it back out meant that I was as low as those who initiated it.  I've witnessed in occurring in my family today.

We have a chance to break the cycle.  We can start right now with our own kids and other members of our families.  Stand up for yourself, and teach your children to do the same. Once our children see us stand up, they will follow. Their examples will rub off on their peers and spread like wildfires!

Adults need to tell other adults that they won't be treated in a bullying manner.  Sometimes, people don't realize they are bullying.  They've been doing it so long that it has become a part of their personality and because others have accepted it, there's no reason to change.  Don't accept bullying! If you are a bully, and you want to change, there is help out there for you. Find that help now.

If you know of anyone, adult or child, who has been hurt by bullies, please offer them a kind word of support.  Try a little tenderness, and watch how wounds can be healed. That tenderness, too, can spread like wildfires!

Thanks for stopping by my soapbox today!  Please click on Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday logo below to enjoy some of the "T" assignments of my classmates!

Jenny Matlock

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bendy Wendy

Welcome to Saturday's Monday...I'm late!  Oh, well!  Jenny will forgive me...I think!  Jenny Matlock of Off On My Tangent hosts this weekly writing challenge where we are given a prompt and word restriction and sent off to do what we do best...write!  This week's prompt is "Sometimes you bend.  Sometimes you break" and is in bold letters in my post.  Hope you enjoy...I know some of you will certainly relate!

Hi!  I'm Bendy Wendy, and I'm a mom and wife.  Need I say more?  I used to be Stiff Sally, when my life was pre-planned, pre-packaged and predominantly one-way.  Then, I married and had children.  What the heck?

Every day brought new challenges and crises.  "Oh my ackin' back!"  I would cry.

"How did you get stuck on the fence?  Oh...the link is stuck inside your hand!" 

"You have detention because of bathroom behavior?  How many of you squeezed into the stall?"

"You bought a 30-year old convertible for which child?"

Sometimes you bend. Sometimes you break. When I finally break, I plan to break bad!

Thanks for stopping by!  Please click on Jenny's logo below to enjoy some of her loyal followers who have joined in this week!

Jenny Matlock

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Soccer Fields in Fall

Welcome to Inverness, Illinois, a community in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago.  These beautiful trees back up a soccer field at a church that I visit. 

Welcome to Sundays in My City, a weekly trip that can be taken by visiting the many friends of Unknown Mami, who started it all from her city, San Francisco, California.  My city used to be in California, but that was before the internet...when dinosaurs roamed!  I travelled from Rowland Heights, California to St. Louis, Missouri, and now am in Chicago, Illinois!  Welcome to my City! 

Please click on Unknown Mami's Sundays in My City logo below and travel to some very interesting places!

Thanks for stopping by!

Unknown Mami

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fraggin' It in Fall

Welcome to Friday Fragments, a weekly self-check and update on the comings, goings, drama and triumphs of the week, and, the fact that we are soooooooooooo glad that it's Friday!  Mrs.4444 is the CEO of this meme and my hands are held high in her honor for creating this space for many of us to exhale from the week!

I didn't get the Party Leader job I had hoped for, but it just means that the Big Guy has something better planned for me. Onward!

I miss my little ones (19 through 27) who are five hours away, but I am getting so much better about letting go.  They continue to thrive (or so they say) and we are beginning to plan our first holiday meal working around all of the new living arrangements.  This is going to be very interesting!  I'm voting for Thai a sit down restaurant!

Getting out of town for a few days - yearly Girls' Weekend with the my fave cousin and Grandma.  It will be no work and all play this year!  Appropriate pictures (if there are any) will be posted next week!

A triumph for me this week was to get outside of myself and take a look around.  It's amazing how beautiful life can be when you leave your stuff behind for awhile!  Try it sometime! 

Hope it's a great weekend!  Helloooooooooo Fall! 

Thanks for stopping by today.  Please click on Mrs.444'4's Friday Fragments logo,below, and catch up with many of her friends!

Mommy's Idea

Thursday, September 20, 2012

R is for Rap, Rapping and Rap Battles!

Welcome to this week's "R" assignment from Alphabe-Thursday, a weekly writing challenge from Jenny Matlock of Off On My Tangent.  I've chosen to expound my views on Rap!  Enjoy!

Let's face it...I'm old! That's okay, we're all going to be here one day; it might as well be now, for me!  Being this age does have a benefit!  I've been blessed to experience many years of music. I love music, and always have.  Although I'm not a huge fan of every genre, if it's got a good dance beat, I'm in!

There's a large piece of today's music that is somewhat foreign to me...Rap.  I respect it, the artists and the opportunity for artists to make a living doing what they love.  What makes me feel so that I don't get it!  Maybe it's the presentation, and the words that are used to express the artist's message.  Maybe it's the speed at which the words are sung or spoken. I'm not moving, thinking or speaking as fast these days!  (Personally, I like moving a little slower...I get to enjoy the great moments a little longer!)  What is incredible about Rap is that it has no barriers.  Anyone with the desire to participate, make a statement and be entertaining is welcomed, regardless of socio-economic, religious and life experience backgrounds. 

Here's what I found online (and you know you can believe it if it came from the net): Rap is a primary ingredient in hip hop, reggae and alternative rock music, and can be delivered in the form of speech, prose, poetry and song (among other forms of communication). I like Rap that is accompanied by gives it more depth (for me), and sometimes, I can dance to it!

Some of today's artists got their start doing stand-up Rap Battles.  These are improve-type performances where two rappers compete with each other for the best wit, biggest laughs, or dirtiest slams!  They each present themselves first, projecting grandiose self-descriptions and move on with generic insults about their competitor.  Then, the improve part explodes and their art is verbally hurled towards each other and anyone standing within 10 feet. At the end of the performance, the audience decides the winner by the loudest whoops! Sounds like fun, doesn't it? 

Please allow me to introduce you to my number one son, formerly known as "Hero", and currently known as "Bone Man." He raps, he produces, he films, he edits, he organizes, he supports, and, he gives back.  More of him will come when we get to Miss Jenny's Letter "B".  He's really handsome underneath the mask, but it's the mask that makes him do what he does best! 

In order to be my best and remain in the game, I need to stay open, whether it be with music, or personal experience. I need to appreciate all of the efforts and gestures from those around me. Staying open also helps me find opportunities to share with others. One never knows how the smallest act of kindness may just be the thing that pulls someone back from the edge.

Thanks for stopping by today and reading my assignment.  Please take the bus over to Miss Jenny's classroom by clicking on the logo below where you will be enlightened and entertained by my fellow classmates!

Jenny Matlock

Monday, September 17, 2012


I know today is Monday, but welcome anyway, to Saturday Centus, the weekend writing challenge sponsored by the multi-talented Jenny Matlock of Off On My Tangent!  Miss Jenny has given us the challenge of writing a piece using the prompt, "words can be puzzling" using any writing form we would like with the only restriction being that the piece be 104 words or less (four words being the prompt).  My piece is below, with the prompt in bold. 

I can HOPE that my dreams and goals will be realized, but when it doesn't all go according to MY plan, is it right to scream and stomp my feet?  Maybe, there just might be another force involved.

I EXPECT/HOPE to win this week's Lottery...Plan B: continue looking for a job, and if lucky enough to get an interview, knock 'em dead with it!

I EXPECT/HOPE my kids will take care of me...Plan B: do not, under any circumstances, deplete that 401k just to make the credit card payments on the cruise I just took. 

Words can be puzzling; say what you mean!

Please spend a few minutes visiting the offerings of some extremely talented writers (who, posted on time) at Miss Jenny's place.  Just click on the logo below and let your mind wander a bit!  Thanks for stopping by!

Jenny Matlock