Thursday, December 24, 2015

Just Seven Joys?

Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop offers writing prompts each week, and since I sometimes have a hard time thinking of appropriate thoughts to share, I defer to her varied, challenging and fun suggestions.  I chose to share the top seven things that bring me joy (yes, I had to cut it down from 1,000) and I offer my appropriate thoughts for you now.

Thing 1:  Thoughts of my children

Thing 2:  Speaking, hugging, holding, and crying with my children.

Thing 3:  Watching my children flourish in all areas of their lives. 

Thing 4:  Touching the hearts of my children, my friends, and perfect strangers.  There are no better words than "pure joy" that describes the feeling I get when this happens!

Thing 5:  Thoughts of my unconditional-loving Tootsie, who lights up my life when my children are not around.


Think 6:  Thoughts of the fact that an employer still thinks I have skills to offer and is willing to pay me for my service...even at my age!  (This is more of a gratitude item...but it does bring me joy twice a month when I check my bank account!)

Thing 7:  Waking up each morning (with no toe tag on) and knowing that I'm going to have a great day!  I may have challenges, but after I meet them and the clouds are blown away by the Chicago "breezes" I know that I can combine these seven joys to make the evening reflection an overwhelming joyful experience.

I wish you the most joyful of holidays that continue throughout the New Year!  

Thank you for stopping by today!  Please click on the link to Mama Kat above to read some warm and entertaining posts from her followers.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Giving thanks for pure joy

The voices of my family, my loves

It doesn't get any better  

This Haiku is brought to you by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.  My Haiku is heartfelt; the photo is comedic relief..."Little Miss Sunshine."

Thanks for stopping by. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Z is for Zoey's Attic

My son recently found his dream job!  His background and skills in graphic design landed him a position at Zoey's Attic, a Missouri based web company that offers personalized clothing for babies, siblings of babies, parents and grandparents of babies.  There is something fun and unique in every corner of this company!

Zoey’s Attic began its journey in November 2006 led by one fearless leader, Erin Delanty.  The inspiration for the website came shortly after she and her husband welcomed the birth of our their first child.

Her search for out-of-the-ordinary newborn baby tees on-line and listening to friends who were having difficulty finding unique big brother/big sister gear, Erin decided to use her skills as a graphic designer and web developer to design her own line of products.

Erin's idea was to create a web-based shop where new parents and parents-to-be could involve all members of the family in exciting “baby news” by offering a variety of pregnancy or baby announcements and hard-to-find big brother/sister tees.

Zoey’s Attic sold its first shirt just two days after launching the website and development has expanded based on the initial and continuing positive response. They have grown to offer many more products for the whole family.

Inspiration comes easy for Erin. Her family and friends have inspired her the most as she watches her own babies grow and as she observes her parents and parents of friends become grandparents. She constantly sees new ways of looking at the world.  Zoey's Attic offers cool and unique products that reflect a fun and special time of life for multiple generations.

Tooth Fairy Bag

Please check out Zoey's Attic at and you will be delighted with the products that you will find!  Zoey's Attic is also on Facebook, Twitter and Etsy! 

Oh, and in addition to finding his dream son just married the love of his life!

The Letter "Z" is brought to you by Jenny at Jenny Matlock, Off on My Tangent - Alphabe-Thursday!  Please click here to visit her classroom and read some very interesting "Z" stories by my fellow classmates!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Ring Thing

“Are you sitting down?” her mother asked.

“Well, I am now!” replied Lisa, excited as a child on Christmas morning.

“It’s real, and it’s worth $$$$$ Dollars! The center stone is 1¾ carats surrounded by 18 diamond chips. Can you believe it?” asked her mom.

“Oh…my…goodness! No, I cannot believe it!” screamed Lisa. She fell back in the chair and gazed at the ceiling. “I’m the luckiest girl in the world right now!” she shouted. Several days earlier, Lisa had found a sparkly-kind-of-brooch-thing on the ground, and figured it was just junk jewelry. Never in a million years did she think this could be the real thing!

Whenever Lisa would walk anywhere outside, she always kept one eye on the ground in case there were rocks, holes, or something slippery. Years earlier, when she was on her honeymoon, she fell flat on her face while crossing the street. Normally, that wouldn’t have been a problem, but it was downtown San Francisco, and there were witnesses everywhere. She was walking a few feet behind her husband, Jack, and as she fell, she made a sound similar to that of a professional football player who had just received an unexpected helmet thrust to his mid-section.

Jack, being the concerned and loving husband that he was, continued walking as though nothing had happened. Lisa picked herself up, brushed the concrete bits from her face, and finished crossing the street. From that day on, Lisa was always aware of her surroundings, especially on the ground. So, one day, when something sparkly caught her eye, she gave it her full attention so as not to trip over it. She scooped it up and put it in her pocket.

“I’ll ask mom if she thinks it’s worth anything,” she said to herself. Her mother’s neighbor was a jeweler who worked out of the house. If her mom didn’t know, she would ask the neighbor. Lisa dropped off the brooch the next weekend when she went to visit her parents. She forgot about it until her mother called her a week later.

Now, something that expensive made Lisa very uncomfortable. When she was three years old, Lisa was playing with her mother’s wedding ring (a family heirloom) in the front yard. She came into the house later without the ring and her mother asked her about it. Being only three, Lisa, had no idea where the ring was. Mom walked outside and began to scour the front yard. She found nothing, but did notice some workers cementing a fence between the houses...

“No, she couldn’t have dropped it over there…” her mother thought and then sighed in despair. The ring was gone, never to be seen again. Lisa had been reminded of this event many times as she was growing up. She felt horrible about it, but reminded herself that she was only three years old at the time and shouldn’t be held responsible for the loss.

On another occasion, Lisa had accidentally thrown out the anniversary ring given to her by Jack. After the two of them climbed into the apartment dumpster and looked in every nook and cranny, between every piece of paper, and inside anything that could open and close, they sadly agreed that it was gone, never to be seen again.

Lisa thought that she might be able to finally redeem herself for her childhood mistake, by giving this gem to her mom. She secretly spoke to her dad about having something made using the stones. The next door neighbor, the jeweler, could make the piece. Dad and Lisa decided on a custom gold band ring, with the big stone in it. The jeweler shaped the top of the ring into a “V” and the stone was placed at the bottom of the “V”. It was a very unique design and Lisa hoped that her mom would like it. Her mom loved it! Lisa felt relieved that her mother liked the ring, and for the first time in her life, she felt that she had made up, in a sense, for the loss of the family ring so many years ago.

Today, the ring sits in a bank deposit box and is safe from anyone, three years to 63 years old, who could accidentally throw it out, or drop it into a cement fence being built between houses.

This is a true story. The names have been changed to protect the stupid.

Brought to you by Mama Kat at Writer's Workshop.  Please stop by Mama's Losin' It  and be totally entertained by some lively stories written to enlighten, inspire or simply make you smile!

Thanks for stopping by today! 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Run, Chicago, Run!

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and fast course that starts and finishes in Grant Park and travels through one of the world’s most magnificent cities. The course has produced four world records, several national records, and countless personal bests. Runners enjoy the support of 1.7 million spectators as they run through 29 neighborhoods.  (I'm sure there were at least that many spectators there today.)

20 aid stations are located along the course approximately one to two miles apart. Each aid station consists of the following amenities in this order: 

Medical Tent with access to a Runner Transport vehicle
Toilet facilities
Gatorade Endurance Formula (lemon-lime flavor)
Public address announcer  

(They have your back!)  

In the event a participant is transported to a local area hospital at the discretion of the medical team, the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago’s Patient Connection staff will be on hand in Grant Park to provide information regarding that patient to family and friends.  (You go, American Red Cross!)

This race is used as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, as well as, Olympic hopefuls. There are individual runners, groups, physically challenged and some "weekend warriors" who want to get out of work tomorrow.  This morning at 6:00am, it was 50 degrees as participants lined up.  Some had their game face on and others had their wedding face on...  

The race was a huge success, and I'm sure that many ended up here for the celebration of finishing, and are living to tell about it!

This post is brought to you by Sundays in My City.  Please stop over and say buenos dias to my friend, Unknown Mami and travel to some really wonderful places!

I live in Chicago, Illinois.  Welcome to My City!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

U is for Umbrella

Here's a post from the cobwebs of my mind....

What a catchy song this was...and what a busy celebrity! Who would have thought something so simple could enter your head through your ears and swim around and around until you fell into a comatose state while you mumble the words "ella...ella and so on!

Welcome to Alphabe-Thursday sponsored by Jenny Matlock, Off On My Tangent. This week we week our assignment is "U." Hope you enjoy some of colorful and interesting Umbrella pics I found.



Thank you for stopping by my Umbrella piece. Please let the wind blow you over to Jenny's and see the other "U" presentations of my friends. Just click on the logo below.

Have a great weekend!

Jenny Matlock

Thursday, October 1, 2015


When I was younger... I wanted to be famous. I thought it would bring me a lot of friends. I wanted to be a movie star.  I spent hours dressing up and "becoming" someone who I thought I wanted to be.  In high school, I wanted to be a cheerleader.  I worked hard, but it didn't happen.  Lucky for me, because I probably would have slept with the whole football team, and my life would have taken a different direction.

When I was younger, I wanted to be married.  I was lucky enough to find someone to love, and who loved me, and I got married.  I still wanted to be a movie star. I took acting classes and discovered a whole new world.  I still wanted to be famous, but when I realized all of the work involved, and the statistics of actually becoming famous, my path changed and I revisited my options.   

When I was younger, I also wanted to be a mom...and my dream came true.  I became a mom four times.  The work involved has been excruciating at times, but mostly it has been rewarding, invigorating and the most ongoing learning experience of my life.  The twists and turns have kept me on my toes and given me something that I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams.  The cheerleader training helped me with enthusiasm needed to spur on my children.  The acting classes gave me the skills to be the doctor, therapist, boss woman and friend when these people were needed by my children. 

I don't need to be famous.  I just need to be me.  I still think I'm young...

Please stop by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop and read what her friends have to say this week.

Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Fully Fragmented

Thanks to Traci at A Star In My Universe, this wonderful place called Friday Fragments is still a bright spot in my blogging life, where I can share the exciting events of my life! At my age, it is usually encompasses my getting out of bed unassisted, and pouring myself a cup of coffee each morning! Once these two events have taken place, my world is ready to begin!

Today, I am blessed to celebrate 39 years of marriage to a great guy!  We've had many a storm, but managed to come out of them practically unscathed.  We've laughed and cried and embarrassed the heck out of each other.  We raised four extraordinary children, who managed to live through all of our parenting blunders (thank you, God, for therapists) and who now are each on their own path to rule their world.

Media has changed the way we all live our lives, and this week has been full of many reminders of the tragic events of 9/11/01.  Many of us will forever be touched by actions of this date.  I believe that it made us stronger, and brought out the best in the human condition as evidenced by the selfless acts of those who wanted, and still want, to help. God rest the souls of those who fell, and God Bless the rest of us who remain.

I'm going to have a second cup of coffee.  Would you care to join me?

Forever Changed

It has been 14 years to the day since the most horrendous event in my lifetime occurred. I will never forget the images of the day and the helplessness that I felt for the weeks that followed. As we became glued to our televisions, we learned more each day.  And with each new report, my heart would break into a million pieces over and over.  I was fortunate to have four children that needed my attention...and distraction. It was very important to me to keep their eyes and ears away from the news as much as possible.  I prayed every single day.

Each year on this day, we solemnly remember the events and celebrate the lives of those who were lost.  We honor those in heaven, as well as, the thousands of people who stepped in to help someone in need.  I still hear new stories of heroes who made a difference in the lives of those who were suffering.  They continue to make a difference every single day.  God Bless each and every one of them.

There were babies born on that day; birthday parties were planned; anticipation was building for an anniversary or family reunion celebration.  All of these celebrations have been touched by this event, but by no means diminished.

On September 11, 2001, I was expecting to celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary.  We decided to postpone our event for a later date.  We continue, by God's grace, to celebrate our wedding anniversaries and feel blessed to have had so many years together.  Cute couple...don't you think?

Thank you for your visit today.  I hope your weekend is wonderful!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

P is for Peacock

              Peacock - The male peafowl that can spread its long tail feathers to make a colorful display


What I found interesting was that Peacock is the name given to males only, and that they are the beautiful birds full of color and flash.  The female is called a Peahen, and, like so many other females, is very drab in color.  The males need "flash" in order to attract the females.  The females need to blend in with the bushes so that they can protect their eggs while incubating. 

Most of these beautiful birds originate from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia and central Africa.  They can be enjoyed in many American Zoos thanks to International cooperation. A group of peafowl is called a "party" or a "pride"! The Indian peafowl is the national bird of India and is protected in that country. In the Hindu religion, the peafowl is a sacred bird, because the spots on the peacock’s tail symbolize the eyes of the gods.  ( 

                  Peacock - The human male who can strut his manhood and display his colorful flash

He must be flashy in order to attract the female human, even if it means transforming himself into a dreamboat with attitude; or 

Expressing his "flash" by verbose and unintelligent communication, and still managing to get women to fawn over him day and night; or simply

Acting like a child, but with all of the privileges of a man, speaking nonsense while looking dreamy and full of flash! 

 Peacocks come in all forms, and some of them sure are pretty to watch, aren't they?  

The Letter "P" has been brought to you by Jenny Matlock...Off On My Tangent.  Please stop by her classroom and see what other "P" essays have been turned in!

Thanks for stopping by today! 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Fragmentally Speaking...

Thanks to Traci at A Star in My Own Universe, I have a comfy and safe place to come on Fridays!  It's the end of the workweek, it's the day before the weekend, and it's always a happy place for me to be!

I don't always have something exemplary to talk about, nor do I have a plethora of pictures to share, but I do like knowing that I am working on my to speak...or write...or something!  Every little bit helps in the long run, right?

We have the first wedding of the family coming up in November.  I'm lucky that the first one is my son, and not a daughter, as I am learning just how much planning is involved in this wonderful event.  Life was a lot simpler (and less expensive) 39 years ago when we planned ours!   I think the key is to make a list, and then stick to it.  It's going to be a wonderful day for everyone!  Both the ceremony and reception will be held at a winery away from the hustle and bustle of the city.  It will be nice to slow down a bit.

Speaking of slowing of our weekend excursions (aside from grocery shopping and gassing up the car) includes a trek to our local thrift shop.  Yes, I lead the most interesting and exciting life!  It's a haven for compulsive shoppers!  Think of the deals one gets if one only takes the time to look around.  We usually come home with something that we've needed, like a "granny" fork, or small clock for the living room wall because we are too lazy to walk into another room to see the time on that room's wall.  It doesn't matter that we have watches that tell time, or phones that tell time...but heavens...we'd have to pick up the phone and actually press it to get the time!  This way, we always know the time while we are sitting on our butts watching TV!!!

Thanks for stopping by today.  Please check out the fragments of some friends over at A Star In My Own Universe. I hope you have an interesting and exciting weekend!

Friday, July 31, 2015

90 and Not Even a Little Fragmented!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was going to attend the 90th birthday party of a dear family member.  Alice Yasek, my mother's sister, has entered into her ninth decade, with the appearance and energy of a 60 year old!  Alice is an amazing woman who has never let anything or anyone stop her from living her life to the fullest.

Twice a week she swims at the Y.  She used to compete in a Masters Olympics program and has a roomful of medals to show off.  These medals are well-deserved!  Alice was a member of the 1940 Olympic Swim Team...part of US Olympic Team that did not participate that summer as the games were held in Germany...not really a safe place to be at the time.  My heart swells knowing how much disappointment was felt, but the safety of our athletes could not be argued.

In addition to regular exercise, Alice volunteers at her church thrift shop, drives for Meals on Wheels and finds time to stay in touch with many close friends.  Her five children are spread out over the United States (California, Washington, New York and Massachusetts) and she travels to see them as often as possible.  She became grandmother to my children (and mother to me) upon the passing of my mother 30 years ago.  I have been blessed to have her in my life, and so have my children.

My trip was a very fast, but extremely enjoyable, three day visit with Alice in her New York home.  I was able to visit with my cousins, as well as, see many of her friends.  We had a wonderful time celebrating with friends and family in the "party room" at her church.

Alice with Friends

What, no pony?


The Best Part of the Day!

I was told that she slept for a week after everyone went home!  It was a wonderful day AND weekend for all concerned!

Please stop by A Star In My Own Universe and say hello as you read the Friday Fragments of other bloggers like me!  Thanks for stopping by today.  Have a wonderfully Fragmented Weekend!

Friday Fragments with Star