Friday, February 29, 2008

Skittle Brain (ed)

This ad is pretty old but I'd not seen it until very recently. Immediately I questioned how he got dressed? How did he get to work? Then I realized I'd missed some of his dialog.

Oh. But still questions remain.

Baby daughter?

Silly to question, I know. It's not meant to make sense. It's silly, like much. It's senseless, like too much.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mama Grand

My maternal grandma, Big Mama we called her, died 19 years ago. We had many conversations, Big Mama and me. Mostly they were of the "go fetch" variety, as in, "go fetch me a swalla o water, gal" but once in a while more was covered.

Only once did I bring just a swallow. My grandma drank heaping mugs of water. When she said "swalla" she meant to fill her favorite mug to the brim with ice cold water.

I still have that mug.

As is usually the case when someone dies there are things you wished you'd told them, had a chance to tell them. It occurs to me that I'd never told Big Mama that I loved her. Of course she never said those words to me either. She wasn't that type, but I knew she did and I presume she knew I loved her as well.

In the years since her death I found myself trying to recall our last vocal exchange and I just can't bring it forth. It was likely something inconsequential. Or perhaps having to do with plants as by that time I was into house plants and she was quite the guru when it came to keeping greenery indoors.

During my recent illiness my imagination ran a bit wild. I found myself fantasizing thinking about all kinds of things. Big Mama flitted across my mind and I found myself fabricating an exchange with her. It went something like this:

Me: Big Mama, why Gunsmoke?

Big Mama: Miss Kitty. Now go fetch me a swalla o water, gal.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Maybe? Naah, not me. However,

Dear dirty, red Chevy Impala with the temporary plates,

It is permissible to make a right turn at some intersections, within certain hours on a red light, provided

1. There aren't any signs dis-allowing or limiting the action.

2.You come to a full and complete stop prior to attempting the action.

3. You look left, right and then left again to determine that all motorized and pedestrian traffic (who have the green light, by-the-way) has cleared the intersection.

4. When and only when you see (not imagine, guess or feel) that the way is clear to proceed, then by all means, proceed.

If you hear me clapping and / or screeching (as my "Go Bulls" horn was retired many seasons ago)to get your attention because you almost hit me, then perhaps you tripped on one or more of the steps.

Me, my fellow pedestrians and other motorists would appreciate it greatly if you would 1. slow down or better yet, stop 2. pay attention 3. heed signage & other signals 4. grap a capful of consideration and / or 5. all of the above when you hit the road again.


Concerned Road Rage Rules Survivor

Monday, February 25, 2008

Top Ten

Top Ten Reasons for looking forward to yet another Winter Storm Warning

1. The expected inches will cover (& or re-cover) piles of dog poop inconsiderate neighbors didn’t have the decency to scoop.

2. Ah, on second thought, that's the only reason for looking forward to yet another winter storm.

There is a new storm brewing and if the forecasters are right by this time tomorrow I will be ankle deep (or more) in yet more snow. I know, it's winter still and as such storm warnings shouldn't come as news. Further, I know many of you have been in the grips of horrid winter weather and have your own lists of woes. I can certainly empathize.

Demeanor that's what I'm thinking about this day.

I spent most of the weekend recovering from flu-like symptoms. I'm feeling much better now, but Friday afternoon, Saturday and good doses of Sunday were not the best of times. I'd promised my mom I'd help with a project on Sunday so come sore throat and body aches, I was committed.

In her own meandering way of nit-picking things apart, mom asked if I was going through The Change. I assured her that I was indeed and had been going through it for some time now. She asked (again) about the symptoms I was suffering and I admitted that besides erractic cycles and insomnia the symptoms were few and minor considering the possibilities. Mom follows that she's noted a change in me and before I could ask what that might be, she notes, "you talk louder and you get frustrated faster."

In my head I say, "no shit, Dick Tracy!" Outloud I return with how I didn't think these were effects of The Change but rather the growing need to be heard and desire for a different kind of life most days. Not those precise words, mind you, but yes, in essence. Mom changed the subject not at all convinced of my argument.

Then again, I admitted a bit quieter, could just be the windy, snowy and freezing weather.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Poli - Tick

Judging by her excitement one would think that this was my daughter's first opportunity to vote in a presidential election. It isn't. She got her first taste in 2004, Bush vs. Kery. D understood the import of the occasion as it wasn't her very first election. That came in 2003 when she got to vote for some local officials. However, as I recall she was pretty ho-hum about the whole thing.

There isn't much as exciting as the presidential race, politically speaking that is, especially in our little town where the hottest issues of late were to light (or not) the football stadium or to open up a shopping district street to car traffic, taking away yet another pedestrian paradise of benches and greenery.

This time daughter is feeling it. D is aflutter with excitement. She cast her vote on Super Tuesday with joy and pride. She is bursting to do so again in November. D is making no bones about who she is supporting. So much so she couldn't wait to show Diamond dog her new toy.* Hillary, sporting her "I'm with Stupid" tee shirt, packing her "It Takes a Village to do my hair" manual and BILL collar (attached to a short leash), is no match for sharp little doggie teeth. I predict Hill's stuffing will be all over the dining room rug in no time flat.

D tosses Hills into the air with extreme glee exhorting Diamond girl to "get her!"

*for the record Diamond dog has Bush & Governator Ahnold too. They weren't as well received initially, but with the addition of Hills, they are being re-evaluated in a way that only she can.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Two Words

To the owners, tenants, residents (whatever) of units 2B and 3C I have two words for you: Boot Tray. Or, perhaps you could put your funky, gunky boots on the inside of your unit. Or better yet, you could put a boot tray by your door, inside the unit (the mother is inside the park)* and then rest your funky, gunky boots there.

Some people.

*Jaw 3D , a sad, so sad obsession.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sticky, Sweet

My Dearest Neta,

I sit here in awe and wonder when I recall those first e-mails. There was no way to know that those few, innocuous keystrokes would bring us to this day, this time and to this love. This love has tripped my heart, ties my tongue and consumes my soul. This love warms me when I’m cold (these days that’s a mean feat) and is of constant comfort to me. I awake each day with you on my mind and retire each night with thoughts of you nestled around my heart.

Our situation isn’t ideal and if there is a downside to this love, being away from you physically so many days running registers as such. But I am not deterred for I know we are together in every other way and I am confident that we will concoct a formula that will merge our lives in that way as well.

When I’m weak I draw strength from you
And when you’re lost I know how to change your mood
And when I’m down you breathe life over me
Even though we’re miles apart we are each other’s destiny

The subject of countless poems, the hook of many a tune, this thing called love is an omnipotent force driving grown women wild. Thank goodness and thank you for taking that step, building that profile, being on-line that night, spying my profile and fashioning that first message. I treasure that day and every day since. I treasure you and thank my lucky stars that I dropped in your universe.

For the 10,000th time towards the next million or two, I love you truly, madly and oh, so deeply.

All my love,
partial lyrics to "Destiny" by Zero 7 Thanks eb.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Observations, realizations, and such on my journey to svelte:
a. svelte? Hah! Remember, make reasonable goals.
b. It’s a lifestyle, not a diet
c. Potato chips taste better than any fruit or vegetable.
d. Still, I love fruits and veggies.Love them! Sometimes, though chips and the like are just easier. The call me, really, they do. D-e-b-o-r-a-h I tell ya, call me.


e. I love to eat. Yum. I love food. Mountains of food.
f. Generally I’m a planner, but I've noticed difficulty in planning meals & the necessary shopping. Again, with the shopping.


g. Portion control is a HUGE issue for me. Mounds of food. Smaller plates help, if I break the plate immediately after the first helping.

h.Resolve has the shelf life of lukewarm dairy products.
i. Tracking food: daily calories, water in-take, servings of fruits/veggies is a major PITA.
j. but these things and more MUST be done if I want to REACH my goals.

K. As you may have noticed this list addresses the “diet” side of the equation. The exercise portion is a constant up and down battle for me as well. I can say without hesitation that the only exercise I enjoy is bike riding. That, I can do without any pre-text, rationalization or justification. That, I will have to get over as obviously, I cannot ride my bike for 12 months, not in the conventional sense, anyway. When I don’t have bike riding, I struggle to maintain any kind of exercise regularity. I repeat,


The journey begun 2 years ago has stalled a few times. I get on a pretty good roll and then get distracted, side-tracked, tired, bored, or whatever…I lose ground and re-gain the weight I’d lost and then some. So, here I am, exactly where I was this time last year except, now I have a couple years worth of advice, education and tools at my disposal.

The journey begins anew. My annual physical is four months away. I expect to be housing a considerably different, read smaller, closer to svelte body when that date arrives. So it shall be written. So it shall be done.

Don't pass the chips. Kill all the chips!


Monday, February 11, 2008

Heavy Artillery

Boots. Thick rubber soles.
Socks. 2 pair
Leggings & Leg Warmers
1 Cotton and 1 Knit turtleneck
Windbreaker Jacket
2 Wool-like acrylic scarves or mufflers
Wool-like acrylic hat (nylon cap underneath)

More important than any single article or the multiple layers is a-t-t-i-t-u-d-e. This, I know and try as I might I can't help but feel a little testy. I am cold. I am tired. I am tired of being cold. But I’m sure it will all be over soon. I have to believe this.

On another front, I gloated mentioned to someone about being passed over for the Aunty F’s January visit. Well, lucky ducky me, she arrived this month packed for the long haul. Eight days and counting. But I’m sure it will all be over soon. I have to believe this.

What's In The Name

What Deborah Means
You are balanced, orderly, and organized. You like your ducks in a row.You are powerful and competent, especially in the workplace.People can see you as stubborn and headstrong. You definitely have a dominant personality.
You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.
You are full of energy. You are spirited and boisterous.You are bold and daring. You are willing to do some pretty outrageous things.Your high energy sometimes gets you in trouble. You can have a pretty bad temper at times.
You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life.You are solid and dependable. You are loyal, and people can count on you.At times, you can be a bit too serious. You tend to put too much pressure on yourself.
You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.
You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection. You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive. You have the classic "Type A" personality.
You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out.Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.

Hmmmmmm...not exactly but with some adjustments, maybe.

Friday, February 08, 2008

First, Son

My first look at your squirmy body and scrunchy face had my heart racing and my mind setting speed records to catch up. What will I do with you? What will I do for you? Everything. Everything. Little did you know that your arrival had the power to turn my existence into something called, life.
From those first nervous afternoons when it was just the two of us, through your first stabs at language, first tentative steps and all the firsts thereafter, you trusted me to comfort, guide and protect you. You saw fit to reward my efforts, fumbling though they may have been, by sleeping when I most needed you to, trying your best at every turn, making me laugh heartily and growing into a man of the highest caliber.
A man I am honored to call friend as well as son.

Happy Birthday, dear son. I am beyond excited to share and celebrate many more firsts with you.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


All the talk about soup and poring over the various ingredients lists kept me craving all night long. I still haven't decided what to prepare first. I am leaning toward the Turkey/Black Bean as I have most of those ingredients on hand. Tiff asked about the Thai Spiced Chicken, so here it is:

This is a slow cooker recipe, gleaned from a slow cooking magazine published by the Women's Day folks.

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
6 shallots, finely chopped
3 cups carrots, thinly sliced
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 red chile, seeded and finely chopped
1 piece fresh ginger root (about 1 in. long), peeled and finely chopped
3 or 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 lb) diced
1 Tbsp Thai seven-spice seasoning
3/4 cup green beans, halved
4 cups chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 ox spaghetti, broken into small lengths
3 Tpsp fresh cilantro, chopped

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet; add shallots, carrots, celery, garlic, chile and giner and saute for 3 minutes.

2. Add chicken and cook until browned all over, stirring frequently. Add Thai spice adnd green beans; cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.

3. Transfer to slow cooker, cover, reduce heat to Low and cook 5 hours. Stir in spaghetti, cover and cook on Low 1 to 2 hours, until spaghetti is cooked and tender. Stir in chopped cilantro and serve with fresh crusty bread.

Serves 6 Nutritionial info: 262 cal, 22 g pro, 25 g car, 4 g fib, 8 g fat (1 g sat fat), 28% cal from fat, 71 mg chol, 538 mg sod.

At first glance this soup recipe is not something I would have even considered. I like soup and I like using my slow cooker, or crock pot. Admittedly I can be intimidated by extensive or in my view, exotic ingredients lists. You see, while I can enjoy cooking, I really don't enjoy shopping for the food to cook. But on my seemingly never-ending quest to find foods and dishes that please my palate, my waist-line and satisfy my over-all health goals, I realize that I must step outside of my comfort zone.


He will be 46 years old soon. This birthday, as have many others, will be spent behind bars. He is currently a guest of the county, awaiting trial for his most recent caper. The ndictment handed down in December reads:

Burglary, theft, battery, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a weapon by a felon, possession of a defaced firearm, unlawful possession of firearm with FOID card, resisting a peace officer and obstructing a peace officer.

The weapon is a new twist to his repertoire.

When If convicted, my brother will likely serve 7.5 of a 15 year sentence.

It’s the same old song.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Soup-er

Today is the day.

Meet the candidates: Turkey and Black Bean Soup
Chicken Taco Soup
Thai Spiced Chicken Soup

All low-fat, one low cholesterol and one low sodium, too much to ask to have all three low elements in one soup, I guess. The Chicken Taco Soup recipe is much too high in sodium to really be a contender, but a consideration as it contains some favored ingredients.

Perhaps I can nix the Chicken Taco in favor of the Slow Cooker Pot Roast Soup which is also low-fat and though not low sodium or cholesterol, not out of the ballpark like the taco soup. Maybe I can fine tune the taco soup to tone down the sodium. Or maybe… Fudge.

Perhaps today isn’t the day to make decisions about slow cooker soup.

Perhaps my capacity to make a decision climaxed first thing this morning. Deciding on 3 of the 8 folks running for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation Commissioner office must have zapped all my reserves.

Spicy Squash Soup?? Or maybe AJ’s potato …

I'm cooked. Any suggestions?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Not So Hot Topic

I could talk about the weather. We got us some weather. Y’all may have heard, it was all over the news. It’s cold, windy and snowy. So what? It’s Janaury February, in Chicago (area), we know the drill, or should. I know, I know, I had a moment about the folks who don’t clear their walkways properly. There was even more snow this cycle around so the issue was, well, more. But, I’m over that. I’ll deal. I always have. I always will, so long as I live here, anyway.

Which brings the question, would/will I ever leave here?

Another day, perhaps, I’ll explore this question. Today, let’s talk about naps.

You’ve read the research, heard the reports, perhaps even know from first-hand experience, the power of naps.

I don’t take naps during my work week days. I would if I could. I wake most work mornings between 5:15 and 5:45, this, after logging into sleep for the night between 1:00 – 2:00 am. I start to feel it around 11 a.m. The hours between 11 – 2 are particularly tiring. I try to staunch the weariness by taking a walk and eating something sensible (usually, hopefully). My night-time sleep issues aside however, I believe a nap, even of the power variety, would prove energizing.




Now, granted I need to figure out a way to sleep better, longer at night. But, I also need to figure out a way to get the company to buy this chair and to have in placed in my space.

Sweet dreams.