Hanging on to the Warmth and Sunshine a Little Longer


It’s Mid-October here in Chicago…

And you know what that means!!!!

It’s Hockey Season!

Whoo-hoooooo! Time for the excitement and heartbreak and stinky gear and adrenaline filled games and taxi-ing the boys to and from practices, etc.

Not to mention, watching the Stanley Cup Champions and screaming at my television because it’s become way too expensive to even attend an actual Blackhawk game…

Ok, seriously, that’s not what this is about at all.

~It’s about dreading what’s about to come~

The Chicago Winter

The older I get, the tougher it gets. All the snow and cold and worst of all, all the gray, cloud covered days.

But we had a few Indian Summer days here lately and it has been delightful. I just wish it would last longer. So I am sharing a little of that.

sunshine and birdsong

This summer, my neighbors moved to Florida and Gave my family their wicker furniture they couldn’t take with them. I made new cushions for it and some new pillows to go along with.


Perfect place to read a little and enjoy a cup of tea.


If you live in a climate like I do, you know it’s best to enjoy these days because it will feel like a very long time before they’re back!




Peace & Hockey,


To Mike Eruzione’s Mom…

My Blogging 101 assignment is to write from the prompt the “and all was right in the end.” I think this is a perfect example of that…in the end every experience could be looked back at and decided, “it all worked out in the end”.

Feathers and Dimes

My boys play hockey…

Travel hockey.  Both of them.  To make this even more interesting, they play at separate rinks and separate clubs.  Good times coordinating games, skills sessions, skating lessons, dry-land drills…

My younger is a Mite, the very beginning of competitive hockey, the first level, if you will. He likes to play.  He’s a natural skater, quick when he wants to be, tough on defense, sometimes assertive, sometimes not.  Depends on the day.

My oldest son is a Pee-Wee Minor…birth year 2001.  (Everything in youth hockey goes according to your birth year.)  He’s moved up the ranks a bit, playing on a travel team that competes in several states.  So far this season we’ve been to Nashville, St. Louis, Indiana, Chicago…

He loves to play.  He’s a natural too, but he works HARD.  He has at least 3-4 practices a week which includes ice-time, video sessions and dry-land…

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Guest Furniture Re-dos

I must introduce you to my friend Anne…


We met while our sons played on the same hockey team a couple of seasons ago but discovered we had more in common than just the highs and lows of youth hockey and stinky-smelly hockey bags.

She likes to re-do furniture too and has an incredible talent for taking old and used furniture to fabulous and amazing pieces anyone would be proud to have in their home.

She shared with me some of her Before and After’s and I think she does a marvelous job.

She took this scratched and dinged up dresser and transformed it beautifully.



This transformation came out so Beautiful!

Here’s another great one…

From this-


To this!

white dresser

What a difference!

And one of my favorites…


Blah and Boring to Elegant and Embellished

bird dresser

How sweet is that?

Isn’t Anne truly talented? I know she uses one of my favorite paints to paint her furniture (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint) and puts a lot of elbow grease into fixing these babies up.  I honestly admire her work and can’t wait for spring to come so we could hit up some estate sales together and maybe work on some projects together.

You can find more of her curbside finds and furniture re-dos on her Facebook page. If you live in the Chicago land area, she might be able to help you take an old, worn out piece of furniture and turn it into something lovely.

In the meantime, I hope she has inspired you like she has inspired me.

Keep up the good work, Anne!



Linking up this week with:

The Dedicated House

The Turquoise Home

Miss Mustard Seed

Chic on a Shoestring Budget

Sometimes, I Feel Like a B!T(H

Meet Nellie…


Every once in a while, I get in a really bad mood.  I mean really bad.  It comes on suddenly and, out of nowhere, an alternate personality of myself comes out.  This person is mean, irritated, and downright nasty at times.  At certain times of the month, she wants to rear her ugly head.   She is so opposite of me.  I asked my mom if she ever had any of these “nasty, mean feelings.”  I asked her because she is literally the nicest, most compassionate person I know.  My mom’s reply, “Of course,  I gave her a name…Carol.”


So this runs in our family, huh?


I decided to give mine a name, too.


Nellie.  Like that really mean bitch from “Little House on the Prairie.”


So today I am writing from Nellie’s perspective and I just have a few thoughts…


  • To the really annoying people, I mean friends, on Facebook who keep writing about how nice the weather is in their part of the country…Kiss Off!  Do you think that posting your 78 degree weather and rubbing it in our faces that we are in yet another  minus 25 degree Polar Vortex with our kids home from school again with nothing to do but roam around the house whining about boredom is helping matters?  My snot immediately freezes inside my nose when I go outside…what can yours do?
  • And speaking of Facebook, to the most irritating people who keep logging in their damn workouts and weight-loss, nobody really gives a shit!   Are you really that self centered that you think your workouts matter to most in the grander scheme of things?  “I walked 2.5 miles today on the treadmill and burned 200 calories.”  Well, whoop-de-freakin’-do ! And on this note, for one of my fb friends, I would really like to tell her she is really way too skinny and her head now looks bigger than her whole body. I actually want to ask her if her balance is off.  So there!
  • To the people I know who ALWAYS have a clean house…I don’t trust you.  I just want to go spread some of my junk mail and old bills around your perfectly kept countertops.
  • To the skanky hockey mom from the other team who cheered and was pounding on the glass after her son cross- checked my son from behind…Come over here by me and I’ll show you how it feels to get punched in the throat. 
  • To the “I’m the only car in the school drop off lane that has somewhere to go after I drop off” people…Get over yourself.  Everyone has somewhere to go.  The urge to ram the back of your beautiful Cadillac SUV is very strong.
  • To the coffee clutch of moms at the gym who prance around in tennis skirts…everyone can see your cellulite.  It’s there reflected in all the mirrors.  Also, the point of going to the gym is to exercise.  That means you should be working up a sweat or at least breathing heavy at times.  Try it sometime.          

See what nasty thoughts I have?  I really try to be a good person.  But peri-menopause is not being good to me.  It’s uncanny…1-2 days a month I feel like Nellie!  Luckily,  it passes just as quickly as it came on.


But then the tears start…

My poor husband.


Am I the only one?




Pay It Forward Friday #3




I apologize for skipping last week’s “Pay It Forward”.

I was busy waving to Patrick Kane!!!!!!!



And I was trying to get the attention of Corey Crawford!

Along with MILLIONS of others, I suppose…



It was a great morning of anticipation and waiting for the Stanley Cup and the 2012-2013 Chicago Blackhawks to parade by.

There was a prominent police presence including bomb sniffing dogs…(makes me sad to think about the kind of world we live in and the precautions we now have to take.)



And people in Chicago are so friendly!

This nice homeless man let us hockey moms use his sign.



We waited and waited, had a great spot in the shade and then the Cup zoomed on by.



As my boys said, “That was the best two minutes of our summer, so far!”

Yeah, the parade was thatfast!

So back to reality…

This week, my youngest son found a debit card in the grass at a carnival.

We took a special trip to the bank from where the card was issued and he waited in line for the next teller all by himself.

At his turn, he ever so shyly went up to the teller and said, “Umm, excuse me?  I found this in the grass by my house.”

The teller was so sweet and thankful to him.  She offered him the bowl of suckers (Dum-Dums of course, we were at the bank and that’s what all banks give out), and told him he could have as many as he wanted.  He took some and gave a couple to his big brother.

I hope the person who lost his card knows it was in safe keeping.  Losing a credit card is nerve-wracking enough, don’t ask me how I know.

Please chime in and boast about your good deed for the week.  I love to read about them!



Murphy’s Law and how it applies to me…


Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup and I missed it!





Murphy’s Law says, "Murphy’s law or the fourth law of thermodynamics" (actually there were only three last I heard) which states: "If anything can go wrong, it will."[

I am a die-hard hockey mom of two boys.  Hockey can rule our household as any hockey mom (or dad) knows.  Practices, extra skates, travel games, expenses to say the least. You hockey people know what I am talking about all too well.

Last November I wrote a little post about how emotional it can be.  You can see it here.

So of course we have been following the awesome Chicago Blackhawks this season in their quest for the Cup.  I watched every game (well almost) and the playoffs were incredible!

Fast forward to Monday night, June 24th, 2013…hot, humid, still, crazy dark clouds coming from the west. If the Hawks win this one, they win IT ALL!  My older son had practice at 6:50pm.  Game Six started at 7:30…not a problem.  I knew the game would be on at the rink and I could watch some of it there and get home for the end.

Just as we are about to load up the van and leave, a huge storm blows through and freakin’ knocks out my power!!!!


I’m still ok…figure it will be on by the time the game ends and all will be well.

It wasn’t.  Quickly I thought of all the places we could go to watch the game–friends’ houses, sports bars, restaurants…Chicago was crazed with hockey fever.  But my youngest had fallen asleep and I couldn’t justify waking him up to go to a crowded place full of crazed fans.

So my husband and I sat in the dark and put on the emergency radio and listened to the game. (Kinda romantic, right?)  Definitely not the same as watching on a large screen HD TV, but at least we could hear the incredible last 2 minutes of that game.  Afterwards, fireworks could be heard everywhere and I could only imagine how awesome it was to actually see those boys hold up the Stanley Cup and skate around the ice.

The kicker in this story is that the houses that were just across the street had power!  Uggggggh!

Murphy’s Law…

In early September of 1993, my all-time favorite rocker, Bruce Springsteen, was coming to Chicago to perform.  I had worked at the venue where he was performing all summer long as a beer seller and it was the best job ever!  I got to see all the bands warm up and do their sound checks before an empty auditorium with (hardly) any one else around.

My boyfriend at the time was from New Jersey and I wanted to impress him so I got tickets for the Springsteen concert and figured we could hang out before in the auditorium since I was still able to arrive early before the crowds.  We were back at school at the time, in Chicago, about an hour from the venue.

I had a long day of classes before we could leave.

I got in the elevator in my dorm with about 12 other people.  It was hot, humid and sticky.

About half way up to my 13th floor dorm room, the elevator stopped.  Broke. Not moving.

I was stuck in an elevator with a capacity of 15 with twelve other people!  For a couple of hours!  Breathing in each other’s air and feeling woozy from the heat.

And we missed the concert!!!!  Ugggggggh!!!!

Here’s another example…

In 2005, my sweet sister asked me to be in the OR while she delivered her first born child.  What an honor!  I was all ready to be her support, camera ready to take that first precious picture….

Guess what?  I had kept turning on and off the camera all morning taking “before” pictures that when it was time for the baby to arrive, my camera was dead!  No battery life!  No time to say, “Hey, wait a second, push that baby back in while I go and get new batteries.”   Uggggggggh!!!!

There are plenty of other ways Murphy’s Law applies to me, as it does to everyone, but I will not bore you with more details. 

Just know that it will all work out in the end!

For instance, that boyfriend I wanted to impress so much from New Jersey?  Well, I ended up marrying him and he is the best husband and father I could ever imagine.

And about 15+ years later, we ended up with Floor Seating for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s “Born To Run” re-tour.  If you had General Admission seating like we did, they handed out numbers before the concert and randomly picked the number to start with.  By sheer luck and a lot of Grace, we ended up second row from the stage.  That concert was seriously one of the highlights of my life.  I was thisclose to Clarence Clemons, Bruce and the band.  An old grade school friend even wrote me on Facebook and told me he saw me on the JumboTron during “Hungry Heart.”  (Which isn’t on the “Born to Run” album, I know.)


As for the birth of my niece, by some more sheer luck and a lot of Grace, my camera turned on for one picture…


      Can’t get any better than that first moment!

So I know I have to be patient and things will work out.

I’m taking the boys to the victory parade in Chicago tomorrow and who knows, perhaps by sheer luck and a lot of Grace, we will get thisclose to the Cup and those fantastic hockey players that made it happen.

If not, I am very content to be one of the millions cheering and being part of the incredible energy that is sure to be.

Way to go, Blackhawks!  Congratulations on an amazing season!