Monday, October 27, 2014

Sisters are Doin' it for Themselves...

I can cross this one off my 'bucket list'.   I finally made it to Chicago.  Friends were shocked to hear that I had never been there before, being a girl that loves to visit big cities.  So when Sister-in-law extraordinaire had a conference being held in the Windy City, I was only too happy to hop the train and tag along.

I found the city almost exactly as it had been described to me.  Big, beautiful, diverse, and clean.  Cheryl, who has visited a number of times, was a perfect tour guide.

I tend to love 'port towns' and the touristy area of Navy Pier proved to be my favorite place.  It reminded me of a county fair without the animals (which I love) and the sleazy carnies.  Riding on the giant ferris wheel gave us the most incredible view of the city and waterfront.  Conveniently, the yummy specialty cocktails we enjoyed at 'Harry Cary's' gave Cheryl the chutzpah to overcome her fear of heights.  Well sort of....

As usual, I enjoyed the street traffic and people watching.  I was totally impressed with the Asian men and their incredible cool.  They just nail urban style perfectly.  And also as usual, I am sorrowed by the homeless and their dilemmas.  Many were obviously diseased.  I know I can't save or even help them all and I hate that.  The brutal Chicago winters must be totally uncomfortable for such.  All I can hope for, is that there are plenty of shelters available and hope that someday mentally ill, veterans, unemployed, and addicted can be offered health care and help.  It's truly the dichotomy of most big cities, that the most indulged people are beside the least fortunate. 

Sissy and I are getting old.  On Saturday night, where could we be found?  Toting large shopping bags?  Partyin' it up in one of the great bars?  No way, J(spot)!  Girlfriend and I were tucked in our beds watching a rental movies.  Yup, it's like that.  We are perfect travel companions and we didn't feel like we were missing a thing.

But, it's back to reality and that's okay with me.  As usual, Homegirl is just as content at home-till the next time duty calls!

Thanks again to Cheryl, who is the Ethel to my Lucy.  Love u, xo

Monday, October 20, 2014

You Gotta Be...

Friends.  I love my friends.  Not the virtual facebook 'friends', but real honest to goodness friends.  They are the supporting characters in my life and I don't know what I'd do without them. 

 Friday night, oh boy, all Hell broke loose.  On a whim, I called buddy Tim and was shocked to discover that he, too, had a night open.  (I later found out that he cancelled a date!)  It's not often that those stars align and we both knew it was a rare event that found us both available.  A suburban white woman and a younger, urban dwelling, dreadlocked, black man make an odd looking friendship, but we revel in our differences as much as our commonality.  Tim and I met in the middle at a great little joint and did a crazy dance/run things to each other. Tim catches me up in a crazy hug and we literally jump for joy!  Then came reminiscing, laughing, and telling new tales.  Hours flew by and we reluctantly parted before an impaired driving ticket would have to be issued, ruining our night.  Luv u Timmy-my brother by a different mother!

My BFF Kristen and I talk almost every day and sometimes 3 times a day!  We can barely get thru our gym classes without getting stern looks from our trainer.  We can examine and beat to death any subject big or small.  No detail is left unturned from split ends, organic cooking, and shopping!  We debate the general conundrum of child rearing and life as we know it.  She has been there for me thru some of the darkest days of my life.  Her family has adopted me as their own and I love them for it.

I could spent a week telling you of the rich friends in my life, but I think you get the idea of the importance of them to me.  I want to also mention a few others-most of which I have talked about before in my blog.  Therese, Mark, Marky Mark, Rose, Matt, Kelly, Cheryl, and Jeanne.  My friend Tami deserves her own blog post and will get it soon! xo  If I've forgotten anyone, please forgive me.  Thank you all, you make me feel special.  And I love you. xo

Monday, October 13, 2014

Under the Influence of Love...

It's been a chocolate martini kinda week. And that's never a bad thing.

On Wednesday, good friends Tom and Kara announced to us that in the spring they will welcome their first child. With tears and hugs we toasted the good news, all except the little Mommy who sipped her water.  We are so happy for them and that will certainly be one lucky baby.  Hopefully I can horn in a little and babysit sometime even tho I will have to stand in line behind some very anxious grandparents!  Congrats Tom and Kara!

On Saturday, we joined cousins Chelsea and Andrew as they said their vows.  There is not much prettier than an outdoor fall wedding, especially with the sun shining down on the lake and spiked cider to sip during the ceremony.  The bride and groom are old friends that just realized their love a couple of years ago.  We again toasted, this time to a life of happiness and love.  Congrats Chels and Andrew!

On Thursday of this week, my sissy Cheryl and I will train it to Chicago for a long weekend.  It is my first ever visit to the Windy City and I'm getting so-o-o-o excited.  Cheryl has some training stuff to do and I will do what I am best trained for-shopping!  I will need no pointers in that department, it comes naturally...Her and I will hook up after her classes for some dining and exploration.   Hope the weather isn't too cold and windy,  and is suitable for dragging shopping bags around.  And Cheryl and I will surely toast our friendship.

Wonder if they can make a Hot Chocolate Martini?  My bet is yes!

Hope you have a week filled with happiness and love.  Oh, and chocolate!  xo

Monday, October 6, 2014

Old Boots New Dirt...

Blog friend and personal friend, (I'm proud to say!) Erik, of  'Erik's Choice' asks a question this week on his blog that has me thinking....

Can people really change?

Physically, of course we can.  I have lost and gained weight over the years, but always seem to pretty much settle back to the same poundage.  It's my m.o. to cut and grow my hair, even tho it seems to morph back into the same mid-length blond do.  We do not need to address the changes in my skin. :(

Can we re-invent ourselves or are we just acting?  And what's the difference?  Life experiences constantly form us.  How we were raised plus our choices has built our character and personality.  Nurture or nature?  Both, I think!  As women, we spend time learning the hard lesson-that men rarely change.  If we go into relationships and think we can change the man's habits or persona-we are sadly mistaken.  But I've seen men, and women, that want to improve to be 'better' people.  Seems that that only works if we change for OURSELVES and not others.  Pressuring anyone to our needs only causes regrets and blame later.  But that is only my experience. 

Aging changes us both physically and mentally as we take more 'laps around the block' and season us a little.  Losing our naivety is inevitable and you could chalk it up to personal growth.  Trauma can get imprinted on our brains, changing the way we view things.  Still, I think we are who we are if we can say and do what is true to ourselves. 

Fellow Detroiter Mitch Albom has a cool take on changing.  He says, "One day spent with someone you love, can change everything."   Amen and yee haw! xo