Thursday, January 31, 2008

A New Camera....and A Life Lesson....

This is Tess' terrific Fuji camera, bought this past summer.
Tess's New Camera
She bought it with her own money, earned from teaching piano. She recently bought yet another wonderful camera, a Nikon this time, again with her hard earned cash....
Tess' New Nikon
Unbelievably, I am now the proud owner of her Fuji camera. No, I didn't buy it from her.

One evening I found a gift bag on my desk, inside was her amazing Fuji camera, boxed up and looking like new. She had long planned to gift this camera to me once she purchased her Canon. I was without words.

This is the most special gesture ever given me. I tried to offer her money for the camera, but she quickly silenced me by saying..."You have to let me do this for you. I planned it a long time ago. Don't take that away by offering to pay for it". Wow. Point taken.

I have a problem with being given things. I know this. I think that I should be the giver. Offering to pay for the camera, nearly ruined what was a gesture of love and generosity. I stand corrected, and will work on this flaw from this moment on.

Publicly thanking Tess for her marvelous gift, and her lesson in humility is all I can give today. Many, many thanks Tess. I will take beautiful photos, and think of you each time I do.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Yet Another Wedding Booked.....

Mollie, Tess and Robin have landed another wedding gig. This one will be an outdoor wedding in early August, . The bride is a lovely person, and seems very happy and excited about having this talented trio as a part of her day. Life is good.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Today's Beauty Tips......

In choosing your lipstick, always strive for a natural look.....

Lipstick Stencil

Choose eyeglasses that frame your face well...and with a touch of humor.....

Odd-Shaped Glasses

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Fuego Mexican Grill......A Fabulous Dinner with My Family

Christopher was kind enough to invite all of us to dinner at Fuego Mexican Grill in town this past Friday night to celebrate his recent promotion to a new, exciting position at the library.

Dinner at Fuego

He is now the library's Applications Specialist which means different and interesting responsibilities for him to explore. Congratulations Christopher!!

We were thrilled to finally be able to dine at this marvelous restaurant. One of the highlights of the evening was the preparation of our very fresh Guacamole appetizer right at our table. I made very sure to watch each step in the making of this delicious dish, and I do believe I will soon reproduce this amazing dish at home.

Guacamole at Fuego

Thanks Christopher for a wonderful meal, great company, and an invaluable cooking lesson.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Joni Mitchell - "Urge for Going"

An impossibly young and lovely Joni Mitchell.

One of the comments for this song was..."Man she's got that audience and even the other musicians in a trance"....I have to agree.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Biggest Pizza Slice Known to Man.......

No....this is not a joke slice of pizza.
Tess with Bacci Pizza
It is just a regular slice from the terrific Bacci Pizza Express.

Where else can you find a slice of pizza this enormous PLUS a can of soda for $3.75???

Quite a it makes me laugh every time I see it.

Friday, January 11, 2008

It's a Dark, Dreary Friday.......What to Do, What to Do....Say, Let's Watch a Movie!

Waking up to a overcast, chilly Friday after a few wonderful days of 60+ degree weather has me feeling pretty droopy. I need a movie like "Better Use of Leisure Time" to guide me through my day....

Monday, January 7, 2008

A Beautiful Note from "The Alley Lady"

I received this comment today from Fena, the marvelous woman who designed the beautiful alley here in Arlington Heights that the girls and I discovered this past summer.
The Walkway
I didn't hear back from her until now, and am thrilled by her message. I took this out of her original post as it contained her telephone number, and didn't want to share that with the blogging world.

This then is the message from Fena that has made my day....

Dear Patti,

Oh heart is so touched!! I was looking through an old e-mail account that I have not looked at in months and I found a wonderful message from you about you and your daughter's experience in the walkway. You also left a link to this page in your e-mail. When I opened up this page, I could not believe my eyes!

Patti and everyone else that is reading this...THANKS!!! I am so very happy that the walkway gave you such enjoyment. THAT is my reward! To get such positive messages and touch people's lives in even a small way is a huge reward for me.

Patti, I so loved looking at the pictures that you posted on your site. It was a trip down memory lane as I see the photos with all the flowers in full bloom, as I sit here on this January day. I know what it looked like in the summer but it was great to see it again with fresh eyes.

Interestingly it is nearly 60 degrees on January 7! I went outside to take out the trash and found it to be warm enough to be out without a coat. What do you think that I did? I went back upstairs and got a couple of garbage bags and cleaned up the walkway!!!! Papers had been blown in off the street and there were large numbers of cigarette butts to be picked got to work in the walkway in JANUARY!! Who would ever believe that. It brought back that same peace and contentment that I felt while working out there this summer....sort of like seeing an old friend.

The walkway is magical even for me. As it was created and tended through the summer, it gave me such opportunity to meet wonderful people with their kids and pets. Someone asked me to sum up what my experience of the walkway is...
I feel like this: By giving, you receive. (LOTS!)

By doing something that is so relaxing and enjoyable for myself, I gave myself the wonderful gift of friendships and acquaintances! YOU have no idea how rewarding this has been. Seriously, when I get notes and meet people...and yes they still come in brings itty bitty tears to my eyes! I don't know why this hits such a soft spot for me but it does.

Look at the wonderful friend that I made in Robin! She is a treasure and though the walkway was only a summer thing, our friendship lasts way longer than summer!

I so wish that I would have met you during the summer. Please make sure that the next time you visit, call me so that I can meet you and thank you for this wonderful blog.

I think that beauty brings out I highly suspect that you are beautiful on the inside. I would love to meet you and your daughters!! I saw their great pictures! Nice looking young ladies!! the way...I won an award from the village of Arlington Heights Hearts of Gold Committee for doing the walkway. I am to receive the award on Feb. 2 at an awards dinner along with 9 others that won awards for service to their community. It is great to win awards but every time I get a great letter such as yours...or note...or postcard....that is a real hands on award for me. Thank you.

I am also having a web site built so that we can all share in the walkway year round. It will enable people to make donations to help with the project and it will keep us all in touch. It will have a message board so that people can share their thoughts and so that I can request items for doing the walkway this year.

The theme for the walkway this year is "GROW YOUR OWN MUSIC". Instead of the cute plates, I will be using records and cd's and all types of musical instruments altered to allow for plant material. It will also enable people to sign up for garden work days if they would like to come by and garden or just to meet and hang out with people of like mind.

So, next time you are in the neighborhood, please give me a call and stop by!

Fena.....Or as Robin calls me: "The Alley Lady!!"

Such a beautiful note. The girls and I will surely be involved with our alley this year. Since they are musicians as well, our hearts and hands will be there. I think Fena is a wonder.
Fena D'Ottavio

Sunday, January 6, 2008

It's 3am......Do You Know Where Your Children Are??

Melissa and Christopher off to Disneyworld in the wee hours of the morning.....
Leaving for Disney
Leaving a chilly, foggy, misty Chicago behind....
Foggy, Misty Morning
Have a great time and come home soon!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Roomba The Movie - By Christopher

Movie made by Christopher last March. Still a winner....

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Question Everything.......A New Year Ahead....

Vintage New Year
I've thought endlessly about the coming year. I've thought about how I would change or improve what was 2007. I've thought about moments in the past that I would never repeat, and those I would give my all to repeat over and over again. Clearly, I think way too much.

I don't know what I really want going forward the next 365 days. I read of those planning vast number of goals, listing things they must do, posting can't live without adventures, and none seem to touch on what I am looking for this year.

The one true thing that makes sense to me is this....question everything. Nothing new there. I have been questioning everything around me for as long as I realized who I was as a person....seems as though that happened very early in my life. So I will continue questioning, trying to understand, hoping not to swim so strongly against the flow of life in general. I will not stop trying, I will, perhaps, try a little less...try not have things matter quite so much in the long run.

I have no goal or resolution chart made up. I'm just going to take each day with a bit more ease. Years ago, a friend carried in his wallet a bit of paper on which were written two simple words..."Walk Slowly"....I believe this might be my mantra for the year.

So to those I love, this is where I am heading for the coming year. I would like to feel, for some of the year, as content as I looked in this long ago photograph. Who knows where it all will end up.
Happy New Year All.