Sunday, January 31, 2010

Three Amigos (31/365)


Lucky Day: Wherever there is injustice, you will find us.
Ned Nederlander: Wherever there is suffering, we'll be there.
Dusty Bottoms: Wherever liberty is threatened, you will find...
Lucky Day, Ned Nederlander, Dusty Bottoms: The Three Amigos!

TIME: 10:30 AM
PLACE: Podunk Illinois

The drive between Podunk and Podunk v.2 (home of the "new" laundromat) is really beautiful. None of that sprawling suburbia out here. Once you hit the edge of Podunk you are immediately transported into the heartland of America. Cornfields as far as you can see and, occasionally, three amigos, standing tall and proud, guarding the cornfields in their winter slumber.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Food Pantry (30/365)


“In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes.”
~ John Ruskin

TIME: 10:15 AM
PLACE: Home Sweet Home
SUBJECT: Food Pantry

Today I had to do something that I was hoping I wouldn't have to do again - visit a food pantry. Rent is due Monday. Cam needed the supplies to construct his science fair poster board. I had to put gas in the car. There just wasn't any way to fit much grocery money into the equation. I had to set aside my pride and ask for help.

I am so grateful to have this resource available for Cam and I. Not only was it needed, but it puts a face on what we do when we volunteer at the food bank. I will admit that I was a little surprised by a few items that I found in the bags. The United Airlines "Active" snack boxes, Star Trek and Austin Powers trading cards, and dark chocolate/espresso cookie sticks were a little unexpected, but do tell - what does one do with Caramel Color Glazed Pork Pate de Campagne and Linseed Bread?

I'll let you know what I figure out!


Friday, January 29, 2010

Moon (29/365)


“I don't know if there are men on the moon, but if there are they must be using the earth as their lunatic asylum”
~ George Bernard Shaw

TIME: 5:05 PM
PLACE: Parking Lot of Cubicle Hell

Ahhhh ... the days are getting a little longer. Spring is getting closer. The moon was just peeking over the horizon when I left work today, still light enough to capture it before night settled in.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pine Cone (28/365)


“You can live for years next door to a big pine tree, honored to have so venerable a neighbor, even when it sheds needles all over your flowers or wakes you, dropping big cones onto your deck at still of night.”
~ Denise Levertov

TIME: 8:00 AM
PLACE: Home Sweet Home
SUBJECT: Pine cone

We got about an inch of snow last night - just enough to dust the pine cones and brighten the gray piles of snow that won't melt until April.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chaos (27/365)


“Our real discoveries come from chaos, from going to the place that looks wrong and stupid and foolish.””
~ Chuck Palahniuk

TIME: 7:45 PM
PLACE: Church

Imagine for a moment ... two hundred 7th and 8th graders packed into a 10' wide hallway, anxiously awaiting the "GO" to head to the chapel. Oh! And did I mention there are just two adults, and a few pieces of *FINISH*WINNER* tape between said kids and the chapel? Yes, I am one of those two adults - every Wednesday night. Chaos doesn't even begin to describe it!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Knight (26/365)


“She who waits for her knight must remember - she will have to clean up after his horse”

TIME: 8:30 AM
PLACE: Cubicle Hell

He's been the symbol of the company for over 90 years. He stands tall and proud. He's the first "person" I see every Monday through Friday as I walk into the building. He is my knight in shining armor. Too bad I have to clean up all the CRAP his trusty steed leaves behind!


Monday, January 25, 2010

Tracks (25/365)


“The only way to be sure of catching a train is to miss the one before it.”
~ G. K. Chesterton

TIME: 12:35 PM
PLACE: Podunk Illinois
SUBJECT: Train Tracks

There are times when I realize just how removed I am from the hustle and bustle of Chicago even though it is only one hour away. Although these tracks won't get me to the city (Metra doesn't come out this far) a glimpse of them momentarily transports me to a time when life was much more simple.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Laundromat (24/365)


“I believe you should live each day as if it is your last, which is why I don't have any clean laundry, because, come on, who wants to wash clothes on the last day of their life?”
~ Unknown

TIME: 7:45 AM
PLACE: Podunk Illinois
SUBJECT: Laundromat

When I was at the laundromat in town last week, one of the other people there told me about the laundromat in a neighboring town. As much as I like to keep my business local, I'll be making this 20 minute trip whenever I can. The prices are better. Every washer and dryer works. There is a change machine, two televisions AND a restroom. I was in laundry heaven!


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Old Growth (23/365)


“Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one”
~ Sam Rayburn

TIME: 12:00 PM
PLACE: Podunk Illinois
SUBJECT: Old Growth Trading Company

I have driven by this building almost every day for the past 3-1/2 years and always wondered if it was what I thought it was. Today I learned that indeed, it is! The company specializes in reclaiming superior, antique, old growth wood and buildings, and their architectural components. I could take 365 pictures just inside the showroom!


Friday, January 22, 2010

Jazz (22/365)


“Jazz will endure just as long people hear it through their feet instead of their brains.”
~ John Philip Sousa

TIME: 7:00 PM
PLACE: Podunk Illinois Middle School Gym
SUBJECT: Jazz in the Jym

There was a bit of a panic this morning. I got an email from Cam's band director telling me that Cam had just let her know he wasn't going to be at his concert tonight because he had other plans. Guess who made the plans? Guess who didn't know Cam had a concert tonight. Yes, that would be mother-of-the-year over here. I've been a bit ditsy unfocused lately - lots going on - nothing quite resolved. I had no idea he had a concert. Fortunately I was able to leave work early, take care of the plans we had a bit earlier so that I could have him to his Jazz in the Jym concert on time. He even had a solo!


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sandwich (21/365)


“There's nothing better than good sex. But bad sex?
A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is better than bad sex.”
~ Billy Joel

TIME: 1:30 PM
PLACE: Cubicle Hell
SUBJECT: Sandwich

Working so close to home (a 5 minute drive) I have always just gone home to eat lunch every day. One of the little things I've started doing for myself is budgeting for lunch "out" one time per week. It's a HUGE treat and I usually try to choose somewhere that I like, but that isn't Cam's favorite. Today it was Jimmy John's. There's nothing better than a #13, a bag of Skinny Chips and a diet coke with a splash of Barq's root beer!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Files (20/365)


“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.”
~ Albert Einstein

TIME: 9:15 AM
PLACE: Cubicle Hell

Although the end of the year brings TONS of work in the world of accounting, there is one project I really enjoy - moving the previous year's files and starting fresh. Yep! There is no denying that I'm a geek when brand new file folders bring me an unexplainable amount of joy.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Blue Sky (19/365)


“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things in nature have a message you understand, Rejoice, for your soul is alive.”
~ Eleanora Duse

TIME: 12:20 PM
PLACE: Podunk Illinois

It's been cloudy and foggy since Friday. I am one of those people who needs sunshine. I don't care if it's -10 degrees ... on second thought, I do care ... but the cold doesn't seem so bad when it's sunny. The remaining frozen fog on the trees up against the very blue sky warmed me up from the inside out today!


Monday, January 18, 2010

Attorney (18/365)


“Bankruptcy stared me in the face, but one thought kept me calm; soon I'd be too poor to need an anti-theft alarm.”
~ Gina Rothfels

TIME: 7:35 PM
PLACE: The Big City
SUBJECT: Attorney

With the change in residence, I've had to consider some financial options that I have great difficulty with. Tonight I met with an attorney to discuss my financial future. I knew what he would likely say before I went in. I was right. I'm attempting to shift my view from failure to fresh start, but it isn't easy.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Coupons (17/365)


“The best things in life are never rationed. Friendship, loyalty, love, do not require coupons.”

TIME: 11:15 AM
PLACE: Home Sweet Home
SUBJECT: Coupons

I am not ashamed to admit that I am frugal (not to be confused with cheap). If I can purchase something I need (or want) and pay less for it at a thrift store, garage sale or by using a coupon, I will. One of the things that bothered me when husband and I were together was that he refused to use coupons. If we were going to a restaurant and I had a coupon for that restaurant, he would refuse to use the coupon preferring to pay full price. He felt using coupons was something people did because they couldn't afford to pay full price. He didn't want people to think he couldn't afford the things he wanted.

I believe using coupons is smart money management. I now spend a few minutes on Sunday mornings clipping coupons and have no issue using them to save on the things I must buy anyway.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hoarfrost (16/365)


“He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.”

TIME: 2:05 PM
PLACE: Nature Preserve

Winter can be so miserable, yet absolutely gorgeous at times. I awoke this morning to what I've always called a hoarfrost, but discovered is actually called an advection frost or a wind frost. It's when tiny ice spikes form due to a very cold wind blowing over the branches of trees. Call it what you want. It's pretty!


Friday, January 15, 2010

Manners (15/365)


“Clothes and manners do not make the man; but, when he is made, they greatly improve his appearance.”
~ Henry Ward Beecher

TIME: 6:50 PM
PLACE: Church
SUBJECT: Manners

Last year, our church offered a 2-day (overnight for the kids) seminar on purity. This year, the second seminar in the series is on manners and modesty. Tonight, the first night of the seminar, I was Cam's date for the formal,
mom/son, father/daughter dinner. To say he was less than thrilled to be my date would be an understatement, but once he got there, we had a really good time. The best part? Cam knew almost all of the proper etiquette. Once in a while I get things right!


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haircut (14/365)


“Why don't you get a haircut? You look like a chrysanthemum.”
~ P. G. Wodehouse

TIME: 5:05 PM
PLACE: Midtown Beauty Shop
SUBJECT: Haircut

One thing Cam and I never argue about is his hair. He likes it short and I like it that he likes it short. He's a clipper cut kid - a "0" on the back and sides faded into a "1" on the top. And all for only $12! Of course we do have to look at those orange and brown linoleum floors while we're there.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Receipt (13/365)


“I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughtnut... I don't need a receipt for the doughnut. I give you money and you give me the doughnut, end of transaction. We don't need to bring ink and paper into this. I can't imagine a scenario that I would have to prove that I bought a doughnut. To some skeptical friend, 'Don't even act like I didn't get that doughnut, I've got the documentation right here... It's in my file at home. ...Under "D".'”
~ Mitch Hedberg

TIME: 5:15 PM
PLACE: Home Sweet Home
SUBJECT: Receipt

I'm taking the night off from the middle school youth group tonight and instead taking care of some of those annoying chores that seem to pile up. This weekend we went into town (a 60 mile round trip) to buy curtains and a few other things for the apartment, including ONE broom and ONE dustpan. When I got home I checked my receipt (because y'all know how I am) and discovered I had been charged for THREE dustpans. Tonight I'll be returning to Meijer to get a refund on the two dustpans I didn't buy.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bricks (12/365)


If growing up is the process of creating ideas and dreams about what life should be, then maturity is letting go again.
~ Mary Beth Danielson

TIME: 12:30 PM
PLACE: The House

I had to stop by "the house" today to pick up some tools that I needed to install the curtain rod in the apartment. Every time I walk in to "the house" I experience an odd mixture of feeling like a visitor yet grieving for the dream never realized. I still want it to feel like home - like a place full of love for Cam and I - yet it is just "the house."


Monday, January 11, 2010

Controller or Controlled (11/365)


Laws control the lesser man... Right conduct controls the greater one.
~ Mark Twain

TIME: 12:45 PM
PLACE: Home Sweet Home
SUBJECT: Game Controller

After having my living room furniture rearranged - daily - so that Cam could have the most advantageous position from which to play Xbox, I gave in and bought him his own gaming chair. Should I be worried that he picked out the blue velvet model??


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Do Not Use (10/365)


“Now they show you how detergents take out bloodstains, a pretty violent image there. I think if you've got a T-shirt with a bloodstain all over it, maybe laundry isn't your biggest problem.Maybe you should get rid of the body before you do the wash.”
~ Jerry Seinfeld

TIME: 9:35 AM
PLACE: Laundromat

Sunday mornings have been my laundry time since moving into the apartment. Being that my town is so small (the population is right at 3,000) we have only one laundromat. That wouldn't be such a bad thing except that of the 13 available dryers, 5 of them have these signs taped to the front ... and, as you can see from the date on this one, have had for quite some time.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Writing on the Wall (9/365)


I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.
~Edward Everett Hale

TIME: 8:55 AM
PLACE: Northern Illinois Food Bank
SUBJECT: Volunteer Wall

Today was the first time Cam and I have volunteered at the food bank since we became some of those people that the food bank helps.
This cinder block wall is packed with the signatures and drawings of the thousands of people who have given the gift of their time to help people just like Cam and me.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Sanitize Me (8/365)


“You have a cough? Go home tonight, eat a whole box of Ex-Lax - tomorrow you'll be afraid to cough.”
~ Pearl Williams

TIME: 12:05 PM
PLACE: Cubicle Hell
SUBJECT: Hand Sanitizer

I've had a cough and stuffy nose now for over a week. It's one of those coughs that occur immediately after you hear the rattle in your lungs when exhaling? One of those coughs that help you out with your Kegal exercises? I really do my best to not share germs with the folks I work with so have been diligently using this hand sanitizer each time I cough and/or blow my nose. The bubbles make me smile!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Branches (7/365)


“Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it.”

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

TIME: 6:55 PM
PLACE: Podunk Illinois

Yep! We've got it here too!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Name Please? (6/365)


“Always end the name of your child with a vowel, so that when you yell the name will carry.”
~ Bill Cosby

TIME: 7:12 PM
PLACE: Church
SUBJECT: Name Tags

Wednesday nights are reserved for Cam to participate in the middle school youth group at church. This year I decided it was silly for me to sit in Starbuck's drinking coffee for three hours when I could be hanging out with hundreds (literally) of rambunctious, irritating God loving middle schoolers. Tonight was a special event - a comedy improv group performed - and we had 480 - 12, 13 and 14 year olds in the building (about double our normal attendance), each with a name tag so we'd know who to yell at.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Lava You (5/365)


“MTV is the lava lamp of the 1980's.”
~ Doug Ferrari

TIME: 6:37 PM
PLACE: Home Sweet Home

Cam has a fascination with lights. Christmas lights skirt the baseboards of his room year round. He opens the curtains in his bedroom at night so that he can see the stars. And this lava lamp? It was mine. He confiscated it and now claims it as his own. Little bugger ...


Monday, January 4, 2010

Accounting (4/365)


If you want an accounting of your worth, count your friends.
~ Merry Browne

TIME: 4:40 PM
PLACE: Cubicle Hell
SUBJECT: Accounting

It's that time of year, when the 0.5 HB lead mechanical pencil, the retractable eraser, the red pen and the highlighter are an accountants best friends. We may use accounting software, but there is nothing quite like the "old school" pencil to paper method of getting things done.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Memories (3/365)


“Memories are the treasures that we keep locked deep within the storehouse of our souls, to keep our hearts warm when we are lonely.”
~ Becky Aligada

TIME: 5:32 PM
PLACE: Home Sweet Home
SUBJECT: Memories

It took just 46 minutes to remove the ornaments and lights, and to disassemble the tree. The memories of the Christmas that we didn't know was possible will be with us for a lifetime. The box may be put away in the closet, but the memories are safely stored in our hearts.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Frost (2/365)


“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renenwed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king.”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien

TIME: 7:40 AM
PLACE: Home Sweet Home

It's a cold one today here in Northwestern Illinois. When I finally rolled out of bed it was -6 degrees F, -23 degrees F with wind chill. I am fortunate to have double windows in the apartment, however when it gets this cold, any humidity inside immediately freezes onto the windows, making a beautiful crystallized frame for a gorgeous sunrise.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Fortune (1/365)


“What do we lose by another’s good fortune? Let us celebrate with them, or strive to emulate them,That should be our desire and determination.”
~ Sri Sathya Sai Baba

TIME: 8:02 AM
PLACE: Home Sweet Home
SUBJECT: Fortune Cookie

Starting over has its benefits. Beginning new traditions is one of those. There was much talk amongst my cyber friends regarding Chinese food for New Year's Eve dinner. I decided this was a New Year's Eve tradition I wanted to start - and so I did. I saved my fortune cookie for this morning. My fortune will be a good reminder for the rest of the year. Luck or no luck, taking a chance is always a better option than letting chance take me.