Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Favorite Kind of Exercise

Today over at Mama Kat's, one of the writing prompts is to talk about your favorite kind of exercise.  And although I do physical activities when I can, I don't have a favorite because to be honest, I hate to sweat. And put forth effort.

I'd much rather prefer to snuggle under a warm blanket on my cozy couch with a good book in my hands.

So in reality, my favorite kind of exercise is the kind that exercises my mind. And my eyes. And my arm as I lift my tea cup from the table to take a sip...

I'd show you a picture of this, but usually when I'm reading, I don't have my cell phone near by to snap a pic.  Instead I will show you my other favorite reading spot:

Mama’s Losin’ It

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday the 13th

I was born on the 13th of December, so I've always considered 13 to be my lucky number.  Many people are spooked by the number, and even more spooked by the legends and lore that go along with Friday the 13th.  However, I am not a sufferer of triskaidekaphobia. In fact, I revel in the spookiness!

And maybe today is a good day to share one of my favorite pictures.  I enjoy going on ghost tours, and have been on various tours in Chicago, Philadelphia, and of course New Orleans.

The picture below is from Chicago.  It is a close-up shot of the second story of Hull House.  For those that don't know the history, you can read about it here.  But that is the historical account of the museum.  For the real creepiness lies in its old legends - the wife of Charles Hull died in the house and is said to haunt the front rooms.  She is referred to as the Lady in White. It is also rumored that in 1913, a woman gave birth to a "devil baby" with horns and a tail, and brought it Hull House.  Jane Addams, was not being able to baptize the child, and supposedly locked it away in the attic. This story is the inspiration for the movie, Rosemary's Baby.

Whether or not the house is haunted, I cannot say for sure.  All I know is that there is something strange going on in the left window on the second story in my picture.

(There are two orbs in the picture as well, but those could be a light reflection. Or not.)

Monday, September 9, 2013

To Be Grateful

Imagine driving past a park one chilly November morning as you are headed to drop your kids off at school. The sun is just bursting out of the clouds, and the cold frost twinkles on the grass.

You pass a park and see a minivan. It's side door is open, and overflowing with open boxes and bags of clothes. Two small children play on the swings in school uniforms, as a woman picks up the picnic table and walks to the garbage can with the remains of breakfast. A man walks out of the park bathroom with a pile of clothes in his arms.

You think to yourself how odd it is to see a family at a park at this time of morning.... especially on such a cold morning.

Then it hits you. The boxes and bags in the van are the family's entire belongings. The children are spending time playing in the only backyard they know. The woman served her family breakfast on a cold metal picnic table. The man had washed up and changed for work in a park bathroom.

Over and over, this scene replays each morning, until the first snowfall. Then the park district police stop coming to unlock the bathrooms for the winter.

Fast forward to today.

As I drove the kids to school, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a minivan in the park's lot. I didn't really pay attention until Keira mentioned the child on the slide had on the same kind of dress as her. Flashback to last November.

Was it the same family? How could it be? Or was it another family, down on their luck, who just happens to attend the same school as my children?

As I drove to work in my new jacket, sipping my just-bought iced coffee, I was hit with a wave of heartbreak and guilt. How truly grateful am I? For the house that keeps my kids safe and warm? For the nice clothes I have for work? Granted, I only spent $15 on this jacket at Walmart of all places, but we had stopped there after dinner and a movie... luxuries that I am sure some families do not know. What a person might give to have a hot cup of coffee early this morning with a bit of wind in the air, the person who may have slept in his car last night. And here I sit at the drive-up window, a myraid of choices to drink and some cash in my hand.

My life is full of blessings. Absolutely overflowing with them.

Yet last week, I was sulking over something petty. I even question my writing skills and if there was a point to keep this up. I took sometime to myself, and thought I was over it. But the feelings still lingered deep inside. Until this morning. When I realized there are so many bigger things in life to worry over. And many of the big things - I don't have to worry about. I have a house, two cars, a job that includes great insurance, three little monsters, and a great husband. We are for the most part healthy, the kids are well-fed, and we all stay warm at night.

What about you? What are you grateful for?

***Also posted on Embracing Chaos

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Just Breathe...

This has been my mantra this past week. 

It hasn't been the best of times.

Culminating with the tomato soup

All over my nude-colored ballet flats today at lunch time.

*Note to self:

Wear black the rest of the week.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Decorating the mantel...

I've been so excited for fall to come so I can update my mantel with some autumn decor. However I found some things recently on clearance and fell in love with the new look.   

Lighted branches - coupon at Bed, Bath & Beyond
Vase - clearance at Michaels

Blue candles - clearance at Target
White candle - Kohls 30% off 

Bird - clearance at Target
Candle holder - coupon at BB&B
Vintage Nancy Drew books - they were my Mom's!