She Is a Writer

March #SOLC17 Day 31


I was inspired by Stacey Shubitz’s slice from yesterday; March 30, 2017.  She did a wordless slice with some beautiful pictures of her and her son.  I decided to take a picture, one picture that would represent something special in my life….but I just had to add to words to go with the picture.

Kathy writing

She is a writer.  Kathy; AKA  I am incredibly proud of her.  She committed to writing every single day of the SOL month-long challenge.  There was trepidation.  There were the worries of I don’t have enough time and what will I write about? She worked hard to overcome those concerns.  One was much more real than the other.  Not enough hours in the day.  But she made it through.  She touched her fingers to the keys and she wrote.  I’m not sure that truly really enjoyed it, but she stuck with it and she shared some incredible stories nonetheless. She started out as a reader and an admirer in past years….and then dipped her toes in the water and began to “touch the keys.”  I never doubted her.

She is a writer.  Although her own personal story is quite compelling, she chose to write about others.  Vinnie, our server from City Winery, Roberta, the cafeteria worker from the University of Chicago, Julia, our salesperson from Nordstrom, her grandmother, her friends and her beloved surgeon; Dr. Jaskowiak.  Looking back, it turned out exactly as I should have expected. Kathy never puts the focus on herself.

Now we have come to the end of the month.  Selfishly I find this challenge was even more enjoyable with the two of us writing together.  We talked slices over breakfast or while shopping.  Trying hard to read others’ blogs for inspiration and to be part of the community. We sat down each evening to read aloud, edit and publish.  The picture at the top of my slice is what I saw most nights; a commitment to exercising that writing muscle each and every day.

Congratulations to my friend Kathy @…..You are a writer.















A Day in the Life – Backwards

March #SOLC17 Day 30


I have used this format for the last two years during the March SOLC – here I give it another go!

The end of the day on Wednesday, March 29th…...I sat on the couch, the first time I’d sat down in approximately 5 hours….exhausted and ready to watch Cash Cab on the Game Show Network.

Before that…..I finished four loads of laundry

Before that…..I ate dinner standing up

Before that…..I brought my mom some presents down to her condo that I bought for her at Target for her birthday.  She liked every single one of them.  Woo Hoo!

Before that…..Kathy and I got our haircut.  We caught up on the latest with Kim, our beautician, regarding her children, her activities during their spring break and we shared all of our weekend antics in the E.R. with her.

Before that…..We went to Target to “kill time” before our hair cut.  I found 5 blouses for my mom’s birthday (which is today)!  We spent an obscene amount of money – that I can’t even say out loud – to the point where we had to review the receipt to make sure we were charged correctly.  It was vital that we purchase a table fan, loads of t-shirts, band-aids, BOGO shampoo, and a big plastic container for putting away winter clothes.

Before that…..We stopped in at our favorite greasy spoon for a late breakfast.  Our waitress, who currently only works one day a week, was our friend from the restaurant from 20 years ago.  It was great to catch up with her.  It was as if time had stood still and we were in our 30’s again.

Before that…..We drove from the city to the suburbs.  The sun was finally peeking out after days and days of gray skies.  We were reeling from a 4-hour stint at the University of Chicago meeting our new internist.   Our new Doctor had about 300 hundred questions for me and another 700 for Kathy.  We were both on information overload and had to run out of there so as not to go over the $5.00 we paid for the 4-hour parking validation.  We left without getting all of our paperwork, but that’s OK because we’re going to be back there again tomorrow when Joe has his appointment with the same doctor!

Before that…..The alarm rang early in the morning….too early for a spring break day.

When We Were Young

March #SOLC17 Day 29


“So!  What’s new?!” I asked as I sat down in the chair to have my color applied.

We talked about her kids and if they were on spring break.

“Well, I went to pick my daughter up at preschool the other day and this sweet little 5-year-old boy approached me asking for our phone number. He looked up at me with his big blue eyes and asked, ‘Can I come over and play with Savvy one day?’  I told him, ‘Sure!’  He then said it would be nice if I could just go ahead and give my number to his Nanny so she could schedule a play date.”

“His Nanny?!” I asked.

“Yep. His Nanny!” she said

“She’s going to schedule a play date?” I asked in a continued state of shock.

“Yep. A play date”, she replied.

We then went into a tirade about how things were when we were young.  No one in our lives scheduled a time for us to play with our friends and we certainly didn’t have Nannies to arrange all of this!

We then laughed at the huge discrepancy between now and then.  We were basically thrown out the door of our homes and told to go find our friends to play and to be sure and come home when it got dark!  There were no cell phones – all we had were our two feet and possibly a bicycle.

What is happening to the children of today?  Everything has to be scheduled and organized and they aren’t learning this on their own.

“Please don’t organize play dates for your kids anymore!  I begged Kim to stop the cycle.

She told me I was nuts, and that things are different now from when we were young.

Time to wash out the color and start cutting!


A Membership for ME

March #SOLC17 Day 28


This past Christmastime, a friend suggested I get a massage.  This is the same friend who bought me a gift certificate for a massage about 9 years ago when another of my friend’s had cancer.  Kathy’s illness was so stressful that I couldn’t bear to do anything nice for myself.  I know that doesn’t make any sense, but as inexplicable as it was, it was an extremely strong feeling that I couldn’t deny at the time.

I’m happy to say there were no horrible situations happening in January, so I heeded my friend’s urging to take care of myself.  One 60 minute massage and I was hooked.  I swear, at least 50% of my time lying flat on my stomach, comfortably in the “face cup”,  was spent conjuring up all the possible times, days and ways I could make it back to that very place.  The massage table.

I need this.  I deserve this.  I can squeeze this into my life.

Once my session was complete I was jelly.  It was difficult to scrape myself up on off the soft, heated table and retrieve my clothes.  The room was still dimly lit and that soothing music was still playing.  I never wanted to leave this space.  I wondered if anyone would notice if I continued to lay there and just get a few winks of sleep. There were plenty of rooms left for them to use for other customers, I thought to myself.

I finally exited the room to find my masseuse waiting for me with a cup of cold water.  She suggested that I continue to drink water all day in order to detoxify and take full advantage of the heightened circulation my body was presently enjoying.  I thanked her for the water and moseyed to the waiting room, feeling like I was walking on air.  I promptly signed up for a year’s membership.

Today I received my third massage since the new year.  As a proud, card-carrying member of Massage Envy, I am able to reap the physical and emotional benefits of massage once a month. It turns out that I am able to maneuver my schedule to fit this into my life.  Today was 90 minutes of pure heaven.  The medium pressure that Charlotte applied to my neck, shoulders, and back were exactly what I needed on this cloudy spring break day.

Taking care of myself never felt so good!


Oooh La La!

March #SOLC17 Day 27


Ooooh La La!  Look at the plates that our waitress is bringing our way!

She juggles four or five different shaped dishes along her forearm.  She is so skilled.  Not a drop is spilled.

The aroma wafting up to my nostrils making it almost impossible not to inhale the banquet laid out before me.

The fake china does not diminish the excitement I feel.

I haven’t eaten all day, so I really don’t care what my food sits on at this point.

It’s 3:30 in the afternoon.  A couple of stragglers drinking their coffee, possibly eating a late lunch.  This greasy spoon closes at 4:00.

The yellowy goodness teasing me to break into it is just soft enough to slither out onto the plate and mix with the white.

Toast sits at the side –  ready to soak it up and add some crunch.

Salt and pepper know how to spice up the dish just right.

Patches of potatoes diced into squares with bits of onion and green pepper to dress things up.

Strips of bacon that are both greasy and crispy.  Genius!

And now for the finishing touch, a large dish that moves front and center.  Butter, syrup and powdered sugar sit atop this fluffy, delectable disc.

A pancake that fills the space of the entire dinner plate.

Oooh La La!!  No need to eat again today!



Waiting, Watching and Wondering

March #SOLC17 Day 26


I spent 5 hours in the Emergency Room with my good friend Kathy, yesterday. I knew we were going so I was able to get my slice started knowing that I could finish it at the hospital later. I published from the E.R., but unfortunately, I forgot to link up to the TWT site. Amazingly I did not realize that until right this minute. Alas, today is a new day. Yesterday is over, and I’m glad about that.

As we sat in the E.R. (aptly named) waiting room waiting, and waiting, and waiting some more, I watched and I wondered.

I watched the girl who checked all the sick people in.  She was kind and she had a nice gentle smile.  In a quiet and calm manner, she took down everyone’s information.  The way she ran that waiting room you would never know that every single bay in the back was full – they were packed.  I marveled at her ability to remain composed and was inspired by how much it helped those who were waiting.  I wondered how long she had worked at this E.R. and what kind of training she had.  She seemed wise beyond her young age.

I also watched each sick person entered, often times with a loved one.

A mom and her young child who looked to be around 3 years old were already there when we arrived.  The little girl was crying so hard that her eyes were swollen red.  Her mom carried her from the waiting room to the back a number of times – the last time exiting with a mask over her mouth.  Her small ruby-rimmed eyes looked even sadder with that huge mask that covered half her face.  Mom held her baby on her hip and paced the waiting room while her sickly child whimpered.  I wondered how long they had already been there and if mom had any other family that would be helping her.

About ten minutes into our wait we saw an elderly man walking with a cane come in inquiring about a wheelchair.  He returned a couple of minutes later pushing his wife in the chair.  She was bent on her right side.  The man had trouble getting the wheelchair over a bump near the door and that’s when another man, who was waiting for someone, jumped up and helped him.  The woman in the wheelchair whispered the words, thank you, to him.  I mentioned to her that she looked to be in pain and she responded that she fell on her shoulder and that she had just recuperated from falling on her left shoulder and that she didn’t know how it happened and that she just turned around in the kitchen and that she just lost her balance.  She said all of this in a whisper.  My heart broke for her as I sat and wondered how her husband managed to get her up off the floor when she fell – twice.

About thirty minutes into our wait we saw another elderly woman enter with her two daughters.  This woman was much older than the last and didn’t or couldn’t speak.  Her one daughter told the kind clerk at the desk that her mother had flu-like symptoms and chest pain.  At that very moment, the elderly woman began vomiting into a bedpan – which was just out of our line of vision – thank goodness.  My heart broke for them as I sat and thought about the long road those two daughters had ahead of them as their ailing mother got sicker.  I wondered if the daughters lived in town, where the mother lived and who would take care of her.

About an hour into our wait we saw a middle-aged man and his wife walk through the doors.  The man was the patient and I’ll tell you – he looked perfectly healthy.  I sat and wondered what might be going on with him and acknowledged to myself that illness doesn’t always present itself on the outside.  His wife made herself comfortable in the waiting room by looking at her phone while he sat in his chair with his eyes closed.  When they called his name he went to the back, but she stayed comfortably in her chair.  I wondered about their relationship and tried not to judge.  Whenever I go to the Doctor with Kathy I never let her go anywhere alone.  Whenever I’ve been allowed,  I’ve sat inside the CT, MRI and X-Ray rooms.  All they can say is “no” – and often times they say “yes.” I wondered why she let him go back alone.

Finally, after 4 more hours, we were finished being probed, pricked and tested.  With lengthy reports and a couple of prescriptions in hand we were free to go.  As we walked out the door we saw the kind lady at the front desk.  She gave us a quiet and sweet “so long” and off we went into the parking lot.

Human beings are so fragile, I thought as we walked to the car.  One false move and things can change in an instant.  I also saw their resilience that day, as well as tremendous kindness.

We got in the car, hit the ignition button and drove to White Castle.





Outside my Window

March #SOLC17 Day 25


A constant, steady stream of water falls

outside my window.

Cars traveling to and fro on the busy road.  Not a care about the water falling

from the sky.

In the distance, through the gray sky, a white tent emerges

in the nearby lot.

The lake is nothing but a promise, waiting to emerge

into bright blue waters.

Trees and grass hint that they will erupt soon

into beautiful hues of green.

This day has to exist in order to enjoy the beauty that spring has to offer

In the days to come.