Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
1) Which is the one television character that you simply adore?
Hmm... I would have to say Sophia (Estelle Getty) from the Golden Girls. Due to her (character's) stroke, she has no "edit" function in her brain and says whatever she thinks!
2) What was your favorite sitcom growing up?
I think, The Facts of Life. That, or maybe Diff'rent Strokes...
3) Given a complete freedom to start afresh, what profession would you choose?
4) What favorite food puts you in a great mood?
Creme Brulee - it's so sinfully decadent, you can't help but smile while eating it.
5) Which is your favorite time of the day, are you a morning person or a night person?
Morning person! I love working out early, and having a yummy breakfast with a cup of coffee...everything after that is potentially down-hill.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Saturday, May 28, 2011
It amazes me to see what kind of negative and anxious energy we pass along to our pets, yet expect them to remain in a calm, well behaved state. Take a lesson from dog training and think about what it is you bring to the table. What kind of energy do you present to others in your day to day interactions with your fellow man or woman? Do you walk tall and confidently, or slump over? Are you inviting, or closed off? Think about it, and if you haven't already, change up your energy for the better!
Friday, May 27, 2011
Memorial Day started as "Decoration Day" and was first recognized in May of 1868 as graves of fallen soldiers were decorated with flowers. Sadly, "Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country." (usmemorialday.org)
To make sure I did my part this holiday, I responded to a radio plug to help volunteer and decorate the Veteran graves at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, IL. Once I arrived on site, I was overwhelmed and humbled by the mass numbers of uniformly placed white headstones. I found out later, close to 27,000 fallen heroes (and wives) are laid to rest here. In comparison, just over three hundred volunteers showed up to honor those men and women today by placing a flag on their graves.
After a brief instruction ceremony on the "hows and wheres" to place the flag, we began to circle the cemetery with flags in hand. It took the group of us, made up of Veterans, widows, children, families, firefighters and me, about an hour to place all the flags. I was reminded of the realness of loss as I read the tombstones marked, "Beloved Father", "Loving Son", "Forever Loved", "Always Missed" and those of the husband and wife markers that stated, "Together Forever". The longer I walked the more I kept repeating the words, "Thank you" to those who have fallen, and to those who surrounded me. Please be sure that you too, say thank you this weekend to those who have paid the ultimate price for your freedom, our Veterans. Also, please consider volunteering in a program like this in the future, as I found it to be quite a profound and humbling experience.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
So what if I wore workout pants to the gym that probably should have made their way to the laundry basket, instead of my body.
So what if I forgot a knife and had to spread peanut butter on my toast with my finger because I was too lazy to go back to the cafeteria to get one. (By the way, I don't recommend doing this. Ever.)
So what if I take 4 days to get back to your personal email. I sit in front of a computer all day and sometimes, I just know that one more e-mail will surely kill me.
So what if I don't give you my address so you can mail me an invitation to a party I really have no vested interest in going to.
So what if it's raining and gloomy here, at least I still have a roof over my head.
So what if I put too much sweetner in my coffee, you should be thankful as some days it's the only thing that makes dealing with you tolerable.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
This is me. Sunburned. After consciously working a month to get rid of my "farmers tan", I got sunburned yesterday! OK, yes I should have worn sunscreen, but I really don't know how the heck I could have gotten such a bad burn on such a short walk! I look as though I am wearing a red bib around my neck, as my chest and shoulders are no longer any normal shade of human flesh. I can only guess that either my white tank top reflected the sun, or I had some perfume or lotion on that interacted with the bastard's UV rays. In the future, I guess it's turtlenecks and SPF 10,000!
Monday, May 23, 2011
1. What is your favorite bagel flavor?
I'm not a big bagel fan, but I do like the onion ones, or at least I think that's the name of the variety. Whatever flavor it is that makes your breath stink?
2. If you had an extra $100 right now, what would you spend it on?
It's sad $100 doesn't get you much these days, but I think I'd either spend it on a bicycle tune-up, groceries, or a registration fee for my next event. Maybe a new pair of shoes?
3. What is the last thing that you felt guilt about doing?
There was a laundry incident. I was kinda mean. I won't go into details (must not incriminate myself).
4. Soft serve ice cream or hand dipped?
Why do they call it hand dipped if you're not dipping your hand in it? Shouldn't it be hand-scooped? Anyway, I go with hand-scooped.
5. Are you allergic to anything?
Nothing that I currently know about, but I do have an aversion to leaving my super comfy beds at time.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Today started with breakfast at a new place, "Frances' Deli". He had the Breakfast Sliders, a bacon, onion, cheeseburger with an over easy egg on top with a side of potatoes. I had a scrambled skillet with Habanero cheese. I love the heat, but have to admit, the sliders were to die for! Speaking of, "to die for", Frances' has what they call "Spiked Shakes". Below is a picture of a chocolate ice cream, Oreos, and Kahlua shake. What a dream!
Leaving Frances', we followed a new walking path, and stumbled upon North Pond. There we saw duck and geese.The baby goslings were so fuzzy and adorable, making me forget what a pain in the ass bird they can grow up to be.
We then circled the museum on what seemed to be a never ending nature trail (but we really didn't mind) in efforts to find the entrance. Once inside, we rushed to the "fun" exhibit, a free flying butterfly exhibit. I felt like a child, amazed by the fluttering of gentle wings surrounding me. One of the first butterflies we encountered was the Owl Butterfly. (Note: Owl-like "eyes" on wings)
This was a visitor that landed on my boyfriend's pocket and then later tried to stow away and escape with us by landing on his arm. The exhibit attendant had to stop us, and confiscate the stowaway.
We played throughout the rest of the museum with child like enthusiasm. We learned about honey bees, termites, wildlife, water ways, and nature in general. Below, my boyfriend is using a "bird" simulator (puppet type gloves) to weave a nest. Notice how the "bird" is more interested in him, then building a nest?
After leaving the museum, we walked to the lake front. We were torn between people watching, and boat watching as we sat on the pier. We enjoyed the serenity of the lapping waves, the glow of the sun and the caress of the cool breeze. We laid down and watched the clouds while soaking up some vitamin D.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
Lynn G. died today at the age of 72. Born in the suburbs of Chicago, she enjoyed a quiet, stable childhood surrounded by friends and family. Attending college locally, she earned a dual Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design and Studio Art. Despite her artistic background, she worked for a local health care company for 12 years, while maintaining a part time dog training job. Training dogs and their owners was a great joy in her life, and where she felt she made the biggest impact on changing people's lives and the life they spent with their pets.
After a short stint of living in the city of Chicago and experiencing all it had to offer, she left both aforementioned jobs to work in Africa for the Cheetah Conservation Fund. In Africa, Lynn put her dog training skills and love of the Cheetah to good use. There she helped train the Anatolian Shepherd dogs used to educate local ranchers. Throughout her years of work in Namibia, she traveled the world extensively to rendezvous with her then boyfriend, Mike G. As Mike toured the world for work, Lynn visited him on location and vice versa. During this time, Lynn visited such places as Australia, Italy, Spain, Greece and her all time favorite location, Bora Bora.
Having experienced the greatest challenges and accomplishments of her life during "the Africa years", as she often referred to them, she returned to Chicago to marry long time boyfriend, Mike G. Shortly thereafter the couple relocated to California as part of Mike's managerial job with a major music promotion company. As husband and wife, the couple enjoyed spending time between their California home and their summer house in the Caribbean Islands.
During her early retirement, Lynn continued her charity efforts and involvement with the Cheetah Conservation Fund. Additionally, she successfully exhibited and sold her artwork and photography from "the Africa years", leading her to open her own art gallery. As a result of her artistic success, "Lynn G." became a household name.
Some years later once mutually retired, the couple opened the successful hot dog stand, "Gibby Doggs", and saw major success opening chains throughout the nation and, of course, in their native Chicago. Mike and Lynn experienced a wonderful life together up until the time of her death. Lynn passed away at home, while asleep, and surely dreaming of more adventures to come.
Flowers are appreciated, as well as donations to the Cheetah Conservation Fund.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Looking up the phrase "cul de sac", it literally translates to "bottom of bag". Who wants to be squished (imagine a loaf of bread) in the bottom of a bag? "Hello, I'm Jane and I live in the bottom of a bag" - doesn't sound so glamorous, does it? I figure if people can live in a bottom of a bag and brag about it, then we shouldn't judge those who live in cardboard boxes and use newspapers for blankets.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Change is hard, I get it. Change is scary, but damn it, (to butcher a quote) when does the pain of staying the same, out weigh the pain of change and prompt you to actually change for the better? I guess in some people, never. I have been through so many ups and downs in past romantic and family relationships, and have had hard decisions to make but I've survived all of the changes, learned from them, and come out on the other side of it for the better. Why are some people so incapable of change?
Life is the greatest journey we will ever travel, so why must we anchor ourselves to things, habits, ideas, and behaviors that don't let us experience it? I just don't get it, and it's sad and disappointing, especially when the people you need to change, are family. So how do I deal with this sadness? By confronting the root cause (calling people out on their behavior and how it affects me), and then, by living my life and moving on. That's the scary thing for me I guess, moving on from someone you should be bonded to via bloodlines, but have no connection with at all. Doesn't that go against some law of nature or something?
As I type this, I realize I have my own ideas that act as anchors (don't we all?) that I need to let go of so I can open certain channels of happiness for myself (no baggage allowed!), but I'm okay with that challenge! I leave you with these quotes:
"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves". ~Victor Frankl
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I have Mondays covered with the new, Meet Me On Monday effort, but what about the other 6 days a week? Truthful Tuesdays? Wordless Wednesdays? Thankful Thursdays? While I am not against these types of posts, I don't want my blog to become impersonal or one big "gimmick". And the only subject I know well enough to post about every day is me, so I guess that is my answer! "Scary" posts will continue as they happen, but in the mean time, the blogging word is gonna get a nice big dose of Lynn and her daily life and thoughts. Readers beware!
Monday, May 16, 2011
2. What is your favorite color Rose?
Hmm... I prefer lillies, but if I have to take a rose, I want red!
4. What is your favorite season?
Spring! Give me the 75 degree days, flowers, the sun and a cool breeze and I'm in heaven.
5. Approximately how many hours a day do you spend blogging?
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
Per Wikiepedia, "In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve hours of the clock, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve Apostles of Jesus, twelve gods of Olympus, etc., whereas the number thirteen was considered irregular, transgressing this completeness. There is also a superstition, thought by some to derive from the Last Supper or a Norse myth, that having thirteen people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners.
Friday has been considered an unlucky day at least since the 14th century's The canterbury Tales, and many other professions have regarded Friday as an unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects. Black Fridayhas been associated with stock market crashes and other disasters since the 1800s. It has also been suggested that Friday has been considered an unlucky day because, according to Christian scripture and tradition, Jesus was crucified on a Friday."
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Choosing what to eat was upon me, and in a panic state, I asked "Do you have grilled chicken?". "Yes, we can do that", the waitress replied. So I ordered a penne pasta with marinara sauce and a grilled chicken breast. Eating healthy never tasted so good! Added with the extra walking, and learning to not over eat and taking a "doggie" bag home, felt great!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
While not advised to practice this as a rule, I advise my students that when in the training phase if your dog escapes you and does not know the command "Come", instead of chasing your dog (which turns into a great game for your dog) you should call it's name and run away from it. The expected result is that your dog will more then likely follow you. This has always been the theory, but I've never tested it. Until now.
A small Havanese-mix and I went to work on her training. Her parents insisted she was crazy and perhaps dumb, however she did everything I requested. The longer her parents talked, the more I was witness to their bad behaviors that led to a confused dog. I pointed out their behaviors that needed correction and continued to work with the pup. They were amazed at how well their dog listened to me. "Well of course", I thought to myself, "clear directions do tend to work better then garbled messages".
"She runs away ALL the time!", they insisted. And that's when I set fear aside, and put theory to test. First I chased her, to demonstrate how she would run for me as if it were a game of chase, and sure enough, she ran from me. I quickly turned the tables, called her name and gobbled like a turkey (exciting noise to catch her attention) as I ran away from her. When I reached the door of the training center, guess who was right behind me? That's right, the little "dumb" white pup! She had followed just as my theory expected her to. It was one of the coolest dog training moments for me to see theory turn into fact.
Going out on a limb today to test theory was well worth it. Not only did I grow as a trainer, but I got the parents to sign themselves up for some much needed human training, err, I mean dog training! It was a win-win situation.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Lesson learned? That I cannot doubt the resiliency of others or assume how they will or won't react when I make a decision to do something in my life. I need to trust them with the facts...yeah, I can do that!
Monday, May 9, 2011
Both depending on my mood (or diet!)
2. Will you be watching the Royal Wedding on April 29th?
I did not...but caught the highlights!
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Now, the headache and I were awake in a full panic state because we should have been walking to the train by 6:50 and not just waking up at this time, but wouldn't you know it, that little jerk invited his friends to visit! Now, I had stomach cramps and a backache to contend with. "Damn them!" I thought as I fought back tears of self pity, "I have a 5K to participate in!".
I definitely did not feel up to participating in a 5K with all the free loaders visiting, but I struggled to get dressed, and flopped back into bed immediately as if inactivity and boredom would force them to leave. With their persistence to stick around I thought to myself that, "I just simply won't go" to the Y-Me 5K event, but then guilt kicked in as I had made my boyfriend drive to the city and wait in line just a few days earlier to pick up my t-shirt and race day packet. And now, I wasn't going to use it? Also, what about my commitment to this blog and myself to participate in 1 event per month? Considering all obligations, I finally said, "OK, I'll go." to myself, the headache and his visiting friends.
The ray of hope I held onto was, that there was a 3 and 1 mile option for the event, so I told myself at least go and do the 1 mile, and if you're not feeling better by then you can go home. Having woken up late there was not enough time (or energy) for me to walk to the train, so I hailed a cab and off we went. Pulling up to Grant Park, I screamed, "You can let me out here!" to the taxi driver in the middle of Lake Shore Drive (any Chicagoan knows that LSD is not an appropriate stopping point) but thankfully he pulled over. I simultaneously threw my money over the seat and opened the door to escape his horrid driving. Ahhh, fresh air!
I kept telling myself to focus on the event and, "You'll feel better Lynn." But let me tell you, a crowd of 20,000 excited, screaming people does nothing for a headache. Despite the crowd and noise, I made my way to the starting line only to find myself directly in front of a loud speaker with a lady on the other side of it that should have never been given a microphone. "Just start the race already", I grumbled to myself with my face all skewed in disgust, while thousands around me smiled and danced. (Yes, I realized I was the only party pooper in the crowd). I only hoped the news crew wouldn't find me in range of their cameras as the caption under neath the video would surely say, "What the hell is her problem?".
Finally, we were off. There was no escaping the crowd as there were just far too many participants, so as people passed me by, I was over taken by their over powering perfume and cologne (note: headache makes Lynn super sensitive to smell, and who puts on perfume/cologne to walk 3 miles?). I raced down Columbus and turned west onto Roosevelt and all I could think was, "Where's the damn 1 mile marker already?". Having forgotten my I-pod, I listened to other's conversations as I continued on what seemed to be the slowest mile ever (and it was due to the number of participants ahead of me). After 25 grueling minutes, I saw the 1 mile marker (note, it does not take Lynn 25 minutes to walk 1 mile on a normal day) and then became confused as the walk was either a 1 or 3 mile option but there was no finish line or clear exit of the course at the 1 mile mark. I felt trapped!
Feeling no better then when I had started, I continued up Michigan Avenue and was looking for my escape. Just as the mass numbers of people turned right, I turned left onto Harrison to walk to the train station in efforts to head home. I think I could have had multiple $100 bills pinned to me, and no one would have tried to take one based on the horrible grimace on my face. No one sat next to me on the train, as I can only imagine in my hunched over state they assumed I was going to get sick on them. Once at my stop, I staggered home and went back to bed. It was only around 10:30 that I finally started to feel better.
It was a rough morning, and hard to face "failure" as I did not complete the 5K I intended. I took solace in at least doing something however, and am glad I faced fear and participated. Sometimes it's not how much you do that counts, but rather just showing up.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Ok, ok, I remember what it was like to be new, so I let the trainee help me. I'm not heartless, just a perfectionist. It was very hard to allow the newbie to help, but I set fears aside of an imperfect training session and let her teach two different dog training techniques. I chimed in as needed in what I hope was a non-overbearing manner to round out her lessons, and things ended successfully. Having Jennifer's help today was actually a nice break from having to yell over the top of a barking Bull Terrier. Hey, I could get used to this!
Friday, May 6, 2011
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
While walking, the sign said...
But we pushed through the fear, and continued walking.
This is what we found...
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
So how does this translate to my blog? I stumbled across the blog, "Never Growing Old" and the "Meet Me On Monday" initiative. Every Sunday, "Java" (author of Never Growing Old) posts 5 questions, and it's up to me to post and answer them every Monday! With that said, here goes my first May, Meet Me on Monday:
Hmm...first question of my new "challenge" and I'm already stumped. I love warm, buttered fresh blueberry muffins (as well as banana nut).
2. What was the first car you ever owned?
A purple, 4 door Chevy Cavalier (4 doors made it friend accessbile!)
3. Which TV Show were you sad to see end?
The Starter Wife - I loved Debra Messing!
I obviously haven't found it yet, or I would have won the lottery by now! (Okay, it's really 7)
5. Pretzels or Potato Chips?
Pretzel Chips are the best of both worlds, but my most recent discovery of Pop Chips, makes my answer chips!
Sunday, May 1, 2011
I've been blogging daily since January 1st of this year as part of my original blog intent is to chronicle the one thing I do every day that scares me. Sometimes it's small and simple, and other days it seems like the task to be conquered should be in the record books for having been completed. The A-Z Challenge proved to be one more fear for me to conquer and journal about here. Will I complete all the posts? Can I come up with a subject for each letter successfully?
Having decided to finally take on the challenge, I wasn't so much afraid of the quantity of posts, but rather afraid of over all failure and lack of creativity on my behalf. I will admit the challenge was...well...a challenge! Due to work schedule and social life some posts were scheduled ahead of time, or a bit delayed or even rushed. As such, there are definitely some posts I am more proud of then others, and I think commentary or lack there of reflect the effort and time put in.