Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tuesday Travel Snapshot- Big Arbor Vitae Lake Northern Wisconsin

Sick of winter?  I thought so!  I couldn't agree more.  Today with the wind chill it was about -40 below.  That's weather not fit for man or beast!  So it was time to share a little slice of summer.  this pic was from my week long yearly camping trip to the north woods of Wisconsin.  Our campground happened to be right on Big Arbor Vitae Lake in Vilas County.  Every morning I would take a walk on the road that runs along the lake.  Ah! looking forward to those dog days of summer!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

In Celebration of Parents and Grandparents-My Year of Graditude

Myself, Mom, Dad, my daughter Megan

I'm lucky enough to still have both my parents with me.  They live only 3 miles from me, but yet if I see them every couple of weeks or so that's about it.  my Mom especially has always had the philosophy that she wanted to stay out of her kids lives and if we needed her, we knew where to come to.  I depended on them a lot when our daughter was young.  My Mom took care of her from the time she was 5 and going to pre-school until she was old enough to be on her own.  Besides us my parents were the ones who were with her the most.  She has that special bond with them that every Grandchild should have with their Grandparents.  I certainly had it with my Grandmother, who has been gone for many years now, but I think of her almost everyday and miss her terribly.  Some of my most precious childhood memories were of spending time in the summer staying at her house.  I can still see her sitting at the kitchen table in her apron teaching me how to macramé, or embroider, or letting me play with her jewelry. As Grandmas go, she was a perfect one in my eyes.

Sunday I had my parents over for dinner.  It was my Dad's birthday during the week and We decided to make dinner and have them over.  After dinner we sat at the table talking about my Dad's Mom who is in her 90's and living in an assisted living facility. Its not often I can get my parents to talk about the past, they tend to not share stories as easily as other families do, but on this day they shared a few about my Grandpa and Great Grandpa.  My Grandpa died from cancer when I was a toddler, so the only recollection I have of him is from old 8MM film.  My Mom said how my Great Grandpa used to come over everyday to get a peak at me when I was a baby.

At times I have to remind myself that my parents will not be around forever.  I did not always have the best relationship with them.  I know for a fact they will tell you I wasn't the perfect child. We probably had a pretty normal family life.  We were lucky in that as a family we did so many things together.  Snowmobile, camp. fish, going on yearly vacations, my parents saw to it that we had a good life.

So in my year of gratitude, I am first celebrating my parents and grandparents.  Our parents shape us into what we become as adults.  Grandparents are the ones who have the patience to teach us all kinds of things and love us even when we don't clean our rooms.

And I am grateful for them all.....

Monday, January 20, 2014

My Year Of Gratutude

I know it's almost the end of Jannuary, so the time to make those New Years resolutions has long past. I didn't really make any formal resolutions as of yet.  Usually it's the vow to get in shape and yes I guess you could say I secretly made that vow to myself again this year.  The other thing I want to accomplish this year is to do more writing.  I loved writing just the little bit I did here and I kinda got so involved with work the past 7 months or so that all my extra stuff just got put on a shelf.

So in thinking about some of the things I'd like to share besides the fun things I do and other tidbits, I decided to make this year my year of gratitude.  It is so easy to get into the "negativity" rut.  I really try to make it my daily goal to see the glass half full.

So for 2014 I will make it my mission to share those things I am thankful for.  Sort of my personal gratitude journal.  My mission is to spread joy and to give everyone something to think about.  What are you thankful for? It's a good thing to ask yourself that question from time to time. We are all surrounded with things that we can feel greatful for.

Last year I started off with a gratitude jar.  Maybe you have seen this where everytime something good happens you are suppose to write it down and put those slips of paper in a jar.  At the end of the year you take them out and read them.  I love this idea!  I highly recommend trying this (I didn't get too many slips in my jar, not because good things didn't happen, I just didn't write them down)

This year my vow will be to really focus on all the things I can be grateful for. it may be a big thing or a small thing, right now I'm thinking just  one day of sunshine during an already long cold dreary winter! Yup, I'd be very happy with one of those.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tuesday Travel Snapshot

Since our Wisconsin winter has been long so far, I have been dreaming of summer. This picture was taken last summer during a mini escape to one of my favorite cities, Chicago. Next time you find yourself in the Windy City by all means take a 90 minute architectural boat tour. It is well worth it!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

What Would We Do Without Our Girlfriends?

As a female I consider us the fortunate of the two genders.  Why you ask?  Simply because I think we are better at friendship than men.  Don't get me wrong, I know men are perfectly capable of having good male friends, I just don't think they have them on the level we women do.

I for one honestly couldn't get by without my girlfriends.  Maybe cause I am not fortunate enough to have any sisters, I feel the need to fill that female void.  Let's face it we women crave intimacy. I'm not talking about the same intimacy you can share with you spouse. I'm talking about the kind of connection that women share.  Its much easier to talk to your girlfriends about those hot flashes and wrinkles that we um.....women of a certain age experience, than to face that glazed over look you get from your hubby when you start talking about "those things".  Plus you need someone to share those crazy things your hubby does that either drive you crazy or make you laugh till your cheeks hurt!

I don't know about you, but if you have a few (or maybe even one) girlfriends that you can count on to listen or make you laugh till you cry, you are a very rich person.

A couple of my friends I have had forever.  My friend B and I have been friends since Sixth grade (trust me that is a LONG time!). She is like a sister to me.  We have been through a ton together and even when our families can let us down we are always there to listen to each other. It's a bonus since our husbands get along and now that we live closer we see each other often.  She's my go to person when I need someone to really figure things out.  I've had my friend G since Sixth grade also.  Her and I went to the same school.  She is my rebel friend.  My husband calls us the Thelma and Louise of Kiel High.  We did a lot of things together and had some great times. We have different lives now, but we keep in contact and see each other a couple times a year. When her first Daughter got married last year, it was like old times celebrating and seeing her family again to talk about the good 'ol days.

Then there are those friends you meet along the way in life.  Some come into your life purely by accident, some you marry into, and once you get to know them-it feels like you've known them forever. They are the ones you have so much in common with that it is like fate that you meet.  When I went on my trip to Paris three years ago I never expected that trip to pay me back in "friendship" dividens.  I met some wonderful people on that trip.  But my friends B and E have certainly made my life richer.  When I need a mood boost I know I can count on B to give me the gift of laughter.  At 75, she is one of the "youngest" women I know.  She honestly has become my inspiration for how I want to age.  My friend E is always ready to go on an adventure.  We've gone on a couple mini trips to Chicago, seen a favorite band, and had many long lunches. When we get together it seems we never run out of things to talk about.  She is one of the most positive people I know.  There's not many people I would feel comfortable meeting at the front door with my pajamas on, her I do.  When I said marry into, I was talking about my Niece K.  Even though she is my Niece through my hubby, we are very close in age.  She makes family get-togethers fun.  We have much in common and do a whole lot of laughing when we get together.  Going shopping with her is serious fun.  She's been through a lot and still has an incredible sense of humor.

There's nothing in the world like having friends that you can laugh so hard with you almost pee in your pants, or your cheeks become numb and your stomach hurts. There's also nothing in this world like having friends that you can be serious with and share life's bad times.  There are many more people that help make my life a happy place to be and I am thankful for all of them.

I'd say we are the luckier gender.  Life would be pretty empty without our girlfriends. If you have some awesome girlfriends in your life-let them know life would be a dull place without them!!!