In Memoriam

On this Memorial Day, a traditionally picnicky, grill-outing, pool opener kind of day, I thought I’d expand the “memorial” beyond remembering those who died in service of our country.

I don’t mean to take anything away from the military this day is meant to honor, I just thought maybe in addition, we could take a moment and remember something positive about others who have passed. So many have passed.

Share a story, a laugh, a cry.
Remember good things about those you are missing.
Invite their memory to join in the celebration.

Eat corn and burgers and chips.
Lather up with sunscreen and bug spray.
Make new memories to be shared one day.


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Memories made, memories kept.

I came across a bin of old photos. A big bin.

Decades of pictures, some dating back to before I was born up through about five years ago. The variety is impressive. Scalloped edged white framed and dated photographs from my earliest years mixed with school pictures, team pictures, and candid prints from Walgreen’s galore.

You might wonder how such an eclectic collection came to be…I’m pretty sure that as I cleared drawers, folders, and frames, I just tossed found items into the bin. When it got too heavy to easily move, about 2/3 full, I’d start another one. And then another. I came across this one, but I have many.

“Keeper” boxes, as I call them, also contain programs, report cards, TV Guides, letters & cards, newspapers, concert, theater, & sports tickets, etc, that have been saved over many decades.

Yes, these things are important to me. I kept it all.

I’m finding this excavation to be a bigger time suck than Facebook.
And that’s saying A LOT.

I’ve shared pics online and privately through messaging and text. I’ve reconnected with friends and family and reached out to friends of my mother’s. I’ve posted to the DeKalb FB page and the one of the Rockford pages. It’s been fun reading through the comments, seeing how these glimpses of times passed affect others.

Inspiring memories and reminiscing. Blasts from the past.

As I go through the stacks of pictures, I am dividing them into piles.
Nicole, Zach, family, Mary, Pets, Travel/Vacations…
There are a lot of piles and they stack up fast. At first I was putting them in gallon sized Ziploc’s…

but then I bought a bunch of photo boxes from Michael’s. Totally worth the investment.


Don’t tell my kids, but they’ll be getting all their boxes for Christmas. (It’s cool, not like either of them read their mom’s blog, lol.)

Requisite puppy picture.

Past puppies…and present puppies. Taken fresh this morning!

I am grateful for digital files, lol. They are much lighter and take up a lot less room.
BUT there’s nothing like holding a print in your hand.

What do YOU save?

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In honor of Mother’s Day

As a day-lated tribute to Mother’s Day, I wanted to share this poem I wrote two decades ago. I’ve been inspired to update it–Every Grandmother’s Poem–and hope to post the new version soon. I hope you enjoy.

Every Mom’s Poem (Life is Good)

I’m just a “Mom,”
A Homemaker, you see.
But I’m a working Mother!
Yes, I run Domesti-City.

I cook, I clean, I sew, I watch.
I drive, I teach, and then–
I wash, I iron, I feed the pets…
I do as much as I possibly can.

I take out the trash,
And recycle, of course.
For homework assignments,
I’m usually a source.

I don’t get days off,
My “free-time” seems nil,
Whenever a volunteer’s needed
I hear me saying, “I will.”

My hours are long,
The pay far from perfect.
But I wouldn’t trade any of it,
The benefits are worth it!

And all in all, I know it’s true,
As I plan for each day,
If someone should take the time to ask,
“Life is good!” I’d say.

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It’s official, PUPPIES ARE FUN!

The first couple of days were stressful, I was genuinely fearful that Miskey, the momma, wouldn’t make it. When we took the brood in for docking on day 3 and Dr. Dominguez checked her, he said she was looking great. I said “Thank goodness! I was really nervous.” To which he responded, “Me, too.” Seems she was very anemic and took a long time to wake after surgery. I am grateful he didn’t share that information with me at the time.

It’s been ten days and all the pups are doing well–even the scrawny one. She’s still the smallest by far, but she’s strong and feisty and nursing. No eyes are open yet, but soon…

We already have three confirmed to be adopted with several more interested families. It’s happening so fast! I only get eight weeks with these babies, I’m not ready to commit them to others yet, lol.

Trying to get good photos of the individual pups is a tricky thing to do. They sleep in clusters and wiggle when they’re awake! I do have some super cute close-up sleepy puppy shots, though. (And really, that’s the only reason you’re reading this, right? For the photos–)

You know I’ll be posting new pics on a regular basis. They change so much in these first few weeks! And they only get cuter. ❤


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Puppies are fun?

Today marks the 62nd day since we caught our dogs doing it. If that seems oddly specific, it’s because a dog pregnancy takes 63 days and I had marked the calendar based on visual confirmation.

We had purposely brought home a girl corgi, then a year after that, a boy, in hopes of having a litter. Just one litter, then everybody gets fixed because, PUPPIES ARE FUN (but we are responsible pet owners).

A few months ago, I kept hearing Jackson crying–whining like he was hurt. I’d race into the garage or out back, thoughts of cat scratches or toppled chairs or little twisted paws in gopher holes…only to have him greet me with his spastic, happy self.

Then one night when we heard him crying, I looked out the window. Across the yard, in the dark, I could make out the shapes of our two dogs. I clapped to call them in–and Jackson started squealing as Miskey dragged him behind.

Maybe you know, maybe you don’t, maybe you don’t want to know…but oftentimes when dogs mate, they get “tied“.

Here, I thought he was being a big baby, but really, he was a stud. And maybe a bit of a masochist.

So, I marked the calendar from the day we caught them.

We assumed she was pregnant. There’s no stick for a dog to pee on. No real pre-natal care required. Miskey got fatter, which confirmed our assumption. Days passed, the waddle grew, as did her obvious misery.


It was with great trepidation I left my house, and my dog, to get on with life’s obligations. People thought I was silly to make or change plans around my dog’s potential delivery. “In nature…

In nature there are no comfy couches, magically filling water dishes, or chicken jerky. My dogs are pets, not wild beasts struggling in nature, Dave.

This past Friday, she was so uncomfortable; I believed her time was soon. Not wanting to cut my out-of-town plans short if I didn’t have to, I asked my son to stop by and check on her.

She’d delivered one pup. Stillborn. Zach called, I came home.
Hours passed with no sign of further labor.
I called the vet, “Can I bring her in?”
“Of course.”

Thank goodness we did.

We hadn’t had x-rays taken to count babies. We figured maybe 5 or 6 pups.
First thing the vet did was an x-ray. He thought he counted nine.
Next up was listening for heartbeats. He thought he heard a weak ten.

Her breath was shallow, which meant the puppies were not getting enough oxygen. She was frail and tired, but not in labor. Seeing as it was half an hour before the clinic closed, we were offered two options: Emergency C-section here, or drive to the ER Vet in Aurora to try for a natural delivery (but most likely, an emergency C-section forty minutes from home).

This is NOT fun.

The staff at Bethany Animal Hospital rallied around my girl. They called in additional help. The clinic was closed for the evening as Zach and I waited in the Cat Room for updates. They sedated Miskey and proceeded to deliver eleven puppies. Sadly, not all of them made it. Twelve pups in all, but we only brought eight home.


I was so scared, so nervous. Miskey was sluggish, lethargic, and so very skinny.

Her vitality was drained and she was sore.  I was concerned she wouldn’t make it. Petrified.
She’s my puppy!

She wasn’t producing enough milk at first, so we bottle fed every two to three hours for the first two days to supplement.




When she wasn’t with her babies, she was with me. Wherever I was, she was. We gained comfort from each other.


I’m happy (and very relieved) to say we’ve all made it to Day 3 and  things are looking great. All the puppies are eating and wiggling and squeaking. Miskey is recuperating nicely from her physical trauma. She’s feeding on her own and very protective. No cat, no Jackson, no picking up the puppies.

Which is hard for me…
because puppies are fun.

Oh, just wait!






Mom Miskey and Dad Jackson

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Reality TV Reality

Of all the “reality” television options, we watch The Amazing Race and American Idol.

I love to travel and have been to some incredible locations like New Zealand, Switzerland, Italy, and Ireland. I get a charge out of seeing places I have been as they appear on The Amazing Race. That connection makes it “real” for me.

Dave and I watch together and will discuss which tasks we will or will not do. Eat gross food, search for needles in haystacks, jump off bridges, etc. Which is hilarious when you consider that he will not get on an airplane.

Our other reality show vice is American Idol. We’ve watched every season since the finale of Season One. I was so impressed with Kelly Clarkson when they announced her victory. She sang, she cried, she glowed. I hadn’t seen a single weekly episode, but she gave the show credence, so we watched the following season…and every one since then.

The reason this topic is top of mind is because we saw Scotty McCreery, AI 10th season winner, in concert Friday night here in DeKalb. It was great to see a national act sell out our beautifully restored Egyptian Theater.

A few years ago, at the last minute, we decided to go see Daughtry at the Rockford Metro Centre (or BMO, if you’re looking for accuracy instead of nostalgia). We had front row seats! Chris Daughtry placed 4th in Season 5. I don’t know what America was thinking.

There have been a couple of contestants that we rooted for because we had seen them play live locally. Gina Glocksen, 9th place Season 6, made it the furthest.

But my FAVORITE Reality TV Reality moment was in the DeKalb Wal-Mart parking lot…where Idol Season 3 contestants, #10, Amy Adams, and #7 JENNIFER HUDSON, sang live. On a makeshift stage. In the parking lot. At a Wal-Mart. In DeKalb, IL.

Ah, good times.

What brushes with “reality” television have you had?
Would you consider being ON a show?!
Do share!




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Warrior Pride

1984 was a great book. A decent movie. A groundbreaking commercial. It was an Olympic year, back when they were held every four years. And also an election year. But, by far, the reason it was the BEST year was because 1984 was the year we graduated from Rockford West High school.

It’s been 35 years! Our classmates are over half a century old. Our high school isn’t even a high school anymore. Times have certainly changed in those three and a half decades…we no longer have Geri’s Hamburgers, Machesney Park Mall, or phones attached to the wall with curly cords stretched and tangled from hours of use. Instead we have Uber Eats, Amazon, and smartphones.

Luckily we still have Diet Coke (1982), Cabbage Patch Kids (1982), and Bon Jovi (1984).

In our 50+ years of life, my fellow graduates and I have experienced much love, extreme loss, and personal growth. We have had our ups and downs and hopefully find ourselves all these years later in a good place.

Whenever I think about my high school, I hear this cheer in my head:
Stand Up, Be Proud
Say Your Name, Out Loud–
We are the Warriors!
The Mighty Mighty Warriors!
Say hey!

You might deduce from the tone of this post that I liked high school. I did.
I love that I still have friends from that time (some even longer) to experience our life adventures with and reminisce as needed. I realize not everyone has positive memories of that time, but I trust things are better now and I hope you’ll attend the planned get-together and share your successes.

With our 35th Reunion coming up this summer, I thought it would be interesting to share our Warrior Pride. I need your help with this.

The premise is simple–
I want to know what makes YOU PROUD. Send me details about something you have achieved, overcome, or accomplished that you are proud of. A couple of words, a few sentences, a paragraph or two. It could be anything from purchasing your dream home to finding a satisfying job or dedicated relationship. Overcoming an illness or physical limitation to being the delighted grandparent of one or many. Whatever has happened that took effort and deserves recognition. I will post the stories to our class Facebook page–so make sure you are prepared for the accolades and recognition!

For those readers who are not Warriors from the Class of ’84, but are equally PROUD, I encourage you to consider applying this exercise in your own lives. Call your friend and tell them why you appreciate them. High-five a co-worker and give kudos for a job well done. Share your own story with someone who could benefit from it. Reminisce and take pride in what you’ve accomplished over the years, whether it be five or fifty!

Life is all about growing and changing and dealing with challenges.
Let’s celebrate the good.
Be mighty.

Send your Pride stories to
Or Private Message me on Facebook.

Rockford West High Class of 1984 35th Reunion
Saturday, July 13, 2019  7 pm at The Olympic Tavern
RSVP to the Class Facebook Page for updates and details.





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