Wednesday, March 31, 2010

boo at the zoo

The weather is so delightful. My windows are open and fresh air is whisking through the house.  This morning I kept my vow to stay healthy by working out at the health club.  The reward is visiting one of my all time favorite places - Brookfield Zoo. I bought a membership as I so enjoy this place.  I hang out at the gorilla house as long as I can for they are so entertaining, even when they just sit around in various positions.  Steve loves elephants so our biggest quest is to be able to see them.  The last few times I visited they were nowhere to be found.

We asked for it, we got it!  The sun is shining, birds are chirping, roast is in the crock pot and life is good.  Enjoy this gorgeous day and count your blessings.  I am. xo

ps. can you believe tomorrow is April already?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

chasing robins

Today we chased robins all over Morton's Arboretum in Lisle.  We hiked for two hours through the East Side of this splendid arena of natural resources but found nothing blooming yet.  It is bare naked.  Next time we'll visit when things are bursting with blooms and focus on the West side.  I tried to chase robins everywhere and captured a couple but they were on to me and flew as soon as I got close.  Stinkers.
Steve Tobin has a display of his tree sculptures throughout the grounds.  Very Beetlejuice.  All these daffodils are waiting to burst forth with their beauty - I bet they will be joyous next week after this string of warm weather. 
This robin posed just for me.  He saw how determined I was and said "what the heck, go for it" so I did.  My hiking boots led me through the area without fail.  I am determined to work on my lower muscle groups all week and this helped loads.  I have been busy trimming all the bushes down and de-leaving them which is a great workout for glutes and hamstrings.  Hard on the knees, though.  My legs were screaming yesterday but I kept on.  The pain reminded me how out of shape I am but I'll get there.  Tomorrow I continue at the health club with a trainer to focus on the upper extremities.  My arm is  terribly scratched up from pruning but I was on a mission.  Accomplished.   
I am grateful we have this facility so close to home.  It is just down the street from where Steve attends college and we finally visited.  Glad we did.  We'll be back.  Tomorrow we hit Brookfield Zoo. xo

Monday, March 29, 2010

psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures
where he gives me repose.
Near restful waters he leads me,
to revive my drooping spirit.

He guides me along the right path;
he is true to his name.
If I should walk in the valley of darkness
no evil would I fear.
You are there with your crook and your staff;
with these you give me comfort.

You have prepared a banquet for me
in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anounted with oil;
my cup is overflowing.
Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me
all the days of my life.
In the Lord's own house shall I dwell
for ever and ever. 
Many of us feel tension whenever we have to deal with conflict.  We don't like confrontation and feelings of resistance.  We especially don't like it when negative vibes are floating around.  Some of us avoid it so religiously that we never resolve many of life's ordinary daily issues. 

Not to make light of the events leading up to the crucifixion, I imagine that Jesus experienced very negative vibes as he sent his disciples off to prepare the upper room for Passover.  He had to know that the leaders were plotting something and he must have been afraid of what they might do.  Yet he didn't leave Jerusalem or did not turn away from the greatest confrontation of his life; he did not put it off. 

As we approach the three great days of the Triduum, let us pray for courage and for faith, both of which Jesus had in abundance.

Prayer:  Jesus, help me to keep watch with you during the solemn days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.  Please walk with me wherever I go, and give me the courage to let my faith show in all my words and actions.  And when I pray the Creed, help me to remember that words are not enough for you.  You have asked us to love others as you have loved us.  Amen.


Sunday, March 28, 2010


Hosanna Heysanna Sanna Sanna Ho
Sanna Hey Sanna Ho Sanna
Hey JC, JC won't you smile at me?
Sanna Ho Sanna Hey Superstar
Christ you know I love you
Did you see I waved?
I believe in you and God
So tell me that I'm saved
Jesus I am with you
Touch me touch me Jesus
Jesus I am on your side
Kiss me kiss me Jesus
Today is Palm Sunday.  I have faithfully played the Jesus Christ Superstar album in its entirety every year on this day since Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice shared their masterpiece with the world in 1970.  Forty years.  I cry every time.  Perhaps it triggers some emotional hormones as I was beginning my adolescent years and now I am destined to endure the same pangs as back then.  As I close my eyes and listen to the rock opera, I feel strong spiritual connectedness to the Passion of Christ's final journey on earth more fervently than I would in any church service re-enactment.
Everyone knows about Palm Sunday. The practice of blessing and distributing palm fronds ranks among the Church's most cherished sacramental practices.  Who wants to miss getting his or her palm?  So young and old, rich and poor, conservative and liberal, find common ground and instant solidarity when each holds up the strips of greenish palm that are distributed to those who commemorate Christ's entrance into Jerusalem.  To receive blessed palm commits us to a way of life.  Once the palm frond is placed in our hands, we discover ourselves set on pilgrimage.  We move toward the heavenly Jerusalem, the place where God welcomes all those who have done His will throughout the ages.  The Palm Sunday pilgrimage is unlike other spiritual exercises we make.  At its head rides Jesus. Our sung hosannas remind us that Jesus abides with us even as we journey toward him and his kingly city.

Prayer:  On this Palm Sunday, Jesus, you were greeted by the crowd with songs of joy.  May I, too, greet you with love and praise.  The crowd that cheered you, however, turned against you on Good Friday.  May I be your loyal follower in good times and in bad.  Hosanna, Jesus, I offer praise to you, may I give you joy in all that I do today and during this Holy Week. Have mercy on me when I fail.  Amen.

Neither you Simon, nor the fifty thousand
Nor the Romans, nor the Jews, nor Judas nor the Twelve,
Nor the Priests, nor the Scribes
Nor doomed Jerusalem itself,
Understands what power is
Understand what glory is
Understand at all..understand at all
If you knew all that I knew, my poor Jerusalem
You'd see the truth, but you close your eyes
But you close your eyes

Friday, March 26, 2010

do what you love...

I love giving massage.  There is nothing more rewarding than making someone feel good and getting paid for it.  I love finding all the kinks and knots and releasing them so my client will feel better and function as they should.  I talk to the muscle groups to keep abreast of my anatomy and exchange my energy during a session.  Throughout my career, I have given over 7,000 massages and loved every single one.  I continue to give my services to a select few who opt to visit my home every now and then. Some have been coming to me since the inception of my business in 2000 and we have forged a huge bond together.  Friendships are cherished and appreciated.  While I miss some who chose not to continue with me, I hold them fondly in my heart and hope they continue to receive healing from another source. 

Today I will give a few massages and feel uplifted after these sessions.  It is in giving that we receive.  xo

Thursday, March 25, 2010

spruce it up!

The king of the castle is tired of this kitchen set so we browsed the furniture stores and found a fun set to replace it, but first we needed a home for this baby.  We found one, so adios after 23 years, thanks table, but we must part ways.  You will grace someone else's kitchen for awhile.
This is a before picture of our lounging leather sofa from Italy.  As you can see, our dogs destroyed it but thanks to the Leather Medics in Countryside, we will restore it.  We almost bought a huge microfiber set, but I get attached to certain things and this is one of them.  Happy times indeed.  A little sprucing up and it will be good as new.  This was a huge investment and is very well made.  Some things are worth repairing.  Mike's friend, Adam, asked if we will still allow the dogs back on and I looked at him, and said, "of course, they love their spots."  Spoiled, aren't they?  I'll let you know how the refinished version looks in a few weeks.  Meantime, we will all be rug rats.

It's time for some Snapple fun facts.

All scorpions glow.

Children have more taste buds than adults.

The original Cinderella was Egyptian and wore fur slippers.

More babies are born at night than during the day.

There is a museum of strawberries in Belgium.

Pomology is the study of fruit.

The human brain takes up 2% of human body weight but uses 20% of its energy.

100% recyclable, old newspapers are great for washing windows.

Hawaii has its own time zone; is further south than Florida; is the only U.S. state that grows its own coffee.

An average man spends about five months of his life shaving.

A strand from the web of a golden spider is as strong as a steel wire of the same size.

The planet Saturn has a density lower than water; it would float if placed in water.

More turkeys are raised in California than in any other state.

The spotted skunk does a handstand to warn its enemies before spraying its stench.

Six year olds laugh an average of 300 times a day; adults only laugh 15 to 100 times a day.

If I laugh, just a little bit... Cat Stevens xo

Saturday, March 20, 2010

spring fever

Today it is official: our long awaited season has arrived and Mother Nature decides to tease us with another dusting of snow.  That's okay.  She brought us pretty weather all week and more to come soon enough.  I often think about the expressions spring break,  spring is for lovers, and spring fever.  It must be due to vibrations that surround us that encourage renewal and hope, whether it be a break from studies, the cold, blossoming relationships as people tend to be more open to new beginnings psychologically as well as feel the need to break from the hybernation and nesting that winter promotes.  We open our hearts in anticipation of new things and it can be dramatic, therefore the fever.  Just wondering.
My son received an award for most improved in a semester while he was still in high school.  It is only awarded to seven students and I perceive it as a documentation and tribute to his dedication to self-improve.  This is a nice reminder that with love and encouragement, anything is possible.  Forge ahead (spring forward) and great things happen in our life.  Thanks DGS, for acknowledging Stevie.

Praise and an attitude of gratitude are unbeatable stimulators...we increase whatever we extol.

It is through powerful wanting, and then choosing with strong emotions and deliberate thoughts that will propel what you desire into your life experience.

take it from tigger...boink boink xo

Friday, March 19, 2010

san antonio

St. Anthony de Padua is the patron saint for the recovery of lost things and conciliating couples.  Born in Lisbon and related to the King, he was a follower of St. Francis of Assisi.  In the 17th century, Spanish missionaries came across a small Native American community along the river on the feast day of St. Anthony and built a mission in his honor in San Antonio, Texas.  We explored numerous sites on just a small patch of land and fervently walked all day, despite blisters on the feet.  Since it was spring break, the town was loaded with visitors all the time and the energy was electrifying.  The first destination was the famous Alamo where Davy Crockett (rifle and raccoon hat) and Jim Bowie (knife, not related to David) held down the fort with less than 200 other brave soldiers against thousands until they were captured and lost the battle.  It is quite sacred and you could feel the reverence from people while on the grounds. 
All the Winds are salsa and nacho freaks, sampling a variety of hot and spicy salsas (lately Alamo is our favorite) but never deviate from the El Ranchero chips.  We frequented many Tex/Mex restaurants and each dip was just as delicious as the next.  Margaritas and lemonade were our thirst quenchers.  I dabbled in my first tilapia fish taco at Rosario's, and we were determined to feast on steak at Texas Land and Cattle Steak House.  We sampled fresh seafood at Landry's on the outdoor terrace on the Riverwalk and took a break from touring with a refreshing dish of ice cream from Jardin's.  Did you know that corn tortillas originated from Mexico, but flour tortillas came from the Germans who settled in Texas? 
We visited the Market loaded with stores featuring the local souvenir stuff, mostly from Mexico, but including cowboy boots, leathers and many cute crafts.   We spent the whole afternoon just browsing and taking photos (318), then dined at a wonderful authentic Mexican place called Mi Tierra.  The rooms are vibrant and colorful; and the murals provide constant stimulation with all the significant figures.  This family-owned restaurant is a must see; their fourth-generation hombre greeted us upon arrival. 
The main attraction of San Antonio is the Riverwalk.  It is seven miles long and winds through a plethora of hotels and restaurants.  We took a leisurely ride in the riverboat and learned a bit about the buildings and bridges.  The foilage is just beginning to bloom but huge trees grace the walkway year round.  I was a little nervous walking near the edge and was told someone always falls in (yep, someone did while we were there) but not me, thanks be to God. We strolled during St. Patrick's celebration so green was dominant and as the day wore on, people were louder and happier.  Mariachi's entertain outdoors and the old Aztec theatre provides talent in a lovely hall.  It is so cool to look up and see the hotel verandas everywhere.  My favorites were the Omni La Mansion and Hilton.  Did you know the Marriott actually moved the historic Fairmount Hotel from its original dwelling and built their hotel in its place?  Our hotel was right next to the Fairmount and you would never know it was originally somewhere else. We typically visit a church on our travels and St. Ferdinand's was truly stunning.  There were smaller, quaint churches and a cute little chapel with adorable stain glass windows. 
During our last leg of the trip, we decided to purchase our souvenirs at Jake's Place, an exclusive store for Life is good goodies.  This is the best feel good store and we kept returning and finding new items to gush over.  We continued our journey at La Villita, next to our hotel, which offered delightful crafts, jewelry, clothing and artwork. The sweetest thing was finding little kitties and peacocks just meandering around the grounds.  All the proprietors were very friendly and genuinely hospitable.  I must give a shout out to Rocky, bellman/concierge at the Marriott, for upon our arrival, we asked for his favorite eatery suggestions and every one he recommended was absolutely aces.  Muchas gracias.
Here we are, the three muskateers.  Wayne-O worked, but the time we were together, we made the most of it.  Stevie was my constant companion and I am grateful we bonded.  :)  I missed Mike and Dan, and of course, our puppies, but we look forward to our upcoming family trip in the not-too-distant future and plan to just hang out together all day long - no touring - no walking - only rest and relaxation as a family.  Thankfully, my feet will be blister-free, unlike most touring trips.  No biggie, they heal quickly.
Until then, I will enjoy spring and rest my tootsies until it's time to garden.  Today I am grateful to be home, safe and soundly, and cherish the memories of our trip.  I hope you are inspired to visit this lovely part of our world.  xo

The stars at night are big and bright,
deep in the heart of Texas...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

jake's place

In 1989 two brothers from Boston started designing tee shirts and hawking them in the streets.  They bought a used van and called it "The Enterprise" in hopes of boldly going "where no tee shirt guys have gone before."  For five years, Bert and John Jacobs traveled the East Coast selling door to door in college dorms.  They collected some good stories but were not very prosperous.  They lived on peanut butter and jelly, slept in their van, and showered when they could.  By August of 1994, with a combined sum of $78 in the bank, the brothers considered giving up on the ultimate road trip.  And then they created Jake and he showed them the way.  Today, Jake and his trusty dog Rocket have become icons of optimism, and Life is good - America's little clothing brand that could - is spreading good vibes all over the world. 
I am sharing happy notes from Life is good, simple words from Jake and Rocket, found in their book and on all their paraphernalia.  We brought souvenirs in the form of tee shirts, coffee mugs, pants, sweaters and even underware, hoping to share the joy we found by these cute little items.  We discovered such a store on our recent trip called Jake's Place and went bonkers.  Initially, we each bought tees at the store in Midway Airport to generate the optimism of our trip.  Our favorite hangout once we arrived in San Antonio was the store on Riverwalk which we frequented many times just for the good vibes.  Our bag was loaded with goodies and our smiles were never-ending upon leaving the joint.  I am highlighting this wonderful book which includes their famous inspirational sayings.  We can't get enough tee shirts for whenever we wear them, we can't help but feel good; not only are the words uplifting, but the material is so comfortable.  I hope you enjoy their quaint quotes, albeit without the perfect graphics which really tickle the fancy.  You'll just have to go out and buy them yourself.  We found a binder filled with testimonies as to how much joy the Life is good products have brought to people from all walks of life, some conquering terminal illness and  depression and how these little remarks make a difference in their lives.  Hence, I share with you. In this beautiful creation, Jake and Rocket share their very best wit and wisdom, and illustrate that the keys to happiness are all around us.  I browse through this book constantly and it is number one on my list of feel good gift giving items. My first purchase was for my son who needed some hope and optimism during recovery.  I hope your paths cross a store that offers their products and you find the joy as we do when reading or wearing one of their items. 
Optimism can take you anywhere.

Remember, the music is not in the guitar.

Not all who wander are lost.

Whatever you are, be a good one.

Youth knows no age.

Good vibes are contagious.

Stick together.

Everything is a once in a lifetime experience.

Takers may eat well, but givers sleep well.

Think outside the box.

Don't fight Mother Nature.


Run like a dog.

Mix it up.

Do what you like.
Like what you do.


Create your own Happy Hour.

The road to a friend's house is never long.

Go deep.

Don't knock something.
Build something.

If you don't go, you don't see.

Take your sweet time.

Get out.

Flip out.

Read 'em and reap.

Dream on.

It takes all kinds.

The best things in life are free.

Hold a true friend with both hands.

Keep growing.


Five star accommodations are easy to find.

The pursuit is the reward.

Consider yourself a lucky dog.

Stay cool.

Sometimes the best conversation is a game of catch.

Take your love everywhere you go.

Let it fly.

Color is the daily bread of the eyes.

Get dirty.

Face the bumps with a smile.

Stay out all night.

The glass is half full.

In creating, the only ugly part is to begin.

Change your perspective.

Better to light one pumpkin than curse the darkness.

Who feels it knows it.

Get outta town.

The work will teach you how to do it.

Write on.

Go with the flow.

Blur the line between work and play.

The world is your entertainment center.

Get your kicks.

There are always flowers for those who want to see them.

If you don't live it, it won't come out your horn.

There's no place like roam.

Style points count.

Sometimes nothing is the right thing to do.

Laughter has no foreign accent.

The little things in life are the big things.

Remember where you came from.

We will never know all the good a simple smile can do.
Life is good donates 100% of its profit from the sale of their book to the Life is good Kids Foundation, established to help children facing unfair challenges.  Visit

my gratitude to Bert and John Jacobs for your beautiful gift xo

Sunday, March 14, 2010

the priestess

There are four fundamental forces in physics: electromagnetism, strong nuclear interaction, weak nuclear interaction and gravity. These are forces that bind the universe.  What binds humans?  LOVE. Love is powerful in small spaces yet with profound effect on distance.  Love defies time - outliving both its source and its object.  Love is faster than light, for light requires time in order to travel through space, but love reaches its object instantaneously.  Love journeys forever into infinity and it is here binding together two lives.  The rings are symbolic of eternity and rendured in a beautiful element.
This is an exerpt from the season finale of Numbers in a scene where Charlie and Amita finally get married.  Their vows are sealed by their friend, Larry, who is a minister of the Universal Life Church.  This reminded me that I, too, am a Minister of the Universal Life Church, which allows us to marry albeit in a non-denominational manner.  If someone wishes to tie the knot, I can provide this service.  It's kind of like a captain of a ship.  I received my certification documents in 2002 and have never had the opportunity to utilize them, but it's fun knowing I can if ever the situation warrants a priestess.  Who knows?  Someday I may add that to my list of accomplishments.  I was moved by Larry's words, for if you follow this show, they are all super duper genius and this show gives us a glimpse as to how we simpletons can relate to their numerical processes.  Despite having scientific solutions, the characters examine their humanistic and emotional aspects to both their lives and how tangled the webs can be.  Let's see if Charlie's brother, Don, marries Robin in the next season. 
I hope so. 

I now pronounce you husband and wife.   xo

Saturday, March 13, 2010

amici's deli

We made the monthly pitstop to our beloved Amici's Italian Market in Westmont.  When we go together, we take 2 tickets for the deli so one can order the fresh ground chuck, hot sausage, soup bones and pickles and the other orders the deli meats and cheeses.  Then we both order the fresh mozzarella cheese balls, kalamarata olives and specialty cheeses.  YUMMMMY!  The store is the perfect size; we scope through the isles with ease and browse all the delightful products and fill our cart to the brim.  Their old world Italian and Tuscan Pane loaves of bread beckon me instantly.  They offer assorted fresh nuts, coconut, dried fruit for our snacks and cereal embellishing.  The prices are very reasonable and the service is friendly and personable.  Just love those big Italian smiles.
As soon as we disperse our packages back home, we immediately sample the fresh deli.  I make a little snack of antipasto including the fresh basil (my new friend) and a light drizzle of my extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) as Rachael Ray refers to it.  Once our palates are satisfied, we proceed with making our spaghetti.  Today Wayne wanted to indulge his cooking skills so he is the master chef.  He is so funny when he cooks as he sings to himself, which I find adorable.  Someone else might think he could be a candidate for a funny farm.  We are so used to it at times we don't even hear him; then one of us will make the other aware of his antics and we start chuckling. 
Now we wait for the meal to simmer and then enjoy our feast.  We have a few movies awaiting our attention and I bet we watch at least two tonight: The Blind Side, Crazy Heart and Up in the Air; all promise an uplifting night of entertainment.  Lounging by the fire, bellies full, sipping a nice wine, house is refreshed.  Who could ask for anything more?  xo

God is great; God is good.
Bless us, oh Lord, for these Thy gifts
which we are about to receive
from Thy bounty,
through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Friday, March 12, 2010

take a breath

It is 5:00 in the evening and I have been cleaning my home since 7:00 this morning.  I just finished. Talk about a workout!  I was going to pursue my spring cleaning room by room, taking my time over a few weeks, but I fell in love with the weather and it inspired me to rid our dwelling of dust and dirt.  I could make a wig out of all the hair from our doggies.  Everything feels and smells so clean and fresh. 
Despite the fact it is supposed to rain all weekend, we will try to spruce things up outside a little bit.  Now that we can see our lovely lawn once again, it would be nice to open up the patio set and let them air out.  I'll probably just pitter around collecting dead branches here and there.  Our landscaper will swing by during the week to do the big tree trimming and replenish our border pebbles before our plentiful tulips make their appearance. Some are peaking through already.  The jonquils and daffodils are always the first to spring forth.  This teddy bear sunflower will grace our garden this summer.
Now that the domestic duties are complete, tomorrow we will get ready for our coveted trip to San Antonio in a few days.  We will do the grooming drill of eyebrows threaded, manicure, pedicure and hair trims.  It doesn't take long to pack and I already have the fridge stocked for Dan.  He will probably eat out anyway, but he does like to nibble at night, so he's all set.  I have to hide our luggage until the very end because the dogs know what that means.  They are genius.  I think we have a St. Patrick's Day party to attend sometime soon so we'll have to squeeze some fun in the schedule. 
I hope you have a happy weekend.  Enjoy the fresh, clean air and smile.  Then praise the Lord. 

Life is good. and I'm exhausted...xo

Thursday, March 11, 2010

never forsaken

Family is a haven in a heartless world... Christopher Lasch

Criminal Minds is my favorite thought- provoking series where I can be privy to what is happening in the great big world.  The behavior analysts witness all the bad and acknowledge the good.  They expose the criminals and determine why they do what they do.  I am tucked in my own little corner of that big, bad world nestled in the goodness, always grateful not to be part of the ugly.  I take it for granted.  I don't worry about gunshots or drug dealers on my corners. My neighborhood just experienced a grisly murder scene, extremely uncommon for Darien; a nice place to live.  We are a small,  quiet community bordering bigger, well-known neighborhoods such as Downers Grove, Naperville and Hinsdale.  We chose this obscure area for this simple reason - to reside in a relatively unknown area surrounded by nature and easy living.   You can't hide from crime and you can't escape evil, but I will never live my life in fear.  This doesn't keep us immune from bad behavior of others.  We experienced traumatic situations with people who have harmed our sons, not once, not twice but thrice.  We handled same through the judicial system and made things right.  It was very unfortunate, but nevertheless, a lesson learned, and the perpetrators were punished.  We have learned not to let people get away with hurtful actions for they only continue with others.  Someone has to step up to the plate and demand responsibility.  Everyone is a potential victim, but we must live life holding hope for the goodness in people, not fearful of their wrath.   I try to look for the highlights in life and when I encounter the lowest ebbs, I hold faith that I will swim through the tides, and not sink.  I believe in love and hope for the future and have faith in our strength.  God has never forsaken us yet. 
I just chuckle when I listen to the dire straits of people who let little issues consume them and wonder how they would handle extreme measures.  Hopefully, they won't ever have to cross that bridge, for surely they would experience breakdown.  Perhaps the rain is bringing these melancholy feelings to the surface and I feel the need to share.  Purging is healing.  Details unnecessary.  Thy will be done. xo

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

rain song

This is the springtime of my loving~
the second season I am to know
You are the sunlight in my growing~
so little warmth I've felt before.
It isn't hard to feel me glowing~
I watched the fire that grew so low.
It is the summer of my smiles~
flee from me Keepers of the Gloom.
Speak to me only with your eyes
it is to you I give this tune.
Ain't so hard to recognize~
These things are clear to all from
time to time. Ooooh....
Talk Talk ~
I've felt the coldness of my winter
I never thought it would ever go
I cursed the gloom that set upon us...
But I know that I love you so
but I know that I love you so.
These are the seasons of emotion
And like the winds they rise and fall
This is the wonder of devotion~
I see the torch we all must hold.
This is the mystery of the quotient ~
Upon us all a little rain must fall.
Just a little rain?
Ooooh, yeah, yeah, yeah!

Led Zeppelin


Monday, March 8, 2010

girl scouts


On my honor, I will try
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.


I will do my best to be honest and fair,
friendly and helpful, considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do,
and to respect myself and others, respect authority,
use resources wisely, make the world a better place,
and be a sister to every Girl Scout.

Girl Scout cookies are being sold this time of year.  I must purchase them, for I spent my youth as a Girl Scout and loved every minute of it.  When I bite into the cookie, I am forever reminded of my days as a Girl Scout.  We were required to sell as many boxes as we could to support our local scouts. My favorites are thin mints and peanut butter but who could forget  do-si-dos
I began my journey as a Junior, but the order of scouts nowadays is Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, Senior and Ambassador.  We only had Brownies through Seniors back in my day.  I befriended wonderful gals who shared this journey with me and eventually I became a Brownie leader.  I was an ambassador as a senior scout and almost won senior scout of the year nationwide.   I competed at Gage Park and it was quite an experience.  The best part of scouting was the field trips to various camp sites in the surrounding area, such as Camp Falcon, Butternut and Palos camp grounds.  We slept in cabins most times but also in tents at 30 degrees; and I remember vividly sharing a tent with Patty Ryan who placed her clothes neatly under her sleeping bag so they would not get wrinkled.  We were surrounded by nature and went on various hiking excursions and our goal was to accrue patches for our vests indicating we accomplished the goals set forth from the girl scout troops.  My sash was filled by the time I ended my scouting days, my green felt vest filled with bigger outing patches and needless to say, the memories of working on them fill me with joy.  We met at the Five Holy Martyrs little room by the field once a week and worked on crafts and our leaders were Mrs. Potempa and Garbacz, mothers of fellow scouts.  They were serious scout leaders, let me tell you, and did not let us get away with anything.  They were always one step ahead as if they had eyes in the back of their heads, so we were sufficiently supervised and they taught us so much more than we ever bargained for. 
Our camping trips included awakening to the sound of pots and pans by the leaders at the crack of dawn.  Moans and groans were heard throughout the cabin as we slowly but surely got our butts out of the bunks to make breakfast.  Each of us had duties as teams, some to provide centerpieces for the daily meals, others to make the meals, another to clean up the mess afterward.  We had to make up our beds all the time and pass inspections.  We listened to music constantly, and Cat Stevens remains in my heart forever with regard to scout camping.  We talked and shared stories while working on various projects.  Never a dull moment.  Sue, Terri, Cindy, Connie, Diane, Patty, Nadine and Marcy were all constant companions in my troop, my sisters.  Most of us attended Maria High School and Sue was my big sister (I believe Terri was Cindy's.)  So you see, the bonds run deep through scouting.
As we grew older and camped, indubitably, someone brought Boonesfarm wine and we went into the woods to sneak a drink.  We even had initiations for new scouts and whenever someone moved up a level.  Mostly we laughed, danced and sang songs around the campfires and had a blast together, bonding as girls love to do.  Sometimes we had joint camping trips with the local Boy Scouts and gathered together while staying in separate quarters.  Once we threw our bras on their light fixtures.  The most memorable outing was when we hiked all day long and tried to beat the boys.  This was not your ordinary level hiking, but rather one that was filled with obstacle courses and ropes over streams as well as up and downhill hiking paths.  We all made it back alive, but weary.  Unfortunately the boys beat us back.  But we were very close.  We went to dude ranches and rode horses on trails and really connected with nature on these trips. 
Girl Scouts is a meaningful and fun way to experience different avenues.  We built courage, confidence and character as we grew together as a troop, encouraging one another to be the best we could be.  What a delightful memory that is relived everytime I see a box of Girl Scout Cookies.  March is the month for cookie sales only and I encourage you to invest in this delicious token of fun. 

If you're happy and you know it, clap you hands.
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands.
If you're happy and you know it
then your life will surely show it.
If you're happy and you know it clap your hands.

sample of our G.S. campfire songs

Prayer:  Mary, you were our true inspiration as we followed your path on our Girl Scout journey. We were encouraged to obtain the Marian medal and most of us did.  Please continue to guide us to be 'girl scouts forever' and follow our creed and your footsteps to be a woman to be admired by our daily services.  During this lental season, we ask you to pray for us and all those we cherish in our lives.  Amen.