A single step

Do you ever feel like something big is about to happen in your life? You’re not quite sure what it looks like, but you can feel it in your bones. You’re filled with excitement, but also apprehension about what lies in front of you; focusing on the mountain before you. That’s exactly where I’m currently sitting, at the base facing upward.

A short while ago, I was presented with an opportunity to help improve the life’s of people in a far away land. Helping these people will ultimately affect those presently around me, and some days feels like a heavy burden. The two groups will work together to become a strong united team that’s customer focused and driven.

The project is highly visible, and my¬†colleagues and I have been preparing for success. We’ve had long days and nights making sure our i’s are dotted and our t’s are crossed. In just a few days we’ll be executing the plan. I have no doubt it will be successful, even though it feels a little bittersweet.

Although change can be unsettling, especially the fear of the unknown, we can either embrace it or let it control us. I’m choosing to embrace change. I’m hoping those currently around are able do the same.

When I look back over that last several months I’ve felt a shift starting to emerge, but had no idea of the specifics. I’m still unsure of most of the details, but have committed to seeing it through. Life is both a mystery and an adventure. You never know what lies around the next corner. A journey starts with a single step……here we go!




Recently, my daughter decided to have Tillie the kitten spade, and called while scheduling the procedure; wondering if I would commit to bringing her in on surgery day since she would already be at work. I agreed since my schedule was more flexible. I have to admit right up front, I volunteered out of necessity, but wasn’t looking forward to the day.

The night before, Tillie was not allowed to have any food after 8:00 pm. Thankfully, she was able to have water. She’s a creature of habit and was looking to eat at her normal 5:00 AM time. I wasn’t leaving the house for another three hours, and had to keep her occupied so she would forget about being hungry.

When it was time to leave I placed her in her new carrier along with a few favorite toys, zipped it up and away we went. She was calm for about 60 seconds, and then all hell broke loose. She was freaking out and trying to claw her way out of the carrier. At one point I unzipped the cover and stuck my hand in to calm her down, but she immediately attacked. She was frantic the entire twenty minute drive. I calmly talked about nothing in particular, hoping she would be comforted.

As I dropped her off and explained how upset Tillie was, the receptionist mentioned she was five days too early for her rabies vaccine, and would have to be brought back. I inquired why she hadn’t been scheduled for her surgery after that time and she asked if I wanted to reschedule the procedure……..are you kidding me? It took everything not to break down and cry over how upset Tillie’s ride in was, and they wanted me to postpone the inevitable? No thanks.

I felt guilty the remainder of the day and called to let my daughter know I was going with to pick up. I didn’t want Tillie to think I caused her such stress and pain. After we were given a mile long set of instructions of what to do and not to do, including keeping her quiet for seven to ten days, and a plastic cone, they brought her out. She immediately started growling as my daughter took her carrier.

Upon home arrival, they explained to put her in a dark, quiet room, shut the door, and leave her alone for the night. Not only would that give her the opportunity to calm down, but to keep her from lashing out at us. We checked on her often as she wobbled to and fro from the anesthesia.

During the instructions I had inquired how to keep a kitten calm, they really didn’t have any answers for me. The next morning she ran across the room at regular speed, and my daughter and I cringed. This was not going to be an easy seven to ten days. We attempted to put the ridiculous plastic cone on her head and it was too big, she kept wriggling out of it; all while sounding like we were killing her.

Since I was working from home that day, I would have her near me to keep her from tending to her incision. During surgery she was given pain medication that would last seventy-two hours. Thankfully, she slept on me most of the day. It was hilarious how I had to recline back on the couch, while working on the computer (my back was killing me by the end of the day….HA)! Oh, and my neck was a ball of sweat…LOL. I would have taken the day off, but had too much going on at the office.

At one point she starting licking her incision and I had to distract her. I researched alternatives for the cone and saw they had something we could order for next day delivery, and called my daughter. She found a do-it-yourself idea that was much cheaper and would purchase on the way home.

We ended up creating a bodysuit from a preemie onesie, by cutting in strategic places. Our first attempt at putting it on Tillie was a disaster. She was hollering and causing a fuss like we were torturing her. We made several attempts before finally getting it on. We laughed so hard. She was embarrassed, mad and drunk walking once we could get her out from under the chair. We realized we needed to do a better job of cutting the openings, and tried to correct but Tillie was not having it.

The next morning Hannah woke up to find her naked. She somehow managed to wriggle out of the straight-jacket of sorts. Our second attempt at making another one was much more successful. Even though we had quite the problem putting it back on, we managed the task much easier this time. I’m happy to report she kept the onesie on until day eight and then once again wriggled her way out. She also settled down a bit after the pain meds wore off seventy-two hours post-surgery.

She has since recovered completely and is back to her old self of running, jumping, biting, scratching, and playing. I’m thankful the process is over, even though my daughter and I both enjoyed the cuddling opportunities we had with Tillie. My daughter teased me on posting another kitten story for fear of sounding like a crazy cat lady…….but I had to share the cat-tale of Tillie’s day….haha. Do you have similar stories to share?


Two shopping carts, five rolling bags and more

Labor Day in the USA pretty much signifies the end of summer is near, and fall is knocking on the door. To celebrate the holiday, I was invited to stay at a friend’s sister’s vacation home, in Chicago for the weekend. Five girls just hanging out.

The location of the condo was perfect for our plans. It was across the street from Lake Michigan, along Lake Shore Drive; within walking distance of the yacht club, Millennium Park, Grant Park, the theater district, shopping, restaurants, bars and grocery store. Basically, everything you need or could ask for.

Planning for the get-away started weeks earlier. We decided we would hang out in the condo most of the time, and would take turns preparing meals, and would bring along needed supplies. Each girl would be responsible for the menu, food, drink, prep and clean-up.

Four of the five ended up having to take two cars because of all the items each person brought. It was quite the spectacle as the unloading began. We needed not one, but two shopping carts that were available for use. The service elevator was jammed full from top to bottom, I couldn’t get to my phone or I would have taken a picture; it was hilarious.

After putting everything in it’s place, and getting settled, it was time to start the weekend. We had no real agenda other than laughing and hanging out. The views of the city were spectacular, and we spent as much time outside as possible soaking up the great weather.

We ended up walking to a cute little casual restaurant for dinner the first night and planned to walk to Millennium Park for Jazz-Fest but got rained out. Thankfully, even though we ate outside on the patio, we were under cover, although we got wet making our way back to the condo.

Day two we went to the pool, as we swam and floated for hours……we were quite “pruny’ upon exit, to say the least. At one point two of the girls had been lounging in the sun and decided to join us in the pool. One of the girls is short and doesn’t swim so I decided I would help her sit on a boogie board while she used a swim noodle under her arms. As I directed her to the deeper end, holding on to each side of the board under her bottom, instead of floating, she was sinking and pulling me down with her. We were laughing so hard I was sinking and drowning at the same time, and had to abort! I took her back to the shallow end where standing was safe…..HA! She is one of those people that can’t float, even in salt water….which I think they call negative buoyancy.

Our weekend was filled with friendship, laughter, fun conversation, good food and excellent cocktails. Upon leaving, we thought we would have a lot less to take home, but we still needed both shopping carts. It was a girlfriends, two shopping carts, five rolling bags and more kind of a weekend. Even though we didn’t have any specific plans, it was memorable in so many ways. Aren’t those the best?


Moment in time

My son and his girlfriend have been dating for five years, and recently put an offer in on a house, and I knew the next step would be engagement. Whenever I get the chance to have one on one time with my son, we always have good conversations. Several months ago he mentioned his goal in their relationship was to buy a house first, and a ring second, however her goal was the ring first and house second.

Since the offer was accepted on the house, I knew it was a matter of time before he would propose. In one of our chats he mentioned he would be popping the question on their yearly camping trip to the boundary waters, and had asked if I would go with him to pick out the ring.  I was touched and humbled as he wanted to share his special moment with me. I had secretly wished he would ask me to help.

We made our plan, as well as a fake story to tell his girlfriend on his suddenly full Saturday. The jewelry store was about an hour away and neither one of us were familiar with the area. He wanted to stop and take me to lunch prior to locating the store. We had a nice meal, and talked about what he thought she might like. Basically, he didn’t have much to go on, but wanted it to be a surprise.

Upon arrival, we were assigned a jeweler that would help us find the perfect ring. The gentleman was touched that Andrew had asked me to help in the process; as I secretly beamed. He had me try on the different styles to compare the sparkle and beauty. After serious contemplation, found the setting and just needed to decide on the middle stone. My son took his time to examine each diamond as they were presented one by one. In the end we both chose the same setting and stone; it was unanimous.

As the jeweler was completing the sale, my son’s debit card wouldn’t go through…..WHAT? Realizing he should have called his bank to inform them he would be making a big purchase, and now couldn’t get anyone on the line. He could put through his card up to his daily withdrawal but that wasn’t enough. I offered to put the remainder of the amount through my account. The one problem the jeweler said it had to be all in Andrew’s name and I would have to go get the cash. Ummm….OK, “let’s find an ATM.” Away we went in search of a bank, after locating and taking out the remainder, and ran back to the store. We didn’t have much time to pay, and wait for the stone to be set before the store closed for the day.

Once everything was paid we had an hour to wait for the ring, and decided to find a place to have a drink and toast to the pending proposal. We found an establishment close by, however Andrew didn’t have any cash and no longer had the option to use his debit card, nor did I…LOL. I did have some cash so it was my treat. While we were celebrating, all of a sudden he panicked because he realized he was taking his girlfriend out for sushi later that evening, and couldn’t use his card. How would he explain that? Amazingly enough, I had just about enough cash to cover the dinner, his plan would not be foiled.

After a bit, we headed back to pick us his beautiful ring that symbolizes the life the two of them will share together. I’m so touched and happy I was part of one of the most important decisions of his life. This moment in time I spent with my precious son, will be with my heart always. Wishing them a lifetime of love, happiness, understanding, and grace.