Thursday, December 9, 2010

Missing Him

Originally uploaded by shellyblake
When I come home each night, there's no one there to greet me at the door. No one peering through the stair slats to watch me come in. No one following me to the kitchen and getting under foot to beat me there.
There's no one wandering through the house crying loudly...just to hear himself echo in the foyer. No one racing up the stairs and chasing an imaginary toy across the room.
No one curling up on couch, the chair, the floor, the top step, or at the foot of my bed.
No one to meow at me to get up & feed him when my alarms been blaring for a half hour to no avail.
No one meows at me when I've stayed up too late.
I left a dirty dish in the living room last night...there was no one to protect it from since you weren't there to investigate it after I went to bed.
I keep seeing you saunter down the hallway when I'm sitting in my recliner. Keep expecting you to walk around that corner in the hall.
My kids remind me every night that you are missed. Not that I needed reminding.
We miss you Scratch. Rest in peace fatboy.

Friday, December 3, 2010


So I "think" I'll make the switch to WordPress...but figured before I do...I should share some links.

Here's the blog I started after this's all about "old America".
It's not so much a "word" blog as it is a "photo" blog. I don't plan to talk a lot - just post photos of old buildings respresenting old America. My original plan is to visit small towns & take photos of old post offices (before the USPS shuts them all down). But I realized, there might be more to this than just post offices. So if you have photos to share of old post offices, let me know...and if you know of old buildings that just scream "America", please let me know about them too! I also have a Flickr page for this purpose: > (hope that works, was expecting a shorter link!)

My "new" Average Life blog is here:
This is where I'll start blogging from instead of here. What I can't manage to decide is if I should "import" this blog into there....or just start fresh. I guess I'll figure it out later!

And iffin ya need to reach me outside of the blogging realm...there's always Twitter & Facebook.

Outside of personal...I also blog for business!

Here's my company - The Mailing Department:

And here's our new venture - Eco Print Mail (haven't really got this one going yet):

So feel free to visit me online...or drop me a line & we can go have coffee (or in my case, tea).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Blogger Lag

Wow, hard to believe that I haven't blogged on here since August! What up with that? I guess I haven't had anything insightful to say!

So here's what I've discovered during my Blogger lag.

I like Wordpress better than Blogger.

I started a new blog over on Wordpress to support a new idea I had while on vacation in August.

I like how my Flickr account ties in with my Wordpress account. I'm guessing it "might" tie in with Blogger, but not sure about that (since Flickr is Yahoo).

I really prefer how Wordpress posts to Facebook - Blogger turns it into a "note" which is okay, but if someone posts a comment - it stays in Facebook. Not that anyone (outside of family & friends on Facebook) reads my blogs...but hey, a girl can dream right?

I love my iPhone - of course, I loved it BEFORE this blogger lag....but I continue to find new ways to love it nearly everyday! Both Blogger & Wordpress have an app. I haven't successfully learned how to use either one.

Does this only have to be about blogging? Of course not, this is my blog & I can rant how I want to!

Started counting calories in September (found out Ian had started in August and I felt left out so I jumped on the calorie-counting bandwagon too). Of course, we have an app for that (which has been great). I've lost 7 lbs so far on this! Woot! First time I've checked my total loss. That totally rocks. Okay, very pleased with myself. Time to move on....

I've gotten out of the habit of running, yah, I know, I spent 10 weeks training, did a 5K and then what? Nada. Well, not totally nada. I'm still doing it, just not as often or as far. But would like to get it back up to 3x a week again so I can do more 5K races. Don't ever see myself running a marathon though!

Had a GREAT time with my BFF this past weekend. We did more movie watching & visiting than we did scrap booking because it has been SO long since we'd had a weekend together. We watched Julie & Julia (L.O.V.E. that movie!), Mamma Mia (ditto for this one) and Funny Girl (okay, it was great, but what is up w/ Barbara's freakishly long fingers? OMG).

I went camping earlier this month with My Boy for cub scouts. It was his last Webelos Unplugged campout & even though it was COLD, it was a lot of fun. It was 37 degrees on our last morning there. Brrrrr.

Since I'm working backwards...we also took a trip to Ohio in August. My mom, niece, nephew, my two kids & me drove through Ohio to PA, visited with family and then worked our way back, visiting with old friends the whole way. One of these days I'll post pix somewhere...but until then, well, you'll just have to wait.

I'm still on Twitter and do that nearly daily (or more than once a day). It's easy with an iPhone app! I guess I'm more of a micro blogger now that I am a blogger. Oh well, that's the way it goes! (Maybe I do need to figure out how those blogging apps work!).

Okay, so enough of my random musings. I must get on with my day - too much to do in too little time.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Office Musings

Conversations overheard or experienced, certainly enjoyed...

You know, if you don’t shut up I might just have to hit you..or buy a gun…but I don’t own one and it takes 3 days…

And you’re a pacifist, right?

Yah, I’m not going to jail for you buddy!

Monday, July 19, 2010

EMAIL: Woulda.. Coulda.. Shoulda

I received this email this morning and felt I needed to share it with not just my usual "friends" list...but with so many more. It's too long for a Twitter or a Facebook status update. So sharing it here seems like the best thing to do!

Subject: Woulda.. Coulda.. Shoulda

Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.
I got to thinking one day about all those people on theTitanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible.

How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word 'refrigeration' mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched 'Jeopardy' on television?

I cannot count the times I called my sister and said , 'How about going to lunch in a half hour?' She would gas up and stammer, 'I can't. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday. I had a late breakfast. It looks like rain.' And my personal favorite: 'It's Monday.' She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.

Because Americans cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!

We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve toilet-trained. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of 'I'm going to,' 'I plan on,' and 'Someday, when things are settled down a bit.'

When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.

My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.

Now...go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to...not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?

Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask 'How are you?' Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, 'We'll do it tomorrow.' And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say 'Hi'?

When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift....Thrown away.... Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over.

'Life may not be the party we hoped for... but while we are here we might as well dance'

Monday, June 14, 2010

It's all about honor

Here's a topic I haven't thought much on before, but after reading this article/blog, I'm going to give it a lot more thought. Lots of great quotes in that article too.

I've often had thoughts about how different it is to raise our kids today than it was when I was a kid. We as parents struggle with how to discipline our kids compared to how we were disciplined. When I was young my mother said on more than one occasion "Wait til your father gets home" and she wasn't the only one to use that phrase. It was so common across American households that they even had a TV show (cartoon) by that name. And in our case it was because dad was the designated disciplinarian.

I remember talking to a therapist about using spanking with my kids. She asked me if I wanted my kids to fear me. And at the time (and at other times) I thought, well, yeah, sometimes I do! It seems that most kids these days are missing that fear of mom & dad. I don't know about your kids, but mine certainly don't seem to have it! But she also added, that corporal punishment also leads to resentment and do I want my kids to resent me? Well, no, I don't want that. But at the same time, I don't resent my parents. They did their best with us and we turned out okay.

Alright, let me change direction as I don't want this to be a blog post about whether or not it's okay to spank your kids. I'm sure that argument/discussion can elicit the same amount of animosity/opinions as whether or not to vaccinate your kids!

Another reflection I've had is about how on television all Asian families are portrayed as being bound by honor. Honor of the family. Respecting and honoring elders, leaders, parents, etc. I really think this is the thing that is missing from American parenting. Now, I'm not going to lump all of American parenting into my own parenting, but lets just say it's missing from a strong majority (at least it's missing from the kids that end up being in the news for doing something wrong). I'm also not saying that Asian families have it all together - just that they tend to be portrayed that way on TV!

I do recognize that "Honor thy father and mother" (commandment #5) is what seems to be missing in my house. I acknowledge that we have not raised our kids to go to church every Sunday. We have our reasons so please don't let this start a blog post on the merits of church-going. However, I can see where this hole between Sunday School and corporal punishment has left my kids lacking in the understanding of honor.

I guess where I'm going with this is that I recognize that honor is not just a word, but it is a word that seems to be missing from dinner conversations in my home. Something that I plan to rectify right away. And with that, I'll leave you with a quote I skimmed from the article that got me started on this tangent...

“Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud.” ~Sophocles (Greek playwright)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Jury Duty

A recent e-newsletter I enjoy posted an article about being called in for Jury Duty. I agree with his sentiment that questions why everyone always complains about getting called to serve. I too have complained - but it's usually because whenever I get the call - it's to travel to the courthouse on California Ave in Chicago. Pardon me for complaining, but I don't want to go there! There are plenty of other courthouses...even in the suburbs, that would be a better fit for me.

Well, anyway, I did get called in again this year and this time it was in Maywood (I swear, I get served every year!). The drive was not a big deal, the parking was close and I wasn't nervous at all walking to & from my car. I consider Maywood a great place to be called to serve (I was actually excited to go because it WASN'T California Ave!). Of course, the waiting room was tiny, cramped and not nearly as comfortable as the courthouse on California...but I figured the trade off was worth it.

As it turns out, there aren't as many courtrooms in Maywood and all of the cases were settled or postponed because not a single person was called to serve (we were all dismissed by 11AM). Honestly, I was quite bummed! I think it would be cool to serve on a jury. And if I had to serve on one - Maywood is a much better location than California Avenue (IMHO).

Now if I can just get them to call in me in for jury duty in the suburbs next time - I can't understand why they wouldn't do that! Because really, a jury is supposed to be 12 of your peers - I'm thinking I have more in common with the folks out here than I do with people in the city. Wouldn't it make more sense to have me serve on a suburban jury?

I invite you to post your comments - I'm curious to know how YOU feel about jury duty. Do you groan about it? Do you try to get out of it? Is your displeasure dependent on the location of the jury duty? Have you served before? How was it to experience our great legal system first hand? Please let me know!

“ Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”
—George Bernard Shaw