Archive for January, 2010


Who’s that Girl?

January 30, 2010

Is it stranger that I have kept these photos, labeled them and put them in albums?

I’ve been going through old photos. I guess I didn’t realize how many pictures I have taken over the years and it has been fun going through them. And to be honest, I had forgotten about most of them because for the last 7 years I have been taking pictures of the same subject.

As I have been going through these photos, I have come across a sort of theme. My best friend Angel seems to have enjoyed taking pictures of me with total strangers. Now I have gone through about half of my pictures and sometimes I come across a picture where I can’t remember the person’s name in the photo. I’m not talking about those. I’m talking about me in pictures surrounded by total strangers.

When we were in high school a few of my friends would spend Friday and Saturday night downtown on Rush Street. We would find a place to park and walk up and down the 4 or 5 blocks and people watch. One time I drove downtown in my little T1000 (it was like a Chevette) but I didn’t know how to parallel park. I found an easy spot on a quite street around the corner from Rush and my friends suggested we just circle the block one more time before taking the spot. We did and entered Cabrini Green. Such was the adventures of a few suburban girls traveling into Chicago.
This one I remember because it was the first time Angel took a picture of me with a group of people I didn’t know. They were walking by and she encouraged them to join in the picture. Look at me, I look like an Oreo. Look at those shoes! You know it’s the late 80’s because of those turquoise suede boots I’m sportin’. I loved those boots.

This one was taken in Daytona Beach. Angel and I spent a lot of time in Daytona Beach over the years. Her Granny Goose lived there, she was one of the sweetest ladies I ever had the pleasure of knowing. Look at the one guy-I think he’s embarrassed to be in the picture! This is 1991 but I think the denim shirt kinda gives it away don’t you? Look how red my face is-it matches my jumper which also dates the picture. Remember those jumpers that used to look like a dress when you had it on?

This is from one of the many John Hiatt shows I’ve seen throughout the years. This is about 1992 and it was an outdoor venue near Grant Park. This guy has his face partially covered. Why? I’m not sure. I’d like to think he’s telling me something to make me grimace like that.

This guy is kinda creepie! This is from the Dead pre-show in 1993 and it appears that I gave him my camera. Does anyone remember the pre-show? That was like a circus. All those people, all those “crafts”. What an experience. Wow to be 24 again and be so trusting. I know I would never let someone that looks like this use anything I owned now.

I think I also need to mention that I didn’t actually attend the concert, we just went to the pre-show. We may have had to attend something else that day. Pre-show was at Soldier Field and I think we went to an event in the western suburbs later that night.


Imelda Marcos

January 25, 2010

Meeshie has dozens of shoes. She gets her love of shoes from me. I love shoes too, especially a strappy sandal. EBay is one of my favorite finds for shoes. Meeshie has more shoes than I do and most of them have been given to her from my generous friends.

That being said, my 7 year old does not know how to tie her shoes. Let me repeat my 2nd grader cannot tie her shoes.

Part of the problem is that she has so many shoes and only one pair has laces. How is that possible? When I was her age I had three pairs of shoes: gym shoes, school shoes and church shoes. I learned how to tie my shoes before I went to kindergarten.

I’ve been working with her for awhile, a long while. I’ve tried the one loop method and the two loop method. I bought Red Lace, Yellow Lace. I’ve had her use her own shoe. I’ve had her use one of my shoes because the laces are longer. I’ve had her point the shoe away from her. I’ve had her point the shoe toward her. I’ve sat facing her. I’ve sat with her on my lap. She gets about half way through and then she just falls apart.

I keep telling her that she isn’t going to get into college without knowing how to tie her shoes. She just giggles. Sometimes she thinks I’m the funniest mom in the world.

I’ll bet that Imelda Marcos doesn’t worry about tying any of those shoes that she owns either.


Working Memory

January 19, 2010

When Meeshie was in first grade, I got a call from her teacher claiming she had ADD type tendencies. I was devastated. What did this teacher mean? Sure she fidgets a bit but so do a lot of 6 year-olds.

Is she getting her work done?
Is she disturbing the other children?
She has a late birthday and is one of the youngest in your class.

We went round and round for most of the year. I felt the teacher was overreacting and I’m not sure what she thought about me. Progress reports and report cards showed she was right where she should be academically.

Let’s be honest here there is nothing wrong with any learning disability. I just didn’t want her to have one because I felt it was somehow a direct result of what I had done. I think that is just a basic reaction to being a parent. You want them to do better than you and you want them to be better than you. If she has some sort of disability then I’m doing something wrong. That isn’t true but that is how I felt.

So the year progressed and as summer vacation began we took her to see a neuropsychologist. My pediatrician recommended this doctor with the stipulation that Meeshie is too young to be tested for ADD. The neuropsychologist spent about 6 hours giving her tests what I would equate with IQ tests. It was then determined that although very bright, Meeshie has a low working memory which is about 18 percent.

According to Wikipedia: Working memory is the executive and attentional aspect of short-term memory involved in the interim integration, processing, disposal, and retrieval of information. Basically she sometimes can’t determine which step to do next.

We purchased software to help her with exercising her working memory because it is a part of the brain that when exercised can increase its capacity. She still uses it a few times a week.

When she gets a few years older will I have to have her tested for ADD? I don’t know. Has this program helped her? I want to say yes but I’m not 100 percent sure. I have seen a huge improvement in her school work this year. Her penmanship is better and she follows the directions on her homework more closely.

But how do I know that isn’t just part of her maturing as a second grader?


Have you read this book?

January 13, 2010

When I was in my last year of college a friend of mine gave me this book.

I was in the home stretch of school working full-time and going downtown to Columbia College full-time. I was still living at home so that made it easier. I had decided that I wanted to learn Polish because although my grandma spoke and so did my mom as a family we did not-just a handful of words.

As a matter of fact for the longest time I thought that my grandma was born in Poland-she never assimilated. Barely spoke English, never learned to drive, always lived in a Polish neighborhood in the city, used Polish doctors things like that. It wasn’t until later that I discovered that she was born here and moved back and forth to Poland a few times living with her family there.

It was great confidence on my part that I decided that I would learn how to speak Polish. I bought tapes and listened to them in the car. How hard could it be? I had three years of French in high school and one semester in college. Piece of cake! I will crank out the language in no time.

That didn’t happen. The tapes were all over the board. I tried for 6 weeks and learned nothing other than the few words I already know.

It was during this time though that my friend gave me this wonderful book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

The illustrations are wonderful. The book was printed in 1955.

Here’s the Mad Hatter.

This is the scene where Alice starts to stick out of the Rabbit’s house and he sends in the lizard.

Is it too late for Rosetta Stone?


Cinnamon Rolls

January 9, 2010

I saw these on a website etsy(bakery sweets) and you can purchase the pattern to make the whole thing. That includes the baking sheet. How cool is that?

and these too. I love Bakerella it is a very cute site. She has tons of great ideas for baking. This picture was taken at some party that she went to for a friend.

I saw them and thought I can make something like that. After all I made my Christmas tree skirt. It took me 5 years but that’s okay. We didn’t have Meeshie yet. I had time on my hands. Actually my sister inspired me to make the skirt after she made me a Christmas stocking. She rocks with that stuff.

Okay so the skirt was a kit, but still. I made it. I decided to start with the cinnamon roll first because how hard could it be?

Doesn’t that look sad?

So sad that I didn’t even bother with the icing.

Well harder than I thought. I made it into an ornament because it isn’t that large and I am sharing because now that it is done I am using it as a tool of what I don’t want to do next time I make one. The hubby thinks it looks great but I think he just is trying to spare my feelings. He does that.

I have decided to make a cookie next to again gauge what I need to do in the future to make it better.

I love trial and error.

Any suggestions?

Cherry Dumplings

January 4, 2010

I made cherry dumplings for the first time yesterday. Is that sucha big deal, no not really. I had never really heard of them until my hubby talked about them on Thanksgiving. His sister wanted his mother’s recipe and so he asked my FIL for it.

I guess I need to point out that I have never met my MIL. She passed away when my husband was still in high school. I also need to point out that although I am 100% Polish, my husband is not. His mother was Chzech and although the two are like kissing cousins they are not the same.

Hence the cherry dumplings. I had never even had them before yesterday. Since I had decided to make pierogi I thought I would also add the dumplings into the mix. The dough was similar, and so was the process of boiling the dumpling. Plus my husband would get the sparkle in his eye when he asked me to make the dumplings-how could I not make them?

I had questions about the recipe that my FIL had given me so I asked my SIL. My FIL is 82 and can get confused. This recipe was in his handwriting but I knew my SIL could straighten out any of my concerns, right? What kind of cherries do you use? Do you really serve it with onions? Things like that. I should have been more careful.

First the hubby tells me they are not a dessert but a meal. Really??

I prepare the pan for the onion to saute and he tells me no that’s not what you do.

But your dad’s recipe says saute.
No and the onion needs to be diced really small.
Where is the cinnamon sugar?
But your dad’s recipe says just cinnamon.
Where is the melted butter?
But, but.
Why aren’t they shaped like golf balls?
You know you don’t fry them in the pan like pierogi.

I shaped them like my pierogi. I was on a roll and thought they looked fine. I started in the kitchen at 9 am and finished around 2 pm. Meeshie helped me and I had the iPod so the time flew, but still.

The dumplings tasted fine in the end but I knew better. My SIL thought I knew what I was doing. So did the hubby.

Go figure.

Oh-Here is the original recipe from my FIL. Don’t you love the spelling? A must state againg that I did not follow the dough recipe for these dumplings becuase I made my pierogi dough instead.


Happy New Year!

January 1, 2010

2010 the year I decided to start blogging.

One resolution down, how many more to go?

1. find a full-time job

2. start making felt crafts

3. help Meeshie with school

4. start blog
Here’s to a better 2010!
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