Wednesday, June 21, 2017

View from the room of my hostel, Venice, Mother's Day vacation, 2017.

My oldest son right where he likes to be ... in the thick of it all.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

My youngest son Jon is the editor and producer of this video.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Had a bad day? Watch this. Enjoy!

Laughed until I cried.

I don't even like soccer, but this video was the best thing i've seen today :P (not car related, but worth a watch!)

Posted by Street FX Motorsport & Graphics on Sunday, May 3, 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

I'll never get enough of this

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Here's the ingredients and recipe: Trifle Ingredients Fresh baked angel food cake (two); Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur (brown bottle); (use about 4-5 oz) Rose's Grenadine (red); use about 4-5 oz. Two pints fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced; two banannas, sliced and tossed in lemon juice; about 3/4 cup toasted coconut Homemade burnt sugar vanilla pudding (use vanilla pudding from Betty Crocker receipe book; add burnt sugar syrup or let first ingredients carmelize a little in pan creating the burnt sugar effect); About 1.5 cups whipping cream about 1.2 C of cane sugar ** Prepare the pudding in advance though it will drizzle better when warm. Start it at about 10 a.m. Toast the angel food cake by slicing it in half and placing under broiler. Stand by and watch it - pull out after it starts to carmelize and flip it, repeating on the other side. Let sit. Wash, hull and slice strawberries, set aside. Slice bananas - drizzle with lemon juice and toss; Tear or gently slice angel food cake into large bite-sized chunks. Layer ingredients - beginning with cake at the bottom. Cake Strawberries Drizzle with Godiva and Grenadine; Cake Bananas, drizzle, etc., until fruit and cake are about an inch and a half from top of Trifle bowl. Set aside. Whip cream with sugar until it holds its shape but not until it's stiff, or half if it to stiff the other half half way. Cover top of trifle with the loosest cream, so that it snakes its way down through the cake and fruit; Cover the trifle with the stiffer cream. Put about 3/4 c of coconut on a cookie sheet and place under broiler - stand and watch. When it is toasted take it out and let it cool. Layer top of trifle with the toasted coconut - you can hold off and do this before serving. Trifle may be best when done the night before. This is my OWN recipe, and I hope you enjoy it and if you share it, link my blog. Thanks!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Eyes Have It

It’s My Life By Diana Roemer This story is for women. For I am certain none but another female could comprehend the true tale I’m about to tell. Nobody likes saving money more than me. That’s why when the price of my favorite mascara (which, in case you’re a guy, is that dark stuff we ever-so-carefully layer onto our eyelashes) shot to nearly $30 a tube, I quit. I quit because I knew I could buy a drug store version for a third of Lancôme’s cost. So for a few years now, as my stash of “the good stuff” has dwindled to near nothing, I’ve amassed tube after tube of the bargain brand mascaras, brightly packaged in their blister packs, all promising lush, full, amazing, you-will-be-a-goddess-now-if-you-just-try-me eyelashes. In search of the Holy Grail of mascara, I’ve tested brands like Maybelline, Bonnie Bell, Cover Girl, Avon, Almay, and Revlon -- and, sadly, report there is nothing like the pricey Lancôme Precious Cells mascara. Nothing. Resigned, now, after years of arduous cheap mascara shopping (I’m so tired) I finally decided I must return to the almighty altar of Lancôme. So on a Sunday night, I began again to troll Lancôme’s online shop. I felt good about making the decision. After all. One’s eyelashes must be satisfied. I put a few choices into my “shopping cart,” and without actually clicking “buy now,” (I sleep on major purchases), I hit the hay. And then the next day – a Monday -- came. Mondays are notoriously cursed for me. That Monday, at about 8 a.m., I’d finished scraping an old Lancôme tube of its final contents happily stroking on what was left of “plum glimmer”-colored Precious Cells (which I bought about three years ago when the price was less than a barrel of oil). I think, in fact, they call it Precious Cells because it’s made with something so special the price of a few tubes rivals that of a small Porsche. And after finalizing my ritual of fluffing my eyelashes, cheeks, and lips, I stood back and looked. I was satisfied. This was going to be a good day. A good Monday. I had a ton of work at my office. But I was energized. Because (trumpet sound) I was wearing purple Lancôme “Precious Cells” mascara and I’d decided to buy more, yes more, MORE MORE! I was so pleased with that decision I was almost willing to enjoy the onset of winter when I looked out the window and realized “it’s snowing. It’s Monday. And I’ve gotta get on the road fast.” This called for the Cavalry: Much Caffeine! Forcing myself to remain upbeat despite the worsening dread of the 31.9-mile commute I was facing, I moved to the cupboard and chose a coffee cup from my vast coffee cup collection which just about matches – in sheer numbers -- the volume of my now-cast-off cheaper mascara collection. I chose an 8-inch tall red and white cup that features drifting colorful snowflakes. I was feeling kind of clever. Snowing outside – snowflake cup. I poured the snowflake cup about ¾ full. I took a sip. And then it happened. As I pulled the cup away from my face, it splashed. Like a wave crashing onto a beach, coffee slammed into my left eye. Not just the corner of the eye – directly INTO and ON the eye, a direct hit, the kind of hit that people sue fast food chains or cup manufacturers for. Every other woman who encounters the same issue might get the coffee on her blouse. Or in her hair. Or on the floor. Not me. I get it smack on the eyelid – the lid protected by the eyelashes that had the last of the million dollar mascara on it. My Precious Cells project had become a not-so-precious mess. I stood in my quiet kitchen, snow blowing outside, and for just a moment, my eyes shut, I contemplated the masterful symmetry of how this could happen. And I decided there had to be an angel watching over me that didn’t want me to get in my car just yet. I trudged back to the makeup mirror. Plum-colored mascara was smeared over and under my eyelids, dotting my skin like lavender ornaments on a Christmas tree, dripping from my lashes as if I’d been crying brown tears. I began the careful process of removing the smears. And I thought to myself: It’s a Monday, that’s for sure. But there is, yes, an upside. I know, for a fact, without a doubt, that I am still, and probably always will be, a true blond. And I now get to click “buy now” guilt-free. Life is good. ****

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Eagles concert at WIreless in Moline on oct 21 2013

Sunday, August 25, 2013

So. I'm headed to work. But before I go to the office, I have to clip my fingernails as they are too long to type. After heading to the bathroom and finding the clippers (but not actually clipping my nails, because of course my hair looked bad so I fiddled with it for awhile instead); while doing that, over my shoulder, I spy several pieces of clothing I need to take with me to Bob's tonight. I fold them and then wonder if I've lost enough weight to take along that (insert adjective) blouse from the other bedroom's closet. On my way there, I say -- forget that, let's try on that favorite white wool coat to see if THAT fits. That's in the hall closet. After satisfying myself it fits nicely, I hang it back up. That's when the trouble starts because I see the game "Outburst" which is a whole lot of fun, up on the shelf above. Justin Verhulst has been asking that we get together play some games with his wife and Bob Verhulst, so I begin to try to extricate Outburst from the shelf. It has other games on top of it - Yahtzee and Scrabble. I yank on it anyway. That's when the cup of dice I didn't see plunges into the depths of the closet, which by the way, has no light. Oh dear......That's when the real fun begins. Hours later, here is what I learned. (1) Strange things hide in the closet such as (a) broken golf clubs, (b) bottles of glitter {and glitter glue}, (c) 5,000 baseball caps, (d) Dog fur (I'm convinced dog fur never decomposes. Ever). 2) Easter egg string lights deserve to be hidden but the closet isn't forever enough; and 3) One woman does not need 10 winter scarves, a movie camera tripod from 1998, or Rollerblade knee pads. The closet is now cleaner, but someday the rest of that stuff I don't need is going to have to go. I'm not parting with my childhood ice skates though. Nope. Not ever. I'll strap them on when I'm 80 and get up on that ice. After I clean the closet, that is.

Friday, May 31, 2013

After four long years at Eastern Illinois University, Jon finally graduated. Congratulations my son!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

How we spend our time on the farm. I'm so lucky to have found him. What a great life.

Here's me and my boyfriend, Bob.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Church of the Brethren Newsline: Newsline: December 27, 2012

Church of the Brethren Newsline: Newsline: December 27, 2012: NEWS Delegation learns about sensitivities in the Holy Land, calls for continued work for two-state solution. National Youth Cabinet is an...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

An Original Tale from the Heartland

A Tale from the Heartland Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012 I was particularly concerned about being to work on time today because I had to take some time off yesterday to meet the MediaCom guy slated to repair my flagging Internet modem. I had also been out the entire Friday before at a seminar. So this Tuesday morning, when the alarm rang, I wanted to be up and at 'em in the worst way - LOTS TO DO~! My desk would be a mess at work, I knew. But somehow, life doesn't always work out the way it should, or the way we want it to. Because no matter how many alarms I set or how early I get up, there always seems to be SOMETHING that happens that shouldn't have that gets in my way. From marauding yellow jackets to exploding coffee grinders,
it seems this summer has offered my early-morning commute any number of challenges. Why should Tuesday -- me with my ardent "be on time" desire -- be any different?? Even though "BE ON TIME" burned deep in my sleepy brain, I pressed the "snooze" button, snuggling back down into my feather pillows for five more minutes -- only to be unable to drift back to sleep. You know that fuzzy mental state you're in where you hear something but you're not sure what it is? Well, I'm in that state a lot, it seems. There was, well, a "noise." Eyes still shut, I tried HARD to not focus on that banging noise, all the while part of me was craning to hear it, groaning "OH NO, NOW what?" and the other part of me was screaming "IGNORE IT! YOU HAVE TO BE TO WORK ON TIME! AND BY THE WAY - GET UP!" I snuggled harder. After a few minutes of this massive snuggling effort, I could take no more of the mysterious noise that was penetrating my dreamland. Sighing, I crept from bed and stumbled to the hall, which, for some reason, seems to be my port in the storm when there's a noise. The sound was still there, but faded. It sounded more like a faint kettle drum being beat, or gunshots in the distance. Maybe it's hunting season already, I mused. I walked to the kitchen, flipped on the coffee, and slid open the glass door to my back deck. I could still hear the noise, somewhere in the West, but it wasn't as loud as it was in my bedroom. It wasn't gunshots. It wasn't anything I could clearly discern. Hmmmmmm. Closing the door, I went back toward my bedroom, making a brief side trip to the basement to be sure it wasn't -- GASP -- the furnace. Or the water softener. Or the water heater. (Note: These are the types of machines this woman believes should work forever without fail and without failing. In fact, there should be a law about that. Note to self: write to Congressman). Nothing was wrong downstairs. I stood and stared at the furnace, willing it to not break this winter. It thumped back at me, the blower rolling silently in the background. I checked the window wells. No birds, rabbits or skunks stuck in them. I shrugged, and headed back upstairs to my bedroom. And there it was. AGAIN. Tap, tap tap, bang, flog flog, bang, tap. Tappity tap tap. Bang. Clunk. Baffled, I stood there. A hail storm the day
before could have dislodged a strip of siding, I guessed, but what could be making it bang? There was no wind! Dutifully, ignoring the ticking clock (I had already bungled the why-bother-with-it "be on time" theory anyway), I pulled on my slacks, blouse, shoes and stockings and trudged toward the back door, grabbing a cup of coffee on the way. I tip-toed quietly down the deck steps and sauntered suspiciously through the maze of bushes and trees I call a yard. Slipping silently around the 10-foot Douglas fir at the northwest corner of my ranch house, I came to a sudden halt. In front of me was the culprit. A giant turkey.
This was no ordinary turkey. This was a curious HUGE turkey. This turkey was banging its beak on my neighbor's glass sliding door. Standing on the concrete patio, that turkey - a monster by any reckoning - was communicating rapidly with the OTHER turkey he saw in his reflection. Tap, tap tap, bang, flog flog, bang, tap. His snood bobbling with the beat, he hammered that glass: tappity tap tap. Bang. The glass was covered with all kinds of wet turkey slime. So enthralled was he with that turkey in the glass, he didn't see me arrive. So I spoke. "What the hell are you doing?" I said, moving toward the bird, who quickly looked my way and began to do the backward trip-over-himself dance, apparently deciding at that point it would probably be better to run away than confront some raging female who didn't look at ALL like she was any fun. Maybe he thought I still ate meat. I waved my arms and hissed. He bolted across the front yards, and down the street, juggling sideways as his legs moved his fat pot as fast as he could. I chuckled to myself and shook my head as I wandered back to the house. Now I've seen it all, I thought. But then, knowing better, I thought: "What next? Martians landing?" Driving down the road awhile later, I texted my father, who, in his 81 years in Northwest Illinois, has told some tall tales of strange creatures and odd happenings in this neck of the woods. "Call me. You're not going to believe this one," I texted. I wasn't on time but the story I got to tell the group waiting for me made up for that - quite.
* * *

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Boys will be boy - again. Withrow and the Barons pitcher got ejected. And the game went on. That's Wes high-fiving Withrow as he made his way off the field after the ejection.