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Friday, March 19, 2010

"Stoopin It" weather is here

Yesterday was amazing.  Our first real "stoopin it" weather where we could sit on the stoop on our mesh sport chairs, feeling the warmth of the wind brush against our face.  Many of the neighbor kids were over in our yard playing football, the first of the season because all the snow was gone.  Again, the buzz of the neighborhood was palpable and the kids were at our house, playing on our swing, on our hammock, and playing basketball at the hoop.   It reminded me of my childhood where the kids,  most of the time were at our house playing in our yard and just hanging out.  My dad was so cool and loved the buzz of all the children at his home, and I feel the same way. 

Also, I  had all the neighbors over the other night for my twin sisters' six year, cancer- free anniversary party. Yes, these are my awesome neighbors that inspired my blog.  See pictures of the party to left of this post. I can't believe it has been six years since the utter hell of finding out my twin had lung cancer. She was never a smoker, so what an absolute shock.  My twinster now lives with myself and my two young children and we would have it no other way. Our lives are so much richer with her living here.  She works out of our home for a creative marketing firm, is a blogger and nannies my two  amazing children.  She has the responsibility of driving my kids to their sports, school activities and so on. This lets me feel stress- free while I am working outside of the home.  I am truly blessed.  Back to the party I had for Linda, on her cancer- free anniversary, which is St. Patrick's day, a hard one to forget.  I had a pink gorilla over to do a comedy skit and perform a singing telegram for her. I think it was unforgettable.  How could we ever forget a pink gorilla.  He was such a nice older man that just made my sis feel like it was a down home act.  He sang songs from my fathers generation and it made my heart feel so warm. Please check out his link on my blog.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy St. Pats Bloggers

 An Old Irish Blessing
“May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

What's in My Future?

I love spring and all that goes with it, especially in our charming neighborhood culdesac.  How bout that Minnesota spring day yesterday huh? The sun was shining bright  like nobody's business.  My neighborhood was buzzing with kids, moms and parents, cyclists, runners and more of those simple but ever so lovely conversations that I  treasure so.   This is what I live for, the conversations, the connections, the parent stories, validations and support.  This is " Stoopin It" weather at it's most exciting point since we have only had a couple of nice sunny warm days at 40 degrees here in the western suburbs of Minnesota.   Can you picture it?  Scads of kids in  their summer attire in the  neighbors driveway next door, filling air into many of the neighborhood kids bike tires, tightening up old worn down and loose screws on the old bikes and very happy childrens faces.  Yes, those faces of the children, how excited they are about getting out the bikes, the clothes and the neighborhood back together again after a Loooooong winters nap.  Here in Minnesota, we all pretty much disappear and really many of us do not like the snow. We hibernate in our homes when it is cold. 
I really do not care where we live, what race, religion, culture,  income bracket we come from, we really all do just want to connect on some level.  You look into peoples eyes at this time of year and there is a JOY that could only come from the melt down.  Most of our snow is gone. 

Anyway, here is what is in the future for my neighborhood now that spring is springing up again.   In my future I can see my family, friends, neighbors at the bonfire, kids playing outside games like, Ghost in the Graveyard,  four square, basketball, wall ball and more.......

Please let me know what spring is like where your from, what games do the children play in your neighborhood, on your stoop, around or beyond your fence, gate, yard, alley,  apartment, condo  HUH?  Please let me know.  It will be fun to have comments.

"If we are to have real peace, we must begin with the children"


Ghandi

Sunday, March 14, 2010

dreams.....

Have you ever awoken in the morning and actually been real mad at someone?  I had a dream about my twin sister and woke up so angry at her.  It was pretty funny since in my family when we awake we share our dreams.  I shared how mad I was with my twin and my two kids since my twin lives with us.  It was a fun family moment, me sharing my dream, my twin wonderin if I would forgive her, and I feeling as if this dream was so real. 

No worries, we all  processed and I found it in my heart to forgive my sis for how rude she was to me in the dream. 

Have a great day as in Minnesota it is sunny  and so warm, no need for a winter coat or jacket.  It is 54 degrees.

I read one of my followers blogs last night and he asked everyone how they get inspiration.  How do you all get it. 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The W Hotel in Minneapolis- Within the Foshay Tower

Part of my job description at Perspectives Inc. as a director of volunteers, is to recruit local chefs who teach cooking skills to our at -risk youth from k-6th grade.  I love to cook myself and so recruiting local chefs for such an amazing cause is Heaven to me. The chefs in the twin cities are so willing to give to children of poverty.  I see the best of the best in humanity by the outpouring of support that I get from our local chefs and restaurants. Here are just some of the venues that support our kids to name a few: Figlios, Lord Fletchers, Joes Garage, Burger Jones, McCormick and Schmicks, Chipotle, Oceanaire, Bucca, Hopkins American Legion,  and more.  Tonight, I went to Manny's steak house with my family for the purpose to recruit a local chef from Manny's or Parosole' and what a fun experience we had.  Parasole owns many restaurants including Manny's and they have participated in fundraising efforts for us. I would rate our dining experience on a scale from 1-10, with ten being at the top, as an absolute ten.  We loved the steak, the cheesy hashbrowns, asparagus, bearnaise sauce, sauteed mushrooms and their variety of bread is top notch.  I talked to Mike, the G.M. and we discussed the opportunity for his chef staff to come on out and cook for our kids.  Mike said that he really likes to work for Parosole since the company is very much in to the community giving aspect for their employees. 

I love to peope watch, do you?  I sat on a brown leather lounge chair with a soft silver pillow on it at the W hotel while my family went up the elevator to look down from the observation deck.  They loved it by the way, a fun thing to do with friends or family.  They charge eight dollors a head to observe the city scape and I guess it was well worth it.  While they did that, I found myself  observing everyone that walked by me.  From a beautiful dark skinned woman that looked like a lady of the night with a gentleman, to the down to earth couple in Khacki's that looked young in their relationship.  What a perfect night.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Long Day

Long day, too tired, no blog. 

                                              

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Morning Song

I tried to ignore my alarm clock but to no avail, it was much too loud. My better judgement, which this morning was telling me to stay in my warm bed gave way to the reality of the days events and schedules. I forced my body up slowly and away from the comfort of my freshly washed comforter to prepare myself for a training that I was to lead later in the day. Bananna and water bottle in hand, I was now half ready to face the day. I grabbed my bright red luggage cart with my training materials and overhead and out the door I went. The training was titled (in my updated curriculum) "How to effectively use your anger as an ally to fuel positive relationships". As I crawled lethargically into my chilly Jeep Cherokee, I noticed a familiar yet beautiful sound. I looked around and saw a rainbow of colored birds singing high in the trees. The birds were gently rocking on the branches that the wind took on as its own child. I took a second look and to my surprise, I noticed it was a beautiful Red Cardinal and Robin back for a new adventure as spring awakened. I felt gratitude in this moment. I felt I had recieved a gift, a free gift offered up by nature that let me experience a private concert in my own front yard. How perfect: A morning serenade.
A morning song from nature made especially for me.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Don't Pinch Too Hard

Have you ever woken up one day and felt that every thing you have ever wanted is right here? It hasn't always felt like this for me, trust me. I look back on my rich life experience and it has taught me volumes about who I am, what I am really about, what I believe in and stand for. I have a renewed and more personal relationship & faith in a loving God who is always there. I have loving & absolutley amazing children, family of origin, friends, my career in human services, my consulting business as a speaker, my puppies, blogging and living in my lovely home, in my charming neighborhood, with my identical twin sister Linda. I mean R-E-A-L-L-Y, pinch me now, but not too hard. I never realized or could forsee how time could heal such deep wounds from my complicated, thirteen year marriage. The fear and lonliness felt endless in those first days. One thing I know about me for sure, is that I do see the cup half full, no matter what it is that is being served up. I also want to be clear that leaving anything or anyone or the comfort of status quo is really tough, scary and sometimes just plain awful. There are some gems though that I want to share with you just in case there may be those out there that need to see the HOPE. Some of what I never thought I would feel is... the strong and ever growing confidence in myself, security and liberation, how wonderful it feels to have the sense of accomplishment in learning and participating in the more male stereo-typical chores in and out of the home that my ex husband used to take care of. I now know how to clean gutters, change furnance filters, turn water on and off for each season, mow the lawn with a go-green mower, shovel, fix door knobs and much much more. This is why I love blogging because I was planning to share snipets with you about my presentation.
I woke up this morning and took my vitamins, ate my bananna and set off for a Minneapolis training that I led for women in recovery. I do this quarterly, at least, and some months I facilitate this training every other week. This training is entitled " Family Violence". Each and every time I leave one of these speaking engagements I feel like....Just pinch me...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A stones Throw Away

Aren't I too young to have kidney stones? I guess not because I have suffered for almost one full week with them... I have not been able to sleep in my own bed and have been sleeping, sitting up on my recliner. I have missed three days of work and have been falling on the floor writhing in pain. I am a stones throw away from "crazyville". Lesson learned: Drink 64 ounces or eight glasses of water each day like we all have heard. This is my preaching to the choir sermon because I do not want anyone to suffer with these little grain like stones that can turn your life upside down. Ok, enough of me feeling sorry for myself, but I want you to know, I have been diligent at drinking my water as of late. Thank God for my homeopathic chiroprator who gave me an elixir to heal my, or should I say dissolve my little stones away. Thanks Doc Nasheroo.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A day in the Life of a Foodie

Twin Cities Restaurants Host `Fork the Fire` Benefit--March 14

Three Special Events on March 14 to Help Heidi`s and Blackbird Restaurants Recover

More than 55 restaurants are banding together to help Heidi`s and Blackbird, two Twin Cities restaurants that burned completely in the recent fire in South Minneapolis.

On March 14, choose one of three delicious ways to be part of this awesome outpouring of support. Pick your spot, book your table and join chefs and staff across the cities for `Fork the Fire.`

1) Enjoy brunch, lunch or dinner at your favorite restaurant. A portion of the proceeds from meals served that day will go to the relief fund. For a complete list of restaurnts see Fork the Fire on Facebook.

2) Bring your friends to Mission American Kitchen where chefs from 12 of your favorite restaurants, including D`Amico Kitchen, La Belle Vie, Vincent`s, Edina Grill, The Dakota, Cave Vin, Pierre`s Bistro and others will serve their specialties from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. Come early and chat with Heidi`s Chef/Owner Stuart Woodman. The $30 door price goes to the relief fund. Cash bar and complimentary parking in the IDS Center. Call 612-339-1000 for information.

3) Owners Linda and Todd Haug of Cafe 28 (2724 W. 43rd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55410) and Surly Beer will host talented Blackbird`s Chef/Owner Chris Stevens who will be cooking at this deliciously fun $25.00 event. Call 612-926-2800 for information.

Fork the Fire with Family and Friends, March 14, 2010

I am a member of the most amazing networking organization called Women Who Really Cook. If you want to join and love to cook, own a restaurant, are a caterer, personal chef or just plain love to know more about food, call Laura at 952-926-2600. Sue Zelickson, radio critic on WCCO made me an honorary member five years ago. It is such an amazing network of professional women. Sue Zelickson is a great food critic and one of the founders of the Kids Cafe I recruit guest chefs for at Perspectives Inc.