January 1, 2017. The first page of a 365 page book.

We, as a society, are bombarded with cliches and quotes everyday on Facebook, Instagram, and the news. Our lives are summed up in one liners that either inspire us, make us feel inadequate or somewhere in between.  I have thought and thought of how I can use these one liners to create a way to express myself, find my passion, find my new purpose. Here it is! The first page of a 365 page book.

2017 is a year of change. There will be lots of first and last pages this year…Daughter studying abroad in Spain, Son graduating for High School, Fiance and I are getting married, moving to a new town, hopefully finding a job and beginning again. How do we write these pages, with joy and hope, sadness and reflection. There are many stories to tell, many perspectives to view from, but one thing to accomplish, sharing a journey. The road will be long an windy, filled with bad puns, anecdotes of small importance, a shot or two at poetry, and hopefully a little inspiration.  Read on.

Chapter 1- One Liners

Greek Alphabet

sol April 12, 2016

 

The Alphabet is one of the first songs a child will learn in their life. It is so important to the foundation of their learning. It is such an easy song to learn too. So you think… Until you have to learn a new alphabet later on in life.

My college daughter is extremely bright, honors student, 4.0, just a smash in class. But… she cannot master the Greek Alphabet. Why does she need to learn it? Well for initiation into her sorority, of course. She wants balance, study and fun, bonds with sisters and being able to make a difference in other peoples lives. She is struggling with the idea that it is not all about studying but to enjoy meeting new people, letting your hair down a little and having some fun. (And really I do not mean partying it up and getting crazy, just good fun.)

Some people may agree, some people may not. The reality is she is learning to balance and get out of her comfort zone. It is an experience.

But first… the Greek alphabet.. So I sang her a song. I sang it twice, to help her remember.. Hope it will help.

On to another day, but the Greek alphabet will be stuck in my head all day. I guess there could be worse things to think about.

Alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon,

Zeta, eta, Theta, iota,

Kappa, lambda, mu, nu, xi, omicron, phi

Rho, sigma, tau, Upsilon

Phi, Chi, Psi, Omega

 

 

 

 

Get out and Vote

sol April 5, 2016

 

The Primaries. A big day in Wisconsin. We take center stage on the national level to cast our vote for the upcoming Presidential Election. This is a big deal. We have had candidate galore riding around our home towns. They are stopping at our favorite lunch spots, they are talking to people on the street, they are holding huge rallies in our backyards to get their word out. It is an exciting time.

On a local level, even more issues are being decided. Today we are voting on the 5th school district referendum in the past 10 years. They have all failed and I am not sure what to think about this one too. Our school district has 7 elementary schools, 1 middle school and 1 high school which serves less than 2200 students. Our district wants to close 5 elementary schools build a new one and keep 2 small schools open. The school configurations would then be Pk4-4, Middle School 5-7 and high school 8-12. It is considered a Compromise plan and they want it pass.

We will see how it goes, with only 5 more hours of voting, we will see what the public says. I guess I wish the public would back education, but I also wish our school board would do what it needs to do once the decision is made. I hope that if the vote does not pass, they will not just say, go back to the drawing board but make the hard decisions that we voted them in to do. It will be hard and not very popular but it needs to be done. Until they start acting with authority I am still skeptical.

The national election is interesting  but the local election is the one I will be watching. We will wait and see.

Cliches

March 31, 2016

You should avoid cliches like the plague in writing.

Since we are finishing a fun project,  I thought I would be very cliche to write about my journey. Sooo… Here are some cliches.

“It has come, the day at last has come, at last”- Mae Peterson Bye Bye Birdie

They say it takes 28 days to make a habit, well it has been 31, sooo… I took the bull by the horn at the beginning the of the month to embark on a fabulous journey.  I should cut to the quick to say that I was very scared about taking on this project. I cried like a baby many days to think of things to write about.

In a jiffy, I cought on and realized that  when picking topics, I was like a kid in a candy shop. Mark my words, I enjoyed the project, and the naked truth is, I think I am addicted. But that is not written in stone as I might not post every day. I will go out on a limb and say at least once a week.

This project was a shot in the dark and EVERYONE has been so amazing and very supportive. They helped me think outside the box, it was too good to be true.

It is a V for victory on this project, I am not yanking your chain. I guess since I am at the end of this list, I should say, since I am only going to live once, I should make the best of it.

Until next time, next March, keep on writing. It is a wonderful thing. Thanks again!!!

Top 10 things on my mind

March 30, 2016

On February 5,2016, I learned about the writing challenge. I was very stressed about trying to write a blog and keep it interesting.  As of today, basically 2 months later, I can say I have accomplished more than I thought I would and also learned a little about myself. So I am going to do a Top 10 of what’s on my mind now.

10. Boy I am tired. A 3 am check in at the airport makes for a long day. I hope I can get some sleep on the plane.

9. I had a blast with my mom and my sister on my trip. I have learned patience and restraint on this trip. But it was a wonderful experience to have with them.

8. My son. He also was vacationing, in Washington DC. I am very nervous for him to make it to Chicago.

7. My daughter. She needs a ride home for a wedding, is that going to be me? 8 hours on the road to bring her home? When will she take her car?

6. School begins again in 5 days, break is wonderful.

5. My dog. I miss my dog. Barney is so much fun, can’t wait to see him.

4. Cold. With the wonderful weather in Puerto Rico, I am not sure how I will react to the cold. I know I will survive but now I have a new memory.

3. My weekend. My weekend plans are not necessarily set in stone. I am not wanting to stress but know that I need to have all my projects done before I go back to school. 
2. Larry. I really miss Larry. I look forward to hanging with him for some time tonight and tomorrow. I enjoy my time with him. I wish he could have come on the trip.

1. I am almost done with my writing challenge. Will I continue to blog? I hope so, as it has been a great way to decompress and try new things.

Casino Royale

 

March 29,2016

A casino is a place that evokes emotions, the ups and downs, the highs and lows. To you Casion Real, I give you this poem.

C- Cash goes in, cash goes out

A- Amid the the ringing bells the cheers and jeers

S- Signs direct me to tables and slots

I- I have an inkling that I may lose my money

N- Nice, helpful, and polite card dealers take my money with a frown (half smiling too)

O- Oh how I lament when I lose but how I jump for joy when I win.

All in all I came out ahead, but I realize how fast it can go. I enjoyed the fun time, even if it was only 25 minutes. Casino, a fun way to pass the time, and donate to the island.

Coconut Adventure

March 28, 2016

Never in life have I been to a place where I can gather coconuts. The a copious on the island. Everywhere I look there are coconut. I asked our pool bartender (Marilyn) if we could take them. She said sure. Sooo I got 2 and I left them outside out room. They say for 2 days, as I tried to figure out what to do with them. 

Finally, today, it was a quiet and relaxing day so I decided to see if I could open the coconut. The hard outer shell protects the inside from high up in the tree. Marilyn told me that if it is brown the milk will be gone but the meat is very good. She also told me that if I go throw it in the ground I will be able to crack it.

We took the coconut to the road and started throwing it to the ground. Many people were walking by, looking and laughing. I finally got it to crack. I then found a sharp stone to try to pry ithe crack open.

With lots of work and strength I got have of the shell off. I could see the coconut but it was still not able to be opened.

I then employed the help of the resorts handyman. He pried the nut al the way out of the shell. We then shook it and there was milk still inside, about 2.5 ounces. I was able to poke a straw through one of the top holes.

Finally, the towel attendant cracked it open, just perfectly and then dig out the meat. 

It was a perfect experience (the whole pool side was involved.) We shard the meat and the milk. It was such a treat, even for the locals. It was such a fun time to try something new, something I won’t get to experience any other time. 

Coconuts are very protected but once you get to the nut, there is such a wonderful, special experience. There is a metaphor in there somewhere, it just was an exceptional day. 

 

Life!

I love on a planet with such amazing ecosystems.

Take Antigo. It is amazing how the planet knows what to do. It starts the year, dead, covered in snow, cold and desolate. Animals and people survive through adaptation. Wind chills can be below 30 degrees below zero, animals will dig deeper into the snow and survive. Then the snow melts and life begins to come alive. As we head to summer, life explodes, we celebrate by enjoying the sun and cultivating the land for all life to live. Fall comes, we harvest, prepare for the winter and death to come.

Puerto Rico, so close to the equator and touched by the sun every day. The view may change but all in all the life thrives. It seems that there is a rotation of vegetation. But the sun kissed life seems to thrive all year long.
To decide which life I prefer more, this would be difficult. I love the change in seasons however, now that I have experienced this new life, I am just not sure. I think life needs to have cycles, there needs to be change. With death comes new level of life. 

I guess in the end I guess I am enjoying the visit but take me back to functional life of the mid west, frozen tundra to the amazing summers. Only 2 months to go. But until then, let’s enjoy the visit. 

Puerto Rico

 
March 26, 2016

We are here, we are here, we are here! I am so happy to finally see the place that I have been planning for 8 months. All of the planning, long chats and saving have been marching up to this trip.

Now…which way go we go? You can only plan so much. The fact is that we want to see everything but it there is so much and so little time to relax. This March has been so taxing, it actually nice to be able to just relax. So for the first day, sit by the pool and enjoy the sights.

What did I see, ballerinas and their partners practicing, an iguana, birds and flowers everywhere! The wonderful locals help us enjoy our stay. Our taxi driver had no clue where he is going but was so fun and very proud to show us his country.

Can’t wait to see what is in store for tomorrow, which way will we go. But…. We WILL wear sunscreen, promise.

#springbreak2016, #Sol16

Traveling Checklist

March 25, 2016

As I embark on my epic adventure to Puerto Rico🇵🇷, I have created a check list of all the things I will need to do before I go.

1. Board my dog, with his favorite friend Larry.

2. Pack my warm clothes in 1 bag and my winter clothes are left in the car.

3. Coordinate with the local police to monitor my house (my friend’s husband is waiting for a package to be delivered- he is a police officer.)

4. Download all of my iTunes movies on the IPAD so I have something to watch on the plane.

5. Kiss my lovey boyfriend good bye. I wish he could come.

6. Text mom and sister constantly to see where they are in there journey to meet me there.

7. Drop off the car at a really sketchy parking lot, but there are lots of nice cars there😬.

8. Get something to eat. Airport food is the best.

9. Drop my son off at his flight gate so he can spend some time with his grandfather, uncles, aunts, and cousins.

10. Hang out alone at the airport and write my blog.

11. Wait, with anticipation, to board my flight to Puerto Rico✈️ (in 1st class!!! Got an upgrade because I switch my flight due to overbooking!!!) 

Here we go!!!