Friday, February 27, 2009

I haven't blogged in a while. I sometimes can't think of anything decent to say, but today I was reading my subscriptions and I got a great idea from a new follower Streetcopswife and she had a '13 random songs on my ipod' list....

So I thought I'd give it a try!

1. Bright Lights - by Matchbox 20

2. At Last - by Etta James (not the version by that "dumbass Beyonce'")

3. Addiction (accoustic version) - by the Black Crowes

4. Give a Little Bit - by Supertramp

5. Sweet Release - by LIVE

6. Boogie Shoes - by KC & the Sunshine Band

7. Everyday - by Toby Lightman

8. Wild Horses - by the Sundays

9. Possession - by Sarah McLauchlan

10. Songbird - by Eva Cassidy

11. Crush - by Dave Matthews Band

12. Redneck Woman - by Teri Clark

13. Rainin' You - by Brad Paisley

Tell me your random list.....

BTW...I do my playlists via my mood. Here are some of my lists: Girl/Group/Boy Power. Sad Songs, Mellow Stuff, Sexy Chicago, Stupid Dumb Boys, Girlfriends, Fun Stuff, Hot September, Lost Tracks, Rain Songs, Colors (all the songs have colors in the title - same as the Rain Songs list)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Best of.....

Hi new folks.

I got this great idea from "Well Okay Sassy Britches" about welcoming my new followers (all of you since I only started blogging less than a month ago on blogspot) with a quick recap of some of my fave blogs.

Hey Sassy, I found out the hyperlink thing from Word, so hopefully they work! Thanks anyways!

Please take a look whenever you can. I appreciate your looking!!!

My Fantasy day...Can this REALLY happen?

I killed a robin....

Benches for our butts

A wine story.

2 Days of Chicago bliss....Spring 2008

My kind of town...Chi-Ca-Go

Red's Picture Dictionary - part 1


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Plumber update!!

I call my hub during the day yesterday and ask if he heard from the plumber. To which he replied, "Yes, he came and went."

I don't know why they think we can read their minds (at least when it comes to plumbing bills) so I ask, "Well, how much did it cost? What did they have to do? How did they get it out? How long was he there,?" You know, the ol' twenty questions dealie.

He casually responded, "$300.45 ." Of course he didn't embellish any of the questions I asked. He then said, "Well, it was $40.00 to come out, then we are Level 4 pricing, so it was $245 for that, then tax, etc."

"What the hell is Level 4 pricing mean?" I ask in a higher pitch than normal voice.

"How am I supposed to know?" To which I hang my head and wondered how he got along in life without common sense, because OBVIOUSLY, us women would have asked these kinds of life-changing questions.

Well...upon looking at the bill, the 'level pricing' was outlined in full which scared me because we were only level 4 out of 10 (10 being $998 for one hour).....must be for nuclear bomb repair or something. It is actually for 'emergency backup protection'. But in my mind, there is no plumbing service worth 998 bucks an hour.....OK, maybe sewage backup protection....

Turns out, all he did was come in, see the 'cartridge thingy' busted off inside, pull out a huge ass drill like you see in Freddy Kreuger movies and drill out the inside. When he put everything back in, 'overpriced plumber' casually mentions that now we might have to watch the downstairs pipes because when we tried to pry out the old 'cartridge thingy' we somehow bent the 'phalange thingy' and now could leak. If it doesn't leak into the tub, the 'overpriced plumber' says, then watch in the next week for a leak in the basement.

Great. Just great.

So now we wait to see if we have a basement leak. If we have to replace that pipe and the 'phalange thingy', then the plumber said it would cost $1000 or so to replace.

Fantastic. Moral of the story. CALL THE DAMN OVERPRICED PLUMBER. Just do it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


So my husband thinks he can do plumbing. I'm not sure why he thinks this. We have had a foray this summer where him and his dad tried to replace a garbage disposal that the guy at the store said would take a 'half hour, tops'....which turned into a festival of hammers and screw drivers against metal & bigger men than are possible to fit under the sink, fitting under the sink. I got nominated to be the 'girl under the sink' seeing as they weren't fitting too well.

We ran into a problem as well when we had to do the 'righty tighty, lefty loosey' thing and found out the moron who put the kitchen sink drain in, did it backwards, so all the while I was lefty looseying, I was in actuality, righty tightying. Yeah, don't ask.

Anyways. Last night my husband has this brilliant plan to fix the tub faucet that had started out as a light, but annoying drip, and has now escalated over the course of about a year to a full on stream that is costing us more than we care to admit on our water bill.

He goes to the 'friendly neighborhood home improvement store for dummies'.....and was promptly told by the tweeny girl that sold it to him, 'Oh, it's very easy. Just pull out the old one, and push in the new cartridge.'

Yeah, right.

He gets home and proceeds downstairs to shut off the water (Hey, at least he did that, right?), and the next thing I know, he is banging on what I know now to be the shower. He was able to get the faucet off, but the 'cartridge thingy' did NOT come out, I repeat....DID NOT come out at all.

After a while, all of the remaining plastic that was in the most remotest possibility to be grabbed on and pulled out to gain access to the 'cartridge thingy' was now nonexistent and broken off, leaving one small metal pipe.

He went back to the 'friendly neighborhood home improvement store for dummies' and talked to the tween again and got himself a lock wrench this time to attempt to remove the 'cartridge thingy'.

Upon arriving home, I had already begun to dig on line for those DIY sites to see if I can find anything with pictures, video attached, etc. You'd be surprised on how much there ISN'T. Frustrating! I did find one video and it proceded to stop 3 times JUST at the part I needed to know about. 3 times!! This means I had to watch the commercial endorsement of Dove Body wash 3 times in order to see the boring video of a 50-something guy with bad facial hair and a probable plumbers butt crack to get to the part where it conveniently geeks on me.

The next attempt by the hub was to pull with all his might at the small brass pipe that was part of the 'cartridge thingy' to see if it indeed could be popped out like the tween at the store said.

So, needless to say as he was pulling with the new nifty lock jaw pliers, POP off comes the pipe.

Yep, now our 'cartridge thingy' would NEVER come out. And of course, we didn't have the trap door behind the closet that my parents assured us we had like all other homeowners so that the pipes could be gotten at easily. No, we didn't HAVE ONE OF THOSE DOORS!!!!

We opt out of calling my mom to see if we could stay the night because with the lack of shower, that wasn't going to be very nice if we couldn't find a way to make only the TUB valve stay off. After finagling some and trying different combinations, we finally found the magic one that gave us a toilet, sink, kitchen sink and NO TUB.

I had to grab the phone and call the dreaded plumber. I haven't heard yet today what the outcome of it all is, but it sure can't be good.

As much as I say I don't really care, I DO because we don't really have any extra cash lying around, but the thought of having to do a sponge bath again, that doesn't include a beer & a massage, is not on my list of favorite things.

Monday, February 16, 2009

What's your bag??

So, I got this great idea for the blog from a new blog I'm following, Adlibby on the loose, so THANKS to her!

In reference to her's not fair if you take a purse that is fun, your fave, or something with more character than you happen to be using this minute. The rule has to be one that you carried with you today. Here's mine.

It is a pumpkin-spice colored suede purse that I got from "That's My Bag" on Michigan Avenue in Chicago on one of my many trips in to train for the Chicago 3-day walk.... I love it and it holds all of my crap, without looking TOO much like a suitcase. I love that the straps are long enough to go over my shoulder without it being too tight. It only cost me about 39 dollars and it is Sag Harbor brand. It came in an olive green too, but I got the larger tote accompaniment in that color. I have that one today too, but don't have pics of it.

Here is the inside.... I love that it has credit card slots (then I don't have to have a wallet in there). Keeps the weight lower! Despite it looking full, it really isn't. I have a small spiral notebook in there that has lists. I have a brag album of my awesome nephew who is incidentally 7 months old yesterday. I have a ton of lipstick/gloss/juice/chapstick....I am not sure why I have so many. That's actually after I removed about 6 tubes of various other colors just yesterday.

Lastly, here are the contents....unveiled. I'm not sure why I have 2 packs of gum either, or the dogtags. I think they are left over from me taking them from my car console to my purse and they never found a home at home...They are souveniers I got from the Harley 105th festival in Milwaukee in June (yes, June), and custom dog tags I had made when we were in DC last August (again, yes, August). I have a small pack for those ostentatious credit cards that I don't like to show that I have those silly cards like Bath & Body Works & actually kept the promotional fake credit card from the movie "Confessions of a Shopaholic" on accident. I have recently thrown that out, but you get my drift. I have my business card holder in the pretty blue case which I got from my sister, and a brochure from my business just in case. I did not remove all of the receipts from the center pocket, because that would just make me look messy!
In looking at the pile, I don't know where the money is!! Probably at the store where I got all of my lipgloss.

Tell me what's in your bag!!??

Friday, February 13, 2009

I would drive a 100,000 miles...

Today, at exactly 6:53 am, my little blueberry 2005 Hyundai Elantra's odometer flipped to 100,000 fantastic, long, draining, happy, tune-filled, ice-covered, and repetitious miles.

I got my car in February of 2005 and it is the first time I had a new car from the current year in which I purchased it and not the older model to save money. I didn't plan it that way, but they didn't have any other blue ones other than the one with the fabric protection and retractable sunroof that was in the showroom. I didn't need the fabric protection, but they insisted that was the only one. Of course, that meant an added 600 or so dollars to the cost of my new little car. The goal was to keep the payment low, and at $248, I think I succeeded, considering it is loaded with the sunroof which I couldn't do without, the better stereo, A/C, cruise, intermittent wipers, electric mirrors, etc......

My little car has seen lots of places. My sister and I went to Yellowstone, DC, Virginia Beach & it has taken countless trips to the Quad cities area where my husband and I have family. What I hadn't counted on was the fact that in less than 4 years, my warranty is through. I wouldn't be so disappointed, but with a 100,000 or a 10 year warranty, I was hoping that I'd get at least 7 years out of it. Damn the job that is 33 miles one way!! Ugh!!

The odometer flipped while I was on the I (I-94 for you city-folk) at the Gurnee Mills exit in Gurnee, IL. I was in the middle lane.

Thanks to my little car for giving me such fun!! Here's to another 100,000!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Dark & Twisty" song lyrics...

This is a repost from my Myspace from early 2007....

Keep in mind these are snippets or lyrics I think are good – for all different reasons – if only one that they work perfectly in that musical rift they happen to lie in, or one note really captures the feeling of the whole lyric. Some bring back good or bad memories. Sometimes they only sound worthy in the context of the music, but it's my blog and I can put whatever the hell I want on it! J A lot of these are depressing, and make me sound all 'dark and twisty'. I guess I'm a sap for sad songs! 3 stars if you can guess some of the song titles and artists. Some are easy! Maybe my appreciation for lyrics means I was a former poet too!

Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic.

Heal me…my darling, heal me…my darling.

I wanna be high, so high. I want to be free to know that things I do are right.

Bring the funk, funk me up, funk me down, funk my sideways, funk me always, got to bring the funk.

So come the following May, more than her appetite was getting wet.

No one's listening, not even the trees.
As I sit and watch the trees, Won't ya tell me if I scream will they bend down and listen to me. Makes me wonder if I know the words, will ya laugh at me or will I run?

I'm a stranger in my home.

But I'll see better when the smoke clears inside my head and I can listen when the screaming doesn't repeat everything I've said. All that remains is me and who I am at the end of the day and this happens everyday….

When your secret heart cannot speak so easily. Come here darling and have a little faith in me.

Watch the sun rise and fill our souls up.

Lovely lady, let me drink you, please. Won't spill a drop no, I promise you.

Would you forgive me love if I danced in your shower.
So forgive me love if I cry in your shower.
So forgive me love for the salt in your bed.

I need no soft lights to enchant me, if you'll only grant me the right to hold you every so tight and to feel in the night the nearness of you.

Hike up your skirt a little more and show the world to me.

Is no hope in you for me? No corner you could squeeze me? The space between. The tears we cry is the laughter that keeps us coming back for more…the wicked lies we tell to keep us safe from the pain. The space between. Where you smile and hide, that's where you'll find me if I get to go.

I, alone tempt you, fear is not the end of this.

Put your soul in the water and join me for a swim tonight.

I know this love is passing time, passing through like liquid. I am drunk in my desire.

Oh the quiet child awaits the day when she can break through the mold that clings like desperation.

Oh God, if you're out there, won't you hear me? I know we've never talked before….

Change my life, make it right, be my lady.

When you light those candles up there on the mantle settin the mood. I just lie there staring silently preparing to love on you. I can feel the heat from across the room, ain't it wild what a little flame can make you wanna do.

It feels like it's rainin' you. Runnin down my face, takes me to another place. I can't think of better way to drown. It feels like it's rainin' you.

When I get where I'm going, I will love and have no fear.

This is how it seems to me, life is only therapy, real expensive and no guarantee.

You set my soul free, now every word that she speaks to me is pure gold. She set my soul free. She give me love, she give me hope, she give me strength to bear my faults for you.

Just like a thirsty field, I can't complain a bit….cuz I'm thankful for every single drop I can get. His love's like rain on a tin roof, sweet song of a summertime storm, the way that it moves you. It's a melody of passion raging on…and then it's gone.

I drove all night, to get to you. Is that alright? I drove all night, crept in your room, woke you from your sleep to make love to you. Is that alright? I drove all night.

Oh, darlin, darlin, darlin' walk awhile with me…..

The dust has just begun to fall. Spin me round again and rub my eyes 'this can't be happening', when busy streets have messed with people who've stopped to hold their….hide and seek.

Oily marks appear on walls whether pleasure moments hung before they take over the sweeping insensitivities of this still life. Hide and seek.

For you…..they'll be no crying. For you……the sun will be shining cuz I feel that when I'm with you, it's alright. I know its right. And the songbirds keep singing like they know the score….and I love you, I love you, I love you, like never before.

Funny how my favorite shirt smells more like you than me, bitter traces left behind, stains that no one can see.

Let's go dance under the street lights, all the people in this world, let's come together, more than ever, I can feel it, can you feel it? Come on over, down to the corner, my sisters and my brothers, of every different color, don't you feel that sunshine? Telling you to hold tight, things will be alright, trying to get a better life… I know you want to let yourself go…..

I was feelin like a creep as I watched you asleep face down in the grass in the park in the middle of a hot afternoon. Your top was untied and I thought how nice it would be to follow the sweat down your spine.

Place your love, in my world. It's for you, it's made for you.

I can light the night up with my soul on fire. I can make the sun shine from pure desire. Let me feel that love come over me. Let me feel how strong it can be.

Like the desert, waiting for the rain, like a school kid, waiting for the spring, I'm just sitting here waiting for you to come on home and turn me on.

Hey my friend it seems your eyes are troubled. Care to share your time with me?

I'll walk half way 'round the world just to sit down by your side….troubles they may come and go, but good times, they're gold. When the road gets rocky girl, just steady as we go.

NOT A SONG LYRIC, BUT JUST A REALLY COOL LINE FROM A BOOK: "It's a beautiful thing to carry a person's tears in your pocket. Thank you." - The Doctor's Wife

2 DAYS TIL THE WEEKEND, BABY!!!!! CAN'T WAIT! (That's not a lyric, that's an original thought).

Decompress with me....

This is a repost from my Myspace fall of 2007....

So this was my lunch yesterday....Let me set the scene...Decompress with me!..
I run to the car outside in the lot and grab my blanket to save my butt from the faded planks of an old wooden porch of our pole-barn type office. The covered porch makes for a nice comfortable lunch in the spring and these days of the fall.

I had heated my leftover spaghetti in the microwave before heading out here and I'm hoping the bees aren't going to bother me like they have the last few days. Something about late fall that makes them crazy! I'm not one of those neurotic girls that go crazy when a bee comes by them. I usually just mind my own business about it. If they get close, I swat away and kill if i get the chance. Why can't we all cohabitate peacefully? I take my first bite and realize it's not half bad so the rest of it goes down smoothly.....with a pepsi chaser. I have found it is definitely a challenge to eat spaghetti with your legs stretched out in front of you and no table (in a skirt no less). Funny, I guess I should be more worried about 'sitting like a lady' than how to eat spaghetti on a porch. However, I am NOT.

The breeze is nice, thankfully, because it is about 80 and kinda stuffy out. You'd think it was midsummer, but the crumbling dry leaves that are bumping and twitching across the faded asphalt lot gives the fall season away. Ahead of me is the ash tree that looks beautiful in all the seasons, but drops 'catkins' from its branches that is not always pretty. Not like the maples that have those whirligigs or even a nice pine cone. They drop these things that look like petrified squirrel excrement. Not pretty.

The left and right of the flagstone steps are large cement planters filled at the last minute with a hodgepodge assortment of multicolored mums, million belles, kale, etc. for the fall. They had been empty until last week because one of the designers didn't like the first ones one of the maintenance crews put in, but I guess empty pots for 3 months are better than ugly ones? Not sure about that. I do NOT agree.

After partaking in a nice little lunch, I have toasted up enough to take off my shoes and shrug and soak up some real rays. Now that it's fall, the sun reaches all the under the porch roof (kind of defeating the purpose of a covered porch for shade, huh?) I actually got some color yesterday! It took a few paragraphs of my book to get me back on track to what was happening; after all, it's only at lunch that I'm able to take the time to actually read.

The tired arborvitaes that flank the driveway to the office have seen better days and for a 10 million dollar landscape co., you'd think they'd think about replanting with something that looks nicer. I guess we put all our energies into our customers. At least the entrance is now presentable.



The only thing missing is tunes on my ipod, but I would have hated to miss the sounds that accompany this wonderful weather for the drum solo of an 80's hair band, but maybe instead a nice piano piece by Jim Brickman or the lull of Norah Jones would've been more appropriate. I take a mental note to tune up next time.

My Fantasy day....can this REALLY happen??

First, the day would start out at about 50 hours long…..and the day would start counting down just before sunrise (summertime is about 5:30 or so?)….

Sunrise & my own thoughts, alone with a good book and tunes.

Fresh fruit on a patio overlooking the ocean, smells of jasmine, lily of the valley, lilacs and waves watching the sunrise emerge from sleep.

Light DMB or piano/Norah Jones/Eva Cassidy music

I would get dressed in a long thin gauzey linen fitted low back sundress, flip flops, take a walk on the beach. I'd see my neighbor, this hot guy I've always had a connection with walking towards me. We meet up and talk and walk for about an hour or so along the shoreline, stopping along the way to pick up things lost in the sand, shells & treasures. We gently hold hands and stop also for little smooches and hugs then break into a run back to our places collapsing on the sand laughing endlessly about nothing.

We part, I go to my art studio, also overlooking the ocean. It is very light with ambient sunlight, large windows open making the room smell of summer and acrylic paint, and of course, Jasmine, lily of the valley, and lilacs…..

I paint a large canvas, the largest I've done a 4 x 5' white mystery. I have an endless supply of every color imaginable and brushes that are at my every fingertip. The layout of my tools of the trade is easy to access, perfect actually as I start slathering the paint. The colors fall as ideas pour out of me and make the most beautiful painting I've ever done – it's of another Chicago skyline.

I take the painting, freshen up and go downstairs to hop into my mustang convertible, top down of course, that is magically filled with gas and buffed to a beautiful shine I can see myself in. I jam to awesomely sounding tunes floating over me. I sing and know every chorus of every song I sing. And I'm in tune!!!! I drive down the imaginary coastline that never ends, flipping a coin for rights and lefts through the countryside. I drive for what seems like ever, then stop along the way to take pictures of beautiful things – a lonely tree, a beautiful small secluded river. I park the car and hike down to the river sitting on the side of the banks with my feet resting on a rock as the water rushes over them.

I get back in the car and drive to the city. Take more pictures in the city and then go shopping with an unlimited credit card. Buy some camera stuff, art stuff, a pretty dress, every color lip gloss imaginable, some fabulously comfortable shoes, a great couple bathing suits and a great hat that actually looks GOOD on my peanut head. I drop my painting off at my gallery on Michigan Avenue ….

I get to North Ave. beach where it is a beautiful 80 degrees, small fluffy clouds overhead. The beach is bustling with all types of people. I make my way through the crowd and find a bunch of people I know. We hang out together in a large area with our Egyptian cotton towels all touching in a large circle. We have a cooler of 'Mike's Hard Berry' and Miller Lite and it's full of ice. Pizza hut is delivered. We play the music as loud as we want and all get up and dance, make out and sing at the top of our lungs. Each of us heads to the water as we feel the need, splashing and playing like we're kids. Dancing and feeling silly meeting new people! We spend several hours at the beach.

4 of us head out (me and 3 guys of course) where we walk along Michigan Avenue and stop by my gallery (still 80 degrees but it doesn't feel hot) and they buy me quaint little bouquets of flowers (daisies, lily of the valley, tulips) along the way from street vendors just because. I go in and Brett Favre is there wants to buy my painting for a million dollars and invites me to every Packer game for life. He decides he can't disappoint me so he decides to play football forever and vows to wave at me at the beginning of every game! He knows I'm his biggest fan! I gladly sell him the painting…

My friends and I all walk in arm in arm in arm in arm harmony back to our cars, laughing and telling stories. We stop for ice cream cones at Baskin Robbins - Mint Chocolate Chip - double scoop (with no calories of course).

We drive to the airport. We fly to Vegas to gamble a bit and hit the strip, just for a couple hours. [remember, time is no matter here – flying doesn't count against the time], then off to Australia to watch the Indy race on Indy's Gold Coast.

We then get a phone call from Dave Matthews & Norah Jones inviting me and all my friends to a huge outdoor concert at Red Rocks in Colorado . I get everyone on the phone and take their private jet to the concert. The electricity of the crowd makes for a fun evening. They sing all my favorite songs: Crush, Say Goodbye, Steady As We Go, Two Step, #34, Best of What's Around…..Turn Me On, What Am I to You, Long Day Is Over, Nearness of You, etc….

Most of the friends go home and one guy stays, we get back to my place and head out on bikes down the road a bit to a corner market and buy fresh filet and the sweetest corn on the cob as if it was straight from Iowa . Come back to the back patio along the beach and he makes me the most tender wonderful filet I've ever tasted in my life, lightly tasting of garlic butter and charcoal. The corn (I eat 3 ears) is slathered with butter that has no calories and lightly dusted with salt. We quietly eat on a blanket on the beach while watching the sun make it's way down slowly over the water. The pepsi is cold and fizzy. The glances are electric and the hearts race. I'm getting a buzz without the alcohol from sheer happiness of the days events.

We fall asleep kissing, touching and making love on the softest blanket on the sand as the light breeze grazes over our naked bodies. I have the most wonderful orgasms imaginable.

I feel safe, happy, content and fulfilled. I am rich, have a great beautiful huge loft overlooking the ocean with hardwood floors, high ceilings, endless windows, a surround system of music, a huge multi-tiered deck, a great studio & gallery in the city, lots of friends to hang out with, people who think I'm beautiful and fun and never want to let me go…….

Wow, if only this could happen....I guess that's why they call it a FANTASY.....

Jimmy John Rach...

I always tell you about the decent pics that I add (or maybe I’m biased), but this time I thought I would share with you a little story…..

I have led a very photographical life. My grandfather was a photographer in the war and throughout the 60s professionally. I was the only grandchild, so I was blessed with a childhood full of pics everytime I visited.

I never once had a blinking problem. Lately, that has changed. My husband and I own a photography business and I was a test subject a lot of the times for new equipment. Recently, we made the huge switch from Canon to Nikon. It was a huge adjustment, but the quality stood out with the Nikon and their flash system by far more superior than the Canon due to their precise light metering.

To be short, the Nikon system’s flash sends out a dual “pre-cursor” flash to “meter” the light and then flashes the correct amount of power to light the situation properly. It is nearly instantaneously and virtually undetectable to the naked eye. To everyone except me, I suppose. I have very sensitive eyes apparently because on a recent trip to Petrifying Springs Park in Kenosha, I was a test subject once again and suddenly had a blinking problem. I thought it was originally due to the different shutter sound, or that the red-eye reduction was on, however that was not the case. I must have taken about 3 or 4 blink shots to every non-blink shot. We have since remedied the problem with a workaround (use the flash in Manual, or use a separate pre-cursor flash 2 seconds apart from the regular flash instead of the 2 at once).

I now am affectionately known as a person with “Jimmy John eyes”…..this meaning “Freaky good, freaky fast.” I actually came up with that one and it seems to fit me….on both facets.

So, in the essence of making fun of myself, here are some of the terrible faces of the new “Jimmy John Rach”…..

Enjoy laughing…..I did, and it gets me through the bad days.



Happy drunk Rach….




“I am so sick of this shit Rach”


“I really have to use the bathroom Rach”


Regal Rach


Breast Cancer 3-day Walk - Day 3

DAY 3….Day 3 wasn’t bad. We were actually going to be bussed somewhere closer to the city because it would’ve been too long to go from Des Plaines to Soldier field where the closing ceremonies were, so they bussed us in yellow school busses to Lincolnwood on the north side of the city.


Our route was up through Bucktown, Wicker & Lincoln parks, then on down the lakefront via the path along the lake all the way down to Michigan Avenue through all the hustle and bustle of the big city, something I was waiting for the whole weekend. I love the city more than anything and enjoyed this day the best. Here is us at about 3 in the afternoon before arriving at Soldier field….that last mile there was long, but very satisfying. The 3 of us had stayed together the entire day (where as Fri & Sat we split up some and walked together some) and walked arm in arm in arm across the final line amidst many many other walkers, crew, staff, medical people and family screaming ‘You did it! You made it! You’re our heroes, we love you, we’re so proud of you! Thank you for walking!”. It was such an amazing feeling and we all bawled behind our sunglasses until we collapsed on a berm by the parking lot across from the festivities where we were told to hold until the ceremonies were to begin.




Pics of the ‘brooms’ that denoted the sweep vans on the routes…..


People made homemade signs and banners (like my mom and nephew did). It felt like you were the most wanted and appreciated people on the planet when you walked into that area with the stage.


My sister somehow found us in the crowd and got other walkers to get my attention by saying “are you Rachel, there’s someone that’s trying to talk to you over there.” It was great to see her and the hug was extra tight. Here’s the pic she took of us. Our white shirt denoted walker, Grey were crew, and pink were Survivors and they went in first.


Closing ceremonies were very moving. There were speeches from the nephew of Susan G. Komen (the son of the sister who made that fateful promise to her dying sister), and the director of the event, as well as other survivors. The shoe removal part of the ceremony was especially moving (and let’s admit that it felt good to take off the shoes.)



Here’s our families….



And us….


When we left the stadium, actually getting OUT of the area proved to be more of a hassle than we thought it would be. Luckily, my mom came prepared with brownies, rice krispie treats, chocolate chip cookies, drink boxes, some alcoholic beverages and soda, etc. to supply many walkers and their families as they waited in their cars in a huge line. We just sat on the curb by the car and enjoyed out new neighbor’s company, Iris and her family.



It was an amazing experience, and what was even better, is that all 3 of us girls walked every stinking last mile….all 60 of them – no sweep vans needed. We plan on doing it again next year, and plan on doubling what we raised. This year the 3 of us raised $11,174. We’re proud to say that we were able to do our part in helping rid our great world of this horrible disease. Who knows, breakthroughs in Breast Cancer, leads to breakthroughs in ALL kinds of cancer. My dad is a colon cancer survivor and I have a myspace friend who is also a survivor. And I know 3 ladies, all breast cancer survivors who all can continue to live thanks to the Susan G. Komen foundation. See you next year!!

Breast Cancer 3-day Walk - Day 2

DAY 2….Day 2 started out the same as day one, but we had a good breakfast after getting up at dawn and were on the road by 6:45 or so. It was cooler this day and looked like rain, so I made sure I had my poncho, but Tara and Deb had to get garbage bags from Walgreens. One person would buy a box and then just hand them out outside. The rain stopped within an hour and got warmer then.Here’s pit stop 2 on day 2…..and Tara in her ‘little black garbage bag dress.’


We walked a large circle around our camp that day, and my favorite part was the Mt. Prospect police department wore pink uniform shirts!


Lunch… 2…..


Throughout the days too there were ‘cheering sections’ – some larger than others – that really perked us up. In addition to people cheering and handing out candy, ice cubes, freeze pops, and sprays of water, they played music and cheered. Some of them had ‘red carpets’ that you cross and you had to dance across! There was also the Tata van that had a trailer in back that shot out bubbles and they had music going and the guys were dancing and cheering. That helped a lot to keep spirits and paces up during the day. We couldn’t have done it without them. Their were ‘spirit vans’ going around too with boas hanging from it and horns honking. All great and very needed. There were these two ‘angels (a husband and wife team. Later I learned the wife was a survivor)’ who rode their bikes around keeping morale up. The man angel would stop and play baseball at local games, and be a goalie during the soccer practice. There’s nothing like seeing an angel making a diving save at the soccer net.




Not only were there ‘spirit vans’ and people on corners that helped you through it, but there were ‘sweep vans’ that would basically pick you up if you couldn’t make it another step walking. They encouraged people to use them and people did. There was no shame in this. They would bring you to the next pit stop. If you were done for the day, they had busses that would bring you back to camp to rest.My and Tara’s husbands came to the cheering section in Glenview on Saturday afternoon. I went ahead after lunch while Tara waited for Deb and rested a while, and I got to rest at the cheering section while waiting for the girls…..


Here they are coming on in…..


And some of us hanging out. We are about 3 miles from the end of Day 2 back to camp.





Day 2 we all agreed was the hardest day. We knew what to expect, but our bodies were still screaming. I didn’t have many problems, although my arches hurt so taking off my shoes at every pit stop or grab N go was a must to stretch them, but no blisters so I was happy. Deb and Tara weren’t as lucky, with blisters and other problems. So we felt that the last mile on Day 2 was the worst….it was the hottest part of the whole weekend and began to get humid. This was the last half mile to camp….and it took forever.



Breast Cancer 3-day Walk - Day 1

As many of you know, August 8-10 I participated in the Chicago Breast Cancer 3-day Walk benefiting Susan G. Komen for the cure and the National Philanthropic Trust. It seems like forever ago already, but I’m finally taking time to blog about the great experience…..

Complete with pics…..

My team and I (Tara, my team captain, and Deb) have been training since we signed up in late February of this year, I more than the others because I love walking so much. I have a ‘4-mile route’ at home I walk at night to clear away the cobwebs. That sometimes works just as much as a cold beer and a good song. Not always, but most times.

If you had been reading my previous blogs, then you’d know that the most I walked at one time was 22 miles (to my mom’s and back), so I had been pretty prepared.

This first one is of us at the hotel ready to board the bus to the opening ceremonies.


We left work on Thursday night and headed to our hotel because the prospect of getting up at 3am in order to get ready and get to Northbrook Mall where our opening ceremonies were by 5 or 5:30 wasn’t too exciting. We got a good night sleep and arrived at the opening ceremonies at 5:45. What we saw when we got there was an amazing amount of people in crazy outfits, hats with nylon boobs on them, boas, pink, pink and more pink everywhere! People with bright colored socks and shirts so they were easily recognizable to family and friends were also there!

Here’s what it was like….




The weather was perfect all 3 days, with the exception of mid-Saturday morning where we got some sprinkles (thank God for garbage bags from Walgreens for Tara because she forgot her poncho). The weather was cooler and very unlike Chicago-land August weather, THANK GOD!Our first day was about 23 miles. It took a while for the crowds to thin out and get into a groove, but once we did, it was easier. The route was designed with pit stops or ‘grab N go’s’ at ever 2-3 miles, something we grew to really count on! This is our first real pit stop. Pit stops have water, Gatorade, potties & all kinds of food – my faves were string cheese, raisin boxes, banana parts, chips/pretzels, but they also had other fruit (the oranges made my hands sticky), and Smuckers Uncrustables. The Grab N Go’s had water, Gatorade and potties only. They were spaced opposite of each other.

Here is our first real pit stop and one of the tents. Lunches were decent and had different sandwiches or wraps for each day, along with some type of salad or coleslaw and fruit, as well as a dessert.




At the opening ceremonies, there were banners that signified different things (home, family, my sister, my mother, health, courage, etc.) and they were encouraged for the banner holder to keep passing the banners so that eventually most all the people could touch one and carry it throughout the first day. Here is Tara holding the Health banner…..


Our route on Friday was around Northbrook and heading to our camp, at the Oakton Community College grounds, so we headed out and made our way through the Botanic Gardens and continuing. We got to know how long it would take to reach our next stop and grew to love the site of the ‘blue porta-potties on the horizon’……but the signs telling us how long we had were nice too…..the Harley crossing guards lots of times had that info too, telling us, “Only 1.8 miles til the next pit stop, ladies! Keep going strong!”


Camp was fun. 2400 tents or so in long lines denoted by letter and number….kind of like a prison! Haha! Seriously, it wasn’t bad, and the dome tents only took about 2 minutes to put up. Here’s camp, along with the shower trucks and towel service (an extra $12 and worth every penny) and the memory tents where you could write your own story and sign the memoriam tent with your loved ones name.




Dinner was a great hot meal and even though there were activities in the huge ‘circus’ tent and a little shopping area for gear and souvenirs, we pretty much were tucked in our tents and sleeping bags (it was about 55 at night so the sleeping bag was a must) by 8:30 or 9. Hey, you try walking 22 miles and see how long you stay up at night!