OMG I really need some new glasses.

I knew that it was harder to read the road signs. It was more evident, being out of town, since I NEEDED to read the signs to figure out where I was going. I knew also, that I was not always seeing the loose hair on the bathroom floor and crumbs on the counter tops.
When I saw on facebook that my niece was attending an online baby shower. I thought that was unusual and hadn’t heard of anyone skyping their baby shower. The final sign for me however, was when the recipe I was using to prepare dinner called for one package of small NOODIES. What???? Nudies????  Oh N O O D L E S.

Now I see that you can download an app that’s a reader on your phone.  You can use it instead of glasses….yeah sure. Now Brian did download a flashlight app, a blood pressure app and a level….all that is pretty high tech to me.  But glasses?  How does that work while you are driving?  Uh, it takes texting and driving to a whole new “level” now doesn’t it.

So I finally went to the mall, to a reputable optical company and made a new friend. Thanks Sandy for my great new specs and your encouragement. I had my friends on facebook vote for the best look and I’m even stylin’ with some Rx sunglasses!

So, I think I will stick with using my phone for a million other things but not for my driving eyes!

Here is the facebook voted choice for the new frames.


Keep your duct tape, it’s electrical I need!

Hotel rooms are notorious for excessive light! I mean who can sleep with all those red and green LED lights flashing? It’s like setting up camp in the center of a lit Christmas tree. There’s also the beaming light from the hallway security lights, the parking lot street lights and let’s not forget the neon Booty Call Lounge sign flashing next door. Do we have room darkening curtains? Yes, of course and they would work great if there wasn’t a 2 inch gap at the bottom and a 6 inch space between the wall and the rod at the top.

So to remedy the problem, after filling the gap at the top with excess clothes that don’t fit in our three drawers, electrical tape comes to the rescue. You know, the black tape that doesn’t get nearly the credit it deserves.  It’s perfect for the job.  It doesn’t leave a sticky residue. It can be removed and reapplied  from the trouble spots daily, it’s cheap, easy to acquire and can be easily cut to fit.

Now I know there will be detractors who say that covering the green blinking light from the carbon monoxide detector or smoke detector (whose light shines out like a one eyed monster and gets brighter from midnight till 4 a.m.) is not a good idea but honestly, I sleep with a very smart engineer who says it’s safe. Think of the possibilities: microwave and stove digital clocks, computers, phones and on and on.  It’s no wonder we are all sleep deprived!

So go ahead, get out that electrical tape and scissors and get busy. You will have a good night’s sleep tonight!

So what is a biz spouse you ask?

Biz spouses come in all sizes and descriptions.  Actually a biz spouse doesn’t have to be a spouse at all, not in the sense of a marital partner.  Take, Adeleen for example.  I met her in the laundry room the other day.  She is staying in the hotel with her sister. Sister travels around the heartland to train franchisee employees on the operation of some of their equipment.  So Adeleen goes along for the ride and the company.  She does their laundry and takes care of the administrative end of their travels.  Sister takes the company car and leaves Adeleen to her own devices. It’s a good arrangement and they share lots of adventures.

Another biz spouse is my very macho friend whose name I won’t mention.  He travels around the country from the north to the south with his wife. She has a unique position of doing short term admin jobs for a large utility company. They have grown children in Florida and Pennsylvania so it has worked well for them to see their grandchildren. Mr. Biz Spouse has a glass of wine ready for his wife when she comes in from her labors, they talk about their day.  He does a lot of writing and reading and is quite a character himself. He stays busy meeting new people and finding ways to be a blessing to those “never a stranger” folks he meets.

What is YOUR biz spouse story? Please share and I will include yours in a future blog.

Bnkrupt 5

I don’t know about you but if I had declared bankruptcy five times I don’t think I would choose that description for my vanity tag. Maybe N33d Mny or 2Broke4Bills or something less disparaging but I did see that on a car yesterday at a local breakfast spot.  But then, I have seen many noteworthy things during my 54 days in northern Illinois.

One shocking thing that I saw, and took pictures of, but won’t publish here, was several possibly inebriated gentlemen running and cavorting  across a frozen lake last Saturday.  True, the temperatures have been low enough to freeze the surface of the lake but just how deep might that ice be? These guys were 6 ft tall and 180 pounds or so.  But then I’m a Florida gal and just looking at somebody walking on what was WATER not long ago, was worthy of a few clicks on my phone camera

Doesn't everybody need a vacuum cleaner buddy?

An interesting thrift store find.

I also spotted this little treasure while working at the thrift shop yesterday.  Now here’s a find for sure.  We all need one of these little cuties to hide our ugly vacuum cleaner. I’m surprised that the original owner was willing to part with it. If they spot this blog, they could hurry on in to Share Stuff and buy it back. After all, the proceeds go to a very worthy cause.

Now I would never want to be a geographic snob because I bet if my Illinois friends take a trip to central Florida where I live, they will see some blog worthy sights too.  In fact, I’m positive!

Funny stories of a not so funny disease.

As I put out the call for folks to share some of their “out of their comfort zone” stories, I have heard from several folks with their amusing tidbits. There is 42 year old Beth who had been insisting for years that her blonde hair was indeed natural. After her chemo treatments and her pretty blonde hair grew back, she was pleased to prove her case!
By far the most hilarious story is from a local gal who endures the northern Illinois wind. It seems that she was getting out of her car in the church parking lot when a gust of wind took her wig and carried it into the hands of a gentleman getting out of his car also. She said that it went at him like a furry frisbee! His quick reflexes helped him out. Betty said that she bet catching the hairy thing wasn’t as awkward as handing it back to the horrified bald lady. She is still laughing!

And then there is this:

“I was reading a thread this morning and it reminded me of when I went roller skating with my kids.  I was totally bald and wore a scarf and hat.  One of the rules at the rink was “no head coverings of any sort”.  I talked to the manager.. a kid about 22, and asked him if I could wear my hat and he said yes but I had to fill out a form with my name, address and phone number (go figure), I’m a pretty good skater and was having a great time.. my scarf was flowing, I was skating backwards without falling and racing my kids.

An announcement was made:

“Please clear the skating floor.  We’d like to dedicate this next song to Mary Stevermer who is battling cancer.  Mary, if you would stand in the circle and skate.”  I protested, but the announcer (the 22 year old kid) was pretty positive and forceful so I played along.

The song was :”HAIR”.Surprised

I was there with members of my kids school.. so they all got on the rink when I signalled them.  It was an odd moment on my journey.


Thanks Mary!

“Somewhere over the Tebow”

Judy Garland would have adored Tim Tebow as many of us do. But now that football season is over, the focus is waning on Tim and moving on to other sports arenas. We love our sports heros and fortunately another good guy is taking center stage in sporting news. Jeremy Lin is our new Tim Tebow. He was an unlikely basketball star, having come from playing at Harvard. No NBA player has come from the great academic halls of that university. He is Asian American which puts him at the bottom of the usual candidates for basketball stardom. The odds were stacked against him, just like Tim Tebow. Another underdog makes a splash on a national scene.

So in case you haven’t heard of him. Number 17, Jeremy Lin plays for the New York Nicks and took them recently to an incredible 4-0 week! He was a virtual unknown who stepped in when Nicks player Baron Davis was injured. Lin had his moment to shine and he did!  Here is a quote from Lin. “If my basketball dreams came true I would playing in the NBA, preferably for one of my favorite teams. If I could choose where I would say the Golden State Warriors because that is where I’m from. But I would love to play in the NBA and that would be my ultimate dream and from that I would want to do a lot of things. I told myself if i made it in the NBA and stayed there for longer than a 10 day contract, I would write an autobiography and talk a lot about my faith. Society loves sports and society loves basketball and I think that would be a good way for me to reach out to people and to spread the word. I also know I want to do some type of ministry in urban communities and I think basketball is the perfect alley for that.”
Jeremy is a believer and makes no secret of giving the praise to the Lord for his ability and opportunity to shine.

Now we just need a unique, wholesome baseball star and we can have athletes almost worthy of a national obsession all year round.

Traveling Nurses

There are many occupations that travel around the country. Nurses have taken advantage of this way of life for many years. Often in these cases, it is the husband who is the biz spouse. I actually know of two couples who have done this routinely. One couple travels full time in a travel trailer and the other couple does the “snow bird” nursing. They travel to Florida in the winter where the need is greater due to the migration of so many to to the south and warmer climates. They go home then to Minnesota in the summer, where the need is again greater there. It’s a great way to see the country. Life is short so see what you can BEFORE you retire. Here is a website that answers many of the questions you may have about contract nursing opportunities.

A Tale of Two Cities

Music Man is my favorite musical. Ever since my daughter Hannah, played Ethel Toffelmeyer in the School of Music’s performance, I have been partial to that show. So when Brian told me that we were going to visit Dubuque, Iowa on Sunday, I was thrilled. The day was perfect! The sun was high, the wind was low and the traffic was easy.
We started the day with a visit to Galena, Illinois. It is billed as one of the prettiest cities in America. After seeing it, I concur with that title. We saw Ulysses S. Grant’s home there, perched in the perfect spot to enjoy the view of the quaint town. We roamed the busy streets filled with happy people, enjoying such a gorgeous day in mid February.
Then we drove the 10 or so miles to the picturesque crossing of the Mississippi River. Going over the bridge, puts you in the state of Iowa, in the city of Dubuque. My “Music Man” moment had arrived. The “Iowa Stubborn” song came flooding back. I didn’t actually meet any Iowans in our short visit there walking along the river walk, but I bet many of them like that song.

Open mouth… know what comes next!

I make every effort to run my words through the “think about this before you say it” filter. Proverbs is full of scriptures about using your head more and your mouth less. There is also that expression of having two ears and one mouth, meaning you should listen twice as much as you talk. But it’s only a matter of time for most of us, before we make that faux pas and we want Calgon to take us away….or Southwest airlines, depending on the size of the offense.
So it started off as a nice enough morning at the thrift store. I was working in the intake section where the items get dropped off. We greet those nice generous people, help them carry in their donations and offer them a receipt for tax purposes. When I walked out to help the gentleman, he explained that he had a lot of clothes and they were still on hangers. You know…… that should have been a clue but we get all kinds of stuff,  from stores even, so I didn’t see it coming. He was with another man and two ladies, still seated in the vehicle. So in my best conversational cheery voice I said, “wow! you guys are really making room in your closet to go out to do some shopping today huh?” Now of course in hindsight, I realize that if they were going to buy more clothes, they would HAVE KEPT THOSE HANGERS!
“No, my mother passed away recently and these are her clothes.” Oh my!  I recovered and explained how these clothes would go to folks who really need them and they would serve a great purpose and all that. You know, Solomon hadn’t met me when he wrote Proverbs. But that scripture that says “where there are many words, transgression is unavoidable?” Yeah, he wrote that for me.