CROWDS–Desperation or Celebration

And then today….

I see the news story of the Syrian Refugees and I wince.  It is now burned in my brain–the crowd’s desperation, the cramming into flimsy boats and trains and through bus windows.  The beautiful children, the haunting expressions, the death, the hysteria–what can I do?

I remember visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. and the experience of crowding into an elevator, getting off on the upper lever and crowding down the narrow hallway to begin the tour.  I’m sure this was architecturally designed on purpose, reminding visitors of the crowded cattle cars.

I have experienced crowds on numerous occasions but my experiences have been celebrations!  A few of my favorites include:

  1.  Crowding into a venue to see a concert–U2, Paul McCartney and Bon Jovi , to name a few.
  2. Crowding into Memphis and the Pyramid on the 25th anniversary of Elvis’ death was a celebration of The King we shared with thousands of his loyal fans.
  3. Crowding onto The Mall in Washington D.C. for the inauguration of President Obama (picture above) will always be a life defining moment.  Millions of people of all ages and sizes and colors mingled together with mutual respect and kindness and with the hope that this country had finally grown up and somehow changed.   It’s turned out to not be that easy.  Racism and hatred are as evident today as ever.


We walked for a while to a spot near the Washington Monument with this guy, Bill Murray, who seems to be a fan of crowds in a historical context.  He has related several stories over the years on Dave Letterman.  (Oh how I miss Dave.)

But now back to the crowds of desperation….again, my garage sale adventures led me to a home where the proceeds of the sale were to benefit the Syrian Refugees.  The seller is from Syria and we talked for a few minutes.  He thanked me for caring.  But again, what can I do?  I asked him that and he said it was too late.  It seems the most horrible things happen in the name of religion.


And then today….

Before I got out of bed this morning, I finished watching the last segment of this  3 hour documentary — awesome!

The DVR description says:

“Sequences feature the galleries of the National Gallery in London that shows how the exhibits are studied, restored and planned out over time.”

I love to hear English people talk, but I love even more hearing English people talk art!  I caught the programming (initially released in 2014) in the middle of the night and was awake enough to push the record button.

For the second time this week, the Bible story of Mary and Martha, was discussed.  First at a funeral and then with the artwork above.

The artwork of the early masters are particularly thought provoking.  The “Virgin of the Rocks” below is one example they discussed.


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I would encourage all to invest 3 hours of your life and enjoy this treasure.

And hopefully some day we can visit the museum in person.



MTV. VMA, Vinyl Records–If aging isn’t for sissies, then neither is today’s music!

I’m crazy about music–always have been!

I try to act my age, but I remember when the country was upset about Elvis and his simple gyrations on the Ed Sullivan Show.  That makes me 72. I watched the Video Music Awards Sunday night as I always do.  I know most of the music.

I’d love to have purple hair like Jim Peterik above, whom I ran into at the Brian Wilson show at Ravinia last month.  Jim is the EYE OF THE TIGER guy (Survivor, Ides of March) and he’s always gracious to his fans!

I’ve been picking up vinyl records at garage sales for years and now I’ve even been buying new vinyl–Hosier, Father John Misty, Jack White.  I have thousands of albums, hundreds of books, and all kinds of memorabilia–Grateful Dead Cookie Jar, Jerry Garcia doll, Beatles bootlegs–again from garage sales.

Sometimes I wonder if there’s something wrong with me.  When will I grow up?  Or should I work at growing up?

Or should I just keep enjoying today’s scene.  Outrageous is in.  Every year it seems like a “can you top this?” event.

The music I listen to covers every genre and every decade.  I play a record almost every day and now this week they sound better than ever with my new Kef speakers–again a garage sale.

One of my Artist’s Way projects is making a handmade journal from an old book.  I took an old library copy of “Life, Death, Legend” (Jim Morrison) and I am transforming it into my Dead Rock Star Album.  It’s so sad to recount the tragedies of so many young musicians–and the quirky way many have died!  I do this out of respect for all, but especially some favorites–Elvis, Ricky, George, John, Whitney, Marvin, Sam Cooke, Freddie Mercury, John Denver, Jackie Wilson, to name just a few.  Just think of the story of how each of them died.  I also treasure the journal I found by Kurt Cobain.

I sometimes wonder why music grabs such a hold of me, but I have been aware of music always.  I listened to it on the farm while helping to milk cows, I watched Dick Clark’s American Bandstand religiously, and I’ve toted my growing record collection to college to marriage to now!

Music helps make good days better and it helps make dark days tolerable.  I thank Elvis gospel for helping me deal with a family suicide.

God Is Nature

And then today….

I turn to nature to contemplate the circle of life, the meaning of life…and just living!

Death and serious illness has been circling around me and I am affected by each one!  Although I don’t participate often in organized religion, I was raised by two loving parents and the Methodist Church and I carry those values with me every day of my life.

I have always been mindful of the most intricate details of nature, and I celebrate   its wonder.  Lately the birds are capturing my attention the most.  The horned owl family that lives in our neighborhood year round, and visit our back yard regularly, have been particularly active and vocal.  I love them!

And then yesterday… 

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neighbor Jim called to tell me about a mystery bird in the nearby park.  I got a quick photo of it before it flew away, but we think it is an Osprey.  How exciting! The best things in life are free!

Walks in the woods and some Elvis Gospel are also sure to inspire and help lift me over tough times!


Garage Sale Treasures, Hostas, & More

And then today….

as on almost every Friday and Saturday, I went treasure hunting at garage sales.  Because the Hinsdale area is quite affluent, you never know what you might find–beautiful furniture, expensive kitsch, like new toys!  It’s become my weekend game.

I particularly look for vinyl records (been picking them up for years and have thousands–an addiction, I know) and other music memorabilia, toys for my grandchildren (who are now getting to big for them) and trinkets for my fairy/hippie garden.

Today I hit the jackpot with beautiful plants for my garden from a gentleman gardener in Oak Brook who is dividing his Hostas.   He has 30-some varieties, he said.  I might go back tomorrow!

At other garage sales today, I bought an old copy of “Catcher in the Rye”, a wheelchair for American Girl Doll (granddaughter), rescued a couple of brand new games for Toys for Tots, and a few Christmas stocking surprises.

Altogether today, I spent $33.50.

Listening to the radio as I drove, I learned this is Shark Week, and Discovery channel will televise special programming including a “Walk with the White Sharks” on Sunday evening.


Funniest thing– I have a small mounted shark on my staircase wall that I once bought at a garage sale!

Oh Holy Hoarding….


The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

And then today….

Okay, I’ve been procrastinating long enough.

I’m somewhat timid about blogging, but this class (subtitled “A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity”) has given me the courage to begin in earnest.  It’s hard for me to imagine anyone would care about what I have to say, but I write for myself–if anyone else is interested, that is a bonus!

Two important components of The Artist’s Way is to write morning pages each day and to take an Artist’s Date all by myself once a week.  More about the date later.  This is the beginning of my new morning pages.  I wrote religiously each day while I was taking the twelve week class and I realize I miss them.

My first news of the day is a text that a close high school friend, Patty, has died.  All my high school friends are close as I grew up on a farm in a small community of Chenoa and there were only 42 of us in our graduating class of 1961.  Many of us enjoyed 12 years of school experiences together!

Time is very precious.  I’m more mindful of this every day.

Someone wrote on Facebook page that Patty had this Dr. Seuss’ quote prominently displayed in her home:

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Dr. Seuss offers incredible wisdom and I like to quote him often.

And then today….

I will be working, listing a new property and showing another property.  I have much to write about my 30 years of real estate sales experiences–most of them very good!





Golfview Hills Waterfront Open House

Sunday May 17th open house from 1-3

 555 W. 58th St., Hinsdale 

will highlight the exceptional lifestyle of living on the lake in Golfview Hills!

As I begin to learn the many uses of a personal website (this one’s from WordPress), I’m hoping to expand my knowledge on new and better ways to market my real estate listings and to offer current real estate information.

5760 S. Monroe

5760 S. Monroe is also available in Golfview offering one level living at its best!

Although it is not waterfront property, it’s interior location is just steps from the park, the playground, and access to the private 33 acre lake.

Happy, Helping Attitudes

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference…..Winston Churchill

My sister recently sent me the link to this article from the Daily Pantograph, the newspaper I grew up with in central Illinois.  Chenoa was my small home town (population 1700) and this article celebrates the work of Dan Boian (I remember him well, but it’s been years and years since I’ve seen him) and his glowing attitude and life work as an owner/pharmacist of an old, old independent drug store.  I used to ponder over which penny candy to buy there 60 years!  This is a Mayberry type story.  Congratulations to Dan for a job well done and a life well lived!

Dan Boian, Chenoa Pharmacy

I continue to marvel at the attitude of a few individuals in Hinsdale, an affluent suburb of Chicago near where we live now, as they demonstrate joy in their everyday jobs!

1.  Congratulations to Buzz at the post office for a perennial smile and helpful attitude no matter the time of day and the length of the line.

2.  Congratulations to happy Michelle at Pages Restaurant (long history and vintage decor) who knows everyone by name and remembers what each usually orders.  Highlights for Pages include being featured on Windy City Live television show and Coach Quinneville, a frequent fan of Pages’ breakfast, celebrating by bringing in the Stanley Cup!

3.  Congratulations to Fullers’ Car Wash for the continuous polite and efficient work of their fleet of employees.


Chicago Flower & Garden Show 2015


do green, do good” is the theme of this year’s Chicago Flower & Garden Show.  We were there yesterday to get a “fix” for Spring, and it was quite stimulating with lush gardens and aquascapes.  However, my favorite part was the display of a variety of masks created by Women’s Journey in Fiberoriginated by Janette Gerber.  I’d sure like to meet her.  Different artists created different masks with a theme offered in a written note displayed to the side of each.  The above photo of Mother Earth by Jeanne Reed was accompanied by an essay ending with this line:

Isn’t it time that all people everywhere in the world worked together to conserve, share, and preserve the resources of Mother Earth?

I agree.

Petition Asking for Removal of District 86 Board Member


I just signed the petition, “District 86 Board of Education: Remove board member Claudia Manley after bullying incidents.”  Please read the article linked below and you might consider signing too.

Hinsdale High School District has been one of the top rated Illinois schools, even national recognition, but the present Board of Education majority of four have pushed their narrow minded agenda and I worry of the long term effects!  This is just the latest example of a board member’s inappropriate behavior toward a student.

Here’s the link: