January 29, 2009

From Braces to Hot Flashes

Twice a year Judi and I go to The Black Ram in Des Plaines (of all places) to celebrate our birthdays. We've been celebrating our birthdays together for 46 years. FORTY-SIX. Where the hell did all that time go?
(Here's Jude and me circa 1965)

I don't know if you're lucky enough to have a friendship that's lasted so long but it's truly a treasure. I love the history we share; the weird hairdos, the funny glasses, braces, pimples, bad dates, makeup, clothes, tampons, our first jobs, our first husbands (and second and third), families, divorce(s), gray hair, wrinkles, hot flashes...
We've shared laughter, tears, love, friendship, fun, support, humor...
Jude's a constant in my life; someone I trust implicitly, who I can depend on, who I respect, admire and love; she has a kind heart and an amazing sense of humor. Judi's my rock.
Happy birthday, my friend.

January 21, 2009

Obeautiful Obamas

Yesterday was a fabulous day. It was very exciting, very moving...an exceptional time we're living in. I watched Barack Obama's swearing in at court (I was there for my volunteer work as a Court Appointed Special Advocate) on a TV in the calendar waiting room with a very snowy picture. All throughout the courthouse people were watching on TVs or internet connections. Even the judge came out of the courtroom to watch. When he said, "So help me God," there was spontaneous applause.
I've never seen this kind of enthusiasm for a president, have you? Expectations are extraordinarily high, it's a lot to live up to. But I feel that he's up to the task.
Barack and Michelle were beautiful at the balls last night. They seem very much in love, very connected. Do you think they had rockin' sex their first night in The White House?

January 19, 2009

The Inauguration

I don't know about you but I get very emotional when I think about Barack Obama's inauguration tomorrow. It gives me hope on so many levels; that our country has finally figured out that the color of someone's skin doesn't tell us what kind of person he or she is, that Barack Obama is a man who can truly unite our country and bring about the change (sorry, I know it's over-used) our country so desperately needs, and that history is being made.
I'm not naïve enough to believe that racism has been eradicated from our society - I wish that it were so - but we've come a long way. We've come far enough to elect a black man as our president and that in itself is amazing. But I fear for Obama's safety. Regrettably, there are still crazies out there. But if we let him I truly believe he will be one of our finest presidents.
Tomorrow is a historic day. I feel optimistic about the future of our country and about our future as individuals, even as I stare in disbelief at the losses in my investment accounts. I feel optimistic that Barack Obama is going to lead our country back to its greatness. I've never felt this kind of trust and confidence in a president before. I'm happy to live in these exciting times.

January 18, 2009

Book Review - The Red Scarf

The Red Scarf The Red Scarf by Kate Furnivall

My review

rating: 1 of 5 stars
I hate to give up on a book when I'm reading it for my book club but I read 84 pages. If I've gotten that far and I'm not engaged, I'm done. There are so many books to read and so many more that are worth my time.

View all my reviews.

January 12, 2009

Frances Cochran 9/3/20 - 1/11/09

Frances Cochran made my dad's life joyful for his last eight years. That was reason enough to love her, but I also loved her as my friend. She was a very special lady. (Picture is from my dad's 85th birthday party.)

My mom and dad's marriage was as close as you can get to an arranged marriage without really being one, and both my parents related the story of how my dad was 35 years old and hadn't married yet, and how, when he met my mother through a family friend, my grandmother thought she would be a good daughter-in-law. So she bought an engagement ring and told my father to give it to her. He did. Even though he wasn't in love with her. He grew to love my mom, he always told me when he related the story, but their marriage had many rough spots. Still, my father was a man of honor. He made a commitment and he kept it for 48 years.
After my mother died my dad was lucky enough to meet Frances who turned out to be the love of his life. She made him feel young again. And I love that my father's commitment to my mom was rewarded with a new and amazing relationship with this wonderful woman.
When my father fell in love with Frances, around 1992, he was like a kid; he was head over heals. He couldn't stop talking about her, bubbling over with happiness, proving that love can happen at any age. He was 82 at the time.
One day, after Dad and Frances had been together a little while he said to me, "Let me ask you a question. Did you ever shower with either of your husbands?"
I stared at him. I said, "Let me stop you here, Dad. I'm glad you're having fun but that's just a little too much information for me." All I needed was an image in my head of my 80-something father romping in the shower with his 70-something girlfriend.
My dad and Frances were together about eight years, lived together for about seven, and I never saw them fight, never heard a harsh word between them, never heard them complain publicly or privately about each other. They were utterly compatible and content. My father was never happier than he was when he was with Frances. She was everything he ever wanted or needed.
After my father died in 2000 Frances was still part of my life. I called her weekly and visited two or three times a year. For the last five years my Bill made the trip with me and, happily, they liked each other very much. It always brought a smile to my face to see them together.
For the last ten years Frances went through a lot physically, but she was a trooper. She didn't complain, she never had a "poor me" attitude, she coped with what she was dealt. She was an inspiration. She was a lovely lady and a blessing to all who knew her. I love her, and will miss her very much.

January 6, 2009

South Africa pictures from fellow safari-ers

I got some gorgeous photos from two of the guys who were on safari with us: Mete Tavukcuoglu from Istanbul and Kartik Varma from Dubai. They both have some stunning photos so I'm posting a few here. Some of these are National Geographic quality. Nice job, guys.