Did you know Tootsie Rolls are made in Chicago?

4808E90E-6DE6-4429-A5C0-6D35C99382C0This week I got the biggest surprise. My daughter and I were entering the freeway when she yelled, “Mama, LOOK, it’s the Tootsie Roll truck.” As I was driving I couldn’t take a look, so I said, “Quick, take a picture, my blogging friends will enjoy seeing this.”

As you can see, she was quite the photographer, she got a GREAT shot of the truck. Then one night she was “behind” the Tootsie Roll truck and got a picture of the Owl and the famous saying of “How many licks in a tootsie roll pop?”

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Why the smiles and excitement? With our changing world, it is nice to know there are a few things from our childhood grade school days that still exists — AND — that is the Tootsie Roll, which has been produced in the United States since 1907.

Oh, and Leo Hirshfield (an Austrian immigrant) created this candy for his five year old daughter whose nickname was “Tootsie,” and there you have the name “Tootsie Roll.”

American soldiers ate tootsie rolls as field rations during WWII, because of the hardiness of the candy in different environmental conditions.

So, if you are ever in Chicago, keep your eye out for the Tootsie Roll truck. When you see it go buy, you’ll have to smile and THINK, “How many licks ARE THERE in a tootsie roll pop?”

Football: Notre Dame v.s. Northwestern University

55E8AB61-E124-4291-A275-7521F8F7FEC3For those of you who follow football, this weekend (November 3, 2018) the University of Notre Dame plays Northwestern University in Evanston (North of Chicago). It supposed to be a BIG game, we have not played them in 40 years and we lost last time. Of course, I am an ND fan. Game Day t-shirts are on sale now. ND fans, wear your blue/gold with PRIDE!

Go IRISH!

When you need writing inspiration, take a walk in the Zoo!

1666711D-6630-40D2-8E8E-8C0F71F8D979I love Fall, it’s such a great time of year. Yesterday, I went for a walk and I ended up at the zoo. It was a blustery day as Pooh Bear would say. I needed inspiration for my writing and taking a walk always helps clear the mind and offers new ideas.

I found this lion photo amusing. So, the male is sleeping while the female watches out for danger. From time to time, the male lion did lift his head to ROAR, and boy was it loud. I was in the gift shop when I heard him. He went on a few times. I rushed to the door thinking I would see him on top of the rock where the lioness was sitting. You know, letting the entire zoo know he was in charge. No such luck.

As I continued my walk I got a good shot of the zebra.

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I think you might enjoy this quick video of the Japanese Macaque.

Would love to hear where you go walking for inspiration.

Las Vegas Desert Art… Have you seen “Seven Magic Mountains”

2D667E2E-7BD6-46DB-9AC1-7C107452F32ESwiss Artist, Ugo Rondinone, created this colorful boulder display called, “Seven Magic Mountains” in the desert of Las Vegas. The exhibition started May 2016 and has been extended due to its popularity.

What do you think? If you went to Las Vegas, would you rent a car, drive out to the desert and see this exhibit OR would you stay in the casino and gamble?

German Oktoberfest is here! Time to go to Munich.

Oktober fest collageI almost forgot it was Oktoberfest! I was at Cost Plus / World Market the other day and they had a German section of food for Oktoberfest celebrations. The usual variety of sausages, mustards, beers, spaetzle, pretzels, chocolates and more.

Lederhosen group of men

Have you ever been to Munich for Oktoberfest? It’s really beautiful to see the men in their lederhosen and the women in their dirndles. I think this is the only place in the world where you will see grown men wearing leather shorts with bright colored shirts and as you see in the photo, you have to have the right shoes and socks too!

schnitzel

They really celebrate with fabulous music, singing and good food. Who can resist some schnitzel?! It’s a special tradition they have. My in/laws are German, so we always celebrated with their German friends, it was fun! They would sing all the German songs together, locking arms together swinging back and forth. Singing from their hearts.

My favorite is the Chicken Dance, here is a Youtube video (Wurstfest – How to Chicken Dance) that explains the steps for the chicken dance. In Germany, (EVERYONE) old and young get up to dance this dance. Enjoy this German tradition!

Chicago: Take the Untouchable Tours, learn about Al Capone in the 1920s/30s

Untouchable Tour BusI was on a street corner one night when this “Untouchable Tours” bus went by. I whipped out my camera to get a picture. Clearly this was a gangster tour bus. You can see they have pictures of some of the gangsters in the windows.

Visiting the website, “Gangster Tour,” it sounds like this tour makes learning about Chicago in the 1920s and 1930s (Prohibition Era) entertaining, because the tour guides are actors that dress the part of a gangster. They say this tour has been going on for 30 years, I had no idea. This was not a nice time in Chicago history. It was the Italians in the South (Jonny Torrio/Al Capone) against the Irish in the North (Dion O’Bannion, Hymie Weiess, and Bugs Moran) fighting to control illegal vice in the city.

On their website, you’ll see a great picture of the actors! Their tour sounds like the Irish tours, where the tour guide has you sing a song too. Trip Advisor has excellent reviews on the tour, so I guess I’ll be booking my tour very soon.

Wouldn’t it be amusing if I dress the part?!! That would throw the tour guides off. I might just get a front row seat!

Butterflies… I’ve seen two in the past week, spiritual meaning?

butterflyI haven’t seen butterflies for a long time. Suddenly though, in the past week, I saw two of them in odd ways.

The first one appeared while I was walking down an alley, something in the air caught my attention, I looked up and there was a butterfly flying like a bird very quickly to some destination. I say, flying like a bird, because usually a butterfly is flying close to flowers and flies in a fluttery type of way. This was so different.

The second one I saw today in the stairwell of my apartment building. I had to look twice, because I almost stepped on it. Sure enough, it was an orange looking butterfly. It was sitting with its wings closed. I looked to see if a window was open, nothing, so how did it make it in the building? If I wasn’t rushing, I would have tried to figure a way to put it outside again. The wings are so delicate, I was worried about this.

I did some research. I read that seeing a butterfly is important, because they signify transformation, personal growth and beauty.

What do you think? Is it normal to see butterflies in September when the weather is getting cold? Is there spiritual meaning behind this?