Sun Protection – Hats, hats & more hats!

When you have a big hat collection, you need someone to protect it. In walks, Isabella, the Christmas mouse. Actually, this was a funny photo. My daughter saw this and said, “Mama, you’ve got a lot of hats!”

I explained that I had even more. It was becoming a storage dilemma. Global warming has made it impossible for me to go outside without sunblock, a scarf, long sleeve shirt and hat. Within 10 minutes, I look like the color of a lobster. No kidding, my skin feels like an egg in a frying pan, the sun is so hot.

Then add style. If I’m working out, wearing a stylish straw hat doesn’t work. If the weather is windy, now I need a hat with a tie around the neck. If it’s raining, I need a waterproof hat. If I’m gardening, I need wide brim, and cleanable. You get where I’m going with this. I’m slowly learning which hat works with which outfit/occasion. I’m lazy, ideally, I wanted 1-2 hats for ALL purposes. Grab and go! I learned that didn’t work.

Oh, and hats are seasonal. I can’t wear a woolen hat in the summer. So, now I have all these hats, and I’m not sure how to store them. They can’t be in hat boxes, my gosh, my life would be a nightmare opening each box. I need them in a pile, so I can pick and go!

I did see a hat tree rack like they have in retail stores. I liked that, but it takes up an entire corner of a room. Do I want to do that? Hum… still putting thought into this.

Any hat lovers out there. If you have ideas. SHARE THEM!

Chicago – NEW Chinatown Mural – Rich Lo

I happened to catch NBC 5 Chicago news recently and this segment by Vi Nguyen caught my attention. An amazing mural by Chicago artist Rich Lo. For this mural, he chose three famous Opera characters commonly seen in Cantonese opera. They are legendary warriors. Lo’s father was a rising star in the Chinese Opera. He saw his father perform on stage, so this is close to his heart.

The Chinese American Museum of Chicago donated this wall for the mural which is in the parking lot. What is also interesting is that Rich Lo went to grammar school across the street from the site of the mural. Fate / destiny at work when he was a child. Interesting how life works, right!

This is such a special tribute to his Chinese culture and family legacy to create this beautiful work of art! I’m excited about this.

It’s time for me to head to Chinatown and see this mural in person!

Buddhist Temple – Yesterday Offerings

I was driving my car when I saw these monks yesterday. How beautiful! I immediately pulled over to find out what their procession was about. I spoke to a Vietnamese woman who said that once a year, the monks come from around America to walk a certain path, praying and people offer them donations. Back in Vietnam, the monks would walk barefoot, but not here.

This lady was on a mini bike and was following the monks on their walk. She had been a Catholic and converted to Buddhism. Anyone is welcomed in the Temple, go visit, she said.

There is something very spiritual about seeing the monks walking in prayer. I immediately felt a peacefulness come over me. Entering a zen state.

Passing this along. May you feel at peace today too!

Colorado – Nature

Recently, I was in Colorado. Imagine my surprise to capture a picture with an eagle, moose and mountain lion all at once. One of my daughter’s thought I had actually seen the moose on a wilderness trail. That means she QUICKLY looked at photo, did not analyze it.

I love this moose. Perfect taxidermy work. I do feel as if I met him on the banks of a river. The mountain lion is cleverly hidden to the right coming out of the cave.

If you are wondering, I was in a Sporting Goods store called, “Scheels.” First time I have been in one. It was similar to a Bass Pro Shop, if you’ve gone there. HUGE – hard to leave without buying something.

Case in point, I found these orange ON gym shoes. I’m not familiar with this brand. Turns out they are from Switzerland, founded in 2010 by three guys who wanted a good running shoe. They’ve been worn by a lot of athletes who have won in their fields. I tried to find out what the logo on the shoe stands for, but couldn’t find anything. If you know, leave a comment.

These are slip ons, so not meant for running. So far, so good, they feel comfortable. Although, I need to tighten up the laces. I love the color.

I’m all set for more walking. We have a heat wave coming though, that might have me indoors, let’s see!

Happy exercising!

Amazing Clouds

I’m not one to look up at the sky and observe clouds very often. Recently though, I was at the Colorado airport, as I was waiting on my flight, I was looking out the window. These clouds were right at eye level.

I took these photos about an hour apart. The first photo looked like a tornado was coming in. An hour later, the sun was peaking out and we saw these amazing sun beams coming through the clouds. My camera could not capture the bright white light properly. Here it looks dark and dull while in reality it was the whitest light I’ve ever seen. Amazing, really, it was. So many people stopped to take a photo. We all agreed. Our phones could not capture the reality of what we were seeing. Photography, it takes the right camera for these types of photos.

So, I’m going to take time to “slow down” and look up at the sky more often. Clouds are beautiful.

We never know what shape / form we might see in the sky. It will be a SURPRISE!

HarvesTrolley – Mini Food Mart on Wheels

I used to work in adverting. As I drove from place to place, I was always on the hunt for new advertisers. At a stop light or stop sign, NEVER know what advertisement is driving by. For example, this HarvesTrolley bus. Brought back memories of my advertising days. I loved the look of this bus, I had to find out more about it. Without getting into a car wreck, I quickly pulled over to check it out.

Turns out, it’s a mini food mart in a bus. Great idea! HarvesTrolley Mobile Market started in Texas, with locations now in IL and New Jersey. During COVID, when it was hard for Seniors to go shopping they started the trolley service along with online order / delivery. Anyone can use the online service or hop on the trolley to buy something. In fact, when I was there a young lady was buying eggs / ice cream and a distinguished gentleman had finished his purchase as well – two huge bags full.

Once they came out, I went inside. It was nice. They had eggs, milk, cereal, crackers, frozen foods, soups, spices, etc. It was a quick look as I spoke to the driver for more information. It had the basics anyone would need, a lot of products can fit into a small space. It worked! The Driver indicated that they go to select locations once a week at the same time. They are still trying to build up their business.

When I first saw the bus, I thought it was the Bookmobile – NOPE, it was a mini mart on wheels.

A FUNNY thought…

Why not get the Bookmobile and the HarvesTrolley to a location at the same time. THEN we could get our books, a snack and find a nice shady tree or bench to sit and start reading.

I’m on board with that!

I’m imagining ME in a hammock RIGHT NOW! Reading my book with the ice cream melting…


Photography – When it is SPOT ON!

A shout out to Hannes van Eeden at Wandering Ambivert out of Cape Town, South Africa. He’s an AMAZING photographer. He shares tips / tricks to make “us” better photographers.

I’m hoping this is up to his standards. I’m sure he would have tweaking advice. I did take zillions of photos to capture this one. The birds were on to me – NOT sure what I was up to, so I had to be FAST.

I smiled when I saw a field of dandelions! Did you know that the yellow flower is the dandelion. I always thought the white puff ball was the dandelion. Well, in theory it is, because it is the seeds from the yellow flower.

I did not know that!! What a revelation. It’s hard for me to imagine the yellow flower turning into a fuzz ball. I need to scout out a transformation video on that.

It must happen in the dark of night, right!?

I haven’t seen a bunch of them together in a long time. I was tempted to blow this puff ball out, but if you don’t blow every single one you are doomed in the love department. There is a better myth that you can blow on the seeds and make a wish. I like that one!

NOW, you know why there is a field of dandelions. All those seeds we blow on land somewhere to create more blooms for the next year.

Finally, it is LILAC season. My goodness, they are blooming everywhere, white and lilac colors and they smell heavenly. I do mean heavenly. I admit I prefer the lilac colored ones.

That about sums up my photography for the day. I was on a roll, it was fun!

Our weather is so strange. We’ve got Fall for three days, Spring the next and then Summer. We’ve just got to roll with it. Personally, I prefer Fall / Spring weather, I hope it stays cooler.

Have a nice day!

Library… Ah, the hardcover book.

I haven’t been to the Library in a long time. Before COVID to be exact. It’s so easy now to get books online, that going to the library isn’t necessary. Yet, there’s something about a nice hardcover book in my hands that makes reading that much more enjoyable. Sit by the window, no straining with the eyes.

The other day I walked passed a library. I decided to go in. I forgot how nice it is to look at the section for NEW books that “just arrived.” I was so happy! All sorts of unknown book titles. Before I knew it, I had been in the library almost 2 hours. Amazing, I was a little kid, opening one book after another.

It’s also interesting to see what books people return. Look at this, I found a Jeffrey Archer book. I used to read him all the time. Then moved on, but I really enjoy his writing style.

I can’t give a review of the book yet. I’ll admit that the story line does not seem NEW so far. Seems like a plot that’s been out there already. I’m hoping for some MAJOR twists and turns, so I am not left yawning and skimming versus reading to get to the end.


Off to make a pot of tea!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Hats off to the wonderful neighbors who have planted tulips for us to enjoy. They are amazing. A shame they only bloom for 1-2 weeks, such a colorful and delicate flower.

I was lucky to get this photo while the sun was shining. We’ve had rain for a few days now.

Let’s do something special… (flowers for ourselves, a pedicure, almond croissant forget the calories, Prosecco with breakfast, a favorite chocolate, take out the tea set – SO MANY possibilities!)

I’ve started you out with some FLOWERS!

ENJOY your Sunday!

A hole in my sock…

We all know that feeling. We’re rushing to get dressed, pull out a pair of socks, start to put them on and one of our toes pokes out of a hole. It’s SO IRRITATING! At that moment, I’m sure you’d agree, we assess the situation. CAN WE GET BY with wearing the sock that day?

We have to determine… 1) How big is the hole and 2) How uncomfortable our toe is going to feel all day.

Ah, my first thought was to THROW the socks out! THEN I heard my Italian mother in my mind saying to me when I was a child, “We don’t throw socks out, are you CRAZY, we sew the hole up.”

YES, parents do get irritated with kids when they want to throw everything old away and buy it new. Back in the day, as they would say, you “fix” everything. Old is better than new. I heard that a lot as a kid.

So… WHAT did I do after I heard the VOICE? I searched for my sewing kit. I admit, it’s gotten a little dusty, I haven’t used it in ages. I pulled it off the back of the shelf. I opened it and then THOUGHT about the situation. Was I really in the mood to sew the hole? No, I was not, but at least, I had the sewing kit opened, so I was one step closer to sewing the hole, right.

Ah… it’s like ironing our clothes, we have to be in the mood to do it.

I bet you were hoping to see the LAST photo of the darned sock. NOPE, not today.

However, I feel happy knowing that I will SAVE my sock from the dumpster! I really do like these socks!