Puzzles, brain teasers, word mazes, crosswords, and more…

Puzzle book 1I was looking at books, nothing in particular just “seeing” what was out there. As it was Sunday, I saw some people doing the crossword puzzle in the newspaper. I’m not good at crossword puzzles, I never seem to know the answers to the cryptic clues they give. Out of 50, I might get five right, which is very disappointing. I always give up.

Maybe, because I was thinking of crosswords, when I went to the books in the sale isle, I came across this “Puzzle Collection” book. Normally, I would give it a glance, nothing more. I saw the dreaded crossword picture on the front cover, but the words “puzzle collection,” caught my attention. I love puzzles. Both the physical ones you put together and the ones where you have to use your mind. So, I slowly took a peek in the book hoping it was more than word mazes, crosswords and sudoku.

I was not disappointed. In fact, as I was flipping through it, I got excited. The book had all sorts of interesting challenges. Lately, I have long boring train rides, this book would keep me busy.

Take a look, this was a fun one, “INTERNATIONAL SPY TRAVELER?!” I was on board with that. I felt like I was becoming “James Bond’s” travel agent.

Puzzle book 2

Then there was this one.

Puzzle Book 3

I have to say, “I was hooked!” Had to get this book. Better than crosswords, for me anyhow.

THEN I thought, I’ll get so engrossed in a puzzle that I will miss my stop to go home! If I took Amtrak, I could end up in San Francisco or New York. The book was worth the risk!

It’s good to challenge our minds.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Surprise someone today.

hear in cupHappy Valentine’s Day. I wish you all a beautiful day!

Let’s ALL surprise “someone” in a special way today. I’m going to send a “thank you” card to my Dentist. He did a fantastic job on my tooth the other day, showing kindness and waving his consultation fee. A friend of mine was engaged, last week things didn’t work out, engagement broken, I will surprise her today. I sent surprise chocolates to three friends in the mail last week.

The St. Jude card my girlfriend sent me, that arrived as a surprise in the mail, reminded me that it warms our heart to know “someone” is thinking of us. So, it was my turn to pay it forward and brighten other people’s day.

This heart in the cup was a clever idea. However, as I am half asleep when I make my coffee in the morning, I bet I would have poured my coffee over the heart.

Which would have turned my “coffee” into an “espresso – hot chocolate!”

Isn’t that how Chefs invent new specialty drinks — by accident!

MORE GOOD NEWS – weather in Chicago today, mid-40s!

Means flowers / chocolates won’t freeze before we deliver them.

Have a GREAT day!

St. Jude… HE can make you listen!

BEE0C1FC-0997-4847-BD39-438E5B1A736DRecently, I came across some books on “coincidences” and “synchronicity” in life. We’ve all been there where something happens and we shake our head, because it’s an incredible coincidence… how could that happen?

For years now, I have prayed to St. Jude. He has helped me through some tough spots. Oh, I pray to God, but somehow I always go back to St. Jude. If you are familiar with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital then you know the wonderful story of actor, Danny Thomas, who prayed to St. Jude, “Show me my way in life and I will build you a shrine.” And build a shrine, Thomas did! St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital celebrates its 60th Anniversary in helping children with cancer. If you do not know story, you will be moved when you read it.

For a while now, I have been praying about my job search. I went to St. Jude and told him I was “tired,” and if he had a “heart” he would hear my prayers, help me out, send a sign! WELL, I did get a job offer, but the salary was so low I could not accept it.

On my way home, I was like a little kid – I was SO ANGRY! I really gave St. Jude a piece of my mind. I told him I was fed up with praying and asking for assistance. What a horrible joke he played on me. If I wasn’t meant to find a job yet, OK, but WHY get my hopes up and then embarrass me with an unacceptable offer?? Obviously, I was meant to learn something from this, but I was NOT seeing what it was.

Then I teased St Jude, I said, “Hey, and WHY do I keep finding LUCKY PENNIES, which remind me to “Trust in God,” if when I “try” to “Trust in God,” I see no path, no results. So, I VERY STERNLY told St. Jude I was taking a break from praying! I would NOT visit him anymore. I felt like a little child who tells their parents “I don’t love you anymore,” which isn’t true, but we want to see how they would react!

Well, this is HOW St. Jude reacted!!

St JudeI got home from work and checked the mail. I saw a small package in my name. Strange, I never get packages. Nowadays everyone just sends an email to communicate.

I did say to St. Jude, “You see, take a look, SOMEONE does CARE about ME!”

As I opened the package out fell a BIG RED ROSARY. I could not believe it. I had to smile, a “rosary??” THEN I looked at the outside of the card and it said, “The National Shrine of St. Jude!” SAY WHAT – a message from St. Jude through my girlfriend?

My girlfriend, who does not believe in God, had sent me a New Year’s gift. She had been in Florida and found this Italian rosary, which made her think of me. She admires my Faith in God. Also, she knows I pray to St. Jude and made this special card for me.

2CD4B989-53FA-43BC-8C5F-ABF4FAD52517Well, you can imagine… I got a good cry and a good laugh ALL at the same time.

St. Jude, he outdid himself! Perfect timing, such a coincidence.

So, next day I stopped by church, rosary and card in hand to light a candle by St. Jude. There is a book at St. Jude’s feet, where we can write a message.

I wrote, “Ok St. Jude, you’re not out of the woods, I still need a job, but you redeemed yourself and made me laugh! You worked a miracle in reaching out to me, I’ll give you that. I will pray to you… just a little while longer…”

Happy Chinese New Year (Spain to China)

chinese red shoesThe beauty of blogging is meeting fellow Bloggers from around the world. Last year, I met Marta through her blog, “Marta Lives in China.” She is from Spain and married a Chinese man. As her blog states, she lives in China and shares stories about life there compared to Spain. When she got married she had two weddings, one in China and one in Spain. She has fabulous pictures from both weddings. Recently, she shared her story about being pregnant and giving birth in China. If you visit her blog, you will be transported to China and learn about the Chinese way of life.

In her latest post, “Getting Ready for Chinese New Year.” Marta has photos of shopping for Chinese New Year. She mentions the importance of the color “red” in this celebration. This is her child’s first New Year’s, so it is very exciting.

Years ago when I worked in manufacturing a fellow co-worker, who was Vietnamese, brought in red envelopes ($1 inside) for ALL of his employees, he even included me. He invited me out for Chinese lunch with the group and wished me good fortune. I was honored to be included in their celebrations.

It’s a New Year, time to dust off my red shoes again, put on my prettiest red dress and head to Chinatown with my Chinese friends to celebrate! They will order the food, so I will try many new dishes.

Wishing a Happy Chinese New Year / Happy Lunar New Year to my Asian friends. Excited to be included in the festivities.

Prince charming is there… we just need to kiss a few toads first.

chocolate frog

Have you ever seen a BIG chocolate frog? When my friend sent this, I immediately thought of fairy tales we read as children that say, “We need to kiss a few toads, before me meet our Prince.” So, the big question would be, “How many, on an average, toads must we truly kiss to meet our Prince?”

I go to my mathematical friend, Edmark at “Learn Fun Facts,” in Hong Kong for this one.

Edmark, any research on this?

Help us out, give us hope (smile).

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!