Happy St. Patrick’s Day from CHICAGO!

8BF7374E-9223-490E-B952-5BC3D488D751For those of you not in Chicago, you can see we take St. Patrick’s Day very seriously! Every year, they turn the river green. It’s a site to see!

I wanted to share with you some photos of the river from different angles. We were lucky and had wonderful weather. Fun to see people dressed in green. The Irish are a lively bunch.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Ash Wednesday… What are you doing for Lent?

E17412B4-8286-49D9-8DC5-DF802C4B0E86Yesterday, while at the coffee shop, a young man came and sat next to me. I looked over and thought, “I should tell him he has some black dirt on his forehead.” As I was contemplating how to politely reveal this to him, I remembered it was Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent.

So, I smiled and said, “Oh, it looks like you stopped by church.”

To which he replied, “Actually, at the University there was a booth and I was able to  stop by there without going to church.”

Interesting, so the Catholic church was making it easier to participate in Ash Wednesday by setting up a booth, knowing that people have busy schedules. Good idea!

Next, I noticed that he had this small journal that he was writing in. I couldn’t help it, I had to comment. It was so small it made me think he was a spy or a writer taking field notes.

So, I said, “I love your small journal, might I ask what you are using it for?”

He said, “I bought it for Lent, I’m going to use it as my daily GRATITUDE journal.”

What a great idea! Most people give something up for Lent and they preface it with “I’m going to TRY and give sweets up, etc.” To me, if you are using the word “try” than you have already failed.

I told this fellow, I liked his gratitude journal much better. I believe in the power of positivity.

He smiled, I smiled, and we wished each other a wonderful day!

It is Lent, I am grateful for meeting this young man who brought “joy” to my day.

What are you grateful for today?

Sunday breakfast… waffles, pancakes, bacon and more

My daughter came home the other day and said, “Mama, look what I found.” I thought it would be a new pair of shoes or shirt, but it was this tiny waffle maker made by DASH. When we see “things” our mind immediately “thinks.”

My first thought was of Kellogg’s TV commercial for frozen waffles, where two siblings go to grab the round Eggo waffle that pops out of the toaster and they say in unison, “L’Eggo my Eggo.” This tag line for selling Eggo waffles was clever, such a great jingle to it.

0573D978-799D-4F5A-9F92-367D32AE67A3My second thought was of Sunday mornings when I was a child. If my mom said, “get out the griddle,” we knew we were having a breakfast feast. I have three siblings, so we would all do something. One would get the griddle, one would start to set the table, one would get the bacon and help make the pancake batter. Team work was key, we worked together as a finely oiled machine. Soon breakfast was ready!

The worst was when we were ready to eat breakfast and we heard my mother say, “ONE OF YOU has to get your father’s newspaper!”

At this moment, it was not team work, it was “it’s your turn, not mine.” My mother would say, “if you keep arguing, the food will get cold.”

Suddenly, silence. One of us would reluctantly say, “Ok, I’ll go.”

Ah… childhood memories!

So, that little waffle machine made me smile. We have gone from a big griddle for six people down to a small waffle machine meant for “one.” However, breakfast would still be honored… just in a small way.

Tradition, it goes from big to small and hopefully, back to a big celebration again!

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.

Singapore: The Runaway Palate publishes children’s book: “The House on Palmer Road”

Cover

Photo courtesy of “The Runaway Palate.”

Join me in Congratulating a fellow Blogger, Ms. Sim Ee Waun from Singapore, of “The Runaway Palate,” on publishing a children’s book with her mother, Madam Si-Hoe S.S..

Her mother, who is 83 years old, is a first time author. This is fantastic news, very inspiring! Proof that age does not hinder us from pursuing new and exciting goals in life.

The mother/daughter team wrote, “The House on Palmer Road,” which is a true story based on the mother’s life growing up with her 9 brothers and sisters on Palmer Road in colonial Singapore, late 1930s, before WWII and the Japanese Occupation.

The book is geared toward children ages 7-11 years old. It’s a chapter book consisting of 15 stories, where 8 year old Sing brings us on her adventures around Palmer Road and Chinatown with her siblings, allowing us to share in the fun and learn some history along the way. I love these types of historical books. The illustrator, Lim An-ling, has done a wonderful job si-hoe-ss-and-sim-ee-wauncreating illustrations in black/white that capture Sing’s adventures.

Right now, the book is being sold in Singapore. There is a website where the book can be purchased, LocalBooks.sg. I’m hoping to find this book very soon in America. This will be a great addition to any teacher’s classroom!

Please help me in spreading the word about this new and exciting book.

Great job Madam Si Hoe-S.S. & Ms. Sim Ee Waun!