• 0C4C18D2 5262 497E 973B ACBEB553511C
    Blessings,  Confessions

    What I Know For Sure

    Four years ago today, the snowy scene pictured above was my reality in the western suburbs of Chicago. We moved to Knoxville a year and a half ago and no longer had the need for the snowblower we purchased the year that photo was taken. Although it snows occasionally in Knoxville—and yeah yeah yeah the area practically shuts down when it merely flurries and people, who don’t think about the fact that the South doesn’t have the infrastructure to deal with snow, let alone the fact that the hills and sharp curves around here make traveling in icy conditions very dangerous regardless of whether the roads have been salted properly,…

  • 909E757E DBB3 42F1 9B64 D754CFBADF7B
    Blessings,  Confessions,  Favorite Things,  Food,  Fun in Chicago,  Travels


    One of the things I love about coming back up north is having the ability to stick up on things I can’t get in Knoxville. Being in Kenosha for this holiday meant a mandatory trip to my favorite grocery store. Woodman’s is a Wisconsin-based chain that is employee-owned and has the largest selection of products I have ever seen, as in four whole aisles of candy, one entire corner of the store devoted to soda pop and other beverages, and an aisle the length of the entire back of the store full of every kind of chip you could ever want, just to name a few. Unlike other stores which…

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    Food,  Fun in Chicago,  Travels

    This Is (My) Fifty, Part 2

    I have to say, for being as distressed as I was about turning fifty, I sure had a memorable day. We got up at 4:00am, showered, and headed to the Knoxville airport during the worst part of a line of thunderstorms rolling through the area. It was a white-knuckle drive and wet leaves were blowing everywhere (as well as covering the streets), which added insult to injury because I knew that traction wouldn’t be good if I had to brake suddenly. I even drove over a downed power line (oops) before I realized what was happening. It wasn’t live though; I’m pretty sure if it was, I would not be…

  • Confessions,  Fun in Knoxville,  Random Thoughts

    My Refrigerator: In Constant Evolution

    I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my refrigerator lately. I remember when I was in college: my roommate and I had one of those tiny dorm refrigerators. We had typical college dorm stuff in there: leftover pizza, pudding, cheese, cans of pop…you get the idea. When Jim and I got married, he was in the Navy and out on the ship a lot. We were also on an extremely tight budget so as I recall I had the following in the refrigerator: cheese, jelly to go with my peanut butter sandwiches, ketchup, bread, and milk for the endless supply of Kraft macaroni and cheese I kept in the…

  • Childhood Memories,  Confessions,  Fun in Knoxville

    Home is Where the Heart is.

    One of the scariest things about moving away from a long-time home is the idea of starting over again, from scratch. Finding the nearest grocery stores and other preferred shops, setting up new doctors and a dentist, figuring out if the area where you think you want to purchase a home is actually the area in which you think you’ll be happy long-term, and so many other details can be completely overwhelming. Multiply that frustration by three or four times if your long-time home also happens to be the city where you’re from originally and then multiply that by ten times if you’re a control freak who hates change. I…

  • Blessings,  Confessions

    The Lazy Daze of Summer

    This summer is…different for me. Here’s the thing: I operate on “high speed” most of the time. I have for years and years. The first part of the summer had me burning the candle at all the ends–we’re obviously not talking about a regular taper candle here–for a few key reasons: 1. We’ve been settling into a new house in a new-to-us-again town. 2. Listen To Your Mother season came and went, and due to #BlogHer17 being moved up by six weeks I didn’t have my normal month-long cushion of part-time rest before conference season got crazy. 3. Conference season was REALLY crazy. It was actually the craziest ever, for…

  • Random Thoughts

    The Chalk Writing on the Wall

    Not too long ago, a married couple walked into a Barcade for an evening of drinks and Ms. Pac Man. And Galaga. And Donkey Kong. And Centipede. And…well, you get the idea. After a while, they tore themselves away from Defender for a bathroom break, agreeing to meet at the bar afterwards. Minutes later, he approached her and said, “Oh my gosh, did you have a bunch of chalk writing on the walls in there???” She did. Actually, she took pictures to share later because when you have a situation where women can write on walls with chalk, the results are usually fun and fascinating. Some of the writing was…

  • Friends,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz,  Too Funny To Ignore

    Karma’s a Beach.

    I’m just finishing another fantastic week hanging with my sistuh-from-anuthuh-muthuh and the rest of my New Jersey family and, as always, there were lots of shenanigans. Some of our adventures made it onto social media and some did not, but there was one particular laugh riot that needed its own blog post. Some things I have learned about Liz over the years: 1. She is not easily grossed out 2. She can be extremely impulsive 3. She is very curious When you know those three things about her, it shouldn’t surprise you that when she is walking on the beach and comes across some foreign object in the sand that…

  • Tough Questions

    Have You Ever?

    Have you ever looked down at your right hand and noticed that the only ring you wear 24/7 on that right hand, the tanzanite one you got a couple of years ago when on a cruise with your husband, is missing and so you launch into a panic while you simultaneously run around the house looking for it and sob hysterically and each time you come back into the dining room where your husband is (eating a late dinner because he just walked in from his group bike ride) to report that the ring isn’t ANYWHERE, your panic level goes up a notch even as he says things like, “We’ll…