Thursday, January 15, 2009


Thursday night at 6:16pm Central time, it is colder here, in Chicago then it is at the airport in Antarctica.
Antarctica is -4.
Chicago right now about -15 below.
I think tonight we'll be about -45 with windchill.

Taking out Marina in the middle of the night isn't that pleasant. For her, naturally, I worry that she'll get sick, or if I'd be better to run to the store and buy wee-wee pads. Thoughts anyone?
The good thing is she'll ring her bell somewhat, go outside, do her thing in her designated area and then ask me to "pick her up" as we make our way back to the warmth inside our home.

So obviously,
I'm not enjoying the weather right now. If it wasn't for my family here and Brian's job, we'd be taking up residence somewhere in between Illinois and Florida.
Moving On...
I've been distant and busy. I'll get my act together, trust me! Please stay with me folks I'll be back!! I've got a lot of "things" going on within my little family. There's been many things running through my head that I'd love to talk about, that I start to write about, but then Life rings into round 2. Rest assured we'll get there soon enough in this world of Crusty blogging.

But I'd be happy to chat about one thing...
I'll give you one event that has occurred as of late, this past Sunday, January 11Th.
I turned 34.
It was a wonderful relaxing birthday with many people ringing my phone to wish me happy Birthday. Only I spent the morning in the Urgent Care compliments of, well, prepare to blush, "honeymoonitis."
All in all, it was a wonderful birthday weekend!
How did I spend my Birthday Weekend?
Saturday night I saw Marley and Me with my mom and sisters and had an after movie dine and chat at a local Italian Restaurant called Clara's. Marley and Me was fantastic, a wonderful story and great acting I must say. Clara's was even better, we all learned more about each other that night and laughed like we do when we're together, and talked men, sex, children, movies, life and womanhood. I'm still buzzing from Saturday night despite the fact that I had the Honeymoonitis hanging with me.
Thank Goodness for Uristat!

Sunday, as I mentioned in the paragraph above, I was in the Urgent Care in the morning, and after that, I pretty much lounged around like a lady of leisure. I had back pain and flu like symptoms compliments of the Bladder and UT infection, but just like Saturday night, the female aliment/symptoms were numbed by all the people that took the time to wish me a Happy Loving Birthday. Whether your a shy girl, or outgoing, vain or insecure, it's nice to be thought about and given well wishes on the day of your birth.

I made us a delicious dessert of mini Praline cakes (homemade sour cream pound cake, pecans, butter, sugar, caramel, whipped topping-OH MY) that were just as good chilled as they were warmed!

I also had some visitors:
My parents
My sister and her family
My close neighborhood friend
My own wonderful family.
We opened up amazing and generous and gifts from my family, my mom and dad gave me a Heritage Mix Master that resembles the old school version that my mom had when we were growing up, only this one is stainless steel. My very first automatic mixer, all these years I've used a hand held.
My husband gave me the types of gifts that money doesn't buy, well, the majority of them that money doesn't buy. One being honeymoonitis, (so worth it) and a beautiful card. Don't forget about Marina, and also a copy of the book that my short story (6S) was published in.

The most precious gifts ever came from my sons. Like Christmas we decided Brian and I were not "giving real gifts this year," hence why we labeled the puppy as a gift although it really wasn't meant just for me. Wait, does that make sense?

We're being careful, cautious and not overall on an irresponsible spending spree. Of course one could judge and say, then why the dog? Well, our baby girl was saved from being put down, is tax deductible, plus very therapeutic.
The same applied somewhat with what our boys would give to me on my birthday.
Well somewhat.
With our boys what we did is this, Brian gave them X amount of money to buy me whatever they wanted.....
So they gave me Barbie Dolls, sitting , left over after Christmas, in the Clearance aisle.
I was given the most angelic purple Barbie Fairy and the most calming Pink Barbie Mermaid, which I will forever cherish as long as I live.
My sons eyes lit up when I opened their gifts. Of course there may be those that think it's odd to waste $8 a Barbie on well, Barbies! Why spend Brian's hard earned money on Barbies? What use can I get out of Barbies? Because, it's not about the material gift itself, it's more the emotional thought that Jackson and Sullivan put into the gift. The thought that my sons view me as someone "young enough" to enjoy Barbies. After all, when asked if they wanted to get me some pretty scented candles, they said, "no that's for old people."
The emotional thought, just like the fun "honeymoon"gifts from Brian, and that copy of the book where I was published with a few words that Brian expressed after reading what I published, those are the things that count.

Materialism is very overrated. I'd rather sit on the toilet and read through my book, read the different stories from so many different people that, like me, had their submissions accepted, more than anything else. I'd take this over anything, any day. I'd rather lay in bed at night while reading that book, and with one second of eye movement, gaze at the Purple and Pink Barbies that sit happily on my dresser. Which by the way, the boys and I did name, naturally. I give 100% of the credit for the name selections to my boys, creative names mind you, that remind me of so much more then anything else I could have ever been given.
I hope that all of you will experience receiving a "Beekey and Babba" at least once in your life. In fact, I hope you already have many many times. I hope you can see how important it is to be simple, to live simply, to have simple, to care more about giving thoughts then how much equity can I get out of my home. Like those tiny hand imprints that come home with your child for Christmas, or the stick figures in a drawing that they bring home showcasing what they made during art class.
That's what it's all about.

Life isn't easy right now, in fact life is pretty hard. Jobs are scarce, money is too. People are struggling. Stress happens, marriages begin to falter, children's dispositions begin to change due to the arguments overhead by their parents. My sons and husband made it crystal clear to me on my 34Th birthday that what matters is this: "Having a Place to Go is Home, Having Someone to Love is Family, Having Both is a Blessing."

Although, I do have to say I am completely in love with my mixer, and my first experience with it was to bake something for someone else.
Give not Get.
It's really not that hard.
It may be stressful and cold in my surrounding neighborhood, and even (on many many occasions) within my own home; one income, one car, the gas bill may be a minimum of $285 a month, the usual suspects.
Life may seem difficult and challenging, but on my birthday, I was reminded of what matters most. Suddenly it's easier to do with less, not want as much, give more then usual, and stop trying to live beyond the means of what the 40+ work week provides in monetary value.

Rest well, dream long.
Stay positive.
Stay close to those that love you.
Give more of your time to them.
Hold onto them, remember that they're not here forever.

Don't bite off more then you can chew. Why? Well because you'll end up with crumbs all over and more of a mess then when you first started, silly.

Stay Warm.

*dedicated to my Grandpa B. It's been 6 years since you left us on January 14Th 2003*


JLee said...

Happy Belated! I love the photos and remind me NEVER to complain about the weather here ;)

Kelly Jene said...

Sweet friend, I love you. Your boys always bring me such huge smiles. It's a common bond for us, those sweet, darling faces. I'm sorry about the UTI... those things sure can be brutal. I'm so glad, though, that you had a happy birthday. And as the proud owner of a Care Bear and a Strawberry Shortcake doll, I understand the affection for your Barbie girls. (Reminds me of that old Barbie song, so catchy!)
How can I get the book with your story in it???? I MUST have it!! :)

I'm still stunned. God is good. He is working yet again in our unworthy lives.

I love you. Rainbows and warm Hawaiian waterfalls today... may the thoughts keep you warm.

creative-type dad said...



Brad said...

If you don't have a crate for Marina I would highly recommend you get one. Crating Bear when he was a pup was a bit hard because of the whinning but he quickly settled down and was fine. He did need to be let out the first night or two but he was soon holding it all night. Yes, he was dancing when we got up to let him out but it really did work. They won't go where they sleep and it really taught him to hold it. The best thing in the world is that your home with her. This way she won't have seperation anxiety and chew stuff. Not having to dicipline a puppy leaves everybody happier.

How did I miss that you were published? Where can we get our grubby little mits on the book ? Will you excerpt your story here?

Love ya darlin!

Kathy said...

Happy Birthday and many, many more. Stay warm and keep taking that antibiotic!

happyone said...

Happy Belated Birthday.
After reading how cold it is by you, the 8 degrees that I went for a walk in this morning is downright warm! :-)

Susan's Snippets said...

Happy Birthday, CB! Glad to read that it was a good one.

Yes, it took me a long while and a lot of living to realize that it isn’t about my money or the size of my house – it is about my family, faith and friends. Because when it is all said done…they are all I need.

not greed

Anonymous said...

Well honey, you may not be posting much these days but what you do post is quality.

I loved this post and it's always good to be reminded of what's important. There isn't anything we can't get through as long as we stick together with our loved ones.

Loved all the pics especially those with Marina in them.

I'm glad you had a wonderful birthday and hope you get rid of that honeymoonitis asap, not the cause though, never the cause :)

austere said...

Love you.
And if I ever come over to the US of A again, which is not likely, I'm going to come over and meet you. And your four.

I LOVED Beekay and Babba.
AND so RIGHT about the 6S.

The emergency ailment put a grin on me face, but so right too, na?


Martha said...

What a great post. I think everyone needs to have a birthday like that--it sounds amazing. And I love the Barbies. It's so sweet what kids will come up with to show how much they love mommy!

Diane Vogel Ferri said...

Happy belated birthday Elizabeth. you certainly are a blessed lady and one who recognizes it - that's so refresing. (I was in the urgent care for the same reason last week - weird) Have wonderful winter days...

SOUL: said...

hey crusteeeee

i gotta go with brad on this one---
a dog crate is the best dog owner invention EVAH ! they really sound -- and even look-- pitiful at first in there-- like a baby when they first get their room or somethin. (oh y'all know you slept with that baby for the first 6 mos - or yr.) :))

but really, they get used to it--and even go in to sleep when they don't have to if ya leave the gate open. at least mine do. they know it belongs to them, and they won't be bothered there.

try it out.
make sure you get one that will suit your dog at full size-- or you'll end up buying two or three before you're done. they aren't real cheap-- unless you can find a used one.

anyhow-- as for now--- when we lived in kansas and it was freezin cold-- i tied a leash to the front porch-- long enough of course for midnight..aww, midnight... sorry...
to go as far as she needed to-- and i'd stay IN the house- clip the leash- throw her out- and shut the door. voila-
she'd let me know when she wanted back in... and all was well... no freezing involved. :))

good luck

ps-- i love the photos!!!
take care
and have a happy day


HA! Jlee..I know what you mean..I used to complain about how much I hated the fact that every afternoon in Florida it'd rain a thunderstorm and the entire summer was so hot.. I miss that!



Kelly: you have the strawberry shortcake strawberry bakery? Bring your doll over and we can bake a strawberry cake with the plastic whipped cream and plastic strawberries.

big time waterfalls my kindred sister!! :)


Suddenly Alaska looks really good, Creative Dad..even if my eye sight isn't that good and I can't see Russia from the dock by the bay. :)


Brad! Thanks so much for your tips..I can always count on you my seattle former Chicago brother!! :) Check your email...long winded (no shock there) but full of questions and rants, and details) ...
the book's available on I'll send you the link or text it to you.. :)



Kathy: I am almost done with the antibo's..I forgot to take a dose here or there..poor Brian, even after being the only guy in the house with just his mom and sis, he still freaked out when he saw how orange the peepee was from the hydro something perscription..He thought I was in renal failure..

Thanks for the bday wishes!


happy one..I'll be there tomorrow! BTW< your hair looks fantastic!!

I hope our cold isn't making youre are cold by now. Today it's more like a heat wave,..13 degree's.. the kids haven't been in school since wed...and won't go back until tuesday (MLK day and institute day) which means a very short summer..last day so far is now June 10th and school starts aug. 17th...

I'm glad I got to grow up when I didn't start until the very earliest after the 21st... younger not until after labor day.


SUSIEQ: Live LOVE LAUGH FAITH FAMILY FRIENDS! So true..with your cookies in hand.

I was thinking of all of you last week having to trek around in downtown..Bri walked to the train and home too--long john thermals are not a man's best friend. :)


Everyone's angel: Never the cause at all.. ;) lol and always worth it..was disappointed that it occurred on my birthday...those presents are always the best ones.. :) not like we need to have an excuse or anything, but with kids..well, know.. :)


Austie: Most definitely and I promise you won't have to go back to endure Macy's like you did that one time ago... please pass the tea dea! :)



martha: I know, it's precious! Surprisingly (not like I care) there was a friend of ours that didn't get why Brian would allow them to buy that for me.." a waste of money." I can see the point with the recession and all,..but $8 a barbie..and it made their day..I'd go broke for my boys (granted they tap our expenses anyways,.lol) but I'd give my last penny away if it meant that my boys would be happy.


Diane: now that's wierd..hmmm..maybe it's not honeymoonitis and more so something in the midwest air? Thanks for the bday wishes! HOpe you're all clear down there. :)

btw, I just pulled out your book the other day and passed it along to a friend of mine to read..they love it--when's the next one??


Soul: Awwwwwww, Midnight.. do you ever have dreams about her? Have you seen the flick Marley and Me? Don't ==yet---wait until it's out on dvd..hey, check your email too, and thank you --and thank you for listening to me bitch and moan. :)

Hope you're hanging in there. Maybe we should swap the kids..I'll have yours out shoveling snow, you can give my boys some of that texas lip!! :)

:) tweets.

Now, off to ebay.. :) "Spoiled...

Palm Springs Savant said...

OK, first off, that is WAAAYYY too cold for living! Yikes. Very sweet post here today by the way.

Anonymous said...

I think that is so funny they gave you Barbies! Did they have any idea you used to play with them so much? Talk about gift from the heart!!!!!!
BigDog did good!!! Didn't know the book was published. I'm dying to see it!

Portia said...

I'm sorry I missed your birthday.. I'm glad it was made wonderful by all your friends and family around:) Happy belated birthday, and nothing but the best for your coming year!