Tag Archives: my mom

Returning to What Passes as Normal

That’s much better!

That’s much better!

When I last left all of you, I was kvetching about the bone-chilling conditions in Chicago.

I returned home yesterday from my short visit to my hometown and was greeted by a glorious final day of spring break. Of course, we know that before long I’ll be kvetching about how flippin’ hot it is here in Houston. But let’s not go there right now.

I enjoyed a splendid time in the windy city, where I was reminded of what I miss and don’t miss about my kind of town.

Just so ugly!

Just so ugly!

Number one with a bullet on that don’t-miss list? Dirty snow! As well as constant temperatures at or below 32 degrees. No, thank you!

This iPhone 5 photo does NOT do this magnificent work of art justice.

This iPhone 5 photo does NOT do this gastronomical work of art justice.

Can you tell what I miss second-most about Chicago? Yep, it’s the great food. During my four days there I managed to consume a Portillo’s hot dog, Lou Malnati’s deep-dish pizza, half a corned beef sandwich on rye, and ribs at L Woods. So delicious!

My mom (right) and her twin sister sandwich the birthday girl.

My mom (right) and her twin sister sandwich the birthday girl.

Of course, what I miss most about Chicago is family. So it was wonderful being able to spend quality time with my mom as well as her twin sister, who also stayed with her. It also was great sharing dinner with my brother (the hot-shot Chicago lawyer) and his family at L Woods.

The marquee event of the weekend, though, was helping my mom’s younger sister celebrate her 70th birthday last Saturday night. Believe me, this gal looks terrific! And she’s as beautiful inside as she is outside. I also got to spend more time with my little bro as well as my cousins, who I don’t get to see often enough.

All in all, it was well worth braving the cold; I’m really glad I visited. And I’m looking forward to making another trip north this year . . . probably in September.

When the weather should be ideal!

Welcoming Our Newest Family Addition

My big sis (aka Bubbie) kisses Maddie.

My main reason for visiting Chicago always is to see my mom. But there was an added bonus for last weekend’s trip: I got to spend time with my big sis and her #1 daughter Becky’s family.

Kate has fun on the floor.

Last year Becky and her husband, Ken, hauled baby Kate from Seattle to the midwest to introduce her to family and friends.

Such a cute family!

This time it was six-month-old Maddie’s turn. Kate and Maddie are Irish twins, both having been born in 2011 (Kate in early January and Madds in late December). Becky and Ken literally have their hands full—especially when Ken’s five-year-old daughter Lily is added to the merry mix.

Four generations together: My mom, my big sis, Becky, and the two darlings.

The event was at Giordano’s, a great pizza place. I got to visit with my relatives (always a treat) and admire my two gorgeous great-nieces.

A little girl talk among the generations

Meeting her new great-granddaughter was so special for my mom. She and Becky—her first grandchild—enjoy a wonderful bond.

Great-grandma and great-granddaughter

And now that strong link continues to the much-younger (albeit sleepy) generation.

Welcome to the family, Maddie!

Birthday Zoo

There’s a great view of downtown Chicago from the Lincoln Park Zoo.

When I traveled to Chicago last weekend, I was fortunate enough to celebrate my little bubba’s birthday with him on the exact day (June 22nd). As did my mom, my big sister, and my bro’s wife and older daughter, Allie.

A gorilla stands still just for a moment.

We let the hot-shot Chicago lawyer choose where he wanted to go. He opted for the Lincoln Park Zoo. I was glad he did!

Does the vulture think I would be a tasty meal?

Going to the zoo, zoo, zoo brings back such wonderful childhood memories. Lincoln Park’s menagerie always has been free, so the four of us kids along with mom and dad spent plenty of days gawking at the animals way back when.

Sidebar: My dad used to call us “the animals” (as in “Eva, did you feed the animals?”). Made it easy to relate to our zoo brethren.

A giraffe checks out the crowd.

Of course, the zoo has changed since the 1950s and ’60s (as has my family). But it’s still a wonderful family venue.

This ostrich shared digs with the giraffe.

Checking out the beasts and chatting away with each other made for such a pleasant Friday afternoon.

The black-necked stilt was cute.

Getting together with my family always is a rewarding experience.

The birthday boy and our mom pose.

Especially for my mom, who enjoys being with her own lovable animals!

Survivor Power!

My mom and I share a laugh several years ago.

My beloved mom and her terrific twin sister celebrated their 82nd birthdays yesterday. What a joyous occasion for our families!

It’s especially great, because my mom is a breast cancer survivor. She fought a tough battle (lumpectomy, chemo, and radiation), and her yearly scans have been fine so far.

As I’ve noted before, I’m running the January 15th Chevron Houston Marathon (or Aramco Half Marathon, depending on how my right foot holds up during these last long runs) and raising money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. This is my way of supporting my friends Sheri and Janet E., who currently are battling the dreaded disease and have inspired me with their positive attitudes.

But I’m also running in honor of my mom and her fellow survivors. I hope you’ll help me raise funds by clicking on this link:  Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Let’s kick cancer to the curb!

Happy birthday weekend, Mom! You’ve always been my hero.

Finally: Just One More Month to Go!

My #2 son contemplates a YouTube video on the iMac. (November 13)

Okay, I’ll admit it . . . after I finished uploading my November 30th photo of the day and writing about it, I actually created a new dance. A cute, little number I like to call “Eleven Months Down, Only One Measly More to Go!”

Maybe “Burlesque” had a bad influence on me!

Superman darts across a darkening sky. (November 9)

Now that I have a mere 31 more photos of the day to snap and blog about, I realize how fast this year has flown by. Can someone invent a machine to slow down December? I have a feeling that before long it’ll be New Year’s day, and my first thought will be:

“Wow, no photo of the day to shoot!”

Wonder what my dance will look like on that day?!?

Worth Shouting About

Mom (left) and her twin sister Goldie with a dolphin on a 2004 cruise.

Happy 81st birthday to my wonderful, vibrant Mom and her twin sister Goldie! As I type, it’s a bone-chilling 24 degrees in the Chicago area. So what will my mother be doing today? Delivering meals on wheels. Is there a more-giving person than my mom, who also volunteers as an English as a second language teacher? I doubt it! Miss you, Mom!

Oh, dreidel, dreidel, dreidel!

A very joyous Chanukah to all who celebrate. It was sad for me to set out one lonely menorah for my younger son to start lighting tonight. We will miss our collegian, but we’re hoping to FaceTime with him so he can be part of our ceremony.

Good thing sunset is well before “Survivor” starts!

Conversations With My Mother

Even my mom doesn’t want me to take her photo!

I love my mom. Really. She’s always been in my corner, she’s a wonderful listener and friend, and a great volunteer mentor. Heck, she stood up for me at my wedding.

But every now and then we have a conversation that knocks me a tad off kilter. Like this past weekend.

My mom: “It’s really gotten cold here [in Chicago].”

Dutiful daughter: “I don’t want to hear about it. It’s never going to get cold here.”

My mom: “Really, the temperature dropped into the 50s!”

Dutiful daughter: “I really don’t want to hear about it! It’s never going to drop into the 50s here.”

We want the 70s to be the HIGH temperature!

Sidebar: Today is the official start of fall . . . except in the Houston area. We’ve been sweating to the 90s forever, it seems. And the evil weather forecasters claim that temps won’t drop until sometime in October.

Back to the conversation . . . .

My mom: “I even had to put on more clothes.”

Dutiful daughter getting irritated: “Really, Mom? Like a jacket or a sweater?”

My mom: “A sweatshirt!”

Just plain daughter: “What’s that? Don’t think I’m familiar with that article of clothing.”

My mom, reverting to her role as sympathizer: “The temps are supposed to be in the 80s in a few days.”

You know, that does not comfort me at all!

Of course, I will get my revenge by December—those mild Houston temps vs. Chicago’s blustery, freezing, depressing, much-too-long winter that I don’t miss one single bit. I can’t wait!

Love ya, Mom!