Ten Things of Thankful- Week 2

So, this week was/is a rough one. Finding those 10 things is not quite as easy. I’m feeling kind of stretched so instead of a list, I’m going with photos.

Thank you to Considerings for creating this awesome event! 1ed57-tenthingsbanner

I hope you had a lot to be thankful for this week!


Ten Things of Thankful- Week 1 (hopefully!)

I have decided that in my quest to work on my word of 2015- FOCUS– it wouldn’t hurt (and would most definitely help) if I take time out to really think about those thankful things in my life. I have chosen to participate in the Ten Things of Thankful at Considerings, which takes place on weekends. The task is to list 10 things that I was thankful for this past week.

Here are some things that I have been thankful for over the past week- in no particular order. 🙂

1. I am thankful for best friends who remain a part of my life despite my many ups and downs, flakiness, mood swings…… I’m not sure if I could have stuck it out with me and there are still times when I want to take a break from myself.

2. I am thankful to have the privilege to work with respectful, caring and funny guys who have nothing but patience and understanding when I’m tongue-tied. (They make up for the asshole.)

3. I am thankful that my “baby” still needs me at 19 and isn’t too old to text Mom when he can’t sleep.

4. I am thankful for little boys- especially those around the ages of 5 years and 2 months- who make me smile. These two little guys are the brightest spots in my days.

5. I am thankful for a dog who lives the most dramatic life I have ever seen in an animal who rarely leaves the block. She makes me laugh and reminds me daily that I’m never alone as long as she’s there. (Please note, I think Ari is waiting for her opportunity to post. She has so much to say and she’s really jealous of Toby, Hugh’s dog, who gets to put his own stuff out there.)

6. I am thankful that everywhere I went was less than 10 minutes away on those days when I was low on gas and didn’t feel like filling up the car.

7. I am thankful that the temperature remained about 30F this week so I wasn’t freezing when I did venture out.

8. I am thankful that while I was listening to music on my phone that songs from that darn U2 album only play 3-4 times during an hour period. I have nothing against U2, they are just not on my playlist……Thanks, U2!

9. I am thankful that Glee was on Netflix when I went looking. I’ve been in a funk and beginning back at Season 1 has been the boost that I needed. I love the songs and it makes me laugh.

10. I am thankful for a husband who jumped on the idea of heading out of town this weekend when I brought it up. This break from my life is just what the doctor ordered.

What are you thankful for this week?

Happy Saturday!



2014- Oh, What a Year it Was!

2014 was a very busy year for my family. It held the MOST milestones. It began on January 4, 2014 with Michael and Jasmine’s wedding and it will end on January 4, 2015 with Michael’s graduation party. It seems fitting that it begins and ends with Michael, like coming full circle.

Here are the top 10:

1. Michael and Jasmine’s wedding- What an incredible way to begin the year! It was a beautiful (although freezing cold) day. The wedding was small with just close family and best friends included.

2. Kris left for the Disney College Program. Leaving him Orlando with major anxiety and depression issues was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life!

3. Auditions, auditions, auditions. For a month, I spent more time on the east coast than I did here in Illinois while accompanying Andrew on his college auditions.

4. I finally found the nerve to begin my blog and Dandelion Fuzz was created.

5. After a spring of last performances, Andrew graduated from high school.

6. The highlight of the summer was when our family was reunited on a vacation to Disney World.

7. Comings and goings- Kris came home from Orlando, Andrew left for New York.

8. Michael began Fire Academy.

9. Baby BJ (aka Beej) was born!

10. Michael graduated and began his career as a firefighter.




What were the most memorable moments of your year?

10 Favorite Books I Read to My Children When They Were Young

For my son and daughter-in-law’s baby shower, we asked guests to bring one of their favorite books in place of a card. I’ve always given my children books for their birthdays and Christmas and I have continued the tradition with CJ. Choosing the perfect book for the newest little baby was a decision not made lightly. It got me thinking of all the books I read to my kids when they were little and that inspired this post for my 10 Things feature. Reading is one of the my favorite past times and its one I hope I have passed on to my children. I had to laugh when I found out that Michael and Jasmine were letting CJ check out 10 (TEN) books from the library and then they were reading all 10 to him every night! (That didn’t last long. I believe it got cut down to 3 or 4. Much more reasonable.)


  1. The Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown. I discovered this book quite by accident but I immediately fell in love with the simple lines and the illustrations, also simple but detailed. I gave it to Michael when he was very young and it quickly became a favorite. It tells the story about the big red barn and all the animals around the farm, using great description of their appearance and sounds they make.
  2. Owen by Kevin Henkes. Owen has a yellow blanket that he takes everywhere with him. When it is time for Owen to go to school, he is faced with a dilemma. He doesn’t want to leave his blanket at home. I have a blankie baby myself. Actually I had two but I broke one of his blanket habit and then felt so bad, my second blanket lover took his to college with him.
  3. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans. Who doesn’t love Madeline? Kris could recite this book from memory by the time he was three years old. I was always drawn to the illustrations- not only the colored pictures but the black and white line drawings, too. My grandson, CJ, enjoys hearing the Madeline books. We have a video of a young Kris sitting with this book open in his lap, appearing to read, “In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines.”
  4. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault. Andrew really liked the repetitive feel of this book. Looking back, this shouldn’t be a big surprise, considering his love of music and his innate sense of rhythm. I had purchased the board book for CJ a few years ago and it was only by accident that I found out that Michael is not a fan of this book. Oops! “A told B and B told C…”IMG_0445
  5. The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone. This book is a favorite of Andrew’s although I did read it to all three children. It chronicles Grover’s growing fear of the monster that he knows is at the end of the book. Grovers antics to prevent the story from ending are very silly and it always makes me smile.
  6. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. I resisted this book until Andy came. I was convinced if I read a book about a boy drawing on his walls that my kids would draw all over our own walls. As it was, I had Michael drawing in the door jamb of his bedroom door. Andrew loved the exploits that resulted from Harold’s drawings.
  7. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. There’s nothing like a good rumpus and a little boy named Max who is behaving badly! One of my children confessed to being slightly scared by this book as a child. I think it might have been Kris.IMG_0449
  8. Dr. Seuss’s ABC by Dr. Seuss. This was always a regular read in our house. I’m convinced that it was the reason Kris knew all of his letters by the time he was 2. I have memories of him writing his ABC’s on the blackboard at Michael’s pre-K when we went to pick him up. I think we all have this book memorized.
  9. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff. All of these books are favorites. The mouse, the moose, the pig. I love the moose making sock puppets and the pig getting sticky from syrup and needing a bath. I’ve heard that there are also a cat and a dog book. I can’t wait to get them to read to CJ and his little sibling!
  10. Where’s My Teddy? by Jez Alborough. Kris has always loved teddy bears. It was his love of bears that caused me to pick up this book and it quickly became a family favorite. Eddie has lost his teddy and he is shocked to see that it has grown incredibly large when he finds it. The illustrations are the perfect complement needed to complete the story.

There are so many more- Little Critter books, Clifford, Curious George, Arthur, Thomas the Tank Engine…

What are some of the favorite books you read to your children? Or if you don’t have children, what were some of your favorites as a child?

10 Tidbits About Teenage Kat

I spent my teen years growing up in the Midwest during the late 70’s-early 80’s. I raised my children in the same town I grew up in just a few miles from where I lived as a child. My youngest, Andy, just turned 19 a few weeks ago and it’s hard to believe that after 11 years of teenagers, I am nearing the end. Looking back, I can honestly say that their teen years spanning 2004 through the next year are very different than mine. What a difference a few (okay….more than a few….like 25 or more….) years make!

Here’s me as a teenager circa 1978-81ish:

1. Phones Part 1– We had two phones- both rotary dial and both attached to the wall. Lucky for us, my parents got sick of getting clothes-lined or tripped by the phone cord being stretched to its limits by one of us trying to find privacy and they purchased longer and longer cords. The phone upstairs was in the kitchen and no matter where you tried to stretch the cord there was no private place. I had more luck with the downstairs phone, which reached to my room with enough extra play in the cord for me to close my bedroom door and still have freedom to sit on the floor by my bed.j1981uu

2. Jordache Jeans– Designer jeans were a big deal back then. Jordache were my favorites while my best friend preferred Gloria Vanderbilt. And they had to be skin tight. Seriously tight. So tight we had to lay on our beds and suck in our stomachs to get the zipper zipped tight. Sitting was not fun in these jeans. But it was worth it because we thought we looked so good in those jeans!

3. T-Shirts with provocative sayings– The perfect thing to compliment those skin tight jeans was a t-shirt with a suggestive saying printed on it. My mother actually bought me a t-shirt that said “I only sleep with the best”. Mind you, I did not sleep with anyone. I didn’t have a boyfriend until I was 17 and even then, sleeping with a boy was the farthest thing from my mind. I don’t know what my mother was thinking when she got me that shirt!

4. Black liquid eye-liner– My make up completed the look. I couldn’t leave the house without my face fully made up, black eye-liner and all. When I ran out of the black liquid liner that ringed my eyes, I would light a match and dip my eye-liner pencil in the flame to soften it so I could get that dark look around my eyes. Since I was as blind as a bat and wore thick glasses, no one could really see my sleazy eye make up.seniorpiccrop

5. The HAIR! I wore my hair feathered. Since it is naturally straight as a stick and thin, it took quite some time for me to get it to feather using a curling iron. I lost count of the number of times I burned my forehead or the side of my face with that curling iron! Then, to hold the style, I used tons of hairspray- Aquanet most of the time. I sprayed it until I could lift up the feathered part in one full piece. (Somehow it always fell by the end of the day anyway!)

6. Phones Part 2– We did not have call waiting or an answering machine until the early 80’s. Having 3 girls in the house meant our phone was in use- A LOT! Without call waiting, it’s a wonder our friends ever got a hold of us. On the flip side, I remember trying to reach my best friend for hours on end because her mother was always on the phone. After fighting my sister for control of the phone, it was frustrating to dial my friend’s number only to hear that busy signal on the other end.And without answering machines, if someone wasn’t home to take a message (and remembered to write it down), you never knew when you missed a call. Imagine that!

7. Waiting for your favorite movies– Before cable and VCR’s we had to wait for our movies to come to tv. I remember it being a major event when The Sound of Music or Wizard of Oz was on. That usually only happened once a year.

8. Tiger Beat Magazine– I got all of my news about my favorite tv and movie stars from Tiger Beat magazine. I would pull out the pictures of my heart throbs and tape them up on my bedroom walls. Shaun Cassidy was my all time favorite. Leif Garrett and Scott Baio were also in the running back then. I couldn’t wait for the latest issue to come out and I would rush up to the neighborhood drugstore to buy it.

9. Music– I listened to my favorite record albums on a record player. It’s from listening to those albums over and over that I developed my habit of always listening to albums from start to finish. To this day, I have to listen to my CDs that way. In my head, I’m always anticipating the next song to play and that’s what I want to hear! Sometimes records would get scratched and then the needle would skip when it was played. There are songs that to this day, I still expect to hear the skip that was in the album I had as a teen. Silly, huh?

10. Atari– My video game of choice was Pong. To be honest, for a long time, that was the ONLY game I had. I had to laugh at the episode of That 70’s Show when Kelso wanted to make the paddles smaller on Red’s Pong game to make it more challenging. While Pong was addictive, it also lost its challenge after endless hours of play!stories

That was my life as a teenager. The funny thing is that back then my favorite things to do were read, write stories and listen to music. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Here’s a little something to end with- it was released in 1979 and became one of the top hits of 1980- Enjoy!