Saturday, January 31, 2009

Birthday Blitz Week

Whew! What a fun birthday week I've just experienced! There have been outings, food fests, family and friends, presents, cards and calls...and I have loved all of it. I even was the recipient of an interactive "Chicken Dance" card that threatened to clear a restaurant in the process of enjoying it!
Here our family gathers for a meal at Trattoria Trullo in Lincoln Square and the site of the Chicken Dance. Thanks for a wonderful time, you!
Diann treated me to a day in the city of Chicago - and the special exhibit, Chic Chicago at the Chicago History Museum. You might also note how, once again, we dressed similarly in longish gray sweaters with black turtlenecks and black pants! You also have to know that our coats are nearly the same - black quilted down jackets with fur-lined hoods. And, no, we don't plan any of this or shop together! I loved her gift theme of "Savor" as pictured above.
Another themed gift and day outing was provided by my dear friend, Marti. We're "Hanging Loose" this year and the gifts were a howl - I even got a set of very special hangers and hooks - and check out this 2009 calendar which not only features word play on hang, but word games to play daily (I'm a big fan of word games). Come on over - there's 365 days of puzzles to solve!
But, wait, there's more! Lunches out at Dinotto's and Mickey Finn's, breakfasts at Wildberry's
and Walker Brothers. Believe me, I am thanking one and all! But the waist is not so sure...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

P*S*C* Update: Not a Spokesperson... YET!!!

Many of you know about my poor label-less "Pink" and you perhaps also know I recently got a call at home about this note:
American Tourister, Inc.
91 Main Street
Warren, Rhode Island 02855
Dear Folks at American Tourister:
Can I just say how much I love my carry-on hot pink American Tourister luggage? So much so that I feature my luggage in locales around the United States on my personal blog and call it the PINK SUITCASE CHRONICLES. “Pink” and I have been to New York City, Orlando, Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc. all since Mother’s Day when I received her as a gift. Unfortunately, Pink was injured on my latest trip and I hope you can help to fix her! Her American Tourister tag was stripped when a sweet little old man – with helpfulness in mind, of course - yanked Pink out of the overhead compartment in the plane (I love how she fits there, and I don’t have to check her in!!) and stripped her front tag. And she looks so forlorn now! Could you send me a new label, please?
I have enclosed excerpts from my blog started with when I first acquired Pink. Another blog entry is our first trip together to NYC to celebrate a graduation. The latest entry – #14 is from California and the site of Pink’s accident.
Please don’t think I am a crazy woman. I am a Children’s Librarian, married to a sane man, and mother to two grown children. I just really like your product and my travels with her. And if you are looking for a testimonial on your product I’m there!
Thanks for your time and attention!
At the least, I had been hoping this letter would get me a little oval replacement tag for Pink.
At the most, I wanted to be offered a lifetime of free travel to any destination in the world, with recognition for Pink wherever we traveled. Maybe our pairing would be tagged with
"DebPinkago" or "PinkDahlville" or something tabloids would have a heyday naming.
What did happen was this: Steve _______ from Rhode Island called (and he had to look up my phone number as it wasn't given in my letter) and he told me how he loved reading my blog excerpts, asked me specifics on my suitcase and told me he would be sending me a replacement label -the oval kind. He then offered to give me the name of a company in the Chicago area who could use a presser to apply the label. We actually talked for quite a while, and I told him how much I enjoyed hearing his East Coast accent after living there myself. He told me how much he enjoyed talking with me. So, though nothing has arrived in the mail for me as yet, I still am hoping that I'll be surprised by something more than just a little American Tourister label. But, it sure was fun to get a REAL live human being on the other end of the phone. And my own personal suitcase advocate.
You, of course, will know how this story unfolds with time. Thanks for your concerns.
Much Love,
Deb and Pink

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Free For the Asking

Yesterday marked the final phase in clearing out Mom's storage area. We have been working on this for quite a while now. Decisions have been made, donations have been given and treasures have been saved. Yet, somehow, I just couldn't bear to give the contents of Mom's embroidery bag to Goodwill, and neither my sister nor myself wanted to finish these undone projects of Mom's. She LOVED to start projects (finishing many of them) and these were the ones left undone...each with her stitches started. You, dear reader, may take on her projects as your own! Look at the projects below, and if you are interested in having me mail it to you, I will - and I'll pay the postage so you have nothing to pay. Such a deal! Just tell me the # you'd like and make sure I get your address if I don't have it already. First come, first choice...unless you are a Grandchild or relative of Mom's, then you get cut-to-the-front-of-the-line status. (Sorry, the standing bag stays with me - love the retro pattern!)

This is nearly completed and has pretty butterflies yet to be embroidered on it.


Two rose x-stitched blocks with NO embroidery floss included. Sweet for Valentine's Day craft and could make two matching pillows with these squares.


This is on the larger size, but cute as all get-out!


This is a small piece, so could be completed lickety split! An apple a day for a teacher in your life? #5.

Cross stitchers take note!


Look at the organization of the yarns on this one - all labeled so you don't even have to think!

#7. Not even one stitch has been taken on this pre-printed fabric, but it sure is a classic you could enjoy stitching on.

There you have it. Please let me know by Valentine's Day. Mom would sure get a kick out of knowing her work would be completed someday.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sixteen Things

So many tags have been made on my Facebook page to do this little "game." Call me a stick in the mud, but I basically never respond to tags or forwards where you have to involve someone else. However, the comment was made by someone else that they enjoyed reading the other folks responses in which they list 16 little known facts about themselves. Hey...I'm all for enjoyment! (And I also like that Jan Brett designed this number page!)
Here goes:
1. No, I don't color my hair. It's gotten this way with time and age.
2. Many think I'm an extrovert. I'm not.
3. Wes and I were married at a young age - he was 22 and I was 21. I still was in college!
(And he's STILL the love of my life!)
4. I honestly don't know what I would have done without having Anne and John in my
biggest dream was to be a Mom.
5. I'm a huge sap for 'em!
6. My Dad called me his "Busy Fingers" as I was always crafting, cutting, stitching, gluing, etc.
even as a young girl.
7. I still love to cut, paste, stitch, create and craft!
8. My job is just right for me.
9. My sister is my role model, and I have loved her madly for my entire life.
10. I have been blessed with some very, very dear friends - you know who you are!
11. Blogging is a passion for me. But, I wish I would get more comments sometimes...the feed-
back keeps me going.
12. I don't care for fibromyalgia very much.
13. Should it happen someday, I think I would LOVE being a Grandma!!!
14. At a zoo, I especially love checking out the antics of penguins.
15. My favorite flower is the small blue iris, but it's sad it lasts such a short time.
16. I try to make the most out of every day.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Desert Dessert (P*S*C* #14)

Do you get carried away with a tasty dessert? I know I do...especially those with chocolate in the ingredients! Recently, we experienced this feeling of "Oh, It's So Good" and it happened in the Sonoran Desert of all places!
(Following our few days in the LA area, we trekked across the desert to a major city in AZ via car. The trip was a delight to behold: saguaro cactus with individual personalities, wind farms with whirring blades, snow-capped mountains in the distance, and a sunrise and sunset to take our breath away.)
Imagine our surprise to find out that Dale Chihuly - the famous glass artist - was having his works on special display at the Desert Botanic Garden near to where we were staying...simply amazing! Seeing his creative, inspiring monumental glass orbs, spires, balloons and spikes displayed in the open air with a backdrop of cactus was as good as any chocolate concoction ever ingested!! Really!

Are your eyes watering yet? Now about that chocolate...gotta go!

This concludes the Pink Suitcase Chronicles Series #14. Meanwhile, I await a reply from the American Tourister company to see if they can replace my Pink's lost label. Oh, and also await their response to take me on as a Spokesmodel for their!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mission: Possible (P*S*C* #14)

"The Jewel of California Missions" otherwise know as Mission San Juan Capistrano was a special visit on our recent California trip. To consider this place begun in 1776 by Spanish Catholics of the Franciscan Order still standing today in spite of earthquakes, floods and other events is nothing short of amazing.
Yes, this is also the place where every year, reputedly, on March 19 (Saint Joseph's Day) the cliff swallows return to the mission - and inspired Leon Rene to write the popular song "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano" in 1940.
We weren't there so I can't tell you for sure that this really happens!
This mission also has another interesting element in history: It was the location of the first vineyard and winery in California.
Being one who is interested in literature, it was noted that the first Zorro novella "The Curse of Capistrano" was penned in 1919 at set as the story locale. By 1782, The Serra Chapel on the left was completed. Many famous padres spoke here. The chapel is still in use today with daily masses. One if the most haunting sites in the mission is the shell of The Great Stone Church. No doubt this was a beautiful place to worship! Work started on this church in 1797, and was completed in 1806. Only six years later in 1812, it was leveled by an earthquake and 40 lives were lost. Somehow this area still feels like holy, sacred ground. Ten acres of buildings, gardens, fountains, structures and peace (really!) was a satisfying retreat for the both of us. Just a couple of parting pictures:

Pictures don't do this mission justice. It was a lovely destination to find. And savor.

Coming: Desert Dessert!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hail to the Chief - and His Wife (P*S*C* #14)

Above: the boyhood home of the 37th president, built by his father in hopes of farming lemon trees nearby.
In California, we were staying near the boyhood home of Richard M. Nixon in Yorba Linda. Though neither of us were Nixon fans while he was President, it is still interesting to discover more of a balanced view of his personal life and how his journey from boy to man influenced his time in the Oval Office.

Here we see the entry to The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.

Both of us have visited Presidential homes and birthplaces in the past - Mount Vernon (Washington), Monticello (Jefferson), Springfield (Lincoln), Sagamore Hill (Roosevelt) to name a few. We like them for different reasons: Wes likes the political aspects, the cars and helicopters, and the historical implications. Me? I like the home aspects of the first family - the wife and children, the decor, photos and letters, the fashions. Good balance.

I always feel like I hit the jackpot when I can see the actual outfits of the First Lady and her family! Seeing the wedding dresses of Tricia and Julie Nixon was a treat and a testament to how fashions evolve.
The museum even housed mannequins wearing the Inaugural gowns of Mrs. N and her daughters!
For some odd reason, the Inaugural gown worn in 2005 by Laura Bush was also on exhibit.
Which brings me to the upcoming very excited about it! Can't wait to see the fashions that this family will be bringing to the public eye! Maybe when we're old(er) and gray(er) we will be making visits to their homes, too. Coming: Mission Possible!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"The Happiest Place on Earth" (P*S*C* #14)

Right now, the above quote seems quite is snowing back here at home with freezing temps and is NOT the happiest place on earth! Of course I am talking about Disneyland!
Here we are at the gate. We managed to be at the park before it opened and were surprised with how many people were there on a Tuesday morning in early January. Is it this full every day?

Our first stop was to Adventure Land. How could we have possibly missed The Enchanted Tiki Room on our last visit here in 1999? We were totally charmed by this original 1962 vintage attraction. Singing along with the exotic, accented birds and their warbling Vegas-style showbird friends as well as the flowers and "natives" sure put us in a happy state of mind!

Next we took the Jungle Cruise. Love those animals - and the schmaltzy narrative by our boat captain. Such danger lurks around every turn in the river!

Of course we took a ride through the underground caves featured in Pirates of the Carribean...and happily noted their updating to include Jack Sparrow aka Johnny Depp in many of the scenes.

Certainly the photograph of the famous castle had to be included in this blog! It's as magic..and you'd expect. Somehow we kept seeing this little "princess" decked in her princess dress, ears, crown and high-heeled gold shoes carrying Bambi around. She's assuredly living the dream!

Wes and I needed our breaks, and due to this being "Happiest Place on Earth" we figured we'd stuff our faces with happy foods, too. Check out this Mickey pretzel and chocolate s'more.

The day was fully spent at the park. Night time came and we watched the closing fireworks show. It was a bit disappointing that there was no character parade. And that It's a Small World was closed. But, we still loved our time being happy and feeling the magic.

Good times. Feeling like kids again. Sorer feet - but well worth the trip.

Coming: Hail to the Chief