Monday, February 25, 2008

Sick, sick, sick

Ugh. We've been sick, so no posts in awhile. The news has dubbed this 'the flu;' however it's more of a crummy cold that lasts forever! Hard to believe, but I was actually home-bound for a full week. Talk about itchy feet to get out and rejoin society...and perhaps, shop a bit! Hopefully my self-imposed quarantine spared others from this cold.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sad day at NIU

This afternoon, at NIU (Northern Illinois University), my MPA alma mater, a gunman opened fire in a lecture hall, shooting 22. Thus far they are reporting that 5 students were killed and then the shooter turned the gun on himself, taking his own life. Updates are still trickling out. I'm typically on campus for my consulting gig about once every two weeks. Luckily, today wasn't one of those days on campus.

My Valentine

Ah, the Hallmark holiday. No big travels this year for vday. No big dinner out (last year was at the Country Club with friends and was fabulous!). No home made dinner and dessert. I have a hacking coughing cold.

Chuck brought home rose and tulips from Crimson Ridge last week...his tradition...always a week before vday.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The happiest place to live is.....

Denmark, of course! ABC's 20/20 ran a story in mid January about Happiness. Universities and research institutes conducted a study on the happiest place to live and Denmark ranked #1. The US ranked 23. Go figure! They cite happiness being attributed to how happy someone is right now and how happy they are about their entire life. According to the story, "Danes do have one potential complaint: high taxes. The happiest people in the world pay some of the highest taxes in the world -- between 50 percent and 70 percent of their incomes. In exchange, the government covers all health care and education, and spends more on children and the elderly than any country in the world per capita. With just 5.5 million people, the system is efficient, and people feel "tryghed" -- the Danish word for "tucked in" -- like a snug child. "

Book Review - Playing for Pizza by John Grisham

I've always liked books by John Grisham. I think I've read everyone. I got hooked on his books with The Pelican Brief and then got hooked on his 'other' works when I read Skipping Christmas one year while vacationing in St. Croix (we skipped Christmas that year!). Playing for Pizza is a quick read about a guy (Rick) who goes to Italy to play football. He is essentially washed up in the states and quite honestly the laughing stock due to his stellar performance in a game, so his agent gets him to head to Italy to be the quarterback for the Parma Panthers. Rick doesn't speak Italian and is living in a country he knows nothing about. It's a cute story and an easy read (about 2 hours cover to cover).

Saturday, February 9, 2008

My favorite author - Jodi Picoult

Traveling and a good book just go hand in hand. I'm always looking for a good book or a new author that can grab my attention and keep me occupied as I take in the sun on a far away island. Jodi Picoult is an amazing author, who manages to pose these intricate moral dilemmas in each of her books. My Sister's Keeper is probably my favorite book; however The Pact and Perfect Match are also great reads.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Snow in February

  • 62" - snow this season

  • 9" - snowfall in the last 12 hours

  • 4-6" - additional snow predicted in the next several hours

Are we in Canada, the UP of Michigan, Alaska? Minnesota, North Dakota, the mountains of Colorado? Skiing in the Swiss Alps? Nope. Not even close. We're just north of the Cheddar Curtain, where the average snowfall is 32" a year. We still have to get through February and the first part of March. Any bets we'll hit 100" this year? The record in the Madison area is 76" which was from the 1978-1979 season. Happy shoveling.

Saturday, February 2, 2008 favorite flower

Crimson Ridge finally received a shipment of tulips. I've been waiting all year for this! We'll be heading to Amsterdam in mid April to see the tulip fields and all the other amazing bulbs and flowers. Until then, I'll enjoy these.