Santa Claus is Coming to Town!

This is a repost from 2009, it is the second post I wrote.  I repost it every year.  After all the sadness and horror we have seen in the past few days, I thought a nice happy story was needed, if only to make you smile for a moment.

**I’m sitting here drinking my coffee and I can hear Santa Claus in the distance getting nearer and nearer.  Today is the annual “Santa on the Fire truck Day” in town.  Oh, I can remember how Bill and Dan would wait for the small parade to get to our street, and as they got closer the sirens would get louder and louder.  Their excitement was contagious and I stood in the window with them waiting and waiting……until there he was!  On top of the fire truck with a few elves that were handing out candy canes to those who were lucky to get outside fast enough.  So, now I sit here on the couch by myself waiting for Santa to get to our street.  But my excitement and anticipation is not about seeing Santa on top of the fire truck.  Nope!  Those little boys are not standing near the street waiting for their candy canes anymore.  But, one of those little boys is driving the big red fire truck taking Santa around town.  Nothing is cooler than seeing your little boy grow up and drive that big red firetruck… awesome!  And how awesome for my son!



Memories, Laughs and Goodbye

Today was a sad day…I had to say goodbye to a friend that means a great deal to me.  My dear Friend Cheryl is moving to Florida next week and today we tried to pretend that all will be well with her leaving. 

We rarely see each other, she lives about an hours drive away, but I always knew she was nearby.  I knew if I needed her she would be there as quickly as humanly possible. 

When my Mom passed away she brought enough food to feed an army…and stayed with me the whole evening.  She told me when to eat, she told me when to sit and rest…she took care of me. 

We met in the early 70’s, and lived in the same apartment building for years.  She was a single Mom, we had completely different lifestyles, but we were close and always there for each other.  Twenty five years ago, give or take, she was in a serious car wreck.  She almost died.  Well, she really did die, but she came back.  She was in the hospital for months, I was pregnant, but I can remember sitting and watching her and willing her to get well.   She did.

She is moving on, going to Florida to be with her son, grandson and the rest of her family.  I will miss her…so much.  And, I think I will need to get over my fear of flying.    See ya later my little Greek girlfriend!  My Little Cheryl!

Efxarysto.  Sagapo.  Reenie


I had to run some errands today and stopped at a resale shop I used to frequent years ago.  Nice and cool inside there, so I lingered for a while.  I found a large print for my dining room that I am decorating very slowly.  $19.00!!! Couldn’t pass it up.  Started talking to the shop owner…and she offered me a job!  Of course I would love to work there, but I told her I would last about two hours before I would have to take a nap.  Started talking about health issues and she mentioned she has Crohn’s Disease and how it affects her life.  When I told her I have Crohn’s also, her face lit up she got very excited.  She apologized but told me she doesn’t know anyone that deals with this disease, and how her family just doesn’t get it!  I told her she needs to get online…..she will find lots of support.  Nice Lady.  I rarely go out alone and my solo trip turned out to be fun…we had a “nice visit”, as my Mom would say!

Funny??? I think so,

Moms….Ya Gotta Love ’em!

Here is a list of the most common and popular momisms. This motherly advice transcends the borders of time, space, language and culture. For kids are kids everywhere and Moms are always Moms…caring, concerned, all knowing and full of love.

  • Don’t make that face or it’ll freeze in that position.
  • If I talked to my mother like you talk to me….
  • Always wear clean underwear; you never know when you’ll have an accident.
  • Be careful or you’ll put your eye out.
  • What if everyone jumped off a cliff? Would you do it, too?
  • You have enough dirt behind those ears to grow potatoes!
  • Close that door! Were you born in a barn?
  • If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
  • Don’t put that in your mouth; you don’t know where it’s been!
  • Be careful what you wish for, it might come true.
  • Don’t eat those, they will stunt your growth.
  • If you don’t eat those, you will stunt your growth.
  • What’s meant to be, is meant to be. 
  • It doesn’t matter what you accomplish, I’ll always be proud of you.
  • I hope that when you grow up, you have kids “Just Like you”! 
  • Because I’m your mother that’s why.
  • This is why we can’t have nice things.
  • If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times.
  • Eat your vegetables, those children in China (Africa, Vietnam) would be happy to have some broccoli to eat!
  • If you fall out of that tree and break your leg , don’t come running to me.
  • Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. 
  • YES, I *AM* the boss of you.
  • Because I said so. 
  • Just wait till your father gets home. 
  • No dessert till you clean off your plate.
  • I brought you into this world and I can take you OUT !!
  • I’ve got eyes in the back of my head, that’s how
  • Get that thing out of your mouth! (or nose)
  • Just you wait until you have kids of your own – then you’ll understand
  • I slave for hours over a hot stove and this is the thanks I get?!
  • Honestly… You’d lose your head if it wasn’t screwed on!
  • Bored! How can you be bored? I was never bored at your age.

I found these “Momisms” on this website      Thanks!

Miss You Mom!

My Favorite Flower

When my Mom moved from out childhood home, we took some bulbs from the back yard with hopes of transplanting them.  My Mom loved these flowers she called “Naked Ladies”,  and to tell you the truth, I had never seen them anywhere else but in her yard.  Every year she would call me on the day they “appeared” so excited that they just popped up during the night. 

In spring the long leaves come up with the tulips, iris and daffodils.  Every year I have to remind The Joe-Man not to cut them down when the other flowers go brown.  It is a long wait, but in August one day they appear…beautiful and fragrant as ever.  The bulbs that were transplanted to my yard have tripled and quadrupled and it looks like I would need to split them again in the fall. 

I can’t call my Mom and tell her that the leaves have come up, and I won’t be able to tell her when the “Naked Ladies” appear overnight. 

Last year I took an armful of them and placed them on her grave…I know she loved them.  I can’t wait until they show up this year.  I will again share them with her.

Our Little House on the Prarie

This is an article I wrote for the centennial Celebration of the town I grew up in.  I had forgotten all about it until today when I was looking for something in my documents.  So, I thought I would share it.  Anyone who knew our family and especially my Mother might enjoy these memories and pictures from long ago.

Our Little House on the prairie

Our family moved to Justice, Illinois in 1960 into a small house on Oak Grove Avenue. The streets were gravel, later upgraded to cinders, and eventually they were coated with tar. All the kids used to love to walk on the fresh sticky tar with our flip flops and see how far we could walk before they were permanently stuck on the street. Our weekends were sometimes spent at “Playland Park” where my sister made cotton candy and snow cones for the crowds. Yearly picnics run by one of the political party’s in the village were always something to look forward to. And I remember one summer a circus came to town and set up in what is now the baseball field behind The Village Hall.

My older brother and older sister went to Argo High School the first school year after we moved to Justice. I was in the second grade at Justice School on Cork Ave, some years later that school was renamed Dosher School. A brother and sister too young to go to school were still at home with our Mother. During the school year, when I was in third grade, the big move was made to a brand new school on Archer Avenue. Brodnicki School was a big modern building, something we had never seen before. It is still there although there have been additions added to the building, making the original school look minuscule.

Behind our house was a prairie that stretched the entire length of the block. We called it “the weeds”, and the neighborhood kids could be found there often exploring and playing. (This “Prairie” is now occupied by townhouses on Cork Avenue). We had tree houses, forts, big rocks to play on, and trees to climb. There was wildlife in the prairie and we occasionally spotted frogs, snakes, bunnies, opossums, pheasants and ducks. There also was a large community of skunks that would come out at night and terrorize the neighborhood. They would get in everyone’s garbage and at least one dog would get sprayed during their nightly rampage. Once we had a family of red fox that would boldly walk down the street early in the morning with no fear.

Our little house, at one time housed five kids, two parents, a Grandmother and only one bathroom. Most of the families in the neighborhood lived the same way. Three kids in one bedroom, more in the other bedroom and sometimes a kid or two on a roll-a-way bed in the living room.

There were so many kids around that you never lacked a playmate. The families I remember from our block are, The Kolacki’s, The seven White Boys, The Schimmel girls, The Thiele Girls, The Taylor Kids and the Heltons. Further down the block were The Suddeth family and The Good Kids. We were usually riding our bikes, playing in the weeds or getting our feet wet in the tiny “creek” by the playground (which was strictly prohibited by everyone’s Mother).

I’ve been told that my Mother cried for weeks after moving to Justice. She was a city girl and accustomed to walking to the stores and church, and riding the street car that she could catch at the corner. Now, here she was in our Little House on the Prairie, she couldn’t drive and all her old friends lived too far to come visit. But, before long she had friends throughout the town. She became involved in the schools, Scouts, politics and in later years was an employee of both the school district and the village. She became a familiar face to almost everyone in town.

Years have passed and the tiny village has kept up with the times. There are now improved streets, sidewalks and city water. An educated and professional Police Department protects the villages citizens. Everyone in town can sleep soundly at night because of the fine Firefighters that respond quickly to any emergency.

The explosion of new homes, apartments, and condos is something we could have never imagined, and successful businesses have popped up throughout the village.

Although the Village has changed, and has been transformed into a thriving community, some things have not changed at all. The friendliness of the town has never diminished, everywhere you go in town you will see a familiar face. Kids have grown up, married and bought homes in town, it’s as if the familiar streets and faces beg you to stay.

To raise your children in the same place you grew up can be a wonderful and satisfying experience.

The memories I have of growing up in Justice are some of the best memories I hold dear to my heart. There is no other place I could imagine that would have been better to be a kid. Everyone watched out for everyone else, and you feared your friend’s Mom as much as you feared your own. We were never afraid in our familiar surroundings, and there was always someone nearby you could depend on.

My Mother loved the Village of Justice and was proud of every accomplishment the Village made over the years. Through her work in the schools and the Village Hall, and all of her involvement and participation in the many clubs and organizations in town made her a person well known through the town.

Happy Birthday Justice, Illinois! You have become more than anyone could have imagined!

 Dedicated to the memory of my Mother: Lois C. Killham


Phenomenal Woman

maya angelou
Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
The palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
—Maya Angelou

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Sorry…but I had to delete and delete and delete

Having had two horrible cold/sinus things happening back to back, with a few days off between the two, I haven’t spent much time on the computer.  I’ve tried so many times to catch up on my emails, and jokes and youtube videos, but I just couldn’t do it.  One day my inbox said I had 243 emails!  Some of the oldest posts went back to December 15, and I saw no end to the madness!  Tonight I sat down took a deep breath and deleted everything dated before February 20th. 

I’m starting over with a clean slate, and an empty INBOX. 


My dear friend Laurie F. asked me what this word was…Paczki.  Let me explain.

A PACZKI is a deep-fried piece of dough shaped into a flattened sphere and filled with cheese or other sweet filling. Lemon, strawberry, prune, vanilla custard, chocolate custard, peach…oh the fillings go on and on!!! Then the Pączki are covered with powdered sugar, icing,  or just rolled in sugar or bits of dried orange zest. 

In the large Polish community of Chicago, Pączki Day is celebrated annually by immigrants and locals alike.  Chicago celebrates the festival  of Fat Tuesday by eating these yummy donut-like treats.

Chicago has the largest population of Poles in the U.S., second only to Warsaw.  The Poles have introduced us to a cuisine that is loved by all  Chicagoans. The small city I live in (pop 14,000) has two polish bakeries, two Polish delis,  a small grocery store plus a large grocery store mostly dedicated to European patrons in the area.

So, Fat Tuesday is a day to stuff yourself silly until you are nauseous.  Generally everyone buys these gastrointestinal bombs by the dozens, in this house we cut them in half so we can sample more of the decadent fillings.  Then……you drink Pepto Bismol. 

There is nothing better that going into a delicious smelling bakery on Fat Tuesday and smiling at the Ladies who talk to you in Polish…all you do is point and they box them up!   

Bardzo dziękuję!  


Wikipedia was used for some of the information in this post.

Fat Tuesday

 Today is Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday which is the day before Lent begins.  For anyone who grew up Catholic you know what Lent means…you gotta give up something that you love.  When we were kids it was with great thought that we picked our “sacrifice” because yours had to be better than anyone else’s.  For weeks you would fret over your “give up” and compare notes with everybody else.  You had to be the best, it had to be something that would make your friends mouths fall open.

Of course, when you would quiz your Mom for suggestions on a good “give up” for Lent, she would always suggest something uninspiring and boring like 

  • Quit fighting with your brothers and sisters
  • Help around the house more
  • Be obedient
  • No sassy talk
  • Do a good deed everyday

None of the above are jaw-dropping enough to be the one….you needed drama….you needed “kneel on dried peas everyday” drama. 

I think I gave up candy every year.  We never had candy in the house because we couldn’t afford it according to my Mom.  We couldn’t give up sweets, because there was always cake, my Mom was a big cake baker.  To this day I love cake, any kind of cake, any flavor of cake.  I LOVE CAKE. (Thanks Mom)  

Lent is sort of like your News Year’s Resolution  Do-Over.  You have a second chance to give up sweets, stop smoking, cut back on caffeine, exercise everyday or whatever resolution you have not followed through on.

The best part of Fat Tuesday, no question…… is Paczki.

Tomorrow I will go into detail on these gastrointestinal nightmares that will have you running for your bottle of Pepto Bismol