Getting Inked in My 60s

tattoo artist in black gloves drawing a tattoo on a person s arm

Photo by Isabella Mendes on

Inked, getting a tat, body art, whatever you call it, getting a tattoo is not usually a spur-of-moment decision (unless perhaps you have had too much to drink). I had never been a big fan of tattoos. Whenever I thought of tattoos I thought of skulls and daggers, prison inmates, motorcycle gangs, and counter-culture rebels.

Even though both of my sisters AND my mom have had tattoos forever, I did not. As they reached their teens, I tried very hard to dissuade my children from permanently disfiguring their bodies with ink. My thought was that tattoos are so permanent that I did not want my kids to regret doing something so irreversible without the maturity to accept the consequences. As I secretly hoped that the ‘wanting a tattoo’ phase would fade, I told them that at 18 (because we all know that is definitely the age of reason, actually it is the age that they no longer needed my permission) they could decide for themselves. Continue reading

2016 Gratitude Review

Last year I wrote about a new habit that I was trying to establish to enrich my life a little, that of filling a Gratitude Jar. I’m afraid my habit forming tactic didn’t work all that well because I stopped adding to the jar sometime around late summer, early fall of last year. Still it wasn’t a bad idea and I’m going to give it another try this year. To jump start my effort AND to put a different perspective on my 2016 year, I decided to go through the 121 entries that I did make to my gratitude jar last and I thought I would share some with you. I think it always helps to reflect. So here goes:

Most entries started with Today I am grateful for: Continue reading




“The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.” ~Wayne Dyer

According to many life couches and self-help experts, the key to living a happy, productive, and successful life is to think positively, become more aware, and develop your consciousness. All admirable and helpful characteristics, but how do you learn to think positively? If you want to become more aware, what should you become aware of? And exactly what is consciousness?

The key is ATTENTION. Continue reading

A Treasure in the Stateline

A Treasure in the Stateline

We have a hidden treasure up here in the Stateline and it’s called Burpee Museum of Natural History. Housed in a late 19th Victorian Mansion along the Rock River, the Burpee Museum has been delighting visitors and contributing to the study of natural history for nearly 75 years. Burpee Museum sign

This past week I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in a ‘behind-the-scenes’ tour at Burpee. The backstage tour was an opportunity to gather some inspirational material; images, thoughts, history, stories, emotions, for a collaborative event, known as Word of Art 3D, planned for early 2017.

To tell you everything about the Burpee Museum would take a book, but here are some of the highlights from the special ‘collections’ tour. Continue reading

Humiliation (sung to the tune of Anticipation by Carly Simon)

Gaffe, faux pas, infelicity, gaucherie, doesn’t matter how fancy you try to make the word, it still amounts to foot planted firmly in mouth.

That’s what I did today while I was out shopping. Standing in the checkout line at one of the local pick-up-everything-including-the-kitchen-sink marts, I noticed what seemed to be a couple with a rather unusual purchase. They had a boatload of large plastic bins and two huge rolls of bubble wrap. Interesting purchase I thought, what would you do with that much bubble wrap and all those plastic bins.

Continue reading

County Zoning

Now isn’t that a riveting title for a blog post? I know, I know, who wants to read about county zoning, but I just wanted to share an experience that I had last night with a government entity doing its job.planning-zoning-dept_2_pyramid

There is a house up for sale across the cul-de-sac from me. A few weeks ago, some of my neighbors received a letter from our County Regional Planning and Economic Development Department notifying them that a request had been made for a Special Use Permit for a Community Residence. Continue reading

A Little Ray of Sunshine

Chinese proverb: “You cannot prevent the birds of sadness from passing over your head, but you can prevent them from making a nest in your hair”

Went out for dinner and drinks this past weekend with some friends. After a delicious meal topped off with a frosty Guinness, we decided to move on to a local bar. There we were greeted by a friendly young server, named Annie (name is fictitious to protect the server’s identity). After she introduced herself, she very ROS_sun_RGB_yellowface_400x400matter-of-factly, asked “What is something good that has happened to you today?”

Unaccustomed to such a query, especially from a perfect stranger, all three of us stammered as we mentally went through our day to find an appropriate answer. Continue reading