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Friday, September 24, 2010

The Gift of the Present

This year, the start of autumn has a different feel to me. It's a season that I like a lot, for the crisp days, for the beauty of nature, for the fresh start September still makes me feel. But this year, the hockey season is approaching in a way it's never felt before. We, the Chicago Blackhawks, won the Stanley Cup last season. I've never started a hockey season after winning it all the previous season. Winning was a time of sheer happiness, a time of arms raised, of championship tee shirts, of everyone smiling just a little bit more. As autumn comes, as the start of the new hockey season begins, things have changed, as I knew they would. The euphoria is gone, due to the salary cap the roster has changed quite a bit, and everyone in the league will be gunning for us.

This year, autumn is a time for reflection, a time of looking back but also looking forward. It's also a time to be thankful for what we've got, and what we've had. No matter what happens this season, I will always appreciate the specialness of last season, the magic that allowed everything to fall into place just right at just the right time. And that magic has taught me a lesson: to appreciate all the little things that fall into place just right, to appreciate all the little miracles that happen every day. In our busy lives we sometimes sit back to reflect, we sometimes look toward the future. To be aware, and to be mindful of the world around us is as important as reflections on the past and planning for the future. Do you come to Sunday evening and wonder where the weekend went? Are you so caught up in the struggles of everyday life, whether it be finding the right clothes to wear, getting the kids to all their activities, taking care of several obligations, that your day is over before you realize it, leaving you wishing for more hours in the day? Do you load your fork with the next bite before you've swallowed the last?

This autumn, I am going to work on being more mindful of each day and the special moments of each day. I am going to work on not rushing through each day and wishing for more time, but making time to enjoy and breathe and refresh myself. I am going to work on appreciating the present. It's really the only time we have, the time where we can make a difference or rest a minute or push ourselves forward. The past is left for reflection, the future is not here yet, but the present is right in front of our face and it's a gift. What are you going to do with it?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

One if by air, two if by sea, one if by sea, two if by air?.... oh hail!

Living in the city and so close to the lake, I try to take advantage of some of the activities the city has to offer. This past August there were two big events that I went to on the lakefront. The first was the Air and Water Show. Now I didn't go down to see the water invasion at North Avenue Beach, but I did go to see some of the aerial acts, including the Blue Angels. But before the show even began, I got to see some of the practice runs of the Angels from my balcony! (That's the first picture, then the rest are from the show). Later in August, the city was hosting the Tall Ships off of Navy Pier. We went down and spent the day on the pier, going aboard the ships and getting a good view of some setting sail. Late afternoon, we went for a sail of our own on the Tall Ship Windy which is based right here in Chicago. Both days were beautiful and provided a great show and a great look at the city.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Do you like beans? I found a recipe from my cousin that she would make for company. Now I'm not sure how healthy everything else in it is, but this sure is a tasty option for football season!

Black Bean Dip
1 can black beans
1 can refried beans
1 can of diced tomatoes (just plain- no spices)
Sour Cream (I don't measure, just kind of dump some in, do it to taste)
1 small can of sliced black olives
Some 4 cheese Mexican cheese
Put a layer of the shredded cheese on top- heat it up until melted- then stir that cheese in, then put another layer of shredded cheese on top and heat until melted again

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We Will Never Forget

Please take a moment today to remember the events of September 11, 2001. Remember the nearly 3,000 people lost that day, remember the 3,000+ children who lost a parent that day, remember all the babies who would be born in the months after who never knew their father. Remember the 343 New York firefighters and paramedics killed when the towers fell, remember that people from 115 different countries died in the attacks, remember the courage of those aboard United 93 as they fought back, remember the hospitality of tiny Gander, Newfoundland, a town of 10,000 that suddenly had nearly 7,000 guests as a result of diverted planes. It was indeed the worst of times, but it was also the best of times in displaying unity, goodwill and dignity in our response.