Friday, November 30, 2012

The Human Spirit

Just had to share a couple of videos I've seen in recent days that show amazing human spirit.

The first one features two brothers. The older brother, Bailey is a marine, returning to the U.S. after a tour in Afghanistan. He surprises his younger brother, then University of Illinois  basketball player (now in the NBA), Meyers Leonard, during practice. It's a great moment. I dare you not to cry! (Yes, this clip is a little dated, but as many military families celebrate holiday homecomings this time of year,  just had to share.)

You've likely heard of the more recent story about a New York City police officer who is seen buying a pair of shoes for a homeless man. Unknown to the police officer, the kind gesture was caught on camera by a tourist, who then wanted to share Officer Lawrence DePrimo's random act of kindness with the world.

Thank you, Officer DePrimo, for reminding us of how we should live our lives and treat others, especially those less fortunate. You truly are one of New York's finest. And, thanks to the Leonard brothers for showing us the importance of family and to never take our loved ones for granted. Great lessons to carry with us throughout the holiday season and into the new year.

Images from msnbc and the DailyBig10

Monday, November 19, 2012


This past weekend the kids and I went to the opening day of KaLightoscope, a fantastic light  and Christmas village display at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville.

Miss E. was there for a birthday party, so Little Man and I tagged along with other parents and siblings to view the displays. (Tickets are normally $20, but the birthday girl's mom works at the hotel, so we received complimentary tickets. Score!)

In the area where there are massive light displays, Chinese silk is stretched over flexible wire to create Christmas scenes. Then, they are illuminated. It's a very pretty sight and amazing to think of the time that went in to creating each piece.

If you're in the Louisville area, this is a great event in which to take your kids and kick off the holiday season. I believe there may be other KaLightoscopes in different cities, so if you have one near you, try to go!

Images all property of JMW A Place to Dwell blog

Friday, November 16, 2012

What's on your list?

Princess Grace, wrapping presents in her bedroom at the palace in Monaco
Photo by Howel Conant

Next week is Thanksgiving, yet the stores have been featuring Christmas decor for weeks now. A house down the street from us put up their Christmas lights last week! I imagine the tree lots will be stocked soon, too.

So, any thoughts on what you or your loved ones want for the holidays? I think I'm due for a new pair of running shoes. I know, I shoot for the stars, don't I? This morning, my 7-year old daughter said she wants an iPod Touch and press-on nails. What?? I blame her friends with older siblings. And Disney Channel.

"It's the most wonderful time of the year..."

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Trying to wrap my head around this one...

Okay, I really shouldn't go here, but this story is so convoluted and bizarre, that I just have to comment on it. It's the train wreck that keeps wrecking and wrecking. I can't stop shaking my head over this one.

So, if you're having trouble keeping up with this hot mess, the flow chart above may help. The main story now is that Gen. Patraeus will testify in front a House committee tomorrow about the attacks in Benghazi that resulted in the death of Ambassdor Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. Patreaus contends that his resignation from the CIA over a sex scandal had nothing to do with his upcoming testimony over the Benghazi attacks. Uh, huh.

As easy as it would be to go political on this, I'm pulling out the soap box to discuss another aspect: the utter stupidity of people who conduct these affairs and communicate via email, thinking they won't be discovered. Hello?? In this case, the man is the HEAD OF THE CIA. The CIA has a knack for discovering classified information, don't ya know. I bet they can crack that secret Gmail account code. Well, the FBI certainly did.

It never ceases to amaze me the arrogance surrounding this and other such scandals: "I'm above it all. I'm untouchable. I will get away with this because I'm a powerful person."

Ugh, what a mess. Have you been following this crazy story? What are your thoughts?

Image from

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sin, Music and the Devil

What's on tap for us tonight?

First Reconciliation
Our daughter will make the sacrament of First Reconciliation in December. Parents have a meeting tonight to discuss what to expect in the coming weeks. Many of us have not been to confession in a very long time. My outlook on it?


kidding, folks. Don't send me hate mail. (Okay, maybe there's a little truth in there for us Cradle Catholics. :)

After the meeting at church, a girlfriend and I are going to see Lindsey Buckingham in concert . It's an acoustic performance at a small venue. I've never seen Fleetwood Mac in person, so should be interesting to see one of their front men perform. (I hope he sings "Holiday Road" from National Lampoon's Vacation. Just kidding. Well, I kinda hope he does. :)

Finally, my Kentucky Wildcats play the evil Blue Devils. My thoughts on this match-up? The same thing I've said since 1992: Suck it, Duke. (Yes, I'll be asking for forgiveness for this comment later. Although, I like to think God will give me a pardon on this one; I believe in my heart of hearts he roots for the Cats.)

Shew, busy night, folks.

What's on your agenda, tonight? Anything relaxing or are you burning the candle at both ends these days?

Image from

Monday, November 12, 2012

Timeless Attire

I adore full-skirted dresses and a-line skirts. Gorgeous. Never goes out of style. When I see these frocks, I'm often reminded of the holidays.

Jewel-toned fancy dresses for holiday balls, cocktail parties and New Year's Eve celebrations. If only I had a reason to indulge in such lovely clothing. (Alas, no formal events this holiday season. Yet.)

You can also wear these elegant lines to work, with a cardigan, changing up your standard business attire.

Lovely, lovely silhouette. Audrey and Grace certainly wore it well.

Images from,, J. Crew, and original source of Hepburn and Kelly unknown

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What I've Learned this Week...

Hello, friends! Well, it’s been an interesting week. Let's sit down for a chat and I'll share a few things that I've learned so far...

  • Your child will get sick and the school office will call right as you are participating in a presentation with a group of executives. You will leave early, pick up your child and see that he’s covered in a rash from head-to-toe. The child’s doctor will be stumped with this condition and ultimately rule it as a virus. Then, your Kroger pharmacy won’t have the prescribed medicine, so you travel to a second pharmacy to see if they have the medicine. And it just so happens to be senior citizen day at the grocery store where the pharmacy is based. You will have a breakdown in the parking lot.

  • We always buy too much damn Halloween candy.

  • Iron-on badges for Brownie uniforms are a farce. They never work and at the last minute, you’re forced to pull out a needle and thread to sew the patch on. Hey, Girl Scouts, ever considered Velcro? Hello??

And finally…

  • If you give people free stuff, they will support you. And those getting the free stuff will see this as a very good thing. But what they haven’t learned, that I have, is that they’ll experience no upward mobility through this practice. But, that’s okay because they're getting free stuff. Motivation is not the goal here; dependence is.

And that's all you'll hear from me on that particular topic. Moving on.

Image property of JMW A Place to Dwell blog

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

Let's do this!!

Image from Gridiron Belles FB site

Monday, November 5, 2012

Random Thoughts

As a follow-up to last week's blog post, glad to see that Bloomberg finally cancelled the NYC Marathon, although the call came about 72 hours late. Thumbs down, mayor. Continued prayers go to the victims of this terrible storm. Stay strong, friends.

In other news, how nice was it to gain an extra hour of sleep Sunday? I loved it, but it's tough when it's darker earlier in the evenings. Back to the treadmill on weeknights.

Next topic, do any of you watch "The Walking Dead" on Sunday nights? Yes, I'm a regular viewer of a show about the zombie apocalypse. But, when Andrew Lincoln (Rick) is a lead actor in a show, well, I'll be watching.

 Poor, Rick. He needs a hug.

Anyhoo, did you see last night's episode? Holy cow. Never thought I would tear up during this program. Sure, plenty of cringing and covering my eyes, but I was surpised at how moving some of the scenes were last night. Whew.

And one more thing: VOTE TOMORROW! No matter what side you are on, we should exercise the freedom we have in this country and vote. I'm sure I don't have to tell many of you this - I imagine the polls will be overflowing.

Images from Guardian UK, and

Friday, November 2, 2012

NYC Marathon: To Run or Not to Run?

The New York City Marathon, the largest marathon in the world, is scheduled for Sunday, just a few days after Hurricane Sandy devastated the area. There’s some division over whether this major sports event should still take place or should be postponed.

There are a number of supporters, including Mayor Bloomberg, who say that the thousands of visitors to the area will help boost their economy, especially helping small businesses hurting after the storm.

According to an article on MSNBC:

The New York Road Runners, which organizes the marathon, said the event will bring $340 million to the city. The club also announced on Thursday that it will donate at least $1 million, or $26.20 for each of the more than 40,000 runners expected to participate, to aid New Yorkers affected by Sandy.

The Rudin Family, one of the founding members of the marathon, said it would donate $1.1 million and the ING Foundation said it would give $500,000.

On the flip side, some city officials are worried that first responders helping residents with restoration efforts may be diverted to cover the marathon. "If they take one first responder from Staten Island to cover this marathon, I will scream," New York City Councilman James Oddo said on his Twitter account. "We have people with no homes and no hope right now."

There’s even a  Facebook page called “Cancel the 2012 NYC Marathon.” The same MSNBC article states:

A Facebook page called “Cancel the 2012 NYC Marathon” had more than 27,000 likes and growing on Friday morning. Claiming to be started by a New York City resident, the page says, “The last thing NYC needs at this time is an extra 100,000 people or so flooding our already devastated streets. Things are not back to normal. Our city is working hard enough to recover please do not complicate things with a race.”

One commenter suggested Bloomberg should “postpone [the race] for a month or so and then use the race as a perfect platform to showcase how ALL 5 BOROUGHS have recovered. That shows resilience, and RESPECT for the citizens who have suffered, without foregoing the economic benefits of the race.”

While the offer of proceeds from the marathon going to help residents is generous, in my humble opinion, postponing the event would be the right thing to do. And where all these runners from outside New York staying? Do most of the hotels in the city and outlying areas have power? Are some operating on generators?

What are your thoughts? Move ahead in an effort to bring prosperity back to the area? Or postpone out of respect to those recovering from the storm and continued clean-up taking place?

Images from and Pinterest

Thursday, November 1, 2012

And so it begins...

Hope you had a Happy Halloween! Three more weeks until Thanksgiving!

Image source unknown.