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When it snows, you have two choices: shovel or make snow angels! January 12, 2012

Filed under: happy thoughts,Interesting — celebrationgoddess @ 6:49 am
No that isn’t Santa Claus

learning something new!)


You can never start early enough when teaching the art of making snow angels!!

All eyes on on the sky anticipating the first large snow of the season. We had an incredible run baby just suck it up and get ready. Break out the :

  • Shovel – one that feels good in your hands. Well it would feel better in someone else’s hands than mine but since I’m a single goddess, I guess it will be my hands eh?
  • Pam spray – what am I planning on making flapjacks? – Nope! My ex taught me that if you put it on the blower and shovel (yeah he’s the one that used to shovel and snow plow, I will miss that), that it will just slide right off. Hmmm do you think that if I go out and spray the entire driveway rigth now the falling snow won’t stick to the driveway? I wish….
  • The boots and snow pants – I bought myself some new boots with an adorable fur trim and black puffy snow pants that make a corduroy swishing sound while I walk. And yes they do make my butt look big, I don’t have to ask anyone about that!
  • The hot cocoa – cause yes you can now get the car out and wore your cute new snow outfit, but it’s a law that there is a cup of hot deliciousness to help soothe yourself after all that work!

Since it’s a learning type of day, I got these snow tips from and article I found:

Be Safe Shoveling Snow this Winter

by Marcus Pickett

Snow Shoveling Safety Tips

  • Don’t shovel soon after you wake up. A slipped disc injury is much more likely to occur in the morning due to the build-up of fluid in the disc from lying down all night.
  • Check with your doctor if you have even reason to believe shoveling snow might present a health hazard, particularly any heart condition.
  • Use multiple layers of clothing, shed layers to avoid becoming overheated, and use slip-resistant boots.
  • Spray or rub some type of lubricant on the shovel to keep snow from sticking to your shovel?the lighter the load, the better.
  • Before you start, drink some water to stay hydrated, and stretch like you would for any strenuous activity.
  • Take frequent breaks.

The False Security of the Snow Thrower
Loathe to shovel their snow, many homeowners own a snow thrower. It may seem almost too easy, getting out there with a high-powered snow, while your neighbor labors and heaves with a manual shovel. According to the Center for Disease Control and United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, snow thrower-related injuries account for 4,000-6,000 emergency room visits each year. More than 1,000 of these injuries will result in maiming or amputations.

 Unfortunately, too many people take snow thrower safety for granted until injuries occur. Most recently, NHL center Joe Sakic broke three fingers and damaged tendons by reaching into the snow thrower. This is the most common snow thrower injury, as most people don’t realize, despite manufacturer warnings, that the augur blades can continue to rotate even after the machine has been shut off. Despite recent quotes from Avalanche VP Jean Martineau, who was defending Sakic’s use of a snow thrower despite a bad back, using a snow thrower involves a lot more than “just going for a walk.”

Alternatives to Snow Shovels and Snow Throwers
Obligated to keep their sidewalks clear, many homeowners may feel like they have few snow removal options, especially if their neighborhood doesn’t have the entrepreneurial teenager. While most people know professional snow removal services are out there, few realize that contacting these professionals can be as easy as a few mouse clicks. Internet users can easily find an online referral service that will match homeowners with local contactors. Ironically, the industry leader for online home improvement referrals, ServiceMagic, is actually headquartered in Lakewood, CO, some 9 miles from the Pepsi Center?home of Joe Sakic’s Colorado Avalanche.

Have a Snow Removal Plan
This is the silver bullet for safely removing snow from your property. From young residents who are trying to get down on expenses as much as possible to older homeowners who need a low-maintenance solution to their snow-covered sidewalks, devising a plan, long before the snow begins to fall, that will ensure your health and safety is critical to handling the winter season.



Taming Lillian Pratt July 10, 2011

Filed under: happy thoughts,Interesting — celebrationgoddess @ 10:58 pm

Lillian in my vegetable garden

SUNDAY’s Sampler Platter – (imagine that).

Lately my life has been very VERY thorny. Perhaps you’ve guessed that that’s why I have not been blogging. I won’t drag you through the pointy details. But suffice it to say that I’m finding it hard to get by sometimes. I do tend to rely on my friends a lot for encouragement. And with the incredible amount of things that I must do and the additional things that I want to do, sometimes it’s hard to see the precious moments in the day.

I thought perhaps I’d blog about my rose. Because I was thinking about the precious moments I spent on her today. She’s called Auntie Lillian Pratt. A very close friend of mine moved away to Florida in October. I miss her a lot! Before she moved, she asked if I wanted Lillian. They dug her up, put her roots in a bucket of water for several days in the last terribly hot dry days of  summer last year. She was attached to the trellis and I got her to the yard and installed in her new home. She immediately decided to lose her leaves. Oh how dramatic she was!

So what’s with Miss Lillian? Why does she have a name? No it’s not the name of the plant that the breeder gave. She’s affectionately called Auntie Pratt. You see there was a real Lillian Pratt and she lived in Galesburg, IL. It was my friend’s neighbor.

This 7 sisters pink climbing rose travelled to Galesburg through Iowa on a covered wagon 100 years ago!!! I definitely find it amazing that I have a plant that is older than the house I live in (which is over 90 years old). Auntie Pratt gave them this plant and when my friend moved she could not bring herself to leave it to people who didn’t know her story. Being a gardener, she knew I’d appreciate and take care of Lillian.

Well I’m happy to say that not only did Lillian bloom last week, but she’s putting out lots of new branches for me to scratch myself on while I wind her around the trellis. She’s reminding me that with the bad comes the good. The thorns and scratches of my life are always there. But the beauty of things are there too.

Last year, I took a bunch of cuttings and stuck them in the ground under a cloche to root them. And when I visited my friend in Florida in May, I brought her a cutting of Lillian to put in her own garden. She was very surprised and happy. And she couldn’t wait to tell her folks that now Lillian has moved to another state. Only this time it wasn’t by covered wagon, it was by plane!

Today, I trimmed off her old dead wood, took more cuttings and put them under the cloche. I’m hoping to make enough cuttings to share with my garden club. Because I think Lillian would be happy to know that her plant is getting around!!!!

New cloche cuttings

“The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose.”

Isn't she pretty?

Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds!



A little bird May 8, 2011

Filed under: happy thoughts — celebrationgoddess @ 12:22 pm

You know sometimes life doesn’t exactly go the way you want it. I don’t typically talk in too much depth about myself here but I’m gonna today. I had a disappointing evening and it made me melancholy.  Everyone has disappointments in life. A job, health or a love gone bad.

Way back when,I chose the life I wanted. Very early I chose not to be a Mother. It’s what I wanted when I was 15 and it’s what I want now in middle age. It was the right choice for me. Today I was doing one of the things I love best in the world which is being out in the sun in my lovely large garden. Watering, weeding, planting. My garden gets all the love that I can give. It’s what gives me peace, exercise and accomplishment. I know everyone has been tired of the gray April but we are low on rain for the tiny little seedlings trying to grow new life. New life like a Mother I have to provide for my own little babies. So I was out watering. What happened? A tiny finch flew up to me to play in the spray of water. He hopped around getting wet. I turned and sprayed here and there. He preened and chirped. I continued on through my garden. He followed me. I played spraying near him and he flew back and forth landing on hostas and the fence. We played for about 10 minutes and I sent him on his way. Just like a caregiver that I am of nature.

Then the radio played this song. So I’ve added the lyrics here. Happy Mother’s Day to everyone. I especially miss my Mother. I have my Mom’s ashes placed in one of my little gardens. I tend it lovingly just like I tended to my Mom. You see I was a Mother to my Mother. She was disabled and bed ridden for a very large portion of my life. I learned all that you learn to run a house and learned to cook with my 2 sisters when we were about 10. So I am who I am. I have love, I have my garden, and I have life. Thank you Mom…

Pink Floyd: Mother: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVwpQ0iDrTI

Mother do you think they’ll drop the bomb?
Mother do you think they’ll like this song?
Mother do you think they’ll try to break my balls?
Mother should I build the wall?
Mother should I run for president?
Mother should I trust the government?
Mother will they put me in the firing line?
Mother am I really dying?

Hush now baby, baby, dont you cry.
Mother’s gonna make all your nightmares come true.
Mother’s gonna put all her fears into you.
Mother’s gonna keep you right here under her wing.
She wont let you fly, but she might let you sing.
Mama will keep baby cozy and warm.
Ooooh baby ooooh baby oooooh baby,
Of course mama’ll help to build the wall.

Mother do you think she’s good enough — to me?
Mother do you think she’s dangerous — to me?
Mother will she tear your little boy apart?
Mother will she break my heart?

Hush now baby, baby dont you cry.
Mama’s gonna check out all your girlfriends for you.
Mama wont let anyone dirty get through.
Mama’s gonna wait up until you get in.
Mama will always find out where you’ve been.
Mama’s gonna keep baby healthy and clean.
Ooooh baby oooh baby oooh baby,
You’ll always be baby to me.

Mother, did it need to be so high?

Laugh, Learn, and Liven up your Taste Buds!



I won’t let go… April 14, 2011

Filed under: happy thoughts — celebrationgoddess @ 9:14 pm


My sweet kitty Boots

Thank you to those of you that have been there for me the past days. My poor young cat died on Tuesday night and I’m just heartbroken. She’d sleep under my arms at night just like a little ragdoll. I buried her in my garden under some beautiful daffodils. I’ll miss her so…Here’s a wonderful song by Rascal Flats that I heard on my way to work today. Very beautiful…made me think of her…


Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds!


Da Brat Stop April 9, 2011

Filed under: happy thoughts — celebrationgoddess @ 4:38 pm

SO MUCH FUN SATURDAY – (the greatest day of the week!)

Well tonight’s excursion is to the World Famous Brat Stop to see Infinity! It’s an 80’s cover band. Of course they’ll be doing some Journey music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMD8hBsA-RI&feature=fvsr


The Brat Stop opened in 1961, and is located just five minutes over the Wisconsin/Illinois border. I-94 & HWY 50, Exit 344.  It has been fondly called 1 acre under a roof without a car for sale.  Keeping pace with the times has been a big factor in the Brat Stop’s success. It has grown from 1,200 to 46,000 square feet.  With the help of our staff we get to play ambassador to over 450,000 visitors per year at this unofficial “Gateway to Wisconsin”.


What’s the allure?  Well, anyone who travels knows that sampling regional cuisine is half the adventure, and a visit to Wisconsin simply isn’t complete without sampling a bratwurst.  The beer and brat are inextricable parts of the German settlers that made roots here in the 19th century.  The word Bratwurst is of German origin; brat means fry, wurst means sausage.  A bona fide Wisconsin cook-out or tailgate always offers lots of tasty beer soaked grilled brats.


Cheese is another regional specialty and the varieties of cheese available in the Badger State makes visitors heads spin.  The Brat Stop’s Cheese Mart and Gift Shop lets visitors take home brats, cheese and light-hearted Wisconsin related memorabilia. Most visitors bring home a few “cheesy” souvenirs, one of the more popular being a foam cheese head hat that looks like a wedge of cheese.  

Since opening in 1961, many sports, political and entertainment personalities have eaten at The Brat Stop whose mystique has been irresistible to Micheal Jordan, Phil Jackson, Tony Kukoc, Al McGuire, Tom Arnold, Steven Tyler, Willard Scott, Bette Midler, Shelly Fairchild, Tommy Thompson, Russ Feingold…..  “The Best Damn Sports Show” even filmed here once.  Many of these stars undoubtedly stayed a little later than planned just so they could sample another Wisconsin institution- The Friday Night Fish Fry.


Since 1964 The Brat Stop has hosted live music- many were national acts.  Stars gracing the stage have included The Charlie Daniels Band, Styx, B.T.O., Cheap Trick, Foghat, The Guess Who, Nazareth, Molly Hatchet, Joan Jett, Holland, Bad Boy, Night Ranger, Loverboy, Jackyl, Eddie Money, 38 Special, Ratt, Warrant, Saxon, Tracy Byrd, Great White, Mark Wills, Jo Dee Messina, Neal McCoy, Wade Hayes, Trace Adkins, Chris Cagle, Shinedown and Sugar Land, just to mention a few…..

Hope ya’ll have a great Saturday night even if you aren’t with me rockin’…

Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds!



Happy St. Patties March 17, 2011

Filed under: happy thoughts — celebrationgoddess @ 12:05 am


THINKING THURSDAY – (enjoy learning
something new!)

Having a wee bit of Irish in me, I’m providing a nice soda bread recipe and a blessing
to greet you today! Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy some corned beef and cabbage.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease two 8×4 inch loaf pans. Mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, sour cream and raisins and mix until just combined. Distribute batter evenly between the two pans. Bake loaves at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 1 hour.

Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds!



Dreaming on my pillow March 6, 2011

Filed under: happy thoughts — celebrationgoddess @ 12:09 am

SUNDAY’s Sampler Platter – (imagine that).

Dream pillows were once called comfort pillows because of their use with the sick. Relaxing herbs, like lavender and chamomile, also helped crying babies get to sleep. The shamans of old believed dream pillows carried messages from the gods. These days, you can make a dream pillow for yourself or others and help everyone sleep and dream like a baby. Sunday I’m joining some friends to make myself a dream pillow. Sunday night I’ll be dreaming nicely.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Needle and thread
  • Your choice of fabric
  • Mesh bag to hold your herbs and a string to close the bag
  • Herbs and flowers; try a mix of 1 part dried chamomile, 1 part dried lavender
  • 5 to 7 drops essential oil. Some good choices include sandalwood, jasmine and geranium
  • 2 tsp. orris root to retain the wonderful scent
  • Pillow stuffing
  • Velcro

Choose your fabric and cut it into two pieces about 6″ by 11″. One will be the top of your pillow, the other will be the bottom. Silk is a great fabric choice. Although other fabric is fine, silk is cool and soft and works nicely in case you wish to place your dream pillow on your forehead to help banish a  headache.

Sew the two pieces together so the wrong side is on the outside. Stitch three sides of the fabric together. Turn it inside out so the right side is on the outside.

Fill a mesh bag with your choice of herbs and flowers. Add some fragrance oil and orris root, a member of the iris family and a perfect fixative in dream pillows. Tie the bag with some string.

Slide the herb-filled bag inside your pillow and pack a bit of pillow stuffing around the bag. Don’t over stuff because the herbs will need room to release their magical scents.

I think I’ll bring the gals some fluffy cloud-like cookies because we’ll be dreamin’….

Meringue Cookies Recipe:

3 large egg whites (3 ounces or 90 grams)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup (150 grams) superfine
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Meringue Cookies are airy, sweet and crisp that seem to almost melt in your mouth. I love how the outsides of the meringues are nice and crisp, yet the insides remain wonderfully soft and puffy, almost like mini-Pavlovas. While I often eat these just as they are, they also make a very nice plated dessert that you can top with whipped cream, ice cream, sorbet, and/or fresh fruit.

Meringue Cookies are made with just two main ingredients: stiffly beaten egg whites and superfine (caster) sugar. To ensure the egg whites reach maximum volume, have your mixing bowl and beaters clean and free of grease. It is easier to separate your eggs while they are cold. Once separated, cover the egg whites and let them come to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes). Cover and refrigerate the egg yolks for another use. Superfine sugar makes the best meringues as it dissolves easier in the whites. To make your own, take 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar and process in your food processor until very fine.

There are a few things to keep in mind when making meringue cookies. The standard ratio when making hard meringues is 1/4 cup (50 grams) of granulated white sugar for every egg white. This amount of sugar is needed to give the meringue its crispness. Adding the sugar gradually to the egg whites ensures that the sugar completely dissolves and does not produce a gritty meringue. Cream of tartar is used in the whipping of egg whites to stabilize them and allows them to reach maximum volume. Also, it is a good idea to use parchment paper or aluminum foil to line your baking sheets, not wax paper, as the meringue will sometimes stick to wax paper.

Baking the meringues in a slow oven allows for gradual evaporation of the moisture from the meringues.  If the oven temperature is too high, the outside of the meringue will dry and set too quickly. You will also notice that the outside of the meringue separates from the inside. Another indicator that your oven is too high is when the meringue starts to brown which causes the sugar to caramelize. If this happens, lower the temperature about 25 degrees F. If you decide to make meringues on a rainy or humid day, you will probably have to bake the meringues longer (could be up to 30 minutes more) than on a dry day. Lastly, to prevent cracking of the meringues, do not open the oven door during the first half of the baking tim

Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds!



Forest Park St. Pat’s Parade March 5 March 5, 2011

Filed under: happy thoughts — celebrationgoddess @ 12:32 am

SO MUCH FUN SATURDAY – (the greatest day of the week!)

Growing in popularity each year, this annual parade is one of the largest in the western suburbs. The 70-plus entries include several bagpipe bands, the award-winning Proviso Marching Band, local businesses, Medinah Shriner’s Mini Choppers, Roaring 57’s and Clown Unit, area police and fire vehicles, floats, Irish Dancers, Forest Park Dog Park, Toys for Tots and more. The festivities continue after the parade as local and area residents, friends and families spend the day on Madison Street.


Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds!



Infini-tea! February 27, 2011

Filed under: happy thoughts — celebrationgoddess @ 12:00 am

SUNDAY’s Sampler Platter – (imagine that).

Spot of tea anyone? I’m looking forward to meeting my friend Lisa there for some lunch. Think I’ll wear a hat and white gloves. Give her a little surprise!

Infini-tea is located in downtown Antioch which has a quaint, hometown atmosphere featuring antique shops, craft shops, homemade candies and various other establishments to visit and peruse. Today’s pace is just too hectic, so leave it out there and come in and enjoy some relaxing moments in the company of others or just a little peace and quiet for yourself.

Lorrie, Leah and Kenelm are the proprietors, with Kenelm as the master scone maker. Having experienced the fast paced corporate world, they know how important it is to have a haven to come to. They insist on giving excellent service and high quality food. They are high maintenance people and no detail is too small to make a visit with them a pleasant experience. The staff is well versed in teas and coffees and are willing to assist in your selections.

Various promotional nights are featured, such as a tea-tasting night, jazz, folk and other musical entertainment.


Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds!



Bon appetite! February 19, 2011

Filed under: happy thoughts — celebrationgoddess @ 8:35 am

Careful the plate is hot!

SO MUCH FUN SATURDAY – (the greatest day of the week!)

Restaurant Week Chicago – (from thirdage.com)

Yesterday marked the first day of this much anticipated annual event in Chicago now entering into its fourth year where diners from all over can enjoy appetizing three course lunches and dinners at special prices from 200 participating major restaurants in the region.

From sizzling spicy entrees, to mouth-watering seafood dishes, this spectacular event features an array of tantalizing cuisines from many favorite restaurant hot spots.

The event lasts for a total of 10 days beginning on Friday, February 18 and lasing until the 27- although several restaurants have already announced their intent to extend deals beyond this date.

Guests can enjoy entrees starting at $22 for lunch and $33/$44 for dinner, and diners are highly encouraged to secure reservations before arriving since seats tend to go fast.

To locate the list of all participating restaurants including menu items, visit

http://www.opentable.com/ or http://eatitup.com/ to make online reservations.

Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds!