Peaches Prattlings











Aren’t summer colds the worst!?

In the winter, you’re ok with it, right? No, you don’t want a cold, but it’s understandable, it’s winter and it’s cold out, so naturally, more germs and you catch something you didn’t ask for.

But in the summer, how does this happen? I know, we go from hot to cold to hot to cold, get into the air conditioning with a wet head after a shower or swimming. But we still can’t wrap our heads around it, we should be outside enjoying the warmer weather, not shivering under the covers, that’s supposed to be a winter thing! praying for a quick death! Yes, I am kidding on that one, mostly!

So, yes, the reason I am talking about this is i might have a summer cold. It’s happened a few times this summer, my throat gets scratchy and it feels like it’s closing, could be strep, swallowing hurts! Sometimes I’m not sure about the scratchy dry throat since I am talking all day while I teach. And it happened again tonight, so I take Sudafed 24 hours, get on the sofa, under the covers and hope for sleep, or death, whichever comes first. Then I doze in and out for a few hours, take myself to the bed and wake up, really?

But the nice part, I am usually better in the morning, feel like I was hit by a Mack truck, but better. Hopefully the same holds true for tomorrow, I do not need to be sick before I go home!

Fingers crossed!



It was a beautiful night to be out and about in Chicago.

I had a great class today and topped it off with dinner and a boat ride on Lake Michigan.

It started with a walk down Michigan Avenue towards Navy Pier. Along the way we passed these fabulous painted pooches, Chicago’s K9s for Cops. They are all over the city and so much fun! Not sure which is my favorite, but Dick Tracy is up there!

Collage 2017-08-18 06_31_06

Then it was on to meet LJ for dinner, I was with someone from her project in Philly who is here this week for a meeting. We went to Harry Caray’s, it’s a Chicago landmark, like he was. I will say the memorabilia was great, not so much the food for me. But I was there for the company, not the food.

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Next, a ride on the Sea Dog, one of the boat tours at Navy Pier. This one was one of the faster boats, so it was a windy, full of spray, lets get moving, cheesy guide, great boat ride. And the city at night…fabulous!Collage 2017-08-18 06_35_28

A walk back to the hotel, settle in, talk to you and then…night night!

What’s our next adventure?!

 



{May 8, 2017}   Happy Birthday TYL!

I have to wish my daughter, TYL, a very happy birthday!

I met my daughter, TYL, in November of 1996, she was eight years old and a fireball. She was very sweet, smart, funny and skeptical, of me that is! How else could she be meeting me for the first time, not her mom, what was I going to be like and very protective of her brother. Understandable. But when the gate opened, oh boy!

She was a love, a goofball, a challenge and well worth it! We loved to play games, snuggle, watch movies, giggle, talk, travel, be silly, go places, shop, do nothing, sometimes that was our favorite part.

We had a typical mother-daughter relationship, we had our share of disagreements, and we could row, but in the end we never went to bed angry. I loved watching her face, the wonder, joy and amazement at life and what it had to offer. The way she examined and explored, took charge and took no, you-no-what from anyone!

To see how she has grown into an amazing human being, woman and mother amazes me every day. Reconnecting with her was nothing short of, well, it was what I needed in my life and I hope hers as well. We actually reconnected one year ago today when I messaged her on FaceBook to wish her a happy birthday.

May 8, always a very special day and quite often Mother’s Day, this year she gets her own day and when she celebrates her first Mother’s Day this coming Sunday, it will be something.

Happiest of happy birthdays to my baby girl, TYL. No matter where life takes us, you will always be someone I am proud to call my daughter. I love you.

birthday daughter



{May 7, 2017}   I am Groot!

I WANT A BABY GROOT! SOMEONE GET ME A BABY GROOT STAT!!!

We went to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 tonight, it was fabulous! It was me, PSM, A&B R, M&D R and L ,who also happens to be Mollie’s vet, we love her, her husband works with PSM, it’s a win-win.

The cast and cameos were awesome and surprising, sprinkled in here and there. Kurt Russel was fabulous, still smokin’ hot! Perfect to play the role he was cast in and if I told you more, it would give away the secret. And the CG for his younger self, wow!

Do I mention the cameos? Oh, why not, I’m not telling where, who or why…David Hasselhoff, Ving Rhames, Sylvester Stallone, Rob Zombie and don’t forget Stan Lee, of course! Interestingly, he was in more than one place in the movie, a rare double Stan Lee sighting.

There was action, romance, well, sort of, adventure, space travel, snow, wait what? Yup, snow, I said to PSM, look, it’s Boston! A dorky, self-centered race of people dipped in gold, video games and another great soundtrack, of course!

It was a story about friendship, a story of families, which come in all shapes and sizes, not just the ones you’re born in to, the ones you make, self worth, self discovery, redemption, maybe a even a little pure revenge, and the love a boy has for his mother. It reminded me a little of the new Star Trek when a Vulcan boy teased Spock about his mother…you don’t talk about Star Lord’s momma, gonna get your arse whopped!

And…Baby Groot. Just watch the opening scene and you are hooked. Who knew there could be so much said in three little words “I am Groot”.

Worth it? YES YES and I AM GROOT [translation “Heck YES!]



{March 26, 2017}   Swish…woosh…then ouch

I decided to try a new place to ski, Park City, Utah, it a beautiful place. 

I’m staying at a Hampton Inn about six miles from the lift, nice and convenient. I parked right in front of the bucket lift that takes you to the gondola that takes you to the other lifts. That just sounded silly. They have a gondola that you put your skis on the outside while you go up the mountain, it’s nice, along with the people to put on and take off the skis!

At the top, I skied to the first chair lift, skied down, took the next lift and it went on that way for a bit. I stuck to the blue square runs since I haven’t been here before. 

I got to one spot and looked up a small slope, what? Then I saw the tow rope, whew! I was relieved, especially since I don’t have poles with me. 

I was not far from the base, I found that out shortly, good thing, when I wiped out. It happens, I was upright one minute swishing and swooshing down the slope and next thing, I was on my back looking at the sky. Huh?

I shook my head, looked back and saw my one ski a little way up the hill. I stood up, realized one of if the things poles are really useful for… releasing your boots from your skis!

I got my other ski back, put them both on, which, as you might know, is not easy to do on a slope! As I stared to ski back down to the base, I realized my ankle was throbbing a bit. I thought it might be a good idea to have someone look at it. 

I skied to the base, found out where the clinic was. I declined ski patrol coming to get me, it seemed silly. The doctor, nurse and about six ski patrol folks were sitting around, a little bored. 

The doctor looked at my ankle and confirmed what I had been thinking. Elevate, ice, ibuprofen and I should be fine. One of the ski patrol drove me back to my car, I went to Wal-Mart to pick up an ace bandage and some zip-lock baggies to hold ice.

So, here I sit, in the living room of my hotel room, foot propped yup, watching a Law and Order: SVU marathon, doing something I never get to do, relax!

Tomorrow, fingers crossed, I am going yo hit the slopes again for a few hours before I fly back to Chicago.



I used to be like that…sigh, I miss those days. 

Yesterday, I flew to Salt Lake City. I sat next to a nice guy heading home to Lake Tahoe. We talked tech, movies, skiing, travel, pets, smartphones. He asked why I didn’t have an iPhone, being such a techie. I love my answer!! “I’m allergic to apples!!!!” Muwahaha!

We also talked about sleeping and sleeping on flights. I mentioned that I don’t sleep much or on my flights and he said he could sleep anywhere and he did…

I asked him if he wanted to stop talking so he could get some sleep, he said no and about thirty minutes later I look over and he’s out…

He woke up when we landed and had a good laugh.



{March 24, 2017}   A chilling tribute

There is too much violence in the world. That is an understatement…

This week I’m in DeKalb, Illinois doing support and I’m staying near NIU, Northern Illinois University. I told dad and his question… do they have tshirts?! 

So yesterday after work, I stopped by the NIU campus bookstore to get dad a shirt, got one for me too, I know, shocker!

While I was walking to the bookstore, I saw all of these markers. Crosses with hearts, names, dates, ages, numbers. Some had photos, some had flowers. I knew it was a tribute to something and someone, but I wasn’t sure what they were for. 

I had a feeling it was for those who had passed on, possibly students from the university, but then I noticed the ages. They ranged up and down the scale, men, women, children, races.

I asked in the bookstore and was told it was to honor those killed in Chicago so far this year. If there are more before the prayer vigil and duscussion tomorrow, there will be more markers. 

Greg Zanis, the man who carved the crosses and began the tribute, who is a non-for-profit carpenter, feels that this is the petefct way to raise awareness of what is going on in Chicago and the university is the perfect place with so many students who live in Chicago. 

You can read the full article here. http://amp.daily-chronicle.com/articles/2017/03/21/ce46f3bee0504d689ab82637dc788eec/

It was chilling and makes you think. You know there is violence in the world, you know it can be in your backyard, but unless it touches you directly, you may not realize just how close you are. 

There are 128 markers here. It’s only March 23rd.



Oh my! Have you ever dealt with an energy vampire?

Do you even know what an energy vampire is? An energy vampire is someone who sucks the energy out of you or out of the room. 

As a trainer, I deal with all sorts of people and attitudes all the time. I was on a project at a hospital once and a doctor, who was also the department head said “we’re all just overgrown teenagers, don’t let us get to you!” That actually helped with some groups. 

I don’t stress out or get offended by what people say, in terms of the applications I am teaching, there are a lot of reasons they may be resistant. Some pout, some come kicking and screaming, some give you that look, you know, “ok show me something, prove yourself”, you know, teenagers! Now, other are polite and let me walk them through things and sometimes they learn a something,  ya never know!

The thing you remember, it’s not me they’re directing this at, I’m just the wall they’re slinging at.  They don’t know me personally,  I’m the one they’re taking their feelings out on. None of it has stopped me or scared me off, I keep coming back.

Recently two people really tested me. They exhausted me, sucked my energy, scwooooop [sucking sound, ha ha].

One never stopped talking while I was trying to show them the system. This person kept clicking buttons on the screen, “I usually do this and this and that and this and that” it went on for a minute…even when people are experienced, sometimes I can tell them something they didn’t know or maybe give them a trick or two or a shortcut. This person had no time or interest, not even as a courtesy, so I stepped back and said, “you do what you normally do and I’ll watch, ask me questions if you have any”.

The other person was very self important and very knowledgeable in a lot of areas, but not 100% in one of the things I was showing them.  Didn’t matter, they were going to tell me what they thought every step of the way and how they did this and that and this makes no sense and why do we do that, not efficient. They also seemed to hate their keyboard! Remember the older keyboards you had to mash the keys or someone who tries to kill the keys? This is not one of those keyboards, this is just that person! I couldn’t put my hands on the desk, it kept jumping!

I kept my cool with both, smiled and did what I could for them, stayed positive and encouraged where I could. I talked to their managers about how it went and since the managers know them, it wasn’t a complete surprise. 

It happens, you can’t have total angels every time, right?! Tomorrow is a new day!



March 21st is one of my most favorite days of the year.  Wanna know why? 

It’s EJS’ birthday! This year… she’s TEN! 

What? Think I think it’s crazy? How do you think her parents feel! 

I remember the day my sister told me she was pregnant, oh man! I remember asking if I could get the Halloween costume, “yup, because if you don’t, it might not happen!” And that is what started my quest of all the Halloween costumes, did I love that? You bet!

This weekend was EJS’ birthday party and it was ‘Cupcake Wars’. She doesn’t even like cupcakes, but loves baking and baking shows and watching baking competitions. 

There were three teams set up with four girls on each team. MGS was on my team, EJS floated from team to team each round. The aunties, AS, BS and myself all had a team to work with. Dad, ACS and his brother, JS, were judges. 

The cupcakes had been made prior to the party, there seemed to be about 100! There were vanilla, red velvet, chocolate and fun-fetti. 

Each round had different themes. The first was to make frosting and the judges had to decide based on the icing and pairing with the cupcake. 

The next round was Spring and the judging was presentation, pairing and taste. The final round was in honor of EJS and strictly based on presentation. 

Each team won a round. Any guesses which my team designed for final presentation? I do live on an island…

I can’t wait to find out what next year’s theme will be!
The girls eventually left and four came back and we all went to see Beauty & The Beast, loved it! 

When a preview for Despicable Me 3 came on, EJS turned around to look at me to promise we would go together, MGS said the same thing when we were leaving the theatre. How much do I love that! Back to the house for dinner, two girls left and two spent the night. I’d say that was an awesome birthday celebration!

I talked to EJS tonight and I asked her how it felt to be double digits. Her answer, “Fun”, what a great answer!

What an amazing person my niece is! She’s smart, funny, silly, witty, clever, independent, fierce, caring, oh, I could go on, but you might think I’m biased…

It’s been such a treat to watch her grow up into this fabulous human being. She’s a special daughter, great big sister, fun granddaughter, fantastic friend and of course, awesome niece. I love when I first see her after being gone, the look on her face and then the hug, love. 

I made a promise to her when she was born, I would be there for her birthday or birthday party and it’s not one I plan to ever break. How could I?! This is such an amazing kid!

Happy happy birthday EJS! I love you!!!



{March 17, 2017}   And then this happened…

Flattered and humbled. 

I spent the week doing support at an office in Chicago. One of the things I did was teach multiple one and two hour sessions. 

I spent a little extra time with a few of the people I was training, it was nice when some came back after training to get more help, I did what I could, even learned a few things myself. 

Today, when I was leaving, I found this card  on my bag. It was from the SDS, the trainer, that I had worked with for the week. 

We hit it off immediately, both professionally and personally,  it was great! 

I’m always humbled and flattered when I’m given a compliment about the way I train. It helps me remember why I do what I do,  this just made my day. Thank you!



et cetera