Feb 232014
 

If you’ve tuned into the news lately, you’re aware that the weather in the Midwest and beyond has been intense. It’s been snowy to say the least, but we’re tough. We can handle it. Except when people get stuck in the alleys. That’s where we draw the line.

A few weeks ago on Saturday morning, I was awakened by the sound of spinning wheels. I looked out and saw a truck stuck in the snow. The alley hadn’t been plowed and I wasn’t sure it would. Alleys aren’t top priority in Chicago after a snowstorm.

The driver kept hitting the gas. The wheels spun. This went on for an hour and a half.

If you’ve ever been awakened by somebody stuck in the snow before drinking your first cup of coffee in the morning then you know how blow-out-your-brains inducing this can be. Think I’m exaggerating? Watch for yourself:

Imagine hearing this for an hour and a half.

Just as I was about to go out and bring the driver a shovel, I saw my neighbor trying to help. Strange thing was, the driver didn’t seem to want his help. Eventually, two burly men arrived and pushed the driver out of the snow.

A beautiful calm fell over my alley and all I could think was, silence is wonderful.

Note to self: emergency shovels are essential and rather cheap.

Note to others: Chicago winters aren’t something to be messed with. Prepare well.

 

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 Posted by at 12:15 pm
Jul 162013
 

30. Moisturize. Enough said.

29. Recognize your part in everything and take responsibility for your action and inaction.

28. Exercise is a necessity. If you work your body, you will work your mind.

27. Fun is essential.

26. There are a lot of bullies in adulthood. Don’t let people treat and talk to you any old way and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. Remember, if you don’t, who will?

25. Fresh foods are the key to healthy living.

Fruit Bowl

24. Go to the doctor and the dentist regularly.

stethoscope

23. Don’t say you’re sorry unless you mean it. It comes off as disingenuous and everybody knows that a phony apology is worse than no apology at all.

22. Having good friends is important.

21. ABL. Always be laughing.

20. Don’t talk to people any old way. They’ll always remember the way you made them feel – disrespected and insignificant.

19. Sometimes it’s better said with a look. Remember the folks from The Office?

18. Take a moment for yourself during the day and go to bed on time to ensure that you’ll always be and feel your best.

17. Travel and make photo books.

16. Some people will disagree with the decisions you’ve made and are making in your life. This is okay.

15. Love yourself.

14. Sometimes you’ll go through a rough patch. Just remember – it’s temporary.

13. Splurge on good coffee. Trust me, you will not regret it.

coffee

12. Believe in yourself. Now take a chance.

11. It is okay to indulge sometimes.

10. Listen to what people are saying and not what you think they are saying.

9. Your spouse/partner/significant other is one of the only people you’ve chosen to have in your life. Remember that and treat them as such.

8. Your body tells you everything. Pay attention to it when it’s shouting at you.

7. There are many young, brilliant minds. Respect the youth.

6. If somebody hurts your feelings, be confident and tell them straight away. Under no circumstances should you let those feelings fester.

5. Your tongue can be just as cutting as a knife. Choose your words wisely.

4. Always be in control of your emotions.

3. Life plans are amazing.

2. Have a running list of nouns that make you happy and refer to it often.

1. When you love the people in your life, love them hard because they won’t be around forever and chances are you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Hearts

That’s what I’ve learned in the past five years. What about you? What did you learn in your 30’s or are learning?

 

*Note: all images were created by me – Janina R. Williams. Please contact me for permission before using.

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Jun 192012
 

I recently joined the gym and I’ve got to say, I like it. I like the way I feel after I’ve finished a workout; strong and as if I’ve accomplished something huge for the day. This is why I keep going. I usually stick to the elliptical and the row machine in addition to the weight lifting machines, but I’ve also been taking a few classes. One such class was a boxing/kickboxing class. I’ve never taken one of those before and I was intrigued. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one because the class was filled with newbies.

We started off with some drills and if you remember anything from high school gym class, you know how drills are the bane of everybody’s existence. They are horrible, yet effective torture devices. These drills consisted of pushups, sprinting, jumping rope, and jumping jacks. Like I said, torture. The entire class was exhausted after fifteen minutes of warm up. Which brings me to this, why does it seem like some trainers/teachers derive some sort of sick pleasure by inflicting pain onto their students? It’s got to be some Schadenfreuden thing. But why? Is it the little bit of power over others that makes people go a tad crazy? I’m thinking yes.

I tried everything she said. I said I tried everything she said, not that I was physically capable of doing it. And then we got to the bag. Oh, for the love of God, not the bag! But I was ready. I lifted my leg to kick and barely skimmed the bag. Get closer, she coaxed. And so I did. Kick the bag she said. So I kicked, unaware that I was flexing my toes. I kicked straight into the bag and felt this sharp pain vibrate through my big toe. “Oh God, my toe hurts,” I said. Her response was something like, “Yeah, these bags are the hard ones.” Huh? What kind of response was that?! But for some reason I kept going and I don’t exactly know why. Maybe it was because I didn’t want to seem like a quitter in a room filled with newbies. Maybe it was because I thought I was tough and could handle the pain or maybe it was because I’m insane. But whatever the reason, it’s irrelevant. I was injured and that was that.

I hobbled out of class. When I got home I looked at my toe. It was swelling and fast. So much so that it felt like there was a marble underneath. I’ll spare you the photographic evidence, but trust me, it was bad. I started to walk on the side of my foot to compensate for the pain. And I thought, that’s it, it’s broken. It didn’t help that in the evening my leg also started to throb. I ended up taking several Aspirins for the pain and eventually fell asleep. When I woke up, I found that my toe was black and blue from the front to the back. Not good. But I needed to get some stuff done, so I was hobbling on it all day. That probably wasn’t the best course of action, but like I said, I needed to get some stuff done. That night I called the Nurse Hotline via our insurance and the nurse said that even if it was broken, there was nothing they would really do for me at the hospital except take some x-rays and bandage it up. So, she gave me some quick tips for pain relief; elevate, ice, Aspirin, and the buddy toe bandage. I did all that, but guess what? It still hurts and it probably will remain that way until the end of the week. The good news is that I’m hobbling less and I can almost walk on my foot again. Woot!

I intended to go back to the class this weekend, but I think I’ll pass. I honestly don’t need another injured appendage.

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Oct 262011
 

This is the true tale of one Wii’s survival against all odds.

Call me Wii. I was developed by Nintendo back in 2006. Wii’s come in many colors; I am white, classic, original. Over my lifetime, I have been touched, poked, and pushed by many hands, but most dangerously, a few weeks ago by a three-year-old. He found a jar of pennies and decided that I was a piggybank. He stuffed the coins inside and his parents did not notice. So there it sat; the copper coin destroying my insides like a cancer. For some reason my agonizing pain wasn’t apparent. A few days later, they caught their son red-handed, stuffing pennies inside of me again! They picked me up and shook. The newly inserted coins fell out. Woo-hoo! It felt good until they stuck it in – a disk! I felt it grind against my bones. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! You should’ve seen the looks on their faces when I made that sound. They were frightened, scared of the repair fees. They ejected the disk and contemplated what it could be: a scratched eye, a twisted piece of metal? And then it hit them, what if there were more coins stuck inside?! Bingo. They shook me again. I rattled and they knew.

Let’s fast forward to two weeks later when a package of tri-screw drivers arrived in the mail.

Yes, I was saved! With the mom’s laptop on hand showing her how to open and repair a Wii, she went to work on me like a surgeon removing a tumor. To view the youtube video she used, please click here.


For two hours, I watched her every move: a screw here, a screw there, a pad lifted, my insides opened.

Under the metal, in the drive was a lone penny trapped inside. She maneuvered it out and I was saved. She put me back together again and turned me on. I worked!

It was worth the painful two-hour surgery just to be able to work again.

Parents: protect us Wii’s. We are a fragile bunch. Put us somewhere high where three-year-olds can’t reach. Thank you.

This cautionary tale was brought to you by electronics everywhere. Please protect them, even from your own children, especially from your children.

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