Stroke Victim at 49

26 June 2008


(Jenna (my sons' biological fathers' sister (raised her like a daughter, Justin, and my boy)

I am so proud of my son, for not only completing his freshman year in an IB program in high school but for also being a caring, wonderful young man.

Today he is meeting his half brother for the second time in his life (His biological fathers’ older son). The first time was 2 weeks ago. His older brother is 3 years older and bit more world wise. I worry as a parent but at the same time I am so happy to see him spread his wings of independence. I hope this relationship is a good one. I have to be patient and have faith in my child as well as his brother.

Vegetarian and Vegan

(This is an older pic of the cousins. Chef Bette is on the left, big brother Max in the middle (He's currently working for labor unions in CA for the lower paid university employees), and on the right is Sally (currently finishing a degree in Marine Biology. She just finished studying the mating habits of sea turtles.).

My son decided to go vegetarian about a month and a half ago. The concept is not new to my family. I’ve gone vegetarian in the past. I think it’s actually a great idea. I love the idea of eating locally grown food and healthier choices. Ever since he was a baby I made sure to feed him a healthy diet. My diet growing up was filled with sugars and processed foods. We are now eating better and feel great.

My cousins’, aunt, and uncle have been vegan for years. The middle cousin is so dedicated to being a vegan, after she finished culinary school she opened a vegan restaurant here in Chicago, The Balanced Kitchen, which has been a huge success for her.

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I have tasted things I thought I would never eat in a million years and loved. Bette and Zack are masters of the veggie. What great kids they turned out to be. And to think Bette was the pickiest eater as a child. Now she creates works of art in the kitchen.

20 June 2008


Haven't had much time to enjoy summer yet. Too much work to do around the house. I did get a new tattoo on Wednesday though. Once it heals a little more I'll post some awesome pics. I had to think about what really represented me. 21 years ago I got a tattoo that represented me. A part of my life that made me who I am. When I was disfellowshipped from the JW's (for smoking cigarettes)I was (and still am)considered an unholy goat. Someone who is worse than any other non-JW because I turned my back on the true god. I wanted a symbol to my rejection of that horrible life. I had just finished reading the Scarlet Letter and decided that I should I wanted a scarlet D to represent myself marked among the wicked. I know red ink would have to be touched up and didn't like the idea of the pain so I got it in black.

Now, 21 years later, what would be the one thing that would completely represent me and what I am. It came to me, coffee. When people spend enough time with me they begin to notice that I am never without a cup of coffee in my hand. From the time I get up to the time I go to bed, there is a cup of coffee in my hand. So, naturally, a cup of coffee was to be my next tattoo. It was pretty cool. I picked out an old time diner coffee cup that my grandparents had, complete with the green stripe. For the coffee itself I had to have it tan to represent the milk I take in my coffee. Although it hurt the closer he got to the elbow crease, it was so worth it! Once the reddness goes away from the steam lines (that are a light gray) it will look great. I am so happy I got this tattoo and can't wait for the next one. Of course I say that now. When the time comes I will be just as nervous as before. But at least I got my next tattoo before my 40th birthday, which is gulp, next year.

02 June 2008

Senseless Drive-By

I am still attempting to process what has happened in the past 24 hours. I received a phone call yesterday late afternoon from a fellow teacher telling me that a wonderful teacher is no longer with us.

While waiting to pick up her children from her mother's home she was a victim of a drive by shooting. It left her dead and her 3 children without a mother. She was an incredible teacher. Dedicated above and beyond to her students. She had the hardest teaching position in any school, Special Education. Ms. Prince was never without a smile or even temper. In the past year I never saw a frown or shortness of temper on her. Even when I wanted to pull my hair out because of one of my students, she would work with them and create a calm environment. She was the 7th grade Special Ed Teacher so my students were her students. She was always my partner for field trips and never without an excellent story.

Working with my students to process this was so hard on all of us. Ms. Prince went above and beyond in my school, as all of the teachers do that I have seen. It breaks my heart for her children and the students whose lives she touched.

The next few days will be difficult for the kids. What a horrific way to end a beautiful life that who truly gave back to the community.