Hope Springs Eternal….Again

Here we are again… it is time. Spring training! Today is the first televised spring training game for my beloved Cubs and I find myself once again ready for my absolute favorite season — Chicago Cubs Baseball. Can you sense my eagerness? Can you feel my prickly anticipation?  Do you detect my unwavering devotion?   Let me state right now without hesitation that I am certain that THIS year is going to be different.  Why, you ask?  Because this is how I feel EVERY year.  I have to.  I am a Cubs fan.

Baseball is a funny sport.  And as much as I totally love the game, I have serious problems with the business-side of it all.   See, I like my guys. No, check that… I adore my guys.  Win, lose or draw, it doesn’t matter.  Of courses I’d prefer they win.  But it’s more about the chemistry and camaraderie of the team. Inevitably, I always form emotional ties with 95% of the Cubs players.  Sure, there are some that don’t seem to fit from day one and are considered the poor relations, but that happens in every family, right?  It’s just that I hate the fact that they are seen as commodities to be traded or sold off.

This stems from the fact that I am a very loyal creature.  When I find something I like, its mine.  I stick with it.  I’ve been married for over 23 years.  I’ve bought the same laundry detergent since college. I am a single brand of mustard and single brand of mayonnaise kind of gal. Therefore, when the Cubs team is created each year I feel that’s it. That’s the team! Those are my boys! Don’t let me get all attached to them….see them at Spring Training…learn their stories and histories…cheer them on and then tell me “that’s it…we’re done with them”.  But I’m not!  These are my guys!

Sigh. And so it begins again. But this time….this year…it will be different.  I just know it!

Go Cubs, Go!

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It’s All In The Delivery

Complaints… regrets… insecurities…  we all have them, right?  And, at times we all like to vent, rant or simply whine about them.  I have recently realized that while we all have things that are bothering us, how we go about expressing them can make all the difference.  Not only in how others react and respond to us, but quite possibly in how we handle the problems ourselves and how we face future challenges and disappointments.

Case in point:  A while back I logged onto my Facebook homepage.  The following two posts from friends appeared within minutes of each other and were listed one right after the other:

Friend #1:  I’m totally miserable and am really questioning if I made the right career choice … so exhausted and unhappy all the time.

Friend #2: Why doesn’t tiramisu go straight to my boobs instead?

I think I know which one will pull themselves out of their slump…. don’t you?

Being Blown Away

Mary Poppins came to mind today.  We have had tremendous winds here in Chicago, and while I didn’t feel the need to move on to another town as Mary did… it certainly helped blow out some cobwebs and let me see things a bit differently.

It started as I began the day the way I start most Wednesday mornings, at the Green City Market.  As I was crossing the street to begin shopping,  I was blown away (pun very much intended) by the almost overpowering scent of fresh strawberries!  The berries were a very strong reminder of why I love going to the market — to buy what is ridiculously fresh and abundantly in season this week and decide what to do with it later.  That’s exactly what I did and decided on a chicken and strawberry salad for lunch tomorrow.

Then I was off to my miracle-worker hairdresser at Salon Soca to get my hair cut.  Nothing like a scalp massage and a fresh “do” to set you right with the world.  As I was walking home, the wind whipping my newly cut hair, I experienced about four climate changes in my one mile walk — bright sunshine, menacing dark clouds, and what felt like a 15-degree temperature change.  All of this accompanied by these amazing winds.  It really felt like all of the cobwebs had been wiped out of my brain and I was experiencing a clean sweep!

I got home to discover a unique work-related opportunity had popped up (or blown in?).  Not only was I really interested in pursuing this, but I was more excited about it than I’ve been about many similar opportunities.

Finally, I made myself lunch.  Whenever my husband is out-of-town (as he currently is) I see it as a chance to spoil myself and “go all French” with my cooking and experiment a little.  After all, if it’s awful no one will know!  My newest cookbook obsession is Dorie Greenspan‘s “Around My French Table“.   I decided to try the Creamy Mushrooms and Eggs.  It is served over toasted brioche slices.  I took my first bite and was instantly transported to someplace sumptuous, fabulous, and no doubt incredibly French.  To put it simply… I was Blown Away. (I apologize for not having a picture of the dish… I really didn’t anticipate it being such a momentous occasion. I thought I was simply having lunch).

Maybe today was caused by the winds of change.  Whatever it was… it made my day.