Monday, August 4, 2008

Madeleine the Teenager

Today is Madeleine's 13th Birthday. The little girl with the bear backpack who walked with so much purpose and determination. The little baby who would cry when she heard another baby cry. Heidi made a delicious dinner for everyone along with a Carrot Cake.

Happy Birthday, Madeleine! I love you, Aunt Tam

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Scene from My Life

Sunday morning after making my bed, I went into the kitchen to make coffee. The dogs usually follow me everywhere I go. Especially Rudy. Once the coffee was brewing, I went to find them. Both were snuggled up on the bed. I guess it was too early to get up.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Second Date

Tonight was the second date. Telling even less so I don't jinx it.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

First Date

Tonight I went on a first date and I had really nice time. Not going to say much more for fear of jinxing it.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Time gets away....

How did we arrive at the end of June so quickly? I didn't even finish posting about my New York trip.....

On Friday, June 13, I drove to Southampton to help prepare for Christopher's Memorial 5K. The support from family and friends was amazing. The walk was the morning of June 14th with almost 200 participants. I did the walk in my new high-heeled Crocs. Everyone laughed at me! =)

On Sunday, Marie and I went to Long Beach and walked on the boardwalk. It was an overcast day with bits of rain but it was warm and wonderful just to be by the ocean.

I flew home on Monday in a terrible storm. It was bumpy and rough, and I have never seen such thick, black clouds. Very scary. But it reminded me I need to make a will. If anything happens to me, I know no one will take my dogs aka the ELFs. lol!

The last two weeks have been consumed by work. I was supposed to get news about my job by the end of June but there is still no clarity. With great reluctance, I renewed my apartment lease. I didn't want to stay here but it was easier to stay put for now.

Friday night I had dinner with Tiffany at Carnivale. Woohoo! I love that place. Afterward we met up with Kari (who was visiting from Florida) to celebrate Lili's 35th birthday. I got home at 4:45 am. Wasn't feeling too well the next day - lol!

I saw a guy wearing this t-shirt - loved it, my sentiments exactly:

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Series of Unfortunate Events

I was ready to leave for Manhattan at 11 am, but wanted to let my friends dogs out again. The landscaping crew was here earlier in the morning so to be safe, I went out to make sure the gate was closed. While I was outside, the dogs jumped on the door and locked me out of the house. No key, no phone, nothing. Thankfully it's not winter and thankfully I was not in my pajamas. 3 hours later, I finally got back in the house. (Won't even go into the logistics/shenanigans of how it was done).

I finally made it into Penn Station at 3:30. I took the E train uptown and went to the ABN office on 52nd Street. Most of the trading floor has moved to CT and the remaining crew is moving tomorrow. Two senior Compliance people resigned yesterday including a man who used to be my manager.

I walked down Park Avenue in the 5pm hustle to meet Marie.

We walked to Windfall where we met up with our former Kidder,Peabody colleagues. It was a wonderful turnout and we had a blast! I spread the word I am looking for a job. You never know what could happen.

After our extended happy hour, Kim, Marie and I ate dinner at Mustang Harry's which is just up the block from Mustang Sally's (near Penn Station).

I had a bacon cheeseburger with onion rings. It was delicious. After dinner we had work our way to Penn Station through the crowd of drunken Jimmy Buffet fans who were leaving Madison Square Garden.

Tomorrow I am driving out to Southampton to spend the day with Kendra. The Memorial Walk for her son Christopher is on Saturday morning. We will help assemble the runners packets this afternoon and then go out for dinner. It's another beautiful weather day in NY.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

LongGuyLand (1 word emphasis on the G)

Day Two in New York. It was less hot today but still warm in a nice, tropical vacation way. I met Kendra for lunch at.....LaPiazza (no surprise - it's like my Long Island "Carnivale"). After lunch I went to Harmon's Drugstore and miraculously bought nothing. Not even a lipstick. Then I went for a spa pedicure which was fantastic. I chose "Wicked" for my nail color. The woman kept asking me "You LIKE this color?" as though it was a bad choice.

The rest of the afternoon I drove around on the north shore through Syosset, Oyster Bay, Laurel Hollow, Greenvale, Mill Neck (went past where I used to live), Locust Valley (stopped to see Kay at J_McLaughlin). The island is so lush and beautiful right now. The trees are thick and the air smells so good.

Marie and I drove to Freeport for dinner. We cruised down the "Nautical Mile". We called for directions but it was so easy to get there, she said, "You'd have to be a real "Doot-da-doo" not to figure it out". I love my Marie.

We had an excellent dinner at E.B. Elliot's ( We shared sweet potato fries, Crab Cakes and Kung Pao Calamari. Our Bloody Mary's were delicious. Our table was outside right on the water overlooking a gorgeous teak boat.

A Reggae band was playing by the bar and as we left they started the "Dollar" song. The singer picked me and two other girls to dance with her. It was fun! "Cent, Five Cent, Ten Cent, Dollar!" Good times.

The view from the parking as we were leaving to go home. I love the sparkling "palm" trees.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New York

I flew to New York early this morning. The pilot announced it would be a bumpy flight but it turned out to be smooth. Thank you God. I teared up when I saw Jones Beach on our approach. I remembered all the great concerts I've seen there. And many happy afternoons at the beach. It was 98*, too hot to go to the beach today. I stopped to buy sunblock and flipflops, picked up an antipasta salad from LaPiazza (my favorite), and layed out on the deck for an hour.

Marie and I went to Woodbury for dinner at Laguna Grill. It was delicious. Such a beautiful area. It was great to catch up and talk.

I don't want to overschedule my visit so tomorrow will be a mellow, relaxing day. I want to buy yarn for a baby blanket for Dawn who is due in November.

I have alot of soul-searching to do about my future. I didn't get the white picket fence and 3 children I hoped for. I want to have a purpose. Something other than just me. I don't think I am asking for too much.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Birthday FUN!

Today I am 44. I shook the dice of life and got a pair of fours. The day began with a call from my dad who song the entire birthday song followed by "I love you Tammy". (My mom never calls. I actually called her later in the day to ask if she forgot about me. I question if she really actually is my mother, she is so atypical). I went to work for a few hours - mainly to setup my out of office message in Lotus Notes. Had lunch with my regular crew (Renee treated me). Went home early to spend some time with the ELFs. We went for a nice walk in the blazing heat. Heidi had a "get out of jail card" from the kids and took me to Maggiano's where Liz met us and we all enjoyed Pomegranate Martinis. YUM! After that, Heidi and I met the kids at the Cheesecake Factory where they were having dinner with their dad. Tiffany, Mark and Julian stopped by with their new Doberman puppy Patron. What a cutie! It is after 11pm and I need to finish packing for my trip to NY in the morning. The dogs are following me from room to room, I think they know I am leaving. So far 44 isn't bad.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Southside Mini Drive

The Chicago Mini Motoring Club met this morning for a Southside drive through the Hyde Park area. 19 Minis drove through and around the University of Chicago campus. It was absolutely beautiful. After the drive we ate breakfast at Valois Restaurant on 53rd Street. Coincidently the Silver Minis parked together on one side of the lot forming a Trifecta. The driver of the car next to mine lives on my block. Sometimes we see each other in the morning on the way to work.

The rain didn't arrive until after I got home and had walked the dogs.

Lucky me!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Busy day.....

This morning I helped Heidi chaperone Asconio's 8th birthday party. His friends met us at Old Orchard Mall for the 10:15 am "Kung Fu Panda" movie - followed by lunch at Hot Dog Island and cake at Heidi's afterward. After the party I went home and took the dogs for a long walk in the ungodly hot weather.

In the evening, I was invited to see James Taylor at Ravinia. Poor Lynae went there at 4 pm to get a good spot on the lawn and setup "camp" for everyone. She was caught several times in torrential downpours. It was a nice evening complete with a lovely Candelabra. We endured a little bit of rain but the worst of it missed us. Lynae, you are my hero and the Queen of Ravinia! Thank you (and John too) for a nice evening out. Has anyone seen Frank? His wife is lost.

Friday, June 6, 2008


Tonight I saw the Wayne Shorter quartet at the Chicago Symphony Center with friend Claire. What a treat! And we had box seats. After the performance, we had dinner at Carnivale. Just about my favorite thing.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

2008 White Sox Dog Day

Rudy and I attended our 4th annual White Sox Dog Day event. Here we are in the car on the way to the ballpark. Rudy proudly wears his Sox jersey. I heard we were on TV somewhere in the 4th inning.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My Avatar

I went with short brown hair, green eyes and tortoise glasses. I liked that she is applying lipstick. And I put the Statue of Liberty behind me.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Cafe Bernard

Tonight I had an early birthday dinner at Cafe Bernard with my former mad hot crush (who I still like alot). He accepted a position on the East Coast and will be moving at the end of the summer. Supposedly he did not pursue me because of the possibility he would be moving. He didn't want us to get attached, only for it to end. I had a wonderful time, he is a very nice man. It's just kind of sad all around.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

LaGrange Pet Parade

The dogs and I were in the LaGrange Pet Parade today with some of our friends from the Chicago Dachshund Lovers group. It was so much fun! Dachshunds are funny little dogs, they make people laugh.

Friday, May 30, 2008

2008 Mayfest

Tonight my friends and I went to Mayfest, the Spring Germanfest, in Lincoln Square. (That's me with a work colleague - he bought me the hat!)

What a crazy night! Complete with German Bratwurst with potato salad and sauerkraut, German Beer and German Music - OY,OY,OY!!!! We finished the night at our favorite neighborhood spot The Huettenbar. Sister Heidi aka Bobsie was able to join us. It was too much fun. =)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Team Hot Dogs: Chicago Style!

Team Hot Dogs: Chicago Style wins the 2008 Team Challenge with over $18,000 in donations!!!

What a wonderful day! Together Madeleine and I raised $1,300. A great big thank you to everyone who donated. Rudy & Bridget are still was a long walk.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Superdawg, Liver Function, Driving, Barking, Crushes

The Chicago Mini Motoring Club had an outing to Superdawg. Nephew Asconio and Bridget went with me. We had a great time. Over 30 Minis participated. On the way home, we drove by the Affy Tapple factory. We're hoping they do tours.

I took Bridget to the vet because of her frequent urinating. Her blood panel revealed elevated enzyme levels (normal = 10-100, she was 257). After several other tests, the vet referred us to Animal Emergency Referral Center in Northbrook. $900 later, the specialist found nothing wrong and gave me herbal supplements to boost her liver function. She took them for 2 weeks and today we had another blood panel done to see if they have helped. If so, I will keep her on the supplements. She seems to pee less but not significantly. Sigh. But I have peace of mind she is healthy which is priceless. And she is worth every penny.

May 4th I'll be in the Milwaukee Mile. I get to do 3 laps on the racetrack in the Mini with my newly painted leopard roof! I'm leaving the car in Kenosha tomorrow to have the work done.

Madeleine and I are totally ready for Bark in the Park on May 3. Together, we have raised over $1,100. Our team has raised over $13,000 and we have high hopes of winning the Team Challenge a second time.

p.s. Mad Hot Crush update: No second date. Story of my life. I get random e.mails like "Happy Friday" but I think I'd prefer no e.mails at all. Oh well.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Mad Hot Crush Update

I finally had dinner with my Mad Hot Crush and it was a perfect evening. I had a really nice time. I remain hopefully optimistic it is the start of something good.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Let's Motor!

Today was the Chicago Mini Motoring Club Spring Drive. ohmygod -- it was so much fun! Last night was daylight savings time "spring forward" which meant getting up at 7am was really 6am. My nephew Marcello agreed to be my co-pilot. I picked him up in Evanston at 8am and we headed up to Knauz Mini in Lake Bluff. As soon as we arrived, Francis (CMMC Board Member) came over and asked if I was in Glenview yesterday. He remembered my car because of the personalized plates and the Chicago Dachshund Lovers "Let Your Wiener Hangout" plate cover (lol!). Kevin (Knauz Sales Manager) hosted the morning meetup and arrived with Krispy Kreme donuts, coffee AND......two miniature Dachshunds named Rudolph and Comet! They were adorable! Of course I gave him a CDL card and invited him to our next Dachshund meetup.

35 Minis headed out on 41N at 9:40am and took a scenic route to Burlington, WI. We stopped at Firestone/Culvers where we met up with the Milwaukee Mini group, an additional 25 Minis. From there, we all drove to Galena through some fun, winding roads in the country. Some of the hills were like rollercoasters and Marcello & I both got butterflies. Our top speed was 95mph (don't tell Heidi!). In Galena, our group met for lunch at Houlihans. We were seated by a window with a view of the parking lot which had been reserved for our group. HATGRL1 got a nice front row spot.

We sat with two friends Evan & Mario (both into automobiles and racing) and Jon & Amanda, a young couple from Evanston. Amanda is a school teacher and she named their car Wini the Mini (after Winnie on The Wonder Years). In total over 100 people participated and 4 dogs. =)

It was great fun and everyone was so nice. I love my Mini and waited a long time to have one. Being with fellow Mini owners was a celebration of the spirit of this awesome little car. I am planning to have my roof and dash painted in Snow Leopard. It would have been fun to sport my custom Mini today but there is always next time. In the meantime, I am totally ordering a sticker that says: "Actual Size!" I can't wait for the next event: The Milwaukee Mile on Sunday, May 4th.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

~My special girl~

Today was Claudia's 11th birthday. It is our tradition for just the two of us to go out to dinner and celebrate her birthday together. And I was so honored to get her on her birth date. This year we went to Wildfire in Glenview. Her birthday gift was ice skating lessons from Heidi and I (and she asked me to knit her leg warmers).

I remember the day Heidi called to tell me she was pregnant with Claudia. I felt a grip of fear in my chest because I was so afraid I wouldn't be able to love another child more than I already loved Madeleine. Then the day I met Claudia for the first time, I understood love is not measurable. That love multiplies and you have more than enough love for everyone. It is beautiful and amazing. I am so proud to have Claudia as my niece and godchild. I love you Claudia.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Hearts and Flowers month

It is almost the end of February which means we are closer to Spring then Summer! Winter 2008 in Chicago has been miserable. I question my own sanity for choosing to live here. I am so sick of digging my car out on the street. Only to have someone take the space forcing me to dig out a new space to park.

Every winter, I go with friends Lili and Molly to visit our crazy friend Kari in Florida. This years trip was pretty much perfect! (Aside from waking up the day before with a sore throat, fever and congestion. But it was far better to be sick in 85* Naples than in -18* Chicago). These pictures were taken at the Beach Club where we watched the sunset and drank Pina Coladas. So beautiful!

My favorite shopping is at the Best of Everything. This year I found a gorgeous Marcosite ring with a matching pendant. Later I found a second Marcosite ring at Steinmart. They are so pretty! We all liked Lili's ring so much, it was decided we would all buy the same ring and make it a tradition every year.

The ELFs and I are participating in the 2008 Bark in the Park for the Anti-Cruelty Society. Our fundraising is going really well. Our team hopes to raise more than $10K this year. My fundraising page is Here are the dogs "training" on the couch.

Nothing new to report at work. It has been two long years of uncertainty which feels like the story of my life at this point. In spite of everything, I will continue to keep the faith and believe good things are going to happen for me this year in all areas of my life. =)

p.s. Mad Hot Crush update: we didn't have our dinner date at Carnival due to scheduling conflicts and me not feeling well. Nothing has been rescheduled yet but I got big hugs and kisses when I gave him the socks. Who knew! I actually enjoyed knitting these socks because I found a 3x1 seed stitch rib pattern which was easy to do. (Must....not....knit....sweater....) LOL!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Year, New Start

December was a mad blur. Two funerals, a trip to New York, a trip to Minnesota and all the holiday madness. I did alot of knitting and crocheting through it all. I finished the Ribby Cardi for my sister Heidi. I added a hood and it turned out really cute. I am knitting the same sweater for myself in Riverstone Louet "Pink Panther" and "Caribou".

Work has continued to be uncertain so I take it one day at a time. I started to think about my options and it's kind of exciting! A manager in another department approached me about a position in his group, I have two recruiter contacts in NY and a connection for a firm in Minneapolis. It's no secret I would gladly accept a package so I can take a month off to rejuvinate and then move ahead refreshed.

Rudy and Bridget are doing well. Spoiled rotten but lovable. They had so much fun in the snow in Minnesota.

We are approaching a long 3-day weekend with very cold temps in the forecast. I am counting down the days until my trip to Florida in February.

My resolution for 2008 is to keep the faith and promise of plans for good with a future and a hope.

Happy New Year!