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Archive for Thoughts


Have a Little Cheese with the Whine

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wine-grapes-paintingIn the suburbs of Chicago since the beginning of March the bad weather days have out weighed the good one’s by 5 to 2.

I don’t quite know what’s in the air, whether it’s the struggling economy – and who isn’t sick of that excuse. Or if there is a shift in the planets, or if the “I don’t give a crap” attitude is spreading like the swine flu.

I’ve noticed a change not only in myself but in others around me as well  others around me have been telling me that they feel just down right “crabby” for no apparent reason. Even the checker at goodwill felt it necessary today to tell me her “bad ju-ju”

Got me to thinking, what makes us crabby or down in the dumps and thought I would share some ways to shake it.

So, put down the whine and grab some cheese, I recommend Baby Swiss or top some popcorn with some shredded asiago!

Don’t listen to sad music, no matter what’s going on in your life, throw on some Aerosmith and listen to Steven Tyler Just Push Play!

Go buy yourself a car-jar from Yankee Candle that will bring back a fond memory – THANKS Krissy for the Sun & Sand recommendation – I think I’ll just go hang out in my car, close my eyes and think about Mexico, while listening to “The Guitar Hurricane – SRV – favorite of mine.

Spend one day a week with someone that makes you laugh, just because they are goofy.

Don’t repeat bad vibes or words over & over throughout the day, as Becky would say, let go, let god. Don’t dwell in other words.

Have a beer – Corona Light works well – Share it with your cat if he wants!

Write a note, not an email to someone telling them you have thought good thoughts of them.

Say hello to anyone that crosses your path today or tomorrow.

If your on a diet, eat something small that’s not on it.

Close your eyes for 10 minutes and remember something that made you happy, a time that made you warm & fuzzy.  A time that meant something to you that shook you to the core.  A time that was spent with a best friend, a finished project, a warm sunny day, a taco, a waiter that never allowed you an empty drink, a waiter that took a bite out of your hamburger.. anything positive that made the corners of your mouth turn up!

Spreading a good vibe is part of the process of creating a good self worth and a good self esteem.  My sister always said, it’s a good day when you can wipe your own back end and tie your own shoes.

Over & Out.

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Congratulations Tech Jaws

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Friendships are all about putting yourself out there, going that extra step, a little outside your common ground.

Two people in my life have done that at different times.  First off there is Frank, you bloggers know him of the owner of Tech Jaws, I met him when he was still hot and heavy at – Frank found my blog – as he referenced it.. “a gay looking blog” through entrecard.  He loved the content and my art, but the blog design left a bit to be desired.  How the hell should I know, I thought, I only used a template, and knew nothing of code or php.

I gave Frank my logins and we spoke several times, but I was still slightly hesitant to meet someone from online in person.  It took him over 6 hours to get my blog where it should be and his work on gave it a beautiful scar free face lift.  6 hours of his time on a Saturday, just because he believes in helping others out and being a friend.

A few months later, we hooked up online, asked him what he was up to, and he said..nothin’, as I did.  I said, grab your gal pal and come over for a BBQ.  He was all in.. now my husband, who plays it a little closer to the vest than I do, is the “img_1857quiet” one, and likes “quiet”…. anyone that’s ever talked to Frank – knows he is not quiet..

I walked into the batcave, aka, the basement, told my husband, my blog groupie and his girlfriend were on the way over, and btw, he is a mouthy Italian, “play nice”

Thus began a friendship – Buck and Frank hit it off, as did “Veronica” and I, (real name Victoria), but we all kept calling her Veronica, hit it off great!  (the rum must have been responsible for the name descrepancy.

Frank & Victoria decided that they were going to get married and head down to the court house to do so, that made my heart a little sad.  They don’t have family here, and every one deserves a special day.  I told my boyz about it, thats Buck and Jake, Jake the “Ordained Minister from ULC” said he would marry them.  Frank was thrilled, but the plan had one issue, Jake couldn’t do it legally in Illinois, he is not 18 yet.

A hot tub and a few rum & cokes later, “THE QUIET ONE” said, Ordain me, I’ll do it.  Frank and Victoria once again, were all in.  Ordained, legal and calls to the county, confirmed it.

I wondered about this, Buck doesn’t like performing anything in front of anyone, and thats sad, he is a kick ass, killer guitar player.

Saturday, May 16th, 2009, Reverend Wayne M. Kleiner Jr. joined together in marriage, Frank & Victoria

With two friends present, a beautiful day, in West Dundee it was a pleasure to see people come together.  Seeing Frank just joke around, calm and enjoying the fact that “friends” were around to see him marry his gal and gain a wife.

This tells me, what friendship is all about.  Doing something you normally wouldn’t do, sharing a piece of your life, your love and going that extra step.

Buck tells it like it is, and we often talk about friendship, which him and I both have had some really crappy experiences in the past, because we put ourselves out there.. and he looked at me and said…

“I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t like Frank.. and I really like Frank.”

Blessings to Frank  & Victoria

P.S..after they left our house and the festivities..we want to say, our day was as blessed as theirs for knowing them and being part of their special event… FRANK rocks on harmonica...

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Cutter Brandenburg-Alive & Well

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April 25th, 2009 – For those that are worried about Cee/Cutter – He is alive and fielding many phone calls from folks that received an email yesterday that he died in his sleep.

This email was a cruel joke and had many saddened.  Cutter’s/Mr. Cee’s words to me – Well I woke up this morning to many emails and messages on my phone. I think Im Ok , I seem to be OK.

It saddens me that there are people out there that would take the time to break peoples hearts, make some cry, or just think that this type of behavior will not go unpunished.  If not in this life, in the next.


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Finding Love Again

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Life partners, lovers, friends, companions – they all have different names through out our lives.  No matter which stage of life we find ourselves in, we all seek companionship of one kind or another.

So, the story goes..

You have lost a spouse from a terrible disease or a tragic accident, someone you relied on each and every day for even the smallest of things.  Someone who captured your heart and made it go pitter patter.  Someone who was the peanut butter to your jelly.

I  imagine you wonder if you would ever be happy again.

Some years later, along comes someone, an old friend, someone reliable, kind and someone you are comfortable with.  It’s like your batteries have been put on a charger and zap… you smile, not just a simple smile, but one of those curling toes and goose bump smiles.

You feel alive again, you feel needed, wanted and loved in a way you questioned if it was possible ever again.

A beautiful story – finding love again.

So, now I wonder, how can family members on either side be angry, hurt or upset.  Kids, Grandkids it’s time to take a back seat.We can not be everything to our parents or grandparents, nor should we look at it as our parents or grandparents replacing someone.

finding_loveWhat is being replaced is emptiness & lonliness, what’s being replaced is a tear of sadness for one of joy.  I could never replace either of my parents, ever, ever, ever, they have been married since 1951 – and have taught me alot about life.

But, I wouldn’t want either of them to be so lonely that you could hear it when they spoke, see it in their eyes when a special holiday rolled around.  Wouldn’t you want them to bloom like spring flowers and thrive in the sunlight of finding love again?


Categories : paintings, Thoughts
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Someone makes you smile

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What makes you smile? Have you ever really thought about that? Yeah, of course, rum makes Buck smile, a cold Corona will make me smile, but really, what makes you smile, what gives you a warm & fuzzy?

I shared a story somewhere online ages ago, but couldn’t locate it, and it falls into this category, of what makes me smile.

Leon makes me smile – he is a worker for Lake County Public Works Department in Northern Illinois, all I know about him is that.. his name and his job….. he works in the area where I grew up, where my parents still live and where I pass through on a weekly basis..

Leon is African American in a predominately white area, when he looks up from whatever task he is performing at the time, he has a smile and a wave for passing cars… I always made sure that I would honk my horn when I passed by, and his pearly whites would show through an ear to ear grin.  A calloused hand would always flutter in the air.. until.. one day.. I was side by side with Leon, and he said.. to me..

“I am so sorry, I can no longer wave to you, someone called in and complained that I seemed “to friendly, it scared them, and if you don’t see me around here, it is because they are going to transfer me out of this area.”

I sat in my car as the light turned green..and couldn’t comprehend what Leon just told me.. I told him to please pull over so I could understand this.. that is when I learned his name…


My husband is a Public Works Employee.. and trust me, I have heard stories.. I would hope someone would give him the pleasantries of a smile and a wave.. so I had a bit of compassion for this situation.  I wrote to the county, and I wrote from my heart, how asinine could that be, they would punish someone for doing his job as a public servant.  Wouldn’t you much rather deal with a happy public servant, than one that’s copping an attitude..

Well.. Leon is still in the neighborhood, and after this, he asked me to pull over.. and explained the story, I carried a copy of the letter I wrote in my car for a few months, and I got to give it to him.  I got a big hug, and a thank you… I saw Leon today, we passed in different directions.. but he made me smile..

His smile and his attitude is infectious, and as I drive through Leon’s territory, I always look forward to seeing his bright yellow truck and hearing a honk.. knowing, this person and I, even though we don’t know one another on a personal level, our lives have crossed and we find a smile.

As the sun sets tonight, think about… what makes you smile!


Categories : paintings, Thoughts, Tropical
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Where Have All The Men Gone?

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wolf_pencil_sketchWhere Have All The Men Gone


Where have all the men gone? I see plenty of woman, youth and children, but fewer and fewer men.

Who will guard the camp?
Who will teach the youth and children?
Who will provide for family, the elderly, the disabled, the future of the people?
Who will fight the battles and right the wrongs?

I see what are supposed to be ment. They look like men, but sadly, they act like the youngest of our children.  Instead of children’s laughter or tears, I hear these men children crying that they did not receive their due, receive enough praise, be fed when they decided they hungered, have what they desired.

I hear the whining, complaining, cursing, bemoaning, gossiping, and aggravation coming from them.  I witness others being embarrassed, hurt, pained, torments by their actions.  I watch our Elders praying for a little peace, our woman beg for a little comfort, our children become confused.

How are the children and youth to learn anything from men whose temper tantrums and actions show them to be children themselves? Something is wrong, very wrong.  Something here can do more to destroy our people that all the other problems combined.  If we allow this to continue, we will loose another generation.  They will not know how a man is supposed to act or how a man truly conducts himself.

What example do they have to follow? What men do they have to look up to and admire and patter their life after? Our young men need this.  Our small boys need this. Our elders need this.  Our young woman need this. Our little girls need this.

Are there any men out there? If so, please join our few, protect our camp, teach our youth and children, listen and learn from our Elders, accept what Grandfather bestows on you and remember our teachings. What you need will come.  What you desire will be bestowed, if deserved.  What you accomplish will be seen by all without puffing of chest, strutting, demanind, cursing or acting like children.  Consider that maybe if it did not come, it was not meant to be.

I got this out of a Native American Newsletter, several years back, it still stands true, when you turn on the nightly news, and governors, senators, and people in the public eye are whining, crying because they were wronged, when in actuality it is their actions that brought on the wrongs.

We have service men fighting, defending and wishing they were home to enjoy their families… the brave, the warriors…

Lead by example, teach and be taught, and put your big boy pants on!.

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Stir Your Creative Juices

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Inspiration that has grown wings – that’s how I view Danny from Guitar Players Center

I’ve gotten to know Danny through our passion for Stevie’s Music.

One of the most unique traits about him is his dedication.

We all have angels that sit on our shoulders, and I did this drawing of Danny with two of his musical angels, because I believe that somewhere in a cosmic way, Danny had to have crossed paths with the essense of Stevie & Jimi.

Somehow these two immortalized musicians feed his ability and he continue’s to write and help others that have not obtained the level of knowledge on guitar repair and playing.

Finding something that feeds our ability and stirs the our creative juices is a healthy way of living.  Living for what and who we love is lacking in our society, that was pretty evident last night as I flipped channels and the only thing on were reality shows, when in reality, they are not reality at all.

People striving to be like the so called “reality stars” when in real life there are so many people that we could idolize much easier and with greater returns of self improvement.

A strong backbone in Danny’s life are his parents, oddly enough my parents are as well to me.   As grown adults we can still learn from our parents.  My parents apparently have done something right,  they raised 4 kids, all of us married, to our first and only spouse…. my parents will celebrate their 57th wedding anniversary in May.

That reality creates a strong bond – dedication to family and to keeping the basics on track.   The Bachelor or The Bachelorette – who really thinks this can make for a strong marriage?.

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Thinking About Yourself

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Thinking about yourself and what makes you tick, I was tagged…so I had to sit quietly and dig into myself.

I was tagged by Evita, and didn’t know it until I caught up on my reading – she writes wonderfully and has such an insightful blog you can go there to realize faith & love reach out from every aspect of our lives.   Evolving Beings

Tagging is reveling yourself and things people don’t know about you – so here goes, I’ll give it a whirl.

I find the emotion of jealousy to be a turn off, in any aspects of life, it’s a wasteful emotion.  Yes, I have been envious of people before, I am not a saint.  But when we let envy turn into the all encompassing jealousy that’s when people loose sight of focus.

I listen to Old Country Western from time to time – I am a rock/blues gal, but the roots of Mom’s kitchen radio still sing in my heart and if I want a happy memory I listen to sad songs. Oxy Moron yet, Willie, Waylon, Johnny & George Jones could belt out a tune.  It seems to transport me back to Roberts Rd where I grew up.

I wish I had gone into the medical field, not sure as what, but it has always peeked my curiosity – Being the “in-charge” as my husband call’s me, when I am in those situations at Doctor’s or Hospitals, I want to be in the know or be in-charge!

I have been seen at Gilda’s Club reading fortunes for one of their annual events, dressed like the gypsies, beads stacked up on me like Mr. T, long eyelashes, bright red nails and a long, long wig. Because of the comments and the urging of many that I have read, this has taken me into more of the depths of the spiritual world that is around us trying to communicate, I believe there are spirit guides with all of us, I continue to work and meditate often so that I can hear mine when he speaks.

I volunteer for an organization called Midwest Soarring Foundation, a Native American group that started out with trying to repatriate the 10’s of thousands of remains of our Native American’s that  are stored in the basements of city museums.  It’s a group that has grown now into educating people on Native Cultures and teaching the correct history of their people.   I handle all their memberships and have been volunteering for them for almost 15 years.

I would like to travel to Greasy Grass and lie down where so many had lost their lives.  Where so many fought for what they believed in, I wonder if their energy can still be felt? They fought for their families, their food, and their environment, as it was when it was The American Frontier.  There is a scene in Dances with Wolves, when Kevin Costner comes upon a hill, as he makes his way to the top, the land is vast, green and it seems to whisper “peace”.  It is no longer like that, but when you close your eyes, you could imagine anything and I am pretty certain you could feel something.

I am supposed to tag some other to find out more about our cyber buddies – so here we go..

Danny  – Guitar Players Center

One of my first online blogger connections – can’t wait til April!

Judy – All Things Vocal

Only knew her through a her famous song – Until I Met You – and one day.. I found this extraordinary singer as one of my fans on Stumble! One of my Fans? I’ve been listening to her.. since I was on Roberts Road!

LaTeasa – Teasas World

With a great insight to marketing and someone who loves the world around her.

Carol – Medium in Training

Carol just started her blogging venture and is a dear friend of mine that deserves all good things to come to her from this point forward!

Dennis – Visual Thoughts Photography

An old rocker at heart, with some totally inspiring photography

Mickey – Do Something Even if its Wrong

My sister – She lurks here often, doesn’t comment much and was angry I didn’t name her in my cabinet, SHE wouldn’t want to be in the cabinet, she’d want to be in charge. This will push her to update her blog that she hasn’t since October!!!!!!!!!!.

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The Garden of Song

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There’s a garden somewhere way up high
No one can see with a naked eye

The garden of notes, The garden of song…
Where so many blues player, are playing along

Close your eyes Can you hear them sing?
Can you hear them play? You to can hear this band today…

Follow their lead follow their creed
It’s here on this earth, where there is a need

Waking to the news of saddening decline
Within that moment, Life’s defined?

Close your eyes Can you hear them sing?
Can you hear them play? Filling the world with sound today

With conviction
Those famous few
Gave their passion’s
To me & you

Many of which
Their worlds were worse
They spread the word
Through song & verse

Close your eyes
Can you hear them sing?
Can you hear them play?
Find some joy in music today!.

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Going to Bat

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“Going to Bat” for others and having an appreciation for what’s going on with others around us.   In the last year, I left a good paying job, lost two close friends and one of my other friends is battling cancer, which is all to familiar, loosing my best friend five years ago to cancer was a time in my life that as I sat and told my husband, “I’ve got it all together” he looked at me quizzically and said,


“Than why is the money from your wallet under the kitchen table, and your shirt is not only inside out, but on backwards?”  (I’ll explain my theory on that at the end)

We find our lives intertwining with people daily, but do we take the time to go to bat for them when needed, or just be an added support system in a volatile world?  Many do, most don’t, but the emotional surge that happens when someone does, is UNREAL.  My boss/partner & mentor recently did that for me, he went to bat for me because he saw the value that I added.

Do you take the time to see the value in people around you, not only professionally, but personally too? If not, you should question yourself .  Each and every one of us out there knows someone who has been effected by the decline in the economy, if someone you know has been laid off, have you given them a call? Just to say you are sorry or you’ll keep your ears peeled?  If you haven’t – shame on you! (I know a few that have been long standing friends, that have just forgotten now that times are tough)

Friends, are someone you should be able to rely on no matter what situation they find themselves in,  with the good comes the bad, and sometimes all we need to hear is a friendly voice, a short email or even a small little card in the mail.  What has happened that would make our society so callous to reaching out and going to bat for one another?

This is next paragraph is not meant to toot my own horn – but to explain how I view people’s needs and how a moment in time can help someone…

My shirt being on backwards and inside out was because, I stepped up to the plate, for someone who didn’t have anyone else, my friend was alone,  her family members seemed to be “too busy” and she was dying, she couldn’t even warm up soup on her stove.  I stepped out of my life and let her life become mine for a short moment in time..

A time if I could change to have her here, I would, a time if I could change at helping a friend, I would not have done anything different.

The photo you see here, is one that took me months to acquire, this is ancient history, happening five years ago, but it’s like yesterday to me, and will forever be ingrained in my DNA – we shared a passion for Chicago Bears Football, and I wanted to do something for her to make her smile.

I contacted several people that may be able to get me an autographed photo of Dan Hampton, her favorite Bear, and Richard Roeper stepped up to the plate and did what he could to make it happen.. for a stranger. Dan Hampton went well beyond anyone’s call of duty for a stranger with not only this picture and an autographed ticket to opening day at the New Soldier’s Field but with a personal phone call to Diane – her eyes lit up like saucers, and that’s a memory that’s tattooed in my mind’s eye.

Step up to the plate for someone in need, give thanks for those around you!

Soul to Soul – Happy Thanksgiving

~ Susie.

Categories : Thoughts
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