"Ain't Life Grand" by Kathy Hoynes 2004

"Ain't Life Grand" by Kathy Hoynes  2004

30 June 2007

The journey is easy...

...it's what to do once you get there that's a bit difficult.

Over the last two and a half years my life has taken me on unexpected journeys. Many were unpleasent, one was heartbreaking, one made my eyes roll to the back of my head and almost get stuck there, a couple are a lot funnier now than they were at the time and one has made me happier than I have ever been.

My dog died.

My business almost folded.

I got divorced.

I got a "real" job.

I've learned who my friends are but more important, I've learned who my friends aren't.

I've witnessed my parents resume speaking to each other after divorcing 25 years ago.

I can't figure out why I took the tv cabinet and not the tv, the tea pot and not the teaspoons and most perplexing...why did I finally remember where I hid my mad money stash AFTER I moved???!!!????!?!?

I discovered I could go home again.

The house I grew up in was sold.

I moved twice.

I still can't find many of the things I packed.

My oldest friend Carol died of brain cancer and a huge part of my childhood is gone forever.

I flew for the first time in my life. And then did it 6 more times!

I finally got that old house with a white picket fence.

I found I was a lot stronger than I thought I was.

After many tests, I'm happy to report I don't have macular degeneration - yet!

I now have a life full of dogs and while I wonder just how crazy I am, I wouldn't change a thing!

Much as I hate to admit it, I will always be a material girl.

My house has become my home.

And best of all, I'm living happily ever after!


27 June 2007

a taste of Chicago

For years I was told that you could never find good pizza outside of Chicago. And that is 90% fact. Chicagoans are simply pizza snobs. I should know. I was one for many years. But you CAN find good pizza in other states, you just have to look.

For those transplants that have never gotten over the food shock, there is hope. A fellow foodie sent me a catalogue called "Tastes of Chicago" which features nationwide delivery of all the favorites we can't get here. Lou Malnati's pizza is offered and is very good, but my favorites were always Papa Joe's and Salerno's. While I will pass on long distance pizza delivery, my heart skipped a beat to discover I can once again savor a Portillo's beef sandwich. Now if someone could just figure out how to ship me a Portillo's chocolate shake!!!!! Eli's Cheesecake is available and in several yummy choices as are tasty offerings from the Long Grove Confectionery. On a trip back to Chicago in November, I took an Arizona pal on a tour of the city and spent an afternoon in Long Grove, where I'd been many time since I was a child. The confectionery is a really cool place were you will be blown away by all the varieties of chocolate. No trip to Chicago is complete without a plateful of Carson's ribs - pork or beef. The real secret is their sauce. Last but not least in my taste trip down memory lane was the Vienna Beef Chicago style hot dogs. As luck would have it, I live within walking distance of a quaint local hot dog stand that specializes in Chicago style hot dogs - totally authentic, right down to the neon green relish!!!

Now could someone send me a "Taste of Buffalo, NY" by mail catalogue? My life has not been the same since I had my first beef on weck.