Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My German Shepherd girl, Baroness Kazmir von Boyer

Baroness Kazmir von Boyer

Do you know what unconditional love is?  Anyone who is lucky enough to own a dog knows!  This past week was a very tough week for me and my family....we had to give our German Shepherd back to God.

Baroness Kazmir von Boyer was born February 28, 2002 at 7:35p and died July 28, 2011 - almost to the hour that she was born.  She leaves a big hole in my heart, in my husband's heart, in her brother's heart and his life...Justice is lost without her.  He has never known life without his "little" sister.  Although she was younger than him, as she was 'puppy #7' and Justice was 'puppy #2', she was bigger than him.  She was his sister and playmate, following her everywhere.   He didn't like walking behind her but rather beside her when going for walks to the park....he was anxious when she was gone. 

Although they were siblings, they were different.  Kazmir LOVED thunderstorms and fireworks - she barked for more!  She LOVED swimming in the river - summer and winter!  She LOVED going for rides in the truck or car - always alert, never sleeping, but watching out the window until it was too dark to do so!  Kazmir always walked the perimeter of wherever she was. She LOVED her mailman (who always gave her treats which she caught) but did NOT like the UPS man!! She was intimidating but really she was just a big baby!
And she LOVED US!!  Always happy to see us, whether we were gone for a week or just a few minutes.

My girl had a cancerous bladder tumor - inoperable and incurable.  The time had come for her departure from this earth....and although she is not physically here, we know her spirit is around us and with us.  

There hasn't been a day since she left us that I have not thought about her, been reminded of her....and her unconditional love.

So, with love and thru tears, I say to her "Kazmir, we love & miss you - your memory will always be with us."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Households and Budgets

Little scary watching the news recently....Here AND abroad! My heart hurts for the survivors and families of the victims in the Norway massacre.  Good thing my vacation is going to be in the states in a "lesser known" area!

And the Nation's budget?!  Come on! Let's get it together...bottom line is you're gonna have to do what the rest of the nation is already doing - tighten your belts, let some 'luxuries' slide and pay your bills! How difficult is that?  I think the Senators and Congressmen should just move over and let the housewives/househusbands of the world come in and get things in order!

We know how to set a budget, get creative with finding ways to fund that budget and most importantly, we know how to stick to it!! After all, running a household complete with kids, pets, a working spouse - plus working ourselves - is pretty much like running Congress (everyone is talking at the same time, always wanting something, going somewhere and no one wants to clean up the messes)  Even the president and the guy that just started shooting in Norway are acting like spoiled children because they're not getting what they want, not getting their way.

Well, there's less than a week to start straightening up and acting like civilized grown-ups who know how to communicate, compromise and negotiate for the American people.  This is one little lady who's gonna be keeping a close eye on them - and if I'm not happy with the outcome, then I'll use my vote to "clean house".

 "If Mama Ain't Happy, Watch out!"

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Is it HOT enough for you?

Oh - my - goodness!!!!  I think my favorite phrase this week is the one uttered by the Wicked Witch of the West in the 'Wizard of Oz' right after Dorothy threw water on her - "I'm melting..."

That's how I am feeling these days as the temperatures reach the upper 90's and the heat index in the triple digits!   I'M MELTING!!

Doesn't seem like anything keeps me cool these days...I walk from my studio downstairs to the kitchen upstairs and I just melt....the glass of ice-cold tea cools me off enough to walk back down the stairs to the studio again to finish working.  You might be thinking "Liz don't you have air conditioning in your studio?" to which I'd tell you "Nope, but even if I did, with all the talking I do, the hot air overpowers the cool air anyway!"

Forget about finding clothes that are cool enough, even a swimsuit isn't cutting it now!  I may single-handedly bring the halter-top back!!  Oh and forget about drying my hair (with the hairdryer) after taking a cold shower..the only hairstyle I have these days is the ponytail!  Whew!

I don't mind heat but I do mind the humidity that comes with it - it just zaps you!  Wish you could see my dogs & cats right now - downright lazy as they sleep the day away! It zaps them too!

There is an upside to this however - I have empathy for Frosty the Snowman!!  I now know how he felt as he melted away. 

The Royal Clothing Tour

I'm just enthralled with Royalty!  British Royalty to be exact....and yes, I DID follow Prince William and his bride Catherine during their trip to Canada and the United States. I'm sure they're home resting and trying to be a "normal married couple" now.

The focus should have been on their goings on, however, for me, the focus seemed to be on Kate! (yes, I know I'm not supposed to call her Kate, but I just can't help myself!)  Her choice of clothing seemed to be perfect....and I'm told by a very reliable source that she chose her wardrobe with very little help. I will say that it was on the "safe" side - not too flashy and not too outlandish, very "proper" for a Duchess and a young lady.  By the way, Prince William looked handsome in everything he wore!

I'm in awe of her poise and her clothing taste.  I tend to agree with Cara Kelly in her blog of Kate's top 5 best looks....read and enjoy....I've got to go clean out my clothes closet!!  ;)


Tuesday, July 12, 2011


The weather in the Midwest has been so very UNpredictable!  First we lost our Spring, well, had about 2 weeks of spring then went directly into the "Dog Days" of Summer! Sweltering...to say the least.  And the storms!  Wow - those really HAVE been something to write home about.  In my little part of the world, the trees are still standing and the river is still in it's banks....but in my hometown, they've been hit hard!  There are many beautiful trees that are down in the state parks making them inhospitable to campers.  The power has been out for many people for as many as 4 days - and in THIS HEAT and HUMIDITY that's NOT a good thing!

I know there are still people I love who are dealing with the aftermath of tornados that have torn up their homes and towns....there are still people I love who are dealing with the aftermath of flooding....there are still people I love who are dealing with the aftermath of the power outages..those are the people that I am still praying for as that's all I can do from here. But the power of prayer is enormous!

So when you get ready to lay your head on your pillow - please say a prayer for those that are still awake and dealing with the aftermath of something!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Gathering of Elizabeths

Are you or do you know someone named 'Liz', 'Betty', 'Beth', 'Liza', 'Lizbeth', 'Bessie' or 'Elizabeth'??

If your first, middle or even LAST name is "Elizabeth", then YOU are wanted - Saturday, June 25, 2011, 9:30a-12:30a CST for the "Gathering of Elizabeths" at Apple River Fort State Historic Site in Elizabeth Illinois to set a new world record for the largest number of people named 'Elizabeth' gathered in one location!  WOW!

Yes, I am an 'Elizabeth' although everyone except my mom calls me 'Liz' - I can't wait to be part of this day.  My hubby and I happened upon this quite by accident as we were taking a motorcycle ride one weekend thru Illinois, specifically near Galena.  Once we returned home I looked up the event and was amazed at what was being planned!

This is the 3rd Annual Gathering of Elizabeths.  The first year had 436 registered Elizabeths with the oldest being 86 and the youngest just an infant!  The farthest away an Elizabeth traveled to attend was overseas (England) but from the states, Maryland won that prize.  Most Elizabeths have come from  Illinois and the surrounding states - Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.

The three women named Elizabeth who helped save Apple River Fort during a June 1832 Black Hawk War battle, thus becoming the inspiration for the town's name, will be recognized. There will also be the crowning of a "Queen Elizabeth" for the day. (Perhaps I should bring my own crown, hmmm?  After all, I was a pageant queen!)  Although Great Britain's monarch of the same name has been invited in the past (and sent her regrets), organizers still plan to name thier own royalty in cse Her Highness' schedule once again precludes her attendance. You know, it's just too bad Prince William and his bride Catherine won't be in the states for the event, that would really be a "royal coup"! 

Once the registration is over (9:30a-11:30a at the Community Building) and all Elizabeths accounted for, there will be a short program at 11a and a group photo taken at noon. Visitors can enjoy a craft show; downtown sidewalk sale; the unveiling of the "Elizabeth" wine by Massbach Ridge Winery; a "barn dance" concert featuring 1800s music with several people dressed in 1830's attire and much more!

The event is open to the public....Guaranteed fun by all - especially those named "Elizabeth"!  Come spend the morning with me...if you can't find me, just ask for "Elizabeth"!

DETAILS:    http://www.MostElizabeths.com

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Where did it go??

WOW - where did our Spring go?  It seems like it went from winter right into summer!  OK, I know it really didn't cause there were a few REALLY cold days and nite and LOTS of springtime tornados...but it sure seems like it when the temps reach 95-degrees and it's only the first of JUNE in the midwest!

Makes it a little harder to want to plant a garden, work on the yard or do any "spring cleaning".  Wonder what Mother Nature is thinking?  Or what Father Time is doing?  They seem to be outta sorts too!

Better enjoy it now because before long we'll be back in the deep freeze!!   :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

A new Angel

Wow it's been a tough week on earth....although a joyous one in heaven!  Why?  Because Heaven just got a new angel named Kailey. While my heart is heavy and my eyes are tearing up just typing this, my soul is singing out loud knowing Kailey is with our Lord and out of pain.  I want to thank all of you who read, followed and prayed for my little cousin and her family even though you didn't know her....if you did, you'd have loved her too! :)  I'd like to share with you the posting from her CaringBridge website.  I hope it inspires you like it does me.  Again, Thank you and God Bless.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 11:16 AM, CDT
Glory to God!  There was a miracle today, although not quite what we hoped and prayed for.  At 10:15 am today, Kailey went to be with the Lord.  She died surrounded by her family and knowing that she is greatly loved by us and many others.  She also knew that God loved her infinitely more than we ever could.  At an FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) camp, she professed repentance and faith in Christ with mom present.  By the blood of Christ shed on the cross and in the power of his resurrection, she has been reconciled to God and her sin has been wiped away.  She is wrapped up in the Lord's embrace. 

Therefore, we have received a miracle today: she is with the LORD!  While this is not what we wanted, we know that she has the peace of God in his presence from now until everlasting.  We are so sad to have lost her and we lament that she is not physically being a light to those around her any more.  Her impact is still being felt and will be felt for a long time.  Please turn your prayers to us for the Lord's strength to get us through this time.  We grieve deeply, but we grieve with the hope of the resurrection.  We think of the story of Lazarus, where Jesus says "I am the Resurrection and the Life."  He says that Lazarus' story will not end in death, and Jesus raises him.  Kailey's story will not end in death; she will be raised up with a new body when Jesus comes back. (John 11) 

We thank you for your prayers and your support.  You all have been wonderful.  Please send emails and cards and avoid phone calls at this time.  We thank God for all of you.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hats - a new trend!

I LOVED watching the Royal wedding - even though I was up super early! I love all the pomp & circumstance, the fairy-tale aspect of it AND the hats! There were some fabulous hats and fascinators worn by the wedding guests and spectators alike! Some were spectacular and others hideous (Fergie's daughters were wearing those!) So glad Kate, I mean Princess Catherine, is bringing hats back into fashion.

And you know, I just wasn't gonna be left out!  So, I made my own!

Had a great time at the early morning breakfast with "the Royals"!  Then I got to use my hat again, for the Kentucky Derby!  Went to another party and there were only a few of us girls in hats....ahhh but next year I think ALL the ladies will wear them! ;)

Mother's Day was special as my hubby and I got to take my inlaws to brunch after church - and yes, I was wearing a 'fascinator', which is basically a headband with adornments! It matched my outfit beautifully if I don't say so myself! (Where's the paparazzi when you want them?!!)

So, ladies, it might not be just all SHOES that we spend money on now - we're gonna have to add HATS to the list of things we need to complete an outfit! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My cousin Kailey

Wow I'm covering ALL my bases...email, twitter, facebook and now my blog.
The words come from my sister Marian but I think she captures my request wonderfully.
WE feel compelled to reach out to you all in request of prayer for my young cousin, Kailey Wilmarth.  She is the 13 year old daughter of my cousin, Gary and his wife, Shelly.   Here is a snippet of her story:

My journey began in August when I had not been feeling well and was diagnosed with mono. I fought mono for about three weeks and was getting worse. I ended up in the hospital doing more blood work and it was then that I found out that I had Acute Lymphatic leukemia (ALL).

Kailey is currently fighting for her life in PICU at Childrens Hospital in St. Louis.  She has really had a rough battle with this ugly cancer. (I hate cancer) She has already received chemo and can receive chemo no longer.  Tomorrow (Thursday May 5, 2011) is the day that she is undergoing the stem cell transplant, and we really want to bathe her in prayer. Her brother Neil is donating his cells (which by the Grace of God are a perfect match!), and the procedure is not easy for him either. His cells will be removed at 8am and Kailey will receive them around 4pm that afternoon.

If sometime during your day, you could say a prayer for Kailey (and Neil!), that would be awesome!  We are praying for a miracle~complete healing!!! I know God answers the prayers of His faithful.   In the photos below, you'll see a photo of me & Kailey from last fall.  If you're interested, please visit her Caring Bridge site at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/kaileywilmarth  and read her story and see more pictures!

With heartfelt thanks and gratitude in advance......

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Back "On Air"

Wow - I never thought I'd be back on the air but as they say "never say never" - because I AM back on the air!  Back on the station I left 10 years ago to get married, back on the station that plays 'Lite Rock', back to doing 'show-prep'! But I'm NOT back on Middays or Mornings, I'm on AFTERNOONS!

Tune in and join me for some great music and some great conversation!  Who knows what you might hear on my show!  I love everything "Royal" so the William & Kate's nuptials are a big topic now...and I'm a "green girl" so you'll hear tips on "Going Green"...plus you know I love my animals so I'm sure I'll be telling you of their antics!

If you're in my family or my circle of friends, be warned - you are fair game!  :)

Tune in Monday thru Friday from 2p-7p (CT) to B103.....tweeting @B103fm.....streaming live at www.b103fm.com....

Talk with you soon in one form or another!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

And life goes on..

Wow has life marched on!  Since my last post, I've been traveling on both sides of our great nation, meeting with old and new friends and seeing the beauty that is the United States of America!

Let me share some of the journey.....To California I went with my hubby for a Keller Williams Convention..Anaheim was beautiful, warm and Disney! Got the opportunity to be involved with teaching Voiceover at Creative Media Recording Studios...Exciting for me to see all the great talent there is "out there".  PLUS met some Twitter-pals face-to-face, from all over the state and  England was represented too! That was such a hoot!

Then onto the Midwest for just 12 hours - long enough to pet my animals and repack before flying to Florida.
Can't go to Florida without going to the beach - so I went with my family and my girlfriend - and was awarded with beautiful sunsets, warm (albeit a bit windy) weather and a perfect sand dollar! Very relaxing...

Traveled back home for a bit then drove out to Pennsylvania for the NCAA Wrestling Tournament. Along the way, we got a flat tire (thankfully we had just gotten off the turnpike & my hubby got it changed), visited Reading and Boyertown PA and saw some amazing college athletes in Philadelphia.  Nope, didn't get to run the "Rocky stairs" this time but I will the next time!  Just did a quick drive by the historical areas - I think another trip to Philadelphia to view our nation's historical sites is definitely in the near future!

Next came the short trips to visit family & friends - a ONE year birthday party, the Wedding of a HS friend, the Annual Sigma Phi Epsilon Run for my brother, baseball games, and soon, Easter celebrations!  Whew!

So what happens during the 'inbetween times'?   Life as Usual of course!  :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Smiles, Gratitude & Validations

This blog is about all things that make me say "Wow!"....anything that amazes, inspires and surprises me - that makes me smile! (See my first blog December 13, 2010)

There's a wonderful video going around the internet and incase you've not had the chance to view it, I'm putting up here, JUST FOR YOU!!!  Why?  Because I found it amazing, positive and just plain uplifting!  Please take a few minutes and watch it.  I'm positive you will be "validating" real soon!   Enjoy!


I think THAT video was perfect for a Monday, don't you?!!  WOW!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Wow, it's been awhile - I've been traveling and seeing some beautiful sights!

While the midwest got "hammered" by a really big storm that brought ice, snow and sub-zero temperatures to many states, I was in Hot Springs Arkansas - a little town that is rich in history and beauty - and only got cold temperatures and some flurries!

Hot Springs is just that - hot springs that come up from the ground and are over 4,000 years old!  The indians used to come to "the waters" to bath and claimed they had medicinal & therapeutic qualities.  Back in the early 1920s, bathhouses were built along the main street where the springs ran.  A few of those houses are still in existence - only 2 still used for the original purpose - a couple you can tour to see what it was like to use the bathhouses back then. All of the houses are very "regal" looking, each with a story to tell. Bathhouse Row, as it's called, is a National Historic Landmark! 

Found out that one of the oldest hotels, The Majestic (built in the 1800s), housed the legendary gangster Al Capone! His 'suite of rooms' supposedly had fake walls where he could escape if need be. The Majestic is said to be haunted with the spirits of many who have passed through or died in that hotel.....specifically spotted was a young lady in a white dress who oftentimes sits at a window.  There's been stories of hearing children running up and down the halls; of a frightened little boy who was actually seen peering around a column of the hotel; of a big man with a deep voice named Fred who was shot in the hotel.

How do I know this?  I was told (after asking!) by the security guard who had been working there over a year-and-a-half (he saw many of the spirits) and by two people who worked at the other old and equally famous hotel, The Arlington - which is where my hubby and I stayed! Ruben and Ms.GiGi were our masseurs who used to work at the Majestic before it closed. (The Majestic was recently bought and will be converted to condominiums)  By the way, should you stay at The Arlington, make sure to get a mineral bath and a massage and ask for those two people - they have magic hands!!)

Al Capone also stayed at The Arlington where again he had a suite of rooms AND his own set of elevators (those are used now by the staff). We were treated to a tour of his rooms which are being renovated for modern day use.  His rooms always had to be looking out the front of the hotel so he could keep an eye on his "investments", meaning the casinos he owned!  Supposedly, he dug a tunnel underneath The Arlington for a "quick getaway" but no one has found it yet - or if they have, they're not talking!  Oh how I wish the walls could talk because I know there would be stories galore!!

There was so much more to see - Mount Ida, Oak Lawn (live horse racing arena), The Pancake House, The Gangster Museum - so you'll NEVER be bored!

The mountains around Hot Springs are beautiful, even in the rain and fog.  But what really took my breath away was the ride back home to Illinois....as we reached the boarder of Arkansas, the trees and bushes and grasses were coated with ice, making it look like a crystal-covered landscape!

I loved how the sunlight danced off the branches of the trees as we sped past - how each individual reed along the side of the road stood at attention like a sentry with the sunlight bouncing off, how the snow-covered fields glistened like field full of diamonds.   The pictures I tried to snap with my camera phone just did NOT do it justice!

The rivers, the mountains, the hot springs....The old buildings, the people, the stories.....you don't have to travel far to find the past and the present together - just take a trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas.

(Do I sound like a travel brochure or what?!  I think a disclaimer should go here!)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow, snow and more snow!  Of course it IS winter and that's what's expected!  But, wow, when I woke up to a literal winter wonderland, I could do nothing but stare - and smile!

Smile...as I looked out my backyard at the fresh, untouched snow that blanketed the backyard....and layered the ice on the river.

Smile...as I look at the snow covered fir trees that remind me of my Department 56 village.

Smile...as I watched my dogs playing, running, rolling around in the snow, tongues hanging out and eyes shining bright as they looked at me as if to say "come on, Mom, it's fun!!"

Smile...as I tried to catch the snowflakes on my tongue only to have them stick on my eyelashes and float down my neck.

Smile...as I pull on my snow boots, wrap my neck with my scarf and slide my fingers into my new gloves.

Smile...as I tossed shovelful after shovelful of the soft yet heavy white stuff onto the yard that the dogs promptly ran through.

Isn't it amazing what a dusting or a foot of snow can do to make the world seem a little cleaner and brighter?
Thanks God for cleaning things up a bit with a little snow!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Brother's Christmas Gift

Vincent was in a car accident June 1, 1985.  I know that date because I was supposed to at orientation for the Miss Missouri Pageant.  (Yes, I was a pageant girl but that's a story for another time!)  My little brother suffered brain-stem trauma, leaving him paralyzed on the left side, partially on the right and unable to speak.  He recognizes and knows what's going on around him, communicating thru his index finger (yes), pinkie (no) and middle finger (you figure that one out!).  His eyes express his feelings the most - and of course, his cockeyed grin!

There are 2 other dates of that year I recall quite clearly - February 6, when my sister, a college freshman, told me she was pregnant. (I was on toilet-paper brigade while she broke the news to my newly divorced mom & dad).... September 17, when I became an 'Aunt' for the first time. (to John Paul - we knew it would be a boy because God just couldn't take the only boy in our family without giving us one back!!)

But I digress...My dad, who had a stroke and is at the assisted living facility across the street from the nursing home my brother lives in, was getting an early Christmas present, a new mattress.  I brought down a few boxes I had been storing for him to go through while we waited.  Lots of things in that box, including old newsletters, cufflinks and cassette tapes.  Yes, CASSETTE tapes!  I grabbed a few, looked at the labels & laughed as I found old airchecks from my radio days!  One tape in particular caught my eye. I stashed it quickly in my pocket and the next day told Vince about my find.

My car has a cassette player (does that tell you how old it is?!!) so on my trip home I inserted the tape, listened just a few moments and was moved to tears.  As I drove I wondered just how to share this treasure!  It needed to be transferred to a CD but I had no way to do that!  I called my friend Doug, who is a wiz of an engineer, and, viola, it was done!  Complete with special CD cases (Thanks Doug!!) that I dressed up with pictures on the front and back.  I put them away and waited.

Waited until Vince's birthday, December 28th, when we would celebrate his birthday and Christmas with him and dad.  I could hardly stand to wait to give the presents to my mom, dad and sisters. Vince's Christmas gift was an audio letter to my now deceased aunt & uncle - recorded by him!  

I'm sure that doesn't seem very special to you, dear reader, but it is. Why?

Because it has been 25 years since I have heard my brother's voice, 25 years since he has spoken a word to any of us.  And in that recording, he said something to and about every single person in our family.  He spoke with love to all of us......and while we know he loves us, it was nice to HEAR it after 25 years of silence.  My nephew, Vince's nephew, who has NEVER heard his voice, was given an audio affirmation that Vince was, and is, thrilled to be his uncle. 

Vince gave us hope with his positive, optimistic words....he gave us encouragement with his stories...he gave us a snapshot of his life, and ours, in 1985 - of what it was and could have been.  Once the sadness of the "what could have been" was over, we were struck by the awesomeness of the gift; stilled by the timing of God's plan for that cassette;  stunned to silence by the sound of his forgotten voice.

WOW, what a Christmas gift!!   Just......WOW!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Resolution - Gratitude

Wow, what is my New Year's resolution?  I'm not making one this year because I always seem to break it within the first month!

Rather I'm going to do a "Gratitude Journal"!!  You know, writing down things that happened that you are grateful for and, taking it one step further, putting down names of PEOPLE you're grateful for.  I'll start with the person who anonymously paid for my Subway sandwich as I traveled over the holidays. (Thank you!)

Or maybe I'll write down the names of the people I want to SHOW more gratitude to this year, because they've helped me in some way, shape or form last year.  Expressing thankfulness to others actually encourages THEM, strengthens your relationship WITH them and puts you in the position to RECEIVE their goodwill in the future!  (Top of my list is my hubby!)

Focusing on the good things that happen to you can change your perspective of your day and your life!  The universe is abundant - concentrate on what you have and you will have more....But if you focus on what you don't have, you will never have enough!

As John Maxwell said, "Although life can only be understood looking backwards, it can only be lived moving forward. No matter what has transpired this past year, today is a blank slate."

Au Revoir, Adios, Arrivederci, Auf Wiedersehen, Pozegnanie, Good Bye 2010......Hello 2011 - I'm glad you're here!