Sunday, July 15, 2018

ESG: Let's Go Shopping! - swap from Happy Mom


Actually, I'm not really a big fan of shopping, but I seem to do it often enough.  

Today is Sunday, July 15th, and I went out to 3 stores today - 

Started at Tuesday Morning... Then hit Walmart... and ended with a quick trip in to Publix. 

These pictures were all taken along the way.  The stores are all very close together, and only about 10 minutes from my house.

Actually, this Tuesday Morning just moved from very near my house to this new location.  The new store is much larger, brighter and better organized.  They usually have a good selection of stationery stuff and things I use for crafting. 

Here, you can see the outside of the store.

Here's a selection of a few items I picked up for a swap.  The swap theme is "BLUE" items, and I was happy I found a good selection.  I hope my partner likes what I found!

 Here's a picture of the sheets they had on sale.  Even though I had pillow cases on my list, I didn't find any to buy here.

OK - bought a few items and got back in the car.  Checked my list.  I wrote it out on a magazine cover.  This picture is funny because it looks like I'm holding that shoe, but it's really just a folded piece of paper :)  

On to Walmart... didn't need too many things this time, and was in and out pretty quickly.  

 This shot was taken when I was trying to pick the shortest line.  The main reason I don't like shopping at Walmart is because the lines are always too long and they have so many registers that they don't open.  Oh well.  

Their prices are so much lower than other stores on most everything, so I do shop there every week, at least once.  And just complain!

I didn't have to get much today - I did my large order on Friday.  But the school supplies were out, so I took advantage of some things I needed for work, and I was happy to find pillow cases :)  

Not too much in my cart... 

 Finally made it out of Walmart, and went in to Publix.  They have a great salad bar and a few other things I picked up.  I got myself a large salad for dinner tonight, and a small salad for my daughter to take to work tomorrow.  (What a nice Mom, huh?)

This store is new - they've only been open a few months, and it's really nice inside.

Just a few items here... And no waiting in line - Hallelujah!
 Made it home and unloaded it put away.  I ate my salad and then got on here to put the swap together.

My receipts are included - The one from Walmart is automatically sent to me via email, so I didn't get a paper receipt.

Hope you enjoyed shopping with me today!  Come on over, and I'll cook dinner for you :)

Bon Apetit,

Ilyse - Happy Mom

Saturday, June 30, 2018

My Favorite Photos of June - from Happy Mom 😀

Hello Friends and Swappers!  June is already wrapping up...July 4th is this week...and Summer is going by way too fast!  Remember when Summer seemed to last forever?  Wow...I wish I could slow it down.  I hope you're having a good one.  
Thanks for taking a look at my photos from the month, and if we're partnered on 
Swap-bot, thanks for posting a rating promptly. 

This month, I've got some random pix that made the favorites list.  Ready?

Question on Jeopardy about Brown University's Library -
My Alma Mater - Class of 1978
Beautiful day lilies 
Got hubby some new shorts and a t-shirt.

Very friendly and caring rental car -
asked if I needed a break on a recent road trip!
A Fungus Among Us - So much rain this summer


I have to include pictures of the puppies, as we had Pica here for an extended visit while my son and his girlfriend were out of town.
Leia wondering where's Pica?
Pica wondering where's Jacob?
Both doggies wondering who's coming!
June is my baby brother's birthday.  He just turned 58 and I'll be 62 in August.  I posted the vintage photo on his Facebook, and he texted me this photo when he got the fruit bouquet we sent him at his work.

I hope you liked the pictures I selected this time around.  I'd love to see your photos too, if you care to share.  Have a great month!

Stay Cool,

Happy Mom

Thursday, May 31, 2018

My Favorite Picture of the Month - May

Hello swappers and friends!  I always remember May being the busiest time of year when the kids were younger...sports, recitals, exams, teacher appreciation, etc...  And even now they're grown, May is still super-busy!  It's been a fun month, and I'm happy to share some photos with you.

Even if we're not partnered on Swap-bot, I love seeing your pictures too, so send them my way, if you'd like to share.

This first photo was from a mid-month road trip to SW Virginia.  The mountains are breathtaking and the views spectacular! 
Appalachian Mountains in SW Virginia

We celebrated Mother's Day with a baseball game.  It was a perfect day too - hot and sunny!

And, speaking of baseball.... these next 3 pictures were snagged from my friend's Facebook and Instagram, and are of his future son-in-law, Austin Meadows, who is a professional baseball player.  He got called up to the Pittsburgh Pirates, and is doing great!  I'm so excited for the family, and for Austin! 

Here are my favorite doggie photos for the month as well:

Pica enjoying a morning ear scratch
Leia wondering where's mom?

Beautiful wedding venue
Bride with her father
Bride with her husband

Lastly, here are some pictures from a wedding that my daughter and I attended on the 19th.  The bride's family were our neighbors and best friends when the kids were in elementary school, but they moved away when our daughters were going in to 6th grade.  We hadn't seen them in years, so it was great reconnecting, and such a beautiful wedding.  We had a great time!
My daughter and me
Have a fabulous June, and I'll see you next month!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

A Tribute to my Parents

In honor of Mother's Day, I'm reposting something I shared the year my father died - 2000.  It's hard to believe he's been gone for 18 years, and that my mom has been gone 23 years.  Writing this post was very therapeutic at the time, as I struggled to deal with such great losses.  Not just losing my parents, but trying to wrap my head around how precious life is, and how quickly it can change.  Regardless of how or when we lose loved ones, we mourn the loss and realize that we will face the future without them.  It's not easy!  

Thanks for indulging me the opportunity to share ...  

A Tribute to My Parents – Fred & Phyllis Gottlieb

They met at Austin High School on the west side of Chicago and were married on October 10, 1954. Mom was 18; Dad was 19. Just two kids themselves... they started their family when I was born in 1956. My brother completed the project four years later, and the Gottlieb Family was off and running. Dad eventually found his place in the car business and Mom worked in mortgage banking.

After a brief attempt at relocating to Dallas, Texas, we boomeranged back to the Chicago area and settled in Skokie. We were blessed to have Josie stay with us— she had helped my grandmother raise my mom and my aunt. While I was growing up, my parents provided the best of everything for us. Our house was the place neighborhood kids felt comfortable and welcomed, and it wasn't at all unusual for our family of 4, to set the dinner table for 8… At one point, my brother and I had our best friends living with us, plus my dad's mom and my mom's sister! There was always "something" going on at our house!

While many families may have been structured differently than ours, I always felt safe and secure in mine. I know that my parents loved me, unconditionally, and I loved them dearly.
The 60's and 70's brought many changes to society, and our family was not immune. My parents realized that they had grown apart; in fact, they grew "up" while raising their kids, and once we both left home, their common bond was gone. When my parents announced their plans to separate, I wasn't surprised, but I wasn't threatened. I knew that even though they divorced, our foundation as a family was solid; Our love was always strong, regardless of where we went or with whom we lived.

Time ticked on. Both parents remarried. And until the time of their deaths, I never doubted their love for me, and I’ve never lost sight of what incredible parents they had been to me.

My Dad - Fred Gottlieb

Frederick Sherwin Gottlieb was born to Leo and Shirley Gottlieb, on February 11, 1935. My dad was the older of two children, and he had many cousins. They weren't wealthy growing up — My grandfather worked in the men's clothing industry and he later drove a Chicago Yellow Cab. My grandmother, of course, raised my dad and my Uncle Dennis. They were terrific grandparents, and I have many fond memories of them.

My dad had a fairly typical upbringing in Chicago, in the 1940's and 50's. He had a close circle of friends, and he did what he needed to get by in school. From all I've heard through the years, my mom's side of the family was opposed to my parents’ marriage, but all I remember as a kid, was having two sets of grandparents who loved me. I was their first grandchild, and they always made me feel special.

One of my dad's early jobs was selling shoes, and he learned early on, how to succeed in sales. He landed in the car business, and enjoyed it, despite the long hours, the long commutes and commission-based income. My friends all thought our family was very wealthy, since every time my dad picked me up from school, he was driving a new car! That was back in the days when dealerships provided "demos" for their salesmen.

Dad did well, and I never understood why people thought car salesmen were dishonest. He came home with some pretty wild stories of how customers would try to cheat the dealership too!

After his divorce, my dad re-married and eventually moved to Indiana. He had always craved a warmer climate, but a move to Florida didn't work out. He even came to Richmond and stayed with us on two separate occasions, with the goal of relocating, but the ties to his church and friends in Indiana kept him there.

In 1996, he started a new career in estate planning and the sale of living trusts. He enjoyed learning something new and different from the car business, plus the better hours. I had heard that one of the worst industries for fatal accidents on the job was sales, because of all the driving salespeople do between appointments, but never expected it to hit so close to home.
On February 15, 2000, I was sitting at home eating lunch, and I got a phone call from my dad's wife. She was calling on a cell phone that was breaking up terribly, but I was able to decipher that my dad had been in a serious car crash, and he was being med-flighted to a trauma hospital in Kalamazoo. I was able to call the hospital where the rescue squad initially took him, and I spoke to my dad before the helicopter lifted off. At that moment, I didn't know if I'd ever speak to him or see him alive again.

I spent the next 6 days in ICU with him and watched as his torn thorax healed on its own. I came back to Virginia before he was moved to a regular room on Day 10, but when I left, it was evident that he was going to be ok. Actually, he made a miraculous recovery and had no permanent damage from the accident. We spoke many times on the phone, and I could hear such a zest for life in his voice! We talked a bit about his physical therapy and the multiple fractures he sustained in the crash, but he never once complained. He was so grateful to be alive!

Dad's recovery was going very well, and he returned to work in May. I decided to spend Memorial Day weekend with him, since his wife would be leading a "Walk To Emmaus" retreat, and she'd be out of town. Dad and I were going to surprise her and show up on her weekend. On May 22nd, I was on my way home from work and looking forward to searching online for the best airfare to Indiana for that weekend. When I entered the house, my husband told me that my dad's wife had just called — My dad was in another car crash, and this time, he was killed.
That type of news is never easy, but this was even more incredible, in light of his earlier accident. I still had my weekend in Indiana with my dad, but it was a lot different than the one I had been planning. My dad's funeral was a beautiful testimony to his life. There was an excellent article in the local paper after his death.  My dad was 65 years old.

Fred Gottlieb
Born February 11, 1935
Died May 22, 2000

My Mom - Phyllis Gold Gottlieb

Phyllis Jean Gold was born July 2, 1936 in Chicago. Her parents were Lillian and Isadore Gold. Mom had one sister, my Aunt Sandy. Mom's father died when she was only 14 years old. The spelling of my first name is in memory of her dad.

I credit my Grandma Lil for molding my mother's character, and consequently, much of my personality. Grandma Lil always treated me as a "young lady" and she expected me to behave as such. How often I heard, "If you want to be treated like a young lady, you have to act like one!"

Mom always wanted my brother and me to be kept busy, so we'd be kept out of trouble! Since she was a working mom (before that was the "norm") she had me in all kinds of activities: Hebrew School, drama, ballet, piano lessons, ice skating and Girl Scouts. She had been a bright student, and I was too. As I was growing up, it never occurred to me that I wouldn't also work when I grew up. I'm grateful that she instilled a strong sense of responsibility and accountability in me.

I was so proud of my mom! She worked in a high-rise office building in downtown Chicago, and it was a treat to spend a Saturday at her office with the latest in technology: typewriters, carbon paper and adding machines! I remember the first IBM Selectric, and we were in awe of how fast Mom could type! I still have some papers she wrote in shorthand. Mom started her career as a receptionist and in a time when women were mostly stay-home moms, she blazed trails and enjoyed a successful career in mortgage banking.

My mom lived an active life and was always confident, classy and in control. Even when her health deteriorated, she remained upbeat. She had a hysterectomy and several breast biopsies before being diagnosed with breast cancer in the late 1970's. Following a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, she was in remission for well over 10 years. But when her cancer came back, it came back with a vengeance.

Having a sick parent is one of the hardest things I can think of… Being 700 miles away makes it worse. Fortunately, I was able to make some additional visits to Chicago, and each time, I watched my mom fade before me. We used to kid around with each other, that you can't be too thin or too rich. But watching her dwindle down to 90 pounds, I can say now, that you "can" be too thin.

Mom passed away on April 21, 1995 — on my 10th wedding anniversary. She had moved to the hospice within Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, and I was driving there to be with her before she died. Unfortunately, she died while I was en route. Her death left a big empty spot in my life, though I was grateful that she didn't have to endure the pain any longer. She was an amazing woman, and a day doesn't go by that I don't miss her wisdom, inspiration and friendship.

My kids were only 2 and 4 years old when she died, and sometimes I feel so sorry that they've missed having the opportunity to know her. Then again, I realize how much I'm like her, and through me, they gain a small glimpse of what she was like. My mom used to tell me how much I would have loved her father — what a strong, upstanding man he was. I find myself thinking the same things about her for my kids -- She has left a legacy, and we all are the beneficiaries.

Phyllis Jean Gold Gottlieb Welch
Born July 2, 1936
Died April 21, 1995

On losing a parent

My mom died a slow, painful and agonizing death from cancer. My father was killed instantly in a car crash. Both were too young to die. Mom didn't want to die; Dad didn't want to be a burden to his children. Both were phenomenal people, and both taught me a lot.

The contrast is stark; My pain similar. The lesson? Always live life to the fullest. Never assume that you can tell someone you love them—tomorrow.

Losing a parent leaves a hole so wide, that you think it will never, ever be filled. For me, I know that my parents live on in me and my children. Yes, I wish they were still here—But when I look back, I'm filled to overflowing with love for these two people who not only gave me life, but showed me how to live it.

I'm grateful for their lives in ways that I can't even put into words. I've tried to express my deep love for my parents, but know I’ve fallen short.  Most importantly, I hope my memories remind us all to take advantage of the time we have with the ones we love. Life really IS too short to treat it any other way. I'm grateful to have been blessed with such a wonderful family, and confident knowing that they knew how I felt.  Is there someone who needs to know how you feel?  Please tell them before you miss the chance.  

Many blessings and much love,


ESG: Let's Go Shopping! - swap from Happy Mom

 WELCOME TO MY SHOPPING TRIP! Actually, I'm not really a big fan of shopping, but I seem to do it often enough.   Today is Sunday,...