something worth sharing

(this is an old picture, but i love it)
My good friend Janean is living and studying in Cairo this year. Janean and I spent a few years at Northwest College together and I'm so happy to see our friendship continue even over such great distances. She has a blog, linked in my 'Blogging Friends' list on the left. It's titled Exodus to Egypt. For some great reading, some incredible stories and some laughs, you should definitely check it out.

For today, I'd like to share her latest entry titled Can You Hear?. I think it is beautiful.

Right now it is snowing so much that I can't see out the window. It is wonderful. Have a nice Friday!


what a stinker!

Dead man sends cards from ‘heaven’
Oregon man cooked up prank before his death

ASHLAND, Ore. - Even in death, Chet Fitch is a card.
Fitch, known for his sense of humor, died in October
at age 88 but gave his friends and family a start recently:
Christmas cards, 34 of them, began arriving -- written
in his hand with a return address of "Heaven."

The greeting read: "I asked Big Guy if I could sneak
back and send some cards. At first he said no; but at
my insistence he finally said, 'Oh well, what the heaven,
go ahead but don't (tarry) there.' Wish I could tell
you about things here but words cannot explain.
"Better get back as Big Guy said he stretched a
point to let me in the first time, so I had better not
press my luck. I'll probably be seeing you
(some sooner than you think).
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas. Chet Fitch"
A friend for nearly 25 years, Debbie Hansen Bernard said,
"All I could think was, 'You little stinker.'"
"It was amazing," she said. "Just so Chet, always wanting
to get the last laugh."

The mailing was a joke Fitch worked on for two decades
with his barber, Patty Dean, 57. She told the
Ashland Daily Tidings this week that he kept
updating the mailing list and giving her extra money
when postal rates went up. This fall, she said, Fitch looked
up to her from the chair.
"You must be getting tired of waiting to mail those cards," he told her.
"I think you'll probably be able to mail them this year."
He died a week later.


be kind

Arrogant people do not deserve to be successful. When you abandon kindness and gentleness, you're just a jerk. End of message.


he takes the heat

"Respect your elders!" is a rule you always hear as a child. It's a good rule I think. Last night however, I couldn't help but think that sometimes the rule should be "Respect your youngers!"

My brother has now graduated from the Fire Academy. Last night he received his badge. What an honor. This boy...okay, I guess he's kinda becoming a man...but this guy is pretty amazing. He has been working so hard, sacrificing his time, his energy, his sleep, and quite often his social life to learn a skill that is incredibly admirable. And in the end...he's learning so that he can give.

So Nick, Cheers! You did it! Keep working hard, we are all so proud of you!


little angel

This little angel was born on Friday night. Welcome to our world little one. This is the new son of my friends Kevin and Amy. Amy and I have been friends for nearly 18 years so this is a very special birth for me. It's amazing when you watch your friendships reach a new level. Life is such a miracle! I've been waiting and waiting...I'm so happy he's finally here, and healthy, and perfect.
Please welcome Oliver Richard Oelke.


This was me this morning.

But I am okay.

For those of you who don't see me every day...Yes, I do wear boots like that. They are my favorite and I'm starting to think they are my lucky boots, except for the fact that I slipped on the ice this morning. I suppose that's not very lucky huh?


nightmares in bunk world

This morning someone sent out an email that said the following:

"Does anybody have or know somebody that has a set of bunk beds no longer being used?"

And then I recalled my traumatic bunk bed years. Oh the nights when my sister would shove her feet up through my mattress and throw me flying across the room slamming against the wall.

Or the time that my mattress fell through and sandwiched my sister between mattresses.

Bunk beds have scarred me for life. It's a period of life that I like to black out of my memory.

Ha ha, I'm just kidding. Those things never happened. But they're great stories eh?


sometimes i'm just not very good with words.

My coworker is always using these sillly expressions that leave me confused at first...and then I laugh. She tries to be clever and I stand there dumbfounded. I say "uh...I don't get it." Then she has to explain herself and then...well...then I just feel lame.

The other day when I was leaving she said "You're gonna make like a tree and leave!" I didn't get it. I said "What are you talking about???" Then she said "You know...you're gonna make like a banana and split!"I still didn't get it. And then...yes...wait...there it is...I get it!!! Haha, that's funny.

This afternoon she was leaving for lunch and as she walked off I said "You're gonna make like a leaf and be a tree!!!"...I mean, "You're gonna be a split and be a..." Wait...Oh forget it. I'm just not good at these word plays.


still brimming with holiday cheer!

Tonight was round two of my holiday baking. I made my second favorite cookie, Eggnog Cookies. Yum! These are so tasty. I would post the recipe but I don't feel like typing it out right now. Let me know if you'd like it and I'll email it to you.

Mom taught me how to make these little candies. Recipes from moms are always special ones.

On a different subject, I got a second job, Yay! Now I shall be a Receptionist by day and a Chili's Waitress by night/weekend. It's about time! I've been applying to places for nearly a month. You'd think people would be anxious to hire for the Christmas season but apparently not this year!
I did apply at a certain restaurant and I thought the job was mine. After speaking with the manager for 40 minutes she surprised me with a 150 question personality test. She said that my scores would reflect whether or not I'd be a good fit for their company. A personality test for a waitressing job??? Anyways, I had to answer yes or no to 150 of the most bizarre questions imaginable.
Here are a few that I remember:
Yes or No--I personally know someone whom I wish was in prison.
Yes or No--I am frequently grumpy for no reason at all.
Yes or No--I am often so annoyed with people that I wish I could just put them in their place.
Yes or No--I wish I was a hostess at a night club.
Just in case you are wondering...I answered NO to all of the above questions. But somehow I managed to fail the personality test. Yes, it's true, APRIL CARDINAL failed a personality test. I never thought I'd have to face that sort of failure. I got over it though...nothing a spoon and some Breyers vanilla bean ice cream wouldn't fix. Just kidding. I can't help but wonder if I should have answered yes to the above questions.
So my experience at Chili's was quite different. I was practically hired on the spot. The words were something like "I like you, you're hired." Nice!!! I'm excited to be serving again. It's work that I miss. It's challenging but fun. I guess I most enjoy the interaction with so many different types of people. Oh, yes, and the extra money is nice too :-)


beautiful aren't they?

Round one. Ricotta Cheese Cookies. 3 hours, cookie dough in my hair, hair in my cookie dough...(ha ha, just kidding) and I even found helpers for the sprinkle part. These happen to be my favorite Christmas cookies! Please enjoy the recipe below.

2 cups white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
15 ounces ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bow, with the mixer a low speed, beat the sugar and butter until combined. Increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
Reduce speed to medium and beat in the ricotta, vanilla and eggs.

Reduce speed to low. Add flour, baking powder and salt; beat until dough forms.

Drop dough by level tablespoons, about 2 inches apart; onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 15 minutes or until cookies are very lightly golden (cookies will be soft).
When cookies are cool, prepare icing. In small bowl, stir confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Spoon icing on cookies and sprinkle with colored sugar or candy sprinkles.



My friend Bethany shared a link that made me laugh a little and then inspired me to create...or rather, I just substituted my own pet. It's funny how we can all relate to cattitude.

Meet my cat Solomon to whom I am a slave.


This has been my weekend...activites and thoughts...and weather. This is a very random entry, you might lose brain cells just reading it.

On Friday I went to hear the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra perform Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Before Beethoven they performed Bernstein's Chichester Psalms. It was such a great experience. I sat there with my eyes closed and my body swaying back and forth. So many people brush aside classical music thinking that it is boring and old. I find it to be such an art!

Then Saturday morning it started snowing. I had to drive home to my parent's house. It took me twice as long to get there. I was driving 30 mph on the highway and still praying that I'd be safe because I could not see anything!

Why did I have to drive home? Well...two reasons. 1) My dad needs to look at my car. 2) My friend Jen was throwing herself a b-day party and I was invited!

And boy was it a party! Jen, the talented woman that she is...cooked a 7 course meal for all of her guests. A little backwards right? It's HER birthday and she was cooking dinner for her friends? But she insisted, and we enjoyed everything! She is such a good cook and we are all encouraging her to start her own business.

Here's a picture of Jen and myself.

So tonight I was shopping for dinner groceries and I thought of two things for which I am thankful.

After 7:00 p.m. the grocery store gives their leftover donuts away for free!


The avocado is a wonderful fruit!

If I could, I would plant an avocado tree in my front yard...if I had a front yard...

Right now I am sitting at a coffee shop downtown, thinking about heading home for the night. I'm looking out the window and this is what the street looks like.

I love winter weather! It's so beautiful!