More summertime fun ideas

When the sun’s out, fun’s out! Go for a walk, ride, skate. Enjoy a pool, lake, ocean. Sit with friends and talk. Extend the “no phone zone” to include your own backyard. Try new water or outdoor sports.

When the clouds open up and dump rain all over the trails, parks, and streets, choose indoor activities: walk the mall, take in a movie, play cards or board games. Choose a music playlist and dance like no one’s watching. Meet friends for lunch.

Host dinner parties. Invite people over and grow your FRamily (friends you choose as your family) and introduce your friends from work to your friends from the neighborhood. Cook new recipes. Create flower arrangements from grocery store bouquets.

Whatever you do, do it with love, a happy heart, and a smile. That smile may lead you to meet new friends.

Aloha🌺,

Denise

New normals

Yesterday was my first Father’s Day without my father. I did miss calling him first thing in the morning yesterday. I missed hearing his voice and what he was up to for the day. I’m a member of a new Club now. This is my new Father’s Day normal.

We are all settled into our new apartment-home. It’s wonderful, quiet, quaint, and share-worthy. We have hosted dinner parties and have more planned. This apartment suits us and our style. What I’ve learned, however, is that the other place (sigh) had to have happened in order for us to seek and find this place. What happens to us leads us to other things…i.e. missing a green light may save you from an auto accident; and living under a heavy-footed, uncaring neighbor may direct you to Zillow.com to find a new home that is quiet and classy and with stellar neighbors (shout out to Chris & Ed.) This is thankfully our new normal.

Inspired to learn more about blogging, cooking, and entertaining, I am seeking insights and recommendations for classes, blogs, and mentors. My new normal will expand!

Life lessons happen every day. We have to recognize them and embrace them. Always look forward: to new experiences, new inspirations, new people to surround yourself with. Reading stories of others who make wise and thoughtful choices inspire me. I choose to keep moving forward and share what I learn. Living, loving, and learning are my driving forces to a happy, new normal life.

Aloha🌺,

Denise

Good morning, Stanley 🏆!

The St. Louis Blues ice hockey team won the Stanley Cup last night in the third period of the seventh game of the series. They played so well, as did the Boston Bruins, and deserve all the accolades and parades to come. I have proof that I’m a fan: I watched on my four separate devices; we have no TV. Details for the curious. I chewed my nails & cuticles; I gulped popcorn (thank you, Mark Schnitzer); I screamed, shouted, and whooped.

I’m a happy fan today as the sun brightly ascends in the light blue skies. That “Let’s Go, Blues!” chant really worked!🏒

What does all this have to do with being an Empty Nester Mom? Well, I love sports and watching the biggest games of the year is a guilty pleasure I enjoy. I can sit in the corner spot on the sofa and not get up until the last whistle blows. Bonus: My sweet HH washed the dinner dishes and put away the left-overs.

Until the next big game…Go Team!

Aloha🌺,

Denise

Hoisting and kissing the Cup is tradition and thrilling.

What’s next?

This past week I accepted and enjoyed a black & white photo challenge. I took pictures in B&W, posted them on social media, then nominated someone else to do the same. My intention was to see and share photos from different parts of the world (hello France, Hawaii, Utah, Abu Dhabi, Missouri, California, Ohio). The challenge ends today. What challenge is next?

I witnessed my first Roller Derby event over the weekend. That was exciting, fun, and interesting. I’ve also been watching (on my computer and iPhone) the St. Louis Blues ice hockey team play in the Stanley Cup Finals. What’s next in my sports watching?

Lastly, the Katy Trail is still under water from recent rains and flooding. So, I’ve taken to walking in the streets around our neighborhood and up and down Main Street. The scenery is lovely: trees, flowers, nice houses, shops, restaurants, but nothing like the wide-open landscape of a trail, alongside a river, canopied by trees. My Camino 2020 training beckons me back on a long trail to prepare for 25-mile walking days. What’s next for my Plan B walking plan?

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Tip: find good, FUN, positive in everything.

Aloha🌺,

Denise

Squeals and wheels

For our NBD of the day, we chose to accept an invitation from a referee, our friend Janelle, to sit on the front row to watch the St Chux Derby Chix take on a team from Illinois, in the Olympia Center, for the final home game of Roller Derby.

After reading the rules, we sat on the edge of our bleacher seats watching the “jammers” skate around the “blockers” and score points very quickly.

This is a fast-moving, semi-tough event, where the women roller skate in a defined oval passing opponents to score points.

The wheels squealed on the floor, and I squealed when our home team scored. I love live sports!

Aloha🌺,

Denise

New: to here & to each other

As an Empty Nester Transplant, I have explored much of our new city, including groups to meet new people. Recently, my ENT friend, Kim D., happened upon another group of newbies to STL. She and I met to meet these new people who are new to the area and it was quite successful.

Friends start with a “Hello!”

A group that began as two people, quickly grew to seven, as we introduced ourselves, shared our home history, current jobs, and entered into a lively conversation. Our flexibility was tested as we moved from one table of four inside the crowded bar area to an outside table of seven, displaced by the looming heavy-dropping rains, then back inside to a high-top table set up for our group. Kudos to Kim, Taylor, Lindsay, Kris, (another) Denise, Katie, and me, for being vulnerable and adventurous. Until our next get-together…

If you move from one city to another, ever, you’ll know how important it is to get out and meet new people. Just say, “Hello” and see what happens.

“People are faces until they are your friends.” Denise Schnitzer

Aloha🌺,

Denise

Sun and floods

The sun beckons me up each morning. Our new home has lovely windows that welcome in the sunshine from all four sides. I love sun kisses on my face.

The floods (see Missouri River flooding https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/as-rivers-continue-near-record-rise-st-louis-responds-with/article_aa895701-b52e-5f5f-868b-5942e11eb1ae.html) can’t stop me from getting out on the Katy trail or the neighborhood streets, either to bike or walk, from one “Road Closed” sign to another. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Tara & I rode to and thru flooded areas…this is/was Bangert Island.

I am on a mission: walk, hike, bike. Get ready for #Camino2020, in all ways.

Nothing’s gonna stop me now! 🎼

What are you doing today?

Aloha🌺,

Denise

Keep up

Whether it’s with an old friend I met when I was in third grade, shout out to Robin L., or when our firstborn was six months old and accompanying me to the gym, shout out to Diane K., or new friends we met after moving to another new city, shout outs to Pam & Pat D., Kim & Mike D., Kathleen K. & Jeff L, a call, a greeting card, text, or Facebook message keeps us in touch. Keeping up with friends takes a some effort, and yields great rewards.

As I greet the sun on a lovely Monday, I am grateful for the friends in my life who love me, wherever I move, whatever kind of “home” I live in, and during whatever stuff is going on in life.

It’s not only how we live but surrounded by whom we live.

Aloha🌺,

Denise