Posts Tagged ‘life’

2017, Don’t Let Me Down

Happy New Year!


I hope you had a great time saying goodbye to 2016.  While I worked Saturday night, I was home in time to ring in the new year with my husband, Ray, enjoying some champagne and shrimp cocktail.


Our 15-year-old daughter, Gretel, is growing up and growing out of her parents — she welcomed in 2017 with her friends.

I’m always pontificating about life (the past, the current, and the future).  It’s like being visited by the three ghosts (spirits) at Christmas, but I do it year around.

A Christmas Carol

While reflecting on where I’ve been, the mistakes I’ve made, and what I’d change if given the chance to do it all over again, I still look forward.  I’m always counting down to something.

I remember so many times, as a kid, saying that I wished a certain event or date would arrive and my grandmother, Helen, telling me, “you are wishin’ your life away.”

As I became more prospective as a teenager and being 51 years younger than my grandmother, I foolishly thought that she meant I was wishing her life away.  After all, I was young and I was looking forward to the rest of my life.

Now that I’m 52 and approaching those golden years like my grandmother, I realize two things:  I’m still always planning and counting down to something, but I’m also very aware that I’m no longer a youngster.

Anthony April 1969

It doesn’t help knowing that my mother died at the age of 47 and my father died at 55.  With each passing year and each celebration of the new year, it makes me think even more.

The bottom line is that I’m blessed in life.


I have a wonderful family, my health, and a job that I love for the most part.  While I’d love to make more money (who doesn’t?), I’m in a position to travel and see places that many may never visit.

AP Ray Night View Vegas

Last year, I got to visit China, see New York City, Las Vegas and Cleveland, Ohio, again, and I checked out Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina, for the first time.

I already have a few things planned for 2017.  As I often joke, I work just so I can travel.  Honestly, I do it to pay the bills, too!

Speaking of work, I can’t believe I’ve now worked in the Quad Cities television market as a meteorologist for more than 11 years.  I love what I do, but I also love to write.  There are times when I think about changing careers.  Will that be in 2017?

We all know that life is full of changes and uncertainty and I’m not shy about my feelings of dread for the next four years.

Almost two months after the shocking presidential election, I’m still devastated with the results.

Hillary AP

While three million more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton to be the 45th president of the United States, the electoral college was obligated to vote otherwise.

Since I live in the real world, I know some of you voted for someone other than Hillary and you got your wish!  I hope I never hear you express regret over that decision.  You won’t find a bit of sympathy coming from me.

With that being said, I sincerely hope for the best for America (and the world).

As someone put it after the stunning election — wishing for the new president to fail is like boarding a plane and hoping it crashes.

Flight 1549

If we look at the next four years as a flight, I sure wish that Sully was in the cockpit.  Hell, I’d be happy if it was Tom Hanks playing Sully in the cockpit!

“Oh, but I need some time off/From that emotion/Time to pick my heart up off the floor.”

As the late George Michael expressed to us, we got to have “faith”!

With all this in mind, I wish you and yours the very best in the year ahead.

If you had a great 2016, I hope 2017 is even better.  If 2016 was less than stellar, I hope the new year treats you better.

As Mariah Carey laughs off in my favorite version of “Auld Lang Syne”, “does anybody really know the words?”.  That sounds like life to me!

By the way, I get to see Mariah and Lionel Richie in Nashville, Tennessee, this spring!  See, that’s something I’m counting down to. 🙂

If life gets you down or gives you lemons, make lemonade.  If there’s no sugar to sweeten the lemonade, just smile, say “f*ck” it, and add a shot of vodka!

Happy New Year!


Taylor Swift — Wise Beyond Her Years

I consider myself somewhat philosophical, wise, witty, and thought-provoking when I write on my blog or post on social media.

But, as I approach my 51st birthday, I’ve lived twice as long as international superstar Taylor Swift.  Whether you’re a fan or not (and there are millions that are), I confess that she’s displayed more wisdom in her fourteen years as a songwriter than most people, including myself, will express in a lifetime.

Taylor Swift

When Taylor released her first single, “Tim McGraw” and her self-titled debut album in 2006, she was only 16-years-old. However, she had already been recording the album for two years and she penned her first songs at the age of twelve.

She co-wrote eight songs on that album and she was the sole writer of three others.


Today’s blog features my favorite words of wisdom that Taylor Swift shared with the world through her songs — songs that have been downloaded more than 130 million times from albums that have sold more than 40 million copies in the just the past nine years!

And, she’s been honored by the Nashville Songwriters Association and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, along with winning almost every music award possible.

Taylor Swift

I saw Taylor open for Keith Urban in the summer of 2009 in Moline, Illinois, and I hope to see her again in Minneapolis, in September, on the “1989 World Tour”.

Here are my favorite “words of wisdom” and my absolute favorite Taylor Swift lyrics are in bold and italicized!


“State the obvious, I didn’t get my perfect fantasy/I realize you love yourself more than you could ever love me”

“FIFTEEN” (2009)

“Cause when you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you/you’re gonna believe them”

“MEAN” (2011)

“Someday I’ll be living in a big ole city/and all you’re even gonna be is mean”

“All you are is mean/and a liar/and pathetic/and alone in life/and mean, and mean, and mean, and mean”


“Cause I knew you were trouble when you walked in, so shame on me now”

(This one is extra — spoken words from the music video!)

“But I just thought/how can the devil be pulling you towards someone who looks/so much like an angel when he smiles at you?”

“SHAKE IT OFF” (2014)

“I stay up too late/Got nothing in my brain/That’s what people say/That’s what people say”

“I go on too many dates/But I can’t make them stay/At least that’s what people say/That’s what people say”

“Cause the players gonna play play play play play/And the haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate”

“Just think while you’ve been getting down and out about the liars and the dirty dirty cheats of the world/You could have been getting down to this sick beat”

“My ex man brought his new girlfriend/She’s like oh my God”

“BLANK SPACE” (2014)

“I could show you incredible things/magic, madness, heaven, sin”

“Saw you there and I thought ‘oh my God’/Look at that face/You look like my next mistake”

“So hey let’s be friends/I’m dying to see how this one ends”

“I could make the bad guys good for a weekend”

“Got a long list of ex-lovers/They’ll tell you I’m insane”

“But I’ve got a blank space baby/And I’ll write your name”

“But you’ll come back each time you leave/Cause I’m a nightmare dressed as a daydream”

“Boys only want love if it’s torture/Don’t say I didn’t warn you”

“STYLE” (2015)

“He says what you’ve heard is true but I/Can’t stop thinking about you and I/I’ve said I’ve been there too a few times”

“BAD BLOOD” (2015)

“Band-aids don’t fix bullet holes/You say sorry just for show/If you live like that/You live with ghosts/If you love like that blood runs cold”


Disclaimer:  I do not own the rights to any of the song lyrics posted.  That’s all (or mostly) T-Swizzle!  Buy her music and don’t illegally download!  And, here are the writing credits and copyrights to the songs.

“Picture To Burn”

Writer(s): Liz Rose, Taylor Swift
Copyright: Sony/ATV Tree Publishing, Taylor Swift Music, Ole Cake Taker Music, Cake Taker Music


Writer(s): Taylor Swift
Copyright: Sony/ATV Tree Publishing, Taylor Swift Music


Writer(s): Taylor Swift
Copyright: Sony/ATV Tree Publishing, Taylor Swift Music

“I Knew You Were Trouble”

Writer(s): Max Martin, Taylor Swift, Johan Schuster, Shellback
Copyright: Sony/ATV Tree Publishing, Mxm Music AB, Sony/ATV Tree Publishing O.B.O. Taylor Swift Music

“Shake It Off”

Writer(s): Martin Max, Andy Morton, Joseph Jones, Taylor Swift, Shellback, Josh Hunt, Tom Scott
Copyright: Rufus Music Ltd., Sony/ATV Tree Publishing, Mxm Music AB, Taylor Swift Music

“Blank Space”

Writer(s): Martin Max, Taylor Swift, Shellback
Copyright: Sony/ATV Tree Publishing, Mxm Music AB, Taylor Swift Music


Writer(s): Martin Max, Ali Payami, Taylor Swift, Shellback
Copyright: Warner/Chappell Music Scandinavia AB, Sony/ATV Tree Publishing, Mxm Music AB, Taylor Swift Music, Wolf Cousins

“Bad Blood”

Writer(s): Martin Max, Taylor Swift, Shellback
Copyright: Mxm Music AB, Sony/ATV Tree Publishing, Taylor Swift Music

“The Art of Racing In The Rain”

“The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein is a must read if you’re a pet owner.

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Yes, I was tearing up at the end of the first chapter and I cried during the last two chapters of the book.  However, over the course of the rest of the book, I laughed many times and smiled many others.

It’s a very reflective book narrated by Enzo, the family dog, as he awaits his own death and welcomes it.  There’s a reason he’s ready to die after living a happy, fulfilling life with Denny, a race car driver that excelled in driving on wet tracks, his wife, Eve, and their daughter, Zoe.

Enzo’s stories of Zoe’s mean stuffed animal zebra, Eve’s parents (who he nicknames “the evil twins”), and dogs in Mongolia will you make laugh and cry.

04012011 ABBA Anthony

Miss ABBA, if Enzo is right, I can’t wait to see you again and say hello.  No, this doesn’t mean I’m ready to die and join ABBA.  You’ll have to read the book to figure it out! 🙂

Vickie, thank you for sharing it with me.


Re-posted from:

Look For The Silver Lining & Not The Cloud

This blog is not about weather.  However, I’m going to quickly mention it.  From a statistical standpoint, the middle of January is the coldest part of the winter.

Frosty Cold

This time of the year, you probably notice some people are more depressed.  It may have nothing to do with boyfriends or girlfriends, their life or lack of a life, or their financial situation.  Those people could not only be sad, but they could be suffering from “seasonal affective disorder”, or SAD.

Here’s what the Mayo Clinic says about it:  “a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. If you’re like most people with seasonal affective disorder, your symptoms start in the fall and may continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, seasonal affective disorder causes depression in the spring or early summer.”

Those people are excluded from what I’m talking about today.

Positive Thinking

I consider myself an “optimist”.  I always try to think that the best things will happen for me, my loved ones, and for mankind.  With that being said, I really consider myself a “realist”.  And, not only do I try to live my life that way, I’ll always tell you the way it is.  I’ve made people cry before and then I feel guilty.  Yes, I’ve made people cry!  I confess.

And, I shed tears, too.  Back at Murray State University, as a 20-year-old, I remember crying to “Can’t Fight This Feeling” by REO Speedwagon, and pining for a boy who out of my reach and wondering if I would ever find someone “like me”.  I can listen to that song now without being sad, but I still think back to those days in the mid-1980s.

I cried when my mother died 22 years ago and I remember the very dark years that followed.  The loss of my mother, turning down my first career job to move home, being single, and battling bulimia were great burdens and allowed little happiness in my life.

That was then and this is now.  That is why I’d never want to be in my 20s again and I sympathize with those trying to find themselves in their 20s.  I love my 40s and I can’t wait to see what my 50s bring in a couple of years.  Don’t do the math!   Use the brain cells for something else. 🙂

Cozumel December 22

This is a picture I took December 22, 2012, somewhere out in the western Caribbean after we left Cozumel and were cruising slowly back to reality.

When I see this, as I do in life, I see the sun breaking through the clouds.  Many people only see the clouds.  And, when you’re part of a mammoth social network like Facebook, you see “the clouds” a lot more in people’s posts.

I never want to paint it that my life is perfect.  It isn’t, but it’s mine.  I get agitated. I get bored.  And, that boredom, especially since I haven’t been working, leads to thinking — which sometimes makes me sad.


Additionally, it’s closing in on a year now since Miss ABBA crossed the “rainbow bridge” and left us.  I think of her a thousand times a day.  But, I don’t cry anymore about her.  I smile now thinking of that goofy golden.  I think of all of the wonderful days we had together.

When she first died, I thought about the times I had scolded her when she was bad.  And, it took me months to know that she needed to be disciplined at the time.  I don’t dwell on those times anymore.  I only think of the wonderful times we shared because that was our life.

Looking Ahead

I took this majestic picture on Spirit Lake two years ago.  Looking out over this frozen tundra made me realize that life is too short to dwell on all of the negatives in our life.  We all have them.  I have friends that are struggling to pay rent, feed their families, make utility payments, and I have some friends that would rather just be negative about any situation.

Tomorrow, I’m making a quick trip to Chicago to help an old friend that has destroyed their life by making a stupid decision two years ago.  This has resulted in losing their job and career, losing touch with their family, several run-ins with the Chicago Police Department, and now, financial ruin and depression.

I know going there tomorrow will not change anything for my friend.  My friend has to take responsibility.  No one else can do that for them.  When something bad happens to good people, it takes more energy to fight back than to accept defeat. I never want to know that I didn’t give it my all in life.  And, that’s why I’ll always smile through the tears.

I hope this quick trip to Chicago gives my friend the courage, the conviction, and the strength to fight.  If you’re in this situation, I hope you find that same courage, conviction, and strength.

As for me, I miss television and I miss forecasting weather.  It was so much fun to fill in for my old friend, Neil Kastor, and do radio weather the past three days for WSDR in Sterling, Illinois.  While I’m still angry at WQAD for their decision not to renew my contract, I know that something good is coming my way this spring.  I’ll wait out the storm and I’ll keep my positive attitude.

When it happens, you can call me Stefano DiMera, of “Days of Our Lives”.  That man has been killed off so many times and like the Phoenix, he rises from the flames.

ABBA December 2010

I want to live my life and I want my friends to live their lives like Miss ABBA.  This picture was taken three months before she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  When she was given two to three months to live, we had the best two to three months living life to the fullest.  Those three months turned into ten months and she never wavered one day with sadness or sickness until the day before she died.

Miss ABBA, you’re my inspiration.

And, I hope I can relay that inspiration to the people I care about the most.  Smile, my friends, and look for the silver lining.  We only live once.