Like the current Stanley Cup Finals series, the ApronStrings Household is split.

For those that aren’t sports nuts like the two of us, that means that the Chicago Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers are both tied with two wins apiece after Game Four in the seven-game series.

Not that I mean to say that Hubby & I are at odds with one another … well, at least when it comes to our relationship. Rather, we’re at odds when it comes to cheering on which hockey team we think should win the coveted Cup.

I should start off by saying that, first and foremost, I will always cheer for my hometown Detroit Red Wings wherever we live. But since they failed to make it to the finals this year … I had no choice but to choose an “adopted” team.

I should also add here that if I had my druthers … and if the Red Wings weren’t going to make the Finals … I would have absolutely loved to see two different teams vying for the Cup this season. And those two teams would have been the Vancouver Cannucks and the Montreal Canadiens. To me, it only seems fitting that the year Canada won Gold in a Canadian Olympics, then they should also deserve to have Stanley return home … at least for the year.

And yes, Mrs. Spit. I know this would have made you very very happy, also. 🙂

Instead now, Hubby & I find ourselves — for the first time in our married lives — rooting against each other. Him cheering for a team, simply because they’re considered the underdogs of the series. And me cheering for a team, for the mere fact that this team’s town has become my adopted town.

Hubby cheers for his team, simply because his opposing team has long-been rivals of the Detroit Red Wings. While I cheer for my team because it’s been 47 years since this team has won the Stanley Cup.

Either way, it’s been fun watching the series with Hubby. And it’s definitely made watching the NHL’s “second season” much more interesting.


Meet Al the Octopus; the Detroit Red Wings mascot. For Wing Nuts, like ourselves, throwing octopi onto the ice during Playoff Season is a long-standing tradition for the Red Wings Franchise.

As for how Al got his name … he was named after Al Sobotka, the general building manager for Joe Louis Arena; and the wonderful soul that picks up every thrown octopi and twirls it over his head.

Mish Mosh

I think I’ve hit the proverbial “brick wall” with my daily blog entries. I’m just not at all feeling creative these days and I’m sure it has to do with the fact that I’m just 15 days away from finishing up the promise I made to myself to post daily until the Monday after Easter.

Yeah, I’ve got me some writer’s block going on.

Oh, not that I don’t have things to say (when don’t I?), I think I’m at that state where I know I’m in the last stretch before the home front. And if I. Can. Just. Push myself. A little further …

Today was laundry day. And at the cafe next to the laundromat, there happened to be this sign –>

How can you not laugh after seeing that? Especially now that I’m imagining a future bowl of soup take off on me in the midst of consuming it so it can save the world.

Afterward, it was back to the local coffee house so that Hubby can continue to do some more work without the distractions of the TV at home. Nope … instead we were distracted by looking up scores for the NCAA March Madness Tourney.

Of which, this is the first year I’ve ever did a set of brackets. While I’ve known I’m a sports fan(atic) for a while, I’ve never been too much of a college basketball lover. (Hubby blames it on the demise of Michigan’s Fab Five.) And I could never understand how people could become so distracted on those Thursdays and Fridays of the NCAA tournament. Until now. D*mnit.

Oh, and I just have to send a quick shout-out to my alma mater, Oakland University that did make the tournament this year. Unfortunately they lost in the first round. But that’s more I can say about Hubby’s alma mater. 😛

One more piece of babble before I sign off for the night. And I have to mention it only because it is a rather historic day in Washington DC. I think any American would’ve had to be living under a rock these past couple years not to know what I’m talking about.

Hubby "rockin' it" at the local *Bucks

Yes, I can’t believe that today will be the House vote on whether or not to pass the Health Care Reform bill. And seeing that the key Democratic  hold-out amended his decision based on a last-minute Executive Order from Obama, it’s sounding more and more like this Health Care Reform bill will be signed into legislation by the end of tonight or in the early morning hours.

As a professional clinician in the Health Care arena … let alone one that specifically works for a health insurance company, I’m honestly a little nervous about what this will mean for the landscape of my imminent future. While I will be incredibly relieved that this version of Health Care Reform means that everyone has access to quality health care (because regardless of whether a person is poor or rich, we should all have the basic human right of receiving appropriate care), I’m a little worried of the reality on how this will all be funded.

Again, not saying that I disagree with the concept that every living being should be able to have access to the basic human right of quality health care … I’m just simply stating that if Health Care costs continue to rise at the rate that they do, how will even the federal government pay for it?

My Mom made the comment this afternoon as a spoke with her that it’s because of rise in Health Insurance premiums that have forced those previously opposed to the bill change their mind. She specifically pointed to my employer ( … you know, the one who pays my bills?) as an example.

WTF?! This is Suburban Chi-Town's version of the Leaning Tower

However, what she failed to see (and what most people also fail to realize) is that the raise in premiums is due to the rise in overall health care costs. And rise in overall health care costs is a combination of multiple factors. One which can specifically be directed towards those pharmaceutical companies and high technology companies that produce those multi-million dollar machines that can diagnose cancer just by standing next to it.

I’m kidding, of course. There is no such instrument. But the truth is, it’s these companies that charge US the consumers millions of billions of dollars in order to turn a healthy profit on their end. And when I talk about “consumers,” I mean any person that seeks health care services, the facilities that prescribe these drugs or purchase these instruments, and the health insurance companies.

Where else would these pharmaceutical companies get the money to advertise their medications (A$$-effects anyone?) And how else would they continue to make the profits by keeping the patents to these medications for years and years (and years), and charge hundreds of dollars for their “Brand Name” drug when it could be made more readily available for generic distribution (and therefore cheaper to the consumers)?

So yes, this is more the reason I’m concerned about the current Health Reform bill. Because, quite frankly, it really doesn’t discuss any reform when it comes to health care spending.

Another Random Chicago Pic

And maybe it’s because I’ve seen both sides of the equation … both as a Registered Nurse working in the hospital and as a RN Case Manager working for the health insurance company …  trying to assist with finding resources for those un(der)insured patients in order for them to be safely discharged home, that I absolutely know Health Care Reform is needed.

I just hope that somehow with the passing of this bill, that these other issues will also be addressed. Especially now that those “bills” (as in the bills that typically get sent to the individual who received services and/or the health insurance company, if they have any) would be the responsibility of our government.

Whew. Okay … this was a much longer post that I anticipated. But hey … perhaps this means I’ve plowed through that brick wall?!


In German today, here’s my Daily Lenten exercise.

Eine gute Tat des Tages: Uhm … I’m honestly not quite sure I did a Good Deed today. At least not yet. I guess I’ll have to do something before the day is officially over. Hmmm … perhaps walk our Kozzy-girl when we get home? So Hubby can continue to work? Yeah. Think I’ll do that.

Gefühle der Dankbarkeit für den Tag: Well, today I’m grateful for Hubby who did a stellar job in helping out with the laundry today. Especially since I’m not feeling a 100% today. I’m all achey and clammy. Uh-oh. 🙁

Okay y’all. Time to sign off for now. Until tomorrow …

Freshly Laundered

It’s …  oh, 1 pm Detroit time. Hubby & I should already be in the car heading back to Chicago but alas, we’re still finishing up the last two loads laundry here.

Cutie-Pie Kairi during this visit. Her bib says "Teething Bites!"

What can I say? If we had to keep our house here, we might as well get use out of our in-home washer and dryer while we can. Because laundromats are great for getting multiple loads done at one time … but there’s nothing that beats being in your own house while your clothes are being washed!

Yeah, we should have spent all of yesterday evening doing the laundry, but instead we did other things. Like … see “Alice In Wonderland” in 3D. With our friend, J. Who came with us afterward to grab some food. And well, next thing we know it’s close to midnight again. And we’ve got an early morning breakfast date with my parents.

Seriously, I love coming back to Detroit and spending time with family and friends. But by the time the weekend’s over, I’m exhausted .

SO … since I’ll be spending the evening driving home, I figure I’d post my daily Lenten “duties” for the day.

Good Deed of the Day: Not sure if this would be considered a “good deed,” but Hubby stayed up later than I did working on a creative job. His good deed was to “finish” doing the laundry while I slept, but somehow I knew that wasn’t going to happen.** But since he climbed into bed pretty late (just after he was done with this job … while “waiting for the dryer to go off,” as he said … ) and we had to be up and out the door by 7:30 am, I let him sleep up until the time we had to leave to meet my parents for breakfast. And now … after returning home, I’m letting him nap some more while I work on finishing up the rest of the laundry. Like I said, not sure if this is really a “good deed.” After all … he’s the one that’s going to be driving us home, and I’d rather him be alert while behind the wheel.

Gratitude of the Day: Well, since we’re still home … no sense in not turning on the TV. To watch the Detroit Red Wings. Take on the Chicago Blackhawks. After all, it’s soooo much better watching it on TV instead of trying to find a radio station to listen to the game on the drive home. GO WINGS!!

Woops … well, there goes the dryer. Time to do more folding …


** Especially since both of us had been up late the night before and up early the next morning. And he was working on this creative job.

Not Gold, but …

Goalie Miller, after the OT Gold-winning goal by Team Canada

Whew. I can breathe again.

What. A. Hockey Game!! Of course, it wasn’t the outcome that I wanted … but it was sooo exciting! AND, at least I got to practice singing the Canadian National Anthem. And I’m sure that Loribeth & Mrs. Spit are more than happy to see their National Team win. AND that the entire nation of Canada can now breathe a sigh of relief.

But still … would have been nice to see the US, the underdogs in the tourney, win. Would have been nice to see the MVP, Ryan Miller (and someone with Michigan ties, to boot) get the gold.

Well, at least Canada’s team was built and coached by all those Detroit Red Wing staff! 😉

At least Canada can, once again, continue claim that that Hockey is still *THE* Canadian sport. Next to Lacrosse, anyway. But just like hockey, that sport has historically been more popular in Canada than in the US (although it’s gained much more popularity since Hubby played back in high school).

Yami doesn't want the Olympics to end, either ...

I guess … well, I guess it’s the Red Wing fan in me that just reaallly doesn’t like Cindy — oops, I mean Sidney Crosby. Don’t get me wrong, he’s talented and incredible. BUT … this goes back to the whole “this is a team sport and not a Superstar-plus-Team sport.” And Crosby? Well, in the NHL, he’s that “Superstar” that the league seems to be banking on; placing all their proverbial eggs in the basket. I know that it’s not necessarily his fault that the media places him in such a huge spotlight, but yet I’ve never seen him redirect the emphasis back on the team and teamwork. Who knows? Maybe he has … and I just have never seen it.


With that out of my system, tonight is officially the last night of the Olympics. But more importantly, tonight is the last night for February’s NaBloPoMo.

Which means that I’ve officially posted a blog entry a day for the past 28 days. While it’s not an Olympic Medal, at least I can put this “medal of honor” on my blog.

And well, hey; since I still am going to be posting daily until Easter, which is April 5th this year, I might as well just sign myself up for March’s NaBloPoMo. But before I do, let’s at least finish up on this entry:

Good Deed O’The Day. This one is a “good deed” (if I can call it that) for myself; which, and follow me here, will ultimately be a good deed for those that I work with. And that good deed is this: I did NOT do any work today, or any day this weekend. In fact, I mostly relaxed this weekend (with the exception of grocery shopping, of course).

While it seems like a rather “selfish” good deed, I know that this is a deed that needed to be done. Quite frankly, I’ve been running myself ragged since the end of December and working pretty much 7 days a week. And even though I’m not quite working the whole 8 hours on the weekend, the fact that I am doing anything work-related on those days I should be relaxing is a sign that I’m overworking. SO … by doing nothing but things I liked to do these two days allows me to unwind a bit so that I’m charged up and ready for the next week.

I think Rain looks better in a tiara than Julia Mancuso

Gratitude and Thanks: As I mentioned before, things have been pretty tight with our monthly expenses. Having both a monthly rent and mortgage payment has been killing us. And seeing as the housing market in Detroit ain’t turning around any time soon, we don’t see any resolution with this issue in the near future. SO … what I’m grateful for right now is that: #1, I have a job during these difficult economic times; and #2, I have family that love and support us. Because if it wasn’t for all that they provide, Hubby & I wouldn’t be able to pick ourselves up and forge forward during this difficult period.

So there it is. Last post of February. Look out, March! Here I come!

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More Cowbell!

Living in Hockeytown (aka Detroit), I’ve been to enough hockey games to know at least the first verse of the the Canadian National Anthem. It also helps that Windsor is literally across the river (and south) from Detroit.

But after being addicted to watching the 2010 Winter Olympics these past few weeks, I think I’m getting to know the whole she-bang.

What exactly am I going to do after this weekend?! And, more importantly … what am I going to do with my new iPhone “Cowbell” app? After all, I did download it specifically for the ski and bobsleigh and snowboard events. And I know d*mn well I’ll be using it tomorrow and this weekend when watching the men’s hockey event … But still!

A little more cowbell!

Ah … but according to my team, I was told I could use it to “herd” everyone together for our team meetings. Or use it to call order in the room. Or simply use it to disrupt a tense situation. In any case, it will be fun using them in other sporting events … like, oh say … Michigan Football?

Let’s see, want to hear the most girl-scouty good deed I’ve done thus far in my Lenten “Good Deed” journey? Get this … I actually helped a blind man cross the street. Not. Kidding. You. What can I say, the opportunity presented itself as I came up to the intersection right by the El station close to my home. I saw him standing at the corner looking unsure as to which direction he wanted to turn, so I simply asked him. And even though I didn’t physically walk him across the street, I at least pointed him (or, rather lead him) in the right direction.

As I sit here tonight watching … duh, the Olympics, I’m actually rooting for 16-year old Mirai Nagasu from the US to medal … I just love her personality! But somehow, I think she won’t. And I really hope that Joannie Rochette gets to medal tonite. I think that despite the fact that her mother passed away, she had an incredible short program. Oh well, I’m just hoping for a good program tonite.

Wouldn’t it be great if Joannie won? Then I’d get to practice my singing of the Canadian National Anthem. Ha!

Anyway, with the focus on Joannie and the loss of her mother … well, it makes me think of my own Mom, and how I’d feel if I lost her suddenly. As it is, we’re coming up on the year anniversary of my Grandma Rose’s passing … which I’m sure is probably weighing heavily on my Mom’s mind as well. I think it’s events like this, whether it’s my Grandma’s passing or Joannie’s heavy loss, that reminds me how lucky I am that my Mom is still here with me.

I love this picture of Mom & Me

So that’s what I’m grateful for tonite: I’m grateful for my own Mom. I’m grateful for all the gifts she’s given me, including my love of reading and my love of constantly learning. I’m grateful for the fact that she raised me to be compassionate and — probably much to her chagrin — independent. Mostly, I am grateful that she’s still here with me in this world … because, despite what she probably thinks … her love and support mean the world to me.

Okay … time for me to buckle down and watch Women’s Figure Skating. And maybe … just maybe … I’ll break out that cowbell!


Well. There goes my chance to belt out “Oh Canada” … but hey, at least Joannie medalled! I’m very happy for her!!