On a Small Business Saturday | 2019


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First stop for my Small Business Saturday was Verona Coffee. On Main Street in Collinsville.  I just recently learned they have board games that their customers may play while there. Pretty cool, I think.

Verona Coffee Logo

Then I headed over to Will and Co to meet with the owner, Ardis. What an a-Mazing human being she is. We had some business to discuss. Keep watch for an upcoming label.

Will and Co_Logo with Wedding Dress

She needed to make a swing over to Office Depot to pick up a banner for Will and Co’s Black Friday Sale, (featuring Bridal Dresses, Formal/Party Dresses and Children’s Dresses priced to move. Btw… due to an error on the banner, you will be able to get a Wedding Dress for not just $79 but…, $75).

ALL Wedding Dresses for $75.

So I had time to swing by the St. Clair Antique Mall, on Salem Place in Fairview Heights, IL,  as I am on the search for a certain something as a Christmas gift for someone. While there, I overheard a man asking one of the people working if there was a Model Train store in the area. One person referenced about one in Belleville, but it had closed, and then said he may need to go over to St. Louis.

I recalled there was a place that dealt with cars, and maybe trains in Collinsville, IL. (If I missed you, I am sorry, I didn’t find your name via quick Google search.) However, I did locate and informed the man of K-10’s Model Trains in Maryville, IL, so I hope you got a new customer today. He and his wife were in the area for the day doing holiday shopping from Mt. Vernon, IL.

k-10s Model Trains

Later today after returning home I was sifting through the day’s mail. A new catalog caught my eye. Hammacher Schlemmer | Guaranteeing the Best, the Only, and the Unexpected for 171 years. I don’t know anything about them, but I figured I would definitely take a look. Or maybe I’ll just hear what you have to say.

Hammacher Schlemmer_Tag Line

I open to the first page to see kids on a large keyboard mat. Immediately the movie “Big” comes to mind, bringing a smile at the thought of the “Chopsticks” scene.

Then I see “The Hammacher Schlemmer Classic FAO Schwarts Train.” And I think to myself…., I bet that guy I came across earlier today would be taking a closer look at that.

FAO Schwarts Train

I also figure some of my video game friends would be drawn to a Classic Mini Arcade, including Pac Man

Image result for pac man GIF

and Galaga.

Image result for galaga Gifs

And for my laser printing geek friends there is… “The Word’s Slimmest 3D Printing Pen.” And personally, I may further research on “The Thousand Points of Light,”  a rainbow of colors (or white) fiber optic tree. Because…, well…, has anyone seen my Mama’s place for the Holidays? Anyway, I will look some more later.


Those Formal / Party Dresses for Will and Co’s Black Friday sale?

All Adult Size Dresses: $29 – $49

All Children’s Dresses: $10

If you know anyone who could use a fancy dress for the holidays or events, you might want to pass this info along.

Will & Co. is located at the O’Fallon Plaza on the border of O’Fallon and Fairview Heights, on the corner next to where Dandy Inn use to be.

Contributing to the NeighborHood


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Value for the senses. Audio. Sound. Such as Corinthian Bells, by QMT Windchimes.  A business in the USA that has mastered a niche in audio excellence.

When neighbors tell you they like days they can open their windows and listen to your wind chimes hum, or they love walking by and hearing the chimes sing.

Note:  The main purpose of the video is to hear the tone or otherwise audio value. This business has mastered attending to detail.  Listen. Apologies for the wind distorted mic audio throughout.


They have nice songs in gentle breezes, too.

Making fond memories. That makes me smile.

Sounds that make people smile.


Ocean waves.

Here’s a cool little tidbit I just stumbled upon regarding ocean waves: https://indianapublicmedia.org/amomentofscience/ocean-sounds/

Back to task. Other sounds that triggers a fondness.

Crackling wood in a fire.

Ohhhh, a Harley-Davidson.

For those who would like to venture further down the Harley path on this mazewalk…
I found this:

What gives a Harley-Davidson motorcycle its distinctive sound?


But, what I wanted to do is ask you…

What are some of your favorite sounds?

What other businesses are excellent in a niche sound?

#Commerce #Community


Updating your Blog Link on Facebook and Twitter


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Have you ever posted a Blog, shared it to Facebook and Twitter and then….?

You found a better Feature Image. You want to tweak the Headline. You discovered a typo you missed in the Hook.

Easy enough.  You go in and update your blog.  All fixed.

Except it doesn’t appear updated when you check on your Facebook or Twitter post.  It still shows the old thumbnail, or the boring headline, or that darn typo in your hook. You do a refresh. Nothing. You clear your browser’s cache. Still nothing.  You click on the blog link and see that it does take you to your updated blog post.  But how are you going to get people to click on it with that inferior picture, or that less than clever headline?

You could delete the Facebook and Twitter post and then do it again.

But what if you have had some traffic on it? What if it has traction you don’t want to lose?

Facebook has a developer tool that is super easy to use.

The Sharing Debugger.

Sharing Debugger - FB.PNG

Paste (or type) your Blog Post URL into the field provided and click the “Debug” button.

That should do it.  You may need to clear your browser cache, but I’ve found that is usually not necessary.

Twitter has a similar tool.

The Card validator.

Card Validator - Twitter


Again, that should do it, though you may need to clear your browser cache, but I’ve found that, this, too, is usually not necessary.

There you go.  Happy Blog Sharing.

aaaACHOOOO! | A little bit funny. A little bit snot.


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I’d just gone to bed for the night.

Lights out.

Eyes closed.

My head resting upon 2 pillows.

Me: “Alexa, start 80’s Letters.”

That’s a game on Echo where you take turns naming off music groups/artists who ranked in the top 40s. No, I’m not very good.

Alexa: “Blah, blah, blah,… Letter U.”


Alexa: “Sorry, I didn’t get that. Please try again and speak more clearly.”

[I thought I was getting over this cold. The sneeze came out of nowhere. Why does my hairline feel….. wet?]

I reach up to my forehead. Fingers tentatively search, touching…

[Ewwwwwwwww. Gross.]

Slimmy goo.

There’s a big glob of snot plastered to my bangs.

[How did THAT happen!!!?]

I am getting up to get a tissue.

To get the snot ball out of my hair.

The box is across the room.

[How DID that happen? Could it actually ricochet off my hand?]

Don’t judge. I tried to get my arm there but the sneeze happened too fast.

Alexa: “If you don’t answer in a few more seconds the game will end.”

I’m walking over to the tissue box, knowing I want to say “U2” but I feel the telling sting, eyes watering, then….


Alexa: “I’m sorry. Please be patient with me. I’m still learning. It sounded like you said A-ha. A-ha starts with the letter A. I’m looking for the letter U.”

I wiped the glob of snot out of my hair as well as one can possible wipe snot out of hair with the tissue. Hey, I’d be taking a shower in the morning, anyway.

As I continue to sneeze, and sneeze, and sneeze some more.

I never did get to say “U2”.

Alexa got fed up and timed out.



Alexa, what is Commercial Real Estate?


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Alexa learning about CRE

T:  Alexa, what is the definition of Commercial Real Estate?


A: I’m sorry, I don’t know what that is.


T: Alexa,….. What is the definition of Real Estate?


A: Real Estate, blah, blah, blah….

(She has an answer.)


T: What is the definition of Commercial?


A: Commercial has 3 meanings.

As an adjective

  1. Something, something, yadda, yadda Commercial Enterprise


T: (to self) Hmmmmm, that looks like it leads to what the “C” in “CRE” means.


(continue listening to other definitions.)


T: (to self) No, noooo? Adjective 1 is the CRE path of “Commercial.”


T: Alexa, what is the definition of Commercial Enterprise?


(I figure if she uses terms in her descriptions she must have something “in mind” for what that term means.)


And note to self:  Commercial Enterprise Real Estate Services


A: Commercial Enterprise has 2 meanings.


  1. Noun. An Enterprise connected with Commerce.
  2. The activities of providing goods and services involving financial and commercial and industrial aspects.


I ask Alexa again for a definition of Commercial Real Estate.


She now says she has found something from Wikipedia.


Commercial Property.


T:  Alexa, what is Commercial Property?


A: Commercial Property. Buildings or Land intended to profit either by Capital Gain or Rental Income


T: (to self) Investment RE


T: Alexa, what is the definition of Capital Gain?


A: Capital Gain – The amount by which the selling price of an asset exceeds the purchase price. The gain is realized when the asset is sold.


So again, I ask you…

T: Alexa, what is Commercial Real Estate

80s Big Hair Alternative


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Maze Walking

Photo Group Theme of the Week – Spirals



Oh, Spiiirals!

Rummage through vanity.

Wow! I forgot I had so many.

Flashback to Late 80s…

When you had to create big hair by way of a tall ponytail because even though your hair was long, it was….


and baby fine,

and straight-ish.
Hey Daddio!  So glad you had connections to a Spring Maker. Thanks!!!

Summer Road Trip from hometown Collinsville, Illinois (#justeastofthegatewaytothewest) up to Door County, Wisconsin with my “Little Sister” Barbi.

Family and Fun.

Driving my 1990 Red Geo PRISM, 5-speed, hatchback.

A tower — 6+ inches in color coordinated ponytail holders.

Ponytail sticking through the opening of the sunroof.
Beastie Boys and Violent Femmes cycling in the cassette player.



Road Construction

Good Times

Any memories or thoughts spurred? Maze Walk with me. Share in comments below.


Hot Toddy with Rosemary in a Mason Jar


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Last Night was New Year’s Eve.

I decided to make a Hot Toddy.

I grew up making it with Honey, Lemon Juice, Whiskey / Bourbon and Hot Water.

I didn’t grow up knowing what the best Bourbon is.

I’m sure it makes a difference.

While recently in Seattle having a very special Family Gathering, I was introduced to a yummy Hot Toddy.

That one included a Cinnamon Stick and Whole Cloves.

As I said, it was yummy, and it was crafted by my “Little Sister” Barbi‘s beau as I was also introduced to him for the first time.

It was also made with Tequila at my sister’s suggestion, but that is not of matter here.

It is New Year’s Eve and my son just went out in the single digit cold to meet some friends.

So I decide I’m going to make a Hot Toddy for myself.

I scraped some crystallized honey from the bottle. It isn’t that old, but where it resides on the kitchen counter can get pretty chilly when it is so cold outside.

You should feel the air when I open the kitchen cabinets along the outer wall when it’s cold outside.

But I digress.


Water boiling.


I have a few cinnamon sticks but they are part of the decor in a very cool shaped bottle so I stoop to the powdered cinnamon I have in the cabinet.

I have also run out of Whole Cloves so Ground Cloves it is.

I do have some dried lemon zest, grated by my son during another culinary journey.

Note: I am not a foodie by any means. No. No culinary genius. I wish I was.

Because… Yum.

Add the hot water.

I’m missing the visual of the floating Cinnamon Stick.

Hmmmm. Rosemary.

Boots on. Scarf, over head, covering ears. Scissors. Flashlight.

Remember, it’s dark out.

Find the Rosemary and snip a sprig.

Snip another after quick consideration.

I didn’t want to have to bundle back up to get more.

Snip a couple sprigs of Thyme as I am walking back to get inside. (See one of my very first blogs, that happens to be about Thyme, here.)

Sprig of Rosemary in the jar.

I opted not to use the “thyme” this “time” in the Hot Toddy but instead use it for something else, though a few leaflets did drop into my drink.

The powdery spice and the semi congealed honey are settled at the bottom, slightly stirred by Rosemary sprig recently submerged which results in looking more like a specimen jar from a swamp or otherwise murky waters. hahaha

Hot Toddy w Rosemary on Cutting Board 01b

It tasted pretty darn good, though.

And then my son returns home, shivering and with painfully cold hands requiring a hot chocolate to warm both inside and out.

I just recently learned that what we call hot chocolate in the states is not truly hot chocolate.

I checked on Hot Toddy with Rosemary today.

I found this Yummy Recipe via Instructables.

Hot Toddy Recipe

It includes Ginger.

I’m out of Ginger.

Add to Shopping List:  Ginger Root.

Look further into Instructables. Looks promising.

Prompt: Write about something slow


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I read slow. Always have. It doesn’t matter what speed reading course taken or any other helpful advice anyone thinks they have. I read slow. Slow. Like a children’s story read at bedtime, or the stories heard on the radios of old. In fact, that is precisely how my mind takes in the written word. It does not just see the words, but hears…, if only in my mind. I stumble upon words I cannot make out in sound, slowing things up even further. But don’t get me wrong, I love to read, even though I will only skim the surface of the books I desire to explore in my lifetime. I read slow. Every pause. Every breath. Every perceived point of hesitation, or accentuation, tone and depth. My mind is a storyteller, with cast accompaniment. You do not rush the storyteller. To have the tongue of an auctioneer read a ghost story by the light of a campfire does not suffice. To the delight of my son as I bring the written words to his ears, I read slow.

What comes to mind when you think about something slow?  Feel free to share in the comments.

One December Morning


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The bear saunters out the front door as we stand somewhat confused in my living room as to why a bear was in my house in the first place. Moments later, your dog goes out the front door and my cat darts back in through the nearly closed passage. We try to regain an air of normalcy, though soon the notion occurs we don’t know where your dog was headed and we go check. Once more astonished, we see the dog curled on the porch, comfortably napping with his back against the furry black mass of bear also slumbering on the front porch. Thinking the dog curled up next to the already sleeping bear and not realizing the potential danger once the bear awakens, we both earnestly yet quietly try to wake your dog without disturbing the bear.

Your dog does awaken, but only at the start of the bear’s stirring. My heart beats faster. In continued amazed wonder, I see a tall red fox with long slender legs walking up to the porch, it’s fur wet as if it had been caught in the rain, though the day’s sky was blue. Following was a grown possum, with several young ones, too big to ride upon its tail or back, trailing behind.

A scuffle quickly ensued between them; the bear, the fox and the possums. Chaos on the porch, your dog may have been in the mix, but I am uncertain as the next thing I notice is the railing completely gone on one side of my porch, and then I see the bear carrying it in its mouth out into the middle of my yard, using it to push back the challengers.

Wondering about my porch and how I will manage to get it repaired, I suddenly can see, as the bear is succeeding in its clever use of the porch railing, that it wears upon its head a hat, and further has on a scarf, vest and pants.

As the fox and possums dash off in defeat, the bear strolls back towards the side of the house. Though unsure of the response, my heart is still racing and you are dumbfounded as I take a couple steps onto my porch towards the direction of the bear, and say, “I would really appreciate my porch being repaired.”

The bear turns its head towards me and then stands up to full height and says, “Yes, I would agree I should take care of that. I would appreciate it though, if you leave the burrow dug under the porch.”

I have dreams but maybe 2-3 times a year, at least of which I have any recall. That is what I woke to this morning. I don’t know who “you” are. I never see you. I only know you are there as ‘we’ see certain things and that the dog, something like a dark brown Setter, was yours and not mine.