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January 20: Baseball Dreaming January 20, 2015

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Some days you just wish it was a different time and you were in a different place …

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Today was one of those days.

There are 74 days until the Cardinals play at Wrigley Field on Opening Night, plus only 30 days until the four best words of winter: pitchers and catchers report.

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January 19: A Lunchtime Stroll January 19, 2015

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The temperature was in the 40s again today, so I took advantage and went for a walk during lunch.

 

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The picture is a little bit deceptive, since much of the sky was turning to gray during the 25 minutes I walked. But the fresh air was good, even if some of the sidewalks were slushy from still-melting snow or filled with puddles.

At least I brought the right pair of sneakers along to work to change into — not the ones with mesh on top like I wore yesterday but leather ones.

And so what if they got a little muddy? That will wash off, and the walk was worth it.

January 18: Winter Thaw January 18, 2015

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With the temperature reaching 40 degrees again today, I headed to one of my favorite places: the Mississippi River in Moline.

The river is still partially frozen along the shore in places, and the huge puddles along much of the path kept me from walking far. (The mostly mesh tops of my sneakers don’t do very well with water!)

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Still, it was so pretty and the fresh air felt so good. And the gulls certainly seem to be enjoying it.

Soon, though not soon enough, I’ll be back to my regular walks down here. Which also reminds me of baseball, since I’d usually listen to whatever my choice of games starting at 6 p.m. Central was each day. (Cardinals, of course, if they were playing out east.) That’s not all that far away either.

Thankfully.

January 17: Winter Weather Like This Is OK January 17, 2015

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No polar vortex now, which is more than fine with me. A temperature like this at 7:30 p.m. in northwest Illinois can stick around for a while.

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Especially because my street is finally almost completely free of snow for the first time in weeks.

January 16: Frosty Morning January 16, 2015

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Although my remote starter cleared the frost off my windshield and windows, it didn’t do anything to the frost on my side mirrors.

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Even the drive to work (OK, it’s only five minutes) didn’t affect it either.

The good news: temperatures above freezing again today. That certainly makes for a happy Friday.

January 15: A Good Morning January 15, 2015

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It’s a beautiful start to another day.

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But how is it the middle of January already?

January 13: It’s The Stereotypical Little Things January 13, 2015

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On days that are hectic and long, like this one, sometimes one little thing going right is just enough.

Like seeing the confetti fall on the Breeze app when I look to see if I’ve reached today’s goal. And seeing “Awesome!” at the bottom.

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So what if in the summer and fall, when I’d go for walks after work, I’d routinely end up with 10,000 or 11,000 steps in a day? So what if the closest I got to going to the YMCA tonight was at least bringing my gym bag to work? (It’s a start!) I still surpassed the goal Breeze set for me today.

Trite or not, sometimes the little things do mean the most.

January 12: A Sunny Winter Day January 12, 2015

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Today was a pretty day, with new snow that fell last night and bright blue skies. It made for a pleasant scene out my office window.

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I haven’t seen any critters out there lately, although there were tracks from something leading to and past the tree closest to my window. But in warmer seasons there are rabbits, groundhogs and even deer on occasion. Oh, plenty of squirrels too.

They all make for pleasant distractions.

January 11: The Wisdom Of A 10-Year-Old January 11, 2015

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I’ve had celiac disease for almost three years now, and it can certainly be difficult at times. Sure, there are many obvious things with gluten in them that are simple to avoid — bread, pancakes, doughnuts, cake, cookies, pasta and beer, for example, contain wheat, rye, barley and malt so I haven’t had any of them since before February 2012. There are other things, though, like certain salad dressings or gum or even medications that contain gluten.

It can be tricky, especially when going out to eat. Or traveling.

Last spring, my 10-year-old niece Madeline also was diagnosed with celiac. As you can imagine, it’s much more difficult to be a third and now fourth grader and have to deal with a gluten-free diet. I feel badly for her.

Madeline spent the night with me for New Year’s Eve and we had our own gluten-free party. Breakfast the next morning was Chex Gluten-Free Oatmeal — this is the back of the box.

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Madeline noticed the words on the back of the box and had a comment about the wording. “Gluten free DUMB is more like it. Because celiac is.”

Yep, Madeline, I would have to agree.

January 10: Stunning Sunset January 10, 2015

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Since we know a picture is worth 1,000 words, nothing really needs to be said (other than this was the view out my picture window about 10 minutes ago).

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