Water and the environment questions

WATER, WATER, WATER. I see sooooo many plastic water bottles wrapped in plastic wrap being flown and distributed to the thirsty (and hungry) citizens of Puerto Rico. Though it touches my heart to know that relief is beginning to be received by these Americans, I have two questions!

  • Is there a way to transport fresh water in bulk without using plastic? Is there a environmentally friendly way to get life sustaining water to those desperate for fresh water?
  • What will happen to all the packaging from these water bottles as well as from food and supply relief sent to Puerto Rico? We should NOT be creating another problem for peoples as we work to provide aid for them.

Help educate me on relief efforts that are environmentally friendly and will leave the rescued and their homeland better off in the long run. Disasters happen more and more it seems so the need for such life saving supplies are guaranteed to continue. How can we make our responses wise and with long-term care in mind?

I will leave distribution of items in a timely manner up to others; obviously this is critical too.


Why choose this location…

Why choose this corner location? There were NO parades or marches or processions of any kind happening. He proved to NOT be waiting for a ride. Why choose on purpose to sit between a mailbox, portapotty, and firehydrant?! I truly don’t get it. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg
What he’s doing is smoking a cigar, using a holder. Why he chose this location, including the comfort of a chair continues to bring only questions to my mind. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg.

Traveling cat spa…

Really?! A cat SPA that comes to your apartment?! I know there are many grooming and day care centers for dogs throughout the Chicago neighborhoods. But this inovative business took my completely by surprise. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg
And, of course to my amazement, it is used!! I love cats and have always considered them special; but I also considered them self sufficient. Silly me! Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

On this birthday…

The feeling that engulfs me is surprising but wonderful. And upon second thought makes perfect sense for today’s birthday.

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.” Philippians 4:7.

I do not remember a day when this traditional blessing has seemed so true. I have always treasured it when said at the end of the church service. But today of all days it just feels right. and relevant.

This birthday is after both my parents are at rest, without pain and suffering; it is a blessing for both of them. This birthday celebrates 2.5 years cancer free for me, and 6 years since my husband’s bypass. Our daughter is in love with a wonderful man. This moment in time is indeed peace-filled. Today is indeed a blessing.

I wish every reader of this post such a day in the near future; whomever your turn to for comfort.


I am sitting at my favorite little coffee spot in our condo, looking at our in-the-trees view from out window. This morning is a typical “windy City” morning. The trees are constantly blowing in what seems to be strong wind. Their leaves are still bright, light green, evidence of new growth; the past week has seen the emergence of the remaining buds, now blocking our previously clear view of neighboring windows. Now I need to use shades less in the evening for privacy. But I digress.

I am fascinated by the resilience of the leaves and small branches being moved fairly violently by the wind. I know that branches are designed to move in wind; otherwise they would break. And something in the trees’ designs guarantee that the leaves are not blown free.

Daydreaming while watching the vibrant energy applied to the leaves and branches remind me of people who are somehow resilient to life’s challenges. The people that not only survive but thrive. Life gives them many challenges, like the winds on the trees, and they are able to remain in tact. They remain healthy and strong and beautiful. The wind doesn’t make the leaves stronger just like life’s obstacles don’t make one stronger; contrary to many such beliefs.

What makes the trees resilient and what makes people resilient are how they are made; created. Also, we have the greatest strength when we work in community with others; all the leaves and stems blow together relieving stress on the whole tree. When I realize that I DO have all I need, inside of me, then I can weather any storm in my life. This strength and resiliency I know is God given. Amen.

Cook County patience as elder homesteader…

Here’s the formula for proving your primary residency is in Cook County Illinois after you move there. Actually, we’ve lived in Cook County for our 44 years of marriage; but two years ago changed our address.

1. Get a new driver’s license with your new address. Two years ago we HAD registered our new address with the Secretary of State, including changing our voter registration updated; and received a new card. The state said we did NOT need a new license as long as they had the current address on file.

2. Fill out paperwork for homestead exemption and Senior exemption for property tax bill. Send it to Assessor’s office.

3. Have it returned saying that copies of our license, voter’s registration card with new address, home owners association bill with new address, insurance bill with new address is NOT sufficient proof of residency. We must have new driver’s licenses with new address or could maybe bring utiltiy bills to their office as proof.

4. Go to Cook County Assessor’s office with pile of receipts showing new address. They say to go get new driver’s license.

5. Go across street to State of Illinois building to the Secretary of State’s office and get new temporary license with new, current address.

6. Go back over to Assessor’s office. Meanwhile an Assessor checked our Florida address to make sure not listed as a primary residency. Very nice assessor DID also see that we could apply for exemption status for both 2016 and 2017 property tax. But she needed to talk to her manager to get approval.

7. Approval was given. We’re getting over $800 back to reflect homestead and Senior exemptions.

8. Note to self: Since too late to be included in their database to automatically send us form for next year’s exemptions I must remember to download that form next January.

9. DONE for now.

Flamenco and Flamingo…

I thought today, after watching the pronounciation debacle on Wheel of Fortune this week, that I would need to correct quite a few of my nature blog posts (see breitberg.org). I have been posting quite a few images from Flamingo Gardens in Florida. My dear husband said maybe theirs a difference between the BIRD and the DANCE.

Indeed he is correct. FlamInGo is the BIRD. And FlamEnCo is the dance/music. Ugh!! So tricky and I can so easily see why it was confusing for that contestant. So thought I’d share this learning.

FlamIngo feathers at visit to Flamingo Gardens, Florida. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Waterproof mascara is not for the young

Over many years I have decided that waterproof mascara is an incredible invention meant for us “older” women. My make-up efforts focus on my eyes and lips now-a-days because my skin is basically clear having outlived the acne stage of life. Lipstick is easy and feminine to reapply often during the day. Mascara should be applied and last all day and into the evening; thus the value of waterproof mascara.  Here are the PROS of waterproof mascara for women menapausal and beyond. 

  • Crying does not mess up your face after you’re done crying. Guess this is a valuable tool for every girl and woman. Only other suggested “tool” is eye drops to get the red out. 
  • HOT FLASHES do not mess up your face. What a GREAT find; it’s been around forever-ish but I’ve just now realized it could make me look put together in spite of periodic self-created drenching showers. 
  • HOT FLASHES that are a side effect of post-breast cancer medications. Seemed like I was destined to not wear eye makeup for at least five years, in addition to already not worn during menapause years. FYI: it’s a small price to pay for good health and a bright future! So I thought I’d just give up on eye makeup and stick to brighter and brighter shades of lipstick to detract attention from my bald looking eyes (my lashes are blond with more and more white) beyond my myopic corrective lenses. 
  • Does there really need to be another reason!?

What was I thinking?

Ok. Multiple times I’ve begun a new post with a bit of simple wisdom to share. But I did NOT write it down so it’s instantly out of my BRAIN. Ugh!!! Too many things on my mind or too many bd. candles on the cake?

So today’s tip is to WRITE THINGS DOWN. I used to use post-it’s so that I could move them from date to date on the calendar. No need to rewrite repeatedly until finally done. But in today’s digital world I use the “keep” app. It’s GREAT for remember long term as well as immediate things to be done, told, read, etc.

I’ll post my other helpful tip whenever my mind brings it back to current thoughts.