Monthly Archives: May 2010

Call to Action-One Quarter at a Time

Hey guys. I’m sorry to do this, but I need your help. My mom had some stuff stolen from her house (yes, in Nowheresville, Texas and yes, at the end of the crappiest year ever) and is rightly, bummed. There’s a whole long story here that I don’t need to get into, but I do know one thing that may cheer her up.

One of the things taken was her quarter collection. Yes, my mom is a big nerd that has been collecting the new state quarters since they started making them several years ago. Her plan was to create a set for each of her grandnieces and nephews (and someday, grandchildren, young lady). She had three complete sets and about $75 worth of repeat quarters. I would like to prove to mom that there is still good in the world and start to replenish her stash. To be honest, this is going to help me, too. I’m so honked off I can hardly see straight.

That’s where you come in. Could you look in your purses, pockets, and coin jars to see if you have any state quarts? At this point, I’ll take all states. (Though my understanding is Hawaii and Colorado are hard to find, so double cool points if you can find those.) If you don’t have quarters, but would still like to participate, I could take a couple singles or a mini-sized check and find a bank that will work with me.

I’ll be returning to Texas mid-June for the Dedication Reunion Tour of the Mark Skarich Memorial Road Show, so if you’ll be seeing me before say, June 5, please drop off face-to-face. Otherwise, please send your gifts to:

Maggie Skarich
N19 W24400 Riverwood Dr.
Waukesha, WI 53188

Please send gifts to arrive by June 5, too.

I appreciate that there are much needier causes out there, but mom could really use this uplift and I can’t do it alone. Whatever the total of your gifts are, I will double it and donate to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in your collective honor. If you would be so kind as to share this with your friends and coworkers, I would be much obliged.

One final thing-if you do speak to mom, please don’t mention that I’m doing this or that you know that something happened; she would be embarrassed. She is perfectly safe and has 99% of her things still intact.

Bless you, if you’re able to help. Well, bless you, even if you can’t. Go “pay it forward” some other way, k?

UPDATE: Meghan has been so kind as to set up a spreadsheet where we can see what we have and what’s needed. Check it out! Helping the greater good AND learning a new technology…What could be better?


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An Anniversary and a Hair Cut, Two Bits

I expected to wake up and feel differently this morning. I didn’t.  I still showered and went to work. I still was on the phone with a certain person for longer than necessary and had meetings with colleagues. I did cut out early at lunch, but ate a normal meal and exercised a bit. I even watched a couple of episodes of Glee. I got my hair done (read on for big reveal!) and am now drinking hot chocolate, writing blog posts and putting off school work until Randy meets me here for dinner. A regular Wednesday if there ever was one.

I happened to look at the clock at 11:45 a.m. and my heart about leapt out of my chest. A year ago at that moment, my dad’s machines took their last long beep and I about tackled the nurses and family members keeping me from fresh air. If I have my stories right, it was Nikki that held me as fell apart on that balcony, but the rest of that day is a blur.

But besides the moment this morning, the sadness of losing Dad is no different today than it was yesterday or will be tomorrow. Today is just another day with a big gaping hole in my life, and surprisingly, being the anniversary of Dad’s death isn’t as significant as I thought it would be.

If you would have told me 18 months ago that life would keep going on a normal pace without the Pop-ular Demand, I would have called you a liar. I may have been in my 20s, but I was a daddy’s girl through and through. I assumed if something happened to him, it would be the end of my life enthusiasm as well. I suppose that is another testament to his value. I (relatively quickly) learned to live without him because of all the things he taught me when he was alive. As I speak with people about this topic, they tell me that hole never leaves your heart. You can fill new parts with amazing people (I’m talking to you, Randy), but no one will replace this relationship. Sigh.

There are many other people who will leave holes in my heart if they leave this earth before me, but three have risen to the occasion today. You know who you are and OMG, you do not get to go first. We are going to live to be 800. We’ll be wizened up old men and women, but at least we’ll be without additional heartache.  Er… let’s revisit this at 75.

And with that, I would like to reveal the new hairstyle and dedicate it to one of my VIPs. This new look will definitely point to the left. It’s kind of hard to tell, but the color is a lighter. Many thanks to Dawn for slowly transitioning me back to where I belong….in a blond, blond world. Whatcha think?

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Playing Dress-Up

I know I’m around five weeks late with this, but I wanted to show y’all the best picture ever from my birthday party. You know it was a Mad Men themed event, right? (How could you have missed that detail?) And here’s a typical Mad Men type photo.

And another:

And here’s us at the Ambassador Hotel – the most awesome backdrop for a modern day 60s-revival dinner party.

Love it! Everyone was so spot on with their costumes. (And can we talk about how adorable Randy is? I may have him wear the fedora all the time.) I’m glad I have friends who are confident enough to play dress-up along with me. Many shout outs to all the fun people that joined me that night. I’m going to have to come up with something fun for next year. Any ideas?

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One Impressive Lady

With Mom in Key West at Chrismas

I have spent so much time singing the praises of my dad, but guess what? I’ve got a pretty cool mom, too. Though we had a rocky time during my middle school years (show me one mother/daughter combo that didn’t), my mom has also become a good friend, confidant and teacher.

This last year has been hard for a number of folks with the loss of dad, but I simply can NOT imagine what my mom has gone through. After 35 years, there wasn’t someone in the other side of her bed. No one playing in the computer room, wood shed, or office. No one to be her partner at dinner parties or to go run an errand for her on his way back from town. Even if you remove the “love” aspect of this relationship, the sudden change to all of her habits would be almost too much to bear. It took a whole year to do, but I think mom has finally found peace with her new situation.

This is a woman that up to 370 days ago never pumped her own gas or got her own money out of the ATM. Since then, she has purchased a new car, totally remodeled the house to make it Her House, and reorganized dad’s financial filing system. (And by “filing system” I mean “piles of paper and lots of bills yet to be paid.”)

She has conquered one hell of a health issue and has remembered how to take care of herself. A couple weeks ago, she told me about this great recipe she tried that night. It was a lamb chop. Who makes one lamb chop?? She did! She was in the mood for one and made it. Go, mom! Additionally, she has figured out that it is impossible to have a healthy relationship with her own mother and has let her go. Finally! The released weight of that alone should turn her into a whole new person.

Most significantly, mom has come to terms with the loss of my dad. While tears are still shed, she has learned to laugh again. To celebrate. To have “functions”, as she calls them. We’ve even broached the subject of her going back in the dating pool someday. Morris women live to 100. That’s a long time for her to be without a special friend. I’m down with the idea.

So on this weekend where moms across the land are being honored, I’d like to congratulate mine. Nancy Skarich, you’re one special lady!!


Angels Amoung Us

My car is now "on a break"

As I was t-tick, t-ticking on my way to work today, I noticed the car in front of me driving erratically. He kept tailgating the pick-up in front of him and braking at the last minute. I didn’t think much of it, but backed off and went back to focusing on whatever newspiece the folks at WUWM were showcasing.

Then, as we approached a busy intersection in the fancy-pants section of Capitol Drive, I saw Mr. Pick-Up stop quickly. The car behind him was so close, I thought it was guaranteed they were going to hit. Fortunately (for the first time ever…unless you’re my mom and then this, of course, is my standard practice), I was keeping off his tail so I had enough time to stop. I’m going to guess there would have been about two feet between us had the story stopped there. But you know that’s not a good enough story to stop there…

In a split second, I saw the (Big Ass Tahoe) truck coming up behind me and braced myself. I had slightly swerved to get out of the path of the car in front of me, so BATT didn’t hit me straight on. Instead he caught the left side of the bumper and I swerved into the next lane that two seconds before had been full of traffic going 50+ mph.

Although shaken up, neither of us were hurt. The BATT was perfectly fine. My car is a tough little girl and only has one break and a couple stretches on the bumper. It’s probably going to have to be replaced, but hey, it’ll be on the other guy’s dime.

This could have been worse in so many different ways. I could have hit the guy in front of me. We all could have been going at a faster speed. I could have swerved into traffic and been hit again. The BATT could have hit higher on my car’s back-end and created a ton more damage. Call me crazy, but I firmly believe someone (thing?) was watching out for both of us this morning. Once again, I’m a blessed little cookie! I hope you are enjoying the same fate.

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