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Happy birthday, Bill.
Happy birthday, Bill.

"Talk Like Shakespeare Day?" Oy vey

This sounds like a spoof article might write for April Fool’s Day, but it’s for reals, kids.

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley declared Thursday to be "Talk Like Shakespeare Day" in honor of the great playwright's 445th birthday. Although Shakespeare’s birthday is not known for sure, many scholars believe it was April 23, 1564.

Daley plans to use snippets of 16th century vernacular on Thursday -- from "prithee" to "fie!" -- and encouraged the rest of the country to join him in the folly. Shakespeare contributed 1,400 words and phrases to the English language, so there are plenty to choose from.

The Chicago Shakespeare Theater created a special Web site to honor the bard and to provide vocabulary for anyone whose college Shakespeare class memories are now a bit fuzzy. The site encourages visitors to contribute their finest "Shakespearience" or to message a modern phrase to "ShakespeareSays" on Twitter and the group will post what the expression would have sounded like 400-plus years ago.

As my friend Laura put it, "Methinks ‘twill be more fun than ‘Talk Like A Pirate Day.’" Personally, I’m not so sure, but I hate to come off as a big ol’ canker blossom.

Is it too early for white jeans?
Is it too early for white jeans?

When to wear white

As soon as temperatures climb above 45 degrees, I am ready to grill out, take my kids to playgrounds again and revisit my packed-away spring and summer wardrobe.

Already, I’ve busted out a couple of lightweight, floral shirts, but I am not sure about the white jeans. The "rule" that white clothing shouldn’t be worn until after Memorial Day keeps rolling around in my brain.

I’m not a big rule follower in general, but something stops me from wearing all-white clothing items at least until early May.

So now, I ask he fashionistas out there if this classic fashion rule still exists or should I just bust out the pale pants?

Bite the head off first, will ya?
Bite the head off first, will ya?

Seroogy's chocolate: A family tradition

My husband grew up in Green Bay, and many of his family members still live there, so it’s not surprising that Seroogy’s chocolates are a staple for us during all the major candy-centered holidays.

Seroogy’s has made candy in De Pere, just outside of Green Bay, for more than 100 years, and its chocolate is the richest, creamiest and most addictive I have ever tasted. The fudge, the almond bark, the fairy food -- it's all divine and evil at the same time.

Yesterday, my kids received two large Seroogy’s chocolate Easter eggs in the mail from my brother and sister-in-law. The eggs are about the size of a baked potato, solid chocolate and feature their names written in frosting across the top.

I am usually doing everything possible to keep sugar-loaded edibles out of the hands of my kids, but when it comes to Seroogy’s, I let them gobble with reckless abandon.

I think it’s important to teach kids the difference between good chocolate and bad chocolate. Life's too short to waste time on Dolly Madison.

Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston in "Marley & Me."
Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston in "Marley & Me."

"Marley & Me" cuts too close to the bone

I think I made a mistake last night by watching the film "Marley & Me." I’m not saying this because I thought the film was a waste of time, but because I have a 13-year-old, deaf, gray-muzzled Lab who can barely walk up the stairs.

I basically knew what the film was about, but I expected it to be less endearing and that it would seem removed enough from reality that it wouldn’t affect my real life. But it did.

"Marley & Me," which is based on a John Grogan memoir and stars Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson, spans the entire life of a yellow Lab named Marley. Although the canine is the main character, the film also tells the story of John and Jenny Grogan's ups and downs as journalists, married people and the parents of three children.

Watching long periods of life recapped in an hour-and-a-half film is always eerie. It's an uncomfortable reminder that time goes by so quickly -- especially, it seems, when you have kids.

"Marley & Me" shows that the lifespan of a dog is no more than a short whistle of existence.

This weekend, my husband will build a ramp over  a portion of the back stairs so our dog can have an easier time going outside, and I plan to age-appropriately talk to our kids about the inevitable passing of our pooch. I have a few books on hand and I'm ready to field questions.

I've spent so much time thinking about how my kids will handle our dog's death that I didn't realize something until watching this film last night: I'm not ready for our dog to die.