Thursday, January 31, 2008

30 below with the windchill factor

That's how cold it was when I woke up yesterday morning. By noon, it was a balmy 25 below, so of course I decided to head out to the beach. The parking lot was full as usual, and walking down the steps was a bit treacherous what with the ice and a light dusting of snow. Imagine my disappointment when I first began to see the very tops of the Lifeguards stands. They were pointed East and South, but clearly the message was that we would not be safe entering the water to the North off of the rocks. So be it, but finally getting down there, I saw a clearer message. No entering the beach with the snow fence and those formidable 'No Lifeguard on Duty' signs. What weiners! And, I can never get a no-line tan with the sun slatting off of the fence. Plus, it's always uncomfortable lying on snowy sand anyways. I couldn't even look for seashells or the lucky finds of smooth beach glass, as by now I was too stiff with cold to leap the barrier and break a beach rule. I'll try again another day.
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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

This week,

my roses were white.
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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The way my mind works...

I was so excited and positive about my 'find', when I discovered some logs with ancient writings on them. I imagined them to be in Arabic, or some lost hieroglyphic left to be of major interest to the universe. And who found them? Oh ME! Wow! So I called a tree person to come by and begin my journey to fame, and got instead, a lecture on ordering firewood from reputable firms, and emerald ash borers. 'Phew,' said I...'at least I have no ash trees on OUR property' (being the leaf expert I am and all). "Oh, EVERY tree here is an ash tree', said she. 'One will be cut down tomorrow.' Made me sad on a variety of levels.
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Monday, January 28, 2008

Well, can lemon juice kill you?

We were thisclose to passing the refrigerator and leaving to pick up our take out order last night when I remembered to run back and grab my camera. In the few seconds out of his sight, my husband turned his focus on the inside of the refrigerator door. A no man's land of forgotten items. There he filled up three bags of recycling in short order as he became more and more shocked at what he found...this wasn't the oldest condiment. Mea culpa? Don't look in MY direction. I'm thinking that the responsibility is shared by everyone who has ever gone in there for a bottle of water or a salad dressing. It takes a village and all...we are each responsible for each other's lives are we not?
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Sunday, January 27, 2008

I spied with my little brown eyes...

the Gingerbread Lady the other day.
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Saturday, January 26, 2008

New Printer! Yippeeeeee!

Our old printer either died or didnt. Was compatible with our Windows Vista or it wasnt. Could be fixed or not. We wouldn't have really known. Technology has left us both behind in the dust. After much and not much advice from a variety of 'experts', we brought home a really huge box that, for a week, was an end table, a mail holder, a coffee rest and a footstool and then we hired to please come and open it. This is Chris, who is intelligent, well mannered, confident, kind and competent. He came on time, he didn't laugh at the huge box or our lack of knowledge. He never looked at the instruction book. He dismantled the old printer, he set up the new one, he didn't talk in a language we couldn't comprehend and then step-by-step, he went through every function and had us try to do it all. And, miracle of miracles, we could do it. Fax, scan and print. Change the ink and the paper. Make a tuna melt in the paper feed. So, if you need computer repair or installation, training, software or hardware setups or networking help, or are lost and confused, call him at 888.300.9985 or email him at
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Friday, January 25, 2008

Did YOU know this?

Did you know that a fridge can be dropped up and down and back and forth but definitely NOT side by side?
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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mystery solved!

My favorite crayon when I was small, was 'Burnt Sienna' which is why I was drawn to this bug on my backdoor screen last summer. He/she stayed until I ran inside to get my camera, and then for hours while I took photos of it. You can see how tiny it was by the squares of the screen behind it. I didn't notice the barbs on it's legs until I had it up on the computer, and was happy with my decision NOT to pick it off and let it crawl on my palm. But what was it? There is a wonderful website: where you can look through their files or send in a photo, and within a day, you will know what you've got (or had). This, I found out yesterday, is a Himmelman's Plume Moth in the family Pterophoridae. Geina tenuidactyla. The barbs I have learned are NOT harmful. Still, I was pleased I'd let it be.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening...

'Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow'
Thanks, Robert Frost. The first photo was taken in November and the bottom photo just yesterday. I'm a bit deeper into the woods in the second photo. It's a tiny forest preserve, just manageable for me and my 'no' sense of direction. A really beautiful place that I go to often to shoot.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

So, we were driving

on 'sub zero Saturday' and a glint of sunlight caused me to turn and look through the driver's window where I saw what I thought was an SOS signal coming from a woman in distress on the balcony across 4 lanes of traffic. We quickly drove around the block and nope, it was just the armless torso lady of Skokie sunning herself in a tanktop. We waved, she nodded, and we drove off happy in the knowledge that we're the type of people not to shirk a person in need, and thinking that if she had arms in that kind of cold, she wouldn't be able to do that without wearing a Northface zipped up to HERE. Brr it was bitter out.
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Sunday, January 20, 2008

My husband....

likes to play 'Quiz Show' on frozen tundra winter afternoons. He likes to always be the contestant, so I am the Moderator. On rainy thundery summer afternoons, he likes to play 'I am a DJ' where he spins vinyl and interviews his friends.(Actually, they are eerily similar). See how happy and smiley everyone is? Usually, on DJ afternoons, I will go upstairs and just read a book. Sigh.
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Friday, January 18, 2008

There is no joy in mudville..

One of the leases on our cars is up next month. All Summer we test drove fun cars and all Fall we test drove fun cars and into the Winter we test drove fun cars, and then I couldn't handle another car dealership. That happens. We've finally decided what we wanted.. color, make, model, options, and the horrid part has begun. Negotiating a deal. It's the part I hate the most and the phone calls are coming in non stop, day and night. Thank goodness for caller i.d. as I've stopped answering them completely. I have no clue what the result will be and frankly I'm so over it, I couldn't care less.
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Thursday, January 17, 2008


when Sweetie is depressed, or under the weather, if I just hold him for five to ten minutes or so and then put him back into his bowl, he perks right up for the rest of the day.
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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The long, strong arm of the law...

I was pulled over yesterday. Allegedly, I was speeding past a nursing home. The officer said "the residents have been complaining."
"About me?" I asked. No answer. The ticket he issued says I was doing 16 mph over the posted limit. Um, I don't THINK so. When he handed me back my license after taking my never-used bond card, he proceeded to read me my options as if I lived in said nursing home, verrry slowly and precisely which also served to piss me off....I might be 'old' but I'm not stupid. (Holy Mackerel, did I just say that? My parents used to say that). At any rate, I left him with a 'see you in Court officer.' Stay tuned.
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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

An Admission

This began in my early 20's. My mother said, 'It's a sickness. You only have one mouth.' And I'd wave her off. This drawer contains most of them. It is very deep and long, and packed. Other's are in random purses, the car, my dressing table, pockets, backpacks. I like finding them like that, but not as much as I like going to a drugstore and heading to the lipstick aisle, because I just don't have enough yet. Sometimes, it's okay to just take one off of a display, twist it open and draw a line on the top of my hand and put it back. My hand isn't the same color as my lips, so it's never going to look that way, but I'm happy enough having colored stripes. Other times, I'll need to make a purchase and put it into the drawer, and perhaps go back tomorrow and get another just in case it's discontinued any time soon. Or Burt loses his lipstick-making bees. My husband has long stopped understanding. If he calls my cell and I'm in that aisle and he asks 'what're you doing?' I'll lie and say 'foraging for food.' If he's with me and the lipsticks begin calling me in their direction, he's long stopped believing, 'oh I saw one for (fill in the blank), I think I'll pick it up for her,' and tells me in his work voice 'you don't need any more lipstick.' But I really do. Certainly men don't 'get' this. It's the one makeup item I adore. I like the whole process of deciding which one, and sliding it on, and smacking my lips and standing back and seeing how it brightens up my face. I wear it everyday. I don't wear any to the dentist, but I put it on before I leave her chair. I like the swivel in the tube. I like the way you can control the shape and change it to rounded or keep it half pointy. I never throw any away unless they've got sand in them or they break in half or lose their swivel or wind up being matte which scrape and distort my lips when I apply it. I don't like buying them in department stores where someone 'helps'...I like the inexpensive drugstore variety. I like a LOT of choices, and no one bothering me. You will see some Clinique in there, but those were the sneaky results of offering to get my husband some shaving cream during a promo...'ooh, I'll go get that for you.' (heh heh heh). I'm not hurting anyone, and no, the drawer doesn't completely close any longer..but what's the harm? What's the foul? I can't help myself. I have a little sickness.
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Monday, January 14, 2008

Pigeons. They're just like us...sort of

We like to hang around the fireplace when it's freezing out too...snoozin', thinking, chillin', talking, visiting, wearing red
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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Checking my list

I was at Costco yesterday with my list. A couple of loaves of bread to feed the birds, dishwashing detergent, my February magazines, a box of tomatoes, baby salad greens, a roasted chicken to drop off for Alan and Duke, Ilford pearl photo paper... let's see, what did I forget to write down that I knew we needed? Darn...OH THATS RIGHT, OUR CASKETS.....right next to the gargantuan birdseed boxes! How did I miss that? There are always lots of people in the freezing vegetable/fruit room, and lots of people near the milk and free samples, but somehow there's never a soul down the aisle with the casket bits. And no one is ever balancing a casket in their cart in the checkout line either, that I've noticed. I love the sign on the upper right that state's that buying your casket here at Costco is 'Non-Emotional'....fairly inexpensive, all things considered, but non-emotional it's not...even passing by. Plus, they are only big enough for one's feet which adds to the disturbing atmosphere in the casket aisle as well...who can feel the cushy velvety insides? How do we know what's happening in there? And while customers get the chance to sit on the leather couches and chairs or swing on the playsets, or can even try on the cashmere sweaters, no one's given the opportunity to lie down and check out the feel of one of these. Why is that? Classy touch though, the urn of fake ferns...or, is that really what that urn is all about? Hmmmmm.
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Friday, January 11, 2008

What? You KNOW you want one....

Oui! My french beret shower cap arrived in yesterday's mail! I'm loving it so much, I'm almost prune-y from the showers I've taken since then. If I were a tad braver, I'd be wearing it on my errands this morning. Au revoir!
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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Holy Mackerel!

No one uses that expression anymore. I wouldn't even recognize a mackerel. These could be smelt or trout or grouper..dunno.
I love to go to Whole Foods where the fish people stand high like pharmacists to serve you or to Fox & Obel, and shoot the fish on ice. They are laid out in schools or facing odd directions with blue eyes or black, expressions frozen in their last conversations or as if they were saying 'pick ME' . I must appear to look like a city inspector or just a little bit fishy with my camera out, snapping shots but they fascinate me. We have a large fish sculpture that spins on the front lawn, and one that holds a hanging basket of vines in the summer, and ceramic fish throughout the house. We eat a lot of fish. We have a friend who caught salmon and halibut in Alaska and brought us some. The exhange took place in the parking lot of the Schaumburg Flyers after a Bob Dylan concert and I was terrified to eat fish that had travelled in a cooler and made what I thought was a pretty good argument about our impending death if we actually ate those fish. They were the best fish we'd ever had and I keep hoping he'll go back and bring us more. My father and I spent the happiest hours of my childhood fishing at Montrose Harbor where we sat silently with bamboo poles and bobbers. He explained that fish can hear under water (although I cannot). I learned to catch minnows in a bucket before I understood Kindergarten protocol, and could bait a hook with squirmy bits of night crawlers and string our catch and keep them alive hanging in the lake. We'd sit under a shady tree, having fellow fishermen watching our equipment and eat bologna sandwiches and he'd teach me about dappled greens of leaves and how if you squint just right the sun coming through the trees would make slivers of rainbows. We'd be taking an after school drive and he'd see some random pond and we'd pull over and use garlic dressing soaked white bread made into balls for bait and catch catfish. I'd tell you the story of what we did with those catfish but I'm checking still on the Statute of Limitations for a little 7 year old accomplice. The memories of those peaceful times with my Dad are the reason I love to be outdoors and still remember everything he pointed out to me. It's why I bought a fishing pole on Maxwell Street last May. He's been gone now for longer than I knew him but what he taught me about nature and being silent and listening and observing, serve me still, and well.
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