Friday, August 24, 2012

A Busy Week-End

Last week-end was a memorable bunch of days.

Friday, August 17th was a beautifully clear day, warm, but not too hot. And it was the practice day for the Chicago Air & Water Show.   
Gene had court in the morning and on the way home, we decided to try out the Clock Tower Cafe that opened in Lincoln Park.  It is right on the golf course, and far away from noise of the traffic on Lake Shore Drive.
We were having a quiet, relaxing lunch on the deck of the cafe, when the jets started.  Too cool.  This is the only photo I was able to get.  They move so fast, that be the time you find them and aim, they are out of the frame.  But great fun to watch.

On Saturday we had our regular lunch with Abraham and then I was meeting Lena at The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art (Intuit) where we were going to participate in a yarn bombing.  When we got there, the leader changed it to a flower happening.

We used all sorts of arts & crafts materials and created fanciful flowers that we attached to the lamppost outside the museum.
Sunday, the 19th was my birthday and my brother happened to be in town so we met him for lunch at McCormick & Schmick's in Old Orchard.  Fred's friend Al joined us.  Here is a snap of Fred.  The rose is from Al's garden.  A delicious time was had by all.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Blatantly lifted cartoon

The truth of blogging in four squares.
image title

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Crow Follow-Up

Today I learned that the crow, known to us as Crowley, was found by and rejoined his crow family.

According to Lisa, a building employee, Crowley stayed in the garden for a little while, then went to the parking area.  When traffic appeared, he flew onto a car and then onto trellis work.  He stayed on the vertical trellis for about 6 hours, looking like a decoration.  As it got dark, he settled into a planter on the wall.  The next morning, after much cawing and commotion, he left with his family.

It is nice to have a rescue story with a happy ending.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Being The Bird Lady Strikes Again

I'm the "bird lady" in our building.  Any and all injured, dazed or confused birds are brought to  me for TLC. 

Today I was given a young crow with an injured toe. The bleeding has stopped and he (?) is asleep on a towel on my bathroom sink. I am sure that he is able to fly.  The window is WIDE open and he has no inclination to fly away, even when standing on my arm at the window sill. I think that rest is the best thing I can do for him now. What food will he want?  Grapes and small bits of rye bread are being ignored.  A little chopped meat was equally unwelcome.  

He made himself at home, tucked his head under his wing and took a nap.  Time passed and we had our dinner and returned to check on the bird.  Not on the sink.  He flew to the window sill where he has now been for the last three hours.

If he is still there in the morning, I think I'll treat him to a trip to the zoo.  (If he enjoys that, then we can go to the Shedd Aquarium.)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Two plays in two days

This week has been quite theatrical.  On Thursday I was the guest of my friend Joan to see the Goodman Theater's production of "Camino Real".  One review called it "Tennessee Williams at his bleakest and most violent"  It surely was.  The staging was amazing, the lighting was spectacular, the acting was without fault, even the music was appropriate for the situations.  None of that made you want to like the play. Here is a lifted photo of the memorable lighting and set design.

Joan and I suspected that they presented it without an intermission to be sure that you sat through the entire show.  I do not regret seeing the play, it was an unforgettable experience, I just wish it had been more uplifting.

Tonight, on the other had, Gene and I joined Mark and Nancy at the Polarity Ensemble Theatre's production of "Tom Jones".  WOW, was it fun.  There was a cast of 17, in a space that seats 52.  We were pleased to be among the attendees.  There was never a dull moment. Described by the producer as "an adaptation of the 1749 Henry Fielding novel by David Hammond. This is a big, sexy, funny romp of a play."  And that it was. We were amazed at how much can be done with minimal props and many doors.  I'm glad we went, it washed away all the gloom the the previous day. Sorry I don't have a photo for you, but I've included the Polarity logo.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A New Skill

On Saturday, my friend Lena and I took a class in Split-Ply Braiding at Sifu Design Studio.  An old craft from the Tibet, Nepal, India area.  Basically, with the use of a tool called a gripfid, you open 4-ply cord and pass another cord through the opening.  Change the order, location or direction of the piercing and you can produce fantastic patterns.  Here are a few of the items made by our teacher, Michele O'Reilly.

First, two bracelets -

Two three dimensional items, a "vessel" and a thing.

And here is result of my class, my very own, designed by me, made with yarn dyed by Michele, bracelet.  I hope you like it.  I am very proud of it.  
The pattern at each end is called Serpentine and the center section is also Serpentine but the work is turned over at the completion of each segment.  

Friday, March 16, 2012


In my last post I said that we were having a hint of an early spring.   It is no longer a hint.  It is a fact.  (I've lived here all my life, so I know things can/will change.)  Spring is here.

Spring flowers are blooming.  There are bright yellow daffodils along the expressway, forsythia are exploding in their golden glory, trees are budding, the willows are changing colors.  Life is wonderful.

Speaking of changing color, tomorrow the Chicago River will turn green for the St Pat's Day parade.  But they got a head-start at the fountain in the Daley Center Plaza.

Just in case you need to see what is in store for us, here is tonight's 7-Day Forecast.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Last Week

Spring is trying very hard to convince us that it is April not March.  I actually saw some crocuses in bloom on Wednesday.  Unfortunately, I missed the photo opportunity.  Sprouting bulbs are all over, the trees are getting fuzzy and the willows are becoming golden.  This is all good.  They are predicting 70s for Tuesday and Wednesday.  Let's hope we will not pay for this later.

The usual things happened this week, Mensa lunch on Tuesday, lunch with Barbara on Wednesday at 
Icosium Kafe at Clark and Foster.  I had Crepa de Roma, delicious.  

The investment club met here this morning, no changes in our portfolio.  

The total count for the Hexipuff quilt is an amazing 216.  

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Strange, but True and More

Inside Tulum

Saturday, Abe and I were sitting at Tulum, an interesting little restaurant at Grand and Wolcott, when we saw very strange groups of costumed people running past pushing grocery shopping carts.  The first one we thought was some sort of prank or dare, but they just kept coming.  A quick Google search on "shopping cart chicago" resulted in "Chiditarod"  (Ain't technology great?) Sure enough, the fund raiser was running right outside the restaurant. These photos are from last year's event. but you get the idea.

Today our neighbors, the Erenbergs had a coffee (actually bagels and) for Mike Forti, a candidate for a Circuit court judgeship.  He seemed quite reliable, well-spoken and OK.  There was a good turnout and our new across-the-hall neighbors were able to meet people from the building.  A gathering for a candidate is a great time to knit.  Today I got three Hexipuffs done.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Hexipuffs, bread and more

I have been working on the Hexipuff project.  I'm now up to 201 of those little buggers.  One hundred and ten of them are assembled.  Eighty-five in the big bunch and twenty-five in the small group.  The rest are at loose ends, awaiting joining.

The colors in the photos do not truly show the actual colors, but you get the idea.

Good news on the vacuum front.  The patient survived, got its bearings and is fit for many more years of service.

A few weeks ago I made some Speedy No-Knead Bread.  Quite tasty.  When Abe heard about it, he tried it too.  His first time it was pretty straight up.  For the second loaf he added herbs, garlic, a little brown sugar and other misc. things.  He reported another success.

Here is the recipe if you want to try. RECIPE LINK  Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Playing Catch Up

Thursday evening we had dinner with our old "Dental Show" friends, Wilma and Paul Pinkney.  I first met them at least 15 years ago at the Atlanta Meeting Dental show.  Their booth, Theta Corp, was near mine and we struck up a friendship that has continued through the years.   Now that I don't go to the shows anymore, we see each other when they come to Chicago for the Chicago Dental Society Mid-winter Meeting.  People come from all around the world for this meeting.  They come from places that are warm and sunny to be in Chicago in February.  The mind boggles.

Dinner was at Salerno's on Grand at Racine, one of my favorites.  The food is always great, we caught up on the news and had a good time.  The only drawback was that, unknown to us when we got there, it was Thursday Trivia Contest night.  That would not have been bad except that the director of the game felt that he needed to use an amplifier to reach all the players.  There were only four teams playing and they were within 15 feet of him.  TOO LOUD.  And the questions were dumb.  OK, they were obscure.  Picky baseball stats, minor players on old TV shows.  I'm much better at Jeopardy.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Boy and his Toy / Girl and her Group


My brother got creative with his power washer.  

Tonight I met Georgia at the monthly meeting of the Windy City Knitting Guild.  A great group.  There were at least 100 knitters there to enjoy a presentation about Orenburg Lace Knitting.  A very intricate style of knitting from the steppes of Russia, in the Urals on the border between Europe and Asia.  Orenburg lace is made with hair of the native goats. The hair is combed, not cut, spun and then knit into spectacular shawls.  The goat hair yarn is called down and is frequently plied with silk.  The  shawls are so fine they can slide through a wedding ring.  So they did.  Amazing. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday musings

Well it is Sunday.  The first episode of the new season of The Amazing Race is over.  The usual interesting collection of teams.  Don't have a favorite team yet.  I would love to see a show about how they plan the season, what ideas they have to throw out and why.  How many tasks prove to be too easy, or looked good on paper but can't be done or just don't photograph well.

Our new neighbors have moved in.  They are a really nice couple.  I have heard that they are retired teachers.  They saw our book shelves in the our back hallway and were glad to see that we a "book people". That is a good start.  He even recommended "Middlemarch".  He said he thinks it is the best book of that period that he has ever read.  It is worth a look. I've put it on my Android.

Friday, February 17, 2012

A fish for a cat

A few months ago, I knit a blue hexapuff with a tail, filled with catnip for Oliver, a friend's cat.  He was quite enthralled by it. Unfortunately, he would not share it with his buddy and roommate, Tom.The problem was solved with the creation of The Fish.  I hope that Tom likes it.  (What's not to like)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Third generation vacuum

Today we had to take our reliable, sturdy Hoover vacuum to the repair shop.  This isn't any old machine, we suspect that it is about 50 years old. It belonged to my grandmother, then me, and now Abraham.  It has served us well.  The shop says it is the bearings.  They will try to pull it through, but can not make any promises.

Confession:  This photo is off the web, it is not a photo of our actual vacuum.  The resemblance is uncanny.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Four for Four

Good news about Gene's new phone.  Unlike the old one, this one works in the Daley Center.  That is, it is able to send and receive calls, not that it is a county employee.  The cheap line would be something about it works and they don't, but I won't stoop to that. Too easy.

Chinese on Tuesday.  We had carry out from our favorite "Midwestern Cantonese" restaurant, Orange Garden on Irving east of Damen and Lincoln.  Good, cheap and very traditional.  The pressed duck is great.  Their sign and decor are a blast from the past.

Oh yes, I almost forgot...

Have a loving Valentine’s Day.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Another day, Another post

Monday night is "Banjo Night" at the nearby Lincoln Restaurant.  We spent the evening there with three other couples.  It is the music equivalent of a pick up basketball game.  There was an unlikely mix of banjos, guitars, washboard, accordion, clarinet, and trombone. They all had a good time playing "Old Tunes" and we had a good time catching up and listening to the music.  A relaxing time was had by all.

Today we went shopping for a new phone for Gene.  We had a grand plan to get a G4 Android that I would use and pass my G3 on to him.  Adding another smart phone to our account would add $30/month to the bill and seeing that Gene was only going to use it as a phone, it seemed wasteful.  So I  am still using the G3 and not able to do flash.  Not a big loss, but it would have been nice. Sigh and shoulder shrug.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Two Days in a a Row

Don't faint. I'm trying to reform.

Today was investment club. It meets here once a month so straightening up can't fall to far behind. It was a good meeting, we have a new member and I got the tax info out before they could complain. Why yes, we do continue to do well.

Much progress is happening on the Hexapuffs. They are all the rage in the knitting world. Puffs are small (about 2.5 inches per side) hexagons made from sock weight yarn and the like. My goal is to make a "quilt" about 2 1/2' by 7 1/2' for the foot of the bed. It will need about 400 puffs. So far, I have about 180.

I'll try for better photos.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I'm Back

Okay, so it has been a while. Stuff happens. Nothing exciting enough to post. Or maybe I just couldn't get around to it.

This time I'll try harder.

Let's start with a play I recently saw. It is "Clutter: The True Story of the Collyer Brothers Who Never Threw Anything Out" Well written, cleverly staged and creatively acted. It is the work of Mark Saltzman, who also writes for the Muppets. I am sure that the set designer had a grand time assembling the props that make up the brothers hoard.

After seeing the play, I searched the web (read Googled) for more about the Collyers. A strange family. The parents were first cousins, the father an eccentric ob/gyn, the mother a singer of opera. The filled house was possibly more packed than some that are shown on "Hoarders". Here are some photos of the actual Collyer NYC townhouse.

See the play if you can, and in the meantime, I'm going to throw out a few things.