Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Today began with hot coffee, the annual Turkey Trot 5K (complete with a new runner- Go Red!), and now some chillin' before we head to the mother-in-law's for our Indian-themed (Indian as in India, not Native) Thanksgiving dinner. I even painted my nails for the occasion.

However you spend your day, remember that the focus is to give thanks, even if you're giving thanks for not having to see certain people all the time!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Two Scenes From The Windy City

So, like I mentioned before, I went to Chicago with The Devil last weekend. Fan-freakin'-tastic time, too. After the circus on Friday night, we went to The DIY Trunk Show , a huge hand-made goods market. We saw lots of cool things, met lots of cool crafters, picked up a few gifts (like pins for Katie and Hannukah that say "I'm a Crafty Mother Fucker"- it gets them off my back for bailing on the craft show I normally go to...), and saw the above picture. Yep, its a cat in an apron. After some discussion, The Devil and I decided that the vendor didn't get that the cat in the apron was strange; she probably thought she was being clever or cute. Its even more strange when you see the hound dog peeking at you, too. After crafting ourselves silly, we headed to traditional consumer fare, like Crate and Barrel, The Container Store, and Sephora. Dinner was sushi at Ai , billed as "The hottest new sushi in River North." No complaints on our part- it was simply wonderful.

We also managed to avoid actually seeing The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival and Parade, but did run into the yahoos in the subway. So many people! They actually close Michigan Avenue to ALL traffic for the parade (between Oak and the bridge), and we were able to walk down the middle of the avenue, north to south, because of the lack of cars and cabbies. It was after the event, and I ran out to the middle median (before people started crossing the street again) and snapped the picture below. Absolutely quintessential Holiday Season in Chicago scene. *sigh*

Alrighty then- that's it for now because I'm off to "get my stripes painted on," as Mr. Fix likes to say. That'a man talk for "partial highlight and trim." Miss Rhonda does me good, so I'm off!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Greatest Show On Earth

I'm not talking about the circus (which I saw with The Devil this weekend in the Windy City), but rather the spectacle of plain ol' people, doing what they do in the streets of Chicago. I love people watching. I love trying to imagine what's going through their heads as they walk down the street, or ride the subway, or eat their sushi.

I have a point, but I will have to make it in a seperate post later today or tomorrow as I need to return to work right now. Enjoy that photo above of the finale from circus, and have a great Monday!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

First It Was "Jingle Bells" In The Grocery Store at Halloween, and Now This.

Yep. 21 degrees outside right now, and we got hit with this yesterday afternoon. To discover (or rediscover, as the case may be) my true feelings on Winter and its evil cousin, Snow, please refer to posts from last Winter (which in these parts, lasts from late October until Memorial Day).

Just so I can write something more pleasant, see how pretty those Globe Amaranth are with the bit of white on top? And look (below) at the starkness of the bones, rocks, and snow...all the varying shades of white. Pretty, I guess, in its own Wintery cold kind of way.

Bundle up and don't forget your hat and gloves- most of your body heat is lost through your extremities!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Renovation Update

Kind of an uneventful weekend around here- Mr. Fix doesn't hunt the Big Bucks, eh? So he stayed home this weekend and built more cabinets, while I did some hunting of my own for our Almost-as-Long-as-the-Presidential-Campaign Kitchen Renovation.

The photo above shows the very messy kitchen (where today, believe it or not, I actually made soup from scratch!) and the cabinets as they look now. The bank to the right of the stove are new and really just the shells. The stuff to the left of the stove has been in for awhile, but they have fancy new drawers now with fancy new European glides. And soon they will have fancy new hardware from Resoration Hardware . We chose the Gilmore Pull for the drawers (4" wide in the satin nickel finish), and the Aubrey Pull for the doors (also 4" wide in the satin nickel). We are still on the hunt (groan) for hinges and pocket door hardware.

Below is another shot of the kitchen, as seen from the dining room. The shelves to the left are new, too, and are waiting for the glass from the glass place before the doors get painted to match and installed.

Other things that have been occupying my time? Well, Daughter #1 had her first college open house this weekend in Chicago at Columbia College . In typical teenager fashion, she didn't have too much to say about the school, but managed to text me several times from Sephora , and even braved eating Sliders at White Castle . Say it with me on that second one: gah-ros-ah!

The rest of the day was spent running (a nice 5K through the park), wishing The Devil a speedy recovery from the little sick bug she caught (totally messed with our knitting plans!), mowing the lawn/downed leaves and mulching the garden one last time before the snow that has been falling actually sticks, making the afore-mentioned soup (a deelish vegetarian vegetable and barley soup I make from scratch!), and then...well, right here, right now blogging and stuff. It could be an early night.

However you spent your weekend, I hope it was productive in some shape or form. Have a great week!

Monday, November 10, 2008

White Gloves and Party Manners

I'm not kidding here: me and my sister, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam with Full Force, each had a copy of this book growing up. I vaguely remember actual etiquette lessons, too. The author, Marjabelle Young Stewart, has a son, Billy, that we went to school with. I remember Billy's Miami Dolphin's coat (which I wish I could find a pic of online) more than his manners from that time period, but I'm sure- given the right setting- they were impeccable. He's a US Navy fighter pilot, now- just like he wanted to be from the moment he saw Tom Cruise in Top Gun.

Why am I telling you this? Blame it on the New York Times and this article: "All Apologies" . I, too, find myself correcting others' manners. People who are old enough to know better. I'm not talking about teenagers, here- its mostly other adults, young adults like Henry Alford mentions. And I, too, feel like an old fuddy-duddy (Although, would an old fuddy-duddy have just scored some sweet Citizens of Humanity jeans on eBay? I think not.) when I correct or gently prompt people.

I've often thought about conducting lessons for the kids I work with, and even bought a book with helpful tips for every day of the year. But I think the best way to teach is through example. I'm very conscious of saying "please" and "thank you" around the students, even the older teenagers. Sometimes, if I'm feeling adventurous, I'll say it in Potawatomi. Regardless, remember what your Elders taught you about manners and common courtesy. A little can go a looooonnnng way in making a positive impression.

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm So Happy I Don't Have To Move To Canada

What a surreal night last night. I found myself wanting to be transported to Grant Park with all those people I used to curse at during the Taste of Chicago. And then to wake up this morning and realize I wasn't dreaming and Senator Obama had become President Obama...bliss with my morning coffee.

I planned ahead, though. I took the rest of this week off and left instructions with the rest of the staff at work: Do NOT call me. We'll see if they remember. I thought that I might have to start packing for my new life in Toronto, but since the election came out the way I had hoped, I'll be staying put here in Southern Canada.

What else? Well, Mr. Fix and I are going to a wine tasting with Fast Jessica and the Fast Doctor tonight. The food is being done by a woman who used to cater in Napa, CA and our hopes are high for a tasty evening.

Tomorrow I'll be attending the opening for the Northern Exposures exhibit . Both Mr. Fix and I had pieces selected for this juried show (me= "Glance (David)" and him="Media Generated Viruscape"). Mr. Fix will not be attending, just me and Tha Doctah (not Fast Doctor) and some of our "hippy-dippy-post-menopausal" friends (that's what Mr. Fix likes to call the staff at the arts center). Cash and prizes are handed out at this shindig, so maybe I'll have something more to report on Friday.

The rest of today will look like this for me: eat Greek yogurt with strawberries; drink more coffee (good, hot coffee- not the reheated stuff. Mr. Fix left his thermos here this morning...); paint the trim in the kitchen (my way of "helping" with the renovation); go to the YMCA and workout a little; finish knitting my sweater (see picture below); get dolled up for my date night; have Mr. Fix drive me home and put me to bed (because I'm a lightweight).

For all of you knitters out there, I couldn't afford to buy enough Noro yarn for the entire sweater when I started this project (um...about 18 months ago!), so instead I bought Lopi Lite wool in a heathered plum color (its actually got a bit of red undertones to it) for the body and sleeves, and bought Noro's "Kureyon" in color 148, which is a variegated yarn with the same plum as the Lopi, but with some purple, maroon, magenta, olive green, and black. I'm using that for the ruffled edge trim on the front of the cardigan, plus edging on the sleeves. I'll for sure post pics when its complete.

And now, I'm off! Its a beautiful day today- again, temps in the upper 50's/low 60's- and the sun is shining. Have a fantastic day!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Time For a Change

Do your civic duty and VOTE today! Smile while waiting in those lines at your polling place- it keeps people wondering!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Renovation Update, With a Little Love

For all of you wondering how the renovation is going, I present to you my new kitchen sink. It is a lovely 18-gauge stainless steel undermount single bowl, with a depth of 10-1/2". I know it doesn't look like an undermount, but that's because the concrete counters haven't been installed/poured yet.

Nice, huh? Mr. Fix has been busy framing out the cabinets with rift-sawn maple (that means its got this cool, wavy shimmer to it) while the rest of us have been smiling at the new appliances. It was a bit strange to look in the refrigerator the first few days we had it, though; we had no food (since I am the only person in the house who knows where the grocery store is. And the laundry hamper. And the recycling bin. I could go on...) and it looked like we just picked up the floor model. Its full now, and everyone is smiling at it even more.

Mr. Fix did, however, take the time to cook us dinner on Saturday night, and cooked it up with an extra bit of love:

Awwww....yummy fingerling potatoes planted by his hands, tended in the garden by his hands, harvested by his hands, and then lovingly cooked by his hands. I ate this one in one big, noisy CHOMP! *giggle*

Hope this starts your week out with a smile!