Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Go See IT! NOW!

I did.

On Saturday night Kerry and I took a quick little jaunt out of the city and into Forest Park where we visited the Circle Theatre for a performance of Sir Noel Coward's Hayfever..... yes he is indeed a Sir. It was so hilarious!

Set in a 1920's home in the English countryside, the dysfunctional Bliss family will entertain you with the mayhem that ensues when each member invites a guest to stay for the weekend. And best of all, my amazing actor friend Erin plays the role of Sorel, the bratty daughter. Yay!

You can read all of the reviews of this show by clicking here... notice the volume of "highly recommended"s.

You will laugh, I promise.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cat Photo Sesh

Yesterday morning I woke up bright and early and drove over Erin's in my jammies. She made me a yummy-ful breakfast of blueberry pancakes and eggs in exchange for a photo session with her fur-kids Rocco and Mei. Rocco was very easy to photograph. He likes to be the center of attention and just hams it up for the camera. Mei, on the other hand, was a bit more of a challenge to capture. He's a little bashful, but after we whipped out the treats he appearred from the bedroom and nearly bit my fingers off. He quickly warmed up to me and I was able to shove the camera in his face just like I do to everyone else - be they human or animal.

On the left, Rocco lounges on a chair in the dining room while the humans discuss the beauty of his silky smooth fur, and below you will see Mei curling up with his toy on the living room rug, waiting for another chance to bite my finger.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

July happenings

There have been quite a few storms rolling through the north side of Chicago these days. Lightening, hail, humidity - the whole bit. After the succession of thunder clouds on Thursday night the sun slowly sank beyond the Western perimeter of the city into a bed of blazing orange hues that soon shifted... pink... violet... indigo... dark night sky.

In spite of this wet weather, Steve and I biked to work every single day this week! Yay! I'm so proud of us. We also went on a motorcycle ride last Saturday and we are planning another short trip for tomorrow. It's pretty fun after the bike gets hot enough to go without stalling.

The rain has been good for the flowers I planted out front last Sunday. Yes, my ghetto-fabulous yard now has been spruced up a little bit by some leftover impatiens from Home Depot! I've been removing the trash from the yard on a regular basis and even got rid of the 2 month old dead squirrel in the corner by the gate. It's a dirty job but someone has to do it. The impatiens seem like they are doing really well! Now my next project is cleaning up the back porch and trying to keep the pigeons from nesting up there. And pooping all over EVERYTHING!!!!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Adventures with Audubon

Event Image for Adventures with AudubonCome see my Uncle Fox performing tonight at 6pm at the Rogers Park Library!!! Supposedly for ages 5 and up but younger kids are welcome if they are accompanied by an adult.

Adventures with Audubon
Date: Thu. July 10, 2008 Time: 6:00 pm

Location: Rogers Park Library 6907 N. Clark Street 60626

Program: Children’s Summer Reading Program

About this event:
Spend an hour with one of America's greatest naturalists and wildlife artist. Listen to tales of his adventures. Storyteller, Brian'Fox' Ellis becomes Audubon to enchant you with stories of his travels in the wildest places on the planet. He will bring to life bird behavior, focusing on the birds you are mostly to see as you go bird watching in your area. With lessons on field ecology, the scientific method, art history, and bird migration, the audience is invited to imitate birds and discuss the life histories of their favorite feathered friends.

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Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Cobbler and the Fireworks

Every summer (most likely on the 4th of July) I like to make this special cobbler and serve it with vanilla ice cream. It reminds me of quiet afternoons in the country, sitting around the pool or pond, and spending time with family. I haven't been baking a lot since we moved into our new apartment last year. Spare time is hard to find these days. But nothing can compare to that feeling you get when everyone is enjoying a dish put so much love into.... I know, it's corny but it's true. I like to use Martha Stewarts recipes, and this one can be found here. It can be expensive to make, especially these days when the cost of groceries is so high. But if you are lucky enough to get the berries from a friend's patch, that is the best way to go. I "one-and-a-half" the recipe in order to fill a 9 x 13 baking dish and then have a little left over for a tiny cobbler to keep as our secret stash at home. Here, you will see about $12 in berries. I'll pay $12 for berries once a year...

Blueberries and strawberries are fun for the 4th because they are blue and red, of course. After baking, the sauce is a rich burgundy color, so I like to place some fresh strawberry slices and blueberries on top of each biscuit so it's looks a little more festive. It's not the tidiest of desserts, but it's definitely the yummiest.

After attending a cookout at Kerry's in the afternoon we took a much needed nap and then met Craig and Latha for fireworks in Evanston. Two years ago we saw the fireworks from the north side of Evanston and the traffic was ridiculous on the way home. Last night I suggested we stay on the southern end of town. It took a few minutes to find parking but afterward we zipped right on home with no trouble. The air was quite chilly, especially by the lake so I brought extra blankets to keep warm. Next year it would be nice to be at the launch site of the display. I think there is a musical performance that accompanies the fireworks. I'm a big fan of revolutionary tunes and the like especially on America's birthday.

Latha and I trying to keep warm

Of course the boys have to climb the rocks.... trouble-makers!

Friday, July 4, 2008

My Favorite Holiday

Today marks another passing of my favorite holiday - the 4th of July - reminding me to start really enjoying the summer days that seem to pass by so quickly. There are many reasons why I love this holiday so much:

1. Everyone (well, almost everyone) has the day off work. God bless those who DO work on the 4th.

2. I'm so thankful that I have all of the freedom that comes along with living in this country. I know it's not perfect but it's pretty damn good!

3. This day is all about being with family and friends, cooking out, swimming, relaxing, and enjoying yourself in the summer sunshine.

4. It's sort of a mini-anniversary for Steve and I. We've spent this special day together almost every year that we have been together.

5. I get to make the annual berry cobbler and serve it up ala mode!

6. Fireworks - in a controlled environment - are such a wonderful display. But I am somewhat scared of regular people lighting off fireworks in the street. I was burnt by a sparkler as a child and my family also caused a big fire once by doing that.

7. Most thrift stores have half off sales on the 4th.

8. When I adopted Monkey I proclaimed the 4th of July as her birthday. I brought her home on January 26th 2002. She was about 6 months old. So here's to you, Monkey. You are 7 years old today.

Alright kiddos. Have fun. Be safe. Don't drink and drive. I'm going to hit the Salvation Army shop, but I will post a picture of the cobbler later. Love ya!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Meeting Grayson

I had such a great weekend. I can't remember when I've had a better one. It started off on Friday evening with my mom, Ed, and Alyssa in town. We went to Laura's plush show at Rotofugi. On Saturday morning I rode back to Michigan with my mom and immediately went to meet Grayson. He is about a month old now (born on May 27th) and is the cutest little bundle ever! Devin is so happy and is doing really well. She is so full of love and is so committed to this new little baby. Look at her face beaming with happiness. I'm so proud of her.

We spent the evening together, Devin and I. We went down to the festival in Morenci in hopes of seeing the battle of the bands. We missed it but were quickly distracted with elephant ears and pink lemonade. We ran into an old friend, chatted for a while, and then the two of us were off to Margaritas, where we ran into more old friends who bought us drinks! It was like old times between the two of us. Friendship really is something that ebbs and flows and sooner or later you find out that your true friends are the ones who remain by your side through good and bad (I've resorted to speaking in terms of cliche, people!) Anyway, it was so nice.

My sister and I had brunch with my dad and Cheryl. And then we went to a cookout at Ed's house including some of my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I forget how quiet it can be in the country and how much open space there is. In addition, I forgot how much manure you could smell at any given moment.... and how much it did not bother me... it just smelled like home. We picked wild flowers and ate strawberry shortcake. I knitted for four hours as I rode the train back to the city that I now call home. My Fitted Knits sweater is almost complete! after a few minor bumps in the road..... I should be secretly praying for a cold snap {evil grin}...

my cousin Nina making a bouquet for her Nani