Monday, March 29, 2010

Mirror Mirror

In preparation for downsizing the chateau, I've been hunting all over creation for two mirrors for the hall bathroom. My friend says to just buy a pair that are the right size and paint them the color I want because the perfect mirrors exist solely in my head and nowhere else on the planet.

I hate that when that happens.

The good news is that today, the 81st Mirror Hunt, I drove to Plainfield with my friend Nancy. We saw dozens of mirrors and (predictably) left empty handed. Across the street, however, the price of gasoline, was $2.84.

I love that when that happens.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Anne Frank

You have until April 2 to get to the Naperville Art League, 508 North Center St., to see "Anne Frank: A Private Photo Album." The photographs were taken by Otto Frank of Anne and her sister, Margot, and quite literally came from the Frank photo album.

The exhibit is comprised of heartbreakingly everyday scenes of two little girls -- at home, at play, with friends.

A $5 donation is recommended.

photos courtesty of AFS/ASF, Amsterdam/Basel

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

You Decide

Baby turns one on Saturday. His Mom has suggested he would love to have a vacuum cleaner. (I love that in a man.) But which vac should we choose?

Here's the Laugh and Learn model below. And here's what the manufacturer has to say about it:

Music Mode will be sure to get your baby moving with instrumental songs and musical ditties.

I love ditties. But wait, there's more:

In Imagination Mode, your baby will hear realistic vacuum sounds and unique sound effects for each activity. Your baby will be amazed at the spinning vacuum globe which is activated when your baby walks the vacuum around or bats at it. (This is the kind of copywriting  I'd love to try. Okay, maybe not so much.)

Choice Deux is Dusty the Talking Vacuum. Now, right away I'm all over that name. Here's Dusty on the right. That growth on his left side -- the thing with the moustache -- kills me every time I look at it.

He's very attached to his good friend Brushy - the two of them even talk to each other! So when a mess needs to be taken care of, get the job done with this fabulous team that loves to clean!

Here's the bad news. Dusty is recommended for 2-5 year olds, and I'm thinking there may be some labor law we'll be violating if we pony up for Dusty and his trusty sidekick.

Did I mention there's play "lint" attached to Dusty's front?

All right followers, please vote (quickly) for your favorite.

Monday, March 22, 2010


The sun is shining and Honey is washing the car. Of course, he's freezing, but darn it, he is washing the car inside and out. With his bare hands. In Chicago. On.the.driveway. (And this car, which travels daily to a horse barn, is particularly redolent, so he is really, really trying to clean it.)

Forget those peeping crocuses. Car washing on the driveway is the one true sign of spring. At least in the arctic circle of Northern Illinois.

With the new health care reform, I figure we are covered if he gets chilblains.

Lynn J. Asks...

Spring has sprung, the grass is riz, I wonder where the flowers is?

With thanks to my friend Lynn for sharing this delightful observation on Facebook.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I believe this is the bird-from-hell making mincemeat of our cedar siding. Here, he is shown innocently eating a sunflower seed, but this is only for show. What they really do is wait until you're taking a nap and then alight on your house peck the heck out of your siding, leaving holes the size of pieces of eight.

The state tells me these winged cretins are a protected species. (If I had a gun, I'd blast them into the next county.) Our only resort has been stringing mylar strips where they've been attacking the wood, which keeps them off that particular area and nudges them along to virgin territory.

We may have to turn the house into a disco ball.

Meanwhile, if you have any bright ideas on how to kill get rid of these stupid things, please leave me a comment. I have a cold and between my nose and the siding, it's a toss up as to which looks worse.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Census Bob Comes Through (Mostly)

Quite frankly, the actual census was a bit of an anti-climax. Sure, ole Bob of the U.S. Census Bureau came through and all. But there wasn't nearly enough detail in the questions. In fact, Honey wanted to know where we could put our dog, Bandit, on the form. Clearly, Bob did NOT think this through. Otherwise, this was a pretty boring form to fill out, particularly as there are but the two of us. Three, really, if you count Bandit.

I am hoping Bob and his minions will keep a running tally on the people who were so underwhelmed by the questions that they put their forms into the envelope backward and obscured the bar code. I'm sure it will be more than half because the directions were kind of confusing. PLUS, everyone is asked to respond to the number of people who will be living in said domicile on April 1, 2010 (not counting people in prison, nursing homes and caves). Choosing April 1st invites ridicule, people. Wasn't there some sort of Bureau vote on this date? Yeesh, can't you see some shmoe licking his No. 2 and writing "32" for the number of persons living in his house? "April Fools, Census Bureaucrats." The date ranks right up there with the naming of the Ipad.

Oh, well, I can't control everything, as much as I'd like. At least my descendants, when viewing the extracted information 100 years from now, will nod and say, "Yup. There they are in Naperville, Illinois. I wonder if they had a dog?"

Volunteer Croak

While I was in St. Louis, I suffered major climate envy. There were Robins everywhere. Also scads of crocuses.Then guess what I found in our yard in Naperville. And I didn't even plant it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wicket City

Speaking of family trees, I'm dashing to St. Lou-ee for a quick visit with a live branch and will be back on the blog Sunday.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Count U.S. In

A letter from the U.S. Census Bureau arrived today, so I grabbed my No. 2 pencil and ripped into the envelope only to find out that Robert M. Groves, Director, U.S. Census Bureau, has sent me a letter to advise me that the 2010 Census form is in the mail.

Bob (May I call you Bob?), the advance notice was unnecessary. As a genealogy near-fanatic, I have been waiting waiting waiting for the census to get here. In 100 years, my descendants will be combing through this form for information about little ole me and my family and extending my hard work right on through the millennium. I love that.

I also love the fact that Bob's letter was duplicated in five different languages, only two of which I recognized.

This is what genealogists see when they look at the 1910 Census.

Do me a favor. Keep those pencils sharp. Print legibly. And don't forget to send in your 2010 Census form promptly. Bob thanks you. I thank you. Our descendants thank you. (And I think there's tax money for schools and highways and other stuff based on how many of us are living where, so it isn't just all genealogy. But it will be.)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

It Looks So Easy on HGTV

We're trying to spruce up the old chateau for the day when we downsize and bifurcate our existence to Savannah, GA. At least that's the plan, my loyal readers will recall. So to that end, we are doing a little tweaking -- paint, plumbing, lights, mirrors. But of course, nothing ever goes according to plan and we have mostly a LOT of spackle dust all over our black pants and visiting black labs.

Eric Stromer LIES when he says this stuff is easy peasy.  If you see him, tell him he's needed on the second floor.

Or possibly the backyard.

Go, Evan, Go

Wanted to share this with you some time ago. Good ole Neuqua had this on its sign:

Pretty darned neat.