Thursday, May 27, 2010

School's So Out

A shout out to Naperville, Singapore, South Africa, St. Louie and all the ships at sea. (Okay, I stole that last bit from Walter Winchell.)

Naperville Now is clearing out of the B&B for the week and somehow, I'm thinking Betsy won't be doing any posts for me. Dennis, possibly. Zachary loves a good keyboard, so there may yet be copy from that altitude. In the interim, I leave you with a few glimpses of what's in store for us.

Monday, May 24, 2010

It's a Look

Came home to find a new addition to the living room. That's Shamu at 12 o'clock.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


The S&C B&B has been open for business since Wednesday, and we are learning a lot of new stuff.

Three people can generate a lot of laundry.
Dishes are always a work in progress.
Window mullions are optional.
It's fun to watch Gilmore Girls with your guests and then find out they also watch Flash Forward.
But mostly I've learned that it may be time to upgrade.
And then there's this:
We are experiencing stuff envy.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Still Going

I received this fabulous basket from my friend Nancy 2 1/2 weeks ago. It contains chocolate mint Coleus, Lobelia, golden English Ivy, Begonia and Pilea. More important, it's.still.aliiiiive.

Once in a while, I find our porch bird sitting on it, tugging at the hemp liner.

Btw, Carol says Mama Bird may be a House Sparrow. How's that for exotic? Not. Evidently, it's a very destructive bird, opportunistic with nesting boxes and the scourge of the western hemisphere. And you thought Rand Paul was the only reason to be afraid.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

On the Nest

In our various comings and goings through the front door, we've been nearly flattened by a bird flying hell bent for leather, if that's possible for a bird to do, from the porch into the yard. Scares the stuffing out of me every time. Poor Mama. She is on the nest, though by now, she may have thrown up her wing and declared to hell with it, her bird nerves undone by our dogs, children and Gene, the dry cleaning guy.

Her nest (located to the left of the front door, so if you come to visit, come 'round back) is beautfully woven of moss and yew. This afternoon, I grabbed Honey and my grandmother's hand mirror in order to get (I really want to say bird's eye view, but I won't) an idea of what's in there.

There's but the one egg, but it's very pretty. Anyone have a clue to what type of bird this may be? Her coloring is similar to that of a Mourning Dove, but she is much thinner (all that coming and going angst) with a longish tail.

And the egg itself looks fairly Easterish, with taupe mottling. Indeed, it is a work of art.

Friday, May 14, 2010

What's Your Name Again?

The first time we picked up our grandson from the babysitter, I had an identity crisis at the door. Whom should I say is calling?

As I entered the foyer, I was literally at a loss not so much for words as for identification. I called out, "Miss Dawn? It's Sue Johnpeter." Wait! That doesn't work. She doesn't know who I am.

"It's Betsy Johnpeter's Mom!" I try again, but of course, our daughter is married and has a different last name. In my panic, all genealogical connections have evaporated. I see Dawn coming down the hall, smiling tentatively. I am sure she is thinking, "Great. Another confused old woman. That makes three this week."

At last, I figure out what should work: "I'm Zachary's Grandma," I offer, and Dawn smiles. A new connection, said out loud for the first time.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


If you had been paying attention to Oprah, you could have "won" a visit from Robert Pattinson, as a NCHS sophomore did this week.

While I admit the swoopy hair is kind of a kick, I'd be happy to see this guy:

How can a fridge set on 3 freeze diet coke and iced tea? And how many times is too many to repair a stupid refrigerator?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Mailing stuff from the Washington Street Post office just got even more gnarly. The Post Office has sold the truly inconveniently-located parking lot that is across the street at Benton. As of May 13, you'll have to use the parking garage.

When I asked what was planned for the corner, the desk clerk replied, "No one tells us anything."

Perhaps the Washington Street station is nearing extinction, which is a shame. Ever since Mail Works ceased to be a postal substation and the prices soared, I've been mailing stuff as infrequently as possible. The Ogden Avenue Post Office is so huge and unwieldy and a pain in the stamp. (Would someone tell me why post offices are always so ridiculously inefficient?)

I filled out a ponderous form sent by the US Postal Service regarding all things postal in Naperville last week. And I used the comments section abundantly. But I swear I didn't dis the Post Office or its parking lot.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fridge Fright

In that I bought a brand new insulated lunch bag for work (it's grey! it's cute! it was $5.99 at The Container Store!), I was reluctant to jam it into the unbelievably disgusting fridge at work.

After three days of cringing, I volunteered to clean the shelves, provided people removed their decaying detritus in a timely fashion.

Among other curdled disgustingness, this is what I found:

Okay, in deference to the truth, this picture is from the Internet and the blackened object that I found went immediately into the garbage (after I showed it to the co-workers, of course.) It was inside what I believe to be a former employe's lunch bag. She's been gone since 2009.

I need to go boil my hands now. And then this keyboard.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

HMD, Everyone

Why better than the lady rose,
Love I this little flower?
Because its fragrant leaves are those
I loved in childhood's hour.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Shoes, Glorious Shoes

Nordstrom was having a Yves St. Laurent make-up event today, which we bypassed quickly on the way to the shoe department. You won't beLIEVE the shoes we saw. (Well, maybe you will, if you're a shopper. Which I'm not.)

Chinese Laundry makes these. They're some sort of polymer.
Dang, aren't they a kick? And fairly inexpensive. Did I mention they're yellow? The color of an egg yolk, as a matter of fact.

Then there were the flats -- very hot in France, I hear. (As long as they're Repetto, but I didn't see that brand in the store.)

And then we saw these:

And of course, the painful-to-contemplate-nevermind-wear

(A caged sandal, or so I read. Aren't they a kick in the head?)

Better judgment and perpetually throbbing feet, however, determined that these
were the best way to go.

I know, I know. They don't exactly exude sexy, but there's an interior arch support that is wicked hot.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fix it, fix it, fix it!

This economic meltdown in Greece has me very UPSET. It is interfering with the PLAN. Do NOT interfere with the plan, which is a little bit of this:
Of course, being faithful readers, you already know all about our future slice of heaven.

Meanwhile, in defense of all the horrible things going on in the world, I offer this bit of reality to cheer me you up:

These are my neighbor's. My Lilies of the Valley are so puny, they're not blog-worthy. I look at these and want to pin them on the grooms and groomsmen of the world.

Speaking of weddings, if you get to Geneva in the next day or so, check out the bridal spirea in front of Cocoon on Third Street. Such an amazing, swooopy creation. I didn't have my camera with me last Saturday, but it looked even better than this:

Now, honey, that's a plant to be reckoned with.

Okay, they're saying this economic reverb in the U.S. was a computer glitch. Or Al Quaeda. Or something. I don't know. It makes my head hurt.

All I know is that we need more flowers and other signs of prosperity in this world. Because there's a PLAN, people.

Monday, May 3, 2010


For the bridal shower Sunday, I made up three of these square glass containers with pears and hydrangea for the centerpieces. For a non-flower-arranging kind of person, I sometimes surprise myself.