Sunday, February 27, 2011


This moment of blue, yellow and bare brought to you by the city of Savannah, Ga.

You're welcome.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Somewhere in Smyrna

I still don't have the photo upload thingy, so this post will be heavy on text, mostly misspelled, because Honey found single-serve Chardonnays for tonight's dinner in the hotel.

The man rocks.

Just saying.

Note to self: flip flops are a delusional choice for driving a thousand miles north from your toasty vacation spot. The dog must be aired every 100 miles or so, so those necessary detours off I-75 can be ankle-numbing, particularly in February.

Should you be planning a road trip, I highly recommend Major Pettigrew's Last Stand on tape. Awesome. Witty. Touching. And there are only 11 Cds. I require beaucoup entertainment in the car, especially on a roadtrip as bodacious as 1,000 miles, so having books on tape has been a godsend. Outlets and antique malls also have helped.

(Did you know there is a Ballard Designs outlet in Atlanta? Actually, I'm told there are two. We hit one. And of course, it was divine. Thank you, Jodie and Sarah, for the superior shopping recommendation. Life will never be the same. I will never be the same.)

A shout-out to Sarah, our birthday girl.  A raging dance party along the Savannah River is just about as good as it gets. Thanks for the invite.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

No Calories Here

Vacation is hard work. So many options and only a few days inwhich to eat exercise them.

(And my apologies for 1) taking a week to get back to you and 2) posting pretend -- but evocative -- pix. I left the upload thingy at home.)

Having a fabu time. Wish you were here. (Bring the upload thingy if you decide to come. We'll whip up some Low Country Shrimp Boil and all the fixin's.)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Can You Feel It?

Sending as much sunlight as I possibly can, hometown.
Hang in there.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


During the recent (and still in progress) Great Basement Excavation, I've listened to a lot of talk radio. No, not that mad, raving talk, which I loathe, but the genuine stuff, where you learn how to caulk windows and drain the water heater. It's instructive, the voices keep me company and I like to think the radio is scaring off whatever is creeping around the sump pump.

This morning, I heard that Lou Manfredini, WGN Radio's "Mr. Fix-it," is hosting a contest called Lou's Home Invasion. Winners will have a chance to host Lou's show from their home (provided there is WiFi) and receive $1,000 toward a remodel project.

Now, I don't know about you, but most of the home projects hereabouts have cost a bit more than a grand, so I'm not sure if this is a realistic prize. But to have Lou here? In the kitchen? Broadcasting his Saturday morning show? Absolutely priceless. (And no, this isn't a paid announcement. Lou doesn't know me from a paintbrush.)

Of course, I entered.  I have a refrigerator situation and would love to hear about a creative, minimally invasive fix for its relocation -- none of that "down to the studs" stuff.

You can read more about the contest here.

Given the chance, which room would you choose to remodel? What would you change? Leave me a comment. I love other people's makeover stories. Less dust.

Meanwhile, in keeping with our theme, some nail gun artistry for your consideration:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Baskets of Rwanda

It's February and just too cold to do much of anything, except remember July.

But if you're looking for a way to toast your soul up a bit, head out to Costco on Hwy. 59. The store is selling Rwandan Fair Trade baskets, hand woven by the women of Rwanda.

The income derived from these lovely baskets will directly help support the people who made them in a country that has been decimated by genocide and unspeakable poverty.

You can read more about this worthy endeavor here.

And as for Costco, nice going, everyone. I like a warehouse store with a conscience.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Basement Excavations Part III

The wash and purge of our basement is a familiar subject to the loyal following of Naperville Now. It started hererevved up here and really got going here.

I am astounded by what we keep. Okay, what I've kept. For instance,14 pounds of thank yous for newspaper stories that I wrote in the 1970s. The stories and notes look like the Dead Sea Scrolls. (And, I daresay, smell a bit like them, too.) In any event, they're off to be recycled into whatever recycled paper becomes. Farewell to my (very old) writing life and hello to the latest, ink-free version.

Then there are the mountains upon mountains upon mountains of toys, all of which had to be washed, sanitized, and then washed and sanitized again, because I'm just that way.

What were we thinking, circa 1982-2000? That the factories in China might one day strike, thus forever depriving our restless children their due rainbow of plastics?

(You'll have to admit, however, that My Little Pony With A Horn On My Forehead, while not particularly cuddly, made a great bathtub toy. Also, I think this is how our girls learned to braid hair, an invaluable girl skill.)

Then there are the matchbox cars, a gift to our daughter from my husband's old boss. While they, like the ponies, are completely germ- and grime-free due to my great faith in the power of hydrogen peroxide to destroy all living organisms, I suspect these little darlings may have been painted with lead paint. Probably not the best toy to share with our grandson, unless he's willing to wear rubber gloves and a hazmat suit.

We glommed Great-Grandma's beads for dress-up many years ago. Many strands have been lost in the staging of basement theatricals, so believe it or not, this is all that remains from the original treasure trove. (And I would like to point out that they are quite clean and drying on a yardstick, the perfect winter clothesline for your jewelry.)

Now that's just wrong. (Girls -- who is responsible for Barbie's maiming?)

So, what do you keep? Sightless Barbies? News clips? Letters? And when you are culling the archives, do you think about what your best friend would do/think/say if she had to come in with a backhoe and do it for you? Leave me a comment. I am fascinated by what we keep, particularly if I don't have to wash it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Day After

I'm lucky in that I am able to work from home, so I haven't had to mush through town to get to the office. And while our street wasn't plowed until 9 pm on Thursday, those guys were here for a long time, plowing the snow and building it up strategically onto the sidewalks like meringue on a (really, really big) cake.

They did such a great job, even going as far as tidying up where our driveways meet the street. That was a first, in the 24 years that we've lived here.

So thank you, plow guys, the one who drove the Gigantor back hoe and the one driving the little WALL-E scoop, who sculpted the drifts like none other.

I think Lake Shore Drive coulda used you two over by der'.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Better as a Christmas card than reality.

First view of monster storm -- garage door build up

Bear in mind, there is as much snow on this covered porch
as there is outside of it.

I've been meaning to remove those screens.

Deer was frozen fast to the ground, so she was left to cope on her own.
Sorry, deer.

Thank you, Charlie. And thank you, Ariens snowblower inventors.

"You want me to do what where? When there's a perfectly usable
dining room rug?"

Looking East. Thinking South. Definitely.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Left For Jersey Yet?

If I can get the thunder snow to hold still long enough, I'll take a picture.

Meanwhile, the Midwest is girding its loins for something that may look a lot like this:

(With thanks to our pal Curt for sharing this delightful view of North Dakota in 1966.)