Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back To Something

I've bought a package of Bic pens every year since our last child took off for college.

That was in 2005.

Six years of Bics.

Still wrapped in plastic.

I think I am suffering from some sort of back-to-school/space-time compulsion/menopausal/does anyone really know what time it is/conundrum-of-my-own-making.

Perhaps I should clean drawers more often, except now I'm a little scared.

I'd like to think that now that I've put this, uh, bit of wacky out there for all to see, I will be able to resist the impulse to add to the collection and refrain from starting a new one, possibly with marble composition notebooks.

This is how cat hoarders get their start, isn't it?

(With thanks to my friend Joyce, who gave me this fabulous cup for Christmas last year. It is a perfect Bic bearer.)

Sunday, August 28, 2011


With family living on the east coast, I feel guilty pointing out the beauty of this day along the Du Page River Trail. It looked as if the air had been scrubbed clean by all that turbulence. Everything was in magnificent detail.
Yesterday, I tried to ride a bike down this path. I have read that bike riding, once learned, is never forgotten. That's total crap. I nearly killed myself (and frightened a few others) on the path to Whalon Lake. So, until I can find a Sting Ray bike with foot brakes (and handle streamers), I'll stick to walking. Besides, it's safer to stop and take pictures.

One thing I have confirmed while on the trail is that men and women observe the world differently. My husband sees the sleek, Lycra-attired women who smiled at me as they zoomed by as "encouragers." 

I thought they were quite smirky, actually.

Besides, in that I have no intention of setting any land speed records now or in the future, it's very agreeable to rest under the wing of an enormous oak tree.

We don't often get a chance to sit and just be.

I encourage you to try it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Creeping Crud and a Fine

Is it possible for mosquitoes to be rabid? The reason I ask is that I have the most awful swath of bites on the back of my neck. I itch like mad, and now have red, lumpy welts across my face.

Our granddaughter cried when she saw me.

So I'm thinking that if you need me, I will be the one in the calamine bath for the next couple of days. If something interesting pops up, like a hurricane or a plague of locusts, send me an email and I'll drag my sorry posterior to the computer.

Meanwhile, stay inside. It's dangerous out there.

Naperville Now

p.s. Oh, yes. The City of Aurora has fined me $100 for turning right on red by the high school. There is a sign at the intersection that says "No turn on red when pedestrians are present." There were none, so I turned. Perhaps a little too quickly, but I was late to see the new baby. And I was talking to Joyce in St. Louis. And I was just a little lost.

I'm thinking of delivering the money in person so I can at least give the Aurora Red Light Enforcement Program people a little jolt when I walk through the door. Facial welts that look as if they might be a little contagious? Have a nice day.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Architectural Touring

Following our adventures with Superman and Mies van der Rohe, we ventured into Chicago, that great and wonderful nearby city with the over-priced parking and now, an outsized Marilyn Monroe.

(To make this picture work, I needed to use a ladder.
Also a crowd controller.)

Her lingerie appears to be fabric, but I didn't want to investigate too closely and be accused of being a creeper.

Marilyn was the last destination on our tour. We were there not to see France or underpants, but to take the Chicago Architectural Foundation's boat tour. Really. Here's what it looked like:

The Wrigley Building.
Reminds me of Metropolis, Clark Kent and spearmint gum.

The Chicago Tribune's billboard: "Now with broader shoulders."

Every once in awhile, it's good to bust out of the bubble that is Naperville, particularly on a glorious day filled with abundant sunshine.

Come and show me another city with lifted head singing
so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.

Carl Sandburg's poem Chicago is almost 100 years old. And with the exception of the hog butcher part, I do believe it still rings true.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Super Plano

A Superman prequel is being filmed in the town of Plano, IL, a short dash just west of Naperville, if you're flying.

And while we didn't run into Russell Crowe or Diane Ladd, who will portray the Man of Steel's parents, we did browse the storefronts that are being transformed into a movie set.

Kinda neat, actually.

I'm assuming this is what happens when a spaceship falls on a roof.
Our waitress at the Main Street Diner told us this 7-Eleven was built expressly
for the movie and then will be blown up.
Or she was pulling our legs.
You decide.

Fighting for truth, justice and the American Way.
Also Bud. 

We really went to Plano to see the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe house and just kind of bumped into Smallville.


I even have pictures.

And in the game of what's really super, this 1951 architectural gem is that. And, of course, much more.

Beauty, serenity, clean lines, simple, elegant, compelling, tranquil, lovely.

A treasure in our backyard.

The Farnsworth House, as it is called, requires tickets in advance, which you can buy online.

We plan to go back in autumn and see what it looks like surrounded by russet and gold.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Stand By

Hello there.

I seem to have been out traipsing rather than keeping up with Naperville Now.

In fact, I've been to Plano, Chicago, Libertyville and Smallville. Yes, that Smallville. Russell, Kevin and Diane are, like, BFFs now. (Can one make BFF plural? Anyone have Roy Blount Jr.'s email?)

Much to report, just not tonight.



ps If the graphic rings any bells, let me know in the comments section.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

To Market, To Market

I've been a Kane County Flea Market fan since 1987, though I confess I haven't trolled the Sheep and Swine stalls for French faience in a long time.

On a whim, we scuffed our way through the fairgrounds last Saturday, and I only got yelled at once for taking photographs. (In truth, when I remember to ask vendors if I may take a picture, the answer always is yes.)

There's some pretty keen-o stuff being sold these days. Take a walk with me, won't you?

Admit it, you love spaghetti poodles and look for them wherever you go.

Memory art made of slag and pyrite and a whole lot of other unknown stuff. A great look for that perplexing corner of your home. Bring a crane. This urn weighs 300+ pounds.

Betsy of West Lafayette made these hula hoops that actually hula. She has an etsy store, too, which you can find here. She and her partners have darling stuff, mainly repurposed. I love that.

Tie snakes. Who knew?

Inside the lone air-conditioned building, we found Vintage Addiction. Darling booth.

 Vintage fabrics in old frames for a bulletin board. Love it. Want it. All.

Then I saw, or rather inhaled, the booth of The Frenchman's Wife. In my trance, I forgot to ask if I could take a picture.

Lisa was not happy with me. I apologized. We compared blogs. We talked art. I think we are on good terms.

At another booth, due to the heat and excellent conversation, I forgot to take pictures altogether.

"Do you have a blog?" the booth owner asked as I checked out her tables of goodies.

While I suspected my husband of putting her up to it (he hadn't), we got to chatting like old friends. She has a full-time job, full-time kids and husband and a full-time life. And the need for an overflow valve for her stuff, hence the Kane County Flea Market. She is absolutely charming, so go find her in the double building and buy her stuff.

And be sure to get to the market early enough for the gnomes. I'm pretty sure we got the last one.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I have no financial connection to any of these vendors. I just like their stuff.)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Napped Out

Of course, no one ever said it would be easy being 72 hours old.

Sweetest Baby Ever (SBE) born Aug. 2 to brother
Cutest Baby Ever (CBE) at Edward Hospital.
Seven pounds three ounces.
Confusion as to length (definitely a DNA thing).
19 1/2 or 3/4 or maybe just 19 inches long.

She's so comfy all curled up, it's hard to tell.

Hello, Charlotte. Welcome to your world.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back To What?

This page came from a free Naperville magazine that is mailed to us each month. The photograph was taken as part of a Back To School section.

I'm thinking she probably wouldn't need the hat if she had more clothes on.

Really? Who comes up with these fashion ideas?

Mostly, Naperville Now wants to know what you make of it.

Leave me a comment.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Do Not Disturb

The laundry will remain in a mouldering heap.
Chinese take-out and pizza will be sufficient unto my day.
And boss? I quit because I have found my life's calling. 

It is what makes this

turn into this:

And this

become this:

Am I the last person on earth to discover the joyous addiction that is Adobe Photoshop?

The Lifelong Learning class at Benedictine University that my friends and I took this summer was more fun than any college class has a right to be. Tinkering with saturation and values and curvy things on a grid was unquestionably the most fun I have EVER had. We would probably still be sitting in the classroom, oohing and ahhing over our groovy results, had the janitors not come in to sweep us out

Not only am I going to buy this software today, I'm going to have to invest in a really comfortable office chair. I don't plan on getting up until I've experimented with/improved 30-plus years of photographs.

Thanks again to Aaron, our teacher, for showing us the way to the light. And to the contrast. And to the levels. And especially to the burn and dodge.