Monday, July 30, 2012

Killer Pincushion

Several someones have asked me how much time is left before the wedding.

My usual response has been, "Not until the end of August."

"So, that would be 4 weeks? Less than?"

"End of summer. A long time from now. Gotta run."

Feeling not ready, overwhelmed and a little hyperventy. Hyperventilatish. Hyper. Hell, who has time to invent words?

As readers may recall, I had a horrible reaction to an antibiotic weeks ago that left me swollen like a balloon, so I have put off having my dress fitted because I was sure a.) I wouldn't be able to wrangle my body armor because my hands don't work** and b.) the dress would be two sizes too small.

The darling shoes I bought barely squeezed on (looking to bejewel some flip flops as backup), and I did manage the latex armor on my own (breathing optional). 

A darling woman named Lubo, wearing her own brand of body armor, arrived from alterations to size me up.

That is one killer pin cushion.

Lubo chose one pin, pierced a seam and said the dress would be ready Aug. 8.

This is all going to work out, right?

Replied husband, "Don't worry, there will be people around to help you."

Just what every middle-aged woman wants: someone to help her put her underwear on.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Just Smile

First steps.

First words.

First food other than green, runny yuck from a jar.

We've been hugely fortunate to witness our grand children's many firsts.

This week it was . . .

their first photo booth. 

You may not believe this, but the picture strips are now in color. (For those of you who remember stuffing 18 of your friends into one of these things at Rye Playland in 1968, the pix were strictly black and white, like TV and most of the world then, come to think of it.)

Progress, thy name is the 21st century.

Photo booths now come dramatically equipped

with startling ornamentation.

The fun quotient, however, is exactly the same.

It took quite a bit of adjusting to get everyone ready for their big photographic moment:

"Wait, Charley's not in the picture!"

"If I stick my finger in her eye, she will be!"

Charley whips back curtain. "Mom? Save me."

"Just while we're just getting the hang of it, time's up."

Even better than riding the Dragon Coaster (although possibly more dangerous).

Monday, July 23, 2012

Old St. Pat's

We attended the best wedding on Saturday.

The ceremony was held at Old St. Pat's, a Catholic church built in the 1850s before the Chicago fire, and one of the few structures that lived to tell about it.

The church was restored with massive amounts of Celtic artwork handpainted from altar to balcony. The art and stained glass are sights to behold.

I'm thinking it's entirely likely that my husband's ancestors, the Meaghers, worshipped here (100 years before some would become Methodist, that is).

There was even a bagpiper to lead the wedding party recessional. (Being Presbyterian, this was familiar music to me.)

Poor man, dressed in wool and blowing pipes in a city baking at 95 degrees. But, blow he did, and tirelessly, on the steps of Old St. Pat's.


Baby Hannah, rocking a pink and purple fascinator and a backpack au même temps, was  particularly entranced by the music of the pipes.

Later at the reception, we saw her bopping to the Irish dancers and the live band.

We did a little bopping, too.

Much happiness to the bride and groom and their families.

Thank you for a grand and memorable evening.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I Am ... An Update

Just when I think I should shut down Naperville Now and get serious with a llama farm or harp lessons, something sweet happens.

My pal Kaki, who lives nearby and has a secret blog (don't tell her I told you), apparently left a gift on my porch this morning.

At first, I thought someone had dropped off a bottle of olive oil and a copy of the the stump picture from yesterday's Naperville Now post.

In fact, it is a bottle of Kaki's precious single-serve Chardonnay. (She takes them on her many road trips and photographs them snuggled up in the pillows of her hotel bed.)

Blog inspiration under a screw top.

Does it get any better than this?

Thank you, Kaki. You are a peach.

Naperville Now hooks up with Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday each week. To see what other bloggers are writing about the letter I, click on over here.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012



[ahn-wee, Fr. ahn-nwee] noun

a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from satiety or lack of interest; boredom: The endless lecture produced an unbearable ennui.

listlessness, tedium, lassitude, languor.

1660–70; French: boredom; Old French enui; displeasure; see Chicago and national weather report; see why house renovations are in a complete stall; see dearth of clean clothes; see why we are eating pretzels for dinner; see snail's pacing of Naperville Now blog posts.

I realize it is summer. It is supposed to be hot in summer. But it is frying pan hot here, and across most of the U.S., with the exception of San Diego, where my high school pal Kathy lives. She posted on Facebook that it was too cold to take her laptop out on to her porch because it wasn't even 70 degrees.

Weather envy. At my age. Pathetic.

Our annuals are shot. Again.

I don't want to even think about the trees and bushes. The critters show up at our backyard fountain and sit in two inches of water, staring into space. Bird ennui. Clearly.
There is so much to do before the wedding, it makes my head hurt.

I think I'll take a nap, provided I can overcome my ennui and make it to the couch.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I haven't been particularly successful at spiffing up the house for the wedding.

The paint in the sun room looks like we took yellow highlighter to the walls.

The new ceiling fan is teeny tiny compared to the volume of the room. (Scale has never been my strong suit. Too math-y for my taste.)

The faucets are somewhere in Idaho. Or Arizona. Possibly both.

The roof guys showed up at 6.45 a.m with hip hop blaring from the truck radio.

We are on the third round of planting Wave Petunias in the front garden.

How is it that HGTV makes these home up-do's effortless (and in 30 minutes)?

The wallpaper guy, bless him, is setting up to make those powder room walls delightful.

Buh bye brown walls, green stenciling and foil flowers. You will not be missed.

If you need me, I will be at the hardware store measuring ceiling fans and escutcheons, looking for white paint to tone down those walls and buying a toilet seat because, ridiculously, new toilets -- even expensive ones -- do not come with seats. (Bet they do on HGTV.)

Perfect, right?

Monday, July 9, 2012


Our friend turned 50 today.

By way of marking this milestone, we received a request for wine bottles, used brassieres and assistance in festooning her house.

44DD. I checked.
Believe it or not, there are people in this world who actually own a plastic bin filled with bras JUST IN CASE.

Festooning emergencies break out all the time, apparently.

Who knew?

This is the person well-connected in ladies' lingerie who also doubled as the bratender bartender.

Toasted and fortified, we went to work with lingerie, clothesline, bottles, window markers, illuminated signs and more lingerie.

Did I mention there were spotlights?

The sign says: We Are Giving Her Our Support.

Ten people can create a lot of latex havoc in an hour. You should see where those bras landed in the tree next to their house.

However, we misjudged the time and our friend came back home just as we were exiting stage left and right.

Once past 50, it's just not as easy being stealthy.

Happy Birthday, Dee Dee. Hope it was as memorable for you as it was for us.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Great Expectations

Daughter No. 1 reaches a milestone birthday tomorrow.

(July 7 was my due date, hence the title of this post.)

We have bobbed across time's waters so swiftly that I barely know how we got to this day.

I will chalk that up to sleep deprivation. Also laundry. And cooking.

In time, I've gotten better at reflecting about my days rather than rushing through them. (And shame on me for having done too much of the latter when the kids were little and my brain still worked. Writing this blog has helped me slow down, and I'm very glad for it.)

But this post is about our girl.

Our sweet creation, one-point-oh.

Forever dressed too warmly. (In my defense, our old house in Kansas City was very drafty.)

You look so serious in this picture. But it captured your you-ness in ways the 9 million other photographs did not. (I hadn't realized how much these prints had deteriorated until I scanned this one. No offense!)

No matter what we did, you thrived, thank God.

Always in motion.

A champion talker (with inventive pronunciations).

A reader, bless you.

Smart, funny, impatient.

A "Let's go!" girl who thought napping the most ridiculous ritual ever invented.

Fearless (except for The Count on Sesame Street. And I have to admit, I found him pretty creepy, too.)

Gregarious. Curious.

Daring. Tender-hearted.

Fast forward and you are now the mother of two darling babies and zooming through your days.

Wishing you time to reflect on this day before your birthday, to remember and to enjoy yourself and all that your life holds.

Happy Birthday.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


The reason we choose to stay in Chicago is that however awful our winters may be, the summers are always delightful and moderate.

At least that was the case until 1.30 p.m. somewhere between the mall and the library on Naper Boulevard.

Note to self: put masking tape over outside temp read-out. Best not to know these things.

(If it's this bad now, what will it be like in August when we are in our wedding -- and undergarment support -- finery?)

Think temperate weather thoughts with me:

Lush green grass.

Wave Petunias still waving and not shriveled into crunchy stubs.

Hydrangeas all bright and white, exhibiting their usual good posture at the back of the garden.

Silvery rain drops -- a lot of 'em.

And calming, cool breezes.

Possibly a vodka tonic or two until it happens.

Monday, July 2, 2012


I will complain about governmental ineptitude, the TSA, and social injustice, but I generally keep personal rants to myself.

Lucky for you, I'm going to make an exception.

I was prescribed a drug called Cipro two weeks ago and it has been my undoing. Neck pain. Knee pain. Crippling wrist, hand and arm pain.

Did I mention these are known side effects of this drug?

Living on a tonnage of Advil (and Prevacid so my stomach doesn't give up the ghost) has helped infinitesimally.

I just want to make sure that you guys never take it. Ask for something else. Or do jello shots. Anything other than taking Ciprofloxacin, the aftereffects of which my doc says may take weeks to resolve.

(The Internet tells me this is the drug of choice if you have been exposed to Anthrax. Go with the Anthrax. You're just going to have to trust me on this.)

It is also tough to come up with posts that are a. funny and b. vaguely readable when your body is not cooperating in a most unpleasant way.

So Naperville Now is going to take a teeny tiny break while she heals up from the aftershocks.

And if you hear of a class action suit, write me. I'd like to exact my pound of monetary flesh from the evil lab that invented a pill that can make a person feel and look like she's 150 years old.