Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bandit -- A Final Note

As readers of Naperville Now already know, we lost Bandit, our 18-year-old Shih-Tzu, last month while we were in Savannah.

He was 3 when we adopted him from the Hinsdale Humane Society. Surrendered by his family, for reasons I have yet to discern, Bandit was featured on this newfangled thing called the Internet. Our daughter AJ, then 11, was surfing through shelter websites, saw his picture and read his back story:


 The next thing I remember, we were headed to the shelter.

One shave-down (his fancy Shih-Tzu hairdo was matted) and one discounted neuter later, he was ours.

His poor health in the last two years of his life has made us forget how entertaining he was in his youth. He ran through our house in mad bursts of gray and white energy. He could leap effortlessly onto our bed. He loved to snap off the eyes on all of his toys. He adored his walks (three times a day because I read that somewhere in a dog care book). The first week, he ate a loaf of white bread, leaving slices under Charlie's pillow and assorted seat cushions. If you sat down, he jumped onto your lap and snuggled in. He sat on a chair and watched us eat dinner every night. He was devoted to AJ, his saving grace, and to our eldest. More than anything, he hated to be left behind, so we didn't.

Since 1998, various family members have acquired Shih-Tzus, seduced as they were by Bandit's soft coat and effervescence. The most recent Shih-Tzu is Rudy, my sister-in-law's beloved pooch. He hates everyone on the planet except Johanna.

In memory of Bandit, Johanna sent a generous contribution to Shih-Tzu Ground Zero, also known as the Hinsdale Humane Society. She wrote:
The amazing thank you letter from the Hinsdale Humane Society was the only thank you note I've ever received that made me cry. According to their letter, part of it hand written, Bandit's memorial gift was responsible for vaccinations for 8 lab puppies so they could go to new homes, treatment for a respiratory infection in an older cat named Bailey so she could be adopted (you know that's why I fostered and eventually adopted my cat Jingle Belle. She had a respiratory infection I had to treat for 3 months and no one would take her.) Also a litter of 4 kittens were given their first set of shots. Even if they made it up, it was so powerful! Wow!!!
When I go, if anyone wants to send a memorial, it will go to the local Humane Society so other people can find the joy, the love and the companionship my precious Rudy has given me (even if he bites other people).
(When visiting Johanna, take bacon as a precaution. Just saying.)

It remains quiet around here.

We miss having a little buddy, but there is freedom in not worrying about who is available to go home and take Bandit out or give him a pill or rustle up a little Braunschweiger snack.

And every day is a little bit easier, a little less sad.

Mostly, we remember.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Naperville Now forgot to take her camera to the Memorial Day Parade.

With the temperature at 96 degrees, I am having trouble remembering a good many things.

Mercifully, Charlie had his iPhone, so a few moments were saved for posterity.

(I am crazy about parades. And veterans. And classic cars, especially convertibles. And bands. And kids in bands. And babies. So, I think I covered what I like best, just not with a camera that does it really, really well.)

Thank you to our nation's service people, past and present.

From one of many of its grateful citizens.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Postcard 3

I am writing from the airport, using the Savannah Flies wifi.

Naperville Now generally likes to use her own salon wifi, so this is a first.

That's me, out there breaking boundaries and so on-the-go.

Internet access used to cost a small mound of money here, but I guess since they get to see you naked (and barefoot), they now hook you up for free.

As my sister-in-law observed on the way to the airport, there is little joy left in flying.

But there is free wifi. 

And there's a flip flop shop across from Gate 5 where I'm sitting, so I'm intrigued.

It will be good to be home, though I will miss seeing the exotic sights of Savannah. Any clue what this plant might be?

Spectacular. Even makes the parking meter look good.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

See you at the Memorial Day parade on Monday?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Postcard 2

(Naperville Now left her camera at home, so you must bear with her iPhonically.)

It's been a week, so my treat was to drive down to the marina and watch the sun set.

And a party was in progress.

Anyone who lives on the island may attend and partake in a low country shrimp boil and/or barbeque.

Did I mention there were cocktails?

So, a huge score for Naperville Now to be able to listen to live, quite-good music, stroll the marina and enjoy a Stella.

Kids were catching fiddler crabs and racing them by the marsh grasses. Boats zipped or sailed across the water.

And some folks (who apparently are from Connecticut) got to ride this perfect wave:

A guy admiring it at the same time as I said  it was a 1955 or '56 Continental Thunderbird.

Is there anything better than a red convertible?

Safe travels by land and sea to everyone this week.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hiatus Postcard

I'd throw in that great 1950s graphic of the "We Are Off the Air," but this seems to be a better representation for Naperville Now's upcoming week:


Every day in Savannah, GA, looks exactly like this, although with a little more sun sprinkled in.

Have a good week, everyone.

Don't forget the sunscreen.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Z is for Zach

It's not always easy to get one's arms around this thing called life.

For a 3-year-old, I think Zach is managing quite well.

Splendid tree courtesy of Naperville's Riverwalk.

Zach courtesy of Betsy and Dennis.

Naperville Now is participating in Miss Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. More Z posts can be found here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Gardener

Clearly this meadow has an excellent landscaper.

I would've waded in for a closer shot, but I am already covered in poison ivy from weeding our stupid yard.

Gardening is dangerous.

But the views can be nice.

I am off to douse myself again in Tecnu Poison Ivy relief, apply bandaids to the affected areas (hand, neckage, who knows where else) and pray that this scourge stops spreading.

And try to remember: leaves of three, let it be.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day
By guest blogger Betsy Anderson
Sent from my iPhone
I appreciate more the meaning of Mother's Day now that I'm a mom. And being a mom is a tough job.

Somehow all those gifts given to mom on Mother's Day throughout the years don't seem like enough. How many macaroni noodle necklaces does one need? 

So today I say Thank You, Mom, for being a great Mom. Thank you for all those days and nights taking care of us sick kids, letting us climb into bed with you when we were scared, helping us with homework, listening to our friend and boy problems and countless other things.  

I would not be the person or mother that I am today without you. Today we celebrate all moms, current, past and future. Happy Mother's Day! 

P.S. Please check spelling and grammar (your job never ends :) xoxo) 

Insert cute pic of us here!!

From Mom:

a. thank you for guest blogging today
b. one can never have too many macaroni necklaces
c. happy to be your spellcheck
d. this pic is about as cute as it gets


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fashion Rant

When my friend Marilyn told me I was a month late looking for a mother-of-the-bride dress, I choked on my tortilla soup and made plans to drive to Nordstrom the next day.

I did a little pre-tripping on the website.

There are a lot of ugly dresses out there. A lot. In fact, they outweigh the non-ugly 50 to 1.

When I asked my bff Joyce if dress designers are all misogynists, she said yes.

Joyce knows fashion.

Pleats? Swirls of mauve vomited across the bodice? Random beads? Sleeveless?

This is not a look I am striving for.

The dress below is in the Mother of the Bride department. Clearly a typo. They meant step-mother of the bride. She graduated, what, two years after the bride?

Sleeveless? Gathered skirt? A great look for someone who is tall, hasn't had a sandwich since 1990 and knows from articulated arms.

In short, wrong, wrong and all wrong.

I am not a shopper because it is agony to browse beyond jeans and black pants.

My bride, however, is not keen on either of those looks.

Enter Rita, of Nordstrom Dresses. A stylish, thin woman of a certain age who knew the inventory and directed me to a dress that may actually work (particularly if I'm wearing body armor underneath.)

She is frantically looking for my size in this dress:

(I look just  like this.)

It comes in a dark navy.

I have hope.

And I love Rita.

I emailed her managers to tell them how much I loved her, her calm, her insight and personal service. We are definitely inviting her to the wedding.

So, what's your experience with dress shopping? Anyone else recognize the huge gap between what's on the hanger and what looks good on real bodies?


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Conflict Resolution?

This is (possibly) the last in a series of posts entitled Conflicted, which began with this:

segued to this:

went kicking and screaming to this:

and now may wrap up with this:

So, someone's thinning a bit, I see. Turned too soon did we?

Give me a break. It's early yet. I'm still unfolding.

At least those squirrels finally skedaddled. Horrible, messy things.

The kids are back on the playground. I like that.

Winter gets awfully quiet. 

But now we have all these days to soak up the sun, listen in on the conversations in the carpool line, and grow.

We are a poem lovely.

You write that?

Nope. Joyce Kilmer. East coast guy. Died in World War I.

I'm thinking of composing some original verse this summer myself.

Composting, more like it.

Hey, now.

Why wait for good weather? Anyone who turns scarlet as well as you do must have mad poetic skills.

How's this:
A tree divided
into crimson and green
remains resolute.

Keep practicing.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Flower Box

Looks like like a delightful corner of France, non?

In fact, this climbing rose envelops a free-standing garage located a very short distance from Naperville's City Hall.

Yellow clapboard. Green shutters. White woodwork. An architectural trifecta, with the added bonus of buds on the verge of bursting to life.

I've walked by this little scene many times, but it's the first time I've seen it decked out for spring.

I love it that someone took the time to add a flower box to the window.

Now there's a metaphor for life.

What will you plant in your flower box this year?

Naperville Now is linking to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday this week. Check out what others are writing about the letter X.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

And We're Back

It's been a long week. In fact, my head hurts a bit after 1000 miles (or hours. I get those confused) from Savannah.

But we are home. And it's quiet.

The good news is: it's sunny and warmish in Naperville.

The bad news: it's quiet.

The good news: the house is clean.

The bad news: we managed to trash it in 11 seconds.

The good news: We were gifted with a gardenia bush, in honor of my mother-in-law. It is wonderfully fragrant. And alive. Hoping we can pot it up and set this Augusta Radicans on the patio. Gardeners: please chime in with advice on maintaining this plant in Zone 5.

The bad news: it's quiet.

The good news: Beth dropped by with banana bread. Thanks, Beth. It's delish. Also, Donna dropped by with more toys for Zach. Thanks, Donna.

The bad news: there are ants on the bathroom window sill. A lot, apparently. And my chief critter wrangler is headed out of town on business. Which means the frogs and locusts can't be far behind.

The good news: Paul McCartney's new CD came while we were gone. It's fabu.

The bad news: it's quiet, even with Sir Paul in the background.

I promise a genu-eyne post soon. I'm still feeling a little bit fuzzy around my edges.

Thank you for your wonderful words and many kindnesses to our family. It has meant so much.