Sunday, April 28, 2013

Wild Things

Once again I am posting from my phone for Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. Note to self: take laptop on vacation.

I am in St. Louis with daughter #2, cruising the sights of the botanical garden.


I also managed to leave my camera on the kitchen table, so the iPhone is the best I can do.

One of these days I will create a collage of all the pictures I took, you lucky things.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dear Jane Fonda

You walked right by our table at Balthazar's in Manhattan's SoHo last weekend.

I was struck by two things: you are quite tall (and growing taller with each recollection of this brief event) and whoever does your color is genius. 

We don't get many celebrities in Naperville, IL, so forgive me if I sound a little star-struck in recalling your stroll past our dessert.

(I ask you, can one ever have too many profiteroles?)

The maĆ®tre d' did a wonderful job running interference with a table of ladies, whose ringleader flew across the restaurant to take your picture. For a large man, he was very graceful as he put himself between you and madame and her iPhone. She tried not once but several times to bully her way in your direction, but he would not be breached. Hope you left him a nice tip.

I would not have expected such behavior from a woman 1.) dressed as Bergdorf Goodmanly as she was and 2.) old enough to know better. (For the record, we most assuredly stayed in our seats, mainly because the place was so packed, there wasn't much room to maneuver, especially after eating dessert.)

I wondered if you were meeting someone or would you have joined us for lunch had we asked. Do you hang out with everyday people? Get your nails done and go shopping with a BFF? Read blogs and shop for garden antiques on Sunday? More importantly, do you order profiteroles when you can?

At the very least, indulge in the last. They are fabulous.


Sue at Naperville Now

PS Let's do lunch next time you are in Chicago. I hear the Walnut Room at Marshall Field's Macy's does a nice Frango Mint Chocolate Ice Cream Pie. And I am fairly certain we will be left alone. Midwesterners are calm like that.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Vital Records

I'd like to say I'm sitting in the Grand Concourse of Grand Central Station to write this, but sitting is not particularly encouraged in the terminal. So my spastic thumb via iPhone on the train will have to do.

I'd also like to say ole George, my wily ancestor, was waiting for me at the New York Public Library in velvet waistcoat and breeches, but he was not.

I'd like to say he was there to greet me in the lobby of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, but alas, he remained the furtive triple-great grandfather that he is.

Researchers are essentially optimists. Which is why we read and scroll microfiche, pay money for fruitless document hunts, scour books (get sidetracked with the New York social register from 1904) and read stuff until our eyes can take it no more.

I'd like to say I have a lot of great stuff scrawled into my notebooks, but in truth there are just two things: the name of a guy who knows from early New York churches (this could be big) and record of Aunt Geraldine teaching at P.S. 50 in 1905.

Genealogy is rarely about the home run. Sometimes a crack at the bat is all we get. So we keep running.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Happy Birthday, my brother.

With love (and heartfelt thanks for the great week!)


Friday, April 12, 2013


We are in New York for a few days, so this post for Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday will be more imagery than fabu description, mainly because I cannot figure out how to write on this here crazy iPad. (Being undone by machines is maddening. Plus we are off to the Guggenheim shortly, and I don't have the patience to figure out how to placate the computer gods.)

These pictures were taken in Queens in the neighborhood of Astoria, a hopping place filled with the world.

Loved it.

The station by the 30th Avenue elevated train are the first two shots, followed by store signage and a really great street light.

Whatever you are doing this week, don't forget to look up.

Monday, April 8, 2013


April is showering today, so the world should start to green up.

The squirrels are particularly ecstatic about the rain. They skulk in our backyard waiting for the few pathetic tulips to reappear so they can snap their heads off.


I'm going to leave these by the window just to torment them.

(The vase was a wedding gift to my mother in 1943. It looks even better wearing daffodils.)

Meanwhile, we are off on a getaway this week to visit Stephen, Kevin and Bailey, with side trips planned to the Merchant's House, Broadway, and the library

While I am always a grateful and enthusiastic sightseer, I am particularly excited by the prospect of the NYPL visit because I have been trying to hunt down my grandfather's great-grandfather. He is an elusive guy whose paper trail may be waiting for me in the stacks. And because I know you guys are super excited about reading about my ancestors, I will do my best to check in with you this week on my progress with George, War of 1812 veteran and genealogical brick wall.

Happy Spring and safe travels to everyone everywhere, especially to Andy, who will travel 7400+ miles to the center of Asia next week. God bless you and keep you, my friend.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Touch Up

As you may recall, it's been photo central 'round these here parts. All winter, I've been pasting 125 years of photographs into albums. That's a lot of HGTV listening, photo cornering and observing my posterior spill over its banks while sitting and piecing together genealogies and chronology.

I can sit no longer, having created five huge albums of family history. There is still a tonnage of pictures from 1980 onward. (Note to my darling children: they will be a box in the basement with your names and the word "sorry" on it. Despite what you may think, I cannot do everything. )

With family photographs on the brain, I happened to notice that one of me and my mother had deteriorated in spectacular fashion. Dissolving, creased, and torn, it looked even older than I am  it is:

(And I've been careful with the photographs from my side of the family.)

I learned from a friend that Colbert Custom Framing in Naperville restores old photos very reasonably. They will do it for you or you can steer your own Photoshop ship right in their store.

Needless to say, Christy worked her magic on this moment from 1959 in front of the apartment in New York where I grew up. Thanks to her mad skills, Mom and I now look like this:
I think we all need more Photoshop in our lives, don't you?

In true HGTV fashion, here's the before and after:

There just aren't that many pictures of me with my mother, because she was almost always the one behind the Brownie box camera. On this February day, my godmother, Betsy, took the picture, according to the careful handwriting on the back.

I think we turned out quite well.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I wasn't perked to promote Colbert's. I'm just tickled to find a place close to home that does such smart work so reasonably. Rah.)

Each week, Naperville Now participates in Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. See what others have to say about the letter T here.

Monday, April 1, 2013

And Pouf, She's Gone

How to get ready for Easter Sunday:
Tights, check.
White shoes, check.
Pouffy dress and shrug, check.
Foil-wrapped chocolate bunny in right hand unnoticed by Mom, check.

By the time Betsy rounded up her littlest chick, she was enjoying her treat behind the bedroom curtains.

The dress made it through mostly unfrosted.

Hope everyone enjoyed the day. We sure did.