Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What's the Buzz?

At the Chicago Botanic Garden, we saw a lot of buzzin' goin' on! Though I certainly don't relish the thought of being stung by a bee, they are truly one of my favorite insects. I love their happy yellow/black color composition, their flitting industrious nature and their apparent need to hang around beautiful flowers searching for heavenly nectar. They have a queen as their leader. And can make honey as a by-product! Besides, my name literally means a bee (Hebreaw and English). did this hopper get in here? ( At least he is not guilty of stealing my sunglasses-no

absconders located as of this date. Keep up your watchful vigil, please!)

Don't worry...bee happy! is my message for you today.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Alert! Watch For Fish Wearing Sunglasses!

Where: lurking in the waters by The Crescent to the left of the Visitor Center at Chicago Botanic Garden. When: Sunday, August 24, 2008 approx. 1:43 PM Details: A certain blogger, D. Lindahl, was visiting above location and was leaning face downwards with sunglasses perched on head to get a closer look at stunning Trumpeter Swan swimming by. Possible perpetrators: B. Gill or Holy Carp. distracted the victim so much she jerked her head and the sunglasses fell into the murky waters. These were $$ prescription glasses with clip-on sunglasses attached. Reward: The said victim requests any swimming suspect - T.S., B.G., or H.C. be turned into the authorities immediately. A full bag of dubloons will be rewarded for the recapture of this needed optical device. Description of Sunglasses: Dark rims with decorative metal sidebars. Rectangular lenses. Clip-off polarized sun protectors. RX: SPHERICAL -75 CYLINDRICAL +25 AXIS 95 SPHERICAL -1.50 CYLINDRICAL +50 AXIS 95 All inquiries will remain confidential. Please help....those creatures don't need them as much as the victim does!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Vintage Crafting...and Yearning for Yarn

My first memory of how yarn could be used in crafts OTHER than knitting came from something my sister created. I believed I begged her to make these for me, and eventually I learned how to craft one of these for myself. The one showed above is spookier than those we made! We used googly eyes.

Then, she got waaaaaaay ahead of me and started to learn how to crochet and made these adorable poodles. I confess that when she went to school I snuck in her room to play with the poodles. (It wouldn't be nice to say just how many years ahead of me she was in school.)

Eventually, I turned into "Busy Fingers" as my Dad nick-named me for always having some craft project I was working on as a youngster. And I discovered I liked making pom-poms.

I turned them into little men wearing hats, pigs, bunnies, chicks, name it!

So, imagine how exciting it was to stumble onto these books lately on

Only two were available at our library, but you can bet I am going to see if that poodle is anywhere in those books! Those who are on my Christmas list might get a big surprise this year!!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Peak-qual Time

Because my last post featured time with my sister, I thought this one should feature my brother, Duane. Equal time = Peak-qual time. Duane is a free-spirited adventurer who lives in Colorado. The peaks are his friends and he has met many of them. I admire his stamina and determination for climbing multiple "Thirteeners" and this is his latest climb sent to me yesterday via email. His words explain best his latest conquer, so I am directly quoting him:
"Here are a couple of pictures you might enjoy. Lizard Head is 13,113 feet tall, and is arguably the hardest climb in the Rocky Mountains. This picture shows why.
We climbed directly up the side of the mountain shown on the left side of the bottom half, and up the middle on the top point above the little ramp. The rappel I told you about that was so airy was just right of the center between the two summit bumps, where the face is red and sheer. Not bad for a middle-aged man!" When shown up close, Duane's face is just radiant. I love his passion for living a life embracing nature and the environment!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sisters Walk 'n Shop (P*S*C #6)

Day #3 Monday
Our guys had gone back to work, but not us! My pink suitcase was well packed to add on another overnight and day so sis and I could play, play play! With no distinct plans, we set out to take a walk on a gorgeous summer morning to a nearby park - Winnemac Park.
Take a look at these gardens and flowers, and you'd never guess you were in the midst of the busy, big city of Chicago.
There was still time and energy left after our walk, so we trekked to the nearby Sears on Lawrence Avenue. I confess to not being much of a Sears shopper myself, but hey! We are always up for adventures together so Diann and I gave it a visit. With no one knowing us to see how we were so casually dressed following our walk with no fixin' up beforehand, we went at it full throttle! Shoes, purses and clothes were tried on. Diann gasped as I tried on clothes right on the sales floor without going to a fitting room. (Of course, I was fully dressed underneath those clothes I tried on!) She encouraged me to try this and that on in the right sizes, and I encouraged her to go for some prints and fun stuff for her upcoming fancy-schmancy vacation. At the cash register we were asked if we were twins when I asked the salesgirl to take our picture...she could tell we were having such fun being together.

That's just it...Diann and I seem to have fun together no matter what we do or where we go. And, as a result of our shopping spree, you may now find us sporting the same shoes we found at Sears. Same size. But she'll be the one with the tanned feet slipped inside the shoes as opposed to my much paler gams. Alike but different. There's nothing like a sister!

And this wraps up the mini vacation #6 with my sweet little pink suitcase.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling on the (Chicago) River (P*S*C #6)

Day #2 Sunday
Meeting up with John and Kari after a morning wonderfully spent with Diann was oh so special! We thought that the two of them needed to see Chicago in the very best way via river and boat Architectural Tour. If you -my loyal readers - have never done this before, it has got to be one of the highlight things to do in our wonderful city!
We chose this time to take the SHORELINE SIGHTSEEING tour. We have gone with three other "operations" and this one ranks right up there with a fine craft and knowledgeable guide.
You'll have to take the tour for yourself to get the history and lore of these great buildings and I am just presenting some of my favorite snapshots of the this architectural tour:
The Wrigley Building
Trump Tower
Central Office Building
Merchandise Mart (so big it has its own zip code!)

Sitting behind John and Kari during the excursion was a treat. Watching them take it all in was like seeing it all over fresh for the first time! But I digress...

333 West Wacker Probably my favorite building on the whole tour due to its shape and spectacular reflections of surrounding buildings.
And, of course, the Sears Tower
needed to be featured here!
Following our boat tour, John took us to his office on Michigan Avenue. And we were beat from a day of walking miles downtown. But, what a day. We loved our mini vacation Sunday on the water! Proud Mary - aka Star of Chicago - has kept on Rolling, Rolling, Rolling...
Day #3 is coming and will feature two sisters and their Walk n' Shop.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pink Suitcase Chronicles #6

Day #1 of 3:
Just a hop, skip and jump away this time with suitcase in tow to the Windy City!
(Actually, it was was quite windy this time...this time was THE most danger my suitcase has been in teetering on the edge of a condo roof to capture the Chicago skyline in the distance - thanks to Diann and Wes for their safety concerns!)
Our first stop along the way was to help Anne and Jed with their new move to their first house!
We painted and constructed furniture. Conversed. Commiserated. Consumed. And saw our adorable Grandkitty, Oliver - definitely the clown in the family! Oliver was trouble when it came to being around painting...he needed to be shut in the guest room and found a cozy place to rest in the big sombrero. Here he is just waking up after being curled up in the hat brim.

We then met up with Diann and Larry and will spend the weekend at their lovely condo in the city. Together we board the 'el' and head to Millennium Park for a fabulous concert featuring concert pianist Valentina Lisitsa peforming Grieg's Piano Concerto. To witness perfect day turning into spectacular night under the stars hearing this music is awe-inspiring.
I could have gone home so happy after this point. It had been a great day being with Anne and Jed and Diann and Larry. Wes, too. But, no! There are more good times to follow with this latest installment of the Pink Suitcase Chronicles. Coming next: Rolling, Rolling, Rolling on the River...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Diving In

Not only are the Olympics beginning this week, but I am diving into something new myself...jumping into the Facebook pool. An advisor - who shall remain nameless - at first told me not to take on this "sport" as it was probably for the younger swimmers. Besides, asking for
friends can turn out to be awkward if they prefer to dive with those in the same age group instead of a seasoned swimmer such as myself.
So, I swam about in my own little blog pool and very much enjoyed the activity there...and I still do! And will continue to do!
Recently, though, my advisor nudged me to try out Facebook as many of my peers were dipping into the pool. Reluctantly, I joined in the activity and found - for me - that this is harder to manage than my own Blogger account. More tabs, more applications, more options, more confusion! Not that I want to go there, but I'm an old dog trying to learn new tricks! However, oldsters need to keep those brain cells challenged and engaged, so here I am.
So far this week, I have muddled through placment of FLICK R favorite pictures, asking and accepting almost 20 new friends (peer-age for the most part...I don't want to make it awkward for you young 'uns debating whether or not to accept my friendship, but if YOU ask ME, I'll glady welcome you!!), writing on "walls," setting up my first photo album, sending and receiving first "gifts," and BEST OF ALL playing my first word games with friends. Talk about challenge!
Though not even close to what training and challenge our Olympic athletes need to do to compete in these sports. I'm excited to be an armchair participant!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Two Dresses Too Late

In many ways, this has been THE summer for Garden Parties! And, now after the biggest of the big ones, I just found two dresses to buy that shouted, "Take me home with you; I'm ready to wear to a lovely outdoor shindig!" I'll show you the dresses in a bit. Tags are still attached, so they may be returned to the store for someone else to wear to a Garden Party, but for now they are mine. #1 The first garden/barn party was held in July at a lovely Lake Forest mansion. A beautiful newly- refurbished vintage barn was toured and oohed and aahed over, but it was the garden area I liked best:

Best of all, this party celebrated the Crocodile Pie history with so many wonderful stories and memories of a very unique children's book store. Thanks for getting me hired, Anne!

#2 This lovely Garden Party was held at the mansion of a man whose name sounds a lot like Treehouse on the shores of Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. This place simply takes ones breath away with its lovliness! It was a gathering for those who love and support the Covenant Harbor camp nearby. Meaning Wes and I knew a lot of people there. Seeing my sister and her family was certainly Nora was there as well!

See, Jeff? I told you I'd put you on my blog and here you are with your lovely wife!

Now, back to those dresses. I think I would have worn this one to #1

And this one to #2. Oh, well I guess there's always next year!