Hot Friday with its monsoon rain, RIP sweet Grandma…


Friday morning found us doing, of all things, sleeping in. We had gone to bed late after a major day of heat, grandchildcare, topped off with a wake (for our daughter-in-law’s grandmother), a quick dinner at Los Mogotes de Michoacan, and then return home to clean up some things and then watch a movie.

The movie was one I came across recently, with Colm Feore, a Boston born Canadian actor whom we have seen in many a Stratford play and on a TV series (The Borgias). He is an amazing actor and when I saw the title, ‘Bon Cop, Bad Cop,’ I was intrigued. I found it when I came across the fact that the two actors are going to do a sequel some ten years after the original.

I have to watch it again, I was so tired I lost it toward the end of the movie and went into doze mode. I wouldn’t say it was the best movie but it was really entertaining and I loved the juxtaposition of the English and French. On the DVD cover, it stated, “Shoot now, translate later,” and that says it all. A man is killed and his body lies on the top of the border sign between Ontario and Québec, in whose jurisdiction is it? Thus the two stars, Patrick Huard and Colm Feore, who play cops for Québec and Ontario, are called into play and their different personalities and language bases cause issues that are often extremely funny as they go about solving the murder. The information about Québecois slang is amazing and is enough impetus for me to watch it again. The movie flits back and forth between Québecois and English is also enjoyable. I bought the DVD online because there was no other way for e to see the movie.

Friday morning, as I said, caused us to sleep in and get a call to help out as the funeral was taking place and thus we would watch the newborn while the toddler went to the funeral mass (luckily located about five minutes away). I took the dog for a walk, came home, the monsoons began, and I went to Deerfields Bakery (sic…their incorrect punctuation is only one reason they are not my favorite bakery), where I purchased some pastries and bread for us and for the mourning Highland Parkers.

It was at the moment of a huge monsoon, the rain came down so fast that the streets were momentarily flooded and I almost had to wade through water in the parking lot to procure the pastries. Deerfield has been so proactive regarding water and rainfall that the water dissipated almost immediately.

The grandma, who just passed away, was one of the sweetest people I have ever met, and had a prominent part in our daughter’s (I hate the word ‘daughter-in-law’) life. She lived around the corner from Highland Park hospital and was just approaching her nineties. She will be sorely missed. Our new venture into bird feeding, which our ‘daughter’ so much loves, is in memory of Grandma, may that sweet soul rest in peace. Each time we see birds stop to feed, we will think of her and the beautiful relationship they had.

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Posted in Birds, Boston, Canada, Canadian TV, Family, Grandchildcare, Grandkids, Language, Life in general, Loss, Ontario, Québec, Shakespeare, Theatre, Thoughts and philosophy, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hot, humid, and sunny before the next storm


The air conditioning is on, believe it or not. A few days ago, in the Midwest, it snowed, and yet we are now hot and humid.

The al fresco dining is pretty much continually in progress, as we wait for the next storm to pass through. The patio has a collection of dishes, glasses, and cutlery to help make it even easier.

Stewie has been a major dirt bag as the girls were here on Thursday morning, running around, going through dirt and water as if he were totally oblivious, which I believe he is.

Wednesday was what it always is, a kind of catch up day, where we do the things we find impossible to do when the grandgirls are here. We finished up the kitchen cabinets, which unfortunately are showing wear in a lack of varnish in spots and some scratches as well. We used the Restor-A-Finish and then the beeswax coating as we did for the dining room table. The result is amazing and yes, this will stave off a refinishing of the beautiful maple cabinets.

We also received a box, after going to a grandgirl performance, from Comcast Xfinity. It is an upgrade of receivers and remotes that was supposed to be simply a changing of the items. It ended up being a bit more complicated than that, especially since I had not noticed that our Denon sound system was not set up to watch TV. We ended up having to call them, but finally we got it up and running. Now we can give voice commands to change things, oh my!

The Xfinity upgrade was due to MK calling ‘Customer Solutions’ after talking to one of our daughters-in-law. She had called in since she felt her bill was too large, got a huge change in price and so we did the same. We got a way better price and a total update. We are of the belief that we now need to contact Internet services and phone companies periodically to get a better price. If we don’t, they just gouge us.

The backyard has a couple of additions: a squirrel busting, French Canadian bird feeder and two new hummingbird feeders. We have tried in the past and I am hoping that this will be easier and more enjoyable than our previous foray into bird feeding. The birds love our yard already because of the pond, as it is.

Posted in Birds, Border Collie, Grandchildcare, Grandkids, Life in general, Meteorology, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment

Hot Tuesday!

The Glencoe fish 'passed' so this baby born in our back yard a few years ago will be a 'replacement.'

The Glencoe fish ‘passed’ so this baby born in our back yard a few years ago will be a ‘replacement.’

It is hard to believe that it is sunny and actually, almost hot. It was so warm that the two girls, who happen to be cousins, ended up in the little kiddie swimming pool Tuesday morning.

We started out super early, around 6:30 AM, this morning, so the fatigue set in early and Stewie never got walked.

The meteorologists have predicted monsoons for the remainder of the week, so I guess that it is necessary to really enjoy and profit from the nice moments out of doors.

I need to attack the pond as the sludge is an issue and I have a total cleaning of the filter to do as well as change the UV light bulb. It is long overdue as I just realized that you are supposed to do that once a year and we are now into our third year.

The fish are not suffering in the pond but it just is not clear enough to really enjoy them.

So I did attack the pond filtering system. I replaced the o-rings, put silicone on them to keep them going longer, replaced the UV light, changed out the filters, and got it all back going again. While changing out the light, I had to deal with an ant farm that had installed itself in the area of the light. I am guessing that they will not be happy now that there is a new light that might just not make them happy.

While the girls were sleeping, I took Stewie for a walk, finally. It was quite warm and it sure does look like perhaps a storm is in the offing.

Posted in Koi and goldfish, Life in general, Pond and koi, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment

Where’s the storm, weather people?

'Baby' managed to get into the baby pool on Tuesday, despite my intentions of keeping it out.  Think the androgynous fellow is protesting the weather reports?

‘Baby’ managed to get into the baby pool on Tuesday, despite my intentions of keeping it out. Think the androgynous fellow is protesting the weather reports?

Deerfield / IL / Etats-Unis - 5/25/16

For more than a few days, they have been promising storms that are supposed to last the week. So far, their predictions have been pointless. Last evening, the supposed beginning of midwestern monsoons left us with a little thunder, no precipitation, and a question as to what is going on.

For my kids, I am happy because they are going camping this weekend and would rather not be floating on their campsite. On the other hand, perhaps the nasty weather system is late in starting.

The temps are very warm, Tuesday was in the 80s and when I got up and on Wednesday, it was in the low seventies and humid. Despite the supposed arrival of rain, the temps are not supposed to change, something that makes me wonder if it will happen at all since usually the storm system is when the cold comes in and wreaks havoc with the warm.

The clematis started blooming on this day and, as when Stewie and I took our walk, I was struggling to identify the amazing scents that were defining the day, all trying to outrival each other. I thought I smelled linden trees but I know that they don’t bloom this early in the season here. Some have to do it with the visual and their appearance, like the clematis, others may look insignificant, like the honeysuckle, but make do with olfactory measures that can almost knock our socks off.

The patio, at almost 9:00 AM on Wednesday, is delightful for al fresco dining, with heat that makes one think it will be sweltering later. Once again, Chicago has managed to slide from winter into summer.

Posted in Life in general, Meteorology, Thoughts and philosophy, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Too many LHEs? How is that possible?

Water iris by the pond.

Water iris by the pond.

I realize that sometimes spending more time at Oakton may be more time-effective for me so I headed there on Monday morning. I had things to do there that I really cannot do elsewhere, not even easily from home.

The first event was my Oakton home page. As it turns out, you need a specific software, which I do not have and since I pretty much never use it, I think perhaps not a necessity. I went to the only office in the building where I know they have it, because you cannot access it from just anywhere on campus. I thought I had the instructions but was not able to find them; I had not put them in a place where I was readily able to find them. I called the wonderful IT person, Jessica, who is amazing and always has time for us. Upon calling her and hearing the name of the software, I mysteriously found my electronic notes. I was able to do what I needed to do relatively quickly, and for that I was happy.

I then set about to clean out my e-mail box for Oakton, something that is a necessity because having too much will cause it to cease working. Deleting e-mails was the idea. I can do it from home but not with ease as you have to choose each individual mail to delete it. From Oakton, you can actually highlight the e-mails together, more quickly.

I also set up to see if I am going over my load of LHEs, the currency of our workload at the college. As an adjunct, I am allowed twenty-seven LHEs per academic year. I was nowhere near that as I had no classes whatsoever for the fall semester, only conversation hours and tutoring, and one course in the spring semester. On Monday, I found out that I am only able to have nine LHEs in the summer session regardless of how many LHEs I have. With what could be two full classes and a conversation hour this summer, I might have accidentally gone over. It took two staff members and phone calls to various people to determine that, with a change in my schedule, with capping off one of the classes, that I would be okay. Why I cannot go onto an in-house web address to verify my hours is beyond me. Such is bureaucracy and academia. It is my responsibility to not get too many LHEs because, if I do, I could risk not being able to teach for a full year.

That was my Monday fun!

Posted in Academics, Life in general, Oakton Community College, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment