The Winter tease

I asked Alexa what the temperature outside was. I find that very handy as invariably, I am in the middle of something when I need to know. Stewie and I went out in the twenty-nine degree weather. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be since there wasn’t any wind.

The gray skies made me feel that it was really the fall, not the winter. A patch or two of dirty snow here and there reminded me that it is winter and that snow is still possible.

Noisy it was outside, the noise even helped me decide which direction Stewie and I were to take for his walk. The noise was tree trimming and removal and we saw that in the distance as we went around the block.

The crocuses are all over the place but I am well aware that it is nothing more than a March tease. One cannot expect that the winter is over because of a few flowers. I know full well the fury that the winter can provide. Mother Nature will delude us into believing that spring is on the way and then a storm hits us and literally knocks us off of our feet.

We are all at a point where we wonder how much more of this weather we can take. We are tired of the winter and yet we know that we cannot rush it out of town. We have to be patient and allow the transition to occur as it needs to. Once again, we are reminded of the lack of control we have over nature and over our own lives.

Nonetheless, I am ready for the spring, if we actually get one this year, to take over and then transition into summer.

Posted in Life in general, Seasonal Transition, Seasons, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment

The Telephone Switchboard and other memories

I get up and think that I am not so old. I go and vote and in the voting area, by the door, is a telephone set up not unlike what was actually used when I was a kid. A set up where the ‘operators’ as we called them, would pull out a cable and plug it into a different location on the machine. If I am not too far off, my sister, when employed by I think, Ohio Bell, did this.

My mom had a phone service with a ‘party line.’ It happened to be our neighbor several doors away. So often, we would want to use the phone and Grace Koprek would be on the line talking. We would have to wait to make our phone call.

I think of the time when we were not allowed to own our phones and had to rent or lease them.

I remember the accessories cars moving slower or faster depending on how fast the car was going and that when you came to a stop, that the idling of the car would cause a slow down of the windshield wipers.

There was a time when you could neither easily lock your car doors nor open or close your windows easily, without stopping the car, getting out, and manually doing it. My first car had no air conditioning. We didn’t have good window defogging and would have to resort to swiping the inside windows with our hand, rag, or kleenex.

TV was black and white and white and programming was not 24/7. Our oldest son reminded me that even he remembered that. We didn’t even have the expression, ’24/7!’ Periodically, the picture would start to ‘roll’ in such a way that you would have to go to the TV and adjust by turning a button. To change channels or volume, you had to be at the TV.

So much has changed in a few short years and it makes me wonder where it will go in the next fifty or so. What is going to happen and how will lives be forever different?

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A visit to the Art Institute

Years ago, in front of the Cleveland Art Museum, my sister and I had a photo taken in front of Cleveland’s ‘Thinker’ by Rodin. Later on, someone blew it up.

Technically, I am on vacation.

Reality-wise, I am not even teaching a class as it was taken from me at the last minute. If the enrollment in Arabic were better, this would not be happening.

Nonetheless, Oakton is on break so I am not even going in for conversation groups. I have three-hour sessions per week, as usual.

Since Wednesday was free, I suggested we finally take in the Rodin Exhibit at the Art Institute. We didn’t push ourselves, had coffee and breakfast, and then got in the car and went downtown. The exhibit was small but delightful, making me feel as if I need to pack my bag and go and see the Rodin Museum in Paris, one of my all-time favorites. The Museum was perfect, not too crazy today and we took advantage of the valet service they now have. For lunch we went to their cafe and had a great Asian ‘rice bowl’ lunch.

We came back to Deerfield, went to the grocery store to pick up a few things, went to vote in the Primary (voting early instead of dealing with voting day itself, and then I picked up a book from the library.

I just finished my hefty French book by Joël Dicker (it was great) and am now going to read a book suggested to me on Facebook. The book is about a liberal person who converted to the Republican way of thinking. On Facebook, someone I have known for a long time told me I needed to read it. Being the person I am, I thought I should. Maybe I shall learn something.

My situation on Facebook was what I find as a typical one when dealing with people who like the current autocrat or who are diehard people associated with that elephant and red. You cannot talk to them for they do not seem to hear you. They do not make you feel as if your opinion has value, and they seem to be totally steadfast in their beliefs, to the point that I feel as if the person has been brainwashed. Now this doesn’t happen all the time, but it has happened often enough that I always avoided political discussions.

We shall see, I am going to pull out this book and…

I hope it doesn’t ruin the wonderful day I have had!

Posted in Art, Chicago Art Institute, Life in general, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment

Project Manager

Project Managers come in all shapes, sizes, and ages.

The one I am talking about is not even four and is less than thirty pounds.

She is better at getting things done than I am; that is for sure and she is relentless, perhaps a good version of a pit bull. She already has a mind like a steel trap and uses it to get you when you least expect it. Proof of that is when, at some point, we talked to her of her Uncle and that before he was born that we called him Sven. It seems like months later after we told her that she went to Uncle Dude (as they all call him) and said, clear out of the blue, “Uncle Dude, your name was Sven before you were born.” Uncle Dude dropped his jaw, something he does not do all that often.

So, Mary Kay has been back at sewing. Mary Kay has made a drop dead gorgeous Elsa (from Frozen) costume, an Alice in Wonderland (for this steel-trap minded granddaughter), and other things as well.

Then, one day, Miss MST (Mind with a Steel Trap) started on Mary Kay that she wanted a Wizard of Oz costume…for Dorothy. She didn’t demand, she charmed her way to her goal. Ever since, she even tells her parents that when she goes to ‘Mamie’s’ house, her costume will be waiting for her. Yeah, right.

At under four, she really doesn’t get the concept of selecting and buying the material, how patterns work, cutting the material in the shape of the pattern, sewing the parts together, taking them apart when one realizes that the sizing is off, buying more material, etc. We are working on explaining the reality of projects to her.

It doesn’t matter, she has a job, she is focused, and she is ‘on it.’ The dress has been in production for less than a week and it already looks like the dress Dorothy wore. I hope that this lasts her a lifetime. Look out, world!

Next on the agenda, Glinda, for this young ladies cousin, and Elpheba for the other. The youngest, our little granddude, is set to be the Tin Man or the Lion.

Posted in Family, Grandkids, Life in general, Sewing, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment


Eggs are almost in ‘omelette’ mode.

Time to scramble…

…the finished product: scromelette!

I hate eggs. I have no problem with them in cakes or desserts, but as a breakfast staple, I avoid them like the plague. Clearly, there is something wrong with me. My mom used to say that at an early age, I decided that the color ‘yellow,’ as a food item, was something that knocked things automatically off my food list. It is pretty much accurate.

I have children and had to feed them. I also remember making eggs for my mom. How is it possible that I can even cook these things when I don’t eat them?

Of late, given the grandkids, I have gotten back into making eggs and today MK asked me to make them for her.

I am calling it a ‘scromelette,’ as I really don’t start ‘scrambling it, nor do I do a major scramble to finish them off, until they are at the omelette stage. I didn’t even notice that I do this until MK watched me make them this morning, having asked me since hers don’t taste like mine.

I do have a few tricks here, one of them learned from my mom. I use a small amount of water. She told me about this years ago as she felt it made the eggs fluffier. I don’t use any milk at all.

I use a large pat of butter, heat up the pan, and shake up the eggs in my special water bottle which whips them up nicely. I make sure the pan is hot with the melted butter, place the shaken eggs in, and wait for them to get into the omelette mode where you could almost flip half over and create the omelette. Once there, I gently scramble them. I put in no salt, no pepper, I serve them and the person served can do whatever with them.

The grandkids love them and so does Mary Kay. Maybe sometime, I should try them again.

Posted in Cuisine and Food, Life in general, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment