La Canicule – The Heat Wave


Jeudi, on est certainement fatigués. Nous avons fait beaucoup de travail car une partie de notre grande famille a déménagé hier. On a vendu l’appartement de Glencoe et puis on a acheté une maison à Highland Park. Actuellement, cela veut dire que nous avons deux fils qui habitent à Highland Park et moins de quatre miles de notre domicile à Deerfield.

Il fait tellement chaud et la clime de la maison qu’on vient d’acheter ne marchait pas très bien. C’est-à-dire que le premier étage n’était pas très confortable, heureusement cette situation a changé pendant la nuit. Le fait de toujours ouvrir les portes, une chose nécessaire pendant le déménagement, a changé la temperature de la partie haute de la maison. Il y a fait très chaud!

Il y a toujours des choses qui restent dans mon garage à Deerfield et que nous devons transporter, mais les meubles et les choses les plus importantes sont dans la nouvelle habitation. Ce matin, après ma promenade avec Stewie, la grosse camionnette de Richie était devant la maison, et j’ai mis pas mal de choses dans la partie en arrière, sur la plateforme de chargement. J’ai aussi mis beaucoup de choses dans notre petit break, afin de les transporter à la nouvelle maison quand j’y suis allé pour chercher les petites-filles.

Et en plus, il y a cette canicule, on dit qu’elle durera deux jours de plus.


Thursday finds us rather tired. We have done a lot of work because a part of our larger family moved yesterday. They sold the townhouse in Glencoe and bought a single family home in Highland Park. Now that means that we have two sons in Highland Park and less than four miles from our house.

It is really hot and the air conditioning of the new home was not working well. The second floor was not very comfortable, happily that changed during the night. Opening up the doors so often, a necessary evil during a move, caused the upper part of the home to be warmer than we would have liked.

There are still things that remain in our garage in Deerfield and that we need to move, but the furniture and most important things are in the new home. This morning, after my Stewie walk, the big pick up truck belonging to Richie was in front of our house and I filled the bed with items for transport. I also filled up our little station wagon so that I could deliver items and pick up the granddaughters for our Thursday stay.

This heat wave, they say it will be two more days.

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Michigan wine?


The other day, we were in ‘The Fresh Market’ in Edens Plaza in Wilmette. We were on the way home from a bit of comedy in Skokie and in need of a few things from the grocery store.

We stopped in with a few bags that I keep in the car to avoid needing the not always free anymore, plastic bags. Of course, as is usual, I never take enough in, thinking that I am only purchasing a couple of things. Somehow, I just never learn. I wonder if there is hope for me.

We, of course, bought the necessities, but totally changed our meal plan as well.

So we finally get toward the cashier and come across the wine sampling, so often seen in grocery stores. We check out a Merlot and a Cabernet. We like what we taste, especially the Cabernet. We purchase two, because they were on sale. Before we do, we ask where the wine is from and find out it is from Michigan. Okay.

We get home and a few days later, I check out the bottle more closely. Michigan? No, Minnesota. On further verification, I find out that the wine is really from Spain?

Pretty bad when you cannot even trust a simple wine salesman and the wine bottle packaging!

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On reading a classic

Zion / IL / Sterling Lake / Etats-Unis - 7/5/16

I am into several different reading modes, at the present time. I have had a habit, since high school, of finding an author I truly like, and then reading all of his/her books. I remember doing that with Steinbeck, only avoiding his short stories, as I do not tend to be a short story person. My technique is not always the best of things, but sometimes I just cannot get enough of a certain writing style.

My current loves are two different authors: Jhumpa Lahiri and Greg Iles, who represent two very different types of book. I was on a roll with Greg and took a break when I jumped to Jhumpa, pun intended. I then took a major break and went to Robert Penn Warren since it hit me that I hadn’t read his famous book, “All the King’s Men.” When I had nothing to read, I went online for our local library and came across it. It was borrowed, so I had to wait. I have books waiting for me on my own shelf, at the present time, but they will wait since I have the Penn Warren book in my hands.

As I am reading this, I thought about reading a book again or reading something that everyone loved and whether or not it will withstand the test of time. Not so long ago, I picked up Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “House of the Seven Gables,” a book I loved when in high school and ended up wondering why that was so. It just didn’t have the appeal it did way back when. Maybe I was just not in the right mood to reread. Some books don’t always withstand the test of time in certain situations. I did recently reread a Steinbeck and still felt the same way, though.

With Robert Penn Warren, I am wondering if all of the hype is for real. At first, I wondered, but now as I am getting deeper into the novel, I believe I am totally hooked. With some authors, the ‘hooking’ takes place immediately.

One recent book by a first time author, “The Secret Wisdom of the Earth,” by Christopher Scotton, did just that to me and I am dying for him to finish another book.

Meanwhile, it is Robert Penn Warren, and then I am jumping back into Greg Iles.

Posted in Life in general, Literature, Reading, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment


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I was in the garage the other day, pushing things around for the impending move of the eldest son and his family to a new abode (for them) in Highland Park. They are storing things in the garage before actually moving them. When I pulled down the bunk bed parts, I came across the frame of a wedding present we got back in 1975 from my cousin, Babs. She had quite the artistic bent and used construction paper to put together a nice memory for us. It ended up in the garage because I had placed it on the wall as a decoration, when it no longer seemed to look right in the house. Somehow, it got taken down and I lost track of it.

Same thing with Babs, we lost track of her, except that she is my cousin. She is somewhere in the Cleveland, Ohio area. My sister lost touch with her as well. Life is complicated.

We know Babs got married. We know she has several children, at least one of whom is on Facebook (Donnamarie Kerro) and will not respond to my queries. I have sent photos via snail mail to Babs’ former husband, they did not come back. I had sent something to what I thought was my cousin’s address in Ohio and it came back ‘return to sender.’

Babs does not want to be found, apparently. I just don’t know why.

I do know that Babs, whose given name was Barbara Ann Borie, was adopted by my mother’s brother, my uncle and godfather, and my Aunt Hilda. My aunt and uncle had several biological children who did not survive from complication of the RH factor way back then. I know that there were less than congenial issues between all of them. My Aunt Hilda is still alive, I have visited her several times in Florida, and she has had little, if any contact with Babs for many years now.

Life is way too short. This is sad. I took a picture of Babs’ wedding gift to us in 1975 and thought of her. I wonder what happened.

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Monday Grading Day


The windows had been open on Sunday night, into Monday morning, and even at the early breakfast hour around 8:00 AM, it was still not all that warm. Stewie and I had a walk that pretty much told me that heat was on the way, the combination of heat and humidity making it a walk that was warmer than it seemed it should have been.

We came home, had breakfast all fresco, and I hit the computer to evaluate my two quizzes per student that had not yet been taken (dictation and recorded questions that students have to respond to by recording their answers). Once done with that, I would deal with the online workbook and textbook exercises. It took me until just about 2:00 PM in the afternoon to finish that and by this time, the heat and humidity were overwhelming, our interior having been treated to chilled air for several hours when we realized that there was no hope for an open window scenario later.

I was chomping at the bit, having sat all day and graded, having evaluated, updated the gradebook, and then messaged the students reminders of what was coming this week and next. Despite my warnings, I still have one remaining test to grade, the student having gone to the Testing Center on the last day to take it at 6:00 PM in the evening, only to be told there was a long line and he might not have enough time, once in, to finish by 8:00 PM at their closing. He also contacted me today to tell me he had not taken the quizzes. I told him he was out of luck, I had given plenty of warnings, reminders not heeded, and he had already received his one freebie of turning material in late.

I took one of three new ceiling fixtures, turned off the electricity to the living room, and removed the old fixture on the ceiling by our front door and put in the new one. Luckily, despite the things that can so often go wrong, it was not too much of a deal and I managed to deal with the few odd electric and hanging scenarios that might have threatened my project.

Now that I have that one in, I know that the next two should be close to no-brainers, at least I hope they are as easy as this one. The other two are fixtures I put up in this house some twenty years ago, so I do not think I shall get big surprises.

Posted in Household and yard tasks, Life in general, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment