Fall is in full force

Most of the trees do not look like this.

Fall is in full force today. The temps are on the cool side, in the fifties, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and the leaves are pretty much all green. No Global Warming the supposed government says, perhaps they are right, but frankly this looks odd as we look at the calendar and realize that it is late October and almost pushing into November.

Halloween is the next major holiday of importance and our house is ready. We had our four-year-old granddaughter help us as we pulled the storage boxes out of the crawlspace and take out all of the fun decorations. Halloween is a fun holiday as there is no stress of making a fancy meal and there are no major gifts to be purchased beforehand.

The yard is almost ready; I still have the patio table to cover and the rain barrels to tie down. Last year I covered them in plastic, I think that this year I shall leave them open to the elements.

The pond has a net over it and the only leaves in the water are locust leaves that slip through. So far, my easy fix net coverage (huge net over a clothesline) is working well. The aerator is still pumping out air and the fish are slowly going dormant.

I still have potatoes to harvest. Each year when the potatoes start going bad and pushing out roots, I throw them into the ground, taking something almost rotten and allowing it to become viable food objects that we can use in the kitchen.

The noise I hear is pretty much the omnipresent suburban noise: mowers and power landscaping equipment. It is annoying how it takes over the audio world and wreaks havoc with the peace that we might otherwise have. I just wonder why we have not addressed this problem, but the major reason is that we no longer take care of these things ourselves, but instead employ people trying to make a living and get as many jobs as possible done before the winter sets in.

Okay, I have hit almost three hundred words; time to put down the laptop.

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


Voting is coming and as I saw that a friend on Facebook had already voted, I wondered why I had not seen signs in town for doing so here. As it turns out, that is next week and I intend to hit the polls and vote a straight Democratic ticket as soon as I can.

There are some Democrats that I do not like and I have gone back and forth in my head as to what I should do.

Along came a candidate that sounded really good and who listed himself as an Independent. I hemmed and hawed about the situation. I see his signs on the neighborhood yards, here and there and he is listed as an Independent. His signs list NOTHING of his party preference. Then I did further research to find that he is listed as an Independent Republican.

Interesting to see that there are those Republicans who are embarrassed enough by the current situation to want to distance themselves from their own party.

In my years of voting, I admit that I have voted more Democratically than otherwise, but I hesitate to list myself as a strict Democrat. My roots are Democratic as I come from an ethnic, very working class family. My grandfather lost his job with the railroads for striking.

This year, I feel I cannot waiver. There is too much at stake. I feel as if our country is going down the tubes. It shocks me that there are those in my acquaintance who never ever speak of the scandalous nature of our national government. It makes me wonder if they support what I view as a totally Fascist wannabe situation. I cannot separate in my head what is going on from what went on in Germany with the rise of Hitler.

Times seem dire. There are so many people who need to get out and vote, they need to make their needs known and the ballot box is the place to do it.

I am frightened.

Posted in Life in general, The Scandal of the 2016 Presidential Elections, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment

A cold fall day

The Play-Doh is out and the kids are playing. We have had breakfast; today it was cereal with milk. It is very cold out and the sun is shining with a very blue sky.

For the moment it is relatively quiet. Stewart is milling around, hoping to capture a small tidbit of food. During the day, he manages to get quite a few. Unfortunately for him, the little ones are no longer eating.

We had a hard time getting out but we thought that it would be a good idea to go to the Botanic Garden or to the park. Since we needed to get a few things at the grocery store, we went to our favorite, Sunset Foods, and then went to the park near our house and the local outdoor pool.

They had a great time and we even made a new friend, unfortunately he fell down and the party broke up because he was crying and it was time to pick up the pizza. We went to pick up the pizza and came home for lunch.

After lunch, the kids were wild. They got into a funny game of being silly and chasing each other around. We tried to keep them calm since the younger of the two was going down for a nap, but there was no chance of that.

I then took the older to pre-school and came home for my hour and fifteen minutes. I drained the last of the three rain barrels into the pond and then I turned the others over, coiled up some hoses and put them in the garage.

I then went to pick up our young charge from pre-school. It is still beautiful out, a starkly blue sky, no clouds, sun, and a just under sixty degrees Fahrenheit.

One beautiful day it is.

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On Tuesday, I had the feeling that I had had some caffeine and that was not the case. I was feeling full of energy, other than a quick moment after lunch. I was wondering why I was almost even feeling jittery.

I went to bed, wanting to fall asleep soon because I knew that I had to get to Oakton earlier than normal since I am tutoring a student in second year French.

It is not a good idea to go to bed and really want to fall asleep fast.

My body and the remnants of a cold got the best of me. I ended up going into another bedroom as I had a tickle in my throat that kept making me cough. The cold I had seems to be gone but the cough has lingered, as it often does.

I did get to do a good amount of reading, thank goodness for the third book of the Inspector Gamache series of Louise Penny.

I awoke around seven realizing that I had to get up and I was only operating on about five hours of sleep.

That happens. So I got to Oakton by about 8:45 AM and tutored my student till close to 10:00 AM. Then I did my ESL Conversation Hour and followed it with a French Conversation Hour. Unfortunately, my leftover cold caught up with me and the tickle came back during the ESL session and luckily Beth was in the lab to get me a glass of water.

I ended up in the gym and made sure to spend time in the steam room. The cough seems to be more under control and I am tired. I am guessing that sleep tonight will not be an issue.

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“…always a pleasure to meet another light in the darkness.”

Once a month on Mondays, we have a meeting in Chicago. To make parking easier, I use ParkWhiz or SpotHero to reserve our parking. The easiest place to use is the Valet Service of the Tavern on the Park on Randolph, just across from Milennium Park.

Sunday night I made the reservation. On Monday, we were a little later in leaving but arrived with just enough time to drop off the car, walk in the Prudential Plaza building, get through check-in, and up to our meeting. We went around the bend to swoop into the Valet area and noticed lots of police cars and activity. We stopped in front of the restaurant, MK got out and went to look for the valet, only to find that the restaurant was closed, the Valet spot shut down, and we needed to get to our meeting.

What was the reason for the activity? The TV program ‘Suits’ was filming in Chicago. MK had even seen one of the stars as we turned the corner onto Beaubien Court.

She got back in and we took off, not really happy not to have been informed that there was no parking and that our $19 reservation was lost.

We went to our meeting after finding an alternate parking spot in the actual Prudential Building, only managing to be a few minutes late.

When we got home, after paying $30 for the new parking spot, I went online and found the SpotHero number and spoke to Thaddeus. I told him what happened, he immediately new who I was and that I had the reservation, and was equally surprised by the loss of our parking spot.

He said that he would have to check in to it, but was sorry that it had happened, as the Valet Service didn’t inform SpotHero of the situation. I mentioned that we had lost our $19 parking spot and had to pay $30 for the second one.

We talked a bit and he said that if I could get him a copy of the $30 parking fee (which we did from our online statement) that he would see what he could do.

He e-mailed me and in my response I attached the screenshot of the $30 expenditure. He quickly followed up with a reimbursement into my SpotHero account of $11, therefore covering our costs. Then I got another e-mail with an addition of $5 into our account for our time and trouble.

He wrote me that since I was so reasonable and nice about the whole thing and my being polite that he thought it was the only thing he could do. I told him that he reaffirmed my faith in humanity, as so often in these situations, one is forced to argue like a lawyer.

We shall use SpotHero next time for sure!

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