Finding our ‘Grove.’

Tuesday we got up with a plan, to take the kids to the Grove after breakfast. Their Dad met us at Elly’s Pancake House where we had a wonderful breakfast and where they pretty much ate us out of ‘house and home.’ Pancakes, sausage, and maple syrup were the fare. With all the snow, it did not feel totally like ‘Mardi Gras.’

After breakfast, we went south on Milwaukee Avenue and started our visit of the Grove. As usual, we saw the turtles first; it is kind of hard to miss them since they are right by the front door. The kids immediately started running from room to room, a great way to get some exercise on this cold, February day.

We saw fish, snakes, mice, frogs, toads and all sorts of interesting creatures.

When we left, we went outside to check out the owls in a huge outdoor cage. They were ‘chilling’ and not doing a whole lot of moving, but they were fun to see.

We headed to our house after a good amount of time at the Grove, the perfect day to go there and get some energy out.

We came home and watched a little of Dumbo in French. I don’t remember the movie at all, unlike so many other kid classics.

Within moments of sitting down, we were informed that the kids were hungry, certainly not a surprise.

All in a day’s work!

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


Dogplay is a funny thing. I especially enjoy it when it is outside where the risk to personal possessions is lessened. With a new dog in the family, it is more likely that we shall be getting the canines together and Lucky is the new puppy on the block. Add into the mix that he has crate anxiety and that means that it is harder to leave him alone, not that you want to, but sometimes you just need to. The end result is that we have grandpuppy visits.

Which is why Lucky is at our house.

I just got home from the gym after being at Conversation Hour on the Des Plaines Campus. The dogs apparently had settled down but when I came home, I guess the fun started all over again. I was making tea when the two of them somehow got into something where they needed to be separated. I went down to the family room, spoke with Alpha power, and they stopped their canine shenanigans. The only loss was a couple of leaves from my Chinese Evergreen in the corner. I also noticed that Lucky’s little flashing light attached to his collar is hanging by a thread.

The good part of all this is that the two dogs seemed to have shot their energy wad and now they are willing to sit down.

The biggest issue for Lucky seems to be his love for a leather rug we have on the family room carpet. We have to break him of that! He needs to be appropriate if he is to be here. He is a puppy, so we have to be understanding and stern at the same time.

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

Nail Polish

One of my best ever purchases was some black nail polish.

One might wonder if I am a bit Goth and maybe even weirder than I actually am in regards to this purchase.

I think I made it over five years ago and the nail polish is still actually good. To be honest, I don’t even remember why I bought it in the first place.

Every so often, when I am ‘touching up’ something I have, I use acrylic paints from a paint set that I have, or of course select from the large selections of cans I have for the various walls painted in the house. Every once in a while I have need for glossy, enamel black. A case in point is the black mailbox we have. It is a great mailbox, but somehow the black, in a few spots, got chipped. The black nail polish comes in handy to touch it up and help keep it from more possible damage. I touched it up a few years ago and have not needed to retouch it since.

Over the years, this nail polish that I keep in the medicine cabinet, has come in handier than I ever would have guessed. Each time, of late, when I go to use it, I keep thinking that it might be all dried up. It is not.

I just pulled it out again because several of the most used keys on my laptop have the black worn off and although I now have a skin protecting the keyboard and making them look newer, the light was showing through. I ordered a new skin in black and since I darkened the keys, my new ‘skin’ will make the keyboard look like new.

There is no end to my eccentricities. Language teachers are like that!

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

Snow and more snow

The snowpile behind the house. We have had over twelve inches, from the looks of it.

Of course the major snowfall coincides with the flu. That kind of makes it harder to keep up with. Our son’s snow removal has removed the snow from the front but we still have to get the cars out of the back and through the snow we have there. That means that we have to remove it first.

At this point, it is the old problem of ‘where does one even put the snow?’ In order to clear it, one has to find a location to put it. At this point, the spots utilized are piled so high that it is almost impossible to get the snow up on top. Add into that, I was not the one selecting locations, since I was virally prevented from shoveling, so some of my prime locations in times like this do not even exist.

For example, I always save a spot between the garage and the fence. That spot is empty but the area adjacent to it is so high I cannot get at it.

The biggest issue I found is that my hands are freezing. Within minutes, my fingertips were feeling the pain of the less than twenty-degree temperatures. That is a less than pleasant feeling.

I slept well, as I have been for the last few days, usually only waking up once toward the early morning. My only issue last night was that I woke up several hours after going to bed and awakened to sweats and needing to change my clothing. I am hoping that that is the last of those moments in this virus.

This has been some snowfall. We had been lulled into believing that the snowfalls were going to continually avoid us and go elsewhere. This time, it was real.

Posted in Life in general, Meteorology, Snow and Ice, Snow Removal, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment

Moon for the Misbegotten by Eugene O’Neill

I am trying to wrap my head around the production of ‘Moon of the Misbegotten,’ a Eugene O’Neil play we saw on Friday evening in Glencoe at Writers Theatre. I never fell asleep, never dozed off, but perhaps that is more due to the extreme amount of time I have spent resting, due to the viral fight I had this past week. The play is long, a good three hours with two intermissions and there were certainly enough moments where I could have nodded off. I did not.

Nonetheless, I found that there was something truly lacking in the production. If it wasn’t the play itself, which it may well have been, there had to be something missing that prevented a good audience connection.

I felt that the actors were good. I liked them all. If anything, the actor playing James Tyrone, Jr., may present the key to not fulfilling the role of the acting glue that might have pulled it all together. I definitely understood Josie, the woman in love with this alcoholic mess of a man, her portrayal of feelings and confused sentiments made perfect sense to me. Tyrone’s acting, clearly ‘affected by the bottle’ was less clear in motivation and intention, in my estimate.

During the play, I continued to wait for some sort of clarity as to where we were going and for some sort of moment when something of import would happen.

That did not occur and perhaps that was Eugene O’Neill’s point. The hopelessness of the situation for poor people and that no matter what they try, the impossible scenario can just not get better. Add into that the mystery and sadness of a life under the cloud of alcoholism.

I did like the fact that this play was done with a majority African American cast, as that is a very appropriate choice. Again, as actors, I liked them all; it just seemed to have been lacking some gel to make it all truly come together. This doesn’t often happen at Writers Theatre.

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