Locust leaf heaven!

I went outside with Stewie this morning and could already sense that the impending heat had arrived. It came, of course, with the humidity and I am sure that the mosquitoes will be there as well.

I am not sure how long it will be here, but maybe that is a hint to me that I should get into gear and pull the pond pump out. I shall see.

It will soon be cold.

I noticed that for the most part, trees are green. Our backyard locust is one of the first to go and it is half done. Its deposits have been extremely annoying. No matter what you do, there are leaves everywhere and they cling to shoes and dogs. Our entryways have special LL Bean rugs that attract water and dirt and they are great receptacles for the tree droppings.

I am drying the houseplants that I washed so that I can clean their pots and bring them in to their regular locations.

The tents are still hanging and I am about to hang the doors on the cabinet in the garage, taken from the laundry room. All of my garage cabinets are now ‘Smoke Gray’ and glossy. Easy to clean and more pleasant to look at than the dirty white they used to be.

I cannot wait to get my tents put away, I am guessing that after today they shall be dry and I will be able to lovingly fold them up and put them back in their carriers, this time with more organization to make it easier to put them up next time.

Our recent foray into camping was a huge success despite MK needing to see the doctor for allergic asthma symptoms caused by allergies and a cold that has been plaguing her. I got the cold over the weekend but it has so far been the mildest cold I have had in a long time, let’s hope that stays.

Let’s enjoy the day. It is like summer.

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


I received an e-mail from TravelZoo, in the not so distant past, about Broadway in Chicago. As it happens, we got tickets from them and for less than $100 we had wonderful tickets to see Tootsie in the Cadillac Palace Theatre on a Wednesday night.

Broadway is going to be happy. That was one wonderful play. The main character, Michael Dorsey, AKA Dorothy Michaels, was done extremely well by Santino Fontana. Santino is a person with not only good acting skills but also the ability to sing extremely well when he is himself, a male, but also horribly well as a female. His falsetto is perfect!

It starts out that Michael Dorsey is an actor who complains too much and gets fired from his acting gig and decides to come back as a female and try his luck since he feels he is pretty much blacklisted. Even his agent fires him.

It is hysterical from start to finish. Michael’s roommate, Jeff Slater, played by Andy Grotelueschen, is an amazing foil with unbelievable timing.

I agree with others that the first musical number of the show seemed a bit lame and boring, but it did provide the information needed for the story to continue. The other numbers were much better and one even made me think it was based on a Beatles’ song.

We had a great time from start to finish and our seats in the balcony, for the ridiculously cheap price we paid, were quite good.

It was a great evening and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Tootsie is not to be missed. Hey, I am guessing that you will be able to see it on Broadway.

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

Fall transitioning and my Honey Don’t list

The pond filter and pump lie torn apart on the driveway to dry out for the winter sleep.

Despite the warm temps and Mother Nature attempting to fool us with the seasonal transition, it is fall. The fall brings with it some of the nicest times of the year and one in which we switch gears and get ready to hunker down once the weather tells us to do so.

We have done no decorating yet for the Halloween season, but that is coming. We do have a pumpkin in front of the house, one that is damaged already by the chipmunks or squirrels. I guess they thought they could tap the food source within, only to find that it was still too fresh and perhaps hard.

Our grandkids asked us if we had done any decorating, my sense is that we shall be decorating with them when we pull out the Halloween and autumn things.

Meanwhile, my focus is on transitioning everything from the patio into the garage and then finding the time to paint the kitchen.

Luckily, I have the paint needed to do the latter job. We are going to paint the kitchen a very light tan with a white ceiling.

Once I have accomplished all of the preceding things, I am hoping to ‘hunker down’ in my own way and do my best to keep my Honey Don’t list to a more reasonable number.

That is all easier said than done. The minute I say that, my mind starts whirring once again and I find things to do that will incite Mary Kay to say, “No!”

This week is a busy one, one in which it would have helped not to be under the weather as both Mary Kay and I are. My cold is way easier to take than hers, a mild cold, something I rarely experience. Wednesday is a play in the Loop, Tootsie, and Friday and Sunday we have plays in Glencoe and Lake Forest, respectively.

Meanwhile, what is my next task?

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

It’s that time of year!

Pavers with locust leaves. Inevitably, they end up in the house and all over the floor. They also get attached to Stewie’s fur!

Yes, it is that time of year. Locust leaves are everywhere. It is even hard soaping down my plants that are outside and then rinsing because it is hard to remove the locust leaves before I bring them in. With my cacti, I have had to resort to a pair of tweezers!

The orchids that were sojourning in the covered étagère greenhouse are all in. I brought them in through a window and cleaned the tracks while doing so. We had the windows washed and I must say it was the best of jobs but the guy who does it doesn’t really do justice to the screens or more importantly, the tracks and window exteriors.

The Norfolk pines are now washed. I used a soapy spray on them yesterday. The Christmas cactus, which had a great growing time outside, is also clean. I have to cut down the hibiscus and wash it, but it has so many buds so I am waiting.

I have done nothing with the pond, as I am watching the weather and the leaf dropping situation before I put up netting. The locust is dropping like crazy but the netting is useless because of the size of the leaves. They fall right through the net!

The garage is still loaded with tents (mine and Mikey’s) and most of it I cannot move yet as they are still damp. I am carefully marking everything to make installation of them easier the next time. Sometimes, the rainfly looks disturbingly like the tent itself.

I am almost at a point of moving the outdoor furniture into the garage, but that is still dependent on the garage and tent situation.

Yesterday, we were supposed to get our new dryer but due to the fact that the installers were not aware that they had to move the gas line to accommodate the new dryer position about the washer, it did not happen. It is now scheduled for Friday.

My father’s graduation watch is an issue as I retrieved it from the man who ‘repaired it’ and even he was concerned, as it didn’t seem right. It is not and I wrote a Yelp review of him breaking his record of five stars from everyone with my one star review. He wrote a reply on there that I need to bring it back in and he will attend to it and maybe even reimburse me for my time and trouble. I am fearful of giving it back to him but feel I have no choice. I am more than happy to amend my review and hope that I can.

Okay, off to the gym, it has been too long.

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


After camping drying of wet tents in the garage. It had rained all night and the tents were wet when we took them down.

Camping brings up the idea of bathrooms.

Is there nothing more revolting than a pit toilet? Okay, yes there is, a dirty, uncared for pit toilet where people have been abusive by being slobs.

Kohler-Andrae State Park in Wisconsin was not one of those places. This state park had the best pit toilets I have seen in a long time. The good news is that it was near our campground; the good news is also that although close, it was separated from us by a short walk via a path through bushes. Neither odor nor view was available from our site. Hand sanitizer and toilet paper were available and it was startling clean.

Obviously, there are times where you want more than just a pit toilet. The first time we walked there on our recent camping trip, we knew not of the shortcut. Despite that fact, it was not that far. It was great because on the men’s side, for example, there were several stalls, several sinks, Dial liquid soap in a receptacle on the wall, and several showers.

When it is this cold out, showers are a thing you really don’t desire. You are lucky to get your teeth brushed, your hands washed, and maybe your face if you are lucky.

This all brings me to a conversation we had when we were sitting around the fire, wondering where all the odd names we have for bathrooms when you are out and about came from.

Restroom comes to mind. Can you imagine having to use a restroom to rest? I know that some people do unimaginable things in restrooms, but I will not go there.

Lately, I have been using the term ‘washroom’ for bathrooms, but when I think about it, it sounds so weird. It is kind of like the ‘salle de bains’ in French which is where you find a shower or bathtub or both. European homes don’t necessarily have toilets in their bathrooms and often the toilet is in a separate room that doesn’t even have a sink. You have to search out the sink when you exit the ‘toilet room.

Then there is the military term for bathroom, the ‘head’ or you might talk about the latrines.

Okay, enough of this bathroom humor.

Posted in Camping, French / français, Life in general, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment