Goofy Stewie!

Stewie was nowhere to be found.

MK had alerted me to the fact that she heard some whimpering. I hadn’t heard a thing. I looked around and realized I hadn’t seen Stewie in a while. I didn’t remember letting him out in the back yard, something that we only do during the day. I don’t want to take a chance at Stewie having another ‘encounter of the fragrant or rather smelly kind’ with a skunk.

I searched all over while calling for him. Although Stewie has his own version of responding to ‘viens’ or ‘come,’ he usually finally shows up. There was no response at all.

I searched more than once to no avail.

We looked out back and out front, wondering if there happened to be any way we had allowed him out and forgotten to let him back in. Nothing.

It was freaky. It had just turned dark and Stewie was nowhere to be found. I had a last resort, I threw some kibble in his bowl, knowing full well that it was pretty much the only way to assure his presence, knowing that no matter where he is in the house, his keen hearing would let him know food was in his bowl.

No Stewie!

I thought about it. I was by the door to the crawlspace. I wondered if when I had been in there to get some Christmas decorations and to put away some paintings taken down from the wall, if Stewie had gone in as he often does. Unbeknownst to me, he had, because there he was whimpering at the door. Stewie has never learned to bark to go out or to use it to make us aware of his presence. Those times are reserved for whining and whimpering, which is what he had done. Given that he was behind a thin crawlspace door with a larger solid wood door in front of that, we had not heard him.

Stewie was released and we were at ease. What a funny dog!

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

After the blizzard

The day after the blizzard sky.

I was wondering if the nasty weather was going to continue. We had a large amount of snow and it was very heavy due to the warmth of the ground and air when it originally started falling.

I communicated with my sister in Cleveland to find that they had really warm weather on the day we had the blizzard and then today, the storm system was attacking them

I went outside to see if I could work a bit on MK’s car, which had been outside and had suffered the full effects of the storm. Despite the fact that I had attempted to clean off the windows yesterday, it was frozen pretty much completely over. I was forced to turn on the car and the defroster and let it go for a few minutes before going outside to start the ice removal. I had this horrible thought that we would need the car and that we would not be able to use the frozen windshield wipers and see out of the windows.

I was successful.

I then took my car to pick up one of our charges from preschool and then after lunch, we did some Christmas decorating. First we put the little plastic inserts that look like colored Christmas light bulbs, candles, and butterflies, and decorated the ceramic Christmas tree my mother made quite some time ago. Once completed, we put it on its stand with a light bulb and our work was rewarded with what looked like a fully lit Christmas tree.

We then took the Norfolk pines that I had decorated with mini-lights and put a few hanging, mini-ornaments on.

Now, we are one step closer to Christmas decorations being done. We had fun working together to do so.

We then had a tea party with our Spode Christmas china. Our youngest charge is still sleeping and the house is still quiet.

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

Yes, we had a blizzard!

This is our view but a few , short steps away, the snow was way deeper.

It had started sleeting early on Sunday. Later in the afternoon, by the time we went to a play, the ground and streets were wet, the lawns lightly white, and the snow was coming down. We went in for the 3:00 PM play and when we came out around 5:00 PM, it was very slushy on the ground and streets and there was about an inch on the lawns.

We went to bed around 11:00 PM. It had been snowing to the point that you could not see when you were driving. I put on my glasses, as opposed to contacts, for better driving vision and at 5:00 PM when we went to a restaurant with friends, it was impossible to see the lanes and much of the roads. That continued all evening.

Despite it all, when we went to bed, it didn’t look like much at all.

I looked out the window periodically during the night and there was not much accumulated. That was not accurate. When we went to sleep, I wondered if I would be able to fall asleep due to the intense winds that made it seem as if large animals were prancing on the roof. Santa’s sleigh maybe arriving early? Branches are down all over our yard and the snow is drifted. It is currently just under 32 degrees and the slush toward the concrete is heavy. I have been shoveling it bit by bit; my biggest issue with it is the biting, humid cold that gets to my fingers.

The meteorologists were spot on. I apologize to them for my constant rant against them and their ability to give us indications as to the upcoming weather situations.

As it now stands, since we are the last to be plowed out by our son’s business, I am about one third of the way done with shoveling. Our car, which was outside, is encrusted to the point that the only way we can drive it is if we heat it up and melt off the ice crust.

Mother Nature is in control and my thought is that she is angrier than Hell about the way we treat her.

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

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Citadel Theatre in Lake Forest, Illinois

Years ago, I remember looking at the blurb for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I was not interested. Suffice it to say, I was wrong. Recently, I had the pleasure to see Timon of Athens, a play filmed by the Stratford Festival, and I was blown away. Here I had thought it was a play that was not, perhaps, worth seeing. Again, I was wrong.

So, this was our first time to see it. First of all, I wondered how a production like this, with a large cast and all, could be pulled off in a small venue like the Citadel Theatre. Add into that, the director, a colleague and friend of mine from high school teaching at New Trier, was in charge and he admitted in the playbill that he had never done anything so musically charged. Bob Estrin outdid himself, which was absolutely no surprise to me. Many people in the audience, including friends of ours that attended this showing with us, had seen the play in various venues in the past. They agreed that this production was amazing, just like the word in the title, and that the only downside is that more people cannot see it.

The Citadel Theatre is that special gem of a theatre. It is located on the former West Campus of Lake Forest High School at the corner of Route 60 and Waukegan Roads. The price is always right and the productions are wonderful.

The cast was stellar from the narrators to Joseph to the rest of the large number of cast members. There was nary a dull moment as the musically charged event went forward, entertaining the audience at every moment.

I thoroughly enjoyed Bob Estrin’s remarks in the playbill about how the play first was done in the mid 60s in London and started out as a very short work. Due to its entertaining aspect, they quickly decided that it could be expanded. Andrew Lloyd Webber is involved and that says it all.

How you take a story like this, the biblical story of Joseph, son of Jacob and his trials and tribulations as the favorite son who incurred the wrath and envy of his eleven brothers, is hard to believe.

I would never have believed that there was an Elvis impersonator as the Pharaoh, a Parisian café moment for the family of brothers as they realized they had done their brother wrong by selling him into slavery, and entertaining songs to show it all. Wow!

What a delightful moment. I had no desire to doze off during this performance with one intermission. I am amazed.

Thank you Bob Estrin, the Citadel Theatre, and a cast that was incredibly talented and entertaining.

Once again, a must see at the Citadel Theatre. Don’t wait!

Posted in Citadel Theatre, Citadel Theatre of Lake Forest, Life in general, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment

Blizzard in November?

I painted these ‘North Woods’ Santas in 1998. I have since given one to each grandchild. I still have these two left.

They have been promising heavy snow for several days now. I just got a message from AAA in my text messaging system that we are now under a blizzard watch.

Does this mean that this is the ‘real thing?’ Only time will tell. It is just about two o’clock and the snow is coming down. That was preceded by sleet and rain and the current white stuff is barely managing to cover the ground. Nonetheless, this all looks pretty serious.

We have a play this afternoon. Luckily, we only go to Lake Forest for this and then, if all goes well, we will have dinner with theatre date couple.

This morning found me in getting up around 8:00 AM. I cannot believe that. I still seem to be affected by the time change and yet I got up this late.

We had coffee with toast from a ‘boule’ loaf of bread from the French bakery/pâtisserie/café in Highland Park. The bread is absolutely phenomenal.

After breakfast and a quick read of the New York Times, I decided to move the Christmas dishes to the inside of the upper hutch. I traded positions with the French pottery from Soufflenheim. I do this after Thanksgiving and then change back in January or early February. We now have a choice of either our China or the Spode Christmas dishes. This allows me to clean out and dust the inside of the hutch and clean the glass.

I also removed all of the Thanksgiving decorations and traded out with some Christmas decorations. I put green LED lights around the front door and put up one Christmas sign painted on slate. Inside, I put a garland on the mantel and put batteries in for the tiny, white LEDs that twist around it. I also put up red LED lights over the hutch and connected them so that when I click on the app or ask Alexa, they turn on.

My last little thing was to take the battery operated candles and placed them in the windows. They turn on at dusk and turn back off at dawn. They look like real candles as they flicker. I also put micro LED lights on copper strings on the two Norfolk pines.

Little by little, we shall move into the next holiday season.

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