Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One More Weird Animal at The Grove's Nature Center....

...and we'll move on. It looks like an eel about 2 ft. long, but it's an amphibian with stunted little leggy things up near it's snout. OK, it's called a Siren, it's an aquatic salamander and they aren't native to Chicago-land, thank Goodness. I like animals, but these look slimy and freaky. Kinda like the congressman and the twitter story that's makin' the rounds..... oh, forget that! Go visit Critter Cam

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Mini-Zoo at The Grove's Nature Center...

 
The large building is styled like an old-fashioned Alaskan log house, in honor of Robert Kennicutt's time exploring Alaska. As you enter, there is a large, low rectangular water feature that provides a habitat for dozens of turtles....little kids love this.

Cage after cage, each with it's own snake variety.
  This exhibit shows "the before picture" of the home-grown "snakes' dinner", I'm afraid. Perhaps the mice reproduce faster than the snakes can eat them? Good Grief, it's a jungle! I don't know if the little kids who delight in watching the mice (and newborn mice) understand this.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Wish I'd taken a few More Photos...

 ...since I visited last, there are many additions, including a place were old farm implements and other 19th century bits are collecting. This is an old sawmill, Uncle R told me. Probably, these will end up in a future exhibit.
Originally, the farm was the home of the Kennicutt family, early settlers to our area. Their son, Robert, was an early pioneer explorer of Alaska; he died there at age 30 in 1865.  But his life was well documented in a new archive building with his collections and writings. He was picturesque and a little strange. I'm surprised there's not a movie about him. A replica of his skull is in the archive building--the original is in the Smithsonian, they say.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Special Heartfelt Nativity Day Message for L'il Pearl....

                                                  Here's an early Birthday photo of her, a smiling baby, enjoying the cake and the glow of love....creamy frosting on her little face...
...You know who I mean! Happy Birthday, Honey.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The "Other" Grove....

...I refer occasionally to The Grove shopping mall in CA where our Blonde Guy works; in this series of photos we will visit "The Grove " in our town. From the sweeping drive, we can see the simple but stately farm house, built in the mid-1800's.   More to follow.....

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Journey's End....


...a random AA jet as it passed above us on final approach to O'Hare.  Hubsy said "Back to just us." with some sadness, since he had a big emotional weekend and also some bicycle-riding fun with his big-bro.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dropping Uncle R and Auntie L at O'Hare...

 ...humanity trying to get set to travel by air in the 21st Century....
...some things never change. (Keep on doing those lunge & squat exercises, People!)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Legacy of a Marriage....

Three grown children (seated, with their Father) and five young adult grandchildren. Taken Saterday, May 20, 2011.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Before the Service...

 ...the lovely granddaughter who played the flute solo consulted and consoled her Grandfather...
...Hubsy and Uncle R; neither dress in suits nowadays except for funerals, it seems. ....moments captured from the day.

"...in the palm of His hand...."

... that was a line from the last hymn "On Eagle's Wings" (words and music by Michael Joncas) in my sister-in-laws Memorial Service. Held at her church in Arlington Heights, IL, Peggy indicated all her preferences for the service and the luncheon afterward. Family members carried out her instructions, including flute solos by her granddaughter. Considering that this time last year, they were happily preparing for HS graduations, it was an amazing and satisfying Life Celebration event.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Weekend of Life Celebration begins...

...I mentioned Hubsy's remaining sister passed away about a month ago. She is the lady on the left in this photo (taken in June 2010). The other is my daughter-in-law Amethyst. The flowers in the vase were last years crop of stuff from my yard. This weekend is her memorial. Frankly, this is not a great photo, she was caught unaware I was taking a picture. She was already suffering from the tumor. She handled the entire ordeal with amazing dignity and just plain grit; she placed herself in the palm of God and no one heard a complaint from her. She played a big role in the lives of her grandchildren, therefore her memory will live on for many years, with great love.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Caught in the Act...

...on that same walk, I came upon a sleek Robin in someone's front yard. It was yanking it's hapless wormy dinner from under the turf. He was conflicted: I approached to get a nearer look--he wanted to fly away but wasn't about to surrender his juicy dinner to me. It's alright, Boy, I'd rather have Stouffer's Mac & Cheese and a nice green salad--perhaps a glass of chardonnay.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Skateboard Rebels....

  In Roanoke VA at high noon on a crowded sidewalk, I captured this pair clattering along; how old? high school? It's like they have ritual uniforms they wear: hats on backwards, undies hanging out, jeans torn just so...a subculture?
    Truth is, I enjoy watching skateboard sporting events on TV, tho my attention span is limited to just a few minutes. On a recent walk, I detoured slightly to have a look at our local "renegades in training" over at Blogburg's own specially crafted skatepark. Our Blonde Guy and his friends spent much of middle-school and early high' just after the park was built, cruising these very hills and valleys, in search of purpose...
...and possibly skateboard girls?.... It was a chill-ish day, so the kids were covered up more. Moments from Spring 2011.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tulips in the Town Center....


...between the New Library and the Train Station, to be exact. It's not Springtime in BlogBurg without a tulip shot, People!  Good excuse to go visit Mellow Yellow Monday

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mothers Day Morning At Old Orchard Mall...

...just random Mom's, Dad's, GP's and kids enjoying a family holiday morning; many were to be seen in the Mall's restaurants for lunch.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Where Was this Taken?

...Old Orchard Mall on a VERY sunny Mothers Day morning. BFF's of Barbie and the Blog: Lady R (the Blog's First Official Encourager) in the blue vest and L'il Pearl's Mommy in the purple. Thanks, Lady R, for the Mothers Day treat! Someday I will learn that my lense filters are not just things I carry around in my camera case!

Friday, May 13, 2011

News Flash...

 "World's Most Serious Baby" shows more expression and humor now; with her Mommy sitting with her,

                                     
...she's feeling more comfortable and secure. She's a tiny little round baby about 10 months old now.

And, in addition, it rained a lot last evening. The Rain Garden Functioned as Intended, collecting then draining slowly, the water channeled from the roof. Huzzah!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

You'll Never Recognize the Yard....

 ...The Gardener and her Hubs' have constructed a Rain Garden in the Backyard ReMix. That is within the half circle of stones; it has a specially built foundation for the water. While her Hubsy puts the finishing touches on some major plantings, we see a lovely scene of Grandmother entertaining Alice and July...
 ...who have come from their new home for a short visit. Alice will be 3 years old in "27 more Naps", tho she doesn't really nap, she stays quiet in her bed with some books. Smart Girl. She dug dirt with her Grandpa, repeating " I will do what you are doing" carefully, over and over. Then her attention turned to her little sister...
...with careful, detailed attention, Alice pulled grass from the lawn and piled in on little July's head and clothes. But it was all right! Alice assured us over and over, in carefully pronounced words, "She wants me to do this. She likes it." A moment of life....

Red Letter Day for a Old Lady's Calendar....

...Today I put the winter flannel sheets away and started using the crisp cool cotton sheets instead. No photo necessary. Summer is here!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"A New Way of Walking..."

...ok, this happened in Charlotte. As the couple approached, I wanted to snap a photo--but with trepidation, I waited til they passed us. They marched along at a fast clip, diagonal across an intersection and this parking lot; she directly in front of him, his arm around her shoulders--neck? He's very tall and moved like Frankenstein's monster. She seemed comfortable with the arrangement, like they do that all the time. But Why?? Made Bloggsy nervous about kidnapping, tho they are probably just dancing thru life. I hope.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Old Work Horses...

 ...loved this detail: combination window and loading door on the second floor of an old warehouse in Roanoke...
...and here's the full context. Investors are in the process of renovating Warehouse Row for businesses, shops and condos. Hope they are able to retain the character; other examples of remodelled buildings around town show the town respects it's heritage.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Random shots from Charlotte, NC...


...I mentioned there were few older buildings in downtown Charlotte, due to extensive urban renovation in the 1980's. Apparently, much of the older city was not worth saving, since the city was a "cotton town" in the 19th century. That means lots of ratty industrial warehouses and plenty of sub-standard housing. Just a few examples of each remain in the downtown that gleams with new glass buildings.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

OMG--The Grove "Vicarious Thrills Celebrity Report!!"

...l'il Pearl made a rare appearance on FB yesterday to say that Thom Yorke transacted some commerce at the store with Our Blonde Guy! OK! I quickly wikipedia'd to figure out who-the-heck this was: Radiohead?
So I have put out an Appeal To All Celebrities: When you go to the Grove to buy things and get your picture taken, if you buy stuff from my Blonde Kid, Please try to Be a Celebrity I can "OMG!" without doing Research! (so my funny li'l Pearl messaged back to ask if Seeing Orlando Bloom at brunch was good enough for me? OMG: That's what I'm talkin' about!) For new visitors, l'il Pearl is one daughter-in-law's blog-name, Amethyst is the other.

Friday, May 6, 2011

More Evocative Photos From the City Market...



...in Roanoke VA. It appears that the bottom photo is the Market Building, under re-hab. This reminds me of the City Market in Boston, that I visited many years ago.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

"Slices" from the Recent Trip...


..top, from Roanoke VA's city market area; lower photo a nice combination of textures, shadows and colors on a lovely afternoon walk in Charlotte, NC.   Apparently, the Roanoke Market is one of the oldest city markets in continuous operation in the country. There is a renovation underway for the Market's main building.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My House and Front Yard...

...in full-dress Spring colors. As you probably know, magnolias only last a fews days--at most, a week--so you have to "look quick".

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sunset for Usama....



...as the soft creamy peach and lavender sunset appeared, I got the camera and stood on the front porch. I allowed the light-show to progress. What a nice weekend! The wonderful sights and sounds of the Royal Wedding--the reds and whites, the bells, the horses and riders, the trumpets and the hats and dresses. I went to bed early last night to read my book about Teddy Roosevelt; so I awoke this morning to the happy news that this was Usama's final sunset--tho he was probably "fish food" before I saw this version!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Serene and Domestic Photo for May Day...

...a Tudor-style home in Charlotte NC. Amethyst remarked that she admired this type of design. I could have gotten a little less "street" in the frame. (photoshop, someday). Meanwhile, I like the warm rustic shading on the ample brick chimney, contrasted with green and sky.

A Last Novel: The Swansong of Barbara Pym, "A Few Green Leaves"...

Photo by Barbara Besler for "A Few Green Leaves" As a reminder, a theme of my reading is to catch up on the works of writer...