Monday, July 30, 2012

The 'Blog Has A Birthday Coming Up...


On August 8, my Blog will be 3-years old.  So I'm thinking about some kind of Blog-Special Event?? It's like a school project, only more fun....i wonder what i can think of?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Chicago Birthday Wish....

Tomorrow is SDG's Birthday; she is L'il Pearl's Mother.  When Pearl and the Blonde Kid married, we got the most wonderful new family members you can imagine. Here's an unconventional angle on The Bean. Blonde Kid and I are in there somewhere. Happy Birthday, Dear Lady.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Celebrity-Guest Photo, if you please.....

A busy corporate executive of our acquaintence took a second off from his duties to snap this serene summer day shot of the Chicago River-scape including the newly completed Trump Tower.  It's fun to have occasional contributors to the 'Blog.  Thanks! I like the calm reflections on the river and the faintly misty quality of the light.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Step into the WayBack Machine....

My Dad, age 3 month, with his father. Phote taken in Chicago Ill  in Spring 1920
I've mentioned once or twice that my elderly father is quietly fading. He's 92 years, 7 months and 3 days; he's had type-2 diabetes for about 30 years. Back in March, due to lack of mobility and a serious fall, we reluctantly moved him into a full-blown nursing center near our home. Due to continued lack of mobility and the need for pain relieve, hospices services were called in. Dad is "one of a kind", however, so fortunately he is thriving in hospice!
My Father with his mother, likely in Spring 1921

Add 92 years and this photo is an accurate example of how Dad is today.
The care in the facility is good to excellent, depending on whose on duty that day. I go to visit every day at least once, with the mission of making sure he drinks some cups of water, an extra Ensure and maybe even a little V-8 juice.  Old people--even those without much dementia--can start to "forget" how to swallow. I printed out copies of these photos and taped them on the walls beside his bed to give staff members a different view of the patient.  It's amazing, these photos are nearly 100 years old. My Grandparents have been gone since 1954 and 1961.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

One Big Hot Summer....

illustrated by a blazing sunflower from my yard.  This was taken a couple of weeks ago; the flower is now a desecated seed head, picked over by the charming Goldfinches. But it's radiance is forever young!

Pink!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hybridized and Home-Grown!


For the past few summers, I've formed the habit of wandering the yard (and my neighbor's yard) when the daylilies are in bloom. I "hybridize" the various different colors and wait to see if seed pods form. Once the pods are formed and dry, toward early fall, I harvest and store the seeds in the 'fridge till the next spring. Then I plant some.    It takes the baby plants a couple or three years to bloom; then you get to see what new variety you helped create.    Great "Old Lady Fun"!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Edits, Credits and Good-bye to the Queen...

 I maligned the poor ol' Dennison Hotel, once a luxury downtown hotel but now the only SRO in the downtown area; therefore of value to the working poor. Here is a lengthy and interesting article from StreetVibes; goes into detail.  The writing in the publication was so good that I may purchase a copy of Chicago's "StreetWise" next time I see a vendor.

 I forgot to mention that we enjoyed our dinner at the The Cock and Bull Pub in Covington, KY. Wonderful pub-grub and lots of different beer if you like. There seems to be a resurgence in popularity of "pub" themed restaurants. They were everywhere in the 1970's, but now they are back. And we went to the Cincinnati Art Museum on Mt. Adams; it was big and full of wonderful pottery and paintings. And fer-God's-sake don't call it an art gallery, 'cause they git real mad. It's a big Museum full of lots of galleries!!   Oh, if you don't come to Cincinnati for any other reason, come for Graeter's Ice Cream, there's an parlor on the Fountain Plaza downtown.

Good-bye for now, Queen Cincinnati --actually, that is Covington, KY--we want to come see you again!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Time to Wrap Up the Memories....

 Scenes from the past--mainly for family. During the Korean War period, my father was stationed there. My mom and I were unable to join him, so we lived with her parents on my grandfather's hobby-farm south of Cincinnati. We were there a couple of years, long enough for me acquire a taste for idyllic rural living. There was always something going on, places to go, people to see, cows to help milk, kittens, dogs, gardens, a house full of antique Victorian furniture, no TV and a couple of grandparents who must have spoiled me rotten...I was so damn lucky!!      Some earliest memories are of wading and playing further upstream in this cute little creek.  Minus the threat of the graffiti-painters. of course.

 This iconic country lane is all that I can recognize of the farm. The house is gone; oddly with all the hyper-development around the airport, the interstate highways, the racetrack, the shopping malls, the land itself remains raw, a green spot at the intersection of two big highways. No exit ramps near enough, I guess. Of course, it's a no-man's land. Just past the far line of shrubs, we found a litter of dirty mattresses, a swatters camp. We retreated fast, snapping this photo at the end of the lane.

 One cheerful spot, a neighbors home down the road. Occupied and kept even nicer than it was 60 years ago when I would visit with my grandfather, playing on the brightly linoleumed kitchen floor, crawling around underfoot; children and puppies do this hoping for treats, I think. On the current trip, we found the owner, who used to come over in the evenings and milk the cows for my grandfather--a ritual I hated to miss. At that time he was a "James Dean"-like figure, young and handsome in jeans and a t-shirt; now he is 86, a tall, stately, reserved but kindly Kentucky gentleman.

I'm glad I got this photo: the business, founded in 1928 to provide ice for refrigeration to the area, will close soon. Tho still run by the same family, only bagged ice, liquor, cigarettes and snack foods are sold.  'In the day, we would pile into my grandfather's army surplus jeep; he, my mom and I--aged about 3--standing on the gear box, holding onto whatever I could and bumping along the country road and the Dixie Hwy into town. I remember this; it was fun! At Dusing's we'd probably pick up several big glass bottles of drinking water for my grandmother, bags of feed for chickens---the bags were made of colorful print fabrics---so a lady had to come along to pick up the prettiest fabric and make sure there was enough. There were treats, too. My favorite was Red Cream Soda--I still like it.      

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Another Rail Museum...


 The museum's project is to restore this old car. It's rare. This is an especially designed and built sleeper car used during WWII for the transportation of military troops. Since the cars were built on box car frames, after the war, most were turned back into box cars and eventually scrapped. So this 70 year old relic is one of just a few to survive.

I learn so much I would not pick up otherwise by going to rail-related venues with Hubs. And he is like a 9 year old kid when he's around this old stuff.  (yeah, I know.)  ;-)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

BTW, an Aside....

Thanks, Mountainview CA! According to the little Maploco gadget --for what it's worth--your city sports the largest following of my blog-hobby that I cannot attribute to family and friends! New York is next, and I know of no one in either place!

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...