Sunday, April 29, 2012

Getting It Out of my System....

I hate "heights": the out-door porch (while it's a fun novelty) gives me bad dreams; so, too chicken to look over the shoulder high wall, I carefully tilted the camera lens down to look over the edge.

From another part of the office, I see one of our famous Chicago roof gardens. With my "zoom" it looks to me as if this may be a typical Chicago "roof" version on a vacant lot?  But still, it's Green, right?

OK, I promise I will act mature enough not to do this again! The "zoom" means I can peek in windows.
Also, I may get close-ups of architectural details I might not be able to see from the ground.

With the "zoom" I can see the top floor of the Federal prison (used for prisoners awaiting trial and so on, at near-by Federal Courthouse.) You can see the lower half of prisoners in the play-yard. having rec. time. Gotta admit, you don't see stuff like this on every blog.

Friday, April 27, 2012

New Views from my Office Window...

For years, we have watched the action at my humble bird-feeder in the suburbs, as I toiled at my desk, phone and computer. For the intermediate, foreseeable future I working on a project in the downtown area of Chicago. Weekend Reflections! Yes.

From the 37th floor of the building I'm in, we can see several landmarks, for example, the Aon Center-or at least, the top 1/3 of it. Looks like a little sister of the lost World Trade Center-twins, doesn't it? Same construction was used.

Just a few blocks away is the Building-Formerly-Known-As The Sears Tower....

 Here's the Actual View from My Actual Window.  That's a Federal CourtHouse with all the black little bee-hive looking windows directly ahead.    hmmm, this could get interesting come the soon-to-occur Nato Summit set to happen in May.

Here is an open-air view of the Chicago Board of Trade Building as shot from our creepy little "back door" entrance to the fire escape. We can go out anytime we want. It would be a great place for the smokers in our office to go grab a cig', except the air intake for our office is just above where I'm standing. Smokers just can't win. The smell of smoke wafts back into the work space; people get crappy.  I don't smoke, but don't make a career out of being offended by people who do--except they should quit for their health, of course.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Still Wandering Around our Little Town...



Really. It was a perfect day. Chicagoland in one of it's best "weather moods". We are in an area which was once a military air field, recently converted to planned-community....I like the way our local commuter rail trains shine in the brilliant sunlight of the lovely day....

 I startled a Great Blue Heron as I tried to get closer for a better look....


Our motto: Hug the Bear--(do you s'ppose they thought this up After they got rid of the bears?)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Yellow Stuff Around the Village....

 I wonder about people who select a vibrant, bright color to paint their home; to carry off such a color scheme, it has to be done "right", with proper execution and great maintainence. Seasonal decor helps. This home is even brighter in reality than the photo. "Bright Blue--in Winter"

Oh My Lord...the entire lawn was covered with wild violets and dreaded dandelions!! I cringe to think of the (hired) labor and chemicals it will take to rid this property of this mess! The voilets have tenacious tubers...I know this 'cause I let them get loose in my yard long ago, thinking they were pretty.

Springtime in America: a brilliant colored vintage "muscle" car among the sensible minivans. Attaboy!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Springtime Ramble Around our Village....

 Sometimes it's fun--and good exercise too--to take a 3-4 mile walk around town with the camera on a nice day. I pretend I haven't lived here for 30-years; trying to look with new eyes.  Our town is a "tree city" which helps it look lovely this time of year. Every street is adorned with flowering trees and shrubs; it's pretty.

 In the older sections of town, you sometime see alley-ways between the backyards so people have access to their garages....

 Nice, middle-of-the-road style and comfort; pretty typical of these parts. Well-maintained pretty homes with nicely kept lawns....

Oops...this is bad--there is always one (it's usually Us)...what's wrong here, people, it's April, the leaves are on the trees and the Christmas wreath is still tattered and fading on the chimney...better be careful, somebody might gripe to the village!...

A single family home...for a very large family? I think this may have been a major re-model from just before 2008...they just made it, if so.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Easter Day Beauties....

...our neighbors to our northside have oodles of gorgeous grandchildren, living nearby as well as scattered about the country...



...so these two little Easter-dressed girls visited last week, along with their Mom and Dad and cuddly little brother-bear (napping at photo time)...



...how does it get any cuter than these two, fresh from the easter egg hunt? 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Happy 4th Anniversary!

Mr. and Mrs. Blonde-Guy and l'il Pearl....

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Another Favorite Moment from the Wedding Almost 4 Years Ago...

....our newly married couple;  pictured as they enter the big reception hall with over two hundred people, tables all set for dinner.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Favorite Wedding Photo...

After the photographs, but before the formal ceremony, there was the Ketubah signing. A Ketubah is a traditional Jewish marriage contract; it's the colorful document under Pearl's hand. This one was custom made for them, with their chosen design; eventually it will hang, beautifully framed, in their home.   Family members gather around the central table, there is a rabbi, witnesses, parents, close friends. I love the posture of the kids, and Pearl's smile. At upper right is Pearl's Mom, happily sobbing already, and her proud Dad.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Wedding Day Went by so Fast....

 First, early in the afternoon, there were pictures. Fortunately, our family at least "cleans up" pretty well.
At left, Brown-Eyes, the older brother and Best-Man, Blog-MotherofGroom, Blondekid-Groom and Hubsy-FatherofGroom...
             ....brothers' pose....

       ....sisters, taken later, at the reception....their day came two years later...we will see some of their photos in July, perhaps...

    ...and it won't be a complete wedding without an adorable photo like this. Flowergirl was 3-1/2 and once she saw Pearl in her grand white dress, she was heard to say "Flowergirl wants to get married too!"

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Dress, the Colors, the Fun...

Pearl was very smart about her gown; with her mom's help, much thought and expertise produced effective use of resources as well as spectacular results. 

 Pearl is a professional designer; knew just what she wanted her dress to look like: that one was priced at about $10K or more.  But she found a dress on the secondary market, with "bones" like the costly one. She carefully instructed the seamstresses on what to delete from the gown you see--the frou-frou hits the dumpster!
 I was invited along to the fittings and took some great photos of "Pearl in Action": fitting, thinking, analyzing, instructing, looking cute while doing all of the above. Her wedding colors were ivory and deep brown: a wide ivory-beige sash encirled her waist in the finished look.

 Flowergirl (in her namesake role) is accompanies by her co-flowergirl, Vera at the actual event. A flower petal frozen forever in mid-air.

Vera's mother, Gale, was Matron of Honor. The dresses were all by the same maker, same color but style best for each lady.   And notice the lovely flower arrangements!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Prepare for the Special Mid-April Blog Event!


Just on the heels of Blonde-Kid's birthday blog-celebration, near to the time we observe Easter and Passover, we gear-up for the appreciation and remembrance of....! "The Royal Wedding! No, not that one, but our own family's (pre-2008 economic slide) Wedding Celebration. How could two such messy baby-faces mature into the pair we will see in the following days? Above, Pearl enjoying her First Birthday; below, Blonde-Toddler a little older: I think it was spaghetti?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Something is Terribly Wrong....


Robins are thrushes. They walk and run around on our parks and suburban lawns in warm weather, poking and digging for grubs and worms.   As happens with my collection of local birdfeeder-clients, somebody didn't get the memo. Maybe they get the wrong set of "bird instruction" handbooks, or whatever. This robin has returned to the suet feeder at least once a day for much of the past week. He is not built for the high-wire act. He wobbles and wiggles as he tries to balance while figuring out how to get his beek into the suet and seed below. I don't know whether he understands he should also keep an eye peeled for the marsh-hawk who may attack at any time....


Pathetic and tattered looking "baby" Goldfinches, trying to fledge for the first time into bold, yellow adult male colors. They look like they've been attacked by a weed-wacker.  Why do some people think bird watching is boring?