Ernie was at the preschool helping to set up on last Tuesday, then he and the guys were there on Thursday…….yesterday…..Ernie got a cold. And yes, this afternoon I felt that old familiar tickle in my throat. ACHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I SWEAR I’m not going to get sick as much this year….I’ve decided I can just CONVINCE myself not to be sick. I’ll let you know how mind power works versus zicam…..

Great weekend overall. Judi was fantastic helping my folks—I felt SO free. The boys adore their Aunt too and so it was all good.

all my guys playing pool at Fries and Peanuts:


Judi bought me my first pedicure. I have deepseated issues with my feet. I have always had really wide feet and growing up going to buy school shoes there was always only one pair in the store that would fit me. Then some kind shoe salesman sent us to Nieman’s in Chicago where they specialized in wide shoes. It was a really big deal—-we would drive into the city after my parents got home from work and it was in the Stevens Building on State Street. Charles A. Stevens, a women’s clothing store was on the first floor but there were tons of odd little businesses throughout the rest of the old building. They were one of the last places to have elevator men and there were just grates they would pull across so as you went up and down you would see flashes of all the other floors with their stores and customers. It was very exotic and finally, at last, I had my choice of shoes.

As an adult I’ve gotten lazy—for about a decade I only wore black men’s cowboy boots…now that I try to be somewhat respectable at work I have taken to buying cheap shoes that don’t fit very well. Pure laziness. I also go barefoot about 99 percent of the time I’m not at work—out in the garden as well as inside—this does not give one soft, smooth feet. Periodically I start what I call ‘Operation Soft Foot’ and try to frantically put lotion on, etc. This doesn’t work because I never keep at it.

So my sister Judi has been trying to make me overcome my hatred of my feet. No success. However, I started a job where I can’t wear regular shoes inside and have to wear sandals or bare feet. This only exacerbated my foot issues. Then the sandals I was given at my job started giving me blisters. So Judi FORCED me to have a pedicure and buy new sandals. Of coure it was a slightly insane and stressful experience but my feet look great….for my feet anyway. The woman doing my pedicure would periodically look at me and say, “oh, you have VERY hard feet” and speak violently in Vietnamese to her colleague. I was glad to get out of there but my feet feel good and I bought some black Birkenstocks to wear at my job everyday……whew…


Judi and the guys at Custard Cup:


My sweet peas at West Side Park: