Random Notes: May 20, 2023

  • I’ve become somewhat obsessed (yes, yes, I know, you’re not surprised) with the story of some protests surrounding a Rogers Park second hand/antique store. The owners are in their early twenties, with an adorable baby, and hold some strong right wing/Christian views. Evidently somebody found posts on their personal FB account (not the store’s page) espousing anti-trans and similar views. Since then they have been protesting the store. And you know, I find many of the sentiments they post vile, and certainly the protesters have every right to protest, but the whole thing bothers me a bit. Do the protesters really think that every other business in Rogers Park agrees with their very liberal views (which I generally share, mind you)? I don’t know. As far as I can tell they have not expressed these views in the store. Honest to God, I’m all for peaceful protests but they’ve probably increased their business. I don’t agree with the owner’s views but do we want to enforce a world where there are only people that agree with us? I don’t know. The story just niggles at me.
  • Our neighbor mowed our lawn the other day. Generally the boys mow it but Ernie has been wanted to do more and Leo was in England so he mowed much of it…in numerous stages as it’s exhausting. He never did get to the side yard that abuts the ‘field.’ So the other day…wait, was that just yesterday? Geesh. Anyway, our neighbor came by and said he’d be happy to mow it and Ernie accepted after apologizing for not getting it done (he’s Ernie, you know) but we thought he would just do the side yard. We got home from doctor stuff though and he’d done it ALL. I got almost teary. So incredibly kind. So, so kind.
  • I have made several disappointing meals of late. I’ve realized that part of my problem is that when I’m in pain (and generally when I’m standing in the kitchen I’m in pain although I try to sit when possible) I am not patient enough for the final checks you do as you cook. You know, check if the pasta is done just right, cut into the meat to see if the temp is right, check for salt, add a little squeeze of lemon….those are the things that get lost and I’m coming to realize how important they are. Live and learn, I guess, and God only know, the learning just never stops.
  • Owen came over last week to help Ernie put up the big record. This picture of them just tugs at my heart. Owen giving me that grin, pleased that he did something for his father, Ernie with his hands behind his back, holding his wrist with the other hand EXACTLY the way his mother did. Those little moments. Man, you gotta hold on to them. Just look at them. My beautiful boys.
  • I miss Ceal Allen SO much. More than I ever could have imagined. I knew how much I loved her but I don’t know if realized how much I depended on her presence in my life. I have a Ceal shaped hole.
  • We had a couple of folks over the other night. Ok, I admit it, I just wanted to show off Tal and Leo while she’s here. Look how beautiful she looks.
  • I love each and every one of these people. Dinner with them all last night did my heart so much good. We have decided that next time Tal visits we are having a beans on toast party. LR: me, Ann, Leo, Tal, Delsie, Sophie, Trinity, Owen and Ernie. Bob was taking the photo. My brilliant, beautiful family. Oh, and of course the food was perfect too. Geesh.
  • More chucklings have been sighted.
  • I swear to God I never knew what the political meetings in Gone with the Wind were until I was, eh, I don’t know….in my 30’s. I read it when I was pretty young and the political meetings sounded very mysterious but I had no idea. For some reason that’s been in my head of late. I guess just as an example of how we can miss things that in hindsight are so obvious.
  • I’ve been doing the exercise bike and need podcast suggestions. I get bored real easy on there so they gotta be snappy.

Ok. Onward.


Ok, so our attempt at a photo through the screen was somewhat unsuccessful but those little guys move fast. That is looking out our kitchen window to the patio (and Buster II).

Now…..this puts the attempted destruction of Buster II in a WHOLE new light. Was it Chuck or a chuckling? Ernie has put an enclosure around Buster II. Hopefully he wasn’t too damaged.

But just the same: CHUCKLINGS! I swear that’s what they’re called, I’m not making it up, although Tal didn’t believe me at first. Heh.

Chucklings. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be known as a chuckling?

This begs the question of whether they are Chuck’s and if so, is Chuck their mother or father? Reportedly woodchuck fathers are not involved with their upbringing. Ernie saw another woodchuck smaller than Chuck but bigger than the chucklings so perhaps that’s the mom.

Oh, and I do realize we shouldn’t be trying to lure woodchucks to our house but SOMEBODY (and it wasn’t me) did put a plate of leftover vegetables on the patio and reported back to me this morning that most had been eaten.

I can’t believe how fast the peonies go by. I use the word ‘fleeting’ all the time lately because I can’t believe how fleeting life is. I never could have imagine how fleeting raising two little boys could be. I can only imagine a mother woodchuck thinks the same about her chucklings.

Speaking of peonies, yesterday Leo and Tal went out to Allerton. It made me so happy because Allerton (officially known as the Park With No Toys) has long been a favorite family spot. We started taking the boys out there when Ernie was recovering from his prostatectomy back in 2004. Wow, they really were babies.

Chucklings and boys. Fleeting.


Catching Up

I haven’t written in a couple of days. Let’s see…

We watched the ACM awards on Thursday night. The report? Yes, I still love Jelly Roll. God love Dolly Parton, and I do, but honestly she’s really not that great at hosting. Of course it doesn’t matter, she’s Dolly. Garth Brooks, on the other hand, who is not particularly a favorite of mine (although there are a few songs I like) actually was pretty good and wasn’t quite as drippily, overly sincere and earnest as he can be. I guess it was a package deal as Trisha Yearwood was all over the place too. She sounded fantastic and looked great. She has always had great taste in songs. I hung out with her a bit a couple of nights in Chicago many, many years ago and have always had a soft spot for her.

On Friday, my beloved friend and old college roommate Jeanne was in town for her daughter’s graduation. Since Ernie was feeling so perky we cooked dinner. Well, I gotta say, Ernie did most of the work. It was so wonderful and did my heart good to have them all here. Here we are: Jeanne in front of Ernie as well as her lovely husband, Joel, sister Kate and the absolutely gorgeous Nora. I love them all.

Saturday we got up and headed to O’Hare to pick up Leo and Tal. As we got there I commented on how easy and well marked it was these days. We were a bit early, they were still in customs, so we attempted to circle and made a wrong turn. Suddenly it WASN’T well marked and easy. But we eventually figured it out and I was SO happy to see my salt and pepper shakers again.

Yesterday was just about a perfect day. I heard from Owen and Trinity early, the weather was lovely and then Leo took us to lunch at Fries and Peanuts. We haven’t been in ages and it just felt so good. I can’t believe I didn’t photo document us all together. Oh, and how delightful is it that Fries and Peanuts has purple allium in the planters on their patio?

Later in the day a visit…even Daisy! All my loved ones in one place, with me, just couldn’t have been more perfect.

It was a keeper of a weekend.