Posted in 2020, Aging, Challenge, Chicago, humor, kathy70, Quarantine, Quilts, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge #38 Bag Lady

This challenge comes from a small writing group.  We have a large series of random questions that we answer and share.  The goal is to answer at least one per week. My personal goal is to do this for 1 year.

Question:

How do you keep yourself organized?

Bag Lady

Pre-pandemic and quarantine, many of us had lives and in some cases very busy lives.  As an active senior citizen with a variety on interests, I had my fingers in a large variety of pies and enjoyed every minute of it.  My solution was tote bags.  Not only did I make my own, at many events and functions I received them as a participant.  It also told me what day of the week it was.

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Monday, I was going to one of my quilt guilds and based on what project I was working on, I had a tote bag with all my items in it.  Throughout the week, if I came across a pattern or some fabric that I was not going to use, into my quilt tote to take for the sharing table so others might take the items home.  Also, during the course of the meeting some of us worked on small hand held projects to pass on or share with others.  I also made sure that this was right by the front door on Sunday night so I did not forget to go to the meeting.

I taught several different crafts in my community so based on what I was teaching that week I would organize by tote bag. If it was flower arranging, the containers and oasis and tools in one bag, for making bracelets it was beads and wire and another type of tools required.  If I had a special request from a student I would make sure the items went into that bag.  For work, it was a whole different group of items in my tote bag.  Gym days, another tote bag. Not included are the bags  I took to the grocery store to cut down on the use of plastic bags.

For many years now I have driven a pick-up truck and this means no trunk, if I had a trunk some of these bags would have been left in the vehicle until needed.  On really good days, I walked out with three separate bags for my current days events.  I did make sure bags were different colors and styles so I did not arrive at the gym with only my jewelry making supplies.  Now that could be a whole new direction to this story.

Posted in 2020, 99 words, Chicago, kathy70, Quarantine, Quilts, Sewing, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Good Vibrations

This is for the 99 word challenge based on the prompt.

How long since I felt vibrations about something, it was just a little over a week ago.  A friend put a picture of a quilt block up and it drew me in totally.  I created 4 similar blocks in just over a week using scraps.  Unheard of.   New fabric’s quarantined.

I am now in the final stage of quilting the entire quilt inspired by that picture.

It is 4 faces made from random fabric pieces and things like a purple nose seemed to work for me.  Today a friend reminded me about a quilt show  looking for covid-19 projects to display.

Posted in 2020, Aging, Chicago, kathy70, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Happy 74th Birthday

I have fulfilled one of my wishes from last year and I made it to 2020…a classic example of be careful of what you wish for.  I will celebrate my birthday in some capacity, not sure yet what that will be.  I am a firm believer in celebrating and have been for a number of years.  It’s my old grandson story, I can see my kids rolling their eyes now.

Several years ago, my grandson was turning 5 and I was gone for a couple of days so I would not be at his birthday celebration.  When I came back, I asked about his birthday and he had a good party.  Next he jumped up and raised his arms above his head and said “See I am bigger now that I am 5.”  He was so excited, how could I not celebrate my birthday as much as possible.

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I will let you know afterwards what I actually do.  My plans are pretty low key right now, so Happy Birthday to me.

Posted in 2020, Aging, Chicago, humor, kathy70, Quarantine, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Fathers Day During Covid-19

My father passed away over 40 years ago and I still miss him just about every day, do we ever get too old to need a dad, I don’t think so.  What makes it tougher is that my relationship with my mom was divisive at best and a daily battle.  In the Unites States we celebrate dad the 3rd Sunday in June, other countries have many other dates to celebrate.

For a time dads were the butt of the joke on television and at the movies, then the switch was flipped and he became the stern authoritarian person.  Occasionally you saw that dad’s really knew best or had a good idea or was just a good guy trying his best.  My dad was close to being the last one at least in my eyes.

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My dad holding me in the yard.

As an adult I discovered that one of my brothers thought he was an idiot, another thought he was useless at best and another was very much afraid of him. I adored him and wish we could have had some form of father/daughter talks.  My dad like many of his generation was not a talker, he was the strong silent type.  I can remember only a couple of one on one conversations.  I know he talked to my mom and sadly she used to talk bad about him to me,  how he spent too much money on Christmas.

I am sure life for both of them must have been very hard.  Minimal education and working hard to get ahead, a large family that always needed something more.  My dad always worked at least two jobs when I was a kid.  But I did the same thing, as a single parent it was two or three jobs when I could do it and it never seemed like it was too much.

Must be the quarantine or the social distance from the world that is causing me to be so reflective and missing my dad after all these years. Talk to your kids while you can or more important, listen to them and they will teach you.  Hope all you fathers have a great day out there and just love your kids, hug them extra today.

Posted in 2020, Chicago, kathy70, Quarantine, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Gigantic Leaves

Earlier this year I was able to visit a conservatory before it was closed with everything else that was an open public place.  This is one of the many gems the city of Chicago offers to all and it is free to visit.  Many gloomy days have been spent by students from nearby schools sitting in a quiet space reading in the green welcoming space.  The Lincoln Park Conservatory  has a number of different rooms that house a variety of plants and a lot of quiet seating areas to enjoy.

Once you go through the entry area you are engulfed in a forest of palms and greenery that transports you to a tropical place.  This was where I focused on this current set of photos.  I am not a tall person, five foot nothing is how I usually describe myself so these plants truly tower over me.  My fascination was with the huge leaves on some of these plants.

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In many cases, these leaves were longer than I was tall and I could have easily been completely hidden behind one leaf.  This greenhouse area occasionally has plants that brush the roof towering overhead.  I did not document the names of each plant which are on small signs in the ground by each plant.  I was simply swept away by the leaves.

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Next time, once it is able to reopen, you have a couple of hours to spend consider this as a destination.  My family always included a stop here before we went downtown to look at the Christmas window displays.  Something fun about going from the tropical heat to the usually cold frosty display in the city, this made our standing in front of a window in the cold seem not so cold.  Also a great place to sit in a quiet room filled with plants and read or just absorb the energy.

Posted in 2020, Challenge, Chicago, humor, kathy70, Quarantine, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge #30 My Staycation

This challenge comes from a small writing group.  we have a large series of random questions that we answer and share.  The goal is to answer at least one per week.

Question:

Describe your perfect staycation.   Would you want to spend it alone or with someone?

My Staycation

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Most of us have lived the longest and perhaps scariest staycation and are all experts on the process now.  Or maybe not.  In my mind a vacation is mostly going away to some fun or exciting location that you go to every year or have never been to before. So a staycation is not going away and may not be fun.

I love to travel almost anywhere and am pleased with the level of diversity I have managed to get on vacations.  I don’t try to conquer all my fears at the same time or see 12 countries in 3 days, but I have been pretty lucky with some of the opportunities I have had.  Not so much when it comes to staying home,

Unlike the current situation I would not mind a staycation for 1 week.  Since I live near Chicago and it has more than enough to entertain and see, it would be easy to fill the days.  I had a bit of that earlier this year before we had to stay home for an extended time.

I am very good with doing this alone, but would be alright with have an friend or family member join for a day or so.  A trip to the zoo is always high on my list and that was one of my outings this year.  The city is also blessed with 2 conservatories and both are filled with beautiful plants and flowers all year long, that can easily take a day.  Next are museum’s to match almost anything you could want to see.

My choice for the next pandemic would be to be living in some place that is not super cold or super hot.  There were a number of days when it did not seem like a good thing to even go out of the house due to the cold or wet and gloomy.  The tough part was that zoos and museum’s were all closed down as well and we could only see them on virtual tours.  So I guess it really does not matter what the weather is like if I have to stay in for 9000 days. All in all I could easily take my next staycation in Chicago and probably will.

Posted in 2020, Chicago, kathy70, Quarantine, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Orchids On Display

These pictures are from a trip to the conservatory before it was closed due to the quarantine and social distance requirements put in place due to Covid-19. The  conservatory was in the process of preparing this display for an event that was scheduled in the next week.  I could see into the back room as other orchids were being prepped to bring out.

This is just a small sampling of a truly amazing display.  It was still quite cold outside so this had an added benefit of being  refreshingly warm inside.  It was a very overcast day but between the sun  behind clouds and only coming out occasionally and the glass  dome enhanced everything.

So close your eyes, take a deep breath of the faint floral fragrance and feel the warmth in the building and enjoy these beauties. My favorite from this small group is the Pansy Orchid as one I had never seen before.

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Posted in 2020, Aging, Challenge, Chicago, Food, humor, kathy70, Quarantine, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge #26 Perfect Pizza

This challenge comes from a small writing group.  we have a large series of random questions that we answer and share.  The goal is to answer at least one per week.

Question:

Describe your perfect pizza in detail, including how it would be cooked and what toppings would be included.

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Today’s Perfect Pizza

That is such a loaded question that I can’t even believe myself that I would choose to write about this.  Maybe it’s a side effect of the pandemic craziness that has engulfed us all. Maybe it’s the fact that I can’t go to a local Pizza Parlor and sit down to order my pizza.  Maybe it’s because I feel the need to order a pizza from a local place just so when this is all over I can go there and sit down and have a pizza.

Over the years I have fond memories of pizza.  We had a neighborhood place that was just the best.  I can remember going there with my Girl Scout Troop after an activity, which I can’t remember, and I can remember the taste of the pizza.  I ordered milk with mine that day and some of the other girls said, “Hey, we are out for dinner why not order soda?”.  To this day my favorite beverage with pizza is milk.  They were saying hey mom or dad won’t mind and we are drinking soda, but I was not going to change my request.

I remember it was cold outside and very warm in the pizza parlor with the ovens going.  Maybe we had come from a nursing home where we sang Christmas Carols or we may have had a roller skating party with other Girl Scouts, both are very possible.  It may have been a special meeting where we put together special treats to take to patients at a local hospital.  It’s funny the two vivid memories from that day were the pizza and my drinking milk.

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I live near Chicago, which is known for it’s pizza among other foods and I have eaten pizza all over the country and I do love Chicago style pizza.  This  pizza that is my now “perfect” pizza comes from a restaurant on the same street as the one I went to all those years ago with the Scouts but about 4 block East.  This new pizza is a hand tossed pizza that has malt in the dough ( I could not taste it.)

I am a fan of sausage pizza and this had sausage that was crumbled and spread over the entire top so you had sausage in every bite.  The sauce is critical and this was also a secret recipe.  The sauce was almost a marinara sauce, but very delicate, and you could see veg and herbs in the sauce.  Next I had diced fresh tomatoes, also scattered all over the top, my last ingredient was black olives.  I love the sharp taste they add to the pizza.

The pizza was very thin with a light but crunchy dough and I enjoyed every bite of pizza even the next day.  The flavor overall was unique and I think that is the secret recipes for dough and sauce.  My new favorite pizza and I will be running to this place as soon as they open again.

 

Posted in 2020, Challenge, Chicago, County Fair, Food, kathy70, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge #25 As A Kid…

This challenge comes from a small writing group.  We have a large series of random questions that we answer and share.  The goal is to answer at least one each week.

Question:

What makes you feel like a kid again?

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I feel like a kid again when I am …

Seeing giraffes at the zoo.

Eating cotton candy at the county fair.

Riding a city bus.

Coloring/dying Easter Eggs.

Roller Skating but not on roller blades.

Picking a bouquet of dandelions.

Sleeping outside in a sleeping bag not in a tent.

Shoveling the first snow of the year.

Walking barefoot on the beach.

Watching a Cubs game at Wrigley Field.

Going to Navy Pier when the huge boats are in.

Eating a hot dog walking down the street.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in 2020, Chicago, kathy70, Quarantine, Travel, Uncategorized, Wisconsin, Writing, Yes

Shedd Aquarium

Two of the aquarium entrances.

J.G. Shedd wanted to give the city of Chicago a gift and wanted it to be the best of all the major cities in Europe and the United States that had aquariums. He donated the money and selected the architects and the project began in the 1920’s for educational and scientific purposes. However he never saw it open as he passed away before the project was complete.

He came to Chicago as a young man from New England and started as a stock boy in the company that would become Marshall Field & Company and became the president of the company.  His business colleagues became the board of directors and carried out his vision for this project. This is now part of the Museum Campus on the Chicago Lakefront and welcomes millions of visitors from all over the world.

The aquarium has grown and evolved over the years to educate and inspire people about conservation and protection of the Earth’s water systems.  Today with the quarantine due to Covid-19, the penguins are helping in advertising reminding us all how to stay safe.

The aquarium houses fish and plants from all over the world in very natural settings.  It also contains information and species from the mid-west as a part of the ongoing educational programs.  The day I visited (before the quarantine) they had exhibits set up where you could touch the back of a sturgeon as they swam in the water. Also another area where you touched a very large starfish.

 

While this was not my first trip here, as in the past, I saw new things and learned more about what the Shedd is doing to educate us about how fragile the natural resources in the world are.  When you visit I hope you leave understanding a little bit more about what we can do to protect the natural world.

This is currently closed to all visitors but they have online resources available to all.  I am only sharing a few photos from this visit and will have more information and photos to follow.  When travel returns this is a great location to add to your list of places to visit for travelers of all ages.