Posts Tagged 'flowers'

May trip to Chicago

At the beginning of May, we headed up to Chicago so that Zach could go to a work conference. We went early in order to visit his sister and her family over the border in Indiana for a few days. Here are some photos of our adventures.

Our first visit to Lake Michigan. The Boogedy couldn’t believe that water got that cold without being ice.

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Zach and The Boogedy and Cousin J jumped all over the giant dunes at Indiana Dunes State Park.

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We went for a short hike at Coffee Creek, where we found an earthworm and offered Zach’s sister Sarah $50 to eat it. She declined on the grounds of being vegetarian. Later, though, she confessed that worms just give her the heebie-jeebies and it was all she could do not to gag at the mere thought.

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I picked dandelions during a walk through the neighborhood and braided them into a sticky crown for Prince Charming.

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The next evening we went back to the lake with the whole family and searched the pebble zone for perfect “skipping stones.”

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I can do it:

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But Zach has better…style:

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After Zach left for the Windy City, that left me and the Boogedy with a few days to spend with the cousins.  We went to iCream, where you can design your own ice cream. You choose your base (ice cream, non-fat, soy, yogurts), your favorite flavor, your favorite color (it’s very popular to choose the “wrong” color for a familiar flavor), and toppings. Here is the Boogedy, and cousins S and J, waiting for their treats. The little boys are thrilled. Anyone with a teenager knows that the big kid is playing video games.

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Here the worker is adding the custom mixture to the Kitchenaid. On the left you can see the vapor from the addition of Liquid Nitrogen (!), which freezes the ice cream fast.

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I chose Key Lime with graham crumbs on top, dyed purple. You know, because that’s just not right. I got the serious jitters from this snack. And I mean bad. I wonder how much sugar or chemicals this had! Aside from the fun-factor, I wasn’t impressed at the deliciousness.

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After the treats, Sarah and I took the boys to the Lincoln Park Zoo, which was very nice. I loved taking a spring vacation. Before I moved to the tropics, spring was always my favorite season. Nowadays, I don’t get to see tulips, daffodils, and chartreuse willow trees. It was lovely!

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Sarah drove us home via the scenic route, along Lakeshore Drive. She used to have an apartment in the John Hancock building, the one with the two antennae.

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These boys are the giggly-est, and did great on all car trips.

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Sarah, Todd, and I hung around drinking Lattes (from Todd’s super-fancy espresso machine) and Greyhounds (fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and vodka) and letting the kids play. We’ve known each other for about 18 years, and it’s always fun to catch up.

On our last day of vacation, we all headed back into town to meet up with Zach and walk through Chicago. We loved The Bean, though I kept losing track of my kid. It was very disorienting.

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Then, we walked along the Magnificent Mile to the John Hancock building, where we rode the elevator to the 96th floor for drinks! I look relaxed in this photo but I was WRECK. I don’t care for heights and the view was, literally, breathtaking.

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I love visiting family. Thanks for hosting us Sarah and Todd! I am looking forward to a big family reunion in scenic Southern Utah later this month, and short jaunt afterward to Texas to visit my sweet mom and sisters.

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Shiny Black Glass Beads

I’ve had a few lessons on making lampwork beads, something I’ve been wanting to learn for years and years. This small handful represents two sessions of progress. The first week I made a bunch of smallish plain black beads and the polka dotted ones. The second week I made the fancy flower ones. I’ve labeled the two made by my teacher, Debby Weaver, so you can see what I was going for on those flowers.

Debby taught me using black glass because it is visibly obvious how molten the glass is, whereas some of the other colors take more experience to work with. A few of my polka dotted beads cracked clean in half in the kiln because of temperature irregularities before I put them in there.

I really wish I had the space and money to take this up as a real hobby. I love doing it, and I feel like I’m pretty good at it, considering that I made that black/periwinkle/mint polka dot bead in the center on Day One! I wish Debby weren’t going back home to Maryland next month!

Matchstick Garden

Last night we went to the MARC plant store and bought four empty little pots  and a small watering can (and another 5-dollar orchid, truth be told). Today we set about planting the Matchstick Garden, a present from “Alexis!”

Rocks for the empties:

Scoopin:

Rippin:

Plantin:

Waterin:

The Boogedy was so excited about dousing things that we filled up the watering can and went for a walk, sprinkling plants along the way. When we got to the Key West Cemetary, he spent a bunch of time climbing on the cement graves and tossing the watering can off for the hollow boing-bonk sound. The fog was rolling in, and we spotted these curled up poinsettia leaves that the Boogedy thought might be bugs.

Orchids and Naturism

I have vowed to become an orchid person, now that I live in their proper climate. But on my budget, this involves picking up a clearance ($5 ) orchid, which is in the last throes of a bloom, and hoping that I can muddle my way through the next 6 months and get another bloom stalk.

I bought the first orchid last week and went back to MARC plant store today for another couple. One has a very long flower stalk that dropped its final yellow speckled blossom when I picked it up for inspection.

Come January, Gary at the MARC plant store offers a FREE orchid class, for 6 weeks!! I will be taking this class.

The rack was an urban street find. Someone had put it out near their garbage cans for free. This is quite possibly the best free furniture I’ve ever brought home. On the second shelf is a little orchid from my sister-in-law and an air plant.

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On Monday we went for a 10 mile drive to a clothing optional beach. We had to walk 15 minutes along a very scraggly, rocky, mangrovey beach (with most of our clothes still on) just to get to this sign:

At one point we waded through waist high water (chilly right now), but here was the view while we sunned ourselves.

This was worth the trek, but next time we take water shoes and the dog. And BUG REPELLENT…the mosquitoes, fire ants, and jumping sand fleas (we dubbed them) descended on us as soon as we stopped hiking. They didn’t have to contend with fabric, so they made a big impact before we hightailed it out of there…picnic abandoned.

Ibis spotted on the way back to the van:

A Youthful Perspective

When I was little, I spent so much time laying on the ground staring up at the sky.

The other day I reminded myself to do that.

Spring?! what what What?!

No Way. No kidding? Do you know what these are, internets?

Those little devil horns are TULIPS. Coming up in my north-facing, house-hugging garden plot!

Just as I was feeling really repetitive in my complaints about winter, these little beauties show up and get me all excited.

In a few weeks, this plot will be FULL of fat-bellied, bubble-gum tulips that wear too much mascara. And this year, they get to share runway space with those skinny supermodels with great skirts, coral bells.

Hooray Spring!

Jordan River Ride

I am working on a new challenge where Zach will give me a smiley face sticker if I ride at least 6 miles in a day. After 20 smileys, he’ll take me out to eat! So, on Saturday I got up before the boys (at 8:30) and got on my bike to go for a ride by myself. Under normal circumstances, I would have waited for him, but his ankle is twisted and I knew he wouldn’t be up for towing the Boogedy in a trailer.

I rode good and hard on the outward 3.5 mile leg of the journey. When I reached my destination and found this gorgeous yellow tree, I decided to photograph the pretty stuff all the way home.

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There was a pink tree:

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And this nifty rusty bridge that made the best clunkety noise when I rode across.

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Here I am stopped on the bridge:

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I think this might be a beaver dam:

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Here are at least three varieties of grasses, all contraindicated for inhalation up my dog’s nose:

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I want you to know that I faced my fears and stepped out upon this grate-topped walkway over the river for blog’s sake.  I am showing you my dorky riding pants and socks because I have no shame.

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The view from there was grand and it was LOUD.

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Another pink tree:

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Some Russian olive trees and thistle with some blue wildflowers. Those Russian olives are the bane of my mom’s existence.

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A spot of deep shade, at least 5 degrees cooler in here.

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I went home and ate sauteed tilapia and green salad and a strawberry kefir smoothie. I lovely start to the day. You can believe that I took a long nap that afternoon.


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