How did we end up here? We've lived in Northern Illinois for 24 years. Way too long for this vegetarian! Thankfully, we're only a Metra ride away from Chicago.

Friday, September 25, 2009

In the woods

Today we headed up to Severson Dells for a "school" fieldtrip. I think it must be our fourth year to the same nature center with a group. The kids learn something new each time and they beg me to sign them up each fall.
I let the kids go off with their own groups and had a nice peaceful hike through the woods.
After spending a busy week schooling it was nice to have a nature break.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Like a box of chocolates

When my parents come into town I never know what to expect. We did more activities in four days than we've done in the past four months.
Friday we visited a corn maze. It was a sunny and warm day that felt more like summer than fall. The kids thought it was super easy to navigate. Without them I would most likely still be looking for my way out.

The landscape out in the cornfields is changing very fast. On the other side of the orchard are a couple of the proposed 133 wind turbines being installed over the next few weeks. I have seen these from afar before but wow when you get close to them, they are huge. Did you know each blade weighs over 14,000 pounds!

On Saturday I took my parents and my teenager to see Jersey Boys in Chicago.

On Monday the kids and I headed back into Chicago to accompany my Dad on the Chicago Architecture River Cruise. It was a typical grey Chicago day but we learned alot about architecture and the view of Chicago from the river was spectacular.

Of course my youngest was very happy to visit the Lego store on Michigan Ave.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Real Music

I was determined to show my family that playing instruments isn't as easy as what Rockband makes it seem.

We're lucky to live in a college town with a few places that sell used instruments. A few weeks ago we purchased a guitar and a bass.

So much fun! The guitar has a fancy amp with loads of presets the kids think are great. "You don't have to really know how to play to make it sound cool, Mom." The neighbors haven't complained yet either.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Beagle Approved

Thursday, September 03, 2009


I am a country girl stuck not only in Illinois but in the city. While I've gotten used to all the conveniences of being so close to everything, I doubt I'll ever get used to how closed in city life sometime makes me feel.
Fall is in the air and there are a few apple orchards close by we could visit. They have all become quite the "tourist traps" for the suburbanites to frequent on the weekends so we don't visit often. They are nice if you are looking for entertainment with a bakery, wagon rides, a variety of novelty farm animals, the "pick your own" berries and apples that cost more than you'd ever thought you would spend considering you are providing the labor.
I decided to check out a place today that has no extra frills just really good raspberries for your picking pleasure.
It's down a dirt road....

My kids even thought it was cool and they didn't freak out over the thousands of bees buzzing around.
It was hard not to pick too many as the bushes were loaded with ripe berries.

No automatic scanners at the checkout. Just a mailbox with a sign that read "Honor Box". It was exactly the field-trip I needed. Nice, open country space with acres of farmland and not a person in sight.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

What the

...heck was I thinking when I picked out the Aeolian Shawl pattern?

Was it the 2200 beads that needed to be individually placed throughout the entire project?
Was it the keeping track of which one of the 6 charts I was on while also working on a completely different charted "mystery shawl" project?

I knit on this shawl over 2 months without ever considering how huge this project was becoming. It never dawned on me that I had knit all 1300 yards of sock weight yarn until I was binding off yesterday.

I didn't even have a space with no dogs, no kids, no husband that I could block it out properly last night.

Here she Aeolian Shawl.

It is about 8 feet of wingspan and has a length at the center back of 4 feet. It is the largest project I have ever knit. Not so sure if this is even wearable.

Oh well, it did keep me occupied for all of July and August. I already wound yarn today to start another shawl. Seriously! Eldest son says my shawls are perfect if I was an old woman. He hates it when I wear them out of the house. With all the shawls lying around the house I really wish I liked knitting socks. They would be so much easier to store.