Gordon the Hound

In memoriam, 2001(?)-2016.


Remember that time when we left the garden alone for an entire weekend?

garden cucumbers
It’s a cucumber year.  Pickling cukes, though soon enough those become munching cukes and salad cukes and target-practice cukes.

Good garlic, too, and a fair number of big multicolored tomatoes.  The jury’s out on the tomatillos; depending how many growing weeks remain, we might have 10 or 20 or 150.

We also conclude the weeks of cake bounty, as illustrated by mister 3 and his “here’s my cake, what are you having?” expression.

L third birthday cake


Nearing the end of September, the harvest is still going well.  Frequent, large toms, return of the occasional strawberry, and – maybe – a successful eggplant?   We have begun overgrown-yellowing-mushroomy season. 

Last year’s strawberry box is weathering elegantly.    Go go grow!

Early spring study in blue

All photos: iphone 5

Weekend notes, November

11/8: Saturday late awakening, following the Friday afternoon arrival from NRT. Morning leaf-raking (round three, fight!) with thing 2 and thing 3. Afternoon disc golf sprint with everybody, at Larry Fink park.

Sunday morning trip to LPZ. Favorite sightings,
E: Meercats
L: Peacocks (i.e. all large, colorful birds)
Grandma J: the pygmy hippo
Moi: Exotic birds flocking around us while the zookeeper opened a tupperware of grubs
Wifey: the Tawny Frogmouth

11/15: An early morning departure (and late afternoon arrival) from Seattle, i.e. land of many coffees.  (Best coffees? Storyville, Works, Monorail.  Best food? Radiator.)  Visitors from Bay Village and takeout barbecue (from RUB, of course) for supper.  Sunday, a walk through the light snowfall to Lincoln School for Pancake Day.  In the afternoon, with E to a peer’s bowling/slash/birthday party at The Alley.

11/22: An ordinary weekend, so far as I remember.  We’ve nearly exhausted the game cabinet with mister-no-age-restrictions taking on RFTG.


Contents of the game cabinet

  • Quarriors
  • Catan, knights and Catan Jr.
  • Agricola
  • Bohnanza
  • Ra
  • Power Grid
  • Pandemic and Forbidden Island
  • Lost Cities
  • Ticket to Ride
  • Race for the Galaxy and expansions
  • Puerto Rico
  • Carcassonne, River and T.C.
  • Sorry, Quirkle, Monopoly, Risk and various kid games

11/26: An early start to the weekend, with a Wednesday evening arrival of Anne from the 216. Thurday morning, both of us to the North Short Turkey Trot 10k, a decision that would haunt my quads and adductors for days to come. Food and coffee and food and coffee. After a cheeseboard lunch, a round of frolf with J and E at the sledding hill park while S and Anne chopped and cooked and chopped and cooked.

Friday, dinner at Publican. For the record, the three of us shared some assorted charcuterie: the headcheese was my favorite, pork pie also impressive, pate eech; a salad with persimmon, avocado and toasted quinoa; roasted squash, acorn and some others with a little molasses; clam fry, i.e. basket of lightly fried clams, cheese curds and onions; pork belly; roasted duck; squishing it all in with a bread pudding and last year’s Boubon County stout on draft. (It’s not as much food as it sounds like.) (On second thought, maybe it was.)

Weekend notes, October

10/4: No swimming on Saturday, on account of the holiday, so we met friends at the orchard to pick a peck of golden Ds, stopping in at Hansa to warm up from the mid-40s with a gaggle of kids-sized hot chocolates.  A great day, then, for house chores, general tidying and rehash of the laundry room.  Concorde grapes, jammed.  Peaches, buttered.  Pie pumpkin, roasted.  Cookies cookied.  Sunday, more house chores.  Guatamala Piedra Azul, smooth and a bit bitter – good for weekday mornings. A naptime (and beyond) first game of Agricola with young J.  (Come to think of it, we’d tried Taluva on Saturday; we’re gong to run out of new ideas in the game cabinet soon.)  Hand-tilling of the side-yard (i.e. sunflower) bed for garlics, followed by digging of holes (by E), careful planting and covering the cloves (by me), and “ooOOooh!” behind me as L discovered a few earthworms and, I then noticed, recovered many of the freshly-positioned garlics.  For reference in the springtime, the cloves made it back into the ground; we know not which variety where.


10/11: Saturday, morning swim lessons (S and the L). Sunday, a morning-to-afternoon excursion to the Museum of Science & Industry. What did we remember that evening?
L: Horn! [i.e. the lightning warning alarm in the weather exhibit]
E: One of them was the [historic, racing] cars. We went to the coal mine; the thing I liked best was riding on the coal mine train. We watched the ball going through the ball machine.

I liked the ball machine, designed for the Swiss tourism bureau, too. It was a different arrangement than the one they sent to Vancouver in 1986.

List of squashes we ate this week

10/18: Saturday morning, Bittman’s overnight waffles. Swim. Whole-house dusting to Supertramp’s pre-1980 discography.  An afternoon train ride to the Highwood Pumpkin Festival.  (Train ride there: 3:27-3:30; train ride back: 4:31-4:34. Just about right for the extent of entertainment available, including each carving a pumpkin.)

J is experimenting with his oil pastels.  He requested to photograph it four times during the process in order to make the following collage.  (Gimp for perspective correction and brightness balancing, then into Picasa for the quick concatenation.)


Sunday, a guatemalan from Hansa, pressed with a 1:30 bloom and 3:45 brew.  Our go-to scones (i.e. “butter for breakfast”).  A crisp and sunny outing to Sunset Woods for the Community School fall celebration.

10/25: There must have been a weekend here. I wonder what we did?


Fall garden

What a weird-weathered growing season it’s been.  September spent itself pretending to be June, and the plants joined in accordingly.

Photos with the G2 and Pentax ST 1:2/55.  Even with mid-morning light, a tripod would have helped.

Weekend notes, August

8/2: Visitors from Mentor yielded weekday outings to the city, which I duly missed.  Saturday, a morning trip to the aquapark, modest lunch on the 1531 patio, and an eleventh-anniversary date night spent exploring the Logan Square neighborhood of our fair city and featuring a top-notch, hipster-casual dinner at L&E.  I was cautiously prepared to be disappointed despite generally rave reviews, but the no-reservations-accepted wait was only an hour, the whiskey list was extensive, the food inventive, the service attentive and company not so bad to boot.

For the record,

  • Braised Rabbit, Mustard Braised Carrots, Pickled Ramps & Rhubarb, Homestyle Dumplings, Rabbit Jus
  • Housemade Burrata, Braised Celery, Barigoule Carrot, Porcini Marmalade, Black Truffle Vinaigrette
  • Duo of Pork, Berkshire Tenderloin, Whiskey Glazed Pork Belly, Compressed Peaches, Smoked Maitake Mushroom, Green Beans, Bacon Fat Hush Puppies, Peach Puree
  • Fried Chicken Roulade, Buttermilk & Ranch Spiced Farce, Duck Fat Biscuits, Aerated Sriracha, Smoked Green Apple & Cipollini Onion, High Life Gel, Cayenne Chicken Jus

8/9: An empty calendar!  Friday bike-riding after supper at Sunset Woods.  (Still jogging along-side E as he rides, but only in order to be a few steps closer when he tumbles into someone.)  Saturday farmers’-market-peach pancakes followed by the aquapark from its 10:00 open until snacktime… lunchtime… after-lunchtime.  J attempts the big slide (photo via google) and then repeats not-quite-ad-nauseum.  I take a naptime ride northbound, briefly thwarted by a failing left crankarm enforcing a break in the shade near Sunrise Beach.  (How many Sunrise Beaches are there in the world?)  Sunday, morning restocking errands to Whole Foods, Target and Tom’s Pastry (the entire house was out of apple fritters).  A later bike errand with L in the trailer (who excitedly responds to the suggestion with “Shoes! Helmet!” was thwarted by the Coffee Station’s early departure for vacation.  (Nonetheless, a pleasant and breezy jaunt down the rail trail and back up Sheridan and Waverly.)  Afternoon cleaning chores, backyard play and garage tidying.

8/16: Friday ready-for-grade-two haircut at the fancy barber shop.  A bit of limping aroudn for me, recovering from the misconception that I’m still young enough to pound out a quick bike commute and intro-to-masters-swimming class on the same (Thurs)day.  Saturday, magnet-moving (i.e. chores!) morning and visitors from Cleveland West.  Bike riding at Independence Grove – one small loop (3/4 mi.) with intermittent stops-waits-restarts-with-balancing-help followed by a second small loop with a more confident beginning and whoosh – they’re off.  Then, directly to the aquapark for a cooldown and many rides down the curvy slide for the >42″ tall crowd.  In the evening, a sitter for all three boys and an evening outing to the city to see Andrew Bird at the Chicago Theater, whose ornamentation matched the rotating double horn well.  AB’s set started well, with three solo tunes, but some combination of obtuse mixing and the hall’s acoustics got in the way of the full band’s (i.e. the Hands of Glory) first half.  As hoped, they later played several charts gathered around a solo mic – usurping the engineers’ power to mis-mix with their own corrections by moving nearer and farther from each other and the pickup.  Brilliant, tight, harmonious, symbiotic; made my evening.  Sunday, then, brunch at the best place in town to order huevos rancheros and lox in the same breath.  Bike ride to the 0.2-mi asphalt loop around the Lincoln school ballfields, around said loop many times, and back home.  I ran behind, estimating a 7:15/mi pace and arriving at GBR decidedly out of breath.

8/23: Morning pre-birthday trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo, for only J and his parents.  Sunday, a birthday party attendance for E at one of those strip-mall kids’ gymnastics places.

8/29: A four-daiye weekend trip to Cleveburgh. Friday, 5-plus-hound of us departed around 9:30, paused somewhere in Indiana for a picnic lunch, and ended up in Bay Village for suppertime. To Mentor to sleep. Sat morning, a stop-in by the Dysons, then lunch and an afternoon visit to Wilma’s with all the sisters. Evening, just the two of us to Katz Club, carousing at The Bottlehouse and overnight at the Washington Place Inn. The Bottlehouse, you say? Honeydew mead, an incredible IPA-based braggot and an equally incredible rising star coffee stout. Brunch at WP in the morning. Phoenix for whatever’s on tap. Back to Mentor to pick up the kids, an afternoon visit to the great-grandparents, then back to the Heights for a tour of the old stomping grounds. Dinner at Tommy’s, play at the Peace Park, dessert at Sweetie Fry, then off to Broadview Heights to overnight with friends. Monday morning, pancakes and a walk to the local playground before hitting I-80 for the return home in time for a quick dinner before bed.

Weekend notes, July

7/4: Toast and RCS blend.  Morning parade-watching in town, followed by lunch and the Fourth Fest with bouncy tents and pony rides for all.  Afternoon play, collaborative supper of poached eggs and CSA kale on cornmeal waffles, and backyard calvinball.  Late-night fireworks adventures as J and S set up in the Target parking lot, and I ride over to the bike bridge for a mostly-clear view with the tripod and 55f2.

Saturday, a coffee pickup joined by L in the bike trailer. Gymnastics. Lunch al fresco. Afternoon walks to town, for errands at the bike shop and sporting goods store. Brisket and beets for supper.

Sunday, we all caught up TDF with yesterday’s stage 1 summary video. Then,
J: We played footbasketballball.
E: Then, we went to the aquapark.
J: I went with (dad) into the practice swimming area. It was a very wide lap lane. We did lots of different strokes, including breaststroke, backstroke and regular stroke.
all of which merits four servings of lunch.

7/12: Kenya Kika AA from Hansa. Gymnastics class. An evening outing with J to Half-price Books, in search of treasure. The corpse reviver number two. Sunday, our first Cubs game. Noontime drive to the end of the Skokie Flier, to the red line down to Wrigleville. The good guys lost, but I hear that’s happened before.

7/19 and 7/26: We travel to points abroad for a gen-u-ine family summer vacation!  Some photos are published here.