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?


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.

Weekend notes, June

6/7: Mid-morning visitors from Rocky River, early-afternoon bike riding and climbering at Sunset Woods. Grand discussions of the hole in our garage roof, who should repair it and how, at the short-term expense of State Farm.  Afternoon flight to St. Louis. Should I have taken Amtrak? Yes. Sunday, flomming around the arched city in my new suit (which, though not particularly fancy, puts my other new suit, purchased four years ago before the same annual conference, to plasticky shame).

6/14: Hearty breakfasts and a round of standby PH Guatemalan. Road trip to bustling East Troy, Wisconsin for a weekend of sun(screen), life(jackets) and beer(coolers full of kids’ juice). First canoe, kayak and motor-propelled party-barge ride for each boy, each activity either generating grins or building character. “Hey kid, want to learn how to gut a fish?”

6/21: Saturday morning, gentle toast with no coffee at all, noting that the grown-up population is still recovering form a mid-week somethingvirus.  Garage cleaning, drying and folding protective plastic from the roof and attic, shuttling in-between outdoor toys up the stairs, sorting the heap of sundries on the garage’s continental shelf onto organized, smaller piles on the tall shelves.  E to gymnastics class mid-day.  Outside play followed abruptly by a spectacular afternoon thunderstorm, two inches of rain in an hour flooding Green Bay Road and revealing old landscape patterns: a lake in the neighbor’s front yard, a waterfall down the side yard, a stream diagonally across our back lot and toward the old wetlands two doors down, still featuring giant willows, before burbling down toward the ravines.  Still enough daylight, on this solstice day, for the birds to return afterwards before an 8:30 sunset and plenty of twilight thereafter.  Sunday, E to practise swimming at the city pool at 10:30 sharp, followed by lunch and then an afternoon exploration of the headwaters of the Chicago River at the Greenbelt preserve.  Cool, sunny, waterfowl and treefowl, little frogs, and the very end of our 2-mile loop closed by a solid (well, liquid) four feet of water.  In all, then, a longer walk than planned, but a nice view of waxwings and orioles, with a bonus signpost explaining the role of GBR as marking the sub-continental divide.

6/28: A largely relaxing Saturday, the house still reasonbly tidy from Thursday’s visit by Other Jeff. Everyone to gymnastics: E to participate, J to watch a bit of Wimbledon on the waiting room monitor and dig through a tome of baseball-themed fiction, L to run laps around the grassy field outside. An evening walk with Gordon around the Lincoln-Railtrail loop. Sunday, a morning beach trip to Park Ave., only to find the post-deluge bacteria warnings. Home for a bit of Catan Junior, basement play, an afternoon trip to the Aquapark, haircuts for everyone.

Weekend notes, May

5/3: Dirt. Also, Hansa Ethiopian. More dirt! A baker’s four yards, wheelbarrowed down the neighbors’ driveway, across the hostas and down to the back 40. The Fitzgerald & Pass albums, to exercise the new 1.7/4BST setup (still sans furniture). Sunday, outside play and delivery of the balance of the dirtpile to neighbors’ ground under repair. “Swimming practise” (a.k.a. swimming), followed by leftover kale salad and potato salad for noonsies. An introduction to Ticket to Ride. Completion of dirt rearranging, planting and transplanting. Carrots, chard, pole beans, cukes, peas, squashes from seed. Beets too, but those seeds looked suspiciously unlike beets. From seedlings, raised in the mud room since late winter, toms and tillos, asparagus, ground cherries, eggplants. Pencil sketch of layout, to appoximate scale, by young J.

5/10: Additional gardening, the usual Saturday routine complete with post-swim bagels from Once Upon.  Sunday, the usual 8am pickup for ORD-NRT and the rest of the weekend folded up in 38G.

5/17: Eastward jet-lag recovery (which, ugh, stretches well into the following week).  Grand discussions of period-appropriate replacement window designs.  Rearrangement of the GTI (in and out for its annual something-worth-$1000-breaks) and 944 (this time, an increasingly fiddly ignition cylinder and oops-is-this-battery-dead-or-just-discharged).

5/24: Super-bonus weekend, with both Friday and Monday dark at the office.  Grandparental visitors from the enchanted city, who joined us for Friday swim practise (i.e. pool play) and watched lessons on Saturday. Saturday night, a Saturday night! To wit, dinner for two at Atwood followed by Britten and Shostakovich (7) at the CSO’s house. Sunday, an early bike ride to Lakefront Dr. to examine the nature of Ride the Drive. (Registration fee and photo ops? Not exactly Critical Mass.) Following, bruches at Walker Bros. Monday, a morning hike and birding at Fort Sheridan, and a short adternoon playtime at the beach.

5/31: Saturday morning, french toast, coffee and cribbage. No swim, lessons having switched to weekdays given J,E’s promotion to levels 2,3.

Weekend notes, April

4/00: One of the authors is lain up with ebola.  Or maybe a cold.  The rest of us spend the weekend ploughing through fall overgrowth in the back 40 like Ozymandias through butter.

4/12: Saturday morning, a Guatemala Asobagri from Hansa.  Note to self: when in doubt, do not purchase central american coffees.  Swim lessons in the morning, bicycle riding and kite flying in a 70-degree southerly at Independence Grove.

Sunday’s update is a guest post, courtesy of a local citizen.

First, the name of our list: “E’s favorite things at the Field Museum”.  The dinosaur that maked noise.  You pushed a lever and then it would make a trumpeting noise.  That’s one.  Going to the pyramid.  I liked seeing the mummy.  Um, what do I tell about that?    It was under the pyramid, and it was sort of wrapped in a box (the mummy box).  I liked the teepee.  The teepee’s furniture was made out of a buffalo skin.  I liked the mammoths.  I liked playing around that I was plunging animals into sticky tar.  I liked seeing the totem poles.  It seems like that’s the end of my list.

4/18 and a three-day weekend, discounting the time Friday spent glued to my laptop. Saturday a Game of Life during mme’s long run; swim; backyard baseball; lumberyard trip with E, who delighted in the forklift. A ride to the shop for a satchel of Passion House’s Guatemala El Rincon. Easter scavenger hunt featuring plastic eggs of clues and jellybeans at the end. Much of the day outside, sodding and tilling for a new garden. Or, as reported by local neighbors, a garden once-upon-a-time that we’re recreating. Buried rebar posts confirm. Boxes for raised beds constructed and awaiting fill soil, before the tomatoes can be transplanted and report, we is risen.

4/26: Friday, an evening of genuine grown-up interactions in support of Community.  Saturday backyard baseball (citizens’ choice, nearly every time) and a mustache mug of RCS house blend.  Swim.  An afternoon drive to the local transducer shop, as a part of outfitting the living room for all senses and seasons.  A chilly family dog walk around the Sunset Park south loop.  Sunday, a morning bike ride (i.e run-beside) with E, and later morning swim with J, an afternoon bike ride with E and J.  Following, a superb stout (BA link) and some stretching of the bike-riding-teacher muscles.

Weekend notes, March

3/08: Friday evening pool practice: only 16 minutes worth before 7:00 close, but enough to wear things 1 and 2 for bedtime. Saturday morning with a press pot of Metropolis Falstaff and spring cleaning. It’s well below freezing, but it hit forty yesterday. J swim lesson, and the first time I’ve seen him crawl with breathing. Maybe breast with breathing too? L and I may have missed it, rolling a basketball around in the open gym.

3/22: Friday evening swim practice with the whole family. Saturday morning pourover of a Hansa Columbian. Paper airplane construction and elaborate flying contests. J swim lesson; E elected to come and watch, sitting in the viewing room with a High Five magazine. Backyard cleanup, 85% of grassland exposed; examining drainage patterns in order to plan garden placement. Seeds sown in the mudroom, no sprouts yet.

3/29: Friday evening nothing. Something. Bathtime? Boardgames? Maybe Catan Junior? All followed by late-night skunking in the backyard. Saturday morning pourover of Passion House Rwandan. E came along again to watch swim, this time reading a book about some numbers of animals. Lots of sprouts. A spring-like shopping trip for a new helmet for thing two and new steed for thing one, followed by riding practice at the park. Sunday stew, following usual practices.

Weekend notes, February

Swim lesson practise Friday 6:15-7:00. Swim lesson Saturday 11:05-11:35, after shoveling gobs of early morning powder out of the van’s path. Our street is among first and more frequent on the plowing list, so there’s no hope beating the plow-in. Sunday 10:30-11:30, swim lesson practise again. It’s a we-like-swimming week; not all weeks are.

I woke up Sunday to the sounds of J and E playing cribbage and S brewing up some beans from Hansa. After breakfast, J scooted off to extract facts about Penguins from library books. E traces some dot-to-dots. L, recovering from a sniffly nose, became sleepy.

For the third or fourth consecitive week, Sunday temps decline steadily to a well-below-zero Monday morning. Unusually cold and snowy, the locals claim, as they slide their Teslas around town.