Jan 31, 2013

I Bought Ink

I never have printer ink.  When I need it, I call around and nobody else has it either and since whatever I need it for needs to be printed today it's useless to place an order.  I go to the copy shop all the time and have one sheet of paper printed out; a permission slip, a handbook, a coupon, a homework assignment.  I am the grasshopper of home office computing, never prepared for the long winter of needing ink, scrounging around at my friend the ant's house, with a  flash drive in my pocket, trying to mooch printer access "Would you mind if I just printed a page or two real quick?"  I've been known to hand draw a permission slip at eight fifteen in the morning on the day it is due back, my embarrassed nine year old asking "Are you sure this is ok?"

Jan 22, 2013


The Aquarium was free on Sunday and the Art Museum on Monday.  Ella had the day off for Martin Luther King Day. I just had to find a hotel in between them both, one with a pool.  The Essex is right on Michigan Ave, and we could stay there for $80.00 so I booked it.  I find mid-January is the perfect time to take a mini-vacation to cheer everyone up.  I also find that standing in line for the aquarium on free day in mid-January with two Texans is very difficult.  They end up both trying to crawl into your coat with you and while that is very warm for everyone, it's also very unstable once they get past being cold and start tickling each other and blowing raspberries at each other while in your coat.  I had to kick them out periodically to remind them how cold it was.

The hotel pool was FREEZING.  Other kids were in there, everyone splashing and swimming and dunking like little porpoises all happy and squealing.  It's possible that it's just not the temperature we spoiled swimmers are used to, but our lips really did turn blue, so I don't think I'm just being wimpy.  When I finally talked my little blue lipped babies from the pool and back to the room, we ordered a delicious deep dish Chicago style pizza. I was glad to remember binoculars because the view was pretty awesome and while I got us all ready for the art museum on the second day Ella spent a good amount of time reporting on the gargoyles around town.

The aquarium was a hit save for the wait to get in and the art museum a bust save for the miniature hall.  Those children looked in every little room in a box in astonishment.  Ella inspired to go home and build her own doll house and Jack proudly naming everything in the little room.  But the rest of the time they were bored and nobody wanted to walk.  Next time, we'll go when it's warm.  Warm enough to walk to both attractions, warm enough to swim in the pool, and warm enough to stand on the lake front and stare out at the blue for a good long time while the kids run around the sculptures.

Jan 14, 2013

It Was Only 10 degrees This Morning

I found the best brush in the whole world while searching under the bed for the kid's shoes.  We'd been pining it's absence for about a week.  It's wooden handle is warm and the bristles forgive just enough while still untangling.  It's the perfect mixture of firm and warm and forgiving.


I'm on the second half of the lease in this house and looking forward to getting into a better place.  We need just a pinch more space and all three bedrooms on the same floor.  I have only lived one place where I didn't look forward to the end of the lease.



Jan 3, 2013

Whose Names are Unknown: A Novel by Sanora Babb

 Whose Names are Unknown: A Novel by Sanora Babb is appealing to me on a few levels.  I like to read about the dust-bowl and the depression.  I just watched the PBS show about the dust-bowl and it all was so catastrophic.  It's amazing to know we pulled our own butts out of an ecological disaster we created and it gives me hope in humans and what we can do.  I'm a union supporter and a Democrat.  Also, frankly it makes me feel very fortunate to live in this time of abundance, it reminds me to live simply and count my blessings.  And perhaps the most important reason I wanted to read this was this book was it was written by Ms. Babb at the same time the Grapes of Wrath was written.  The publisher told her the reading public couldn't support two books, though Steinbeck wrote the Grapes of Wrath after reading original pieces written by Babb.

"In 1938 she returned to California to work for the Farm Security Administration. While with FSA, she kept detailed notes on the tent camps of the Dust Bowl migrants to California that were loaned to John Steinbeck by her supervisor Tom Collins. She turned the stories she collected into her novel, Whose Names Are Unknown. Bennett Cerf planned to publish the novel with Random House, but the appearance of Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath caused publication to be shelved in 1939.  Her novel didn't get published until 2004." - Wikipedia 

Ain't that some crap? So since I have loved the Grapes of Wrath for such a long time, I felt I owed it to Ms. Babb to read her book, and it is magnificent.  I recommend it.  It's a smooth read, I wish I had more time to pour over it and at the same time I am trying very hard to savor it so it's not finished too quickly.