2020 Launch

Hello Friends,

Yup, it took me until the first week of February to get the 2020 ‘detour going. Yikes.

Our updates are neither extensive nor exciting, but things are happening. The girls returned to school three weeks ago and are settling back into their schedules. Girls scouts is up and running, and more extracurricular stuff will start up soon. Somehow we dodged the illnesses that went around the school. A few sniffles, but thankfully no major illnesses. All in all, things are quiet and good.

If you follow us on Facebook, then you have seen these photos since I just spent some time updating profile pictures. I realize the girls change so fast, and historically, I need to post more pictures. Too late for a resolution?

These are from the end of 2019, November and December mainly. We’ll get some new ones in, but I wanted to give you all something with the girls in it. Speaking of Facebook, my personal page (started to deal with Winterfest logistics) has grown quickly. It is remarkable how fast you can connect with people when you can make “Friend Requests” (the detour FB page doesn’t allow that-weird). This is a good time to ask you all to “like” us on the different platforms, right now WordPress and Facebook. And I know there are a bunch of you that have already been here for a while – thank you for sticking around with us!

So we’re back, and we’re back at it. It looks like 2020 is going to bring about some changes for us. I am still in transition back to work, aiming for an August return. I am currently soliciting “help and advice” about that return, so if you got some, leave it in the comments! Wife is keeping her professional eyes and ears open, always willing to consider another work option. And what will this blog become when these changes shake out? Not sure, but I’ll let you know.

So that’s that – Happy New Year! I hope your January went well and the February forecast is promising. Anyone know what Phil saw? Anyway, we’ll see you out there, friends.

Happy Thanksgiving!

“Today is the day the poor turkey had to die!

If I would a turkey I’d fly the tree tops high!

Turkey, turkey, turkey, turkey, turkey!”

Hello Friends,

My family sings yells that silly song to the relatives celebrating in other places. Nothing says grattitude like caterwalling through the phone! It always makes me reminisce, and reminds me that family is present, even when they’re distant.

We wish you and yours a safe and happy Thanksgiving Day!

Thanksgiving Break (So Far…)

Hello Friends,

I don’t usually apologize for my absences, but I feel I gotta this time. I am sorry for not writing in a long while, I have been busy helping to organize the 2019 Winterfest celebration at the girls’ school. We have mentioned it in previous years, but I am in it this year. Scheduled for Friday, December 6th, through Sunday, December 8th, 2019, you can check out the flier for the details here:

2019 Winterfest Official Flyer

I feel like this is another example of the closed economy of our (my) energy. But I can’t delve into it right now. I just finished a round of emails, and there is a bunch of stuff to organize and create leading into next week. Instead, I will leave you with a bunch of photos of the girls and I playing around in Millennium Park. With a full week off for Thanksgiving Break we had to throw in some adventures.

And yes, that’s gelato on a November day (they ate their lunches well!). We’ll see you out there, friends!

Random Two-fer

Hello Friends,

No deep thoughts today, just some feelings.

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, no? This is so much better than an hour ago when they were shut-eyed and bushy-haired. Anyway, today the school is getting ready for the Boys Intramural Basketball Tournament (Friday evening and Saturday). Lucky us, “Spirit Day” coincided with gym day. Don’t they look spirited?!?

Random start to the day, but there you go. I hope your Friday is starting off well. We’ll see you out there, friends.

It’s Coming!

Hello Friends,

Yep, Halloween is almost here; just two days now. In past years, I’ve talked about how our walk to and from school gets longer as Halloween decorations go up along our route. This year has been more of the same.

This yard is always a favorite. They add more inflatables each year, and the girls get a kick out of them all. In the girls’ assessment, this yard is spooky fun, but not so scary.

Yet another favorite, but the opinion on this yard is much different. Again, they add characters every year, but they tend to be creepy and bloody. Make no mistake, while it’s still worth stopping and checking out each day, the girls deem this yard scary. They only like it because they watch it go up. Otherwise, this house would be a hard pass.

There are plenty of other houses along our walk, and they all fall somewhere on the spooky-to-scary scale. The girls dig it, though, so that is fun. And that makes our walk a but more enjoyable as the temperature drops.

Not long now, friends, until all the boils and ghouls are out. Hope you’re as excited as we are-can’t wait to see your spooky decor!

Fall Cleaning

Hello Friends,

Everyone talks about how much they love spring cleaning. I am a bigger fan of fall cleaning. I enjoy reflecting on the growth from the spring and summer, while clearing out our space to make room.

Our front yard is a decorative, perennial, native, low-maintenance situation. We copied our neighbor, a landscape architect, so we have some staggered blooming. We do weed and mulch, but for the most part, it takes care of itself. By the fall, the yard is predominantly leaves.

We have learned that our perennial plants enjoy a clear cut each fall. They come back the following spring more healthy and full. Here again, we did what our neighbor did.

The back yard is a different story. That’s our small, compost-fed garden bed. It gets a bunch of sun, though, and always does well (you’ve seen the evidence).

The bed benefits from a good clean-out, too. I dig a trench and dump in our unfinished compost. As the fall progesses, I add dried, shredded leaves as well, effectively turning the bed into a passive compost pile. Next year, we are going to add real beds, so the clean-out this year helped me visualize that layout.

That lemongrass is still going strong. Wife and I are deciding on the best way to bundle and dry it for tea this winter. The apple trees were happy to get some pruning, now that I could reach them!

Obviously, our front yard is our curb appeal. We also hope the plants help control the rain water. The back yard is a fun project, and we eat from the garden when we can. The girls are getting more involved and are more helpful each season, and that’s great. And I know I feel better after a garden therapy session! Hopefully, you have some good plants in your life, too. No matter if they are for food, or if they are just nice to look at.

“Inch by inch, row by row, we’re gonna make this garden grow”

LPZ Fall Fest

Hello Friends,

Autumn events abound, and I thought I’d share one that we tried. There’s a bit more pressure on the post, because this weeeknd is the last weeknd for the Lincoln Park Zoo Fall Fest.

The flier is true! They have a variety of programming available to entertain whatever your child likes.

The girls were great about indulging their nerdy father as I snapped photos all around the fest. Really, as long as there was an attraction nearby, they were cool with it.

One of the great things about Lincoln Park Zoo is that it’s close to home. Our drive is less than a half hour, even with some traffic. Another great thing is that they have all of the animal houses to warm up inside. Not only do you get a break from the cold (and spending tickets), you can check out the animals. The cafe also stays open for full lunch service and cookie decorating .

There are a couple of things to be aware of. Parking in Lincon Park can be frustrating. Zoo parking is great for members, but it does cost. The zoo admission is still free, but you pay for the fest attractions.

Again, this is the final weekend of the LPZ Fall Fest. Did I mention the pumkin patch? Well, there is one. Hopefully, you get lots of sun and low wind when you go check it out.

Happy Fall, friends. Which ever fest or farm you check out, I hope it’s fun. We’ll see you out there!

Didn’t Get the Memo

Hello Friends,

Clearly, our garden was not notified when Summer ended two weeks ago. We are still pulling tomatoes and zucchini from the vines.

Some of the tomatoes are getting ugly, but overall it’s a good looking yield. And obviously, we let this squash go too long. That was a problem this summer: we searched for zucchini and couldn’t find them, then we found them and they were way too big. I guess we’re out of practice.

Historically, we have kept the garden as a hobby. This year’s success made it exciting and fun again, and it makes it feel alright that we took a year off. Technically, I think the agricultural phrase is that we chose to let the garden go “fallow” a year.

It’s time to clear the bed and preare for the winter, so I’ll empty the compost bin and mix on the leaves as they fall. We already have a plan for next year, thanks to raised beds that Wife found. They have a compost area factored into their footprint, so, come Spring, we will be overhauling the space. Oh, and writing about it, of course!

I hope your garden is wrapping up well, and your late harvest is bountiful! Now starts your planning foor the Spring as well. And for those of you who don’t currently have a garden, you have something to consider during the winter months. We’ll see you out there!

The Apple Didn’t Fall Far…

Hello Friends,

Well the new school year brings all sorts of new adventures, eh? Our last four weeks have been interesting, yeah, interesting. But that’s another post. Instead I want to focus on Sweetie’s new look.

Second Grade is going well for her so far. She enjoys school, loves her teacher, and is happy being around her friends again. She started the school year with a new accessory, though, one that we have been expecting.

Wife and I both have prescriptions; mine stronger than hers. I too, got my first pair of glasses in the Second Grade. So, with Sweetie, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. That’s a good thing too, because without these new glasses, she couldn’t see it if it did.

Funny Twist

Hello Friends,

Every so often some life happens to us, seemingly as a response to one of my posts. Today was one such instant. Cricket picked out her clothes today and I had to laugh…mainly at myself. For it was just yesterday that I typed, “we just don’t have that much team gear”.

To be clear, today Cricket is at “Dad Camp”, and the theme of the day is “errands”. It just goes to show me a couple things. Mainly, 1.) My daughters will continue to surprise me, and that may even be in complete contradiction to something I say/write/do; and 2.) Who knows what clothes lurk in the closets of small children?

So, clearly nothing profound today, friends. This just made me smile after yesterday’s post. Today in Chicago it’s high 70’s and sunny, perfect for those aforementioned errands. I hope your day is just as beautiful.