Monthly Archives: July 2011

City issued

For the second time today I visited City Hall downtown. Last week I attended a workshop, and this week I met a new contact while delivering some paperwork. While I’m undecided on whether I was witnessing an episode of Parks and Recreation (check it out) or seeing a fascinating governmental body hard at work, the architecture is undeniable.

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The zucchini has arrived

When I first agreed to share a plot with my co-worker, I was excited but hesitant in my optimism. Would anything actually grow?

garden plot

Yes, my name is spelled wrong. Standard.

The answer, it turns out, is yes. Last week, our very first vegetable–a zucchini–was found. Needless to say, we were both more than elated to find that we had actually grown something. Three zucchinis and two loaves of zucchini bread later, I’m anxiously awaiting something new.

zucchini

The infamous first zucchini.

zucchini bread batter

Delish.

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Welcome to America

On Sunday, I attended a barbeque meant to welcome two members of my cousin’s extended family to America. Only a few years older than myself, Yadi and Karol were born and raised in Poland and had never been to the United States.

So as I spent the past few months listening to my cousin describe all of the grand plans they had in store for their guests, I couldn’t help but wonder what it must feel like to come to America for the first time. Culture shock? Wonder? Awe? Disgust? Confusion? Hatred? Ha. Who. Knows.

Hopefully they experienced a good ol’ fashioned BBQ this weekend, and will return to Poland with many good things to say about life in America. There certainly was no shortage of food, as evidenced by below.

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Bike to last

In anticipation of an upcoming bike race and a burgeoning hobby, I took an hour and a half ride through West suburban Chicago on Saturday. Armed with a bottle of water, my trusty helmet and the volume turned all the way up on my phone lest I miss a text, I slowly made my way from one suburb to the next.

As I traveled along the sides of several busy streets, I eventually eased into the quiet roads of residential bliss. But not before hitting a crack in the sidewalk and spilling onto the grass. Oops. Streets only from now on, she said.

I passed by El Sierra School, a second home from grades K-6, including the former Butterfly Garden, now affectionately known as Monarch Waystation. The playground area too hadn’t seemed to change much in the past 10 (!) years.

From there I traveled down Parkview Drive, home since always, and did some major creeping on the little blue house that will forever be mine. My final resting stop: McCollum Park, a park Frasier and I walked around many a time.

Cheers to myself for making it back home without fading from hunger.

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Gold medal star

Earlier this week, I came across a dog-friendly event through an awesome company called Fido to Go. The event, called Dog Days at Cantigny Park, is held each year in West suburban Wheaton.

As the website says, “For one day only dog lovers can enjoy a fun day at the park with their ‘best friend.’ Bring your dog out and enjoy a special dog play area, vendors from the dog world and some specially trained pooches to entertain.” Obviously, I was immediately intrigued.

But the best part: the Dog Olympics portion of the festivities. With events like Temptation Tower, Musical Hoops and Doggie Limbo, I knew Frasier wouldn’t stand a chance. But then I came across the Peanut Butter Lick and Kiss Off contests.

So several minutes and one application form later, Frasier was signed up. Now all we need to do is practice licking peanut butter out of a spoon in record time while seeing how many doggie kisses I can squeeze in.

Not exactly the look of a champion.

Wish.Us.Luck.

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Here today, gone tomorrow

When I read yesterday that Borders was going out of business, it felt like a blow to the stomach.

I grew up taking frequent trips to the library with my mom, reaping the benefits of school book fairs with my dad and relishing a good story before bed. When I was little (okay, maybe now too) I would have rather spent my time reading a good book than socializing with my neighbor. I can still remember summer nights spent browsing through the bookstore looking for my latest treasure.

Sure, I can still enjoy a good book on an e-reader or iPad, neither of which I have, but there is nothing quite like the feeling you get when walking into a real, live, breathing bookstore.

RIP Borders.

If my future house has a room like this, that would be alright with me.

{All images via pinterest}

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Glad you were here

Over the weekend I was lucky enough to catch up with two old (relatively speaking) friends from college. [She said as though she’s been out of college for years.] There is nothing like meeting up with someone who you haven’t seen in weeks, months even, and being able to pick up right where you left off. I am lucky to know such lovely and talented ladies. With one about to close on her first condo and the other teaching English in Costa Rica, I am in good company.

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