It’s been forever since I’ve been here (just in case you hadn’t noticed the date on my last post.  LOL)  I keep trying to update things but somehow never get to it.
When I think of all that’s happened since that last post I’m amazed.  We elected a wonderful man as our new President.  I loved watching that.  We really did make a difference and I think that difference will make a positive change in our whole world.  I’m not sure what it is about Barack Obama that makes me feel the way I do but I just feel that he is going to change this world in such good ways.  I was trying to explain it to Don the other night, and not doing very well mind you, but…remember in Star Trek how they were one planet…no wars, no more poverty, no more starvation…somehow I think Barack Obama is the beginning of that.  It probably sounds a little nuts and maybe it is but I sure hope I’m right.  It has to start somewhere and I hope that I’m here to see it happen.

We’ve had a bad cat time around here lately too.  We lost our Nutmeg to her lung disease.  She struggled long and mightly but it eventually got too much for even her.  We took in a little (and I mean little) old lady we called Tchotchke who was only with us for about 5 weeks.  She was ancient, emaciated, and took no prisoners.  LOL  Not one of our cats ever hissed at her.  I think they knew she was only here for a short visit.  And this week the heart of my heart went to the Bridge.  I can’t really even write about Freckles much yet.  There will be a gaping wound in my heart for a long time to come.

Of course,  with the sadness comes the other side as well.  There is a young long haired orange kitty out there filling out the application as we speak.  Don calls him Marmalade.  I still think of him as The Applicant.  I’m not ready to have that hole in my heart even start to heal but I don’t think he’s caring much about that.  The rest of the cats are not hugely happy about him either.  I think they know this guy could be some serious competition for them.  He is a cutie.

The lampworking forum that I’ve spent way too much time on the last few years is just getting a bit too toxic lately.  A friend that I met on there has started another forum.  It is going to be a great place to hang out I think.  If you’re interested in a look around, it’s Torch Bugs.  I think you’ll like it.

OK.  Enough for now.

What was he thinking???

John McCain, that is.  I don’t want to get majorly involved in politics on this blog but WTF was this man thinking???  I find it terrifying that he has the judgement to run a PTA mom for Vice President.  I find it terrifying that she’s incredibly right wing…so right wing in fact that practically everything she stands for makes me want to vomit.  Hillary may have put the cracks in the ceiling but this woman is only going to  smash her skull when she hits that glass ceiling.  She doesn’t have enough there to put any cracks in anything but her own head.  If anyone in the Republican party thinks that she’s any sort of Republican substitute for Hillary Clinton then they are truly more out of touch than I ever though possible.  Hillary Clinton is one of the biggest class acts in politics that I know.  I like her.  I like her husband (and guess what folks, her husband likes, no loves her).  There is no comparison of the right wing animal hating Palin to Hillary Clinton.  I own’t get into what I choose to like about Hillary but it is all righeous.

Can McCain be so delusional, so out of touch that he actually thinks this woman would be a good thing?  He’s old.  He’s got cancer.  He’s got a fairly good chance of dying in office.  This woman’s got the hootspa to run our country?!!!!  WHAT WAS HE THINKING???  Apparently, not much and not well.

We can’t stand 4 more years of the Republicans.  Our country is in dire straights and 4 years of McCain/Palin will put us over the edge.  Electing McCain shows the rest of the world that we are ready to accept more of the George Bush style of politics and that we seem to be unable to change our outlook–and out prejudices.  Electing Obama sends a message that we WANT something new.  That we are not stuck in a mode where we can’t vote for a non white male.  Obama is going to be one of the best things to happen to our country in a long time.  We all know the last 8 years have been a nightmare.  Let’s end it.  Let’s vote for the man who can make change happen.  Can you hear him speak and not want to smile, not want to love the hope that makes us feel that way.  Not want the change that he represents?

I can’t imagine what out world will be like without him.

Fun, fun, fun

Most of you probably don’t know about my beadmaking history.  There’s no reason you should but I’m going to tell you.  Hold on to your hats.  They might fall off when you fall asleep.  LOL

I started lampworking probably 8 years ago.  I took a reasonably bad 4 hour class on a HotHead.  I fell in love with it and didn’t do anything for 2 years.  Two years later I took a two day class with Jeri Warhaftig at Bead and Button.  It was a revelation!  And I still didn’t do anything afterwards.  The following year I took a bunch of classes at Bead and Button and then eventually found a place I could torch.  Since then I’ve torched once or twice a month–occasionally less and rarely more.  I’ve slowly gotten better but DH and I have had this running battle about me setting up a torch in the house.  Well, a year ago we made a deal and I haven’t managed to fulfill my part of the bargain yet so no torch set up still.

Well, I finally decided I’d had it.  I have a Minor, a Bobcat and a Hothead.  I told him I was going to set the Hothead up outside and torch this summer.  I got all the stuff I needed and have it set up on the deck outside.  Boy, I never thought I’d complain about torching but I’m having a terrible time with this torch!  I’m used to a MiniCC and this is a HUGELY different torch.  Boy, is it ever!  But it’s starting to come together for me and I’m having a lot of fun.

And I can’t wait until Open Torch at BlueFire Beads so I can use a Mini again. 🙂

I’m baaaack.

I really don’t quite know what I want to do with a personal blog so instead of actually doing much, I just keep starting new ones.  I think this is going to have to be the one that ‘sticks’.

I was just sitting here thinking about how a Chicago restaurant messed up Don’s birthday–at least for me.  I took him out thinking that any restaurant Roland Liccioni was a partner in should be really wonderful.  NOT.  Here’s a copy of the letter I am sending.

Mr. Liccioni,

 

On Saturday, June 28, I took my husband out for a birthday dinner. He chose Old Town Brasserie for several reasons. He liked the review in Chicago magazine and we’ve eaten at Le Francaise and Le Nomade when you were chef (both times that you were at Le Francaise) and the dinners we had were fantastic. Unfortunately, this was not to be the case here.

We were seated promptly and given menus. Our waiter #41, Mark, asked us if we’d like a drink. We hadn’t had time to open the wine list yet but we looked quickly and ordered a glass of wine each. He got the wine, brought it back and immediately asked if we were ready to order. Uhhh…we still haven’t got our menus open yet, so no, give us a minute or 10. My husband asked about specials and was told that they were listed in the middle of the menu. There was no explanation of anything, just that they were listed. He did then eventually ask us if we had any questions.

We placed our order and looked at the wine list for a bottle for dinner. We were almost finished with out appetizers before Mark ever came back to see if we needed anything to actually drink with those appetizers. My husband asked him if he could tell him about one of the wines we were thinking of ordering. I am still astounded at his answer. He told my husband that because he didn’t drink wine, he didn’t know anything about them. And then he stood there waiting for us to order. My husband asked him several times if he could possibly get someone who DID know something about wine to come and help us. He finally, reluctantly, asked someone for advice but never really seemed to have a clue about the wine, and the description offered was minimal at best. Fortunately we were given a bottle of wine that we liked, no thanks to him.

I was disappointed in my appetizer. I got the lobster ravioli and it was so over spiced that all I could taste was the spice and the lemongrass. The lobster got lost somewhere in all of that. My husband loved his fois gras even though he was never offered a glass of sauterne with it. He got the veal loin special and also enjoyed that, although it was closer to ‘medium’ rather than the requested ‘medium-rare’. I ate most of the sweetbreads and thought they were wonderful. I got the tournedos and was disappointed again. I asked for the meat to be cooked medium and it was well. I would assume that medallions would be cut against the grain into little rounds but this was just a hunk of meat on the plate cut with the grain so it was dry and stringy. The rest of the food on the plate was perfect and delicious. By the time our waiter returned to see how things were, I just decided I wouldn’t say anything. My mistake.

We normally share desert but since it was a special occasion (or at least supposed to be one) we decided to get two deserts. My husband got the profiteroles and I got the crème brulee. The profiteroles were wonderful. The crème brulee was the worst I’ve ever had. I took one bite and it tasted of raw egg yolks. I sent that back.

We finished with coffee, which was delicious. I love your coffee cups! I asked for a second cup of coffee. There was only about ½ cup left and Mark never returned to give me any more.

It was also very hot and muggy with the windows open in the front and no air movement in the back of the restaurant.

I was very, very disappointed in the service that we received. I was also pretty unhappy with the food. We went here to celebrate a special occasion and instead not only got nothing special, but also got something that came nowhere near our expectations. I just can’t believe that someone who ran Le Francaise and Le Nomade with such perfection can tolerate this. I find it hard to find anything positive to say about Old Town Brasserie.

If I had to sum up the service that we had at your restaurant in one word, it could only be ‘indifferent.’

Sincerely,

Can you tell I wasn’t happy.  I mean for a few hundred bucks it should be a little better than that!

Tonight will be yummm though.  I am making a bit pot of pinto beans and tacos carne asada.  The meat is marianating right now.  It’s a really odd color green marinade but is sure tastes good anyway.  I’m so going to regret this whole week when I go to Weight Watcher’s tomorrow.

I finally convinced Don that I need a torch here.  I’m not going to start me set up in the basement until I fulfill my part of the deal I made with him but I’m going to use the Hot Head out on the deck.  He seems to think that I’m going to have a fabulously wonderful time torching with a HH on a windy deck.  LOL  Shows what he knows about it.  Maybe a few times of that will speed up my end of the bargain.

Is anyone else feeling like the summer is going by too fast?  There are so many things I want to get done and just don’t seem to finish any of it.  Hell, I don’t even get most of it started.  Menopause is turning my brain to mush, I think.

Off to stir the beans.  Hope everyone is having a great day so far!

 

Mid April

It was fabulous out on Friday.  Warm, sunny…just beautiful, until the afternoon when it got cloudy and just started getting colder and colder.  Yesterday sucked.  Clouds, rain…blech.  Today is totally sunny and 37 degrees.  What the hell is wrong with spring in Chicago this year???  Am I asking for too much?  Sunny and upper 60s for a few days in a row would be nice.

I forgot to do an update on Fuzz.  Sharon (a friend down the street) and I got him neutered, shot, etc.  He recuperated very well in her fixed up basement and as he was doing so well, we decided to find him a home.  Well, mostly Sharon decided to find him a home.  LOL  I was having a really hard time with thinking of him not around here but glad he’d have a good life…you know how that is.  Her friend Kari was looking for a kitty as hers had died several months before.  Mr. Fuzz is spoiled rotten!  He has a ton of toys and actually plays with them!  He eats like a prince (which he is). She has a huge tree in her condo and he sleeps in the dirt of the tree.  Hehehe.  He used to always sleep in one of the windoboxes we have outside so I guess he feels right at home.  She couldn’t find him one day and there he was…totally sacked out in the ‘shade’ of the tree.  He likes to dig in it (no potty issues though), roll in the dirt, pull branches off of it.  It’s his connection to outside.  He loves to be groomed.  He’s just in kitty heaven.  I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more.

Way to go Fuzzalator!!!

More snow

It can stop anytime now.  I’m getting really tired of snow.  Really I am.  They are predicting 6-10 inches in Chicago and up to 18 in places in Wisconsin.  Guess maybe I shouldn’t complain quite so much.  We’ve had so much this year so far.  I wanted to go out to breakfast in the morning but I just don’t think it’s gonna happen.

Need to go and check my pizza dough.  I love the smell of those little yeasties as they do their little yeasty farts.  I was hoping that Don would remember to take the Kitchen Aid out for me this morning but he didn’t so I had to kneed it all by hand.  Velcro was fascinated with it.  I guess he’s never seen me make bread or anything like that.  It’s going to be a huge pizza.  Maybe Velcro will enjoy having some of it.  LOL

I’m trying to do bead crochet.  I’m not really a dumb person but I just can’t get it.  Marilyn used to always get the first 4 or 5 rows done for me, not that I ever did that much of it.  She tried to teach me but I usually stopped by after sushi–meaning after a couple of sakes.  It wasn’t the best time to learn something.

DID YOU VOTE???  That is if you are in one of the superTuesday states.  I was amazed when I went at how many people voted in a primary.  I was there at 1130 and there had been 138 people there already and apparently 80 early voters.  There are 500 registered voters in our ‘area’.  That’s really huge to get that many people out.  It’s nice to have a difficult choice to make for a change.  I like having two people that I want to vote for, not having to decide who’s the best of the bad.  Who knows maybe we will actually have someone decent when we get to vote for govenor again.

Brrrrrrrrrrrrr

I can’t get enough r’s on the end of that!  Damn it’s cold in Chicago again.  We went to our neighborhood meeting last night and drove because it might get bad.  We went in and it was cold.  We came out into a blizzard.

Mr. Fuzz was waiting for us when we got home looking like the abominable snowcat.  I decided he had to come in whether he liked it or not to warm up and dry off.  I snatched him up and plopped him down inside…and he sat there.  He usually has a total meltdown inside.  He got dried off by Don.  He ate a few cans of food.  And then he went to sleep.  He never stays in.  Did I say that?  LOL  This was at 9PM and at midnight he was still inside.  Unfortunately, we can’t let him stay inside because he isn’t trustworthy.  He sprays and I’m not sure he wouldn’t have had a little brawl or two either.  I felt so horrible having to put him out in the horrible weather we were having.  I had trouble sleeping–which I think I deserved.  I know he can survive because he’s survived worse than last night but he was just so damn happy inside.  Sharon, who lives down the street, is thinking about trying to take him in.  She spoils him even worse than we do so that could only be a good thing for him.  I hope he realizes what a good deal that would be.  Some of these old male street cats just mellow out when they get a little older and I hope he’s one of them.  He’s so cute and sweet and he deserves to be a pampered kitteh for the rest of his life.  Send a little white light to him that it all works out.

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