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Archive for the ‘Just for fun’ Category

p Martha Walter (American Impressionist, 1875–1976) Town Meeting, Brittany

Ah . . .

. . .  those conversations in the checkout lane of the grocery store, whilst crossing paths in a parking lot, picking up clothes at the cleaners, sitting on a bench in a park, checking out a library book. These random conversations brighten my days and give me pause to ponder.

Take Thursday, for instance; a red-letter day for off-the-cuff conversations.

It started at the doctor’s office in the large center for health I go to for medical care, with easy access to labs, physical therapy, procedures, etc. I have happily graduated from a B12 shot every week to once a month. I am grateful for my doctor who dug a little deeper and found a deficiency. I am  even more grateful for the remedy, not to mention my friend, Marilyn, who recommended this internist. The medical center is connected to a hospital that wraps around a substantial campus. I usually take a brisk walk when I’m there. It is amazing how many steps can be accrued, for those of us who count steps, and especially nice in winter or inclement weather.

I digress.

After my appointment, I found a chair in the hallway and sat down to turn on my cell phone and check messages. As I sat there, a man turned the corner, a big smile on his face He looked at me. He had tears in his eyes along with that big smile as he blurted out “I just have to tell someone. I am so blessed. I just found out I don’t have prostate cancer!”  He was overwhelmed with relief, an emotion I know well enough.  I got up, acknowledged his news and feelings, and we headed to the elevator, where he had kind things to say to all of the passengers riding down to the main floor. He thanked me for listening as we parted ways.

We are sometimes put in just the right place to accept others good news.

I embarked on my hospital corridor walk-about, and then stopped in the gift shop. A rather robust woman, colorfully attired, caught my eye and she said “You really look good today. Very modernly dressed. Good color on you.” Well, now, how about that! I stood a little taller, edged my shoulders back, and thanked her profusely. Such kindness from a stranger gave me a bigger boost than a B12 shot!

We are sometimes put in just the right place to accept the generosity of others.

Heading home, I needed a few things from the grocer; fruit, greens, a can of tomatoes for the evening meal; items I thought I had in the pantry, but, discovered that I did not. I pushed my cart, picking up some coffee and a loaf of Italian bread as well as the items I came for and walked to the cashiers. A young man was standing at his register with no one waiting in line, so, I altered that scene, placing my purchases on the conveyor belt. As I wrote my check (I know. I’m a dinosaur. I still write checks) I asked the young man what the date was. He told me then said he couldn’t wait until Sunday. “A special day for you?”  “Yes. My birthday and now I won’t have to bother anyone anymore“. I thought, by his looks, that he was turning 21 and looking forward to a celebratory night out. “Happy Birthday, enjoy – and you be careful” to which he retorted “Oh, I have to work on Sunday. I’m just happy I won’t have to call for a legal aged checker to ring up liquor anymore“.

We are sometimes put in just the right place to be reminded to not jump to conclusions.

How about that?

Have you had a chance conversation lately over a cup of coffee, waiting in line,

Image. Town Meeting by Martha Walter

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I picked up my keys and called out to Tom.

 “I am leaving” but, he did not hear – understand me.

“What?”

“I said I’m leaving”, and commenced laughing. Poor Tom didn’t think it was funny, but, there I was, laughing; suddenly remembering the movie,  Roxanne – and I couldn’t stop laughing.

Hav you ever had one of these silly moments?

(from YouTube)

 

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IMG_8854 - Version 3Echinacea.

A Greek word that means hedgehog, these long lasting flowers are more commonly known as coneflowers for the conical shaped seed head of the flowers. Our echinaceas are just starting their long blooming season and can be found in many gardens throughout the area. They are dependable and easy to care for – a good bang-for-your-buck if you are looking for a reliable perennial.

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Our Echinacea is doing well here on the Cutoff. I learned last year to temper my eagerness at pulling weeds too early in the season. While I do have quite a growth of weeds, my patience at waiting until I was sure has awarded us fairly a full crop of Echinacea, which are just starting to perform and have been graciously posing for me and my camera.

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These pictures, however, are all from the same photo. I started playing around with the image, cropping it in different spots, and thought you might like see them. Just don’t tell anyone that the photo was taken in the drive-through line of the local Mac Donald’s where I stopped for a cold drink the other day.

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As I sat, my car in the queue waiting to pay, I noticed this bee enjoying her own happy meal and just couldn’t resist.

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Mrs_tittlemouseI’m here, dear readers . . .

. . . still here, chasing rainbows and hanging on moonbeams, following my shadow and wishing upon stars.

We were visiting grandchildren and family up North and tending to the garden beds here. I’ve been busying myself with the garden club’s activities and feeling a bit like Beatrix Potter’s Mrs. Tittlemouse, my house all awry with mixed up messes here there and everywhere. Such has been life here in along the Cutoff  on these early June days.

Do you ever feel like the world is spinning, faster and faster, and there you are, so far behind that you’ve almost caught up?  I’m not sure I will ever quite catch up, so, I’ll just settle for a bit and be content as I endeavor to get back into a more routine writing pattern.

I want to tell you about how our prairie garden, which has doubled in size, and show you our woodland plants sitting along the arbor, which is now covered in several varieties of clematis. The daisies and hostas have leafed out rather well and the catmint’s blooms are just about spent. They have been hosting a bevy of bees, with me skipping about in animated glee, much to the amusement, I’m sure, of the crew of construction workers, who have just about dug down to China with a massive pit for the foundation of the house that will finally be built on the barren lot next door.

The flora and “fawn-a” are a joy to behold – well, actually, I haven’t seen any fawn, yet, but the does have been “yarding up” in a way that usually indicates birthing babes is about to commence. So, off I go with my pens and rakes to scratch out a wee bit of my day and promise to write something a bit more substantial very soon. Here’s hoping you are doing well and enjoying whatever season you are in.

 

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Oh, sweet goodness – the anticipation was worth the wait! IMG_7748 - Version 2

Months after the expertly seamed conclusion of one of my all-time favorite television series, I was finally able to feel the grandeur of Downton Abbey’s exquisite costuming at Chicago’s Dreihaus Museum’s exhibit, Dressing Downton: Changing Fashions for Changing Times. 

My dear friend, Bev, and I were fortunate to be able to enter the Dreihaus Museum and quickly purchase our entry. We leisurely wandered through the exhibit, with knowledgeable staff directing us so seamlessly through the rooms that I imagined Mrs. Hughs hidden behind the curtains orchestrating it all.

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These period costumes with their historical accuracy and styling, bejeweled and draped, were nothing short of magnificent. Whether intricately embroidered with flowers or capped with feathers and jewels, it was easy to slip into the London Season of the early 20th Century, or a nurse’s uniform with Lady Sybil.

I was as in awe of the craftsmanship of the costumes as I was of the sleek figures of the actors who wore these period clothes.

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Characters always look larger than life on a screen, even a television screen. Becoming so intimately aware of their actual physical size is amazing. I had a renewed appreciation for the seamstresses and costume designers, as I did for those who spend an inordinate amount of time researching period dress. While Downton Abbey is a fictional story, it depicts specific decades, with the mores, customs, historical background, and issues of the times. It was enlightening to see this exhibit and the clothes and adornments of the characters which so beautifully illustrate the time period.

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This was a breathtaking exhibit, in the company of a dear friend, inside a historic turn-of-the-century mansion on the world renowned Gold Coast of Chicago.

Crikey!

Oh! I almost forgot the Dowager  .  . .

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Barumpapumpum

Edward Herrmann:Richard Gilmore:Gilmore Girls FatherThere I was, holding five items in my hands, which was one item too many to be juggling with at least one at a precarious angle.

It was the wrong time of day to be at a grocery store – Trader Joe’s to be exact. 4:30 on a Saturday afternoon, which in itself wouldn’t be all that bad if not for the fact that the next day was Mother’s Day. The store was packed with last minute shoppers also holding equally precarious handfuls, many of them last minute bouquets of flowers for Mom.

I like Trader Joe’s, especially the one closest to us which is, I assure you, the friendliest one around.

As I stood in my line, a very tall man was attempting to use his credit card to make a purchase of odds and ends of eating possibilities and several bottles of store brand wine. He bore an uncanny resemblance to the late Edward Hermann, and the demeanor of a few characters he played. The man seemed kindly and was patient as the cashier hit a bit of a snag ringing up his purchase. The credit card was not working.  and a call for a manager was rung.

Just as the bell peeled the requisite number of tolls, a disheveled man just shy of middle age came barreling around the corner with his own children’s chorus in tow. Two boys and a girl of various ages from what seemed to be  5 to 10 years old, were humming along with great gusto. I recognized the song from Star Wars.

Bum bum, bumbumbumbumbum, bumbumbumbumbum, bumbumbumbum.

Their father was doing all he could to simultaneously hush and ignore them. He failed at both as the rest of us in five equally long lines smiled. The trio was really getting into this rendition.

Bum bum, bumbumbumbumbum, bumbumbumbumbum, bumbumbumbum.

The oldest child, a boy, was the ringleader. I saw the twinkle in his eyes as he suddenly switched gears (both musically and with the now dancing shopping cart).

Barumpapumbum, rumpapumpum, rumpapumpum . . .

, . . just as Mr. Hermann swiped his credit card, one more time, and turned his neck to look at the children’s chorus.

I don’t know if it was the kids’ decision to change their tune, rather masterfully, or if it was the conspicuously large wad of Scotch tape hanging clinging to Mr. Hermann’s right earlobe that did me in. I couldn’t help myself. Really. I couldn’t. I turned into a child myself and started giggling, trying to imagine what circumstance brought this errand mass of tape to Trader Joe’s on a late Saturday afternoon. The poor checker noticed the sticky wad just after I did. The poor fellow had all he could to finish ringing up the order without laughing out loud.

So it is. Just a wee bit of grocery store humor on a brilliant spring morning, here on the Cutoff.

Have you been stuck on anything lately.

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IMG_6484A mid-afternoon errand took me into La Grange, first to the post office, then Trader Joe’s, where they were holding some flowers for me to use in an arrangement for our garden club’s luncheon. Once those stops were made, I crossed over the tracks and my car just did what it often does, it veered left (when I should have been heading due south). I heard that a new florist had opened, and, well . . .

. . . this is what I found.

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Bloom3 is a unique florist with unusual flowers as well as garden inspired objects,

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and through this door, which looks like the original door to what must have been a safe, was another long table and chairs. Such an atmospheric space can be used for small gathering, planting workshops, and, I suppose, wherever one’s imagination might wander. I can imagine a garden club making arrangements, or a group of youngsters learning how to transplant violets, or even a small bridal shower.  What a fabulous place to bloom.

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