The Last Step

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Wednesday, 7 September

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My last Feet First photo commemorates a fun morning at the Chicago Botanic Garden. JD and her good pal Baby C enjoyed a final summer visit together to the model railroad. Afterward, they chased themselves silly through the circle garden. I was able to corral them for just a moment to take a picture.

It was a beautiful, sunny day and I was very happy to capture this moment as the conclusion of my year-long project.

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The Penultimate Foot Photo

Feet First | 364
Tuesday, 6 September

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JD and I have a few days left of summer adventuring before she’s back in school. Ever the fan of rail transportation, we hopped on the El and made the circuit around the Loop today, hitting the purple, red, brown, and orange lines in the process. After a Cuban coffee from Cafecito and a snack in the lobby of the International Hostel downtown, we made the return trip home in time for a late lunch.

Labor Day Weekend

A lot of this weekend was spent laboring over trip preparation and trying to finish up a number of tasks before I head out of town at the end of the month. I also had many tasty meals with friends, as well as finishing up the last of the growlers I imported from the Beer Trappe in Lexington.

Early Saturday morning, we went for a sail and enjoyed the last of the warm temps and pleasant breezes before the wind turned cold out of the north, signalling that Fall is not far off.

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Saturday, 3 September

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Saturday night, the gang of six convened over barbecued lamb to discuss plans and preparations for our upcoming canal adventure. After a few days in Paris, we’ll train down to the south of France where we’ll pick up a boat and cruise for a week down the Canal du Midi. I still can’t quite believe I’ll be doing this, but as we get down to more of the nitty-gritty details, it’s getting real and I’m getting very excited indeed.

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Sunday, 4 September

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As you can see, there’s been no progress on repairing the sliding glass door that spontaneously shattered last week. In fact, it’s worse. We covered it in duct tape to prevent shards of glass from falling all over and after last week’s heat wave, the window is now bowing out. I’ll treat it like a modern art installation until it’s replaced. Hopefully, I won’t still be looking at this when the snow begins to fall.

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Monday, 5 September

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On an unseasonably cool Labor Day, we let Maisy out in the backyard to enjoy her personal patch of catmint.

Buh-Bye Bella

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Thursday & Friday, 1/2 September 

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We bid goodbye to Bella this evening after fostering her here for the summer. We thought we’d have her around a lot longer than we did but her original owner’s situation radically changed in the past month and she was able to take her back. While we were very glad that they could be reunited, we were sorry to see Bella go. She was a sweet, easy going cat.

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After this, I think it ‘s safe to say that this household could stand to have another (more lively) cat.

Dragon in the House

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Wednesday, 31 August

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In about 3.5 seconds, JD transformed a ten-foot-long piece of brown paper packing material into a Chinese dragon, holding it over herself while she danced around, imitating the dragon dancers she sees every year at the Tet Festival. We decorated it and she had fun with it all afternoon.

Here she is wearing the “shiny pants that dragons wear.”

Planting Day

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Saturday, 27 August

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Last year about this time, we gutted the backyard and put in all new plantings. This year, we did the same in the front yard. I’ve become the unofficial gardner for our town home association and have muddled along for years, trying to replace the terrible looking beds and patches of grass with something more attractive and sustainable without depending on constant watering. With diseased trees in need of replacing and trouble patches that needed help, it was definitely time to call in the professionals.

Saturday was the day when all the plants went in the half of the beds that we’re planting this year. (The remaining beds will planted next year.) Plants incorporated in the landscaping include astilbe, hydrangea, hosta, gooseneck, bleeding heart, turtlehead, ladies mantle, fern, catmint, and witch hazel. We also planted a couple of kousa dogwood which I’m really excited about. The whole thing looks great and I couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out.

For the next two weeks, I’m on watering duty, which takes about two hours of shifting hoses around every day. I’ll post some photos once I process them.

Cherry Scones Minus the Cherry

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Friday, 26 August

Feet First | 353

Last Friday, I had a “bonus day” with JD. We started the day off baking some scones. Whenever I bring dried cherries for a snack, she scarfs them down, so I thought it would be a good idea to add some to the batter. Not so much–she ended up eating around the cherries and leaving them in a gooey pile on her plate.

Note to self–no cherries in the cherry scones next time.