Beating the Heat

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Monday, 18 July

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JD had a week of camp out at the Chicago Botanic Garden and as luck would have it, it was during a ridiculously hot spell of weather, where the heat index blew past 100 each day we were out there. While she was digging for treasure, planting moon flowers, and learning about plants, I tried to keep cool, hydrating by the fountain and reading in the breeziest, shadiest places I could find.

Hot day at the garden.

Feeding the Plants

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Thursday, 30 June

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Yesterday evening I finally had a chance to fertilize the backyard plants, thereby insuring that it would rain. And boy, did it ever. About an hour later, the wind picked up, the light in the sky got incredibly eerie, and around nine, a lightning storm like I have never seen erupted over Lake Michigan. It was amazing (and a bit scary) to watch. Huge bolts of lightening stretching from the clouds to the lake. Incredible.

New Patio Furniture in the Rain

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Saturday, 28 May

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Brought the new patio furniture home just in time for it to begin raining again. All day Sunday, the table and four chairs taunted me as the three different times, the sky darkened like night as strong thunderstorms rolled through.

 

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Sunday, 29 May

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Finally, a break in the weather.

To the April Finish Line

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Saturday, 23 April

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Scilla or squill. Whatever you call it, this little blue early sign of spring is beautiful.

 

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Sunday, 24 April

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The first planting of spring. A flower box for the front steps.

 

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Monday, 25 April

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Bourbon time.

 

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Tuesday, 26 April

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JD and me, hanging around waiting for her dad to show up for our weekly dinner together.

 

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Wednesday, 27 April

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A CSO performance that included two dance pieces performed by the Hubbard Street Dance Company.

 

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Friday, 29 April

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Party prep. Did as much of the food preparation as possible the day before. My first fear was there wouldn’t be enough food for 60+ guests. My second fear was there wouldn’t be enough room to store it all. It all worked out–with two kitchens humming and four of us chopping, mixing, baking and preparing over two days.

 

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Saturday, 30 April

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The big day finally arrived! My one-year cancer-free anniversary party! I could think of no better cause for celebration and wanted to give back to everyone who’d helped me in one way or another to get through the past year. A good way to give back the positive energy that I’d been the grateful recipient of last year.

Everyone brought a craft beer to share and we had a big beer tasting that went on for hours. The photo above was taken very early in the evening. By the end, we had three beer buckets overflowing with a varied and impressive array of beer.

I wanted to make sure everyone was well fed for the tasting and I tried a bunch of new recipes, including a brie and arugula sandwich with apple mustard, lentils on crostini, stuffed dates, spiced almonds, and stuffed cucumbers. Had the old standby favorite veggie pizza and for dessert, peanut butter cookies, bourbon glazed shortbread and a killer chocolate caramel pretzel bar made by a friend who’s a pastry chef. The evening was a success on all counts and it was great fun to see everyone in one place, together. A tad bit surreal, actually and unfortunately, over much too soon.