Thursday, July 12, 2007

It's been a weird summer so far...

Which is why I haven't posted anything new in awhile. I haven't really felt like recording much of it into the written word. There have been some good times, particularly the trip with the girls to Chicago. I had such a great time with Jane. We re-bonded as friends in a way we were never able to manage on her brief visits back to Rhode Island. Not that those visits weren't enjoyable. It's just that there was never really enough time to do much more than catch up on each other's lives a little. Her time is usually spread pretty thin when she is visiting her family here in Rhode Island.

Chicago was beautiful; a really easy city to get to know. I'm pretty insecure when it comes to finding my own way around an unfamiliar place, especially by public transportation, but the trains are so easy to figure out  I felt comfortable enough after two days of traveling

 The girls on the Green Line train on the way to Garfield Conservatory.


 A little girl waiting with her parents on the El platform.

Toddler waiting with her mom on the El platform near the Art Institute of Chicago

this way to suggest the girls venture out on their own in order to spend more time in Wicker Park, a neighborhood we really enjoyed but that I was too exhausted to really spend much time exploring.

 Our first view of Wicker Park from the El platform.

Wicker Park from the El platform....

 Meg drawing at Half & Half Cafe in Wicker Park while waiting for her order.

Meg at the Half & Half Cafe in Wicker Park

Their independent excursion gave me time to just chill out at 'home' in Jane's apartment, while she spent the day at work. It was nice to enjoy a day of quiet to myself after having spent five days in the constant company of my daughters. I love their company, of course but I also like my alone time. Jane's apartment is beautiful and very homey. Her landlord has a wonderful, quirky garden, just the kind I fantasize cultivating. It was very inspirational. One of the things I did that afternoon was bake a cherry pie for Jane using tapioca as the thickening agent. She had never heard of that method.

The humble pie I baked for Jane. The crust was nowhere near as good as her's which is phenomenal.

Cherry Pie I baked for Jane


Fergus relaxing on the sideboard.

Fergus having a late afternoon nap...

Jane watering the garden on Saturday.

Jane watering the garden while Dennis is away...

On the following Saturday, the girls spent the afternoon with an old art mentor from New Urban Arts, who is a native to Chicago and had moved back after a brief sojourn in NYC. Meanwhile, Jane and I had a nice afternoon of catching up while she worked on her pies. I helped by dicing the rhubarb. 

 Jane slicing strawberries for her pies.

Jane reaction

Later, we rented a video, bought some beer, and returned to the house for a nice dinner with the girls, some mojitos (virgin for Ivy), some silliness on the trampoline...

Showing her dance form

Wild hair on the trampoline


Jane and Meg

...and some more silliness documented Jane's pies on camera so she would have some photos to email her boyfriend who had just left for a month-long visit to Iceland with his brother.

  Jane showing off her cherry-rhubarb pies. 

Fun with Jane


Here are some more views of the wonderful garden...

This is the carriage house behind the main house. The landlord, Dennis, lives here.

Dennis' Carriage House


This is the main house. Jane lives on the first floor.

The house where Jane lives.


Garden Art in Logan Square

Old crutch in Dennis' garden

Funky garden gate in Dennis' garden


We left on Sunday, Fathers' Day, as well as Stuart's birthday, and returned on Monday after dropping Meg off in Manhattan to meet up with her friend Taylor.

A few weeks later I was talking to Jane on the phone and she confessed that she missed us for a few days after we left. She hurt her back shortly afterward and had some time off from her job (which she subsequently quit) and she missed having her place filled with guests. That was very gratifying to hear since it means were were good houseguests.

I'm sad because when we return to Chicago to take Meg to school, Jane will be here in Rhode Island visiting her folks. I'm hoping she will be here before we leave so I get a chance to at least have a cup of coffee or maybe a beer or two.

Before I close this, I need to update my health status regarding the colposcopy I underwent. The results were good and I don't have to have another one for awhile. I have to have a pap test every three months for awhile and eventually I'll probably have to have another colposcopy but otherwise things look good. I got that news just before leaving for Chicago so I was able to travel without the burden of that worry at least.




emily said...

Hey Melissa!

I'm tagging you to post 8 things about yourself. Tag, you're it!

Melissa said...

Sorry, I didn't read this until today. I don't get it. Do I create a new post in my blog and write 8 things? Or somewhere else. How are you by the way? We will be back in Chicago from August 25 through the 27th to drop the girl off at SAIC (sniff).