Let There Be Peace On Earth (and answers to the Star Wars Trivia!)

Christmas is almost here—my little Swedish tree is decorated, the stockings are on the mantle, and the gifts (what little we buy anymore, now that the girls are older) have been bought and wrapped. I have a few things to do today, mostly cleaning, grocery shopping, and cooking.  This morning, I scanned the newspaper headlines... Read more »

Get Ready for the New Movie with my Star Wars Trivia Quiz!

I am starting to get excited about the new Star Wars movie.  Although a fan of all six movies, I prefer Star Wars (A New Hope), The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi to the newest three. I remember going to see Star Wars with my entire family when it came out in... Read more »

Making my Annual Holiday Paper Chains

I am listening to a Christmas playlist that I created yesterday.  Right now, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is playing, and it sounds wonderful.  I have been recuperating for the last couple of weeks after some restorative dental surgery, so I have been doing a lot of quiet, indoor activities, including making my annual holiday paper... Read more »

My Sweet, Simple Holiday Window Boxes

My new condo came complete with two hollow metal planters, 10 inch x 10 inch x 20 inches, which sit perfectly on my balcony ledge and give the impression of two window boxes.   Six of the eight condos in my building have a set, just like mine.  I like them; they’re nifty.   We moved... Read more »

Trip to the McCormick Bird House at Lincoln Park Zoo

Today I visited one of my favorite Chicagoland destinations—the McCormick Bird House at the Lincoln Park Zoo.  It takes me about 20 minutes to walk to the zoo from the Fullerton Red Line stop, and I wanted to get my 10,000 steps in, now that I am almost over my cold.   According to the... Read more »

Making Paper Snowflakes to Decorate my Window

I have been sick with a cold for a few days, and my energy level is very low.  Because I don’t feel like going out, I decided to spend the day doing a project that I do every year around this time—cutting out paper snowflakes. Every year, I make a few homemade holiday decorations for... Read more »

For Halloween, A Scary Real-life Story

Tonight, I am going to see the horror movie Crimson Peak with my oldest daughter, Kaitlin.  Now that she is an adult, Kaitlin enjoys being a little scared, but when she was younger, she did not like it at all. My younger daughter, Erin, will not be joining us.  She still dislikes being scared. Thinking... Read more »

Stubbornly Planting Tulip Bulbs in a Bucket

What do you do when somebody tells you that you can’t do something?  How about when you are told that what you want to do simply won’t work? When faced with a situation that seems as immoveable as a brick wall, many heed negative advice, turn around, march away, and do something else.  That is... Read more »

Improving the Air Quality in our Condo, or "What's That Smell?"

Our new condo stinks.  Don’t get me wrong—I know that (like the Cubbies!) we hit a homerun with our new place, with its’ three bedrooms, high ceilings, wood floors and patio, but since the day we moved in, it has smelled (how shall I say it?) less than fresh. Like detectives, my husband and I... Read more »

Planting Allium and Daffodil Bulbs to Repel Rats

When I was a little girl growing up in Indiana, my family went to the County Fair. At the time, the livestock pens were in poor repair, and I witnessed a frightened group of large pigs break down an old wooden rail and run loose around the barn. I was terrified, but also strangely excited... Read more »