We decided to skip the lake this past weekend. It had been a very slow week for me here and I am feeling the cold weather blues setting in there which make me yearn for the warm sunny days. Still, it's tempting to curl up in front of a fire with a book while the wind howls outside. Soon the holidays will occupy most of our time and then we will have a few quiet weekends there every other weekend before all the preparation for summer starts in April (and fishing season!) and we are there non-stop!
So, I came up with the brilliant idea of visiting some of the interesting towns and neighborhoods around here in Chicago on these rather quiet (boring) weekends. We decided to drive north to Evanston, about an hour away. My friend, Melanie, from Comfy House goes with her husband once in awhile for a little escape and they seem to have fun. They even go down to the beach for a little picnic. Unfortunately, the beaches are now closed. So off we went on Saturday.
Most of the trip was along Lake Shore Drive. This is one of the harbors on Lake Michigan. We were a little surprised to still see boats moored. And there were sailboats and all sorts of watercraft out on the lake even though it was in the mid 60's. Brrrrr...
The town is very nice...about 4 blocks of various shops and restaurants. I expected more independently owned businesses but that wasn't the case. Very pretty town though. We saw a restaurant through the pretty outdoor plants..
We have a secret little method of scoping out the restaurants by having drink at the bar and casually asking to see a menu. Very nice place.
Beautiful decor. We later found out it was a chain so maybe there is one near you. Bravo Cucina Italiano.
We found a rare book store and I came across a book over 100 years old and it was actually only $8.00. I was amazed. And The Husband found an old book about Civil War weaponry and artillery...just up his alley. I peeked over his shoulder to see what he was looking at and all I saw was Stonewall Jackson and I knew I had some time to kill. And we also found a little boutique and I picked up a few things for the girls. I saw a pair of oxfords that I really wanted but they didn't have my size. Have you seen those in stores? I am loving them. They look so sharp with slim pants. I'm on the hunt for the perfect pair!
Last Thursday I got my "craft on" and made these little candle jars. You can get the directions here. These were fun, just simple mason jars from the Dollar Tree. Make sure they are smooth, as in not the real Mason or Ball jars with the raised letters. The leaves were also from The Dollar Tree. They are actually some sort of fabric and although I scoffed at ironing them as suggested, next time I will. The edges would have stayed down a bit better. And make sure the Mod Podge is tacky when you press the leaves on. My first few slid around. I was going to get better pictures, I just snapped these with my phone. And then yesterday my son, Jeff, came over, saw them and asked if he could have them. Well, knock me over with a feather! Next he'll be Pinning craft ideas! :)
He did a little fall decorating at his house over the weekend and texted me this picture. Look at my granddog, Tulo! His first fall! Awwwww...
This isn't for the squeamish and I probably show little class in putting this on my blog, but today I got the wretched cast off. Stitches come out next week. You can see how invasive it was by the bruising in the palm and up the wrist. It was pretty easy to move my fingers, hence the blogging over the past week. Now is the really painful part. My hand and wrist have been immobilized for a week and now I'm supposed to be gripping things and turning my wrist and boy, that hurts! And I can't cover the incisions as they need air and that would also hamper moving it. Ugh. I made a trip to the mall after the doctor visit to pick up Abby's work blazer from a tailor there and I just couldn't help myself from browsing in a few stores. And of course I left with a few shopping bags that I tried to clutch in my arms. Silly girl. My next surgery is scheduled for 4 weeks from now. I just can't get enough of this stuff!
This is my new best friend. No stove in sight. We picked out one that won't be available for a few weeks. The Husband has a client who works for Sears so we may get a break. I am really, really tired of take out food. Even the independently owned, nice, dine in restaurants in my neighborhood, where you can order anything from pizza to a whole chicken or steak entree from their full menu, has gotten very old (and expensive). So I'm trying to do more at home and the closest I can get to a normal meal is with this thing and my crackpot. Tonight I made Tomato Chicken Stew. The chicken and main veggies are done on my electric skillet...
...then into the pot. This was a great dish because I have frozen tomatoes and my basil is still growing like crazy.
We were very grateful to have a home cooked meal. The house smelled delicious. Last night I made chicken breasts with sauteed red onion and mushrooms and Pepperjack cheese melted on top, all on a thick roll. Yum. And Emily has a slow cooker cookbook that she is going to bring me tomorrow. I know I can get some recipes from the Internet but my printer isn't hooked up (long story). I hope I can find something that can be served on a plate rather than in a bowl. :)
So that's the last week in Blondieville. I just take things day by day, try to keep myself busy during the day, and then blog or read in the evening. I did a little work in the yard last week. I carried armfuls of garden decor (birdhouses, outdoor candles and all sorts pots and tools) to the shed, making a little dent until I can get some manpower here to put away the furniture. The same goes for the lake soon. I just need to get my daily dose of fresh air. It has been raining here since yesterday morning and it's supposed to continue until Thursday. Well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see what sort of adventures arise!