Saturday, August 20, 2011


Hello, DH has been on vacation this week, so I have been spending my time with him. (He's good company!) Last Tuesday he came along while I went antiquing! I need scads (technical term) of 5/8 inch shank buttons, with a vintage feel, and I thought it would be possible to find them at antique stores... I was right! Not all of them are shank buttons, but I think they will still work.


We are going for gothic, steampunk, and homespun... but not all at the same time.

(I wonder how those darning cottons got in the picture?)

When I got home I looked in my button jars, and found 40 there as well.

My lacy shawl is coming along. I find I have memorized the pattern! That makes it much easier to keep track of. This morning I knit for 2 hours, and got 12 rows done, so my speed is improving as well.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day on the Town

On Monday, our whole family went "out on the town"! We had a wonderful day. We gathered at the Museum of Science and Industry, and started out on our adventure. We were a large group (7 adults & 2 kids) so we did not stay together the whole time... there were too many interests, and too much to look at.

Opa wanted to look at the tractors. He drove tractors on the farm when he was in high school, and he still has a great interest in them. Here he is explaining things to P.


P was very interested in driving as well. Here he is "driving" the combine.


P & C had fun posing at all the costume cut-outs. Here they are as train engineers;


And as a race car driver (with 4 arms! LOL);


and as clowns. (This one was not a huge stretch, they kept us entertained all day.)


After the tractors, we went to look at the transportation area. Here are P & C posing with the engineer;


and my dad, after looking at the same engine.


P was so interested in everything he kept forgetting to keep close to at least one of the adults in the group. I walked behind him as he followed one of the trains on the train layout all the way around (from Chicago to Seattle and back!). He finally started checking to make sure someone was with him when he took off... but it took some convincing.

Here are DH and C (DD1's SO) standing in front of the train layout, looking at the plane.


The plane was the next place we went, then a live demonstration of fire, flashes, and explosions... fun! and then we went on to the Weather exhibit. I was a little disappointed in that area... the hype lead me to expect quite a bit more. P did get to launch a hot air balloon! See it go?!


Then it was lunch time. We ate in the cafeteria, and it was very good food.

After lunch it was on to the Space exhibit, and the Omnimax show "Tornado Alley." We were hoping to see the Smart House exhibit, especially DD1, who is in design, but we decided to put that off to another day, when she and I can go together.

After that we all went to the submarine exhibit, but I will talk more about that next time, I am still waiting on some pictures.

My parents (Oma & Opa) and I were wandering by ourselves for a little while. Here is my dad playing with his shadow. When you held your arms out, the colored shadows would interact with your shadow. If you held your arms up making a cup shape, the colors would fill it up, and overflow over the edges. I have no idea how they did that!


This gentleman had a selection of artifacts from the collection (of over 10,000 items) and was asking people to guess what they were, and explaining them. He had a candle mold, a ruffle iron, an oil lantern, a broom clamp, and a grinder on top of the table, and then he pulled this item out. I knew what it was immediately: a sewing machine!

He was impressed that I guessed so quickly!


There was just a lot of fun with so much to look at and do! Here are DD2 and P climbing the walls!


The kids and I didn't really want to leave, but the museum was closing and several members of the group were getting a little hungry. We departed for supper, and went to Merkat a la Planxa on Michigan Avenue. You would think we are sophisticated or something! It is a tapas and small plate restaurant, and was hard to change your expectations of ordering an entree and a bunch of extras. Here almost everything was extras, but very interesting! The kids got chicken fingers, and they loved it, and we ended up enjoying it a lot as well. We had some pork belly, and a dish of olives to share, and some French bread with fresh tomatoes and onion and garlic on it, and some pureed celeriac root, and chorizo, and prosciutto, and then we ordered a serving of paella. The menu said it served 4, but all of us enjoyed it. My folks were a little disappointed. They were expecting a traditional paella with saffron and seafood. This had a tomato base, with chicken and chorizo, but no seafood. It was good, but not what they were expecting.

When we left we walked through the lobby of the Blackstone Hotel. It was very beautiful and elegant! Oma & Opa waited there while we walked to pick up the car.


C & P were still going strong, but DD2 looks a little done, don't you think? C did fall asleep in the car on the way home.


We didn't get a picture of the whole group, but I do have a couple more pictures to share once we get them scanned into the computer.

It was so much fun! Plus, I got a membership to the museum (worth it for everything it already covered) and we can go back for free for the rest of the year! I want to see the chemistry loft, and the kids want to see the anatomy section, and I want to show C the chicks hatching, and there is a whole room for C & P to play in that we didn't even look at, and there was no time to look at the fairy castle...

Next time!

Monday, August 15, 2011

My grandkids are growing like weeds!

One of my favorite t-shirts has the above saying on it, and it is so true! P recently had his 9th (!) birthday, and he is really turning into a young man. I am not sure if it was a birthday present, but he just got a puppy, a "blonde" golden retriever. Here they are together in the back yard. Danny was so busy that it was hard to get a good picture, if you check my flickr page you can see how many tries it took to get this one, and it is not the greatest.


P got a gift certificate to the Lego store from us for his birthday, and I think it was a great hit.


The store has a station where kids can create their own characters from available parts:


P created (from left to right) himself, C, and daddy. He also got several Ninjago characters, and was excited to find out that they were going to come out with superhero Lego guys in January and May of next year. I have a feeling we will be making another stop at the store around those dates!

I am really looking forward to today; my folks are in town, and we are having our annual Chicago outing day. We are planning on spending the day at the Museum of Science and Industry, and then going out for supper with everyone. I love museums! (and I love my family)! It doesn't get any better.