Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Long Weekend

It's been feeling like summer lately. The garden is lush, the woods green, the beach sunny. Today I stepped out into the oppressive heat and humidity that is Chicago in summer. Now, I am not at all fond of heat and humidity, but we've been having such an unseasonably cool summer that right now it just feels, well, right.We have (had, it was part of dinner last night) a ripe tomato. With several more on the way.The garden is full of phlox and tiger lilies. Nature's balance always amazes me. I would have thought these two colors would clash mightily, but I find that as the season approaches, I long to see them together. But it's always in balance. This is the back of our yard, where the phlox dominates. Toward the front of the yard, the orange lilies dominate.

Last Thursday we celebrated my sister's birthday by visiting Evanston, IL. The above map mosaic is by the El tracks and was due to be dedicated that night so I'm guessing it's new. Evanston is due north of Chicago, on the lake front. It's about 40 miles due north of my house, I'd guess. On Thursday, I drove to my sister's in the western suburbs first, with an early morning doctor appointment tucked in there.

Her is my sister (in red) and sister-in-law (in blue) perusing the books while I was having some fabric cut in Vogue Fabrics. I have a small store near my home, but this is the original and it's huge. I can remember being totally overwhelmed on my first visit about twenty years ago. This time I had a list and I found everthing on it, from wool felt to off-white silk crepe de chine. They have a huge remnants section that was full of treasures. After Vogue, we wandered a bit. First we went for lunch at Kuni's Japanese restaurant, we all got donburi bowls, each different. We popped in to Piron Belgian Chocolates for treats, we each got a caramel and, again, we each made different choices. I really enjoy seeing these things happen--how we have similar but not the same tastes. We wandered into the Rock Shop, which had everything from polished stone chips to lovely fossils to a nice selection of beads to some really elegant and lovely jewelry. Our next stop was Ten Thousand Villages, a Fair Trade shop. I found some gifts and cards there.

We drove a few blocks to Close Knit. I found some cool ribbon yarn to crochet flowers with, N found yarn for a lace shawl for a bride-to-be. On the way home we stopped by Mitsuwa, a Japanese store with books, a grocery store and a food court. I got ingredients for a stir fry and some bean-paste filled mochi (a sweet treat). The cakes in the bakery look exactly like the felt cakes in the book I got at the International Quilt Fest.

Our last stop was at a Land's End Inlet (outlet store) so I could look for a swimsuit. Didn't find that but I did find a new pink nighty--very soft cotton knit.

The best part of the day was the endless conversation. We had a long drive to and from Evanston, during which we chatted about everything. There was more conversation in the stores and over lunch and a bit more at the end of the day before going our separate ways. I made a couple of stops on the way home (gas, groceries, etc.) and got home late but replete and happy.

My day was long (about 17 hours) and I expected that, so I took Friday off, too. Hubby and I got a lazy start. We took my broken sewing machine to a local shop to get their opinion on repair. (a second opinion, the first repair man said it would be too expensive to be worth fixing.) The guy was there and his quick look said it looked like he could fix it. We left it for him to delve further into it. While there we browsed the machines a bit (Vikings, which is what mine is).

Then we headed to Michigan City for lunch. This is a true rarity for us. Sahara Restaurant will make special food for hubby, so he can eat there--custom made, salt-free hummus with carrots and a specially made avocado salad and he was a happy camper. I had a falafel sandwich--it was huge and came with rice and a salad. (I found a website for them but when I went to go there, my computer blocked it as dangerous so I didn't put the link here.)

After lunch, I dragged my patient hubby to the outlet mall where he sat in the shade while I hit the Coldwater Creek and Dress Barn outlets. I came away with a new floral print knit jacket for work, several of the silk knit shells that are my uniform, and two pairs of dress pants for work. All on sale (one of the pairs of trousers was $8--woo-hoo!).

All in all, it was a lovely two-day holiday. And then I got a weekend, too!


Judy S. said...

I can see a trip to Evanston in my future! All 3 of our GK were born there but I had no idea there were so many shops to explore. We've only driven past the pretty houses.

Pat Winter said...

Marjorie,what a wonderful long day to enjoy. I love Evanston and of course you know I adore Vogue fabrics...It sounds like a wonderful time spent with your sis and sil, then topping it off with your DH in MC with a few bargain finds..oh Yeah!

Anonymous said...

if i ever visit Illinois... that sounds like a dire threat doesn't it!! what a wonderful long weekend.