1. Trond is trying to listen to this Midwestern cornstalk fence. The hund doesn’t realize that ears of corn don’t talk, they listen…

     
  2. When my double-cousin, Ross, was smaller than me and my bangs were bigger than Everything. Damn, they were magnificent… #tbt

     

  3. trunk show

    You know how when you have a morning free and you’re like, “Imma go check out the new Brown Elephant store because it looked really cool when we dropped donations off the other day."… so you go drive over because:

    a.) There is no very close form of public transportation close to the store, now that the #11 bus is no longer…

    b.) It is very sunny and 90 degrees outside {remember how hot it was not even two weeks ago in Chicago? We had a real scorcher of a Friday morning. It was the best!}

    c.) You have milk and orange juice to buy and don’t want to carry home so many bulky, cold items on such a hot day over seven blocks. 

    So - you make a morning of it.  You find some great parking near the Brown Elephant, you go in, find a few small treasures, see some of the items you donated already out on the shelves, priced and ready to find a new home in someone else’s home.  There is ample time left on the parking you paid for, and you are very close to another store that you’ve seen for months but have never visited so… you go in. 

    AND YOU WANT TO PURCHASE EVERY SINGLE PIECE IN THE STORE!

    You know what I mean, right?

    I finally had the chance to go into the Wrightwood Furniture Co. and HO.LEE. ROAR!!!! is it a dreamland!  I’m serious - most everything there seemed to be custom-made for this girl.  It was a lot of industrial, re-purposed, and Indian-type furniture.  And pillows and hooks, and wall art… I mean - a danged dreamland!!!!

    And after seeing pieces of furniture I liked at the Randolph Street Market earlier, I thought the prices of these pieces at Wrightwood Furniture Co. were very reasonable. 

    And I had my car with this time…

    But, I knew I had to be reasonable.  I did not start my day even remotely thinking I would buy some sort of furniture at all … but - for a long time now, I’ve wanted something for the foot of our bed.  The little bench I’ve had there for the four years we’ve lived in this apartment is cute but not at all sturdy anymore.  It was kind of falling apart so while visually, it looked nice at the foot of our bed, no one could sit on it.  We could only look at it.  I do not want to get rid of this bench because it can hold lightweight things.  And it is sentimental to me: I bought it in Texas for $13 at this place called ‘Crazy Nana’s’ with my Mamba, my Tante Sigrid and my sister, Katie.  It was such a fun day.  I love that this bench always reminds me of that.  But, I digress…

    Wrightwood Furniture Co. had a few benches that I thought would be perfect  - they had metal hairpin legs and reclaimed wood.  They were sturdy but not bulky.  They were not too high - that’s the other thing I have to take into account: my husband.  He’s 6’4” so his feet hang over the end of our bed; one of the reasons we do not have a foot board.  So - anything for the end of our bed cannot be too high, so Tim has room to sleep comfortably.  I really liked the benches I saw and I knew that they could work in so many different rooms down the road but… I had a hard time justifying spending over $100 on them if they were just for seating.  I kind of wanted more storage for our bedroom.

    I made my way around the store and was pricing things and measuring things (yes - I have a tape measure on me a good deal of the time) when the nice gentleman told me, “There is more downstairs.

    The look I gave him made him chuckle real hard and then I said, “I’m going to live here!" and ran down the stairs to Part II of the dreamland!

    I immediately spotted this beauty:

    What. A. Looker!!!!!  - Am I right?

    She was the only one this color.  Our ‘wedding color’ as I often refer to it, the Valspar name is ‘Fish Story’, I think a more broad name for it is cerulean.  It is a specific shade of teal/turquoise but not quite either of those.  I knew she would go well in our room.  AND still be versatile down the road because I would never tire of her.  

    And she had storage. 

    And I could sit on her. 

    And she would not be in Tim’s way at night.

    She was a little spendier than I hoped.  But she was the perfect color, shape and size.  There were no others like her and while Wrightwood Furniture Co. is great, they cannot guarantee how long she would be at their shop because once stuff is gone - that’s it. 

    I (obviously) brought her home.  The nice salesman carried her to the car for me (which was parked right in front of the store.) I could have carried her myself because while she is sturdy, she is not that bulky or cumbersome.  But it was nice of him to carry her and place her in the back of our Subaru.

    We went to the grocery store (she stayed in the car while I picked up the milk and orange juice that I mentioned we needed earlier) then I welcomed her home.  I was able to carry her up the stairs all by myself.  It was nice to be greeted with a blast of cold air from our window unit that had to be on as we entered the apartment because it was over 90 degrees that day.  Trond, at first, was a bit reticent of this new object in the dining room but…

    once I put her at the foot of the bed and assured him that she was nice, he was totally cool with her.

    I love that she is stained so the wood shows through.  I love the carved detail and heavy metal latch-key thing on the front.  I love that she has these rounded legs so she’s not plopped right on the ground.  I love the metal handles on the side. 

    She’s feminine but not too girly, pretty details but not too ornate, a good color but a little worn.  (Am I talking about the trunk or myself?… uff da!) But I think she’s a good fit.  And things fit into her good. (I know, I’m pushing it but stay with me…

    I can now keep the extra sheets for our bed and the guest bed, extra blankets, the nice cover to the ironing board and vintage Raggedy Ann and Andy sheets (everyone has those in their house, right?) and pillowcases all in one place; therefore, freeing up some shelving in the guest room and one of my dresser drawers!  AMAZING!

    Trond had to see it with his own eyes because he, too, thought this was too good to be true!  BELIEVE IT, BUDDYBEAR!!!!!

    And, we can even sit on her while putting on shoes or, I don’t know, when we just need to sit in our room.  I am quite happy with this sweet new trunk.

    And the hund is quite happy to chew on his antler next to this sweet new trunk.  Ergo: EVERYBODY WINS!!! YAY!!!!

     
  4. Ahhhh, Sunday afternoon… While it was productive for Tim and me; we did some laundry, he did some writing, I did some cleaning… The hund was productive in his own hund way, I guess. He did some hard. core. napping! I meeeeaaannn… This dingus can Nap, y’all!!!

    The Captain knows how to spend a Sunday afternoon!

     
  5. I guess Tim and I will have to sleep on the couches in the living room or in the guest bed in the guest room because our bed has already been occupied for the night …

     
  6. This is a Kooky Monster donut from Psycho Donuts in San Jose, California. They give you little squares of bubble wrap to pop while you decide which donut you’re gonna devour. There were many elaborate donuts to chose from and I opted for this guy. I shared it with my cast after our afternoon show. Call me kooky but I couldn’t handle all that deliciousness by myself.

     
  7. Even though I am in California for less than 30 hours on a gig, we made sure to hit up In-n-Out Burger after landing but before getting to the hotel to tech. Their chocolate shakes are dynamite!

     

  8. ba-ba-ba-baseball

    I know when you think of me, your next immediate thought is of Baseball.  You think, ‘Dang - Rebecca LOVES baseball!’ or ‘That girl always be talking ‘bout baseball!’ or ‘Hanson’s knowledge of America’s past time is the real home-run!’  Baseball and Beck just go hand in hand.

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    We really do, don’t we?  Well, on Sunday, this past gloriously sunny warm but not too warm afternoon, the husbo and I did we do best: Attend a live sporting event!!!  After church, we mosied over to Wrigley Field because we landed some free tickets to the ol’ baseball game.  The Chicago Cubs vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates.  We entered through the front gates, after my bag was checked, and walked towards our seats.

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    We passed this sign and I just thought, “Oh, fer cute.” But then I realized that it was not just a cute sign but a possibility…

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    This was how close we were to home plate.  Just a patch of grass, a net, a row of seats, then us.  We were in the second row!  Now - whether or not you are a Cubs fan or even a baseball fan, for that matter - these seats will kinda take your breath away for a bit. 

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    We were right there.  Right next to the action.  Well… as much ‘action’ that happens in baseball.

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    Before getting to our stellar seats, Tim picked up a Chicago Dog (no ketchup), I had a thin slice of pepperoni from Giordano’s and we each had a 312 Green Line - we were happy before we even sat down but to be in these seats on this sunny day together - it was dang near heaven!  Behind Cubs home plate with all of dis great food?  It don’t get more Chicaaago dan dat!!!

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    We had fun drinkin’ in the sun!  A little 312 in the 773.

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    I enjoyed the many forms of artistry happening: The professional pitching.  The professional hitting. The professional catching.  The professional bunting. The professional calling.  AND the professional pouring.  The guy pouring Bud and Bud Light was really cool to watch.  We did not enjoy any Budweiser because that is impossible.  Budweiser is not enjoyable (312 is!) but watching it poured like that is enjoyable.

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    We did enjoy a lot of things, though.  Along with his Chicago dog, Tim later enjoyed some nachos.  I had a piece of pizza and a cup o’ fries.  We enjoyed some 312 Green Line and split this Malt Cup (Blue Bunny ice cream is made in IOWA, y’all!!!!!).  When you don’t pay for tickets and you only go to one game a year, you can splurge on the wonderful/horrible food Wrigley has!  Ain’t that right, Tim?

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    Look at the baseball happening right behind this hot love!

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    Look at The Cubs! They were so close to us!

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    Look at the press box! It was so far!

    Tim kind of hated ‘root root root'ing for the Cubbies during the Seventh Inning Stretch.  (He is a Cardinals fan.) I do have video of him begrudgingly singing along.  Out of respect for my dear husband, I shan't post it.  I shan't.

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    The sun started shifting and, let’s face it, the game was a bit of a blood bath.  We left during the 8th inning when the Cubs had four runs and the Pirates had 10 runs.  We knew who would bring home the Victory.  Not the Cubs.

    Barbara was at home watching the game and caught us on TV!

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    Here is a zoom in of the shoot so you can see us a little bit better:

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    Who knows what I was doing in that picture.  But I do know that Tim and I were thankful to have a lovely afternoon together in these fabulous seats in our beautiful city of Chicago!  The true victors of the day were Tim and Rebecca!!!

     

  9. jazzin’ at the shedd

    My dreamboat husbo and I have made a list of ‘fun-things-to-do-together’ and a list of ‘sh*t-we-gotta-get-done-that-kinda-sucks-but-if-we-teamwork-it,-it-won’t-be-so-bad’.  Do you have lists like this?  Yesterday we crossed a big one off of the second list by loading up our vehicle to the brim with donations and hauling it over and unloading it at one of our favorite charity places The Brown Elephant.  It is honestly one of my favorite places to shop, as well as, donate to.  The new location on Lincoln Avenue is very cool.  I cannot wait to shop there but yesterday, we were solely unloading: all five of our old suitcases and countless huge bags filled with clothes, shoes, curtains, housewares and all kindsa odds and ends.  It is nice to have it out of the basement.  It had been accruing for quite some time.  I hope something we donated brings some happiness to someone else.  And that the proceeds truly help people in need of medical assistance. 

    With our Brown Elephant run out of the way, we were able to celebrate with an even lighter feeling last night and cross something off of our first list.  We went to Jazzin’ at the Shedd.  I had heard about it on the radio but had never been.  One of Tim’s co-workers was telling us that it is one of his favorite things to do in the city.  Tim and I love some live jazz.  We love to look at fish.  We love our city.  We love to enjoy a drink.  We love each other. (Barf? but true… )

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    We would be some damned idiots NOT to go.  Last night was the final one of 2014 so… we just made it. 

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    Look at these idiots who almost missed out on another year of Jazzin’ at the Shedd!  Look at our lovely cityscape behind us…

    Can’t see it, can you?  I’m an idiot!  Here you go.

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    I will never tire of looking at the Chicago skyline from any vantage point.  I don’t get it to see it from this side very often.  Isn’t it exquisite?

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    The building closest is The Shedd Aquarium.  Once inside, it looks as though the Oceanarium flows into Lake Michigan.  I’ll give you that view later in the tour.

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    Ahhhh, The Shedd Aquarium!  On a splendid sun-filled September Afternoon. 

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    Tim actually suggested we get a picture of both of us in front of the Shedd!  He had not even started drinking yet!  It was a Jazzin’ at the Shedd Miracle!  I really did not want to wear my sunglasses because they always leave marks on my face - even when I wear them for like seven seconds… ah gee!  Anyhoooo - we put our wristbands on and headed in to hear the music and see the sights.

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    We walked in and were immediately greeted with this stellar combo.  A jazz guitar, keys, drums and saxophone player.  I would have been completely happy staying in the front lobby all night drinking white wine and listening to these guys.

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    But we had new friends to make.  This turtle is now Tim’s new drinkin’ buddy.  They both enjoy a nice bottle of Blue Moon with an orange slice.

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    Meanwhile, us delicate fishes enjoy pondering over white wine.

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    This dummy is just lookin’ to party anywhere he can.

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    I did get a little scared that the fish would try to drink all m’wine for a bit there but… I got over it.  Because we went into the Jellies exhibit and I was totally creeped out by them.  Tim, however, was fascinated.

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    I was more than happy to get out of the Jellies exhibit.  They just kind of creep me out - even when I know they can’t sting me, I’m still creeped out, man!  We headed over to the silly and friendly otters.

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    There were three otters.  And boy, were they happy to swim and spin around.  It was tough to get a good picture.  I love watching otters.  They are so jovial and fun.  They reminded Tim and I of Trond - they seem about the same size, they have thick fur and they are swimming fools!

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    This was the best picture I could get of these guys.  Tim and I have mixed feelings about dolphins being here.  They are great to see but… well… I want to keep things happy.  So - yes, here is the part of the Oceanarium that I was talking about earlier - looks like it goes right in Lake Michigan, right?

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    Now - in this day and age, Tim and I have gotten pretty good at taking pictures of ourselves when need be.  I was trying to get this great view behind us so we were doing this:

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    It is not great but at least you can kind of tell that there is a lot of light behind us.  Well, a nice middle-aged, slightly buzzed couple offered to take our picture if we took theirs.  I am always more than happy to do this for people.  The guy was nice but way too specific on how he wanted pictures taken with his camera.  We took a long time getting their pose and angles just right.  I also did stuff with the flash and without the flash.  I let him look at all the pictures before we left.  He wanted to do a few more poses but the wife was telling him to just leave us alone so we could enjoy the night.  Again, they were nice enough - just buzzed.  Now, the wife took the first two pictures of Tim and me with my phone while the guy was telling her how to hold my phone and where to have us stand and what about the flash and yadda yadda yadda… here are the pictures we ended up with.  The wife took these two:

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    Real magical, huh?  AND after all of the nit-picking and nagging the guy did to the wife, he took my phone so he could get a decent picture of us and this is what (no joke) he took:

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    Thanks, drunk friendly know-it-all photographer!

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    We escaped to the Penguins.

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    The penguins were zonked.  Nobody was moving.  They were all done for the night.  ‘Nightie, night, penguins!

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    We waited for more dolphins.  I tried to get a shot of one swimming behind us.  It didn’t work.

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    Such hot love.

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    I did catch this person cleaning the inside of the huge pool/tank things.  I says to Tim, I says - “Now, that’s the only way you’d get me to happily do the windows!"  We have fun.

    Time to go get our second round of drinks, something to eat and head outside to enjoy the beautiful night and more live jazz!

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    We are klassy as hell.

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    It was a perfect evening outside!

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    Such hot love.

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    We had a few more fish to meet, though.  And the terrace was getting super crowded.  Back in to see the sea creatures.

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    And catch a few more jazzy tunes…

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    Then it was time for us to head north - to get some ice cream at Margie’s then go home to feed and walk our hund.

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    It was a very lovely evening in that we both needed.  It does not get much better than this, friends.

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  10. firsts

    'Tis that time of year.  Most of my Facebook feed is filled with 'First Day of School' pictures - my friends heading back to teach the First Day of _____ or heading back to school to get another degree or their kids are going to their First Day of whatever grade.  Labor Day Weekend usually marks that informal end of summer and First Day of School.   

    Well, we had a First last night.  Actually, to be more accurate, Trond experienced a First…

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    He met some new friends last night, which, is nothing too new.  The hund is constantly meeting and making new friends.  Last night he met our friends Carisa and Kevin for the first time.  They recently rescued this little Muppet of a dog.  His name is Dr. Watson. 

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    Dr. Watson is a diminutive fellow filled with personality.  He likes to be held.  He is almost unreal at how smiley (yes, he kind of actually smiles!) and tiny and snuggly he is. 

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    Kevin and Trond took to each other instantly.  You can see how defensive and abrasive Trond is in these new surroundings meeting this new person…  Good grief - these two.  They are bar floor buddies!  

    YES - we took Captain Trond Kildahl Ryder to a bar last night!  Kevin and Carisa have found a few dog-friendly bars (that do not have food) in the neighborhood and after us people met up for drinks and dinner earlier in the evening, we decided our puppies should meet.  We all went to our respective places to get our respective puppies.  Trond, Tim and I walked over a mile (part of it in the rain) to the bar.  We all met up.  It went well.

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    Carisa, Kevin, Tim and I took turns passing Dr. Watson around, he just rests on his back while you rub his tummy.  Then he falls asleep.  He is almost like a bunny that way.  And, he is about the size of a bunny.  Trond, on the other hand, is a little bit bigger than a bunny.  But after sniffing around and realizing that the texture between the entry mat and the floor were not going to kill him, he made his hund-self right at home and conked out on the bar floor for all to pet him.  We were pretty popular people last night…

    I guess it was our pets that made us pretty popular people. 

    Happy First Night at the Bar, Buddy!

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    This morning, Tim and I were finally able to make it over to the Farmer’s Market!  It was our first time this year!  That’s how crazy our summer has been.  But now is the time to start cashing in on the seasons bounty.  We brought home blueberries and raspberries and pears and peaches.  I arranged the pears and peaches in this artistic fashion upon bringing them into our kitchen:

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    I also purchased these lovely flowers.  I do not remember what they are called. I do know that ever since we came back from Iowa, we have not had flowers on our table and it has been driving me crazy! - so I am glad to have these happies in our home.

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    Happy First Day of Going to the Farmer’s Market, Me!