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Graffiti behind Goodyear Tire in Urbana, IL – photo by me

 

Hi, readers.

I am so very sick right now, felled by a massive cold that got underway not two hours after I’d bragged to someone, knowing it was a bad idea, that I hadn’t had a bad cold or flu in almost 3 years. Things are looking up, slowly, but this cold is the kind that you look at your co-worker sideways for bringing into the office – drippy, hacky, sneezy, involved. People are avoiding me, but it’s cool. I suppose it’s a good thing that it might mitigate by tomorrow, right? So I don’t get the stinkeye from the people I work with? Sigh.

I am very happy at this moment, however, because both of my children are home at the same time – Jim is too – and the four of us are in the same room eating food with the football game on and wisecracking and reading and are basking, quietly, in each others’ presence. With Cody living in Chicago, this doesn’t happen very often. He and I were out procuring groceries and stopped to pick Lilly up at a friend’s… and I had to think hard to recall the last time I was in the driver’s seat with the two of them in the car with me. It’s been more than a year.

Not much else going on – not worth talking about at this juncture, anyway. I’ll be getting back to putting the archived In My Backyard stuff up here soon. I’m planning on putting in a seed order from these folks any day, though the idea of getting into the garden exhausts me right now (I think I have food and garden burnout, but that’s a topic for another day). I’ve been trying to write something, somewhere, every day. I have an unhealthy interest in The Selby.

The Bears fans don’t sound happy. Booing!

Here’s what I’ve been looking at these last few days:

I’m eyeing these boots.

And these.

Editorial about farming subsidies in the NYT.

Mnmlst.

Portland Alternative Dwellings, or PAD. Supercool.

Video documenting a wall-painting in Goteborg, Sweden. From several pals on Facebook.

A show on public broadcast I’d never heard of until very recently.

I’m interested in attending this conference.

I ADORE these color combinations. Need color STAT.

The family togetherness was short-lived – Cody’s off to the cafe until later. Jim has a meeting & is making chili for dinner. I should probably get together a cornbread. Lilly is on the couch, snacking. I gave her Good Omens to read – we’ll see if she picks it up.

 

 

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Felled

It’s been a rather unpleasant couple of days chez B-K.

A rather nasty stomach virus got two of the three of us (not me so far, knock wood, etc) yesterday morning. Getting sick around the holidays is certainly nothing new for my family, but it’s been a few years, and I’d forgotten how easy it is to get even further out of sync when you’re on Sick People Hours.

Sick People Hours = All Hours. Our house becomes a mess. Work gets spread out everywhere. The TV is constantly on (this time: Despicable Me, Avatar [Last Airbender, cartoon version], Ratatouille, Premier League football, NCAA hoopage). Meals, or what passes for them, are taken at strange times. There is the daughter’s barfing to contend with; there is the feeling of her forehead, searching for fever; there is the secret watching of her breathing. She was never sickly as a small child, but when she got sick, she got sick hard. She puked the most, had the highest fevers, displayed the most virulent chicken pox, etc. Her propensity for really doing it well as a small child is not something I’ve been able to eradicate from my mind.

I stayed home from work today and got a few things done, but this was after a tense night of “sleep” , dressed all wrong for it, up every hour, and worried about the fella upstairs in my bed, too, who was dealing with his own brand of nastiness. That said, everyone seems to be on the mend.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and thinking about the New Year. Another damn New Year! Anyway, here are a few things I’ve run across:

Project Censored’s Top 25 for 2010

My friend Lisa has entered this photo in Saveur mag’s sandwich photo contest

Fun thread about food cart legislation in CHGO (well, it’s fun if you’re me)

This piece about “foodie fatigue” made me a little grumpy. People who like good, clean food often are nothing like the “foodie” stereotype, but whatever. I’ve been around the block a few times. I know what’s up. The comments are hysterical sometimes

Jane Black’s writing and research is actually something I can sink my teeth into, however (haaa!)

I dunno, I just like Astrid

In the “I probably posted this already” department, I think this journal might have been what Gastronomica magazine grew out of. There’s some great, great stuff here. If I hadn’t happened upon an issue at the thrift store about 8 years ago, I would not be… me

I also pretty much love Salvation Jane

Breakfast/brunch food!

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Snow is falling again.

I was telling my brother, who recently moved here from Ohio, that we’ve had Decembers in this part of Illinois where the grass was still green ten days before Christmas, but we have nothing of the sort going on outside this year. Our first snowfall wasn’t even three weeks ago – it was this total surprise that inspired childlike disbelief and ohmygoshing and willyoulookatthats when we were with our friends at their house, after a dinner of some length at our favorite establishment. When we arrived back at their house at 7 PM, the flurries were just getting started, but by the time we looked up from the fire and our beers and the company a couple of hours later, four inches of fluffy snow had fallen and it was continuing to pour out of the sky, snow-globe style. Our children immediately piled on whatever clothes and boots they could find and disappeared into the back yard. 5 more inches fell before it was over.

It was a nice way to usher in the season; we’ve had pissing rain and howling wind and zero degrees in the morning since then and none of that has gotten any gee-whizzing from me. I’ve decided it’s really not worth bitching about the weather, since it’s WEATHER, and I’ve lived in the midwest for thirty years (Christ, seriously?), and I’ve figured out how to dress for it, and have I mentioned that it’s WEATHER and there’s nothing I can do about it? I can sit here and take it all personally and hate it all winter and be totally miserable, or I can enjoy the snow outside (mostly) from within the friendly confines of my own home, don my Helly Hansens when I opt for heading outside for any length of time, and let my husband do the #1 thing I don’t like to do – drive in snow and ice. Figure out a way to make winter work for you, I say. The vernal equinox (March 20) is only 95 days away, and you’ll be wondering what the hell happened and oh crap I still haven’t bought any seeds. Well, if you’re me, that is.

I mean, come on. Kelly‘s got something like 572 inches of snow at her house and it’s probably still snowing. Our troubles are few.

Here are some open tabs for you:

Commercial kitchen provides way to earn money for un/underemployed people with food chops

My favorite political blog is back, after a 2-year hiatus!

Les Mods

People of my acquaintance are making new music together after 15 years

They’re also touring, a little

Hubble Telescope advent calendar

Interactive school lunch graphic from NYT

Abandoned home Lego creation

Dr. Seuss does Star Wars – adorable!

Tiny Aviary

On the Bro’d – every sentence of Kerouac’s On the Road, retold for bros – OMG

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