Working hard

(173:  Swimming in Lake Michigan.  Chicago, IL.  October 2009.)

M and I had quite a day yesterday.  We rented a brush cutter (pretty much like this one) to mow the meadows.  It’s been at least two years since the meadows have been mowed.  They seem to benefit from a good cut every now and then.  My only regret is having to cut down the wildflower meadow at this time.  The birds and other animals chow down on the seeds throughout the winter months.  The seeds are still there, on the ground now.  That will make it a little more difficult for the birds to get to them once the snow starts accumulating.  But, we had the brush cutter now so it had to be done now.

M did the majority (about 99%) of the mowing/cutting.  I used the brush cutter for a little while to give him a break.  It’s a powerful tool, grinding up brush and small trees.  I had a little trouble turning the first time.  I was near the pond and the look on M’s face was priceless.  I’m pretty sure M thought the brush cutter and I were going right into the pond.  I did have the good sense to let go of the drive lever a few feet away from the edge of the water.  It’s nice to know M can move that fast if I (or an expensive piece of equipment) ever need saving.

I did most of my hard labor time in the garden, still trying to get it ready for winter.  It’s taking much longer than I thought it would.  I’ll be back out there today, if there’s time.  We have a long list of things to do today.  M is on his way back to Hartville to return the brush cutter and to pick up some lumber for some winter projects.  After that we’ll be headed over to a friend’s house to pick up a desk she’s giving us.  I don’t remember what other errands are on the list, just that it’s a good-sized list.

The weather has been perfect for working outdoors.  Clear, sunny, and in the 50’s.  It’s supposed to stay that way until Sunday.  We’re not used to this much sunshine this time of year.  It’s a wonderful thing.

I have not been taking many photos lately.  I don’t feel like it for some reason.  I didn’t even remember to take a picture of the brush cutter.  I did break out the camera briefly yesterday to capture some of the wildflower meadow before it was cut, but that’s about it.  I have taken tons of photos over the past year and barely had time to look at them so a break from taking more is in order right now.  I also have to come up with a better back-up system.  I’m running out of space.

That’s it from the Bogs for now.  I’m hoping to get caught up with everyone tomorrow.  Hope all is well out there in Blogland.

P.S.  I was looking over my search engine terms and noticed that a lot of people are looking for “Amish washing machines.”  Check out Lehman’s for all your non-electric laundry (and other) needs.  For those specifically looking for washing supplies, you’ll find it here.  Yes, it’s true.  They still make wringer washers.  All of which reminds me that it has been a while since M and I have made a trip to Lehman’s.  We ought to do that sometime soon.  It’s a great place to do some Christmas shopping.  Someday I may even get one of these.

Lakefront Parks and Navy Pier

(Hancock Building and skyline through the trees.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I spent today walking around the lakefront and at Navy Pier.  That wasn’t my original plan but the day got away from me as I ambled along, snapping photos.

(150:  Milton L. Olive III Park.  Chicago, IL.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

It was another gorgeous blue sky day.  It warmed up some, but the wind kicked up some too, blasting at about 25 mph at times.  Autumn is beautiful here in the city, something that’s surprising to me at times.

(Skyline from Milton L. Olive III Park.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

After wandering around the parks for a while, I made my way over to Navy Pier.  It sure has changed since the 1980’s when M and I lived here, now filled with shops, theaters, stages, and amusement rides.

(Navy Pier, from the front.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I took my time strolling from one end of the pier to the other.  At the end of the pier, out on the lake, the wind was really whipping.

(Photo © 2009 by Robin)

At the end of the pier is a huge anchor which I meant to read about while I was there, but M called and wondered what I was doing for lunch and that distracted me from finding out what the anchor was all about.

(Anchor and lighthouse.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I’m sure I could probably find something online about it.  I don’t have time to look it up right now.  M will be here soon and we’ll be meeting friends for dinner.  This has been quite a social trip.

M joined me at Navy Pier for lunch.  I forget the name of the place where we ate (the Dockside Cafe, I think).  We sat outside since it was such a beautiful, albeit windy, day.  I had an Italian beef, something I’ve been craving since we got here.  The Italian beef is, in my opinion, Chicago’s answer to the Philly cheesesteak.  It’s not the same thing at all, but it’s almost as good.

(Sampling of stained glass.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

After lunch we decided to visit the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows (located on Navy Pier).  They have an amazing collection of stained glass windows.  You can read about it here.

(Another sampling.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

M went back to his conference after that and I wandered around for a little while longer, taking photos of this, that, and the other thing.

(Ferris wheel on Navy Pier.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I have to wrap this up and get ready for dinner.  We’re dining at The Berghoff tonight, a favorite of ours.  I’ll leave you with one last view of the skyline from Navy Pier taken as I was leaving.

(Skyline view from Navy Pier.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

Blue sky day

(Sailboat on Lake Michigan and the end of Navy Pier. Photo © 2009 by Robin)

The sun is shining on Chicago today.  It’s a glorious day with lovely blue skies and just the hint of the usual wind that blows through this city.

(149:  View from the Shedd Aquarium.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

M and I were up early and went for a long walk.  We took a bus down to the Adler Planetarium to get some shots of the city skyline and took our time walking back to the hotel from there.  I think were out and about for about 2-1/2 hours.

(Sears Tower and other buildings from the lakeshore.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

Part of our walk took us through Grant Park and Millennium Park.  We took our time going through Millennium Park so we could have a look at some of the sculptures that we missed during our first stroll through the park.

(Zaha Hadid pavilion and security guard.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

We had to see the Bean, of course (along with hundreds of other tourists).

(The Cloud Gate.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

The official name is the Cloud Gate, but it has been nicknamed The Bean because of its legume-like shape.

Last night we had dinner at Zocalo.  The food was excellent and they have a very nice selection of sipping tequilas.  The prices are reasonable as well.  If you’re in the mood for Mexican food (and/or tequila) while in Chicago, I highly recommend Zocalo.  (A big thanks to D for suggesting the place!)

As soon as I finish here I will end my afternoon break.  I think I’ll spend the rest of the afternoon just wandering around, taking pictures, and people watching.  We’ll be joining friends later this evening for Thai food.  One of the great things about this city (most cities, in my experience) is all the delicious food to be sampled and enjoyed.