Sarah Jane Humke

The life of a traveling, reading, writing, spining and knitting shepherdess.

When in Chicago… February 9, 2010

you get snow.  Lots of it.  This morning I awoke to an odd scraping sound from outside the window of my friend Joel’s flat (God, I sound more English when I write than when I speak [oh and Darren, not one person {and most everybody I’ve been around this trip has known me since I was a teenager} has said that I sound more British when I am speaking than before I moved to the UK.  So there!  Ha!! Told ya so!!]).  Ok, now where was I?  Oh yeah, scraping outside the window.  My first thought was that Joel’s upstairs neighbor must be planing the wood floors (was around a woodworker everyday for ten years, what can I say?).  But then I realized that the noise wasn’t coming from up so much as out so I peeked out the window and saw, much to my surprise (and not delight) about 3 inches of snow on the ground.  The scraping sound?  Why some poor dude who drew that short straw shoveling the sidewalk.  It is still snowing and it is around 3:30 in the afternoon.  There is now at least 4 inches of snow out there now and the sky keeps on looking like a winter freaking wonderland.  I am so glad that I am not flying out today as the airports here have something like 500 flights canceled or something like that.

However, I do need to leave the flat and I am using my very best procrastination skills to avoid it.  I mean, it’s one thing to trug somewhere in a freezing Chicago winter to do some shopping and have your hands freeze off while carrying it all home, but it is completely a different thing when you add snow that is deep enough to go over the top of your all-terrain shoes and get your socks and pants wet and cold.  Had I known that this was expected (and, of course, it is always expected in Chicago in February) I would have packed my welliebobs.  Alas and alack, I didn’t, so now I will have to suffer with wet socks.  Le sigh…

Anyway, enough about the snow.  Yes, I am once again in Chicago.  I think that this may be two of the closest back-to-back trips here that I have ever done.  I spent the first part of the trip at my friend Sarah’s place.  Her little guy has grown quite a lot since I was here last.  Walking was still a novelty this past August and now he’s full-on mobile.

(Ok, I know I said that I was going to stop writing about the snow but I have to break in on this.  It just started actually snowing harder than it was before!!!  Holy crap!)

Anyway, this balls-to-the-wall mobility makes Sarah’s job of making sure that he lives to 18 so that she can take up a new hobby rather more, urm, difficult, to say the least.  He can open doors.  He can climb.  And boy can he break stuff.  The kid could be a savant in the art of breaking stuff if Sarah didn’t keep such a close eye on him.  However, he’s adorable and at 1.5 years he can get away with it ok still:-)

A lot of the first few days here were spent shopping (I had nearly filled-up my extra big duffel bag by day 2!) and eating at Jimmy John’s and Chipotle.  It was fun, but how Sarah manages to take a shower, let alone do something like grocery shopping amazes me.  I mean, I was exhausted and I’m not even the mommy, I’m only the sherpa auntie!!

All of this chasing and sherpa-ing left me little time to photograph the little guy, so forgive me, there aren’t any gratuitous cute kid pictures.

However, I will throw in a cute Meara photo free of charge!

Your bonus Meara photo, taken when I was packing to go to Chicago.

A few days before I left for Chicago, I went on a bit of a shopping spree.  Since I could have it shipped here, it actually made sense for me to buy things via the internet for once.  Here’s a few of the things that I picked-up:

Some "light" ficton for the plane ride and an African Violet book that I've also wanted for a while.

Some "light" fiction for the plane ride back along with an African Violet book that I have been wanting for a while. All from a used bookstore

Some books that I ordered on-line.

A couple of the books that I got on-line.

I found these two books in a used bookstore in Joel's neighborhood. I've been looking for both of them. SCORE!!

Some more on-line purchases.

Like I said, I went on a bit of a shopping spree....

Handy, huh?

The 2 yarns on the left are Zephyr in peacock and vanilla and the cone on the right is 2/14 ALPACA SILK, all from WEBS.

The top yarn is Misty Alpaca sock yarn in Reaggeton and the bottom yarn is Lace Wool in autumn, both from WEBS

The sock yarn on the left is Frog Prince Imagination and the 2 on the right are Lumberjack Stroll Tweed, both from Knit Picks.

Some pretty beads from Caravan Beads. I think that these are destined to be a lot of stitch markers!

Garnet and Freshwater pearls, destined for really nice stitch markers!

Miyuke seed beads destined for the Evenstar shawl

Some more Miyuke beads destined for whatever shawl I make with the autumn yarn above

Fun Czech beads also destined for stitch markers

These are AWESOME for traveling. They have the detergent and fabric softener all in one handy, non-spillable sheet.

Finally found fun scoops that would fit in my flour and sugar canisters at home! Gotta love Homegoods!

A Lands End fleece top that was a birthday gift from Sarah. I love Lands End stuff so it is a PERFECT gift.

Another cool gift from Sarah. They have Angora in them!!!

Monkey slippers bought on clearance from Target. Oh how I miss Target in the UK.....

I got a lot of other stuff too, stuff that isn’t too exciting to photograph.  Like a half a dozen bottles of vanilla as well as 2 vanilla infusion kits (one was a gift from Sarah, the other I bought), about a dozen different Knit Picks needles, a couple packs of underwear, a few Eddie Bauer long-sleeved t-shirts (LOVE THEM!), and Eddie Bauer fleece vest (ditto) and stuff like that.  Oh, and a BUNCH of cotton yarn.  Cannot find cheap cotton yarn over there to save your life!

So, not really been doing a lot to speak of.  Nothing cultural at all.  Thought about going to the Art Institute today but that got put on the back burner thanks to the snow.  Mostly been hanging out with Joel the past few days:

Ladies, he's single.  Crazies need not apply.

Ladies, he's single! (Crazies need not apply)

When he’s not at work of course…

When he is at work, I hang with Yo-Yo, his large and in charge cat.

(In Barry White voice) Yeah ladies, I AM large and in charge...

Ok, one last totally random picture.  This is, I think, probably the coast of Nova Scotia from the airplane.

Doesn't that just LOOK cold?

Oh, sorry, I lied.  Two more, of Joel’s fun neighborhood.

Since these folks couldn't seem to work on the "reduce" part, they definitely took to the "reuse" part!