quilt show sneak peak…

Each spring, I find myself daydreaming, planning and of course, stitching for the Annual Hyde Park Quilt Show at the United Church of Hyde Park on 53rd Street. Here’s a little sneak peek for this year’s show. I dropped off the quilts (two of them!) yesterday and I’ll share more tomorrow, once the show is over. It’s such a sweet event, with a tea served by the church ladies, on real china and the punch served in real punch cups! Some little girls live for stuff like this, don’t they? Some grown-ups, too. (Wink.)

More tomorrow…


alone time


Without really thinking about it as a “cure,” I’ve started to go to the Point every day, by myself. I also go with my kids, but this daily outing is just for me, never at the same time, because of course it has to be fit in around everybody’s schedule, but whenever I can make it work, off I go for a little of this:


and this: 


and this:


walking around, thinking, taking pictures, staring at the long line where sky meets lake, I feel soothed and refreshed and the horrible piles I showed you a few posts ago, don’t seem quite so daunting. It will all work out well, and if it doesn’t, well, I’ll have to head back to the Point for another one of my miracle “cures.” 


Snow day!


Oh, a snowy day! And all the joy it brings! It started snowing Sunday night, so Monday and Tuesday were just great. Little E. and I went right out into the snow after everyone else left for work and school. (Well, by “right out” I mean as soon as we got ourselves into warm weather gear, um, closer to 10 a.m.?) But it was delightful.

Our first order of business was to set this snow man to rights, who had fallen over (or been pushed?). E. gave him a hug, too, for good measure:


Then we walked around the Point to see all our favorite landmarks covered in snow:


This is “engagement rock,” where 2-year-old C. proposed to her friend Liam, years ago…




And of course, here’s E. — waiting to be pulled the rest of the way around, watching the little water birds body-surfing the dark waves. Not the North Atlantic, by any means, but a pretty good impression of it, for a freshwater lake.

And what do you think she’s thinking about? That’s right, the “hock-chockolick” (hot chocolate) waiting for us when we get home.

Beavers in the city…

Munch, munch, munch…So we were walking along near the Wooded Isle when we saw these strangely cut stumps and a pile of wood shavings…


I may have mentioned that I live in a big city. What a nice surprise to see real critters still at work, even here! Seems like beavers wanted to dam our lagoon.



There was no sign of the culprits or any ill-gotten logs, so perhaps they were relocated by the Park District to another, more rural spot.

I carefully tucked a couple of wood shavings into my pocket to take home (making sure to pick ones with teeth marks) for our nature table. So exhilarating to think of the beavers there chomping away — were we driving by and didn’t notice? How did they get here? Were they born here? The girls had lots of questions. Me, too!

If anyone knows it, I’d love to hear the rest of the story…

Drawing fall…

I love the way the green leaves in this photo meet the gold and red, the way they seem to be reaching for each other. It’s the peak of fall here. The leaves this past week have been gorgeous and the beauty at the Point really something to see.

So I made a date with myself to get out there and draw. Quite satisfying to find a little natural beauty in the middle of the city. Lovely to be drawing, too, having the time alone to just look and feel and notice. Quiet. Or as quiet as it can be in a city of 3 million.

57th Street Children’s Book Fair

Two weekends ago we went to the 57th Street Children’s Book Fair, one of my two favorite neighborhood events. (The other is the Hyde Park Art Fair in June — absolutely my most anticipated event each year.)

But this year, if you only looked at the photos I took, you wouldn’t have known that books had anything to do with the event we attended. The girls bounced in a fabulous bouncy castle, made crowns, made little books, had their faces painted, saw friends and ate nearly the last two ice cream bars available from the vendor!

But where were the books? Well, my friends, imagine me for yourselves — there I am, quickly, quickly poring over shelves of the world’s greatest kids books, new and used, while keeping track of a climbing 2 year-old and a wandering five year-old and somehow making sure I don’t drop a half-eaten ice cream into my purse. Thankfully, thirstily looking at the books, I was too absorbed (too much in heaven!) to think about photographing the moment. Silly me! But here are just a few of the many gems we found…

Sunshine, by Jan Ormerod, a lovely, wordless book about morning rituals; My Father’s Dragon, a chapter book, with a gorgeous endpaper map; and a version of Rapunzel illustrated by  Gennady Spirin Paul O. Zelinsky, one of my favorite illustrators of all time! We also found a copy of Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Animals and Shirley Hughes’ sweet classic Dogger, which always makes me cry. A very successful book fair, even with all the delightful distractions. Another happy day in the City of Big Readers!