Sunday, January 23, 2011

Super Bowl Blues

Chicago's Super Bowl dreams have been dashed once again. That's nothing new, but we get so dang hopeful every dang time. We are optimistic always. But Cutler is useless. That poor Todd Collins guy was tragic. Hanie gave a really good effort, but I think the rest of the Bears had given up at that point.
These days sure are long gone! My Big Girl was only 5 when we danced the Super Bowl Shuffle all afternoon at Paulette's house.

That was only 26 years ago...

But we never forget. Here in Chicago, we hold on hard to our championships.

I need you to know, I really do not care much about football in the Big Picture. It's not my bag. I'm more into the girly stuff like figure skating or gymnastics. Or you know, ballet.

I love this kind of lovely-ness.


I take my quarterbacks very seriously. They have certain standards they must live up to, to satisfy me.

(I know this is going to be some serious kind of treason in my part of town.)

Aaron Rodgers is my kind of quarterback.

Strong of jaw.

Swift of action.

Eagle-y of eye.

Oh, and um, extremely easy on the eyes!

I think I've finally found a suitable replacement for the Legendary Joe Montana:

whom I just found out, via our friends at Wikipedia, is almost exactly one year older me than me, which is a happy surprise. I thought he was younger. And he still looks dynamite.

(and the very saddest thing of all? When I saved that second, more current and still dee-licious picture of Golden Joe to my files, I labeled it "Old Joe Montana".)

Ehh-age is just a number.

For the next two weeks, I'm sticking with #12!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's been an amazing Autumn for the Chicago area this year. Our temps have been runnning in the upper 60's (or better) for the last 6 weeks with beautiful blue skies and gorgeous red, orange and golden foliage everywhere you look. I mean, flowers are still blooming!

But yesterday, Mother Nature woke up and realized something was not quite right and it turned cold and gray and rainy. Just like that. She's a trickster, that Mother Nature. I spent the entire day indoors, doing a craft show with Big Girl. When I went into the Craft Show at 7:30am, it was brisk, but still nice enough to not need a jacket. When we exited nine hours later, it was C.O.L.D. It was windy and you could tell it wanted to snow. If you live around here, you know that feeling...

And today...holy cow. It was super cold and really windy. The Hubs and I fished this afternoon over at Crappie Lake. I had on 3 layers under my winter parka and my winter boots, so my body was warm enough, but hoo-boy, my hands were numb! (And every cast came back all weedy, so I had to get the gook off every single stupid time. News flash: really windy and cold plus wet equals blue, achy, fumbly fingers.) Nevertheless, I am still the reigning Crappie Queen, catching 16 or so, some very nicely sized.

But what is my point, you ask? What makes this blog-worthy? This is my aha! moment: walking into the Jewel tonight for tonight's dinner, I was resigning myself that this is it: Winter is right around the corner and I better just give in and accept it. And then I had this amazing sense of "right-ness". It is the middle of November and it ought to be darned cold and frankly, we should have had some snow by now. We Chicagoans accept and kind of embrace our wretched weather. Makes us tough, doncha know? It was such a cool, peaceful feeling to recognize the continuity, aka stability, of the seasons.

Accepting Winter makes me realize so much: that Christmas is coming: yay! Soon, there'll be that first glorious snowy morning where everything is hushed and magical.
There'll be snowmen and frosty windows and Wrigley bounding through the drifts in a delirious frenzy. And Gracie will be turning Four!

We'll get another New Year and another chance to do things better and kinder and more intentional. And we'll be that much closer to the arrival of New Muffin on the Block, due in early April.

She is obviously a very bendy child. Just look at that leg-kick!

And a new Gingrich, due only a month later. Is there another child who can compete with our sweetheart grand-niece, Miss Greeley?

Every minute marks the passage of time, which we can never get back. But our traditions and memories are what make it all worth while. We better make the most of it while we can!

Stay warm, y'all!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

How do you make your husband smile?

Well, here at our house, you ask him to take you fishing. Poor Hubs misses our son; the two of them spent every weekend fishing. And after Scott went to school, I freely admit I was not filling in as fishing buddy. The poor guy was good about it, though. Oh, I used to go fishing. Like 30 years ago. In fact, our honeymoon was spent fishing in Quetico in Canada and we had an amazing time.

But for the past 29 years, I was not so interested.

Then suddenly, a few weeks ago, something changed. I don't know why, but I asked him to take Wrigley and me out on the fishing boat. Since then, we've been 4 times and I've been pretty much skunked. (That's Fishin' Talk for not catching anything.) Kinda boring.

Until today!

The clever man decided we would hunt the eager, hungry, not-discriminating-at-all panfish at a small pond in Barrington. And we caught fish! In fact, I caught a 12 inch crappie, which is apparently a Big Deal!

Fishing has a lot of perks which appeal to me: being outdoors in a beautiful setting, with lots of birds and other wildlife about. We saw a beautiful sunset tonight. There was a tiny hidden creature making odd noises down by my feet, buzzing and chirping away. Turned out to be a little black field mouse. A homeowner was burning leaves on the other side of pond, which smelled heavenly and we could hear the snapping and cracking of the fire. The ducks were quacking in that homey way they have as they paddled among the reeds.

And the fish were biting.

And the Hubs was smiling.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Extreme Displeasure!

Mike and I are outraged by the Project Runway Finale!

As you know, I was seriously rooting for Mondo. I am sad to say, I was disappointed by Mondo's collection; it was a little too circus-y for me. But Andy! Andy's collection was lovely. And ethereal. And breathtaking. Dare I say they were spun from angels' dreams?

well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration....

And yet.....Gretchen won.

Can anyone tell me that this:

and this:

are better than this:

and this:

Well, you can believe that we at the Frew Household are Extremely Displeased!
(but our Family Dinner was delish and we had a wonderful time together!)

Family Ties

The Bride has put out a plea: she needs some Family Time. She's been working herself senseless for the last few months. We seldom get to see her and her Fella.

So tonight is Family Night! We'll get almost everyone of them, missing only Big Girl's hubby, Pat, who is on the road. Or in the air, I guess,

and our sweetie-pie, Tracy, who has to babysit.

The nine of us will enjoy a good old-fashioned autumn dinner: pot roast that's been braising all day, delicious mashed potatoes and plain old frozen corn. Maybe the Hubs will even get the strawberry whipped cream cake he's been (not so subtly) hinting for over the last couple of weeks.

Then we'll watch the finale of Project Runway. (I love my family, but nothing will stop me from watching Mondo's victory dance tonight!)

It's so seldom we get the chance to get together aside from the holidays, so I'm really looking forward to a nice time. Just relaxing, laughing and loving each other.

I hope you all get to enjoy a wonderful evening, too!

And by the way, I just needed to post this freshly-taken picture of my nearly-four-year-old grand-daughter, Gracie, who's turning 4 in a few weeks.

Isn't she a doll?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Before and After

Have you ever wondered how much difference a custom window treatment can make?

Here's a downtown Chicago condo. This window is the first thing you see when you enter the residence. There are some off-the-rack, not-quite-long-enough, plain-old-white tab top panels hanging in front of the biggest window in the place.  Notice the element of cold concrete on the ceiling.  There are also concrete pillars around this room. Due to the loft style of this condo, the bedroom walls do not go to the ceiling, meaning daylight streamed into their bedroom every morning, unblocked by the inadequate white panels.

Now see what some color and pattern can do! Isn't this room warmed up dramatically?  Doesn't the whole thing look more pulled together?  The owner fell in love at first sight with the valance fabric.  We picked the pale green of the panels from the leaves of the fabric design.  The wall color was another color from the print.  We lined the panels with blackout lining, ensuring the homeowners with blissful un-interrupted extra hours of sleep, regardless of the sunshine.  The harsh concrete no longer dominates the room.

And what a pretty sight whenever they walk in their front door!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Trends for the New Decade

Wow--the New Decade!  I can't believe 2011 is right around the corner.  Remember all the excitement that surrounded the New Millenium?  I was cleaning out my buffet yesterday and found some 2000 New Year's Eve memorabilia (yes, that's how seldom I clean that buffet!) and thought, why keep it?  So out it went. The last ten years sure have flown by.

There are lots of trend reports for 2011 and beyond and I though I would share some of them with you; help you get that re-decorating fire sparked!

From all the blogs I'm reading, the top colors for walls and furniture are, hands down, white and gray.  People are loving the antique French look. Pale gray walls with white slip-covered furniture is a favorite.  Accessories often include natural elements like coral and sea shells, along with big chunky garden elements like urns and figurines.  Shabby accessorizing is very big right now, including pillows made from old grain sacks and mattress ticking. (personally, I'm not a fan of somebody's old mattress, though, French or not! but that's just me...)

Another really cool trend also being heralded by Joni Webb  of is painting your trim to match your walls.  That includes crown molding, window frames and baseboards!  Joni used this picture as one example: love it!

Accessories?  Big, big lanterns, blingy chandeliers, the shabby garden elements and something big and round on the wall, such as a mirror or a clock.  And lots of books, stacked on tables, lining the shelves, any place you can tuck one in.  This picture is from Pottery Barn: (note the industrial-style lighting, also a popular trend right now.)

The important thing to remember is to keep it personal.  After all, this is your home and it should reflect you and your family's loves and lives.