Archive for the ‘ChiBurbia’ Category
Yes, my Sunday morning started out with Jim standing next to the bed telling me that the van had been stolen. I wish I had been with him when he opened the garage and was met with half an empty drive way. He said he just stared for several minutes until it sunk in.
I called the police. They came. While waiting for them I realized that my purse was gone off the kitchen table. Yes, the brand new replacement Miche base that they were kind enough to send as a replacement for the original that tore. I only got it last week! And my favorite faux reptile lime green shell was on it too!
Wait, I got side tracked. My mini van was stolen. Who the hell steals a mini van? Seriously?! I mean, it was totally cool and all. There were some cool CDs inside. My Barry Manilow is lost forever. But a mini van. I read somewhere that the current economy means car thieves will be stealing more mundane vehicles. Proof right here!
The worst part is the purse though. This is the second time I’ve had a purse stolen. I cancelled all my credit cards. I got a copy of my credit report and started calling. Some places were easier than others. Some places had incorrect telephone numbers listed on the credit report. But with the help of the internet, everything was cancelled within an hour.
Here is my advice for you: pull out your wallet right now, throw your credit cards on the scanner and scan them. Flip them all over and scan them again. Put aside somewhere will you remember. This way if your wallet is lost or stolen, it’s easy to get the ones you carry regularly cancelled.
Whatever you do, do not fill out the ID card supplied by Target in my new wallet. They ask for name, address, social security number, checking account number, and other very personal information. You know, the stuff we are warned not to share. That’s my public service announcement.
I have no idea what will happen. Store cards are lost. I’m most sad over the loss of my Lou Malnati’s card…we were close to a pizza, dammit!
I’m waffling between freaking out and remaining zen. Mostly I want to punch the person who did this…
I was going to add “little” to the title, as in “dirty little secret.” Unfortunately, it’s not a little secret. What isn’t? The racism that still runs rampant in America.
How do I know this? Because my kids are black.
Over the years, I have seen the subtle and not so subtle signs of racism in our community. Yes, the majority of people we encounter as a family are wonderful and have never reacted in any way to the color of my kids’ skin. But a small faction has always been there and it is because of them that letting my sons leave the house was always tinged with just a little bit of fear. Would they come home again?
Why am I afraid they won’t? Because of the people around us who react with fear and suspicion at the site of big black men.
When I shop alone at a certain big box store, my cart is never checked when I leave. If I’m with one of the boys and he’s pushing the cart, we will get stopped more than not. When I approach the cart and ask what the problem is, the searcher has the good grace to look embarassed as he or she apologizes.
When my sons were little, just running through the neighborhood would cause some people to chase them down to see what they stole from them. Yup, little boys playing tag through the streets caused some people to instantly think of theft.
These are just two examples of what we have experienced living in a racially diverse suburb. I can’t imagine what people of color experience in less diverse areas.
And today’s racism isn’t just for black people. So many ethnic groups appear suspicious in the eyes of white Americans. At a time when we should have moved past “white American” to simply American, this saddens me as a citizen.
As a mother, it just reinforces my fears: will they come home?
My heart hurts for Trayvon Martin’s family. A mother’s worst fear just became a reality.
Tuesday is election day in Illinois and I will be voting, as I usually do. I had considered skipping this round of primaries, but a meeting with Tammy Duckworth changed my mind.
Last Thursday, I had an opportunity to attend a small meeting with area women to talk to Tammy Duckworth about economic concerns. It was hosted in a private home and had the feel of a home party. Diverse women gathered together to discuss the things that are affecting us and our families.
A woman brought her 18 year old daughter who will be voting for the first time. The young woman said she wanted as much information as possible. They were concerned about the older son who has been serving in the military. After several deployments overseas, they have noticed a change in him.
One woman is a business owner who wants to hire veterans. She was one of the first women to serve in the President’s Honor Guard for President Reagan back in the 80s. I had no idea such a thing existed, but Tammy Duckworth was in awe of her fellow veteran.
The group expressed concern for the role of women in the current political climate. Most agreed we seem like scapegoats and lesser citizens for the ways women are being treated across the country.
Honestly, I expected to see Tammy Duckworth in action like many other politicians who have come to my door during campaign seasons or that I met when I worked. My overall impression of candidates before meeting her was that they will say and do anything to get your vote. I’ve had politicians start their spiel one way in my living room, changing it mid-speech when one of my black children walked into the room. They’ve never given me a warm, fuzzy feeling.
Tammy Duckworth was different than that. Listening to her talk, she made it clear that she truly cares about people. While much of her recent work has been with veterans’ affairs, she mentioned ways she would like to spread those benefits to all American people.
As the daughter of a down-sized executive in the 1980s, she understands how tenuous a family’s security can be. She saw her 55 year old father down-sized, watched as he searched for a job, and relocated with her family to a studio apartment. Her experience has made her a good advocate for us all in today’s economy.
Tammy’s plan for building and strengthening our economy is spelled out clearly on her website. Thursday she provided examples and ideas that were practical and realistic. There was no grandstanding to pander to us. This is an actual plan.
Luckily, the experience Tammy already has in Washington will help her bridge gaps between parties. As someone who has worked with politicians on both sides of the aisle, she said she comes in with an advantage not usually seen by a freshman congress person.
I no longer automatically vote for women, but I trust that Tammy has women’s best interests at heart. Many times during the evening, she stressed that the current slew of republicans pushing for extreme actions against women have eclipsed the more moderate Republicans who have agendas to help people. I loved it when she said that most of her life–as a soldier–her birth control was provided by the government for their convenience!
It was easy to forget that Tammy Duckworth was anything but One of Us–the women gathered to hear her. She’s warm and personable. She is intelligent and full of ideas and plans on implementing those ideas. She is someone we need representing us in Congress.
I am so glad I found a new yarn studio. Because I can never have enough yarn!
The Woolly Lamb Yarn Studio is located at 6007 N. Nina Avenue in Chicago. The owner, Brigitte Biver, was wonderfully personable and helpful.
Kelly and I spent quite awhile petting yarns and pouring over pattern books. The front room of the studio is sunny and bright from the wide windows. Samples hang everywhere. There was a great selection of yarn, accessories, and books. A cozy-looking couch invites you to grab some knitting and sit for awhile.
A back room has a giant table as the centerpiece. Shelves of yarn and books surround it, as well as more samples. It would be a nice, cozy place to take a class or have a knit-in.
Woolly Lamb is the sole local seller of Bergere yarns. If you haven’t felt the Bergere yarn, hurry over there to pet some. It is gloriously soft and I imagine it makes amazingly comfortable items. The Bergere pattern books are also fun and frivolous with some gorgeous garments and accessories. Brigitte carries many of them and she let us page through them all.
I give this local business a solid two thumbs up. The shop was the right blend of cozy and well-lit. There’s a wide assortment of yarn and accessories. The owner is friendly and personable. Even if you’re not a knitter, check out the store for inspiration. Maybe you will be a knitter by the time you leave!
Woolly Lamb Yarn Shop, 6007 N. Nina Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. Phone: 773/631-6208.
ChiBurbia: The Suburbs of Chicago. Particularly the Western Ones where I live!
I’m always on the hunt for a good salad. I don’t want a lot of “stuff.” I got this one recently at Mapleberry Pancake House in Carol Stream. It was delicious and I will be going back for another…and another…and another. Lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, tomato, avocado (fresh!) and a scoop of chicken salad. Perfect!