Friday, October 30, 2009

Carving Fest '09

was last night at my house.

For the third year running, my daughter, Anna, invited a gaggle of friends over for mom-made pizzas…

mom-made-whole-milk-from-scratch hot cocoa (one of the young men said “This is the best hot cocoa I have ever had!”) with real whipped cream…..

and, of course, pumpkin carving, followed by roasted pumpkin seed eating!

Some of the carvers were quite talented…..

others, well…..not so much…

But by the end of the night fun had been had by all!

For tomorrow’s Halloween, my wishes for you are bags full of candy and a good safe time!!


vintage halloween photo oh boy

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I was able to take the day off from my “real” job and pursue the possible growth of my dot dot dot eat cookies a lot! business.

I am happy to report that the corporate connection I made over a month ago has developed into a very large cookie order for the upcoming Holiday season.

So Hooray for that!

Also being out in the suburbs allowed me to meet up with my Momma and two of her posse members for lunch…

and what a nice lunch it was!

Thank you to Momma (who unfortunately had been to the dermatologist this week to have some skin issues dealt with, hence the band-aid on her poor sore nose!), Ruth and the forever-heard-about-and-finally-got-to-meet Judy Jones, for letting me horn in on your girls’ lunch.

love you a bunch

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

“Look at what you are wearing!”

my co-worker Mary said as I walked into her office this morning.

“What?!!!” I exclaimed, thinking for sure I had different color shoes on or some other ridiculous sanguine-personality-driven mismatched/forgot-to-put-on issue.

Witnessing my distress….Mary calmed me down by saying “No, look at what I am wearing and what you are wearing.”

Sure enough in this teeny-tiny office we work in, Mary and I had the same thought process as we dressed this morning…..

Except for the different shade of blue jeans and our exact styled shoes but mine were black and Mary’s brown…….we were dressed perfectly the same.

office matching clothes game

Monday, October 26, 2009

“Frank…..ooohhh, Frankie!

I exclaimed, almost sobbing, while standing at the foot of his hospital bed.

Frank was the oldest employee in our office, still working at 74 years of age; he lived in Chicago alone, and had just survived a heart attack and the repairing open heart surgery.

Two other co-workers, Ben and Joe, and I wound our way via El train to the hospital on Damen Avenue to pay Frank a first visit on behalf of the office.

We stopped at the reception desk in the lobby, where Ben informed the receptionist that “We are here to visit patient Frank Rickard.”

She handed him a visitor's pass with Frank’s room number on it and off we went.

Upon entering his room, we all stopped in shocked horror!

Our once old, but-still-healthy-looking co-worker appeared to be knocking on death’s door.  He was sleeping, gaunt, pale and hooked up to all sorts of machines, including a ventilator.

I could not make myself go any further than the foot of his I started calling his name…..while nervously rubbing his exposed feet.

Trying to wake him up without startling him…

I again spoke “Frank, Frank…we are here to see you.”

All the while rubbing, rubbing, rubbing.

That is when Frank awoke and started gasping as he tried to speak.

I instinctively ran to the head of his bed saying “Frank, what do you need? What is it Frank?”

He appeared to be pointing at the nightstand, where his glasses were lying.

“Do you want your glasses?” I anxiously asked.

He continued to try to talk, as I placed his glasses on his face……

and it was then that I noticed the name posted above his bed...

his name was Frank....that was true.

But not Frank RICKARD

it was Frank RICKERT, who, when I glanced down at him again, appeared to be about 97 years-old and did not look anything like “our” Frank!!

Needless to say, Ben, Joe and I hightailed it out of that room…hoping and praying that we did not send “Frank” a litte too early to his Maker to meet.

i now chose to not nervously rub hospitalized strangers feet

Friday, October 23, 2009

Being home yesterday….

dealing with Buddy my Wonder dog and his surgery (he is fine, fine, fine except for two ginormous stitched up wounds!), allowed Anna and me to take a mere 5 mile, mid-afternoon drive straight west and look what we found…..

midwest fall beauty abound

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Is where I can be found today.

Buddy my Wonder dog is having two cysts surgically removed, so I am home to greet him afterwards and make sure his post-surgery life is as comfortable as possible.

He is, at the time of this posting, in surgery and I am baking Dotted w/Frosting Pumpkin Cookies, drinking my favorite percolated coffee and watching The View (do they all have to talk at the same time?).

I will let you know tomorrow how he survives the surgery and whatever follows that up!!

he is old no longer a pup

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

“You didn’t blog today.”

Keith remarked last night.

I had to yell over the whir of my Kitchen Aid mixer as I was preparing my second batch of Chocolate Polk-A-Dots for Saturday’s Batfest Market, “Nothing inspired me!”

It isn’t a secret how this whole blogging thing got started. I was nudged into writing by my good friend, Heather, over at Hedyblog, who liked my idea of writing about snippets of conversation that I heard on the sidewalks of Chicago, but wanted me to write - "It is your idea!" she said.

So Susan’s Snippets was born and it has morphed into writings about Chicago, "snippets" overheard and life in general.

I have always said that I am not a writer…I just like to tell stories, and in person I LOVE telling them – as  I become quite animated in the process.

But I find that translating those stories into written words is not always easy.

I admire bloggers like Ree Drummond over at The Pioneer Woman, who post daily.

Not only does Ree post to her main page, she also has several other pages on her blog that she also writes on – EVERY DAY!

Her writings are always interesting, humorous, touching, and just chock full of cattle ranching/Marlboro Man-loving family fun!

I aspire to write like that.

But until that time comes (if it ever does) – I will most definitely have some “non-posting” days.

right now in an uninspired phase

Monday, October 19, 2009

Talking about an Injun Summer....

I just returned from my snippet's lunch walk.....

very eager to report that here in Chicago it is a deliciously warm, sunny, insanely beautiful fall day!!

which makes me skippingly gay

Who doesn’t have a childhood memory of seeing…

"Injun Summer" in their local paper at this time of year?

One day in the early fall of 1907, Chicago cartoonist, John T. McCutcheon was contemplating what to draw to fill his usual spot on the front page of the Chicago Tribune.

He reminisced about his childhood, growing up in the 1870’s near the cornfields of Indiana, with not much more than those fields and American Indian traditions, his memories led him to produce this classic piece of art.

“Injun Summer” ran yearly in papers until October 25, 1992, when it appeared for the last time. Although the drawing was timeless, John's accompanying narrative that was so appropriate when he wrote it, was viewed by some in this modern culture, as being offensive to Native Americans and those complaints finally put an end to its 85 year run.

Regardless of how you feel now about what was written, for my childhood it was always a reminder that Halloween was just around the bend!!

which meant candy with no end

Friday, October 16, 2009

Yup, It's Friday....

which means LEFT FOR ME TO FIND photos!

With "Bagged Beverages" being this week's finds.....

 Now what I have never fully understood is WHY the brown paper jacket??

If it is disguised no one will figure out what you are drinking?

really stupid thinking

ps - A photo I shot this week, scribbled on the side of a dumpster in an alley on Lake Street - yesterday I walked past it again and saw that it had been painted wonderfully states something that I want to say to those who read my ramblings......

very much!

love and such

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Faux Fur Fashion Faux Pas

I received an email this morning from Real Simple highlighting new winter faux fur fashions.

I work in an office where the dress code is anything except pajamas and bathing suits, so with many years here "under my belt", my wardrobe has dwindled to several pairs of jeans, a couple of suit jackets and various t-shirts/sweaters/blouses.

That being typed, I still enjoy following the current and upcoming fashion trends.

So I went to Real Simple’s site to see the new faux fur fashions….

At first I thought they were kidding…but then I realized they were not.

The blazer goes for $60 at Urban Outfitters, which isn't too expensive, but was the model so skinny that she didn't have the strength to stand up straight?  And, doesn't it look unbalanced with the super short skirt?

The vest (honestly does she not look like she is wearing part of the Abominable Snowman on her torso?) is priced at a reasonable THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS at Saxs Fifth Avenue stores.

And for only $98 at shopbop, you, too, can wear the same hat as Elmer Fudd!

Don’t leave me hanging here….is it just my fashion eye that is dimming with age or do you also think they stink?

although you will never find me in mink

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Mr. 3 P"

Thru the years of commuting back and forth to Chicago, it is not uncommon amongst my train buddies to nickname people that we run across on a daily basis.

Such as:

Abe (the tall guy that walks thru our evening train and has an eerie resemblance to our 16th President);

Doll Hair Lady (a well-dressed 40ish woman, attractive except for her blonde, poofy, dried-out, looks like doll's hair that had been matted and brushed out about 100 times hair);

Mole Face (not at all nice, but when we say it, everyone knows who we are talking about…the middle-aged woman on the morning train that has a giant mole/wart growing on the side of her face);

Barbie and Ken (an attractive woman and man who are often together on the evening train, ALWAYS looking beautiful – like the dolls they are nicknamed after);

You get the point.

The guy that I am talking about today has been on my morning train for at least a year……

Probably mid-20’s, disheveled, he wears the same “outfit” every day, consisting of a Pac Man or similar genre t-shirt, stretched thin from age and being pulled to its capacity, faded husky-sized blue jeans, and a Carpenter’s Union denim jacket.  (Seriously he could not be in the "trades" those guys would have kicked his butt from here to next Tuesday in a heartbeat!)

He has a scraggly full beard that comes to a point, like a troll….which is why I gave him the moniker of “The Troll”.

He has been ill mannered and mean the few times I have overheard him talking on his cell phone to whom I believe to be his mother.

This morning, seemingly bored and not sure what to do with himself, The Troll began picking his nose, examining the contents on the end of his finger and then wiping said contents onto his well-worn jeans.

Having been desensitized over the years to such behavior from him and others (across the board I have ONLY witnessed men doing this),  I wasn’t too appalled.


Obviously, not fulfilling enough for The Troll to just pick his nose….he started yanking on the collar of his t-shirt, stretching it down.

“What might he be looking for?” was my thought.

Like a train wreck….a sick curiosity would not allow me to look away.

Because of that curiousity, I got to witness The Troll reach a new level of disgusting public behavior…..

he started popping pimples on his upper chest!

With his pointy-haired chin shoved as far down as it could onto his chest, he would search for ripe ones, give them a squeeze and move on to the next.

Once I recovered from the near fainting spell that overcame me….I decided that “The Troll” is much too nice of a nickname for this person.

I have now named him “Mr. 3 P” which stands for….

“Public Pimple Picker!”

it does not get much sicker

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

“How is your cookie business doing?”

several people have kindly inquired as of late.

With the outdoor market dwindling to an end (October 24th is the last one!), I have been concentrating on getting the word out about my dot dot dot eat cookies a lot! cookies to local businesses and private individuals.

But for my first year at the farmer’s market - it has been great!

And, it could not, of course, be successful without my highly paid helpers…who keep the flow at my booth moving and the good reputation of dot dot dot eat cookies a lot! at the market in check…

Well at least two of them do….I might have to have a talk with “somebody” about taking his job a little more serious!

only cookies for payment make him delirious

Monday, October 12, 2009

I recently lent my Snippet's.....

camera to my son, Phillip, who wanted a small digital camera to take on a trip to Milwaukee.

The camera that I carry with me EVERYWHERE I go.

My trusty sidekick of sorts.

The same camera that takes all of the pics for my blog.

"Please be careful with it!" were my parting words as it went from my hands into his.

Yes, I know that he is a photographer, but he also is young and at times dumb.

Back from his trip, Phillip did return it to me, safe and sound and with only 5 of his photos on it, one of which made me remember what a great gift he has been given......

now for him to do this for a livin

Friday, October 9, 2009

Left for Me to Find Friday....

was brought right to my office...where this morning, in the midst of a cold Chicago fall rain, this pigeon took refuge on the ledge of our conference room window....

although I don't know what kind of "refuge" it you can see "Petey" (okay was it wrong to name him?) was still getting soaked thru his feathers to his little birdy skin....

and to possibly make matters worse for Ol' Petey....I believe I may have emotionally scarred him, by pointing a strange shiny object at him, while talking in a high pitched, weird voice!

Shortly after this photo, he had had enough and flew off to parts unknown.

my craziness was again shown

Thursday, October 8, 2009

“Conductor Intercom!”

the engineer called over the train’s PA system this morning, moments after the lights and air in all the cars went dead.

The conductor picked up, unaware of the fact that the intercom switch was still on, which allowed EVERYONE to hear their conversation, which went something like this:

Engineer: “Hey, we have no power.”

Conductor: “Yeah, I know.”

Engineer: “Well did you push the GREEN button?”

Conductor: “I have been pushing it, nothing is happening.”

Engineer: “It is the GREEN button, right next to the RED button!”

Conductor: “Yeah, I know!”

As soon as that was said..the lights and ventilation came back on.

I guess the conductor finally figured out how to push that GREEN button...

and he pushed it...

pushed it real good!

not feeling as train safe as I should

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

“Mom, you just ate a cookie!”

Anna exclaimed the other night after seeing me pop a Chocolate Polk-A-Dot into my mouth.

“Your Mom is still on her week long sugar binge from her birthday at the end of August!” Keith chimed in.

Yes, I have fallen off my no-eating-sugar wagon and quite frankly, for the moment, I don’t care.

For years I have tried to figure out what it is in my psyche that causes the “I want to eat healthy!” switch to turn off and the “I NEED to eat sugar!” switch on.

At 51 I still don’t know.

It could be that with the weather turning colder, my primal inner body clock says I need to pack on some pounds for the impending cave hibernation.

It also could be that as much as I find everything about the fall season fabulous, it carries an inner sadness for me, which I try (unsuccessfully) to undo with comfort foods.

Or that with my dot dot dot eat cookies a lot! business doing well, there is an increased need to “sample” my products for quality control purposes.

Yup….that is it!

This year I am going to use the “for the sake of my dot dot dot eat cookies a lot! business” excuse.

my pants are no longer loose

Monday, October 5, 2009

“Is the police department….

happy that we didn’t get the Olympics?” I asked the Chicago Police Officer who rode his segway up next to me on the sidewalk this morning.

“Well all I will say is maybe now we can get a raise and hire some more officers.” he responded while perched about two feet above my head.

He continued slowly segwaying next to me while I climbed up on my soapbox and said “You know they can hire as many officers as they like, make the schools as excellent as they can, but if change doesn’t come from within the home, we will continue to have the unthinkable violence that we have recently seen.”

He looked down and responded in kind “I agree, I totally agree!”

it cant just be him and me

Friday, October 2, 2009


Needless to say I won't be going to the Daley Center at lunch.

disappointed a whole giant bunch

"Because we are good!".....

is what a member of the band  Tributosaurus said to the reporter who asked him "Why were you chosen [to perform]?"

Hopefully, between 11:30 and 12:00 Noon today, Chicago will also be "good" enough to become the host of the 2016 Olympics!

I walked thru Daley Plaza this morning with my usual Snippet's curiousity and I was so happy I did.  In all of my years of working in this beautiful city, I have RARELY seen anything of this proportion.

Media trucks from EVERY network were lined up and down Clark Street as far as I could see.....

This cameraman is from Japan (I asked him to smile and this was about as much emotion as he could give!)..

Lester Holt, a former Chicago anchorman, who has moved to New York to be the weekend anchor for NBC's Nightly New, was there in all his handsomeness.....I watched as this lovely woman became all giddy upon seeing him, so I offered to take her picture with the subject of her giddiness (honestly isn't she too cute!) and Lester kindly obliged.....

He then went on to interview a Chicago basketball legend, Mr. Scottie Pippen....

At lunch I will be going back for the announcement of the winning City, and hopefully this confetti machine will be able to blast off  in honor of a Chicago celebration...

olympic winning bid elation

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Some people are soooo creative!

On most street corners in Chicago's Loop and its surrounding areas, you will find newspaper boxes like this one....

although not all have the "Cut You Good!" sticker on them - they do all contain the Chicago Tribune's Red Eye free publication.

I am fortunate to work in Chicago because it is populated with clever, creative people, so I should not have been suprised when I started noticing that most EVERY Red Eye newspaper box has been altered - instead of saying FREE on its side.....they now say....

I am thinking the "alterers" are a roving gang of boys with their median age being six or so.

i suddenly have the urge to go