The Epic of Earringmess or Earring Love-loss

The quality of the earring doesn’t matter. The cardboard-cut pain of it. . .The earring is the worst because you have the constant reminder of the remaining earring. The pain and worry that you feel for the little guy out on its own is indescribable. I have a whole section in my jewelry box dedicated to single earrings: Single earrings; that are too nice to get rid of.

On Wednesday night, when I had Carolyn over for dinner, I noticed I had an earring missing. My heart sank into my stomach and then they both sank together. It was a part of my favorite pearls. I wore them at least four days a week, usually more. White gold with a simple pearl drop. I called them my ear baubles (GWTW reference.) There are no words to use to describe how bad it feels to lose an earring, especially one that’s been in habitual, if not constant use that don’t seem melodramatic or insufficient. I couldn’t find the earring anywhere. I looked all over the Garden, the vestibule, and the immediate adjacent areas, but at the time it was of course dark. I was crushed, but was determined for it not to ruin my dinner plans with my new neighbor. So I pulled it together, and even said a silent mantra to feel better about it.

I told Sidney about the loss when he called while he was on his lunch, and he mourned with me, but I don’t think he felt the full lemon-juice-in-the-wound burn; the utter dejection and disappointment in life and the potential goodness of it. The next day I was still bummed and wore no earrings in protest. On Friday I woke up and knew that I had to move on(besides, Friday is the day in my hair washing cycle where I wear my hair up, so earrings on Friday are mandatory), and I wore my second most worn earrings, for when I want to be a bit whimsical.

Hand-crafted by the lovely Brigid

At about ten o’clock that morning, Sidney called and asked the specifics about which earring I lost, and reported that he had found the earring. “Where?” By the dumpster outside. “Whoa.” The earring was outside for two nights all on its own? Suffering the elements? Only to be discovered by my loving husband? My hero.


It made my, up until then crummy, day!! It brought a huge smile to my face. And the relief I felt was not unlike the relief you feel after surviving a car wreck. I’ve been telling everyone the story because it’s so remarkable and I’m so grateful and happy it’s been found.

I told my friend Libby about it and she felt for me deeply when I told her about it. (She’s the one that provided the car wreck analogy.) She told me the story of a lost pair of earrings. . opal-colored pearls, loved for two years straight, one gone forever down the drain and just it’s nearly-congenital twin flailing helplessly alone. “The band of sisters,” she called us.  She reminded me that every woman has a great earring love-loss story to tell, and we always feel for each other, then I told Libby how Sidney found her(the earring). And she said “That made MY day. I’m totally serious! That’s amazing; UNBELIEVABLE! You should blog about this!”

Reunited and it feels so good.


Ikea, Easter, Washrooms, and Finding the Perfect Pillow

Easter weekend mom was in town.  So, I forced her into chauffeur duty.  First stop: Gethsemane Gardens, the amazing nursery on Clark to start my herb garden.  They didn’t have everything (thai basil, Cuban cilantro, or peppers!) that I needed, but the rest will be in on May 1st (if you can believe that, Oklahoma friends.)  But I have a good start with two varieties of mint, (I’ll probably have to get more though), Dill, Basil, Citronella plant (to keep the bugs away), Rosemary, Thyme, and Greek Oregano.

Petite Herb Garden

Also we went to an old-timey fabric store in Evanston so Caitlin could buy some felt for a show she costumed-designed for, that we will be seeing on Saturday morning.  I had to take pictures because I didn’t think a place like this even existed anymore.  And the lady helping us was the epitome of the old-lady-who-works-in-a-fabric-shop.

Old lady with her shears

More Fabric


After that Caitlin, mom, and I drug Sidney with us to the Disney-World of all stores, Ikea.  It was insane, awesome, shocking, overwhelming, and probably 15 more adjectives.  I took few pictures, because I knew they wouldn’t be able to capture the grandeur that is Ikea, despite all of my prior political misgivings.  When you walk in the doors of Ikea, you are overwhelmed by the smell of baking cinnamon rolls, and the smell never really fades.  (We bought a six-pack on our way out.) I think the deal of the day, excluding something to be mentioned later, was the 19-piece-“tuperware” set for $2.99.













Easter Sunday we originally thought we would be very cosmopolitan and do brunch at one of the many places in Andersonville offering a special meal, but instead we decided to do a traditional-ish Easter dinner at home.  This was to accommodate everyone’s busy holiday schedule.  Russ had rehearsals, and Nehemiah was editing his first video.  We had ham, devilled eggs, potato salad, garden salad, and two desserts: brownies, and bread pudding made from the tantalizing Ikea Cinnamon Rolls.  The girls cooked together for the first time in a very long time!  Fun and education abounded.

Just us girls in our Easter finery

Cup Art on the way to work










One quick Chicago observation:  Everyone here refers to the restroom/bathroom as the “washroom.”  It’s pretty much a city-wide epidemic. . .it might even be a regional thing.  But I won’t conform!!  People here do find my “accent” endearing, and they love my use of “y’all,” which comes in extremely handy at my job because I’m always in need of the plural second person.

Now to the most important thing: my new pillow!!  I like down pillows, but usually find them to be overstuffed.  I don’t need a pillow to cause a crick in my neck.  So I got a goose down “Stomach Sleeper,” though I do not sleep on my stomach.  It’s transformed my sleep, and in a word is WONDERFUL.  And it was only $8.99!!

Of course the new pillow is in a satin, gold pillow case, and of course, Ferguson loves it

Last night, I had my new neighbor, Carolyn over for dinner.  I made pasta, and she’s a Masters student majoring in PoliSci, so we talked politics, watched American Idol, and talked politics of American Idol.  It was very fun and I look forward to more meals with her!

A few of my favorite things (Insert Oprah joke here.)

Sometimes I forget to mention the little things about the city that I love:

The tiny, mature gardens that are prevalent everywhere in my neighborhood, the weird shoes I see on the weird feet on the El.  The fact that there is a four-language church on my way home from work, the noisiness of the city, the anonymity of the city, and yet the familiarity of seeing the people waiting for the bus, walking to the train, and taking their dogs out everyday.  Not driving.  My brand new fridge, the flowering trees that make it look like it’s snowing when the wind rustles them. . .that I have to walk even when I’m feeling lazy.  Not driving.  That weather is still a serious, legitimate topic of conversation (I contend that it’s the best small talk, who ever heard of anything more real or concrete than the natural world and it’s happenings, weather talk should be called real talk.)  Not paying utility bills.  The fact that it’s a city built for pedestrians; there’s even an agency, which polices walkers, for real.  It’s called the Traffic Management Authority.  They ticket jaywalking, not in my part of town, but downtown!  The smells that waft in from every train stop, alleyway, and door; the frying onions, baking bread, grilling meat.  The sounds of trains, buses, and planes.  People everywhere, tiny city parks filled with kids playing, old people reading, well-loved by all stripes of people.  Passing people speaking any and every language.  Holidays for every ethnicity that the entire city recognizes and celebrates, because it’s just another reason to celebrate.  That there’s a Jewish deli two doors down from my Mexican produce market.  Not driving; not knowing/caring how much gas costs.  That I’m fifteen minutes from the beach, in the morning I hear the seagulls AND woodpeckers outside of my open window.  And despite the stressful or frustrating days, I never question the worth of my day anymore.