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I've been doing pretty good with giving up excess sugar. I had allowed myself a couple teaspoons of sugar in my tea each night but that was it and since neversremedy introduced me to the sensual joys of Agave Syrup, I've even gotten away from that. My brother introduced me to a protein shake, yogurt and granola breakfast regimen that has taken care of all cravings for breakfast cereals which are loaded with extra sugar. And I've had quite a bit more energy lately. But man the withdrawls hit me hard this weekend. I had a horrible craving to poour a small glass of agave syrup and add some organic cane sugar to it and eat it with a spoon. I killed that craving with several glasses of water and a session of pulling out honeysuckle vines from my flower beds but damn, sugar is a bad addiction.

Last thursday I went with a co-worker to Chicago. Picturehouse was being held at the Chicago Cultural Center which is an awesome building with a Tiffany stained glass dome Celing on the top floor and walls encrusted with colored tiles that look like little gemstones sparkling everywhere. I actually don't like Chicago that much but I love the architecture. And I have to spend 4 days and nights there in May so I better find something to like.

Tiffany Ceiling

Stairway landing




Picturehouse was a convention of all the major players (and some not so major) in the stock photography industry. Ostensible we went to meet all the new players and get re-aquainted with the ones we use all the time. Of course the real reason was to pick up all the free stuff. Probably to coolest giveaway items were a T-Shrit from Custom Medical Stock Photo that has their logo on the front and huge letters reading "STAPH" on the back. The squeezable stress pig and 100% corn plastic mug from Grant Heilman Photography, the Wolverine Pez dispenser from Corbis and the Rockem Sockem robots pen from Punchstock. But the all time coolest giveaway item was from Photo Researchers who had taken 9 germs and viruses and made them into plush toys. I chose E coli. I think my associate chose Gonorhea.

For lunch we went to the Chicago University Club. Yeah, one of those private, members only clubs. It was gorgeous inside and I tried not to think too much about the fact that I probably wasn't thier sort of people and the only way I'd ever be able to eat there was as the guest of a real member. In this case my associate is the wife of a member. The sweet potato gnocchi with field greens and wild mushrooms was amazing though. We ate in the Front Grille and later my friend gave me a tour of the rest of the building. OK, I'll admit I was impressed but mostly by the craftsmanship of the wood and stone interiors.

Today I got a note from a very distant cousin of mine in the family line I am researching. He is back in our ancestral homeland of Bern, Switzerland and yesterday he was standing in the cabin on the creek in Biglen where my great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather Christian Kuntzli operated a tannery in the mid 1600's and he was also in the church where Christian and his wife were married in 1687. Can you tell I'm a bit envious? As one of the main family researchers, I always hoped it would be me that would go back to Switzerland first and discover these things. Oh well, I'm glad someone is able to do it. I'll just have to satisfy myself with finding the graves of all the far flung cousins in exotic places like Tumwater, Washington.

I traipsed around in the woods a bit last weekend looking for any sign of morel mushrooms. A little too dry still but I'd imagine the warmer nights and rain we get this week will bring them up. The ground smells ready for them at any rate. I could feel Jake's persence very strongly out there. He always helped me find mushrooms. He had a better nose for morels than a pig for truffles. I really miss that dog. I surveyed the tornado damage to our barn at our farm wher my aunt lives. I microburst or something like it sideswiped the barn and the wind got inside qand made one wall burst like a balloon. It severely cracked a horizontal support timber that we will have to replace. Illinois is so fun during tornado season.

Hopefully this weekend will be spent fishing, finding mushrooms, tilling the garden plot and getting the tractor ready for another season of mowing.




( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 11th, 2006 07:56 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a great trip. Those pictures are gorgeous!
Apr. 11th, 2006 08:08 pm (UTC)
I spent most of my time looking up at the ceiling. In May I'll spend most of my time in the bar at the Embassy Suites where I'm staying or crusing around town looking for blues bars and Irish pubs. Oh and I guess I'll go to classes ocassionally too.

Apr. 11th, 2006 09:49 pm (UTC)
Do you have morels already? I guess I had better get out and look a little. Maybe I'll have better luck than last year.
Apr. 11th, 2006 09:57 pm (UTC)
I'd imagine this weekend or next they will start. They are usually finished here by the first weekend in May.

Apr. 12th, 2006 02:05 am (UTC)
E. Coli like this?

I'd rather catch that than the flesh-eating virus or syphilis.
Apr. 12th, 2006 02:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah that's the one. He's such a squeezable little guy. Deb's cousin actually got E. Coli after her last kid was born. I'm going to let her squeeze my little pet E. coli doll.

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


Wander aka StoneBear
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