A Splendorous Friday December 14 in Chicago

Triskaidekaphobics fear Friday the 13th, but we almost need to invent a new word on the other end of the spectrum for the Friday the 14th that Chicago experienced.

I posted a number of times on Fall Foliage and the experience of the changing seasons here in Chicago. Typical Fall goings on. The leaves turn colors and drop from the branches.

But, here it is a week before the official start of winter and it feels like someone has turned back the clock. To be sure, most trees are barren of leaves. But, we had spring-like conditions Friday.

Here is Monroe Harbor Bereft of boats, but glistening in sunshine

Here is Monroe Harbor bereft of boats, but glistening in sunshine. That’s Navy Pier in the background

The normal high for December 14 is 35 degrees Fahrenheit with a low of 23. We experienced a high of 49 F and a low of 31. Notice that the low is only four degrees under the normal high. In addition, we basked in a luxurious sunny day with very little wind. Most un-Decemberlike. The weather bureau reports that we have just set a record of 285 days without measurable snow. The last such snowfall was March 4. The latest “first measurable snow of season” – December 16, 1965.

Good for a double take - a sightseeing boat in mid-December

Good for a double take – a sightseeing boat in mid-December on Lake Michigan

The day started in the 30s, but worked its way up fast. I felt like it was an imposter 30s because there was no bite to the air. On my first bike ride, I didn’t take the dog, because she doesn’t ride in less than 45F weather. I enjoy having her with me, but I don’t want to be practicing animal abuse in the bargain. By the time I got home from the ride, however, the temp had risen above 40F and I knew I would have company if/when I rode in the afternoon.

I hope these photos demonstrate just what a gorgeous day we had here. Keep in mind that mid-December in Chicago could have blizzard-like conditions.

Gabi taking a rest on a bench wearing only a hoodie in mid-December

Gabi taking a rest on a bench wearing only a hoodie in mid-December

I ride my bike every day that I can, so the variance in temperature meant that I wore a different outfit. Also, I don’t take my dog with when we have less than 45 F.

Because I carry my iPhone with me on rides, I was able to record some of the day’s splendor.

This past Friday was indeed one to remember and for which to be thankful for to a generous providence.



A Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration today. I wanted to share this photo from mine which was lovely.

This is a picture with a story. My teen age daughter is holding her dog and my dog (the one in green). I naively brought my dog Gabi to visit my daughter, Kate, thinking she might play with Kate’s dog, Mooshie. Mooshie loved Gabi and followed her everywhere, but Gabi would have nothing to do with her. I asked Kate to hold them both for a picture. You can see that Mooshie continued her overtures, and Gabi, continued to ignore her.

This photo isn’t a work of art, but I love the emotions being displayed.

I hope you got a chance to celebrate Thanksgiving and express your gratitude for some of the blessings in your life. Remember, when you give gratitude you get back more than you sent out.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Sweet Cycling Surprise

I am a member of The Chainlink, Chicago’s Online Cycling Community. They had a Halloween contest about creative uses of a bicycle. I entered a picture of my bike with the basket on the front and the pet carrier in it. My little poodle was sitting in the basket. As it turns out I won the contest. I have a small amount of guilt about winning as I think the photo of my bike with little Gabi sitting in the basket won on the basis of being so darn cute.

Here is the photo that won of my bike (and cute dog).

First prize was a tin of bicycle cookies with one a replica of my bicycle.

I think Rocky, the baker, did a great job on the cookies and they taste delicious, too. (Thanks, Julie, for bringing them down.)


My Dog, My Bike, Buckingham Fountain

This is a picture from a couple of years ago when I first got the front carrier assembled for riding with my dog. I am not sure why I shot the photo as there doesn’t seem to be any attempt at composition. Yet, I really like it. Maybe it’s the lack of composition, it is kind of whimsical. The Fountain sprays away, poochie looks cute and my bike is there. All things I enjoy greatly.

Anyway, enjoy!


One of My Favorite Things … Gabi My Little Poodle

This is Gabi, my six year old teacup poodle.

At nearly 14 pounds, I consider her more a teapot poodle than teacup.  Nonetheless, she is my companion of six years and going strong. Actually, I wrote up my adopting Gabi in guysandgoodhealth.com another blog that I write for. Here is the link if you would like to read it.

Here she is in the Fall wearing one of her hoodies and needing grooming

Here she is last week with no hoodie and well groomed.

I just wanted to show a few shots of her. As you could see from other photos, she rides in the basket on my bike when the temp here is over 40 degrees F.