Morning Glory

Adelor was my breakfast companion this morning.  On my way home from the Green City Market, I stopped and sat by his exhibit to enjoy a moment of his magnificent-ness.  Adelor and I go way back.  His roar can be heard not only throughout Lincoln Park Zoo, but into the neighborhood has well.  He makes me happy and I consider myself lucky to be able to spend a moment gazing at this incredible creature.

For those of you who say they do not approve of zoos, know this:  Adelor is 18 years old and beginning to lose his eyesight.  He has not lost any of his lust for life, nor any of his pride and his two female companions still dote on him.  My question is this:  How different would this handsome devil’s life be if it wasn’t for the loving care he is receiving at the zoo?  If left in the wild, sadly Adelor would simply not be.

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Shiny, Happy People… or something like that

Ten years ago, I moved to Chicago from Southern California.  Although excited about the move, I was a little apprehensive.  I thought I was leaving the laid-back, friendly Southern California lifestyle for life in the big, impersonal city.  I could not have been more wrong!  Everyday life in Chicago has a much more friendly, neighborhoody, invested feel than I ever experienced on the West Coast.  Case it point:  my last 24 hours (condensed, obviously!):

Yesterday was Wednesday, and as any loyal reader knows (yes, all 4 of you!), that means my weekly trip to the Green City Market.  I get there by walking (something, I might point out, one never did in Southern California).  On my way there, I passed neighbors watering their plants, shopkeepers opening up their stores and sweeping off their entrances.  Everyone had a wave or a “good morning” to share.  I’m especially amazed by the owner of a neighborhood tavern by us called Tavish.  My husband and I go there, but certainly not regularly and we probably haven’t been in several months.  But you know what?  He knows us.  He knows we live in the neighborhood, so therefore he always waves and asks how I’m doing.

As I continued my journey to the market, I walked by the Lincoln Park Zoo.  Along the outskirts of the zoo is the enclosure for the wolves.  They are a timid bunch, and are rarely seen unless you take the time to really search them out in the underbrush or in their rock caves.  Yesterday morning, two of them were sitting on the rocks sniffing the morning air.  They glanced my way… and although I realize it is sheer coincidence… one nodded.  I know better, but I’d like to think he was acknowledging me with his own symbolic tip of the hat.  At least it fits this blog post, so work with me!

After purchasing my fruits and veggies at the market I made a beeline to my favorite baker for my Wednesday morning ritual (see previous post) of a brioche roll.  This time, I didn’t have to order!  The baker looked at me and asked “The usual?”  Very cool.

Fast forward to today.  I took a trip to my regular butcher shop, Paulina Meat Market.  Words cannot express how much I adore this place.  I have basically given up buying meat anywhere else.  It is totally old school and fantastic.  I walked in and as I approached the counter one of the butchers looks up, smiles and says “Hiya Hon…how were those ribs for the 4th?”  Again, very cool… and by the way… they were amazing.

Finally, although this last item doesn’t really fit this post, it certainly fits the overall theme of this blog and serves for my daily QuickQi.  I returned home from the butcher shop and took a minute to water the plants in the front of our house.  Three doors down there was a landscaping company working on replanting my neighbor’s front and balcony.  One of the gardeners walked over, said hello and then asked me “Who did your balcony?”.  With a wide smile I replied: “I did”!  Thank you very much!

Serendipity

Caruso

I love it when a plan comes together…. even when I didn’t know I had a plan.  This morning I began my morning walk from the Lincoln Park Zoo back home as I do several times a week.

First off, a confession:  There is another man in my life.  His name is Caruso and, well… how do I put this?  He’s a lesser ape.  A White-Cheeked Gibbon to be exact.  Anyway, we have had our little “thing” for many years now.  He definitely recognizes me and greets me whenever I stop by.  If the weather is cold and he’s inside, I get a little dance from him.  If the weather is nice (like it was this morning), he swings over to me and sings a little song.  This connection between us always brightens my day and can easily count as my Quick Qi all on its own.

This morning was the first time in many months that I saw him outside. He immediately swung over and chattered out his greeting song and then proceeded to sit by me and suck his thumb.  Normal procedure — I don’t judge.

As I said my farewell and headed off home, I was thinking to myself how wonderful it was that the weather had finally changed and warmed up and I was enjoying all the fabulous landscaping and spring flowers that abound at the zoo as I put in my iPod and hit “play” for my walk/jog home.

First song up?  http://youtu.be/PXuIiHKk0H0 .  My all-time favorite artist, Jamie Cullum singing one of his best.  These are the days…. indeed!