Posts Categorized: Favorites

Small Business Saturday Nov. 26

Remember to visit your favorite independent bookstore on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday (Nov. 25 -26). My favorite is This Old Book in Grayslake, Illinois. Visit Friday for 25% off of all books, maps, and artwork. On Saturday they’re giving away two totes filled with specially selected books: one for children and one for adults. Visit their website at

While you might expect to find books for sale at a hair salon, Edison the Christmas Elf and the Imperfect Perfect Toy as well as Vanished! will be available at Dianna’s Salon & Spa (310 West Rollins, Round Lake, Illinois) as they celebrate Small Business Saturday. Visit Dianna’s website:

A Visit Worth the Trip

Nothing planned for the weekend in Chicago except maybe a Cubs’ game? What about a trip to the Art Institute for its exhibit, After the Fall: Painting in the 1930s. The exhibit consists of fifty paintings by some of the most important artists of the time, among them: Georgia O’Keefe, Grant Wood, and my favorite, Edward Hopper. The thirties was a time of chaos, social upheaval, and rapid change. Because of the Great Depression, Americans questioned their values and beliefs, their faith in institutions that had previously been reliable and stable, and even their identity as Americans. All of this doubt was reflected in the world of art during the thirties. The exhibit runs through September 18 so time is short. Visit the Institute and you just might find a favorite painting. I did: Edward Hopper’s New York Movie 1939.


Minnie Minoso – Mr. White Sox


When I was growing up I was an avid White Sox fan. I wore my Sox hat all day, every day. More than one person told me that if I didn’t take it off I would be bald before I got to high school. I guess they were right although their time estimate was off – it took many decades before I started losing my hair. Anyway, the hat stayed on my head. After all, I had to support my team. More to the point, one of my favorite players was Minnie Minoso who was known as the Cuban Comet for his speed and Mr. White Sox for his record-setting contributions to the team. Mr. Minoso died in Chicago on February 28, 2015 at the age of 93. Like Ernie Banks, Mr. Cub, Minnie Minoso was an incredibly popular and dynamic player. I once met Mr. Minoso while I was working at a small pharmaceutical company based in Skokie. He had come for the launch of a company fund-raising campaign. The moment he stepped out on the stage to speak, his smile and personality lit up the entire auditorium. I don’t remember what he said, but I’ll never forget that smile and his warm. I have never met anyone so full of joy and enthusiasm. He was a remarkable player and person. The world is a sadder place with his passing.

Christmas Dog Biscuit Recipe

Christmas is near and while it’s a time for family and friends, it’s also a time to remember the family dog. So here’s a recipe for dog biscuits guaranteed to delight your four-footed friend.

Dog Biscuit Recipe (from D. Barchus)


4 Cups whole-wheat flour

2 Cups quick-cooking oats

2 & ½ Cups warm water

½ Cup natural peanut butter

Baking instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine all ingredients

On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until it is firm. If the dough is too sticky, add warm water 1 tablespoon at a time

Roll dough to ¼ inch thickness and cut with a cookie cutter of your choice; transfer to cookie sheet

Bake for 40 minutes

Turn off heat and let biscuits stand in oven until hard (about 1 to 2 hours)