On The Positive Side: The Birthday Party

Believe it or not, but the presents arrived at 5-30, Anna and & Family returned from the beach at the same time, and Igor and mom came shortly after. I locked myself in my bedroom to wrap the presents while my mom tried to get in and ask whether the presents arrived :).
I’ve got a dozen plastic cups filled with cherries and made two fruit bowls, and secured the candles “1” and “4” in the respective bowls.

The party turned out amazing. I was just thinking about the water balloons, but the neighbor kids were ahead of me and had a whole bucket of them ready:)

There was a balloon fight, and I told them it’s OK to throw balloons at me (I needed to cool down:)). Igor also offered himself as a target, and John smashed water balloons in his fist and threw them back. Also, one of the party items I bought out of desperation appeared to be the greatest hit: the tiny tubes of sparkling body gels! The girls covered themselves in sparkles, and I let them paint all parts of my body not covered with clothes πŸ™‚

Then, a neighbor who is a mother of three girls observed the battleground covered with tiny colorful pieces of rubber and suggested the contest: who will pick up most of the pieces will get the prize! The girls rushed to all corners of the courtyard, and in a matter of minutes, the courtyard was clean. We decided that the race was tight, and everybody got an extra cupcake πŸ™‚

My Balcony Garden

My amazing neighbors, who helped me to plan my balcony garden, took me to the WIndy City Nursery for flower shopping. I told them that they have to stop me because I am used to a bigger patch, but they laughed and said that this is therapeutic.

This whole project lasted for two weeks. I could not start with the garden when I moved because I was busy fixing the essentials, and then it was already “late in the season.” When I tried to buy the flower baskets, it turned out that most places were sold out. I finally purchased some on Amazon for a way higher price, and then it turned out that the “adjustable” brackets were not adjustable enough to fit my railing!
I tried to shop for different brackets, and then my neighbor who helped me with the bike told me that he could give me a saw to try to cut these brackets.

I spent a half-hour cutting one, and the baskets would still be wobbly. Then he told me that I could use zip tights to secure the baskets. It turned out they work perfectly! I should not have spent time on anything else!

The flower shopping was fantastic! The Windy City is a small family-owned place, but the variety of plants is truly amazing. I could not stop πŸ™‚

Continue reading “My Balcony Garden”

A Hectic Weekend

I am very unhappy about this weekend because I feel like I accomplished nothing (in contrast to the previous weekend). Yes, I had a lot to do, and I forgot how long the planting takes, but still – I needed to do all the things I didn’t do :).

I had several things to complete for both my current work and for my side job, and I completed less than a half for each of them. So now I have this feeling of “there are not enough hours in the week,” and it does not help.

Yesterday, I spent over an hour figuring out why my function did not work and finally went to bed without any solution. Before going to bed, I emailed Boris that things don’t work, and I panic. He replied that I should get out of panic because panic is not the right place for problem-solving. 

He was right, of course, and when I woke up, I figured out the stupid mistake I made the day before. I do not know how IT people who are married to non-IT people can survive!

Saturday was Boris’s birthday. Last year we still could not travel at that time, and I baked a rhubarb tart, and he bought a rhubarb tart, and we ate them on facetime πŸ™‚

This year, Boris said he does not have time to buy a rhubarb tart and that my apple cake is better anyway. So, yes, I baked the Georgis Apple cake yesterday. I told Boris that I would not tell anybody that it was with him in mind, and it was cool with him.

I brought the Apple cake down to the courtyard and messaged all the neighbors. Not everybody was there, of course, but those who were there loved it! Some people were still thanking me today πŸ™‚

I was really happy that I had a way to say Thank you to my amazing neighbors! And I will definitely bake it again πŸ™‚

I Am Definitely In a Bubble

Last Wednesday, there was another birthday party in the courtyard – one of the girls in our building turned five, and everybody came down to celebrate. Again, there were cupcakes, and kids running around, and games, and conversations. I talked to the neighbors, telling them again how lucky I feel moving to such a welcoming community. They enthusiastically agreed, and one lady said that she feels like she lives in a bubble. I told her that that’s the word I used to describe my current situation to my friends: it feels not real, and I live in a bubble.

We laughed about it, but it’s true! I can’t say enough how grateful I am for all the neighbor’s help, pieces of advice, and for making me feel at home.

The same neighbor who called it a bubble said: you had to travel all the countries and places to find your home finally!

Love My Neighbors! Am I In a Bubble?

I talked to the couple from the house next to mine about my future garden. They suggested we come and look at my balcony and draft a plan. While we were busy doing that, a neighbor from the unit next to mone walked out. He said he is going to get a new faucet from Lowe’sΒ 

— Not from Home Depot?

— No! No more Home Depot! Do you know how much they donated to Trump’s campaign?

No more questions asked. That’s my neighbors. Offering to look at my bike and to teach me some basic repairs. Asking whether I need something from Morse Market because they are going. Planning my garden. Neighbors who traveled the world. Neighbors who have more books in their homes I ever saw. Celebrating their child’s first birthday at the courtyard and offering cupcakes to all neighbors. Neighbors with all the right signs in their windows.

They say that in the suburbs, you live in a bubble. I feel like I like in a bubble right now :), and soon, I might forget that the rest of the world is not so perfect …