In Search Of A Bike

After looking for my potential new bike online, Boris insisted we should go just to any shop to touch and feel and see how I would like it. First, we went to one of the Evanstone’s shops which had very good reviews on the internet, and after that, we went to the shop where I usually have my bikes checked and tuned. We didn’t go there in the first place because I knew they have a very small inventory, and even if I ordered from them, I wanted to see some bikes in the flesh.
That was a very interesting experience :). The prices and the way the service went were so different and so much geared to the respective demographics of Evanston and Rogers Park that it was not even funny. And especially interesting was the conversation with the owner of the Rogers Park shot: he talked at length about the current inventory problems, shipments from China, and unpredictable demand. At some point, he mentioned a bike shop “somewhere in Libertivill” and how they “could sell twenty $1,500 e-bikes, because they have people who make 150K over there, and I can sell maybe one because where here I can find families who make 150K?!” We kept nodding 🙂

In the end, we figured out which model and size I needed, and now we will be waiting for a shipment, which may be a month, maybe three…

I Can Do It!

I use this new bag for a while now, but Boris didn’t see it in use yet, so I guess he didn’t believe me when I said that now all my shopping needs are satisfied. When I told him that I needed to go to the Devon Market and took my shopping bike bag from the shelf, he was about to go along. I told him there is no need, and he looked at me suspiciously and asked whether I am sure. Last summer, I used his presence here to stock up because I could not bring all I need on the bike at once.

I reassured him that now I could indeed do it alone, and I only called him from downstairs when I returned, and then I asked him to come down and “unload the donkey.”

He had to carry the bag upstairs, and when I parked my bike and also came upstairs, he told me very enthusiastically that now he believes me that I can bring all the groceries home by myself. “Hight Five to Swedes!” he added, meaning that this bad was made in Sweden :).

But seriously – the best bag ever!

Summer Grocery Shopping

Three things make grocery shopping in summer fun. First, I need to shop less because I decided to keep both of my CSA sign-ups (a half-share with Urban Canopy and a small share with Nichols Farms), and both are delivered to my house. 

The second is that Glenwood Street Market moved back to its location right by Morse CTA station, so it is now super-close to my place, and it operates on Sunday! Saturday markets are always challenging because there are too many things happening on Saturday mornings!

The ribbon-cutting two weeks ago

And the third one is that I can bike to the stores. Earlier this year, Boris found a perfect bike “saddle” bag: it is extremely spacious, easy to attach to the bike rack, and perfectly balanced. 

Onine Ordering

One of my New Year resolutions was to optimize the way I use my time, and as a part of this, not to hesitate to spend money when it saves time. Specifically, I decided to use home delivery more.

I was always very reluctant to let somebody else choose my produce. When I lived in Palatine and would drive my car, it just didn’t make sense – it was faster to drive to the store and get all I needed than spend time looking for the products online. Now the situation is different. Almost till the end of the year, I could bike to the stores. Then, it was not a waste of time, but exercising. But after the snow settled on the ground, the situation changed, and I decided to try something new.

First, I finally gave in to Amazon Fresh. I was surprised to see that 1) the prices were competitive 2) I could purchase some produce I didn’t see in the stores for a long time, such as non-fat siggis and skyr. My first try (a week before I left for Helsinki) was a success. Encouraged by it, I decided to pre-order some food for the evening I would be back. It looked like a great solution. My plane was scheduled to arrive at 6 PM, and it would be close to 8 when I would get home, so most of the stores would be closed. I ordered lots of fruits and dairy for the 8 PM -10 PM delivery window. At about 8-40, I received a notification that my order was out for delivery and that all items were available. Then I received a message that “my stop is next” and started to listen to the buzzer. And then, to my dismay, I saw another message: sorry, your order could not be delivered.

Continue reading “Onine Ordering”

That’s How I Go Shopping These Days

Last time Boris was here, he talked me into using the bike’s luggage rack. Before that’ I was a little bit sceptical about my abilities to keep the balance/ Also, I didn’t realize how much stuff you can carry on your bike this way. Now, I am shopping at Devon Market, and at once a week the Glenwood Street Market.

And I am planningt to use my bike for shopping as soon long as possible (not sure how winter will look like)


It’s that time of the year when squirrels run around with their tails up, getting food supplies into their nest to help them last through the winter. That’s what I thought of myself when I went to IKEA last Saturday, the first time after it reopened. I ran out of everything and needed to replenish supplies.

Do you know that nobody except IKEA sells cookies or cracker with cardamon?!
Lave both of these teas!
New cups
Continue reading “IKEA”

I can’t believe it’s still Friday!

‘I can’t believe it’s still Friday!” – that’s what I said to myself about an hour ago. A Friday of Independence Day weekend, which would be perfect, if happened in the time of peace.
Even though there are none of the usual Independence Day activities, I still planned a lot. This week, I finally felt that I am very close to a usual self, active, getting things done, making plans, and completing the projects.

We had a shortened workday yesterday, and I was able to complete some of my shopping and other errands. I stopped myself from trying to do even more, knowing that I would be entirely exhausted by the end of the day if I tried. After all, I am not thirty-five anymore. That was a wise decision – I had enough energy today not only to finish shopping but also to finalize my order for the new stairs in the Home Depot. It might sound not like a big deal, but that’s what I had to do:

1) to come there without the laminate samples I took home several weeks ago to choose the best match
2) run back home with another, more promising sample to check 3) stop at ALDI on the way home, because it was indeed on the way.
4) pay with my Home Depot credit card.
5) lose my card somewhere in the store
6) rush home, call the credit card to report a loss.
7) at some point to receive a text message from my neighbor, that she needs some help with her computer
8) come to her house and fix the problem (which fortunately ended up having nothing to do with a computer)
I also did a lot of cooking and baking, and fixing some floral arrangements on the deck, which were damaged during recent storms, and installed a new printer at mom’s house.
Today, this bubble in my eye is finally gone, and I started to wear contacts again. That also helps me to feel more like a human 🙂

While discussing with Boris this whole situation of masks and not masks, we were trying to figure out why it all worked in Finland, although the face-covering was never mandatory there. Boris said that he thinks it’s mostly because of air conditioning. In Finland, most private houses do not have it and all office workers are still working from home and are supposed to continue in the same manner until September.

The airconditioning idea looks very logical. It would explain the Southern states’ spikes. It’s not really the fact that they were opening too rapidly, but rather “how many people trickled into the newly opened bars with airconditioning.”
I guess I will wear a mask in the office, even if I will be the only one who will return back 🙂

The First Trip to The Farmer’s Market

The Palatine Farmers market started its season lost Friday, and I didn’t even know! So this Saturday, I was determined to go. I thought that it would be a great idea to bike there, but we had a frost last night! Most likely, the last frost of the season, but cold enough for lots of my impatiences to die. It was not deadly for humans, for sure, but it made a ride unpleasant. So for today, I took a car to the train station and then walked to the market.

It was such a pleasure to see familiar faces, even when in masks and six feet apart. And even more so, to hear that people recognize me, even when my face is covered with a mask and sunglasses.

I bought some micro-greens from my farmers.

Continue reading “The First Trip to The Farmer’s Market”