Monthly Archives: August 2016

Out of the Mouth of Kepler

Kepler loves using my cell phone. He gets more and more adept with it all the time. He doesn’t really understand the whole wi-fi vs data streaming thing, and I’m racking my brains trying to explain it, because I’m very keen for him to use data on wi-fi, but he loves playing songs on YouTube. At home, that’s covered. In the car, it’s streaming.

Tonight, he was scrolling through my photos. I daresay this is an exercise in self-admiration since the majority of my photos are of him, either selfies he takes, or me just catching him in all kinds of adorable poses.

As he got to the pictures from our recent trip to Chicago, he zeroed in on the one of him by the plaque in the Adler Planetarium which mentions Johann[es] Kepler.

“Jo-hann Kep-ler,” he said. I was surprised that he remembered Kepler’s first name.

Being the Kepler in the center of his own universe, and rightly so, he deduced that “Johann” is a sort of title, like Mr. or Mrs. or perhaps just a nice name to preface other names with. So, he thinks and thinks (finks and finks, in his parlance) and then he says,

Johann Mom! Johann Anna-Jessie! Johann Eli! And a few more, but I think you probably get the picture. I love to see his mind work. What a treasure he is!


Doing Business with Juan and Roberto

Several weeks ago, my car stalled out on the highway. I couldn’t restart it, and thankfully had the presence of mind to keep my foot off the brakes, since there was no shoulder to pull off onto. I knew my exit was coming up, so I managed to coast onto my exit and then off onto the shoulder.

I looked under the hood at the mysterious pieces of metal and rubber which do who knows what and I was unable to detect the problem. Heh.


Six weeks later, after much to-ing and fro-ing about whether or not to replace the engine, I placed an ad on Craigslist to sell the car as is, needing a new engine. I woke the next morning to an inbox full of messages expressing interest.

Craigslist is what soup would be if you picked up your refrigerator and dumped everything into the pot, containers, mold, vitamins, and all. I had to laugh at some of the responses. People who offered me half of what I was asking, which was already a very low price. The guy who sent me a scam message with a fake “craihgslist” link. And the man who told me this huge story, apologizing for not getting back to me (?) sooner because he was in the military and his squadron had been put on duty just that day, or something like that.

And then there were Juan and Roberto. They offered me MORE than my asking price and offered to drive over that day and pick up the car. So, I agreed. I mean, who wouldn’t? I told more than one of my family members that day that I would believe it when I see it. After all, the internet is rife with stories about people who apparently do not read well. For all I knew, these guys maybe hadn’t read the ad closely. But I figured, no loss if they do not show.

But they did! Juan sat in the pickup talking on the phone, while Roberto got out to do the deal. “Hey, Juan, spanish, spanish, spanish.” “Si, Roberto, spanish, spanish, spanish.” Me: “Does [Juan] speak English, because I do not speak Spanish.” (secretly wondering if they were trying to pull a fast one on me, not because they were Hispanic, but because I’m writing the story!)

“I thought your hossband  would be here.” said Juan, clearly bemused by my insistence that he go with me to get the title transferred.

Me, remembering ALL THE STORIES, so not going to give away any details: “No, he couldn’t make it today.” (Because he is in Phoenix at the moment, but that’s my secret!)

Time to settle up. Roberto: “You said $x00?” with x being $150 dollars less than the agreed-upon price. Ha, ha, ha, I laughed heartily. You think I was born yesterday?

Title transferred, my purse full of legal currency (I hope!), and off they go, back to their home city, two hours away. And it had been a pleasure.

I forgot to get the plates off the car, and I wanted them, so Juan said he would mail them to me. And guess what? He did. They arrived yesterday.

The first time I have ever sold a car is now in the history books. And if Juan and Roberto come calling to buy your car, I highly recommend working with them.


5/7 of us Together in One Place!

Newsies on Tour

If there’s one thing we Taylor women like, it’s musicals. And we don’t mind traveling to other cities to see the ones we really want to see. With one last opportunity to see Newsies before the tour closes, we decided to make a trip to the Windy City for a show.IMG_6822 Bright and Early Saturday morning, we piled in to our rented wheels and headed north by northwest, arriving in time for the girls to catch the commuter train into the city and enjoy one last trip through Newsies.

We’re now making plans to catch Hamilton when it starts in Chicago. In the meantime,

Dreams come true. Yeah they do. In Santa Fe.
Where does it say you gotta live and die here?
Where does it say a guy can’t catch a break?
Why should you only take what you’re given?
Why should you spend your whole life living trapped where there ain’t no future…

I ain’t getting any younger.
And I wanna start brand new.
I need space. And fresh air.
Let ’em laugh in my face. I don’t care.
Save my place. I’ll be there.

(reprinted from

Oh Gee, Oh Giordanos!

If there’s one thing we Taylor parents like, it’s Giordano’s pizza. And when we’re in the Chicagoland area, we make sure to pick up a pizza, or two, or sometimes three. There just isn’t anything comparable in Cincinnati, although I did hear that supposedly Giordano’s intends to open a couple of shops here in the next year or so. We shall see.

The Adler Planetarium

If there’s one thing we Taylors like, it’s SPACE. Somehow, even though Greg and I went to college in the Chicago area, and lived there for some time after we graduated, we never made it to the Adler Planetarium. IMG_8579Guess we were too busy going to Giordano’s!

This weekend, we had the time and the space (ha) to visit. And what a wonderful place it is!

The displays were accessible to Kepler. I don’t mean accessible in the “handicapped accessible” sense, but in the sense that there were buttons, and switches, and lights, and displays, and costumes that he could use and enjoy!

The Planetarium does a tremendous job of showing the scale of space. Took me awhile, but I figured out that giant yellow ball in the center of the first floor was the . . . sun. Lake Michigan laps up against the sidewalk which surrounds the Planetarium, so we circled the whole building before getting around to going inside.

Here the kids were playing around in the astronomy school exhibit. Signs informed us that  only young men were admitted to the schools. We’ve come a long way baby and I’m glad my daughters have the opportunities they have now.

Our First College Visit!

If there’s one things we Taylors like, it’s a liberal arts education. While we were in town, we took the opportunity to visit Loyola University. Are we Catholic? No. Are we Jesuits? Well, no. But that’s ok. We like Lake Michigan and Loyola is right on the lake! The prospective student liked what she saw. Now, where is that scholarship book I checked out of the library . . .

We also visited the University of Chicago, Greg’s old stomping grounds from graduate school. What a beautiful place. The whole area just reeked of intellectuals and education!

Not Quite the Whole Family

If there’s one thing we Taylors like, it’s family. It’s been awhile since we have been able to be together as an entire family, since Jude is in California, and we missed both boys greatly, but we loved having at least 5 of us together for a weekend.

And School is Just around the Corner!