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  1. I’m so sorry you’re going through this with no definitive answers yet. I hope you will be able to get better information soon.
  2. Exped makes very comfortable air mattresses that will mostly self inflate and then easily roll up. Thicker ones would be the most comfortable. Not cheap, though. I can’t link atm but would recommend the MegaMat Max 15 Sleeping Pad. REI and other places sell them.
  3. @knitgrl next time you visit, you might like to attend Mass at Saint Clement in Lincoln Park. It is a beautiful church, Byzantine-like, with music to match. They are always doing things for others, too. It’s pretty easy to get there by bus or train.
  4. Prayers for your son, Janeway. I hope he’ll be okay.
  5. I agree with going in to a local nursery, maybe one that has a selection of locally grown natives. You’ll want to let them know how much sun the location gets, whether it’s morning or afternoon. Tell them you want nice looking and low to no maintenance and what you mean by low to no maintenance (low maintenance one person might be too much maintenance to another). Here are some ideas to look through in the meantime. Some of these are more showy in winter, some are fragrant, etc. Think about what you would like and narrow it down from there. You can already exclude the larger bushes listed. https://www.gardenia.net/guide/native-plant-alternatives-to-nandina-domestica
  6. The majority of people in the US are deficient. Avoid the synthetic vitamin E, dL alpha-tocopherol. If you see the letter “L” after “d”, don’t buy.
  7. Now this is what we all really need: https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2016/07/117576/modobag-motorized-luggage
  8. If you are going to the Bean or the Art Institute, which are close to each other, you might want to also see Lurie Garden, designed by Piet Oudolf, and maybe the gardens on the south side of the Art Institute. Across the street -- the second floor of the Chicago Athletic Association (a Hyatt hotel) on Michigan Avenue which has a beautiful dark-wood lounge where you can sit by one of the fireplaces or just take a rest. There is a cool game room that gets hopping in the evening toward the back where you can shoot pool and play other games. The CAA also has activities open to the public. A few blocks west is Revival Food Hall. They have quite a few restaurant options here with unique menus. If you go here, study the their menus beforehand. Then order what you like and find a place to sit and eat. Note the hours that it's open. It caters to businesses in that area. Paper Source, a gift and paper store, is right next door. Michigan Avenue, imo, has lost some of its luster in the past few years. Water Tower Place (mall) is practically dead. There are still shops and whatnot but it's not so magnificent anymore. North of the river is the Merchandise Mart. You can walk through during the day. It's busier on weekdays. Weekends you have to enter through doors that are open. You can walk around the 2nd floor food court and window shop the fancy home decorating stores on the 1st and 2nd floors. A bit north is Eataly, a huge dining and grocery store which sells Italian food. It's fun to walk through. I like their focaccia station the most. You can get all kinds. On State Street is Osteria Via Stato, an Italian restaurant that makes excellent cracker-crust pizza. Salads are good, too. This is my favorite pizza in Chicago. Go for lunch for pizza, salads and the BLT sandwich. Across the street are some boutiques. POSH seems like a snooty store but isn't. The people who run it are really nice. Feel free to browse and not buy. The Hancock's Signature Room is closed but the lounge is open. It's called CloudBar. Drinks are pricey but if you want to see a nice view, it's a good place to go. Don't go when it's cloudy because you might not see much. If the clouds are below, though, the views can be interesting. Navy Pier has a lot to do and has Shakespeare Theatre. This weekend is Expo Chicago, an exposition of art galleries from around the world (not free). Velvet Taco on State and Cedar is one of my favorite fancy dive taco joints. Their tacos are unusual. You can order your food and then go upstairs to eat by one of the big windows while people watching Mariano Park (aka Viagra Triangle). This is a hopping area especially in summer. For nightlife or brunch, I'd recommend walking up and down Wells Street in the Old Town neighborhood. This is a few miles north of Millenium Park and is accessible by buses and trains. Wells Street between Divison (south) and then North Avenue (north) has quite a few restaurants and is usually hopping. Happy Camper has good pizzas and salads as well as a decent happy hour with good food and drinks. It's closer to Division Street. Dom's is an upscale grocery store that has some unique items. Lincoln Park Zoo and the nearby Conservatory are worth seeing. If you want to get a walk in, you could walk from Astor at Division and head north to the zoo. Just follow the walking trails past North Avenue. This is my favorite walk in fall. If you're hungry, Egg Tuck on Clark just north of Fullerton has delicious egg sandwiches. It's based on Korean fast food. They are super tasty. RJ Grunts is close to the zoo as well. They are a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant. Reasonably priced restaurants with yummy food: m. henry on Clark Street in the Andersonville neighborhood for breakfast/brunch. My faves: dandelion/shallot/leek/fontina cheese omelet and the Bliss Cakes. Afterward walk up and down Clark Street to explore Andersonville shops. Egg Tuck for egg sandwiches near Lincoln Park. Cafe BaBaReba, a tapas joint owned by Lettuce Entertain You. Happy hour has a decent selection of good appetizers and drinks. It's in the Lincoln Park/DePaul area. Businesses are around Armitage and Halsted. Dove's Luncheonette. Food is great. It's a hip diner in Wicker Park which is a hip area with lots of boutiques, restaurants and also the 606 (the Bloomingdale Trail), an elevated walking and biking trail that is landscaped. Don't go all the way west but do go all the way east. Lulu's in the Logan Square neighborhood. Excellent food. Make a reservation. Casual, hip place. Gets very busy at times. Xoco, Rick Bayless's restaurant in River North. Lines get long at lunch. Study the menu.
  9. Some tiles look better than others. Some are so good, they look like ceramic. Some are groutable. Here is what I do for vinyl tiles and tiles that can be cut with a snap-blade utility knife. Choosing Tiles Imo, it is worth the time to choose your tile. Get an actual sample if you can. You can do online searches or look on Pinterest and go to websites if the links are there. Etsy might be a place to check out. The big box hardware stores carry peel and stick tiles as well. They tend to have a limited selection in the store but a larger selection online. Aspect is one popular brand. Read reviews about any tiles you like. Some bond well to the wall and others don’t. Reviewers will often have suggestions such as painting on a bonding agent before hand. Tools A snap-off utility knife for cutting. For some cuts, the wider 18mm knife is a better choice while for more detailed cuts or whittling, the narrower 9mm knife works better. I snap off a lot of blades as I go along so that the blade is sharp and always have replacement blades on hand. Olfa makes good quality snap-off blades. Cheaper knives do not always hold the blade securely and can twist while cutting which could end up making wonky cuts or worse, slice your fingers. Use a metal straight edge for cuts and put pieces of double-sided sticky tape on the back to help prevent it from sliding while you cut. A large self-healing cutting mat is also useful. A level to make a line on the wall for your starting row of tiles can be useful. Tape measure. Prep and Layout The backsplash area should be cleaned well so that the adhesive bonds to the wall. Remove outlet and switch covers so you can tile under them. Create a work area, maybe a table or your floor. Think about your layout. Generally, you don’t want to end up with slivers of tile at the ends. If your counter is not level, your tiles won’t be either if you begin laying whole tiles on the counter. In a case like this, you could make slight adjustments to the bottom of the tiles so that the top line is level. I am nit picky and would do this myself but others don’t mind lines being off. It would drive me crazy, though! Cutting Cut with lighter pressure when making your first pass with the blade. This will create a trough for the following cuts. You will probably have to make multiple passes to cut all the way through your tile. You can also bend the tile to snap the cut after you’ve made a few passes. The edges are sometimes rough though and if it were me, I’d cut off the jagged edges that stick out. For an intricate cut, such as going around an electrical outlet, you can make a template by filling in the untiled area with sticky notes, index cards or pieces of cardboard that are pieced together and taped very well to each other. Then take the template, flip it and tape it to the back of the tile you’ll be cutting. These take time to do but you can get a snug fit this way. YouTube YouTube has how-to videos that show how to do all of this and offer tips and recommendations.
  10. Food splurges for us are salmon roe macadamia nuts organic fruits and veggies We eat the above pretty much daily, though. I still see them as spluges because other cheaper options are available.
  11. I recently used stain-removing toothpaste to clean a badly stained white teapot. Nothing else was working and the toothpaste worked very well. It only took about a teaspoon to clean the whole pot and no hard scrubbing. Stains came right off.
  12. I follow Ronald Krauss’s research and recommendations when it comes to cholesterol. https://www.foundmyfitness.com/episodes/ronald-krauss https://nst.berkeley.edu/users/ronald-m-krauss
  13. Yes, when I lived in Chicago I had a drivers license. My kids all got theirs in Chicago as well.
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