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You would think that having a sugar factory in the vicinity would lead to lovely smells wafting through the air and giving you the feeling that you're living in Candyland, wouldn't you? Nope. Uh uh. There were a couple of chocolate factories on the south side of Chicago that did that. They made everything smell ambrosial if the wind was just right. Sugar beet processing just releases the nastiest rotten boiled rancid smell that hangs over everything like the sickly sweet sister of street tar. There's a Danisco mini-Gary, Indiana-factory just over the highway and while it's up and running from October to January, the stench is sometimes unreal.

Today's a busy day at work, so I don't have time to write much. We have a work dinner tonight which almost got cancelled because our manager's daughter is sick, but he decided to stick his wife with the vomity kid and go out to eat anyway.

The tree is up, but not yet decorated. The house is (mostly) clean. The little bathroom is (nearly) finished. Mom comes tomorrow and I'm leaving work early to pick her up and then race back to Malmö for the warm up at 5:00 before our big concert at 6:30.

Julstress, indeed!
mood: working
music: Dire Straits—Skateaway


Ohhhh...I have smelled the good Chicago chocolate smells! My husband works downtown, and he takes the Metra from our FAR northwest suburb, so he rides past at least one chocolate factory every day. I know there's one within walking distance of his office in the Loop. I think there's a Hydrox cookie factory somewhere around here too. Sometimes, it just smells sooooooo good!

I wonder if it would smell good around a bread factory. I bet it would be delish! Or maybe it would just smell like overdone yeast or something.

I never knew exactly where they were, but I could smell them from the Loop and when I drove through the south side occasionally. There was a mayonnaise factory somewhere too, but it just made everything smell greasy. :) Where do you live? I'm so envious of everyone in Chicago, I really really miss it.

We live in Lake In The Hills, wich used to be a tiny bump along Randall Road south of Crystal Lake but is now a full-blown village in its own right. I grew up in Crystal Lake...Rob grew up in Elgin. I work in Elgin for the time being, and Rob's commutes all the way from LITH to the Loop. It sucks for him! We live way too far away from the City to make commuting practical. But that's a different topic entirely.

All of my family and all of Rob's family live in Chicago and the burbs too. I have family in Des Plaines and Schuamburg, and one brother who just moved to Lincoln Park after Thanksgiving. We're Chicago people, I guess.

We're thinking of moving away, though, because housing prices are just so SO high! The only place we can afford to live is so far away that it's a miserable commute. We're thinking about Madison, WI. We have friends there, and the housing prices are much much more reasonable. We'll see. For now, we're here. :)

I know the housing prices started going through the roof right about the time we moved to Sweden (1996-97). Some of the things I've heard from friends still there make me realize that it wouldn't be easy to afford moving back there even if that was a plan, which it's not, at the moment. What a bummer!!! I lived in Arlington Heights and then Schaumburg when I first got to Chicago, and worked in Des Plaines. Then moved downtown to Lakeview and LOVED it. :) My dad grew up on the North Side, in Evanston, and my grandmother lived in Winnetka and Northbrook until she died.

After I met Anders and we were living together downtown, he commuted out to Buffalo Grove and it usually took TWO HOURS each way. I feel for your husband! We certainly don't miss Chicago traffic!

My stepdad grew up in Evanston. Maybe they know each other! That would be so funny.

What's your dad's name? My stepdad is William (Bill) Broman, and his parents were Cyrus (Cy) and Charlotte (Char) Broman. They owned a nightclub downtown and lived in Evanston.

John Whitney Slaughter. He went to New Trier (and dated ANN-MARGARET for 3 months, I shit you not!) and then to Michigan State. He died, though, at the end of 1996.

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that! Open mouth, insert foot, I guess.

I'll ask my stepdad if he knew your dad. That would be pretty cool. New Trier is SUCH a good school! I am jealous.

Don't be sorry, it's okay! How could you be expected to know? :) He died 7 years ago and it wasn't at all unexpected (diabetes). It IS cool that New Trier still has such a good reputation so many many years later! It would be really weird if your stepdad knew my father, though :) *it's a small world after alllll"

When I was a kid, my mom used to work security for a sugar beet processing plant in Idaho. I remember that smell. And not only that, she'd go through shoes like you wouldn't believe, and everyone who worked there, you could tell, just by looking at their cars. The acidity in the air just really ate away at everything. Really nasty stuff. Ugh!

Bleah! I'm glad the wind is usually blowing north of us so we don't have to bathe in that reek for 4-5 months!

Sugar beets, one of those unforgettable smells, just like living near a fattening yard for cows or a dairy processing place that makes cheeses. But we have a bread factory near us and it's wonderful when the wind's in the right direction.

Fresh baked bread is one of my all-time favorite scents, that must be wonderful to live in the vicinity of a bread factory! :)

Have a wonderful time with your mom! That must be really exciting. And I can't say that I know the smell of sugar beets - we use cane sugar in Australia. But it sounds "charming" :)

Thanks, I will! It IS really exciting, because we haven't seen here for over a year and a half!!

Pulp mills, there's another smell you don't want to live near by.

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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

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