Jake could best be described as my closest friend and good food soulmate here in America. He has his own huge gardens selling vegetables and eggs to Chicago,  is developing a farm to table restaurant and also, above the restaurant ,has an airbnb.

Last night we had a wee pretend party and I dusted (literally dusted ) off my tripod and packed Camera house, loaves of fresh bread, a few of my white platters and went out to a party for the first time in years.  Jake had the beef and chicken and a range of vegetables from his garden already. We were on a mission to showcase our own homegrown food in pictures and collect some images for his promotional package.

Here are a very few of those shots – I look forward to unpacking the rest today after chores.

The apartment sleeps six and is opposite the courthouse in Pontiac, Illinois. (Just in case you are doing Route 66 and want a lovely central place to stay). Airbnb of course! It is  called Acres Inn. It is spacious and light. Beautiful.





Jake cooked.



And we ate.


The courthouse tower was lit in pink for Cancer Awareness week or month or something. I have always hated this campaign. I know no one who has not been affected by breast cancer.  We are all fully aware of it already thank you very much.  So are the big boy pharmaceutical companies. Breast cancer is big business. What more can we be aware of except to be asked to donate money?

Frankly, at the risk of making myself extremely un-popular, I think the breast cancer awareness promotion is a big racket- (The CEO’s are some of the best paid ‘charity/non-profit’ heads in the world). They feed off grief and guilt and fear and fly First Class to boot.

If they spent this amount of money on ‘good food awareness’ or ‘chemicals in your environment to avoid because they CAUSE cancer’ awareness,  it would benefit so many more people including the women.  But the chemical companies would not allow it nor would the politicians. As usual breasts are sexier than food. I don’t see them giving this money directly to the poor young mothers struggling with breast cancer who have had to mortgage (and sometimes sell ) their houses to pay for the thievery treatments and are left alone throwing up into their basins while making lunch for the kids.

The chemicals they are pushing and ‘researching’ are not free to the sick here you know. Anyway – this is where my support goes – straight to the Mums, and Aunties and Grans.  Not into the pockets of the pink people.

Woops there I go again. Trying to show you a nice wee party then going off on a tangent!

I hope you have a lovely day.

Love celi

Monday 10/30 20% / 0 in
Cloudy early then partly cloudy and windy this afternoon. Slight chance of a rain shower. High near 50F. Winds W at 20 to 30 mph.

Monday Night 10/30 0% / 0 in
Some clouds this evening will give way to mainly clear skies overnight. Low near 30F. Winds WNW at 15 to 25 mph.

7:21 am 5:50 pm
Waxing Gibbous, 74% visible 3:41 pm 2:02 am



  1. Being a math minor from my college days, I have to admit I like tangents.

    There was a brief moment of recognition when I saw the courthouse in the sliver of the window in your first picture. I live in Pontiac for 4 yrs in the early 70s. It was never pink in those days.

  2. That looks like a fantastic apartment and food!
    I’m quite cynical about charities in general (though I’m sure some do work miracles) – there has been much said here lately about charities repeatedly calling pensioners and guilting them out of their life savings.

    • They do it here too – the old codger would field three or four A DAY – he could not understand that these were ne’re do wells – just after his money. He would say well i am an old man on a pension I don’t have much in his querulous voice but still they would persevere. Then he would patiently tell them that he did not have a credit card but could send them a check – some would hang up after that. All they wanted was the card number. Horrible. I felt like taking the phone off him and shouting at the sales person. c

  3. Amen Celi ~ I agree with you 100% on some of these “so called” “charities” ~~ before writing the check out to the cancer fund and many more groups ~ people should absolutely look at the list that shows how much goes to the administration of that group and the amount that goes to the “needy” ~ those who are suffering. I give straight to the family ~ then I know it is being used where needed. So I’m with ya ~ probably a few more glasses of wine to extend the tangent a bit!!!

  4. I echo your sentiments about charities … I worked for a couple of charities for some years … when people asked what job I did they inevitably came with the “oh how wonderful” as if I were a saint or something … I like to think of myself as a kindly person but let’s get it clear, I am no saint and it was a job … a reasonably well paid job I enjoyed doing and hopefully at least some of my clients found useful
    charities are businesses and the people running them are (have to be) business minded … I just wish they could stop getting people on guilt trips, but let’s face it, they wouldn’t get much money if they did
    governments and local authorities find charities useful, they get services provided at reduced cost

    • I honestly know nothing of the workings of any of the other charities. But I have made it a mission to investigate the Pink People. They keyed straight into a terrible scourge that affects so many people then proceeded to milk the cow – making money directly off the backs of suffering and struggling and strong-willed women who are often fighting on ALONE. Notice it is called AWARENESS. As though we are all stupid and NOT aware. I have found cases where they have SUED smaller charities who might be using anything pink to promote their causes. I understand the business side of it – yes I do see your point – maybe it is the very clever campaign they run that irks me. The slickness of it. c

  5. Pink days are big here too including our rugby and cricket national teams. I spy a doggy on the couch :), Jakes airb&b is lovely but definitely seems citified in contrast to cozy, homey Coop on the farmy 🙂 Laura

  6. I agree with you Celi and everyone above so I’ll cut off in another direction: Your photos are LOVELY, the apartment looks cozy and oh-so-American, and the food looks DELISH! Well done!!

  7. You are so right about the whole pink ribbon campaign. It’s all fluff and money making. There have been cures for breast cancer for years but carefully suppressed and hidden from the public. And it IS being caused by the chemicals and toxins being fed to us. So, you go girl and help where it actually does some good!

    • Exactly. The AWARENESS should be about the shit they put in the hot dogs that they feed you after the event. But Eat your Carrots just does not sell. Though a freshly dug carrot after a frost is divine! c

  8. You are right on about pink-washing and the need to turn awareness/fundraising to policy change that would actually benefit women. You are also right about corporate money and the legislative favors it buys being the main obstacle. Some of the companies underwriting the October campaign and pushing the “cure” meme are the same companies producing products containing chemicals identified as cancer-causing. Here’s a good website that talks about the systemic change that would be required to focus on prevention. bcaction.org

    At the same time, it’s unwise to dismiss all charities as dishonest, opportunistic, and ineffective. That was good advice about checking a charity’s administrative/program cost ratio, and finding out as much about their results as possible before contributing. But there are many hard-working, dedicated, effective charities that are trying desperately to plug the holes in our social safety net that become wider every day. When government turns its back on people who are struggling, they often have no where else to turn for help.

    • Oh yes – I am not talking about charities in general. Absolutely not. Look at the food pantry. Our local food pantry feeds piles of people – many of them fighting cancer. Many of them have no help at all otherwise. We have high unemployment around here. I support the food pantry it feeds people. It is the Pink People campaign I don’t like. Plus, as well as making millions a year they are a non profit – tax exempt. It is ridiculously easy to become a non profit tax exempt company in the US. c

  9. What kills me is when you do give to a charity they sell your name to another charity!

  10. I absolutely loved your comments or tangent if you will! It is so true and I’ve been trying to tell people the same thing for years. But they act like I’m against the poor women who do get the cancer.. you expressed it beautifully.. love your blog and your photographs… absolutely wonderful

      • I flat don’t give to charities, no matter how long they blather on from every angle, even the guilt trips. I worked hard for my retirement monies and just don’t fritter it to every ‘needy’ phone call or piece of mail that comes along! Smoothing my hackles now……..that airbnb is gorgeous! The floors glow and the food looks divine! Thank you for the party and pics! – Sunny

  11. I am very wary of awareness weeks. When I was on the board of the Wellington Cancer Society they had so much money saved but they were apalled when I suggested we fund a chair of radiology at the university. Apparently, “that’s not the money is for”. Well if not that, then what. Needless to say, my resignation quickly followed.

  12. I agree with you and so many others here regarding the pink ribbon crapola. Unfortunately, many people fall for and are drawn into this web of lies and deceit. I wish more people were willing to look at the root cause of cancers – toxins in our food, toiletries, cleaning chemicals, and environment. It is brave to be the voice of reason.

    Jake’s place is lovely. The food looks delicious!

  13. What a lovely combination, tantalising photos and food for thought. Which we should all share as it often will make a difference to someone else just at the right time. Constructive, thoughtful food for discussion kept to one’s self can be of no help to anyone else.

  14. I’m late so I’ll be brief. Need a nap already. I agree with you 100% on the charity thing. The photos are stunning and the aribnb should do well. The food, I’m salivating. We need more real, good food. That’s where our money should go and to help those that can’t buy it. You are so very articulate with your tangents. 🙂

  15. I’m one of those single women who nearly lost her home, throwing up alone. I don’t recall any benefits coming directly to me from the Pink Brigade… The Pink should be a blush of shame at how they are abusing peoples’ goodwill. Which is why I support a whole other cancer charity and colour, despite having had breast cancer. I know where the money goes, and have seen it in action, providing research funding, support for sufferers and a very minimal publicity campaign for a rather invisible and silent killer. People say that if a charity is worth anything, it should be able to pay its workers. To which I say Bollocks. If people will volunteer their time, the money should go where it’s going to do some good, instead of in the pockets of executives. Right, rant off chest.
    Beautiful, delicious food and photos. Congratulations to you and to Jake and his buddies.

  16. Ohh that food looks good! I agree with you regarding the charity campaigns.

  17. As someone who has had breast cancer I can but agree with your comments, Celi. Even while I was undergoing treatment I felt overwhelmed by ‘pink’ and all that it encompasses. I was invited again and again to various groups, either fund raising or support and it was quite a force to keep at arms length. I took plenty of time for self evaluation and came to my own conclusions. I found one research group who uses none of the donations for admin fees (admin fees are taken care of by the hospital with which they are associated) and I donate to them for research. I offer my own support if someone I know is going through breast cancer. For myself, I realised I have a wonderful life and family and friend support system and am grateful every day. The photos are very tantalising, Celi, almost makes me want to drive route 66 just so we could stay there! xx

    • I agree with finding a charity that suits – or not at all as the case may be – Breast cancer is nasty – but many cancers are nasty. we are only 100 miles south of the beginning of route 66!

  18. To each their own. Having been involved in ‘charity’ work since I was 14 1/2 [By the bye I hate the word! It is a welfare issue!!] and still being active in half-a- dozen nationally and internationally now I have seen little money ‘wasted’. I too had my breast removed over a dozen years ago and was overwhelmed by offers of help from a lengthy hospital; stay to years afterwards at home. I was made to feel absolutely secure and every query I had [and, yes, doctors affected also have queries!!] was answered and followed up. For those living in Australia – are you aware of the absolutely wonderful work of the McGrath Foundation: for every ‘x’ dollars donated there is another home nurse doing the rounds. Unless one has personal knowledge both as a worker [and I have always done this as a volunteer!] or grateful patient, perhaps I question the right to criticise!

      • Hobgoblins afoot again! As I said yesterday, these orgs are NG ones and entirely dependent on citizen support freely given. Australia ‘works’ well because everyone gets involved and money and time by the volunteers is not an issue. Actually our government health system is in dire need at the moment . . . I do not have one friend who does not ‘donate’ at least one day a week, and many work fulltime into their 80s at least . . . . many use their one day a week off to help the society, some of my best professional friends have hardly taken a holiday in the past few decades, so others might have an easier time . . . . I was taught that at 3 or 4 . . . .

  19. As a breast cancer survuver (17 years) these charities just infuriate me. They seem to think that if you’ve had and survived breast cancer you should sing their praises. They did nothing for me except send me tons of wasteful junk mail, flood my one inbox to the point I closed the email account, telephoned me almost daily and were worse pests that cockroaches (at least you can kill those). I was “offered” a horrendiously expensive chemical which was touted as giving me a 50/50 chance of no recurrence but which also was more certain to destroy my vision and/or induce liver, kidney or colon cancer (great trade off that). I was called stupid when I refused the chemicals and just told them to “lop ’em off if the tissue isn’t there it can’t get more cancer” and I had to fight for the double prophylactic mastectomies (both at the same time). It was the best possible decision. We in America are too focused on breasts as sexual objects – they are for feeding babies. I was not going to have babies. I discussed it with my husband and he told me he’d rather have me alive and as healthy and happy as possible rather than preserve two lumps of glandular tissue that had already threatened everything. I was offered no help from any of the charities, other than pushing the chemicals, which I found disturbing and indicated to me that there were bribes or payoffs involved or something like that. My surgeon told me that I had made the smartest decision, she ended up having to do mastectomies on women who had opted for the chemical “treatments” which had little or no effect on the cancer plus the chemical caused cancer in other parts of the body if not metastasized cancers. I would far rather offer to help an individual or small local charity than these non-profit megacharities where the lion’s share of the money goes to “administrative” costs.
    I think it’s important that we can share the conversation here in the Lounge of Comments. I may not comment often but I do read them every day, I learn a lot, agree to a large extent with many and follow several others who comment here. It is a community in which I feel safe to speak my mind without wondering if I’ve opened myself to nasty retaliation (I’ll handle that on my own blog).
    Jake’s place looks so welcoming and from the photos the food looked marvelous (my stepson in a professional chef in the Indianapolis area). Nothing like fresh local ingredients, prepared in a loving, caring way without any attempt to disguise the flavors. The Airbnb apartment is inviting and looks cozy too.

      • It has something to do with the respect each person shows here. It doesn’t matter if we all agree, it does matter that we are respectful in what we say and how we react to each other.

  20. Your photos (and Jake’s food of course) have me salivating! I have a polite response to telephone solicitations – “I don’t donate to anyone over the phone”. Here’s one for you, my John is two weeks into a five week course of daily radiation treatments at a local cancer center affiliated with a world class health care system. However, the other day I saw the little white signs proclaiming the grass had been treated for weeds with a herbicide/insecticide. Is that not ironic? At a CANCER CENTER?

    • Now that IS just crazy – i hope his treatments are going well – I bet he is in really good hands – I have met some simply wonderful doctors and researchers lately – they are a joy to work with – tell hubby Do Not Walk On The GRASS!! c

  21. Hear hear! In England now they’ve really ramped up the door knocking and leaping out at you on the street and asking you to sign up to various charities…some poor folk are terrorised into doing something they can ill afford. Anyway…beautiful photos, it looks like an amazing place and that food….😀

    • Tanya – Actually we are not ‘door-knocking;’ usually . . . and certainly not ‘terrorizing’ anyone. A simple, friendly ‘no’ is always acceptable. . . . if some people feel otherwise: perchance it is their mental problem . . . Naturally I do not know about the UK, but in Australia giving for a fair society is the only acceptable option . . . . I mentioned the McGrath Foundation as the last day of the Cricket Season sees every man, woman and beast in beautiful pink and all the kids damn well thrilled to bring out their piggybanks to make ‘another lady stay alive’ . . . that is how I brought m children up, and they theirs . . . .

  22. When will Jake’s restaurant open? I would love to come back out and visit and dine. Looks like there are some nice air bnb’s in the area! And I appreciate your rant. I agree completely.

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