Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ode to a Pond


Not a real duck!
Once upon a time, in a place called English Valley, there was a pond.  It was in a shady spot, just off the deck under a silver maple.  The water was clear and filled with goldfish...  (It was one of the reasons we fell in love with the house) Then, on the very first day at the house, a small boy went spear fishing for a goldfish and fell into the drink.  That is where my worries about the pond began.  That incident was over 20 years ago, but there was always some fear about the pond.

The pond was the focal point of a shade loving perennial garden, sheltered by a beautiful silver maple.  One day we woke up after a storm to find the silver maple split in half.  Half still standing, the other on the ground.
Just $900 later we had a full sun garden and no protection for the pond.

Every year I'd clear the muck out of the pond, (algae loves a sunny pond) and every few years change the liner.  It was a big job, requiring muscles and at least someone else to yell to if I ended up in the drink myself. Cleaning the pump, filling the pond after raccoons tipped over the fountain head and all the water ended up out of the pond was no fun.  It was hard work keeping it up. I'm not getting any younger and now we have a frequent little visitor who's safety is paramount.  So....
 This year the pond is no more.  After some thought and discussion with my dearest we decided to
drain the pond and fill it in.
 With my hubby's help we stacked the flagstone, pumped out the water, pulled the liner after dredging up 2 dozen rocks at the bottom... and the muck...


This is a time to be grateful that you cannot smell this photo, just awful!

Then to pull out the protective quilt batting that kept the liner from puncturing from rocks and roots.

Now all that's left is a deep hole needing to be filled.

My sons both sounded disappointed when I told them the news.  I know that Kris is relieved.  Still, it's going to be missed, the romantic notion of it.  Not the mucky reality.


We still have a water feature for the birds and for visiting children to fill their watering cans from.  After all, I do love the sound of running water in the garden, it is so soothing.  Now to get a load of topsoil, and some strong guys with a wheelbarrow!  I want to plant some Annabelle hydrangeas in this spot, since I have some that desperately need thinning.  We also need to use the flagstone somewhere in the garden, and a bunch of black river rocks.

I'll show you how it all turns out as things progress.  Thanks so much for stopping by and for all your kind comments.  Enjoy this beautiful day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Let your mind be quiet...


 Let your mind be quiet, realizing the beauty of the world,
 and the immense, the boundless treasures
 that it holds in store. Edward Carpenter
 Just a walk around the block in Spring...
and home again restored.  Enjoy this beautiful day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Rummage Sale Finds


Vintage thermos bottle, sweet!

As promised, my loot from the first rummage sales of the season...

If offered I always take the $5 bag option, unless things are really picked over and not worth getting a bag at all.  The two sales we attended this weekend both had great stuff.    This last minute addition... a plaid thermos... couldn't believe it was still on the table.  Still with the glass liner intact, I've seen them used as vases at picnics, perhaps a barn wedding?

 This is a bonanza.  Yards and yards of fabric.  Some I will use, others (the children's prints) will go to our pillowcase project.
 There are five yards of the stripe.  I rarely find a masculine print suitable for pillowcases.  These will be for my guys.  That funky print from the seventies is going to future DIL Charlotte for their vintage kitchen table.
... not shown, several yards of white muslin. That little floral will be a pillowcase for our bed.

I did save one cut of the Raggedy Ann fabric for sweet p. At Kristen's baby shower she received a throw and doll from my pal Kathy for Penny.  Our little one loves having her own pillow on our bed for sleepovers, and even knows where the new pillowcases are stashed. She's gonna love this one to match her doll and lovely throw.


Hanging out at the sewing table till the bag sale started, I was able to scope out all the notions.  Pinking shears, curved applique scissors, binding, elastic, crochet thread...

 Beautiful hand crocheted lace edgings...
 This heart edge was worked on muslin.  Am I too old to get away with a boho top with lace trim like this?
I have friends that rock the charming look and always think I would like to try.  I always wanted to be a hippy.  I was too young in the sixties, now I might be too old at 60!
All displayed on a ivy and rose covered pillowcase.

 More lace trim...can you imagine the hours and hours of work involved in making this?  I so appreciate all the women who crocheted these tiny stitches for a project that was never completed.  I can really relate to that, said the lady with a lifetime of projects in my house and in my head!
 A stamp set with letters and words, also a flower set.  Three 12x12 sheets of craft paper recipe cards.
 Supplies I like to have on hand and always use.
 The recipe cards.
 I do have a scissor collection, actually my Dad had one on the pegboard in the basement that is now mine.
More lace, six vintage napkins, five yards of fusible interfacing and a Guitar book from the seventies I will send Mike for his studio. Some items were not included in the five dollar bag.  I spent $1 for the napkins and $2 for the lace.  The guitar book was free.

 Closeup of the napkins. A pretty good $5 bag, don't you think?

Has anyone made anything with vintage damask napkins?  There are so many out there and they are lovely.
I've used one as a base for a pillow, guess I'll have to check pinterest for ideas.

Well, as they say, that's all folks.  For now.  The rummage season has just started.;-)  Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind comments.  Enjoy this beautiful day.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Weekend Update


A happy busy weekend, the first rummage sales of the spring, a sleepover with the baby grand, a broken car, but all in all, a great weekend.

I started out grumpy.  Last week didn't exactly go as planned, but seriously, whatever does.  The weather last week was down right deadly in Illinois.  A horrible tornado destroyed a town just west of us on Thursday..  I can't imagine what the people of Fairdale experienced.  I am no good in spring and summer storms.  I remember my Buscia lighting a holy candle and being terrified through storms when I was young. Buscia must have passed down that fear to me.

When hubby dropped me off at my meeting on Thursday, our truck was giving him trouble. The only good part was that the truck ran well enough the next day to get it to the shop for repairs.  We were driving a rental minivan this weekend, a car I now know is for the young.  Getting into and out of the backseat to sit along our little one was comical. The rise was really too much for this old gal and I am used to a large SUV! Graceful I am not, so I got in as best I could.  At the grocery store I waited until no one was around to climb in to avoid embarrassing myself.
I am getting ahead of myself... So in our uncomfortable minivan we headed to a couple of the first rummage sales of the spring.  The best sales are usually held in a church basement.  There are piles to sift through, and boxes to peruse.  The folks running things are always cheerful and very appreciative for your support.
 The first sale was in beautiful Geneva, IL.  We haven't been there in while, and the beautiful weather and the great company (my husband) made for a good ride.
 The second was in Park Ridge, IL just outside of Chicago.

 Then it was off to pick up our baby girl for our very first trip to Lake Michigan. The city is shaking off the winter. The front yards and parkways are all blooming.
We have been dreaming of taking our small one to the Lake since she was born.  This trip was very special to me because of that.  (OK, that means a few tears were shed!)
With bucket and spoon in hand, the Lake was just a big sandbox next to a play ground. It just could not compete with the playground in our girl's heart. Sweet p. was wary of the water and asked if there were any fish in there... (She had a bad experience at a nature center and a tank of native fish...) Still my little dream came true, and I hope her love for our beautiful Lake Michigan grows as she does.
Grandpa is an excellent playground playmate.  Just when I think I couldn't love him more, he goes and becomes the sweetest grandpa to the sweetest girl.  I just love seeing them together and listening to their conversations.  Just melts my heart.
 After the longest winter these little pops of Spring are a welcome sight.
The garden is calling, with many jobs to tackle before planting starts in May.

You might be wondering if I found any treasures at the sales...well, yes I did.  Check in tomorrow and I'll show you my stash.

Thanks for stopping by and for all your kind comments.  I even have a couple of new followers, thanks so much.  Enjoy this beautiful day!

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Barn Wedding!


 Jon and Charlotte have chosen a venue for their October 2016 wedding, and it's an amazing barn.  Built in 1888, it has been modernized and is the perfect place for a Autumn wedding.
All of my romantic notions of a barn have been realized.  Beautiful lighting, air conditioning, all the modern conveniences.   This is going to be one amazing wedding for one truly amazing couple.

Seems like a long time away, but when you get to my age, time flies!  I gotta find a dress! ;-)

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy this beautiful day.