Monday, December 5, 2016

December Snow

I rarely use red at Christmas, but this year that pop of color called to me.
You'll see it outside and in my kitchen this year.
 Oh how I wait for snow each year, for the cold crisp air, the magical flakes to appear.  On Sunday, that's just what happened.  The flakes came down and continued all afternoon.
My spruce tops in an old tool carrier.

 We are so fortunate to live just across the road from beautiful forest preserve.  It is where the Canada geese hang out.  We were alone and slowly drove through, admiring the beauty of nature.
 It looked like a winter dream.
 In the summer cars go in and out all day and through the evening.  Time for these natural spaces to get a winter's rest.
 All the paths were empty...
except for the geese.
 There is  no place like home, and as much as I love to be outside during the snow, inside is pretty cozy.
 I set the table using stuff from around the house.  After looking at the photo, everything except the silverware and dinner plates are thrifted.  (The dinner plates, with a hobnail trim are Pottery Barn look a likes from the dollar store)  My dearest fell asleep and when he woke up there were more decorations up and more lights hung. .
That's a storybook view out of our living room windows.  

With less than 20 days till Christmas, I have work to do.  Sitting quietly at home for the snowy afternoon was just what we needed.  Now to start a busy week.

On Friday, our Guild is being honored with a luncheon by the mental health center
 that we help support.
Together, the women of Guild One work throughout the year on many service projects, but being recognized in this manner is very humbling.  We just had our own Christmas party that included a small auction.  All the money we raise goes back into the community.  It is because of our own Service Project Coordinator Jean, that we are able to help so many.  Jean's work behind the scenes, along with her husband Tom,  make it possible for us to do so many good things throughout the community. Jean is my dear friend and is an example of kindness personified.  Thank you Jean and Tom for all you do.  I am so proud to be part of this wonderful group of women,
 and to share this honor with my sisters.  

Unlike our party, when I didn't take a photo, I will be sure to have a story with photos next week of our fancy luncheon.
Thanks so much for stopping by, and for your friendship.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Merry December

 I love December.  I love cozy nights at home.  Decorating and fussing about the house.  I love seeing how other people decorate.  Lights, I love lights.  Just 23 short days to get it all together.  I never think everything will get done, but it always does.  I think that's really the holiday magic;-)
 This is at our local nursery.  We came by to get some spruce tips and inspiration.
 They never fail to impress.
 Everything is beautifully done and perfectly arranged.
 A model railroad group set up a awesome display back in the greenhouse.
 Cozy homes next to the tracks.
 Here is the Ladybug train.
 Even a yellow dog!
 Isn't it beautiful?
 The farm...
 and the circus came to town.
 The next day we visited The Grove with our baby grand.  She is part gazelle, and loves to RUN.
 At a craft show there, she loved everything.  Here she is tucking in all the sock monkeys with a kiss.  She is the sweetest girl.

 Growing like a weed, our girl, and she is so much fun.
We had to take her to the nursery to see the trains and she loved them.
Just a short story that made me laugh...
When I was seven I was hit by a car.  I was running to our local playground with my brother and our friend, and bolted out of the alley and across the street.  I was knocked to the ground, but got so scared that I wet my pants and ran home...the poor man that hit me right behind.  I told my grand daughter about it as a cautionary tale...and she laughed because I wet my pants.  
So we were hanging around this weekend and Penny tells me that at the playground she was standing "in the tower" with her friends, and told them all about how her grandma got hit by a car and wet her pants!  They all had a good laugh and enjoyed it so much they asked for Penny to tell the story again. I asked how many kids she told this story to, she said just a few...maybe seven.  Time+ grand daughter, makes grandmother's trauma, comedy. I love that girl.
 Here is the mantle that Penny helped me paint, decorated for Christmas.  
 Pottery Barn sells the signs.  I bought them last year and love the way they look, classy!
 I didn't buy a thing, I had all the paint for the wall and tile...and I shopped the house for anything silver for the mantle.
 pine cones...
Mercury glass... More holiday magic if I may say so myself.

Two posts in a week?  I know, it's a miracle.
Thanks for stopping by and enjoy this beautiful day.

Love, Penny

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


 We had a big crowd for Thanksgiving.  It was wonderful to have all my kids home, and the extended family and friends with us to celebrate Thanksgiving.
 I set several tables for 25.   We had 28, but 7 of these VIP's were children under ten! The color your own place mats are from Paper Source.
 The centerpiece is oranges with cloves on a bed of seeded eucalyptus.  The smell is Thanksgiving itself.  My Mom always made a few studded oranges when we was young.  Smells bring back vivid memories.
 We used every chair available, including the chairs from the deck outside,
 I cozied them up with a throw and pillow and they worked.  Much more comfortable than a hard chair for after dinner lounging.
Dinner was a little late, but everyone was filled to the brim.  My son in law Doug made the turkey breasts, covered in bacon and sitting on carrots.  There is a french term for this which I have forgotten, but all our turkey eating guests were wowed.  (I am not a fan of turkey and so appreciated not having to make one this year.) I always forget to photograph the table, and remembered when everyone was already through the buffet.  Never even got a photo of the desserts, where I went overboard.   We spent a quiet Friday and Saturday recovering and putting back all the serving pieces, chairs and tables.  Bed never feels as good as it does after a full house and the hard work of hosting is over.  Thankful for our wonderful family and the many blessing we have to share.

When the dinner was over I helped make a tent with the tablecloths and chairs,  The kids had the best time, cousins and friends.

 Sunday and Monday we had our baby grand for an impromptu sleepover and she helped me with a project.  I have lived with this terracotta tile surround for long enough.  I took down some of the trim...(Be careful Grandma, that's dangerous, you could fall backwards!) and painted the mantle with chalk paint.  Then I watered down some paint to cover the tiles.  A couple of weeks ago I started the process by painting the brass surround black. Why would I start this project while caring for a 4 year old?...  I wanted it done before I started to decorate for Christmas, and I have plenty to do in the weeks ahead. After a busy and fun day together on Sunday, Penny was happy to watch movies and help Grandma.  She really is the best!
 Just a wash, not a solid painting.  I will sand down the mantle a little and maybe wash off some of the paint after it's all done.
 Those two bottom tiles were painted by Penny.  She has the crafty gene.
This is what my house looks like right now.  A mixture of Thanksgiving, home improvement and Christmas.

Will this project come out the way I envision it?  Will I ever get all of the Autumn stuff put away?  Stay tuned! ;-)

Thanks for stopping by.  Enjoy this beautiful day!
Love, Penny

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Thanksgiving Song

Grateful for each hand we hold
Gathered round this table.
From far and near we travel home,
Blessed that we are able.
Grateful for this sheltered place
With light in every window,
Saying "Welcome, welcome share this feast
Come in away from sorrow." 
Father, mother, daughter, son
Neighbor, friend and friendless;
All together everyone in the gift of loving kindness. 
Grateful for what's understood,
And all that is forgiven;
We try so hard to be good,
To lead a life worth living. 
Father, mother, daughter, son,
Neighbor, friend and friendless,
All together everyone, let grateful days be endless. 
Grateful for each hand we hold
Gathered round this table.-Mary Chapin Carpenter 
Dear Friends, Taking a moment from preparations,
to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. 
Among my blessings I count many of my friends I met here
through blogging.  
Thank you for your friendship and kindness.  I am grateful.
Enjoy this beautiful day.

Love, Penny