Sunday, October 23, 2016

More of Charlotte and Jon's Wedding

Things are slowly getting back to normal...Here's more of the story...

 We had a simple rehearsal dinner at a neighborhood sports bar.  I just put a couple of decorations on the tables, a few favors and a grocery store cake.  The food was great and abundant, and Jon and Charlotte's family and friends enjoyed a low key night before the big day.
 Our Jon and Charlotte!
 The cake was half strawberry torte and half chocolate torte.  It was a big hit with everyone!
 The next morning,Wedding Day started cold and misty.  There was fog on the roads and it didn't look very promising for a outdoor wedding.  We, meaning Elizabeth and I, decorated the Schoolhouse steps with broom corn, bushel baskets, pumpkins, mums and I wove bittersweet from my arbor at home into the pickets on the fence.
 Charlotte brought the washboards.  They were a cute and vintage element to the decor.
 There were lanterns lining the aisle which Mike and Amanda decorated with autumn picks and burlap ribbon.

I filled my wheelbarrow with a old lace tablecloth and used it to hold the programs, bubbles and little white pumpkins and the Jon and Charlotte chalkboard I made for their shower. The clouds parted and the weather warmed for the ceremony.
 Our big contribution to the celebration was doing a sweet table for the happy couple.  They had decided that they wanted cookies, not cake.  Here the cookies are still covered and all the finishing touches are not several dozen mini pumpkin pies!
 Taffy apples, donuts from a local shop, lot's of special candies.
 Reese's chocolate peanut butter chex mix. They cut a loaf of homemade bread instead of a cake.  Jon is the guy who cuts the bread for every holiday at home.  We surprised him with this sentimental touch.

Our family is wild for this bread.  Jon guards over it, and there have been some fun moments as people try to steal a taste before dinner.

 I found this cute felt notice board at HobLob.  Hubby did the letters.  It was just what out table needed.  Let's just say that the sweet table was a BIG SUCCESS!
 Charlotte had so many cute touches.  The tables were elegant with flowers, votives, white pumpkins all on a wooden charger.  A burlap runner covered each table.
 Flameless candles and votives lined the wall boards.
 Everything was so special, Charlotte found so many beautiful and meaningful things to include in their day. .

This is the schoolhouse after the ceremony.

This was the barn from the loft.  Magical!

My feelings on this special day in a later post
More photos when the photographer sends a sneak peek.

Speaking of magical, The Chicago Cubs are going to the World's Series!  I will write more about this later.  Let's just say, WOW!  My fourteen year old self is thrilled, my sixty one year old self is grateful.  Thank you Cubbies.

Thank you so much for stopping by and for all your kind comments.
Enjoy this beautiful day.


Monday, October 17, 2016

Somebody's Getting Married!

 Still entertaining guests. Be back soon with the whole story.  What a wonderful day!

Monday, October 3, 2016

A Cozy Weekend

 We had the wettest and coolest week and weekend.  Just when we thought that Autumn would never start, down came the rain and with it that chill in the air that's so welcome after a hot and dry summer.
 Collecting some harvest treasures.  Sunflowers and a large sunflower head.
 This will go into the garden to feed the birds but mostly the squirrels that will devour it in minutes.
We have over 100 white pumpkins for Jon and Charlotte's wedding just days away.
So many surprises for the kids that I'll share after the fact.

I am making all the treats for the Sweet Table.
Perfect cool weather, and my dearest busy with work gives me plenty of time for baking.

 I even did a little craft project.  This wreath made with grapevine wire and some silk leaves.
 So easy, but it's simplicity spoke to me. I saw it in a magazine and had to make one.
 So sweet in the window.
 I washed and rolled a dozen shawls I've been collecting, in case of a chilling evening at the wedding.  Charlotte has thought of everything, and I am adding my touches and help where I can.
I didn't do any of these kinds of things for my own wedding.  I told Charlotte that I was not the person I am now, back then.  I was just a kid really, we both were my guy and I.  It is so much fun to be a part of everything.  Charlotte and Jon have looked to us for help and advice, and kept us involved though out.  We were there when they first saw the venue, tasted the food and now I have the pleasure of baking for everyone.  From the beginning they didn't want a cake, but my cookies.
 With so much still to do, we relaxed and enjoyed a quiet Sunday.
 While my hubby napped, I washed some of the glass I'll be using. My dear pal Jean recommended that dish washing was therapeutic.  Thank goodness for a a finger that is functioning, though stiff.  I still have problems with shaking peoples hands and clapping.  I've thought of wearing a oven mitt to protect my hand in the receiving line.;-) Otherwise, I am writing again, hooray!  Using the cookie scoop is not painful, actually a good workout for my hand. Can't wait to share all the secrets.  I am sooo excited.  Jon and Charlotte could not be more perfect for each other. We love them both so much.  What a happy happy day it will be for us all.

Thanks for stopping by and for your kindness always.  Enjoy this beautiful day.  If you're chilly, grab a shawl!

Love, Penny

Monday, September 26, 2016

Living by the Seasons

 Oh, how I look forward to the first fluttering leaves of the honey locusts out front, signaling that Autumn is here.
 Even though the days have been hot, the evenings are cooler and the nights perfect for snuggling.
 We had a busy weekend, filled with fun and family.
I didn't take many photos, but since I seem to do the same things each year I went back to the archives for a few.

The one photo I did take was of a campfire.
We are fortunate to live a stone's throw from a large Forest Preserve, the oldest and first forest preserve in Cook County.  On Saturday we celebrated a Party for the Preserves event, a campfire with a group of musicians and a walk into the forest after dark.  We had our Baby grand with us.  What an amazing experience!  I have never walked in the woods at night before, and Penny was all about it.  Grandpa had some reservations, but quickly decided that we should join the fun.  We had a flashlight for the beginning of the walk, guided by a knowledgeable employee and even a uniformed police officer.  At a certain point all lights were turned off and we were in darkness.  It didn't take long for our eyes to adjust and our other senses to take over.  We could hear insects and other sounds that Penny was quick to recognize.  The leader of our group would ask a question and from the back a small voice would answer, yep, our girl! We walked over a half mile into the woods and stopped at different points to hear about the history of the land.  When it was time to turn around we walked with the wonderful employee, and leader of our group, Janet and talked.  It was an experience I will not soon forget.  I hope that Penny will remember our night walk in the woods, or someday this story stirs a memory of a magical night with Grandma and Grandpa.

On Sunday we all celebrated Charlotte's last birthday before she becomes a Willoughby.
The preparations are taking over her life, so we surprised her with a comforting dinner of her favorite
Golumpki. (Polish stuffed cabbage) and a pumpkin cheese cake for dessert.  Of course the talk was of the wedding, and things that still need to be done.  Charlotte was surprised and grateful for the small interlude before things really start hopping!

Now as I am apt to do, I have buried the lead ,so to speak. 
 The news is this, My baby is coming home!
My Michael and his fiancee Amanda have decided to come back to the Chicagoland area.
To say my head is spinning is an understatement.  This came out of the blue, though I have hoped and wished for this for a couple of years.  Mike and Amanda are excited to start a new chapter in their story together.  We are looking forward to more time to get to know Amanda, Kris and Charlotte are anxious to get to know their new sis to be.  Hope she likes Target! ;-)

Finally, I am doing so much better.  I am writing, I mean hand writing again, a major development.  My bumps and bruises are healing, my finger is taking more time, and I may have the crooked finger I always promised to point at my kids.   I told my ortho Doc that no Polish Grandma worth her salt didn't have a crooked finger.  Another x ray and I might start glowing!

Back to life, beautiful sweet and surprising life.  With my hubby next to me on this roller coaster ride, we are pleasantly surprised by what was started by us over 40 years ago. We are truly blessed with great kids and their partners and our grand daughter...We were sitting in the car and from the back seat Penny says, "You guys are beautiful!" Who could ask for anything more.

Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments.
Enjoy this beautiful day.

Love, Penny

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Weekends Don't Great Much Better

 We started our weekend taking care of business, pumpkin busness.  Our local nursery has ordered pumpkins for Jon and Charlotte's wedding.  Of course I brought a few home and a giant sunflower seed head to dry for the birds.
 It is so tranquil and serene being here during the week.
 Without the crowds...
 To admire all the beautiful things.
 We went into the city to pick up our girl. Funny that they had a pumpkin smashed on their block, and a very happy and chubby squirrel.  It's only September.
 We headed for the Lake.  Our girl is Lake Crazy like Grandma.  We walked and played.  Built a little sandcastle...
 then found this masterpiece down the shore.  It is a pleasure spending time with Penny.  She has great ideas, funny jokes, songs to share...and best of all , she still likes to snuggle.
 We went apple picking but went on Monday.  Grandpa put aside all thoughts of work and spent the day with his girls.  Orange year.  This year marigolds, one of my favorites.
 We picked the perfect day, had the orchard all to ourselves, and we got to drive right in!
We picked a bushel of honeycrisp.  They are huge and so delicious.
Penny and I even got a ride back to the car with our apples in a golf cart.  Poor Grandpa had to walk.
We've shared apples with Kris and Elizabeth and still have plenty to share.  I see a couple of apple pies in our future.  I haven't tried peeling yet, but I am glad to tell you that I can do most anything with my hand. The finger I dislocated is healing, and  so are my other bumps and bruises.  My pride is still a work in progress.  I feel so dumb, but it is a lesson learned.   Thank you for your kind comment and well wishes.

Now the weeks are flying by and a few jobs left to do.  I am typing a program, making favors for the
rehearsal dinner.  Did I mention that I am doing the sweet table for the Wedding reception?  More on that after the fact.  I've got a few surprises up my sleeves.  

Thanks so much for stopping by.  If you find yourself here, I so appreciate that you take the time to visit.   Enjoy this beautiful day.

With Love, Penny