Monday, November 12, 2018

Amazing Grace

 November.  Cold and dark, but somehow manages to warm my heart. It also warms me up as I worked to clear the leaves before the predicted snow.

 The snow came and I did a little happy dance of joy. 
(In my nightgown for a audience of one, my hubby.)

 Give me a beautiful snowfall and I am content.  

 Everything looks more beautiful in the snow.

 Then my favorite event to start the season, the fireworks display at the fancy pants mall. (The Deer Park Town Center)  It was 20 degrees with a 20 mph wind.  We walked to the spot we usually stand, then immediately walked back to the car.  It was bone chilling! The fireworks did not disappoint, an amazing spectacle, and the best humidity, no mosquitoes!

 The wind was so strong that the fireworks were actually right in from of us.  We were even pelted by some debris and a cloud of smoke. Both my sweetie and I were thrilled.

 Ice has formed in the fountain out back.  It looked so pretty with the leaves suspended in the ice.

 The sky was a crystal blue you only get on those cold and crisp days

 When seasons collide. Snow with fallen leaves makes for some interesting photos.

 You can almost hear the crunch.

 A impromptu ride down our beloved Sheridan Road with just a couple hours of daylight left.

 I want to fill that greenhouse with plants and live a stones throw from Lake Michigan.

 Serenity now.  In good times and hard times, she is always there for us.  

 You can immediately feel the tranquility.

 The Lake was so still, and quiet.

 The sky an ever changing painting.

 We were losing the light, but for a few sweet moments the sky glowed.

 I call it the Lake Effect.

 Not when the Lake makes it's own snowstorms, but makes me appreciate all it's gifts.

 The gift of living near such a beautiful place.

 Speaking of gifts... Almost every time we pass this Church I try to take a photo.
Mostly I get a blur, but this time my dearest pulled into the parking lot on the way home so I could get a couple of pics before dark.  This is Christ Church in Winnetka, IL.

 It's also called The Church on the Hill.

 This is their view of Lake Michigan.

 The Church was dedicated in 1905.  It was build as a memorial by the William Hoyt family to their daughter and three grandchildren who were tragically killed in the 1903 Iroquois Theater fire in Chicago. At least 602 people died as a result of the fire.  It was the deadliest theater fire in the history of the United States.

 A beautiful place, a living memorial. 
This Church has 1,000 in it's congregation today.

* "Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void."
-Simone Weil

* for more on Grace check out Simple Abundance, by Sarah Ban Breathnach, November 11th.

Now, in knowing the story behind it's construction gives 
me a greater appreciation of this landmark Church.
I will never pass The Church on the Hill without remembering
those lost in the tragic fire.

We made one stop on the way home to this huge new grocery store.
Our Kristen recommended it to us, but warned it was HUGE.
We had no idea!
Let's just say we saw a fraction of the store, and will be working out in anticipation of another visit.
I've read Woodman's is nationwide, but new to our neck of the woods.
Pack a lunch and wear comfortable shoes, it was pretty awesome.

Now our Thanksgiving shopping is almost complete, with baking and cleaning and even some furniture moving to come. Can't wait to have everyone home.  So much to be grateful for.

Thanks for stopping by and for your kindness.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny

Monday, November 5, 2018

November Moments

 When the days get short and the nights seem so long, you know it's November.  I have been crocheting for our twins. No, we don't know yet if they are boys, girls or one of each.  I just happened to be working on this and have decided to make another in teal.  Two babies covered in Grandma's love.  It's made in the Ombre yarn from Red Heart.  The pattern is the corner to corner stitch I learned on The Crochet Crowd on YouTube. It is 40 inches by 40 inches.   One down, working on the next.

 The autumn has really shown it's colors around here.  
We've had some brisk days and the leaves are flying. 

 Inside it's been pretty cozy, especially when our girl comes for a visit.  We made cupcakes for Uncle Mikey's birthday. (My baby!)  Note the amazing dress Penny is wearing.  It's covered in Gnomes! 
I always ask Penny why they don't make cool dresses in Grandma sizes?  "Oh, grandma!"

 We took a short ride to the local nursery.

 It hasn't been cold enough to freeze their pond, so we got to see the koi. Penny was just playing along when what she really wanted to do is go to Target.  I was teasing that we were the Three Musketeers, Grandpa is Technology, I am Hospitality and asked Penny what Musketeer she was and she yelled TARGET!  I guess you had to be there.  

 The rain came on Sunday and all the leaves that had been cleaned up were replaced by more leaves.
They are just gonna sit for a couple of days.  Raking wet leaves is too much like work.

 It looks like there are plenty more up there too.

This sweetie is growing up very fast, but still my baby girl.

I have my pantry in order, always the first chore of the holiday season.  Next my shopping list.  
I'm rolling out the same tried and true menu and desserts for Thanksgiving just 16 days away,
I scared myself just typing that! 

Thanks for stopping by and for your friendship.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny

Monday, October 29, 2018

Good thoughts bear good fruit...

 It was a heartbreaking week in America.  Bombs sent to two former Presidents, to CNN and many innocent people.  So many put in jeopardy.  Because of hate.  Then the shooting at the synagogue in Mr. Roger's neighborhood in Pittsburgh. Gentle good people, praying, killed by hate.  Earlier in the week I sat and watched the service at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. as Matthew Shepard was laid to rest decades after his murder.  Hate killed Matthew. 

 It's hard to see, harder still to understand.
 I do believe that goodness will prevail.
Goodness will triumph over evil.
It must!

 I quote Desmond Tutu who said

"We are made for goodness. we are made for love.
We are made for friendliness. We are made for togetherness.

 We are made for all the beautiful things
that you and I know.

 We are made to tell the world that there are no outsiders.
All are welcome: black, white, red, yellow, rich, poor,
educated, not educated, male, female, gay, straight, all, all, all.
We belong to this family, this human family, God's family."

The gap in the fence where the dog got in.
As I watched the service for Matthew, the priest asked the congregation to close their eyes and remember Matthew.  I did close my eyes, but thought of a dear friend of mine who died in the AIDS epidemic.  As I opened my eyes, there was a large black dog on my deck.  I said, Steve?  
We have a fenced yard and I could not figure out how that dog got in our yard.  He was having a great time, drinking from our fountain, rolling around in the grass.  Hubby on the phone would have invited him in.  Me alone and not confident around animals, called animal control.  He was gone before I could get a photo, disappeared behind the shed.  Was it my friend, letting me know he is at peace?  I'd like to think so.

"Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bear bad fruit-
and man is his own gardener." 
-James Allen

Looking for how the dog got into the yard I explored the garden.
We have not had a fall clean up as of yet.
There is still beauty, even in the seed heads and certainly in the changing leaves.

The dark brown hydrangeas,
they are lovely even now.

The only thing still growing is the parsley left in my herb pot.

My sweet and generous friend Lynne from Irish Garden House 
remembered me with this cute twine pumpkin.  The gourds are from sweet Elizabeth.
How lucky am I to be blessed with wonderful friends, the best family and the sweetest husband.
I am so grateful, each and every day.

Pray with me for peace.
For peace all over the world.
For love in our hearts and on our lips.

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

Monday, October 22, 2018

Summer Inside Frosty Outside

 My dear Elizabeth brings me summer.  
Flowers so plentiful and beautiful,
I feel like I'm in a magazine shoot. 

 Then I get to play with the flowers. 
Making arrangements.  Taking photos.

 I put these carnations in a vintage glass.

 Spray roses, a perfect pinkish hue...dare I say, a rosy glow? 
(any Seinfeld fans?)

 Papery white ranunculus, so delicate and lovely.

 Thanks Elizabeth.  She remembers me so often.  
Love you Betty.

 A little Halloween decorating.  
Grandma doesn't do scary.  
I love the Great Pumpkin, and so does our baby grand.

 My bicycle basket got a little makeover.

 The Great Pumpkin flag is flying high!

 I guess it's a little spooky at night.

 The garland is old, made from some bags from a sweet friend Barb.  The fabric was torn into strips and looped on a string of LED lights.  I keep it up till after Thanksgiving.  It makes for a welcoming warm glow when we need it most.  It's hard when the sun goes down so early in the evening.  
I miss the longer days.

 That glowing ball is a moon.
The basket guessed it, Elizabeth.

 It was left over from Mike and Amanda's wedding. 
 I found them in Madison Wisconsin last fall when
I visited the Botanic Garden there. 

 My lady spider.  I saw Martha do this years ago,
 but never saw a beautiful spider to do it with.
This spider is lovely, in a this spider can't hurt me kinda way.  
My one venture into kinda creepy Halloween.

 We've had a couple of frosts. 

 Even the for marigolds it was too much.

 Goodbye to the hydrangeas.

 The trees still have their leaves and have not changed color...yet.

 Remembering a summer of fun and celebrating on our deck,
and in your garden.

 Frost on the grass this morning.

"If the world seems cold to you,
Kindle fires to warm it."
-Lucy Larcom

Thanks for stopping by and for your friendship.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny