Sunday, July 31, 2011

Our 35th Anniversary

It was 1976, and we were married in a large, happy, music filled Church. We were so young and what we didn't know was a lot. What we did know was LOVE...
and we loved each other then and still LOVE each other now.

We've been blessed in every way, and today celebrate our love...

Thank you to our children Kristen, Jon Jon and Mikey, you've filled our lives with so much happiness...
 and all the family and friends that helped us along the way ...
Love is an Endless Season... Tyke you hold my heart forever.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Throwing Caution to the Wind!

We've had over 10 inches of rain this month...most of that this week.  Storm after storm, and temperatures in the 90's with high humidity.  This was supposed to be our vacation week.  No big plans just day trips...but even those were put aside.  Thursday, we threw caution to the wind.  With even more rain and storms predicted we ventured north, and I'm so glad we did. 
 Lake Michigan was covered in clouds
and a misty veil. 

 With my best guy, a perfect place for lunch and a quiet moment.

I jotted down the names of a couple of shops in Plymouth, Wisconsin, and my husband is always game for a long ride.  And long it was...about 45 miles from our spot at the Lake.

The town is filled with cool vintage looking murals, and many antique stores.
We went to the two I read about...
 Fibber McGee's and The Red Rooster

This was Fibber McGee's. I bought one vintage table runner, and was happy with my little purchase.  At the Red Rooster, it was filled with vintage textiles, enamel wear, tables made from treadle sewing machine bases, buttons, toys... I bought a pinned bundle of fabric lovelies.  I guess I need a show and tell post.  We also stopped at the St. Vincent de Paul Shop in town. It was worth the trip.  Next time we'll stay in the area and visit Cedarburg too.

Yes, my husband is a keeper, and a trooper, and I think he is getting the junking bug a little himself.  We took another ride on Friday to Galena...but that's another post.  Get out there and explore and enjoy this beautiful day.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Raspberry Jam

When raspberries volunteer in your hydrangeas...make jam! 
The truth is that I didn't have enough berries to make jam...
so I bought some at the store, and combined them with my own.

I washed and drained the berries, put them in my large enamel pot and crushed them with a fork.  You bring them to a boil, then add the sugar.  Then you bring it all to a boil for a couple of minutes.  I used a canning funnel to help ladle the hot jam into the hot jars, and keep things neat...  It really was that easy. 

There are many easy recipes, but the hardest part is the getting everything clean and hot to accept the jam. 

 There is natural pectin in the berry seeds, so no additional pectin is needed for the jam to set.

 I filled 12 small jars and one of my fancy French canning jars.

It was easy, but I did have help...
My husband draining the hot jars and lids for me,
and our son Jon manning the rings and the camera. 

A delicious collaboration for sure. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Bee in My Bonnet!

Minding my own business, I went to a thrift store, where I happened upon this plate. Lovely plate, unusual plate.  Awesome plate!  I actually bought it so my husband could drill a hole in it. Have you seen the garden ornaments made from old china and glassware? They are stacked and bolted to a metal stake, and look like a flower.  They sparkle and gleam in the sunshine, and I thought this might be a cool foundation until...
I looked up the pattern on the net and found all these great pieces. This one put a bee in my bonnet! I love this tureen. This is my "THING" the seasons.  Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn,
and here it is on a soup tureen!

The pattern is called The Garden Kitchen made by Wood and Sons in England. The Replacement China site has no prices, still I hear buzzing in my head and I need to find out more about this pattern. Really, I was minding my own business...

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Getting Things Done

Even though the heat has zapped any ambition to create...there is still the need to get things done.  My dear pal Carmella is going to be a Grandma yet again, and brought me the fleece and yarn to complete this blanket for her soon to be baby boy.  I think she did a great job choosing the yarns to match the fleece. It was a quick  project, while I watched 3 episodes of a favorite science show.
 The yarn is bamboo and wool, which caused a little sneezing while I crocheted.
 The print is so cute.
 The combination was perfect. 
 It's ready for you to pick up Carmella.  Hope the little one likes it!
 Caught this beautiful sky in the parking lot of Culver's.  Yes, I was there for the frozen custard!
 We visited a small antique show at the even fancier pants mall in South Barrington.  Have you noticed the trend of live plants displayed and sold with the vintage treasures?  This angel vine was spectacular!
I bought a handkerchief and a few buttons. I felt so bad for the vendors out in the heat and humidity.  We were there for just a half hour and we were so happy to get back into the air conditioned car.  Seems to be the way we are spending this summer.  Running from the cool house to the cool car and sweltering in between.

On Sunday Morning, on CBS this weekend, there was a clever story about how we feel about the heat/how we feel about the cold and how we can lose our perspective. I personally prefer the cold...
You can cozy up to the fire, put on a sweater, make a pot of soup, snuggle.  In the heat...I'm only good for short walks, after the sun  NOT! BUT, I do love all the flowers and watching them grow, a cool breeze off the Lake, a field filled with lightning bugs, a starry starry night.  Thank God for four seasons, for each of them have their own magic!  Enjoy this beautiful day.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Two Weeks in July

July 4th 2011

July 18th 2011

This is the little bird's garden.  She planted these seeds herself.  Pressed the seeds into the warm soil on June 10th.  We planted sunflowers and two kinds of pumpkins.  She is amazed to see them grow.  I am too.  Will she remember this garden?  Probably not...but the seed of gardening has been planted.  First by Grandma...and by me.  This morning is the first time in weeks that I didn't wake up to a thirsty garden.  The the rains could almost hear the trees sigh.  All this rain and lightning will give these plants a boost.  The growth of the plants in those two weeks in July is amazing... imagine what the next two weeks will bring!  Have a great weekend my friends.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Dog Days of Summer

 I took my sweaty self to Ikea!  Truth be told, it wasn't actually a cooler place to walk, but oh the eye candy!  How about this kitchen.  We had a five year plan for our kitchen...that was eleven years ago.
 The Swedish have style, at a price we can usually afford.
 I don't have the wall space for this plate rack...but I still want it!
I came home with these embroidered hand towels.  Linen and cotton blend.  The galvanized tray I bought at a quick trip to the Colonial Antique Mall in Woodstock last weekend.  It was made in Poland!  The August Romantic Homes magazine has the best flea markets across the US.  A must read!
 Trying my hand at some potholders. I haven't accomplished much. 
I discovered some of all places, the garage.  They were in a dresser I pass so often I don't even notice it anymore.  Finding them has given me some ideas.  I wouldn't hold my breath seeing any completed projects.  I think that's why they call these the dog days of summer.   I'm sitting here doing nothing and hoping someone will scratch me behind the ears, oh yeah, and I'm dreaming of squirrels!  Keep cool my friends!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Butterfly Dream

We've had such hot weather, with no relief in sight.  My mornings are spent watering the new grass, all the new plantings and pots on the deck.  The garden out front is neglected, but this morning I was rewarded for venturing out front.  On my pink cone flowers was a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly.  I had my iphone and took a couple of photos, then I ran inside for my camera.  The result were these dreamy misty photos.  The temperature change from house to outdoors caused the lens to fog up...
 This butterfly was busy drinking nectar, and let me get very close.
 Butterflies are so beautiful, and a visit from one is a gift I never tire of.
 You can see how the condensation is disappearing...
 It's almost gone in this photo.
 I'm blessed to wake up and walk out the door to all this beauty.
 I'm grateful that I can share these photos here...
 To enjoy again...
When Summer is just a happy memory.

Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. And everyone deserves a little sunshine. ~Jeffrey Glassberg