Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Come Gently Spring

I would not ask that spring's return
Be well defined; I love the way
Springtime arrives by small degrees,
 How hills grow greener day by day
And buds swell on the willow tree.
 One crocus bloom can set the heart Awhirl!
 Oh one could never bear
The joyfulness of a sudden start--
 So come in little ways, O spring,
And thrill my being till I sing.

by Ethel H. Brice

The rains have brought Spring.  Looking out and seeing green is a wonder after seeing white snow for so many months.  Hope that Spring sets your heart Awhirl!  Thanks for stopping by and enjoy this beautiful day.


Monday, April 28, 2014

More Bad Weather on the Way...

Not much to report on our weekend.  We are like a broken record...The little one visits and we end up sick. My sweetest actually took sick days last week.  Something this work at home guy rarely does.  We just had no get up and go.
 The skies were amazing, and I had to take a photo or two.
 Things are really greening up, but with bad weather forecast for the week the garden will have to wait for some much needed attention.
Back to Friday.  I had been working on these invitations for a Mass and dinner for our club.  We had napped in the afternoon so we were up a little later.  At about 10:40 there was a huge felt like lighting struck in our back yard, it sounded so close.  There were no clouds in the sky and I looked out back and out front, but there was nothing.  I turned on News Radio to see if anyone reported anything...nothing. All shook up, we went to bed.  The next morning on Facebook my niece posted the news about a explosion in Long Grove...a five minute drive from here.  A house blew up, with such force as to leave a crater.  Fifty homes were badly damaged.  The explosion was heard as far away as Lake Forest, an hour away.  It was scary.  I cannot imagine what it sounded like in Long Grove.  Thank God, no one was hurt.  What a week!
 In between naps and coughing, I have been working on some projects.  I have used this paper before, and am using it to make favors for our dinner. I'll show you how they turn out later.
On Saturday we attempted a trip to a rummage sale, but found that we had no energy to drive a long distance to look at junk.  We decided to look for junk close to home at the local thrift.  I found that cute wooden bunnie cutout.  All Easter was 75% off.  This terra cotta pot, a little whitewash and it will look tres chic.
On our way to the grocery store we found a garage sale.  I got this square Pyrex baker...I've been looking for a 8x8. It came out of the dish washer and immediately into use.
I dropped my iron before Easter and the back broke so that it wouldn't stand upright.  I looked at the thrift for one, but found only travel irons.  This is exactly like my old one, and brand new!
 A large Pyrex measuring bowl.  I just got rid of most of my plastic in the kitchen, so this is a great find.
I also found these two tablecloths at the thrift.  The blue is heavy woven and 100% cotton.  The yellow and gray (I know it shows here as green) is a Vera...still in the package, original price of $50.00. I spent about $20 for everything.  I used one coupon but am sitting on a 30% off card for just the right find!

We walked into the door and I asked my honey if he was woozy, because I was.  So much for weekend fun.  Still we had a relaxing weekend and are hopefully on the mend and ready for a rainy and busy week.

Local girls, did you hear the explosion Friday night?  It's fascinating how this sound traveled. Just curious.

Take care my friends, and thanks for stopping by.  Enjoy this beautiful day.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Embracing Goodness, Beauty and Love

This week was a roller coaster ride of emotions.  Great joy at Easter.  The house filled with family.  One missing piece of our family puzzle, my brother Greg.  Greg was hospitalized for a severe infection, so he and his beautiful wife Elizabeth missed our celebration. The good news is Greg is back home, on the mend. With the addition of our daughter Kristen, Doug and Penny, our grand daughter, the house was hopping.  Filled with the fun of having a almost two year old going on 5.  I sat Penny on the table in front of me and asked her, "What do you want to talk about?"  She said, "Animals"... so we did... We played, walked and talked... We were up in the middle of the night together and the first thing in the morning.  One night Kris and Penny fell asleep in my bed with me as we watched a crafting video on my Ipad.  I looked over and they were both asleep. Having Jon and Charlotte home, Mikey too.  I am happiest when the nest is full. Very sweet moments.

Kris, Doug and Penny left here on Tuesday night.  Another emotional parting, I can't see that part of the visit ever getting easier.  Luckily, Penny is better in a little while, it's takes Grandma a lot longer to be OK.

 Then the events of Wednesday.  My last post explains what happened.  Thanks to all who commented, I understand those that didn't.  I still need to reach out to Ed's Father and Sister, and I don't know what I will say when we meet again.  In those circumstances, I am much better with an embrace that with words.

Through all the ups and downs of this week, here's what I know...
There is more good in the world than evil.  More beauty and love in the world than hate and prejudice.

 This is what I will embrace, have always embraced.

Finding beauty in everything... in the cheerful birds on a napkin...

... to a springtime vignette in my home...

 The beauty of nature, the miracle of spring. The blessing of family. The love and embrace of my husband, daughter and sons.  The pure and simple joy of a talk with my sweet grand daughter about animals.  My brothers and SIL's... my nieces.  This beautiful life is so precious and fragile.  
Enjoy this beautiful day my friends. 
 Enjoy this beautiful day.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

My Friend Ed

It was such a sad and surreal day yesterday. It started with a call from my brother Larry. He wanted to tell me, before I saw it on the news, that they found our friend Ed. Back in 1978, Ed disappeared . He was coming home from a Wedding reception, dropped off his date and was never seen again.

Ed was my friend. We sang together in the Young People's Choir at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Chicago. We laughed together, cried together. We danced together at parties, and at a homecoming dance at Gordon Tech.

Mostly I remember his smile and quick laugh. His generosity. I remember his gift to us for our wedding, the dress and bonnet he gave to our baby daughter Kristen. I also remember his Mom and Dad. Such lovely people. They opened their home to our group for one of our weekly parties after singing at the 5:00 Mass on Saturday. We were more than a choir, we were family.

The last time I saw Ed was at our apartment, we were the only married couple and had our own place. Many of the choir members who started the YPC were there. Steve our choir director was leaving. It was the end of an era for us old timers....The choir would go on, but would never be the same. I sat on the floor of our dining room, next to Steve spoke, Ed and I held hands, it was a ending...

Ed went missing not long after...I visited his parents. They had a shrine with photos of Ed and candles. I was a brand new Mom and I could not comprehend their loss. I kept in touch for many years. One year a Christmas card came with the sad news that Ed's Mom had died. Every year I tried to write, to tell Ed's parents that I remembered Ed.

Then yesterday, there was a news conference. Ed's remains had been found in 2008, but not identified until recently. Ed had been murdered and his body dumped in a forest preserve. I hurts to even write that sentence. His bones found by someone walking in the woods. Because of the notorious John Wayne Gacy case, Ed's remains were identified. Ed's sister sent in her DNA on the chance that Ed may have been a victim. Ed was not a victim of Gacy but of a man who was found with his car and some possessions months after his disappearance. That man died last year, after serving only four years for auto theft. They could not convict him without finding Ed.

There was always a hope, that Ed would come home, but like Ed's sister Ruth said in the press conference, "not this way".

So today I mourn my friend Ed. Now we know, a mystery solved, but there is no comfort. Closure? Knowing is harder than I ever thought. Comfort comes in so many happy memories, in the songs we sang together. Some trust in chariots, and chariots they ride, we ride the wings of love, together side by side. Rest in peace my friend.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter Update...Happy Grandma Edition

 We had a beautiful Easter with a visit from our favorite Easter helper, our sweet p.
This is a raspberry cream cheese coffeecake I made for the festivities.
 Penny helped Papa color the eggs...
 They turned out beautifully...
 We had the best time, the weather was beautiful...
 Even washing our hands was fun. She looks just like Papa!
 The Jello cake was a nostalgic hit... (A pain in the neck to make and serve.)
 Everyone ended up in the yard and on the deck.
 (The one place I spent little time preparing for company...)
My first flower from my granddaughter. Sigh...

I'll need a week to recover, but the house is surprisingly clean, the refrigerator very empty and my heart filled.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy this beautiful day.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter

Blessed, that's how I'm feeling...

Remembering, a Easter and me about 1959... Honoring traditions...

Cherishing each moment. Wishing all of you love and happiness. Enjoy this beautiful day!

xxoo Penny

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


We started off the week with some crazy April weather.

The cars, deck and plants were covered with ice and snow. Even though the temperature only went up to forty, all the snow is gone and the plants all seem to have survived.

My last project in the kitchen for now is complete. I had other plans for my island, but. fresh coat of paint is all it got.

I saw a wash tub hung like this on Pinterest, and Honey had the hook and the strength to turn the screws. It makes me happy...

Favors for our family. I never got a good image from this rubber stamp, till I learned to turn it over and press the tag onto the inked stamp. These carrot bags were perfect for a few little treats each.

I baked cookies and cupcakes. I am making two oldies but goodies for Easter... Jello broken glass cake, a staple in our house when we were kids. It's from the book, Joy of Jello and takes a few steps to make. The other is chocolate eclair cake with graham crackers, pudding and chocolate ganache frosting. I choose these because they can be made way ahead of time. With the house full of guests, and some VIPs staying for a while, I want to be part of the fun.

With the forty days of a Lent almost over, I can see the fruits of my labor. Clean drawers, cabinets, a fresh coat of paint on the kitchen. I gave up clutter, moved and walked each day. Sewing and crafting, taking care of our dear Charlotte. Even started on some outdoor cleanup. I have to say I feel satisfaction that I spent these days busy... Every job done with love. Isn't that what Easter is all about, Love?

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy this beautiful day.

xxoo Penny

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, April 14, 2014

Weekend Update

I've been running since Thursday...A big combined service night and Guild meeting.  Made these cookies,
flavored with orange zest.  The grating was done by my constant companion Charlotte.  Charlotte went from pain free immediately after the surgery to more painful the last few days.  The healing is beginning, so soon will start the PT.  She has been the best and most appreciative patient.
Does anything smell fresher than a fresh cut or zested orange?

Friday was a beauty, warm and sunny.  I got out to rake the front yard and sweep the deck.  That first day out is really great, except for the blister I always get when raking, even with gloves.

Then Saturday, we shopped for Easter brinner, I have a brunch/dinner to accommodate the some family who would other wise miss an early brunch.  Three stores later the cupboards are filled.  Just as we were leaving home  the skies opened up.  We had a hail storm, and the hail was big.  
 It was hitting the windows and bouncing off the lawn.  There are a few dents in hubby's car.
Only the day lilies are up...before the grass has even greened up.  After Sunday's rain I noticed many more growing things, and the grass in just a day has turned a beautiful shade of green.
 I spent Sunday finishing up a few things before I put the sewing machine away till after Easter.  I found the blue fabric thrifting and the lace is from a twin sized sheet I found a while back.
 It was three parts, top and bottom scallop and the embroidered center section.  I cut it apart to use on some hand towels, inspired by some I saw on Pinterest.

 I layered a couple of fabrics and sewed them down.  Busy work, anxiety busting work.  Nothing bad happening, just changes coming to my family. I'll fill you in as things progress.  I have to keep busy, and I have.
 A couple more to add to my collection. I've made so many things lately,  I actually started to keep all my  finished projects in a suitcase.
I finished these too.  Maybe I can become a door to door Vintage Salesperson, like the Fuller Brush Man back in the day. I've thought of etsy, doing a craft show or flea market...or taking a space in a antique mall. Just that I've been there, done that in my youth and remember how hard it is to sell what you make.

Just be warned, if you are coming to Easter, you will be going home with a crocheted jar cozy, or tea towel or a lavender sachet...:-)  Just think of it as helping me keep my mental health.  Busy week, Holy Week...blessings to all of you this Easter.  

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy this beautiful day!