Monday, May 22, 2017

In The Garden

 "Nature never did betray the heart that loved her." - William Wordsworth

After a windy wet and cold several days the sun came out and I felt the need to get into the garden.
I purchased just a few plants, and plan to plant plenty of seeds.
 These look like mini foxglove.
 tiny zinnias...
 the bees and hummingbirds love them.
 Last year I started a ivy wreath with cuttings from a garden in Michigan and additional plants I bought.  I thought it might survive the winter, but ...
not a speck of green.
A project that I will enjoy, even if only for the season.

A local store has geraniums for .49 each.
They grew quickly last year,  and I love the light pink flowers that fill the plant all summer and through the fall.

 This plant I wintered over in the house.  It flowered in February and through the early spring.  Now outside, no buds yet but lush foliage.
 Other plants for our fairy garden.
 A little bit of the ground cover is coming back and will soon fill the bowl with the creeping charlie, or is it jenny?
 The lily of the valley is still blooming.  Oh the amazing scent.
 A garbage picked birdbath.  The robins love it.
 This gazing ball from years ago.  I glued pennies all over it, and there are still quit a few that have hung on.  Aleene's Tacky Glue!

 The roses have set buds.  I don't expect the river of roses w had last year.
 The endless summer hydrangea.  I hope for a few blooms after last years terrible showing.
 A bee balm that has to go into the ground.  From a neighbor's garden.
 Only one milkweed.  I will sow some seeds today in a sunnier part of the garden.
 I still have old canes to cut back,
 and weeding continues.
 Some rose mallow that hasn't been in this garden for a few years volunteered.
 Oh my peonies.  The anticipation!  I look out the window just waiting.
 Those buds, waiting for the right moment to thrill.
 My Annabell hydrangea.  It is enormous.  I will have hundreds of blooms.
 This angel has been a part of my garden for at least 20 years.
 These ducks used to be brightly colored.  I like them better now weathered and washed.
 It's the little touches I love.
 and my big bottle tree.  Impressive for someone who does not drink wine.
 A real oasis from the world, our deck and yard.
 Our maple that was just a baby when we moved in.
 It's peaceful, and clears the mind of worry.
The sound of running water is the perfect background.  
Alexandra Stoddard says, "The more we expose ourselves to all of these magical happenings (in the garden) the more we revere life."
Here we are, the happy grandparents with our babygrand at her birthday party this Saturday.  She had a "stinky sock" party at a jump and play kind of place that smells like stinky socks.  We did not stay but delivered the cupcakes and favors.    The sparkle in her eyes and the smile on her face was so beautiful.  Penny had the very best time.  Later we face timed and she open her gifts.   Could we be any more in love?  Five years old this week.  Penny has filled our lives with so much fun and excitement but especially love,  Happy Birthday Penny!

"As I grew older, I thought the best part of my life was over
then I had a grandchild
and realized
the best part of my life had just begun!"  
Author Unknown

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

Monday, May 15, 2017

How I Missed Two Vintage Shows, But Had a Great Weekend Anyway...

 I couldn't wait to go to the Vintage Show at The Grove.  Last year we went and never got into the show.  We were directed to go to a parking lot a 1/4 mile away, to wait for a shuttle, which turned out to be a school bus.  There was no way we were getting on a school bus.  This year we left early and were waved into the Grove.  Relief, we were in at 9:07!  Then the parking attendant told us to leave and park at a local hotel parking lot,this lot was for handicapped parking only.  The show started at 9:00!  We left.  We headed back towards home but stopped at a garage sale on the way.  I found the great tablecloth pictured above,  Linen... (and met a wonderful woman named Sue who is moving to Arizona and has to lighten her load.)
 The little canvas,
 which matches my vignette in our foyer perfectly.

 This tablecloth, vintage, cotton with some wear and tear but beautiful,
... and the cross stitch kit that I may never do, but hubby said I had to have it.  It's our thing, the seasons!
I spent less than the admission price we would have spent on the show.  The crate came from a sweet woman's garage sale closer to home named Nancy.  I fell in love with this old crate, and my dearest found this cool drying rack.
 Two really great picks at bargain prices.
 Later we tried to go to the Pepper Road vintage show.  Close enough, and a totally different venue than the Grove sale, but with the same parking problem.  No signage, cars we parked along the roads and all around the industrial park it was located in.  Maybe we are just too old to hike a mile, or too cautious to park illegally.  Anyway we got back on Northwest Highway and headed for home.
We had company coming for a Mother's Day barbecue.  I had prepared almost everything ahead of time, and son Jon took over the grill.  We had a great evening, a bonfire with smores.  All the kids were able to come and linger.  We stayed outside still the stars were out.  We saw bats flying and a very bright star.  Our resident astronomer told us it was too bright to be a star, it must be a planet.  I looked it up, Penny was right, it was Jupiter! Penny called me the best Grandmother in the universe as we strapped her into her car seat.  SIGH...  Having all my kids laughing and hanging out together is the best gift. I posted on Kristen's facebook page that I love being her Mom and Jon's Mom and Mike's Mom, but being a Grandmother is the best job in the world. (and no parent teacher conferences!)
I found this frame at a thrift store for a couple of bucks.  A project piece.  More on that at a later date.
 Sunday was a visit to the cemetery.  I cleaned up my Buscia's gravestone.  I wanted to bring a knife and a brush but forgot.  We cleaned it with a snow brush and ice scraper we had in the car.  We owe everything to my Buscia.  She came alone to the US, so brave.  She started our family with our grandfather and with her 4 children.  I promised to return in August for her birthday to complete the job. (I once swore to my Mom that I would never be hanging around a cemetery, but there I was, sitting on the grass, tearing away sod with my bare hands.  When my Mom was young they brought picnic lunches as they decorated the graves.)
We of course stopped by my Mom and Dad's resting places.  (graves is SO final) We always fall into this one sided dialog, telling Mom and Dad the family news and how much they are missed.  The tears always come, but my honey is there to comfort me.  It's a bittersweet day.  So grateful for my Mom, so grateful for my children and now my granddaughter.

The rest of Sunday was a beautiful ride, way up Milwaukee Avenue all the way to Wisconsin.
So much has changed in the 40 some years since we've been headed up north this way.  There are still familiar spots, but not much open space like when we were young. We've been having Sunday drives since we were dating.  Still my favorite thing to do with my favorite guy.

Kristen a wonderful Mother, spent the day with Doug and Penny.  Jon and Charlotte enjoyed a day with absolutely nothing to do and Mike and Amanda went out for breakfast and visited friends in the evening.  I really liked this Mother's Day Eve thing we did.  Maybe it will become a tradition.

Thanks so very much for stopping by and for your friendship.
Enjoy this beautiful day.

Love, Penny

Monday, May 8, 2017

Weekend Update

A little crafty project, with a little thrifted bouquet. A metal ring, also picked up for a few cents.
 I wrapped the wire ring with grapevine wire, and then wired on a few faux ferns I already had.
 I wired in a few tiny ivy leaves.
 This is the after, what was left of the thrifty flowers.
Hung against my Wyeth Blue walls...just pretty.

Working on saving these precious little flower embroideries
 Four of them hung in oval plastic frames hung on a ribbon.  First I soaked them and let them air dry.
Oh the work involved!  Those tiny bleeding hearts just about broke my heart.
 Daisies and asters...
 The buds,
The blooms!  Pockets?  Pouches?   An addition to a quilt I've been contemplating?  So many orphan embroideries in my collection need a home,  A cold weather project, certainly not for the spring.
Even with allergies, or a cold, or whatever I have,
the outdoors calls me.
Penny's photo of us

A kind stranger's photo
Friday, we had to go to the city to pick up our son Mike who was helping his brother on the first ever weekend in recent memory that they both had three days off.  We also picked up our favorite almost five year old.  We pretended out in the yard.  Our girl was a rich and famous rock star.  Her band "Rock Me Again and Again and Again" lives in a mansion (our house) and she showed me around "her" garden.  I weeded as we walked and she thanked me for keeping "her" gardens looking so nice.  The imagination this girl possesses is epic.  I remember things if I write them down, but in six months she will say, "remember Grandma, when we pretended that my rock band had a mansion"... I love playing along and pretending.  Mike who was asleep in the couch inside was a band member, our house was a mansion.  So much fun, the sweetest work ever, being a Grandma.
Saturday we went to local garage sales.  Shopping with Penny is a trip.  She found Cinderella's glass slippers,(clear plastic princess shoes) sat on the driveway and put them on.  They were a perfect fit!  Who does that happen to?  Then the kind neighbors insisted that she have them, no cost.  She had five dollars to spend and she spent those dollars wisely.  She bought two dresses for herself, a small locker, a golf club and bag, a ball at another sale. A doll, a sister for her American girl doll, three dinosaurs that she knew the names of.  I didn't find much, since I have to have an eagle eye on her at all times, and she moves fast!  Grandpa was the bag carrier.  

 We were headed to the Lake later in the afternoon, but it was cold...anyway Grandma was cold.  Instead we stopped at the Botanic Garden.  There we followed Penny as she took us down paths we would never attempt on our own.  All the while she assured us we were not lost, she knew exactly where we were.
 We followed her until our knees told us it was time to follow the even path.
 What a treasure the gardens are, and we are enjoying my Christmas gift almost every week.
 Such inspiration.
Beauty where ever you look.
On Sunday, back to the city to pick up son Jon and return Penny to her rested parents.  Jon took engagement photos of Mike and Amanda.  I snapped a few photos myself, but we will have to wait for Jon's amazing work. Charlotte came by later after a day with her Mom and sisters.
Sunday dinner with our sons and their lovely ladies with a little TV watching, laughs and love.  Having my kids all close has been life changing in the best possible way.

I am facing the allergy season with plenty of Kleenex and the refusal to medicate myself.
This year seems particularly bad for me, and there also is the challenge of having two very dear people in our family, being close and visiting often, but they have three cats.  Another of the triggers for my symptoms.   I would rather be snotty, and see them as often as they like. 
Once the air conditioner is used later, things will be much better. Which reminds me, time to change the furnace filter. (Yes it's May 8th and we still have the heat on.)

Some birthday treat bags for our girl's birthday party for her classmates is my job.  Anyway I made it my job.  I got hints from the birthday girl herself. Looking for cool stuff to please her guests. Then,  the garden calls.  We in Chicagoland always start planting on or after Mother's Day.  We have yet to find an arbor to replace the one our bittersweet vine broke to pieces.  The vine was cut to the ground, but it has sprouted, along with our kiwi vine and climbing rose. Busy yes, but I will try to savor each day.  The days fly by fast, especially in spring and summer. I don't want to miss one beautiful minute. 

 Take care my friends and thanks so much for stopping by.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny