Monday, June 26, 2017

West Des Moines and Other Stuff

So, I went along on a business trip with my guy, to beautiful West Des Moines, Iowa.  I was very surprised to find a beautiful rolling countryside, very unlike our flat prairie here in Illinois. We have been through Iowa before, but I don't remember it being quite so lovely.
 We had dinner together and visited a thrift store that seemed out of place in the upscale "fancy pants" area we stayed in. (Close to the customer my dearest was visiting.)  It was a day in and day out kind of trip.  I supply the drinks and snacks, witty conversation, (ha) and company for the five an a half hour ride.  No big deal to us, we do a easy six hours in the car on a regular weekend.  Anyway, I crocheted and watched some news and 3 episodes of Fixer Upper, read, I mean really read a magazine (I like the photos) while my favorite computer geek did some business.
 Hopped back into the car and headed home.  So fortunate to have great weather, a dependable car and pleasant company, great tunes.  We listened to the new Beatles station on the Sirius radio.  We are still on a free trial, and let me tell you it's tempting to subscribe.  You can pick the decade you want to hear.  I claim I have no usable brain cells left because all the space is filled with song lyrics, and I can prove it.  I was singing songs I haven't heard in decades!
 We live in such a beautiful world.  The green, the clouds, the sunshine.  I cried at least twice, overcome by the beauty. (it's a combination of beautiful songs, happy memories and gorgeous scenery)
Then we were home again.  

Here are some thrift store finds...
This hand thrown colander will go to Kristen for cherries.
I do have a soft spot for any handmade pottery and it's everywhere.
I'm thinking these mugs will make a great gift with some flour sack towels, a pump soap for the kitchen.
These are from a rummage sale,priced at .25 each.  Those zinc lids are so cool.
This quilt, commercially made but queen sized.  We had a old Christmas quilt in the car, but now we'll have this for picnics and just in know, emergency snuggles.
It washed beautifully.
Penny has claimed this for tea parties.  Our girl is a romantic and loves so many things that Grandma loves too.

Today this will be filled with my hydrangeas.  They are in beautiful bloom, and with the cooler weather will last much longer when cut.

I've been crocheting washcloths and wrapping some fancy soaps as gifts.
Using what I have, and that my friends is so much.
When I saw this come up on my face book feed, I had everything at home including the dies that cut the dictionary paper into the ruffled edge circles. A very talented designer named Ellen Hull posts tutorials, and these lovely flowers are so up my alley.
Starts with a pearl on a wire.  Future DIL Amanda loved these, we'll see if they end up a part of her wedding plans. We are getting close to the one year mark!

This last week  two beautiful baby boys were born.  One of Kristen's friends had an beautiful boy named Henry.  One of my dear pals became a grandmother with the birth of her sweet grandson Aiden.  Babies bring so much happiness to a family, pure joy, that's what children bring to our world.

Thank you for stopping by.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny

Monday, June 19, 2017

Blue Skies and Pink Clouds

Father's Day, a day to honor all Dads, and remember those that are no longer with us.
We started our day with granddaughter Penny.  We had a little sleep over and she helped prepare brunch for all the family.
 We ended up outside on a beautiful day.  Lot's of laughs, games, pretending. Grandpa relaxed and enjoyed the company of his kids.  Talking tech, phones and jobs.  They are so like him in so many  wonderful ways.  Penny made a speech after we said grace.  I wish I could remember everything she said.  She took her Dad's hand and Grandpa's hand and said, "These guys have done a lot for our city"...  It was beautiful and inspirational and funny.  We all had tears in our eyes. What a girl!
Silly Uncles and crazy "corn dogs".  Jon is a magnet, never met a kid who didn't think he was hilarious.  I got to play catch with Jon.  My throwing arm is shot, but with a softball and throwing underhand we had fun.
Love having them home, comfortable and relaxed.  Best gift ever for their Dad and for me,  being together.
Then it was my turn for time with my guy.  A perfect evening at Ravinia.
 A movie on the lawn, accompanied by a live symphony orchestra.
 The music was beautiful, and the crowd was so quiet and respectful during the movie.
 So much fun when the weather cooperates.
Great way to end a picture perfect Father's Day, with the sweetest guy I know.

I have been busy,  I did a little crafting last week with my lavender harvest.
 a couple of pretty wreaths built on embroidery hoops and one lavender wand.
Smells like heaven.
The garden continues to dazzle.
 Here Penny is admiring our very first Hollyhock!
It's gorgeous and old fashioned.

Off to start my week.  Thanks for stopping by and for your friendship.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny

Thursday, June 15, 2017


 We have not had a vacation in many years.  We've traveled to see our kids and took day trips but we haven't be away, alone for too long.  This is the sunset over Green Bay Wisconsin.
 The Door County Peninsula is a bucolic retreat.  You can actually feel the tension leave your body once you cross the bridge in Sturgeon Bay.
 We've stayed at the same place for years. The kids used to love the pool and all the shops in the quaint towns up and down the peninsula.  I texted them when we arrived because I missed them and those happy days when we'd be all together, We'd be playing Uno and ordering Chinese one night and pizza the next.  They would be pruney from the pool and smelling of summer.
After we got settled in I appreciated the quiet and our time together alone.
We drove and lost...
 Everywhere you look cherry trees.
 Roads leading to more cherry trees...
or the beautiful bay on one side and Lake Michigan on the other.

We ate gelato in a sweet pizza place with the most beautiful garden.
I took these photos before we walked in.  We were met at the door by the owner of the restaurant who said, "I caught you peeking at my bloomers."  It took me a second to realize what he meant. He explained that the pink flower above is a tree peony.  They bloom on wood and grow bigger each year and more beautiful.  It was the most beautiful peony I have ever seen, and so fragrant.
The lupines were gorgeous too.

 The gardens were amazing in front of a shop selling Lavender products that are grown on Washington Island.  They distill their own lavender essential oil and had so many beautiful things.

 I asked to take some photos in the shop, but the owner said no.  There might be a little lavender competition in Door County.  We noticed another store advertising Lavender products in the brochures.
 I can't imagine a more beautiful store, or a prettier setting...
or a more handsome guy out front.
We had such a great time.  Shopped at all the familiar places, bought candles and dried cherries for Door County cherry chocolate chip cookies. Took our time, relaxed, napped and watched the sunset and the International Space Station fly by. Grateful for our many gifts in life, especially each other.

We came home to our own Lavender Festival.  My little patch grows happily on the south side of our home.  Not the prettiest place, but the micro climate there is perfect for my little piece of heaven.
SIL Elizabeth, future DIL Amanda and of course the Lavender Princess Penny all helped.
We cut back the plants...

and had two bountiful baskets of lavender.
Here's the Lavender Princess and her court.
A quickly made crown for the princess to wear for the parade.  Cousin Jim pulled Penny all around the yard in her coach...a wagon filled with the harvest and the sweetest Lavender Princess ever.  We had so much fun harvesting and playing together.
The real reason we were together was to celebrate Grandpa's birthday.  We had a pizza party and strawberry topped cheesecake birthday cake.   It was a relaxing party, full of love for my sweetheart.  He is the most deserving person to be showered with love and affection.

Serendipity I should find this on our vacation.

To top off our week of fun and frolic we waited in the rain at Ravinia last night.  The rain came down in a torrent until the parking lot started to flood.  We've spent enough time at Ravinia to know that even if the rain subsided, we'd be ankle deep in water and mud on the lawn.  We headed for home and had our picnic dinner inside.  Mike and Amanda were going to meet us there, but instead met us at home.  They took their dinner home too...  Another time guys.  Such is the way with Ravinia, if it rains, you lose.  Seeing all the damage in the area from last night's storms assured me we made the right decision.  A footnote to last night.  As the rain came down in buckets, my husband fell fast asleep in the car.  He said it was very soothing.  What a guy!

No need to water today, but so much to do inside.  
Thanks so much for stopping by and for your friendship.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny