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

Monday, June 5, 2017

It's all about the garden...

 The search for hollyhocks took us far and near.  Of course we found them right in our own backyard here in Palatine.  Hollyhocks are the one flowering plant that I have been missing for years.
 They will go in the circle garden that I have neglected this spring.
I can't wait to see what colors I have.  I vividly remember hollyhocks from my youth, but usually in other peoples gardens.    They seemed to be everywhere.  I have always loved hollyhocks, and now they will be part of my garden.
 My little herb garden is complete, thyme, basil and lemon balm.
 Everything is filling in and growing nicely.
 This is rose mallow that I haven't seen in the garden since we removed the pond.  It will be filled with rose colored flowers in a week or two
 My Annabelle hydreagea is covered in buds.

 as is my little plot of lavender.  This little crop is full and lush this year.

 The peonies are still blooming and the first bunch I cut are still beautiful in a vase inside.
A zinnia  means summer!
 We did hit the thrift...and I found this bouquet.  A couple of dollars for all the flowers...
 before deconstruction...
 ranunculus, white and yellow.

I was lucky at a couple of garage sales and found some vintage linens for a quarter each.  Some young girls were selling American Girl doll clothes for .50 each.  I bought Penny some cute tiny dresses for her doll.  I also bought the tartan covered casserole.  Thinking ahead to Christmas.
A vintage book of Hymns.

Then the candle holders.  Making even a funky citronella candle pretty outside.

 Orphan needlework.
 A Pottery Barn silver plated julep cup.  A silver hobnail vase with handle.

 Miscellaneous treasures.  A zinc basket, a bobbin, and a small box that looks like a book filled with sewing pins.
I have a cloche with small books, and this will look perfect on my stack.

Laundry, watering, planting, planning, up with the sun.  The calendar still says spring, but it sure feels like summer.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny