Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Visit to The Grove

When my kids were young, and we lived in Chicago, I longed for a bit of country. We always found it at The Grove, in Glenview Illinois.  Just a short drive up Milwaukee Avenue, we'd be transported to a beautiful prairie grove with a wonderful nature museum. That's where we took our little bird for a nature  walk.   

 The visitors center has many displays...with live turtles and snakes...fish and birds indigenous to our area.
 The grounds are beautiful...You can take a walk on the path or on a boardwalk over the water.

Double click to see the dragonfly!
Dr. John Kennicott's Grove is a National Historic Landmark.  One hundred and twenty three acres.   It's filled with history, and I see something new at every visit.

A great old oak watches over the parking lot.  Don't miss the Native American Longhouse, the one room Schoolhouse or the tour of the Redfield Estate.
What did our little one enjoy the most?  The spider webs on the porch of the visitor's center, and the two squishy snakes we bought her at the gift shop.
I was nostalgic walking the paths I walked with my own kids.  Seeing it through the eyes of a child again was such a pleasure.  Thanks to the Glenview Park District and the volunteers that protect this treasure.

Monday, August 29, 2011

About Love, Friends and Family

Two summers ago a young couple in love wanted to get married.  Money was tight, so some friends got together and threw them a beautiful wedding, on half a shoestring budget...Really, there was no budget, just four friends and the desire to make this young couple's wedding a  wonderful day they would always remember.  The young couple are Vee and Steve, my dear friend Carmella's son and daughter in law.  Our generous friend Jeanie, gave us the run of her beautiful home and garden.  Dearest Adeline and Deacon Ed, officiated. (We recently lost dear Ed, and miss him so...)  Carmella took care of a million things... and the catering, and  I took care of all the foo fooing.  (I think foo fooing is Polish for,  make pretty;-)

All the flowers (except for the fresh flowers on the tables) were silk.  The couple had another ceremony at home, and wanted to reuse all the bouquets and corsages.

I took the arbor out of the ground at home, and layered on the tulle and flowers. Jeanie's yard is THE place for a beautiful garden wedding. The weather was  picture perfect... It was a beautiful day.

A very happy day for Vee and Steve...  The reason I'm reminded of this lovely day,  is because Vee and Steve recently had a very special addition to their family...

A brand new baby boy!  Welcome Malachi, welcome to the world.  Your Mom and Dad and Sister and Brother will take good care of you, and love you very much.   Grandma Carmella, once she gets her arms around you, well, we may never get her back home. God bless this young family and may they live happily ever after!

P.S. Happy Birthday dearest Carmella, xxoo

Friday, August 26, 2011


Every Autumn I have some regrets... that I didn't plant pumpkins...I did...

That I didn't plant marigolds...I did...

That I didn't plant sunflowers...I did...
The sunflower stalks are over 8 feet tall, and have just started to flower. I'll need a cherry picker to photograph them!
An autumn with no garden regrets.  A first for me!  Have a great weekend dear friends. 

P.S. A quick shout out to my dearest daughter, who this week experienced her first earthquake and now is bracing for her very first hurricane.  Of all the things I worried about when Kristen moved to NY, those two never even crossed my mind.  God bless you Kris...and Doug.  We love you so!  Irene, be kind to NYC!

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Cinderella Story

Once upon a time, at a magical farm called NaDa, I bought a Cinderella pumpkin.  This was the prettiest pumpkin ever, and it stayed fresher longer than any pumpkin I've ever had.  It  lasted well into Thanksgiving and only when the Christmas decorations went up, did I decide that it was Cinderella's time to go.  With a heavy heart I thought of just tossing her, but at the last moment I decided to cut her open and save a few seeds.

Early in June the "Little Bird" and I planted a few of those magical seeds in our little garden.  In fact we planted two kinds of pumpkins, the other being Jack Be Little.  The vines have been growing...

over the fence and up the arbor.  Many Jack Be Little pumpkins are on the vines, but no Cinderella's...till now!

I spy several Cinderella's

They are all growing up on the arbor or on the fence.  I'm thinking of crocheting some hammocks for them to help support their weight.

 They still have a lot of growing to do...and it's so much fun to watch!

Without much attention from me, everything is growing, thanks to the rain and the cool nights we've been having.

Not too many more days of summer to enjoy.

Here's hoping for a happy ending to this Cinderella Story.  Enjoy this beautiful day!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Leaf Project Completed

I love when a project gets completed.  I especially like when I am pleased with the results.
What started out as an email from my daughter Kristen, sometime last year...

Became an idea for a favor for a dear friend's daughter, also named Kristen!

After hours of cutting and hand sewing, finding the acorn bells, a perfect accent, and the timely arrival of the printed ribbon...  LEAVES!

I've spend the last few days on projects, leaves, sewing pillowcases and sachet hearts and also visiting with  my soon to be 11 year old niece Em who starts 5th grade today.  We crafted, and baked... she helped turn pillowcases, we laughed and sang karaoke.  Em was a little nervous about today, but I know she'll do great. She got the teacher she wanted and her best friend is also in her class this year.  A very good start, I'd say.   "It's a Whole New World", Em, and I'm singing it loud and off key!! 

Enjoy this beautiful day my friends.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Brother Greg

My brother Greg called first thing this morning... "Did you know that Rudolph Valentino died today? Eighty five years ago? He remembers because our Dad was born that day. Someday Greg will win a million dollars knowing the answer to this trivia question.
Greg always remembers... Mom's birthday, Mom and Dad's Anniversary. He's not one to call and "talk". He'll call and say when I'm babysitting, "You can't keep my baby girl...Isn't she pretty? That's the whole conversation, but it means so much to me. It keeps us connected. I love that he remembers too. Maybe my other brothers remember it's Dad's birthday, but Greg calls. We remember you today Dad, and yes, I am being nicer to my brothers.  Love you and thank you Greg, for remembering.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

What a Sunday!

 It was a BEAUTIFUL day...  we shared the highway with some sweet rides.  These kind folks even slowed down so I could get a picture.
We got lost, with all roads leading to lakes.  It was an adventure, and saw some beautiful sights we would have missed staying on the regular path.
At the Wilmot Flea my hubby redeemed himself with the purchase of yet another wooden tool box.  This one is just like the one I've been planting in for years. (Earlier this summer, I had just said, "You know that tool box is one of my favorite things"...when dear sweet unsuspecting hubby picked it up by the handle and it fell apart.) I felt bad...he felt worst!
Some new tools for the kitchen.  I never have enough measuring cups and spoons, especially during the cookie frenzy at Christmas.  I've been looking for this old school potato peeler.  I can peel 10lbs of potatoes in no time with this type of peeler. If you're asking, When do you have to peel 10 lbs of potatoes?...you've never been at my house at Thanksgiving!   The last one was probably thrown away accidentally, and if you're like me... I can't hit my stride with the new fanged peelers. 

If you read Midwest Living, in the Sept/Oct issue, dear Anne Marie of NaDa Farm is featured on the Out and About page.  Anne Marie is planning another sale at her beautiful farm in the fall.  Stop by her blog for some grace and inspiration.  Have a great day.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Like Sand Through the Hourglass...

So go the last rummage sales of summer...   I'm having a thing lately for aluminum.  It is everywhere, and so inexpensive.  The tray with the world on it was $1.  Everything looks nicer on a tray, from store bought cookies, to soaps and cotton balls, a must for candle displays.  
 Crackers and cheese, a place to drop the mail and your keys...  You get the picture.
Zinnias seem to be a theme here.  I'm sure the print was from a grocery store promotion.  We had the Blue Boy and Pinky fine art prints hanging on the wall in my home growing up, from the grocery.  I liked the green mossy look to this pot, and a picnic basket, I have a hard time walking away from one of those.
 A brand new makeup case and a clock.  The clock says Villa Del Domenica.  One of my best friends in childhood was named Domenica, but we all called her Mamie.  One name brings back a flood of memories.  I hope that life has been happy for this dear friend of long ago.
Quotes, I can't get enough of them and Ideals.  Ideals was a staple in the 60's, and must have been treasured by folks, as they are plentiful still today.  I think it is still published.  Filled with beautiful photographs, poems and QUOTES, I love to have them around.

I am seeing light at the end of the tunnel.  A misunderstanding changed my deadline for the leaves I'm hand sewing, from October to next weekend!  Let's just say, felt and floss flew, and I've made 60!  Other projects got sent off, more have come in.  My sewing machine got tuned, and I have pillowcases and sachet hearts to finish this week.  Visitors from the East will arrive for the holiday weekend and I couldn't be happier.  Life is GOOD!  Hope you are having a great weekend, take care dear friends, and enjoy this beautiful day!