Thursday, July 31, 2014

Our 38th Wedding Anniversary

Our love is an endless season. I think we are now in late summer, early autumn!
It is hard to believe that 38 years have passed since that day. What we didn't know was a lot, all we knew was love. It has sustained us through all these years, and made our bond a powerful one. I still swoon when I see his beautiful brown eyes smile at me, and that happens every time we look at each other. Through great times, hard times, we manage to have a good time together. He makes me week in the knees and floats my boat...I think he likes me too. Happy Anniversary dearest. I love you so.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I can see clearly now...

Small accomplishments sometimes reap great rewards. That's how I felt after washing my kitchen window over the sink. It is the one difficult window to wash in the whole house. I need to climb into the sink to reach it, but the reward is great!
Like no glass at all.

The garden is at it's peak. In a week or two the summer will start winding down. No harvest except for the lavender. I didn't do much in the garden this year except enjoy the perennials and plant a few annuals on the deck. I love the cool weather we've been having. I am part polar bear and am suited to cooler temps and less humidity.

I don't remember planting this. It was probably a gift I stuck in the ground. I smelled the fragrance before I saw the bloom. I like it much better outdoors, inside it is too overpowering. What a beauty.

And speaking of beauty... I got to play in a garden via FaceTime. I saw a piggy bank and a bridge... Pete the cat was there too. A guided tour by my babygrand. This one is, well, there are no superlatives that do justice to describe my sweetest sweet p. Thanks to my daughter Kristen, and technology, I am included in my granddaughter's life daily. For this I am so very grateful. Kris knew I'd love this photo, and suggested I share it here. Love, love, love my girls!

Even though my Susan Branch calendar says that July has thirty days...I know there are always 31 days in July. Our 38th wedding anniversary is tomorrow! We will celebrate it as we have celebrated all of our anniversaries, except one...(last year, sales meeting, grrrr) TOGETHER. The only way to celebrate our love.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy this beautiful day.


Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, July 28, 2014

Listening to...Out of Africa

Out of Africa?  That is the music I am listening to as I write this post.  Funny how music can transport you to a place you've never been.  It can put you on a porch of a coffee plantation with Robert Redford... flying over the African plains... sitting in front of a fire on safari..  What would life be like without music?

In a couple of weeks we will be truly empty nesters. Our son Michael, (who is fully recovered from his surgery) found a job in Michigan and will be leaving us. My heart is heavy, because I am such a sentimental mope.  Mike is so happy, excited and a little apprehensive.  I prayed for this, his happiness, though I was not specific.  I should have prayed for him  to be happy in a 30 mile radius of home sweet home.;-)  I am comforted by technology.  I played with our sweet p. this morning.  Really played while she cooked for me and Papa.  We pretend all the time now, her imagination is awesome.  I know that Mike won't want to spend the same kind of face time with dear old Mom and Dad, but the fact that I will see him and keep in touch with face time, phone and texts will make the separation much easier.(for Mom!)  The fact that he will be just hours away is also a comfort.  He has a wonderful sweetheart, Amanda who will be there for him. She makes Mike very happy. All a Mom can ask for right?
So while our truck is in the shop, again, I played.  I printed some things from my Pinterest board called of all things Printables.  These button cards are so pretty.  I printed them to card stock and then stuck them to another layer before I cut them out.  I used a sanding block and some old paper ink to hide the white edges of the paper. The finished card has the buttons on and the edges sanded and inked .It really makes a difference.  They do look vintage.

Then I found these spool cards.  Treated them the same as the button cards with a double layer, a little old paper ink on the edges and wound them with some old crochet thread.  Just having fun kind of work.

My dearest shared an iTunes card with me.  I downloaded so many great songs, the Theme from Out of Africa, Somewhere in Time, and including a album we had when we were kids.  It is called, I Love Paris by the 101 Strings Orchestra.  My Dad had a thing for all things French.  He spent time in France after WW II and it made quite an impression on him.  These songs really take me back.  I also found a song I have been looking for for years.  It's called the Trumpeter's Lullaby. (I tried to attach a link unsuccessfully, but you can find it on YouTube)  I had the wrong name and couldn't find it, but this song has been in my head for ages.   It came to me that maybe it would be on one of Doc Severinsen's albums from Tonight Show fame, and it was. It's as lovely as I remembered it, and made me think of my Dad who loved the song too. It's so cool  how when I download to my iPad it automatically loads to my phone! TECHNOLOGY!

On Saturday we walked the path on the most beautiful evening.  See our shadows on the trees?
Since the path is much higher than local homes, the wind blows in the most delightful way.
The sky was so beautiful and the only sound was of the wind.
We sat alongside the path and I shared the new music with my dearest.  Our own private Ravinia.
I always talk about gratefulness, but I truly am.  One act of my life is ending, with another new and unknown second act about to begin.  With happy tears in my eyes, a prayer on my lips and love in my heart, back to where it all began, just the two of us!

Enjoy this beautiful day.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thrifting on Tuesday

In between all the real life stuff happening here in English Valley, there has been some time for fun, and by that I mean Thrifting!  We have visited a couple of thrift stores, a flea market and a rummage sale.  These are my latest finds.  First the baby afghan, in perfect fact I don't think it was ever washed, the attached tag saying, Made in Italy, Marshall Fields and Company, For the Very Young, was brand new.   I am banned from buying our sweet p. another blanket, unless I keep it here!  This will be adorable on her little toddler bed at Grandma's. Three dollars.
I found this fabric at a rummage sale.  It was folded, no price, so I asked...$1.00!  I brought it home, washed it, measured it...5 and a half yards, VIP fabric.  My guess from the Roses, Roses, Roses line that was so popular in the 80's. I've found dollar a yard fabric, but you can't beat 18 cents or so a yard!
 I got these ancestors at the flea market.  The school photo magnified is priceless.  There are all the characters that you had in your grade school class... Just the same a hundred years ago. I dropped the box of photos at the flea market and had to pick up each one...I was embarrassed.  The kind gentleman said the box was already broken and gave me these three photos for a dollar.  I was thrilled.
Maybe you noticed this tray.  I passed it by on one visit, but when it was still there the next time we went to the thrift I snatched it up.  I've got a thing for LEAVES...said with a sweeping gesture of my hand. Anyone remember that commercial?
Anywho, it is locally made, right down the road in Dundee, Illinois.  They came in all shapes and sizes and go for about $12 to $14 on eBay.  It's not going anywhere, I think it is so cool, especially for Autumn.  $3.00!
 Six berry baskets, 3 for a quarter!
Did I mention that my granddaughter is interested in medicine?  It's true!  She was using Mommy's headphones as a stethoscope, with the headphones around her neck and the plug as a shot or to check Mommy's heart beat.  Clever girl!  I bought and sent her a brand new Fisher Price Medical set.  They don't come in the black doctor's bag like they did back in my children's day, but in a small green bag. Sweet p.loves it. Mommy gets many shots and checkups.  Daddy has been a patient too.
When I saw this at the flea, I walked over to check it out.  The kind lady selling it said if you want it you can have it for a dollar...the dog chewed some of the pieces! Now sweet p. can take care of Papa and Grandma when she comes to visit.  A little run in the dishwasher and a little repair to the jagged edges and she'll be in business.  Dr. Penny has a nice ring to it!
Reminds me...We had a dog when the kids were young that ate all the feet off of Kristen's Strawberry Shortcake dolls. The dolls smelled like fruit and irresistible to Scruffy. ;-)
Finally, my new collection... I now have three hobnail pieces which makes it an official collection.  Like I needed another one.  Oh well, simple pleasures. I don't treat my hydrangea to change their color from pink to blue, but this single blue one showed up.  Could it have been from the rusting metal flower sculpture nearby?

Thanks for stopping by and for your kind and caring comments.  It means the world to me.
Enjoy this beautiful day and Happy Thrifting!

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Bittersweet Homecoming

This is our family home in Chicago.  We lived there for many years.
It is changed from when we left 20 years ago.
 Funny that both my brother and we parked as close
 as possible to the old house
and walked to the Church just around the corner.
 On Friday, I returned home to Chicago, my home Parish and our old home.  The occasion was the Memorial Service for my friend Ed.  I posted about him here..  Ed went missing back when he was just 22, and his remains were just identified this year.
 It was an emotional day.  Seeing Ed's Father and Sister was especially hard, but they were so happy to see us, and we were greeted so warmly. Both Ed's Father and Sister told us a story of how once Ed was going to see me, but Ed's Mom was afraid that my husband would object. The memory made us all laugh. We were friends, and because of our years together in the Young People's Choir, more like family.
It was a day of many happy reunions. Dear friends, familiar faces. When I saw this lovely lady I was overjoyed.  This is Mary.  We worked together at a local savings and loan when I was just engaged to my sweetheart, till I became pregnant with our daughter Kristen.  Mary was such a wonderful example...she did more by 9am then most people do all day.  Taking care of a very large family, she would bake, do laundry, clean, prepare dinner all before working a full day at the bank.  The thing I remember most was her kindness and her ability to forgive those who were sometimes unkind.  After an incident that would make anyone angry, she would turn around and do something wonderful, killing the offender with kindness.  I may have overwhelmed her with my enthusiasm to see her, but she really made an impression on this then young woman..
 Many friends were there.  Unfortunately none of my contemporaries were able to attend.  This made me the "senior" choir member.  My brother Larry played guitar and lead us in a couple of songs.  I confess, most of the time I just cried.  The flood of memories and all the ghosts that filled the Church, dear family and friends who are now gone, the tears just fell.  On the last song, I sang as best I could.  If Ed had been there he surely would have made me laugh.  It was a beautiful memorial and the goodbye that came after 28 long years of wondering.

When I was young, daisies were THE flower...along with babies breath.  When I saw these on our walk
it reminded me of many many happy times.  You cannot help but be introspective after saying goodbye to a friend who never got to grow old.   In my memory dear Ed will be forever young.

May Ed rest in peace.  I hope he knows how loved he was, and how I will never forget him.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Glimpse of Autumn

Right there, on my sugar maple, a glimpse of Autumn.  As July is quickly passing, it's time to grab all the summer you can.
Watch clouds, blow bubbles, go to the beach, have a picnic, get wet, garden, dine alfresco, take a long ride into the country, eat sweet corn and watermelon, sit outside, wave to neighbors, go to the lake, walk in the woods, watch the stars, sit around a fire, make s'mores, watch for the International Space Station 
Pick flowers, spread a blanket on the grass and cuddle, sit on a swing, mosey around the block, squeeze out every ounce of summer that you can...

Thanks for stopping by, enjoy this beautiful day.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Midsummer's Table

 My sewing machine was in the shop and all I wanted to do was sew.  I cannot sit still, specially when stressed out, and last week was a doozy.  So as my son slept and my honey was otherwise occupied,  I grabbed a bunch of stuff  I've been collecting for just this occasion.  A fantasy lunch, a Midsummer's Table. Everything except the place mats, salt and pepper was thrifted...and the wooden forks came from my one and only trip to Anthropology.
 Remember the fifty cent lantern?  Here I used a blue ball jar as an insert and used it as a vase.  I used my Endless Summer hydrangeas and some ornamental grass that has grown here in the yard since we moved in.
Just a quick will be 20 years in August that we moved to Palatine from Chicago. Time flies!
I found the four melamine plates with a bandanna pattern, and thought they would be fun for the 4th...
Much prettier using just the blue and natural tones. I tied the napkin with the grass leaves, tucked in a cool wooden fork and a seed head of grass.
 I used my vintage canning jar glasses I made, along with a vintage carafe filled with lemon water.
Those little bird salt and pepper shakers were a gift.  Perfect little addition. The tablecloth is one of my favorites. Looks all Pottery Barnish.
 Come on, sit down and visit!
 The leaf plate is a thrift store find, made by Hager Pottery, close by in East Dundee.  Are you hooked on watermelon?  I am this summer, and grapes. (That is what I craved during all of my pregnancies...What the heck? ;-)
 The yard is so peaceful in the afternoon.  Under the shade of a big blood maple, listening to the birds...

It was fun setting the table, and fun imagining you here with me...You know who you are ;-)

Enjoy this beautiful day!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Everything Homespun

 With all the excitement around here as of late, I forgot to post about this sweet place in Wisconsin
called Everything Homespun.  I found it on an ad on Facebook, and the location sounded familiar.
We head up to Wisconsin often, we are only a hour or so from the state line, and my honey loves to drive to relax...So up we went. (This was weeks ago, I am a little tardy in my posting;-)
 So many lovely things primitives, farmhouse and vintage all set in lovely vignettes. I love how the sun was shining through the boards.
 A friendly atmosphere with a popcorn machine, coffee pot and cool drinks.  Even the powder room was pretty!

 What a guy! Papa is what the sweet p. calls Grandpa. To hear her say it, makes him turn to mush.
 So much to see, reasonable prices, many beautiful handmade items.
 Cozy corners chock full of pretty things.
 The outside was sweet too.
 This out building was filled with architectural items, doors and windows...Oh my the treasures!
This bunting, small flags with just one seam sewn becomes a pendant garland. What a great idea.
Oh the temptations....  but all that came home with me was this sweet hobnail vase.  Perfect for a beautiful hydrangea. Can't wait to go again in the Autumn on a cool crisp day.  A cozy destination, and a beautiful ride in the country...a perfect combination.

All is well at English Valley Hospital.  The patient, son Michael, recovering from a tonsillectomy, is in good spirits in spite of the constant pain and discomfort.  He is HUNGRY, and more than a little tired of all the soft things he is able to swallow comfortably. We are staying close to home, I hope to be a comfort to him. ;-)  I am enjoying the time I have to nurse him back to health.  What a special guy he is, and so grateful for our help. I love caring for my family, nothing gives me more satisfaction.  Important work, don't you think?

Thanks for stopping by and for all your kind comments.  I so appreciate your friendship.
Enjoy this beautiful day.