Friday, August 29, 2014

Tablecloth Bonanza

Last weekend, we followed some signs to a rummage sale where I  hit the mother lode of vintage tablecloths. The kind woman running things was setting the prices, so when she said one dollar each, I could barely contain myself. These were not labeled, and I don't know for sure how old they are.  First is the polka dotted rose pattern. It's really unusual, I've never seen any similar.  So cheerful with the roses all around.

This colorful Autumn print.  Perfect for chilly picnics in the falling leaves.
This one's a hoot.  A farm harvest scene.  Sheaves of wheat, pumpkins and growing corn and some fancy dancing by the farmer and his gal pal.
So colorful and cheerful.
At the thrift I found a fancy twin sheet.
This will be pillowcases or a backing for a quilt for a small girl I know and love.
A reason to pull out my trash picked drying rack I like so much.

We spent the evening in the city Tuesday on a emergency mission.  Our dear Charlotte was doubled over in pain, Jon called, stuck at work, feeling helpless.  We got in the car like Batman and Robin.  My dearest got us to the city in record time and to Charlotte's side.  Off we went to the emergency room...imagine the music from Jeopardy, playing over and over in your head... the emergency room....where things move slow. Thankfully, it turned out that Charlotte's pain was nothing serious, just awfully painful.  We were able to stay with Charlotte until Jon could join her, and then stayed around for test results and to take them home.

We were at the same hospital where all of my babies were born, and driving there at night (like all my labors) was quite a blast from the past.  Driving in the city at night, and in the old neighborhood brought back many memories. It was surprisingly quiet with very little traffic.

We got home near 2am.  It took me a while to fall asleep.  Grateful that Charlotte would be better, thinking of all the people we saw go in and out of the ER. Families with sick babies, a young man who'd been injured in a fight, another young man with a bullet wound in the hand...  A young mother with a baby just learning to walk.  She amused him with a bracelet, moving it around the room so he would walk. Another man who injured his arm at work. I forget that every night when we are safe and comfortable in our beds, this drama plays out in Emergency Rooms all over Chicagoland, all over the US.  The Doctors and Nurses, the staff and even the guard and maintenance man were kind and patient. They do this every day and night, so grateful for their expertise.   God bless them all!

We are looking forward to the long holiday weekend.  Making small improvements around the house, heading to the Lake for a long walk and finishing a garden project I started in the spring...  Hope that you can get out and enjoy this last official summer weekend. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind comments.  Enjoy this beautiful day.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Dinner With Old Friends

We were so fortunate to have our dear dear pals join us for dinner.  The occasion was that Sue was visiting from California. (Sue's sweet hubby Laury stayed behind doing laundry.  More on that later.)  We always get together for pizza, and we decided to host the gang instead of going to the usually crowded and noisy restaurant.  We were just having a salad, pizza and dessert, but how often do you get to host a group like this, friends for almost 50 years! I set the table, picked some flowers from the garden and lit the lanterns.
It was so very good to be together again.  With a group like this, we pick up where we left off...are we 13 again, 21?  No more than thirty for sure.  This time the conversation was serious.  Sue was here cleaning out her parent's home.  Her dear Mom is failing, and the reality of us having lost our parents was a sad and hard situation we have all had to experience.   So we talked, and remembered, supported and loved each other.

Three of our handsome guys...Kev, Ron and my dearest.  Laury, Sue K's hubby was not able to be with us, but we all laughed at the text messages he was sending Sue.  Laury was asking detailed laundry questions that had us roaring with laughter.  He had the sorting down, but wasn't sure of what to bleach and when to bleach and the problem of things that weren't quite white or dark.  Oh Laur, you were missed but we loved hearing your laundry questions.  Priceless!
I always feel like Bigfoot with these tiny friends!  I've know Dot, Sue S. and Sue K. since 1968.  They have been friends since first grade, I was a newcomer in 8th grade when Sue K. invited me to a Halloween party.
The rest they say is history.  A special friend, who has known me, laughed with me, been there through it all, she is irreplaceable. I was there when she met Laury, she was there when I met my guy.  We danced together, sang together...spent evenings in her bedroom talking, talking, then sending letters and surveys, which were questions we didn't get to in our talks.  Time has not changed much between us, except the fact that she is clear across the country now. A friendship I cherish.  Sue S. is a grandma 3 times!  Sue and Ron have been together since 1969.  Ron just lost his dear Mom.  Ron's Mom was our Mom too.  She called us all her kids to the end, even though most of those kids are pushing 60 this year. Dot and Kev have been together a very long time too.  We all have been so fortunate to have married very young but chosen wisely.

Sue brought each of us girls a treasure from Mom and Dad's house.  A crochet dresser scarf made by her Italian Grandmother known to us a Grandma Pasta. I couldn't imagine a more perfect momento.

We had some dessert and all too soon it was time to say goodnight. Until we meet again dear friends, Love Happiness and Sunshine Always...

Your friend forever,

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Our Annual Visitor

  Our old friend Hummy is back.  A hummingbird that has visited for years.
Anyway, we like to think it is the same bird.  (I've read that some hummingbirds can live for 6, 8 or 10 years!)
Enlarge the photos to see this sweet visitor.
Years ago we helped a hummingbird who crashed into our patio door.  It was an encounter that son Jon and I will never forget.  Today's visitor reminded me of that day, and the strange coincidence that a hummingbird has visited every year since. A magical experience.

Enjoy this beautiful day my friends.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Project #1 in Progress

 The removal of the wallpaper was awful.  Days of peeling and scraping, still to have the walls look like
a mess.  I worked for a few days, resting my arms and neck for a day in between.  I am sure my work would not be acceptable to the professional, but to me the end result is pleasing.  On the worst parts of the wall I hung some vintage pages from a gardening book.  Giving the whole room a vintage look I am really digging the most!
 I spent only the cost of a quart of paint for the wainscoting, that I am yet to complete, and a small container of Spackle.  That's it.  I had the paint from my kitchen freshen up this spring. Free labor from my dear one and  my elbow grease pulled it all together
 This apothecary sign was hidden in my laundry room for years.  I paid $1.99 for it at the Hob Lob.
 The clock was thrifted or rummaged, can't remember.
 The towels I made years ago and never used. The apothecary print also a bargain from Hob Lob going back a few years. The photos are not great with no natural light and weird shadows... I used a flash to brighten things up.  Let's just say it looks good in dim light.  :-)
 Just a few of random book pages look really cool.
 The rug I've used and almost ruined in the kitchen has been cleaned and glued.  It looks so good right at the sink. Looking at my waste basket and thinking...what to do, what to do?...
Cleaning out this cabinet is the job for this gloomy day.

Before... I came a long way baby.

Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind comments.  I do here by solemnly swear to try to be a better blogger, have more interesting posts, visit all of my dear friends here in the Land of Blog...come September!  Ha, maybe October.  Thanks for sticking with me. I am grateful for your friendship.

Enjoy this beautiful day!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Mess, Some Play, A Miracle and Some Beauty

 First the MESS.  In my life, I have worked out problems getting busy with a project.  Here you see the mess.  I papered our powder room because the walls were in such bad shape...this was quite a while ago.  I have lived with them, quietly disliking the nautical theme for our vintagey bath we did all by ourselves.  Pulling down the first sheet of wallpaper is the hardest, then there is no going back.  Updates to follow...progress is slow.

This is my family room.  Filled with toys for visiting children...but when my sweetest babygrand cannot visit, we still play.  Penny wants me to read her books, play with the dollhouse, play with the shape sorter.  I play,  Penny tells me what to do, she watches.  Sometimes she plays and I watch.  Last week it was play dough.  Mom made a batch of homemade play dough, and Penny sat in her highchair for 2 hours playing and talking.  I was her audience, as she patted and rolled, cut with play utensils.  The Ipad is the way we stay connected.  Penny tells us what she wants to see around the house...when she wants to see Grandpa in a funny hat, when she wants to see the wagon outside.  It's not the same as being there, but so much fun.

The miracle is this...An orchid that I received as a birthday gift over two years ago is budding and is going to flower again! Dear Jane, I never thought I'd see this plant flower again, but I never gave up on it.  Thank goodness that orchids thrive on neglect.  This is going to be awesome!
 How cool is this!
Finally the beauty.  The hydrangeas are perfect for drying this year.  Not the pink Endless Summer variety, but the Annabelle.  Left in water, they will dry since they are already drying on the bush. This doesn't happen every summer, so when it does, I cut and save some beauty for the cold months ahead.

Things are settling in.  Mikey is happy and keeping in touch with this old Mom. I am keeping busy, appreciating my husband and his patience and love...Finding my way in this new season of life.

I just wanted to mention Robin Williams.  Our whole family is mourning his loss.  I have never heard my husband laugh the way he does at Robin's stand up comedy.  The Live at the Met show is one of my dearests favorites. I first loved Robin in The World According to Garp, Awakenings, his appearances on Johnny Carson and David Letterman and in countless other films.  I don't remember ever feeling so sad to lose someone I never met.  Life is so precious, I can't understand the dark place he was in to take that sacred life. I hope that the outpouring of love and the thousands of stories of Robin's kindness are a comfort to his family, and help for all of those who suffer in silence.  Life is priceless and help is within reach.  God rest Robin's beautiful soul.

Everyday is a gift, enjoy this beautiful day my friends.

Love, Penny

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Quiet Interlude...

Serenity now, insanity later!

I read a quote from Joanna Gaines, Owner of Magnolia Homes and host of HGTV's Fixer Upper.  It seems to fit my life right now.

"Embrace your season of life.  Let your home be a place where you thrive.  For example, if you are an EMPTY NESTER, let the atmosphere of your home allow you to move EMOTIONALLY forward so you don't feel stuck in the past."

That's where I am right now.  Patience my friends as I move emotionally forward.  Embracing this new season, with the guy who was with me from the beginning.  Just the two of us.  Seems strange, a little scary, exciting even... but lonely.  Reinventing myself at this time in my life will take some doing.  Mikey was the last one home, but so ready to go, so brave and happy.  How can I be sad?  I choose happiness, along with a box of kleenex to wipe us the residual happiness!

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy this beautiful day!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Around the House

Queen Anne's Lace in my front yard.  Is there anything as delicately beautiful?  Popped up in the mulch and I couldn't wait for the flower!
 Loved this tag on a thrifted curtain, soon to become dishtowels.
 Fancy curtain, perfect stripes. (Overcast day, bad photo)
 Ten yards of eyelet.
Almost walked by this pillow.  From Target, still with the tags...$2.00. (It was $25 in the store, with some of the profits going to FEED, a group that fights hunger)  This pillow went home with Jon and Charlotte, for their cool city apartment. Charlotte starts a new job today.  They are so lucky to have her...she is AWESOME!
This tablecloth, machine embroidered, with  rose motifs all over.  It may become a curtain in guest room two called the Rose Room.
A project years in the making.  I bought this hardware kit from Ikea to hang over the kitchen sink a couple of years ago..  My handy guy has a looong waiting list.  Well, he got to it this weekend and it looks awesome. Thanks honey!
 It is a tightened wire that has little clips that glide across it. It is used for photos and other display.
 I saw it as a industrial touch in my vintagey frankenkitchen.  I wasn't sure what I would hang, then remembered the linen hand towels, also from Ikea that I've had for several years.
 Sorry to all my friends who iron, but the towels were unrolled and hung and I love it!
 A little touch of linen and steel.  A cool combination!
 I've been seeing this stand all over blogland. Mine has been in the basement, covered in mugs from last winter's cocoa bar.  Getting a couple of these green ball jars at the hardware, complete the the magic of steel and glass!
Simple pleasures, around the house.

This is traditionally our vacation week, but this year we are staying close to home, helping our last chick pack up and leave for the Great White North.  Cue Bob and Doug McKenzie.:-)

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy this beautiful day.