Monday, September 26, 2016

Living by the Seasons

 Oh, how I look forward to the first fluttering leaves of the honey locusts out front, signaling that Autumn is here.
 Even though the days have been hot, the evenings are cooler and the nights perfect for snuggling.
 We had a busy weekend, filled with fun and family.
I didn't take many photos, but since I seem to do the same things each year I went back to the archives for a few.

The one photo I did take was of a campfire.
We are fortunate to live a stone's throw from a large Forest Preserve, the oldest and first forest preserve in Cook County.  On Saturday we celebrated a Party for the Preserves event, a campfire with a group of musicians and a walk into the forest after dark.  We had our Baby grand with us.  What an amazing experience!  I have never walked in the woods at night before, and Penny was all about it.  Grandpa had some reservations, but quickly decided that we should join the fun.  We had a flashlight for the beginning of the walk, guided by a knowledgeable employee and even a uniformed police officer.  At a certain point all lights were turned off and we were in darkness.  It didn't take long for our eyes to adjust and our other senses to take over.  We could hear insects and other sounds that Penny was quick to recognize.  The leader of our group would ask a question and from the back a small voice would answer, yep, our girl! We walked over a half mile into the woods and stopped at different points to hear about the history of the land.  When it was time to turn around we walked with the wonderful employee, and leader of our group, Janet and talked.  It was an experience I will not soon forget.  I hope that Penny will remember our night walk in the woods, or someday this story stirs a memory of a magical night with Grandma and Grandpa.

On Sunday we all celebrated Charlotte's last birthday before she becomes a Willoughby.
The preparations are taking over her life, so we surprised her with a comforting dinner of her favorite
Golumpki. (Polish stuffed cabbage) and a pumpkin cheese cake for dessert.  Of course the talk was of the wedding, and things that still need to be done.  Charlotte was surprised and grateful for the small interlude before things really start hopping!

Now as I am apt to do, I have buried the lead ,so to speak. 
 The news is this, My baby is coming home!
My Michael and his fiancee Amanda have decided to come back to the Chicagoland area.
To say my head is spinning is an understatement.  This came out of the blue, though I have hoped and wished for this for a couple of years.  Mike and Amanda are excited to start a new chapter in their story together.  We are looking forward to more time to get to know Amanda, Kris and Charlotte are anxious to get to know their new sis to be.  Hope she likes Target! ;-)

Finally, I am doing so much better.  I am writing, I mean hand writing again, a major development.  My bumps and bruises are healing, my finger is taking more time, and I may have the crooked finger I always promised to point at my kids.   I told my ortho Doc that no Polish Grandma worth her salt didn't have a crooked finger.  Another x ray and I might start glowing!

Back to life, beautiful sweet and surprising life.  With my hubby next to me on this roller coaster ride, we are pleasantly surprised by what was started by us over 40 years ago. We are truly blessed with great kids and their partners and our grand daughter...We were sitting in the car and from the back seat Penny says, "You guys are beautiful!" Who could ask for anything more.

Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments.
Enjoy this beautiful day.

Love, Penny

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Weekends Don't Great Much Better

 We started our weekend taking care of business, pumpkin busness.  Our local nursery has ordered pumpkins for Jon and Charlotte's wedding.  Of course I brought a few home and a giant sunflower seed head to dry for the birds.
 It is so tranquil and serene being here during the week.
 Without the crowds...
 To admire all the beautiful things.
 We went into the city to pick up our girl. Funny that they had a pumpkin smashed on their block, and a very happy and chubby squirrel.  It's only September.
 We headed for the Lake.  Our girl is Lake Crazy like Grandma.  We walked and played.  Built a little sandcastle...
 then found this masterpiece down the shore.  It is a pleasure spending time with Penny.  She has great ideas, funny jokes, songs to share...and best of all , she still likes to snuggle.
 We went apple picking but went on Monday.  Grandpa put aside all thoughts of work and spent the day with his girls.  Orange year.  This year marigolds, one of my favorites.
 We picked the perfect day, had the orchard all to ourselves, and we got to drive right in!
We picked a bushel of honeycrisp.  They are huge and so delicious.
Penny and I even got a ride back to the car with our apples in a golf cart.  Poor Grandpa had to walk.
We've shared apples with Kris and Elizabeth and still have plenty to share.  I see a couple of apple pies in our future.  I haven't tried peeling yet, but I am glad to tell you that I can do most anything with my hand. The finger I dislocated is healing, and  so are my other bumps and bruises.  My pride is still a work in progress.  I feel so dumb, but it is a lesson learned.   Thank you for your kind comment and well wishes.

Now the weeks are flying by and a few jobs left to do.  I am typing a program, making favors for the
rehearsal dinner.  Did I mention that I am doing the sweet table for the Wedding reception?  More on that after the fact.  I've got a few surprises up my sleeves.  

Thanks so much for stopping by.  If you find yourself here, I so appreciate that you take the time to visit.   Enjoy this beautiful day.

With Love, Penny

Monday, September 12, 2016

Weekend Update/Eye Candy

As the days fly by and the wedding of our son gets closer, I am looking for ideas, I am searching for calm.  My bumps and bruises are healing, still in a splint.  I have baked for our bake sale that was this weekend., with the assistance of my dearest who did all the heavy lifting, washing of bowls and beaters.  We've found a venue for a rehearsal dinner.  I made the invitations by computer and embellished with some stamping.

Really liking this metallic pumpkin thing happening at the Pottery Barn, 

On Sunday we headed north and ended up at the Northwind Perennial Farm in Wisconsin.  We live just 1 hour from the boarder, so it's a quick trip.  Northwind has the coolest displays, inside and outside.

This vista, a barn door open, gives it a dreamlike quality.
Dried and beautiful.
Everyplace you look, another sweet vignette.

All the chickens were out in the garden.  We usually see them here.
So tranquil, the reflection perfect.

There were things growing out of that birdhouse. I found that delightful!
This is the loft in the barn, filled with treasures.
I came home inspired.
I have a garbage picked birdbath and a glass round...
I think this was my favorite display.
I have a cloche similar to this one. It's been in the same place for a long time.  Time to shake things up a little.
What doesn't look great from behind a iron gate?

Reminded me of daughter Kristen.

 Only two blooms on their hydrangea.   Just like mine this year.  And nary a Monarch.
Spiders, we have them too.  We cleaned our front entrance of all the cobwebs using my swiffer floor mop.  It did a great job and now it doesn't  look like the Addams Family lives here.

So that was our little trip.  We found some serenity, inspiration and were renewed.  Ready to face this week and all we have to accomplish. First things first, orthopedic appointment.  If I can remove this splint, I can get back in the game, so to speak. ;-)

Thanks so much for your kind comments and for your friendship.  It means the world to me.  Enjoy this beautiful day.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Nicest Labor Day Weekend

Edwards has the most beautiful Autumn decorations
 No one loves to plan the perfect weekend as much as me, but sometimes a perfect weekend just happens.  We had no plans as I am recovering from my fall and finger dislocation.  Having your finger in a splint really inhibits your ability of throwing a good cook out.  So we visited our favorite apple orchard and wandered the countryside.
Outside too

What a welcome!

Thankful Heart indeed!

 A ride through the cornfields was peaceful and delicious with a sack of apple cider donuts.
 We walked the Lakefront one evening.  How different the light is now that Summer is winding down.
 Our favorite tree will soon start dropping it's leaves.  Another season is coming.
 Not Christmas yet. ;-)  I was so surprised to see holly growing right near the shore.

 "and more than that it's oh so sad to see the summer end" John Denver
 A little bit of Autumn at home.

So Sunday I made a pot of sloppy joe"s and we had an impromptu get together.
The cousins came and Uncle Jon gave wagon and wheelbarrow rides for the kiddies.
 We got to spend some time with our beautiful baby beans, already five months old.   Talked wedding with Elizabeth, Kris and the bride. Watched baseball with the guys and had the best time.
We even had a sleep over with Jon, Charlotte, Kris and Penny.  Oh to have two of my chicks under our roof for the night.  Mikey, you were missed!
 On the way home from the city we stopped at the Grove for a walk in the woods.  Everything looks spent.  Gone to seed or berry.
 Not many flowers...
but still lots of green.
We ended our day with dinner with Jon and Charlotte...more wedding talk and some decisions made.
All in all a really nice weekend, and a reminder that sometimes the best things just happen.  When life gives you a dislocated finger, make sloppy joe's.;-)
Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments.
Enjoy this beautiful day.