Tuesday, November 29, 2016


 We had a big crowd for Thanksgiving.  It was wonderful to have all my kids home, and the extended family and friends with us to celebrate Thanksgiving.
 I set several tables for 25.   We had 28, but 7 of these VIP's were children under ten! The color your own place mats are from Paper Source.
 The centerpiece is oranges with cloves on a bed of seeded eucalyptus.  The smell is Thanksgiving itself.  My Mom always made a few studded oranges when we was young.  Smells bring back vivid memories.
 We used every chair available, including the chairs from the deck outside,
 I cozied them up with a throw and pillow and they worked.  Much more comfortable than a hard chair for after dinner lounging.
Dinner was a little late, but everyone was filled to the brim.  My son in law Doug made the turkey breasts, covered in bacon and sitting on carrots.  There is a french term for this which I have forgotten, but all our turkey eating guests were wowed.  (I am not a fan of turkey and so appreciated not having to make one this year.) I always forget to photograph the table, and remembered when everyone was already through the buffet.  Never even got a photo of the desserts, where I went overboard.   We spent a quiet Friday and Saturday recovering and putting back all the serving pieces, chairs and tables.  Bed never feels as good as it does after a full house and the hard work of hosting is over.  Thankful for our wonderful family and the many blessing we have to share.

When the dinner was over I helped make a tent with the tablecloths and chairs,  The kids had the best time, cousins and friends.

 Sunday and Monday we had our baby grand for an impromptu sleepover and she helped me with a project.  I have lived with this terracotta tile surround for long enough.  I took down some of the trim...(Be careful Grandma, that's dangerous, you could fall backwards!) and painted the mantle with chalk paint.  Then I watered down some paint to cover the tiles.  A couple of weeks ago I started the process by painting the brass surround black. Why would I start this project while caring for a 4 year old?...  I wanted it done before I started to decorate for Christmas, and I have plenty to do in the weeks ahead. After a busy and fun day together on Sunday, Penny was happy to watch movies and help Grandma.  She really is the best!
 Just a wash, not a solid painting.  I will sand down the mantle a little and maybe wash off some of the paint after it's all done.
 Those two bottom tiles were painted by Penny.  She has the crafty gene.
This is what my house looks like right now.  A mixture of Thanksgiving, home improvement and Christmas.

Will this project come out the way I envision it?  Will I ever get all of the Autumn stuff put away?  Stay tuned! ;-)

Thanks for stopping by.  Enjoy this beautiful day!
Love, Penny

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Thanksgiving Song

Grateful for each hand we hold
Gathered round this table.
From far and near we travel home,
Blessed that we are able.
Grateful for this sheltered place
With light in every window,
Saying "Welcome, welcome share this feast
Come in away from sorrow." 
Father, mother, daughter, son
Neighbor, friend and friendless;
All together everyone in the gift of loving kindness. 
Grateful for what's understood,
And all that is forgiven;
We try so hard to be good,
To lead a life worth living. 
Father, mother, daughter, son,
Neighbor, friend and friendless,
All together everyone, let grateful days be endless. 
Grateful for each hand we hold
Gathered round this table.-Mary Chapin Carpenter 
Dear Friends, Taking a moment from preparations,
to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. 
Among my blessings I count many of my friends I met here
through blogging.  
Thank you for your friendship and kindness.  I am grateful.
Enjoy this beautiful day.

Love, Penny

Monday, November 14, 2016

Weekend Update/Thrifting and other stuff

The last week was hard, for many reasons I won't go into here.  When the going gets tough, I get crafting.  It is my therapy.  Christmas carols, Hallmark Christmas movies and walks, long walks.  We had our date night on Friday, watched the fireworks at the fancy pants mall and walked and window shopped in the cold.  I painted this sign, and did some crafting for our annual auction.  I sewed and cut 60 plus hearts for our service project.  I find that my hand is not 100% yet and payed the price with an aching and stiff hand for a couple of days. Thank God my hand works, and I can do everything I need to, just at a slower pace.
 We did some thrifting.  A local parish has a thrift store and they have great stuff.  We have been talking about bar stools for our island.  Penny, our babygrand likes to sit and talk with me while I cook, but the backless stools we had made her wobble, with some close calls.  We needed stools with backs. We found these, like new for $22.50 a piece.  They are heavy and strong, swivel and match the chairs I have in the kitchen pretty closely.  The teddy is for our girl.  With the Hallmark tags still on him and a price of $3.00, he had to come home with us.
 His buttons are bears!
 This I found at Goodwill.  Beautiful cross stitch, with a pretty fall print back.
 Can you Imagine all the work involved.  I always always think of the person that made this and all the other handmade things I've rescued from the thrift. OMGoodness...
 You cannot buy 2 skeins of floss for the price I paid for this treasure.
 I found a few Christmas items, this I walked away from twice, but it kept calling me back.
 This angel will get a makeover.
 I officially have a collection of these pine cones.
 This chair seat will end up on my shed, if my shed makes it through another winter. ;-)
 Sending out a big thank you to the patient and talented soul who made this.
 Couldn't be happier with how the kitchen looks with our improvements.
 Bring on the holiday guests!
 On my calendar this month. Grateful grateful heart have I.
 I found this fabric for our pillowcase project.
 My last thrift find is a Pottery Barn pillow.  I really get excited when I see that tag.
 I found it online for $29.00.  Perfect for my living room this Christmas.
 Have you ever seen a business with the front window full of geraniums flowering in the dead of winter.  I have never tried to keep one alive, until this year.  The ones in the yard are still in bloom, but this one I brought inside.  Low and behold...
It's blooming!~  It really doesn't take much to make me very happy.

Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kindness always.  Enjoy this beautiful day.

Love, Penny

Monday, November 7, 2016

A November We'll Never Forget

Our Cubbies won the World Series and Chicago went wild in the best possible way.    These are photos of the rally and parade held Friday.  My dearest came home from a trip at 1am the night before, so we watched from the comfort of home.  
 Chicago,  it is a beautiful city filled with generations of families that just wanted to celebrate this LONG awaited W.
The Cub players are young, loyal and talented.  They became a family of sorts, supporting each other and becoming great friends in the process.  It was nerve racking, but so much fun to watch.
When the Cubs made the last out to win the seventh game, Mike cried, and so did I. (My honey was watching with us on facetime) I had no idea how to feel...I was in shock.  A lifetime wish of Cub fans all around the world was granted! My thoughts were of my Dad.
Our city never looked as good as it did on Friday.  They even colored the Chicago River 
Cubbie Blue!
It still has yet to set in, that the Cubs, our lovable losers are the champions!

 While the Cubs were playing and my dearest was out of town on business I put down a new floor in the kitchen.  It is peel and stick, but planks instead of the usual square tiles.
Mike was home to help with moving the stove and refrigerator, other wise it was just me! It turned out very well and everyone really likes it.  I am still sore, but also watched our baby grand and threw a birthday party this weekend for our Michael who was home for the first time in a couple of years for his birthday.  

 Here's my baby boy, and when your baby is past 30...where has the time gone?
The house was filled with family and friends. We had plenty to eat and cupcakes we bought since we went to the beach instead of baking...more on that in a sec...
 Mike and Amanda are moving into their own place in town later this month.  So happy to have them close and working a short drive away.  We missed Charlotte who was ill and had to miss the festivities, but all the chicks were in the nest for the party.  What a blessing.

I have to mention our weather.  We have had some unseasonable weather these last few days. It felt like summer.   We actually ended up at the Lake on Saturday.  As soon as we got to the beach, baby grand sat in the sand and took off her shoes and socks and ran for the water.
 It was in the 70's, beautiful blue skies and a warm autumn sun.
She even made sand angels.  In November in Chicago, those are usually snow angels! We had such a great time, and made memories instead of a castle cake with a beard on it.  Anyway that's what Penny wanted to make for Uncle Mike's birthday! No one complained about store bought cupcakes and ice cream!

This week will be much slower and less hectic.  I need to start thinking of the holidays, and do some crafting... but today I will just relax.  These old bones need a rest.  Thanks so much for stopping by.

Enjoy this beautiful day.

Love, Penny