Monday, September 25, 2017

Hurry on and live...

 "The dying is a part of the renewal and the colors are calling out to us to live. Hurry on and live."
I often quote Alexandra Stoddard, who wrote the beautiful words above.  I have Alexandra's Grace Notes on my desk, so when I need some inspiration, it is always close by.
 My dearest was away, and I busied myself with all kinds of diversions, but when he returned we headed to the city to pick up our girls.  Friday in the city is the worst traffic day.  We drove the expressway to Chicago, but then Honey avoided the highway and headed home via the Lake.  We went to our favorite beach for a romp in the water on a 90 degree day.
 We surprised the baby grand by picking her up at school, time has flown and Penny keeps growing and changing.  Seems like yesterday when her Mom Kristen was her age. These girls, my heart overflows with Love for them both.
 I tied Penny's dress  (which was already wet;-) and she was wild about the waves and the sand.
 A beautiful September day to remember. We had the nicest time so tranquil and soothing.
 The beach has eroded since the beginning of the summer.  There are deep trenches and wavy lines
across the beach, and a steep drop off at waters edge.
 What a great day for sailing.  It was picture perfect.
 My happy traveler, needed some fresh air and some time with his favorite girls.
The sun was starting to set, so we went home for dinner and a movie.
Pizza and Captain Underpants!
(No, that's not my husband, but a funny cartoon.)
The girls came home to see the cousins who were visiting.
So much happiness fills the house when we are all together.

 Back at the garden, a SECOND crop of lavender!  This has never happened.  We had the bittersweet vine cut back to the ground and now the sunlight floods the side of the house all day.
 This was in the evening just before sunset, and the bees were still working.
 "I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It's cloud's illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all."  Joni Mitchell
Can't see clouds without that song in my head.
 Sunset comes just too quickly in the Fall.
 Taking inventory of the trees in the neighborhood on our evening walk. This oak is just starting to show some color.
 The Ginkgo hasn't dropped a leaf.
 I grew up never seeing a ginkgo in the city.  Then one day in our old neighborhood in the city, I found a ginkgo leaf.  I walked all along the block, looking for the tree.  I found it in the Convent garden, towards the back. It was like finding a treasure.  That beautiful convent (The home of the Sisters of the Holy Family) and that garden are no longer there on our old block.  The chapel faced the street and the stained glass windows were lovely.  I did visit the convent a few times, but never got up the nerve to ask to see the chapel. Funny the memories a tree can bring back.
 My neighbor Peggy has the prettiest geraniums.
 Another oak, this one a pin oak, an Illinois native.
 This tree is a Larch.  Larches are conifers, but unlike other coniferous trees, sheds it's leaves during the autumn.
 They have strange leaves and unusual cones.  I've never seen another one in our neighborhood.
 I'll spare you from another verse...
 A sweet statue in our neighbor's new garden.
 All of the leaves are gone from our honey locusts, the first trees to turn and fall.

We still have apples to pick and pumpkins to hunt.  
Let the the fall festivities begin!

Thanks for stopping by and for your friendship.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Autumn Comes to English Valley

 When the Honey Locusts turn yellow and start to drop their tiny leaves, it's a sure sign that Autumn has come to English Valley.
 They are the first trees to lose their leaves.
 There is a yellow hue to the street and sidewalk, with the pleasant sound of crunching underfoot.
It only takes a day or two for the trees to be completely bare.  It's the beginning of the end of summer.

I've been nesting, even with warm temps and summer like weather.  I needed a change in the kitchen.
The easiest way to make a change is with paint.
 I sat on the floor with a small roller and paint brush in hand.
 I masked the hardware, and had at it.
The color is much more blue than the teal in this photo.
The next step is a dark wax that will tone down the blue, with a little distressing, it will be perfect.
A four dollar remodel.  

While my paint was drying, I figured out how to zigzag on my daughter's sewing machine.  The directions were Greek to me, and it took a scrap piece of fabric and playing with the length and width of the stitches to finally get it right.  I almost gave up, but with a little patience, pen and paper to take notes, I figured it out.  This old dog really misses her old machine.  Too many pillowcases did her in.

 I found this basket at the thrift and knew exactly what I would do with it once I got it home.  My garden is still filled with dozens and dozens of hydrangeas.  At the end of the season they are dry and papery and perfect to be cut.  I filled the basket and cleared the top of my old china cabinet.  
 I've loved this look for years, and now will enjoy it until the holidays and garlands and lights replace it. This cabinet is filled with milk glass, rose covered teacups, plates and glass hurricanes.  It's a bit of this and that, all pieces dear for different reasons.  

I've put a few harvest touches here and there.
 My favorite print of a Native American maiden, leaves and flowers...
 pine cones and candles.
 Thrifted tablecloths, a sweater covered candle, a planter filled with last years garland.
 Just a sleeve cut off a sweater I got for a song.
 On the mantle, a painting by my dear Aunt Sabina.  I'm pretty sure it belongs to my brother Jeff, but since it's here...
 Auntie Sub, as we called her, started painting late in life.  All of her many nieces and nephews have at least one of her paintings.  I am happy to have several.  Auntie Sub helped me through the hard time after losing my Mom.  After a hard life of her own, she still had the biggest heart, the most compassion and was  a great example of kindness and generosity.    
 Little touches, warm and deep colors.  

 "Home keeping hearts are happiest." Longfellow

 Check out the Beekman Almanac.  It's a magazine to savor.  Can't wait to buy their new book, A Seat at the Table.  Part cookbook, part storybook about the community of Sharon Springs, NY.  There's noting like a good magazine on a rainy day...and today just happens to be one.
He's a few things I found at the thrift.  These mugs made in England, a glass apothecary jar with glass stopper and even this rusty colored string spoke to me.  

Well, truth in blogging.  I had a post totally written yesterday, and lost it somewhere in inner space.
It's never a easy thing to try to recreate a written piece, but I gave it a try and here's what came outta me today.

Thanks for stopping by and for your kindness and friendship.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny