Monday, January 29, 2018

Me and My Shadow

 Saturday brought us to the North Shore past the amazing campus of Northwestern University.
 Wonderful buildings all a stone's throw from the Lake.
 A Lighthouse,
 and our destination.
 We've told our girl about the Children's Garden and that's where she wanted to go. I showed this pumpkin before, it is a sculpture but so realistic.
 We were lucky to find one of the small greenhouses open.  It was really warm inside, so warm that the automatic windows opened as we entered.  This giant scented geranium got a little rub from us to release the lovely scent.
 There was a small herb garden, even some lavender in bloom.

 Some flowering plants brightened up the January chill.
 I loved this old rake holding samples of dried herbs with identifying tags.
 Oh how I wish this mock orange was in bloom.  The scent of orange blossoms is amazing.
 The day was mild, but walking in the garden with the wind, it was still pretty chilly.

 That tree and that clear blue sky says Winter.
 So does the ice on the water,
 and the pines filled with cones.
 For January day, it was wonderful.
 The Bonsai are inside.  On our last visit this hall was filled with Christmas.
 I love seeing these masterpieces of nature and nurture. 
 Imagining the windswept terrain that would result in this tree's shape.  Amazing.
 As we got out of the car at the Garden, our shadows were playing on the parking lot.  I sang the song Me and My Shadow as I moved Penny's arms.  Later as we left one building, we saw a photographer taking photos of someone behind one of these screens.  Penny remembered that and when we came to these, she insisted on doing some of her own shadow work. Grandpa spotted our girl as she changed positions since she had to sit on top of a elevated platform.
 She knows how to move in very dramatic ways.
 Those long legs.
 She loved being my shadow puppet.
We enjoyed an early dinner at a new pizza place.  The place we have been going together closed, so we decided this place is a good one to make new memories.

We had a crafty Sunday.  Plenty of Valentine supplies.  We made cards for each other, Mom and Dad and Grandpa.  Then we got Grandpa involved.  He made the most beautiful card for our girl using stickers.  It brought me to tears for it's sweetness and sincerity.  Grandpa is brilliant with computers, numbers and problem solving, but now his secret creative side came out.  It was fun to have him join us in our arts and crafts time.
 It's wonderful to craft with this creative girl.  She's as excited about craft supplies as I am.
 These are the cards she made for me. So much love!
We still have a couple of weeks to use all of our supplies.
I may need another bottle of glue.;-) 

 Last weekend I found this for $3 at the thrift.  It's a gun rack. This is something I will never need for it's intended purpose.  I have a idea that I actually saw on a blog.  As I finish up the painting,
I'll share what in the world this will become.
One of those just for fun projects.

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

Monday, January 22, 2018

Life Happens

 On our way to Starved Rock State Park here in Illinois to see our friends and hopefully see some eagles.
 It was so gloomy and foggy.  Some spots on the highway were really soupy.
 There was still ice on the rivers, but the temperature was rising all day.
 We found our friends already checking out the eagle situation.
 Over the river on a branch was one eagle, posing for photographs.  We did see one other eagle in flight.  It's pretty thrilling.
 We headed over to the lodge for brunch.

 The conversation started out serious, as Sue was in a terrible car accident in early December.  She was hospitalized for three days.   Of course we talked about our kids and grandchildren, pleasant conversation and sharing.  I hugged Sue repeatedly, so grateful that she is doing better. Life happens to us all, but we are here for each other through thick and thin.
 What a great room, no pun intended.

 Plenty of spaces for relaxing and conversation.

 This is Dot and Kev.
 This is Sue and Ron.
 This is a kindly old couple, but forever young on the inside.  We ladies have been friends for 50 years. That is where I am concerned.  Sue and Dot go back to maybe first grade, and Kev and Ron have been friends since grade school too.  The guys, have known each other since our courting days in the 70's.

A good time, as we always have when we are together.
 Earlier in the week we had some snow.

Just love the look of the neighborhood in a blanket of snow.
 On Monday, I looked out the window to see this amazing sky at sunset.
 How do you even try to describe this beauty?
It only lasted minutes but it was stunning.
 I put this geranium in my hubby's office at Christmastime.  It loves the all tech talk and the sunny days.  Sorry honey, I will try to keep up with the falling petals.

 I enjoy this pop of color in the winter.
 Changed things up just a little for Valentine's Day.

 I pick out all the green candies from Christmas to enjoy at Valentine's Day. ;-)
A little bit of Valentine's Day in the kitchen.

On a sad note, my guild lost a dear member on Saturday.  Our friend Shirley died suddenly.
Shirley was an amazing artist.  She was generous with her talent, decorating the Church for the different seasons and holidays.  As a guild member, she held the record for cutting out the  most Hug a Bears.  Her quiet nature and kindness made her a pleasure to work with.  She had a twinkle in her eye when she talked art and gardening.  Shirley will be sorely missed, but we are comforted because so many of us have her lovely paintings.   Those paintings will be cherished, just as Shirley's memory will be cherished by all of her sisters in Guild One.

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