Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Moving, Chicago Style and Other Memorial Day Tales

Son Jon and DIL Charlotte moved from Chicago to Indiana on Memorial Day weekend.  There were some interesting moments...The truck was too small and required two trips.  Just parking in a convenient space requires "dibs" a Chicago practice, usually reserved for snow storms.  It required that we reserve the parking spaces with our own cars, then move them just as the truck returns.  Here Jon and Charlotte are standing their ground as the truck rounds the corner.
Some photos didn't happen with the task that was before us.  We were a great team...Charlotte's Mom and sister Christina and little Norah.  Charlotte, Kristen and I.  Then Jon and friend Rob and a couple of hired helpers. 
 Of course, it was a HOT day but we were comfortable with the AC on.
 When you look at the clean and empty apartment, I wondered how the heck we did it.  These girls. Love em so much.
 Did I mention that our own AC at home was not working?  True!  It initially came on...then nothing.
(We wait for the arrival of the repair tech. It was a long hot weekend.) We decided to take a ride in the glorious coolness of our car.  Ended up at the local nursery.  Isn't that sign awesome? 
 We have this shrub blooming right now in the garden.  Never knew it's correct name.
 Delphiniums, I just love their vibrant blue.

 It was hot, even the koi was looking for shade.
 Look at this beauty!  Elizabeth brought it to our cook out.  It was even better than it looked.  Light and refreshing.  With Jon and Charlotte settling in their new home, it was a small group, as family gatherings around here go. 

The breeze was nice and the company good.  

 All the plants I bought, but haven't yet planted. All those on the bench are plants I over wintered inside.
 I had everything I needed, except time and energy.
 Family came first, my potting can wait.
 There was one job that couldn't wait.  Planting a Fairy Garden with  my granddaughter.
 I showed Penny how to tickle the roots before she planted the tiny ivy, creeping thyme and lipstick plant. She filled the little wheelbarrow with soil to make it look more real.
We had all the accessories from the last couple of years. It's always party time in the Fairy Garden.
Our summer girl!  She had sprinkler fun, chalk on the deck and Auntie Elizabeth brought those poppers you throw on the sidewalk.  An excellent summer day for our girl.

When all the food was put away, and all the family left, we had a quiet evening.
Grateful for family, a safe move for the kids and for life in general.
We are so blessed.  Spending time together is always a good thing.

Some wonderful news, my friend Jean is now recovering at home!  
Sending my dear pal hopes and prayers for continued progress.  

Today I hope to fill those empty flower pots and eat leftovers.
Did you ever need a vacation after a holiday weekend?

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

Monday, May 21, 2018

Spring Interrupted

The last six weeks or so have been challenging.  My dear pal Jean very sick, hospitalized, having such a difficult and painful time.  Heartbreaking.  Then the sudden death of our dear Charlotte's Dad.  Unthinkable.  My dearest had to travel last week, so I was alone.  Determined to get things done, keep busy.  That's not how it works...I had a lot of time but little motivation.  I started to do some cutting and sewing for our service project.  The kids called all the time and Mike and Amanda came and brought me dinner.    The week passed by pretty quickly.

 When I changed things up on the buffet, I moved my hymn board over to the living room.  I have a little shrine going.  I found the photo of St. Therese at my favorite thrift and added some roses. 
 Blessed Mother's month is May.  Some of my fondest memories are of May Crowning and the procession that passed our home.  One year, when my children were young, I was honored to decorate the steps to the statue of Mary in front of the school and make the flower crown that was placed on the statues head.  You can take the girl out of Church but you can't take the Catholic out of her, or something like that. ;-)
 I was always fascinated by the lives of the Saints.  Though I never had a patron saint, Penny being a "Hollywood" name and all.  I admire their stories, their great faith and unshakable belief. 
 Mother's day flowers still lovely.
 Fresh as a daisy.

 Last week we did find a great rummage sale where I found some books.  I can't believe I've never had this sewing book.
 Even before the Royal Wedding I have had a fascination with the Brits.  It could be the British boy I married, and the name I took...Penny Willoughby sounds pretty British for a Polish girl!
 Looking for inspiration to get in gear and get out into my own English Valley garden.
 My $2.50 silver plated serving tray...perfect for a tea party.
 My jewelry, only the finest a dollar can buy.
All the hearts, sewn and stuffed by my guild sisters.
This week we will be celebrating our Penny's 6th birthday.  Over the weekend the party at the stinky sock place...If you've been to one, you know...was amazing because Penny's cousins were able to attend.  These girls are BFF's forever.  After the party at the "Jumping Place" they all came back to our house for more fun.  I got to spend some time with little sister Baby Z.  She has been very suspicious of me, and I have been trying hard to win her over.  Well, my persistence payed off. We had a great time playing catch with some giggles and tickles.  It's so hard to have them far away.
These girls are so beautiful, smart and funny, and they love each other so much.

I can't believe our girl is six.  She is the light of our lives, and our love for her just grows and grows.

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Now that my dearest is back home, my mood has lifted but I have to wait for the showers to pass and the ground to dry a little before I begin my planting.  We are planning a garden party later in the summer, so a few pots of flowers would be nice.  Showers of the bridal variety, followed by our own royal wedding at the end of summer.  Jon and Charlotte move into their new home next month.  A new beginning for them.  I hope that they are able to find some joy and happiness at this difficult time. May is almost over but it's not too late...Our spring was interrupted but we will persist. 

"We are given dazzling sunlight, fragrant air, new birth, beauty all around us and we have to register it all in our soul.  While we are experiencing morning and spring, somewhere in the world there is darkness and sadness.  That's life."   -Alexandra Stoddard

 I quote Alexandra Stoddard on many a occasion.  She is a wonderful writer and her Grace Notes is always on my desk.  Thoughts and inspirations for a Beautiful Life, it says on the cover. 
I have many of her books and always find her to be inspiring and uplifting. 

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

Monday, May 14, 2018

Rainy Days and Mondays

Our Mother's Day weekend was quiet.  I found this cool botanical hanging at the Northwind Perennial Farm.  I convinced my dearest that I could do his Mother's Day shopping by buying this. Ha, he's the sweetest.

It was reasonably priced and looks great just where I thought it would.
I added some faux plants and botanicals. some vintage garden items to a few cloches.
I love clear glass cloches and domes to change out for the seasons.
A cement bunny and some flower frogs in a mini bird bath.
A nice change for the summer.
I found two of these chairs at the thrift last year for a dollar each.  I finally got around to painting them a cool teal.

Now to power wash the deck.  It looks bad but after a good cleaning things will look much better.
We would really like to get another year out of this old deck. We just need to replace two boards.  Handy guy of mine, this job is for you!

Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Mallard have taken up residence in the neighborhood.  It delights me to see them waddle down the sidewalk. 
A rainy and cool Saturday. Errands and deliveries, and a visit to my friend Jean.  Still in rehab, but  I hope her next stop is home.  Thanks for your good thoughts and prayers for my dear friend.
We visited this cool shop in East Dundee.  About a half hour from home.  I didn't think to take a photo until we left.  I purchased a few cool things that I will show you at a later date.  So much to see, and styled by my blogging friend Joy from Savvy City Farmer.  If you are local, love vintage and creativity, this is the place.  Connie was so kind, we can't wait to go back.
This Mother goose was keeping her babies close.
Our neighbor's apple tree in glorious bloom.
Where did this tulip come from?
What a beauty, this is the year of the bleeding hearts.  Never had so many blooms as this year.
Not the year of the lilac.  Our white lilac have just a bloom or two.

Last year it was filled. 

A rainy week ahead, great for the garden, bad in the mood department. It will be a plus in the getting things done department, anyway I plan on making things happen.
Wishing you a productive week, peaceful times and love, plenty of love.
Thanks for stopping by.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny