Monday, September 24, 2018

Sweet is the Smile of Home

 How I love the change of the seasons.  Dear friends Jean and Tom brought by this beautiful Mum.  It fit perfectly in the basket, and with a few wooden leaves, make a perfect welcome to Autumn.

 We were given mum plants for the altar at our wedding by our friend and the celebrant of our Mass, Father Tom.  He reminded me as he handed me a few loose flowers, that mums have no season. Just as the theme of our wedding, Love is an Endless Season. I  think of that kindness, and the kindness of so many throughout our lives.

 We have been to the orchard, but not with our babygrand.  A pumpkin patch full and sincere is waiting for us too.
 I just pulled out a few things...

 and hung the new wreath.

 What a guy. My heart, my love. 

We started our weekend at a recycling event.  We had old documents shredded, and my old printer recycled.  Felt good to get part of my office cleaned up.  Now I'm working on the excess wedding stuff still all around the house. 

Then it was off to Indiana and a house warming for our dearest Jon and Charlotte.  So much love, so many friends and family.  I loved seeing everyone.  We had the best weather and great food, grilled up by Chef Jon, and desserts galore.  The kids worked so hard, and welcomed us all into their cozy new home. 

 My girls and Uncle Greg and Auntie Elizabeth.  Penny doing her "superstar" pose.

 A sweet little brick house for an amazing couple.  The first of many happy memories sure to be shared here.

 My kids have the best friends.  They are like family to us.  I got so many hugs, and am always so happy to be in their company.

 Mike and Amanda found the comfy couch.  Making themselves at home at Willoughby Indiana!

 Sweet little Norah posed for me.  The back porch a work in progress.  It's a great old house.
 My favorite and Charlotte's least favorite thing is this wallpaper in the main floor bath.
It's so sweet and romantic.
 Even the vent window is decorated with LOVE.

 Headed for home before dark like the old folks we are.
Driving the corridor between Illinois and Indiana is like running a gauntlet.  Danger is at every turn  though the scenery is picturesque.  We have a beautiful skyline.

 "Sweet is the smile of home; the mutual look, when hearts are of each other sure." 
-John Keble

 Back home for a quiet Sunday.  Football on the TV, the Bears won!  Chili on the stove.

 A long walk as the sun was setting.

 We are very tall. ;-)

 Loving the cool Autumn air.

 Speckled grass.
 Peeks of the sun.

 Our Honey Locust trees just starting to turn.

 The last bloom of the hydrangea.

 Our bittersweet vine finally taking hold of our arbor.

Here, At Home in English Valley.

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

Monday, September 17, 2018

As Summer Ends

 Kris and Doug bought us tickets to see the great Michael Nesmith of Monkee fame at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago.  The Old town School is in the old Hild Library.  A library that my dearest visited occasionally during his school years. The man's s genius but has never been a bookworm.;-)
 The library has been turned into a great venue for music.
 This Works Progress Administration mural graced the library. The W.P.A. was created to provide economic relief to citizens of the U.S. suffering through the Great Depression.  Is was great to see this work of art preserved in it's new venue.
 Mike Nesmith, or Papa Nez as he is affectionately called did not disappoint.  Just ten weeks from quadruple bypass surgery, his voice was strong and clear and his good humor was shared by the entire crowd.
 He sang with the First National Band consisting of some great artists including two of his sons.
The only Monkee song he sang, was one he wrote for the band, Papa Gene's Blues, from the first Monkee album.  I got emotional when everyone sang along.  I was eleven years old when the Monkees first came on TV.  I was a crazy fan, my room covered in posters and pictures from magazines like Tiger Beat and 16 magazine.  I was a member of an exclusive Monkee club. (Four girls in grade school who sang Monkee songs after lunch behind the church.) I was Micky Dolenz, but grew to appreciate Mike and his music the most as I grew older. 

I made a pillow for Mike featuring this photo he posted on his Facebook page. Mike and his Mom back in Texas when he was young.
Then, when we changed cars I forgot it in our car.  I will mail it to him, a token of appreciation for over 50 years of great music and fun.

Who's that handsome guy taking in some Sunday sunshine?
 Wow, if Buscia (my grandma) could see my coleus.  I always thought it was a house plant because Buscia always had a least a couple of pots growing in her window.
 The squirrels have played in the fairy garden. 
 The angel vine is lush and beautiful.
"Sunshine on my shoulders, makes me happy.  Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry."
-John Denver
 Some pots are happier in late summer.

 Some, like marigolds wait to put on their best show on in the cool of Autumn.
Still have to harvest my herbs.
The boys giving their Dad a lift.

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

Monday, September 10, 2018

Beauty Unadorned.

 I love the changing of the seasons, and I enjoy the beauty that comes in Autumn.

 One of our favorite places to visit in each season is our local garden center Hawthorn Gardens, just down the road in Hawthorn Woods.  
 Interesting collection of vintage tools.

 They always have the coolest urns and pots.

 You can't beat a beautiful water feature for tranquility in the garden.

 Ornamental kale, looks so lush even after a frost. (Which is weeks away.)

 These are so unique.  They are metal and so colorful.

 Used in a beautiful pot of zinnias.
 None of my zinnias were orange, but I have a large pot of marigolds, the french kind.  They really pop and give a show as the temps cool.

 Love the silvery color.

 We celebrated Grandparents day grandparenting. We were able to visit with the cousins before they returned to St. Louis after the wedding festivities. A fun evening of quiet time, just hanging out. Penny stayed over and we headed to the Garden early since she had a busy schedule later in the afternoon at home.  I was ready to have to fish her out of the drink.  It's not very deep, but oh so tempting to our little explorer.

 Penny loved the lily pads and the many different colors and types of pads and flowers.

 These were huge.

 We visited the greenhouses, where there is always something new in bloom. 

 Interesting shapes and colors.

 Unusual shapes and forms.

 Every flower beautiful.

 Our girl got a kick out of seeing the bananas growing.  I believe the last time we were here the plants were in bloom.  Fun Fact: Did you know that bananas don't grow on trees?  No woody parts to this bush.  

 Pretty caladium.

 Caught running in the pavilion.  A perfect place for a party.

 Outside of the English Walled Garden.  Different each time we visit.

 She seems determined to stop Grandma's heart.  I suggested the upper ledge, but no, as close to the water as possible.

We took the tram ride for the first time together.

 Perfect weather.  A cool breeze and sunny skies.

 Seeing all the garden from the comfort of the tram was a very cool thing for our girl.

Learning the history of the garden from the driver.  The trees, the oldest and the tallest.
How it all began back in the 1960's.  It was important for our girl to learn some of the history of one of our favorite places.  We want to instill in Penny a love of nature and a appreciation 
of the magic of the seasons.  
"Nature never did betray the heart that loved her."
William Wordsworth

 How fast she is growing . Penny told me she's a city girl who loves nature.

 She was surprised when I told her I lived in the city for 40 years.

 I could come here every week and see something new.

I believe our girl feels the same.

Back to the real world.  Work for my dearest, decorating and finishing up some 
service projects for me.
Starting to clean up the garden a little, and looking ahead to the holiday season, it's just 52 days till Halloween, 74 days till Thanksgiving...  Just saying.

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