Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Oranges, Cloves and a Potato Heart

 The hardest part of this Thanksgiving will be the grace.  Always said by my dearest with a bit of prompting from yours truly.  Last year we shared Tyke's illness with the family at grace, because we were so filled with hope and gratefulness, he was doing so well.  I never thought that it would be our last Thanksgiving together.  Here, again with a little encouragement, my sweetheart is studding the oranges with cloves, as we have done each Thanksgiving day for years.

 I am three days behind on holiday prep.  These beautiful girls, along with Penny kept Grandma hopping.  That would be bunny hopping, chicken dancing, hokey poky as I told them about weddings, especially Mommy and Daddy's wedding.  They especially liked the kissing part where I made very noisy kisses.  Mommy was taking a test to enter law school, and Daddy had to work, so I got these two to myself.  They both have colds, but were still happy and so much fun.  They listen to all my stories, and looked on with real concern when some tears fell.  They will know all about Grandpa, how funny he was and how happy he was to hold them and love them when they were so tiny.

My dearest, silly and full of love.

The potato of love.  It was found photographed and eaten two years ago on Thanksgiving.  The things he did for love...posing with a heart shaped potato.  

I am so very grateful for all of my wonderful happy memories of my husband, for my beautiful children and their sweet spouses.  My granddaughters are my heart and life, so dear and a part of both Tyke and me.
We will celebrate in the home that Tyke and I built together, and I will stud the oranges with cloves and hope to find another potato of love.  Surely someone will catch a nap in Tyke's chair and the kids will make hot chocolate they probably won't drink, and the family will laugh and talk and watch football and eat.  I, will remember.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
I am grateful for you who drop by for a visit and for your kind and dear comments.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny

Monday, November 18, 2019

One Warm Thought

 As November flies by, I am making some progress at home and in my heart.  I am comforted by happy times with my girls.  Getting to spend time with the grand babies and my Penny has helped immensely. They are happiness personified.  They don't mind my tears, and like talking about Grandpa.  There is actually little time for sadness when they are here.  When they leave I am pretty tired, and count my blessings.  What would Grandpa think of these rascals?  They would have him smiling and laughing for sure.

Progress on the guest room.  Painted, new carpet and curtains.  I purchased a new mattress and box spring and brought up the frame and assembled it myself.  The rest of the furnishings came from around the house, including the bedding and lamps.  That's a thrifted quilt.  Embroidered and with prairie points.  So pretty.  Still to find a headboard and put on the dust ruffle.      

 It is a bright and cheerful space.

 I painted this dresser when Penny was a baby.  A hand me down from my dear pal Jean.  It is filled with crafting supplies, but after the holidays, I will get organized and find another space for my stuff.

 My girl was under the weather.  I set her up in a cozy spot, complete with hot chocolate. 

 Looking at memories of Novembers past, this photo made me smile.  We were making pierogi for Thanksgiving. Circa 2010.  This might inspire me to make some for this Thanksgiving.  Though any pierogi I make will not have the precise crimping this guy excelled in. ;-)   

 Another memory, this one from 2013.  Pass the memories.  That's how Josh and Brent signed our cookbook.  

As memories come, I have some of the best and happiest.   I've decided,  instead of dreading the holidays, I will celebrate them, as best I can.

"The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money."
Thomas Jefferson

Sending warm and healing thoughts to my friend Lynne at Irish Garden House.
Take care dear Lynne, be kind and patient with yourself as you heal.  Love you! 

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

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Healing takes time...

Enlarge to see the cranes!
 I was raking leaves when I heard the familiar sound of sand hill cranes, so high above me I wasn't sure that I would see anything on a photograph I took.  I stood and watched and remembered last year, not knowing what I was seeing, as the cranes formed a circle to maintain their high altitude.
A autumn wonder, the migration, a long long journey. 

 The leaves are raked to the curb and picked up by our village.  A job that I always did alone, while my guy worked inside.  Periodically he would check on me, and laugh when I came indoors and put my cold fingers on any warm part of his body.  The things I remember, comfort me.

 The moon is a source of comfort too.  By day or night.  How often we gazed at a full moon or a moon dog on a crisp and cold evening. 

Yes, healing takes time.

 These two help immensely.  They are trying to crawl and if that doesn't work they roll anywhere they want to be.  Sometimes they get stuck and need to be rescued.  They like Grandma and their Aunties and Uncles.  Pure love and fun.

 This is a photo taken by Irene.  It is of her sister's leg.  Note the fuzzy quality. I'm sure she was aiming for that arty avant-garde look.  Those girls love a phone, to chew!  The photo was accidental, but I swear she looked proud to have taken it.

 A mystery solved.  Clarence my bear has been missing.  He's the bear on the right. (Radar, on the left is Tyke's bear) We looked everywhere.  Even Kristen who bought Clarence for me many years ago was concerned.  To show how preoccupied I have been, I just noticed Clarence wasn't in his usual place in the family room.  Then I checked...I accidentally put him away with my Christmas bears.  He's been gone since January! I just noticed. I'm sorry Clarence, it won't happen again.  Oh, and Radar is now hanging out with him too. (They were in good company, in the Christmas bear bag, swapping stories with two dear bears from Michigan, gifted to me from sweet Lynne from Irish Garden House.)
 Speaking of angels, my girl making a snow angel, at home with Grandma on her day off.

 Strange weather for Autumn.  Leaves still on the trees, snow covering all the leaves and debris from summer.  I guess things will all get sorted out.  Maybe a heat wave between now and Thanksgiving?
Anything can and will happen weather wise in the Midwest.

I've been shopping for Thanksgiving and working on our guest room.  Looks like I'll have a full house.  We have six girls from eleven to eight months, seven couples and one Grandma.  After hosting for thirty five years, I've got this.  At least, I hope. 
Thanks for stopping by and for your kindness.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny

Monday, November 4, 2019

A Snowy Halloween

 A cold or rainy Halloween is not unusual in Chicago, but a snowy trick or treat is.

 This is what the kids had to contend with, wind, cold and slippery conditions.  

 Inside was the place to be.  I handed out about 25 bags of treats.  

 I sent the rest home with our Amanda for her office.  

 It sure looked beautiful.  The snow covered the birds on Tyke's sculpture.
 I have been thinking of getting another chair for a while.  I found this one at the thrift.  It is in excellent condition, from a swanky furniture store that has been out of business for a while.  If you like the farmhouse look, this buffalo plaid is now all the rage in decorating.  It was marked $50 but when I got to the register it was 37.50!  Elizabeth gave us this pillow early in the spring.

They loaded it up in my car at the thrift, but I was alone when I got home.  Polish ingenuity and determination helped me get it in the house.  I should have waited for the guys to help, but that is not my way.  I sprinkled the chair with carpet fresh and let it sit for a while.  I vacuumed the chair and all the crevices, and had to clean a single spot.  The reason I went to the thrift in the first place was to see if they still had a lamp I liked.  They did!  

 It is perfect in my living room on a table we also found at the same thrift.  My dearest was my partner in thrifting as well as in life.  He enjoyed a bargain as much as I do.  Small changes, big steps in making the house ready for the holidays. Making me emotionally ready will be a harder task.

 Ginkgo leaves.  They seem to all fall off the tree at the same time, one day on, next day all on the ground.  

 Leaving bare branches and the memory of a mosey in early spring with my guy when the leaves were just emerging.   How different I felt then.  Now the  bare limbs echo the feeling of my empty arms. It will be a long, cold, lonely winter.

This morning carpet was installed in what will be a guest room.  I called Empire, sing along, 588-2300, EMPIRE!  Four men showed up at 8:15, just as promised.  They attacked the old carpeting...it was at least 25 years old and the foam padding  just crumbled.  It took them 45 minutes from arriving at my door to completion.  It is the nicest room in the house. Now to furnish it, and I will, shopping the house, except for a mattress and box spring.  

"Life’s impermanence, I realized, is what makes every single day so precious. It’s what shapes our time here. It’s what makes it so important that not a single moment be wasted."
~ Wes Moore  

 I don't know who this teenager is.  Cool, hip, fashionable...

Who ordered ketchup and mustard? 

"When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life."
-Jean Shinoda Bolen

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