Tuesday, June 29, 2010


This seems to be the summer of storms. For the 2nd time in a week, our power went out, this time here in Chicago midweek. It only lasted 4 hours as opposed to 24 like last weekend in Michigan. And it was bedtime, so no big deal. This post illustrates all the changes in the sky that my daughter caught on camera on her drive home, heading west to Chicago from the lake Sunday night.
All of you sweet girls comment on how relaxing the lake must be, but let me tell you a secret: it can be very hard work. This weekend was big time clean up, almost like a spring cleaning in preparation for summer guests. Emily came up with boyfriend Mike and they worked their bums off. Emily has more energy that I ever had and she works fast but thoroughly. We have all hardwood and stone floors except for the two guestrooms. She swept, vacuumed and washed all the floors, dusted and cleaned all the windows and washed all the sheets and comforters. Sunday she helped The Husband clean out the garage.

I cleaned the baths and bedrooms and cooked our meals. The Husband cleaned up the boat and the wave runners. One of them won't start so we are going up Thursday night to take it to the marina first thing Friday morning. We managed to take a boat ride in between all the cleaning and cooking.
Sunday night The Husband and I took a ride on the boat at the same time that Emily was on her way home, snapping these pictures. We literally were watching the same thing. It is so beautiful being on the lake when the sun is slipping over the horizon. The water sparkles like a million diamonds, indeed that is why it is called Diamond Lake. I don't think I ever mentioned that.
And here is a picture Emily took arriving in Chicago just over the Indiana border. I've always wanted to go to Arizona or New Mexico to see the beautiful sunsets, but I think we have some spectacular ones here in the Midwest.

Next weekend is going to be a blast with family and friends visiting. Saturday night there will be a a great big fireworks display off the island. Everyone goes out on their boat and anchors to watch the big show after sunset. What do all of you do on the 4th?

I'm so glad you stopped by. I know I will have some fun pictures next week. Wishing you all a safe and fun 4th of July! :-)

Monday, June 21, 2010


Friday morning Daughter Abby and I left for a 3 day weekend at the lake. Yay! Her boyfriend Tom met us there with a friend from where they go to college 1/2 hour away. They had a great afternoon going on paddle boat rides and fishing off the dock. The Husband drove in from his office in downtown Chicago and just missed a huge storm that knocked out our electricity for 24 hours. So much for the start of a great long weekend. We managed to get around that night with candles and a lot of walking into walls, and the next morning The Husband was able to get us coffee from a nearby town. It was sort of like camping, no water, air conditioning, lights...the perfect excuse for sitting around outdoors with friends and neighbors. And that we did. Unfortunately the lights came on that night.
A sure sign that kids were visiting... beach towels and rain coats and life jackets lying around. How the clean up used to drive me crazy and now I welcome signs that they were here. The Husband worked on the beach until it looked perfect, no weeds or lily pads and sand raked in perfect rows. I worked on my tan. Just kidding.
I just planted all my pots last weekend so they are looking rather small, but soon they will be overflowing. I really have to start in May next year. It seems one thing after another gets in the way. This little chair sits on the side of the Summerhouse. See the chair on the little front porch? And the palms? The Husbands likes to think he is in the Bahamas.
This is the wee little garden I told you about that he made for me on the other side of the Summerhouse. Isn't it cute? We have grass seed down and you can see small branches from the big storm the night before. The first section is planted with peas that are just coming up...

...and some tomato and basil plants that are quite small...

...and in this last section I had beans. HAD. The bunnies got to them and ate all the leaves. My neighbor Barb, who has a fabulous garden, said they would continue to grow. I read about a spray repellent from Gardener's Supply catalog that keeps rabbits away. Apparently, it has egg whites in it that rabbits abhor. I think I may give it a try. I have never had a critter problem at home here in Chicago, so I am at a loss. I was SO disappointed when I saw this. They really sat down to a buffet here.
So that was my weekend and it was really a lot of fun. Next weekend we will get our wave runners in the water and family and friends will start to visit. I can't wait for my first boat ride. I''ll show you some great pictures of the lake and island and all the pretty homes. I hope all of you had a great weekend. Thanks for stopping!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Is it possible that one could have a busy but uneventful week? Well, that is what I have had. It has been 6 straight days of rainy and/or gray weather. I have been trying to get my flowers in between rainstorms. Yes, I am still planting flowers. It isn't easy to do with 2 homes. And believe it or not, while flats of annual flowers go for $9.99 in Michigan where the lakehouse is, they are $18.00 here in Chicago. However, the selection is better here. So it is a little confusing, even to me, where I am buying and where I am planting.

Anyway, we went to a wedding Friday and my whole family was there. Emily's boyfriend was the best man for his brother, the groom. My son Kevin was also part of the wedding party as the groom was his college roommate. Above is a picture of Emily with Mike {her boyfriend}. The wedding was held at a beautiful country club and we had the best time.
This is son Kevin and his girlfriend, Mary Clair. We just love her to death. They are quite serious and I am loving that. We didn't get home from the reception until 2:00 a.m. and that is about 5 hours past my bedtime. We left for the lake early Saturday morning and I slept all the way. We had a good weekend in spite of the rain and clouds and a tiny bit of sun. My vegetable garden is looking very nice...the peas and beans have stuck their little heads out and I am waiting for everything to mature a bit before I take pictures for you. I planted a ton of pots and baskets with my $9.99 a flat of flowers and things are looking really colorful. We had a truckload of sand delivered as we do every summer to replenish our beach. I have great memories of our kids climbing that hill of sand and sliding down into the water. Those were the days.

Below is a picture of Kevin, Emily and I at the wedding reception. It was taken pretty late and we are looking a little worse for the wear. Son Jeffrey was there too, but he is very private and doesn't want to be on my blog. Abby wasn't there, she was staying at a cottage on Lake Michigan for a girlfriend weekend. How fun!

So as I said, it was a busy but uneventful week. And it was a good one, maybe the best sort of one. And I am wishing you the same. Thanks for coming by!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


After 3 days in New Orleans, we hit the road to visit Christine from Christine's Home And Travel Adventures. Natchez is a 3 1/2 hour drive from New Orleans, but the scenery was so pretty we didn't mind. And it was a great opportunity to see Mississippi.

The 1st day I didn't have my camera with me until the evening. We toured a beautiful Antebellum mansion called Longwood. You can check out Christine's blog for pictures of this 1860 home built by a wealthy cotton planter. That evening we ate at the Carriage House Restaurant which is on the grounds of a gorgeous Greek Revival mansion called Stanton Hall. Above is a picture of The Husband and I leaving the restaurant looking a bit incognito.
The next morning I awoke to Christine making homemade waffles which she served with fruit, syrup and powdered sugar. Yum. Isn't her kitchen lovely? This is Christine and The Husband digging in! Afterward, The husband and I walked around Christine's gardens, which are stunning and show what hard work she has been up to for the last year. It is so serene and lush.
Here is the pretty lady posing in one of the antique stores we visited that morning. I took some pictures along the scenic street filled with shops. Natchez is filled with wonderful places to visit, shop and dine in. The downtown area is very picturesque. We truly enjoyed ourselves.

Sadly, we had to leave right after lunch as Christine was picking up her daughter and grandsons from the airport for a 9 day stay. I could tell she was excited. We said our goodbyes and once again promised to get together soon. It was such a thrill seeing her home which many of you have had the chance to see on her blog. It is just as stunning in person. Everywhere you turn there is something beautiful to look at. And she and John were wonderful hosts.

I hope you have enjoyed this little tour of Natchez. I need to remember to carry my camera at all times. Christine has many more pictures you may want to see. :-)

Thanks Christine and John for a truly wonderful visit and fun part of our New Orleans trip!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Making up for my lack of pictures out and about in the French Quarter {I was sure my face and camera were going to make close contact with a lamppost}, I have many pictures of the Bed and Breakfast, H.H. Whitney House, where we stayed in New Orleans. Staying at B & B's has become a passion of mine when traveling, and this one made me fall in love. Built in 1865, she had been lovingly restored by the owners, Glen and Craig, a loving couple in their own right.
This is a perfect example of what one likes to do after a night out in the French Quarter. These are the resident stray cats that keep the grounds free of rodents and judging from their scars, protect the same from other invasive felines. They were known as Cat and Cat.
A side view of the inn. The balcony above is off our room that we spent our last few nights in. The air conditioning went out in the back half of the upper level and we were moved to this room, which was actually more to our liking.
This is Donna, a distant cousin of Glen's, who maintained the kitchen and made out lovely breakfast every morning. An aspiring pastry chef. some of our morning fare included banana pancakes with a Banana's Foster topping, homemade waffles with whipped cream and fruit, ham and cheese croissants and baked apples. This picture was taken at 4:00 a.m., the morning we had to get up to catch our flight. She actually got up that early so we would have fresh coffee and bagels before we left. I loved the warm, homey kitchen and passed a lot of time there talking with Donna and getting to know her. She was an absolute sweetheart.
The beautiful dining room. Sigh...
Rather abruptly, we are popping into our bath. Isn't it pretty? I loved the shower and all of the thoughtful touches.
This is the sitting room. I never thought I could like a leather couch but I took a few good cat naps on this one.
And our bedroom off the sitting room. The bed sat in the middle of the octagonal room filled with windows. We had a lot of thunderstorms at night and it was like one big light show. I loved it.
Back downstairs {are you dizzy?}, the buffet in the dining room which held our coffee, morning juice and fresh rolls and muffins.
The elegant parlour...
From the balcony off our first room, which faced the back of the inn, you can see the diversity of the surrounding homes, many of them abandoned or in terrible condition. This area sustained water damage during Katrina.

Looking over the backyard into the garden of the inn...

...we had a swimming pool and hot tub which you rarely see in a B & B. Craig threw a wonderful Memorial Day bash here and we met many new friends and got to know the other's staying at the inn. He made the best margaritas I have ever had in the little gazebo/bar.

I hope you have enjoyed the tour of the inn. If you ever go to New Orleans, I think you should consider staying here. We had the best time and it came to feel like home. Thanks for stopping by. :-)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New Orleans

Just a short post since arriving back from our trip to New Orleans. What a great time we had. My legs still hurt from all of the walking we did but it was well worth it. New Orleans is a beautiful city and has something for everyone. I think The Husband would agree, the wonderful cuisine was at the top of our list of favorites. I keep a little restaurant journal with our receipts and what we had to eat and it is bulging. More on that in another post.
These are just some random pictures I took out first night in town. I tried to carry a smaller purse so I didn't always have my camera with me. These are pictures we took in the French Quarter. I really loved the outdoor cafes.
The weather was very warm, about 90 degrees everyday and very humid. Somehow you just forget about it when you are having fun.
It rained a lot while we were there. Mostly at night, thank goodness. We bought umbrellas and didn't let it stop us.
The Husband liked this sign. I have a lot more to post about but we arrived home at 9:00 a.m. after getting up at 4:00 to catch our flight and I feel like I am sleepwalking. I want to tell you all about the B & B we stayed at and the lovely people we met. I want to tell you about our trip to Natchez, Ms., and visiting with Christine and her husband. And of course we took a few tours off the beaten path, so to speak, so stay tuned!

I am joining Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday. Thanks always, Susan, for hosting.