Saturday, July 30, 2011


I awoke this morning to The husband making breakfast. He gets up really early, like 7:00 a.m. I like to sleep until about 9:00, so breakfast was ready. Is he sweet or not?

I'm not sure if I am ready for this daily blogging thing...but we will see as we go along. As always, I have my camera with me and it sort of chronologies my days whether I blog or not.
Off he went to run errands in his new truck and I went out to examine the wisteria that is taking over our house. You might remember last summer that I flipped my lid over The Husband fiddling with the wisteria in an effort to make it climb up the balcony. This monster of a plant has choked out my hanging petunia baskets and is reaching desperately toward the ceiling of the front porch. I think it would wrap around me if I sat there too long. What a job this will be untangling it. I was warned.
I wanted to sit by the shore and read my book {you can see what I am reading on my sidebar}, but I couldn't find the keys to the shed to get my beach chair. I came inside and blogged a little. Finally, we made it out for a boat ride. Milo is now First Captain. He has his sea legs for sure.
At the grocery store., The Husband was able to find a Vietnamese fish called Swai. I sauteed it in olive oil and butter with a generous sprinkling of Old Bay Lemon and herb seasoning. It was the most delicious fish I have ever had...firm, sweet and totally non~fishy.
I simply cooked it on the stove as I was afraid it would fall apart on the grill. Plus, it's been in the low 90's all day and I barely sat outside. Tomorrow...yes. I need the fresh air.
So far The Husband and I haven't gotten tired of lake life. He has all sorts of plans. The lake is crowded now with weekenders and as soon as they are gone, I can do some solitary things like take the wave runner out or the kayak. For one day here, I am staying close to home, reading a lot and making this house a home.

Should I come back tomorrow?


Friday, July 29, 2011


It's very quiet here...the clock is just about ready to strike midnight, We arrived at the lake at about 10:00 p.m. and we put away everything we need for the next 2 weeks up here. I'm looking forward to a lot of things...relaxing, eating healthy and getting moving a little bit more than I do at home. Of course we will have our little outings but for the most part...I can sit and have coffee for as long as I want {without kids humming in and out.} I can look out at the lake while I do this and know I am in a special place.

But for some reason, tonight, I am feeling a little melancholy {baby}. Leaving behind the big comfy bed that is SO much better than this bed here...missing Abby beside me reading...a whole 16 days with just The Husband. I crave this place on weekends and so looked forward to being here and not having to pack my duffel bag after 3 days. I am SO not trying to come off spoiled or ungrateful...God knows how hard all of you work and live for your weekends. I sound like a Pollyanna sometimes.

Mostly, this is The Husbands vacation. He works so hard. But he can't sit still. I am a loner and I love to sit in my rocker...pictured above, and just stare out at the water, daydreaming a bit.

I was thinking of posting every day while I was here on the lake...just a little post to share what we did and maybe a little more of my feelings and perceptions of the world around me. Would that be boring??

For now, have a good night. Tomorrow I am going to try to spend the day outdoors, the heck with the heat...I need some fresh air. I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend! :-)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Consider this a cry for help. I'm on a mission.
I have never downloaded pictures from the web for a post, but I have a lot of soul searching to do and a lot of decision making. It has me tearing out my hair and tearing up at the slightest mention of the dilemma. I have been looking inward and outward and I finally decided to share my grief with you. It takes a lot for me to admit...I just don't know what to do with my hair for this wedding.

This is Adele, my idol. A beautiful and soulful singer from the U.K. She's on my playlist a lot, maybe even now as you are reading this. I want to be her when I grow up. Oh, that's childish, I just want to be her now. Her fair skin, her perfect hair, her false eyelashes...
I could use some false eyelashes, and you know? I may just get them. We are having our make up and hair done professionally the morning of the big day. The make up artist does the most beautiful and natural eyelashes, and as you can see, I need a little help in that department. I'm not looking for anything huge, I'm not going to cause a breeze in any one's face as I speak to them, I just want to jazz things up a bit. And I feel I have gotten into a rut with my make up over the years; same old, same old. So I'm going to break out of the mold and go glam. Now, for the hair...
Here's Adele again. Did I mention I adore her? Well she wears her hair back combed up in a little pouf and then in a long ponytail. I love this look. Of course I will need bullet proof hairspray, but it will be worth it if my eyelashes are making the wind stir up. I thought maybe of wearing it half up and half down, but the neckline of my dress is very pretty from the back, so I want it to show. Decisions. I mentioned I am on a mission, didn't I?
I happened to stop by a blog called My Sweet Savannah today and she was showcasing some hairstyles. This is a variation of Adele's. A little looser and flowing, I don't know about the flower. What do you think?

I've really opened my heart up here and it feels good. I know you ladies listen and you were oh so complimentary about my new dress. This will probably be the last I post about the wedding. Friday, The Husband and I leave for a quiet 2 week respite up at the lake. I plan to do nothing but lie on the boat, ride my bike or kayak. Just peaceful bliss. So I need to tie up loose ends {or strands as it may be}, so I can be at peace at last. Comments please? :-)

Saturday, July 23, 2011


I hope everyone is getting by with all this heat we have been having. We hit the hundreds here in the upper Midwest during the mid week and it finally cooled off yesterday. Today we are in the high 70's, which is perfect for me.

With the thought of getting a Mother Of The Groom dress looming over me, Emily and I set out to an outdoor mall just outside of Chicago to do a little browsing. If I were to find a dress, this would be the place as it boasts a Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales and Lord & Taylor.
The outdoor sculptures and landscaping are worth going for alone. Thank goodness I always have my camera with me.
Isn't this amazing? It's like being in a big park surrounded by stores. Wonderful restaurants, too. We had lunch at a place called was delicious, but too dark to take pictures in.
Here are a few of my favorite shops.
We didn't stop in many, as we were on a mission, but we plan to go back when we have nothing but time. It's a great place to spend some outdoor time {and money}.
We popped in here and I fell in love with the beautiful dishes, clothes and things for the home. I picked up a bottle of grapefruit body lotion. It smells heavenly.
And surprise! I found a dress that was perfect. Pardon the state of my bedroom. I decided on a full length dress, as Peggy, the Mother Of The Bride is wearing one and she said we need to stand out. With the beading on the top, I think I might glow in the dark. But I love it, It fits perfectly and is so comfortable. We found it at Lord & Taylor. it was the first of six dresses I liked and the last one I tried on. Emily calls the color oyster...does that fit? This isn't such a great picture, I actually look like I have a waist in it.

We leave for vacation next week and when we come back the wedding is a week away. I'm glad I have this off my worries. I hope all of you are having a good weekend. I'll be here again this week! :-)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


All the makings of a perfect Saturday afternoon. Didn't I have a picture of watermelon in my last post? Never mind...we eat it like crazy in the summer. Once again we had gorgeous weather {although now we have a heat advisory and Chicago is going into the triple digits tomorrow}.

We had company this weekend, good friends Craig and Snow and their kids, Luke and Ella. They are a wonderful family and The Husband and Craig go waaaaaaay back...
Grammar school, high school college and...
...the conversation went sort of like this: Craig, "Well, now that we're out of college, what are you going to do?" The Husband, " Well, I was thinking about law school." Craig, "Okay, let's go to law school." They are now successful attorneys.
The Miller's always bring a ton of food and plan our meals. This time it was flank steak marinated in lemon juice, olive oil rosemary and garlic. Craig did all the grilling. We snacked on his homemade barbecue chicken wings before dinner.
Snow had also marinated vegetables to toss on the grill. That was served on garlic toast and a salad of tomatoes and cucumbers in a balsamic dressing accompanied it. It was all so good we were whimpering.
Here is a picture of our great friends.
This is four year old Ella posing on the beach. She wants to be a rock star.
She is a doll. She gave me permission to be on my blog.
The Millers left on Sunday and we stayed until today. These 5 day weekends are wiping me out. The Husband is seen here washing his new truck for the third time in 2 weeks. We {me and the truck} are competing for his love. We also worked on a new flower bed after a visit to the friendly farmer for more stones. I think I have had my fill of stone borders, after all, this was supposed to be an English garden.

We are creeping closer to Kevin's wedding. Peggy, the mother of the bride has found her dress. The saleslady at the bridal shop was appalled that she hadn't gotten one yet. Now I am losing sleep over getting my dress. Said saleslady commented that the mother's of the bride and groom are supposed to stand out. Now I am REALLY losing sleep, but do have plans to start shopping Friday and I will be sure to post a picture of the dress when I find it. Wish me luck.

I hope all of you had a wonderful summer weekend. Is the weather sweltering in your neck of the woods? I plan on just hunkering down in the house and getting some cleaning and laundry done. I read a trashy little drugstore novel that Snow loaned me over the weekend, it took two days to read it and it was SO good. Monday I ran up to Rite Aid and bought another, Summer Island. The perfect little beach read. Have a good week and try to survive the heat! :-)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


It's hard to believe it's been more than a week since I posted. I usually try to at least twice a week. It seems the whole weekend was spent working in the garden and I love doing that more than anything. We had gorgeous weather but for a big thunderstorm on Monday that had me cowering in the hallway again. Afterward I drove around and there were limbs and branches scattered all over. Our paddle boat completely flipped over. Otherwise we lucked out with temps in the 80's and a lot of sunshine. Camera in hand, I took some pictures of things I have growing. I am joining in with Tracie of Fishtail Cottage for Cottage Flora Thursday.

This is my hibiscus that I bring in over the winter. It takes a few weeks, but after some sun and rain it looks wonderful and healthy.
The blooms are as big as my hand.
Down in the pot I plant impatiens and petunias, just a mix of color, but mostly in the pink/purple family.
This is a new flower bed we worked on this weekend. I had planted a climbing rose {and I think I have asked everyone in blogland about them}. It's that tiny little thing in front of my vintage trellis. I didn't know what I wanted to plant around it and finally decided on daisies since I can cut them, too. The Husband drove around looking in farm fields for rocks and he happened to meet a sweet old farmer that told him to help himself. This is how our field stone fireplace was made, too. Then we mulched it with dark shredded bark.
I actually cut some and made a cute vase.
This is what the bed looked like before the stones and mulch. What a difference a little fussing can make.
I haven't spent much time on the front porch as I have a family of robins on the light fixture. Tuesday morning I got brave and went out to water my plants, camera in hand. The mother squawked and dive bombed me, but I managed to get a picture of her babies. Look at those hungry little beaks!! This is the 2nd little robin family we have had in this nest so far this summer. I worry that I am going to startle the babies and drive them out of the nest too early. After nursing many little birds and releasing them, I don't mess with Mother Nature anymore.
We have been sprucing up the home front a bit, too. About two years ago, Emily painted these shutters a bright blue. I really loved them, but then she thought they were too bright and painted them this:
Not much difference, but more subtle. What do you think?
And the porch is all decked out with flowers that are really filling out like crazy after a late start in planting them.
I have been told these are some sort of mini petunias. If you know the name, let me know because I get them every year.
And this is my favorite little chippy window box. I like it the way it is but am wondering if it needs a coat of paint and some distressing before it completely falls apart. Maybe I should weatherize it.

Well, I hope I didn't overload you with pictures. I am constantly in awe of the colors around me. I have another garden bed I am working on and I'm happy to report that the bunnies are leaving my tomatoes alone for now.

We have company again this weekend. At least I have the sand swept up and the beach towels washed since our last group. Summer is in full swing I would say! See you all soon! :-)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


I hope everyone had a great 4th of July. We were so lucky to have great weather in Michigan but for one big downpour on Saturday that didn't last long. I know that all of you know how much fun I have at the lake, but this 4 day weekend was nothing short of spectacular.

When we weren't feasting on brats, hamburgers, ribs and chicken {that the men made}, guests were whipping up delicious and beautiful side dishes in the kitchen. The kids even helped by making appetizers, cupcakes and bringing out bowls of chips, dips and fruit. We packed two refrigerators and several coolers with every drink known to man and with the warm temps, we killed most of it. 26 people can do that.
The kayaks were really put to use. I was amazed at the young ones that were able to maneuver them so well. Because we live on the bay, it's perfectly calm water to paddle around in. The water was so warm, everyone enjoyed floating around on inflatables, life jackets, whatever they could find.
On Saturday, when the temperature was the hottest and before a majority of our guests arrived, we took the boat out to the sandbar, where it is a tradition for a band to play off the island and crowds of people to anchor and splash and dance around in the waist high water. Shortly after I took this picture, the skies darkened and a storm came through. We made it back to the dock just as it started to pour. Thankfully it didn't last long and it cooled everything down so we were able to enjoy weather in the low 80's.
I took a ton of pictures {sorry, not so many of the food}, but I'm not posting many as I don't like putting pictures of little ones on my blog. This is daughter Emily and her boyfriend, Mike. Em bought a few floppy hats in Chicago to wear with her beach garb. She thinks she's in the Hamptons here.
Son Kevin and his fiancee, Mary Clare. We were so lucky to have Mary Clare's mom, Peggy and niece Hannah come also. We just love them to pieces and I loved having Peggy keep me company for early morning coffee and while we stayed out of the sun, watching everyone enjoy the water. What a great lady she is.
Mike, Mary Clare and daughter Abby taking a break from the sun.
Abby and her boyfriend Tom.
How do you have a gathering this big? Planning and motel rooms. Help yourself pastries and fruit in the morning and everyone pitching in with the food and refreshments. Lunch was at 2:00 and dinner at 7. And even though I felt overwhelmed at times, my wonderful family shooed me out of the kitchen and made sure that I would relax. And everyone made themselves at home.

This is not to say that we didn't have a few mishaps. Emily got locked in the bathroom when the door handle fell off. I was washing my face in the upstairs bathroom after The Husband fixed a drain and water poured into the downstairs bathroom where Peggy was using the facilities. Keys were lost and the light on the boat broke so we watched the fireworks from the boat launch area. Otherwise, things went smoothly.

Many great memories were made. We had a family from Ireland as our guests and it was their first time in the States. They marveled over the food, especially the side dishes and snacks, and made new friends for life. I learned they have fireworks on Halloween!

I'm exhausted to say the least. And next week I'll be back up to wash sheets and beach towels and sweep up sand. I don't mind, it was worth every minute.

I'm joining Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday. See all of you soon! :-)