My wild and wooly flower bed at the lakehouse. We were there last Sunday and I took a tour of the grounds. It's not as bad as I thought after having been neglected for 9 months, as I purposely chose plants that would bloom from spring to fall. These must be mid-summer. Still, I wish I had been there to fertilize and add more mulch...tidy it up a bit. But we're good.
Oh, I've been a busy bee as usual but the end is in sight, thank goodness. Dear Daughter Abby (don't you love her ombre hair color?) was set to return to work this past Monday and really wanted a visit from her sister and I to her neighborhood on the Northside. So Emily and I headed up last Thursday and we really had a good time. We had lunch at a small café that also boasts a little grocery. One of their specialties is Bread Pudding Pancakes. Oh my gosh, we ordered it for a dessert of sorts, they are served with a bit of warm cream poured over and a little sprinkle of cinnamon. I was in heaven. And...they sell the packaged mix which is mainly bread cubes and the flour and other dry ingredients. Has anyone made this from scratch? When I actually make them I'll show you in a post and give you the website---I think you can order the mix. But let's figure it out.
Abby lives one block over from a main street that has both chain stores like Gap, Francesca's, American Eagle, Paper Source, etc. Bit there are also a lot of boutiques, gift shops and locally owned places. I loved it.
We came upon a farmer's market right there on the sidewalk. They were just getting ready to close up. Here you can see a large tent that housed it's own little flower market. We loved the lady/owner. I could have had a field day (no pun intended), but I had bought a bunch of tea roses on sale at the grocery the day before. Very tempting though. Here's Em saying,"You know you want these sunflowers, Mom!"
All in all a good day. Isn't Chicago beautiful? I would love to invite all of you here and take you to all of my favorite places. Look at that sky! The weather was gorgeous that day.
The next day The Husband and I were back downtown again as he had his yearly tests (his own business, as he prefers). I had a three hour wait and spent it in the hospital waiting room and in spite of having to walk around every 45 minutes or so to work the kinks out of my back, I caught up on my reading uninterrupted. In fact, I was a little overzealous about this reading time, I packed two heavy books, one fiction, one non-fiction as well as my Nook which has a variety of magazines I subscribe to and many books in my library, two of which I'm in the middle of. Oh, my word. That purse was heavy. What was I thinking? Still, I made a dent. I never thought I'd be the type to have more than one book going but it's working-I can read what I'm in the mood for.
After the tests, we worked off his wooziness by walking over to Gino's East, a great place for deep dish pizza. A big pick-me-up after a long day. And happily he got his results Monday and everything is A-Okay. A real sigh of happiness.
Some flowers I planted at the lake. Some of the seed heads were almost dried up on these coneflowers so I pinched a few off to bring home. So, do I plant these now, in the fall, or in the spring? Please help.
You remember I cleaned up the front of the lakehouse last summer and if I can humbly say, landscaped a border all along it. On our visit I found these growing. What the heck are they? I really don't remember planting anything like this. We have so many birds all about, I get a lot of volunteer plants, maybe this is the reason they're here. Again, anyone know what this is? Whoa, I have a lot of questions in this post!
Now the sad, hard part. The reason we were at the lake. You might remember that we lost our good friend Bob in December after a well fought battle with cancer. Bob built our lakehouse and when he and his wife Sharon sold it to us, we all became very, very good friends. It was so hard to lose Bob. You can read my posts here and here. Friday morning we received a call that Sharon was terminally ill and hospice had been called in. We had absolutely no idea. I talked with her daughter, Becky, who is also my good, dear friend, and she very honestly told me it was a matter of days. We wasted no time and a day later we drove to the lake---I so wanted to see Sharon one last time. I think she recognized us, she said, "I'm so glad you came up", and then she drifted off. We spent a few hours with Becky and her husband and daughter. Then we went to the lakehouse to inspect things and that was dreadful, nothing changed.
Just two hours ago I got the call from Becky that Sharon passed away this morning. Writing this post right now is a good distraction. The Husband and I have both shared out feelings in the last hour a great deal about Sharon and Bob, and how they welcomed us to the lake. You know, after the tribute I wrote about my sister in law who passed away just two weeks ago, I simply can't do that again now for this special friend, I'm just beaten down it seems. A memorial will be held for Sharon at some point soon, and she asked that she and Bob's ashes be scattered in the lake. We'll be there for that. I'm so relieved that she went in peace.
Can I share something silly and totally out of place right now? I need to change directions if you know what I mean. I finally got The Husband to admit our mattress was old and decrepit and hard and probably filled with dust mites, so we tested out a few last December. He surprised me recently and bought the soft, plush-top mattress I liked. But wow, this baby is 16 inches thick! And we already have one of those high Victorian beds with the little steps. Can you see how massive this set up is by looking at little Layla lying there? She can spring up those steps because she is small and spry, but Milo? He had never used the steps and in his first few attempts at leaping up he couldn't clear it and bounced back off. Alas, he sleeps most of the night in his dog bed that you can see a little bit in the bottom corner of this pic. And I lift him up in the morning to snuggle and also for naps. ;-) As for me, I sleep on the end there and yeah, I worry sometimes about rolling right off. With my luck lately it just might happen soon. :(((
And on to much better times, my son Jeffrey's wedding is just 4 days away. A little snippet picture of the country club he belongs to and where the reception will be held. We met a few weeks ago with him, Deirdre and her parents to sample the food that will be served. Not only do they have this massive dining room, but there is a veranda that wraps around outside with tables and chairs as well as a bar area with comfy couches and chairs.
I picked up my dress on Saturday, it fit really well so I was able to take it home with no further alterations. Today I went and bought my shoes. I picked out seven pairs and after trying them on went with the comfiest. Ha! I'm getting practical in my old age. I'm going to skip the manicure and pedi and spray tan that most of the girls are doing, this is getting to be too much for me. We are having the usual hair and make up done Saturday morning and that's enough for me. I have walnuts growing on the trees in my backyard, not money. Who the heck is going to be looking at my toes? Anyway, the excitement is building. Tomorrow is the rehearsal at the church and the dinner afterward. Usually the dinner involves the wedding party and their partners. Jeff and Deidre do not favor tradition and have invited a large group of close friends as well. This will be different.
Here's a recent snapshot of my boy and his Goddaughter, little Elsie, from the 4th of July. May I say he might be wanting to start a family of his own soon? I'm jumping the gun here...let's get through this wedding.
I've had so much going on. All of you ladies comment and say that I'm SO busy. Most times I think, really...I'm not. I truly thing I have a lot of free time to do what I please. However, today I was on my way out after having my coffee, checking the usual news, gossip, emails and my blog; breakfast, cleaning up the house and getting dressed, and I happened to look at Milo and Layla eying me. I realized that they must be very used to me walking out every afternoon---as if I have a "real" job. Lately I've been wanting a day home to just do nothing. I just want to clear my head, that's all. I hope that's soon.
Happy and sad times. As when I lost my sister in law just before we went to Louisville for my niece's wedding, again, we are mourning and celebrating. God's plan doesn't often make sense but we have to trust in it no matter.
I'll be back next week.