Thursday, March 17, 2016


Hello, everyone and Happy St. Paddy's Day.  Have you noticed my green font?  I'm not crazy about the color green, at least in my clothing, paint colors, my clothing...did I say that?  I own nothing green.  We celebrate this huge, huge day on the Sunday before the actual March 17th here on the Southside of Chicago.  Our parade rivals the one in Downtown Chicago big time as we are predominately an Irish Catholic neighborhood.  So many from "over on the boat' as we say of  the Irish who leave family and friends behind to join relatives here in Chicago.  In the past I've posted pictures of our parade and the traditional dying of the Chicago River to a brilliant green.  And as always, rest assured people, it's vegetable dye and wouldn't harm a carp.  

Loving my carnations.  My grocery store (yes, Jane was haunting the grocery stores again this week) had a deal...3 bouquets for $12.  I hopped on it.  They were huge bunches.  Carnations, or mums, last SO long.  Change the water often, it gets a little smelly. :(

I had enough of those carnations to make a vase for my coffee table.  I am always sort of amazed at how this glass table looks like an optical illusion when I take photos.  Everything seems to be floating on air.  Then you can see my rug underneath and I always wonder if I missed picking up a few wayward cracker crumbs or peanut shells that someone may notice.  

I love candy dishes filled with chocolates.  I'm pretty much over my sweet faze and I like when my kids come by and scoop a handful up.  I'll be known as that crazy old Mom/Grandma that always had candy.  

And the last of my three bouquets are these white mums.  I'm in flower heaven.  Even better, I am seeing so many new green shoots in my yard.  Daffs, tulips, day lilies, crocus and hyacinths.  We had a very mild winter here however, and the last time this happened my spring plants such as these came up very stunted.  I didn't think the bulbs would ever bloom nicely again.  Here in the Midwest they really need a good 6 weeks of very cold temps, even a few freezes.  I'm wary of what might actually be my spring garden.  Fingers crossed for the best.

A new sign.  I think it's darling.  I'm a little embarrassed to say I have not yet brought up anything spring-like from the storage.  Not one bunny or egg.  I'm on the go and when I'm not, I feel like doing absolutely nothing.  I will get to it tomorrow as I really have nothing planned for once.  The Husband thinks I should schedule appointments and errands in one or two full days.  I, on the other hand, like to spread them out over the week thinking its good to get out every day.   I don't simply do one thing, I throw in a few errands and my little trips to the store (I know---I'm insane).

At the risk of boring you as far as the never ending skin issues, and this might just wrap it up, I am so improved.  I started the photo light therapy at a dermatology clinic in a suburb nearby.  Actually, it's 20 minutes away, I sit in the waiting room about 15 minutes and the time spent in the area where I get the 'rays" is 45 seconds.  But I'm not complaining.  I no longer have the horrid rash or blotches, nor the hive like symptoms on my face and neck.  The spots where I scratched like crazy and drew blood are healing so well.  I feel hopeful each and every day.  2 days a week...a little over an hour of my time.  Thanks for listening to me and weighing in on your problems with eczema or someone you know, and your ways of dealing with it.  We're helping each other.  :)

I am really getting excited about our trip to Vancouver.  It's been over 10 years since we've been there. My brother-in-law met a lovely girl visiting Chicago who lived in Vancouver.  After a long distance relationship he moved there and they were married.  Of course we were all there and what a great time it was from the wedding to the reception at the Vancouver Yacht Club.  Yeah...a great way to celebrate the marriage and our first trip to this incredibly beautiful place, but little time to explore.  We re meeting up with Jack when we visit and we are so looking forward to that.  I'm planning to meet a blogger friend (or two) as well and I want to thank these ladies for giving me some great tips on what to pack, wear, see and explore.  And my friend, Lynne, from Dreams On 34th Street who lives in Seattle ...she's given me a wealth of info.  Thanks, Lynne!!!

I have pretty much all I need.  The weather is up and down there.  Layers.  And a trip up to Whistler in the mountains...iffy.  As per usual I overpack but I'm really trying to plan ahead and stay clear of that. Yes, I know it won't happen but give me credit for trying.  Above you can see a pair of flats I found today.  Are they not cool?  They certainly go with the basic black I wear every single day.  Can I say slimming?  The clothes, not the shoes.  Although the shoes may help.  Mentally.  

Lastly, a picture of Elsie all decked out for the Southside Parade this past Sunday.  Sadly it rained like  cats and dogs.  But Kevin and Mary Clare soldiered on with a huge golf umbrella.  You can't stop the stubborn Irish!  Elsie is looking a little skeptical here but I know she had a great time.

My son, Kevin, MC and little Elsie all bundled up.  Mary Clare's mom, Peggy, you know partner in crime/Elsie's other grandma, had a brunch the morning of the parade (she lives about 4 blocks from the route).  It was delicious and so fun.  A wonderful spread of pastries, egg casseroles, sausages and bagels.  And of course, mimosas.  We had a great time with little Elsie, and Katie (MC's sister) and Kevin's little girl Margot toddling around and making us laugh. Katie's little girl, Cecilia, born just before Christmas is precious.  How full our family has become.  I skipped the parade...I'm not a fan of crappy weather unless I'm on a shopping spree (!) and I'm not totally Irish--I have a bit of German on my mother's side.  Her maiden name was Doll (imagine if her name was Barbara what she could have been called for short).  Terrible.  The food in Germany I am sure is wonderful, but when my grandfather visited and cooked, and he was the one who cooked in the family, it was so bland.  I sincerely think it was his way, I have no inclination to insult the Germans for anything.  I'm sure I would totally enjoy a visit, in fact my sons went to Cologne to stay with friends when they were in their early teens.  

Long story short.  Parade Sunday.  I left the brunch with Abby and her boyfriend Tom and we went to a restaurant a few blocks from home and met up with Tom's (huge) family.  So fun.  I had two glasses of wine on top of two mimosas at brunch and all I wanted to do was go home and take a nap.  But corned beef and cabbage called and that's what I worked on once home.  Me and a huge pot of coffee.

As I write it's still Wednesday.  I have no plans to make anything remotely Irish, German or even Italian or Guatemalan.  Maybe we will have Corn Flakes for dinner.  

Jane x


Kathleen Grace said...

I have barely done a thing toward Spring decorating. Filling the house with flowers seems to satisfy that itch just fine. I am busy planning the Easter dinner and I will be making the table pretty for that. It will be enough. I love those shoes! I rarely wear heels anymore, so cute flats fill my need for pretty shoes.
Elsie looks so cute all decked out for the parade. She is such a beautiful little girl. You must love having her around :) We are having roast venison and veggies tonight, no corned beef for us. Neither of us is Irish or Catholic so venison it is. Have a great evening!

Linda said...

Hi Jane...
Love all your can NEVER have too many!!
I had a visit yesterday from 2 flower ladies,bearing gifts!!
I have lots of flowers...for a while, anyway!
Glad you are happy with your treatments,I am sure that is half the battle...
Elsie looks adorable in that wee hat! You must be so pleased...she is a doll♥️
Very windy here today...back after some shopping...gonna spend some time in the to the cottage tomorrow...gonna make us some lunch to take...boyfriend says he is going to start the water! YIPPEE!!! Think I'll get the fridge turned on...
Won't belong now!
You hosting Easter??? I am!! of course...will do it here on Good Friday, and then the weekend is free for anything else...
Have a great day Jane...
linda :o)

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Love your spring blooms and that sign is adorable! Little Elsie is so cute in her St. Patrick's day outfit. Sounds like a good time was had by all. I'm so glad you're getting some relief with your skin. So wonderful when you find something that works!

It's me said...

Hi Jane...Elsie look so cute and pretty in That outfit so from me Ria x

Kim said...

Ha! I love cereal for dinner. Eat it more often than I should. I am a big green fan. I am not even the teensiest bit Irish, but a few rooms in my house are green, I wear green and I have green eyes. I wonder if that has anything to do with my affinity for the color? ;)

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you, too, Jane! Little Elsie looks adorable all decked out for the holiday! I'm sorry to hear about your skin issues...I am dealing with them right now, too. No fun. I'm glad to hear your treatments are beginning to help! xo

Melanie said...

Hi Jane - so glad the light therapy is helping your eczema. What a relief!
Elsie is the cutest thing...I love her little St Patrick's Day hat.
As you can probably tell by his name, Brian is Irish. Funny thing is, he doesn't give a hoot about St Patrick's Day! Maybe it's because growing up, his family didn't celebrate it either. And neither one of us like corned beef as a roast, so I don't make it for St Paddy's Day. We're having a mexican chicken dish for dinner tonight, lol.

Vee said...

Gonna fry those cornflakes? =}

Cold, damp weather is not my thing either. The kids are young and they can take it and enjoy it.

I haven't eaten much German food except pastries and breads, which are way too good.

Enjoy your St.Pat's evening...

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

I'm looking forward to hearing details about Vancouver. I didn't know Whistler wasn't a definite. You HAVE to go. I said so. ; )

If you lived where I am, you would either put a zillion miles on your car or you'd be forced to go out less. Everything is at least 25 minutes away.

I wasn't able to see most of your pictures. Probably an issue with the qwappy internet, but I'm sure your flowers are lovely!

So glad your skin has improved. It's difficult to be uncomfortable all the time, so I'm sure it's a relief for you to have found some help.


Lorrie said...

Hello Jane,
Glad to hear that your skin issues are being resolved. What a relief!

Today in Victoria, just across the strait from Vancouver, we're enjoying glorious sunny weather. Although there's warmth, the wind has a definite bite. A scarf to protect your neck is a great idea, and as you've been advised, lots of layers. Something rain-proof if you have it. I like jackets with hoods so that I can pull one up over my hair if a drizzle begins.

I hope your trip weather is just like we're enjoying today. It's marvelous!

Enjoy your St. Pat's day. Here we don't do much. Nothing at all, in fact. Other than I gave hubby a little pinch this morning because he wasn't wearing any green. So he pinched me back. Ditto. That was our celebration!

Rita C. said...

Happy St Patrick's Day, Jane! Oh lands, that baby Elsie is sooo pretty!

Barbara F. said...

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Baby Elsie is so adorable. Love her hat.

Kathleen George said...

The cute hat on the adorable wee little one! Love it!
I'm very happy that the treatments are helping you!
Have a fun time in Vancouver!
Oh, the Easter chocolate will not last long in this house;)
Kathleen in Az

Anonymous said...

Jane I'm the one who made the anonymous comment about the saran wrap. It was anonymous because I truthfully don't know how to do anything else. I was also supposed to start light therapy but unfortunately my husband has just been diagnosed with cancer and we are putting all our efforts into his recovery. The wrap is working but not entirely. I'm glad it is working for you and I'm sorry I am anonymous but I am an old lady and I don't know what else to do.

Carla from The River said...

I am so excited for your trip.

Elsie...such a sweetheart.
Happy St. Patrick's Day,

Linda said...

I didn't do one thing for St. Patrick's Day! I have been tired to the bone and stayed in bed off and on all day.
I'm so happy for your improved skin condition! My oldest son suffers from the same thing!
Spring has definitely sprung in Texas!! We are off to the country tomorrow with Logan and Trystan!

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Jane reading about your carnations brought back sweet memories of John's Grandmother, The only gift she'd ever want for her Birthday was Pink Carnations so on her Birthday it looked like a tractor trailer backed up with a load. BTW she lived to 102 year's. Like you I too would of skipped the parade, cold rain drops would keep me away. Sounds like all that eating and drinking made for a fun day. I made chicken and asparagus risotto for dinner - nothing Irish here either! Happy Saint Patrick's day.

Bluebird49 said...

Hello friend--- what beautiful bouquets, but the topper is Elsie's crocheted Shamrock cap!
I'm so glad to hear more good news about your treatments. It's so great to know! :)
I've been down for the count when another bout of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome joined the usual Fibromyalgia. I don't even have enough energy to complain. I've only been out twice in a month, protesting the whole time. Ed likes to say, "You may feel better."
Well, not when CFS joins in. It's not good to be out when your energy is so low you honestly can't walk 10 minutes, much less sit up for more than two hours. I don't really believe people who say, "Come on! You can lay in our bed if you need to!"
Nice---but for whom?! What's the point!:)
Love you!
Trudy x

Theresa said...

I love snapping up a few bouquets of flowers for my home, yours are so pretty:) LOVE the chickie sign:) Happy to hear that you are getting rid of the skin problems, just keep going and soon it will be all gone! Love that little cutie-pie of yours, she is PRECIOUS! Enjoy your day dear friend, HUGS! Oh... forgot to say, CUTE SHOES:)

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I think corn flakes for dinner is just fine.

Deserae said...

I love carnations too....yours look so very pretty! OMG....Elsie is such a cutie pie!!!! Hope you had a nice St. Patrick's Day!?!?!
Have a great weekend...

Lisa said...

You're so funny jane and I love reading about all your adventures but as much as I love your narrative I could hardly pay attention because I was going gaga over your adorable shoes and that sweet sign. I know. I'm easily distracted and have the attention span of a gnat. Happy belated St Pat's Day!
PS I hope your spring garden survived the winter. I love bulb flowers!

A Joyful Cottage said...

Great post, Jane! Elsie is adorable. Oh my, she looks the sweet Irish baby part. Love her attire. I'm glad to know your skin problem is improving. The few times I've had rashes or flare ups of one kind or another, I was so happy to find relief, so I can imagine how elated you are. The carnations are so pretty. I don't mind spending money on them, especially when they're on sale, because as you say they last so long. Pink carnations are my favorite. So, now you've inspired me to look for some at our grocers. Love your spring sign! Hugs, Nancy

podso said...

What an adorable photo of Elise, all decked out in her green I bet she's getting to be a lot of fun. Just wait! Hope you have a wonderful trip to Vancouver. We went there and Victoria for our 25th.

Stacey said...

Elise is really growing and she's so adorable in that little outfit.

I'm so glad to hear that your skin issue is already getting better. That's great news.

No Easter decor here either...we are terrible bloggers!

Susie said...

Blondie, Your little Elsie is the sweetest little Irish lass I have seen. I know you had a great time with your children and friends. I like your new chick sign. :):) You certainly got a real deal on the bouquets. Love them. Wishing you a great weekend. When you go on your trip, be safe and enjoy all the fun. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

Patti @ Pandoras Box said...

Jane - Love, love the shoes!! Adorable! And a trip to Vancouver? Love it there - especially the art shops on the island. It's a great walking city. I stayed in the hotel where the cruise ships come in (with the huge white tarps?) and it was lovely! Your sign is adorable - they are certainly becoming very popular here in NY! Thanks for stopping by - love meeting fellow bloggers!! patti

Art and Sand said...

When you said St. Patrick's Day Parade and Chicago, I immediately thought of Ferris Bueller!

I love your sweet Easter sign and your adorable granddaughter - what a cutie.

Mereknits said...

My goodness you have been so busy. Love all the info on how you celebrate St. Paddy's Day. I am a tiny bit Irish, but did not celebrate at all. Too much work to have that sort of fun. I am thrilled you are seeing positive results from your skin treatments. Hooray!!!!
Hugs to you Jane and Happy Weekend,

FrenchGardenHouse said...

Jane, your flowers look beautiful! There is nothing as uplifting to our spirits in spring as flowers. I love your darling Elsie, what a little sweetie she is. Your upcoming trip sounds wonderful, the shoes are perfect. I tend to overpack some, even though I've honed my skills on the many European antique buying trips I go on. There are always a few things I never wear. But keeping to a black, white and maybe a pop of color scheme helps. So happy the therapy is working, I might have to get Mr. FrenchGardenHouse to go do that, as he is still in the awful itchy stage every single day with his skin. Xoxo Lidy

Shelia said...

Hi Janie! Oh, look at little Elise - she's adorable all decked out in her little hat! I know you'll love your trip to Vancouver! Glad to hear your skin problem is getting better. Thanks for popping in to see me.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Mary said...

Wow you did have a great St. P's Day - a shame about the 'rain on my parade' issue though. Love little Elsie's outfit, what a beautiful baby girl she is - I know you must hug her a lot!!!! We stopped at an Irish pub for a drink (but went home for dinner), mobbed of course - and it was such a hot day, everyone in shorts and green t-shirts!

Glad you are doing better dear - have a great trip to BC - love it there and hope to get back soon.
Hugs - Mary

bj said...

what a celebration ya'll have...I've seen photos of your green river..pretty cool...

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Jane, you are such a sweetheart. Glad to hear you relaxed with the mimosa and wine. A nap is good for you. Sounds like a great outing. I did notice your green font.
Elsie is a cutie pie. How exciting your trip to BC. I know you will have a fabulous time. Happy spring. xoxo

Nancy Crowley said...

Hi Jane,
Loved this post, omg Elsie is so sweet in that outfit. I didn't do anything for St Paddy's day, and like you, not a great fan of green, so didn't even have anything to pull out of the wardrobe for the day. Love Guiness however, I could drink it every day and never tire of it.
Another few weeks of March, not long till your trip. I've received your emails at, or you can reach me at Let's touch base before you depart and i'll give you my phone number(s). Vancouver is beautiful right now, all the cherry trees are out, the daffodils are shaking their yellow heads, and tulips are sprouting. I think it will be lovely when you are visiting. I just hope the weather cooperates. xx Nancy

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I didn't see any crumbs that would distract from your pretty flowers. :D That tiny little girl is so sweet, love the green hat.

Suzanne said...

Enjoyed catching up with you. Your little Elsie is adorable! I love all the pretty flowers. Our grocery store rarely has carnations, which I hate. They smell wonderful and last a very long time. I hope the weather is beginning to break there. We have sun today! A little chilly, but I'll take it!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

My son bought me a beautiful vase of flowers for my birthday last week and the roses are about done for but the carnations are going strong! Go carnations! I love them. Your flowers are very pretty. I have to keep mine up high because the kitties will tear into them.
Little Elsie is a living sweet in her cute hat.
I'm so glad for you that the skin issues are getting better. Yay!
Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! Have a nice week!

Beatrice Euphemie said...

Hi Jane, I love all your flowers - I am a big fan of carnations and mums as they last and last, which is something to love. I didn't notice any crumbs or peanuts, but I do love your fireplace screen and that painting of the girl holding the lamb is one of my favorites. Your little Elsie is just adorable, especially in her sweet hat. I do think a day of shopping in any weather is preferable to a cold parade, too! Especially with mimosas. Your flats are very cute, by the way. I am glad that you have found some relief for the skin issues. My middle daughter has rheumatoid arthritis that flares up with eczema now and again, poor thing. I'll have to tell her about the light therapy. Vancouver this time of year is wonderful - everything is blooming. So exciting! Wishing you a Happy Easter, my friend. xx Karen

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Hi Jane. I have a lot of comments ready in my mind and then I saw Little Elsie and couldn't think of anything else. What a little doll. I so miss having a little girl to play with. Even my daughter, after she reached the age of 3, didn't want to be "pretty" (although I never told her she always was) anymore. She wanted tom boy looks. Glad you are feeling better. I bet that seems like a long haul. Love your flats. Since I had a few toes removed I can't keep them on any more without something with a strap. I just walk right out of them. All the flowers are beautiful, but I just love that little chick spring sign. Did you make it? So cute..Happy Tuesday..Judy

Unknown said...

Hi Jane,
Your Elsie is so adorable!
Love the shoes and flowers too.
Not much going on here except that we have 6 to 12 inches of snow in our forecast for Wednesday.
Seriously I could cry.
Just when it's all finally melted.
When's your trip to Vancouver?
Take care dear, lots of hugs.

Annesphamily said...

Hi Jane, it is good to visit you here! I am behind visiting as usual and trying to catch up. I love blogging more than anything especially social media. Blogging is so personal and special, social media is so cruel.
I love all the great photos you have shared. Your trip will be a terrific one I am sure.
My hubby had Saturday mail on the 14th and I went with him in case he was overwhelmed with "Law Review" for 200 attorneys lol! we caught the tail end of the St. Patrick's Day parade and oh my goodness, I guess you could say that would have been a great day to rob a bank as the Denver police force were out and about in the city.
I am happy I was able to say hello. Off to catch my hubby at his bus stop. xo Anne said...

Hi Jane! . . . catching up with you on this Monday morning!

I would love to see Chicago on St Patrick's Day in my lifetime. My father is 1/2 Irish and 1/2 Italian. I traveled to Ireland with him 18 years ago. I was in the homes where my great grandmother and great grandfather were born. They both immigrated to America where they met and we married. (They only grew up about 30 mile apart in Ireland.)

The weather has been such a mixed bag lately. I am so ready to bring my warm weather frocks out from the back of the closet. I'm still keeping warm layered in my black Ponte-knits.

Sounds like you are ready to pack for Vancouver! I so hope you and The Husband are able to travel to Whistler on a clear day.

Thank you for your kind shout out!

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