Sunday, May 1, 2016

LIFE CHANGES


There are some things that are explained best in pictures rather than words (and you know how hard that is for me to do).  Nevertheless...

Once upon there was a young girl and a guy.  They practically grew up together as her Nana and Papa lived next door to him and his family.  He probably pulled on her braids and she most likely tried to keep up with him and her older brothers when they played Running Bases in the street.



These two kids drifted apart and went their separate ways to high school and college.  And then one New Years Eve they ran into each other at a party.  She had just had her heart broken and he was looking for someone to fill his.  They talked and laughed and then kissed...and not like childhood buddies.  


Five years later they were married.  It was more like a family reunion/block party as all of the family and friends knew each other.  It was a joyous occasion.



They found the home of their dreams and if the story can be more ironic, the house was next door to Papa (Nana had passed away), and on the other side of Papa's house was the home of the young man.  The same block where they played tag and sat on porches eating ice cream on magical summer evenings.  He was no longer pulling her hair and she wasn't pinching him.




They adopted a cute little Boston Terrier who quickly became their little baby.  Spoiled beyond belief and loved unconditionally, even when he chewed on the young girls designer shoes.  

They nested and worked and made their house a home.  She gardened and he helped with doing the dishes.  They marveled over the fact that they had not only been best friends for 8 years, but they had a history together that seemed predestined.

And now?  Well, this is a new chapter... 



The young girl and guy, Emily and Michael, will be adding to their happiness this coming November!  A joyous and incredible miracle that will further cement the union of so many families and long time friends.  

I am so incredibly happy that my daughter will now have the happiness and feeling of completion that I felt when I found out I found out I was pregnant with her.  The Husband and I, as well as her siblings, Jeff, Kevin and Abby, are so excited to welcome another new little one into our lives.  

Life is good.  No, life is unbelievably happy and fulfilling and incredibly blessed right now.  

Couldn't wait to share this with you, my friends!



Okay.  Now we can move on to the usual.  Before the onslaught of rain we've been experiencing for the past few days, I was able to pull out some of my favorite things from my newly cleaned out shed. I have several birdhouses and even have some young renters in one close near a bathroom window that I can peek at.  Sparrows that are busy filling their little abode with this and that.  I haven't replenished the bird feeders yet so I added a  handful of my parrot's seed to the window ledge and they loved it.  Unfortunately the dropped seed attracts quick and little critters with names such a Mickey, Minnie and Mighty.  They startle me and I've decided that my feeders need to be hung from some trees away from the patio.  

This is a very old birdhouse that needs some repair and the little entrance drilled larger.  We mostly have sparrows, robins, cardinals and bluejays and they couldn't fit a leg in this.  But its cute, it reminds me of an old run down barn.  


Can you believe I finally packed up all of my rabbits, hares, chicks and eggs last week?  I was pretty lazy and kept trying to convince myself that they were perfect for spring decor.  But the clutter finally got to me and I found a lot of inspiration on Instagram looking at mantels that were beautiful without a huge amount of 'stuff' on them.  I now need to pare down the shelves in my living room and switch around a few things on my coffee table.  And then take a look at the family room and den.  Ugh.


I recently took a long look at my patio which is surrounded by 4 foot hedges.  It's not large and our table with an umbrella takes up a majority of the space.  Yes, that's how small it is.  And then it occurred to me that after all these years of having pots of plants and flowers all over this space, they were 'lost' as they were so close to the ground.  So I got on Amazon and ordered a few urns to raise everything up and make the flowers at eye level when relaxing at the table.  And these were all at bargain prices.  I LOVE Amazon.  Please note I have no affiliation with them.  I finally broke down and bought some solar lights, they were incredibly inexpensive on Amazon and Emily had bought this brand and said they were just perfect.  So my first project once the rain stops is some clean up of the flower beds in this space, adding some mulch, annuals and the pretty lights.  I'm sure Milo will not hesitate to lift his leg on them the minute they are stuck in the ground.  But Emily reassured me, they're waterproof.  I hope so.

I found this cute statue as well.  I like a few small ones here and there and I hinted that for Mother's Day I'd love a birdbath.  I already have one but my yard is large and another one would be perfect.  The one I have now has a hairline crack about 4 inches long and loses water.  Any suggestions as to what I can use to fill it?


A lot of food action going on here.  I had made some pizza dough back in December and froze it.  It was perfect when I took it out of the freezer Friday and let it thaw at room temperature.  You can find the recipe here.

I used what I had in the fridge for the toppings; onion, red and green pepper, broccoli and pepperoni (just on half of it).  I sautéed these veggies for about 3 minutes over high heat in a skillet with a few drops of olive oil just to take the crunch out of them.  Very important  The only cheese I had on hand was a small block of Pepper Jack and I grated it up and topped the pizza off with it.  Then a small sprinkling of salt, pepper, oregano, thyme and pinch of red pepper flakes.  

The sauce is simple.  I never buy jarred sauces anymore.  It's not worth the money nor the preservatives.  I used a 28 oz. can of plum tomatoes in a skillet along with 2 T. butter.  I broke the tomatoes up as I went along and added some chopped garlic (about 2 cloves).  Add more of the same spices you see above as well as 2-3 teaspoons of sugar.  Let it bubble away while you set up the dough on the pizza pan.  Once it's reduced, not too thick or thin, you're good.  

Pizza dough can't be rolled out like cookie or pie dough.  It's very elastic and needs to be stretched.  I have fought with pizza dough to the point where I've wanted to throw it against a wall.  Today I watched this video and them made a super thin pizza/flatbread that made me wonder why I didn't Google it earlier.  

Once the dough is the size of your pizza pan, fold it in half, transfer it to the pan that you've added a small palmful of cornmeal to (keeps the dough from sticking),  and unfold.  Pat and flatten and push into the edges.  Add your toppings and bake at 425 until the crust is browned around the edges.  Cool 5 minutes before cutting. 

*****

In other news, Abigail and Tom moved into their new apartment over the weekend.  The Husband, son Kevin and I drove to the North part of the city.  The expressway and Lake Shore Drive was a mess due to the pouring rain and the last day of the NFL Draft celebration in Grant Park.  Tom's father was there helping to install their T.V. on the wall.  The Husband and Kevin got on the ball putting the bed together and I scoured the bathroom, hung the shower curtain and arranged the guest towels.  Abby was running all of her dishes, flatware and glasses through the dishwasher.  Once the bed was together I added the sheets, duvet and the pretty decorative pillows she bought.  The apartment is small but it has tons of windows and is so bright.  I plan to be the Motherzilla and bring her some potted plants for all of those nice, deep windowsills.  Everything looks wonderful and once she has tidyed everything up I'll have her send me some pictures.  

I'm going to sign off now, I have an early appointment in the city tomorrow with my dermatologist.  My rash is doing wonderful but the side effects are still here; headaches, diarrhea, nausea and tiredness.  I've only actually vomited a handful of times but I fight it all the time.  Still, I am plugging along because for the first time in 20 years I'm not clawing at my skin until it bleeds.  I imagine it will be a few more months of this but I'm going to push on.

Thanks for hanging in with me when I've been posting and visiting so sporadically.  Just love all you guys!  :-)

Jane
















53 comments:

Kathleen George said...

Congratulations Grandmama! What a fairy tale story, so romantic!
Big happy changes for both your daughters.
Taking meds that really make a difference, but with side effects is frustrating, hoping you stay the course in the next few months.
You're absolutely right about making homemade sauces, deliciousness!
Kathleen in Az

Carol said...

That is such wonderful news, Jane! I am just thrilled for you, your daughter and all of the family!

Warm hugs,
Carol

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Oh Jane, how exciting that you are going to be grandma again. What a beautiful love story and they look so very happy. Congratulations!

I am so happy that the treatment is helping your skin. I have a friend that had cancer and the radiation caused her to have itchy skin and was so embarrassed that she would only wear slacks and long sleeve tops. She now has a light machine at home and uses it three times a week and it is doing great. Hoping that the medicine side effects stop soon.

I sure wish we could have some of that rain. It rains all around us, but we never get only a few drops.

After going to the last garden tour on Saturday, what did I do, yes I went right out today and purchase 1-1/2 flats of plants for my garden. i would go out in the dark if I could see and plant. I think I have a flower sickness or I am NUTS LOL. It gives me great pleasure to be in my garden working. I have to be careful with this darn hip.

Your pizza looks wonderful and I sure wish I had a BIG slice right now. I took a nap this afternoon and I'm not sleepy.

Your daughters apartment sounds so pretty and I know she is loving it. So glad that everyone helped them put it together.

Well my dear Jane, love your post, but I better get to bed as I have a lot of planting to do tomorrow.

Hugs,
Mary

laurie said...

oh my gosh,, such exciting news!!!! You must be over the moon,, she is such a cutie,, he so handsome,, beautiful babies to come for sure lol,,, your pizza sounds amazing and I would love to try the sauce you make,,I hope you have success with this last treatment for your skin,, you have been through so much,,it must be awful,,take care,

Kathleen Grace said...

Well life really is good! Congratulations on your wonderful news, a new baby is always such a joy!

Val said...

Ooh, congratulations, Jane and family! ♥

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

Congratulations on grandchild #2 and also to the parents to be!

Siobhan van N said...

That's so exciting! Congrats to you all!

Mereknits said...

Wonderful news all around!!! New apartments, new baby, Spring!!!! Everyone sounds like they are doing great.
Hugs,
Meredith

podso said...

Another grand baby! Congratulations! You wrote a great story about them. Your pizza looks so good. I'm gad your skin is doing better and hope you adjust to the meds and lose the side effects soon ….

Pondside said...

Congratulations on such wonderful news. It's really a fairy tale for those two - warmed my heart!

Kim said...

I LOVE that story!! Congratulations to you and your family Jane!! xoxo

Vee said...

What a delightful telling of a beautiful love story! Warm congrats to your family!

Must groogle pizza making 101 right after I groogle wrap making. =D

Lisa said...

Congrats to the new Mommy and Daddy! And to you!!! I know you are thrilled! Grand babies make the world go round don't they?
Your mantle looks adorable even without all the bunnies and eggs. And I love all your plans for your yard. You need another birdbath. You really do.;-) Ok. I'm in serious awe of your culinary skills. I am terrified of making any thing with yeast in it. I honestly don't know why but I just won't try it. They do sell pizza dough at Whole Foods. That way I can concentrate on making the homemade sauce which will require all my attention.LOL

Stacey said...

How exciting, Jane!! I didn't remember that story about them being neighbor kids. How sweet and wonderful for all of you.

I'm not looking at that pizza..started WW yesterday.

Nancy's Notes said...

Oh Jane, what a precious love story!!! Nothing like childhood friends meeting up later in years and getting married and now expecting a baby!! Jane, I'm so excited for all of you!!! love it!!!!

Nancy
xo

deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

Oh another grandbaby! Congratulations ; so happy for you all! :) And I love the story behind those two....so sweet!!!

Shelia said...

Janie!!! Congratulations! This is such happy news and I wish Emily and Michael the very best! Such a beautiful love story!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Congratulations!! I loved reading about Emily and Michael. Have a wonderful week!

Vel Criste said...

LOVE how you wrote Emily and Michael's love story! And I am so very happy for them, and for you. Congratulations!!!

Penny @ The Comforts of Home said...

Congrats on the coming grand!! I would love a link to the video you talked about on stretching pizza dough...thanks!

Linda said...

Oh my...you must be bursting!!!
This will be a great year for you...
Sending good wishes for a sweet cousin for Elsie!!
By the way...the pizza dough recipe is not there...just sayin'...
I cannot cut and paste, so I am not criticizing...just pointing it out to you!
Have a great week...I am here alone for the week..what to do??
Cheers!
Linda :o)

Karen Ann said...

Congratulations!!... and oh, that pizza looks so darn good...

Maria Elena said...

Congratulations, Jane! What wonderful news! :) xoxo Maria

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Hi Jane,
Congratulations on your new grandbaby! Hope you are enjoying your Spring.

hugs
Sissie

Barbara F. said...

Congratulations to all! So happy to hear the news. What a beautiful baby she will have, too.

Rita C. said...

Congratulations, Jane! Oh my, your family is growing, and so will your capacity to love! Best wishes to all!

Wicked Faerie Queen said...

Blessings to you and you lovely family. It is a wonderful thing to have your family grow what an exciting time for you and yours.

congratulations,
Sue

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

Such wonderful news Jane! Yes, life is good, and you are truly blessed. Elsie is going to love having a cousin!

I have challenges with pizza dough too, and like you I prefer thin crust which of course makes things that much more difficult. I earned to let the dough rest for a few times, but even then it's not quite perfect. Was there supposed to be a pizza dough link to a video in your post? I couldn't find it but it sounded like there was. I'd love to see it!



XXX

Cozy Little House said...

I'm so sorry you're feeling ill so much! That's no way to spend spring. Congratulations, Grandma!
Brenda

Melanie said...

So thrilling that Emily is expecting - congratulations to all! Abby's apartment will be beautiful with potted plants on those wide windowsills. That's one thing I'd really love to have in this house.
Your pizza looks and sounds delish.
So sorry to hear of the side effects you're experiencing with the medication. Blessings to you, my friend.

Carla from The River said...

Hello Dear Friend,
The way you shared the announcement. XX OO Lovely and sweet and full of love....I could go on! :-)))

I am so excited for you and Emily. It will be fun to share this journey with you.

Looking forward to Abby's apartment photos.
Have a blessed week,
Carla

Jill said...

A new baby!!! So very exciting and what a sweet love story. Wishing them all the very best!

Blessings,
Jill

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I am so jealous because I want a grandchild badly. As a side note I brought my hubby home tonight. He had a 9 hour operation last week but is truly doing well and the doctor is very happy. We have to wait for the actual report but I am praying everything is as the doctor thinks. Again, congratulations!

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Congrats to you all!!!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh Blondie my eyes filled with tears as I read your daughters sweet love story. You must be over the moon at the joy that is to come this autumn.

Such sweet happiness. Congratulations dear friend!

deb said...

such a sweet story ... Congratulations xo

Penny said...

So happy for your family Jane! That is wonderful news. Your pizza looks delicious.

Bluebird49 said...

What a sweet picture of Mike and Emily! I had to text you about it before I got caught up in the rest of this post! You knocked me out with that news-—I am so happy for you and your whole family. They are a darling couple. ( I’ll be waiting to hear about a date.)

What a blessing you guys are to your kids!


I can’t wait to try that pizza crust. We really like a thin crust, too.
Hope we get to see lakehouse pictures soon. ❤

Xxx T.

Saimi said...

Such an incredible love story and now a baby on the way!! Oh man, being a grandparent is the best, such happy news congratulations to everyone!!
I like thin crust as well, thanks for sharing!

Deserae said...

Congratulations on the new grand baby...how exciting!!! Such a cute couple and sweet story :o)
~Des

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I am so happy for all of you...a new baby! Such a blessing for a family!
I'm sorry to hear you are still having those side effects...hope it passes SOON!
Oh...and that pizza looks AMAZING!

Unknown said...

Congratulations again Jane! I am so happy for you and Al. Love the garden statue. I've been so tied up with my mom and being her guardian plus the babysitting of grandkids that I can hardly think. Man I need another get away soon. Take care we need to talk soon.
Cindy

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Hi Jane. So much is going on around you that it's a wonder you have time for anything. Pizza sounds amazing, I am terrible when it comes to cleaning the fridge and then finding something to do with all the bits and pieces. Your little garden sounds like a very romantic place to be, and will be so pretty when you get through with it. Glad your rash is getting better, but what a bummer to have to deal with the side effects of the meds. Your mantle looks very pretty pared down. I am going to have to learn that gift. NOW, on to the big news. How exciting for the kids and for Grandma and Grandpa!! I love how you told their story and what a happy ending, (or beginning). All good times ahead and congrats to everyone..Happy Mother's Day..xxo Judy

Kathy Moreland said...

Congrats on the little one! Sounds like all is well with you and your family. Hope your weekend is fabulous!! Happy Mother's Day!

Kit said...

I just loved how you told the story of the new baby that is coming. How sweet! Sorry you're not feeling great, I hope the side effects lessen. But very glad you are getting some relief with your skin. As Gilda Radner said, "It's always something."...LOL Have a great weekend! :) Kit

ibrahim khalil said...

Thanks for your informative post. I'm maintaining a blog on Why Copper Cookware is So Popular that is related to your topic.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Congratulations, I know your whole family is so excited to have a new baby on the way.

NancyB said...

Love the way you told Emily and Mike's story! Congratulations to you and the happy couple on the upcoming birth of your next grandbaby!

oakleyses said...

gucci handbags, louis vuitton, louboutin pas cher, replica watches, louis vuitton, polo ralph lauren, ugg boots, christian louboutin shoes, louis vuitton outlet, chanel handbags, nike free run, michael kors pas cher, christian louboutin outlet, nike free, tiffany and co, nike roshe, sac longchamp pas cher, jordan shoes, louis vuitton outlet, nike air max, longchamp pas cher, christian louboutin uk, ray ban sunglasses, replica watches, oakley sunglasses, tiffany jewelry, burberry pas cher, longchamp outlet, nike air max, jordan pas cher, polo ralph lauren outlet online, tory burch outlet, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, kate spade outlet, prada outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses wholesale, christian louboutin, ray ban sunglasses, ugg boots, prada handbags, uggs on sale, polo outlet, air max, nike outlet, longchamp outlet, longchamp outlet

oakleyses said...

hollister pas cher, coach outlet, oakley pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, guess pas cher, nike air max uk, michael kors outlet, nike free uk, true religion jeans, sac vanessa bruno, mulberry uk, michael kors outlet, ralph lauren uk, michael kors outlet online, true religion outlet, polo lacoste, michael kors outlet online, uggs outlet, lululemon canada, true religion outlet, coach outlet store online, north face, coach purses, nike air max, north face uk, nike air max uk, hogan outlet, sac hermes, michael kors outlet, nike roshe run uk, replica handbags, vans pas cher, ray ban pas cher, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, nike air force, new balance, converse pas cher, burberry outlet, burberry handbags, michael kors, uggs outlet, michael kors, abercrombie and fitch uk, kate spade, timberland pas cher, nike tn, ray ban uk, hollister uk

oakleyses said...

herve leger, nike air max, iphone cases, north face outlet, vans, ralph lauren, gucci, longchamp uk, nike roshe run, beats by dre, new balance shoes, ghd hair, nfl jerseys, bottega veneta, babyliss, hollister, converse outlet, reebok outlet, oakley, chi flat iron, valentino shoes, lululemon, vans outlet, north face outlet, nike trainers uk, abercrombie and fitch, nike huaraches, giuseppe zanotti outlet, ferragamo shoes, nike air max, hollister clothing, lancel, jimmy choo outlet, mont blanc pens, soccer jerseys, p90x workout, hermes belt, hollister, ray ban, celine handbags, soccer shoes, mac cosmetics, wedding dresses, baseball bats, louboutin, mcm handbags, instyler, timberland boots, insanity workout, asics running shoes

oakleyses said...

supra shoes, wedding dresses, ugg, links of london, canada goose, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, louis vuitton, moncler outlet, canada goose, marc jacobs, montre pas cher, swarovski crystal, moncler, pandora uk, hollister, canada goose, canada goose jackets, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton, toms shoes, canada goose uk, moncler uk, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, moncler, louis vuitton, moncler, canada goose outlet, thomas sabo, doudoune moncler, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, canada goose outlet, pandora charms, coach outlet, moncler outlet, ugg pas cher, moncler, karen millen uk, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, swarovski, ugg uk, replica watches, pandora jewelry, juicy couture outlet