Friday, July 8, 2016

LOOKING ON THE BRIGHT SIDE & A GIVEAWAY!


Happy Weekend!  I've been trying and trying to sit down and write but it escapes me.  I'm still having these pesky old (and I mean old age) medical problems and I feel I'm coming and going to and from clinics to the point where its just routine.  Milo and Layla think I have a job, they barely glance up from their favorite chairs when I slide into my flip flops and race out the door every afternoon.  Same routine, light therapy Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and physical therapy Tuesday and Thursday.  Lots of bumps in the road with that but let's start off the post positively.  ;-D

With all the rain we've had the grass is brilliant green and my hedges have had to be trimmed twice in the past 6 weeks.  But we've also had many super hot days in the high 80's and 90's and it's miserable to step outside sometimes.  With fluctuating temps there has been a lot of severe weather.  A few weeks ago several tornado's touched down west of us.  Three nights ago I woke up in the middle of the night for a drink of water and as I looked out the kitchen window the rain was pounding the streets and the trees were blowing like crazy.  At the same time there was thunder and  lightening was flashing every few seconds.  I hadn't heard it over the air conditioning and standing fan (in spite of scary winds we still love to sleep in a hurricane environment). Always ready for a catastrophe, I gathered my candles, matches and flashlight.  We were good but I did lose a good 2 hours of sleep.  I know many of you are dealing with Mother Nature's fury.  Be ready.  Hold tight.  Wake your hubby every 5 minutes after those alerts on your eighteen weather apps.  I do that.



From the little I know about ornamental grass, I'm thinking this is ornamental grass.  I think a special little bird dropped seeds in my Woodland Garden.  I think it looks like wheat with a pinkish tinge.  I think it needs a name.  It's a little random among the lilies and columbine.  I'd love to get more to create some bigger clumps.  I think I need help.  Please?



Love these Asiatic lilies.  I used to grow them and once my yard became shadier it didn't work out.  They make for a pretty arrangement indoors but I have to say the smell a bit too strong for me.  I recently spread a store bought bouquet amongst three vases the kitchen, dining area and living room.  Everyone wanted to know what the odor was (odor~~not scent).  I do have some yellow, red and pink lilies popping up so soon I can cut a few of those and not insult any visitors.  Gee, maybe Yankee Candles can try to copy this scent with something called Afternoon Funeral.



So we go back and forth outdoors, me and the hounds, pulling a few weeds in the cool morning when the grass is still damp and the humidity hasn't settled in.  In the late afternoon I sit on the patio with my latest book and they lay in the grass with their ears and noses twitching.  With the weather being so wonky we've had very few al fresco meals.  I did have Emily and Mike over for dinner last week and it it just happened to be a PERFECT night.  I set up the candles and napkins and glasses ahead of time and once we filled our plates we headed out.  It was gorgeous.  I wish I had my head on a little straighter and thought to invite the kids over more for dinner or even a Sunday brunch.  As it is now, summer keeps us spread out even further.  I spoiled Emily and Mike with sautéed sea scallops, prosciutto wrapped asparagus bundles, and wild rice with peas and carrots.  Sounds fancy but truly very easy and quick.  And anything and everything tastes perfect outside as the sun sets.

We have to grab these moments when we can, and frankly, as I run around like a chicken with my head cut off, I've started to care less and less about fluffing the house, rotating things around from spring to summer and organizing way too many objects on my counters.  Now let me say, I will never lose my love for nesting and creating a a home where family and friends are welcome and comfortable.  I have enough cr*p in my arsenal downstairs to change up shelves and tables and mantels for years to come.  But I run short of time (and steam).  There will be time, a better time when I'm not running around like a whirling dervish and I'll fiddle and fuss, but for now, this new mantelscape is brought to you by a harried woman hobbling downstairs to do some laundry and finding she can balance a few summery pieces on the pile of warm towels.  Voila!

May I mention that the Hallmark Movie Channel is featuring movies under the theme of 'Christmas in July'.  Oh, yeah.  I'm eating it up.  As much as I love those movies in November and December, I'm spread pretty thin then so it's great to catch a few I missed.  :D


That cute little Elsie is with us every Thursday night and we love having her.  She is really infatuated with Grandfather (The Husband).  I wonder about that...is it that he looks like Kevin?  His voice?  Maybe he's just more charming than me...gulp.  Our time flies.  Since we both love to be outside we play in the backyard for a bit and then she wears me out walking around the block...more than once.  Of course she's on her little push contraption a lot (see how lame I am with the new generation of baby things?!!).  Some nights we have not so great weather and we do what we can in the house.  I've often said we live in a Mrs. Piggle Wiggle house.  Rather than it being upside down it just twists and turns with a series of halls and rooms off each one.  Elsie is very intrigued by this.  She also gets distracted by our pet vulture...er, parrot.  She understands she can't go near the cage, Nina is a biter.  Elsie still loves when she chirps,  tries to make conversation and flaps her wings like a show off.  We keep the creature tucked away in the guest room and can close the door.  We keep a lot of the doors closed as you wind through Mrs. Piggle Wiggle's house and Elsie is that age where when she wants something she lets us know!  Bang, bang, bang on the doors!  I had so many kids close in age that they all kept each other amused.  This is new and so much fun.  



I'm off now.  We are getting up early to take a drive up to the lake.  We are just a few weeks off from completion.  Floors in, new appliances in, my kitchen shiplap ceiling is up.  We have a new staircase with wrought iron spindles.  I understand we are just waiting for some details like light fixtures, trim, and paint.  

Our Summerhouse (guest house) has been closed up since the fall of 2014 (the damage occurred in March, 2015).  I'm bringing a bucket and cleaning supplies and opening up all the windows and cleaning the heck out of that place.  It was my sanctuary.  It's the most I can do right now.  The Husband wants to trim, fertilize and water the boxwood hedges, those are his babies.  I'll do my best to weed the garden beds.  With my whacko back I doubt we will be able to move out any of the patio furniture.  I don't even know if the marina delivered our boat in the spring.  It's just been a chaotic juggling game.  Such a balancing game of so much happening in our lives.

I am having a giveaway.  If you think about the last two I've had it's usually because I've ended up with two of something or something I just didn't need and someone would benefit from.  Vicki from Life In My Empty Nest recommended this book and its prequel Lunch in Paris.  Somehow I received two of this one and strangely, this copy came from Germany with no info on how to return it!  So it's up for grabs.  I suggest you read the reviews here at Amazon and decide if its your cup of tea.  I love a memoir, France and recipes in a book.  These books have me fascinated and I'm switching back and forth between the two.  Thanks, Vicki.  The giveaway is only open until my next post.  Just leave a comment that you are in.  I have a much needed trip to the post office and if you can imagine the posts offices in a huge city...well, you avoid them!!

Happy Weekend!

Jane x

***Oh!  One final thing...I am so, so tired I am not re-reading this for grammatical errors.  Please have mercy! :-D

Tahnsk, Jnea!



52 comments:

Pondside said...

Hi Jane. I've been offline for a bit - life, you know! I enjoyed this post and will scroll back to see what else you've been up to. I am so sorry to read that your health continues to challenge you. Thank goodness you have lots of treatment options. I hope you are able to get things to the point where you can enjoy your lake house this year. It sounds like it will be a perfect summer for it.
Yes, please. I would like to enter the draw for the book! It looks like a perfect summer read!

deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

Oh Elsie is getting bigger, and more adorable if that's even possible. That grass reminds me of a red one with flowers or tassels or whatever you'd call it on the end but when I had it, it was an annual and never came back. Enjoy your time at the lake! :)

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Everything is so green and pretty! My goodness, the weather sure has been hot for y'all. Little Elsie is so sweet! I know you look forward to your days with her. I imagine you three have a ball each week. Just think how fun it'll be when she's old enough to bake cookies with you!

Kathleen Grace said...

Hi Jane, It sounds like you have gotten a lot more rain than I have. We are in Southeast Michigan and it's so dry the lawns are brown and dead. We have about 2 1/2 acres in lawn and no sprinkler system so it's on its own right now. We did get a good rain a few nights ago and about 1/3 of the grass turned green. Baby steps lol. I love the ornamental grass, I wonder if you could just divide the clump?
Elsie is so beautiful, what fun to have a baby around again! I don't know why the guys always seem to be the favorites when it comes to girls, maybe it's as simple as little girls need dads and grandpa's. I know in our family, Earl is the hero. I think it's sweet, and having never had that loving dad growing up, I encourage it to the max! Looking forward to seeing the Lake house when it's done, in fact a few in progress photos would even be fun ;) Have a great weekend!

Mereknits said...

You are so busy, I think summer is that way although it is supposed to be a time of rest, I am running around like crazy. Good luck with the clean up.
Meredith

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

Thanks for the mention and I'm glad you liked the books. I love when I can recommend a book to someone like minded. We have had very little rain this summer here in the Detroit area, but hopefully your cottage got a little more on the west side. Enjoy putting things back together at the lake!

DUTA said...

The climate is going crazy everywhere , and it quite affects our health and mood.
Your family dinner last week sounds perfect- the decor(candles, napkins, glasses); the food (sauteed sea scallops, rice, carrots, asparagus - yummi!).

Elsie is adorable. Every kid seems to have favorites at one time or another; it alternates among Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, etc..Not to worry.

Have a successful clean up at the summerhouse, and a wonderful weekeend!

Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

You and I have the exact same weather!

Elsie Jane is a cutie patootie!

SO excited about your lake house nearly being done - lucky lucky awesome lucky lady!
I grew up on Lake Erie and get sooooooooo homesick for the water in the summertime. I know I need to get up there to visit but with my youngest ready any day now to have her first bambino, I am just to afraid to go anywhere not close by!

PLEASE count me in for that book - thank you - very generous! Oneof my favorite authors is Joanne Harris who was deeply influenced by her French grandmother - and she'd written a few books charmingly chaulk full of story, travels, food, recipes = would love to read this one too and add it to my arsenal!

Have a wonderful weekend. Stay cool - thank the Lord the breeze picked up and it isn't nearly as hot as yesterday. I didn't even go outside - too HOT - hate to be so hot!

Hugs!

20 North Ora said...

Jane - So glad your lakehouse is about done - I know how special that place is to you all. Stay cool as you clean and work on it.

Have a great weekend.

Judy

Mitzi said...

You must be so excited to finally be getting your lake house back. Don't overwork while there-summer is flying by-take time to relax and enjoy it.

It's me said...

What a nice give away.......life books enjoy summer....love from me Jean ❤️❤️❤️

podso said...

It's always good to catch up with you. I'm glad the lake house is almost finished and hope you get some time in there this season. Sorry you are still struggling with the health issues…but you sound pretty active in spite of it. I would love Thursday evenings at your house with that sweet little one visiting! Take care of yourself.

Debbie Freitag said...

I'm so excited to hear about your lake house coming along. I know you must miss those days on the lake. I love novels with recipes. I just finished one called Kitchens of the Midwest which had old fashioned recipes. Even if I don't win this one I'm picking up a copy to start reading!

Sarah said...

Jane, sad to hear that health issues are still a daily concern. Good luck with treatments. Hope you can see improvement soon.
Guess the good news is the advancement on the lake house. I know you and the husband are ready to have that retreat back. Wish we had a lake house. Just looking out at a body of water is cooling when one is here in the heat of summer. ;-)

The books sound like my cup of tea. Count me in please. I've made a note of the titles....of course I love memoirs and France. ;-)
Take care and enjoy the time at the lake.

Melanie said...

How exciting that the lake house is almost done! I am dying to see photos - I know it will be gorgeous. I have a feeling that the cleanup of the guest house is going to be a lot of work since it's been closed up almost 2 years. Please be careful with your back - don't overdo it!

Sounds like your weather has been more severe than ours. It's only rained twice here, and really not that much. The grass is so dry and brown. We didn't have any tornado warnings either, though my tornado alert app (I only have one, lol) went off for the city where Tim lives. He was at work, so there was nothing he could do, which really worried me. I sleep with the AC and standing fan on, too. Love the white noise (and the breeze)!

Elsie is so cute...her hair has really grown! I'm sure you're having a blast with her on Thursday nights. Have you mentioned your parrot before? I don't remember that you have one.

Please count me in for the book giveaway! I read Lunch in Paris and would love to read this second book! Thank you. :-)

Anonymous said...

Like the author mentioned and thanks for the chance at the giveaway.

Stacey said...

I'm so excited that your lakehouse is getting near completion. I know you must be too. Hoping your ailments get better and better. We all go through spells like that and they can drive you crazy. :)

Stacey said...

I would love to read that book! :)

Debra@CommonGround said...

I know you must be so excited to get your lake place up and running. I remember when you posted on all the flooding destruction. What a long road you've been on! And yes, I know about all the "old people" ailments. You always amaze me with all that you do and accomplish, especially all your wonderful delicious dinners. I enjoy hearing all your comings and goings, and like you, "decorating the nest" just can't at be the top of the list right now. Your little Elsie is so precious, I'm so glad you're close to her and getting to enjoy these special times! xoxo D

Lynne said...

The Lake House sounds charming . . ,
I would love to see pictures . . .
Maybe Mr Husband will give a tutorial on trimming the boxwood.
We have several boxwood and they are lovely.
I let them be wild and free instead of trimmed into a hedge.
I could benefit though from some "Mr Husband expertise."
I love boxwood mixed in with my flower arrangements . . . yummy!
(I think apple cider vinegar , (with the mother) cures almost anything.
My friend from Iceland drinks it in hot water each morning.
And she is a very healthy 78 year old . . .
Happy summer days . . .

Debby said...

Isn't it strange that we keep getting busier these days.
Your granddaughter is beautiful. Love that your house is The Piggly Wiggly House. I am getting excited for a new grand baby to arrive August 1. The baby is a blessing but there are mixed emotions as both parents are challenged.
It seems so long that you have had your lake house. I'm sure it is going to be beautiful.
I'm with you on the aches and pains. I hope yours improve soon.
Happy summer.

Junkchiccottage said...

Hi Jane,
So glad your lake home is coming along and almost done. I know that is a great escape for peace and serenity for you. Little Elise is getting so big. What pretty eyes she has. Enjoying our beautiful week end here I am sure you are too. Nice to open up the windows for a few days. Have a great rest of the week end.
Kris

Kathy Moreland said...

I can't wait to see photos of the lake house. I know you will be glad when it's all done. You are so busy with Dr. appointments, I don't know how you do it! Hope you have a great weekend. Sweet baby story and photo! Take care!

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Oh Jane, I hope your feeling better with your back. Take care of it. I am sorry that I haven't commented on a couple of your post, but I have been under the weather (you can read about this in my last post) and could not use the computer as my fingers would not work.

Your little Elsie is beautiful and I know she loves coming to grandma's place.

So glad that you will be getting back into your home at the Lake. Be careful weeding, that will really throw your back out. I can hardly wait to see the Lake House all completed and I know you will too.

Take care of yourself and have a great new week.

Hugs,
Mary

Theresa said...

I am older than you, so I understand:) I am tickled pink that you are SO close to being back in your lake house! YEAH! Enjoy your day dear friend, growing old isn't easy! HUGS!

Primitive Stars said...

Morning Jane, oh that dang humidity, I don't do well in it, like you, out in the morning then hiding in the air conditioned house. Love the Lily, so beautiful. Happy your lake house is coming along well, I've been spending the weekdays at the lake and love it. Hope your feeling better soon,Hugs Francine.

Linda said...

Gosh....you do have a lot of appointments!
Hope it is all helping you...
Hope the visit to the Lake went well...
Cheers!
Linda :o)

Kim said...

Jane, I am so happy to hear about the lake house! I can't wait to see it when it's all done! Feel better. I hear you about the appointments....oh boy!

June said...

You crack me up Jane! I love reading your brain! Yes, we do go back a looong way and I love that!I can tell by the way you write that you have the best sense of humor. I loved the Afternoon Funeral candle scent! That's nails it! Sometimes I can't stand the smell of my paperwhites at Christmas either. When you get too many going on it smells like an outdoor latrine in here. Can't have that...
Can you believe the work-out it is to have a little one around? It's all I can do to keep up when my littlest grands come to play. It's a blast when they get a little older and I can take them shopping though!
I can't help you much with the name of the grass...and I call myself a gardener :) I only have 4 huge clumps of ornamental grasses in my garden. My favorite is blue oat grass. Love it.
Sending love...

Linda said...

I'm IN on the book giveaway!!!!
Loved the chatty visit with you this evening. I looked forward to it all day (I saw the post was up this morning but I had 'things' to do!) I poured a glass of wine and sat down in the sewing room with my laptop and had such a nice time visiting with you! Sorry I couldn't share my wine!
I know how tough it is to be out of kilter in health. I think I grew old and decrepit while my toe was healing. My joints are all stiff and I walk like an 80 year old. ALthough not like MY 80 year old. Louis Dean seems to be fit as a fiddle!!
Looking forward to seeing your lake house all back to its former glory!!!

Art and Sand said...

Lunch in Paris sounds like a good idea.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Here in Germany, we need some of your rain :)

I wish you a wonderful start to the week :)

chateau chic said...

The book sounds intriguing...count me in for your giveaway.
Your mantel looks great, Jane, for creating it on a wing and a prayer. Elsie is adorable...what a treat to get to spend time with her each week.
Take care of yourself,
Mary Alice

Carla from The River said...

My Dear Jane,
As always, love, love your posts.
Best to you as you head up to the lake house.
Elsie XX OO adorable!

Count me in for the giveaway...sounds like a good read.
Carla

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Sorry I'm so late Jane, been busy lately with projects. Phew that's a lot of clinic visits! Is the PT helping? Can't wait to see your Lakehouse reveal when it's completed. I'm excited and happy for you, it's been a journey for you and your husband. Please put me in for the book giveaway, thanks.
xoxo,
Vera

Beatrice Euphemie said...

Hi Jane, I'm late in visiting....my computer keeps going off-line in the middle of things. It's always something......Sorry to hear about all the health head-aches. It comes with the territory of living a good life, I think. We wear ourselves out trying to keep up. It's shoulder and migraine problems for me - keeps me down for days. Hang in there. Love catching up with you and all that's going on. Don't know what that grass is, but it sure is pretty! I know what you mean about the lily 'odor' - so funny :) Your mantel is gorgeous, by the way. And how sweet is that little one? I didn't know you had a parrot. I have a cockatiel and he has his own room, too. Otherwise they keep squawking all day, right? I don't know how you do it all, what with the family, the pets and re-doing the lake house! That is quite an accomplishment. Can't wait to see the results of all your hard work. Oh, the weather this year is CRAZY! We barely have any sunshine, just storm after storm and days of gray. I am getting depressed and you should see my sad flowers. Count me in on the book give-away, sounds like a good read. Take care of yourself, sweet Jane. Hugs xo Karen

Susie said...

Blondie, Look how long it took me to get around to reading your post...talk about old. Your baby is growing so fast !! I just had Emma for 4 nights /days. She was like a huge slug this time around...wanting me to wait on her. I told her I have been twelve years a slave...cause that's how old she is now. LOL. But I miss her already. Glad you are getting to be outside and enjoy this summer weather.. Some times it's almost way too hot...bt oh it's better than snow. LOL. Take care , blessings to you and yours, xoxo, Susie

M said...

Hi Blondie, I found your BlogSpot on Romantic Homes magazine, one of my favorite, and decided to give it a look see. I'm glad I did, love your thoughts and all your happenings in your family. I am an avid reader, and the book you spoke about sounds like it is my cup of tea, I read some of the pages on Amazon. Hope I am the lucky winner. Millie

Blondie's Journal said...

You are so sweet, M! I couldn't find your email address so I hope you pop back in for a chance at the giveaway! You mentioned finding my blog in Romantic Homes. I had a little piece in 2013. If you've seen something since please let me know!!!!

Jane x

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I'm sorry that so much of your time of late has been taken up with doctors appointments. Hopefully they will have you feeling in top spirits real soon. I know you must have enjoyed getting up to the lake to see all the progress on your cottage…it won't be long now. I wish everyone good luck for a chance at the book, I know I would certainly enjoy it if I'm lucky enough to win it.

Helen Philipps said...

I always enjoy your posts and hearing what you have been up to. I hope the PT helps and you feel better soon. The mantle looks lovely, you are so quick at putting things together. So glad your summer house is nearly finished, that will be a great moment when it is all done. Little Elsie is so cute! Would love the book....it sounds as if I would enjoy it very much....and thank you for having a giveaway.
Wishing you a great week Jane.
Helen xox

bj said...

hahhaa....love your closing on this one...
Good luck on getting your beautiful lake house all spick and span...your ceilings sound wonderful...it is all going to be beautiful and I'm looking forward to seeing the photos....don't work too hard...
xoxoxo

Shelia said...

Hi Janie! Oh, I'm so glad to hear your lovely lake house is coming along. I know you're so glad! Now I'm a bunch older than you and I know all about the yuckiness! :) Hope all goes well with your appointments. That little one is truly a little doll! Take care of yourself.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Christmas in July AND a Picnic in Provence...you know what I like! :)

Kelly said...

I am envious of all your rain. Our grass doesn't look as lovely as yours. We have not had very much rain this summer and it shows. Little Elsie is cute. It sounds like you have your hands full when she visits. I'm sure it's a fun visit though every time. Little ones will keep you young!

Suzanne said...

Loved catching up with you. I hope you are enjoying your lake visit and not cleaning too much. Your grandchild is precious!

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

Jane, I'm just getting caught up on some of my favorite bloggers. I took some time away. It sounds as if you have been on quite the adventure! I know, all to well, about those storms. We are still making repairs from the big hail storms we had earlier this spring. Hope things get better with all of your appointments!

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

I just LOVE the way you write! Sorry to hear about your medical troubles. You made me laugh out loud about the 18 weather aps - because, yes I do have them all, too. Elsie is just adorable! I hadn't heard of those two books, but I've got to make time to read them. Sounds like they are right up my alley. I'm in!

baili said...

Your lawn is so beautiful ,freshness to soul hope you are doing fine dear heartiest best wishes for your health dear,loved the little lady with serious attitude, hope lake house appeals you more,have a blessed time each moment

A Quiet Corner said...

LOL! Love the intentionally misspelling and yes, I know it was...but it is perfect!! The Asiatic lilies are gorgeous and that "grass" I am not familiar with, Jane. Did you Google grasses? I'm sure you did. Yet most importantly beside Elsie is taking care of you and all that therapy...is it helping?...I hope...gaining strength? improving?...:)JP

Shelia said...

Hi Janie! Hope you're going to have a fabulous week and thanks for popping in to see me.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

xinex said...

Your granddaughter is so cute and growing very fast, Janie. Love your home and yard and the giveaway. I love anything French...Christine