Here I am! Can you guess where from this picture? We are finally back to the lake. It is so beautiful there, I can't wait to share that with all of you, especially the changing of the leaves on the trees along the lake and in the back where the woods border our little roads. But for now, I'm a bit excited about the cattails. The seeds blew our way and although they can get invasive, we will enjoy them and keep them under control. This side of our dock is open to wildflowers and lily pads. We had our pontoon docked here for a long while but decided two boats were too much work. So this side is just growing free. I love the blowsy feel. I like to bring cattails indoors and placed them in a tall urn. No water whatsoever and they dry beautifully. The tall brown spikes let loose with those cotton candy~like seeds so I spray them with hairspray when I bring them indoors and they last a few seasons.
Arriving late Thursday evening, this was my first glimpse of our cottage in over a year. I had seen snaps The Husband had taken on his visits but nothing prepared me for all of the changes. The staircase was a very different from before as we chose to change out the wood spindles to wrought iron, had the steps stained the same as the floor and the risers white. I hear there can be a problem with scuff marks...do any of your guys have a remedy for that? I was thinking Magic Eraser or just having to paint them when they get really bad.
New Loveseat & Layla
I ordered a new sofa and love seat through Emily. I had been wanting to get to a lighter, breezier lake look and I found this fabric. The stripes are actually a blue/gray and the cushions are part feather down so they are super comfy (as Layla found quite soon). I have a thousand throws here in the city house so I'll pack up a few.
You can see the boxes the moving van brought, well over 100. Sounds unbelievable but they are just medium size so they are easier to carry. The people at this company, I think the name is Service Pro, did an incredible job packing our belongings. Everything was wrapped in paper or bubble wrap. Every box was labeled and in the correct room. The furniture was in all of the right rooms but just sort of set anywhere. We spent the first night sleeping in our bed in the middle of our room surrounded by boxes. Very confusing for someone like me who has to get up ten times a night to use the bathroom.
Someones been sleeping in Milo's bed
Milo is getting a little high strung in his old age. The new surroundings were making him very anxious and I was so afraid he'd have a seizure. His dog bed made it through the flood and I thought the familiar scent would calm him down. Nope, but Layla found it cozy. She has always slept on the sofa or on our bed (under the blankets I might add). She cozied up here and at night they both crowded in bed with us, at least until the last night when Milo finally felt at ease and slept in his own bed.
My biggest priority was to unpack the kitchen first. I brought up some coffee, dog food, laundry detergent and toilet paper. I forgot filters, couldn't find the dog bowls and was going into complete withdrawal without my Diet Pepsi that first morning. The Husband and the car were gone so I was at a loss. I got started on the work at hand until he showed up two hours later. I thought he'd have some groceries or at least a box of his breakfast leftovers that he lovingly gives to me, much like a dog does with his wet bone. Nope, he had gone to some far flung town to get his truck registration all up to date. Priorities. I'm starving but hot dang, the truck is good to go.
Saturday. Halfway there
So I unpacked each and every individually wrapped plate, bowl, glass, serve ware piece...you name it. Into a sink filled with soapy water, washed, hand dried and stacked on the table. By the end of that day I was down to just two boxes and I had clocked 12,000 steps on the good old Fitbit. The final job the carpenter has in the kitchen is to put the subway tile up and I didn't want to get in his way so the harvest table is overflowing and I still have three more boxes to go.
The Husband was in charge of laundry, all the packed up towels and sheets and quilts that survived. He really thought he had the greatest job...toss the laundry into the washing machine and then sit down with his iPad while Mr. Whirlpool did the work. He was stunned when I told him that one usually occupies oneself with other chores in the interim between washing and drying, like unpack 67 boxes in the bedrooms upstairs. There was a little grumbling to say the least but that ended when the washing machine (brand spanking new) died. Literally wouldn't drain or spin. I trouble shooted everything to no avail and we have to get a service person out. You can guess now that The Husband was humming a different tune. Sort of like, "Yes, yes, yes!". Creep.
Squint to see Milo. Matching dog and dock...how chic.
It was not all work and no play. While we were stuck in the city for 19 months, the two houses to the right of us sold. I'm going to really miss our old neighbors but the new ones are very, very nice. Next door is a young couple from the Northside of Chicago. I like them a lot. We were given a tour of their cottage and I love how modern and bright and it is.
The next house belongs to a couple with two small kids and this is their permanent year round home. I like that because it's normally so desolate in the winter. The Husband actually knows the guy as he has a marina on the lake. His wife is very sweet, too. I think we will have some good times together. I might mention that we all had an impromptu first meeting Saturday afternoon in the midst of a huge birthday party/Labor Day celebration they were having. Milo spied people (actually a crowd of children and adults) and his thinking is that where there are people there will be dogs and he shot over. Now this really was the party of all parties; a huge jumping jack for the kids as well as a trampoline, a sprinkler that shot up like a fountain and just so, so many people. Have I said that yet? Because I had to race in and around all of them to catch Milo. I was slipping and sliding in my flip flops and ran right under the fountain after him. As I came around the side of their deck, the owner had him by the collar and there was Milo, as proud as a prized pony surrounded by children petting and hugging him. It was like the party now had their own petting zoo. So I muttered a couple of thousand 'sorry' and pulled him away and headed to our house. And then he decided to do his duty and yes, it was the dirty one, right smack in their side yard. When I reached our house, sweaty and dripping wet from my meeting with the fountain, I gasped to The Husband, "Go. Go there. Get a bag. Go. Clean it up. Go. Now."
So we and the new neighbors all had a nice chat the next day and we sat with our long time friends on their deck drinking Cosmo's and catching up. I have found that no one in our little corner of the bay has dogs. That makes it easier for me as Milo won't be tempted to take off as much. However, it didn't escape me that we would now be held responsible for any doggy~do found anywhere. :_(
A quick recipe and then I'll wind things up. Sometimes chicken breasts can be so unappealing. I know there are a thousand ways to make them but I think I only know of three, especially if I want the chicken to be moist and have a lot of flavor to liven it up. So I made this up the other night and I'm just going to sum it up quick for you as I don't think you need to measure much. Let's call it Chicken with Sausage and Peppers.
I started by browning four boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a pan which has a tight fitting lid. Do this with about two tablespoons of olive oil. I then layered red onion, green peppers and about three chopped garlic cloves. Seasoned this with a nice palmful of dried Italian herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary, or a mix...Emeril has a great one). I also added some red pepper flakes for kick. Top the whole mess with ground Italian sausage just scattered over, about a half pound. Cover and bake at 350 for about 30 to 40 minutes. Serves 4.
This was such a great combo of flavors and the juices from the sausage guarantee a very moist chicken.
It has been one crazy week. It seems like one huge tornado hovered over me, never really touching down. From Blondie's Medical Journal, I saw my main dermatologist in Chicago. I'm doing pretty well driving around the city on my own in spite of the fact that I could get lost in a phone booth. The bad news is that I've been off the meds for my skin for three weeks and the eczema has come back full force. My skin dried up so badly my arms, legs and chest felt like sandpaper. My neck became so rashy and dry that the skin cracked and I couldn't turn my head unless I had on a thick layer of ointment. So...Plan B. A new drug that won't be marketed in the states for a few months but my doctor has participated in some of the studies and will have privy to it in another month or so. It is very, very promising. I'll give myself injections and hopefully I won't faint doing it.
On another wonderful day I went to a dentist, a new who Emily goes to and just loves. I had some swelling around a tooth, as in the one right next to my front tooth. I thought it might just be a little access, but no. I have a fracture in the tooth up high, like halfway between my upper lip and tip of my nose. Dr. Nice Dentist referred me to a periodontist. In the future he might be referred to as Dr. Evil. I'm going to have to have a little cutting of the gum down to the tooth to see what's happening and then sutures. I'm shaking as I type this. I may actually lose the tooth and have to have an implant. I have never been afraid of going to the dentist and I know its a huge fear for some. But my imagination is running wild with this. Say a prayer...for my mental well being.
I'm caught up in planning Emily's baby shower on September 25. Mike's mom and I are in charge but we have a ton family helping us with a variety of things. We are expecting about 70 guests and it's at a very old country club out around my hometown. I'm super excited as evidenced by the fact I've already gotten new shoes. And speaking of babies, my son Jeff, and his wife, Deirdre are now expecting. So yes, we have a granddaughter coming in early November and then another (they don't want to know if its a boy or girl) in early February. Very exciting! I guess that's about all the good stuff I have to say about this week.
It's Saturday afternoon and The Husband and I are just getting ready to head up to the lake. I wanted to get this post in before as we have no Internet connection up there yet. Soon I hope, not that I have a chance to sit down. If there are a ton of typos here you know why. ;-D
Enjoy your weekend!