November 2016, Diamond Lake
By now I imagine not many of us are seeing carpets of leaves like this. At the lake we had an abundance covering the grass and our brick patio. We planned to go up this past weekend armed with rakes and a leaf blower but we woke up and knew there would be a huge change of plans. After we arrived the snow started about 3 a.m., with 20+ m.p.h winds. It was blowing sideways. If we wanted to clear the leaves we needed shovels, not rakes. It was even more disappointing that we had invited son Kevin, Mary Clare and little Elsie for the weekend. It had been so pleasant the weekend before, I thought Elsie would have a ball playing in the leaves and going for a walk along the shore. I made a stop at the grocery store (we still haven't done a good shopping but we will once we are ready to be there consistently). I had hot chocolate and marshmallows, Teddy Grahams, pancake mix and bacon for breakfast as well as a few toys to fill a basket just for cold or rainy days. I think grandmothers do this...at least I'm inclined, but we had to have them cancel, the roads seemed too treacherous.
November 2016, Summerhouse
This is an opposite view of the picture above. This is our guest house, or the Summerhouse as we call it. Note: The same maple tree. One of the best things I ever did was insist we hang on to this tree when so many were removed to extend our patio and build the Summerhouse. The mason went around it with the brick pavers and left a circle of drainage around. It's one happy tree. I have three birdhouses hanging from it and I love to see the varieties coming and going. Someday I hope I'll be able to identify a few. ;-D
Inside we have made so much progress. The Husband has been working on the garage which had a lot of damage as one side was just below the bathroom where the pipe broke. Inside I finally finished unpacking those freaking boxes. Seriously, it seemed never ending. And I learned a huge lesson. You just don't need all the baggage. I have filled 4 nice size cartons with items for the annual lake yard sale in June. I have yet to go through the artwork...not much close to my heart any more. There were times when we hung pieces to fill up space. Nevermore. And I'm really happy with not trying to 'fill spaces'. I think time will tell.
I've been sharing pics of the progress here on Instagram. If you want to follow, there is an icon on my sidebar. I post every two days and you don't have to listen to my drivel as you may find on this blog. I try not to repeat photos so in this blog post I'm sharing another part of the lake kitchen with open shelving other than the opposite wall which is larger. I've always kept my glassware on this side but I thought I'd break it up a bit with some cereal bowls and decorative pieces. It was looking really 'reflective' with the glass.
If I splurged on anything it was new dishes, and I mean everyday dishes. I have this drive to mismatch everything. Colors, textures, rustic and refined. Sometimes this sort of thing confuses people and then again, it might make some think you're on to something they weren't. ^^ ^^
I chose three patterns of dishes I absolutely loved from Anthropology And continuing the totally random theme I had twelve place settings but spread it out over four of this, three of that, 6 of that. Totally confusing! I love to share my insanity.
2016, Lakehouse powder room
The Husband and I both chose pedestal sinks. Say what? Well, if you know The Husband and I, we totally clash on as many things just as we bond. It was only natural that he presided over the upstairs bathroom and I, the downstairs powder room. Sounds like he had more space to design but I have more visitors!!!! Hard to photograph a small space like this (and keep yourself out of the reflection of the mirror) so it's not such a great shot. I was really chuffed however, when I want into town on Sunday and visited our little 'junctique" store. Said 'junctique' store now has a huge collection of gorgeous antique furnishings and a lot of vintage items. Had I not been in the purge mode I could have really stopped to consider a few things. Still, I spotted this little old stool and it was love. I needed something in this bath to break up the pastel, summery feel which was getting a bit overwhelming. Of course it won't always hold toilet tissue, I don't have that little detail installed yet, but it will be a little something for the kids to climb on to reach the sink and wash their little mitts. More pics to come...Again, I'm getting the feel and taking my time (so unlike me).
Say hello to my jade plant. A true hero in my eyes. This huge guy was almost twenty years old when I bought it at an estate sale. And I've had it for ten years. When we first saw the flooded out house I was in such shock that it never occurred to save anything much less potted plants. The insurance company had a service company pack up and take away our belongings within 2 weeks. When we began moving back in this past Labor Day, I happened to be in the crowded mess of our garage and behind one of our boats something caught my eye. And there was my survivor. It had fallen over at some point as you can see on the somewhat barren left side, but it was 80% green, alive and well. Eighteen months without water or sun! It's a succulent but it still amazed me that it beat the odds. I cleaned him/her up and he/she is thriving in the sun again. Long live Jade!
And talking about rescue, daughter Abby and Tom had been talking about having a dog for ages. They visited PAWS Chicago several times and fell in love with this Husky Shepherd mix, Squall. There were several obstacles, no one to blame. One night when they were sure they'd be able to finalize everything, the facility was closed for some reason. Abby lost it many times thinking he wouldn't be there. But he ultimately was and he's home with them and getting showered with love. An eight month ball of fun, he is so loving and friendly. It breaks my heart that he has spent his whole life up until now in a shelter. Thankfully the rescue animals are housed together in a single room with crates to sleep in. Makes you believe in happy endings.
And finally, we can't forget the birth of our little granddaughter, Madelyn (affectionately called Maddy). I can't begin to thank all of you for your kind comments. Emily read each and every one. I am loving every minute with her, she is a miniature Emily. Mike is infatuated with her, and Rusty is quite protective in spite of looking a little envious in this photo.
We had some scares...I'll try to keep it brief (yeah, right). Her pregnancy was without a glitch. She went into labor on November 10th just after midnight. She called to let me know they were on the way to the hospital and as planned, they would call when all was said and done and they were settled. About an hour later I received a call from Mike (I sleep with my phone under my pillow. Doesn't everyone?). His voice was a little shaky. The baby's heart rate was going up and down and they had rushed Emily into an operating room. The Husband and I dressed in about 60 seconds and headed to the hospital, thankfully just 5 minutes away. But it was insane. At 2:00 a.m. all the doors were locked with directions to try other doors. We tried parking in two garages and walked what seemed like blocks only to find we had to try another way in. By the time we sat down in the proper waiting room it hit me hard. My daughter was in surgery for the first time and perhaps this little baby had a serious heart problem. No one plans this. I was on the verge of crying when Mike bounded into the room dressed in scrubs from head to toe. My heart stopped for a second and then he smiled that big smile and gave us the thumbs up. Man, oh man. We couldn't see Em or the baby but we were up the next morning. Emily was in pain and tired. I was able to stay most of the afternoon and hold this precious bundle while she slept. Madelyn is doing very well, she rarely cries and sleeps a lot. Can I say she is loved by tons of family and friends? I'll share more pictures as she changes, that's for sure!
I have to also share that my two daughter's in law are both doing very well in their pregnancies. We are so excited to have even more babies in the family. It's not overwhelming at all, I'm just loving this new phase in my life. And please have a look at the most recent picture of Elsie on my sidebar from her Christmas photo shoot. Isn't she precious? She is growing and changing by the minute. We all just love her so much.
And in summary, can you believe Thanksgiving is in two days? I'm feeling pretty good about delegating a few main dishes to those who wanted to help. Hopefully I can focus on being with the family. I have tons to do in decluttering a few rooms. We have, at last count, 26 coming for dessert. Sounds unbelievable but as Nana used to say, "I love a crowd. People mingle." As if they could do anything else. Dinner is pretty manageable but I like extended family and friends for dessert and we love to go well into the night. Many times we've reheated appetizers and made a batch of popcorn.
My first newspaper article for the Chicago suburb paper was published last week. I bought three copies. It was and is an incredible feeling. A few years ago I never would have thought I'd be here. Blogging has been invaluable in helping me with writing. So many of you have given me encouragement over the years with my writing. I want all of you to know that I have always fallen back on that when I've thought I couldn't possibly be published.
I'll end my long droning on with a wish for all of you, my friends. Have a wonderfully perfect, festive and blessed Thanksgiving. I have a huge amount of thankfulness for your friendship, encouragement and all around interest in this little old blog. Sending good wishes and love,