Tuesday, July 11, 2017

MID SUMMER MADNESS: GOOD EATS, READS AND GENERAL DRIVEL


Hi!  Just me.   Still at the lake.  I'm just going to stop giving my location like a GPS...I've been here since the end of May but for maybe 2 weeks.  I'm loving it.  We are having rain almost all this coming week so I may get more writing and blogging going rather than wandering around outside like a weirdo.  It's just so much more quiet and secluded here than my home in the city.  It's a slow sort of life but I always keep busy or find things to do.  I have been a little reclusive, most days my only conversations are with the dogs, and even they are tired of me.  I invited some lake girlfriends over for hors d'oeuvres and cocktails tomorrow so maybe I'll take my hair out of its permanent ponytail and throw on something other than a T shirt for that.  :)

Our 4th of July was fun.  We had family and friends come up as early as the Friday before.  The lake has a fun party at the sandbar the Saturday before where you can anchor and play in the waist high water while singing and dancing along with a live band.  The fireworks show is that night and we go out on the boat to watch from the water...it's a spectacular show in the sky and on the water.  So it was a few good long days of playing on the beach, grilling food, and eating tons of fruit, chips and dips, and taking long boat rides.  We walked the baby and dogs and stayed up late in front of the bonfire.  It was really great.  When the last of the lake warriors left on Wednesday, I had the slow but steady job of cleaning up sand everywhere in the house, even in the sheets.  Egad.  It was quiet and peaceful once again so I rolled with it.  

  

Madelyn really is a waterbug.  Emily bought a little baby pool that she filled up with a little of the warm lake water and that little girl could sit in it all day.  We kept it down on the beach where we spend most of our time.  The little fashionista had a different red, white and blue dress for each of the five days.  I don't think Emily ever got out of the doll dressing days.  And as far as Madelyn sitting in a pool rather than the water, we spotted a muskrat cruising by and that was it for Emily.  They are sort of nasty looking.



I share so many pics from our little cove, I'll start to post more from right on the lake.  This is a happy group:  Abby's boyfriend Tom, and nieces Grace and Tricia.  Fun in the sun!



One of the best parts of being here almost full time is getting a lot of time to fix up spaces we never have time to do on weekends, as well as shopping for new pieces to replace what I've tossed or donated.  We have a foyer and it's never seen much because we never use the front door.  So I started thinking about it and searched for a bench that would fit.  I finally found one at Pier 1.  It is actually part of a dining room table and man, I'd love to have the table, too!  Pier 1 is gaining in popularity with many of us who like Pottery Barn.  I styled it with a chicken wire basket holding birch logs (our tree came down in a bad storm, sob.).  I got the B and window from Hobby Lobby and the pillow from an Etsy shop called With Lavender and Grace.  She has a ton of really cute handmade pillow covers at great prices.  And finally, the rusty windmill and wire rack...Emily noticed a small shop that recently opened in the next town that I apparently missed when driving by.  It is so cool and I spent over an hour talking to the owner.  They paint all sorts of furniture to sell and have decor ranging from shabby to farmhouse to industrial.  Most is made by local artisans and priced really well.  There are also candles and cards and bits and bobs~~~I'm actually fearful of going back!




This looks like a picture from a website but it's just a closeup of the rack on the wall.  I wanted something with hooks but this was even better.  It was fun add a few cute things to it.

I'm also working on the balcony off our bedroom.  The wisteria still needs to be trimmed and trained up to the slatted arbor roof and I've been looking for comfy chairs that are easy to store in the winter, as well as an outdoor rug.  Another area I have neglected.  I finally found what I needed at Amazon and I'll share when it all arrives.  It's the same story with the big front porch.  I lost my furniture cushions which were stored inside when we had the flood.  I'll be darned if I can't find the right sizes for this furniture.  I'll keep looking but I'm afraid the house looks a little haunted from the front.  We had wind damage off the lake to the storm door so it's barely hanging on, and so much is overgrown.  So much to do as always around here.  


I loved this oak tree so much that we had the patio built around it.  I have about four birdhouses in it, a feeder and a hanging plant suspended off a branch (only me).  The Husband says that if I hammer one more nail in the tree I'm going to kill it.  And then I happened to come upon these solar light mason jars.  They mimic mercury glass so when they light up at night they really sparkle.  

I have really turned into a little old bird lady.  My neighbor is helping me identify them.  I have one feeder on this tree (that I'm murdering with nails), and another on the maple on the other side, which I can see from the windows in the corner of the Great room when I'm sitting having my coffee.   I also found a sweet birdbath, so it's just a feathered friend paradise here.  Cardinal, finches, wrens, tit mouses, nut hatches, woodpeckers...and even robins and orioles stop by for the birdbath.  Occasionally I get a little chipmunk but it hasn't been a nuisance.  We have been having a lot of critter sightings; two deer just ambling down the street in morning, a gofer that tunneled into my rock garden, the muskrat I mentioned, a mink, our swans that had 8 'swanlings' this spring, and some of the most gigantic turtles sunning themselves on the beach.  I mean their shells are as large as trash can lids.  Just call me Blondie Doolittle.  :)



I love this time of evening.  Sometimes I can stand on the dock,  look up and the sky looks like a carpet of stars.  



Emily did several photo shoots with Madelyn and her five dresses.  I love this one.  The Husband planted daisies here one year and they bloom just in time for July 4th celebrations and throughout the rest of the summer.  I have vases of them all over the house.  



I've had a few health issue this past stay and it limited me in doing some of the outdoor work.  Nothing major.  A head and chest cold (or maybe a revisit from that nasty virus) had me feeling terrible and then spurred on the asthma so I couldn't get around like I normally do.  I also think I got bit by something as my left ankle and foot swelled up a few days ago and really had me concerned.  The Husband came up for the weekend and I asked for some help in the garden, which had been severely neglected over the two summers we weren't here.  Well, he worked his cute little buns off weeding and edging and he even dug up all the stones that made a path, power washed them, and laid them back down.  Love him.  I went to our little nursery/market in town today and this is my load.  They really lower the prices of perennials around this time and I have a lot of spaces to fill in.  I bought a ton of lavender, honeysuckle, phlox, Coreopsis, and Artemisia.  I can't tell you how sweet my car smelled as I drove home.  And now I have work ahead of me in between the rainstorms. 

So I continue to enjoy each slow day as it flows into the next.  It's amazing how much more calm I feel when I'm not pushing myself to get this done or that finished and above all, worrying about the obligations of taking care of other people.  I wanted to pass on an Instagram feed I came across which led me to the woman's You Tube videos.  Perhaps some of you ladies down in Texas know of her, Dominique Sachse.  She is a newscaster in Houston and she puts out weekly You Tube videos ranging from careers, raising children, fashion, decor, health and make up tutorials.  I'm just really loving watching these videos on my laptop in the evening.  She has such a great 'on camera' presence, and she comes across very knowledgeable, honest and caring.  The video that recently inspired me and had me nodding my head the whole time, is titled You Deserve More,  Reset, Reclaim Your Life.  Her words truly opened my eyes to how far I've come from raising children, to feeling a little lost, and then finally identifying my dreams and goals and making them happen.  I hope you have a look at this video (and I think you'll like many others she's posted), and if you leave your thoughts in the comment section, we can go further into a conversation in my next post.

****Note:  You may not get to the video with this link but do try to 'search' You Tube by typing in her name.

Finally, very briefly, here is a little more drivel before I go:


I got a promotion at the Chicago newspaper!  Yay!  It's weekly and I will go from writing one column a month to three!  I am so, so excited.  Of course it's daunting and I have to really get disciplined but I've been changing my writing time habits.  I get on a roll writing day after day and then saving several articles to submit when needed.  Wish me luck---I'll probably always have that fear of not keeping up but at least I've lost the fear of trying.

I had to break out of the habit of sitting in the evening on my laptop night after night, but I've never really watched television here.  Years ago The Husband and I would rent a movie every so often but otherwise, no.  I've been in a routine though and sometimes I'll dwell on problems and conflicts in my life, so for a diversion I actually cozied up on the couch in the loft with a quilt and the dogs and watched mindless TV  this past Sunday night.  It was fantastic!  A huge, guiltless Real Housewives/Hallmark Movie party!

My eating habits are still a little different.  I can pat myself on the back for being able to piece together a meal or snack with whatever is on hand and I've definitely been eating healthy foods.  It's just that since I'm not obligated to make dinner as I do for The Husband and I, I can sometimes get lazy and have cheese and crackers for dinner or a can of soup for breakfast.  Anyway, in keeping the carbs down I'm still sticking with eggs, low carb toasted bread with avocado, nuts, berries and whipped cream, and a few slices of cheese for a snack.  I have also made stir fry with beef or chicken and veggies, as it's quick and you get everything on one plate.  

Having time outside with the dogs is great exercise.  I take them for walks but when the asthma kicked in last week I had to slow it down.  With Milo really becoming more deaf by the day, when he wanders off the property I have my work cut out for me hunting him down as he can't hear me call.  I have to talk to my vet for some tips.  Abby picked up these little battery operated buttons that light up.  You put them on the dog's collar and you can then see your pup in the dark.  This helps but I really don't let them out much at night unless we are just relaxing on the patio.  Too many nocturnal animals in the woods that I don't want them to tangle with.

Reading.  Still plowing through A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams.  It's hard to get into but since I loved her last novel I keep pushing on.  Also picked up a Mary Kay Andrews paperback at the drugstore which I haven't opened, as well as one by Elin Hilderbrand, The Rumor.  I thought they would be fun and keep up with the summer beach vibe.  All the stores I'm used to, including Barnes And Noble, are several towns away so I'm sort of stuck with what I have here.  I also get very distracted by the birds flitting around or a boat drifting past, and totally lose my concentration, so not much reading gets done anyway.  

I hope all of you are having a great week.  I'll be by for some visits soon!  Enjoy our mid summer madness!

Jane x 



40 comments:

Blogoratti said...

Beautiful and relaxed environment it seems, and lovely family photos too. Warm greetings and best wishes!

Karen Ann said...


I love reading about your lake life - we are getting into the cottage life as well, only we come and go without staying over night - easy to do when it's so close. I thnk your way is a little more relaxing.. staying put for a while.

CJ said...

Love your foyer, you've made a beautiful job of it, and those birch logs are gorgeous. I'm so thrilled for you about the promotion with the paper, that's absolutely brilliant news, and very well deserved. Well done on getting into a good writing routine as well. I am going to go and have a look at the video you mention, I'll let you know what I think. Great pictures from your 4th of July celebrations, how adorable that sweet baby is. Glad you're having such a good time at the lake, I really envy you the peace in such a lovely location. It's all puppy and boy madness around here. No peace at all! I have a little writing to do before they break up for the summer holidays, then I will have to find odd moments to write in. Hope you enjoy the rest of the week. CJ xx

Brenda Pruitt said...

Sounds wonderful, being surrounded by water! I'd love that.
Brenda

Stacey said...

Jane, your lakehouse and cove looks dreamy to me. Looks like the kind of place where a girl could write a great fiction novel. That's in your, right?

Vee said...

Oh I envy you the time away at the lake. That used to be my life, but is no more. It's wonderful to be alone or to have company...entirely your choice most days and who is not to say the therapeutic value of watching the birds?! Congrats on the extra articles for the newspaper. Excellent idea to have a few spares written and at the ready. Now off to You Tube to check out your recommendation.

Susie said...

Blondie, Your grandgirl is a cutie pie. I love her by the daisies. It's pretty at your lake house. I like those quiet evening skies when we feel closer to God. I love that you are becoming a bird watcher. You and my daughter Kathy would really get along well. She is a nature girl. Congrats on the promotion, that's awesome. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

The foyer looks really good and I like everything that you put there.

The "girls" are so pretty in all their fineries. Sounds like you are really enjoy the Lake.
I think you needed a little R & R time to your self. Sometimes I will do that for a day. Lay around and do NOTHING.

Nothing much going on here - it's to bloody HOT. I don't even want to go out in this heat and I hate not being able to stroll through the garden.

Congratulation on your promotion at the paper You go girl......

Enjoy your time and loved the post.

Hugs,
Mary

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

You sound like you are having such a fabulous summer and really enjoying and resting. That makes it absolutely perfect.

Kit said...

Sounds lovely there at your lake. I do just what you do, and just relax and enjoy the summer. Wish I could send you some of our sun and heat. I love the new bench! Congrats on the promotion, that is wonderful! :) Kit

Scribbler said...

Congratulations on your promotion at the paper! You are very good at human interest stories, talking to people as though you are good friends. That definitely comes across in all your writing.

I hope your health gets better, and that you continue to enjoy your time at the lake.

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

One of the things I miss most about my house in Michigan is my beautiful daisies. They would bloom every year right around my birthday - June 30th and I could cut them and have vases all over my house throughout July. Your granddaughter is beautiful!

Lynne said...

Lake life sounds wonderful . . .
I like your foyer updates . . .
Windmill and wire basket are fun finds . . .
Little Miss Maddie is so adorable sitting so pretty in her dresses.
Great news about your promotion . . .
Sorry to hear about your asthma issues . . .
I am seldom bothered with allergy issues, this summer though,
has been dreadful. I have heard others say the same.
I love reading you . . . each time . . . like a little short story.
I think Lake Life is a very good thing for you . . . for us too!

Something Nice and Pretty said...

I wish I could write like you maybe I would still be blogging, your writing is always so interesting! The baby is so adorable and I think it's so sweet that Emily dresses her so cute! I've seen the newscaster's videos but only ones about hair, I really like her so I'll have to see the one you mentioned, I too am at a point in my life where sometimes I don't want to go anywhere or do anything some ask am I depressed and I'm not I just want to enjoy not having to be here or there, sometimes it gets crazy with watching the grands but I do enjoy it! I love the birds too and have a birdfeeder hanging on the driveway light, I'd rather have it instead of a hanging plant there...love the Cardinals especially! A big congrats to you, you certainly have the talent to do it!

Rondell

Kim said...

Jane, your summer life at the lake looks just divine! Enjoy every minute. I know you missed a few summers after the flood, so I say stay, stay, stay!! And congrats on the expanded newspaper gig!! How fun!

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

I really sense a feeling of relaxation and calm in your writing Jane, and why not?? I know exactly how you feel spending time alone at the lake. It is really therapeutic, so make the most of it.

Congrats on the promotion!! You'll do great, I have no doubt.

When I saw Maddy's dress, I actually let out a 'awwwwww'. How cute is she?!

I'm heading over to check out that video now...

xxx

Rue said...

Hi sweet Jane :)

I loved catching up with you. It actually put me in a relaxed mood and I wasn't even there LOL! It sounds like you're having a great summer. Congratulations on your promotion!

hugs to you,
rue

Beatrice Euphemie said...

Hi Jane, love reading about your relaxing days at your lake house - walking the dogs, planting flowers, feeding the birds, having the family over, and that sweet, sweet little baby in her cute little dresses! Love your newly decorated entry and your pretty view and outdoor spaces, too. So very happy for you on the promotion! Congratulations! Enjoy these wonderful summer days - they go by so fast! Hugs xo Karen

dreamson34thstreet said...

Jane!
Happy Mid-Summer!
I have been keeping up with you via IG! (You "have" planted yourself at your Lakehouse for awhile!) It shows. The place glows! The house is beautiful! Your post holds Summer's warmest charms!

With the wedding behind us, I plan to ease back into blogging.

I see you like The Chainsmokers. Jay choreographed a helicopter to land and lift himself and Camille up into the sky for a one hour ride. The copter landed to the song "Something Just Like This". (The Chainsmokers & Coldplay) I nearly lost it, until Jay said. "Mom!" "The Sparklers!" Helping get the sparklers dispersed allowed me to keep my composure! : )
Best of love to the beautiful "B's!
~Lynne

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Hi Jane. Sounds like you are keeping busy but still enjoying the quiet time of life at the lake. I love what you have done in the entry, that is a beautiful bench. Hope the rest of summer goes well with a lot of quiet "busy" time..Happy Wednesday..xxoJudy

Carla from The River said...

Hi Jane,
Yippee for you. I am so proud of you and your promotion.

I also got a bug bite that is causing my ankle to swell. I am not sure what gave me the nasty.
I love that Emily did a photo shoot. How sweet and I love the photos you shared.
Have fun and enjoy summer,
Carla

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Hi Jane, I always love reading your posts...you are a terrific writer and I'm not one bit surprised to read that you've been asked for more columns! Congrats!! It sounds like a very nice summer by the water. Water always brings a sense of peace and tranquility to me. I love to go to the lake and just spend time gazing and relaxing. That you can work when you want to and feel up to it is what I call the good life! I enjoyed all your photos...the foyer looks spiffy and little Maddie is adorable! Have a great week. Cheryl

Dewena said...

I doubt seriously if your dogs ever get tired of you, Blondie Dolittle!

Congratulations on more articles a month at the paper! Bet there is a little pressure there but what a nice challenge. Take care of yourself, eat your Wheaties!

Little fashionista is a natural poser, the camera seems to love her!

Melanie said...

I think I said in your last post, I wish I had a place I could escape to, especially for a lot of alone time! Sounds like you're living the life up there at the lakehouse. Your granddaughter is so adorable. Enjoy your reading, writing, bird watching and relaxing. Hope you're feeling better.

Lorrie said...

What a lovely, chatty post, Jane, full of everyday life at the lake. Madelyn is adorable and the photo of her in the kayak is a keeper. Solitude can be so healing and restorative. I'm loving these long days at home alone (although I've just had two of them so far!). Today I babysat my 3 year old grandson, and my eldest daughter came over with her 5-yr-old and we sat and chatted while the kids played in the pool. So lovely and relaxing. No lake house, but changing the rhythm to suit summer works well.

Kathleen Grace said...

You certainly seem to be making up for the time lost while the beach house was renovated! It looks like the cottage is earning it's keep with family fun and relaxation. I love the mercury glass jar lights hanging from the tree! I love watching the birds, we have a feeder right outside the living room feeder and the little sounds they make as they eat are so relaxing to listen to in the morning. I never tire of them.
Madelyn is so precious! I just can't wait to have my own little grandbaby (it's a girl!) to dress up again., Maybe I never got over the doll dressing phase either. Lol
Congratulations on your promotion at the paper, that will certainly keep you busy!
Enjoy the rest of the summer, it's flying by and soon it will be pumpkin spice time :)

It's me said...

Hi Jane ...like the Colors from That chairs.....Madelyn is so cute little beautiful girl.....so sweet in That boat enjoy summer .....love love Ria x ❤️

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Congrats on the promotion!!! That's fantastic! And oh yes, I love Dominique Sachse! Been following her for awhile and enjoy her makeup tutorials so much. She really understands our Houston humidity and recommends great products. I'd love to grow coreopsis, but never have been able to. I think maybe it's just too hot here? Anyway, enjoy all your pretty flowers, babies, and lake time. :)

HWIT BLOGG said...

Some LOVELY summerpictures!
Have a great weekend now...
Love, Titti

Jill said...

Congratulations on your promotion! I hope your health straightens out and you can enjoy all your days in this beautiful home!

Theresa said...

You should rent this life out:) I will sign up! Have a blessed and "laid back" kinda day! HUGS!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Congratulations on the promotion...you are such a gifted writer! And I love the views from your house on the lake. It's so peaceful and beautiful. I've been reading a lot lately but sometimes I like to watch something on tv, especially if I'm stuck inside on a weekend. The commercials sure drive you crazy though when you're not a regular tv watcher. Enjoy the week! Hugs, Diane

Michele said...

Hi Jane! What a nice and informative post - sounds like your lake life is going well. I think unwinding is so important too - and so is "alone time." And filling it with birds and book reading is about perfect, in my humble opinion.

BIG congrats on your promotion - that is excellent news. Well done, ma'am!

Your sweet little grand in her pretty dresses stole my heart. Don't they grow fast?

Sorry I have been so MIA - trying to play catch up may take awhile. Hugs. ♥



Kathleen George said...

Your Lake House is full of joy, love and laughter, beautiful respite to be with family and making new friends at the lake. Adorable is Madelyn and I so get it buying cute outfits left and right, can't stop:). I hope the lights on the collar helps and yes, even in my backyard I don't let them linger, potty and inside asap, we have racoons, coyotes and even bobcats.
Enjoy your beautiful home and read lot of books:).
Kathleen in Az

Deb from frugal little bungalow said...

oh Jane a fun and interesting post as usual...I enjoyed all of it but my favorite photo is little Madelyn in the canoe / boat! Adorable!

handmade by amalia said...

What a fun way to spend the summer.
Amalia
xo

Linda said...

It was so much fun catching up with you in this little visit! I'm in the girl bunk at the camper as I read and write waiting for the sun to go down a bit on this 101 degree day so I can go outside and do Critter Chores!
Congratulations on the writing gig! You are so good at it!
Enjoyed hearing all about what's been going on in your world! Summer is winding down!

baili said...

Helpful neighbourhood is blessing my friend and m happy you have it.
Lots of fun and maintenance!
Pics are Beautiful!

I nominated you for Mystery Bloggers Award if you check it dear

baili said...

Helpful neighbourhood is blessing my friend and m happy you have it.
Lots of fun and maintenance!
Pics are Beautiful!

I nominated you for Mystery Bloggers Award if you check it dear

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

Looks like you had a fantastic holiday weekend!