Monday, July 24, 2017

SUMMER IN THE CITY (AND COUNTRY)


Here's my guy Milo, playing sentry.  He has been having so much fun at the lake just roaming around the property and every once in awhile, meeting a new furry friend.  The home next door is being rented to vacationers and he loves to wander over and visit.  The  problem is he usually leaves a little 'gift' and so I have to go over to clean up, introduce ourselves and apologize.  Our little Welcome Wagon.  Honestly though, we've met some very nice people.  

   

I went up to the lake a few days before the 4th of July and just came home this past Monday.  I think I would have stayed longer except I had a dental appointment, as well as my six month physical that I have to do for my asthma.  And of course, I get to have Miss Mad once a week when Emily works downtown.  The weather is so nice now, albeit hot and humid most of the time, but we get out for a long walk in the stroller or just some time in the backyard.  

During my days alone at the lake I try to get out every day.  I think of the movie Castaway, with Tom Hanks.  His plane crashes and he ends up on an uninhabited island for five years.  One of the most moving parts of the film is his relationship with a volley ball which has washed up on shore.  He paints a face on it and it became his friend and companion, Wilson.  So...I was alone in the cottage one day just doing my own thing, chatting with the dogs ("Don't tell me you have to go out again."  "No.  You just had a treat!").  And then it sort of hit me.  If I didn't have the dogs, I wouldn't utter a word for days on end.  And if Tom Hanks hadn't had Wilson, there would have been a good forty minutes of silence, and that wouldn't have made for a very good movie.  

I did get together with some friends one evening at my place, and now that lake people know I'm pretty much there all the time, I have friends stopping by.  It's all very slow, relaxing and peaceful.  



I've been coming across a few 'new to me' antique shops.  I went into a town one day to check out a shop I had been to years ago.  it had a new owner and was even better than before.  Everything was displayed very nicely and I lingered for a long time.  A great collection of ironstone, a lot of mismatched silver and silver-plate, interesting books and a whole section of garden paraphernalia.  I found the galvanized watering can there.  It's not a large place so the owner is particular about what she sells.  


I found these Beatrix Potter books, they are very small and have a copyright of 1946.  My heart melted when I saw them.  I have a lot of the Bunnykins china by Royal Doulton, and I can add these to the collection for the kids to fight over later.  I'm looking for the perfect brown velvet ribbon to tie these together with.  I have a vision of them looking perfect this way.

  

The projects never end.  We have this balcony off our bedroom but we rarely use it.  It has a view of the 'big lake', as opposed to the bay that you often see in my posts.  Do you know that the builder of our home made sure that you could see water out of every window in the house?  And it's true.  Someday I'll find a map that shows you exactly how we are situated.  

I needed something comfy-my goal was to have a place to recline, read the paper, sip coffee and enjoy the lake breeze.  I found these bamboo chairs with canvas on Hayneedle.  I believe they were in the area of $70.  A few days after they arrived (and they are top notch), I saw something very similar in a Ballard Design catalog for $180.   These are fine for me.  I love that they fold up for easy storage and that the canvas can be scrubbed, power washed...what ever you need.  In the background is a mosquito plant.  It smells somewhat like citronella and a friend of mine swears by them for deterring the varmints.  Several people asked about the pillow.  This was made by Maria Elena at Our Home Away From Home.  She has the most beautiful home in Texas and she is a sewing wizard!  I'm sure the balcony will continue to evolve...I'll keep you posted.



We had the pleasure of watching our granddog for awhile when these two (daughter Abby and Tom) attended Tom's brother's wedding.  Squall was great, he loves the water.  Thankfully, Layla is getting a bit more comfortable around him.  He's about seventy pounds to her ten.  

I had to laugh when Abby talked about Tom's speech (as Best Man) at the wedding.  He began with recounting some of the wonderful trips and vacations his brother and fiancee had gone on.  When his brother said they were going to have a 'Destination Wedding', everyone thought: warm, tropical, exotic.  "So here we are," Tom said in his address to the guests at the reception.  "Destination Wedding...Indiana!"



I also made sure I was home for my sister's 60th birthday party.  Held in the town where I grew up and no longer recognize, it was such a fun get together.  My sisters and I don't see each other enough.  It was fantastic to catch up.  I wish the pics of the family were sharable, but if you've ever tried to get six people together who are giggling, flipping their hair, joking with one another...well it's hard to find one good shot.  Just take it from me, it was a fun night. 

I did get a shot of me and my brother, John, who lives in southern Indiana.  We see each other about once a year although we need to make a point of doing it more.  You might remember his daughter's wedding down in Louisville three years ago.  He retired at sixty-five from teaching high school social studies.  It was a short retirement; he went back in the capacity of administration part time and is very happy.  Can you believe he'll be seventy in December?  It was so great seeing him as well as my sisters, nieces and nephews.  

  

I perused some of my appetizer recipes on Pinterest (click to get to my boards) for an article I was writing for the Indiana/Michigan newspaper.  I've been a Pinning fool lately...if only we cooked as much as we Pinned!  I'm focusing on appetizers.  Summer is such a great time for entertaining and going to parties.  And you can't go empty handed.  I had a few that did not require any cooking or reheating.  This one stood out.  A toasted baguette slathered with a ricotta cheese mixture, then topped with prosciutto and basil.  What a great way to use this creamy, subtlety flavored  cheese.  I can't wait to try it.

Heading back to the lake Wednesday where I will ensconce myself until August 12.  Remember me mentioning The Husband gave me a birthday present back in February for tickets to see Idina Menzel?  All of a sudden the date is here.  I have to book a hotel room and dinner reservations.  I want to shop til I drop!

Finally, thanks for all the good wishes on my promotion.  I am giddy with excitement and looking forward to some quiet time to start building up columns in a folder.  

Have a wonderful week and I will be back soon!

Jane x



42 comments:

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I love those sling chairs and would order them myself if I already didn't have too much outdoor furniture.

How lovely to be at the lake house by yourself. I enjoy company and having people around but I also need some time alone.

Kim said...

Jane, I know I say this often but it's alway fun to catch up with you. Our house is full all the time lately, kids, friends, family...it's summertime...and I love it. However, a little time to myself, talking to a ball or my plants sounds kind of dreamy right about now. Oh, I know I'd miss them all in a quick minute, but I'd like to try it (she says at 10:15pm with music and loud laughter shaking the house!) ;) Enjoy Idina!! I saw her in the original cast of Rent a million years ago and she was fabulous even then.

Terra Hangen said...

Milo is so cute, I like dogs with spots. Your lake house always sounds like a relaxing and fun place to be.

Kathleen George said...

Ha! I talk to my dogs and sometimes I think they understand me:). The Lake House is a good place to do your writing and Journaling. Family reunions are the best, I just came back from California visiting my family. I love Peter Rabbit! I'll fight over those darling little books:). Enjoy your time with little Miss Mad and I'm happy the dogs are getting along.
Kathleen in Az

Linda said...

I hope you find that perfect brown velvet ribbon!!
Does Miss Mad miss you? Or more to the point - does her Mama miss you?
I know the quads miss us but I am thinking Amber misses us MORE!
It's funny that I always have music playing at home - mostly classical.
Here in the country - none. No music. No TV. Who needs it with critters and nature to watch and the sounds of the country playing in our ears?
My goal this year was to be here on the ranch every single month. That was my goal last year and I didn't make it. So far so good for 2017!
Our time spent here is going to make it so much more comfortable for the future. We still have the bathroom to finish but that will have to wait its turn.
Jane, please know my heart when I say - MAKE time and MAKE plans for sibling get togethers. If not ALL - then one on one. I am here to tell you - this is a wise investment that will last a lifetime. We as adults need to connect with the children we once were....and doing that together is amazing. But together or not ....one by one.....it can happen. It did for me and mine.
Love you, my dear!!
You are AMAZING and don't ever forget that!!!

Silvana Joanne said...

Hello dear Jane! You always have the most interesting posts to share. I LOVE your lake house! And to have every window showing the lake or bay what a blessing. I talk to my pets all the time lol good to know I'm not alone on this one :-) They are my babies and they really do keep me company when the hubs isn't home. It looks like you are having a wonderfully relaxing vacation. I have a couple more weeks of work left and then we will be renting a villa in Tuscany and that will be our vacation this year. I am so looking forward to it. I will be bringing my pets too and and a little worried that they'll be comfortable but I'm sure they will enjoy themselves just like Milo seems to be in that first picture! So cute! Take care my friend, Silvana

CJ said...

Love the deckchairs, and the idea of reclining in one reading the paper by the lake, wonderful. Have a safe trip back to the house and good luck with all the writing, I'll be checking in on you! CJ xx

Maria Elena said...

Jane, it sounds like you are having a fabulous time at the lake and enjoying your beautiful lake house. We are suffering in Texas some horrible heat, I wish I could get away like you and enjoy some quite time. Love, love your chairs! And that pillow is just fabulous. LOL Thank you so much for the mention, you know you didn't have to. Enjoy your time away. xoxo Maria

Stacey said...

Jane, your days at the lake sound dreamy! I don't like to be alone that much so I'm not sure it would be for me. I'm proud of you though for soaking it in and enjoying it. I need to backtrack to read about your promotion. You are a writer!!

Linda said...

Looks like I missed a post! Congrats on the promotion...you are an excellent writer Jane ⭐️
Your daughter and BF are adorable...she looks like you!
So happy that you have found some peace and tranquility at your cottage....good for the soul.
We are heading down to ours today...just for one night....my BF has an app't Thursday am...
But....we'll go back down on Friday...only a 75 minute drive for us.
Take care my dear...
Your Lake House is coming along fabulously! You must be having a ball...
Cheers!
Linda :o)

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

It sounds like you are having a wonderful summer!

Susie said...

Blondie, I love the photos. You and your brother look fabulous. Some people just can't retire. :):) I am happy about your promotion. I look thru your pinterest things once in awhile. Love them. I would have to sing if I were alone that long. I used to own a truck that had no radio...can you even imagine . I would sing all the time I drove to work and back in that thing. People can sing to themselves but talking...others think you've slipped. Of course I once read a saying, "if I am talking myself, at least it's an intelligent conversation. " LOL Blessings to you dear friend, enjoy the time with your husband. xoxo, Susie

ann said...

Hello Jane. I cannot believe that I have missed so many of your posts. It is funny how the nature lovers will scold us for digging out weeds. That's what milk weeds are, noxious weeds. Yes the monarchs lay their eggs on them, but if you let one milkweed grow, it will take over a garden. The right way to live with them is to deadhead them before they go to seed. I never seem to get that done either. They are a perennial so they will return the next year. The lake house sounds like paradise. The Texas ranch that we visit is my brother's place. He doesn't want to be mentioned on the blog or photos shared of his gorgeous ranch. I took the photos in his vegetable garden, sitting quietly with my sister in law and husband on two different occasions late in the evening when the light was waning. I need a better camera lens or better light. I don't know how far north the painted bunting flies, but we don't have them here in Colorado. We have seen the other two buntings at our feeders, the blue lazuli bunting and the indigo bunting. You may have them there, but they don't stay here. They are headed to Canada, I think, or the mountains. They stop by, eat a few peanuts in the feeders then fly on.

So exciting that you are writing more. I'll wish you luck, but you really do not need luck, for you are a good writer and must be well received to get more assignments. Thanks for stopping by the Garden Spot. I worry that I am losing followers due to simple neglect, but I have been writing, too, a couple of novels and I have become quite obsessed with my characters. Then I work on the dollhouse, a modern Texas Farm house inspired by the ones that Chip an Joanna Gains on Fixer Upper on HGTV do. I have a lot of fun building things for it. Now I am trying to figure out how to build a wagon wheel chandelier. Then there is the garden which I am mostly ignoring now that it has been so hot. No more travel plans, though I would go back to Texas. I would love go down there in the spring during the Round Top antique show. I guess thats what you would call it. The antique-ers line up along the highway for miles and miles and miles. Underneath tents, or not, or in their shops. You can find literally anything and everything. Old stuff. Good stuff. Lots of stuff from the old places in the hill country that get scavenged. I would have to take our Ford pickup truck to haul stuff back. It is a long drive, 17 hours. We have learned to fly, get there in a few hours as apposed to a day and a half, which is good because then I cannot haul anything home. Have a great day, Jane. Always so good to "hear" from you.

It's me said...

Love your dog Milo....so cute ❤️ Enjoy summer ...love Ria x

Karen Ann said...

Those steps are beautiful! And I had no idea you were so "surrounded" by water - awesome.

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

I had to laugh, because I don't even need a ball to talk to...I talk to myself all the time when I'm alone! Lol! Weird, but true. :) I'm glad you're getting in some alone time at the lake. Must be very peaceful and relaxing. And I love that every window has a view of the lake. Perfect!

Melanie said...

What a lovely summery update! Glad you wandered into that antique shop and found some treasures. Love both the galvanized watering can and the books. I talk to myself (and/or the cats) when I'm home alone, too. ;-) The chairs you found for your balcony are perfect. I'd sit there every morning, sipping my coffee. Great photo of you and your brother - you look so much alike!Have a fabulous week!

Suzanne said...

Sounds like you're having a wonderful summer! Lovely pictures!

Rita C. said...

Hi Jane! It's so nice catching up with you on your blog. The lake still sounds like a dreamy place to be, and those chairs are wonderful! I sold a couple of those (I had won them at auction) to a friend who has a home on Pawley's Island SC. I washed the slings before I prepped for sale - easy peasy in the wash!
The family pics (even Milo) are always fun to see. Abby & Tom's coordinated apparel look so sharp! Love the photo of you & your brother. Was that really 3 years ago, that wedding?! Your description of getting family to pose for a shot sounds like mine - it's like herding cats!
Next time you venture out to the antique stores, maybe take some pics so we can shop virtually. Love the watering can, and the books are a sweet addition to what you love and will be useful!
Take care, and have fun on your trip!
XO
Rita

Junkchiccottage said...

Hi Jane,
Having time to yourself at the Lake sounds pretty nice. I might come up and join you. I need to escape all the stuff going on at the house here. I would give anything for some peace and quiet and sitting and just watching life at the lake go on. Enjoy. Love seein your family pics and reading your post. Have a good new week.
xoxo
Kris

Lynne said...

I am enjoying the "cottage/lake house talk!"
Pictures too . . .
The deck chairs looks comfy, totally can picture a good book, coffee, toddy . . .
Happy to hear there are others that retire . . .
and then seem to saunter back into a work life.
Sounds like my Mister Irish . . .
Happy days to you for the rest of summer . . .

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

Sooooo envious of your "alone time" at the lake! It sounds like heaven to me! At least talking to dogs is normal -- I'm glad you haven't started talking to those cute deck chairs! Congrats on your promotion - I just went back and read your last post. Enjoy!

Kelly said...

That place looks like such a nice 2nd home! You're lucky to have a place you can get away to several times a year.

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Your alone time sounds wonderful. it's good to get away from everyone and do what you want. You have the dogs to keep you company.

Love the new chairs on your patio - what a great way to sit and watch the world go by.

Great picture of your daughter and husband - they are handsome couple. The picture of you and your brother is great - you look wonderful.

Enjoy your time at the lake and have a wonderful rest of the week.

Hugs,
Mary

Art and Sand said...

You have been busy all summer!

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

It all sounds so lovely and relaxing. And those little books were a great find. It's Wednesday so today you will be heading back to the lake. Enjoy that balcony!

Vee said...

Your brother needs to share his tip for staying young pronto! When siblings get together, they are usually transported to childhood...all the old stories and teasing and fun come out. I see it all the time across Blogdom and even in my own life. Your description of the experience was perfect! Will you be returning to the lake? I fondly remember summers spent at the lake...wonderful times of allowing the "outside world" fall away.

Theresa said...

Would I love to be that neighbor renting the house next to you? DUH YES I would:) Love seeing what you have been up to, lake life... I wanna be there too! Have a blessed day dear friend, HUGS!

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

Milo is adorable, and apparently a good lake buddy :) I would definitely talk to my dog if I had one. They're great listeners and never disagree ;).

Aline time can be wonderful, but as a borderline introvert I occasionally need the company of others. I think you do too, and that's a good thing. It seems like right now you have the balance you need.

You and your brother look alike, and yes, he looks wonderful. It's interesting how more men than women feel the need to return to at least some kind of work after they retire. I suppose it relates to their social skills, or lack thereof, compared to most women. Not all men of course, but most of the men I know depend on their wives for their social lives, and their careers are a huge part of their identities. To each his own.

As always, you nailed the chairs! Perfect!

xxx

Michele said...

Hi Jane- oh you made out - those books and that watering can - AWESOME FINDS!! That place sounds heavenly! Such a pretty pic of you with your brother. Enjoy the rest of your summer - your canvas and wood beach chairs are just the place to do so, too! Yay - great finds, too.

Hugs. ♥

Kathy Moreland said...

So happy to know you are enjoying your summer. Can't say that for my self, I have developed avery rare blood codition found in 4out of a million people. Still in hopsital tryingto figure itout. I'm having problems typing tonight, so I'll feel you in later on. I was very near death when brought into the hopsitalkso just thankful to have made it.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

You've had a very busy summer thus far. That is a nice photo of you and your brother...I would never guess him to be 70! My hubby plans to work until he's 70, if he stays healthy. He can't imagine retiring, either. I had mixed feelings about that, but whatever makes him happy. I can do what I want when I want, so it isn't so bad. :)
The B. Potter books were a fabulous find! Susan Branch would be so envious. She just mentioned the fact that Beatrix's 151th birthday is tomorrow in her blog post today.
Take care and have fun on your next trip to the lake!

Jill said...

It sounds like you are having a wonderful summer! The appetizer looks pretty darn good too.

Kathleen Grace said...

This sounds like the perfect summer. Back in your lovely beach house enjoying the lake. I can just picture you on the balcony enjoying the view with a cup of coffee. That appetizer looks delicious. I'll have to check out your appetizer board! Enjoy the rest of the summer, it's going fast :)

Blogoratti said...

Those chairs looks comfortable. Great thoughts and perspective indeed -sounds like a pretty good summer, and thanks for sharing. Warm greetings!

Kit said...

Lovely days at the lake! Sounds wonderful! Summer is so much fun with so many great things to do. Especially reading and watching old movies. :) Enjoy yourself and soak it all in. :) Kit

Mereknits said...

You sound so happy my friend, busy and relaxed all at the same time. Hope you are feeling much, much better.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

You pack a lot into a summer! I love those little Beatrix Potter books. I have a couple but I'm glad you found a stack of them. Nothing else as sweet as these. Enjoy this last week of July! Hugs, Diane

Bluebird49 said...

Sweetie! It's good to hear you're enjoying this summer. I was so thankful to read your summer is going so well! Is this the summer that your concrete drive, porch gets done? Keep on having the peaceful summer you deserve, sweetes!
Love, Trudy

Beatrice Euphemie said...

So glad to hear your summer has been relaxing and full of quiet, happy moments. Love the new balcony chairs and sweet photos of you and dear family. I love the appetizer recipe, too. Your concert weekend sounds wonderful. Sending hugs xo Karen

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

I am so sad we haven't together. And I am so sad to hear about Mona. I loved catching up my friend. I will email you for sure. Lots of hugs, Cindy

A Joyful Cottage said...

Hmm, I missed the promotion. Congratulations. Your brother in no way looks like he'll be 70 soon. Life agrees with him. And you, apparently. You look great! Enjoy the rest of the summer. xo