Thursday, July 29, 2010


I have taken so many pictures of the Lakehouse this summer that you are probably thinking, "Ooooh, Yuck. Not another post about the lake". Well I'm saving you from that today. I was scouting around in the backyard to find some dog poop to bring to the vet with me today; Milo and Layla have an appointment for their yearly shots and of course I have to bring these darling little specimens in. Truth be told, with two dogs, it's hard to determine who's is who's...well this is gross...I digress. While out and about in my backyard I decided to take some pictures. Now you can see where I hang out at home when I am not at the lake. We have a small patio where I like to sit and enjoy a good book {when the weather cooperates}. You can see the garden window that comes off the master bedroom and looks over the patio. I like that. I bought a new umbrella last fall from Plow & Hearth when they went on sale and I love it. It is super sturdy and although I don't always put it down when there is a storm, it's no worse for the wear.
The patio is surrounded by hedges that could grow 15 feet high if we let them {and we've come close}. The Husband planted them when we moved here 25 years ago. It's very simple out here, no fancy pavers or bricks, just a good old city house. Our house is covered in ivy but I didn't plant it around the patio as The Husband thinks it attracts spiders. I think that's a superb know where the spiders are at, happily playing in the ivy and not crawling up your leg. I think I am going to sneak some in.
This is the bakers rack I bought from Nordsrtoms several years ago when I worked downtown. It has aged pretty well. I like it better than when I bought it. I have a small collection of outdoor bird houses and some summery candles. Emily and I had a jewelry and purse party out here last week and we displayed some of the purses here. It was a really fun party
So this is just one small peaceful area of what is a good sized yard that I will save for another day. While I was out I heard a flutter and spotted this guy on the line.
I think it is a baby falcon as we have had several pairs nesting in our backyard over the past 5 years. How some of these creatures decide to nest and live in the city is beyond me. It's a beautiful bird, a bit eerie looking when they fly and make a shadow across the sun. This guy was about the size of a small owl or twice the size of a robin. Wonder where Mummy and Daddy are?

I am getting ready for our weekend away. I found the perfect sundress at Kohl's for my father in laws party. And then Monday we will be off for 2 weeks at the lake. Yay. I promise I won't bore you with anything you've seen before. Have a HAPPY weekend!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


It was another weekend of heat and humidity in the Midwest. And that is the forecast for this week. It explains my reclusive behavior perfectly. Little trips to the store and sitting in the backyard for tiny bits of fresh air at a time have been on my agenda. These are truly the 'dog days of summer'.
I finally went out and bought frames for the watercolors that Fifi Flowers did of the Lakehouse and Summerhouse. I thought I was going to have to have them custom framed but they were easily trimmed to 8 x 10 and fit in pretty frames from Michael's. To get a better look at these paintings, I have them on my sidebar. I can't say enough about Fifi's work and all you have to do is follow the link and visit her shop to see wonderful watercolors she has done and sells in addition to custom artwork. She also has a calendar now of vintage bicycles. Try to take a peek if you can.
I hung both pictures in the Summerhouse where I spend a lot of time. This weekend we had good friends visiting, Craig and Snow. Craig and The Husband grew up together and Snow and I have been good friends since she and Craig got married. They brought along their adorable kids, Luke and Ella. Snow and I hung out in the Summerhouse quite a bit, catching up on everything, enjoying a lot of girl talk.
Once again we feasted, this time on Italian meats and good bread that Craig gets from an Italian deli here in Chicago. Snow made her signature prosciutto and melon and we ate watermelon from morning until night. All of this was washed down with tons of iced green tea, my new summer favorite. I didn't think to take pictures until we had dug in quite a bit and it wasn't so pretty.
When I was taking the pictures of the watercolors, I took a few of the Summerhouse as I am nearing the end of the decorating. All I really have left to do is get blinds and make some window valances. Since we sleep out here once in awhile or put up guests on the Murphy beds, we need to have a little privacy.
This is the little table I bought at The Worlds Longest Yard Sale last year. This is coming up again in another few weeks and I am SO excited. It's unbelievable what people have to sell in the Midwest, and so many of the antique dealers prepare all year for this sale. I believe it ends somewhere around Detroit so we are near the tail end of it. I was going to paint the chairs in this picture white, but I have decided to wait a bit. I have an old brown cabinet in here that ties in with the color of the chairs and I don't want a totally white room (yet).
This weekend we travel to Galena, Illinois for the 80th birthday celebration for my father in law. Galena is a quaint little town about 3 1/2 hours from Chicago. It will be a big fun family affair. Sunday or Monday we will leave for a 2 week stay at the lake and we are mapping out some fun trips to do, including going into Ohio which is only about an hour from the lake. As always, it will be so nice to unpack and not have to go home after 3 days. Life gets very hectic being at home 4 days and at the lake 3. Nothing gets totally finished it seems.
Thanks for coming by to visit today. If you have seen any of these pictures before, I'm sorry. Like the 'dog days of summer', there is a lot of repetition going on! :-) One day flows into the next and soon we will be wondering what happened to summer. In spite of the heat and humidity, I am having a good summer and I hope you are, too. And you are always WELCOME to come and have a peek. Have a great week!

Monday, July 19, 2010


I went to the farm stand bright and early Saturday morning and picked up some corn and blueberries and this stunning sunflower. Plopped it in some cold water in the kitchen and admired it. I've always wanted to grow sunflowers, we used to have a field of them nearby.
Isn't it beautiful? We tried to make the most of our day but it was SO hot, in the mid 90's. We went for a boat ride, anchored and floated around in the water which was so warm. We came back and I put ribs on the grill and sat on the covered patio. Very little breeze so I moved to the Summerhouse which is filled with windows and a ceiling fan. Still too hot. I gave up and went into the air conditioned house, wilted but pleased that I made it until 7:00 p.m.
Sunday was not better. I moved Miss Sunflower outside and she couldn't seem to handle it.
Poor girl. I feel like I killed her. Oh well, so much for the saga of Miss Sunflower.

I have had some new wrought iron furniture for almost 2 years. I bought it from Overstock at the end of the season, a coffee table for the furniture on my front porch and a bistro table which I had planned for the balcony off the master room. Well, the garage was cleaned out a few weekends ago and the boxes discovered by the husband. I think he was motivated to put them together just to get them out of his clean garage. Men...
After he had the bistro table assembled, he shopped the garden and found some pretty flowers and a table runner. He was pretty happy with himself.
And I am happy to say that Sunday afternoon a thunderstorm rolled in and we had some much needed rain and it also cooled off a bit. The weekend ended on a good note. I hope it did for all of you as well. See you later in the week! :-)

Friday, July 16, 2010


Just a little post before we head off to the lake. Hope you have all had a good week. We are still in the middle of a heatwave here in the Midwest, but from my visits to all of you, it sounds like we are all in the same boat. ;-D
I gave my plants a big, cold drink and I am saying a prayer that my flowers at the lake have survived the heat and maybe even got a little overhead sprinkle from the sky!

Have a Happy Weekend and I will see you next week! :-)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Today I have a few more lake pictures for you. We were out on the water a few days ago and I decided to take a few pictures of some of the pretty homes. I was only able to get a few shots because I was, after all, on a moving boat and I either risked going overboard {love that movie} or taking blurry pictures.
Did I mention that we have an island on the lake. I keep saying that I will get pictures of it and if we ever receive an invitation from someone we know on the island, I will. The last time I was on the island, as a guest of a home owner, we had quite a crazy time that involved a lot of beers and a golf cart. But that was years ago and I've moved on. Above you will see the ferry that takes everyone back and forth to the island, as well as cars. It runs on a cable.
I've been on the lake for 19 years now and I have never ridden the ferry. It takes about 5 minutes. In the winter, everyone on the island closes their homes completely. Years ago when the lake froze solidly, people could go back to check on their house via snowmobile. How adventurous.
I live on a small bay with 21 homes. I like it because it is private and secluded and we are able to have a beach, no seawall, and the water is much more calm. By boat, we ride through a small channel that takes us out to the lake. The lake is 8 miles around and has just over 1,000 homes. It's rather large. The home above is at the mouth of the channel. I watched this home being built and although this picture doesn't do the home justice, I love it.
Their gazebo provides a gorgeous view.
Now this is where Blondie was doing her balancing act. I usually remain seated on boat rides but I wanted pictures. My calves ached a bit the next day. In addition, the sun was glaring behind me so I had to sort of hold the camera above me and snap at the air! lol!
I love the screened in patio on the 2nd level of this home. Again, totally out of focus.
This home belongs to the 2nd Mrs. Lowe {think: The Two Mrs. Grenville's}, she would be the widow. Edward Lowe's claim to fame was that he invented kitty litter. He made zillions. Think of what we would be doing without kitty litter. I don't have cats but I could just see myself trying to potty train one. He was quite a philanthropist in our town and he will long be remembered.
This is the home owned By the 1st Mrs. Lowe, also the mother of Edward Lowe's children. They were divorced and he built the previous home for his new wife just 1/4 of a mile down the lakefront. That's friendly.

And that is all I have today. This weekend we have guests again, but I am looking forward to it. If I can, I'll try to get to the island, no promises, and no golf carts.

Monday, July 12, 2010


I drive by this cute little cottage all the time at the lake going into town. This time I brought my camera with me to share it with you. I believe it is the artist studio of the lady that lives across the street from it; that house is done in a pretty yellow, too.

Isn't it charming? I wonder what sort of art she is in to. She previously owned an antique store in was darling, too.
You can get a better idea of the size of it from this picture...small, but enough room to create or just sit outside on the little porch having a glass of iced tea. I caught my side window with the camera but that's good, you can see the road I am on, which is how all the little roads along the lake look.
Saturday afternoon The Husband and I took a boat ride and I brought my camera. I didn't get it wet...Yay!! I took a lot of pictures, but I am saving them for later in the week. The lake was gorgeous that day and the water quite warm.
I promised The Husband a feast Saturday night and I was true to my word. My favorite little snack; pretzels and whipped cream cheese. It's very simple but delicious.
I mentioned Friday that I had bought some Little Neck clams. To prepare them I soaked them in a bowl with 1 part vinegar to 3 parts cold water for 30 minutes. This gets all of the sand and grit out. I rinsed them and boiled them in water on the grill burner for 10 minutes until they opened. I served them with melted garlic butter with a few drops of hot sauce. Yum!
The Husband grilled New York strip steaks...
...and I had made a pasta salad earlier in the day. I have been using good old Creamettes Pasta and I am finding that the noodles are so much more creamier and not slippery and sliding all over your plate. I made the salad with chopped red pepper and red onion. I used a creamy Greek vinaigrette to dress it.

I mentioned I was going to make the beer margaritas but we really weren't in the mood, but I do have the directions now. So many of you have had them from your comments and others wanted to try them. They are simply made with equal parts {12 ounces} of thawed limeade, 7 UP, Corona beer and tequila. We only use 8 oz. of Tequila because we didn't want them strong. These are so refreshing and perfect for a five o'clock cocktail outdoors.
We took a long drive in the country on Sunday and that was about it for a heavenly weekend. I hope you had one, too. Later in the week I will share some pictures on the water. Thanks so much for visiting! :-)

Friday, July 9, 2010


I realized that I have been posting about once a week, which is way too slow, but I sort of feel just like the plants that are withering up and slowing down in the heat. Here in the Midwest, we have been hovering around the 90's all week long and I have become a recluse, even as far as putting on cotton jammies after my shower in the morning...heck, I'm not going anywhere. I decided today after going shopping for groceries, that I needed to take a look at the jungle growing out in my backyard. Rather than a jungle, it is more like a forest, surrounded on all sides by giant, old walnut trees. When you walk in the old gate you are greeted by a little pot with this sign.
No amount of water makes these guys perk up if it is sweltering. We have been getting a little bit of rain almost every evening but the petunias just won't bloom in the high temps.
These are weeds I think. I an expert on growing them. Ask me how to grow weeds and I will tell you. Better yet...don't, I could mess that up, too. Anyway, I pick these weeds and they dry up nicely for flower arrangements.
Now, these are some type of berries that grow on bushes that are as tall and full as trees. The kids used to eat them when they were younger {and lived}, but I don't know what they are. The Husband says mulberries {?}. Anyone want to guess? They get really dark when ripe.
My hosta's are ready to bloom. I have these everywhere because of the shade, most are huge. The variety with the white flowers, which I have at the lake, smell heavenly. Put some in a vase if you have them...they will perfume the whole room. These lavender colored ones don't smell.
Some people say day lilies are weeds because they grow so profusely by the roads here in the Midwest, but I love them. I have them in several colors, but I think I like these yellow ones best.
Part of my forest...
And here is Milo, waiting to go to the lake. He wants to visit Simba, Gabby and Missy...he lives for these neighbors/dogs. No company this weekend for us. I splurged at the store and bought thick steaks and Littleneck clams for a little feast tomorrow night. Also some things to make Cole slaw and a new pasta salad that I will share with you one of these days. Last weekend I was also introduced to a new drink...we named them Diamond Lake Margaritas. They are made with tequila, Corona beer and frozen limeade. I don't know the exact amounts but I will get them because I am going to make them again this weekend. They are dangerous because they are so refreshing and light. I don't drink mixed drinks other than the occasional Bloody Mary or Lemondrop martini, but I will vouch for the Diamond Lake Margarita...Delicious!!

Now off I go to pack up. This weekend is supposed to be in the 80's. I have my book and favorite beach towel. Hope you all have a marvelous weekend, too. :-)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


We had a great 4th of July holiday. The Husband and I left for the lake on Thursday night and relaxed before company began arriving on Saturday morning. It was a blur of eating, playing, boating and tubing. We had rides on the paddle boat and wave runners and a little floating on the chair rafts. Bon fires and fireworks. The kids played on the beach and with each other. So I'm just going to zip through these pictures to give you a glimpse and then move on. Above is my niece Grace playing on our beach.
More game playing...
Abby shooting a few hoops...
Emily cooling off...
Abby cooling off.
Karen catching up on some summer reading...
And surprise...a holiday cake that became a birthday cake for this guy...
The Husband, who doesn't seem to have a care in the world!

It was a great holiday and we were exhausted when we got home last night. I have done pretty much nothing today except clean and take a shower. Having fun can be very tiring. I hope everyone had a great holiday and that they are enjoying summer now that it is in full swing. We have a couple of small trips to make but other than that, I am going to catch up on my beach reads, soak up the sun and enjoy the warm summer breezes. I'm also joining Susan today at A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday. Catch up with all the girls who are playing along and pay them a visit! And thanks for coming by! :-)