Thursday, May 26, 2011


This may be a short post, or a long dull post, I never know where I am going, but I thought I would touch base with some random ramblings. My pictures are just some things I picked up on vacation. Oh, my dog poop stake arrived and believe it or not, the stake had poked through the box. I'm surprised the post office delivered it. I probably have the FBI watching my house right now.

It's been quite slow this week, the weather not cooperating with anything I wanted to do garden wise. The Husband has worked late every night so I STILL have not gotten my vegetable patch rototilled. I'm not so worried because out temps have dropped so much in the evenings that I would have just lost sleep over those baby plants. Better to be safe and lazy than busy and sorry.

I am slowly getting my house back in order, Emily has a tendency to move things around and hide things when company is coming so I keep stumbling upon random items like floor fans in the closet and dirty pots in the oven. Actually, I give her credit for keeping the house so clean, she even instructed the cleaning ladies to clean the refrigerator and laundry room. She is controlling like that. I am usually apologizing when they come or I use the old standby, "I forgot you were coming today!"
I bought these in Asheville at The Screen Door and I have no idea what to use them for. Any suggestions? I have moved them around from place to place and nothing is working. That's usually a sign for me to bring them up to the lake, which is starting to get cluttered in it's own right. Speaking of the lake, this is one lively weekend for it, right up there with July 4th and Labor Day. We are having company and I have been making up menus and grocery lists. I have slipped into a rut where I am serving store bought potato salad with lunch and coffee cake for breakfast and although this is the last place you want to fuss, I really have time on Fridays to make a few quick things...I'm just unorganized. So I have vowed that this will be the summer that I get off my lazy bum and start making some food to remember. Or not.

June is an incredibly busy month for us. I have three wedding showers to go to. Two of them are for Mary Clare {son Kevin's fiancee}, and one of those I am actually hosting with my daughters and 2 sister in laws. It's not the chicken salad I have to make or the 10 round tablecloths I have to come up's more about what I am going to wear. The worrisome things. And don't even get me started about what I am going to wear to the wedding. As the mother of the groom, I know I have to wear something elegant and sparkly, not too young and not too old... not too sexy, not too matronly. I will probably find something the week before.
This is my new read. I have always been fascinated by Jacqueline Kennedy, and I wanted this book for Christmas and then forgot about it. It's really good so far and I highly recommend it. It takes me back to my working girl days, although I didn't have Doubleday and Random House panting for me to come work for them. Not that I know of, anyway.

Today is Emily's last day of school. She is no longer FIDD {Future Interior Designer Daughter}. She is IDD!! We are SO proud of her. Her graduation ceremony comes later as well as a party. The Husband does his own happy dance at times like this, looking over his saving account and watching it stabilize for the first time in 4 years. I am just happy that she can slow down a bit now and just enjoy life before getting out into the working world. Life is scary when you are in your twenties. I don't think I would want to go back to that.

Well, that is about it for today. I have plenty to keep me busy in getting ready for the holiday weekend. I hope all of you have a good one. I'll see you next week, hopefully with some great outdoor pictures. :-)

Sunday, May 22, 2011


This post will conclude my trip to beautiful North Carolina. I can't think of a better place to have taken a spring trip. I have raved about it in my last few posts, so I will just get on with the details of our last few days. As I mentioned. I met two bloggers in person and the gracious Penny, from Lake Lure Cottage invited us to brunch at their home on the lake. This is Penny putting the finishing touches on Mexican Benedict. It was delicious. She also served potatoes, a tropical fruit salad and apple bread. Penny is a fabulous cook and she and her husband David were such gracious hosts. Their home is warm and cozy and inviting, just as a lake home should be.
After we were sufficiently stuffed, we went for a pontoon ride on beautiful Lake Lure. This is a view from Penny and David's dock. Until my visit to Asheville, I had never seen mountains like these. They were absolutely breathtaking.
We were so lucky that the weather was mild. We cruised around and enjoyed refreshments and beautiful views. I took a ton of pictures, but I'll spare you. Can you see all the beauty?
The Husband made new friends...
...and after only our second day together, I got to know Penny and Penny even better. They are like old and special friends now. I'm going to miss them a lot.
The Husband took fly fishing lessons on Friday and as I was just getting used to the idea of spending the day alone, I got a call from Penny {from The Comforts Of Home} inviting me to an afternoon of lunch and shopping. What an angel she is. We ate outside at a restaurant called Bistro 1876.
Our sweet waitress took our picture.
We browsed a few shops. I couldn't really buy anything else since I had zero room left in my bags for the flight home. But I did find a few cute small things at The Mast General Store.
We ended the afternoon with coffee at a really neat place, a real double decker bus/coffee cafe. Isn't it the cat's meow? We sat outside and chatted away the afternoon. We had a great time and I will always treasure Penny as a good friend.

When I arrived back at the hotel, The Husband was already back from his fishing trip. Not only did he have the best time of his life, he caught a 24 inch brown trout and was named fisherman of the week at the shop. Whoo Hoo!

We came home yesterday. I almost didn't make it on the plane. Remember the little 'No Dumping' doggie garden stake that I bought? Well it was deemed a weapon, so rather then giving it up, I had it shipped home. I love that stake.

Well, I hope this post wasn't too long. We are back to Blondieville and the same old stuff. The weather is beautiful here and I hope to get to planting some flowers this week. And I have to clean up the wreckage of having 3 adult children home alone for a week. See you soon! :-)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


The good times keep on rolling. I can't believe we are halfway through our trip. It's a blur of walking eating and shopping. Yesterday I met up with Penny and Penny at a restaurant called Magnolia's. We had a wonderful time talking and laughing and enjoying great food. Afterward we did a little bit of shopping, but I will save my goodies for another post. Everything is wrapped for the flight home. They took me to a shop called The Screen Door and it would definitely be a favorite of mine if I lived here. I felt like I had known The Penny's forever and we are getting together again tomorrow for brunch.

Last night The Husband and I had dinner in town at a place called The Lobster Trap and it was positively awesome. I had Lobster Newburg for the first time and I was moaning. I keep forgetting to take pictures of my food. And since it was SO cold, I haven't gotten many pictures while out and about.
Today we visited the Biltmore Estate. So many of you recommended that and we did. It was wonderful. We had breakfast in what was the stables and then took an audio tour through the mansion. I was most impressed with the servants quarters and the kitchens. I'm not sure why, George Vanderbilt treated his help quite well and I can just identify better with the working class than I can with Edith Vanderbilt {who wants to change clothes 10 times a day anyway?}.
The grounds were beautiful...8000 acres.
Little creeks and ponds and trails everywhere...
Later we did more shopping in town and lo and behold, we found this shop. The Husband is all signed up for his fly fishing lessons on Friday. I managed to worm out of it {no pun intended...and you don't use worms, silly ones}. What will I do with myself?
There is always more shopping...
Every store is so inviting...
I can stop and rest my feet...
...or just look at all the beauty around me. Who knows? I'll be back soon! :-)

Monday, May 16, 2011


It is green, it is lush, it is Asheville, North Carolina, and I am finally here. We flew in, guys, just 1 hour and 20 minutes, hardly enough time for two glasses of wine. We are here and loving it...the temps are colder than what we expected but I am a fine...I am from CHICAGO...

Shopping downtown Asheville....yes, I bought one.
Another great shop...
A peek of our room. The Husband is taking a nap and I am going to wrap some gifts for when I meet Penny and Penny for lunch tomorrow! Having fun!!!!!Text Color

Monday, May 9, 2011


I can't believe I haven't posted for a week. I've been busy and I had a few problems with my Reading List, so I wasn't blogging as much. Amazing how clean my house was. It was a good week though, a little bit of shopping, a few good naps. I threw a Cinco de Mayo dinner party on Thursday night and spent the whole day cooking. I tried not to get stressed out by having everything perfect, but I did anyway...that's just me. I had ribs in a Mexican barbecue sauce, beef and pork tenderloin, Spanish rice, refried beans. potatoes with poblano peppers and several appetizers before. It was a lot of fun, but it took me half the day Friday to clean up and put everything away. I need a maid.
My pictures look random but I thought I would join Kathleen at Faded Charm for White Wednesday.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day. Our weekend was so full, it passed by in the blink of an eye. We went to a Communion party on Saturday for my niece and then yesterday morning I was in a 3 mile walk for breast cancer awareness. I wish I had brought my camera with but it would have weighed me down {I have a point and shoot ;-D}. It was a beautiful sight, thousands of participants, a sea of pink. Afterward, my sister in law had a brunch with great food, sweets and mimosas. It was a really nice day.
The Husband has a big trial coming up so he was working a bunch this week and weekend. My garden wasn't rototilled as a result. Oh well, vegetables in September. I hope to work on my pots and herb garden this week. Layla has taken to lying in the herb bed on the cool ground and where the sunshine hits. My little 4 year old niece noticed this and said, "Layla is lying in Aunt Jane's farm!" Layla also found a bunny nest in one of my garden beds, but I'll spare you the details. I put the babies back as best I could and I really hope the mommy comes back to take care of them.
People have asked if it is hard to keep open shelving clean. It is if you are fussy like me. Last week I took everything off as there was a thin layer of dust on the shelves. I do this once in awhile and it's always fun to rearrange pieces afterward, which I did. Since the lower cabinets are used for food, appliances, etc., I have almost all of my dishes on the shelves, so I can't really have a lot for display only. It is what it is. Okay, I do sneak a few things in there that I don't use on a regular basis, but a girl's got to have fun.
I wish I could say I made this, and it looks fairly easy to do so I may give it a try. I found this at the Shop The Shed party last year and fell in love. I just recently unpacked it and hung it up.
In spite of a busy week I managed to do a little shoe shopping. I LOVE shoes. The flats have a little bit of a wedge to them which is good because I am only 5'2. I feel stumpy in totally flat shoes. I love the peep toe. The brown shoes go with a lot of neutral colors that I seem to be buying for summer. Abby has already broken them in for me. Now I need to get a pedicure.

Vacation is creeping up and then there is the big Memorial Day weekend that kicks off summer at the lake. We already have company booked until August. I love it. I wish I could say that we got more done as far a painting and working on the guest rooms but every weekend has been so busy. It will happen. I have a busy week ahead, going through summer clothes, getting laundry done and winter clothes packed. I gave 2 big bags of clothes to my cleaning ladies, they are always so happy when I do that. It saves me a trip to the donation box and they have large families to share with.

I hope you have a wonderful week filled with sunshine and great weather. I will see you soon! :-)

Monday, May 2, 2011


Hey...we finally made it up to the lakehouse. We had beautiful sunny weather Saturday and Sunday and came home this morning. Saturday was a little quiet. We ate lunch at our favorite little pub in town and I visited the florist to replace some of my houseplants that didn't make it over the winter. I want to thank my neighbor, Susie {who reads my blog} for the great job she did in watering for us. Anyway, I thought I would do a post showing some pictures of the Great Room. I did a little rearranging of things when I cleaned.

We bought our sofa and love seat from JC Penney when we moved in 20 years ago. Since we spend so much time outside, it never really gets any wear and tear. The coffee table is from Pottery Barn, also about 20 years old.
Saturday night I cooked and we watched Eat Pray Love. I read the book about 3 times, but I didn't enjoy the movie as much. It didn't help that I fell asleep right after Elizabeth {Julia Roberts} arrives in Bali. I don't know why we waste money on movies when I can't stay awake until the end. Even if it's a good movie, I still nod off.

This is one end of the hearth. It's just a little vignette of things I love...a sand filled tealight holder, a bird, a picture of a swan feather that I took, and an old picture of The Husband with the boys when they were wee ones, standing on the dock.
Sunday The Husband cleaned up all of my flower beds and rototilled them. As soon as I have a free weekend, I will plant some new perennials. While he worked outside, I cleaned inside. It was really just a lot of dust. I washed all the sheets and blankets and removed the heavy duvets for the warmer weather.
I bought this little table at an antique store and finally brought it up to the lakehouse last year. I was going to paint it white and then changed my mind. Somehow, it just seems to go better with the furniture in black. How do you think it would look in white, or even gray? The lamp and linen shade are from Target.
That's The Husband, out on the bay in one of our new kayaks. Mine didn't come with an oar. I don't know how that one came to be mine. I'm not sure of my way around the swampy areas so I didn't go alone. There's always next time.
These are the bad boys. Can you believe we got them at Costco? They really have everything. I have read that they sell caskets. Something for everyone, I guess.

We went to Olive Garden for dinner Sunday night and then were in bed early to get on the road at 6:00 a.m., so The Husband could get to the office. It was a really nice weekend and it was good to get up there after all these months. I do like to go in the winter, but you can only have so many weekends sitting in front of the fire and taking cold walks outside. I'm so happy that summer is almost here.

I'm joining Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday and Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesday. I hope everyone had a good weekend. Oh...thank you for all the sweet compliments on my hair. I have washed the keratin out and I blow dried it and it is still perfectly straight. Whoo Hoo! :-)