Monday, May 27, 2013


Here in the Midwest, the weather around this time is very iffy...I can remember more rained out BBQ's on this day than any other.  We came to the lake to relax and that's what we're doing.  Yesterday my neighbor, Barb stopped over.  She filled me in on how her winter had been, what was new with her family.  Then she shyly said, "I turned 70 in February."  I think my jaw hit the floor.  All of our days here at the lake, the seasons, the years...they all seem like pages and chapters in a big book.  As the narrator, my voice never changes.  But yes, 23 years have gone by and when I met Babs she was just in her late 40's with a teenage son.  And she's just the same, wearing her old shorts and blue denim jacket to hide the dirt on her clothes from spending hours in her garden.  Her ash blonde hair now a pretty shiny gray.  The same big smile and twinkling blue eyes.  The Husband made hamburgers on the grill (under the roof of the patio as it was pouring), and she stayed for dinner with us.  Our friends at the lake are wonderful, rain or shine!
I wanted to share something with you that came by UPS last week.  I think all of you know how much I wanted to do a gallery wall.  Well, I just didn't have the room so I did those floating shelves that I posted about recently.  It still bothered me that I had so little space to display pictures and there aren't enough frames in the world for all the pictures I'd love to put out.  So I found this big iron grid thingy in my Napa Style catalog and I knew it would be perfect.
I have it in my family room, just the right place as it's all about family.  Like the years at the lake, it tells a story.  My children, holidays, pets, our good times...The pictures are held with metal clips, fifty of them, and of course you can swap them out any time you want.  Now, you know I'm not handy or extremely creative, but Melanie at Comfy House just posted the other day that she had saved the metal frame from her boys crib and was thinking of using it for something like this.  I hope seeing this gives her the inspiration to go for it!

So, now I'm off to get things ready for lunch, shish kebobs on the grill.  We''ll probably come home tomorrow.  I hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday doing what you love, with all those that you love!  See you later in the week!


Monday, May 20, 2013


So, we've been here since Saturday.  You might remember that a bachelorette party took place here a few weeks ago.  My daughters had told me that the place was cleaned top to bottom before and after the party.  Well, it turned out, not so much after.  There were a ton of towels in the laundry room as well as the sheets from the beds and something sticky all over the floors.  I think by now you have realized that I'm a closet clean freak.  Give me a few old rags, paper towels and cleaning products and I can make a day of it.  Since I've been simplifying so much at home, I decided to do the same here.  I started with the counter above.  I had every appliance I owned on this counter including a food processor and smoothie blender that I used maybe once.  The dishes on the shelves are used everyday, the open shelves are pretty and functional.  But a little editing never hurts!

The washing machine ran two days straight, I washed all the floors and cleaned the bathrooms.  The Husband tinkered with his new fishing boat, and wow, what a nice boat it is!  Once it's in the water I'll take a picture of it.  I know you are just dying to see it! ;-D

So, I woke up this morning thinking we were leaving and The Husband said, "Let's stay one more night."  Fine by me!  One thing I'm not doing is cleaning!  I may go up to the big farmstand where they sell flowers and make some pots.  I'm debating whether to do tomatoes this year.  I don't know what I'm doing wrong but I never seem to get more than one or two on a plant the past couple of years.  We'll see.

And that's all I have for you now.  I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend.  The Husband is out trimming the boxwood hedges right now and I'm so excited because I'm going to try to make a wreath with the clippings.  I better go grab a rake!

Joining Brenda at Cozy Little House for Tweak it Tuesday.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I did a lot of work around the house over the past few weeks, things I had wanted to do but thought, "I'll get around to it.".  And as usual, it starts with one little change, like  a new valance for the bathroom window.  This is a very small bathroom with a tiny sink and vanity and I wanted some surface space.  A trip was made to Home Depot where they cut a long piece of pine in half for me and I found wood brackets that fit.  I painted everything with the same paint used for my living room.  DIL, Mary Clare and I hung them last week, okay MC did 99% of the work, I just stared in awe at how good she was with a power drill!

Abigail is leaving for Florida with a big group of kids on Saturday.  They are renting a house on the beach for a week of fun in the sun.  Oh, I'm envious!  It's going to be a little lonely without her.  She finished classes last week.  I have flowers to plant...oh, yes, the front yard was seeded, you can see me out there every morning in my jammies dragging the sprinkler around in the mud.  Grrrrrr....I'm just going to plant a few pots for the front porch and steps, and backyard patio, I have enough watering to do.  And then I'll do the same thing over again at the lakehouse.  Hopefully we will get up there soon, plans this weekend and we have to round up my sons and some of their hunky...I mean strong friends to help with setting out the patio furniture, cleaning the boats, getting out the wave runners and kayaks...ugh, so much to do!  The Husband has been totally dreaming and preparing for his big summer of fishing.  He has driven into Indiana several times to the Bass ProShop for all sorts of crazy fishing gear.  Son Jeff remarked to him the other day, "For someone who rarely catches a fish, you sure do have a lot of stuff"!  Too funny!

I'll see all of you later in the week!

I'm joining Sherry at No Minimalist Here for her Open House Party


Sunday, May 12, 2013


Being the first to get married among her friends, this morning of celebration and joyfulness was truly new and wonderful for all of her bridesmaids and we all had such a spectacular time.  I was long over being a nervous wreck and I think the girls were way beyond Jane as being the basketball, soccer mom, volunteer lunch mom and sleep over crazy lady!!  We laughed and joked and fluffed and primped.  Some of then told me how they had always envied Em for having such a pretty mom and that just made me feel so good...for what it's worth.
And finally, I want to say Happy Mother's Day to all of you.  This is my mom in her high school graduation picture...St. Sabina High School in Chicago.  She was always   true beauty and she was full of grace.   I am one of seven children, one brother and five sisters  I can never fully comprehend how she did it all, but she did.  We started off in the city and then moved to the flat  prairies of Western Illinois where she said she sat at the kitchen table and looked out at nothing.  But our house was always crazy and full of activity.  I think that made it easier for me to raise 4 children.  When I think of  things she taught me, it was to be a lady,  dress nicely, eat with my mouth closed, wear good shoes and carry a nice purse (God knows she was obssessed with shoes and purses!), wear lipstick,and dress every morning like you were going out or expecting company.  She was absolutely beautiful and had the best sense of humor and laugh.  She loved her children and grandchildren and could change a diaper or heat a bottle like in 2 seconds flat.  She taught my sister and I the basics of motherhood, the rest, she let us explore for ourselves.  She was gone way too soon.  As with anyone you lose in your life, you mostly cry and grieve because you will never see them again.  It's still true for me although it's been 12 years.  Thankfully, I still hear her laugh, see her curled up in her favorite chair with a book and her coffee, doing crosswords at the kitchen table or playing yahtzee by herelf.  If she were still here, that coffee pot would be full and me and my sisters would all be hanging out's so hard to know that you have it all by the tail until it's gone.  I love and miss you are so loved on this very day and forever.

Much love to all of my sweet blogging ladies and my precious sisters and brother, as well, on this Mother's Day.


Thursday, May 9, 2013


That's my daughter in the water
Every time she jumped I caught her
Everything she knows I taught her
Everything she owns I bought her...

And so on.  She finally went with a sad, drippy song that is going to make my mascara run.

So here is the dress and jacket I wore that I mentioned.   The jacket was entirely too big which rarely happens to me (smile).  It was funny, there were about 10 other girls that had maxi dresses on as well.   

The dinner was wonderful.  It was held at a place called Bourbon Street, nearby.  The whole place is divided up into different New Orleans themed restaurants, bars, clubs and event rooms.  Our room was reminiscent of an old 1920's speakeasy.  And the food was outstanding!  The Husband and father of the groom made funny little speeches.  The Husband, who is a bit "old school", gave a warning to the guys in the wedding party that they could not take off their jackets or ties until after dinner, then they were free to take anything off.  This was met with a lot of high fives and fist knocking.  Anyway, it was a great night.  We were home by 10:00 and I learned via Facebook that the party went on into the wee hours.  I haven't seen hide nor hair of my children yet today.

I didn't bring my camera into the restaurant, my kids freak out the minute they see me with the camera since they know they will be on my blog and that really irritates them for some reason.  I forgot my phone so I borrowed my DIL Mary Clare's phone and took a ton of pictures for her to email me for this post.  Well, I think my sweet little girl was one of those dancing the night away last night and I haven't received them yet!  I will include some in my next post.

So tomorrow is the big day.  Today is being spent totally at home, scrubbing the bathrooms and going over all the other rooms, tweaking a few things here and there and making some appetizers for the guests coming back to the house after the church.  I'm making Loaded Baked Potato Dip, a marinated Italian antipasto kabob thingy with tortellini, mozzarella cheese balls, cherry tomatoes, salami and olives, and finally, white chocolate dipped strawberries.  I will give you all of these links in the very near future.  

Tomorrow I will be up at 5:00 just to have some peace and quiet before the rush.  The guys are getting ready at Emily and Mike's house and the girls here.  Starting at 9:00 a.m.,  we have 2 hairstylists and a makeup lady and we all have a scheduled times to get prettied up.  My best friend Snow volunteered to make and bring over breakfast casseroles and fresh fruit and The Husband is going to run out to get the big box of Dunkin Donuts coffee and some donuts.  And of course we will have some mimosas!  He exclaimed,"Before mass?".  Once an alter boy, always an alter boy!

I will see you before you know it! :)


Saturday, May 4, 2013


I'm hoping to post after the rehearsal so that I don't have to mix that into a post with the wedding, which is Friday.  I hope I'm not boring all of you with this.  A week from now all in Blondie's world will be back to some sense of normalcy.  I hope.  

Have a great weekend! :)