Monday, October 28, 2013


As I mentioned in my last post, we were going to Cedarburg on Friday.  We went last year right after Thanksgiving and you can read about it here.  We actually stayed  in the same room at the same inn as last year so I'm not including pictures.
Cedarburg, Wisconsin is a really sweet town just north of Milwaukee and about 2 1/2 hours from where we live in Chicago.  The town was built along the Cedar Creek River.  The falls are beautiful, I took this standing on a bridge.  Shortly after we met Cindy (from Applestone Cottage) and her husband Dan at the nearby Anvil Pub and Grille.  Having not seen each other since the summer of 2012 (we meet up once a year), we had a great time talking and catching up.  Good times!

So here I am Monday morning making my plans for the week.  My head is spinning with everything I have to do and everything I want to do!  Even though it was just Abby here for the weekend, it's going to take awhile to get everything in order.  My spring tulip bulbs came and since its such a great sunny day and who knows what tomorrow may bring, I need to get them in the ground.  Last week I cut the last of my flowers and I have vases all over the house.  No frost yet though. 

I started cleaning out the garage last week.  I know, this is exciting news.  The fact of the matter is, it is a total dumping place of old furniture, lawn mowers that don't work, bicycles  from another get the picture.  I was just going about my business taking the trash out Wednesday afternoon and decided I couldn't stand it anymore.  So I just started dragging and hauling things to the curb, making piles and filling up extra cans.  I felt like the ant in that song about the rubber tree plant and high hopes!  No matter how big and bulky something was, I just thought, I can do it!  It took me over an hour and I got half of it clean.  I was just afraid to put too much at the curb.  So on Wednesday I will finish it up.  And that's a relief!  Next I'm moving on to the office, less dirty but it could be life threatening if I throw something important out! lol!

Okay..I hope you all had a great weekend and have good plans for the week ahead. Look out for Cindy's post about our trip! I'll be back soon! :)


Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Emily and Abby went apple picking at a really neat orchard in Indiana.  They loved it because it has a petting zoo.  Emily and Mike stocked up on pumpkins to carve and Abby brought home a big bag of mixed apples.  So when life gives you apples...

I was at HomeGoods with Emily a little while back and found this Laura Ashley shower curtain for $16.00.  I nearly fell over!  It's a little hard to tell but it's a blue and gray swirly pattern.  I think the most inexpensive shower curtain I've seen is $27.00 at Target.  So I popped this baby up and it gives a whole new charm to the bath.  I also picked up this little rug for $12.99.  Emily and I were just about crying over the Christmas items they had put out already.  Do you want to know what's popular so far?  Well, moose for one.  Real looking and animated.  Decorated Christmas gift boxes, as in faux, empty, just for looks.  And lots of cute, plump stuffed fabric elves and snowmen.  I can understand Emily looking at all of this stuff with longing, this being her first Christmas married and in her own home.  But I've been purging for the last 5 years and don't really need anything else.  But oh, the new things!  Restraint, Jane, restraint.
Friday morning The Husband and I are heading up to Cedarburg, Wisconsin.  You might remember we went there right after Thanksgiving last year and we really loved this sweet little town. It's just 15 minutes past Milwaukee. We wanted to get away and we had been postponing meeting up with my bloggy friend, Cindy, from Applestone Cottage, so we made plans to meet there.  This will be the fifth time Cindy and I have gotten together with our husbands.  The first year was in beautiful Galena, IL.  The next year Lake Geneva, WI.  The third year they actually came all the way to our lakehouse in Michigan (they live in western Wisconsin), and last year we met in Galena again, this time in the summer as opposed to the winter like the first year.

Hope you're all off to a great week.  By the way, with the encouragement of my friend, Brenda, I made my pictures in my posts larger, did you notice?  Let me know if you like that. See ya soon!

Joining Brenda at Cozy Little House for Tweak It Tuesday
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Jennifer Rizzo for Fabulously Creative Friday
Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen for Let's Dish


Friday, October 18, 2013


To say I was losing sleep worrying about cleaning up the garden is putting it mildly.  I'm not sure why it nagged at me, I don't like things left unfinished, I guess.  After I wrote last weekend, I was able to get about 50 bulbs planted...the tiny early spring sort and I did them in the beds closest to the house so I can see them from the windows.  The larger tulips and daffs will be out along the fence.  They haven't arrived yet though but the cold weather has.  45 degrees today with a chance of snow/ice on Monday.  Wow!
Are these not the cat's meow?  I spotted them at West Elm a few weeks ago and thought they were so cute.  It's hard to tell that the stripes are gray, thus going with my almost redone bedroom.  Son Jeff said, "No, don't get those, they're tacky!"  I long ago gave up trying to impress my kids with my decorating choices.  Jeff's new home will be move in ready next month.  His style is sort of sleek and uncluttered; his girlfriend, she's sort of traditional.  It should be interesting.  Yesterday he walked in while The Husband, Abby and I were snuggling on the bed and talking.  He slapped his hand on his forehead and walked out muttering, "I told you not to get those!"  I think they would make cute little Christmas gifts, Jeff is tops on my list!  lol!

And as far as what I'm working on now in the bedroom?  I'm doing a small gallery wall of still life photographs I have taken.  I have the pictures and I found frames I liked yesterday so today I'll be hammering nails in my freshly painted walls (ouch!).  So I think I will show you everything next week.  Basically, you've seen it all with the snippets I've posted!! ;-)

I had a field day at Target last Sunday.  I have been having the most boring weekends lately.  The Husband is content at home now that he's almost back to work 100%, and of course there is football.  So last Sunday I took off for Target by myself, which is rare.  Emily or Abby are usually with me trying to get me to buy them things.  I just took a leisurely stroll up and down the aisles; looking, touching, comparing prices in my head, doing the old "Do I really need it" song in my head.  So, I came home with the lamp, 2 baking sheets, a welcome mat, a couple of books, Halloween candy and toilet paper.  And I think I did a clean sweep of the store.  It was better than meditation and yoga combined!
This is the button detail on the cuff, these are heavy!  I ordered and received some sweat pants and simple cotton shirts from my favorite shop Woman Within.  They have sizes starting at small and go up to 42X, I think.  And they are very affordable.  I have found that everything runs big, so if you are a Large for example, get a Medium.  The sweats are pretty much my Lying Around The House Garb for the winter.  I unpacked my winter clothes last week.  It coincided with the spotting of the first mouse.  That's sad.  As usual it's war.  They will not enter my kitchen this year.  They are hanging near the bird cage in the den (for the seed) so I have eliminated every cozy basket, pillow, nook and cranny that they can nest in and the poison is discreetly and safely dispersed.  Just the facts of an old house, I guess.

Well, it's almost 3:00 p.m. and I'm still in my PJ's.  I decided to stay put today so I'll probably just shower and put on another pair!  Early tomorrow we are going to the lake.  All I have to do is empty and put away my pots, furniture cushions and pack up an embarrassing overabundance of meat in our freezer.  Guests are always coming with coolers filled with meat for barbeque's, more than we need and they refuse to take it home.  I think we are set for the winter.  And I'm still hoping The Husband will fire up that outdoor fireplace he built at the end of last summer.  It's well overdue for it's debut!  I hope all of you have a great fall weekend.  I'll try to get some pics of the trees changing in Michigan because they sure aren't here! :)


Saturday, October 12, 2013


We have a simple weekend planned, or you might say no plans at all!  I haven't forgotten about making that pie...I'm going to "tackle" it again when The Husband is watching the Bears game tomorrow!

One other thing, while I've been a little slow getting around to visit all of you, I was really surprised when I received a few emails from some blogging friends wondering where I've been, if we were still friends...I felt terrible.  I looked into it by going to their blogs and I found I was no longer on their list of Followers, so, they weren't coming up on my blogroll.  I checked out a few other blogs I normally see pretty often and hadn't and sure enough, not following.  I have no idea how this has happened, but I want you to be honest and speak up in the comment section of this post and let me know if you've been wondering why I haven't visited your blog.  This could be the problem and I can then pop over and re~follow.  Thanks so much.

Have a great weekend everyone! :)

Joining in with Brenda at Cozy Little House for Tweak It Tuesday


Tuesday, October 8, 2013


I know I've really let some time go by without posting.  I have so many irons in the fire right now.  As the days go by I think, "When I get this finished, I'll post."  That's just not happening so I thought I'd just check in and tell you what I have been doing.

Last Wednesday I was trying to decide which iron in the fire to address.  Since rain was on the way, I knew I had to get my new plants into the ground so I did that.  I had a little bit of a backache from loading and unloading the car here and at the lake but I just didn't want to make up any excuses.  As I laid on the couch that night, waiting for the Tylenol to kick in, I smiled as I listened the to the rain and thunder.  

The rest of the week was pretty laid back, especially with the constant downpour.  I slowly added things back to the master bedroom after having it painted.  I was in no rush because I was actually liking it pared down.  I never realized how many framed pictures of family I had in this room, so I've just packed them up in a box for now.  I gave away 90% of the books I had on the shelves that are no longer there.  In that space I want to do a gallery wall of black and white photos I've taken.  So looking through my files for photos and getting some inexpensive frames is on my To Do list 
And I really felt the pressure to use up all of the apples I got at the farmstand. I found a recipe Pinterest called Salty Caramel Apple Pie.  Oh, the sound of it gave me the shivers!  The Husband and I were out and about on Saturday running errands in the rain.  We got home around 6:00 and I jumped in my warm PJ's and got started on the pie.  You can find the recipe here.  This is not a recipe for the timid.  There are a lot of steps involved.  I had trouble making the caramel and had to throw it out and start again.  How can you mess up boiling sugar and water?  Well, I did, even the second time, it overcooked,  I decided to use the caramel that wasn't stuck to the bottom of my pot and whisk.  And that, my friends, was my big mistake.

Other irons in the fire...I found a cute project on Pinterest for Christmas and I made two trips out to get the supplies.  At Michael's I kept gravitating toward the Christmas items.  They have so many cute table top trees, rows and rows of ribbon and faux garland.  My thoughts keep projecting forward.  There are so many long, slow days before Thanksgiving and after it's over, we all scramble around trying to get it together.  I think I'm going to take it slow by planning ahead. 

I left you with other projects.   The ottoman for my vanity.  I bought foam and fabric Saturday at Joann's and I'm ready to go as soon as I have 5 minutes.  The plate racks that I painted, they are going to the lakehouse, there's absolutely no room here and I have a place in mind.  And the spring bulbs I ordered are here and ready to be planted, hopefully tomorrow. The mirror I painted gray?  I am going to hang it in the living room but because it weighs at minimum, 60 pounds, The Husband has to do some drilling, so I'm waiting on that. I finished the book I was raving about last week...sigh, what a fantastic ending.  It is still on my sidebar if you care to read it.  And one of my favorite authors has just released the sequel to her last book that I read over this past winter and I am so psyched to sit down with it tonight.

Well, I'm off now to get started on one of the many things waiting.  If I work hard and make a dent in all of the irons in the fire, maybe I'll be back by the weekend to share the finished results! :)


Tuesday, October 1, 2013


As usual, I haven't had time to come up for air.  Today is going to be a rare day of nothing.  A shower, a run to the dry cleaner, and then a date with the couch and my book.  I raved about the book I'm reading, Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted already,  I am slowly making my way through it.  It's just such a wonderful, captivating, heartbreaking book, I simply put it down so I can savor it later.  I love when I find a novel like this.  Bliss.

We had dinner for the kids here last Thursday.  The guys were coming to help move the bedroom furniture for Charlie The Painter and so I thought it would be nice to cook for them.  I had planned on simple chili with cornbread and then The Husband said, "How about a nice roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy?"  I must have looked at him like he had two heads because he muttered, "Or not."  Off I went to the butcher and got a beautiful cut, picked up a few odds and ends and spent the afternoon cooking and fluffing and tweaking and I'm so glad he gave me a push to make a rewarding effort.  I make a lot of Sunday roasts, I grew up on them.  The Husband had it a little worse, he wasn't allowed to take off his church jacket and tie until after dinner.  Believe it or not, I've never made one for company, probably because that was the norm in the 50's and 60's.  It came out very tasty, although I always struggle with gravy.  I set the table with my everyday dishes (ignore all the chips), and I managed to squeeze in eight of us at a table for four  Cozy!

 I set up my own pumpkin patch for the girls to come and take their pick!  I have some pansies, too.  I have been spraying the pumpkins with Pledge furniture polish and I think that is keeping the squirrels away.  That and Milo playing sentry.
I wanted to show you these beautiful fall runners (minus one) that I ordered from Judy at 20 North Ora.  She is filled with tons of creativity and I fell in love with these runners in her shop.  Since my table is small, she made these to order, and because she is SO sweet, she included the one on the top left with the holly as a gift!  You have to go over to her blog and have a look in her shop.  Even The Husband, who does a lot of heavy sighing when I get packages in the mail, was truly impressed with these.  And it really is hard to find shorter runners, I usually have to fold mine. 

I hope all of you have a wonderful first week of October.  Soon the leaves will be falling, the bon fires going and happy pumpkin faces everywhere.  Enjoy! :)