Saturday, April 11, 2015


Happy Weekend!  It's a wonderful 60 degrees in Chicago and the clouds and rain have finally disappeared.  Wednesday night brought some serious thunderstorms and high winds to our area, but the worst devastation occurred in a small town named Fairdale, about 80 miles northwest of Chicago.   It happened in the early evening so it was very hard to see the damage, but watching our news at 10:00 p.m., the reporters at the site were quite shaken.  And the Chicago weatherperson that I like so much...he had been on and off the air almost all day with warnings of the treacherous weather heading our way.  As he reported on what now is known to have been an EF-4 tornado (winds over 200 mph), he actually had to pause as his voice broke.  A whole town, gone in a matter of minutes.  Tiny as it was...a population of about 150 people, surrounded by farmland for miles and miles, this compassionate man was clearly feeling that emotion when things are out of our hands.  Two lives were lost, which is almost a miracle since there are no homes or structures left.  I'm seeing on the news now that people are being allowed back into the town and volunteers are coming in droves with wheelbarrows and shovels...shelters are receiving donations of food, water, soap, name it.  And God bless the Red Cross.  You can click on the link if you want to make a donation.

Well, see those happy girls?  Abby and her roomies, or should I say "house-ies".  The Husband and I took them out to dinner for Abby's birthday Tuesday night.  I drove with her boyfriend, Tom, and The Husband met us from his office.  I mentioned in my last post that Abby had chosen a restaurant within walking distance, called Tango Sur.  As Tom and I were driving there, we both became a little curious about the name and type of restaurant it was, so I Googled it (and it's strange that I hadn't done that, it's just a weird habit of mine when I try a new place).  Well, Tom nearly drove off the road when he heard me gasp.  "OMG!  BYOB!"  Sheer panic.  What is a big birthday celebration without lots of wine?  Texts flew and provisions were secured.  Check.  Oh, the restaurant was Argentinian...the best steaks and empanadas evah.

And we had a ball at the mall. We browsed through Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma, Macy's and Gap.  It was there they I found these pants and it was love at first sight.  I've been wearing tapered pants and jeans for years now...and I like that for boots and flats.  And then I saw a pic of Amal Clooney (don't you just love her style?) in wide leg short pants.  So I have these to wear to the shower, I'm not going so casual as this picture with shoes like this...maybe another time, this is at a country club.  So I'm going to try those kitten heels I showed you here.  And then maybe a cardigan with a bright scarf or necklace?  Emily is the queen of chunky jewelry so I my have a peek at her stash.

So about this clay.  I mentioned to all of you that I get daily emails from a site called Mind Body Green.  It's just so interesting, I could spend the whole day reading the "articles" that cover anything from food to beauty to psychology.  So I was researching natural face masks...I'm really getting into the "out with the old and in with the new" when it comes to skincare as I get older.  My skin has always been so dry, I simply moisturized day and night and very heavily so.  Now I'm learning: exfoliate.  Get rid of those dead cells so the healthy skin can shine through.  Don't let your lotions and potions sit on that dead needs to penetrate.  I use a very gentle exfoliator by Aveeno about 3 times a week in the shower.  And then I came across an article on Mind Body Green about making your own masks, which takes it one step further and gets your skin deep down clean and healthy.  I thought it was so cool when the writer said that we probably already had the ingredients for these natural skin treatments in our pantry.  And then I read that the first ingredient for her mask was bentonite clay.  Oh, do I have that in the fridge, cabinet or out in the backyard?  Maybe I'm fresh out.  Seriously, I was sort of excited about it since it's been used since ancient times to draw toxins and impurities out of the skin.  The clay has a negative charge so it draws toxins (which have a positive charge) out of the skin where it binds to the clay.  Fascinating?  Now before you grab a shovel and start digging to China, I consulted my best friend Google and wow, you can get this stuff anywhere!  Health food stores, name it.  I found the best price at and ordered a small jar of it.  You simply mix a tablespoon of the clay with 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and then let it stay on your face and harden for 5-10 minutes.  I'm going to be your guinea pig!  You can read the whole article here, and also get the recipe for the all natural oat/brown sugar/honey facial scrub.  I'm going to try that one, too. 

I hope I haven't bored you.  I have control issues that have nothing to do with other people, I could care less what any of you do! :)   But I have a real drive to be in control of myself---my health, body and mind.  Okay, my house and garden, car, pets...well, you know what I mean.  

I'm pretty relieved to say that Milo has started on the anti-seizure meds and he is not acting lethargic at all.  Nor is he sleeping more than usual.  He's still sort of clingy in the evenings but there's really nothing wrong with that, I'm just not used to him following me.  Thank you for your nice comments and prayers.  We will see the vet in a few weeks to talk about the tumor.  

We are leaving in a bit to go to a House Warming Party for Abby and her "house-ies".  She really liked my glass drink dispenser with the spout so I found one at Kohl's for her and the girls as a gift.  And I didn't have a gift for her when we went out to dinner for her birthday so I found a cute pair of flats and a necklace at American Eagle, as well as a little gift card so she can choose her own things.  And I ordered a bunch of pics through Walgreens for her to put in frames in her room.   I kept meaning to do that for her and so she's going to be surprised.  The party theme is Taco Bar, so I'm making a Jalapeno Popper Dip and Mexican Won Tons, and so I have to scoot.  I have two hours before we leave.  

I'll be back next week.

Jane xx


Susie said...

Blondie, I love reading about all the things you do with your loved ones. That baby is adorable. I know it touched your heart to see your child with his baby. I like what you got your girl for her birthday. She's cute, like her mom. :) Blessings to all of you, xoxo,Susie
p.s. glad Milo is doing better.

Lynne said...

Ah Jane, I so understand what you are saying when you see your son being a daddy. When you see your daughters be mommies I promise it will be one of God's greatest gifts in life. A truly blessed connection.

I too have moved to natural skincare. I have been using Kari Gran for 1 year this week.

Thank you for the tip about Nuxe, and the Skinfix lotion you use from Target. My eczema is triggered by food allergies. Have you ever been allergy tested? I am allergic to pork, rice and soy (You KNOW that I LOVE Asian food, and BACON). I thank God that I am not allergic to Italian food. Although I did have to stop eating raw tomatoes for three years, and can now have them. (Certain foods can trigger migraines too.)

Poor little Fairdale. The amazing thing about those little towns is that they all pull together and help one another. The Red Cross is one of the best organizations out there because you know that your money does not go to fill the pockets of administrators.

Hugs to Milo!

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Happy Saturday sweet Jane,
I watched and followed the devastation of the tornados on CNN. The fury of Mother Nature is oftentimes cruel ... But I will say the human spirit prevails and all our prayers are being said and sent.
What a sweet Birthday celebration for Abby. Jane I adore your family. Precious Grand, cherish every moment for they grow up very quickly!
Incredible beautiful blue flowers and yes you're right not many true blue flowers.
I have very fair/delicate skin and I swear by Clinque, used it like forever. Morning and night I use their sonic purifying cleansing brush. Feels wonderful, brings all the impurities to the surface and skin feels soft and very clean. I've never tried clay I'll goggle it. Hey Jane perhaps we are Google sisters!
Be well, be happy.

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Oh Jane I forgot to give a high five paw in the air for sweet Milo.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

I told you you would love being a grandma, Jane! Doesn't your heart just want to burst with happiness. I can believe you teared up seeing your son with his own little one.

Good thing you googled that restaurant BEFORE you got there.

I used to do color consultations, too, when I had my interior decorating business. You would be surprised at how many. I think a lot of people just want to be sure they are picking the right color. Plus, they can blame you if they don't like it!

Debby said...

I'm a little behind in the bloggy world. So sorry about Milo. My nephew is named Milo. Our last springer had a huge cancerous mass removed. He went on to live a good two years after that. I don't know why dogs are so prone to that. I myself had the cancer for of lipomas. It's very rare for humans. And, hey it's been 25 years now.
Your Easter dinner looked so nice. Hubby and I went to church and out to a steak house. Seemed a bit strange but the kids were all getting back from Spring Break.
I am trying to use all natural or as close to as possible in skin products. I love the BOOM products esp. for dry skin. I just used a clay mask today. It was by Ava Anderson.
The baby is adorable. She's at the cuddly stage now. Isn't it fun being a grandma.
I hope you have a good rest of the week-end. Hugs

Debby said...

I'm back. I forgot to say something about the tornado. That was a big one. It is amazing to take out all those homes but only 2 people didn't survive. It was a scary week for the Midwest for sure.

Kathleen said...

Hi Jane, haven't been here or anywhere for that matter in awhile. So happy to see your son and his wife made you a gma, it is the best! I only have one son and they have given us 5 ! Such a blessing! I would be fine with the BYOB place, I don't drink, never did. I guess I saw it ruin too many families. One vice I don't have to worry about, lol!

Kit said...

You are definitely not a bore! I love hearing about your goings on. We were following on the weather station the tornado in IL. They had a shot of a storm chaser filming it and it looked so scary. When the crawl came over about the little town, my heart sunk. :( Take care out there! Kit

Mary said...

As always dear Jane, loads of news of all the goings on around your home - you are one busy family! Glad Milo is doing better.
Belated Happy Birthday to Abby.
Love, Mary

Gypsy Heart said...

My thoughts and prayers have been with all those in the tornado's path. I've lived through 1 and pray I never do again!

There's nothing like being a grandparent ~ enjoy every moment you can. I loved being with Alex and Abby and the different stages are so fun! I only wish I'd had as much time with my own kids. A mom is always so busy but honestly, the "stuff" can wait ~ little ones can't.

Hope Milo continues to be ok. I think they're scared once they begin to have seizures and want to be close to you. That happened with one of my daughter's dogs.

We've had some beautiful days lately! A bit too warm when we get into the 80's. :)

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Doreen@foxdenrd said...

I use DHC skincare and have for years. If they ever discontinued their olive oil cleanser I would slit my wrists, but that's not likely going to happen because I think it's the #1 selling skincare product in the world. If you have sensitive skin, be careful about exfoliating too much. I've read many articles that say as we get older we should exfoliate less...once a week is plenty, even for women who don't have sensitive skin.

Thank goodness Milo is feeling better. Having those seizures probably scared the poop out of him and he wants to make sure he's not alone.

The baby is beautiful, and I'm sure the feeling of seeing her with your son was a touching moment for you.

Tornados are so frightening and devastating! Last week I was watching The Wizard of Oz. Hadn't seen it in years, but I never tire of it. I think the Red Cross is truly one of the best organizations ever!

We still have snow out our window, so flowers are a few weeks away still. Ugh!


Doreen@foxdenrd said...

I use DHC skincare and have for years. If they ever discontinued their olive oil cleanser I would slit my wrists, but that's not likely going to happen because I think it's the #1 selling skincare product in the world. If you have sensitive skin, be careful about exfoliating too much. I've read many articles that say as we get older we should exfoliate less...once a week is plenty, even for women who don't have sensitive skin.

Thank goodness Milo is feeling better. Having those seizures probably scared the poop out of him and he wants to make sure he's not alone.

The baby is beautiful, and I'm sure the feeling of seeing her with your son was a touching moment for you.

Tornados are so frightening and devastating! Last week I was watching The Wizard of Oz. Hadn't seen it in years, but I never tire of it. I think the Red Cross is truly one of the best organizations ever!

We still have snow out our window, so flowers are a few weeks away still. Ugh!


Fox and Finch Antiques said...

Jane, Wow...that was an interesting post with a lot of great information and ideas. Except...what do you mean you don't care what we do! We want you to care what we do! I was scared Friday night when the tornado warning and watching sirens went on and stayed on. I started calling all my neighbors in the apartments to come to my building because mine (a prior bank) is so strong. Of course, they would have had to come out in the hail if they wanted to come over. Just after I quieted down. I can not imagine what the people went through in that small town. Absolutely terrifying. Oh, the poor families of the two people killed.
I wrote you about my friends Lab who has a cancerous mass on her tail. The friend doesn't have the money for it all and I think she gets 750.00 a month on disability. That is another scary thing. For someone to work hard all their lives and then be reduced to nothing and can't work, had to sell the car and all her stuff. Oh, the world can be a sad place.
The other comments were interesting, also. I learned a lot from this post.
Happy about your grandchild. That is joyful news.

JoAnne said...

You are a busy lady, Jane! I really admire how close you are to your adult children and how generous and thoughtful you are with your time and the special gifts you select for them. It says a lot about you that they still want you to be so much a part of their lives. I love the pants you found for the shower and your shoes will be perfect with them. You will look beautiful!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

The weather in the mid-west and the tornados is frightening and horrendous to see. Those people who lived through it now must cope with the aftermath. The American people are very generous and the worst of times brings out the best in people.

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Sending lots of prayers to the people affected by the tornado. The Red Cross is amazing. Little Elsie is so cute! I know you were happy to see her. :) Hope you had fun at the house warming party!

Bluebird49 said...

Hi kiddo--you ARE all over the place, and that means you're busy and a lot is going on! We saw on the news about that terrible tornado. I'm so sorry for those people, and glad you weren't affected by the storms in that way.
Sounds like you all had a great time for Abbie's birthday--and got the wine in time! lol. Glad you were looking for the "signs."
Of course Elsie's a beautiful baby-I know you were happy when her daddy brought her by to see you all.
Wish I had taken better care if my skin, now of's soooo dry--of course, and with no estrogen at all, and at my age, I guess I could expect it. I do try to moisturize, but my hair is very dry and very thin and getting thinner. I wish I knew if there was some supplement that I could take to get my body to MAKE more moisture. ( Think the complete hysterectomy years ago, (and not able to take any HRT because of blood clots, didn't help things any.) And now the kidney problem might be a factor...I'll ask my doctor.I see lots of women older than I with very thick, wonderful hair--so maybe it's just how mine would be anyway. I wonder if with my thin skin--it would be wise to exfoliate, too. I do love those brown sugar scrubs though---there are so many DIY

Write when you have time, and let me know how Milo is doing--I know you don't mind him being needy sometimes. He wants to be hear his 'mommy' right now, I'm sure. Glad you and Emily had a good working shopping trip, too--I know you look forward to those days.:) xxx

Brenda Pruitt said...

Pretty baby, yes she is! You seem to have so much going on. I wouldn't know what to do.

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

What a great post, Jane. Thanks so much for all the information. I am going to try the scrubs. The baby is beautiful. I got a really special Thank You note from them thanking me for the throw and booties.
So glad that Milo is much better.
So glad that Spring has arrived in Chicago Land. I know how much you love your garden. Did you get to see my last post with my garden? It is doing so good and my veggies are doing great. Tomatoes are blooming already.
Abby's Birthday party sounds like lots of fun and her room mates all look like nice young ladies.
Sounds like your really busy, but that's a good thing.
Take care of yourself.

Debbie said...

First....I would fight to hold that little girl too! What a doll!!
Love the slacks!
Your daughter is just the cutest thing! Glad she had a nice birthday.
Happy to hear Milo is doing well.
Hopefully my Spring bulbs will be coming up real soon. I love the Grape Hyacinths, and bring some inside every year.
Have a great week, dear friend.
Love you.

June said...

I just LOVE our chats Jane! We may as well be hanging over our fences or sitting at your table. Loved the photo of Abby and her friends. Darling girls and I know you must have had so much fun at dinner with them.
I am so relieved to read that you were safe from the tornado, but so sad for those whose homes and everything they possessed were not spared from the devastation. I love that you wrote about the news man and his emotion over the whole thing. It makes one know of so much of the goodness in others and that all these things effect us all in some way.
sending hugs your way...

Terri Steffes said...

This was so fun! So many interesting things going on! I love those pants, too. I am going to have to put them on my list when I am slim enough for such things. I didn't know about the skin products. I am fortunate enough not to have any skin conditions but my friends do. Perhaps I can share the information. Fairdale was a sad story for us in St. Louis, too. I am so grateful for the Red Cross and all they do. I know our local Red Cross was activated to come and help. You are so lucky to be a grandma!! I hope that is something that I get to experience. So far, no. Hope you had a lovely Sunday!

Barbara F. said...

It is nearly 2 am and I am having sleep issues! Obviously. :-) I get my deep sleep in the a.m. Good thing I am retired! Love your posts, you have such an easy breezy writing style that I love. Your baby grand is so adorable, bless her. Can't wait to hear about the housewarming and baby shower.

Also, I recently started having a severe problem with ezcema. I had to eliminate all yeast products, and it has cleared up quite a bit. When I fall off the wagon, it starts to appear. Something to think about?

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow / Sacred Eclectic said...

I remember worrying about you in Chicago when that horrible weather was predicted. Our forecast was for severe storms but not tornadoes and such.

As always you have such a nice, varied interesting post! :)

Traci said...

Elsie is just too cute!! I know you're thoroughly enjoying her. So glad to hear Milo is doing well!

Lulu said...

Boy, Jane, you are just full of yourself in this much information. Gratefully, most of what you have to say is good news especially the part about spring arriving in Chicago. I can only guess how glad you are for that. Your life is full your spirit is great and it's wonderful to share it with you.

Unknown said...

Elsie is a doll, and growing so much! Sounds like you've been busy as usual. Can't wait to hear about the results of the natural masks. I have very dry skin too, and it's worse as I've aged! :( Let us know how they work. Happy birthday to Abby!!

Carla from The River said...

You do such a great job teaching us new things. I love that about you.
Have a great week,

Melanie said...

Happy birthday to Abby! Hope the housewarming party was lots of fun. Elsie sure is growing quickly...

I hope Milo is still doing well on his medication, poor pup.

I follow MindBodyGreen on FB. They have some really good articles.

That tornado was only 10 miles from Tim. :-o

Lori said...

So glad that Milo is not having serious side effects from the meds. You have so much going on ~ and spring! finally!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hi Jane,
So happy tp see the picture of your darling grand-daughter! What a pretty baby girl!
I like your new pants. I have been too chicken to try that style but you give me inspiration!
Your daughter is so cute and looks like she had a great party.
So friend, looking forward to planning our get together.
Hugs to you,

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Jane, Love your little one. So very cute and I know you are the best grandmother. I always enjoy catching up with all you have going on. You really are a busy girl.
Love the style of your new pants.
Glad your Milo is doing better.
Isn't it wonderful to have a new season?
So glad you are enjoying springtime after the long cold winter.

We had bad storms here last night with winds all around up to 60+ mph. Thankfully they missed us at only 20 mph but that was enough with the hail and rain. 30 thousand people were without power. This is springtime in Texas!!
Take good care and enjoy a nice Sunday evening.
Hugs and Blessings for a great week ahead.

thistlewoodfarm said...

Beautiful family! Loved all the colorful flowers!