Tuesday, May 19, 2015


I also mentioned in my last post that I had Charlie (The Painter) do Abigail's old room.  It's a soft gray with crisp white trim and I absolutely love it.  I just can't seem to get a good photo of it and I have some pieces of furniture in the center of the room.  I'm making better progress on this room, and it's surprising as this will be a guest room and I can't imagine why for the life of me why we need a guest room..  We've never had guests in our life!  Abby has been a frequent one since she moved out in February but she's happier than a clam sleeping on the sofa in the family room.  Anywho, I found an upholstered linen headboard at Pier 1 that I can pick up in a few days and I'm almost finished painting a dresser.  Lots more to do but I feel like I'm chipping away at it.  :)

The shower was held at Deirdre's sister's house.  Katie and her husband have been renovating their home for over a year and the architectural work is simply stunning.  For all of us to wander around oohing and ahhing without much furniture to look at, you have to know this is going to be a beautiful home.  

Maeve, Deirdre's mom, made all of the food; three different sorts of small sandwiches with her own homemade condiments on each.  A very different (to me) wild rice salad with dried fruit and veggies served at room temperature, as well as a few other side dishes.  The desserts were plates of cupcakes and brownies, as well as sorbet with a dollop of blackberry sauce.  Since Katie hasn't yet furnished the whole house, two tables for ten were set up in the dining room and another in the breakfast nook.  Tablecloths, candles and beautiful centerpieces of white lilies in simple vases completed the ambiance.  Sorry---no pictures.  I didn't want to intrude, especially since we were being introduced to so many of Deirdre's family and friends for the first time.  We really had a wonderful time.  

Sunday we had another social event.  My niece, Lizzie, graduated from high school and they had a party for her afterward (she's off to Villanova in New York in the fall---bragging rights!). Great food, good times.  Family is everything.  I love this picture of my two sons, Jeff and Kevin, together here.  And look at Kevin with a protective hand on Elsie's stroller.  He's like mama bear.  He's obsessed with her.  It's absolutely fascinating to watch him and MC take care of her.  I've never seen such love and devotion firsthand.  And they chose Jeff to be the Godfather along with MC's sister, Nora, as Godmother.  The Christening is on Father's Day next month.

Layered Greek Salad Dip

 2 large tomatoes, diced
2 cups cucumber, peeled and diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
2 T. dried oregano, divided
3/4  cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
16 oz. (or 2 cups) plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 t. salt and pepper each
1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
1/2 c. red pepper. diced
1/4 cup sliced black olives

 In a casserole dish at least 3 inches deep, layer tomatoes.  Top with cucumbers (in order, in layers), red onion and green peppers.  I smooshed the layers down with a spatula to make room for everything.  Sprinkle with a pinch of the salt and pepper.

Now do a fine layer of half the feta cheese, half the oregano and half the parsley.  Add dollops of the yogurt over this and press it down with a spatula.  A tip--press and spread like you are frosting a cake.  Do not lift the spatula up and down or it will pull up the layers and make a holy mess. Sprinkle with another bit of S & P.

Finally, make a layer of the romaine lettuce, remaining feta, olives, red pepper, oregano and parsley.  Chill for 1 hour.  Serve cold or room temp with crackers or pita chips.  Serves 10,000. :)

On the Home Front...The Mi gets his stitches out tomorrow and the evil cone off.  He is so miserable with that thing.  His ears are pressed forward and they, along with his neck, itch him terribly.  I can only scratch him so much.  He learned awhile ago how to maneuver around walls and furniture but he has a hard time hearing with this contraption on and it makes me so sad.  The guy is going to get the scrubbing and brushing of his life tomorrow afternoon!

The Husband, my sons, and several others are leaving for their hiking/camping trip in Colorado at the end of the week.  You would think my guy was going to appear on a season of Survivor.  Still, I love how much he is into this...how he worked out at the gym for four months to get the strength and endurance up.  All the research he did from purifying water from streams to burying your...well, doo doo so the bears don't know what you ate the night before.  TMI.  Totally.  But a precaution in the wild.  

Bedtime.  Glad to know I've brought you up to date in this long absence.  We just had a change in  weather forecast from warm temps to the 40's this week.  I may be covering my plants in plastic like the geek I never thought I'd be, but you gotta do what you gotta do.  And I have plenty of painting indoors to keep me busy. :)

Jane x

Joining Amaze Me Monday and Tweak It Tuesday.  Thanks ladies!!


Pondside said...

Yes,Jane, cover up those plants!
Your posts are always so full of life - I enjoy every one of them. It sounds like the activity isn't going to let up any time soon, with another wedding on the horizon!

Bluebird49 said...

Oh my, busy one! Sounds like your beloved wants the final say, huh!
The flowers are so colorful --and so is that salad!
Can't wait to see how much color the rooms will have...just so there's no blood making things ...um...red. ;)
I still have NOT fun sinus AND tummy problems. (Think the tummy prob.is coming from the antibiotic for the sinus.So you wanna talk about TMI, huh!)
Still hoping to leave Weds..and I'm saving my new book to take to read on the way, and while we visit. I'll let you know what I think--and again, I just want to thank you, dear Jane, for everything!
xxx Trudy
PX--LOVE the shoes

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

You are such a busy lady and it sounds like you really had lots of fun things to attend.
Your salad looks so good - thanks for the recipe.
Can hardly wait to see the den and bedroom. I know you will be happy when those rooms are completed. So glad that Milo is doing so well and that he will get the cone off.
Love your new shoes and I bet you looked stunning at the Bridal shower.
Take care my dear friend - looking forward to seeing all your pretty flowers.
Have a great week.

SImple and Serene Living said...

Sounds like a very busy week, Jane. The flowers are beautiful. Isn't it wonderful to get back out in the garden. Thanks for the salad recipe. I'm eating a lot of salads at the moment. xo Laura

Stacey said...

Your food always looks so yummy. Love your description of veggies being like candy to you now. Please do share some of those recipes. I've determined that this is going to be our summer of veggies and fruits. We made a trip to Costco yesterday and bought tons of both so we are ready to start.

It's so much fun to have a room painted. There's nothing like a fresh coat of paint to make things feel perfectly new.

You've been busy with social events. We have had lots of things on the calendar too but my MIL has been ill and staying with us. I think things are getting back to normal now.

Enjoy planting those flowers. I often reminisce about picking out flowers with my boys too. Those were the days. :)

Rita C at Panoply said...

Love your shoes! Love that your son picked his brother as godfather and that the baptism will be on Father's Day, and love that Greek salad dip. I make a similar dish, a Greek orzo pasta salad, using most of those ingredients (some of the spices are in the dressing). Happy to hear Milo is a survivor.

Kim said...

Busy, busy busy, but with so many good things! It's that time of year, isn't it? We haven't planted yet, still too cold for anything but pansies. I am really hoping that by this weekend I can (literally) dig in! I like your book. Every now and again, I splurge on one too...and yes, always at Amazon. I have an aversion to paying retail as well! ;)

Leslie said...

Wow Jane... You've been busy!!!! This time of year seems to always be filled with fun engagements. I can't wait to see the new rooms. I know they will look great. Speaking of great.. that salad looks amazing. I'll have to give it a try. Have a great week.

Susie said...

Blondie, Love those shoes...I would wear those and dance in them...if I could. Such pretty girls. Oh to be so young with life stretched out before me. :):) You are always making something good to eat. That looks wonderful. Hope you got the flowers planted. You have plenty to keep you busy . Blessings to all, xoxo,Susie

Theresa said...

I loved hearing what you have been up to:) I know the hubby will be prepared for his trip, sounds like fun! Enjoy your day and thanks for that recipe! I will most definitely try it! HUGS!

Kathleen Grace said...

We are heavily into wedding shower and graduation open house time here, the shower you attended sounded beautiful, they are always so much fun to decorate. Your home decorating sounds like mine, fraught with indecision and going slow. We will prevail though right? The veggie book looks great. I find myself craving more vegetables lately but I get so tired of the same old plain way of fixing them. Thanks for the recipe! Have a great Memorial weekend :)

Barb said...

Hi Jane,
I have missed you very much! You have so much going on and you handle it all beautifully.
I think your re-do is going to come out beautifully. 30 years??? You should have those buttons down. i am still learning after 12 years. Ugh (just kidding).

Those shoes rock!
love you friend. xoxo

Nancy's Notes said...

Now Jane, I'm happy you had an explanation about All of those plants!! Your life is so busy, hard to keep up with you, isn't like grand? Love it! I'm a shoe nut, loving yours! Thank you for that scrumptious salad dip recipe, I'll try soon! Have a great week and can't wait to see what you have in store for us!

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Thank you for the recipe! That pic on IG looked wonderful! Poor Milo is probably counting down the seconds until that cone comes off. You'll probably see an immediate change in his demeanor. He'll be ecstatic with joy! Lol! Love that you still shop at the same nursery. I think about how I used to have my boys in the cart too...but their favorite was being UNDER the cart. Ha! Boys. :)

Stan and Jody Gabara said...

Jane, Love all your beautiful plants you found!! Always love stopping by and catching up on your busy life.
I wish I had your energy!! Love your new black shoes too! I have to check out that cookbook, it looks like they have a lot of healthy recipes!! The Greek salad looks amazing!!

Susan Freeman said...

Your layered Greek salad recipe looks so good. Can't wait to try it. Did you go to Old Orchard for your shoes? I went there so often while growing up and in college too.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

podso said...

Now that you have a guest room you might find yourself using it! You have had a lot going on … what a year! I'm sure your yard is beautiful with all those flowers.

Sonia said...

Wow Jane ...you have been a busy girl! This time of year with graduations, weddings is a fun time but can be exhausting. Love you new shoes you got for the shower. Great style and of course black shoes are my favorites since they go with everything. That shopping basket full of plants just makes me happy. So cute you have been taking your daughter with you there all those years. You'll have to take some pictures of your garden and pots when you get everything planted. We are having lots of rain and storms so I've been inside this week. Maybe I'll get some cleaning done! LOL Have a great weekend!
Miss Bloomers

June said...

Always so much going on at your house Jane and I love catching up with you. I hope you show us photos of the pots you planted. You are one busy lady my dear!
sending hugs...

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

You have such a full, rich life Jane, full of good times and loving family. you're so fortunate, but I think you know that.

Those shoes are fab, and I'm picturing you in that outfit you described and I bet you could have photo bombed that picture of all the pretty girls and everyone would think you were all the same age.

Now about that furniture...you said hubby is going away for a few days? Well, go ahead and order the stuff you want while he's away. He's a man for Pete's sake, and he's straight too, so wtf??. Do what you want and if he complains tell him househoney made you do it ;).

Sarah said...

Busy, wonderful times at your place, ALWAYS! Will try to catch up soon. We are busy here all the sudden with big changes. We have put our home on the market and plan to move to a one story town house.

An Oasis in the Desert said...

You have certainly been busy, Jane! I'm a bit envious of all the gorgeous plants since I have to wait until Fall to plant petunias & such. I do have several mums that are in full bloom from last Fall, because we have actually had quite a nice Spring. I bet you are loving that new grandbaby -- if only they didn't grow up so quickly.....boohoo. I really enjoy cookbooks, too, even though I get recipes more and more from Pinterest. I really should weed out some of mine -- they are really old and have recipes with ingredients that we don't eat any more. Well, I hope you enjoy your "stay-cation" while your hubby is away. Those are actually quite enjoyable once in awhile!

Primitive Stars said...

Oh Jane, had to cover my plants last night, very frosty night...looks like a wonderful time, love those shoes. Nice to have a guest bedroom, that Greek layered salad looks mouthwatering.Take Cate,Francine.

Debra@CommonGround said...

I always love seeing your family pics and all the gatherings you all have. Big families make for lot's of fun. OK, totally loving your shoes. they look chic AND comfortable.

Michele M./ Finch Rest said...

Hi Jane! Wow, you all have been super busy! Doesn't it feel great that spring is finally here and we can plant flowers again?

Your family is beautiful, as you are.

Thanks for your sweet and kind words.
They are heartfelt and appreciated.

Big Hugs.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I have wanted a grey room with white trim for a couple of years now. I went as far as buying the paint, but it still sits in my basement unopened. Maybe someday, but Someday never comes.

The recipe for the salad sounds delish.

Art and Sand said...

That Greek salad looks amazing!

Maria Elena said...

You have been busy! Love those shoes!!! :) xxx Maria

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

I always enjoy reading your weekly share of Blondies Journal. Your family closeness and love oozes through your words. Refreshing and heartwarming, my family is tiny now and scattered about the states. When we get together it's a plane ride! I envy you Jane with having your loved ones near.
Cool shoes! I never thought about Milo's hearing being impaired by wearing that cone. Poor little guy tolerating it. He is going to do the doggie happy dance today to be free once again!
I make a Mexican salad dip the has all that chopping action (no wonder we have carpal tunnel) I am going to try out your recipe, it seems very refreshing and yummy.
Stop by tonight I am posting.

Barb said...


Well, you are certainly a busy little bee with all the gatherings and such. You have such a rich and full life and it is apparent in your posts...love hearing about all of it.

The flowers are gorgeous and the salad looks ever so delicious.

Hope your week is wonderful and you can have some of our warmth...summer is here already! Yikes!

Barb xo

RURAL said...

oh my gosh greek salad...!!!! Love it, and now I'm drooling even though it's only morning.

That book looks really lovely...and have you seen Plenty More? I got it for my birthday full of veggie recipes!

Love your rooms..and a gorgeous color.

Now I'm off to move the sprinkler before it gets too wet out there.


Melanie said...

Cute shoes...you are so lucky you can wear them! I have such "bad" (sore) feet that I can't wear heels anymore, nor any shoes that don't have a super comfy bottom with lots of arch support. Skechers Go Walk shoes have been my saving grace lately. Hey, maybe you can decorate the den when your hubby is on his camping trip. ;-) Your Greek dip looks delish...I made a similar one last year (mine used hummus) and took to a party and it was a huge hit, so I can see why yours was, too. Covering plants when it's cold...I get email updates from a nursery out here. They say to never use plastic; to use old bedsheets or even cardboard. I didn't know why so I looked it up. It sounds like plastic doesn't offer enough insulation. Just a FYI! I didn't cover any of mine last night...I hope they'll be OK.

Babs said...

Jane, I always enjoy seeing what's happening at your house. Looking forward to seeing your guest room and your Greek salad dip is making me sooo hungry. I'm headed to the store for ingredients, then to the garden center. LOL..it's all your fault.
Just kidding. :)

Lidy@FrenchGardenHouse said...

I loved this post, I feel like I've been able to catch up with your life. Busy, beautiful, and great! Thanks for the recipe, I'm going to try it. We are in full vegetable, fruit and salad mode at our house, trying to be healthier as we get older. :) xoxo

Traci said...

The flowers are gorgeous! It's amazing how different a room looks without wallpaper! That salad looks amazing! I love greek salads!

Jacqueline said...

So fun to be out in the garden. It seems like this time of year is so full of celebrations. How wonderful! I love your shoes. I have some similar ones. They are adorable.
Your appetizer looks wonderful. I love chopped salads and tiny chopped things. I don't necessarily love to chop them small but got one of those chopper gadgets at Bed Bath and Beyond and it works pretty well on tomatoes, onions, cukes, etc. I will have to try it out on this!

Beth said...

Jane, glad Milo is recovering. Your flowers are lovely and what a great looking group of young men and women in your family!
Hugs, Beth

Mila said...

Haha upgrading the buttons once in a while ;)Good one!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I've been catching up on all your happenings…happy that Milo is doing so well, sorry about the red tape at the lake house, and it sounds like you have been creating some delicious meals to share with your family and friends.

Penny said...

Great to catch up with you. Glad Milo is doing better. It sounds like you have been busy and happy. Hope Al has a great time on his trip. The salad recipe is great! Hugs, Penny

Deborah said...

Jane it sounds like you have been having a good old time! Lol Always such fun to drop in and see what you,ve been up to. By the way, I love that movie "Somethings gotta give" Too funny!
My daughter teased me about Diane keatons crying scenes and she says I am exactly like her. its funny because Ive had people tell me I look like her. Until that point I didn't even know who she was. :s Anyway, love hearing from you and those look like fabulous shoes! Have a great weekend Jane!

All my heart,
Deborah xoxo

Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home said...

Busy, busy! Love your shoes and all those beautiful blooms!
Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!