Wednesday, August 12, 2015


My wild and wooly flower bed at the lakehouse.  We were there last Sunday and I took a tour of the grounds.  It's not as bad as I thought after having been neglected for 9 months, as I purposely chose plants that would bloom from spring to fall.  These must be mid-summer.  Still, I wish I had been there to fertilize and add more mulch...tidy it up a bit.  But we're good. 
Oh, I've been a busy bee as usual but the end is in sight, thank goodness.  Dear Daughter Abby (don't you love her ombre hair color?) was set to return to work this past Monday and really wanted a visit from her sister and I to her neighborhood on the Northside.  So Emily and I headed up last Thursday and we really had a good time.  We had lunch at a small café that also boasts a little grocery.  One of their specialties is Bread Pudding Pancakes.  Oh my gosh, we ordered it for a dessert of sorts, they  are served with a bit of warm cream poured over and a little sprinkle of cinnamon.  I was in heaven.  And...they sell the packaged mix which is mainly bread cubes and the flour and other dry ingredients.  Has anyone made this from scratch?  When I actually make them I'll show you in a post and give you the website---I think you can order the mix.  But let's figure it out. 
Abby lives one block over from a main street that has both chain stores like Gap, Francesca's, American Eagle, Paper Source, etc.  Bit there are also a lot of boutiques, gift shops and locally owned places.  I loved it. 
We came upon a farmer's market right there on the sidewalk.  They were just getting ready to close up.  Here you can see a large tent that housed it's own little flower market.  We loved the lady/owner.  I could have had a field day (no pun intended), but I had bought a bunch of tea roses on sale at the grocery the day before.  Very tempting though.  Here's Em saying,"You know you want these sunflowers, Mom!"
All in all a good day.  Isn't Chicago beautiful?  I would love to invite all of you here and take you to all of my favorite places.  Look at that sky!  The weather was gorgeous that day.
The next day The Husband and I were back downtown again as he had his yearly tests (his own business, as he prefers).  I had a three hour wait and spent it in the hospital waiting room and in spite of having to walk around every 45 minutes or so to work the kinks out of my back, I caught up on my reading uninterrupted.  In fact, I was a little overzealous about this reading time, I packed two heavy books, one fiction, one non-fiction as well as my Nook which has a variety of magazines I subscribe to and many books in my library, two of which I'm in the middle of.  Oh, my word.  That purse was heavy.  What was I thinking?  Still, I made a dent.  I never thought I'd be the type to have more than one book going but it's working-I can read what I'm in the mood for. 
After the tests, we worked off his wooziness by walking over to Gino's East, a great place for deep dish pizza.  A big pick-me-up after a long day.  And happily he got his results Monday and everything is A-Okay.  A real sigh of happiness.
 Some flowers I planted at the lake.  Some of the seed heads were almost dried up on these coneflowers so I pinched a few off to bring home.  So, do I plant these now, in the fall, or in the spring?  Please help.
You remember I cleaned up the front of the lakehouse last summer and if I can humbly say, landscaped a border all along it.  On our visit I found these growing.  What the heck are they?  I really don't remember planting anything like this.  We have so many birds all about, I get a lot of volunteer plants, maybe this is the reason they're here.  Again, anyone know what this is?  Whoa, I have a lot of questions in this post!
Now the sad, hard part.  The reason we were at the lake.  You might remember that we lost our good friend Bob in December after a well fought battle with cancer.  Bob built our lakehouse and when he and his wife Sharon sold it to us, we all became very, very good friends.  It was so hard to lose Bob.  You can read my posts here and here.  Friday morning we received a call that Sharon was terminally ill and hospice had been called in.  We had absolutely no idea.  I talked with her daughter, Becky, who is also my good, dear friend, and she very honestly told me it was a matter of days.  We wasted no time and a day later we drove to the lake---I so wanted to see Sharon one last time.  I think she recognized us, she said, "I'm so glad you came up", and then she drifted off.  We spent a few hours with Becky and her husband and daughter.  Then we went to the lakehouse to inspect things and that was dreadful, nothing changed.
Just two hours ago I got the call from Becky that Sharon passed away this morning.  Writing this post right now is a good distraction.  The Husband and I have both shared out feelings in the last hour a great deal about Sharon and Bob, and how they welcomed us to the lake.  You know, after the tribute I wrote about my sister in law who passed away just two weeks ago, I simply can't do that again now for this special friend, I'm just beaten down it seems.  A memorial will be held for Sharon at some point soon, and she asked that she and Bob's ashes be scattered in the lake.  We'll be there for that.  I'm so relieved that she went in peace.
Can I share something silly and totally out of place right now?  I need to change directions if you know what I mean.   I finally got The Husband to admit our mattress was old and decrepit and hard and probably filled with dust mites, so we tested out a few last December.  He surprised me recently and bought the soft, plush-top mattress I liked.  But wow, this baby is 16 inches thick!  And we already have one of those high Victorian beds with the little steps.  Can you see how massive this set up is by looking at little Layla lying there?  She can spring up those steps because she is small and spry, but Milo?  He had never used the steps and in his first few attempts at leaping up he couldn't clear it and bounced back off.  Alas, he sleeps most of the night in his dog bed that you can see a little bit in the bottom corner of this pic.  And I lift him up in the morning to snuggle and also for naps.  ;-)  As for me, I sleep on the end there and yeah, I worry sometimes about rolling right off.  With my luck lately it just might happen soon. :(((
And on to much better times, my son Jeffrey's wedding is just 4 days away.  A little snippet picture of the country club he belongs to and where the reception will be held.  We met a few weeks ago with him, Deirdre and her parents to sample the food that will be served.  Not only do they have this massive dining room, but there is a veranda that wraps around outside with tables and chairs as well as a bar area with comfy couches and chairs. 
I picked up my dress on Saturday, it fit really well so I was able to take it home with no further alterations.  Today I went and bought my shoes.  I picked out seven pairs and after trying them on went with the comfiest.  Ha!  I'm getting practical in my old age.  I'm going to skip the manicure and pedi and spray tan that most of the girls are doing, this is getting to be too much for me.  We are having the usual hair and make up done Saturday morning and that's enough for me.  I have walnuts growing on the trees in my backyard, not money.  Who the heck is going to be looking at my toes?  Anyway, the excitement is building.  Tomorrow is the rehearsal at the church and the dinner afterward.  Usually the dinner involves the wedding party and their partners.  Jeff and Deidre do not favor tradition and have invited a large group of close friends as well.  This will be different. 
Here's a recent snapshot of my boy and his Goddaughter, little Elsie, from the 4th of July.  May I say he might be wanting to start a family of his own soon?  I'm jumping the gun here...let's get through this wedding. 
I've had so much going on.  All of you ladies comment and say that I'm SO busy.  Most times I think, really...I'm not.  I truly thing I have a lot of free time to do what I please.  However, today I was on my way out after having my coffee, checking the usual news, gossip, emails and my blog; breakfast, cleaning up the house and getting dressed, and I happened to look at Milo and Layla eying me.  I realized that they must be very used to me walking out every afternoon---as if I have a "real" job.  Lately I've been wanting a day home to just do nothing.  I just want to clear my head, that's all.   I hope that's soon. 
Happy and sad times.  As when I lost my sister in law just before we went to Louisville for my niece's wedding, again, we are mourning and celebrating.  God's plan doesn't often make sense but we have to trust in it no matter.
I'll be back next week.
Jane x


Lorrie said...

I'm so sorry for the losses in your life just now, Jane. Life can really be difficult sometimes. And mixed up with the grief is a lot of happiness and joyful events. It's no wonder that you feel a little off kilter. I hope that you will soon be able to have that day at home that you crave. My, what a handsome son you have!

Lynne said...

Oh, Jane. Are you ever in the midst of life's highs and lows. (Hugs to you my friend.) We are blessed to have one another to "go it together". I am so relieved to read that The Husband's tests went well! I would die to have you take me on an Italian food tour of Chicago.
Have fun at the wedding! Comfy shoes means lots of dancing!

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

Dear Jane,
What a time of high's and low's for you ….. such is life, I guess but it's hard sometimes, isn't it ?
Enjoy your son's wedding ….. they are over so quickly so savour every minute. XXXX

deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

I am so sorry about your friend :(

Little Elsie is, as always, adorable !

Theresa said...

So sad for your friend:( She has joined her husband and I am sure rejoicing today! I am excited about the wedding! I really enjoy weddings and all of the pretty dresses, love all around! Have a blessed day, I will pray for the families who lost their precious loved one! HUGS!

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for the passing of your friend Sharon, you have suffered too much loss in such a short time,
Yeh!! good news about hubby!!!!
Your bed is beautiful, I like high beds but I also worry someday I will end up on the floor,

the purple thistles growing in your garden are pretty but such a bad spreading weed aren't they!
I always saved my seeds until spring and then planted them,

enjoy all that life is bringing you right now,,

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

You have had so many losses recently and my heart goes out to you.

podso said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your dear friend. It is amazing how you have had so much recently--joy mixed in with sorrow, which is really how life plays out. Have a wonderful wedding celebration. I had so smile at what you "packed" for your hospital wait. I'd do the same.

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

Hopefully the wedding and it's happiness can be a comfort to you. Bread pudding pancakes sound like something I would love and could you please send me a slice of pizza from Gino's East!

Sarah said...

Jane, I'm so sad that you've had yet another loss. I know how loss can zap one's spirit. Take care of yourself. You have a lot going on in your life, but still the loss is there in your heart.
Amy's hood sounds like a fun, hip area. So happy for her. I've not been to Chicago proper since I was in high school. My family was there on vacation in route to the World's Fair in NYC. Wow! That was a long time ago!!!
Good news on the husband's health. That in addition to the upcoming wedding is reason to celebrate big. Savor these happy times together.

Kim said...

Jane, I am so sorry for your loss. I am glad that you are blessed with lovely memories of your friends, I am sure they are peppered throughout your lovely lake home. The wedding seems like it will be a lot of fun. I hope you enjoy every minute of the festivities. Congratulations and I can't wait to see the pics...even if your toes aren't professionally painted! ;-)

Mary said...

Your life is a real roller coaster ride dear Jane, however, despite the very sad news about the passing of your sister-in-law and your friends, the news about A is wonderful and we are so happy for him!
May all go well on the wedding day - wishing the happy couple everything good for their future together - another one under your belt. Wow what a year for the family!

Hugs - Mary

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

I felt your emotions in this post my friend. I'm so sorry to hear your friend Sharon has passed to join her husband Bob once again back home. Scattering their ashes at the Lake seems so perfect.
Last week my husbands cousin buried his wife than on Sunday evening (5) days later a young drunk woman missed a turn and at high speed ran into his house while Carmen was watching TV. Instantly the house burst into fire, an explosion from the gas in the car. Well Carmen lost his house that he and his wife purchased new in the 60's but his wife was protecting over him because he only had cuts and bruises.
So Jane two loved ones Bob and Sharon are reunited in eternal love and lives on planet earth in your heart.
Wishing you a beautiful wedding day as your son Jeffrey marries Deidre. Jane you will look beautiful and everyone will be looking at that gorgeous Blonde hair of yours.
Hey love your bed but with a 16" mattress might be time to go lower with a bed. I bet you feel like your sleeping in the clouds ;-)
take care sweet friend,

Art and Sand said...

How exciting that the wedding is so close.

Like your son and his bride, our son and his wife chose to eliminate several traditions and create their own. Our rehearsal dinner was filled with many friends of the kids as well as both sets of parents. It was wonderful.

It's a good thing you went for comfort! I went with the sparkly high heeled sandals that were gorgeous, but by the time of the mother/son dance, I was in my blue and white polka dot flip flops!

Kathleen Grace said...

You've had a rough few months Jane, but with happy times sprinkled in too. A reminder that life goes on. I am so sorry for the loss of another friend. Is any work being done on the lake house?
Enjoy every moment of your son's wedding. I can't wait to see pictures:)

Traci said...

Jeff looks very comfortable with little Elsie in his arms! I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine what your friend is going through losing both of her parents so close together. I'm glad you were able to see her one last time.

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

First of all, I'm so glad your hubby's tests came back with great results! Yay for that! And second, bread pudding pancakes...oh yes!!! Gosh, that sounds good! I have no idea what that flowering plant is, but it's pretty. I have two volunteer plants in my front beds that I'm still trying to figure out. So sorry to hear about your friend Sharon. I know she and Bob were special to you both. At least you have the wedding coming up to distract you. I'm expecting lots of pictures, okay? :) Love seeing pretty little Elsie too. Such a sweetie and your son looks so content with a baby! You'll have a whole group of grands soon. Won't that be fun? Happy times. :)

Melanie said...

The good news...I am so glad your husband's tests came back with good results. And that your son's wedding is this, that seemed to sneak up quickly! I couldn't believe it about your friend, Sharon though. How sad. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Bluebird49 said...

My internet is messing up--I'll be right back, love!

Dewena said...

Jane, I'm so sorry that you've lost such dear friends lately after going through a death in the family recently. Your heart is feeling all sorts of emotions and now there is a joyous celebration to come soon that you must open yourself up to fully enjoy. May it be such a blessing to you. Best of everything to the happy couple.

Michele M./ Finch Rest said...

Hi Jane- wow, you know I see a few similarities with my life and yours from this post. We buried my sister's sister in law this week, my daughter is getting married in 16 days, hubs was in hospital, tests came out fine (thank you good Lord in Heaven!) and I have had to ignore my garden most of the summer. (That broken foot thing.) And just last night my husband said he wants to get a new mattress and give ours to our other daughter who REALLY needs one and just can't afford it. (Our current mattress costs as much as a car, I swear, and isn't that old but hubs is very particular about mattresses.)

He wants to get a king and have those two motorized sitting up things on it. I don't. It's just something weird that will break, and a king is too big for our bedroom, plus it will be odd in the middle of the mattress so I am a big NO on it but we'll see what we decide. No hurry, we have a wedding to finish paying for first, right?

Our daughter getting married wants to start a family sooner than later too, so yay to us both. Ih ave wanted a grandbaby for so long! :- )

I am sending up a prayer for you, on all you shared. Hugs.

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

Life is full of peaks and valleys, and no one knows that more than you my friend. My heart slipped a best when I read that Sharon was sick and died. So very, very sad and tragic. So much loss :(. Losing dear friends is so hard. (((Hugs)))

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

Life is full of peaks and valleys, and no one knows that more than you my friend. My heart slipped a best when I read that Sharon was sick and died. So very, very sad and tragic. So much loss :(. Losing dear friends is so hard. (((Hugs)))

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

Life is full of peaks and valleys, and no one knows that more than you my friend. My heart slipped a best when I read that Sharon was sick and died. So very, very sad and tragic. So much loss :(. Losing dear friends is so hard. (((Hugs)))

Elaine said...

I am so sorry that you have lost so many dear to you. This year has been awful. I lost my Mom and cousin within a month.

On to happy stuff. Looks like you had some fun Mom and daughters time. Nice to relax and enjoy their company.

Love, love, love your bed! Looks so cozy and that photo with the dog in the bed is so precious! You can all snuggle in on those cold nights in Chicago.

Enjoy the wedding. I look forward to the photos.

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Oh Jane, I am so very sorry about the loss of your dear friends and loosing your sister-in-law.
Your flowers at the lake house are very pretty and I hope that the construction is coming along nicely.

I'm like you, I would be afraid that I would roll right out of bed. LOL

I love Gino's East! I always eat there when I traveled to Chicago, which was about 3 to 4 times a year. They have one out close to O'Hare and we used to go there also. So many wonderful Restaurants in Chicago. I love Rosebuds on Rush, Lawry's and Houston's which used to be in the Lenox Hotel. But that one is gone, maybe they have a new location.
Have you ever been to Gene's and Georgette's? It's by the Merchandising Mart. Oh my their steaks are out of this world. You can cut a filet with a butter knife. Oh how I miss Chicago. My son was born in Chicago Heights.

I know you are excited about your son's wedding. You are going to be so pretty all dressed up in your new dress. Have a wonderful time and looking forward to seeing your pictures.

Well my dear it's time for bed. Went to a friends house today and went swimming for a couple of hours and did I ever get burned - It was about 100 degrees today and hotter tomorrow.
Have a terrific weekend and so glad that husbands tests were all okay. that is always a relief.
Hang in there dear friend.

Barbara F. said...

I am glad you got to say good bye to Sharon. It is funny how things happen that way, from sad to happy. Have a wonderful time at the wedding. Can't wait to see lots of photos!

Unknown said...

Oh Jane, I'm just catching up and am so sorry to hear about your recent losses. We both share the deep pain of losing a loved one to cancer and it just seems to keep on happening, doesn't it? It's so clear that these two friends welcomed you with open arms to your special spot at the lake. What a legacy you have shared over the years. I'm so glad you were able to have a last visit with your dear friend. I'm just sure she knew you were with her.
Enjoy the wedding!! Life is so bittersweet at times, isn't it?
xx, Heather

sweetbriardreams said...

I am so very sorry to read of your losses, it has been such a hard year for you all. What lovely people you all are in dropping everything to be with her and the family before she passed. I am sure it was a great comfort to everyone. You are extremely kind. I am looking forward to hearing and seeing all about your son's wedding. I am sure it will be wonderful. By the way, those little purple headed plants - I think they are a smaller version of the thistle. We have lots our way but they are treated as wildflowers. Take care my lovely xx

Carla from The River said...

Dear Jane,
I will be praying. So much has happened to you in the past months and year.

I am excited to see your photos of your son's wedding. Enjoy

Fox and Finch Antiques said...

Dear Jane,
I am sorry that you lost another friend this year. I lost one, too. Gone too soon.
Well, in answer to your question about the cone flower seeds. You can plant them now but you will have to water them daily until they sprout. Or, you can plant them in the spring before all the rain comes.

Bluebird49 said...

Wow--you have had so much going on! I'm sure you got my e-mail after I read ths, but I do want to say again that I'm so sorry about your friend's death!

Cannot believe Jeff's wedding is almost here. If I don't hear from you for awhile, I'll know--or hope--you will be resting with your tootsie's up, and reading a good book!
love you,
Trudy xx

Leslie Harris said...

Oh Jane I am so sorry for your losses. I saw that beautiful photo of Abby and I was thinking how much fun you both seem to have and then to continue reading and hear about your friend's passing wow. It's unbelievably sad--and seems so soon--after her husband's death. Oh my. I hope you are pacing yourself, I know how emotional it must have been so soon after your sister-in-law.
On a happy note, I'm so excited to hear about your son's wedding.

An Oasis in the Desert said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friends, Jane. I remember when you first shared the news about Bob's illness, and I've said prayers daily for both he and his wife.....not even knowing that she was also gravely sick.

I'm so glad you had such a fun outing with your daughter, and Chicago does look beautiful! At a Farmers' Market, I am always drawn to the flowers much more than the veggies and those sunflowers were gorgeous!

If my calculations are right, then the wedding day is either today or tomorrow. How exciting for everyone. I hope you all have a splendid time!

Scribbler said...

You have a rich full life, and with that goes sorrow and well as joy. I do feel your pain, as I too have lost two people in the last two weeks. Congratulations to your son and his intended -- all the happiness in the world.

Debbie said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your losses, and so close together, Jane.
Praise God for the good news on your hubbies check up! You can now enjoy your sons wedding with happy hearts!
The purple bloom looks like thistle. Chickadees love the seeds when they dry in colder months. You are right, a bird probably dropped the seeds when you were away.
Your little girl is the sweetest little thing ever. You must get butterflies when she comes to visit. Enjoy her...she will grow so fast!
Much love to you, dear friend.

Beth said...

Hi Jane, I am so sorry for your losses. I am glad you were able to see Sharon before she passed away. I like the idea of their ashes going into the lake, a place they loved so. I have lots of coneflowers and I let them go to seed; the seeds drop in summer/fall and plant themselves, so I would say go ahead and plant them now. It'd be fine to do it in spring too but they'll get a headstart if you plant them sooner. Your flowers at the lake look pretty. I know you have been missing your weekends and summer holidays at the lake. So sorry for that. Next year should be good, though, with a "new" home there. The purple/pink "flower" is a thistle, and you will want to pull it. You don't want it to go to seed and make many more! Best wishes on Jeff's wedding. I'm looking forward to seeing your wedding pics. I know you'll look stunning! (Seems all I ever buy are casual clothes like shorts, tees, and capris - I think I need an "event" to two kids are both married already.) Prayers for a good week and upon your sorrow.
Hugs and blessings, Beth

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Dearest Jane,
So much has happened in such a short amount of time and when so many things come all at once it is difficult to process. I can see that you are focusing on the positive and precious memories of these dear people and celebrating their lives. Jeff's wedding is behind you now and you can bask in the joy of reflection of the big day. I am looking forward to seeing the Wedding photos. Wanted to also say that I am so thankful that your husbands tests are over and that all of them indicated that he is a healthy man.

Susie said...

Blondie, I am late visiting. I love your nice flowers. I feel so heart broken for you and your husband...when I read about your friend Sharon. I am sorry for the loss of that beautiful couple.
Hope the wedding went well. I really wanted to be at my step grands..either one of them..But I settled for photos. Blessings to you and your family, xoxo,Susie

June said...

I am so sorry Jane for your loss. I know you are so glad that you were able to go up and see your dear friend before she passed. These losses take so much out of us and leave quite the holes.
I was so happy to see your beautiful Emily and Abby,and that you three were able to have a fun outing. I love it when I can be with my girls...they truly are my best buds!

That bed is HIGH alright! I'm glad to see you have the steps, because we have a high bed and
getting in and out did a number on my sciatic nerve until I got steps. I hope you sleep like a baby in it :)))
sending hugs...

Stan and Jody Gabara said...

Jane, So sorry to hear about all your losses. Sending hugs your way! Have fun at the wedding!

Lori said...

You have had quite the summer. Sorry I have been away and not commenting but I am here now!! I saw the pics you posted on IG and cannot wait to see more ~ it looked beautiful Jane. Will keep your friend in my thoughts ~ so much loss lately and most taken too soon. Happy Monday. xoxo

Celestina Marie said...

Dear Jane, so nice to catch up with you this morning after being on a techie time away from my computer. Oh it did me so much good!! Back to the routine this week and trying to catch up with visits and more.
You've had a big season with celebrations and sad times too. So sorry for your loss of loved ones and good friends. My prayers are with you all.
Hope the latest wedding was special. So glad your hubby got a good test report.
Enjoy the last of summer and sending hugs your way.
Blessings, cm

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Sorry for the loss of your good friend Jane,
I know how tough that is. I lost one of my best friends from high school when we were just 42. She had young kids still at home.
I am so excited to hear about the wedding.
I will come back and check soon.
Big hugs friend..your daughters are lovely just like their Mom.

Rue said...


I'm so sorry about the loss of your friend. I'll pray for her, you and her family.

Hugs and love,