Saturday, September 10, 2016


Diamond Lake

Here I am!  Can you guess where from this picture?  We are finally back to the lake.  It is so beautiful there, I can't wait to share that with all of you, especially the changing of the leaves on the trees along the lake and in the back where the woods border our little roads.  But for now, I'm a bit excited about the cattails.  The seeds blew our way and although they can get invasive, we will enjoy them and keep them under control.  This side of our dock is open to wildflowers and lily pads.  We had our pontoon docked here for a long while but decided two boats were too much work.  So this side is just growing free.  I love the blowsy feel. I like to bring cattails indoors and placed them in a tall urn.  No water whatsoever and they dry beautifully.  The tall brown spikes let loose with those cotton candy~like seeds so I spray them with hairspray when I bring them indoors and they last a few seasons.

Great Room

Arriving late Thursday evening, this was my first glimpse of our cottage in over a year.  I had seen snaps The Husband had taken on his visits but nothing prepared me for all of the changes.  The staircase was a very different from before as we chose to change out the wood spindles to wrought iron, had the steps stained the same as the floor and the risers white.  I hear there can be a problem with scuff any of your guys have a remedy for that?  I was thinking Magic Eraser or just having to paint them when they get really bad.   

New Loveseat & Layla

I ordered a new sofa and love seat through Emily.  I had been wanting to get to a lighter, breezier lake  look and I found this fabric.  The stripes are actually a blue/gray and the cushions are part feather down so they are super comfy (as Layla found quite soon).  I have a thousand throws here in the city house so I'll pack up a few. 

You can see the boxes the moving van brought, well over 100.  Sounds unbelievable but they are just medium size so they are easier to carry.  The people at this company, I think the name is Service Pro, did an incredible job packing our belongings.  Everything was wrapped in paper or bubble wrap.  Every box was labeled and in the correct room.  The furniture was in all of the right rooms but just sort of set anywhere.  We spent the first night sleeping in our bed in the middle of our room surrounded by boxes.  Very confusing for someone like me who has to get up ten times a night to use the bathroom.  

Someones been sleeping in Milo's bed

Milo is getting a little high strung in his old age.  The new surroundings were making him very anxious and I was so afraid he'd have a seizure.  His dog bed made it through the flood and I thought the familiar scent would calm him down.  Nope, but Layla found it cozy.  She has always slept on the sofa or on our bed (under the blankets I might add).  She cozied up here and at night they both crowded in bed with us, at least until the last night when Milo finally felt at ease and slept in his own bed.  

My biggest priority was to unpack the kitchen first.  I brought up some coffee, dog food, laundry detergent and toilet paper.  I forgot filters, couldn't find the dog bowls and was going into complete withdrawal without my Diet Pepsi that first morning.  The Husband and the car were gone so I was at a loss.  I got started on the work at hand until he showed up two hours later.  I thought he'd have some groceries or at least a box of his breakfast leftovers that he lovingly gives to me, much like a dog does with his wet bone.  Nope, he had gone to some far flung town to get his truck registration all up to date.  Priorities.  I'm starving but hot dang, the truck is good to go.  

Saturday.  Halfway there

So I unpacked each and every individually wrapped plate, bowl, glass, serve ware name it.  Into a sink filled with soapy water, washed, hand dried and stacked on the table.  By the end of that day I was down to just two boxes and I had clocked 12,000 steps on the good old Fitbit.  The final job the carpenter has in the kitchen is to put the subway tile up and I didn't want to get in his way so the harvest table is overflowing and I still have three more boxes to go. 

The Husband was in charge of laundry, all the packed up towels and sheets and quilts that survived.  He really thought he had the greatest job...toss the laundry into the washing machine and then sit down with his iPad while Mr. Whirlpool did the work.  He was stunned when I told him that one usually occupies oneself with other chores in the interim between washing and drying, like unpack 67 boxes in the bedrooms upstairs.  There was a little grumbling to say the least but that ended when the washing machine (brand spanking new) died.  Literally wouldn't drain or spin.  I trouble shooted everything to no avail and we have to get a service person out.  You can guess now that The Husband was humming a different tune.  Sort of like, "Yes, yes, yes!".  Creep.

Squint to see Milo.  Matching dog and chic.

It was not all work and no play.  While we were stuck in the city for 19 months, the two houses to the right of us sold.  I'm going to really miss our old neighbors but the new ones are very, very nice.  Next door is a young couple from the Northside of Chicago.  I like them a lot.  We were given a tour of their cottage and I love how modern and bright and it is.

The next house belongs to a couple with two small kids and this is their permanent year round home. I like that because it's normally so desolate in the winter. The Husband actually knows the guy as he has a marina on the lake.  His wife is very sweet, too.  I think we will have some good times together.  I might mention that we all had an impromptu first meeting Saturday afternoon in the midst of a huge birthday party/Labor Day celebration they were having.  Milo spied people (actually a crowd of children and adults) and his thinking is that where there are people there will be dogs and he shot over.  Now this really was the party of all parties; a huge jumping jack for the kids as well as a trampoline, a sprinkler that shot up like a fountain and just so, so many people.  Have I said that yet?  Because I had to race in and around all of them to catch Milo.  I was slipping and sliding in my flip flops and ran right under the fountain after him.  As I came around the side of their deck, the owner had him by the collar and there was Milo, as proud as a prized pony surrounded by children petting and hugging him.  It was like the party now had their own petting zoo.  So I muttered a couple of thousand 'sorry' and pulled him away and headed to our house.  And then he decided to do his duty and yes, it was the dirty one, right smack in their side yard.  When I reached our house, sweaty and dripping wet from my meeting with the fountain, I gasped to The Husband, "Go.  Go there.  Get a bag.  Go.  Clean it up.  Go.  Now."

So we and the new neighbors all had a nice chat the next day and we sat with our long time friends on their deck drinking Cosmo's and catching up.  I have found that no one in our little corner of the bay has dogs.  That makes it easier for me as Milo won't be tempted to take off as much.  However, it didn't escape me that we would now be held responsible for any doggy~do found anywhere.  :_(

Raw food

A quick recipe and then I'll wind things up.  Sometimes chicken breasts can be so unappealing. I know there are a thousand ways to make them but I think I only know of three, especially if I want the chicken to be moist and have a lot of flavor to liven it up. So I made this up the other night and I'm just going to sum it up quick for you as I don't think you need to measure much.  Let's call it Chicken with Sausage and Peppers.

I started by browning four boneless, skinless chicken breasts in an ovenproof skillet which has a tight fitting lid to be used later.  Do this with about two tablespoons of olive oil.  I then layered red onion, green peppers and about three chopped garlic cloves.  Seasoned this with a nice palmful of dried Italian herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary, or a mix...Emeril has a great one).  I also added some red pepper flakes for kick.  Top the whole mess with ground Italian sausage just scattered over, about a half pound.  Cover and bake at 350 for about 30 to 40 minutes.  Serves 4.

This was such a great combo of flavors and the juices from the sausage guarantee a very moist chicken.  You can have a side of pasta and salad as a side dish.  We loved this.  Keep the recipe on hand!


It has been one crazy week.  It seems like one huge tornado hovered over me, never really touching down.  From Blondie's Medical Journal, I saw my main dermatologist in Chicago.  I'm doing pretty well driving around the city on my own in spite of the fact that I could get lost in a phone booth.  The bad news is that I've been off the meds for my skin for three weeks and the eczema has come back full force.  My skin dried up so badly my arms, legs and chest felt like sandpaper.  My neck became so rashy and dry that the skin cracked and I couldn't turn my head unless I had on a thick layer of ointment.  So...Plan B.  A new drug that won't be marketed in the states for a few months but my doctor has participated in some of the studies and will have privy to it in another month or so.  It is very, very promising.  I'll give myself injections and hopefully I won't faint doing it.  

On another wonderful day I went to a dentist, a new who Emily goes to and just loves.  I had some swelling around a tooth, as in the one right next to my front tooth.  I thought it might just be a little access, but no.  I have a fracture in the tooth up high, like halfway between my upper lip and tip of my nose.  Dr. Nice Dentist referred me to a periodontist.  In the future he might be referred to as Dr. Evil.  I'm going to have to have a little cutting of the gum down to the tooth to see what's happening and then sutures.  I'm shaking as I type this.  I may actually lose the tooth and have to have an implant.  I have never been afraid of going to the dentist and I know its a huge fear for some.  But my imagination is running wild with this.  Say a prayer...for my mental well being.

I'm caught up in planning Emily's baby shower on September 25.  Mike's mom and I are in charge but we have a ton family helping us with a variety of things.  We are expecting about 70 guests and it's at a very old country club out around my hometown.  I'm super excited as evidenced by the fact I've already gotten new shoes.  And speaking of babies, my son Jeff, and his wife, Deirdre are now expecting.  So yes, we have a granddaughter coming in early November and then another (they don't want to know if its a boy or girl) in early February.  Very exciting!  I guess that's about all the good stuff I have to say about this week.

It's Saturday afternoon and The Husband and I are just getting ready to head up to the lake.  I wanted to get this post in before as we have no Internet connection up there yet.  Soon I hope, not that I have a chance to sit down.  If there are a ton of typos here you know why.  ;-D 

Enjoy your weekend!



Susie said...

Blondie, I am so happy you have the lake house back. You will get to enjoy some lovely autumn days there. Yes, honey, I will pray for you. You know how I hate to go to the dentist for anything any more. I still have not had my 3-d xray....too much happening right now. Blessings, take care, xoxo, Susie

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Yeah!! So glad you have your lake house back! I am looking forward to more pictures when you get all settled in.

Linda said...

Hi Jane...
We are home from the cottage this afternoon...went down yesterday, as it was our 44th anniversary!
Very hot .....damp....thunder storms expected, so we came home! Plus...I am sick :o(
Your place is looking great....won't be long!
Great news! Luck you will have 3 grands♥️
Enjoy your time at the lake...looking forward to your next post!
Linda :o)

Unknown said...

Autumn at The Lake House, love the cattails and Autumnal leaves. Lots to do to nest up the cottage and the lake community sounds very friendly. Happy that your doggies are settling in too! I hope the injections will help your eczema Jane.
And most of all, congratulations with more Grandbabies!
Kathleen in Az

NanaDiana said...

Just popped in and read to catch up on everything. Congrats on the new grands coming. That is really exciting. Glad you are back at the lakehouse now. It should be a fun fall for you as you set up and fluff here and there.

Glad you have nice new neighbors but still have some old friends there, too.

Blessings and enjoy the fall- xo Diana

Vee said...

I have long heard that crazing of teeth can happen and cause problems, but you are the first I know. Good thing that dentistry has come a long way in recent years. Will say a prayer that it is an easy fix.

Glad that you are back in the lakehouse...what is up with that new washer...I almost yelled out loud when I read that...oh no! Can't these poor people catch some fair weather for a change?!

Hope that is an easy fix as well...

Yay for new grands...bumper crops are always good.

Marigene said...

Jane, the cottage looks beautiful! After being away for so long, it must have felt good to be back there.
I can just see Milo weaving in and out of all the people with you hot on his tail...yes, I am laughing. Thankfully your new neighbors have a sense of humor.
Hope you don't have any major problems getting that tooth taken care of.
Oh my goodness, you are getting grands left and fun to spoil them, then send them home to mom and dad.
Have a great week.

Mary said...

It's already looking gorgeous at the house Jane - I'm so happy for you all.
Great news about yet another baby - your family is certainly expanding quickly.
Hope the tooth problem can be resolved without too much pain - hang in there girlfriend!
Take care of your back too moving all those boxes.

We're off to Kenya Monday so must away - still lots of odds and ends to get completed before heading to the airport.
Love and hugs to you both OXOX

Unknown said...

So glad you are getting back to the lake! What a grand entrance you have! I know you will enjoy getting it all the way you like it. Hope you have lots of fun, and don't over do it!!

Carla from The River said...

Hi ~
I just love your stories.
I am so happy for you. I just love what I have seen so far of the lake house.
Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy!!!
Love, Carla

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh wow, this is gorgeous. The stairs look fabulous.

Sarah said...

I am so excited for you, Jane. Your lake house is gorgeous, and you and the family will enjoy this retreat for years and years. How special to have this place to gather. Love the cattails! I'd like a vase of them here. I'll need to see if I can find some. Great idea! Enjoy your weekend!

Terra said...

You are accomplishing so much in unpacking all those boxes and meeting your new neighbors. I hope your dental visit is easy, I said a prayer for you.

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

Jane, I chuckled through a lot of this post (not the medical bits, of course), but the story of you chasing Milo through a crowded kids party was pretty entertaining! Glad you are back at the lake house - enjoy your time there!

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

Forgot to say congrats on the pending grandbabies!

Scribbler said...

I love reading your stories -- you are a great story-teller. I hope you get your dental issues resolved quickly and as painlessly as possible. Congratulations on the impending arrivals of two more grand babies! Your rebuilt house is so pretty, and I am sure you will make it comfy and cozy. Don't work too hard!

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

I am certain the house will be beautiful when you are done!

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

What fabulous news! Your family is getting bigger by the minute!

Now let me see if I can remember everything...magic eraser will help with scuffs (remember, we used to own a cleaning biz), but eventually they will need repainting. It is such a small area you can accomplish that in a couple of hours, so no worries.

The sofa looks so comfy. I love that the pillows have down in them. Nothing as comfy as that!

When our former Bichon was a puppy, she used to run outside as soon as the door was open and I'd chase her around the neighborhood with a sheet. It was the only way to catch throwing it over her. Either that or I just had to tire her out. lol I had a vision of you running like I used to after Milo. Way too funny!

A few years ago I needed an implant. I'm not gonna lie. It wasn't at the top of my life's enriching experiences. Like you, I'm not afraid of the dentist either, which is a good thing because my teeth are a bit of a mess, but the process of putting the implant in was time consuming to say the lest. Several months from start to finish, and I'm not a patient person! I hope you don't need one....


Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

It's been a long time coming. Glad you are finally able to settle back in at the lake house. And congrats on grandbabies-to-be ... it's nice they will all be in the same age range so they can grow up together. My fondest memories of when I was little are all the family gatherings for the holidays and hanging out with the cousins. A friend here recently had an implant and said it wasn't so bad at all. They kinda tend to do things quicker here than they do in the States. I feel like dentists there sometimes drag things out so they can charge more. Good luck with everything!

podso said...

Congratulations on another grand baby on the way! And so glad you are getting settled at the lake again. It's been a long time.

Rita C at Panoply said...

Great to see you back in the lake house! So sorry about the skin issues, and I don't imagine the dental issue will help heal the skin. :( I can only speak for my own journey with two implants (15 mos long)....take meds before you go to Dr. Evil. I think I would skip Dr. Periodontist and go straight for the implant....cut the aggravation and stress of the one evil and substitute it for the inevitable evils of the surgeon. I'm in the same boat as you when it comes to dental work....don't like it one bit.
Babies everywhere...congrats...AGAIN! At this rate, you should have a really nice wardrobe of shoes. :)

Theresa said...

Beautiful new lake house! Many things to do, I am sure... but it will be fun to decorate and lots of time to enjoy it! Have a blessed day and congrats on your family growing:) HUGS!

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Hi Jane,
I'm so happy for you and your family and the fur babies. Your cottage is looking beautiful!


Mereknits said...

The lake house looks fantastic, I am so happy you are getting settled in there. So sorry about your skin and your tooth, that bit of oral surgery sounds miserable. Hope it all goes well.

Kathleen Grace said...

The cottage looks beautiful, love the new furniture! I know there will be a lot to do to put it all back together, but I also know you will enjoy decorating it and seeing the beautiful progress. Your poor tooth! Praying that the outcome isn't surgery and you don't lose the tooth.

bj said...

I love your pretty new stairway...gorgeous...lots of work here but you'll enjoy getting it all done and decorated...I sure like your new sofa...

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Hi Jane. Things are looking good at the lakehouse. When you get all settled in you will have the best fall there. It should be so pretty. Congratulations on the new grands and hope the new meds work for you. The staircase and new sofa are really beautiful..Have a good week..Judy

It's me said...

It is so good to be back home at the lake...beautiful sofa! happy week Ria x

chateau chic said...

Your lake house looks!!! I know you must be so delighted to get back in there and make it your home again.
Mary Alice

Lisa said...

Jane I know you are so thrilled to be back at the lake! Your sofa and loveseat are so gorgeous and I absolutely love the fabric. It will be so fun to decorate with those colors! It' will be so fun to finally unpack and get settled!

Deserae said...

I'm so happy you were able to move back into the lake house....finally!!!! Every thing looks so beautiful.....I love your new sofa!!!! Fingers crossed your doctor finds a medicine that will to give you some permanent relief. As for the tooth....OMG I will say a little prayer for you!!! I would be terrified too....
Have a great week!

Simply LKJ said...

The staircase looks amazing. Soft scrub works on scuff marks ;-) Sending up a prayer regarding your tooth. That happened to my hubby, his broke off! Several procedures later, he was actually able to keep his tooth (they did gum work, cemented the tooth back together and then veneers). If it happens again, he will have to get an implant.

Melanie said...

So nice to see pictures of your lake house once again! It's really looking good. Love that staircase.

I am so sorry to hear about your eczema coming back and how bad it is again. I hope that you are able to get access to this new drug quickly and that you'll be OK giving injections to yourself. I had to do that in my tummy with a blood thinner years ago and it was NOT fun. And then your tooth...oh my goodness, sounds awful. It's always something, isn't it?

However, wonderful news about yet another grandchild! You and hubby are going to be over the moon with all these babies!

Yes, we did hit the main streets in Shipshewana - we covered the whole town! There was only one antique shop that we saw and it only had a few expensive things in back. The rest was reproductions and the same home decor type stuff that we saw in every store we went into. We had lunch in a little cafe - just simple but good sandwiches. We didn't want anything heavy.

Kim said...

It's always fun to catch up with you, Jane. The house looks great, I am sure you are thrilled to be back. And babies are always wonderful!!! :)

Pamela said...

Oh my gosh Jane I had to laugh about Milo! Love you knew love seat! We will be getting a new couch for the boys game room or the living room. The one we have for the living room may end upstairs but I think we will be getting the exact same one but maybe a different color because it seats 6 and is super comfy. Everything is coming together at your place!:)

Summer said...

Happy for you! The loveseat looks so cozy ♥

Deb from frugal little bungalow said...

Oh it all sounds as if it was coming together great aside from the washing machine!! What the heck, huh!

Unknown said...

Hey Blondie,
Your place is looking absolutely gorgeous! What fun to be unpacking and settling into such lovely digs. Sorry to hear about the dental work. My dad was a dentist so I was never afraid of going to the dentist growing up. I was nervous about having a 'bone graft' with a periodontist last fall. In the end, it was not such a big deal. Hope all goes smoothly. Congrats on the new babies coming into your life. So sweet! xx

Nancy's Notes said...

Jane, I love your newsy posts, I smile all the way through them. Okay, except for the dental implant possibility. I just had that done and I'm still here! What exciting news, another grandbaby! I laughed when you mentioned new shoes, that too is my first piece I love to look for! Shoes and purses! Your loveseat is just so pretty and your home on the lake is awesome!

Decor To Adore said...

Another sweet baby! How delightful. I do hope your eczema gets better soon.

Stacey said...

Oh your lakehouse looks amazing! I know that's so much hard work but it's fun when you've been out for so long. It looks like the things you've picked are just gorgeous. You did it all online and with Emily's help? :) Love it! Love the stairs.

Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

Hi Jane, love seeing the beautiful lake house renovations! The railings are lovely and your new love seat looks perfect and oh so comfy :) I can just imagine how much work it has taken and still needs to be done to get all settled in - you must be exhausted! I had to laugh at how you met your new neighbors and the little 'present' left behind. Life is never dull with dogs! Soooooo - a big congratulations on the new babies - so exciting, and it is wonderful that the cousins will be growing up together. We just had a baby shower, too. I can't think of any party that is sweeter......I do hope you find some relief with the new drug. The dental surgery does sound scary and I hope you don't lose your tooth. My son lost his two front teeth in a biking accident. It's amazing what they can do in dentistry these days and I'm sure they will take very good care of you, poor girl :( I'll be thinking of you. The recipe looks so delicious! xo Karen

ann said...

Oh Jane. I do not like going to the dentist. I had cataract surgery years ago (in my 40's. I was young), which I found to be far less traumatic than the awful crowns that have replaced many of my old fillings. Ugh. You have a lot of work to do on the lake house, but what a nice place to have to get away. I have always loved cat tails. We had ponds on our farms, all with cat tails as I grew up. Good memories. The baby shower will be so much fun. Then a new baby girl. How exciting. Enjoy your weekend.

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

dear Jane, Sorry that I haven't been commenting to you on your wonderful posts.

I am so glad that you are back into the Lake House - it is stunning and I love the stair case. I am looking forward to seeing all the rooms in a post.

Congratulations on the new additions to your wonderful family. Hopefully you will get a little boy from your son. I am so excited for you.

So sorry about your skin and hoping that the new medicine will help you. Now as for the dentist, I really hate to go, so you have my prayers that everything goes well.

I have really been under the weather with my COPD and they found out that I have Aortic Stenosis and of course surgery is out of the question. I just have to wait and see as there is a new procedure they can do. Time will tell. Sorry I didn't want to go into all this stuff. I've not commented on anyone posts.

Again, I love love love the Lake House and you are going to enjoy it so much. I bet it is beautiful out there in the Fall.

Take care my friend and have a great weekend.


Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Lots of good things happening in your life right now and I'm happy for you. All except for that tooth and your eczema…hopefully all will be in good order soon.

Jen Kershner said...

Jane, my friend, you can pack so much into a post and you have A LOT going on right now! Congrats on the new baby on the way. Such wonderful news. I'm so excited that you are back in your lake house even though there are some frustrations to work out, I know it must be such a happy time for you. As for your health, I'm sending you hugs and wishes for good news. Health stuff is so scary and it seems to me that you've had more than your share lately!

Terra said...

Hi Jane, this is my second comment on this post, in answer to your question about Canterbury bells. They only bloom their second year from seed so you could buy the already started six packs of the Canterbury bells and they would bloom for you. I have to nurture them in my garden over the winter, here in California, so I doubt they would make it over winter for you. They are so pretty! Make lovely flowers for bouquets too.

Gypsy Heart said...

I'm late to the party but wanted to say "hi"! I'm so happy you're able to get back in your lake house. I almost break out in hives thinking of all that unpacking to do! :) But it's for a wonderful way to start enjoying your time there again. It looks beautiful! So sorry about the skin issues...I'm sure that's incredibly uncomfortable. I so hope the new RX will help! My dentist that I went to for eons retired and now I'm a nervous wreck about going to another. I have visited 2 and both were very kind. I can't remember the name, however, I have an issue that it takes so much novacaine to deaden the nerves and I'm on edge wondering if they gave me enough. The last dentist would do a couple of injections and then ask if it was numb...nope! Then we'd begin again. At least he was patient with me and was very gentle.

Sounds like a huge shower! Lots of things to prepare but it will be so worth it. :) You are so very fortunate to have these babies! I really miss those days.

I'm wondering if we're going to have fall temps anytime soon! It was wonderful last weekend but here we are back to 95 today. Ugh!


xinex said...

So nice to have the lake house back. I know how much you enjoy it. It looks so nice and I can imagine how pretty it will be after after you are done with all that work. Sorry about your tooth. I am terrified of dentists and I am having anxiety just reading about what you need done. I hope you can get some rest. Don't overdo it. I ended up in the hospital once before overworking myself....Christine

Karen said...

The lakehouse looks beautiful!!... love the staircase. We don't have issues with white risers scuffing. been six years too.

Vel Criste said...

Your lakehouse stair case looks fabulous! I have white risers too and though they can get dirty from dust, scuff marks are rare, it will be fine dear. Good luck with your skin, gums and the baby shower! I'm busy this weekend too since little Sophia is turning 2! Can you believe it?!

Traci said...

Oh all the babies so close in age will be so fun!!! Congratulations! I know you're excited to be back at the lake. The house looks so pretty! I'm NOT a fan of the Dentist. At all. I hope everything goes well with the tooth.

Kit said...

Wow, I do not envy you the unpacking but pretty soon it will be done and you can enjoy your space at the lake. :) Don't wear yourself out! Kit

Linda said...

Welcome BACK!!! I love it!!