Friday, June 23, 2017


Hey Everyone!  I've not gone missing.  I have been spending time at our cottage and I am in such a good mindset as a result.  Maybe not so much a writing mindset...  I really and truly believe we all need to spend some honest and goodness time with ourselves.  I think I have a new best friend.  And what's more...I absolutely loved all of your comments on my last post. I woke up the morning after I wrote it; coffee in hand, birds chirping and was speechless. Some of you expressed your thoughts on your experiences raising your children, others the empty nest situation, whether it has happened or is looming.  And many of you ladies gave valuable insight into the whole realm of getting older and navigating a way through this new chapter.  I just loved the response.  Now~~~I have a secret.  It was a dark, rainy night...I couldn't wait to go to bed and watch the scary lightning and curtains whipping around the balcony doors.  So I finished up my column for the Chicago newspaper and hit publish.  Oops, that should have been Save.  Oh, yeah.  I use the same template for all of my writings.  It was there in the morning on my blog and since I had already started to receive comments, what's a girl to do?

  Note to self:  Maybe you ought to write more about what you think and feel as opposed to the everyday drivel of your life.  ;-)

I embrace each day at the lake.  The weather has been a little unpredictable but I just adjust my plans accordingly.  I've had a lot of time finishing up the guest bedrooms as far as wall art and little pieces that make it homey.  I've also been Swiffering my brains out.  The dark wood floor shows everything and it drives me nuts.  And I piddle and fuss.  Then I read or write.  Then I Swiffer again.  And so it goes.  

The weekend of Father's Day was a two youngest girls and their guys came, along with The Husband, of course, and wee little Madelyn had her first somewhat 'conscious' visit at the lake.  Her first time was at our sledding weekend in January, and as she was an infant, I'm pretty confident she will have no memories whatsoever.  

Look at this bathing suit!  She is a little Esther Williams.  And please note the matching headband.  She is a model baby, as in Emily dresses her in a new outfit everyday, sometimes two in one day, just like a supermodel with shorter legs.  Anyway, Mad loves water.  We filled a little baby pool with lake water, avoiding minnows and snapping turtles as best we could.  And since Emily had seen a muskrat the night before, she declared to anyone within earshot that the lake should be off limits for a minimum of 10 days. 

Of course you gotta love this little charmer, carrots all over her face and all.  But what I really want you to note is the high chair.  This was Abigail's when we moved to the lake 26 years ago.  She was 6 months old.  I'm going to try to dig out a picture and put them side to side.  And this little antiquey isn't just 26 years old, we found it at a church sale so who knows.  It's definitely a Jenny Lind, and The Husband painted it blue (I'm scratching my head over that), and it has been there for every visiting baby since.  It was hiding in the garage since the flood and Em pulled it out, scrubbed it down and here we are.  Sob, sob.  Of course Abby showed little, if any emotion.  "I simply can't remember sitting in it, Mom.  What do you want me to say?"

Madelyn had her first boat ride on Papa's lap.  They are loving it!  We have so many pics of babies; family and friends, who took this same ride with The Husband.  When they get older, he actually lets them hold the steering wheel.  I think I'm going to frame this.  

I adore this picture.  Her dress has little white sailboats on it.  There was another with Emily holding Madelyn and the big lake is in the background.  Most of the shots you see are taken on our bay...the lake is enormous.

All sun and fun and no land?  You might remember I did our master bedroom in a sort of country/rustic way.  A nice break from the nautical throughout most of the house.  

I was really happy to have this website recommended to me.  And when I find a great website, I like to pass it on. At King Ranch I fell in love with these cowgirl boots...have a look.

These are mine  You can't have them.

I had a lump in my throat watching the opening video.  I think most of you know that I grew up in the prairie land of Illinois.  No...not like "Little House on the Prairie" as I might make it sound, but huge corn and wheat fields, a watering hole of a lake, and skies that dropped off into the horizon.  There were an abundance of well traveled back roads that took you to out of the way places.  You could park on dirt roads and watch the sun set, or walk precariously on a fallen tree over a steam.  We'd sit on the hood of the car, illegally drinking beer and listening to Bob Segar's Night Moves.  I have wonderful, heart filled memories of those days.  So much came back to me looking at this video, and I dug out my old cowboy boots.  As you can see, I've had them forever.  You have to break those babies in and once you do, never give them up.  I have worn them everywhere and with anything, from jeans to skirts to shorts (I'm seriously thinking going to Coachella next year.  Well, only if Vanessa Hudgens goes with me).  

I really have a thing for this company and I hope that not only you Western gals check it out...let's dance in sundresses in the South and shorts in the Midwest!  

So now I leave you with a few thoughts.  I've been enjoying my time, freedom and independence at the lake for over four weeks now.  Some have asked (very politely) how it works in my marriage.  Well, you know, I didn't know until I tried it.  Truth is, we both enjoy a little time apart.  We're not Bert and Ernie.  We could do what we wanted to do without any nagging or chastising about those bad habit things that drive us crazy no matter how long we've been married.  He loves to leave dirty dishes and candy wrappers all around his favorite chair and table in the living room.  He leaves a trail of clothes behind him wherever he goes, and bath towels can be thrown on the floor until there is a mountain.  Oh, and he can go to bed at 8:00 p.m. after Rachel Maddow.  

Me?  Well, I can sleep til 10 or 11:00 a.m. without anyone making me feel like a sloth.  And then again, I can stay up late on my laptop without anyone crabbing for me to come to bed.  I don't have to tell anyone to clean up their dishes or candy wrappers.  My clothes are always neatly put away and I rarely trip over anything on the floor.  I can be really gross and spit my toothpaste in the sink and not rinse it out.  At least for about 10 minutes.   I watch Rachel Maddow at 8:00 before I go into a frenzy of writing each evening.

I worry most that he eats right.  Since I've never really known him to grocery shop other than picking up jumbo sized toilet paper and donuts, I try not to get too sympathetic.  He won't starve. And we have every sort of restaurant and fast food place within walking distance.  

Me?  I sound like a primitive caveman.  I survive on eggs, avocados, cheese and nuts.  Seriously.  I'm not liking cooking for just myself so this is what I graze on all day.  Oh yes, a lot of Diet Pepsi and white wine.  So, we're doing fine.

Here's to a Happy Summer!

Jane x


CJ said...

Very envious of your alone time at the lake, it sounds absolutely blissful. I loved the story of that pretty little highchair. I think Emily will understand when Madelyn puts her baby in it one day! Glad you've had such a nice time at the cottage. I would be grazing on easy things as well if it was me. And having the time and peace to do a little writing would be very good. Although I know I would be very easily distracted... Hope you have a good weekend. CJ xx

JoAnne said...

Madelyn is so sweet and her little outfits are adorable. We went on our annual family beach vacation recently and we now have two little great nephews so it was really fun having little ones around again. I completely understand enjoying time apart from hubby. I know you love him and I love mine dearly but some alone time can be wonderful sometimes. It sounds like you're having a wonderful summer!

Karen said...

For me, the blogs where the author speaks of her life's experiences, gripes, loves and all... are the ones worth coming back to. You get the sense that you are connected, life is real and imperfect and beautiful in every corner of the world... I love the sharing of recipes, the commiserating, etc etc... perfect combo, yours is. Keep up the great work - and enjoy the cottage! We are certainly doing the same at Stella.

Helen Philipps said...

Such an interesting post, Jane. Like reading a bit of a novel! (And one I want to keep reading of course!)Love the adorable pictures of Madelyn and the sweet highchair with all its memories. Enjoy your peaceful days at the Lake and time alone...we all need that sometimes and it is good for the soul. Happy weekend.
Helen xox

Simply LKJ said...

Time at the lake is always so refreshing. Glad you are enjoying it. And, what a little cutie pie.

ann said...

Hi Jane. I have not been a very consistent blogger-commenter lately. Too much to do, I guess. Time at the lake with one's self sounds so wonderful. I have always loved the water, but married a man who can barely swim and does not enjoy water. I love the horse picture in the bedroom. We have the two horses, Pop, the old pony and Sundance the crazy palomino quarter horse. I have take thousand of photos of them trying to get the perfect photo so that I could have some sort of wall art. You mentioned the King Ranch. As a kid, I loved the King Ranch quarter horses. Any horse owner who rode Western style wanted a King quarter horse. We took a trip to Texas in the the Ramble station wagon once. My brother lived in Baytown, down by Houston. We we left his place we headed for Corpus Christi, a city on the shores of the bay. We drove through King Ranch country--the King Ranch fence line went on for miles and miles and miles and ---it is a really big ranch.

I had to go back to read your post of empty nesting. At first when all of the kids leave, we just have two, after those tumultuous years with teen-aged girls, the peace and quiet was most enjoyable. Then the loneliness set in. Then came the boredom. Then came the realization that we were finally free. One daughter lives in Denver with her two sons and husband, 90 minutes away if the traffic is light, which it never is any more; the other one with three girls lives forty minutes away. I enjoy my peace and quiet.

Finally, your beach house patio inspired me, so I have worked little more on making our patio more of an outdoor room. Not beauty, but pleasant.

The baby is just precious. So pretty and cute. Have a wonderful day.

Susie said...

Blondie, I love the bathing suit shot of Madelyn. Her carrot face is sweet too. Babies are a great joy. So nice you still have the highchair. I like that you and your husband are just comfortable and get along...that's relaxing. I do have a pet peeve about people taking care of their own "stuff", picking up clothes, towels and wrappers. Everyone should be able to tend to themselves, well not babies...but babies learn so quickly, that's teaching time. LOL I am going to look up that site you wrote about, I want to see it too. I loved my weekend with the girls at Lake Michigan. Blessings, enjoy your quiet time. xoxo, Susie

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

I imagine it must be very peaceful having some alone time at the lake. Love the babies swim suit!

Courtney@Golden Boys and Me said...

Your time alone at the lake, complete with visits from family on the weekends, sounds like such a delightful way to spend the summer. It is always a treat to see a new post from you (or a comment on my blog), but your last few posts have really spoken to me. Thank you and please keep writing!

podso said...

Are we seeing more and more pictures of your little one? Not a problem, I love to see them. She is so so cute and each outfit is adorable. You sound rested and content. I know we all need alone time, and you have a beautiful place to soak it all in. We had the same highchair, I wish we had painted it blue! I had to laugh at your daughter's response--so typical of that generation--nostalgia not much in their vocab, but it could change when they are older!

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

I so enjoyed this post, especially with all the sweet baby pics! That is the cutest bathing suit I've ever seen! I love that you still have the high chair. Those Jenny Lind items will last forever. I think time apart is good for a marriage. You can do your thing and he can do his. Nothing wrong with a little "me" time for each of you. :) Enjoy your weekend!

Mary said...

Lovely post and I am glad life is going well out your way dear Jane. Photos are super of Madelyn - so really is the cutest baby 'super model' ever! The lake looks very inviting.

We were in the mountains last weekend but didn't get to Asheville. Bob had his list of the NC counties we were missing so we traveled 900 miles in other directions to cover them all - and it was so beautiful as you can see from my photos on the mountain trip post. Hope we can get back there in the fall. . . . . . you too!

Enjoy each precious day dear friend - "hi" to A from us both.
Mary OX

Vel Criste said...

Love this Jane, and I FEEL it in your writing too! Glad to here things are very happy especially with your little ray of sunshine, she is growing beautifully and oh-so-cutely!!!! Enjoy dear, time flies like crazy!

Melanie said...

I have to admit, that alone time at the lakehouse sounds pretty darn good to me! Not that I don't love my husband and son, but sometimes the responsibilities and headaches of everyday life and family "maintenance" gets tiring and overwhelming. I was thrilled just to have 8 hours alone the other day when I was home without a car! lol

Madelyn is just an absolute doll. I love the photo of her on grandpa's lap in the boat. Yes, you should have it printed and framed.

Deb from frugal little bungalow said...

Oh Jane back when I was a grandma and your first was on the way I knew what you were in for:)
I love the high chair story/ history :)

Off to catch up on the post prior to this one :)

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

There's something about your writing that feels different. Not bad, not good, just different. Maybe more calm, which I suppose makes sense because I think that's how you're feeling. I would be too if I didn't have to look at candy wrappers and clothes on the floor lol.

Maddy is such a love, and that bathing suit is precious! She must bring you so much joy!


Scribbler said...

Some breathing room from marital bliss sounds heavenly. I might actually get some serious writing done but for my shadow. Baby is precious, and I think many people had that same high chair usually painted pastel. There was an old one in our family -- very old -- which was traditionally passed on to the oldest grandchild on that side of the family. When it was my turn, I didn't want it, and no one else did either. When I cleaned out my mother's house, I brought it over to Birmingham and put it in the basement. When we bought our current house which has no basement, I passed it to a cousin in Atlanta who does have a basement. Neither of us have grandchildren nor or we likely to, and I suppose eventually the highchair will become firewood or a treasure for someone completely unrelated to us to discover in a junk shop down the road.

Unknown said...

That's what is all about, enjoying life! You will look back on your blog and remember the days at the Lake House with family and friends, celebrating memories together.
Time alone is good for the soul, especially with a good book and having a glass of wine:).
I adore the picture of your husband and Mad. One for a frame, among of many:).
Life is good, Kathleen in Az

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Glad you had this time for some R&R. The little one is so darn cute and that's such a great photo of her with grandpa. Have a nice weekend!

Unknown said...

There are times that Travis goes to the lake house alone, and I stay home. We both enjoy those times. I would like to go to the lake house by myself sometime, but he doesn't want me driving so far alone. We are in Savannah now for a shower for the grandson and fiance. Their wedding day is July 22.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Enjoyed the photos! Sweet babies!

Kit said...

Hello Lake Girl! So glad you are enjoying your time there. Glad you are having some good weather. And what cute grandbabies! If my hubby didn't go to the shop or over to his friends house 4 times a week I would go crazy. I need my own time. Enjoy the summer! :) Kit

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Aw, lovely, blissful lake days. I do enjoy my on company so would have no problem spending quality time alone there ... especially when white wine is involved. :) Madelyn sure is a little glam girl. Always so fun when they are babies and you can dress them up in such sweet outfits. Night Moves ... definitely brings back memories. Happy Sunday!

Mereknits said...

You sound so happy, happy and rested. I am glad you are taking this time for yourself, it is essential I think. Although I seem to find it hard to even find a few minutes to myself. Jus having the time to wake up, drink tea, read or wander out to the lake is so lovely. Enjoy!

Debbie said...

Your Summer sounds like a dream to me, Jane! Being able to just "be", and not worry about anything, or anyone. The husband was supposed to go on a fishing trip for the weekend, and I was sooo looking forward to some alone time to get a few things done here...but alas, he came home last night....not that I don't want him around, but I was truly looking forward to being home by myself for a couple of days...ya know?!
You sound happy. Turning the page to a new chapter in life can be a VERY good thing. We need to put our minds to it, and not let the thoughts of "emptiness" creep in. If we look at things as "time" instead of the word "empty", we will "fill" our lives with LIFE! And then we realize how quickly time goes by, and there will never be enough. No more long, lonely days. Just that hope(fervent expectation) of each new day!! We have lived so many chapters so far, Jane....but there are so many more to discover!
Great post, dear friend.

Elaine said...

After reading your post, I can tell that although you love your family you want some alone time. I am glad you are embracing it. My parents were never joined at the hip and their marriage lasted 64 years.

Love your photos of your granddaughter. What a cutie! And so stylish!

Enjoy your Summer at the Lake.

Dewena said...

Jane, I put some King Ranch choices on my wish list too. But your boots have character to the hilt!

Madelyn's bathing costume is darling, and that pose is magazine worthy! It must be so much fun to choose her wardrobe, I know your daughter must be loving that, and I bet her grandmother does too.

Swiftering, I'll tell RH about that! He wonders why I don't vacuum but it's so much easier to zip around with a swifter, and easy to run under furniture. So until he volunteers to take over vacuuming I'll still use the swifter!

Your time spent at the lake alone reminds me so much of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift from the Sea. That time away from family (except for her sister) always restored her and inspired her writing and it is obvious that it has you too.

Best to you,

Kathleen Grace said...

It sounds like you're having a great summer. A little time apart can be a great time to relax and rejuvenate. I always look forward to Earl's yearly hunting trip with the guys when I can eat pizza, not cook and do whatever I want. I'm always glad to have him home at the end but I think everyone needs that little shot of freedom.

A Joyful Cottage said...

Love the photo of Papa and Madelyn. Yes, you should frame it. Madelyn just keeps getting cuter and cuter. Glad you're enjoying your days at the lake. Sounds dreamy. xo

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Sounds like you are enjoying your self Jane. Good for you. Sometimes we just need to be alone and do what we want to. The Lake is a great place to relax and unwind. I am sure the dogs love it there too.

The pictures are great and I love the bathing beauty - she is a beautiful baby. Papa and her look so cute on the boat.

Loved the post and so glad that all is well with you.

Lots of hugs,

Art and Sand said...

You sound like you're having so much fun at the lake.

Bluebird49 said...

This surely looks like the way you needed to go this summer! Mad and Papa looked cool and happy---surely a right of passage for all the grands.

You got me with Segar...on of favorites! "....Tryin' to make some front page drive-in news
Workin' on our night moves----
In the summertime
In the sweet summertime"

But Down on Mainstreet was good, too. Bob wrote with lots of visuals!!

xoxos, Trudy

Preppy Empty Nester said...

Hi Jane...That little Madelyn should be a model, she's so cute. I have a secret - I LOVE when my Mr. goes on business trips because I can do my own thing like leave dishes in the sink and not make the bed. He is a Felix Unger and would have heart palpitations if he knew it!! I think it's wonderful that you are appreciating your alone time. Have a great week - I have a feeling you will!

Linda said...

Love that shot of Papa with his wee gal...priceless!
You seem a lot better Jane...Only a few short months ago, you were having a lot of health issues, and you have not mentioned them at all in your last few posts...this is great news!!
Enjoy your Lake time earned it!
Linda :o)

Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

Oh, the baby is just too precious, Jane. Don't you just want to eat her up? My little grandson is about the same age - why can't they stay babies forever? It sounds like this time you have taken has done a world of good for you. It's so nice to have time to do, eat, think and sleep exactly what and when you want. We, who have been married a long time, rarely get that chance and it is not that we don't love them, but it is nice to remember who we are as a separate individual. Your memories of growing up on the prairie sound so wonderful. I love your cowgirl boots - I've always wanted a pair, but I was an East-coast girl - you know - the 'Boston Proper' preppie look, although I rebelled and was a bona-fide hippie-girl. Oh, those young days went by too darn fast and now here we are, kissing grand-babies and stealing time away from the hubs. Rachel Maddow is our nightly habit, too :) Love your posts, always. Hope the rest of your summer is relaxing and happy. xx

Theresa said...

Sounds perfect to me! Marc and I are both retired and have PLENTY of together time:) We enjoy being apart a little too! SWEETEST little one in her swimsuit:) Enjoy your day dear friend, I am sure you will:) HUGS!

Mamey Brown said...

Hi there! I just found your blog and I LOVE it! Great post. OMG, that BABY!! She is gorgeous!!!!!! How wonderful to have a cottage to grab some solitude. Enjoy it!

Rita C at Panoply said...

Alone time is good. I had a girls weekend this past week (just now catching up on my favorite blogs!), but I always enjoy getting back. And why is it that is feels like there's so much to do, when it's really all self-imposed??
That Madelyn....ohmygosh. While that baby's face is adorable, carrots and all, there is just something that has always made my heart melt with a baby's neck and back of the head. Seriously. I just love it. So that Esther photo totally does it for me.
Enjoy your lake time. Boots, shorts, wine and diet pepsi.

Lynne said...

Wonderful post Jane . . .
That little Maddie is scrumptious!
Over the top adorable.
Alone time for the "he and you" . . .
Great it is, bet he thinks so too . . .
Loved Maddie in the boat on his lap!
And her bathing suit . . .Esther Williams look for sure!
What a fun post . . .

Decor To Adore said...

I am so happy that you are truly enjoying your summer. That little Esther Williams just delights me. Why is that those charming thigh dimples don't look good on me? :) Have a wonderful holiday my friend!

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Hi Jane. That little Esther Williams is just the cutest little thing. She is growing fast. the 4th celebrations will be wonderful at the lake, I'm just imagining! I am just a little envious of your time there. Quiet, a glass of wine and Rachel Maddow sounds like heaven to me..Happy 4th..xxoJudy

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

Oh, how sweet little Madelyn is! It's wonderful that she will have many happy memories made at the lake! I think alone time is good for couples every now and then. My hubs went to Florida for a few days last winter on his own, before we met him down there, and I'm going on a girls' weekend in October. We appreciate each other more when we're back together. Enjoy your lake time!

baili said...

she little angle sounds most precious thing on earth right now!

i loved your words about having some timeout with ourselves.
without such luxury we can't handle our self as better as we do .
i too need sometime alone just with to get back to myself.
i can see how glorious place you own my friend to sit and relax and enjoy the time with you and your loved ones

La Table De Nana said...

That baby girl is edible,her on her tummy ..the little back and ruffles..and then her face in the highchair..I love big eyes..I melt:)
I am late in coming by..because as usual..even though I have signed posts appear for me..
I love your honesty.
Everyone is so different and this works for both of you..visibly:)
You're adorable in your explanation of it.

I've been married forever and we are 24/7 together....we are different..and I wonder what I would do differently if he went on a 2 day trip..would I read later w/ my Ipad?LOL..I love my Ipad at night in bed..Jacques is like clockwork re everything..I think although I am such a creature of habit and routine..sometimes I would just kick the clock..or cover it up:)Probably not for long..
Not sure how I would be on my own..:(
He's been the truest best friend I have ever had in all my 63 yrs.
I am sure it is the same for you:)
Disappointing how friends can come and go..
Have a beautiful weekend.
That such a reason for happiness:)

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

It looks lovely really is a different lifestyle at the lake. Sometimes alone time is very good for the spirit.
I haven't been able to spend much time at the lake this year, but hope to head down for a longer stay soon...can't wait!

Junkchiccottage said...

Jane it is so beautiful to read and hear about the lake house. Such a peaceful and beautiful place for you and your family to be together. Such beautiful memories both old and new. Enjoy this wonderful summer. It goes so fast.

handmade by amalia said...

So nice to see you enjoying the summer in such style, Jane. Great photos.

deb said...

creating wonderful summer memories xo