Thursday, August 2, 2018


Hello all!  Happy August!  I'm a bit spotty in my blogging, but I'm here now and full of ideas for upcoming posts, so as the dust settles, you'll see more of me.  Not much of a point in going on about July 4th! lol!  It was as always, exhausting too.  But it's just a once a year bash we have, not counting Memorial Day and Labor Day, the latter of which is coming up fast.  

I have to say we probably had about twenty-five people on the Saturday after the holiday as that's when the fireworks, parades and all sorts of celebrations go on at the lake.  Most of the time The Husband takes a boatful of people out at night to see the fireworks from the lake, but this year everyone just walked down to the boat launch down the road where you have a perfect view of the sky.  I stayed back at the house with Papa, and we sat by the driveway and didn't miss a thing.  

The little kiddos had a fantastic time on the beach and playing in the water.  I don't think any of us were indoors unless it was bedtime or nap time for the babes.  The meals were delicious, everyone bringing something to the table.  I used to be a lot more organized about the menu, rigid sometimes.  I think the best way is to have the basic plan and be ready to improvise.  The grocery store is five minutes away.  In fact, I had two appetizers I wanted to make, bought the ingredients at a huge store in another town, and then when the weekend arrived, realized how long I would be in the kitchen making them.  I think the more simple the prep work is, the better it would be for a large group or when it's your party.  When you have a smaller group, go for that enticing recipe you want to try on your victims.  

There is usually someone who comes through with flying colors to bump up the menu a notch, and help out in a major way.  My son, Jeff, took the horse by the reins and grilled up a huge amount of spicy chicken wings, then slapped them down on the patio table with a roll of paper towels.  THE best mid afternoon nosh.  And then there was my brother in law, Jim.  They drove in from Kansas City with the kids the night before and rented a small cottage nearby for accommodations.  He had the foresight and generosity to stop and pick up a few things on the way to our house.  In the kitchen he set out putting together a wonderful antipasto platter for everyone to nibble on before dinner.  He made a beautiful salad to go with dinner, and then after dinner he served everyone some sort of cream cake which he individually and offered to everyone.  His wife, Gwen, one of the best people I've had in my life for the past twenty-five years, came straight up to me when she arrived and said, "What can I do?  I'm not moving until you tell me what I can do to help."  She's just like that.  And you know, these are the sort of good people who would be hurt if you brushed them off.  Good, good family  :))

If this picture looks dark, it's because it was.  Backtracking... The Husband and I arrived at the lake separately, the weekend prior to the holiday.  Our daughters and their men arrived on Tuesday.  And of course, our little pixie, Madelyn.  Everyone was such a huge help in just getting some general things done, and then the nitty gritty of cleaning the garage, patio, house, guest house, was so heartwarming to see everyone helping out.  Yes, even in July there was plenty to do.  We also sat in front of the bonfire at night playing music, looking at the stars, and drinking a lot of cold beer.  Hence, the actual 4th of July on Wednesday came and went, everyone going to bed very early, leaving me, the last man standing, in the guest house while the fireworks lit up the sky outside the windows and the boom, boom, booms filled the air.  Everyone missed it but me!   

We have an ice cream truck that goes around the lake playing kiddie songs.  Oh my gosh, it was so fun to see my kids frantically digging in their pockets for ice cream for their kids, while shouting for someone to stop the truck.  That feeling of panic that the truck wouldn't stop for us was something I can still vividly remember from my childhood!  Remember those days?  In this picture, I don't think Madelyn has a clue as to the enormity of eating this entire ice cream sandwich!

Everyone was out the door on Sunday, along with The Husband.  I stayed on hoping I could just sleep for fifteen hours straight.  I ended up staying three weeks!  It wasn't all play, I had my writing to do, deadlines and such, and Layla has taken to sitting on the table while I work.  I swear she was a cat in a previous life.

 The Husband came up on weekends and that was fun, I always had a To Do list waiting for him.  He really threw himself into working on our perennial flower bed, pulling weeds, filling in sparse places, and pulling out plants that weren't doing well.  I think I showed you a photo of a plant I couldn't recognize and it wasn't flowering or doing anything purdy.  A sweet girl left a comment on that post calling it Pachysandra.  She was spot on.  A person at the nursery confirmed it and told me it was a ground cover.  I didn't want that in this bed, and the leaves looked a little diseased so out it went.  So, my guy made several trips to the lake nursery and kept adding more and more plants.  Honestly, I haven't asked what they are, although many I see are lilies.  I'm methodical about my gardening, I have a diagram and plant flowers that bloom from early spring to late fall so I always have color.  I also keep in mind height and space...oh well, he has so much fun.  I suggested that when he retires we can have a big veggie garden.  I think he's liking that idea.

I didn't neglect the inside of the house.  You might remember from my last post that I didn't like the black framed barn print I had next to the mirror.  The black played out well, but it was a little too modern for me.  One night I was perusing my emails and saw a sale on large wall clocks at Pier 1.  That good old light bulb went off in my head.  The closest store to me, 45 minutes away had two in stock.  And this is it.  It's a replica of a pocket watch, and it's super heavy.  It has a London address on it, I should have taken a close up, I will.   The Husband has a way of acting grumpy when I make decisions without him.  I was quite coy when I asked him if his father had a pocket watch (said father would be 110 years old if he were alive), as he was a train conductor.  TH couldn't remember but when I pulled this clock out of the box I could tell he liked it.  The next morning I woke up to the sound of his drill as he was hanging it.  It could go a little lower but I'm not complaining.  

All good things have to end, and to be honest, The long hot days were getting to be too much and the dogs and I were spending more time in than out.  It seemed like it took me forever to get all the bedding washed, the bath towels, beach towels, throw rugs...blah, blah blah.  But we finally got on the road last week. 

I was pretty impressed that The Husband hadn't let all my potted plants die.  Maybe his somewhat new interest in gardening is making him more attentive to this sort of thing.  And the house wasn't terrible.  We have a cleaning girl who comes twice a month, and since she had just been there, everything was clean, sparkling, and fresh.  He was spared...this time.

Grandpa & Madelyn, July 2018

All four of our grand kids really gravitate naturally to The Husband.  He is always so chill, he speaks slowly and smiles a lot.  I, on the other hand am always sort of excitable, to put it nicely, talking and gesturing wildly most of the time.  Even when I'm sitting, I look like I'm moving.  And I'm daffy with the kids...I love make-believe and funny voices, exploring the yard, filling the bird feeders, and picking up toads.  I guess they get a good mix.  Did you imagine me this way?  Don't answer.  

A quick update before I end.  You might remember we had one of our huge windows shattered by a stone thrown by our lawn guy's mower?  I searched high and low for a contractor.  We also needed our entire patio redone, the pavers were all buckling and it was a serious hazard.  Long story short, I found someone who would be available in August, yay, and you know the domino effect.  I had been wanting the balcony off our master bedroom to be screened in.  It has an arbor overhead so it's useless when it rains, and always buggy and dirty.  And I also thought that the front porch below should be extended on each side to really look like a farmhouse large porch.  I'll do some before pictures, but you can look on my sidebar for a pretty good idea of the street side of our side.  

Our guy and his crew will be working soon, so I'm just not going to be at the lake much.  It's just too involved and the dogs don't need that activity and distraction.  Anyway--I'm SO excited!

I'm signing out for now.  Off I go again tomorrow for a family weekend.  The next weekend we have good friends coming.  Then I'll be a city girl, and hopefully be good to go for Labor Day if we aren't a mess from the construction.  

Continue to enjoy your summer, it gets tedious sometimes with the heat, humidity and too much or lack of rain.  I'm getting too old to wish away even one day.  Make each one special. :)

Jane x