Thursday, August 2, 2018

MID SUMMER IN BLONDIEVILLE---LAKEHOUSE FUN


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 good...fun 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, shed...it 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


73 comments:

Bluebird49 said...

Wow, you've been busy! With the new construction going on in the city home, it'll be really busy, but won't it be worth it! You've waited for this and I can't wait to see it.
Madelyn is growing so fast!

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Karen Ann said...

Lovely post! And I see you got the woman hater up there in the comments, too. LOL.

Love the clock on the wall, perfect compliment to what's already there. good luck with your project, I look forward to the pics!

laurie said...

oh Madelyn is beautiful and growing so fast!! When you post comes up in my readers list it always makes me happy, a vist with you is just like sitting down for a chat,, I have treasured our blogging friendship , I have been inspired by so much you do and your strong spirit, these renovations sound very exciting! Take care my friend,

It's me said...

Hi Jane....we gave also beautiful summer weather verry hot.....too hot i may stay...pfffff....we gave now holliday but monday work started again...O my O my...it wil be 32 degrees than till wednesday....enjoy summer with your beautiful grandchildren...love from me Ria x ☀️☀️☀️

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Jane, you need to check some of the comments here and delete them. Spam. Anyway your 4th sounds like it was a wonderful time. I do remember ice cream trucks and the panic that it might pass you by!

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Hi Jane, that was fun to read. Your big gathering sounds great! The ice cream truck was, unfortunately, not part of my childhood (grew up in the country) but it's nice to know it is still exciting! -Jenn

Kit said...

What a wonderful summer!! We have a lady who has a little cart and she sells ice cream. I love the music she plays. It sounds like kiddy tunes but they're old standards. So true. Enjoy every day, no matter what the weather. :) Kit

Brenda Burke said...

Did everyone come to Michigan home? Chicago home ?? North Carolina? Sounds fun!!

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

We all need a "Gwen" in our lives, don't we? What a wonderful person! And I love that sweet pic of the babe with the ice cream! And yes, I'm very familiar with the panic that sets in when you hear the ice cream truck and you're paranoid it'll pass you by before you can stop it. Lol! Good times! Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Debbie Freitag said...

You're having a wild summer so far! So very busy but so much fun. I keep putting off our construction needs because they always lead to yet another project. We need to re-do our deck and I'm dreading it. I'm sad to think it's already August. Summer is slipping so quickly! Hope you enjoy the rest of the summer!

Mereknits said...

Jane, your summer just sounds so wonderful. Good luck with the work at the house.

Dewena said...

Jane, you sound like a real grandmother, wanting only to give the grands a great time. It's just that you and your husband have different ways and they will remember both of you uniquely. I smiled when I read about your garden plan. I used to do the same thing, all written and drawn out before I would even let one plant go in the dirt. As years have gone by so has the plan. And I kind of like his improvised way now.

Same thing goes for a strict meal plan for company, especially when it's family there. It turns out to be so much more fun when everyone contributes their speciality, right? And the bonus is a rested hostess with more time to admire a cute little pixie eating her ice cream sandwich!

Layla is so cute on your table!

CJ said...

Everything looks and sounds wonderful at the lake, I'm glad you've been having such a lovely time with your family. And so nice that everyone has rallied round and helped out. Glad all is going well, I and hope that your recovery is on track. CJ xx

Susie said...

Blondie, I love that picture of your husband and granddaughter...adorable. I laughed about your dog being a cat. That was funny. I love when company brings extra foods and help out...that is how family does it. Blessings to all of you. Hope you are feeling brand new sweet girl. xoxo, Susie

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Love this post, Jane, and can identify with so much of it. We have learned to be laid back and not to plan too much at the lake, too. We have ended up with some amazing impromptu meals and gatherings that way...

Lynne said...

Lake Time. . . . family . . . sounds like such fun.
My nickname is “Putz” . . . I am always “doing!”
Wish I was more laid back, that I didn’t fret so about making things perfect.
I need lessons . . . Happy your kiddos jump in and make things happen . . ,
Little Maddie is precious . . . they truly grow up too fast!

Lake House plans sound wonderful . . . .I’d like a screened porch off the master . . .
Enjoy the rest of August . . . just fun, no stress!

Lynne said...

That anonymous white man comment came onto my blog too.
Yuck!

NanaDiana said...

Hi Jane,
It sounds like you have been really busy there...with kids and family things. The kiddo pics are adorable! I hope you are able to get all the work done without too much hasell or upset.

Have a wonderful, blessed weekend. xo Diana

Stacey said...

You must be the perfect hostess. Nothing has to be perfect for everyone to love being together and it sounds like you've found the best balance. I'm not rigid but do get anxious and try to have so much done before everyone arrives but you know that just means you're tired when they get there!

I can't believe you are taking on another big project! You are going to have every part of both of your houses perfectly in order.

It sounds like you are a true writer hiding out there at the lakehouse with your thoughts. Sounds pretty good to me. :)

Junkchiccottage said...

Sounds like lots is going on for you Jane. Glad you enjoyed the time at your lake home. Ahhhhh so fun to have a summer home.
Sounds like you have lots going on back at the other house now too. Good luck as the contractors begin. I hope you saw mine or Diana's blog post on the passing of Mary. I know she was close to you too. So sad and I miss her so much. Enjoy the weekend we are going to be hot hot hot again.
Hugs,
Kris

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Theresa said...

I always love my visit with you at the lakehouse:) That clock is perfect for that wall! Madelyn is adorable and I know you love every minute that you spend with her! Have a beautiful day dear friend, BIG HUGS!

Rita C. said...

It's so good catching up with you and your family and all the happenings, Jane. Sounds like your summer has been full of all the things that matter, and then some. Getting the workers to show up, even for estimates, is a major feat. Keep us posted on the progress. We have been trying to get maintenance things squared away on our home, but I guess nobody wants to work. Hmmmph. So frustrating.
Thanks, too, for your visit on my tribute to Mary. So sad.

Shirley said...

Lovely to catch up on your news. Looking forward to reading about the construction work.
Best wishes

Lorrie said...

It's always lovely to catch up with you, Jane. Summer is speeding by. Less than a month until Labour Day and the start of school. Yikes! And so much more I'd like to do. But I'm trying not to get panicked by it and just do something each day to make it special. One day this past week I spent the entire day reading - ah, heaven! Another day I scrubbed the kitchen/eating are/laundry/bath floor on my hands and knees. It looks great!

Enjoy the renos. Yes, they do have a way of snowballing!

Kathleen George said...

Happy August! Love the picture of Madd eating the ice cream sandwich and with Grandpa:). Layla the cat, small dogs love to be near their people:). A wonderful Fourth with family, that makes lovely memories at the Lake House. Hope you're doing well from your surgery, Kathleen in Az

Jeanie said...

This summer is flying, isn't it? Yours is sounding wonderful. Good to be at the lake -- yes, great joy. And surrounded by the family, even better. So glad that nothing died while you were away. I'm north now and worrying about the yard, the basil the everything. I know Rick will do his bsest. I hope so!

All divine and all happy. Glad you are fully recovered, moving about with ease and enjoying life as well you should. I look forward to more tales from the lake!

Jen Kershner said...

Oh my goodness. Your lake memories sound idyllic and make me yearn for a cottage of our own on Lake Michigan. Unfortunately my husband yearns to not have responsibility for another house as the to do list for this one drives him crazy. I will make do with your stories and be so happy for you that you are making those memories!

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

I'm so envious of your lake lifestyle -- sitting around the bonfire, gazing at stars! I'd have to substitute the beer with wine, though! The ice cream sandwich is as big as Madelyn! Looking forward to seeing your renovation! Rest up for Labor Day!

Helen said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your adventures in Blondieville. My dream is to have a screened sleeping porch one day. Who knows? Love your line 'I'm getting too old to wish away even one day' and I agree Jane. Thank you for visiting my little poetry place, I don't write as often as I used to.

baili said...

loved the glimpse of your lake house dear Jane!

it is truly pleasure to read about your family gatherings and how great to watching fireworks from boat in lake ,staying with your father was sweet gesture !

i adore your hubby to do as much help to beautify your lakehouse dear!

your son sounds amazingly sweet nature person and so his wife who seems so generous and humble !

i liked your new wall clock ,it is beautiful !

this is nice that when you are not there ,there is someone who lookafter the place which is so satisfactory

La Table De Nana said...

Maddie in her shoes looks like a Kewpie doll:)
You have been busy w/ wonderful family and friends..Exciting!
Your Jim sounds WINNER:)
LOL
I love take charge.
I like doing things on my own in the kitchen..;)
Everything looks lovely..that clock too!
Love "Blondieville".

Pam - @diy Design Fanatic said...

Sounds like you've had a very full summer! How fun to have the family and grandbabies at your lake house. Love those pics!

Jill said...

So many great pictures! I just love being by the water... very calming and relaxing for me. Looks like you are having a busy summer as well! Enjoy the rest of your week!

Blessings,
Jill

Susan Freeman said...

Wonderful catching up with you and your wonderful family. I so enjoy the photos of your darling grands too. The pic of Madelyn and her grandfather on the dock is too precious.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Melanie said...

Sounds like you've had a great 4th of July and summer, so far! I hope your back is improving day by day. Love that big "watch" on your wall. Pachysandra...ah, yes. We have it as a ground cover on the shady side of the house and the plus is - you never need to do a thing to it. We've never watered it, never pay attention to it in any way. It even stays green through the winter. The negative? It *really* spreads. And is impossible to completely pull out of the ground (the roots) with your hands when you try to control where it is spreading. It has to be dug out, which is a real pain. It has very strong roots. The front of your city house looks so nice - love the sidewalk.

Cindy Noble said...

Hi Jane...You've been busy...hope your back is healing. I can relate to the ice cream truck story. I grew up on a dirt road so we only saw the truck maybe twice a summer. But it was such a treat. Brings back memories. I agree, we must try to enjoy each and every day. Love the clock. You have such a sweet family. Thank you for sharing.

Andrea Nine said...

Just adore your summer update Jane. Oh that miss Madelyn! Sooooo PRECIOUS! How I love the ice cream truck story! Love your positive vibe and the way you embrace life! Enjoy your weekend with friends!

bj said...

loved reading your post...lake life is always so much fun...some of my best times are when I'm at daughter's lake house...they do outside grilling for most evening meals...always delicious and so easy...around their firepit at night for s'mores and just hanging out.
Summer is getting by waaay to quick..I have loved being with all the grands during the summer. Winter time, they are in college and working so I don't see them as often.
I have to get some projects in mind for winter...plan to make some quilts...staying busy helps me thru the sad times.
Thanks, Blondie girl, for coming by. I am always so glad to see you. xoxo

Cindy Hattersley said...

Jane I grew up on a lake in the midwest so I enjoy your lake musings. I am a midwestern girl as well but have lived in California for over 40 years. Your grandkids are adorable!

Decor To Adore said...

I love the idea of riding a boat onto the lake to view firework! We have an ice cream man that comes on Sunday afternoons and I am always running after them. Love that sweet pixie!

bestfriend said...

love it!
cam

Terra said...

Hi Jane, I had to come by and see what you are up to. Wow, you are busy. That little dog is so Cute. You and your family are creating fun memories at the lake and nice that they pitch in with food, etc.

Mary Ann Pickett said...

Well, this was delightful, Jane! I teared up with your beautiful family stories.

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The Crowned Goat said...

It's always so much fun to read about your family adventures at the lake! I'm glad you guys had a chance to get together and make some fun memories. I swear you have the cutest grandkids! I'm excited to hear how things come together with all of your upcoming projects and to hear how things work out with the window too. Hugs, CoCo

Lisa said...

Madelyn in so percious. That Ice cream sandwich is as big as she is! Haha. Oh and I remember chasing the icecream truck. It was always a treat to hear that jingle.
Your family sounds wonderful. All the cooks are on my Husbands side of the family. They are also all men. At gatherings, they always come through with a delicious dish.
Have a wonderful Labor day. Cant wait to hear about your city adventures.
Lisa

Preppy Empty Nester said...

Jane... You and The Husband remind me of The Mister and me. Your posts always make me smile. Enjoy your week.

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Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

It sounds like a perfect summer to me, family at the lake house has to be wonderful. I know we enjoyed when our family came up to our summer cottage in Main. Enjoy the holiday weekend ahead.

handmade by amalia said...

I hope you had a lovely summer, dear Jane. I'm back from mine and so looking forward to the new season. A hug.
Amalia
xo

Harlynn said...

That cooking advice is on spot. Only try out DIY recipes for small crowds to make them victim, haha!!

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Well, this was delightful, Jane! I teared up with your beautiful family stories.

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