Sunday, December 29, 2019


I'm popping in--as they say on Instagram Stories-to give you a quick synopsis of the month.  I don't have much time so you won't have to read the normal drivel from me, maybe just a teeny bit.  We are leaving Monday morning for a New Years Eve wedding in downtown Chicago.  I love December downtown, I have beautiful memories of The Husband and I celebrating our December 14 wedding anniversaries there: our wedding was at the Palmer house, as well as our first date.  The Windy City is quite cold, but I'm used to it.  And I love cab rides. ;-D

This beautiful wall hanger is from the Hand and Hearth collection at Target.  I found it last year.

These cute little salt and pepper shakers were found at an antique store years ago.  Don't you love finding a cute collection when you're out hunting?  They are a sign of the times.  They just don't make them like this anymore,  but that's the beauty in collecting.

I kept Christmas decor to a minimum this year.  I am making a sincere purge to clear out and clean out every space in my home.  I belong to two Facebook groups in my area, one in which you can sell items, and another to give them away free.  All you have to do is post a photo and put your little goodies on your front porch.  My starting date is the 1st of the New Year.  

I found these cute lanterns at Hobby Lobby, and the flame-less candles at TJ Maxx.  I wonder why I never tried these candles before.  The faux flame flickers and I can set a timer for them to turn on at dusk.  I added cedar branches on the mantel and I was surprised that they dried up so fast and I had to toss them well before Christmas Day.  What mattered to me overall was keeping the decor simple so we could focus on family and festivities with little distraction.

This will always be one of my top Christmas ornaments, a mini shopping bag.  I actually saved a real bag and I pull it out ever once in awhile when I'm feeling nostalgic.   I have so many great memories of shopping at the old Marshall Field's on State St. in Chicago.  In fact, my desk in the law firm I worked in was in front of a large window that looked straight at the store.  I'd often check the time on the iconic clock which is still there after Macy's acquired the store.  I also wanted you to see the cute popcorn and berry garland I found at Hobby Lobby.  So cute and easy to wind around compared to tucking and wiring ribbon.  Very realistic, too.

I wish I could remember the name of this online website that features all things for dogs.  I saw this little dog angel topper and it really spoke to me as it looked somewhat like Milo.  So it replaced our usual angel and I am sure, will remain our Christmas tree topper for many, many years.  

I really enjoyed hunting down our tree this year.  My favorite nursery was chock full of every type of tree.  I've always seemed to come away with a tree that is way too large for our tiny living room.  Last year I found the best skinny tree ever and it looked darling in the corner.  Everyone called it the Grinch Tree.  This year was a runner up.  My son Kevin helped me pop it into the stand and after two days of letting the branches drop, on went 900 lights (I don't skimp) and a good amount of ornaments.  I wanted to keep them playful this year for the grandkids to see, so I didn't add any from vintage collection.  Who knows, maybe I'll get a little tree for another room to hang them on next year.  

In my last post I shared the arrival of little Lucy June.  Emily gifted us with a canvas print of her in my arms less than twenty four hours after she was born.  She is absolutely beautiful and such a good baby, I can't get enough of her.

Madelyn loves her baby sister and is so gentle with her.  

My daughter and granddaughter.  I look at this and feel such joy and pride in the fact that the legacy (and genes) of my mother, father, siblings, the cousins, my grandparents-it's all here. Links to treasure and remember.

I came upon a super recipe for whipped sweet potatoes.  I can't imagine a holiday without them and this version was new to me and it's a winner.  In a nutshell, and you really don't need to measure, boil about five peeled sweet potatoes until fork tender.  Drain and add to a mixing bowl.  Add 3/4 of a stick of butter, 1/2 to 3/4 cups of brown sugar, and a teaspoon or more of vanilla extract.  Whip them up with your mixer until smooth.  Add a bit of salt and pepper and adjust the other ingredients as desired.  I made these the night before Thanksgiving and Christmas and I think everyone loved them. :-D

It's a little ironic that since I've been finding the best Grinch trees lately, that I would stumble upon a cocktail recipe called The Grinch.  It's sweet and spicy and fizzy.  I think the fruit juice makes it acceptable for brunch.  I love the blog Half Baked Harvest, go for a visit.  Tieghan shares the most insanely delicious recipes and her own photos, like the one above.  Pay her a visit.  The family consensus was that this drink is a keeper, even for summer.  

So this is about all I have...except for a teaser I left on Instagram.  It all started with Poppy chasing a raccoon that we believed was living under our shed.  This pup can see, smell, and hear for miles.  And she can run.  We tried to barricade the back of the shed as well as we could, but worried when we let her out at night.  I talked with our neighborhood animal control and believe it or not, she dropped off a coffee can with small bags soaked in coyote urine.  I know, gross, I made The Husband place it around areas we thought the raccoon was coming and going from.  So the reason behind this is small animals smell the urine and are scared off.  It doesn't attract other coyotes as they believe the territory is marked and taken, and believe me, coyotes, fox, and raccoons are taking up life in the city at an alarming rate.  

One evening about two weeks ago after a light snow, I let Poppy out in the yard at about 11:00 for her last run.  The first thing she did was tear off to the shed which she hadn't done of late.  I slipped into my rubber boots that I keep at the back door and went flying down the back steps.  Boom, I slid and in order to not land on my back with all it's metal and screws, twisted around and caught myself on the wrought iron railing. The first thing to hit it was the left side of my head, I actually bounced off it a few times.  I was on my hands and knees and tried to pull myself up the steps and all I did was slip and slide and bang against that railing.  All in my jammies and no coat.  In looking back, I really think I was very confused by the trauma.  I should have sat down on a step, gotten up, turned around and up into the house.  But I didn't.  I tried to climb on all fours, whimpering and crying thinking I'd freeze to death out there with everyone sleeping.  But I made it in with Poppy and hobbled to the bedroom where The Husband was off in dreamland.  I must have scared the heck out of him.  My face was covered in blood as well as my hands and the front of my top.  Upon inspection I had some deep gashes on my forehead, left arm, and legs.  The bruises, black eye, and aches and pains came in the following days.  

I just keep thinking that Clarence or someone was looking out for me that night.  If I had been knocked unconscious, it could have been hours before I was found.  The head injury could have been worse, the cuts could have needed stitches, and I might have broken something.  

I went to all the Christmas celebrations with that gorgeous black eye.  I simply matched it with purple and blue eyeshadow on the other eye.  I do have pics but I just can't put them on here-they are pretty gory.  But I'm very much healed, the bruises fading.  I catch my breath when I think about it.  The Husband found smears of blood on the back door, porch, and railing.  One of my boots was at the bottom of the steps and my glasses were in the snow on the patio.  I don't remember losing them.

Whew, this all sounds dramatic, maybe I just needed to let it out.  I've escaped from a lot of minor incidents, but this one really shook me.  

So we are hoping that the coyote urine will continue to keep critters away.  I ordered granules from Amazon and I really want to pass this on if you have have the same sort of problems.  I know a lot of gardeners use this and I'm going to share with the people in Michigan where rabbits and deer destroy veggies and flowers in a single night.

After the visit downtown I'm hoping to drive up to the lakehouse for a week or two.  Just hunker down in front of the fireplace or old wood stove with Layla and Poppy, and plow through a stack of books.  Who knows, maybe I'll keep up with blogging.😘

Happy New Year!


***I am linking up with Debra from for her Monday party: All About Home.  Also thanks to