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


This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Theresa said...

WOW! The kids and the canvas are beautiful, the fall and injury not so much! Happy that you didn't get knocked out and made it inside to get some help. Take care of yourself and I know you will be happy to get to the lake to get some rest. HUGS and PRAYERS coming your way!

Mary said...

So sorry to hear of the serious fall and your injuries Jane - you must have scared the heck out of Alan that night! Thank goodness you stayed conscious and were able to get back in the house. Hope your gashes are healing, that you will not have scarring, and that upcoming rest at the lake will be perfect to relax and take life a little easier!

Lovely Christmas stories and photos - sweet baby whom I know is being loved by all your growing family.

We enjoyed the pre-Christmas Asheville visit - very cold with evening flurries one night - and talked of you guys and wished you were there. We had a great visit to Saluda to see Penny and 'Mr. Comforts', both looking good and their new home is lovely. A night out with old friends from Raleigh who live in Asheville was fun, and of course the town looked beautiful dressed for the holidays.

Bob joins me in sending best wishes to you all for the coming year - good health, much happiness, and please no more accidents!
Love, Mary xx

Vee said...

What a wonderful Christmas you enjoyed! A new baby in the family just at Christmastime is a special gift. Have a terrific time at the wedding.

Val said...

Your tree-topper! ♥ So dear. And what beautiful family photos--treasures all.

Happy new year, Jane.

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Goodness, Jane. Your fall sounds awful. Glad to know you are doing okay and healing. Lucy June is so precious. Such a sweet photo of the three of you. Take care of yourself. No more rushing or running. Happy nearly new year. :)

Mereknits said...

I think more than Clarence was looking out for you when you fell. You could have easily bled and froze out there. Bless your face, heart and every ache and pain you have. I am so glad you are okay and that you were able to enjoy Christmas with your beautiful family. Love the canvas of you, your husband and that gorgeous addition to your family. Happy New Year.

Susie said...

Sweet Blondie< OMG, please put up a clothes line run from your back door. You hook it out a ways and snap the dog's leach on it and they will go out and not run away. Thank God you made it into the house without fainting or blacking out. Yikes. I love the photo of you and your husband with the new baby . Glad your Christmas was good and I am wishing you a very Happy New Year, blessings ,xoxo,love, Susie

Dewena said...

Jane, what a terrible thing to happen to you! You were so lucky to have made it back inside. It's like something from a movie. In fact, I've seen some action movies that couldn't compare to your real life. But I know I'd react the same way you did if my fur baby was in trouble. I know your trip this week to town to attend the wedding will be good for you. Enjoy it!

The portrait with little Lucy June is stunning!

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

Beautiful little angel! Congratulations to all :-)

Cindy said...

Omg, Jane, so glad you are OK. I usually fall once a winter so I feel your pain! I lost my beloved senior horse, Jake on Dec. 20th so it has been an emotional time for me. He was 35 and really had a good life. My other horse, Adonis, is adjusting quite well so far. Happy New Year 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎈❣️🎈 Cindy

Carol said...

That pic of Madelyn & Baby Lucy is beyond precious!

oldgreymareprimitives said...

So many wonderful things in this post and of course one downer as in you falling "downer". Poor thing that's awful. You had told me but it sounds so much worse in fuller detail. You should be greenish yellow by now right? Love the photos, will definitely try the drink.
Happy New Year. I will be curled up with a good book and cocoa wondering what this new year has in store.

Lynne said...

Sweet bit of tiny . . . love, love . . .
Loved the picture of the two of you with newest grand.
Perfect “doggie angel” topper . . .

Happy you survived the fall, brushing and cuts . . .
That could have ended as disaster.
Be careful . . . be safe . . .

Madelyn and new sister picture is precious!
Happy New Year . . .

Rita C at Panoply said...

Well, Jane, first of all, I'm happy your Christmas was so good, but that fall! Oh gosh, it immediately prompted visions and thoughts of when Mr. P fell down 22 steel stairs on our riverbank in 2018. Like you, he had some pretty severe gashes and bruising, but no brain trauma as we feared. He did lose 20# unexplained after that but further testing concluded nothing. I hope you don't experience any residual issues and can go into 2020 with a calm and peaceful feeling. Happy New Year! ❤

Jeanie said...

WOW. Well, I was going to start this comment off with how beautiful your home was, how enchanting the grands, and how I loved all your holiday finds.

And then I read about Poppy and your fall. Oh, Jane. That's simply grim. You must feel totally twisted up and still battered and bruised, even today. (I know because I took a nasty on Christmas Eve slipping on kids toys on the slate floor and landing on them 180 degrees around, head banged against the front door! It's six days later and I'm still hurting! Yours sounds ever so much worse and I'm grateful you are all right -- in the way that means not dead, versus not hurting. SO glad you could get back into the house. But yes, it must have been a sight.

Well, I hope the healing continues on well and that you can savor this between the holiday time. Big hugs, but gentle ones.

La Contessa said...

YOU sound like a CHAMP!Matching eye shadow etc.........I WANT TO SEE A PHOTO of THAT!
HAPPY 2020 to YOU and your family!
THAT PHOTO of the two of you with GRANDCHILD is so LOVELY!
I will be a GRANDMA SOON AS well first time!!!
Maybe we should chat on the old fashion land line and you can give me some tips!!
MARSHALL FIELDS!!!!!!!NEVER BEEN but I know their FANGO MINTS!!!!!!!
WE had I. MAGNINS........which a family member has found me on instagram!SO FUN!
Miss those stores SO MUCH and THE BEAUTY of RETAIL!
I did not hit one department store this year due to illness but as my ITALIAN said today I don't think you missed ANYTHING!I think he is right!Did you hear any CHRISTMAS MUSIC as you toured TARGET etc?Just curious!I heard NONE on radio or elsewhere!

Kim said...

Wow, Jane! So scary!! You really did have a guardian angel that night. Glad you were ok. The babies are beautiful, what a lovely gift. I wish you nothing but loveliness in 2020! All the best!

It's me said...

Owww so sweet couple those two sisters 💕💕...happy new year Jane love love love Ria 💕💕

Anonymous said...

I read your blog frequently -- beautiful pictures and beautiful words. I LOVED the picture of the dog tree topper and decided to investigate its origin myself! I found the following with a Google image search:

They are out of stock at the moment but it's never too early to be thinking about NEXT Christmas ... particularly for my rescue loving dog daughter! Joanne

Blondie's Journal said...

Hello, Joanne. Thank you so much for looking that up--I did have a lot of followers comment on the dog angel...and I think we all have one or two. The website did say that they had a limited amount but I really hope they continue to stock them. It made me feel so comforted when I sat by the light of the tree at night and didn't have my little guy next to me.

Happy New Year to you, my friend.

Jane ❤️

rajan arora said...

Very Nice and Informative Article. Share something on Best Indian International CBSE Curriculum School in Ajman

Anonymous said...

First off. Oh my goodness Jane that fall had to be so scary, To think of you out there that night ��. Thank goodness you are ok. On a much better note, that canvas that your daughter had made is beautiful. I love it. Your home decorated for Christmas is stunning. Don’t you just love the light of the tree at night. That Marshall Fields ornament ��. Wish I would have thought to get something from there before they closed. I miss Fields. But my favorite is the Milo tree topper! Again so glad you are ok and can’t wait to get together soon. Terry ❤️Xoxo

Terra said...

What a dangerous fall and I am glad you made it into the house quickly. Your doggie Christmas tree angel topper is the best! I haven't seen one before.

Debra@CommonGround said...

Hey Jane, so sorry it's taken me so long to get by to visit. First of all I hope you're back to normal after your scary experience with that fall. So glad you had your hubby with you. I totally have fallen in love with that precious photo with your grandgirls, just adorable, what a precious moment in time. I always love hearing about your wonderful holiday celebrations. Thanks so much for coming by the party to share all your news. Have a wonderful and blessed 2020!

vishal bytes said...

The best part of your articles that they have perfect Content Quality and Quantity. Do write something on dubai indian school also. Honestly, you posses great
Writing Skills.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Jane, I was so sorry to read about your accident but you were indeed lucky as it could have been so much worse...take care if you go to the lake by yourself. I love all the wonderful photos you have included of your sweet family, they are very special.

Little Wandering Wren said...

Oh my, well after that Christmas and arrival into the New Year ... black eye and all let's hope everything will be calmer! I have this vision of the coyote urine and the dog and you flat on your back and hubby sleeping blissfully in the land of nod. You make me smile Jane, never a dull moment, hey? I truly hope you've recovered well. Your granddaughter is a poppet!
Thanks for your warm comment and support re Aussie bushfire.
Wren x

khaled said...

افضل خدمات التنظيف المميزة والشاملة في شركة إنقاذ
تمتلك الشركه افضل العمالة الاحترافية والمتميزة في تقديم خدمات نظافة مثالية ذات كفاءة كبيرة.
شركة إنقاذ تمتلك احدث الاجهزة في مجال التنظيف.
خدمات شركتنا بأقل الاسعار وتناسب جميع المستويات في المجتمع.
خدمات التنظيف الشاملة لتنظيف المنازل والفلل والشقق والشركات والبيوت.
وتقدم الشركة خدمات مميزة في تنظيف المجالس والكنب.
وتنظيف السجاد والموكيت والستائر " بالبخار

شركة تنظيف بالدمام

شركة تنظيف منازل بالدمام

شركة تنظيف كنب بالدمام

شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام

شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام

شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالدمام

شركة تسليك مجاري بالدمام

khaled said...

خدمات تنظيف شاملة ومميزة في شركة انقاذ
افضل خدمات تنظيف المنازل والفلل والشقق والبيوت والشركات
خدمات تنظيف الخزانات والمسابح بالخبر
خدمات مكافحة الحشرات ورش المبيدات
مكافحة جميع انواع الحشرات والقذاء عليها نهائيا
خدمات تسليك المجاري وحل مشاكل الصرف الصحي
في مدينة الخبر والمنطقة الشرقية

شركة تنظيف بالخبر

شركة تنظيف بالاحساء

شركة تنظيف منازل بالخبر

شركة تنظيف كنب بالخبر

شركة مكافحة حشرات بالخبر

شركة مكافحة حشرات بالاحساء

شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالخبر

شركة تسليك مجاري بالخبر

khaled said...

شركة انقاذ افضل شركات التنظيف ومكافحة الحشرات بالقطيف
خدمات تنظيف المنازل والشقق والبيوت
خدمات خاصة لتنظيف الفلل والشركات والمؤسسات
خدمات مكافحة الحشرات ورش المبيدات
خدمات تسليك المجاري وسيارات شفط البيارات
ارخص الاسعار في شركة لنقاذ اسعار تناسب جميع الفئات
خدمات مميزة في القطيف والمنطقة الشرقية

شركة تنظيف بالقطيف

شركة تنظيف منازل بالقطيف

شركة مكافحة حشرات بالقطيف

شركة تنظيف منازل بالاحساء

شركة تسليك مجاري بالاحساء

شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالقطيف

شركة تسليك مجاري بالقطيف

شركة تنظيف مجالس بالاحساء

شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالاحساء

Jennifer Beaudet said...

So much has happened since I visited your blog! Such beautiful little ones! I'm so glad you're ok after your fall! I miss visiting your blog and it seems life was simpler back then. haha I was late to blogging, starting in 2009, I think, and it seems it's not as popular. Instagram is just that...instant. I can't keep up! :)

Simplicity Gifts said...

you have a great writing skill. keep up the spirit. Best wishes from Simplicity Gifts

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

Just popping in to see how your January is going - blessings to you an yours my friend! ♥

Elaine said...

Oh my goodness, that fall must have been horrifying. Glad you weren't injured too badly.
I slipped on ice and literally slid under the car in the driveway.

Your granddaughters are so gorgeous! Such a lovely family and what fun at Christmas!

marc monserrat said...

I like the valuable information you provide in your articles.
I will bookmark your blog and check again here regularly.
I am quite sure I’ll learn lots of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!
vinilos decorativos

pillow sham pattern said...

You are awesome and beautiful Christmas decoration!

Shirley said...

Hi Jane, I decided to pop in today and glad that I did. I enjoyed catching up with you and all of your new grand babies. Grandchildren grow up so fast. I loved seeing pictures of them, We have had a mixture of rain and snow this morning. I hope tomorrow will be better. Puppies are so full of energy. Dog training sounded like my son's experience with theirs. It is good catching up with you. Take care. Hugs and prayers from your Missouri Friend Shirley

decorative pillow shams said...

I will bookmark your blog and check again here regularly.decorative pillow shams

geometric cushion covers said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
laani said...

Great post. I found your website perfect for my needs. Very useful info specifically the last part. Thank you for sharing with us, and we sincerely hope you will continue to update or post other articles

Sierra Nibbe said...


I was told by my doctor that there's no possible cure for it but it can be suppressed with the use of medication!! I felt depressed & sad. I started taking my medication. I felt frustrated, so I tried to seek help online when I came across this website of a doctor called Chief Dr Lucky.  Also I saw a lot of testimonials about him on how he uses natural herbal medicine to cure HIV AIDS and numerous Infections & different kinds of disease as well. So I contacted him and told him my problems after a brief consultation with him. He Prepared and  sent me the herbal medicine and I took it as he instructed me, Then he called me 3weeks after to go and have a check-up!! It brought out testing negative, I felt calm a bit, and the doctors day for more clarity I will have to come back after 1week of which I did and tested negative for the second time !! I am so wow and grateful to this doctor whose medicine has NO SIDE EFFECT, there's no special diet when taking the medicine. He also have cure for 
You can contact him via Email: or whatsapp +2348132777335

deraz said...

خدمات عجمان – المحترف للصيانة – الامارات
صباغ رخيص فى عجمان
دهان رخيص عجمان

Switts said...

Thanks for sharing this valuable post with us, Are you looking to buy  corporate gifts in Singapore. Read once below content to get the best Customised corporate gifts.

Switts Group Pte Ltd is offering the best corporate gifts in Singapore and has provided many innovative and cost-effective ways to create the best and most customized gifts ever in Singapore since we established our corporate gift wholesale business in Singapore. This has made a big difference in the perception of corporate gifts. Visit our website to get additional information.