Friday, March 13, 2020


Hello friends!  Just me.  I'm going to have a lot of randomness in this post.  If I can find the time to write, all I can manage is the usual drivel about my mundane life.  So--I read a book about the late Princess Diana ages ago, written by her personal butler.  When she was driven up to the gates of Buckingham Palace after the divorce (but still her home), the security would ask by microphone, "Who is this?"  She would giggle and say, "Just me."  I would love to have seen how her life  progressed.  So sad we lost her when she was so young.

So anyway, its me,  Your long lost me.  I haven't been living under a rock but have been terribly busy, I just seem to do everything in bits and pieces.  So FYI, I edited my photos in mid January, uploaded them in early February, and started writing my post last week, at least the title.  Enough.  I'm a sloth.  

I love to start my posts with a purdy picture.  Above is a real bona fide hedgehog,  I met him at a birthday party for my grandson, Brooks, and granddaughter, Elsie, both whom share the same date.  My son, Jeff, and my daughter in law, Deirdre, arranged to have The Amazon Lady visit with a myriad of wild animals.  Not pictured is a chinchilla, a barn owl, an anteater, and a huge yellow snake (the species I don't remember).  

I thought the hedgehog was related to the opossum, and although they look alike, they aren't.  They are super cute but contact with their sharp quills, which carry a bacteria that can make you ill,  gives me no idea why people have them as pets. 

Here is Abby just loving a sloth.  A long time ago I called her a sloth in the spirit of how she lacked all sense of housekeeping and making things tidy.  She asked what a sloth was and I was at a loss for words.  It was a saying, but neither of us knew anything about sloths.  So we Googled it.  Maybe these were unflattering pictures but they looked pretty nasty.  Fast forward to this past Christmas, I was in Barnes & Noble and found a sloth calendar, some note pads, cards...seems someone thought the little grub was cute and made it popular.  So I gifted her with the calendar and notecards.  She didn't see the humor in these gifts once unwrapped and left them under my coffee table.  Lo and behold, when we met this sloth, we both had a change of heart.  They sort of look alike-seriously.  She should have hung upside down.  Adorable.

We welcomed Lucy June in November, this is a picture of me with the little cutie on Christmas Eve.  Look at that dress!  She and Madelyn were dressed the same.  You might remember my little fall on the back porch steps just prior to Christmas ( I'm absolutely fine), and  
you can see I'm lacking makeup on my left eye.  Through the miracle of photo editing, Emily was able to erase the wicked black eye.  Actually, it was a pretty shade of purple and I did matching eyeshadow on the right eye.  We had so many holiday parties, I had to adjust my makeup accordingly.  πŸ™„

Jumping ahead, we had our annual sledding weekend at the lake in mid January.  Alas, there was zip snow at the park that we go to.  We had had a ton of snow just days before, but the temps dropped, the rain came, and it was gone.  I wish it had happened sooner; when I arrived my driveway was blocked in with hardened snow and ice that the plow had created.  I felt like a climber in the Alps trying to get my bags, dogs, and provisions up to the house.  I parked on the road for several days, pioneer that I am.  These are our four eldest grandkids on our beach.  From left: Patsy, Elsie, Madelyn, and Brooks.  And not pictured is Baby Lucy, and another grandson, who arrived three days after Christmas, Bobby Sheahan, Brooks' little brother.  He's absolutely adorable.  I hope to post pics soon.  Anyway, we ended up going to a little ski resort for lunch.  We've aways wrapped up the sledding there.  After a great time, the kiddos were able to play in the snow, making angels and running around.  The snow here is machine-made, in addition to the 'real stuff'.  This does not imply fake snow, it involves a process using ice crystals and a whole lot of science to create genuine snow when we are without snow (which is rare in Michigan).  Lots of skiing and snowboarding.  My sons took lessons here when they were quite small.

When it comes to snow, kids need little incentive and often forego the necessities, like missing mittens on Madelyn here.  No worries, we keep a good eye on the kidlets. Once dinner was over (I made BBQ chicken wings and Emily made pulled pork in the crockpot), moms and dads put all of their children in one guest room, sharing beds.  Genius, except both my sons slept on couches, and Abby crashed on an inflatable bed in my room.  Most stayed up late playing poker...not me.  I like board games, lame card games like Crazy 8's, and I'm pretty darn good at chess!  No one cared for that.

The troops packed up and left Sunday and I planned to stay awhile as I hadn't been up since November.  I cleaned, washed linens, cleaned more, had visits with my next door neighbor, and pretty much just sat looking out at the semi-frozen lake.  When its frozen we have watched ice skaters, ice fishermen, and snowmobiles.  At one time, long ago, there were truck races!  I can't remember if we froze last year, I know we had a lot of spring rain.  I started coming up in late April and it felt like it would never stop.  We've had a mild winter and the Almanac predicts an early spring.  Anyway, I came back to Chicago a little earlier than planned!

Since coming home, everyday brings something new.  I'm still working with my doctor in getting a new drug approved for my lungs which is an injectable.  Insurance doesn't want to pay because it's experimental.  I know we all have healthcare issues so I'm not going to make a big fuss here.  I have to have a pulmonary function test Friday and maybe this will convince them my problem is for real. I've also been seeing an optometrist for recurring corneal ulcers, and recently chipped a molar, in my sleep!  Three weeks later I had a lovely crown for about as much money as a down payment on a house.  Oh my gosh, I sound like I'm ninety!

I've been  going to yoga, well not so regularly.  In fact I thought maybe it wasn't worth the expense as other than a few poses where I found my balance off, I was never sore or anything.  Then I started to notice how much stronger I felt around my core, how I was standing and sitting straight involuntarily.  I go to the studio with my sister in law and after we have coffee so it really is a nice way to get out of the house early on cold mornings.  

I haven't been walking Poppy much, it's cold, sometimes too cold for me (πŸ™„). She's an eighteen pound dynamo and full of zest.  She did get her certification for six weeks of puppy training--  Yaaaaaaay!  The only thing she learned is that she loves all dogs.  I really had a ball going and getting to know all of the other dogs and owners.  It didn't go unnoticed that the trainer used Poppy a lot as an example of what you don't want your dog to do when on a leash, sitting, or lying down.  When we were learning how to control our dogs on a leash, I was chosen to demonstrate the way I walk Poppy.  The trainer asked, "So why are you letting your dog go all over the place rather than teaching her to stay at your side?"  I was at a loss for words for a moment, "Because I want Poppy to have fun! I want her to sniff flowers and fire hydrants, spot squirrels and wag at people!'  I think I may have stopped Mr. M in his tracks, " want that, too..."  So for the rest of that class I tried to keep Poppy on a short leash next to my side.  This involved slipping her little treats from my pocket every few steps.  

Look who is growing so fast!  Three months now and Lucy is looking more and more like her mama.  I think she's a really calm baby.  She's usually sleeping every time I see her or have her here.   That's okay because Madelyn is a whirlwind-- it seems like she just turned five instead of three.  She has incredible language and coordination skills. I pointed out to her one day that Layla had a new collar.  She replied, "Yes, I noticed that when I came in." And by the way, she can count to Spanish. Yup, three years old. She learned all of this from her grandma. ❤️.  Ha!

Spring Vegetable Jumble with Lemon-Tarragon Butter

I have been doing a whole lot of cooking as I tend to do during the long, slow winter months.  I wish I had kept track of a few dishes, maybe had taken a few pictures, but I'm the first to admit that my pics do not flatter the food in any way.  So instead of one of my own recipes, I'm posting one from Food52, one of my favorite websites for all things cooking and food.  This recipe is on my list for a comfort style Sunday dinner that has a bit of spring feel to it.  If you make it--let me know.  And follow this'll love it!

I'm signing off now.  I've been putting this post together for about three weeks.  I have a lot of irons in the fire and there are so many things I want to share.  I posted on Instagram today for the first time in over two weeks, and that's a cinch compared to blogging.  And my apologies for not visiting your blogs.  As much as I wanted to keep up, I felt that you would see my comment and stop by here where there has been nothing for what seems like forever. 

 I hope you've enjoyed catching up.  I plan to write about my bathroom redo which is a New York minute from being finished.  I'm so proud of bringing all of my ideas and plans to fruition, of course using a whole list of professional plumbers, electricians, and painters.  Not very DIY but my son commissioned many of his workers at no cost.  My family room project is well underway and I'll save that to share later also.

Lastly, I hope and pray we make it through this pandemic around the world as quickly as possible until it is under control.  Be stringent and smart.  Many prayers going out to all of you.



Mary said...

Great to see you here this morning Jane, and to know all is going well for you and your ever growing family. All the kids are just so cute. Life has been busy for several months but now has taken a sudden down swing due to the corona virus. Straying home feels so right, being out around stores and crowds is becoming a thing of the past. I have plenty to keep me busy too - just completing the master bedroom makeover - only awaiting new blinds and hanging art etc. Your home projects sound big and a lot of work - share pix soon please.
Hope you and A are good - we still need to meet up again in Asheville one of these days.
Bob and I think of you and pray you stay well.
Hugs of course, and much love.

Lynne said...

I loved catching up with you. Love your writing, news, children, “kidlets”
(I am using that from now on, and “coining” you!)
Everything thing you mention is real, honest, easy, “normal” and fun too,
black/purple eye, not so much fun, or a molar chip, crown . . .
(geez . . . who decided they needed to be so pricy)
OR, injection not being covered by insurance.

Loved the “kidlets” in snow gear and imagining them
making snow angels, sledding, rosy cheeks, drippy noses
and forgetting mittens too.
Brought back many memories, our Suzie skied at two.

You are a delight . . . please stay safe and healthy . . .
(Thank you for not mentioning toilet paper . . . )
(I guess I kind of get it, but not 4-5,12 roll bundles in one cart . . . geez!)

Off I go to look at Food52 . . . thank you!

Theresa said...

Nice to see you! Sounds like you have been busy "doing life" and enjoying it. I pray you get some answers with your health issues. Insurance companies are not fun to deal with! Lucy is adorable! Love that little dress! Have a blessed day dear friend, HUGS!

Lorrie said...

Loved catching up with you in this post, Jane. Life is busy, isn't it? Your grands are so sweet. We've just started 2 weeks of spring break (good timing) and although we're going on a little trip (still on our island), we are staying away from crowds and most events have been cancelled. Stay healthy! Enjoy life!

La Contessa said...

WE HAVE RAIN............I don't know how I would deal with ICE AND SNOW!
RAIN makes me nervous.My ITALIAN loves it!
I always think the worst.......trees down, flooding etc.,


cindy hattersley design said...

Jane I have missed your posts and musings and your always so well thought out and supportive comments on my blog. I hope all is well with your health friend. We may be returning to the midwest in retirement at least part time...would love to are the best!!!

Sonia said...

Hi Jane,
Was good to read about all your goings on the past few months. You have been busy for sure. We are sitting at home trying to stay well. My hubbie had open heart surgery Feb 1st so our life was turned upside down for a bit. He is doing great but we are being cautious with the situation right now. Your grandbaby is adorable! Glad you found time to post..I've not been posting much but trying to get back in the swing of things! Stay well!

ann said...

Hello, Jane. It seems that when I first began to follow you, there weren't any grand children. They are so cute all dressed up ready to play in the snow. Don't they bring a lot of joy. Little Lily is just precious. I am wondering if she will be as rambunctious as my little Lily, now 7, takes a beating everyday as her older sisters think that they have to mother her. Poor thing. I am still a bit envious of your house on Lake Michigan. We drove to Leland last sprint, a very tiny town on the east shore way up a the top near Traverse City. My cousin lives there. So beautiful and the lake just captures one's spirit. Are you practicing social distancing? I tend to do that anyway. I'm am quite content here are home, mostly in my basement building my miniatures. Working a chicken house to go with my farmhouse. Keeps my occupied. Stay well. We will keep other company along with all of our blog friends. Now that is distancing with a real purpose--friendship.

Rita C at Panoply said...

Jane, it's so good to be able to catch up with you and your growing family! Your grandchildren are beautiful, you are so blessed! Poppy is spirited companion, and I love it. Take care. xo

Mereknits said...

I love hedgehogs and Sloths! Little B was pretending to be a sloth a few weeks ago and testing my patience. Your little granddaughter is so cute! Smart also. I tell all the little girls I work with, you are smart, you make good decisions, you are a leader and then you can be cute!I

It's me said...

What a wonderful post....oh I love June...what a beautiful girl...I pray for the whole terrible where we are in now...stay positive from me Ria πŸ’•πŸ€πŸ™πŸ’•πŸ€πŸ™πŸ’•

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

I love your "randomness" posts, Jane! You and I have been blogging the same way - it's taken me weeks to write a single post. Now that I'll be social-distancing, I'll hopefully have more time to blog. Your grandkiddies are adorable! Congratulations on the latest arrivals! I admit I am really a ball of stress over this virus -- I hope you and your family stay healthy, and that this, too, shall pass!

Jeanie said...

I'm so glad to catch up with you! Your little Lucy is adorable (and they all are!) How fun to see the snow pix (and know it is hopefully behind us!).And glad you have recovered from your fall. The lung thing -- i relate to lung things - I hope will turn out well for you.

Please stay in as much as you can and self-isolate. You're like me -- you fall into that wretched bracket of people of an age with lung issues -- and it's important to stay safe. I just did my "final shop" and have officially shut down outside contact except for Rick and my three scheduled doc appointments. And I'll enjoy every second, so long as I stay healthy. You do, too!

Unknown said...

Jane, I hope your lungs stay clear and healthy. Those little babies are just adorable!!

Putri Adiratnaa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dewena said...

Hello Jane, I feel in good company as far as slow blog postings go. By the time I get one ready it's really out of date. But pictures of family are always welcome and I enjoyed seeing and hearing about all your little grands. I hope it's not too long before we can be together again with our own. Meanwhile time at home is very much welcomed by our fur babies, right? I hope you hear good news soon about the new drug being approved for coverage by your insurance company. And you may have had a black/purple eye under your makeup or touch up editing but you certainly are beautiful holding your sweet granddaughter! And what a fabulous birthday party! And so lucky that it happened before all the social distancing became a byword in our lives.

Stay safe, all of you,

Anonymous said...

Great information on this blog!! Thanks for posting in this article really helpful.Vertu Signature phone India

Linda said...


Karen said...

Hello Jane - glad to know all is OK in your world. The beauty of yoga is it doesn't have to feel like it's killing you to help you become stronger. I phase in and out of doing it, but I don't ever regret it. Right now I'm light weight training in the gym and walking and that's gonna have to be enough.

As for the dog walks... I am not a strict disciplinarian either - I believe the dog is meant to have some fun out there, and having to constantly be under strict orders to heel is not any kind of fun. So I do think they go overboard with that.

Decor To Adore said...

Puppies, food, and babies! Absolute perfection! This post made me smile.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

It is always so much fun to stop by and catch up with what is happening in your wonderful family's life. Stay safe and stay healthy.

personalized gifts for mom said...

Puppies, food, and babies! Absolute perfection! This post made me smile.
personalized gifts for mom

custom gifts for dad said...

Hello Jane, I feel in good company as far as slow blog postings go. By the time I get one ready it's really out of date. But pictures of family are always welcome and I enjoyed seeing and hearing about all your little grands.custom gifts for dad

personalized new baby gifts said...

Jane, I hope your lungs stay clear and healthy. Those little babies are just adorable!!personalized new baby gifts

BeastFeast said...

Thanks for sharing such a tasty and healthy recipes.

Red Rose Alley said...

Lucy is precious. Welcome to the world, little one. : )

Being a Grandma is wonderful.