Monday, April 23, 2018

Earth Day and other worries.

 Friday at 5:00 sharp, I reclaimed my husband from work and we headed to the Lake for some much needed respite.  It was still cold but comfortable and the sun was shining. 

 The minute I walk onto the beach my blood pressure drops and my cares seem to disappear.
 The Lake was quiet, just a few people around.
 Loving the longer days.
 The beach scrubbed clean by recent winds and storms.

 A different perspective.
 One lonely seagull.

The rest of the weekend was not as tranquil.

Saturday some of our kids came by after a party at a friend's.  Kris was sick, bad sore throat.  She fell asleep, Penny had a funny blister on her thumb.  A box dropped on her hand and just clipped the tip of her thumb.  She was not happy.  Charlotte felt ill...they stayed for a while but as the were on the way home, Charlotte was sick and they had to stop on the highway.  I love to see them all anytime,  this time was just stressful.  I was grateful when they were all safely back at their homes and I started to relax  little.  Then Mike and Amanda called to tell us they were taking a "surprise" road trip.  This is at 9:00pm, and they are traveling across two states.   At some point I have to let it go, but the Mother in me has no off switch.

Sunday, sensing that I needed a change of venue, honey and I did some thrift therapy.
 The corning ware casserole was just two dollars. A little elbow grease, some bar keeps friend and it was like brand new.  Something I always need as the family grows.
 This was so tempting, I just had to grab it.  Tiny 2 1/2 inch squares. 
It was Earth Day so free seeds at checkout. Not that just planting seeds will do much to protect the Earth from the relaxing of hard earned protections of the air, water and preserving wild places, fought for since our first Earth Day in 1970.   Do I sound cranky? 

 Pretty embroidered table runner.
 I have over 5 yards of this.  Polished cotton, a really pretty print and colors.

I arranged this bike basket.  All I need is a bike!  Seriously.  I tried to hang it on the front door but it won't hang right. 

 Bits of spring in the yard.
 We found the liner for our water feature but it won't fit our old barrel. 
 Just the way this weekend went.
 In a blue funk. It happens to us all. 
We had a great turnout for our service night.  We're trying to keep at least one of our projects going with our Jean still in the hospital.  Jean leads all of the things we do for the community.  We, and especially I, am lost without her direction.
Please keep Jean in your prayers. 

Turning a new leaf today.  Back to my optimistic cheerful self.  This may take a while.

Thanks for stopping by.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny

Monday, April 16, 2018

Like the Movie, Groundhog Day

We wake up and there is snow on the ground.  Even I, as a lover of snow, has had enough.  
On one of the few non snowy mornings, we were delighted to attend a concert at Penny's school.
As the boys drove to school, The Girls walked.  Penny was thrilled to have Grandpa and Grandma come to her school and see her performance.  First some playing on the playground.  I was introduced to many of Penny's friends.  To one friend she said, "This is my grandma, her name is Penny.  I was named after her."
My heart was so full that she introduced me that way.  Of course her little friend said to me, "Hi Penny!"  Such a treat.
The school has this program thing down to a science.  The early program is just for the little ones.  You don't have to sit through the whole program of all the classes, like in my Catholic school days.
It was like penance for me back then, and later for my kids...Kids would faint every year standing on the risers.
Anyway, this was great, the song was awesome.  Penny kept the beat and showed off some of her  great dance moves.  She also managed to wave at us, and smile.  It was tremendous.
No bias whatsoever. ;-)

Then our week turned sad and somber. On this wintry Monday morning, my thoughts are for my friend Jean who had her first chemo last week, and then things got scary.  To make a long story short, Jean is now in intensive care.  So many problems arose and she was so weak, she was rushed to the hospital.
I was able to hold my friend's hand in the emergency room during some of the never ending tests, pokes and prods.  Another dear friend Jane, was there with Jean's husband when we arrived.   Jean has been through so much since September when this whole thing started. It was good to be together to help Jean,  but also good so we could lean on each other.  It is so hard to see someone you love suffer, I hope we were a small comfort.

All these complications are frightening.   All she asks is for prayers.  If you are so inclined, please remember my friend Jean in your prayers.  
 I light a candle as a constant prayer, and hope for healing and comfort for a wonderful, kind, generous and thoughtful woman.  Dear Lord, this girl needs a break! Amen.

Thank you for stopping by and for your kindness.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny 

Monday, April 9, 2018

It starts and ends with snow!

 Weird weather, even for Chicago.  Wednesday we were hit with another round of snow.  It didn't last long, but the cold just stays and stays.
 Any signs of growth were covered.
 Icy walks and cars covered.
 The only color was from my faux flowers.
 A chilly place to sit.
 Inside Penny's plants are sprouting.  She won some paper lady bugs that had flower seeds embedded in them.  We potted them up during Camp Grandma and they are growing!
The back.
 I had this sheet, a Ralph Lauren thrifted but beautiful one.  Parts of it were shredded , but I hated to see it go.  I got out my favorite pattern and made myself a apron.
The front.  
 I made all the bias binding,
 from a shabby chic shower curtain.  It really is lovely, my photos don't do this pretty print justice.
In the dining room, my muscari are dazzling.
 They glow like stained glass in the sunlight.
 One little ranunculus decided to bloom.
 My wheat grass is growing and growing.
 I need a tiny lawn mower. ;-)
 On Friday we were invited to celebrate our Amanda's birthday.  This is a blurry photo of Henry.  He is my favorite cat, but I am very allergic.
 Here's the birthday girl.
There's my silly son with the crazy look for his Mom. 
Amanda is an accomplished artist.  In the background you'll see one of her 
amazing works of art. 
We had a quiet weekend, did some thrifting and looking for a replacement for a fountain that my dearest made when we moved into our home long ago.  It's made from a 1/2 barrel with a plastic liner.  We found the new barrel but not the liner.  
We went everywhere...Home Depo, Menards, local nurseries. 

 We found lots of cool stuff.
 Isn't this a great idea?
I loved the little ficus in this fairy garden.  We had a 6 foot ficus a long time ago.  It dropped leaves if you looked at it the wrong way.  Still it was awesome to have a tree in our apartment.  When we moved my brother took it and it lived for years. I hadn't thought of that tree for a long time.

 I still love plants, but have much better luck with outdoor plantings than indoor.  I have managed to keep a few things alive over the winter.  This angel vine...
 a little geranium,
 a variegated ivy,
 but this geranium is two seasons old, and like me loves being close to my hubby.  It is thriving in his office window.
It loves technology talk and problem solving.  Anyway, it must because it had a great winter, blooming throughout.
 View through my office window today.
 It's a winter wonderland...except it's April 9th.
 I can't say I'm not enjoying it.  Makes the house all cozy like.

"Spring had come once more...
lingering through April
and May in a succession of sweet,
fresh, chilly days, with pink
sunsets and miracles of
 resurrection and growth."
-L.M. Montgomery, "Anne of Green Gables"

Hope springs eternal.

Please continue to keep my friend Jean lifted in good thoughts and prayers.  She will begin her chemo very soon. Jean's life is helping others.  She is the reason that we have been able to touch thousands of people with our service projects.  Now Jean needs our help, and all she asks for is prayers. 
Dear Jean, May God hold you in the palm of His hand. 

Thank you for stopping by and for your friendship and kindness.
Enjoy this beautiful day,
Love, Penny