Wednesday, February 21, 2018

"I am."

I was so happy to receive some beautiful cards from my sweetheart
for Valentine's Day.  
 Valentine's Day we traveled to the city to see our girl.  We got to pick her up from school as a surprise.  Nothing better than that sweet little girl running calling, Grandma!  Later, we headed over to Jon and Charlotte's and got to see Jon just getting home from work.  Then, when we got home Mike dropped in for a hug.  A perfect day/  My sweetheart and I were pooped from a full day of work and three hours in the car.  We were in bed before the news.
From the factory window.
On my birthday, yes, I am now 63!  We started a long weekend together.  We headed for Blumen Gardens in Sycamore.  February is a strange time to visit a garden center.  Every thing was in a jumble as they are installing a heating system in the main factory area.  Even in a jumble it is still gorgeous!  Those windows alone make it worth a visit.
From the gift shop window.
 Inside the little shop it was warm and cozy.  The woman working there was so sweet.  We had a long conversation while we looked around at all the lovely things.  I bought some beautiful heart shaped battery powered lights I'll use for any one of the festivities surrounding the wedding of son Mike and his girl Amanda.
Out my front door.
 Saturday we had the strangest snowstorm.  I thought the forecast was rain, but late in the afternoon it started snowing and came down for several hours, then stopped as suddenly as it started.

 I had a bake sale at Church, but was not going out in the blizzard. When the snow stopped we headed out to put my baked goods out for after the Masses on Sunday.  On the way home someone had plugged in their holiday lights.  It looked so pretty.  Sparkling white lights against the snow always looks magical.

 The view out back.
  I'll be out there filling all those pots in a couple of months.  The time does fly.
 I love snow,
and the way the snow makes the world look like a storybook.

 Even my shed. ;-)
 The next morning when the sun came out the snow sparkled
 So beautiful against the bright blue sky.
 Sunday we celebrated all of our February birthdays.  Son Jon and SIL Doug and I all share February.
Hey, there are a couple of cookies missing! (I received that cake dome for Christmas.  It has a truck with a Christmas tree on the plate.  A doily made it a cute Valentine/Birthday dome.)

 We always hang the birthday banner, and put a message on the chalkboard in the hall.
It was a casual dinner. I used Christmas paper plates and made a big pot of soup and a pan of ziti especially for Penny.  Boston Market catered the rest of this affair.   We had 12 people with Elizabeth, Greg and Jim.  I received so many gifts and gift cards.  I also received a special piece of art by my baby grand.  So very sweet and creative.  I love to watch my kids interact as adults.  They love each other, and enjoy each other's company.  That in itself is a blessing.

The birthday boys, Jon and Doug are both in happy places in their lives.  Happy in work, happy with their families. Jon recently was honored at work for giving 110%.  He received a check at a fancy luncheon, and the appreciation of his employer. Jon is such a special person, kind and generous like his Father, and a sweet hubby to his Charlotte. Doug was recently promoted at his job. He's a great Dad and partner to our Kris. So proud, and love my guys. We always have reason to celebrate.


I made apple cheesecake bars.  Jon loves cheesecake, Doug loves apple pie. Penny loves to blow out the candles.

We spent President's day with Penny.  With her busy schedule, we were happy to have her to ourselves.  We got to hear all about her recent performance in a talent show, the first 100 days of school parade, we watched cat videos and talked and talked.  Well, she does most of the talking, and we love to hear all she has to say. 

Yesterday I helped a friend in the morning and my son Mike in the afternoon.  It's already time for the save the date cards to go out.  Mike picked out some pretty stamps, covered in Cherry Blossoms.  Then we grocery shopped together.  I am such a proud Mama, I told the checker I was shopping with my son.  I am so happy he is close.

"Know that you are the perfect age. 
 Each year is special and precious for you shall only live it once. 
Be comfortable with growing older."
-Louise Hay

"I am."
-Penny Willoughby

Thanks for stopping by and for your kindness and friendship.
Enjoy this beautiful day!
Love, Penny



  

Monday, February 12, 2018

Twelve Inches of Snow

Snow, Snow SNOW.  Just like the song from White Christmas.   It started Thursday night and stopped on Sunday.  With the help of our wonderful neighbors and their snow blower, we made it through.  I've shoveled and shoveled and shoveled some more.  Clearing off the car only to have it covered again and again. 
 It was cozy inside but there is that problem called CABIN FEVER! When the flakes stopped briefly and the radar was clear we braved the snowy roads and went to see the snow sculptures in Lake Geneva Wisconsin. 
 You are going to have to identify for yourself these amazing works of art.  It was 11 degrees with the wind blowing briskly off Geneva Lake.  My fingers were frozen in seconds when the glove to camera
did not work and it had to come off.

 Hint: There was an under the sea theme.



 We actually had more snow at home than in Wisconsin.




      





 There were "crazy people" all over the frozen lake.  Not my words, but the words of a mail carrier we passed on our way back to the car.
 No one expects to see a Gator in February in Wisconsin.

It was beautiful to see but oh so cold out there.  We were dressed for cold, but not for the Arctic blast
we got off the lake.

Cabin fever begets creativity.  I have been sitting on these hankies.  I don't even remember where I got them.  Maybe at a rummage sale.  The frame was my hubby's.  It contained business cards of famous people like Henry Ford, Thomas Edison... silly art for a office. Well, it sat for years and after seeing something similar somewhere, (Pinterest perhaps) I got out the iron and pressed those hankies.
When I was finished I thought the frame would look better painted.
Here it is hung in my sewing, crafting and wedding prep room aka as a craftastrophy.

 A run to the grocery store and brought home a little bit of Spring.
 This is my block.
 My tree.
 My rock.
 I love a winter sky.

 My arbor in the snow.

 Our home snug in the cold.
 Sunday was spent at home, but the snow fell and needed to be cleared from the driveway and the car.  When we were finished with just two hours till sunset, we headed to the Lake.  Funny, we couldn't remember ever driving through a winter wonderland to the Lake before.
 We've been to the Lake in all seasons...
 This is the first time I've seen the Lake frozen over.
 Her mystique is not in her power,
 but in her beauty, in all seasons.
We were almost home by sunset, and what a sunset it was.  The sweet end to a cozy weekend,
 the beginning of a wonderful week.

We'll be celebrating three birthdays.  Our dear son Jon, our son Daddy Doug
 and a young at heart old lady, me.
When I turned 55 eight years ago, I wanted to do something brave.  I went to a blogger event, even though I was just a lurker.  That event was the catalyst for me to start my own blog. Here I am 8 years later.  Surprised that I have stuck with it.  Surprised and grateful that I have people who read what I write.  Surprised that my life, though cyclical in many ways, has changed   I am awed and have greater appreciation for everything. Stopping to look at the snowflakes, amazed at the sky at sunrise, the trees.  In every aspect of my life, it is richer, more full, more satisfying.  Contentment. Happiness. Love.  Patience... I still have to work on that.

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