Monday, May 21, 2018

Spring Interrupted

The last six weeks or so have been challenging.  My dear pal Jean very sick, hospitalized, having such a difficult and painful time.  Heartbreaking.  Then the sudden death of our dear Charlotte's Dad.  Unthinkable.  My dearest had to travel last week, so I was alone.  Determined to get things done, keep busy.  That's not how it works...I had a lot of time but little motivation.  I started to do some cutting and sewing for our service project.  The kids called all the time and Mike and Amanda came and brought me dinner.    The week passed by pretty quickly.

 When I changed things up on the buffet, I moved my hymn board over to the living room.  I have a little shrine going.  I found the photo of St. Therese at my favorite thrift and added some roses. 
 Blessed Mother's month is May.  Some of my fondest memories are of May Crowning and the procession that passed our home.  One year, when my children were young, I was honored to decorate the steps to the statue of Mary in front of the school and make the flower crown that was placed on the statues head.  You can take the girl out of Church but you can't take the Catholic out of her, or something like that. ;-)
 I was always fascinated by the lives of the Saints.  Though I never had a patron saint, Penny being a "Hollywood" name and all.  I admire their stories, their great faith and unshakable belief. 
 Mother's day flowers still lovely.
 Fresh as a daisy.

 Last week we did find a great rummage sale where I found some books.  I can't believe I've never had this sewing book.
 Even before the Royal Wedding I have had a fascination with the Brits.  It could be the British boy I married, and the name I took...Penny Willoughby sounds pretty British for a Polish girl!
 Looking for inspiration to get in gear and get out into my own English Valley garden.
 My $2.50 silver plated serving tray...perfect for a tea party.
 My jewelry, only the finest a dollar can buy.
All the hearts, sewn and stuffed by my guild sisters.
This week we will be celebrating our Penny's 6th birthday.  Over the weekend the party at the stinky sock place...If you've been to one, you know...was amazing because Penny's cousins were able to attend.  These girls are BFF's forever.  After the party at the "Jumping Place" they all came back to our house for more fun.  I got to spend some time with little sister Baby Z.  She has been very suspicious of me, and I have been trying hard to win her over.  Well, my persistence payed off. We had a great time playing catch with some giggles and tickles.  It's so hard to have them far away.
These girls are so beautiful, smart and funny, and they love each other so much.

I can't believe our girl is six.  She is the light of our lives, and our love for her just grows and grows.

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Now that my dearest is back home, my mood has lifted but I have to wait for the showers to pass and the ground to dry a little before I begin my planting.  We are planning a garden party later in the summer, so a few pots of flowers would be nice.  Showers of the bridal variety, followed by our own royal wedding at the end of summer.  Jon and Charlotte move into their new home next month.  A new beginning for them.  I hope that they are able to find some joy and happiness at this difficult time. May is almost over but it's not too late...Our spring was interrupted but we will persist. 

"We are given dazzling sunlight, fragrant air, new birth, beauty all around us and we have to register it all in our soul.  While we are experiencing morning and spring, somewhere in the world there is darkness and sadness.  That's life."   -Alexandra Stoddard

 I quote Alexandra Stoddard on many a occasion.  She is a wonderful writer and her Grace Notes is always on my desk.  Thoughts and inspirations for a Beautiful Life, it says on the cover. 
I have many of her books and always find her to be inspiring and uplifting. 

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

Monday, May 14, 2018

Rainy Days and Mondays

Our Mother's Day weekend was quiet.  I found this cool botanical hanging at the Northwind Perennial Farm.  I convinced my dearest that I could do his Mother's Day shopping by buying this. Ha, he's the sweetest.

It was reasonably priced and looks great just where I thought it would.
I added some faux plants and botanicals. some vintage garden items to a few cloches.
I love clear glass cloches and domes to change out for the seasons.
A cement bunny and some flower frogs in a mini bird bath.
A nice change for the summer.
I found two of these chairs at the thrift last year for a dollar each.  I finally got around to painting them a cool teal.

Now to power wash the deck.  It looks bad but after a good cleaning things will look much better.
We would really like to get another year out of this old deck. We just need to replace two boards.  Handy guy of mine, this job is for you!

Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Mallard have taken up residence in the neighborhood.  It delights me to see them waddle down the sidewalk. 
A rainy and cool Saturday. Errands and deliveries, and a visit to my friend Jean.  Still in rehab, but  I hope her next stop is home.  Thanks for your good thoughts and prayers for my dear friend.
We visited this cool shop in East Dundee.  About a half hour from home.  I didn't think to take a photo until we left.  I purchased a few cool things that I will show you at a later date.  So much to see, and styled by my blogging friend Joy from Savvy City Farmer.  If you are local, love vintage and creativity, this is the place.  Connie was so kind, we can't wait to go back.
This Mother goose was keeping her babies close.
Our neighbor's apple tree in glorious bloom.
Where did this tulip come from?
What a beauty, this is the year of the bleeding hearts.  Never had so many blooms as this year.
Not the year of the lilac.  Our white lilac have just a bloom or two.

Last year it was filled. 

A rainy week ahead, great for the garden, bad in the mood department. It will be a plus in the getting things done department, anyway I plan on making things happen.
Wishing you a productive week, peaceful times and love, plenty of love.
Thanks for stopping by.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny 

Monday, May 7, 2018

To Everything There is a Season...

 Over in our meadow, filled with bees, Spring has finally taken hold.
 Mrs. Mallard dropped in for a visit after a heavy rain.  She was looking everywhere for her Mr., and found him right across the hedge in the neighbors yard.

 The long days take us outside,
 The evenings are so sweet and fragrant.

 The end of the workweek.
 Saturday found us picking up our girl for a visit.  Mom was doing a craft fair, selling her beautiful work.  We headed for the Lake, so excited for a beautiful warm day...then the midges!  I had no idea what a midge was, but they covered our clothes.  Seems the little flies rise from Lake Michigan to look for mates, procreating and laying their eggs in the Lake, then they die.  They travel in gangs.  They can't bite or sting but they are gross.  Penny was not amused, and she was upset that the playground was still wrapped in orange fencing.  "Why can't we have any fun?"
 We headed home and made our own fun.  A pretend wedding and the tossing of the bouquet.
 In the morning we took a ride to one of our favorite places, Northwind Perennial Farm in Wisconsin.

 Some of these photos Penny took. 

 She even took a close up.

 Penny was there to look for cats, I was there for garden inspiration.

 I have frames and hardware cloth, I have to make one,  those frames looked so cool.

 Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace...

 Looking for frogs carefully so we wouldn't actually see a frog. ;-)  Just off her meds for her infected thumb, our girl got spots, Roseola.  Your gonna need an ocean, of calamine lotion.  Kindergarten is a hard year, seems someone is always sick and passing it around.

"We live life in little moments that are soon gone. Each day holds possibilities for great discoveries and hidden joys. Enjoy each small amusement. The only thing you can grasp hold of is the moment, now." 

We are here as visitors, tourists. We can appreciate what we experience but we can't possess anything more than we can stay here forever." - Alexandra Stoddard

Our dearest DIL Charlotte lost her Dad Steven this weekend.  A sudden accident at home changed everything.  Steven was just 56.  Praying for peace and comfort for our extended family, for Charlotte's Mom Roseann and her sisters and niece.  I'm thinking of our Charlotte and Jonathan just days from moving into their new home, all the joy and excitement is gone, replaced by grief.   My heart breaks for the whole family.

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
Thank you for stopping by and for your kindness.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny