Monday, October 16, 2017

When the Rain Comes

Someone asked for rain and we got it in buckets this weekend.  We were still able to have a good time and accomplished several jobs that needed to be done around the old house. 
This is a chalkboard that I found last week at a rummage sale. I had to paint over the chalkboard paint that I had on this wall in the hallway, before we could hang it.  (My handy guy did the hanging, I'm the painter.)  This looks so much better, finished and pretty.  The walls are all blue but they are showing green in this photo.  It's a hefty piece from Homegoods, and I got it for $5. 
 I like to have a welcome, happy birthday or other message that you see as you enter our home.

Outside I painted the wooden posts on the arbor, but have not painted the metal parts because of the rain.
 This is what it looked like when it wasn't dumping buckets of rain on us.
 Kinda angry.

I was able to harvest another large basket of lavender.    I had a bee drinking from the lavender as I was harvesting, so I left half for the bees still working until the frost.
 It was not as fragrant as the summer harvest, still, what a bounty, for the bees and for me.
 One tiny Queen Anne's Lace flower is still in bloom.  All the others have set seed and dried.
 So many hydrangea still left on the bush.  Later we will cut everything back to the ground on the Annabelle.
 A set of tiny leaves where the kiwi vine was replanted.  There is hope for a come back next year.

 This wreath is from last year.  It has faded but still holding onto the flowers.
 Some things are just too sweet to change.  This little garden gate welcomes you on our front door.  It's been my go to Autumn decoration.
The Great Pumpkin flag has had a good run.  I hung it first in the city, some 23 years ago.  I don't do spooky, and I don't really care for Halloween. (Except for It's a Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.)  I mostly decorate for the harvest, remembering a few fun things for Penny and the kids that come trick or treating.
 I found these two English marmalade jars at the thrift.  I've seen them on blogs and in home decor but have never seen any for sale.  They are like milk glass, not like our glass jars at all.  Not sure how I will use them, but I have many orphan silver spoons that would look great peeking out of either of these cool jars.  They were .99 cents each.
 Then I found this beautiful  English biscuit tin that was sold by Williams Sonoma.
 I am pretty sure that the art was done by Susan Winget.  She has done drawings for Lang, and I have admired her work for years. It's so cheerful and beautiful, and in perfect shape.
 You know I love a bargain, and this tablecloth was a steal.
 It's huge and the soft colors are so beautiful. It might be too big for any of my tables, but it sure would look lovely on our bed.

I started to organize my pantry and take an inventory.  Officially, I have 5 cans of pumpkin, three cans of water chestnuts, four cans of assorted pineapple and 4 jars of jelly. I know, why?  I had to throw out some expired goods and put all my baking paraphernalia together..  Stop me if I ever want to buy a paper cupcake liner or lolly pop stick.  It's a good time to get things in order before the birthdays and holidays start.  This kind of project just starts other projects,  Cleaning the area of  overflow groceries in the laundry room.  Organizing my bags, wraps and foils...  All while doing the laundry, paying a bill, writing a list and remembering to post something on the blog today.  I am not sure where this burst of activity came from, but I know to ride the wave.  The older I get, the fewer and further between come these days when I do EVERYTHING.  There is satisfaction to be tired from all the activity, and the thrill of opening my pantry and not being crushed by the contents.  Mom and Dad used to tell us about Fibber McGee's closet.  It was a radio show, but whenever they opened the closet, you heard a great crash as everything fell out.  Mom and Dad are on my mind and in my heart today, their anniversary.

Penny is on her second month of kindergarten.  She has great stories to tell and has made many new friends.  This girl has quite a social calendar, many birthday parties and now Daisy's, the tiniest of Girl Scouts.  She was so excited to wear her new winter coat to school this first cold morning.  This school thing is getting in the way of fun and frolic with Grandma and Grandpa.  Gone are the days of taking her out of preschool for the afternoon, or the week.  We still have pumpkins to hunt and jack o lanterns to carve.  Penny has her Halloween costume, it's a character from a Disney show called the Descendants.  The Descendants are the children of Disney characters like Captain Hook and Ursula.
It's all very cool and not at all Daniel Striped Tiger.  Where did our baby go?

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

Monday, October 9, 2017

Autumn in Chicagoland

 We started our weekend at a rummage sale, one that we have frequented for several years now.  Funny how the sale is staffed often makes for a good or lackluster event.  This Barrington Church is always a good time.  The folks are friendly, sometimes silly.  One of the gentleman told us we could not leave the sale until our bag was bulging.   Another asked why we were having such a good time.
We always have a good time at a rummage sale bag sale, and my dearest is always making me laugh.
I found some great items  and as we were leaving a sweet lady asked if she could take our photo with our haul.  She promised it would not be published on social media, just for in house use.  Made me laugh some more.  We had a quiet Saturday afternoon, and watched Hallmark Autumn themed movies.  Truthfully, my sweetie took a nap and I watched.
 Here is my neighbor's little sugar maple in full color.  It was really at it's prime a couple of days earlier, but weather and other obligations kept me from taking a photo.  I've collected several beautiful leaves from this tree and am pressing them in a book about...Autumn!
 Early Sunday morning, we were at the Botanic Garden.
This beautiful hydrangea greeted us at the parking lot.
 We have been walking the garden for almost a year now, and have seen it in all seasons.
 These hanging baskets were loaded with blooms.  At home I seem to loose interest about September 15th or so.  All my pots are looking a little weary.  We've had the driest  late summer and autumn, and I've spent my time on keeping our new sod out front green.
 This willow practically posed for a photo.
 I saw online how they built this pyramid of pumpkins and gourds.  The secret, hay bales as a foundation.  Isn't it grand?
 This was the serious pic, the funny one I took with my phone and sent it to Penny.
She loves her silly Grandpa.

 The sky was so clear and the sun so bright, a perfect Autumn day for walking.
 We have never visited the children's garden before, but now that we've seen it and all it's amazing things for kids to do, we promised  Penny we'd go back together.  The Garden is so different from when our kids were young.  We found the route we used to walk, before all the buildings were build and gardens were planted.. In fact there were electric deer fences back in the day surrounding new plantings that are now beautifully mature.  Kinda like us, beautifully mature. ;-) AKA, old.
 Crossing the bridge to the kid's garden.
 Reflections on the water, so serene.
 So many different plantings,
 spaces and gardens.
 Some pumpkins on display. 
 I thought this was a real pumpkin until hubby read that it is actually cast in bronze.
 I have every one of these tool, including a dibble, but only half a barrel.
 Checking out the map since this was uncharted territory for us.  We were very close to the path we were looking for.
 Can't wait to see our girl navigate all these beds.
 If you enlarge this photo there is a bee near the center.
 I have no idea what this plant was, but it looked like a springtime flower.
 There were hundreds of bees and butterflies on these plants.  I saw my first Painted Lady butterfly.
I had no idea that they migrate.  There were so many flying  over Denver last week that they showed up on radar.  I have never seen them in our area before.
 Thee one is on the left side of this photo, right a top the single bloom on the left.
 We finally recognized some landmarks and found our way up the path we always took the kids on. 
Meaning my "kids" as if they will ever not be my babies.
 Seems like yesterday.  We used to come on Mother's Day together.
 I love seeing what the end of the season brings.
 We don't remember this hill in the prairie.
 Everything is different, but I love it. Surprises around every bend.
 That sky and those silver leaves.
 All those buildings are new and the bike traffic is steady. 
 Thee are charming places to rest and reminisce.
 These cottonwoods.  I love to hear their leaves shimmer.  It takes me back to Colorado.  I was 19 and had just met my guy.  A friend (Carol Buza, where are you?)and I booked a trip to Colorado that included a white water rafting trip.  I was so homesick, and wearing my honey's class ring on my finger as we rode down the Colorado River in these big yellow rafts.  We camped overnight on the shores of the Colorado, under cottonwoods.  It was so quiet and still, except for the sound of those leaves in the giant cottonwoods. It was a life changing event. Of course I went because of John Denver, never found him but the trip made a big impression on a young woman who had never seen the Milky Way or a mountain before.  See how just the shimmer of leaves is all you need to take you back 43 years in an instant.  I digress...
 Cottonwoods.  Sigh.
The Japanese Garden from across the pond.  A brilliant Autumn in Chicagoland.

Back home. Here is one of the items I found at the rummage sale, this vintage enameled pitcher.  I've been looking for one for a while.  This one was in the "French Room" or where high ticket items dwell at the rummage..  All items were half off, so I paid a hefty ten dollars for this baby.  I looked it up and found similar pitchers at $50.00. Yes I danced out of there, I guess that's why that sweet lady took our photo.
 Do you love the way shadows play across the walls at different times of year?
My felt garland sent shadows all across the dining room.
Those blue walls, I never get tired of them.  They always look different, time of day, time of year.
Always beautiful. Wyeth Blue by Sherwin- WIlliams.

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