Thursday, August 29, 2013

Getting ready...

It's almost time for "back to school" fall classes to start at The Center and I'm getting ready!  Started a pen & ink this morning...

a collage in middle stages.  Seems I am thinking about my old neighborhood when I was young; gardens on my block, white fences, a childhood friend dashing behind that fence, old houses and a skeleton key that is actually from my old house on Winchester...

and quilting, using up lots of small pieces and scraps in my stash, which I love to do!

Three big star blocks finished; just six more to go...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

the horses

The girls are taking horseback-riding lessons and I wanted to show you their beautiful horses.

Just absolutely beautiful animals, they are.


This guy loves peppermint candy!  He does put on a real show while sucking on and savoring that piece of hard candy.

Monday, August 26, 2013

a Summer Sunday

Fun in the pool yesterday at Julie's - while I wandered around taking some more summer pictures.  This bee was having a picnic in her zinnia patch!

The apple tree, in the back of her yard, is heavy with apples now.  Hoping for some apple crisp!

And the pears are bigger than ever.  So pretty!

We both love bringing in flowers from the garden.  Amazing colors!  "Feel good" colors!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A party

Birthday time for hubby!  We celebrated on Friday at a favorite pizza place, "Ed & Joe's" in Tinley Park.  Everyone loves cheese and sausage pizza, but Julie and I always have to have fresh spinach and then we decided on half fresh tomato and garlic...oh my gosh!  The best!  So, Friday night is when "the balloon man" is there and he creates some awesome characters.  Here is Kassidy's horse and Danielle's giraffe.  So cute!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Getting the summer fuzziness out of my head and got to work!  Finished a grouping of cards to mail out to my favorite potter and friend, Renee', in Door County.  Feeling good to get back in the swing. 

And one more glimpse of the moon last night; full as full can be!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Green Corn Moon

August's full moon; the Green Corn Moon.  Tonight it's at it's fullest but, just in case it's cloudy, I took a picture last night.  Not quite full.  

Monday, August 19, 2013

the lowly marigold

My marigolds did the best in my garden this year.  Besides not having time, or at times it was too hot, to tend to the garden as I should, the marigolds carried on.  Bunnies had also feasted on whatever else looked appetizing to them.  But, oh well...I love the bunnies.  But, as I've read, the marigold never disappoints.  It's name suggests how intensely this humble flower brightens the garden.

A member of the calendula family, the marigold, is also called the herb of the sun, the pot marigold or the French marigold.  The English formed the name using Mary, meaning the Mother Ray, and the word "gold."  The marigold symbolizes passion and creativity.  Even Shakespeare thought highly enough of this blossom to mention it in one of his plays called "A Winter's Tale."

They shared some pots with tomatoes and herbs and they all got along quite nicely.  Marigolds are  believed to encourage more cheerful conversations.

A potion made from marigold petals was thought to summon fairies when rubbed on the eyelids of someone sleeping... 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

summer poetry

This month's "summer poetry" meeting was at my house yesterday and the lunch table was ready...

But first things first - our poetry readings and discussion.

Serious moment, but we did have a lot of laughs!  Love this group!

Lunchtime (hubby even joined us) and everyone still busy talking about our poems and stories.

MaryAnn brought Henri a giant treat that he loves!  A bagel bone from "The Great American Bagel".

Today, Henri is all tuckered out from "his" company.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Henri and friend..

Henri and his constant companion, the green ball.

Play!  Play!  Play!  O' Henri!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

sweet phlox

I was having dinner guests last night and so I went out to pick some flowers for the table.  The white phlox must enjoy summer because they are always blooming, no matter what, in the hot sun.  Guess I had not brought them in for a long time and the smell of them immediately brought me back to my youth.  I could just picture myself walking down my gangway (do you remember "gangways"?) past the hollyhocks, and down the street, past our neighbors houses with gardens of phlox and pinks sweetening the city air.  Oh!  Carefree youth!
Beyond the phlox, in the area behind our house, a bird must have dropped some butterfly bush seeds because there was a new one blooming with little white butterflies already enjoying it. I only stole a few little blooms and let them have the rest.  And then there's the lovely Queen Anne's Lace. Topped it off with a sprig of lemon verbena and there it was...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Julie's garden is growing beautifully, but she has a visitor in it; a chipmunk or a thirteen-lined ground squirrel (which is what Julie thinks it is and has named him "Squirreley") is entering right through the wire, burrowing in and out and up and down and having a fabulous time.  She is now trying chicken wire.
But it's doing well.  These are San Marzano tomatoes; pretty how they grow.  She also has Roma, Better Boy and Brandywine.


 zucchini ... and much more.
And, of course, zinnias are a must!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

writing stories

At the beginning of summer, I looked for some ideas of things to do with the girls on the days that they were here with me.  Found a great book on Amazon called "Show Me A Story" by Emily K. Neuburger.  One of the projects, to encourage children's storytelling and imagination is this one. 

I made a bunch of cards with words and phrases printed on them.  Then I made three "fancy paper" envelopes and divided the cards into them.  I named the envelopes "Beginning", "Middle" and "End".
Each time they were going to write a story, they chose a card from each of the three envelopes, taped the cards at the top of their paper and began composing their story with the beginning word, the middle word and the ending word.  So these are Danielle's and Kassidy's resulting stories.