Sunday, May 31, 2009

Took the day off or what was left of it. couldn't sleep last night so was up drinking hot chocolate milk at 2 am and took a pill then went to sleep and slept until 10.30. Which is very late for me. I am not a real early bird but usally 8 or so. by the time I had coffee and read the sunday paper it was time to make lunch so we skipped breakfast today and had brunch. Went outside later to water the grass seed we have put down and put some impatience nto pots that go in my grape pickers cart. The bottom of the wooden part gave out this year so Harv is making me a new one with help from a neighbour who cut all the boards to size. At least this way when the cart is finished the flower parts can just pop in there. I love mucking around outside. I go for a minute and next thing you know it is 2 hours.

I have a picture for you today that I made reference to the other day. I purchased the picture post card from jo in nz ( . I am sure all of you are fans of hers and between winning posts and her sending me gift cards I have 3 of her post cards and now I have the ultimate one. The workmanship on this card is just spectacular. there is even a small piece of driftwood at the bottom.
This card is the one she made for the Art Gallery show a few months back.
She spent about 29 hours of handwork on it and it is just beatiful. I am such a fan of this young gals work that I treated myself and bought it. she is only in her thirties and has 3 young children and amazes me at what she does. She also has a Mother and Nana who are into quilting and do beautiful work so must be a family gene. The first two pics are of Jo's postcard but when in florida I found a little bag of these neat mermaids and when I saw Jo' s card in person I hunted up the mermaid and just placed her there for the pic. I hate to add on to someone elses work but she just looked right standing there in the middle. What do you think Jo? Good or bad? What is the verdict from the rest of you. Go to Jo's etsy site as she has some neat things.
I will bring this with me to Omaha so everyone there can get a really close look at it.

It hasn't rained since I put the stain on the deck yesterday so I lucked out. It is also the color I wanted. They are calling for thunderstorms tonight and tomorrow but it said 24 hours to dry and it has been that. When I get all the pots and the furniture back I will take a pic or two.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hopefully this is the last I will post about the deck. You must be pretty tired of it about now. I know I sure am. I finished putting the stain on this afternoon. Took about 4 hours but I am happy with it. Just hoping it will not rain for the next day. They are calling for occasional showers but a thunderstorm tomorrow night. Hopefully it will be dry by then.

I am posting a picture of the puzzle pieces I made for Pat winter's puzzle swap. I made the fabric on the embellisher and used felt as the bottom then added various fabrics in the same color and netting to match. I added 2 shades of angelina fibres - gold and a peach color for the glitz. I embellished the ribbon roses also. I put either beads or a charm on each one. I had a bit of a time doing the blanket stitch around it all. I used steam a seam 2 to add the background fabric to the embellished fabric. I almost did not put any fabric on because the back was as pretty as the front but the rules were to have a fabric backing so I did. Hope whoever gets one likes it. I also have a pic of the one I am trading with Pat but will not show that until Pat has received the package and sees hers,

Friday, May 29, 2009

Did not get the pictures I had planned on as I am still working on the deck.
Will this never end?

I called Olympic stain and he gave me the name of a product that would remove the stain I had just put on that I knew in my heart I could not live with. That was to be done on wed. but it rained and I stayed inside and finally made and just finished the puzzle pieces for Pat Winters swap. I have them bagged and ready to go to the post office tomorrow and Pat should have them first of the week.

Well thurs. I spent stripping and power washing the lower deck and even getting on my hands and knees with a brush trying to get some of the darker color out. I am pleased to say it is not reddish orange anymore. Down to a light tan with darker accents. One more cleaning and power washing and it should be done. In the meantime back to Loews and talked to a fellow there who advised me to look at the Cabot line if I wanted just a hint of natural color. Well ended up bringing 4 gallons of that home and this afternoon I put it on the top part of the deck and I think I finally got what I had wanted all along.
My daughter came over for the afternoon and helped me haul 6 large bags of potting soil that I put in a spot in the yard where I have ground cover that part of it mysteriously disappeared over the winter. She was pulling hers out and kept it in buckets and we loaded up the good dirt and then put her packasandra down. Good recycling. Will keep watering it and hope for the best. She helped seed some of the side yard with Harv. and then pulled weeds while I worked on the deck. It is so nice to have someone to help you when you are overloaded. I finally feel better then I have for a week. Hope to get the rest of the deck stain down tomorrow except for the lower part and then I can get my furniture and flower tubs back and my flowers planted. Will take piks when done. Adios amigos.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Where did that week go. I can tell you. It went with me outside trying to work on this huge deck. Rather then write it all over I copied and pasted my tale of woe I sent to my good friend Barb.

Here it is: "sorry I haven't got back sooner but since thurs. am I have been slaving outside on our deck which is 20" deep and runs on 3 levels the complete back of the house.I was going to have someone come in and power wash it then went to Lowes and was lookin at stain and they had a deck cleaner that you just sprayed on and waited 5-10 minutes then spray it off with the garden hose. Sounded real easy. It worked really well and we had picked out what they call a tone stain. Just a hint of color in the clear stain. They sell little samples so brought 3 home and tried them on a piece of the bench. Decided the light cedar would work. Well by Sat. morning the bottom deck had dried for two days and I decided to put the stain on. First I didn't nderstand the direction on the item I bought to apply the stain. There was a container that you poured the stain into and then just went down the wood with the pad. Well the stain poured out like a lake because I didn't have the on -?off switch in right. After 2 gallons of stain I finally knew something was wrong and got the old boy to help me fix it. He figured it out. Well the color came out so strong it is just horrible and where there was still dark color underneath it came out black. I could have cried. Of course Harv says "its not bad" trying to make me feel better. With the rest of the deck I went over it again with the cleaner and then used my neighbours power washer and the dirt just rolled off so if I had used the cleaner and the power washer it would have worked fine. Well I have now cleaned the whole deck twice and can't do anymore because it poured rain last night and it is supposed to rain thru Thurs. Maybe good - give me a break from it. I called Olympic stain this morning and talked to a tech and he said they didn't sell anything to remove it but Lowes should have a deck stripper made by another company and that should take it down. So off to Lowes again and get the stripper and see if I can at least get the orange out of it. So that is my tale of woe. Of course I haven't been getting any flowers in because I can't put them on the deck."

Well off to Loews I went this morning and bought 2 gallons of the stain remover and now I just have to wait for this rain to pass thru and pray the stripper realy works. At least it should take some of the orange color out plus the block. I took pictures but it looks mild in the picture as in real life.I roughly measured the deck and it comes close to 1000 sq. feet.

I also have some pics of the top deck to show it nice and clean and for Susan from "Plays With Needles" I have to clarify something. In the very last picture on top it looks like a giant mushroom in my yard and Susan came back and said she liked my mushroom. I laughed so hard I almost fell off the chair. It is really my bird bath turned upside down for the winter and is too heavy for nme to turn over. Well it is turned over now and the birds are enjoying it. Susan maybe I should get a mushroom as it looked kind of neat.

Hope you all had a good weekend with your friends, families, etc. I will have something special to show you tomorrow if I can get a good picture of it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I have started working in the garden now I have the house a little organized. I went to our local plant sale on Sat. and bought a bunch of flowers plus one lady sells old antique garden items. I bought 3 hosta leaves made in plaster - one large and 2 smaller. They were all she had. They were new not old. Gardening in a lot of shade I love hostas big and small. I placed the cement ones by some hostas emerging near our back shed.Nothing grows there except weeds so we just put hostas and bark there and now these stones will dress it up a bit.

I bought a metal twig basket to go on our table - just a change. I always have a plant of some kind on there so will fill this up also.

We have been fighting on one side of our house trying to grow grass every year and worked so hard on it last year then decided if it didn't grow I would have to get a new landscape plan but it was a large space. Well to my amazement when I walked around there it was all green with just a few bare spots. I have seeded them and am watering them everyday. I was so excited to see grass. The other side that usually has grass with just a few spots that we always have to fill in has less grass then usual. Go figure.
I took some "before" pics of parts of my garden. We live on a 6 house wooded court and our lot is very wide in the back but shallow and the whole back of the house is a deck with different levels. I mention my garden on the deck and people look at me like what is she tallking about so I too a pic of it. It will be cleared of weeds and impatience will go in there.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Yesterday was the first of the summer birthdays in our family. My son's youngest Tommy will be 6 on thurs. and we celebrated yesterday. I snapped a couple of pics of he and his 6 year old cousin who is one of his "best friends" he tells me. These are the two in kindergarden together. Luke is my daughter's youngest.

Our oldest son is actually May 11 but he lives in Minneapolis so is too far to go for a sunday party but we do love him . I was browsing through old pics on the camera and I have one of he and his wife Kim when they were in Florida at thanksgiving. He is the one who started me on the blog if you read the very beginning. He is a great guy and a wonderful son.

Birthday parties follow every month all summer through Oct. when we leave for Florida. My daughter has them all summer as my son's other 2 are Feb. and we are not here. She has all our family and her husband Jon's family and it is always fun. Will show pics when the time comes.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Susan sent over the pictures today and I am surprised they turned out that well. Because they said no pictures she thought they meant outside also and I told her I did not think so. There were no picture police outside checking. In fact I saw plenty of gals clicking away with their cell phones inside. Well she tried to hide hers under her jacket so as not to be seen but they still came out. I cannot imagine this home being 25 million dollars except for the fact it is in Lake Bluff right on Lake Michigan and is on 22 acres. On the north shore 1 million an acre for land alone would not be out of line.
The first pic is the front of the house. the second inside the pool house or cabana. the third is the pool itself. Fourth is a large arrangement in front of the back of the house. Last is the back of the house.
There is a funny story that goes with the pool. The property line actually runs right thru the middle of the pool so when the house is sold they would have to buy the adjoining land which is still empty or someday have half a pool. Only 2 families have lived in this house since it was built so I guess it was never found with the first sale. Now a north shore real estate mogul has bought it and is renovating it for sale. That is probably when they found out the actual property lines.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Today was our housewalk day and it turned out great. Started early when I made a run to our Aldi store which is about 1/4 mile down the street as they had 10" flower baskets on sale for 5.99. I ran down there and bought 10 of them. I gave 2 to my daughter and dropped off 1 to my DIL when we dropped the kindergarden boy off. His cousin is in the same class and ride the same bus so it is handy for both girls. they play well together. Then headed to my daughters and her next door neighbour was having a garage sale. I ran over there and bought a bunch of crazy ties. 2 Popeye ties, basketball tie, Snoopy and a gorgeous silk tie that when I got home found it had matching suspenders in the bag. It was so neat I can see some young college guy wearing the set and would hate to cut it up. 50 cents each. I bought a huge jar must be 18" tall with a lid for 1.00 filled with easter eggs. told her to take them out and sell them as I did not want them. Then we dropped Luke off and headed for the house. Pictures were forbidden inside but Sue took some of the outside and the pool area. It was right on Lake Michigan and was huge. 14 bedrooms and so many small rooms had trouble figuring out what they all were. They had each been decorated by a Chicago decorator and some we liked and some we didn;t. I did see a paint color I liked and may use in florida.

We left there and we had seen a huge nursery on the way down and so stopped there and I have never seen one so big. They were fairly expensive for the everyday stuff but you saw plants you had never seen before. I love hostas and especially miniature ones. I have a lot of different ones considering I have a shaded garden. I saw this one called Hosta "Stilleto" and you wouldn't even believe it is a hosta. It will grow about 6" high and about 12" wide. I bought 2 pots and they were 11.99 each. when I looked when I got home it looks like they are 3 seperate plants in each pot so can probably divide them up right away. I took a couple of pics so you can see what I am talking about. Quite a few years ago a Chicago grower came up with a similar one and I think it was called sparky. I called about it and I believe it was $200.00 per plant. Apparently they make the most money on the patent in the first few years then as they are around longer get cheaper. This one reminded me of the Sparky and the price was sure better.

Sue bought a bunch of plants and then we headed for home looking for a restaurant.and found a new one to us. Had lunch then headed home. Back to the garage sale and I bought a lot of jewellery for 50 cents a piece that can be used in my cq pieces. Also bought a brand new florist glass set that you put individual flowers in each of the little cups and there are middle cups also. Sounds crazy but one day when I have a lot of flowers in bloom I will try it and take a pic.

I arrived home about 5 and thank goodness I had chili in the fridge for Harv and only had to nuke it and make some toast about 6.30 for him. I had my daily must have cup of tea. Can't live without my tea. I am tired but happy from our nice day. The boys will be out in 3 weeks so I will enjoy every time we can get together before then.

Sue did take a couple of pics outside the house with her phone camera and will post them when she sends them on. She had a baseball game at 5.30 for one of the boys so am sure will not get them tonight.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

We are back in Chicago since Sunday evening. Had a very good trip home and yes this still feels like home to me where as Florida feels like I am on vacation. Well I know the vacation is over because now all the gardening has to be done. Have had a very busy week and will be glad to see the weekend come to relax. I had 2 Dr. appts. Monday - opthamologist Mon. am and he confirmed that I should have cataract surgery and then in the afternoon I saw the dermatologist for him to check one of the two surgeries he did on my back last Oct. There was some question about the biopsy on the one but he said it looks fine and not to worry about it. He did a biopsy on a small one on my face near the hair line and will find out next week if it is skin cancer and has to be removed or not. I had a similar one on the other side of my face and it was but they were able to remove it easily and it healed well so am not too worried if it is. The scheduler for the Dr. called this afternoon and we have set up for cataract surgery after I come back from Omaha - the first eye July 20 and the second Aug. 3 so I guess I will not be doing too much close sewing for a few weeks in there.

Tuesday was our Questers last meeting of the year and was a potluck as usual but was in the form of an old fashioned tea party. A lot of the gals wore hats and the food was fabulous as always except Monday night I had to make a dessert after I got home from the Drs. Also between making dinner and dessert I had to completely empty the van as Harv had his yearly appt. dowtown at Northwestern with the Rehab Drs. After the lunch was over I stopped at my daughters to see her and the boys. I waited for them to get off the bus and got hugs then they ran off to do their things. My daughter said you waited an hour for that? Thats boys for you.

Today I started sorting all the stuff I had emptied into the laundry room plus the postman has bought the 4 cartons I mailed home to me over the past couple of days. Today he brought the 4th. and I said just place it on top of the others in the hall and he laughed. I just moved them into the dining room until I get time to get started on them. I still have to unpack our suitcases that are in the spare room. Well it will all get done in time.

Tomorrow Sue and I are going on a housewalk for The Infant Welfare Society. The home is up for sale for 25 million dollars and is in Lake Forest, IL right on the lake for anyone familiar with Chicago. It was originally built for the Rand McNally family and has 22 acres of grounds. The gals were talking about it at the lunch who had been there and said it is fabulous - unfortunately they usually do not allow pictures inside but should be able to get some outside. They tell me the pool area is gorgeous so will try and get some of that. Sue and I try to get together as much as we can in the next few weeks because once the 3 boys are out of school life changes for her. I still see them but her and I don't get much one on one time. Hopefully will be back Fri. with some pictures of the house and grounds.

My own garden looked great . I have both white and pink bleeding hearts and they are all in bloom plus all my shade wildflowers are growing if not blooming. The lily of the valley are all up and at our plant exchange at the lunch I took a Japanese painted fern from my garden and got a Pink Lily of the Valley which I have not even seen before. Must look at the nursery to buy a few more. The hostas are way up and I did stop at Jewel and got drawn into their garden center and came out loaded today when I went to buy groceries and they will have to be put in the pots soon but that is a chore I look forward to. Will take some pics of my garden when all is finished and flowering.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My sewing room is all packed away for our return to Chicago on Sat. I actually took 4 large cartons to the post office this morning as we are very short of space within our van. The middle seats are removed completely when they do the conversion to a handicapped van. It has the sliding side door then a ramp that slides out and allows Harv to enter himself. He transfers from the wheelchair to the drivers seat which is made so it slides back and turns for him then once he is on he slides forward into the driving position. With all this space the back row of seats are way back and we have very limited trunk space. It is worth it for him to have the freedom to just get in and drive. He has hand controls for the gas and brake. I can drive it with the ordinary gas and brake pedals so it is not a problem.
Because I have not been able to sew I have been knitting in the evening instead. Our sewing group obtained a pattern from a gal at the cancer centre and they have requested knit hats for women and girls undergoing chemotherapy and hair loss. Seems funny to knit a wool hat in Florida but one of our gals had chemo a few years back and she said your head gets cold with no hair especially in the air conditioning. They are very simple to make. I made 2 last week and 2 more this week. You get 2 hats out of a skein of knitting worsted. I decided to fancy them up a bit and added little crocheted flowers on top. I am planning on knitting my way to Chicago so should get another one or two finished. I am going to use some fancy yarns for the turnup cuff portion of the hat. Some eyelash or other fancy yarn would look good. More cheerful I think.

Well this will be my last post as I will be shutting the computer down tomorrow and packing it away. We plan to leave here about 7 am and hope to make it to near Nashville Sat. night and be in Chicago then around 6 sun.

I have 2 doctor appts. Monday and our Questers end of the year potluck picnic at one of the gals houses Tues. so may be Wed. before I am back on.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Went over to the flea market this morning as it will be my last weekend here. We are leaving next Sat. morning and hope to be in Chicago Sun. night if all goes well. Better be because I have 2 Dr. appts Mon. at 10.30 and again at 1 which were made before we decided to stay another week. the weather is so beautiful it makes it hard to leave but I know it won't be long before I will be moaning about the heat in Chicago.

Went to the flea market this morning actually to buy enough vegetables, fruit, etc. to get us thru the next week but found a few bargains. One table had all pins $1.00. Went thru them and found 5 that can be used on cq or purses, etc. Also found 2 bunches of potpourri wrapped up in netting but the best part were the bunches of velvet flowers that were sticking up out of the tops of the bundles. They had Christmas gift tags so were left over from last year. They were marked $5.00 and then the man said anything on that table 1.00 so I grabbed both. Now have a nice bunch of velvet pansy type flowers and a silver basket now filled with potpourri. Next I found a gal selling the Murano glass necklace pieces that you buy and attach your own cord to. These were some of the nicest I have seen and only 2.00 each so called my daughter and asked if she wanted some for gifts. I picked up 6 or 7 and she can take her pick. I want at least 1 - just warning you Sue. So all in all I did pretty good today.

When I arrived home my next door neighbour had called so I went over and she asked me if I wanted her bike. I had jokingly said when she mentioned buying a new one that I would buy her old one. Well today she has a new one and the old one is sitting in my garage. She wouldn't even take anything for it. She said she paid 20.00 8 years ago and had her use of it. She even gave me a good pump for the tires. The thing looks brand new. Will have to take a pic of it and another of me on it. A lot of my neighbour gals ride just around the club but I haven't been on a bike in I bet 40 years.

Hope I don't kill myself.

I took some pictures of the view of the pond and golf course from the back of our house and sunroom. There is the pond between us and the course which gives us a lot of privacy. The pond actually narrows down as it bends around the neighbouring houses into a small river. This is the 13th. fairway and #13 pond. The pictures of the forest which run right past our house was actually found to be an old graveyard when they were first starting the CC. Because of the graves (we have only been able to locate 6) the Federal government stepped in and said that piece of property had to remain unchanged. This was great for us as we have complete privacy on that side and our neighbour to the right built their house deeper back because they had an odd shaped lot so their lanaii cannot be seen from ours or vice versa. Complete privacy. I took one view thru the window.