Monday, June 26, 2023

10 (ish) Things I Love!! ♥

Hello Friends!  Happy Monday! 

I hope you all had a nice weekend!  As usual, it went by too fast.  We relaxed most of the weekend.  We did manage to fit in the Panera run on Saturday I told you about.  It was nice to get out and treat ourselves to coffee and a couple of chocolate croissants.  Panera has the best ones!  For the rest of the weekend we relaxed, I baked cookies and bread, repotted two plants, did some housework, and that's about it.  The weather was (and still is) hot and humid, so we have pretty much been hibernating indoors which is ok by me.  Today it's back to work and here I am at the computer in my cozy little home office.  I bet you wish you lead as exciting a life as I do! hahaha! 

My friend Jen is traveling with her husband through Europe this summer (ha...but is she going to Panera like me??? Nope : ).  A few minutes ago she sent me this gorgeous picture from France.  She's in a lavender field somewhere in Provence.  Is this even real??  I'm swooning.  I told her I could practically smell the lavender from here.  It got me thinking, is it possible to love a place you've never been to? The answer is yes.  I love this place.  And I've never even been there.  

I think it's time for a "10 Things I Love" post.  It's been a while since I've done one and it's been on my mind lately.  I enjoy these posts because they are strictly off the the top of my head.  I'm going to call this one "Ten Things I Love: Old Lady Edition". I mean that in the most loving way and only because sometimes I feel like my likes are way beyond my years.  And to be honest,  I love that about myself!  

So here we go.  Here are 10 Things I Love: Old Lady Edition! 

1. Lavender fields in France (you knew that was coming!) and other far away places like London, Paris, and Venice, that I've never been to but dream of one day.  I'll get there 

2. Typewriters, rotary phones, old fashioned sugar & creamer sets, salt & pepper shakers, cast iron cookware, long dresses with buttons and pretty collars, aprons, wooden spoons, cannisters that say "coffee" and "tea" on them, old fashion radios in the kitchen, café style curtains, anything with a blue & white pattern, classic Disney films 

3. Libraries with card catalogs, going to museums by myself, antique stores, flea markets, general stores with creaky wood floors, little coffee shops, going to my local farmers market with a cloth bag over my shoulder and filling it up with fruits, veggies, and cheese, cherry vanilla ice cream 

4. Floral pattern dishes, wallpaper, bouquets of flowers in the kitchen, toast with honey and a cup of tea on a rainy day, lots of blankets, candles, piles of books, old tv shows, vinyl records 

5. Quilts, table runners and table clothes, embroidered doilies like my grandmother made, tea towels that say "tea time" on them, anything British, the FALL, pumpkin everything, afternoon naps, pancakes, pearl earrings 

6. Puzzles, crossword puzzles, Wordle (my new obsession), card games, board games, trivia, The Game Show Channel/Buzzer, old game shows like Match Game and Family Feud (Richard Dawson edition).  I also love that I know who Richard Dawson is AND recognize pretty much every old timey star who's appeared on Match Game and Hollywood squares (I grew up watching TV : ), snow days, Halloween candy, whip cream in my coffee  

7.  Cooking things from scratch like bread and pie dough, making homemade pasta and sauce on a Sunday after church, feeding my family makes me happy, decorating cakes, making cinnamon rolls and how the smell when they are baking reminds me of Christmastime.  The best. Cardigans, cozy socks, twinkle lights around my kitchen window, pink lipstick and makeup that makes my skin look glowy, Loves Baby Soft (yes, it still exists!!) 

8. Road trips to see our friends, going out for ice cream, sipping coffee on the deck, telling stories around the fire, making smores in the summer, feeling grateful 

9. Evenings at the beach (see my previous post :),  having hot tea before bed, watching my favorite YouTube channels and getting inspired, songs by Dean Martin, Perry Como, & Doris Day, the golden age of Hollywood, pressed flowers, hand written thank you cards, journaling 

10. This blog which holds a special place in my heart, all the friends I've met here and on Instagram - we are kindred spirits and my favorite of all!! 

Wow. Ok that was way more than 10 things but once I started I couldn't stop! And I realize not everything on here is "old lady-ish" but being the nerd that I am, I like to think that it is! 

 Reading this back I realized this is pretty much my entire personality in one post! 

In a world of absolute madness, it makes my heart full to make these list and be reminded that even the smallest things can make me happy.  A simple life full of simple pleasures is all I need.  

Have a wonderful day, my friends! Thank you for being here! xoxo 

Friday, June 23, 2023

Summer is here! Let's have a catch up! ♥

Hello Friends!  Happy Friday and happy Summer! It's finally here! : ) 

I thought I'd play a little catch up today because I haven't posted since last Monday!  For no particular reason except ordinary life was happening.  That's all. Time flies, doesn't it? And now here we are, officially in Summer mode.  

School ended for John last Tuesday and he couldn't be happier!  He started his little part time job this week and it's going great.  He still has plenty of down time (as he should!) but is keeping busy and earning his own spending money.  It's the best of both worlds 

Rob is doing great too.  Thanks you SO much to those who reached out to me with well wishes for him.  He had his post-op checkup on Monday and passed with flying colors!  Everything is healing and looking good.  Because his work is so physical, unfortunately he can't go back to work for another two weeks.  He's counting the days.  My husband is not the type of person to stay still for very long so the hardest part for him has been not being able to work or exercise.  He's normally up at 4:30 every morning and working out by 5, off to work by 7.  He's had to stop that temporarily, but he knows if he follows doctors orders he'll be back to his old routine sooner than later.  For now it's couch and Netflix. 

Hey, as long as he's healing, healthy and out of the hospital, I'm happy : ) 

As for me, I've been busy working, being John's chauffeur, keeping up with housework, laundry, shopping, and meals.  My usual! However, I'm starting to really feel the shift in seasons and things are slowing down a bit, which is good.  That's what I love about summer.  Not the weather, but the slowness of it.  The longer days and staying up a bit later at night.  The ice cream runs and  late night movies.  Lately I've been enjoying my early morning coffee outside, before it gets too hot.  Just me and the birds.  Not having to rush out to drive John to school is something I very much appreciate!

So what else is new?  Here's the current situation in my kitchen at this moment. 
Stovetop potpourri!  So last night I made fish for dinner. I love fish.  It's one of my favorite foods.  What I don't love is how the smell lingers in the kitchen the next day.  I have found that a pot of boiling potpourri simmering on the stove is the BEST way to get rid of the fishy smell and make the kitchen smell like total heaven!  I have in a pot a sliced lemon, a sliced lime, a vanilla bean, a splash of vanilla extract, two cinnamon sticks, and a few sprigs of rosemary.  I covered with water and it's been simmering for a few hours now.  I check it every now and then and add a bit more water.  It's making me so happy and kinda sorta reminding me of Christmas, but not.  You get it.  Just try it.  You'll love it.


Well, the first day of summer came and went.  Here's what I did.  But first a quick story...

Back in the summer of 2020 during Covid, my friend Julie and I started a tradition of meeting at the beach with our boys every Wednesday evening.  It was a way for us to get together and visit in a safe way, outdoors and socially distant, while still enjoying the beach. It was wonderful. That summer I even had a little birthday cake for John (who's birthday is in August) at the beach.  It's become a very special place for us.  This beach is so beautiful, and only 20 minutes from our house.  

 Well, here we are three years later and we never stopped going.  We start in June and go all the way to September.  Every Wednesday night we meet at 5pm and stay until around 8ish.  John and I usual treat ourselves to Wendy's on the way : ) By the time we arrive all the crowds are gone, parking is a breeze, and we can just sit, sip our coffees, and enjoy the sunset.  The boys take a walk, sometimes a swim, and once the sun goes down we light a fire (which is permitted at this beach).  It's quiet and lovely and I look forward to it all year.

Wednesday, which coincidentally was the first day of summer, was our first beach Wednesday of the year!

It was a bit cool, so we had our sweatshirts on.  I actually prefer it on the cooler side and I was quite cozy in my hoodie.  I know before long the HEAT will be here and my hot coffee will be replaced with lemonade! John and his two friends did take a dip in the water which I'm sure was like ICE but they said they didn't mind. Ahh, to be young again! 

It was so nice to put my toes in the sand and breathe in the ocean air! The sound of the waves is so relaxing too.  Late afternoon/evening is the best time to be at the beach.  There, I've said it.  There is just no beating it. 

Back home we took warm showers and I made us some tea to unwind before bed.  That is my idea of a perfect summer night. 

Now it feels like summer! 

See you next Wednesday! 

In other news, it's Tiger Lilly season.  

The peonies are gone (yup, that was fast!) and now these orange pretties are popping open everywhere.  

And finally I wanted to share with you this yummy lemon garlic pasta that has been on my rotation lately.  It's SO GOOD!!!!  I first made it for our Father's Day dinner and have made it a few more times since then. It's made with oil and just a little butter, no cream, so it's nice and light.  There are five cloves of chopped garlic in it though, so be prepared for that!  The fresh parmesan and lemon zest are what make it so delicious!  Next time I wouldn't mind throwing in a chopped tomato or some cooked zucchini.  

This weekend we have no plans (which are my favorite plans!).  I'm looking forward to watering my plants, clipping some herbs, making a loaf of sourdough bread, and taking Rob out for coffee at Panera Saturday morning.  It's becoming a regular thing.  Now even more so because he's dying to get out of the house! LOL

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!  

It's summer!!  Xx 

Amen to that! 

Monday, June 12, 2023

Scenes from a Weekend ♥

Hello Friends! Happy Monday! 

I hope you all had a nice weekend.  We are moving slowly over here, but there is progress. Rob is feeling better but still quite sore so I'm afraid we'll be housebound for a few weeks.  He has been getting up and taking short walks like the doctor suggested and I can tell over the past few days that's it's getting easier, little by little.  His appetite is increasing and I think his body is finally starting to take care of itself. All in good time I guess, we just have to be patient (not a quality any of us is good at! : ).  Thank you for all your sweet messages of encouragement and concern.  It really means a lot to me! 

Anywhoo, we kept busy this weekend by watching TV and movies.  My favorite was yesterday when John suggested we put on Back to the Future, because it's one of Rob's favorites.  I forgot how much I love that movie!  It's so fun and put smiles on all our faces.  In between TV viewing I managed to tidy the house, bake cookies, did a puzzle, played card games, sat outside for a bit to enjoy the nice weather, started a new book, made marinara sauce, tried a new chicken recipe, caught up on some work, and enjoyed copious amounts of lemon water, coffee, and ice cream.  

You know, the usual! 

Oatmeal raison, a family favorite!  


We slept in...and it was nice 

The beginning.... 

I'm nowhere near the end! 

 A break in the day helps and heals 

Making marinara sauce is one of my favorite things to do!

I'm also excited to use fresh herbs from my herb basket 

Lemon and a sprig of mint is encouraging me to drink more water 

I got this from a friend and it's been sitting on my nightstand for a month.  

I like it so far! 

It was a gorgeous weekend with sunshine 

...and one thunderstorm (which I wasn't mad at!).

Games for fun and to pass the time 

Baked garlic chicken with zucchini! 


Catching up on work in my little home office.  

I'm crazy about this month's screen saver 

And this because it's basically summer!  

Happy new week friends!  Wishing you all a good one!! Xx 

Friday, June 9, 2023

Not the week I planned... ♥

Hello lovely friends! 

 I've missed this space! I am finally able to get my feet on the ground again and update you on the crazy week I've had.  I had a plan for the week, and this certainly wasn't it.  

I got a phone call from Rob on Monday afternoon telling me to meet him at the ER because he was having sever abdominal pain.  We didn't know if it was his appendix, a heart attack, or what.  Well, after six and half hours in the emergency room it was confirmed he had an infected gallbladder that had to be removed asap.  The next morning he had emergency surgery and had it taken out.  Thankfully, he came through surgery just fine, however recovery from major surgery is no cake walk.  Three days later he's out of the hospital and finally home but he's in a lot of pain.  It's going to take some time for his body to heal from this.  No heavy lifting for awhile and he'll be out of work for at least a few weeks. 

I am aware of how lucky he is as it could have been much worse.  Being in and out of the hospital makes a person truly appreciate health and a comfortable place to go home to. Unfortunately, I've been through this type of hospital situation before over the past few years and it's never easy.  I keep thinking about the nice couple we met waiting in the ER with us.  And the dear man Rob had as a roommate, who was a priest of all things! (how lucky was he?!).  I pray they are all doing well and back home with their families soon. 

 I am very thankful to have my little family of three home, together again 

He's sleeping now and the house is quiet.  My mother in law just dropped off some soup and I have a vanilla candle flickering on the coffee table.  Finally it's peaceful. As you know I LOVE my life when it's boring and this certainly wasn't that.  I'm hoping now to jump back into some sense of normalcy and get back to being boring.  I miss it.  

In other news, John has 2 days of school left and then final exams.  We can see summer vacation on the horizon.  It's almost here! 

I hope you are all doing great! I'm looking forward to catching up with your blogs and getting back into the loop! : ) 

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!  I'm looking forward to some much needed rest and mindless TV watching! Oh, and maybe an ice cream for the patient (and me too!!) so a Dairy Queen run might be needed.  

Stay Cozy and we'll talk soon! 

Byeeeee!! xoxox