Wednesday, December 17, 2014

gloomy out, sunny in

 This is what our weather has been like every day for days on end: gray, damp
and gloomy. No snow. Doesn't look like we'll have a white Christmas here in
northern Illinois. I took a walk yesterday morning and snapped this photo by my 
house. It's untouched. I wanted to show you all just how dark it is here during
the day. I'm sending a SOS to those of you in sunny climates.

 So if we don't have sunshine outside, we find it in little ways indoors, right?

 One of my best friends babysits her granddaughter on Saturdays. My friend invited me
 over this past Saturday and I got to play with this little darling and get my baby fix.
 Look at those big, beautiful eyes! She seriously is one of the sweetest babies I have
 ever encountered. She will go to anyone...lets me hold her, feed her a  bottle, diaper her 
(though that was's been about 16 years since I've diapered a baby and my
 friend had to help me!), play with her ~ and she doesn't even "know" me. 
I maybe see her once every six weeks or so. She is always so smiley and content.

Another bit of happiness...I'm in the middle of reading this phenomenal book. I think
it might be my favorite book of 2014. Hard to put down, though I'm trying to savor it
because I don't want it to end!

Best of all, my Bearded Boy came home from school yesterday! I made a lovely dinner:
Crockpot Italian Pork Chops and roasted potatoes and carrots. I'm normally not a fan
of pork chops, but I will eat one made this way. The meat just falls off the bones and is
so flavorful. Brian and Tim went back for seconds and kept claiming how delicious
the chops were. So easy to make, too. After dinner, we hung out downstairs in the family
room, watching Christmas programs on TV and drinking Moscow Mules. 

 And more little bits of cheer...the last of my Christmas decor around my house.
This table is at the end of the hallway. The family photo is from Thanksgiving 2008.
The last one where it was all four of us. (For those of you who don't know, my oldest
son, Philip - in the blue coat in the photo - passed away in September 2009.) The
frame was given to me by a dear friend from Boston. We started out as pen pals
way back when our boys were babies...before we had computers in our homes
and email and social media were the way of life.

I found this little bunny in a Hallmark store years ago. I had to buy it since the scarf said
Joy Phil - though Phil never was particularly amused by it. I have it sitting on top of the
bookcase under his memory shelf. 

A few Santa Claus tchotchkes on a wooden cigar box - all Goodwill finds - 
in Tim's room.

The only Christmas decorations I put in the main bath were the few angels that
I've collected over the years. The wooden angel by the "t" in the bath sign is hand
carved and from a European country, though I can't remember which one. I used to
belong to a woman's group called, "Circle of Gems". One Christmas we had to bring
something from our home that had special meaning to us, but that we were willing
to part with as a gift to another woman in the group. The angel was one of the gifts
 that was brought to the Christmas party and laid out on the table. It immediately caught
my eye and I hoped no one else would choose it. No one did! It was meant to come
home with me.

Thanks for visiting...and don't forget to send me some sunshine!



  1. I love the cute little "Phil" bunny.

    We are having rain, cold and dark lately. I am glad because I am happy to be indoors and doing lots of baking. We have been taking 2 hour walks lately and getting caught in the rain, but the walking allows me to eat my goodies.

    I wish I could get a baby fix!

    1. I am so sick of being stuck indoors...I'd love to be taking two hour walks, especially if it were along the beach like you get to do!

  2. I can't take much more of this dreary, foggy weather....I think we've only have sun one day out of the last 15. I have photo to take of our bedroom and my dressing room and there's not been enough light to do so. I think I have "NO-SUN" syndrome, been kinda crappy, at least Mr.C tells me I am. Glad you son came home to spend time with, you last vignette is darling too!

    1. Now you know why most of us here in Chicagoland have Seasonal Affective Disorder!

  3. I am now hearing we may have snow for Christmas...I'd love that but I do have to worry about those that have to travel for the holidays. Great timing, right?

    I got caught up with you, I love your kitchen and all the cute touches...your Christmas treasures all seem to have little stories and memories behind them...I love that. The angels in the bathroom are so sweet. Did I miss seeing your tree? I think I'm finally done...some of my evergreen dried up which is really odd so I have to get out for a few bunches of that and I could use some candles. Just a bit more shopping for my boys and 2 grab bag gifts. And then on to wrapping...ugh!

    I'd love to hear what you put in your cocoa mix, that would be a big hit here. And I've been hearing a lot about Moscow Mules, I see the little copper cups being sold here and there. What is in that? Do you like them? I really don't drink "alcohol". I like wine and maybe a beer or Bloody Mary on occasion. The Bailey's is good, too. The lake people like it in their morning coffee! lol!

    Hope we get some sun soon!

    Jane x

    1. Glad you like my Christmas touches...the tree is a tabletop one on the buffet in our living room. I didn't put any pictures of it on my blog because the photos I've taken aren't that good. I'll have to post the cocoa mix recipe - thanks for the reminder. Love Moscow Mules...first had a taste of one in a restaurant when Tim ordered one. It's a mixture of ginger beer (which is's like a ginger ale, just a bit more gingery), vodka and fresh lime. And yes, you drink it in a copper mug. :-)

  4. The weather where you are sounds a lot like the weather in Pennsylvania, but at least it finally stopped raining here.

    I wrote down the title of that book. I just finished a book last week and I've been looking for the next great read, so thanks.

    I love your family picture in that frame and the bunny. Big hugs to you... :)

    1. Today is finally dry but now it's really cold. I just looked at our extended forecast and there's a 50% chance of snow on Christmas Eve. Lovely - but like Jane (above) said, not good for travelers! Thanks for the hugs. :-)

  5. We haven't seen the sun in days either. Ugh. Did wake up to snow-covered everything this morning, but not much of it. Fun to play with such a sweet baby girl. I have a granddaughter coming sometime in the next couple of weeks, and look forward to the girly stuff. :)

    1. Wait a minute...what's this about a granddaughter?! I had no idea! Congratulations!

  6. I am definitely sending you some sunshine and hoping for some here too, grey is so dreary and boring isn't it! Light some candles to brighten your day, that is what I do! Hope that you have a bright and sunny Christmas in terms of good times even if not the weather - although let us hope for that too! Happy Christmas! xx

  7. I know just how you feel, Melanie! It's been gray and gloomy all month and it's dark when I leave for work in the morning and dark when I get home at night! I'm hoping for a little sunshine this weekend to give me my energy back. Your friend's grandbaby is the cutest little thing! They definitely make anybody's day a little brighter. Sitting down with a good book sounds like a good way to unwind right now!

    I hope the sun shines down on you soon!

  8. Melanie, You wouldn't like it here in the Pacific NW. It is rainy and gloomy all winter long. Makes it hard for me to get motivated. I read the book and I loved it. Thinking I should read it again.

    Have a good week-end.

  9. Sorry your weather is stuck on gloomy right now, perhaps I can blow some warmth and sunshine from North Carolina - I'll try when I'm dressed and go outside shortly!!
    Your Tim could audition for a Santa part IF that bushy beard ever turns white!!
    I love how you have a 'memory shelf' for Phil - that's really special.

    Must look for a copy of that book - I loved her previous one so am sure that I, like you Melanie, will enjoy this one.
    Everything looks lovely there for Christmas - stay well and enjoy the season no matter with weather. The warmth of home is what counts.

    Happy Christmas to you and your family. May the coming year be a wonderful one for each of you.
    Hugs - Mary

  10. The little Christmas touches in your son's room and the bathroom are cute. That cigar box is an interesting piece. Thanks for visiting and for your kind comments!
    Merry Christmas!

  11. Hi Melanie, I'm just catching up on your posts. I was sick this week and didn't read blogs as normal. Your decorations are really pretty. I love the cigar box. My husband collects them and uses them for a lot of things, he has some interesting ones. The pork chops sound good! I'm always looking for new pork recipes. I hope you're having a good weekend!


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