Monday, February 20, 2017

eating my words, weekend fun, and monday at home

In my Valentine's Day post, I spoke about how I don't receive flowers on Valentine's Day anymore ~ but that it didn't matter because true love was more than that. Turns out, the joke was on me. Brian came home from work with roses! I was so surprised, I blurted out, "For me?!"

The weather here in northern Illinois has been gloriously and amazingly warm the past few days, with temperatures in the 60's and lots of sunshine. Normal temps this time of year are 30 degrees - and we usually have snow, too. Walking around the yard, I spied tiger lilies already coming out of the ground. A month early. Exciting, yes - but also scary, as this warm weather won't last, of course. I'm afraid the returning cold will kill the emerging plants.

The middle of February usually finds me, my mom and aunt taking our annual winter trek to the antique mall by my house. It's a great place to spend a fun day while escaping the winter doldrums. Instead, we spent the day in another town that we love to frequent in the nice weather. We spent hours outdoors, walking up and down the main street, popping into our favorite shops and then having lunch at our choice Mexican restaurant. Of course, everyone else had the same idea and the sidewalks were crowded with young and old alike - and a lot of friendly dogs, too. 

 (me and my mom)

(my aunt and my mom ~ sisters)

I bought a couple of inexpensive things while we were shopping ~ found this cute teapot in a resale shop.

And bought this little ceramic heart in another shop (not resale, but only a few dollars). 

Today was a full day spent at home. I was going to run a few errands and then I remembered the kids were home from school today as it's President's Day. I knew the stores would be crowded. So, I decided the errands could wait until tomorrow. I don't have many days where I'm home the entire day, so this was actually a treat. I got a lot done in the house today, including washing the living room windows inside and out, and then cleaning the wooden blinds that cover the windows, too. I also vacuumed, dusted, cleaned bathrooms, did laundry, baked mostly-healthy brownies, made a veggie stir-fry, loaded and emptied the dishwasher twice, and brushed all three cats outside. I also did my yoga practice and PT exercises for my knee. (I have a torn meniscus.) Speaking of my knee, I'm finally going through with the arthroscopic surgery on March 1st. I was originally going to have the surgery in November, and decided to wait 'til the end of winter. Only nine more days - yikes! Though I'm at the point where I just want to be past it and on my way to healing. 

I had to move the spider plants that were on the ledge in the pass-thru to a safer spot. Mr. Monkey - sleeping on left - decided spider plants were fun to chew on. I replaced the spider plants with two different ones. For whatever reason, Monkey doesn't bother these. I'm probably being too brave with putting glass candle holders in the middle. Crossing my fingers that the cats will be cautious if they jump up there.

While I was rearranging stuff, I changed the decor in the nook above the microwave. Keeping it real with the pans left on the stove.

With spring weather on my mind, I've picked up flowers at Trader Joe's the past two times I've been there.. I know I've said it before, but their flowers are the best. They're inexpensive and they last a long time. This little bunch is leftover from the original bouquet that was 1-1/2 weeks old. Still going strong.

And here's another bunch that's five days old. The Wintry Blend coffee hasn't been used much lately. ;-)

These are the mostly-healthy brownies I made. I tweaked Nigella Lawson's flourless brownie recipe seen here by using 3/4 cup organic pure maple syrup instead of processed sugar. Guess that was a mistake because even though these look good, they don't taste so great. They're very grainy because of the almond meal. I bet the almond meal would've broken down more by using the granulated sugar. However, I don't eat processed sugar (as much as possible) I put the brownies in the fridge and will eat one here and there if I have a chocolate or sweet craving. 

Wishing you a joy-full week!


  1. How sweet of Brian...Al didn't remember (grrrrr...). I had so many flowers for my birthday and from family for getting a positive biopsy (you might remember) so I was okay. lol!

    I saw the pictures of you, your mother and aunt out and about on IG. I miss shopping with my mother. She was a real shopaholic! I love the things you found, sometimes it's those little treasures.

    I wish you all the best with your surgery. I wish I lived close enough to visit while you recover. And I truly hope you have a quick and pain free recovery. And let's pray that our health problems decline as 2017 goes on!

    Love to you,

    Jane x

  2. The same weather here and I too find it scary. I am enjoying it of course but upon checking the weather this is going to last all week or longer and I know the bushes want to bud, etc.

  3. Your blog makes me feel all cozy inside.
    Next time we get together, let's go to Trader Joe's!

  4. I went to Trader Joe's Sunday to get yellow tulips for my birthday.

  5. I really REALLY wish Trader Joe's wasn't over an hour away!!!! Your house looks great, I am loving that pass through, no doubt you are as well! No sign of the earth in my neck of the woods, there's still a ton of snow on the ground, even though the weekend was warm.

  6. Melanie, your mother has such a sweet and beautiful smile. I liked picturing you girls enjoying your day out together. Isn't a day like that really good for the spirits?

    I smiled at your response to your Valentine's roses. When my husband walked in that evening with a card in his hand and gave it to me, I looked at it and said "For me?" As he had written "Wife" on it, he laughed and said "Yeah, you're the only wife I have." It had been a long day and I was a little slow on the uptake!

    Your busy day of tasks around the house shows once again how very much you accomplish in one day--I'm always impressed by that. But then I remember that when I was young like you, I managed to get quite a bit done too!

  7. YOur day at home sounds quite exhausting! That is exactly how my days at home are. Love the photos with your Mom and Aunt, aren't you blessed to have such a wonderful family. I am sending you good luck thoughts already with the knee surgery.

  8. Hi Melanie, You picked the perfect name for your blog, because every time I visit I feel warmth & love . . . it's a very Comfy House. That's a great photo of you and your Mom :) You will be in my prayers, best wishes for a perfect surgery and a speedy recovery. One that puts the doctors in a state of awe.
    Connie :)

  9. The roses were a lovely surprise! I love the family photos and those of your cozy home!
    Praying for a successful surgery and a quick recovery! I am getting a new knee on March 23rd!

  10. I love that he brought you flowers...the element of surprise is awesome! ;) Feel good and here's to a quick recovery. And who knows, you may get even more flowers! ;)

  11. Love that you have flowers throughout the house. I hope you'll recover quickly from the surgery.

  12. What a nice surprise to get flowers after all! I also love your arrangements from Trader Joe's. Our oldest daughter always has flowers she picks up there and they last forever! I wish we had one near us.

    Good luck with your knee surgery! You should be recovered just in time for your gardening season. I think we've all had an unseasonably warm spell and I hope it doesn't hurt all the perennials that are confused!

  13. Such lovely flowers :) I love how bright and light your house is. The kitties eating house plants can be poison to them. I had a very wonderful and naughty kitty boy(that lived to be 17) that ate house plants. Thats how I found out they are poison to kitties. Also any kind of lily is poison to kitties. Ask me how I know boy again. The vet suggested we get kitty grass. they are looking for the vitamins in the green things. You can also grow it yourself. You could try hanging the plants maybe that would help. Good luck

  14. I always love seeing pics of the lovely people in your family, Melanie, and this post is no exception; you all look like you're having such a fun time.

    That blue and white teapot is adorable and those cookbooks look very interesting! Are they yours?

    We're also trying (but not succeeding very well, I'm afraid) to cut down on processed sugar and I've replaced it with organic applesauce and maple syrup a couple of times. The former works better than the latter as far as taste goes, but it's just not the same. I guess we can't have our cake and eat it, too!;)

    Best of luck with your surgery and hope you have a speedy recovery.


  15. For some reason, several of my blogs that I follow ended up in my spam folder, so I missed this.

    How sweet to be surprised by Brian with the roses!

    Glad you and your Mom and aunt had a great day together. Loved the photos of you three.

    May your surgery go smooth tomorrow and may your healing be swift and complete.

    Love, hugs & prayers ~ FlowerLady


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