Wednesday, September 21, 2022

a fun post...a bookish alphabet

My friend, Kari who blogs at A Grace Full Life recently wrote a fun post about reading habits and book fondness. It's an enjoyable post to do yourself if you're a blogger, or to write in a journal.

Author You’ve Read the Most Books From: Toss-up between Pat Conroy, Elizabeth Berg, Anne Lamott, and Barbara Kingsolver.

Best Sequel: The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy (Rachel Joyce)...the sequel to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. 

Currently ReadingThe Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya and The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. Both get a big thumbs up.

Drink Choice While Reading: Depends on the time of day and where I'm at. Could be coffee, tea, water, or wine.

E-reader or physical book: Always, always a physical book. I have no desire for an e-reader.

Fictional character you probably would have dated in high school: David Axelrod in Endless Love by Scott Spencer. I read this book when I was 18 or 19 and was obsessed with the couple in this book. At the time, I was dating a guy on and off and then he went out-of-state to attend college. I was missing him and this book pushed me over that daydreamy-young love-fantasy-edge. I still remember the closing line in this book: "I don't mind, or even ask if it's madness: I see your face, I see you, you; I see you in every seat."

Glad You Gave this Book a Chance: Bewilderment by Richard Powers.

Hidden Gem: Three Floors Up - Eshkol Nevo.

Important Moment in Your Reading Life: I grew up reading and obviously loved books, but it wasn't until I was a pre-teen and realized I could actually relate to the characters in a book and that I could be transformed by something I read.
Just Finished: Eat Right for Your Inflammation Type by Maggie Berghoff.

Kind of Books I Won’t Read: Horror, romance, science fiction.

Longest Book You’ve Read: Off the top of my head, I think it was The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt - 864 pages.

Major Book Hangover Because Of: She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb or anything by Pat Conroy.

Number of Bookcases You Own: Three floor-to-ceiling and four medium- sized ones. That doesn't include books stacked on nightstands and tables, and tucked into cabinets. 

One Book You’ve Read Multiple Times: I rarely read a novel twice, but I did read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn as a child and then as an adult. I've also read The Snow Child twice. I've referred back to certain non-fiction books multiple times.

Preferred Place to Read: lying in the twin bed in the spare bedroom.

Quote That Inspires You, or Gives You All the Feels, From a Book You’ve Read: "You will express yourself in your house, whether you want to or not. (Elsie de Wolfe, The House in Good Taste.)

Regret: Not purposely taking enough time to read...stupidly going on my phone in free moments instead of picking up a book.

Series You Started and Need to Finish: None that I can think of.

Three of Your All Time Favorite Books: Just three? *groan* Times two plus two, right?

1. Beach Music - Pat Conroy
2. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
3. A Parchment of Leaves - Silas House
4. The Beekeeper of Aleppo - Christy Lefteri
5. Transcendent Kingdom - Yaa Gyasi
6. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous - Ocean Vuong
7. When the Heart Waits - Sue Monk Kidd
8. The Kitchen Congregation: A Daughter's Story of Wives & Women Friends - Nora Seton

Unapologetic Fanperson For: Library book sales

Very Excited For This Release (More than all the others): Just came out last week: The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture by Gabor Mate.

Worst Bookish Habit: Getting more books from the library or buying more when I already have hundreds of books at home I haven't read!

X Marks the Spot—start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book: Which shelf?! OK, closest one to me would be the one in the spare room: A Course in Miracles Made Easy by Alan Cohen.

Your Latest Book Purchase: Two from a local independent bookstore: Windy City Blues by Renee Rosen, and The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore.

Zzz-Snatcher Book (the last book that kept you up late): When We Fell Apart - Soon Wiley.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on reading and books!

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

slowly transitioning decor towards fall

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a summer lover. I crave warmth and sunshine (minus the humidity) and could easily live year-round in shorts and t-shirts. I try to enjoy summer as long as I can, especially since the season is short here in northeast Illinois. I officially have eight more days of summer to enjoy.

(My friend's beautiful back yard.)

As usual, all over social media I see people already decorating with pumpkins and scarecrows and other fall decor. I know ~ each to their own. But I never was one for rushing seasons. (Or holidays.) Except for winter. I totally understand rushing winter. 😜

I can't deny the season is changing. The late afternoon sun is dappled and softer, casting long shadows through my living room curtains. The neighbor's huge maple tree across the street is already tinged with red. Farmer's fields have a golden glow. Dried leaves litter the sidewalk. It gets dark just a few minutes past 7:00 p.m. now. 

Since I'm not dragging out my fall decor yet, I'm slowly transitioning my summer decor to softer, darker, and more natural colors.

If you're wondering what that honeycomb structure is in the plant, it's two trellises. I was using one to hold up one of my snake plants and wasn't using the other. I recently transplanted two dieffenbachia plants into this one plant pot and from the transplant shock, the plants were falling over. So I'm giving them a little help as they get used to their new home.

These trellises are sturdy, look nice and support the plant. I found them on Amazon

Bright colored summer couch pillows got packed away and fall ones took their place. 

Remember the lace piece I showed you in my August 23rd post ~ the one I ended up putting in my living room window? I moved it to the top wicker tray on the wall by the couch. I like the way the texture softens this corner.

I cut some of my last hydrangea blooms. They're beautiful even when dry and will look lovely in fall vignettes.

Found a new pillow for our bed at TJ Maxx. I never used to be a fan of yellows and golds but find I'm drawn to them lately.


Are you decorating for fall yet? 

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

early september slice of life

September is a beautiful month weather-wise, here in northeast Illinois. The coneflowers and Black-eyed Susan in my butterfly garden are still prolific, which makes my summer heart happy. Beautiful wildflowers dot the roadside. The evening Golden hour casts amazing light on the trees. Sunsets at the neighborhood lake are stunning.

I harvested the last of our rhubarb, cut it into chunks, and put it in the freezer to use later in baked goods. The last of the cherry tomatoes were gathered; plus, I picked up more at the local farm stand. I then slow-roasted the tomatoes with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper until soft and caramelized. Those were packed into freezer bags to use all fall and winter in soups and chili. 

My cousin and her daughter (I call her my Little Nugget) were in town on Labor Day weekend from Tacoma, Washington. I've always dreamed about having a ladies generational family photo taken, as we have every decade through the 80's represented, except for a teen. I finally got my wish! The only decade missing in our family photo is someone in their 20's. I have two nieces in their 20's, but neither were at this gathering. Sooo...we have in the front, my Little Nugget portraying the childhood years, then from left to second cousin representing 30, my cousin from Tacoma revealing 40, another cousin symbolizing 50, me defining 60, my aunt presenting 70, and my mom reflecting 80. 

More Labor Day weekend family fun...spent the day in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin with my Tacoma sweeties. The area is rather touristy and filled with shops, but we didn't go into a single one. We played on a playground, had lunch, played in the water, and had ice cream.  Everywhere we walked, my Little Nugget held my hand. And wanted us to run ahead of everyone so we'd be first to get to our destination. By the time we took a boat ride around the lake, my Little Nugget was passed out. In the evening when we got back to my house, she spent her time building a playhouse for Clementine. Isn't that precious? It's been so long since I've had a little one in my house, or had a child's hand in mine, or got to stroke the silky hair of a sweet child...I ate it all up. 

Have a beautiful week!

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

some new-old decor for my home

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of stopping in The Half Full Nest. I didn't get a chance to truly look at everything as it was near closing time. The store is in a historic church and filled with both old and new items for the home.

The only thing that really called out to me in my quick look around was this vintage teapot. I love both unique teapots and owls, plus the color is good in my kitchen.

A favorite store I've mentioned on my blog before is Vintage Art & Findings. I hadn't been in there in a long time and the shop owner, Mary and I always have a lovely chat. I was overdue for a visit! Her shop is filled with lots of vintage and one-of-a-kind altered and repurposed art items. I found this pretty altered tray that I placed in the white frame in my kitchen. I think it's perfect for transitioning into fall. (I'm not hurrying summer along by any means!)

Mary made this piece from an old screen. The photo isn't the best - it's much prettier in person.

I had been looking for just the right thing to put on the narrow wall space by the front door. I believe this is it!

Couldn't resist this stack of vintage flash cards....

and this doily art.

I kept holding it up in various places in my house and nothing seemed like the right place. Do you ever do something just because you're drawn to it, but having no idea where you'll put it? I don't do that as often as I used to: in this later stage of my life I'm getting rid of more stuff than I bring in. BUT. I really liked this piece and knew I could work with it.

I held it up to a window and thought, "aha!" 

That's where it's staying for now.

Have a good week! 

Monday, August 15, 2022

new decade

I turned the big six-oh....

Feels so weird saying I'm sixty. Sounds officially old. I guess it's a good thing I don't feel old. Well, some days. Ask me today and I'd tell you I feel 90 with the back pain I've been having.

I couldn't have asked for a better day to celebrate my birthday. It was filled with some of my favorite things. The sun was shining and it was warm, but not too warm. We started out the day hanging out by Lake Michigan, in our favorite park. What we call our Happy Place. We picked up our favorite baked goodies from Hewn (independent; women-owned; baked goods made from organic, stone milled grains and naturally fermented ~ you must make a trip if you're in the Chicago area!) and I got my favorite morning summer drink: an iced coffee. 

Then into Chicago for...

Amazing tacos and a handcrafted blueberry basil margarita from Antique Taco.

 Book browsing (and buying a few books) at Myopic Books.

 Furniture shopping (but no buying!) at District Chicago, where they have the coolest mid-century modern and Scandinavian furniture and decor. I was enamored with quite a few things in this store, including the pictured shelving unit with the built-in glass bowl on top.

Lots of walking around the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago, where we went in and out of stores and eventually found our way to the Galleria. I fell in love with a certain artist's jewelry, particularly the earrings. I wish I could remember the artist's name and what the earrings are made out of, but...there goes the old lady mind. 😉 Brian bought them for me.

We picked up Indian food on the way home, and ended the night with a glass of wine on the porch, being serenaded by the crickets and mesmerized by the supermoon.

The celebrating still continues with flowers, gifts, and meals out with family and friends. I am blessed!