Saturday, September 2, 2023

it's still summer

Hello, friends! 

I know Labor Day weekend signifies the final hoorah of summer, but I like to keep in mind that we have another three more weeks of this beautiful season.

Give me all the days of warmth, sunshine, bright flowers, and patio sitting.

I would never get tired of spending Sunday mornings barefoot on the patio with my iced coffee and newspaper (it's the only day we get the paper).

My pots of veggies have been giving us beautiful tomatoes...

and I just harvested the first of our red onions. (Why are they called red onions if they're more purple? 🤷)

Evening walks to the lake to see the sunset are a bonus to living in this neighborhood, but the sunsets are getting earlier by the day. I hate having to close the blinds in the house at 7:30 now. Though in the throes of winter, I'll only be wishing the sunset were as late as 7:30. Aack, my mind can't even go there.

Our little town had their annual weekend fest in August, which always ends in a fabulous fireworks show over the lake. Thousands of people from all over come to see these fireworks. We stay home and watch them from our side yard. I don't like crowds or loud noises. Truth be told, I'm not a fan of fireworks in general because of the trauma from the noise to our veterans, cats and dogs who are usually terrified from the noise, and the terror and damage to wildlife. I saw online that some cities are choosing to do drone or laser light shows, and I'm all for that.

My birthday is in August, too and we spent the day in Chicago. One of the places I wanted to visit was St Michael Church in "Old Town". I'm not Catholic, but this place is rich in history and architecture, so I wanted to see it. It's one of the only handful of buildings that survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. 

The interior was breathtaking. I got goosebumps when I walked in and saw this view.

Two violinists and a celloist were playing soft music, as they were getting ready for a funeral service.

It's been so dry here in Illinois this summer. The leaves on the neighbor's maple tree are already turning red on the top. And this photo was taken at the end of August! Way too early, that's for sure. There's also dried leaves all over our property. Another sign of dryness. I love the low humidity, but we desperately need rain.

It's supposed to be in the 90's the next few days, so we'll be firing up the grill tomorrow. I'm going to make a mayo-free potato salad. Not sure which recipe but it's between this French potato salad or this dill pickle potato salad. Either of one of them perfect for summer.

PS: totally unrelated subject, but for those of you who do your own blog header, especially if it's photographs, what photo site do you use? I'm more interested in a free one, but haven't had any luck with a Google search. I used to love PicMonkey, but it's no longer free and I wouldn't really use it except to change my blog header once in awhile. Would that be worth it?Thanks for any suggestions.

Have a fantastic weekend!


  1. Melanie you have some gorgeous pictures here, that first one is like a painting that needs to be framed! The historic church picture is stunning too. What wonderful architecture that fortunately escaped the great fire. I think I could enjoy fireworks without the noise with only music accompanying it too. I remember a favorite Corgi who once ruled our life suffered so badly during firework season. I'll have to click on the French Potato salad, always on the look for even better ones. I miss PikMonkey too! I even had the program you paid for but they changed it to where I simply could not figure out how to use it. I use BeFunky now and am happy with it. It isn't free but very reasonable and simple to navigate. Hope you get some rain soon!

  2. Hi Melanie - I love the pictures in this post. I am so glad that you are enjoying the summer and getting every last bit of summer goodness out of it! That old church is amazing and historic. I love seeing old historic churches. The architecture is beautiful! I'm with you on fireworks. There was a drone show instead of fireworks in Salt Lake City this year, and given all the problems with fireworks, including wildfires, I think it's a good idea! I love all those wonderful red tomatoes from your own garden. Home grown tomatoes are always better than store bought. Enjoy the long weekend. See you again soon!

  3. Your tomatoes and red onions are very nice. I bet so yummy too. I have been to St. Michaels Church and it is so beautiful and full of history like you mentioned. Glad you had a great day for your birthday in August. Can't believe the last big weekend in Summer is almost over. I too am going to hold onto the next few weeks of summer. Have a good week ahead. I am sad to leave Michigan tomorrow. It has been a fabulous weekend. Hugs. Kris

  4. I love all of your pictures. Such a lovely summer collage. This summer, we noticed the majority of our lilies around our trees did not bloom. It's the first time this has ever happened. I believe it is due to a lack of rain.

    I used Pic Monkey to create photo headers when I was on Blogger. I think I created the header on Wordpress using Canva.


  5. Hello, it’s still summer in Oklahoma too.
    That’s a beautiful church. I can imagine how touching a visit there could be. A new Catholic Church was built in our town about 7 years or so. It’s quite grand for this small city. It has huge windows and they plan to change the plain glass to stained glass in the future- plans are dependent on finance and time of course.
    Thank you for the potato salad ideas. I found more potatoes than I remembered in our kitchen when I was meal planning this morning. I think the dill pickle version sounds yummy!
    And beautiful tomatoes and onion you grew

  6. Your first photo is so pretty. Even though I'm ready for the heat to be gone, I will miss the flowers and fresh veggies from the garden and farmer's markets. Belated birthday wishes to you, Melanie. The church is beautiful and how amazing that it survived the fire. I wish I could offer some help with headers. I was recycling mine seasonally from the archives. Apparently as of July my archived photos are no longer available. Frustrating.

  7. The tomatoes and onions are beautiful! I wish I could grown tomatoes like that. I'm with you, I squeeze every last bit out of summer. It would be nice if the temps cooled just a tad -- we are still in the 90s most days -- but Fall will be here soon enough. I don't like to rush the seasons. I've used Canva for blog headers, but it's been a while. I'll be interested to see if you hear of anything else.

  8. Great post as always Melanie - so many of your lovely photos remind me a lot of things we have in common - flowers, growing veggies (great 'red' onions!), eating veggies, staying home - always the best place - visiting interesting places when traveling!
    Enjoy your last summer days - still baking here and no rain. Roll on Fall say I!

  9. OOPS! Meant to answer your ?
    I still use PicMonkey - and pay the annual fee! Don't do as much basic editing as I really only use my iPhone 13 Pro camera these days - it's more convenient and it takes pretty good pix and I can edit there too.
    I do make my own headers - when I have time - and should work on new ones as most of them are old now! I just never seem to have time anymore to sit down for a few hours and just fiddle about for fun on the laptop! I need more hours to my days. I have a huge birthday looming and I promise myself to find more time to do what I want and enjoy!

  10. I'm still firmly entrenched in summer, too! We just came back from a week at the ocean and it was 90 and sunny. We swan, watched whales and dolphins every day from our spot on the beach and drank in the sun....without a pumpkin in sight!! Haha!! I hope you enjoy these last lovely weeks of summer, Melanie and all your lovely flowers and veggies!!


Thank you for taking the time to leave a kind comment - I read and appreciate each one!