Tuesday, May 28, 2013

This and That...

     I hadn't shown you Zoe in a while...she is now officially the most spoiled dog ever. She is 20 months old. She can tell time (snack time 10:00 a.m. and dinner at 5:00 p.m.) and will certainly let you know if you are 10 minutes late. She is very good getting her weekly bath, but still tries to escape when she sees me bring in the towels. She talks...a little whimper cry and she is trying to tell you she wants out, needs water or has a biscuit stuck in her mouth! She also chews every shoe she can get near, gets in my purse and takes things out and will grab a towel off the kitchen counter and run with it. Nothing is really safe...I hope she eventually tires of that "game".

     We had two nests this year and this little one eventually ended up in the back yard for a few days. At first we thought she was injured, but she was just trying her wings. I love watching them go from egg to baby to out on their own.
     I hope that some of you had a nice holiday weekend. Illinois has turned into a rain forest this year. It rained every day of the weekend and is still rainy today. We had no time outdoors at all, no patio, no sitting near the fire pit...it didn't feel like a holiday weekend at all. We are having a garage sale next Saturday, so we did get things ready for that. Of course, it is supposed to rain all week and most of next weekend too, so that may be a really fun garage sale.
    For those of you of my generation that were fans of Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Fogerty has a new album out today that I bought immediately. He has taken many familiar songs and redone them as duets with friends and artists he admires. I already love it. Wrote a Song for Everyone, has Proud Mary with Jennifer Hudson, Fortunate Son with the Foo Fighters, Bad Moon Rising with the Zac Brown Band and so many more great pairings. This wasn't a requested review, just an album I knew I'd like and I do. I bought this one myself.
     A few weeks ago I won a prize from Jacqueline @ Purple Chocolate Home for my cheesecake recipe using Sara Lee Pound Cake. Jacqueline (who is a fabulous cook) honored me by making my recipe and putting it on her blog today. She changed it up by topping it with chocolate instead my usual fruit topping...either way, it is a killer cheesecake if I do say so myself. Stop by Purple Chocolate Home for the recipe.
     So, what is happening in your part of the world this week? I hope you have sunshine and are enjoying being outside!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Sharing the Joy-A Shabby Chic Wedding

      How many of us get to watch someone come full circle in their lives? Well that is exactly how I felt as I watched my friend of 10 years get married this month. My friend Debbie was one of the first people I met when we moved here. Over the past 10 years I have watched her life seem very "together", watched it fall apart and been a witness to her finding joy and serenity once again. It has been a painful journey, but I have never seen her as happy or peaceful as she is right now and it is such a blessing to see her happy ending.
     In the midst of massive rain the week of May 10th, the skies cleared just long enough to have the ceremony. The attendants were the children of the bride and groom, the flower girls the daughter's of Debbie's cousin and best friend.

 Her son, looking so grown up, escorts her to her groom.
     The venue for the ceremony was the field in front of a historical barn. The chairs were arranged in a way that they were able to walk in front of all of their family and friends.

     This wedding was both elegant and casual. Debbie is a perfectionist and both the wedding and the reception were very different than what she might have planned in the past and yet everything was just perfect. Families were invited, there were kids everywhere. Her friends helped with everything from setting up the ceremony to decorating for the reception. I loved being a part of doing the bridal bouquets and floral arrangements. This was the perfect blending of two families, surrounded by family and friends that couldn't be happier for them. 2
The happy couple after the ceremony.
He makes her so very happy. It makes my heart smile!

     The reception was at a building at the lake. This is not a fancy building, but it took on an entirely different look with the twinkle lights, flowers and fun decorations. They did something I have never seen before with the food. They had all of their favorite things from favorite places. I took the pictures before everyone got to the reception, so the chairs and flowers aren't in place yet (or some of the food). The sweets table had pie made by the groom's mother, cake made by the bride's aunt, mini pies made by her very good friend and various other treats and sweets.
     Mason jars with name tags and matching straws were picked up to fill with drinks and taken home at the end of the evening.

Adult Kool-Aid and
Amaretto Stone Sours for the grown-ups.
Pink lemonade and McDonalds sweet tea.

Mashed potatoes from our local fancy place, and
fried chicken and noodles from our local family restaurant.

The local "best in town" Italian restaurant lasagna.

Chicago pizza shipped in as well
as salad from The Hill in St. Louis.

A Fluffy Burger station-burgers from
 her hometown (not local) meat market.
Make your own tacos in a bag station.
The room before the chairs and flowers arrive.

The beautiful daughters of the bride.
     Music was a playlist created by the teenage children of the couple and it was mostly kids dancing. As you can see, it truly was a family friendly, happy event that was filled with love. Who could ask for more?
Stop by and see Michael @ Rattlebridge Farm for
Foodie Friday!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Take a Walk With Me

     I thought I would take you on a walk around my yard today. I want to show you my little desert garden. My husband made me a very shabby box from old wood and he added a little worn looking paint. We mixed a little sand in with some potting soil and topped it with rocks found in the fish section of Walmart. I love succulents this year, so I found some interesting ones at an area nursery and added them to my garden. They said I only needed to water this twice a month...maybe I won't kill it!

Some people put fairies in their gardens, but mine seem to need a gnome.

Who needed a place to live. See his rusty watering can?
Color has finally shown up at my house!

Just a hint of MICKEY!

I just love it when everything starts blooming.
     I even found a "blooming" rug for the deck. It really is just one color, but the house is shading part of it.
     Today I am joining:
Kim @ Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
and Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday.

Monday, May 20, 2013


     Oh yes we did! We saw the Village People at Epcot! April was quite the month for me, the Doobie Brothers and the Village People within a few days of each other! Talk about blasting back to my past!
     For those of you who are too young to remember the Village People (I really think everyone knows their music), they are a disco group that formed in 1977. They were  known for their on-stage wardrobe that copied American cultural stereotypes, as well as their sexy dance music.
     Speaking as someone who was in my early 20's, living in the Midwest, I was very aware of the group and had no idea that they were originally created to target disco's gay audience by featuring popular gay fantasy personas. The name "Village People" comes from New York City's Greenwich Village, which had a large gay population in the 70's. I was clueless at the time, I just knew that the music was fun, good and easy to dance to!
     During Epcot's Flower and Garden show, they offer free "flower power" concerts on the weekends. We actually picked our week to visit because we thought this concert would be so good and we weren't disappointed. The group retains two original members, Felipe Rose (the Native American) and Alex Briley (the soldier). Ray Simpson (brother of Ashford and Simpson's Valerie Simpson) is almost an original, first joining the group in 1980. He is the lead singer and portrays the Cop and the Navy Officer for In the Navy. Glenn Hughes, the original biker, died of lung cancer at age 50 in 2001 and Mark Mussler, the original construction worker for the first year, died of AIDS at age 33 in 1987.
     The guys range in age from 47 to 66. We weren't exactly sure what to expect considering we remembered the costumes and the dances of the 70's. To quote my daughter, "these guys can really move for old men"! They certainly could. For those of you that remember their moves...and all the things they did with those microphone stands...they can still do them! They also sounded exactly the way I remembered. My only complaint is that the show was too short as Disney has them do 3 shows a night. What I appreciated seeing as we were leaving was that they stayed out in the audience giving autographs, shaking hands and talking to the super fans. It also should be said that they had one of the largest audiences my daughter has seen at one of these concerts and it was a very interesting and colorful audience!
      In case you have forgotten what made this group famous, click and listen to: Macho Man, In The Navy or a current version of YMCA. A Good time was had by all!

There are times when I am doing something that
I just can't quite believe I am doing it...
this was one of those times!