Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Chair Project: Another Rescue....


...in the same haul with the small stool earlier this month, there are two of these chairs. Stained and laquered with a heavy hand and lots of "drips", (so first, I sanded) I'm planning to paint only seat and back, leaving the rest natural wood. Also planning a design for the chair back, for now this one is nearly primed...    ps: 15 lbs of plum tomatoes came into the house this evening from the garden: I'll be saucing tomorrow. This homemade sauce is so delicious, I had no idea! Good enough to eat by itself.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Harvest Time...

...a small garden produced hundreds of pounds of food in the form of cucumbers for pickles, green beans for freezing, plum tomatoes for "saucing" and several others (eggplant! green peppers!). So I've skinned and seeded tomatoes, put pulp in the food processor. Add salt, pepper, garlic and a touch of olive oil and reduce over a slow flame, stirring regularly, til you like the thickness.   Simple.  I must have several gallons frozen by now. Add the seasoning for chili or spaghetti or whatever, later.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lazy Late Summer Flower Garden Stars




...today, on those butterfly weeds above, I had a big beautiful Monarch butterfly floating and flittering around all day. Monarchs are kinda shy, however. They don't hang around so you can take a photo. After all, it's Mellow Yellow Monday

Friday, August 26, 2011

Stop Everything!...Vicarious-Thrills Star Sighting from the GardenNextDoor...

...Here at the 'Blog, we know the Gardener well, so here's the story of her great-niece, a slender wisp of a lovely teenage girl whose beauty and range of appearance is advancing her a career as an international fashion model!  Since it's a "family affair", I won't mention her name just yet but will follow her progress.  She reminds me of Jean Shrimpton, super-model of the 1960's, with maybe a dash of Jackie O as well!     For me, it's fun to watch my Gardener Friend discover the tinselly world of pop-culture: she's a Real Scientist by profession, People. She knows about Power Plants and Environmental Issues and Regs & Stuff. Makes my nose bleed.  As a teenager, when I was glued to my next issue of Seventeen, she was acing Chemistry. She does worthy projects for her church, likes classical music, gardens with finesse--a true intellectual, in other words; but So enthusiastic about a recent (international) Vogue magazine, when she showed me her niece's "cover" and a color fashion spread within! (It's about the kids, I'm thrilled for her, too.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Naked Ladies....!


 ...lilies, that is. Or some call them "surprise lilies. The foliage comes up in spring, quickly dies back; then in August, the floral spike seems to come out of nowhere, with precious palist-pink fragrant flowers....


 ...ceramic tiled ornamental bird house and a peek at the splendid late summer flower garden next door...


...and I am a sucker for hollyhocks, especially this dazzling, lipstick red one in an otherwise "dead spot" in the yard....

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Love Furniture Projects....

...a few weeks back, we had plentiful rains; some were so generous that basements flooded. It's a time honored Chicago-land tradition; all the water soaked furniture gets kicked to the curb. Not even the Amigos take some of it. ( I use the word, since it means "friends"with pick up trucks who take stuff away, informal recyclers). The pile was high at the house across the street, and I found this little stool and two older wooden kitchen chairs. I sanded and primed with BIN Primer. I used the same old "off-white-bone" semi-gloss interior acrylic I used on the Lingerie Chest earlier in the summer. I purchased a whole quart of Martha Stewart Living Hummingbird Blue semi-gloss interior acrylic from 'Depot. (This will be my "go-to" color for a while.) Later in the fall, when it's too cold to work outside, I will paint a design on the seat.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

You Can Share the Excitement of FlowerGirl's First Day of First Grade...



 ...their Mommies and Daddies came along the first day to help them get started.....and took these photos.

 ...to help them buckle down to work....generally, the 'Girl has good concentration when it counts. When it doesn't count, she can be a Goofball...

The Future Meets Here.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Molly RunsAmuck....

...you may remember, little Molly has a distinct personality. Her legendary baby scream-fests were feared by grown-ups. As a toddler, her courageous explorations and climbs were a wonder to see. In this recent photo, she helpfully waters the lawn for her Grandma--she's really a sweet little girl.  But, Folks, they've had to dump her in daycare, along with her twin brother. Poor Mommy finally had to go back to work; she's suffered with concern for the kids--and she misses them! (They are the cutest kids).  Micah is rolling with the punches and adjusting, but Molly has provided tearful partings and a scream-filled evening. This morning, the pair was to go with their Daddy to play at the park...they were all ready to go. But the Sky opened up and rained buckets!  Apparently, Molly had enough. She took Toddler-Revenge: waiting till the coast was clear for a moment, she got into her daycare backpack, got her bottle of sunblock (gooey, oily lotion) and vigorously applied it to every upholstered item on the first floor--either ran out of goo or was caught before committing mayhem upstairs! Good thing her parents are professional child educators, both gave funny but stressed accounts, along with crime-scene photos. 

Interesting Skies, this summer...



Thursday, August 18, 2011

Nearly Out of Photo-Amo...

...so here's a nice vision of morning dew on a leaf of the banana tree on the deck. In lower center is a volunteer yellow grape tomato plant that is now supplying a few tomatoes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The View From The Backyard....


...looking at the sky to the southeast, (photo from a week or so ago) a massive thunderhead over the south end of Lake Michigan, probably raining hard on NW Indiana. Complete with low hanging scud clouds blowing across. The anvil is so high the the setting sun in illuminating it with a peachy glow.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Our Portion of the Vicious Midwest Storm...



...that later injured and killed the people in Indy.  The unusual thing was the storm winds and roiling skies materialized instantly; like turning a switch. I thought "great, here goes the power", but we had no loss. There was moderately strong wind and an inch or so of welcome rain--then the storm was on it's way to the southeast.  Very sad.  Will share the photos on SkyWatch Friday.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hubsy's First Eggplant...

 photographed on the food scale, used to document every ounce of food produced by the garden. We are in the hundreds of pounds for the year, People. He would like to know the "per pound retail price" of all the vegetables so as to calculate a dollar value. I say "you can't place a $$ worth on these treasures! (aloud) and  sopleasedropthesubjectsinceIain'tpricingthisstuffoutforyou." (to myself)

...here, the eggplant is accompanied by "Hubsy's First Green Pepper". I call it "Prom Portrait" and I really like it!  More likely, the two of them are going to end up baking together in the Eggplant Parmasan I'll make this week. A sad ending for them, but dinner for us.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pickle Packin' Papa....

 ...try 'n say that three times... kids, here's a mini-visit home, the house in it's usual disarray and your dear father busy with a mission to pack pints and quarts of pickles... see the cat, torn between hopes of food and hopes of not getting stepped on...

...he's on fire, packin those pickles. We have a lot. Friends and Family, beware: you are viewing your
" hostess" and "holiday" gifts in the making....

Friday, August 12, 2011

Hermann, MO last September....

...this never made it on to the blog, but it shows the town was so picturesque, you just point the camera at anything and get a nice shot. This was the edge of the brick sidewalk.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Animal Action Capture...

From our first excursion of the spring season, in Fox River Grove, IL, I has delighted to click the shutter in time to catch this deer in mid-air as he leapt the chain link fence.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Favorite Capture--two photos...



Aimed at the two kids, first, on the street in Roanoke VA; as they rolled along, the two elders came into view and I loved the contrast and the expressions of care--her handbag in his hand as he watches for traffic...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Hub's Sister, Peggy, RIP....


 ...in April, my wonderful sister-in-law, Peggy, passed away. At this time last year, we barely suspected the seriousness of her illness. She did her best to fight the disease, but when the futility was clear to her, she left with dignity, grace, faith and strength. A true and touching example of a Life Well Lived. You are missed, Peggy; we know that you are Brightening the Halls of Heaven!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Year for My Niece, Flowergirl....

...this was a "Crappiest Halloween Ever" portrait; victim of a respiratory virus, she spiked a nasty fever on Halloween. She was as sick as I've seen a kid in many years; slept most of the afternoon, waking periodically to realize, to her heartbreak, that she wasn't out getting candy with her friends...

...two weeks later, at her birthday celebration, she was doing much better. Enjoying gifts and getting ready to help cut her cake.....

...looks like Aunt Blogs' is getting a little hamster kiss, when we introduced HerVhey to to cast of characters. He was her birthday gift. He's still doing well, burrowing about in his cage. We hamster-sat recently when she and her parents took a vacation in Michigan....

....here we all (almost all--missing some kids and their wives and possibly grandpa) are at Christmas. I don't think we had a tree, can't remember why...

...Ballet recital in June. FlowerGirl did beautifully, with all the practice and prep; the show was lovely. Then she conked out...

...she's getting taller everyday, but still young enough to come over and borrow another of my grown boys baby toys I still kept...

....back from vacation with the new dog they adopted from the innkeeper at their B&B. Eden is a very cute pup....

This one is from a few weeks ago, with her dog and her Barbies; and her great big grin...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

2nd Blog Birthday is Approaching...

 ...time to revisit fun, strange or outstanding photo events of the year. On a trip east last summer, here is your Blog Hostess surveying the vast, unexplained field of boulders called Ringing Rocks in Bucks Co. PA

          I learned to appreciate rust and corrosion as photo opportunities....                                         
     mystic old train equipment near Orbisonia, PA...
                                          "Farmyard Madonna"


                                         "Santuary" inspired by the novel by William Faulkner"
 

Haha--another kind of mask

One of our home grown potatoes seemed to smile at me as it was readied for cook pot.