Sunday, July 31, 2016


Our area is in a moderate drought.  Someone must have said some powerful prayers because we finally had a few days of some really nice rain.
See the big drops?
How about now? It didn't really cool things off because the temps weren't that bad.  What it did do was make it more humid.  But that's OK because I was so happy for the farmers that need it and for my grass that wanted it!   Last night Jack said we had a visitor.
Hello Deer!  Then I realized this beauty wasn't alone.
Bambi perhaps?
They watched me watching them watch my garden.  I sure hope they stay in the Creepy Woods where I can still have good feelings about them! (I better not catch them snatching a treat from the my almost ready produce!)
We planted a couple of apple trees a few years ago and this is the first fruit we've gotten.  We only have 3 but they carry with them the promise of Fall.  Not quite big enough to pick. Hope we get there before Bambi and her Mommy! 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Summer Time And The Living Is......

Summer time and the living is DANG HOT! It's also dang dry.  Just ask Fern:
Not looking so good.  Either is my neighbor's yard. 
Mine isn't much better but theirs really spoke to "DRY" to me!  However, the weeds seem to survive this hot dry spell we're having this year.
They look just fine!  In our yard we're watering the flowers faithfully.
These seem to be surviving.  The planting area across the driveway looks stressed out.
I looked at my hydrangea and it's nice and lush and green.
Notice however that no blooms are visible..or are they?  Look closely and you'll see one lonely blue bloom.
Hello my pretty! So pretty it felt wrong to cover it back up so I cut it so we can enjoy it's loveliness!
It will hold a place of honor!  With the very cool and wet Spring we had I couldn't believe it when everyone...well the Farmer's Almanac anyway...was predicting a hot and dry Summer.  It wasn't wrong but I was really happy to see this happening on Sunday:
Can you see the rain dripping from the gazebo? We need about a good weeks worth to make the farmer's happy and to hear my grass sing praises!  Until then I'll let this lady keep praying for us.
And I hope she keeps praying for the half baked hosta next to her!
Good night all...don't bother calling on that telephone line...I'm heading to bed!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

To Serve And Protect

There are stories almost daily of lives that are lost.  Lives that are taken.  Lives that are seemingly not given any consideration that they are anything but a body in a uniform.  I know that lives are also taken, lost, and also not given consideration that they are anything other than a criminal with intent to hurt.  Somehow we've taken it upon ourselves to be judge and jury when these things happen.  I've never faced a person with a gun or a person that I thought might want to do harm to me or my family.  I've never faced a situation in a dark alley, street, or car that would make me scared.  I've never had to make a snap decision on someone that I have to decide is a harm to others or themselves.  I'm grateful to those that do make those decisions.  I'm grateful to know I can make a call if I'm ever in a place or situation that makes me uncomfortable.  I'm also grateful to know some of those bodies in uniform as real people.  People who have families, friends, pets, hobbies, and go to work daily and put all that aside to help save others.  To serve and protect.  Are all police officers good?  Are all police officers perfect?  Heck no.  Are any of us perfect?  I doubt it.  I know good physicians, nurses, lawyers, school teachers....I also have met the opposite.   The slogan is "Black Lives Matter".  And they do.  But I say: "ALL LIVES MATTER!"    I grew up in a suburb of Chicago.  My folks moved there to build their own home in 1951.  No more apartment living where kids couldn't walk on the grass or play safe out in the street.  Everyone thought my parents were crazy to leave the city to live in the middle of nowhere.  But they knew what they could make happen there.  A small unincorporated neighborhood that slowly began to grow as others joined the movement to leave the city.  There came a time when our little town needed a police force.  My Dad was asked to be the first Chief of police in Oakbrook Terrace.   He accepted and had a couple of other volunteers to help get the force started.  They used their own cars and did this on their own time and at their own expense.  Today that little volunteer police force is now a full size, legitimate police force with cars and a station house and many men and women on the payroll.   When my Dad passed away I was very touched to see all the officers come to his funeral and give him a police escort to his gravesite and also take the time to pass through our neighborhood and our home with the whole funeral procession following.   This is my hero.

Today I know another family member who has taken the calling to "Serve and Protect".  My niece,  Katie.  Also my hero.
She completed her Bachelor's degree in criminology and went on to get her Masters and is now a police detective with the Oakbrook Police Department.  She is more than a target in a uniform.  She's a mom to these two cuties.

She's a wife to Blake.
She's my sister's daughter.
  She's a Granddaughter, a sister to her other siblings, a good friend to many, and a good person who puts all this aside to go and help others and keep the community she serves safe.  Because she works out in the "burbs" it doesn't mean it's safe.  I know she has investigated many crimes that would make us all cringe.   I also know she has to go serve warrants in the city to criminals that you have no idea how they will react to being served.  In 2004 her younger brother, Jonathon, was killed in a car accident.  She was the officer called to the scene.  Imagine going to a bad crash only to find out that the person laying dead in the snow is your brother.  She's been hurt on the job but doesn't let that stop her.  She's hoping to get to retire one day from the force.  She hopes to go out with a good record and also without injury or worse.  We pray for her daily.  I hope we say a prayer for all those that put their lives on the line.  I hope we pray for those that have been gunned down to serve some sick person's idea of revenge.  I hope we all conduct ourselves as human beings who realize that all lives really do matter what the race, religion, or beliefs may be.  We need to unite in peace and help each other and our communities to be safe and  be places where everyone can live without fear.  We need to stop the violence.  Amen.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Camp Week

Last week was a short work week.  I had Monday off for the holiday and Tuesday off to say bye to Mom and my sister.  Why then did it feel like the longest week ever? The workplace was busy and a bit crazy.  We even had a Doctor collapse on us and we had to cancel all his surgeries for that day. (He's fine now!)  Maybe because Jack was at Scout Camp all week and I'm not fond of being home alone at night.  I hear every bump and rattle and don't sleep to great.  But he came home yesterday and had a good camp week with the kids.  It was a hot one with  a teeny bit of rain the first day.  He survived however.   There weren't as many kids this year as in the past.  It's funny about kids these days.  It's hard to get them away from electronics and sports.  Only 2 troops participated in skit night.  I find that so sad.  No one can think of something completely silly to do? No imagination?  No letting loose for one night?  Anyway, the ones who did participate had fun and the camp had it's usual activities available for all who wanted to have fun and learn some things.
Welcome sign.
Beautiful setting with a fun lake for lake games and fishing and swimming.
Food served in the new dining hall.
Fun slides with soap and water and a hill.
Service projects are done all week by the scouts and also the leaders.
A crazy pinewood derby that made the guys use some imagination after all! I feature  camp posts most years.  They always go during July 4th week and I've gotten used to not having Jack around on that holiday unless it falls on a Saturday or Sunday.  I'm not sure how many more years he'll be going.  He wants to go next year to help the camp celebrate 50yrs at that scout reservation.  Scouting is changing and money makes it necessary to close camps and combine counsels.  It's a good organization that if parents and the kids would get behind it and really understand and enjoy what it has to offer, it would be a real benefit to the boys and their futures.  Not every boy makes Eagle Scout but no matter the rank they achieve it teaches valuable lessons.  I hope they all enjoyed the week and the activities and the time away from the phone, TV, and internet!

Monday, July 4, 2016

July 4th Fun!

Welcome July! Along with that welcome we welcomed a visit by my Mom and my sister, Midge. 
They arrived Friday afternoon and will go home tomorrow. This visit was so nice and quiet for us.  Although my boys and their kiddos came by at different times and we had a few cookouts and was nice to have time to sit and chat and mostly just enjoy this wonderful weekend.  The weather has been cool and lovely.
We sat around the fire Friday and cooked our dinner and just relaxed until dark and chill drove us indoors.
We went to the Farmer's Market on Saturday.
No, we didn't come by buggy!
Or horse!!  We went downtown afterwards and saw the end of the annual "push 'em, pull 'em parade.
The kids in town all dress up in their red, white, and blue, and walk down the street and show their patriotism!  (They even bring their pets!)  It's fun to see the little ones in strollers and the bigger ones on bikes.  It reminds me of my own childhood when we always had a kid parade through the town.  While Mom was getting a Chiro treatment from Jack, Midge and I hiked downtown to a cute little place called "Downtown Perk". 
Lots of old Ashland pics, signs and good coffee and muffins! I don't drink coffee but the day was cool enough for a hot cocoa...yum! The day was filled with some shopping, and visits from Grandkiddos.
Sunday found us taking in the annual icecream social at the Historical Society. I didn't have my camera so no good pics there.  In the evening we went to the park for the "Pops in the Park" concert.  It's always a good time to sit and enjoy the music.
Just bring your chairs and sit and relax. That's me in the middle! Hehe!
As always it was fabulous! Lots of good tunes and patriotic songs and songs to honor every branch of military service. 
At the end the cannons go off for the 1812 Overture and the sparklers come out for "God Bless America".  Very small town fun! 
Jack left this morning for Scout Camp. He spent most of the weekend getting ready.  When the tent goes up, you know it's camp time soon.  Hope your week is a good one Babe!  So today it's just Mom, Midge and I.  Phil and the girls stopped by to shoot off some fireworks and visit with us.
Run guys!
Lex is getting good at driving.  They drove all over and picked up the remains of the fireworks.  Good, I hate when I run over the stuff  with the mower!  I think we'll pass on the fireworks tonight since the crowds get pretty heavy and parking is a challenge.  Mom's done really well tromping around town with us but I'd hate to put her through the paces tonight...she's 90 after all...although I have a hard time remembering that! I'll miss them both when they leave tomorrow.  Even Chubbs will be sad!
I hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th and thanks to all who serve our wonderful country and who have served to make it possible to celebrate our freedoms!  Happy July 4th!  God Bless America!