In 2009, I was encouraged by my friends to give the 365 photo project a try. I love taking photos, and was excited about participating. The daily posts paint a brief picture of my year and open my eyes to the beauty around me. It is challenging to post a photo daily. I was successful in 2009 and 2010, but fell a few short in 2011. I'll be continuing my quest for daily photos in 2012 and look forward to sharing them here.
Today was my first sub job of the new school year. I was subbing for a 1-to-1 TA who works with a 5th grader with special needs. I loved being in his class with him. His classmates are very kind and helpful. They are going to have a great year!
I snapped a few photos while out walking the dog again today. This is Big Bluestem, or 'turkey foot' as we often call it. Can you see why? Big Bluestem is another plant that is native to the Illinois prairie. It often grows to over 6 feet tall.
It was a very hot and humid day today. But, by the time we went out for dinner tonight, there was a nice breeze, so we decided to sit outside at a new restaurant we tried out. We had great meals and enjoyed relaxing over dinner!
Oh yes, we have spoiled our little Lucy! Our adopted 'child' is quite a beggar, as most beagles are, and here I gave in and let her lick the 'empty' baking dish that held our dinner of chicken parmesan. All that was left was a bit of crusted remains, she chased this dish around the kitchen for quite awhile!
What a beautiful day! Scott and I spent the afternoon at Arlington Park Racetrack with family, Jeff & Carol and Marcia & Steve, Scott's brother and sister & their spouses. We sat in the picnic area close to where the band was playing and enjoyed the lovely weather while watching the horse races. None of us are big betters, but we were all big winners today, not so much in money, but in lots of fun!
Baby Blake made his first trip to our house this afternoon. He is now 17 days old. I invited Scott's parents to come over too, so that they could visit with their Great Grandson. It was such a lovely afternoon that we even got to sit outside! In this photo, Blake is being adored by Great Grandma!
My neighborhood friends and I gathered this evening for a lovely "Pearls of Wisdom" dinner in honor of Caroline, who will be getting married in November. This has become a lovely tradition as each of us has had a child marry. It is different from a bridal shower. Instead of gifts, each lady writes down some advice for the bride, sharing her "pearls of wisdom'. The pages are put into a scrapbook for the bride. The "pearls" always bring laughter and sometimes tears and lots of love!
Scott and I went to a White Sox game at US Cellular Field tonight. I had purchased the tickets on Groupon and they were my anniversary gift to my him. It was a great game and a beautiful evening to be sitting outside!
I've spent more time than I've wanted to here this summer. At our local hospital, I've had numerous tests for a bit of a health issue I've been having. This morning I returned for yet another test. I'm hoping it will be the last test & we can get on with the diagnosis and treatment!
This guy knows how to have fun! He's shooting bubbles out of a bubble pistol. We were seated near him at the concert we attended at Ravinia tonight. We had lawn seats to hear Crosby, Stills, and Nash. It was lovely way to spend an evening!
Our Saturday morning today today took us to our local Farmer's Market (where I should have taken a photo!) and to a new grocery store that just opened in our town. This is one of several wine aisles at the new Mariano's (actually owned by Roundy's, found in other states). Their selection is amazing and the store was packed!
Our lawn is a mess this year. For some reason the combination of summer rain and temperatures has encouraged more crabgrass to grow than we have ever seen. I sure hope it isn't perennial and we can encourage a better lawn next summer!
Our trip to see Blake was a great one today! Cheryl suggested we take a walk and when I saw this fountain in the pond near their house, I knew it would make a pretty photo. Blake is ten days old and such a good baby! Cheryl is doing very well as a first-time mother. I'm convinced I'm the luckiest mom/grandma in the world!
What a fun morning with friends today! My dear friend and colleague, Sue M. (seated), has been a long time stamper. She makes lovely notes and cards using many creative techniques. We've always said we would love to have her show us how to do some stamping. So today, five of us met to enjoy some fun stamping together!
Great day to have the windows open today! We have a dog who does not like to be outside without her people! Here she is, whining through the screen. She's on the patio, we are sitting at the table in the kitchen. What a baby!
The school around the corner from our home is gearing up for the new school year. Each day, there are more and more cars in the parking lot as the teachers get their rooms ready for their new crop of children. Today, I noticed the sign out front was updated with the upcoming calendar events. It looks like the kids will be back to school in about a week. As a retired teacher, I have such mixed emotions at this time of year. I loved teaching and really miss the kids and my friends and colleagues. However, I don't miss the days of preparation for the beginning of the new school year that always shorten a teacher's summer. God bless those of you who are teaching, may you have a wonderful new school year!
This is definitely a sign of the times this summer. Roads in our neighborhood are being repaved. Roads to our doctors, stores, and other errands are under construction. Highways we take to visit friends and family are undergoing major construction. It has not been a good summer for road travel. I guess that's why I've heard it said that there are two seasons in Chicagoland, winter and construction!
We visited Blake today, our 2nd visit since he came home from the hospital. He is doing great, as are his mom & dad! His Great Uncle Jeff, Great Aunt Carol, and cousin CJ came from Rockford to meet the newest member of the family today. In this photo, Uncle Jeff and Blake look like they are both singing!
I love Black-Eyed Susans, especially when they are planted in large patches. They are such a bright and happy flower. I really need to plant some in our yard! I've seen mixed information, are they an annual or a perennial in our part of Illinois?
We're back at the hospital. Baby Blake is now a day old. We are awed by the miracle of birth and so thankful for this beautiful grandson. Our younger daughter, Kristin, is thrilled that the baby arrived while she was home. She'll be flying back to Denver tomorrow with happy memories of her instant love for her new nephew. She's going to be an awesome Auntie!
Our grandson was born today!! We got the call from our daughter last night that they were heading to the hospital. She said we should wait at home until she called closer to delivery. Then at 6:00 a.m. this morning she called again and told us to come, that the baby would be making an appearance soon. When we got to the hospital, we were able to see her briefly before heading out to the waiting area. Blake Murray Heilicser was born at 9:45 a.m. He is 8 lbs. 7 oz. and 20.5 inches long. Cheryl and Blake are doing very well, as is daddy, Seth! We are so proud of them! It was definitely love at first sight when we got to see Blake!
A friend brought over some vegetables from her garden (thank you Connie!). I made these two loaves of zuchini bread. It smells so good when it is baking in the oven, and it is moist and tasty when eaten! We'll eat one loaf this week and the other is going into the freezer for later.
It's a little hard to see because of the reflection on the glass, but there is a squirrel inside our feeder jar. He has gotten very brave. He used to run in, grab some corn, and scurry down the tree with it. Now he just sits in there and pigs out!
Well, no baby yet.....so Scott, Kristin and I decided to spend the afternoon at the race track. It was a beautiful day to sit in the picnic area, listen to the music, enjoy the sunshine, and watch the races. We met Cheryl for dinner after the races. She is feeling good and anxious for the baby to be born (so are we!).
I often think you can tell a lot about people from what they put into their recycle bins! These bins are actually ours. See the snow shovel? I would love to do without that altogether, but it's actually an old one that is finally getting thrown out after the garage was cleaned out today.
While out for our walks, Lucy and I often stop at this trash can at the edge of the park near our house. The message on the can says "Contents in this can are recycled". I always feel a little guilty when I deposit her poop bag into the can. However, lots of other dog walkers also make a deposit here and picking up after the dog is much better than leaving a mess on the grass!
We are so happy to have Kristin home from Haiti. We've enjoyed listening to her stories and seeing her photos from her month working as an OT in Haiti. She brought me this beautiful metal angel. I'm so proud of her for the work she did while there. She learned a lot, gained valuable experience, and gave so much love to the people she cared for.