Monday, July 30, 2012

The Olympic Spirit Continues a Family Tradition...

I have always LOVED the Olympic games.  When I was in high school, my Dad and I made these rings and we always hung them on the front peak of the house.  Since then, be it winter or summer, they continue to go up during every Olympic games.  We would flip the switch on the spotlight once the torch lit the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremonies.  During the closing ceremonies, once the flame was extinguished, we would turn off the spotlight until the next Olympiad.

Our entire family would gather around the TV every night and cheer on TEAM USA and the athletes from around the world.  I remember decorating the house in red, white and blue and when McDonald's used to give out the medal count board, we hung on the wall to keep track of the events.  Coming home from school or work, to see the rings hanging and lit always was such a source of pride and patriotism.  They now are also a tribute to my Dad as I also hang them in his honor.  Passersby still honk and give a thumbs up which I return.  And that always makes me smile.
The rings during a past winter Olympiad - with the old REALLY green paint color. (Ick!)  :-)
I will always cherish the memories of sitting in front of the TV with my parents and brother and sisters watching the ONE TV channel which showed the games.   Now, the rings not only represent the anticipation and excitement of the present Olympic games but the warm memories, laughter and tears of games gone by.  GO TEAM USA!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mid-Summer Planter Spruce-Up...

Just dropped the hanging basket into the planter - Perfectly perfect!
This heat this summer in Chicago is unbelievable.  The flowers and lawns are so dry and nothing is looking as pretty as it should mid July.  So, as I looked at my pathetic planter, I decided to do something about it.  You can see one fried plant which was once a glorious purple pansy.  This along with  the boxwood hedge which needed a major trim made for quite the awful looking display.

BEFORE:  Yikes - overgrown boxwood hedge and totally dead planter.

This was once overflowing with purple and white pansies.  UGH!

So passing the HOME DEPOT, I decided to see if they had any striking annuals on clearance.  TA-DA!  I found this amazing hanging basket for only $5.88 on clearance.  SWEET!

I removed the handle from the bucket and simply put it in place.  The plant is so full that it completely hides the white bucket - INSTANT PLANTER.  :-)  So I trimmed the boxwood hedge, added some new mulch and it looks so much better.  So, for about the cost of an hour of my time and $6, my planter now adorable and it makes me smile every time I walk to the front door.

AFTER:  So much better! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

JULY: Yay for Birthdays, Wimbledon, Fireworks & the London Games!

Wow - can you believe July is already here?  It seems like we just had Memorial Day and now whamo - Independence Day is a few days away.  Where is the summer going?

I had such HUGE plans for the summer but alas, between the ridiculous heat, drought and spending almost every waking hour teaching on a tennis court have thrown some wrenches into projects.

The kitchen is a work in progress, the foyer, deck, living room, etc are all "under construction" much to my dismay.  UGH!

I love the Fourth of July although I am not too thrilled it is in a Wednesday and that it is supposed to be 98 degrees in Chicago with a heat index of triple digits.  Can't exactly paint the house in that weather.  I will try to see fireworks as many nights as possible because I absolutely love them!

It is also the Wimbledon tennis championships which I absolutely love - something about the grass courts, the strawberries & cream and the all white attire makes me proud to call myself a tennis player.

It is also MY birthday, my niece's birthday, my sister's birthday, and my nephew's birthday - so it is a big month of cake and parties.  Good stuff.

On my birthday, I also celebrate my anniversary of being diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.  It was the morning of my birthday - I went by myself to the hospital for a mammogram which led to an an ultrasound which led to a needle biopsy and my life changed forever.  WORST BIRTHDAY EVER!  :-)   But even though it is a journey I would haver rather not taken, I am thankful that I am still here to continue to fight and share my story and hopefully make a difference in someone else's cancer journey.  No matter how you look at it though - having both breast cancer and ovarian cancer and now sharing my birthday with that evil monster will forever SUCK!  So I counteract this with CAKE.  LOTS OF CAKE!   LOL

This year, July is especially exciting of the 2012 London Olympic Games.  My love for all things British and getting lost in the world of Jane Austen has me especially excited about this Olympiad.  I LOVE the Olympics - be it summer or winter - it just is like the whole world stops, gathers around the TV and cheers not only for their own country but the human spirit in general.  It is at times like these that I feel world peace is truly a possibility.  Go TEAM USA!

It is going to be a GREAT month - then comes August, back to school and before you know it, Christmas carols will be playing the stores.  YIKES!  :-)