Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I Do Have a Soul

I now believe in love at first sight! I have found my "Soul" mate! I made the mistake of looking at one of these babies while getting an oil change and tire rotation. I really did make an honest effort to resist the allure, but to no avail. There was a couple of days wait for the color I wanted to arrive by truck. My Soul arrived and any buyer's remorse that I might have felt dissipated immediately.

I drove it for the next couple of days and now it is parked in the driveway patiently waiting for summer to be over. It may get a little exercise if there is a trip out of town, but otherwise the "little red truck" gets the miles. There is something about driving a 5-speed pick-up truck that stirs a "country girl's heart". Unfortunately, the fishtailing on slick streets does not, therefore bad weather means the truck sits.

Yes, now it can truly be said that I have a "Soul", at least this one!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Brunch With a View

The last time I went to The Lighthouse in Rome (Illinois, not Italy) a couple of my companions were not impressed. I thought it deserved another look. This was a beautiful Sunday morning, perfect for the short drive up Route 29. Despite the road construction, it was a pleasant trip. I turned off on River Beach Road in order to keep the view of the Illinois River in sight.

Just after entering Rome, off to the left you see The Lighthouse. I don't know if it will continue into fall, but during the summer months they serve a delightful Sunday brunch buffet. This morning was a perfect day to have breakfast on the deck. The sun would peek through the clouds now and then. Overall, the weather was perfect. Temperature in the upper 60's and no wind.

The buffet is a bargain. $7.50 including tax! Your drink is not included however. The buffet includes fresh fruit. This week they had an Ameretto (not sure I spelled that right) dip for the fruit. There are several types of bread and bagels with butter, jelly and your choice of cream cheese spreads. The buffet also sports a selection of pastries. With the "real food", there are several choices. Scrambled eggs (with or without sausage and cheese - neither were runny or watery), fried hash, several choices of potato (crisp hash browns are good), bacon, sausage (not fond of the type of link they use, but there are plenty of other choices), a thick baked pancake with sausage and cheese that is quite different but also quite good with a little syrup on it, chicken tenders, biscuits and gravy (fantastic sausage gravy), French toast that is "to die for" and a few other choices. Not huge, but at $7.50, a real value! The amount of food that is out at any one time is relatively small. This allows for fresh food to be set out almost all the time. Service is friendly and prompt.

What is truly priceless about brunch at The Lighthouse is the view!

The view from the deck is a wide expanse of the Illinois River. Did not see any ducks this time. There were a few gulls and small birds. A small fishing boat pulled up so the family could come in for brunch. As they were approaching, the people on the deck watched as the Asian carp jumped in the air and tried to get in the boat. What a great way to spend part of Sunday morning.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Next Generation

You raise your kids and are so glad that they actually turned out pretty darn good, despite all the mistakes that you, as a parent, made along the way. Now, those kids I raised with the help of my family, extended family and friends that stepped in when needed, are the next generation of parents raising the next generation of children.

Was I strict enough that they will instill discipline? Was I patient enough for them to have tolerance? Did I instill good values that will be passed on? No, wait! I didn't learn those from my parents, I tried to do better. I think they will too. They seem to be adapting to parenthood.

My son has a daughter and my daughter has a son. I guess that is fair. They and their spouses have given me two beautiful grandchildren - Angie and Evren. Angie will be 4 on October 10th and Evren will be two months on July 28th.

So, with Grandma Bragging Rights intact, here they are!

Angie and her Daddy.

Evren and his Mommy.

Monday, July 6, 2009

More Bloomers

It is not what you might be thinking. It is my belief that flowers are the decorations on the tree of life. Mother Nature's way of smiling. Weeds are simply flowers growing where you do not want them. The white mass among the Black Eyed Susan's is Queen Anne's Lace, considered a weed, but it is truly beautiful. This is one single flower head! I pull a lot of it, but try to let a few plants flower for their delicate beauty. They will take over a garden if you are not careful.

Domesticated thistle is a cousin of the large thistle that is seen growing along the highway. The blooms are a beautiful shade of blue. I am quite sure there are people who consider all thistles weeds, but I look forward to these blooming every year.

Purple coneflowers are the most common, but there are other
colors. The garden has a few white ones. There used to be yellow ones too, but they may have been damaged while the house was being worked on. In the last couple of years, some new colors have been introduced. They are pretty expensive right now and I am waiting for them to come down in price. I have seen the new orange ones and the green ones. Both are wonderful and will likely make their way into the garden by next year!

There are so many types of Lillies and I have never found one that I did not like! But, then I have never found a flower that I didn't like!

Another weed. Wild phlox. Darn stuff comes up every year. It isn't as pretty as the cultivated variety, but a nice addition anyway.

Columbine is one of the favorite
blooms in the garden.

Mother Nature is smiling!