Monday, April 25, 2011

A Surprise Gift from Miss Sandra!

Surprise Gift #1

A couple weeks ago, I entered a Second Blogiversary Giveaway
on the one of my favorite blogs,

And guess what?

Surprise Gift #2

I didn't win!

BUT, Miss Sandra decided to draw one more name
for a SURPRISE gift.. and then I won!

Surprise Gift #3

But what has arrived in this beautifully wrapped
little bundle?

Surprise Gift #4

A sweet little card was attached...

Surprise Gift #5

Ooh, it looks like the roses on my quilt!

Surprise Gift #6

What a fun surprise! A woven vintage doily,
with beautiful hand embroidery work!

Surprise Gift #7

The colors will fit right in at Eastlake Victorian!
And I think I know just the right spot for it!

Surprise Gift #8

AND, a lovely cabinet card portrait
of a pretty young lady from the c. 1880's!
She looks like she is posing by a quilt or pretty throw.

Surprise Gift #9

Surprise Gift #10

Thank you so much, Miss Sandra! I use doilies all over the house,
and I collect Victorian era photographs.
Your thoughtful gifts will be put to good use!

Surprise Gift #11

Be sure to visit Miss Sandra and her faithful companion,
Mr. Knightly the cat, at Musings From Harmonie House.
Miss Sandra has a GORGEOUS dream home
and loves to live life to its fullest IN THE PAST!
She is also a wonderful poet and music lover.
Do stop by Harmonie House for tea
and say hello to Miss Sandra!

Surprise Gift #12


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter!

Just hopping by to post a few bunny and chick pics,
and to wish you all a
Happy Easter!

Chocolate Yard Bunny

Peter Rabbit

Bathroom Bunnies

Egg Basket

Wooden Painted Eggs


Chocolate House Bunny


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Royal Wedding

Buckingham Palace

It was Wednesday, July 29, 1981 when I got up at 3 AM to watch the coverage of the wedding of Charles & Diana. I was enthralled by the pageantry, history and beauty of it all. I was so happy for them!

Next Friday, I will again be up by 3 AM to watch the coverage of another royal wedding: that of William and Kate. I'll watch as much as I can, hopefully seeing most of it before I have to leave for work.

My husband Terry and I visited London exactly five years ago. We spent six days there and absolutely loved it. One day, we hope to return. Since I know the streets and have seen the city first hand, I'll be able to get my bearings as the procession heads through the streets of London and Kate enters Westminster Abbey.

Downing Street

I thought this would be a great time to share some photos of our London trip. Some of these locales will indeed be on the wedding route! Others... not so much.

Here is the fascade of Westminster Abbey. I regret we did not go inside, but next time for sure!

Westminster Abbey

Big Ben is right across the street from Westminster Abbey.

Big Ben

Here are some shots of Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard ceremony.

Buckingham Palace Gates

Changing of The Guard

Changing of The Guard exiting

When the Queen's Guards aren't rotating in and out of duty, they're doing this...

Buckingham Palace Queen's Guard sentry

... and this. People try to crack them up, but they must remain stoic. A few times, we saw the guards begin to march in place and switch their guns to the other side in hopes that would scare the tourists who were getting a bit too close!

St. James's Palace Queen's Guard sentry

A charming carriage just outside the gates of Buckingham Palace.

Carriage outside Buckingham Palace

Just across the street from Buckingham Palace is St. James's Park. It was SO beautiful, with gorgeous flowers, ponds and birds. A true paradise!

St. James's Park

Red-Breasted Geese

Swan in St. James's Park

The wedding route will not pass the Tower of London...

Tower of London

... nor Tower Bridge. We decided not to take the tour inside the Tower of London. Jails and jewels just didn't fit into our schedule. Maybe next time. I really would have loved to see the ravens that live on the grounds, but they weren't there when we were in London.

Tower Bridge, London

I was surprised to see this statue of Abraham Lincoln in the middle of Parliament Square! Especially since it is a replica of the one we have in Lincoln Park here in Chicago!

Lincoln in Parliament Square

We Illinoians are mighty proud of old Abe!

Lincoln Close-up

Terry is a huge Beatles and British Invasion fan, so we just had to walk up Abbey Road to Abbey Road Studios.

Terry at Abbey Road Studios

It was almost impossible recreating that famous shot with all the traffic! The locals must think us tourists are crazy!

Abbey Road

Here's a typical pub in London. Such quaint buildings, and many have been in operation for hundreds of years!

Typical London Pub

There's no better way to get a bird's eye view of London than from atop the London Eye!

London Eye

Well, that concludes our brief tour of London! If you're interested in the Royal Wedding, check out the links below.

For the official Royal Wedding website, click here.

For a helpful interactive map of the royal procession click here.

Here's a fun 3D imagery of the parade route by Google Earth Maps:

And finally, if you're not watching the festivities on TV, you can watch a live stream on the official Royal Household YouTube channel beginning at 5:00 am ET by clicking here!

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Finally, Spring!

Just a few weeks ago, we still had mounds of this...

Snow Pile

The sun would try to melt it at times...

Snow melting

And the ice rink began to get a little too wet for skating...

Ice Rink melting

Then, the mulch began to be delivered...

Mulch Truck

And last week, I spotted my first flower of the season... a crocus!

First Flower of 2011!

It was 38° when I left for work on Friday morning. But finally this weekend...

It's in the 80's! And we have our first flowers in our own garden! The blue Scillas...


And the Daffodils!


We opened our windows for the first time. The cat window perch came out of storage, and Phoebe was delighted to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the great outdoors!

Fresh Air for Phoebe

And Penny soaked up some Vitamin D from the warm rays of the sun.

Penny in the Sun

For weeks, I have envied my fellow bloggers' photos of beautiful Spring flowers, and now I can enjoy the real thing! Our entire weekend was lovely. But we still are not out of the woods, as our last frost date is May 15. It just felt so good to be outdoors without a coat!

Welcome, Spring!