Fall Idiosyncracies

fall girl

Seems like I am never quite ready for fall when it arrives and every year I am surprised again by the little quirky things that have to be dealt with, like:

figuring out whether or not you need a coat or a sweater and if so, whether you should have long sleeves or short sleeves underneath the outer garment, having to pour hot water into the coffee mug in the morning because the cupboards get chilly over night, fumbling back and forth between hot/cool and defrost/vent/heater/airconditioning in the car, having to allow extra time in the mornings to defrost or defog the car windows, wearing a scarf and gloves and then trying to remember not to leave them behind at meeting, needing to use my inhaler when I walk outside in the chilly air, trying to remember that it could still be late when I wake up even though it’s still dark outside, AND the perennial kicker – getting a slow start on the day and then not having as much light at the end of the day as you’d like.

Ahhhhwellll, I’ll adjust pretty soon hopefully!  How is your fall going? (or spring, depending on what hemisphere you inhabit!)

She liked it!

I made my sister a wall hanging for her birthday.   A few years ago she put an addition onto the cottage.  I have to admit, when she was in the planning stages and we had the architect’s drawing spread out on her dining room table, I thought she was a little crazy, but the addition is fantastic!  I wish I had some of her imaginative and visualizing skills.  I pretty much have to see something else and basically copy it, making some of my own changes and additions according to how it feels.  I can never visualize the finished product.  Anyway, I said I would make a little hanging for her new room.  I took home a piece of her wallpaper border for inspiration, and this is the finished product.  And, she liked it!!  And I liked making it….so….win-win!

the wall hanging

Nesting week

I think it is going to be a nesting week here at Passion for Green.  I haven’t posted any decorating photos in a while.  Going all the way back to spring, here are some views of what I had on the walls and just recently took down…..yah…..I’m a little behind!  Some of you would know that I change the decor in my bedroom with the seasons.  Spring focuses on Iowa fields, the progression of blooming and pictures of my family.

spring1spring2spring3spring4spring5spring6spring7spring8spring9button flowers

Can you tell I like to create things out of fabric?!  The second from the last was my attempt to paint something that looked like it was made out of fabric.

My brother’s van

in the van

We don’t all quite fit when we gather at my sister’s cottage, so my brother brings his bedroom/kitchen/living room on wheels.  I don’t know all the details about how he converted it himself (did Dad help with this conversion?)  All I know is that it is very cozy and I could certainly live in it for a few months!  This time, I made sure I got some van pictures!


moose light

Love the cozy moose light. What a great place to read at night when they are camping in Maine!

The thinking spot

One of my favorite photos from the weekend at my sister’s cottage was this:

G in swing

Do you have a thinking spot? Some place you always wind up when you need to think or make important decisions?  This swing is down near the edge of the lake and has been one of my most important thinking spots over the years.  I’ve made some important decisions here, like deciding to go back to school to get my teaching license, deciding to let certain things go.  The idyllic view just seems to help me get things in perspective.

Another favorite photo from the weekend:

E and K

Not that the facial expressions are that great, but considering how much this little one wiggles around, I thought it turned out pretty clear.  My sister-in-law is “the gramma” now!  We miss my mom, but we have a wonderful gramma replacement!

One more favorite:

golf cart

The cottage is up at the top of a steep hill.  Actually, it used to be at the top of a “gully”, but my dad and sister built steps and did an amazing landscaping job such that you’d think it was just planned that way.  When it got so that it was hard for mom and dad to get up the hill, my sister bought a golf cart for the many trips up and down to the water.  In my family, there is a solution for everything!

I love the Philippines

because they gave us my nephew’s wife and her family!  Over the years, our family has gotten kind of stuck in our American ways, American routines and food.  Now, our meals are wonderful mixtures of flavors.  It always seems like something new is coming out of the kitchen….and the smell of the rice cooking in the rice cooker….I LOVE it!

the cook

One American ( or is it universal?) tradition I seem to be hanging on to though is the family photo.  I have to admit, it used to be when we went to the cottage and came time to leave, you always had to allow extra time for the very posed family picture and it was always in the same place and always seemed to look pretty much the same to me from year to year.  So, this Labor Day weekend, when it came time to leave…guess who HAD to have a couple of goodbye pictures?  I just couldn’t help myself!!  We lost the kids from the table, one to a video game and one to bed, but I thought this turned out pretty well!

family pic


Besides having a thing for boats, my brother and sister and I have a thing for taking photos (in case you hadn’t noticed from my blog!)  If you don’t have the camera bug yourself, I am not sure I can make you understand “why” we do it…..have to document everything in a picture.  Maybe it’s like gambling or something, you just never know when you are going to wind up with a fabulous shot… at least that’s how I feel.  We all love looking back at pictures too.  My photos are probably my most valued possessions.  In case of a fire, grab the laptop and photo albums!  I love the way this photo illustrates our photo obsession.  My nephew was kayaking around the lake and we were in the pontoon boat, and everyone was trying to get a good photo of him!


And here is the less than perfect shot I got of the kayaker extraordinaire!



For some reason, boats have figured prominently in my family for years…and we didn’t grow up on the water, either.  I trace it back to the stories of my brother and his efforts to turn a canoe into a sailboat and travel down the Rock River.  We had an aunt that lived on Chesapeake Bay and they had a boat called the Miss Liz, but that wasn’t until later.  Anyway, currently at the cottage there resides a canoe, two sail boats, a kayak, and a pontoon boat.  So, going to the cottage always means some kind of boat ride!

pontoon boat