Truth, Justice and a Good Time for All
"Our gracious hosts"
If you find yourself in Chicago and you are really lucky you just may get invited to Deecat's house. Dee and her husband, Alan welcomed the "motley" crew of Hansi, Lori, Rob, Kristi, Kris and me to their home on the way back to Chicago from Milwaukee. Dee is a dynamo! I think the electric company should "buy back" some of the energy she exudes.
Dee had prepared a little snack for us, including a nice bottle of champagne (my favorite thing.) Then we opened our Christmas gifts which were so generous and kind. I actually love watching others get gifts, to me that is such a great thing to see the joy on others faces, priceless really!
We then went on to the local "Olive Garden" restaurant where we had a great table, excellent service, excellent food and excellent company. Hmmmm, did I mention it was excellent? ;-)
"Joy Joy Happy Happy"
"Always surrounded by pretty girls!"
Home Sweet Home, Libertyville
"A great place to live"
My husband Allan and I live in Libertyville, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois.Please check out my travelogues to know more about my personal home.
Be sure to check out the newest travelogue
We live in unincorporated Libertyville, really closer to Gurnee, Illinois. Libertyville has a beautiful downtown area that is still vibrant (which is rare because all the malls have depleted so many small towns).
It has a movie theatre, many antique stores, gift shops, Pubs, restaurants, furniture stores,coffee houses, a dance studio, candy shops, and a camera store.
Right in the middle of town is a Rose Garden with pathways to walk. It is quite beautiful and a very popular place.
It has a very excellent school system, which is one of the reasons so many people live here.
There is a nice train station for commuting to the city (Chicago).
There are many large, older homes immediately surrounding the town. Most have been renovated, keeping them true to their era.
Very nearby is a lovely Shopping Mall called "Hawthorne Center" with quality shops and restaurants.
Libertyville is a town and a community to be proud of.
"A Town That Values Its Past"
One reason I love Libertyville Downtown so much is because it truly values its past.
As I was photographing interesting places in downtown Libertyville, I noticed plaques like the one in the photograph which signifies that the property has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior.
Instead of tearing down buildings, Libertyville refurbishes the inside and maintains the "character" of the outside architecture.
"Small Touches Create Large, Positive Images"
The photograph shows just one of many small "touches" that add to the lovely ambience of downtown Libertyville.
Instead of ugly, dingy alleyways, the town has created airy, flower enhanced passageways for people to use and to enjoy.
VT FRIENDS MEET UP IN LIBERTYVILLE AREA
"THE BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT EVER!"
On December 13, 2006, I received one of the best Christmas gifts: A VT meet at my house in Libertyville. Of course, it was because of Dabs [Kristi] that it was all possible.
In this main photo: LoriPori [Lori] and Dabs [Kristi] seated on my couch in my living room in Libertyville.
"FINALLY MET THE LOVELY KAT"
One of the reasons we met at my house was because the rest of the "crew" had gone to Milwaukee for a day's visit. Since my house is halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee, it was a good place.
I was so excited because I would be able to meet Keida84 [Kat] and her best friend, Kris. I soon realied why Kris was Kat's friend; she is delightful.
And, what a pleasure it was for us to me Kat. Both Allan and I really enjoyed Kat's company...such an intelligent, vibrant young woman.
Photo of Kat and Kris in front of my fire place and Christmas Tree
"ANOTHER REASON TO REJOICE"
Another reason that I was so excited about the VT meet was because I would be able to see rmdw [Robert] and Waalewiener [Hansi] again!
As I opened my front door after hearing the doorbell, I was greeted by a flash of Robert's camera and then a much-welcomed hug.
Photo is of Hansi and Robert on the Love Seat in my front room
"GREAT TIME AT THE OLIVE GARDEN IN GURNEE"
From my house, after exchanging Christmas surprises, we went to the Gurnee Olive Garden where we were fortunate to have reservations for 8 in a rather private space with an excellent waiter, Ryan.
My wonderful husband, Allan, took the photo:
Back Row: Robert, Kris, Hansi, and Kristi
Front Row: Lori, Dee, and Kat
"HANSI SURROUNDED BY WOMEN!"
Once again, my darling husband took this photo of:
Waalewiener [Hansi] surrounded by Dabs [Kristi], Keida84 [Kat], and Deecat [Dee].
Where's LoriPori [Lori]????? You guessed it...in the washroom!
Libertyville: A Gardener's Answer
"A Serene Influence: My Backyard"
The back of our home faces the South. We have three large sliding glass doors across the back of the house as well as three very high windows (Vaulted ceilings), so light flushes our Great Room and Kitchen.
Every time I glance out these windows/doors, I see my Perennial gardens and smile. It is such a serene vision that it calms even the most hectic times.
"Roses Flourish in the Sunshine"
Because the back of the house faces the South, Roses thrive in this environment.
For the last few years, I've added one or two new roses each year. I'm partial to pink roses, so I probably have roses in every shade of pink.
In addition, I have yellow, white, red, coral, and lavender! Roses take special care, but they are well worth it.
"Travel Brings Additions to the Garden"
While in Pompeii, Italy, I purchased the Terra Cotta Mask that you see in the photograph.
It's a nice addition to the garden scene. Everytime I see the mask, I remember the great time we had in Italy, Pompeii in particular.
"Grown from Seed Inside"
Starting at the end of February, I start my seedlings in containers and within small greenhouses in my Great Room with its massive Southern exposure windows.
The Cosmos in the photograph are some of the plants from seeds in February of 2003. I used organically grown Cosmos seeds: "Sensation" and "Piccotee".
"Perennial Hibiscus Come Back Each Year"
I started using Perennial Hibiscus plants in 2001, and I now have 3 white ones, one red, one pink, and one maroon one.
They are so easy to care for and return each year. The individual blooms are HUGE. Each bloom lasts only one day, but each plant is filled with hundreds of blooms. I can tell you that they are real "show stoppers"!
"Beautiful Blue Lobelia"
Along the West side of our house, I always plant blue Lobelia Erinus in "Cambridge Blue" or "Periwinkle Blue".
It is mound-forming and covered with hundreds of deep purple/blue flowers. It serves as a ground cover at the edge of my stone border. It blooms all summer and into fall. I cut it back about twice a summer and it reblooms vigorously.
"Gardens are More Than Plants & Flowers"
Throughout my garden I have Stepping Stones, Statues, Obolisks, Gazing Balls, and Decorative Plant Stakes.
I also make my own Stepping stones from pieces of ceramic, plain concrete square or round steps, in-door/outdoor glue and weatherproof glaze. I made over 25 as gifts to my friends.
The Photograph shows the Stained-Glass Stepping Stones from my Patio to the West side of the yard.
"Old Fashioned Flowers Are New Again"
I love old Fashioned Flowers such as the fragrant sweetpea.
The one that I grow has a "spicey" fragrance that is delightful. It has blue, white, purple, and pink blossoms on one plant.
This is a photograph of the sweetpea vine at a very young stage. In a few weeks, that trellis was covered!