Archive for the ‘It's an Ace’ Category

Seeing Snow


     One of my old tennis buddies took a beautiful picture of this cardinal and posted it on her facebook. I thought it was beautiful and asked her if I could paint it. She said sure. I decided to do this little pencil drawing as a start for now. 
     It’s amazing what one sees in a picture.  I first saw this photo and what struck me was the bright red of the cardinal and the white of the snow. When I  started to draw the picture it became clear that the cardinal is really more orange than red and the snow isn’t really white at all. Art really does reflect life.  The closer you get something and the more time you spend with it, the more you understand it.
     So on this cold and snowy day, I am going to look at the “white stuff” a little differently and maybe those around me too.          Happy snow day!



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October Picture from calendar


 Everday, my little guy wakes up to his own alarm and marches in for a good morning snuggle.   After a few minutes, he begins the rest of his morning routine with his dad.  Last Friday, I heard him announce to his dad, “Today is gonna be a great day…three reasons. 

  1. Pep rally at school
  2. Spirit wear day and jeans -Sister says jeans are ok as long as they’re appropriate.
  3. We have PE”

He donned his school Tshirt and appropriate jeans, ate his Cinnamon Toast Crunch, packed his lunch and went off to school with his dad. 

I think it’s interesting that not having to wear his uniform is so fun for him.  I really believe being denied certain things enhances our appreciation when we get them.  This child is a joy because he finds joy in the simple things.  His spirit is contagious and just by hearing his enthusiasm, he brightened my day. 

Imagine if:

  1. we all found 3 reasons to look forward to the day
  2. we appreciated the things that most people take for granted
  3. we shared our excitement with others

I hope you all have a joyful day with many reasons to be grateful.  What are you looking forward to today?

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 peaches 019 peaches 020

This weekend the Hogans and Dincolos gathered in Chicago for the first of many times together to come.

‘Twas the Mewhort tree that sprouted the Hogan and Dincolo branches back in the fifties.  Janet married Jim Hogan and Judy married Jim Dincolo.  The Dincs (hard “C”) moved to Indiana and the Hogans stayed in Michigan.  In May, at a family wedding, we danced, ate, imbibed and joked with our cousins.  We realized that we have a good time together and vowed to “see each other soon.” 

Well, we reminded D. of his late night promise to set up a weekend in Chicago for us and he made good on it.  We hopped cabs to Navy Pier and for once were VIPs, being shuffled to the front of the line as we boarded the tall ship Windy.  You gotta love the VIP treatment because it doesn’t often happen.  Regardless, it was an awesome sailboat ride on lake Michigan, complete with cute Irish boat interns, who played guitar while serenading us.  We sailed along the lakefront, gazed at the city lights and took in the most lovely, warm summer breeze.  Saturday, we shopped, ate and hung out at their beautiful high rise home, ending the night with fireworks on the rooftop…the penthouse.  I love that word! 


It’s been a very busy summer and frankly a weekend at home is soooo appealing but the bit of effort to try to fit in this visit was well worth it.  Sometimes it can be easy to say, “can’t make it”  but I encourage everyone to try to make time for the relationships that bring a smile.  A drive to see those people who give us a bear hug and a kiss for a greeting,  who cook for us, toast with us and make us laugh is worth it.

So, I salute to the Dincs and here’s to renewing old relationships and forging new ones.


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I have a new photo for my header…but you need to go into my blog to see it.  https://peggyhogan.wordpress.com.

I hate to pat myself on the back but it’s so easy today to take a great photo and I did! 

Without giving away the subject matter, the most gorgeous subtle, happy pink bursting out of a soft canvas of green.  My 80’s preppiness is really showing but it’s such a classic and yes, natural color combo.  Hope you like it too.

Okay, I wrote the above paragraphs very late at night a few nights ago, so excuse my exuberance.  Still I like the photo but perhaps I overstated how phenomenal it was….but the ability to grow those beauties is pretty exciting.  Are you enjoying the sweet surprises of summer?  What is your favorite seasonal flower?

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 smart bags

My sister, Nancy sent me this picture; the product of her craftiness and about 30 minutes of work (for each bag.)  Part of what makes these bags so quick and easy is that you use fat quarters which are prepackaged fabrics that are coordinated and precut.

What’s even more cool is that another sister, Mattie developed the printed interfacing that acts as the pattern for this bag. As if that wasn’t cool enough, we were brainstorming a couple of years ago on these bags and came up with this particular version where the top edge folds back revealing the coordinating lining fabric.  Mattie decided to name this version, “Sisters.”

Check out her website  www.quiltsmart.com and see the many other fun products she sells and video tutorials.  She has beautiful quilt patterns as well as other fun products like cell phone bags and market bags.  Most of these little bags are done in less than 30 minutes!  Click on her tutorial below and it’ll be like meeting my sister! 

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The second meeting of the Rhoades Scholars Literary Society was held tonight and our book was

 The Help by Kathryn Stockett. 

This book falls appropriately under the description of a page turner yet it’s not a book with a lot of action.  The author has woven a tale about black domestic help and the families that employed them in the 1960’s in Jackson, Mississippi.  The reader quickly falls in love with Aibleen, the tender hearted woman, who loves the white children she raises and teaches them what their parents won’t.  She  finds strength from her experiences to tell her story and encourages others to do the same.  Soon we meet Minny, who is outspoken, bitter and mistrusting of whites.  One of the white upper crust who crosses Minny is  Hilly, the original “mean girl”  propelled by her desire to keep the status quo, she pressures her friends to follow her lead.  One such friend is Skeeter, who starts to question the establishment.  Skeeter is a budding author, driven by the desire to find out what happened to Constantine, the black woman who raised her, loved her, then mysteriously disappeared.  Skeeter finds her voice and manages to pull herself away from the societal norms to expose the ugly truth.  She risks her social status and puts her life, as well as the lives of the maids who talk in peril. 

Read it and you will wonder how this could have gone on in your own lifetime.

Here’s a link from the author’s website where you can hear a reading about…chicken partners


Our meeting took a bit to get rolling as we are new to the “go to meeting” process.  All were in attendance although one of us (K) forgot about it until we called her! 🙂  Ha!  All but one had finished the book.  In my other book club I am often the guilty party and I must admit I just finished it today, not because it wasn’t compelling but I just had a hard time sitting down to read.  Loved doing the book club but still working through the challenges of 8 people trying to keep a conversation fluid when you have no visual cues.  I think Skype might help but we’ll need to do some technical research before we get that up and going.  Our next book is Shanghai Girls by Lisa See.  Check out my earlier blog on that since I already read it.

We voted and everyone in the Rhoades Scholars Literary Society loved the book giving it …

8 Cheers

What do you think?

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Ann tending the store


Duncan Phyfe Table-who wouldn’t want that?

Well, it’s that time of year again…the neighborhood garage sale.  I vowed years ago not do them because I never make any money and it’s always a lot of work.  My friend, Lisa talked me into doing one this year as a means for making some cash. .       

        Somehow my living room is living in a time warp.   My beautiful camel back couch is wearing an outfit from the early 90’s…jewel tone colors and a wild Waverly print.  Actually as Waverly went, it’s not as bad as some but the even with a new modern coat of paint, the room is driven by that old couch.  Okay, I’m overstating the significance of the couch by not mentioning the evergreen wing backs with queen ann legs…ouch.  Never-the-less the room needs some cosmetic surgery and these procedures aren’t covered by insurance.       

     So I moved all my stuff into my friend, Ann’s garage and driveway.  We merchandised to the best of our ability and to my surprise, the good stuff is now back with  me.  Isn’t that the way it always is, the weird item that you almost didn’t put out because “who in their right mind would buy this?” ends up selling.  These people walked right by and snubbed some of my best stuff.   Most of my big ticket items are now back in OUR garage but I have a plan B…consignment.  More on that later.         

So this time…the garage sale was a good thing and although Obamacare won’t cover this couch, I’ll make it happen with a little creative thinking.  Anyway, many of my little chachki’s are gone and to my surprise those little price tags added up to $313.00.  I had fun with my friend and made some cash for the furniture face lift… not to mention no new trees shall fall for me to have a new couch.   Let’s hope some of the goodies from my basement can help someone else in their makeover.       

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