Life Happens . . . Luscious Tomatoes, a Tribute to Those in Blue, Pillowcase dresses, etc.

Life Happens . . . Luscious Tomatoes, a Tribute to Those in Blue, Pillowcase dresses, etc.

Life Happens . . . Luscious Tomatoes, a Tribute to Those in Blue, Pillowcase dresses, etc.


It’s been quite a week. Out of the ordinary, and yet not. Perhaps the best way to explain it is with pictures.

First, Logan left for college.

Have I mentioned that?

I kid.




Anyway, there’s always been a battle between him and tomatoes. They’re not the best of friends. So, in order to turn lemons into lemonade, I took advantage of his absence and made a bountiful tomato pizza pie for supper the day after he left. And it was divine, dahling!

Layers of pesto, sliced tomatoes, onion, garlic, and a cheesy mayonnaise mixture in a pie shell equals pure bliss.

It was like a big slice of slurpy pizza.

I’ll post about it soon.


Tomato Pizza Pie


Then, the mere thought of my capitalizing on Logan’s absence led to this.




So before my cheeks were awash with memories, I did anything and everything I could to distract myself including a visit to my vegetable garden because . . .




I believe I have picked the last of pretty much everything out there except for a ripening eggplant or habanero or two because, like a typical day in my life, my garden usually begins very early and retires long before most others. It was a bountiful year, though, and I loved going produce shopping in the yard. The price and taste simply cannot be beaten!


The last garden yield of the season.


With the generous cucumber yield, I made a batch of yummy Bobby Flay pickles.


Pickles a la Flay.


Can you please tell me what is up with this cucumber ball?


Mutant cucumber ball.


There was a bit of a ruckus when we happened upon a huge hive in our backyard 10 feet from our deck. My valiant husband sprayed it, knocked it down and saved the day.

The stinging, flying, now homeless critters I’m sure would disagree. Does anyone know exactly what type of hive/nest this is?


Holy beehives, Batman!


On Tuesday night, Spence and I sat inside with the doors locked and everything battened down as three fugitives were on the lam 16 miles north of us in Fox Lake. They had shot and killed a police officer and were considered armed and dangerous. Still are, actually, wherever they may be.

Yet another police officer was killed in the line of duty.

What has become of us in the U.S.? Have we turned into a bunch of armed, murdering marauders?

The officer shot was a husband and father of four, and my heart ached for his family’s loss.

At times, I imagine that being a cop feels like such a dangerous, thankless job.

There are officers out there who abuse their power in hideous, often racially-motivated ways and must be identified and stopped immediately, yes, but many more are brave, upstanding citizens who serve and protect.

A hearty thank you goes out to the good officers of the nation.

You are unbelievably appreciated!




And while Spence and I were hunkered down in the house, I was receiving giddy texts from my husband who was in New Jersey on a “business trip” testing out the latest line of BMW makes and models. Oh the sacrifices he makes for his job.


BMW "business trip"


I cranked open my kitchen window Wednesday morning, only to be greeted by a giant, wriggling, brown spider with eight biceps larger than my own two. I let it be for fear it would win if it came down to a wrestling match. What is it with the bionic insects around here lately? At least they’re outside. For now.




To take my mind off of missing Logan, in between laundry loads and boatloads of dirty dishes, I went for therapeutic walks and lunches with friends as a distraction tactic and then took myself to the bookstore, which is one of the few forms of shopping I revel in, a fact to which my overflowing bookshelves will attest.




And each time, when I returned home, my heart soared momentarily seeing Logan’s car in the garage, which certainly meant he was home, right?

Not so much.

I’m still not used to the new normal.

I attempted to take my first ever selfie, sans stick, and really, all I learned was, first, not to take a selfie ever again and, secondly, that I was in desperate need of having my hair colored.


Unfortunate Selfie



So I got it colored. Mud brown is apparently my new hair color of choice. Yes, it looks just as murky as it sounds.

I was going for a darker, richer look for autumn, but failed. And although I’ve never done this before, I may just go back and ask my stylist to tweak the color, at least a tad, so it doesn’t look so much like I planted my hair in the ground right next to my tomatoes.

Then, meandering back to my car after my misguided dye job, I stumbled upon this. And I smiled.




And now, at long last, it’s Friday. We begin sewing dresses for our girls in need again today, which has put a real skip in my step. Here’s material for a dress I’m working on right now. Can you imagine how it’ll turn out? I’ll reveal the results in a few days.


The beginnings of a pillowcase dress.


And this is my contribution to this afternoon’s potluck lunch. It’s a lovely Italian salad with feta, fennel and salami. I’ll post about this soon too.


An Italian salad fit for a king . . . or queen.


And then tomorrow, Saturday, is the first Northwestern game day meaning I will have survived an entire week without my boy, and will have earned the hug that I hope to get from him in the biggest way. Even if he has to give it to me in front of his new band friends. Heck, especially if he has to give it to me in front of his new friends!

And then next week it will get easier.

And the next week even more so.

There will be ups and there will be downs, but life will carry on in its own typical, everyday extraordinary way.

Because “Life happens. Not in brightness or darkness, but in the medium light of a regular day”

(Thank you, Patty, for sharing this quote, which helped me make sense of this ordinary, extraordinary week.)





Written by Becky


  • Debbie says:

    Love reading your posts. Thanks so much for your comments about cops. As a mom of a cop, who worries each day about him and says a prayer of protection, heartfelt thanks for what you wrote…..On another note….there’s a sweet balm in a bookstore….nothing like escaping into a story. Thanks for bringing us along your journey!

  • Mary Lou Sandvik says:

    Becky, regardless of your hair (so this is what your hair really looks like now!) you still have the same pretty, lovable face that you had many years ago. Sounds like you sure filled up your week with lots of activity to keep your mind off your Logan-separation problem. The little dresses are all so sweet and creative. I bet the children who receive them are full of joy. (I certainly hope they get to where they should get to…now- days even seemingly decent charities are suspect.) Now go to see that Northwestern marching band on Saturday and get that hug from Logan. Each week gets better. YLM

  • Patty from MMC says:

    I agree about the end of the veggies. My two potted tomato plants are now yielding some sad, end-of-season tomatoes. They definitely not a beautiful as yours. Mine are small – just enough for just one sandwich or one mouthful – and they aren’t supposed to be that small, but oh, well. At least they are tasty. I sadly watch the sun setting earlier each night. It’s sad to watch the summer end – even thought we are at 95 degrees days still.

  • warren goercke says:

    I believe that hive to be a wasp nest. I hate wasps. They are mean looking. Their sting is bad. Did Jim run like hell after he hit the nest?

  • Stephanie says:

    Wow, that was far more pondering than I have the mental acuity or energy to respond to at this hour of the morning. I have only had one cup of coffee thus far. So I will simply say, your experience illustrates that it’s easier to embrace the gray. I am ending my decades long battle with my gray hair. It has more of a will to win than I do.

  • warren goercke says:

    Hi Becky, You brought up some fond memories for Karen and me today. I remember when we dropped our girls off to college, both at the same time. Karen cried like a baby. I have to admit that I shed a tear or two. Just part of the experience. Liked your bumper sticker. With all of this Trump nonsense, the GOP is acting like it’s drunk. It’s all irrational. So, to take advantage of an old drunk driving slogan, my new bumper magnet reads “Friends Don’t Let Friends Vote Republican”. Keep up the great work!

    • Becky says:

      Warren! How goes it? I’m with Karen. Despite the fact that it was a dark and stormy day when we dropped Logan off, I slapped on my sunglasses to hide the tears, which then betrayed me by rolling all the way down and dripping off of my chin.

  • Heather says:

    Awe…I’m teary from reading your emotional descriptions of Logan not being home and teary from laughing at the glittery spider joke. Loved it. But you forgot to mention, to top off your week, or maybe to start your next week on a really high note, you get to come over to our house to have a less-than exotic barbeque on Sunday! And I agree…book stores and libraries…I love the smell of books! See you soon. Love, H

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About Me:

Hi! My name is Becky. I’m a mom, a wife, a friend, a writer, and a compulsive thinker. Don't invite me to a spa or to shop the day away, but rather, make me laugh, engage me in interesting conversation, play a game with me, or give me a cappuccino and homemade vanilla bean flan and I’m yours ‘til the cows come home.

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