less ordinary

Life seems less ordinary when you have a pet or two. Or, in my case, three with one at Mom and Dad’s place.

My dog Penny? I’ve raised her since she six weeks old. She’s a bratty, lovable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Sometimes more bratty than lovable, but she’s a keeper. She keeps me entertained. Penny trots outside in the most entitled manner. And every now and then she looks pensive.

My cat L.G. happens to be the alpha dog in the group. Swatting Penny when she gets a chance, which is often. And when she’s not terrorizing Penny, she finds sunny, warm spots to nap.

out with the tulips, in with the spirea

Last week seemed to be the last gasp for local tulips and the honeysuckle blossoms. As the temperatures got warmer, these blooms appeared to be signaling, See ya next year and peace out. But taking their place are these bridal veil spirea (spiraea prunifolia) flowers.

Oak Park Illinois Gardening Horseradish Armoracia Rusticana Flowers

The late afternoon sun caught these flowers just so. Late spring is here, and it is magic.

happy bees, happy life

Local bees are taking full advantage of spring flowers in Oak Park, and who could blame them? These nearby cherry blossoms are potent draws for bumblebees.

Oak Park Illinois Cherry blossom

These flowering honeysuckle shrubs also attract bees and cast the best smell. The air is perfumed with their scent. Dreamy.

Oak Park Illinois Honeysuckle

You might be wondering, what makes bees happy? An article by Melissa Caughey offers insight on what makes bees cranky. We can infer the following on what contributes to bee happiness:

  • Good weather
  • Abundant food sources
  • Freedom from predators
  • A nice queen

To read up on bee behavior, click here.

all the pretty houses

The weather has been pretty hit or miss the past couple weeks, but when it hits (i.e., is warm and sunny), I love to explore. Oak Park has pretty houses in abundance. And three distinct historic districts to boot.

Here are some cool finds:

This Victorian in the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District has enviable porch space. Perfect for hanging Kimberly Queen ferns, IMO.

Odd and interesting: This driveway arch with the little sunroom above.

And then this home, well, all of it is spectacular.

bright colors are my jam

Bright colors are my jam, if I’m being honest. In a world of grey, beige, and greige, why seek any of those when you can surround yourself with vivid hues? I stopped at Cupcakes for Courage on Lake Street yesterday to pick up some baked items for a friend and was taken with the bakery’s bright green walls.

Oak Park Illinois Cupcakes for Courage

Oak Park Illinois Cupcakes for Courage

The baked goods are also decent and worth checking out. Cupcakes for Courage donates a portion of the proceeds to fund medical research for non-Hodgkins T-cell Lymphoma. To learn about this bakery’s mission, visit here.

village (of oak park) people and places

On Monday, I made the 12-hour hike from Jackson, Mississippi, to Oak Park, Illinois. I loved the drive through north Mississippi. So many trees. So green. The rest of the drive was kind of a slog, but I made it (with one dog and cat in tow) to Oak Park by about 6 p.m. The apartment/flat is cuter/bigger than I remember. (Always a good combo.) Noodled around the Village the last two days, and here’s what I found.

The Village people (I guess I’m one of them now) are very nice. They sound a lot like me, which is equal parts odd and comforting.

As for places, the Village has some neat ones to explore. The Oak Park Conservatory has the most fantastic Ponderosa Lemon tree. For real.

Oak Park Illinois Oak Park Conservatory Ponderosa lemon tree

The public library is a campus. I could easily get lost in there for hours, I’m sure.

Oak Park Illinois Oak Park Public Library

And then there are many murals, which I quite love.

Oak Park Illinois Murals

Oak Park Illinois Murals

Spring seems weeks away–very few flowers or much green right now. So for the time being I plan on enjoying cheer and color in places where I find it.