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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Positively Looking Back


by Mauverneen

So long, 2015. It's been fun.
A toast to the year - the New and the Old
A new year will begin in just a couple of days and I am looking forward to some new adventures in the coming year. I don't usually make resolutions, per se, but I always have a list of things I want to accomplish, places I want to see and goals I want to achieve. Now is a good a time as any to renew that effort towards reaching those goals.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Positively Playing With Food

by Mauverneen

Well, the big day is just about here. Hopefully the decorations are up, the shopping is done, presents wrapped, and we have all had a couple of hours here and there to bask in the glow of the Christmas lights and enjoy a sip of egg nog along with a Christmas cookie or two. We can now look forward to a couple of days of eating.

I am sure we all have our traditional foods. Mine includes fish soup, potatoes, nut breads, and a thin wafer called Oplatky. Only those with similar ethnic backgrounds will appreciate that menu! But traditions evolve as families evolve - to include gumbo and raspberry bars.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Positively Holiday Spirited Too

by Mauverneen

I asked last week for pictures, pictures, pictures from anywhere and everywhere of Christmas lighting displays. Send them or post them to my FB page anytime between now and Christmas.
Rachel and Doug Cowan spent the weekend in New Orleans! Here is some of what they sent...

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Positively Holiday Spirited

by Mauverneen

December 1st. Christmas is in the air, and holiday light shows are popping up all across the country. I thought it might be nice to feature a few of them. If you have a favorite near you tell me about it and send me a couple of pictures. I'll post them so we can all get into the spirit of the season.

First off - my favorite! Illumination at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Il.

It's back! If you are anywhere near the Morton Arboretum between now and January 2nd - This is well worth the trip! Mesmerizing and delightful, it's a great Christmas time event! Great for the family, a romantic evening out, or just to bring out the kid in yourself.

find out more at

And if you prefer something a little less traditional....

There are all kinds of Christmas trees!
Beachcomber Christmas
(Photos courtesy Amber Blevins-Nastasowski) - Thank you!

As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.  
However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!
  Interested in photo prints? Contact me!
 See more photos at 
I am always adding more!
and visit my website: 


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Positively Fascinating; the Schweickher - Langsdorf House

by Mauverneen

Living room of the Schweickher-Langsdorf House.
The ceil­ing is heavy re-sawn Dou­glas fir columns/beams between pan­els of clear-aged red­wood boards. 
A plat­form couch lined with col­or­ful pil­lows runs beneath one of Martyl Langsdorf's paintings.
Hidden away down a gravel drive in bustling Schaumburg, IL lies an architectural masterpiece.  Built in 1937-38 by an up and coming young architect named Paul Schweikher (1903-1997), the house is on the National Register of Historic Places and was recently recognized by the American Institute of

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


by Mauverneen

Autumn is my favorite time of year. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy this gloriously colored season.  I had a friend who once said she would like to work her way down from Maine to Florida during the fall, just to be able to make the season last longer.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


by Mauverneen

'Tis the season - for witches and goblins and ghosts.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Positively Raptor(ous)

by Mauverneen

A vulture on his handlers arm. Look at that wing span!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


by Mauverneen

Super Moon at the peak of the eclipse
We can travel the world to find wonders, beauty, and the unusual. But sometimes, it comes to us.
For anyone lucky enough to be able to view this weeks super moon eclipse, it was a wonder indeed!
Sometimes Mother Nature puts on a better show than man can ever imagine.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Positively Hill Climbing

by Mauverneen

I was in Door County, WI for a relaxing weekend and as it so happens, there was an automotive event scheduled in Ephraim that same weekend. Listed as a combination Hill Climb and Concours, I was very interested in checking it out. I know what to expect at a concours, but wasn’t sure what to expect from a hill climb. The area has a strong Scandanavian heritage and Kurt Bakkelop is Norwegian for Short Hill Climb but since Door County is not noted for it’s hills I was particularly curious about that aspect of the event.
A bit of rain at check in time

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Positively Turkey Run

by Mauverneen

National Parks are indeed a treasure. But we may not always be within a short drive of one. State Parks, on the other hand, are more plentiful, often found within shorter distances and can provide a satisfying alternative for a decent ‘nature fix’. A recent invitation to join a group of friends for a weekend at Turkey Run State Park in Indiana was just the ticket.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Positively Rare Cars

by Mauverneen

I just can't seem to get my fill of grand old cars. I know I'm not the only one because all summer long there are car shows everywhere!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Positively Wild

by Mauverneen

I enjoy the thrill of the hunt, the moment when I have my prey in my sight, the thrill of knowing I have got the shot. I have been on safari, I have seen and shot the lion. But I did not take it’s life. I am a photographer.

On safari, our guide Jonathon told us how he killed a lion with his spear and showed us the scars on his leg where he was attacked.  Wide-eyed we listened to his story, relieved that he, not the lion, had come out the winner.
A regal pose - Kenya

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Positively Jam(ming)!

by Mauverneen

The blueberries are ripe! 
About a 45 minute drive from where I live is a blueberry farm. When the berries are ripe, people descend on it like birds. You pick your own and pay for what you pick.  (TammenTreeberry Farm is so named because they also raise ‘christmas’ trees that people can come and cut on their own.)

Blueberry pie has always been my favorite, so I like to keep a stash of blueberries in my freezer for when the craving hits me. I also have an awesome blueberry cake recipe and who doesn’t love blueberry muffins! And they are very good to snack on. And if you’re into smoothies…. Ok, ok. YES. I love blueberries.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Positively Classy

by Mauverneen

A classy Classic! 1932 Packard 900 Coupe

 Its summertime! And although you can find a cruise night nearly every night of the week, this Sunday offers a special car show - the Classic Car Show at Oakbrook center. Put on by the Illinois Region of the Classic Car Club of America, it features Grand Classics, lots of gorgeous cars and some unusual vehicles. Held annually on Fathers Day, there are lots of families that make spending the day with dad looking at awesome automobiles a yearly tradition.

1932 Chrysler

1949 Chrysler

Most people think of cars from the 1950's and 60's as classics - and they are - but Grand Classics(r)
basically are 'distinctive automobiles built between 1925 - 1948, were high priced when new and built in limited quantities. There are a few other criteria and exceptions, but you can find out more on their website.  

These Packards are works of art - above, a 1933 Phaeton
and below, a 1931 Packard 845 Convertible Victoria

This 1926 Rolls Royce was once owned by old time movie star Constance Bennett
1935 Auburn

This one dates back to 1903!

Everyone was interested in the 1948 Tucker!

Even Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was there in 2015!
 Moving along to some 'newer' cars...

Remember fins??

I am in love with the Beautiful dashboard on this 1955 Olds!


I just love all the old cars! 

As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.
                                       However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!

  Interested in photo prints? Contact me!
                                                         and visit my website:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Positively Paint Nite!

by Mauverneen

For Mothers day my youngest daughter Rachel gave me the gift of a night out. She signed us up for a ‘paint night.’ In case you haven’t heard of ‘paint night’ or ‘Paint Nite’ it’s becoming increasingly popular. Maybe because there’s wine involved. In any case – it’s fun!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Positively Star Wars

by Mauverneen

I'm telling you Leia went that way!
When Star Wars premiered in May, 1977 it was a huge success. Like most people, I went to see it. Sci-Fi was never really my favorite thing, but I was captivated. It was fun, exciting, different. Three years later there was a sequel and three years after that the trilogy was complete.  

And then

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

It's Positively May!

by Mauverneen

April showers bring May flowers. From the sight of the first crocus to the fragrant lilacs and lilies of the valley, we know spring is here! While I do love seeing all those colorful blossoms and catching whiffs of their wonderful fragrances, the birds are also harbingers of summer’s pending arrival.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Positively The Jewel of Joliet

by Mauverneen

Joliet, Illinois is a blue collar town. Steel mill, railroad yards, barges on the canal kind of town. We have a state prison, a minor league baseball team, two casinos and a Nascar track.
And we have the Rialto Theatre.

Rialto esplanade, looking towards the rotunda

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Positively APRIL with a chance of showers

by Mauverneen

Besides those infamous April Showers, April brings us Arbor day, Tax day, Earth day and baseball. Since it is also National Poetry month I have written a poem – an ode to April. I also have some April showers pictures for you and a little bit of April Trivia.


      by Mauverneen
 April fools and April showers
Although the latter brings the flowers

April can be crazy, true

We just hope it’s storms are few

The grass is green, the trees in bud
Let’s hope that rain won’t cause a flood

Let’s Play Ball! and plant a tree
And then we’ll write some poetry

With taxes due and taxes done
Break out the shorts, go for a run

April is a fickle time
With violets, lilacs, dandelion

Although it’s bashful, coy, and shy
Spring is here, let’s dance for joy!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


by Mauverneen

There are unusual homes and then there are - unusual homes.
Located in Wadsworth, IL, near the shopping mecca of Gurnee Mills and the Six Flags theme park, is a most unusual home. A  pyramid shaped house, it is a destination in itself.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Positively Snow Facts

by Mauverneen

Snow Perfection

March 23rd. 8:30 a.m. My phone rings.

‘Isn’t it beautiful?’’ gushes the too perky voice of my aunt.

Expecting to find sunshine and warm temps I pull back the curtains to see…. SNOW! Lots of it. Blowing, thick and accumulating.   

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Positively Prison Bound

by Mauverneen

The Old Joliet Prison
      It’s always fun to learn something new about the place you grew up in. One of the things my hometown of Joliet, IL is known for is - the prison. If you haven’t heard of it, just think the t.v. series ‘Prison Break’ or the movie the ‘Blues Brothers’.

      Growing up just a few miles from it’s thick limestone walls we pretty much took it for  granted. But even so, for most of the inhabitants of this town there has always been a certain fascination. Perhaps because it’s architecture looks more like a castle than a prison. Perhaps because of some of the stories and legends. Perhaps because of some of it’s former inhabitants.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Positively CLASSIC

by Mauverneen

1937 Cord Phaeton
Being associated with the Greater Illinois Region of the Classic Car Club of America definitely has it’s perks. Every so often the club is invited to tour a museum or private collection. Our latest event was a trip to Chicago Vintage Motor Carriage. In a word - WOW!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


by Mauverneen

Winter can be pretty gray. Dull days with no sunshine, gray skies, leaf-less trees, and even those are too short when sunset comes around 5:00 p.m.  When it snows, if it snows enough, the world is prettier, but still monotone. In winter, we sort of forget how colorful the world can be.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Positively Starved Rock

by Mauverneen

Starved Rock  in summer (looking here much smaller than it actually is) towers over the Illinois River
This past weekend I took advantage of the break in the weather to join some friends on a winter hike in Starved Rock State Park. The park is located along the Illinois River, about 100 miles southwest of Chicago, just outside Utica, IL.
I remember going there as a kid. My family would take a picnic lunch and we would hike the trails. I remember the canyons and I remember climbing to the top of the Rock. My mother, fearful of heights, never let me near the edge. These days, it’s a lot safer. And easier. Now there are wooden stairs climbing to the top and guard rails to keep people away from the edge.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


by Mauverneen

                                 To me!
Thank you google!

Yep, it’s that time of year again – my birthday. Contrary to how a lot of people feel about their birthdays, I actually like mine. I don’t mind having them. As they say – it’s better than the alternative.

Not sure what I’m going to do today – I may stay in bed all day and drink champagne, eat cake, and read a book. It’s my day.