All posts tagged: Wilcox Communities

Rays of Sunshine

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Holidays / Mostly Musings

Normally, I would not be happy to see this. It’s all a matter of perspective, though. In June, this is a yellow weed thumbing its nose at our landscapers. On Dec. 9, it is a lovely flower marking a winter warm spell. The dandelion got me thinking about other little things that have brought a smile to my face recently. Here are a few of them. 🙂 Yesterday in yoga class, my teacher was describing […]

Visitors from Above

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Just for Fun / Pictures

I can’t remember the last time I saw a hot air balloon from my home. They are a rare, but beautifully welcome, sight around here. Sadly, I didn’t see the one that flew over late Sunday afternoon. The best I can remember, I was home at the time, so I’m not sure why I missed it. But my neighbors, Diana and Bill, were enjoying the early November warmth in their screened-in porch and noticed the […]

Autumn in Phase 3

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Growth/Sales / Nature / Pictures

It’s a beautiful fall day in Maples at the Sonatas. I’ve begun posts like this before, and probably will again, because our community is lovely during all of the four seasons. But today is an exceptional, bright, peaceful Sunday. It’s the kind of day that begs for photos to look back on when the winter snows begin to fly. Before you read farther, you may want to take another look at this post from October […]

Happy Anniversary to Me

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Mostly Musings

Five years ago today — October 14, 2010, I left my closing with this key. Now, don’t worry. I’m not going to go all English teacher on you and begin discussing symbolism. We all know about the many meanings of keys. Today is for celebrating here at Home Sweet Abbey. And today is for appreciating the many blessings that have come with my  new home and community. Some of them were anticipated; many were delightful […]

Hey, didn’t you used to be Miss Dierksen?

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Mostly Musings / Neighbors / Woodstock

Hey, didn’t you used to be Miss Dierksen? Yes, I reply. Yes, I was…. In fact, I still am! I occasionally hear that question—and give that reply—when I’m out and about in Woodstock, though not as often as I did a few years ago. Now in my 14th happy year of retirement, encounters with my former students have become less frequent. But that makes them all the more fun when they do occur. Before I […]

September at the Pool

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Nature / Neighbors / Social Life

Labor Day is considered the traditional beginning of fall. But that was not the case this year at Maples at the Sonatas, where we enjoyed three-plus weeks of bonus summer. There were still several sizzling hot days for swimming. Our walking group, known for getting outside in challenging weather, took their exercise in the pool a few days. Don’t they look nice and cool here? And they can spell too. A-A-R-P… The weather has turned […]

Art’s Excellent Adventure

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Neighbors

My neighbor Art doesn’t have a formal bucket list. But if he did, sky diving would be item #1. He has wanted to try it for the longest time—so long that he doesn’t even remember how long. But life kept getting in the way, and he kept putting it off for various reasons. Then, a couple of years back, it looked like health problems had closed the window of opportunity on Art’s dream. That all […]

My Family Treasure

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Home Elements/Decorating / Mostly Musings

My family celebrated Mom’s 95th birthday this week. My brother and sister-in-law flew in from Denver, and two cousins from downstate joined us for a family cookout here at Home Sweet Abbey. We shared many memories, mostly happy ones, as we chatted over brats and birthday cake. Despite Mom’s memory loss, there were moments when her eyes and face lit up at the mention of a long-ago name or event. Later, after Mom and the […]

Consider the Lilies…

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Mostly Musings / Nature

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Symbol.” Something white caught my eye when I walked past my neighbor Ollie’s flowerbed this morning. Something that, as beautiful as it was, felt out of place. I had never seen an Easter lily growing outdoors before, nor had I ever seen one blooming in July. Yet there it was, a glorious, serendipitous surprise. Symbolically speaking, the Easter lily is identified with beauty, purity, hope, and […]

Two New Bloggers in the Neighborhood

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Blogging / Neighbors

Two of my neighbors and good friends have taken up blogging recently. Both started their blogs to share information on subjects they are passionate about. I’d like to introduce each of them and give you previews of their sites. First, we have Barb, who created Crawford/Comfort Family Letters to share information from her genealogical research. She is posting correspondence between Hiram and Nancy Crawford and their eight children, as well as other family members and […]

A Hometown Fourth

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Holidays / Social Life / Woodstock

Today I offer you freedom of choice. Think of this post as a visual potluck showing how we celebrate the Fourth of July here at Maples at the Sonatas in Woodstock, Illinois. First, please enjoy some views of Maples decorations. As I sit here writing, I have a lovely view of Bonnie’s flag from my office window. Earlier this week I walked closer to it to shoot two short videos. I include two of basically […]

Escaping the Gray

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Nature / Pictures

It’s record-settingly official. The Chicago area just survived its cloudiest June on record. Books close on Chicago’s cloudiest Junes on record and one of its wettest; May-level chill settles in as July 2015… http://t.co/znnu4eCmIv — Skilling (@Skilling) July 1, 2015 If you were to read the entire post, you would find all the depressing statistics. If that sounds too gloomy to tackle, here are the highlights—or, should I say, lowlights:  Last month our total sunshine […]

Light Switch

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Home Elements/Decorating

It had been too long since I had tackled a home decorating project. So when I learned my friend, Steve, would be coming to visit us at The Maples, I knew it was the perfect time to line something up. Steve has provided the expertise and the labor for most of my projects. To name a few, he installed my bamboo floors, put up continuous curtain rods and drapery panels in my sun room, changed […]

Father’s Day 2015

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Holidays / Mostly Musings

Happy Father’s Day! I hope you are celebrating with your dad today. But if you can’t, I hope you are enjoying a flood of happy memories of him, as I am. Here are two old photos of Dad, whom we lost in 1996. Both were taken on the farm where I grew up near Davenport, Iowa. Dad was proud of my brother and me, and also proud of his great corn crop that year. Yes, […]

Nighttime at the Maples

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Mostly Musings / Nature

Sunset is one of our loveliest times at Maples at the Sonatas. There is so much to savor in this time of transition. And then comes nighttime, which is downright magical. Darkness settles gently, gradually over the neighborhood, bringing with it an altered perspective. Our homes, our lawns, our streets — everything so familiar that we may not even see it any more — all becomes subtly new, demanding a second look. ••• It’s a […]

A Concrete Love Note

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Construction / Home Elements/Decorating / Just for Fun

There are countless ways to personalize a new home in Maples at the Sonatas. It all begins when the buyers choose one of the five Epcon floor plans offered here. It continues with the selection of upgrades and options. Then the finishing touches come with furnishing, decorating, and accessorizing. But Tom and Brenda, whose home is in the earliest stages of construction, have seized another way to personalize their home. Here is what they’ve done […]

Water’s Great! Come on in!

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Neighbors / Social Life

Our swimming pool officially opened for the 2015 season this morning. At 10 a.m., to be exact. I walked over at 10:02, and found that Joe and Sylvia have kept their record in tact. For the third consecutive year, this couple, aka the Lake Superior dippers, are first in the water. Thanks to the brilliant sunshine today, and our trusty pool heater, the water is fine. The air temp may be only     But […]