Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Horses Get A Manicure

Yesterday, the farrier came to trim and shape the horses hoofs.  Sandy went first and then Cheyenne.

 Cheyenne is a grey horse normally but it pretty dirty with the snow melting and her rolling in the pasture.  You can tell she still has most of her winter coat, which is good, because in spite of the sunshine and blue skies, it was freezing cold with wind today!

You can really see how dirty she is in this photo.  The Farrier is clipping her hoof.

 And here he is filing the front of the hoof and shaping it.  That half moon white shape on the ground is some hoof trimmings.  The dirt was picked out of her hoofs.

Nearly all the snow is gone now.  Here is the last of it in front of the cottage.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

What We've Been Doing

Yesterday, being the first day of spring, we went to Rita's for free frozen ices!  I have had more off plan meals lately and so I didn't want to have one, but I wanted a treat so I made a thin mint shake from this recipe.  Easy and tasty!

We took Kamryn with us, too.

 It was partly sunny but chilly and breezy (can you see my hair flying around?) so we only sat outside for a few minutes!  They finished up their treats in the car!

When we got home we worked on more schoolwork.

Then in the evening, Tim and I went to a Chick-fil-A A-lister party! It was held in the lobby of Sight and Sound Theatres and we got to try out a new soup that will be in the restaurant here later in the year, and see a preview of a few other treats, like the Strawberry Frozen Lemonade and a new sandwich that is going to be amazing.

Mark Cathy from Chick-fil-A was there and spoke.  Tim and I spoke with him afterward and I'm telling you the family that owns Chick-fil-A are genuine and focused on SERVING their customers.

It was a fun night.

Later this week, I'm taking my niece Crystal, her daughter and Kyle to see Jonah, thanks to friends who share free tickets!

Scottish Dancing tonight - the men will be wearing their kilts tonight, and we'll be celebrating St. Patty's Day.

Busy days ahead, with a business seminar on Wednesday evenings that Tim and I are going to go to for five weeks, and then our co-op on Thursday.  I'll need the weekend to recover but its all good stuff!

Please tell me I'm not the only busy one!  What are you all up to?

Monday, March 20, 2017


I'm so happy that spring is here!  

We were teased a few weeks ago with super mild temperatures and flower buds on my lilacs.  Then we got, what we like to call, "second winter."  More snow and very cold temperatures!

I'm hopeful that in spite of this late snow that spring flowers are just around the corner.  In the meantime, my niece and great-niece are visiting from Florida and enjoying snow!

Sarah helping Kamryn, in pink, and Miriam, in purple enjoy the snow!

It's all in your perspective!

I'm looking forward to hydrangea, roses, peonies, iris and more in my garden.

How are things in your 'neck of the woods?'

We had a busy weekend with our guests and a long day at church, since we had a fellowship meal afterward.  The girls had friends over then, we took them home in the evening and my niece and I settled in for a chat, which ended not too long before Tim got up this morning.

To say I'm a tad groggy is an understatement, but it was worth it.  I'll grab a nap in a while and then try to get to bed a bit early this evening.  Tim and I are going to an A-Lister event for Chick-fil-A this evening!  

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Simple Decorating

In my first year of blogging, I found another new blogger at The Inspired Room.  Melissa has a home decor blog, and I love the things she shares about making your house YOUR home, and styling your home to suit you and your family.  

She's been writing books the last few years, too, and they are really wonderful.  She has a new book out called, Simple Decorating, and I really love it.

It is a small paperback book with 50 tips to "inspire your home."

When I got my book in the mail, I thought, "This is a wonderful book for a newlywed or a young mom."  The format is laid out so you can read a tip in just a few minutes.  Tips about lighting, rugs, paint, how to decorate on a budget.

This may be my favorite book of hers so far.  I keep it on the table next to the chair I sit in to read.  It's inspiring even for me with many years of home making and creating experience.

I was sent this book by the publisher, but my thoughts are, as always, all my own!

ps - Did you know there was an Inspired Room coloring book?  You can check it out here!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Garden: David Austin Roses

I'm in love

Falstaff Climbing Rose

 Can't you just see this climbing up and over my archway in the front garden?  I can.

Iceberg Climbing Rose

 How about two of this beauty framing a seating area?

How about being able to go out and walk amongst this beauty?  Or clip fresh roses every week?
 The Ancient Mariner

 Claire Austin

 The Queen of Denmark

L.D. Braithwaite

There is so much beauty on David Austin's website that I don't know what I would choose. 

I've been trying to ignore the snow and cold that we have received so near to spring by looking at gardens online.  

Prince Charles' Highgrove House Gardens are beautiful and inspirational.  When he bought the house there were no gardens and not very many trees around the house.  What he's done there is amazing.

Do you garden?  If so,what do you like to grow?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Book Talk

I know many of you were as hopeful as we were about our trip to the bookstore.  However, the sale got going last week, which we didn't know, and there was not much left that we were interested in anyway.

We found a few things, and had a nice chat with the owner.  They were bombarded with shoppers last week!  They are retiring after 20 years of owning the bookstore.

The day was not a complete loss as I got to spend a good portion of the day with my girls, and we were texting with Emma and Isla in SC, so it was like they were all there.  I never take this time for granted.

Several of you mentioned my Gladys Taber books.  I first heard of her from Brenda, I believe, and then also Susan Branch has mentioned her.  I had never heard of her before this, so I was intrigued.  

Imagine my surprise one day to walk into my 'go to' used bookstore and fine a whole section of Gladys Taber books.  I didn't know which ones to buy, so I chose one of all that they had.  They were $3.50 each.  Amazing.

I've not read all of them yet, either.

I got the Bess Streeter Aldrich book there, as well.

How many of you have read Gladys Taber's books?  Which are your favorite?  

What other authors would you recommend?

I also wanted to respond to someone's comment asking if my books are alphabetized.  They are not!  I do put authors together on my shelves and put books in order if they are a series.

How about you?  Do you have a certain way you organize your books?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Breakfast And A Bookstore

Tim and I are headed out to breakfast in a few minutes at our favorite place!  It's cold here today, so we are bundled up, but the sun is shining!

Later, we girls, including Kayleigh, are headed to a used bookstore in York that is closing and selling all its books for .25 cents each!  

Not that we need more books....said NO book lover EVER!

I'll let you know what we find!

Books from my own shelves!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Home Keeping: Flatware Drawer Change

I don't have any before photos of the Rubbermaid blue plastic flatware divider that we had in our kitchen drawer for nearly 30 years.  I came to hate that thing.

I would look on Pinterest at kitchen things and see options for storing and separating flatware 

and fell for this one - 

I mentioned it at times to Tim, but recently was just fed up with the whole flatware drawer (it also houses straws, and odd sized serving pieces of flatware), and threw the blue plastic holder out!

Today, with the snow coming down, Tim took the opportunity to make me dividers for the drawer we have and to make it custom to our needs.

Isn't it great?  I really love it!  Its just what I wanted!

I'm sharing a photo from my bedroom window taken this afternoon after the snow was basically over.  

We didn't get as much as they thought, but that is likely because we had sleet/ice for many hours overnight and this morning.  We never lost power, and have had a cozy, relaxing day.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Preparation For A Storm

In Pennsylvania the joke is that as soon as snow is in the forecast, people rush to the store and buy out the milk and bread!  Its really crazy.

Here at the cottage we keep a decent pantry - with extras of things we like to eat - so that if a storm comes or some other sort of issue happens, we have food available.  We also have bottled water, and we have a lot of tea and coffee!

I'm happy I do not have to rush out and buy things at the last minute ahead of the storm that is expected to arrive tomorrow evening and last through Tuesday night.

This is the 2nd call from the Eastern Pennsylvania Weather Authority.

It may change but as of now we are preparing for 18-24 inches with high sustained winds.  It's going to be a blizzard where we live!

We are fortunate that our power lines are buried here, but if the weather goes out in another area that affects us, we are prepared.

We have a wood stove for heat, we have camping lanterns that run on mini propane bottles, we have a gas stove that can be lit manually.  We have candles, and we have batteries.  With it being so cold outside if we needed to we could put freezer items just outside the door on our deck, and they would stay frozen.  There also will be plenty of snow to scoop up and melt to flush toilets, if necessary due to a power outage.

Rachel and Tim both work tomorrow, but will be home before the storm hits.  Then no one is going anywhere on Tuesday.

If we don't lose power we'll likely watch a few movies, and we'll play games, nap, read.

Are any of you in the path of this storm?  How have you prepared?

Friday, March 10, 2017

In The Meantime....

We had snow early this morning and on and off throughout the day.  The temps have drop into the 30's during the day, and into the teens at night.

We have the potential for a huge snow storm Monday night into Tuesday.

I have flower buds on my lilacs and leaves on my hydrangea as we have had such mild weather, the plants all thought spring was early!

In the meantime though, I'm lightening the decor around the cottage.

Enjoying my blue and white teacups on display....

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Blog Anniversary!

This Sunday marks my blog anniversary!  Can you guess how long I've been blogging?


Isn't that amazing?  During that time many fellow bloggers have stopped blogging, and many have gone on to make a full time business from blogging.  I've done neither!  I've continued to write and share photos of our life, my thoughts, recipes or things I felt were important to say.

Also during that time I've made wonderful friendships.  The kind that let me know that there were kindreds in the world!  

Here is a link to my first post - Welcome!

My kids were so small!  10 years is a long time when your raising kids.  My kids were 17, 15, 13, 7, 4, and 19 months old!  Now they are 27 - married with two daughters, 25 - married, 23 - married with one daughter, 17, 14, and 11.  Several of them have birthdays coming up.

Tim and I are grandparents now!

But we still live in our sweet cottage, still growing in the Lord, and happier together than ever.

Here are my favorite people and how we've changed over the years!

I love having this blog.  It's like a family history!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Scottish Country Dancing

Sarah and I went to a weekly group that dances Scottish Country Dance.  We've been doing English Country Dance for years now, but are excited to learn Scottish.

If you've read here for any length of time you may remember that we went to this group last fall.  We had so much fun and vowed to return.  Well our lives got busy, then the holidays arrived.  Tuesday evening we finally made it back.

The instructor Sandy graciously came early to help us with foot work and patterns.  That was fun and challenging, and after that my back protested so I watched and took photos.

Sarah danced almost every dance!


It's a very lovely group of people.  I'm hoping some more of my English Country Dancing friends will want to come along and learn to do Scottish Country Dancing!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Teen Capsule Wardrobe

Over the weekend Sarah and I went through her closet sorting through what fit, what was her style and colors, and what she wanted to keep.

You see, Sarah is the youngest of our four girls and over the years she has been the recipient of hand me downs.  Sometimes, she's been thrilled because she liked a sisters' style, other times she felt she had to take them when she really didn't care for an item.  She found that sometimes even though she liked a sisters' style, it wasn't her style, and so she had a lot of clothes in her closet that she hated and never wore.  By sorting through she passed two bags to friends, and some became rags.

On Monday, Sarah and I went out to do a bit of clothes shopping for her.  We are using a capsule wardrobe as a guideline, but not a hard and fast rule. 

She has decided on Navy Blue and Black as her neutrals and she has decided that she prefers muted colors over bright ones.  

We found her a dress that has black in it but also has some pinks in the pattern  It is very pretty on her.

She also found a casual shirt that she is loving to lounge in.

So now we only need to find, shirts - probably in navy and black, and a few muted colors.  She needs shorts, leggings, cropped pants, and a few dresses or skirts.

Have I mentioned she is particular and opininated? (smile)  We may have to go to the mall (gasp!) to find more options, or order online.

I'll post again on this topic as we complete her wardrobe.

Mentoring Monday

I like this quote from Karen Andreola in her latest blog post, Glow of Intellectual Life.

I grew up studying facts for a test, and did fine as I was good at memorization.  However, the things I've really learned and that have stayed with me are things that I had time to think about, ponder and relate to.

I've tried to educate my children with understanding.  More than memorizing exact dates for historical events (except for things like Independence Day, etc) I wanted my children to have an understanding of what life was like during those time periods, what things lead to historical events, who the people were that were involved.  This makes history relate-able and makes them able to understand that every day we are living history.

We've read for most of our education (and I do believe I have educated myself in this process) - historical fiction, biographies, autobiographies.  We've used very few textbooks.

I like my kids to tell me in their own words what we've read and we discuss it.  This gives greater understanding than predigested materials.

It has kept us enjoying our learning, to help us to become life long learners.

How many of you feel that you have become experts in an area (tea, gardening, cultures, languages, art, homemaking) due to your interest in that subject and your own learning of it?  I know I do! 

I maintain that if our children can become fluent readers, they can teach themselves anything!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Home Keeping: Changing Things Up

 When Tim and I were in Florida, I went to a favorite store that I don't have anywhere near to me - World Market.

I found this great glass drying rack and decided it was just the thing for making our many mugs more accessible when we have guests and just for everyday use.

 We have the added benefit of freeing up some cupboard space and being able to see the pretty mugs on the counter!