Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Friday, August 31, 2012

Blue Moon

Did you know that Friday night is going to be a Blue Moon?  This means that the month of August will have two full moons in it.  Tim said that the next Blue Moon won't be until 2015.  Tonight the moon is shining brightly in a clear sky, when I took the dogs out it was very easy to see, though it was almost 11:30pm.

My days are full, mostly of good things.  Kyle is feeling much better, thank you for praying for him.  He felt well enough today to do his math (which he loves) and even did several lessons, because he wanted to finish the first disc of lessons.  There are 30 on each disc.  He is now a quarter of the way through his 3rd grade math - highly unusual for this family who is mostly filled with those who find math a bit, well, challenging.  Did I mention that we have only been doing school for a few weeks and that a good part of those days, he has had a virus and done no math?  Yea....he likes to do many, many lessons a day!  I let him!  I mean, why not?  He likes it - he thinks it's fun!

I got the store ready for Autumn this week.  Did you know that accessories are a great way to freshen up your wardrobe without breaking the bank?  

I have spent the last few weeks as a driver - Lindsay or Emma to the shoppe or Sight and Sound.  Kay to work at Subway, back to get a girl, then another and sometimes another girl from our church needs a ride as well!  It is taking it's toll on my sanity, but with only two cars and 5 drivers it is hard to share the vehicles!  Plus my Mom has been coming and taking Rachel to cello on Wednesdays!  Thanks Mom!

I have been enjoying the cooler days, and nights, but heard on the radio that it is going to be 90 degrees again this weekend!  We already have had our warmest summer on record - I say bring on the Autumn weather!  Also being in retail, we have been in Autumn thinking mode for a while.  It is hard to be patient!  I really hate to tell you this, too, but the craft stores are full of Christmas items!  It will be here before you know it!

I've been enjoying the lovely music that Vee has been linking too on her blog A Haven For Vee.  I also listen to Pandora a lot.  I have lots of stations on there so depending on my mood I can listen to a variety of music.

Well, I am getting very sleepy.  Time to lay my weary head down and sleep.  I am thankful for our Lord who gives us sleep.

Psalm 4:8 I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. 

Sweet Dreams my friends!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tasha Tudor

It's late evening now and I feel as if I should be writing this with a quill pen by lamplight.  Instead I am typing away on my laptop in a room lit by a lamp.  

Today was Tasha Tudor Day - It's her birthday.  Clarice at Storybook Woods is hosting a celebration as she does every year.

I became a fan of Tasha when I was a girl - my Mom had a book called 'Take Joy' by Tasha that was a Christmas book - with story and songs.  It had the most darling illustrations.  I remember my 5th grade teacher was from France and I showed her the book and she taught our whole class the song 'Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella.'  

I appreciate the way that Tasha lived her life in a simple way - made her own clothes from the time period she loved, kept goats and corgis and chickens....

Victoria Magazine did many features over the years and I would read them over and over.  A few years ago when Tim and I were celebrating our 20th anniversary we went to Williamsburg, PA and I specifically went to the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.
Tasha's dollhouse was on display.  I wrote all about it in this post

Tasha is not, nor has she ever been an 'idol' to me - I think she would think that silly.  However she has inspired me in simple living and in making things homemade and beautiful.

I think she would be happy to be remembered in this way.

photo from my visit to Williamsburg to view her dollhouse.

My Little Guy

is not feeling well.

I think he has the same virus I had last week...Sarah might have been coming down with it too.  Bless her heart...

They shall rest and relax and be made comfortable.  I made grape juice popsicles' today.  They can't wait to try them out.  

Sometimes being sick is a blessing in disguise.  It helps you to  slow down.  It is just what is needed right now!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hard Workin'

 My husband is a hard working man.  He was raised that way and his spiritual gift is service, so helping and serving others comes naturally to him.  He has taught our kids to be hard working too.

 Emily is his right hand "man" for some of these projects.  Last week they sealed our driveway, this week they did my parents driveway.  

 Here you can see Kyle and my Dad supervising.  

 This driveway is huge - there is a parking area to the right you can see a bit of.  All this space took 12 5 gallon buckets of sealer.
Doesn't it look great?!

Wednesday, Tim rode his bike over to a family from church to do their yard work, as the husband is recovering from surgery.  That is the kind of man I am married to.  

I am thankful for how well he helps me look after my parents.  I know they think he's the best son in law ever!  Never mind that he is their only son in law!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pumpkin Bread

I have been trying to keep to my grocery budget and not overspend.  My husband gets paid every two weeks so I get cash out and shop for two weeks worth of meals, snacks, dog food, toiletries etc...

I often have a bit of cash left for the 'in between' week, which I use for milk, fresh produce and eggs.

This past week, I decided to not go to the store for pantry items or other foods if I did not have the cash. This has lead to me having to really use my creativity, and stock in the pantry.  It also lead to me realizing that the pantry items had been being used but not replaced.  

And all of this leads to Pumpkin Bread.  I don't usually make it in August - it's always more of a fall item around here, but I wanted to have something other than oatmeal or toast available for breakfast or to have as a snack.

I looked in my upstairs pantry and my pantry shelves in the basement and came up with canned pumpkin.  I had all the other necessary ingredients, so yesterday morning before heading into our shoppe I whipped up my grandma's pumpkin bread recipe.

Grandma Lily's Pumpkin Bread

3 cups of Sugar
1 cup of vegetable oil
1lb pumpkin
4 eggs

3 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
2/3 water

Mix all the ingredients together and add raisins and nuts, if you like.  This makes 2 loaves.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.  It may require more time.

Also yesterday I did one tsp of salt and it tastes just fine.  I also only used cinnamon as I am not a nutmeg or cloves fan so I don't use those spices. I have added chocolate chips to this instead of raisins before.  Yummy!

 The lovely weather we have been having and all the fall buying for the shoppe have me in the Autumn mood.  What things say Autumn to you?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Early Morning

When I stepped out on my deck this morning I was greeted by cool air and the beauty of a bit of mist in the trees.

 We live, as the kids like to say "in a ditch" with hills all around us.  It is lovely and interesting to see how it gets light long before we see the sun and also how at night it is dark here while the hills around us are still bathing in the light.

 I have been so enjoying the weather this last week.  We've had the a/c off, and it has been wonderful to enjoy the outdoors again.

 There she is!  I loved how the mist looked when the light hit it...

 Looking toward the barn - I love the sunlight on the trees...

A few minutes later and it is much lighter, though the sun hasn't risen much more yet.

I am enjoying this easing into Autumn, though I wouldn't be surprised if it heats up again, before we have our real Autumn weather, after all, it is still August which is notoriously hot around these parts!  I am thankful for the break from the heat.

I'm heading into the shoppe this morning, the website is still getting it's makeover and you're going to love the way it looks and functions!  I've had a preview and I like it already!

We are busy with Autumn buying - beautiful scarves, hats, handbags, jewelry...we love having a girlie shoppe!

I must run...I need to get ready for the shoppe and I want a chance to taste the pumpkin bread I made this morning!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

On The Mend

 photo credit - Emily Rabe

I've been marveling at how wiped out I was while sick.  I slept a lot and that is unusual for me.  But Sunday and Monday I could tell I was better....

Yesterday, I did some schoolwork with the kids, and almost put myself to sleep while reading aloud to the kids!  I thought that maybe I had overdone it Sunday and that I was going to need to nap.  But I didn't I laid on the couch for about 10 minutes and then started to vacuum - a move the furniture level vacuuming.

That done I had plans to clean the floors.  This doesn't get done nearly enough.  These are hardworking floors and they take a beating.  The best way to clean them is the old fashioned 'Cinderella' method - on the hands and knees.

Fortunately I've got good help around here and it was done in no time!  I was amazed because I moved the pantry cupboard and cleaned behind it and the side of the stove and microwave that don't see daylight but managed to get greasy!  Ick!  I also cleaned the air vent that is in the floor. 

I told the girls, I would take the kitchen, because I knew I wanted to do some of these 'tougher' areas.  They were done way before me!  But it's all done, and looking good as you can see in Emma's photo above!

I love clean floors!

Then we went outside and chatted away in the cooler weather.  Lindsay gave lessons today, and one of the families has 9 children, but I think only 4 take lessons.  Kyle and Sarah like to play with all the kids - today the boys set up soda cans, and used Kyle's rubber band shooter to knock them down!

Once lessons were over, I decided to mow.  It's a big job, but I enjoy doing it.  

I do plan to take it a bit easier today, but you can never tell what  day will bring!

What are you planning?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Rest and Fellowship

I've been doing a lot of this lately, and looking just like this of course, as I recover from some goofy virus that has been making its rounds.  Sore throat, ear pain, low grade fever.  I thought I had strep, but no, just a rest, drink fluids and wait it out virus.

So that is what I have been doing.  It makes you exhausted too.  I've napped more in the last week than I did while I was a kid!  Well, maybe not that much, but you get the idea.

Yesterday morning, I felt better and decided to go to church, knowing I could head home if I got wiped out.  I was able to stay the whole time, through our fellowship meal and ladies book study!  I surprised myself.  

Then home with families from church, to relax and have fun.  There was more Ultimate Frisbee, bike riding, scootering, archery.  We built a fire in our fire ring and roasted hot dogs, and used our pie irons to make grilled sandwiches in the fire.  The weather has cooled amazingly and we are enjoying a hint of Autumn.  Yesterday felt like that.

Many pots of coffee, many dishes washed, many pots of tea, much talking and laughter later, and they were all on their way home - many having a drive of nearly an hour and lots of little ones to put into bed.  A couple of our girls took another girl home.

The dogs out for one last sniff of every possible scent they could catch and it was time for bed.  I slept very well, and long for me!  I am thankful.

Today we are slowly making our way to being awake, we will be reading and learning soon.  There will be meals cooked and floors cleaned.  I know we will be remembering and talking about our wonderful day yesterday.

I am thankful for the physical rest I've had - I'm sure a nap will be in the works today too - and for the spiritual refreshment I have had through fellowship.  Hospitality feeds the soul.

We have rain headed our way today, with some afternoon thunderstorms.  I hope you have a wonderful day.  I know I will.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hey Jude

Have you ever read it?  

Yeah, not The Beatles song, but the little tiny letter in the Bible?   The one right before The Revelation?  

I know I have several times while reading through the Bible in a year.  Could I have told you what it was about?  No.

I recently heard Chuck Swindoll speaking on Jude and it caught my attention, and so I have been reading there for a week or so.  Not that it is that long - it can be read in its entirety in about 2 minutes.  I have wanted to take it in, to think about it, to apply it to my life.

Jude is warning the believers about false teachers.  He is reminding them to remember the truth of their faith and to contend for that faith.  He wants them to not be lead astray be the false teachers.

It has lead me to pray - for myself, for my children - that we would know the truth and not be lead astray in our day of false teachers "tickling" our ears....

As Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes "there is nothing new under the sun."  We do not need to loss heart - our God is able and He is still capable of leading us through this life here.

"Now to Him who is able
 to keep you from stumbling, 
and to present you faultless
before the presence of His glory
with exceeding joy,
To God our Saviour,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory an Majesty,
Dominion and power, 
both now and forever.
Jude 24-25

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August Note Card Party

Joining in the fun once again with Vee's Note Card Party!   

After a very hot and humid summer, and I'm certain we're not done yet, we have enjoyed a few days that felt like a preview of Autumn.

This made me search for my Autumn photos and here were some I really liked.


Autumn is my favorite season, and I wish that we could have a long one for a change.  After all we have long winters, and long hot summers, why can't we have a long Autumn once in a while.  Those beautifully warm days and cool nights eventually easing to cool days too.  Cider, hot chocolate, bonfires, s'mores, sweaters, scarves, local fairs.

It won't be long now.  I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What A Wonderful Way To Start A Day

Up early today for a special reason, though I am posting this late in the day.  I had an invitation to have breakfast over at Hospitality Lane.

 Diane from Tomato Soup Cake blog and her daughter Millen and friend Diana and her wee daughter had come to our area to see the Wiggles live!  

 They came to church yesterday and then with great joie de vivre, they came along with us to watch Becky's mom Ruth, my daughter Emma, my niece Shelly and our friend Joseph jump out of an airplane!  Poor things we dragged them all over the county!  It was a lovely day, and they all had a great jump!  It was fun to visit and share together while we were waiting for the jumpers.

This morning before they left we all had breakfast together.  Chelsea took this fun photo of Millen, Diane, myself and Becky.  Thank you, Becky, for using your grandmother's china and for the lovely food.  It was so special.

Then home to reality.  School with the kids, peaches to can, lunch to make including some bread.  

Diane, thank you for your cheerful self!  It was so fun to see you again.  Let's do it again next year, okay?

Saturday, August 11, 2012


I love the word Bliss, don't you?  I think I like it so much because it is not overused and it is so full of meaning.

The definition, according to is: supreme happiness; utter joy or contentment.

I have decided to make today a day of bliss for myself.  It is easy for us to run ourselves ragged, to always go, go, go.

Today, while I have home keeping to do, including two 1/2 bushel boxes of peaches, I am going to revel in my home.  I am going to pamper our little cottage, make her smell sweet, bring fresh flowers inside.  I am going to listen to beautiful music, burn a candle, laugh with my family. 

I am going to enjoy my new Victoria magazine!  It's the British issue, and the September/October issue!  Just look at those luscious colors on the cover!  Inside is full of delights too.

Sigh...I can already feel the contentment welling up inside me....

Friday, August 10, 2012

I Have Frodo Baggins Hair

We recently have been watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  We enjoy them very much and usually do half of an extended edition movie over several nights.

While watching recently, I realized that I have Frodo Baggins hair!  

 It's uncanny, really, isn't it?

Amazing.  I should add that this is the way my hair looks when I wash it and let it dry on its own - no product, no blow drying, or curling iron.  My hair has always had a mind of it's own...cowlicks, curly, crazy hair!

I guess if I have to have hair like someone famous it's nice that it is a character that has good character, though Samwise Gamgee is my favorite hobbit!

Why am I posting about this?  Because I have a photo of myself with my Frodo hair and I do not have a photo of all the hard work we did this evening in the gardens behind the house.  Tim dug a bunch of mulberry trees that were trying to grow - I told him our large mulberry tree is probably responsible for thousands of mulberry tress now growing all over the southern end of our county.

The weeded and cleaned up spaces look good, but oh, was it work.  Have I mentioned recently that its been hot and humid?  We were all dripping...quick showers then we watched the final portion of The Return of the King. 

Next time, I'll try to remember to get photos of the stuff you are interested in rather than my hair.  Did I tell you there were three sweet finches eating the seeds on my coneflowers today?  I don't have a photo of that either...


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I Have Been Thinking

about what a blessing it is to open your home to others.

I have been tired from the hectic pace I have been keeping, nearly dosing off Sunday afternoon at church while watching the wonderful movie Monumental.  If you haven't had the chance to see this film, please get a copy and watch.  It is so good.

Monday we were up at 0' dark thirty, as my Dad likes to say.  We were headed to the Accessories the Show event at the Javits Center, in the big city.  It was a good opportunity to meet new vendors and we have our eyes on some new lines that we would like to bring into the store.

 By yesterday afternoon, I was so sleepy.  I kept dozing off while Kyle read to me...I don't know if he realized it or not.  I was afraid to ask if I had been snoring!

Last evening, the girls played Ultimate Frisbee and some of the group came back to our house, as is the usual pattern.  They are a great bunch of young people...they all have hearts to walk with the Lord and to encourage and help each other.  It is beautiful to watch.  They also have such fun together.  Our friend Denny, had some out of town friends that went to the second show at Sight and Sound and then he took them by the park to meet the frisbee players.  The mom wanted her daughter, age 13 to meet some Christian kids around her age.  They left to go get some dinner, around the time our kids headed to our house.  Denny and they were going to drop by after dinner, and as it got later and later I realized that I was not going to be able to stay awake and headed to bed, while games were being played and Tim and two of the young men had conversation about cars - manual transmission verses automatic transmission.

Just after climbing into bed to read a bit, our new out of town friends dropped in.  I was torn, feeling like I just couldn't get up and go meet them.  I was so tired!  But I had met her brother last year when he was visiting and I didn't want to miss meeting her, and her daughter, so I got dressed in regular clothes again, and went out to say hi.

I am so happy I did.  We had such a lovely conversation and she had many questions about the kids, and their interactions with one another, what do we do about music, etc...she is facing challenges as she parents her new teenager alone.  Kyle talked to her for awhile about his math - he is loving it - he did seven lessons, a bonus round and a quiz yesterday!  She is a teacher of 1st graders and loved chatting with him.  Sarah was her usual sanguine self and made friends with both mother and daughter.

When they left, we issued an invitation to come back to ride horses in the morning and to come stay with us anytime.  Fellowship is such a wonderful thing.  I am thankful for resisting the urge to stay in bed, and say that I would meet them another time.

I was greatly blessed to have met our new friends.  I tucked the little folk into bed and said good night to my older girls.  They bless me daily.  I am so proud of them.

I climbed back into bed with my energy renewed, and a thankful heart.  A bit of reading and I was ready to sleep.

I am grateful, so grateful, for the opportunities the Lord brings our way.  Thankful that He gave us the opportunity to be a small part of encouragement to a sister in the Lord.

Hebrew 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Big Event

We have been talking and praying about making some changes to our business.  We decided to add events to our repertoire of services we provide.  The idea is to be vendors for ladies conferences and other women's events. We also have some big plans for our website.

Right when we were throwing around these ideas, we were invited to be a vendor at a local Ladies Night Out in our city.  A local radio station and another group are sponsoring this event!  We saw it as a confirmation of what we feel is a great option for our business.

That event is tomorrow night!  We have been busy ordering product, designing our display table, making a coupon for the swag bags, deciding on lighting....It's a huge learning curve for us, but it's good too.

Lindsay and Emily are excited about doing this event and I must say that I am too!

Because I like you all so much, I thought I would show you a preview of some of the jewelry and a really cool backpack bag...

So, what do you think?

Pray for us, that we will be ready to go by tomorrow morning and that everything will go smoothly.  We have 6 different schedules to coordinate tomorrow, as well as loading all the product and display items etc, into the event.

Did I mention that it is our city's First Friday as well, and that our business always stays open until 9:00pm?  To solve the mystery of how to be in two places at once, my Mom and Rachel are going to be in the store for us!  5 ladies - 3 generations working together to make this all possible.  Oh, and let's don't forget my Tim.  He is a huge part of this business - he does so much behind the scenes and is a big part of the website overhaul.  I like to call him our logistics manager!

I'll let you know how it goes.  Then Monday is the huge New York Gift show, and we'll be going to that, too.  So if you don't hear from me, or if I post something utterly incoherent, you'll understand, won't you?


  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We spent Saturday, doing things around the house, and then we swam. Kyle and Sarah left after that...