Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gathering The Memories: July 2014

July was an amazing month.  A lot of celebrating, beauty in the garden, time at the creek, a loss.

 Fireworks on the Fourth!

 Gorgeousness in the garden.

 Beauty of flowers

 Can you see all the pollen on this bee?  He was covered in it!

 A birthday girl and her treasures.

 Hard work pays off.  The house is clean on the outside and the shutters were given new life with some black paint!

Time to cool off in the creek!

A trip to Florida for a memorial service, beauty in the early morning sky, some cool cats.

Joining with Cheryl and friends to Gather the Moments of July.

I hope you'll join us!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Happy Memories!

We got Tim's Mom talking yesterday about her family memories, and she started telling stories and laughing.  It was so fun, and great to see her engaged in conversations again.  When we were here in June she was so quiet, the silence made us all sad, as that is not 'her.'  

I thought you might enjoy seeing this clip!

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Important Things In Life

Death is a good reminder to make sure we have taken care of the important things in life.  

Photo of Tim's mom and Terry's daughter at the memorial service on Sunday morning.

The number one item of importance is our standing with the Lord. Am I trusting in Christ's finished work on the Cross as payment for my sin?  

Another important thing is my relationships to other people.  Am I self focused or focused on the needs of others?  Am I only concerned with self gratification?  What will my children say about me after I've gone?  

What kind of legacy will we leave behind?  One that is painful, or one that is full of rejoicing?

I borrowed my daughters car the other day and was so delighted to see where her focus is at age 20.

I'm praying for Grace to finish the race, that the Lord has for me, with endurance, strength, and wisdom.

How about you?

Friday, July 25, 2014

An Anniversary and A Passing

Today is my parents anniversary!  They've been married 55 years!

This has only come about by God's grace!

They married young - he was 20 and in the Navy, she was 17 and in high school.  He went overseas, she finished school.

They went on to have three kids - boy, girl, boy.

They had some rocky married years.  It was hard.  But when they thought of breaking up and divorcing, they thought of the reputation of the Lord, and how people knew they were Christians and what would that say about Him?

They stayed together, and have worked very hard to communicate and love each other.  We are so thankful for them!

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

The passing is of Tim's Mom's husband Terry.  He died yesterday afternoon.  Tim and I are traveling down to Florida with his brother and sister in law tomorrow.  We want to be with Jean (Tim's mom) and help to comfort her.  They were married for 30 years.  This was her second 30 year marriage - Tim's dad passed away on their 30th wedding anniversary.  We would appreciate prayer for us during this time.  Terry was a difficult man, estranged from most of his children for many years.  Their will be many mixed emotions during this time.  We want to comfort Jean during this time, and be sensitive to others as well.  

It is a blessing to be able to both celebrate and help those who mourn.  God is the source of all things, and we Trust in Him.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Baking: No Knead 1 Hour Rolls

My Amish friend Katie shared a recipe with me for a roll recipe that you can make as dinner rolls or buns.  These rolls are quick to make and delicious!

I made some on Tuesday afternoon to have for dinner with grilled chicken.  They were used to make chicken sandwiches, or as a roll with dinner.

Katie hand wrote out the recipe after church one Sunday and we made copies for us ladies.  Here is the recipe with all her added notes.

I love homemade breads, and this one is one I will use over and over because of the simplicity of the recipe.  

I hope you try them.  If you do, will you let me know?

Here is a video I took yesterday morning, as I sat on our deck before the heat of the day began.  You can hear birds first, then cicadas, then our chickens, then a jet plane.  Just the quiet country life!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Fun Way To Cool Off

We took a quick drive to a nearby township park with a delightful creek.  It's been hot, and today the humidity was high as well.  We were in need of some cool fun, so we grabbed some towels, some water, a book, a chair and headed out.

 Left to right: my niece Kaitlin, Rachel, my granddaughter Kamryn, Sarah, and Kyle.

I enjoyed the creek, the cool breeze, my book, and my iced tea.  We were only there about an hour and a half but it was just the refreshment we needed.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Here are some things that I've been pinning lately.

Tartan Shoe by Cole Haan

Silver flatware.  Beautiful!

Inspiration!  My kitchen is a similar color, and I have white trim.  I love this sink, and I am thinking of these kinds of counter tops!

I really like this idea!

Dreaming of Autumn!


What have you been inspired by lately?

Click here to visit my Pinterest boards!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Home Keeping: Cleaning The Outside Of The House

We all know that the inside of our homes must have daily care to keep them maintained and tidy.  The outsides of our home require care too.  We try to wash and clean the outside of the house at least once a year.

This year we took the shutters off too,  they will be getting a facelift, and we think it was the first time they've been off the house since it was built.

This is at the end of the house - the grossness is from behind the shutters.  
Tim scrubbing the siding

 We labeled all the shutters on the back of each shutter.  

 The head of the screw is the color we suspect the shutters were originally.

 These delightful things were behind some of the shutters.

 Sarah, Kyle and I had the charge of cleaning the shutters.

We found that there were quite a few spiders who had made their homes behind the shutters.

Including this ugly guy

 Rachel removed shutters…Do you see the fence?  Peeling paint,

 Rotting wood

More peeling paint.  

These panels of picket fencing, were from a neighbor of a friend of ours.  We got them when they were tearing out the fencing, to put something else in.  I've had them at least 7 years in my garden, so they are old.  We are talking about what to do exactly.  I love my picket fence so we MUST fix it.

I'll post photos when I'm done with the shutters.  We are hoping to re-side the house, but that is another project for another time.

Any projects on your horizon?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Literature: The Real Jane Austen

Being a Jane Austen fan, I receive a monthly newsletter from The Jane Austen Centre in Bath.  This month they had a link to a video that is a teaser for a documentary that is being done on the making of the new wax figure of Jane that has been done and is now in the Centre.  I think it is fascinating!  Here is the link to the teaser!

Photo courtesy of The Jane Austen Centre, Bath

The article about how it came about it here.

Are you a Janeite?  Which books have you read?  Which movie adaptations are your favorite?  Let's talk Jane!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Baking: Blueberry Muffins

I've had some blueberries in the freezer that have been calling to me.  Last evening, while Kyle and I were home alone together, I had him help me whip up a batch of muffins. 

The recipe is easy and delicious!

From Sally's Baking Addiction - Sparkling Jumbo Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients - 

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (very careful not to overmeasure)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, room temperature preferred
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk*
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (or vegetable or melted coconut oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • coarse sugar for sprinkling (optional)
Check out the directions on her blog.

As you can see I didn't use the coarse sugar for sprinkling on the top of the muffins.  I used buttermilk as she suggested and for oil I used avocado oil.  They taste delicious.  I think the next time I make these, I will try 1/2 tsp of cinnamon to see how I like that.  Oh, and I made the regular cupcake size muffins rather than jumbo sized.  They go further around here that way.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Okay, bear with me.  When I wrote my post title this is what came into my mind.  I decided to share it with you.  I'll see you on the other side of the video.

Yes, I've seen tons of Veggie Tales, and it's all stuck in my head!  Now that we've had our morning chuckle, let's talk about the weather.

We've have been in a pattern of hot, humid weather, and afternoon/evening storms.  Not terrible storms but storms none the less.  However we are getting a bit of a break, though no Polar Vortex relief.  We will be in the mid 80's which is normal for us.  It does feel better though than the last few years where we have had 90 days of 90 degree or higher temperatures!  The humidity is going to be low, to which we all say, "Hallelujah!"

Last evenings storm came through and then we saw soft pink light outside.

I took this video from the front door, so you'll see the screen door frame in it briefly.  As I opened it to go out I realized it was raining, and decided to record the pink light with the rain from the door way.  You can hear Sarah's piano lesson in the background.

Brenda has been having temperatures in the 70's which is unheard of for the Midwest in July.  

Cheryl has had high humidity in the MidAtlantic.  

I wonder what your weather is like today.  I'd love to know!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Garden: More Of The Gardens In July

The air here today is as thick and sticky as a Florida summer.  I went outside to take a photo of my rudbeckia and decided to take a good look at the gardens around the back of the house.

This was taken from the deck.  These rudbeckia get to be 6 feet tall on average!  They are so sunny and cheerful, and are great for cutting and bringing into the house!

 Don't mind the hose and wood that my husband stores under the deck.  I had to take this photo of my surviving butterfly bush!  So thankful to have one still and to have it blooming this summer!

 My Hostas are beautiful this year!  Blooming profusely!  

 Aren't they pretty?

 I have them planted both behind the house and across our creek.  I like to look out and see them blooming over there!

While I was out there Tim called me to give him a hand with the mower deck.  He has been in need of sharpening the blades, and doing some general maintenance on it.  He needed me to hold something down while he greased it.  My little companion and I went right over to help and while I was holding it, I snapped a few one handed quick shots of Kamryn and her balloon.

 If you notice the yard in these photos you'll see a lot of plantain.

Are you familiar with plantain?  I learned about it about 5 years ago and it is a go to plant for us when anyone gets stung by a bee, wasp, yellow jacket, etc.  It is also great at stopping bleeding.  The beauty of this plant is that it grows everywhere - I've seen it growing in a crack of a sidewalk!  To use it you should tear it up or chop it up and get it wet, and apply it straight to the sting or cut.  If you are out hiking or camping you can even just chew it a bit and then apply it.  We've used it successfully on many children who've been stung here - one Sunday a few years ago we had 5 different sting issues.  It takes the 'sting' away, instantly.  One young friend got stung by a nest of yellow jackets, and had 6 stings on the back of his hand.  We applied plantain right away, and the tears stopped!  We did use an ice pack on it after that and he was fine!

This is my basil.   I thought it was going to die but it is thriving!  Yeah!

The peppers are growing well, too.  

And finally!  The tomatoes are really doing well!


 One plant that always grows well in my garden is the gooseneck loosestrife.  It is an invasive plant but it fills in a blank area of my front garden bed.

 This is a photo taken from outside the picket fence toward the house.  Usually my photos are taken facing the other way.

My Black Eyed Susan's are in bloom.  They are a happy flower too!

Last, but not least, my hydrangea.  My plants are alive but no blooms so I bought this one from Costco, and I love it!  

Now to decide where to plant it!

How does your garden grow?

Information Friday, On Saturday

  Well, I was all set to do a post yesterday, but I had trouble uploading my photos. I really thought I'd get it done in the evening, bu...