Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Monday, July 24, 2017

So Many Last Minute Things To Do

We really are prepared, mostly.

We leave tomorrow for California (Rachel, Sarah, and I) and today I have a few errands to run.

I need to go to the store that carries Lily's Chocolate Bars.  I NEED some for my trip.  I don't always buy them here at home, I can make treats, etc, but when your traveling and you need a little something, its nice to know you have something on hand that you know you like.  Especially on the plane.

I forgot to buy coffee beans the other day at Aldi - Gasp!  My poor man cannot be left home without his coffee!

I'm headed to the bank, also, and I need to go to a local tire place and have one of my van tires replaced.  Ugh.  Kay is taking us to the airport and we don't want to risk a flat for her and the girls.

So not a frantic day, just some stuff, and packing.

I don't know if I'll get the chance to post while I'm in California, but I will be posting on Instagram and FB so go follow me there and you can keep up with our trip!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Happy Weekend

The heat and humidity are still with us.  We went out to my parents house again, in the late afternoon, for swimming and games.  

The larkspur is going to seed in the cottage garden but the Black Eyed Susan is in bloom!  Such a cheery flower and makes me realize that summer is half over.

My Limelight Hydrangea is blooming, too!  So beautiful!

I'll try to get some better photos of it as it is amazing this year!  Its been a wonderful year for hydrangea!

I have home stuff to do today, and a small sewing task.  Tomorrow we have church and a birthday party to attend, for a new teenage friend!  Monday is a packing day, and then Tuesday we are off to California!

What are you up to this weekend?

ps- Did you know that Creekside Cottage is on Facebook?  You can find me here.  

Friday, July 21, 2017

My Favorite Summer Bag

Thrift store straw bag - Eddie Bauer brand

A few months ago, we were in a thrift store when I spotted this delightful bag.  I think I paid $4.00 for it.  Its got a navy and white gingham lining and a sweet little tie to hold it closed.  

I find that I have used it nearly the whole summer so far.  It just seems to go with everything I wear.

Do you have a favorite bag of the summer?  Let's chat in the comments!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

It's Not All Beauty In A Garden

With every beautiful photo I show you of my garden, there are more I don't usually take.  Every garden requires work.  Weeding being the biggest thing, for me anyway, but there is also the work of cutting back plants when they are spent, dead heading flowers, collecting seeds.

 Its been hot and humid here and the plants love it and so do the weeds!
  I stepped out into the front garden to check on it and saw a big section that was ready to be weeded and cut back. The regular thunderstorms have kept the soil nice and soft, so it made it easy work. 

The cicadas are singing already, and its hazy out.

 There still is beauty in this garden

and I'm grateful for it!

Do you have gardens?  How are they doing?  Let's chat in the comments!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

I Love The Way The Property Looks

When it's freshly mowed!

I didn't get to my deep cleaning Tuesday, because I really needed to mow.  I might be able to do it on Thursday.  We'll see.

Home Keeping: Six Daily Tasks To Keep A House Tidy

At one time we had eight people living here daily, and many, many visitors.  In the early years of home and family I didn't have a good grasp on how to keep every room tidy.  Many Saturdays were spent doing a "big cleaning"  in the kids rooms.  Sigh.

Thankfully I learned some skills to keep up with the house, on a daily basis, so that it stays generally clean.

Here is what I do.

 I make my bed every day. 

I can have a kid folding clothes in my bedroom and watching a movie and yet my room feels clean because my bed is made!

I keep the kitchen tidy throughout the day.

This includes keeping up with the dishes.  I or the kids empty the dishwasher and work on re-loading it all throughout the day.  I also keep the hand washed dishes washed.  

 This is where the handwashed dishes go to dry.  

I like to use Seventh Generation liquid dish soap - in any scent, and I also use their dishwasher detergent gel.

We vacuum regularly.

We only have three rugs in the whole house.  Two are right by the doors we enter our cottage by, and one is an area rug in the living room.  The rest of our flooring in the whole house is wide plank pine.  So we can easily just sweep up a small mess, though the kids often just drag the vacuum out to deal with any mess.

I wipe down sinks, counter tops, and toilets daily.

This is an easy peasy way to keep the bathroom tidy.  We all are in our bathrooms throughout the day, and if I see dust or toothpaste I deal with it right then.  It takes seconds, really, and keeps things clean!

I attempt to tame the clutter monster daily!

This area, on our counter, our big farm table that is right in the middle of our living room/kitchen area, and my desk are the main places for stuff.  You know, mail, cards, eyewear, earbuds, spare computer batteries, hair elastics.

There are things that come into the home, that we need to deal with and somethings I don't always have a good solution for.  This is an ongoing process.

We wash a fold laundry every day.

We no longer deal with Mount Washmore in our home, because we only have five people living here, and it has become routine for us to process a load or two a day.  There are days when there is not that much laundry and everyone's needed items are clean, so we skip a day here and there.

These six things allow our home to be clean for us, and ready for us to welcome unexpected guests.  I don't know about you, but clutter makes me feel agitated and unsettled, and by keeping on top of these areas in our home brings peace.

Are there daily tasks that are a must for you in your home?  Let's chat in the comments!

Today I will be deep cleaning my bedroom.  Next week I fly to California and then will have a week at home, before a friend moves in with us for a month or so while he recovers from knee replacement surgery.

We're going to give him the master bedroom so he'll have his own sitting area and bathroom.  Also we'll be bring his own bed here from his apartment, so we will move our bed downstairs and any other daily use items we will need.

I'm trying to get an idea of what those things will be, so that I can properly prepare now, so that the week I get back from California won't be so crazy!

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Gathering Of Friends

For her birthday, Sarah wanted to have an air soft event.  She talked to Lindsay, who often hosts air soft games, typed up invitations, and talked about having a campfire afterward.

Everyone she invited came.  Along with some of the parents of her friends there were 41 people here today!  They had a blast playing different air soft games, in the warm July sunshine, and the parents mostly, stayed inside.

We ate good food, had great conversation, Tim taught a young friend to parallel park (she takes her driving test this week!).  This is what life is like at Creekside Cottage - a random mix of people and things happening.

Tonight I drove some great young people home.  We talked about astronomy and creation science, and one young woman shared about how small she feels when she looks at space and sees the wonder of what God has created.  Then she said "And to think that God loves me so much and created me, is just amazing."

I love these wonderful young friends of Sarah's and how they encourage each other, and build each other up.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Breakfast With A Friend

For many years Rebecca and I have been reading each others' blog and commenting, and emailing on occasion.

We've shared prayer requests on our blogs, told family stories, and shared live through the internet.  I saw a photo on her blog this week and knew she was in our local city!

I messaged her and we arranged to met up this morning.  We would walk to a local cafe and visit for a few hours.  Imagine my surprise when I was on my way and it started to rain!  It was pouring!  We decided we'd hang out in the hotel restaurant instead!

It was a wonderful time, and two and a half hours few by! I'm so glad for this chance to met up in person.  It is always a joy to spend time with a sister in the Lord!

Hydrangea Summer (And Meeting Up With A Blog Friend)

The hydrangea are knocking my socks off this summer!  So amazing!  My Limelight hydrangea is going to be full of flowers, too!  Its a great year for my garden!

Its interesting to me that I took all of these photos within minutes of each other but based on the angle of my phone, or the side of the table I was on, resulted in the difference in the lighting.

I'm excited because I'm meeting up with a fellow blogger, Rebecca, who blogs at Life and Godliness.  Her recent post made me realize that she was in our local city and I suggested we get meet up!  I'll try to get some photos!

Have you ever met a blog friend in person?  I have several times and its been great every time!  Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Rabe Home Services

  As you know we are on the search for a truck, but Tim is rethinking just what type will be right for his day to day use.  With using the Saturn Relay he has a lift gate and it provides a cover over him if it rains and a nice place to step out of the sun. A truck won't do that, so we are thinking, perhaps, we'll look at Trailblazers or a Tahoe.  Thanks for your continued prayers (you know who you are, ladies!) and interest.

Our business is nearly two years old and is growing every year.  We are thankful.  Its been stretching, and hard sometimes, but we do see God's hand.

On Tuesday, Tim had to take water to an inspection (this is why we need a vehicle that can tow), and needed to use my dad's Suburban, but he needed his tools and didn't want to move everything over to the 'burb.  So I drove his Relay and he hauled the water.

There are 250 gallons of water in each of these totes.  He uses hoses and a pump to put this water into the septic system of this house.  The idea is that you test a system of a house, that has been empty or is having more people move in than there are people moving out, to determine whether the system can handle the load.  For example a four bedroom house, should be able to handle 500 gallons of water a day.  With this kind of test (called a hydraulic load test) you do this for two days and measure the liquid level in the drain field of the system.

He also has to probe and measure the layout of the absorption area (which could be either a drain field or trenches) to determine the size.

This inspection started at 3:00 in the afternoon, and he'd already done two inspections that day. (not all inspections require a hydraulic load test)  It was hot and humid, and we were both sweating like crazy!

I didn't have a lot to do for him, but I did record measurements and information for him

This system was from the 1960's, which was interesting, but it did not pass its test, and a new system will be needed.

I also got to look down into an access port and watch for the flow of water from the flushing of toilets.  It lets an inspector know whether there are issues with a system, by how the water flows.

He also has to check the tank (not go in it) to see if the tank is in good condition, to see if all the filters, and baffles etc, are in good repair.

I had a pretty view to look at while we were there.

I am glad that I get to go with him some days, to help or just to ride along.  It lets me see how hard he works, and experience the weather conditions as well.  I have such a deep thankfulness for his work on behalf of our family.

I'm sure you learned more about septic inspections than you wanted to know, and if you're still with me, Bravo!  You're a true friend!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Hydrangea In The Kitchen

Aren't they beautiful?  I'm saving the pink ones for another day.

I hope your summer is going well.  Today, Sarah has an early dentist appointment and I've got to get moving!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Happy Birthday, Sarah!

Sarah has what the French say "Joie de Vivre" or Joy of Living!  She is a gift to our family!

Today she is 15 years old.  She has a heart for Jesus, she loves to read, she is creative and has a wonderful imagination.  She has high ideals.  She is a good friend.  I'm thankful for this darling, wonderful young woman!  Glad that I'm her Mama!

Monday, July 10, 2017

This and That

We've been having some computer issues, with Tim's work computer the only reliable one. He sometimes takes it with him for the day, so that has left us computer-less at home.  I think we've got it figured out, so I hope to be posted better this week.

We had a lovely weekend - I got some work done around here, including mowing, and I had sometime on Saturday to sit on the deck and enjoy the beautiful weather.

I've been enjoying my new to me herb book from the library bookstore, "The Herb Garden Book" by Malcolm Hillier.

This book is interesting and the author shares ways to use the herbs as well as how to plant them decoratively as well.  I'm finding lots of inspiration.  I love how beautiful this arrangement is!

Today, we went fellowshipped after church at a family from our church's home.  As evening came a fire was lit, one of the young men was playing guitar, and kids were playing.  It was really very nice.

We have a birthday in the family on Tuesday.  Sarah will be 15!  Amazing!  She's such a wonderful young woman.  Bright, literary, full of life.  We'll do some family things this week, and she has a friends gathering planned.  We like to spread out the celebration to more than just a day.

We are still looking for a truck for the business.  It can be frustrating but its been good too, because its helped to figure out what's really needed.  Trusting that we'll find one this week!

Happy Monday everyone!  What are you up to this week?

ps- I wanted to remind you that I am trying to answer your comments in the comments section!  Some of you are no-reply commenters so I can't email you back!  Let's keep the conversation going in the comments, shall we?

Friday, July 7, 2017

Cottage Garden In July

 We had some rain today, and may have a bit of stormy weather overnight.  The garden really appreciates it, and is thriving.

This hydrangea is so beautiful this year.

Aren't they lovely?

What are your plans for the weekend?  

Time is flying by this summer and in a few weeks the girls and I will be winging our way west for my nephews wedding! I'm so excited about traveling with my girls and then having all my girls together for the week!  Its going to be a fun time.  We are staying with a precious friend at her home!  She and her husband have invited us to stay with them since they live very close to where the wedding is going to take place!  Such a generous offer.  I can't wait to hug this friend, tight!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Excitement Is...

 Rachel bought her first car!  It's her first choice as well, a Subaru Impreza with the hatchback!

 Its a nice grey color and she is so excited!

Isn't it cute?  We like Subaru's because they are all wheel drive and that makes them great for driving in winter weather!

We are so proud of her for working hard, and being a good saver.  

We are still looking for a work truck for Tim.  We've seen somethings we like but its easy to get into price territory that we aren't comfortable going into.  So we continue to pray, and trust God to provide what we need.

(That brown truck in the driveway is going bye-bye very soon.  Ignore it! That and the car his niece drove up here that died, and hopefully a small motor home that a friend has been storing here.  We are starting to look like a junk yard!  Of course I'm exaggerating and the motor home is across the creek parked by the barn, but the other vehicles are in the driveway.  Sigh.  I'm working on being patient!)


  We had a lovely weekend. On Saturday we took Weston and Rachel to the airport, then drove around Philadelphia with Sarah, Annie, and Denny...