Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Tea With My Mom (and some homeschool news)

I've tried many tea rooms and shops and while many are good, The Tea Trolley in Delta, PA is my favorite 'local' shop.  It is across the river in York County. 

Its in in sweet old Victorian house, with old wood floors and gorgeous windows.  The main reason I like it is that the food is consistently good.

The owner doesn't do different flavored scones, but hers are the best around!

My mom and I went to tea yesterday.  It was a good chance to talk and we both love afternoon tea.  Mom always gets English Breakfast tea and I try different kinds of teas.

There is always a great selection of desserts.

And three kinds of sandwich choices, with two of each kind per person.
It was delightful, as it always is.

Today is our last day of our homeschool co-op for the year.  It always goes by so fast.  We have about a month of school left in our academic year, having started on August 6th last year.  This is Sarah's last academic year, so she will be graduating.  However next year, besides working she'll be taking classes at a local performing arts center.

Rachel finishes her academic portion of her year on May 24th and then has 6 weeks of summer ministry starting in mid June.  She'll graduate in August. 

When we start our next academic year, in August, I'll have one student left.  Kyle will begin high school, so that means only four more years of homeschooling.  We started 25 years ago with Nate!  I'll have had a full career at 29 years!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

A New Dining Table

It's the end of an era and part of me is sad.  Tim built us a massive (nearly 8ft long!) table 10 years ago.  He used extra wood from our wood floors and we eventually stained it and painted the skirting and legs.

A lot of live was lived with this table.  It was so big that we could have two sewing machines set up and cut fabric at the other end of the table.  When we did a Home Ec class four girls with sewing machines worked at the table at the same time!

We could fit 14 people around this table using benches on the sides and two chairs at each end.  We often did.  Sunday gatherings here, family dinners every night, holiday meals.  

I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

Tim and I have been talking for over a year about getting a smaller table.  The one he made was massive and hard to get around sometimes, especially with a house full of people.  Lindsay and Joseph had bought a nice used dining set, when they got married, and we've always liked it.  With them moving into the apartment at my parents house this past weekend, they were selling it.  We decided to buy it and now it sits in our kitchen.

It's 48" round without a leaf in it.  There are three 12" leaves for the table and we have 6 matching chairs.  Right now we have the table set up with one leaf in it.

It's really great in our space, but with one leaf it looks so SMALL!

It is perfect with my English Country House Style, and we do really like it.  Now I think I need to find a rug for under the table!

Have you ever said goodbye to a beloved piece of furniture?

Lindsay has said that she'd love to have the big table when they buy their own home one day, so Tim took the legs off and stored it down in our shop space in the basement.  So it will go on and more memories will be made with the table.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Garden In Early Spring

We're almost a week into spring and thankfully, though we've had a few rainy days, we've had sunshine and blue sky!  I decided to get out on Sunday afternoon with rare 60 degree weather in March, and do a cutting back of my spirea, and get the leaves out of the garden.

This photo was taken last week but it shows how the garden had a lot of leaves in it and the spirea by my lamppost needed a good cutting back.  Its branches were all twisted together and there were insect 'pods' on some of the branches.  We think they were some kind of moth, and I didn't want them hatching out in my garden in the warm spring sunshine.  

 This photo from Sunday shows you the spirea cut back and the leaves all gone!  A friend brought over his leaf blower and really got the garden clear of leaves in a way that never happens just with a rake!

We brought my table and chairs out to the garden and I sat in the sunshine reading.

Kamryn was at our house and was skating on the driveway.  She picked one of the crocus growing in the garden and brought it to me.

 They have such pretty color patterns on them!

What do I spy in my garden, that's not supposed to be there?

This is Eleanor Dashwood, one of our Speckled Sussex hens.  Her sister Marianne, was elsewhere.

I took some video for my friend Jane, and I'm sharing that here.

The hydrangea in my cottage garden is a mophead variety.  It produces blooms on old wood.  Some years the weather is bad and the old wood stalks die.  Then I get lovely green leaves and no blooms.  This year the stalks are still green (I scraped a few to check) and I should have a bush full of blooms!  This makes me very happy.

The roses need a little pruning today, and I can see my Bleeding Heart coming up, and also lots of Feverfew pushing through the soil.  I'm continuing to plan for some plants to be thinned out of this garden and to bring a few other varieties in.  I need Salvia, and some Hollyhocks, Cosmos.  I must get some Zinneas, too.

I know some of you still have snow melting where you are, and if so I hope this post encourages you that spring really is here and that before too long, you also will be see your plants popping up in the garden!  

Some of you in the southern states and England will likely have many spring flowers in bloom already!  I love seeing your photos of your gardens!  

Tell us in the comments just what is blooming in your garden, or is getting ready to bloom!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Accepting Others For Who They Are, Rather Than Stumbling Over Who They're Not

This was a quote our pastor used in church yesterday.  It is really resonating with me and giving me a lot to ponder.

I think this is a lost art.  We no longer know how to do this in our culture.  We want everyone to be who WE want them to be and when they are not, or when they are different than who we like, we completely write them off.

I find that I have done this in my own life.  There are people in my life who've never accepted me for who God made me to be, and so in my hurt and desire that they love me for myself, I have stumbled over who they are not.

I need to get to the place where I can CELEBRATE them for who they are, even if they can't do the same.  Or maybe when I can celebrate them, they'll find they can celebrate me, too.

I see this in our national life.  We are unable, now, to accept people for thinking or being different than we are.  We don't allow for people to think differently.  This is not good.  We must learn to see who a person is in their entirety, so that we can see areas that we can have agreement with them.  Perhaps even find that we may share many things in common.

When we can do this, I think we'll find a much more peaceful nation, and even world.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Do You Have A Skin Care Routine?

I've always taken good care of my skin, and even in my teens, I rarely had breakouts.  I've used everything from Noxema (in my teens) to Lacura facial cleanser sold at Aldi.

Image result for lacura facial cleanser
You can read a review about this product {here}

I also use Lacura Face Care Q10 Day Cream and Lacura Face Care Q10 Night Cream.  

Image result for lacura face cream
You can read a review about these products {here}.

I've been happy with them, but I am looking for something to use to exfoliate the dead skin, something for daily use or at least a few times a week.  Any recommendations?

I also use Frankincense essential oil on my skin at night.  One drop with some of my night cream or coconut oil.  I've also just begun to use Witch Hazel as a toner a few days a week.

I've always been a basic kind of girl with my skin care, but I am very interested in finding out what others use on their skin and why.

I am 55 years old and my skin is in good condition over all.  I'm freckled, with a few age spots on my hands.  I feel like other than my face my skin tends to be dry. (hypothyroid related)

I'm hoping to start a conversation here so we can help each other out with issues for women who find themselves in midlife! (yes, I plan to live until I'm 110! lol)

So let's start a conversation about skin care today!  I'd love to hear what you use, what works for you, and what you've learned about products!

See you in the comments section! 


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Happy Spring!

We've been having lovely weather, perfectly spring like; cold nights, warm days.  Sunshine.  This is the thing that's making me the most happy - sunshine.

Last year we had a rainy spring, then a very rainy summer.  The sky was grey even when it wasn't raining.  Then a rainy autumn, and snowy winter.  Lots of clouds.  So the sun shining and blue sky is a delight!

With spring comes flowers blooming and trees budding.  Nothing is blooming here yet, but my Lilac trees are budding and nearly ready to have the leaves come out.

You can also see that there are leaves blown up against the chicken coop area.  There is a lot of leaf clearing to do.

The same goes for the English Cottage Garden.  Leaf removal, trimming the spirea and the roses.

On the left under the window is a huge hydrangea that blooms on old wood.  Some years I get a lot of new growth but not many blooms as a lot of the stems have died due to the cold.  This year though I checked the stems and they are green so I believe this hydrangea is going to really bloom this year!

We've finally settled on replacing the picket fence sections, and keeping the main posts which are in good condition. They just need to be repainted.  Tim had mentioned enlarging this space, and I'm thinking about it.  It would give me a spot to have a sitting area other than just the walk way.

Soon the fence will be new, and the garden blooming!  I can't wait!

Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Living Room Re-Arrangement

I'm finally able to show you what I did in the living room.  Right after I bought my rug, Tim and I joined Kyle in being sick, then Rachel came home, and I was still coughing and wiped out.  The coughing is better and I think I'm truly on the mend!

I bought my rug at Target a few weeks ago.  I moved the rug that had been in the living room (and not the proper size at all) to the sitting area of the master bedroom.  Its better there.  This rug is 7' x 10' and fits the space much better.  The cream, gold and grey colors are all just right in this room, and the rug has an old world feel.  I'm really happy with it.

I'm loving the layout of the furniture and the functionality of the space.  We had 22 ladies in this space (we added seating and a bench) on Sunday, and it flowed well.

 Also check out my goofy cat.  Right hand side of the burgundy couch.

I always arrange the furniture to make the conversation spaces work.  In this space the whole room can chat together, or the people across can talk, or the people in the chairs can chat together, or the people at the ends of the couches, etc...

There is ample room to walk around the furniture and get into the kitchen space.

Real life in this photo as Tim is working at the table and I still have paper flowers from the shower on the table.

This space is function over form right now, but I am working on some ideas for this space.

This summer I plan to paint the kitchen, living room, and hallway.  I was going to do white, but I may keep the yellow but do 50% pigmentation in the paint, so its the same yellow just lighter.  Still thinking about this.

To see some other ways this room has been arranged over the years check out this post {here}.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Baby Shower

Lindsay and I hosted the postponed baby shower yesterday.  Sweet baby Brielle was in attendance.  

Here is what we did with the paper flowers that I had been making.

 Brielle's mommy, Quinn is gluten free and so were a few of the guests.  Lindsay made gluten free 'scones' and a lemon cake with lemon glaze in a bundt pan using Bob's Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour.  They turned out really well, and were enjoyed by those who sometimes have to pass on treats at parties.

I made regular sweet scones and lemon cupcakes with homemade lemon butter cream frosting!  Can I just say that it was amazing frosting?    You can find the recipe {here}.

 The shower was in the mid afternoon, so besides the scones and cakes, we did cheese and crackers, including some gluten free crackers.

A group of 22 ladies gathered to show love and honor to Quinn.  Here she is with her Mom and Grandma. 

I'm sorry I was gone from the blog for so long.  The cough hung on for a long time, and I'm still working on being completely done with it.  

 Rachel is on her spring break and this week is traveling to visit Emma and to meet her boyfriend Wes' parents.  She'll be back on the weekend and then heads back to school Monday.  We're thankful for the time we've had with her.  

I'm hoping to be back to a regular posting schedule now!

Happy Almost Spring!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

That Was Unexpected

❀ Blooming Brushwork ❀ - garden and still life flower paintings - Laura Shubert | Peonies in Glass

Kyle came down with a cold virus last week and by Thursday evening Tim and I had variations of it.  We definitely are on the mend, but then last night I had a low grade fever again and my cough seemed worse.  Today, I'm just tired.   I'd appreciate your prayers for a quick and complete recovery.  Rachel is home this week for spring break and will be gone most of next week, visiting Emma.  I want to make the  most of our time together.

Thanks friends.

Then I'll be back with pictures of the rearrangement, my new rug, and artwork. 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Living Room Rearrangement Preview

For those who may be interested in seeing what I did in the living room, here is basically how it was set up before I moved furniture around.

These photos are from winter two years ago and were basically how the room was still set up.

The big couch was floating in the room with its back to a book case.  The couch was still that way but the bookcase had been moved to my bedroom.

The chair next to the bookcase had been moved to the left on the wall and a small desk with our computer was under the hanging teacups.

My great grandmother's hutch was still angled in the corner.

And the tv hutch was still in the same place.  The little grey table has been moved since last year, and a small black bonded leather chair was in its place.

Now that you have the general idea of the layout, here is what I did.

I moved the hutch flat against the wall, and left the reclining loveseat in place.  I moved the big couch to the wall where the tv hutch had been, and slide the black leather chair over to float in the room.

I moved the chair that used to be where the computer is in this photo, to join up with the leather chair and make and nice conversation cluster in the room.  When we want to watch a movie, the two chairs are easy to turn toward the tv.  I like that the tv is no longer front and center for the furniture arrangement.

I had to take down the teacup holder, and its the first time its been off the wall since I bought it about 15 years ago.  I need to find a spot for it!  And I know I need to do something with the plate wall.  Perhaps, reign it in a bit with fewer plates.  I'm not worried about it now, as I plan to have the living room, kitchen and hallway painted in the next few months.

I also will be tidying up the many books that are floating around the room, picking up the random Nerf projectiles that are everywhere (boy messes), and hanging artwork over the couch.
I did not get the rug yesterday.  I chose to stay home and work on this and take care of my boy who was running a fever yesterday.  Seems like a virus, and it'll run its course.  He has plans to celebrate his best friends' birthday this weekend, so he is motivated to rest and get well!

I'm hoping to stop and get the rug today after I take Sarah to work, but if I don't manage to do that, I'll definitely get it tomorrow when I'm out for groceries!

Oh, one last thing.  When Tim came home yesterday, he said, "I like it.  Its a lot more open."  When Rachel's boyfriend Wes dropped by he said, "Hey, you've rearranged.  I like it.  It's a lot more open."  {grin} 


  We are finally getting some blue skies with real clouds, and sunshine! I took sometime with Kyle and Kamryn's help to set up the deck ...