Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Peach Season

Que Andy Williams singing "It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!"

Freestone peaches are now in season in Pennsylvania!  

One of the first to ripen are ripen are Red Haven, my favorite.  

Growing up in California, I never knew just how many varieties of peaches there were in the world.  So delicious.  I love many different varieties, Red Haven, Sunhigh, John Boy, Flaming Fury!

You can see a list of varieties and approximate ripening dates {here}.  

Once peach season is over, it is Autumn, so peach season makes me happy for that reason, too, but we won't speak of that quite yet. {wink}

Do you like freestone peaches?  Do you have a favorite recipe you make using peaches?  I usually just slice them up to eat, sometimes with cottage cheese or yogurt, and I have made jam before, too.  I'd love to hear your favorite way to enjoy them.

My brother and his family leave tomorrow, and I am taking them to return their rental car and to get some lunch before heading to the airport.  We'll miss them, and have enjoyed our time together.  I'm so thankful they got to visit DC, and Lititz, and enjoy all the favorite places around here.

See you Friday, friends!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Flowers, Flowers, Flowers

This year, I sowed seeds for zinnia, hollyhocks, and poppies.  None of these came up.  I was bummed because, my garden is more sparse than I like.  

So I took advantage of sales at retail garden shops and purchased some zinnias, a few dianthus, a soft yellow double hollyhock, and be still my heart, a Munstead Woods David Austin rose!  I've been looking for one for a few years now!

I need to plant them today and water them in well.  We're having high heat and humidity again.

I love to grow these flowers because they add beauty to my life and to my home.  Just look at the arrangement I made for my home from flowers I grow in my garden - 

So much beauty.  It brings me joy even if no one else cares whether there are fresh flowers or not. 

I care.  Small touches like this make my cottage a home, and they affect the atmosphere of our homes.  I know my kids notice, and so does my husband, even if they wouldn't take the time to do it themselves, they like the way the home makes them feel welcomed and loved.

Its a small, simple thing to do, using fresh flowers in the home.  But its worth it.

Monday, July 29, 2019

All Because Two People Fell In Love

This last week was all about family.  My brother and most of his family flew in from California for vacation but also to celebrate my parents landmark 60th wedding anniversary!

We've been planning for months and my sister in law is an artist who loves to create mixed media cards.  She had the idea for everyone to contribute a few photos of them with my parents, and of their family where applicable.  Also to write down memories of my parents.

She compiled them into this book of treasure - 

 There were then and now pages for Robert and I, a page for our brother David, and pages for each of our kids, and their families.  their were pockets with photos and thoughts from everyone!  Its really incredible!

A real gift of love!

Rachel's boyfriend Weston took a big family photo of all who were able to attend.  We missed my nephew Ryan and his wife Alicia and their three sons.  We also missed Emma and Vinnie and their two kids. 

Here is a silly family photo.  Everyone except Tim. He's smiling big and looking handsome!  Lol!

We are thankful for this time together, and mostly thankful that God has played such a huge role in our family since my parents were saved in the early 1970's.  We're not perfect, we've had some major disagreements, but God has been faithful to help us through them.  Growth in a process, and sometimes the path is full of twists and turns.  But God knows the way, and shines His light for us to see the way to take the next step.  Sometimes the light is brighter and sometimes its dimmer and requires more faith for that next step forward.  But God is always with us.

We have a hot humid week ahead.  The end of July is in sight, and in a few weeks we'll be starting school again.  Kyle will be starting his first year of high school work.  It'll just be Kyle and I this year.  Rachel graduates on August 18th from Word of Life.  

I hope your weekends were delight-filled as well.  I'd love to hear all about it in the comments!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

60 Years

They were the age of Sarah and Rachel when they married.  Just 17 and 20.  They knew each other for about 5 months when they married.

She was between her Junior and Senior years of high school and he was in the Navy.  He was away for part of her school year, and when he was home he had to sign her report cards or absent slips.  

They both were churched but didn't know the Lord then either.  Over the years they struggled, but the Lord kept them together.

They have a heritage of 3 kids, 1 daughter in law, 1 son in law, 10 grandkids, 3 granddaughter in laws, 3 grandson in laws, and 9 great grandkids.

Today they celebrate 60 years of marriage.

My brother Robert and his wife have been married 36 years.

Tim and I have been married 31 years.

My nephew Ryan and his wife Alicia have been married 13 years.

My niece Jill and her husband Rodney have been married 10 years in November.

My nephew Evan and his wife Bethany have been married for 2 years.

Lindsay and Joseph have been married for five years.

Nate and Kay have been together for 10 years and married for four years in September.

Emma and Vinnie will be married for 4 years in December.

That's 165 years of marriage altogether!

I'm thankful for my parents - for their love and devotion to their family, and setting a good example of trusting the Lord.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! We love you!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Let The Fun Begin

This photo was taken yesterday morning when I was taking photos for my garden post. No make up (the sun is washing out some of my freckles), a bit of bedhead, but I was happy to see that sunshine and blue sky!

 It rained again last night and is going to rain off and on today, but the temperatures are cooler (65 degrees as I write) and the rest of the week, into the weekend, is going to be lovely. Hurray!

This is good news as my brother's family arrives today (we'll miss you Ryan and Alicia) for a family reunion and to celebrate my parents 60th anniversary.

My brother's family is going to take advantage of being on the East Coast and visit Washington, DC, and do somethings they don't do in California.  Mild weather will make it much more pleasant!

We'll all gather on Saturday for a big gathering.  Emma and her family won't be there, as she was already committed to be in a friend's wedding.  We'll miss them, too!

I'll be sharing on my parents anniversary, which is Thursday, and I will be taking photos on Saturday.  We'll have four generations here.  My parents, my brother, his daughter Jill, and her son Logan, and then my parents, me, my son Nate and his daughters Kamryn, Klaire, and Kaidence.  

It'll be special.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Garden: Late July

The weather is nicer today, so I ventured out early to check the garden, pull up a few weeds, trim a few spent flowers.

My David Austin rose has come back beautifully after I cut it way back due to black spot.  I'm going to be vigilant about it and spray if needed.

Isn't she lovely?

The bees and butterflies really like the echinacea.  In the early autumn the finches will take their turn with the seed heads.

 My large hydrangea has a few flowers this year.  I'm considering taking this one out, and replacing it with and Endless summer hydrangea that blooms on new wood.

This hydrangea only has two flowers on it.  Its smaller and I may be able to transplant it to a more sheltered spot.  We'll see.

My limelight hydrangea is amazing this year!

My Nigra Hollyhocks are going to seed.  If you'd like some, let me know and I'll be happy to send you some.  They are an old fashioned seed, that I got from Baker Creek.  

I love them and they are dramatic in the garden!

I'd love to hear about your garden.

I hope you all had a really good weekend.  We did.  Rachel came home for a two week visit on Saturday, we babysat Kaidence Saturday evening, had a great time at church yesterday.  The lunch at my parents house, with the kids and friends swimming.  Tim and I brought Klaire home with us and she took a good nap.  

Later, the kids and friends all came back to our house for the evening.  We had a crazy thunderstorm, which has helped to break the heat and humidity.  

Friday, July 19, 2019

Friday Five

It's a random five this week!

1. The September issue of Victoria magazine arrived yesterday!  Its the British issue and many of the articles are on Scotland.  It was glorious to sip a cuppa yesterday and enjoy the beauty in this magazine.

2. I had to run some errands on Wednesday, including getting new front tires on the van, and a stop at a local dairy for milk.  This was my view on the way home.

3. A few weeks ago, I found this sign in the Dollar Spot at Target.  I always look through this section because there is hidden treasure in there at times.  It looks cute in my kitchen.

4. With the high heat, humidity, and rain we've been experiencing this week, I was not surprised that it was foggy this morning.

5. I sent my mom this photo of me laying on the Physical Therapy table with heat on my hips and lower back.  Its the best feeling.  I hate when the timer goes off!

I hope you have a lovely weekend.  We certainly will.  Rachel comes home tomorrow for a two week break!  My brother's family will be arriving this week too, and we'll be celebrating my parents 60th anniversary next weekend!

I hope that those of you in the excessive heat warning areas (like we are in) stay cool.  Check on your neighbors, drink plenty of fluids.  If you don't have air conditioning, find places to hang out that do - cafes, libraries, shopping centers.

Take good care friends!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

My Family's Favorite Granola

 My friend Bonnie shared this recipe with me.  You can see she wrote in the changes that she makes to the recipe.  I also have made changes.  I do the oats, use xylitol or coconut sugar, I use collagen in place of the wheat germ (good for you and is a source of protein).  This time I added cashews, that's what I had in my pantry, left out the sunflower seeds per request, and I added dried berries from Aldi instead of raisins.  Oh, and I used Avocado oil.

I pre-heat the oven while I mix it up, and then I spread it out into the largest pan I have.

 I bake it at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, then I stir it around and cook for about 5 more minutes.  

My family loves this stuff, and its usually gone in days!  I made this granola yesterday morning before the heat set in.  I won't be turning my oven on for days now, as its going to be in the mid 90's with humidity.  Fun stuff.

Do you make your own granola?  

These are the berries I use.  My family prefers this to raisins.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Home Keeping: Real Life

Good Morning!  In my ongoing quest to keep things real around here, I thought I'd show you some photos of my living room/kitchen this morning.

The kitchen is not too bad.  Dishes that dried overnight and will be put away today, this is normal for us.  We rarely wash, dry, put away.  Usually we load the dishwasher, hand wash items, and allow them to dry on the counter and then put away later.  Unless we are having company.    The other counter has paper plates, and someone has crumpled a grocery bag and tucked it in by the jar with coffee pods!

We are showing a friend episodes of Downton Abbey weekly so they will know what's going on when we all go see the Downton movie in September.  

Pillows that were moved, a throw blanket...Watson doesn't seem to mind does he?

The side table next to my usual seat.  Physical therapy papers, a deck of cards from playing Go Fish with Kamryn on Sunday, and earbuds.

And just to keep it really real - on the coffee table are Amazon purchases that our friend made (he's on the road during the week so his packages come here) rice socks and towels for heat for my back and hips, a plastic tub with all kinds of fun kid activities.  We got this out of the coffee table on Friday night when we had guests with preschoolers over.

It hasn't been put away yet, because I need to sort through the items stored in the coffee table to fit the tub back in, and right now its hard for me to sit on the floor.  The other plastic bin on the floor holds family photos.  I was looking through that one for a certain photo the other night, and it is stored on a high shelf in my closet.  I must get one of the kids or Tim to put it away and I forgot to ask.  Later today it will be done.

Oh, and those are my shoes!  

None of this is a big mess and will only take minutes to tidy, but yesterday was a PT session (rather than just the exercises at home) and I was very sore all day.  I did get to the post office, the bank and get Sarah to and from work, but other wise I put heat on my back and hips, and read and watched a few shows.

The physical therapy is working, I can tell the difference in my mobility, but the left hip/leg is super tight.  It'll take some time.

Oh and a happy update:  Sweet Ada is home!  We're all so thankful that God's plan for Ada was life!  She was gravely ill!  Her family are so thankful for your prayers, and I am, too!

Now, I must get tidying.  I need to take the van to get new front tires, and stop by our accountants office to pick up paperwork.

Have a HAPPY day, friends.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Tea On Tuesday

I haven't done a Tea On Tuesday post in some time, so I thought I would show you my new/old teacup.

 Isn't she lovely?  There is a story behind this teacup.  Many years ago, my great aunt gave me a teacup just like this from her collection.  It meant so much to me, that she'd give me one of her teacups.  

Several years later I used it for a tea at my church, and in the clean up process this cup got broken.  It made me sad, but teacups are just things, so life went on.

 The other morning I woke early and saw that there were some new things similar to things I'd looked at before on FB Marketplace.  I clicked and there were a collection of teacups for sale. I have a lot and don't really need more at this time, but there was this 'Florida Oranges' by Elizabethan in the group.

I contacted the seller to see if they were still available, and when they were I asked if they'd consider selling me just the one.  They agreed!

The price was very reasonable, and I would have paid more since it has sentimental value to me.

I did a porch pick up yesterday, and brought her home.

I'm happy to have a tangible reminder of my great aunt, again, and to have it be this beauty is very sweet.


  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...