Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Friday, August 28, 2020

Scenes From My Week


Time with friends and family this week have been soul filling. 

I'm finding myself praying more than ever as I see the evil that is happening in our nation.  God is in control, and I am trusting him.  Prayer helps me to trust, and allows me to be a part of God's work.  

Happy Weekend Friends.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

New Lights In The Garden


I tend to think of the garden as the enclosed space in front of my house that has all my lovely flowers in it.

In the UK it seems that they call the whole yard, including lawn space, as the garden.  (please correct me if I'm wrong)  I really like this idea.

So that's why I'm saying my new lights are in the 'garden', though they are hanging in the trees in the yard.

Our friends are visiting this week, so we had pizza in the 'garden' and invited Nate, Kay, and the girls to come share it with us.

Klaire enjoys this spot in the climbing tree.  She really liked it with the lights in the tree!  Childhood magic at grandma's house!

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Autumn Pillows And The Blue Trend


I don't know about you, but I love to order online from Amazon.  Usually the item is shipped to you in just a few days.  This is very handy when you share a vehicle with a daughter who has to be at work at 5:30 am. It means I don't have to take her to work at 0' dark thirty, as my dad always says, so I can have the van to go shopping.

Yesterday, we needed the van because Tim's work vehicle was getting an alignment, so he took her to work, and when his vehicle was ready, I took him to pick it up.

It was just over an hour until Sarah needed to be picked up from work, so I didn't go back home, I decided to pop into Homegoods, which is across the street from where Sarah works.

I love Homegoods, but yesterday reminded me of how much I hate shopping during all the Coronavirus restrictions in our state.  I won't go into it all, but think big sections of the store missing, directional arrows everywhere, etc.  I did find two french jams that I like - they use fruit juice to sweeten rather than cane sugar, and a few other things.

Their seasonal items were not great, sadly.  This is why I do so much online shopping.  Everything all in one place, and I can compare styles and prices.

Here are some fun autumn pillow covers that I found online.








Have you noticed how big the blue trend is for Autumn?  Its everywhere, and so pretty with the traditional autumnal tones of reds, oranges, and yellows.  I did blue for our Thanksgiving table last year.

What colors do you like for autumn?  Are you a color person or do you do more neutrals?  Do you like the trend of adding blue?

Just a quick reminder that if you go through my links and make a purchase I receive a bit of credit.  It costs you nothing extra.  

Monday, August 24, 2020

I'm Speaking of the A Word Today

 Yes, dear friends, in 8 days it will be September 1st.  Why I am surprised, this year has felt like two years already, I can't say.  Many lovers of summer usually don't ever want to hear of summer ending, but this year I have the sense that people are ready to get on with things to get this year over!

Also, did you know that while the calendar is set up to call the seasons by the astronomical seasons, meteorologist use the annual temperature cycle.  The astronomical season is based on the the position of the earth to the sun, the Earth's tilt and the sun's position over the equator determine both the solstices and equinoxes. (That's more than you wanted to know right?) You can read about it {here}.

Meteorologists break it up this way.  Spring is March, April, May.  Summer June, July, August, Autumn is September, October, November, and Winter is December, January, and February. (Northern Hemisphere) 

In the blogging world we generally use meteorological autumn and start speaking about it in late August.  Many want to help others be inspired for decorating their homes, and to reflex what's happening in nature.  Lindsay sent me this photo last weekend.

This leaf is just an overachiever and we really won't see tree color change until late September or October.  This said, I'm collecting seeds in my garden, and the black willow trees are starting to drop some leaves. (they are always early)

I've been enjoying my Victoria magazine - the British issue.  

Guess what came on Friday? 

Isn't it beautiful?

It's full of such great inspiration for decor and the many enjoyments of the season.  In a few weeks, I'll begin to bring out my glass pumpkins, the heavier throw blankets, some faux autumn florals.  I bought three small mums at Aldi last week.  

I always go to our local produce stand for my big mums, and our pumpkins.  Sarah heads to school in a few weeks, too.  

My favorite season is almost here.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Living Room Rearrangement

Well, you knew it was bound to happen, sooner rather than later, right?  The need to do something creative in my home hit me on Wednesday and I spent the afternoon, moving furniture.  I also vacuumed under where the furniture pieces had been, so I guess I've begun a bit of fall deep cleaning too.

Here is how it looked in January.


Here is how it looks now.

All the same furniture, but no coffee table.  I moved that out a few months ago.

We are liking it a lot and I'm enjoying seeing things from a different viewpoint. 

I hope you have a happy weekend, friends!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Home Keeping: How I Use Fairy Lights In A Room With No Natural Light


Our hall bathroom, the one that guests use, is a room without natural light.  I so wish the family that built this house would have put a small window above the shower.  It would have been so nice!  

Another thing is that the light switch for this room is halfway into the room, because there used to be a door coming into this room from the bedroom that had been the master bedroom before the next family built an addition.  

So anyone using this bathroom has to go into the room to turn on the light.  It can be awkward.

Several years ago I strung a small string of light of fairy lights with some greenery at Christmas and we all loved it.  Not only did it look good, but it solved the issue of the bathroom being very dark until you got to the light switch and turned the light on!  We've had some kind of light string hung and plugged in ever since.

Lindsay found these lights about five years ago at Target and used them in her home.  When they moved she gave them to me.

I love them because they serve both form and function.  That's a win in my book.

Do you use fairy lights in  your home?  Do you remember when we hung icicle lights in our hallway one Christmas, and then left them up for three years?

That was fun!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Beef: It's What's For Dinner

 Does anyone else remember those commercials?  It might just be me because I do tend to remember these kinds of trivial things.

I mentioned that we were buying a side of beef with my parents and Lindsay and Joseph, and we got it about a month ago.  Until last evening, I had only used the ground beef for hamburgers.

Last night I cooked steaks and they were so good!

I used this marinade that I found online about five years ago.  The recipe is attributed to 'Alyssa.'

World's Best Steak Marinade

1/3 cup soy sauce (I use Bragg's Liquid Aminos)

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/2 olive oil (I use Avocado oil)

1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning

1 Teaspoon black pepper

1/2 Teaspoon salt

pinch of red pepper flakes

We often will marinade steaks for a few days, but yesterday I only did them for a few hours.  They were still AMAZING.

It was raining yesterday so instead of grilling them, I cooked them under the broiler in the oven.  We use an Omaha Beef guideline that says for medium steak cook 7 minutes on the first side and 5 on the second side.  When I used the meat thermometer it wasn't at the right internal temperature so I did two more minutes and they were perfect.

I made some green beans in a creamy sauce and called it dinner.  

We are very happy with this beef.  It was locally raised by the farmer we used to buy our hay from. There is nothing like knowing the man who raised your meat.

We are looking forward to many more delicious meals using this beef.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Scenes From The Weekend


It's only been since Tim started his own business that he has had the weekends to do what he wants.  Saturday he was busy with helping with a septic system at one of the transitional housing cabins at our church property, then he did a lot of digging at my parents house to find a leak in the foundation that allowed a lot of water to seep into the house with the big rain we'd had a week before on a Friday.  Then he went and mowed the property for an older couple that the husband is having serious health issues.

He's a good man. 

On Saturday, I did home things, tidied my desk, peeled a lot of peaches, pan grilled a lot of chicken and made a huge chicken salad for dinner.  I make my own ranch dressing, too.  I like to put peaches on my salad as well, but everyone else had them on the side! 

Kyle had his friend Daniel over for the day.  This was the first time they'd seen each other since March!  They had fun hanging out, playing Minecraft together, and laughing.  

Sarah a short shift on Saturday.


Yesterday after church, we went to a local restaurant with friends, and then came home.  Tim and our friend Denny, went to run a few errands, Sarah went to meet up with friends.  I read.

Then I came across a peach cobbler recipe and decided to try it.  I'm trying to eat better, and on a plan that works for my body, so I substituted xylitol for the sugar, and used sprouted flour in the topping.  It was really good.

I hope that your weekend was a good one.  I hope you were able to see family, eat good food, enjoy music, sit in your garden.  Maybe some of you went boating, took a walk, read a book.  We have to take care of ourselves, including caring for our souls.  There is so much evil happening, and we must remember that "greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world." 1John 4:4

Let's go into this week trusting that "if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us, and if our God is with us, then what could stand against?"

Friday, August 14, 2020

Let's Chat


It's been a good week here.  

It's been quite a year for pollen and this year I've had a lot more allergy issues.  Sarah had sinus drainage this week that lead to a sore throat, so she is not allowed to work (sore throat a potential sign of covid) until she is symptom free for 72 hours.  It was something that a year ago would not have been an issue, but this year it is.  It's been nice to have her here during the day.

Kyle got to spend the afternoon and evening with friends, and Wednesday the youth at church did a lot of outdoor clean up.  The big storm last Friday had created quite a mess.

I got my hair cut yesterday.  The second time since the lockdowns started. Its shorter again, and I like it.

Tim and I have started to take time to pray together in the evenings.  There is so much going on in our world; riots, fires, explosions, human trafficking, child sex trafficking, pedophile rings.  It all needs prayer.

Later today, I'll have my grandgirlies for a few hours while Kayleigh goes for an ultrasound.

I still write for our state homeschool magazine, but its online now.  A link to my latest article is {here.}  This is my 26th year, or is it 27th year of home educating.

I feel for the parents who have chosen to homeschool this year because of Covid regulations.  If I could talk to them I'd encourage them to do a lot of reading, take nature walks, have creative time, plenty of time for free play.  I'd tell them to talk to their kids about everything, and to listen to their kids talk, too!  Lessons don't have to be long when you are in the home.  There are not 25 students to wrangle, or to help while the children do practice sheets.  Your child can do their math and when they are done in 15-20 minutes, you can move on to something else!  

Its so freeing! 

Lastly, let me leave you with some encouragement - 

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

                                    Isaiah 43:2

  • Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
  •                                     2 Corinthians 1:3-4
I hope you have a wonderful weekend.


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Freestone Peaches Are The Best Part Of Summer!

 It's peach season in Pennsylvania! This is the best thing about summer in my book!

Freestone means that the fruit comes away freely from the pit of the peach.  Freestone peaches have such great flavor, and the ones I am showing you today, are called Red Haven.  They are one of the earliest of the season to be ready and they are delicious!

I always buy a half bushel of Red Havens and savor them.  

We've already been enjoying the ripe ones and these in the box are still not ripe.  They will be in a few days.  I'll cut them up for eating, and I'll freeze some.  Its so delightful to eat these peaches in January!

We have about 8 weeks or so to enjoy a wide variety of peaches.  Sun High, Loring, John Boy, Crest Haven, Bounty, Flaming Fury.  Flaming Fury are another favorite! This list goes on.

My favorite season is coming, but I'm going to savor the end of summer goodness.  Peaches make the hot, humid weather we've been having worthwhile.

Do you love peaches?  What is your favorite?

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Summer Goodness

 In my ongoing pursuit of Hospitality, Friendship, and Encouragement I want to share a few photos from yesterday.

Kyle and I went to a local orchard store in the afternoon for Red Haven Peaches (I'll show you the bounty tomorrow), cantaloupe, a watermelon, and local sweet corn.  I'm so grateful that there is such bounty where we live!

I had already made hamburger patties, they were in the fridge, and had them ready to grill.  

I invited the newlyweds for dinner, they said "yes!"

While I cut the melons, Sarah shucked the corn.  We love to listen to music so she qued up Shane and Shane's Psalm's Two.  These are sweet times, and with her headed to Bible School in September I recorded some video and am sharing a snippet with you.  

Tim had an errand to run after dinner and I went with him.  Wes, Rachel and Sarah all went to the gym, Kyle chose to stay home.  I'm so grateful for these days of blessing.

Here was the beautiful sunset as Tim and I were driving.

Kyle and I started his sophomore year of school yesterday.  Its going to be good, and I was reminded of the shortness of the years that are left with him in the home.

I'm already making a big deal about being the only woman in the house when Sarah goes to school. I think my guys will take good care of me, but I'll miss my girl.  She and I are the same Myers-Briggs personality, and both Enneagram 7's but she's a wing 6 and I am a wing 8.  You can check out the Enneagram {here} and the MB personality test {here.}

Monday, August 10, 2020

The Weekend: Filling My Soul With Good Things

 This weekend was filled with goodness. 

On Friday, we had a deluge of rain, more than earlier in the week from the hurricane.  It was unbelievable, and at my parents house they got water into the lower level of the house.

Thankfully it had stopped raining before we headed out to a 50th Wedding Anniversary gathering.  The 'bride' wore her wedding dress (she did this on their 25th anniversary too), and the groom wore his originally wingtip wedding shoes. (he had rented his tux for their wedding)  They are still going strong after 50 years!

Saturday was beautiful in the morning as I was running errands, and so I thought it was a good day to weed the garden.  In August there are not really cooler days to do it, but wow! I got sweat in my eyes!  Thankful for Kyle's help, and a shower and air conditioning to cool down.  The garden does look better.

On Sunday, there was a beautiful breeze as we gathered outside at our church.  It's such a blessing to worship together and be encouraged in the word.

Benji, one of our pastors, reminded us that its okay to grieve, and that God meets us in our grief with comfort.  A really good message for these days where we are all grieving something.

With so much evil in the world, I daily pray for discernment, to see what's true, and to see what God would have me spend my time on. I'm Tim's conduit of news and information, mostly, as his days are so busy, and we've begun to pray together about things happening in the world, world and state leaders, our lives, etc.

Here is a song we sang yesterday during worship.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Friday Five - Five Things I'm Loving

Happy Friday Friends!  Here are five things I'm loving this week!

1. Photos of Rachel with her flower girls.

2.  My Limelight Hydrangea!

3. This cute throw blanket from Amazon.

4. This hazelnut spread is on its way to me!


5. I like the look of this faux Christmas tree.  


Don't ask what was happening with the font on numbers 3 and 4.  I tried over and over to get it to not underline.  I finally stopped fighting it.

 Well, it's been a week, hasn't it?  More human trafficking arrests, explosions or fires in many places around the world.  I'm praying, and I know you are too!

My eyes have been opened to some things and now I can't unsee them.  I'm praying about what my small role can be to help.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

ps. If you purchase through my links, I get a very small amount of amazon credit.


  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...