Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day


Day is done...
Gone the sun
From the lake...
From the hills...
From the sky.
All is well...
Safely rest
God is nigh.

Fading light....
Dims the sight
And a star....
Gems the sky....
Gleaming bright
From afar....
Drawing nigh
Falls the night.

- Major General Daniel Butterfield

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” Ronald Reagan

"The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children. William Havard"

Friday, May 28, 2021

Friday Five

 This Five is a bit of this and that.

1. Today is our last day of school. Kyle is finished with 10th grade. Our evaluator evaluates several of our friends' kids and so I host the evaluations at my house. Everyone comes here and they take their turn having a sampling of their work looked at, questions asked about things they learned favorite or not favorite! They talk about any field trips they took (though it was harder to do that this school year), show their books read list, share their art projects. It's a fun day for everyone, and the kids like that they get to hang out together.

Kyle's friend Daniel got to stay the whole day and when his dad (our friend Mike) came for him around 7:30 we were just sitting down to eat some dinner and Mike joined us. It was a fun meal and Tim enjoyed a few hours talking with his friend. 

Oh, and this was a brief time of their time spent together. Kyle taught Daniel our new game Skyjo, they played outside on our property, talked and laughed. It was a good day.

2. and 3. - A few more sneak peeks at our hall bath project!

4. Peonies. The season is too short, but they are so gorgeous!

5. Pretty Pink Roses.

Tonight for our family night we are celebrating our May birthday people! It used to be much easier to get together to do this, so we are happy that we can do this on this last Friday of May! Our May birthdays are my dad and mom, Nate, and Rachel. We hope to get a photo of the four of them together, since we haven't had one in a few years. I found this one from 10 years ago!

I hope your weekend is a good one. If you are in the USA remember that Memorial Day is not just a day to celebrate veterans. It's a day to remember and honor the fallen service men and women. I need to find a new flag today so I can hang it out on Monday.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Sometimes It Can Seem As If Nothing Good Is Happening (political talk)

 Right up front I'm going to say that this is a chat about politics and current events, so if you don't like those things, feel free to pass this post on by! 

Someone I follow on Telegram, CJ Truth, shared these bits of good news. CJ Truth had a huge following on Twitter and after DJT retweeted one of his posts, post November 3rd, CJ's account was shut down. 

I also wanted to share this video with you explaining what Bellwethers are and why they point to something being wrong with the election.

Senator Rand Paul has been having interesting interactions, in committee hearings, with Dr. F. Have you seen any of them? Right after their last one, Dr. F has now begun to say that he "isn't confident" about whether Cov*d came out of the lab or not. Rand Paul said yesterday on the Senate floor, that while we may never know for sure (though I think we will know) whether the virus came from the lab, the animals from the wet market in Wuhan had been tested and none had the virus. He went on to say that they tried to give bats the virus and that bats weren't susceptible to it. However, he said, that the virus seems perfectly suited for humans.  

Friends that means lab manipulation. Was the viral leak an accident or on purpose to use as a biological attack on the world? I don't know that, but think of what the ramifications of that could be. Wow.

The senate passed an amendment last night that will keep the US from funding any 'gain of function' research again.  This is good. You can watch his remarks {here}and go to the time stamp of 3:47:58. 

So many interesting things happening. Don't be discouraged friends. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Cottage Garden: Late May Beauty

 Late spring and summer is when my cottage garden is at its best. The peonies are blooming right now and they are always stunning. I can never capture the color correctly of these with my phone. The true color is deeper not as 'bright' but they are just as beautiful. These also have a glorious scent like old roses.

These red climbing roses are so beautiful too! I tried editing the color because they are a blue undertoned red not orange red.

These are a David Austin rose called Scepter'd Isle. And yes, the battle of aphids has begun. I also have spotted lantern fly babies in my garden. 

I bought this climbing rose many years ago, and I believe it is a David Austin rose. I remembered the name was New Dawn, and DA has a climber called New Dawn.  I didn't even know who DA was when I bought this rose so many years ago now!

I'm growing strawberries in a pot on the deck and harvested 5 yesterday. I also lost five to birds or some other critter nibbling on them! 

It is, however, local strawberry season! If you've only every eaten strawberries from the grocery store, I am sorry. Those rarely have any flavor, but they've been hybridized so that they last and ship well.

Home grown, or local strawberries are the tastiest berries. They wouldn't ship well, but they are meant to be eaten quickly! They never last around here!

I bought five pints and promptly cut them up!  Yum!

How are your gardens growing? Do you have local strawberries?

Oh, and the hall bath project didn't get finished yesterday, but it will be done this week! Of course I'll show you!

Monday, May 24, 2021


 This weekend we worked on a project I've been planning for a long time, in the hall bath. The feature wall should be done tonight, and I'll show you the reveal tomorrow, but for now a preview of the room.

On Sunday after church we went to lunch with a friend from church, and then came back to our house for ice cream and coffee. We enjoyed the afternoon getting to know each other better and discovered a mutual love of American History and books. We had a great time together.

Then in the evening we watched episode 5 of The Chosen. We love this show. It can be watched on their free app, and cast to any device you want to watch it on.

 Oh, in other big news, Sarah bought her first car! I'll try to get a photo of her with it, and she started her summer job. She is finding that it pays to be a saver rather than a spender! She is also studying to CLEP an English composition class, and might try to CLEP another class this summer as well. This will allow her to earn her general ed credits and graduate with a Bachelor's degree when she finishes her three years at her school, or shortly thereafter. 

We finish our school year this Friday, and have our evaluations this week as well. Only two more years to go before I will have graduated all of my children. I am finishing up my 27th year of teaching.

I hope you have a wonderful week!

Friday, May 21, 2021

Friday Five: My Cottage Garden Is Beginning To Bloom-

 There is nothing like May for my peonies, if only they had a longer blooming season!  However, I will enjoy them as much as I can while they last.

1. This peony is from the very first peony plant I purchased. When we moved from our old house, I dug it up and brought it with me.  It has the best scent - like old roses!

2. I think Kayleigh gave me my bleeding heart. It was a very small plant when I planted her, now she's rather big. I may be dividing her this year.

3.This rose is not a color I would purchase but it came from my mom's house. She didn't want it so I took it. It has tons of horrible thorns - I always say they are like a medieval torture devise. The peach color is lovely on this plant, and it's going to be the first rose to bloom this year.

4.This peony is similar to the first one I shared by mainly in color. This one has ruffled petals, and you can see the yellow stamens. Also it doesn't have a scent. She is pretty though. This one also came from my mom's house.

5. The first peony to bloom! Going to be in the beds across the creek where I can see it from my kitchen window. A gift from Rachel.

That's one of the most delightful things about gardening - sharing plants.

I have strawberries ripening and Tim and I shared the first one the other night. It was tasty!

How about you? How does your garden grow?

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

A Bit Of Physical Fitness Fun

 Yesterday was a primary voting day here in Pennsylvania. We had judges to vote on, and some local offices, then a few amendments to our state constitution.  Sarah and I went together mid morning to our local polling site, and for a few moments were the only ones there to vote. These are lovely volunteers who work every election. So I teased when we walked inside, "Voters are here!" We all laughed and the one guy says, "Did you bring a pizza?" More laughter. We voted, then left and went to lunch. On the way we discussed it. I said, "I'm going to order them a pizza!" So while Sarah and I had lunch, I did an online order for a large pepperoni pizza from a local business.  When we were done eating and chatting, we swung by the local business and picked up the pizza and made the delivery. 

They were busier than when we voted, but the still all got excited and happy that we brought them a pizza! "Can we pay you for it?" "Absolutely not! We thank you for serving here so we can vote easily in our township!" 

It made all of ours' day!

When we got home, Kyle and I read his history together. We are enjoying Eric Metaxas' book, "If You Can Keep It." Then Kyle and Sarah went to the gym.

Tim arrived home before they returned from the gym, and when they got here he was able to join them in a challenge they had decided to do on the way home: planks, side planks, then iron cross.

Tim works out every morning, and the kids like to challenge themselves to be able to be as strong as he is. Sarah was bemoaning that Kyle has a guys natural upper body strength and outdid her in pull ups at the gym. 

Meanwhile I got to be the dj "Mom put on some work out music!" so I chose an 80's rock station on Amazon music, and then Sarah and Kyle had already chosen a Christian artist called NF for the iron cross. They wanted to see if they could hold the cross through the whole song which was about five minutes!

I continue to improve with my back bit by bit and am hopeful that one day I might do at least the planks with them! 

As my Grandma Lily used to say, "You just don't never know!"

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Cottage Garden: Sowing Seed and Planting Plants


Last year, Rachel and Wes bought me two plants for my garden. A hydrangea, and this lovely peony. I got the hydrangea planted in the cottage garden area, but I never could figure out where I wanted this beauty.

It stayed in its pot all winter on the deck, and I worried that it wouldn't have survived, but it did!  It even has produced three lovely blooms this year. I also finally decided where to plant this peony. It's such a bright lovely color that it will really stand out along our creek, where I can see it while doing dishes or reading on the back deck!

I also plan to spread seeds today in my garden since we are now three days past the last frost date for our area.  I have zinnias to sow, as well as, hollyhocks, and cosmos. I have already sown some early poppies, and I do believe that is what is popping up all over the cottage garden!

I like to try new flowering plants, and to try growing plants from seed. Some are easier than others.

I also wanted to share this fun photo of my daughter Emma and her kids who met up with my brother and sister in law and their son and dil and grands in Nashville yesterday. They had so much fun!

 Something we are looking forward to is that my brother and sister in law, and nephew and niece and family are all coming for Thanksgiving, and Emma and her family may come, too! It's going to be so great to all be together this year, and it's not just because of cov*d. They all live out of state and my brother and sil don't live in Tennessee. They live in a completely different state out west. So getting together can be a challenge!

Monday, May 17, 2021


 Well, our family night ended up being just the four of us. My mom didn't feel well, Lindsay and Joseph didn't come, and Nate and Kay and girls didn't make it either, since she'd taken all four girls to a homeschool event and was really tired (so were the girls). 

Never the less, we ate pizza and played a game. We learned Skyjo at Emma's house last weekend, and had fun so I bought it on Amazon and it came in just a few days. Sarah says it is a lot like a card game called 'golf' except in this game you use 12 cards each.

Saturday found Watson sleeping on the couch most of the day. He always sleeps cozy.

Tim, Sarah, and Kyle split wood, and Kyle has sore muscles to show for it. I prepared for guests on Sunday. Our great friends the Westbrooks came over for lunch. I made bbq beef in the crockpot, cole slaw, and baked beans. Jen also brought veggies and fruit. It was a great day of catching up with them, and sharing about the Lord being at work in our lives.

I'm grateful that the Lord never gives up on us, that he is always working good on our behalf, even when we go through trials and struggles. He never leaves us, nor forsakes us.

Today, Sarah and I will be helping our friend Denny return his rental car and pick up his repaired car! A few weeks ago in a wind storm a neighbors tree branch feel and shattered his rear window. He's going to treat us to breakfast or lunch, depending on what time it's ready to be picked up.

How was your weekend, friends?

Friday, May 14, 2021

Friday Five

 Hey, happy Friday! I've been thrown off all week on my days since we were away last weekend until Tuesday. So this week, in case you missed it, I blogged on Wednesday, Thursday, and today!

1. I captured this shot of our cat Watson the other day. He's a big boy, but he's a nice cat, full of idiosyncrasies as all good cats are. 

2. and 3. My Bridal Veil Spirea is in bloom! I love to clip some branches and bring them in the house!

4. Tomorrow is my Mom's birthday! I'm very thankful for her and her love for all of her family.

5. Sunday is Weston and Rachel's 1st wedding anniversary! This year has flown by.  They are happy and growing, and we enjoy getting to spend time with them. It's fun to have adult kids!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Ours will be a normal one, starting with family night tonight. We played a new game at Emma's house and I bought it right away. We are going to play tonight, and eat pizza. And probably laugh alot. My kind of night!

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Answering A Question About Obeying Those in Authority Over You

Yesterday Ria asked - 

"Just curious how a Christian decides when to “submit to authority” and when not to (in relation to Nashville’s mask mandate. Seriously just curious, no hate...)"

This is a good question and I thought it deserved an answer. My answer will be imperfect, but we have talked about this question of submitting to authority a lot this past year.

The Bible says this in Romans 13 - 

Every [a]person is to be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except [b]from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore [c]whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for [d]good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a servant of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a servant of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Pay to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; [e]respect to whom [f]respect; honor to whom honor.

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for the one who loves [g]his neighbor has fulfilled the Law. For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love [h]does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law.

We would ask, "What is a governing authority allowed to require of it's people?" 

Do we obey when our governing authority says that churches may not meet, even though other groups can gather?

Do we obey if they say you may only have one child?

Do we obey when they mandate masks?

Did the Hebrew midwives obey Pharaoh when he told them to kill the male babies being born to the Hebrews?

If we live in WWII in countries run by Nazis do we turn in Jews?

It can be hard to know what things to obey and what things a government doesn't have authority to tell you to do. It IS hard.

In the beginning of the "pandemic" we were told to not wear masks. They wouldn't help, we were told, and the country needed them for the frontline workers.

Then there came talk of therapeutic medicines that could help with cov*d or even cure it. Well, the left, and many global elites, didn't want to waste the opportunity for a 'great reset,' so they must keep up the fear mongering and now masks were all of the sudden required, and any talk of meds that could cure cov*d were forbidden. 

People put on masks. We did for a time, if we went into a store. But Dr.F was saying to wear them indoors with your family. We did not do this. 

Overtime, as the 'pandemic' went on we saw many reports from doctors and scientists that mask wearing wouldn't help due to the tiny nature of virus particles. In fact, they said, that mask wearing was actually not good for the health of the wearer. Our daughter who had to wear them at work had headaches all the time on days she worked. 

As time continued, we saw that there was more going on with 'cov*d' than just a deadly virus. They were running the tests at such a high rate, scientists and doctors said, that the tests were picking up old dead virus in peoples bodies from old corona viruses, like the common cold.

We don't have cable so we do not see msm news, but when we did happen to see some if we were out or catch a report online, we were shocked by the negative tone of the news readers, and how grim they were making everything seem.

Slowly we started to not wear them. (our daughter continued to have to wear hers at work) but for the rest of us, we'd go into a store without a mask. Sometimes a store would require us to put one on so we had a choice. Wear a mask or not shop. Overtime we knew which shops we could go into and not be required to wear a mask.

We choose to not wear them for our health's sake, as much a possible. When I had a doctors' appointment recently I had to wear one the whole time and it was not pleasant.

We've been shocked by how people have just accepted what Dr. F says, or the narrative being driven by the msm. I overheard a conversation about people being given masks at Christmas as a gift and they were thrilled! They had the logo from the persons alma mater on it. That shocked me!

When our nation was pulling away from being ruled by Great Britain, Our Declaration of Independence stated, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." and that "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,"

The consent of the governed has been overlooked in our state. Our governor has bypassed the duly elected representatives of the people, and when the legislature has tried to curb him, he has appealed to our state supreme court which has a majority 7-2 liberal over conservatives and has ignored our own state constitution. Is this just? This is similar to Ol' King George ignoring the rights of the colonists, and not allowing them to have representation. 

I know there are Christians who believe that the American Revolution was wrong. That they should not have broken away from GB because the King was in authority over us. I don't agree.

Do I pay my taxes? Yes.

Do I stop at red lights and stop signs? Yes.

Do I love my neighbor? Yes

When this 'pandemic' started, we talked as a family of believers, that we may be required by God to potentially risk our health in order to care for our neighbors and we were ready to do so. This has not proven to be necessary, but we were willing and ready to do so. 

 We've also chosen from the beginning to see our family, including our grandkids, and my elderly parents. When we've been sick, we've stayed home, as we do in cold and flu season every year! 

Ria, I know that this is an imperfect answer. I can't speak to every situation, but for our family this is the way we came to our decision about mask wearing.

I'm open to discussion in the comments but if the comments get unkind or nasty, I will not post them so don't bother to say it. If you disagree with me, that is okay. I don't hate people because they think differently than me! Many people I know, even close friends, wear masks when out and that's their right to do so.  

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

I'm Back!


We had a full and wonderful long weekend. We headed to South Carolina on Saturday morning.

The campus of Sarah's school is just lovely. After we talked with some of her friends and her roommate, who was flying home to Canada the next day, we got back on the road. 

We were headed to Tennessee to see Emma and family but also my nephew and his family. His sweet wife and I are good friends, and I am so happy that they are now in Tennessee where we will see them at least once a year. Ryan is a youth pastor, and was at their church in California, and then he was the family pastor. They love ministry and the young families, but his heart is really for youth. They had been wanting to move from California, even though that is where both of them grew up. So many of the young families in their church have fled California for either Idaho or Tennessee. Did you see that California had a loss of population for the first time in their history? Not surprising. Sadly that beautiful state is a mess.

Anyway, they sent out resume's to different parts of the country and prayed that God would lead, which of course he did! Everything fell into place quickly, houses sold and purchased, packing and a big move! They are so happy. We spent Sunday afternoon and early evening with them.

It was a beautiful Mother's Day spent together!

Our nephew and our daughter live a few hours from each other, so Sunday night we drove to the Nashville area and settled into our hotel. The next morning Emma and the kids met us at the hotel, and we headed to a nice cafe. We had breakfast stuff and treats, and enjoyed ourselves.

Back at their apartment Kyle and I both tried on Isla's flower crown. I think Kyle wears it better than I do! (grin)

We spent the afternoon playing a card game called Skyjo. Sarah says, it's like golf (a card game) except you use twelve cards.

It was fun, and I like finding new games that can be played and you can talk and have fun at the same time. I ordered it that day and it will arrive today.

We ate some pizza, then went to an indoor go cart place. Kyle and I watched the kids, as the other adult drivers took to the race track. Tim loves this kind of thing and he won both races! One of his lap times was the 5th fastest of the day. He was a happy camper.

Yesterday, we headed home, and did it with only one stop. It's about a 12 hour drive. One really fun thing was that we were on the phone with our friend Denny who drives a truck. It turns out he was headed to Knoxville, and we figured out that we were going to pass each other! I wish I would have taken some video! That was so much fun! A happy and cheering kind of thing. He texted later when he got to his hotel, and we had about 3 hours of driving left. 

This weekend filled my tank in ways I didn't know I needed. Lots of family time, lots of good conversation, and grandkid time. Just taking time for each other. A road trip with my man, audio books, music, beautiful scenery, no masks.  Nashville does have an indoor mask mandate, but we didn't wear them and they didn't say anything to us. Be free my friends!

I hope you are all well. We live where their is a fuel shortage, but so far, and on our trip we had no issues. I'm praying for the middle east. I'm praying for all these stressors to bring people to see that if evil has a source (and it does) then so does good. That source is God. I'm praying that people will turn to him and be saved.

Matthew 10:28 - " And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

2 Peter 3:9 - "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance."

Friday, May 7, 2021

Friday Five

 This week's photos are of celebration and home keeping.

1. My dad turned 82 on Tuesday! After the week and weekend we'd had, we were extra thankful to celebrate him!

I found this tshirt online. It was from an ad on IG. I've never ordered like that but I took a chance and it is awesome. You can find this shirt {here.}

2. I bought two cream cake samplers from Aldi and it was perfect. We put a candle in each piece. There was not enough cake for 82 candles! 

3. I ordered new tea towels for my kitchen this week.  So many of my towels are old and stained. Finally, I reorganized the cupboard below the sink, and added a space for the 'rag towels' and then put some of my new towels into a basket on the counter.

4. I really like these towels. I've washed them and then I ironed them because they were pretty wrinkly. 

5. I have them right near the sink so they are ready for dish drying, or wiping up water.  

Sometimes it is the little things that make you happy!

I've been watching the Arizona audit with interest. I'm cheering them on, and so far they've been doing a great job. Some interesting bits of information came out yesterday. First thing was that the county supervisors never had the password to the ballot machines, which means they turned over the election to an outside company. The second thing was that there were "external devices" with daily up-to-date vote totals. These were taken offsite every night either by county officials (but they didn't have the password, remember?) or Dominion employees.

Also in Michigan, a lawyer working on the issue of fraud in the election, has shown they have proof of that the machines are capable of being compromised and that votes can easily be transferred from one candidate to another.

In the Wikileak's drop of HRC emails there are several that talk about meetings with Dominion, and one email mentions someone meeting with Soros to set up the machines to flip votes. This is why HRC was so certain she was going to be president. They had cheated, but didn't expect the huge vote DJT would get. This time they had a plan for it.

Interestingly, I believe that DJT and those who work for and with him have all the proof. I believe that they allowed this to happen. The people of this nation are now so aware of election fraud, of the corruption among our nations leaders, how we have allowed the people we've put into office 'rule' over us. We'd forgotten that they work for us. Our taxes pay their salaries. State legislatures are fixing election laws. Parents all over the country demanding changes for their kids at school and when the boards don't want to do that, the parent elect a new board! I'm seeing so many people realize that the citizen have the power to make change. We are awake now, and the small ruling elite are worried. 

What do you think will happen when the audit shows vast election fraud? A supreme court case United States vs Throckmorton set the precedent that "fraud vitiates everything."  How does that play out. Will other states now have the guts to do their own audits as well?

And if they find that there was an election steal, what will happen? Do we have a new election with all paper ballots and a hand count? Can they show that DJT won the election and should be inaugurated? If there is no elected government, then who is in charge?

It's going to be an interesting summer.


  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...