Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Life Begins Again....And Some Pretty Vacation Photos

We spent a few days in the mountains.
It was great timing....just to sit and relax.
To not have a schedule to attempt to maintain.

Mountain breakfasts are so special....

Gluten Free pancakes with peaches and bacon!

There were just five of us this year.
Mom, Georgia, Jonathan, Warren and Myself.
That had it's ups and downs.
Less bodies to share the one restroom but also less
people to divide up and do different activities.

However, we still had a wonderful time.
We ate....the Moms and Warren went to Benezette to visit the Elk.
Warren took this photo.
Pretty something, isn't it?

This was right before game time happened.
So relaxed....
and then we played Dirty Marbles and Jonathan
WOKE up!!
He had more fun sending our marbles back to 
their home base and making the game go on....
and on.
Finally Georgia got her very last Marble to safety.

 We took Bandit's crate along.
She looks funny in this photo but in reality she loved taking
naps in here during the day.
Security and her pillow
made that her place to retreat to.

It took me a couple of days to get down by the stream this time.
When we first arrived it was HOT and humid.
We didn't feel much like moving.
But then the air dried out and the temps dropped.
It was perfect!!

 The stream is super low right now.
I think most of the State of Pennsylvania has had lower
than usual precipitation this Summer....
but we haven't noticed it so much in Lancaster County
so it really stood out up there.

So delicate.
I just love these....

Goldenrod was everywhere.
So pretty and bright.

Blue, blue skies and apple trees. 
Great for us.
Great for the deer and bears that eat the apples.

This guy showed up the first night.
He was back other nights but only when it was dark 
and we couldn't see him.
He left evidence.
A turned over burn barrel and "piles". 

Finally it was cool enough to start a campfire.
Warren is good at this.
He spends time in the woods beside the cabin finding 
fallen branches and small dead trees.

Molly truly enjoyed being in the mountains.
She delighted in being outside so much.

She is such a "poser".  
Love her!!

I worked so hard to get Bandit to pose for me.
Could have been the heat on her back since she 
was fairly close to the fire here.
But we laughed so hard as she refused to put her ears UP.
Finally...after much coaxing and putting her back in position 
I caught her looking as if she had just been sitting here so cute.
Just a taste of what real photographers much feel when they 
get a subject to cooperate.

When Bear, Mom's dog, was done with his bone
Bandit claimed it.
She had such a wonderful time getting her nose down inside for the 
good marrow that Bear couldn't reach.

We didn't do a lot this trip.
(I read a BUNCH)
However, we did rest up to prepare for the busy schedule ready to 
resume here.
I've already taught three music lessons this morning.
Love my students!!
Current student count:
one on piano and three voice students.
Tomorrow Co-op begins and I will teach two classes.
Can't wait!!
The students will learn music theory as we work through
Early Western American History and songs and stories of that time period.
I think it will be fun.

Now to get back to the business of making candles.
There is a big fundraiser kick off on Monday evening and I'll need
many more than I have made right now.
Plus, the shops are ready for replenishing.
So...I'll chat later.
Blessings on your day!!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Hi..............It's Me.

 This was the summer that I survived.

But it was also a summer that was kind of eventful.
I still got to be part of family Chelsea and Chadd's recent move.

God opened the door for them to get an apartment closer to their jobs.
It has two bedrooms so they get to have a music room.
They are simply delighted.

Moving day was HOT!!

Everyone came into the old apartment to cool off 
after the hard work of loading
the truck.

 Here the two Mikes catch up with each other.
Since Pastor Mike and our Michael have each gotten married they don't see each 
other nearly as often as they did in years past.
It is neat to see the friendship remains.

 Mom, Georgia and Megan wait for their next assignment.
Well, the moms were waiting for us to get moving to the new apartment so 
that they could know it was time to head to Costco for pizza and salads.
So sweet of them to feed all of us!!

The view from the deck at the new place.
How sweet is that??
There is even a Amish Schoolhouse within close view.
I would definitely enjoy watching the little ones head out 
to their classes each day.

Warren and our friend, Joshua, built the entertainment center.
It is pretty cool for coming out of a box in many pieces.
I think there were only three or four "extra" pieces 
when they were finished.

Chelsea LOVED setting up her kitchen.
Our friend, Mindy, was her helper.
They puttered happily away for a couple of hours.

Here is a blog post from Chelsea about the new apartment.

See this sleepy pup?
That's how I feel right now.

Today was the busiest day I've had since getting sick in May?  June?
Whenever it happened.
I'm just so thankful that improvement continues.

Fall craziness begins soon.
Teaching my precious music students both privately and at co-op.
Candle fundraisers....

I'm not planning to attend the Ladies Bible study in the Fall
due to needing to conserve energy but am expecting and hoping
to get back to it in January.
I know I will really miss the fellowship found there
until I am back again.
I'll have to meet up with friends occasionally for lunch.
That's good too.

Molly, that dog in the photo, has established herself as the cute 
boss around here.
When she came she would sleep in her crate without complaint.
But since I was used to crating Bandit if I went out on errands I 
crated Molly too.  After a while she just refused to wait quietly.
Finally she just wouldn't quiet down at night either. more crate for Molly.
She happily sleeps with us now.
She has a gift of getting her way.
We came home the other day to find that Jonathan
had even taken her with him to Burger King and shared a fry with her.
That is hysterical.
He is so big and she is so tiny and delicate.
But she adores him and follows him wherever he goes.
They spend hours together.

When Warren comes home she transitions to following him
and sitting on his lap.

I'm the caretaker and food giver.
So...I'm o.k. in her book.
But I don't have enough testosterone to be her favorite.
It is sweet to get little tail wags when she sees me, finally.

Bandit is very jealous but makes sure she gets lots of my attention.
The confrontations between the two have lessened.
But they didn't become the friends I had hoped they would.
I'm sure time will help.

See you back here pretty soon, 
I think.  
At least that is the plan. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Introducing Molly

Last Sunday I saw a post on Facebook from a friend.
She was looking for a home for Molly, 
her parents dog.
They were in Florida but so was she...visiting.
Amy offered to bring Molly back to Lancaster County if
anyone was interested in taking her in.

As you know it hasn't been real long since we said goodbye to Chloe.
However we have seen changes in Bandit that weren't 
all that positive.
Never having been an only dog it seemed that she 
would easily become very demanding and
mouthy without having that
second dog in the pack.

I sent Molly's photo to Warren.
He didn't say no.
He said,
"When do they need an answer?"

It wasn't off the table!!

Given that he was about to go into a meeting at church
I had to be patient.
Since I hadn't been that optimistic in the first
place and still being very sick I wondered if I would
be able to handle a new dog.
Especially one we hadn't met.
Kind of a big commitment once she was on her way from 

But I decided all I could do was leave the decision up to 
Warren and wait and see.

He came home.
We discussed it briefly.
He said we should make ourselves available to take
her and see what happened.
So, I sent the message that we would be the default home
if nothing else worked out.

Several messages went back and forth and we got more 
excited.  We saw others asking questions and just left it up
to the Lord.

On Monday I was taken to the hospital again,
this time by ambulance.
While I waited test results to come back I saw a message 
from Amy....
Molly was ours if we wanted her.

I felt it only fair to wait until I knew what I was dealing with
health wise before we agreed so I said nothing to anyone.

When the test results showed no major issues, and all of the family
involved agreed that this was a good thing I sent back 
that we would LOVE to have Molly come to us.

Side note:  Current working theory on what is wrong with me is
a reaction to my Thyroid medication.  I have been changed to another 
and am praying hard that things will return to normal over the next days and weeks.

SO......Thursday......Amy brought Molly to us.
There was an instant love in my heart for her.
She is petite...7 lb 4 oz.
She is polite....quiet, sweet and gentle.
She did have some adjustment period....extra quiet and reserved.
It was during this time that I took the following photo.
She was laying on my lap....kind of wondering what was going on.

But by evening she was sure that she was loved and safe here
and took her place as princess!

Molly has endeared herself to all in the family....
even the grown kids.
Yesterday everyone was together for dinner and Molly
went from one person to another getting love.

She and Bandit tolerate each other so far.
An occasional growl or snap will happen if one gets too much
into the other's space but those events are happening less and less.
I expect they will be friends in another week or so.

We are so thankful that God would bring us 
just the perfect dog for our family.
She is a true blessing!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

In The Summertime.....

It is such a beautiful evening out there!
We grabbed some sandwiches from a local shop
and headed down by the water to eat dinner.

Even the birds were singing joyfully!
Tomorrow the heat and humidity is to return for several 
days....but for this evening we enjoyed the perfection.

Our "temp Kid", Jared, is going to be with us just a week and a half
more before returning back to his home in Missouri.
I have been so very sad to have been sick nearly the entire time
he has been with us and therefore haven't done many of these
fun kinds of things.
But it made my heart happy to get out there this evening
and have a spontaneous picnic.

The butterflies are here!
So pretty.
I have a hard time not taking photos every time.

There was a HUGE surprise in our neighborhood yesterday.
Mom called me to say that there was a bear in her back yard.
She was serious!

She watched him try over and over again to climb this tree.
But it wasn't to be so he found one he could get up.
Right beside this deer target in our neighbor's yard.
For whatever reason he determined that he should knock it down.

I took the photo below later after the bear was long gone into the corn field.
But you can see why he was able to get up in this tree.  
There was something to get hold of.

Mom took this one from her back deck as he sat in the flower bed\
between attempts to get something from the bird feeders.

The bear was captured about 11 pm last night
in the park behind our Pastor's house.
It sounds like a lot of people came out and helped in the capture 
by keeping the bear in a tree until the forest rangers were able to 
arrive and give it a sleepy dart and a ride to a mountain
just north of Harrisburg.

While Mom was taking bear photos...before calling me....
I was out back in my yard taking more butterfly photos.

There is a butterfly in that photo, I promise.

Our family news of the week is that we are supposed to 
get a new little sweetie dog.
Molly is coming from the home of an elderly couple
who can no longer care for her....
although, I know they have done a great job up until now.
My heart hurts for them.
I know they must have hated to let her go.

We haven't yet met Molly.
She is on her way to Pennsylvania, (from Florida) right now.
I think we are going to hit it off very well because of how it all came to be.

Even Warren is excited!
He wasn't in a big hurry to get another dog but 
her sweet little face won him over nearly immediately.

Hoping that Bandit and Molly become best friends.
As you know, Bandit really needs another dog friend.
She has been so very lonely.

More photos of Molly to come once she is in our home.
I need to get used to a daily brushing routine...
she is a breed that needs it.

Our little "butterfly" dog.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

This and That

Bandit's thoughts on being an only dog seem to be things like this:
I'll do it my way~
Feed me more human food....just because~
I don't have to listen anymore~
Love you Mama~

I guess the attitude she is exhibiting is an independence that 
never really showed up because Chloe was the top dog.
Who knew that she was the one making Bandit behave all of
those years.

There was an auction in our neighborhood today.  
Horses and carriages were parked in various places but this
was my favorite spot.
Most comfortable for the horses and kind of pretty if you ask me.
If you look very closely you might be able to see the wagon 
attached to the back of the first carriage.
They are prepared to carry their purchases home.

Chelsea turned 21 ten days ago.  
But Chadd and some friends surprised her with a party
on July 4th.
I took this of she and her daddy that evening.
So cute.
These two.

Our daughter in law, Emily, lost her grandfather this
week after some time of illness.
It is always hard to lose those we love.
Our hearts are with she and the rest of her family
with whom we have been friends for so many years.
I'm sure the family would appreciate your prayers
as they learn how to live without this man
in their daily lives.

Today is the one year anniversary of Chadd's accident.
So many memories are coming rushing back as we relive the hours....
So much still up in the air.
We are so thankful for all God has revealed thus far.
That Chadd survived....miraculously.
For Shelley who gave him immediate assistance
and the Quarryville Fire Company who took over as soon as they arrived
removing him from the car and calling the medical helicopter.
For friends who waited with us that very long first evening as multiple
surgeries took place.
For ALL of you who have been so faithful in love, concern and prayer.
That he is able to work and minister to others at his job.
That Chelsea and Chadd were able to be married and are seeming
to be adjusting very well.
So much to be thankful for.
And so ....we will trust for the rest.
And continue to wait on HIS timing.

Oh my goodness!
Big news on the Mom front.
She retired this week!!
After working 22 years at Penn State and then 9 at the theater
she made the decision and the change.
She is looking forward to being even more involved in the 
ministries God has called her to in the past couple of years.

Look who showed up to her going away party.
I happen to know they brought her some very pretty flowers....
but alas no photo of the flowers.

By the way.  
I didn't take the last two photos.
They were stolen from FB from a friend of hers.
Hope I'm forgiven.

So there is a lot happening around here.
Hoping to get to feeling much more normally soon
and back in a regular posting routine.