Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fading Beauty

 Fading beauty is still beautiful.
There is something bittersweet about Autumn.
Days get shorter.
Our activities shift and we know before long
our contact with neighbors will be far less
as we hunker down for the long winter.
Our gaze shifts from the flower beds which have
brought so much pleasure all Spring and Summer
to the heights of the trees.

Their blazing color
grabs the eye.
There is no doubt about that.

And yet
I feel compelled to visit and say 
goodbye to the solid
the mums and even my roses
as they take their final gasp.

 Most of the Echinacea had run its course weeks ago.
Yet, this particular little bit
opened late and continued the impact of color
beside our entry door.

Until the Spring then.....
Thanks for a job well done!

Fading beauty is still beauty

On a different note -

We fared very well during Hurricane Sandy.
It was windy, of course, but we've experienced worse.
Perhaps it was that the eye passed directly over us
that kept things a bit more sedate.
Or, it just could be that we were spared
for no reason other than that 
God willed it that way.

Whatever the case.
My heart breaks for those who lost 
We hear every day a new death count.

The fires.
The flooding.
The damage.

We were spared 
but not untouched.

Our thoughts are with them.
Our prayers lifted up.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Jammy Day

I have some really comfy pj's.
Today I plan to just stay in them.

It is cold, windy and rainy
at the moment.

It will get much worse.

I had plans to run out this morning 
but nothing seems important enough to 
do that.

it is a jammy day.

Time to do some laundry,
dust and clean.
Putter here and there.
Make more Tommy Candles.

All in the comfort of my 
Jennifer Lopez black and white jammy pants
and soft black t-shirt.


Gonna make the most of a 
scary situation.

If you are in the path of this storm I wish you safety
and quality family time.

I did suggest to Warren that this would 
be an excellent time for a spontaneous vacation
to a midwestern state.
He laughed.

I guess we are staying.
Along with millions 
of other

So happy that unlike the poor dogs
my potty spot is in the warm and dry house.
They were very resistant to 
heading out this morning.
That will only get worse.
Poor things.

Catch you later.
Hanging out in my jammies.

What are you doing today?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Post To Touch Your Heart

Wreath made by Judy....You can find more here.

I don't recall how I stumbled upon Linda's blog
but it has been a source of inspiration and even
challenge to me.

This post touched my heart in many
ways.  First, I cannot imagine having happen 
what she experienced.
Second, the honesty in Linda's response really 
touched my heart.
And finally, 
the conclusion and outward look that 
God brought Linda to
is something I never want to forget.

Check it out....
and let me know what, if anything, 
stood out to you?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sandy is Coming....So They Say.

This is one time I would really like the weather folks to be very, very wrong.  Right now many people in our community are still cleaning up from the tornado that came through last week.  There are tarps on roofs, trees on houses and a missing playground at a local church.  

So, if the talk about the possible destruction of Hurricane Sandy (Frankenstorm) happens to be hype I will be ever so grateful.  

At least this time Warren is supposed to be at home.  He missed the tornado last week (that knocked out our power) and last year when we had a huge snowstorm (that knocked out our power) at the end of October he managed to be out of town too.  Hmm....I'm sensing a theme.  Not sure if it is Warren's theme or the weather's theme.  Either way, having him at home if the power is out is much better.  He knows how to set up and run the generator which will keep our house "running".  Even if it is at a reduced capacity. 

I don't think I ever told you how close Jonathan and I were to encountering the recent tornado.  In fact we were mere moments from being directly in its path as we headed into Lancaster for dinner before Jonathan had to be at work.  Right before we left the house we realized that it was storming.  I hopped online and checked for weather alerts.  There were none.  So we headed out.  As we were just heading out of Quarryville on 222 there was a very impressive lightning and thunder combo just to our left.  We both shuddered at the intensity.  We discussed our surprise at the strength of the storm.  It had to be either right before we passed the road to New Providence or just after, the tornado swept across 222 and on to White Oak Road.  I've seen some of the damage all over our area and can tell you that God's hand must have protected many that night.  Roofs were taken off homes, trees smashed into many buildings and a roof collapsed on a pavilion onto little league players and parents who were taking refuge there.  Amazingly, 
there were no deaths.  Several were taken to the hospital from the pavilion collapse but no one died.  

Some of you know that I would have goats if we had the right conditions.  Since that is not going to happen I love to observe goats on local farms.  One of these farms is about three miles from our home.  They have about fifty goats.  During this storm that barn collapsed while all of the goats were inside.  Amazingly they were all fine.  However, the barn is gone.  Completely gone.

So, this is the reason I am not excited about Sandy's approach.  It seems like a mighty hard time for those who are trying to rebuild.  Just sayin'.

However, I am not the one who gets to choose the weather.  If I were, I'm afraid it might be 70 degrees and sunny all of the time.  That would create problems all their own.  My faith is in the One who created the weather.  The One who calmed the storms as we are told in the Gospels.  

I will pray for those in the path of the storm.  We will prepare with our generator, gasoline, propane for the grill and foods that can be cooked on the grill.  If we all happen to be at home together for a few days we'll make the most of it.  

What would you do with a few days without power?  I'm already thinking of some great books on the bookshelves that are just waiting for my attention.  Some games of Scrabble with the family sounds mighty fine as well.  Hmmm.....maybe I shouldn't be so quick to wish Sandy away.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Another Close Call....As if Tornadoes and Burglars Weren't Enough

Newly added to my Etsy Shop.
Spiced Cranberry Soy wax in a pink and white tea cup.


Praising God, once again, for His hand of protection
on us yesterday afternoon and evening.

Jonathan needed to be at work by 4pm.
He really needs to get his driver's license but things keep 
coming up that keep us from getting the practice driving time in.
Many things.

So, it had been a while since he last drove.
I offered him the opportunity to drive to work.
He took me up on it.

We started out.
However, before we had even left the driveway
he noted that the brake pedal was acting strangely.
He had to push it to the floor to stop.
As he was able to stop I figured he had just
forgotten how that particular brake pedal worked.
I didn't want to discourage him by saying that we 
should take the van...
which he cannot drive due to his long legs.
He honestly doesn't fit in it without the steering wheel 
being held in one place by his legs. we went, still in the Buick.


As we drove on down the road the car kept pulling to 
the right.  Badly.
I thought it was strange but made note of the fact that 
we needed to get the car aligned.

Another mistake!

We got to a very hilly and curvy road.
Much brake usage is required...
especially if you are a learning driver who 
is riding with me.

We were headed down a very large hill 
when we simultaneously smelled burning brakes
and heard the ding of a warning system.

I looked to see if it was a low gas warning.
I asked him what warning light he might be able to see.
He noted that the brake light was flashing....
and then stayed on.

Oh dear!
This was a very bad place for this to happen.

Cars on our bumper and no good place to 
pull over. 
We kept going.
I got on the phone with Warren who said 
we shouldn't be driving with that light on.
However, we had gotten pretty close to our 
destination by this time so he said to make it there if we could.

We did.

Jonathan handled it so well.
I panicked when his coworker stepped in front of our car
as he came to speak with us.
I knew that he didn't know that the brakes were all 
but toast.

Warren checked the brake fluid levels and they were
nonexistent.  One of the wheels was really hot
as that brake was stuck on.
This would explain the pull to the right.

 So we went and got some fluid.
After putting it in we did a test.
I pushed on the brake pedal while Warren watched 
under the car.
Well, the pedal went to the floor and Warren watched
the fluid run all over the ground. 
This wasn't good.

So, Warren looked at me and said that I would have to 
drive home using the Emergency Brake.
I told him he was crazy.
I wasn't going to attempt that.

So he did.

We left his car at work and came home
to the clicks and gear shifting of an alternative 
form of driving.

Warren accomplished his goal and the car is at home.
We are safe and sound.
And I got to enjoy time with my hubby as I drove him to work 
on this early foggy morning.

So thankful for that kind of an ending.
So proud of the men in my life.
I'm blessed.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Church Yard with A View

 Today is cloudy and drippy.
It's o.k. with me because I love cozy days to make candles.
And I have many to make!
So far we've sold more than 180 Tommy Candles.
So I am happily busy.

Keeping up with my determination to capture just some of the 
beauty all around us here in Lancaster County's Autumn of 2012
I stopped the other day at my neighbor, Judy's, church.

It sits on a hill and looks out over 
perfect farmland.
We are so blessed to have all of this agriculture
around us.

I also happen to love historical cemeteries.  
And I see some family names on these stones that 
tell of past generations of friends I know now.

I hope, 
wherever you are today
that you have a wonderful day.
I hope that you are able to take 
a few moments to enjoy the things our Creator
has blessed us with.
Whether is is a great view
or some favorite music....
perhaps a cup of perfect tea
or a special dinner.
Take some time to reflect on the blessings 
we enjoy.
They are many.

 Even the poorest of us
here in the United States most likely
has more than so many around the world.
Something to remember.

 I want to leave a legacy of joy.
A legacy of love.
A legacy of Faith.

I think it is something about the cemetery that 
brings these things to mind.

Well, that and a conversation that Mom and I had
recently.  It is so important to those who have lost 
loved ones to remember the one who has passed away.
To talk about them.
To keep their memories and their mark on our lives
in mind.

Well then, 
I started out to show you a few pretty 
photos and ended up "preaching".
I hope you don't mind too much.
I was speaking to myself and you just got to listen in.

Have a very lovely day.....

Monday, October 22, 2012

Why You Should Always Put the Laundry Away Immediately

I actually knew Tidbit was laying in the laundry basket when I saw Oliver heading back the 
hall.  I knew he had this in mind too since he had enjoyed it earlier.
I wondered if war would break out.
No war.
Just peace.

Who can blame them?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Tommy Candle Sales are Brisk!

What a blessing!

We are raising money for Tommy's homecoming expenses.
People are telling me that they are excited to share the
candles and tell his story.

I think it might have something to do with
She is so dear.

Now, I am swamped so I am going to leave you 
with some photos from a few minutes I spent 
at Muddy Run Park yesterday.

It was a crazy day in so many ways.
Some good, some bad.
I needed the break.

So on my way home from spending 
good time chatting with a friend
I took this detour.

She looked up to say hello.

Then went back to her dinner.

I've never done that before.
But it was so much fun that I did it 
again today at a different park.
Two, actually.
I can't wait to peek at those pics and 
see what I got.

But for now
I hope you are enjoying 
yesterday's captures.

Well, I wasn't going to take the 
time to share this today but I do owe
God praise.
So.....I'll share.

I'm thankful for safety in two 
situations yesterday.
First, I was at the mailbox when a State Trooper 
passed, turned around and came back meeting
another one in front of the neighbor's house
where they took a man into custody.

I had been thinking while getting the mail about going
over there to introduce myself
to the very man they put in handcuffs as I thought 
he was likely a new neighbor.
Ummm.....I'm thinking that God sent those 
policemen in a very timely way.

The other situation was a very bad weather system 
that blew through last evening.
Jonathan and I were out driving as horrific storms
blew through Lancaster County.
We were cringing at the nearby lightning strikes 
and then squinting to see 
through the extremely heavy rain but we were not caught 
in the wind that brought down trees and wires.
Our power was out until 5 am this morning 
but that is so minor compared to what could have been.
Weather experts are now in the area 
evaluating the damage to determine if it was 
caused by a, or a couple of, tornadoes.

So, you see, it was an up and down day.
The ups involved sweet fellowship with a friend
as well as the support and love shown through the 
Tommy candles.
They way outweigh the bad.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Introducing the Tommy Candles

Our dear friends Joe and Susanna have a special calling on their lives.
Some will think that it is adoption.
Well, yes, that too but so much more.

God has used this couple to shine the light on a terrible
situation in an orphanage in Eastern Europe.
I am going to be very careful to not use any town 
or country names so that I don't jeopardize
their current adoption plans.

When Susanna was headed to this orphanage for the 
very first time to meet little Katie, Warren and I had the 
privilege of taking her to the airport in Philadelphia.
As we drove we talked without stopping.

Understand that Katie's health was so precarious
that no one knew if she would live to complete
the adoption.
Would she survive the trip home?
Then would she survive the refeeding that had to happen 
after the starvation program that she had been held in
for so many years. 
When I say this I am not being dramatic.
It was intentional and severe.

So, as we drove, Susanna said very sincerely that she 
felt that this was about more than Katie.

She was so right.

Way back when Katie needed a feeding tube......

As much as God loves Katie and has brought her into a very 
wonderful home where she is thriving and responding 
miraculously to the love and nutrition,
He also loves every child held hostage there.

In the process of finding homes for the others
Susanna had to recommend this little guy.

Well, he is little.
But he is also 15 years of age.
There was a tug at Susanna's heart every time
someone would request his file.
Every time she had to put him out there for others 
to consider.
Tommy had already found a place in her heart.
However, Joe and Susanna didn't think they would 
qualify to adopt right now.
Imagine their surprise and joy when they found out 
that they indeed do qualify.
This brought about a very urgent situation.
You see, since Tommy turns 16 in March he will 
"age out" and will no longer be available for 
rescue through adoption.

Time is critical.

I have no doubt that God is going to raise the 
money needed to get this young man home.
I would like to be just a small part of it with the 
Tommy candles but more importantly through
the spotlight each candle will put on this subject.
I see these candles starting conversations.
You can give them as gifts and spread the word.
If they are sitting in your home you can tell the story
to all who enter.
Every time you see your candle you can whisper a 
prayer that God will continue to "clean house" in that 
orphanage and bring those children to forever homes.

While conditions are improving for those children 
and they are now receiving better nutrition, diaper changes 
and improving care, there is nothing that will bring them 
to health and happiness like a family to love them.

Children who do not receive love
do not thrive.
This is fact.

I hope that you will consider purchasing 
one or more Tommy candles
but more than that I hope that you will 
head on over to this blog post
written by Susanna and see the children 
who desperately need someone to love them.

Is that someone you?
Can you pass it on?
Maybe someone you know has a special 
calling on their life and they don't even 
know these blessings are available.

Just go here to make your 
$4 from each candle goes directly 
to help Tommy come home!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Walking in the Gardens

 I took a pass on cleaning up the kitchen yesterday in favor 
of joining Chelsea and our friend Sarah
at Longwood Gardens.

We had a hard frost last week so much of the outdoor 
gardens were impacted.
However, there is always something looking 
pretty in these acres of gardens.

The trees are just beginning to turn.
It will likely change faster now that the frost 
has happened.
Maybe if I get a chance to return next week 
I can document the changes as they happen.

Ordinarily the rose gardens are hot.
Therefore I spend small amounts of time in them.
However, yesterday they were a very 
comfy temperature for walking and we enjoyed them
very much.
I'm thinking they must have covered them overnights 
last week because they don't seem frost bitten at all.

 Am I allowed to have favorites?
If so.. I choose these yellow and peachy blooms.

 The roses are so large that they
were weighing down the stems.
In the Conservatory we found things a bit "in between" as well.
Not that it wasn't beautiful...
not at all.
However, the Mums have just been put in 
and most weren't fully open yet. 
Again, another week and it is going to wow!
Of course I still found color
to enjoy.

Gerbera Daisy....So cool!

I'll leave you with this funny shot of Chelsea and I.
Just a little fun with the camera.
That's what we do.

Don't ask.
I just threw it in for your amusement.

Have a happy day!