Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Longwood Gardens After Dark

Monday evening found us back at
Longwood Gardens for a special Member only night.
I thought this might mean fewer people.
Well, I suppose as the season goes it was 
pretty light but it was definitely busy.

We enjoyed it nonetheless.

Thanks for bearing with my mostly photo post...
things are hopping here at
Hospitality Lane.
Candle making,,,,,Chelsea's Australian Mission trip planning.
It is crazy.
In fact yesterday Georgia was supposed to 
have a cataract surgery 
but after we got there she found out that 
she couldn't have it due to an unexpected 
Nothing too serious...
but no surgery on that day.

As God would have it, though, 
because we headed out early because of a random snow storm
we happened to be killing time at a local Christian Bookstore
just as Rick Santorum was holding a book signing.

How cool is that?

I wanted him to be our next president.
But that didn't quite work out.
I'm so happy that he didn't roll up in a big ball 
of self pity....
He's working hard to educate Americans 
about our heritage....and more.

Good stuff.

Anyway, I didn't get to talk to him 
but I was able to leave a book for him to sign
and he did.

Color me happy.

And with that....
I'm off!
Enjoy the beauty of the gardens......

 Out at the trains.....
A replica of the Conservatory.

The moon was making a statement 
all its own.
So bright and beautiful.

The dinner table after dark.

 How gorgeous is this????  
Oh my.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland......

Monday, November 26, 2012

Superb Giveaway You'll Not Want to Miss

You know my dear friend, Mrs. Rabe?

As I have mentioned a few times before
she is also the owner of a most adorable
shoppe in downtown Lancaster.

Just last week 
a beautifully working website was 
launched which allows 
people around the world to discover
the excellent product and prices
to be had at Fab Fashion.

When we were on vacation 
in Virginia and then again in Missouri 
we had opportunity to do some 
price comparisons.


The handbags at other shops
which are either identical of very similar
were nearly double the prices 
that are offered at 
Fab Fashion.

I was convinced.
Research will do that.
I now own a computer bag, 
a handbag and a scarf from the 
Lancaster shoppe.

Now, if you will pop over to 
you'll find an opportunity to win one of 
three fabulous items.

Three people are going to be 
pretty good odds.

I'd go if I were you.

Why are you still here?

Oh, I should quit writing now?

You got it.


A Delightful Thanksgiving and Beyond.....

One of the best things about blogging is the relationships.
Those that are new, those that are old
and those that are renewed.

My younger cousin, PJ, is also a blogger
and she and I have reconnected after 
years of going separate ways due to age difference, 
geographic distance and life in general.

It is so awesome to get to know the young
lady that PJ has become.
She is vibrant, full of life
and confident.

She and her husband, Tim, came to spend
Thanksgiving with us this year.
Can I just insert a little yum in here.
We had a delicious Thanksgiving Day Dinner.

Friday found PJ and I out and about Lancaster County.
We carefully avoided the Black Friday shoppers
as we enjoyed lunch with another blogger,
Mrs. Rabe, who happens to be a real life
friend of mine and a bloggy friend of PJ's.

PJ and I visited a couple of antique stores
and then a very large thrift shop
in New Holland.
It was there that we found our goodies.
Mine were all containers for candle making
while PJ picked up a very vintage working
food scale at a great price.
Her happiness was catching.

On Saturday evening we took 
Tim and PJ to see Jonah
at Sight and Sound Theater.

PJ is involved in her local theater
through both acting and costuming.
She was 
thrilled to see the show.
Warren and I had fun too.
Of course every time I see Jonah
I notice more depth in the story.
Who wouldn't relate to Jonah's desire to 
see his enemies destroyed?

Isn't it great that God put 
these examples out there for us?
Jonah was a prophet of God
and even so was very flawed.

God loved him and brought healing 
in his life in such a wonderful way.
such lengths He went to too.

He'll do the same for us.

Dramas such as these remind us
of God's love and that people 
are pretty much the same
whether born now
or thousands of years ago.

Yesterday Pastor Mike 
preached about righteousness and how
we just don't have it on our own.
Our righteousness is ALL Jesus.

He spoke of a day to come when we
will enjoy a new earth 
where we will no longer bear the scars of 
Adam's sin.

No more grudges.
No more jealousy.
No more sin or sorrow or pain.

What an encouragement.
So, while we wait for that day to come
we are invited to accept the righteousness offered
to us, in Jesus, so that one day 
we can enjoy eternal joy and peace.

Isn't that just perfect for heading into 
the Christmas celebrations?

This was the key song of the day 

Love it!

Friday, November 23, 2012

I'm Working In Between The Play Times.....

I've got to get ready to leave here soon but
I wanted to pop on and get some opinions.

I'm making some centerpieces for a very 
wonderful customer of mine.
Well, actually she just wants one 
but I wanted her to have options.

I'm going to show her three 
to see if any of them are what she 
might be looking for.

I'll list the others in my Etsy shop.

Here are the first two that I have completed.

 The one above was fun without the greenery with some water and cranberries
floating in the bowl. 
For those that prefer a more simple and clean look.

This is simple but so eye catching.
The Ikea container is just perfect with my palm pillar candle.

The final one is not built yet.
It is going to be a silver votive holder with 
a candle ring to dress it up.

So, what do you think?

Do you like fancy?
Old Fashioned?
Over the Top?

What's your style?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Longwood Gardens Celebrates Christmas 2012

I know it is Thanksgiving Day.
Some would wish I would hold off on Christmas for
at least one more day. is quiet in my house right now.
It won't be later.
I'm going for it.

I'm going to share some of the pictures I took 
at Longwood Gardens yesterday.

We got to see the preview.
Quite by accident, really.

Its just how it worked out
but it was so much fun to see all of the 
Longwood employees milling about,
chattering and taking photos of the 
amazing display in the Conservatory.

 Now this is a tablescape!

 Did you see the fantastic bows on each chair?
Love, Love!

This feels like enough photos for one 
day, but I'll share more soon.
It is so lovely in the gardens.!
So lovely.

I didn't want to leave yesterday.
Definitely a happy place.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Tease....

Longwood Gardens Christmas 2012 is unbelievable.
Can't wait to show you more!!

But for now I have some cleaning to do before our 
Thanksgiving guests arrive.

Have a very blessed Thanksgiving Day.

I pray that you are with friends or family.
If you are not for some reason....
know that I have said a prayer for you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

More Excited Than Ever....

It must be an illness.
Perhaps an addiction.....
I'm not sure.

But, as I sit here and think about the future
of Good Neighbors Candle Co.
I am so excited.

What's crazy about this is that there is a 
very real chance that I will be 
ending the company in January.
And for very valid reasons.

If I don't I've got ideas and plans 
that will make this year look like child's play.

Therein lies the dilemma.

How to continue to create and develop,
to fulfill the vision I have for this little company
while actually turning a profit
and spending time with my family.

It just might be possible.
We shall see.

With the addition of wood and cotton wicks,
further development and creation of baby shower favors, 
refining of shop and salon programs,
and tweaking of the fundraiser programs
just to name a few I see the possibilities for 
serious expansion and growth.

Is this what we want?


It looks as if
Chelsea will be heading 
to the other side of the world 
for most of my busy season next year.
I'll have to do something.

Warren is a bit worried about what I would 
fill all of this time up with if I were to 
give it up.
A very legitimate concern, 
I'll agree.

And then there is the fact that 
people are already contacting me to book Spring Fundraisers.
And we are talking about another Handmade Marketplace
in Chambersburg
before Mother's Day.
Yes, the time is coming when 
we must make a 

In...or Out.
That is the question.

Right now I'd have to say the 
scale is tipping toward
In....but I remain open to all options.

 I have promised Warren
we will talk about it in 


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Chelsea Has News!

Hello, Friends :-)
Do you remember my earlier post about the trip to Australia with YWAM?
It's hard to believe that it's been so very long since I wrote that post.

Read More....

And Then They Were Gone

I had a bit of a fright yesterday.
It actually started the night before when Warren and I 
were discussing the need to check on Mikey's chinchillas.
You see Mikey has moved out and into an apartment 
with some friends from work.
What this means is that he left the chinchillas here while he 
worked to find a home for them.
Well, it turns out that they had a bigger piece of his heart
than he had realized and rather than give them to 
either of the two interested people he attempted to work it 
out so that he could take them with him.
That hadn't happened yet.
He needed a special cage and for that he needed money.

I have to say that he has been very faithful to come back 
and play with the critters, feed and water them and 
generally take very excellent care even from a distance.
yesterday it had been a few days and I was a bit 
uncertain of what I would find upon entering his room.

You see,
these two are amazing escape artists.
They have gotten out so many times that I kind of 
figured they would be on the loose and
I would have to figure out a way to get them back.

Well, that or dead.
I don't have any idea how long chinchillas
can go without food and water.
It hadn't been that long but I just didn't want 
to be the one that found them if the worst case happened.

I gingerly opened the door.

No scampering within the cage.
They always come to greet you.
This wasn't good.

I walked over and peeked into their favorite 
sleeping spots.

Now my heart is beating faster and I turn to peruse the room.
When Mikey left he didn't take a whole pile of blankets
and comforters.  
They remain in a pile on the floor.
I figured if I was a chinchilla maybe I would have burrowed 
into that pile.
So, I carefully lifted them up.
No chinchillas.

Then my eyes rested on something that 
totally freaked me out.
There was a round hole in the wall down 
by the baseboard.
It was big enough for chinchillas.

Then I remembered that one of the dogs 
had gone spastic barking at nothing just a little 
earlier.  Of course we were upstairs when that 
happened but I was now picturing two curious
and hungry chinchillas parading through our walls.

Left to their own devices
Chinchillas are quite destructive
 so I had this image
in my head of them chewing every wire they came across
and then dying in the walls and smelling up the house.

Poor Mikey.
He was going to be devastated.

Sometime at about this point in my panic
I noticed that what had been blocking the cage door
shut was completely gone and the door was 
hanging wide open.

Wait a minute.
Could it be?

Maybe Mikey came and took them.
But when?
Surely if he had been here I would have known.
I checked the window.
It was locked.
He didn't pull that old climb in and out the window trick.
I hadn't seen him all day.
How could this be?

So I called Warren and asked him to find Mikey at work.
I had to know.
(Isn't it convenient that all of the 
kids work "with" Warren?)
Sure enough.
Mikey had moved his chinchillas to his new home
and they were happy as could be.

All of this had happened the night before while
Warren and I were practicing music with Pastor Mike.
Before we returned home Mom had picked up 
Jonathan for his overnight shift.
Jonathan was the only one in our house who knew
that Mikey had taken the chinchillas and by the time he 
got home from work yesterday morning it didn't occur to 
him that I might want to know that piece of information 
so he just went to bed without mentioning it.

I know this is a big long story about "nothing".
Except that it isn't.
You see, 
If I hadn't been dreading what I was afraid I would 
find in that room I would have been a lot more logical.

As Michael told Warren,
he had taken the food bowl, 
the water dispenser and their wheel.
It was perfectly empty in the cage.
They would not have pulled all of those things into 
the wall to start their own little city.
But because I had dread of a worst case scenario
my mind created one.

From now on this will be a reminder to me
to stay positive.
You tend to see what you expect to see.
Although in my defense I could have imagined
happy, full tummied chinchillas in there 
and that wouldn't have been the case either.

I wonder how long it will take me 
to take over that room........
now that they are gone!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


What an amazing and fun weekend.

The work, planning and prayers that went into 
the I {Heart} Handmade Market 
craft show
paid huge dividends.

We were swamped.
The newspaper came.
They took photos and wrote an article.

The Give away table

Sheila's adorable tea cup pin cushion

See the pillar candle at the tippy top?  I made that on the day I left.  Nothing like last minute!

My Etsy friend, Loretta. 

More from Sheila!

We sold..
and sold...
and sold some more.

People were carrying bags filled with 
delicious granola, cupcakes, pie in jars, 
crocheted items, repurposed jewelry and books,
items for babies, items for grandmothers,
items for sisters and moms.

It was crazy.

Some even bought soy candles.

I got to meet some amazing women
in person that I've been getting to know 
through Etsy.

They are just as amazing in person 
as they are online.

I came home to a very full and fun day at 
church and then later with some of the 
church ladies at Starbucks.

I am so blessed.
It is official.

This morning I tried to pass by my new 
So new that I hadn't even started it yet.
The Holy Spirit prompted me to pick it up 
and it had the most perfect message in it for me.
Nothing warms the heart like a visit with 
Ya know?

Things are crazy busy with fundraisers.
Tommy candles continue to sell.
The CHALC class order and the Majorettes orders
are both due by Monday.
I mean that I have to have them made and 
bagged by Monday.
I'm starting a new test program with one of 
my salons today.
So....I must get that done and over to her.

And as if all of that wasn't blessing enough
I have regular Etsy orders to finish and ship.

Shaking my head at the Goodness of God 
in my life.

I may have a huge announcement 
to make
Not sure yet.
But if it happens 
I'll be sure to let you know.

No, I'm not pregnant. 
Just getting that one out of the way
right away.

Thanks for bearing with me.
You are simply the best.