Sunday, October 30, 2011

Unusual Beauty

It is not often you get pristine white
snow and golden leaves all in one shot.
But, this morning that was possible.
So...I did!

 Check out the natural star that formed at the top of this tree.

Just made a test run to the church...
it is all good. 
The power is on.
So we will worship corporately this morning...
those that can make it.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

October Snow! Lots of It!!

This morning just after the snow began.

The Country Bumpkin is having a hard time seeing.

This morning just before noon.
The same planter this evening around 6pm.

I think these trees could be in a book by 
Dr. Suess.

The power has gone out for a few seconds at a time
but so far......we are ok.
The kids were out briefly this afternoon but 
came back reporting the sounds of cracking 
limbs all around them.

It is beautiful.
It is dangerous.
We miss Warren
for many reasons as he is
on a business trip in Florida
but specifically right now because
I don't have a clue how to
hook up the generator if the power goes out.
Hurry home, Honey.
We'll try to save a little bit of snow
for you....

Update:  We lost power around 11pm
last night but it came back around 4:15am
this morning.

No One Thought of It....

I am so disappointed.
Yesterday was so exciting and fun.
Yet, there was something missing.
Very missing.

You see, yesterday afternoon Mrs. Rabe
and I made a trek to Harrisburg to meet 
a special lady.  We went to meet Diane, 
who writes the Tomato Soupcake Blog.

We arrived and I left her a voice mail
telling her that we had arrived and that she 
should come and find us in the lobby.
She did.
We met with laughter and hugs.
She is exactly what I was expecting
her to be.
A bundle of love.

So warm.

Oh, a tiny bit of what Heaven will
be....all of these dear friends from across
the globe meeting and sharing our love of 
Jesus and each other.

The three of us sat and chatted for 
nearly two hours.
It was great.
Finally, we knew Diane needed to 
get back to her events at the 
Relevant Convention.
I also needed to take Mrs. Rabe
back home so she could complete
her tasks to get ready for a family trip.

We got up,
we walked arm and arm to the car.
We wished that we lived closer so that 
these kinds of chats could happen 
more often.

We left.

Half an hour later as we drove up
Route 283 I saw some beautiful trees.
That made me think of my camera.
Which led to the random declaration that
we had taken no photos!

Three bloggers and NONE of us had
remembered to take a photo 
of this meeting.

What is the world coming to?
How could this have happened??

Priorities, I guess.
We were just being real.
Loving the meeting and the sharing.

But, just so you know....
Diane said I was "adorable".
I'm pretty sure that was the word she 
used...but you'll just have to take 
my word for it...
'cause there is no evidence.


Friday, October 28, 2011

The House is Coming Alive....

As the sun rises in the sky 
one by one people begin crossing 
through the living room where I sit
watching the tragedies on the news.

One sometimes has to wonder why 
I watch it....a morbid fascination,
I guess.
I'm not likely to give it up anytime 
soon so don't even try....

But, from the quietness of 
me at the keyboard,
2 cats and 2 dogs comes a Mikey.
He bounds up the stairs headed for the 
shower.  He greets the dog with genuine
affection.  I warn him that he'll want a 
heavy coat today.  The temps have dropped

Eventually he makes it to the kitchen to 
make his breakfast before a full day at
work.  Chelsea wanders out and they 
chatter between themselves.  I can't hear 
what they are saying, only that they are
enjoying each other's company.

The Coffee Maker sputters out its last
drops and still the murmers of their voices

These are the little things that make a house
a home.  This is family.

I love it.

We are missing Warren who is on a business 
trip this weekend.  But, it is also opportunity to
work, work, work and even fit a bit of play 
into our schedule.  Hoping to meet Diane, 
from Tomato Soupcake today.  She's at a 
Blog Conference about an hour from me.
We'll see how that works out.

But in the meantime....
I'll just bask in the coziness of home and
family as the house wakes up around me.
Great sounds, great times.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Stolen from My Mother!

Since Chelsea has been working at 
Sight and Sound Theater with my mother
I get to hear bits and pieces from
the devotions my Mom shares there.

Wouldn't it be pretty cool to work in 
an environment where 
you actually have 

Well, they do and it is a shared duty
among willing employees.
Apparently the other day Mom used
an event that happened right after 
Chelsea was born to make a very 
important point for us in life.

The story goes like this.

While pregnant with Chelsea I was 
put on bed rest at the fourth month due
to very, very high blood pressure.
Therefore I was chomping at the bit
as soon as she was born to get back out
there and shop!

No, not just shop, just not sit 
on my couch for endless days!!
I was excited to visit the outside world,
other than my illegal Saturday outings to Hoss's.
Yes, we did do that all the while I was on
bed rest.  It was necessary for my sanity.
A quick trip.

Anyway, within days of Chelsea's birth
Mom and I were at the local Sam's Club.
We had completed our shopping and were
leaving when we noticed piles of boxes.
I don't remember who it was that wanted the boxes
but I do know that both of us became engrossed in 
finding just the right ones not realizing that 
the sidewalk sloped right into the road and 
neither of us was holding onto the cart

The next thing I heard was a man's voice
"Hey Lady!  Your baby is in the middle of the road!"
I turned and there she was....
Chelsea, in her car seat, 
sitting in the cart
in front of a stopped 
pick-up truck.

My adrenaline went through the roof.
I was so angry at myself, at my Mom
and at the world.
But ever so thankful that my Chelsea, 
so long waited for, 
was ok.

Well, Mom made a wonderful analogy
for this sorry tale in her devotional.
She reminded her coworkers not to 
let go of the precious things of life to 
reach for the cardboard things.

Isn't that a pretty cool lesson?

Yep, my Mom is cool like that.
That's were I learned it....

Have a wonderfully stupendous day.
I'm busy as a beaver in the 
candle kitchen!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I Just Might Be Losing It....

Never mind the fact that I cleaned my kitchen until,
well, lets just say late, 
last night....

And then I was up at six
this morning attacking the 
tub and shower 
with nauseatingly strong cleaner
points to one of two 
either the baby is due any minute,
or ...
and this is the most likely one....
given that hysterectomy a few years back...
I have had enough!

Enough of the mess.
I can turn a blind eye for way longer
than most....
but it is always there.
That monkey on my shoulder.

But then I saw this.
And I totally lost it in mirth.
A new decor.

Making a mental note to ask if anyone actually uses that Old Spice.

Sure to be a fad!
A beautiful razor holder!!
I never thought it could be functional too!!

Isn't this what you put candle holders out
there for?

The fact that I found this blogworthy 
at all should give you cause for 

But, never fear....
I'm way more fun this way!!
Just ask my kids.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Update on Katerina....

It is GREAT news....
Check out Susanna's Blog
to read it for yourself!

If the Lord wills it she will be in
her parent's arms before Thanksgiving.

Thank you, Jesus.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Good Morning!

I've just come inside after taking our Bandit out
for her necessary visit to the yard.

Let me tell you that moments like this are vital
to my survival.  Now, it is not every time that 
I enjoy this duty...but at 6:40am today it was
a very special experience.

There is a light breeze rustling in the trees 
and touching one's face with little fingers,
puffing clean fresh air into the nostrils,
thus cleaning out candle oil weary lungs.

Just to my right a cricket was playing
a song.  It seemed he or she was very 

The horizon was just beginning to show the 
light of a new day.

All was quiet but in the distance
I saw the lights of the local
dairy barn.....
farmers busy at work so early
in the morning.
Then they will send the cows into
the pasture across from me.

Routines so familiar that we rarely
think about...

I'm always sad when the weather turns and
they don't send the cows out each day
and I know Spring is truly here when the
daily exodus begins once again.

I kind of hope Bandit asks to go back
out rather soon.
It is most pleasant out there....
but I have piles of work to do today.
So, I'd best be getting to it.

Maybe you'll be able to take just
a few minutes to step outside....
not headed anywhere.
Just to close your eyes
and breathe.

To be thankful for the beauty and
comfort of God's Creation.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chatting Here

Just another rainy day in Lancaster County.
Actually they are warning of severe weather 
today.  It seems a bit late in the season for 
severe thunderstorms but what do I know.

Chelsea worked unexpectedly yesterday 
and Mikey applied for a full time job.
Praying that works out if it is supposed to.
Truth is, if he could work full time at 
his current job he would never, ever leave.
It is a fabulous place to work and his boss
it wonderful.

The way this possible job came about it 
interesting.  He was working on Saturday
when a neighbor whom we have only spoken
with in passing as our dogs run barking at his
dog invited Mikey to apply to work in the 
department he manages, the warehouse.
He said it is hard to find people who really want 
to work......
Well, Mikey loves to work!
He especially loves to work for decent pay 
and benefits.
It pays to do a job well....
Mikey is experiencing the fruits of this now
by being noticed.

Anyway, I told you that because I was going to 
say that both in taking Chelsea to work and in 
driving with Mikey and Jonathan to the potential
employer the weather was great!
The views absolutely gorgeous.
I have to say that this isn't the most brilliant 
Fall we've had, but it is gentle and sweet.

We passed a long line of beech trees
where the power company had trimmed the branches
back from power lines exposing the 
tall white trunks. 
This may be the first time the power company's trimming
has improved the looks of a landscape.
But it was truly stunning!!

I also enjoyed spending time with my 
friend, Mindy, yesterday.
She came and hung out while I worked
on three dozen pumpkin pie spice candles.
It was good to catch up with her!

Tomorrow the Heartsy deal begins.
You'll be able to get $21 in candles for just 
$10 if you buy one of their vouchers.

Oh my!  
I got interrupted while writing this 
because the VIP Heartsy orders are rolling in.
Have to run!
If you want to know more just
go to


Monday, October 17, 2011

Late Night Feedings

Not for a baby.
We are all out of those.

For teen boys.
Ours and their friend.

On slider buns.

That's the way they like it.
With Cheese, Honey mustard, 
ketchup and
spicy mayo.

I like making them happy and 
hearing their chatter and laughter.

Did you know that my tart molds
can be an example of how a 
transmission works?

I do now.
They were quite impressed with 
the accuracy of the demo.

The things we learn
by serving and loving
the teens and young men who
pass through our doors.

But I think I've learned enough
for tonight.
It is time to sleep!

They'll be fine now that they've 
been fed.

I'm Still Here....Really, I Am....

Jonathan thought I was nuts to stop in the rain for this picture.  I'm not is gorgeous!

Oh, dear friends, what a ride this whole candle season 
is turning out to be!  Since I started my Etsy shop I have
shipped packages at least once a week, often three or 
four times a week.  I am so blessed by the response there.

I have easily tripled my fund raiser work this year and am 
actively looking for an off site location to make candles.
Yes, my business is growing that much and quickly.

Last evening one of the public school fundraiser coordinators
asked if she could invite two other groups to join them in 
their fund raiser.  I gulped, turned white...told Warren...and
he said, "The answer is YES!".  

Oh. My.
My belly is in a happy uproar 
at all of this excitement.

Later this week I will run a Heartsy Deal
in my shop which will likely generate a lot
of new customers.  It is like Groupon
but for Etsy.  I hope you'll take advantage of 
it if you've been thinking of trying my candles
but haven't done so yet.  It runs for VIP's on 
Wednesday...if you buy a VIP pass you pay
$10 and get a $31 voucher for my shop.
On Thursday the regular Heartsy members
will pay $10 and receive a $21 voucher for
Good Neighbors Candle Co. on Etsy.

I take regular breaks to take kids to 
doctor appointments, work and .....

Yep!  It has to happen regularly or 
a certain someone gets cranky.
Its not me.
But one I love dearly and she 
pays for her own addiction so
I am willing to enable her for now.

Oh!  And she is learning to drive.
She does very well and hopes to 
be much more independent in 
You know, the month with all of 
the snow and ice around here?
Yep!  That month.
I'm in denial.
Its easier.

I understand, now better than ever, 
why God led by example and rested 
on the seventh day.
It is good for us.
Not always easy to just stop
but definitely wise to do as He did.

So....I saw Courageous for the third
time last night.
Am I crazy?

Warren hadn't seen it yet
and he needed to.
Mrs. Rabe and Emma came along.
Last Sunday night I had seen it 
with their family and Chelsea.

I went with our Moms during the week.

So...really it is not ALL about candles here.
Just mostly.

This is why I haven't posted much.
Not a lot to share that you'd even care about.
But, I wanted to check in and say that 
I miss you!
Love the customer/blog reader connections
that have been experienced over the past 
few weeks.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It Was A Risk Worth Taking!

Last week Chelsea and I were coming out of 
the Christmas Tree Shoppes store 
when we were met by two Asian men.

They were smiling and issued an invitation
and tickets to an event scheduled for last evening.
The smiling men said it was a Christmas Cantata
produced and performed by a Korean 
Choir.  They assured us it would be well
worth our time.

There wasn't a lot of information about it
other than a large photo book with lots of 
writing in Korean....
which I pointed out that I couldn't

I did notice that it was to be held in the smaller theater owned
by Sight and Sound and was fairly certain they wouldn't 
allow anything to happen there that wasn't at least safe.
Interestingly enough, I felt compelled to accept tickets 
for Warren, the moms and I.
Now, remember, the Moms were in Guatemala
at that time so I had no idea what they might
say about going.
But, knowing my Mother's love for other cultures
and especially the Korean people I thought she
would be interested for sure.

You see, when I was a teenager,
we taught Sunday School in a Korean church.
I remember those enthusiastic and smiling earnest in song and when listening to 
the lessons.

We knew of the talent that was possible.
I could only hope that this was something wonderful...
or at the very least tolerable.

Well, it was definitely worthwhile.
The choir rolled into Lancaster yesterday morning
with two semi trucks, several vans and cars....
their bus had broken down in Minnesota.

They set up stages and worked out lighting.
They tuned instruments and ran through their
program on a new stage.

Then we arrived.
We were greeted over and over again
and directed to our seats.
Right up front!
I would be thankful for this later.

Then the program began.
With some teen dancers.

It was cute.
We thought that we could sit through
an evening of aerobics on the stage.
The music was happy Christmas music.

But then came the first of five sets.
An orchestra and choir.
Now, before this had begun the emcee had 
let it be known that every sound we heard was recordings of anything. only now occurred to me that this means 
the choir was singing for the dancers and that the 
orchestra was playing even then.
In our world of recorded music I just assumed
that they were dancing to "canned" music.

There is no way for me to explain to you 
the professionalism of this group.
It was beyond anything I have witnessed live.
The tones were perfect.
Absolutely perfect pitches, breath control and 
instrumental expertise.

I told Warren on the way home that I am not 
easily star struck to the point of wanting to meet 
someone...but I really wanted to shake the hand of the 
conductor.  WOW!!  The music genius there.!!

They shared the Christmas story in a way that was beautiful
and touching.  I couldn't help but notice that I had never 
seen an all Asian cast performing the Nativity before.
It was beautiful.
They sang songs of hope before and then celebration
after the Christ child was born.

Children of the group members performed
two very adorable dances.
Bringing smiles and laughs by their
antics and then loud applause
and giggles as some of them got caught by the
dropping curtain.  
Too precious!!

There was a very funny sketch about the joy 
of Christmas.
The talents of the group stretched beyond the music.
They can ACT!  
We were laughing so hard at their antics!

Oooh...there is the director.  My hero!
Isn't she sweet?
Made me think of my former music student, Abigail,
who also plays the cello.

We were a much different venue than this group is used
to.  They have sung in the Sydney Opera House and 
Madison Square Gardens.
This was apparently an exploratory event to set up 
for another visit next year.
Am I ever glad we were at the Christmas Tree Shoppes 
when we were.
I'm still trying to wipe the silly grin from my face that 
we were able to enjoy this amazing event.

The message of the gospel was crystal clear 
as they shared in song and then as a Korean Pastor 
from New York preached through an interpreter
to close the evening.

The Gracias Choir is a part of 
International Youth Fellowship.
I'm going to learn more about them....

If you happen to notice that they are coming to 
a city near you....
Please, please take my word for it 
and go.
We were their last stop this year.
But they plan to come back next year.
I can't wait!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Reminder...Purple Dress Project Candles Help Fight Crohn's Disease!

Available for sale in my Etsy Shop.
50% goes to fight Crohn's Disease.

Crohn's attacks the colon.
It is very painful.
It can be life altering.

Many people with Crohn's end up 
with large sections of the bowel 
being removed.

I could go on....
but I'll spare you.

These candles are exclusive to 
this fundraiser.
Four have been sold so far.
They are French Lavender scented.
Each one comes with a thank you tag
with artwork provided just for this
project by artist Elisabeth Arona Walsh.
Great Christmas Presents!!

As always, I so appreciate 
you coming by.