Thursday, May 31, 2012


On our most recent visit to Longwood Gardens
Warren and I were totally fascinated by the process this 
flowering ball (allium - Thanks Deanna) goes through as it matures.

Just delightful,,,,,

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Crazy Sore Throat

It just won't leave.
I've now been sick for more than a month.
Went to the doctor yesterday.
It is not mono.
It is not strep.

So, I guess it is just a wicked virus
that has to work it's way through.

Other than that things are pretty good.
I am surprisingly busy with candle orders 
for the time of the year.
Baby shower favors are among the 
top sellers.
I'll definitely take it!

My Aunt and Uncle are coming!
It will be awesome to spend a bit 
of time with them this weekend.
Uncle Chuck is one of my biggest supporters
here on the blog and 
in the candle business.

Next week I get to see one of my favorite blogger
friends.  I am sooooo looking forward to that.

Our Memorial Day was low key.
It ended with a delightful meal shared with 
the moms and two of the boys friends.
Hamburgers and Chicken on the grill,
seasoned potatoes, baked beans, 
salad made from Georgia's home grown lettuce,
strawberry shortcake and chocolate mousse.

Last evening our friends Tim and Deanna
stopped by with their daughter, Emily.
It was nice to have some moments to chat.
They have no air conditioning at the moment thanks
to a freak accident involving another daughter, Lindsay,
and her bow and arrow.
All I can say is that it must have been meant to be
because the way that whole thing went down would
be called a miracle if it were a good thing.

Deanna and the Girls have been so busy
learning to be business owners of their
new shop, 
Fab Fashion.
I added a link to their online shop on my 
sidebar.  I think you'll be impressed with their 
prices and the quality of their merchandise.
Lindsay continues to add new items on a regular 
basis.  It takes a lot of time and effort to be in business 
and I've enjoyed watching them learn and grow.

We've been planning for an upcoming vacation to 
New York.  Chelsea has a week long event up there
and so rather than to drive up there twice we've decided
that Warren and I will stay and visit around the 
Adirondack area.

My parents went to Bible School and were married there.
I was born in the Adirondack mountains but we 
moved away before I was old enough to remember anything.
So we are going to take this opportunity to explore
and visit the places that are my history.
How special is that?

It has been crazy trying to figure out 
lodging since we need to go during the peak season 
for those mountain areas.
After hours and hours spent on the computer I am 
thrilled with the cabin I've found for part of our stay.
It has NO running water.
So rustic.  So not me.....
except that in this case, it is, if you know what I mean.
It will be so much fun to share all of it with you when we get back.
Don't hold your breath for it, though,
 since we don't go until 

There is a new blog post 
on the website.
I got my first order from the website yesterday.
Hoping that it takes off.
That would be sweet.

Do me a favor and have a wonderful day.
We will try to do the same.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Strawberry Coffee Cake

Look what Chelsea whipped up this morning.....
It is strawberry season.
Love, love, love!!!

After sharing a piece with Georgia...and cutting one for myself it is reminding me a bit of PacMan.

I have to find what I did with the Baked Corn recipe from Aunt Betty. 
I do want to share it.
Really, I do.
If you have no idea what I am talking about just read the prior post.

Hope you have a wonderful day!
I'll be hard at work in the candle kitchen and working on the 
new website.
It is launching now......

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

No Photos....Couldn't Believe It!

Yesterday Warren, Georgia and I had a wonderful time.
In spite of the fact that Warren and Georgia have joined me 
in my illness (cold) and were both a bit uncomfortable too.
Perhaps this was why I forgot my camera....
but I left it at home.

It was a family reunion of sorts.
Warren's Aunt and Uncle from California had flown in.
The local Aunts and Uncles and two of his cousins
all got together at Aunt Betty and Uncle Jim's farm.

Now, you have to understand that this is the house that his 
uncle has lived in all or most of his life.
He is now a very healthy and active 70-something year old.
I cannot even imagine having lived in a house for more than 
10 years at a time, let alone 70 plus years!!
We tend to enjoy moving.

Aunt Betty is a wonderful homemaker and cook.
She is Warren's Dad's sister.
Betty single handedly made an amazing meal that had special 
meaning for the Aunts and Uncles present.
It was fried chicken, baked corn, salad with hot dressing, 
baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls, baked beans
and lemon sponge pie for dessert.

This was the meal Warren's Grandma Esther would make
for special events. 
The recipes just as she would have done it.

Everyone enjoyed it so much.

Uncle Dan and Aunt Donna from 
California declared there is no such food 
consumed at their California home.
This was strictly Pennsylvania fare as far as they were concerned.

At the end of the meal as the ladies were cleaning up 
a couple of us mentioned how much we enjoyed the baked 
corn.....Aunt Betty was right on top of it.
She said she figured she might get asked for the recipe
and whipped out a few recipe cards on which was the 
handwritten recipe.
Such a smart and organized lady!!

Desserts were a team effort.
Georgia brought a cake called a birthday cake.
It was a recipe she had been wanting to make for a long
time....Georgia is the person that they put recipes in magazines
and papers for.  She actually makes them.
I've cut them out from time to time, 
but I rarely get around to making them.
Not Georgia.
She actually does it. 
This cake was awesome!!
Buttery cake with a layer of strawberry jam and
then iced with a delightfully light chocolate frosting.

Of course Betty had made the lemon Sponge.
That is tradition.

There was also a cake with a marshmallow icing 
which was the traditional cake their family had
for everyone's birthday.
It goes by the name of their neighbor in those days 
who had given the family the recipe.
What nostalgia all of these foods generated.

This was a farm family with six children.
There is a very large age range from the oldest son 
to the youngest girl.
They all worked hard on the farm and then at market
with their main form of entertainment being baseball.
They talked about how wonderful it was to get that time
to play because it was mostly about all of the work that had to 
be done.  One uncle grimaced as he remembered that part of it.
Our kids have NO idea.

Finally, we sat around the long farm table with conversations
flowing freely.  One simply had to turn a bit to the right or 
to the left to be engaged in different conversations and topics.

Then the old photos were brought out and memories 
were enjoyed.  This was so touching to me because
I often wonder if any of the photos we treasure today 
will be appreciated in later times.
It made me have hope that at some point children,
grandchildren and even great grands could be reminiscing about
family gone on before.

The legacy of the family members was treasured.
Personalities and quirks were remembered.
Especially Warren's Grandpa who was quite the character.
I loved him in just the few years I was able to know him.
More than anything Grandpa Speed loved to make people
happy and laugh.  He went out of his way, even as a very 
quiet man, to bring smiles to all around him.

I'm so glad that Warren was able to take the day off 
work and that he felt up to going.

It was so nice to hang out with extended family when there 
was no crisis.  Usually it takes a wedding or funeral to 
get us all together.  This was way better.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Horses, Horses, Horses

Lancaster County is horse country.
We may not have many famous stables but we do have a lot of 
smaller stables and many, many horses.

With the Amish community using horses for 
driving their buggies and the many riding stables
there often comes a problem.

Homeless horses.
For many reasons.

It is often surprising to inexperienced horse lovers
to find out how expensive it is to maintain a horse.
Whether you are paying for board or 
simply food and vet bills this is not an cheap 
Often the reality of the expense
 results in the need for emergency 
rescues of very nice horses.

Of course there are many other reasons
why a horse would end up in need of  a new home
but whatever the case whenever possible
Noble Hill Rescue takes them in and works 
very hard to find Foster and Permanent homes for 
the needy horses and ponies.

My Mother-in-law,
volunteers at Noble Hill Rescue.
Saturday they held a horse clinic.
Warren and I stopped by to visit and support this good cause.

 We met the horses up for adoption.

Calmly taking it all in.

We were happy to see new stalls in the barn.  Additional space for more horses.

Each horse had its own description.  This was one of the oldest horses available for adoption.

Dreaming of a new home?

Another horse was being brought out and they were very interested in what was happening!

The source of their interest......

Georgia with a tall horse.  I love how high he holds his head.

Whitey is a thoroughbred and was nervous with all of the attention.  We hoped he would enjoy the apple but he just sniffed it a couple of times and pranced off.

Volunteers are essential at rescues such as this.  The work is hard but the rewards are great.

Preparing for the horse parade.  They were about to be shown off to prospective adopters.
Since these guys weren't up for adoption on this day they got to stay in the pasture.

Beautiful acres to graze and be ridden.

 We kept seeing this little sweetie as we took our tour.  She was enjoying the horses, 
the chickens and even the kitty who was hanging out in the barn.

Her mother wants her to have riding lessons when she is old enough.
I think she will love that!!

Horse clinics and expos are wonderful places to take your children 
to introduce them to farms and large animals.
You never know, it might just become a life long interest for them.

This woman is a horse masseuse.  
She was interesting to watch and listen to.
Horses who are ridden or driven end up with muscle 
pains and strains. 
This lady knows how to identify the lumps, bumps and 
stiff muscles and work them out.

 She gave a thorough demonstration on Tony.

Very, very interested in the camera!

While not up for adoption on Saturday this horse was extremely friendly and didn't want us to leave.
We had a wonderful time.
I would encourage you to check out this horse rescue or one near you
if you have any interest in learning more.

Ways you can help:

Volunteer your time
Donate your cash
Donate supplies
Spread the word
Donate others cash....Fund Raise

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Didn't God do Good?

I could stare for a very long time at the details and subtle color shading in this 
delphinium.  It is simply dainty.
And yet, as I stood there taking this photo 
I overheard a woman exclaiming to her companion,
"I just don't like delphinium."
To which he replied, "Why?"
Her response?
"I don't know, just never have."

And yet there she was taking in the beauty of the gardens
at Longwood, as were we.
I know there were things that make her swoon just as 
this impacted me.
Isn't God good to have made such a variety of flowers
and trees to inspire and delight us?

I'm thinking so.

They hint at the perfection of Himself
and the broad spectrum of His abilities.
Beyond anything we can understand.
That is for sure.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Crazy Week!

If we took massive sickness out of the equation 
this would be a big week.
Adding it in I'm about done.
Done in.
Done for!

The cold of three weeks ago went into 
hibernation but roared back awake in the form 
of a nasty sinus infection.
I went to the doctor yesterday and was started on 
an antibiotic.
Here's hoping it works quickly.
The past two days have been painful.

Both boys began their new jobs this week.
Mikey is currently working two places while his two week 
notice works through at Agway.
His replacement begins this morning.
He'll be busy training him and then tomorrow
will head back to Sight and Sound 
to begin learning the job there.

Last evening found him out clothes shopping.
By himself.
I was supposed to go along and be helpful but 
I just felt too dreadful.
So....he found the all black clothes he needed so that 
he can move sets on stage without being so noticable.
As far as I can tell he did very well.
Sounds like he got everything he needed and 
he seemed satisfied by the experience.

While Jonathan and  Johnny were content with sword fighting Mikey had to try using a tree.  Mother's Day 2012

Jonathan has been immersed in learning his 
security job.  It is going well from the sounds of things.
On his first day he was unexpectedly
 thrown into directing all of the traffic coming into 
a show due to circumstances beyond anyone's control.
I am still trying to decide if this was the training plan or
an interesting circumstance......
Now, others were also working in other areas but he was the 
one making the first decision to which part of the lot 
each car, bus, UPS, Fed Ex, Delivery Truck, etc would be sent.
Quite a challenge on your first and second days.
But, he must have done ok 
since he was assigned to do it 
again on his second day.

Everyone has been so friendly and helpful to both
boys.  Of course, Grandma Ruth, had to show Jonathan off
when he was being introduced around.
I don't know if she's had that opportunity with Mikey.
He hasn't been there as much yet.
But, she will.....definitely.
She loves her grandchildren!!

Soon the tree was being thrown back and forth.  Those are my

I love knowing that all of our kiddos are working in such a 
wonderful environment with people who really care about 
them as the individuals they are*.
It is definitely work.
Mikey will be sore for the first couple of weeks.
Jonathan literally walks miles....
but it is so good.
He is getting tan already...from all of the time
spent out in the sun directing traffic.
So handsome in his uniform!!

I have some orders to make up today
for various people.
Then to take Jonathan to work
and back to either rest or finish orders ...
depending ....
before taking Mikey for his work physical
later.  So....that being said, I guess I'd best get 
dressed and get to work.
I'll be making the floating duckies for the first time
since I made the demos.  Yippee!
They are sooooo cute!!

Monday is a candle fundraiser for Chelsea's 
trip to the Lamplighter Guild in July.
I should make a few extras up for that.
If you are in the area and would like to come
send me a message for info.
We would LOVE to have you come.
I'll have my candles and cards available for sale
and Chelsea is baking the refreshments.
You know that girl can bake!!
Speaking of her...
she wrote an excellent blog post yesterday.
It's here if you like to read it.

*Disclaimer:  Mikey has worked in a very wonderful environment since he 
was 14....his boss has been the best!!  No complaints by any of us.
It was just time to grow up and move into a career type position.
More challenge.  
More hours.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Note Card Party

Can it be?
Time for our May Note Card Party with Vee?
It is!
So....I think that I will revisit the swan photos.

Edited with PicMonkey...
the options are endless.

I chose to put frames on all of them for the sake 
of unifying the set but in all honesty I love this one 
that I had done earlier without the frame....

What do you think?  
Frame or no frame?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gorgeous Peony

If I were naming this Peony I would work the word vintage in somewhere.....
so delicate and sweet.

Monday, May 14, 2012

He's No Quitter

 Just before they come out the door in the wee morning hours
the store goes dark.
I, and whichever Mom, is with me get ready for a wound up,
sore, smelly and chatty Jonathan to come get in the car.
Unloading a semi truck and then loading a store will do that to you.
Well, that's how it has gone most early Monday mornings for the 
past year.

We have done it for the last time.

They were headed to their cars and then turned around for one more 
handshake and goodbye.

This has been an excellent team for Jonathan to work with.
They each found their strengths and then used them to make the work
go faster and more efficiently.
Jonathan was the muscle.
Others are faster at stocking by sku number.
But, they all worked very well together.

I, however, do not enjoy having a gap in my sleep pattern
that is so unnatural.  It also wasn't great for either of our moms
but they were wonderful sports about it!
Having nearly fallen asleep the couple of times I tried to 
do it alone we had come to this arrangement.
Then there was the need for more hours and night a week just is not enough for 
a young man with goals and dreams.

As we drove home this last time I congratulated
Jonathan on holding on with this job until something else 
became available.
His response?
"I'm not a quitter!  I've never quit anything!"

He's pretty right about that.
Both jobs he has had so far he has seen through to their 
conclusion.  The first one he liked less than this one.
It was seasonal but he made it to the end.

So, now he will wear a badge,
be a help to those who need him and on guard against
such things as fire and other unexpected events.
He'll direct incoming traffic to the proper locations
and, should there be an intruder, he'll be on the job.

I love that Jonathan is being trusted to be the first face
guests meet as they come to the theater.
That he gets to work with deliveries, co-workers,
parking and so much more.
They have chosen well and have already made 
him feel so welcome!

I think his new employer will be glad to know that 
this young man is no quitter.
He's in it until the job is done and he knows it is 
time to move on....
Hopefully to a full time position within the same company.
At their request and suggestion.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Abraham Lincoln Said:

"I regard no man as poor who has a Godly mother"

Happy Mother's Day 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

Doggone Nice Day

In spite of blustery winds yesterday was absolutely gorgeous!
The dogs took every opportunity to stay outside
so I decided that we've had enough flower photos for the time being.....
time for puppy portraits.

Chloe loves her bones so much.
If I have the nerve to put them in a corner or box it is just a 
matter of minutes before she pulls them out one at a time and places them back
in the places she thinks they belong.  Within her line of vision.
Funny dog.

 As often as possible she sneaks one out with her 
so she can enjoy the warm sunshine AND chew her bone.
The ultimate in happiness for this chihuahua.
Many a bone has met it's demise by the wrath of the riding mower.

This is one very happy pup.
O.k., so she's not a pup.
But let's just pretend.
In reality Chloe is seven, I think.
I'm terrible with dates.

This one made me laugh out loud when I first saw it.
Who knew her tongue was that long!
Makes me think of an

 The camera got a bit close.
See that ear go back?
She is on guard.

Bandit was in a mellow mood.
She kept posing for me.
It has been nice to see her settle out of that 
incredible activity she had as a puppy.
Not that she doesn't love to move and run....
but she is now able to sit still.
I don't think that was a physical possibility for the
first two years.

 Finally after a long time chewing that bone Chloe decided that we should take a walk.
So she led the way.

Georgia puts bird feeders in all of the trees around.
Seems people are always giving them to her as gifts and she has run out of trees.
This is our dogwood.

 The trees were waving in the wind.

 Just playing....

 I decided to limit my time under the trees as they tend to shed branches 
when the wind is blowing that hard.
For some reason the trees that we hang the hammock in are the most
likely to drop large branches.

As we approached the house once more I decided to snap the hosta. 
Huge again this year.
So early.....I know I'll be cutting it down about a month sooner than 
most years.  
Fall decor can come out early, if we so choose.

And finally....
looking off the deck.
We enjoy a very lovely view....
when we take the time.