Saturday, March 30, 2013


That's the sound I make when coming to a quick stop here at Hospitality Lane.
A stop to say that we are still here and things are all good.

Since I was here last Jonathan has had his 22nd birthday.
We celebrated it two evenings this week.
Well, one was an already planned game night that 
grew larger as some came just because we were celebrating
Jonathan's successful arrival at a new year.

The second was a dinner out at Red Lobster.
I took this photo as proof that on very rare occasions
Jonathan will eat veggies. 

 In this case it is a Caesar salad.  I know you really can't see it
because of Jonathan's big hand, but take my word for it.
That is a salad ...and he was eating it.
For those who don't know, Jonathan is primarily a 
"meat eater".  He has a real aversion to most things that 
come from the ground.  Don't even get him started on 
tomatoes.  Haha.  They are apparently the worst.

I have to brag on Jonathan a bit.
We are so proud of this young man.
He has the biggest heart of anyone I know.
One wouldn't always know it because of his 
intimidating size
and the bit of a shell he puts up to protect that 
tender heart.
I'll just say that anyone who earns his love and respect
has earned a very good thing.
He is a very good guy.
We are so blessed to call him our son.

Let's see .....what else has happened since
I wrote last.
Well, we had our traditional 
Good Friday Service last evening.
We were a small group but it was still special.  
Remembering what was involved in the 
ultimate sacrifice for those who believe.
Pastor Mike had the young men read the scripture
passages and we all sang songs that fit
the theme.
Great songs!

Chelsea made pretty Easter cookies to 
take to work and share.
She and I shared a moment of amusement 
when we found Warren innocently eating one.

Kind of like the kid  caught with his hand in the cookie
jar but since he had no idea they had a purpose 
and Chelsea bakes all of the time for the fun of it
he had absolutely no
guilt at all.
Chelsea and I simply burst into gales of laughter and he 
had no idea why.
Don't you just love those moments with family? is good!

I got to spend time with a friend at a local 
cafe on Wednesday.
It was unexpected and it was great!
Phyllis....Thanks for sharing your time with me.
Let's meet up again soon.

I worked in the candle kitchen.
Surprise, surprise.
Things are a bit slow right now so I got
to create this cutie.

It has a "sister" that I want to get made up soon.

I also started a baby shower favor order
and completed a child's blessing order.

Finally, I got to use some of these adorable pottery
cups.  My friend, Deanna, and I were out shopping a long 
time ago and I found these.  I thought for sure they would 
fly out the door.  
Not so much!
But finally the right people saw them and fell in love.
30 baby shower favors are on their way out of here next week.

Tea lights in process.

It's a BOY.
I snapped a quick pic to send the shower planners so they 
could choose white or blue ribbons.
They chose blue.

Fun! Fun!

This week I'll be making up my April candles to 
get out to the Retail locations.
I'm thinking maybe Daffodil and Chocolate Hazelnut Cappuccino.
What do you think?
Is it too late in the season for the Cappuccino?

Tomorrow is our annual Sunrise Service and Easter Breakfast.
I can't wait.
It will be chilly at the pond, 
but we won't be there long and it is tradition.
So special.
I was watching a Walton's Easter special this week
and noticed that their sunrise service was by a pond and 
it looked just like ours.
Very cool!

Well, today will be quite busy as we prepare 
for tomorrow and take Jonathan to the Chiropractor again.
His back does not seem to be improving.
Herniated Discs are NOT fun.
Please pray that we would have the wisdom to 
know when to look at surgery.
He really needs relief!!

Happy Easter, My Friends.

Our Savior IS risen.
He lives!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Snow? Yep!

It is so pretty.
Huge flakes dancing on their way to the ground.

Yesterday the Weather Channel said 
6-10 inches.
As of this morning our local forecasts say we will
get a few slushy inches here.....
they will get more in other places.
This gives me hope for a fun game night 
this evening.

Some friends from church are supposed to come
next door to Georgia's house
for dinner and games.
We get to go too.

Between us we are bringing the ingredients
for taco salad.
I'm making the chili.

Yesterday it was looking doubtful. seems quite possible.
Spring snow storms are like that.
Well, actually, every snow storm this year was 
kind of like this.
They promised a lot....
and delivered little.

Today I am o.k. with 
"the little" part.

Perhaps I'll grab the camera when the sun comes 
up and see if there are any beautiful sights out there yet.

What is the weather like in your neck of the woods?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I'm Late...But I'm Here...For Vee's Note Card Party

We had to head out this morning to take Jonathan
to the Chiropractor.
This is effort number three to find a solution for his
back/hip/leg pain.

The family doctor sent him to physical therapy
and it was slightly helpful but only to a point.
Then he stopped going to that.
Yesterday he was trying to drive and wasn't able to 
push consistently on the gas pedal because the pain
was so severe.
I knew we had to do something.
So with a referral from a friend we were off to 
a new Chiropractor.

Diagnosis:  Herniated Disc.

It's genetic.
Both his Grandad and Uncle had surgeries for this 
when they were about his age.

we are going to do all other options first.

here I am, 
that being my excuse for running late with this 
much looked forward to party.

Vee, at A Haven for Vee, hosts it each month.
It is fun!!
You choose four photos that have already been 
featured on your blog that would make interesting or pretty note cards.

I decided to go with some from The Virginia Living Museum.
We visited in February.
It was a blast.

I've lost count of how many times our family has 
been there.
Kind of strange for people who live in 
Pennsylvania, right?
Well, we vacation down there a lot
and this is a "must do" when we visit.
It doesn't matter how old the kids were and are
they still love going there.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Candle Club Anyone?

I don't remember if I've told you about the 
Candle Club?

If you send me your email address
I will put you on a list to receive a monthly 
email offering my overstock candles
at 40% off.

I love to include a freebie most months
too.....could be a tea light....could be a 4 ounce candle.
This month it is a tea light.

The candles are available on a first come
first serve basis as I have limited amounts 
at these prices.

If you are on  Facebook you might want to 
"like" the Good Neighbors Candle Page to see 
new stuff, 
get coupon codes
and perhaps even win a 
give away.


Bully Winter and a Sinless Cat

Last Winter didn't hang around that long.
This Winter is reluctant to let go.

We don't have this much snow this time....but I'm using it anyway.  Taken April 1, 2011?

Last evening Chelsea, Warren and I were coming
home as snow, sleet and rain were falling.
All at the same time.

We were in separate cars 
since Chelsea and I had been up to Lancaster 
for a dentist appointment and then stayed to 
meet up with Warren when he was done with work
for a soup and salad dinner.

Warren was a few minutes ahead of us on a 
twisty curvy road that goes higher in elevation
than most around here.

Chelsea and I had discussed briefly which 
way we would take home.
Usually if the weather is questionable I avoid
 this road but we were anxious to get home
and this is the quickest route.

The roads on Route 30 were just wet.
I knew that this was risky.
But did it anyway.

We were barely out of Strasburg when 
we met a car that flashed its lights at us.
Just then the texture of the road changed.
Of course this is where the curves and the hills began as well.

Pretty soon we saw a van parked on a bridge
with a man standing in warning....
My heart began to race.
My window went down and he said that there 
was an accident just around the next curve.
I asked him if it was a small blue car.
Thankfully, for us, he said no.

We rounded the curve and found a large
jeep on its side.
A police cruiser was already there and the 
two occupants of the jeep were standing there 
looking quite uncomfortable.
I was so glad they were able to stand.

Chelsea and I continued gingerly on this road
praying our way up the hills and reducing gear
to come down the hills.

Home looked really good when we got here.
My heart was happy to find that little blue car
all tucked in the garage.
Safe and Sound.

To me this will be the winter of the nuisance 
weather.  No big snows for us.
Just lots of ice and slush.

Now, to completely change the subject 
are you curious about the sinless cat?
Well, that's a bit misleading.
It was a humorous thing my brain did this morning
at 5:35am.
From a very deep sleep I heard 
our Oliver meowing
to go out.

Then, within moments, 
he began banging the metal blinds at the door 
in our room.

I was ticked.
Not only was he requesting to go outside 
but he was making absolutely impossible to 
ignore him, which was what I would 
have gladly done given the depth of my sleep
and the warmth of my bed.

I got up and stumbled over to the door.
Opening it I was struck by the white snow on the deck.
I have no idea why but this is what flashed though my head,
"Go, and sin no more!"

I came back to my bed to attempt to 
sleep a bit longer but chuckling 
about the silliness of my brain even from 
a dead sleep.

Not two minutes later
Warren's alarm went off.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Psst....Look What is Coming!

Hopefully within a week we will be launching
the Katie Candle!

Do you remember my friend Susanna?
They adopted Katie about a year and a half
ago and she was just 10 pounds at the age of nine.
To read her story
just click here.

Well, Katie is a growing and thriving girl.
It's amazing what love and nutrition
can do.

Katie's needs continue for medical
and therapy equipment and there is 
a fund set up to collect funds for
use when the needs arise.

Things such as ankle supports are 
helping Katie be more mobile.
It is anticipated that she will be walking
within a year.
She's off to a great start as she stands
to play the piano and to reach and 
do other things.

You've seen The Tommy Candle.

That was to raise money for his adoption
costs...which have been met!
More than $1,550 came 
through these candles.
Praise God!!

Next I'll make a Tommy Candle
for the Care Fund.

These are 12 ounce candles.
$5 from each candle goes into the fund.

Once again I hope that these candles 
will remind us to pray daily for these 
precious children and the others 
still waiting to be rescued and to find love.

Watch my sidebar to know when 
there is an actual listing for these candles.
It is coming soon!

You'll know when the Tommy Candle link goes
away and Katie's joyful face is in its place.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Introducing the Soap!

After months of testing we have developed 
the perfect blends.

When I say "we"
I mostly mean our friend, John.
He is a great soap maker.
When I found out that he and his wife, Bonnie, 
had been making their own soap for a while
I asked if they would consider working with 
my fragrances.
Thankfully, they agreed.

Bonnie has let me know that it is pretty much 
John's thing. 
She's supportive but busy home educating, 
cooking, cleaning and keeping a very busy 
household running day to day.
So John is the master soap maker.

One thing I have come to learn about soap.
It takes TIME!
All of the soaps we are offering are at about 
eight weeks of cure time.
This seems to be a good age so that 
the soap has dried through and won't 
melt away too quickly.
Of course, it is natural and you must keep it 
dry between uses if you want it to last.
And you do!

So, our minimum cure time has been established as
eight weeks.  
Longer than that hurts nothing.

Above you have seen the French Lavender.
I present it as a more modern scent.
Kind of spa-like.
The vanilla in the French Lavender oils
turn the soap this rich brown color.

Below are the Citrus Infusion Bars.
This is my personal fragrance blend.
When the supplier discontinued
the citrus infusion I had been using I was forced
to develop my own.
It has been WAY more popular than the original.
I'm pleased.

The blend is Tangerine, Mango and Fresh Squeezed Orange.

Friends at church are buying this from John 
in bulk.

The soap lathers beautifully!
Is scented just right.
You can notice it but it isn't overwhelming.

I also have some oatmeal unscented and 
plain unscented to list.
Just haven't gotten there yet.

I would be curious to know if you have tried
hand crafted soap.
If so, what are your favorite features of it?
Skin Softening?
These all have Palm, Coconut and Olive oil in them.
Great moisturizing benefits.

I included a couple of comments from the testers
If you are interested pop on over and see what 
they had to say.

Thanks for looking!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Delightful Weekend!

I don't even know how to begin telling you how good
God has been to me this past week.

You see, 
the last few months have been so difficult
in many ways.
I think they might get harder before they get 
better....but I have faith that they will indeed get better.
I am praying hard that God is going to open 
doors and restore a relationship that has floundered.
I love my friend and miss her so much!

In the meantime I have prayed that
 God would lead me 
to new friendships.
And He has!
Perhaps that was His plan all along.
To kick me out of my rut and help me to 
get to know and receive the benefit of new 
and renewed friendships.

In the past week I have been blessed to meet with 
four, count them FOUR precious 
friends, well SIX if you count the moms.
And I do.

We have laughed together, prayed together, 
counseled each other and 
precious time spent.

On Friday, the third such meeting was my dear friend
Angel.  She, her husband and their oldest daughter drove 
two hours to join us at the premiere of Noah.
This is Sight and Sound's current show.
It has been updated since the days it last played
in Lancaster and is truly amazing.
It was good before....
but the changes have only made it better.

Angel, Sean and Lily stayed over and we got to 
go into Lancaster city 
to Central Market 
and Fab Fashion.
Then they had to head back to their youngest daughter
who was in her Grandmother's kind hands.
You might remember Angel as the one 
who headed up that amazing craft show
in Chambersburg last year.
She's an amazing lady and I'm so 
honored to have her friendship.

On Sunday afternoon, 
after a rushed picnic 
on the deck,
I got to hang out with Chelsea, Mindy
and my friend Kelly as we went to Barnes and Noble
just for fun....
and then across the way to a frozen yogurt cafe
owned by Kelly's friend, Carol.
It is always such a delight to see local people
treating people right and earning a living in the process.

Last evening our mothers took us to see The Irish Tenors.
This was a result of the ticket incident at Christmas.
Both Moms got two tickets to this concert for each other.
You should have heard the laughter that was generated 
upon that discovery.
Since the theater would not refund or exchange the 
tickets Warren and I got an early Anniversary present.

Today is our 24th wedding anniversary.
It is also my Mother's Birthday!
Easy to remember!

I did tell the Moms after the show that
since we truly enjoyed it we would be willing to 
pay for the tickets.
The implication was that there was no 
way I would have offered if the show was horrid.
There was an evil twinkle in my eye
as I said that - for sure.
Oh but we truly enjoyed the live orchestra
and the amazing voices of those three
Irish gentlemen.

Our evening out finished up with half price 
appetizers at Applebees.
Fun and YUM.
Thanks Georgia!

Our evening was not yet complete, however.
Upon returning home we found that our 
head count had increased by three.
Michael, Johnny and Chris would spend the night.
AND they were starving.

So...out came the frozen pizzas 
and this happy Mom fed "the boys".
It has been very quiet around here since
the guys schedules haven't meshed and 
Chris was in Thailand and then Malaysia with 
I think we are about to see our house come
back to life.

All is either good, or will be good
here at Hospitality Lane.

We are truly blessed.

Prayers appreciated today as I head to the cardiologist.
With our anniversary and heart doctor all 
in one day I have declared this....
 "the day 
of the heart".

Hope YOUR day is great!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Mixed Arts

I am not the only one using our kitchen for creative purposes.
Normally, the clay figures that Jonathan sculpts
and paints turn out amazing.

the one I am about to show you will 
be fine too.

However every time I walk past the 
stove to get to the microwave this sight greets me.

A little bit unsettling 
if you ask me.

Amusing, though.

We are a crazy creative bunch around here.

Chelsea's artwork is found on the fridge,
in her jeans pockets when I do the wash
all over her room.

But, in the meanwhile I've got 
candles to make and I'm no longer able to work around the headless dude.

So....he's moving.

Wish him well.

Monday, March 4, 2013

We Were Kind Of Hoping....

To head out to Longwood Gardens today.
Chelsea and I.

But it is blustery cold.
And I have cold number two for the season.
Turns out Warren's cold and my cold 
were of different varieties.

Oh well.

It could be worse.
And by that I mean that it 
could have been the stomach stuff.

I'm a serial hand washer these days.
I have a real fear of THAT stuff.

So.....since we didn't go and get new pics
I'm going to share some photos that I have recently 
listed for sale in my Etsy shop.

I'll be adding more over the next few weeks.

Ship's Mast at Baltimore's Inner Harbor

And the Pink Rose.....

Sometimes one just needs to see beautiful color
and a reminder of warmer weather.
Especially when one is minding the wind and cold.

if you happen to be in my state of mind
I hope these brightened your day.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

I'm on a Kick

A creative kick!

These devotional candles are making me so happy.

What do you think?

Devotional Candle

Just a little reminder that the One who 
knows and loves us best
LOVES to hear our voices
in the mornings.

What a great way to begin the day.
Giving Praise.
Expressing our need of Him.
Gathering the confidence that comes from 
knowing we do not walk alone.

So, whether this candle gives Him warning...
or makes a promise,
it is certainly a reminder to come to Him 
each and every day.

Have a delightful day!

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Collaboration with a Wonderful Artist

If you've been reading you know that I've been
working on labels.
Really working on labels.

It came to me the other day that perhaps
I should purchase some art
to use on some special candles.

And so I did.

I knew just where to go for the art I wanted.

I've been collecting pieces from 
Niki Jackson.
Niki is an English Artist 
who paints

She reminds me of a book illustrator,
which is awesome because she is currently 
writing and illustrating a children's book.

It is going to be s.w.e.e.t!

You can visit Niki's Etsy shop 
if you like.
It's called The Vintage Artist.

My first project with Niki's work is
a custom wedding candle.

Chelsea picked out this adorable painting
and I thought it was just precious.

When you add the bride and groom's name
and wedding date along with your choice
of my message or a personalized one

I can imagine people customizing labels 
for Bridal Showers too.
What a wonderful favor.

So....I'm tickled to death to be 
working with Niki's art.

I have licensed two paintings for 
one year.
Hopefully they will catch on and 
I'll be able to continue 
working with Niki for many years to come.

Currently in the works.....
A Mother's Day Candle.
Stay tuned!