Tuesday, April 30, 2013

On Making a Menu, Making Soap, And Artisan Bread - Sort of......

I'm not a domestic diva.
It is a fact.

However, I'm a believer in doing 
what I can to keep this house going in a 
positive direction.

Keeping this house going in a positive
direction means that we have to be 
healthy and relatively happy.

I feel that the last several years have stolen 
much from my desire to be proactive in my 
domestic abilities.

Rather I have been holding on by my 
fingernails as I fought desperately for my daughter's life.
Before that I was scrapping to get our mothers 
settled in our neighborhood and dealing with 
the grief of many.
Myself included....but mostly others.

This might be the year that my grief gets dealt with.

A friend and I touched on it this morning 
as I asked her how her grief process was coming 
since the loss of her father. 
She described so perfectly what I feel.
She said she pretty much felt she had put the grief
in a drawer until a time she feels better able to deal with it.

Oh yeah!
Do I ever know about that.

Mom went to Grief Share.
I couldn't.

I felt no right to feel the intense pain.
He wasn't my husband.
He was my father.

When it came to Warren's Dad....
well, he was Georgia's husband.
We had much to do.
There was no time to feel.
We had to act.

More than not feeling the right to pain
I didn't want to feel it.

Sure, things would make me cry.
But as soon as possible I would 
move on.

To fall apart meant that I might 
never be put back together
and that was not acceptable.

Then, like I said, we went right into 
dealing with 

Days, weeks, hours.....
meant nothing.

Not up there on the list of important things to do.
We were literally dealing with life and death.

But now we find ourselves on the other side of crisis.

I actually have days when I can breathe.

I am so thankful for how things have settled out.
Chelsea is strong.
The Moms are in as good a place as they can be
without the Dads.

For a while I thought the next thing on my agenda 
should be getting a full time job.
After all, 
did I really think I could slow down
and let the thoughts and pain in?

However, I've been once again finding joy
in my home.
Joy in serving my family.

I've made a menu for the first two weeks of May.
We will go out and purchase the ingredients sometime 
in the next 24 hours.

I've begun to attack the clutter in my home that has 
gathered and I think even had babies in the corners.

Chelsea and I pulled out the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day Book
so we could choose some recipes to start with.

My Aunt has shared her liquid laundry detergent recipe.
I prefer liquid detergent.
Those ingredients are to be purchased at the same time
as the groceries.

Life moves on.

There may be some truth to the saying that you 
can tell the health and happiness of a family 
by the condition of their home
if I am any indication of that.

The pit was pretty deep.

While the surface was smooth....
the current ran strong.

These days I find myself quick to tears.
I think often of my Dad.
I miss him.

We miss Warren's Dad.

But we will be o.k.

We have survived.
All of us.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Grey Day at The Inner Harbor

It might have been gray and spitting
but it was FUN!

Once a month our church designates a Sunday
as a Family Day.
All that it means is that there is no church sponsored
event after worship on that week.
We encourage families to focus on spending time together
alone or in smaller groups.

We don't want burn out.

We do want creativity, conversation, 
field trips, rest, and variety.

So.....what it looks like is different 
for each family day and each family.

Sometimes we make plans to go out for dinner
with the Moms.
Sometimes, like yesterday, we make plans to 
head out of town after church.

With families working, home educating and keeping homes
all week long it is so nice to have at least ONE day per 
month that is completely open to whatever we want to do

So.....we went to Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
We were joined by our friends, The Barrs and Pastor Mike.
Of course "we" includes the Moms.

Many others went to Creekside Cottage for a picnic.
I know many were looking forward to that kind of a calm
afternoon, while still others went home for quiet time.

I'm coming to love this particular Sunday
of the month.
The car ride to Baltimore led to amazing conversations.
I wouldn't trade it for the world!!

Once we arrived we stopped at the Visitor Center
and then headed out to enjoy the sights.
Chelsea was in "need" of some Starbucks so she 
and I headed out across several lanes of traffic
for her "fix".

Perhaps Warren is checking this out in case his Miata ever feels too big?

Two birds in one shot

We came back and joined back up with the group
from which we got quick snapshots of the Grandmas 
touring a ship and then headed for this huge 
Barnes and Noble.

I can't even imagine how cool it must have been 
to turn this old factory into an amazing store.

We spent a fair amount of time just poking around the harbor.
Even though it was getting late there was still plenty to see.

A little fishy fun....

And at the risk of shaming myself.....
 My "friend" Bonnie said that I look demented.
Haha.  Good....I was going for the crazy fish look.

Our final stop was dinner at
The Uno Chicago Grill.


They worked hard to make sure we had
a wonderful experience.

 These brothers crammed into a booth that was way too small.
But they didn't mind.

As we were leaving darkness had fallen
and so I had to snap just a couple more shots.

I have to back up to tell you a story so that you'll see why we 
found the next two photos totally amusing.
While we were in Barnes and Noble we kept losing 
track of one member or more of our group.
So...I was kidding when I suggested that we should get matching 
t-shirts for the group so we would be easier to find.
Of course the name Sonrise Christian Fellowship 
would be on the back.

Well, it didn't take long to see why this would be a very bad 
idea when Mr. Barr was suggesting that Jonathan and he should
do something quite unacceptable.
Can you just imagine....and there we would be
with our church name emblazoned for all to see???
That was all in fun....
but so was the suggestion for the t-shirts.

on a final stop as we were leaving at a Candy store
Grandma Ruth found t-shirts for the group.
What a laugh we had over the very idea.

 One....or two....Hot Chicks.
 Just in case I have to say it.....This did NOT come home with anyone!

Things got a bit more sensible with the oversized Twizzlers.

Pastor Mike picked up a bit of candy.
 He wasn't the only one.
Kelly and I got some too 
and were totally SHOCKED 
at the price.
But...it was fun.

There was a sign up on the wall which Georgia noticed.
It said 
"Gotcha Sucker!"
I guess we were gotten.

It was time for the locals to get some sleep.

We made it safely back to 
the parking garage and enjoyed another chatty 
ride back home.

Simply delightful.

I wonder what we will do next month?

Maybe a zoo?


A postscript on this lovely day.
While we were out and about my dear friend, Susanna, 
gave birth to a darling baby boy.
I've not met him yet but I know he is darling because 
that is what Susanna does. 
She makes darling children.

One month from now their adopted son,
Tommy, comes home.
This will round out their family to 
a perfect 13 children.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Mother's Day Blast - Surprise Sale in My Etsy Shop

Mother's Day is just around the corner.....Really.

I've decided that this weekend I want to 
offer a surprise 25% off sale 

Everything* is on sale!

....And so much more!

Simply use Coupon Code
at the checkout to save 25% on your total order.

*The only exceptions are the Tommy and Katie candles
due to my commitment of giving from those proceeds.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Morning After A Migraine.....

.....Is ugly.

I officially hate migraines.

Yesterday I was spending a very lovely 
and interesting afternoon out with my friend, Deanna,
as we enjoyed some time in Lititz.

We were there so that Deanna could meet 
another shop owner who carries my candles, Karen.
Both of these ladies are courageous and strong.
Running a retail shop is not for the faint of heart.
Especially in these hard economic times.

Deanna and I
 enjoyed a tasty lunch at the Tomato Pie Cafe,
which may be the source of the migraine
now that I think about it.
Not the food, 
but the environment.
Because of a remodeling project going on there
it was extra crowded and very loud.
An hour spent in this busyness
may have played a part.
I've really no idea.
I greatly enjoyed the food and the company.

Then we were off to meet up with Karen
at Back Home Again.
She is doing such a delightful job with the 
setting up of her shop.
I meant to take photos and completely forgot.

I enjoyed seeing and hearing these two sharp 
ladies discussing business.

Then it was time to head back to a local shopping 
area where we had left Jonathan and Chelsea.
No sooner had I pulled into the shopping center when my right
eye became partially blind. 
I know that sounds weird but that is what happens
for me before the headache hits.
I said, "Oh no, I'm getting a migraine!"
And then the words became harder to come 
up with.
We found Chels and Jon and then it was decided that
I'd best stop at the nearby CVS for some Ibuprofen.
I tottered inside to get it and then gulped two 
dry while waiting in the "forever" line to 
cash out.

I truly hoped the cashier didn't ask too many questions
because try as I might I couldn't come up with the word
I knew I would come off sounding drunk or something.
My words just go......with migraines.
So scary.

As we drove up toward Lancaster 
the thought processes became 
even more 

I got just plain scared.

We stopped so Deanna could take over the wheel.
She drove straight to the hospital.

They got me back quickly for an evaluation.
At that point I told them it was 2012.

Wishful thinking, maybe.

But after seeing a doctor
he reassured me that it appeared to be a 
"complicated migraine"
and had the nurse give me IV medication 
to ease the symptoms.

They worked.

In the process, though I became very hot and agitated
and felt the need to get out of there.
I rang for the nurse and asked to leave.
She checked with the doctor and said that was fine 
if I was feeling better.
At that point I was since the real headache had 
yet to hit.

Thankfully we made it home and I got to bed before
the intense pain crashed in.
After some time I managed to get to sleep 
and a very long nap took care of that pain.

This morning I have the "imprint" of the headache
up there but no crashing pain.

Everything hurts
in general.

But it would seem that the worst
and the scariest has passed.

Do you get migraines?
Are they annoying or scary to you?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Every Day They Play

Bandit and the squirrels.

I open the door
and she charges out and to the right.

Her eyes are bright and hopeful.

Most of the time she is not disappointed.
We have a lot of squirrels 
around here.

They play.
The squirrels are active participants who will
come down from the trees and hop around to get 
her attention.

She runs like the wind to their location 
as they shimmy up a tree.
This one flattened itself against the tree 
in hopes that she wouldn't be able to see it.

It must be new.

Normally they just kind of hang on the side 
just out of her reach
they go to the top of the tree to run branch to branch 
until they come down another tree to begin the 
game all over again.

Its all fun and games
until she actually catches one.

Monday, April 22, 2013

O Happy Day!

 By now you know that I miss having 
our middle son, Michael,
living with us.
I know that our children have to grow up and 
go out and make it on their own.
However, it still makes me very, very happy 
when he comes back to spend quality time with his family.

Today was one of those precious days.

We ran errands together in the afternoon....
all three of our kiddos and me.

Then we came home and had a delightful dinner
Dinner was
our choice of
 chicken or beef sliders
and Tuscan Asparagus.

Warren had beat us home and was 
willing to operate the grill to make
the meat 
for the sliders.

Not being an asparagus lover
I surprised myself by almost enjoying 
the roasted and seasoned veggie dish.
I had FOUR spears.
Its a record.

Dinner was followed by a walk.
A nice long walk.

On this walk were Warren, Chelsea, Mom, 
Georgia, Myself 
all three dogs.

The evening was brisk but not cold....
At least as long as one was moving.

The moon stood out.....just beautifully...... in the blue sky.

Father and Daughter.
She was getting chilly.

 A flowering tree caught our eye.
Such delicate blossoms!

Sigh....such beauty in such a simple setting.

These blooms just brighten their corners of the world.
We came across them many times on this walk.

Beautiful vistas so close to home.

So thankful for this busy but blessed day.