Thursday, September 26, 2013

Spider Demands Second Post Today

 I had taken Bandit out the back door for what seems like the 
hundredth time today.
As I looked up the hill something caught my eye.
It was between the trees that are on the border between us and 
our neighbors yard. 
I still don't know whose trees they are but that really 
doesn't matter at this point.

I saw a glowing, moving circle.
there appeared to be something quite large 
in the center.

I grabbed my camera and headed up the hill.
This is what I found.

So huge, so intricate.

What a very industrious spider!

There are several discarded webs that slowly increase
in size.
I'm thinking she is quite into this homemaking thing.
I wonder if she pinned any or is getting new designs
from her Pinterest Boards. 

For the record, 
I really dislike spiders.
But this one has my respect.

My World Lately

If you could see me right now you would think I have nothing
in the world to do.
I'm sitting back in hubby's recliner, 
since he is at work, 
and cuddling with my pup, Bandit.
It won't be long until she gets tired of me holding her tight
and tapping the keys and she'll head to some more comfy spot.
However, for now, the desire to be close to me 
outweighs her frustrations at my distraction.

The thought that I have nothing to do could not be further
from the truth.
As you may recall the end of September is the true 
beginning of candle season around here.
Lately, however, it is kind of hard to distinguish the seasons
as there are always orders waiting.

What a blessing.

People all over the country have discovered my baby shower
favors and are ordering them in large quantities.
The order I'm currently processing is for 80 candles.
That is a lot of shower guests.
I can just imagine what that shower is going to look like.
How exciting for this couple.

I'm also regularly producing candles for Katie, Tommy 
or for their Mother's contributions to adoption auctions.

And most recently I am attempting to stock up for the 
craft shows and fundraisers which are coming up so
very quickly.

That is the quick view of my world of candles.

However, that is not my entire world.
Oh no!
There is the continued need to help my Mother in Law, 
Georgia, as she recovers from her broken leg and surgery.
Things are going very well and we are hoping that she will
regain full use of that leg in the next couple of weeks.
I have enjoyed the time we spend together and we have 
had more side splitting laughs than you can imagine.
We are also finishing up the first three seasons of 
Downton Abbey in anticipation of the fourth season 
coming in January.
As for her health, 
Once she gets the green light to use that leg full strength
 we will have many therapies to go to and 
then she will get the permission to drive once again.
That freedom will not ever be taken for granted
for her, I can assure you.
Bless her heart.
She's been at my mercy all Summer.
I've tried....but no one can do things quite like you would do it.

A huge part of my world is watching for 
opportunities to chat with my girl in the land down under.
We are so very blessed to see her doing well.
She has made many new friends, is learning so much, 
coming out of her quiet shell...somewhat...
Can you believe that she will be performing
one of her own songs with a friend this week?
Oh yes!
She wrote the lyrics and Ashlee helped with the music.

Reading her weekly blog posts which recap their week of lectures
has been a highlight.
Chelsea has been exposed to many new thoughts and ideas
and it is fun to see her process through them.
God is truly blessing her time there.

The final BIG part of my world is a change in my health.
After weeks of severe pain in my side and then 
a prolapsed bladder I had an ultrasound.
It revealed an enlarged liver and spleen.
While I am not sure that this is the cause of the pain,
my doc doesn't think so, 
it was a huge wake up call and I have made major 
changes to our diet and have lost about 13 pounds 
so far.

I am researching, taking a class, 
Real Body Revolution,
 and continuing to investigate
my options for healing the pain in my side
as well as surgery for the bladder prolapse.
My goal is to be healthier at 50 than I was at 30.
We'll see.

I know I already have more energy than I've had
in quite some time.
The ladies from church commented on it 
Sunday afternoon.
That was a boost!

We've also been making changes at our church.
Physical changes in the sanctuary since we are outgrowing 
the space as we've been using it.
Saturday found Warren and I painting there.
I had to laugh that I was painting at church when I have many
painting projects that NEED to be done around here.
But, hey, at least something was getting done....
and that impacts way more people than my little
bathroom projects would here.
Although, they must get done as well!
I have the border half torn off and there is mildew
to be cleaned from the time our ceiling fan was making 
noise but not actually working.
Then I am planning to paint the walls above the tile 
a very cheery yellow until the day comes that we can 
completely gut that room and start over.
I'm mostly looking forward to that day!

There you have a peek into my world.
It's not really that interesting but it is 
never boring either.

What is happening in your world?
I just can't get around to visit like I used to.
Sometimes I sneak a peek but don't comment.
Occasionally I even get to comment. 

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Good Sunday Morning

With the windows cracked open just a bit I can hear the birds
happily chirping in the trees.
The sun is burning away the tiniest traces of mist
and the remaining fields of corn hold on through this one last day.
Certainly the farmer won't cut them on a Sunday, 
he being of Mennonite persuasion.

They cut the field directly across the street this week.
Oddly I didn't notice immediately that the corn was missing.
What I noticed instead was that the machinery had gone through
a drain in the field.
Metal bars that protected animals and people from falling in 
are gone.  
What few do remain are very bent and serve no purpose.
I went and peeked down yesterday.
It is quite a drop.
Hoping the neighborhood children and animals steer clear.
Even Bandit had to go and have a look-see.
We all seem to have it.

In the oven this morning are Baked Oatmeal
and some egg casserole.

Most of the baked oatmeal is headed out to a friend
who is having some physical difficulties right now.
Other ladies in the church are preparing meals
which I will run to her later today.
It occurred to me that something for breakfasts 
might come in handy as well.

I saved out a small ramekin of the oatmeal mix 
to go with our egg casserole.
I'm only making that since the oven was hot anyway.
Seemed like a prudent thing to do.

Anyway, it is all smelling absolutely delicious.

In other "news"....

Warren took me to Longwood Gardens on Friday
in celebration of my birthday.

We chose to wait until the weather was cooler.
It was worth the wait.

The new header photo is of a water lily
from that visit.
There was a drizzling rain and it made the 
photo just a bit more interesting with the ripples in the pond.

Before heading out to see this year's crop of water lilies
Warren and I went through a display in the conservatory
which describes the life cycle and history of this amazing plant.

When we were finished watching the video which described the 
process of pollination we both looked at each other and said, 
"Evolution?  I don't think so!"

Our wonderful Creator thought of absolutely everything.
If you doubt that please take some time and study
Victoria, the Waterlily Queen.

And for every miracle of design in the plant kingdom
there are thousands more all around us.

"The Heavens declare the glory of God!"
Oh yes, they do!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Advice for a Long Marriage

I thought I would pass along a conversation
my mother had with 
a distant relation who has been married 
nearly fifty years.
This man has a chronic disease which
makes speaking difficult and therefore
the words spoken were said 
with much effort and determination.

After listening to a Pastor's sermon 
on marriage 
and the frustrations that are so minor
and yet become 
so irritating
such as squeezing the toothpaste in the 
middle and leaving the cap off...
this is what the husband said.

"She squeezes the tube 
in the middle...... and leaves the cap off."

Mom waited.

He finished.

"I got my own tube!"

How many times do we prefer to try to change 
our spouse as opposed to finding a solution 
that leaves the freedom to each others preferences?

I just loved this conversation and 
have thought about it several times this week.

Monday, September 9, 2013

So....It's Official....I'm Another Year Older

Today was the day.
One little tick of the clock and I have achieved 
a higher digit on the right side of my age numerals.

Seems you don't have to do much to have a birthday.
The work of the actual birth day is done by your mom.
Then you just have to keep breathing.

Its that easy.


So...why is it then that we celebrate it, 
congratulate people
even give gifts?

Beats me
but I'll take it!

Tonight's birthday dinner at our local Italian Restaurant
was amazing.  
The food was delicious 
but even better was that we had both of our 
moms and all three kids celebrating with us.

Chelsea was there by way of Skype.
She kept getting passed around the table.
One by one we showed her our plates.
She, being on morning time had just finished peanut butter toast.

Grandma Ruth got to share with her all she had learned 
from her nephew over the weekend about his 
recent mission trip to Thailand. 
He was in one of the cities where Chelsea will 
spend some time.

But, more amazing than having Chelsea with us
was having Michael at the table in real life.
He is quite the guy these days.
All grown up and stuff.
But I'm not above shaming him into joining 
his family for my special day.
And he enjoyed it.
Yes, he did!
He and Chelsea chatted away as they haven't 
gotten opportunity to do since she left.
Blessed this Mama's heart.

Happy Sigh.......
Life is not easy.
This has been a very, very hard summer
on so many fronts.
I haven't been here much.
I haven't told you half of it.
But even so, 
Life is good!

HE is good.
All the time!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Vacation 2013

I intended to name this post 
Potter County 2013....
however, some of our fun happened outside 
of Potter County so I decided to just go with 
Vacation 2013 instead.

We, (Becky, Warren, Jonathan, Pastor Mike and two dogs), 
took off after church on Sunday, as usual,
and headed up the road.
With visions of quiet days sitting streamside
and evenings of campfires dancing in our heads.

They were nice visions....
but they were not necessarily to be our reality this year.

For an hour or so after we arrived it seemed as if things might 
be normal.
My brother, Allan and sister in law, Bev, waited for 
us with a crackling campfire holding most of 
our evening meal.
They had brought amazing fresh veggies which were 
roasting on the fire.
I quickly cranked up the propane grill and 
heated up some summer sausage.
It was all very delicious!!

Then Jonathan stepped outside and the 
happy bubble of night time campfires popped!
There, directly in front of him, passed a bear which 
the guys estimated to be about 500 pounds as they 
watched it visit the neighboring cabin.

As it walked within five yards of Jonathan 
it looked right at him and then dismissed him
and continued on its way.

Overnight, Jonathan was wakened by this, 
or another bear at the window.
He heard the thud of large paws on the cabin wall
and then the snuff and scrape of a nose
across the screen.
Thinking quickly, 
Jonathan jumped up 
and slammed the window
He stood guard the rest of the night
protecting the rest of us who slept unaware.
Ahhh....good to have a security guard in the family.

Monday was a delightful day
spent with Allan and Bev.
They took Jonathan over to a stocked fishing pond
where they had the best time catching and releasing trout.
They returned for lunch and some rocket times before Allan and Bev
had to head home.  We were sad to see them go.
A storm was blowing in so I warned Bev that if our power went
out we would show up at their house.
She sweetly said we would be welcome...
and then I assured her that we wouldn't do that.

As they had just begun to pull out of the drive
Jonathan said, 
"The lights are out in the cabin!"

Sure enough....we had lost power!
It was to remain out for the next 12 hours.
It added a new dimension to our stay.
Candles, made by me and left in prior visits came in very handy!
Thankful, once again, for the propane grill we made
hot dogs and baked beans for dinner.

After quite some time we found propane lanterns
and an oil lantern to add to the lighting situation.
It was sometime as Warren was setting up 
our new lighting that I caught sight of a bat.
Swooping, very near our heads.
Especially mine.
I kept feeling the whoosh of air displaced by 
those webbed wings.

I don't like bats.... up that close!

So, I took my Kindle and a candle and 
locked myself in the bathroom.

Then I listened as the guys worked to get the bat 
to leave the cabin.
That was funny.
Even as Pastor Mike kept insisting that the bat 
was coming under the bathroom door.
He thought he was so funny.
O.k. so maybe a little.

Jonathan was the hero once again as he 
captured the bat in a bedroom 
and set him free outside.

We went to bed kind of early since 
without power there would be no movie watching 
as we had planned.

Tuesday's excitement came in the evening when Mike 
announced that the bear was back.
Turns out this was a smaller one.
Warren got a picture or two but they are on his phone.
I'll have to see if I can get them.

No evening camp fires.
Not with such people accustomed bears.
You can't trust them to stay back.

Things settled down after all of this excitement and 
we did our annual pilgrimage to Caudersport, 
where we picked up some amazing
local Maple Syrup.

I used it on yummy french toast
with peaches on top the next two mornings.
You must try this sometime!

By Wednesday we knew we wanted to head over 
to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon 
near Wellsboro.

It was the perfect day!

We enjoyed this for as long as there was time
before heading into Wellsboro to use McDonalds wifi
to Facetime with Chelsea.

It was great to share our vacation with her.
Kids growing up and missing family vacations
kind of stinks.....
Mikey had to stay home to work, as well, 
but it was great to make contact from a half a world away.

I'll close this post for now.
It is so lengthy...
but we are grateful for some days of relaxation 
after a summer of unexpected events.