Tuesday, May 3, 2022

The Sleepover

 Saturday was a huge day at the shop. We had prepped for it all week…Pretzel Fest 2022. We made two dips for the event. The first was Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough served with cinnamon sugar pretzels. The second was Ranch, Bacon and Cheese served with traditional stick pretzels. We needed approximately 550 servings. For the record that’s a lot of dip!  And then it was portioned out into 2 ounce lidded containers. The pretzels were portioned into baggies and a business card magnet went in the baggies as well. I tell you that so you can get the picture of Mom and I for two evenings mixing, scooping and bagging. 

Finally Saturday came and it was great. Our efforts were rewarded nicely with grateful comments and seeing those in the event enjoy the snack. 

The shop was exceptionally busy so I was going nonstop all day. 

However there was more fun to come!  Merryn and Roy had been planning a sleepover for months.  They had their movies chosen and books packed. Clothes too…but I think Chelsea might have had more to do with that part. 

We had a great time. I might have fallen asleep a smidge before they did …or just at the same time.  As soon as they were quiet for more than a minute I was out! I sleep in the recliner when they are over. This time I put one of them at each end of the couch as Merryn has outgrown the Pack ‘n Play. 

Watching Monster’s Inc. I think it’s probably going to be tradition. We showed it to them at their last sleepover and they requested to see it again.

Sure do love being a Mimi. It’s even better than advertised!

Tuesday, April 12, 2022



I woke up tipsy.  The newest way my migraines present, I guess. This is the second time.  So mom is at the shop and I’m letting Max out. Except I think I’m enjoying the outside more than he is. He wants to go back in the house. 

I’ll wait him out. It’s very comfy and pretty out here. Sooner or later he will do what he is supposed to do. Haha!

The neighbors got miniature goats and they are bleating like crazy over there. Cute! 

As for the migraine, I guess my sprouted bread eating experiment is a fail. No bread for me. It will be worth it if it stops these stupid migraines.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

No More Plexiglass

Some views of the shop yesterday. 
I came across some photos the former
Owner had online when she was listing
This building for sale. 
So I took photos from the same angles. 

I would be very tempted to share all of her photos to show you the differences but some are just too dark.
The stairs before.

The stairs now.  We painted them right away. 
It’s probably the most drastic change we made. 
These colors were fun and made sense with her Fairy Garden decor. 
They just didn’t make sense with our merchandise.
And best of all we took down the pandemic 
Plexiglass at the register yesterday.

We kept that gorgeous antique piece from a church on the hall wall. Warren put a top on it and matched it so perfectly. It’s stunning and is the ideal use of space. 

 We are smitten with this room. In January Chelsea made it into the Stationery Room. We will keep tweaking it to add more of our favorite things. But will keep the center open as it allows for the increased foot traffic we see these days.

This building holds my heart. From the squeaky floors to the balcony overlooking the garden. I’m deeply in love. 

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Author Photo?


I think I should write a book. This photo reminds me of the back cover photograph on so many books. 

Maybe in a few years….  Smile. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Hang On!


It’s cold here.  And misting. Spring’s tease was real.

Tomorrow they are calling for 69 degrees and severe thunderstorms. What are you going to do? Hang on, I guess! It’s a real changeable end to March.

I’m still losing hair post Covid. Like half of it is gone. Hoping I’m nearing the end of the great shed. Thankfully I started with a lot so with a hair product that adds body it’s not too noticeable.  It’s just unnerving to see it visibly getting shorter and thinner. A friend sitting near me in church did laugh as she compared me to Pigpen in Charlie Brown for leaving a trail of hair wherever I go. Again, what are you going to do?  Hang on!  This too shall pass….and I’m here to experience it, so there’s that.

Candle orders are going strong. It’s keeping me busy in the evenings. Thank goodness for the ability to just walk downstairs and go to work. And it smells good too! 

Have a delightful day!  If your circumstances call for it…Hang on!!  Hold tight to someone else if they need it. We’ve got this.  The world may be crazy but our foundation can be solid as a rock! Set your feet on that sure foundation. 

Monday, March 28, 2022

Hats & Personas

 Some of us wear hats well. 

Some of us do not.

Merryn does.

She was always putting a basket or purse on her head like a hat so Chelsea found this one for her. 

She will turn 2 next month.  She’s so stinking smart. Taking after her smart older brother, I would say. 

He is apparently on his way to 
becoming a financial guru. 

Monday, March 14, 2022

The Only Constant

The only constant is 
From a crazy winter storm 
To a Spring like week. 

Life keeps us on our toes.

This weekend our daylight shifted
By one hour 
Toward evening. 
Made hubby so happy!

Our world is undergoing
Significant change.
War hurts.

The change I seek is a 
New heart.
One that seeks His will first.
Not mine.
This sounds so cliche.
But it’s a constant struggle.

“Change my heart, Oh God.
Make it ever true.
Change my heart, oh God.
May I be like You!”
Eddie Espinoza

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Chelsea’s New Business

 It’s not that she doesn’t have enough to do with being a wife and mother, partner in a family business with daily responsibilities.  Nope!  But her creative spirit drives her to bake.  And through this she discovered a love of cookie decorating. 

Chadd has been taking her baked goods to work with him just as Warren always did before she was married.  But lately she has made more than even they can consume. So she is going commercial. We got her licenses on Friday and she is in the process of getting her kitchen certified. A delightful lady in our town with a commercial kitchen has offered use of it until Chelsea’s is ready.  How is that for support?? 

It’s awesome to see our children find their passion. What we thought would be a hobby is turning into more.  Quickly.

You can find her on Facebook at:

Darcey helped create the logo. That makes me so happy too.  Seeing our kids create together. 

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Snow Day

 March in Pennsylvania is the most predictably unpredictable.  On Wednesday our shop door was open with temps in the high 60’s. Today temps will go from the 40’s this morning into the 20’s by late afternoon. With 3-5 inches of snow and high winds expected we have declared it a snow day. 

Snow Days on Saturdays are a special kind of torture for retail. But we will make the very most of it.

I happen to have an order for 144 chocolate candles to fill. The jars are scheduled to be delivered today.  So it looks like I will spend this afternoon, at least, pouring the best smelling chocolate candles. 

Before temps drop below freezing I hope to get to the grocery store to fill our very empty fridge. I have to depend on Warren for that one since my car decided to try to shed a tire…once again. I have a front tire with a death wish.  This is the third time it has loosened itself only this time it sheared three of the bolts off. Sigh.

Warren’s car is standard and I was supposed to learn to drive it a long time ago…..that hasn’t happened.

Yesterday was our 33rd Anniversary. As we both had long, busy days at work we met up at The Waffle House at 9pm to celebrate. It was our very first time at our local Waffle House.  But we knew it would be open and were fairly certain there would be no wait.  Both were true. And that’s really about all I can say about it.  Other than that they have a very modern juke box that I was tempted to play….but resisted. 

Sight & Sound’s latest production, David, opens to the public today.  We went to the Friends & Family Premiere Thursday evening.  It was soooo good. As always this night is tension filled for Warren and so I feel that with him.  I’ll absorb more the next time. I came away with several impressions. First, this show is technically and artistically modern.  While the costuming and story are very true to the text the music and visual effects are 2022.

There is one scene where David has some fun on his harp that draws the audience in as well.  That scene ends too soon. It was so much fun!

I’ll not say too much more because surprises are fun.  But I highly doubt you would be disappointed should you go. It’s an adventure. 

What I wore to the show. The day before I went shopping in our clothing boutique. This was taken the morning of and I figured out the timer on my phone for the first time. I was super self conscious as I kept setting it and posing in various locations outside.  I kept waiting for a neighbor to pop out and ask what I was doing. But if anyone noticed they haven’t said so. :-)

Have a great day! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Talented Ladies

Our daughter in law, Emily, is crazy talented with planters. She is the artist behind ours.  Coming up soon is  a switch to Spring. I’ve seen what’s going in and I’m so excited! 

 At some point soon Emily hopes to offer this service to other local businesses.  She’s an entrepreneur in process.

Chelsea has found a new creative outlet.  Gorgeous cookies!  Every day she practices a new skill, or three. Orders are beginning to come in and we are excited to see where this leads. Not that she has nothing to do as a mom and shop owner. But this girl is so much like me….she loves to learn!

 Our other daughter in law, Darcey, has had her new business for about a year now.  She makes amazing macrame, whisk brooms, and now, stickers.  We are so proud to see Darcey being intentional about using the gifts God has given her. @withinwonderscurios  

We are pleased to carry many of Darcey’s creations at the shop.

Being surrounded by creative people pushes me to keep improving as well.  I’m currently waiting on a shipment of new candle jars and fragrances. While I may still be focused on the same two businesses I’m always on a quest to make them better.  Our shop has never looked as good as it does right now and much of that credit also goes to Chelsea.  She’s simply amazing at display/merchandising.

Yesterday was Women in Business day. I missed it.  But it’s never wrong to celebrate the strong women in our lives.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Our Virus Experience


I was so sure that I would be the one to bring home the sickness.  “The Sickness” is what our Amish neighbors called the virus.  But it was late afternoon on a Saturday in early December when Warren asked me to bring home a test as he was feeling a bit off with a funny tickle in his throat.  That was the week there had been a definite increase in cases in his direct department at work.

I stopped multiple places but all tests were sold out.  This was the first sign that this may not go smoothly but we didn’t know that yet.

By Monday we were both running fevers and went to the Doctor for drive through tests.  On the way home the nurse called to confirm Warren’s rapid test was as positive as could be.  They put him on the two possible lists to get in for monoclonal antibodies.  This had been my plan….knowing so many friends and family members with risk factors who had responded so well to this treatment.  Sadly, we were not able to receive the antibodies due to such a rush on the only TWO locations in the area.  Such a sad failure in the medical system.

Honestly I have little memory of our illness until the Saturday morning I woke early and was in the living room.  I suddenly spiraled into a horrible sweat and tunnel vision.   I made it to the kitchen to check my blood sugar.  It was not out of my usual morning range and that’s the last I remember until Warren was yelling at me to wake up. I went from standing at the counter to going directly backward hitting the back of my head.  Hard!

As he got me awake he told me my heart and oxygen rates were super low. I suggested we move to the living room. He said ok but I would have to give him a second because he felt terrible.  He described it and I recommended that he lay down beside me.  He started to and then we both realized that would be a horrible idea.  I believe God brought it to our foggy brains that this wasn’t the COVID.  He jumped up and threw open the kitchen window.  A few deep breaths cleared his head and he opened the garage door by me.  I gulped the fresh air and felt the clearing in my body as well.  

Still wearing the pulse o2 monitor I walked to the living room where immediately I got dizzy. I looked down at the meter to watch it fall faster than I knew was possible.  I yelled at Warren to get out of the house.  We both got out.  I got in the car.  Then Warren decided to clear the house.  He used fans and opened every window.  He then was able to turn off the propane fireplace which was the cause of the invading gas.

About an hour into the process, still in the car, I found myself fighting to stay awake.  Upon feeling the huge bruise that made the back of my head feel a wrong shape I called an ambulance.  I didn’t realize in the foggy brain that when I mentioned carbon monoxide we would get all the help.  Fire, police and ambulance.  

I have to insert here several things that stand out to us as factors that we are alive today.   First, the virus woke me early every day. Or we might have slept to our deaths. The alarms never went off.  Secondly, when I woke early I always closed all doors between the living room and bedroom to let Warren sleep.  Otherwise he might have been overcome in bed and not able to come to my rescue.  Third, apparently after checking my sugar I hadn’t let go of the monitor yet because it hitting the floor along with the sound of my head hitting the floor woke Warren through all of the closed doors and his apnea machine.

The emt’s checked me out and put me on oxygen until my tachy heart settled below 100.  They checked my lungs and declared them clear.  

The fire company declared the house safe to return to.

One crisis down.

From this point on my virus experience went downhill.  The doctor put me on concussion protocol meaning no phone or visual media. Ugh. But I cooperated for a while.  The back of my head was seriously impacted.  It would be more than six weeks before it was no longer tender to the touch.

Now that my resistance had taken such a hit pneumonia set in.  I just couldn’t get better. Every day was worse.  Finally on day 11 our doctor was willing to see me in person and then sent me for lung imaging. Pneumonia was confirmed.  I’m just going to skip over the daily yuck of the next few days until we get to the next Saturday, which was now one week past the carbon monoxide experience.

Early that morning my heart was extremely erratic,  I called the doctor and told her I thought it was time to go to the hospital.  I had been extremely resistant to this step and she knew it.  She called them for me.

By now I was on supplemental oxygen overnight so that helped while we waited.  

I remember mostly the compassion of EMT with me in the back of the ambulance.  Then I remember the soft spoken and kind doctor in the emergency room.  

At some point in the ER I realized I wasn’t on oxygen and asked why.  They said my levels were fine without it!  Awesome news number one.

The CT scan showed no active bleed in my brain.  Awesome news number two.

It did show the COVID Pneumonia.  The doctor said he doesn’t know why some people’s scans look like mine and I can get oxygen while others look less impacted and they can’t get oxygen.  But he leaned in and looked me in the eye as he said he believed that based on my results and the day I was on that I was currently feeling the worst I was going to feel.  I can’t tell you how powerful those words were!

The next week was horrible.  But it wasn’t worse.  Then slowly things started improving.  

At some point during this journey a customer friend who is a retired nurse recommended I use a spirometer to get my lungs working again.  It truly helped! This pneumonia wasn’t what you normally think of with lots of mucous and deep coughing.  It was the inability to take deep breaths.  I describe it as if you had a very tight belt around your lungs.  The spirometer seemed to bring progress in training the lungs to open again.

At some point along this timeline after Warren had returned to work….but while he was still very limited in energy…we had one more challenge to deal with.  He had gone down to take a shower in the lower level bathroom.  I was in the living room and heard water running louder than expected.  I wondered why he hadn’t closed the door. lol Next thing I know he was flying up the steps saying water was dripping on his head!  A pipe under our upstairs toilet had come apart. In crazy coincidence he had removed the turn off there in anticipation of the remodel we plan to do.  So next he was flying back down the stairs to turn off the water.

I shuffled back the hall to the bathroom doorway to watch the throw rug float.

We are so thankful this happened before Warren left for work.  It likely would have done much more damage had he not been here.  And I was in no condition to go up and down the stairs so that would have been a real problem. 

As it was some insulation had to go but with the use of a shop vac normal was restored fairly quickly. The Amish hardware store was open and he was able to get everything fixed up before leaving for work a bit late.

The shop in Lititz ended up closed for the first three weeks of January, which really hurt, but God has restored those losses.  We are soooo thankful.

There is so much not in this recounting but those are things I’ll not likely forget…

like how odd I looked while sick.  I would stare in the mirror and wonder who that was looking back. Or how many people helped us with food, cards, support.  Like the rough early morning hours.  Like the insomnia that is only recently resolving. Like the ongoing hair loss.

COVID is a very unusual and strange illness.  Insert my political thoughts here on how it came to be.

But God spared our lives.  And we get to be alive today.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed and I hope I never lose the grateful spirit and desire to make the most of every day!