Friday, September 27, 2013

Signs of Fall

Our daily walks are quite refreshing since the chilly nip of fall is in the air. Last evening was beautiful and we went quite a bit farther than usual and now I'm sporting a blister on one of my toes. Buddy loves each outing, lucky little boy gets to ride in a stroller.

While Buddy enjoyed his ride, I enjoyed taking pictures of anything that caught my fancy.

The deer in this field stood and watched us for a little while before turning and bounding back into the shadowy safety of the woods.

After many more pictures we got back home where we were greeted by our kittens. Buddy was excited to see them and kicked his blanket off revealing his bare feet.

I was happy to take him inside and sit down to relief my poor aching feet, but I did feel a little sorry that LV had to back track and try to find Buddy's missing foot wear.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

 1. When did you last sing happy birthday to someone? When were you last sung to? Does that embarrass you or do you enjoy being the center of attention on your special day?

The last time I sang Happy Birthday to someone was on Sunbeam's birthday. The last time it was sung to me was on my birthday by LV and the children. I don't mind if they sing it to me, but I would like to shrivel out of sight if it's a group thing. I used to hate it in school, and it was even worse in one of the Amish communities we lived in and they sang it after the Sunday evening hymn sing. I didn't enjoy that even the teeniest little bit.

2.  Name a famous or 'infamous' person (living or deceased) who shares your birth day and month. Is that someone you'd like to meet in person if it were possible?

Queen Elizabeth shares my birth month. Would I like to meet her? Not necessarily, though I would rather meet her than most other famous people.

3. Someone hands you a box tied up in a lovely bow...what are you hoping to find inside?

A great camera, or maybe an ipad.

4. What can you guarantee about yourself?

If you ask me to keep a secret I will not share it with anyone.

5. Talking art and beautiful cities here...'The Last Supper' in the Santa Maria della Grazie Abbey in Milan Italy or 'The Mona Lisa' in The Louvre, Paris...which would you most like to see up close and in person?  Why?

The odds of me ever visiting any of those cities is slim to none. And art is not my thing. Most of the famous pieces I wonder why they ever got to be famous.

6. Your favorite dessert?

Favorite dessert is probably homemade cherry pie, though I do love warm freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, vanilla pudding served in chocolate shells with a strawberry compote is simply delicious. I'm not sure I can pick a favorite there are so many great options to choose from.

7. This coming weekend marks the official start of autumn (in the Northern hemisphere)...what is something you do to get ready for fall? What is one thing you're looking forward to on your fall calendar? Spring or fall-which do you prefer?

Something we do to get ready for fall is fill the coal bin. Our fall calendar has various fun fall themed baking days. I prefer fall, the blessed signal of the end of summer and knowing winter is just around the corner.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Clean up continues after the fire at my parents' bakery/store. It still feels like a bad dream.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Yesterday we spent all day driving home from a fun filled vacation, looking forward to spending a few relaxing hours reading, catching up on email, and for Buddy playing with all his favorite toys before it's time to head to bed.

We entered the house and the light on our answering machine was blinking. Amazing how many messages are waiting I thought to myself, and then scrolled through the caller I.D. before listening to any of them. Multiple calls from my brothers, a few from my cousins, among others.

I checked the time they had been calling. Something bad must have happened that they were all trying to call at the same time and only a few hours before we had arrived home. I could feel my stomach clench, and before I got to listen to any messages the phone rang again. It was my brother David, "Dad and Mom's store burned down," he said. "We're on our way to see them right now."

I'm glad they live only a few hours away and at a time like this they could go to them to offer moral support. The Amish in their community have turned out to help with clean up, but I haven't heard if they will be rebuilding or not.

I'll share pictures later, but right now I'm sure they would appreciate prayer.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Mom's Cookbooks

When I was growing up Mom had two main cookbooks, Amish Cooking and Big Valley Amish Cookbook. She also had a recipe box filled to the brim with our family's favorite recipes that she had collected over the years.

Daddy brought a box full of books home from an auction one day and hidden in the bottom was the giant Joy of Cooking cookbook. I spent hours poring through it, but somehow it hardly ever got used.

And then one day the mailman brought a package for Mom. Open on your birthday was written all over it. I thought she should open it right away, but she placed it on top of a cupboard where it waited until her special day. When I got up on the morning of her birthday I climbed up and removed the package and placed it next to her plate at the breakfast table to make sure she would open it first thing and finally reveal what was inside.

We all watched as she slid her knife through the tape and opened the box. I was almost as thrilled to see what was inside as I would have been had that beautiful glossy new cookbook been my own. Page after page of recipes each with their own mouthwatering photo. I was sure that was the best cookbook in the world.

Mom paged through it a little and then we ate. That forenoon I started looking through it, reading every recipe through as I went, by the time I had to help get lunch ready I wasn't even half way through yet so I propped it up on the recipe holder stand until I had time to return to it.

As we were eating lunch Daddy suggested he take Mom and the little boys to a nearby yardsale, while John, David, and I cleaned away the dishes.

Dishes were some of my least favorite things to do and we each had another helping of dessert after they left before getting started on the dreaded task of cleaning up. As I was getting up from my chair David flicked a spoonful of water at me.

I quickly flicked one right back at him. It kept going for a little while and John joined our little waterfight. This wasn't really fair, two against one. I picked up a glass of water and as they splashed me again I swung my arm in a wide arc determined to soak both of them really well.

They got some of the water, but the majority of it landed on Mom's new cookbook. Our laughter and waterfight came to an abrupt end and we got the dishes cleared in record time and had mopped up all the water on the kitchen floor before Mom and Daddy got back.

Mom walked in the kitchen and seemed pleased how clean everything looked, until she discovered what had really happened. All her fun yardsale finds were packed away until later. We had, had quite enough fun for one day.

I felt horrible about that book for a long time and was happy to be able to replace years later after I was married.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What's the best thing about growing older?

I'm not that old yet, but I find I am not nearly as self conscious or easily embarrassed as I was when I was younger.

2. When did you first feel like a grown up?

It was somewhat of a process. It wasn't until after our second baby arrived that I finally felt I had really entered the grownup world.

3. Chocolate cake with white icing or white cake with chocolate icing?

Chocolate cake with white icing. Preferably the secret Wonder Frosting recipe my Mom uses in her bakery.

4. What's the nicest thing a stranger has ever done for you?

One of the nicest things a stranger ever did for us was when this older couple was ahead of us at a check out and once we were ready to pay for our things they had already paid for everything.

5.  What's something you learned from your grandparents?

My Grandpa was a wonderful example to everyone around him. He always looked for the best in people, was always ready to help anyone that needed help, he was always thinking of others happiness and needs before his own. I never saw him sad or troubled even at times when he could have been. He always believed that God was in control and therefore he had nothing to worry about. The world truly lost a great man when he passed away.

6. Wednesday marks a sad day in the history of planet earth-9/11...what's something you do (or can do) to bring peace to your little corner of the world?

Not getting easily offended helps keep peace in my little corner of the world.

7.  Share a favorite quote, scripture, or song containing the word peace.

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

This morning as we were doing our usual morning chores Rosebud found a weird little plastic piece on the floor. She picked it up, examined it, and I overheard her saying to Sunbeam. Another thing to add to Mom's birthday freak out box.

I wasn't about to wait months to find out about that box. Upon inquiring they admitted they had been saving bottle caps, tabs from orange juice containers, and other little oddities, because they thought it would be hilarious to give me a box full of things that I can't stand.

Yes, I realize that I have a weird quirk. But I really can't make myself touch little things like that unless they are exactly where they belong. For example pen caps on pens are fine, but I hate them if I see them on the floor or somewhere alone. I've been known to use a napkin to pick them up so I don't have to touch them.

And don't even think about asking me to hand you a thimble. That will never happen.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Surprise for Lily Winner

I really enjoyed reading all your comments of things that have surprised you. So many great surprises!

Now to pick the winner.....

Comment #12

Linsey said........
My biggest surprise in life was , when during one of my pregnancies , my doc could not find the heartbeat of our baby , sent me off for an ultrasound only to discover that I was pregnant with twins!!!! Talk about being in the valley , mourning the loss of your baby to being on a mountaintop with rejoicing that I was carrying not one but two healthy babies.Shock of my life.

Congratulations! Please send me an email with your address so I can mail the book to you.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Honk, Honk, Honk!

Honk, honk, honk! The noise of a blaring horn outside the house caused me to sit up in bed and try to collect my bearings.

Apparently it had jolted LV out of his sleep as well because he was frantically trying to get his clothes. He sensed that I was awake and said, "Please hold the alarm clock for me, so I can see."

I got the alarm clock and held the snooze button which makes plenty of light to see what time it is, but surprisingly little when you need to see what you're doing.

Honk, honk, honk! The horn kept on blaring.

"Who is here?" I asked.

"Nobody," LV answered pawing even more frantically at his clothes. I happened to step on the truck keys in my pant pockets when I got up and now I can't find them.

I pressed the snooze button again and set the alarm clock on the floor and reached to help him find his keys quickly before the feeble little light goes out. LV moved a little and the alarm clock went flying across the room, leaving us in total darkness.

The fan was going but reaching up to find the little chain to turn on the light can be extremely challenging when it's pitch dark. Instead LV groped his way across the room and located the one flashlight we have in case of power outages and finally had enough light to find his keys.

He got the dreadful honking stopped, and I collapsed back into bed in gales of laughter. He wasn't quite ready to see the humor in all of it. "Just think, the entire neighborhood was wondering what was going on, and all the traffic that passed could see the lights blinking in the garage."

Somehow in my sleep addled state I found this to make the whole thing even funnier.

We went back to sleep and  when morning arrived LV was ready to laugh about it too.

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Surprise for Lily

A little less than a year ago I was celebrating the release of my first book. This morning I'm pinching myself to make sure I'm not dreaming that it's already time to celebrate the release of A Surprise for Lily, book four in the Adventures of Lily Lapp series.
I'm inviting you to join the celebrating. I will be giving away a signed copy of A Surprise for Lily, a cute Lily coloring book, and a few other surprises will be included in the giveaway package.
For your chance to win all you have to do is leave a comment telling me about something that surprised you.
For a second entry post a link to this giveaway on your blog or Facebook and then come back and leave another comment telling me you did.
Giveaway ends on  Saturday September 7th at which time I will be consulting Random Generator to choose the winner.
Giveaway is now closed and a winner has been chosen.