Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Saying Good-byes

Some of my earliest memories involve Uncle Eli and Aunt Sadie. They loved children, but were unable to have any of their own so when Dad and Mom needed to go somewhere without us children we would often get to stay at their house.

On Saturday I was shocked to receive the news that Sadie had passed away.

Eli will now be continuing his life alone. Very alone. He has no children and grandchildren to help him through this time. All his siblings live at least 500 miles away, I'm the only one of his nieces or nephews that lives nearby, but because of the difference in faith/church views there is not much I can do.

He has always really enjoyed getting mail. I would love to be able to stuff his mailbox with sympathy cards and little notes of encouragement. If you would consider sending a card to him, please send me an email at ajoyfulnoise(at)live(dot)com and I will give you his address.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1.  Did you make someone laugh yesterday? Was it intentional?

I did, and yes it was intentional. Buddy is three, and it's easy to make him laugh.

Other than making him laugh, laughter in our house is more spontaneous. It happens often, but not as intentional.

2. What's a simple question with a complicated answer?

Are you ready for a list? I field more questions than I can count, and some of them have me totally stumped and I really have no answer for them. A short example:
  • Is there an end to outer space, and how far would it be to get there?
  • Why are accents different in different parts of the U.S.?
  • Where did God come from?
3. Rhododendrons or azaleas...you have to choose. Are either currently blooming in your yard?

I really love rhododendrons. I was thrilled to find several bushes growing by our house when we moved here.

4. May 21st is National Waitstaff Day. Have you ever worked as a waiter/waitress? How would you rate the experience? What was the best/worst part of the job?

The only waitressing I ever did was at Amish weddings, if that counts. I enjoyed it, even though it was a tiresome job carrying all that food and keeping all the glasses filled with water.

5. What fashion trend for women should be outlawed? How about one for men?

I don't pay any attention to what fashion trends are happening, and honestly what other people choose to wear never bothers me.

6. Name a writer who inspires you....now tell us why.

I have been inspired by many writers. There are several that made quite an impact on me. My Mom. She wrote articles and short stories for a variety of magazines. Scott Schumacher ..... I used to try reading everything he wrote. An excellent writer, and for years his writing style impacted how I wrote when I tried my hand at writing short stories.

7. What well known quote or saying sums up your plans for today or this week?

Early to bed, early to rise ...........
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

It's that time of year when it's necessary to turn the ceiling fan on in hopes to get a comfortable night of sleep.

Our fan though..... well ..... it terrifies me.

We turned it on and I was sure it was going to crash down on top of me. It sounds like a whole group of steel wheeled buggies driving down a bumpy gravel road.

It needs to be replaced, hopefully by the end of this week.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Weekend Adventures

Our weekend was, for the lack of a better word, interesting.

It started much the same as any other weekend does, with LV heading off to work, and the girls and I doing our weekly Saturday cleaning, while Sailor did yard work and helped out our elderly neighbor, and Buddy bounced around the house helping where ever he could.

All was going well until a terrific banging sound was heard coming from upstairs. Upon investigating I discovered Sunbeam was trapped inside the bathroom. The doorknob had quit working. I tried my best, but was unable to open the door.

Our focus of the day changed, now we tried our best to keep her entertained. The space under the door was only big enough to be able to slip a few crackers and pretzels through for her to eat, and Buddy kept drawing pictures and slipping them to her.

I called LV to tell him what was going on and ask for advice on how to get the door opened. He headed for home, and after working on the door for a while she was released.

That door knob got replaced. No one else was interested in having a similar experience.


It's that time of year when it's perfect to enjoy hiking the nearby trails. And Sunday afternoons happen to be the perfect time to do just that. The views along the trail are beautiful!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Pretty Handkerchiefs

I got my first pretty handkerchief when I was two years old and we were visiting one of my Dad's aunts. Before we left her house that day she brought out a few handkerchiefs and allowed me to choose one. I chose a rather not pretty one. It had wide orange and blue stripes and a picture of a vase with orange and blue flowers. I loved it though, and happily tucked it into my dress pocket when ever we went to church.

My collection of pretty handkerchiefs grew rapidly and decidedly prettier as I got older. One of the traditions in the Amish churches while was growing up was when ever someone came to visit the girls always got to choose a pretty handkerchief as a little memento to take home.

I always loved the pile of handkerchiefs my Mom kept on hand for visiting girls and wished I could get to keep some of them for myself since she had designs that no one else seemed to have, at least not that I ever got to choose from.

As a teen I always matched the handkerchief I took to church with the dress I was wearing. My something borrowed on my wedding day was one of my Mom's prettiest handkerchiefs. It had a bouquet of delicate blue flowers embroidered in one of the corners.

I have a box filled with dozens and dozens of handkerchiefs. I still remember where each one came from, but sadly I no longer use them. I'm debating if I want to use them to make some type of handkerchief quilt, or do I simply keep them as they are. Either way I'll always treasure the memories each of them holds.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. When is your next big deadline? What's it for?
My next deadline is getting a few portfolios together and turning them in. I'm planning on spending most of my day working on that.

2. May is National Barbecue Month. Do you prefer cooking indoors or out? What's the best thing about a barbecue? What's the last thing you cooked on an outdoor grill?

I prefer cooking, and eating indoors. I can't think of anything good about a barbeque. The last thing that was cooked on our outdoor grill was probably burgers, back in 2009. I really detest the flavor of grilled foods, and after we moved our grill became a birdhouse before we got it set up properly, and by now it doesn't appear to be fit to use for food preparation. We really just need to get rid of it. I, for one, will not miss it.

3. What is one thing on your "never again" list?

I don't really like to use the word never, because so often it seems I get deliberately proved wrong and end up doing the thing I said I would never do.

There is a restaurant on our never again list, that I'm really hoping stays on there. Everything about our experience there had been terrible.

4. What's something that annoys you about people your own age? Something you love about your generation?

Something that annoys me is how easily offended and "me me" this generation seems to be.

Something I love ..... maybe that I have friends my own age?

5. Lilac, iris, hyacinth, pansy...your favorite purple flower?

I like all of them, but pansies have an extra special place in my heart, probably because they used to be my grandmother's favorite flower.

6. What's a song that always calms you down?

I really, really love scripture lullaby songs. They're so soothing, and calming. My favorite is this one:

7. What's the last thing you donated?

The last thing ...... does money count?

I do have a pile of things here waiting to be taken to Goodwill.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Does this sound terrible that I'm already missing winter? I like spring and fall a lot, but we're right at the point where it's getting too warm for me. I listen to people complain about winter for months on end, so surely no one should mind hearing me complain about summer.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day

Of all the special days a year holds, Mother's Day is the hardest for me since we left the Amish.

In the past I used to write a letter of sorts, here on my blog, to my Mom for Mother's Day. All the things I wrote, I could write again, I still mean every word.

After we left I was told not to mention the word love in any letters I write to her, or give her any gifts because it was all a mockery, a way to soothe my guilty conscience, and could not be heartfelt after causing her the worst pain a child possibly could cause her mother, by leaving the Amish.

As a child I used to like picking a little bouquet of violets for her on Mother's Day, I loved writing poetry and would write a poem for her as well as make a homemade card. We would all pitch in and do the dishes so she could have the day off.

I would have loved to send her a card and letter this year and have a bouquet of flowers delivered to her, but I know she would not have appreciated it, so I didn't. I'll try to show my love for her by respecting her wishes to not do or say anything love related to her. It hurts though, really hurts. She was my absolute best friend in the world, seeing her house now purged of anything I ever gave her in my entire life, hearing from one of my used to be closest friends that she was asked to be her daughter since I no longer qualify ... hurts more than I can tell.

So I read Psalms 27:10 again. I turn to my family, my husband and precious children who try and succeed in making Mother's Day special for me.

They're great at taking what our yard has to offer and creating a gorgeous bouquet for me. I was pampered and made to feel special all day.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What's a phrase your mother often said to you? If you're a parent, is this something you now say to your own children?

I don't think she had a phrase she said often.

She did however squeeze her eyes shut when one of us was doing something somewhat dangerous rather than running to rescue us from potentially getting hurt. I find myself doing the same thing, though I've been trying very hard not to.

2. What is a scent you associate with your mother or your childhood home?

I wish I had something. Without a sense of smell there is nothing like that for me.

3. What's an activity you remember always doing with your mother (or someone who was a mother figure in your life)?

I don't even know where to begin. We did everything together.

Cooking, baking, cleaning, gardening, canning, sewing, singing, working, playing, reading, writing. She was my best friend and I'll treasure those memories, always!
4. Flared jeans, maxi dresses, and jumpsuits are 70's fashion trends back this spring. Are you on board? Which trend would you be most inclined to try? For the men...flared corduroys, wide-collared shirts, and floral prints...what say you?

Maxi dresses sound the best to me out of those choices. I'm not planning on jumping aboard that fashion trend though.

5. May 6th is Teacher Appreciation Day and also Nurse Appreciation Day. Is there a nurse or teacher  you have especially appreciated along the way? Tell us why?

There is one nurse that really stand out in my memory. When I had a lengthy hospital stay, she went above and beyond her duties and was like a ray of sunshine during a difficult time. Truly one of the sweetest people I have ever met.

6. If I came by your house, what would I find on your frig door?

There are only four magnets on our refrigerator door. The side of the refrigerator is quite another story and is where Buddy keeps all his magnets and displays his artwork.

7. Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana made her royal entrance on Saturday, May 2nd. On a scale of 1-10, how much attention did you give to all the news coverage? 1=Who's Charlotte? 10=sat glued to the telly, cuppa in hand.

I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to it. I did enjoy seeing the pictures, a super adorable little baby! It was nice have some happy news in the headlines for a change.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

One of my favorite sounds of spring is a robin's song. I've been listening to several ever since I got up a little after four this morning. I wonder ...... what time do robins start their day? I know the saying "The early bird gets the worm." But they're so busy singing I don't think any worm getting is happening.

Monday, May 4, 2015


Monday morning and time to choose the winner for the memoir My Journey to Freedom by Mattie Mullet.
I enjoyed all your comments and seeing what books you have been enjoying. The last few books I have tried reading were real duds, but the one I'm reading right now is great, so my love of reading has been restored.
Turning to the random generator now to choose the winner.
Comment # 20
Linda from KY said......
Just about five minutes ago I finished reading the 5th book in a series of Jane Austen murder mysteries: Jane and the Stillroom Maid by Stephanie Barron. I don't usually enjoy Jane Austen fan fiction, but this series is absolutely delightful. Stephanie Barron is very faithful to Jane Austen's writing style.
Congratulations Linda! Please send me an email with your address and I will get the book mailed to you.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Celebration Giveaway

It's May, the April A-Z challenge is over, there is a certain feeling of anticipation in the air, and I'm in the mood to celebrate!

I was digging through our books yesterday and happened upon this one.

My Journey to Freedom is a memoir of one woman's journey of growing up and leaving the Amish. I probably won't be reading it again, and rather than tucking it into the attic I thought I would pass it along to one of you.

If you would like a chance to have it leave a comment telling me what was the last book you read, and did you enjoy it?

I will be selecting a winner on Monday, May 4th.