Saturday, September 30, 2017

Picture my Week

   The big maple tree in front of our house keeps dropping leaves. We try to keep after them, but it feels like a losing battle. Steven loved raking piles together so he could play in them.

Discovering just how big and pointy a nose shadow looked on the wall brought on gales of laughter one morning. The girls have this talent of seeing the funny in basically anything.

Steven picked a teensy tiny flower and on his quest to find a vase that would fit it, settled on a thimble. It made an adorable little centerpiece for the kitchen table.

Rosie Mae loves fall baking, and combined with her love of trying new recipes produced another winner. A spice cake topped with an apple cider cheesecake.

Kenneth likes to have a picture of every restoration project he participated in completing. I love his determination and enthusiasm for a job well done.

As much as I love green ferns covering the forest floors during summer, there is something about their autumn hues that really speaks to me.

 Listening to the older children's history lesson sparked Steven's creativity and he built an ancient structure. Quite different from his usual carefully planned out houses and barns.

Did I mention we have a hard time keeping after all the leaves? We started our week in pictures with Steven playing in leaves, and I think it's fitting to end it with another one.

Thursday, September 28, 2017


    Yesterday I happened to noticed the mallow plants are doing well. They grow unbidden anywhere they choose. This particular one is at the corner of the little spring house in our front yard.

     Growing up we used to go hunting for these and gather as much as possible every summer. The leaves, stems, and flowers were dried and then used to make tea to drink when we had a chest cold. After having finished drinking the tea, Mom would take the warm steeped leaves and create a poultice with them for us.
      The best part of these plants though used to be what we called the "little cheeses" They were tasty little treats to be enjoyed by who ever happened to get to them first.

    We'll be going on a little hunting adventure today to see if we can find more to dry for winter. It's just a little bit of knowledge that I want to pass on to my children before it gets lost like so many, many things do with the passing of time and generations.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Mom Mobile

   Our main mode of transportation is a little red mini van I have lovingly dubbed the Mom Mobile. It joined our family not long after Steven was born since we needed something that would fit all of us.
   It was somewhat old already when we got it, but is decidedly older by now. It has been faithful and problem free until recently when LV and I went on our weekly grocery run.
    We had loaded all our groceries in the back and were heading back to the interstate to head home. As we approached the on ramp our van died. There was no warning, no coughing, sputtering, or limping along, only the very abrupt silence of the engine shutting off.  We coasted to the side of the road and sat there helplessly as traffic kept whizzing past us. LV got out to see if there was an easy fix. There wasn't so it was finally time to make use of the Triple A service we had been paying for, for years already.
     A cheerful lady answered our call, but then promptly put us on hold and we sat there watching the minutes slip by. Finally LV tried starting the van again, and this time it started right up, with a break in the traffic we were on our way.
     We approached a red light, stopped, and the Mom Mobile decided it's tired and shut off again. There was no resurrecting it this time. LV got out to push it off the road, back into a parking lot. A good Samaritan pulled up next to us and seeing what was happening he hopped out to help LV push. I managed to steer it properly which was just a little difficult seeing that I had to keep my eyes on the mirror to see where I was going, when it seemed much easier to simply watch the guys laughing and talking right in front of me as they pushed us to safety.
      After thanking our helper he was on his way, and LV continued his call with Triple A. It took them ridiculously long to finally get us connected with a tow truck, and then we had to wait patiently for it to arrive.
       When the tow truck finally arrived it didn't take long to get the van loaded up and we got in to head home. The driver was an interesting character who viewed life with a glass half empty and rapidly draining perspective. He drove well below the speed limit the entire way home, but we finally made it. Happy and relieved to be back safely with our family.
      The next day LV diagnosed the problem to be the fuel pump. He replaced it and I'm once again enjoying a Mom Mobile that runs great.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond
1. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.

In some cases, yes. Pictures can at times capture what is difficult to describe with words. I really love words though and I'm glad I don't have to rely on pictures to communicate.

2. Have you ever driven any part of the Pacific Coast Highway? If so what was your favorite stop? If not, is this sort of trip on your bucket list?

I have not, but would love to someday. It's on my travel bucket list.

3. How do the changing seasons affect you? As the seasons change do you find yourself looking more forward or backward? Which season-season transition bothers you most? Why do you suppose that is?

Changing into fall always invigorates me and gives me a certain wanderlust, a stirring deep inside that I can't quite explain and never really know what to do with it until it passes.

I find myself doing a mix of looking forward and backward.

The season transition that bothers me the most is when spring turns into summer. I don't do well with heat ever since a scary overheating episode I had as a teenager.

4. It's your birthday and you get to pick the dinner menu. What are we having? Do you ever lie about your age?

Having blue crab stuffed ravioli at a local seafood place has become a birthday tradition for me. I'm already looking forward to the next time I get to enjoy it.

I don't lie about my age, I don't make it a point to volunteer that information, but I don't try to hide it either. I didn't enjoy my 30th birthday, but since then I rejoice with every birthday I get to celebrate.

5. What's a life lesson you've learned recently?

I wish I could share something great and grand, but there's nothing that I can think of at the moment. Life has been relatively calm recently, and I've been enjoying that a lot.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

I really, really dislike shopping for shoes which is probably why it has been years since the last time I subjected myself to this particular form of torture, but with my shoes coming apart at the seams and giving people glimpses of my sock clad toes with every step I took I knew the time had come that I needed to buy a new pair.

My first attempt was to buy them online, but when they arrived they were too small and became the property of one of my daughters instead.

Last evening LV and I headed out to go shoe shopping, me to find shoes I can live with and him to lend moral support.

The options felt overwhelming, all I wanted to do was curl up in a whimpering ball behind the shelves. Buying shoes had been so easy when we were Amish ... all I had to do then was walk into the Amish shoe store, state my size, and choose between two styles, Sunday or everyday.

I somehow managed to focus on the task at hand, and walked out of the store, the unwilling owner of a new pair of shoes, relieved at the thought that it will be years before I go shoe shopping again.

Monday, September 11, 2017


     One of the advantages of having older children is that when LV comes up with a spontaneous "date night" idea we can actually act on it, just the two of us.
      That was the case again early Saturday evening when he suggested we go hiking to one of his new favorite spots.
      The path leading back to the giant rocks/cliffs was delightful with all the moss covered rocks, and the soft grass growing between them. It almost felt other worldly, as if I had somehow managed to step right through the pages of a book and into another dimension.
       As we neared the end of the trail the rocks started getting much bigger. We clambered over them, hanging onto branches of mountain laurels to keep from falling. They were worn smooth from all the people who have done the same.

      The view once we got to the top of the rock/cliffs was lovely. I had to stand there for a while simply soaking it in before I tried my hand at taking some pictures. I zoomed in, zoomed out, tilted my camera one way and then the other, but none of the pictures did the view justice.

There's something about spending time in nature that stirs something deep inside your soul. Spending that time with the person you love the most makes it even more special.