Friday, July 26, 2019

Things That Keep Me Awake at Night

     My parents gave LV and me some nice sturdy oak dining room furniture when we got married. It's still nice and solid, but the years of use have not been kind to the varnish, and we decided it's time to strip off the old varnish and redo them.
     I spent quite a bit of time researching the how-to's of furniture stripping and armed with the knowledge I found on the internet I went to buy the needed supplies. Steel wool, scrapers, sand paper, and a jug of orange stripping gel.
     I labored over that furniture, but was pleased with the results. It was soon clear that I would need to buy more of the stripping compound in order to finish the project. I quickly found my shopping list and scribbled "stripper gunk" at the top and when LV and I went shopping later that week I got some more.
     A few days later one of our friends called. Her husband was out of state on business and she was having some type of mechanical issue. Would LV come to her rescue?
     I joined LV as he went to see if he could help out. It didn't take him long to discover what the problem was. A certain part had to be ordered. "Do you have a piece of paper I can use to write the part number down?" he asked me.
     My purse is usually loaded with anything you can think of, but in all my rummaging through it all I came up with was my used shopping list with neat little checkmarks next to all the items.
      LV took it, scribbled the parts number down, and to my consternation handed it to our friend so she could order it.
      The words "stripper gunk" seemed to grow bigger and bolder at the top of that paper and I wanted to disappear.
      Last night I woke up with that memory going through my mind, and I shuddered in embarrassment again as I wondered what awful images went through our friend's mind when she read those words.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Wednesday Medley

    Since today is National Cousins Day and Friday is National Aunts and Uncles Day, Terri from Your Friend in Florida has created a set of questions based on that, for us to answer.

1. What can you tell us about your cousins, please, or someone who is close like a cousin?

I had/have a lot of cousins. The oldest is twelve years older than me, and the youngest didn't come along until after I already had three children of my own. Given the age difference I don't even know most of my cousins, and certainly can't name them all. (And this is only first cousins ... forget about even thinking of branching out further than that.)

The cousin I was the closest to, was only a few months younger than I was. For a number of years we lived in the same community and attended the same school until her family moved to a different state. We still remained best of friends and wrote letters regularly between their twice a year visits.

2. Do you still see your cousins and will you contact them on National Cousins Day?

I hardly ever see any of my cousins, or have any contact with them. Our lives turned out so differently which keep the ones I was the closest to from being able to stay in contact. (The repercussions of leaving the Amish run deep.) Other than saying a few words to each other at my brother's funeral last fall, it has been years since we had seen or heard from each other.

I will not be contacting them on National Cousins Day.

3. Do you have a favorite aunt or uncle you can tell us about?

Uncle Eli and Aunt Mattie were very special to me. They never had children. Instead, they doted on their nieces and nephews. They were the happiest people, and simply being around them made me feel happy.

Aunt Vernie had Downs Syndrome. She was a favorite aunt. Her joy of life, her laughter, her compassion, and really everything about her made her a favorite!

I could write a lot about many of my aunts and uncles and what made them special to me. Each of them made an impact on my life and gave me memories I'll always treasure.

4. Did/does your family have reunions and can you tell us about them?

The community I grew up in didn't allow people to attend family reunions. However, one year we all traveled to Michigan to my Mom's oldest sister's house. All her siblings and their children were there as well as my grandparents. We simply called it a family gathering, which made it okay.

5. If you have children, are they enjoying relationships with their cousins, aunts, and uncles?

Sadly, our children don't get to see most of their cousins often enough to establish a relationship with them. They always enjoy getting to see them when they have the opportunity.

6. Tell us something random about your week so far.

We started our new year of school on Monday. It's nice getting back into books and learning. I had been expecting our schedule to feel a little bumpy at first until we get used to it, but it's been surprisingly smooth.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019


     "Why?" I asked, "why, would anyone do this?"
     My stomach tied up in knots when I saw the damage that had been done at one of my favorite spots. (Check out the link to read more about it.)
     On Sunday after church we decided that it might be a good day to go spend some time at the swamp. since we've had a small break from all the rain, and the pathways had a chance to become less muddy.
     Since the last time I was there, someone went and cut down all the giant lilac bushes that had bordered the meadow and then dragged them over and heaped them on the section of old wooden fence that was still there.
      There is nothing we could do to save the lilac bushes, but we could save the old fence, so LV took some time and removed everything they had heaped on it.
      I'm still feeling sick to my stomach that someone would do this, and have a hard time understanding why, or what would possess anyone to be that destructive.
     I'm reminded once again that this world is not my home, and growing too attached to what is only temporary isn't good. But even so ... I keep asking "Why?" And I already know I won't want to return to the swamp anytime soon, because it will simply make me feel sad, in what used to be one of my favorite spots.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Picture our Summer

We've been having rain, rain, and more rain. A day can begin beautifully sunny, but at some point during the day it begins to grow dark, and rain and storms move in.

With all the rain keeping him indoors, Steven has been buried in books. He has always loved books, but has turned into a complete bookworm this summer.

One of our friends invited us to join her and her daughter on a day trip to visit a lavender farm. It was absolutely gorgeous there. We enjoyed sampling their lavender flavored lemonade, jams, chocolates, and ice cream. I was surprised by how much I liked it, and came home with a jar of the jam for the rest of the family to enjoy as well,

I would never have thought to do something like this, but they had windows with flowerboxes scattered all around the farm, and encouraged guests to take as many pictures as they liked.

A sign outside of the store on the lavender farm amused me.

 Wild flowers have been blooming in abundance this year. I'm particularly fond of black eyed susans.

The wildlife activity behind our house has also increased. It's no longer unusual to see deer there. Turkeys, raccoons, squirrels, and hundreds of birds keep us entertained.

Sharon, Steven, and I took advantage of a few hours between rain showers to go on a hike, Steven was sure he didn't want to wear shoes, but the gravel on the trail got to be a bit much after a while. He asked to share Sharon's pair of flip flops, and being the sweet, sharing sister she is, she gave them to him. In return he gave one back, and so they both hobbled up the trail with only one flip flop for a few minutes.

Rosie Mae has been making lots of macarons, in hopes of creating some with the perfect "feet". She had plans on sharing these with friends from Canada who were stopping in, but wasn't satisfied with how they turned out, so Sharon asked if she can have them. 

Rosie Mae plopped the entire tray full on her lap and said, "Have at them." Sharon was thrilled, but the rest of the family helped her eat them. These chocolate flavored ones are so, so good!

We attended the wedding of one of LV's nephews. The wedding cake my multi-talented sister-in-law made looked lovely.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

My Morning

     The grass was still wet with dew, and the morning sun had yet to rise above the horizon when I headed outside to take care of some work before it got too warm.  
      The girls were still upstairs doing their morning routine, so I didn't bother interrupting them to tell them what I'm doing.
     I finished up what I had set out to accomplish and was ready to head back inside, but first I had to wash all the grass off my feet.
    I went to fetch a pail to fill with water, only to discover I had accidently locked myself out. I checked our other doors. They were all firmly locked, as were the windows.
     No big deal, I'd simply ring the door bell and someone would let me in.     
     I rang the door bell. Nothing. I tried again, and again, and again. Still nothing. I made my rounds knocking on the doors, the windows, and then back to ringing the doorbell over and over.
         Finally after about an hour Rosie Mae lets me in, all apologetic. She and Sharon had been so busy praying for protection against this "crazed wannabe intruder" that it had taken them quite a while to come downstairs and discover that I was not in the house.
      I was glad to get inside, and the girls were relieved that the intruder turned out to be their somewhat exhausted mother.