Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sadness In Passing Life

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Our family both close and distant are mourning the loss of a cousin, Jeff. He was killed in a farming accident. He was a precious gem of a person and lucky for him he is now in Heaven. He does leave behind a wife and two small children and parents and siblings. It's so very sad for those of us here on Earth.
This photo I was very impressed with. It was fast becoming my new favorite sun picture, and tonight it seems to be able to portray the sorrow in passing life. Please pray for Jeff's immediate family. Many friends and neighbors have pulled together to help at the farm, but this too will pass and there will be loved ones who feel the emptiness for a long time.

Suzie Homemaker 101

I visited Uncle Charlie and took a tour of his garden. He's got tomatoes, squash, peppers (all kinds) pumpkins, basil, parsely, dill, even an eggplant or two. He filled my trunk with a generous helping as you can see. I have now officially canned my first solo - stewed tomatoes. I did it once before, years ago with Grandma, but she was instructing me the entire time. Mom gave me some refresher instructions and I took off with it. 10 pints and 3 quarts later I ran out of jars and Grammy would be SO PROUD!!! I still have most of the larger box to do. Mom says she has jars she is willing to share. YIPPIE!!! I'm so looking forward to sharing these with Uncle Charlie. It is the least I could do to show my thankfulness for his generosity.

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We decided to keep the pumpkins in the house for fear of our "clepto-neighbors" making off with them! Ugh! Can you tell that I have been bitter ever since someone stole my treasured bird-feeder? The one that was given to me as a Christmas gift a couple years ago? Ugh!

Uncle Charlie's Garden

Cosmos were my Grandpa's favorite.
Aren't they lovely?!

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Cleveland Grand Prix Stadium Jumping

Rene'e and I had a girl's day out last weekend. We went to Cleveland to watch the Grand Prix Stadium Jumping. The horses are huge and so are the fences. It was really fun to watch.

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These horses are very powerful!

Oh darn... the only horse and rider disqualified.
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I had a nice visit to Rene'e's place. The animals seemed to be excited to see me... at least the dogs were!

The Guineas... there are a gazillion of them!

Curious George a.k.a. Duke
I miss this guy! I need to ride him!

Allison... she was one of Uncle Charlie's kittens.
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Milking Cows

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Rene'e and I milked cows for her Uncle last weekend so he could go on a long weekend away. These are a few of his calves. One of my jobs was to feed them. The bottom one is still on a bottle, but the other two will drink from a nipple bucket.
We had a great time milking and by the time we were done with that duty... we had become reaquainted with most of them. They are all numbered, but we take it upon ourselves to name them. Like one is called "Mickey Mouse" because she has a marking on her side that looks like Mickey. We call #57 "Heinz" - get it?! But I'm not sure she was there this time. There was one that was always really dirty and we called her "Piggly Wiggly." We are so original, can't you tell.
Milking the cows induces reminiscing of days gone by. We really miss our Pal, Ed. These were his cows and when he was around we milked them regularly. Now we just help when there is a need. It's sad to go there and not see him. He will have been gone 7 years next week.

Blanket For Marine

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I made the blanket a couple weeks ago. I mailed it to a lady in California who has a ministry for Marines/Soldiers returning from Iraq who live in the barracks and who don't necessarily have family to come home to. They collect these blankets and leave them on their bunks with a note from whomever sent it. Our note went something like this:
"Dear Soldier, I wanted this blanket to reflect your interests. Maybe you are a baseball fan, maybe a football fan, or maybe you like a particular color or style??? I decided to go with the one thing that I am sure of, that you are a fan of freedom. For this reason I chose a patriotic theme. Thank you for serving our country and for your efforts in protecting our freedom. You are our hero. God bless, Keith and Jen"
If you are interested in making a similar blanket, let me know and I can forward the contact information for the ministry.

Crystal's Photo Shoot

Of like a dozen shots, this was the best!

And this... well... I'm not sure exactly what look she's going for here??? Maybe lazy school gal? Hmmm....
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To Market To Market...

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I went to market a few weeks ago. The old market that burnt down has been gutted and completely refurbished with drop ceilings, lights, ceiling fans, new floor, new wood paneling, new furnace, refrigerator cases etc. It was nice to be back in the old building again. As you can see, I got my photos near the end of the day after all the meat had sold out!
Some days I miss going to Market. I am supposed to be going once or twice per month just to help out. I enjoy it, but I told John he needs to get floor mats because my feet hurt after standing on the concrete all day long.

Catching Up... One Event At A Time

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A couple weeks back I was house-sitting for a friend and had these few lovely pals for company.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I'm So Behind!

I have not gotten to posting pictures from this past weekend's excursions. I also have some from yesterday's trip to my parent's house where I had a walk thru Uncle Charlie's garden. I got a big box+ full of tomatoes that I will hopefully be able to stew & can. He threw in some other prizes too... a handful of green peppers, some hot peppers, a couple pie pumpkins (so cute), and a half dozen of squash (acorn and butternut). I'm so pleased. I really got more than I bargained for! I hope to have lots to share once I prepare some of it.

In other news, I saw my doctor yesterday. I was fully expecting her to tell me that I have to take Cholesterol meds. She kinda did, but for now she's just giving me Omega-3 vitamins to take. I'm so pleased with this alternative plan; however they are very expensive. A 2-mth supply is $178. YIKES. She did say that I could take a half dose (2-day instead of 4) so maybe I will ask the pharmacy if I can get half the script at a time? That would make it more affordable. Overall she is pleased with my progress since I turned the bend about a year ago. I've made changes in my eating habits and I'm exercising regularly now too. It all contributes to a healthier me!

Enough babble for now. I must WORK! I have a lot of it to accomplish! Sorry about not getting my pictures posted. I will try to get to it later this week. (oh and I have a new favorite sun picture to share!)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Is There A Connection???

Luke 21:1-4 (NRSV)He looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on."

I am amazed at how a particular subject is brought to light and then coincidentally (or more-likely not so coincidentally) it is followed by additional promptings that are similar. God is so clever at how he keeps me focused. I just got done saying yesterday that our budget is just about shot and I'm unsure of what I have to give "those in need" this week. So after reading the above passage this morning, I'm thinking... maybe there is more to spare than I had thought. Hmmm...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Blessings Monday

If you would like to join us in sharing our blessings, or even if you just want to read up on some other people's blessings (which is a blessing in itself), head on over to Marci's blog "Down On The Farm" to link up.

Can I repeat my post from last week? How about I just make an addendum to it?

I spent some time with my Antique Friend, Rene'e yesterday. Oh my goodness was it a heart-felt day. I won't go into every detail, but I will give you some highlights...

We started bright and early milking her uncle's cows. These used to be Ed's cows (my other Antique Friend who passed away in 2000). We spent the morning reminiscing about Ed, talking about his milking habits and his 'girls.' Then back at Rene'e's house we watched a video tribute of Ed and balled our eyes out. We miss him so much. I walked to the barn to pet the horses, kitties, and goat... strolled by the ring to say hello to the doggies... and peaked at the guineas and snapped a few pictures here and there. From there we made a road trip to Cleveland - which results in a couple of hours of really good discussion. We watched the Cleveland Grand Prix Stadium Jumping and it was fabulous. The Lord blessed us with abundant sunshine and a day that was as lovely as my company. We shopped at some of the vendor booths. She bought more than me... and I didn't know it but she bought me something very special. On the way home she pulled it out and gave it to me and it was a painted pony. Not just any painted pony -- it was painted like a "Harley Davidson" horse complete with shades and all. This might sound silly to most, but... it so reminded me of my Grandma, which probably sounds even sillier, but I'll save that for another post and keep you guessing! The point is that she got me something very, very, very heartfelt.

My friend touched my heart a thousand times yesterday. Thank you Lord for such a profound blessing and for reminding me over and over how great she is.

I'll post some weekend pictures later this evening.

C.O.W. - Caring For Others

If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but
has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?

1 John 3:17

This coupon is going to be hard to redeem this week. It's one of those "down to the last dollar" kind of weeks for us. We were diligent in budgeting; however the budget did include some fun this weekend. SO... we are pinching our pennies for the rest of this week to compensate for it. It's not like we are completely broke, but we don't have funds to shell out this week that are not for necessities.

So when I find one "in need" I'm not sure exactly how I will respond. Although this does not suggest that we must actually give MONEY. Simply we are recognizing that we have material possessions that are most of the time not necessary and so maybe we could share some of those with someone who has less? So I'm searching the inventory of my mind to see what we might have to share. Perhaps I should assess what some other's needs are first??? Hmmm...

For the moment I think I will clip this coupon and focus on it's meaning. The Lord will lay on my heart how I am to respond. Stay tuned...

Anyone else want to join me in sharing this week?

Subtle Reminder

Witch Doctor Trial Begins Thursday - Just another reminder of why I do what I do...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Out Of My Comfort Zone

Last night we went to Penn Brewery's Octoberfest. Why? I'm still asking myself that question. When Keith's former co-workers asked us to join them on this night in the 'Burgh, I was apprehensive, but figured... why not? It will be good to get out for an enjoyable night. No knowing what to expect, I figured we would be going to a bar-like atmosphere where we might order appetizers while we sit and chat. NOT SO... let me explain.

First we drove to the city. I'm not a big fan of it, but hey... that's where the fun is they say. As we approached the Brewery Building there were limos and taxis and a gazillion cars... not to mention the massive boatload of people milling about. We had to park almost a mile away I'd say. We were way up the hill almost to Troy Hill. (which BTW I knew where I was) So we walk down this long hill passing hoodlums here and there and homes literally perched on the cliff-like hillside overlooking Pittsburgh's East side and Route 28.

So after a long walk down the hill, we entered the Octoberfest party. It was wall to wall people - no joke! This place was multi-level with huge canopies here and there. After slithering thru the crowd, we bellied up to the beer line where you could only buy it in half gallons. Who the heck needs a half gallon of beer at a time? Pretty much the whole city of Pittsburgh I guess. I have never seen so many people drinking so much beer at one time!!! I don't even like beer!!!

Now this crowd was NOT for people like me. I may have a slight anxiety disorder. Crowds make my skin crawl, especially if they are close enough to touch. I hate that!!!! I was glued to my hubby from behind as he led the way. At one point he reached back and touched my leg - affectionately mind you - and my reaction was less than lovely. I nearly clocked him... not actually knowing it was him. I think my blood pressure was up just a smidge as I had a headache... and was a little bit nauseated. NOT from the beer... I just don't like crowds. I did my best to overcome the urge to have a mental meltdown in the midst of the crowd. So as we hunkered into a corner to chit-chat with his co-workers... I succomed to taking a few sips of the lightest beer offered followed by a couple of hours of prime-time people watching. Yes my friend... this place was a gold mine for those of us that like to simply "watch" people and notice oddities about them. Like the geeks across the way... one dressed for the 1970's rodeo and his pal with the faded 80's button-down shirt and bright clashing tie. WOW is about all I could say.
I am still not a fan of beer. Yuk. Yuk. Yuk. And I'm not a fan of places that serve it in large quantities. I was so out of my comfort zone and I'm not sure why I'm telling you all this... except I need to vent. This type of activity is not high on my list of "Would like to do's." I prefer to enjoy more simplistic wholesome activities. I'm absolutely amazed at the multitude of people who take part in such activities. WOW.
Keith has a very german heritage, so consumption of beer (and other alcohol) is the norm. His grandfather even owned a bar for many years. Thankfully, my K does not indulge in it very often... although he does have an occasional beer and we are both actually fond of wine.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Plant seeds of expectation in your mind;

cultivate thoughts that anticipate

achievement. Believe in yourself as

being capable of overcoming all obstacles

and weaknesses.

- Norman Vincent Peale
While I did not clip this from my Bible, it is still a profound tidbit of wisdom that I thought I'd share this morning.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Focus and Re-Focus

The energy you are willing to put forth to reach your dreams is directly
related to the probability of achieving them.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Count Your Blessings Monday

This Monday I would like to count the blessing of Antique Friends. I was recently journaling elsewhere about Antique Friends. You know who they are... the ones that come into your life and spend years cultivating a relationship with you. They take interest in you... care about you... pick you up when you feel down... they look past your imperfections, and look out for your best interest. I have a few really great antique friends in my life.

Today I shall tell you about Rene'e. We are actually related, third cousins I think. None the less we have had some common interests and for that reason we have connected for a very long time. I'm ashamed to say that I have not spent enough time with her this past year. There have been a lot of changes in our lives the past couple of years and for that there has been a steady decline in our visits. BELIEVE ME... I would love to go back to the time when we crossed paths multiple times each week.

Rene'e has been a very generous friend. She kept Penny for me for years and also has let me claim her very own horse, Duke, as my ride. Although again I am ashamed to admit that I have hardly ridden him since last fall. The thought of that makes me sad. I miss it. A couple years back we went camping with the horses and that was one of the best times of my life.

We also have some mutual friends and family that are really important to us. Like her Uncle Ed was one of my best friends. His death several years ago was a tragedy in both of our lives! We still find ourselves talking about him and recapping the events of our time with him - especially at my wedding. I suppose you could say he's one of my Antique Friends even though he's no longer with us.

I regret that I have not spent enough time with Rene'e lately. With the fall season heavily approaching, I am craving a weekend retreat to her place. Maybe we would pick apples, go visit the Amish, build a bonfire, and spend some time in the barn with the horses and other animals... maybe even hitch the mules and go for a spin. Maybe we would make homemade vanilla ice cream served with her famous Apple Delight?! As luck would have it, I will get to see her this weekend. We are milking cows together and also have plans to go to a horse-show to watch. I'm so delighted to have set this time aside to enjoy her company.

So here's to Rene'e... my Antique Friend!!! And if you are reading this... Thanks for being one of the greatest friends ever. I appreciate all you have done for me and all you still do. I am very proud of you for what you are doing with your life right now. You will make a really awesome nurse because you care about people. You truly are a kindred spirit and I thank God that you are part of my life.

Ed and Rene'e 09/02/00

To participate in Count Your Blessings Monday, post your blessing on your blog and then head on over to Marci's blog at Down On The Farm to link up to share with us.

My Very First: C.O.W.

Today I made up my very first Coupon Of Wisdom (a.k.a. C.O.W.) I'm going to have to make myself a logo! HA! Is anyone out there especially good at creating such things? Maybe I could just use photoshop? I'm going to have to figure that out.

In my morning devotions I took note of the following passage:

...Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John

I recorded this on an index card and slipped it into my blackberry carrying case. I've pulled it out many times during the day to recite and ponder. I'm going to try to memorize some more scripture. I haven't done that for some time.

So on the back of the card I'm recording some of the ways I can redeem this coupon i.e. Make coffee for Keith, do the laundry/dishes, do a special chore for a co-worker. etc.

The hard part is that often I show my love with words. This of course is NOT suggesting that words of love are wrong in any way, but it is simply reminding us that ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS!

I am so going to get crafty and make some pre-printed coupon cards. Then I'm going to get one of those coupon organizers and label different categories. Then I can file them as I create them. When I finish one and move on to another I will have a nice little filing system where I will be able to easily dig it out again for re-assurance and/or re-focus.

BTW - the acronym C.O.W. suits me so perfectly since I have such a fond love of the bovine species. (It's comes with a history of Dairy Princess! I can't help it!) OH - and I shall be milking some cows this weekend! Yippie!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called
children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him." 1 John 3:1

I was talking to a friend about contentment. I realize that I fail to acknowledge the blessings that have been "lavished" upon me, yet I am continually asking for more. I recently contemplated... that if you clip a coupon and then buy the product without using it... The time clipping the coupon was most certainly wasted as was the savings it offered. When I pray, do I use the "coupons" aka "tidbits of wisdom" that I have gained in my devotions?

I was thinking over the past few years of prayer. Some things I noted were:

1) I asked for funds and the ability to give generously to those in need (above our tithe) yet I failed to budget wisely on many occasions. Looking back, I can see that when we WERE budgeting wisely, we DID have funds to share with others and were able to do so with great joy.

2) I asked for better health yet failed to change my diet & exercise routines. I've gotten a lot better about that since last year. AND since I've been running I have noticed some changes in my overall health. It seems that what I had asked for all those years before was really worthless chatter. I'm really looking forward to what blessings may come from doing a better job these days.

3) I asked for contentment, and then I ordered some catalogs, drooled over the weekly ads in the newspaper, and then logged onto just to browse. My actions led to more discontent and then I started the entire saga all over again.

I'm stuck in this cycle of ups and downs (as are many I suppose). It's amazing what pull evil has on our everyday lives. I keep reminding myself that when I don't stick to the budget, when I sit on my lazy butt instead of exercising, and when I don't avoid known temptations... I'm simply feeding the devil's gain instead of allowing the Lord to bask in the glory of his child.

So I suppose I should clip my coupons of wisdom and do something to make them visible to me more often so that when I'm praying for specifics, I'm aware of what my "out of pocket cost" may be for cashing in on an answer to that prayer. Just think... A coupon booklet as a prayer journal!!!! Oh ya... I need to think on that idea. I like it... Just haven't put it all together in my mind yet. Anyone want to help me with it?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I won't be blogging much this week. Sorry folks.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

My First Sister Swap

This is what I sent my Swap Sister...

With the change of Season
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Refresh Tazo Tea
Elegant Burner
Flavorful Tarts
Relaxing Bath Pearls
Earrings for the Horse Lover
Scent for the car
Holiday Garland Galore
Want to see more lovlies from this Refresh Sister Swap?

Just thought I'd share the sunrise from one morning this past week. Caught this right thru my windshield on the way to work. Lovely isn't it?
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