Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thanksgiving Trip

Catching up here.

For the Thanksgiving holiday we traveled to North Carolina to visit with Keith's Dad and Step-mother, Rachel. It was a grand trip. Lucky for us it was warm the first two days, in the 80's. The last couple of days it was windy and about 55, brrrr.

Highlights of our trip are as follows:

  • Traveling Sights... beautiful mountains. Cops drive Dodge Chargers in WV. (and no we didn't get a ticket. we are just observant.) Crazy drivers. One guy had a boat in the back of his truck. A little closer and we see he had a deer in the boat. Tried to get a picture but it didn't turn out. Sorry.
  • Trip to "South Of The Border." Anyone who has traveled that route in the south knows about this place. It's the biggest tacky tourist trap I've ever seen. We bought a hat for my sister there. I should have bought her a sombraro, but I had a hard time justifying a hat over $40 that I know she will not wear. It might have made a cute center piece for a party though. We shopped around and we decided that salt water taffy might be a good thing to bring home. WAIT - it was made in Pennsylavia! That's a rip-off! Ha!
  • Thanksgiving dinner. Rachel cooked up a fine feast. I had my first piece of coconut pie. It was yummy. She makes the best sweet potatoes. Yummy!!! We ate until we could just about burst! Then we napped all afternoon. I love Thanksgiving!!! It's my favorite holiday.
  • Jazz Festival at Cypress Bend Vineyards. This was a Christmas gift for us. Dad wasn't able to go with us because of work, but the three of us went and it was delightful. Good food, good music, and good wine. Rachel bought us a couple bottles for Christmas too. Wahoo!
  • Tour of the USS North Carolina Battleship. Keith's Dad was in the Navy so this really took him back. He was explaining how everything worked and all about the different areas of the ship. It was multi-level and quite interesting. The steps were steep and all I can say is... I would never make it as a sailor!
  • Sunset at the beach... oh how lovely. It was chilly, but we got there just in time to see the sun begin its decent. There were boats on the water and the wind was blowing fierce. It was not a day to swim, but it was refreshing to say that we were there the week of Thanksgiving.

It was a grand trip. We needed to get away. It was great to be in such lovely company. We can't wait to go back again.

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There is a corner in Dad's living room for wedding photos. Dad and Rach, Keith and I, Denise and Randy, and Tammy and Rob. This is such a lovely display. I was very impressed.

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These were taken on the Battleship. Keith's Dad was showing us all sorts of things that we would not have otherwise even noticed. Can you imagine sleeping in bunks like that? Ok - they call them "racks." I at least know that.

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Ever look a battleship head-on? Here you go! Massive isn't it? There was a plane on the deck. Again... WOW. This thing is HUGE. And the flag flaps proudly from the stern.
Keith makes a new friend... Prince.

Look familiar anyone?

Sun setting over the beach... how lovely.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I've Got Mail!!!

First... thank you Monica and Carrie for hosting the "Cozy Sister Swap." I was blessed to be matched with an international participant, Lizzie. We have had such a grand time getting to know one another. Funny thing, it is already tomorrow where she lives. I think of this each time I write or chat with her.

Lizzie spoiled me rotten! The pretty purple box arrived overflowing with all sorts of lovely goodies. (I took pictures but cannot upload them at the moment. Should have those up tomorrow - so please check back!) She wrapped everything very festive-like with cutsie tags. I was like a child digging through the loot and gasping with shrills of excitement. What was in the box you might ask?

  • Humorous Christmas Cards - just in time
  • A stuffed animal holding the Australian flag - cute and cuddley
  • Collectors Edition of Handmade Country Christmas Crafts (book/magazine) - I'm going to have to cancel all my weekend plans because I'm going to have my nose in this book of awesome crafty ideas
  • Kit-Kat... didn't last long. :)
  • Angel ornament holding a tiny kitty - so precious and thoughtful
  • Festive holiday paper - for Christmas time correspondence
  • PINK stationary with envelopes - How did she know?
  • Holiday cookie cutters - for this weekend's plans
  • A calendar (for work) Scenic South Australia - to confirm that I want to visit there someday
  • A calendar (for home) Psalms - a heartfelt choics
  • A sandal magnet to remind me that summer is coming again soon
  • An assortment of herbal and fruity teas - Yummy and relaxing
  • Recipes... also yummy
  • Vegemite - Hmm... it's edible and I'm going to try it, but need more instruction first.

Lizzie is quite resourceful. My first impression was that she is ultra-organized. When you log onto her blog, you will find that to be true. I want to personally recommend that you check out her Home Management Binder Tour. I LOVE IT!!! I think that everyone should have one. I think that to write out the organization of ones household is a huge step in conquering that task. I'm so impressed that she recently incorporated significant snippets of Proverbs 31 within the binder. How cool is that!!!! She is a lovely woman and has a lot to offer in many areas of life.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

It's 85 degrees and sunny where we are. Sorry, haven't uploaded any photos yet. Maybe later. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Gobble Gobble

Thought I might leave you with a couple of Market pictures. I have no idea where the ones are that have the multitude of turkeys in them. TODAY is "Turkey Day" at Market. I have no doubt that the farmers are up to their eyeballs in turkeys right now! I think maybe Amanda has those pictures. Anyway... these are a couple that bring back memories.

Happy Holidays to everyone in Blogland... friends family and foe. I will not be blogging much in the next few days, but wanted to wish everyone a blessed time with their loved ones. Enjoy!

Gobble Gobble

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Working In My Sleep

In a mad dash to get ahead before the holiday... so I can actually enjoy the holiday and not be overwhelmed with thoughts of my work... I spent 4 hours last night doing data entry for some new applicants.

Fast forward to my dreams... My boss kept telling people "No problem. Just get the application to Jennifer and she will make it happen in short order." Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

Am I losing my mind?

10 Friends

A snippet of what I have learned from 10 friends...

1. Keith: Unconditional love.
2. Re-Re: I talk too much.
3. Rene'e: Forgiveness is love.
4. Ed: Life is short. Appreciate your loved ones today.
5. Chrissy: Money doesn't buy happiness.
6. Amy: Wisdom is plenty, but one must seek it earnestly.
7. Jill: Trust God and make the most of your circumstances.
8. Michelle: God is the Captain of my ship.
9. Dan: Friends are not easily forgotten.
10. Lizzie: Being ultra-organized starts with having a plan

Monday, November 19, 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.

This week I am thankful for the blessing of warmth. Warmth comes in many forms in our household...

  • Warm fuzzy slippers to toast my toes

  • Warm cozy robe to snuggle into

  • Warm embrace from HandyHubby's hugs

  • Warm furry friends... Crystal and Wizzy

  • Warm flannel sheets

  • Warm valore blankets

  • Warm working furnace

  • Warm cup of tea or coffee or cocoa

In the midst of this chilly season, I am thankful for the warmth that surrounds me. What keeps you warm? What blessing are you thankful for today?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Just A Little Somthin' To Jump Start My Pacemaker

This afternoon I was doing laundry in the basement as usual. I put some bed-linens into the washer and when I turned around there was a GIGANTIC spider (the wolf-spider kind) on the comforter that was underneath these bed-linens. I shreaked in reaction and screamed for Keith. He came running! I was pointing... and had nowhere to run. And what's worse... I wasn't even wearing shoes!!!! AHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! Just so you don't think I'm exagerating when I say it was GIGANTIC... it could have easily filled the palm of my hand. It's body was probably the size of my thumbnail. Even Keith said "Wow, it IS a big one!" I ran to the steps but wouldn't disappear until I was sure he had taken care of it. He smushed it and disposed of it in a paper towel. Oh good gravy... I do NOT like spiders!!!! It makes me cringe just thinking about it. What's worse... I have to go down there and put on my barn boots. Now I'm going to be paranoid that such a thing could be lurking inside my boots! AH!!!!!

One day last week he forgot to close the garage door so it was open all night long. Could it have arrived then? Or maybe it had taken up residence in our home a long long time ago? Regardless, I do not like to find such excitement... especially amongst the laundry. Needless to say... that was the last load of laundry I did today and I don't think I will do any more for a while!

Weekend Catchup

I was so sore and tired after Market yesterday that I took a nap. Keith and I went and did some Christmas shopping. We got something cute for our nephew Hayden, and also something for another nephew Isaac. We have 10 kids to buy for this year. WOW! 2 Down and 8 to go. The family is growing every year!

We are also sponsoring a child at church, which we do every year. This year we pulled a tag for a 15 year old boy. What does a 15 year old boy want? I mean... be reasonable now! We are not loaded, but we do want to contribute. Anyone want to offer up some suggestions that won't break the bank???? PLEASE!!!

So after a little R&R and shopping, we went to Pizza Hut for dinner. We had a coupon. The waitress tells us that this is her 3rd day and funny thing... they are out of everything except thin and crispy and hand-tossed pizza. Umm... you are out of pizza? Almost. WOW! That's a little crazy! So Keith ordered wings, but they were kind of cold. Ick! The pizza was good and the waitress was trying so hard. Then Keith goes up to pay the bill and the guy at the cash register proclaims in a loud almost echoing voice "Yo You need to open the safe!" directed towards the manager. Nothing like calling attention to the money storage area. Smartly, she declined and he proceeded to collect change from the waitresses because he didn't have enough change for our bill. Double WOW! We were not very satisfied with the overall service tho.

At home... watched Grumpy Old Men. Funny movie. Going to watch Grumpier Old Men later tonight.

Church was packed today. Pastor reminded us how God is Good, God is Great, and God is Gracious. See Psalm 145. How lovely.

Keith is hosting a "Coffee House" night with the youth group tonight.

I'm milking cows tonight. Brrrrr....

Recovering From Near Disaster

I went to work at the Farmer's Market this weekend. It is the Saturday before Thanksgiving mind you, which means that we have orders up to our eyeballs and an abundance of fresh chill-packed turkeys surrounding us on what was already a chilly day. Brrrrr!!!

As the story goes, we were be-bopping along at quite a busied pace when the line began to grow longer and longer and right at about the time the line reached half way to the door... the lights went out. The Market is a concrete block building and the only windows are in the 2 doors at the far end. The emergency lighting came on, but it wasn't much light. Luckily it was daylight by now, about 7am, and so as part of the immediate safety precautions, the vendors opened all the doors as wide as possible. It was still dark, but we could see to move amongst ourselves.

We hoped that it would come right back on, but much to our dismay it did not. Conversing with someone on the outside revealed that the electric company was working up the street and the entire block was without power. Customers began to stir and become restless. "What are we going to do?!" they complained. We had no scales to weigh anything. UGH! I quickly instructed one of our workers to swiftly clean the change box to minimum change and make it neat. No need to have cash laying around loosely in such a situation. The boss... she was a little stressed I'd say. Near panic, shouting orders to us, and rather curt with the customers too. Finally after a few minutes, a plan was devised. We shall guestimate. That's the best we could do. Fryers would be $4.40 each, turkey's prices estimated by the average for it's size. They were marked 10-12 or 18-20 etc. Capons would be a flat $25. Ducks were $15. Ground beef was sold for $2.50/bag. Any chuck... 8 Bucks! I'd say that it was pretty average overall. Customers were fine with it, but I will say I was amazed at some of the silly comments of the day: "How much does that weigh?" "Do you take Master Card?" Ummm... I don't know and cash or check please!

Wow what a crazy day! The electric came back on at 11AM... right about the time we are usually finished working. We were glad to be able to meet the needs of our customers despite the odd situation and duly glad to not have to take a loss at a weeks wages for the farmers. Whew!!! We recovered from a near disaster! (Cold, but fine.)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veteran's Day

Thank you Veteran's. Thank you for being a fan of freedom. Thank you for protecting our country. Thank you for selflessly serving for my benefit... and for the benefit of those just like me throughout our nation.

Thank you Keith.
Thank you Dad B.
Thank you Dad V.
Thank you... All Veterans!
You are my hero!

Oh What Fun!!!!

Dad and I took off on another excursion. I like having his company to and fro. I learn lots about times gone by and we laugh at funny stories... sometimes told over and over, but still always a hoot.

Goldie Locks (that's me) and Papa Bear drive six hours across the state, up into New York a smidgen and back down into Pennsylvania... we arrive amidst the mountainous region along the Susquehanna River. Six tiny feet shuffle out the door to greet us with shrieks and shrills of childish excitement. Mama Bear holding Baby Bear in the kitchen come quickly to greet us too. Papa Bear snags Baby Bear and hogs him all to himself... for most of our stay. (Those who know Papa Bear know this is not exaggerating!)

Yummy good food was devoured by all. Mama Bear made cinnamon rolls, jello pretzel salad, creamy chicken bake, homemade beef vegetable soup, and a buffalo chicken dip that was superb!!!

Yesterday morning there was snow on the ground. Nothing a little sunshine wouldn't dissolve. We had fun shopping and playing and cuddling too. We watched Narnia together yesterday afternoon. The kiddos recited the books of the New Testament and their memory verse and sang Psalms for us. Papa Bear took us to Cracker Barrel for dinner last night. It was really packed! Yumm-O. Baby Bear was a gem. The other three bickered amongst themselves most of the evening. Mama Bear was about ready to huff and puff and scold their socks off... but alas she remembered the families memory verse:

James 1:19-20
My dear brothers, take note of this:
Everyone should be quick
to listen, slow to speak and slow to
become angry, for man's anger does
not bring about the righteous life
that God desires.

Well... Much to Papa Bear's dismay, Mama Bear said that there would be NO ice cream for the naughty kiddos. I can only imagine what a sugar rush might have caused! HA! On the contrary, the kiddos were mostly very well behaved and maybe just a little over-excited to have visitors.

This morning the sun shined thru the bare limbs of trees covered with frost. We kissed the kiddos and bid them farewell. No snow there today... but we saw a little as we drove thru Clearfield, PA on the way home. Back home safe and sound now.

UGH - not looking forward to working tomorrow. I so love time off and never take enough of it. Next time I want to stay longer. I am delighted to be home with my Hubby. I missed him.

Enjoy the pictures...

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Monday, November 05, 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.

Today I'm counting the blessing of my Handy Hubby's job. He has dreamed of having his own coffee shop for as long as I can remember. Having the gift of a trained pallet is one that not many have. I have discovered that there are others in his family that share the gift, but perhaps they are not coffee connoisseurs specifically.

My hubby is a veteran of the United States Army. When he married me he left that life and pursued an education. He has such a strong interest in History that he graduated with honors and a bachelors degree in secondary education. He dabbled in construction for a spell and then followed a calling to seminary where he studied Youth Ministry. Those teenagers are so up his alley! He loves them! A semester or so shy of his master's degree we found ourselves heading in yet another direction. At the present, he has settled at Starbucks.

Did you ever have a job that you just clicked right into? Just felt right at home the minute it started. Have you ever had a job that you could really see yourself doing for years and years to come? Starbucks is that for him. He quickly moved from Barista I to Barista II to Coffee Master to Supervisor. He is embarking upon training to become an assistant manager and aspires to manage his own store one day.

Of course, we are always at the mercy of the Lord as far as our direction. It can change it in a moments notice. We realize that each area of his past employment has been a step along the path of the Lord's perfect plan for us. We are delighted to relish the moments of such moves, but today I am grateful to experience the blessing of his current employment.

Sister Swap - REFRESH

You have no idea how REFRESHING this truly is! Today was hectic. I'm so overwhelmed at work. My stress level is rising by the day. I worked late tonight. My shoulders are tense and sore and calling out for relaxation. All the way home I was praying and just trying to let it all go - at least for tonight. I just want a nice relaxing evening with a good nights rest.

I see there is a box for me on the table. Hmmm... I investigate. Wow - such lovely frangrances wafting from this box. It's from my Sister in Michigan, Angela! I pried open the seams to find such lovlies awaiting me. Soup mixes!!! Comfort food!!! How timely!!! Yankee Candles are one of my faves! Oh and they are decadent! I love them!!! I'm burning the Autumn Leaves scent already. It's so appropriate for the season. It's rainy and cold out with wet leaves that have fallen leaving their trees bare. It's kind of the sad part of the season. Corn bread mix to have with my next pot of chili. More comfort food... I know. YUM. How did you know to treat my Handy-Hubby like that? He LOVES cornbread! And you are so very thoughtful to include a Hallmark Magazine. I mean - WOW - it's packed full of goodies! If it wasn't so late I would so be making us a pot of soup right now. Alas, I shall do that tomorrow. BUT - I am going to go cuddle up with my new magazine and fill my mind with crafty thoughts and new meal ideas for the coming weeks. The cutest part is the little kitty-bell ornaments. Where in the world did you find them? One grey and one black... how appropriate! Initially I had trouble keeping the kitties from investigating such a treasure, but I have found a lovely spot to hang them from the mirror on my dresser. For now anyway. YIPPIE!!! It was so lovely. This really made my day! The surprise was definitely REFRESHING! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU ANGELA!!!!! I do hope that all is well with you and your family.

Many thanks to Monica at The Homespun Heart and Carrie at With All That I've Been Given, for hosting the Refresh Sister Swap. I have enjoyed getting to know Angela.

To see some of the other Refreshing boxes, check out the links on Carrie's post here. I am also participating in Monica & Carrie's COZY Sister Swap and having a grand time chatting with my new sister Lizzie and putting together her box of goodies to mail this week!

Sister Swap - REFRESH

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