Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sweet Success In Progress

After poking a little fun at him in my last post (with his permission), I must also toot his horn a little bit. My Handy-Hubby is having some sweet success in his desire to quit smoking. This battle has seemed never ending for much of our lives together, but this time he seems to be doing remarkably well.

For those of you considering it... If you go to Nicorette's website, you can sign up for a free sample, which he did. Inside was a $10 coupon. THIS WEEK Riteaid has the gum on sale with a $5 rebate, so he saved $15 on like 100 pieces of gum. It is expensive, but seems to be very helpful. He has not even been mean this time, for which I am quite grateful. I mentioned it to him and asked him how he's managed to do so well this time. He said "It's God." and my heart skipped a beat! YES!!!!


Handy Hubby was taking the air conditioner out of the kitchen window this morning. He opened the window and it fell right out!!! A whole story down! It landed on his Red Lady bush, bounce off, and is now looking pretty crushed in the back yard. I'm sorry...I can't help it! I laughed so hard and said "What made you think that it was going to stay in the window once you opened it?" HA!!! On the flip side, it was very old and actually broken and we didn't expect to get any further use out of it anyway.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesdays With Jen... My Memoirs

<-- That's me and my bro' with our Gram'Ditties!

My sweet Granny's birthday would have been this week... Here is something from my journal in October 2003...

"Annabelle called this evening. She was with Grandma today. She said that Grandma talked about me a lot today and was obviously missing me. I called Grandma and made a dinner date for tomorrow night. I do miss her and am looking forward to seeing her.

Grandma said that Annabelle took her to Kings for lunch. They shared a meal and were quite satisfied. Then they went shopping at Giant Eagle. I suggested that she use a motorized cart, but she insists that she cannot drive. I told her that we could get her a portable wheelchair for these kinds of trips. She doesn't think that is necessary. I told her we could get some chrome on it and she replied "With Harley wings too?!" Jokingly of course. She said that on the way home they realized that they had forgotten to pay the bill at Kings!!!! Oh how funny! Annabelle took her home and then went back and paid the bill. What a day!"

Blessings Monday

I know I know... I'm a day late.

I'm counting the blessing of provision. Every now and then we find ourselves scraping the barrell so to speak. The car drained a significant amount of funds and we are slowly trying to rebuild that fund. I'm a coupon-a-holic. I love getting a good deal. I'm as cheap as cheap comes. Who knew that I'd one day be so cheap?! The truth is that I do it for the challenge and also because it is a way to thoughtfully contribute to our home. I'm trying to be wise about our spending and trim the budget where I can. For months I stockpiled things in our pantry and linen closet. I did this to a point where my Handy-Hubby informed me that I was being banned from buying any more cereal, hamburger/chicken helper, deodorant, toothpaste, or air-freshener. Truly I tell you... if it was not free, it was dirt-cheap!!! Periodically I share with the local foodbank. Our church collects items for them and I actually get the hamburger helper specifically for that purpose. (we don't really care for it so much)

I must confess, in recent weeks my cheapy cheap habits have slacked off. Not only have I missed some of the most fantastic bargains... I have not actually gone grocery shopping for say... maybe a month or so, aside from the essential milk and bread. Can you believe that we have not gone wanting? The pantry is still abundant!? There is still a few choices in the freezer?! YES!!!! The Lord has provided for us!!!! We are so blessed with this abundant provision!

I see there are some good deals in this weeks Rite Aid ad. I will probably be hitting there this week. I've got to get back into my routine.

Do you have blessings to share? Visit Marci's blog, Down On The Farm, and link-up.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008



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Mr Yuck... or Miss

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Aint she cute!?!?


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I took these pictures at the farm this evening. In the spring the rain endures for a long time. In the summer the heat of the sun endures for a long time. In the winter we endure the snow for a long time. Why is the beauty of fall so short?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Blessings Monday

I milked cows Sunday night. Looking back I remember what a blessing such times have afforded me. My grandfather was a dairy farmer. My good friend Ed was a dairy farmer. Ed always talked about Grandpa. I miss them both. So when I have the opportunity to milk cows, it reminds me of them. I was blessed to have known them... and today I count the blessing of remembering them.

So in true fashion, when the milking was done and the cows were fed... I stopped for an ice cream cone, in honor of an old tradition I had with Ed, and enjoyed it as I jammed to the song about the International Harvester. (Because they would both be proud!) It just seemed so appropriate.

Marci at Down On The Farm hosts Blessings Monday. Come join in the sharing won't you! Oh and she has a little contest going on too.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

This Weeks Photo Fave

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Her dapples are really coming out right now.
I love the way she arched her neck.
She's probably checking him for treats!
I'm sure of it!

Sneak Peak Sunday... Fall Beauties

We were to attend a memorial service for Great Aunt Mary Jane yesterday, but alas another important duty would arise. My friend was out of town and her horse was sick with a temperature of 104 on Thursday and 103.6 on Friday. WOW! So I needed to tend to her before doing anything yesterday morning. I was in luck. The antibiotics we'd been giving her were starting to kick in and her temp was coming down. It was down to 99.5. Yippie!!! So I fed them and left there pleased that all was finally well.

But while I was out that way I figured it to be a perfect opportunity to wipe out my chores at the farm where Penny lives... and we really enjoyed it. What a perfect specimen of a day! As if the sunshine and breeze were not enough... enjoy the beauty of the season that surrounds us! Keith brushed Penny and we both pitched in to clean the stalls and prepare them for the evening.

Greetings! Did you bring treats?!

A glimpse of the Lord's artistry... I love fall!
Dee does NOT look happy. She is cranky!

The leaning tower of I don't know what!
She's such a love-bug.
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Sneak Peak Sunday

I was checking the new batteries in my camera when Crystal shot me this cover-girl look... She is forever a delightful pet. She's got such character and attitude and quirks. We just love her.

We live in a neighborhood of townhomes. Our next door neighbor decided to plan a garden this year... in her front yard. She has earned the title "Mid-night Gardner" because she has spent many nights tending her garden into the wee hours of the night. She was a little late getting her vegetables into the ground, but I see she has a nice crop of tomatoes over there and a pumpkin that is still green.... But THIS little number is a sneaky watermelon that crawled over into OUR flowergarden (ignor the weeds) and parked itself along the wall under our living room window. How about them apples... I mean watermelon?! It's really very small and will likely not reach maturity before succumbing to the elements of the season. But hey... Way to go Mid-night Gardner!

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Kitty On Crack... Cheap entertainment

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Re-Re and I shopped a bit yesterday. Who knew this plastic bag could be such prime entertainment for Wizzy? Is he on crack or what?!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

One More Thing

This entire situation with our car has made me into a nasty person that I truly did NOT intend to become. I was annoyed with the mechanics and the staff there... frustrated... and nervous about what our total bill would be. As of yesterday they had our car for two weeks straight. For INSPECTION! That's it! Oh the drama... I busted the owners chops pretty bad last night. We have been calling and calling and all of our messages were either ignored or else we were told they'd call us back. One time the secretary called me back, just to tell me that she'd call me back! I was furious!!!! I asked FIVE TIMES for a total of our bill because we cannot afford to pay more than the car is worth. Nobody could give us a total. I'm not even giving you all the detail here, but lets just say... they did the right thing... They apologized. They got us an inspection sticker. (apparently they had to ask the State for a waiver because they could not get the computer in the car to reset properly???) And they did NOT charge us for any of the labor fees (only for actual repairs). I am pleased, although still annoyed.

THANK YOU ZOMBECKS!!!!! For the loan in the meantime. Sorry it took so long. We are so blessed to have you both so near and dear to us! We owe you now more than we did before!!!! We love you guys!!!

Moraine State Park

We went riding at Moraine State Park today! I left work early. We left the farm at 3:20PM. We rode for a couple of hours. Autumn is my absolute FAVORITE time of year. It is SO colorful... it takes your breath away sometimes.

My little pony crossed a wooden bridge twice... pounded up and down hills... she was in the lead and when we came to the end of the trail there was a Stop sign, and that's what she did. HA! Brilliant!

Sorry I don't have any pictures of the horses on the trail today... but I wanted to share a glimpse of the perfect day today... There are little sunflowers planted in some of the fields, no doubt for the wildlife that inhabits the State Park. We didn't get too close to the water, but we could see it from atop a hill. Beautiful color surrounds and reflects off of it.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

My "Jonah" Weekend

A clip from my journal entry dated Monday, October 13, 2003...

"I had an incredibly crazy weekend. I should have been at church as we were beginning a new church-wide study. Deep down, I knew that God wanted me there, but I was bull-headed and did what "I" wanted to do. After all, I had been planning this weekends camping trip for a whole year now! I remember feeling like Jonah must have felt... just throw me overboard and things will go back to normal!

First, before we even left, the kitten, Willy, got sick. On the way, the extra fuel tank wouldn't switch over, then we got stuck in traffic. After setting up in the dark... Rene'e's horse, Flapjack, started coughing. The next morning he had a snotty nose but we rode anyway. While riding down a steep hill of rocks, Flapjack got his foot caught in a hole between the rocks. Rene'e fell off in the midst of the struggle. She's okay. Finally, Flapjack's shoe rips off his foot as he finds just the right angle to get out of the hole. Mind you... this situation spells b-r-o-k-e-n l-e-g as a usual result, but we were so fortunate that the horse didn't panic and got out with not even a scratch. So, shaken, we ride on. Hours later, and many miles... we arrive home to camp safe and sound. As we settle back into camp, we decide that Flapjack now has a temperature. This is NOT good! So we get some medicine (shot) from the ranch owner. The brought his temperature down to normal and now he is all better... except Lee has to put his shoe back on. Thank goodness the shoe came off clean and didn't rip his foot too badly. Later that night, Duke, the horse I ride (which also belongs to Rene'e) colics pretty badly. We got some more drugs from the ranch owner and hit the sack, satisfied that Duke is okay. About 130AM... the drugs wear off and Duke is ill again. So we call the vet and she gives us the 'witch-doctor recipe' which is our only hope. We could have hauled him to Ohio State, but they wouldn't operate anyway because we had already drugged him. So now we have to find whiskey and baking soda at 2AM!!!! We found the baking soda in the ranch kitchen... We proceed to wake up a guy that we thought might have some whiskey, but it turns out that he's not a drinker, but points us to some drunks around the corner of the camp. We found a guy with two girls making out in the back of a horse trailer. Rene'e (shameless) interrupts them and the guy gives us some Crown Royal... only the best for our horses!!! A while later Duke was feeling much better! It worked!!!

The next morning (Sunday) we decided to hang out around the fire and relax and chat before packing up and heading home. Needless to say, it started raining!!! So we packed up and went home. By the way, Willy died at the vet's office on Friday night.

Wow! What a weekend! It really made me realize that I should have done what I knew God had planned for me. I learned my lesson loud and clear. How could all those disasters be coincidental?"

Monday, October 06, 2008

Blessings Monday

Answered prayers are on the top of my list of blessings on any given day of my life. We are in turmoil over our car situation. We are anticipating the worst when the mechanic hands us the bill for his services for repairs and for TIME spent repairing the vehicle. To say that we are nervous is an understatement. This is definitely something that we have to give to God over and over again. It's our human nature to carry these burdens, but we are afforded the opportunity to let Him take it and thus we shall.

Saturday evening I was home alone and deep in prayer and meditation at about 10:30pm. I was complaining to God about hard times in our home. While we both carry the load, we are very different responders. My hubby, by nature, is more of a negativist. He sees everything from the most dramatically poor perspective. Doom and gloom naturally exudes from him. I'm just the opposite... light hearted and preaching about 'trust in the Lord' and 'everything will work out fine.' It makes me weary to be the one that carries the load so much. Fast Forward to 2:30am... my hubby's kind words within a hug "Honey, we'll get thru this together. Everything will be alright."

Those are miraculous words... and an ANSWERED PRAYER even just a few hours after I poured out my frustration to the Lord. He is so faithful! I just cannot say that enough!!! GOD IS SO FAITHFUL!!!
Blessings Monday is hosted by Marci over at Amazing Graze Farm. Stop over and share your heart and bless us all.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sneak Peak Sunday

Today was a glorious specimen of the beauty of the fall season. There have been some chilly nights lately and there is still a nip in the air. Morning came all too fast for us here.

We went to church and participated in World Communion Sunday. It is always a pleasure to break bread with our fellow Christians. Remembering the price paid for us is a solomn, yet joyful experience. As I raised my head, I noticed the sun shining thru the stained glass windows in the front of the church. It was a beautiful site and another gentle reminder of the Father's faithfulness.

My Handy Hubby was off to work shortly after we returned. I tidied the living room and let the birds out for a bit. Then I had some quiet time before meeting up with the Zombecks.

The Zombecks served DELICIOUS roast beef for dinner. Amanda mentioned that she missed our old family tradition of roast beef and mashed potatoes every Sunday after church. We chatted and giggled and enjoyed every bite.

Later we lazily shopped thru a couple spots and then they helped me take our car to the garage to drop off in anticipation of tomorrow's testing. I pray that it passes! Then we grabbed a hot-chocolate at Starbucks before meandering home.

Speaking of Starbucks, can I just say that the new salted caramel hot chocolate is the bomb! Oh yumina yumina yumina!

And now my Handy-hubby is home from work. I must tend to him and gain some rest before tomorrow's activities. G'night!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Here She Is

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My girl... she's so sweet. We have gone on a few good rides lately, usually a couple hours at a crack. We conquer the hills and endure the aftermath of the recent wind storm. It's fantastic. She's quite the little trooper and so grown up these days. On one of our rides last week we found ourselves in the midst of a LOT of jagger bushes as high as my knees (and I was on her back! Those are HIGH!) Thorn trees greeted us at every turn. Oh the poor thing! We finally found our way around a different way and all was fine and dandy. On another ride we were met by a ferocious dog that actually never barked, but just found that we were intruding upon his territory. The hair stood up along his back as we trodged past him and he reluctantly returned to the heel of his owner upon a stern call. The dog actually caught her by surprise, but once she found that I was not afraid, she put her little head down and continued on as if it had never startled her. We trotted along the edges of fields and on trails that wind through the woods. I'm so delighted with her. I can't wait for our next ride, which reminds me... why am I not on her right now??? Hmmmm... I've gotta go!


We took our car for inspection, dropping it off the night of September 24th. The current inspection runs out September 30th. That day I worked from home, so my Handy Hubby could take my car to work. But it wasn't done the next day. So Amanda and John so graciously let us borrow one of their vehicles. Days go by and still NO CAR!!! What in the world?!!! Apparently there were at least 4 codes of items gone wrong causing it to NOT pass the emissions test that is required. Finally, yesterday they called and said we could pick it up this morning... except there is a catch...

It is STILL not inspected!!!!!! In order to run the tests again, it has to be run through a series of road tests. First we have to turn on the air and rear defrost for one and a half minutes, then turn of the air but leave the defrost on for so long then run it on the highway half-throttle for so many minutes then three-quarter throttle for so many minutes and eventually come to a rolling stop and I don't know what else, but we can't touch the brake the entire time so how the heck can ANYONE actually accomplish this? So we parked it near a major highway and will return later to run the test because all of this has to occur from a cold start. Is anyone as annoyed as I am after reading this? Seriously, how is anyone supposed to be able to do this unless they live on a major highway???? And honestly after they have had the car for over a week now... how far are we in debt? I have asked them twice, but they haven't tallied it up yet. Really... If it might cost more than the car is worth, I would just tell them to forget it. Worst of all, we have to do this formula run with it tonight at midnight and hope we don't mistakenly hit the brake AND if we should possibly get pulled over we are out of inspection and will have to explain this all over again to the authorities. Then we have to take it back to them and let them run the codes again to see if it passes.

We are SO GRATEFUL for Amanda and John's generously letting us use their vehicle. I'm not sure what we would have done without it.

We just keep repeating to ourselves that this car is a provision of the Lord and as such what will be will be. Whatever funds it takes are also the provision of the Lord and we must keep the faith that God will continue to provide. But really... it's hard to keep a positive outlook in this situation. UGH!


No I'm not lost. I'm just on a blogging hiatus. Just so much going on. I'm stretched for time almost every day. It leaves me wishing for more solid routines and such.

Last weekend I went to a Friesian Keurig. Are these not the most beautiful animals you have ever seen? The event is not the same as a horse-show, but more of a grading, which can increase the value of the horses significantly. With these horses, it's pretty much.. you've seen one, you've seen them all. They are almost all black, every one of them. There is a rare reddish color, which we had the opportunity to see, but by rare we are talking there may be less than 10 in the world. The Association brings judges and runners from overseas. If you view the website, the runners we had were the East Team; although one of the runners now resides in Texas. They take the horse at the gate and hold them for the judge. Then they run them around the ring. They look for particular characteristics and a certain level of action in their trot. All in all, it was an educational experience.

After the Keurig, we had lunch at the Dumplin Haus in Volant, and then visited the Amish tack-shop and an Amish farm for some fall flowers. We got a steal-of-a-deal on our mums paying only $12 for 4 pots of them. The cornstalk were selling for $1 a bundle for which we informed the nice Amish lady that she was being ripped off royally. In our town they would go for somewhere between $8 and $15. She said "Tomorrow we'll make them $1.25." What a riot! The pumpkins there were voluminous, but we were out of room in the car, so we passed on those. I hope to get back up there and get some. They are very reasonably priced.