October 26th is my Gram-ditties birthday. She would have been 96 years old this year, but she passed away several years ago. I wonder if anyone will remember my birthday as fondly as I remember hers? She is the single-most influential person of my lifetime. She spent more time with me than any other adult. Everything she did was looking out for my best interest. She was an example-setter. She spoke the truth of scripture and lived humbly. God was first and family was extremely precious to her. She walked me through disappointments and danced with me through joys. She was such a precious gem and I miss her so very much. I hope that in my lifetime I can exhibit but a glimmer of her reflection. Fortunate for her, she’s tending the gardens of Heaven now and enjoying the constant and glorious presence of Christ! Awesome! Some people bid their lost loved ones Rest In Peace… I say LIVE the Peace Grammy! Live it up!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Happy Hikers we are… We didn’t have much time before dark, but we did find 5 cache’s yesterday.
I spotted this owl peering at us from his bird-box. I think it’s a horned owl??? I wish we had a better zoom on our camera. I got a pretty good look at him with binoculars while Keith tried to move in closer for a better picture. I saw the little guy duck back into his box… Keith spooked him. Alas, we did NOT get a better picture. :(
This is on Irwin Road aka Mysty Blue Road, which is supposedly haunted. The internet has some information on it. I’m not into that kind of stuff, but it was still daylight anyway, so we meandered down this road to find a cache. The whole way Keith is asking me what is “haunted” about it. It didn’t look haunted. I didn’t do any checks on that until we got back, but… when he found the cache this little black rat was staring back at him from inside a log. He jumped and I thought he was just joking… trying to spook me, but it didn’t work. I had a good laugh when I saw what it was so we couldn’t resist taking some pictures of it.
It was a fun time… can’t wait to go again.
It’s that time of year again. They are moving in! From the outside to the inside! Ahhhhhhh!!! This one’s coming from outside the barn towards the inside if they can. They creep me out! I found one in the washing machine – dead, but still seemed rather large. Now how did that happen? Did I load it into the washer with my laundry? WHAT!?!?!?! I found another in the basement that looked dead, kind of curled up. Ohhh… that is just a defense mechanism! I reached for it with a rag and it took off. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! I threw a plank of laminate floor on top of it and walked on it a bunch of times. I hate spiders!
Monday, October 18, 2010
October 17, 2010 I went hiking with my friend Tammy. We hit the North Country Trail between Moraine and Jennings. It was LOVELY. What a gorgeous day to hit the trails!
Wildlife sightings were at a minimum, not surprising considering all the leaves on the ground. It was not exactly a quiet hike through the woods. We did happen upon a squirrel head stuck on the end of a tree branch. That’s not a funny prank. It’s gross! We did spot a few squirrels and chipmunks, but nothing big and nothing slithering. Yay!
About 2 hours into it my hip started clicking. Today it is sore. I wonder what that’s all about? Hmmm…
I’m so blessed that Tammy enjoys hiking with me. We both like to gawk at things as we meander through the wilderness. I can’t wait to go again!
Saturday, October 16, 2010
This past week Keith’s Mom and Step-dad Jim were here to visit. For the few weeks prior, we worked HARD to restore the functionality of our upstairs bathroom. Well… KEITH worked HARD and I followed his lead. We are still getting used to the added option. During the visit we went to a Fall-fest in Zelienople, which was lovely. I realize that I had never been to such a thing before. Odd isn’t it? Keith took them to Pittsburgh while I worked another day. They took us out for a nice dinner at TGI Fridays so I didn’t have to cook, YAY! Mom and I shopped together. She bought us some cool stuff for our hiking-hobby for Christmas. We visited the stable to pet the ponies. We visited my folks for a lovely spaghetti dinner. It was a grand visit. I’m so grateful to have this time with them. Our visits are always WAY too short and WAY too infrequent!
On Thursday I was afforded the opportunity to hit the trails at Moraine with my precious pony. I’m sorry to have not taken any photos on this jaunt. The season at its peak is so lovely and what better way to enjoy it than to share with a friend on horseback! This too was TOO short as we only had a couple hours after work to squeeze it in. The last half hour was dark in the woods and we rode out via moonlight. A little creepy, yes, but very cool just the same. I’m very proud of my Penny. She turned over a new leaf this year. I think since I’ve put many more miles on her that she’s really settled a good bit. Maybe she’s more fit and able to keep up better? Maybe its simply maturity? Any way you see it… I just love her! She’s sassy and chubby and just bursting with personality. I’m so thankful to have her!
I’m trying to return to the routine saving and stock-piling. I sort of fell off the wagon a while back, but I’ve been slowly picking myself back up again and re-focusing.
This week RiteAid has some deals. If you have a coupon for Gain dish detergent, it’s FREE. They also have an entire page of FREEBATES. I already picked up 4 of those items saving more than $10.
I have at least a dozen coupons to use at Giant Eagle this week. Most are stock-pile items. Additionally they have a BOGO special on Boneless Sirloin Tip roast, plus we get 10% off too. I usually keep one to roast and cut the other for stew.
So what’s on the menu at the Vulhop household this week?
- Chicken noodle soup and Salad
- Stir-fry (either chicken or beef) w/ rice
- Chili with cornbread
- Grilled chicken salad
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Random thoughts from my Bible Study of late…
By the power of the Holy Spirit, brought on by prayer, break free from the bondage that holds you captive! We are slaves to sin. Make efforts to train yourself to recognize the opportunities to overcome such obstacles. Familiarize yourself with the Holy Spirit.
Don’t just SAY a prayer, PRAY a prayer. It’s great that we memorize prayers, especially as children. It’s one way that we write the Word on our heart to recall in times of need. The heartfelt meaning is frequently lost in simply reciting prayers. Next time you recall a memorized prayer… give it some umph from the heart.
Don’t just believe because someone told you so… Believe because the SPIRIT of the LIVING GOD told you so! I don’t discount Biblical scholars and teachers, but if you are going to argue with me on something… there is only one source… the Bible… His Holy Word.
Thinking on generational blessings… I learned what humble is from my Grandmother. I learned what discipline is from my father. I learned about generosity from my mother. I learned to PRAY from my Grampy. Do you ever consider what generational blessing you are passing on to your children? Imagine if we were cognizant of it?
Some people just go through the motions of Christianity, never developing an actual RELATIONSHIP with Christ… How boring! It’s way more exciting to be actively involved, interacting with Him.
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the loss of my good friend Ed. Throughout my early 20’s I spent many a night helping him milk his cows. He often spoke fondly of my grandfather and told stories about him that I hold dear to my heart. We ate ice cream almost daily. I would often come prepared to tell a joke, the punch line of which he would repeat for hours thereafter followed by a jolly good laugh. He would laugh so hard that I couldn’t understand what he was saying. Then I would laugh because he was laughing and he’d laugh harder thinking that I was laughing at what he was trying to say and it would go on until we were both in stitches. I so enjoyed my time with Ed. He was an honest soul, a man of little glamour except for his heart of gold. He was humble, hard-working, and a kindred friend. I will cherish so many memories of him until we meet again in Heaven.
Sunday, October 03, 2010
We haven’t been able to use the toilet in our upstairs bathroom for about 2 years now. It had a plumbing problem that caused it to leak through the living room ceiling. That CANNOT be good. So we finally decided it was time to fix it.
Keith removed the old toilet. The floor was really bad.
Here is the view looking up from the living room. He had to replace a portion of the plumbing pipes.
Here is the view looking down the hole. He had to replace about half of the subfloor in the room… It was not surprising that it’s nowhere near SQUARE!
New laminate floor… DONE!
New sink & faucet! YAY!!!
Now we need to put in the replacement toilet and put in some trim… more pictures to come!
Plain and simple, my husband DESERVES to be spoiled! He spent his only 2 days off this week fixing the bathroom. He had no time to relax at all. What might he appreciate? He asks for something sweet every day. I’m going to bake him a cake!