Welcome! I'm happy and humbled you've stopped by.....Cozy up and follow along as I share my attempts at simple living with you.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Foto Friday- Mac and Marzi

Mac and Marzi are like two peas in a pod. They love one another. Mac is my 10 year old lab, and Marzi is my daughter's 1 year old Boston Terrier. Marzi does her best to keep Mac young and active. They love to play together, and they especially like to tease the chickens.

Mac- what a sweet face

Marzi trying out the baby seat.


Double Trouble

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Autumn!!

It's the first day of Autmn, and I must say its my favorite time of year! And if the truth be known, I enjoy decorating for fall, even more than decorating for Christmas.
With a few items from the garden on the porch ....
And some indoor decorations to give the house that feeling of fall....

There's nothing left to do but to begin the baking to give our home the aroma of autumn!

My Favorite Poem.....

When the Frost is on the Punkin
by James Whitcomb Riley

WHEN the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it's then the time a feller is a-feelin' at his best,
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;
But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin' of the tangled leaves as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo' lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps;
And your cider-makin's over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!...
I don't know how to tell it—but ef such a thing could be
As the angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me—
I'd want to 'commodate 'em—all the whole-indurin' flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.
Have a great first day of Fall!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A THOUGHT OCCURRED TO ME.....(in the garden)

A thought occurred to me while I was mowing grass today. I was in the garden dumping some grass clippings. Most of the garden has been picked over and is showing signs of the season's end. It's very sad to say goodbye to those last remnants of summer. So I was thinking how I'd like to pluck off those few last tomatoes and bring them in the house to ripen and extend the tomato season. And then I looked over at a little green pepper hanging on the vine....and that's when it hit me! I could sever that pepper from the vine to save it from any risk of frost. But once its cut from its life source, it will cease to grow and flourish....just like us!
If we sever ourselves from Christ, our life source, we will cease to grow and flourish.
So for now, I'm going to let that little pepper on the vine so it can continue to grow!
Clinging to the vine!
Yes I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Heart shaped tomato....isn't it cute!?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I cut a pepper today while making salsa and I got a
sweet surprise~
that made me

Have a great day and be sure to smile!

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Day of Remembrance

September 11th is a day of Remembrance for America. We remember the tragedies of this date. We pray for the lost and those whose who lost someone special when our country was attacked in a way we had never known before, nor could have even dreamed possible. Lives were changed forever. But we're hopeful, in spite of the 911 events, that America will stand stronger and taller.

I didn't personally know anyone connected with 911. But this is still a time of remembrance and reflection for me, for a totally different reason. It was 6 years ago this week that my life changed in a heartbeat. I was diagnosed with Acute Mylogenous Leukemia. I went to the doctor because everyday I would wake up with a headache. It was a dull headache that just seemed like more of a nuisance than anything. I was just beginning a new homeschool year and was trying to pack up our every belonging to make the move back home to Pennsylvania. (We were living in Wisconsin)

One blood test changed everything. A CBC revealed extreme anemia and before I knew what hit me, I was on my way to the Hematologists office. It wasn't until I turned into the driveway and saw the sign that read Office of Hematology and Oncology that I knew I was in trouble. To make a long story short, I was given a couple bags of blood, had a bone marrow biopsy (OUCH!) , and was sent on my way. The biopsy revealed AML and the doctor set me up with a Pennsylvania doctor to begin treatment as soon as we arrived home.

I spent 6 months in and out of the hospital. With each chemo treatment, I spent a month in the hospital, and a month at home to recover before beginning the process again. I was convinced that if the disease didn't kill me, the treatment would. And then there was the little matter of my hair. God certainly has a sense of humor, doesn't He? Sometime along the way I just surrendered and took the clippers to my head. In my old life, once upon a time, I was a hairdresser. A hairdresser without hair is hardly funny! But I took in stride. Actually, I don't think I looked half bad without hair! Losing my eye lashes was worse than losing my hair. (They looked like spider legs.) And not having to shave was great!

But here we are today, 6 years later, I'm in remission.....living my best life. I have a clearer vision of what I want my life to look like. I have a closer relationship to God. Just like Jesus had His 12, I have mine. You find out very quickly who your friends are when you are in a time of need. I learned to receive with grace. I was always the giver and the care taker. But I realized that some of us need to learn to receive. Giving and receiving are so intertwined. Its God's grace that allows us to give and to receive. And lastly, Like America, my life is changed forever. I could have never dreamed the nightmare of Leukemia, but today I'm stronger. I'm more focused on my God, and my family and I'm looking forward to my future.

Praising Him


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Saurkraut-It's a Family Affair

Tis the season for Saurkraut. Hubby grew a truck load of saurkraut this year. He had dreams of making saurkraut....lots of saurkraut. I'm not sure why; we still have several jars left from last year. I think the real reason is he just enjoys growing the vegetables and making the kraut. The last several years, my folks and I made the kraut while he was at work. So he missed all the fun.
For us, the process of making kraut is a group effort, kind of a family affair. We begin by cutting off all the heads and bringing them in to be washed and soaked in salt water. Hubby sorted through the heads, cutting off any bad spots and quartered them. I ran the pieces through the Kitchen Aid shredder, while our son-in-law stomped. Hubby monitored the stomping and added salt as needed. That requires a little tasting as you go!
Silly Son-in-law stomping saurkraut (say that 3 times!)
We covered the crock with a few large cabbage leaves and placed a bag containing just enough water in it to serve as a seal around the edges. The crocks were covered with some netting and set on the porch until they were ready to jar- about 3 weeks.
Three weeks later and its time to pack the jars and begin the canning process. But first the cabbage leaves and the top layer of the saurkraut must be removed. And once again we work together to get the job done. Hubby packed the jars on the porch while I juggled the process inside of preparing jars and monitoring the pressure canner.
We packed only one crock, the larger of the two, and ended up with nearly 40 jars of kraut. The other crock was set aside and my sister-in-law claimed it. She got 20 jars from that crock. We shouldn't need to make saurkraut again for a really loooong time!
So all in all, I'd say God blessed the fruits of our labor abundantly this year! The freezer is full, the pantry is full, and so are our tummies!

Where am I going to store all that saurkraut!?

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Over the Mountains Through Orchards and Vineyards

We took a drive on Friday in the convertible, with the top down of course. It was a gorgeous day. A hint of fall was in the air. We had no agenda for the day except to enjoy the day together. We kicked our work lists to the curb and set out on our journey.

We live in a valley between 2 mountains. So we decided to begin by heading over the mountain. Nestled at the bottom on otherside is a very famous little town surrounded by fruit orchards, rolling hills and few vineyards that are beginning to emerge. This area is also drenched in American History. You may have heard of it; you may have visited this quaint little town we call Gettysburg.
first stop, as always, was brunch. We made a quick stop at a friendly little restaurant all decked out in red and blue. So patriotic!

For most folks, a trip to Gettysburg would mean a tour of the Battlefield and the many museums that surround it. But we have been there, done that. And though we have a deep appreciation for the Battlefield and all it represents, this day was more about just relaxing and enjoying the day and the scenery as we meandered around Adams County, with camera in tow. I hope you enjoy the photos of our journey.

Our first stop was a well known round barn. It is used as a fruit and vegetable stand. It was stocked with autumn goods. But it primarily housed gift items. The barn is owned and operated by Knouse Foods. You may know them as the Lucky Leaf people.

We walked upstairs to see the "bones" of the barn. It appears they hold special events up there such as weddings.

Inside the silo was an adorable kiddie room.

Across from the barn was one of the new vineyards cropping up around Adams County. So we decided to check it out. You can view the grapes on the way up the hill to the tasting room.

Hauser Vineyards

From the top, there was a 360 degree view that was just gorgeous!

Can't you just imagine sharing some wine from this terrace, with this view!?

A view of the Round Barn from the vineyard.

We didn't take any wine home. But what we did take home was the memory of a relaxing day, etched in our minds. And oh, we did stop at another fruit stand and purchased nectarines, apples and cider...mmmmm!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Our young hens are just beginning to lay eggs. We've been getting 3, 4, even 5 eggs a day. And today, we gathered a record 6 eggs. And one was GREEN. Evidently our araucanas have begun producing as well. I will be anxious to see how many eggs the girls will produce on a daily basis.



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