summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Sunday, August 29, 2021

almost home....another day in paradise!


The day started with coffee on the deck...the girls started coming out to join me, then the rumblings for brekky started...well, I didn't really WANT to go in and make eggs, but once I get up and start cooking, I rather enjoy it.  Evelyn came with me, and made the scrambled eggs while I made the bacon.  We had leftover chopped onions and peppers, so the eggs were A-okay.  There was a stack of hot cinnamon toast with butter, too.  We brought it all down to the deck, and ate outside, so nice!

Then, a swim! we a beautiful winery on Keuka Lake...

Sonja K., Evelyn, Mariel...
Emily and Sonja...

The views!

I figured out that I can have one tasting in the middle of the day and still sleep at night...

My twin, Miss Sonja K.
From our deck!
And, a brewery!  I only tasted this, didn't drink it all, I can't.
The views, again!

Evelyn carrying all the treats from the Dollar General...
Such a pretty sunset...
That was Emily floating around down there...

A beautiful place.  Abigail and Evelyn have to work tomorrow, and Sonja has her first day of actual nursing school tomorrow, so they left after our dinner, which was:  grilled burgers with fresh tomato and onion slices, (no buns), corn on the cob from the local farm stand, and fries.  

Emily, Mariel, seemed sad and lonely with the other girls gone.  We had so much fun!  We also had important conversations, and encouraging ones too.  We sat at the table and went around saying what we were thankful for.  We all agreed on one thing:  we are thankful that we get along well, that there were no issues, no arguments, no dramas all weekend.  We are thankful that we are friends with each other, and that we can have such good clean fun.  

Tomorrow morning, the three of us will pack up and head home.  

Wednesday I'll be watching little Tennyson and his big brother Wulf all day while Margaret has knee surgery.  Thursday morning, Kathryn and her little baby Rhys will be arriving from Oregon for the weekend (her husband and little Achilles will not be coming, as her husband has to work), then on Friday night, Samuel and Grace and little Grant and newborn Ruth Eleanor will be coming up from Virginia.  They will be going to a youth conference on Saturday and Sunday, and yours truly will be watching Grant, and probably helping in the kitchen for at least one meal.

So busy time coming.  I have to clean out the guest room, vacuum and wash bedding.  It's all good stuff, and it's nice to be busy, but this relaxing weekend has been blissful...

Coming up soon....I might just be driving across this entire country just a few weeks!

Saturday, August 28, 2021

here at the lake...

At the lake with five daughters:

Abigail, Sonja K., me, Evelyn Joy, Mariel Joy, and Emily...
The adorable little cottage, right on the water.

The kitchen has personality...
The stove in a little alcove...

The built-ins!
The view!  There are three stories of view, including a balcony from the top floor.
A tree grows through the deck, or rather, they built the deck around the tree.

Mariel, me, Em, Ev
Brekky on the deck-y...
That view though!  We drove around the Keuka Lake area, and visited a few wineries.

Sonja K....
This is the view of our dock from the deck.  We swam twice today, the water is gorgeous.
The charcuterie for lunch, on the deck.
An afternoon visit to a brewery for some tasting, I only had a few sips, but mmm.  My favorite:  the creme Brûlée.  
Night time view from the deck as I grilled the chicken for a late dinner.
We played some silly games and laughed too much, Emily was dared to fit into the broom closet...

So far this has been a fabulous weekend.  I count myself as one very lucky, or rather blessed girl.

We have solved the world's problems, drank coffee, played in the water, made fantastic food, the girls kayaked, we sampled some wine...I had one sample, because I cannot tolerate much alcohol, but love to taste it.  

So it's been nice, and I am very thankful for my girls.  There were supposed to be two different girls attending, but they both had to bow out, last minute.  Booking places ahead of time is tricky, this one was booked months ago, in the winter.   It's hard to tell what you'll be doing so far in the future, but if you don't book them, they get filled up. 

Anyway, it's been nice, to have such a sweet reprieve, even though we are fully conscious of the horrors going on in Afghanistan.  We did place a phone call to Benjamin the other night, to check on him and make sure he's doing all right.  What a nightmare.  God bless all the brave souls working so hard to get people out of there...


Friday, August 27, 2021

who is in charge?!

 No one wants to sit down with their morning and read bad news.  Some people don't read (or watch) the news at all, prefer to stick their heads in the sand and believe that everything is A-Okay.  We don't watch news on the television at all, in fact our television remains black and silent for most of the days.  Sometimes in the evenings, we watch something together, right now we are re-watching Downton Abbey. Blasting bad news into the home is depressing...but, I still feel the need to read up and know what's going on.

Finger pointing, division, name-calling:  I am not interested.  It's pretty obvious that the leadership here in the United States has been appallingly short-sighted, reckless, maybe even cold-hearted about the situation in Afghanistan, but that is...obvious.  

We have some lesser know crises occurring in hospitals all over the country, where vaccines are being mandated...the staff isn't having it, so many are quitting.  I know firsthand of one local hospital that is extremely understaffed, the E.R. has too many patients and not nearly enough nurses to care for them.  It would not be a good time to need emergency care.

In New York State, there are so many businesses looking for help, offering ample wages.  There simply aren't enough workers, whether it's due to the ongoing unemployment benefits, or not, it's an issue.  With vaccine requirements in the works for all workers, it's just going to get worse.  

Whether each of us believe that the vaccine is THE ANSWER or not, mandating it here in the U.S. is going to be messy.  

(For the record, I am NOT anti-Vax!  My kids are all vaccinated, all immunized, caught up with their childhood requirements.  But, does anyone remember in the beginning of this Covid-19, when there was talk about t-cell immunity?  Herd immunity?)(I think this vaccine is a God-send for those who feel protected by it, and believe me, I hope it really helps, and works!)

We are all created as unique individuals, with our own preferences, and our own tendencies.  That's what I love about America, we can be different yet still one people.  The forces in power seem to want to divide us, in so many ways.  It's hard to take a stand, each claim our hill to die on, and still respect those who choose differently.  

In other news, I am leaving soon to go to the grocery store to get supplies for my weekend away!  Five of my daughters are going, how can I be so lucky?  We're staying in a sweet little place on a sweet little lake...I volunteered to get the food, because I like going grocery shopping.  

There are wineries galore in the Finger Lakes region, and so many places we haven't been to.  I like adventuring!  I bought some good coffee, and we're planning our meals:  simple and healthy:

tonight:  taco salad, all the fixings, filling and healthy.

Saturday night:  grilled chicken bowls with rice, avocado and mango.

Sunday:  burgers and sausages, with salad...maybe local sweet corn.

Brekky will be eggs and bacon, or toasted cinnamon raisin breakfast bread (not for me!).  Lunches will be either peanut butter and strawberry jam on wheat bread, or charcuterie board...

Snack:  stove popped popcorn, some chocolate from Switzerland:)

So off I go to shop and gather good things for this weekend...I'll be bringing the laptop, and writing on the blog, so look out for some beautiful pics of sunsets on the lake and the rolling hills of beautiful New York...

Oh, and to answer my own question:  God is in charge.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

a bargain, a good deal, a steal, oh the fun of it!!!

 Isn't there a thrill associated with a good deal?  Okay, back story first:  

We were in California last week with Aaron and Riley, and they have these really cool shoes.  They say the shoes are comfy, and they come in lots of colors.  I had heard of them, because Sonja and Evelyn came home from California with them a few months back.  So we went to the outlet mall, and tried some on, and wow, comfortable!  I chose these:

They are merino wool, and will be excellent fall/winter sneakers.  I am so terribly bad at making decisions, I almost paralyze, can't decide.  There were choices galore:  summery fabric in shades of lavender, a peachy color, or an autumn-y pumpkin, light blue, ect.  The wooly ones I chose were also offered in several colors, I almost went with a dark purple.  These caught my eye though, and when presented with all the other options, I just went with these, and I really like them.  They were pricey, in my book, around a hundred dollars...thank you, Aaron and Riley!

So yesterday, Camille and I had to go get our groceries, but first we stopped into the thrift store quick, as on Tuesdays I get the Senior Discount, I know, right?   (The cashier asked me if I qualify for any discounts, she said it's hard to ask "when someone looks young for it".  The age is 55.)

Anyway, Camille found a Joy Susan purse in really good condition...

And I found:

They were like new, hardly worn, and are machine washable anyway...and they were:

So now I have pink ones too!  They are a size smaller than the gray ones, so they might end up with one of my girls, but still...not too shabby!

The problem with thrifting and finding good deals is that it makes you never ever want to pay full price for anything, because you just know you could get it cheaper, ha.

Today we have some work to do, our dehumidifier was left running on full throttle, the catch basin overflowed, and we have some carpeting to rip up in our storage's a very hot and humid day, not a day for doing lots of work, but it has to be done.  

Life is interesting, the blog only skims the surface.  There are struggles and battles, no one sails through life without them.   We need to hold fast in these trials, because at the end of the day, the most important thing is that we keep our hearts pure.

In other news, this weekend's plans involve a beautiful cottage on a beautiful small lake between two of the Finger Lakes, with four of my daughters and my niece!  

In other other news, Kathryn and baby Rhys are coming for a visit soon, from Oregon!  And, Sam and Grace will be visiting and bringing Grant and Ruth Eleanor!

In other other other news, I need to get busy on this project, can you see how I tend to meander and blab on when I have things to do?  

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

sweet, sweet summertime....

 and Happy birthday to Lydia!

She is six years old today. :)

Today is a beautiful day, all sunny and hot.  The garden is thriving, tomatoes and squashes galore.  I've vacuumed, done some laundry, watered some plants, washed some dishes, washed some windows, and puttered around, I am a good putterer.  The plans for the day include a grocery store trip, as we did some meal planning for the week.  I also hope to get into the pool this afternoon, as it's clean and warm.

Going to the grocery store:  one man's UGH is another man's joy, I guess.  I've always liked grocery shopping.  I'm good at it, I know my prices, and when I have time, I'll go to different stores to get the best prices on certain things.  

So, it is disconcerting to me that it's in the works to have to have a vaccine passport in NY state in order to go to the grocery store.  I know someone who has a distinct medical condition that prevents from having the second shot, so for life, this person can only order wandering or perusing the aisles, nope.  

If you have no issues having the vaccine, or have had it, and think everyone should, you may well applaud this whole idea.  You aren't thinking deeply enough:  it's not just about the vaccine!  The next thing required might be something you cannot tolerate for some reason.  The dissenting voices are being shut down, ridiculed, drowned out, and again, this isn't just about the vaccine.  There is now ONE truth, and if you don't support it, you can just starve, no matter your reasons.  You can't work, you will be fired, you can't collect unemployment, and you can't shop, never mind travel.  

What if you've done plenty of research and discovered that vaccine reactions (Oh, deep vein thrombosis isn't THAT big a deal!) are more likely in someone who has had a moderate to severe case of Covid-19, and that natural immunity is MORE than sufficient?  You should still sacrifice your own personal health, because you're told to?   Each of us has our body, and each body is different, and we should be allowed to make medical decisions based on our own tolerances.  There is nothing in the media about herd immunity anymore.  Nothing.  It doesn't fit with the narrative.  It still exists.

What if, in the course of your lifetime, you've found yourself to be intolerant, physically intolerant, of most medicines?   What if you had to go to the E.R. because of an antibiotic allergic response?  What if you cannot even tolerate alcohol except in minute amounts?  What if you are ever so careful about every thing you allow into your body, and have huge anxiety about introducing something with spike proteins?

Since those getting the vaccine are spreading this virus as much as those who aren't, don't give me the keep others safe argument.

Enough of this for now.  

I am heartbroken for the Americans left in Afghanistan, and for the Afghan army, and for our friends over there.  The total underestimation of the speed of the takeover is baffling to me, I know nothing about these things, and even I could have predicted this!  Come on, man!  Now, do something about it!  Get those people out!  My son was there, as many of you remember, as a medic...

Lawlessness increases all over our country, criminals have more rights than law abiding citizens...what a world.  Lies abound (Americans aren't stranded, said the White House spokeswoman). Lies.  

I can't do much about these things, but I can pray, and I can be faithful in my own little corner of the world, and I can rant on the blog ha.  There are good people in this world, God-fearing people, kind people, and you wouldn't know by reading the news.  I think of my friends in blog-land as good people, real people....we don't all have the same opinions about everything, of course!

Monday, August 23, 2021

home from California!


A coffee with fresh whipped cream, made by Aaron, and delivered to his mama in the pool...ahhh.
The teeny tiny plane we took from Detroit, only 13 rows of seats, like a flying school bus.
Our last California dinner, bacon wrapped filet mignon with cauliflower soup, and crusty bread...
I miss the pups already, especially Pretzel, who likes to keep an eye on the kitty.
Wings on the grill courtesy of Aaron...
Such a nice pool!
The homemade chicken pot pie...

Home...ah's always sad to leave, but nice to get home too.  We took a red-eye, and got no sleep.  Then, this afternoon we went to celebrate Miss Lydia's birthday, six years old!

(Lydia with Anya and Elise...cousins and besties)

Me with nine of my daughters and 3 granddaughters...(all my girls except for Miss Kathryn in Oregon, and Miss Charlotte Claire who was at work....).  So me, Emily, Molly Rose, Suzanne, Sonja K., Evelyn Joy, Mariel Joy, Abigail, Margaret, and Camille next to Evelyn...then Elise, Anya, and Lydia...
More adventures await...but tomorrow, groceries and a meal plan...then, a fun weekend coming up!