WE’VE PACKED OUR DUDS… LET’S GO

WE'VE PACKED OUR DUDS... LET'S GO!

FAMILY VACATION

We recently enjoyed a great trip to Peoria, IL for the National Autumn Leaf Collector’s Club convention.  We renewed friendships, had lovely conversations and of course we shopped for Hall china.  Even though the folks in the club collect the autumn leaf pattern, there are always a few other patterns for sale as well.

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As serious as we are about our collection, we are more serious about the entertainment at our end of the week banquet!  I especially enjoyed the entertainment this year because I LOVE ELVIS!  Okay, the guy had the wig and the big (BIG) dark glasses, so I don’t really think he LOOKED like Elvis without all that, but I sat and listened – and when I closed my eyes, it was like the KING of Rock & Roll was in the room – no joke!  He was really good.  😀027

ME & ELVIS

I told “Elvis” that I enjoyed his performance and that when I closed my eyes, he sounded just like the original Elvis.  Still in character, he did the “Elvis lip” (you will either understand that or you won’t)…  and said, “Thank you…  thank you very much.”  I also told him I didn’t think he needed a gym membership, as I’m pretty sure these shows keep him very fit.  He said, “This was my only show today.  Sometimes I do 2 or 3 a day.”

I have found the history of Hall China and the autumn leaf pattern quite interesting.  As usual, I wrote a poem about it.  I was so tickled that it was published in the NALCC newsletter!  I’m not sure if I’ve shared it here on the blog, but I’m going to share it here today.

WE THANK YOU SINCERELYWe began collecting these dishes because my husband’s mother had them and used them every day.   There was a time when a little brown truck delivered not only dishes, but cleaning supplies and food products to your door.  No, it wasn’t UPS…  it was the Jewel Tea man!  I was chatting with a former sales rep with Jewel about how the times changed and Jewel had a difficult time changing with them.  When women started leaving the home to work full-time jobs, they were no longer home during the day, so the need for home delivery was not necessary anymore.

I wonder how House of Schwan stays in business?  Hmm…  maybe they are willing to deliver their products to the workplace.  And they sell food – wonderful yummy food.

When our convention ended, we headed east on I-70.  Illinois to Indiana…  Indiana to Ohio.  We don’t change our watches or the clock in our truck when we cross a time zone, but once in a while I forgot that we needed to add an hour…  it got interesting.  😉

We shopped at a few antique stores along the way, of course.  The closer to the Longaberger Homestead we got, the more of their baskets I found!  I also found some sugar-free apple butter for $4.50 a jar at Webb’s Antique Mall in Centerville, IL.  I picked up several jars because it is a mere 4 grams of carbs per serving!  They sell apple butter here in Wichita, but I’ve not seen any sugar-free varieties.  Score!

Dutch Country Kettle sugar-free apple butter is delicious and does not raise my blood glucose.  🙂  This morning I spread some on my hotcakes, made with Carbquick (a product similar to Bisquick, but 90% lower in carbohydrates).

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This will sound weird, but consider the source.  😉  We didn’t want to pay S&H on Carbquick, so we got online and found a grocery store in Terre Haute, IN that sells it.

BAESLER’S MARKET
2900 POPLAR ST.
TERRE HAUTE, IN 47803
Phone: 812-232-2498

We bought a few boxes, packed them in the truck and kept going east.

We finally got to the Longaberger Homestead!  YAY!!!  We made (actually I made…) a TAKE ALONG basket with dark purple and bright green accent colors that will look very nice in our dining room.  We’re going to put it on our bench in front of the bay window.  We found a plate that says HAPPY ANNIVERSARY in pewter, and got a free heart-shaped tie-on that we can customize for it.  A great big THANK YOU to Lisa at Longaberger’s Homestead for helping me make my basket.  050

053TA DA…

My husband booked a night at The Inn at Dresden for our 30th wedding anniversary.

THE INN ON THE HILL

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The view was remarkable!  Hills are not what I’m accustomed to, having lived in Kansas my whole life.  This was so nice.064066067068069071We stayed in the Gallery room – down a couple of flights of stairs and to the left as far as you can go…  very nice. 063

LOL…  a greeter stood at the end of the hallway!  He said about as much as most Walmart greeters I’ve met…  ha!062

061Isn’t that a pretty painted piece?  There was a tray with two glasses and a carafe’ setting on a tray on top of the little fridge.  It was filtered ice water – so refreshing!  It tasted so good after walking up that hill to get back to the Inn.  Toto, I don’t think this is Kansas!  That bit of exploration was just a practice jaunt for what hiking was ahead…  😉

080Two different kinds of clouds there…  :-/

We spent the day going from store to store in downtown Dresden.  I found a lid for my waste basket and was so excited about it – what a weird thing to get excited about, huh???

When we got to Logan, Ohio, we stopped at the Welcome Center to ask questions and make the usual pit stop…  LOL.  121

Sorry lady – I try not to get a shot with people in it unless they’re people I know.  Oops.  Hey – you see that little brown building on the R.H. side of the photo???  Guess what that is?  You’ll never guess…  nah, you’re way off…  want me to tell ya?  It’s a PENCIL SHARPENER MUSEUM!  Nope – not joking – that’s what it is.  We got pictures!124 125127128129130131I had no idea such a museum existed…  did you???  Well – now we know – it does!123

The friendly lady at the welcome center was so helpful.  She highlighted the trails and told us which ones would be the easiest to walk.  I appreciated having that information.  We decided to try to do a little hiking in Ohio.  Logan, Ohio is so beautiful and is the home of Hocking Hills State Park.  There are several hiking trails and we knew we couldn’t walk all of them.  We went to see Old Man’s Cave first.  I like the bridge inside.

A nice young man offered to take both our photos behind the sign.  You don’t always feel trusting, but when he asked, “You want me to take both youin’s picture?”  – we decided it was probably okay and we appreciate his kindness.  It’s nice to know that some people do good deeds because it’s a good thing to do.136

139140143146Okay, this is going to sound totally weird…  but when I saw this photo of the bridge, I was reminded of the painting by Thomas Kinkade – Bridge of Hope.  Don’t ask me why, but it looks like that painting to me.  Of course, the colors are not at all similar, but the arrangement somehow – the trees and so forth.  Oh well, moving on…

There were not too many stairs at Old Man’s Cave – but I can’t say the same for Cedar Falls…  going down the stairs was not so bad – it was coming back up that was painful on my poor knees!

147149150152There were all kinds of fish in the water, but we never expected to see this little dude!  153

154They told us at the Logan Welcome Center that they needed rain and the falls were not as full of water as usual.  I guess Kansas is not the only state in need of moisture.  😦

Fortunately, we were traveling with a jar of Miracle Ice – our joints were well cared for after that hike!  But isn’t it beautiful?  The videos don’t do them justice.  It was nice to get away from television and radio broadcasts for a day – and be totally connected with nature and the God who made it.  I’m praying for rain…  we all need it.  🙂

 

 

 

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ROLL, FOLD OR FILE

WE'VE PACKED OUR DUDS... LET'S GO!

When you pack a suitcase, do you roll or fold?  Rolling causes more wrinkling but takes up less space.

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Folding does not cause wrinkling but takes up more space.

16291949977_ee9891f8c7_qLet me introduce you to a third method that does not wrinkle and takes up less space – I call it filing.

IMG_1322It’s fold – and flip!  It’s not purty, but you can fit a bunch of stuff in there!  I know it looks like this would be a wrinkled mess – but trust me, it really isn’t.  Think of it this way – if you put the luggage in the vehicle handle-side up, then the clothing is basically folded and stacked – facing the way it would in a drawer – right?  See what I’m sayin’?  I have room to fit two pairs of shoes there in the upper R.H. corner of the bag.  I put the shoes there so the WEIGHT of the shoes won’t smush the clothes.  So I can fit ten days worth of clothes plus two pairs of shoes in one suitcase.

Everyone has a certain item that goes with them on vacation. For me, it’s my pillow!  Most pillows in hotel or motel rooms leave me with a sore neck and cranky disposition – just what you want while you’re trying to have a good time, right?  I tote my pillow in its carrying case, so that’s probably the only item that is a total no-brainer.  Everything else is trial and error.  There are two of us trying to use two bags for a ten-day trip.  It’s insane, but we worked it out.

The trick is to convince your suitcase that it can hold more than it thinks it can.  Bring out the best in it.  It has so much potential…  talk nicely to it.  Suitcases have feelings too, ya know.  Whoa…  I think I need a vacation.angry-suitcase-doe-eyed-suitcase

Do you usually fold your clothes and stack them like you would in a drawer?  Most of us do that – and that’s great if you’re going on a short trip or if you’re packing one person’s stuff.  We packed ten changes of clothes each – in two suitcases – yep.

If you fold the clothes but put them in the case as though the clothes were “files” and your suitcase was the “file cabinet” – you can get 22 items packed without smashing it too badly.  We never wear anything that is very high maintenance – in other words, we wear a lot of cotton / poly instead of 100% cotton.  That bit of poly can make a big difference in the wrinkle factor.  Most hotels have hangers and drawers, so if you are overly concerned about wrinkles, you can take things from the suitcase and hang them up or put them in the drawers.  Then hope you don’t forget anything when you leave.  :-/

When all the clothes are packed in the largest suitcases and our toiletries go in the smallest case – we just have those three and my pillow bag to mess with.  We rarely fly, but I would think that would be the way to go if you are flying.  We just don’t like to carry a lot of luggage around – and the file drawer way of packing works best for us.  🙂

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (15)

BECAUSE GOD IS LOVE

Would it be okay if I shared a little about our visit to Ohio for our anniversary a few weeks ago?  We spent a night at THE ORCHARD HOUSE in Granville, Ohio, a Bed & Breakfast about a half hour from The Longaberger Homestead.

The Walden Room
The Walden Room at THE ORCHARD HOUSE

There was great significance in choosing this room for me.  One of my favorite authors is Henry David Thoreau!  Obviously, my husband put a great deal of thought into this trip.  It was perfect!

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.  —Henry David Thoreau, Walden, “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For”

He was not only a philosopher and poet, but he also embraced a sort of civil disobedience and there’s something about that…  well, it appeals to me.  :-/
Driving from Kansas to Ohio was in itself an accomplishment.  We were weary from travel and ready to move around.  Sitting in one spot except for the occasional potty break at the truck stop makes my old bones stiff and sore.
As we drove up to The Orchard House, I could not help but notice the long, narrow drive leading up to the house.  I think the last time I saw a driveway like that was in the movie “The Bridges of Madison County” I knew this would be a very romantic evening from that moment.
There are twelve acres, most of it wide open spaces, perfect for walking and talking – and holding hands.  On the back of the property are farm animals to see.  We found goats, chickens and one sheep with a ton of wool and very long horns.  There was also an alpaca with the funniest little smile.
 We meandered toward the front yard and discovered an apple tree.  I guess that’s why it’s called The Orchard House.  The apples were green and not fit to eat, but I did find a horse in a field across the driveway who seemed interested in eating it.  Somehow I get the impression I’m not the first person who has fed him an apple.  It’s as though he was just standing there waiting for the notion to occur to me.
As the sun was setting in Ohio, we sat in comfy wooden chairs in the front yard.  It’s strange, the house was full, yet it was as though we were the only people there!  It was so quiet – all I could hear was the sound of locusts.  That’s not something I’ve had memory of hearing since I was a kid.
I felt as though we were being a bit Thoreau-like in our journey.  Our hearts and minds were open to every new sighting.  Maybe we were just so grateful to finally be outside instead of stuck in the truck – traveling.
This world is but a canvas to our imagination.  – Henry David Thoreau
Inside the house there were all sorts of good things waiting for us.  In the dining room there was a glass footed cake plate with a lid, filled with slices of homemade banana bread!  There were little conversation spots throughout the house where we could sit and watch TV or just talk.
The atmosphere invited us to relax and breathe.  To be honest, shortly after the sun set, it invited us to crash and sleep!  But isn’t that what we need to do after driving so far?
I enjoyed looking at the lovely antiques and soaking in the sense of calm around me.  I packed my laptop and took it to the room, but to be honest, if I would have taken it out it would have ruined the vibe – so it stayed packed up! 
 Breakfast was amazing!  Every Bed & Breakfast has their own specialty, and the special recipe at The Orchard House is Sweet Potato Hash.  It is sautéed onion, red bell pepper and diced sweet potato (skin on), with African spice.  It is so addictive and very healthy!  We have made this recipe for breakfast, lunch and sometimes supper so many times since we’ve been back home.  Along with the hash we were given a farm-fresh fried egg and thick-sliced bacon.  Ah…  it was so good!
I’m reading Walden again…  it’s better than ever now that I’ve been to The Orchard House.  🙂

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE (3)

Does anyone have the number for heaven?  I would really like to call my mom and dad today!

I want to tell them how much fun I’ve had this week and how much I appreciate the lessons they taught me.  Daddy always told me to be aware of my surroundings at all times.  I believe that lesson kept me from harm’s way last night.

We were traveling home and stopped at a well-lit, popular and seemingly busy truck stop in another state last night.  I went in and headed for the women’s restroom.  Ahead of me, I noticed a man standing in the narrow hallway.  He did not appear to be going in to the men’s restroom, nor did he appear to be leaving it.  He was just standing there, leaning against the wall.

Something told me to wait…  so I stopped in my tracks and did an about-face, heading toward the grocery section of the store.  I pretended to need something, but was of course, watching the actions of the man.

I thought maybe he was waiting on someone – but nobody came out.  It seems like he stood there for several minutes (my poor bladder was convinced he stood there an hour).  I never felt it was safe to go back there.  My instincts kicked in…  the instincts my father instilled in me.  The instincts my heavenly Father helps me to remember.

I prayed that no other woman would walk back there – and that prayer was answered.  I got tired of waiting for him to leave, so I went to the clerk and told him about my concern.  I didn’t want to get an innocent man in trouble, but I didn’t want to assume he was innocent and live to regret it if he wasn’t.

God’s Holy Spirit helps me to use wisdom at times like this.  I praise Him for that and thank Him for giving me a dad who taught me to be observant of my surroundings at all times.

Was I being paranoid?  I’ll never know, but I got home from vacation safely.  I want to encourage you to listen to the little voice inside that tells you that something doesn’t look right.  If you see someone who is neither coming or going from a restroom, that’s not normal.  If there seems to be no good reason for a person to be there, they are probably up to no good.

At any rate, I had a very good time and would love to call my folks and tell them all about it.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  I always talked about vacations with my mom.  I used to call her on the phone from the motel – yeah, wish I could do that again.

So, what did we find at the Longaberger Homestead???

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I have wanted wrought iron shelving to organize my “coffee” stuff for so many years.  I found it at a quaint little shop in Dresden, OH.  I decided to get one for the kitchen upstairs and one for the bar downstairs!  I’m so tickled with this find.  We found other things too, of course, but the shelving was something I’ve wanted for a long time.

There was one piece of sad news from the Longaberger Homestead.  They have closed Crawford Barn because the furnace exploded!  All of the basket making is done in the main building now.

Do you enjoy Longaberger baskets & pottery?  Me too!  I have a group called “I’m a Basket Case” on facebook!  I hope you’ll come over and join us!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/669536513153216/

It’s great to get away, but wonderful to be back home.  We’re so thankful for traveling mercies and that God brought us home safe and sound.  🙂

NATIONAL HERMIT WEEK

TL JUNE 13-20 IS NATIONAL HERMIT WEEK

This is NATIONAL HERMIT WEEK!!!  Does it have anything to do with Herman’s Hermits?  Well – that’s up to you.  I might listen to some of their music while I do what I need to do!

Everyone needs a little “me time” to get stuff done.  Here’s your chance!  What will you do with your time?  I’ve decided to use my time to pack my summer beauty emergency kit.  Will it take a week?  For me, more than likely – yes, it will!

With summer comes more time outdoors, so it’s important to plan carefully and pack the right stuff to meet every conceivable contingency.  Here are my must-have’s for summer:

  • Vaseline – it is a great lip balm and moisturizer.
  • Thermal-spring water spray – it has anti-inflammatory minerals, which calm itchy or  irritated skin.  You can also mist it on limp curls or waves to renew their bounce.
  • Sheer lipstick – protects lips from the sun.  You can also put a little on your finger and rub it on the apples of your cheeks.
  • Concealer – it can be used as a foundation if necessary, but is important to cover up those under-eye circles that happen when I don’t get enough sleep the night before.
  • Visine – they constrict blood vessels and make my eyes look well rested.
  • Translucent face powder – since it is not tinted, I can not only brush it on over the concealer, but if my hair begins to get oily, I can use it like dry shampoo, sweeping it on roots to sop up oil and add volume.  It’s my cheap answer to Wen.
  • Stick sunscreen – unlike the messy sunscreens of the past, this is a great way to reapply SPF.  I also use it to soften dry cuticles before pushing them down.
  • Hand cream – obviously it keeps my hands supple for a while, but it’s also good on hair!  I just rub a drop on my palms and tame split ends in a flash.
  • Waterproof mascara – not only lengthens lashes, but acts as an eyeliner if I gently put the tip of the applicator into the base of my lashes.  I use a brown mascara, so I can quickly cover gray hairs with it as well.
  • Clear nail polish – I’m a piano player, so I don’t wear my nails long.  I don’t actually paint my fingernails, but use a clear polish to give them a sheen.  It also stops a runner in my hose like a boss.

I’m planning ahead for vacations and just a day in the back yard!  Summer is meant for fun times and making good memories with loved ones.  Enjoy your week!  Happy packing!  🙂