Friday, November 30, 2018


This is how I feel about fall and I am sorry to see it end.  It seemed much too short for me.  But here it is with December and winter on our doorstep.

At least it ended on a high for me.  We had one last day in Lancaster County.  After the day before we were tired and we slept in.  I always get up before Joe does and today was no exception.  I was able to read my email, etc. before he woke up.  So by the time we got ourselves ready, it was later than we would have liked to get ourselves to breakfast.  We still had time though and breakfast was good again.  Most of the tables were full so we got a table with four seats.

Joe went up first and he got scrambled eggs, Danish, chocolate swirl pound cake and a banana.  Really healthy.  When he got back, I went up for my meal.  I got scrambled eggs, sausage and peaches.

When I got back to the table a lady was sitting with Joe.  Joe introduced us and told me she and her sister needed a place to sit and asked if they could sit with us.  Of course it was fine.  When we joined hands to say grace, she said she knew she had picked the right table.  Her name was Malina and her sister was Carolyn.  What wonderful ladies they were.  We so enjoyed our meal together.  In fact breakfast was over, the staff was cleaning up, and we were still there talking.  They were going to see the show at Sight and Sound today and then head home -- one to Washington, DC and the other to Durham, NC.

We asked our friend Jessie to take our picture and she did.  A couple for each of us.  Malina is on the left and Carolyn on the right.

I took one of just the three of them.

We went back to the room, packed up, settled the bill and it was time to go.

But before I did I got pictures of the last few gingerbread decorations.  They were all in the dining area.

I think we have to come back next year just to see the decorations.

After we left we headed for Lenox.  I had a 30% off coupon that I wanted to use.  I got some very nice Kate Spade travel mugs for my friends Carol and Donna.  They were originally $36.00 and I got them for $6.00.  So I got one for myself too!  I also got some cute kitchen towels and a couple of Christmas gifts.

We left there and went to Kirklands.  I didn't know they had a 40% off sale on all Christmas items today only.  Boy, I'd like to have about $500.00 to spend in that store.  I could do some real damage.  It was wonderful!  But I spent only $20.00.  I originally went in for a couple of Christmas scented (orange and clove) sachets.  Bathrooms tend to smell funky and I thought it would be good there.  Well, I walk into the store and a great gift for Joe is sitting right there and it's on sale.  Sold!  As I'm waiting in line I see a set of ceramic measuring cups.  My Pioneer Woman set had broken when they fell and this set matched my pans perfectly so they decided they wanted to come home with me.

After shopping we headed for home.  We made really good time and got home by 1:45 p.m.  When we got here there was a box on the front step full of food for the pantry at church.  Instead of bringing it inside, we put it in the car and headed over to church.  We got to see Pastor Ralph and talk to him a little bit and then it was off to get something to eat.

Where to go?  We ended up at McDonald's drive through.  We didn't want to leave the car in a parking lot when it was still full of suitcases and merchandise.

After eating, the rest of the night has consisted of trying to empty the car and put things away.  Now I am so tired I am going to bed.  Tomorrow begins Blogmas where I will be posting every day until Christmas.  Be sure to peek into my Christmas world.  There is so much to show you!  I'm excited.

Have a wonderful night.  I'll be getting my sleep.  I need it.


Thursday, November 29, 2018


Joe and I are still away and having a wonderful time.  I have tons of pictures to share with you today, so be prepared.

First of all, I want to highly recommend the LaQuinta in Ronks.  If you are ever in Lancaster County, it is the place to stay.  It is clean, convenient, and the people who work here are the friendliest, nicest people around. 

We began by having breakfast at the hotel.  They have a very good free breakfast.  Joe had oatmeal with raisins, a fried egg and fried potatoes.  He also had a large glass of orange juice and a banana.

I had scrambled eggs, fried potatoes and peaches.  I also had citrus water from the container they keep in the lobby.  It has lemons and limes sliced in it.

Our friend Jessie works in the breakfast room and it was fun seeing her again and getting to talk to her.

Every year the hotel has a different theme for its Christmas decorations.  This year the theme is Gingerbread.  It is fun going around the hotel and trying to find all the gingerbread decorations.  Here are some of the decorations and gingerbread I found.

This was on the wall in the dining room.  I don't know why the pictures turned out with this yellowish shade.  I think it was the lights.

This was on the front desk.

So was this.

One of the tables in the lobby.

The table in the center of the lobby had this cool train.

See the little gingerbread boy peeking out from the caboose?

The balcony has a little gingerbread village on it.

So many beautiful trees.

Another section of the front desk.

Another table in the lobby.

Everywhere I looked there was more and more gingerbread.

This wreath was behind the front desk.

There is more gingerbread decorations around and hopefully I will get pictures of them before we leave tomorrow.

After we ate Joe said he wanted to get a haircut.  We asked Brittany behind the front desk where to go.  Yes, we've been going there often enough that we know Brittany too!  She told us of a place just a block away.  We went there and it was a 45 minute wait so Joe put his name in and we left and went to Target.

What a nice Target they have.  We got so many Christmas gifts and a few things for ourselves.  Again, I will show you everything when I get home.

We left there and headed back to the hair cutting place.  The last customer was just leaving, so Joe was able to sit right down.  The cutter did a fantastic job on him.  I told him he should go there whenever we are out here.

Then we still had time so we took a quick trip into Reading China and Glass.  We went in to get a can/bottle opener since we can't find ours and came out with $25 worth of items.  How do we do this?  But more Christmas gifts and some cute decorating items to use for Christmas and January cookies that I will make for Fellowship Time at church.

We came back to the hotel, changed our clothes and headed to Sight and Sound for the show.  Even though we were early, we saw the parking lot was filling up fast.  I was concerned about having to walk a long distance in the parking lot.  Joe had the idea for me to put my handicapped tag in the window as I drove in, so I did.  When the guy showing us where to park saw the tag, he opened up a row for us with other handicapped cars and we were able to park fairly close.  The actual handicapped spots were taken and those people were actually in wheelchairs so of course they should have the closest spots.  But we were only five or six cars back so it helped a LOT.  I was going to take my cane, but didn't feel like having to deal with it, so Joe became my cane.  I just held on to him!

Here are a couple of pictures of Sight and Sound.  It was decorated so beautifully for Christmas.  And that wreath was HUGE!!

We saw the show "Jesus."  I wasn't sure what to expect because I had heard mixed reviews from my friends who had seen it already.  Let me tell you, the show was fantastic!  I have been to many shows at Sight and Sound and this was by far the best I have ever seen. The actors, the scenery, the stage production...  excellent!  Now, of course, there was some poetic license taken to make the story flow, but the main story spoke to me so much.  I found myself so involved in it and I felt God talking to me and teaching me so many lessons.  I told Joe that when the DVD comes out that we have to get a copy of it.

It was dark when we came out.  I asked Joe to get a picture of me in front of one of the lighted Christmas trees, but his hands were shaking too much.  They all turned out blurry.  So I had him stand next to me and I took a selfie.  Rarely do my selfies of the two of us turn out on first try, but this did.

The place was even more beautiful all lit up for night.

By this time it was around 5:30 p.m. and we decided to go get dinner.  My stomach was still acting up through the entire show so I wasn't sure how much I could eat.  We decided to go to Cracker Barrel for dinner.  We are out here and didn't eat Amish food once.  Oh well.  So we headed down the road to Rockvale Mall and drove around until we found the Cracker Barrel store.  It's tucked away and I always have a hard time finding it.  But Joe had an idea of where it was and we didn't get too lost.

It was very crowded but we got seated right away.  Joe got the turkey dinner and I got my favorite pork chop with mashed potatoes, broccoli and two biscuits.  Let me tell you, my diet has gone out the window during this trip.  I will get back on it when I go home.  I have lost 9 pounds so far and I want to keep going.  But a vacation is only a few days and I will be fine.  I like Cracker Barrel and wish there was one near me.  There isn't a single one in Philadelphia.  I have to go to New Jersey or into the suburbs to get to one.

Joe bought me the scarf I'm wearing when we were at Target this morning. I certainly did not bring warm enough clothing for the outdoors.  Indoors is fine.  I layer things.

After we ate we headed back to the hotel which is where we are now.  And tomorrow morning we are heading home.  Just a couple of more things I want to do here before we leave.  But I want to get on the road early to miss rush hour on the expressway.  I have done that before.  Not fun.  A two hour trip turned into almost four.  Nope, I'm heading out early.

This has been so much fun and exactly what I needed.  I have been blessed beyond measure in the past two days and thank God for giving me this chance to rest and recover.


The view from our hotel parking lot.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


Joe and I are spending a couple of days in Lancaster County and could we ever use some of these!  It is COLD!!!!  Below freezing cold.  And the wind is not making things any better.  It is so strong that the curtains in the hotel room are moving ever so slightly and it sounds as if we are in a wind tunnel.  I brought warm clothing but am wondering if it is warm enough.

I spent the morning cleaning the house.  Well... part of the house.  Well... straightening up.  I got two trash bags of recycling and one of trash out so I guess I did something.  Joe did so much laundry and we are all caught up except for a few items.

My stomach is still bothering me although it gets better each day.  Web MD said a stomach virus lasts about a week to ten days and tomorrow it will be a week.  I don't know where I got it from, but I wish it would go away.  I am fine if I don't eat, but then I get so hungry.  So I eat and then the rumbling, pain and nausea starts.  Not fun.

Around 2:00 p.m. we headed out to Lancaster.  It was very crowded on the expressway but besides that one part we made good time and checked into the hotel around 4:00 p.m.  At least I did the entire drive in the daylight.

I made a little video to show you the room.

I also took some photos of the bathroom.  Look at the nice setup they have.  A tray with little items on it.

Shampoo and conditioner.

Body wash and body lotion

And something I have never seen here before, a makeup remover wipe.

They have the coffee set up in the bathroom too.

I ended up laying down on the bed and falling asleep for about half an hour.  I got up in time, though, for Joe and I to go to Prayer Meeting at Paradise Bible Fellowship Church.  When we walked in my friend Sharon and her husband were there, so that was really nice.  We knew it was their home church, but we didn't know if they would be there or not.  The meeting was great!  And afterwards Sharon took us through the church and showed us around.  It's beautiful!  And much larger than the church Joe and I attend.

By this time it was after 8:00 p.m. and we needed to get dinner.  Joe was hungry but me not so much.  We drove around but most places were closed or about to close.  Finally I said we should go to Rockvale Diner and sure enough they were open until 11:00 p.m.  We both got hot tea to warm up and burgers.  I had a regular burger with chips.

Joe, on the other hand, got something called a Monster Burger.  Two huge patties and all the fixings.  And he ate it all!

The counter where we checked out had a beautiful nativity on display.  People were taking pictures of it and I did too.

It was even colder when we came out of the diner.  I was glad we had parked close to the door.  We drove back to the hotel and have been relaxing ever since.  Tomorrow we go to see the show "Jesus" at Sight and Sound Theater.  I can hardly wait.  I hope it's warmer.


Tuesday, November 27, 2018


I've had a very busy day today.  I tried to sleep in, but just couldn't.  So I started getting things together because I had a day out with my friend, Donna.  I really needed it because I have been very stressed out lately.

I picked Donna up at her house and we headed to Target.  There was a table runner I wanted to get for Christmas.  But there was only one left and it had been opened and was dirty.  So I didn't get it.  But I did get a couple of pair of Christmas socks and some Christmas gifts.  I didn't take any pictures today but I will show you my haul (what I can of it since some of the gifts are for people who read this blog) in the next few days.  Probably for one of my Blogmas posts.

Then we headed over to East Coast Wings for lunch.  Our favorite server, Bobbie, waited on us today.  He is so pleasant and accommodating.  We love getting him.  He always welcomes us back with a big smile.  Donna had her regular shrimp tacos and fries and I had my usual chicken wings and a salad.  I chose Honey Mustard sauce today and it was very good!

I have been having lots of problems with my stomach.  I'm pretty sure I've picked up a stomach virus somewhere.  I started feeling bad on Thanksgiving and it has hung on and on.  It was finally better (but not gone) today but I am still being careful what I eat.  So I did not go overboard on anything.

After we ate, we headed over to Ross.  I always look for gifts there because the prices are so good.  I found some mugs that I am thinking would be good gifts for my neighbors.  That along with a plate of cookies will probably be their gift.  There were also a few other small things.

Then we headed home.  I dropped Donna off and then went home myself.  Joe had to go to Lowes and then over to church to fix something, so that's where we went next.

When I got home, I fell asleep for about an hour and then got up and made dinner.  Just left over pork and mixed vegetables tonight.  But it was good.

Now I have to get to work cleaning up the downstairs.  Joe and I are going away tomorrow for a couple of days.  We both need time off and are taking a mini vacation.  Our friend Carole is coming over to watch the house and take care of Jack.  I have to pick up so she can get around easily.

I am going to end for now and get busy.  Hope you all have a good night.


Monday, November 26, 2018


Good morning, friends!  Hope you are having a good day.  Isn't this picture beautiful?  Fall is so lovely with all the beautiful colors.  So hard to believe it is almost over and this is the last week of November.  Every month I ask where the time has gone.  Has the month just whizzed by for you also?  I have so many more lovely pictures to show you, but I know I won't be able to. Next Saturday I begin my "blogmas" for this year.

You may have noticed that I changed my Sunday Magazine post to Monday Magazine.  I am having a good time presenting the Sunday Praise to you that I changed the day.  And Monday Magazine sounds better too.

So for today I am showing you a page from the September 2001 copy of Country Home.

COUNTRY FRESH.  Photograph by Eric Roth.
Air fluff dryer cycles and summer fresh fabric softeners will never duplicate the unforgettable feel of a shirt dried by a warm sunny breeze.  It's like wearing a country hug.

That's for sure.  I love the smell of clothes dried in the sun on the line.  I haven't done it in awhile since we got our dryer last year.  Do any of you still hang your clothes out to dry?

I hope you all have a wonderful day.


Sunday, November 25, 2018


The opening hymn this morning is "Lift High the Cross."  I have never heard this hymn before.  This is unusual for me because I know so many hymns.  Joe calls me the walking hymnal.  But this I had never heard before.  It is a beautiful hymn.

"Lift High the Cross" is a 19th century English hymn written by George Kitchin in 1887 and revised in 1916 by Michael R. Newbolt.  The hymn was written for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.  It has been said that Kitchin was inspired by the story of the conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine.  It was written as a festival hymn and first performed in Winchester Cathedral.  It was revised in 1916 for publication in the Supplement to the publication "Hymns Ancient and Modern."  It was at this time that it was joined with the tune "Crucifier" by Sidney Nicholson.  It is often used during Lent or Holy Week but is also used as a processional or recessional hymn at the beginning or end of a worship service.

"Lift High the Cross" was first published in the United States in 1974 by Donald Hustad in "Hymns for the Living Church."  Since then it has appeared in a number of hymnals outside of England.

George Kitchin was born in 1827 in Naughton, Suffolk, England and died in 1912 in Durham, England.  His father was a minister.  He attended King's College and Christ Church College in Oxford.  In 1883 he became Dean of Winchester and went on to become the Dean of Durham in 1894.  In 1908 he was appointed Chancellor of Durham University.

Sir Sydney H. Nicholson the composer of the music was born in 1875 and died in 1947.  He was an English choir director, organist and composer.  He is mainly remembered for founding the Royal School of Church Music.  He was born in London and educated at Rugby School, New College, Oxford and the Royal College of Music.  He was knighted in 1938 for his contribution to church music and is buried at Westminster Abbey where he was organist for many years.

So this hymn has a great legacy and yet it is new to me.  And here it is for you to listen to.

Have a wonderful Sunday!


Friday, November 23, 2018


Technically it is the day after Thanksgiving, but I thought I would share my last Thanksgiving picture with you.

Yesterday Joe and I left around 9:30 a.m. to head for my sister's house.  There was almost no traffic on the highway and it was such an easy drive.  I didn't mind it at all.  In fact, it went really fast.  We got to her house around 11:30 a.m. and were the first ones there.

We sat around and talked a little bit and then Elaine put out some appetizers for us to munch on:  cashews, cheese and crackers, baby gherkin pickles, black olives, celery with creamed cheese, pears, apples and grapes, shrimp and cocktail sauce, and chocolate mints.  Just as she finished our friend Frank showed up.  Then my brother Larry and his wife Kim came followed by our friends Marion and Rich.  Those appetizers didn't last long -- especially the cashews.  Everyone loved them.  But the cheese and crackers and fruit were close seconds.

Her little dog Ace was so excited to have so many people in the house.  It was his first Thanksgiving there and he tried his best to get up on the table to get the food.  At one point he jumped into Kim's lap trying to reach things.

Elaine always sets a pretty table.

And decorates her home so beautifully too.

I made a loaf of cranberry bread as my contribution to the meal.

We all sat down to a delicious meal:  turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower from Kim, green bean almondine, gravy, bread.  Everything was really good.

Of course Larry had to do his usual pose.  Dinner doesn't begin until Larry gets his picture taken like this.

Although we all had plenty to eat, I don't think anyone overate.  I hate to eat so much that I'm uncomfortable afterwards.

It was hard to get a photo of Ace because he was always moving.  He was so excited!

After dinner we had a break where we talked and helped clean up the table getting ready for dessert.

I wanted to take a picture of Joe but they were all coming out bad.  One he had his eyes closed.  Another there was a weird look on his face.  Finally I told him to think about me.  And this was what I got.  He's so funny.

Rich and Frank

Marion joined them.

Then it was time for dessert.  Elaine made the most wonderful cheesecake ever.  I didn't have any since I'm highly allergic to dairy and didn't want to take the chance, but everyone else was raving about it.  They all said it was the best cheesecake they had ever eaten.  There was also pumpkin pie, sugar free cookies, and a birthday cake for Rich.  Of course tea and coffee also.

We lit a candle and all sang Happy Birthday to Rich.

Joe and I were the first to leave not long after dessert was finished.  I wanted to get on the road while there was still some daylight.  Of course with a 2 hour drive it was pitch black by the time I got home, but at least I got about a third of the way through the trip before the sun set completely.

We had a really good time and I'm so glad we went.  Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving too.  I'm going to hop over to your blogs and see how things went for you.

Have a good evening and I'll see you soon.