Just a Quick Trip

We had an errand to run today, so off to Buffalo we went!

Of course, Niagara Falls is only a hop, skip, and jump away, so we decided to take the short drive.

I suppose my family must think I am a little crazy for loving to visit there so much, but as I watched the falling water, I couldn’t help but wonder what at the awe early explorers must have felt at the tremendous sight before their eyes!

It really is incredible to live close enough to visit here in just a short drive.

When visiting, I sometimes feel like I am nearing the Tower of Babel, as there are folks visiting from the world over. So many dialects and various languages found in such a small geographic area…

Let Them Eat Cake…

I don’t know about you, but boy, I love eating out. If I could, I would eat out every day as I often just don’t feel like cooking. Unfortunately, our “budget” doesn’t allow such extravagance. With Mark becoming disabled in his 30’s, we never had the opportunity to save. But, that is ancient history!

So, in my spare time, I find myself gleaning the internet for yummy recipes. It is incredible how I often seek out a specific recipe and wind up printing out several recipes, from main dishes, to side dishes, to dessert!

Aha! Dessert! Today, I noticed the blueberries in the fridge had been there quite awhile so I got out my stack of recipes and came upon a winner!

This blueberry cake!!! What a winner it is and the taste is over the top! It is always a win/win when everyone gives a thumbs up and this was that one! I found the recipe, simply called “Blueberry Cake”, at A Spicy Perspective.

New Flowers I Didn’t Plant?

This year, I have found a few new to me Columbine plants in my garden that I didn’t plant.

My brother has some white Columbines growing in his garden and after taking seeds from his plant, I finally got a white Columbine. That made me happy!

Along with the white flower that I did plant, I now have a couple of new flowers I know I didn’t plant. Neither my brother nor I have these….

Years ago, I did have plants somewhat similar to the first plant, but the colors were much more intense. The part of the plant that is pink was a dark red. I must interject that those Columbine plants were lost years ago. The garden they are growing in is all new material as we raised the height of the bed by nearly a foot. (We brought in material and raised the entire yard between the house and the garage). Although the two flowers above appear similar, the first has pink “tails”? on the back of the flower while the second one has yellow.

Another new Columbine is this….

It is the deep purple flower in the foreground. It is a richer purple than the flowers behind it and it has more layers than the purples behind it. The pink and white flowers on the right are another variety of Columbines and I cannot help but wonder if somehow these and the purples cross pollinated and produced a new plant?

So…the new flowers are all delightful and I am thrilled to see them! Now, off to read about Columbines…..

It Has Been Far Too Long

Yes, my little puppy that found his way into our hearts is now grown up. We celebrated his second birthday!

I had not forgotten my blog but was having such a difficult time trying to figure it out….my photos were stored here, there, and everywhere and I just had a hard time trying to get all my stuff together!

Mending a Broken Heart…

After losing my mom and my little companion, Murphy, within a two day space, I was pretty heartbroken.

I had the opportunity to meet a wonderful woman named Jan Bowe many years ago. She loves the Scottish Terrier breed as much as I do and she moderates an online forum called Nothing But Scotties. When she found out about Murphy, she was on the phone with me. She understood how hard it was but told me that I needed to find another Scottie. Her logic made perfect sense as she spoke, telling me my love of the breed could only be filled with another Scottie. And, she knew of two Scotties that might be available….

After talking with one breeder (and a great one at that!) the breeder felt her little female puppy wasn’t the one for me. I have always had male Scotties and she felt it was a boy I was looking for. In the Scottie breed, males tend to be a bit more affectionate toward their people even though Scotties are known for their very independent nature.

Jan found another great breeder who just happened to have a little male puppy available. I contacted the woman who owns the mom Scottie and we talked. I had met her years ago when we attended a Scottie picnic and we remembered each other. The male puppy was indeed available and I could meet him at a Scottie picnic in Canada! I grew cautiously excited as the day of the picnic approached.

There is little that can begin to heal a heart as desire fulfilled! Mark was even more cautious than I about getting a new puppy. Don’t let your heart overwhelm your decision, he warned.

The trip to the Scottie Picnic was a terrific diversion from all the sadness of the past few weeks. As we rode along, I felt more at ease than I had in a long time. Arriving at the park where the picnic took place was like balm on a wound! Seeing so many of this lovely little breed made me smile as I had not smiled in many weeks!

I met the puppy as well as his parents and many of his relatives! What a day! We talked to a few people who highly recommended the breeder and his puppies. It became obvious we had found “the puppy”! Two days later, one sweet little boy came to live here in the Bristolwood!

2016 Was A Very Hard Year….

I have told about my father’s passing here on the blog. It was a tough day the day my mother called to say that he had passed away. But what followed caught me totally off guard and feeling quite down.

After my dad passed away, we found ourselves making lots of trips to Jamestown to help my mother sort through more paperwork. My, oh my….so much paperwork! It seemed like a never-ending exercise, filling out forms and figuring out policies and such, Thankfully, Mark has a tenacity that causes him to look mountains of paperwork in the eye and work right through them! Mark was a great help and Mom totally appreciated everything he did.

In August, Mom said she just had such a hard time…she couldn’t ram through her housework like she did previously. She confided in me during a phone call that she wasn’t her normal self. She made an appointment for August 15th to have a heart catheterization done to check her heart for blockage or see what was causing her to drag so.

When I found out about the appointment, I told Mark I wanted to go alone to Jamestown so I could go with her to the appointment. Mark wanted to know if I was sure I really wanted to go alone, but I insisted. I am so glad I did….

I can still see Mom walking into the hospital alone. Even though she had complained she couldn’t walk twenty feet without feeling the need to sit down, her determination to get this figured out far surpassed any fatigue she might have felt. At nearly eighty-six years old, she looked so stylish in her white jeans, black and white striped knit shirt and sandals.

I had the valet park the car and my brother and I ran inside to catch up with Mom. She fidgeted a bit, wondering what was taking so long. Finally, she was taken in for the procedure. I won’t get into all the details, but the bottom line was that the doctor said her heart just didn’t have enough “squeeze”. She made it through the procedure, but was admitted into the hospital.

Throughout her stay, we were called twice to say Mom wasn’t expected to make it through the night. We made the long journey the first time to say our goodbyes, but she wasn’t ready to let go just yet. The second time, Carly and her family traveled to be with her. Still, she wasn’t ready to leave planet Earth.

On the ninth day of her hospital stay, the doctor called us and told us Mom needed to be moved to a nursing home. Mark spoke with the doctor and I listened in to the conversation, feeling my heart sinking. There was no way Mom would ever want to be admitted to a nursing home. However, at the end of the call, Mark and I called the home where my dad had been for his last months of life and began to make arrangements.

Well, Mom was something else. She seemed to manage to get things done her way. I knew in my heart of hearts she would never, ever want to enter a nursing home. If that doctor had even mentioned a nursing home in her semi non responsive state, she had enough! That evening, I received “the call” that Mom had passed away. Even in the heartbreak of hearing this, I had to smile, knowing Mom had things done *her* way!

I had lost both of my parents within an eight month span of time.  It seemed so overwhelming, but I am so grateful that I had them so long!! Even though I miss them, I just thank God for every single day I was able to have them! My parents were such good parents.

The sadness didn’t end with losing both parents, though. Two days after Mom passed away, I had to make a trip to the vet to bid farewell to my dear little Murphy. He had been diagnosed with melanoma about eighteen months before and he awakened me in the middle of the night, crying out in pain and I knew it was time to say goodbye to my sweet little Scottie boy. I had held up so well at the time my parents passed, but when the vet tech came for Murphy, I felt as though my heart was going to break into a million tiny pieces.

I will end this entry here, as I hope I haven’t reduced you, dear reader, to tears. This was a year of some heavy events, but it was not all bad. In my next  post, I will bring some happy news!


A Little Fun Diversion!

Well, hello there! Yes, it has been a very long time since I have blogged. Far too long. Life got complicated and busy and I let this blog go. I have a great deal of catching up to do and I will do my best to do so.

Now, back to the subject!

We spend our Saturday afternoons and evenings with friends, celebrating the Shabbat (Sabbath) and breaking bread! Our group is small and we enjoy this time together so much. Mark plays guitar and there is singing and just lots of sharing and digging into God’s Word.

Last Saturday, Carolyn asked if I would like to attend a Victorian Tea with her. The town’s historical society had purchased a pretty Victorian house and has been restoring it. The invite sounded like fun, so I agreed to go along. We entered the house and were steered into a smallish dining area in which tables for four were set up. We took our seats at a table with a husband and wife. Soon after, a pot of hot water was delivered to the table and we were offered to select a tea. Carolyn and I both chose Salted Caramel. It was yummy! An offering of tiny sandwiches and sweets made their way to the table and we chatted away about pets and country living.

As so frequently happens, it was getting late and time to leave. We had such a delightful time and it was a nice little diversion from the norm!


Unexpected Blessings

In Matthew 7:11, the Lord explains that although we are sinful and evil,  we know how to give good gifts to our children. The verse further explains that if we love God, He gives good things to His children when they ask. What a precious concept.

I find that oftentimes I forget to ask for things I might need or want. I get too busy and just think it isn’t that important.

This year, our spring was so chilly, the leaves on the trees refused to come out until late May. Because of this, the peonies I planted so many years ago were able to grow better as they weren’t shaded.

How like the Lord to bless us with an abundance of my Grandma Manelick’s peonies the same year that Dad passed away. I went down and cut six of these delightful flowers and put them on the table.

The Lord works in mysterious ways. And sometimes He just blesses us to let us know just how precious we are to him!