church, salvage, my sweater, more fiestaware, art journals


Parker the dog woofed and woofed to let us know that our annual visit from the mallard ducks happened this morning.  I opened the door to admire the ducks floating gracefully on the pond.  He was still barking at the waters edge and I understood what he was trying to say so I called down, “I SEE THEM, Parker, THANK YOU!!”   Caleb, coughing at the end of the couch, also understood, “It’s a sign of spring.” The ground is covered in snow and the pond has a thin sheet of ice over half of it but this faithful visit from our old friends cheered our hearts.  It’s currently 31 degrees.  I will be leaving in about an hour to go pick up Caleb’s school work so he can do it this weekend and not get too far behind.  Thankfully, he is feeling much better.

As promised, this is a photo- blog- journal report on SUNDAY the 18th of March.  Grace and I had slept together in a hotel the night before and Joanna picked us up for church at 9:45. At church, we enjoyed singing hymns, listening to Scripture, and hearing a sermon before heading out for lunch at a popular diner.  Joanna treated us to a very filling meal and we sat by a big window, talking and laughing as we ate.


Grace had a steak.  Joanna and I both had huge de-constructed gyro salads. (SO good)  (could not finish)

With very full tummies we headed out for a few hours of shopping.

olde good things


Olde Good Things was a huge warehouse full of architectural salvage.  We walked through the door and immediately became inspired by the smells of dust, old wood, paint, rust, and metal, and invigorated by the cold temperatures of the warehouse.  The building was stacked floor to ceiling with everything imaginable coming out of old hotels, buildings, churches, and museums of the past.


There was even a horse hanging from the ceiling.


We explored to our hearts content.


And as typical of her, Grace climbed into every upper level, no matter if the floors were uneven and stairs steep and deadly.  I kept expecting her to fall or have things fall on her.    18 years old and she still awakens the “I must keep my child alive” nervousness in me.  She has always loved climbing, so much so that one of her childhood nicknames (which she hated) was “Grace Goat”.


Some of Olde Good Things’ salvage jobs have been The Plaza Hotel in NYC, the JFK International airport, and Rialto Theatre, Times Square NYC.  Check their website for all the interesting details.  Joanna has been following them and visiting their warehouse for years.  I was once again impressed by her design sense, she has great instincts and ideas.



a feast for the eyes



We were upstairs in a “door section” (the stuff was all very informally organized) I arranged Grace (in my favorite sweater) in front of a white wooden door, I imagine it must have been a back kitchen door as someone resourcefully covered it in blue linoleum.


This upstairs floor was loose sections of open iron grating, giving us a strange feeling of fear, we were up so high but knew we were safe enough because after all there were thousands of doors, wooden pillars and posts, and so on.  But then to see, instead of “safe” steps, an unsecured little ladder leading up to yet another level and the words BE CAREFUL WATCH OUT. . . . .it was amazing.


Everything about this place was inspiring to all three of us.



a treasure trove of old metal



on and on vintage, antiques, repurposed, handmade marketplace

in Scranton, PA.

This place was wonderful, not just because of the stuff they sold, but because the owners were so warm and cheerful and obviously liked each other, their shop, and their customers.  They were due to close in five minutes but happily stayed open for us. (!)


Right away Joanna asked if they had fiestaware and the lady led us straight to a few displays.  I wanted the vintage green covered casserole quite badly but sadly there was a big chip on the lid.  It was 25 dollars.  I did find two place-setting bowls in retired colors, Seamist and Chartreuse, still shiny and perfect.




We wondered why These Happy Golden Years wasn’t in the box.  Laura Ingalls Wilder fans for life!


The combination of the chair and the quilt stopped Joanna in her tracks.




Lastly, Joanna took us to two local Indian grocery stores where we had a great time buying some snacks, drinks, and treats to take home with us.

We went back to Joanna’s house feeling full in every way; physically, mentally, and spiritually. . . . .

We had just an hour or so to do the one remaining thing on Joanna’s list of things she wanted to do with me during our visit.  

art journals


She set to work painting pages in my book while I looked through her art book, and Chloe’s, too.  Grace did her homework across the table.  Steve and the older boys were in the living room and the littles came in and out to see what we were doing.  It was cozy with beautiful music that Joanna turned on for us, filling the air with hymns and praise songs. . . .


She was on her mom’s shoulder like this for a long time. . . .so dear.


Joanna’s art supplies purchase recommendations for the next time I go to AC Moore.


Behind me was the wall she started recently for the little ones. . .tiny art in tiny frames, carefully arranged way down low, eye level for toddlers.  Just right for the small ones in the family.   Mini-art gallery perfection.

Grace and I had to leave at 7:ish so that we could get her things from the hotel and take her back to college before 8.  I took her to the grocery store quickly for some healthy snacks and drinks and some cash so that her Grandma and I could have peace of mind that she had everything she needed.  I took her to school and helped her get her things back into her dorm room, taking away her Christmas tree.  We hugged outside the building in the dark and even after all day of me saying “don’t forget you have to change out of my sweater before I drop you off” she somehow still got away with it.  In leaving my beloved, I forgot my sweater.  We had a good laugh about that the next day.

Thank you again for a great weekend, Joanna!  I was touched by the time and thoughtfulness you put into making plans for us.  It was truly appreciated way down deep.

And God bless you, Grace, as you finish up your first year of college.






easter baked beans


“Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” 1 Timothy 1:2

“The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” 1 Timothy 1:5


My soul, admire the boundless love of God to thee and others of the human race.
Worms are bought with the blood of the Son of the Highest! Dust and ashes
redeemed with a price far above silver and gold!  ~Charles Spurgeon


“I will not glory, even in my orthodoxy, for even that can be a snare if I make a god of it… Let us rejoice in Him in all His fulness and in Him alone.”  Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones


“It is grace at the beginning, and grace at the end. So that when you and I come to lie upon our death beds, the one thing that should comfort and help and strengthen us there is the thing that helped us in the beginning. Not what we have been, not what we have done, but the Grace of God in Jesus Christ our Lord. The Christian life starts with grace, it must continue with grace, it ends with grace. Grace wondrous grace. By the grace of God I am what I am. Yet not I, but the Grace of God which was with me.”
– Martyn Lloyd-Jones


Good day to you, friends!  It has been a lovely week at our place, although there is a sickness going around.  I’ve been sick since Tuesday but am feeling better although tired out.  Grace was home with me yesterday, and it was cozy indeed.

There is no school today for the children.  Ethan drove to the mall with Dave, Grace, and Emily (his girlfriend’s sister).  Rich and Jacob are at work.  Caleb, Seth, and Sarah are home with me and playing together.

Jacob’s girlfriend Emily was taking care of a duck yesterday.  While she was at school, she had Jacob bring it over to our house so he could watch it.  Of course we all fell in love with the duck.


And Grace wanted to keep it.  She began researching but what I told her was true; you really shouldn’t keep one duck.  It would be a very lonely duck.


So after a visit and much quacking, it went to be adopted by a family of ducks.


Easter Baked Beans

(way back in October I wrote about my intention to try all sorts of baked bean recipes.  Well, I finally got to recipe #2 and it was delicious)

First I’ll give you the recipe and then I’ll tell you everything I did differently.  🙂

Navy Bean and Apple Casserole

1 lb. dried navy beans, 2 cups
6 cups cold water
1 tsp salt
3 large tart apples pared and sliced
1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 lb. salt pork, sliced

Wash beans and turn into a 3 quart saucepan.  Add the water and salt, heat to boiling, and simmer gently, covered, about 2 hours.  Drain, saving cooking liquid.  Arrange beans and apple slices in alternate layers in a greased casserole, sprinkling sugar over each layer.  Pour in 2 cups of the cooking liquid and top with slices of salt pork.  Bake, covered, in a very slow oven (250 degrees) for about 2 and a half hours, or until beans are light brown and thoroughly cooked.  If they become dry in cooking, add more cooking liquid or hot water.  There should be enough liquid on the beans to make a gravy-like sauce over them.  5-7 servings.


I saved out 2 cups of the cooked beans to use in a chili recipe.  I peeled and diced the apples and only used 2 apples because of my reduction of the amount of beans.  I sprinkled onion powder and cinnamon on the beans (about 1/8 of a tsp each).  I used bacon instead of salt pork (what is salt pork???) and I diced it instead of keeping it in slices.  It took longer for mine to bake, in fact, I let them go on for about 6 hours (I don’t know why it took so long, maybe my oven temps are off?).  I used a can of chicken broth that I had leftover in the fridge for cooking liquid.  I took the foil off for the last hour so they would thicken up and brown.  Adding cinnamon made them perfect–the bacon and apple basically melted into the beans making a wonderful flavor.  We all liked them, and Sarah had three bowls full.  They would go well with a ham dinner, which is why I have renamed this recipe “Easter Baked Beans”.

God’s earth day

“….He did good by giving you

rains from heaven and fruitful seasons,

satisfying your hearts

with food

and gladness.”  Acts 14:17


Earth day.  A day to thank God over and over for this amazing created world that He made from words….beginning with these….”and God said…let there be light, and there was light.” Genesis 1:3

LIGHT is my personal word to study and meditate on this year.  Every year in January I wait for the Lord to impress upon my mind and soul a particular word (it’s so much easier that way).  LIGHT came to mind and wouldn’t go away, so LIGHT it was.  And let me assure you, the study has been marvelous so far.  The Bible and Christian resources, books, hymns, are full of this wonderful word.

The Light of the World is Jesus

The whole world was lost
In the darkness of sin,
The Light of the world is Jesus!
Like sunshine at noonday,
His glory shone in.
The Light of the world is Jesus!

No darkness have we
Who in Jesus abide;
The Light of the world is Jesus!
We walk in the light
When we follow our Guide!
The Light of the world is Jesus!

Ye dwellers in darkness
With sin blinded eyes,
The Light of the world is Jesus!
Go, wash, at His bidding,
And light will arise.
The Light of the world is Jesus!

No need of the sunlight
In Heaven we’re told;
The Light of the world is Jesus!
The Lamb is the Light
In the city of gold,
The Light of the world is Jesus!


Come to the light, ’tis shining for thee;
Sweetly the light has dawned upon me.
Once I was blind, but now I can see:
The Light of the world is Jesus!

It’s nice to sing “The light of the world is” and then point to your child and let them sing “JESUS!”


Before I remembered that it was in fact Earth day, Sarah and I meandered our way outdoors and found a pair of mallard ducks in the stream.  They come every year at this time so we are old friends, however they are always shy of us.  We sat by the edge of the stream in the sunshine and tried to be still and quiet.  Sarah had a very hard time with the quiet part.

“I want to be a duck.”
“Everybody should be ducks, right mom?”
“I’m the girl duck.”
“Mom look at this stick!  Can I pick it?”
“I don’t like dirt.”
“I hear a plane.”
“Where are my ponies??”  (she was carrying around My Little Ponies)
“Mom, there’s a spider on you.”
“Let’s sit here and wait until they swim in the pipe.  Can I go through the pipe sometime?  Seth went through the pipe.  I want to go through the pipe.”
“Can I throw this stick in the water?”


Sherlock our cat was watching them with us.


Look how funny they are with their bottoms up in the air at the same time.  Notice the pipes, we waited and waited and in fact they looked as if they really would take the tunnel through to the other side of the road.  But do you know what those silly ducks did?  They got out of the stream and waddled across up on the road, on dry land.  First the Male went, waiting and looking carefully for cars, and then walking softly and throwing himself in the stream on the other side.  The Female slowly went up the bank and stood there nervously until her mate started quacking in impatience.  Only then did she rouse herself and cross.  “Ker plop” we heard her join her husband.  Sarah and tiptoed over to see.


Man duck stood proudly on a rock, the lady duck was there, but hidden in the water.  She seemed to enjoy the faster water and would go completely under.  Soon our motions made them nervous and up they flew.

flying duck

They flew all the way over to the pond, so we followed them again.  Parker the dog was barking at them, too.

pond ducks

I got comfortable on the dock in the sunshine while Sarah climbed pine trees.  I saw a pair of cardinals and some other little birds.


It was getting to be lunch time so Sarah and I went over to see if there were eggs before going in the house for lunch.



There were two lovely smooth eggs, I put one in each jacket pocket.  Billy came over to say hello.


And we saw the first of the violets.  For all the February babies like myself and friend Cynthia.

“He himself gives to all mankind life life and breath and everything.  And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God,  in the hope that they might feel their way toward Him and find Him.  Yet He is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being.”  Acts 17:26