Monthly Archives: September 2012

New York trip

Daniel and I spent the nicest couple of days in New York.  The first night, we spent the night with his nephew, Jeremy and his wife Doreen.  They have five boys that they are raising on a mushroom farm near the small town of Ghent, New York.  Daniel and Jeremy had the problems of the world to solve, so their four oldest boys and I had a wonderful couple of  hours while I helped to harvest the day’s crop of Shiitake Mushrooms, told them endless stories, and listened to their various observations and informative tidbits.


Here, Daniel holds their youngest son, Nicholas Daniel (almost six months)
while their oldest, Weston (12) listens in on the conversation between his dad and Great Uncle.


Here are the youngest three:  Kedall (almost 10) Donovan (7),  and Levi (almost 4).
On Friday morning, time got a little tight and Jeremy and Doreen both had things to do, so I volunteered to drive the boys to school.  Their house is perched up the side of a hill, on a craggy mountain road.  The lane is rocky, rutted and goes down a “bit” of an incline.  The boys got their seatbelts fastened, and we headed down the lane to the main drag that runs through the New York woodland.  I was barely halfway down their driveway when it got suddenly quiet behind me.
“I don’t think,” said a small voice behind me, “that our Mama has ever gone down our lane quite this fast!”
Ouch!  Another comment on my driving.
I stepped on the brakes and slowed it down.  
“I guess your Aunt Mary Ann is going to have to be more careful,” I said, laughing.  “You know, my own Grandbaby sometimes says, ‘Grammy, you drive like a bat!’  Or sometimes she says, ‘Grammy, you’re a crazy woman driver!’  So I suppose I better pay attention.”  
Of course, they thought that was terribly funny — especially that part about driving like a bat.  I slowed down, got them safely to school, got terribly mixed up on the way home trying to follow Jeremy’s GPS, but finally I made it safely home with no mishap.

And so, the first day passed.



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A big, fat, green worm

Look what I found, crawling on the asphalt outside my garage.
I went to my resident bug man, Dave Hertzler, to see if he could tell me what I was seeing.
It looked ominous to me — like it could sting, or maybe take down a Jonah Vine in an afternoon.
(See that story in Jonah 4)
Dave did a little research and was pretty certain it was
a white-lined sphinx moth caterpillar.

Some day that big, fat, green worm will look like this:

From wikipedia:
“The fore wing is dark brown with a tan stripe which extends from the base to the apex. There are also white lines that cover the veins. The black hind wing has a broad pink median band. It has a wingspan of 2 to 3 inches.”

This moth isn’t the most attractive of moths, (especially with its wings folded)
but its living habits make it fascinating to me.
For one thing, it flits about much like a hummingbird, gathering nectar from flowers.  
We’ve seen a number of them in the gardens around Shady Acres.
They always surprise and delight me.

Yes, I put him back into the garden.

I am always amazed at the many, many things to see in our world.

And (are you getting tired of hearing this?) my heart gives grateful praise.


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Thank you all so much for your prayers and for your encouragement!  

Rachel is much, much better this morning.  In fact, to use her words, 

“I’m doing a lot better. Whatever I had seems to be gone.”

My heart gives grateful praise– not only for her recovery, but for the friends who jumped to the fore and prayed for Rachel as well as us.  THANKS!


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My Far Away Girlie is heavy on my heart today.

When I send my kids away with my blessing, one of the things I purpose not to do is allow myself to worry.  I truly know that though they may not be “safe,” they are never out of His Care.

It has felt different this time, sending Rachel to Uganda.  Not different in that I miss her more, or I miss her less, but maybe a bit of unsettledness over some issues over which no one has any control (Ebola, malaria, typhoid, yellow fever).  These have nagged at the back of my mind at times.  She did the immunizations that were recommended, and she is careful.  But —

Today my girlie is ill.  She called a couple of hours ago as she walked to her host home in Uganda.  She is running a fever, has an upper respiratory infection and a raging intestinal and upper G.I. disturbance.  No, she hasn’t eaten anything she shouldn’t.  No, she hasn’t been exposed to anything that she knows of.

However, yesterday, she walked a slum from one end to the other in her internship with Compassion, International.  And until this week when they went into their host homes, the team has hardly slept at the same place for more than three days in a month.  Who knows what she picked up, and where?  She was cheerful, optimistic, but very, very exhausted.  And sick. 

Could you please pray for our girl?  She belongs to Jesus, and He will never leave her, never forsake her, but we feel a need for the prayers of God’s people.



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It has to be my favoritest day of the week.  Gathering with friends to worship, seeing faces I love, sometimes having company and almost always getting a nap.

So yesterday, we had our usual scrambling morning.  Middle Daughter was home (for those of you who didn’t know, she has moved out to live with her Grandma, my Sweet Mama, for a trial period of time).  A sister of Mama’s, Alma Jean Yoder, from Virginia, had arrived on Saturday to stay for a week, and so Deborah had decided to come home for the week to give the sisters some time together.  With another sister, Freda, just across the lawn from Mama, it looked like a wonderful week ahead.  

We had invited the sisters to lunch on Sunday as they had planned to all come to Laws Mennonite Church for the morning worship service.  I had promised not to go to too much trouble and had kept my promise.  Chicken corn noodle soup and Ground Cherry Pie were the only items that I had to make.  Lunch was rounded out by a great, fresh tossed salad from Lawina who joined us on the spur of the moment and Friend Emma came, too.  Certain Man presided over the table of seven  “hens” with his usual aplomb and we had a great time together.

After lunch, while Mama and the Aunties went home, Beebs and Lawina and Emma cleared away the mess while I went to get ready for calling hours at a memorial service in Milford.  Rats!  I had gotten something on the jacket of the dress that I wanted to wear to the calling hours.  I tried and tried to get it off, but nothing seemed to help, only make things worse.  I finally took the jacket off to see whether I could clean it from the back of the material, and here!  Something from lunch had gone between my jacket and my dress and I had squished it greatly in my attempt to wash it off and there was a spreading stain.  I tried a few more housewifely laundry shortcuts, but nope!  No success.

So, I changed my dress.  Just before leaving the bathroom where I had changed, I grabbed some perfume and gave a few spritzes to my neck, and then we were off.

It has been beautiful in Delaware, and this day couldn’t have been nicer.  High white clouds floated against a blue sky and the temps were reasonable.  Autumn was in the air for sure.  I have recently started putting out my harvest air fresheners, and have been paying special attention to the downstairs bathroom that has had an unpleasant — well — atmosphere here of late.  In fact, just shortly before leaving, I had sprayed some of Yankee Candle’s Macintosh Spice air freshner in the ladies bathroom, hoping to improve things a little bit.

“”Wow!” I thought, as we went down the road, “That room spray must really be absorbed by fabric.”  I could smell “Macintosh Spice” every minute as we were going.  We pulled up in front of the church and Certain Man parked and we went inside.  We talked to old friends, found the immediate family and expressed our great sadness over Bob Nelson’s untimely passing, and then left.  All along the way, all I could smell was “Macintosh Spice.”  It was starting to make me feel more than a little nauseous.  It wasn’t until I was getting out of the mini-van that a troubling thought invaded the extreme autumn atmosphere.  What if???

I surreptitiously rubbed my finger over the area where I had intended to spritz my faithful Imari perfume and it came up with just a tad bit of greasy residue and ranking of a very Autumn  Yankee candle.

 Oh, dear!  I had hugged so many gals and talked to so many people — I just couldn’t think about it.  So I washed everything off, got some powder and the right amount of my usual “smell good,” got into my housecoat, and took a nap.



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Finding Joy . .



Walking in my driveway,
Heavy thoughts in my head,
Eyes downcast.

A sudden glimpse of a strange face
Looking up at me
Makes me laugh.

“Lord Jesus,
Thank you for
day brighteners
In unexpected places
At unexpected times.”



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