Apr 28, 2010

Managing time on Blogger...

I need some suggestions. I'm trying to decide how to manage my time on blogger. I love to "visit" with all of you, and I love to write posts. I just don't seem to have enough hours in the day. Should I set a specific day of the week to post, and another day to read? Or do I try to find a set hour of the day to do this and make a regular habit?

How do you all manage your time on blogger??? How to you handle acknowledging comments? How much time a day, on the average, would you say that you devote to blogland?

Help!!! and THANK YOU for your time!

Apr 21, 2010

Spring Sightings...

I'm not much of a photographer or even much of an outdoor naturalist, but I do enjoy the changing of the seasons, and especially the signs of spring and being able to go outdoors without the hassle of a heavy winter coat! (or worse!)

We've enjoyed many beautiful days the past few weeks here in northeast Ohio. Here are some pictures of the sights I have enjoyed this spring while babysitting two of my grandchildren, Ethan, 17 months, and Elylah, 4.

Goodyear's Wingfoot Lake Airship Base is located just a few miles from our house, and the blimps frequently fly right over our backyard!

Yep, that's our girley girl enjoying a mud puddle alright!

I spotted this Great Blue Heron, a bird native to Ohio, in a wetlands area near a pond where these ducks were trying to hide:

I kept snapping the picture until they both went head down at the same time! It was quite hysterical to watch.

The beautiful grounds of my mom's senior's condo...

Our first trip of the year to our local zoo...

Where we also saw some beautiful flowers...

And our first "picnic" in the park...

Trees blossoming all up and down our street...

Even this vulture was beautiful soaring through the sky, and then it lighted just a little too close for comfort!

I mean, look at the SIZE of this thing!

No, Ethan isn't at the beach...but he sure is enjoying his first time in a sand pile at the park...

Where I spent three hours with these two today...

I guess we stayed just a wee bit too long, but we didn't want to leave! Yippee! Happy days are here again! I wonder, would we enjoy spring so much if we didn't go through that long, cold, and often too dark winter?

Apr 16, 2010

A fun weekend away...

Last weekend, hubby and I made a quick trip to the Finger Lakes region of NY, about 5 1/2 hours from home. We went to attend a 70th birthday party for the mom of our good friends.

After we had driven about four hours it was time to stop for lunch. I happened to notice a sign that said "Angelica Village". I remembered it was a place we had stopped last October when we had made another trip to the area. I was so excited to find it again. We stopped and had a wonderful but too short time there.

Here's a shot from last October, when we drove my mom and my aunt to the region for my cousin's "destination" wedding in the Finger Lakes area. We had pulled off the highway for a break on the way home and stumbled into this darling little town, where we enjoyed a little antique shopping.

Angelica is the oldest town in the region. Main Street is said to have much the same layout as it did 150 years ago. We happened upon this restaurant, a beautiful Greek Revival structure, and a former Inn, now The Magnolia House. In addition to being a restaurant, they cater several weddings a year here. What a beautiful place for that kind of event!

Since we were the only patrons at the time, while our sandwiches were being prepared, the owner, Hazel, gave us a little tour of the downstairs rooms and told us about some of the history of the place and how she acquired some of the beautiful china and crystal.

What a special treat that was! Hazel's daughter, Carli, was our server but she was too shy to be photographed...She's a fellow blogger, though, so I hope we can get to know each other better!

View across the street from the Magnolia House. If you squint, you can see me mailing some bills at the charming old post office.

All too soon it was time to get back onto the highway, as we still had 1 1/2 hrs. to go to arrive at our party destination.

So I grabbed this good looking guy and off we went...and we finally arrived at the party...


Here she is with her three great kids, Karen, Peter, and Ken, whom she raised alone. Lisa became a widow after only five years of marriage. I really admire her--I don't know that I could have done it! The party was held at Lisa's church, and we had a great time meeting her friends and relatives. Karen and Ken and their families now live back in my home town in Ohio, and since Lisa comes often to see them and the grandchildren, we've had the pleasure of getting to know her and spend some birthdays and holidays together. It's a small world afterall...

Well, in case you haven't guessed by now, we much prefer small towns, real people, and intimate friends over congested cities and crowded amusement places. We also have discovered we have a penchant for staying at Bed and Breakfast homes rather than hotels whenever possible.

For this trip, we found The Painted Lady located in Elmira, NY, just minutes from our party destination. Oh my, what a lovely Victorian home. It cost us only $25 more to stay here than at the local Holiday Inn Express, and we also enjoyed a quiet and delicious homemade breakfast in a lovely dining room with china, silver, and a tablecloth! To say nothing of the high touch personal service rendered by Marilyn and Butch Monroe, the owners.

We were so comfortable in this gorgeous room! It also had a jacuzzi tub which we took advantage of. I wish we could have stayed a second night just to unwind a bit more...maybe next time. People often tell us they are afraid to try a B&B because they feel strange staying in someone else's home, or the like the anonymity of a hotel. But we have had nothing but positive experiences. The owners and other guests always have respected our privacy, and we are free to come and go as we please. Every room has a key just like a hotel, except that there is the personal, homey touch that you could never get at a Holiday Inn. We have met wonderful people wherever we have stayed. Innkeepers are always a helpful source of local information, whether it be sites to see, directions, or good restaurants to try. For example, we had wanted to visit the nearby Corning glass museum, but our innkeeper advised us we should allow about 4 hours for that. We didn't have that kind of time on Sunday, so we'll do that on another trip.

We only had time to drive through the town of Corning, NY on this trip. We drove by the museum, and will make a point of coming back when we can spend a good part of a day there.

So that was it for our little get-away last weekend. I cherish every moment I get to spend with my hubby. Like he's fond of saying, "we're not 16 anymore" but we still love each other a whole lot! I agree.

Apr 14, 2010


With the crumbling economy our country has been experiencing lately, it seems like every time I turn the TV on there is another commercial about investing in gold.

G. Gordon Liddy, who has a colorful past as one of the main planners of the Watergate scandal which led to the resignation of President Nixon, currently advertizes for Rosland Capital. While he stands before thousands of TV viewers jingling a handful of gold coins, he authoritatively proclaims, "that's the sound of security--that's the sound of gold..." Really?

The subject of money is mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible. We are instructed not to let the love of money consume us and warned that it will not lead to contentment. Yet even as believers, we often struggle with wanting more of it, as if it truly could bring us the security we desire.

Jesus held a much different view. Recorded in the Gospels is an account of some skeptics who tried to trap Jesus with his words. They asked him if it was right for the Jews to pay taxes to Caesar, as it was the time of the Roman occupation. "Should we pay or shouldn't we pay?" they asked. Jesus of course knew their hearts and called them hypocrites. When one of the hostile questioners produced a Roman coin, Jesus asked him whose picture and inscription were on it. He replied, "Caesar's." Jesus then said his infamous words, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." (Mark 12:17 ESV) Timeless advise, especially as we find ourselves facing April 15 here in the United States.

Proverbs talks about finding security in this way: "Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine." (3:9-10) Did you catch that? The Bible teaches that we will have plenty when we first honor the Lord by giving out of our substance.

In these tough economic times it is not hard to look around and see people who need hope for their lives. Everyone of us knows someone who is out of work or has lost their home or is trying to make financial ends meet due to circumstances out of their control. What an opportunity we have to not only offer practical help, but offer the hope that is found in the truth of God's Word.


"...my soul silently waits for God...
He only is my ROCK and my salvation."

Psalm 62:1-2

Apr 8, 2010

Easter pictures...

Well I'm running behind the rest of you, but wanted to put up a few pictures of our Easter. (The older I get, the longer it seems it takes me to recover from these holidays!) Hope you enjoy seeing them.

First off, my egg coloring crew consisted of:

4 year old Elylah, my granddaughter

4 year old Benjamin, who calls me "aunt"

and Jonathan, 6, Benjamin's older brother, who also calls me "aunt"

We did these on Wednesday of Holy Week, and it was a beautiful spring day here in NE Ohio. So after all this hard work, the kids got to go outside and play on the swingset for the first time this season.

I couldn't believe Benjamin crawled across the top on my watch!

grandson Ethan, 16 1/2 months, joining the fun

the ground was still soggy, but the sun was warm upon the face!

My sister Marcella and part of her family (one son is serving with the Marines in Afghanistan and a daughter is in college out of state) came from 3 1/2 hours away to spend the holiday weekend with us, and I was happy to press her into kitchen duty on Saturday. Here she is pounding chicken breasts for our cordon bleu. I use a special mallet when doing this, but she claims Rachael Ray uses a skillet...!

I assembled, and we had a lot of fun doing it. (I put the recipe on my other blog.) It's really easy to make, and not only is it delicious, but it is something different and rather exotic for a non-gormet cook like me to serve. Just have a look at this:

Our Easter Sunday menu consisted of the chicken, ham, sweet potatoes, green beans, spring salad, hot cross buns, and birthday cake. All the guests contributed something to the dinner, which made it so nice for me. We had 10 adults and 5 kids.

Here's part of the crowd...

Benjamin's and Jonathan's mom, Jennifer, and me...

After dinner, the kids begin their egg hunt. My nephew Robby (striped shirt) ,12, did a great job of stuffing and hiding the eggs for the younger ones to find. (I spy a yellow one right there by the front door!)

To add to the fun of the day, it also happened to be hubby's birthday.

Happy Birthday, Papa!