Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

Oh the weather outside is frightful... but the "wood stove" is so delightful!

I'm so thankful for a warm home to live in. Charles and I are having coffee together and it's snowing so hard right now we cannot see the mountains out the back of our house. The flakes are huge! And heavy and wet too. The power keeps going off and coming back on a pretty regular basis.

Charles has offered to help me out in the shop today. Yahoo! I'm thankful for the help. I'll take a few pictures while I'm out there, and I can do the "before" and some "after" once I get things rearranged. Plus I'm taking all my consignment down and packing it up in boxes. Then I'll see where to go from there. I am keeping a few pieces of the furniture out there for myself. I want to bring the huge step-back cupboard into my kitchen. I need to put my "check out" station by the door. The basic first part of the shop is shaped like an L. And very seldom do people go into this smaller section. My register, computer printer, phone, credit card machine and all of that were there. Charles suggested that it might be people don't feel comfortable going into that smaller section because of my work station being in there too. My work station is going to be cut in half as well. The second section of my shop will be my working studio. I will work on projects while I'm out there, and people can come in and see what I do. I don't know why, but people seem to love that sort of thing. The third section of my shop is going to be my future commercial kitchen. I think I mentioned my hopes for that. I just need some motivation. And I need to feel worthy of becoming a success and to have faith in myself and my God-given abilities and capabilities. It's just that since I started this business in 2003, I have faced so many obstacles. Not just little ones, but major, life threatening, business destroying obstacles. I told my husband after the flood that I didn't know if I had it in me to start over again. Anyhow... progress shall be made today.

Maybe I'll get a chance to post a couple of pictures tonight.

See ya,
Penny Sue

I'm back... and a huge change of plans. About 5 minutes after I posted today we lost power. The power had been going off and on a majority of the morning. However, after 3 quick ons and offs... it went completely off. It's now 10:10 PM, and we haven't had any power back. Thankfully we still have heat. My husband used to be a plumbing and heating self-employed tradesman. He set up our wood boiler so that even if we don't have power, we still have heat. A few nobs here and a couple of valves there, and presto- we have heat. However, most of our town does not have ANY power. We waited until dark before he went out and started up our generator. At that point we needed some power to turn on a light or two, and we have two refrigerators, one upstairs and one in the basement, and a stand alone upright freezer. We figured it had gone on long enough without being kept "cold". The generator would allow us to run most anything we wanted to for whole house power needs... but because we don't want to burn too much fuel in the generator, we're limiting what we turn on for power for overnight.

So.. there are no pictures as we didn't go out to the shop. The electric heaters weren't working, and we just decided to have a quiet day. Maybe next weekend.

Gotta be at work tomorrow at 8:00 am. I'm not sure what to expect if we don't have power back. The register won't work, the only light in the building comes from the door up front. I guess I'll show up and wait and see.

Penny Sue

Monday, October 27, 2008

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down...

Today has been a restful day. But it's been dark, gray, windy and cold outside. I feel gloomy and blue today. I am fast approaching November 1st, which will mark the 10 year anniversary of my mom passing away. In some ways it feels like just a short time ago... but in other ways it seems like an eternity. I think the one thing I miss the most about her is the sound of her voice. I can't just pick up the phone and have a silly ol' conversation with her, or a heart to heart, which is what she was really good at. But, the Lord allows her to walk through my dreams... and she speaks... and I hear her voice... and it sounds like Mom. What a gift. I don't dream of her often, but when I do... it is distinctly her. I don't mean physically.... that would be weird. But... somehow spiritually... or something along those lines. I thank the Lord for dreams... and memories... and the ways in which He does amazing things in our lives.

So, they are predicting rain and snow tonight and tomorrow. Perfect. The hubs is home. He got home last night just before 7 pm. He will be leaving Wednesday morning. My work schedule got changed for two days this week. I will end up with 31 hours instead of 25 hours. The extra money will certainly be helpful.

I'm in the process of planning two different parties in the next 6 months. My first venture is to try to get ex-coworkers together sometime in January or February of 2009. I'd like to call it "The blast from the past" party. I made my first attempt of trying to contact people that I already have email addresses for. I have a funny feeling this is going to take some doing. My second venture is to try to plan some sort of celebration party for my Dad. He will be turning 80 years old this coming March. I need to figure out where, when, and a theme for this party. My sister has been so busy with her life and two girls that I haven't really even had a chance to talk with her about doing this. But I will this coming week. I would like to respect who he is, but also make it something fun. He was born in 1929... maybe a "What was going on in 1929"... or a "Here's your life" (remember that show?) theme. Or a theme from Ireland/England. My father is half Irish and half English. His father was Irish and his mother was English. If I think about it more... I might come up with more creative ideas. However, I'm leaning towards the "Here's Your Life Ed". That would be so cool to go through major events of his life, highlight great things, and actually inviting people who would be behind the scenes until we did the part where you hear the person's voice and then out they come. Wouldn't that be so cool?

Well... once again I've rambled on long enough. It's not like anyone reads this stuff anyhow. But I will refer back to it when I try to come up with my plans for the party.

Lord... Thank you for relationships with people who love us unconditionally... in spite of our ugliness. They show us Your true love. The way You love each one of us.

Your girl

Saturday, October 25, 2008

No pictures today...

What a day! It started out with a very gentle rain this morning... then turned completely miserable this afternoon. It poured all afternoon. So much rain came down. I was completely amazed... and had flashbacks of the flood of 2006 in June here in Northeastern PA. What a nightmare. When it rains so hard like it did today, I tend to get kind of edgy. Thankfully, it has stopped pouring. It's just a light misty type of rain now.

I left work at 4:03 pm today, made a short errand and then came home. It had been raining so hard today that the drain grate at the edge of our property on the side of the road was so clogged with leaves, mud and small twigs that it had created this huge "pile" of water in front of my house. When I got home from my errands, I donned my barn boots and bright yellow rubber gloves and went out to try to clean out the drain grate. While I was out there getting completely soaked, one of my friends from where I work at the local market was at the "pub" across the street from my house. She came out hollering at me. I couldn't hear what she was saying, and she started to cross the street, and I told her to get back to her side of the road, that I was coming over. I crossed the road, noticing how soaked she was... and she told me she "did that already". I was stunned. She actually saw someone almost have an accident in front of my house and thought she should do something about it. In her jeans, sneakers (with a hole in them), and tee-shirt she had cleaned out the drain grate in front of my house. What a sweetheart! I gave her a huge hug and kissed her on the cheek. She was so gracious, thoughtful and selfless. I think I shall bake her something wonderful tomorrow and give her a thank you note. She's a single mom and struggling... a lot... with financial, physical, parental and emotional issues. She's such a sweet girl however, and I think there is so much more I could be to her. Her act of kindness is something I cherish. Sometimes, you just feel very alone in this world, and then someone does something like that for you. It just feels good. I wanted to offer her to come to the house and get some dry clothes or something, but she said that she and her ex-husband were leaving to go get take out for the kids. (As I said, it's a complicated story.) But, I am so thankful for her act of kindness. There are so many people against her and think bad thoughts. I feel led by the Lord to show her kindness, forgiveness, understanding where I can, and just be His light to her.

That's just a small part of my day.

My husband had a "bad" day. But that will have to wait for now.

God bless you all,
Penny Sue

Lord, Thank you for showing us Your loving kindness through other people in our lives. Totally unsuspecting, You amaze us. Help me to show Your true calling to us... Your first commandment after Your resurrection was to "Love one another". Help me be that love to others.

Your girl

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The last roses of summer...

I took this picture shortly after Cindy posted her gorgeous flowers. Everything in my gardens is done blooming, and looks a bit ratty, to be quite honest with you. But I looked out my bay window today and noticed these pretty little pink roses just hanging on for dear life. I couldn't believe my eyes. We'd already had a couple of hard frosts, and they were just as beautiful as if it were the middle of summer. And the most amazing part of it was the fact there were more buds and blossoms coming. God's creation is so magical.

This is another photo of the ring bearer pillow I did for the girl I worked with. The colors are a little off, but you get the idea. The sage green was being worn by two young girls... one being a flower girl and the other, a junior bridesmaid. The sage was a satin ribbon worn around their waists on their dresses. That was why I went with this color in the pillow material so there would be something connecting the ring bearer with the color scheme of the young ladies. The rose is white with just a hint of pink, which the bride actually used the exact same roses in her bouquet. I also used small pieces of hydrangea, the white/green ones. They set off the rose so nicely. The bride-to-be made all the bouquets; one for herself and each bridesmaid. She did a fantastic job. I was honored to be able to contribute to her wedding day in this way.
My husband has been working diligently today to get heat to my shop from the house. In the past, I had a propane heater, and was closed almost all of last winter because I could not afford to pay the fuel bill. It was costing between $250-$300 almost every five to six weeks. So... we decided to try to run heat out there from the heat source in our house. Today a guy from our church family came (we hired him) to dig a 4 foot deep trench from a point in our house foundation to a particular spot at the shop so the hubby can bury heat pipe, water and electric as well. We purchased an outdoor lamp post that we've had for almost a year, waiting for this day to come so that we could also install the light. I'll be taking pictures tomorrow so that ya'll can see what I'm talking about. Maybe you'll get a glimpse of my adorable hubs. Maybe... maybe not. Depends on how bashful he might be... which, on a pretty regular basis... is NEVER! :)
I spent most of my day with my sister, Becky, and our Dad... he had his second cataract operation this morning. While at the hospital, I went and had my port-a-cath (in my chest) flushed... and while on my way to oncology, I saw this woman walking into the "lab" just inside the front entrance. I remember looking at the back side of her thinking there is only one woman that I know that is 6'4" that would actually have a reason to be here, with that hair cut, hair color and that "look". But the elderly woman in front of her, I kept trying to make into my "Auntie Evelyn" (her Mom)... and I kept thinking... there is no way that is Auntie Evelyn. So, I followed the first woman into the "lab" and made a wide swing to the side, because I wanted to be sure it was who I was thinking it was.... and guess what? It was my Dear Sweet Cousin, Margie. She is such a lovie. We chatted briefly, she was called in to get her blood work done, told me not to leave, but I told her I had to go to my appointment in oncology. I told her that Becky was in the Atrium... (the general waiting area for outpatient surgery). I told her that Dad was having cataract surgery to stop by and see Becky, and I'd be back in a few minutes.
All was well. Dad's surgery went perfectly. Becky and I were able to visit with our cousin, Margie. After the surgery we went to lunch. Things seemed to go much smoother for him the second time around.
Hey, I've rambled on long enough. Probably too long. I don't want to bore you all to distraction...
Penny Suzie

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy Wednesday...

I love the fall season. It's taken me a long time to get back to this love of the season. My mom passed away 10 years ago on November 1st from pancreatic cancer. I spent the last 2 and 1/2 weeks of her life taking care of her. My husband made it possible (in our early marriage) for me to allow Mom to come home. So, for a while there, though I would love the colors of the season, it was very difficult not to associate it with my loss. Now, it's just a bittersweet time. Mom and I used to do so many things together, especially in the fall when there seemed to be so much more to do. The above photo was taken right outside my back porch door. My husband planted this tree just about 3 years ago, and it's huge. But the thing I love about it most is the gorgeous red colors it turns. I walk into my kitchen and look out the back door and it catches my breath. The leaves start out this firey red, and the longer the leaves stay on the tree they will turn to a gorgeous burgundy. It truly is amazing.

This picture (not very clear, I know) was taken of a ring bearer pillow I made for a friend from work. This is one of the things I do for my shop... custom designed ring bearer pillows. I absolutely hate the white satin ones that look like cookie cutter pillows. They have no personality. So, I read in one of the bride magazines that a custom pillow is another way to introduce your colors of the wedding. I used the same silk flowers the bride had in her bouquet, and the pillow material is this striped sage green organza and silk design. It looks more gray here than in reality. I took white organza ribbon and added it to each corner, so they hung down, and I took green and white varigated ivy and applied a couple of very small leaves to the ribbons. On the back of the pillow,I just added the same color sage green ribbon and tied it into a lovely bow that the ring bearer could just slide his little hand into it. It was so sweet. When I took it to my friend, her ring bearer said with big wide-eyed amazement, "Do I get to keep it?" How cute.

The thumbnail picture that's supposed to be of me is actually my gift shop. I know it's kind of small to see any detail... but, I'll be taking more pictures. And hopefully my photography skills will improve.

Have a lovely day,


Friday, October 10, 2008

A romantic dinner for two...

There is just something romantic about sitting at a table for two, meant to share with the one you love, waiting for him to come home and share quality time together.

I love nights when the hubby and I get to do our Italian Antipasti finger food night. It's so much fun. We just load up a platter with marinated artichokes, peppers, cheese, marinated mushrooms, black olives, prosciutto and melon, and some fine Italian wine to go with all the fixings. We like to do this on a relatively unpredictable basis. Once in a while I like to surprise him with this on a night when I know he's not really into eating something overly filling but would rather have something light. Toothpicks are optional. We change the food selection usually every time we have this. Mostly it depends on what's floating around in the pantry (which has now become part of my sunroom) and the fridge. Sometimes I make bruschetta to go along with it. A lot of variations on that too.

Hey, does anyone know what a "hearts of palm" actually is? I bought it in a can, and I have no clue what it is. I must confess I just bought it because it was something Emeril on the Food Network started using in a few of his programs. But he never really explained what it is? Any help? (Aren't I so needy?)

So, I notice that I don't get many comments. I begin to wonder if there is a point to doing my own blog. Perhaps I should just stick to commenting and communicating instead of doing my own blog. Any opinions? Is there something that I'm doing that is "taboo" in the blog world? I'm so new at this, I don't know the "rules". Maybe I'm sharing too much information. Maybe I'm just plain old boring. Maybe I just need to be more patient. I welcome all comments. Good and bad. I also am looking forward to Christmas and Birthday time coming in December and buying my own digital camera with my gift money from my Dad. He's always so generous with all of us. Last year, I actually gave my substantial check over to my husband, who with his check from Dad, made a payment for a Jeep we bought from my husband's brother. We lost our car (2006 Monte Carlo), and had to have something for me to drive. This year I'm keeping the $$... to pay for some things I really need/want and there aren't any other options for me to buy them without this money from Dad.

I didn't get out to the shop during the week... but I am planning on sometime on Sunday. I have to work tomorrow from 8-4 pm... make a quick 1/2 hour errand, then I'm home for the night. I'll be making Potato Cheese Soup for a friend who had major surgery on September 29th. I haven't had the time to do anything for her and her boyfriend. She's out of commission for 6 to 8 weeks. So, by the time this weekend is over, I'll try to have made soup, and spent some time in the shop.

Also, the big foo-pah I thought I had made earlier in my posts involving the Department of Revenue has all been worked out, and it wasn't really a big deal. I just get so paranoid with the IRS and Department of Revenue for PA... like I'm a child waiting to be disciplined. Weird, I know. But, rest assured, with a small amount of money, I'll be back in the swing of things.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A summer project... not quite finished

Whoops... I just realized what time it is... gotta go to work... I'll be back later tonight to finish the post.


I'm finally home, had a snack to eat, and I'm watching CSI New York before I need to go to bed. I'm so tired. There are so many habits I need to change. Some day I'll look a little deeper into this.. but not today.

So, the above photo is a gift I did for my husband. He's been working so diligently this summer on this room which once was a pantry, which he created a sunroom out of. He came home a couple of weekends ago, and I had cleaned out the room as best as I could (considering it's not complete). I placed the table in there on an area rug, a couple of chairs, and a bench on the right hand side of the table for extra seating. I picked our sunflowers and put them in one of my favorite enamel painted pitchers. When he came home, we had our dinner for two at that table. There originally was only one window and he decided to create a 3 window space. It's absolutely gorgeous. We reused old 9 paned windows. We are trying to reuse and recycle parts of our own house to do so many of our projects. It's pretty exciting. Even some of the glass in these windows is original. Then he custom built/created storm windows to button it up for the winter. Making it not such a source of heat loss was his ultimate goal before the snow flies. So... there's still more work to be done, such as replacing the wainscot pieces that had to be removed to help in sealing with insulation.
(P.S. - How do I post a picture here in the middle of my blog? A little help?????)
I'm planning on getting up early and going out to work in my shop. I've been closed all year so far this year. The economy has had a huge play in that, along with my part-time job schedule, plus living the life I live with my husband's work schedule. And an even bigger part has been me. But, those stories will come later.

I'll take some pics while I'm out there, and when I post them, I'll try to remind you all that I've been closed for some time. Try to ignore the cobwebs and dust bunnies... ok?

Lord, Thanks for giving me a new vision and a little more motivation to move forward instead of feeling stalled and defeated. Thanks for helping me find this blog... and for the people I've met who have been part of my new feeling of motivation.

Your Girl,


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Penny For Your Thoughts Signature Scent Candle

Hello All...

I am having the most difficult time posting photos. I had to actually email this one to my blogger account and then post it from there. I also got information from someone else via blogspot (thank you Diane, but not enough information for me... I appreciate the effort though). Thank you.

Anyhow... this is my signature scent for my "Penny For Your Thoughts" Gift shop. I make and sell my own candles. Of course, I'm not open much this year because of my unbelievable schedule, working a part time job and being available for my husband when he comes home for his "weekend" on Sunday night to Wednesday AM. This candle is scented with lavender and sweet grass essential oils. And you can't buy it anywhere other than my shop. Isn't that marvelous? And my business signature colors are the olive green with lavender as shown with my organza ribbon.

Once I get a little more familiar with posting pictures, I have a few to share. Like pics of my shop inside and out. The only thing I don't know how to do is choose a picture for "me" in my profile. As I said before, I know just enough to be "lethal" in the computer gadget world! Oh well.

Today we finally turned in our 2007 tax paperwork to H & R. I'm so happy to have the paperwork there and not here any longer. I did a little happy dance when my hubby left with the paperwork to deliver to it. We always file for an extension from the April 15th deadline ever since we were married. About 2 years ago it was both my husband and I that had paperwork, receipts, and all the fringe benefit paperwork that come along with being self-employed. That all changed when hubs took a job in April of 2007. Then I also started working a part-time job just so I could pay my bills for the shop. Electric, phone, credit card lease, and all that sort of thing. At least I don't have to pay rent or lease. My husband built the shop on our property. I'll share more with you as I continue to enjoy the blogging world.

I must admit that I am enjoying immensely the world of blogspot. I have met a few people who had left me comments. (Please, leave me comments!!) I think it is a wide variable of information and people and experiences. I feel like a kid in a candy store!

I should close for now... it's almost time for beddy-bye. My hubs is taking a half day off tomorrow, so he won't be leaving until around 2:30 pm. Maybe some coffee in bed??? Mmmmmm. He's so good to me.

Lord, thank You for a husband who loves me... and takes such good care of me. Thank You that he encourages me to follow my dreams and inspirations... and that he believes in me more than I believe in myself. When I doubt myself, he builds me up. When I feel there is no hope, he gives me hope. He's just sooooo cool.

Your Girl,


Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday Monday....

It has been a gorgeous fall day here. My husband has been home since last night. We've had some nice home cooked dinners, just the two of us. I planned my menu around his favorites while he's home for his "weekend"... which is from Sunday night to Wednesday morning before he has to leave for the rest of the time. Anyhow, last night I made homemade stuffed peppers. He loves them. I think I scored some points with those :) Today while we were running errands, I asked him what he would like for dinner tonight... and he said with such a sound of lust in his voice "Tuna Noodle Casserole". I laughed hysterically. He's too cute.

We are already heating our house. It's been well down into the 30's here overnight. Kind of chilly right off the bat... but it's producing some beautiful colors on the trees in the mountains. I can't wait to figure out how to upload/download pictures to this blog so I can share some of my life in pictures.

I'm tired... and I'm going to join my snoring man upstairs for some R&R.

Lord, Thank you for the colors of Your tapestry of art that You display for us every day of our lives... Your creation is so gorgeous. Thank You for eyes that can enjoy the sights of fall, for noses that enjoy the scents of fall... and for the reminder through each season You give us that there is a time to rest... for all creation. What a blessing.

Your Girl,

Friday, October 3, 2008

It's Friday... and I don't have to go to work tonight

This will be the first Friday I've had off in months... literally months. One of my very best friends, Mary, called me this week and wanted to know if I would like to do the "First Friday Art Walk". It got me to thinking that I haven't had a Friday off in so long, and I decided to ask my employer for the night off. I either needed to find someone to cover for me or she would. Anyhow, she told me no matter who covered, consider it a night off! Thank you Alice!!!

"First Friday Art Walk" is an event that occurs every "first Friday" of the month, all year long. It is hosted in the city of Binghamton, NY. Not too far from where I live currently, and it's where I was born and raised. So every first Friday there are open art galleries hosting new artists every month, tours of restored old buildings (the architecture in the older buildings in Binghamton is absolutely beautiful), unique shops and boutiques offering handmade items from local artisans, usually some sort of live entertainment/music well into the evening. I have been once or twice before. One night, my husband and I stumbled upon it quite by accident. We decided to go out for a "coffee date" at one of the coffee houses. By the time we arrived there, most of the galleries and shops were closed. But the city had closed down part of Main Street/Court Street and there was live entertainment. I'll never forget the sound of the music as we started walking towards the sound of it. We had no idea what was happening. When we started out, the music was all echo-y, resounding around all the large buildings. The closer we got, the clearer it got, and the music was one of my favorite. Big Band music. As we stood there watching these people dancing in the street, my eye caught an elderly couple (probably in their 70's) and they were just kicking it up. I remember my eyes welling up with tears thinking what an awesome sght it was. In their hearts, they were probably in their 20's and reliving a romantic past. Oh how music can effect our hearts, souls and minds.

So... that's what's up for this evening.

Thanks Lord, for good friends, places to meet new ones, and people who love us unconditionally.

Your Girl...

Penny Sue