Monday, December 29, 2014

Hertzler Doings~Dec. 29, 2014-Jan. 4, 2015

Mon.-Busy catch up day. Washing, tidying, making job and goal lists, book lists, etc. for 2015, visited Alli and Nathan this morning and again later this evening. Philip went with me. He has so much fun with Nathan. Watched a Columbo with Phil and Susan. Made the best potato soup I ever made in my life for lunch today. It was cold and rainy. Susan had basketball practice this morning at New Life since they don't have school. Found out that Micah has the flu and another traveling companion of there's has it also but she is getting better. Brain still feels upside down. Hope I sleep tonight.

Tues.-Got to be with Nathan for 8 hours today. His mommy and daddy have food poisoning or something. What a little gem. Snuggled with him the first half hour of his 3 1/2 hour nap. Gave him some boiled water from a spoon and he seemed pretty thirsty. He drank like a little bird and ate lots of squash, sweet potato, apple sauce, and pears. He can sit up now on his own. He cries when Philip leaves and watches Michael intently while he plays guitar. He yelled for grandpa when he saw him come in and he plays with Susan's face with his little hands. It was a great day. Also made a recipe from Weaver's Orchard recipe book. Apple cider muffins with brown sugar fluff icing. Oh my goodness. Four X's a tapioca recipe. Watched Mrs. Doubtfire with Phil and Susan. That movie makes me laugh and cry and I had to think about Robin Williams and grieve for the sorrows he had.

Wed.-Got up by 7 today. Miracles do happen. Nathan came for several hours while Alli went to the doctor. She has an infection and they are running tests to see what's what. Nathan slept for an hour and a half in our bed today, going to sleep with the stroking of his face in about 2 minutes. It's wonderful. I say words that rhyme and stroke his face, legs, while saying words like "Nose...toes.  Sweet....cheek....Ears...hear...eyes...thighs...lips...hips...."etc. It puts him right out. Made a homemade angel food cake with the egg whites left over from Michael's egg nog. Shelly King came for a visit and ran with me to Walmart to get meds for Alli. Made some hot chocolate for this eve. The guys had their friends over and Susan had her friends over and now, all 11 of them are around the table playing Apples to Apples after eating fries, chips and dip, and four layers of pizza cake, apple cider, soda, and hot chocolate. Who is here? Susan, Mary, Molly, Claire, Philip, Michael, Logan (Hertzler cousin on his way south) Jordan, Chace, Dwayne, and Ricky. I am thankful for these dear friends for our kids.
Oh! The big news of today is that Susan finished her requirements for high school. I read her 3,000 word journal about our trip to Thailand and that was her writing requirement. It was well written and it made me laugh and cry.

Thurs.-Woke up around 4 when Logan was leaving. Went back to bed for a few hours. Susan and friends spent the night sleeping on the floor at HV. Came over and had a breakfast of homemade pancakes, bacon, and hot chocolate. They watched The Hobbit and Claire and Mary fell asleep on the sofa. Phil worked on biding jobs today. Susan slept, did some jobs, went to the gym. I went with Phil to Farmville. He dropped me off at Walmart while he went to Lowes. I made Michael's red plaid fleece blanket today and also made some Thai tasting meatballs and rice. Had root beer floats for supper too. Phil read somewhere that we should try to have 10 ideas a day. My goals for January include memorize Ps. 27. I am so familiar with it but couldn't quote it. I hope to get other Psalms down pat this year. I also challenge myself to write a little every day. So today I wrote about Ps. 27:5 and it's entitled 'Nathan's Pavilion' in my blog. Haven't posted it on face book yet. It feels good to write. The hot water is running in my bathtub. Tomorrow is a busy day. I've been trying to get things done today and realize that I should just rest and let my body catch up with itself. I'm glad tomorrow is just Friday. It's nice to know there is a Saturday before this Sunday. Oh-Travis M-tin. fell 12 feet. Was it just yesterday? Broken wrist and cheek, some badly bruised ribs and a concussion. So thankful it wasn't worse. What a precious family they are.

Fri.-Babysat Nathan early this morning and when he woke up, I went back to his parent's bed and picked him up and he smiled. He's a good little eater. So precious. Alli's tests came back normal. Clean bill of health. Went to see Dennis later in the day and he helped with my locked left ankle and right side stiff neck. Made seven layer salad with chicken for supper. Naomi called and we caught up and made a shore date for April. Watched a BatMan movie in eve with Phil and Susan. Finished spy book. Phil's dad admitted to Reading ER with pneumonia.

Sat.-Took down Christmas decorations. Decorated with shells from Thailand. Cleaned house a little bit. Visited Ron and Carol L and saw his beautiful Christmas villages. Michael melted wax and made a candle in a soda can and then took the aluminum off. Philip is working on his house and trapping. Susan went to the gym and got groceries. Phil is reading and bidding. I made up a box of Thailand for the Banton's. My stomach isn't happy. Am thinking about throwing up but am not sure if it's the vitamins I swallowed. Heard from Janelle on face book. Going to hurry up and get a few things done in case I really am sick. Yuck. Couldn't reach Mom although called several times. She is with Dad in the hospital I'm sure.

Sun.-Yay. Wasn't really sick. Just slightly queasy much of the time. Luke F. preached today. Really good. Went to Ruby Tuesdays with Freeman, Alli, and Nathan after Phil counted offering. Came home and watched movies, ate popcorn, got an eating plan from Susan, and planned my Monday in Farmville. Talked with Mom. She said that she and Dad sang some songs together in the hospital. He is doing better. So glad. She was so tired last night that she slept 12 hours. Dear Mom.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Backwards Happy Birthday~Another story from Thailand

On our first Sunday in Thailand, we went to the church in Hua Hin.  Janelle had gone to language school in the area and her language teacher is a pastor's wife and she and her husband run an orphanage called 'Mercy House.' She was so happy to see Janelle. She had never received Janelle's email that she was coming. What a blessing to be with other believer's and sing worship songs together in different languages. Janelle sat behind us and interpreted the pastor's sermon about the love of God. After the service we walked to a little restaurant and had rice and pork. Then the pastor's wife took us back to the orphanage and gave instructions to someone at church to tell our taxi driver where we were when he showed up.

At the orphanage we added our shoes to the scattering of pairs at the bottom of the stairs and went up to see the girl's bedroom. There were, I think, six bunk beds, neatly made with colorful pillows and comforters.  We visited the craft room and the gift shop. We met the young man who is quite an artist and found that he makes his beautiful art work without the use of his hands. He presses his wrists together to hold his tool because he actually has no hands. When we wanted to buy a thing or two at the gift shop, they insisted we take it as a gift instead.

Our taxi driver drove up and as we got into the vehicle, the children gathered around the gate and cried, "Good-bye! Good-bye! Sahwatdikah! Sahwatdikah!" and waved, bowed with their hands together, and smiled. I wished we had more time with them.

The next day, the Lady Next Door to the guest house, who was an entrepreneur of many good trades to the local tourists, told Janelle, that her husband, who had been our taxi driver to church and back, had been deeply moved by the children at the children's home. He decided that on his birthday, he wanted to bring them a special meal. Janelle went on to explain that the Thai way is to do something special for other's on your birthday.

So, I want to learn from this. What can I give to someone else on my birthday? To whom will I give a special gift?  If I truly am grateful for the gift of life, I will want to give something of my life to others, rather than expecting them to give something to me.

Maybe this is why we give gifts at Christmas.
Because Jesus was born.
And His birth was the greatest gift that could ever be given.

On His birthday, He gave.

I am not sure if our Thai taxi driver knows anything about Jesus.
But he acts very much like him.
And I have so much to learn from them both.

Hertzler Doings~Dec. 22-28, 2014-Thailand/Va

Mon.-Our train arrived in BKK around 7. Took a taxi to the guest house and had breakfast there. Checked into our rooms. Lots of kids and parents around. There's a Christian school next door and some of the kids live here. We walked to the National Park and enjoyed our leisure walk around beautiful foliage, waterways, outdoor exercise equipment, many joggers, and monster lizards. We went to a very big international market. Things were less expensive there than anywhere else. I bought more scarves, ties, jewelry, etc. Susan found her Christmas gift there-a beautiful turquoisy green purse. She found ray band sunglasses and other fun things. Somehow we lost Phil and after three hours of looking for him, we came back to the guest house after leaving instructions on how to find his way back with the information center who was also announcing his name, etc. every five minutes. It's still a mystery how we didn't connect but I guess one needs a little mystery in life. Susan got a pedicure and manicure right up the street from our 'home' and then we went out to eat with Janelle and Micah one last time. Had chicken cashew and it may have been my favorite so far. Hit the sack by 9 after saying a fond farewell to Janelle and Micah.

Tues.-3:00 wake up call. On the way to airport in taxi by 3:30. I sat in front and soon he began to exclaim, "100 baht! to air! 100 baht! to air!" I thought we had a mad man on our hands. I said, "We'll pay you when we get there." Finally, after more yelling and misunderstanding, he pulled up to a toll booth and we said, "Ohhhh," and gave him 100 baht for tolls to take the road to the airport. Unfortunately, he took us to Dq airport instead of the BKK one and even as he was unloading our suitcases, we were asking others about the airport and some English speaking young people explained that we really wanted the BKK airport which was about 50 min. away. So, back we went into the taxi. The taxi driver spent endless minutes trying to slam down his trunk lid and finally, the lock stayed locked and we drove off. Soon we hit a speed bump and the trunk flipped open again. Bang! Slam! Bang! Over and over again. He must have attached it somehow because it was partially open. We saw signs for airport that started with an 'S' which made us a little nervous but feeling like the cab driver was a bit of a loose cannon we decided that no matter what, we'd get off at the next airport and take another taxi driver if needed to get to a different airport. Fortunately, it was the correct one and we had time to spare, having allowed 3 hours as the airport requested for international flights. We were on board by 6:45 and I had an aisle seat. Thank the Lord. We arrived in Tokyo 5 1/2 hours later. Were there for about an hour. Susan met Stephanie at one of these airports. They had gone to Girl's Camp together. I think Stephanie came up to her at the BKK airport and said,"Susan Hertzler?" Stephanie had been working in Bangkok for 7 months with a church there. We boarded a plane for Dulles. 13 hour flight. Watched several movies and slept a little. Phil read and slept and Susan dozed and watched movies. We waited at Dulles for at least 2 hours to get our commuter flight. I understood why people just lay on the floor. Slept the 31 min. on flight to Richmond. Phil drove home. Susan and I couldn't stay awake. We visited with Philip and Michael a little bit and were in bed before 10 and slept until 8:30 the next morning. Susan slept until 11. Phil was up at 2 in the morning and did some emailing and came back to bed. I gained 5 pounds in Thailand. All that rice, I guess. So, we left Thailand on Tuesday morning and got here Tuesday evening but from the time we woke up until the time we fell asleep in our own beds, it was 31 hours. Let that mess with your brain a little bit.

Wed.-Back in Va. I love my bed. Unpacked. Washed clothes. Visited with Alli, Freeman, and Nathan. Nathan hugged me and snuggled. No lie. He is getting himself around on the floor by rolling and pivoting. Susan went to the gym and dropped me off at the grocery store. I made 7 layer salad and a sweet potato casserole for tomorrow's lunch. Michael made pretzel candy with pretzels, chocolate wafers, and m&m's. He had worked hard at keeping the house clean while we were gone. I wrapped some gifts. Phil and I went to bed before 7. Not hungry all day.

Thurs.-Merry Christmas 2014!!! Woke up early. Started making 3 pounds of bacon in the oven. Warmed up 30 cinnamon rolls. Washed grapes. Orange juice rounded out our breakfast. Freeman's came for breakfast until lunch. We listened to the Messiah-Shepherds abiding in the Field-then sang 'There were shepherds abiding in the field' then Phil had Susan read the Christmas story from a scroll that Michael had written in calligraphy. Phil then gave it to me for my Christmas gift. He had commissioned Michael to make it. Phil had my name. So, then we started giving gifts. There were Thai ties, elephants, sunglasses, a purse, a bracelet, a frog, some jewelry, little purses, etc. given. After lunch we relaxed and listened to Phil's gift from Michael-a blues band-and watched a Columbo. Made homemade tomato soup and had bacon crackers for supper. A nice day. So good to be home.

Fri.-Slept until 8:30. 13 hours of sleep. Went over to Alli and played with Nathan while she got ready to go to Pa. I just walked in the house without knocking because Burl Ives was singing Christmas songs and as soon as N saw me he started yelling. Alli said, "It's okay, buddy." And I flapped my wings over to him and picked him up and danced with him over to surprise his mommy in the kitchen. Came home and did wash, dusted, vacuumed, washed floors, emptied bags, organized travel purses and supplies, washed a bunch of cloth bags, etc. Jordan, Erik and April were over for the evening for Philip's bacon burgers. Phil got something in his eye.

Sat.-Slept very little. Went to see Dr. Forand. She says I have parasites. I have just taken three days of wormer. So now I am taking some other things we have on hand. Washed Phil's silk shirts and hung them up to dry and ironed them. Took the card table out in the sun and worked on catching up with my blog.  Phil and Philip shot a buck and Philip also got a turkey. Susan to gym in the eve. I made some cinnamon popcorn and Susan and I both had ramen noodles and watched Columbo with Phil. I am dragging and am some place between here and there.

Sun.-Susan to UVA with Coach Stephanie and family for the day. Went to church and feel so out of things. Jet lag and culture shock. But it's good to be with our family of believers. Michael and Philip are making pizzas and Tommy T. is over and Hannah and Ginny Corbin and Samantha Y. are here too, playing games and eating. Phil is reading a Ravi Z. book for the second time this week and taking a highlighter to it. Phil needs to be teaching college somewhere. Ricky Benson came over later bringing milk and Michael made several batches of eggnog. I played some Apples to Apples with them. After the girls went home the guys went over to the man cave to hang out for awhile. Freeman and Alli and Nathan just got back from Pa. The attended the Hertzler, Diffenbach, and Mast Family get togethers. Susan's on her way home from meeting and greeting the basketball teams at UVA. I see her car lights now.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Carrot Cake Recipe from 'Simply Wonderful' complete with my little tweaks~

Especially for Elizabeth.

Carrot Cake-recipe entrusted to cookbook by Suzanne (Mrs. John) Smucker~

First off tweaks.

I usually add another half to this recipe to make a three layer cake.
Get your cream cheese and butter out awhile to soften.
When you pour the juice off the pineapple, strain it into a kettle.
Simmer 3/4 cup raisins in the juice for about 5 min. and then pour that over the shredded carrots and let them sit until ready to use. Then strain everything again. The raisins are not part of this original recipe.
I also toast the chopped nuts before adding them. Set oven for about 250 and toast 1/2 cut chopped walnuts or pecans for about 10 min. Bring out and allow to cool. This cake takes awhile to make.
Also, if the truth must be told, I double the icing.
This works out perfectly for a cake that's had another half added to it.
I also use a mixture of regular, coconut, raw, and brown sugar to fill the sugar quota. It gives a nice full flavor to it.

My apologies to Suzanne for all of the changes but don't take it personally;
I hardly ever follow a recipe.

Okay, I think we're ready for the original untweaked recipe.

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup oil
4 eggs, well beaten
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon (Oh, I also add a little ground cloves and nutmeg. Just a little.)
2 cups finely grated carrots (Sometimes I cheat and buy shredded carrots at the store but they're really too thick.)
1 cup crushed pineapple after being drained.
1/2 cup chopped nuts
(I also add 3/4 chopped golden raisins but any raisins or dates will do.)

Beat sugar and oil together. Add eggs; beat until fluffy.
Add next 5 dry ingredients. Blend into creamed mixture.
Fold in carrots, pineapple and nuts. (raisins)

Pour into two 9" round pans. Bake at 350 for 25-30 min. or bake in a 9"x13" pan for 40-45 minutes.
Top with cream cheese frosting when cool.

She did not include a recipe for the frosting but I bummed one off another recipe.

1/2 cup butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Beat until very fluffy. I like to add about 1/4 tsp. cinnamon to the frosting.
And remember, I double the above recipe.

Have fun and make sure to bake it long enough.
This cake gets better with age.

Hertzler Doings~Dec. 15-21, 2014~Thailand

Mon,-The Lady Next Door-entrepreneur of many trades-took us to the Kahom Sam Roi Yet National Park in Hua Hin. First we walked around a mangrove forest on a rickety elevated nature trail. We saw monkeys. One of the mothers held her orange baby and watched us through soulful eyes. We then drove to another place and hiked twice to get to the most beautiful cave in the world.  It was a strenuous climb and descent of several miles but it was worth the effort. Pharay Anak Hon is the name of the cave. When we got back down the second mountain we drank a coke and a bottle of water and sat gratefully under the shade of a restaurant at the bottom. Then we hiked up and down the easier mountain. We thought it was a difficult mountain when we first hiked it but once we hiked the second mountain, the first mountain seemed almost easy. All a matter of perspective. We had lunch at a restaurant next to the bay and drank more coke and water and had a meal for 220 baht for the three of us which was $7.00 total. We bought some stone elephants at the shops there and met our Lady Next Door. When we got back to the retreat center, I went to the ocean with Janelle and Micah for awhile and then met Susan at the pool. We had a lovely supper of pizza and French fries and salad and sat with a couple who teach Bible School in Bangledesh. They told us that Bangla is one of the 7 most spoken languages of the world. Susan and I had another massage and I took an aleve and arnica afterwards because I think I'll be black and blue by tomorrow. (I was.) Packing up tonight for tomorrow's busy day.

Tues.-Slept 8 hours straight. Got up and went out to the beach in the dark around 5:45 and watched the sun rise. Took many pictures and gathered a handful of shells. Susan came out with her camera and went exploring and found a sand dollar. Then Micah and Janelle came out. Our taxi driver arrived at 7 instead of at 10 but he had driven there the night before from Bangkok to bring someone else to the area so he slept in the car. We paid for our stay at the retreat and packed up and left by 10. We went to the floating markets. The price was high and we decided not to go but they kept coming down in their price and finally we decided to go and it was pretty great. Susan bought some fruit including durian fruit and it tasted like nasty onion pudding. Now she can cross that off her bucket list. I can too, although it never was on mine. We bought some lunch from a floating boat that had a grill right on it. Chicken on a stick. At the coconut sugar plant I bought some patties of coconut sugar. We ate them like candy even though they were to be used in baking to sweeten a larger recipe. Tasted like maple sugar. Came back to Bangkok and the Guest House. Janelle picked up her bag and we added gifts to the bag they were holding for us there. The taxi driver took us to the train station. We had a 3 hour wait and used that time to buy some supper on the street, snacks and pastries for when we woke up in the train tomorrow morning, take a shower for 50 baht and purchase a hand towel to dry with and a little bar of soap, buy some tiger balm for $3 instead of the $10 it would be around here, eat mango ice cream and mint ice cream, eat Susan's chocolate filled chocolate donuts she bought for us, and feel queasy from the bad chicken we had bought outside. Janelle sat in the men's area while Micah showered which got kind of long and she regretted telling him to use up the whole bar of soap. We saw backpackers from different countries and once when I thought I was in someone's way and moved, he said in an Australian accent, "No worries." Got on the train around 8 and headed to Ubon Ratchechani, sleeping through the night.

Wed.-MED Joy and Pi Bae met us at the train station and took us to breakfast.  Hurray for chicken cashew and rice and iced coffee for breakfast at the market. Then we went to the church to meet Pastor Joi and other friends and believers. We were still in a comfortable sleeping clothes. Pastor Joi and Phil had an emotional meeting. Johnny had poured his life into this man and you can feel Johnny when you are with him. They all were so happy to see Janelle and Micah again and tried to pick him up like they did when he was a baby. We went around the circle and shared and when Phil shared, he wept, and most of us joined him. We sat on that hard linoleum floor, praying, singing, sharing, weeping. I felt that profound sadness that someone had said I would feel. I felt it on the train earlier while we were coming into Ubon Ratchichani. (I don't think I am spelling the names of the towns quite right. Will have to check with Janelle when she comes back.) Then we went to the MED office. It was the same house where Johnny, Janelle, and Micah had lived when they were there. Joy, Janelle, and Micah, went out to the back woods area to see some trees that Johnny had planted and Micah stepped on a bamboo shoot coming up from the ground and cut his foot. Joy bandaged him up. A few days later, a piece came out.
We then went to Wed. market. We were stared at. People from villages would come out to this market to buy all that they needed to live. Phil bought some red silk to get some shirts made. The market was so crowded and people were riding motorcycles everywhere. Then we were brought back to the guest house where we would spend the next couple days while we were in Det Udom. There was an outdoor lobby between Janelle's room and ours and we sat around the table sometimes to read, eat, and talk.
Walked to the market down the street. Micah picked out a frog in a container and they split it and roasted it for him. We ate a restaurant where we cooked our meat over a hot grill and added vegetables to the broth simmering around it. Joy picked us up and took us to her sister's where Phil was measure for the silk shirts. They live in a beautiful village Joy's husband build their home. He is a carpenter. She lives next to her sister. Joy's husband cut open coconuts and poured out the juice for us to drink. We ate the soft insides as well. They sent one back for Susan. She reminds them of the main character in the Hunger Games movie because she showed them a picture of the deer she shot. Later, when we got back, Janelle and I walked around the block in the dark and bought water, soap, and popsicles. Went to bed before 7:30. 

Thurs.-Slept until 6 in the morning. Put our laundry on the porch in bags to be sent out. Walked to breakfast with Janelle, Micah, and Susan. Had chicken cashew and rice. Joy picked us and we went to different villages and had two huge meals one right after the other. Pastor Joi and others were along and after the visits we went to a beautiful water falls. Another climb. Down, then up this time. Went to Pastor Joi's in the evening for a beautiful supper. I showed them how to put peanut sauce on apple slices which made them shudder but some of them were game and tried it and kind of liked it. I joked about dipping mint leaves into the peanut sauce and they nodded and said that was exactly what to do. It was really good. What a lovely home and lovely people. So much generosity and grace. One thing I remember here too is that they very carefully sliced their bananas into bite sized pieces instead of chumping right into them like I had done. Also, Pastor Joi showed us his rubber trees with a flash light. You get rubber from a tree just like you get sap from a maple tree for syrup.

Fri.-Woke up to tortured cat sounds. Went to the market by myself. On the way, Thai businessmen who were also staying there, invited me to sit down for coffee. They had complimentary coffee outside every morning right inside the guest house entrance. They wanted to know where I was from. I asked if they were teachers and they were. 'Good luck to you,' said the handsome one. And 'See you later, my love,' as I walked away. The locals seem startled by blonde haired blue eyed women. I bought bananas and applepear fruit and some waffles at the market. I filmed a lady dancing. Everyone smiles and is friendly and wants to try out their English. Susan made a point of always telling anyone who spoke in English that they spoke very good English. It seemed the ultimate compliment. They laugh when I speak -'sahwadikuh'-hello and goodbye, I think, with hands folded together and a little bow. They seem to laugh with you rather than laugh at you but I do think that man was laughing at me when I couldn't find 7 baht to pay for toothpaste. '7 baht' he said to the man next to him, shaking his head, and laughing. At one stand there were turtles in a container and bags with broken up turtle in them. I feel I have nothing to give these gracious people and everything to learn from them. Everywhere is simplicity and beauty. I want to say, 'Kop Koon Kah' -Thank you, thank you, over and over to everyone I meet.
Joy picked us up around 9 and we headed to Buntarick and they pulled off the road at the place where Johnny died. This was so hard. When we got to Palanchai we met with the believers in the village at the pavilion where I had gone with Janelle those 9 years ago where I met Mr. Som Pom-the man who had killed Johnny. We had drunk communion juice in shot glasses from WW11. Red Swastikas were etched on the bottom. This day, we shared, prayed, and danced. Afterwards, we drove up to the Laos border and had lunch at a nice restaurant and then went shopping at the market nearby. We bought a beautiful table cloth for Anne, some candy for Christmas, sweatpants for Susan, and jello candy like the kind Uncle Johnny would bring back. We stopped at a roadside broom and basket shop and some of our friends bought new brooms there. We stopped again where Johnny died and Phil got out and stood there for a brief moment and then shook his head like 'I can't yet believe it,' and got back in. Profound sadness. Later, we dropped off Pastor Joi, thinking it would be the last we would see him. Phil told him through Janelle that it was here that he had lost a brother and it was here that he had found his brother in him.
Back at the hotel we had some free time and we walked to the steak house and got some fries. Joy picked us up later and she and Bae hosted us at the MED office and we sat on the floor and had 'take out' from the same restaurant where we roasted the meat and simmered the vegetables over little coal grills. I had octopus for the first time. Micah is quite skilled in handling chopsticks and coached Phil on how to do it and Phil got pretty good at it too. Susan was already pretty good at it. I stopped trying. The restaurant would come back later and clean everything up. Joy said that she is not a good cook. That's why she ordered take-out.
I brought such casual clothes along-clothes I could leave behind to make room for purchases. The Thai ladies dress up much more elegantly than we do. They also take several showers a day. Being neat and clean is very important to them.

Sat.-Free morning. Got more dollars exchanged. Went to breakfast with Susan to the restaurant and she ordered chicken cashew with rice, having repeatedly saying the words Janelle had given to her, and the people knew exactly what she wanted! Several generations run the restaurant and the grandfather tried to get his little granddaughter to come to me but she wanted nothing to do with that idea. On our walk, I took some photos of children and then I would show it to them and they would laugh. Everyone smiles and laughs. We did some shopping and found some scarves and when we came back and showed them to Janelle, we went back out with her again. Phil read and Micah relaxed in his room. For lunch we all got chicken or pork with rice. We ordered iced drinks in large bags. The coffee was so strong my head was buzzing. The pink drink tasted like cotton candy. Later, Susan and I went to the Lotus Store which is like a large Walmart. We bought more things and she put a box together at the PO to send to her brother and family in Alberta. We took the tuk-tuk to the PO and then another tuktuk from the PO to the hotel. A tuk-tuk is a motorcycle with a carriage attached so you can sit on benches facing each other and ride in the open air. It's a quicker way to get to where you want to go than walking several miles. It was after that we had our lunch that I wrote about above. Then we did more shopping. Joy picked us up and took us to Pi Baes for supper. She had a kettle of lots of little frogs simmering. We sat on the floor with their family and friends and had rice, sticky rice, frogs, chicken dishes, and sweet rice and corn wrapped in large green leaves. Before supper we watched Bae's sister and Joy plant mushroom spores on piles of tapioca scrapes. They fertilized it and placed hoops and plastic over it all and covered it with straw. Mushrooms will be growing in there by the time we get home to Va. That night, there was a beautiful sunset that I could see through the open shutters as we sat eating those little frogs. Bae's nephew and wife and daughter and son came over. Their son is about 8 years old. About a year ago he had an accident with a rope or a vine and it got wrapped around his neck and he was unconscious for 18 days. Before the accident he could speak with eloquence. Now he has trouble walking but he first crawled and now he is walking but needs help. He kept coming to Phil, Susan, and I. He especially liked Phil's black and white shirt with pictures from Paris on it. We left it with Joy when we left the area for her to give it to the little boy. The little guy's eyes look bright and normal. His mother reads to him. It has been such a hard thing for the family. Phil prayed for the father and it was good. They sent rice home with us and  large bunches of green bananas. Some time today, Susan bought watermelon at a stand and two red pointy fruits because the lady didn't feel like selling her just one. It tasted awful. Joy said that Bae would be happy for the second one so we gave it to her. Janelle brought white chocolate covered pretzels from Miller's Store with her from Va. and she gave these out to the different host families when we visited. Susan is almost finished writing her 3,000 words. She will soon be able to say that she is officially graduated from her Sr. year. Writing was her last class to finish.

Sun.-I walked out to the street and got some chicken, watermelon, and pineapple and brought it back for breakfast. We packed up, leaving some clothes there for Joy to do with as she wants, checked out of the office-2,400 baht for several nights and two times of laundry-no security around money box. Honor system abounds here. Joy came and got us around 9:15 and we stopped at a roadside stand where she got halves of chicken grilled on a stick and some poppy seed crackers and we went to the aid's village for church. Johnny would go to them and we met some of the people who went with him and some he cared for. We had another time of sharing, praying, encouraging through the Word-1 Pet. 4:1-4. Joy encouraged them to persevered through the hard times. We had a meal with them. Their daughter made us rice sushi. Their other daughter runs a business called Stephanie's where she sells sushi. They wanted us to have all the sushi because they were used to it. One of the little boys-about two-took a special liking to Susan, and tried to talk her into taking him on a motorcycle ride. We brought one of the believers back to her home and it is there where Micah and Susan can say that they had the experience of riding a real water buffalo. Joy continued driving us towards the train station. We drove around the university where Johnny taught physics and Janelle taught ESL. Then we went to the hospital where Micah was born. Emergency C-section. Born blue. Then we went out to eat in Ubon Ratchichani and had three different dishes over rice. Also, got ice cream at the train station. Pastor Joi and others met us there to pray for us and help us get our luggage on the train. Another sweet farewell and an awareness that we will for sure see each other in heaven with no language barrier but hopefully, we will get to go back and see them again, after we learn more of their language and Joy learns more English. Susan and I changed into more comfortable clothing in the bathrooms at the station-have I mentioned squatty potties at all? We bought Pringles and other snacks. The train left at 6:30 and our beds were made by 6:45. I slept well during the night in the bottom bunk.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Hertzler Doings~Dec. 9-15, 2014-Thailand Highlights~

Mon.-(written 2 1/2 weeks later from scanty notes)-Busily getting ready to fly to Thailand. Packing, cleaning, cooking, saying good-bye to family and friends. Took a quick trip with Phil to look for a money belt. Found a suitcase to replace the one I had packed. Just discovered its wheel was broken. Phil found a ten dollar amp that works great, hidden on the bottom shelf. Freeman brought Nathan over one more time. I think N said 'I love you,' back when I squeezed him. Susan's back is a little better. She went out to Farmville and visited Dr. Travis and her team. She bought a back brace and it helps a little. Rosalee called in the evening to tell me that our Aunt Esther-the only remaining sibling on my dad's side-passed away last evening. I will miss her funeral but I know she understands. What a wonderful lady. She always made me feel like a million bucks.

Tues.-Picked up Janelle and Micah shortly after 5:30 this morning. Got to Richmond airport around 7:30. Change of plans. Flight overbooked. Phil had already asked for an upgrade for Susan because of her back so we were first when they asked if we wanted to change our plans. Upgraded us to Economy Business and instead of flying to Dulles and then to Tokyo, we flew to Chicago and then to Tokyo. Trip from Chicago to Tokyo lasted 11 hours and 35 min. Flew from Tokyo to Bangkok-6 hours endurance flight. I sat next to a young graphic designer and Susan sat next to a young backpacking geologist and Phil sat next to an educator who teaches the gifted.  She recommended that we check out 'Hoagie'-a website that gives ideas for working with gifted children. Took a taxi van to the Bangkok Christian guest house . So relieved to stretch out and lie down. Slept from 2 in the morning until nearly 11 the next morning. Note from Janelle under the door, "I'm awake if you want to knock." She had fallen back to sleep by the time I got to knocking. The lights, air conditioning, etc. all turn on when the key is put into the slot beside the door. We have three single hard beds. Linoleum floor is everywhere. I never saw carpet in Thailand. The room is plenty big. Had breakfast on the back street around 12:30. Rice with eggs, veggies and fried chicken. Took subway to buy train tickets for when we ride overnight to BKK.  Went shopping. Found Nathan's wooden frog and Freeman's elephant. T-shirts for Freeman and Philip. Carved soaps for gifts. Rested. Had supper somewhere. Went to night market. Bought scarves and other things. Susan found out that her basketball team won without her and she was so happy and enjoyed her guilt-free trip. Lady Lions are still unbeatable.

Okay-now my notes jump to Friday-Thailand time which would have been Thursday back here so my Tuesday is actually Tues/Wed./Thurs. somehow.

Friday-Breakfast of boiled egg, noodle dish, rice soup, toast, jam, yogurt, granola, coffee, and juice, all right at the BKK Christian Guest House. Bought gifts at the gift shop right there. The three of us ordered watermelon pineapple smoothies from a vendor on the street. We left the guest house around 11.
Our cab driver volunteered to take us the whole way to our next destination instead of just taking us to the bus station. It worked our really well. Janelle's Thai language skills are still sharp. It's 90 degrees and very humid. 3 1/2 hours of driving. We are staying at another Christian Retreat Center run by Gasper and Jill. He is the treasurer of Samaritan's Purse or he was the treasurer. I am not sure which. Lovely people. Had a supper of American mac and cheese, salad, banana bread pudding with whipped cream. Before supper we walked on the beach and collected shells. We have the corner room and the screens on the windows welcome in the breezes from one side to another. We can hear the crashing waves. Susan has a bed on the floor and Phil and I have a queen size bed. Swam in the beautiful pool after supper. Raced Micah twice from one end of the pool to the other and I beat him both times. Our laundry is done here for free. We bring it down between 8-9 in the morning and pick it up at 5.

Sat.-Awake throughout the night. Beds are hard. Good breakfast. (yogurt, cereal, toast, eggs, watermelon, pineapple, papaya, small bananas, and cantaloupe. Three kinds of jams. Some wonderful fruit is always in season in Thailand. Then walked on the beach, taking pictures, collecting shells. Beautiful sunrise of grays and blues with mountainous island reflecting on the sand. All 5 of us got Thai massages. 300 baht an hour. About ten bucks. The sweet ladies came to our room.
Had chicken cashew with rice for lunch. The folks next door run a taxi service, rent out vehicles, paint nails, arrange massages, etc. The lady first took us for a short ride where she met her husband and he took us the rest of the way to Hua Hin to the elephant rescue center. We all rode elephants. I rode one by myself and Janelle looked back and quipped, "You look like the queen of Sheba." I felt like the Queen of Sheba. After our ride, we watched a young elephant perform all kinds of trickes. He danced, played soccer and basketball, played a harmonica, gave us hugs, took hats on and off us, and collected money from us by passing a basket. I even gave him a coin and he gently took it with his snout and put it in the basket.
That night we went to an incredible Night Market where local artisans were selling their crafts. We got an H stamp with wax for Michael. The girl's boyfriend had made the stamp and she made the wax candles. We ate supper outside in the food court using coupons while the stands were being set up. Phil found two brass elephants for Philip from an antique dealer there. There were other stands. Pottery, leather working, glass blowing, beautiful clothing, scarves, jewelry, etc. I went out alone to the pool for 15 min. that night just to rest my legs in the water. Feeling the hard beds and rough rides in my neck and back.

Sun.-The taxi driver man took us to church in Hua Hin. The pastor's wife was Janelle's language teacher when she lived there. She was so happy and surprised to see Janelle. She had never received J's email. The last time they were at their church was the last time they ever saw Johnny. It was a wonderful church service. Janelle sat behind us and interpreted. We joined their Thai singing Christmas carols with our English. I recorded several songs on my camera. When they prayed, they all prayed outloud and it sounded like a storm of heaven. After church, we walked to a local eatery and had pork and rice and then walked back to church. The pastor's wife took us back to Mercy House Orphanage and said that someone would send the taxi driver over there to meet us. What a love filled Children's Home. They even have a face book page. Which reminds me to befriend them. We saw where they make and sell crafts. We saw the girl's room with quite a few bunk beds in one room and all of their shoes down at the bottom of the stairs. We never wore our shoes into the house in Thailand. When our taxi driver got there, the children all came out to say good bye to us. They waved and shouted. We had picked out a few things to buy in the gift shop but they refused payment and gave us the gifts. I had inquired about a beautiful drawing of Jesus and later met the boy who drew it. He is an amazing artist and he has no hands. He paints and draws using the strength of both wrists put together holding his instrument. He was so cheerful. I found out later that the cab driver was so moved by the children ( he has several of his own) that he decided to bring a meal to them on his birthday. Thai's do things for others on their birthdays.
We came back to the retreat center and while Susan and Phil read in the room, I went out into the ocean. It was warm and the waves weren't too rough. I was by myself until Micah and Janelle joined me about a half hour later. Later, I watched a little local Thai boy turning cartwheels in the surf. Then he'd stoop down and drink handful after handful of ocean water. Phil and Susan came out on the beach for a little while. Later I went back and got a shower and then went in to the pool. Then I took pictures of this beautiful property. I want to make sets of beautiful photo cards from Thailand. Other missionaries are here with their families to rest. One large family stayed here two nights I think. They are missionaries in Africa and were on their way home to New Zealand for Christmas and this was their halfway point. I met some sweet young mothers-Ava and Anna. They are serving in the mission field with their husbands and small children with no other family around them for support.
After we all got cleaned up, we walked down the street to a local restaurant. I ordered chicken cashew. Susan had sweet and sour prawns, shrimp, and squid. Phil had asparagus and shrimp over rice. Micah had 3 crabs with rice. Janelle had a similar dish to Susan's. Susan went back to rest her back and Phil and I had a dessert of banana fritter with vanilla ice cream while we waited for Micah to finish his crabs but eventually, we left them to go back home. They came back shortly afterwards.
Janelle downloaded some of the pictures from my camera on her computer for her book. For some reason, the pictures are flat, making us look fat and wide. (Found out it's the vertical pictures adjusting to the size of the computer screen.)
Crickets chirping.
Waves pounding.
Fan blowing.
Pages turning.

Guys back home are making breakfast and we're trying to stay awake to go to bed just a little later so we can sleep just a little better.

(Thailand trip to be continued into next weeks Hertzler Doings.)

Thailand Through My Lens

I took many photos these past weeks of the beautiful foliage and people of Thailand.
Many times, when I stood still, focusing my lens on the lovely flowers or smiling children,
a local person would come up behind me and look to see what I was seeing.
I saw 'beautiful' where they saw 'ordinary.'

I have a friend who does that.
She looks at people and sees the lovely,
and the rest of us, who saw only 'ordinary' before,
look through her lens and see beauty also.

I am so thankful for the eyes of God in her.

The hardest part of our trip was when our hosts pulled off to the side of the road
at an obscure place in an obscure town
and Phil got out and stood on the ground
near where the place his brother John died.
Near where the place his blood was spilt.

And I thought that this is what we do when we love God.
We stand near the place where His Son died.
Near where the place His blood was spilt.
Near the cross.
Jesus keep me there.

We visited several villages while we were in Thailand.
We met with the believers there.
We sat on the floor cross-legged and stiff
and heard about their memories of John and what he did for them.
We heard their testimonies and prayed for their struggles.

One old man from the village asked for prayer.
He said, "I do not yet believe in God, but I want to."

I wanted to crawl over next to him
and say, "Me too. Pray for me.
I do not yet believe in God, but I want to."

One day we climbed up and down mountains for several miles
to see a cave. Its' beauty was breath-taking.
Several times during the climb I thought my lungs would burst.
My knees are still screaming protest to the strain I put on them.

On the way down, we came upon other weary climbers.
We said to them, 'You're almost there!'
'Really?', they panted hopefully.
'Yes, and it is worth the climb.
Don't give up. It's so beautiful.'
'Thank you,' they gasped.

I wanted to weep.
Because this is life, you know.

Many a weary pilgrim would have continued on their journey
towards God if only someone had said to them,
'You're almost there. It's going to be worth it.
Keep on going. Finish well.'

The journey is hard but we're almost home.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hertzler Doings~Dec. 1-7, 2014

Mon.-Busy day in Fville. Met DDF at Uptown Café for coffee and cranberry/orange scone. Always so great to be with her. Went to the bank and the hair stylist to get some hair oil, went to the new thrift there on the right-Carousel's-nice place. Went to B and M and bought 3 packs of pansies to plant so they look pretty in the snow. Went to Food Lion, Judy's, and Walmart. Came home. Unpacked. Went to Dr. F. Came home. Made two chickens. Watched a Columbo with Susan and Phil. Guys worked on firewood most of the day. It was a warm flip flop day. Tomorrow it's supposed to sleet.

Tues.-cold rainy day. Had Nathan for a little while. Made lots of food for the next couple days. Planted over a dozen pansies to decorate the snow when it comes.

Wed.-Guys are still working around here cleaning up, building garage cabinets, etc. Nathan came for a little while and took a short nap on a gator ride. I wrapped him up in his great grandpa Streams camouflage pant blanket that I knotted for him. He had on a fluorescent orange jacket and he matched the blanket. I took a picture of him and he looked like he had red hair. I packed up some things today, gave some things away, moved some things to old house, and reorganized some disorganization and told myself I'll work on it another day. Janelle and Micah stopped in to pick up some things and we had a nice visit. Susan worked out at the gym. Phi working on getting a job permit for the L's. Phil and Philip set traps. Michael was out with a friend most of the day. He is enjoying his calligraphy tools and paper. He wrote a thank you note to some one in calligraphy and sealed the envelope with red wax and an 'M' emblem. Hoping to get to bed early tonight.

Thurs.-Lunch with Dianna at Miller's. Regular New Life reunion out there. Learned later that up until 11 months old baby's think you cease to exist when your face is hidden. Good catch up talk with J and am enjoying my crème colored blankie. Went to Goodwill and got a few books and then to Walmart, then to Susan's game. All but Michael were there to cheer Susan on. He had a night flight. Nathan came with Alli and met Freeman there. Nathan loved the game and it egged Susan on to know he was watching her. Phil bought me a supper of burger and fries there. Susan hurt her back during the game and had a rough evening. Slept with phone by my bed so she could call me from her room if she needed help getting up.

Fri.-Took Susan to Dr. Travis and he took her in immediately and worked on her a long time. No need for xrays since this was a muscle/tissue injury. Said she strained/sprained the long muscles of her back and across the bottom of her back. Basically whiplash. They were so kind. Loaned us a back brace. Susan used ice and heat all day plus took a Tylenol and IBprofen together every three hours. Watched lots of Monk. She is still very stiff and sore but it is a relief to know that nothing is broken or blown. Dr. T. said a sprain hurts more than a break and it is more difficult to recover from this whiplash injury than a broken bone. I did some basic chores around the house and outside and watched some Monk with Susan. Guys went to PAlvin and Charity's Chi Alpha farewell party. Felt so thankful all day for hope and for kindness. So many people were good to us today and went out of their way to help us.

Sat.-Did a lot of odds and ends today. Went to Dr. F and took Susan to Dennis. What a great help he is. Susan also went to the Longwood game with friends for Molly's birthday. I hung out at Judy's until the game was over. Guys went hunting. Michael's making breakfast-cooking now-for church tomorrow. Phil was busy with many things. Rainy day.

Sun.-Michael made two big pans of breakfast casserole for the final Encounter Journey class at church. Delicious and a little bit more than enough. Jenny preached on 'The Peace of God.' So good. Full of scripture just as are Pastor Bill's sermons. Came home with Freeman and Alli to their place and then they brought Nathan and I back to our place and we had fun with him while his parents went to 'Cinderella' production in Farmville. We had a little family meeting after they got back and discussed some future plans. Nathan and I got into the swing of things. I flip him and he likes to be flipped. I started counting, "One...Two..." and before I hit three and sometimes two he would arch his little back and start flipping over. He didn't want to stop. Then he threw up a little and I felt a little bad but couldn't stop laughing. Nervous laughter, probably. Philip and M shot guns for awhile and then Philip, Michael, and M, went to Marv F. for a formal dinner. Susan, Phil, and I, spent the evening getting ready for some adventures coming up.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hertzler Doings~Nov. 24-30 2014

Mon.-Heading to the dentist early this morning. A #2 extraction. Should be sleeping it off the rest of the day. Susan has an away game this eve. (Her team won-) Michael got 91 on his aviation test.

Tues.-Still drowsy.

Wed.-Making food, etc. for tomorrow. Kristy U. and husband Austin stopped in for a visit. Guys were working around here. Wintry mix.

Thurs.-Happy Thanksgiving. Susan wrapped the turkey in bacon and her special rub yesterday and I put it in the oven around 7. Alli and Freeman and Nathan went to her family for lunch and then came here for the evening. Around 5 we went over to Grace Chapel and visited with the Masts who came to the area. What a nice family. Phil's mother's brother was here, Uncle Ollie, and his wife, Barbie. We saw lots of the family and it is always nice to spend time with them. So, just for the record, I want to write down what we had for lunch. Susan's bacon turkey, sliced ham, Michael's oyster filling, our sweet corn, glazed carrots, macaroni and cheese, gourmet potatoes, sweet potato casserole, chunky homemade applesauce, seven layer salad, and cranberry. For the evening of desserts we had pumpkin ice cream dessert with gingersnap crust, bts cake, apple/bluberry/raspberry pie, apple cake, Cool Whip, hot fudge sundae cake, and vanilla ice cream. Oh, and peanut butter fudge. We went around and shared the things we are thankful for.  It's been a wonderful day.

Fri.-Both Philip and Freeman shot a buck this morning. Had fun with Nathan. Fed him applesauce and sweet potatoes. He's a very neat eater. And he croons happily while he eats. We ate leftovers all day, including for breakfast. I organized the kitchen a little. Put vitamins in my helmer drawers. Philip put it together for me Thanksgiving morning. He was a little frustrated because the manual had no words-only pictures. Ikea. It was half as tall, deep, and wide, than I had anticipated. But it works. Half as much as I expected, but it works. I made 30 cinnamon rolls for Christmas. Froze them. Michael gave Phil an early Christmas present and they are listening to a DVD of a music band. Philip, Susan, and friend, are over in the mancave watching Shrek. I'm thinking about going to bed really early tonight. Food coma again.

Sat.-Busy day organizing vitamins and clutter areas in the kitchen. Worked in our bedroom a little and vacuumed and washed floors in the house. Also almost finished Nathan's comforter made from his Great granddaddy Stream's camouflage pants. Once I got started, I couldn't stop. But to make my day complete, Nathan came over for awhile so Mommy could shop in crazy busy Farmville. His daddy and uncles and grandpa came in for lunch. He had a grand time. He really needed a nap so I laid down on my bed since I needed one too, and tucked him by my side and every time I opened my eyes, he was looking back up at me. He is so precious. Philip shot a doe.  Phil lost his phone in the woods. The boys made jerky and made a movie out of it and posted it on face book. Susan went to see Heidi for a much needed deep muscle massage, spent some time with a friend and worked out at the gym, did some wash, made some food, and did some chores around here. Listening to my mother's CD of Handel as we go to sleep.

Sun.-Great sermon by Pastor Alvin on the sword of the Spirit. Phil counts money after church so I get to socialize. Held Max for awhile during church. He and Nathan are a month apart and someday, they may be playmates. Stopped at Wendy's for a burger on the way home. Philip, M, Michael, and Susan were eating pizza and watching Shrek 2. Helped Phil look for his phone at HV for a little while. Too rough and tough and left him to do it on his own. Didn't find it. Finished Nathan's camouflage comforter. Made some T. plans with Susan. Watched Ocean's Eleven. Hit the sack at 9:30.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hertzler Doings~Nov. 17-23, 2014

Mon.-Busy day of studying, washing, snuggling with Nathan at his house, making applesauce, apple fritters, fries, completing half an exercise DVD-, and heading to Susan's first game with Phil. Michael and Philip are going also. It's been a cold rainy day. Guys have been doing odd jobs. Philip wet to the core from putting up a window from the outside in for our bedroom. Will post later about the results of the game! They won! 34-20.

Tues.-Busy day. Philip put up the living room window. So cold outside. I took a walk but cut it short because I hadn't dressed warmly enough. Put up Christmas decorations. Kept it simple with a white light 3 foot Christmas tree with a Jordanian manger scene underneath and under that the pitcher and basin filled with white lights and greens, grapes, berries, etc. Then on our kitchen table, I put a white candle with cover and clear and red grapes around it at the base. So pretty and so easy. Made another apple dessert-apple dumpling cake. Oh my. Also made a cheesy potato broccoli soup for supper. Worked on tidying up the house a little and spent an hour in my bedroom. It's the last room to get touched unfortunately. Caught up with Lindsay on the phone and that made cleaning so much easier. Watched another Columbo with Susan. Phil at a meeting. Michael at Chi Alpha. Philip worked on his house. It's my mother in law's birthday today. We tried to call her several times to sing happy birthday but there was no answer. Maybe Dad took her away for the day or overnight. He'd do something special like that for her.

Wed.-Visited Nathan a little bit today. He's fighting a cold. He watched his mommy's every move as she ate and swept the floor. She is his first love and it is so precious to see. Guys are putting up windows and things are being moved around. Oh! I remember now. Phil and I left around 7 and went to Richmond to the antique store and picked up the door knobs for Happy Valley. Then he surprised me with breakfast at a diner. It was so nice. THEN, I went to see Nathan. I also washed our glassware that is on the shelves in the kitchen. Was too busy to go to church.

Thurs.-Went out to town and ran to at least 10 places. Visited S. and met her grandmamma. Visited Judy and held Logan and met some of her other relatives. Got groceries, sent my glasses back to Zenni, looked for curtains at dollar store, picked up Janelle and Micah at Longwood Library and headed back home with a pizza. Stuff is everywhere with the shelving down and windows being put in and the trim being painted. I panicked a little because women are coming here Sat. night for a party and I'm not sure if I can pull it all together. Plus, made an apt. to get my tooth extracted on Monday and Thanksgiving is Thursday. Well, I should just breathe. Tonight, I am making 4 more things ahead of time for the Thanksgiving meal. Michael is going to make oyster filling and Susan is going to cover the turkey with woven bacon. Phil is painting windowsills. Susan got a new toilet in her bathroom and tomorrow I'll get new fixtures for the kitchen sink. Everything is a mess but it will be worth it all.

Fri.-Happy Birthday Benjamin Philip. Or was your birthday yesterday? Busy day cleaning up outside-porches, bathroom, entryway, yard-and then putting things back into their place in the house after the windows were painted and dry and the blinds put up and the shelves put up. Now our bedroom needs major help. I can't throw away any notes, books, or letters. Thus, the clutter. Michael enjoyed his visit down the river. Philip is headed to BH. Susan went to an away game. Phil and I are settling down for a long winter's Columbo movie.

Sat.-Worked on cleaning the house and getting ready for tonight's party. Had a visit from Alli and Nathan early afternoon while Freeman was butchering his deer. Camo Girls N' Pearls had chili, s'mores and a bonfire in the eve. Such a good time with twenty other adventurous women.

Sun.-Another great sermon by Pastor Bill on the armor of God. Today's lesson was on the helmet of salvation. The battles we face are most often in our minds. The helmet is a renewed mind. Came home and Philip and Michael made bacon burgers and fries. I made mac and cheese earlier and it was warm and bubbly in the crockpot. M-Lynne was here. She sat with us in church. After lunch, the kids watched Hunger Games 1 in the mancave. Phil and I watched two Columbo's. It's been a relaxing day.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hertzler Doings~Oct. 10-16, 2014

Mon.-Sort of in a fog all day. Recovering from the weekend and Helen's chocolate cake and too much of it. Saw Dr. F. Did wash. Made chicken, cauliflower soup with cheddar cheese and bacon, took a walk to the river, made 6 quarts of applesauce, and I'm not sure what else. Had a nice catch up chat with Michael, then Philip. Also caught up a bit with Lindsay on fb. Oh! posted on fb my mother in law's experience. Scam artist called her pretending to be Freeman, asking for $4,000 to get him out of jail. There were seven shares and nearly 40 comments before I headed to bed. So glad this is getting out so people know about this scam. Susan went to the gym, butchered her deer, and went to basketball practice. Later, she, Phil, and I, watched a Columbo. I think it was this day that my book of photographic remembrances arrived from Naomi. I love it! I called her and we reminisced and made plans to do it again in 2016. Whoo Hoo!

Tues.-Leg day. Had Nathan while Alli got groceries. Took him for a walk down towards the river. Turned around at the second gate and soon he was asleep. The noisy first gate woke him up. Then I took him for a gator ride and he fell asleep again and woke up when we stopped. Alli stayed for lunch and we had a nice visit. Grandpa and Uncle Philip had a fun time with Nathan before they went off hunting at FF. Didn't see anything. Made 6 quarts of applesauce, mac and cheese dish for Susan's Thanksgiving request, sweet potato dish for Philip's, and two pies, one for now and one to freeze. So three things are in the freezer ready for Thanksgiving. What a carb load we're going to have. Michael wants gourmet potatoes. We'll have a big dinner at 1 and save the desserts to eat as an evening meal. Michael went to Chi Alpha after a day of flying and studying. Philip was going to go but was ready to sleep when it was time to leave. Susan went to the gym and basketball practice. We attempted a game of pick one but when I accidently dropped the dictionary on her crossword puzzle, dispersing her finely crafted words, it was just too much and we called it quits. Phil joined me later and we played two rounds. He won. DVD player won't expel my leg disc so we couldn't watch Columbo. Looks like I'll be doing leg day every day. Watch out world. Here comes my legs. (That was for you, Alethea.)

Wed.-Shopped in Richmond most of the day with Susan. TJMax, Ross, Plato's Closet, Whole Foods, and Trader Joes. Came home. Put things away. Went out to church for youth and to hear Luke preaching on Revival history. So good.

Thurs.-Took Nathan on a gator ride to get the mail. A little chilly so we bundled up and wrapped him in a blanket and he was asleep within a minute and he continued to sleep in my lap and then in Alli's and he had a great 1 1/2 hour nap. He smiled and smiled when he woke up and I think we may just have to get a nap like that more often for the dear little guy, especially when teething makes it too hard to go to sleep in a regular way. Made 7 pints of golden delicious applesauce for Nathan. Went to town to get my car. Need two new tires. Susan dropped me off on the way to basketball practice. Then I went to visit Judy and Logan fell asleep in my arms. He looks like Samuel, the little Indian boy I wanted to adopt when I was in Red Lake the year after high school. Sammy Jo gave me a blue bow and so I wore it and remembered it a few minutes before walking into Walmart. Watched a Columbo with Susan, Philip, and Phil, and went to bed in a decent hour. What a great day.
 Michael fixed the DVD so I won't have to do leg day every day. (That was for you, Alethea.)

Fri.-Arm day. Made pumpkin ice cream dessert for Thanksgiving. Alli picked me up at Bailey's and took me to Judy's where Nathan and I hung out until Alli came back and then we hung out some more and saw Kenny and Tom. Logan and Nathan got a little bit acquainted. I must have taken 100 pictures! Alli took me back to Bailey's after two hours and I waited another hour but used some of that time to walk briskly in the evening light. Invigorating. Bailey's are good people and they treat me like I matter. Went to Food Lion afterwards and got a butterball turkey for 77 cents a pound because I bought $25 worth of food. Came home. Tidied up. Guys were watching a Columbo. Susan at basketball practice and then stayed for the guys game. Michael took a free IQ test. Got 136. Then I took it. Got 138. Only 2 % of population gets this high. I'm feeling pretty smart. ;) Or is it .2%. But the big deal going down today is that our friend, Kelly S., is competing in the World Food Competition in Vegas. We know she made it in the top 20 and we're waiting to see if she made it into the top 10. Hope I can sleep tonight! If she gets first prize, she wins some mega bucks! She's always a winner to me. (Made it to #13 out of many competitors from around the world!)

Sat.-Cleaned some of the house, made 12 pints of October butter, walked to the river, watched a Columbo with Phil and Michael. Philip and Susan went out to be with friends in eve. Lucy is barking too much. It's cold and she wants to be inside.

Sun.-Great service on faith. Stayed for Brunswick Stew and roller derby competition. Talked about halfway house for women who are getting out of prison with those at my lunch table. One of them wanted to teach them good nutrition. I want to teach adults how to read. A high percentage in jail are illiterate. At least those were the statistics years ago. Came home and relaxed with Columbo and later Alli, Freeman, and Nathan came over. Jordan was here as well. We played with Nathan on the big exercise ball and Michael and Phil shared a guitar and we sang some good old worship songs, much to Nathan's delight. Hitting the sack by 9.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Hertzler Doings~Oct. 3-9, 2014

Mon.- Finished up teaching for the weekend at Encounter. Exercised with the DVD for an hour and 20 min. Went walking with Alli and Nathan at Happy Valley and then played with him for awhile when we got back. Stretched. Did lots of wash. Cleaned out purses. Made a roast and a turkey, rice, vegetable dish. Went down to the river for two hours and had a fire and rest. Made apple crisp and watched a Columbo with the family. Weather is crisp and beautiful. Leaves are leaving their homes and making new ones on the ground.

Tues.-Apples. And Nathan's first trip to the river. Fell asleep in my arms during the last stretch as I drove the gator. Alli studied and I drove around the field to put him into a deeper sleep. When he woke up 'we' threw stones in the river. I took off one of his socks and he 'walked' on leaves and felt sand between his toes. When I dipped his little foot into the river, he was quick to pull it up. What a little darling little darling little boy.

Wed.-Apples. Photo shoot with Susan over at Happy Valley. What a beautiful daughter. What a wonderful woman. Encounter meeting and later, teaching on revival by Luke F. in sanctuary.

Thurs.-Made applesauce.

Fri.-Made October butter. Went to Farmville to run errands. Made 28 chicken legs and baked potatoes for weekend food. Watched a Columbo with Phil and Susan. Encounter begins this eve. at New Life. Wonderful time. Spent the night at Judy's.

Sat.-Women's Encounter with God at New Life all day. Michael made us four big egg casseroles, biscuits, and gravy for breakfast. What a wonderful day. Susan shot her first buck. Six point. Muzzleloader. Congratulations!

Sun.-Pastor Bill spoke on the peace of God and peace with God.  Encounter testimonies. Got out of church pretty late and went to Tom's for Bethany's going away luncheon. Sat around and visited all afternoon. Am so full of chocolate cake with pb icing, lasagna, salad, garlic bread, and ice cream. Oh, and fresh apple cider. Kept Nathan there and Alli and Freeman took our car so they could go home and rest. He was awake every half hour last night. Teeth are bothering him. We took him home then. Michelle looks so cute at 5 months pregnant. Or is it 6? Bethany is going to Alabama for 3 months to work with children whose parents are in prison. She will have three other friends there at the same time and she will be closer to the Fuhrmans so that will be nice for her. It's not quite 7 but I am just about ready to hit the sack. Wow, what a weekend. Thank you God.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Hertzler Doings~Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2014

Mon.-Alli, Nathan, and I, made it the whole way out the lane and back. Red Stroller and coffee in hand. Cleaned out the fridge and made a big chicken curry with rice stir fry for supper. Michael helped Phil get the combine and Philip helped some guys get their corn in the grain bins. Phil combined for many hours and I delivered supper to him in a bucket. Susan and I watched a Columbo and hit the sack.

Tues.-I had Nathan for a little while so his mommy could clean the house. He fell asleep in his red stroller and took a nap in the shade-80 degrees here-for at least two hours while I mended and cleaned Freeman's humongous teddy bear that was given to him before he was born. Pat B. handmade it. I studied, too, and sat on the back steps. Alli came then, and sat near him, while I cleaned the outside fridge. Later I swept the garage and cleaned the butcher shop. I'm in a race with winter. It's so beautiful here. The trees are at their peak. Susan went to Jenny's in the eve. to practice basketball. Michael had school and was helping around the farm. Phil is combining here and will finish up tomorrow and head over to O'Brien's and then Happy Valley. They will be racing the rain that is to come tomorrow afternoon.

Wed.-Took Nathan for a little walk while his mommy ran to get groceries. He slept for about half an hour and then we played and caught up with Great Aunt Helen on the phone. She told me about her dancing escapades at her nephew's wedding and how her calf muscle popped and she has to take it easy for awhile. How pleasant her voice and her love and kindness. I tell you, I have the best sister in laws in the world. I have the best friends too. And the best family. My heart is full and overflows. I studied The Holy Spirit for awhile this morning, trying to condense months of study into 30 minutes for the Women's Encounter that is coming up. What do I want them to take away? That's the question I keep asking. That Jesus loves them. That the Holy Spirit has always been at work in the world. That now He is in us, never to leave us or forsake us. That He is our helper, teacher, guide, comforter. That He does not judge by the seeing of his eyes nor by the hearing of his ears. And that He gives good gifts that we are to use in love to build up the body. Oh God, what else? Teach me. Use me. I'm making a big roast and blueberry pie and I mixed up hot chocolate mix. It tastes a little funny and I'm concerned that there may be aspartame in it. The combine is still doing it's job and Phil works from Dawn to Dusk. Susan took the car out to Andy's because she smelled burning rubber. They looked and looked and finally found a plastic bag in the exhaust pipe. They didn't charge. She hung out with Shorty after their walk/gym workout and Shorty helped her with transportation. I'm headed out to church tonight for dinner and an Encounter meeting.

Thurs.-Susan and I combined our activities in Appomattox and as I was dropping her off at the gym, some electricians pointed out that I had a flat tire. They changed it and I went on my way with their business info to pass on to Phil. Got my eyes checked and had a list of things to do but my eyes were dilated and I could barely see, so I picked up Susan and she drove us to Tim Tolley's to get the tire fixed. We had to buy a new used one because I had ruined it by driving on it flat. We came home and I rested my eyes. Keli P. came and we went over to the storage unit on another parcel of land and loaded up her van. Came back and had supper and I got to see many pictures on her computer of her time in Zambia. She slept on the sofa.

Fri.-Keli and I continued with the unloading and reloading of her van. Michael M. came to see some furniture and we decided on his advice that it should go to Habitat for Humanity. Kelli took it there and we will load up the rest of her stuff when she comes back. Right now, it is sprawled out near cornfields. She gave me some boxes of beautiful stones that she found on her property in Colorado. I'm thrilled. Micah will love looking through them and so will Nathan. I want to figure out a neat way to display them. She also gave me a tall shelf which I put in the butcher shop to hold my grape juice jars. Phil and Michael are headed to the cabin for the weekend. Susan went to the gym and is now headed to the chiropractor, grocery shopping, and basketball practice. She'll come home for a few hours and then head to a friends place for the evening. I'm going to watch Nathan this eve. so Alli and Freeman can have a date at their house. I'm a little bit crazy about him. (Nathan was very uncomfortable and cried a lot because he had his oral inoculation yesterday and it upset his tummy. His parent's date didn't last very long...)

Sat.-Chai Time with Jenny was sweet and I loved my small group. Did a little shopping but couldn't work myself up to go into Walmart. Parking lot looked crazy. Came home. Tidied the house a little and watched Columbo with Susan and ate too much. Philip started the woodstove and headed to Lapp's for an eve. of Rook. Meredith brought me three bushels of apples and promises of more for the use of the truck to get 80 bushels. Time says 10 but we gain an hour by falling back in time at midnight. What a gift-this extra hour. Michael and Phil are enjoying their time at the cabin.

Sun.-Great service at church. Relaxed all afternoon watching Columbo movies and continued after Phil and Michael got home from the cabin. It's not quite 8 and it feels like 11. Stomach's been upset most of the day. Hitting the sack early.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Hertzler Doings~Oct. 20-26, 2014

Mon.-Walked with Alli and Nathan over at Happy Valley and visited our CA family. Said Good bye to the Lucas's. Susan got home from Makenzie's early this afternoon and went over to visit them. Shippey's and their friends, the Martins, came over for supper. Pizza, baked potatoes, seven layer salad, and hot fudge sundae cake and ice cream. Guys were working at the Abbey today and had a meeting at church and joined us later. Susan was at basketball practice. Michael was sleeping. He's feeling better but missed school today to sleep off the fever/virus.

Tues.-Alli took me to the dentist. Guys are working on the barn, Freeman on the shop. Shippey's left. Susan had basketball practice. I slept off the dental drugs from 4-9 and then slept through the night. The meat in the crockpot got completely dried out. Never once thought of it.

Wed.-Micah was here. We cut out his monk like Star Wars outfit and sewed it up. He loves it. He's a pretty good tailor. Went to church in eve. Jenny taught on the Holy Spirit in Revelation. So good.

Thurs.-Exercised in morning. Made a Thai dish with chicken, rice, cashews, fish sauce, and coconut milk. Took corn to Diane at church for the Helton's. Jr's Father passed away. Hung around church for awhile. Prayed in the sanctuary. Jesus said, "It's My church," and I stopped worrying. Talked to R. for awhile. Visited Judy. Went to Food Lion and Walmart. Alli called. Nathan's Dr. visit went well. He weighs now at 4 1/2 months what Freeman weighed at a year. Watched Columbo with Phil, Philip, Susan. Michael is at worship practice.

Fri.-Up early. Thawed cinnamon buns. Baked and iced them with cream cheese icing and caramel icing. Made 4 big egg casseroles and sausage gravy. Sent it all with Phil in the eve. for Men's Encounter breakfast tomorrow morning. Susan went to basketball practice. All of the guys are going to the Encounter this weekend.
Alli and Nathan came over in eve. We went for a gator ride and took beautiful fall and baby pictures over at Happy Valley. Alli gave Nathan a bath in the sink. He loved it.

Sat.-I kept Nathan while Alli went fishing with Camo girls. I need to keep him more often. He slept on my lap for about an hour and a half. We took two walks in the stroller. He loves being outside. In the afternoon I tidied the house and made some food. They came back in the eve. and we watched another Columbo and had supper. Just before they left, I took the red exercise band and waved it around and said, "Choo, choo, choo!" at Nathan who was sitting on his mommy's lap. He laughed and giggled for a long time and I have two videos to prove it. It was wonderful. Then, he showed some assertive creativity and wanted to have the band himself and he spent some time examining it. I am listening to assertiveness CD's and had just heard the term 'assertive creativity' and it was fun to see Nathan exhibit it so well. It's 10:15. The guys just got home from Encounter. I can't wait to hear all about it. I am so happy. I am finally caught up with my blog.

Sun.-Wonderful morning at church. Men shared about how God met them at the Encounter this weekend. Went to Ruby Tuesday's with Steve and Dianna. Came home and watched a few Columbo's and hit the sack early.

Hertzler Doings~Oct. 13-19, 2014

Mon.-Playing catch-up. Wash. Summer/fall switch-arounds going on. Visited Nathan. Helped Suz with Happy Valley. Catch up conversation with Lindsay.

Tues.-Still playing catchup. Had a wonderful time with Lisa H.-DDF-at Baines complete with coffee and scones. She and Paul are leaving for the south-visiting family and book tour. The weather is war, wild, wed, and windy with warnings for tornadoes.

Wed.-I found my $2.00 original painting artist on the web. She's a teacher and artist extraordinaire. Bought matching frames for that picture-8x10-and three 5x7 frames for the Nantucket cards I purchased at the Whaling Museum. I have them set up on some furniture in the living room. I caught up with Naomi on the phone. Her girls are getting hardwood laminate laid down in their beautiful city home. I shopped in Appomattox while Susan's car was being fixed and she was at the gym. Shippey's and Lucas's have arrived. Taught on the work, fruit, gifts, and exhortations of the Holy Spirit. A guy who was working on power lines drove by and just came in. It was great to have him. He goes to a Holiness Church in NC.

Thurs.-Nathan cut his first tooth. Second one coming soon. Had some kidney/back pain. That AZO stuff you can buy at Walmart really works. Went out to Farmville. Got 'A Tree for Peter' photocopied by Sarah W. at Longwood Print Shop. It's for the Banton's. I read the story on Lindsay's old ipod I think, and she is making CD's of it and the girls will be able to read along with it. She is making a copy for Nathan as well. Visited with Jenny, Ruth at the bank, Judy and Logan, went to Belk, Walmart, and the Smoker's. New baby arrived home today. Went back out with Phil to Lowe's and Belk. Stopped in at Smoker's again with a gift for Mommy instead of baby. Got to hold him earlier.

Fri.-Tom and Kathy came over to go out to eat for supper and stayed with us and helped us eat ours. Chili and Corn quiche. So good. Susan left to go to Makenzie's for a long weekend. Walked with Alli and Nathan. It's been nice to see Alli's dad, Rob, painting over at Happy Valley. Nathan likes him. Philip put new siding around the bottom of the double wide. It's newly insulated underneath and this siding will help keep the cold out in winter and the cold in in summer.

Sat.-Trying to study, "The Knowledge of the Holy," by Tozer, but can't get past the first page. Made over 100 cinnamon rolls and froze them unrisen. Michael passed his stagecheck. He has now shown himself as a proficient commercial single engine pilot. He flew with someone he never flew with before. It's really testing his teacher's ability to instruct and his ability to learn.
Went to "Almost Elton John" concert in the eve. at the Pocahontas Park with the Lucas's, Shippey's, and Martins. 'Elton John' almost, has been a friend of Dan's since childhood. We got front row seats and backstage passes and got our pictures taken with him. He is a dear man, humble, sweet even, and too busy to have a wife and family. It was great fun but it was a Hops festival and many people, women especially, were showing the effects of too much beer.

Sun.-Great service at church, relaxing afternoon with Phil, Alli, and Nathan. Freeman is at Gary C's wedding in Pa. Watched Columbo. Four-wheeler is back home. Michael has a 101 temp and upset stomach. Tried out new essential oil-'Plague.' Rubbed it on the bottom of his feet and diffused it with steam.  This has been another busy week after a very busy week and I am writing this at least a week later by looking at some very sparse notes.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hertzler Doings~Oct. 6-12, 2014

Mon.-Still in Nantucket. Woke up at 7. Naomi was out on sofa because she had felt 'ruchy.' After breakfast we walked around town and did some shopping. I got a t-shirt for Nathan that says, "I still live with my parents." I bought myself a peach sweat shirt with the work Nantucket in white across the front. We bought our tickets for the ride across. We had lunch down at the harbor. I had a Thai chicken salad. It was so hot that Ashley took off her sweater and was plenty warm in her tank top. We sat on the front porch of the Robert's house and enjoyed our chocolates, chocolate 'cigars', coffees, and Chai Lattes. I laid down on the outside sofa and Naomi snoozed on the wicker chair and the girls read and relaxed and we all enjoyed the busy hum of people's voices and passing cars of this small vast island. Reluctant to leave, we stood in line to board the ferry to cross back over to Hyannis. (The name of this town was the butt of many jokes all weekend.) The girls and I stayed outside on the ferry for the crossing over. It was warmer and less wet than our earlier trip. It seemed to me that men kept coming out to look at Ashley. Finally, I aimed my camera right at one of them who was looking right at us and zoomed in. They stopped coming out to stare after that. She denies it all but I'm pretty sure that people thought I was the guardian of two movie stars. The girls had a certain beautiful flare about them and I can't blame people for taking pictures of them. I'm sure I took the most of anyone. I talked with Ashley about my thoughts about the difficulties that the blind man had after he was healed by Jesus. Now he could see the squalor, he had to work and be responsible. He could no longer beg. Ashley said, "But think of all the beauty he would have missed if he couldn't see." And the beauty of sight is worth the pain of seeing and the responsibility of working.
After we landed, the girls got the car while Naomi and I stayed with our luggage. Naomi loaded the car with the strength and organization of one so skilled as she. We hit the road around 6:30 PM and arrived home sometime after 1 AM. We played rhyming games, etc on the way home. We had played some IQ games on the way up. The rhyming game is one that I would play with my mother. The one person says the riddle-something like say 'Seafood Platter' and the answer has to rhyme. "Fish Dish." It was fun. We avoided nearly an hour of traffic jam but following Lauren's navigational skills. We got lost in Queens for about three minutes but our GPS rescued us quickly and brought us out through the lower level of the GW Bridge and as we passed all those stuck in the upper level-having just recently been there ourselves-one of the girls called out, 'Good bye Suckers!'
We all spent the night at Naomi's. Actually, I think Lauren went home. She lives about 15 min. away.

Tues.-We said good bye to Mabe and Ashley as they left in the morning. Naomi and I had coffee while she humored Tink by throwing him his new now-squeakless toy. He would fiercely growl at her while she tried to take his green rubber bone from him and then she would throw it and say, "This is the last time." She did this for awhile. Then we took off towards New Holland, stopping at Good's where we both purchased the same black sweater. We went to the bank, the Amish Walmart, to Stoltzfus' Meatmarket where I saw a video of a classmate of mine-Myron-whose family owns and runs the meat market. We bought a breakfast of milk and two 9 inch apple fritters. We went shopping at the outlets and had Mexican for lunch. We made out like a bandit shopping especially with Naomi's anointing for shopping. Things were 50-70 percent off and then we had a 10% off coupon. (I brought home a suitcase of new clothes from both shopping excursions.)  We ended our big shopping day by going to see Ashley and Krissy's 4 story house on the outskirts of Lancaster city. It was built in 1905. We had stopped at Target and filled two three photo frames for Ashley and Lauren and gave it to them before heading out for supper at a local authentic Thai restaurant. Mabe joined us before we went and Krissy was there too. I love their house. They have painted it and decorated it and are about to tear up the carpet and put down hard wood laminate. Ashley downloaded several hundred of my photos I think. They are going to make a creative memory book or something like it. Back to the Thai restaurant. I ordered Chicken cashew and it was so spicy. Our waiter was from Malaysia. We had a nice little chat about Thailand. We walked back 'home' several blocks. Ashley informed me that I am no longer her mother's best friend but that I am now her best friend. I felt sad when it was time to say good bye to the girls. Naomi and I went back to her place. I tried on different things to make lots of different outfits. I'm 56 I think and I am trying to pay more attention to what I wear. It's about time, most likely. Hit the sack around 11:30 and it was nice to fall asleep to a windy thunderstorm.

Wed. Had coffee and yogurt parfait with Naomi and Tink. Repacked my bags. Said a sad good bye. Arrived at Mom and Dad's soon after 11. Had a nice catch up chat with Susan on the way. Mom served a great garden lunch of tomato, onion, kale, and cheese sandwiches, buttered beets, and homegrown watermelon. I did some wash and visited with Karen. We took a long walk up into the woods while Jonathan helped his Uncle Paul with firewood. Later, I watched Karen make whoopee pies and ate one. Jonathan is quite the little worker. He showed me how he scoops the poop in the barn. He knows what he's doing, too, and he'll only be four years old in December. He works with his dad, uncles, grandpa, and visits his grandma and aunts, and goes to preschool several mornings a week. He has a precious mama and has a wonderful life.  Mom had another great supper from their garden-carrot salad, green beans from Karen's garden, ham, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and bread and butter with homemade jam. After supper is when Karen and I watched Jonathan work in the barn. Mom and I visited for awhile and then Linda came down and we talked for several hours and Brads joined us after he got back from wherever he was. I took a bath after they left and turned out the light before 11.

Thurs.-Celebrated Karen's birthday by going to Claires in Morgantown with Debra, Shirley-Debra's Mother, Mom, Karen, and Jonathan. Karen and I each got about 3 fried potatoes covered in about a pint of dried beef gravy. I kind of rolled around all morning. Jonathan showed me the farm-chicks, heifers, calves, lawn mowers, raspberries. First we helped Mom pick and shell pole limas. I went over and spent more time with Jonathan at his house. He plays with his tractors and dump trucks in K's flower garden. Had a lunch of limas and watermelon with Mom and then went back to Karen's for a pb whoopee pie. Lydia Virginia, Jeff and Karalee's baby, now 2 months old. came with her mother for the afternoon. Karalee was working on a sewing project. Mom and I took care of Lydia. She took a nap in my arms in my bed for at least an hour. She's the cutest little thing. I only took about a hundred pictures of her. Jonathan came over for supper and some of the eve. His daddy took his mommy up to Yoder's for her birthday. After supper, they came back and watched a little movie. I went over to Debra's and got a physics lesson from Brads which I actually understood about 20%. Brads, 15, and I took a moonlit walk up the lane to the woods and beyond and talked nonstop. What a dear young man is he.  As I got ready for bed, I could hear Mom and Dad's radio. Hymns were singing them to sleep. I am so thankful for this family and this Hertzler farm.  It is good to be reminded about what is important. Amen.

Fri.-I went to the drug store for Anne before I went to visit her. It was through several trials and errors that I realized I had given them her maiden last name instead of her married name. We had a breakfast of Shady Maple bagels with cream cheese and Ferne Kraybill's rhubarb blueberry jam, coffee, and homemade grape juice. We had a nice visit and it was good to be around David. We took lots of photos. I met Mom on the way home at Goodville Fabric. I bought 6 yd of red plaid fleece and 6 yd of camouflage fleece to make Michael and Philip fleece blankets. We had some late lunch and then I visited a little with Debra and Brads before they went wedding groomsmen suit shopping. Visited with Karen and Jonathan, Mom and Dad, and then packed a little. I read Dad's writings about Hopewell's history. Had supper-veg. soup, broccoli salad, tortilla circles, and pumpkin custard. Dad recited his favorite poem-"The Little Birds of God." Phil, Philip, and Susan arrived around 8. Joe, Karen, Jonathan, and Brads were here to greet them. Paul came a little later. Had mint tea, brownies, and pumpkin custard. Paul, Phil, Mom, Dad, and I, sat around and talked awhile longer after the other's left.

Sat.-Oct.11-Phil and I had a hurried breakfast with Mom and Dad. Delicious blueberry baked oatmeal. Then we connected with Philip, Michael, and Susan at Joe and Karen's to head to Petra for Steve and Katrina's wedding. How wonderful to see Nathan, Alli, Freeman, Rosalee and her family, Abie and his family, Alan and Carol and Kelly and her family, Aunt Esther-93, and Sissy, her daughter, Uncle Paul and Aunt Ann.  Wonderful meaningful wedding service. The groom was teary eyed when he walked out and was openly weeping as Katrina, (my niece) walked down the aisle. When the wedding was over, the bride and groom dismissed us by rows and greeted us individually. They had a long limo waiting outside and after pictures, walked amidst well wishers blowing bubbles as they pretended to get in the limo for a photo op and then went back into the church for more photos. We all went over to Shady Maple and had appetizers, a full course meal, and salad bar. We sat with Alan, Carol, Kelly, Armand, Noah, and Gracie. Our kids sat together with Abby. Their request and Rosalee made sure it happened. We headed home-Susan, Phil, and I-around 3. Michael visited with Grandma and Grandpa before he headed home. He left early this morning to arrive in Pa. in good time for the wedding. Philip stayed up another day. We got home around 9.

Sun.-Church. Columbo mystery DVD's. (Debra loaned them to me.) Sitting, sleeping, resting. We're all very tired.

Hertzler Doings~Sept 29-Oct. 5, 2014

Mon.-Busy day packing for upcoming trip to Nantucket. Arm day. Walked/ran and then walked later at Happy Valley with Alli and Nathan. Susan is busy super cleaning her room. Went to the gym also and got groceries earlier in the day. Nathan seems to be teething and in pain. Dear little guy. I have 6 bags packed for my upcoming week and a half. A bag and a half for Nantucket. Plus my purse. A bag for overnight at Diane's and then Naomi's. And a bag for when I'm staying in Pa. plus a toiletry bag.

Tues.-Too much stuff is in my life! Whatever I bring I have to lug 1/4 a mile uphill from the landing harbor in Nantucket. I've gotta lighten up, literally. Susan took me to the dentist today. My filling was fractured and he thinks my tooth is too. Took a long nap afterwards until Susan woke me up to give me her incredible pureed vegetable soup complete with shredded cheese and sour cream. I finished packing and decided to use my new PJ top-a black flowy thing-as a dress shirt for Nantucket with my leopard print scarf.  Packed up the car. Went to Lynchburg with Phil to drop off a check and have some Cold Stone Creamery Ice Cream. He got coffee with Heath Bar crunched into it. I wanted the pumpkin ice cream but they were out so I had the chocolate made the same was as the pumpkin pie. I told him my mother used ginger snaps instead of graham crackers and I heard and saw a lightbulb go off in his head. "That would be good," said he. Came home. Tidied the house. Got more things ready. And took a bath all before 8 o'clock. Gotta get that sleep while the clonopin is still in my system. I've been thinking about being thankful again, recording my thanks, and recording the songs and the verses on my mind. Last night, in the tub, I sang over and over at the top of my lungs, "Thou art my hiding place" and "The Lord is my keeper." Tonight, I'm thankful for the soaring guitar player flying with his music, Philip, so happy about a questionable word I used today-"Now I can say that word,"-Freeman posting pictures of Nathan driving the pettibone with Phil, Susan, highly motivated, cleaning her room from top to bottom, and Phil, driving the gator in the dark, checking on his traps, ever patient with his drugged up wife. And tomorrow-I'm headed out to spend some time with my best friends in Pa. I may get homesick before this week and a half are up but I'll just focus on each day. I asked Phil what he is looking forward to while I am away and he said, "You coming back." He had asked me what I was looking forward to doing in Nantucket and I said, "Riding the moped behind Ashley on the beach, visiting the Lighthouse, eating out, walking everywhere, etc." So I returned his question. Oh-Jeanne G. nominated me for a fun blog reward of some kind. I printed her comment and have to figure out now what to do. Good night sweet world.

Wed.-(writing this weeks after the fact-having taken some notes)-Left home around 7 and arrived at Diane H's around 5. Stopped at a mall on the way and bought a gray silky top and a black sweater. Also stopped at Cabela's and bought a fleece jacket and flannel shirt. Using my Cabela points, I only owed 33 cents. When I got to Diane's, she wanted to take me shopping. We went to Stein Mart in the Corvette with the roof down and we shopped and she bought it all and wouldn't let me see the prices. We also went to Soma and she got me two of those. With the heat blasting and the cold wind blowing and lots of new clothes, we had an exhilarating time. Had supper of chicken salad, etc. after 9 and visited with Zack and his college friends. Slept all night in the guest bed.

Thurs.-Breakfast of eggs, ham, cheese, and coffee, while discussing everything in the whole wide world including the link between emotions and physical health. She is doing a study on it. She packed me a lunch and she headed to work and I headed to Naomi's. Arrived around 2:30. (Just writing about all this makes me so happy again.) I showed her my new clothes. We walked to Mary S. and I picked up a Shaklee product. Tink peed on every property. Naomi served me Pumpkin Latte coffee that she had made from a recipe in Good Housekeeping. We had pizza on top of pizza that we picked up at the Italian restaurant at the corner in Blue Ball. Ashley and her friend, Lauren, arrived soon afterwards and we packed up and left for Nantucket around 6:30. Ashley bravely drove through NYC traffic and we arrived at our motel on the mainland around 1:15 AM. The regular Glick motel was full so we drove a few blocks to Double Tree ?(can't read my own notes) where a very friendly front desk man gave us cookies, water, and a toothbrush and toothpaste for Lauren. I said many words I don't usually say in our short travel. Turns out that the air on the way to Nantucket brings out the best and the "worst" in me. But it was fun. Had a few hours of sleep.

Fri.-Had to hustle, dragging our suitcases for half a mile or less to find the ferry. The ride on the ferry was thrilling. We were outside. I faced the wind and Nantucket and the spray was glorious. I felt like I was leaving the past behind and starting anew. Like being born again. After we checked in to The Robert's House, dragging our suitcases over uphill cobblestoned streets and side walks, we went shopping and had lunch. We had a little tray of crackers, cheeses, cranberries, fig jam, and bread for an appetizer. I had fried potato cakes. Naomi got a salad and French onion soup and the girls had lobster bisque. I took many pictures of houses, flowers, and my girls. I am thoroughly happy. The prices here are too pricey but we found a thrift shop. I found an original painting by M. Joyce Zeigler. It's entitled 'Swimming Party' and it was in a cheap frame. It was priced at $2.00 and the check out lady raised her eyebrows and looked at me when she saw it. "I know!" I said. Since then, I've googled the artist and I see that I am really fortunate. I've bought a beautiful frame for it and it's in our living room now along with framed cards of Nantucket and the shaker basket I bought at the thrift and the tiny little pitcher with flowers from my garden. I bought two starfish later on and picked some shells and these are in my basket in front of my $2.00 Canadian Geese Swim Party.  We went out to eat that night at a great place. We had fried dill pickles for an appetizer and I had chicken, mashed potatoes, spinach, honey glazed carrits, tomato bisque with toasted cheese, and a Caesar salad-all for $25. We have a lovely place to stay. When you walk up several flights of stairs, there is a number 33 on the door. That was my father's auction number. Our only complaint was that we couldn't lock the door from the inside and if we locked it from the outside, the people inside tend to panic because they can't get out.

Sat.-I slept on the sofa for reasons I won't explain but Naomi did the same then for the next two nights. I guess we're getting too old to sleep in the same bed together what with snoring and restless legs and late night phone calls from certain peoples husbands. ;) We had breakfast in the basement at our establishment. Naomi went in her fleece jammies and some people really really gave her the 'look'. But she knows who she is and it didn't bother her a bit. But Ashley, her 25 year old daughter, was a little embarrassed. You see, we had to walk a little ways to the other house to get to our breakfast. Ashley came up and put her arm around her mother and every time we passed someone she said, "Don't worry; we'll find your family." Have I mentioned that her jammies were a loud shade of turquoise and that we ourselves were loudly talking and laughing and retelling the funny stories about how Naomi put the word 'shady' in Shady Maple when she thought the man standing behind her out of sight but not out of touch was her husband. We told the story of the gracefully flowing toilet paper that got stuck in the top of my pants and how we strolled among thousands of no longer bored  vacationers on the boardwalk and how two sister fought it out about who would be the one to tell me. They told Naomi and she turned me around for our other friends to see and they both helplessly collapsed on the nearest bench having been overcome by laughter that I can only hope heals them in some way. We told about the little gift that attached itself to Ashley's briefcase right in front of her whole college class and how she denied truthfully but unconvincingly that this attachment was indeed not hers. And the time Morgan set her back pack on the grate in her college room and somehow managed to get the large metal flap connected to the bottom of her back pack and how she walked up to the front of the room and clanked it down loudly in front of her professor. Realzing now why her back pack was so clumsily heavy she said, "Oops, excuse me," and traipsed back the long pathway to the naked vent and banged its missing piece into the hole that had been exposed.  And the time Susan threw me under the bus as a 3 or 4 year old, telling the pediatrician, "Michael's wearing underwear, I'm wearing underwear, but my mommy's not wearing any underwear." "Oh, the things we learn," said he. Or the time she said to a full dentist office waiting room as my hand was in my purse, "My mommy's got a gun," and the time she said to the pediatrician after she passed gas and smelled up the room and then he walked in-"My mommy just passed gas." And my all time favorite story of Naomi's when she had just a few articles of clothing on and the girls told her that their neighbor was on the phone and she scooted downstairs and in fact, he was standing at the door and was not on the phone. "Oops," she cried, (why is this their favorite statement?) and she scooted right back up and put on some pants and a shirt. All the while the neighbor was laughing. And she laughed too. I mean, what else can you do at a time like that?
It's in the 60's. I know I am writing this past and present but hopefully you will understand that although I am writing this in the past, it was in the present that I jotted down notes. We got slowly ready for our day after breakfast, relaxing in the process. We went to Brandt Point Lighthouse and then to the Whaling Museum where we saw a 45 min. movie about the history of Nantucket. I bought myself some gold basket earrings and cards to frame.
Oh-All during our time with Ashley and Lauren, the affectionately called us 'Ninny Muggins'. Which means 'Old People.' We went to Nix Pub again for supper and the girls had oysters-one dollar a piece, and we shared Naomi's Nacho chips. I had Caesar salad. There was a guy at the bar with his 10 month old daughter in a front loading knap sack. We all thought he was so sweet. His wife joined him later. It's nice to see a man take care of a baby. Naomi loves my black hat. Later that night, we had some hot chocolate and went to the book store. I am not sure what this means but my notes are: "passing lots of gas, burning matches, carting cameras." I own up to the camera note and the burning matches note but I'm quite sure the other note was about someone else. You know who you are. Naomi and I watched an Agatha Christie movie. It was too scary so we watched The Voice, which wasn't scary at all.
Ashley said to me today, "Your soul is the color of light pink roses." So is yours, Ashley. So is yours.

Sun.-After a breakfast of chocolate crescents, coffee, cereal, yogurt, vanilla breakfast cake, and fruit, we rented double mopeds and rode all over the island. Went to Siansun light, Brandt point, the winery, a great grocery store near the winery,  the beach, the oldest house, a beautiful church, and had lunch at the only existing working windmill in a certain area of space-is it the US Naomi? We sat on the bench and ate food that Naomi and Ashley provided-sharp cheese cubes, crunchy purple grapes, pita crackers, pistachios, goat cheese with pesto sauce and tomato paste, and peach sparkling cider. We came back and regrouped and walked to the beach and took some sunset pictures and ate at a Mexican Place. On the way home, I jumped behind a big tree and jumped out at Lauren, creatively shouting, "BOO!" which scared her so bad I laughed so hard I peed my pants. The poor cop stationed with his bike at the corner may have done the same. Suddenly Naomi realized that she had left her purse at the restaurant so Lauren, having recently been scared, took off at a run and retrieved it, much to Naomi's relief. Meanwhile, Ashley and I kept on heartlessly laughing and reliving the pleasures of giving Lauren a fright. Ashley, having done this earlier. Later that evening, Naomi and I looked at hundreds of photos that we had taken and the girls sat down in the lobby and visited.( I called Phil. He had taken Alli, Freeman, and smiling Nathan out to Chinese for lunch. Michael and Philip were there. Susan, Julie, and Colton went to the Richmond State Fair. Michael was playing with the worship team at Jesus Jamz. Philip was walking the properties.)  Lauren said, "In my circle of friends, I'm you." The girls visited in the lobby again. Naomi read. I watched 'National Treasure 2' and accidently ate my quarter pound of salted caramel chocolate fudge during the most intense scenes.