Tuesday, July 28, 2009

An Interesting Catch

"Suspicion amongst thoughts
are like bats amongst birds,
they never fly by twilight."
~Francis Bacon

Lately, the topic of bats has emerged as a common topic of conversation amongst my close friends and family. Apparently these creatures of the night have decided to take up residence in the personal dwellings of quite a few unwelcoming human beings.

Of course, many of these humans own extremely appealing homes, complete with the finest of curb appeal that most likely allures and taunts these "spooky" and curious creatures. Go ahead, admit it, there are a few houses that you'd love to see the inside of, too. Right?

For starters, I'm afraid of the dark and horrible at manuvering without a major light source. God certainly got it right when he didn't make me a bat. Although, had I been cast as one, I'm quite certain I would have enjoyed few nights investigating and poking around in spiffy homes.

Sadly enough, most of these wandering bats ended their stay by dancing a few rounds with a fast moving tennis racket. (sigh)

However, the story I shall tell you today contains a different note of sadness, but ends happily.

Imagine standing along the bank of the Youghiogheny River, tossing crackers and bread and left-over french fries to a flock of eager ducklings, only to be interrupted from your naturalistic philanthropy by a surprised shriek.

"There's a bat swimming in the water!"

The famished ducklings found themselves feasting on an entire stash of goodies, while the rest of us dashed to investigate the odd claim.

Sure enough, there it went... a tiny little bat, not really swimming, rather pulled by the swiftly moving current. Sad, kinda... I felt bad for the poor guy.

Chad-o saved the day (and the bat)! I knew all along the guy should have been a lifeguard, charged with the responsibility of patrolling our shores and bodies of water. Obviously he missed his calling.

Monday, July 27, 2009


"Are we not like two volumes of one book?"
~Marceline Desbordes-Valmore

365 days= one year= two happy people= a very lovely little family.

Always one to enjoy trips down memory lane, Chad-o surprised me with an anniversary weekend getaway to a very special place.

Many moons ago, when we simply enjoyed the company of one another and coveted weekend visits (as we resided in different states), I was treated with a surprise jaunt to a cozy little bed and breakfast and dinner at Nemacolin Woodlands. He's always been so warm and sweet like that- little surprises and thoughtful touches.

A few years later, when wedding bells began ringing and singing, we knew exactly where we wanted to hold our ceremony. We pictured something unique, simple, personal, intimate, and classy.
So, we decided to choose a meaningful location and do it up CK and Chad-o style.

Therefore, over the weekend, we returned to the place where we exchanged marriage vows, and became husband and wife.

Oh yes, and as a interesting aside, our wedding made the Nemacolin brochure. You can see it by clicking here.
We also spent one night of our anniversary weekend at Stone House, an ancient and historic building on route 40. The original structure was built in 1822 and, for the most part, remains amazingly authentic.

Lucky us, we got to sleep in the Jackson room, on the top floor. I claim it was haunted, but dear Chad-o will argue otherwise. Either way, it proved an exciting adventure. I'd go back in a heart-beat. However, next time, I'm taking my Ouija Board.

I simply fell in love with this little alcove that was tucked away in the dormer of our room. Can't you just imagine that being your secret hiding place?

Humm...I wonder who all looked out of this window and what exactly they saw?

What a wonderful year number one.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


"If I know what love is, it is because of you."
~Hermann Hesse

I love, love, love, love, love this guy.

He's a keeper and I'm so glad we have each other. Tonight we are skipping town for a surprise getaway to celebrate our one year anniversary. I wonder where we are going? (grin)

Monday, July 13, 2009


"The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination."
~Elizabeth Hardwick

I've always been one to bury my nose in the pages of a book. I enjoy everything about books; the way they feel, the smell of their pages, and the gentle sound of cracking glue when they're opened a bit too wide.

Books- my safe haven, my release, my friends.

We've all heard the old saying, "Never judge a book by it's cover." Well, let me tell you, I suffered head-over-heels infatuation with this book the moment my eyes first spotted it. And those three little words, eat-pray-love, instantly appealed to my psyche. Yep, I wanted to read it, had to have it, and hunted it down like a mad woman.

If you've ever tried to shop for a novel in the booming metropolis of Somerset, Pa., you know it's similar to locating a palm tree in a cornfield. Yep, not happening.

You see, I refuse to purchase literature at Wal-Mart. I have my reasons and won't bore you with the details. Unfortunately, Sam Walton's retail empire serves as the only place that's open regular hours and consistently has the goods and items i want/need. Ugh...Wal-Mart and books. In my opinion, they mix about as well as oil and water.

Anyway, the stars must have been in perfect alignment, because, you see dear friends, the only bookstore in this tiny, quaint town had a copy.

One copy. Lucky me.

I Heart Her

"My sunshine doesn't come from the skies;
It comes from the love in my dog's eyes."
~Unknown Poet

This afternoon Little Munch and I snuck outside for some sun, iced tea and quality book time. I couldn't resist playing photographer as she worked on her tan.

Can you believe she'll be five years old on Friday?

I know. Me either. Time flies.

PS- We're having a puppy party, complete with party hats and treats~ feel free to stop by.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Growing Up

"The art of being happy lies in the power
of extracting happiness from common things."
~Henry Ward Beecher

I suppose gardening is akin to having children and watching them grow; listening with pride as they make sounds, cheering as they roll over and crawl and walk, and then squealing with delight as they utter their first words. Hummm...is it fair to compare a garden to a flock of wee people?

For the past few weeks, my precious cherry tomato plants have been producing yellow flowers. I've been patiently watching and secretly hoping for the first glimpse of green fruit.

So, you can probably imagine my excitement when these little wonders appeared on the vine. Woo-hoo!

And, the thyme finally created a carpet-like ground covering; creeping and filling in all the tiny nooks and crannies.

Oh, and of course I can't forget about my chives. These lovelies were so tiny and fragile when first placed outside, and I often found myself wondering if they had what it took to survive the interesting Somerset, Pennsylvania climate. Thankfully, they're going strong and growing like weeds...haha. (Sorry for that- I just couldn't resist. Grin.)

It's rather crazy to think that I actually began this whole gardening adventure when the snow was blowing and the wind rattled the windows. I still remember starting my seeds and gently spraying them with misty water, moving the trays to ensure a plethora of light and warmth, and then checking them daily for any sign of sweet green sprouts.

Yea, my little garden babies are growing up and it's pretty neat to watch them evolve, reach for the stars, and produce all kinds of yummy wonders. Oh boy, I'm really hooked~I heart my garden...a lot.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


"In summer, the song sings itself."
~William Carlos Williams

I pretty much enjoy the sweetness and snappiness of grapes year round. But aren't they just a bit more delicious and refreshing during the hot, lazy days of summer?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Strawberry Muffin Celebration

"There is only one success--to be able to spend your life in your own way."
~Christopher Morley

It was one of those mornings. You know them. The kind when you wake up way too late only to find yourself greeted by gray skies, drizzle, a snoring puppy, and chilly feet.

Luckily, I already had my day planned. It was definitely going to be a baking day, full of delicious finger-lickin' batter, steaming cups of tea, and pure relaxation...sprinkled, of course, with a dash of kitchen creativity.

In keeping with my word for 2009, create, I decided to try a new recipe. Oh, how I was craving the flavor of summer-- strawberry, strawberry, strawberry!

Here's an interesting fact. Did you know that the strawberry is technically not a fruit? Crazy, huh? The gazillion tiny golden seeds that dot the red flesh serve as the actual fruit.

So anyways, after getting myself and the puppy roused from our cozy, sleepy state, we crept down to the kitchen, fired up the oven, and began our baking frenzy.

If it's going to be cool and blah outside, it might as well be warm and savory inside. Mmmm...these organic strawberry muffins are simply delish-o.

Oh geepers, I almost forgot to tell you that I used brown, cage-free eggs. I'm a huge fan. I can't stand the thought of those poor chickens, packed like sardines, into minute wire cages-- disheartening, don't you think?

So here's the final verdict on my organic strawberry muffins made with cage-free eggs-- divine. They're tender and warm and sweet and very strawberry-ish. Enjoy them plain (like me), or with a dollop of sweet cream butter on top. Either way, they're sure to earn a spot in your heart.

And, happy 100th post to yours truly. I think I'll have another muffin, make some more tea, and celebrate this small blogging milestone. My most sincere thanks to those of you who regularly tune in. I'll send a virtual muffin your way.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

From Sunshine to Sunsets, These are the Thoughts in My Mind

"It's never too late--never too late to start over, never too late to be happy."
~Jane Fonda

Is it just me or does vacation provide the perfect outlet to reflect upon one's life?

As I sat along the sunny shores of Lido Beach and gazed upon a wave of colorful umbrellas, my mind drifted, much like that of the kite soaring high above. Na, I never really get too caught up in the crazy beach scene. Rather, I've always been one to lay on my towel and think, toss around ideas, and then think a bit more.

It's interesting to watch as life unfolds, isn't it? We see our friends choose career paths, watch as the person who sat next to us in homeroom starts a family, and even stand faithfully by acting as a bridesmaid or groomsman in our best friend's wedding. We observe our friends and family at their happiest, yet we cry with them as they suffer personal or emotional trials.

Life. It's totally our choice. And, wow, we certainly have plenty of choices, don't we?

Ever since I was a wee little-tyker, I wanted to be a teacher. Just ask the neighborhood children I grew up with. I would force them to play school and I even assigned homework. I spent my adolescent years working as a nanny, a ski instructor, a camp counselor, and as a volunteer at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh.

I've never deviated from the plan.

However, as I grow and experience and learn and watch and contemplate, I can't help but to think of all the world has to offer. Not to mention, all that I have to offer the world.

I'll probably always be a teacher. However, I do so wonder what it would be like to take some more photography classes and take pictures of people at their happiest. Ya know, capture love?

Or, what about that little shop on the corner that I'd love to open? Or the magazine I want to write for? Or the bed and breakfast I dream of owning and operating?

Why oh why do I suffer from this insane urge to do more?

Do you think it's possible to live multiple lives, while still remaining the same person?

I sure hope so. You see, there are too many things I want to do, and not enough years in which to squeeze it all in. (sigh)
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