Princess Pancake

This is Princess Pancake. She is not only a princess, she is our granddaughter. She lives Imagenearly 1200 miles from us, and it’s really hard not being able to see her on a regular basis.

Princess Pancake will be here next week and will be staying with us for a month. I’m so excited, I can barely sleep. Her room is the large living room of our house, and every year we add something new. This year we have a puppet theater. I can see some good times ahead – especially with the chef puppet.

The reason for sharing this good news is simply to further explain why I continue to fall behind with blogging and reading blogs. I value the friendships I’ve made through blogging, and it bothers me when I can’t keep up and show support to fellow bloggers.  Between writing and planning for her visit, I’ve had very little extra time.

So, you may not see much of me in August. I should simply declare I’m on vacation and will see you in the fall, but you never know. Once the deck is finished, Princess Pancake and I may spend our mornings out there. She can eat pancakes and play games on my Nook while I try to check in with blogs. We shall see.

ImageIn other news, does this board look straight? Do most men run to Lowe’s (or other home building stores) and return the wrong item(s) multiple times? Do most men forget to measure twice and cut once, thereby swearing loud enough for the neighbors to hear? I’m not sure if everything is going according to plan out there. 

Maple Leaf Hunter will not be finished in August. I’m so sorry Susan Hunter fans. I am writing, but I suspect the writing will slow dramatically when the princess arrives.

The new series with the two sisters? Fifteen thousand words so far. Rich doesn’t know it yet, but I’m going to read it aloud to him on our way to Boston next week. It’s not like he can get out of the car or anything, right? In case you’re wondering, he has only ever read my first book – and only because I begged him to help look for typos.

Curious about the weight loss? I’ve lost thirty-three pounds so far. Rich is down twenty-five. We’re basically following a low-carb, food-combining way of eating. I spend a lot more time in the kitchen cooking fresh foods, but we are both really happy with what we are eating and how we are feeling.

Finally, I’ll leave you with this miracle we recently had in our lives. A round of wicked weather came through here two weeks ago. I was standing at the kitchen sink draining sauerkraut for a reuben casserole (it was yummy!). Thunder, lightning, the wind was really strong, and I saw a tall tree in the block behind us snap in two and over it went across the road onto the neighbor’s porch. Of course, it took the power lines down with it. Our lights flickered, some went dim, others went out. I raced around the house to unplug computers, televisions, etc. before we had another surge. When it was all over, our 220 line had been ripped from the house. Our 110 line was hanging by a thread. We had no power with the exception of at my desk (computer and tv), at Rich’s desk (computer and tv), the refrigerator, and the light above the kitchen sink. Every other light and outlet in the house was dead. That can only be a miracle that our creature comforts were left intact. It still makes me shake my head and laugh – and be grateful when others in the community were nearly a week without any power. 

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I hope you are all taking care of the M&M’s, because they have not been allowed in my house – even when they bang on the door in the middle of the night.

Are any of you struggling to keep up with blogging? Have you seen your grandchildren lately? Do your menfolk build without complications? Any good miracles come your way lately? Tell me a story!

Charm Me

Saturday
June 22, 2013
2:30 p.m.

It’s 86° in the shade, and 81° in the house. The central air isn’t working.

Rich brings the motorcycle up to the house, and we get ready to go. I further insulate an Imageinsulated cup filled with ice water, grab my mp3 player and my sunglasses, and we’re out the door.

“Where to?” Rich asks.

“Take me to Charm,” I tell him. “I’ve never been to Charm.”

Charm is a small Amish town, and as this is my first time out on the motorcycle this year, I want to ride through some of my favorite country.

It feels wonderful to have the hot sun on my face and the wind whipping through my hair again. Traffic isn’t heavy, and we take our time enjoying the beautiful scenery.

After riding for about an hour and fifteen minutes, we arrive in Charm. We stop and get off the bike at Guggisberg Cheese. We don’t go in to see if there are cheese samples, but we do take a couple of pictures. Rich is armed with an iPhone. I have a little Bloggie in my hand.

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Enter here for cheese!

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The mailbox for the cheese plant.

My hair isn’t terribly tangled, and I silently thank my cream rinse for doing its job.

A group of motorcycle riders passes us. Not a single person is wearing a helmet. We’ve probably seen over one hundred riders today, and maybe six people were wearing helmets. If we ever have an accident and die because we weren’t wearing ours, you must write in your blogs, “Well, at least they died doing something they loved.”

The Amish are friendly. When we drive through the area in a car, they never look at us or wave. However, when we are on the motorcycle, men nod, boys wave, little girls smile, and even women relaxing in chairs under the shade of a tree will wave and smile as we go by. I wonder why that is? I find it incredibly enjoyable.

ImageThere are no ice cream cones or sundaes today, but that doesn’t keep us from having to watch where we step. Horse manure is plentiful in parking lots and along roadways.

By the time we get home, my bum is numb. Maybe we stayed out a little too long on my first day, but it was worth it.

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How’s your summer going so far? We’ve had rain, rain, and more rain. Some of it has been in the kitchen and in the basement. A nice man sledgehammered our old cement porch at the back door and hauled it away. Rich is now building a deck for me. A new place to write! I’m woefully behind with reading blogs, but I have been productive by trying to write two books at once: Susan Hunter and her misadventures in Canada – as well as the two sisters and their efforts to solve a murder. Despite the rain, I think summer is coming along just fine.