Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tea And Crumpets

Several days ago, a friend and I decided to go out for lunch. We sort of wanted to go to someplace a little different. She said she knew about this tea house downtown. She didn't know exactly where it was, but was sure we could find it.

After driving Miss Daisy (AKA Judy) all around downtown, she finally called another friend who told us where it was. When we got there, we noticed that there was another teahouse across the street, which is really the one she was thinking about! But we decided to try this one, called "The Peony House" . It was a very relaxing and fun experience. It was started by two ladies a few years ago, and they wanted to keep it true to English traditions. They make everything themselves from scratch. And they have many kinds of tea. My tea was called "very berry" or something like that. It was very good.

We first had a salad--several to choose from; then sandwiches on a croissant--also 5+ to choose from. (I had a broccoli slaw salad, and she had a bacon, lettuce tomato salad; I had chicken salad sandwich and she had turkey walnut; we both tried a little of each other's choices) They were very good. Then they brought us each a "pastry plate" that had five different little pastries, including an English scone, a shortbread, a cookie, a little tart with chocolate filling and a cookie. She also brought 3 different toppings to try with the scone and shortbread--lemon curd, a strawberry topping and an english cream.

It was quiet and small with lots of atmosphere. They also sold paintings, hats, tea cozy's, etc. and had lots of art work on the walls.

It was a little pricey (we thought) but for a one-of-a-kind place, it was worth it. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

I would love to go again and try some of the other salads and sandwiches. Anyone for tea and crumpets?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Our Terrific Goalie!

Recently I went with my sister Lou and hubby Rog to Michigan. The real purpose of our trip was to attend a memorial service for a cousin who had battled cancer for several years. The service was in Ann Arbor.

However, that afternoon we stopped in Chelsea, Michigan to see some of Lou's friends, and to see their son Brian and his wife, Sharice, and T.J. (high school senior). T.J. was attending a hockey clinic there. It was almost imperative that we stay long enough to watch him play in the hockey game.

It was held here, at the Arctic Coliseum, which is really sort of impressive. It has two full ice rinks and has a restaurant on the upper level. You can watch the games or activities while you eat.

Sharice, Lou, Rog and Brian (and I) enjoyed visiting prior to the game. OK--either Brian is really tall or Lou is really short!

T.J. is a goalie and is really good. He's played hockey for several years, I believe. Below is a short video clip. This is my first attempt to post a video, so hopefully it turned out OK. There is a brief space where it's just ice--must have been an amateur photographer!

It was great to get to see him play. I had seen him since he was quite a bit younger. I know Mom, Dad, G-Ma and G-Pa are very proud of him!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Walking to Win--Or Is It Walking to Lose?

About 15 months ago I made a commitment to lose some weight.At that time, my two sisters agreedto be accountable for 10 weeks. I decided I really needed to exercise, and so I bought a pair of good walking shoes, and started walking. I actually also got a membership at a fitness center. Of course I also changed my eating habits. I just tried to cut out sweets, regular pepsi ! and tried to limit fat. As a result I was able to lose 20 pounds in those ten weeks. Since that time, off and on I've tried to lose a little more weight. I've definitely fluctuated up a few pounds (or several pounds) and then been able to get back down. But I haven't been able to get below my initial weight loss.

This past week, I decided I really needed to make an all-out effort to lose about 5 more pounds. (I have a 45-year reunion of my nursing class coming up in August, and you know, you just want to try to look your best). I have been walking about 2 miles about 3-4 days a week. So about a week ago I decided to walk every day and really watch my food intake. I had maintained my low weight, but not gone below. Yesterday, I decided I needed to increase my exercise. So I walked 3.25 miles yesterday morning. (I went early as I knew it was going to be 90's with high humidity.). This morning--I was so excited--I was down one pound from my lowest weight! Well, I got so inspired, that this morning, bright and early, I walked 4 miles. It remains to be seen if this strategy is going to continue working.

I thought I needed some additional inspiration, so I decided to see what the Lord had to say about walking. Most of these do not actually refer to physical walking, but while I'm at it, I really should try to get my spiritual walk in shape as well.

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with the wise grows wise..

Psalm 89:15 Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord.

Isaiah 30: 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear voice behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it.

Isaiah 40: 31 But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, and they will walk and not be faint.

Micah 6: 8 And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Special Visit

I have been trying to arrange a visit for Nichole's kids for a long time. It seemed like every time I tried to set a date, something would come up that they couldn't go. I was beginning to think that the aunt who is keeping them didn't want them to go for some reason.

Nichole's counselor really wanted her to have a visit from the kids to see how they respond to her, before she gets released. So I finally had a "comin-to-Jesus" talk with the aunt and with the kids dad, and said Nichole really needs to see her kids. Do you have any conflict on July 6th? They said they had no conflict and we arranged for me to take the kids and their dad to see Nichole.

She had not seen her kids for almost one year; at that time they were 1 y/o and 2 y/o. (in the picture above)

They are now 2 and 3 years old, and as you can see from the pictures, have really changed.

I thought this was so adorable. Nyla has a look that says, "Do we really have to do this?"

We had a great visit, and the kids did warm up to Nichole, although it took them a little time, especially Nyla. As you can possibly tell, R.J. is very out-going and responded well to her. But Nlya did sit on Nichole's lap while we attempted to play Candy Land.

We visited for 2 hours (which is the limit) and then started home. It's a 3 hour drive from the kids home to the prison, so I knew they were getting a little tired. We stopped as soon as we left the prison and ate lunch; it was about 2:30pm and we hadn't eaten lunch, although we had some snacks at the prison. At the Burger King, Nyla wanted me to hold her. I think it might have just been a little overwhelming for her.

They slept for most of the way home, but were restless and a little grumpy the last 50 miles. I'm not used to being around little kids that much, but gave them some books, animal crackers and drinks in sippy cups, and we did very well. (I had seen them several different times, so they kind of know me).

I was so pleased that I was finally able to take the kids. I know Nichole was so excited and loved every minute of it. (She e-mailed me and said, 'after you left I felt kind of sad and overwhelmed, and I had to sit down and cry a minute'.) But she was so, so grateful that I was finally able to bring the kids to see her.

Matthew 25: 34-40 Then the King will say...For I was hungry...I was thirsty...Iwas a stranger and you took me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we ...see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, yu did for me'.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Days

I do a weekly e-mail for my Sunday School class with prayer requests and praises. I try to include a "Thought for the Week" in it. This week my topic was "summer is here". So I decided to include those thoughts here.

You can never appreciate the shade of a tree unless you have sweat in the sun (Unknown)

In winter I get up at night and dress by yellow candle light;
In summer, quite the other way; I have to go to bed by day.
(Robert L. Stevenson)

Summer Is:
Beautiful flowers, Balmy breezes, and walks in the park
Riding bike, baseball, and kids swimming in pools and beaches
picnics, warm starlit nights, and fire flies
barbeques, and the smell of freshly mowed lawns
family vacations, going fishing, and eating ice cream and watermelon
gardening and canning and freezing veggies and fruits.

What do you think of when you think of summer?

Speaking of gardening, and preserving fruits and veggies, here are a few pics of my garden.

Overview of our garden

My flowers are just starting to bloom

Lettuce, carrots, beets and sweet corn

tomatoes, kholarabi and green beans


My red beets don't seem to have done as well this year, but I was able to get six pints of pickled beets.

We have several different kinds of apple trees. We make applesauce from the Yellow Transparent and the Lodi

The cottage cheese containers and the yellow butter containers all have applesauce in our freezer. I felt bad that I didn't take any pictures during the process of making it.

The plants in my garden are looking good. It just seems like this year it is taking a long time for them to actually have produce ready to eat. We have had lettuce, beets and radishes, and some kholarabi. And we finally have green tomatoes on the vines.

I was thinking that my garden is kind of like some of us. Sometimes we don't always bear fruit like we should for the Lord. However, just like my garden, it's never too late to start producing.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Auburn Art

I had the pleasure of going to Auburn last week with blogger (and real) friend, Rebecca, to see the Sculptures on the Square. It is an exhibit of life-sized sculptures (and one very large sculpture), done by Seward Johnson, placed at different places around downtown Auburn. They are made of cast bronze, but some things--especially the shoes, belts, even some of the clothing--looks very real.

(I went to see the sculptures, but there were also many beautiful flowers around the town. This was a flower bed in front of the Presbyterian Church. )

This was the most impressive sculpture, mostly because of it's size. It was called "Turn of the Century". Rebecca and I estimated it to be about 25 feet tall. You can get some idea of the size by comparing Rebecca's height to the sculpture.

I don't think Rebecca can quite fill the shoes of this man! The heel of the shoe is all the way back to her other foot.

We thought this man needed some help with his trash cleanup. It was called "Aftermath".

This sculpture, called "Uninvited Advice" shows an artist painting the Auburn library. It's a unique building, and you can see the actual library in the photo below. It made me think that
the painting on the sculpture can probably be changed, depending on where it is exhibited.
(the painting can be seen by enlarging the photo)

"My Dog Has Fleas"
Does anyone remember having a Ukelele, and tuning it with those 4 notes? Do you tune a guitar the same way? At any rate, it was a unique title for this sculpture.

There were 14 sculptures displayed. It was fun to see all the detail and how life-like some of them were. Afterwards, we had lunch had a quiet little restaurant (I forgot to take a picture of it). It was a relaxing and enjoyable afternoon.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Hats Have It!

On my previous post about the cousin reunion I mentioned a hat skit. The 4 girls who were the planning committee and hostesses wanted to show us some of the many different hats that we as women often wear. For example we are mother, wife, nursemaid, gardener, teacher, etc. We can be sophisticated and classy, or just plain.

JeanAnn as sports coach and teacher

Char as entertainer

Jan as Plumber

Jan as Sophisticated Society Woman

Judy as nurse and caretaker

Char--Lighting up the Lives of Family and Friends

And there were several others. Who knew we have so many roles--i.e. "hats"?
However, there was an ulterior motive to this lesson about hats. Since we were in Amish Country they decided to give each of us an Amish bonnet.

Our hostesses are in the picture above--JeanAnn, Jan, Judy, and Char. Judy is a seamstress and made all the bonnets! There were 23 of us there, but she also made them for those who were missing. Each family had a different color. On the strings were embroidered "Rupp Girl Cousin Reunion 2010".

Above is Sheila (sister-in-law), me, and sisters Lou and Brenda. The colors of the bonnets related back to a big Rupp family reunion in 1991, when every family had a different colored tee-shirts. And yes, our shirts that year were a bright pink--even the guys! Our bonnets are a more muted shade of pink.

What a special gift this was, and especially a gift of love, from Judy. I know this had to take a lot of time. But of course it was worth it--Look how beautiful we all are! Now the only problem is, what would be appropriate occassions to wear my gorgeous bonnet?!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Cousins in Amish Country

My mother's family had ten children, and only two of the original children (and one in-law) are still living. Every 2 years the entire family gets together for a reunion. However, the girl cousins (first cousins) decided to get together on the off year from the big reunion; this was the 4th time we have met together as girl cousins.

We have been in Wheaton, Illinois, Nashville, and then last year we were at a lake cottage in Michigan. But this year we decided to go to Shipshewana, Indiana. We all stayed at the Farmstead Inn. There is never a dull moment when we get together! There were 23 of us there out of a possible 39.

The first night we spent some time just "catching up" on our families since the last time we met. Then we had some fun activities and games. There was a very special skit, involving hats, which I will have to share on another post. As you can see from the clock, we did not get much sleep that night! I think I finally got to bed about 1 am.

We had options for sight-seeing the next day. Most of us did some shopping. But when the Rupp cousins get together, there is always food involved! Cousin Rita said we must go to the Blue Gate Restaurant for home-made noodles and pie. And indeed we did! We had several different kinds of pie and were able to sample a bit of the others--Rheubarb, Custard, Butterscotch, and Old-fashioned sugar cream. They were all absolutely delicious--and amazingly, no calories involved!

Suzanne, Brenda, Lou (standing), Marlene and Linda.

Sheila, Lou, Rita, Tootie, Marilyn, and Delight
(I of course was taking the picture!)

That evening we all went to an Amish home for dinner. They have a building where they serve the dinners.

It was served family-style, and we had chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, noodles, green beans, a wonderful broccoli-cauliflower salad, and homemade bread and jam. Then for dessert--you guessed it--we had pie! We had a choice of fresh strawberry, chocolate, or rheubarb. Most of us had a small piece of each! As they would say on Hee-Haw, Yum, Yum!!

After dinner, we were treated to a tour of this Amish home. It was truly lovely, with beautiful woodwork; some of us were surprised to see that it seemed almost contemporary, with running water and gas appliances and lights.

After the tour, we enjoyed a horse and buggy (or wagon) ride, four at a time. The horse had a competitive spirit, and would speed up and try to race when a car or truck passed us.

What a fun evening! The Amish couple were gracious and fun and their 15 y/o daughter helped serve our dinner. The horses name was Frances (at least I think so--sometimes I'm not good with animal names either!)

Friends and Flowers

So much to post--So little time! I've had several interesting and fun activities lately, so I'll just start, one at a time. My husband has been out of the country, and you know what they say--While the mouse is away...

I like to go visit my friend Naomi, in Terre Haute, whenever I can. She is 75 y/o and is wheel-chair bound. She doesn't have many people to visit with, and misses her very good friend in Oklahoma (they used to talk every day), so I always feel like I will be an encouragement to her. Actually, I usually come away from our visits being encouraged by her. In spite of her circumstances (and 2 daughters that think they know what's best for her!) she maintains a positive attitude. We discuss the news, the state of the country and the Bible. She loves the Lord and so we always have good fellowship.

I was able to stay with my husband's brother and his wife overnight. They have a lovely home and a beautiful flower garden. I just couldn't help including a few pics of the beauty in their backyard. They had lots of these beautiful hydrangeas.

Not being a flower person, I forget what this is, but loved the colors.

This is only one corner of their yard. They have roses, Hostas, so much more!

My nephew Dan and his wife Bethany live in Terre Haute, and they just had closing on buying their first home. Before I left the city, I went by and Dan gave me a grand tour. It's really a lovely home inside, with lots of space. I think they will have so much fun, getting settled and fixing it to their liking.

On my way home, I stopped in Noblesville, to check on the progress my niece Dawn and her husband Rick are making on their house. They bought an old house and have had to repair and fix and remodel from the ground up. But it has a lot of personality and beautiful wood floors and woodwork, and will be really great when they finish.

Home again, home again, jiggity-jig--or something like that. The next day I would start yet another adventure.