Monthly Archives: August 2015

Sticks & Stones Succulents


I did something fun yesterday, I went up to our local farmers market to see these gals!!

My sister in law Karen and her business partner / son’s girlfriend Victoria are creative, smart, entrepreneurs! They have a thriving summer business selling darling succulents that they grow and arrange themselves!


I did not know they had this little business endeavor going until they asked The Dane to make them a couple of water color signs.


She did a beautimous job!


When I went over with The Dane to deliver them to Karen and Victoria I saw their work area and WOW, they are ALL IN!!!!! It was something to see!


I had been wanting to get up there to visit, but when I saw on Instagram that yesterday was their last morning of the summer, I knew I had to go. I’m so glad I did!


All different kinds of succulents, all sorts of containers.

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I was quite fond of this little fella, as is Karen. I predict he will find a home with her.


So cute!




They were doing a brisk business!


So many to choose from!


Good job ladies, see you next summer!!!!!


The Weekly Sy-The Great Outdoors


This is Sy’s first summer at our home. When he lived with The Boy and The Dane in Chicago he was content to look out the window, but he did not go outside.

Our elder felines have a summer ritual. They like to go out on the front porch in the cool early morning hours to roll and sniff and eat a blade of grass. Generally take in the air. They might be out for an hour or until scary human walkers or a loud car passes by, and they all come stampeding in as if the devil dogged their heels. They love this time in the morning.

They only problem is I have to keep the front door open the entire time they are out. That’s all I have to do to get them to come inside, pretend like I am going to shut them out of their home and leave them to fend for themselves in the cold, cruel world of suburbia. I have wished many, many times that we had a screen door. .

Enter Sy in the picture. At first he seemed scared of OUTSIDE. Then he got brave. Then in his attempt to be the boss of everyone, he decided if they could go outside, HE COULD TOO. At first I just put him behind a door somewhere. That angered him and caused him to behave in an unacceptable manner that caused me to have to wash a bathroom rug.

Because of a lack of trust, he could obviously not go out alone with the girls. They never wander, Our solution was to dig out Katie’s old dog leash. The Boy and The Dane began taking him out for “walks” in the back yard. They discovered that he was a weenie about grass. He didn’t like it when the leash was between his legs and made him walk like he had wet his pants.

The Dane sent these pictures when they were still here.


He eventually got brave and went as far as the extension of his leash allowed.


He thoroughly explored the playscape,


Still unsure about the picky carpet.


He eventually gave in and enjoyed the experience.

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Our solution for the morning ritual is to extend the leash out as far as it goes and place the handle under the front porch chair. He is limited as to how far he can roam, but at least he is out with his pride. Every so often I need to go and extricate him from his tangled web but so far, so good! I don’t know if he will ever be allowed to free range like the old ladies, we’ll see.

Madagascar is Waiting


Today is a big day.

Our dear friends The Hostler’s are taking their daughter/sister to the airport so she can travel to Madagascar. Not for a vacation, for an extended mission trip, with the possibility of becoming a commitment of several years. Nurse Lauren is going to serve on a Mercy Ship! Taking relief and Jesus to a needy place. You can read about the wonderful organization here.

This decision was not a quick thing, it has been years in the making for Lauren. It seems as though the course of her life has been travelling on a road for just a time as this. Her previous short term mission trips, her experience in serving the Lord in many other areas of her life, her choice of career, her compassion for helping others, all made this a natural fit.

It’s hard to believe that this young woman, here as a little gal in the center, will be travelling very far away to be a surgical nurse on a floating hospital, IN AFRICA.

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On the left.

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We are so thankful God gave us this family to love! They have made our lives richer and more fun in every way!

Lauren was the first to get glasses. They all followed like dominoes.

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All spaced out by a year or so.

On the right with The Ab-Cat.


They are intertwined with the fabric of our life.

The silver alien!


Our kids don’t have to think hard to picture a memory they had that involved them.

On top with The Boy.

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All ages,

On the right.


all seasons.

The tallest one!


Some with props,

on right.


some with costumes,

The masked angel.


all with great creativity and joy!

In the white top.


Almost all of our good camping memories are with them.

Front and center!


Church events.

Second from left.


That’s a BINGO!!!!

Second left.


Bless The Boy, surrounded by all those girls his whole life!

Red shirt.


They have been imprinted on the hearts of our family.

On left.


Grafted onto our family branch.

Second from left.


DEHOSTWAELER CAMP!!!!! Even blended our names!!!

On right.


Done life together.

On right.


Our children have grown up together. Shared holidays with each other.

On right.


Had MUCH creative fun together!

On left.


Linked in this life by their love and memories, in the next because of their salvation in a Living God.

In the middle.


God Bless their family as they adjust to the many changes in their lives, they are a very tight knit group and this will no doubt take some getting used to.

On left at her going away party.


But she is confident of her mission. Her calling.


On left is Nurse Lauren


I had such a good time going through these pictures!!!


She is accepting prayers and has a few ideas!


If you would like to follow her journey, check in on her blog, Hope the Anchor For My Soul. I am looking forward to hearing about  all the ways, great and small, she sees God going before her and working out details as only He can!

God Bless you Nurse Lauren!!!!!!! Much love and many prayers!

Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.[

Wednesday Hodgepodge


Glad you stopped by! If you would like to link up with Joyce and the other Hodgepodgers just click on the button below.

1. It’s hard to believe, but next week’s Hodgepodge will find us in the month of September. What’s one thing you want, need, or hope to do still before summer officially ends?

Well, it isn’t fun in any way but we need to clean out, paint and reorganize our disaster of a garage. It’s a need. We never got around to it last year so it’s a double whammy this year. Honey got a new workbench (still unassembled) and we had purchased new carpet squares (still boxed and stacked) last summer to re-carpet the ramp into the back door. We still have Labor Day weekend, right?!
2. When were you last at ‘your wit’s end’?

I feel like this frequently concerning my poor sleeping the last few years. Waking up at 3:30 when you know you have a full day ahead of you, or just tossing and turning the night away can make you feel you are at your wits end!!! This and the unexpected weight gain are my least favorite things about this age in life.
3. Describe a time you were figuratively thrown into ‘the deep end‘?

This sounds like several experiences when the kids were young. When The Boy was 19 months old and diagnosed with chronic ITP, all the medications and surgeries and lifestyle changes that came along with it made us feel in over our head. As I think back on it though it feels like it was training for when we had the car accident that caused Abby’s spinal cord injury. We already had some experience treading water, and we knew that God was in the deep water with us. It was good to know.
4. Does the end always, ever, or never justify the means? Explain.

I think in matters of morality or integrity it never does. Wrong is wrong and two wrongs are still wrong.

I had an experience at Sam’s yesterday that caused me to ponder. I didn’t have a ton of stuff in my cart, but I certainly had more than 10 items, which excluded me from using the empty self check out lane for under 10 items. So I waited for the couple in front of me to finish their order in the self check out lane, where you could buy anything in the whole anything kingdom..

As you do when you are trapped in a line waiting patiently, I watched the people around me. I noticed that a mom and her teenaged daughter strolled up to the 10 and under lane and proceeded to check out their full cart. I also noticed that the daughter, I am sure on the direction of her mother, put a bag of evidently rejected asparagus on the silver table next to the check out. I do know the daughter caught my eye as she did this. When the cashier who trouble shoots the area came around a few minutes later, she picked up the asparagus and thinking maybe the woman had forgotten it, asked if the asparagus was hers. The woman said no. The teenaged daughter again made eye contact with me.

I realize that this scenario is not a big deal in the scope of life, but I did wonder what that mother had taught her daughter in those brief moments at Sam’s. Because the lane was empty, she felt that it was ok to use it. No one will go to prison for this, but the man with the gallon of milk and a bottle of pills, who came up shortly after she began, might have been inconvenienced and a little annoyed with her. That was rightly his lane to use, set aside specifically for the customer with a quick transaction.  I know you may be thinking that the woman may not have noticed the sign, and bless your heart for being so sweet.. Certainly possible but unlikely in our increasingly prevalent world of  self check out lanes, and that the vast majority of Americans can actually read signage..

As far as the asparagus I am at a complete loss. She lied, for no good reason. And her daughter knew it. All she would have had to say was she had decided against it. What did she think would happen? The cashier was going to make her take it back to where she got it?? Like that would ever happen?!

In the space of a few minutes the woman taught her daughter that the end, getting out of the store quicker and denying you did something, justified the means. Granted, not big offenses, but it made me wonder if she would do that at the grocery store, what would she do anywhere else? And by her example, teach her daughter? I’m sure the mom never gave it a second thought.

Just an observation.

5. What makes your hair stand on end?

Scary things. I am a real weenie.
6. I read an article on the website Eat This! Health, that listed 11 foods we can eat to help end bad moods. Basically it’s a feed your brain so you’re less anxious, grouchy and lethargic. The foods are-mussels, swiss chard, blue potatoes, grass fed beef, dark chocolate, greek yogurt, asparagus, honey, cherry tomatoes, eggs, and coconut. Which of those do you think would most help end your own bad mood? Which do you fear, if forced to eat, would put you into a bad mood?

Mussels, swiss chard, blue potatoes could make me anxious. Of COURSE dark chocolate would put an end to a bad mood for at least a few minutes 🙂
7. What project around your home, office, or life in general feels like there is ‘no end in sight’?

Yard work!!!!! At least we will have a reprieve in a few months. But those dang weeds will just hibernate and come back lush and green in the spring.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I saw the first bumper sticker of the 2016 presidential election yesterday while driving. It said TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT. There you go.

Grand Haven, Holland and Chicago


I feel my blobbing has been spotty lately. I think it is a combination of being gone, being busy and the usual dog days of summer when not a whole lot is going on. All squished together in an uneven ball.

Lets talk about Grand Haven! It was my first time there and in Holland, where we also did some shopping. Three Good Kids graciously drove again this year and The Peanuts Champ and Oreo Mom graciously let me sit in the front seat closest to the air conditioner!!!!


The house we rented was very nice, which was really good because we have always enjoyed the house we rent in South Haven. It was nice to explore a new area and this place had more selections of places to eat. We liked one place so much we went twice!

The weather was not the best but it was good enough for shopping 🙂 We never did get to the beach. We had plenty of laughs, good conversations, yummy food,  fun games, a funny movie and only got locked out once!


It takes a long time to grow old friends!


There were lots of words at the shops.


I am a fan of the words, just ask Capri Patt.




There were a lot of cute stores. I even began the Christmas shopping for the year! Always a bonus!

I am going to have to get used to having a faincy phone, I kept forgetting to take pictures. I will have to learn to think bloggally.

I did remember to take a few at the farmers market. Honey makes these!


Wish we could grow these!




The Girls and I got these for our cars.


We got back on Friday afternoon and on Saturday The Boy and The Dane went back home to Chicago after staying with us since the end of May. The Boy started school yesterday and The Dane has her third interview for a job at a church tomorrow!!!! These are both exciting things considering The Boy had to drop out last year because of all the side effects from medication and The Dane is now a graduate!!!!

We were joking that they should send me a picture of his first day with his new backpack, like the olden days. They sent this sparkling beauty.


I sent them this picture yesterday, told them Sy missed them.


Maybe he was in denial. Or maybe he was just bushed from his morning of harassing the elder ladies. It earned him several squirts with the bottle. He knows he is wrong, he takes it.


That’s it for today. I can’t top that picture.

Potent Quotable-The Weekly Sy


  Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. ~Robert Brault

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Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling. ~Margaret Lee Runbeck


There are some days when I think I’m going to die from an overdose of satisfaction. ~Salvador Dali


The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment. ~Doug Larson

Grand Haven With the Girls!


Hello from Grand Haven, Michigan! We traveled across The Mitten yesterday for our Girls Getaway and are ready for some fun!

We usually go to South Haven but were not able to get our usual place, so The Peanuts Champ found us a new one and we are liking it very much! I will have to show you pictures when I get home because while I know how to get them from the phone to the iPad,  I am not sure how to get them from the iPad to the blob post. This has always been my problem. I used to know but evidently I have managed to forget or delete that information. I use Windows Live Writer at home like a champ, no need to remember all those pesky WordPress details.

We are looking forward to contraband food, good times, fun games, a little shopping, a whole lot of talking and tons of laughs!

Have a good weekend!

The Tale of the Two iPhones


Look what I got!!!!!!! Oh my goodness, I think we were the last people in Michigan to get faincy phones!!!!!

Honey and I joined the 21st century last week. Honey’s flip phone finally quit him about a month after it plooped into the pool. So for a month I knew it was coming and I had to exercise extreme patience. Because you know what sounded fun? AN iPhone!!!!!!

The Boy put this background on of Goomba, Ab-Cat and I playing the game Memory. My other background is the grandcat Sy. Of course it is.


I picked this cover because it had texture and I was a little afeared of dropping the slippery little sucker. Maybe, as my confidence grows, I will find a cutey-cute cover that expresses my personality, whatever that may be.


Our phone story is a long drawn out affair, as is often our way. I will try and abbreviate it for blob purposes, I make no guarantees.

Everyone in our house has their own phone. Four iPhones, my 2 year old slide-touch phone (that is of the devil and does whatever it wants, whenever it wants) and Honey’s 8 year old thing that is blue and has my old green battery on the back. Sweet, I know. He doesn’t care, he does what he wants.

I believe I may have mentioned that about a month ago we were putting the pool cover on and PLOOP, it fell right out of his pocket into the pool when he bent over. We tried putting it in rice and it did start running again but was a shell of it’s former poor self. Honey finally conceded that he needed to set it free from it’s misery and replace it, but we discovered that the Sprint stores only 2  phones that were not  iPhones were the old fashioned texting phones, where you have to go through 3 letters of the alphabet for each number. Like the first one I had over 10 years ago!


What are we, The Croods??


Now Honey is not much of a phone guy, but he does text! That phone was not happening. My heart was leaping for joy!

He started researching phones. It is his way.

We finally got our phone bill straightened around, after finding out they had been overcharging us since January, and he decided we could get iPhones for the same price as we had been paying. Then he decided he didn’t want to lease their phones, he wanted to purchase the phones and just switch our contacts. The reason being he didn’t want ANYONE messing with his straightened out phone bill!!!! No THANK YOU.

Do you know how hard it is to purchase a phone that is not tied to a service plan? Neither did we. I guess it is not hard at the Apple store, but it is at the Sprint store and Target. We spent much time going from place to place and finding out that apparently,  no one does that. I can assure you that much time going from place to place was an exercise in patience as well. Those phone people do.not.speak a language I am familiar with.

Exasperated, Honey came home and had a long phone chat with the good folks at Sprint, where he was able to order 2 phones for the normal price of $1400 and have them shipped to our house. Sheesh.

When Honey got to work he mentioned, with great angst I’m sure, his problems trying to procure 2 iPhones, without service plans. His friend said he wished he would have known that because he was switching from Sprint to Verizon and he was turning in 4 iPhones, he would have given him 2 for $700 bucks, which was what they were giving him!! Hmmmmm.

Honey then called around to find a corporate Sprint store (very important) where he could return the phones we purchased on the phone, then we scrounged up $700 in cash to give to his friend at work and WHA-LAH, we have new iPhones!!!!!

Honey was very struck by the timing in all of this and very clearly saw God’s hand and perfect timing. The fact that it took a month for his phone to actually die, which had turned his thoughts to new iPhones, to all the runaround of not being able to purchase an outright phone, to telling his friend in great angst of his trouble, to being able to return the purchased phones to the corporate Sprint store, to even finding enough cash at the last minute (with $10 in singles!) to give to the friend to purchase his in perfect shape, less than year old iPhones, for half the price at the PERFECT TIME!!! Apparently, God cares about our phones!!!

Just another kiss on the cheek from a really good God!

AND THEN, Mrs. Schmenkman texted and said she has gotten a faincy phone too!!! Look out Instagram, we have been UNLEASHED on the world!!!!!!!

Follow us at capri_kel and sassycathill, we can now take pictures to post in other places besides our homes!

The Tail End of The Sassy Cat Visit


What would a visit to Sassy Cat Hill be without a little shopping? We don’t have the stamina like we used to, shopping from morning until night. Oh no, we are morning until mid afternoon gals now. Plus we had to get home to feed a baby beaver, you know how that is.

We have our favorite stores and we both had some luck, which is always nice. Schmenky blobbed about it here.

Like she mentioned, we usually have our Memorial Day Extravaganza the end of May. But this year Capri Deb and BFG’s daughter was busy getting all hitched and such so we just shifted the Hootenanny to later in the summer.

Because of the later date we were able to shop for TWO seasons instead of our usual summer attire. Always good for me because I don’t shop as much as I used to and it seems I do the majority of it while on vacation. Summer stuff at Schmenky’s and winter stuff in Florida.

Mrs. Schmenkman found this at Kohl’s! She didn’t get it because she has a fear of white clothing but it sure was cutey-cute! And appropriate!


I usually only find one or two of the flowy top thingies that I like to wear, but this time I hit the jackpot!!!! Oodles and oodles, summer AND winter, I am a happy girl! Long enough and flowy enough to hide things that need to be hidden! I even talked Schmenk into a couple! I don’t think they were as important to her because she still wears pants with zippers.

Speaking of pants with no zippers, my bargain of the trip, the month, and also possibly of the YEAR, were a sweet pair of black Bandolino capri jeggings from a place we lovingly call The Big Cheap Store. I only saw the one pair on the rack, they were amazingly MY SIZE and they fit like they were made for me. PLUS, with the added bonus of being only $5.99!!!!!!! And when I got to the cashier they came up as $3.99!!!!!!! I have worn them almost every single day since, that’s just how strong the love is.

I am quite sure that the outfits will show up on the blob as time goes on, I will try and make it a point to mention it.

We always like to take a picture to commemorate the trip. It’s always a mixed bag. Schmenky was using her tablet and we had a bit of timing trouble. Then my glasses were VERY uncooperative. We tried switching sides. Location, location, location!


Aren’t our hairs cute? We cut one day, then tweaked another. It’s funny listening to hairdressers tell each other how to cut their hairs. Not at ALL technical. Tweaking is essential.


Thanks for having me for TWENTY YEARS Schmenky Catherine!!!!!!! Here’s to 20 more!

We discussed plans to meet again in the fall and this time I will bring Honey! He and Mr. C will have a fine time doing manly things like fitchin’ and stuff. Can’t wait!


Goodbye Sassy Cat Hill, see you in the fall!!!!!!!