Monday, August 31, 2015

Smartie Had a Party...

...and Kendra and I went :)

Kendra drove 50 minutes south, and I drove 45 minutes north,
and we wound up at the Potteigers'. We joined them for a church picnic,
complete with games and enough food to feed a major work crew.

These two have a special place in my heart. After serving in ministry-- as teenagers on Navajo land in New Mexico, and as a couple in multiple pastorates scattered throughout Pennsylvania, plus a handful of years in Romania, and also with a church in Alabama-- the Potteigers gave five years of dedicated service to our small congregation at Bethel in Michigan.

In 2010, they moved back to the hills of Pennsylvania, which is right where I found them on Saturday, just up the road from a place accurately named, "Pleasant Valley."

Friday, August 28, 2015

you say tomAto...

I spent a couple recent Saturdays with tomatoes-- first in my sister-in-law's kitchen, and then in a friend's kitchen. Salsa, ketchup, pizza and spaghetti sauce were all end products of our labors.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Biking Buddy

Malinda and I went for a 7 mile bike ride last night after work.
The sky was stunning,
and we had a fabulous time.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


I've been having a blast with this month's wellness challenge at work:
Try 1 or 2 new recipes each week.

Friends, this garden pizza was AMAZING. Wish I could have shared...

(oh- and as for the recipe... I made it up.)

Sunday, August 16, 2015


It's been nine months since I moved back to the States.

Nine months of a lot of new things...

{job, house, weather, car, state, church, roomies (well, two of them!), grocery store, schedule, gym, phone...}

I still have to call my heart back to the here-and-now when I email with friends or hear stories about life across the ocean.

I still cry (sob. really quite dramatically) every time I have to part with my parents and siblings back home in Michigan.

I still get lost periodically when navigating Central Pennsylvania.

I still have a Michigan license plate on my car, though I have secured a Pennsylvania driving license.

and I still have four toothbrushes. Yes. four.  {is it normal to have four toothbrushes?!?}
(1 at my house, 1 at my parents', 1 at the house we rent in Pennsylvania, and 1 in my travel bag...)

Two life quotes that brought me chuckles over the past couple months are:

Normal is just a setting on your dryer.

Item #4 on the list titled: Ten Ways International Volunteers Know They Have Readjusted
(from the book The Art Of Coming Home, by Craig Storti)

4. Other people no longer avoid the dish you bring to potluck dinners.

I'm finally feeling settled enough to look beyond the current week or month (...and maybe to also create yummy food that Americans appreciate-?!?).

I have favorite places-- like the local farmers' market, and Spanish church Sunday afternoons, and of course the amazing ice cream shop just around the corner.

I set goals at work (looking into the future instead of just focusing 100% on the present), continue connecting with friends and exploring the area, and as usual always look forward to my next time home with family.

Friday, August 14, 2015

p is for pleasure

I recently stopped at a farm market and bought some bruised peaches.
I had a lovely time baking a peach pie.

The crazy thing is...
I live with three people who don't really care for pie.
(I really have a difficult time writing that fact. It's almost impossible to believe.)

I never realized how much I appreciate a good, homemade fruit pie...
until I lived away from home.

I have three pie discoveries to share:

1) Some people don't like pie
2) Many people have only eaten "bad" pie (store pie = "bad" pie)
3) Very few people make their own pie crust

Thanks to Naomi's recommendation I also baked a little hand pie...
which I ate

Anyway- I found pleasure in taking my peach pie to work to share with my colleagues... 
I figured I could find at least 6 or 8 people in the office who would LOVE a piece of homemade, fresh peach pie.

I did.