August 31, 2017

Back to School with a Tour of an 1802 Octagonal Schoolhouse

As a new school year starts back into session, it was an appropriate time
to head to Wrightstown, Pennsylvania to tour an unusual old schoolhouse.
This octagonal, also called "eight square," stone building was built in 1802,
and is the only one still standing in Bucks County.

Why an eight-sided building?
Windows on eight sides were thought to bring in the most natural light
during this time before kerosene lamps or, of course, electricity.
There was a door on one side and a window on each of the other seven.
They were positioned higher in the walls so as not to provide distracting views.

Wooden desks were lined up along the walls,
with smaller desks for the younger students in front.

A wood-burning stove heated the building in the cooler months.
The teacher was responsible for supplying the wood.

Schooling at the time was not public, but private.
A yearly fee was required of $1.50 per child. 
If a family could not afford it, the Quakers would pay their tuition.

This is a copy of an employment agreement for a teacher named Rachel Twining.
Her duties are outlined, along with a list of students with a record of tuition paid.

The document was typed out to be more easily read.

An pretty collection of ink bottles.

How about this cute birdhouse replica?

The school house is located at the corner of Second Street Pike and Swamp Road.
You can learn more at the Wrightstown Township, PA website.

August 26, 2017

Display Your Flowers in a Japanese Ikebana Vase

Are you familiar with a unique type of vase called an ikebana?
It's from the Japanese art of flower arranging.

A pin frog like this one is set into each vase to help with flower placement.

We have 2 ikebanas, both handcrafted by Garnett Pottery in Lancaster, PA.

I love to give them as gifts! Although most folks have a vase or two,
they rarely own, or have even heard of, an ikebana vase.

 Visit my previous blog post about Garnett Pottery!

August 19, 2017

A Great Time Kayaking at Ayers Creek Adventures in Berlin, Maryland

Without a doubt, a high point of my summer was kayaking at Ayers Creek Adventures!
What a joy to leave my cares behind and paddle into a world of stress-free serenity!
We all need a regular dose of nature, and Ayers Creek provides the very best.

Located in Berlin, MD, which is very close to Ocean City and Assateague Island, 
Ayers Creek Adventures is owned and operated by Suzy & Steven Taylor.
Each has extensive experience, plus a deep knowledge of and a love for the environment.
They're passionate about sharing the scenic beauty of the creek!

They offer guided eco tours, sunrise and sunset tours,
full moon paddles, and lots of special events throughout the season.
In addition to kayaks, canoes and Stand Up Paddle Boards can be rented. 

The Taylors have a chocolate lab puppy named Finnegan,
who is as friendly as can be, and awfully cute, too!

Suzy and I ventured out in a tandem kayak.

Ah, now this is the life! The still, tranquil, beauty of nature!
We saw a blue heron, and got to watch 2 bald eagles circling peacefully above, 
until an osprey, defending his turf, started pestering them!
Sue says she often sees kingfishers, a favorite of mine.

Suzy enjoys providing interesting facts about the creek, its flora and fauna.
Marsh hibiscus, also called marsh mallows, grow wild along the shore.
The marshmallows we roast originated from this plant!

Sue pulled up one of her crab pots to show me some Maryland blue crabs!

Another shot of Finn, just because he stole my heart.

I really encourage you to add this to your list of places to go!

Contact Info:
Ayers Creek Adventures
8628 Grey Fox Lane
Berlin, MD 21811

(Selfie Blooper)

August 14, 2017

Fabulous Trompe L'oeil Cakes by Laura Loukaides

Wow! You have to look very closely to realize that this pizza is not a pizza!
It's really a cake, created by award-winning cake artist Laura Loukaides.
Laura, of the UK, is self-taught! How's that for inspiring? 
She's made several cakes that are excellent examples of trompe l'oeil,
representing any part of a meal but the luscious desserts they actually are!

View more of Laura's work here:

August 5, 2017

Making the World Mobile with Mobility Carts!

This post is about a non-profit organization called Mobility Worldwide, 
specifically, their affiliate in Stow, Ohio, with which I am very familiar.

Mobility Worldwide is a faith-based group of volunteers who devotes
their time, talents and resources to build and distribute Mobility Carts.
These hand-cranked, three-wheeled carts are given freely,
along with the Good News of Jesus Christ,
to leg-disabled men, women and children in developing countries.
Their disabilities may have resulted from birth defects, disease,
or injury -very often from land mine accidents.

I'm featuring this moving video that really gives 
a great example of what they're all about.
Please take a look~

Your prayer support is welcomed and appreciated.
You can make any size donation to Mobility OH-Stow on their website.

A gift of $300 sponsors a cart in honor of, or in memory of, a loved one.
A decal similar to this one will be placed on the cart!

Here are links to my previous posts about Mobility OH-Stow:

The PET Brings Mobility and the Love of Christ to Developing Countries
PET® Carts Head to the GAiN® Distribution Center
Touring the Global Aid Network Logistics Center

Elsewhere on the WEB:


August 2, 2017

Custom Wedding & Baby Embroidery Hoop Art by Bug & Bean Stitching

Wouldn't a custom embroidery hoop like this one make a 
fantastic, thoughtful gift for a loved one's baby daughter? 
Sure to become a treasured keepsake, these hoops are stitched 
by Marley of Bug & Bean Stitching in Minnesota.
I say look no further for the perfect, memorable gift! 

Other ideal reasons to gift one of these is for an engagement or wedding.

Add a personal touch by requesting that the embroidery copy the
pattern and typography of the couple's wedding invitation.

See more Bug & Bean on Etsy and Instagram.

Images used with direct permission from Marley of Bug & Bean Stitching.