There May Be Snow, But The Seasons Have Changed: A Different Kind Of Snow Day With A Hot Chocolate Recipe

Jonathan in the ice

I love snow days, I always have.  Once we began the farm, snow days were certainly different from the snow days where we just got to bundle up and watch movies.  Making sure the animals have water, shelter, and extra feed can take away from the pleasure at times, but it also brings its own kind of pleasure.

At this stage, the number of our animals is greatly reduced  and Jonathan, who loves snow and ice and cold, was happy to carry out the duties awaiting him.  Sierra and I got to stay indoors and relax.

BUT here is the thing that made this snow day different- my oldest two were not at home, they were at their homes.  In the past, even though they had moved out, they still came home- to my home- on snow days and got iced in with us.  This time they did not.

Savannah called midday and I said to Sierra, “I bet she is calling to see if her daddy thinks she can drive on the roads and come home.”  Well, she was calling to see if he thought it safe to drive but she was wanting to go to Dakota not here.  Home for now means being wherever Dakota is, home for her is now more about a person than a place.  And that is good, given that their wedding is now just a few months away.

As for Cheyenne a day at home with no college or work meant a day at her home.  She now lives with my grandmother, her great-grandmother.  I know that home very well as I have spent many days there with two of my most beloved women.  I know that she spent plenty of time standing in front of the Deerborn heater warming her backside then turning around to warm the front.  Central heat is nice but there is something about having a warm spot to back up to on a cold day.  She was content in a warm house full of love- her home.

This is the first year that I have seen a distinct separation from my home to their own homes even though they moved away two years ago.  I thought it would be more upsetting but its not.  It is in its due time.  There are seasons in our life, not just spring and winter, but seasons for certain types of living.  My season for having all of my babies at home has passed.  I love having time to focus with the younger two and I love having teenagers.  Most people find me crazy, but I love it.  Its a new season, but a good one.  Each season has its place.  The mistake most mothers make is to try and hold on to one season for too long.  This simply causes strife and conflict and it will not stop the season from changing.  The seasons will change with or without our permission, best to embrace the change and enjoy every moment for what it is.

So, today we will enjoy another day at home with just the younger two and make some more memories and drink hot chocolate!  I have my own hot chocolate recipe I developed and we  just love it.

Here it is so you can make homemade hot chocolate that tastes way better than anything from a package.

Hot Chocolate

2 Cups whole milk

3 cups heavy cream

3 tablespoons of Cocoa

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla

Mix together and heat through in a heavy bottomed sauce pan.  Top with marshmallows if you desire (which we do).

The sugar could be substituted with organic raw sugar, honey, or agave nectar if you are looking for an unprocessed version.

Think Southern Florida Is Just For Old Folks? Think Again…

While continuing on the Road Less Traveled we traveled south from Ft. Pierce a few miles and explored Bathtub Reef.  Located at the south end of Hutchison Island, Bathtub Reef Park is a must for snorkeling.  Tubeworms have built a reef by cementing bits of sand and shell creating reef rocks that look like honeycomb.  The reef creates a shallow swim area with very mild waves.  Which makes for a great day of just wading and looking at all the see life.  We picked up shells with our toes and took turns snorkeling out to the reef.  If it weren’t for the amazing sea life that we watched such as sea urchins, clown fish, and brightly colored coral, this would have just been a lazy day at the beach.  But the underwater world we got to be a part of made this no ordinary day at the beach.

Bathtub Reef Park, Florida

 

 

We were told to go early as the parking lot fills up quick- so we did.  We arrived about 8:30 and had the whole place to ourselves.

What happened next might have scared off the faint of heart- we watched a group of sharks feeding.

Here’s the thing- sharks don’t like to eat people they like bait fish.  Bait fish swim in schools that do not stay in one place for long.  We simply waited till the schools had moved on till we played in the sea.

Two sissy-boy fishermen walked past and were all freaked out telling us that we were crazy to swim there that day.  Whatever- any real fishermen would know that there are sharks in the ocean each and every day.  We had a blast and returned to our condo with all of our limbs and digits intact.

 

picnic at Bathtub Reef Park, Florida

We took along our lunch as this area is not jammed up with tourists and restaurants.  Dinning Alfresco is more fun, anyway.  Another thing this beach did not have much of was sea gulls- we have tried many times to picnic on the beach only to have to hide in the Excursion until we were done as the gulls would dive bomb our sandwiches.  But once again we thought it would be a good idea- I can’t explain why we kept thinking it would work but I guess it’s just that hope springs eternal in the human heart.  And this time it did work!  And it was just as great as we thought it would be.

Sierra Reading at the beach

Napping on the beach

Of course, after you eat you should definitely take a nap.

Bathtub Reef Florida

birds Bathtub Reef Park

There may not have been gulls, but there were lots of these birds.  They enjoyed the bread we tossed to them but were very polite and never approached us much less bullied us like the sea gulls would have.

We really enjoyed ourselves.  Dakota, Savannah, and Jonathan returned to the reef before we came home.  The snorkeled for hours and Jonathan got to break in his new gear that he bought with his spending money.

Surrounding the beach are some very nice homes, we were all discussing what it would be like to live in one and see this sight everyday- would it get old?  I doubt it , beauty is timeless.  I do think I would certainly be inspired to write a novel.  I just don’t see how you could resist.

This is a free park and it is so nice.  I can’t say enough about the fun we had and the unique little gem of a reef sitting just yards off the beach.  If you are looking for a great place for families this it one.

The Road Less Traveled- Round Island, Florida

Round island, two paths, florida

The Road Not Taken

BY ROBERT FROST

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
 
 
 
When you take the road less traveled in Florida, it will lead you away from the condos, tourist packed beaches, resorts, and retirement villages and what you find at the end if that road is breath-taking, simple, and beautiful.  We made many stops on this journey- the first to be shared is Round Island Florida- located just North of Fort Pierce, Florida.
sisters on round island Florida
 
looking for manatees
Looking for manatees- Round Island.  What a great find this place was, how grateful we are to the new friends we made in Florida that told us where to go!  This is the Indian River, a place where the manatees like to hang-out.
kayaking on Indian River
Cheyenne and I are in the kayak and you can see the manatee swimming up to us.  He was so very friendly and kept coming to check us out.  Tony took the pictures from the bridge that connected the shore line to the island.  This was a great view for watching the manatees.
Indian River Florida
You can paddle all around these little islands in the Indian River.  Cheyenne and I saw several manatees and on around the backside of these islands we watched a group of dolphins hunting for fish.  One thing we did not see was an alligator and for that I am grateful!  These islands are filled with mangrove trees, these trees have roots that grow down from branches to the water.  These masses of roots make for excellent nurseries for the marine life.  Jonathan and I paddled around before Cheyenne got in the kayak.  Every time I got close to the trees, he kept getting anxious.  I asked him if he was concerned about a snake dropping out of the tree into out boat, he said, “No, I am afraid you are gonna pop our kayak.”  You see, these were inflatable kayaks loaned to us by our new friends.  Given how durable these things are he needn’t have worried about popping the boat.  I, on the other hand, was quite concerned about the snake issue.  Not that we ever saw a snake at all, but given my irrational reaction to snakes I would have rather met an alligator.
 
round island
For those not interested in the water, there are wonderful trails, bird watching platforms, and views all around the island.  Also, across the highway on the ocean side, Round Island has a great beach.  The waves are great, the water beautiful and the sands are almost white- but there are no real crowds.
The Crew, Round Island Florida
Another view of the overlook bridge and my wonderful family- this will forever be my greatest accomplishment in this life.
 
 

DIY Keepsake Ornaments

DIY ornament

As I spoke about in a previous post, the children are given a new ornament each year.  I try to buy the ornaments while on our summer vacations, but to be honest that is hard to do sometimes.  If I was content with buying a mass produced ornament at a big box store it would be easy- but I am not.  I want ornaments that tie into our trip and experiences in some way.  Then I discovered clear glass ornaments at Hobby Lobby.  Now, I can use all the shells, sand, leaves, twigs, and such to create ornaments.

This years ornaments have a beach theme as our trip was to Galveston Island.

What you will need:

  • Clear glass ornaments from a craft store
  • Ribbon
  • Filling for the balls- sand, shells, drift wood, sea glass, etc.
  • Embellishments of you choice- I used metal letters, glitter and jingle bells
  • Modge Podge

Step 1, pour sand and add large items

Step 1: pour sand in the ornament

Step 2: place the larger items in the ball- I started with the drift wood.  As the pieces we brought home were large, I broke off small pieces that would fit.

Step 2, adding shells in the ornament

Step 3:  add shells & rocks- obviously not a lot of the shells will fit through the hole at the top, but you can collect enough to do the ornaments.  This is a good use for the pieces of sand dollars and mother of pearl that you find.

metal lettersStep 4: Prep the embellishments for the ornaments.  I am using metal letters I bought at a local flea market.

Applying modge podgeModge Podge makes a great medium for applying glitter to the letters.  Of course, shinny paint or any other form of paint would have worked.  I like bling.

Applying the glitterOn goes the glitter. Notice the brown paper covering my work surface- this is contractor paper from Lowe’s super useful stuff and really cheap.

putting ribbon on the glittered lettersStep 5- Add ribbon to glittered letters- once they have dried.

keepsake ornaments put togetherStep 6- put it all together.  I added a jingle bell with fishing line to the ornaments as well.  You can tuck the ribbon and fishing line into the hole of the ornament then press the metal hanger and cap back into place and this will hold it all together.

DIY ornamentThere you are- pretty as a picture and full of memories.  That is the way you make a home.

Ornaments, Tradition, & Tapestries

Mickey Mouse & 3 of his friends came from our trip to Disney World

Mickey Mouse & 3 of his friends came from our trip to Disney World

When Cheyenne was about 3, a wonderful lady shared about buying ornaments for her grandchildren to hang on the “cousins tree” in her house.  Each Christmas the cousins would all come over and were given a new ornament to go on the tree and would then decorate the tree with ornaments from years past.  I thought this was great and I changed it a bit to fit the season of life that I was currently in and still am as I do not have any grandchildren yet.

Each year I give the kids a new ornament which is the first ornaments to be hung on the tree.  Their ornaments are stored in a plastic shoe box labeled with their names.  The idea was that when they left home that these would be their ornaments to decorate their own trees.  Last year, the first box left home.  Honestly, this was more traumatic for me than when the child actually left home.  There are precious memories in those boxes.

In the beginning, I wanted a themed tree- you know color coordinated and just so.  So, I purchased ornaments that went with my theme, mainly mercury glass type ornaments in shiny colors.  But then one year when the kids were still very little, I had the idea to purchase the ornaments while on our summer vacation.  I was able to do this without the kids noticing as my husband is great at keeping the kids busy while I hunt ornaments. At Christmas, the vacation would have long been a memory but when the ornaments came out the memories came back. Being stealthy about the ornament buying worked for a few years, but the children being smart and observant started looking for ornaments for me while we would be shopping.  Then this became a new tradition.  Also, it dawned on me the year we went to Chincoteague Island that if I didn’t buy myself an ornament I was going to have a very empty and sad tree when the kids left home.

From the island of Chincoteague- the light house

From the island of Chincoteague- the light house

Now, each year when the boxes are relieved of their contents, we remember each trip and tell the stories one more time.  Some years, there weren’t vacations so the ornaments were chosen based on a significant event in our lives.  Like the year all the kids got into horses, I bought horse ornaments that looked like each kid’s horse.  It has become something we all treasure and enjoy.  My tree is not coordinated, but it is themed.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  I often ask the kids about their friends houses at Christmas- I am a bit of a junkie and I like to gather new ideas- so often their response is “The tree is pretty, but not special like ours.”  It seems I set the bar high without even meaning to do so.

Hand blown glass ornament from Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hand blown glass ornament from Hot Springs, Arkansas

This is what traditions are to me- threads that run through the years tying us together and weaving the tapestry that when we look back, it is the tapestry of our lives.  As the mother, it is my honor to be the keeper and maker of these traditions.

Tony would always sing the rymn "little pig, little pig let me in" to the kids and one year I found a set of 3 pigs and one big bad wolf.

Tony would always sing the rhyme “little pig, little pig let me in” to the kids and one year I found a set of 3 pigs and one big bad wolf.

What says Christmas like a pink flamingo?  Brought back from one of the many tips to the coast.

What says Christmas like a pink flamingo? Brought back from one of the many trips to the coast.

This years ornaments were make by me with shells, sand and drift wood collected from Galveston Island.

This year’s ornaments were made by me with shells, sand and drift wood collected from Galveston Island.

Opening the 2013 ornaments

Opening the 2013 ornaments

Hanging the ornaments from their boxes, the three still left at home.

Hanging the ornaments from their boxes, the three still left at home.

Simple Beauty- Christmas Decorating on the Farm

I love Christmas time- I have a  desire to bake, cook, clean, decorate, and wrap gifts tied up with lots of ribbon that sparkles that I am just unable to suppress.  I do get some help from the kids, but mostly its just me and I love it.  Tony enjoys my creations, especially those emerging from the kitchen, but is also content to sit and watch.  Many wives gripe about their husbands not being involved but I don’t see it that way.  He loves what I do but its not his thing to decorate- plus, if he got involved and started having opinions then I would not get to do it my way uncontested.  I like doing things my way.  Therefore, we have a nice balance, I drape greenery and lights on everything that will stand still and then when the sun sets and our home is shimmers, we sit on the couch and he tells me, “It’s beautiful, baby.”  That makes my heart happy and we avoid silly fights.

So, as Thanksgiving came and went the bins of decorations came out.  I have collected many items over the years that I love.  I usually pick a few things up each year after Christmas has passed.  But the things I love most are vintage junk.  The junk ( more on the great junk in another post) plus Christmas photographs of my children when they were little make up the most treasured of our Christmas decor.  For a few weeks, I am once again surrounded by their little cherub faces and toothless smiles.  These framed photos are stored in the bins with the other lights and ornaments.  As the bins are emptied of the Christmas contents, I pack away all of my usual decor into the empty bins- giving me a clean slate on which to create.

Decorating for Christmas can get expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.  Simple white lights mixed with fresh greenery is beautiful and elegant.  Add in some cheap dollar store bead garland and you have a classy display.  The greenery can be obtained by a county drive with a pair of lopping shears.

Cheyenne and the greenery

Vintage ChritmasWhite lights and greenery mixed with a vintage tool box, glittered Merry Christmas and a ceramic Santa painted by my very talented Aunt.

Coca Cola Christmas TreeThe only artificial tree that I have in my house, this white tree with white lights holds all my Coca Cola ornaments that I have been collecting for over a decade now.  The Coca Cola Christmas village was given to me by my awesome mother-in-law.

China HutchThis china hutch has a mixture of tool, white lights and glittered Pine Cones– the pine cones are a really fun project to do with the kids.  We made our pine cones about 5 years ago.  Each year I store them in large zip lock bags and they have lasted really well.

Merry & BrightThis in an antique window that I painted an ornament on.  The ornament is patterned after my favorite Merry Brite ornaments that hung on my parents tree for years.  I love those old ornaments.  As you can see, I need to fix the white stripes.  I stored this window in the storage room in our barn, this summer the cow got inside and licked off a lot of the paint.  I repainted the dots, but wouldn’t you know it I am out of white paint.

vintage santaSince, before I was born ( I am 41) this Santa covered my great-grandmother’s front door.  After she died, my grandmother moved into her house, so I have spent every Christmas Eve in that home and so have my children.  One day, I was over at Grandmother’s house and she was going to throw out this Santa.  I said, “I will take that, thank you very much.”  Now, it has hung in my home for over a decade.  My children  do not remember a year when that wasn’t apart of our house.

I love making memories.  I look at is as my privilege to be the keeper of those memories as well as the creator of memories for my family.  My Christmas decor is filled with memories of the people I have loved, many of them are no longer with me.  In this way, they live on.  In years to come, I hope nieces and nephews, grand children and children will pull something out of a box or smell are familiar aroma from the kitchen and remember me fondly.

 

 

 

 

 

Mary, Did You Know?

During the Christmas season when we focus on celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, I can’t help but think of the Crucifixion as well. They are inseparable, without either one there would be no salvation and redemption.

For many years I pondered on Mary, what it must have been like for her. The joy of bringing the Son of God into this world. The bitter sadness of bringing the Son of God into this world. Being the Jewish girl that she was, she knew the prophecies, she knew what lay ahead, she knew the sacrifices she and Joseph had already made to get this baby here. This was her son, too. She loved him as any mama loves her baby. Given all of that, I always wondered why she didn’t get more credit. She gave her son as well as God.

God gave his Only son, Mary of course had more children, but did that really mean it was no big deal that she gave Jesus? Then it came to me- when all of the events of Jesus’ death began to happen and as she stood there and watched him die on the cross- as a human, she could do nothing. It was out of her control. She certainly sacrificed, felt the grief, and was probably so angry she could have spit nails, but all said and done she had no control. Jesus was a grown man and he made his choice to follow God’s path and set us all free from eternal death and restore us to our Creator.

Now God, on the other hand, He was Almighty God- which means Commander of the Angel Armies. He could have stopped the pain with a thought. He could have said “enough” and Jesus’ and His own suffering would have been over. As God, he was in control and he had the power. But, He did not. He gave his only son. How much He must  love me and you. He could have stopped his child’s suffering, but He saw the big picture- our redemption- and He restrained himself and let Jesus die. What a sacrifice, what hurt. God felt the same pain, grief, and anger as Mary. We are made in His image, we have feelings and emotions -so does He.  But He endured the pain and hurt so that you and I could be restored, forgiven, and set free.

Could it be that the pain of seeing all of us lost to the evil one and separated from our heavenly father was more painful than watching his only son- the perfect one- die on the cross?  He wants a relationship with us that bad…  Mind boggling that the creator of the universe, the Alpha & Omega likes me that much.  I don’t know about you- but that motivates me to live better and love more.

God gave his only son…. So Celebrate this Christmas- Our Redeemer Lives!

Christmas Parade

Divorce & The Holidays

christmas

As the holidays approach, life can really get complicated.  Add in blended families and divorced parents and it can be a real mine field.

So I am going to offer something that, I hope will make your holiday what you hope for.  Sit quietly and think about what memories you would like to make with your children and what you want them to remember when they are grown and look back on the holidays that they shared with you.  Frankly, this applies to any facet of life- what do you want your kids to remember when they look back and make that happen.

In regards to the holidays, don’t let all the voices pulling at you influence your dreams.  Just take a few minutes to dream about what you would like and what would be best for your children.  Now go do that.

I am reminded of a conversation I once had with a friend.  Her children were all little and she was married to her original husband who was the father of all four kids.  The stress she was feeling was that both his and her parents were divorced and remarried- and all wanted them at their respective homes for the holidays.  She was exhausted and didn’t really want to make 5-6 stops in a 48 hour period with four small children in tow.  This was not what she thought was best for her kids or herself.  When asked what I thought I offered this:

“You did not create the problem.  It was not your decision or your husband’s for either of your parent’s to get a divorce.  The adults at the time made that decision.  Now, they have to live with the consequences.  Because they chose divorce, they now have to understand that they will not have all the children and grandchildren at every holiday.  And that is not your fault or your problem to fix.”

Now, will people get mad when you choose to stay home or only visit one or two homes?  Yes.

Will they get their feelings hurt?  Probably.

Will they be harmed? No.

The main thing is that you live and establish YOUR family in the way that is best for you and them.  Your  children are only little once, don’t let it pass by missing out on what you dream of by trying to make everyone else happy.

I hope this helps someone have a less stressful holiday.  The holidays should be a time of joy and celebration- but we have to be purposeful for that to happen.

 

Pumpkin Pickin' and Memory Makin'

This past July I sweated profusely as I put 30 pumpkin seedlings in the ground.  I didn’t mind the heat or the sweat because in my mind I could see my children, my nieces, and little cousins picking pumpkins from a pumpkin patch not from a bin or pile at the store, but from a real live pumpkin patch.  Never mind that I had never grown a pumpkin before nor had I seen anyone around me do it, this was my goal.  I wasn’t shooting for Halloween as my target date, I was shooting for November- Thanksgiving.  That part turned out just about right, we did have pumpkins but we needed to pick them early as the cool wet rains we kept having were causing a problem with the powdery mildew.  As it happened, my nieces and my cousin, Luke -a preschooler, were around on Sunday so I hauled them all out and we picked pumpkins!  What fun!!

If you have never heard a child giggle or squeal with delight at the discovery in a garden- you, my friend, have not experienced one of the finer things in life.

new pumpkin patchThe pumpkin patch about a month old.  Growing strong and beautiful.

Searching for pumpkinsLooking for pumpkins amid all the large leaves.  These pumpkins did not turn orange as they should have.  Instead we had lovely molted green pumpkins with an orange splash.  No bother, it was still fun and the unusual pumpkins were pretty.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKatie found a baby, the kids all like the babies just as well as the big ones.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARylie has found one, with a nice orange splotch.  She is twisting it to break the stem off.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALuke has just discovered that the stem of a pumpkin is prickly!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJonathan totes the large pumpkin for Rylie, he was waiting with his trusty knife if the twisting did not work.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUncle Tony and Katie.  Tony requested that we pick pumpkins when he could be around.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALuke took to wrestling the pumpkins free and Sierra tried to help.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKitchen shears to the rescue, Sierra helps Luke get his prize

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASuccess!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA pile of cute kids and pumpkins!  We will do this again next year.  However, I plant to set a date and invite all the other cousins.  We will watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and eat something – maybe roasted pumpkin seeds that we harvest and roast ourselves.  I also plan to plant some “Mighty Max” pumpkins that reach weights of over 100 lbs as well as smaller pumpkins that can be handled by smaller pickers.  The seed order will be placed this Friday.  I just can’t wait.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arizona…

Tony & Holly in Sedona Arizona

I must say that in all my daydreaming concerning travel destinations- Arizona never really made the list.  To some of you that will seem strange.  But, arid places have never really struck my fancy and I just am not crazy over cactus. But a week in Phoenix changed my mind about Arizona.

Now, I am still a southern girl who loves trees, camellias, and sweet tea so I have no plans to move there, but it is a great place to visit.  Tony spent three weeks in Phoenix training for his new position with Amazon.com and I flew out and spent the last week with him.  What fun we had!  We didn’t have a honeymoon when we got married and this week, unexpectedly, was like the honeymoon we never had.  I missed him desperately while he was gone, so seeing him waiting in the airport lobby made my heart go pitter-patter.

Most of the week was spent hanging out in the hotel, eating dinner at a different restaurant every night, and shopping, and swimming.  You hear all about the “dry” heat in Arizona, but until you have laid out by the pool and felt your skin shriveling up and crackling- you just really can’t grasp it.  Needless to say, my skin was happy to feel the humidity in Texas again.  On the last Friday there Tony had the day off and we drove up to Sedona for the day.

All I can say is “WOW”, God was really showing off when he made Sedona, Arizona.  We loved the drive, seeing all the huge cacti, and watching the terrain change so drastically.  I took plenty of pictures, but the pictures just didn’t capture the breath taking beauty that lives in that area.  We hiked to the Devil’s Kitchen and gazed into the most active sinkhole in Sedona.   It is so amazing to see nature so raw and rugged.  Tony and I love to be outdoors and hiking is one of our favorite pastimes, so this day trip was a highlight of our time in Arizona.

Lunch was delicious at Ken’s Creekside with a great view of the “Snoopy” formation and a great view of the handsome man I am fortunate enough to call my husband.  Tony had the hamburger which was served on a homemade bun and really huge, I had the crab cake with tomato soup and arugula salad.  The salad had pickled lemon rind mixed in and that was about the best thing I ever tasted.  Like I said, it was delicious.

Tony in Sedona

After a full day, we headed back to Phoenix did a little more shopping and then packed it up to head home.  What a great trip, I really did need and enjoy all that rest.  Our marriage is even better than before.  With all the demands on a person and a couple- it is imperative that you take time wherever and whenever you can to focus.  This was an unexpected blessing and it could not have turned out better.

WP_20130913_019

tony devils sinkhole

WP_20130913_047

wre1If you ever get the chance to see Sedona, Arizona jump on it- you will be glad you did.