Archive for April, 2013

Confessions of a Business Store Owner

Sometimes I have this almost irresistible urge when I go shopping to…….

  • Throw my trash on the floor.
  • Remove labels from the potting plants and throw them on the ground or mix them up-just for fun.
  • Set plants on top of other plants or lay them on their side to see if they are hardy enough to survive.
  • Remove one plant out of a 4- pack to replace the one I lost at home.  The owners will be happy to share with me.
  • Push products around on the shelf  to reorganize the stock or better yet, knock them over.  The “stockers” need something to do.
  • Run full speed around the store, play hide-in-seek with or climb on the merchandise.  It would be so much fun to be a kid again.
  • Open a bag of candy and taste it to see if I want to buy it.
  • Talk really loud on my cell phone while I am shopping so that everyone will know I when I am arriving home for supper or what I am buying in the grocery store.
  • Better yet, I will wait until I get to the counter and the clerk is waiting on me.   They won’t mind cause they are chatting with another clerk and will not notice.
  • Call the store at 2 AM just in case someone is there to answer my questions. That way I won’t bother them during regular store hours.
  • Remove the tags on a product before returning it and rip the box.  The next customer will be delighted to have it already out of  the box.
  • See how many pens I can collect to add to my stash at home.

It almost makes me blush to think about it and I would be so embarrassed with myself!  At least I know how not to be!

Listen To Your Heart or Head?

What do you do when your heart tells you one thing but your brain says something else?  A case in point are the gardens this year.

I  keep telling people it is too early to plant your summer crops as the frost date for this area is the beginning of May-actually more like May 10th.  It is even in print on my website. Do not plant your tomatoes, peppers, limas, cantelope, watermelon until after the first of May! The ground needs to be warm-at least 55 degrees.  But this year it got hot early. We even had one week with temperatures in the upper 80’s.  It begin to mess with our brains, making us feel like it was time to plant.  People started buying and setting out tomatoes plants the beginning of April.

I even succumbed to the urge to plant against my better judgement.  I kept listening to others planting, knowing it was too early.  I looked at the extended forecast on the weather channel and there was NO day when night temperatures were below the mid 40’s.  I listened to my heart.

But guess what?  It frosted last evening and they are calling for frost again tonight.  It was cold all day today!  Yesterday afternoon I covered my tomatoes with plastic jugs and some of my flowers with sheets to protect them.

Garden-Milk Jugs

Sheet covering plants

I put others inside the greenhouse and closed the door securely.

Greenhouse-Door closed

I think tonight I am covering a few more plants.

A number of customers today were bemoaning the lost of their plants last night.   Guess what…they listened to their hearts and not their heads.  This time they lost.

There is also a spiritual application to this point.  God warns us that the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9).  Our heart feels emotions; pity, compassion, love, anger, loneliness, greed, pride,  etc.  Sometimes we act from the desires and longings of our heart rather than the rational thinking of our head.  Our brains plan, rationalize, evaluate, remember.   Our hearts can trick us, fool us into making unwise decisions.  Sometimes we are torn between feeling and logic.  When in doubt, it is usually wise to listen to the brain.

Spring on the Farm in Denbigh

I love taking pictures at Gene’s home place in Newport News. There are so many “good” pictures to take. With my new camera in tow on Sunday I captured a little bit of spring on the farm oasis  in the middle of the city!


























I love spring: the vibrant colors, fragrant flowers, lush growth and the bursting of buds !  It energizes me and gives me hope for a new season.  With my camera in tow I had to capture God’s beauty on camera.

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Bing Cherry blossoms

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Birch tree blooming

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Inch Worm

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Pear blossoms

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Pear Tree

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Maple tree bursting forth its leaves

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New growth on the roses.

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Soft, fluffy baby chicks!

Each season has its beauty but without a doubt spring rates at the top!


Mr. Eraser

Mr. Eraser (Roundup) and I are best friends! Every year he does so much work for me. This evening I sprayed 3 gallons of Eraser and in a week or so the evidence of his job will be obvious.

This year I got a jump start on my flower beds and winter weeds. It needs to be about 60 degrees for Eraser or Roundup to work. Since it went from being cold to hot in a week I was able to spray my asparagus bed and some of my perennial beds as they haven’t sprouted new growth yet. I also sprayed around my walks, buildings, and trees. This will save me so much work!

Now I feel like I am ready for spring!

A New Grandson

Let me introduce to you our newest addition to the family, grandchild number 5…. Noah Steven Hertzler.


With the marriage of Keith and Alivia on April 5, 2013, we also were blessed to welcome a new grandson,  Noah, Alivia’s son.

This little fella is winning our hearts.  His eyes sparkle with delight when he sees us and he calls us “grandpa and grandma Hertzler” always adding the Hertzler.  He chatters nonstop about the cows, tractors, trucks, or whatever else is on his mind.  He is thriving on life in the country and all the equipment “toys” of  his new daddy.

Keith and Noah on tractor

When Keith arrived at Alivia’s home for their first date, Noah came running to the door and squealed “daddy”, totally embarrassing his mom!!!  Noah’s daddy had left his life when he was 6-months old and he has never known a father’s love or ever called anyone daddy.  Keith and Noah are forming a special father-son bond.

Noah leaning on Keith's head

Welcome, Noah, we love you and are so glad you are a part of our family.


Note: Noah is not on the wedding pictures. He was suppose to be at the wedding-we picked him up from preschool and took him along.  He was so proud of the little tux he was to wear but he decided to “act up” and it soon became obvious it was better for him to be taken home by his baby sitter.  It was too overwhelming and confusing for him.  He became very insecure and wanted his mommy.

Apple Dapple Cake

There are always family favorite recipes and then there are really special,  favorite, family recipes. This is one of those for our family.  I make this more than any other cake.   I am sure Gene will declare he was not in on this prank but when the children were still at home we had to guard our plates against “someone” stealing our icing.  Keith was particularly noted for this grieveous sin!   I always say this cake is beyond good!

When Keith got married he asked me to make these for his rehearsal supper. There were a hit and I share this recipe for those who wanted it.


Apple Dapple Cake

Mix together:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c. Vegetable Oil
  • 2 c. Sugar

Add and beat:

  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Soda
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 tsp. Mace
  • 1 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 2-1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour

Prepare and coat with 1/2 c. flour (this prevents the nuts and apples from sinking in the batter).

  • 1/2 c. chopped Pecans
  • 3 c. Raw diced apples, peeled

Stir the apples/pecans into the batter and spoon into a greased bundt pan. This is a very thick batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 mins. In my oven it doesn’t take quite that long. Check it after 1 hour.

Caramel Topping:

  • 1 c. Brown Sugar-packed
  • 1/2 c. Margarine
  • 1/4 c. Milk

Boil on low heat for 21 mins.  (firm boil stage).  Pour over hot cake.

Enjoy with a cup of hot coffee!