Archive for Everyday Life

A Community Honors Its Own

Today something very emotional and special happened in Powhatan. A community, in droves, lined the main route through the county (Route 60) to welcome home one of their fallen, Caroline Schollaert, who was shot during an attempted car burglary at her home in Florida last week. Her dad’s facebook post reads in part, “…She was an active member of the United States Coast Guard. She served in the elite Hitron unit which conducts drug interdiction ops. A service is being held at her unit hangar Tuesday morning (August 10), then we will be escorted back to Powhatan, VA by an honor guard …….please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.”

Picture of Caroline taken from Pat Schollaert’s fb page.

This post is not so much about Caroline as it is about the community that showed their love, support and care for the Schollaert family. I did not know her but her dad is a customer in our store. I didn’t realize this was happening until this afternoon and I decided I wanted to be a part of it. The family and body landed at the Chesterfield Airport and made their way up Rt. 288 to Route 60 and west to the Bennet-Barden funeral home directly across the road from our farm. We had a front row seat!

Community gathering and waiting.
Lining the road. From what I heard there were people lining the road from the county line up to our road. (8 miles)
Lining the road. Our fields in the background.
Hometown USA-the real America!
ABC News was there. He said to watch at 11 p.m.
This man had his drone ready to fly for aerial pictures as soon as the procession arrived.
Stopping traffic at the crossover for the motorcade.
Lead car. Here they come. Everyone watched in silence.
Respect, honor and patriotism.
And there they are…..
Lots and lots and lots of motorcycles. It was impressive and sets such a respectful atmosphere.
Sobering and sad. Coming home to be laid to rest. Gunned down in a senseless murder in the prime of her youth.
There had to be hundreds of cycles.
The parking lot at the funeral home.

I was impressed with the turn out of people showing their love and care for the Schollaert family. Some were friends and co-workers and some, like me, just wanted to be a part of the community support, honoring and welcoming home one of our own. Something special happens to a community when they come together in times like this.

Piercing High-Pitch Squeal

We have a piercing high-pitch squeal in our house and it is driving me to the crazy house!!! In fact I told Gene the other evening I was getting ready to run away from home!!! Over the weekend we final found the source-the toilet. If you don’t believe me, come hear mine!

It started a week or so ago. I kept hearing this very quiet but very high piercing squeal that you could hardly stand. At first Gene couldn’t hear it which told me what I already knew, he had to be hard of hearing! I would crawl in bed, and off the squeal would go. By the time I was in the living room it would stop. I checked everything I could think of; the computer backup, my blue-tooth, the super-sonic pest repellers I had just brought in from the garden, the door bell, and smoke detectors (they usually chirp). I would sit beside some of the items and wait to no avail. As soon as I was back in bed, off it would go.

The squeal started getting one degree louder, more frequent and lasting a little longer. That is when Gene started hearing it and found the source. The toilet; throne or lowly stool, depending on your view! Who knew a toilet could be so annoying? Closing the bathroom door, pulling the covers over my head and sticking my fingers in my ears did not help. Did you ever try sleeping buried under the covers with your fingers in your ears?

Toilets used to have a simple float system in the back and you could replace pieces. Now they are newfangled contraptions that you can’t fix. The water is not leaking but apparently something on the float has gotten a little worn and it is letting us know! Jingling the lever does not help and neither does flushing. If you tap the float it will stop the squeal until the next squeal.

There will be no peace in this house until one of us makes a trip to the hardware store. How fast can I go!


I went to Food Lion today and couldn’t believe my eyes. I got in line to check out and decided to take another stroll through the store and take pictures of the insane, unbelievable panic buying because of “Corona Fever”! I just had to document this and show Gene what it really looked like.

Apple Section
I think this was bananas.
Packaged lettuce section
Most of the rice section-gone
Canned Fruit
Only large size coffee left.
Flour. I thought I would pick up a bag of bread flour just in case I needed to make bread. GONE!
No poultry but there was beef. I didn’t notice the seafood section.
Soft Drinks.
Tissues. I guess I helped with this yesterday when I went on a search for toilet paper and there was NONE! It wasn’t that I was hoarding, it was because it was on my grocery list and there was none when I did my main shopping on Monday. I went looking on Friday a.m. early-I was hoping before the hoarders got there. NONE. Decided to buy 5 boxes of tissues just in case. My personal restocking need was getting urgent!
Laundry deterent.

By now I was starting to feel silly and in a very jolly mood. Everyone was talking to everyone, shaking their heads, and talking about “the Virus”. But there is more…..

Water, oh water, where are you!!! Ok, folks. Take a glass from your cabinet and turn on the faucet!
Chlorax section.
Bacon, bacon, who has the bacon?
Some bread-mostly empty but a “bread delivery man” was there trying to restock. He quipped, “you people need to go and get the rest of your groceries and let me get this up. Then come back!”

By now I have seen one of the managers and talked to him. He said, “This has beat all snow storm predictions records and that does not include today which tops all the days so far.”

The good 2% milk was gone.
Popsicles. Folks must be worried about their bored kids. Maybe if there was a quarantine on cell phones during this month long stay at home from school, sports, church, etc. kids would get bored enough to play outdoors, ride bikes, climb a tree, talk to a family member, clean their room, run barefooted in the grass, play a board game, bake cookies and discover the joy of being a kid!
Ice Cream bars and sticks.

But guess what…… these two aisles were fully stocked, almost looked untouched. Amazing. Either they are keeping it fully stocked or people haven’t been driven to drink…yet!!!!

I didn’t see any mass panic today or hoarders with huge shopping carts full. The parking lot was extra full of cars but people were in a relaxed, jovial mood talking to each other (even strangers)-mostly in disbelief at what they saw. The young fellow checking out my groceries was in a good mood, laughing and joking in a pleasant way with all his customers. I complimented him on his attitude. It was contagious!

I wasn’t going to buy anything that wasn’t on my list but on my picture taking round of the store I decided to pick up a couple of “extra” items, just in case…..a jar of Mayo, box of salt, bag of flour, box of Mucinex and a jar of coffee. This isn’t just happening in the grocery store a mile up the road. It is happening nation-wide and across the world.

It is going to be interesting to see how all this plays out. Personally, the concern for me is not food, but pharmaceuticals. I know that some of our food does come from overseas, but they are saying 98% of our drugs are made in China. With the tariff situation and now the corona epidemic, if we run out of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, we will get in trouble with health care really, really fast and that will affect more than just corona patients.

Maybe this will be good for all of us to have to stop and slow down. Enjoy the simple pleasures of life with your family. Stay at home. It is not boring. Do things you haven’t done in a long time. Clean a cluttered corner, fix a good home cooked meal-from scratch, bake cookies with your kids, read a book (better yet, read a book to your kids), play games together as a family. Enjoy the home time and DO NOT complain about being bored. Be grateful for the blessings you have.

“A Bicycle Built for Two”

I woke up this morning with a catchy little song from childhood on my brain. I don’t think I have sung that song for fifty years, I must be entering that stage where you remember things from the past!!!

Daisy, Daisy,
Give me your answer do!
I’m half crazy,
All for the love of you!
It won’t be a stylish marriage,
I can’t afford a carriage
But you’ll look sweet upon the seat
Of a bicycle made for two.

Michael, Michael, here is my answer true
You’re half-crazy if you think that that will do
If you can’t afford a carriage
There won’t be any marriage
Cause I’ll be switched if I’ll get hitched
On a bicycle built for two.


What I discovered searching on goggle is that this is the chorus to a much larger song, “Daisy Bell”, and there are multiple stanzas I never heard. We just sang the choruses.

Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)” was a popular song, written in 1892 by an English composer, Harry Dacre, with the well-known chorus “Daisy, Daisy”. The following link tells the very interesting origin and story of the song.

Daisy Bell


How many of you sang this song or a version of it?

Highly Motivated

What motivates you to get a lot accomplished in a short period of time? For me it is an event. I make a list of everything I can think of that needs to be done and check things off.  √√√√√√√

This Memorial Day weekend was my “git’er done” time.  I have two events pushing me: Lauren’s high school graduation party this coming weekend and then my upcoming double knee replacement surgery next week. When I am very focused-don’t get in my way!!! My legs felt good, I worked hard and kept a steady pace.

May I have the satisfaction of telling you what I did? Saturday morning I was up early and baked cakes for the store, did my exercises and put a pork butt in the smoker and had my quiet time before 8 AM. In the afternoon I cleaned the house, washed some windows, finished the pork butt, fixed food for the fellowship meal at church on Sunday, and did the laundry. Today, I power-washed the deck (it looks like new), gave my flowers a drink of liquid fertilizer, nip the tall shoots on the blackberry bushes so that they will branch laterally, planted a few cucumber seeds on my trellis, picked asparagus, onions, and the last of the lettuce. cleaned out the greenhouse, plus a few other odd and end things. My list is all checked √√√√√√ off and I am one tired but happy puppy tonight. My feet hurt but I got “got’er done”. Now I’m ready to take a few weeks off.

The Ghost of Tom



“Have you seen the ghost of Tom

Long white bones with the skin all gone.

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh,ooh, ooh ooh, poor old Tom,

Wouldn’t it be chilly with no skin on?”


The other evening I turned on the lamp on my night stand in the bedroom. No light. I replaced the bulb.  No light. I took my shower and attempted to use the hair dryer.  It didn’t work. Hum!

Gene checked the breakers and all were on.  I had a thought and checked the lamp on his side of the bed. No light. That made no sense at all.  Three things in one evening just don’t go bad. We plugged and unplugged, and reset the switch on the hair dryer. Still no luck.

We plugged the hair dryer into a socket in the living room. No luck.  Gene took a lamp that was working in the living room and plugged it into the bathroom socket. It worked. So we established that the socket was working, but not the hair dryer. But why two lamps and one dryer? He took my lamp to the living room, no luck.  I started singing a little chant that popped into my brain from childhood days. “Have you seen the ghost of Tom…” I have no idea where I learned that creepy little tune but I probably learned it in grade school. It certainly wasn’t at home as we didn’t have TV and listened to very little radio. I remember singing it as a kid, slowly, over and over, with strong emphasis on each word whenever it seemed to fit a “needed situation”! Tonight was one of those “needed situations” even though Gene could see no connection!

I noticed that the alarm clock on my night stand and the little fan on his worked. That meant both of the sockets were live, just not the lamps. Gene suggested I change the light bulb in my lamp again.  Much to my surprise it worked. How unlikely is it to have two blown out bulbs. One problem solved.

What works for one lamp might work for the second, right? Wrong. Replacing the bulb in his lamp didn’t help. I looked behind his night stand and the lamp was unplugged.  Now, how in the world did that happen? We have no children in the house and I certainly didn’t do it.  It had to be the ghost of Tom! Gene informed me his lamp hasn’t worked for a long time. For some reason I hadn’t noticed. Apparently it never got plugged in when we redid the bedroom two years ago.  Second problem solved. At least we now have light!

Back to the hair dryer. I plugged and unplugged, push the reset button fifty times and turn it on and off fifty-two times. Nothing. About half hour later we were sitting in the living room and the hair dryer started running. In turning it on and off, I hadn’t turned it off.  I have no clue what ailed that opinionated thing but it’s attitude must have been adjusted as it has been working ever since.  It had to be that illusive, stupid, Tom ghost with no skin on!

Three problems solved in one evening. That was a good night’s confusion workout.


The Ghost of Tom

Out of curiosity, I googled the phrase “Have you seen the ghost of Tom” and actually found the words to the song. It was only four lines long though I remember it as much longer. I had forgotten the last two lines.

This reminded me of another song we sang as kids, “Guess I’ll Go Eat Worms”.  I found it on google also. When we were sent to the garden to work or shooed out of the house, we would sing this crazy little song.

I’m curious how many of the rest of you will admit to singing these goofy little songs?



It Was My Bald Spot

A bald spot on a man can look very dignified and stylish, but for a woman, it is a cosmetic nightmare! As I kept tabs on the thinning spot on the back of my head, I decided it was time to take action and try something, anything!

My friend, google, guided me to numerous web sites and after reading the information, I decided on It proclaims itself as the hair regrowth system for women with thicker, longer, stronger and healthier hair. And, it is clinical proven! After looking at pictures, reading testimonials and seeing the claim that 1,000,000 women have been helped, I decided to give it a try. After all, what did I have to lose except more hair.

The products are rather pricey, but if I had gone to a doctor and gotten a prescription, that would have also been expensive also. With anticipation, I ordered the kit; Scalp Stimulating Shampoo,  Volumizing Keratin Conditioner, Hair Regrowth Treatment, Lift and Repair Treatment Spray along with their super duper vitamins for hair regrowth.

I have been using it since January 2017 (1-1/2 years) and the results are very noticeable, I am very pleased. I don’t have the luscious, silky, flowing hair of the women on the ad, I never have. I admit I have always been a tad bit jealous of women with thick hair but for me the results are a huge improvement. My hair is still thin, but there is no longer a bald spot.

Now, I just look at another bald spot that I don’t have to have a mirror to see it. Shhhh, I took this picture while he was sleeping. I think he ought to start using my magic potion, it might even make him feel younger! What do you think?

Chapstick-Don’t Leave Home Without It!

I think I am addicted to chapstick. I use chapstick whether I need it or not. If I see someone putting it on,  I have to put it on.  If I open a drawer and see it, I have to use it. I have it everywhere: in my purse, in my spare purse, in my three different desk drawers, on top of the microwave, in my cash drawer, in my coat pockets (that’s at least 6), with my toiletries, in my travel bag, in my dresser drawer, by my night stand and who knows where else I have it stashed! I use it summer, fall, winter and spring, and all hours of the day! I go to bed, turn out the light, and then I remember, chapstick!  I brush my teeth and my clean lips need a dose of chapstick.

I have one kind that I like and only one kind, the green medicated tube of Blistex. On the box it says “smooth, easy-gliding protection to smooth and prevent chapped lips”. That’s why I use it-preventive care! I certainly do not want to get chapped lip disease! Blistex should like this commercial push for them! Maybe they will send me a box of free samples!!!

Come to think of it, I might also be addicted to hand lotion! I am sure that is used also for preventive care!


Pocket Treasures

A couple of weeks ago we were dressing to go to a funeral and Gene had to dust off his suit coat from the depths of the closet as he was one of the pallbearers. He doesn’t wear his coat much anymore as Sunday attire has gotten more informal. I started emptying his pockets and discovered numerous treasures which truly showed how seldom he wears the suit and how seldom he empties his pockets.

There were the funeral bulletins for Uncle Milford Hertzler in February of 1988,  Aunt Edna Hertzler in March of 1989, Uncle Arthur Hertzler in November of 1990 and Uncle Dewitt Heatwole in December 1993.  There was the high school graduation program and napkin for our son Keith in 1994 and a map to the wedding reception on the Annabel Lee River Boat for my first cousin Cathy Reed and Brian Yoder.  The directions were not dated. Cathy, when were you married? And finally there were two name cards, his and mine,  for a banquet table in Kauai (one of the Hawaii Islands) when we had earned a trip with Purina in 1992.

I don’t normally keep any of the above papers but now suddenly they seem like treasures because they feel like antiques! Funeral bulletins were definitely the most popular item he saved, probably because that was when he wore his suit.

Pocket trash or pocket treasure?


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