ordinary… mostly

"We have nothing to offer each other, except a haven." — K. Nafziger


Ordinary Spouse

March 6, 2014
Now that’s a strange bird!

Ordinary Spouse and I went out to check how much maple sap we’d collected from the trees that we’d tapped. I convinced her to climb a tree.

February 9, 2014
Knitting needles? Looks painful.

Ordinary Spouse made a New Year’s resolution. She planned to knit herself a pair of socks. Or die from puncture wounds. I’m not sure which.

Look closely… there are four(!) needles.

A good day for sledding

With all of the winter happening around us, the women picked an ideal time (after snow, before cold) to do a little sledding with friends.

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Garden blessings

The rest of the Ordinary Family has been working hard on a garden this year.* It provides a mixture of food for our table, entries for the fair (more on that shortly), and the satisfaction that comes from working with the earth. It is reaching its peak right now, and we visited it last night.**

* On the other hand, I have only admired their work. I’m like those animals who did nothing while the Little Red Hen was busy making bread… except that in the end, I eat the bread.

** We don’t have garden space at Laurelville, but we have a generous friend at church with extra space in her garden.

Multi-tiered garden

The multi-tiered garden

The women have planted a mixture of flowers (far right, out of the picture), sunflowers (far left, tall!), sweet corn (back center and right), beans (front and center), tomatoes (hiding behind the beans), carrots, and maybe some other things.

Tonight at supper, we enjoyed the harvest…

SupperSweet corn and tomatoes from the garden, plus Ordinary Spouse’s bread. Thanks, honey!

Summer draws to a close

This week it has become clear: summer is quietly leaving the Laurel Highlands. I’m not sure how it made it this far unnoticed, but there it is – more browns, more yellows, less greens. Ordinary Spouse has noticed that the birds aren’t singing like they did two months ago.

The camp isn’t quite as busy as it was in July. More relaxed. More free time. The Laurelville staff made it to a Pittsburgh Pirates game about two weeks ago…

Our chariot awaits!
Our chariot awaits!

Staff, friends and families piled into the bus and off we went. I took Oldest and Middle Daughters. Youngest Daughter would have liked to have gone… for about the first five minutes of the game. Instead, she and Ordinary Spouse hung out at Mammoth Park for the evening.

This was the first time that I’d been to PNC Park. It’s beautiful…

PNC Park panorama
PNC Park panorama (Warning: huge picture!)
Pittsburgh at night
Pittsburgh at night

Here we are at the game…

Middle and Oldest Daughters
Middle and Oldest Daughters
The three of us
The three of us (Thanks to Brian for this picture.)

And here’s the Pirate Parrot…

The Pirate Parrot
The Pirate Parrot

Alas – the Pirates didn’t do so well, a fact underscored frequently by the world’s greatest player-manager who happened to be sitting right behind us. After the sixth inning, with the Pirates trailing the Dodgers 2 to 5, we went out for some souvenirs. While we were out, the Dodgers scored another four runs. On the positive side, we didn’t hear much from Mr. Player-Manager after that.

The final tally was Pittsburgh: 3, Los Angeles: 9, and sleepy girls awake way past their bedtime: 2.

The final score: 3-9
The final score: 3-9

Last week, the Westmoreland County Fair was our destination on one of my days off. I love local color! We spent a good chunk of time checking out the animals…

RabbitsI have to say I was a bit disturbed by the trophies showing a cooking flame behind the animal…

Grilled chicken?
Grilled chicken?

In addition to the animal judging, there were competitions in fruit, vegetables, toys, photographs and paintings, baked goods, sewing… on and on. I’m already thinking that I need to work on some marmalade for next year.

The rides were popular with the girls. I was glad that we could pay one price for all of them, instead of paying per ride.

I just watched (in my cool Roberto Clemente jersey from the Pirates game)…

Me at the fair
Do I look like I could be from Western PA?

And I include this picture of a painting on the merry-go-round, because I know that Ordinary Spouse loves it:

Merry-go-round painting - Yikes!
Merry-go-round painting – Yikes!

I was fascinated by all the fried food:

  • Oreos
  • Cheesecake
  • Pickles
  • ¼ lb Bologna (I can hardly stand the thought of that one)

Honorable  mention goes to the chocolate covered bacon. I’m not sure whether that qualifies as fried or not.

In the end, I tried the fried Oreos…

The verdict? I could handle eating one every year or so.

And finally, a view of the Westmoreland County countryside, just ’cause I think it’s pretty.

The Westmoreland County countryside
The Westmoreland County countryside

God is Love?

A while back, I discovered this mug…

"God is Love" mugI was either horrified or highly amused. Or both.

“God is love?!?!” More like “Godzilla is love,” if you ask me.

Ordinary, yet theologically adept, Spouse made the important and insightful bridge between ceramic and scripture:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church.

Ephesians 5.25

“Hmmm,” I thought. “What would that look like…?”

Husbands, love your wives.


(I just wish everyone was.)

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