Our Home

The Bedroom

The Bedroom Re-Do

This is one in a number of posts that I plan to do in the chronicling of our home remodeling projects.  And be fore-warned-there lots of photos in this post.

It kind of started with this…a transom window above the door to the attic.

There are drop ceiling in every room of this house, which we knew we would eventually be removing, at least most of them.  (I love high ceiling!)  One day while coming down the attic stairs,  I glanced up and saw this window above the door-it was hidden away and could not be seen from the bedroom side as it was covered up by the dropped ceiling tiles.  I just had to get this vintage window uncovered and visible.  Well….this is not the only reason we started on the bedroom first….

We were sleeping in the dining room.  (Which we did for 3 months!)

Rather awkward when having guests over.

The first job was to remove what we didn’t want.  There was a closet the full width on one side of the room-this would become the bed alcove and with it removed it would make the room less awkward and easier to navigate around.

Getting ready!  Demolition time….

(This is always a scary time-is this what I really want? Will I like what I thought I would?  Once it is done, it is done! )


Crow bars, hammers and dust.

And some brute force!

This only bedroom is one of the two original rooms in this house.  There was only a ‘front’ room and a ‘back’ room. I have wondered where the original kitchen was-maybe a separate cook house? The foundation below this section of the house is massive cut stones, some of the floor joists are raw tree trunks, the walls are old lath and plaster.  They built houses to last years ago, and it was quite the job to remove the lath and plaster walls.

This is the finished product.  The inner walls and ceiling of the bed alcove were covered in tongue and grove paneling, then we painted and trimmed it in. The paint color is ‘Creamy’ from Sherman Williams.  I was extremely happy with this paint.

The carpet was pulled up, and we were happy to find beautiful original hard wood floors underneath.  We just cleaned and polished them and they were good.

The drop ceiling was then removed.

Tongue and groove wood strips were put up over the old original plaster ceiling.  It covered a number of flaws.


We stained the ceiling wood “Golden Pecan”, also from Sherman Williams.  I wondered if I would like the wood ceiling-I love it!  Love waking up and looking up at the beautiful wood.

The work area, outside on the patio.  After watching the fellas cut for awhile, I felt confident to do some cutting myself.

Some pictures of the lath and plaster walls with layers of old wall paper.

There are deep baseboards in this section of the house. I love them.

Some of the walls were more of a challenge than others-there were places, on the outside walls, that had previous water damage, and while scraping and removing the old wall paper, large areas of plaster came off too.

Here you can see a large hole in the plaster, and also where the drop ceiling came to-older wallpaper above, and newer below.

There was lots of patching to do.



The hole, all patched and sanded.  When the new wallpaper was put up, you could not tell there was a large hole there.

This section of wall, above the door to the hall that leads to the bathroom and closet, was too badly damaged.  This was originally an outside wall also, but in a previous remodel, a door way was opened up in it.  It was so bad that we just put up more tongue and groove wood and painted it to match the trim.  I think that it looks just fine.

There was lots of wallpaper scraping to do.

I did have quite an achievement in working in this room.  I am very afraid of heights, and was afraid to work up so high, but by the time we were done, I was able to climb right up on the scaffolding and work away!  I was determined to get this room done, and was rather proud of myself in conquering my fear of heights.  (At least a little way up!)

I papered the walls in a light sage green fleur-de-lis pattern, also from Sherman Williams.  I am loving the Sherman Williams products, and how convenient the stores are, located in small towns.  There is one in nearby Clarion, so convenient to run to, to spend hours looking through their books.  I also was able to ‘check-out’ 5 wallpaper books to take home and agonize over.  To me, this is one of the hardest parts of remodeling-deciding on what to do!

Me, painting the crown molding.

We debated in whether to keep the old original light fixture, but were somewhat afraid of the old wiring, so went with a new fixture with a vintage look.

The ceiling, the new light, the wallpaper, the crown molding and part of the bed alcove.

Our queen size bed fits nicely in the alcove.

Looking the other direction in the room.  There was another great achievement in moving into this bedroom-we went from a very large bedroom with 2 closets,  from 2 chest of drawers and 1 long, low dresser to just 1 chest of drawers.  Quite a downsize for us!

I have lace curtains for the windows.

This is the view looking into the living room.

The view looking into the connecting hall to the closet.  There is a step up landing with the door to stairs up to the attic on the left.

The radiator is on the right on this landing.  Did I tell you that I love, love love our radiator heat?  Yes, I do!

The large walk-in closet.  It has no window, and I wanted to paint it white to brighten it up some, but hubby nixed my idea.  I love it, and it is serving us well.  Still working on downsizing all the clothes.  I am using a trick that I read about-turn all the clothes on hangers the wrong direction, every time you wear something, turn the hanger around the correct direction, at the end of the year, whatever is on a hanger still turned the wrong direction get rid of! It has already helped me get rid of stuff.


This is taken from the bathroom, looking into the little hallway between the bedroom, on the right and closet, on the left.  It will be painted ‘Creamy’ also, the carpet will stay.  I am thinking a small chest of drawers, or something like it, for linen storage, as there is no linen closet in this house.

The end result is that I am very happy with this bedroom remodel.  I am very thankful for strong, able husband and sons that are willing to work and help out.

Remodeling is slow going, at least for us do-it-yourselfers.  When ever I get discouraged at how slow things are changing around here, I just go in and admire my lovely bedroom.

Thanks for reading.

Seek the Lord and his Strength,

seek his face continually.

1 Chronicles 16:11


Put God First

Put God First


Don’t wait until the house is all kept,

The beds are made, the floors are swept:

Put PRAYER first.

Don’t wait until the newspaper is read,

Your books are balanced, and you are in bed:

Put the BIBLE first.

Don’t wait until the cupboards are bare,

There’s nothing to depend on but God and prayer:

Put FASTING first.

Don’t wait until the last bill is paid,

The account is large; vacation is made:

Put the CHURCH first.

Don’t wait until you’ve nothing to do,

Until all is finished-for we never get through:

Put GOD first.

author unknown

Our Home

Front Entry Tile

Entry Tile

We moved, after 26 years of living in a church owned parsonage, into out own home last fall.  It was quite a change for us, one of them being that we can do with this house whatever we wanted!  And I was, and still am, anxious to make many remodeling changes to this house.  This house was built in the late 1800s-it is very well built, and has been well loved and cared for, but it is very dated.  Think lots of dark wood paneling-it has to go!  Where to start?  Well, we started with the bedroom, because we needed a place to sleep but that is a post for another day. We soon found out how long remodeling projects take, when you are doing most of the labor yourself and with volunteers (My poor children just groan when ever they hear me say-‘You know what I’d like to do with this house?”  They know that they will likely be recruited to ‘help’!) I was foolishly thinking that the living room would be done by last Christmas, for all the family to be here, but after the bedroom remodel, and how long that took, I am setting my sights on this coming Christmas!  It still has not been started-we have 6 months yet-will the living room be done by then?!  We will see!

The entry way tile was really the 2nd. project, but here it is.  I couldn’t find the photos of the finished project, so this will have to do.

But, back to Christmas….Whenever my children ask me what I want for a gift,  I reply that I would rather have them help me or do something for me rather than be given a gift.  And when you don’t have much money for a gift, labor is a good substitute!  Son Gabriel, gave me the Christmas gift of the labor of new entry way tile.

Now, our entry/front door is at the front of our house, but is rarely used.  The front of our house faces the street where our address is, but no vehicle traffic is allowed on this street.  It has been turned from the railroad bed (I am still a mite confused about the railway and the road-did they share the same space?!)  into a walking/biking trail.  As a result, this door is little used, but I still wanted tile where you step into the house.

This entry way area was a front porch that had been enclosed and is now the sun room/sewing room. ( I am loving this room as my sewing area, lots of bright light from the big windows and lots to watch on the trail. Will share photos later.)

There was carpet-part of the carpet was removed, and the tile laid.

This photo shows all of the tender plants that need over wintered-I am always so glad to have then go back outside where they belong!  They are space hogs and I can barely keep them alive till the next spring.  The boards leaned against the window are the trim boards placed to block anyone from walking on the tile till it was done.

I am loving my new tile entry way.  Thank you Gabe!  What a lovely Christmas gift!


Proverbs 16:9

The mind of man plans his way,

but the Lord directs his steps.


Flower of the Week-Johnny Jump Up

Johnny Jump Up

What a name!  But the flower does its name justice.  Such a cute name and such a cute flower.  Such a happy smiley face of a flower.

When we moved to this new house last fall, I found lots of these Johnny Jump Ups all over, in the lawn and in beds.  I tried transplanting some of them from the lawn into beds where I wanted them.  Most of the transplants did not live over the winter, but this spring, there were plenty more to move where I wanted them.  I had never grown violas before and I am loving them.

So, here is the scoop on Johnny Jump Ups…

Violas, known as Johnny Jump Ups, are a popular, easy and fun to grow flower. They are also known as wild pansy, which they are related to, (the size of the flower being the difference) and as heart’s ease.

Violas come in the cheery colors of deep purple, mauve, and yellow.

They love the full sun, and will also do well in partial shade.

Violas can be planted in the summer or fall, by scattering the seeds on the ground and then barely covering them. Keep watered.

They like average garden soil, but some compost never hurts anything.

They will germinate in about 10 days.

Violas are long blooming, blooming from spring till the fall if they are kept deadheaded.  When the plant becomes worn out, cut it back to about 3-4 inches for a re-bloom.

Violas are low growing, about 3-10 inches tall and are good for the front of flower borders.

Violas can be self seeders, as the ones I have are.  If they are not deadheaded, the seeds will scatter as they will.  Just dig a good size clump and move them where wanted.

They like to be kept well watered and weeded.

Violas are not bothered by disease or pests and are frost tolerant.

Violas are edible-they can be used as a garnish to decorate cakes and pastries, added to salads, and frozen in cubes to float in summer drinks.

I am enjoying my happy face Johnny Jump Ups.

Do you grow violas?


Colossians 1:10

That you may live a life worthy of the Lord

and may please him in every way;

bearing fruit in every good work,

growing in the knowledge of God.




Images from Conference, 2018

Conference 2018

Last week was the annual business conference of the Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Connection of Churches, held at the beautiful Stoneboro Camp Ground just outside of Stoneboro, PA.

175 years!

The theme for this years conference was’ Visions of God’s Manifest Glory.’

Each day, there are 2 sessions going on-the church, in the main tabernacle, and the Womens Missionary in the missionary/youth tabernacle.  Each church in the connection is represented by an elder as well as an elected delegate.  I am the Womens Missionary president of our local church, Cottage Hill, and so spend my days in the missionary sessions.

There is much that goes on during the sessions, but here are just a few pictures from them.

Nancy Troyer, our very able President, gave a wonderful devotional on Friday morning from Titus 2, verses 3-5….

3 The aged women likewise,

that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness,

not false accusers, not given to much wine,

teachers of good things;

4 That they may teach the young women to be sober,

to love their husbands,

to love their children,

5 To be discreet, chaste,

keepers at home, 

obedient to their own husbands,

that the word of God be not blasphemed.

How I love these verses from God’s Word!  How wonderful to have a book, our guide book, to instruct us how to live our lives!  How wonderful to have Godly women that live His admonition before us.

My daughter Maria was put in this year as the new YMWB (Young Missionary Workers Band) reading secretary.  Her job is to find good, holiness books for our young people.  She worked very hard at finding a number of good literature books, and presented them to the body of women.  She must have done a very good job of presenting a brief overview of each book as she sold out of most of them in just a day or two.  She will be ordering more for the Youth Convention and main Family Camp so all who desire them may purchase them.

The main focus of our sessions is, of course, our missionaries, and it always a pleasure to get to hear from any of our missionaries that are at conference.  The Gilbert and Jenna Camp family, along with their 6 children, missionaries to Northwest Indian Bible School in Montana, spoke to us.  One of the main jobs of the Womens Missionary Societies, is the financial support of each of our missionaries.

The missionaries from Northwest that were at conference this year-back, Rev. Dan Hardy, Jr., Rev.Gilbert Camp; front, Misty Taggert, our newest, and just commissioned missionary Abby Goodenow, and Jenna Camp.

During the main missionary service, the young people sang for us-they did an outstanding job!

The oldest attendee at the Missionary meetings- Mrs. Ruth Ewing-101 and 1/2 years old.  She wanted to come and be a part-blessings on her!- so her daughter, Beverly Johnson,  brought her.  Thankful for the dedicated elderly!

A very familiar sight,  and the place to be 3 times a day-the dining hall line.

And a few images from the evening services….

And impromptu and unpracticed men’s quartet.  They did a great job, as expected.

L to R;  Rev.Doug Strawn, Rev.Mark Deeter, Rev.Jonathan Troyer, Rev. Jonathan Bell.

Rev. Doug Strawn, the Sunday morning worship speaker.

Rev. Daniel Hardy, Sr, president of Allegheny Wesleyan College, asked a number of college students to speak during the Sunday afternoon service.

And as always, we were blessed with beautiful music!

Natatlie Crouch on the harp.  Just Beautiful!

The big change that was voted on and passed this year, was to shorten conference from Wednesday through Sunday to Wednesday through Friday.  So, no more Sundays at conference in the near future.

Till next year!  Keep working!  Keep faithful!

May God bless Allegheny!









Faith · Family

A Good Father


A good father

is one of the most

 unsung, unpraised, unnoticed,

and yet one of the most

valuable assets

in our society.

Billy Graham

May God give us good and faithful fathers in this day and age!

My father, Harry Carl Kjellberg, age 86, holding his youngest great-grandson, Jackson Clyde, 7 months.

This day I am thanking God for the faithful fathers in my life.


Proverbs 17:6

Children’s children are the crown of old men,

and the glory of children are their fathers.


The Shepherd’s Charge

The Shepherd’s Charge

The shepherd walks before his flock

To lead them safely home;

He guides them through the treacherous spots,

Retrieves them when they roam.

He shields them from both wolf and thief,

By name he knows each sheep;

He loves them and would give his life

His charge to safely keep.

Thus Jesus walks before His own

To lead them all the way;

He guides them through the storms of life,

And seeks them when they stray.

He helps them o’er the rugged paths,

By name He knows them all;

He gave His life on Calvary’s cross-

That they might never fall!

Poem credit-Lester L. Schmunk

Photo credit-Teresa Tobin via Pinterest


A Rascally Robin

A Rascally Robin

One of my most favorite and anticipated signs of spring is the return of the red-breasted robins.

Robins are one of the first signs of spring, and a symbol of renewal and new beginnings after the winter.  How welcome is their cheery song as they sing from the housetop.

Some facts about robins-

Robins are named after the European robin because of the similarities of their red breasts, but are not closely related.

Robins are members of the thrush family.  They are very abundant in North America.

Robins are migratory song birds, spending their winters in the south (Florida and Mexico), and summers in the north.  They arrive in the north in February and March, while there is still snow on the ground, and leave for their winter home by the end of August.  Occasionally, a singular robin will over winter in the north.

Robins are very active during the day, and are one of the first birds to sing at dawn.  They also sing before and after storms.

Robins are one of the earliest song birds to mate and lay eggs.  They like open farmland, woodlands and urban areas, and are very comfortable living around people.

Robins eat earthworms, grubs, beetles, grasshoppers and caterpillars, with worms being their favorite.  They hop through the grass searching for worms by sight and by sound.  As soon as they spot a worm, they pounce and pull it up.  A very familiar sight in the spring, and so fun to watch.  They do not eat seeds, at least while they are in the north, so setting out a bird feeder will not draw them to your yard.

Robins can raise 2 or 3 clutches of eggs a summer, building their nests in the forks of tree branches, or open ledges.  The eggs are the familiar ‘robins egg blue’.  The newly hatched baby birds are voracious eaters and keep both the mother and father robins very busy all day long searching for and bringing back worms for hungry family.


Robins, being members of the thrush family, are very territorial and strong defenders of their breeding areas.  And this brings us to the ‘rascally robin’ part.

Husband has a truck he is selling and had it parked in the yard so he could work on detailing it.  This is what we would find every morning….

one side mirror, and….

the other side mirror.

The back window class is tinted and reflective, so this is what the bed of the truck looked like.

What a mess!  This male robin could see himself in the mirrors and the glass, and spent hours attacking the ‘robin’ that he saw in the glass-himself.  Any car that was parked in the yard suffered the same fate.  Quite the mess to clean up and no more parking in the yard during the robin mating season!

By the way, this very nice truck cleaned up very nicely and is still for sale!

2001 Ford F150,

Laredo 4 wheel drive

53,000 miles

Looks and runs great if you are interested!


Have you ever had a problem with a rascally robin?


Psalm 19:1

The heaven declare the glory of God;

the firmament shewth his handy-work.





Time for Rhubarb-Cooking It

Cooking with Rhubarb

In a previous post I told you all about growing rhubarb.  See here.

I really think every garden should have a rhubarb patch.

Beautiful to look at and delicious to eat!

Today, I will share some of my absolute favorite ways to use that wonderful, tart rhubarb from the spring garden.

But first, another poem….

Rhubarb Pie

Oh for a taste of rhubarb pie!

Home picked, home baked-

Mouth watering, I don’t lie.


A tart and delicious delight,

Tingles, mingles with the tongue.

Mom always cooked it just right!


Some might let theirs to to waste,

But I eat their piece without delay,

I just love that capricious taste!

Connie M Wong

Number 1, and the top of my list is plain ‘ol rhubarb pie!  Nothing could be easier or taste better.


Rhubarb Pie

3 cups chopped rhubarb

This will take about 10-12 rhubarb stalks.

Mix together

1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar

3 Tbsp flour

1 egg, beaten

opt.-1/2 tsp nutmeg

Combine the sugar mix with the rhubarb, toss to coat.

Place the rhubarb mixture in an unbaked pie crust bottom.

Dot with butter.

Place top crust on, flute edges as desired, cut steam vents.

opt. Brush with a milk or egg wash, then sprinkle with dusting sugar.  (Just for pretty!)

Bake in a hot oven, at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.

Reduce heat to 325 and continue baking for 30 more minutes.


Leave me a comment, do you like rhubarb pie or no?  Have you ever made a rhubarb pie?

Here is another super simple recipe to use your rhubarb.

Rhubarb Cake

1 boxed cake mix, yellow or vanilla

3 cups chopped rhubarb

1 cup sugar

1 pint half and half

Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions.


Pour into a greased and floured 9 x 13 baking dish.

Combine the chopped rhubarb with the sugar.

Sprinkle over the cake mix.

Pour the half and half over the rhubarb and cake mix.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes.

Let cool about 20 minutes.   Serve warm with whipped topping.  The rhubarb sinks to the bottom and makes a custard type layer.

This cake is best served the day it is made.  It is a good dessert to take to a covered dish supper and for feeding a large crowd.

Here is 1 more simple recipe.

Rhubarb Sauce

3-4 cups chopped rhubarb

3/4 to 1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

opt. dash cinnamon

In a saucepan, combine sugar and water.  Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Stir in the rhubarb, bring back to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered 10-12 minutes, until rhubarb is soft.

This sauce is wonderful over ice cream!



Rhubarb can be ‘put-up’ for later use so you can enjoy your rhubarb all year long.

Wash and trim your rhubarb.  Cut into 1/2 to 1 inch slices.

Blanch in boiling water for 1 minute.

Immediately submerge into ice water, then drain.

The rhubarb can be sweetened now-dissolve 1 cup sugar in 1 cup water and pour over the rhubarb, or left to sweeten  later.

Place in freezer containers or zip lock bags, label and freeze.


Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ

who strengthens me.






Time for Rhubarb-Growing It


Now is a special time of year in the garden-time for rhubarb!

Oh, how I love my rhubarb!

Rhubarb is the first, early crop that can be harvested from the garden.  After a long winter of a barren garden, the rhubarb pushing up is a very welcome sight!

Even after a light, late spring snow, it will still plug along.

About Rhubarb

Rhubarb is one of the perennial vegetables, and will return reliably year after year.  How nice to plant it once and enjoy it every year.

It is very hardy and problem free.

It has a large bearing in the garden and can be used as an ornamental.

Rhubarb, as a herbaceous perennial, grows from short, thick rhizomes.

It produces large leaves on tall stems.  The stems have a rich, tart flavor that is wonderful in cooking.

Rhubarb is a vegetable, but is used like a fruit in cooking and eating.

The reddish-green stalks are the edible part of the rhubarb plant.

Caution-The leaves of the rhubarb plant are poisonous-they contain oxalic acid and should not be eaten. (I cut the leaves off the stems while still in the garden, and lay them down in the rows and around the rhubarb plant; they make a nice mulch.  They can also be composted for later use.  The oxalic acid dissipates when composted.)

Growing rhubarb

Since rhubarb is a perennial, and will be growing in the garden for many years, choose an out of the way place, such as the edge of the garden, where the plant will not be disturbed while preparing the rest of the garden each year.

The bed for rhubarb should be carefully prepared-eliminate all weeds, dig in generous amounts of compost that is high in organic matter

A bushel basket sized hole (1 1/2 feet deep and 3 feet wide) should be dug.

The plants should be spaced about 4 feet apart-rhubarb grows quite large.

Rhubarb is best planted from root divisions and should be planted while it is dormant, in the early spring or fall.  This is a wonderful plant to share with friends, or to receive from a gardener friend.

The crown should be planted 1-2 inches below ground level.

Rhubarb prefers full sun, and well-drained soil.

Rhubarb is very hardy and needs cold winters, with winter temperatures of 40 degrees or below.


After planting, mulch the bed well with straw or cow manure.  The mulch will help retain moisture, discourage weeds and provide nutrients.

Rhubarb is seldom bothered by disease or pests.  The biggest problem will be crown rot if the bed is not well draining.  A raised bed would be a solution here.

Rhubarb will form a nice sized clump over the years and the plants can be dug and divided every 3-5 years while they are dormant.


Care of Rhubarb


Rhubarb is a very easy care plant-just keep it weeded and well watered through the summer months.

In the early spring, the rhubarb will send up a tall flowering stalk.  This stalk should be cut off to keep the plant bearing for a longer time.

In the fall, when the leaves and stalks begin to yellow and fall over, you can clear the bed off.  Now is a good time to put a 1-2 inch layer of manure/mulch over the bed.  I have found that rhubarb is one plant that can take straight chicken manure with out any problem.

Harvesting Rhubarb

Do not harvest any stalks the first year of its growing-it needs to send lots of energy to the roots and become established.  The second year, a modest harvest can begin, and by the third year you can harvest for 8-12 weeks in the spring.

Do not harvest all of the stalks at one time.  Take about 2/3 at each cutting,  leaving 1/3 for growth.  Harvest the 12-18 inch long stalks.

The rhubarb plant will let you know when it is time to stop harvesting-the stalks will become thinner and thinner.  It is time for the plant to rest till next spring.

To harvest the stalks, grab the stalk at the base of the plant and pull and twist gently.

A well cared for rhubarb patch should bear for 20+ years, giving you lots of delicious rhubarb for dessert.


I was wondering if there were any poems on rhubarb.  I was surprised when I did a search!  Yes, there are rhubarb poems!  Who knew?

Some may think its too bitter.

Quite the contrary.

As pie, its the tastiest

Treat, like no other.

My stomach then smiles

for rhubarb


Michael Degenhardst

(who must love rhubarb pie as much as I do!)

What to do with the rhubarb you harvest?  Be on the look out next week for my favorite rhubarb recipes!


Psalm 145:8

The Lord is gracious and compassionate,

slow to anger and rich in love.