We had a relaxing Thanksgiving weekend! Full of the favorite 3 things. Family, Friends and food. What more could you want?

The Christmas season has officially begun. I hung the wreaths on the front door. The Ab-Cat and I started our Christmas shopping. And, we all watched “Elf”. That is pretty much all it takes.

On Saturday night, Capri Deb and her husband, (and Mrs. Schmenkman’s brother) BFG, came over for some lasagna and sewer talk. It was the first time that Honey and BFG had spent an extended amount of time together. I asked Honey if  BFG  reminded him of Mrs. Schmenkman at all. He said “Oh yeah, especially their facial expressions!”  . It was fun, we will have to do that again!

I had seen Deb’s newest pretties on her blog earlier that day. She has been making pins, with antique buttons from her grandmothers! They were A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E!  She was selling them that day at a show with some of her other talented friends, Running With Scissors. I may have mentioned that I wanted one. Probably. Most likely. Yeah, for sure.

She gave one to me and The Girls!!! We heart them! The first one is mine, then Ab-Cats and then Mousey.

She brought them over in a shoe box, and Mousey and I arranged them all on the coffee table so we could make an informed decision. We didn’t want to miss one.

She named the jewelry portion of her craftiness Esther Stephania, after her two Grandmothers, who shared their love of sewing and fabric with her. She certainly blossomed under their tutelage!

I love, love, love it! It is on my coat already!

Thanks Deb! And thanks, Esther and Stephania!


Potent Quotable

The best things are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Hope your Thanksgiving overflowed with thankfulness and gratitude. I know mine did.


We are having a bit of an obsession over here at The NutHatch.

We are Sporcle-ing ourselves crazy. Especially The Ab-Cat and I. When I went into her room last night to kiss her goodnight, she was laying on her bed with her laptop. I said, are you Sporcle-ing? She said yes, she was addicted. Poor Baby.

I can totally understand. I have had several such addictions in the past. Free Cell, Penguin, Jewel Quest, Zuma, The D Show, E-Bay(searching for that elusive Brighton purse), Wikipedia, blobbing.

I saw a little game over at Rocks in my Dryer, and decided to try it. She often has fun links up on her blob. That was it. That’s the whole story. It all slid down the slippery slope of addiction at an alarming pace.

This was the one that started it all. Have a go. I think I missed 10!

Ab and I have dragged Mousey and The Boy into our little sickness as well. We almost identified all of The Duggar Children by name. We excel at the TV category, with other useless information a close second. Mousey got brave and tried African countries. I did great on the United States of America. Except I forgot Connecticut. I do apologize, Connect-icans. The Boy knows his gifts and hustled  the music department. Abby is systematically working through the movie category.

Go check it out, we dare you! And you’re welcome.

P.S. Don’t forget to vote for Suzanne!

The Day After

We had a very nice Thanksgiving day out at my Folks. This was their swan song in the hosting department. I’m pretty sure they are glad to pass the torch. It’s a lot of work, and they are hard pressed to squeeze it in around their dr visits, hanging out at the senior center, and outings with church friends. They have served with distinction and are now honorably discharged.

 Much good food, much yummy dessert,  much fun with Family, and tournaments of games. All the things necessary for a well rounded day.

And guess what? I took no pictures. I am going to have to fire myself. I did take the camera out and give to Miss Muggins Q. Mouse to snap some, but she didn’t do it. Why she do me like that?

The usual crew was there, my Mom and Dad, Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis, their son Mike, and The Newlyweds, their daughter Lindsay and her new husband Rob B. Bernard, as my Mother calls him.  Of course, we, The NutHatch contingent, were there as well. The canines present were our own Katie, and Lindsay and Rob B.’s poochie, Ava.

We generally feasted and had super duper long games of Apples to Apples and Scrabble. In the latter, my Dad asked if it was legal to use profanity. If you know my Dad, this is very odd, as he is a man of character and integrity in all areas. The Boy and I looked at each other, surprised. We said we guessed so, really just curious to find out which profanity it would be. The word was “TEAT”. Can I just say that we roared with laughter?

We will do the whole thing all over again at Christmas.  With the same cast and crew. Except it will be at our house, and there will be several more added. I look forward to it immensely.

I have to tell you what JUST NOW, right this VERY MOMENT happened. Abby could not get Katie in from her morning tinkle. She said “Mom, she’s eating something”, always in my opinion, frightening words. She enjoys all things unwholesome and vile. I was prepared to drag her away from something heinous, like goose poop, but no, she had completely out done herself. It was a dead mouse.

 Oh, she is a mighty hunter, she incites fear in the hearts of all dead animals. People, she has 4 teeth!!!

I put on quite a show for the neighbors. Abby said so.

Well, I need to go and dispose of the body, or else she will suddenly need to go potty every 3 and 1/2 minutes, so she can continue her revolting snack. Uck.

Please rememebr to vote here for Suzanne!


We have much to be thankful for again this year. Here is a list, by no means complete, or in any particular order.

1. We are thankful that Honey is still a Ford Motor Co. employee. 40% pay cut and all.

2. We have not had anyone in the emergency room or hospitalized the entire year!!! WOO HOO!!! Has to be a record!

3. The Ab-Cat and The Boy now have their drivers license. This has changed our lives in a HUGE way!!!

4. TV. I know it’s cheesy, but I like to watch TV with my family.

5. Key Lime pie

6. My Life is Good pajamas. Or, as we call them at our house, Potato Clothes.

7. That our pup Katie is still with us after her health crisis this summer. Abby is especially thankful for her baby and is giving extra loves and kisses.

8. I asked LMNOP, who is a professional, to take our family Christmas card picture, and she said YES! Maybe The Boy will behave himself. I doubt it.

9. We have the whole weekend off and are already talking about what we will do AND eat.

10. That Mousey is still a snuggle bunny.

11. I can take my troubles, big and small, to Jesus. He cares for me. He said so.

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

12. That all of our kids seem to like being with us. Most of the time.

13. For my wonderful Friends, from the many areas of my life. God jut really outdid Himself in this area. I am blessed. Immeasurably.

14. The Sewer Debacle is almost over. Thank you Lord for Roy!! If I had a Time Magazine Man of the Year, it just might be Roy!

15. For Honey. Who helps me in every area of my life (well, not the laundry!), who provides for our needs, who solves a LOT of our problems, who makes me laugh, regularly, and takes me  away on vacation and tells me that he is looking forward to retiring with me. What is not to adore?

Happy Thanksgiving Guys!

P.s. Don’t forget to vote for Suzanne here. Once a day until Dec. 7th. She really needs this job, and it is a very simple thing. Thanks so much!

Road Trip!

Back in July, we had a Family Reunion. It was the first time I had seen my cousins, Robin and Cindy, in probably over 30 years. They were very fun girls. Here they are from that day.

Their grandfather, Wallace, and my grandfather, Bob, were brothers.

We have been e-mailing since July and it has been wonderful getting to hear about their lives.

Cindy has a hobby. A little obsession really. She likes to bead jewelry, and it is loverly jewelry too! She decided to try and sell it at a craft show. So she could fuel her obsession.

Make it, sell it, buy more supplies so she could get all creative and make more! It’s an obsessive, vicious circle! I have one going on myself. With yarn.

In one of her e-mails, Cindy was telling me all about the craft show, and what she was making, and she said “you should come”. Well, she didn’t have to twist my tail any further. I said OK! Of course, the invitation was extended way back in August when it was warm, and she did mention that it was the weekend before Thanksgiving, but it was here before I knew it.

I invited another cousin, Kay, because we seem to have a plethora of girl cousins in our family. I thought she might be interested. She SO was! She was very excited. Kay said she needed to put aside her job, that was driving her crazy, and get herself a life!

Kay picked me up last Friday morning at 10 and off we went. We drove straight down 75 to Dayton, Ohio and turned left into Indiana. We had the Mapquest map, we had the instructions from Robin, with important details like “turn left at The Jiffy Lube”, and we had Honey’s girlfriend, Nuvi GPS. She is a real doll. She guided us to a Cracker Barrell for lunch. She is helpful like that.

I don’t think that there was a moment of silence the entire trip there or back.

When we arrived at Robin’s home in Indiana, we were greeted by her, her precious pup Maisie, and her 2 daughters, Kate and Julie, who were nothing short of darling. That day was spent talking some more, and getting to know this lovely family better. Cindy came and we  talked some more! Later, Robin’s husband John came home, took us all out for dinner (bless his heart!) and we talked SOME MORE.

Robin, Kay and I continued the talking until after midnight!  I just had to put that in there because my family would not believe that to be possible! I turn into a pumpkin at around 10:30. Every.Single.Night.

On Saturday morning, we headed over to the middle school for the craft show. It was way bigger than we expected. With lots of pretty, creative, interesting things to look at. And towels. There were lots of towels. And other things that had to be explained to us.

 This would be a good time to show you some pictures. Pictures of Cindy at her booth. Her loverly jewelry. Yeah, I agree it would be a good time, but unfortunately, I did not remember to take my camera out of my purse until the very end of the trip. When we were eating lunch, right before we left. Who needs a handler to help her manage her life?

Our waitress was a little frightening, so we asked the perky hostess to take our picture. She was happy to!

Starting from the left, Kate, Robin, Julie, Kay and old Capri ” Needs a Handler” Kel. Poor Cindy couldn’t join us, she was still selling her wares at the craft show.

Robin and The Darling Girls, Kate and Julie. I have to tell you this, because it amazes me. Those two girls? They bought a house together. And LIVE TOGETHER! I would have never, ever, in a million years considered moving out with my brother, Beeve. Who is a very nice guy, but HELLO, still my brother. I felt  living with him for19 years was my personal limit.

I loved watching this family interact. Really nice family dynamics.

The Road Trippers, Kay and Kel.

And then we left and talked all the way home. The end.

Thank you so much Robin for having us, and feeding us! Thank you so much Kate and Julie for spending time with us! And, thank you so much Cindy for giving us a reason for all coming together! I will always regret forgetting to take pictures! I hang my head in shame.

And just FYI Robin, Kay’s coming back next year, no matter what. That ‘needing a life’  and all business!


As Mrs. Schmenkman likes to say, “I am busier than a one armed paper hanger.”

I think it will calm down a bit after today. I hope.

Creation by Halle

Mrs. Schmenkman and Capri Deb have a friend who is trying to get enough votes to secure a  blogging job. Go here and press vote. Easy peasy. Her name is Suzanne from Chickens in the Road. I know they love her blog, and who wouldn’t want to help someone get a job? You can vote once a day until Dec. 7th. If you could lend a hand, I know they all would appreciate it!

I have a post rolling around in my head about my fun weekend road trip, but I am a little short on time. I will tell you about it tomorrow. But I will leave you with this art that our cat Halle Berry created while I was gone.

She got a hold of my latest knitting and carried it to the kitchen. It was a maze. All wrapped around the table legs, up and over the chairs, over to the bakers rack. You can’t tell very well, but it’s around the arms of the chair.

When Honey picked it up to unwrap it, it was soaking wet. She had put it in the water bowl. Her signature move. How artistic of her.

Potent Quotable

If you want a wonderful experience, take your New Testament and use a concordance to look up the two little words, but God. See how many times human resources have been brought to an utter end; despair has gripped the heart and pessimism and gloom has settled upon a people; and there is nothing that can be done. Then see how the Spirit of God writes in luminous letters, but God, and the whole situation changes into victory.

Ray C. Stedman


I have to tell you something so amazing, I’m not sure where to start.

I have told you about our sewer problems before. Here and here and here. They have been an ongoing concern.

At our last meeting with the city people, the inspector, the engineer, and various other men that attended, all agreed that they were not at fault. Well, the sewer line guy didn’t say that, because he couldn’t. Someone from his department did not do their job, and even though he did not say anything, we knew.

We left that meeting with an understanding that they would do their own research as to how we could fix our problem, the problem most certainly not of their making.  Even though they were not admitting responsibility, they wanted to be certain to get all up in our business to make sure that things would not be fixed incorrectly. That would just be wrong.

That was in October. You can imagine getting all those schedules coordinated takes some time. They finally called back and wanted to set up the meeting the week that we were in Florida. We said that was not going to work for us, and rescheduled for yesterday morning, the 19th of November. Two months and a day from when we found out that there were serious, problematic, expensive defects in our line. Before that, we were blissfully ignorant, and thought things could simply be fixed.

Honey and I have talked about this, on and off, for years, and more extensively, for months. Even before we knew the extent of the problem, we knew we would have to do something. We put things off until after the family reunion we had here in July, because nothing says PARTY like an exposed sewer line.

I think we have been concerned, but not consumed with this problem. We asked God to intervene on our behalf. We asked for the city to show us  favor. To treat us like people that they knew and cared about. To be fair and helpful. We asked that the city would hear us.

Honey and I, and many of you, have been praying for a solution ever since. The plumbers solution was to reroute our entire sewer line, wrecking our entire basement in the process, adding a holding tank under the floor of our basement.. That option was the one that would cost more than our first house. We didn’t really like that option for many, many reasons. Plus, our city informed us, they didn’t like that option either. They wanted the tank on the outside of the house.

The city guys knew we needed a solution, and they knew they that whatever it was, they were going to have to approve it. They put their thinking caps on. Like Tom Terrific. The two solutions they came up with were complete destruction of the basement, as well as our bank account, with gravity feeds and tanks of sewage and pumps that always need to be fixed. This, and only this, was the focus. No other solution was available, we were back to the rock and a  hard place.

It seemed like all was lost. The talking had stopped.  Honey gave one final plea. He said that when we built our house 10 years ago, we paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to a builder, we paid almost $8,000 to the city to check the builders work. All we know is we did what we were supposed to do, and now it is all our responsibility, with no one accountable for the problem they caused. He didn’t loose his temper, he wasn’t accusing, he just spoke the truth. All were quiet.

And then, in a no win situation, God gave Roy, the guy who doesnt even do the sewer work for the city, an idea. Roy said, “Why can’t we just do this?” Honey said everyone started talking at once!

It was a GREAT idea! It would fix our problem, the city would approve it, it could be done! We would be able to sell our house when we were ready to leave it! It was amazing!  It is still costly, but the basement and house will be intact!!!

And, it was a total God thing. All 8 of those men were professionals at what they do. They have to deal with these kinds of problems every day. They didn’t have an answer. They couldn’t solve the problem, they had looked into it for 2 months.

Our BSF lesson this week was John 6 with bits of Mark . The one where Jesus put the disciples into the boat and then He went to pray. A storm blew up and the waters grew rough. When he saw them struggling, He walked out on the water to them, and while at first they were afraid, they took him on board.

One of our questions asked if the disciples  were in difficulty because they had sinned in some way, or because they had obeyed the Lord’s command.

Jesus put  them into that boat. He knew the storm was coming, that was no surprise to Him. They were right where they were supposed to be. They obeyed and were still in rough waters.

We sang a song this week at BSF and the line that kept repeating over and over in my mind was “Trust Him when to simply trust Him seems the hardest thing of all”. We know that God hears our prayers, but we are more than aware that the answers are not  always what we want to hear. We have no doubt that God can solve our problems, but the solution could be unsatisfying, or hard to get to, or painful. Or expensive, like this one.

Sometimes I feel like we are problem magnets. We have unusual  things happen to us, sometimes in rapid succession. I have wondered if people think we are the most disobedient Christians around. Or just plain dense. Why else would we be tested over and over again?

That’s why I really liked this lesson. We can be right smack dab in the middle of God’s plan, and still be tossed around in the rough seas of life. God is never going to be finished refining us this side of heaven. We might as well get used to it. Because of the storms of life, we learn to trust Him more. And one thing we have learned over the years? God makes a way for us to navigate every storm. It hasn’t always been easy, but He has never left us hanging.

We are so thankful  for this answered prayer! We are so thankful that some of you interceeded for us as well. You have no idea how that comforted us.

And Roy, bless his heart, was a kiss on the cheek, straight from God.

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