Saturday, November 18, 2017

Picture my Week

I was thrilled to find this gorgeous splash of color on an otherwise drab November day. I never even knew a briar bush can become such a thing of beauty.

I have been trying to create the healthy habit of going on a walk every day. The girls and Steven made great walking companions, and I somehow even managed to get them to pose for me willingly.

We went to a different area every day for our walk. This one was one of my favorites of the week.

The girls gave me a tour of their childhood "country". We stopped to admire their general store/trading post/giant tree.

Steven's cat loves going on walks with us.

The most brilliant of sunrises was enjoyed this morning. I stayed in the house to take a picture of it through my dirty windows.

While the eastern sky was brilliant, Kenneth came in and announced that there's an equally brilliant rainbow in the western sky. LV ran out to get a picture of it. The picture doesn't do it justice. Who knew rainbows appear before 7 A.M. in the middle of November.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Fragrant Whiffs of Joy ~ Winner

     Reading all your comments of things that bring you joy, was such fun. I've come to the conclusion that the little things are actually, really not that little.

     Now for the next step, let's head over to the random generator and see who the winner is for the book, Fragrant Whiffs of Joy.

     And drumroll please ....

     The winner is ...

     Comment #39

     butterflywoman57 said ... Sweet memories of my husband

Congratulations! Please email your mailing address to me and I will get the book sent to you. I hope you'll enjoy the book as much as I did.

I wish I could have given everyone a book, but since that's not possible I'm happy to be able to tell you that it is available for $12 per book plus $2 postage.  You can mail a check to Dorcas Smucker, 31148 Substation Drive, Harrisburg, OR 97446.  Or PayPal

Thursday, November 16, 2017

John Coffer

     One afternoon in early fall John and I were playing in the sandbox when the phone rang. Mom came hurrying outside to the "phone shanty" to answer it. It was Grandpa saying they had just witnessed a strange sight. A small covered wagon drawn by a team of oxen, an old fashioned "different" buggy hitched to a big slow horse, a cow, and two people that looked as if they had stepped right out of the pages of a "Little House on the Prairie" book had just passed their farm along 14 A and turned up Crawford Road and if we watch we should be able to see them soon.
      We all sat on the swing under our cedar trees and looked down the road to where Crawford Rd crossed our road. It wasn't long before a team of oxen appeared with a tall man and his wife and a black dog walking beside them. We could hardly believe our eyes. A covered wagon with a yellow chicken perched on the back, a cow and a horse and buggy that looked different from any buggy we had ever seen. Walking slowly along the road.
      They soon disappeared out of sight and we went back to the house, wondering who they were and where they were going.
      That evening when Daddy came home we told him all about it. Daddy said he saw smoke that appears as if someone would have a campfire and that they're probably camping along the road. So right after supper he asked Mom to wrap up some fresh homemade bread and we would all walk over to meet them.
      They were camped in a field beside the road cooking supper in a cast iron pot they had dangling above the fire. When they saw us coming they came to welcome us and introduced themselves as John and Sue Coffer. They had spent years travelling across America in this fashion and finally decided to settle down somewhere and had just purchased a piece of land that had a lot of timber and also a few meadows but no buildings or a well. They were hoping to build a cabin and dig a well yet before winter.
      Daddy offered to help, but Mr. Coffer turned it down wanting to do it all by themselves with a crosscut saw and an axe.
      It wasn't long before the sound of an axe filled the days and their little cabin progressed nicely. After they had moved in the next thing to do was get a well dug. Mr. Coffer did accept help for this as someone needed to be on the ground to pull up full buckets of dirt and then let the empty bucket back down to be filled up again. It took quite a long time but once he struck water it was worth it!
      John was intrigued with the whole pioneer thing and Mr. Coffer on one of their many visits to our house whittled a tiny yoke for him to play with his toy cows.
       The Amish settlement in Dundee eventually failed, but Mr. Coffer still lives there, still living the pioneer lifestyle.

John Coffer sitting in front of his cabin.

The side of his cabin also works as a place to hang the harnesses for his horses.

The cabin.
John Coffer with one of his beloved oxen.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond
1. What takes you out of your comfort zone?

I feel very uncomfortable, uneasy, and decidedly out of my comfort zone when I hear women speak badly of their husband.

2. Your least favorite spice?

This was a hard question since I love cooking and using all kinds of spices. Curry in moderation is good, but is the one spice that I don't really get excited about using.

3. What's a small change you'd like to make?

A small change I want to make before long is rearranging the contents of our desk, filing cabinet, and a cupboard. I'm looking forward to having it done, it will be so much better all around, but the thought of having to do it isn't quite as pleasant.

4. Do you enjoy visiting historic homes? If so, of the homes you've visited which one was your favorite? What historic home near you is open to visitors? Have you been? Southern Living rounded up eleven of the best in the southern part of the US and they're as follows-

Monticello (Jefferson's home in Virginia), Nathaniel Russel House (Charleston SC), Swan House (Atlanta), Ernest Hemingway's home (Key West), The Biltmore (Vanderbilt home in Asheville NC), Mount Vernon (Washington's home in Virgina), San Francisco Plantation (Garyville, Louisiana), Windsor Ruins (Port Gibson Mississippi), Longue Vue House and Gardens (New Orleans), Whitehall (Palm Beach FL), and Pebble Hill Plantation (Thomasville GA)

Have you been to any on the list? Of the homes listed which would you most like to visit?

I haven't been to any historical homes, but would really like to see all the ones on the list, especially Biltmore.

5. What's something you think will be obsolete in ten years? Does that make you sad or glad?

Writing checks, maybe? Online bill pay and credit and debit cards seem to already be the preferred way to handle money for many people. I only see it getting more so over the next ten years.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Instead of my usual Picture my Week post on Saturday, I opted to do a giveaway instead. (You still have time to enter it here.) 

A picture from last week is of LV and Kenneth escorting a bull back to his pasture after he came to visit us, right up next to the house. If you look closely you can see some of the holes he poked in our yard.

I'm not a fan of bulls wandering about our yard, but thankfully he wasn't feeling mean, and didn't present a huge challenge to get him back where he belonged. The owner has now taken him to a different field, so hopefully we won't have to deal with him again.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Mailbox

     Mail time was always looked forward to. Most days once the mailman left the mailbox and disappeared down the road John and I would run out to see what he left this time. Most of the time there was a letter or two, but what we really liked was the day the weekly grocery and K-Mart fliers would come.
      We would sit on the floor and study and dream about all the good food, and then we'd look at the toy section of the K-Mart flier. It was my dream to have a doll with a real face and hair, even though I loved my rag doll "Sally" very much.
     Then one week the mailman didn't stop and John and I were perplexed and troubled that we no longer get mail. We asked Mom why he no longer stops and she told us he would if we would put the flag up. We wanted to run out and put the flag up right away, but she told us we can't do that unless we put something in the mailbox first.
      We went on with our day with that new bit of information stored inside our little heads, and when the next day the mailman still didn't stop we took our own steps to rectify the problem. We dug a few carrots from the garden, gathered some pine cones, and selected a few of our favorite rocks from our collection and placed them in the mailbox and put the flag up.
      The next morning we waited anxiously for the mailman to come, we were sure with all the great things we put in the mailbox he would be sure to leave us a lot of mail in return. When he finally went we ran to the mailbox only to discover that not only didn't he leave any mail, he didn't like what we had put in the mailbox for him. He had scraped the whole mess out on the ground.
      We ran in to tell Mom all about it. That was the day we learned how the postal system worked, she explained everything and then helped us write a letter for Grandma. The next morning she helped us put it in the mailbox correctly and let us put up the flag. The mailman took our letter and several weeks later John and I got a letter of our own from Grandma.
      The system really worked just like Mom said it would.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Puppies and Naptime

      One evening after Daddy came home from work he told us to come outside to our shed and see something.
      We all followed him outside to find our dog Smokey in a corner proudly looking at and feeding ten little puppies. They were so cute. She didn't mind us oohing and ahhing over them, but Daddy told us not to hold them until they're several weeks old.
      We would go outside everyday to see them and finally we were allowed to hold and play with them. It was this event that finally got us totally over our fear of Smokey. She let us play with the puppies and we even got to the point where we'd pet and talk to her.
      One day we were all supposed to take a nap. Mom tucked John and me into our beds and then took David into her bedroom and put him in his crib and laid on her bed until he fell asleep. I thought naps were a waste of time and being five I no longer had to take one everyday.
     The sun was shining brightly and I could hear the puppies outside, I sat up and leaned over the edge and peeked into the bottom bunk of the bunk bed. John was already sleeping, so I pushed my covers off and climbed quietly down and tiptoed out through the kitchen and out the door. I found my three favorite puppies, gathered them up in my arms and ran to the shed and sat in a corner and played with them. It was so much more fun than taking a nap.
      After a while I heard Mom calling my name. I didn't want to have to go back to bed and a idea popped into my head. "If I don't answer, she won't know where I am , and I won't have to go to bed."
She called and called and finally came into the shed and found me hiding in the corner. She was crying by that time and I felt bad about that. I hadn't meant to make her cry, I just really didn't want a nap.
     She told me she thought she had heard a car start in our driveway and when she went to see who it was, nobody was there and when she looked in my bed I was no longer there either, and she was very worried. And that I may never go outside without telling her first.
     We got back to the house and she told me I have to spend the afternoon in my bed, so that next time I'll remember to answer when she calls and stay in bed if she tells me too.
     That was the longest afternoon I ever had. I could hear Mom sewing and talking to John and David. It sounded like everyone was having a great time and I had to lay there until Daddy got home from work.
     Daddy wasn't impressed about the scare I had given Mom either, and so I was admonished again. It was good to be with the others again and have supper and a little time to play before bedtime. But I learned my lesson well. If Mom calls. I answer. Spending all afternoon in bed is no fun!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Fragrant Whiffs of Joy ~ Giveaway

    In our living room we have a huge oak cupboard. It was built by my oldest brother seventeen years ago after I had voiced my dream version of an "Amish entertainment center". A section of it holds our favorite books. These books are selected carefully and each one of them has to earn their right to call this cupboard their home.
    I just tucked a new book inside its doors. Fragrant Whiffs of Joy by one of my all time favorite authors, Dorcas Smucker. She cleverly weaves beautiful stories from her often touched by humor, ordinary life.

Fragrant Whiffs of Joy is a collection of short stories or essays if you will, which makes it a perfect book to pick up and read when you have a few minutes. Each chapter is sure to encourage, inspire, and maybe give you a new view on life, with a healthy amount of chuckles mixed in.

From outings to the beach that don't go as planned, serving food to loved ones, a heartfelt glimpse into the little known life of her son's birth Mom, and everything in between. I enjoyed every minute of reading this book.
I think you would enjoy it too, and I'm happy to be able to give away an autographed copy. If you would like a chance to win one, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me about something that gives you a whiff of joy.
For a second entry share a link to this post on your blog or Facebook and then come back and tell me about in another comment.
I will be using the random generator to choose a winner on Friday, November 17th.
If you are eager to start reading this book you can order it now.
Fragrant Whiffs of Joy is available for $12 per book plus $2 postage.  You can mail a check to Dorcas Smucker, 31148 Substation Drive, Harrisburg, OR 97446.  Or PayPal
Giveaway is now closed and a winner has been chosen.