Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wednesday Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond
1. I feel most energized when I _______________________.

I love the energy, anticipation, and enthusiasm I feel when I wake up well rested on a Monday morning with an entire week of possibilities waiting ahead of me.

2. Where were you ten years ago?

Ten years ago we were living in Missouri. I was a fairly new homeschool Mom still trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. At the time I thought it was going as well as could be expected, but I so wish now that I could go back and do those first few years over again. I was not yet introduced to the world of blogging, and would have been speechless and excited if someone told me that I would be a published author of a series of four books within the next ten years.

3. July 17th is World Emoji Day. Do you use emojis? Which one's your favorite? Your most used?

I very seldom use emojis. Some form of the smiley face would be my most used one. I can't say that I have a favorite.

4. What song would you put on a wedding DO NOT PLAY list?

A bunch of silly little children's songs come to mind as some that I would not want played at a wedding.

5. What deserves less of your attention? More of your attention?

Social media deserves less of my attention. More of my attention? ... I'll go with family. Can never have too much attention there, can we?

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Lately I've been looking at different planners. So many fun options out there, but none of them offer exactly what I'm looking for. Do you have a favorite planner you would recommend?

Monday, July 16, 2018

In Which I Learn

Ever since Mom had a Country Air story published in the Pennsylvania Farmer magazine we looked forward to reading that section even more. One day when we came home from school we noticed that the latest issue had arrived. We hurried to change our clothes and then settled down to read it.

This time it was about a man that had a bull that he couldn't fatten, so he finally fed it a lot of bran and then just before it was time to take him to the sale-barn he let him drink water, the bull of-course bloated up and he got a nice price for him. The new owner was disappointed when a few hours later his nice bull was very skinny again.  For some reason this story and the way it was written really amused us and I tucked it away in my memory for future reference.

Several months later Mom's brother David and his wife Barbara came to visit us one Sunday afternoon. They had been married for almost a year, and I always enjoyed having Barbara around. She was so pretty, her laughter so musical, and she always made sure to visit with me personally. She was fast becoming one of my favorite aunts.

Today how ever I noticed that she no longer looked as slender as she used to. She was still fun to be around though and the afternoon was passing by with everyone visiting pleasantly, when all of a sudden I blurted out. "It looks like Uncle David fed bran to Barbara."  The conversation stopped as Barbara turned bright pink and Mom looked absolutely horrified. Daddy quickly started talking about something else and Mom asked me to come help her mix up a fresh batch of lemonade.

When we were by ourselves she explained that David and Barbara would soon have a baby and that is the reason why Barbara looks that way. I felt mortified that I had opened my big mouth, and was sure I couldn't go back to where everyone else was visiting and face Barbara after I had been so rude. Mom told me to help serve the lemonade, as I handed the glass to Barbara I was relieved to note that she didn't seem upset with me as she smiled her usual bright smile as she thanked me.

I was quiet for the rest of the afternoon as I mulled over the many questions I had to ask Mom once I got an opportunity.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Sleeping in the Barn

In one of our school reading books there was a story about several children who slept in a barn on fresh hay during the summer. It was something that I found very intriguing and wished that I could sleep in our barn too.

We talked about it to Mom and Daddy. They seemed a little amused that we would rather sleep in the barn than in our nice comfortable beds, but they agreed that we could on Saturday night before our in-between Sunday. That way we could sleep as long as we wanted to.

For the rest of the week we looked forward to Saturday night and once it finally arrived we headed to the barn before our usual bedtime. Daddy went with us and spread out several buggy blankets on the hay. Mom brought out a few old quilts and pillows and after they said goodnight we settled down in our little nests. We talked for a little while and then lay there listening to the sleepy goodnight clucks from the hens, the goats were laying in their pen chewing their cud. Their sharp little teeth sounded quite noisy as darkness started to envelope us and we could see stars through the cracks in the barn wall.

Our cats couldn't understand why we didn't want to play with them and they continually walked over our blankets and rubbed against our faces. They finally gave up and went to do what ever farm cats do during the night. As we nestled under our blankets we finally fell asleep only to be awakened a little later to a loud thump and a high pitched terrified scream of an animal. We all sat up, John had a flashlight and we all looked trying to see where the noise had come from. The light fell on one of our cats, and we watched horrified as it played and teased a terrified little mouse that kept screaming.  I couldn't stand watching it and lay down and pulled the covers up over my head to try and block out the noise. A little later it was quiet and then the sounds of a cat eating the mouse started which wasn't much better.

We finally drifted off to sleep again but awoke later in the night. The barn that had soaked up the warmth from a pleasant summer day had changed as the cold mountain night air seeped in through the cracks. We got up and added all our blankets to one nest and all lay shivering in it until the first streaks of a sunrise stole across the sky.

We hurried back to the house, but didn't really know what to do with ourselves since Mom and Daddy were still sleeping. Once they got up they asked how our night was and we told them about everything. I helped Mom fix breakfast while John, David, and Mahlon went to the barn with Daddy to do the chores and bring all our blankets in.  At breakfast Daddy asked if we want to sleep in the barn again in two weeks, but we all assured him that our beds really were the best place to sleep.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Wednesday Hodgepodge

 1. What's something in your house you'd like to get rid of but can't?

I'd love to get rid of the carpeted floors, but I can't.

If I were ever to build a new house there wouldn't be any carpeting involved. I would much rather sweep and mop, than vacuum. And know my floors are clean. I never feel as if my floors are clean even though they get vacuumed at least once a day, often more.

2. When is the last time you experienced a sense of nostalgia? Elaborate.

Probably at my brother's wedding. Hearing all the old Amish wedding songs. (You can listen to a snippet of it here.) Seeing the same bishop who married us, marry them. It brought back waves of nostalgia and emotions.

3. You're only allowed three apps on your smart phone or tablet...which three do you keep?

I only downloaded two apps. Instagram which I happen to really like. You can find me here. The second app is Inkpad. I love it to be able to take quick notes and reminders for myself. The third app came preinstalled, but it's my favorite. The camera.

4. July 11th is National Blueberry Muffin Day. Who knew? Do you like blueberry muffins? If you were going to have a muffin would blueberry be your choice? What's the last thing you baked?

Muffins aren't really my thing, having had way too many of those dry-ish crumbly things as a child. If I had to eat a muffin, a blueberry one would be my choice.

The last thing I baked was a Stromboli. The last thing that was baked in my kitchen were these delicious blueberry cream cheese treats. Rosie Mae and Steven made them.

5. What's the biggest way you've changed since you were a child? In what way are you still the same?

One of the biggest ways I've changed is by no longer being Amish. Other less blatantly obvious changes are that I'm less shy, less agile, more confident, and I no longer have to be on a crazy hard diet.

A way that I'm still the same. I still love, love, love the feel of a pen in my hand and a new notebook ready and waiting to be filled.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Last week there was a run away garbage truck down the mountain. It ended badly. The driver survived, but the truck did not. As badly as I feel for the driver and his helper guys that had been hanging onto the back of the truck ... I am not enjoying the growing pile of garbage out by the road that is still waiting to be picked up.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Circle Letter

Several times a month an envelope filled with letters would arrive and Mom would take a few moments to read all of then before continuing with her work. She was a member of numerous circle letters. One of them was for all her Mast girl cousins close to her age, another one was for her siblings, several others were for some of her school friends, and a variety of others. And hardly a Sunday afternoon or evening passed that she didn't have to write a letter for one of the circle letters.

I dreamed of the day I would be old enough to be in a circle letter. Mom told me I would have to be able to write well before I could join one so when ever I had spare time in school I would often write a letter to Mom and Daddy or my Grandparents.

I kept hoping that Mom would announce that I was ready to join a circle letter but she didn't say anything about it and I knew it was useless to beg for one. But on the morning of my tenth birthday as I came into the kitchen I noticed a gift bag beside my plate on the table. I hurried over to see what I had received. The first thing I found was a box with three of the cutest little "dishes" that I would use to keep my pins in since I now wore cape dresses regularly.

I was thrilled with them, but the next packet I found I could barely contain myself with joy of having one of my most cherished dreams realized. There was a tablet of paper, a box of envelopes,  a book of stamps, and a pretty piece of paper that Mom had written Address Sheet along the top and the numbers from 1 to 10 written along the side. I quickly sat down and carefully wrote my name and address beside the 1 and then entered names and addresses of several cousins and best friends in the remaining slots.

That day in school I wrote my first letter for a circle letter, and mailed it the next day. Several weeks later I received an envelope nicely fat from being filled with letters from nine of my friends. I read everyone's letter and removed the letter I had written and put it into a box to keep like Mom always did with her letters and then quickly wrote a new one so it would be ready to mail the next day. Years passed and I joined lots of other circle letters but none of them were ever as exciting as the first one I had.