Wednesday, April 26, 2017

V ~ Vacuum Cleaner

We had moved into a house that had carpeting in every room except the kitchen. We were extremely careful on it, but when we left the Amish a few months later one of the first things we did was get a vacuum cleaner.

Though I would rather have had hardwood floors, I found it very satisfying to be able to run the vacuum cleaner. The children were impressed with it too, Kenneth wanted to be able to use it. Every once in a while I'd allow him to have a turn at it.

One day as I was working in the kitchen he started vacuuming the living room again. I didn't pay too much attention to what he was doing until I saw a thin wisp of smoke. He had the brilliant idea to clean the hot ashes from our fireplace, which as you can imagine as soon as it got sucked into the vacuum bag it started burning. I don't think I had ever moved that fast before as I grabbed it and threw open the patio doors.

The neighbors must have wondered what in the world was happening when a vacuum cleaner sailed through the air and landed in the yard.

I had three wide eyed children as I closed the door, and proceeded to give another fire safety lesson. We got a new vacuum cleaner and thankfully that one lived a long and happy life and finally died of natural causes

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

U ~ Utterly Underwhelming

.... or at least that is how I'm feeling right now.

As we were going about our day today, Rosie Mae asked what I'll be writing for my 'U' blog post tonight.

"I was thinking I might talk about the Up and Down game," I said. I had just finished playing a round with Steven earlier and it was still fresh on my mind.

"That's a fun idea," she said and we went on with our day. She puttered around the kitchen happily working to invent a new recipe for cupcakes in hopes of creating one in the flavors one of her friends requested for her birthday.

I continued working on my project until it was time to prepare supper. After we ate I spent most of the evening on the phone, first with one of my brothers and then with my Mom. It was the first time, in a long time that I had talked with either of them so that was nice.

When I hung up the phone Rosie Mae informed me she had already made her blog post. I went to read it ..... hmm ... sneaky. She wrote about the Up and Down game, effectively using my idea.

I pawed through my idea books for other 'U' inspired blog posts, but they all feel underwhelming, so instead I'll direct you to her blog where you can read her version of my idea.

Monday, April 24, 2017

T ~ Tests

     Going to our little Amish school, test weeks used to be my favorite. Sure, there was studying involved to make sure we were brushed up on everything, but I found most subjects easy and enjoyable. Because of that the actual studying part didn't take me long and I could spend the rest of my time reading.

    We weren't plagued with timed tests. The teacher would hand out the tests in the morning and everyone started working on them. Once it was completed we would hand it in and then be free to do what we pleased. Reading, working on some type of art/craft project, or simply sitting and twiddling our thumbs. Being a bookworm I always opted to read.

   For the students who had a harder time, their entire day could be devoted to getting their test done. I'm sure they probably didn't enjoy test week as much, but at least the didn't have the added pressure of being timed and not being able to get done.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

S ~ Sunday Company Meals

Sunday company meals were always a big deal in our home when growing up. There were two levels of these meals.

The first, while delicious and quite sufficient was not nearly as elaborate as the second one. We never knew if we would be getting company on a Sunday, so we were always prepared. There was always cake and some type of special fruit on hand in case someone dropped in. We would then prepare potatoes and gravy, hamburger, some type of vegetable, applesauce, and homemade bread, butter, and jelly.

The company meal when we had invited guests was much more extravagant. The meal always started off by passing a platter stacked with slices of homemade bread. There were several different options of things to spread on your bread. Besides butter there was jam, a delicious jelly fluff, and honey.

Somehow there was always a set order in which the things were passed around the table. Potatoes were passed first, followed by the gravy. Next came a heaping platter of fried chicken and meatloaf, followed by browned butter noodles.

There had not been time to begin eating yet as more bowls of food were passed. Two types of vegetables, two types of salad, and it was finally time to begin eating. As the main course ended it was time to get into what everyone was looking forward to. Desserts.

It started off with cake, a platter of assorted cookies and bars, and fruit. Once everyone had eaten that a bowl of pudding made its way around the table. The meal was finished off with at least two kinds of pie, some type of fruit pie, and some other kind.

I was talking to the girls about those meals and they were feeling sad that they can't remember ever having an Amish Sunday company  meal. We decided to remedy that, but struck a middle ground between the two normal options.

It's a good thing we love leftovers.

Friday, April 21, 2017

R ~Rag Rugs

The year after I graduated from school Mom finally tackled the mountain of worn out clothes she had been hoarding in the attic in hopes of turning them into rugs.

It was slow tedious work cutting and tearing everything into two inch strips.

It makes my nose itch just thinking of all the dust and sneezing involved as we tore the fabric. Once we had a sizable heap of strips we sewed the ends of same colored fabrics together and wrapped them up into a big ball.

There was a certain sense of satisfaction seeing the pile of balls grow bigger and bigger. By the time we were done we had an impressive amount. We loaded them up and took them to Aunt Emma's house so she could weave them into rugs on her big weaving loom.

We were really happy with the quality and quantity of rugs all those old clothes made. Mom got to update all the rugs in our house and presented me with a pile of my own to put into my hope chest.

After LV and I got married I was thrilled to be able to use those rugs in my own house. I still have most of them, though one finally started unraveling the last time I washed it. I replaced it with one of the five remaining new ones I have been hanging onto.

It's interesting how many memories a simple rag rug can hold.

Sadly it's something our girls haven't experienced. Somehow I'm not as good as my Mom was in keeping worn out clothes for rug making purposes. Having a mechanic husband those clothes seem to go for grease rags instead. Useful, yes, but not nearly as pretty.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Q ~ Q's from my Idea Books

Quotes I happen to love quotes, and when one catches my attention by either amusing or inspiring me, I will jot it in the quotes section of my idea books.

Quilts I want to teach the girls the joys of sewing and hand quilting a quilt. I have some quilts planned out in my idea book. The color scheme, pattern, amount of fabric I'll need to buy, and other little details I will refer to when we approach the somewhat monumental task of making a quilt.

Quiet Book I have long been fascinated by quiet books. When Steven was still itty bitty I started planning a quiet book to make for him. I enjoyed planning all the fun different pages I could make. There are sketches, well written ideas, and supply lists. I started sewing it, but never got it done. I really need to before he has completely outgrown the age where he would enjoy playing with it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

P ~P's from my Idea Book

Photo Prompts As part of a photography project the girls will be doing, I have been creating various lists of photo prompts for them. I'm excited to help them work on it this summer.

Playlists I often listen to music when I write. Something interesting I have discovered is that I don't have specific writing music. Instead each book somehow seems to create a playlist of its own. I jot them down in my idea books because I want to go back to them and listen again even after I'm done writing.

Poems I write poetry occasionally and have a section devoted to my rhyming ramblings.

Projects When I approach new projects, I usually create a list of all the things I will need to get it done.

Party Planning Our parties aren't big at all, but they are a lot of fun. I enjoy planning all the details a long time beforehand and then have everything come together nicely without getting stressed or harried.