Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Summer is upon us this week in the Northern hemisphere. Tell us three things on your summer bucket list.

Three things on my summer bucket list are:

Visit Coopers Rock, WV
Spend more time outdoors, hiking.
Schedule and prepare as much of our upcoming school year as possible.

We have checked Coopers Rock off our list already. It was breathtakingly beautiful, but the sheer height made me dizzy even though I was completely safe.

The hiking part will have to wait to be checked off until fall, because I want to get as much of that done as possible.

I'm really enjoying the last part, even though it is labor intensive. It is so nice to be able to see at a glance exactly what I will need for a week of school. The library books I'll have to get, the craft supplies I'll need, and the things to do science experiments. Plus as usual all the extras I add to the curriculum in order to dig deeper.

2. Something fun you used to do as a kid in the summertime?

Summertime was busy with all the gardening and food preserving we did, but there was always some time for fun. We used to love riding down our long hill on our wagon. Summer wagon riding was more fun than sledding in winter.

3. Rooftop or backyard? Why?

Definitely backyard.

Heights make me really dizzy, no matter how safe they are.

4. Do you read food labels? Place importance on them? Make an effort to find out/care about where your food comes from?

I read some food labels, and depending what I'm looking to avoid I place quite a bit of importance on them. 

5. A song you'll have on repeat this summer?

I don't know. Usually I wake up with a song playing in my mind. It lasts all day, no matter what else I listen to. I will catch myself humming, whistling, and singing it throughout the entire day. Thankfully each day has its own song.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Since I mentioned our recent visit to Coopers Rock I thought I'd share a picture even though it doesn't begin to do it justice.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Good-bye Jim

John and I were walking home from school. The snow banks beside the road had dwindled down to sad dirty piles. The melting snow created a creek in what was usually an empty ditch. We dawdled along floating twigs in the stream and watched as the current carried them away, when we heard a horse and buggy approaching.

We looked up and were surprised to see Mom driving Jim. She stopped beside us and we climbed on the buggy wondering where we were going to, since a ride home from school was unheard of unless it was raining.

It didn't take long for us to notice that Mom seemed sad. When we asked her what was wrong she said a man was coming by that evening to buy Jim, and that she had wanted to drive him for one last time yet before he left us.

John and I weren't happy to hear that we would have to sell Jim. Mom assured us he was going to go to a good home and that he deserved to spend the rest of his life in a nice place where he would no longer have to pull our heavy buggy up and down those long hills.

Once we got home Daddy came out of the shop to unhitch Jim. Mom stood there stroking Jim and talking to him for a long time and then turned to go to the house. Her cheeks looked wet from tears and that was the last straw for me. The sobs I had been trying to choke back came. I went to pat Jim's velvety nose and tell him good-bye. He had been our faithful horse ever since I could remember and the thought that he would no longer be in the barn or out in his pasture to welcome us with his gentle whinny was almost more than I could bear to think about.

I went to the house to help Mom prepare supper. After we had eaten we heard a truck and trailer pull into the driveway. Daddy went outside to help load Jim. When he came back inside we got ready for bed.

The following days seemed a little sad when ever we went to the barn and saw Jim's stall with out Jim there waiting for us. Several weeks later we got a picture in the mail of Jim in a nice green pasture. He looked happy and it made me feel a lot better to know that he really was doing fine.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Picture My Week

We knew we had a litter of kittens somewhere, and Sharon spent a lot of time hunting for them. She finally found them this week. They're the cutest little things, but so wild. This was the only one they were able to hold.

There's a deer that keeps strolling across the hill behind the house. The picture isn't the greatest, but it's the best I've been able to do. Apparently it has not received the memo that holding still would produce a better photo.

I spy blueberries! Can't wait until they ripen and we get to enjoy freshly baked blueberry treats.

I spotted this book in the library and had to get it because ... Pioneer Woman! As it happened Steven loved it too. The illustrations amused him greatly.

We spent a few hours at one of our favorite outdoors spots. Steven had to check on the tadpoles that he hoped were still there, but had already grown up and hopped away.

I had been hoping the wild roses will be in full bloom, but sadly it appears I missed them this year. All that was left was one plant with several rain washed blooms.

I enjoyed the other flowers that were blooming.

Rosie Mae and one of her dear friend went off the beaten path and found an old stone house and had to sit in the window opening for a picture.

One afternoon we enjoyed wading near the edge of the lake and skipping rocks across the surface. 

Home made pizzas are the best! With LV and Kenneth gone for the day the four of us at home each made our own pizzas. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Wednesday Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond
1. What happens to the mail at your house?

Mail time is one of our favorite parts of the day. As the time approaches for the mailman to arrive the children tend to keep one eye on the window and then there's a race to be the first one out the door to get it.

Letters will be read, passed around for the rest of the family to read, and then tucked away to be read and reread as the years pass.

Bills are placed in their designated spot in our roll-top desk.

Catalogs are paged through, and then words and pictures harvested from them for future scrapbooking.

Junk mail has a variety of things happen to it. Pictures can be drawn on the blank backs of pieces of paper. Little notes are often scrawled on the backs of the envelopes. Paper airplanes are made and flown around the house, but ultimately it will end in the trash.

2. Something you always splurge on? Any guilt associated with the splurge?

Something I splurge on.  I'm not really a splurge-y kind of person. The only thing that comes to mind is butter. For years I cooked and baked with margarine instead of butter, but a little over a year ago I made the switch to all butter. It still feels a little splurge-y when I buy several pounds of butter every time we go grocery shopping, but there is no guilt involved.

3. There are many, but what are two important questions you think every bride and groom should ask/answer before they plan their walk down the aisle?

The biggest one to me would be that they are "equally yoked", making sure that both of them have a good relationship with God.

The second would have to do with their views on money ... how they spend and save it.

4. What's the best advice your father ever gave you?

"Never slam doors." 

There was a lot of things he told my siblings and me, but that's the first thing that popped in my mind, and probably the one thing that makes me think of him most often.

Not slamming doors was bigger than just the not slamming part. It involved respect, check of emotions, and more. I could probably make an entire blog post out of it.

5. Your favorite movie where a father features heavily in the storyline?

Apparently I don't watch enough movies, because I can't think of a single one. If the question included TV shows I would mention Little House on the Prairie.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Last week we attended the wedding of my youngest brother. It was the first time in over ten years that all my siblings were together.

The wedding was lovely, and I liked the fact that the same Amish bishop who had married us also married them.

So many emotions!

Monday, June 11, 2018


One day when we came home from school and went out to the barn to help Daddy with the chores we were surprised to see a new horse standing beside Jim. I didn't particularly care for the new horse. He was a burnt orange color and next to faithful Jim he looked awkward and out of place.

Daddy explained that he bought this two year old to train so Jim would no longer have to work so hard pulling our buggy up all these Somerset County hills. The horse didn't have a name so we got to help choose it. We went through a whole list of names and finally settled on Bob.

We used to hurry home from school to watch Daddy train Bob. He spent a lot of time talking and currying him and rubbing him down with old feed sacks. He explained that the feed sacks actually felt good to Bob and he needed to get used to seeing white things flutter close to him so he doesn't head for the ditch or try to run away if anything should happen to flap beside the road while he was hitched to the buggy. Bob's training progressed nicely. Once no part of the feed sack made him jumpy at all Daddy told us to bring an umbrella and open it right in front of Bob.

John and I ran to the house to get our big old black umbrella and took it out to the barn. Standing in front of Bob we opened it. It startled him and he jumped back. Daddy spoke calmly to him and then told us to do it again. It took a little while before Bob stood with out flinching the slightest bit as the umbrella opened and closed right in front of him.

Daddy was pleased at his progress because it would never do to have a skittish horse hitched to the buggy with the rest of his family at risk.

The day came when he tried a harness on him. Bob calmly accepted it and his training continued as Daddy walked behind him in the pasture holding the reins on the harness teaching him everything he needed to know to be a safe buggy horse.

Once Daddy was satisfied that he understood what was expected of him he hitched Jim to the buggy and tied Bob along side of him and took them for a drive down the road. When they came back Daddy was all smiles saying that Bob did really well and with several more weeks of running along beside Jim, Bob would be ready to go solo.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Wednesday Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond
1.Describe your 30's in one sentence. If you're not yet 30 tell us one thing you hope to accomplish once you hit that particular decade.

So many changes, most of them good.

2. Is it harder for you to exercise or eat healthy?

Probably eating healthy presents the bigger challenge to me, though exercising isn't exactly my cup of tea either.

3. June 7th is National VCR Day. Huh? Anyway this reminded me of something I saw on Facebook listing household items we no longer have and the VCR was on it. I couldn't put my hands on that list, but found another list here of 21 items we all had ten years ago, but which are now obsolete-

bookshelves (WHAT!!???), drip coffee makers, alarm clocks, file cabinets, desktop computers, printers, printed phone books, answering machines, fax machines, paper shredders, a Rolodex, CD racks, CD burners, china cabinets, home phones, entertainment consoles, DVD players, calculators, takeout menus, incandescent light bulbs, and cable TV

Your thoughts? How many on the list do you still have? Still use?

I still have and use bookshelves. I can't imagine ever doing without them. My alarm clock gets me up every morning. Love our desktop computer, and our printer when it behaves properly. Our answering machine still collects messages when I don't answer the home phone, and my china cabinet is filled with pretty dishes. The rest of the things on the list I don't have. My method of making coffee is even more primitive than a drip coffee maker.

4. What's something you see disappearing in the next ten years?

I see checks disappearing. Credit cards and online bill pay already seem to be most popular.

5. How did you celebrate your birthday this past year? Is that typical?

This year we had a visitor arriving on my birthday so we waited to celebrate until he left over a week later.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Life with teenagers is never boring ...

The three oldest and I were out and about last evening. Rosie Mae drove to come home and as we bumped across the railroad tracks she apologized. "Sorry to turn you into a tossed salad."
Kenneth: Like waves on the ocean.
Rosie Mae: Salads do not belong in oceans.
Kenneth: Tell that to the seaweed.
Sharon: Oh ... kelp me!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Withdraw Thy Foot

Teacher Hannah had each of us students in school memorize a verse from the Bible each week and required us to recite it on Friday afternoon. Anyone who could do it perfectly would get a small prize. I used to spend lots of time rehearsing and practicing to make sure I would get my weekly prize.

One week we had to memorize a verse out of Proverbs. I brought the reference home and Mom helped me find it in the Bible and after she had read it she said something about what a nice verse it was and that we should have it on our wall.

That was all I needed to hear. I got a piece of paper and a blue permanent marker. I carefully copied the verse and tacked it on the wall above the kitchen table. After I was done I read a little more and was intrigued how each verse in Proverbs had it's own little nugget of wisdom and asked Mom if she minds if I find more verses to copy then we could rotate them and not be tired of any of them.

She gave me permission and I set to work to find verses that I especially liked. When Saturday came I happily removed my first verse and tacked up a new one. I noticed Mom and Daddy seemed a little amused at my choice but they didn't say anything.

The next day was our inbetween Sunday and much to our delight Mom's younger brother John Henry and his family came. He was a very special uncle and visits from them were always a treat. We were all having a good time when Mom suggested we all move to the kitchen for snacks and popcorn. As we settled on our chairs and resumed visiting John Henry got to his feet and said, "Well, I think it's time we head for home."

We were all surprised and then Mom noticed that he was reading the verse I had tacked to the wall which read. "Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbors house lest he grow weary of thee and so hate thee." She quickly assured him that we weren't tired of their company and that I had chosen that verse for this weeks motto.

He settled back in his chair and the rest of the afternoon passed swiftly. And once they were heading home Mom suggested that I find another verse that wouldn't risk offending anyone.