Friday, April 26, 2013

Children of Grace ~ Life with Lily

For years I have sat through missionary slides where they showed their work in orphanages. Seeing the happy faces of those children so enthused about what ever gift they had received always touched my heart.  I hoped to someday help more directly.
Yesterday I received an email with the following picture.
Children of Grace in Uganda received copies of Life with Lily from someone.
To know that something I worked on is now being read and enjoyed by these children is a highlight in my writing journey.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Life with Buddy

Buddy has a way of keeping life interesting. I find it fun and refreshing to view life through the eyes of a little child where every moment holds wonder and adventure.
Yesterday he discovered his shadow for the first time. At first he seemed intrigued by this little thing that kept following him, but that changed to annoyance when he couldn't get it to stop. I don't know how to explain shadows to a 16 month old other than pointing out everyone's shadows and acting all happy about them.
He is at the stage where he wants to know what everything is. One of his favorite activities is pointing at things and saying "iss ess" , his Pennsylvania Dutch way of asking "What is that?"
He loves finding odd little places to climb into. He recently discovered he can open the door to my big pantry cupboard and by removing a few items he fits inside quite nicely. I found him there last evening enjoying a few pretzels before bedtime.
He brightens our life everyday.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Vernie Update

Quite a few of you have asked how my Aunt Vernie is doing.

She lived in Kentucky with her sister Emma in a cute little house that family had fixed up for them. Emma has never married and makes rugs and quilts to sell. Vernie is a very capable helper around the house, and especially enjoyed helping make rugs.

Last fall Emma had a stroke, thankfully she recuperated from that well enough so that she can walk, but things have become too difficult for them to live alone. Emma and Vernie have moved out of Kentucky to the community where my parents and one of my Mom's sisters live.

They are doing okay. You can tell Vernie is getting older, she loves helping Mom out in her store, but a full day of activity is a lot more tiring for her than it used to be. She is still the same sweet spirited person she has always been.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


1. April 15th is the deadline for Americans to file their state and federal income tax returns.  What's a job you do on a regular basis that could be described as 'taxing'?

Paying the bills. I can think of so many things that are more enjoyable. As much as I dislike doing it, I try to remind myself to be thankful that it's something I can do.

2. Joyce is participating in the April A-Z blog challenge, and the Hodgepodge happens to fall on Day O this week. In keeping with that theme...olives, onions, oysters, okra...of the foods mentioned, what's your favorite O food?

Probably onions even though I also really like okra and olives . We have onions every day. I add them to stir fries, slice them to eat on sandwiches, make onion dippers, stuffed onions, and onion rings, add them to fried potatoes and sweet corn, enjoy them raw cut into bread and eggs for breakfast. We're definitely a family that loves onions.

3.  What is something memorable you experienced as a child that your own children (or future children/nieces/nephews) will not get to experience?

Quite a few things. Like standing in front of the buggy and braiding the horse's tail as we go down the road. Attending a one room school house. Being super excited about turning ten and being able to wear grown up dresses that are fastened with pins in the front instead of buttons down the back. Using a wringer washer to do the laundry. Going to church in your bare feet.

4. Term limits for our elected officials...your thoughts?

Excellent idea!

5. On April 18th, 1775, Paul Revere made his famous 'midnight ride'...when did you last make a midnight ride?  Perhaps the fate of a nation wasn't hanging in the balance, but tell us where you were headed anyway.

We're not night owls in any sense and class anything after nine o'clock as being very late when it comes to be going for bed. The last time I was out after midnight was when we went to see LV's widowed sis-in-law, Emma and the children.

6.  What would freak you out more...a mouse running across your floor or a big fat hairy spider?

As much as I despise spiders, I hate mice even more.

7. I love it when people ask me________________________?

If they can come for a visit.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
The little stray has been named "Gypsy" and already loves tagging after Sailor where ever he goes. Including yard work.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Midnight Reading

I never know what to expect to find when I hear a gentle knock on our bedroom door in the middle of the night.

Last night when I opened the door I found Sunbeam. With one hand she was clutching her mouth trying to keep blood from dripping on the floor. In the other hand was a tooth that had been wiggly for weeks already and she had finally twisted it out.

This was the first time though that she ever bled so badly after losing a tooth.

We hurried downstairs and I dug some gauze out of the back of our medicine cabinet. I applied it and we stood waiting for the bleeding to stop. After a few minutes we decided we might as well be doing something more fun than simply standing there waiting and headed for the living room.

For the next hour and a half she snuggled beside me as I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Stopping only for a few minutes to change the gauze before we continued reading. While the rest of the house was fast asleep we were transported to the world of Charlie Bucket.

Who knew losing a tooth at midnight could be so much fun?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Meet Our Newest Addition

The other morning a vehicle came swooping into the driveway in front of our garage, a car door slammed, and then it sped away. But not before the children witnessed someone hurriedly dropping several cats off.

They hung around here for the rest of the day, much to our cat's dismay. They kept fighting and hissing and by the next morning our cat had been victorious and was once again reigning supreme having chased the others away.

I feel sorry for pets that get dumped off like that.

When someone else dumped off this little dog it found its way into our hearts, and though our cat protested it appears they will learn to get along. We will be allowing him to call this his new home.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Shoo-fly Pie

While I was growing up our family always had some type of baked goods to eat with our oatmeal at breakfast. Cakes and cookies were our favorite and pie would often appear as well. Especially cherry or Shoo-fly.

I often wondered who ever came up with making a Shoo-fly pie for the first time since it's a very cake-y type of pie and normally you wouldn't think of baking a cake in a pie crust, but somehow this really does work.

Rosebud was reading some Amish stories and Shoo-fly pie was mentioned which made her want to have some. So last evening I helped her bake several. I tweaked the recipe ever so slightly by substituting the lard with butter. I don't have the usual pail of lard tucked in a pantry like we used to and butter worked perfectly.

Shoo-fly Pie


2 cup flour
¾ cup dark brown sugar
¹/³ cup butter (softened)
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon


1 cup molasses
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup hot water
1 tsp. baking soda

In a medium size mixing bowl combine all ingredients for the crumbs and mix by hand until uniform. Set aside. In a clean mixing bowl combine molasses, sugar, and eggs. Mix well. Dissolve baking soda in hot water and add to the molasses mixture. Mix well and measure one cup full into (each) bottom of two unbaked pie crusts. Top with half of the crumb mixture. Divide leftover syrup evenly between the two pie and sprinkle remaining crumbs over the top.

Bake at 400º for 8 minutes. Reduce heat to 350º and bake an additional 30 minutes.

And this morning the children each enjoyed a small slice of Shoo-fly pie with their oatmeal.