Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge



1. Share a favorite moment from your Christmas holiday celebration.

We really enjoyed our Christmas this year. In fact I think it was the best ever. It was simple, but sweet. One of my favorite moments was when Buddy and I shared a cup of hot chocolate, the first I've had since probably last Christmas, and the first he has had in his life. We both enjoyed it a lot.
 
2. What would you say has been the biggest news event during your life so far?

All I can think of is 9/11.
 
3. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2015 is Marsala. What say you-like or no like? Would I find this color anywhere in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in this shade to either?

I actually really like that color, but don't think I have anything in that particular shade anywhere in our house. I'm doubtful that it will be added during this next year.
 
4. Would you rather meet your ancestors or your great grandchildren? Explain why.

My great grandchildren. To me life looks extremely short, and as much as I'm looking forward to what is coming after it is over, I would like to be able to meet my great grand children before I go.
 
5. Share one life lesson learned in 2014?

Trusting God and believing that all things work together for good. Okay, I knew that already, but it was proven again and again during 2014. Where God took what looked like a bad thing and turned it into something good.

6. What was your best or favorite purchase made in 2014?

We hardly made any purchases this year other than food. I didn't even get any new clothes. I did get a pretty notebook for myself when the back to school sales were going. Does that count?

7. What is one thing you're looking forward to in the new year?

We have nothing special planned for 2015. Mostly I just look forward to enjoying every day with our family.
 
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

One of Buddy's favorite things to play with is his box of wooden blocks.

 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Uncle Ezra's Story

The post yesterday was mostly inspired by what I'm planning to share today. I have seen the reactions people have to this story, have seen people refusing to listen to what he had to say, some going as far as avoiding the family afterwards. I can not ever dispute what happened to him, I may not understand everything, but it is his story and I know he tried to spread it as much as he could to everyone who would listen. Since he can no longer do that I'm sharing it today.

I was only twelve when this happened, but the impression it made has never faded.

A car drove in one evening and the driver came up to the house, when Daddy went to answer the door we all strained our ear to hear what he had to say. We could only make out a few words, hospital, and call right away.

Daddy left his food on his plate, saying he has to go to the payphone right away to call the hospital where his brother Ezra was after having fallen 40 ft. After he spoke to Ezra's wife Mom and Daddy decided to go see him right away, he was in bad shape, multiple broken bones, bleeding on his brain, the doctors were doing everything they could, but even they weren't giving any hope that he was going to survive this. They stayed at the hospital for a few days, Ezra was unconscious the entire time. Coming home they started making preparations for the funeral that was sure to be coming soon.

Now on to Ezra's story, somewhat condensed:

I was climbing upwards through a long dark tunnel, I could see the light at the end that grew bigger and brighter the closer I got to it. I could see people walking past that light. Once I reached the end I came out in a large meadow with a path. People were walking on it, I wasn't sure what to do so I started walking up the path too. I hadn't gone very far when I saw my body laying beside the path. I didn't know what to make of it, I no longer needed it, but I hesitated walking on with it still there. It was then that I noticed a man walking down the path towards me. He was talking and singing at the same time, both were clear. He didn't look at me standing there, instead he stopped beside my body, he picked it up and sat down holding it in his lap. He continued talking and singing, but now he was also running his hands up and down my broken body. I stood there watching and noticed how his face was lined, as I studied those lines a few stood out and then a little later they formed little bundles, looking almost like a handkerchief that had it's corner tied together like a little knapsack. Several of the little bundles floated over to me. I opened them, they were full of thoughts. The first one was that I don't have to be afraid of the future, because it is in His hands. Another one said "Love me, and live in peace." I looked at his face wondering what all the other lines were, but he shook his head saying they are for someone else. All this time he kept running his hands up and down my body.

When he was done he placed the body on the ground, he opened it and asked me to step back inside. It's time to go back, he said. I tried to but it was awkward so he reached out and helped me back in. I woke up in my hospital bed then, a sheet over my head. I reached up to uncover my face and almost gave the nurse that was tidying up the room a heart attack. She rushed to get doctors, the first doctor who came in asked me how I'm feeling. I told him I'm healed. They took me to be x-rayed and tested, and it was true, every broken bone was healed, all the injuries I had received had been healed.

I don't claim to have been in Heaven, I did not see God. But this I know, Jesus healed me, He loves and cares for His children, and for a child of God, death is only the beginning.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Fear

Fear can be such a crippling thing, and can eat at you almost like a disease.

Growing up, much of our life was ruled by fear. Fear of displeasing a hard to please God, fear of getting into some unknown trouble with the church, and fear of death and dying were the three main fears we lived with, and then there were a lot of smaller fears.

The moment Jesus became real in our life those fears vanished, along with a lot of the smaller ones. Though my life is no longer ruled by fear like it used to be, there is still one fear I haven't exactly faced head on. Fear of, how do I describe it, fear of what people might think of me if I were 100% open about everything,

It's so easy to allow people to only see certain parts, and I really value the friendships I have, but there are times when I wonder, would I still have the same friends if I were totally honest about all my likes and dislikes? I love reading, really love it. My all time favorite series of books though, would I dare mention them? Same with music, singing is something I also really love and listening to music, but what if I shared my all time favorite song, would people look at me differently even though I'm the exact same person I was before they knew what it is? This list could also go on for a while.

I'm curious does anyone else deal with similar fear?

Friday, December 26, 2014

Checking In

Taking a few minutes to check in and let you know I realize I still have a blog, even though I was neglecting it shamefully this month. That is about to change though since Christmas is over, and the children seem to all be over what ever flu like sickness they had been plagued with.

Christmas wasn't the happy celebration for my extended family, this year. My uncle had a heart attack and passed away, his funeral is today.

I haven't mentioned this uncle very often, here, though I knew him better than any of my Dad's other brothers. He had a very interesting story he used to share with anyone who would listen. A few years ago he wrote about his experience and I happened to be lucky enough to get a copy. I'll be sharing it with all of you soon. I think he would have liked that, and it just seems fitting somehow.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. Time magazine has selected The Ebola Fighters as their person of the year for 2014. Do you agree, and if so who would you say is a close second? If you disagree with their choice, who do you think should have been chosen?

I don't care that they chose them as the person/s of the year. I'm guessing though the person that did the most good in 2014 is someone who hasn't received any recognition and only God knows who it was and what he/she did.

2. This question comes to you courtesy of Susan who blogs over at Stew Mama Says. She knows Joyce has a wedding happening any minute now, and she asks, 'What's your favorite-something old? something new? something borrowed? something blue in your home?  Be sure you hop over and say hi to Susan today! 

My favorite something old is a cookbook that is getting decidedly more spattered and worn every year.

Something new ..... a gift from my brother. I'll be using it everyday.

Something borrowed ..... nothing. I don't like borrowing things.

Something blue ...... a set of water glasses I use everyday.

3. Fudge-yay or nay? Your favorite flavor? Do you make it yourself? With nuts or without?  

Until only very recently I have not liked fudge at all. But then one of the Mom's at our church gave me some chocolate bacon fudge to try. It's delicious! I went home and did a search online for a recipe and hope to make a batch for Christmas.
 
4. December 17th is Wright Brothers Day, commemorating the first successful flights made by Orville and Wilbur Wright in 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  How old were you when you made your first flight? Do you like to fly? Have you ever been to Kitty Hawk or other parts of the North Carolina Outer Banks? 

I have never been in an airplane and have no desire to ever fly. I've also never been to the Outer Banks, but it's somewhere we want to visit in the next few years.

5. Do the people in your family tend to follow a particular career path, and if so what's the path?

Not really. In my family there are farmers, construction workers, business owners, logger, truck drivers, teachers, and even an inventor. The last one I'm not sure if I should feel proud, excited, or scared. The item being invented could change a lot of things and help millions of people, something I'm not convinced Uncle S_m would like since it appears money is all they focus on.

6. What is one thing you absolutely, positively must accomplish today?

Some sewing, and then dress rehearsal for the Christmas pageant at our church.

7. This Christmas I hope_____________________.

We will have plenty of snow, and that everyone will be healthy.

Sunbeam has been sick for a few days already and I'm really hoping the rest of the family doesn't get what she has.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

Our phone is still not working, and I'm still not missing it. Our families know LV's cell number, any one else can email, so that only leaves telemarketers not being able to contact us and I don't miss them at all. Who knows..... maybe we'll decide not to have a house phone again.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Catching Up

The past few weeks have been, let's say, interesting. An unintentional break from most technology was quite refreshing, after I got over my initial frustration that things weren't working the way they should.

Our phone is still not working, and for the most part I don't miss it at all. It's nice not being interrupted at all hours of the day. Somehow life goes on just fine without it.

~~~~~

We're once again doing a homemade Christmas this year. I haven't done much more than plan the things I want to make which means I had better step into high gear if I want to have any hopes of getting anything done in time.

~~~~~

One of my brothers was here for the weekend. We hardly ever get to see family, so this was a real treat. It had been over three years since we saw each other last which meant we had a lot of catching up to do.
 
~~~~~

I have always admired beautiful crocheted things. When ever I watched someone crochet it always looked easy and fun. I have tried on different occasions to learn how to crochet, but it was never easy and most certainly not fun. The only thing I was ever able to make was a pile of snarled yarn.

Rosebud has had a desire to learn how to crochet, she read everything she could find about it and studied patterns and instructions. She has now made quite a few different things, and is in the process of teaching herself how to make more complicated things.

I'm glad my daughters have not inherited my aversion to all things related to hand sewing.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Footprints on the Ceiling ~ Winner

I hope you all had a very nice Thanksgiving. Ours was delightful with beautiful snow, and good food. The snow is still piling up, which makes it feel like the perfect type of day to curl up somewhere with a good book. Which brings us to the point of this post.

I'm happy to announce the winner of Footprints on the Ceiling.

Comment # 11

Betsy said ............

Footprints to be cleaned over and over when I helped my daughter move into her new home in Maryland this month. It was raining and the movers didn't seem to care about the wet and mud at all!

Congratulations Betsy! Please send me an email with your address and I will get the book in the mail for you. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

 
1. Besides U.S. Thanksgiving, it's also National Game and Puzzle Week...what game have you played most recently, and who were you with? Have you worked a puzzle of any kind in the past week?

Games and puzzles are something we really enjoy in our house. Latest games played were Monopoly, Phase 10, and Dutch Blitz. We tried working on a puzzle that looked somewhat similar to a Thomas Kinkaid, but gave up and put it away because we needed the table space before it was finished.

2. What is one place you were thankful for this year?

Home. My favorite place in the world and I'm thankful for it everyday.

3. Take a nap, watch football, go for an after dinner walk, or hit the stores...which ONE is on your must-do list for Thanksgiving day? For those of you playing along who aren't in the US, answer as it relates to any big holiday meal.

I don't take naps, ever. To me life feels way too short to spend any more time sleeping than absolutely necessary. I won't be going on a walk, or shopping. Football ........ try as I may to feign interest, it also feels like a waste of my time when there are so many other things I enjoy more. I'll probably settle for reading a book or playing a game or two.

4. Besides Thanksgiving, what's your favorite home cooked meal?

Christmas breakfast! We look forward to it all year.

5. What product from an infomercial would you most like to own?

Maybe the green skillets or Wen hair products. I really don't know. I don't pay attention to infomercials and these are the only two that come to mind.

6. Christmas shopping? Have you begun? Finished? Will you shop on Black Friday? How do you feel about stores opening on Thanksgiving Day? What percentage of your Christmas shopping is done online?

We will be doing a homemade Christmas again this year. I have started, but need to kick myself into the next gear if I hope to finish everything in time. I will not be shopping on Black Friday. I feel sorry for those who have to work on Thanksgiving. I'm not planning to do any of my Christmas shopping online.

7. What are you most grateful for that adds beauty to your everyday life?

The majestic pine trees beside our house add a splash of green beauty to an otherwise drab brown world. I'll be ever so happy once the beauty of a layer of snow blankets the countryside!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Buddy talks, a lot. The language he chooses to use made me aware that we aren't using nearly as much Amish as we used to. He understands both languages, but will only speak English.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Footprints on the Ceiling

When Dorcas Smucker asked for volunteers to review her latest book, Footprints on the Ceiling, I jumped at the chance to do so. For starters with a title like that, especially after I had just cleaned off a big footprint on our ceiling, it called my name. Delightful title aside, I am a huge fan of her writing. She has a way with words and cleverly weaves beautiful lessons from her often touched by humor, ordinary life.

 
Footprints on the Ceiling is a collection of short stories 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 young cooks in the kitchen, sorting through favorite books, travels to Thailand, 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 the latest footprint you had to clean up.
 
A winner will be chosen on Friday, November 28th.

Footprints on the Ceiling is available for $15 per book, postage included.  You can mail a check to Dorcas Smucker, 31148 Substation Drive, Harrisburg, OR 97446.  US addresses only.  For international orders, email Dorcas at dorcassmucker@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. What's something you take for granted, that when you stop and think about it you feel truly grateful for?

Water. After having problems with our water recently we were reminded how much we take good clean water for granted and it's something I'm truly grateful for.

2. The color brown-love it or no? What's your favorite shade of brown? Most loved something in your home or closet in a shade of brown?

I like the color brown for a lot of things, though I've never been a fan of the dull browns of November or parched crispy browns of a hot summer.

I do love browns when it comes to clothing, with a warm chocolate shade being my favorite.

3. What's something you're looking forward to today?

I'm looking forward to seeing some friends tonight.

4. The word 'feminism' is not new, but it has been generating all kinds of headlines in recent days and months. What do you think/feel when you hear the word? If you're a woman, do you want to be described as a feminist? Why or why not?

The word feminist leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I don't want to be described as a feminist, choosing rather to be feminine.

To me the word feminist brings a picture of obnoxious, loud, self centered women to mind. While feminine brings a picture of gentleness, kindness, and things more along that line.

5. What's something you personally can't eat without making a mess?

Spaghetti is something I would never choose to eat in public because it is so messy for me.

6. When did you last surprise someone with a little gift or when were you last surprised by someone with a little gift? What was it?

A friend stopped by on Monday and surprised me with several dozen eggs from her chickens. We use a lot of eggs, so I was happy to receive them!

7. Share a favorite quote, saying, song lyric or scripture relating to gratitude.

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

With winter being my favorite season, I am loving the snow that is covering everything. So pretty!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. We celebrate Veteran's Day in the US of A on November 11th. When did you last interact with a member of the armed forces (either currently serving or retired)? Have you ever written a letter to a soldier, bought a meal or coffee for a solider, said an unprompted thank you to a soldier you encountered out and about somewhere? If you're not in the US, comment on a similar holiday in your own country.

We interact almost every single day. Our elderly neighbor served for most of his life, and loves talking about his experiences.

2. You can have fifty pounds of anything at all (except money)...what would you choose?

Food: either chocolate or meat.
Crafty type things: yarn or ribbon.
Things I like: office supplies

3. When did you last receive an invitation in the 'real' mail? What was it for and did you attend? When it comes to RSVP-ing, are you an 'early responder' or a 'last minute, barely-under-the-wire' kind of guest?

Several weeks ago we received an invitation to one of my cousins 25th wedding anniversary. They had an Amish wedding and were now planning on renewing their vows in a "wedding" they wish they could have had.

We would have really liked to attend, but Wisconsin is a little far from where we live.

4. What's something you really don't like to waste?

I don't like wasting anything, but it really bothers me when food gets wasted.

5. Cheers, Friends, MASH, Seinfeld...of the ones listed, your favorite long-running sitcom?

I haven't seen Cheers or MASH. Seinfeld never interested me, and I don't like how they use God's name in Friends so I'm not choosing any as a favorite.

6. What decision are you glad you made?

Moving halfway across the country to where we live today. Seems a little silly now when I think of all the tears I had on moving day.

7. In this month of 'Thanksgiving' what is one thing that's different today than it was a year ago that you're grateful for?

Hmmm ...... maybe that Buddy can talk and we can actually understand what he's saying the majority of the time.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

The local game commission releases pheasants every so often. I feel sorry for them being turned out into the wild having to fend for themselves when they had been cared for all their life. I don't think it's doing them a favor, but I digress.


This guy has been hanging out behind our house for the past few days. He seems quite comfortable around people. I'm hoping he survives hunting season.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Time

I find that the older I get, the harder it is to adjust to time change, and I'm not even that old yet! With a week having passed since the time changed I'm over the worst of it.

When we were Amish we referred to Daylight Savings Time as fast time, and Standard time was slow time.

Daylight Savings Time was the source of a lot of contention in the community I grew up in. A lot of them declared fast time was the devils time and refused to turn their clocks forward. Others weren't worried about that and always accepted the time change and turned their clocks forward. With almost half of the families in our church district turning their clocks forward a compromise was made when it came to school time. The schools would turn their clocks forward half an hour, making that each side was slightly appeased. Church services, however was strictly on slow time year round.

LV's family went the other direction. They liked fast time, and since they had a dairy farm they didn't like messing with time change and throwing off the cows' internal clock which always hurt milk production. They kept their clocks on fast time year round. A few people grumbled a little about that, but since he was one of the ministers nothing was ever done to try to make them have slow time at least during the winter.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Never a Dull Moment

There's never a dull moment in our house.  We don't have time to get bored with so many things on our to do/wish list that a lifetime isn't long enough to get everything done.

And then of course there are the many little things that happen that keep things interesting. Like earlier this week when my friend Sonya and her children came for a fun afternoon. The children were off doing various things while Sonya and I were simply visiting and catching up with what has been happening in each others life when the most dreadful thumping, tumbling sound interrupted us.

We hurried to see what happened and found Buddy sitting near the top of the stairs solemnly  surveying the mess that he had just created when he  happened to drop the container of Legos he had wanted to bring downstairs and they spilled surprisingly evenly all the way down to the bottom.

You know you have a great friend when she jumps right in picking up your toddlers mess.

~~~~~

There's an explosion of yarn in our living room. I was teaching the girls how to make some potholders and since they have successfully learned how, they have dug up every single ball of yarn in the house and piled them in the living room. So many interesting color combinations are being made, and I'm thinking I'll not be needing any more potholders for a long time.

~~~~~

Our dog Gypsy is getting older and since the weather is growing colder he gets to spend the night in the basement instead of in his doghouse.

Rosebud hadn't realized that when she went down to the basement to get something and came flying back upstairs saying that someone is snoring down there.

Turns out our dog snores like a person.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Little Lessons ~ In the Kitchen

It's been quite a while since I did a Little Lessons post. I started doing them because so often ordinary little things in life make me think of deeper things. It has often provided topics for discussion with our children some of which I decided to share with you.
 
 
 
When putting dishes away and eyeing our rag tag assortment of pots and pans the girls were discussing how they think complete sets of cookware would be so much nicer than what we have.

Instead of putting the few away that we had just finished drying I opened the cupboard and pulled out the rest of the assortment.

They didn't make the nicest picture. There's one that had its lid broken years ago, there's a small one with a big handle, and another one with no handle at all. Another one has a small dent in the side. There's a tiny one that doesn't look very useful, but gets used every single day to make a single serving of oatmeal for LV for breakfast, and the others while they don't match anything have their own purpose.

I told the girls to look at them again and think of all the delicious foods we have prepared in them already. Every meal we have ever prepared in our home was thanks in part to this motley assortment of pots and pans. When I look at these pots and pans I don't think of the less than perfect thing they are, but what they can do for me.

I took it a step further and reminded them, just as these imperfect items are so important to our family. God also uses imperfect things for His purpose. Misfits and imperfect people are what He uses to do His work and build His kingdom. He uses the broken, bruised, the misfits, and those that appear to have everything together. They all work for His glory.

The pots and pans were placed back into the cupboard carefully and the door closed gently. They had served another purpose other than preparing food today. A little lesson for my daughters that I'm hoping they'll carry with them for a long time.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Flexi ~ Winner

How has the weekend flown by so quickly? Monday mornings seem to come faster than any other morning, and since it is Monday it means it's also time to choose the winner for the flexi clip. I read all your comments and they made me hungry for Thanksgiving dinner even though I just finished a hearty breakfast.

Consulting my friend, the random generator ......  the winner is......


Comment # 12

Becky said.............

I have indeed except for deciding what kind of pies! LOL Turkey, deep fried! With the fixins too!

Congratulations Becky! Please send me an email with your mailing address. I hope you will love your flexi as much as I love mine!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Flexi ~ Giveaway

What better way to welcome in the month of November than having a nice fall themed giveaway?

Earlier this year I finally got my first flexi clip and I love it! It's my favorite go to when ever I wear my hair up, not only is it pretty and feminine, it's comfortable too.

Today one of my friends has generously offered to give a  medium sized flexi clip to a lucky reader.


For your chance to win al you have to do is leave a comment telling me if you have started planning your Thanksgiving menu already.

Sharing this post on your Facebook or blog and coming back and telling me you did will earn you a second entry.

I will be choosing the winner on Monday, November 3rd.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween

While we didn't celebrate Halloween in any way when we were Amish we were quite aware of the night and the entire church was advised to not be out and about unless it was absolutely necessary. Not because we were afraid there might be some spirits roaming the earth, but because of the things that tended to happen that night.

Things we normally didn't have to worry about:
  • Driving down the road and having screaming teenagers throwing fire crackers at your horse and buggy.
  • Mailboxes being smashed with pumpkins.
  • Some teens even thought it was hilarious to sit on the back of a truck holding buggy shafts and go down the road as fast as you can until you can't hang on any longer. The buggy would then be on its own and crash.
  • A few years they burned down an Amish barn.
The first two happened every year, the last two got police involved and seem to no longer be a problem.

Even though we are no longer Amish, I still like to stay in the house on Halloween night.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

 
1. Joyce's husband spent last weekend pheasant hunting. Are there hunters in your family? If so, what do they hunt? Which of the following have you tasted-pheasant, rabbit, venison, duck, goose? Which of those would you most like to taste, or be most willing to taste?
Vegetarians keep calm and Hodgepodge on.

No one in our house goes hunting any longer. LV used to love hunting and would hunt deer regularly while we lived on a farm. Any deer he got we used, and were so thankful that, that particular animal would not be damaging our crops the next summer. Deer related crop damage used to be awful.

I have tasted rabbit .......delicious.
I've eaten venison ......... hate it!
We have had duck and goose ..... loved both. Especially the duck which I had prepared with an orange sauce.
I would try pheasant if I had the opportunity.

2. What high spot have you visited that gave you a wonderful 'bird's eye view' of something below?
 
Several years ago we went to Mt. Davis and climbed the tower. We were able to look across the mountains and were actually able to see three different states: Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia. I normally don't like heights at all, but the view was worth it!

3.  Do you have any birds in your home? These could be either real live pets or decorative, as in bird prints, knickknacks, fabric or pottery.

The only thing bird related in our house is a little salt and pepper set my parents gave me when I was five or six years old.
 
4. Tell about a time you 'killed two birds with one stone'?

I started doing this post last evening and was stuck when I got to this question. I woke up in the middle of the night and knew exactly what I wanted to write. I asked myself, "Should I jot it down real quick so I don't forget?"

I decided not to, especially since my notepad and pen are no longer right next to my bed. "I'll be able to remember in the morning." I told myself. 

Oh, the lies I tell myself!  I can not, no matter how hard I try, remember what it was.

5. Your favorite song with a bird in it's title?

His Eye is on the Sparrow

6. What most recently gave you goose bumps?

The scene in the movie Courageous where the main character dances alone.

If you haven't seen it yet I advise you to have plenty of tissues handy.

7. Halloween is this Friday...any plans? Did you trick or treat as a child? Carve pumpkins? Share your most memorable costume.

Nope, no plans. We never went trick or treating as a child. Never carved a pumpkin. Never wore a costume.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

It's that time of year when we bring in the wind chimes to store them over winter. As much as I love winter, it always makes me a little sad to bring them in. Hearing them chime in the breeze is one of my favorite things.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cherry Chocolate Bars

Do you remember the Anne of Green Gables books and how Anne used to have friends that she called kindred spirits and later referred to them as those who belong to the race of Joseph?

I have had a few friends like that, one of them is my friend Sonya. She and her children come over several times a month and somehow we have the tradition of always making some kind of dessert to enjoy together.

Last week we had these bars that are totally scrumptious!


Cherry Chocolate Bars

2 cups sugar
1¾ cup flour
½ cup cocoa
1 tsp. salt
5 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla

In a large mixing bowl measure all ingredients in order given. Mix well. Pour into a greased 9" x 13" pan. Bake at 350ยบ for 30 minutes.

Once it has cooled combine:

1 - 8 oz. Cool Whip
1 - 8 oz. package cream cheese (softened)

Spread over the chocolate bars.

Over the cream cheese layer pour:

1 can cherry pie filling

Refrigerate for a few hours before serving. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Preparations

There used to be such a sense of satisfaction when the last pumpkins and squash had been harvested and lined up in the basement. Carrots were tucked into a barrel filled with sand to be dug out during the winter months. Cabbage had been pulled out by the roots and was now resting upside down to be enjoyed over the next few months. Bins of potatoes and apples lined a basement wall while bundles of onions hung from the joists. Rows and rows of can shelves were filled to capacity with vegetables and fruits as well as meats.

The coal bin had been filled and the woodhouse had enough wood stacked in it that we could barely open the door to step inside.

Geese were flying south and  finally  with all the summer labor of preparing for winter we were ready for the frost and snows to come. I used to absolutely love this time of year. Cozy and happy, time to dig through the fabric cupboards and plan the sewing lists. Time to pull out the fun crafts that had been tucked away last spring. Ahh.... pure bliss.

We don't have a garden and all the intense preparations any longer, I miss it. But with out fail, every October I still get struck with extra creativity and lots of plans for winter projects.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Winner

I enjoyed reading all your comments about your Christmas preparations. but now it's time to choose the winner of Life with Lily. So with out further ado the winner is................


Comment # 16

Michelle said...............................

I have begun just a little. We do the 3 gifts representing the 3 gifts the wise men gave. A lot less shopping needs to be done ; 0)

Congratulations Michelle! Please send me an email with your address and I will get the book sent to you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

 
1. Elizabeth Lawrence is quoted as saying, 'Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn." So have you done just that? And what did you leave undone in order to do so?

We did take a few afternoons to simply enjoy the beauty of falling/fallen leaves. The children still enjoy making huge piles of leaves and jumping in them, leaf fights, and trying to catch leaves as they fall from the trees.

My housework and what ever else needed to be done could wait until another day.

2. Since we're talking turning...what's one thing you feel you're doing 'every time you turn around'?

Dusting. We live in an old farm house and somehow it seems to get dusty much faster than any where else we have lived.

3. How hard is it for you to 'turn the other cheek?'

Most of the time, not hard. Some instances I might feel like at least saying something in return, but if I  bite my tongue until I give my emotions time to cool off a little I can usually let it go.

4. When did you last turn a drawer, your car, a room, or your entire house upside down looking for something? Did you find it?

About two weeks ago our checkbook vanished. We basically tore our house apart looking for it. Furniture was moved, drawers were cleaned out, basically every inch of the house was combed in desperation. No, we didn't find it. But every cloud has a silver lining, and in this case the fall house cleaning was done in record time.

5. 'One good turn deserves another'...were you most recently on the giving or receiving end of that sentiment?

As a family it seems to be an equal give and take.

Otherwise something that comes to mind was when a complete stranger directly ahead of us at the checkout paid for our purchases. I'm guessing that was a once in a lifetime experience for us, but something we hope to do someday for someone else.

6. Red, yellow, and orange are the colors of fall. Also the colors of fruit. If you were permitted only one color of fruit in your diet, which would you choose? This question isn't as easy as it sounds, at least not for me.

Red.

I love strawberries! Choosing red would also allow me to still enjoy apples, grapes, cherries, and pomegranates.

I'd miss pineapples, oranges and mangoes.

Thankfully my diet doesn't require having to choose.

7. The Hunt for Red October, October Sky, Halloween...which 'October' film is your favorite?

I have not seen any of those. Not a fan of anything scary or Halloween related.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

There's still a little time left to enter the giveaway for the first book in my series. Enter here.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Life with Lily ~ Giveaway

The trees are bare, the skies are gray, it's the perfect time of year to slow down and enjoy the longer evenings by curling up in your favorite corner with a good book.

I can't supply the corner, but I do have a book for you.

Life with Lily is based on my own childhood. Most, but not quite all the stories happened just the way they are written.

Reviews of the series have both encouraged and humbled me. So very grateful to all my readers for choosing to read my books, when I know there are millions of books out there to choose from. To hear from little children, mothers, and grandmothers who have read and enjoyed them makes my day!


Today I will be giving away book one in the series, Life with Lily. If you have read it already feel free to enter anyway and pass it on to a friend if you win.

All you have to do to enter this giveaway is leave a comment telling me if you have already started with your Christmas shopping.

For a second entry post a link to this giveaway on your blog or Facebook and then come back and leave another comment telling me you did.

A third entry will be given to those who like my Facebook page and then leave a comment here telling me they did.

Winner will be chosen on Thursday, October 23rd.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. What's your favorite time of day? Why?

My favorite time of day is early in the morning when every one else is still asleep. As much as I love my family I really do enjoy some quiet time with only me, myself, and I.

2. Waffle iron, toaster, coffee maker, mixer, blender...which small appliance would you say most needs replacing in your house?

I don't have a waffle iron, a mixer, a blender, or a coffee maker. The toaster is still working, but we prefer pan toast the majority of the time. I would love to have the other appliances someday, but for now they remain on my wishlist.

3. It's National Grouch Day (October 15)...what's something that makes you feel grouchy?

Hot summer days make me feel irritable and grouchy, as does tax season.

4. Ever been to Canada? Is that a country you'd like to visit? According to Trip Advisor, the top ten best destinations in Canada are-Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Victoria, Calgary, Niagara on the Lake, Niagara Falls, Whistler, and Halifax. Which city would you most like to see?

I have been to Canada often. Growing up we would have summer vacations there every year. After LV and I got married we went to Canada twice. Once to Toronto and another time for a weeks vacation at Niagara Falls.

Not the biggest fan of Quebec with the primary language being French, but would love to visit the rest of Canada's highlights, especially Banff.

Visiting Prince Edward Island is also on my bucket list, and has been ever since I first read the Anne of Green Gables series.

5. What was your favorite food (or one of your favorites) when you were a child? Is that still a favorite?

One of my favorite foods from when I was a child was fresh homemade bread spread with fresh homemade butter. And yes, it's still one of my favorites.

6. Do you cry easily?

Unfortunately, yes. If something is sweet, like a wedding or a proposal. Feeling overwhelmed by God's goodness especially when singing certain hymns can make me teary, and then there's of course the normal reasons to cry.

7. Have you started your (gasp!) Christmas shopping? If so when, and how much? If not, when will you even begin thinking about it?

We will be doing a homemade Christmas again this year. I think I have basically everything on hand that I need and yes I have already started. There's only 71 days left until Christmas, and if I want everything done by then it's time for me to get started.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

It really feels like the Christmas season is just around the corner. Only a handful of leaves are clinging stubbornly to the basically bare branches of the big maple tree here in front of the house. Our church's Christmas pageant practice has started. And I start our fruitcake tomorrow. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Jewelry

Jewelry was not allowed in the Amish churches because of the verse in 1 Peter 3:3 where it says "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel."  Girls had their hair braided, often until graduating from school, everyone wore clothes, but  wearing jewelry was forbidden.

Somehow though, that rule never applied to watches, and since we all liked pretty things it was the one area where we didn't look for something plain and simple.

My 16th birthday always stands out in my memory, not as being old enough to be a part of the youth group, but at the celebration my parents had for me and the day I received my good watch.


Last week I happened upon it while looking for something else. It's still just as pretty as it was back then.

I still remember pinning it securely inside my Sunday dress pocket. I hardly ever used it to see what time it was, but just knowing it was there used to make me feel a little prettier.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. Do you manage your own money or do you have a financial planner who helps in some way? Do those kinds of conversations stress you out? A lot or a little?

We manage our own, and it's not a topic I enjoy having a conversation about.

2. The second week of October is Pet Peeve Week. Off the top of your head, share TWO of your current pet peeves.

Top two right now are:

1.) When internet connection is lost. Lately it has been off more than on, which makes it very hard to keep up with emails and get any blogging done.
2.) Getting calls from collection agencies looking for Angela Guthrie. We are getting them multiple times per day and it's getting beyond annoying.

3. What is one thing you'd like to learn right now, this very week if you could?

How to speak fluent Spanish.

4. How concerned are you about the recent health related news concerning Ebola? How about Enterovirus D68?

It's disturbing, but I'm not worrying about it.

5. Garfield, Nemo, or Tigger-your favorite orange cartoon character?

I'm going with Nemo on this one.

6. I'm going to see Gone Girl with my neighborhood book club this week. So often books made into film are disappointing. What's a book turned film you thought was well done, in that the casting was 'like you pictured' when you read the book, and the film plot remained mostly true to the book plot?

We don't watch that many movies, and any we have seen that were based on books have always been a disappointment.

7. What is one story your family always tells about you?

My brother's like reminding me of a certain happening when LV and I were courting. I really don't want to share the whole story here. We just call it the gray socks incident.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

 Buddy somehow managed to get into some poison ivy. Thankfully we still have Ivarest left over from LV's logging days. Using it has helped with the itching. It's nice having something that works to give relief while it heals.

And now we need to go on a search and destroy mission. Poison ivy is not something I want growing in our backyard!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

 
1. Are the leaves turning color where you live? Have they begun to fall? Will you have to rake when it's all said and done? Is that a chore you love or loathe?

The leaves have been changing color and a lot of them have fallen already. I shared the following picture of a local road yesterday, but I think it's pretty enough to share again.

 
We usually rake our leaves. I don't have to since the children are still at the stage where they think it's great fun. I do enjoy it, but with only one rake there are enough turns being taken with the children that I don't get to do a lot.

2. When did you last shake like a leaf?

I was ridiculously cold several days ago. I was sick, and shaking like a leaf from shivering so much.

3. After 20 seasons with the NY Yankees, Derek Jeter played his last official game Sunday afternoon. Jeter has been described even by opponents as a 'class act', both on and off the field. The NFL is back in action this month too, with several players in that sport also making headlines. What are your thoughts on athletes as role models? Should a professional athlete be expected to act as role model or is that going beyond their job description? What responsibility do the organizations these athletes work for have when it comes to dealing with off the field behavior? Discuss.

Athletes, celebrities, ................ I've long been scratching my head why people look to them as role models. I guess being in the public eye, you do put some expectations on them to conduct themselves in a certain way.

I want my children to have role models they actually know personally. One they see live their life in a God honoring way through good times and bad.

Being able to throw or hit a ball very well does not make someone a role model in my eyes.

4. What season of the year is toughest for you in terms of your health? Why?

Summer. I don't do well with heat at all. I had a heat stroke years ago which makes getting too warm a lot more scary than it used to be.
 
5. The top six healthy food trends of 2014 according to Eating Well are-

clean eating (more veg, less meat, less sodium, limit alcohol and processed foods)
trash fish (you know those fish that get caught in fishermen nets and are thrown back? It seems chefs are finding creative ways to make them more appetizing)
cauliflower (this year's IT vegetable)
kaniwa (essentially baby quinoa, so like quinoa only smaller)
fermentation (think pickling except with twists on flavor we're not accustomed to)
community supported food (farms operating with community support/membership).

Okay-so how many of the hot healthy food trends for 2014 have you experienced, encountered, enjoyed? Any you've tried and said ewwww? Any on the list you'd like to try before year's end?

Let's see.............. no alcohol, hardly any processed foods, sodium not a problem thanks to not eating a lot of processed foods, lots of vegetables, and only a little meat. Yep, I think we qualify as clean eating. And have since long before clean eating was cool.

We like cauliflower, I had no idea that it was the IT vegetable though.

Fermentation....... other than yogurt, I'm not a fan of most of the fermented things I've tried.

6. In seven words or less, bid September adieu.

Thanks for bringing the end of summer.

7. What's something on your October calendar that makes you happy just thinking about it?

We start our fruitcake in October. I will be buying the things I need to start it soon.

It's a long drawn out affair to make, but the end results are so worth it, and it always makes me feel happy and Christmas-y when I start it.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Have any of you had any experience with stamps.com?

I read a lot of bad reviews about them after our own sour experience from dealing with them. I chose not to leave a scathing review, but wish I would have done a little more research before trying them and I would have seen they have a lot of unhappy customers.

We will not be doing business with them again.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fall Beauty

Day by day the trees are looking prettier and prettier.

Even a cloudy overcast day doesn't take away from the beauty that is fall when this was taken last week.

 
I don't often get the urge to jump out of a vehicle and walk up a road, but everything about this called me to do just that. This was taken yesterday. Judging by how fast the leaves are changing another week will be showing a lot of bare trees.


I love this time of year!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

 
1. It's fall. Y'all. My favorite season of the year! What's something you love to do this time of year that makes you feel it's officially fall? And unrelated to that, do you ever say-'y'all'?

Plan all the sewing/craft things I want to get done by spring. The list looks quite different from what it used to while I was growing up and it used to include thirty or more shirts, lots of pants, a few dresses, several coats and a Sunday suit or two for my brothers before we got to the more fun things like potholders and quilts.

I have been working on my list already for this winter, I'm getting excited! It includes no shirt, pants, or dresses. Though the girls each want a new skirt or two before we dive into the more fun things.

No, I never say y'all.

2. When did you last have a falling out with someone? Has it been resolved?

I can't think of a falling out I've had with anyone.

3. A song you love with the word 'fall' in it's title?

This is a rare occurrence, but my mind is drawing a complete blank. I can't think of a single song with the word fall in its title.

4. What's something you've recently let 'fall by the wayside?'

Keeping our storage room organized. It's so easy to simply tell one of the children to get or take something to the storage room, but they don't seem as worried about keeping things neat. I've been working on getting it back in shape, hopefully by tonight I'll have it conquered once more.

5. When did you last attend an event, read a book, watch a movie, try a new recipe, or visit a shop-town-tourist attraction that fell short of your expectations? In what way?

Yesterday. We found a bread recipe on Pinterest. It looked good, I had all the ingredients on hand, so we decided to give it a try. It was awful! Tasted like dusty peanut butter-y cardboard. I promptly removed the pin from my breads board and it now joins several others on my "Tried-FAIL" board.

I try tons of things I find on Pinterest. Thankfully the fails so far have been few.
 
6. Describe a time you said or thought, 'The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."

I find myself doing and saying things my mother used to. So I guess you could say I'm the apple that didn't fall too far from the tree.
 
7. Was today better than yesterday? Why or why not?

Today is only beginning. Yesterday was a good day, but if today is even better I'll be fine with that.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

With this being a fall themed Hodgepodge I can't think of a more fitting way to finish this post than sharing a few fall-sy pictures we took yesterday.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"Fendu"

"Fendu", pronounced fend you, is the Pennsylvania Dutch word for an auction.

Often when grandparents pass away the children and grandchildren will gather for a private fendu to sell all of their belongings. Each hoping to be able to take home a few treasured pieces, whether furniture, dishes, quilts, books, or toys.

This summer the fendu for my grandparents things was held at one of my aunts homes. All the Amish aunts, uncles, and cousins gathered for the occasion. We weren't informed about the event until it was over. We wouldn't have been able to go any way since it was during the time chicken pox were visiting our home. But I would have liked to be able to have a few things that used to belong to them.

My grandmother loved pretty things. She used to buy the most interesting and lovely toys for her grandchildren to play with, but then was so afraid they might make it look used and no longer as pretty as it used to be that she kept everything tucked away.

Most of her toys, not a single grandchild remembered ever seeing. Without fun memories attached to them, they were a lot less valuable. The few toys that we all used to play with brought a pretty penny as did all her beautiful dishes.

One of my cousins called to tell me all about the event told me how amazed they were at the amount of things Grandma used to have that no even knew about until that day. I was reminded that things are so temporal, and should be enjoyed now. When I die, I don't want my children discovering hoards of beautiful things for the very first time. I would rather have well worn, memory saturated things, than loads of meaningless things that the only memory attached to it would be that of someone who valued perfection too much.

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Visitor

A few days ago this thing came visiting. After being escorted a nice distance away it made its way back surprisingly fast and totally unsettled everyone involved.


Don't think the picture does this thing justice in just how icky it is.

Have you ever seen one like it, and do you know what it is? Would it turn into some type of exquisitely beautiful moth or butterfly? Or would it get even uglier?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

 
1. Joyce, the creator of the Wednesday Hodgepodge is having a birthday this week so a question relating to aging feels appropriate. Douglas MacArthur is quoted as saying, 'You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair." Would you agree? If not why not?

I agree to a certain extent. The mind has a lot of power to keep you feeling young, but there are some things my body simply won't allow me to do that I used to when I was younger, no matter how young my mind is telling me I am.

2. What remarkable feat, interesting piece of trivia, or historical event occurred on your birth day and month? Not necessarily in your birthyear, just the same date/same month.

I'm going to go with the month rather than just the day.
  • The Pony Express service began.
  • Abraham Lincoln was shot.
  • The Titanic sank.
  • The midnight ride of Paul Revere occurred.
  • The Oklahoma land rush began.
  • George Washington became President.
3. Describe a time or circumstance where you wanted to 'have your cake and eat it too.'

Yesterday, when a lovely cake was made, but since I'm avoiding sugar I didn't have any.

4. What's something you do that makes you feel young? Something that makes you feel old?

Helping Buddy color in his coloring books always makes me feel young. Realizing just how old our children are, makes me feel old. In fact were we still Amish, Sailor would have graduated from school already.

5. When did you last do something that was 'a piece of cake'?

Rosebud and Sunbeam wanted to make an assortment of paper lanterns to hang in their room. I reached back into my memory of when we made them in art class in school. We successfully made them, and they turned out quite pretty.

6.  Beef, wine, and cheese all improve with age. What's something else you'd add to that list? (not necessarily food or beverage) 

Love, marriage.

Not saying it isn't great at the beginning, but it does keep getting better with age.

7. If Joyce were to have a giveaway when we hit Volume 200, what should she give away? By my calculations we'll hit Volume 200 on November 26th, the day before Thanksgiving, which means whoever wins would have whatever it is in time for Christmas.

Hmmm....... Maybe a journal and a book of journaling prompts. I'm thinking that would tie in nicely with the theme of the Hodgepodge.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Our new copy of the phone book arrived last week, and the very next day our elderly neighbor came over clutching his copy and wanting me to call this certain company to come make some repairs for him. He seemed agitated and irritated that he simply couldn't seem to get through.

I dialed the number given in the book, and oh horrors, no wonder he was having a hard time getting the repairman he wanted. There was a very unfortunate misprint in the phone book which led to a very undesirable x-rated content instead of the repairman he needed.

After googling for the right number we managed to get him the repairs he needed. I'm wondering how many other people will be traumatized by dialing that number, and if the company has any idea that their number has been printed wrong.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Apple Bars

There's a big old apple tree growing in the field behind the house. I have no idea where it comes from or what kind of apples it produces, though I would like to think it's a descendent of one of the trees Johnny Appleseed started.

It yields the most beautiful, big, juicy apples that taste different than any other apples I have ever eaten. Totally delicious, and worth the effort to go pick them before the cows eat all the ones that drop.

With an abundance of apples on hand we decided to try some new apple recipes. It paid off and we now have a new family favorite. One that I know we'll be making often.


Apple Bars

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice

Mix well until nice and crumbly. Press half of it into bottom of a 9x13 pan and bake at 325 for 10 minutes. Set remaining crumb mixture aside while you make the filling and the crust is baking.

Filling:

1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 egg
2 cups apples, shredded (about 2 apples)

Mix all together and spread evenly over crumb crust as soon as you remove it from the oven. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture on top and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. On Thursday we pause to remember a dark day in history-9/11. Will you mark it in some special way?

We won't be doing anything special on Thursday, except maybe say a few extra prayers.

2. Do you ever/still...listen to an actual radio? Watch a videotape (VCR)? Look up a number in a phonebook? Refer to a paper map while traveling? Set an alarm on an alarm clock as opposed to your phone?

We don't have a radio in the house, but will occasionally listen when we travel. We don't have a VCR or any videotapes. We just got a new phone book in the mail yesterday, but since Buddy grew out of his phase of ripping pages out of phone books I really don't know what I will be doing with it, since we never use it to look up phone numbers. We do still use a paper map when traveling, though a GPS also lends its advice occasionally. We don't trust the thing 100% though and won't go traveling without a road atlas. I don't have a cell phone and still use an alarm clock. It let me down a few days ago, but with a set of new batteries it's back to its regular obnoxiously loud morning wake up songs.

3.  Is it ever a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don't know?

Most of the time, no. I try to steer away from those two topics even when around people I do know.

4. What's a dish you haven't eaten all summer, but come September find yourself craving? Have you made it yet this month?

Can't think of any. I do still want to make a Baked Alaska and a Croquembouche sometime this year, more so for the challenge of completing it successfully, than actually eating it.

5. What's something you know nothing about?

Flying an airplane. Performing surgery. Training a lion. A whole host of other things that I really don't mind that I know nothing about.

6. September is Classical Music Month. Do you like classical music? If so, what's your favorite piece?

Yawn, no thanks. I prefer to not to be hopelessly bored or sleepy when listening to music.

7. What's the oldest thing you own?

Probably a clock that used to belong to LV's grandparents. It's big, and when moving into our house we tried to find a spot for it, but where ever we tried it simply didn't work. The poor thing has been tucked into the attic until we find a place for it that actually works.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

It's foggy and cold outside. The perfect day to begin our fall and winter sewing and crafts. Up first make a pretty apron.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday's Random

My alarm clock looks sweet and gentle, but its looks are deceiving. Every morning at 4:20 it turns into this over the top loud singing monster with annoying flashing lights, and then to top it off it shrieks "Good morning," at me when I turn it off.

This morning it woke me quite differently though. At 5:00 I was awakened to its weary and somewhat garbled voice saying, "Good morning, good morning, good morning." I leaped out of bed and hurried to get breakfast ready for LV and he managed to head for work only two minutes later than usual in spite of me not getting up at the usual time.

I'll have to change the batteries today,and see if I can get my annoyingly obnoxious alarm clock back to its usual self for tomorrow morning.

~~~~~

We don't have a garden, but Sailor did plant half a dozen tomato plants in a little plot. So far we have picked three tomatoes, and the way it looks that will be about the bulk of the crop. This area is seeing a horrible blight this summer and any tomatoes that actually ripen properly are a treat rather than the norm.

~~~~~

LV had to get a new phone this week end after the one he had simply didn't work any longer and garbled voices so badly that having conversations were basically hopeless.

A new phone should be fun, but we were wondering if anyone knows how, or if it's even possible to transfer text messages from an old phone to your new one?

LV would love to be able to keep the last text conversation he had with his brother before he died in a work related accident two years ago.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1.  What's something you wanted to do this summer that you never got around to actually doing?

We had plans to go swimming and visiting the library every week, but the chicken pox, cool weather, and being reduced to a one vehicle family effectively put a damper on those plans.

2. Share a favorite memory of your own back -to-school days as a child.

I really loved school, and as soon as Mom would buy our back to school supplies I would organize them in the bag I planned to use to carry them to school on the first day. Nearly every day after that I'd get everything back out to touch it, look at it, and dream of the wonderful year of school I was going to have.

Mom used to sew new school clothes for us and send them to Grandma for her to hand sew the button holes on them. She did the most beautiful buttonholes, but she always waited until just a few days before school started to bring the finished clothes. Once I had my new dress hanging in my closet ready to go I could almost taste the new school year.

The little dirt road we walked to school on used to have scads of Black Eyed Susan's growing beside it. I always made a point to gather a bouquet to present to my teacher on the first day.

3.  What's one chore or daily task you prefer doing 'old-school' ?

As much as I love my computer, I still prefer the feel of a good pen in my hand and a nice tablet to write in. I have a three ring binder that I always keep close to jot any ideas that pop into my head. Whether it's for a book I want to write, blog ideas, menu plans, school plans, goals, and a whole host of other things that end up being written down.

I have several other notebooks I use for specific things, like keeping track of books I read and enjoyed, Bible study, quotes I like, things the children say that make me laugh and I don't want to forget, and more. I enjoy flipping through all the notebooks I'm currently filling, and the ones that have been filled already. In fact just the other day I came across the list of things I wrote to myself of do's and don'ts to remember if I ever become a mother-in-law or Grandma. I wrote those 14 years ago, but they're still good, and hopefully I'll be able to follow my own advice once I get to that point in my life.

4.  Share something you've learned in life through the 'school of hard knocks'.

I have learned to trust God. For someone who likes things to go a certain way, this lesson took a while to learn. Thankfully now even when things don't go "my" way, I don't get all worked up like I would have years ago.

5.  As a child, did you mostly bring or buy your lunch for school? What was your favorite thing to find in your lunchbox?

We always brought our lunch to school. My favorite thing to find was when Mom would tuck in a little treat for us, like half a candy bar. It happened maybe two or three times a year. Mostly we had very boring school lunches. A sandwich made with homemade bread and a fried egg, and a little bowl of peaches, occasionally we'd also have a cookie or half of a banana.

6. Football season is upon us which has me wondering... how big of a sports fan are you (not just football) ? On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being 'I scream at the players through my television screen' and 1 being 'is knitting a sport?' where do you fall in fandom? 

Football is not my thing, but I am a big fan of baseball, falling in at probably a level 8 or 9.

7. Share a favorite quote you think might inspire students of all ages at the start of a new school year

Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Outside my window only a few yards from the house is a cow pasture. In it is a musical cow. Most cows have simple moos, in varying degrees of volume and length, but moos nevertheless. This cow however is in a league of its own. I can't even begin to count how many times I have been startled by this noise, that I then realize is coming from a cow. It could almost sound like she was trying to sing an Amish church song in a very cow-y voice.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Evangelizing

The Amish will not appear on your doorsteps to share the gospel or stand in street corners handing out tracts, neither will they go seeking converts to their faith.

They believe they will point more people to God simply by living a life different from the world, in nearly every way.

Their clothing, plain and what they think will not draw attention to ones self.

Living out the sermon on the mount. If Jesus taught it on the sermon on the mount you can count on them practicing it.

Marriage is a lifelong commitment, divorce is not an option. Matthew 5:32

They will not swear, as in giving an oath. Matthew 5: 34-37

They will not sue anyone. Matthew 5: 38-40

They go out of their way to return good for evil. Matthew 5:44

Giving alms after communion is not talked about, even husbands and wives don't know how much the other is giving. Matthew 6: 1-4

Prayers are either silent or from their little black prayer book. Matthew 6:6

They forgive those who wrong them. Matthew 6: 14-16

They don't spend a lot of money on things that aren't necessities. Matthew 6:19

They don't talk about their faith unless someone asks questions. Matthew 7:6

They obey the golden rule. Matthew 7:12

They believe that modeling their life according to these points will do way more for the kingdom of God than going out "witnessing" ever would. People will see their good works and glorify their Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

We're no longer Amish, but we still apply these same principles to our life, in addition we are much more open about talking about Jesus and what He has done for us, and prayer has become much more than it used to be.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Dating

Dating, calling, courtship, or what ever you want to call it varies from one Amish community to the next.

For most a boy will take a girl home (to her home) after the Sunday evening hymn singing and stay to visit for several hours.

Others have their dates on Saturday nights.

Some communities allow their dating couples to have a date every week, while others are only allowed to see each other every other week.

Some allow dating to begin at sixteen, while others aren't allowed to until after their eighteenth birthday.

Some have an absolute hands off no touching rule while others are much more lenient. Some require what we used to refer to as rocking chair courtship where the boy would sit on a rocking chair with the girl on his lap, and then there are still a few Amish churches that practice bed courtship.

LV and I grew up in one of the strictest communities when it comes to dating rules. We could only see each other every other Sunday night. We were never allowed to ride in a buggy together after we started our courtship, touching was not allowed. Dates were to be three hours long, max. Beginning at nine and ending at midnight. They discouraged long courtships and expected couples to marry somewhere between one and two years after they had their first date.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

We Have a Winner!

Reading all your comments about the fun things you did this summer confirms what I have been feeling for a long time already. Simple pleasures are the best!

With out further ado, it's time to visit the random generator to choose the winner for the beautiful flexi-clip.

And the winner is...........................
Comment # 1

Debbie Fisher (debbiedee) said .................

I was able to have a garden and do canning this year again! I had back surgery 2 years ago and wasn't able to do anything those 2 years. Felt so good to get back to doing what I love in the summer.

Congratulations Debbie! Please send me an email with your address, and your flexi-clip will be mailed to you. I hope you will like it as much as I like mine!