Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The "Fig" Plant

     We didn't have a lot of houseplants while I was growing up. The ones we had been gifted died after a few months, except for the Christmas cactus. It didn't require the care that other plants did, and we managed to remember to water it just often enough that it remained alive, It bloomed beautifully every year.
    One day some old friends stopped by to visit. The lady presented Mom with a plant. "It's just a little "fig" plant," she said.
    Mom was thrilled at the prospect to someday have our own figs. For once a houseplant was doted upon. It was watered regularly. We were pleased with how nice it stayed. No blight or sickness was affecting it. We wondered how long it would need to grow before it would start producing figs. We thought it might take years since it certainly grew slowly enough.
    Then one day as Mom was watering it again she looked at it more carefully and discovered it was a fake plant, not a "fig" plant.
    After laughing about it heartily, we sadly threw our precious "fig" plant away. Our community didn't allow artificial flowers or plants, so it had to go.
    We never did try growing our own figs, but seeing fake plants always makes me think about them.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Currently

Reading ... in the Bible I'm somewhere in the desert/wilderness with the Israelites on their journey to Canaan. I also read Psalms 103 this morning. It's one of my favorites.

The Detective in the Dooryard
by Timothy Cotton is in my current reading pile. One of my friends on Facebook had mentioned it, and on a whim I requested it from the library. I'm so glad I did. His essay style writing is touched with humor, and keeps me wanting to read more. So far it's the best book I've read in 2021. I know we're only on week seven, but I'll let it claim the spot until another book takes its place.

I have a stack of books here to go with the state studies Steven and I embarked on. Currently the state happens to be Alabama. We have books on geography, facts, famous people from Alabama such as George Washington Carver, Rosa Parks, and Helen Keller. Some fiction books that are set in Alabama, a book of recipes, and another with crafts and projects all related to Alabama. It's a lot of fun, and I'm so glad Steven enjoys it as much as I do.

Watching ... we seem to be having a daily episode of Andy Griffith. 

Listening ... to the hum of the furnace blower as it disperses a comforting heat throughout the house, pages being turning and pencils walking across paper as Sharon and Steven do their school work, the loud tick tocks of the clock above the desk as it steadily counts down the hours of another day. I can also hear sirens in the distance. 

Wearing ... a brown maxi dress. 

Baking ... yesterday Rosie Mae and Steven made a batch of Cosmic brownies. They're so pretty! They're also pretty high on the decadence scale, which means a small bite is all I allow myself to enjoy at one time.

Cooking ... tonight we'll be having Chile Relleno Soup and dinner rolls. 

Yesterday Rosie Mae did the cooking. She loves working in the kitchen, and with Sunday being her only day off work she usually takes over the kitchen then. She made a full course meal that included Napa cabbage leaves lightly battered in a Korean pancake batter and fried in olive oil. It was so, so good!

Playing ... lots of Uno and Skip-bo lately. I don't know how many rounds of each we played this weekend, but I lost them all.

Wishing ... we had a snow blower. It would make the snow removal so much easier. We used to have a neighbor that opened the driveways for everyone in our neighborhood, but he moved last fall. Let's just say, shoveling snow gets old fast!

Cleaning ... besides the daily dozen, we are focusing on a bigger project every week. Last week that was the girls room. We washed the curtains, and basically spring cleaned the room even though spring has not yet arrived.

Disliking ... the weather forecast. Freezing rain is not my favorite. Apparently it is also the cows least favorite type of weather

They have free access to the barn and can enter and exit as they please. I find it interesting how they prefer being outdoors the majority of the time. It seems only freezing rain will get them to stay inside.

Monday, February 1, 2021

The "Pride" of Sharing

    One of the best things about our new home in Pennsylvania was that behind the house was a little playhouse. It was absolutely perfect to little eight year old me. It had three windows, shelves on the walls, and a darling little table in the center of the room. 
    Mom let me have the floral shower curtain that the previous owners had left in the house. A little folding and smoothing and it turned into the prettiest table cloth. The sand box beside the playhouse worked well when ever I needed something to whip up "food" in my house.
    It became even more special after the attic was cleaned, and Mom let me have piles of old pots and pans, a wide variety of utensils, and best of all, two lovely old china plates with sprays of pink roses on them. They were so old they were lined with hundreds of little cracks in the glaze, but that didn't bother me. They were so beautiful. I carefully displayed them on one of my shelves and only rarely got them down to play with.
    That fall when school started again someone came up with the idea that we would be playing pioneers at recess.
    The girls had their little cabin among the trees at the edge of the playground. We had a lot of fun, but we were missing any dishes. 
    I got the brilliant idea to pack up my dishes from my playhouse to take along. I knew everyone would have a lot of fun with them.
    That evening I carefully packed everything into two paper grocery bags, and the next morning I got John to help me get them in my arms. 
    We set off to school. John carried both of our lunch boxes while I struggled under my burden. That mile walk to school took a particularly long time that morning. My arms grew ridiculously tired and I could barely see where I was walking. The thought of all the fun we would have kept me going and we finally arrived at school. I deposited my load in the "cabin" and ran to the school house managing to slip into my desk just in time.
    When recess came we had every bit as much fun as I thought we would. Several days later the teacher even came out to see what we were playing.
    But then she paid a visit to my parents. I was excited when I saw her drive in. I loved her, and having her stop by was beyond special. She and Mom went into another room to talk. I crept next to the door to listen to what they were saying.
    My stomach sank as I heard what she had to say. "I think Mary Ann should take the dishes home. Not every little girl has things like that to play with, especially not old Sunday dishes. No good can come of having them at school. It will only spark jealousy in the other girls and pride in Mary Ann."
    I heard enough, and ran upstairs to my room to cry. I had only wanted to share. I never meant to sin. I felt awful as I lay sobbing on my bed.
    The next morning Mom told me it was kind of me to want to share my things with the other girls, but I should probably bring them back home now. She didn't mention jealousy or pride, but I knew that's why she wanted me to bring them home.
    When first recess rolled around teacher told us girls to pack everything up. We did so sadly. Everyone had enjoyed playing with the dishes. As the pretty plates were tucked into the bag, the bag fell over and they broke.
    I was sad and wished I had ever brought them to school.
    Pride had never been an issue with those dishes, but the whole ordeal made me rethink sharing my things with anyone. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Wednesday Hodgepodge

 1. Have you done more binge watching this past year than in 'normal' years? Any plans to break that habit in 2021? Tell us one or two shows you binged last year that you really liked. 

If anything, I think we watched less. 

And 2021 we hope to continue watching even less. There are so many things we really enjoy doing that it's not that difficult to choose 'doing' instead of watching. 

We didn't binge on any shows last year.

2. January 26th is Australia Day. Have you ever visited or lived in Australia? Have you ever tasted Vegemite, and if so what did you think?  Is a trip down under on your bucket list? We answered a question about travel three months ago (the October 21st Hodgepodge), but let's revisit now...where are you when it comes to planning or even imagining travel this year? 

I have never been to Australia, but I think it would be interesting to visit someday.

When it comes to planning travel this year, we will be staying in the U.S.  Even those plans hinge on how things will look by the time we're ready for a get-away. What's the fun of a vacation if restaurants and points of interest are closed?

3. Something that zaps your energy? Something that energizes you? 

Facebook ... I've been unfollowing so many people on there. We remain friends, but I no longer have their posts showing up in my newsfeed.  I don't care if your guy won or lost the election. I don't want to hear about it. I don't care if you believe every conspiracy theory out there, or don't believe any of them, I don't want to hear about it. I don't care if you are for or against vaccines, I don't want to hear about it. I don't care if you think everyone should wear a mask or that they're not worth wearing. I don't want to hear about it. It all makes me feel so very weary. All those wearisome topics almost make the MLM posts bearable.

Some things that energize me are reading the Bible, spending time with our family, drawing, painting, cooking, baking, and so many other things.

There is still so much to enjoy about life, I will not allow Facebook to rob me of my joy.

4. On a scale of 1-10 what are your eating habits like these days? (1=all junk food all the time and 10= juicing every green thing in the frig) Healthiest meal you've eaten in the last week or so? 

I'm probably around a seven or eight. I don't juice, but I love vegetables. I'm not eating junk food, though I did taste the frosting on the cake Sharon made yesterday. We tried a new recipe that was supposed to be light and fluffy, and not as sweet as regular butter cream frostings  It may have been just a tiny bit less sweet, but I didn't like it very well. We'll not be making it again.

The healthiest meal I've eaten recently consisted of baked salmon, broccoli, and a leafy salad.

5. What's your most often 'Back in my day....' thing to say? 

I try not to say a lot of back in my day things ... most of the time it involves something from our Amish days which is met with less than enthusiastic response from our children.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

The rock tumbler is done tumbling. The rocks have turned out so pretty, that it was almost worth all the noise we endured to get them to this point.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Winter's Fog

 The fog is heavy today, freezing onto every available surface. I'm assuming the barn is still somewhere behind that tree, but you can't tell due to the choking density of the fog. 

    It reminds me of a little scene that played out countless times during my growing up years.



    "Freezing fog will kill a dog," Mom would say as she looked out the window on foggy winter days.

    Dad would laugh and correct her. "The saying is, 'winter's fog will freeze a dog.'"

    They would both laugh as Mom shook her head, "I thought for sure I said it right this time," she'd say.

    But always, always, she'd get it wrong.