Monday, June 29, 2009

Pecan Pie

My husbands favorite dessert is pie. He doesn't care what kind I make as long as it doesn't contain any rhubarb. For some reason none of our family is fond of rhubarb and we have been known to turn down dinner invitations during rhubarb season to avoid the dreaded stuff. We have been offered to try it in cobblers, various pies, puddings, and almost everything else imaginable, by eager cooks convinced if we would only try their delectable creation we would lose our aversion to rhubarb. Unfortunately it only rooted it more deeply.

We always heave a sigh of relief when rhubarb season is over and we can once again mingle safely with friends and neighbors.

One of the pie I often turn to when I'm baking is our favorite Pecan Pie. I often substitute the pecans for oatmeal, or an oatmeal and coconut mixture, for something different.

Pecan Pie
2 eggs beaten
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans
Mix all together and pour into an unbaked pie shell. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

The pie in the picture I substituted the nuts for 1/2 cup oatmeal and 1/2 cup coconut.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Mom used to make a weekly trip to town with Jim and one of our buggies. Most of the time John and I would stay at Grandpa Masts while Aunt Emma went with Mom.
We always had a lot of fun playing there. Often if Mom was gone over lunchtime Grandpa would sit on his creaky rocking chair and ask us to come to him. He would have both hands closed and tell us we can have whatever is inside. We would tug and pull at his fingers until we finally had them open, and then get the treats he had hidden there for us. Most often it was a kids chewable papaya tablet, that we called monkey candy, other times there would be a few sunflower seeds. We didn't really mind what he held in his hands, the most fun was in opening them.

One day after Mom came back from town and we were talking to Grandma yet before we started for home, she told me that she bought something for me and I could go look in the back of the buggy in a certain bag.

I ran to the see what is there, and found a tin lunch box with Care Bear Cousins. To me it was the most beautiful one I had ever seen. I showed it to John and David and then had to run and find Vernie and Grandpa to make sure they see my new treasure too.

Mom told me I could use it to go to school. I was so excited and eagerly counted off the days until I could finally use it.

When the morning dawned for the first day of school I watched excitedly as Mom packed my lunch. I wore a new green dress that Grandma had made for me. Mom hitched Jim to the buggy and we headed for school. Once we got there they went inside with me and helped find the desk that had my name on it. There was a brand new pencil laying on top and several shiny new books. I loved books and could hardly wait to start coloring and writing and what ever else was involved with this exciting new event.

But then Mom said "Good-bye" and went out the door with John and David and headed home without me. My shiny new lunchbox and the books and pencil lost their charm as huge lumps started forming in my throat. I wanted desperately to cry and run home to Mom. Cousin Emma was also in first grade and was sitting right across the aisle from me. She wasn't having any qualms about going to school and told the teacher that "MaryAnn is going to cry." The teacher was very friendly and soon had me calmed down with some pretty pictures to color.

By the end of the first day Mom was waiting for me as soon as school let out. I decided school isn't too bad, there were a lot of interesting things to do and all my friends were there too. And at the end of the day I could go to the place I loved best. Home.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Giveaway Winners

It was fun reading all your captions for the photo of my niece.

I had my husband read all of them and pick the one he liked the best. And so without further ado the winning caption that was written by..............
Katie said...
Oh, God have mercy!
A close second was written by The French Bear said...
"Crisco, it makes the best "cutie" pies ever!!"

Great captions everyone!

And now for those of you who were brave enough to blog about this giveaway. I randomly selected one of you to receive a Wanda Brunstetter book and some other goodies.

The winner of the random drawing is Coveredwithjoy .

So if the two winners will email me with their address I will get your packages in the mail.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Home Again

We are so happy to be able to say that we went from this.

To this.
It is sooo good to be home again. Sunbeam is still her sunny little self even though she can't be active. She was asking when she can walk again and trying to explain three months to a little girl is a hard job and eighty four days sounds like years to a five year old!
Thank you so much for all the prayers and kind thoughts. It really meant a lot to us over this time. We are so thankful to have our little girl on the road of recovery.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunbeam Update

We are still here in the hospital with Sunbeam. She is progressing really well and we are all so thankful to still have our little girl.

On Thursday evening there was someone turning their cattle trailer around and Sunbeam happened to get in the way and was knocked down and the front wheel of the big truck drove on top of her. The driver immediately realized something bad happened and stopped with her underneath and then had to drive off of her yet.

We live around 60 miles from an emergency room and it seemed to take hours to get there. Our Pastor had called ahead to let them know that we were coming and a trauma team was ready the moment we drove up.

They got everything checked out and everyone was very relieved to find that none of her organs were damaged. Her right leg is broken just below her hip. She had to have surgery to get it pieced back together, but since she is only a little girl and her injury was different from normal fractures they had to order in the plates before they could do surgery. It took a lot longer in the operating room than they had estimated and I was very thankful for the friends that were waiting with us.

She was wearing her favorite white dress with little pink rosebuds sprinkled over it and was very concerned that they had to cut it off, but Daddy made her day when he brought a dress for her and she is looking forward to wearing it.

The driver of the truck feels really horrible about the whole incident. I don't blame him at all for what happened and don't want him to feel guilty and awful about it.

Sunbeam is her happy little self and is facing around 3 months without being able to walk. I'm trying to think how to keep an active little girl occupied without being able to walk and run.

I'm hoping by the time she is grown this whole incident will be only a very vague memory.

Friday, June 19, 2009

This will be a short post. We are at the hospital with Sunbeam since she was hurt really badly. I will share more details later.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Write a Caption ~ Giveaway!

I captured a picture of my niece just as she was discovered playing with a can of shortening. I have been trying to think of a cute caption for this picture so that is where all of you come in.

Leave a comment telling me what you think would be a great caption and you will be entered to win the book "Plain and Fancy" by Wanda E. Brunstetter. I will also add a few other mystery gifts that you will love.

To be entered twice, blog about this giveaway and link back, and then leave a comment to let me know.

The winner will be chosen on June 25th.

*This giveaway is now closed and the winners chosen. Thanks to all those who participated.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Trip Down Memory Lane

I spent all day going through closets and boxes that we had hardly touched since moving into our house several years ago. I took pleasure in getting rid of some things, others I repacked and labeled for later use hopefully some wintry day when things are going at a slower pace. Still other things took me down memory lane. One item I found was my old autograph book.

Most Amish teenage girls have an autograph book that they get their friends to write their autograph. I was fifteen when Mom and Dad gave me this one for Christmas. I was very pleased and looked forward to my 16th birthday when I would get to join the youth group and have my friends sign it.

I opened the book and started reading the entries, some of them made me smile, others gave me mixed emotions but I treasured each and everyone. As I read them they took me back to the day they had been signed and what a wealth of memories they opened.

My Mom signed this on Christmas day after I asked her to be the first one to sign it. I am so glad I did even though it was not the normal thing to do, to get your mother to sign your book.

When I read this one I had to laugh. It was the very last one to be written into my book. It took me back to the day before our wedding, my cousins Emma, and Esther and their brother's girlfriend and I were in my room. We were reading the replies our wedding guests had sent and there was one in particular that struck our funny bone. One of my husbands uncles had written that they won't be able to attend but wish us a very "fruitful" marriage.
They of-course envisioned multiple sets of twins in my future.They had fun scribbling the verse in and handing it to me, but ironically I am getting the last laugh because they each have a set of twins!

This one takes me back to one of our trips to Canada to see Grandma Swarey and all the aunts, uncles, and cousins. We cousins were all sitting at one of the picnic tables visiting and having a grand old time when cousin Nathan made his entry. Though it held no truth at the moment I'm wondering if he had a prophetic streak that evening.

John found my autograph and made his entry after one of the first evenings my future husband came for a visit. David made his a few years later when it was officially announced that I would become the bride of a farmer!

Grandpa Mast signed his name to an entry that Grandma wrote. His hands were too shaky to write more than a few words at a time. But he could still tell stories, I enjoyed spending evenings with him several times a week until I got married. I will treasure this always.
There were many others from friends and cousins, aunts and uncles. I read them all and then tucked it into a box to be enjoyed again some other day.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Broccoli Salad

Everyone should have a sister-in-law like I have. She has a heart of gold and laughter that makes you want to join in even if you don't have a clue what is funny. She is the mother to eight children, and she just celebrated a birthday.

For the past several years when either one of us had a birthday the other one would cook a big supper and bring it to their house.

I spent all day baking and cooking and thought I would take some pictures and share recipes on here. I managed to get all the baked things done and then started on the main course. Fried chicken is one of her favorites, so naturally I made that. I have a recipe for the coating/breading that I spent years tweaking and adjusting till I found a combination that every one loves and I always get asked for the recipe when ever I make it. I was going to share it with you but somehow every last piece of the ten pounds of chicken I had prepared disappeared before I got a picture taken of the finished product. I have a sneaking suspicion that a certain dog and cat got to enjoy it too.

I made cheesy potatoes in my slow cooker that also disappeared before I had time to take a picture of them. And so it continued everything I worked hard at all day got swallowed up in a matter of minutes. I did manage to take one picture........ of a salad.

Broccoli Salad
4 cups chopped broccoli
1 cup black seedless grapes (halved)
1 cup red seedless grapes (halved)
1/3 cup chopped green onion
1 lb bacon (fried crisp and crumbled)
1 cup shredded cheese
In a bowl mix broccoli, grapes, onions, and bacon. Make a dressing with:
1 cup Miracle Whip
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
Pour over broccoli mixture and mix together. Set in refrigerator overnight for flavors to blend. 20 minutes before serving add the cheese and mix again.
As you can tell by the picture I hadn't added the cheese yet. I have resolved next time I want pictures I have to take them immediately after the food is prepared. For sure if I'm expecting to feed a hungry, fun loving crowd of little people.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Chest of Memories

I enjoy cooking and over the years have collected hundreds of cookbooks. But even with all my cookbooks I often resort to my faithful box and drawer of scraps of paper with recipes scribbled on them. It's quite a sight if I tumble them all out on the counter and paw through them in search of the recipe I have in mind. And I always end up going on a memory journey and could no more replace them than what my Mom could a few years ago when she tried and then sent me this poem about the event.

My Recipe Box
A little gray box, on a shelf up high,
Contained such clutter, 'twas weary to the eye,
Now down it will come, I decided one day,
To recopy the slips in an orderly way.

They all spilled out on the table for me,
What a rumpled heap, I'd end it you see
A stack of fresh cards and a brand new pen,
A nice comfy chair, I'm ready to begin.

"Custard Pie" read the first, from Emma my sis,
She lives far away, I'll have to keep this,
"Zook Cookies" yes, from my own Mother dear,
I'll treasure her handwriting on thru' the year

Now next came one with a big splotch of grease,
From my Aunt Malinda who is now deceased
I laid it aside with the tenderest care,
To throw it away would be most unfair.

Oh here's a pink card with a worn bent and twist,
That took place in baby John's chubby fist
He has grown tall now, is a Daddy too,
I'll just have to keep that one, wouldn't you?

A splatter on the edge of this big white sheet,
The hot drink son David invented so neat
Filling up fast was my little box gray,
But the stack of new cards untouched did stay.

Here's the mixture of crumbs, that tasted so good,
When used to fry fish as Mahlon oft would
Standing at the stove, cheeks red from the heat,
He'd fry two bowls full delectable treat!

Cheese Bars, cookies, and Angel Crust Pie,
Remind me so much of an era gone by
When daughter would work ambitiously late,
She'd try something new when expecting a date.

Bologna with garlic and spices for zest,
When done how Liz says is really the best
I'll keep her whole sheet with her greetings of cheer,
It will keep us in touch through out the next year.

Mom-in-law's method of planting of peas,
"Dessert" from dear Sarah our company to please
"Pickles" from Rosemary, far in the north,
Bring memories of old times, plenty of worth.

"Popcorn Balls" yes, with blue marker framin'
Made when Mom wasn't home by Ivan and Raymond
A whole pack of cards, in schoolboys hand printing,
By now my eyes through tears had been squinting.

By in-laws, aunts, cousins, and friends galore,
A box full of memories stuffed in by the score
Back up on the shelf, my precious small chest,
Just the way it is, is really the best!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My First Sewing Machine

Everyday Mom would fill a quart jar with fresh milk and put it in an old rusty baby stroller and John and I would push it over to the Coffers. Sue would invite us inside their cabin to rest a while and always had something interesting for us to see. Mr. Coffer used to spend his evenings whittling tiny toys for us from various things. He made the cutest tiny baskets from peach stones, tiny little yokes for John's toy cows and many other things. Some days we would watch as they set their printing press for another page of the book "Horse Hair in my Soup" they were printing that chronicled their journey across America.

After we had rested a bit we would start back home, during the spring and summer we would gather flowers along the road to present to Mom once we got home, she always loved the wild roses saying that they make the entire house smell sweet and fresh, there were larkspurs and bluebonnets, and if nothing else there was always the option of a dandelion bouquet.

One day when we got there, Sue showed me a treadle sewing machine they had found somewhere and asked me if I would like to have it for my own. She wrote a note to Mom about it, handed it to me, and we headed for home. There was no dawdling along the way this time as we ran until we were out of breath and then walked the rest of the way.

When we arrived home Mom read the note and told me that John and Sue wanted to give me the sewing machine as a thank-you for supplying them with milk everyday. And once Daddy has time we can go pick it up.

I could hardly wait until Daddy came home to tell him the news. He listened as I excitedly told him all about it and sensing my eagerness offered to hitch Jim to the spring wagon and go fetch it right away.

The following days were spent learning how to sew. Mom let me go through her fabric scraps and cut pieces to make nine patches. Once I had made enough nine patches she sewed them all together for a quilt top for me. Which is now being used on Sailor's bed.

I still use the sewing machine too. What started out as the most exciting thing ever for a little six year old girl, is still my first choice to use whenever I want to sew anything. I suppose it always will.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Horror Of Household Pests

Hi, my name is MaryAnn and I hate household pests. The ones that are brave enough to venture inside my house very rarely live long enough to to be able to tell their friends what new things they have discovered. Woe unto any spider that dares to start a web somewhere. It will surely be destroyed and it's life ended in a crushing manner.

No insects have a chance if I'm around, but there is a certain pest that turns me into a pathetic mess of shivers and shrill noises.

Our house is fairly new, and ever since we live in it I was able to go where I wanted 24 hours a day without the fear of a furry rodent scampering across my toes. That has all changed now.

I am the first one up every morning. I enjoy the few moments of quiet, as I start the coffee, do some reading, and turn on the computer and then visit with Sunbeam as she comes to join me.

On Monday morning I was happily going through my normal morning routine, I opened a cupboard door to get a water pitcher to get water for the coffeemaker, when to my horror I almost touched a mouse. I let out an involuntary noise that woke the entire household, I slammed the door shut and ran to the bedroom gasping, a mouse! there's a mouse! my husband looked at me groggily and calmly said "I'm sure you scared it away." I headed back to the kitchen shivering and gingerly opened the cupboard door again. He was right, it was gone, so I went ahead and got the coffee under way.

A few minutes later my husband came to see if he can find the little intruder, but there was no sign of it any where. I went ahead and started on breakfast right away, since everyone was awake already, when oh horrors there goes the little fellow scampering bravely across the kitchen floor. I declare he must have been related to Desperaux. My mouse reflexes kicked in again as another shrill sound pierced the air and I somehow wound up standing on a chair.

We didn't see it the rest of the day and I managed to be myself, I tried to tell myself that I'm much bigger than a mouse and sent Sailor on a quest of locating a mousetrap. It was of no avail and so I had to contend with the fact that I might have to live with a mouse in the house until we get to town to buy a trap. (Shiver and shudder)

Yesterday morning I was once again enjoying my solitude when Sunbeam, my early riser got up like she normally does. It is nice having alone time with her before everyone else is up and about. We were sitting, chatting pleasantly when we both heard the pitter-patter of tiny feet. I froze in my chair with my feet pulled up off the floor, Sunbeam had no such problems and went to investigate, she opened a cupboard door and whispered excitedly. It's right here Mom! And watched as it disappeared behind the refrigerator.

We got through the day without seeing it again, but last night with my mouse detection senses on high I woke up in the middle of the night to distinct gnawing noises. I woke my husband and pleaded that he go and find it, as I sat in the middle of the bed and wrapped all the covers around me, while he not nearly as convinced as I was investigated the noise I said was coming from underneath the baby crib.

This particular crib is different from most in that, since Sunbeam moved out of it, I used it to store lots of things in it and under it. I also buy old Dick and Jane books and store them under the crib until I have enough for a set and then I sell them. My patient husband got everything out and there was no mouse in sight.

I can hardly wait to get a trap and be able to sleep soundly once more. I really, really hate mice.

The scene of investigation. It looks so peaceful with the Flower Garden quilt that Grandma Mast made for our babies, hiding the host of things I store behind it.
Now doesn't that look like a place a mouse would like to explore? I will prevail and our house will soon be a no pest zone once again.
Please tell me I'm not the only one out here with a loathing of furry rodents.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Happenings on the Porch

  • Our porch happens to be the place where the children spend most of their time if it isn't too hot.
  • Our porch serves as a place of "fine dining" whenever my husband gets the urge to fire up the old grill.
  • Our porch happens to be the place where Wags temporary calf hutch home still remains months after we decided to have it there for a week or so. (The children love sitting in it whenever it rains.)
  • Our porch is the stage on which Sailor and Wags play tug-of-war.
  • Our porch is a place to ride kiddie cars and wagons.
  • Our porch is the place where many happy memories are being made.

It isn't a grand porch or even a pretty one, but we enjoy it.

What do you enjoy the most about a porch? And any advice on how to go about getting rid of a nine year old's favorite tattered shirt?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Making Noodles

Several times a year Grandma Mast would have a noodle making day at her house. Aunt Lydia, Aunt Anna, and their children, and Mom and we children would arrive early in the morning with eggs and flour. Grandma had lots of eggs too from her flock of a hundred hens.

We would watch as they measured flour into 20 qt. bowls and separate the eggs, the yolks would be added to the flour and the whites were put into glass gallon jars. Cousin Emma and I were allowed to carefully measure in the salt. There was no talking as everyone was concentrating on counting the amount of ingredients they were measuring. Once everything was measured aunt Vernie and all us cousins went to play until the dough was kneaded. Kneading noodle dough was hard work and took quite a bit of time.

Once the dough was done to their satisfaction, we would eat lunch that aunt Emma prepared. Afterwards Vernie would wash the dishes while cousin Emma and I dried them. Once we were done with the dishes we watched as the women rolled out the dough on Grandma's big table. They rolled it into thin strips 6" x 5 feet long. Grandma had a noodle cutter, she would turn the handle as Mom and the aunts held onto the long pieces of dough and fed it through. It was fun watching as long strands of noodles came out of the other side.

As each piece was turned into noodles aunt Emma would gather them up in a big bowl and take them upstairs in one of their many spare bedrooms and spread them on cloths that she had prepared earlier as a place to dry them. We used to run upstairs with her and help her spread them out gently so they wouldn't be piled on top of each other. It was slow tedious work, but we didn't mind, it felt good to be considered big enough to help in such important work. Brother David and cousins Esther, Rueben, Mervin, and Lizzie Ann could only watch and hope that by the next time they would be big enough too, they spent most of their day playing with Vernie so I'm sure they didn't mind too much.

Once the last noodles were spread out to dry and the mess was cleaned up, we headed home with a gallon jar full of egg whites that would be used to make angel food cakes and other special treats. Aunt Emma would bring our share of the noodles once they were dried. It was something to look forward too, but for now we were anticipating all the yummy things that Mom was going to make with our egg whites.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Wash Day

Wash day used to be a day to look forward to. We used to have a huge kettle outside under some trees, that had a built in firebox that we used to heat water to do the laundry. On Monday evenings John and I used to use the garden hose to fill it up.
Mom would sort the weeks worth of dirty laundry and we'd put each pile into a five gallon pail and then fill the pails with water yet too and let them soak overnight.
On Tuesday morning Daddy would get up early and start a fire in the kettle, and by the time we were done with breakfast the water would be boiling. He would fill the washing machine before he left for work.
We would hurry with the dishes and then head out to the washing machine, Mom would check the gas in the little Honda engine and start it up. She would put the Sunday clothes in first and let them wash for a few minutes and then got a long wooden stick that Daddy had made for her and lifted the clothes out and let them drop into the rinse water. She would add some more soap and turn the wringer to the side of the machine and lifted a 5 gallon pail that was filled with the soaking dirty clothes, up on a backless green chair and start feeding the clothes through the wringer into the washing machine. Once the pail was empty she would go to the rinse tub and take one piece of clothing at a time and plunge down into the water as deep as it could go and then lift it up and let the water run off a little and then plunge it in again. She would repeat this three times with each article of laundry. John and I helped with the smaller pieces. We didn't mind getting splashed as we all rinsed the clothes with energy, singing the whole time we were doing it.
As each piece was rinsed it was put through the wringer and into a pail and then we'd head for the clothes line where we would hand the clothes to Mom, which saved her from having to bend down for every piece she hung up.
And so it continued until every batch of laundry was done, and all the clothes were flapping merrily in the breeze.
We would eat a quick lunch and then head out to check to see if the first few batches were dry already. Mom would take the clothes off and John and I would stand beside her with our arms stretched out and she would fill them with the dry clothes. We would run in and put them on the table and then run back outside to get another load.
There used to be a big mountain of clothes on the table by the time Mom got back inside. and we would all start folding. John and I got to pair the socks and fold the smaller things while Mom did the rest. She made up a little song that she sang whenever we were folding and putting everything away.
Thank you Lord for this nice day.
Bless us as we put away,
All the garments clean and bright
That were dried by wind and light.

There were some more verses but I can't remember them right now.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Of Gum and ........

Several years ago we planned a really great vacation. Before we left I went into a sewing frenzy and made that we each had a matching set of clothes for every day that we planned on being gone. A month after we got back we left the Amish and were stuck with lots of barely used clothes. We had no one to give them to and the thrifty part of me could not go and pitch them. And now I still have three types of clothes. Amish, I'm almost through with those, thankfully. Mennonite, I don't think I can emphasise how much I dislike those clothes, and then skirts and blouses.

This was taken a few weeks after we left the Amish.

Last evening I wore one of my Mennonite dresses to go to church, ill fitting though it is. Before we left I grabbed a Kleenex on the off chance that I might need it and since these dresses don't come equipped with pockets I tucked it inside of the cape, and happily went out to our vehicle and we headed to church.
On our way there I opened a new pack of gum and popped a piece into my mouth, trust me I try to be discreet with it, I don't want to appear to be chewing a cud, but my fear of having bad breath and losing friends because of it, is strong, and since I can't check my own breath I always try to prevent it with a piece of gum.
This piece tasted odd, but I kept it and we went into church and found a seat. About halfway through the service all I could think of was how bad this gum was tasting, and that I really need to get rid of it. I thought of my Kleenex and tried to get it but was now faced with a new problem. Let's just say that my cape no longer seemed like a good place to store something since I'm sitting. I tried to squirm a little to be able to get it, and my husband leaned over and asked me if something was wrong. I tried to hold still and just bravely swallow it. But the gum was so bad, that I didn't care if my breath is bad, I can always make new friends later. I just really need to get rid of the vile stuff. There was no way I wanted to swallow it and I hate getting up and walking out in time of church so with one last frantic effort I managed to grab hold of the corner of the Kleenex and I pulled it out and disposed of the gum.
I have learned several things.
  • Never ever under any circumstance tuck anything in the front of a Mennonite dress. In fact don't bother wearing a Mennonite dress, they are ill fitting, ornery contraptions. (No offense to any of my Mennonite readers, but it is the way I feel when I am wearing them.)
  • Never, ever and I repeat never, ever chew Jolt gum again.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hair Despair

Help! What can I do to manage these hair? The only option I've had so far that makes that I can half way control these fly away curls are to have a braided ponytail. And even then several hours later she will be looking like this and the higher the humidity the wilder they become.

They also are more on the dry frizzy side. Any suggestions on taming her unruly mane would be appreciated.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Rooster and Red Buttons

We used to have a chicken coop filled with 24 hens and one big rooster. Daddy had built rows of nesting boxes for them and everyday John and I would go out to gather the eggs. It used to be a lot of fun.

We would try to pet the chickens and we'd talk and sing to them, occasionally Mom would give us stale bread and we would break off crumbs and throw it to them. It used to be really fun watching them run after the crumbs as we threw one piece at a time to make it last longer.

One day Grandma came and brought a new dress for me. It was a light tan with a row of bright red buttons on the back. I thought it was very pretty and wanted to wear it right away. When it was time to go gather the eggs I went skipping to the chicken coop still happily wearing my new dress.
As we were gathering the eggs our big friendly rooster, turned into a huge mean rooster. I was happily gathering eggs when he flew at my back and knocked me down, my basket of eggs went flying and all the hens went running to happily peck at the broken mess.The rooster wasn't enticed by the sight of broken eggs and kept right on attacking me. I started crying and John ran to get Mom.

She came running to my aid and shooed the rooster away, and helped me back to my feet. Once we got into the house and I got changed into a clean dress she held up the dress that was dirty from laying on the floor of the chicken coop and told me that the rooster didn't mean to hurt you he just saw the bright red buttons and wanted to eat them.

I never again wore that dress while gathering eggs and the rooster was the gentle sane rooster he was supposed to be.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Rosebud's Accomplishment

Mondays are always busy here at our house. Today was no exception. As I was going over all the things I wanted to get accomplished today Rosebud came with a box of Blue Bonnet margarine asking if she can make the recipe that was on the back. I checked it, it sounded good, so sure why not, if she stirs up a batch of cookies I'll bake them for her. She loves working in the kitchen and was on cloud nine that she gets to do it by herself.

She got the sugars measured into the bowl and thought it looked so pretty and asked me to take a picture, which got me started taking pictures of each step as she attempted to make cookies without any assistance.

Measuring the salt was simple enough. I can handle this Mom!

The butter she had melted was hot so I got to pour that in for her.
She got it all stirred up as her siblings watched in admiration. It smelled so good that Sailor was reminded that he really is hungry. I told him to go ahead and wash some garden lettuce and make a few sandwiches.

He got it all nice and clean and then turned and asked me if he can go climb a tree now. I actually managed not to laugh until he went outside. Climbing a tree is so much more manly than washing lettuce!
In the meantime Rosebud was still busy with her cookie dough. Time to break in the eggs. I offered to do it but she wanted to step up to the challenge by herself.Perfect! I couldn't have done it better myself.

Using the egg beater is so much fun! Let's just say everything in the bowl was thoroughly blended by the time she got through.

Adding the vanilla was a breeze and then some more vigorous beating followed.

Finally time to measure the flour.
And the baking soda.
She sifted the soda through a small sieve to insure there would be no bitter surprise lumps in the cookies.

And finally time to dump in a bag of chocolate chips.

And stir it all up. I can only imagine what she will say about the following pictures once she's, say, 16. But I really couldn't resist adding them too. She was trying to put waxed paper on the counter top for the cookies to cool off on.

I got them all baked for her and we all got to enjoy a warm chocolate chip cookie with a glass of cold milk.

Life just doesn't get much better than this!