Monday, May 31, 2010

Around Our Home

As a little girl and growing up I always admired rhododendron bushes that seemed to flourish in almost everybody's front yard except ours. Once they started blooming it was a sure sign that spring had come to stay and it was safe to venture out into the garden to plant things. 

Since we moved I'm really enjoying this huge rhododendron bush by our front porch steps. The butterflies and bumblebees seem to enjoy it too.

Thunderstorms ruined plans for any Memorial Day outdoor activities. We didn't have any plans like that so we were fine but time at the computer wasn't an option either. 

The steady downpour of rain had the waterfall gushing torrents of muddy water and the creek soon spilled over it's banks.

I am rejoicing that The unpacking and organizing is finally over. The children however had a lot of fun before we refastened the doors and drawers to our big heavy oak cupboard.

Relaxing after a day of unpacking.

Perfect place to read a good book.
Sunbeam came running into the house with this flower. It was about 5 inches in diameter. Does anyone have any idea what kind of flower it is? It isn't really my choice of color but we all thought it was very pretty.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Buggy Brakes

News spread through the community. Fifteen year old Andy a severely handicapped boy had died and preparations had to be made for the funeral. Daddy and several other men had to dig the grave by hand. Daddy started for the graveyard right after breakfast in hopes that they would be able to dig the grave in one day.

Mom offered to send me to help with the preparations at the home since I was out of school and now considered to be old enough to participate when ever needs like this arose. Daddy dropped me off at Grandpa Masts house on his way to the graveyard then I could ride with aunt Emma.

Grandpa hitched his horse, Blaze, to the buggy and aunt Emma and I started off. It was a beautiful day and we had the doors and storm front open on the buggy as Blaze trotted down the road. It took a while to get there since there were numerous long hills that Blaze had to slow down to a walk to get to the top.

Once we finally got there someone came to take care of the horse while Emma and I went inside to help work. There was lots of things to be done. All the windows had to be washed and general spring house cleaning done. The hickory shop had to be cleaned out in order to set up enough tables for all the visitors that came to the funeral. There was loads of food to prepare and serve and pies to bake.

By evening we had done most of the cleaning and plans were made to come back the next day to help with all the food preparations. As Emma and I left I sighed with relief as I sank into my side of the buggy seat and looked forward to the long ride home. It shouldn't take as long since all the hills the horse had to climb in the morning were now ready for us to go down at a nice trot.

As we were ready to descend the first hill Emma pumped the brakes but nothing happened, so she drew back on the lines to slow Blaze down to a walk and we inched down the hill. The same thing happened for the next hills. We were no longer chatting as Emma focused everything on getting down the hills slowly without the buggy running into the back of the horse, or the horse stumbling. I began to think of the long steep hill that was coming up and wondered how she was going to drive down without having a panic attack since it was so much worse than any of the others had been. I didn't have long to wonder. As we got to the top of the hill she stopped the horse and asked me to get out and hang onto the back of the buggy to try and keep it from wanting to roll as fast.

I wasn't sure I had heard correctly but that was exactly what Emma wanted me to do, so I got out and grabbed hold of the springs at the back of the buggy and we started down the hill. We started off at a slow walk but Blaze soon picked up speed and the closer we got to the bottom of the hill the faster we went. I had never run so fast in my life. I clung to the buggy for dear life not daring to loose my grip and go tumbling onto the road. Taking huge steps it almost felt like I was ready to lift off and start flying since so much distance was covered with each step. My big black bonnet flapped crazily behind me held only by its strings.

Once we got to the bottom of the hill Emma stopped and I climbed wearily back into the buggy highly doubtful that the descent had been slowed because of me hanging onto the back.

Once I got home I told Mom and Daddy about my adventure and they made sure that Emma could use our little open buggy the next day with brakes that worked fine.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hawaiian Rolls

I enjoy trying new recipes but with moving halfway across the country and all the work involved I was glad when ever I was able to get a decent meal on the table and new recipes were the last thing on my mind.

Tonight however I finally took the time to try another one and it turned out to be even better than I had hoped. We all enjoyed it very much and I will be filing it into my keeper file.

Hawaiian Rolls

½ cup milk
1 tsp. prepared mustard
2 drops Worcestershire sauce
2 slices potato bread, crumbled
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp onion, minced
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 pound ground beef
14 thin slices Virginia baked ham
14 bacon slices
1 cup pineapple tidbits, undrained

Combine first eight ingredients in a bowl. Mix well then add the ground beef. Mix really well. Spread beef mixture on ham slices and roll up. Wrap a slice of bacon around each roll and secure with a toothpick at both ends of the bacon. Place into 13x9 pan pour pineapple over the rolls and bake at 375ยบ for 30 minutes or a little longer if you want your bacon to be nice and crispy.

Serve, and enjoy. It is really hard to stop after the first roll but I did my best.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sunday Afternoon

I enjoy Sunday afternoons. Spending time together as a family doing things we enjoy... priceless!

Last Sunday was a beautiful day so we decided to go to a nearby hiking/biking trail. It used to be an old railroad but several years ago they got it fixed up nicely including the tunnel through the mountain.

We drove down the road and parked next to the bridge where we got on the trail and started out. Our goal for the day hike through the tunnel. The tunnel itself is not quite a mile long and the trail from the point we started is at least a mile to the tunnel.
                                    The Bridge                                                         
After walking for a mile or so and admiring the scenery on the way, we neared the tunnel entrance.

As we entered the tunnel we wished we would have thought to bring our coats along. It was cold with a steady wind blowing through it. We walked faster and came out on the otherside to breathtaking views.

Tunnel Entrance
There were lots of other hikers sitting on the benches so we didn't stay very long before we turned around and headed back.

One of the views from the other end of the tunnel.

Leaving the tunnel on the way home. It feels so good to get back out into the warm sunshine!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Last Day of School

Our neighbor just down the road from us was the oldest of a very large family. When ever he needed help he would ask for one of his younger brothers to come and help out.

During the summer a common sight was to see a horse and rider appear at the top of the hill and gallop at full speed past our house. I always had to watch them pass. The Lee boys were good riders and their horses appeared to enjoy the run too.

Simon Lee was in the same grade I was. We had a lot of fun together and I considered him to be one of my best friends. When ever he rode by he always managed to wave which impressed me even more since he  was on the back of a flying horse.

As our last day of school drew near we eighth graders were planning our last moments in school and looking forward to graduation. I was looking forward to being with my classmates as we got our diplomas. We had been best of friends from almost the first day I had started going to that school seven years earlier.

The evening before graduation word spread through out the community. Simon Lee had tried to ride a new horse and had been bucked off and was now in the hospital. We didn't know the extent of his injuies and I tried not to think about it.

The next morning as we went to get our diplomas there was a solemn air in school. Instead of the usual last day of school fun everyone was quiet and wondering how Simon was doing. I was very disappointed that us classmates couldn't all be there.

Once we got home we were relieved to hear that though badly broken Simon would be fine.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

To Catch a Ball

I always enjoyed having first graders in school. They often provided humorous moments with their cute way of saying and doing things.

One first grader all of us liked especially well. He was a little blond haired boy, very short for his age, and one of the most cheerful little children ever.  He came from a family that had to work hard to make ends meet. His clothes though clean, fit very badly. His pants were huge. They came half way up his back and were big enough that two little boys could have fit inside them. His suspenders kept them from falling down but they still sagged badly in both front and back.

One day as we were playing baseball, using a tennis ball since the school board deemed it too dangerous to use a baseball, one of the upper grade boys was up to bat. we all watched as he made a beautiful fly and started running in hopes of making a home run. As we ran to get the ball it disappeared, and the next instant the little first grader started jumping and yelling excitedly. He had caught the ball in the front of his pants.

We all had to laugh, even the one who was now declared to be out. The first grader was absolutely thrilled that he was the one that caught the fly and got one of the big boys out. That moment made it's way into the all time funniest way to catch a ball ever, files of our community.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Mouse

My best friend Nancy and I were the only girls in my grade since cousin Emma and her family had moved away. Nancy and I always did everything together. Often after our lessons were done for the day our teacher would get us to help the lower grades study spelling or drill them with flashcards. We both enjoyed it very much.

One day as we were dismissed for recess we went to visit the outhouse. For the past several weeks there had been signs of a mouse snacking on the paper products but we had never seen it so it didn't bother us very much. Today however when we open the door the little creature was sitting between the two seats. It stared at us for a little bit with it's beady little eyes and then darted up the wall and sat on top of the wall.

Nancy and I both froze and then turned around and ran back to the school house to get several brooms. We told the boys that they needed to kill a mouse. They told us to chase it out and they would be waiting outside to get rid of it. As the boys gathered around outside to make sure the terrified little mouse doesn't escape Nancy and I armed ourselves with brooms and went back inside to see if we could chase it outside to meet it's fate. The mouse had no intentions of being chased outside and kept running all around the top of the walls until Nancy and I were quite dizzy trying to keep track of it.

After a while the teacher sensed unusual activity on the playground and came to see what we were up to. After sizing up the situation she took my broom and with one deft stroke hit the mouse which made a flying leap right down one of the holes.  The boys were disappointed that they weren't our heroes after all and Nancy and I both shuddered at the mouse's fate and refused to use that hole for the rest of the school term.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Outside My Window

I get to enjoy spring twice this year. I already enjoyed watching spring flowers appear and the trees once again being decked in their vibrant green, gardens were planted and growing nicely. And now since we moved to a new home halfway across the country the trees are only beginning to show a soft spring green. There is a huge rhododendron plant beside the front porch loaded with buds that I'm looking forward to seeing in full bloom.

I'm not exactly thrilled with the old farmhouse we get to live in and will show you more pictures soon. I really do enjoy seeing this outside my window every morning. Seeing the cows laying next to the waterfall relaxing and basking in the spring sunshine almost makes me wish I could do the same thing.

I enjoy stepping outside and hearing the sound of the waterfall and the creek that runs by our house. Moving takes a lot of work and adjustment but I think we'll really like our new home.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Our church district needed another preacher in order to have enough preachers to ordain one of them to be the bishop of our local church. The weeks leading up to the ordination were sober as we wondered who would be chosen. It would be a big responsibility and change to who ever was ordained.

The day finally arrived and church seemed to drag on for the longest time. Finally after the last song was sung and the children were dismissed we all went outside and the doors were closed so that only the members would be there for the solemn event of voting and ordaining another preacher.

What seemed like a long time everyone came out of the church house and I could hardly wait to ask Mom and Daddy who the new preacher was. But when I saw Mom I could see that she was trying not to cry. On the way home they told us that Uncle John Henry was our new preacher.

I felt a little sorry for him but on the other hand I looked forward to hear him.

Several weeks later he preached his first sermon. It was really good and I looked forward to the next time it was his turn to preach.

A year or so later they ordained a bishop, chosen from the three preachers. Once again the lot fell on John Henry. I was happy to know my uncle would be performing all the important events. I still had several years to wait until I was old enough to be included in any of them but it was comforting to know once I was old enough it would be one of my favorite uncles performing the ceremonies.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day, Mom.  I wish I could take a walk out to the woods and gather a bouquet of wild flowers and ferns for you like I used to years ago. You used to like them so much. You never stayed in bed long enough that we could fix breakfast for you, but you were the happiest when you were taking care of your family.

Thank-you Mom for everything that you did for me. You gave me a love for so many things in life. You taught me the importance of family. You always made sure Daddy and us children's plates were filled before you filled your plate. You were always looking for ways to make things nice for your family. Even when we were really poor we never heard you complain as you improvised and kept us all happy and healthy.

You were there with Daddy helping and supporting him as he started a woodworking business so he could be at home with his growing family. It was your encouragement and positive outlook that helped him make his dreams of having a large successful business come true.

Thank-you Mom for teaching me how to work and enjoy what I'm doing. Thank-you for giving me a love for singing. Sometimes when I close my eyes I can still hear your sweet voice as you sang while working. I miss the way we used to sit in the sewing room during the winter and spend hours singing, sewing and visiting.

Thank-you for spending all your time with us whether it was working or playing. You never had any hobbies. The joy of your life was your family.

Thank-you for teaching me how to skip. I remember how fun it was holding your hand and skipping through our new house to go make the beds every morning after breakfast.

Thank-you Mom for everything. I love and miss you so much! Happy Mothers Day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Winner

 Time to draw the winner of the book, "Success Made Simple" by Erik Wesner.

I had lots of fun reading all your comments and seeing that I am not the only one that doesn't class roses as my favorite flower. Don't get me wrong. I do love roses and have enjoyed the few bouquets I have received over the years. One particular rose holds a special place in my heart. It was a sweet little thing, a lovely shade of yellow with a few pink streaks because a little boy had grafted it onto a deep pink rosebush. That rose and the day I received it will have to have their own little blog post someday. But right now let's head over to and see who our winner is.......

Shana said...

I think my favourite flowers are cherry blossoms! What a wonderful prize. :)

Congratulations Shana! Please email your address to me by Monday and I will get your book shipped to you.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tables Turned

I find it a little amusing how our children get all excited when ever they see a horse and buggy drive down the road. And what is even more amusing I always have to pause what I'm doing and watch them drive by.

It was only several years ago when we were the ones sitting inside the buggy instead of creeping behind them in a vehicle waiting for a safe place to pass.

And when the opportunity presented itself I had to take this picture, and naturally once I had taken it I felt the need to share it with you.

Since we were raised in a community where tractors (with steel wheels) were used for farming for everything except planting corn, seeing a team of horses was quite rare. And since Daddy had a wood working shop instead of a farm the only horses I was around until after we got married were our buggy horses.

 I really don't mind that the tables have turned and that I no longer am the one in the buggy. I will continue to admire the horses and enjoy the content happy expressions of the children inside those buggies. But I will watch for a safe place to pass and smile and wave at them as I do so.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Another Giveaway

Time for another giveaway!

I am giving all of you another chance to win a copy of the book "Success Made Simple" by Erik Wesner  For anyone interested to learn more about the Amish approach to the business world and other interesting facts about the Amish I would recommend this book.

To enter all you have to do is leave a comment and tell me what is your favorite flower. I like so many and for so many different reasons that I have a hard time saying a certain flower is my favorite. However, I think I have to say violets claim first place for me.

To be entered twice put a link to this giveaway on your blog and then come back and leave a separate comment telling me you did.

I will draw a winner using Random Generator on Friday the 7th.