Monday, February 28, 2011

Scentsy Winner

I wish I could give a Scentsy warmer and bar to all of you. Unfortunately there can only be one winner and after using the Random Generator thingie this is the number it chose.

The winner is lucky number 11.
Laura said......
liked on facebook

Congratulations Laura! Please email me with your address so the warmer and your choice of Scentsy bar can be mailed to you.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Scentsy Giveaway

I love candles, all types of candles. Every shape, size, and color. Scents are important though and when I heard about Scentsy wickless candles I was immediately interested. Safer than an open flame and the scents they have to offer are really great.

So today I'm giving away this Scentsy plug-in warmer.

And one Scentsy bar of your choice of scent. 

To enter all you have to do is go here and choose which Scentsy bar you would like to have if you would happen to be the winner and then come back and leave a comment telling me which one you like best.

For two more entries put a link to this giveaway on your blog or Facebook and come back to and leave a comment for each entry.

For an additional five entries like this Scentsy Facebook page. Then come back and leave five comments, one for each entry.

That gives you a total eight entries. But please make sure you leave a seperate comment for each entry in order for it to count.

I will be choosing the winner on Monday February 28th using

Giveaway is now closed and a winner chosen.

Disclaimer: Scentsy has no clue I exist but my cousin and I would love for you to have a chance to experience the pleasure of these candles.

Friday, February 25, 2011


LV's parents were still planning to move before too long and I was really looking forward to the day when LV and I could finally be alone without having to worry that his mother would be popping into our living quarters unannounced at her slightest whim. I was tired of having to bake bread for her while she sat and read The Budget or wrote letters. I was tired of having her inspect all the milking equipment after I had washed it. I was tired of the constant pressure I felt of trying to be perfect and not get the frowning disapproval of his mother at her son's scatter brained young bride. I tried to convince myself it wasn't as bad as it felt but was having a really hard time.

And then the day came when LV and I had to go to Somerset to take care of having my name changed and do some grocery shopping and getting the last few things I needed for my kitchen. It was late afternoon by the time we got home and there was a big van setting outside the house. Not wanting to have to barge through all of their visitors we asked our driver to back up to the basement door where we unloaded everything. most of it could wait in the basement until their visitors had left. We each took several bags and headed upstairs. His mother and several women were working at the kitchen sink with their backs turned toward us. We hurried through the living room where the men were sitting visiting and headed up to our cozy little home.

I quickly put the groceries away and fixed a little something for us to eat before LV had to go start feeding the cows. Going to our bedroom I wanted to change my clothes and then go to the barn with LV. I had nothing that needed to be done in the house and looked forward to spending a little extra time with him. I removed my covering and cape and apron and laid them on the bed. I was in the process of getting into my everyday dress when I heard a whole bunch of footsteps coming up the stairs and his mother talking. I clutched my dress to myself and darted into the closet sliding the door shut behind me.

I listened as she gave the women a tour of our living room while giving her opinion of my tastes of what I thought was homey. I could hardly believe my ears when I heard the roll top desk being opened as she was showing them what a nice desk LV's grandpa had given him. And then the closet in our living room where they admired a few things I had resting on the shelf.

The bedroom door opened and I held the closet door shut as hard as I could as they entered. "You'd think with as little as she has to do she could at least take care of her clothes instead of just throwing them on the bed." she continued. By now I was furious as I continued to hold the closet door shut. She couldn't get it open when she tried. I wondered what she would do if my hand slipped and the door opened and everyone would see me undressed. It was too awful to imagine and I was relieved when she gave up and went to show them the kitchen.

LV was still sitting at the table finishing up a piece of pie. "I didn't know you were at home already!" came her surprised remark. "I realized that," came LV's cold reply. I had never heard his voice like that before and was thrilled to know he didn't think his mother's actions were okay.

The tour was ended and my kitchen cupboards weren't snooped into that day as they hurried back downstairs. LV came to see if I was okay. And together we went to do the chores. Both of us glad it wouldn't be long before days like this would be history.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I didn't have very many options to make meals those first several weeks before we got to go grocery shopping. Mom and Daddy had given us several boxes filled with food and LV's parents had given us a few quarts of canned goods. But there was still a lot of other things that I needed.

After surveying my meager supplies one evening and not wanting to make mashed potatoes and green beans again I happened to remember the meat pockets we used to make. I opened a can of hamburger and crumbled it into a bowl shredded the last bit of cheese that my parents had given and mixed it together. I made a batch of pie dough and then created a lot of little halfmoons filled with the meat filling. I was pleased with the results and placing them on my new teflon cookie sheet I popped them into the oven. Once they were done baking I would remove the oven from the top of the stove and make hamburger gravy to spoon over the meat pockets.

When LV came in we sat at the table to enjoy our meal. The pockets were beautifully flaky and I was feeling quite pleased until we took a bite. They tasted beyond horrible and worse than anything I had ever tried eating before. They didn't taste like food but more like teflon.

Since we couldn't eat it I didn't have much choice but make another bowl of mashed potatoes. It always took quite a while to prepare a meal on a kerosene stove since the flames were so far away from the pots. It was late before we had eaten and got everything cleared away. The meat pockets were still on the table waiting to be taken care of.

Looking out the window I saw Teddy, our Border Collie pup laying on the grass. I opened the window and dumped them out. He could have something extra to eat tonight.

The next morning after we were done with the milking and I was headed for the house I happened to see all of the meat pockets laying in the yard right under his parents bedroom window. I was afraid they would get up at any minute and see them laying there and hurriedly gathered them all up and took them out to the barn and tossed them on the manure spreader.

I hoped that I would be able to start making good meals soon. So far they had been pretty bland and boring.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

First Time Laundry Adventures

Doing the laundry was going great with only clothes for two people instead of a big family. I was pinning everything to the clothes line enjoying the beautiful spring weather. I tried to make sure everything was fastened securely because of the wind. I had thought I was used to wind but had not been prepared for the wind that constantly swept across the farm.

The light weight laundry basket was setting on the grass next to me. Teddy, the half grown Border Collie pup seemed to enjoy watching me as he lay on the grass next to the clothes line post. Pinning another piece on the line I wasn't too happy when an extra gust of wind sent my laundry basket rolling across the yard scattering clothes as it went. I ran after it trying to gather everything up but every time I almost reached the run away items another gust would come along and whisk them out of my reach again. Teddy apparently thought this looked like a fun game and went chasing after clothes as well and caught an article of clothing and went running for the barn with it.

I chased after him horrified that he had to choose that particular piece and knowing that my father-in-law was in the barn. I was preparing to be more embarrassed than I had ever been when he paused and I was able to get it away from him. I went to gather up the remaining laundry and the basket that were now caught in the blueberry bushes behind the house. Taking everything back to the basement I rinsed them before hanging them outside to dry. This time I used a five gallon pail in hopes that it wouldn't blow away as easily.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Learning to be a Farmers Wife

The afternoon was spent getting  everything in order and by evening I was happy with our cozy little home. The only problem was I had to walk through the house when ever I needed something in the refrigerator or go outside but worst of all there was only one bath tub which was right outside his parents bedroom door with the lock on the wrong side of the door for me. I was glad we would only have to live like this for several weeks.

LV had told me he would be ready for me to come out to the barn around four where he would teach me how to assemble the milking equipment which would be my job everyday. I kept an eye on the clock and made sure I was ready a little before four. He patiently explained all the confusing hoses and parts that had to be assembled correctly before we could milk the cows. I wasn't sure how long it was going to take me to remember everything but determined to do my best.

Once everything was ready we carried the pails with the milkers attached on top over to the barn. The cows looked huge compared to the sweet little Jersey I had been used to. LV walked along telling me all the cows names until my head felt dizzy as I tried to store all the information.

Going to the end of the rows we set the pails down. He showed me how to prepare each cow before we could attach the milkers and then swung one of the pails in and set it beside a cow. The long hose that I had attached and coiled around the lid and handles had to be uncoiled and attached to a little valve. The lever was turned and immediately the milkers started pulsating. LV showed me how to put the milker on the cow. Handing me the next pail he told me to put it on the next cow. I tried stepping over the gutter and swinging the pail down next to the cow just like he had. Once the milker was pulsating I started feeling a little bit pleased, squatting down next to the cow to attach the milker things stopped going as well. The milker was determined to not stay where it belonged and fell clumsily to the ground and started sucking straw from the floor as fast as it could. I felt like a huge doofus as LV had to take it apart and clean it before we could continue.

He was a patient teacher and by the time the chores were done I had mastered the proper technique of handling milkers and was starting to enjoy it. All that was left for me to do was take everything apart and wash it really well and then go into the house to make supper while LV finished up the chores.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Giveaway Winner

My favorite color has been blue for a long time, and it appears that I'm not the only one. With over half of the entries choosing blue as their favorite as well.  The Random Generator didn't know anything about color preferences and chose comment number .........

47 .....

Nimble Nancy said ........
Blue is my favorite color as well.

Congratulations Nancy! Please send me your address so your book can be mailed to you.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Review and Giveaway

Fellow blogger, Saloma Furlong asked me if I would be interested in doing a review and giveaway for her book on my blog. After consenting she sent several books tucked inside the sweetest home made fabric gift bags.

Saloma writes about her experience of growing up in a dysfunctional family, in a community that seemed to turn a blind eye to the suffering of her and her family. She writes with raw honesty about what led to her eventual breaking free and escaping the life that had held her captive for so long.

I have always been aware that there are vast differences between  Amish communities and after reading her book I was reminded how thankful I can be to have been raised in a home and community where I did not have to be afraid of having bad things happen to me.

If you would like to have a chance to read her memoir leave a comment telling me which color you like best, blue or red.

You can visit her blog to read more about her and her life or order her book.

I will be choosing a winner using on Monday February 21st.

Giveaway is now closed and a winner has been chosen.

Disclaimer: Saloma has given me an autographed copy of her book and another one to give to one of my readers.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Right after breakfast on that Monday morning LV ran across the fields to go bring his tractor and one of the hay wagons to load all of my things on to take to our home. I helped Mom clean the breakfast dishes away for one last time and then went to my room to make sure that everything had been taken care of.

It felt funny as I stood there and looked at my room and realized I could no longer call it mine. The delicate blue walls would silently keep all my happy girlhood memories. I got my shawl and bonnet from the shelf in the closet and went back downstairs.

It wasn't long before LV came with the tractor and wagon and everyone helped load. Once everything was loaded. I climbed up onto the tractor to sit on the fender while LV drove. Mom and Daddy and the boys would come in the buggy to help get everything unloaded and settled in.

We would have to live in the upstairs of the house until LV's parents moved to Missouri several weeks later. They had turned one of the bedrooms into a kitchen complete with running water and built shelves in the closet for my pantry. I would have to use the same refrigerator that his mother did on the sunporch.

Grandpa Masts had loaned us a small two burner stove with a separate oven that could be lifted on and off when ever I wanted to bake something.
Another larger bedroom was turned into a living room. We had purchased a sofa and recliner already and with LV's roll top desk and my sewing machine and an old buffet it looked quite inviting. Mom helped get some things unpacked to make it look more homey and then we concentrated on the kitchen. Most of the dishes were unpacked and put away as well as my pantry filled before it was time for them to leave.

Mom was blinking back tears as she said good-bye and added that she hopes I'll still remember to come visit them sometimes.  It really seemed to soak in then that life would never be the same again. This would be my home now and I could only visit my parents from now on.

I didn't have time to feel sad about it for more than a few minutes. It was time to make lunch and I would get to try out using my own things to prepare a meal for my husband.  Husband, I loved that word and was sure that I could get used to this new life easily.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

After the Wedding

The next morning when we got up we weren't too enthused to discover everyone else was eating breakfast already. We slipped quietly out the back door and went to the showroom to start cleaning dishes away. Entering the showroom we were pleasantly surprised to see that all of the dishes had been washed already. There was still plenty of other things to do so we got right to work.

When the others came out to start cleaning up they were surprised to see us there. We smiled and refused to tell them what time we got up.

One by one vans stopped in with aunts, uncles, and cousins to tell us good-bye before they started their long trips home. They all came to shake hands with LV and me. I felt self conscious as everyone had to tell me how they thought I looked wearing a white head covering instead of the black one I had worn up until that day. I was almost relieved when most of them left and we could concentrate on sorting all the dishes.

Once all the dishes were sorted Daddy took them back to the homes where they belonged while LV and I went to open the rest of our gifts. Grandma Swarey and the aunts and uncles from Canada were still there and sat to watch and visit until it was time to go catch the bus.

One package after the next contained mixing bowls of every shape and size. By the time we were done I had 83 mixing bowls. I knew I would never need all of them so after I selected the few that I thought I would like the best we packed the rest into boxes. Maybe someday I would re-gift them but for now they would be stored in the attic as soon as we settled in our home.  There were lots of other gifts as well and I had nearly everything I would need for my kitchen.

The rest of the day was spent packing all my things and piling them in the sewing room so they would be ready to be moved to my new home bright and early on Monday morning.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Last summer when I looked out the kitchen window this is what I saw.

We enjoyed watching a pair of Canada geese raise their family. When fall came they didn't bother flying south and have been around all winter. I admired their bravery since there has been plenty of snow and cold weather. They didn't seem to mind though since they had each other.

This morning that changed. After hearing a gun really close to the house we looked out the window just in time to see one of the geese tumble out of the sky. The hunter stood there triumphantly while his dog went to pick it up and carry it to him.

If he had only asked for permission to hunt we could have told him that we liked having a pair of geese and looked forward to seeing them raise another family this summer. That won't be possible now, and how do you comfort a bereaved goose? 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Our Wedding ~ Part Six

After everyone was seated someone announced the first song and everyone joined in singing except for the bridal party. We sat and listened and visited with each other and kept an eye on the clock. A few minutes before the required two hours of singing were over LV asked one of the hostlers to announce and lead the hymn that would serve as a prayer before we started to eat.

As soon as it was sung LV's married siblings started serving everyone with a meal equally as big as the previous one had been. We had special food served to us again as well. Half way through our meal one of LV's brothers came with two cups filled with tomato juice and set them next to our plates and told us we would not be allowed to leave the table until the cups were empty. He knew LV despised all things tomato. When he wasn't looking LV opened the window behind us and dumped both of them out.

A little before we were done Uncle Eli Petersheim came to get the wedding cake. He and aunt Mattie would cut it and wrap pieces to give to all the cooks and table waiters. Eli and Mattie had always been very special to me, being some of the happiest people I knew of, and I had wanted then to have the honor of taking care of the cake.

Once everyone was done eating the young folks waited expectantly for LV to bow his head for silent prayer. It would be the first time he would be the one to signal the beginning and end of the prayer.

As everyone rose from the table to get ready to go home. LV and I went to get the gifts that we had purchased to give to everyone that had helped with the work on our special day.

As people drove away we surveyed all the dirty dishes. They could wait to be taken care of until the next day. All the cousins planned to spend all night visiting and playing games in the showroom. I knew from past experiences what great fun that would be, but we weren't single any longer and would not be joining in.

Our wedding day was over but we had the rest of our life to look forward to. Together.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Our Wedding ~ Part Five

It felt great being able to get back into the house and away from all the slow church songs that the uncles kept singing.  LV and I had to get sheets of paper ready with all the youth girls names on it so the boys could pick who they wanted to take to the table that evening.

We had just finished writing the names down when the first buggies with young folks  started arriving. LV handed the sheets to our hostlers and they went outside to where the boys were all hoping to be there early enough in hopes they would get to escort the girl they wanted to.

The girls came into the house to place their gifts on the table that was already overflowing with gifts. It simply couldn't hold anymore and they began piling on the floor around the table. It felt a little different to have all my friends coming by and everyone seemed a little uncomfortable not really knowing what to say other than smile in my general direction and then visit with whom ever was standing next to them.

Uncle Ezra came up the stairs and asked me if we have any white medical tape that he really needs some. I told him we don't but we do have bandaids. He said that would work and after I found a bandaid for him he left.

A little later he appeared with a huge barn broom and leaned it against the pile of gifts. Taped neatly to the handle was the bandaid where he had written "From Uncle Ezra"  I tried to suppress the laughter that wanted to bubble out, at that sight. Good old uncle Ezra, no one else would have thought to use a bandaid.

Someone announced that the boys were coming in already and all the girls went into the living room to wait until their name was called to be paired up with one of the boys. The boys piled their hats on a shelf in the sewing room and then stood waiting until the hostlers called their names.

LV's cousin Wilmer and my cousin Nathan were the hostlers and took turns calling one of the girls names. She would walk up to them where they told her who wanted to escort her. After she said yes they walked over to the sewing room door and called the boys name and together they walked into our big kitchen to watch and wait until everyone was paired up.

Once everyone was paired up one of LV's married brothers came to tell everyone in what order to go out to the showroom to eat. Table waiters, cousins, and steadies would go first and in that order. The rest could come however they liked to. We headed back downstairs and out to the showroom where the next two hours would be spent singing. This time nice songs. It seemed hard to believe that our wedding day was almost over already.

To be continued

According to the dictionary hostlers are men who care for horses for other people. I was surprised to know we used to use an English word for that. At Amish weddings two or three hostlers take care of the horses for the bridal party. Since we didn't drive to church they didn't have to worry about horses but they still played an important role of getting all the boys and girls paired up for an evening of singing and eating.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Our Wedding ~ Part Four

As soon as the last notes of a wedding hymn faded we rose and walked to the little room where I quickly got my shawl and bonnet and then we started walking home. We tried to hurry in order to get there before the guests started arriving.

Several vans passed us before we got home but we were safely inside the house by the time the buggies started arriving. Daddy had set up numerous makeshift hitching places for people to tie their horses and they started filling up fast.

Our big diningroom table was piling up equally as fast with gifts. LV and I started opening them until Daddy came to tell us that it was time to go eat. Walking down through the basement and then out through the snow we entered the showroom where tables were set with the prettiest china we could find. We sat on the chairs we had placed for us and watched as Daddy started directing guests to their seats. The bishop and ministers were seated first. Usually they sat directly opposite of the bridal party but I couldn't bear the thought of having them directly in front of us and so we had made sure that there were no plates or benches across the table from us.

Daddy wheeled Grandpa in on his wheelchair and let him sit next to the bishop and closest to us. I was happy that Grandpa got to sit there. Somehow it made it seem extra special.

Once everyone was seated the bishop announced that it was time for prayer. The happy noise of talking and laughter ceased as everyone bowed their heads. Raising his head it seemed to have a domino effect as people raised there heads and started talking again.

Table waiters started bringing bowls of steaming food to be passed around the table. We had our own special server to take care of us and two special cooks who had prepared our favorite foods. But I wasn't hungry at all. Once everyone was done eating the table waiters quickly cleared the tables while the guests remained seated and Daddy and several of the uncles passed out songbooks.

For the next several hours we had to sit there and listen to them sing. How I wished I could we could get up and go back to the house but there were enough uncles and visitors from different communities who each wanted to sing their favorite church wedding songs the way they did in their community. They were sitting  in a place that blocked our discreet escape and we had no choice but staying seated. Church songs were fine in church but pure agony anywhere else.

Trying to tune them out we sat and visited with our attendants and hostlers until finally after several hours we had an opening and were able to leave the table leaving the men to continue their singing for as long as the wanted to.

To be continued

Friday, February 11, 2011

Our Wedding ~ Part Three

Getting up from the bench where we were sitting, we walked up to stand in front of the bishop. This was the moment we had been waiting for, for so long. The packed church house seemed to disappear and it was as if only LV and I were there ready to be married.

 He asked LV if he believed that it was God's plan to have me for his wife. LV answered "Yes."  Turning to me he asked "And do you believe that it is God's plan for you to have LV as a husband. I didn't doubt it for an instant and was happy to answer yes.

Turning to LV he asked. "Can you promise to take care of your wife in sickness and in health, in good days and in bad, in a way that a Christian husband should. After LV answered, "Yes." He again turned to me and asked the same question.

He then asked both of us if we promise to love and cherish each other until our loving God parts us in death. We both answered yes.

Asking the rest of the church to stand he read a short wedding prayer. As everyone was sitting down he reached for both of our right hands. Clasping them together he covered them with his own hands and said. "May the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob bless you richly, today and for the rest of your life. I now pronounce you man and wife."

We turned to go back to our seats while the bishop read a short scripture about what was expected from a husband and wife. He then sat down and asked for the rest of the ministers to add any thoughts they had. I couldn't fully concentrate on what they were saying being filled with nearly overwhelming happiness. While they were giving words of encouragement and advice, Daddy and a few other men got up and went out to hitch up the horses. It was time for the cooks and table waiters to go get everything ready for the reception.

To be continued

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Our Wedding ~ Part Two

The door to the little room opened and the bishop followed by the rest of the ministers came in. They shook our hands solemnly and then sat on a bench in front of the window. The bishop started by asked if anything had changed since one of the ministers had come to talk to us before they had announced our engagement.

We both told them that no, we hadn't done anything. I'm not sure what I was expecting them to talk about, maybe some good godly advice on how to start a home or something. But instead, what I heard made me feel like getting up and walking out I was more than a little bit indignant and embarrassed by all the things they were saying. Trying not to gag we managed to suffer through almost an hour of listening to them.

We both sighed with relief when they dismissed us and we could go to the adjoining room where our attendants were waiting. We were still too traumatized to feel like talking to anyone so we simply sat there and  waited until we heard the third song being announced. We all got ready to enter the church house once they started singing the third line. John and LV's cousin Rhoda would go first, LV and I followed them and then LV's cousin Timothy and his girlfriend.

As the third line started John opened the door and we walked in and sat on the bench that had been reserved for us in front of the ministers .

LV's Dad got up to preach the first sermon, He didn't really preach, basically he only told Bible stories starting with the garden of Eden and then how Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac. Once he was done every one knelt for a short silent prayer. LV's uncle read a short scripture and then it was the bishop's (my uncle John Henry) turn to preach. I had always loved listening to his sermons and today was no different as he preached about Jacob and how he worked for fourteen years for his wives, Boaz and Ruth, and several other examples of marriages.

In the middle of his sermon someone drove up to the church house with Grandpa Mast. They wheeled him in on his wheel chair and parked it next to the bench where we were sitting. I was so happy to see that he was able to be there.

At twelve o'clock John Henry said if we would still like to get married we can rise and come stand before him.

To be continued

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Our Wedding ~ Part One

We got up early that Thursday morning. There were still last minute things that needed to be done. Everything had to be perfect and the beds all made with their brand new bed spreads. Before long some of Mom's cousins from Oakland MD arrived. They would be taking care of all the food while everyone else was at the wedding.

While Mom told them about everything that needed to be done I went to get dressed. As I pinned my white cape and apron over my blue dress I couldn't help but think that this would be the last time I would be wearing white. I had always enjoyed wearing a white cape and apron to go to church during the months between spring and fall communion.

Once we were ready it was time to go to church. The rest would come later but the bridal party needed to be there at least an hour before anyone else. We had opted to not use the three seated buggy to go to church like they did at most weddings. We would walk instead.  There were dirty snow banks beside the road and the roads themselves were still dirty from all the salt and sand that had been sprinkled on them that winter. I hoped the passing traffic wouldn't send showers of dirt over our clothes.

Once we arrived at church we practiced walking to the front bench were we would be sitting and made sure that we could all stand up and sit down at the same time. Now there was nothing left to do but wait until church started.

We closed the doors to the little room we were sitting in so no one would see who was having part at our wedding until it was time to go into the main room.  LV and I sat by the window and watched as the guests began to arrive. Buggy after buggy drove in the lane and up to the porch to drop the women and girls off. As they drove past the window they would wave and smile. Vans started coming filled with aunts, uncles, and cousins from other communities. I had never seen so many people at our church before and they were running out of room to park.

A little before nine o'clock the bishop (my uncle) and ministers started walking towards the church house. It seemed different to see Daddy and my little brothers walk right behind the ministers but they wanted to sit on the front bench where they could see well.

As a long line of men followed we noticed that a few men were heading back out to the barn, Before long they returned with backless benches. They had run out of room for everyone to sit. Finally even those benches were filled and there was now standing room only. Once everyone was inside the church house the bishop announced that it was time to start services.

The song leader announced the first song and started singing. Little shivers ran up and down my spine as everyone else joined in to sing. I got up and walked to the adjoining small room and closed the door so the table waiters and our attendants could stay there until it was time to make our entrance.

As they left LV closed the door between the two little rooms and then sitting on chairs we waited for the next line of the song to begin when the ministers would come in to join us and talk to us. I had always wondered what they talked about on the morning of weddings and was now about to find out.

To be continued

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Final Wedding Preparations

Our large showroom had to be emptied of all the furniture. We stacked everything carefully into our finishing room and locked the doors. Hanging a closed sign outside it was time to set up all the tables for the wedding reception. 

Once all the tables were set up we cover them in tablecloths and started setting them with pretty china that we had borrowed from my aunts and uncles. The bridal corner was set with my wedding china and we carefully placed our new chairs behind the table for us to sit on. Everyone else could sit on wooden backless benches but we would have something comfortable.

In the basement we had other tables set up with rows and rows of pie, cake, and pudding waiting to be served the next day. LV and I worked together baking the big wedding cake that would be standing in the corner in front of us. After the cake had cooled we got to frost it. There were no decorations allowed so we simply swirled the frosting to make it look pretty and felt satisfied.

A lot of aunts, uncles, and cousins started arriving from other communities and things started feeling crowded and a little overwhelming. Mom told me to go ahead and enjoy my last day as a single girl that she had enough help to get everything done.

Heading upstairs to my room my cousins and I enjoyed one last gab fest.

When evening came they left, leaving only our family and LV. His mother had sent his specially made new wedding suit over and we decided to have him try it on to make sure it fits.

Slipping into the suit coat we were both horrified at how it fit. The sleeves were much too short and it was big and baggy. Frankly the worst suit coat I had ever seen. There wasn't anything that could be done about the sleeves but I could try to make that it wasn't as baggy. For the next several hours I worked on trying to make that coat fit better. Once I was done it was much better but still far from what we would have liked.

Hanging it into the closet it was time for bed. Morning would be here before we knew it and I didn't want to look tired and frustrated on my wedding day.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Reading about all your favorite pie made me hungry! Many of the ones I really enjoy were mentioned. It's great to know I'm in such good company. I may now have to see if I can bake a few this afternoon.

Using the random generator thingie the winner has been chosen. Congratulations go to:
Number 24

Gina said .............
My favorite pie is Coconut Cream.

Congratulations Gina! Please email me with your address and I will get the book shipped to you. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Ah, The Pineapple Quilt.  The one book that I used to read several times a year. I still enjoy sitting down and spending time with Nancy Martin as she spends a year working for a family in a neighboring church district. The lady she works for doesn't make things very easy at times but at the other end of the house lives Mommy (Grandma) and her Pineapple Quilt. Join Nancy as she grows in her faith and learns some very valuable life lessons.

Reading this book also introduced me to the yummy Montgomery Pie that I had to try after reading about Nancy's efforts in baking them. They are good and I will share that recipe in a future post.

This is a true to life story in an Old Order Mennonite setting. Or what we used to call the horse and buggy Mennonites. Very similar to the Amish.

If you would like to have a copy of this book leave a comment telling me your favorite kind of pie.

If you would like a second entry blog about this giveaway then come back and leave another comment telling me you did.

I will choose a winner on Monday February 7 using Random generator.

Giveaway is now closed and the winner announced.  Thanks to everyone who entered!

Disclaimer:  The only compensation I receive from doing this giveaway is the warm happy feeling I get from knowing someone else will get to read one of my all time favorite books.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snowy Announcement

The following Sunday LV came to pick me up to go to a neighboring church district. John decided he would attend that church as well and took Fern and the little buggy. It was a grey morning with a hint of a possible snow storm on the way.

There was a reason we had picked this particular district to visit. It was the day my best friend Rachel was having her engagement announced. Her wedding would be only two days before ours. She had asked me to have a special part in her wedding and I was happy to accept.

After church was over and the engagement announced I watched as Rachel drove off with her boyfriend.  LV drove up soon and we left to go to a friends house for lunch. Soon after lunch it started snowing, big flakes that immediately started piling up amazingly fast.

We decided not to stay for the evening singing and start on our twelve mile home. The snow was already deep enough that our horse couldn't run. Walking slowly he kept pulling the buggy through the snow. We had the whole road to ourselves since there was a foot of snow and growing deeper by the minute. By the time we got home there was almost thirty inches of snow on the ground. LV stopped by the house to drop me off and I floundered my way into the house while he went out to the barn to unhitch the horse.

Our horse had longer legs than the one John had been driving. We were starting to be afraid that the snow may be too deep for even a a horse to get through and when he finally showed up over an hour later we were relieved.

I hoped the roads would be open by the next morning because we had to go meet the bus. Aunt Lydia and cousin Esther were coming to help with wedding preparations since Mom had broken her foot.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Growing up it was not uncommon to have visitors drop by unannounced and expect a place to eat and sleep. We didn't always have enough time or food on hand to prepare what we classed as a company meal.

Setting the table with our very best dishes was a way to dress up a common meal so that it still seemed special and everyone thought they were being served a delicious meal.

I recently debunked that theory when I tried to make octopus palatable by serving it on some good china.  Either I didn't try the right recipe or octopus is simply not made to be eaten.

Have you ever tried it?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Corn Bread

I am not a huge fan of corn bread at all. That is until I found this recipe. It isn't really like bread at all being more cake"y"  and solid and filled with things that more bland and boring corn bread is often missing.

Mexican Corn Bread

3 eggs
1 cup milk
1½ cup corn meal
½ cup vegetable oil
1-10 oz can Southwestern style corn
1 pod hot pepper (optional, can substitute with ½ tsp black pepper)
½ sweet green pepper chopped (again, optional)
1 tsp salt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix in order given, pour into 8x8 pan and bake at 425ยบ for 30-35 minutes.

I like serving it with refried beans. Simple, filling, and delicious!