Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Survived Sandy ~ Hodgepodge

1. What creeps you out?

Quite a lot of things, unfortunately. Besides the obvious mice, spiders, snakes, and bats there is also a list of other things that I find creepy and gives me the shivers.

Detailed medical talk gives me the shivers. My brothers used to love talking about kneecaps to send me running the other direction. In fact the talk they had with LV before we got married instead of a brotherly warning to be good to their sister they informed him to talk about kneecaps if he ever wants me to be quiet or needs some space. Ack!

2. What's your least favorite candy?

My least favorite is a homemade candy made with mashed potatoes mixed with powdered sugar until they were stiff and then rolled out and spread with some type of peanut butter concotion before being rolled up and sliced.

We made them every year for Christmas because they were my Aunt Vernie's favorites.

3. Are you a fan of scary movies? What's the scariest movie you've ever seen?

I'm far, far away from being a fan of scary movies. The scariest movie I have seen was Jeepers Creepers. I only watched a little bit and went to find something better to do.

4. What part of life confuses you the most?

I know that all things work together for good to them that love the Lord, but at the same time I sometimes wonder why 'good' people have so much pain and suffering in their life and some 'not good' people seem to have everything going their way.

5. Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, poppy...what's your favorite seed?

I'm not sure I have a favorite. I really like sunflower seeds especially when seasoned and toasted like we used to do while I was growing up. We used to get them in twenty-five pound boxes and spend several days toasting them to perfection and kept a jar on the counter top where we helped ourselves when ever the munchies attacked between meals.

We used to keep seeds from our pumpkins and dried and toasted them as well. It was fun gathering at the table evenings after supper and work on shelling them while Mom read to us.

I love lemon poppy seed bread. And poppy seed chicken and dressing.

Sesame seeds are also used in our house. Last summer we spent some time in Charleston SC. While there we visited the straw market and someone was giving out samples of benne wafers. I loved them but thought they were a little pricey. after walking farther into the market we came to a booth where they were selling spices. Among their ware were packets of benne seeds. I got some with the intentions of going home and googling for a recipe to make my own benne wafers.

My search for the recipe revealed that benne seeds are also called sesame seeds.

6. Imagine your life ten years from today...what's changed?

The children will be trying out their wings. I will have learned some new cooking techniques. And there will be a generator in the garage waiting to be used during power outages.

7. What do you a) love the most and b) like the least about the Hodgepodge?

I enjoy answering all the questions. A fun blogging prompt for me and after posting I enjoy reading all the answers from the others who joined the hodgepodge. A fun way to learn more about our bloggy friends.

My least favorite part is .......... hmm I'm drawing a blank on that.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

After quite a lot of rain from Sandy it turned to a heavy wet snow which somehow managed to cling to absolutely everything inspite of the wind. That of-course resulted in downed trees and power lines.

Our power went off on Monday and finally came back sometime during the night last night. Thankfully we have a nice coal furnace in the basement that provided toasty heat. We had filled a lot of containers with water which we used at an alarming rate.

We filled bowls with snow and brought them indoors to melt and use to wash dishes. The contents of the refrigerator were nestled into the snow drifts outside the back door to stay cold.

While I was eagerly looking forward to having our power restored the children thought it was all a grand adventure

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fun Debates

After watching three presidential debates and hearing all the talk of elections where ever we go it shouldn't have come as much of a surprise when I overheard the children having their own debate.

Thankfully I had a notepad and pen nearby and I was able to record most of it and decided to share the highlights with you.

Sailor: When I'm elected president I promise to get the people of the United States to smile more. The way I will do that is:

 #1 There will be no more school books.

#2 Everyone can go camping when ever they want to.

#3 I'll teach every one how to sing.

#4 All roads will be paved.

Rosebud:  This is why you shouldn't be president. Why would you be so heartless and take away school books when a lot of children enjoy learning. If you take them away I won't be smiling.

# 2 I don't want to go camping and have to sleep outdoors when I have a perfectly comfortable bed in the house or cook over a campfire when I can use a stove.

#3 I'll help you teach people how to sing. That would be fun.

#4 Paved roads are a good thing but they need to remember to keep fixing the potholes.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

99th Edition

Joyce, from This Side of the Pond has been faithfully preparing a list of questions every week where any one who wants to can join the fun and answer them on their own blog. Today is the 99th edition of what we know as the Wednesday Hodgepodge. The number 99 made her think of the song '99 bottles of beer' which led to the first question.

1. So, do you like beer?
No. I have never even had the tiniest sip of beer or the tiniest desire to have a sip but I can't imagine I would like it.

I was almost twenty five before I had my first taste of an alcoholic drink.

In Somerset County the Amish use grape juice at communion and when we moved I had not stopped to think how a lot of other Amish churches use real wine until my sip from the communion cup was burning a trail down my throat and I had the nasty taste of spoiled grapes in my mouth.

2. What's your least favorite repetitive task?
Folding laundry.

3. When was the last time you rode a bus? Where was it headed?
The last time I rode in a bus was seven years ago when we traveled to Pennsylvania by Greyhound. None of us enjoyed the experience. The bus was crowded and we had to hold the children the whole way even though we had bought tickets to make that we won't have to. It was hot and if the bus had air conditioning it wasn't working where we were sitting.

We love traveling but doing it by bus is not for us.

4. What song from your childhood or from your own children's childhood could make a parent's nerves stand on end?
Macaroni.  Ack! The children had a CD with funny little children's songs on it and they loved the Macaroni song and played it over and over until I conveniently lost the CD. Even so they still loved singing it for the longest time. I still hear them singing it occasionally.

5. The US Presidential election cycle is drawing to a close (can I get an AMEN??), and the third and final debate was held Monday night...what was the last thing you 'debated about'?

Something I was debating was whether or not I want to go buy several yards of fabric to make a little Amish dress someone ordered or use what I have on hand. My sewing machine might make that decision for me since it hates sewing what I have and insists on skipping stitches.
6. Can a person make too much money? How much is too much?
No, you can't make too much money as long as it has been made honestly.
There are so many good things you can do for other people when there is plenty of money. I would love to be able to help people more!

7. Pop-soda-coke-something else...what's it called where you live?
We call it pop in our area. Not a huge fan though. About the only time I have one is on the rare occasion when we enjoy one of Auntie Anne's soft pretzels and have a Coke to go with it.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

The reviews for Life with Lily keep trickling in and I'm so happy and very honored how it reminds a lot of people of an Amish version of the Little House series.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hodgepodge Time

1. Noah Webster was born this week back in 1758....besides the online version, do you own a dictionary? Do you ever use the hardback copy or is your hunt for a definition strictly online these days?

We still use our hardback dictionaries the most and they still maintain their same spot of  importance on top of our roll top desk as they have since the day we got them soon after we were married.

2. Should public schools ban Halloween celebrations? What about other holiday celebrations currently under fire?

I personally don't care if they ban it or not.

3. What's your favorite 'dog' movie?

Where the Red Fern Grows We also have Old Yeller waiting to be watched but unless the ending is different from the book I'm not sure I want to watch it.

4. When were you last somewhere you'd describe as 'too quiet'?

The last time something was 'too quiet' was when I went to the DMV. Not a fan of that place. Everyone seems too quiet and stern.

5. Are you a neat cook or a messy cook? In other words do you clean as you go or make a big mess and then deal with it later?

Most of the time I clean as I go unless I'm in a big hurry.

6. Did you hear about Felix Baumgartner, the skydiver who broke the sound barrier via parachute? Was your first thought COOL! or was your first thought CRAZY! Are you adventurous?

My first thought was crazy! I'm not all that adventurous even amusement park rides aren't my cup of tea, though I have thought regular skydiving could be fun. Two of my friends went skydiving recently and their description of the experience made me want to try it too someday. I really don't see that ever happening though.

7. What's not a word but should be?

Twangled, is a word Sunbeam invented several years ago to describe how she was feeling a mixture of happy, excited, and a little bit scared. Our family still uses the word.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I enjoyed the Life with Lily launch party Suzanne and I hosted last night on Facebook. I always enjoy making new friends and having lively discussions.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wal-Mart Adventures

Last week when it was time to go on our weekly grocery run we headed for our local Wal-Mart Supercenter. As much as I don't like admitting it, most of our grocery shopping occurs there. It never fails to be somewhat of an adventure.

The first obstacle we face is the droves of people exiting the building using the enter door. After weaving through them I smile and nod at the Wal-Mart greeter, while trying not to run over her with my cart since the person ahead of me has stopped suddenly to inspect some kind of Halloween decorations.

I need toothpaste which leads me into the bowels of the store where teens are loitering in the aisles on their cell phones and I get nervous that maybe my hair isn't just right or my blouse might have a stain from Buddy. I know it really isn't that bad but The People of Wal-Mart website has made me just a little paranoid and it's one of my life's missions to never appear on it.

I decide to pass the book display and feel thrilled to see Life with Lily.  Someone is browsing the Amish book selection and I contemplate offering to sign my book for her if she buys it but decide to let her shop in peace and walk on.

I head over to the grocery section and breathe a sigh of relief. It's filled mostly with moms trying to find food for their families. As I push the cart along Buddy is busy zipping my coat open and shut. I survey the cheese section and find jalapeno string cheese. I'm always looking for things to tuck into LV's lunch and thinking he will enjoy them I toss a pack into the cart.

The rest of my shopping passes uneventfully until I'm at the check out. The cashier swipes the cheese and her machine beeps wildly. It's a purchase that requires more identification to make sure I'm not under age. She calls for assistance and after looking me over they decide I'm old enough to enjoy the cheese.

I pay for my purchases and as I exit the store using the exit door a group of people enters. Half of them use the enter door and the other half uses the one I'm trying to use.
I arrive home safely and take a picture of the cheese that caused all the problems at the check out. The groceries are put away and as I relax I can't help but wonder what adventures await at Wal-Mart for me next week.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Anna M.  commented on a post where I had shared how I used to read late into the night using a flashlight.

What was an Amish girl doing with a flashlight?

Since Amish people don't use electricity most of them have far more flashlights than average Americans.

We used to keep at least one in each room. Every bedroom had one on the nightstand next to the bed. Cheap disposable flashlights were tucked under our pillows when we were children where they would be easy to find if we needed them.

We each got a really good one when we turned sixteen and joined the youth. They were essential in helping us find our coats and boots in the dark after hymn singings were over and finding our way to the correct buggy. Boys needed them to see to hitch up horses on Sunday evenings.

Basically any Amish home you go to once it's dark you will see flashlights being used.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. In what ways do you indulge yourself?

The only way I have been able to indulge myself for longer than I care to think has been chocolate and even that hasn't been often.

2. Have you ever taken a cooking class? Any interest? What type of class would you most like to try?

I have never taken a cooking class but, I would love to. If I could I would really enjoy going to culinary school as well as learn more about cake decorating.

3. What does it mean to be a good citizen?

Good citizens obey laws, are good neighbors, and take care of their little corner of the earth.

4. 'Tis the season of the political these ads influence your vote?
No, all these political ads do not influence my vote but, they successfully annoy me. Signs planted in yards, bumper stickers, and long Facebook rants don't sway me either.

5. What's something you see today that makes you wish you were a kid again?
There seems to be moments everyday when I think it would be fun to be a child again. Seeing our children carefree, living in the moment, the things that they get to enjoy including sleeping longer and their boundless energy all make me wish I wouldn't have been in such a hurry to grow up.

6. What's your least favorite cliche?

There are quite a few but one that has always bugged me was when some says, "Let me put a bug in your ear." 

Eww, no thank-you. I prefer keeping my ears bug free.

Also where did, "at the crack of dawn" come from?  So far in my life dawn has always arrived very quietly.

7. What percentage of your Christmas shopping has been completed? How does that make you feel?
A big fat 0%  Most years I would be making plans already and have some shopping done but this year Christmas seems to be the last thing on our minds. With so much sorrow in the family Christmas seems to have lost some of its appeal. Hopefully once the snows come we'll get into the spirit.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Buddy loves playing in the leaves when ever he has a chance.
Winter seems to be right around the corner though. It actually snowed very nicely on Monday with huge beautiful flakes. The ground was still warm enough that it melted almost immediately. I'm hoping for a few more weeks of autumn.

Monday, October 8, 2012


It's Monday morning and time to choose the winner for my giveaway.
With the help of the random generator the winner is.......
Comment # 106
Becky's Bouquet said ......
I shared on FB

Congratulations! Please send me an email with your address and I will get this mailed to you.

For all those still waiting for a copy of Life with Lily see sidebar for links where you can purchase it.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Showing we Care

     Anniversaries have a way of reminding us anew of big events we have experienced in our life and often allow us to relive the feelings of those days.
   Yesterday marked the one month anniversary that LV's brother Melvin died in a work related accident.  I called my sis-in-law and we visited for quite a while. In the course of conversation she mentioned how really hard life is with out Melvin. And how since the initial shock has worn off harsh reality seems to have settled in. Right now she is at the point where everyone else seems to have gone back to their normal life but, life for her and their eight children is anything except normal. Cards and letters have slowed to a trickle and she is feeling very alone.
    I'm turning to all of you today in hopes we can flood her mailbox with cards and words of encouragement. If  you are interested in sending her something send me an email at: ajoyfulnoise(at)live(dot)com and I will send her address to you. 
   Let's show her and the children we still care.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sharing a few Favorites ~ Giveaway

Giveaway is now closed and a winner has been chosen.
In celebration that Life with Lily has officially released I am having a fun giveaway of a few of my favorite things.

Included in the giveaway is a signed copy of Life with Lily, my favorite white rug made by my Aunt Emma, a pint of maple syrup made by LV's cousin from the beautiful sugar maple trees on their farm, and a pint of locally made apple butter.

To enter all you have to do is leave a comment telling me the first thing you see when you look behind you right now.  I checked right now and there is nothing behind me except light mauve flowered wall paper.

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

I will be choosing the winner with the help of random generator on Monday Oct. 8th.