Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Only a few feet from our back door there is a fence. Directly on the other side of this fence there seems to be an entire different world. For starters there is a very steep hill, there are trees, under brush, mayapples, and all sorts of plants.
Wildlife doesn't seem to mind that all this is so close to a house and we have spotted everything from bobcats and deer to the more common squirrels, raccoons, rabbits, and of course plenty of birds.
Yesterday there was a deer hanging out there for quite a while.

A Canada goose was wandering through our yard. I think I spot a band on its leg.
I love living in the country!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Plain Buggies ~ Giveaway

Recently while browsing through a store I came upon their display of Amish related books. The title Plain Buggies seemed to jump out at me, curious where they found enough material about buggies to fill a book of this size I paged through it a little bit and was hooked.
With lots of beautiful photos and loads of interesting information about the ninety plus different buggy styles and how they are used it kept me intrigued enough to keep turning pages until I had read almost the entire book.
At one place where they were talking about open buggies they included this: (often offensively called a "courting buggy" by outsiders) I couldn't help but smile when I read that. Having people call them courting buggies never offended me even though that is not what the Amish call them.
I found the book very entertaining and informative. And because I like it so well I decided to give you an opportunity to get a copy.
If you would like a chance to win a copy of Plain Buggies simply leave a comment telling me what vehicle you used to ride in most often when you were six years old.
As usual if you would like a second entry place a link to this giveaway on your blog or Facebook and then come back and tell me you did.
I will be choosing a winner on June 1st using my friend, the Random Generator.

Giveaway is now closed and a winner has been chosen.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Yesterday was an Amish holiday, and the last one they will be observing until Thanksgiving.

These two groups of cousins passed our house on their way to a nearby hiking trail. They don't get to walk on it on Sundays, and during the week they're much too busy to take time to go walking. So spring holidays are always put to good use.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

 1. May is National Blood Pressure Month...what sends yours soaring, either literally or figuratively? What calms you down? When did you last have your bp checked?

Bad drivers and the subject of politics both get it soaring. Being at home and not paying attention to politics works best at keeping me calm and happy.  The last time I had my blood pressure checked was a little over a year ago.

2. You just found $1-what do you spend it on? How about 10$ 100?

If I found $1 I would probably stuff it in my wallet and save until I had enough others to actually buy something.

$10 would be added to our grocery budget for some kind of food to enhance our menu, probably Portobello mushrooms and bell peppers.

$100 would go towards things for the children, like art supplies or other fun extras.

3. Mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) food has been proposed, but not enacted in the US. How much attention do you give food labels before you buy? Are you in favor of labeling if it means an increase in food prices? Is this an issue you've been following and feel strongly about, or is this the first you've heard of the controversy?

I think they should let the consumers know what they are eating. I pay some attention to labels, but already have brands that I know I like so I don't spend a lot of time in stores reading everything before it lands in my cart.
4. May 15th marks the birthdate of Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz. At this point in time, are you more in need of brains, courage, heart, or a trip back home? Explain.

I could use all four. Ever since I learned the alphabet at two years old I have been on a constant quest of learning. I'm hoping to be feeding my brain for the rest of my life.

Courage is something I feel needs to be renewed in me every so often. Things can look scary sometimes and I can't help but be concerned about what the future may hold and the things my children might be faced with. I am then reminded of who holds the future and cares even more for my children than I do, and with that I find renewed courage to face life with a smile.

Being a mother I need a heart soft enough to give my children all the love and attention they need and yet firm enough to help them grow a strong character.

A trip back home sounds so great. I haven't been able to visit my family in years. And even if I could it wouldn't really feel like home since they moved and with no memories attached to the place they live now it's hard to think of it as home.

I also don't like driving past the house where I grew up. The current owners have not been kind to it and it actually hurts to see it like it is now.

5. "There's no place like home" is an oft repeated line from Baum's book. When was the last time you felt the truth of that statement?

When ever we go on a trip, or even just part of a day I'm always so glad to get back home. To us it is the happiest place on earth and there is no place I would rather be.

6.  Steak...yes please or no thank you? What cut do you prefer and how do you like yours cooked? Sauce or no sauce? Besides your own kitchen, where's a place you like to go to get a great steak?

No, thank you. I would much rather enjoy seafood or poultry or even liver. Steak is at the very bottom of the list of meats for me. I would rather skip meat altogether than have to eat steak.

7. When was the last time you were in a genuine hurry?

The last time I was in a genuine hurry was one evening last week when we were going to see a spring program at our church.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

While we were getting ready to leave the house for that spring program I slipped into my shoe and felt a piercing pain in one of my toes. I quickly removed my foot and out tumbled a yellow jacket.

I have bad reactions to being stung and was concerned my evening was going to be ruined. I remembered how a few weeks ago a friend was here and had used Melaleuca oil on her son when he had been hurt.

After putting a few drops on the sting site, we left. In only a few minutes the pain was gone and there were no other reactions to having been stung.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Amish Buggies in My Life

  As far back as I can remember my parents always had three buggies. A little open buggy that was used when Daddy needed to go somewhere alone or with one or two of us children riding along, the top buggy that was used for the family its springs had been damaged the day it had tipped over and from then on always leaned a little toward the left, and then the spring wagon which was basically an Amish version of a pickup truck. A single seat at the front and a long bed to haul things. We also enjoyed using it on warm Sundays to go on a drive. With Mom and Daddy on the seat and folded blankets in the back for us to sit on we enjoyed many Sunday afternoons exploring back roads.

As the family grew we no longer all fit into the two seated top buggy and it was time for a new one. Daddy went to the local buggy shop to order it. Which happened to belong to LV's Dad.

I still remember the excitement of having a new buggy that now had three seats. That didn't last very long though because of the way the seats were situated. The two back seats were sideways and we used to have to sit facing each other with interlocking knees. I was glad once John was old enough for his own horse and buggy and we no longer had to ride in the back of our parents buggy.

Saturdays we would often have to wash the buggy. The wheel spokes had to be washed carefully until they were sparkling clean. Every little speck of dirt and mud seemed to like to stick hard. But even worse was scrubbing the sides. The vinyl or as some people called it: oilcloth, seemed to be a dirt magnet and we had to scrub every speck out of all the crevices with brushes.

The dash had added dirt that had been flung back by the horse's hooves. Plus clinging horse hair.

Once my brothers had their own buggies they liked waxing afterwards even though it meant that the whole thing had to be done again if it rained.

My Grandpa Mast used to call his top buggy a surrey. And his spring wagon a buckboard or a durban.

LV started building his buggy only a few weeks before we were married. Up until then he had used his parents little top buggy. I was sad to see it go to his oldest nephew when we left the Amish even though I like our mode of transportation better now.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


The winner for this year's Sew Mama Sew giveaway is.......
Comment # 117
Abbigail said.........
I'm in western Ky and it's a great rainy day! Everything is greening up and flowers are blooming!
Congratulations! Please send me an email with your address and I'll get your things in the mail.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Random Bits

I'm loving the beautiful spring greens. And Buddy loves spending time outside. Hard to believe they're asking for more snow soon.

We went to see Emma and her children over the weekend. While we were there this tree fascinated me with its green flowers. It was the first time I ever saw one like it and am now wondering what kind of tree it is.
I was recently talking with some Amish friends and the subject of Hutterites came up. My friends were saying how they fascinate them, but they simply can't agree with how they allow their teens to go out and try out the world before they decide whether or not they want to become members.
I told them that the general public thinks the Amish do that and have even labeled it as rumspringa. They were totally flabbergasted that anyone would think Amish parents would encourage something like that.
We both got a chuckle at how all our years of rumspringa we had no idea that there were people having such misconceptions of what that period of time is in an Amish person's life.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

I was greeted this morning to another cold foggy day. The perfect kind of day to open my sewing machine. I love sewing and doing various other craft-y things.  Today also happens to be the Sew Mama Sew giveaway day and I'm participating in it again.
This time I'm giving away a brand new copy of a quilting book Rich Traditions I love the detailed instructions included for each quilt and the pages of patterns and templates in the back.
I'm also including 2/3 yard of cute Precious Moments fabric.
To enter all you have to do is leave a comment telling me how the weather is outside your door this morning.
International entries welcome. Giveaway ends on May 10th. I'll be consulting Random Generator  to choose a winner and announce it on Saturday May 11th.

Giveaway is now closed and a winner has been chosen.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Day Late Hodgepodge

1.  This week's Hodgepodge is Volume 123.  What's something you've done recently that was as easy as 1-2-3?

After weeks of trying and failing I finally figured out how to use Word to create things I had only been able to dream of for the longest time. Since I understand it I find it easy as 1-2-3 and wonder why it took me so long to learn how to utilize all the options I had.

 2.  The Wednesday Hodgepodge also happens to fall on the first day of May ...what is something you may do this month? 

I may build some containers to do a little gardening. I love growing my own food and miss having a nice big garden.

 3. The Englishman Horace Walpole is credited as saying, "The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think"  How do you see it?

A combination of both, I suppose.

 4.  May is National Hamburger often do you eat a burger? What are your must-haves when it comes to burgers?  I assume you vegetarians won't be celebrating so tell us what you'd like instead?

We have burgers once a week. I like making ours in the oven instead of on a grill. I have never learning to like that grilled taste. I like cheese and onions with mine. The rest of the family likes ketchup and mustard as well. Occasionally we enjoy a combination of sautéed mushrooms, garlic, and bell peppers.

 5. Pansies, petunias, geraniums, impatiens...of the four mentioned, which is your favorite in a patio pot? Will there be pots on your patio this spring? (Or whenever spring comes to your part of the globe?) Who does the gardening at your house?

I love wave petunias. Impatiens are also a favorite. There probably won't be any pots on our porch this spring. I do most of the gardening outdoors. However if it weren't for LV my houseplants would have a hard time surviving.

 6. When did you last (literally or figuratively) shout "Mayday, Mayday!"

I can't think of any recent instances that I had to shout for help.

 7.  Say farewell to your April in ten words or less. 

All your showers are helping produce lovely May flowers.

 8.  Insert your own random thought here.

The best meal I ever had was at a local seafood place. It started with this giant platter of appetizers. And was followed with blue crab stuffed ravioli.
Too bad birthdays only happen once a year!