Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fall Beauty

Day by day the trees are looking prettier and prettier.

Even a cloudy overcast day doesn't take away from the beauty that is fall when this was taken last week.

I don't often get the urge to jump out of a vehicle and walk up a road, but everything about this called me to do just that. This was taken yesterday. Judging by how fast the leaves are changing another week will be showing a lot of bare trees.

I love this time of year!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. It's fall. Y'all. My favorite season of the year! What's something you love to do this time of year that makes you feel it's officially fall? And unrelated to that, do you ever say-'y'all'?

Plan all the sewing/craft things I want to get done by spring. The list looks quite different from what it used to while I was growing up and it used to include thirty or more shirts, lots of pants, a few dresses, several coats and a Sunday suit or two for my brothers before we got to the more fun things like potholders and quilts.

I have been working on my list already for this winter, I'm getting excited! It includes no shirt, pants, or dresses. Though the girls each want a new skirt or two before we dive into the more fun things.

No, I never say y'all.

2. When did you last have a falling out with someone? Has it been resolved?

I can't think of a falling out I've had with anyone.

3. A song you love with the word 'fall' in it's title?

This is a rare occurrence, but my mind is drawing a complete blank. I can't think of a single song with the word fall in its title.

4. What's something you've recently let 'fall by the wayside?'

Keeping our storage room organized. It's so easy to simply tell one of the children to get or take something to the storage room, but they don't seem as worried about keeping things neat. I've been working on getting it back in shape, hopefully by tonight I'll have it conquered once more.

5. When did you last attend an event, read a book, watch a movie, try a new recipe, or visit a shop-town-tourist attraction that fell short of your expectations? In what way?

Yesterday. We found a bread recipe on Pinterest. It looked good, I had all the ingredients on hand, so we decided to give it a try. It was awful! Tasted like dusty peanut butter-y cardboard. I promptly removed the pin from my breads board and it now joins several others on my "Tried-FAIL" board.

I try tons of things I find on Pinterest. Thankfully the fails so far have been few.
6. Describe a time you said or thought, 'The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."

I find myself doing and saying things my mother used to. So I guess you could say I'm the apple that didn't fall too far from the tree.
7. Was today better than yesterday? Why or why not?

Today is only beginning. Yesterday was a good day, but if today is even better I'll be fine with that.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

With this being a fall themed Hodgepodge I can't think of a more fitting way to finish this post than sharing a few fall-sy pictures we took yesterday.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


"Fendu", pronounced fend you, is the Pennsylvania Dutch word for an auction.

Often when grandparents pass away the children and grandchildren will gather for a private fendu to sell all of their belongings. Each hoping to be able to take home a few treasured pieces, whether furniture, dishes, quilts, books, or toys.

This summer the fendu for my grandparents things was held at one of my aunts homes. All the Amish aunts, uncles, and cousins gathered for the occasion. We weren't informed about the event until it was over. We wouldn't have been able to go any way since it was during the time chicken pox were visiting our home. But I would have liked to be able to have a few things that used to belong to them.

My grandmother loved pretty things. She used to buy the most interesting and lovely toys for her grandchildren to play with, but then was so afraid they might make it look used and no longer as pretty as it used to be that she kept everything tucked away.

Most of her toys, not a single grandchild remembered ever seeing. Without fun memories attached to them, they were a lot less valuable. The few toys that we all used to play with brought a pretty penny as did all her beautiful dishes.

One of my cousins called to tell me all about the event told me how amazed they were at the amount of things Grandma used to have that no even knew about until that day. I was reminded that things are so temporal, and should be enjoyed now. When I die, I don't want my children discovering hoards of beautiful things for the very first time. I would rather have well worn, memory saturated things, than loads of meaningless things that the only memory attached to it would be that of someone who valued perfection too much.

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Visitor

A few days ago this thing came visiting. After being escorted a nice distance away it made its way back surprisingly fast and totally unsettled everyone involved.

Don't think the picture does this thing justice in just how icky it is.

Have you ever seen one like it, and do you know what it is? Would it turn into some type of exquisitely beautiful moth or butterfly? Or would it get even uglier?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Joyce, the creator of the Wednesday Hodgepodge is having a birthday this week so a question relating to aging feels appropriate. Douglas MacArthur is quoted as saying, 'You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair." Would you agree? If not why not?

I agree to a certain extent. The mind has a lot of power to keep you feeling young, but there are some things my body simply won't allow me to do that I used to when I was younger, no matter how young my mind is telling me I am.

2. What remarkable feat, interesting piece of trivia, or historical event occurred on your birth day and month? Not necessarily in your birthyear, just the same date/same month.

I'm going to go with the month rather than just the day.
  • The Pony Express service began.
  • Abraham Lincoln was shot.
  • The Titanic sank.
  • The midnight ride of Paul Revere occurred.
  • The Oklahoma land rush began.
  • George Washington became President.
3. Describe a time or circumstance where you wanted to 'have your cake and eat it too.'

Yesterday, when a lovely cake was made, but since I'm avoiding sugar I didn't have any.

4. What's something you do that makes you feel young? Something that makes you feel old?

Helping Buddy color in his coloring books always makes me feel young. Realizing just how old our children are, makes me feel old. In fact were we still Amish, Sailor would have graduated from school already.

5. When did you last do something that was 'a piece of cake'?

Rosebud and Sunbeam wanted to make an assortment of paper lanterns to hang in their room. I reached back into my memory of when we made them in art class in school. We successfully made them, and they turned out quite pretty.

6.  Beef, wine, and cheese all improve with age. What's something else you'd add to that list? (not necessarily food or beverage) 

Love, marriage.

Not saying it isn't great at the beginning, but it does keep getting better with age.

7. If Joyce were to have a giveaway when we hit Volume 200, what should she give away? By my calculations we'll hit Volume 200 on November 26th, the day before Thanksgiving, which means whoever wins would have whatever it is in time for Christmas.

Hmmm....... Maybe a journal and a book of journaling prompts. I'm thinking that would tie in nicely with the theme of the Hodgepodge.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Our new copy of the phone book arrived last week, and the very next day our elderly neighbor came over clutching his copy and wanting me to call this certain company to come make some repairs for him. He seemed agitated and irritated that he simply couldn't seem to get through.

I dialed the number given in the book, and oh horrors, no wonder he was having a hard time getting the repairman he wanted. There was a very unfortunate misprint in the phone book which led to a very undesirable x-rated content instead of the repairman he needed.

After googling for the right number we managed to get him the repairs he needed. I'm wondering how many other people will be traumatized by dialing that number, and if the company has any idea that their number has been printed wrong.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Apple Bars

There's a big old apple tree growing in the field behind the house. I have no idea where it comes from or what kind of apples it produces, though I would like to think it's a descendent of one of the trees Johnny Appleseed started.

It yields the most beautiful, big, juicy apples that taste different than any other apples I have ever eaten. Totally delicious, and worth the effort to go pick them before the cows eat all the ones that drop.

With an abundance of apples on hand we decided to try some new apple recipes. It paid off and we now have a new family favorite. One that I know we'll be making often.

Apple Bars

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice

Mix well until nice and crumbly. Press half of it into bottom of a 9x13 pan and bake at 325 for 10 minutes. Set remaining crumb mixture aside while you make the filling and the crust is baking.


1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 egg
2 cups apples, shredded (about 2 apples)

Mix all together and spread evenly over crumb crust as soon as you remove it from the oven. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture on top and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. On Thursday we pause to remember a dark day in history-9/11. Will you mark it in some special way?

We won't be doing anything special on Thursday, except maybe say a few extra prayers.

2. Do you ever/still...listen to an actual radio? Watch a videotape (VCR)? Look up a number in a phonebook? Refer to a paper map while traveling? Set an alarm on an alarm clock as opposed to your phone?

We don't have a radio in the house, but will occasionally listen when we travel. We don't have a VCR or any videotapes. We just got a new phone book in the mail yesterday, but since Buddy grew out of his phase of ripping pages out of phone books I really don't know what I will be doing with it, since we never use it to look up phone numbers. We do still use a paper map when traveling, though a GPS also lends its advice occasionally. We don't trust the thing 100% though and won't go traveling without a road atlas. I don't have a cell phone and still use an alarm clock. It let me down a few days ago, but with a set of new batteries it's back to its regular obnoxiously loud morning wake up songs.

3.  Is it ever a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don't know?

Most of the time, no. I try to steer away from those two topics even when around people I do know.

4. What's a dish you haven't eaten all summer, but come September find yourself craving? Have you made it yet this month?

Can't think of any. I do still want to make a Baked Alaska and a Croquembouche sometime this year, more so for the challenge of completing it successfully, than actually eating it.

5. What's something you know nothing about?

Flying an airplane. Performing surgery. Training a lion. A whole host of other things that I really don't mind that I know nothing about.

6. September is Classical Music Month. Do you like classical music? If so, what's your favorite piece?

Yawn, no thanks. I prefer to not to be hopelessly bored or sleepy when listening to music.

7. What's the oldest thing you own?

Probably a clock that used to belong to LV's grandparents. It's big, and when moving into our house we tried to find a spot for it, but where ever we tried it simply didn't work. The poor thing has been tucked into the attic until we find a place for it that actually works.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

It's foggy and cold outside. The perfect day to begin our fall and winter sewing and crafts. Up first make a pretty apron.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday's Random

My alarm clock looks sweet and gentle, but its looks are deceiving. Every morning at 4:20 it turns into this over the top loud singing monster with annoying flashing lights, and then to top it off it shrieks "Good morning," at me when I turn it off.

This morning it woke me quite differently though. At 5:00 I was awakened to its weary and somewhat garbled voice saying, "Good morning, good morning, good morning." I leaped out of bed and hurried to get breakfast ready for LV and he managed to head for work only two minutes later than usual in spite of me not getting up at the usual time.

I'll have to change the batteries today,and see if I can get my annoyingly obnoxious alarm clock back to its usual self for tomorrow morning.


We don't have a garden, but Sailor did plant half a dozen tomato plants in a little plot. So far we have picked three tomatoes, and the way it looks that will be about the bulk of the crop. This area is seeing a horrible blight this summer and any tomatoes that actually ripen properly are a treat rather than the norm.


LV had to get a new phone this week end after the one he had simply didn't work any longer and garbled voices so badly that having conversations were basically hopeless.

A new phone should be fun, but we were wondering if anyone knows how, or if it's even possible to transfer text messages from an old phone to your new one?

LV would love to be able to keep the last text conversation he had with his brother before he died in a work related accident two years ago.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1.  What's something you wanted to do this summer that you never got around to actually doing?

We had plans to go swimming and visiting the library every week, but the chicken pox, cool weather, and being reduced to a one vehicle family effectively put a damper on those plans.

2. Share a favorite memory of your own back -to-school days as a child.

I really loved school, and as soon as Mom would buy our back to school supplies I would organize them in the bag I planned to use to carry them to school on the first day. Nearly every day after that I'd get everything back out to touch it, look at it, and dream of the wonderful year of school I was going to have.

Mom used to sew new school clothes for us and send them to Grandma for her to hand sew the button holes on them. She did the most beautiful buttonholes, but she always waited until just a few days before school started to bring the finished clothes. Once I had my new dress hanging in my closet ready to go I could almost taste the new school year.

The little dirt road we walked to school on used to have scads of Black Eyed Susan's growing beside it. I always made a point to gather a bouquet to present to my teacher on the first day.

3.  What's one chore or daily task you prefer doing 'old-school' ?

As much as I love my computer, I still prefer the feel of a good pen in my hand and a nice tablet to write in. I have a three ring binder that I always keep close to jot any ideas that pop into my head. Whether it's for a book I want to write, blog ideas, menu plans, school plans, goals, and a whole host of other things that end up being written down.

I have several other notebooks I use for specific things, like keeping track of books I read and enjoyed, Bible study, quotes I like, things the children say that make me laugh and I don't want to forget, and more. I enjoy flipping through all the notebooks I'm currently filling, and the ones that have been filled already. In fact just the other day I came across the list of things I wrote to myself of do's and don'ts to remember if I ever become a mother-in-law or Grandma. I wrote those 14 years ago, but they're still good, and hopefully I'll be able to follow my own advice once I get to that point in my life.

4.  Share something you've learned in life through the 'school of hard knocks'.

I have learned to trust God. For someone who likes things to go a certain way, this lesson took a while to learn. Thankfully now even when things don't go "my" way, I don't get all worked up like I would have years ago.

5.  As a child, did you mostly bring or buy your lunch for school? What was your favorite thing to find in your lunchbox?

We always brought our lunch to school. My favorite thing to find was when Mom would tuck in a little treat for us, like half a candy bar. It happened maybe two or three times a year. Mostly we had very boring school lunches. A sandwich made with homemade bread and a fried egg, and a little bowl of peaches, occasionally we'd also have a cookie or half of a banana.

6. Football season is upon us which has me wondering... how big of a sports fan are you (not just football) ? On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being 'I scream at the players through my television screen' and 1 being 'is knitting a sport?' where do you fall in fandom? 

Football is not my thing, but I am a big fan of baseball, falling in at probably a level 8 or 9.

7. Share a favorite quote you think might inspire students of all ages at the start of a new school year

Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Outside my window only a few yards from the house is a cow pasture. In it is a musical cow. Most cows have simple moos, in varying degrees of volume and length, but moos nevertheless. This cow however is in a league of its own. I can't even begin to count how many times I have been startled by this noise, that I then realize is coming from a cow. It could almost sound like she was trying to sing an Amish church song in a very cow-y voice.