Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Are you comfortable with silence? If you're home alone, do you like silence or do you need regular background noise? Do you seek out times and places to be silent? What's your favorite place to find silence/be silent?

I have learned to be comfortable with silence. It used to bother me when meeting new people and I didn't know what to say. Any silence was cringe worthy, but thankfully I got over that.

Complete silence is really rare in our house. There's always the fridge running in the background, and now that it's colder the furnace produces a continual noise.

There is a place I love to go to be silent. I don't get to go very often, but if you need a spot to sort out thoughts or simply soak in the beauty of nature and ponder on the greatness of God I know the perfect spot to do that. If I shared my favorite quiet spot others might start seeking it out as well and it wouldn't be quiet any longer.

2. October 28th is National Chocolate Day. Can't let that go by without a mention now, can we? Will you celebrate? How? Let's say you can have one of the following right this very minute... a cup of hot chocolate, a strawberry dipped in chocolate, a bowl of plain chocolate ice cream, or a slice of chocolate pie...what's your pleasure?

Sadly, I won't be celebrating.

If I could have any of the mentioned chocolate options I would go for a strawberry dipped in real milk chocolate, not the disgusting fake stuff that is often found in chocolate fountains.

3. How do you feel about blue jeans? Favorite thing in the world to wear or nope, don't own a single pair? How often do you wear blue jeans in a typical week? Do you own a blue jean jacket?

I'm more of a skirt kind of person.

I also don't own a blue jean jacket.

4. Are you superstitious? If so, in what way?

I am not superstitious at all, which is kind of surprising considering all the superstitions I was surrounded with while growing up.

Back in the day there were several I believed, and one in particular that gave me a bit of grief.

5. If you had to come up with a costume using only things you have on hand right now, what could you come up with?

The possibilities are endless considering all the fabrics and sewing supplies I have available. Since I don't have a lot of time for sewing I would probably just throw on one of my old Amish dresses and call it scary enough.

6. What scares you a little? What do you do when you feel scared?

Other than spiders, mice, and snakes? When I'm home alone in the dark and I hear some odd noises it always bothers me a little. I usually sing How Can I Fear and the truths of those lyrics always help.

7. Perhaps today will be the day I ______________________________.

Finally reach all the goals I set for myself this morning.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Another Christmas pageant practice tonight. I'm trying to think of something I could take along to work on while I wait for Sunbeam. I so detest handwork, but being surrounded by other moms happily crocheting, knitting, embroidery and  even fabric painting makes me think I could be doing something a little more creative with my time there than simply visiting and watching them get something done.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Clumsies

   This afternoon Rosebud was cringing about a particular clumsy, embarrassing, and yet funny thing that had happened. "I can't believe anyone else ever had to endure all that humiliation," she moaned. Which led to me assuring her, that yes, there are some people who have endured that much and a whole lot more and survived to now be able to laugh about it.
    As a teenager I used to be plagued with a certain talent of executing scenes of spectacular clumsiness.
    Like the time when I was seventeen. Mom and I had been canning peaches. I had just finished getting a new batch into the canner when a van load of visitors drove in.
    "Let them in while I wash my hands," Mom instructed me.
    On my way to the door I scooped up my baby brother. I opened the door to invite them in and as I stepped back I rolled my ankle and sank into a pretzeled heap onto the floor right in front of their politely amused stares.
     I wanted to disappear. I don't remember much of the rest of that day, but that part has been seared into my memory along with many other equally as embarrassing events.
     Things such as the first time I tried making a Thanksgiving meal for LV. Or the time I choked on a piece of lint during a wedding sermon about submissive wives. The first time LV and I had a long buggy ride together, alone, or several years later when I got to meet some of his extended family for the first time.
    Those and many more instances of awkward, cringe worthy clumsiness peppered my teenaged years.
     I'm not sure if hearing about them made Rosebud feel any better, but we both had a good laugh as I reminisced.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. October 21, 2015 is Back to the Future Day. Did you see the movie? The sequels? In the second film, Doc takes Marty into the future to prevent Marty's future son from making a mistake. They leave 1985 and land on a 'skyway' on October 21st, 2015. So tell us, what were you doing in the fall of 1985?

I have never seen the movie or any of the sequels

The fall of 1985 was kind of a big deal for me. It was my first year in school. I both loved and hated it. Books and learning were great, but recess and being expected to run and play with all the other children was too much. I became an expert at slipping away and hiding until the bell rang.

2.  If time travel were possible, would you want to go to the future? The past?

I wouldn't want to travel to the future.

The past ..... yes, if it meant there was a way to undo some things.

3. We're not flying cars, but some of the technology imagined in the 80's film has indeed come to pass in real life 2015-flat screen TVs on the wall, tablets, fingerprint recognition, video conferencing, online banking, 3-D movies, motion controlled video games, drone cameras, and smart glasses (Google glass).  Do you worry technology is growing at a rate so fast we'll soon be unable to keep up with it's demands? Do you think the Internet does more harm than good?

I don't spend a lot of time thinking about technology and even less worrying about it.

Whether or not the Internet does more harm than good I think depends a lot on what you do with it. As a family we have benefited from having the Internet.

4. Your favorite dish prepared in a slow-cooker? Your favorite fast food?

It's a toss up between cheesy potatoes and Swedish meatballs.

I mostly use my slow cooker to cook chicken to be used in other things such as chicken and dumplings.

I can't remember the last time we had fast food.
5. No time like the present, down time, face time, pressed for time, in the nick of time, make time, mark time, or just in time...which timely saying most relates to your life right now?

Down time .... what's that? It's been ages since I got to truly experience any down time.

Pressed for time seems to apply best to my life. There is so much I want to get accomplished every day, and there seems to never be enough time to get everything done.

6. Tell us about a place you went as a child or younger person that's no longer there or is now something else. How does that make you feel?

There used to be a little grocery store/ gas station in the middle of our little village. It was run by an old man. He had several rooms in the back where he lived so he was always there to take care of and help anyone that stopped in.

When he passed away his children didn't want to know anything about the store and it got torn down. All that remains at the site is a few trees.

7. Describe your comfort zone.

Home. Or is that too simple?

I'm somewhat of an introvert. I like people, but one on one time is so much better than large groups.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I love waking up to a hard frost. So pretty!


Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Few Things .....

.... I'm thankful for.
  • That summer is officially over. I don't do well with heat, so the welcome crisp, cool days of fall are something I really, really enjoy.
  • For good friends, they mean more to me than I can tell.
  • An alarm clock that actually works. The one I used to detest finally quit working, and after several days of not waking up on time, it's actually nice having a dependable alarm clock again.
  • Books. As a family of bookworms, I am so thankful for all the quality books available to read and the authors that have taken the time to write them.
  • A son who has bravely stepped up to take care of the mice that had been terrifying his mother.
  • Family. I could get all mushy here, but truly I am so grateful every single day for the life I have been allowed to experience with those I love the most. It's not the material things that matter in this life, it's the people. We have experienced, still are experiencing this truth.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What's something that has recently 'tried your patience'?

Standing in line at the grocery checkout. With more than a dozen lanes that could be in use it is frustrating when only three or four are open and each one backed up way too far to be healthy for the amount of patience I possess.

2. Do you think patience comes to us naturally or is it something you have to learn as you grow? On a scale of 1-10 generally how patient are you? (1=I blow up at the drop of a hat and 10=I've got all the time in the world).

I think some people have an easier time being patient than others, but I also think it is something you can learn as you grow. I know I have become more patient than I used to be.

On the scale of 1-10 I'm probably around a seven or eight.

3. Share about a time when you felt like you could fly. Or a time you wished you could fly. Or a time you felt like you were flying.

When I was younger, watching an eagle or a hawk flying effortlessly through the sky always made me wish I could do the same.

4. Your favorite song with the word fly in the title or lyrics, or your favorite song that relates to flying in some way?

I'll Fly Away

5. What's in your fall picnic basket and where are we picnicking in your neck of the woods this time of year?

Nothing is in my fall picnic basket. It's too cold for me to even think about sitting outside to eat. I must admit I love having that as an excuse to stay indoors. Picnics aren't my thing.

6.  Carpentry, electrical, plumbing, landscaping...which skill would you most like to possess and how would you put that skill to use today?

I think landscaping could be very enjoyable and satisfying, but of those the one I would like to use today is plumbing. Someone did some plumbing for us recently and did a perfectly horrible job. We'll have to get it redone, this time by someone who knows what they're doing.

7. What's something you think is too expensive to justify buying lately?

Brisket, lamb, and other choice cuts of meat.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day on Sunday so we decided it would be a good time to go visit the Flight 93 Memorial. Hundreds upon hundreds of other people had the same idea. The place was packed which made a somber place feel almost suffocating.

Friday, October 9, 2015

An Ark

Last evening we drove past the rusted framework of an oddly shaped structure with a faded sign stuck next to it declaring that Noah's ark is being rebuilt here. I have no idea when that project got started, but judging by the rate of progress they're making on it, not only did they want to rebuild the ark, apparently they also wanted to take 120 years to do it.

For some reason it got me thinking of some conversations my Mom and I had when I was a teenager.

It was a beautiful fall day, the leaves were gorgeous, the skies were bright blue, and I should have been feeling all energetic and happy the way beautiful fall days usually made me feel.

Instead I was feeling totally the opposite of happy. I was doing the ironing while Mom was doing the mending and I was still fuming about what had gone down at the member's meeting at church the day before.

She agreed with my assessment of everything, but then she said, "The church is like an ark, the members like the animals. In order for all those animals to get on the ark and live together peacefully they had to lay down their own wills, desires, and their very nature."

Then she asked me. "Which do you think had to change the most to get on that ark, the sheep or the lion?"

I found the analogy annoying, because I certainly wasn't feeling much like a sheep that day.

It's one of the talks though, that I remember most clearly and have thought about most often in various situations since then.

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Today I'm feeling thankful for all the firewood that has been stacked neatly in our porch basement, and the big pile of coal next to it.

We're ready for the winter winds and snow. Knowing that we have plenty of wood and coal to keep us warm until spring is always one of the best feelings of fall.


My grandparents used to own a sawmill and every fall we would haul load after load of slab wood home and toss it on a huge pile where it would season until the next fall when we would load it on a cart and haul it to the basement where my brothers and I would unload and stack it.

It was one of my favorite fall activities then, and there is still something about stacking firewood that I really enjoy.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

 1. It's October so let's get this out there first thing...have you jumped on the all-things-pumpkin bandwagon? How so?

No. Though I do enjoy a lot of different pumpkin desserts. Things such as my Mom's Pumpkin Pie, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin pudding.

Growing up Amish I never realized how pumpkin related things were considered fall related. Sure we canned our pumpkin in the fall, but we used it year round with no special time to have an extra focus on it.

Strawberries though ..... now that was something seasonal because only in June could we enjoy fresh strawberries and all the delicious things to make with them.

2.  "We have more power than will; and it is often by way of excuse to ourselves that we fancy things are impossible." Francois Duc De la Rochefoucauld  

What's something you once thought impossible, but in hindsight see as more a matter of lack of will?

I don't know. The word impossible doesn't really have room in my vocabulary.

3. The rose is America's National Flower, but every state also has its own (click here to see the list). Are you happy with yours? If you were in charge what would you declare your state's flower? If you're outside the U.S. what bloom would you like to see labeled as your country's national flower?

I am happy with our state flower. It's not my favorite flower by any means, but I do think it was chosen wisely.

4. What have you lost interest in recently?

Again I don't know. My areas of interest keep growing rather than diminishing. There are things such as sewing and baking I don't do nearly as much as I used to, but it's not because I've lost an interest. With two daughters who love baking I hardly ever get the chance to bake anything, and since we no longer make all our own clothes, sewing doesn't happen nearly as much either.

5. In your opinion, who's the best living musician?

There are so many, but one of my favorites is Kathryn Scott

6. S'mores-love 'em or no? Ever make them indoors? Last time you sat around an outdoor fire? Are making s'mores and sitting round a fire pit on your autumn bucket list? Do you have an autumn bucket list?

I have only had one once, and I loved it. The last time I sat around an open fire was two years ago when we were visiting friends. Sitting around a fire pit is no where near being on my autumn bucket list. I don't really have an autumn bucket list.

7. Your favorite small town? Why?

My favorite small town is the town we live closest to. It's picture perfect especially during the winter when it could easily qualify as the picture for the front of a Christmas card.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Christmas pageant practice begins tonight. This year only Sunbeam qualifies for the age/grade bracket. She's excited, I'm feeling mixed emotions. How did we get to be old enough to have children too old to be part of the church Christmas pageant? Sniff, sniff.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

From the Bookshelf

   One of my favorite books when I was a young girl and one that our children now love as well, is the Old Squires Farm by C.A. Stephens. It's about six cousins that went to live with their grandparents in Maine, after the civil war had wrought sad havoc on their families.
     It's excellent as a read aloud since each chapter focuses on its own adventure the children had experienced. Stories of things like Grandma's dreaded vermifuge bottle she brought out when ever someone wasn't feeling quite right, and how they came up with a plan to make it bearable, which worked until the visiting minister arrived.
    A sleepwalking incident that went horribly, and yet hilariously wrong. A particularly cantankerous bull, a giant sled they built, how they had convinced a stranger to practice shearing sheep until Grandpa discovered what they were doing, and many, many more delightful tales of what life was like back in the 1800's.
    It holds a special place in our home library as one of the books that gets read and reread.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Driving to School

One of LV's memories.
  The year I was in seventh grade, my sister Lydia, was the teacher at our school. Most mornings she would walk to school early in order to have the schoolhouse nice and warm before the students arrived and work on checking books and making lesson plans.
   I would walk to school later and get there just as it was time for school to begin.
   On the days it rained we used to drive to school together.
   The first day it rained that school year Dad told my oldest brother to go hitch up the horse and then I could drive to school.
    Mervin brought the horse out to the buggy shed and opened the big sliding door. He hitched the horse to the buggy and then stood aside as I hopped into the driver's side and Lydia climbed in beside me.
   I lifted the reins and clucked "giddy-up" to the horse. He started out, but unfortunately Mervin hadn't opened the sliding door quite wide enough and the buggy wheel caught as we drove out. It lifted the door up and out before it crashed back down against the shed, making a terrific banging noise which scared the horse. He started running at top speed and we went flying down the long bumpy driveway.
    I tried pulling back on the reins to slow him down, but it made no difference. Lydia grabbed the one rein from me while I clung to the other and we both pulled on them as hard as we could, bracing our feet against the dashboard and yelling "Whoa, whoa!" on top of our lungs.
   It was then that we discovered that Mervin had forgotten to fasten the reins and we were sitting helpless in this runaway buggy. We were swaying side to side crazily and I knew it was only a little while before the buggy would dump over as we hurtled around another corner on two wheels.
    Somehow our horse must have decided that he was far enough away from that dreadful noise, and he slowed down. We managed to get him to stop.
     After collecting our thoughts we got the reins fastened properly and continued on our way to school. After a scare like that I'm still surprised Lydia was able to be ready to calmly start her day of teaching when it was time for school to start.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thankful Thursday

It's October already?!! Someone please tell me how this year has flown by so fast.
Our church begins its Christmas pageant practice next week and to keep things a little more balanced I thought I'd do a weekly post on something that I'm thankful for until Thanksgiving.

Today I'm thankful for all the rain we have been getting the past few days. Our waterfall had been entirely dried up, but it's back to normal now.