Thursday, January 28, 2016

January Goals

I'm happy to report that we accomplished the goals we had set for January.

It was our first time trying to make eclairs, and while they were a bit time consuming we were pleased with the end results.

 We used this recipe.

Our craft goal for the month was making potholders.

After seventeen years of use, the ones I had made before we got married were simply worn out and in desperate need of being replaced. The girls had fun sewing them together while Buddy watched closely.

I sewed the binding on them while the girls created some pillows and scent sachets for their room.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Share a winter memory from your childhood.

Sifting through all my childhood winter memories I'm having a hard time to choose which one I want to focus on. As much as I loved playing in the snow and all the good times we used to have I think the thing I cherish the most from winter time as a child is how every evening once the dishes were done and the wood-box filled we would all gather in the kitchen and eat apples and popcorn while Mom read stories to us until it was time for bed. The hissing gas lamp, the heat from the cookstove, the sound of wind whistling through the pine trees and around the corners of the house, the sound of Mom's voice as she read several chapters from a book ...... happy sigh. If I close my eyes I can almost be transported back to one of those evenings.

2. What was on your blog this time last year? (Besides the Hodgepodge of course!) If you weren't blogging, what in the world were you doing with all that free time?

I didn't blog very often last January. I checked and it looks like the Hodgepodge was the main thing.

3. Ellen Goodman is quoted as saying, 'We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives...not looking for flaws, but for potential.' 

Do you see more flaws or more potential in your life at the start of a new year? Have you done anything specific this month to address either one? Does the new year truly begin for you on January 1, or is there some other month of the year that feels like a fresh start and new beginning?

We focus more on the potential instead of the flaws. It's much more encouraging that way.

4. Who's an athlete you admire or respect and why?

I honestly don't know. I don't know any of them well enough for that.

5. Do you like cream in your coffee? Whipped cream on your pumpkin pie? Cream cheese on a bagel? Sour cream on a baked potato? Cream of wheat for breakfast? Have you ever had a scone with clotted cream? Of all the creamy foods mentioned, which one sounds most appealing to you right this very minute?

I don't drink coffee. I like my pumpkin pie free of any whipped cream. Cream cheese on a bagel sounds good, but I don't eat bagels. Sour cream on a baked potato, yes, yes, yes! I love sour cream and eat it on a lot of things. I prefer using it on salad instead of other dressings. I don't like cream of wheat unless it has been allowed to get cold and thoroughly set, then sliced and fried until a crispy golden brown.

6. Where were you last kept waiting for 'hours on end'? Or for what felt like hours on end? How well did you cope?

Nothing comes to mind right now.

7. Believe it or not, when next week's Hodgepodge rolls around it will be February. Huh?!? Bid adieu here to January in seven words or less.

A good start to a new year.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

We enjoyed our snow. Sadly it has warmed up a lot since then and it has been melting fast.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1.  Speaking of skating...when did you last 'skate on thin ice', 'skate over the details', 'encounter a cheapskate', or just plain skate?

The subject of cheapskates came up this morning as LV and I were eating breakfast. We were thinking of some things we want to do before the big snowstorm gets here which involves stopping in at the new Aldi's in our area.

It brought to mind how when we were newly married. As in ... married for only a week someone came to see me saying that they will be going to an Aldi's 60 miles away and wondered if they could pick something up for us. (The Amish used to hire a driver and go to Aldi's maybe once or twice a year and stock up on a lot of things)

LV and I were planning to go shopping later that week so I asked for only a few boxes of cereal.

When she came to deliver our cereal she went ahead and charged me half the cost of the trip as well. It was the most expensive cereal we ever had, and I never accepted anything that sounded like a favor from her again.

2. What would you say is the biggest problem of people your age?
Balancing everything that needs to be done.

3. What's your favorite accessory? Is it something you wear every day, often, or only on special occasions?

A necklace. I wear it mostly for special occasions.

4. January 20th is National Cheese Lover's Day. Are you a lover of cheese? What's your favorite dish made with cheese? Last thing you ate that contained some kind of cheese? 

I love cheese. My favorite dish made with cheese is Chicken Enchiladas with a great queso sauce. I could eat it several times a week, but unfortunately that doesn't happen.
5. What's something guaranteed to make you roll your eyes?

Lame jokes usually make me roll my eyes even when I try not to.
6. Your favorite book series? 

I love the Anne of Green Gables series. I have no idea how often I have read them already.
7. Why did you choose your profession? 

Being a wife/ mother/homeschool teacher is the profession I love the most.

Being an author I chose because I have always loved writing, and there were so many things begging to be written.
8. Insert your own random thought here.

Winter is my favorite season. So far we haven't had much of a winter, but they say we're supposed to get quite a snowstorm later this week. Here's hoping they're right.


Friday, January 8, 2016


Good-morning everyone.

Today is the day that I chose the winner for Lydia's Bonnet. So without further ado let's hop right to it.

Comment number 9
Blank Empty said .........
Least favorite would be cleaning tough stains out of laundry....I always tell myself we should all start wearing more black! Haha Happy New Year and Thank You!-leilah
Congratulations! Please send me an email with your address and I will get the book mailed to you.
Reading all the comments about your most dreaded household chores made me feel as if I'm in good company. And now I'm off to do our weekly Saturday cleaning today. That way we won't have to do anything tomorrow when we have friends here for a visit.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Are you ready for new? Is 2016 likely to be very different than 2015? Do you want it to be?

I am ready for new. In some ways 2016 will be very different from 2015, and that makes me very happy. In other ways I'm hoping a lot of the things from 2015 will be carried over into our new year.

2. January 6th is National Technology Day. Currently, what is your single biggest struggle or frustration when it comes to technology?

Currently my biggest frustration with technology is that when I want to open a new tab in my browser it automatically takes it to my homepage instead of showing the most visited sites like it used to for years. I have tried everything I can think of to get rid of it, but nothing is working.

3. It's that time again...time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words (or phrases) they'd like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, and general uselessness) in 2016. You can read more about the decision making process here, but this year's top vote getters are-

So (at the start of every single sentence), conversation (as in hotly debated topics where we're invited to 'join the conversation'), problematic, stakeholder, price point, secret sauce, break the Internet, walk it back, presser, manspreading (common in larger cities where some men take up the entire bus or train seat by sitting wide), vape, giving me life (refers to anything that may excite a person or make them laugh), and physicality

Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you'd like to add?

Most of these don't bother me, and I am guilty of using "so" at the beginning of paragraphs when I change the subject in an email. I'll have to try to stop that, I guess.
4. Share one of your current health related goals.

Be more active.

5. Gray is currently a popular color in home decor, paint, wardrobes, hair, wedding party attire, and more. Are you a fan? Do you have the color in some variation in your home or wardrobe?  Gray hair, the old gray mare, gray matter, gray area...which gray idiom can you most relate to right now?

I like gray a lot. I have several different shades of gray skirts that I like wearing, but other than that there isn't much of anything gray in our home or wardrobes.

Gray hair is the idiom I most relate to right now.

6. Certain foods are considered 'lucky' if eaten on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. Cooked greens to bring economic fortune, black-eyed peas or lentils also symbolize money, pork which symbolizes progress, fish for good luck, and if you're in Spain 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. Did you eat any lucky foods on the first day of the year? Is that a tradition in your home? Of the foods listed, which most appeals to you?

We don't have any food traditions for New Year's.

Of the foods listed the fish and pork sound the best to me. I like grapes as well, but not at midnight.

7. What's the single biggest time waster in your life and what, if anything, will you do about it this year?

Probably Facebook. I have been backing away from it some, and hope to wean myself off even more. Working on it day by day.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Today is the 12th day of Christmas. A holiday known among the Amish as "Old Christmas", one that begins solemnly with fasting until noon and then the afternoons are spent visiting friends, enjoying lots of good food, and bidding farewell to the holiday season. Tonight however is viewed by many as a scary night when all kinds of evil spirits are out and about.

We no longer observe it in any way, and I only happened to think of it when I saw the date this morning.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Goals for 2016

    When it comes to New Year's resolutions we do things a little differently.

    We make a number of different lists of goals of twelve related things and assign a month to each of the items on the list.

      We have done this the past few years and have found we really enjoy it.

      Here is a sample of two of the lists:

I guess I should make another list and include, make a quilt frame. Somewhere amidst the three moves we made between 2004 and 2010 my quilting frame got lost. I'll need one if I hope to meet the goals on this list. 

(Yes, the months were written in French, by a daughter who is studying and loving the French language.)

 Today we begin with our craft related goal for January, and later on this week we'll try our hand at making Eclairs. Here's hoping they turn out well.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Lydia's Bonnet

A little while ago I was contacted by Lillian Stoltzfus. She had written a little children's book and wondered if I would consider reviewing it. 
Lydia's bonnet arrived, and Buddy was excited about having a new book to read. He clambered onto my lap and we proceeded to read.

I was impressed at the large pictures on every page, depicting the scene we were reading.

The story of Lydia's bonnet was cute and provided a great launching point for a discussion with Buddy after we were finished reading.

I was impressed at the authenticity displayed throughout the book. The clothes, the girls' hair. and even the stance of the boy on the left of this photo is all very authentic to the Amish in Lancaster.

I decided to go ahead and start the year off by giving you a chance to win a copy of Lydia's Bonnet.

To enter all you have to do is leave a comment telling me your ...... ah let's see ....... how about since Lydia was feeling lazy and not wanting to help her mother with the dishes, why don't you go ahead and leave a comment telling me about your least favorite household chore.

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

I will choose a winner, using the Random Generator on January 8th.
 Disclaimer: I am not being compensated in any way for doing this giveaway. I simply feel like giving someone else a chance to have this book.

Giveaway is now closed and a winner has been chosen.