Friday, October 28, 2016


Growing up in an Amish home we weren't always aware that we were doing or using some thing that the rest of the American public wouldn't have considered doing for health reasons.

Example one:

The oil stove in the kitchen (Never mind the fact that it posed its own health risks and problems due to the noxious fumes) that we used during the summer months was always a concern that its oven might make the wall behind it too hot.

To prevent a possible fire we kept a sheet of asbestos between it and the wall. We didn't have any idea asbestos was bad for you, and lugged that grayish sheet from home to home until 2004 when my parents moved to a community that allowed gas stoves and they got rid of both the oil stove and the sheet of asbestos.

Example two:

Little girl babies would often have bobbies before their hair was long enough to braid. In order to help the bobbies lay neatly a piece of lead would be pounded flat and little piece would be broken off to be used to have the hair wrapped tightly around it, the ends would then be bent to keep the hair in place.

We had no idea lead was a bad thing.

When Rosebud came along my Mom gave me her remaining scraps of lead since it was very hard to find lead by that time. However, Rosebud's hair grew very slowly, and we had moved to a community that didn't use bobbies for their little girls so I never used it. Something I have been thankful for!

Interested in seeing bobbies? I found a picture here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

My Morning so Far

Judging by how cold my toes got from the simple trek through the house this morning when I got up I knew it must have turned decidedly colder over night.

Taking a quick glance at the old thermometer beside the kitchen window confirmed my assumption. A chilly twenty-one. After getting LV's coffee started I went into the next room and happened to glance at the digital thermometer sitting on top of the desk. It declared it's twenty-six.

Which do I go by?

Taking the advice of Rebecca Dew from Anne of Windy Poplars where she had told Anne, "Better go by the old thermometer, it's probably more used to our climate." I'm going to say it was twenty-one this morning.


I have always liked mums and when we were visiting LV's family not so long ago they gave us an absolutely gorgeous one. The first time we have ever had any. It's huge, and lovely, and we're unwilling to allow it to die.

Afraid that it might freeze last night we brought inside before we went to bed. I still had not put it back out on the porch when someone in a tattered coat, reeking of cigarette smoke came to the door asking to use our phone because he ran off the road while trying to avoid several deer.

Knowing that cell phone service is basically nonexistent here in the hollow I reluctantly allowed him inside. He proceeded to call his Grandmother to come help him. I had the urge to cover the children's ears with my hands so they don't have to hear his language.

He left and I noticed my poor mums had been smashed with the door when he came in. I tried to fix them, but I guess only time will tell if they return to their former beauty.

We're on our 63rd day of school for this term, we got all the "bookwork" done and are left with Sunbeam's more fun things to do. She has been studying Ethiopia in her geography so we want to try baking some authentic Ethiopian bread. Off to do that now.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Picture my Week

The girls gathered some walnuts that had dropped from the tree here behind the house, and proceeded to follow a recipe they had found to make ink. They chose to build a little fire outside to cook their concoction in order to not stink up the house.
The ink cooking took several hours, but at the end they were pleased to have a pint of ink. Rosebud enjoys doing calligraphy and now with plenty of ink she is able to practice her skills to her heart's content.
While the girls were making their ink Buddy was happily wandering about the yard with a stick trying to unearth some hidden treasure that might be hiding under the leaves.

The last roses of the season were brought inside to enjoy, rather than allowing them to be frost damaged.

Buddy's Pre-K class at our homeschool co-op did some tiny pumpkin painting. He was quite pleased with his final product.

Sunbeam absolutely loves raking leaves, and our big maple tree has been providing her with ample opportunities to enjoy that.

At the beginning of the week our tree still looked lovely even though there was a constant flurry of leaves drifting to the ground. By yesterday, this was all that was left.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What would you say is your strongest sense?

If we're speaking of the five senses, I will have to go with hearing. I can pick up sounds very easily.

2. Do you believe in the idea of a 'sixth sense'? Why or why not?

I do. Why, you ask .... because I experience it regularly.

3. When do you most feel like a slave to time? Explain.

Mostly when it comes to mundane human needs such as preparing meals and sleeping. It's something that has to be done as much as I wish it wouldn't. It seems so sad to me to spend so much of one's life doing those necessities.

4. Have you ever worked in a restaurant? How would you rate the experience? If you could own a restaurant what kind would it be?

I have never worked at a restaurant.

If I could own one, I don't really know what kind it would be. Probably focusing on some type of elevated comfort foods.

5. Ever traced your family tree? Share something interesting you learned there.

I have not spent time tracing our family tree even though I know there are a lot of interesting things on it. I do know that any one bearing my maiden name is somehow related to me. I'm only 6th generation living in the U.S. The first one came over for an adventure, with his brother who was coming over to marry the love of his life. On the voyage over, the love-struck brother died leaving my great, great, great grandfather to deliver the news to his waiting bride. Somehow the two of them then fell in love and got married.

Their story really does sound like a book waiting to be written. :)

6. What did your childhood bedroom look like?

I had seven different bedrooms while growing up. The one I spent the most time in was really small. It had old boards for floors with sizeable cracks between them, which meant I never had to worry about using a dustpan when I swept my room. The walls were a very light pink. I had no door, only a heavy blanket nailed over the opening.

Aside from my bed I had a dresser, and a small interesting cupboard in it where I stored all my favorite things.

7. Anyone who knows me knows I love _______________________?

My family.

Maybe that's too obvious.

Those who know me well also know I really love music.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Our family does more of a homemade type Christmas. Because of that it means we are already beginning our Christmas preparations even though it's only the middle of October.
There's already an air of secrecy hanging in the house as people try to work on making gifts without anyone else discovering what it is they're working on.

Love this time of year!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Our Weekend

We've been wanting to go visit LV's parents ever since they moved over a year ago already. We finally made that happen this weekend.

It was really nice seeing them again, and seeing where they live. The day was spent visiting, eating good food, and enjoying each other's company.

Rosebud took some yarn along and asked Grandma if she would teach her how to crochet baby bibs and booties. Most of her day on Saturday was spent creating a pretty set of booties and a bib to go with it.

LV's brother and his family live nearby, so we all popped over to see where they live. During the tour of their house I was astounded at the huge sweet potatoes my sister-in-law grew in her garden this year.

Impressive, isn't it?!! That sweet potato is bigger than Sunbeam's head!

All in all we had a very enjoyable visit, and are already looking forward to the next time we all get to spend time together.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What would you say is the best and worst thing about moving house?

The best thing .... I'm stumped. I'm a creature of habit, and the change involved in moving to a new house is stressful. I guess it's a good thing to be able to go through everything you have, and having everything perfectly organized is nice too, though I'd rather go on a thorough housecleaning/organizing spree than move.

The worst thing ... change, packing, lifting, toting, uncomfortable new surroundings, chaos ... not a fan of moving.

2. What's moved you recently?

A book I read that required a box of tissues. Is it pathetic getting so invested in fictional characters?

3. Do you feel your life is moving forward, backward, or is on hold? How so?

I feel life is moving forward. There are some exciting things on the horizon that I'll share more about here once the time is right.

4. On the move, move mountains, get a move on, it's your move, or bust a move...which phrase best applies to some aspect of your life right now? Explain.

It's your move could apply to my life right now. I'm working on a project, and the only thing holding it back is me. So hopefully I'll be able to get a move on later today and tackle it.

5. What song makes you want to get up and move?

6. Your favorite snack to grab when you're 'on the move'?

Baby carrots and celery sticks are a favorite go to snack in our house. Funny how my dream of being grown up and being able to eat chips, pretzels, and candy bars when ever I want has changed to much healthier options when I became a grown up.

7. What one accessory makes your house feel like home?

This may sound a little silly, but the one thing I have found that I really like, is, refrigerator magnets. Several years ago when LV had to go out of state for six months for a job thing, we went along and stayed in a basically empty house. Having only the most basic of basic necessities. When we got home after that and I walked into our kitchen and saw those magnets on the fridge .... well ... I really liked them, and I felt home again.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I'm really, really enjoying fall this year. The chill in the air, the bright blue skies, the colorful leaves. Ahh ... it stirs something deep inside that is hard to explain.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Picture my Week

Our week had a mix of perfectly gorgeous October days, and rain.

On the rainy days Buddy spent time gazing wistfully out the window.

On the sunny days he loved helping with yard work. Especially the part where he got to play in the piles of leaves before we cleaned them up.

It was a big week for Sailor. He finally got to paint the little tractor he has been restoring. It still has quite a bit to do before it's finished, but this point was a goal he had been working towards for quite a while already.

Of even bigger importance, but I won't be sharing a picture, is, he passed his driving test. He's thrilled to have his official license.

Rosebud whipped up more yummy apple desserts in the kitchen.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Rocking Chair

During my childhood and teenage years furniture came and went. Second hand rickety pieces were gradually replaced with new furniture that Daddy and my brothers made in our woodworking shop.

One thing that remained constant was Mom's comfortable hickory rocking chair. It was on this chair where I snuggled up in her lap while I was a wee girlie. All her children were rocked to sleep with it, every day until they outgrew the rocking to sleep phase. I can still almost hear her sweet voice as she sang lullabies as well as other songs.

It was on this rocking chair she sat every evening to read bedtime stories to us while the rest of us listened as we ate popcorn and apples.

I made the cover for it one year for Christmas.

When I received this grainy cell phone picture of it today I wasn't quite prepared for the wave of nostalgia that swept over me. Or how ridiculously happy I was to see she still has something I made in their house.

So many memories.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Apple Cider Cupcakes

In one of my Picture my Week posts I had shared how Rosebud had made Apple Cider cupcakes, and got quite a few requests for the recipe. I decided today seems like a great day to finally share it.

Apple Cider Cupcakes

½ cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup apple cider
1-2/3 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt

Combine butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla and mix until thoroughly blended. Set aside. In a separate bowl combine remaining four dry ingredients. Alternate adding dry mixture and apple cider to butter/sugar mixture, beating well after each addition.

Scoop into cupcake tins, lined with cupcake wrappers, of course.

Bake at 350ยบ for 17-19 minutes. Until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


1 cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

Mix butter and brown sugar. Add remaining ingredients and beat until light and fluffy. Frost cooled cupcakes. You can garnish with half an apple slice if you prefer.