Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1.What's something you wish you knew how to do, but feel like it's too late to learn?

There are quite a lot of things I wish I knew how to do, none of which I feel it's too late to learn as long as I apply myself.

2. Your least favorite thing to shop for? Why?

Underwear. I don't even like walking past that part of a store, much less be seen trying to find something I want to buy.

3. How has the celebration of Thanksgiving today changed from when you were growing up?

We no longer spend half of the day in church like we used to when we were growing up. I still prepare the same foods though.

4. What's something that when other people see it, reminds them of you? Explain.

I was going to say I have no idea, but then I thought of my books.

I recently got a phone call from an old friend I hadn't seen in years because she stumbled across my books in a store and immediately had to call to tell me about it.

5. If you could guest star in a TV show, what would it be and why?

When I first read these questions I was going to say it would be on some type of a cooking show, but now that I answered the previous question I think it would be more fitting to make appearances on some talk shows to talk about my books.

6. Have you ever farmed or spent any time on a farm? Are there farm stands in your little corner of the world and do you make it a point to shop there? If so, what item do you particularly like to buy from a roadside stand or farm shop?

We used to live on a dairy farm for the first five years of marriage. Cows, crops, weather. Yep, don't miss that headache.

There are quite a few Amish roadside farm stands in our area, but I hardly ever buy anything from them.

7. What's something you've experienced recently that made you feel a sense of awe or wonder?

There was a spectacular sunrise the other morning that I had to soak in with a sense of awe and wonder.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What's surprised you most about your life, or about life in general?

Life doesn't really surprise me.

When I look at what life used to be, and how different it is now from anything I ever imagined while growing up there is plenty there to be surprised at, but it all happened at a rate that there was never really an element of surprise involved..

2. Among others, these ten words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary this year...awesomesauce, beer o'clock, brain fart, buttdial, cat cafe (apparently this is a real thing), fatberg (gross-read the definition here), fat shame, hangry, Mx (gender neutral), and skippable. 

Your thoughts? In looking over the list, which word do you find most ridiculous? Which word would you never in a million years say out loud? Which word would you be most likely to use in conversation?

Of all those dreadful choices I think skippable is probably the word that has the most chance getting used.

I can't see why any of them deserve to be added to the dictionary.

3. Do you like gravy? Is there a food you'd rather not eat unless it comes with gravy? Do you make your own or buy the canned or store-made variety? Turkey and gravy, sausage gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy, country ham and red eye gravy, biscuits and chocolate gravy, pot roast and gravy...which one on the list is your favorite?

I like gravy though there isn't any food that I think I have to have gravy in order to eat it, including mashed potatoes.

I make our own gravy. Most recently I made what we used to call "white gravy" when I was growing up. It's a cold gravy, one vegetarians could eat. We used to serve it every day during the summer. It was especially delicious over fried potatoes which is how we ate it last week. The children love it just as much as I used to.

Biscuits and gravy sound good right now, though not with chocolate gravy. I didn't even know something like that existed.

4. Do you have a plan? Do you need a plan? Have you ever had a plan fall into a trillion pieces? Explain.

I have all sorts of plans. At the moment I don't need any more plans, I just need to stick to the ones I already have. 

Sadly we have had some plans fall into pieces.

5. November 19 is National Play Monopoly Day. Do you own the original or some version of the game? Do you enjoy playing Monopoly? How likely is it you'll play a game of Monopoly on November 19th? Ever been to Atlantic City? Ever taken a ride on a railroad? Is parking in your town free? Last thing you took a chance on?

We have the original version of Monopoly. The last time I played it that I actually enjoyed it was almost twenty years ago when LV, my brother John, and I visited one of the neighboring church districts and the family we had lunch with after church brought out their Monopoly game to play.

I've played it since as well, but it was more or less a form of torture.

I will not be playing it on Nov. 19th. I've never been to Atlantic City. Never had a ride on a railroad.

Parking is free in our town, though I basically never visit the town we have as our address. There's another town, a much nicer one, closer, but in a different state. Parking is not free there.

The last thing I took a chance on was getting a small block of cheese in a new flavor combination called Mango Fire. It's interesting. A little too hot for my taste, but I love the mango undertones. A little too mango-y for LV's taste, but he loves the heat. If there was a way to separate the two we'd both be happy. I'm glad we tried it, but we probably won't be getting more.

6. A song you like that has the word (or some form of the word) thanks in the title, lyrics, or meaning?

Come Ye Thankful People, Come

7. In keeping with this month's theme of gratitude....what is something you're taking for granted that when you stop and think about it, you're grateful for?

I think there's a lot of things we tend to take for granted until we lose it.

Clean water.

The list could go on for quite a while.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Several weeks ago I had mentioned how all the mothers other than me, sit around doing crocheting, knitting, and other crafty stuff while the children have their Christmas pageant practice.

Last week I made this thing for my mother-in-law for Christmas. She has been wanting one in green for a while already so this seemed like the perfect time to work on it.

Tonight I'll be working on one in blues.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Oh No's in Church

Amish church services are very predictable. The same twenty-six chapters from the New Testament are used at their proper time every year. The same songs are sung on their required Sundays. The same prayers are read every Sunday. Church services are solemn events, but every once in a while something happens so out of the ordinary that people still talk about it years after it happened.

When I was a teenager there was a community in Wisconsin whose church service made news that spread all over Amish land. I didn't know it at the time, but one of my future sis-in-laws was living there when it happened.

Sunday morning church services had started off in much the same way as usual. This time services were being held in the loft of a barn that they had swept and cleaned in preparation. The song service was over and the first minister had wrapped up his sermon and the congregation was kneeling for their first prayer when some loud creaking and snapping was heard.

Some people lifted their heads nervously, but no one moved because one simply didn't get up in the middle of a prayer. The minister kept reading the prayers and the creaks and snaps became louder and suddenly the beams gave way and the entire congregation slid and fell into the barn below.

Everything was utter chaos, church was over for the day as people picked themselves up. Surprisingly most weren't hurt, one man however became paralyzed because of injuries he sustained.


While the church has their song service the ministers leave the room and find a place to pray, talk, and what ever it is they do in their Sunday morning meetings. Usually they find a bedroom upstairs to do this.

One Sunday morning as the last song was being sung and the ministers were making their way back to the room where services were being held something different happened.

The bishop led the way, followed by the two ministers as they made their way down the stairs the last ministers accidently slipped at the top of the stairs. His feet shot into the back of the minister in front of him knocking him down, which in turn knocked the bishop down. All three tumbled down the stairs landing in a heap at the bottom.

The singing almost faltered but kept going as they picked themselves up and went to sit in the chairs reserved for them in front of the church.

How they ever managed to preach with a straight face after that is beyond me, but there has been a lot of laughter about this incident since then.

Thursday, November 5, 2015


   Visits from Amish family is very rare, and usually when it does happen there is a certain degree of awkwardness and a general uncomfortable feeling involved.
    LV's parents were planning to be here last evening and we were hesitantly looking forward to seeing them. The hesitant part came from the expectation of having to listen to a bit of a sermon on how we should repent and come back to the Amish church.
   The sermon never happened. We enjoyed a meal together, and visiting afterwards.
   The part that still has me a little choked up this morning is when they were ready to leave LV's Dad stopped by the door and spoke a blessing over LV and our family.
    I can't even begin to express how much that meant to us.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Besides Thanksgiving, something you're looking forward to on your November calendar?

Baking day. Okay, we bake often, but we have a special day planned for later this month when some friends are coming over for a day spent baking up a lot of different things.

2.  If I gave you a thank you card right now who would you send it to and why?

To one of my blog readers. She very kindly sent a package of seeds, including some Summer Geranium seeds from her garden.  I had been searching for some ever since losing mine a number of years ago.

3. Of the breads listed, which one's your favorite...bagel, cinnamon, sourdough, garlic, banana, biscuit, pita, Naan, or plain old fashioned white bread?

Old fashioned white bread is our favorite. I'll be making some later today.

4. What's something you have in abundance? Is that a good thing?

We have an abundance of those ladybugs or whatever you want to call them, and no it is not a good thing!

Yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous day and it seemed to make them swarm around the windows trying to get inside.

5. November 5th is National Love Your Red Hair Day. Are there any redheads in your family? Who's your favorite redhead?

In my family, no.

In LV's family. There used to be.

My favorite redhead ....... going to go with Lucille Ball for this one.

6.  The travel website Busbud recently calculated the most Instagrammed spot in every state. Go here to see what made the list where you live. Are you happy with your state's #1? If not what do you think should be the most photographed spot in your state? Have you snapped a photo there?

It's not what I thought it would be, but I'm okay with our state's most Instagrammed spot.

7. I'm going to try to have something related to gratitude in this spot each week during the month of November. Here's this week's question-

What's something you've learned about yourself this year that you're grateful for?

I'm not exactly how to answer this one. Though after being plopped in a situation where there was gossiping going on I was grateful to discover that I really want nothing to do with it. Don't want to hear it, not even a little bit.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

LV's parents and one of his brothers are coming later today. It's the first time they are visiting since we live here.

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.