Friday, February 29, 2008

Once Again... In The Meadow... =)

I was blessed again by those Wonderful Neighbor children. They were bored, there was good packing snow and here are the results!!!! Thanks for my snow family!!

Yes, We have MORE snow!!!

Two days ago, we got another inch of snow. We were supposed to get some last night, but didn't. Michael got about half way to work and down the snow came. It has snowed really hard here and we probably got another inch or two. Here are some pictures from today. You can see the icicles hanging down on the second picture.

Do you have friends you can totally be yourself with? Do you have friendships where you feel like you are a Paul to a Timothy? Do you have friendships where you feel like you are a Timothy to a Paul? How about those Barnabas relationships... the friend who walks along with you and encourages you on the journey? I think it is important to have all three types going at the same time. There are those who look up to you and call you for advice and prayer requests, etc. They want to learn from you. Then there are friends that you want to learn from and who you call for advice and prayer requests. Then there are those friends who walk along with you at the point you are at. It is very hard to find the older women talked about in Titus 2 to go to. There are very few older men, who are walking their faith out based on the Bible and not what is normal in todays society, for men to go to. We need to be this for the next generation. We need to share truth with them even if it is hard truth. We need to encourage them. We need to be there to help them when their children are small and they feel overwhelmed. We need to teach them how to be that for the next generation.

With all that being said, how do you start? I feel so inadequate for the task before me. I feel like in so many areas we have been a transitional generation. We want to be family oriented and not let each family member go their own way and do their own thing. We think home school is the best way for schooling. We feel like the dads should lead the home and we as their wives, need to be their best manager. How do you teach that when you struggle with it yourself? The Lord has brought me a long way in that area, yet I still have a ways to go. My heart is willing, but it is not always my "reaction". We think babies are gifts and blessings from God that we are entrusted with to raise up as a mighty army for the Lord. I am barren with one child by adoption. How am I to understand or even to have the young mother think I understand. We like to be as God reliant as we can be by growing and raising as much of our own food as possible. These are all areas we feel strongly about. In other words in todays world we are weird. Even in the Christian spheres we are weird.

I need to pray and continue to strengthen my walk with the Lord. I need to continue to hide His Word in my heart to be ready with truth. I need to continually be allowing the Lord to do His work in my life, to mature me, to grow me. I need to be willing to be available. I will need lots of prayer. Do you have an older woman in your life who can help you? If so share the blessing of that relationship with us.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Kitchen Tools and Gadgets Again...

There were some really good points brought up in the comments on the last post. Robin, I believe your friend saw the rightness of it first hand and wanted to get to that place. It would be nice to visit somewhere that does a lot of cooking, but had minimal utensils, etc. I do know what you mean by wasting time and space. I could do some cleaning out of some things. Now, I will have a daughter-in-love to pass some of them on to. =)

Mrs. Wonderful Neighbor brought up the chopper from Pampered Chef. That thing is REALLY handy. I also just got one of their oil spritzers which is nice. I use it with my olive oil to spray my pans and I also spray on top of oven fries, etc. She also had a good idea with the mop. I wonder if she has one of the buckets that lets you wring it out. I will have to ask. I do not have one of those buckets and for that reason, I do not like the cotton mop. =)

Melanie, I too have seen those inside s'mores cookers. That is really cheating. I am not a big s'mores fan, but it would not be the same without a good fire going.

Patti, we always use extra virgin olive oil to make our popcorn. Are you saying you pour more on top? I am glad you use your popcorn popper. We don't have popcorn that often.

Lynn, I so agree with you on the big pots. People who do not can see all my huge stock pots and wonder what in the world I do with all of them with such a small family. =) They would cringe to know that sometimes I run out and need another one. I also have some huge bowls. I also have a Squeezo strainer. That has more than paid for itself doing applesauce and tomato sauce. With the apples, you just wash them and then quarter them. Cook them until they are a bit soft. Put them in the hopper and turn the handle. All the peels, cores, seeds and stems come out the end ready of the chickens or compost and the meat comes right through the screen as applesauce. I also have a huge pressure canner. I would actually like a smaller one as well. The big one is put into good use during canning season. It is a lot to handle though. When I cook a chicken or some beef and get some good broth, I like to can it. Also, if I have left over soup, I like to can it for lunch on other days. A small pressure canner would be a lot more handy to get out for those types of things. Or am I just spoiled... hmmm... Maybe I am. You can talk yourself into just about anything that way.

I will be going through everything in my house to see what I can get rid of. I have already started with my books. I am sure there are many things in my cabinets that can go as well. We would love to hear more from some of you. What could you not live without in your kitchen? What is rarely if ever used?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Kitchen Gadgets

I know that many gadgets were created to save us time. I look back at all that our foremothers had to do and wonder how they got it all done. If you go back far enough, they had to spin the wool and weave their own cloth even. Usually their houses were much smaller and they had hardly anything to speak of if you compare their kitchen with a kitchen of today. They did not have vacuums, because they did not have carpets. They beat and shook the rugs and swept the floor with a broom. It takes a lot for a broom to break. My friend Ginny has one that she has had since she was married (around 25 years). It even has a name, although I can't remember what it is. =) She can correct me if I am wrong, but I do believe it is a broom she told me about. I have a vacuum. Vacuums break more often and cost more to replace. The one I have is supposed to be a wonderful vacuum. It is an Orek. We got it because it will do rugs, cement and hardwood floors. It does a great job of picking up dirt, but it shocks me when I use it. I have gone round and round with them about it. I have had 3 different ones, but it still shocks you. I don't care to vacuum very often, it is painful. =) I like a broom for those areas that there is not a rug. I tried to pull the rug up in one area, but it has been down there so long and probably glued to the floor that it will have to be scraped up. The women of yesteryear had a few pans and bowls. They made do. A pan served multiple purposes as did the bowl. I received a catalog in the mail yesterday. It is very small as far as catalogs normally go. It is not a full size and it only has 36 pages. I took all the following pictures out of that one catalog.

This is to make shish-kabobs on your grill. Is it still a shish-kabob if it is not on a stick?

This is something that you can cook things in on your counter top versus your oven. It says it cooks in half the time.

This little gadget roasts garlic. See it's cute garlic shape? That is so you don't forget what it is for.

This one made me really shake my head. How hard is it to slice a banana. You can even do that with a dull knife. Even a child could do that. I guess they thought if an apple slicer would sell, then a banana one would too.

You can hard boil, soft boil or poach an egg with this item.

This is a little more old-timey. It will peel, core and slice your apple into rings. This can actually be handy if you are dehydrating apple rings or making apple pie in a jar. The pieces of apple are all uniform in size.

Here is a grill that you can grill sandwiches on your counter top instead of your stove top.

Here is something that you can deep fry things in and also something that will cook your hot dog and heat the buns at the same time. It even comes with mini tongs to use to pull them out when done.

This is a wee cast iron pan made just for melting butter in.

Now, I am not saying there is anything wrong with owning any of the above. I am just showing you how we have gotten away from simplicity in our society. Where do they store all this stuff.... in the kitchen.... SO.... they need larger kitchens with more cabinet, counter and pantry space. To me many of these items would be more work and hassle to get out and clean than to just use a pan or something. We like to look at kitchen gadgets and things like that. We kept seeing the popcorn pan with the stirring handle on the top. We know several people who have them and use them often, so we bought one. We used ours several times, but I noticed the last few times we made popcorn, we just used a pan with a lid. Are we really saving ourselves time and energy? Some tools are very useful. I have a grain mill and a big mixer that I make my bread in. We got away from making all our bread for awhile, but are getting back on track. We grind our own wheat for the freshness and the good stuff in it. An electric mill is a real plus for me. Also, the mixer kneads 4 to 6 loaves worth of dough at a time for me. It kneads it for 10 minutes. That is 10 minutes that I try to use in cleaning up the bread mess. Some of the above items might be a real tool for some of you. We all have different needs in our kitchen. Some people have soymilk makers. It is so much cheaper to make your own than to buy it. So, it makes sense for them. Some people have rice cookers. I have even seen a plug in gadget for baking potatoes.

I want to simplify. It is so hard to do that when you already own things. Some are easily parted with, but others are very hard to get rid of. I have heard people say that if you have not used something in a year then you should get rid of it. Sometimes that seems ruthless to me. =) What gadgets do you have that are really a useful tool to you and why? What are some other gadgets not mentioned or shown above you have seen on the market?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dixie Darlin'

I made this collage of pictures of Dixie!

More Snow...

I should not complain. I love snow. I guess, I love snow for a time. =) It is snowing to beat the band again. It was supposed to snow all night, but it rained. That washed away a lot of the snow we had, so God is filling us up again. If you click on the pictures, you can see the snow much better. I just took these pictures a little bit ago and came in and loaded them onto my computer. I can already see the difference in snow on top of these round bales in the first picture. They are outside my office window. I am going to roll them out on my garden. They are several years old and it was junk hay. I figure they will make good mulch.

There is a rim of thin ice all the way around the edges of the pond.

These next 2 pictures are what I see in my living room. I love to watch the snow come down through a window.

Here is a picture of Belle. Both she and Star have hung out near me during the day. I think they may miss Dixie as well.

Here are the projects I have in a basket by my rocker. The blue piece on top as well as the off white one to the left of it are both knitted cotton dishcloths. I am making them for someone. The variegated pink is a scarf that I have been knitting on for several years. Last year someone pulled the needle all the way out and put it back in wrong. I did not know how to fix it. One of the sweet ladies we fellowship with was telling us how her Mom was a knitting whiz. So, I asked if she thought her Mom could help me. She took it with her and brought it back all ready to go again. The ivory piece with pink stripes is my knitted sampler. I have not started the sweater yet as I don't have the right size needles. I could not find them in any of the stores around here, so I had to order them. The tan piece was a small wrap type shawl that my Mom was working on when she died. I finished it and don't use it very often. However, I would have a hard time giving it away.

What are you working on this winter? Did you get any special projects done? I know that Ginny has been making plans for many things on her graph paper. =) She uses more graph paper in a week than I do in a year. However, it shows by her beautiful garden and the things she makes.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Giants in Your Life

Today our fellowship met in our home. The daughter of the Wonderful Neighbors brought me this drawing she did. I cried. Didn't she do a good job of drawing Dixie? She has her paw up, which was just what Dixie did and she also put a yellow tennis ball in the picture, which was a favorite toy.

Today felt like a heat wave. I think it got up to around 35. Last night it got down at least 12. That is what it was when we got up this morning.

Two different men talked this morning about facing the giants in your life. Everyone has them and they can all be different. The one man shared Psalm 57.

Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me. He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth. My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword. Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth. They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah. My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations. For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds. Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.

David was on his own. He could not go home because he was a hunted man. Yet, you see that he was totally expecting God to rescue him. He praised the Lord because he knew who was in control. What are the giants in your life? Are you looking forward with anticipation to the help and answers that God is going to send? I have a friend who just rests and trusts in the Lord. She sees lots of answers to her prayers. I believe this is because she is truly trusting the situation to God. She allows Him to work in is own way. I was talking with someone this weekend. Her son had to do something that was very hard. She asked him how he did it and he envisioned angels with swords of fire and Jesus Himself there with him as he walked through his trial. Goliath was a giant, but he was not too big for God to handle. Trust God to slay your giants for you. Then rest.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Poetry of a Martyr

I read a book back in October, 2006 about the life of John & Betty Stam. They were chosen to receive the martyr's crown. I blogged about the book here. I was going through some files on my computer. I found a couple of Betty Stam's poems. I thought I would share them with you.

I'm Standing Lord
By Betty Scott Stam (1906-1934)

I'm standing, Lord.
There is a mist that blinds my sight;
Steep, jagged rocks, front, left and right
Lower, dim, gigantic in the night.
Where is the way?

I'm standing, Lord.
The black rock hems me in behind;
Above my head a moaning wind
Chills and oppresses heart and mind.
I am afraid.

I'm standing, Lord.
The rock is hard beneath my feet;
I nearly slipped, Lord, on the sleet.
So weary, Lord, and where a seat?
Still must I stand?

He answered me,
And on His face a look ineffable of grace,
Of perfect understanding love,
Which all my murmuring did remove.
I'm standing, Lord.
Since Thou has spoken,
Lord, I see Thou hast beset.
These rocks are Thee.
And since Thy love encloses me, I stand and sing.

This next one is a lighthearted one. I love the rhythm of it.

A Jingle of Words

By Betty Scott Stam (1906-1934)

Don’t you love the common words
In usage all the time;
Words that paint a masterpiece,
Words that beat a rhyme,
Words that sing a melody,
Words that leap and run,
Words that sway a multitude,
Or stir the heart of one?

Don’t you love the lively words—
Flicker, leap and flash,
Tumble, stumble, pitch and toss,
Dive and dart and dash,
Scramble, pirouette and prance,
Hurtle, hurdle, fling,
Waddle, toddle, trot and dance,
Soar and snatch and swing?

Don’t you love the lengthy words—
Artificial, propagate,
Revelation, elevate,

Don’t you love the noisy words—
Clatter, pop, and bang,
Scrape and creak and snarl and snort,
Crash and clash and clang,
Crackle, cackle, yowl and yap,
Snicker, snare and sneeze,
Screech and bellow, slash and howl,
Whistle, whine and wheeze?

Don’t you love the colourful—
Amber, rose and gold,
Orchid, orange and cerise,
Crimson, emerald,
Purple, plum and lavender,
Peach and Prussian blue,
Turquoise matrix, jade and jet,
Hazel, honeydew?

Yes, with just the common words
In usage everywhere,
You can capture incidents
Beautiful and rare.
In words you have a weapon
More mighty than a gun;
You can sway the multitude
Or stir the heart of one.

We got snow and ice 2 nights in a row. Today the sun is shining brightly. It is currently 27 degrees. The high is supposed to be 31. Both Michael and I have been having our moments over losing Dixie. We know she was just a dog, but she was our buddy and friend. Even the other dogs are a bit mopey. Michael just came in and told me that you can really feel the warmth of the sun out there and that today is a new day. We called the breeder we got Dixie from. She had her dog fixed and is not doing puppies anymore. She gave us the name of a couple of people that have those lines. We are waiting to hear back from them.
Thanks for all the kind words. Many of you have called or sent emails. Someone even sent us an e-card.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A. D. Chronicles

I have long been a fan of Brock and Bodie Thoene's books. I read the Zion Chronicles and the Zion Covenant series many times. I also read the Shiloh Legacy series. These are all historical fiction books. I just recently finished reading the A. D. Chronicles series for the second time. Book #7 just came out, so I only read it once. I love the historical accuracy of their books. You really learn as you read. I have never had another author that captivated me like the Thoene's. I have laughed and cried and been in suspense more with their books than with any other author. I do have one caution about these books though. Many of them have references that I would not want an unmarried person to read. If you would like more detail on that, please contact me. I realize that many of you that read my blog don't know me. I would never read or recommend a book that was off color in anyway. So, if you want more detail on what I am talking about, email me.
The A.D. Chronicle series is so good. It really encourages you to look at your Bible in a new way. EVERYTHING in the Bible means something. If someone says go to the fig tree... there is a reason it is fig tree and not cedar tree or whatever. It will cause you to be excited afresh in your Bible reading. The book shown above, The First Light is the first book in this series. If you click on the book or the link in the first paragraph it will take you to the Thoene's site and you can order an autographed copy or even an audio copy of this book and many others. If you use my links, I get credit. I will also put a link in the sidebar.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Forecast is COLD!!

We got from 3 to 4 inches today. At some points it was coming down so thick and the flakes were so big, it was breath taking. It is currently 8 degrees and supposed to go down to 2 degrees tonight. Tomorrow night we are supposed to get 2 to 4 more inches of snow. Tennessee is looking better all the time. =) If you click on these 2 pictures and look at the large version of them, you will see how hard it was snowing.

We got from 3 to 4 inches today. At some point

It's Still Hard to Believe

Today is co-op day. It is hard to believe that Dixie is really gone. She had so many cute little habits and routines. After Michael let all the dogs out for the last time each night he gives them treats. As soon as he would put his hand in the bag, Dixie would run to her crate and go in. She would peak out at him. Each morning as I would go by the door to where she was in her crate, she would look up at me as if to say, let me out now. Both Michael and I are having our moments. I think having the truck to unload, orders to sort and people coming by to pick up their orders will be a good thing today to keep me busy.
I was going to blog last night about our weather, and before I got on here, tragedy struck. The first 2 pictures here are what we woke up to yesterday morning. More snow on the ground and it was snowing.

These 2 pictures are from this morning. More snow and it is snowing. They said possibly another 1 to 2 inches. There is more snow in the forecast for tomorrow evening.

The birds are really coming to the feeder when it snows. They ones on the feeder knock so much out that their is always a crowd on the ground as well.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Very Sad Day On The Farm

We don't know what happened, but we are very sad. Dixie, our pup, was out playing this evening with the other dogs. She was having fun and running and jumping. Michael saw her laying in the driveway. She made a pathetic whine and then quit breathing. Our little Dixie Darlin' is dead. We know you are not supposed to get attached too much to animals, but we love our dogs and they are like part of our family. She had the cutest personality. She was not even 1 year old yet.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Knitting and Other Things

I got my knitting sampler done. I think it will come in very handy when I am wanting to decide what I want in a sweater or other project. It has 3 kinds of ribbing, it shows how to put in some extra hidden sort of rows in just one area. So, if I made a maternity sweater for someone I could put some extra rows just on the front to hang right. It shows 4 different type of raglan seams for sleeves. It has several different kinds of striping, buttonholes, flaps, sweatshirt pocket, cording, holes for cording to be put through and several different edgings.

I turned it sideways so that the lace edging would lay out flat. I think this would be really cute on the end of sleeves or at the neckline. Below that in the picture there is a sort of cording edge. At the end of the cording edge you continue it making a cord and then a loop. Maybe that sweater would actually get hung on a hook or something. =)

This shows a rib edging and above it a hem edge. You can also see the cording and the holes to weave it through.

This is the hemming edge. They had you knit your initials into it. For you knitters out there, you may think... "big deal". However, I am very much a BEGINNING knitter. I can't believe I was able to make this. Now, I am excited to start a sweater. I am going to make it for a little person. That way I will get done sooner. =)

These next couple of pictures are to show you the gray/brown of an Ohio winter. We did have some snow blowing a bit today. At one point it was pretty heavy, but the ground had thawed out enough that nothing was sticking yet. It is currently 34 degrees. It it supposed to go back down into the single digits. I have to say that we are more than ready for spring at our house.

Here are my flowers my sweet honey brought me home. They smell so good. I enjoy the splash of color on my counter.

When someone points out something about you that is not one of your nicer points, how do you react? Are you calm on the outside and mad on the inside? Are you mad inside and out? Are you totally open and don't let your self get angry? I once heard someone say we are like a sponge. People know what we are made of and what we have on the inside by what comes out when we are squeezed. I often chaff on the inside and then try to bring myself to look for the truth of what was said. It may take me awhile to get there, but I usually do reach that place. I had another friend tell me today about a show she watched. She said that these people were rebellious and all sorts of things. Then she said she realized it was a mirror of herself. Have you ever gotten honest with yourself about who you really are? Do you see changes over time of the way you are? I know the changes for the good in me are only from God. He has weeded much out of my life, but He is still pulling weeds. =) I know it is Him because when I react in the correct way, it is almost like I was standing back and watching myself and wondering where that came from. Lord send a revival and let it begin with me!!