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Showing posts from April, 2006

Sunday Afternoon

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As usual Sunday afternoons are a bit of a slow pace around here. Today church was held in our town, just down the road from us, so Pricilla and Steven stopped by after services for a bit of a visit.
Today is their "dating" day. Sunday afternoons they get to spend time together talking at her parents house, alone in a room without everyone else around. Usually the dinning room. They also get to drive together to and from church .
There is a new church starting up as the first one has grown so big. The new church will be in our part of the area. As of yet they do not have a permanent building so they are renting two different places, this was the week it was closest to us.
Since the two young people were dressed up for church, in true mother style I had to take a bunch of pictures.
They look so happy !
Does a mother good to see her children content and doing well ! Its as though all the hard work when they were young has paid off.

Its a pretty sunny mild day today wit…

Saturday's News

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It was a stormy Friday night in North Texas, and we went to bed amid thunder, lightening, hail and tornado warnings. We woke to more rain and thunder.

While the morning the sky was dark and foreboding, we headed off to the Feed store to get grain for the chickens and on the way we talked about getting goats again. With this empty nest happening soon, we just think having some goats again might be a good idea.
I have been missing drinking goats milk and being able to make my own cheese and having goats would help fill up my day.
While at the feed store I took a couple pictures. One of the feed stores grain storage and then of some what we call TEXAS OREOS grazing in the pasture near the feed store.
As we were driving out of the loading area, my dear husband asked me where one might look at Pfaff sewing machines. Oddly enough, I knew just the place ! We drove there and he had me try out several models to see which one I might like at some point in time. I found one that would do …

Amish Chocolate Pudding with Fudge Sauce

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Just before putting it in the oven

All done ! In the bowl ready to eat

Amish Chocolate Fudge Pudding

1 cup sifted all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
6 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, granulated sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the cocoa.
Add the milk, butter and vanilla, mix only until smooth, do not over mix !
Stir in the nuts.
Put mixture in a well oiled baking dish, 10x6 size works great. The mixture will be thick. I double this recipe most times and put it in a 13x9 inch pan.

In a medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and the rest of the cocoa powder. Sprinkle on top of the mixture in the baking dish.
Pour boiling water over the whole thing. DO NOT MIX or stir or anything.

Bake for 40 minutes. The top will look firm.

Let set f…

Fine Old Hand Crochet Lace

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This afternoon I was going through the box that contained the crochet bedspread I am working on. I have all the pieces done now and just need to sew them together. In looking for more thread, there was a tiny bag in the bottom of the box . I guess I never looked in there before and what an amazing work was in there. It was pure treasure. As if I had stumbled onto a buried chest of gold and gems. My heart skipped a beat as it became clear what I had in my hands.Tiny tiny stitches making up lace pieces. Some made with regular sewing thread weight. Not certain they even make such small rick rack now. I put a penny next to the pieces so you could see what small fine work they are. I sat there touching them, feeling each miniature stitch. Wondering how old Mrs. Williams was when she made these pieces. My 51 year old eyes would need magnifying glasses and some sort of special light to work so small.
It made me wonder about in olden days when hand work was so fine, yet glasses…

Amish Noodles with Buttered Crumbs

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I have never used a recipe when I make this dish. So pretend to be your grandmother and cook without measuring ! Use taste, look and smell for your guide. I will try to include guesses on some measurments

Cook your noodles as usual, drain and add some butter so they will not stick and to give it some flavor.

In a small fry pan, melt some butter. Probably some where around 1 stick of butter to one package, (sleeve of Ritz crackers which may translate into about 2 cups crumbled). I crumble the crackers right over the fry pan and lightly brown them till they are a nice golden color. Do not over brown !
Add about 2 Tablespoons of minced parsley.
After you turn the heat off add about 3/4 teaspoon poppy seeds.
Sprinkle the crumbs over the cooked buttered noodles and sprinkle a bit of paprika over the crumb mixture .
My family likes lots of crumbs. This recipe works for about 16 oz of noodles cooked. Adjust to your own preference.

Something like Ritz crackers work best, saltines are ju…

More Kitten Photos and Our Lunch Menu

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These kittens are just so cute. Every morning I have to go out and check on them and feed Aya some special food. I am always armed with my camera.
Melanie holds each one gently and checks them out and that gives me the opportunity to get some good close ups while in her hands.

Rain and storms on the way. I can hear the thunder rolling as I write. Not a day to do laundry so will change my schedule. Good day to do some baking. Weekend is coming and its always a good idea to have goodies on hand for unexpected guests. We always expect unexpected quests !

For Lunch today, Home made noodles with Hot buttered Crumbs. A real traditional Amish recipe.
Also having, Grilled Asparagus just picked this morning from the garden.


Ulrich Barn Builders Log Cabins

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this is the playhouse !
My husband works for Ulrich Barn Builders. A Mennonite run business. Tonight Emery took me by to see the log cabins they have just built. Fully finished out and built on your place. I would love one. These are really popular and of course everyone who buys them appreciates the good craftsmanship of Mennonite made buildings. They certainly are big enough to live in but most people use them as weekend get away cabins, guest cottages and hunting cabins. There have been several sold to newlyweds too.
The company also make the cutest log play houses . We joke and say we wouldn't mind living in one of those they are so pretty. All my life I have wanted to live in a log cabin and now my husband sells them !
Tonight when my husband took me to see the latest cabin being built I had to take pictures and share them on my blog because they are just so fantastic.
My son Steven works for Leland Industries, which is the brother of the man Emery works for. B…

Kitten Up-date

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Three kittens all snuggled together
This is by far the friskiest one of the group
Momma Cat Aya is a watchful of us as we check out the babies

Amish Buttermilk Bread

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This is one of my favorite breads to make when I have Buttermilk on hand. There is a very similar recipe in the Cooking From Quilt Country Cookbook. Which is shown in one of the pictures. The recipe I have was given to me quite some time ago by a friend. The first picture shows the finished loaves cooling. The second picture shows the kneaded dough. The third picture shows the dough after it has risen. AMISH BUTTERMILK BREAD

Makes 2 small loaves ( I always double the recipe)

Made with molasses and a bit of bacon fat, this bread is a delight at any meal. It has a deep golden crust.

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons molasses
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons bacon fat ( I have used butter and a dash of liquid smoke in place of the bacon fat)
1 teaspoons salt
5 1/2 - 6 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter

Dissolve the yeast in warm water with 1 tablespoon of the molasses. Set aside in a warm place to get bubbly, about 5 minutes
In a small sauc…

When the Sun Was Setting Tonight

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It is 7:30 pm and the sun is hanging low in the west. The clouds dipped gold. Shadows long and tall.
Emery is out chopping wood for next winter. It will be nice to have it all stacked and seasoned for when the cold months arrive. The neighbors huge tree will provide us with lots of wood. Even the small branches will give us good dry kindling.
Roses sweetly scenting the air.
The chickens were running around getting the last tid bits before they go in to roost.
Morning doves cooing from the low branches of the sycamore tree.
Clothes on the line needing to be taken in and folded.

When I came in the house to put away the camera, I saw my crocheted work laying in the yellow rays of the sun as it shinned in through the front windows. I have them in stacks of 10 so you can see there are lots done and waiting to be put together. Maybe it will be done in time for fall. Although its cotton, its quite heavy.
I love working with this project. It feels like a piece of history in my lap.

Tiny New Life at The Lockwood's

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We saw that our cat Aya, looked thin and was full of milk so we knew the kittens arrived. After a bit of investigating we found the kittens under the house. Aya had chosen a nice safe place that is always dry.
We checked each kitten and put them back quickly.
There are three total. They are so cute. We had planned on getting Miss Aya fixed, but she was ahead of us and had met the boy cat next door before we had a chance to take her to the vets. You can be sure she will be taken in as soon as possible now.

Cool Morning

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As if to give me a gift, God blessed us with a cool, almost cold morning. He is indeed full of Mercy and Compassion.

It felt more homey, with the woodstove going for a bit to get the chill out of the room. Which was just the feeling I have been missing lately. I lit the lamps, had a spot of tea with my Essene bread and read a bit. It felt so good, so comfortable to have a shawl wrapped around my shoulders and to sip slowly my Cherry Vanilla tea. Yesterday I found a copy of The Purpose Driven Life at Goodwill for $1. I have wanted to read it, to see what is contained in this books pages that has transformed so many peoples lives. But, I am a tad on the cheap side at times and knew if I held out, it would be available at a thrift store.
I didn't get to read much yet, as this morning is a bit rushed.
Off to Afternoon Tea today and had to carefully pick my outfit and then decide which hat and which gloves !
Since I weeded out so much stuff last week, the decision making was ea…

On-Going Project

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This is a project I sort of inherited, only I had to pay for it. At an estate sale there was a box filled with crochet items. One was this bed spread. It was partially done. Even had instructions and crochet cotton thread in there to finish it up. I bid on it and got it. The grand-daughter of the woman who had started it came up to me and gave me the history. It seems it was started as a wedding present, nearly 60 years ago. Only the woman making it didn't approve of the marriage and kept putting off finishing it. She never liked the daughter in law enough to finish it. And since I knew the daughter in law, I might tend to agree. The estate sale was just down the road from us. The woman who was making it, had won all sorts of Blue Ribbons for her crochet work. There were also several doilies in the box with this project and what a treasure they are. I feel a bit honored to be finishing the work of such an skilled craftswoman born about the turn of the 20th century.…

Where is the Homestead Feeling ? Too Many Empty Nests

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This spring I feel a bit lost. For the first time in a long time I am not caring for some sort of baby animals. No new chicks this year, partly because we are a bit worried about bird flu and partly because we have good laying hens right now.
No baby goats, in fact no goats at all. No rabbits, no sheep, just pasture that has turned into land to roam.
In cold weather we still seem so homesteadish like. Hauling in wood, cooking on the woodstove, lighting the lamps each evening.
We have the garden now but a bit of time spent weeding each day is hardly exciting. Soon it will be time to harvest onions and a few other goodies and things will feel a bit more normal.
After all these years of simple living, we have a pretty good system in place so things don't seem overwhelming. I read some homesteaders blogs and laugh a bit , a familiar laugh, thinking, "oh yeah I remember those times".
The children grown and they have learned the value of hard work, physical labor and ded…

Evening By The Fire

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Late April and May are months when the skies of Texas can display the fury of Mother Nature. As I was looking through pictures tonight this shot of the sky taken looking off my front porch reminded me that we are now in that time frame. I remember thinking when I took this picture that the sky looked like it was on fire, with great mounds of cooling coals heaped together.
Storms are expected tomorrow and I hope they are gentle.
The sky reminded me of our fire pit.
Tonight as the big dipper slid slowly across the evening sky, we sat by our fire pit. The night dark as the moon was hiding. The fire glowed red and orange against the blackness of the night.
Our fire pit sits right in the center of a circle of oak trees. Young trees still, old enough that their branches reach one another. Most nights in spring, fall and winter we are out there. Summer is just too hot for a blazing fire. This past year was an exception as it was so dry here there was a burn ban and we could not hav…

Monday Morning Ramble

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The morning air hangs heavy like a soaked woolen shawl flung over my shoulders. Its going to end up a steam bath day, I can just feel it. We don't have many of these days here in North Texas but one is too many for me.
I did some weeding of the garden, but my heart wasn't it in. Just seemed so oppressive being outside in this heavy air.
My hands smell of earth and cilantro. Cilantro has a very strong smell, but I like it. It reminds me of Tibetan soup. I cut lots of this plant today, and although the soup is always so tasty, it just feels too hot to sit down to a bowl of soup.
The flowers all look good today, the contrast of their colors against the rather dull gray sky is appealing to me. Purples, reds, pinks, yellows, and more.
I noticed today is the 24th of the month. I don't always know what day it is, since it doesn't make much difference to me if its the 22nd or the 26th. Time doesn't dictate me much. Makes me feel independent and a bit of a rou…

6 Weird Things About Me

Six weird things about me.... thought I would have some fun and think about this one.
Its been making the rounds on the blogs and since it looked fun, thought I would participate.
Thanks Judy for the idea to just do it http://sunshinequilts.blogspot.com/

1. I have hair on my big toes, like a Hobbit, well not that much hair but still I have a few hairs on my big toes.

2. As much as I love having company, I am not all that fond of going to other peoples homes. For the most part I am a stay at home person.

3. I have super sensitive sense of smell. When I was a kid I would tell people when we were in the car going some place, that I smelled army men and sure enough some convoy would appear up the road. When asked what army men smell like, I would say,
" army blankets". I can still smell something way before anyone else.

4. I hang up my clothes on the clothes line according to color and size and type of clothing or linens. A tad bit OCD I think.

5. My books are arranged b…

Supper Tonight

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We are sticking to this eating healthy business and feeling better all the time. Now we are not strictly vegan but certainly vegetarian.
Tonight was a meal of lentils with eggplant, peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes diced, and for spices I added some sea salt (a tiny bit) salt free Spike, and a liberal shake of turmeric and cilantro from the garden.
It was really yummy. We had that on top of Brown Basmati rice and had some quesadillas with herbed cheese. For dessert, we had a carob tofu pie which was yummy. Forgot to get a picture of it though.
Life without preservatives and corn syrup sure make you feel better. Give it a try !

Sleepy Sunday

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We had big plans today, but when I woke up just as the sun was peeking over the horizon, Emery suggested maybe we just sleep a bit longer. I was more than happy to roll over and sleep a bit more. Funny thing is, I slept a lot longer. Till almost 11 am. Which for me is something like a miracle. Both Emery and I are on the go people and taking a lazy day is not very common.

We had a wonderful evening last night. Drove into Ft Worth and went to World Market then over to Central Market. We each got a kiddie size serving of Gelato, which is fresh made right there . Mine was Violet and it was really good. Not like any familiar taste but delightful to be sure. We sat on the patio to savor each bite slowly. There was a wonderful group of musicians playing French Cafe music. There was an older couple dancing, old lovers you could tell, he had on a white panama hat and she was dressed to the hilt and he could see no one other than her and she had eyes only for him. It was a perfec…

James of WEBK

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We have a wonderfully talented son in law. I wonder sometimes if he knows just how talented and smart he is. If he reads this he will know what we see in him !

James is probably the most knowledgeable person on the subject of music. He has an encyclopedic mind on musicians, records made, histories of musicians and on and on. I personally am amazed over and over at how much he knows. He mixed all the music for their wedding and had things planned down to the millisecond. And nice guy that he is, played one of my favorite songs at the reception.
Now apart from all this, and most important in our eyes, is that he is a wonderful husband to my daughter.
They are so cute together. You can just see the love they share for one another in the way they look at each other. The certainly are well matched. They have the exact same color hair even. James adores Melissa and she adores him.
They met while attending U.T. in Austin....both of them are such die hard Longhorn fans !
James is …