Thursday, December 31, 2009

Being Thankful

Its the end of the year, again. I am thankful for so many things today! My husband, we have been married for over 41 years, our family, and grandchildren just for starters. Ed and I have a nice home to live in, warm, nicely furnished. We have many wonderful memories in this home.

Ed retired after pastoring Praise Fellowship Church for 29 years; they were wonderful, busy years. I will always call this our home church where our children grew up, went to college and moved away to start their own families. Well, Brent, our oldest son moved away from our house, but he's employed by Praise Fellowship for which I am thankful for.

Ed and I have a nice life, nice memories from our PF family. Good friends from town, in the district . . .

Yes, this is a blog about Amish/English but sometimes just sitting back and reflecting is wonderful and necessary. Having grown up without electricity, I will say that living with all these modern conveniences have been wonderful. Sometimes in my reflections, remembering in the mid-nineties learning to use computers, we now use cell phones, blogs, facebook, etc.

Ed & I travel which we enjoy. With our daughter and her family living in NC, we love visiting our grand children in NC! Growing up Amish we used horse & buggy for our every day going here and there. Now we fly to places much further then any where I traveled growing up. Maybe we'll get to fly or drive to NYC again this year and visit our youngest son. Its a fun city to tour and I love leaving again too.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Growing up without TV

Our Rick Warren devotional today talked about moral values and how it effects decisions we make. So I didn't grow up watching TV and I would love to say it doesn't effect my decisions. But on the other hand I didn't hear Gods Word taught in Sunday School either. I read Bible Stories out of our tattered book growing up so I wasn't a total heathen and attended church hearing God's Word preached. Still I needed a personal experience with Jesus which happened in my early teen years.

We had a garden and canned vegetables from the garden. We canned chickens because that's what we had mostly during my lifetime. When I was young I remember butchering a pig and smoking hams. At one time in my life dad bought my grandmother's farm next to our farm and my older sisters and brother took care of that farm. I don't think that lasted for many years until my dad sold the farm to "English" people.

We entertained ourselves playing games outside in the summer along with good hard honest work. I loved helping to put up hay and when the "thrashers" would come. Yep, we went "bare footed" all summer. When I became a teenager I started wearing shoes to church. I do a double - take now going "back" into their homes.

Friday, August 7, 2009

My Hobby - Reading

My mother instilled the love of reading to most of my siblings. Whenever mom would have some time she would find a magazine, or later on in life, books someone brought home from school, she would read them, sometimes overnight.

Growing up we didn't have many books in our home. We had a worn out Bible Story book I read from cover to cover many times. Mom would go to my grandmothers who had like a library and bring books from her house. The bad side to this; dad couldn't stand to see us sitting around reading. Even after all our chores were done it would aggravate him. Sundays was a day we didn't work so I would take a book and crawl into bed to read. Our upstairs didn't have any heat so this was partly to stay warm too. (Out of sight, out of mind!)

My dad played games with us after our evening meal and mom would sit and read. With 12 children she didn't have much time to herself.

I love the library that stocks great books. I have learned to use the internet and request the books then get notified through emails when they come in. Plus you don't need to spend time looking them up.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cooking from "Scratch"

When my husband retired our income "downsized". So I decided to do what I could to s-t-r-e-t-c-h the family food budget and make it fit to our monthly income. As long as the "basics" are in the cupboard its not too difficult to make meals.

For example I cook BBQ Pulled Pork. I freeze the extra to use for another meal. (I'll post the recipe at the end of this article.)

Growing up on the farm, we had a garden to help with the groceries. My back yard is too shady to grow veggies. Since I live in town I use the farmers market downtown and I discovered a produce stand about 2 blocks away on 8th Street which is very good.

We eat our main meal at lunch and our light meal in the evening. Over the winter I made many different kinds of soup. Delightful! Baked bread, yummy. I do use the all grain frozen rolls too. Very good and easy to use!!! With our stove in the living room we use to help heat the house; I set the rolls to raise and bake in time for lunch. Plus the house smells good too.

It takes some planning meals out and watching the weekly sales in the local grocery stores. We hardly eat out any more and don't miss that luxury either.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

1 onion
2 garlic
1 hot pepper (smoked) *I never used this in my recipe
1 small bunch cilantro
I can tomatoes (fire roasted tomatoes) I use whatever
4 pounds pork shoulder (I used whatever I have around)

Cook on high 6 hours

Sour cream cuts the spice

*We use Sweet baby rays bbq sweet ‘n spicy sauce on sandwiches

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spring is on its Way!

With a day like today, I know that spring will soon be here! Yeah! Its been 6 months now since my husband retired. I have not found a job so I have been trying to cook, bake and keep the house clean. Be a good wife, do the laundry, make the bed every day. (Even though I have been making the bed daily for years now.) It made sense to put that sentence there.

We made it through another winter in Wisconsin! I was hoping to escape this past winter but I ended up being thankful for this winter! I am thankful that we had a warm, nice house to live in! Since we haven't sold our house; this was the place to be! Its been fun visiting our friends, having time to spend with them, with no agenda! Since my job was Volunteer Coordinator, no one needed to run when they saw me coming. :-)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Life is Good!

My husband retired after 29 years of pastoring at Praise Fellowship last September. Our lives have changed dramatically from what it used to be. Since my job was at the church along with my husband, I am now unemployed. I thought I would go and get a job right off, but the economy crashed last fall. I applied for holiday jobs, nothing! In hind sight, jobs came across my desk last summer that I should have applied for, which were gone by the time I got around to looking for a job.

With my "Amish" upbringing, I slipped right back to how I was brought up. I am cooking all of our meals, shopping wisely, etc. Its hard to tell what this receipt says, but on Wednesday shopping at our local grocery store I saved $ 29.01. (I spent around $60) I would say that was wise shopping! The clerk checking me out commented on my savings! This was my best week by far, but with double couponing I usually save in the twenty dollar range.

Its been interesting and a challenge cooking. Lately we have been trying to eat breakfast and later in the afternoon for our main meal with a light supper. We are getting older and don't need as much nourishment as a younger more active person. :-)

I started baking all of the bread we eat. I found all grain frozen rolls, that we love. That supplements my baking. I baked Banana Bread the other week, which turned out wonderful but we ate it within a day or 2 so my husband instructed me not to bake that again! It was yummy.

My chili soup has been perfected! This winter has been great soup weather which included Zesty Vegetable soup, Beef Barley Soup, (I supstituted lintels), very good! If any one would like to try any of my recipes, just let me know. I went online and found some great recipes such as; Split Pea Soup. I always thought that was for old people . . . I guess that's me now!

I started cooking up our beans for soup, (instead of canned beans), instead of the overnight soaking, I do the quick cook, boiling them for several minutes and letting them sit for an hour before cooking them until they get soft. We planned for around a hundred dollars a week for food allowances, but I think we have done much better then we expected and we have been eating well.

We have been walking at the Mall for our exercise because of all the snow and ice on the sidewalks. Making it unsafe for walking. It has finally melted and we have been walking down at the lake again! Yeah! I love the lake, especially early in the morning!