Friday, January 27, 2012

Update on Tenlee

I got a very short update that Tenlee is responding; still needs much prayer. Her grandmother, Regina, is thanking everyone for caring and taking time to pray. They were quite encouraged today. This picture was on Linda's blog, but I do not know for certain that this is Tenlee. If you wish to see Linda's blog it is

Icing On a Gray Day!

As I lay in my loft bed at Mom's last night, the icy drops clattered against the tin roof. Later I awoke to the sound of heavy rain and couldn't imagine what the early morning drive down to the house, and then down to work (only in town) would be like. It had snowed a few inches before the rain and ice came. So today is deeply slushy and many limbs strew the ground. I am including pictures of what I saw when I went to eat with Mom this noon. Sadly, a couple of her sturdy birches (though these two were "leaners") have split. Believe it or not, the one across the driveway is just bent over and ice has done this many times in the past. I have been able to take the car under it before, but did not do so today. Three years ago, Syd drove under it and lost a side mirror on his truck! This one should straighten again. Two trees are likely lost, though. When I was driving up the class 4 road toward our house I saw a sizeable tree, sheared off and laying in the neighbor's yard. As we are settled beneath many large poplars and maples, I prayed, "Lord, please don't let one be on our house." House was safe and sound.

While we enjoyed our warm soup, crackers, cheese and coffee...the birds had a cold lunch! Here you can get an idea of how the ice is almost 1/2 inch thick so far. 
 The apple tree, thick with icing and I loved this poplar, bowed over, making an arch across the road. This one is on the way down toward our house.

When I got to Mom's she had chicken and rice soup on the stove, coffee made and the table set. She took me literally when I called her and said, "The dogs and I will come up and have a little lunch with you." The dogs each got a carrot. It was a nice treat. Now the dogs are tucked away, back in the warm house until Syd and I get home. Syd's first order of business is to go to Mom's, especially on an afternoon like this, to clean up snow and check on her. He's so good to her and he shows how much he loves her daily. I am so thankful for this!

So, that's the news from Darling Hill. I wouldn't venture up today. We look forward to sun tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Dear readers,
I totally forgot to tell you that the crackers must be baked at 400 degrees. I remembered it on my way to work this morning - just that short, 2 mile trip! I wondered, "did I forget to put the oven temperature on that recipe?" When I got home I looked on the recipe (which is posted to the right of this blog) and sure enough, I'd forgotten it!  And don't forget to prick them with a fork several times, so they don't get too thick. I had a friend tell me that she made wheat thins once and her son broke a tooth! I think she baked them too long too, but hers had gotten quite thick and puffy. Mine were nice and thin, poking them is key.

Not much going on on the hill this afternoon. Had lunch with Mom and we played with the dogs, laughed and watched part of a western on TV. Prayer meeting tonight, so I'm "thinking up supper".  Goodnight, all!

Prayer request: Please pray for a little baby (newborn) named Tenley. She was born with a heart problem and has gone through surgery. During a breathing treatment something went wrong and all the air was taken out of her lungs. Please pray for her and for her family and for the doctors and nurses. They give her a 50/50 chance. Those who are "pray-ers" please hold them up in much prayer! thanks.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Day Out With the Ladies

Today I took Mom and our friend, Evelyn, out to Bradford. Before we were scheduled to leave my brother informed me that I would not be able to drive out the last 1/4 mile of the road or down Mom's driveway, as it is a skating rink. Syd had gotten sand last night and got our two hills on the 4th class road sanded this morning but ran out of sand and just figured that Mom's driveway looked like ours - snow still covering much of it, therefore just a slushy mess but able to "get a grip" - not so! My brother suggested that I walk in to Mom's house from our other brother's log cabin. So that we did!

 I parked the car where the worst of the ice began, in front of our brother, Dennis' cabin.
 And walked up over the hill and through the field - to Grandmother's house we go!
All the while, avoiding THIS, her driveway
 Here comes Trooper Mom. She exclaimed, "well, we're getting our morning walk!"
 Over the hill, then down to Dennis' cabin; just a little slippery there.
And here we are at the car and soon we'll be on our way to Bradford. At least we didn't have to walk ALL the way!

We proceeded to pick up Evelyn and had clear sailing over Eagle Hollow Road. We did a little shopping and enjoyed a nice lunch at the Chinese restaurant, poked around in a thrift store and drug store, then went to Evelyn's hair appointment. 
 We waited  patiently for the food to come and when it came...
...we got ALOT!  We each took half of it home.
It was a fun day.  Syd's out sanding everything thoroughly now; though Mom and I got home too early and again made the trek over the hill and through the field, as Mom exclaimed, "Well, we're getting our afternoon walk in!"

Whole Wheat Crackers and Precious Memories

It was great to be home this afternoon. My second part-time job is such that I can almost make my own hours, except around the time that payroll must go out. My duties there are many but they depend upon when parts are ready to go out, etc. Paperwork and figures are my responsibility, otherwise those guys are on their own. Therefore, I worked for two hours today and came home.

Today I made wheat thins. I changed up the recipe a little, using cracked pepper in the dough and then sprinkling on cayenne just before baking. The other day I was reflecting on everything I used to make from scratch. We had homemade bagels, english muffins, crackers, yogurt, butter. We pickled or canned everything. Those were the days when Bradley was living with us and life, though busy, was more laid back. During those years Syd and I lead the youth at the Church of the Open Bible, where we attended after being saved and married.

We began talking of these years the other night. While reminiscing we got on the subject of our very first home.  I thought I'd actually get it down in writing, because though the happenings of those first few months of marriage sound "normal" to us, some of the accounts are quite funny.  Please humor me as I try to get them down on paper.
        This is us in May of 1981. As you can see, we survived the story that follows:

Our first little "house" was an 8 X 28 foot trailer situated amongst the trees below our friends, Al and Cher's, house. They lived on Little Ascutney mountain. The road (which was their driveway) wound and wound, up the side of the hill and stopped at their home, passing ours on its way. That winter our old van, being light in the rear end, backed down that road more times than I could count. Syd mounted small fog lights on the back with a toggle switch, so we wouldn't have to use reverse.

The trailer did not have plumbing and would not have had lights, except Alan ran about 500 foot of cord down from his house and rigged it into our fuse box. We could run approximately three lights at a time, but had to remember to unplug at least one before trying to use our toaster or electric frying pan. It had an apartment sized range (I remember this because all that I cooked were casseroles, which is why Syd gained 50 pounds the first year). Alan had installed an adorable slate floor (about 3X4foot) in the "kitchen". However, having a new kitten, our stacks of brand new plates suffered for it. We lost several to that floor! There was no refrigerator, which was fine because we could not use the back bedroom due to its being SO cold. We would keep our refrigerated items in a large cooler in there but had to be sure to keep the cooler top on securely so that everything inside would not freeze solid. The back room was where our chemical toilet was kept too. It was a small, portable model and, unfortunately would freeze also. If it was frozen too much, and needed to be emptied, we would carry it up to Alan & Cher's, set it in their kitchen while we showered and visited. Eventually it would thaw enough to empty.

We were married in October of 1980 and our neighbors had provided our wood supply also. It was stacked ALL around the mobile home, in hopes to keep the air from going under the trailer (which did not help, by the way, but the thought was there). Having the wood was a real blessing until the February thaw when the HUGE carpenter ants moved in.

The home had been purchased by Al at a reduced rate because it had been through a major flood. Syd would go off to work every morning while I stayed home with our siamese kitten, Nehemiah. There was always (constantly) silt to be vacuumed out from under the mattress, under rugs and from the floors of the closet, drawers and food shelves. Nehemiah spent his days trying to keep warm under the woodstove. The stove was one of those barrel and-a-half models (WAY too big for that place) and I found myself letting it die down in order to cool off, but come December it would become way too cold during the days and I'd freeze trying to get it going again. At some point the guys put a tiny, tent-style aluminum stove in the corner (perched it on a lovely pile of fieldstones). This one would get so hot that its sides would turn bright red. When the living area was at its hottest, you could not touch the small cranks that allowed the windows to open - on the opposite side of the room from the stove! By God's grace, the little place never burned down. Whether it was the large woodstove or the small, if we did not get up in the night and fill it, Nehemiah's water, which sat next to the stove, would freeze solid.

I remember doing a lot of writing, reading and cooking during that first winter. I did as many crafts as was possible. Having no kitchen table there was only so much space but all of our family members managed to get a piece of "artwork" as a Christmas present that year. Unbelievable, but I still see a few of these pieces on people's walls, how funny!

The table that we ate at was an electrical spool in the livingroom that sat between Grammy & Grandpa's couch and chair, our only furniture. On it I would put the plates that survived the slate floor, tablecloth and candles and we'd lean down to enjoy our dinner. The couch and chair, Syd's grandparent's wedding gift to us, we eventually traded for 12 chickens and one rooster when we moved into our next tiny ski cabin (which was furnished and, though small, much larger). The ski cabin came with mice, which I do not recall having a problem with at the trailer - probably too cold for them.

It was a wonderful place to live and I wouldn't trade these memories for anything. They bring tears to my eyes, actually. It was such a great time of life and we thank the Lord for all of it. I wish these kind of memories to any couple starting their journey together...perhaps free of the silt, and ants and frozen milk and port-a-pottys, but none of these things hurt anyone!

Anybody interested in the whole wheat cracker recipe: It's simple and they're delicious! I posted it here on the right.