Of Cranky Dryers

So let’s talk about that square box the good wife throws wet clothing into and it magically comes out dry.

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Once upon a day, the good wife’s dryer began making funny noises, and at the end of each cycle the clothes were a little LESS dry than the time before, and it took more and more minutes to dry each load, but she didn’t panic. She went ahead and used up the entire day trying to dry only a few loads of clothing, while furiously googling all things dryer.

The next day, she only did 1 load of laundry, but after 60 minutes of whirling, finally give up and hung it out on the line in 30-degree wind and rain while pitying the poor pioneer women and praying for the Amish women. She brought it in many hours later and it was placed all about the house in its very damp glory.

Then, she went away for 2 days.
While gone, the good wife thought about what was wrong with the dryer
and how much laundry will have stacked up until it gets fixed?
They discussed what might be wrong with said dryer.
She wondered how long it would take to get the parts needed for fixing.
She thought about the fact that she will either have to go to the laundry mat
or go naked if these dryer issues were not resolved in a timely manner.

Upon arriving home, the good wife kicks the dryer on the way past. After much time passes, the handy husband asks if he should look into that dryer. She smiled sweetly and said “Yes, please!”

Now know in advance, that the moving of this dryer is beyond natural human abilities. With the placement of it in a very small closet, the gas pipes, the venting and all that good stuff, once moved, it will never return to the exact correct spot just as it should.

So the handy husband pulled it out and began to dismantle it. After much beeping and bleeping of an electrical gadget, it was determined that no part or piece of this machine appeared to be broken. Therefore You-Tube was consulted and after much watching thereof, while sitting on the floor behind the dryer, more dismantling began to take place by the husband. A long, large metal piece with multiple holes was taken off the back and handed to the good wife. After a quick check, it was discovered that 14 years of “stuff” had been piling up inside. There were things of every nature, earth and sand, coins and treasures, stuffing and fluff, and even a few wires piled into inches and inches of dirt. The amount was astounding and the condition appalling.

The good wife then left the house for a short amount of time. Upon her return and to her utter amazement, there was nothing left of her square dryer, except the round circle that the clothing is placed into. Pieces and parts were everywhere, nuts, bolts, and screwdrivers lay all around. The sweeper was then pulled out and much suctioning began to take place. It was with amazement that the good wife saw how many dust bunnies had overtaken her dryer, no, not bunnies to be sure, but rather full grow rabbits.

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All the parts and pieces were then reassembled and the power reconnected. And with the punch of a button, the now square dryer started and to the unbelief of them all, it had been completely healed of its illness.

Moral of the story: Sometimes it doesn’t even need a new part, a good cleaning will do the job.

Second moral of the story: Sometimes helping fix said dryer will throw the good wife’s 8th rib out of place and cause her much pain. So as she sits with an ice pack, she wonders if dryers are really worth all they claim to be. She then remembers hanging up clothing in 30-degree weather and decides she’ll just have to deal with the rib.

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Of Thanksgiving and more…

 

When you were a kid, going to Grandma’s house was a highlight. I remember many trips to Ohio to see Grandma Yoder and we always had the best weekends in there. We also loved going to Grandpa Stoll’s house with Dad any chance we could get. There was always a piece of candy waiting for you from the corner cabinet before you would leave.

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Now my kids love to go to Grandpa and Grandma’s too. The last year we have spent more time out in IN than normal and so far I haven’t heard any of the kids complaining. Grandpa just added a cherry to the top of the weekends when he bought a little cabin for the grandkids. I declare the last weekend we were there was the absolute quietest Saturday we have had out there in years. We actually had to go get the kids for meals, otherwise, they were cabin dwellers all day.

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I thought Reagan might just move in permanently. There were so many things to do, see, and so much to explore. She is wishing and hoping it will be warm enough to play at the cabin when we go out the next time.

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Grandma and Grandpa stopped in for a chat. Anyone who went for a visit came back smelling like a smokestack. The kids had the fire going all day and I thought they might cook some food for themselves, but they didn’t catch anything to grill. They did inquire about snacks and some hot chocolate a time or two between meals. Delivery service was requested.

As with everything new we do, it brings an ache. Tris isn’t here to see the changes, to enjoy watching the kids grow, to make dumb jokes about the oddest things. He would have been moving and shaking things to get this cabin into place, full of big ideas and plans for what all we could do back there. Sometimes we still look up and expect his jeep to come rolling in the lane.

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Mini Mouse wasn’t in the smiling mood. She so badly wanted to stay at the cabin but it was just a little too chilly for her little size.

~~~

My brain feels like it is suffering from an overdose of too much food and sugary goodness over Thanksgiving. Not that I have ever given up all things sugary like some {strong} people, no I just keep tormenting myself and sneaking little bites thinking they won’t add up as quickly as one large plateful. I have no idea where I am going with this, as I said, my brain… it is rather muchly on overload right now.

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Madison doesn’t help the problem by making things like this. I wasn’t tempted with more than a taste or two since I am not a true lover of chocolate.

~~~~

Speaking of Thanksgiving…

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Some of Eric’s extended family was around here for a few days.
They are the game players, I am the roaming one that watches all the games, but plays none. I feel a rash coming on at the thought of being pinned to a seat playing a game for an hour or three. Say the word game and my legs start twitching and I have to get up and move around. I’m glad not everyone is like me and they enjoy a good game!

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Bethany did crafts with the kids. It was most lovely of her to spend her time doing this, although I’m pretty sure she made all my kids an extra big project with an extra lot of extra glitter.

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And more game playing, see what I said!

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This game was called, “See how many guys can fit in the same spot!”🙂
Not really. It is just that the closer you sit, the better you can hear the other conversations around you.

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This used to be the wild and wooly little gang doing donuts around the room. When did they get this big that they sit quietly and play games?

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“Let’s reconstruct the tower of Babel!” they said.
“Everyone else holds really still!” they said.

And like the tower, all good things must come to an end
and Thanksgiving vacation was over entirely too soon.

~~~

From my Instagram:

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The Amish schoolhouse that I sneakily take pictures of when I see the kids out. One day I was not so stealthy and the little girls held their hands over their faces. It embarrassed my kids which made it totally worth it.

~~~

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Y’all have yourselves a very merry weekend!

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A Tribute to Grandpa Miller

On October 5, Eric’s grandpa passed away due to failing health.
Today is the first anniversary Grandma will spend alone in 61 years.

In the days before his funeral, I asked his children and grandchildren for their memories and compiled them into a tribute to him.  

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A Tribute to the Father of the Millers

A Husband, a Father, a Grandpa, Great-Grandpa, a Brother, and Uncle was he.
He answered to Emanuel, Manuel, Dad, Dawdy, Candy Dawdy,
Grandpa, Candy Grandpa, Great-Grandpa and Crist Joe Ale‘s Manuel.

A farmer by trade for years of his life, corn, hay, his fields and the price of beans.
Dairy and milking, silage and cows, his boys kept him company while he worked.
A daughter or two, by his side in the barn, laughing and singing with the cows.
With a son on the tractor, another in the barn, one working the hay,
and a few out back in the woods, he managed and called and directed them all.
Out through the window, his wife called his name and he gathered the boys for a meal.
Around the old kitchen table, they clambered and fought for good food,
stories of the day, laughter, and chatter all part of the meal.
After they had eaten he would pick up his Bible, in a voice filled with care,
he read from the Word, directing the hearts of his young.
A good game of softball in the soft evening light,
out by the flower garden spot, completed the day.

His children grew up and blessed him with grandchildren aplenty running ‘round.
They came down to the farm for visits, some food, and a story while he sat in his chair.
He would pull out pink candy from a pocket or two, and sneak it to little hands waiting.
Always the same kind, soon the candy was renamed after him,
affectionately known as “Dawdy Candy” which in turn named him, Candy-Dawdy.
On auction day, he would pick up excited grandchildren and take them along to the Mt. Hope sale barn. There was always time for a stop for lunch
at Mrs. Yoder’s or Boyd & Wurthmann in hopes of meeting a friend or relative.
He set the grandchildren to work, driving through fields and picking up rocks,
plenty of help for his hands. When milking time came, they followed along,
sipping milk from the bulk tank and shoveling feed for the cows.
The highlight of his week was a trip to the ball field on Monday nights.
He loved to watch his sons and grandsons swing for the fence.
When the grandchildren grew up, he enjoyed their visits anew.
Reminiscing of old was a favorite of his, those stories that he told and retold.

The day finally came that the cows had to go, other odd jobs took their place.
He would climb in his car and putter on down to host at Miller’s Essenplatz.
He visited with and seated all the people, while he chuckled and nodded replies.
When they smiled and waved on their way out the door, he would turn and reply
in his signature Dutch-accented call, “Thank-You-ah!
After everyone was gone and things quieted down, off to the back he would sneak
for his late night bowl of ice-cream, much to his wife’s dismay.

As life slowed him down, the cold Ohio winters drove him down to sunny Pinecraft.
It was months of vacation, lots of friends, a chat and a meal,
a run to the park in hopes of a friendly face to visit with.
Genealogy was his love and he knew people from far and wide,
he also knew exactly how everyone was related and to whom.
If he happened to come across a new face or two, get ready for the questions to fly.
“Now who did you say was your Dad? And your Mom’s maiden name was what?”
Before any time passed, he had them figured out and most likely they were related
to him, or at least to someone he knew.
Grandma would make donuts and coffee on cool southern mornings
and all the people would come. He chatted and reminisced, told old stories anew,
but all the while kept an eye on those donuts
and knew exactly how many were consumed and by whom.
Out for a meal in the evening with family, was something he loved to do.
His Florida favorite was Mi Tierra with fish on his platter, eyes staring back at him.
Spring would roll around and soon the North beckoned,
family and friends and his farm ground awaited him there.

Camping in the fall was a love of his with his family gathered ‘round.
He loved to sit and watch all the action, and then sternly call some command.
A crowd was usually gathered around his boys,
listening to them rehearse the old stories while everyone laughed.
He would smile and chuckle and try to add his own thoughts.
When the telling got tall with the stories of his, when all the things he had said
grew larger and funnier with time, he would silently laugh and say, “Help mich, Clarie!”
Little help she was while she giggled and shook, loving every memory she heard.
When late night fires blazed hot, guitars would start strumming
and the people would gather around singing songs of old he so loved.
In a voice all quivering with tears, he would hold up his hand and try to speak
the things that were deep in his heart.

As time moved on, age took its toll, his back stooped, bent by years of labor.
His hands were worn by the toil of the land, his eyesight slowly fading,
and his feet in a shuffle as he walked, life was coming to a close.
Yet, he had a heart full of love and a smile on his face for his wife, family, and friends.
Though his mind not as sharp the last years, that first love he had, still remained.
Holding his well-worn Bible near, with a tear-filled voice he stood often in church,
thanking his Jesus for all He had done.

While we miss him here, we rejoice with joy that He walks on streets of pure gold.
He is singing his songs and praising His Savior, perfectly healed today.
He leaves behind a legacy, a heritage, not soon forgotten, rich in love, family, and Jesus.

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This was last year at their anniversary celebration,
a few more have been added since.

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Unchanging

Malachi 3:6
I the Lord do not change.

No matter the storm,
the fierce winds raging,
He is the guiding light
leading ships to safe harbor.

Though there be shifting sands
and relentless, eroding winds,
He is the unmovable rock,
steady, firm and secure.

Though the tempest may sweep
and your ship starts to sink,
He is the undamaged lifeboat
holding steady, ready to save.

When the whirlwind swirls
and sand spits in your eyes,
He is your peaceful shelter,
safety from the storm.

When all around you feel forsaken,
misunderstood, rejected of men,
He is love, love everlasting,
unchanging and sure.

When trials and afflictions
test your strength and soul,
He is ever faithful,
at your side always abiding.

When you stumble and fall,
pulled down once again,
He is the hand of grace,
outstretched and forgiving.

Sinking lower than low,
your vigor is long gone,
He is great strength,
lifting and carrying you.

When the world around you
looks dark and cold,
He is ever present,
His hand in each move.

When fear and doubts assail,
despair fills your heart,
He is quiet courage whispering,
“Keep your eyes on Me!”

All is well, He never changes.

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Of October’s Days

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October showed off in spectacular colors this year.
It was amazing to drive around and just fill your eyes with God’s finery.

October was also filled to the brim.
Birthdays, outings, parties, photo shoots, editing, school functions, a funeral, family get-togethers, traveling, and stress. And after all of that, add all the usual “mom things” to fill in the cracks and there were days when I just wanted to pull the covers over my head and stay in bed.

But I made it, but here is hoping for a calm November.

~~~

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A reason to celebrate in the Hostetler family is when someone turns 60. If it is a sibling, the siblings and spouses all spend a few days together. If it is a sister-in-law, just the ladies get together for a few days.

Now you can all play the Mennonite game and say,
“Oh my word, I didn’t know you were related to them!”🙂

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The one having the birthday is allowed to invite her daughters and in-laws, so we were privileged to spend a few grand days with them because it was our Mama Carol’s turn. We missed Melissa since she was unable to be with us.

Try this sometime.
Gather up your sisters and your Mom and spend a few days together doing a lot of nothing but eating and talking.
Or spend a few days with your Mom and her sisters.
Or even with your husband’s Mom and sister in laws.🙂
It will be time well spent.

~~~

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We were in IN one weekend.
They say pictures never lie, well I should beg to differ, but doesn’t this look like the most well behaved little gang of grandkids you’ve ever seen?🙂

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This little man is about as cute as they get!

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One morning we had Grandma’s specialty, sugar donuts as we call them, on the back porch. They were for special occasions when we were kids and now the grandkids still get them sometimes. Deep fried biscuits rolled in cinnamon-sugar, if you wondered.

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Tim, or rather Reagan, cooked a pot of ham and beans one night to go with our cornbread. She was in her element, as you can see.

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Not all little boys are privileged to have a Grandpa like this guy does.
They have a special bond.

~~~

Our school children took a trip to an Amish farm last week.

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When I walked in and saw this,
I sank into a deep, dark depression
at the thought of all that canning.
I will never let them see my canning shelves.

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I don’t do a lot of selfies, but when you have a friend like this begging for one with you, you must simply oblige. And the light was bad and is making my hair much more colored than they actually are, just so you know.

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We saw and fed a lot of animals that day and the kids loved it.
This is kind and gentle Sammy and he will always be remembered by me. To make a wild story short, he was a little over-eager to get to his food and he managed to get his curled horn around my leg at one point. 10 days later, I still have a rather significant bruise in memory of him.

~~~

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This night was just what I needed in the middle of everything else.
These kind friends blessed us with a concert and dinner.
This song spoke to me that night.

~~~

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Leaves, leaves and more leaves.
My neighbor man says to me, “I heard you blowing leaves more than once, you know that’s useless, right?” My reply to him, “If I wait until they are all down, we would never be able to get through them!”

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If you live in a flat, open, tree-less property and are pining away for a leaf or two, come on over and we’ll fill your cup!

~~~

Get started writing your thankful list!
Good day to you!

Apple Puff Pastry

Autumn calls for all things apple in the desserts around here.

I have recently discovered puff pastry and how easy it is to use.

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It is found in the frozen section of your local grocery,
by the deserts and pie crusts.

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Let it thaw for about 40 minutes, spread it out on a floured surface and give it a slight roll to smooth the seams. If the seams break, use a little water and pinch them back together before rolling.

After you’ve smoothed and flattened it a bit, cut it down the center.

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Spoon your pie filling onto the center of one half and brush the edges with a beaten egg.
Place the second half on top and use a fork to press the edges to seal them.

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Brush the top with the rest of the beaten egg.
Cut about 4 small air vents in the top.
(which I forgot to do in the photo above)

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Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Cover with a glaze and eat them warm!

~~~

Now, for the filling, you have two options.
The easy way or the hard way.🙂

First choice, the easy way.
Go buy a can of apple pie filling and spoon it on.
Done.

The second choice is to make an apple filling.
It’s a lot more work, but goodness, I just wanted to eat all the filling
before I got the pastry rolled out.

You can use a filling recipe of your choice or the following recipe.

~~~

Apple Puff Pastry

Apple  Filling

4 large apples
(app 4 cups, finely sliced)
8 TBS butter
1/2 c brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Melt the butter and dump sliced apples into the pan.
Stir until lightly browned.
Add cinnamon and sugar.
Simmer for about 15 minutes.

1 box Puff Pastry.
Thaw 40 minutes, roll out and cut down the center.
Place apple filling in the center of half.
Whip one egg and brush the edges of the pastry.
Top with the other half and use a fork to seal the edges.
Brush the top with remaining egg.
Cut 4 air vents in the top.
Bake at 400* for 15-17 minutes or until brown.

Cover generously with a powdered sugar glaze.
Serve warm and enjoy!

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Tales of Nellie Hamster

Now as the summer came to a close,
and the days of earth shortened in length,
it came to pass that the children
of the tribe of Eric, son of Dan,
went back to their place of learning.

Now the son of the tribe
was in his first year of twelve,
and much excitement abounded.
He was joyful in heart and mind
to be leaving the house of his Mother
and joining a classroom with
the beloved teacher of his sisters.

Now the Mother of the tribe of Eric,
loved this teacher also
for her skills and abilities in the classroom
were not to be compared to any other.
But the Mother of the tribe was also wise
and she knew much about the ways of
this much-beloved teacher of her children.
Many years before when the daughters of the tribe
were scholars of this teacher,
animals aplenty abounded
and this mother felt an ill wind blowing,
when she pondered on her son attending this class.

And so it was that school commenced
and excitement rose to an all-time high
in the house of this tribe.
Upon arriving home
from the first day of schooling,
shouts and cries could be heard
from the son of the tribe,
“We have a hamster for a pet at school
and we get to babysit him on weekends!”
And when upon hearing the words of her son,
did the mother’s head drop with her chin
against her chest for all of her fears
had come to pass.

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True to the words of the son of the tribe,
a paper soon arrived for the Mother.
Instructions were to sign for weekends
when you did not want to be the caretaker
of the previously mention small ball of fur.
Immediately upon reading these words,
the Mother grabbed a pen and began to sign
the son’s name upon every line.
Now her children were wise unto her ways
and a cry arose voicing their disapproval of her actions.
Being the kind-hearted Mother she is,
she relented and allowed that the
small creature of fur would be able
to cross the threshold of her home,
but only for the sake of her son.

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Anticipation mounted high
in the weeks awaiting the creatures arrival.
As circumstances would have it,
the parents of the Mother of the tribe
would be arriving the same weekend.
The Mother of the tribe of Eric, son of Dan,
had an uneasy foreboding about the
meshing of said visitors.

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And so the day arrived that
Hamster Nellie of the tribe of Miss Lois
arrived at the home of the clan.
Much hooping and hollering did abound
when the cage was brought into the house.
They immediately knelt upon the ground
and loosen the latch to free the small prisoner.
And so the much loved Nellie was thereafter
carried and cuddle and cared for
in the most adoring manner.
Along with the loving,
this small creature caused many an argument
over who was to have a turn next.

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Now the grandmother of the son of the tribe
is not a lover of all things small and furry.
Armed with this knowledge and a sneaky smile,
her grandson proceeded to place Nellie
upon her lap and stepped back to watch the action.
Much yelling and protesting did come forth,
just in the manner for which he hoped
and with much laughter on his part,
he did rescue poor Nellie.
After the swift removal, it was then discovered
that when a small hamster is nervous and scared,
their bowels produce multiple droppings,
even if it isn‘t appropriate to do so
on a grandmother‘s lap.

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And so the entire weekend was filled
with shrieks and yells and much
exclaiming and ado over
the actions of one small furry creature.
The little fur ball may have been frightened
for her life on more than a few occasions.
Escapes were made under furniture,
behind computers, under tables and such like,
with much chasing and rioting to follow.
Burrowing down under the blankets of
the bed of the son of the tribe,
seemed to be a favorite of hers.
The Mother of the son just
closed her imaginative mind
to the things that must be residing
in the bed and made plans to
clean many things the following day.

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Monday morning could not come
soon enough for the Mother.
Many were the threatenings
and evil thoughts bouncing
when mention was made of this ball of fur.
And much to her dismay
as she was closing the door behind her son
as he made his way off to school,
she heard him excitedly say,
“I can’t wait till the next weekend
we can babysit Nellie!”

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