27 September 2009

Birthday evening in Bemidji...

Friday was Bob's birthday, so yesterday while Missy was spending the weekend with us, we decided to take her and Jordan out for Chinese food in Bemidji. Our favorite way to celebrate! The food at the Super Buffet was great, as usual.

Jordan had plans to go to the Cabin Coffeehouse afterwards to see Eric Bervig aka Chasing Clarence "in concert". We decided to join him to see what it was all about.

The Cabin Coffeehouse is in a small storefront in Bemidji. As you walk in the front door you enter a small, cluttered, quaint coffee shop where you can order something to eat and drink. Then you walk through a short hallway to the back where there is a room with a small semi-circle of a stage protruding from one wall. The room is "decorated" with a cabin theme. Log siding on the walls, a large painting of a log cabin beside a lake painted on what appears to be a 4'x8' piece of plywood, big windows with forest green curtains and frames, three of which look out onto a brick wall, small circular tables, a few couches arranged along one side, a kid size plastic kitchen in the corner, magazines and boardgames. When Eric and the band (consisting of Sam on keyboards and Ezra on a box drum) began playing it felt like you were at a family jam session. Nothing polished about it, just a folksy, jazz mix of musical styles and lyrics about life. Toward the end of the set Eric's two children, ages 6 and 8 joined him onstage with their violins and helped him with a song. Everything was very low-key and relaxed. We really liked it.

Today Missy and Jordan went to church with us, then treated us to Subway. Now we're back home having German chocolate cake for dessert.

Better go be sociable!

24 September 2009

One thing leads to another....

This afternoon found my husband and me (yes, that's grammatically correct...I think) rummaging around in the musty interior of an old mobile home which has occupied a place in the woods behind our house for many years. Our goal was to empty the contents of the trailer because it had been sold and the new owner planned to move it this weekend. He's a neighbor who's just gone through a divorce and needed a roof over his head until he could come up with a better alternative.

The reason the mobile home is in our woods goes back to 1999 and the specter of Y2K. My husband was an employee of the county and drove a small city bus which transported mostly senior citizens to the store and library, etc. One of his regulars asked if she might park a mobile home in our woods so that in the event of global disaster she would have a place to live. My husband, being an old softy, said that she could. The mobile home was put in place, the lady proceeded to hoard innumerable rolls of toilet paper and then she died. Before the year 2000 could even arrive. There's a moral in there somewhere.

Anyway, along came a friend who was moving out of the state. He asked if he might store some of his belongings in the mobile home since it was just sitting there empty. Being old softies, we said he could. Now, I-don't-know-how-many-years later, his belongings, in considerably sadder shape, are still in the mobile home. A couple of years ago he invited us to see if there was anything we could use and then throw the rest. He wasn't asking much, right?

So, here we were this afternoon trying to decide what should be saved and what should be thrown. Our son's drum set...save. Our other son's textbooks from tech school...save. (Why?) Now I had been through all the books and had found lots of fascinating volumes which now lived on my bookshelves, so when my hubby asked if I wanted any of the books I resolutely said, "Nope. I got all the books out of here that I wanted already."

"Not even one called 'The Life of Jesus' that's really old?', he said, holding up an obviously ancient little hardback book, missing its spine. Well, the bibliophilic maternal instincts kicked in and my resolve...dissolved.

"Well, maybe that one," I said, still trying to sound steely.

"How about a cookbook?" he asked innocently.

"Wait a minute, I'm coming to look," I replied climbing over boxes to see these books that I had obviously missed on a previous visit.

To make a long story longer, how could one resist books such as:

Gregg Shorthand Dictionary
God is Enough
Biography of James Hudson Taylor
Christ the Healer
The Natural Foods Ice Cream Book
Odd Vegetable Cookbook
The Two Covenants
Food is Your Best Medicine
Minnesota: Off the Beaten Path
The Merck Manual
The Three Battlegrounds-Frangipane
With My Whole Heart-Karen Mains
Satan's Underground
Grandchildren Are So Much Fun, I Should Have Had Them First
Lord Heal My Hurts-Kay Arthur
Nice 'n' Easy Family Cookbook
and the piece de resistance (?)
Half a Can of Tomato Paste and Other Culinary Dilemmas (The Cookbook
That Shows You What To Do With What's Left Over When You Have to Buy
Too Much)
plus a few copies of Colonial Home

Ah yes. Who could resist? I think I'll be culling my bookshelves to make room.


21 September 2009

I'm SO excited!

I just received my first book to be read as a Thomas Nelson Publisher Book Review Blogger! I ordered a copy of "Kabul 24" by Henry Arnold. As it says on the cover, it is, "The story of a Taliban kidnapping and unwavering faith in the face of true terror." It tells the story of eight Christians who went to Afghanistan as part of Shelters Now International to help Afghan refugees. They were kidnapped and held captive for 105 days. I can't wait to get into it!

On other fronts, it's my day off so I have plans to make a hotdish, cook up the last of the turnips from my garden and a few zucchinis, do laundry, do a tae bo workout, practice my guitar, fiddle and tinwhiste and read! I already did a lot of grungy work outside uprooting the sunflowers, squash plants, lettuce and anything else I found in the garden. I burned a lot of dog food bags in our outdoor barrel stove. I cleaned the pen and kennel our puppies stay in outside and watered and fed them. I watered the horses. Moved some straw inside so it won't get rained on. Just basically got dirty puttering around and enjoyed being outside.

Bob's heading for Fergus Falls this afternoon to watch Micah's Horse Science class go through their driving class (that's driving horses) and generally have fun visiting with horsey people. I'm staying home because he'll be home very late and I have to get up early tomorrow.

Here's a video of Petra singing "Take Me In", which is the song I'm currently working on with my guitar. Sound quality isn't the best, but it's old...

Here are the lyrics, since they're a little muddy on this video:

Take me past the outer courts, into the Holy Place,
Past the brazen altar, Lord I want to see Your face.
Pass me by the crowds of people,
The priests who sing Your praise.
I hunger and thirst for your righteousness,
And it's only found one place.

Take me in to the Holy of Holies,
Take me in by the blood of the Lamb.
Take me in to the Holy of Holies,
Take the coal, cleanse my lips, here I am.

I'm off. Go with God!

16 September 2009


Started to take my customary 2 mile walk and realized that the sun was only an inch above the trees (well, not AC-tually), so I thought to myself, "Self. I don't really want to be walking home in the dusk when all the skunks come out to play, do I?" And myself said, "No."

SO, after walking the .1 mile from my driveway to the walking trail I turned around and went home where I popped in my "Tae Bo Amped" DVD and did the 31 minute Core Express workout.

This is my first tae bo workout of the season. I usually do this for my winter exercise because it's too darn cold outside. It is a lot more of a workout than walking, so I'll be feeling it in the morning. Maybe even sooner.

Hi-YAAAH, y'all...

15 September 2009

music practice...

I had a little alone time and I finally got in a little practice on my guitar, fiddle and tinwhistle. I posted a few videos on my "Practice Time" blog (see link in my left-hand column) to show what songs I'm practicing. Of course, they don't sound like this when I play them. =0)

Now I'm off to make those tomato preserves! Easy recipe, so it shouldn't take too long.

Vaya con Dios, Mama!

Me on the trail.

Jordan preparing to go horseback riding with Micah!

13 September 2009

Good worship song...

Tomatoes everywhere!

We're getting a bumper crop of tomatoes off of my few plants! I've got cherries, pears and a couple of varieties of standard size tomatoes. With the cool summer we've had just a small dribble of tomatoes at a time, but as we experienced a few warmer days toward the end of summer they've ripened all at once.

I've taken a sliced up tomato with Ranch dressing to work in my lunch several times, and it's great, but I can't keep up! My hubby loves them, but they're too acidic for him to eat very many. So, I decided to try my hand at tomato preserves/jam.

Here are a couple of recipes I'm going to try in the next couple of days. I think I have enough tomatoes to make both recipes. I really like the idea of using apricot Jello in one of them! Anyone else game?

Tomato preserves

2 1/2 pounds tomatoes
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 pounds sugar
1 box Sure Jell
6 jelly glasses


Peel and cut the tomatoes into small pieces. Simmer for 10 minutes.
To 3 cups cooked tomatoes, add lemon juice and Sure Jell. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Add sugar and again bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, skim, place preserves in jars and cover. Process in hot water bath for 15 minutes.

Tomato jam with lemon or apricot gelatin

1 package (3 oz. size) lemon gelatin
3 cups tomatoes, chopped
2 cups sugar

Combine the tomatoes and sugar in heavy saucepan. Bring to boil and boil for 12 minutes. Remove from heat and add the gelatin (Jello). Stir well. Put in pint or jelly jars. Seal while hot or put wax over the jam in the jars. Store in a cool place. Try apricot gelatin for a taste treat, also.

11 September 2009

It's been an ouchy week...

School's started, without us for the first time. As I drove to work this morning and met a big yellow schoolbus, it occurred to me that we would never again have a child in the local public school. Hooray! My apologies to those who love the thought of school, but I'm so glad my kids are finally free to live their lives and make their own decisions. Even though we homeschooled for the most part, there was always the "presence" of the public school hovering in the background...watching. Or so it seemed!

Two of my children are now in college, studying things that interest them deeply. The third is considering doing the same. I'm so jealous! Someday maybe I'll take a class or two!

My daughter, Missy, came to visit last weekend. She and my husband went horseback riding on Saturday and enjoyed it so much that they went again on Sunday. Wish we could turn back the clock. Missy's horse decided to bolt and she (Missy) ended up with a concussion and fractured ribs after a bad fall. She missed some work, but seems to be on the mend. Not a great ending to what was a fun weekend!

Then on Sunday I slammed the sliding door on the deli case at work on my little finger. It looks a little mangled and is taking a long time to heal. It also effects my typing a bit, but nothing compared to Missy's aches and pains! So I'll stop whining.

Otherwise, I've been working a lot and not getting my exercise in. Maybe tomorrow?

My youngest daughter, Micah, is spending the night. She has a horse show tomorrow. (4-H Regionals) She's studying Equine Science at a community college about 90 miles away. Her husband, Adam, is studying architecture. She came alone since he has to work. It's always fun to catch up on what they're doing.

It's late, so I'll sign off for now.


05 September 2009

Man Executed in Jerusalem...

2000 years ago a man named Yeshua was executed outside of Jerusalem. Unlike most people who were sentenced to death, He died because He chose to. He gave up everything so that we wouldn't have to die, too. He died to give us life.

Why would someone have to die for us to have life? Because somewhere way back at the beginning we were broken. When this man, Yeshua, breathed His last breath the veil in the temple tore from top to bottom (Matthew 27:50-51). The temple veil had more in common with the curtain that covers a stage than the ones on your windows. It was about 60 feet tall and woven together layer on layer so that no light could pass through. It separated the Jewish people in the temple from the Holy Place where God's presence stood. It tore because He took the brokenness so we could come home again.

Coming home is a two way street. Most of us have our own veil inside. We've been broken and glued together so many times that our hearts look like a paper mache of blood and bandages. Now, we know that we can come back to God, but it's up to us to decide if He can come in or not. We may have thrown a curtain over some secret in our life that we don't want to get rid of, but don't want anyone to see. Maybe more than anything, we hang a curtain around all the pain. Everything that people told us, we believed, and everything they called us, we owned. The bandages are soaked through and they stick.

If you hurt, there's a man here who wants to treat your wounds. Someone broke you, but not this Man. He's knocking patiently on your door to come in and see you. There's blood dripping from His hands, but it's not yours. He knows all about pain. It's time for the curtain to tear. It's time for a fresh start. Our God is the God of new beginnings.

(This blog was written by my son, Josh. I thought it was kind of good...so I copied it and put it here!)

04 September 2009


My little crabapple tree yielded a 5 gallon bucket of apples! Time to make Lisa's Crabby-Apple Jelly!

Not to mention Wild Plum Jelly! (Though they're still a little under-ripe.)

My dad bought me two little crab apple trees about 10 years ago and they just started bearing fruit about 3 years ago. I was so surprised at that first crop! They are a nice way to remember him since he passed away a few years ago.

It's fun to have jelly-making to look forward to, since the vegetable garden is pretty much done for the year. I'll try to work on that Monday, on my day off. Hopefully next year we'll have a chest freezer so I can freeze more vegetables and maybe even butcher some chickens.

Happy harvest all! =0)