Here’s the gift card:
Antique Buttons and Wooden Spool
Here’s the gift card:
Here’s the gift card:
Antique Buttons and Wooden Spool
Not every housewife chooses to make desserts a priority. But in our home it comes with the territory. Farmers work very hard and need enough calories to equip them with enough energy to accomplish their heavy daily workload.
As the young wife of a school teacher, I went to cookbooks for fancy desserts for the first couple years of marriage. However, when we moved to the family farm, fancy ceased to be the priority. I worked with the foods on hand. We had apples, raspberries, crabapples, elderberries, wild grapes, choke cherries, pears and rhubarb. Many fruits made jam, jelly and sauce. But pie became a favorite.
As a child, I recall watching my mom put a pie crust together and roll out the dough. I especially enjoyed watching her peel and slice fresh apples for pie. What a delight it was to sample the apple slices after they were mixed up with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and a dab of flour. I was always glad when there were enough slices left over for me to eat raw. The leftover scraps of dough, Mom rolled into a thin pastry and sprinkled it with sugar and cinnamon. Then she baked it in the oven. That was as good as a cookie!
With the abundance of fruits, I worked at learning to make a good crust. The secret to an excellent pie crust is good old-fashioned lard. I like the pure stuff rendered from hog fat. It is so rich that it requires one-fourth less of it than shortening in many of today’s recipes. We often top off our pie slices with fresh cream or a scoop of ice cream. It is yummy!
For my fillings, some I make fresh. Others, I mass-produce. I make 4 fruit pie fillings at a time and freeze them in a freezer container or bag. Then in the winter when I need a pie, it is already mixed and ready for pop into a pie crust.
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Perusing the messages, I noticed cards with printed sentiments in them. Others came with handwritten messages. Many expressed sadness and offered comforting words about the end of suffering and a place in heaven for the one who had passed on. Those personal words of sadness and comfort were very much appreciated.
But those cards that recounted memories “stole the show”. Speaking or reading of the lost loved one comforts those left behind. Comfort comes from reviewing the memories. Some cards and letters spoke of the loved one’s kindness, talents, hospitality and even of a memorable snowmobile ride. I found those notes to be most encouraging and enlightening.
The Lord Jesus knew that He would be leaving His loved ones soon. Aware that they would need comfort, He told them of the provision of a Comforter who was coming for them.
In John 14:16 & 18, Jesus says, “And I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter that He may abide with you forever…I will not leave you comfortless;”
How wise and loving of Jesus, to not only send a card, but a real Comforter.
As you express sympathy to those who have suffered a great loss, send those cards. If you have memories of the lost one, share them. Be present when you can. Your presence can cushion some of the pain. And like Jesus, pray the Father that His Comforter would do his work in the lives of those who are grieving.
photo credit: jlodder via photopin cc
I put a lot of my attention to deep-cleaning places that normally are not done on a regular basis. Even places that have been tied up for a long time with clutter have been freed up to be used in a more useful way. Some things I can give away. Others have been consolidated and stored or filed into more practical places. It felt good to sort and discard items that have not been needed for a long time.
One might say that I have worked to redeem the spaces that have been cluttered for so long. The spaces have been mine all along, but they were “off limits” to me because the clutter was dominating it. This reduction of clutter has been so freeing!
This reminds me of how Jesus worked to redeem His people as it says in Titus 2:13b, 14 NASB.
“…Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good works.”
• He did not just work, as I did. He gave Himself.
• He did not redeem some space as I did. He redeemed us.
• He did not free from clutter. He freed from every lawless deed.
• He did not just clean space for my use. He purified for Himself a people for His own possession, people zealous for doing good works.
My cleaning was good, but not perfect. My cleaning was partial and not complete. I am sure glad that when the Lord cleans, He knows how to do it deeply and thoroughly. He is the ultimate deep cleaner.
Time marches on even for cameras. New ideas bring new facets to family life. How many family members’ images did this wee box camera capture for generations to admire?
Buy this card for the photography buff in you or your family:
Gift Card: Box Camera
Have you ever met a cat that obeyed?
Cats seem to have developed the stereotype of independent self-centeredness. If the cat is happy…life is good.
On my walk to the mailbox today I stepped out onto my front porch. The sun-washed landscape displayed clear, blue sky, lush green grass and spring blooms bursting out all over. At my ankles, up came a loudly purring, long-haired feline named Baby to greet me.
Baby came to us accidentally. Road workers bull-dozing the nearby county road, saw a lost little kitten by a stump as they worked. Since we were the closest farm, they told us about her. Word got to my daughter, who passionately saves kittens in distress.
She adopted this little bag of fur and bones. She fed, bathed and cradled her in her hooded sweatshirt. Her love and nurturing gave Baby a new lease on life. So Baby grew up in the farmhouse.
When Baby lived there, I learned to communicate with her. I used a technique that cats use to show displeasure. To let her know she should stop an unacceptable behavior, I hissed at her. It worked!
The day came when our daughter left the farm and I moved Baby to the calf shed with the barn cats. She held her own and is doing well. She is a natural mother cat and raises her kittens skillfully.
On my way to the mailbox, I must cross the road. It is well-traveled and a hazard to cats if they happen to cross it during a hunt.
So when I walk to the road and Baby is following, I say, “SSSSST!!!” Baby sits and waits for me to cross the road and come back to her. Then we go on our way together to our next task.
Isn’t it interesting how this little creature can understand a warning from a non-feline? I see the danger at the road better than Baby does. Her perspective is so limited, but if she obeys, she will be much safer than if she does not.
In this instance, one can see that obedience can be our friend and not just a slave master.
Ephesians 6:1 states, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.” Even children can obey. The Holy Bible says that this is right. How much more right is it for God’s children to obey their Heavenly Father?
If you hear His warning as Baby hears mine, do what she does. Listen, stop, obey and wait. If Baby can do it, so can you. It can keep you safe from danger and spare you the needless suffering of consequences due to a poor choice.
For Christmas this past year, I received a uniquely special gift. It came over several generations.
My daughter learned to crochet while she was still in our home. My grandmother taught it to my mother, who in turn taught it to me. I enjoyed it so that I passed it on to my daughters. Although the craft came down through my side of the family to my daughter, the tools came from her dad’s side.
Great-grandmother, Julia, graduated from a ladies seminary with a degrees in needlework and piano. At her death, her daughter, Judy, saved the many patterns, crochet yarn and other resources that she inherited from her mother. Upon her passing, my husband inherited a portion of these items. Since we wanted to pass them on to our children as soon as possible, we let them choose those items to which they were drawn.
My eldest daughter felt a special inspiration to make doilies for Christmas gifts. She had a vision to give an heirloom gift before it was made. She found a special 3-D pattern resembling and lily-laden pond with 2 swans gracefully swimming on it. The yarns she used were owned by her Great-grandma, preserved by her Grandma and given to me, her Mom, for Christmas. I would call that an intergenerational gift.
My daughter’s vision reminds me of our Heavenly Father. In the beginning, He had the vision to give us fallen creatures the gift of salvation before it was “finished”. Ages later, Jesus, on the cross, declared, “It is finished.” The gift, payment of our sin debt, was finished with His sacrifice.
At Christmas, I received the special gift from my daughter.
God’s gift of salvation can be received,too. If this is not a gift you have received, it is still available. As Jesus said, “It is finished.” It is a gift meant for you.
This folding camera – a piece from history – is a testament to man’s creativity.
Capture this card for the photographer in you or your family:
Gift Card: Folding Camera
Psalm 127:3 states, “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.”
I say, “Amen to that!” Our children are a gift. They are our precious reward.
Children have grown up in our home. We have provided for them. We have taught them and loved them. It may sound like all of the benefits came from us and our efforts and went to them.
Yes, we worked hard. We denied ourselves some things, but we received much in the process. My husband and I shared a common goal to work toward. In our teaching, we learned all the more. In our loving, we have been loved.
We raised them to expect to go to school after high school. They applied themselves academically and have honored us by doing just that.
The Holy Bible, in Exodus 20:12, commands children to “Honor your father and your mother.”(NASB)
I was once a child. According to Psalm 127, I was someone’s gift and precious reward. I still am. Although my dear father has passed away, I can still honor him by living my life for the Lord and honoring Dad’s wife, my lovely Mother.
If you are a child, you can still live knowing that you are a gift and a reward and can still honor your parents. It can be the integrity with which you live your life and how much you treasure the true things in life, like God and His Word. It may be providing for them and living for Jesus. I hope you realize that you are very precious.
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The lack of a blanket of snow on a field of alfalfa hay, can leave it defenseless when the hard-freezing temperatures come. We have had such a winter. The balmy winter has given way to the cold March which is going out “like a lion”.
Alfalfa can freeze when the thermometer dips down into the high 20°F range. We have seen some wilting on our plants already. We are hoping that only a few leaves froze and not entire plants. If a hard freeze comes, it can winter-kill the crop.
The farmer plants a new field of alfalfa hay each year. Last year’s alfalfa seed was planted and harvested once. The second year after planting generally yields 2-3 cuttings. As dairy farmers, the main crop is MILK. The better fed the cattle are, the more able they are to produce it. The dairy cattle need lots of hay to sustain them over the coming winter, so it is crucial to have abundant hay production.
So you might see how dependent farming is on the weather. The weather is completely out of our control. The crop of feed needs good weather; the cattle need the feed for good health and milk production; and dairy farmers need the milk production to produce their annual income. Although there are many things farmers try to manage, the details are still out of their control.
Pressing the point a little further, one can see that if the dairy industry has less milk to sell, the population will have a lack of beverages, ice cream, yogurt, butter and cheeses to consume.
So, in this sense, yes, life is not in our control. We are all dependent.
Jesus said, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”Matt. 6:26(NIV)
One super response to that truth, is to admit our dependence on the One who made us. Prayer is one way to express our dependence on Him.
He counts you as very valuable. He will gladly listen to you. Take Jesus’ advice, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matt. 6:33 (NIV)