My Amish Home: Bumpy rides in Michigan; smelling rats in Missouri

My Amish Home: Bumpy rides in Michigan; smelling rats in Missouri

"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Happy is the man that feareth always; but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief." Proverbs 28:13-14

Hot and humid; I guess that best describes the weather. There's not much else to say about it, except it is sunny, looks nice from the inside out. I guess a person is best off to stay inside as much as possible.

I am writing this right now from Tired City, USA, where resides one exhausted soul. The other one went to work. But before long, this exhausted soul will go bring the other one home from work.

We got back yesterday (Wednesday evening) around 9:30 p.m. from a trip to Michigan. We went for the funeral of our aunt, Mrs. Edna Plank. She passed away Sunday morning. The funeral was Wednesday.

We left Tuesday forenoon to go to Charlotte, Mich., where Andy Plank lives. My mom, Erwin and I went with sis Barb Gingerich. This time, sis Louise Kauffman rode shotgun.

We had a good trip — only a few missed exits, U-turns and turnarounds. Actually, I think we do it on purpose so we get to see more sights.

The interstate in Michigan is so annoying. You drive along to the tune of "PHWUPP, PHWUPP, PHWUPPA, PA, PA, PHWUPP, PHWUPPA, PHWUPP."

But, no kidding, Michigan has some awesome scenery. To borrow a phrase from Arthur's Town Talk and Wise and Otherwise, Kent Stock, it's SENSATIONAL! And that's the good sensational, Kent!

We got to the visitation too late for supper Tuesday evening, what with our wrong driving and the time change, to which we had not given a thought, but we still could meet and visit with the family and cousins. We stayed to listen to the youths sing before going back to our motel. Since we missed supper, we decided to get something in Charlotte. To our dismay, seemingly everything closes at 9 p.m. Wendy's drive-thru was open, so we all got a sandwich and took it to the motel to eat.

By the time we got home, the part of our anatomy that gets in contact with hard funeral benches was thoroughly tired and sore. As, actually, were the rest of our bodies.

It'll probably take me at least a week to recover. Well, several days.

We had a minor hilarious incident happen on the way home.

We stopped for a break, and as my mom got back into the car, she let out a shriek that cracked the windows (not!) — a spider was crawling on her purse. I had my hands full (cone and drink) so I couldn't do anything about it; Louise was still trying to recover from the echo in her ears; and Barb flew out of the car in a panic.

Mom dumped her purse upside down on the parking lot; no spider, anything and everything else except a spider. No self-respecting spider would take up residence in there anyway.

Needless to say, we were a little nervous, but really, it was just an itsy-bitsy spider. We figured it was under the seat giggling and waving its spidery legs, probably to the tune of "PHWUPP, PHWUPP, PHWUPPA, PHWUPP."

So now I hope we don't have to go on another trip any time soon, what with our trip to Missouri, then a little more than a week later going to Michigan.

Anyway, our Missouri thing. On Saturday afternoon, after most everyone had left, cousin Eli Plank and his wife, Catherine, went on a spin with the Gator. When they got back, Barb and I decided to go on one. We went over and checked out cousin Steve's mini-farm.

When we got back, they asked if we saw the rat house. Well, no, didn't know they had one. Yes, they raise rats for food for snakes, lizards, etc. for a pet shop. We wanted to see it, as did the rest of them, so we piled on two Gators and a pickup, up and down the hills and around the corner — WHEE!

Steve has bunches of rats — from naked newborns no bigger than a thimble to full-grown ones. They are black and white. The mature rats are, well, gross! With the long, naked tails, yes, that is what comes to mind, gross!

But, actually, the babies that have fur and are hardly more than 2 inches long and kind of cute. But they are still rats. And they stink! But I expect the money smells good.

In closing, when I had nothing left but God, I became aware that God is all I need.

If you are on a gluten-free and/or diabetic diet, you may want to try this recipe. Instead of the syrup or sugar, try agave nectar.

ZUCCHINI OATMEAL CAKE

1 cup boiling water

1 cup quick oats

11/2 cups maple syrup or 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup butter

3 eggs

11/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups Meister's flour

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

2 cups (packed) shredded zucchini (frozen works fine, too, but be sure to thaw and drain it)

Combine water and oatmeal. Add maple syrup (or other sweetner) and butter; set aside until lukewarm. Beat in eggs, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add flour, xanthan gum and zucchini.

Pour into greased 9- by 13-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until cake tests done with a toothpick. Frost with easy frosting.

Easy Frosting

1 cup butter

1/2 cup Sucanat, honey or agave nectar

7 tablespoons rice flour, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup milk or 1/2 cup water and 1/3 cup dry milk

Put all ingredients in a bowl. Let set for at least 30 minutes. Beat 5 minutes or until fluffy.

Variation: For chocolate frosting, add Dutch cocoa to suit your taste and adjust the amount of liquid and sweetener accordingly.

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