My Amish Life: Some late-summer laughs on a muggy day

My Amish Life: Some late-summer laughs on a muggy day

"Judge not, and ye shall not be judged; condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned; forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." Luke 6:37,38

It is Wednesday afternoon as I write this — a dreary, muggy day.

Early in the morning it was foggy. Then the fog left, but it was hazy and humid. But, hey, it's summer!

This has been sort of a different week for me thus far. I did my cleaning job Monday evening since daughter Rachel had workday Tuesday. On the way to town Monday evening, we stopped at husband Erwin's work place. I left his break meal there for the next day — and his sharpened pencils.

Erwin does therapy Tuesday mornings, so I don't take him to work. He gets dropped off there after therapy. So my Tuesday morning was free.

But you know what? I was so at loose ends, I didn't know what to do with myself. I decided I didn't really like it. I am a very routine-oriented person.

Daughter Jane and I helped Rachel with some sewing. The 'tweens, Denice and Julia, were supposed to clean the buggy. Which they did amid a lot of goofing off.

At one point we saw these old grandpas coming out of the utility room carrying buckets of water. Oh no! It was the 'tweens! They had fashioned beards out of the lather from the soap. It looked hilarious. I laughed until my sides ached.

I had a tour out of Rockome Gardens, so I decided to drive Sparky to Rockome; sis LaDonna Schrock would pick up Erwin at work at 11 a.m. Then after my tour we would eat lunch at the restaurant, go to Country Salvage, then home.

The lunch was a good idea, but the rest ... I'm not so sure. It took so long to come home. The time we spent on the road with Sparky, had we been in a car, we could have been to McLeansboro, down south where our oldest daughter lives. We probably won't be doing that again anytime soon!

Old Jake the dachshund must have forgiven me for driving over his foot with the buggy. He's been at our place visiting several times, wobbling up the path, looking for a handout.

But he still doesn't trust me. I was coming home through the path with the buggy. He was close to the path by the barn. He took one look at me, turned and wibble-wobbled to the barn as fast as his old, short legs could take him.

And then I was out in the barn one evening to do the chores. As I reached into the feed bin to get the scoop to give Sparky some grain, a shadowy something caught my eye. Eeeek! A mouse! It was nice and fat. Wonder how long it had been residing in there anyway.

Anyway, I have a coffee can as a scoop. I chased it around in there to try to trap it. Then a thought hit me! I started to shiver and shake, tremble and quake! Suppose, just suppose, I would have reached in there in the dark and that mouse would have run up my arm and down — Oh no! Let's not even go there!

I finally trapped the silly thing and flung it out the door. Oops! There was Shana, the Min-Pin. She was on it immediately. She gave it a merry chase, then picked it up and took it home. Probably anticipating a tasty (eeeww!) meal of fresh mouse steak.

Aug. 8 will be three years that our dad passed away. My siblings and I are planning to have coffee break with our mom. I'm thinking it might not work for all of them, but I'm hoping it will.

In closing, if it wasn't for the optimist, the pessimist would never know how happy he isn't.

Since this is cookout season and baked beans go good with a cookout, I thought you might want to try these.

Baked Beans

1 gallon pork and beans

3 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans

2 quarts soy beans (can be bought dried, then soaked and cooked — or sub in navy beans)

1 pound bacon

4 small onions

3 cups ketchup

3 cups brown sugar

3 teaspoons mustard

Mix the beans together; don't drain the juice. Make sauce with ketchup, sugar and mustard.

Chop onions; mix in with the beans. Sauce amount can be adjusted to how saucy you like it.

Fry bacon in kettle first before adding beans. Remove some of the grease if it's too greasy. If made in an iron kettle, simmer for 30 to 45 minutes for a good flavor.

Then put in a casserole dish and bake uncovered for at least 1 hour. You can cook it all in an iron kettle if you have one, or just a stainless steel pot.

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