My Amish Home: A week of one step forward and two back

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit." Matthew 7:15-17

So now we've had a break from the heat, but it plummeted all the way down to 50 degrees. That's way cold for September. Of course, in December or January, it would be considered warm. And still we have no rain.

This week as I write this, it seems for every step I went forward, I fell back two. And each step is very painful.

But, hopefully, I'll have some of that pain relieved. I went to a podiatrist. He is making me some orthotics. What a relief that will be. I have joints that are bone-on-bone, damaged from arthritis.

On Labor Day Monday, I thought I would have a free morning. Husband Erwin did not work, I didn't clean. Yay! I won't have to leave. But alas! It was not to be.

On Sunday, the Otto siblings gathered at sis Anna Beachy's house — well, those who didn't have anything better to do.

Brother John announced that he has a new headstone for their dad's grave. He wanted to replace the old one. You guessed it! He wanted to do it Monday morning. Sis Mary and Joe Yoder of Wagener, S.C., are in the area. They were kind enough to come get us and sis Anna. Sure saved me a lot of time.

I spent a lot of the rest of the day gathering stuff from the garden, sweet corn, tomatoes, cabbage, ground cherries.

I was going to can some stuff on Tuesday, but I messed up. When I got to my workplace, I had forgotten my keys. By the time I had located a spare set, I was behind schedule.

No canning done on Tuesday. I had laundry to do and had to go clean Tuesday evening because Wednesday morning I went to Champaign about my feet. That, lunch and shopping took most of the day.

So that leaves Thursday and Friday. Laundry again and I should clean the house.

I'll probably just wave the broom at the floor and hang up a clean towel.

Son-in-law Lloyds have added to their mini-farm. They have a calf that is still on the bottle. Of course, Galen and Lynetta love to give it the bottle. I can't refer to them as the "Littles" anymore. Galen had a birthday and left the single digits behind. He is now 10. Lynetta will soon be 8.

When we were talking about bottle-feeding the calf, I had to think back how we had a baby goat that we had to bottle-feed. This was back in the pre-stroke era and we lived in the big house.

One Saturday, husband Erwin left for an all-day frolic of some sort, but he told me he would be home in time to chore.

Well, chore time came, the goat was bleating, and I figured Erwin would be home anytime now. The goat was bleating, no Erwin, well, surely he'll be here soon. The goat was bleating. Where, oh where, is my hubby? The goat was bleating, my nerves were frazzling, why isn't Erwin home yet? Did something bad happen? The goat was bleating.

I turned to go out the door and there stood my mom and dad! I had not heard them come in. It scared me so bad I let out a shriek that rattled the rafters. The expression on their faces was priceless! They did not know what had triggered that reaction.

If I remember correctly, Erwin was soon home, safe. I do believe I went out and gave the goat the bottle. This one, at least, stayed out in the barn. We had another one that would come up to the patio doors when it was time for its bottle. These were pygmy goats and ever so cute. And spoiled!

In closing: It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.

This week's recipe comes from my great-grandmother Stutzman. I made it. It is actually pretty good.

For some reason, it gets pretty stiff after it's refrigerated. I don't know, did I cook it too long or why it does that.

GROUND CHERRY JAM

4 cups ground cherries

3 cups sugar

3 cups syrup

Cook to 228 degrees on a candy thermometer. A little lemon juice or extract may be added.

*I added a drop of yellow food coloring. Also, I took a potato masher and mashed up the berries somewhat.

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