My Amish Home: Feeling the warmth of summer, family, friends

"And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it." Mark 18:34-35

Summer! Yay! We have summer! I know, I know, it's sweltering, sweaty, dry, dusty — but hey, you're not freezing your tootsies or sliding around on icy roads. But, yes, 95 degrees at 2:30 in the afternoon IS warm.

There's rain in the forecast. I surely do hope we'll get some. It is really dry around here. The yard looks, well, ugly for the most part.

And speaking of ugly, I wonder if anyone saw the horse at 1600 East and Illinois 133.

For several weeks the poor thing was really sick. It wouldn't eat; just stood in the corner of the field right out by the road for all the world to see. It got bonier and bonier, sunburnt and, well, yes, ugly.

There was really nothing to do for it: The sickness had to take its course. Even the bale of hay pitched into the field by a supposedly well-meaning passer-by was of no help. It wasn't like it wasn't being taken care of because it was. The horse just didn't eat.

Then the glands (or whatever) under its chin opened up and started draining. The poor horse gave a whole new dimension to ugly. Yes, it looked sad, gross, crusty and well, ugly. Sorry, horse! But it's on the mend now. It is putting some meat on its bones and gobbles any feed put in front of it.

Son-in-law Lloyd's dog with an attitude, Chloe the dachshund, has seven puppies.

And let me tell you: The first day she was one mean mama! I went with granddaughter Denice to look at them. As we approached her nest, Chloe was out of there like a shot, straight at me, growling and baring her teeth. I RAN! She went back to her nest.

We approached from a different angle carefully and quietly peeking at the wiggling mass of puppies. And RRROWF!! She was after me again. I took off. I said, "I'm OUT OF HERE!"

I don't have to see those puppies and haven't had the nerve to go back. They were born on granddaughter Lynetta's eighth birthday. Stay tuned for the names!

This past Friday, we visited preschool in Arthur. They had Grandparents Day.

Because we have a granddaughter in preschool, we wanted to go. I always enjoy visiting. I'm impressed at how the teachers teach the children. Some are almost still babies.

Our granddaughter, Andrea Yoder, has Mrs. Stutaman for her teacher, and I found out we are related to her husband. Andrea is a third cousin once removed.

We had an opportunity Saturday to go see the Broom Corn Festival, which we gladly took. Our good friends, Ken and Mona Hunter, came by and took us to Arcola.

We were there fairly early. We had a nice shady spot to sit and visit. Then the closer it got to parade time, the hotter it got. And no wonder: Hordes and scads of people were all around us. Even though we were outdoors, it felt like the oxygen supply was shut off. I about "ferschtickt (smothered)"; it sounds worse in Amish!

Then come the horses. They are so beautiful! What was kind of amusing was one of the horses was getting a little restless when they all stopped at the corner.

One of the attendants who was walking alongside just reached over and gave it a slight pinch. That horse immediately stood motionless.

The whole parade was really interesting, but I can't figure out how some of the people kept from fainting from the heat. Especially the Paris High School Band. Their uniforms were long-sleeved black jackets. They wore gloves. And carrying those heavy instruments, it must have really been miserable.

The Hunters then took us to Yoder's for a late lunch/early supper. Another place with lots of people: The waiting line was outside of the restaurant. But we didn't have to wait really long. It was, of course, really good. We enjoyed the whole thing. We don't often get to do an outing like that. Thanks, Ken and Mona!

In closing: In happy moments, praise God; in difficult moments, seek God; in quiet moments, trust God; in every moment, thank God.

Try this recipe on the grill.

Grilled Caesar Burgers

1 pound ground beef

1 tablespoon fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried)

1/2 cup Caesar dressing, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 small onion, thinly sliced

Romaine lettuce leaves

Tomato slices

Fresh, shaved Parmesan cheese

4 sandwich buns, grilled

Mix together beef, parsley, half of Caesar dressing and salt. Form into four patties; set aside.

Place onion on a piece of foil. Drizzle remaining Caesar dressing over onion. Fold up and over onion to form a pocket, sealing the edges so it doesn't leak.

Place burgers and onion pack on grill. Grill burgers approximately 5-7 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Grill onions until softened, about 8-10 minutes.

Garnish burgers with onion, lettuce, tomatoes and parmesan. These burgers are very moist.

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