My Amish Home: Welcoming back routines as 2013 begins

My Amish Home: Welcoming back routines as 2013 begins

"Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is comely. The Lord doeth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel. He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds." — Psalm 147: 1-3

We didn't have a white Christmas, exactly. There was a slight dusting of snow on the ground, which was fine by me. Christmas Day was mostly cloudy, although the sun did break through the clouds a few times. It really wasn't very cold.

This past Thursday, we had a rainstorm, then snow with really strong winds. I was glad when that was over with, although the temperature dropped to the teens.

So Saturday morning, instead of getting soaked, I got cold. But really, all that was really cold were my fingers. I had these super-duper glove liners that are supposed to keep your fingers toasty even in subzero temperatures. Well, maybe they do if you don't go outside!

This has been kind of a long day. We were by ourselves on our compound. Our two daughters and their families went to their in-laws for Yoder family Christmas. My mom went to brother Marx and Cathy Planks' home for lunch. So we were just here by our lonesome.

I'm not sure when our family Christmas dinner will be. We are hoping daughter Cindy and Freeman Miller of Dale, will be able to come sometime in January. Maybe by then the dust will have settled and we'll be ready to have something to break the winter blahs.

This is vacation week for husband Erwin. I had planned on getting a lot of overdue cleaning done, but I see that it is not likely to happen. I did get two big jobs done this past Monday. I cleaned and defrosted both refrigerators.

I moved them out and cleaned behind and beneath, but as I was shoving the last one into place, wouldn't you know it, I knocked a sugar bowl off the counter and it broke. I didn't cry. No use crying over spilled milk ... er ... sugar. But it was sort of a special bowl.

Years ago,when I was baby-sitting niece Carli, Marx and Cathy gave me a set of dishes. At that time, you could get dishes with a blue heart pattern. I was really into collecting this stuff, anything with the Country Heart design. You can't buy the stuff in stores anymore. Guess I'll have to start haunting second-hand stores.

At that time, I was also cleaning house for a dear friend, Pat Sanders. She gave me a kerosene lamp with the same design.

So, anyway, my refrigerators are cleaned. I don't know which big job to tackle next. Basically, I have only Wednesday to work at a big job. Thursday, I have a horse-shoeing appointment for Sparky. That job never hits the top 10 of my favorite to-do's. But it has to be done.

On Friday, Erwin has an eye appointment. So that means two half-days of getting something done at home. Well, actually, I'll still have Monday and Tuesday, as the guys don't go back to work until after New Year's Day.

I enjoy holidays, but, seriously, I will be glad to get back into routine. We have now passed the shortest day of this year, so we will gradually see a lengthening of daylight hours. We are also being deluged with seed catalogs — yay spring!

As this is my last column for 2012, I want to say thank you to all my readers for the many encouraging letters and for the help we received when Erwin was off work with health issues. It is all deeply appreciated.

May God richly bless each and everyone. May you all have a prosperous New Year!

If you still have some holiday gatherings to attend or are having some at your house, you might want to serve this yummy dessert.

BLACK FOREST CHEESECAKE

Servings: 8

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 chocolate crumb crust (8 inches)
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Fold in whipped topping. Spread half of the mixture evenly into the crust. Fold cocoa and confectioner's sugar into remaining whipped topping mixture; carefully spread over cream cheese layer.

Refrigerate at least four hours. Cut into slices; top each slice with cherry pie filling.

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