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"I create the fruit of the lips; peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord, and I will heal him. But the wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." Isaiah 57:19-21

February — cold, windy, cloudy. The clouds look like they were heavy with snow. Let's hope it is only flurries. I am sure glad I can just stay at home the rest of this Wednesday afternoon.

Way early this morning when I went out to chore, it was as clear as could be. But with daybreak, the clouds started rolling in. The sun did shine for a while.

Another little sunbeam reached out and touched my heart. I hadn't seen the little faces in the window lately. But this morning as I was jogging — or rather, as the horse was jogging along — I saw someone putting up the curtains, then, sure enough, there appears a little face and a waving hand. My little day-brightener.

As some of you may know, and others may not, this past Friday was my hubby's 65th birthday.

We hadn't really planned anything for his birthday. So we decided to go to Mexican Grill in Arthur after finishing our cleaning job Friday evening.

Imagine our surprise when we walked in the restaurant and saw sis Barb and Elmer Gingerich and their daughter Emily and their friends Steve and Nancy Gates with sis Louise and Dale Kauffman. They made room for us at their table. We had a really good time. And a good supper! Partly what made it so good was enjoying it with friends, but also, I didn't have to cook it, and better yet, I didn't have to clean up the mess!

Our good friends Ken and Mona Hunter stopped in to see us Friday afternoon. We always enjoy visiting with them. We hadn't seen them all winter. We were sure glad to see that they were well and able to go.

The next day, Saturday, wasn't quite so pleasant for husband Erwin. The chair he was sitting on broke and dumped him out in the process. He banged his head on the wall and jammed his neck. He really wasn't hurt too bad. He did have to go get a treatment by Doc Fishel. The chair was in worse shape than Erwin.

Erwin went to Doc Fishel's office for his treatment. While Erwin was on the table with electrodes on his back, Doc put me in another room, on a recliner, with hot packs on my feet and a blanket covering me. Ah, utopia! I wanted to say, "Turn off the lights and wake me in the morning when the coffee is ready!"

I just came to the realization the other day that if I had a coffee pot with a timer (preferably a Keurig), I could sleep 20 minutes longer in the morning.

Anyway, Erwin decided he might have inherited some of my dad's genes, the clumsy ones. I wouldn't say that either one is/was exactly clumsy. Erwin is a little off balance (physically, that is!) because of his left side being weak. My dad — well, I know an Amish word for it, but I don't know if it has an English counterpart. There are several words like that.

At any rate, my dad was, I guess, accident-prone, and yes, probably clumsy. He could stumble over a piece of thread on the floor — in the next room! Well, that's a stretch, I guess.

Anyway, we love him and we miss him. Another of his traits was he almost always had his coat hanging open, even in the dead of the winter.

One cold, snowy, windy morning recently, there was a car/buggy accident.

My nephew John Hershberger came to the scene. He decided to take the horse to the neighbors'. The buggy was wrecked. Anyway, the neighbor, Paul Yoder, met John and took the horse so John could go to church. Paul told me later that he wasn't sure who the fellow was, but he had his coat hanging open and no gloves on.

I told my husband, "Shades of Grandpa Plank!"

In closing: Today, join with God early in the morning and stay in his company all day and through the night.

Here is a dessert you can try for your next meal.

Black-Bottom Cherry Dessert

Servings: 8.

2/3 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoons almond extract

1 egg

3 ounces bar of cream cheese (softened)

13/4 cups Bisquick mix

2/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

1 can (21 ounces) cherry-pie filling

1/4 cup white baking chips

2 teaspoons shortening

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix powdered sugar, almond extract, egg and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Stir in Bisquick mix.

Roll or pat dough into 12-inch circle on ungreased cookie sheet. Flute edge, if desired. Bake eight to 10 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Sprinkle chocolate chips over hot crust. Bake about one minute or until chips are melted; spread evenly. Cool for five, minutes. Gently loosen crust and transfer to serving plate.

Spread pie filling over chocolate. Heat white baking chips and shortening in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until smooth. Drizzle over filling.

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