Sunday, June 30, 2013

This Little Light of Mine

"You wouldn't make a very good Amish lady."

As usual, Krysta hit the nail right on the head with this observation.
It may have been her gentle way of telling me, "I'm sick and tired of
hearing you moan and groan about that light that doesn't work in the

You see, when the florescent light in the kitchen acts up it is a SAD
day.  And this has been a SAD week with our main light refusing to turn
on every morning.  Either the bulbs need to be changed or else its the
other thing that goes wrong with florescent lights . . .  the ballast.  I
think that's what it's called.

On top of that it rains every other minute so how are we supposed to dry
clothes?  Usually the clothes go in the dryer, but now the belt is burned
out so it's back to the clothes line.  Not a cheery thought when it's
dumping rain in the back yard where my clothes line lives.  When I do
hang the clothes outside in between rains the towels end up like
rectangles of sandpaper.  I haven't figured out a softener to use in my
front load washer yet.

I will admit it.  There have been too many grumbles about the light and
the dryer and the soggy wet week!  And to think that my dream (once upon a time)
was to live back in Laura Ingalls Wilder's time.  That was before I thought about the
indoor plumbing and reading or sewing by lamp light.  All I was thinking of was
skirts that swept the floor and button up shoes. Since then I've heard those button up
shoes were a bit of a pain, too.

On a more cheerful note it often rains at night and then clears up in the day.
"Rain before seven - quit before eleven!"  Yesterday we had a picnic at the park.
 Evan got to join us since Chelsea was having a day out with her mom. 

Chicken salad sandwiches or chicken salad rolled up in tortillas,
lettuce salad with bacon ranch dressing,
chocolate cake/bars topped with cherry pie filling and whipped topping
lemonade to drink. 

It was a beautiful day!  Krysta and I bought some bedding plants, went home and planted
flowers in the pots in our back yard.  It sounds like the forecast for the coming week is for
a bit less rain. I hope so because our next project is to reroof our house.  

Here's hoping for a week filled with sun shine!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

a story by krysta

                                                     by Krysta Harshbarger
It was a rainy night.  A little stuffed dog lay in a fireplace in a public campground. The poor little dog didn't know what to do so he waited and waited and waited until morning broke and still he waited.  It had stopped raining by then and he thought he heard shouts. 
Two children were skipping towards him.  The little girl picked him up by one of his long muddy ears. "Oh, it's a teddy bear," she said, but after looking closer she decided it was a little dog. "Lets take him back to the tent," she said, talking to her older brother.
"No," he said, "He's gross and has probably been in there for a week."
"Please stop fighting and take me somewhere warm and dry," thought the doggy.
And that's just what the little girl did, with her brother tromping behind them.  She was telling the dog all that he needed to know. "Don't worry about my brother, Jorgan, he's just mean sometimes.  And by the way my name is Krysta and I'll name you ...........Catch!  If you like to catch things, do you?" 
As a matter of fact "Catch" only caught one thing in his life and that was a cold, so no, he did not like the name Catch.  Finally they got to the tent and Krysta showed Catch to her daddy.  She explained where she found him and asked if she could keep him.
"Well, I suppose so," he said, "but we'll have to wash him."  So Krysta spent a little while dunking the dog up and down in an ice cream bucket of water.  Then her mommy washed him in the washer and tumbled him in the drier.  He turned out to be the cutest, fluffiest, cleanest puppy you've ever seen.  It was worth it all.  Krysta and Catch became fast friends and had many adventures together.
                                    The End

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lambs and other furry creatures

Looking through old e-mails brings back memories.  I found a couple of dreadful poems written and spoken back in the spring/summer of 2010.  Also some comments on the weather.  It seems history repeats itself.
Krysta has a little lamb
Its fleece is white as snow
Everywhere that Krysta runs
The lamb is sure to follow.
Deanne has a twenty-two
That's going to kill the cats
Too bad they don't earn their keep
By killing all the rats.
       --spoken by Deanne in response to the lamb poem
It feels like we are in a monsoon season.  Our MN weather is day after day of gray clouds with rain falling all night long and mud thigh high. 
only a slight exaggeration . . .
that's grass thigh high instead . . . 
it makes my mind feel full of mud as well, for some strange reason.
Tearing yourself away from a place is hard no matter what.  It is amazing how our hearts stretch and grow to make room for many more people and experiences.  Life is sooo full and rich. 
Quoting Mark Twain in Innocents Abroad II . . .                                                                         
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating on one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."  
We are having a picnic tomorrow night to end our Summer Bible School.  We are inviting all the students and parents to join us.  It's a way to meet more people in our community.
~ an excerpt from a letter written to friends who were in the process of moving

I didn't remember 2010 was a wet rainy spring, too.  Here we are again getting ready for the picnic at the close of Bible School -- 2013.  We are hoping for a dry evening. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Trash and Trash Baskets

A light was shining when I woke up and I was grumpy at first.  "Why did you leave the light on all night?"  I asked Ellis.  Then I opened my eyes and saw blue sky and puffy clouds out the window and realized the light was coming from the sun.  It has been so gray and gloomy -- raining every time we turn around.  Minnesota and Iowa have recovered from drought conditions!

We have been sorting through stuff.  Deanne is tearing out the core - cleaning and pitching - nothing is safe it seems.  In the middle of this I found a prayer book. 

In it was a child's prayer --

"Forgive us our trash baskets
      -  as we forgive those who throw their trash in our baskets."

The more I thought about this the more I smiled.  When I am tempted to be disgruntled by what some one else says or does I think about this prayer again.  I needed this reminder. 

Thank you

      Dear God 

           my heavenly Father!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend 2013

My fingers relaxed.   My phone dropped on the painted wood floor beside the bed.  The noise woke me up and I looked around.  Painted walls, dark wood trim framing the window and the door, different furniture . . . I had the same feeling long ago when I woke up at Grandpa Martin's house on the first morning of vacation.  I had not a clue where I was. 

Back then I would stare at wall paper on the walls and wonder at the dormitory sized room with two or maybe three beds scattered around.  Windows poked our here and there and little nooks and crannies invited a game of hide and seek.  Each room had a wooden dresser with a mirror and there was even a huge wardrobe in one of the rooms.  When I dared get out of bed and tiptoe across the room the linoleum crackled under my feet.  Creeping down the stairs, I'd peer over the railing, as quiet as a mouse.  Yes, everyone was at the dining room table eating breakfast.  And they let me sleep in!  Now there was a dilemma . . .  I didn't really want to march down there because there were people I didn't know at that table.  Uncle Nelson and my cousin, Alvin, who was staying with Grandpa and Grandma.

By that time Mom would hear the floor creaking and see me peeking and call me down for breakfast  . . .     Soft boiled eggs still in the shell.  Mom would slice one open with a table knife and scoop out the soft insides with a spoon.  Add salt and pepper and try to eat it.  I think my choice was a bowl of oatmeal instead with natural sugar (not white or brown - a texture completely different from what we had at home.)

Funny -- I have not thought about the top story of Grandpa's house for ages.  Now all those memories flooded back when I woke up from a nap in the east bedroom of the old home place in Montana.  It was Saturday, May 25th.  I was trying to catch up on my sleep after driving all night.   


The last few years we have stayed home and our young people traveled to Michigan camp out for Memorial Day weekend.  Those of us left at home mowed lawn, went camping at our hillside camping spot, cooked over an open flame, went fishing, stopped at garage sales, got rained on and sun burned.   

This time Jorgan and Krysta shooed us out of the house.  They both told me, "You should go with dad and have a great time."  The great time began on Friday getting ready for the trip!  We both worked all day.  Ellis unloaded the store truck at 2:30 AM.  He came home for breakfast and a nap then back to work again.  Krysta stayed home and did laundry -- I went off to clean a very big house and then drive bus and then hurried home to pack and finish up my stuff while Ellis finished up his.

I think we started about 8:00 PM with a few more delays thrown in for good measure.  Rain and more rain all the way through the cities.  I wonder how many times we have driven this road to the north east corner of MONTANA?  Our plan was to drive straight through and get to Ivan and Karla's place for breakfast.  Then Ellis would jump in with Ivan and they were going to an auction sale. 

Ellis came up with a different plan in the morning.  He saw we were not going to make it in time so we went to plan B.  Look at a map of North Dakota.  Where 52 starts slanting up towards Minot  you come to a place where 52 joins Hwy 200 and goes west for a stretch.  We kept going on 200 through McClusky and Mercer over to Hwy 83.  We followed that just a stone's throw and then caught 1806.  We stayed on the south side of Lake Sakakawea and saw signs along the way telling us we were following Lewis and Clark's trail.  It would have been beautiful except it was foggy.  Every now and then the fog would lift showing us a peek at all the country side we were missing as we barreled along.  We drove through towns like Pick City and Halliday  and Killdeer on over to Hwy 85 where we drove north to Watford City.  Ellis kept saying,  "You are going to drive when we get to Watford City."   By that time we were in oil country with huge semis everywhere and Ivan's words ringing in our ears.  "There is a serious wreck on those roads every week."  So I kept reading our book out loud and Ellis kept driving.  At Watford City we turned west and drove to Fairview.  We met Ivan and Karla at Loaf n Jug . . .  a restaurant in that small town.  Karla jumped in with me and we drove to Dagmar.  Ellis jumped in with Ivan and they went to their auction sale.

There is nothing more beautiful than North Dakota in the spring.  There was green grass, blue sky and white puffy clouds after the fog lifted.  Then we drove through some bluffs.  Off to the west there were rolling clouds and what looked like a mountain range on the horizon but it was not mountains at all.  Just more clouds shaped like mountains.  I guess it is kind of a mirage. 

Well, it was a wonderful week end with visits all around and even a graduation Sunday afternoon.  I heard my yearly "Pomp and Circumstance."  This time it was a bit different -- not played by a band but played on the piano.  I did not need the usual Kleenexes so that tells me I cry only when it's played by a band.   =)   Curious and Curiouser!