Archive for November, 2007

Love the ones you’re with

Monday, November 19th, 2007

I would rather have one rose and a kind word
from a friend while I’m here
than a whole truck load when I’m gone.

The lovely image of roses and chocolates, and the sentiment, was just forwarded to me by my friend Lisa. You know, even a virtual gift of roses and chocolates is a joy to receive (though I AM partial to the real things as well), so, THANK YOU, Lisa. 🙂

This got me thinking about the fact that life is short and uncertain. Since I have no guarantee as to how long I or those I care about will live, let me remember to show kindness to them while I may.

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. – Galatians 6:10

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. – 1 John 3:18

Grandma Schmitz’ White Bread

Monday, November 19th, 2007


2 Tablespoons sugar (heaped a little)

3 Tablespoons shortening or bacon drippings

4 level teaspoons salt

4 cups scalded liquid

1 package dried yeast

½ cup lukewarm water

14 to 16 cups flour (You will have to judge this amount when you knead; add flour just until it won’t stick to your hands)


Combine sugar, shortening and salt; pour scalded liquid over and dissolve.

Dissolve the yeast in ½ cup lukewarm water. Do not add yeast to other mixture until cooled. If it’s too hot it will scald the yeast and it will not rise.

Mix in flour and knead until it is springy and squeaks.

Let rise in a warm place (approximately 82 degrees) until it is doubled in size or more, then with fists push down and divide into four loaves, and place in thoroughly greased pans. Let rise in pans until double in size.

Heat oven to 400 degrees for the first 10 minutes, then turn down to 350 degrees and bake for 35 to 50 minutes more, depending on your preference.

I seem to remember that my Grandma Schmitz was usually taking this delicious bread out of the oven just as we were arriving for a visit. I so enjoyed a fresh slice of her bread, spread with butter, or sometimes made into a hearty sandwich. I would tell her that it was the best bread in the whole world, and when I was a bit older she gave me the recipe. Now, I usually bake bread that is at least half whole wheat, but this bread truly brings back memories for me. If you try it, use the bacon drippings, because that is SO good. 🙂

Jess’ story

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

My online friend, Jess, who is a young mother of five children (triplet boys and twin girls), tells the story of almost losing one of the girls because of a medical accident. At the end of her post is a beautiful slide show of her dear daughter. It made me stop and think that I need to be more aware of my loved ones, more appreciative of them, and watch out for taking them for granted.

Another quick post

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

I just got home from a great visit with my old friend, Merry. As I had thought, we talked, and talked, and talked, staying up until about midnight. I don’t see well enough at night to want to tackle a long drive, in the rain, so I stayed the night and left late this morning to return home. It was raining SO hard, it was almost like a white out, the visibility was so poor. The traffic was stop and go throughout Seattle, and I stopped twice to get some shopping down, once at Seattle Premium Outlets, and once at Costco, to replenish the larder.

So, the road to visit my friend may not have been long, but it took me all day to get home. 😛

Now I need to get nicely dressed up to socialize, so hopefully I’ll get to post something more substantial later.

Have a blessed Lord’s Day tomorrow, if I don’t get to say anything else until then. 🙂

The road to a friend’s house is never long.

Friday, November 16th, 2007

There is a common saying: The road to a friend’s house is never long.

This afternoon I plan to drive about three hours south, through blustery weather, and the dreaded Seattle traffic, to take a daughter to rendezvous with her older brothers for a trip to northern California. When we arrive we’ll share a bite to eat and some visiting time with some old neighbors who we met over 25 years ago. Once there, I will admit the truth of that saying once again, The road to a friend’s house is never long.

My former neighbor Merry was like a mom to me when Rick and I were first married. I had no relatives or friends nearby, since I relocated to marry Rick. If I had any cooking or cleaning questions (or eventually, baby care questions), Merry was a witty and cheerful dispenser of homely wisdom. She shared her great recipes and household tips over a good, strong cup of tea. I looked forward to our daily visits, but was mortified when Merry had to tell me, “Don’t come over until my curtains are open!”

Merry sometimes arose late because she had trouble getting enough sleep at night due to the pain of a degenerative bone disease. I still remain amazed at Merry’s cheerfulness in the face of constant pain. Even in her discomfort, it seems Merry is continually on the look-out for someone who needs hospitality, or a helping hand.

Of course, I didn’t always go to Merry’s house. Sometimes she would come next-door to mine, and I would do my best to show hospitality to her as well. As we visited, she would go to my ‘fridge, supposedly to look for cream or some such thing, but REALLY she was scoping out what kind of diet we were eating. In those early days, cash was sometimes tight, so I didn’t buy much meat. Merry noted that fact, and within a few days, I would get a phone call: “You won’t believe the mix-up over here! I got a roast out to defrost for dinner, and then Ken got one out, too, so you’ll have to help me out and take one of the roasts!” You know she told him, “Ken, get an extra roast out of the freezer. Those kids aren’t eating enough protein!”

When our first child was about nine months old, I became pregnant with our twin girls. (We didn’t find out we were expecting twins until about seven months along.) I was having so much trouble carrying those babies. For the first three months, every time I stood up, I would start bleeding. Also, Rick was away from home most of the time, working on a large, distant construction project. Never fear, though, Merry was near!

Since Merry’s back was so bad, she couldn’t lift our chubby nine-month old son, so Ken would come over before work to lift Philip out of bed. Merry was then able to care for the little boy. I would quickly move from my bed to the couch, probably with a book in hand (I don’t remember), and Merry would visit with me while watching Philip and doing some neatening up around the house and the laundry. Dear readers, Merry did this for three months, with such a nonchalant, cheerful attitude, that I knew she loved me, and was glad to do it.

Of course I could go on and on, enumerating the good deeds of my old neighbor. But, I just wanted to give you a little idea of the reason that the road to Merry’s house is never long. We will chatter like magpies when we’re together, hardly allowing one another the space to speak, picking up our tea-time conversation as if it was just yesterday.

Thank you, Hilary!

Thursday, November 15th, 2007


Hilary, you are a Good Mail fairy. Thank you SO MUCH! I know from reading your blog how busy you are, and yet you took the time to surprise me with CHOCOLATE (my youngest son sampled and assured me that M&Ms are as good as ever) and the darling, handmade, fairy snowman cards. I have been feeling so behind in my “To Do” list, but you stopped me in my hectic tracks with your cheering gift. Thank you. 🙂

What we know about God

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

One of my blog “must-reads” is the blog Against Heresies by Martin Downes. As I was reading his post, Introduction to the Doctrine of God, this morning, I came across a succinct bit of wisdom he puts forth:

We can never know God as God knows himself. We will always know God in a way suited to and limited by our creature-hood.

Recognizing this at the outset of our thinking about God, and as we consider what knowledge of him we do possess, and are able to possess, is of critical importance. Much theological mischief is done when we fail to understand the difference between ourselves as creatures and God as Creator in the realm of knowledge.

Day is Done

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

This photo was taken about a year ago by the son who loves photography. I can tell it’s a little later in the season because no leaves remain on the trees.

This peaceful scene reminds me of the lyrics to the Taps, which is played when it’s time for lights out:

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the hills, from the lake,
From the skies.
All is well, safely rest,
God is nigh.

Thanks and praise, For our days,
‘Neath the sun, Neath the stars,
‘Neath the sky,
As we go, This we know,
God is nigh.

I found these lyrics at Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government for Our Kids.

A Brief Word

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

I do have a nice post in mind, but we’re just now leaving for dinner at our church, and I want to make sure to do my promised daily post. Just in case the power goes off again.

Our power was restored shortly before midnight last night, and the North Easter is starting to blow. Another wind storm is supposed to hit us.

Have a great evening, just in case I don’t make it back on the internet to post something of substance.

From the library

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Well, we still don’t have power at our place. When I took Lassie for a walk this afternoon, I saw that two new power poles were lying at the base of two poles that had been badly damaged during the wind storm. The wires were down, and obviously won’t be reconnected until the new poles are put in place. We have so many trees on our road, and when the winds really blow, a few go down, sometimes across the power lines.

Thankfully, the library down in Everson has power, so I can make my promised post. I feel so constrained, though. I don’t have any of my photos, and am unsure how to use clipart or Google Images from this public computer. I still have so much to learn!

Guess I’ll talk about not having power. What I don’t like about it is losing the perishables in the refrigerator, not being able to bake, and not being able to do the laundry. Of course, I really miss the internet.

What I like about losing power is how incredibly quiet and cozy the evenings are. We have several battery-operated camp lanterns and a few candles. These suffice for minimal light. We also have plenty of board games. Last night, Rebecca, Seth and Lydia (a team), Debra and I played Scrabble. Tonight I’m feeling so tired, so maybe I’ll curl up with a good book, which I haven’t taken the time to do for a while.

Thank you, Laura, for posting for me yesterday, and including the cute photo of Diederick.

Maybe I’ll add a little something to this post once the power comes on and I can make it a bit nicer.

Hope you’re all staying warm and cozy. Good night!