Sunday, October 04, 2009


Do you remember the old commercial for Heinz Ketchup?
Anticipation.....antici-pa-a-a-tion is making me late.
It's keeping me wai-a-a-a-a-ting......

Well, around here I've been anticipating a hard frost. I've been waiting and waiting and waiting to decide if I should pull up the tomatoes or risk waiting just a little longer to get yet one more vine-ripened tomato. I did snip off all the parsley and basil to bring in and dry, but have been waiting on my thyme and rosemary, thinking I might get a few more days of fresh herbs before I must give them up and dry them for winter's use.

Saturday I decided I just had to get down to business and not wait for a hard frost any longer. So I rolled up the garden hoses, stowed away the sprinklers, snipped the remaining herbs, pulled up the zucchini vines and the tomato vines and picked the last of the ripe tomatoes. This morning while getting ready for church, Hubs and I missed a phone call but there was a message. I told Hubs to find out if it was one of the kids calling us to bring tomatoes to church for them. Well, it was one of the kids all right, but he didn't want tomatoes, and neither did any of the other kids! I guess I'm done shoving off tomatoes for another year. The funny thing is that when we arrived at church, there was a huge box of tomatoes with a sign above it, "Tomatoes from God." The gardener herself told me she had already canned 100 quarts of tomato sauce and tomato soup and froze lots of them too. I told her I still had plenty myself and would have to passed up God's tomatoes. So did my kids.

I dug up all the potatoes left in my garden too. I usually leave a few in the ground to store for later, but when I heard the weather report that we could possibly have 6" of snow or more by Sunday night, I decided not to wait one more day. The soil makes for a good "root cellar" but if our weather turns cold and snowy and stays that way, I don't want to risk frozen black spuds when I could have my favorite Yukon Gold potatoes all harvested and safely stored away in the garage. I'll have to take some pictures of those wonderful Yukes to show you! Oh my! I don't think I'll ever plant any other kind of potato again. There are some potatoes in my buckets that are the size of a nice roast beef! You could serve a family of four on one spud! No joke! Is there anything in the world like a homegrown potato? No-sir-ee!

Tonight, as I type, Hubs keeps coming in to check Accuweather to see what the radar looks like in our area. We're still just getting a nice shower of rain, but we're anticipating snow to begin falling at any time. For now, it's just too warm (36*). We really, really do hope it stays just rain and doesn't turn into the white stuff.

I wish we had more wood in the garage for the wood burning stove, but we have enough to take the chill off anyway. Cutting firewood will have to go on the list of things to do in anticipation of wintry days to come. We use our furnace for our general heating needs, but we do love a wood fire in the stove to warm up by. When you come in from the chilly outdoors, cheeks red and hands stiff, it's best to sidle up to the stove and turn your backside to it. Sweet, penetrating warmth is what you get! Is there anything like warming up to a crackling fire? No-sir-ee!

I made the most delicious pumpkin bread this weekend. It's got the best sugary-nutty topping which really does makes the bread outstanding. If you'd like the recipe, click here. I made two loaves of bread instead of 2 dozen muffins. Those Mennonite girls can REALLY cook!

Today was the annual Cowboy Poetry gathering in our country community. There were local folks reciting their original cowboy and cowgirl poetry and there were a few guitar-strumming, singing cowboys. There were cowboy paintings, cowboy leather book covers, cowboy iron works, and cowboy spurs. Some of the ladies made crocheted things to sell and of course, there was lots of food to be sold and eaten too. The main draw in the kitchen where I served was the homemade pie. The ladies from all over the community bring a couple pies each of various kinds. There was the usual apple and cherry pie, but also pecan, peach, banana cream, butterscotch, chocolate cream, and even sour cream and raisin, just like my German Grandma used to make. Since I served pies last year, I knew that the favorite pie of all was chocolate cream pie with whipped cream, so that's what I brought. Sure enough, it was gone in a flash. At $2.50 a slice, the community club made a nice income for another year. The Cowboy Poets gathering was first begun to pay for a new kitchen addition for the community hall. Our fine community has been hosting this event for 21 years we figured out today, so I suppose the kitchen's all paid off by now. I was remembering back when my five little kids and I sang cowboy songs one year. Time sure does fly.

One thing we didn't anticipate this past weekend was an earthquake. Yep! We had an earthquake way out here in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the USA. As it turns out, it was a 3.8 on the Richter scale. We didn't have any damage, but just had an excitingly good shake that moved the pictures on the walls and jiggled the wine glasses and tea cups in the china cupboard just enough so you can see the dust from where they were moved. Hubs was worried that the quake might heave the ground somewhat and he was concerned about the waterlines and the wells, but everything's fine. It's just not the type of thing we have out here on the prairie, but that just goes to show you -- you can't anticipate everything.

Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.
~Jim Elliot


  1. That Cowboy Poetry event sounds like a lot of fun--two good things you write about: pies and poetry.
    But an earthquake? You are supposed to leave those to us here in California.

  2. Wow! You had an earthquake??? That's amazing! Hopefully you won't have any damage. We had an earthquake here (4.something) a year or two ago -- about six months later we noticed water seeping in the basement. We opened up the wall and there was a pretty little crack. Based on how the house groaned during the earthquake, I'm convinced that's what made our crack.

    Sounds like you've been busy getting ready for winter. I LOVE the change of seasons and the preparations for each new one!

    Oh! And you're so lucky to have had great tomato crops -- so many people around here have had bad luck this year.

  3. I love your blog and just wanted to say how much I appreciate you. I really enjoy reading about your life. I live in the midwest, too, but not in the country. Thank you for sharing your home and family. :)

  4. Wow..earthquakes again...we are studying revelations and it sure is pointing to the end times, don't you think.
    I am sick of tomatoes...but i sure don't want snow yet. It has been rather cool here..below normal so we need to get the wood cut too. blessings, Dianntha

  5. That Kim Elliot quote is my favorite-- I even named my blog for it. :-)

  6. Whoa now we aren't shocked to have an earthquake here in earthquake country. Must have been quite a surprise on the prairie :0) Glad nothing was damaged!

  7. Gretchen,
    I'd love to leave the quakes to you in Cali. But pies and poetry, we'll keep here.

    Hubs told me that back in the late 60's there was a quake that caved in the wells and waterlines. I hope we don't discover problems later on. I didn't think you were in earthquake territory either.

    Thanks for your sweet, sweet comments. I'm glad you enjoy visiting here.

    Ohio Farmgirl,
    End times? Who knows, but it's odd for us to have a rumbler. I'm still enjoying the tomatoes and just had one on my hamburgers. Mmm.

    Toiling Ant,
    That quote has always been a fav of mine too.

    It was a surprise to hear that rumble and feel the shake. Just strange.


  8. An earthquake?? We've never had one here. That would be strange.

    Must have been a bumper crop of tomatoes in your area - mine are still mainly green. I've been pulling off the ones that are turning slight and bringing them inside. They ripen in a few days or so.The cherry ones are so sweet - I eat them like candy.

    You're making me hungry with your descriptions of pies and pumpkin bread. Think I'll slip over to MGCC and check that recipe out.

    But before I go, I'm curious - did you get your snow??

  9. Isn't it wonderful to be puttering in the comforts of ones home, while a storm is coming. I prefect reason to bake xoxox Clarice

  10. This is my first visit to your blog -- I love it!

    I had to laugh when I read about warming up at your stove. When I was growing up, we heated our house with a wood stove. The kids' bedrooms (one for the 4 girls still home, one for the 3 boys) were always cold in the morning. This encouraged us to stay in bed as long as possible, but once we got up, we hurried through dressing and downstairs to warm our backsides at the stove.

    One morning, the stove was little too warm and I was a little too close -- my mother started yelling and brushing at my backside, which was not so safely tucked behind a bathrobe -- which caught fire! Thank the Lord, the flames were quickly extinguished and there were no injuries, but my beautiful new, full, quilted robe was a total loss.

    I'll be back to look at your blog often!


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