Hey friends, hope the world hasn't beaten you down (it has a habit of doing that if you are not on your guard...and sometimes even then.) Remember the 'ruler' of this world is Satan and believe me, he knows my middle name and just what buttons to push for tempting me.) I try to remember to "resist the devil so he will flee from me" but sometimes it seems like he just gets behind me and pushes. Of course I know that none of you have this kind of problem (liar, liar, pants on fire!)
Did you all know that where I grew up down south, the word 'Hey' was the common greeting, like we use 'hi' up here but most times it meant a little more: hello, how are you, what's up, can I help, etc. Whether it is 'Hey' or 'Hi', we need to listen for a response; if you don't really care, just give them a smile and a wave and just keep on 'truckin'.
Pastor Bobby has been giving us some powerful sermons this past month on how Christians are supposed to, actually (can you believe it) care, for other people...and show it, in words and actions.
First, love God, then your neighbor...and not just pretend like you do (that makes you a hypocrite and God is not fond of hypocrites.) Jesus said words to that effect (I mean about love) in Deut. 6:4-9, Matt. 22:37-40, Mark 12:28-31, and Luke 10:25-28. Have you ever noticed how really important words and instructions seem to get repeated in the Bible almost like God really wanted us to 'get it'. Jesus said that following this simple command covered all our 'Christian bases'. Think about it, what loving someone really means.
All right, all right, I'll get off my 'soapbox' - that doesn't make it any less true though.
Had some cool weather in September and as soon as it gets a little cool, I start thinking about cooking and especially baking. That last little 'bout of cool' made me whip up a batch of chicken-n-dumplings. Now I can make a small pot of chili or beans but a small batch of vegetable soup or chicken-n-dumplings, forget it. My advice, just invite some friends/family to come on over and enjoy the meal, and make the joy double, good food and good fellowship, Mike and Mary, Marci Leap, and I surely did.
Lots of us folks, after years of cooking for families, have some trouble being able to cut recipes down to cook for one or two...and some recipes will not reduce successfully. They lose texture, taste, or something, and just do not turn out well; so share.
My family doesn't like the big, soft fluffy dumplings, they all like what we used to call 'southern slicks', the smaller and harder dumplings. Making a batch of Chicken/dumplings is pretty cheap, after you get the chicken anyway.
Throw the chicken into a pot, cover generously with water, pitch in some onions, celery, carrots, and your favorite condiments, and bring it all to a boil; then cover and turn it down on simmer for two or three hours till the chicken it ready to fall off the bone. Take it out and set it on a plate to cool (so you can bone it out, you know separate the meat from the bones) and also take out two-thirds cup of broth to cool.
At this point, you can strain the broth (after the chicken is out) to remove the vegetables to make a clear broth; I don't bother, when I am putting the veggies in, I just chop them small and even grate the carrots (so the kids can't pick them out.) I always figured a little extra good nutrition doesn't hurt anybody.
For the dumplings, bring the broth (with the boned out and cut up chicken pieces) back to a boil; this is a good time to taste it, check for salt, pepper, etc.
Two cups all-purpose flour
Two tsp. Baking powder
One tsp. Salt
One-third cup shortening (I like Crisco for this recipe)
Two-thirds cup of cool broth.
Combine flour, baking powder, and one tsp. Salt: cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Add cool broth and stir with a fork until the ingredients are moistened. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead lightly two or three times. Roll dough out to one-eighth inch thickness and cut into squares (or whatever you like - I use my pizza cutter to cut it); drop into boiling broth a few at a time. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 25 or 30 minutes (I've let them cook for an hour (on very low heat) and it didn't hurt them at all - some folks are never on time for dinner.)
We have more cool weather coming; send me your favorite recipes for cool weather and I will share some with all our friends: Pat Miller, 10128 Markland Pike, Vevay, IN, 47043.
Frank and Donna Miller (Kentucky son) came in for a couple of hours around the first of the month; we had a nice visit. They are both doing well (recovering from daughter Kristie's wedding) and working on their house.
Mary Martin, daughter-in-law Jessi Martin and the three boys (Elijah, Weston, and Landon) traveled down to Augusta, Georgia, for a weekend to visit with Michael (he is a welder and travels with the job.) Mary said they had a nice trip down but the boys were really 'acting up' coming back. My advice was to stop the car, remove boys and 'dust their bottoms' good but Mary is a real 'softie' (and believe me, the boys know it - they really love 'Mam-ma' but they are not much on minding her.)
Sons Mike and Sam (with Sam's wife Cyndi) were here and cut down two huge trees (dead and dangerous) and cut them up. We had some exciting moments when they were falling (at least Cyndi and I did - the guys were confident the trees would fall where they wanted them too, and they did...at least that is where the guys said they wanted them to fall.)
Sam Cyndi came over a couple of days later and split up the wood (Sam has a log splitter) and there is probably all the wood I will need this winter. Course now I have to get it out of the yard and up on the deck, and covered, not that I am complaining. Maybe I can get a grandson or two to help - but I don't think I will hold my breath.
Spanish Class had a fiesta one Friday morning at the 'Y' (we do better at 'fiesta-ing than we do at speaking Spanish.) Everyone brings in something to share and we all 'dive in'. Robin H. just had a tooth cut out and couldn't chow down on anything but we managed to eat up his share with no trouble.
Karen Miller brought a fantastic dessert and it was simple too, my kind of recipe. She put it in a 'trifle bowl' and it was a pretty presentation. It was just a layer of chocolate pudding, layer of cool whip, then choc. Pudding (with brownie bits mixed in it, then cool whip on top sprinkled with chopped walnuts. It was delicious and it made a large amount; she had plenty left over to send home with us.
I hosted Bridge last week with Carolyn Green, Ana Slover, and Rita Green attending and I wanted to do something like Karen Miller's creation but on a much smaller scale. I used the same idea but put it in tall beer glasses (I knew I would finally find a use for them), layered the same way she did. I topped it with whipped cream, walnuts, and a cherry; they turned out real pretty and tasted wonderful. We all had fun playing cards and catching up with each other's 'news'; we didn't play for the whole month of September.
Carolyn and Ivan Green were out visiting family through Kansas and Colorado for a week or two. When they got back, Carolyn told me that she was really glad to get back to Indiana; she said we thought we had a bad drought but out there everything looked dead. Even with that, she said they had a nice trip.
Rita and Gary Green (Ivan and Gary are brothers) went west also, but took in a lot more territory; Rita said all together, they covered fifteen states before they got back to Indiana. They visited family and did a lot of sightseeing. Rita told us at one point there was a long stretch of road with no guardrails on the sides on the way to the Grand Canyon and it was so deep she couldn't even see the bottom. She said she told Gary to keep his eyes on the road and she would tell him what everything looked like.
Lana Kelly and the girls at Twisted Ends beauty salon threw Ana Slover a surprise retirement party last Thursday afternoon...and they really surprised her. They had lots of good food and Ana just kept laughing; she couldn't believe they did it for her and she didn't have a clue it was coming...and that just made it double fun for everybody.
Markland Baptist had a 'Fifth Sunday Dinner' last Sunday right after Worship service. We had fried chicken for a main entrée and everyone pitched in a side dish. We ordered the chicken from Cash Saver and were really pleased with it; Julie H. had tried an individual order and said it was good so we went with it (you know how you hate to order a lot of chicken for the first time for other people if you haven't tried it yourself but it was really good.)
September birthdays: Melissa Park (3rd), Mike Martin (9th), Cindy Anderson (13th), Genevieve Sloan (14th), Jessie Mullins (14th), Michael Carter (15th), James Bruce (18th), Jynna Hemingway (21st), Jeff Mullins, Sr. (25th), and Mercedes Parham on the 27th. We pray that each of you had a day filled with joy and that the year that follows will be over-flowing with God's sweetest blessings; Happy Birthday!
Our sincere condolences to Micha and Kyle Perry on the loss of his mother, Leona Baker; Gayle Rayles (Mrs. Jan) lost her sister to cancer; please remember these families in your prayers along with others in our community that are grieving lost loved ones.
Judy Judy was back to church last week and she looked great; I was so excited to see her. She had lost weight (and she didn't need to) but still looked like the same Judy; we were so glad to see her I just couldn't stop hugging people.
Jennie Miller was there too and when I hugged her, coffee got spilled on her blouse; she forgave me and hugged me back.
Bob Baatz is in the hospital in Louisville and not doing well at all; do remember him in your conversations with the Lord also: Bobby Brundige is having oral surgery this Tuesday(2nd) - his mom and grandmother are coming in to stay with them and help out - it will be the first time his grandma has seen baby Emma (wouldn't hurt to say a little prayer for Mel too - she is under stress), Betty Mishler and her family (long standing ailments are hard on both patients and family, Howard H. still has his cast on, Peggy Eckerty took a fall and injured her foot (it was all swelled up Sunday morning and a friend was taking her to the E. R., Jacob Dickerson is having tubes put in his ears (and he really doesn't want to), Brandy Wilson and family, Mel's (Pastor's Bobby's wife) parents are traveling, and many others. Mention all of these and others you know about that are standing in the need of prayer; remember the prayer of a righteous person has great power (our righteousness is Christ), so use it.
I wanted to let you all know that 'cleaning' is dangerous to your health; now anybody that knows me, knows that I don't do too much cleaning, just enough to stay ahead of the Health Department condemnation notice. Every once in a while (a great while) I get an idiotic urge to clean (I always figured that a really clean house was a symbol of a misspent life. You could confidentially operate on my niece's floor - you could probably grow potatoes on mine.)
I decided to wash the windows (I have thirty-five windows in my house so I decided to take a few at a time); now washing the windows is a snap - it is the collateral stuff that kills you. First you have to gather your supplies, move the furniture away from the windows, crawl up the step ladder (for each window) and take the curtains and blinds down...before you can even start to wash the windows. Don't forget the woodwork has to the cleaned too.
Naturally the curtains have to washed, and the washer is in the basement; tromp down the stairs a couple of times (they have to have a second rinse) and then out to the clotheslines to hang them in the sun. The clotheslines are half a football field from the house (didn't seem like much of a problem twenty years ago) and then you have to go get and bring them back up the stairs, climb the stepladder and hand them up again.
To make a long story short, that was Wednesday - Thursday I could barely crawl out of bed. The windows I got done look beautiful - the only problem being, the ones that are not done, look really awful now. You know the old saying, "No good deed goes unpunished."
Until the next time we meet, my prayer for each of you is that the Lord cause His face to shine on you, to bless you and keep you safe from harm; may He lift up His countenance and give you heart-peace. Amen.