Markland News

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Markland News for September:

Hey friends, how are you doing? We have put another month (August) behind us and now, most of September; soon we will be looking at winter. I heard on TV that the Farmer’s Almanac is calling for more snow and colder than usual temperatures for this winter; the National Weather Service is not; by April we will know who was right. Either way, it is not like we have much choice in the matter.

The old saying is that bad things happen in sets of three; well I have had my three and am definitely ready for the program to change.

One. Patty Miller and I had some kind of “thing” that kept us congested and hacking for over three weeks (actually she is still somewhat congested); it seemed everyone I talked to was experiencing something like it. Brian Cooper came over from Warsaw to pick up some tools; he knocked on the door and said, “I won’t come in (cough, cough) since I am not feeling good Ms. Pat and I don’t want you to catch it.” I replied, “Thanks, cough, cough, Brian, we don’t want to exchange germs.” Evidentially it crossed the river too.

Two. Naturally I was taking some medicine so I could sleep and when I got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, I got my feet tangled up (size 11’s are easy to tangle) and fell down. I didn’t think anything of it at the time; I fall down a lot but am very well padded so usually don’t come to any real harm.

When I woke up the next morning and tried to get out of bed, I squealed like a ‘stuck hog’ and fell back on the bed (I am surprised Vevay residents didn’t think the tornado sirens had gone off.) It hurt so bad, I couldn’t breathe for a bit; after I started breathing again…and my heart started beating again…I tried to figure out what I had done. It was my left knee and it just wasn’t working…and it hurt; I finally decided that I had twisted it somehow when I fell.

Then I remembered the refrigerator (in my mind, a vital life essential) was upstairs and my bedroom is downstairs, besides I had to feed and water the ‘stock’ (three dogs [Zeus, Spike, and TJ] and four cats [Snowflake, Tiger, Callie, and Christmas] and a few [I didn’t name them] birds.) I slid off the end of the bed to the bathroom (about five feet), got an ace bandage and put it on and hobbled to the stairs. Looking up that flight of stairs, I almost cried but finally summoned up enough gumption to get up the stairs.

Got the ‘stock’ fed, watered, & cleaned and one-legged it to my big chair, propped up my leg and decided to sleep upstairs on the sofa for a couple of days.

Three. A few days later when I was filling the pet’s bowls, I noticed that my little furry friend (Christmas) of 22 years (she will be 23 years old the 15th of December), seemed to be having trouble walking and was bumping into the wall.

Christmas had gone completely blind. I was heart-broken; Christmas has been with me longer than my children stayed home. I was sure I would have to put her to ‘sleep’ but she is learning to ‘navigate’ and can find the food, water, and litter box; so maybe we will celebrate her next birthday.

Ok, that was three now I am ready to enjoy some good stuff; enough of the ‘pity party’. There are lots of folks in our community that have much worse problems than I have. God may be trying to teach me a lesson on having more compassion with other people with knee problems or some other lesson – whatever it is God, I am paying attention.

While I was sitting propped up in my chair, I started reading some of the magazines I saved to read this winter. In one, I found a recipe for cornbread that looked really good; I like a sweet cornbread. The recipe on the back of the ‘Martha White’ yellow, self-rising bag is good but this recipe looked interesting so I tried it.

The recipe is in the ‘October-November, 20l4’ issue of “Allrecipes” and is as follows: one-half cup butter (melted), two-thirds cup sugar, two eggs, one cup buttermilk, one-half tsp. baking soda, one cup cornmeal (regular, not self-rising), one cup flour, and one-half tsp. salt.

Stir together the butter and sugar in a large bowl, add eggs and beat until well blended. Mix in all of the rest of the ingredients and pour batter into a prepared pan.

They baked it in a 375-degree pre-heated oven in a greased eight inch square pan for 35 to 40 minutes; however, I didn’t want that much cornbread of a recipe I hadn’t tried before. I cut the recipe in half and baked it in an eight inch (pre-heated) iron skillet and I didn’t have any buttermilk on hand so I put a teaspoon (more or less, kind of like a splash) in a half cup of sweet milk, let it set a couple of minutes and it soured up nicely. It is a good substitute for buttermilk; it has always worked for me.

Of course baking half the recipe in the same sized pan made mine a little thinner than the full recipe would have been but I was very pleased with it. It is just right in sweetness and is quite moist; it even holds together enough to slice (carefully) and toast the next morning (tastes good crumbled up in a glass of milk too.) If you like sweet cornbread, I definitely recommend you try this recipe.

Have you ever seen it fail? Just when you get in a bind, some things come up that have to be taken care of…the tomatoes got ripe.

Cyndi came and picked three big buckets full; she took what she and Sam would eat and I started canning. I canned 14 quarts and several pints (one-legged) by the time I got finished, I wished my leg would either heal or fall off…and at that time I didn’t care which (but truthfully, I was kind of pleased with myself for my accomplishment, even if I grumbled about it.)

You know how when you are canning or even just bringing in fresh produce from the garden, little ‘fruit flies’ seem to appear like magic, at least they do at my house; I read about a nifty little trick in a book (some good came out of being laid up), “The Country’s Doctor’s Kitchen”, you could put some apple cider vinegar in a small bowl, add a few drops of dish soap liquid, set it out on the counter and the ‘fruit flies’ would be attracted to it. The dish soap would cause them to drown…it works.

Eventually, no matter what the circumstances, you have to go to town and get some chores done (you know the drill: bank, drugstore, library, groceries, etc.) I always let the chores pile up and do them all at once to conserve my resources of time and gas and I have to borrow Cyndi’s van so I need to wait until it is available.

All these things came together one Monday so off I went; did everything except the groceries (that is always the last stop) and went over to visit with Patty before I left town. She said we could probably get in a few games of Rummikub before the ‘spray’ man came, (you know we are addicted to this game) so we did. The man was late and we got in several games; Florence Peters dropped in, shook her head and said, “You are at it again.” (I am almost sure she thinks we are possessed by this game.)

After the man sprayed, he told Patty she would have to stay out of the apartment for four hours so I suggested she just bring some clothes and spend the night at the house. She grabbed some clothes and a couple of pork chops she had thawed out, I ran (euphemism for hobbled) in the grocery store, and we came home.

I was sitting in my chair and she was sitting in her favorite chair, we were just grumbling about how rotten we felt; then we decided we wouldn’t be any more miserable playing Rummikub than we were just sitting there – so we played the GAME. That was about one in the afternoon, at one, the following morning, we were still playing. Patty I are very competitive (and somewhat contentious), so whoever won a game, we naturally had to play another to see who was best.

We did stop for a supper of fried potatoes, pork chops, beans, fresh French bread, tomatoes & cucumbers (out of the garden) and it was delicious. We also stopped long enough to watch one of our favorite TV programs at 10 p.m., “Under the Dome”. We decided to sleep late the next morning.

Did you all read Mike Cooney’s column last week? He brought out some interesting thoughts about the NFL, which I thought were ‘spot on’; I like his sarcastic sense of humor too…Go Rice – Ha.

Speaking of football, another little patch of good, the Bengals and the Broncos (my favorite teams) both won their games last week. By the time you are reading this column, they will have each played another game. The Bengals met the Titans and the Broncos met the Seahawks on Sunday afternoon; the Bengals won, the Broncos didn’t, but it was sure close, went into overtime.

Calling these wins good of course depends on your perspective; not so from the Kroening’s point of view…Phil and Charlotte are Steelers fans. Since the Bengals beat the Steelers (sorry about your luck Charlotte – just kidding – yeah, right.) Seriously Phil has been sick with some kind of pneumonia and is just really coming out of it. He made it to Bible study Wednesday evening but he hardly said a word…and that is not like Phil. Remember him when you speak to the Lord please.

Have you ever noticed that diseases are kind of like coffee any more. Years ago you went to the store to buy coffee and there would be one or two brands on the shelf (and Ovaltine – my Gram drank that and since it wasn’t for children, I never figured out if it was coffee, chocolate, or tea – still don’t know.) Now there are 10 or 12 feet, three or four shelves deep, with coffee.

You used to get pneumonia or cancer or some other terrible disease and now they all seem to have ‘hybrids’, several different names for different kinds of the same disease. They are all horrible no matter what you call them.

Our sincerest condolences go out to all those that have lost loved ones; words are so inadequate at these times. We will remember each of you in our prayers asking God to give you strength, comfort, and peace. May God bless each of you in the way you need.

Since I kind of ‘lost’ August in my quagmire of miserable self-pity, I missed several birthdays. A belated Happy Birthday to (August): Debbie Bruce (4th), Paulette Barnes (4th), Emma Kuyper (8th), Marci Leap (12th), Daniel Mangold (27th), and Charlotte Kroening on the 28th.

September birthdays: Melissa Park (3rd), Mike Martin (9th), Cindy Anderson (13th), and James Bruce on the 18th.

Birthday blessings to each of you (and all other birthday celebrants not mentioned); praying God will bring you joy as you continue to look to Him in all you do – Happy Birthday.

James Bruce is scheduled for surgery on his thumb this week (some birthday present – bah, humbug); please remember him (and the family – men are not usually the ‘best’ patients) in prayer as you speak to the Lord.

There are several on our prayer list this week (yeah, I made it into church [missed Sunday School] but Howard had to wheel me out in a wheelchair we keep at the church – believe me that is enough of that): Eldric Hazeldean is not doing well at all, both he and Joy need our prayers and son Howard is having some medical issues; Patricia McAllister’s daughter Amanda Alford is having a medical procedure this week, remember Amanda and her family too; Remember also Kent Hendricks, Pete Furnish, Betty Williams and her daughter Susie; Peggy Eckerty told us that Debbie (Bond) Hunter is going through chemotherapy; keep Howard Bragg and his family in your prayers – Howard is dong about as well as can be expected but Reva and the kids are worried; Pastor Bobby’s father is still going through chemotherapy; several requests for salvation for lost loved family and friends and two unspoken requests (God knows); and especially be in prayer for those who have lost loved ones recently; Hannah and her family (medical issues), Bob and Ana Slover (speedy recovery), and if you have a spare moment or two, please remember me (I’ve given up on sanity but would really appreciate being able to walk right again – they say, you never appreciate what you have until you don’t have it anymore – I’ll testify to that.)

The girls (Carolyn Green, Ana Slover, Rita Green) and I finally got together for a game of Bridge; it has been a good month or two since we played, what with one thing and another. When Ana came in the door, she introduced herself and said she thought we all looked kind of familiar; Ana had her right arm in a soft cast.

Rita and Gary have spent a lot of the summer going back and forth between Georgia and Missouri (kid’s homes – with grandkids of course); Carolyn has had some medical issues (all coming out to the good, praise the Lord); and Ana and I have been patiently waiting…well kind of patient.

Ana and Bob with son Matt (remember Ana and Bob have both passed their 80th birthday) were out in the ‘back forty’ getting winter wood in and Ana hurt/re-hurt her arm; Bob was just getting over a medical problem himself. As I am sure you know, these are not ideal health conditions for bringing in winter fuel but they made it.

Wilma Turner stopped in one afternoon to visit and told me she is doing pretty good but still has some pain in her leg (had knee surgery and she has a lot of arthritis in several different body parts) but was able now to get around again.

Pastor Bobby delivered a great sermon Sunday, one of those that is so interesting you think it is only about five minutes long, you just don’t notice time is passing. We have been having some very interesting, and informative, Bible studies on Wednesday evenings (6:30, everyone is invited) on the 12 Apostles…with homework. We are supposed to come in with whatever information we can gather about whichever Apostle (current one we are studying) and that is not as easy as it sounds.

Peter was easy (there is lots about him in the Bible), Andrew (Peter’s brother) wasn’t too hard (several references about him – I found 10), this week’s Apostle is James (the greater.) There were two Apostles named James; James the greater and James the lesser – not to be confused with James the half-brother of Jesus who wrote the book of James and was not an Apostle.

The idea is what we can learn about discipleship from their lives and the discussion on how we can apply what we learn to our lives. I think Pastor has a bit of a hidden motive; in trying to garner information on each Apostle, we are reading and studying Scripture more than usual, of course I could be wrong.

Well friends, I think it is time to turn off the computer and go prop up my knee so until next time, may the Lord bless and keep you safe from harm and help you experience the joy of His love and peace. Amen.