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RSSAmish Cook - Lovina Eicher
Lovina Eicher offers a column about the Amish lifestyle, her daily schedule, her family and favorite recipes.
April is here, bringing us warmer temperatures. Monday was nice and warm. We hung all the laundry outside on the lines. By evening all of it was dry.
How nice to be able to wash the clothes and put them away the same day. It is laundry day again today but it doesn’t look like we will be able to hang the clothes outside. It is rainy and very windy. I’m wondering if we could have a thunderstorm yet today. The frost in the ground is leaving more every day so hopefully it will be okay to get some early garden planted a few weeks from now. Time will tell if the winter weather is over with.
The excitement last night was that daughter Susan’s pony, Roxie, gave birth to a cute little foal. Susan is still undecided what to name him. Daughter Elizabeth’s friend, Timothy, had his second horse give birth to a foal this week. He has another horse that should deliver soon. He has some frisky little foals running around on nice days outside.
It is the first day of spring. The temperature is staying around the freezing mark this morning. I am hoping we will see some sun to make it seem more like spring.
Yesterday it rained but I didn't mind as much. Some of our church women gathered to have a quilting. The two quilts are being made for the benefit auction for the Community Health Center. The patterns of the quilts were Lonestar Fan and Beavers Weavers. I helped on the Beavers Weavers and it was a little confusing until you figured out where to quilt on it.
We all packed our lunches so everyone could stay quilting and not have to take time to make lunch. I enjoy quilting so the day went fast. Daughter Verena did some more cleaning out of drawers and mopped the floors while I was gone all day. It seems the floors get tracked up faster with the ground thawing and snow melting.
Here's a rundown of a recent day.
3:15 a.m: Time to start another day. I pack my husband Joe’s lunch while he gets ready for work.
3:50 a.m: Joe left for work. It is raining outside.
We are into the first week of March which is unbelievable. It makes us think of spring but the weather outside is telling us something a whole lot different.
All morning it has been snowing. Just a nice scenic snow with not much of a wind blowing. It is a relaxing kind of snow and the flakes are clinging to the trees. The thermometer shows 18 degrees which almost seems like spring to us after all the sub-zero temperatures we have had this year. Monday morning the temperature was -5 so we like the 18 degrees this morning.
Daughter Susan, 18, started a new job on Monday morning at the same RV factory where daughter Elizabeth has worked for close to 2 years. I miss Susan’s good help here at home but I can understand that she wants a job too.
We had 200 gallons of propane delivered here this morning. The price was $2.69 a gallon which is probably the most we have paid since we started using it.
When we lived in Indiana we didn’t use propane. It makes one eager to see spring and the arrival of warmer weather. Also, with the days getting longer and staying daylight longer it will also help not to use the propane lights as much. With using the lights for heat on those really cold days it emptied that tank fast. We had our 500-gallon tank filled right after Christmas just before the price went up to almost $5 a gallon. We sure felt relieved that our propane supply held out till the price came down this much. We use propane for our water pump, water heater, refrigerator and the heater we have in our pump house.
This morning the mercury dipped down to 4 degrees but it sounds like warmer weather is on the way for the weekend. We are hoping that holds true as we want to butcher 4 hogs. On Friday evening we will dress 4 big hogs.
We are having thunder, lightning, and rain right now. The temperature is just over the freezing mark so it turns the driveway into a sheet of ice. It’s a challenge to walk on and for daughter Loretta so much more.
She fell on her way out to the bus this morning. I hope she did not hurt herself. She is so ready to see the snow go away. It makes walking on it so difficult for her. She says she can’t wait until it warms up and she can sit outside on her swing again.
Our school closed on Tuesday because of the 5 – 6 inches of snow we received Monday evening. Last Friday and Monday the children didn’t have school either as it was their mid-winter break. I was hoping they would cancel the mid-winter break due to missing so many days already this year. The children ended up having a 5-day break. I hope they won’t have to go to school longer at the end of the year.
We are still having temperatures below zero on some mornings. We also received a few more inches of snow. The local paper said we have had 41.5 inches of snow this year and the average temperature has been zero.
We are getting an idea of what life feels like in Alaska! There have been very few days that the temperature was warm enough for the children to go outside to enjoy the snow. On days that were warm enough they enjoy sledding, building igloos, etc. The boys had Stormy the pony to pull their sled. Pulling a sled is a good way to exercise the ponies in the winter months.
Benjamin and Joseph built a wooden sled and now are getting to enjoy it. I think the sled will outlast the plastic store-bought ones. This seems to be more like the winters we had when I was growing up. I have fond memories of going places with the big bob sled hitched to our team of Belgian work horses or two of the driving horses. I remember sometimes on a Sunday morning Uncle Chris and family would come driving in to pick us up with their bobsled to go to church. Sometimes another family on the way to church would be picked up also. We didn’t mind being crowded on those cold rides.
We are already into the second month of 2014. Many, many inches of snow have fallen already this year. Our neighbor cleaned our drive again yesterday. We have some pretty big snow banks that have accumulated from the drive being cleaned out quite often.
We are finally experiencing a real Michigan winter. Haven’t had one since we moved here 10 years ago. This morning our thermometer showed a cold 9 degrees. This cold weather makes us still enjoy working on 1,000-piece puzzles when time allows and in the evenings. We are almost halfway done with the sixth one this winter. Some are harder than others. It depends on the picture and the shape of the puzzle pieces. This last one is not as fun as a lot of the pieces are the same shape. You have to be careful a piece doesn’t get put in the wrong place. It can look like it would fit in easily when it’s not where it belongs.
Yesterday, Feb. 5 was Susan’s friend Mose’s birthday. Susan wanted to take supper in to his family in honor of his birthday. I helped her make the food which consisted of pizza casserole, lettuce salad, freezer pickles, hot peppers, chocolate pudding, angel food cake dessert, peaches and Swiss roll bars. We frosted the top of the bars so we could put “Happy Birthday Mose” on it so it could work as a cake since he likes the bars.
It is Thursday morning and the temperature is 14 degrees. That seems warm after all of these subzero temperatures we’ve had all week.
The children returned to school this morning after being off since last Friday due to the extreme cold temperatures. My husband Joe and daughter Elizabeth were home on Monday and Tuesday from the factories due to the bad weather. We barely saw any traffic go by during those two days. It was still dark on Tuesday morning when a lady came to our door asking for help to get her car out of a ditch close by our house. She was on her way home from work and said our house was the only one with lights on. Joe and the boys went to help shovel her car out of the snow and get her back on the road. They had to dress warm and were cold by the time they were back in the house. The temperature was 18 below zero with the wind chill even colder.
Yesterday was the funeral of my Aunt Frances, age 79, from Berne, Ind. We regret that we were unable to attend because of the bad weather. Our most deepest sympathy goes to the family. They too are without both their parents now. That makes such a lonely feeling and I can sympathize with them. Frances is my Dad’s sister and is the 4th of the 13 siblings to pass. Life sure brings changes in different ways.
Happy New Year to all you wonderful readers. I hope 2014 will be a great year for everyone!
Here in Michigan, 2014 is bringing us frigid temperatures and lots of snow. Around 8 inches of new snow was dumped on us New Year’s Day. It made for some very pretty scenery. This morning our mercury on the thermometer dipped way down to minus 14 degrees. It only warmed up to 13 degrees all day.
On New Year’s Eve, my husband Joe, our eight children and I, Timothy, Mose, and my sisters Verena and Susan, all went to sister Emma and Jacob’s house for the evening. We all stayed the night there so their house seemed pretty lively with 21 people there. The children were excited to be able to stay up playing games until midnight and shout “Happy New Year” to the dark world outside. Four air mattresses were blown up to help make enough beds for everyone.
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