Monthly Archives: April 2011


Boy do we have peeps!

And I don’t mean the marshmallow kind!

We’ve got the real thing! Some cute little layers to replace the older ladies that are in the coop waiting for retirement.

These feisty little Buff Orpington’s and Red Island Reds should keep things lively for awhile! They’ll grow slowly all summer and will start laying later in the fall.

Hardy little critters and fun to watch!

Then there’s the Cornish Cross broilers. They are cute now but won’t stay that way for long!

In just 8 short weeks and lots of feed this little guys will be butchered and in my freezer. I’m afraid nobody falls in love with the broiler chicks. They really don’t do anything cute – like chase each other around or look for bugs. They just eat. And eat. And eat.

All the chicks have a few more days inside under the lights to stay warm – but then they’ll be outside in the sunshine and on the green grass.

Somehow it just seems more like spring to have baby chicks in the barnyard!

The Great Horn Battle of Middlefork Township

It seemed like such a normal Saturday – at first.

I had just returned from a quick trip to town. The kids were all doing their regular Saturday work. Jan was in the workshop. I was standing in my bedroom talking to my sister on the phone when I heard it.

A train horn.

It was so close it sounded like a diesel engine was running through my living room!

My mind raced. We were at least 45 minutes from the nearest still-working railroad. The tracks in the nearest towns had long since been pulled up and bike trails developed.

What in the world could it be?

The sound died as quickly as it started.

I shook my head and tried again to concentrate on what my sister was saying.

Later, as I was walking down the stairs it started again.  I rushed into the kitchen and asked the Angel Girl if she heard it too.

“Oh yeah – it’s been doing that all morning long. We can’t figure it out!”

Again the horn ended but at least now I knew that I wasn’t the only one hearing things.

I pulled on my shoes and went out to the shop to see Jan.

“Did you hear that sound? Where is that coming from?”

He smiled, “The Amish kids must have gotten hold of a train horn somewhere. They’re probably blowing it using an air compressor.”

Mystery solved.

The horn sounded again.

“That is so annoying!” I said.

Jan smiled again – a little sheepishly this time.

“You know,” he said, “I have that old semi horn in the back building.”

I grinned. “Let’s find it!”

By the time their horn ended – we were ready with an answering one.

Honk Honk Honk Honk!


Honk Honk Honk Honk


Honk Honk Honk Honk

And the Great Horn Battle of Middlefork Township continues!

Train photo by Dan Hershman. Semi photo by PRA.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars

Some kind of Dessert We had some eggs in the fridge that needed to be used, so I asked Dagmar to make something yummy.

She could make anything she wanted – just use up some of the eggs!

She buried herself in cookbooks and the recipe file looking for that perfect recipe.

I walked through the kitchen later and saw her busy at work with pans all over the counter and wonderful smells saturating the house.

She finally pulled the masterpiece out of the oven – warm and gooey and full of wonderful chocolate peanut butter goodness.

I asked her how many eggs she used.

She looked at me blankly. “Eggs?”

Oops. She hadn’t used any. 🙂

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars
(recipe from Pillsbury Baking Cookbook)

2-1/4 cups oatmeal
1-1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts

Beat together the oatmeal, brown sugar, flour, baking soda, and butter until crumbly. Reserve 2 cups for topping. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13 greased pan. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix condensed milk, peanut butter, and vanilla until well blended. Pour over the base.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips and peanuts. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Press down gently.

Bake 25-35 minutes or until golden brown (the center will not be set). Cool completely, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.



“The work God wants you to do is this: Believe in the One he sent…” John 6:9

Only believe.

The cross was heavy,

the blood was real.

and the price was extravagant.

It would have bankrupted you or me,

so He paid it for us.

Call it simple.

Call it a gift.

But don’t call it easy.

Call it what it was.

Call it grace.”

Max Lucado

Photo by Juliux


Wet Towel Woes

Hangers I love my remodeled farm kitchen!

But one of the issues I’ve had is where to put towel rods. It seemed like there were always wet towels on every surface and hanging over the backs of my kitchen chairs.

I had one cabinet with room for a towel rod – but a regular rod would stick out too far into the doorway.

This dilemma stumped for the past two years – until we visited Jan’s brother’s family.

My amazing Minnesota sister-in-law solved a similar situation with a cheap and easy fix – robe hangers.

They have a lower profile than a traditional towel rod and I can hang 2 towels on them.

We found two robe hangers at our favorite Menard’s – installed them – and voila! My wet towel woes were solved!

My longer towels hang great as they are – and my shorter towels needed just a loop of gross grain ribbon on one corner to hang securely.

Finally a solution that works for me! Bless you Aunt Karen!

I’ve linked this post up with Works for Me Wednesday.