Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hertzler Doings~Dec. 30, 2013-Jan. 5, 2014

Mon.-Phil's feeling pretty rough. He's taking it easy, listening to his financial CD's and sleeping off and on. I made a big pot of just vegetable soup with chicken broth, chili, and ginger/lemon tea. Susan and I brought in everything from the car and I got it all put away. Garage doors are going up today. Judy called and D's surgery went well and they found no cancer which is absolutely a miracle. Drs said there was a slim chance that it was not cancer. D is able to come home tonight. So thankful. Susan is headed to basketball practice tonight. Michael went over to the guys place to spend time with Travis and all. I went to bed at 7.

Tues.-And slept until 6 this morning. Did wash. Phil's throat looks rough. Feels like he has a fever and I can't find a thermometer anywhere. Decided to call the doctor. Long story short. Susan took him in since he feels like he is having out of body experiences with all the pressure in his head plus the meds we're forcing down his throat. Flu. He has the flu. Doc put him on Tamiflu and put Susan and I on it as well since we are living in the same house with him. So expensive but he feels responsible for bringing it in the house and doesn't want us to get it. I took a good nap this afternoon. Phil paid bills and is listening to his finance book. Susan went to Julie's and then to Julie's church event later. Lucy has been laying on her every chance she gets. Separation anxiety due to Christmas events in Pa. and now she's leaving again for the night. The boys are having their friends over for the night. I started a file for my blog writings. I'm editing favorite ones and then I will download the file and take it to the printers. I have several writing projects on the go. One with Lindsay, the blog devotionals, and Mom and Dad's courtship story. I wanted to get my desk cleaned off today but that will have to be my New Year's Day project. Naomi called. It was nice to catch up. Katrina posted several videos on fb of our family gathering. I am older than I think I am. It's strange to see ones self on video.

Wed.-The guys are staying away from the flu house. Phil is worse today but the doctor said it is to be expected. He slept most of the day after having a rough night. I tried to get some things done but wasn't too successful. Hip and shoulder hurting badly and making it hard to function. Susan got home in the afternoon after spending the night at Julie's. She and I watched 1 1/2 movies and drank hot chocolate. Freeman shot a button buck. A day of rest. I wanted to start the new year with the house somewhat organized but that didn't happen and it doesn't matter. Called Karen to give her a warning about the flu. So far so good up there. Dr. F. sent me home with a bunch of stuff for Phil. And memory vitamins for me. A day of peace. Amen.

Thurs.-Phil still recovering from respiratory flu and now it looks like I have a stomach bug with a 101.8 temp. Feeling awful.

Fri.-Lazy day for Phil and I. I worked on WM phone calls and fb messages. Phil's fever broke. He did a little work but rested most of the day. Susan was doctor and fixed things for Phil and made a delicious lunch of lentil burgers with mushroom buns. She and her team won their game in Richmond tonight. Michael, Phil, and I , watched Despicable Me 2 and Philip joined us for Mission Impossible 5. Freeman and Philip put up another rack in the laundry room to help me get more organized. Missed a Mom's and More Christmas party tonight. Think I got so sick yesterday because I ate bagged spinach and kale. Can't handle the preservatives and get sick every time but forgot about it this time around. It will be nice to feel good again.

Sat.-Freeman, Philip, and Susan, went hunting several times today but didn't get anything. Phil is still laying low but did some work outside. I have a sore throat and runny nose. Felt better than yesterday and vacuumed and washed a floor and worked on my desk and made some cream of tomato soup. Michael is headed to an airport with the W's to meet Sarah as she comes back from a missions trip to G. Philip is headed to Martin's. I'm hitting the sack early and Phil and Susan are watching 'Lord of the Rings.'

Sun.-Slept from 7 last eve until 10 this morn. Stayed in bed and Phil brought me toast and tea. Finally got up when Susan came home from church. Watched several movies and went back to bed again soon after 6. Phil's getting slowly better. I'm getting slowly worse. No fever so it is not flu. Just a nasty sore throat and head cold at this point and doing everything I can to keep it there and get better. Philip had worship practice this morning and played on the worship team. Michael has been with the Warren's. We are scattered today but we are resting. Sometime this week, my blog registered over 40,000 hits. U.S. reads it the most-27,000+. Then, in order from most to least-, Russia, Germany, Netherlands, U.K., Canada, France, Ukraine, S.Korea, and Poland.
I've been thinking about Nadia-she is a Lutheran priest and Jeanne Grunert gave me her book to read. Her language is a bit of a stretch but it makes me laugh a little and gasp a little but mostly, what she says in the midst of her language, makes me love God more. I find myself telling Him I love Him more than I have before. I wonder. I read the Bible. I read CSLewis and Nouwen, and Gary Thomas and Mary DeTurris Poust-a Catholic writer. I read Cloud and Townsend and Joseph Prince and Mark Batterson and Ken Hagin. Anne Lamott and Beth Moore.  Mostly, I read Isaiah, John, Paul, David, and Solomon's writings with a few others thrown in. And I realize that I am my mother. She always had a stack of 10 books or so besides the Bible that she was reading from. And I don't know anyone who was more balanced and tolerant and conservative than she was. Hopefully, the vast differences in what my writers write will all point me to the God they love and through their different perceptions of His word and His ways, I can see Him from their perspective and come to love Him even more than if I relied on my own perspective of Him. Somehow, I am figuring out how to keep an open mind, an open heart, an open soul to the way others see God, and yet remember that broad is the gate that leads to destruction and narrow is the gate that leads to life. So. Help me God. Help me know The Truth as You are and not the Truth as others perceive you. Help me not to be so open that I miss the Secret Garden Gate because the Public Garden Gates are swung open wide.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Hertzler Doings~Dec. 22-28, 2013

Mon.-Susan and Phil took a special trip to Wilkes Jewelry store where he got her a beautiful silver necklace and also one for me, with a sparkly Treble clef on dangling display. Made rolls for Hertzler Christmas lunch. Rain, rain, rain. Philip working on garage. Michael doing odd jobs. Susan packing, etc. What a day.

Tues.-Philip, Michael, and Susan headed for Pa. shortly before 10. Alli and Freeman went to spend the eve. with her family and will head to Pa. in the morning. I made some old fashioned molasses cookies and dipped the end in vanilla coating. Also made some Reeses peanut butter bars, did some wash, cleaned the house, wrapped some gifts, etc. Phil got some firewood and delivered it to a friend and did a lot of work around the farm. In the evening, we went to Christ Church for their Christmas eve service. The Loys were there and the Jones and others we know and love. It was good to be in the house of God, reading and listening to Scriptures, hearing the word, singing carols, partaking in communion around the altar (first ever I dipped the wafer in real wine and I did it because there were only 4 little cups of grape juice left and I thought there might not be enough if I took one-good excuse anyway), and catching up with old friends. Hit the sack before 11. The kids are Christmas caroling this eve. and will spend the night at Joe's. At least, that's the plan.

Wed.-Woke up slow. Had a nice breakfast of mushrooms, broccoli, ham, and eggs all scrambled together. Read some. Watched several movies. Took care of animals. Made some bacon wrapped, brown sugar dipped, sweet potato cubes-baked in oven. Took a trip around the farm on the Polaris with Phil. Treated this day like a Sunday except we didn't go anywhere. Michael sent us a Christmas song recorded around the Hertzler table. I would definitely say it was a homesick for family in Pa kind of day for me. Merry Christmas everybody!

Thurs.-Did wash and cleaned part of the house. Went out to Farmville with Phil in the eve. for Morris R's wife's funeral. (Steve's brother). Stopped at Janelle's to feed fish and at Grunerts to return mystery book and pick up several more. Also went to Food Lion and Walmart. With Phil. There is something terribly attractive about a man who shops with me. Plus we get more than we came for and get it done in half the time. Received word that Pete M. died of an aneurism. Freeman called from Pa. Terrible accident on west-bound turnpike near Adamstown. Traffic tied up for 7 miles when he went through the east-bound side. Read on news that they closed both sides to clean up. He made it through just in time. Several deaths and a number of injuries. They weren't expecting that much snow. Philip and Susan went to Cabela's with Cam and Jackie. Had homemade pizza last eve. with them. Michael posted a video they made of themselves 'singing' the Trans-Siberian orchestra music. Susan is smiling and tolerating it all in the back seat. So funny. Philip got him to post it with the title-'You're welcome, Face Book.' They had originally made it for themselves. Dan Shippey reposted with the words 'I'm so thankful these guys are my brothers,' or something like that anyway. Phil is achey, sore-throat, and coughing. I am fighting a sore throat. We need to recover quickly.

Fri.-Started Phil on an antibiotic we had floating around here. Did some wash. Planned a calendar featuring church women="Church Women in the Most Unlikely Places" or 'Church Women You Know Where You'd Least Expect Them'. Halfway planned on face book already. Went shopping in town to Belk and found some treasures. Stopped at Judy's first and had a cup of coffee and caught up talking as fast as we could. Fed Diesel on the way home. Philip was hunting when I got back and Susan was here, too. It's nice to have them home again. Mickey stopped in for awhile and told us more about her son-in-law. A tree fell on him, not a branch. He has passed unto eternity. Watched an Indiana Jones movie and got ready for the weekend. Two things the Lord promised me today. I wrote them on cards and put them in the bathroom where I can see them everyday. One says, "I make all things new." I am going to live as though I believe that.

Sat.-Left Va. around 6 in the morning and arrived at my brother, Abe's, around noon. We put the kettle of half frozen corn on the stove top and Abie added a half stick of butter. We enjoyed chatting with family as they came in and scarfed down some special cheeses and spreads and pickles. Karen served us Abe's clam chowder soup as a precursor to a meal of tossed salad, turkey, oyster filling, filling, corn, gourmet potatoes, Harvard beets, and I gotta be missing something. Plus lots of desserts. I sat beside brother Alan and he showed me pictures of his grandkids, etc. and I loved it. Rosalee and her family were there. She came with a walker and cane, having had hip replacement surgery not much more than a week or two ago. My highlight was singing Christmas carols around the piano for a good hour. We also said what hymns we wanted sung at our funerals and I had to pretend wail to hide my desire to really wail when Abie sang, 'Sunset and Evening Star....' as we were saying good bye. He wants that sung at his funeral. 'Isn't it pretty?' he asked. Yes, and hauntingly sweet, and I don't want to think about his funeral, thank you very much. Abby had to work at Lanc. Gen. and we were all disappointed she couldn't join us. Katrina showed us her engagement ring. Wedding late summer, we're thinking. Annika and Stew were there as well as Karistan and her gang and Kendra and Eric. Alan and Carol were the only ones from their family who could come. It's been quite a year for some of us. Hopefully, 2014 will hold more joy. Came home to Mom and Dad and visited with them and gave them their gifts and Jim and Debra came over with Taylor and Jordan and Jordan's friend, Dianna. Then we went over to Joe and Karen's and played with the little guy, Jonathan, and hit the sack around 10. Michael had come back up with us after traveling back on Friday with Susan and Philip. Sarah was going on a missions trip to Guatemala and he wanted to say good bye and Travis and Erik and April were home and he got to spend the evening with them on Friday before hopping back in our car Sat. morning to head back up to Pa.

Sun.-Had a nice relaxing morning with Karen and Jonathan, and then, Joe, eating her homemade blueberry, vanilla, and peach yogurt with her homemade granola. We forgot to bring some home with us. Yogurt. Went to Hopewell and Dwayne, the interim pastor, spoke on 'Family Matters.' Incredible sermon on the family. Visited with many people after church and then walked down a few steps into the fellowship hall where we had The Mast Reunion. Lots of food, shared memories, Doug's 'Potato Jake' song, Christmas carols, Phil and bro's and Uncle Paul singing, "Forever Young" at everyone's request, lots of hugs, and finally good byes. It's always hard to leave Mom and Dad and all of my wonderful sis in laws and brother in laws and Ed and Anne and Phil's uncles and aunts and cousins. It was raining, too. But it helped that we got to take Annie back home. Stopped at Newton B's first to pick up the huge amount of hand towels I brought from Susie for 10 bucks. She was selling them on face book and I jumped at them. We never have enough nice rags around here plus they are nice enough to use for awhile. Phil gave Annie her gift and she liked her pearls very much. We gave her a bag with Little David's gift of a train ornament, camouflage hat, and knit hat and gloves.
We left the area around 4 and stopped once every hour and still got home at 10. Phil is still not feeling well. He said it's hard enough to feel sick at home and it's even harder away from home. I'm not sure if the antibiotic is helping him. I think rest and ginger tea might be what he needs most. And thus ends this Christmas season. My favorite memory of every gathering-our own family's Christmas celebration included, is the singing. We sang and sang and sang. And it was beautiful. It was also very special that a certain little Jonathan sought out my company and wanted me to be with him in his house under the table and sit beside him at the Mast Dinner. Family is wonderful. I am thankful.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hertzler Doings~Dec. 16-22, 2013

Mon.-Susan and I love Monday's. We regroup, refocus, and organize our week. I made some sugar cooky dough to bake later. Also did wash and wrote some cards, etc. Susan went out to town for voice lessons and basketball practice. I made caramel corn for the Warren family.

Tues.-Today's highlight-went to Farmville to get groceries. Stopped in to see Judy. Went to the Warren's and learned how to make mittens from old wool sweaters. Robin gave me a pair already made. Wonderful time. Stopped at Dianna's to show her my mittens. She was impressed. Made me a supper of vegetable soup and toasted cheese. Had a nice visit with Steve and her and Henry and Laurel. Susan went to Farmville also and got her hair trimmed, went to the chiro, basketball practice, and had fun at the Varsity Guy's Basketball game. She kept stats. Philip went to Chi Alpha.

Wed.-About mid morning I was outside working and Lucy and Davi were racing around. I avoided them and yelled several times because they kept circling back to me, but then Lucy went racing and Davi just plowed into me going about 25 mph and clotheslined me and the next thing I knew I was on the ground on my left side, crying. Michael was outside and came running and banged on the window and Phil and Susan came running out and Phil just held me and crooned and Susan ran and got a pillow and after laying there and coming to my senses and stretching my ankle, I realized it wasn't broken or sprained, and got up and limped into the house with the help of Phil. Susan helped put away groceries from last evening and vacuumed the floor plus did her other jobs. Dr. F took me in and worked on me for an hour. I was starting to ache all over. My neck and shoulders were especially affected. She told me to go home and soak in 2 cups of Epsom salts and powdered ginger. Which I happily did.  I also made a potato soup for tomorrow's luncheon at Judy's. There was also sausage, onions, roasted garlic, a turnip, celery, carrots, two packs of corn, hard boiled eggs, butter, sour cream, cheese, cream cheese, and milk in it. Oh it's good. We had more than enough for our supper. Also made French silk pie, sugar cookies, crock pot candy, and cinnamon rolls, which I froze for our Christmas breakfast on Sat. Now, I'm headed to the tub to soak again. Michael is working on my Christmas gift in the man cave and never have I wanted to stop in and check on it like I have today, but I gave him my word. Susan and Philip went to NLyouth group. They were supposed to wear ugly sweaters but we didn't have any because I've gotten rid of them. Davi feels pretty bad for hurting me. She wants to be near me but she's not sure if she should be. And I've not wanted her in the house today because I was baking. Poor thing.

Thurs.-Phil and the guys went to The Animal House in Richmond to set trusses. Got finished. I went out to Judy's and dropped off soup, veggies, and French Silk Pie, and then to Bailey's, where Ginger picked me up and took me back to Judy's for our luncheon. Judy and I want to do this once a month, where we ask different women to get together to get to know each other better. If it suits our new pastor's wife to come each time, that would be great, and a good way for her to get to know others on a more intimate level as well as letting them get to know her. It was nice to have Jenny and Livi and Lexi there and Ginger, Worth, and Ryder, and Jennifer, Caleb, and Rainer. It didn't suit Sara to come and we missed her. Judy made homemade hot poppers and ham sandwiches. We sat around and visited and the kids played together so nicely. Ginger took me back to get my car and I came back to Judy's to pick up my stuff and go to Walmart. Went to bed early after chatting with Lindsay on facebook a bit. Susan had basketball practice. She was home alone and finished her WW1 book.I am brain tired as you can tell by my writing and my body is a bit stiff from yesterday's fall. But not bad, really. I'm thankful. Good night.
Oh-had this thought today. Jesus laid down his life for us on the cross but He also laid his life down when he came as a baby. He would not have been aware of who He was. He was just a baby, at the mercy of the adults around him. He was anonymous in His own eyes. For a very long time. He died to Himself. God. Almighty. Sovereign. He died and was born and became anonymous. Blows my mind.

Fri.-Got ready for our Christmas tomorrow. Susan helped me and also had basketball practice and party in the eve. Michael and Jordan worked on wood most of the day and Phil and Philip ran to Richmond to add a third screws to a building project. Alli invited me out to lunch. We went to The Babcock House and then to The Little Things in Life where we found a pair of converse newborn sneakers and a little fur cap for Baby. Also found some soft Gap shoes for Ben-Philip. Then we went to Kroger's and I got some things for tomorrow's supper. Came home and vacuumed the floor and got ready to go to church. Staff party. Delicious food and fellowship. Played Taboo. We Women Won. No thanks to PJ who insisted on trying to distract us by telling us his wife was pregnant, taking off his tie and swinging it around, and playing puppets with his hands against the back wall. I got some banana slices ready to put down his shirt if he tried it again but I thought it might be over the top and I stopped myself just in time. We sang some carols and also everyone shared what they were thankful for. It was a precious time. Everyone belonged and everyone was loved. I was too happy to sleep for a very long time.

Sat.-Got up early and started baking the cinnamon rolls that thawed overnight. I made some brown sugar icing and also, cream cheese icing. Freeman came over to meet Phil and Philip and they went over to Tom's to go hunting, but no one got anything. I took some cards to the neighbors-Martins, Kings, Marvin and Margaret, and Mitch and Mickey. Then I went to Dr. F's. The Davis' were there and it was nice to get Sunday morning hugs on a Saturday in the meadow. Michael made a big breakfast and we ate at 2. Alli got off work around 1 so we waited until 2 for breakfast which suited all of the rest of us just fine. He made scrapple, 3 kinds of sausage, 2 kinds of sausage gravy, hash browns, scrambled eggs, and biscuits. Then we sang Christmas carols around the table, each picking two. Michael recorded them on his computer. And Phil and I recited Luke 2 from memory while the others coached us from the Bible. Then we moved to the living room and exchanged gifts. Michael had my name and he had a digital movement sensor photo thingy that will start showing pictures when you are near it. He's already scanned 300 photos he found in the old house and he hasn't done any of the photo albums inside yet. It can hold at least 10,000 pictures and he is going to keep scanning them. The front 'label' has a picture of my dad on it and they had all said that the gift would make me cry and they were right. Camoflauge gifts abounded-dress shirt for Freeman, tie for Philip, gloves for the guys, a Cabela's gift in the future for Susan from Philip. Pearls for the girls. Earrings too. Flannel pants for the guys. Gift cards. Ornaments. Moccasins. Boots. Scarves. Fountain pen. Etc. Then, we put out some more food for supper and watched the extended version of the Hobbit. Sarah came over in the middle of the movie and afterwards, we gave her gifts from Phil and I. It was a nice day. Warm and pleasant, inside and out. Thank you God. Merry Christmas to us.

Sun.-I sat on the porch with a mug of tea in this dark, warm, windy, wild, weather of a morning and awoke the dawn with Davi. Phil and Philip headed to church at 7:30. Phil to the men's prayer breakfast and Philip to worship practice. Pastor Bill spoke about Peace;-with God, of God, with others, and for others. Jenny shared about being vulnerable so we can receive the prayers and comfort of others, especially during this busy season. Came home and Jordan, Sarah, and Julie joined us for a cooky icing afternoon. Then they played volleyball outside until it was raining too hard. They watched a movie in the man cave and came back over for pizza and Apples to Apples. Windows are open. Spring peepers are confused. What a second day of winter.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hertzler Doings-Dec. 9-15, 2013

Mon.-Freeman and Alli lost power early this morning. He came over and had some breakfast and coffee. Later, she came over and helped me make lunch. She completed a knit hat while we watched two movies with Susan and Lucy. It was a cold, rainy, icy day. Naomi called this morning and told me that her two oldest-twins, want to drive her and I to Nantucket next October. Naomi said, "It's time we were doing those things on our Bucket List."

Tues.-Today's highlight-spent afternoon and eve. with Janelle and Micah. Picked them up and went to Miller's and Walmart to do some grocery shopping. Micah spent his hard earned 'minimum wage job' money on gifts for the cousins he stays with during the day. Then to Judy's to drop off something and to the P.O. and then to the theatre to watch "Frozen" and eat two big containers of buttered popcorn between us. Micah brought his stuffed animals along to watch the movie with us. Then we dropped him off at karate and Janelle and I went to Hong Kong to eat some Chicken Cashew for old times sake but it tasted nothing like the chicken cashew in Thailand that we would buy for 35 cents from street vendors. We talked about work and investments, etc. Enjoyable. Then we picked him up and headed for home. Susan didn't get home until after midnight. Basketball game in Richmond. She helped keep the stats for the guys. Philip went to Chi Alpha and shared his hot pepper venison bologna. Phil had a board meeting and got home in good time. I am enjoying Miss Marple Mysteries loaned to me by my neighbor, Jeanne. The other day, I picked up another book she loaned me-'Everyday Divine' by Mary DeTurris Poust, and as I read a few pages, I came across several paragraphs written about Jeanne, who was sharing how she keeps her focus on Christ by singing hymns during the mundane projects of life, such as washing the floor. It was exhilarating to read about her in the book she had loaned me. I don't think she had told me that she was in it.

Wed.-Did a lot today. Washed, helped Susan make vegetable bean soup, made applesauce, wrote some Christmas cards, wrapped some gifts, walked at O'Briens and got fresh greens, vacuumed and washed the floors. It was a sunny day and the dogs were outside and I could walk around without banging into Davi. She wants to be right in front of me. Michael studied down at the river by a fire for quite some time. Philip and Susan went off to youth early to play some basketball. I'm popping a turkey in the dutch oven to cook all night. Philip and Tommy were working on the garage all day. They both had their shirts off. It really wasn't that warm but they were working up a sweat.

Thurs.-Went out to Cornerstone Christian Academy today and watched Lessons and Carols for the first time free of responsibility. Susan and I enjoyed talking with the teachers and students. Later in the afternoon, I went out to see Mac at Great Escapes. He took 1 1/2 inches off my hair. He said, "It's all about your silhouette." Susan had basketball practice at Worsham and I spent that time with Judy and Josh had me taste his chili and we added a secret ingredient. I ate too much. Yum.

Fri.-Phil and I went to Peter and Ivona's for a party around 1 today. He had bought a pig earlier in the week from Philip and borrowed our roaster. It was delicious. They served it with sauerkraut and a doughy potato type side dish with caramelized onions on top. So incredible. I made my new favorite dessert-French silk pie. Met some new folks from Jamersons and CLLewis.  Nice down to earth people. In the eve. Phil and I went to see the musical at church again. Sat in the balcony behind Dave and Shirley and some friends of theirs. Pastor Frank and Lisa were there and it was really good to see them. Susan had basketball practice and stayed and talked with Jenny L. for awhile. She came home and cleaned her room and did wash. Michael went to see Sarah and Philip was hunting, I think.

Sat.-Phil and Susan left early in the morning to go hunting in Suffolk. Jordan was here overnight and was planning to help Michael cut firewood. After a great breakfast made by Michael they got started but were frozen out with pinging rain. Rained most of the day. Philip went hunting but the woods were quiet. I had the house to myself and did laundry, vacuumed, washed floors, washed Lucy's pen-still smells like skunk-, made chili, vegetable soup, watched half of the first Hunger Games with Philip, and went to two parties with Phil after he got back with Susan. First party was the annual Guild/Jones party at the Guilds. It was nice to visit with Jeff and Chris and the McGregor's and others. We came back to the Grunerts for their annual party. Ate some more there and sat around the table and talked. Wonderful time with wonderful friends, family, and neighbors. Janelle and Micah, Tom and Helen and Abby and Serena were there. I think Michelle and Karl were there earlier and then they went to the musical. Peter and Ivona and Karen and George and Eny were there as well. They have the same friends over  every year and we've gotten to know each other through the years. Shadow-John and Jeanne's rescued German Shepherd,  endeared himself to us by the way he endured the wearing of the red hat.  We helped Jeanne clean up and we sang Christmas carols in her kitchen while we washed dishes and put away food. Definitely a favorite Christmas moment.

Sun.-Another Christmas moment took place this morning when I confessed to Linda, a greeter, that every year, I pick up baby Jesus from a manger scene and hold him. This year, baby Jesus came from Jordan, and is about 2 inches long. I told her I thought we should celebrate Christmas by passing around a real live baby and consider how God Almighty came to earth as a baby, totally at the mercy of those he came to save. I was sobbing while saying this and she hugged me and began to sing beautifully, " I want to sit at your feet, drink from the cup in your hand, lean back against you and breathe, feel your heart beat..." The presence of God surrounded us as it always does  whenever I am with her and it was sweet and I could hardly leave to go inside. But He was in the sanctuary too and we worshipped and learned about hope. Having hope while we wait on the promises of God. And my friend, whose sister in law only has 2 weeks left on this earth, had said before the service, that she feels she is to be Hope to the people in that situation. Then the songs were about Hope and the Word was about Hope and I sure need Hope. What a gift Hope is. Hope has so much to do with the words we hear and say. Sometimes, our presence can give Hope, but often, it is our words. I would faint if I didn't have the hope that I would see the goodness of God in the land I now live in.
Phil left church to go to NC to see his cousin Dennis. Susan and Philip went to see The Hobbit. Michael spent some time down at the river and with Sarah and then planned to go to a later showing of The Hobbit.  I made some popcorn and tea and read some Agathe Christi and plan to write up some of 'The Courtship of Truman and Virginia Hertzler.'

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

French Silk Pie and how I make it.

This Thanksgiving, I made three desserts. It was during the consumption of these desserts that I realized that I had gotten all of the recipes from my mother. I looked into her green index card box earlier in the week and pulled out several recipes. One was a newspaper clipping-probably from the Lanc. Farming-for French Silk Pie. She had glued it onto an index card. I don't know if she ever made it but my family knows who to thank for this velvety luxury.

This is the original recipe and then I will follow it with my own tweaking advice.

French Silk Pie

 1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, unbeaten
1 square unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 baked 8-inch pie shell

Cream butter and sugar.  Add melted chocolate and vanilla. 
Add eggs one at a time and beat 5 min. after each egg.
Pour into cooled pie shell and chill at least 3 hours. (I couldn't wait that long.)
Top with whipped cream and garnish with chopped nuts.

Recipe credits to Mrs. M.H.Hand~

Make sure the butter has been out and is softened before you try to cream it.

I cracked the eggs into a mug and added one at a time from there.
I doubled the recipe the first time and tripled it the second and it works fine.
I did not beat each egg addition exactly 5 min. because I had so many eggs it would have taken from 20-30 min. to beat them and my machine was getting hot.

Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl over hot water on the stove.
Never get water in chocolate.
I am quite sure that I doubled the chocolate which means I quadrupled it the first time
and sextupled it the second time.

Wow. I can't believe that none of those words came up on spell check.

I kept scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula
and with my finger, if the truth must be told.

I baked a bought frozen crust the first time.

After it was baked and cooled,
I piled in the chocolatey goodness.

I forgot to chill it for 3 hours and it would have worked better if I had
but I made so much whipped cream it didn't really matter
and it sat nicely on top of the chocolate
and then they chilled out together.

Eat and make happy noises.

The second time I made it, which was today,
I made a different crust.
I adapted it from the dessert-BTS cake.

Take 1 1/4 cups flour
Take 1 1/4 stick butter-softened
Take 1 1/4 cups of chopped pecans or walnuts-(I mixed walnuts, pecans, and slivered almonds)

Mix or cut together and press in bottom of a 13x9 inch pan.
Bake at 350 for 20 min.

Add chocolate.

To make whipped cream,
take a cup to a pint of cold whipping cream and place in a cold mixing bowl and beat at medium speed until it thickens a little. Add several tablespoons of 10x sugar while it is mixing. Increase speed and whip until it is cool whip consistency. If you walk away and do something else, you will have sweetened butter before you know it. So pay attention. ;)

Spread whipped cream on top of chocolate and chill
unless you are in a hurry like I was and need to taste test it right away.

You could sprinkle chopped nuts on top if you want to or peel some chocolate off a bar and have some curly cues. But it really isn't necessary.

Have fun!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hertzler Doings~Dec. 2-8, 2013

Mon.-Went over to O'Brien's to get some greens and decorated the table with greens, holly, and candles. Went to town to meet Catherine and Jenny at Merk's to discuss Gram's and More. Went to Walmart. Came home. Spent the eve. with Phil. Philip is still hunting in Pa. Michael was back at school and Susan is at a basketball game in Richmond. They won.

Tues.-Caught up with wash, Dr. F., some orders, housework. Made some French Silk Pies for tomorrow night and for our own eating pleasure. Typed minutes for Grams and More. Didn't sleep much last night so will hit the sack early. Susan's at basketball practice at the Warren's since the church gym is occupied with musical activity. Philip is on his way home from Pa. Didn't get a buck. Michael is studying late. I passed my insurance bloodwork, etc. Now I need to stop celebrating that and Thanksgiving.

Wed.-A day of cooking, processing anxious thoughts, meeting with godly women.

Thurs.-Day in Richmond. Dentist. Krogers. Whole Food. Trader Joes. Kindness everywhere. Whole Foods forgot to charge me for ice and the manager said, "You need ice? I'll get you ice whether she charged you or not." And he packed up a bag of ice for my cooler and gave it to me with a smile. At Trader Joe's, a worker came up to me and asked, "Are you okay, today, ma'am?" I hadn't slept the night before. I thanked him for asking. At the check-out, the young man clerk asked me how my week was. I was too tired to lie. "It was a rough week, actually." "Oh, I'm sorry," he said. "How was your week?" I asked back. "I had a rough week, too," he said, "but we are all safe now." "I'm sorry. I hope you have better days ahead." "Thank you so much," he said. "I appreciate that." On the way home, I talked with several people. I had a two hour drive and was fighting sleep. Judy talked with me until company stopped by her house. Catherine kept me awake on the final leg of the journey. Found out today that I had believed the worst about a situation and that that anxiety had cost me a night of sleep, and it was unfounded and unnecessary. It was worry. I had fought it all night and in the morning, I fell asleep, and when I woke up, I was singing Sunday's worship song, "Bless the Lord oh my soul...oh my soul...Bless His holy name..." Some day, I will learn to praise Him better. Until then, I will wrestle, and worry, and pray, and wake up with a song.

Fri.-So what I worried about wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was. And again, I wish I had trusted Him more. This week was so hard for so many people. A young man was shot, another electrocuted, another had a tree fall on him and has neck and other injuries. A young mother to be lost her baby in her womb and delivered it full term a few days later. Another friend is facing the holidays without her son for the first time. Life is really hard. We are either in a crisis, headed out of one, or headed into one. We must find our peace in God who is with us in our circumstances of unpeace. He holds all things together, including us.
Today was so busy. Grand Central Station. Beautifully warm. Mid afternoon, Susan and I were sitting outside talking on my mother's wicker chairs. The little tufted titmouse birds don't mind eating from the feeder just a few feet away. Susan took lots of pictures. Suddenly there was a gust of wind and the temperature dropped a good ten degrees. Alli and Freeman lost electricity about the same time. They came over later to use the facilities to get ready for the musical. Susan went to basketball practice. Phil and I picked up Peter and Ivona. Michael and Philip drove together and we all went to New Life to see the new Christmas musical. Julie joined us there. Can I say that I'm just so proud of my son. We had no idea he had such a major role. Alli played his pregnant wife-owner or manager of a café. Freeman was Officer Klondike-an egotistical police officer with a soft heart. He sang several songs and spoke in a voice I never heard before. He said that voice never came up until he got this part. His facial expressions were in keeping with his character the whole way through. It was a story about forgiveness in keeping with The Prodigal Son. Excellent. I want to see it again. Funny. Serious. Entertaining. And Freeman and Alli were amazing. Came home and Susan brought Lucy into the house before she realized that she had been sprayed by a skunk. I hope our clothes don't smell like it.

Sat.-I left Lucy out of her cage on the front porch and later, put her in her pen. Came back into the house and it smells like skunk. Do I open the windows to let the skunk smell out or will the skunk smell come back inside? Phil went to Lowes to pick up some things for Freeman's house. Philip went hunting. I woke up early and read. Lots to do before the storm hits us. Browned some ground beef and added salsa and beans for tortillas. Also made apple crisp with blueberries and cherries added. Made gluten free pancakes for supper. Added bananas and mini chocolate chips in some of them. Michael studied down at the river and hunted squirrels. Philip went hunting and then went out in the eve. to a party at Sammy Yoder's where lots of youth were gathering. Phil did paperwork. I cleaned the house and took a nap and Susan took a nap also. She and I both took a nap. Dianna called earlier in the day to ask a chili question. She broke her little toe. Poor thing. That hurts and it hurts to wear shoes. But she'll keep going. Susan and I watched some movies tonight. Just a hint. If they put ten movies on a DVD and charge you 5 bucks for them, there may be a reason. We fast forwarded the really awful parts and critiqued the acting and lack of realism in the movies. Oh well. Freeman stopped by to pick up his toothbrush after the musical. I hope he had an extra one at home. Michael went to be with Sarah for the evening. It's supposed to start with some icy weather around 3 tomorrow morning. I doubt if we'll have church. I hope it's obvious and not wishy washy weather.

Sun.-Woke up to freezing rain. Church cancelled. I made potato latkes and apple fritters for breakfast. We had home church. Sang Christmas songs and Michael preached on evangelism. Susan shared a testimony of a friend's miraculous healing and I shared a devotional. We sat around and sang some more. Michael studied and Susan and I watched Monk and made popcorn, fudge, and milk shakes. The guys watched with us off and on. Lucy still smells like skunk but we had to let her out once and awhile.  It was a lazy cozy day.