Monday morning I got up early to travel an hour and a half to see my mother. I had a drill, the splitting wedges and hammers packed to chip away and burn out a cedar stump she has had in her yard for years. I had promised her pizza from Pizza King so ordered it on my way there. We both worked away outside when I was there. I never realized how hard a cedar stump could be. I hammered away with the wedges, splitting off what I could. I then drilled holes all over the stump. We soaked it and some charcoal down with charcoal lighter fluid and set it on fire. This lasted a little while but soon went out. Each time it went out I chipped away at it a little more and drilled a little more. In between we figured out if we used the leaf blower to blow on the coals it would burn more away each time we soaked it and lit it on fire. By four PM when it was time to come home we had enough of that little stump burned out to cover it with dirt and plant grass over it. I left this for mom or someone else, to make the hour and a half drive back home. Who would have thought a little stump cut off that close to the ground would be that tenacious. Now there will be one less thing to trim around in her yard. I was also able to fix the blind in the downstairs bedroom so it will open and close again for her between tending the fire. We enjoyed our pizza and she baked a strawberry rhubarb pie special for my visit. She makes the best strawberry rhubarb pie.

That morning before I left the house I got news that a young man we thought highly of had passed away. I was a little late getting on the road because I wanted to talk to his family and make sure it was true. Breaks my heart to think someone so young and full of potential had to die at such a young age.  Nick Overla you will be missed.  

Tuesday I got up early and went to Duane’s heart doctor appointment with him. Duane is hard of hearing and prefers me to go with him to be his ears. I am doing a happy dance. They lowered another one of his meds and said they would see him in a year. I am so proud of him for exercising and sticking to his vegan diet.

When I got home from his apt. I just took it easy. I needed the rest after using heavy hammers and the wedges to split away as much of that stump as I could the day before. Part of my rest time was spent knitting. I did get my first pair of socks done, however I need to do better at sizing them. They were way too big at the cuffs and too short on the feet. They looked OK when I put them on but when I wore them I kept looking down to see the heal at the arch of my feet.  They didn’t look too bad for my first attempt though. If at first you don’t succeed throw them out and try again (LOL). I have another pair in progress. Hopefully I have learned a thing or two and will do better this time. I have a huge bag of yarn I bought at a yard sales and got from the neighbor lady.

Wednesday I did some work stripping old paint off of the window in our bedroom taking lots of breaks to keep from overdoing it. I spent my breaks knitting and spending time in the Bible reading the book of Ephesians. It seems I never get far in this book without realizing how much I need Christ and his forgiveness. Ephesians seems to be the book the Lord has me read often. I have to remind myself God is not done with me yet as I glean from its pages.

Thursday I spent in the kitchen. I made some corn and oat drop muffins. I had some berry syrup left from last Sunday’s buckwheat pancakes and mixed it with mixed berries to pour over the drop muffins.

I modified a recipe from Dr. Neal Barnard’s Cookbook for Reversing Diabetes page 45. I highly recommend this book if you are going low fat vegan. Here is my modified version. I prefer using  berry syrup I canned last year with fruit to put over the top instead of putting berries in the actual muffins. I also like just dropping the batter on parchment paper, and then I don’t have to mess with muffin cups. I reused my parchment paper later for something else as the drop muffins came off pretty clean.

2 cups oat flour                                                                                 ¼ t salt

½ cup fine corn flour                                                               1 t lemon zest     

¼ cup coconut sugar                                                                ½ cup+2T nondairy yogart

2 t. baking powder                                                                   ¼ cup maple syrup

½ t baking soda                                                                         ½ cup nondairy milk

                                                                                                     1t vinegar

Mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a 2 cup or larger measuring cup mix together  zest, yogart, maple syrup, nondairy milk and vinegar. Once mixed pour into dry ingredients and stir together so that they are all moistened. Put parchment paper on a cookie sheet. I use a 1/3 cup scoop and fill it with batter and place scoops on the parchment paper cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

They are so good with summer fruit over the top.

Friday was Nicks funeral. The young man I mentioned earlier. It was good to see old friends however my heart broke for his family and friends. I still cannot get over the tragic loss of life at such a young age.

Saturday I spent time out working in the yard with my sweetie. Duane got all the trees cut up and all the brush pushed into a pile from our pruning day earlier this month. In northern Indiana we have been told to prune our trees in a month with an R in it. This year we actually got it done along with cutting down some trees that were smothering a couple pear trees from Duane’s grandparent’s old orchard.  It was too windy to burn them. He also got a bunch of the trees in the Barn foundation cut and ready to burn.

The old barn foundation out back has started to fall in. It is left from past years when the old barn burnt down during his grandparents’ days. Somehow it became a place to put scrap metal and other things and the brush soon grew up around it. There are two sycamore trees, a maple tree and a pear tree we want to save. Our eventual goal is to clean up the junk, push in most of the foundation, fill the rest of the hole with chunks of concrete from the foundation, busted cement posts and other junk chunks of concrete we have laying around in different places . Hopefully we will then start filling the hole in with the big slag we can get from the steel mill because that is less expensive than rip rap. The final plan is to cover this with topsoil and plant grass to make it a part of the gentle sloping field before you get to the West hill.

There is one little section where the sycamore trees are that we hope a part of the foundation will continue to stand tall enough to block the wind and make a nice place to go sit and watch the sun set on a windy evening.

Last week we purchased some edging bricks (two hundred and fourteen for one hundred dollars from an online garage sale).  Saturday I put them around the flower bed/rhubarb bed out by the old garage. A few years back I was talking to a neighbor about her flower beds. She gave me a pointer that I am in the process of putting into action. She said get pots the same size. Dig a hole and put one pot in the ground. Then plant what you would like in that spot in another pot. Drop the second pot into the first one. When it is time to thin or divide your plants you just pull the pot up dump it on a tarp split out the plants you don’t want replant the pot and put it back in the first pot. Once I am done digging up my flowers in this bed, I will lay down 6 mill plastic and cover it with river rock then put a series of first pots in the ground. As I dig up this old flowerbed I have already started planting pots. I put daffodils in the bottom and irises on top. I will try to find some purple cone flower seed and blue flax seed to plant around these. With this combo they should have something in bloom most of the year. I would put in tulips but we have too many squirrels and chipmunks who dig those up and eat them. I don’t want to have to keep planting and cleaning up the mess from that.  I may plant another pot to fit the same hole with mums for fall.

  I also used the post hole diggers for the first time in a while and we replaced the rotted off wooden post with one of the old cement post we found in a piled up down in the bottom ground. This post will hold our garage door from blowing off its track. The garage has big sliding barn style doors. The bonus was that Duane got the tractor out and instead of me digging the driveway back so that it would drain properly, he used the bucket on the tractor. This made short work of what would have been a long process with the wheelbarrow and a shovel. My muscles are a bit sore tonight, however it felt wonderful out working and I was amazed at all we accomplished Saturday. God is good and I am blessed here on the Wade Homestead.