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Wednesday, April 27, 2011


 When God blesses the harvest, there is enough for the thief as well as the gardener.
~Polish saying~

We started planting our garden this weekend.  Hurray!  In our neck of the woods we will still have frost for another month, but we got in our carrots, onions, parsnips, lettuce, peas and radishes.  I quick peek at the asparagus bed is encouraging, as the little green and purple tips are beginning to emerge.  You can't help but be hopeful when you plant a garden.  I guess last year was a terrible year for those who wallow in the dirt, but my little plot of land thrived.  I'll tell you my secret, I always ask the  Lord to bless my garden as I plant so that I may be able to feed  anyone in need as well as my own family.  We've never had a bad crop yet, and we've been gardening for almost three decades.  Of course you need to be knowledgeable also.  You can't start a garden in the shade, sand, or a low spot  that gets flooded and expect great results.  You'd be surprised on how many people I know that do, though.  Seems that they are more interested in landscaping their yard than the productivity of their garden.

We had tornado warnings yesterday, so it was time to get out the oil lamps and make sure they are filled, because you can bet that we will lose our electricity at least once this summer.  It's a good time to go over the safety procedures with your children, in case there's a tornado and you're not at home.  One time my husband and I had just dropped of our son  Erik at the grocery store store where he worked and were headed home when we heard the tornado sirens.  We had to make an agonizing decision whether to go back and get him, or go home where to our other  teenagers.  Since we were  halfway from either place, we just continued on and prayed.   Fortunately everyone was safe, although the village, Frankenmuth, where Erik worked was hit.  Never want to go through anything like that again!

I received my order for  my Tattler reusable canning lids yesterday.  I've been reading all the articles and reviews on them that I could find, trying to decide if they would work for me.  Finally decided to take the plunge.  The only downside to them I can see is that you won't hear that satisfying "ping" when the jars seal.  I'll let you know how they work out .

Been staying up late to read Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum.  I'll be honest and say this book will not be for everyone.  It has graphic violence and sexual (and somewhat unnecessary) content but that was the reality of the times and the character's life, very disturbing. In a nutshell, it is the story of Anna Schlemmer and what she did to survive in Nazi Germany during the war, basically from the point of view of her daughter, who tends to feel disdain for her "Nazi" mother.  In the end, the daughter, Trudie, realizes that whatever shameful things her mother has done, it was so that she, the daughter, could survive.  It's a good study about the ambiguous gray area between right and wrong.  I've been curious ever since I watched a show on the History channel about the fall of the Reich as to how the regular German people felt about the war during that time, and this book helped explain it.  Like I said it is not for everyone, if you read it plan on having some sleepless nights!  The new book I'm reading is something I picked up at the dollar store,  A corny, cliched romance book set in a lighthouse.  I call these books junk food for the mind.  But they are fun to read too.

Lastly, I'm knitting the birch bark mittens that were in the Pieceworks magazine  about a year ago.  Each year I knit my husband a pair of Norwegian style mittens  for Christmas.  This year I'm way ahead of schedule.  Most years you will find me putting the finishing touches on them on Christmas eve!


  1. Hi Jane, I'm so happy you were able to get your garden planted and everything is beginning to sprout. What a nice feeling, it is "hopeful", that is a good word for it!

    I had a very dear elderly friend named Irna, who passed away a few years ago. She was in Germany trying to raise her two young children during world war II. Her husband was a soldier who ran away and deserted the Nazi army after he was told to do something his conscious would not allow. He was soon captured, fortunately by the allies and sent to a prison camp in Ohio, I believe. Where he lived safely through the rest of the war. She had stories that were unbelievable. She had one hair raising experience after another as she tried to escape Berlin and get her children safely to the country and away from the invading Russian army whom she said were doing unspeakable things to German women. Her best friend was taken by them attacked and killed. She finally was reunited with her husband. She said she never feared the American soldiers and that even though they were taught to fear them, people soon saw that their actions were honorable. She said by the time the war was over, the people were so traumatized that she felt the average German, looked at Americans as liberators as well.

    Irna lived to be 95 and was one of the kindest, gentlest souls I have known. I would pick her up every week and we would read Bible stories to the folks in our local senior citizen home. She would jump in my big truck like she had springs in her feet! "Come on Delisa, hit ze gas, lets go help ze old peoples!" :) I sure miss her.

    Wow Jane, you can knit Norwegian mittens! They are on my "Must Learn How to Do That!" list. Have you seen the magazine "Knitting Traditions" put out by Piecework? I enjoyed that magazine more than anything I have read in the longest time. It has some beautiful patterns. If you don't already have it I think they still have some copies in Barnes and Nobles.

    Have a nice afternoon! Delisa :)

  2. Hi Delisa! Irna sure sounds like an interesting person. I would have loved to have heard some of her stories. Yes, I have the Knitting Traditions magazine. I want to make every project in it! Knitting Norwegian style is not very difficult. Just a bit tedious, as you have to manage several bobbins of yarn. That's why it's taking me so long to knit Jamie's fox socks, there were eight different bobbins going at one point. Had to stop every few stitches and untangle them. I have one finished but I needed to take a break from them before I started the second.

  3. Tell how you like the Tattler's, won't you, Jane? Sara and I got some, but I haven't read enough to know if I am going to like them. Sara really made the decision, which is usually a good thing!

    Mittens. How can you think of them when we are all hoping for summer?? LOL

  4. I'll let you know how the lid work out Matty. I'm so busy with the gardens and canning from may-October, that if I don't knit those mittens now, I'll never get them done before Christmas.I'm a slow knitter and only can knit about 6-10 rows a day with all those yarns switching back and forth.

  5. I have never tried to knit patterned mittens..hope you'll share a photo of them.

    We've been through another set of tornadoes last Thursday and I'm ready for the "weather" to ease up on us. Scary stuff!