Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rainy Days ...

Well, it's raining again. The sun is gone, it's cloudy and grey. Papa used to say " It's a great day darling.. if your a duck"..
So what can I do on a day like today. No raking up the 63,000,000 limbs and sticks that are part of the storm damage done earlier this winter. No cleaning up of flower beds long overgrown with grass. Husband has had some health problems, so our last visit here was almost 2 yrs. ago. I can't believe all the cleaning up that needs to be done. I have trees growing in all the flower beds. I have one that is almost 5ft. tall growing up in my rose bush.. YIKES.. So I need to be outside and cleaning up. There are bushes that need cutting back, trees that need some limbs trimmed, and some flowers that have taken over areas that need to be dug up and moved..
But here I sit in the house. The thunder has started. So what do I do.. Well, I can read.. I'm reading another book.. Odd Thomas.. It's scary and I really need to read it during the day. I don't want nightmares. Then there's a movie I want to see on a friends pay per view.. Twilight. I started reading the series before we left on vacation.. then I could get out the cookie making supplies and bake..
Think I'll read.. then go watch the movie with friend Betty.. and come home and bake some of Husband's favorite cookies.. I guess my day isn't a total loss after all..
Time spent with good friends, and cookies.. warm out of the oven.. ummm ummm
Guess I'm kind of glad for the rainy Days after all..

I'll take the steps...

These are the old steps that go to the sidewalk that led to the "old school" building. The school building is gone now. The only building left was a one room school house (built in the late 1800's) that was brought to the property and attached on as the home ec room. Later a kitchen was built onto the back and the building became the cafeteria. Husband ate his lunch there for his first six years.
I Love these old steps. I can just imagine the little feet that climbed them every day.. they are kind of steep. the sidewalk is still there and leads to the place where one would have stepped up into the school building..

I love these old steps. I walk down them everyday when I get the mail. Sometimes the ditch that lies in front of them is full of mud and water. Not being the athletic type.. I usually walk back up the drive.. but on my adventurous days I choose to jump the ditch and take the stairs..

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Just an old wood screen door..

Some would say this is just an old wooden screen door.. and it's an ugly one at that.. It's attached to the back of an old store building that sits on our property. Now by store I don't mean that is was a storage building.. It was literally an old Store. There were 5 here in our little town when husband was a boy. This one sits next to the road and was right next door to the School. (We own the old school property)

Husband says that it was the only store in town that had a 1/4 lb. Baby Ruth candy bar for a nickel.. you could get foot long peppermint sticks for a nickel. bubble gum was 2 for a penny and all the pop was a nickel. A child's dream come true and right next door... after school, many a child would beat feet over to the store with a precious and hard earned penny or nickel.. I can hear that old wooden door now.. whap, whap, whap.. listen to that door slap..

Hubby says the old folks would sit out front of the store and eat sandwiches and drink cokes. some would sit on the old wooden coke cases.. many a story was told and I'm sure many of the world's troubles were solved on in the front of that old store. I would bet that a pocket knife or two was traded there too.

There is an old maple tree that sits next to the store building.. it's not much longer for this world. We think it's at least 100 yrs. old. Straight line winds and this last ice storm has taken a heavy tole on it.. For many years it shaded folks who visited the old store. The owner lived in the house right next door, that old tree shaded his yard. A man used the tractor barn that sat adjacent to the store for a car repair shop.. We have found many a spark plug and wires.. in the barn, some of the old advertising things were still left..

The shelves of the store are filled now with things we store in that old building. Husband took out the front door and blocked it in.. (an effort to keep some curious folks out of the building. see the photo below..) The old pot belly wood stove still sits near the back. Many a cold body was warmed by it's heat in the winter times past.. Now the old stove sits silent.

I'll bet that old door whapped a million times.. It still does every time I go out to get any number of things we store out there now.. flower pots, Christmas decorations, paint brushes, etc. I love to hear it whap.. the old spring on the door is still tight.. and it really whaps good...

I will confess that sometimes I just go out there and let the door whap.. I love the sound.. I love to imagine little boys and girls running to the store after school.. looking at the wonderful assortment of candy.. dreaming of foot long peppermint sticks and the day that will have a nickel to spend.. Yep, It's just an old wooden door.. full of delightful memories..

The Front of the Old Store Building.. the pavement you see in the front is the road..

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A trip in my Truck can be exciting..

A trip in my Truck can be exciting.. 

First of all I guess I need to tell you that God speaks to me in my Truck. Not an out loud person type voice.. but that voice in your head. The one you KNOW is God. I think He speaks to me in my Truck because it's one of the few places that I sit still long enough to listen and hear Him; that and I can't leave. He has me cornered so to speak. 

I am always driving. It's almost like God is sitting there with me and we are just having a conversation. The funny thing about all this is that I talk out loud to Him.. That is unless there is someone in the truck with me. Yep, it happened one time.. thank goodness it doesn't happen all the time.. those of you who know me would think I had totally lost my mind. Well, maybe not.. I would never tell you God was speaking to me.. I think the only reason He talked to me that day with a friend in the Car, was because He had to make a point.. and I just wasn't getting it.. He had to interupt my conversation to show me what He'd been trying to say. 

Another thing about God talking to me, He tends to be very Blunt.. He just blurts stuff out.. no preparation, no Hey Karen, how has your day been.. nope.. He just Blurts it out.. usually a question.. or a , "Did you Know"... He knows I have to have straight talk. No beating around the bush, no innuendos, Just Blunt.. So He is Blunt.. 

Everything We have talked about in the truck has been Earth shattering Revelation for me. Stuff I should know, but just didn't bother thinking about long enough to get it.. I'll share an occasional one now and then.

The one this week came out of the blue on my way into town to the Grocery store. We are in west Ky. for a few weeks. As some of you may know, Ky. had it's worst ever Ice storm in January.. It devastated the trees. They are toothpicks. Many of them shattered into pieces, root waded and fell over. The trees look like a helicopter flew upside down and took the tops off all the trees. It's devastating. 

As I traveled to town, I noticed the red bud trees are starting to bloom. As I drove I noticed many of the red bud trees were broken and bent.. some were terribly twisted.. but still they were blooming. Wow.. how cool..

Then God said, "they're kind of like people aren't they Karen.. those trees are broken, twisted,and bent.. and still they do what I created them to do.. they bloom.. People are just like those trees. Most folks have some type of crisis in their lives that bend them.. or break them.. or even twist them into a totally different shape.. but they continue to be just what I created them to be.. They continue to live and to bloom just like I planned. don't ever think just because you have suffered some storm damage, that you are no longer useful.. you will continue to bloom just like I created you to."

I will remember those red bud trees every time I see someone who is facing the storms and suffers some storm damage.. I'll remember those little broken trees when I have to face the storms of life.. I'll remember and,
I'll be waiting to see how lovely their blooms will be..

Anna's homemade Bread for the Bread Machine

This is a great recipe for Bread, dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls. the dough recipe is from Hubby's mother. It's pretty basic with the one change of using Lard instead of Margarine. The Lard sounds gross, but it gives the rolls an old fashion "Granny" bread taste. Remember that Granny didn't have access to Margarine.. well maybe great granny.. anyway. Lard was what was available so it's what was used. Hubby's mother also rolled each dinner roll in a couple of Tblsp. of melted lard before putting them in the pan to raise. It's optional, they will still have an old fashion taste without doing it. If you want to try using lard you can get a small
(margarine size) container as well as 5 lb buckets. If you can't find it, ask. Lard keeps a long, long, long, time in the refrigerator. You should dispose of it when it's no longer white. This recipe can also be made and baked in any bread machine as a loaf of white bread, or it can be made as dough and baked in a loaf pan in the oven, as dinner rolls, and cinnamon rolls. If you have questions, let me know. I have adapted the recipe for the bread machine. It makes the whole process a lot faster. I still have the original recipe if you want to do it the old fashion way.

Anna's Homemade Bread

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup milk

2- tablespoons margarine, or butter softened, (or Lard, does not have to be softened)

1 egg

3 and 1/4 cups of bread flour

1/4 cup white sugar

1- teaspoon salt

3- teaspoons yeast

Place the above ingredients in the order your machine manufacturer suggests. select the dough/manual cycle on your machine. (regular loaf if you are baking it in the machine)

grease/spray a 9x13 cake or similar pan, I've also used round cake pans.

when the dough is finished. remove from the bread Machine and place on a lightly floured board, knead a little. then shape into little balls. I pinch off a piece of dough a little larger then a ping pong ball. place in the greased pan until all the dough is used.

Then Cover with plastic wrap, (I very lightly spray the tops of the rolls, or brush with butter before covering with the plastic wrap) then cover with a big towel, place somewhere warm, out of drafts and let rise about 45 minutes.

preheat your oven to 375.. will make between 17 - 20 dinner rolls.

you do the same thing for loaves of bread.. kneed a little form into a loaf and place in the greased pan of your choice. you will have to bake it a bit longer..

after the dough has risen, bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. brush the tops with melted butter, (you can also brush the tops with butter before baking)

serve warm (YES) or cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight bag.

For the cinnamon rolls you follow the recipe and instructions the same.. till you take the dough out of the the bread machine. then you will put it on a lightly floured board, knead a little. then you will roll the dough out into a rectangle shape. it is difficult and you will have to work at it.. letting the dough rest for a bit usually helps with the elasticity.. roll out till you have a good size rectangle, about 8-10 x 15-17..

now brush the rectangle with soft butter or margarine.. (NOT LARD) leaving about an inch plain around the edge.. you mix up 1/4 Cup sugar and 2- teaspoons of cinnamon together and then sprinkle over the top. you can use any type of filling, nuts, etc.. then roll up starting with the short 8 inch end. make sure to roll tightly and pinch edge of dough to seal. cut roll into 1 inch slices.

Place in greased 9x13 pan or round cake pans.. it's OK to cram the rolls together, but if you don't the rolls will spread out more. spray very lightly with Pam or brush with butter, cover with plastic wrap, and a big towel, and let rise in a warm place free of drafts for 45 min.

preheat the oven to 375.. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. will make about 15 medium size rolls.

Remove from pan and let cool for about 5 min. on a wire rack. if you want a hot roll.. go for it..

you can drizzle on the icing when the rolls are hot, but it usually just melts off.. one of our grandkids puts the icing in a little bowl and dunks his roll in it.. LOL you want the rolls warm, but not so hot that the icing all drips off.. put the rolls on a plate, or serving tray and then drizzle the following over the tops..


1 cup powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

mix all together.. drizzle over top of rolls and let set for a few minutes.. if you want you can decorate the rolls with slivered almonds.. yummm

EAT at WILL.. I can tell you that a pan of these rolls here with my grandkids last about 15 minutes. for a change I like to cut the cinnamon rolls wider like 2 inches. it makes them larger.. you won't get as many. but you can have some big, huge Cinnamon rolls.. great for company or special guests.

Let me know how you make out..

25 Random things about me..

1. I have a bucket list..

2. I have actually marked a few things off my list

3. I rode a mechanical bull, a really big thing for me, of course I made the guy go slow, like kid speed. and told him not to let me fall off.. I break stuff when I fall. it was hilarious. there are pictures.

4. I know without a doubt that one day I'll be in Heaven and see my Savior.

5. I studied child care in Collage, then needing money I quit, thinking I would return. I didn't. I still plan on going back to school. It will most likely be after I'm old enough to take classes for free.. I'm hoping my mind will hold out that long..

6. I had a 4 yr. scholarship to Michigan state. I didn't go because my Dad was ill and I needed to stay home and take care of him.. If given the same choice again. I'd give it up.. no regrets...

7. I was adopted at the age of 2.. my youngest brother was adopted into the same home with me.

8. I found my birth family and have made contact with all my siblings except for one. there are 11 of us. if you count the full siblings and half siblings.. course in my mind and heart we're all full brothers and sisters.

9. I have great friends, and a couple of very close friends.

10. I have learned that Papa was right.. it is better to give then to receive.

11. I also learned that my Papa was right about almost everything.

12. Christmas is my favorite holiday and favorite time of year.

13. I play Christmas music all year long..

14. I watch Christmas movies all year long...

15. I love to dance...

16. I wish the grandkids had come first. I'm so much better as a grandma.. it would have made me a better mom.

17. I trust everyone until they give me a reason not to..

18. I believe everyone deserves a second chance. some just need their second chance 5 or 6 times.

19. Grandchildren make your heart sing..

20. touching someones hand, and listening is one of the most important things you will ever do.

21. I will always have a dog.. they taught me what God's love is like.. unconditional...

22. I LOVE Ky with every fiber of my being. I ache for it.. and my little cabin in the "Grove". I love the way the earth smells, the way the colors of the flowers and the grass fill me with joy, the smell of honeysuckle, and hay, and the air after a rain, the way the hills show off God's creation, the sunrises that greet me each morning, and the sunsets that take my breath away.. the crickets, frogs, and whippoorwills that whisper goodnight.. The plain people who will offer you all they have and will feed you till you burst..

23. my first car was a 71 Mustang.. It will always be my favorite car.

24. I met my husband at a funeral home.. No I did not hang out at the funeral home looking for dates..

25. I have discovered that getting older isn't bad as long as you have someone to get older with..

Lord, I'd like to cancel my order....

As I said in the previous post, I've always wanted to write a blog. I even searched through some today trying to decide how to do it. I was all excited and decided I would probably be the only one interested in anything I had to say. (big grin) If you like it let me know. If you don't , keep it to yourself.. LOL
I have a list of things I want to talk about. I made it yesterday when my phone line was down. I seem to have all these great and deep thoughts when I'm here in Ky. (this is where my Front Porch is) I think it's because I don't have all the stuff pulling for my attention here. only two rooms to keep clean, I'm out in the middle of nowhere so no daily trips to wal-mart, or the grocery store. It's quiet so I can actually think.. maybe that's not good, but I think it is.. I've been reading since I've been here.. I've read two books so far.. the last one was " the secret life of bees".. I loved it.. the one comment that was made I really thought about was" People hate to forgive, If God said, forgive or die, most of us would choose to order our coffins". I know I have ordered my coffin on more then one occasion. I am so thankful that God continues to work with me and showed me how important forgiveness is.. I'm glad He let me cancel my coffin order..

Welcome to My front porch...

Good Morning from My front Porch..
I have always wanted to write a blog. I love to talk and I love to share recipes, books, stories, ideas and such. I had some trouble thinking of a name for my Blog. I have a cousin, who has a blog, and her name was so creative. when I took the 2 minutes I thought I should spend considering mine. I glanced out my door and saw my porch.. I love to sit on my porch. I love to watch all the excitement, from who's passing by to who's driving up my drive. I watch the birds, trees, flowers, etc.. I can see just about everything. My perspective may be different then yours. I'm sitting on my chair on my porch.. I hope you will draw up a chair. grab a glass of iced tea, Lemonade, your favorite coffee, or your favorite cold drink. Take a deep breath, relax, and share some time with me.. We'll swap stories about our friends and families, our pets and grand kids, our favorite recipes, songs, poetry, photos, and ideas.
drop by anytime.. there is always room.. come set a spell...