"I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images."  -- Isaiah 42:6, 7, 8

This is Wednesday afternoon, a dreary, drizzly day, so typical fall, only more like November than October, with a cold west wind blowing a fine mist in your face.

But it is still nice, just a different nice, God made it so. So we will still rejoice and be glad in it.

I'm still trying to get back on track. I haven't figured out exactly what my problem is. The last few weeks I was concentrating on getting ready for two four-day trips. And now that we are back, I can't seem to get back into the groove.

Monday morning I was actually all geared up to really get with it, then the weather threw a damper on my spirit -- literally -- it was so terribly foggy, soggy.

But it did clear off and I did get my laundry done. I was ever so glad because Tuesday was not a good day to do laundry. It's been cloudy and dreary ever since. I can't seem to get motivated. I believe maybe way early this morning I had a touch of the flu. I sure didn't feel very good. I finally just got up and fixed some hot tea. I thought about taking some pain pills, but my tummy lurched and whined about that. The tea did help and I did feel better. It's just my energy level is way down.

Monday evening I decided to get my beets in from the garden. Finally. I was so glad I did as we had over 2 1/2 inches of rain early Tuesday morning.

So now those things are in cans. I made some pickled and the rest just plain. The jars are washed now and waiting patiently on the counter until hubby gets motivated to carry them to the pantry.

As for our New York trip, I may have to make a continued story out of it. The main purpose for going was the wedding of granddaughter Mary Lorene Miller. And since she lives only forty-five minutes from Niagara Falls, we wanted to take that in. After all, who knows when we would ever again have the opportunity to do something like that as a whole family together.

It was most enjoyable. We had really good drivers, really good! I can get really paranoid about traveling, especially long trips like this, but I was never uncomfortable. I had a couple of incidents that were extremely upsetting. But they didn't have anything to do with the drivers.

First off, I almost forgot our border crossing papers. Grandson Robert jokingly asked when we were all loaded and I was ready to pull in my last leg, "Well, Grandma. Do you have your border crossing papers?" No! I do not! I dashed inside to get them. That really set my tummy churning!

AHH! We are all set! New York, here we come, ready or not!

The other incident was even worse. Hubby and I sat in the first passenger seat. Milton, Jane and Kaitlyn sat next. Milton would always grab the small side door and slam it shut. I would get the big one. Well, one time he barely got his fingers out of the way when I slammed the door. The door actually nicked his fingers. How horrible! I felt sick! I know, I know! I did miss pinching his fingers but it was too close for comfort. I felt horrible!

After that I waited until I was sure his hand was out of the way.

I guess I'll go on with the other rather unpleasant stuff.

We had no problem crossing over from US to Canada, but coming back was different. Our van didn't have a problem, but we were upset by the car in the next lane. The lady was screaming at the border patrol. Her language was not nice at all. They hauled her out of the car and handcuffed her and led her away to parts unknown. The man that was with was also out of the car. They patted him down, but I don't know what happened with him. We were cleared and left.

The other load was delayed, so they weren't right with us. We went on. When they wanted to cross got hauled out and patted down. I believe they even went through the ice chests. All because their driver had the same name as a really bad guy. But they let them through. That was scary!

I'll have to leave the rest until next week.

In closing: We could learn a lot from crayons: some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, some have weird names, and all are different colors... but they all have to learn to live in the same box.

I thought this recipe sounded like a good one to try.

Mocha Cheesecake Bars

25 cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies

3 Tbsp. hot fudge ice cream topping

3 Tbsp. butter, melted

Filling:

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup cold strong brewed coffee

2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream

3 squares bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

24 chocolate covered coffee beans, optional

Place cookies in a food processor. Cover and pulse until fine crumbs. Add fudge topping and butter; pulse until blended. Press into the bottom of a nine-inch x 13-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, for filling, in a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over coffee; let stand 1 minute. Heat over low heat, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from heat; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in sour cream, chocolate and reserved coffee mixture until blended. Pour over crust. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours or until firm.

Cut into bars. Garnish with coffee beans if desired.

Millie Otto of Arthur is a member of the Old Order Amish. Contact her by writing to 1584 CR 2000N, Arthur, IL 61911.

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