"He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."  -- Matthew 10:37, 38, 39

This is a very cloudy Wednesday afternoon as I write. I actually do hope it will rain. I feel like I need a good, cleansing rain. Maybe a little thunder, too. The flowers and garden look thirsty.

It is kind of humid, too. We haven't had a lot of humid days. Or, at least, I don't think we had.

I have part of the garden cleared, tilled and cover crop spread on it. I think probably the seeds are lying out there laughing at me.

I wanted to do it last week; I started to till, then the tiller died in the middle of the garden. So grandson Jeffrey said he would take it to the motor shop for me.

Before he got that done, son-in-law Lloyd took a look at it. He took the spark plug out, cleaned it, put it back in and...it worked! Yes! Why didn't I think of that? I've changed spark plugs before.

So now part of the garden is done. I'd like to get a load of rabbit manure and spread it on the garden this fall. They say that stuff is really good.

Well, it looks like the neighbor ladies are off to an afternoon of fun. Maybe the last hurrah before school starts. Daughter Rachel, her son Galen and daughters, Cynthia, Deniece and Lynetta and daughter-in-law Marilyn all piled into the big buggy and left. It's a good thing they aren't very big.

Well, Galen, ready for the eighth grade, is big, bigger than either of his brothers. They are both older than he is. But Galen drinks ten gallons of milk a week. Well, that's stretched, but he does drink a lot of milk. And he is really strong, too.

I don't know what all they will do, but I know Lynetta and Galen will get a free ice cream cone at Shady Crest, compliments of their grandpa Eli Yoder, I think. It's for helping with his kettle korn.

Have you ever tasted Yoder's Kettle Korn? It is good! I could founder on it! He usually has a stand at festivals. You can also buy it at Shady Crest. Try it! I'm sure you'll like it!

Our John C. Plank reunion is now history. It was a total success with a record attendance. Quite a few cousins came from out of state. My mom is the only in-law left and all the children are gone. It is now just the grandchildren and on down the line.

Our mom, at 89, was the oldest one there. The youngest one was four month old Jordan Miller, a great-great grandchild, son of Adam and Lou Ida Miller.

On Friday evening, quite a few cousins gathered at Adlai Gingerichs' back yard. They have a super patio with a fire pit, trees, birds, tree frogs.

We had stew made in an iron kettle over an open fire. I believe it was called Frogmore stew. Everytime somebody else came, they threw in another frog! Not!

It did have a variety of meats, veggies and mushrooms. It was beyond delicious.

A wonderful evening of reconnecting. Some of the cousins we don't see but once every two years. Roger Plank and his wife of Tennessee were there. I hadn't seen him since we were snot-nosed kids.

The quilt -- well -- I got it finished, but I told them it is like an apartment complex, it has many "flaws." (Groan!) It went to Ind. Ray and Linda Miller bought it.

I'm really hesitant to start granddaughter Mary Lorene Miller's quilt. It seems I can invent problems no one has ever heard of. What will I come up with on hers?!

I haven't had a lot of time yet to work on hers. This past Tuesday I canned twenty-two pints tomato soup. Next is salsa and peaches.

After I was done canning my soup, I decided to hurry and defrost both refrigerators. I got that done, then I had this crazy idea that we should go to Mattoon. I needed some stuff at Wal-Mart. I decided if sister Ferne is free to take us, we'll go. She was, so off we went. It was close to 6 p.m.

In closing: If you can't sleep, don't count sheep. Talk to the Shepherd.

How about making your own cereal this week?

Golden Krispie Cereal

4 cups oatmeal

1 cup wheat germ or wheat bran

2 Tbsp. vanilla

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup honey

1 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup water

Put in a large bowl and toss until evenly coated. Put in roaster and bake at 350 degrees for an hour. Stir frequently, at least every 10-15 minutes. When cool, add 1 cup raisins.

As a snack, do not add liquids, just mix and eat.

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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