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"Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -- John 16:32, 33

Tuesday evening, cold cloudy snowy. We did have some sun in the forenoon. Enough that my feel good barometer rose several degrees. But it seems to have dropped again. I wish I wouldn't be so affected by the weather. It really was a nice day though.

It wasn't overly windy. The best part was -- I didn't have to leave. Yes! I was home all day.

Our horse had a loose shoe/shoes. His appointment is Wednesday. I was afraid he would lose it today, then what would I do. I decided my cleaning job doesn't have to be done. I sent hubby to work with the worker van. I tell you, I could get used to that really fast!

It was so cold this morning, it was so nice to just stay at home, but now tomorrow I have no choice. I just hope I don't have to deal with snowplows on the road. Our horse tends to be jumpy when it's really cold and he really doesn't like snow plows.

And guess what! I bought a snow shovel! Finally! But it is just an El cheapo. I have to push it! Seriously though, it scrapes the walks better if I turn it upside down. Oh well -- you get what you pay for!

We came back from Florida this past Thursday. We had a nice, uneventful trip. The weather was mild but rainy, then it turned cold.

I am just not a cold weather person. Is it something to do with getting old? Surely not! I just can't seem to get into routine. I have quite a few projects waiting, not the least of them, the quilt. Grandson Robert's. I do want to get going on that. Sis LaDonna Schrock wants me to dress a doll for her. Dennis and she sponsor a little girl in Nicauragua and she wants to give it to her.

My patterns are for an eighteen-inch doll and hers is a twelve-inch. I sized them down on my copy machine, but I don't have underwear patterns, so I'm trying to fashion those myself.

There is also my pantry. It is a disaster zone. Our new bookshelf remains empty. That project and the pantry need to be worked on together as I have a bunch of books piled on my pantry shelves. I guess I'm waiting till the spirit moves me. I'd really like to have at least two days in a row to work on that.

I don't like to start something, knowing I can't get it done on one day and won't be able to work on it the next day.

I have two appointments this week. One, to the doctor for blood work to check my thyroid. And then the horseshoeing thing.

When I went to the doctor, she saw the spot on my face and said I need to do a biopsy on that. It is probably skin cancer. So now I have another appointment. Then I'll have to do another one, probably.

It just seems like I barely have time for the basics, like cooking, cleaning and laundry. And two of those suffer at times. The laundry gets done. I don't like to walk around in dirty clothes. But cooking? Cleaning? Yeah, especially cleaning, I make round corners. The bathrooms usually get a good cleaning.

Maybe I should just hibernate until Spring! Then I could start over fresh.

When we came back from Florida, we had a box full of mail to wade through. I seriously believe over half of it was seed catalogs. Every year there is yet a different company wanting to sell us their wonderfully good things.

I haven't looked at any of them yet. I just haven't had the desire to think about a garden.

In closing: Self will must die and Jesus has prepared a place for it -- at the cross.

How about a hearty stew for a cold winter evening?

Baked Beef Stew

2 lbs. stew meat, cut into one-inch cubes

1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained

3 Tbsp. minute tapioca

1 can beef broth

2 Tsp. sugar

1 1/2 Tsp. salt

1/4 Tsp. pepper

4 carrots, cut in 1-inch pieces

2 stalks celery, cut into 3/4 inch pieces

3 potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

1 slice bread, cubed

Brown beef cubes, drain and set aside. Combine tomatoes, beef broth, tapioca, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir in beef, vegetables, and bread cubes. Put into a greased baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for two hours or until meat and vegetables are tender.

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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