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“But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: But whatsoever shall be given you in that hour that speak ye: For it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.” Mark 13:11-13

This is Tuesday afternoon as I start my weekly epistle. I probably won't get it completed today, but I must start. I tell you, it is so windy, it almost addles my brain so that it is hard to think.

It's been a day of clouds and sun, but ever present was the wind. Early on it was clear, but on my way home from work, the clouds actually looked stormy.

I had planned to do laundry, but on my way home my thoughts were on the teeter-totter. Up, yes I'll do laundry. Down, no, it looks too stormy. Up, down all the way home.

By the time I got home, I was almost too tired from riding a teeter-totter, but the clouds looked more favorable, So, I decided to do one round before I have to go get hubby from work. I didn't have room to hang up everything at once on the south side anyway. And I didn't have the time to do all of it, what with messaging back and forth with daughter Jane.

We are eagerly anticipating a visit from our daughter/sister Cynthia Miller from Dale, Illinois. She plans to come on Thursday, bringing Regina Beth, Aaron Joel and Amy Diane along.

We have lots of plans for our girls' day out. It looks like we might not have enough hours in the day to do all our visiting and shopping.

Our lunch of chicken bacon ranch subs gave way to a brunch of breakfast casserole so we have a longer afternoon. I am really hoping for a nice, windless day. But whatever.

This past Saturday was an on-again, off-again kind of day. It wasn't really windy to come home from work and was fairly warm. When I got home, I left the door open, opened a window, took off my sweatshirt. Then the wind picked up, the sun would go behind a cloud and it seemed chilly, so I closed the door, put on my sweatshirt. Pretty soon it was warm again. Off went the sweatshirt. This routine was repeated until sundown.

I surprised hubby Saturday. I baked a pie. Our oven finally got fixed after I don't know how long of not working. How nice it is to have an oven again. David Diener fixed it Friday and told Erwin he needed to order a pie. So, yeah, I made a pie. A good, old-fashioned American apple pie. Of course I bought ready-made crusts at Shady Crest. And I'm not ashamed of it either. We don't need pies very often, so I don't keep shortening on hand. I don't do a lot of other baking either. The pie was a real treat and if I do say so myself, it was really good. Of course, several of the pieces are now clinging to my hips.

The Chilly Day Stew recipe that I had in my column, it is really good. I made it and, as usual, I didn't have all the ingredients. I didn't have macaroni and my rice was brown rice. And I jazzed it up by putting in chicken broth and some chicken seasoning. And if you want to jazz it up some more, add some Velveeta cheese chunks. It hits the spot on a chilly, dreary day.

We are planning to go to a birthday party for our oldest great-grandchild, Zackrey Yoder. He has his first birthday today, Oct. 22. He probably won't know what it is all about, but it will be fun.

The really big surprise (we hope) will be for his daddy, Robert. Maryilyn (Mrs. Robert) is also planning a bang-up surprise for Robert. His birthday isn't until Nov. 9. So what better way to pull the wool over his eyes than to do it right with Zackrey's big day. We hope he won't smell the rat.

It looks like I'll get this finished today after all. It will certainly free me up for Wednesday to get my things ready for the big day Thursday.

Plans are for the children to all be at the house for supper. I want to get my things all organized as I expect we'll be gone until late afternoon.

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In closing: A diplomat is one who can tell a man he's open-minded, when he means he has a hole in his head.

Maybe this week we can make some cinnamon bread.

Easy Cinnamon Bread

Makes two loaves

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 cups buttermilk or 2 cups milk plus 2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice

4 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

Cinnamon/sugar mixture

2/3 cup sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

Cream together butter, sugar and eggs. Add milk, flour and baking soda. Put half of batter (or a little less) into two greased loaf pans (¼ batter in each pan). In a separate bowl, prepare cinnamon/sugar mixture. Sprinkle ¾ of the cinnamon mixture on top of the batter in each pan. Add remaining batter to pans and sprinkle with the last of the cinnamon mixture. Swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick tester comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing. The bread freezes very nicely. This recipe can also be used for muffins.

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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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