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"For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of the things of the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind. But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things out not so to be."

                                                                           James 3: 7,8,9,10

The first day of spring and it is cold, windy and a drizzly rain is falling. Oh well, we had two beautiful days in a row. Sunny with not much wind, although yesterday (Tuesday) was chilly. But that's okay. That I can handle!

Monday was really nice. I made two trips to Arthur on the bike. Since husband Erwin is on vacation I just used the bike to go do my cleaning job. 

Then after lunch I had a dental appointment, so I used the bike again. On the second trip, my legs were screaming at me, enough already! I hadn't been doing much biking this winter, barely any, for that matter. Occasionally out to the mailbox and back, so yes, my leg muscles seriously protested. 

I did laundry Monday and Tuesday. It was so nice to hang out everything. Yesterday I really should have been home all day. My windows are so terrible, one can barely see through them. And the buggy, oh my! It is almost more brown flecked than black. 

But hubby had an appointment, so -- at least we got to see our great-grandson, Jamin Christopher. He sure is a cutie, so tiny, cuddly and adorable!

I decided since we have to leave anyway and the weather is nice, we'll just go visit him. I fixed a casserole and baked some bars to take along. 

Since I had already been to Arthur twice on Monday, I decided we may as well go the third time. Went to clean but this time we used the buggy. 

Coming home, having a late supper and laundry still needing to be taken care of, the supper dishes stayed on the unwashed side of the sink.

Tuesday morning the breakfast dishes joined them, probably conferring among themselves on this sloppy housewife. But I wanted to do some more laundry, throws, pillows, etc. and get those things hung out so it would dry before we leave yet again! And I wanted to do the casserole and bars so those dishes would also get washed. And yes, I had a whole sink and counter loaded with dirty dishes. 

So anyway, life goes on. And for some a sudden stop and regrouping. Such was the case this past Friday morning. A neighbor discovered that the door shop at HCK was on fire. It was early, 4:30 a.m., a huge loss, materialistically. No lives lost, no injuries and no other buildings involved. We are so thankful for that. And very grateful for the ever efficient Arthur fire squad and all the other surrounding departments that came to their aid. And the helpful neighbors that provided food for the firemen.

We actually didn't know about it until on the way to work. We were stopped by an employee at A&M Divisions shop in our neighborhood.

He told us there was a fire at HCK. Sis Louise had left us a message concerning it, but I didn't check before we left.

We decided we were of no use hanging around there so we just came back home.

It was Friday and here I was with extra time at home. I had cleaned the house and done the laundry on Thursday. I was kind of just bobbing around, not knowing where to start or what, for that matter. It was kind of like sis Barb told me, I didn't know when to eat my Cheerios!

On Saturday I walked with Kevin, a grandson of Adlai of HCK and Family Health Food store manager. I had asked him if anything was saved out of the shop. "Yes," he said, "Two bags of ice." Imagine that! Out of that blazing inferno, two bags of ice were saved. Ironic and really kind of humorous! 

It was in the freezer and the unit, although not salvageable, protected the ice. 

In closing: What is right is not always popular, what is popular is not always right.  

I think this week we'll have this sheet cake.

Chocolate Sheet Cake

1/2 cup butter

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1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 tablespoons cocoa

1 cup hot water

Mix together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. 

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Sift these ingredients together in a mixing bowl and add boiled mixture. 

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup milk

Add these ingredients to flour mixture. Pour into a greased 11-by-17-inch cookie sheet pan and bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Cook icing while cake bakes. 

Icing

1/2 cup butter

4 tablespoons cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla

Bring these ingredients to a boil. Remove from heat. 

4 cups powdered sugar

4 tablespoons water

1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional

Add powdered sugar and water alternately to boiled mixture, beating until smooth. Add nuts. Frost immediately. 

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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