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"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind. Which, when it was full, they drew it to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good unto the vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 13:47, 48, 49, 50

So far this winter has been fairly mild. We've had plenty of gray, dreary days, but not really frigid weather. We've had really nice days, so nice that you wondered why people wanted to go to Florida.

I am not complaining; I'd much rather deal with the stinky, muddy barn lot than the frozen water tank that has several inches of ice in it. But, still, being in the upper 50s, it makes one wonder.

Today is more wintry with the wind blowing out of the northwest fairly strongly. It looks nice, sitting inside the window looking out. The sun shines brightly, but the wind is almost frigid.

I did my laundry. Once again, I am ever so grateful for my clothesline under the roof on the south side. Even there, it was plenty windy and my fingers got really cold getting the stuff off the line. But I did want to dry it outside. It smells so much better. The towels are so soft and fluffy.

I was tempted only a little to not go to the bother of hanging it out. My motivation wasn't very great. I spent most of the day in Champaign yesterday. Sis Barb took our mom and me. Mom had an appointment with a dermatologist before lunch and I had an appointment with a podiatrist after lunch. We had several hours of shopping between appointments.

Hobby Lobby was one place I really wanted to do. Oh my! It is probably good that my talent isn't for crafting. And yet, I almost wish I would have the time to get into some. It looks so interesting. I didn't even get over half of the store.

We ate lunch at McAllister's. That was a very welcome break from our usual fast food thing. It was delicious! But, of course, I was limited, being on a self-imposed diet. I really wanted to have a piece of carrot cake, but I passed.

I really am trying to clean up my eating habits, mainly avoiding sugar, bread and pasta. My favorite foods! I figured maybe it would help my feet. I started on it last week. At the same time I got sick. I didn't know, was it actually a touch of the flu or just my body rebelling because it wasn't getting stuffed constantly with the sugary junk.

I did have a really bad sore throat. Saturday morning, common sense told me to stay at home. I didn't listen. I went on to work. By the time I got home, I felt like I'd been run over by an 18 wheeler. I collapsed on the recliner, I was chilling, couldn't get enough covers, then I started burning up. I had been taking Infection Purge, two pills hourly, and got so tired of swallowing those things. When my temperature started going up, I took Tylenol. I soon felt good enough to get out of the recliner without using a pry bar.

Sunday morning was really iffy about going to church. I knew I would feel better if I went to church and I needed some spiritual food, so I went I did feel better. In the afternoon, I actually slept for two hours, very unusual for me, but I definitely felt better. I am beginning to feel more human, a very tired human at this point. But if I"m gone all day and mostly on my feet, it takes most of the next day to get rested up and my motivation going.

And now tomorrow another day on the road. Erwin has to go to Decatur about his arm. Hopefully he can be rid of his totally unhandy splint.

I was supposed to go help neighbor Hannah with her quilt. Her husband Lonnie got her one of these roller quilt frames. She knew I had one and wanted to make sure she is on the right track with it. We can't seem to have a day this week that it works for both of us. It is totally unusual for me to have a week of all this leaving stuff and I don't like it. But doctors appointments must be kept.

Saturday was a really nice day. I wished I could have enjoyed it more. When I came home, as I passed our neighbor to the east of us, I decided she was enjoying the day and possibly had spring fever. Or maybe she was just behind in her 2018 fall work. She was mowing their patch where they have some trees planted. Ordinarily that would have made me come home and found something to do outside, but not Saturday. I was too sick to care!

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In closing -- You get the most out of your life when you give your life to Christ.

This recipe sounded like a good thing to fix on a cold winter evening.

Chicken and Rice Dinner

1 broiler/fryer chicken (about 3 lbs.), cut up

1/3 cup flour

2 Tblsps. canola oil

1 and 1/2 cups long grain rice

1 tsp. salt

1  tsp. poultry seasoning

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 cup milk

2 and 1/3 cups water

Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Dredge chicken pieces in flour. In a skillet, heat oil on medium heat and brown chicken on all sides. Meanwhile, combine rice, salt, poultry seasoning, pepper, milk and water. Pour into greased 13 x 9 baking pan. Top with chicken. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until rice and chicken are tender. Sprinkle with parsley before serving if desired. Yield: 4-6 servings.

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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