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Usually, out here, the evenings are spent with fire flies in the yard, sipping sweet tea on the porch, the citronella candles burning, and a chicken on the lap of someone.  In all my life, I don’t remember ever having so much trouble with mosquitoes as we have had this year.  It must be from all the rain.  We continue to patrol the property for standing water and eliminate it quickly.  It is our new weekly (or daily depending on the rain) ritual.

After a few years of being disgusted with how immoral everything on the television is, we took the plunge and got rid of it.  It had gotten to where we quit watching it except for the news and I realized that even that was affecting my day in a way that wasn’t constructive.  We get the most important news from news sources we trust online, so why let all that nonsense into our home?  All of that to say that we have never regretted it.  If there is something we decide is worthwhile to see, if we have the time, we will watch it on the computer.  It has been a blessing not to have that huge black screen in the center of the house.  Now we sit and read, talk into the late hours of the night, listen to some great music or just watch the fire flies and bats off the front porch.  I never had realized what an intrusion the television was until we got rid of it.  This is a decision our family made, I’m not suggesting everyone should do it, but it is refreshing.  One thing I found was that I spend more time actually cooking rather than watching someone cook and thinking I should make what they are making.

Speaking of cooking, twice a week, our daughter takes over the kitchen.  This last time, she really out did herself with barbecue roast, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn bread and mint chocolate chip cookies.  She started in the kitchen with me before she could reach the counter.  I’d pull up a step stool and give her a cup of flour or two to play with while I cook.  She’d get to sprinkle in seasonings and dump cups of milk into whatever I was fixing and had a great time trying to whisk things too.  It was play time for her, but most importantly, she was learning to have fun and be comfortable in the kitchen.  I think too many girls graduate college that don’t know how to cook and I was determined she wasn’t going to be one of them.  By the time she was eight years old, she could take over the kitchen, make a batch of cookies, and clean up the mess.  Needless to say, I was thrilled.  Now she loves to invite other family over for dinner and we have a grand time.

I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe 4th of July, spending lots of quality time with family, eating lots of yummy food!  We actually spent time with family the day before and then traveled up into northern Missouri for Fiddles and Fireworks on the 4th.  Nothing like a small town 4th of July celebration.  There were games, a parade, grilled hamburgers, a bake sale by the local fire department and a great fiddle contest held beneath some beautiful shade trees with straw bales to sit on.  All of it was topped off by fireworks after dark.  We have some lovely small towns around here that I wish would learn from this example and go the extra mile to incorporate a fiddle contest into their yearly festivities in order to encourage the younger generation to keep these music traditions alive.  If anyone is interested in putting one together, please feel free to email me at and I will be glad to point you in the direction of those who can help.  Even though this one was just a small town event, fiddlers came from many states away for it and the local public love it.  It can really draw a crowd in ways you couldn’t imagine if you have never had one during your event.  One place I’d really like to see one is at Seymour’s Apple Festival in the gazebo.  That would really top off the whole event.  Just my honest opinion for the week, it doesn’t hurt to suggest it!

Have a blessed week!

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