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BROKEN DOWN VEHICLES, FAIR PROJECTS AND GROWLING DOGS

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I've driven a lot of old cars and trucks and vans in my day.

I've been stranded along the road when they broke down and I've been stranded in parking lots when they failed to start.

We had one old truck that had a big hole in the floor board, practically no brakes, windshield wipers that once turned on would not go off and the windows would only roll part way down.

This was the truck the kids and I delivered tomatoes in.

When we got to the end of the road the kids would start saying, "Pump mom" because I had to pump the brakes.

This was the truck we took 4-H projects to the fair in.

Four kids and myself in a truck with windows that wouldn't roll down and we are  in the middle of July, oh and the window wiper switch got hit so they were going back and forth and it was sunny and ninety- five degrees out.

Heidi had her cake she was entering on her lap all the kids and me were in the front seat of the truck, remember we are hot and crowded and in a hurry.

We had…

I'M NO MA INGALLS

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You know how much I admire Ma Ingalls, Caroline Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie.

It didn't matter what happened, no matter how bad the deal or how stressed out Pa was she held her tongue.

When she saw what happened or after Pa, told her what happened she would  nod her head or she would just sit quiet.

I know that is exactly what she should have done.

Her example is great.

Pa didn't need her telling him how it would be okay, he didn't need her telling him what he did wrong or what he could do different next time.

He needed for her to be still.

She needed to give him time to deal with it within himself.

He needed time to think and to process.

We had a situation like this just last week and it's the very reason I know I'm no Ma Ingalls.

I had been mowing over at Lost River, I was almost done and Mark said he would take over.

He accidently hit a gas line.

He got down and looked at the line.

It scared me to death.

I started saying, "We better call the gas…

THE CAR HAS TURNED INTO THE DINNER TABLE AND WE CAN GO WITH THAT

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You know I love the dinner table.

You know I'm all about cooking and eating.

And you know every time I get the chance I am going to promote that.

But hopefully you also know.... I know where we are today.

I know life if different now, and as nice as the kitchen table and the family all  around sounds...it's hard to get it done.

Soooo....we find ourselves running through the drive-thru on the way  home from practice or work.

Or we pull a frozen pizza out of the freezer and pop it in the oven.

That's all okay.

You see one way a family is built is around a  meal, not the food.

The two are not the same.

The time is more important than the menu.

If you have to eat in the car...then eat in the car but make sure the radio is off, don't let the kids be watching a movie, don't be on your phone.

Eat and talk.

You can have the dinner table atmosphere in the car.

Don't think that a number one off the fast food menu on a Tuesday or a frozen pizza on the table on Tuesday is…

SANDWICH RING....IT COULD NOT BE EASIER!

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The Sandwich Ring got a big response.

Several of you asked about how to make it so I'm gonna to tell you.

It's so not hard.

It looks impressive but it's for the beginner cook.

Here's what you need.

2 tubes (11 ounces each) refrigerated crusty French bread dough
Bottle Italian dressing
1/2 pound sliced deli ham
1/4 pound Swiss cheese, halved
1/2 pound sliced deli Roast Beef
1/4 pound colby cheese, halved
1/2 pound sliced deli turkey
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
sliced black olives
sliced jalapeno peppers

Take the two loaves of dough and put them seam side down on a greased pizza pan, forming a large ring and pinch the ends to seal it.
Then take a sharp knife and make eight fairly deep slices across the top of the bread.
Brush the top of the bread with Italian salad dressing.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
When it's done let it cool for at least 15 minutes

When the bread ha…

IF LIFE WAS SPENT IN BILLS WE WOULD HAVE TO GO TO THE BANK AND MAKE CHANGE

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How are you spending your life?

That's a big question and when we think of our life we tend to think of it as a whole.

And of course that's right but it's important to keep in mind that a whole life involves lots of pieces.

I heard a preacher tell a story and he said it like this,  "We think of time as like a $100.00 bill and we are going to lay it down all at once and buy something.
One big thing and we're done.

But that isn't how it works really.

In reality we all have to go to the bank and cash that bill in for a bunch of change.

For the most part we go through life spending change as far as time goes.

We spend a little bit listening to a hurting co-worker.

We spend a little more when we come home, get supper and hurry back out to he funeral home to support a friend.

Then there are those cupcakes for school, you shell out a little more time.

You want to sit down and put your feet up but you know mom would love a call from you so you  give her a call. Ching,…

WHEN YOU WANT YOUR HUSBAND TO THINK YOU ARE SWEET SPIRITED, YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO BE SWEET SPIRITED

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When Mark and I were first married, he had a bad temper.

He got mad a lot quicker than me.

I was the laid back one.

Years went by and Mark mellowed and I hardened.

I would just look at him and think, "Go ahead, make my day."
(I never saw that movie but I have heard that line)

One day I was doing dishes and listening to the radio.

A man was talking about his wife and he said she had such a sweet spirit, she spoke sweetly.

I stopped washing the dishes.

I wanted Mark to be able to say that about me.

In the past he would have, but somewhere along the way I got grouchy and not so sweet spirited.

I decided it was time to get back to myself.

It didn't take long to get my first test.

Mark calls me a lot during the day.

I was working on something and he called me, I saw it was him and I thought, "I just talked to you."

I was going to answer the phone one way, but then I remembered the man with the wife who had a sweet spirit, a wife who spoke sweetly.

So I answered swee…

Raisin Pie....AN OLD FASHIONED FAVORITE

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Some of you requested the Raisin Pie recipe so here it is.

I had never had a raisin pie until I married into the Gray family.

Mark loved them and when I was given a bridal shower before we married, everyone was asked to bring a recipe.

Marilyn Losson brought this one.

I have to admit as a young wife I let it sit in the recipe box for a little while but once I took it out, it just kept coming back out.

Mark's grandpa Gray loved a raisin pie and so we took this over to his house often and of course we took a half gallon vanilla ice cream along with us.

When Lucas came in the other day and saw this on the counter he said the first thing he thought of was Grandpa Herman.

The girls aren't crazy about this pie but Lucas likes it and he likes it with ice cream too, so I'm thinking it's a Gray man thing.

Okay, so here we go, the recipe is.....

2 cups seedless raisins
2 cups water
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. vinega…