Kitchen Catastrophe Number Two

THAT DARN CAT!

That darn cat!  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  If you read my articles faithfully, you would have read about my  “Kitchen Catastrophe” with brownies.  Well, as luck would have it, the cats have struck again.  This time they upped the game.  But before I can tell you the rest of the story, I have to take you on a short “rabbit trail” of storytelling sorts.

This is how it all began

I signed up late last year to take an online baking class( more on this later).  As part of the class, our instructor Tessa Arias from Handle the Heat has been sharing with her students baking products that she recommends.   One of her recommendations was to get a Cuisinart 1 1/2 quart ice cream maker.  I really like ice cream, so I jotted it down on my list of products to watch for on sale.

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Reunions: The Whole Family Together

I’m writing on the prompt, WHOLE family inspired by Write 13 days challenge and the Five Minute Friday crew. We’ve almost made it to 31 days. You can see what we have written here and what others have written here.

I have 5 siblings.

Here’s a picture of our family maybe in 1966. back row: Mom, Doug, Dad Front Row: Marcy, Kandy, Mandy, Alex.  Too be added later a few years later .. LeAdam.

Dawson family before LeAdam

There’s me – in the blue dress.

. the whole group

Oh, here’s all 6 of us ..me on the top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that we are all grown and have families of our own. We all live in a different state … Wisconsin, Texas, Georgia, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Kentucky. So you can imagine how difficult it is to get the whole family together at the same time.

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31 Days with Mandy and MIchele

Mandy and Michele – Our Story

Sharing Our Story

The Five Minute Friday (FMF) crew is challenging us to write every day in October. We hope to give you a good taste of all the different things we want to share over time. We thought today would be a good time to share our story. Typically, we will only write once or twice a week at most. However, this month, there will be more than the usual number of posts but, fear not, we will send you only one newsletter a week.

FMF is offering a prompt each day to give us a kickstart.

Today’s prompt is STORY.

So we thought we would give you a little more about the Mandy and Michele story. We both came up with a few questions you might enjoy asking us. We will present a question and then both of us will answer.

Here’s the Story in interview form!

Where did you grow up? Tell us something about your childhood.

Mandy: I am the 3rd of 6 children (3girls and 3 boys), born in Canton, Ohio and spent the first years of my life on the family dairy farm in Louisville, Ohio, just south of Canton. At the age of 13, we moved to Wisconsin, cows and all. Though I didn’t admit it at the time, I loved the farm and the animals dearly. You can read all about my farm life by clicking the image to the right which will take you to my memoirs site, Raised in a Barn. I attended Asbury College (now University) and then took a computer job in Columbia, SC.

Michele: I grew up in the tiny town of Friesland, Wisconsin.  It was a very unique town.  I lived directly across from the stockyard and the cheese factory with a dairy farm behind us two blocks down- mind you this is ALL IN TOWN.  Spent a great deal of my time bicycling around town, playing on and around the railroad tracks( my mother has earned her gray hair) and the summer highlight, every Tuesday night a Band Concert in the town square complete with pie and ice cream!

Tell us a little about your family. Married? Children? Grandkids?

Mandy: My husband, Michael and I were introduced by my pastor’s wife, Charlotte. Michael had recently lost his wife and a daughter in a terrible car accident. Mrs. Charlotte prayed about him and his boys and she said the Lord told her that I was to be his new wife. Michael was a pastor in her hometown, Barnesville, GA. After much pleading, I finally agreed to go meet Michael. (so that Charlotte would quit bothering me about it). Well … That’s all it took. We were married four months later! I took his two pre-teen boys as my own and later we had another boy and a girl. They are all grown now, ages 22-44. Three of them live here in Savannah, GA and the other in Apple Valley, Minnesota. We have one grandson.

Michele: Brad and I met at a football game.  We were from rival schools.  I was a cheerleader he was a football player.  We married the summer of his Senior year of college.  I have an Associate Degree in Applied Sciences, Veterinary Technician.  We have one grown daughter.  I am too young to be a grandmother.

How did the two of you meet?

Mandy: Michele’s husband Brad and I met through church growing up in Wisconsin. Brad’s family and mine both moved to Wisconsin about the same time. They were dairy farmers, too. And the kids were all about the same age so we connected easily as a whole family. We re-connected again about four years ago on Facebook! Michele and I became fast friends as we both have been going through some tough trials in recent years.

Michele:  My daughter had been in a four-wheeler accident while we were visiting family and was Med-Flighted.  Through this accident, I reconnect with Mandy as I had asked for prayers for our daughters’ recovery.

When/Why did you decide to write?

Mandy: God works in mysterious ways. I was never much of a writer. Though encouraged to do so, I was reluctant to keep a journal. (Something I regret not doing). So like I say, I didn’t consider myself a writer. On my first writing assignment in College Composition, I received an F. But I had an awesome professor, Dr. Ralph Joly and he worked with me until I got it figured out … kinda. Anyway, he said I was his most improved student. Still, I never thought I would pick up a pen to write much more than a check. After Chronic Illness hit and my husband lost his position at the church, I was challenged to write for this same October 31 Day Writing Challenge in which I wrote about my illness. That was the start of something brand new and amazing.

Michele: I have wanted to write since 1992.  Mostly I write or journal for myself, but two years ago I felt like I need to develop my skills and see this as a perfect opportunity to do so.

Why blog together?

Mandy:  Two are better than one. Michele mentioned she wanted to start writing. I offered that she could write on my blog, Leaving a Legacy {now closed} anytime she so desired. I’ve been slowing down some and was thinking about recreating myself, so why not do this together and split the cost since we seem to have a lot in common.

Michele:  I am so appreciative that Mandy has brought me under her wing to show me the ropes.  Excellent mentor and friend.  Great opportunity to offer each other encouragement and positive critiquing.

THIS OR THAT game

1. Tea or Coffee?

Mandy: Tea, occasionally a cup of coffee

Michele: Coffee straight up… kicks off the day… let productivity begin!

2. pie or cake?

Mandy: hmmm.. Yes, a la mode, please.

Michele: This is totally unfair… I will take both, please. Cherry alamode, Chocolate with white frosting… you know the frosting made with butter and powdered sugar. Oh… put some ice cream on the cake too… Dairy is never too far from this Wisconsin girl’s heart.

3. cats or dogs

Mandy: It’s hard to say. I’ve always been a lover of the larger animals like horses and cows. Michael never wanted to have pets either so we never did.

Michele: I am a Vet. Tech… love them ALL!  Pass on snakes and such… love them from a distance. ūüôā

Alright then, that’s about it for now. Feel free to ask more questions in the comments. Never know we might give you more answers. ūüôā

Mandy & Michele

image created by jfredrickdesign

Come by for a visit

Dropping By For A Visit

Don’t you miss the days when people would visit and sit for a spell?

family reunion
cousin, aunt,sousin, me, my husband, my daughter
2014 Dawson (my) family reunion

I do. I think that is why I want a front porch so badly. I miss the days of sitting on the porch with friends and family just resting and sharing time together.

These days we never drop in on people and thus our lives remain lonely and we never learn from one another. No one is a close friend anymore. We are all just acquaintances.

Remember When?

Even¬†our families no longer stop by for a visit. I remember going for a drive and stopping in on my mom’s aunt and uncle. I don’t know how she did it. But my Aunt Mary must have had a 6th sense that someone was coming by because it seemed about 5-10 minutes after we arrived, she presented a delicious cake. Besides the delicious cake and good conversation, we gained the chance to actually know our cousins. If we had not stopped in occasionally, I would never have known my mother’s cousins, nor my second cousins.

I remember that our family friends would take turns having everyone over after the football games. These were all high school friends of my parents. Of course, they all had kids the same age as my siblings and me. Boy, did we have a grand time together?

As an adult, many of us would head out to a restaurant after Sunday Evening Worship. We seldom to that either.

We Are Too Busy

The truth is, we have become so busy that we never slow down long enough to just visit with anyone. The Bible instructs us to practice hospitality. The Book of Hebrews suggests that we should not forsake meeting together. ¬†This scripture is usually used to encourage church attendance, but the early church met together in homes also sharing meals and encouraging one another. This is where we really get to know one another and share in each other’s lives. We can attend church, come in and go out, without truly interacting with people. But meeting in our homes and eating together, that is when we become more than acquaintances.

Here’s the Challenge

So, have you had a visitor or drop by on someone unexpectantly? When did you last invite someone into your home? We may need to make a concerted effort to fellowship together.

Meeting Around the Table

A few years ago, a new Women’s conference¬†erupted into the scene called IF Gathering. They have developed the idea that encouragement comes from around the table. They encourage us to have a once a month meeting around the table.¬†Invite 5 or 6 people to share a simple meal and have a real conversation.

They feel that this is so important that they provide menu ideas and questions to ask each other. It’s called IF:¬†Table. You can¬†Check it out here.

Table games are an excellent way to increase comradery. Try this awesome game with some friends called Life Stories. You will have a great time learning new things about one another.

You can learn more about mentoring around the table with this book written by a friend. Coming Alongside: Blessed to be a Blessing

I’m ready for a visit. Come on by! I’ll make a pound cake.

Mandy Farmer

I participating in Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Fridays where we take a prompt and write for five minutes.

Come by for a visit and sit a spell. #mentoring #visit Click To Tweet