Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Land of Middleswarth BBQ Potato Chips

I was recently reminded when viewing a friends Facebook page about the importance of Pennsylvania...Middleswarth Chips... Now 20 some years ago I lived in New Hampshire and worked for GTE Sylvania. In this factory were a lot of other people from PA. Every time we would come back to PA for a visit, my friend Terry would take orders for Middlewarth chips and when we returned to NH we would be loaded down the dozens of bags and barrels (they dont have the barrels anymore) of MC.

There is just something about MC that makes them special, better than any other chip...anywhere.

That special "thing" will cause PA natives mouth to water when they are far from home and something brings MC to their mind...They will act funny, their vioces will crack and their eyes will wonder off into distant memories.

I think of one such memory though I suppose it was more of a night when I was about 18 I was out with some friends and we got some barrels of MC...for some reason someone began throwing chips and the next thing I knew my mom's car was covered with Middleswarth chips...Shivers....the absolute horror of all the chips on the floor and the seats, the dashboard...everywhere...

Next Year Now

These are leaves...lots of leaves...I picked up most of the bagged ones along the curbsides in town, the truckload and about 10 other bags came from a clean up job we did.

I got these leaves because even after 4 years of working my garden soil it still has a lot of clay attributes to it...Nothing like when we started...its much better now, but still holds a lot of water, gets kind of hard and doesnt have the dark color I like so much.

So we'll be working alot of these leaves into the ground hopefully before snows sets in for good and we'll let some cook over the winter and till them into the ground in the spring.

I also collect branches and brush from yard jobs and such through the summer and I burn those in the garden as I'm told this is very good for breaking up the soil. I have 2 giant cottonwood trees in the yard which are constantly dropping branches and twigs all year round.
There's always something to do to get ready for next year.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Where is God?

Jeremiah 6:16-19 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken. Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.

Remarks from CBS Sunday Morning - Ben Stein

I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late ! ! The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees. It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me.. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.
Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.
In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.
Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Hurricane Katrina).. Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'
In light of recent events.... Terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school.
The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr.. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said okay.
Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves. Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell.
Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.
Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.
Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace. Are you laughing yet?
Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully, Ben Stein

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What Are these BUGS on my tree???

Its a maple tree and I think its had its last year of life...But what are these critters?

Just a Schwinging~Part 2

They were dreaded words, words I didnt think I would ever hear...Dad, the swing is broken.

Now, I said before that this swing was made to last, but alot of that lasting took place before I got it...we've had it about 3 years and most of that time has been with boards that aren't fastening down as the seat...the old boards had rotted away.

I'm a little slow at getting things fixed so I just haven't gotten that done, but this was I looked out the window at the poor swing I could see that one side was on the the chains havent broken, they should have...the hook which held the swinging thing pictured was broken...I cant fix that I thought, I'll have to a new thing....and so the days and weeks and months passed as I continually forgot to stop at Wilson's Supply and buy something...I just kept forgetting.

While cleaning out an old barn a couple weeks ago I found these big mean looking heavy duty nails and thought to myself, "Now Dave, one of those just might work to fix the swing...

So, the day before Becca's birthday (my daughter) I got to working in the yard and spotted that sad lookin swing...The Swing has become and everyone knows it...Becca's Swing. I think her whole summer has been thrown off because the swing was broken.

So anyway, Becca's was not home and wouldnt be till after dark, so I had a wonderful surprise to give....and she would have to find it. It was great! She was thrilled with the mystery of the hidden surprise birthday present...

What a treat it was for me when she saw her swing!

So, well the fix isnt permanent, but maybe this spring when I fix the seat...see how it works. ;)


This here for all you uninformed folks is a backyard swing...not just any old backyard swing's my backyard swing!

This is not some Big Lots/Walmart/Target swing either, its a bona-fide handmade, Tioga County Pa, back yard swing and it was built a long time ago and it was built to last...well I'll talk about that in another post.

Anyway, this swing came to me by way of an estate auction a fews years ago, just after we'd bought of house. My intention was to put it in the front yard with a "For Sale" sign, by my family quickly became enamored with the ugly old thing and soon enough all of us found ourselves "just a swinging" on that thing...No one named Charlotte has been on it as yet. Well. not since I've owned it anyway.

Everytime I look at this swing it reminds me of the John Anderson song by the same title. Course the "ch" I added to the title above is because I have a friend who I've not seen in years who used to add a ch to all sorts of things and so I think of him when I think of The Swing.

Field of Dreams

Long ago when I was about 13 or 14 years ago I read a book titled, "Shoeless Joe Jackson". It was about an old-time baseball player and a farmer...The ballplayer was long dead, but the farmer kept hearing his voice called to him...."If you build it, he will come."

Well, most of you are familiar with the film starring Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones which brought those characters whom I had read about years earlier to life for millions of people who may not have read about them.

Its a heartwarming and touching tale of hope, inner pain, loss, dreams, redemption. That last is perhaps the best...the chance the fix a past make something say "I'm sorry".

Pictured above is the browning stalks of corn which represented another part of my field of dreams. At one point in August after a terrible rain, hail and windstorm I was pretty sure there would be no corn field as it was almost all laying down flat. Turns out that it straightened itself up even though I interfered and tried straightening it myself with little effect.

But now it awaits the eventual fate af all things green. The bible says, "there is a time to die" and this is it. My son would like to try tilling the stalks into the ground, but I'm pretty sure that's not going to work for a tiller like ours, so I'll likely soon be pulling them up and burning them back into the soil with the other refuse I gathered over the summer, dead branches and brush and some leaves. Till all that and the bags of last years leaves which have been cooking all season back into the ground and maybe next year we'll get to eat sweet corn again...or potatos, or mangoes...or some other yummy thing from a lush green plant....Another field of dreams.

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

Just wait till next year...

Can you hear that sad refrain echoing through the now cold recesses of Wrigley Field? The ghosts of Cubs past awaiting that longed for day when the World Series Banner is raised above their beloved home...

Well..that's kind of how I feel as I look out upon the dying remains of what was this past spring such a promising looking garden. Except there's no ghosts and not nearly so long a drought as the Cubs have endured.

So here is the end of more poor, deluded hope of a great tomato harvest...The banner hoisted above my garden dreams...Just wait till next year....Lord willing of course that I am still here come spring.