Archive for July, 2021

Sweet Corn Day

One of my favorite fresh vegetables from the garden is sweet corn. But then maybe tomatoes, cucumbers, beans. limas, spring onions, lettuce all rival for top of the list!!! It is just hard to beat homegrown veggies that you harvest and eat the same day. They are all my favorites. Normally I chose my meat and plan my meal around it. But in the summer I plan my meal around my vegetables, often having multiple vegetables the same meal.

Yesterday was sweet corn day. Jill, Karla and Ryan came and in a little over three hours we harvested, shucked, silked, washed, blanched and froze 5 pints and 34 quarts of Honey Select sweet corn and cleaned up the mess! My favorite for years has been the Incredible variety but I was getting a little disappointed in how it was losing some of its sweetness in the freezer and decided to try something different this year. So far I am very impressed. The ears were large and the flavor excellent. Time will tell how it freezes. That is the real test of quality.

Honey Select Sweet Corn

The last several years we started having deer and coon problems. About two weeks ago, the deer snacked on my tomatoes stripping a significate amount of the leaves off several plants. War was declared! Gene came to my aid and erected a temporary electric fence; high enough to repel deer and low enough to zap the coons. In case you don’t know both deer and coons love sweet corn and can wreck havoc in one night, usually the night before you plan to harvest. I have a gorgeous garden this year and did not want to share with cute eyes and trophy horns!

Beautiful large ears of corn
Hopefully a deer and coon proof fence.
Gene and Karla pulling the corn. We always pick early in the morning.
Ryan carrying the full buckets to the husking table.
The husking table is set up under a shade tree to minimize the hot sun on the corn. We ended up with 185 ears of corn (10 we ate for lunch)
Shucking, silking and trimming off wormy spots.
Washing and removing the remaining silk.
I blanched the corn in boiling water for two minutes and then put into a sink of tap water to cool a few minutes before moving to an ice-cold bath to finish cooling. Blanching is important as it stops the enzyme action which causes loss of flavor, color and texture.
We used a corn cutter. I have it set to make a nice kernel and cream mix.
We cut some off with a knife as Jill wanted whole corn for soups.

Mother always said that you run from the garden with your sweet corn; meaning you process as fast as possible for good quality corn in the freezer. The sugar in the corn starts turning to starch as soon as it is picked so it is important to get it in the freezer as quickly as possible. If you pick your corn in the morning for supper, put it in the refrigerator with the husks on until you are ready to cook it. I never pick one day and process the next.

We had a good assembly line going and it was fun work and not so hard on anyone. The yield was 2.5 ears per pint which is really, really good. I had done the processing of my corn earlier in the week so Jill went home with a good winter supply, maybe 2 winters.

After Ryan finished washing the corn, he went with Grandpa and got to have his first tractor driving experience. I think it was a little intimidating! He has his learners but it is a whole lot different climbing into a “big” tractor and shifting gears! I would have gotten a picture if I had known it was taking place.

Blog Post by Ryan-Minecraft Tutorial

About Ryan: Ryan is our fifteen year old grandson and gets his love of computers and computer challenges and programing honestly-it is in his DNA. His dad is one of the IT technicians for the Rockingham County school system and is a sought after speaker at teacher conferences on training educators on all aspects of technology and how to use it in the classroom.

Ryan asked if I would be open to a post on my blog. I am honored to do so. But to my faithful blog followers, I warn you, you may have no idea what he is talking about!!!! I can tell you I did not contribute to that gene pool!!!! This grandma is also clueless but I am proud of his accomplishments. Several years ago, Ryan joined his dad in speaking to the college students at JMU (James Madison University). Right now he is building his own super computer from scratch.

So here goes….enjoy his post!

It was just another typical day for a teen in April, during COVID quarantine. I was wasting my time once again on YouTube when a Minecraft tutorial popped up in my web browser feed. 

Now for those of you who don’t know about Minecraft, it is a sandbox creative game where the player can build, farm, or explore the infinite world with a whole bunch of other mechanics that would take me forever to explain. Now the game is feasible on any device from IOS, Android, Xbox, PlayStation, and most popular, on the computer. Since the game is so flexible among all the devices, this does mean that there are two different variations of the game, Java (computers only) and Bedrock (all devices including computers). 

So this tutorial caught my eye because it was a tutorial on how to make a complex sorting system in Minecraft, unlike most others that I have seen before. But this is when I realized that it was designed for Minecraft Java not Minecraft Bedrock. The differences in them overall is minor, but when it comes to creating redstone contraptions like sorters, they are completely different. 

I decided to ignore this issue and went ahead and built it to see how difficult it would be to make the sorter work in Minecraft Bedrock. Now this might sound like an easy task but even with my slight experience with redstone and my long history playing the game, it took a solid week of trouble shooting to finally get it to work.

At this point, I felt pretty good about myself so I hopped back onto YouTube and wrote a comment on that video saying,”I’ve gotten it to work on Minecraft Bedrock!” Little did I know that this would be the start of my YouTube channel.

Within days of posting that comment, the creator replied asking if I had made a video on my rendition. Now this YouTube creator had over 20,000 subscribers, so if HE wanted to see my build, then I had to make a tutorial for my version of his contraption. So on April 29, 2020, I published my first YouTube video. I had no expectations, as this was supposed to be a one and done thing, but within the first month after publishing the video, I had had 322 views and had gained 24 subscribers.

It was at this point that I realized just how much I enjoyed making tutorials and since people obviously liked it, I started working on another video. 

Since then, I have published 30 videos and have gained over 45,000 views and over 550 subscribers as well. While this started as a one-off thing, it has now turned into my new favorite hobby and passion. I love creating, filming, and editing Minecraft Bedrock content for my viewers on YouTube. If you want to check me out, just search, Rocket Builder in YouTube or click this link, www.youtube.com/rocketbuilder.

Ryan Hostetter

A Week Later

I was given this beautiful rose at the end of the Memorial Service. Today, one week later, it has hung its head.

Last week at this very moment we were laying mother to rest in a cemetery with friends and family gathered around. It was a sobering moment; quiet, respectful, sad, reflective and yet full of hope that we would see her again one day. Her plot is on a slight hill facing east with the Massanutten Mountain range in the background. My brother Ed spoke about mother’s beautiful garden and how a seed is planted to be resurrected. The grand and greatgrandchildren gathered together and sang, “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine”.

The memorial service followed; songs of worship flowed from our hearts; “A Wonderful Savior is Jesus My Lord, Sweet Peace, the Gift of God’s Love and In the Sweet By and By”. There were loving tributes and a message based on her favorite verse, Ephesians 3:20, by another brother, Rich.

I have had a lot of thoughts and emotions this week. I wonder what is she doing? What is she experiencing? What is heaven like? I was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. The care for mother took it’s toil but we were so blessed to be able to do it. We did what we wanted to do. One part of me grieves our loss and the other part is so glad and relieved she is free from suffering.

Like the rose at the beginning of the blog, her time had come. She had lived her appointed time and lived it well. I gently lifted the head of the wilted rose and its beauty is still there, lingering on.

My Tribute to Mother (read at the service)

In May, just before mother became bedfast, I convinced her to let me take her for a ride in her wheelchair outside on the driveway. It was a beautiful day; the sun was shining, and the crabapple and cherry trees were in full bloom and the mockingbird was flurrying about. Mother had been resisting the idea of the wheelchair tucked in the corner of the living room, so I called it her chariot.  As we walked, I mentioned to her that Elijah was in a chariot when he went to heaven. She thought a moment and said, “What will you do if I go now?” I said, “I will watch you go and then pick up your coat.” She smiled and said, “That is a good answer.”

I thought what a wonderful way that would be to go.  She didn’t leave me there staring at the sky, but I have thought about it many times.  Mothers’ chariot has now come and gone, and I didn’t get to see her go, so there was no coat to pick up, but her legacy lingers on.

Mother specifically asked that we not talk about all the things that she has done in life, so I want to talk a little about her character; the things she has left us that are far more important than earthly treasures or things she accomplished.  Proverbs 31 talks about a virtuous woman; her characteristics and what she does. But tucked in verse 25 at the end of the chapter it says, “Strength and dignity (or honor) are her clothing. She will rejoice in time to come.”

Words that describe mother are gracious hostess, serving heart, kind, loyal friend and peaceful. She liked things neat, clean and in order. Mother was a quiet woman, never raising her voice.  She spoke with authority, love and respect. When mother spoke, we listened, and we respected her. We knew mother and daddy were a team and we knew better than to try and pit one against the other.  Mother always respected and stood by daddy and her church, doing her best to walk along side and support whatever it was that was happening.  Mother was not an upfront person and mostly served behind the scenes. For over 20 years, she supported daddy in his ministry as a pastor’s wife at Morning View Mennonite Church, encouraging and praying.  She was a gracious hostess and exceptional cook, and many were blessed to sit around her dining room table. Remember her cinnamon buns, doughnuts, hot homemade bread and rolls, dandelion salad, cookie and candy trays at Christmas, homemade potato chips, ginger snaps, pork cake, buckwheat pancakes, and Graham Cracker Fluff?

She knew who liked what and exactly how much to cook for her tribe of 60 plus. It was amazing how she could make the food for a large group come out exactly right, down to the last lima bean. Daddy did not like leftovers.

 One of her few acts of defiance-it may have been her only, was one Christmas some of the moms were complaining about the luscious homemade cookie and candy tray mother had out for the taking before the evening meal that was spoiling the little children’s appetite.  Mother picked the tray up, marched into the living room and as she announced, “I will put it out if I want to,” she stumbled, and cookie and candies went flying across the room. That made an extremely funny, and memorable memory we have all remembered-as it was so unlike her!

Mother made many quilts and baby quilts that were gifted to each of us children and grandchildren. She made many comforters for Christian Aid Ministries. When the granddaddaughters were young, mother made cute dresses for them at Christmas time. They would all line up and have their picture taken with her.

Mother was a disciplined, faithful follower of Jesus. She knew and loved the Word. Mother truly represented a woman of strength and honor. Many of you have mentioned her kind and gracious spirit.  Like the writer of Proverbs said, “Strength and dignity (honor) are her clothing -or the mantle she leaves behind. Her time has now come to rejoice

A few other links:

Graveside Service

Memorial Service

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