They came, they cooked and we were pigs

Joel arrived with our Chinese friends around 9:30 this morning.


He brought four men and two women – Thomas, Charlie, Eric, Lee, Lily and Joyce. Joyce and Thomas had come with others in September and cooked. The group quickly made themselves at home. Thomas seemed very happy to see the woks that we had purchased.


They sliced,


they diced,


and they even cut stuff up.

Nikki and Josh came over with the boys. Hudson was in a very friendly mood and played with Lily.


But Denton, on the other hand, well that was a different story.



At least he didn’t throw a fit.


Robert and Karen came, and shortly after their arrival Lily conducted a school on using chopsticks.


Soon the food was brought to the table.

And it was a lot! And it was GOOD!

And just so you’ll know, Joel was only posing with those chopsticks.

Lowes, Wal Mart and a mouth full of dirt


Hudson and Denton came this morning and we decided to go to Kincaid Lake and walk part of the trail. (The things you’ll do to take up time.) On our way we had to make a few stops. Lowes was one of them, and just about the time we were about to check out, they spied the Christmas stuff. Of course we had to make the rounds. The thing they liked best was an animated Frosty the Snowman.

However, when he waved good-bye saying, “Don’t you cry,”….they did. Then we were off to Wal Mart. Why is it that there is one of those stores on the way to everywhere? And why is it that you can’t go there without a visit to


the family bathroom? But, thank heavens for little toilets.

Anyhow, we finally made it to the trail.



We found a whole town ant village.

Kinda scary huh?


We checked out a hollow log.


We even had a picnic.


We walked as far as this bridge which was about half a mile in, and then headed back.


On the way back, for no particular reason, Hudson put a hand full of sand in his mouth. Sometimes I wonder about that child.

Ready to wok


On Sunday six of the Chinese spending time at ERTC will be at our house to cook. They’re not cooking for us, you understand, even though we’ll get to share the meal with them. They’re cooking because they miss their OWN food. Only one of them speaks English and that’s alright. That’s the way it was with the group that came in September. This time Lily will be doing the interpreting.

This picture of her was taken when the whole group came in October.

We thought that this time we would be a little better prepared, so we bought

a couple of Professional non-stick woks and some non-stick friendly utensils.

In addition, we bought a few knives. We’ve needed new knives for a long time and this gave us a good excuse because the Chinese do a lot of tedious prep work.

We look forward to sharing our home with them, and hope that what God has blessed us with, will be a blessing to them as well.

Stand down, Clem

Well, the weather man was right. It has really cooled off and it is a beautiful day.

The boys were here this morning and after the dew dried we went out back and built a fire. Part of the purpose was to get them to help pick up limbs, but that didn’t last too long.


Matilda came too but she was really more interested in taking sticks out of the fire. When she realized that we weren’t going to let her play with the sticks, she got bored and left.

Well, on to matters of growing concern.

The few cabbage plants that we put out are coming along quite nicely.


We have some pretty good looking turnips.

And, the string beans have been producing well. Next week, when our Thanksgiving guests show up, maybe we can have some home grown vegetables.

I’m sure that will make Clem happy.

Just messing around

We’re having scattered showers today, and tonight it’s supposed to cool off,

which for me is something to crow about. If it’s going to be fall, I like it to feel like fall, but in Louisiana you can’t really count on that happening. However, I like to dream the impossible dream.

I have a large, portable cage that I have considered moving closer to the house to put Fluffy and Sassafras in during the day. It would provide a lot more room for them to stretch their legs. So, today, I made it a reality.

Sassafras wasn’t sure what to think, since she has always been inside.

The holidays are approaching and company will be coming, so I thought that I would start clearing leaves from the front yard.

I blew them into the shape of the east coast of the United States. It’s always good to work on keeping your mind sharp, although leaf sculpture is really not my medium.

Horizontal thinking


We seem to place a lot of importance on ‘things’.

Things that give us pleasure.

Things that provide entertainment.

Things that make life easier.

Things to impress others.

But the conclusion that I have come to concerning ‘things’ is this:

The most valuable things are things that don’t have to be dusted.

Sometimes this old farm feels like a long lost friend…

Wasn’t it John Denver who sang, “Hey it’s good to be back home again”? We had a wonderful time in the big, big mountains, but it is good to be back home.

Donna left yesterday and is back on her farm in New York. She and Georgie seemed to have had a good visit. Although Donna did a great job with the animals, I think that they were glad to see me.

I opened up the hole in the fence and let the chickens wander into the goat yard to eat grass. They seemed to enjoy that.

This morning things were back to normal. Matilda and the rabbits had breakfast. Then the boys came over.

We did a little coloring,

and picked some broccoli for lunch.

While we were outside, we even started building a rock castle, but that only lasted until they spotted the hose.

After lunch we spent the remainder of our time together in the play room. I hate to admit it, but there are times when I’m REAL thankful for television.


Some are still there waving

To those already gone

That sank beneath the water

Or that rest among the stones

It’s the wind that will determine when their journey ends

And where they will return to earth to help new life begin

Write on!

After leaving the Visitor’s Center we visited the Sugarlands Valley Trail. It is a flat circular trail that has a paved walk.

Years ago there was a farm here, but a couple of chimneys

and a stone wall are all that remain.

You don’t have to stay on the paved walk. You can take a right

and enjoy the creek that borders the old farm site.

Along the path there are benches where you can stop and put your feet up.

Hudson got a leaf that reminded him of something to write with,

and he left pretend graffiti all along

the last half of the trail.