We had a steady rain earlier this morning. It amounted to almost two-tenths of an inch. Every little bit helps the grass, crops and gardens. Our grass and hay fields are looking a lot greener now. The gardens are looking better and the rain put off needing to water the garden today. The rainwater seems to boost the garden a lot more than when we water with a sprinkler. The first thing Joseph said when he woke up and heard it raining was, "Oh I am glad we don’t have to water the garden!" 

We have only one water sprinkler so they have to move it from one end of the yard to the other to get both gardens. They usually set a timer for a certain time and then move it on to the next area. Joseph is excited as he will be 10 tomorrow. He is more excited about this birthday because he’ll now get to sit with the big boys in church. In our community when they reach 10 years children don’t have to sit with their parents anymore during church services.  

Yesterday we had dinner at Emma and Jacob’s in honor of Emma’s 39th birthday which was on the 19th. Mother’s was the 18th and she would be 76 years now. Those birthdays of loved ones gone on before us are still always thought of.

May she rest in peace and bless her for the wonderful mother and friend that she was. 

Saturday we butchered the 12 chickens we raised for fresh eating. I want to cut them up today and get them in the freezer. I will leave a few whole so we can do whole chickens on the grill one day. That along with baked potatoes on the grill make for an easy meal. 

Saturday we did something different on the grill. We made a hobo supper. I’ll share the recipe at the end of this column. We use vegetables out of our own garden. It is an easy supper as Joe grills fish to go with it. He also grilled one of the chickens that we had butchered earlier in the day. I think that was a big mistake because after butchering chickens that day the children say they can’t eat any right away. I remember my mother always going out to the chicken coop and chopping a few heads off and we would have them for the next meal. Back then it never bothered me until I started doing the work. Although I don’t do the actual butchering myself, I decided to be braver than the children and taste a piece of the fresh chicken breast. I was managing okay until daughter Elizabeth teased me and asked if there was a feather on my chicken. That did it for me so I can’t blame the children if they need a few weeks to forget the butchering part. They did enjoy the hobo supper and the grilled fish. 

I had enough cucumbers that I could make 3 gallons of freezer pickles. Also 9 quarts of sweet and sour garlic dill pickles. We are now enjoying tomatoes, green beans, hot and green peppers, and red potatoes out of our garden. We lost the first few patches of sweet corn. We have another one coming along that we hope will make it. The others didn’t survive the drought.

I want to express my sympathy to the family of Patricia Walmers. She has been a long time reader of this column and great friend to the family. Her death was a few weeks ago at age 86. Thanks to her son Andy for letting us know. The children have many books that she gave to them for their birthdays. We will miss the visits that we have had from her the last 10 years. Our children knew her as Grandma Pat.