Since Joe works in Indiana we thought that he'd be able to start sleeping an extra hour in the morning. In past years, Indiana has kept their clocks the same while here in Michigan we set them forward one hour. But we found out that this year Indiana is also moving their clocks, so there goes the "extra" hour. Joe gets up at 3 a.m. each day for work. We are used to early hours, though.

While growing up on a farm in Indiana we used to always get up at 4 a.m. to milk the cows. We would milk the cows by hand. Dad liked to have the cows milked at the same time each day, morning and evening. When my sisters and I would come home from school, we'd go out to milk and do the other evening chores. Dad would home later in the evening from his work on a construction crew and was always glad when most of the evening chores would already be done.

My husband Joe and I had one cow and then later, two, for the first five or six years after we were married, until we moved here. Joe would like to have a cow now just to have our own milk. With eight children it takes quite a few gallons a week and the fresh milk is healthy for them. In this area, they don't have a can truck to sell milk, only a bulk truck. When we had two cows we sold the extra milk. We were sending two milk cans a day for two cows which was good.

Ever since we've been married Joe has either borrowed a manure spreader or just spread our own manure with a pitchfork. It takes a lot longer that way. So I decided to surprise Joe by getting him a manure spreader of his own. On Saturday, Jacob and Emma went after it. When they came driving in with that new manure spreader it sure surprised Joe!

A neighbor helped Joe on Saturday in clearing away most of the old corn crib that we're tearing down. But Joe still took time to haul a load of manure out to the field to try out the new spreader. We laughed when one of the girls said that on Sunday morning: "Dad, if you wouldn't have used the manure spreader yet, we could have taken it to church!" I imagine we would have gotten some odd looks to come driving in at church on a manure spreader. Ha!

We are working on getting our last permits for the new house. It looks like we'll be able to get started before too long.

Spring has already arrived and hopefully we'll have nice weather to stay soon. It will be a busy summer. Seems like I finally am settled from the move from Indiana, but I will gladly move again to the new house. I am so limited in storage space so I'm looking forward to having more space. This house seemed big when we moved here but with two more children it seems to be getting crowded. I won' know how to act with a new house. We've always lived in older farm houses. The house we are living in now is more than 150 years old, so it is time for a change.

My daughter Elizabeth wants to thank all the readers that have sent her cookie recipes. Also for the kind words of encouragement. A special thanks to Annie of Dresden, Ohio who copied three recipes by hand. She is 78 years old and her hands and body are crippled by arthritis. She is a wheelchair and still does her own work. May God blessed each of you richly for your kindness.

A reader in Ulysses, Kansas requested a good, easy casserole. Try this hearty recipe:

SIX LAYER CASSEROLE

2 cups raw hamburger

2 cups sliced raw potatoes

2 cups chopped celery

1/2 cup diced onions

2 teaspoons salt or less

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup diced green pepper

2 cups canned tomatoes

thin slices onions, optional

Grease a casserole dish. Sprinkle each layer with salt and pepper before adding the next layer. Place potatoes in the bottom of the casserole

Add the layer of celery. Add the layer of hamburger Add the layer of onions. Add the green pepper. Pour the tomatoes over the mixture. Bake for two hours at 350º.

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