April 2021

Good morning to our readers.

Spring has arrived, but winter is threatening to have a finger in it in a couple of days. Rain, snow and frost are in the forecast. I did not cover my strawberries over winter and they are nicely blooming. I want to be sure to take old quilts out to cover them. I’m glad it isn’t a larger patch, just a small one for our own use. Hopefully it doesn’t do very much damage to trees and flowers.

The redbuds are still nice, the crabapple trees are just starting to open. The darker crabapples are my favorite blooming tree. I won’t plant any at our current home, as we don’t intend to retire here, but sometime I want to. I’m watching for the first lilacs to open, they are getting close. I do so enjoy God’s handiwork in His flowers.

Once again, we’re having a busy week at the cheese plant, pushing to get orders filled. It’s a great problem to have, we are glad for every order that we get. Sometimes it would be nice to have them spaced a little more, but we manage, with everyone pitching in, the part time workers adding extra days, etc. There are interviews scheduled this week for production, cutting/packaging, part time milk hauling and retail. Hopefully we can find the right people to fill the needed positions. Our retail person left rather suddenly, Brooke & I will need to fill in until we find and train a replacement. The production guys are also getting extra hours in, to keep up. Chad recently started, which was a boost to the rest. Jay Alan is rather pushed, with no relief milk truck driver. Till he brings in the milk 5-6 days a week, hauls whey from the plant to farms, there isn’t much time left for the other odds and ends he used to do. Rufus mowed the yard this week, it was past time, he used the lawn sweeper to clean it up. Maybe he can stay ahead of it till we find someone else to help out with it.

The picture of the quilt is the one I finished this winter for Junior. We were pleased with how it turned out. I also pieced another top for son Galen, it will wait to be quilted till next winter. It was the first time I did strip piecing, I was so amazed at how much faster it went. I certainly will do it some more when the pattern allows. I would like to make quilts for the grandchildren, and if I can do that, it doesn’t look quite so daunting. I had better get started, as many as there will be to make.

Our 24th grandchild arrived on March 18th, Junior’s birthday. Samuel was born to Galen and Rachel. His siblings are Rebecca -6, Emma-4 and Ivan- 2. The girls were so happy to have a new baby, Ivan was less enthused. Its okay if Mom has him, but it’s his Daddy, and he doesn’t like sharing him, as well. Some day they will be good friends.

On Saturday the 10th, the town of Milton had lots of excitement. The locker burned, the fire call went out about 6:35 am. We heard the truck siren, just briefly, thought it may have been an ambulance. Rufus looked out the front door, didn’t see anything. Crystal called a little later, asked if we know what is burning? Here it was 2 blocks away, out the back! Very black smoke, it was raining, so the smoke didn’t go up as high. There was rubber on the roof of the old building, hence the black smoke. The new owner was having it remodeled, they built above and in front of the existing building, the outside was completed, not inside, and they hadn’t started remodeling on the old part yet. It started in the old part, (we didn’t hear what started it) but it is destroyed. The walls are still standing in the front, the new part. (they were processing 7-9 head a week) There were 5 fire companies at the scene and 70 – 80 men.  It was early Saturday morning, people were still at home to come help, not away on the job. It took them several hours to get it knocked down. It was still smoking Monday morning. Junior is the Milton fire chief, he was so tired till they were finished, keeping everyone at the right place at the right time, managing it. He said he was afraid he started off wrong, but later another fire chief told him he was impressed, so guess he didn’t do too bad after all. There was an old brick store building right next to it, not quite joining, that people are living in, it was okay. Then several days later they got a call for there, for a chimney fire. Thankfully it didn’t mean much. They can’t get much closer to the fire station than these were, right on main street on the same block.

Rufus’ Dad hasn’t been well the last 2 weeks, he had the flu, he said, but his memory isn’t working right. He went to a funeral, no one was there, he was way too early. He couldn’t remember how to write a check to pay a bill. Things like that, his daughter took him to the Dr, he tested positive for Covid and his potassium is low. He got medication for that, will that take care of his memory or is it something else? Rufus’ brother James said he shall come and stay with them for a bit, Rufus plans to drive to PA next week and bring him to Iowa. That way he is with someone, they can observe, make sure he is taking his medicines, eating well, etc. He just had his 84th birthday.

My Dad had his 80th this month. We four sisters plan to take him and Mom to Pella the last week of April to see the tulips, the clock, tour the windmill, the miniature village, the old-time village. We were there with Mom several years ago, now Dad would like to see it, too. He would have liked to go to the Tulip Festival, but we were reluctant to take them when there are so many people. He is on his electric scooter, we’ll take a wheelchair for Mom as there will be too much walking for her. Fighting the crowds with that, doesn’t sound like a picnic to us. I hope I’m not the one who could use a wheelchair. I do mind it in my back standing too long or walking too long, but I think we can pace it, and there are benches to sit on here and there. I think it is arthritis, but haven’t had it checked, maybe I should. I do know I can’t do what I did 5 years ago. We don’t now how long we can do things like this with our parents, we need to redeem the time while we can.

Austin and Rebecca went to preschool last month, they will both be in first grade at the same school. There are 2 girls and 5 boys. The last day of school for Jeremy and Jessica is April 30th, with the school picnic on May 1st. It’s earlier than some years, they didn’t have many (if any) snow days. Jeremy is able to help his dad quite a bit, he taught him how to use the skid loader to haul rock, he has the knack for it. Even when he was little, he could look at a bolt/nut, walk over and get the correct wrench before he knew numbers. Reading is not his strong point, but he has it elsewhere. We all have our talents, some more than others and some more obvious, but each has something.

Happy spring to all.                                                                                    Jane Musser




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