MONUMENT—Our cooks Terry Cade and Carrie Jewell made us some Asian sweet and sour chicken on top of steamed rice, some yummy potstickers, and we also had brownies for our dessert. I ate everything all up. Yes, all of it. We thank our cooks so very much!

Our volunteers were Jan Ensign and Bob Cockrell counting the money. Kristi Guimont filled out the paperwork. Sylvia Cockrell handed out the meals at the door. We appreciate everyone and the time they put in to help our community. It is really, really nice not to have to cook one meal during the week. I know it does not sound like much, but it makes such a difference, it really does. It is a relief and a blessing.

I saw some people talking about starting to do some prep work around their gardens on a social media platform, and well, you know, that got me thinking, I better start thinking about it too! Ha. I know we are only in January, but hey, planning things out can take a lot of time. I wish I was a neater gardener. I get too excited and don’t plan things out in an orderly manner. I am sure it drives my poor hubby crazy.

All the snow has melted, and the sun has been shining for a few days. But we can’t count on that, for the weather here in Eastern Oregon can be quite deceiving. You never know when that cold weather or snow will be completely done. I am still going to pray for more snow, though — we sure need it.

I’ve got lots of plans spinning in my head. I need to carefully share my ideas. I will have to slowly share those ideas with my hubby so I don’t overwhelm him all at once! Ha.

I might start up on some canning again in the next few weeks. My fingers are mostly healed up. They are tender, but I need to get some things done, and I am champing at the bit. I don’t know how it happened, but I found a bunch of bags of frozen strawberries, raspberries and grapes. So, it got me debating whether I should make jam, or fruit leather? Should I mix up all the fruit together? I’ll let you know what I decide to do.

I sold some of my baby goats and let Lily and her little baby Squirt out. He is so cute. He started hopping and jumping around. He is getting bigger and has a nice round tummy. I can’t make up my mind if I should keep him or sell him. I can’t keep every goat that I think is cute!

I was trying to pet little Squirt the other day, and Davey kept coming around, trying to get in between, and then jumped on me. I think he was getting jealous and did not want me to pet Squirt. Davey is now really healthy, big and, hmm, maybe a little fat?

Isaiah 44:6 “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of Hosts, I AM the first, and I AM the last, and beside me there is no other God.”

PRAIRIE CITY—Shalom! I’ve finally got a good response to the question “How are you?” You know, the question from everyone you meet, no matter in what circumstance. They really don’t expect you to answer with a litany of your current physical ailments or condition of your children or what kind of mood you are in today. It’s just the current American cultural greeting to show that I really was aware of your presence. But how to respond in a truthful manner is the question. The standard response of “I’m fine” gets you off the hook, even if it isn’t the truth. Then you can get on with the business at hand because you have taken care of the question and response: I’m fine; you’re fine; everybody’s fine. But sometimes we’re not. Especially the last 12 months. So I’ve been trying to find a response that does away with the pretense and gets to a good place. So I give you “shalom.” It means peace, tranquility, safety, well-being, health, contentment, success, comfort, wholeness and integrity. What a lot of goodness in one little word! Try it out and see what happens.

Laura B. and Tom, with the help of Angie and Kim, got our meal together this week. We had yummy chili with cornbread, carrot and celery sticks and pumpkin custard. It was all yummy, in fact! Carlos took care of the home deliveries while Carla, Ginger and Pam got the bags organized and delivered to the front door for the pick-up people. Remember to call by 9 a.m. if you want a meal on Wednesday. Tuesday would be even better! The phone has an answering machine feature so you can leave a message anytime, and the cooks will take care of it.

We made a good deeds run to Burns and got to wondering why we don’t see any “reprod” in the Canyon Creek fire area. After all, it has been a long time! Just wondering.

My little choir didn’t get to do our Christmas special due to some emergency surgery for one of the members. We didn’t get to do last year’s Easter song until July or August, so not doing the Christmas one during Christmas is not anything new! So we are planning on a presentation date in February, if no one else has any problems! Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men. Do I dare hope that we could do an Easter presentation during the Easter season this year?

From “Life’s Little Handbook of Wisdom”: Our five senses are incomplete without the sixth — a sense of humor. Right on!

Psalms 126:1-3 “When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion… our mouths were filled with laughter… The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”

JOHN DAY—Another beautiful day. I’m so looking forward to a warm spring. How about you?

The angels are working again at the Elks Club brunch on every other Sunday, starting with this Sunday. Call and let them know you would like brunch.

Our senior center lunch for Thursday, Jan. 21, will be lasagna, green salad, garlic toast and coconut cream pie bars. Yum!

On Jan. 25, we’ll have meatloaf, scalloped potatoes, rhubarb-berry crumble.

On Jan. 28, we’ll have club sandwiches, cheesy potatoes, fruit Jell-O and butterscotch blondies.

Also, if you are over 65, the health department is giving the flu shot.

Psalm 9:1 “I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.”

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