Saturday, October 25, 2008

Miscellaneous Stuff

Hello Everyone!
I'm back from the short trip that I mentioned last time, and now, having taken an exactly two-week break, I am ready to get back to blogging. I don't have photos from our family's trip to Canada this time, but I hope to do my next post on that. First, though, I have some major sorting to do, deciding which photos you get to see and which you don't. :-) So please be patient! What I do have today is quite a few miscellaneous subjects. The only way to find out if they are interesting is to keep going!

Newswanger Pear-Butter Cooking

It is a tradition in my Mom's family to get together every
fall to cook pear-butter. Altogether we cook four batches
in these huge copper kettles; there has to be enough for
all thirteen families! All day long the sauce has to be stirred
nonstop. That could get tiresome but usually doesn't
because there are so many people to take turns.

They put far too much sugar in for my liking. I watched
in increasing horror as my uncles dumped in bag after bag!
They finally stopped after adding 30 pounds!

I have some cousins that, like me, enjoy cameras. Only, they
prefer to look at the pictures rather than take them. :-)

Apparently someone thought that my cousin had too much
tint on her windows!

My grandfather giving 6% of his grandchildren a ride. Yes!
there are almost 100 - 98 to be exact!

Tractors run in my cousins' blood. All my uncles are, or have
been, farmers.

We almost always make mountain pies for lunch - it is tradition.
(This day involves a lot of tradition, and so expect to hear the
word some more.)

Why, Candace dear, your sandwich is smoking. I declare, I
believe you have burnt it!
Immediately after lunch we head down to the farm for yet another
tradition: shooting clay-birds.
Classic Newswanger transportation.

Throw them in the air.....

.....and blast them out of the sky.

Dad permitted Conrad to use his shotgun this year. Believe it or not,
my dad used to be a hunter (his name even means "mighty hunter")!

We girls (yes, there is a bunch of us:) look on and snap photos...

...but that isn't all we do - not by a long shot!

A brother entrusting his sister with his gun.

*sheepishly* Yes, even me.

You should have seen me nearly keel over when I fired. Judging
from the last time I fired a shotgun, I wasn't expecting it to kick
so hard. Later Conrad admitted what he had not told me at the time:
by the time I had come to take my turn, only the "Nitro Magnum"
shells were left!

Tunneling in the Back Yard

Recently our family watched The Great Escape, the story of how 70
American POWs dug there way out of a German prison camp during
WWII - an unbelievable story! That was enough to inspire my siblings.

Let's get started!

The digging is going great until...

...Inspector Faith shows up. ;-)

This picture so reminds me of myself. I used to be the one standing
there heading all the adventurous projects, giving the orders, and
making everybody else do all the work. :-)

Well, I have to hand it to her: she isn't afraid to get dirty.
Me? - I always kept my clothes spotless!

If you really want to appreciate good, old H2O, all you have to
do is start working hard.

"Tunnel King"

I remembered that, far back in our family's earliest digital archives,
we have these photos of Candace, Conrad, and I laboring at a similar
project. I still recall the day back in 2001 when I stubbed my toe on a
bit of stump sticking out of the yard. It must have hurt fairly bad -
bad enough to make me determined to get vengeance!

That was one sweet victory!


Recently discovering that rats had infested our barn, we started
a fierce campaign to annihilate them! We used poison, we
boarded up their holes, we took away there food supply (our
chicken feed), and certain dedicated individuals even lay in
wait for them with a BB gun! It was amazing how big and
well-fed they were. Each fresh casualty in the ranks of the
enemy was greeted with exultation by we humans!

You of all people, Faith?! And you actually look as if you
are enjoying it. Obviously your normal squeamishness is all faked.

It's the type of thing people do just so that they can say they
did it. ;-)

Sibling's Barn Party

Before we get into the pictures, I think this topic needs a bit
of an explanation. :-) One evening my younger brothers and sisters
decided to have a barn party. They have quite the imaginations, and
I found some of the photos so humorous that I thought maybe you
too would find them so. First, here are some of the guests:

I would say that Christian did a good job on his costume; it is
obvious that he is supposed to be a cowboy.
With a hat like that, sunburn should never be an issue.

My great sister Candace who took all these photos since I was
away from home. (Actually, today is her 15th birthday.
Happy Birthday Candace!)
Obviously dancing was one of the evening's events. :-)

Don't worry; it's not alcoholic! My guess would be that
it is only water with a drop or two of food coloring.

A toast.

Doesn't she look hilarious standing on that organ bench
to give a speech!

They call themselves the "Alamo Band" (don't ask me why).
They play and sing at nothing lower than forte. When they are banging
away out in the barn, it is so loud that Candace fears that the
neighbors will think we are playing rock music. :-)

It's not a bad idea to cover your ears!

More of the "appreciative" audience.

It looks as though the guests have outstayed their welcome.

The picture above this reminded me so much of Partygoers by
Norman Rockwell (one of my favorite artists, by the way!) that
I couldn't resist showing the parallels.

Well, it isn't midnight, but it is time to finish this post.
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Father and Daughter Outing to Longwood Gardens

Earlier this year the fathers of our church took all their sons on a day-trip to Gettysburg. We girls had our turn recently (not sure what happened to "ladies before gentlemen") with an outing to Longwood Gardens! These trips have been a lot of fun, leading us to hope that they will become a tradition. (The dads haven't made any promises yet.)
" The Eagle has landed" at our house, the first
stop, where... brothers are emphatically informed that "there will be no boys on this bus!"

An excited group of girls fills up the bus.

Stowing necessities (if you read my post on the Church Picnic you
will know that necessities refers to plates, napkins, etc)

Arrival necessitates unpacking.

Where are your "pockets full of posies," girls?

The tallest plants we saw all day.

Thanks goes to Hannah for organizing this delicious lunch so that we wouldn't have to be envious of what was in everybody's personal lunches.

There were more photographers around than myself - some
with better ideas. I copied this idea, but the result was
blurry and therefore not suitable for posting:).

Actually a photo of people eating in which no one was caught in
an undignified moment, such as putting food in their mouth or chewing!

What is it about the men standing to eat? Just doesn't make sense... whoops! I forgot: I stood to eat that meal too.

He must not want to take leftover brownies home.

He isn't easily discouraged, is he?

"Hannah, surely you want them. After all, we brought them especially for you since you requested a chocolate dessert."
Hannah wracks her brain for a polite refusal.

Food on the bus?!! You should have seen the sign in the bus:
"If you must eat on the bus, don't leave crumbs, clean up
after yourself, etc..."