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Haul The Water, Haul The Wood
Ole's Promise
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On The Back Step
Country Style - Living the Farm Life
Love of the Land
Norwegian Cookbook - Vaer saa god
Our Words are Blossoms
Advent Devotional
Country Style - Living the Farm Life



This book is a collection of Country Style columns which were written for a County weekly newspaper in the late 1960's.  It light- heartedly records the daily events of farm life then. It shows how the farm animals entertained us with their antics and burdened us with concern for their welfare.  These animals added a warm feeling to farm life, and put the heart in farming.   The columns reflect the seasons on the farm, especially planting and harvest. 

          Now farming has changed.  During the last fifty years, there has been an exodus of the milk cows, pigs and chickens from the majority of farmsteads.  This has left today's farms with only complicated giant machinery. 

          May this book recall for you the days of milk cows, pigs, chickens and lambs, and leave you once again with the warm feeling of those days.  Each column ends with a brief comment on God's importance in our lives.

           This book would be of interest to anyone who has lived on a farm or is interested in the rural lifestyle.


    Cover Drawing and Illustrations by Doris Stensland




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November 24, 1966


          Welcome to the Country! It isn't a fancy place. That's why we like it.  It's a place where life doesn't speed by so frantically. Where things are matter-of-fact. It is an interesting place where common everyday things happen. Like a newborn calf trying out its legs and learning to drink from a pail. Simple things. Complicated things. 

          Farming is a strange mixture of miracles and sweat-of-the-brow; where the sun and the rain and God's blessings are necessary. I hope the flavor of the country will tease you and maybe get you to love it. 

          Corn-picking season is almost over. It is a rewarding time, and a dangerous time. As the corn pickers are parked for another year, the wives and mothers breathe easier again. 

          Corn-picking time has its special noises. When the tractor motor roars into a noisier gear and I hear the banging of the steel elevator I know another wagon of corn is being unloaded. I like to watch the golden ears being carried up the elevator and catapulted into the crib. The clickity-clack of the elevator reminds me of the store's cash register as the receipts are placed in the till. Albeit, the farmer's version is larger and noisier. 

          I'm glad I don't raise chickens. Partly because of the work that goes with it, but mostly because this gives me an excuse to go down the road and buy eggs from my neighbor. Usually this includes a cup of coffee and a visit. Those of you who buy eggs in the store may get green stamps with your eggs, but I am given the bonus of having my spirits lifted, and my neighbor has a special way of knowing how to give encouragement. 


It seems like Thanksgiving has to give us a nudge before we stop to count our blessings. It reminds me of when the children were small and I was trying to teach them to say "Thank you." How often I had to prompt them with the familiar, "now what do you say?" Why is it so hard to get the "thank-you's" out?  


Have you counted your blessings lately?  Er..."now what do you say?"   


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November 27, 1969



          The Pilgrims really started something when they served turkey for the first Thanksgiving dinner. Now it just doesn't seem like Thanksgiving without it. 

          What if they had served pheasant or rabbit? 

          What do you do when Tom Turkey becomes the family pet? Turkeys don't have a lovable look and scare most people with their deep-throated "gobble - gobble - gobbles". It's hard to imagine a big turkey tagging you around...because he is friendly!!  

          But there have been families who have become so attached to one that they had roast beef for Thanks-giving. They just couldn't bear to think of taking bites from familiar turkey wings and legs. 


                   The Secret  

The curious cow remarked one  

day while chewing on a cud of hay... 

     "People are a funny brand - our  

farmer I can't understand. 

His corn is wet, the mortgage's  

due, but I just never see him blue. 

Even though some things go  

wrong, still he whistles out a song." 


Then spoke up the wise old cat 

"That man is smart; I'll tip my  


I get around...and I have found 

that people either SMILE or  


Some tarnish life with discontent, 

while other people's days are  


in counting all the blessings sent. 

Happiness is quite an art. 

     - The secret is a grateful heart." 


         THERE IS a Thanksgiving game that is guaranteed to be quite a revelation of the sometimes little and funny things that make our lives fuller and happier.  Count your personal blessings, using the letters of the alphabet as a guide. Let your answers come brainstorming (whatever comes to mind) for example: "A" - jars of Applesauce in the basement, Anti-freeze on the car, Aunt Rachel's fruit salad recipe, etc. "B" - babies (maybe there's a special one), snow boots, books, etc., etc...  

          It's fun and it'll give you a thankful heart.  


          THE MORE you give thanks, the happier you are! Gratitude is a good feeling. But you get the greatest happiness when you say "Much obliged!" to God...  

          "What shall I render to the Lord for all his bounty to me?"  

                                 Ps. 116:12  


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