My favorite recipes are the ones that not only taste good but that are also simple and easy. Since we live in the country, I try to keep the basics on hand so I don‘t have to run to the grocery store. This lemon poppy seed bread needs only a few ingredients and is easy to make. The orange juice also gives it a little extra flavor.

Good Morning

Lemon Bread

1 box lemon cake mix

1 small pkg. instant

vanilla pudding

1T poppy seeds

1/2 c salad oil

1 c orange juice

4 eggs

Combine all the dry ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients; mix well. Pour into three 7 1/2 X 3 3/4 X 2 1/4 in. loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until lightly browned.

The Exline Royal Neighbors of America will be holding its annual March community supper night on Monday at 6 p.m. Everyone in the community is invited to come and enjoy a good meal and lots of great visiting with friends and neighbors. The Royal Neighbors will furnish the meat, potatoes, rolls, and table service. Please plan now to come and spend the evening with us.

Don’t forget about the upcoming all you can eat BBQ at the Exline Old Country Store on Friday, March 14, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. This will be for a free will donation and again all proceeds above the cost of ingredients will go for the 2008 4th of July fund. Also on Saturday, March 29, starting at 8 a.m., there will be a bake sale at the store. Again, all proceeds will go for the 4th of July celebration. Anyone in the area who would be interested in helping out by baking a pie or whatever, it would certainly be appreciated. Time is running out and we still need to raise lots of money for the celebration.

This year the fourth annual Exline Hog Show will be doing something different. The Hog Show has joined forces with a team from the “Relay for Life.” They will be doing the Poker Run part of that event in an attempt to make a lot of money for cancer research.

It will be held on Saturday, May 3. The starting point will be at the Exline Old Country Store and Antique Exchange. I will have more information for you as the time draws nearer. But isn’t it great that people can have fun and still raise money for an important project like cancer research?

Also, this year, following the ride, there will be an arm wrestling tournament at the store that will last all afternoon. They have hired “Monster Arm Wrestling” to come and handle the tournament. There are several different weight classes for both men and women. There will be a $10 entry fee and all competition will be on a regulation table under the direction of certified referees. This should be another big day in Exline!

We have more good news about Anthony White. Anthony has been recognized for outstanding academic achievement. He has been named to the dean’s list for the fall 2007 quarter at Iowa State University. Students named to this list must have earned a grade point average of at least 3.50 on a 4.0 scale while carrying a minimum of 12 credit hours of graded course work. Anthony has also been accepted into the Veterinary School of Medicine at Iowa State. He is the son of Bob and Cindee White and the grandson of Bettie Paas and Daunita Ash.

Don had cataract surgery in Ottumwa last Wednesday. He got along great and is already able to see so much better. When we went back for Dr. Hutchison to remove the shield and check the eye on Thursday, we saw Ardyth Weldon in the clinic. She told us she wasn’t getting around too well as she has had recent knee replacement surgery. Ardyth was our youngest son’s kindergarten teacher and she taught him to read. Learning to read was the only reason Dale ever wanted to start school. He wanted to help cook like his brothers and I told him he had to learn to read to understand the recipes. He still really likes to cook and does a large portion of it for their family.

Members of the Exline Royal Neighbors met at the Exline Community Center on Thursday afternoon. The project was to cut material into squares that will be used to make lap robes for the dialysis patients at the Wayne County Hospital. Vicki Dischner had asked the Royal Neighbors to help in this endeavor. She had already enlisted help in making lap robes for the patients at the Cline Dialysis Center in Centerville.

And weren’t you impressed with the 2008 Progress Edition? I really liked the magazine format and there was certainly a lot of interesting reading in it. My very favorite advertisement had to be the one for the Owl Drug Store. Whoever came up with the plan of connecting the dots and letters to make the owl had a fabulous idea! I’ve had the most positive comments about my story of Robert Traxler’s life of any thing I’ve written for a long time. Of course, it helped to have a good story to tell.

The Exline Ramblers 4-H Club under the direction of their leader, Lori Morrow, has undertaken a super community service pro­ject. Several of the girls in the club are making quilt blocks and these blocks will be made into a quilt. The pattern is the Underground Railroad which has an interesting historical background.

It is said that during the days when slaves were making their way north by means of the underground railroad, families who were willing to help would hang a quilt with a particular design on their clothesline. The slaves knew what the design on the quilt stood for and were able to determine what they should do by looking at the quilt.

On Sunday afternoon, the members of the Exline Ramblers presented the quilt to Connie Casteel, who represented the Exline Recreation Committee and her husband, Jim Casteel, who is the mayor of Exline.

The Recreation Committee will sell raffle tickets on the quilt with all proceeds going to help out the 4th of July fund. The quilt is expected to be back from the quilter by the first of April and it will then be on display at the Exline Old Country Store. Tickets may be purchased from then until the 4th of July.

Members of the club who helped sew the quilt but who weren’t in the picture were Bayleigh Johnson, Sydney Ocker, Mariah Clawson, and Sammi Cown. Other members of the Exline Ramblers 4-H Club are Dakota Ballanger, Russell Bauer, Brett Bauman, Elizabeth Bauman, Keenen McClure, Samantha Micetich, Megan Mobley, Jordan Moorman, Shaniel Smith, and Kolby Warren.

Didn’t you like the weather Saturday and for part of Sunday? It felt so good not to have to wear a heavy coat. But then the wind, rain, snow, and colder temperatures moved in and winter has returned.

However, the most exciting news for me this week is that I spotted the jonquils that have pushed their noses through the soil on the south side of the house.

This is a sure sign that spring is on the way. These jonquils are descendents of the ones our neighbor, Ida Conger, gave me when we lived over in the big house on the west edge of Exline more than 30 years ago. I never see the jonquils but what I don’t think of Ida and what a good neighbor she was!

When our last son was born in early February we had an ice storm after we came home from the hospital. Ida and Jess lived on west of us. The roads were so slick that Ida walked in the grader ditch to come and help care for Dale and me. You just never forget kindnesses like that.

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