Thursday, October 12, 2023


Reading ... I'm on an unfortunate string of duds right now. They're barely good enough to keep reading, but somehow I keep slogging on while I wish I had a great one to dive into. My list of requested books from the library has some promising ones on it. I'm picking them up tomorrow and look forward to a relaxing weekend that hopefully breaks this string of meh books. 

Writing ... is slow at the moment. Life seems to be handing me way too many distractions lately. It's good as far as life goes, but bad when it comes to writing. So far this week I removed a sentence of thirteen words in my current work in progress and replaced it with one that contained a mere five words. Not exactly the direction one wants to go when doing a writing project.

Listening ... recently I listened to an audio book. The Incredible Winston Browne by Sean Dietrich. It was fantastic. So good that when I got done I knew I have to get a physical copy to add to our home library to be enjoyed again and again. It was as if the best of Mayberry met the best of L.M. Montgomery and viola you got The Incredible Winston Browne.

Baking ... Rosie made some cinnamon twists with a maple coffee icing earlier this week, and later today I want to bake some herb dinner rolls.

Cooking ... for dinner tonight I will be making turkey meatballs with a cranberry based sauce, baked potatoes, a tossed salad, and the aforementioned herb dinner rolls.

Feeling ... content, happy, and hopeful. There's something about fall that brings on those cozy content feelings. Sometimes I wonder if they're leftover from the days when we had a huge garden and all summer was almost exhaustingly busy taking care of it while canning and preserving foods. It was always a relief when the last jar of food was placed on the can shelves, the garden empty and ready for winter, and we could finally do all the things we didn't have time to do during the busy summer months.

Disliking ... how fast the leaves are falling from the big maple tree here in front of the house.

Loving ... the beautiful colored leaves, the brilliant blue skies, the fluffy white clouds, and the crisp cool air that makes up a perfect October day.

Playing ... Steven and I have been playing a variety of games. Trekking Though History is his current favorite. Partly, I'm assuming because try as I may I have never yet been able to win. Dragonrealm, Tally-Ho!, Sleeping Queens, and a few others have been enjoyed.

The most recent family game played was Love Letters. We all really enjoyed it.

Cleaning ... it's fall cleaning time of year. It's been progressing fairly nicely. I still have two and a half rooms to do plus the attic. Rosie was wanting to go through a bunch of the attic contents and her boyfriend offered to help her. I'm most happy to hand that project over to them.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Hello August. What's one thing you're looking forward to this month? 

Our August appears to be packed to the brim. There are some short trips, a wedding, and more which makes it hard to narrow my choice down to only one thing, but I'm going with one of the short trips.

2. What are you doing to beat the heat right now? If you live in the southern hemisphere are you enjoying cooler temps or counting the days until summer? 

It's only 69ยบ at our house at the moment. A bit on the chilly side for August, but I'll take it. I prefer cooler temperatures.

We do have a window air conditioning unit installed that we put to use earlier. 

3. How do you see the world? 

The world can look scary sometimes, okay a lot of the time ... but ... since most of it is beyond my control I try to focus on my own little corner of the world and make it a sweeter place. 

4. What's food product do you think is better store bought than home made? How about something you refuse to buy because it is so much better homemade? 

So far I have not found anything that comes close to being as good as brownies made from a box mix. I'm on a quest to find a recipe that is as good or better, but so far all have failed to match the perfection of those I buy at the store.

On the opposite side of the coin, I think homemade cake is so much better than a box mix or the pre-baked grocery store cake.

5. Are you easy to get along with? 

Yes, I would say so.

6.  Insert your own random thought here. 

This past weekend we spent time in New York. While there we visited Watkins Glen State Park. It was gorgeous as ever and I was glad the children finally got to experience it.

We also drove by my childhood home. The buildings, especially the barn and shop/garage surprised me. Somehow they appear to have shrunk quite a bit over the years. I know they didn't. but my little girl memories had them both much bigger than what they are.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023


Reading ... in the Bible I turned to Psalms 103 again this morning. It's one of my favorite Psalms. I've read it often enough you would think I would have it completely memorized by now, but I'm not there yet.

In other books, I have two series here that I'm working my way through. One by Kel Kade, and the other by Ginny Aiken. They're about as different as could be, but I love reading and I have a wide variety of genres I enjoy.

Writing ... it's that time of year where I have to sit down and write up the scope and sequence of next year's curriculum. Even though it's not been long that we finished up our school for this year I'm already getting excited about next year. 

Watching ...  I've watched several different things over the past week. First was a documentary that I can't and won't recommend to anyone else, next was a comedian from the Dry Bar Comedy series on YouTube. It did not disappoint. They're my go to any time I'm looking for a laugh.  Most recently I watched part of an episode of the Summer Baking Championship, it always inspires me to create pretty food and try new recipes.

Listening ... to the sound of a persistent little phoebe bird singing/calling in the tree by the front porch, the sound of tires on a wet road as traffic goes by the house, and the wind chimes chiming merrily in the east wind.

Baking ... Rosie created a new recipe for some cupcakes on Monday. I thought they tasted as good as they looked.

Cooking ... on tonight's menu there are turkey burgers, salad, and potato wedges, and then watermelon for dessert for those who wish to have something a bit sweet.

Feeling ... blessed. I finally got to meet a longtime Facebook friend. She had an Amish childhood as well, and found me through my blog which led to us becoming Facebook friends. She has been a real encouragement through the years and to get to finally meet was everything I had hoped for. So blessed to have her in my life!

Disliking ... the container of worms in the refrigerator. 

I'll give you a minute to shudder as well.

It's there because ... well ... I'm a mother to a young son who absolutely loves fishing. He has provided quite a few fish to our meals

Loving ... the hanging baskets on the porch. Kenneth and Paige gave me a gorgeous one filled with shades of purple flowers for Mother's Day, and then two weeks ago I happened upon three baskets of Impatiens. They looked bad, as if a few more days at the place they were at and they would surely be dead. I had to rescue them. 

With some TLC they are now flourishing, and blooming beautifully. I'm glad I decided to give them a chance.

Playing ... most recently Steven and I have been playing Tally Ho! The beginning of the game is purely luck, but it soon turns strategic. 

Playing it so often led to this post I did on Facebook.

After losing yet another game of Tally Ho! to me, Steven sighed deeply as he got up from the table.

"At least there's one thing I have you beat at, that you'll never get better than me," he said with more than a little note of satisfaction.
"What's that?" I asked.
"I've known Dad all my life, and you didn't know him all of yours."
Well ... you got me beat there, Buddy.

Friday, June 2, 2023

When Memories Hit

     I had a few errands to run today, the weather was absolutely beautiful, and I was enjoying myself to the fullest driving while singing along to the song that was playing.
    I glanced over to see what the temperature is and noted the date that was displayed. June 2nd. Hmm ... something seemed 
significant about it somehow, but why?
    And then it hit me. Two years ago I was at my parents house. The music kept playing but I was no longer aware of it as the memories started washing over me.
    Fifteen years earlier everything changed when we left the Amish. Overnight we lost ninety-eight percent of all our friends and family. The hardest relationship to lose was the one I had with my Mom. Up until then she had been my best friend, sister, and mother all rolled up into one.
    Other than two random lovely days, those fifteen years were like a giant desert, dry and barren, with only occasional cacti to get stung by, some more vicious than others leaving their spines impaled deeply.
    I thought of her daily though and often whispered little prayers that somehow God would restore our relationship. I learned so many new songs, and would wish I could get to sing with Mom once again. I tried hundreds of new recipes during those fifteen years and wished I could cook for her. As I did crafts I wished I could sit and talk while we did hand sewing. I wished she could see our children and what a delight they are to LV and me.
    And then the news came of her fast growing brain tumor.
    I asked if I could come, and they eagerly accepted. I loaded up the girls and Steven and drove the 555 miles to their house.
    She was happy to see me. Immediately the past was forgiven, and our relationship miraculously restored. "I missed you so much," she said, "but I thought I can't have contact with you since you left the faith. If I could do things over I wouldn't do it the same."
    We cried over the wasted years, and then tried to pack everything we could into the few days I had at their house. She was weak, and stayed in her recliner, but we sang. We talked, and talked, and talked. I cooked all the meals. She absolutely delighted in the children. She asked me to hand stitch the binding onto a quilt she had made. 
    The night before we left she spoke a blessing over us, and said she can see we have chosen right for our family and to continue our journey with Jesus.
    We were going to leave early the next morning so we said our good-byes before we went to bed. Standing there I wanted so desperately to give her a hug, but hugs simply never happened in our Amish circle, and I wasn't sure how she would react. I couldn't risk another rebuff, so I simply clasped her hand before turning in for the night. Both of us acutely aware this would most likely be the last time we see each other.
    The week after we got back home I called everyday and always told her I love her before hanging up. Saying I love you was never done while we were Amish either, but I didn't care. She didn't repeat the words, but she did say, "Me too." every time.
    After that week she lost her ability to communicate, and on her 65th birthday God called her home.
    I pulled into the garage with tears streaming down my face. Tears of thankfulness that God had restored our relationship, that even though it was only for a very short amount of time He had made a way that all those whispered little prayers over the years were answered. Tears of regret for those fifteen wasted years. Tears of missing her horribly.

Thursday, March 16, 2023


Reading ... this weekend I read Becoming Free Indeed by Jinger Duggar Vuolo, and Spare by Prince Harry. 

I had been looking forward to Jinger's book, even though I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I really liked how she was able to honor her parents, even while "disentangling" her faith from the erroneous teachings of Bill Gothard. Though I didn't grow up knowing about or following Bill Gothard, I could really connect with her as she addressed her faith journey, and chose to follow what the Bible says, even if that meant no longer agreeing with things she had been taught. 

Spare was a book I requested on a whim from the library. My interest in the royal family has been mild at best, but I had heard so much about this book that I thought I'd give it a go. I'm glad I did, even though I found it to be incredibly sad. 

Watching ... some Youtube tutorials on making entremets. I'm still a bit intimidated, but I'm determined to try my hand at it and keep practicing until I get semi good at it.

Listening ... to the sound of several different conversations, the hum of the furnace in the basement, and footsteps coming down the hallway.

Baking ... I had a few overly ripe bananas that needed some tender loving care, so I baked some banana sweet rolls with them.

On the savory side of things I baked several kinds of stromboli, including a new vegetarian one that actually became an instant favorite for most of us.

Cooking ... I have salmon thawing that I want to marinate first thing tomorrow morning. Thanks to Pinterest we found a recipe for salmon that we really love. We like salmon any way, but prepared like this kicks it up quite a few notches.

Feeling ... happy. There are so many little things that make life happy, including the little hand prints on the back window in the kitchen. Somehow I have a hard time washing them away after our sweet little grandson placed them there.

Disliking ... hmm ... I guess I'll go with grocery prices. Thankfully the price of eggs have dropped quite a bit by now, but $2.19 is still more than I enjoy paying for a dozen of eggs,

Loving ... family time. It gets to be more and more precious as the children continue spreading their wings.

Playing ... Steven and I played thirty-four rounds of Hoagie yesterday. He won the majority of them.

Cleaning ... It's time to tackle the storage room again. I have opened the door a few times this week, looked inside, sighed, and closed the door again. But it's on the agenda to get started next Tuesday. No more procrastination.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

The Mystery of the Cast Iron Skillet

    Almost two years ago one of my favorite cast iron skillets mysteriously disappeared. I searched high and low for it and was unable to locate it anywhere.

    Several months ago it equally as mysteriously reappeared next to the basement stairs, looking absolutely terrible. I'm not sure what it will take to restore it to its former condition. I'm sure it can be done, but so far the courage and will power to tackle that task has evaded me.

    I'm pretty sure there must be a story to the disappearance and reappearance of this skillet. So far though no one has given the slightest hint they know anything about it. 

    I have the feeling it may be one of those cases where years down the road as the siblings sit around reminiscing, the story of a cast iron skillet may surface. They will all laugh as the one responsible for the mystery will end the story with the phrase, "and Mom never knew."