Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Favorite Books in 2020

At the end of the year, I love looking back on the list of books I read. Many times just seeing the title brings a flood of memories of where I was and how I felt when I was reading that book. 

I began the year by taking part in the Brighter Winter Book Challenge hosted by Daughters of Promise. I read many more books in January and February than I would have otherwise. Since I was also trying to spend less time on my phone, the book challenge was perfect. I love how they gave me the flexibility to choose my own books. (The 2021 Brighter Winter Book Challenge is now open. Want to join me?)

In the spring with the pandemic news swirling, I struggled to concentrate and read books. I read a few books that were awful, and decided I should never read another book, no matter how good the reviews, unless someone I personally know recommends it. But then I found some real book treasures and fell in love with reading again. 

Here is six nonfiction and seven fiction books that I most enjoyed in 2020.

This post contains affiliate links so if you click over to Amazon and make any purchase a small percentage goes to me without any change to your cost.

Adult Nonfiction

Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr

Doerr was writing his masterpiece (All the Light We Cannot See) and was given a year in Rome with an apartment and a writing office. So he moved to Rome with his infant twins and promptly hit writer's block. I loved this book describing his year as a writer, new father, and traveler. 

Humilty by Andrew Murray

This small book is a classic for a reason. After reading Humily, most other books feel like fluff. Solid and convicting and should become an annual reread.

12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke

I read numerous books on technology and it is hard to pick a favorite. But if you want to choose one book on technology that will stamp on your toes and could change your life, read this one. Then pick another from my list of books on technology.

The Highway and Me and My Earl Gray Tea by Emily Smucker

I've read Emily's blog for years and feel like I know her though we've never met. This book tells the story of her year of traveling around the US living in various Mennonite communities. But more than a travel memior, Emily honestly shares her struggles with singleness, loss, and illness.

Atomic Habits by James Clear

I've read other books about habits, but I'm not sure any are as practical as this one. I love books that inspire me to change today, and this one does. Easy to read and perfect book for January.

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

I listened to this book in the spring and thought of it often during the discussions on race this summer, though it isn't a book about race but about communication. Why do we misunderstand people so often? And even worse, why do we think we understand people and then get it so wrong? Gladwell's books are always memorable and the audio of this book is outstanding. Clips from interviews, and even court cases, makes this book unforgetable though some of the content is hard to stomach and is for adults only.

Adult Fiction

I hate spoilers, so I won't share many details on any of these books, but if you like well-written fiction that carries you off to another time and place, try any of these. That is, if your reading tastes are similiar to mine. Probably all of these books contain something that I'd change, but they are reasonably clean of sensuality and language and contain characters and plots that I found edifying. Your tastes may vary.

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

Enger's book has been on my to-be-read list for over ten years. Maybe I was reluctant because I knew too much about it, but when I finally got into this on audio, I couldn't stop. The writing quality is superb. A perfect read for this winter if you want to travel to the Dakota Badlands in the snow searching for a prodigal son. If you like To Kill a Mockingbird, I think you'll like this one. 

Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce

I enjoy World War 2 books and this one carried me to London during the Blitz and made me cry. Yet, it is more heartwarming than sad. Perfect on audio.

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Another book that has been on my list for years. The beginning moves slow as we listen to an old man's letters to his young son, but by the end I was hooked. There is a reason it won the Pulitzer. Some say that Home, the companion book to this one, is even better. I have it on my list to read in January.

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

Don't bother reading this is you haven't read Jane Austen's books. But if you know Emma, Mr. Darcy, Mr. Knightley, and Elizabeth then you'll love this book which follows a young woman who grew up in foster homes who loves classic literature. The plot might be unbelievable, but you'll still be rooting for her. Another book that was great on audio. (I'm wondering, does audio give me a better reading experience? Or did I just do a lot of audios this year? Maybe both.)

The Secrets of the Charmed Life by Susan Meisner

Another delightful story set in the London Blitz, this one telling of the circumstances that divided two sisters for decades. The audio had that delightful British accent.

Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

I've wanted to read a Berry novel for years. His character, Jayber, carries us to the Kentucky riverside, describing his boyhood and the journey that took him away from the river and back again. Don't expect anything dramatic in this book, just delightful characters and Berry's love for the agarian life of the early 1900's. I can't wait to visit Port William in Berry's other books.

When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin

Another river in the south, this one in Georgia, but a modern time period where a little girl waits for a heart transplant. Another wonderful book on audio at Scribd.

What was your favorite books read in 2020?

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

This has been a unique Christmas to end a unique year. I weep for those who are sick or are anticipating a Christmas without loved ones. 
While some of our plans have had to be adjusted, I'm grateful that one of the things we were able to keep was Christmas caroling. Our family spent two evenings walking the streets of a small city near us, singing Christmas songs with several other families. Some of the people we sang to said they had never heard carolers before.
Carols are always a reminder that Jesus came, not just to give us lights and yummy food each year, but to bring us hope for the future. I don't think we can hardly imagine how much the Jews in Jesus' time were anticipating the arrival of the Messiah. They were in bondage both to sin and to a foreign government and they longed for a Redeemer and Savior.
Hopefully 2020 reminded us that we are not in control of events and that we need hope in Jesus. We need set free from our fears and sins through the power of His blood.
Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
by Charles Wesley
Come, thou long expected Jesus
Born to set thy people free
From our fears and sins release us
Let us find our rest in thee
Israel's strength and consolation
Hope of all the earth thou art
Dear desire of every nation
Joy of every longing heart
Born thy people to deliver
Born a child and yet a king
Born to reign in us forever
Now thy gracious kingdom bring
By thine own eternal spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone
By thine own sufficient merit
Raise us to thy glorious throne

Here is a video to hear a virtual choir sing this hymn. (If viewing this by email, click over to the blog.)

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Reading Books Together

 In the spring, during the stay-at-home order, my sister chose four books and ordered copies for herself, my daughter, and a friend. She had the books shipped to their house, and, for the next several weeks, they read the books together and discussed them by email. (The books were Mrs. Buncle's Book, Emily of New Moon, The Little White Horse, and Parnessus on Wheels.

I was jealous. I struggled to read books this spring--maybe because of lack of concentration--and if I could do it over, I'd find a way to have a book club.

I've known for years that it is more fun to read books together. When I was a teen, I'd often purposely read the same books as my brother just so we could discuss them. A number of years ago, Ed and I enjoyed a book club with several friends from church. I still think of our energetic discussions when I remember the specific books we read those three years. 

For two summers I organized a teen book club for my daughter and her friends. The last time we chose books from a number of different cultures and then enjoyed Asian-inspired food which we ate on the floor. (The books were Words in the Dust, Inside Out and Back Again, and Homeless Bird.)

This fall, a friend from church asked if any of us would like to read and discuss Surviving the Tech Tsunami. I had enjoyed the book when I was studying the effects of technology, but it was even better to spend an evening discussing it with friends. The topic was intensely practical and the evening was part book club, part Bible study, part ladies-coffe-night, and part accountability. We enjoyed it so much that we chose another book to read and discuss in January.

At the end of each month, a friend emails a list of books that she read that month, along with brief review of each book. She shares this list with a small group of friends which prompts the rest of us to share the books we read that month. It is a simple habit, but one I've come to look forward to. I get many book recommendations and the process of sharing what I've read helps me to get more out of the book itself.

One of the things I miss most about Ed is our book discussions. So I've valued the opportunity to share books with others. If you are looking for ways to enhance your reading life, maybe one of these ideas will be right for you. And, of course, I'd love to hear of the ways you share books with others.

This post contains affiliate links.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Loaded Chicken and Potatoes

 One thing I loved about all the meals we were given during Ed's illness, is finding new favorites. Loaded-chicken-and-potatoes were given to us by my friend Jane and has become a family favorite. I love super simple pan meals. This is very adaptable with different seasonings. You can even replace some of the potatoes with carrots.

Loaded Chicken and Potatoes

1 lb boneless chicken (I prefer thighs, but breasts work too.)
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
2 T hot sauce (optional)

2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup crumbled bacon
1/2 cup diced green onion (optional)

Cut up the chicken into bit size pieces. In large bowl, stir raw chicken and potatoes with oil and seasonings. Spread into baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Top with cheese, bacon, and onion and bake five minutes longer. Serve.

Friday, November 20, 2020

A Time to Keep Silence

There are many fiction books written about Amish and Mennonites, but Emily Steiner recently published a book quite unlike  the typical "bonnet fiction."

A Time to Keep Silence
is the story of Monica Mast, an older single who started a job in a new community since she had to quit teaching school. The past stalks her as she tries to find her place in a new church. She soon encounters Justin Reinford who is struggling with his own disappointments from people's expectations. 

The typical writer would have Monica and Justin marry and live happily-ever-after, but A Time to Keep Silence shows the loneliness and misunderstanding that singles can face in a tight-knit Mennonite community. This is a book that an older single may relate to, and those of us who are married can read to understand the challenges of singles. 

A Time to Keep Silence is the first book in a trilogy about Monica and Justin. Emily gave me a sneak peak at the second book in the series, and though the book make me mad in some ways, now I can't wait to read the third book. These characters are real enough that I feel invested in their lives.

Emily has also written several historical fiction books. The Lilly of Appalachia series contains three books. Under the Bridge tells of Lilly's growing up years in a Kentucky mining community and her desire for an education and travel. Under Fire continues Lilly's story as her community is caught up in the violence of the coal mining riots in the early 1900s. Under the Juniper Tree follows Lilly and her family as they flee Kentucky looking for a place of safety but find more tensions in their new home in West Virginia.

You can buy A Time to Keep Silence for $12.50. The Lilly books are $10.99 eachvor $30.00 for the whole set. Regular shipping is $3.00 for the first book and $0.50 for each additional book. If you buy six or more copies (any title) Emily is offering free shipping. Email Emily at and mention that you read about her books at Home Joys for this pricing.

Emily gave me a review copy of A Time to Keep Silence but the opinions on this review are my own.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Tie Between

I remember exactly where I was when Suellen first told me about her writing project. On that day, I had no idea that I would be her target audience.

A few years before, Suellen's sister Lydia lost her husband in a farming accident. As Lydia adapted to life as a widow, she wished for a book that would not only talk about grief but also the practical subjects of raising children and all the changes that come with being a widow. When she couldn't find such a book, Suellen offered to compile it for her. The Tie Between is the result.

Suellen surveyed many Mennonite and Amish widows to compile this book. I appreciate their honesty and vulnerability as they shared the challenges of widowhood. Many writers contributed articles, poems, and stories to the book, mostly widows but also those who lost a sister, a child, or a parent. 

I'm not sure why, but I haven't searched out many books on grief, though a few have come my way. So when Suellen gave me a copy of her new book a few weeks ago, I wasn't sure if I wanted to read it. But I flipped open the book and soon found myself unable to put the book down. Reading through these pages helped me feel understood as a widow. I kept thinking, "So that is normal. Others feel this way too."

The Tie Between contains over 300 pages with sections for widows, such as grief and child training, and for those who support a widow, such as church family, siblings, and parents. While some of the content is specific for widows, much is relatable to anyone who has lost a loved one. One chapter is specifically about helping children cope with grief.

You can get a copy of The Tie Between from Suellen for $14.99 with $3.00 shipping. Shipping costs decrease with the purchase of multiple copies. Suellen doesn't have email, but if you email me at  I'll give you her contact information. The Tie Between is published by Carlisle Press and available at bookstores that carry Carlisle books.

Suellen gifted me with a copy of The Tie Between, not knowing that I was going to do a book review. I have several other friends who are publishing books this fall, so watch for some more book reviews in the coming weeks.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

May The Mind of Christ My Saviour

This hymn has been a favorite of mine for years, but I rarely hear or sing it. When we sang it at church the other week, I thought it would be the perfect theme song for the coming year. 

May His love fill you like the waters fill the sea.

May the Mind of Christ, My Saviour
by Katie Barclay Wilkinson 

May the mind of Christ, my Saviour,
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and power controlling
All I do and say.
May the Word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
Only through His power.
May the peace of God my Father
Rule my life in everything,
That I may be calm to comfort
Sick and sorrowing.
May the love of Jesus fill me,
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing,
This is victory.
May I run the race before me,
Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus
As I onward go.
May His beauty rest upon me
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
Seeing only Him.

Here is a video so you can hear it. (If reading by email, click over to the blog.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

From the White House to the Amish

 I never get tired of hearing how God meets a person and changes their life. 

I just finished reading Katrina Hoover Lee's new book, From the White House to the Amish, that tells of the life of Thomas E. Kirkman. Katrina wrote the story of Kirkman's life as told to her by those who knew him, with fictional details added to flesh out the story. 

Thomas grew up during the Great Depression and saw God answer his mother's prayers. But his mother's illness drove Kirkman away from God and took him far from home, including time spent working at the White House and in the CIA. 

I enjoyed the glimpse of life in the 50's and 60's, including some of the stories I remember my dad telling me such as President Eisenhower's presidency, the Cuban Missle Crisis, and Kennedy's assasination. I've liked books about White House life, such as Upstairs in the White House by J.B. West, and it was a treat to meet West again in this book as Kirkman rubbed shoulders with famous people.

Through an unusual set of events, Kirkman met an Amish man who changed his life. So much of the media surrounding the Amish, from Amish TV shows to Amish romance novels, is negative or confused, and it was refreshing to read a respectful account of sincere Amish.

From the White House to the Amish. gives you a little history along with the story of a man's journey to Christ.

Katrina is offering Home Joys readers 10% off on her website. Use the coupon code Gina10 when you check out. You can also get the ebook version. You can learn more about Katrina on her blog.

I'd love to hear about other books that you have enjoyed that tell of God's work to draw men and women to him.

Katrina gave me a review copy of the book, but the opinions in this review are my own.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Dear Lord and Father of Mankind

My brother and his family invited us to spend this past weekend in northern Pennsylvania. The cabin was tiny so we spent as much time as possible out doors even though the weather was cold and rainy for part of the weekend..

But food tastes better outdoors anyway.

Cousins make the best playmates.

The weekend included hours of game playing and far too much coffee. (Ed would be shocked to learn that I'm now enjoying coffee.) Hauling water from the spring and living without indoor plumbing was a good experience for all of us.

The boys took their dogs hunting, carved wooden spoons, and target practiced.

One thing (among many) that I love about vacationing with another family is that I can sneak out for a walk alone. I hiked up the dirt road, my attention sidetracked by the stream rushing down the mountain. The height of fall color had faded to rusts and browns, but a winter forest holds charm.

The silence was nearly startling. Most of the time I couldn't hear a vehicle, a dog, or any sign of humans besides my own panting. 

I'm not sure what makes me want to pray more, the city or the wilderness. When I'm in a city I want to cry out to God for mercy for all the sad eyes I see. But when I'm in the quiet of God's creation I feel wordless with worship. 

Many words are being tossed around this election week. It is enough to make a person want to disappear into the Pennsylvania wilderness until spring. But I believe that God isn't rattled, His throne isn't shaken, and His Kingdom will prosper whatever the next weeks hold. 

The hymn "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind" came to mind tonight as I thought of hymns that speak of peace and preparing my heart for worship. (No mountain stream needed.) Whittier, a Quaker, included many Sciptural references in his poem. He obviously knew His Bible well, from the Old Testament to the New, to write these words.

May each of us find the beauty of His peace in His still small voice.

Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
by John Greenleaf Whittier

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways!
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.

In simple trust like theirs who heard
Beside the Syrian sea
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word
Rise up and follow Thee.

O Sabbath rest by Galilee!
O calm of hills above,
Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee
The silence of eternity
Interpreted by love!

With that deep hush subduing all
Our words and works that drown
The tender whisper of Thy call,
As noiseless let Thy blessing fall
As fell Thy manna down.

Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.

Here is a video that shares the tune that I'm familiar with. (If reading this by email, click over to the blog to view the video.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Upcycled Dresses

 If you have watched me shopping at a thrift store the past months, you may have seen me looking through the extra large skirts. I was searching for long full skirts, with only side seams, in fun prints, in non-wrinkling, stetchy fabric.  

My little girls needed play dresses, and I found that I could make a simple dress in a few minutes from a large skirt. I printed off the pattern for the play-all-day-dress and taped the pieces together. Then I laid the skirt out flat and folded it in half, which made four thicknesses of fabric. I laid the pattern on the skirt on the fold line (not the side seams) and cut it out. 

In the photo above, the fabric on the right is the extra. On the left is the folded dress piece. Since the skirt was folded, I had cut both the front and the back at the same time. Then I slimply stiched up the side seams, stiched the shoulder seams, and hemmed the neckline. I used a zig-zag stitch so that the fabric could stretch without breaking the thread. I kept the original hem and didn't bother hemming the sleaves since the fabric wouldn't ravel. I also didn't put any elastic in the waist.

By the time I had made my second dress, I had gotten even faster.

My girls love having new play dresses. And I love having so little time and money in a dress.

Do you have a favorite upcycle project?

Sunday, October 18, 2020

What a Saviour!


Yesterday, the ladies at my church enjoyed a one-day retreat in an old barn.

God gave us a lovely fall day to enjoy time in His Word and fellowship - as well as crafts, yummy food, and a holiday from the demands of normal life.

Even though I arrived home late (and still haven't loaded everything out of my van) I felt refreshed and prepared for our communion service this morning.

One of the songs I remember singing as a girl at communion is Man of Sorrows, What a Name, and I was glad we sang it this morning. I like how many names of Jesus are mentioned in this song, including Son of God, Saviour, Lamb of God, Glorious King, and, of course, Man of Sorrows.

I had procrastinated a long time (over a year) before ordering Ed's headstone. (It is daunting to plan something that is written in stone for possible generations to read.) Because of Covid, the process was delayed further. But after church I found that the headstone had been installed in the church cemetary this week. 

A heastone gives a solid, cold, and a uncompromising finality. While I'm glad to honor Ed, a headstone feels permanent. I've had seventeen months to learn about the lifechanging and irreversable ending of life, but moments like this drive the reality deeper.

Which is why I'm glad to be reminded this weekend of God's faithfulness, His plan of redemption, and the Son of God who became our Saviour.

Man of Sorrows, What a Name
by Philip P. Bliss

Man of Sorrows! what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim:
Hallelujah! what a Saviour!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned he stood,
Sealed my pardon with his blood:
Hallelujah! what a Saviour!

Guilty, vile, and helpless, we;
Spotless Lamb of God was he;
Full atonement! can it be?
Hallelujah! what a Saviour!

Lifted up was he to die,
"It is finished!" was his cry:
Now in heav'n exalted high:
Hallelujah! what a Saviour!

When he comes, our glorious King,
All his ransomed home to bring,
Then anew this song we'll sing:
Hallelujah! what a Saviour!

You can also listen to Man of Sorrows, What aName.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Is He Worthy?

My family enjoyed a day at my parent's house yesterday. 

Eating great food, then burning calories at spike ball and bucket ball.

Playing games (and guitars. Not sure why the roof.) 

 Hugging squishy babies.

My family doesn't pretend to have oodles of musical talent, but we enjoy singing together. So last night ended with all of us squashed into the living room, belting out worship music. 

Two songs that we've recently learned and sang last night are Is He Worthy and Never Once. Even though I appreciate old hymns and the depth of their message, worship songs like this have been especially meaningful to me this past year.  

I've missed sharing songs with you here on the blog each Sunday and hope to stop by some more Sundays with the songs that are presently meaningful to me.

Is He worthy? HE IS! He is Faithful!

Thursday, October 8, 2020

5 Books on Managing Technology

Because I was asked to speak at a workshop on the topic of Mothers and Technology, I read a number of books this summer on the topic of technology.

The summer of 2020 was the perfect time to study the topic of technology. I was ready to face my personal social media habits and consider the example I'm setting for my children. It is a challenge that I'll continue to face, as all of us do in this age, and I'll probably be writing more about what I'm learning in future posts.

If you want to evaluate your technology and phone use, here are five books that I recommend.

Note: This post containes affiliate links.

Surving the Tech Tsunami by Gary Miller

When I finished reading this, I said that every Christian should read it. Miller's research meant that reading this book made me feel like I got a synopsis of many books. The style of the book is very practical and readable. At the end of the book, Miller shares his personal research in interviewing Anabaptists leaders and youth from across the US. His findings are sobering, and he gives us a call to action to find ways to survive the tech tsunami.

How to Break Up with Your Phone: The Thirty-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life by Catherine Price

I ordered this book from Amazon on a whim. In the first chapters Price writes about the current research on technology and why we should be concerned. In the second half of the book she takes us through a thirty day step-by-step process to gain control of our phone. She is practical and shares simple ideas that would have never occured to me but that made a real difference in my phone use. Lots of value packed into a short book.

12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke

This book, like Surviving the Tech Tsunami, asked hard questions about how our phone is affecting our relationship with God. Saturated with Scripture, I found this book challenging my attitudes and habits and asking how they line up with the goal of glorifying God.

Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Atler

I had this book reserved at my library and finally got it two weeks before my workshop. I didn't think I had time to read all of it so skipped to the chapters I thought were most applicable. But this book lived up to its name, and I couldn't lay it down. As I learned about addictions and the deliberate design of social media to capture more of our time and attention, I became angry.

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

The goal of this book is to help us declutter our lives so we can focus on what we truly value. A mix of practical tips, motivational insights, and research, this book helped me see what I'm losing when I'm constantly surrouned with noise and distraction. 

Do you have a favorite book on technology that I missed?  

Thursday, October 1, 2020

A Glimpse of September

Sunset in a field of goldenrod

 I didn't intend to take a blogging break but the life was busy for a few weeks, and then it felt hard to get started again. I've been having a lot of trouble with spam in the comments, so I had shut off all the comments. Thanks to those who emailed me to ask how we were doing. I'll be turning the comments on again.

Here is a glimpse of our last month.

On Labor Day, we traveled north to Lake Erie to vacation with two of my brothers. Our rental house was within biking distance of Presque Isle.

The children were excited about playing in the waves with cousins.

Some of the week was cold and rainy, but we had enough sunshine get sunburnt.

Singing together was a highlight, and we learned several songs that week.

Some of us watched the sunrise while drowning worms.

And almost every evening ended with a campfire on the beach.

The advantage of vacationing with other adults is that I could take a solitary bike ride along the bay. Delightful.

The next week found my sister-in-law and I taking to the skies. We flew to Georgia where I was asked to speak at a ladies' seminar. I felt out of my comfort zone, but the ladies were sweet, and we enjoyed the weekend.

Other events in September was the local townfest where my daughter set up her knitted hats.

We finished the rental apartment. Here are some before/after photos.

We had an early frost in September so we brought in the last of the garden harvest. The candy roaster squash went a little crazy, so if you need squash, please stop by.

I am loving this fall weather. And I'm not sure there is any place as lovely as an apple orchard in the fall.

With a bunch of help from family, we picked many bushels for applesauce and cider. I have a few more tomatoes to can, but hopefully I can soon put my canner away for the season. 

I love summer, but I'm looking forward to cooler weather and time for focused school work and neglected housecleaning. October holds several anticipated events with family and friends, and hopefully there will be quiet evenings with a good book and a cup of tea. 


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