Friday, January 30, 2009

Some gardening, some reading, some laughter


Well, I did it. I put in an order for some black raspberry bushes and some ever-bearing strawberry plants that are of the variety that will start producing right away this summer. Of course, they only sell strawberry plants in packages of 25 for some reason. I really did not want that many plants, as 25 plants spaced about 18 inches apart will take up quite a bit of space in our garden. Also, I can't stand picking strawberries. Although I love all the benefits of fresh strawberries, picking them was never my favorite sport. I would rather sit on the back step and shell peas for a hundred years than crawl around in the hot sun looking for ripe fruit. Of course, it's better than not having fruit and after the first jam making session or baked strawberry pie, my enthusiasm will probably run so high that I'll have delusions of starting a U-pick operation.

In the Kitchen: Waffles and fruit for supper. Peanut butter pie for dessert. A mouse that broke into our popcorn stash meeting a timely end. (Our special delicious popcorn that we brought back from the midwest. Of course it wanted nothing to do with our microwave popcorn.)

Just Finished Reading: Emma: A Widow Among the Amish by Ervin Stutzman. The sequel to Tobias, this fictionalized account based on actual events follows Emma through her life as a widow as she continues to raise her family. It is written by Emma's youngest son who researched his parent's lives by conducting interviews with those who knew them. The writing style is simple, but rich in detail. At some points, it is frustrating to see the choices Emma makes or coerces her children into making due to her widow status and their need of financial support. Yet, it was also inspiring to see her unwavering faith and the faith of her children.

At the Library: A woman called the other day and wanted to know where she could recycle her old computer. I gave her the information that our County gives us for their computer recycling program, but she declined the information saying she had spoke already to them and that they don't truly recycle the gadgetry.
"They just take anything toxic out of them and throw them away- filling up our landfills!"
"Actually, I think they send them to China and---" She cut me off.
"CHINA! Oh great, so they send them to a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY."
I got a kick out of her idea that China is a third world country, since, you know, probably most of the things in her house were made there.

Oh, but anyway. I found an interesting book which I have not read but thought some of my readers might like. It's a novel called The Outsider by Ann H. Gabhart. It takes place in a Shaker community in 1807 where a young Shaker woman falls for a man (the ominous and presumably good looking "outsider") and is faced with the choice of either stay or leaving her community. Since the Shakers are a chaste church, she can't just have him convert and then marry him as marriage, children, families did not exist with Shakers. So that is an interesting twist. While the book is somewhat of an attempt to cash in on the amish-fiction-romance craze of recent years (not to mention the tired storyline where "an outsider" disrupts a strict religious community), the author is billed as being knowledgeable about Shaker life. If anyone has read it, please feel free to post your thoughts and give us a quick review.


  1. That book. I saw it at Wal Mart and almost picked it up. Then I thought, "nah". Yes it did seem a take off on all those Amish novels.

    I thought about planting apple trees for a u-pick operation. We've got 9 acres, so space for it. But then I remembered... annoying people. Could I possibly be gracious when dealing with the public? I used to work retail. Oh the horror stories I could tell you from my brief turn at the Customer Service desk.

    Now that I found a near fool proof pie crust recipe, I made two pies for dessert this week. Nummy! The left over pumpkin has MY name on it.

  2. Hey it's me, Kitty, popping in to say Hello. I love the types of books that you have mentioned. I looking for a good one to read right now. Have a great week......Kitty


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