Working the Field with Mules

Wednesday Afternoon, April 12

I was pleased to look out our kitchen window and notice our Amish neighbor working his field across the road from us.

At first I thought it was Eli, but then noticed that it was his son, Jacob. Eli has not been farming the land in the past few years – another neighbor was doing the work with his big equipment. I understand Jacob is farming the land this year – probably for feeding his goats.

The next morning – Thursday, April 13 – they were back in the field with equipment I had never seen, so I am not sure what he is doing.

PS: From my brother Dale, who read this and said, “That is a no-till drill and he was probably seeding alfalfa or grass mix for hay for his goats.”

Taking a break while the farmer stretches his arms.

Checking the bin.

I especially enjoy watching a large team of mules (or horses) synchronizing their turns.

When I came back to our kitchen window to clean up after supper, I saw more activity in the field.

This time he was again working the ground – with only four mules – and someone was putting lime on the soil.

So glad to watch mule-power from our windows again.

Three-Day Variety

Monday, February 20

I loved how the evening sun highlighted this squirrel’s tail as he munched on seeds from a birdfeeder.


Friday, February 24

We enjoyed watching these Amish school children playing a variety of games in their school yard.

We were on a country road we seldom travel – after taking a TFC mailing to the post office and getting groceries at Stauffer’s of Kissel Hill for our weekend meals.

Cerwin noticed the tree-cutting equipment in the background as we went around the school yard. This is the man we call to take our trees down when necessary.


Saturday, March 25

We kept our eyes on the skies and weather radar as this storm approached because hail and tornados were predicted.

By the time two nasty weather fronts went through, our only issue was small hail – with no property damage.

Jeff and Chris live about six miles southwest from us and had some wind and hail damage.

Most of the serious damage happened in an area east of us where tornado-like winds took down trees, ripped off roofs, and flattened buildings.

I find it interesting that many times after a stormy afternoon we have a beautiful sunset.

We continue to pray for those who are repairing roofs and rebuilding barns and houses.

Sunday Afternoon Visits

Sunday, January 22

Traveling to visit Cerwin’s Aunt Esther took us through one of my favorite areas in Lancaster County – Amish territory.

I understand that most – if not all Amish buggies in our area are gray, with some black trim.

A cute welcome sign near Eli and Sandy’s driveway.

Eli is Aunt Esther’s son. She recently moved in with them for the comfort and peace of mind for all three.

Esther’s husband, Eli, died a few years ago.

Esther is a sister of Cerwin’s dad and is doing well for being eighty-six years old.

We were sorry to miss seeing Eli and Sandy who were visiting her parents at a retirement community near our place. 🙂

As we left her place, Cerwin asked if I wanted to visit our Amish friend Linda and her daughter Anna who live in the same area.

I said, “Yes!”

I didn’t realize we were so close to their house.

We had fun surprising them and had a delightful visit – enjoying coffee and cookies as we caught up on each others lives. (Linda’s husband, Amos, died several years ago.)

As we prepared to leave, we noticed that Linda’s son Alvin, his wife, Mary, and their children were getting the horses and carriages ready to go somewhere. We walked across the street and talked for a few minutes.

If was a cold, rainy afternoon but our hearts felt warm and happy after our afternoon visits.

We traveled home through more Amish and horse & buggy Mennonite territory so there were many windmills in the skyline.

I understand this is a Mennonite family, because the buggy is black and since there is a small sun visor in the front, it may mean this carriage is owned by a preacher.

There must have been a lot of Amish and Mennonite activities for the evening because we saw many carriages before getting home.

I am glad Cerwin suggested visiting his Aunt Esther.

We felt blessed.

Outside Our Front Windows

dsc_2407Male Downy Woodpecker

dsc_2443Female House Finch

dsc_2416Chickadee – I am not sure if it is a Black-capped or Carolina.

dsc_2422Gray Squirrel


dsc_2429I wish they ate from the ground feeders, but they are fun to watch when they come to a feeder near our kitchen window.


dsc_2498 A full Amish buggy. The two young people are sitting on the outside. 🙂

Busy Weekend

Our Amish friends the Smucker’s came to visit on Saturday.

2We planned to eat and visit at the pavilion, but there was a period between noon and 3 pm when thunderstorms were predicted, so we prepared the garage for seating 46 people for lunch.

A storm never did arrive, but it worked out nice to be in our garage and yard. Our family prepared the hot food and the Smucker’s brought salads and desserts. I was busy during lunch and didn’t think about taking pictures.

2aI took just one picture to document the day – knowing that photos are not a favorite of the Amish. In this picture Jere and Kristen were teaching some of the children how to play yard Jenga and another game with balls in a cage – similar to Jenga. Jere and Kristen designed these games.

We had a fabulous day with them. Amos and Linda have 7 children we have 4. We began visiting 48 years ago when Anna and Diane were 2. Our Diane turned 50 on January 1 and their Anna will be 50 in a few days. In those early days there were 15 of us. Today we probably number more than 70. I think there were 46 or 47 here on Saturday, and 12 of ours were missing. I expect those missing from the Smucker’s were twice that number. We each have married grandchildren and there are several great-grandchildren.

Drivers brought them from New Holland, Millersburg, Loysville, and Holtwood – all in Pennsylvania.

We missed Amos (the father) who died several years ago. He and Cerwin met when they were in their late teens or early 20s. The next generation – our children and theirs – shared some fun memories on Saturday from summers spent at each others house when they were young children.


On Sunday evening we prepared the pavilion for our Sunday school class picnic.

1It was a calm, warm, pleasant evening.

3 (1)Members of our class signed up for specific food items.

3 (2)There were 26 of us – which included one of our teachers and his family.

DSC_3743This little guy was contemplating having dessert first. 🙂

DSC_3746It was nice to visit and catch up on each others lives.

Beauty in Ohio Amish Country

Friday Morning, July 10

Friday Morning (1)We woke up to a warm, drizzly morning in Berlin, Ohio

Friday Morning (2)I walked one mile on the motel treadmill (while Cerwin watched the news in our room) before exploring the gardens and area around our motel.

Friday Morning (3)The outside entrance to our room.

Friday Morning (4)The patio area.

Friday Morning (5)Though the rain had stopped, many leaves and flowers were dripping with water.

Friday Morning (6)

Friday Morning (7)

Friday Morning (8)There were many beautiful flowers.

Friday Morning (9)

Friday Morning (10)

Friday Morning (11)

Friday Morning (12)

Friday Morning (13)

Friday Morning (14)

Friday Morning (15)

Friday Morning (16)

Friday Morning (17)

Friday Morning (18)

Friday Morning (19)

Friday Morning (20)

Friday Morning (21)After photographing flowers, I walked down the hill to the antique mall.

Friday Morning (22)It wasn’t open yet as it was only 8 AM, but there were some interesting things outside.

Friday Morning (23)

Friday Morning (24)

Friday Morning (25)By the time we were ready for a drive through Amish country (8:45 AM), it was drizzling again.

Friday Morning (26)

Friday Morning (27)I love when we have time to travel leisurely over country roads.

Friday Morning (28)

Friday Morning (29)

Friday Morning (30)

Friday Morning (31)

Friday Morning (32)Windmills are a sure sign of an Amish home or farm.

Friday Morning (33)More Ohio Amish country tomorrow night.

Penryn Mud Sale ~ Part 2 of 3

Saturday, March 21

2 (1)Love her boots.

I was there only fifteen minutes when I met our Canadian friends.

2 (2)I was so pleased to see Merle & Rita (left), because we were unable to attend the ministry banquet the night before. He is CEO of Living Hope Native Ministry, Red Lake, Ontario, Canada.

They were with our good friends Orpha and Gary (right).

2 (3)After a short visit, I moved on to look for more photo ops so our daughter Deb has some good choices for the Mud Sale Magazine.

2 (4)

2 (5)

2 (6)

2 (7)

2 (8)Furniture tent auction

2 (9)Homemade ice cream

2 (10)I noticed these young ladies making smoothies as I waited in line for a cup of chicken corn soup.

2 (11)This was my view in the craft tent where my sister had a front row seat reserved for me.

2 (13) I listened to the auction, relaxed for awhile, and enjoyed my chicken corn soup.

2 (12)

2 (14)Oh, look who just joined us!

2 (15)Our great-grandson, Anthony, and his mama Abby.

2 (17)I walked around the tent and looked at crafts that would be coming up for sale.

2 (16)This little guy made me smile – I think I will bid on him.

I got him for $10.00.

2 (18)

2 (19)Bird feeders

2 (20)

2 (21)This was my favorite moment of the mud sale – when a young Amish girl picked up a plaque and showed it to her dad. I waited for his expression before snapping the picture.

2 (22)This is why he was smiling.

2 (23)By the time I left the craft tent, the mud had gotten even worse, as the temperature had risen and the snow was melting.

2 (24)Lots of young boys earn tips by hauling purchases for successful bidders.

2 (25)

2 (26)

2 (27)I will post Part 3 tomorrow evening.

No One Is In Charge Of Your Happiness But You

Monday, March 16 and Friday, March 20

DSC_7069I love to wake up to this kind of morning.


DSC_7082 (2)Later in the day I happened to be at the window when this “wagon train” went by – a sure sign that the Penryn Mud Sale was happening in the near future.

DSC_7082This is our Amish neighbor taking wagons to the fire company property where the mud sale will be held. The wagons are used to display items for sale.

I posted this on Facebook a few minutes after I saw it, but am posting it here for those who don’t have Facebook.

DSC_7171By the end of the week – Friday, March 20 – we were experiencing snow again.

DSC_7167I thought the following was fitting for my cardinal pictures today.

It is another use of the word cardinal – but still fitting. 🙂


7 Cardinal Rules For Life

1. Make peace with your past so it won’t disturb your present.

2. What other people think of you is none of your business.

DSC_71643. Time heals almost everything. Give it time.

DSC_71734. No one is in charge of your happiness. Except you.

DSC_71615. Don’t compare your life to others, and don’t judge them. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

DSC_71656. Stop thinking too much. It’s alright to not know all the answers. Answers will come when you need them.

DSC_71697.Smile. You don’t own all the problems in the world.

Lunch With Roy & Deb

Sunday, January 11

We had a few things that belonged to Roy and Deb, so decided to meet them for lunch.

DSC_4633Shortly after we arrived at RD’s, a friend of Roy & Deb’s came in and sat at the next table. Deb offered to hold their baby for a bit.

DSC_4636She had been crying before Deb got her, and we were amused by her big tears.

DSC_4642What a beautiful baby girl.

DSC_4630As we talked and waited for lunch, I noticed this scene outside the window and thought, “That would make a good picture.”

DSC_4632Someone once asked me if I don’t think I miss a lot of things when we travel because I am always taking pictures.

DSC_4644Actually, I think I notice more things because I take pictures. 🙂


DSC_4649Shortly after leaving the restaurant – on our way to Roy and Deb’s – we noticed this pilot enjoying the beautiful afternoon.


DSC_4653Right below him was this Amish buggy.


Tomorrow night I will introduce you to Deb’s newest rescue – a baby goat.