My Cover Reveal: Behind the Scenes

  You are invited to my cover reveal today February 20, 2019     My memoir reflects the first 24 years of my life as a Mennonite girl ***   Would you buy this book? It takes a few seconds (1-2 eye-blinks) for readers to decide whether to buy a book randomly spotted in...

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My Heritage, DNA, and Dani Shapiro

“I wonder what a DNA test would show. My dad’s Scotch-Irish I think and my mother is full-blooded German. But maybe some other genes are mixed in there,” my husband mused. “Well, there’s one sure way to find out. Get a DNA test,” I replied. And so for Christmas 2018...

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Mennonites Don’t Dance

Maybe Mennonites Dance Now But they Didn’t in the 1950s In Lancaster County, PA   In her nineties, my mother jived to music on iTunes from my iPod. But she was dancing with her hands and heart, not her feet. Her heart? Yes, she was probably recalling Daddy playing the...

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Fall in the Snow and a Miraculous Rescue

Have you Ever Been Visited by an Angel? Two Angel Rescue Stories One day Debby Gass was driving through Nevada when her sports car ran out of gas. A young woman, alone in a small car, on a desert highway with no one around—it had all the elements that cause us to be...

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My Word, it’s 2019

  PUBLISH! That’s My Word for 2019   In the past three years my guide word for the year have been methodically thought through, carefully measured, contemplated . . . Wholeheartedness Focus Intention   . . . but now I’m going BOLD with publishing  Mennonite Daughter:...

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Come with Me to Mount Dora

"Did you know Mt. Dora is about 180 feet above sea level?" asked our chatty waiter serving us coffee on a recent trip to this charming town during the Christmas holiday.  Florida is flat. But northwest of Orlando near the center of the state lies Mt. Dora with an...

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Matryoshka Dolls and Your Great-Grandmother

Did you know the name Matryoshka means “little matron,” or “mother” in Russian? Do you have a set of nesting dolls?   My friend, Kathy Gould, who manages a charity fund ministering to families and children in Ukraine, gave me these dolls years ago. They enjoy pride of...

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The Tale of My Silky Green Robe

I have a quilted green robe. It feels like silk, but the fabric is probably rayon. It has hung on a bathroom hook for a long, long time.         It has a history My mother-in-law gave me this robe as a Christmas gift before our children were born. It came from the...

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Aunt Ruthie’s Diary and a London Family Video

Do you remember where you were when . . . President Kennedy was assassinated? The Challenger exploded? Planes hit the Twin Towers in New York City? You can probably easily call up your surroundings when these cataclysmic events happened. But you most likely don’t...

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Do Mennonites Laugh?

My Mennonite parents laughed very little, except when relatives and friends tickled their funny bones. They took the business of parenting very seriously. Other relatives lit up with a sense of humor: I carry an image of my Grandma Fannie and Aunt Ruthie once slapping...

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Thanksgiving Collection I

This post was first published for Thanksgiving 2013, the year I began blogging. I did not know many of you as friends then, so I'm posting this again for our season of gratitude in 2018, keeping in mind those victims of California wildfires and senseless shootings....

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Fear, Faith, and My Kitchen Backsplash

Spiders, snakes, heights, tiny space . . . what feels scary to you? Other things that scare us: mud-slinging politicians, school shootings, low cash flow, a health blow Studies show that 95% of what we fear is baseless, and the rest are things we must learn to live...

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The Velveteen Daughter and My Memoir Title Reveal

A Real Book “What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?” “Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?” It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It...

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51 Years of Eat, Pray, Love

“Another anniversary. After the 50th, what’s so special about that?” Quite a lot, it turns out. Cliff and I observed another anniversary on August 5. We had just returned from a trip to Asheville this summer (where we spent our honeymoon 51 years earlier), but I...

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Who Put the Butter in Butterfly?

Inquiring Minds want to Know . . . Who Put the Butter in Butterfly? a book that survived my Great Book Purge of 2016, was a birthday gift from the Dean of Liberal Arts at my college in 1993. It is billed as“compulsive reading for anyone incurably curious about the...

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