Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Healing Love

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Healing Love, the first in the new series, The Amish of Webster County, by Laura V. Hilton.  To celebrate this tour, Laura is giving away a basket of goodies, on her blog, all comments left on this blog or on her blog during the blog tour (November 1 -22nd) will be entered for the drawing of the Grate-Fall Basket.  Click on the link below the picture to go to Laura's blog to learn more about the participants and to enter the giveaway.  Don't forget a comment here also will give you an entry.  This book was provided by Whitaker House for review purposes, Blog Tour promoted by LovenGod Promotions.

                                                             Laura V. Hilton's Blog

Kristi Lapp loves her Amish life. She enjoys her job as a midwife, helping women through their pregnancies and assisting with the birth of their boppli (babies) into the world. But her life is changed forever when a speeding car sends her buggy over the edge of the highway and down a steep embankment, leaving her seriously injured.

Her recovery is slow and she is left with a painful leg and bad limp. The only bright spot she can see in her life is the fact that she was rescued by local veterinarian, Shane Zimmerman. A man that just happens to be her next door neighbor. Kristi finds herself falling for the handsome vet from the moment she sees him. But the fact that he is Englisch and she is Amish is a hurdle she sees no way to overcome. She must marry an Amish man. Her family will accept nothing less. But how will she ever reconcile herself to another relationship when her heart is lost to Shane?

Shane Zimmerman, still grieving from the tragic death of his pregnant wife, moves to Webster county to begin life anew. No woman has turned his head since his wife's passing. . .until he rescues Kristi Lapp. The beautiful Amish woman captures his every thought from the first. 

He realizes that the time has come for him to acknowledge that his heart is ready to move on. But a warning from Kristi's father to stay away from her leaves him torn between his respect for her father and the longing in his heart to love Kristi. He knows that he must trust God to find a way if the two of them are meant to be.

His own father left the Amish life many years ago to marry. It would take a leap of faith on Shane's part to leave behind his Englisch life. Will his prayers reveal that God is calling him back to his Amish roots? 

You will love Kristi and Shane from the start as they deal with the love that they have for each other, and their struggle to trust God to show them the path He has for them to take. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Nothing says fall like pumpkins! I love their bright orangey colors and their sometimes quirky shapes. The mini pumpkins make fantastic table decorations and the bigger ones give the porch a cheery look on a cool, cloudy afternoon.

For all their decorating potential, the thing we love most about pumpkins, around here. . .is eating them:) Below is our favorite pumpkin muffin recipe. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Muffins

2 cups all purpose flour                                1/4 cup softened butter
2 teaspoons baking powder                        1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon                       1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt                                         1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger                          1/2 cup of milk
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg                         1/4 cup of coconut oil or corn oil
1/8 teaspoon of cloves

Heat oven to 350. Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. In another bowl, beat together butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg, pumpkin, milk, and oil. Beat on high speed until mixture is light and fluffy. Stir in flour mixture just until moistened. Put in greased muffin tins and bake 24-30 minutes. Watch carefully if your oven cooks hot. Makes one dozen muffins.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Free on Amazon

If you're looking for a good read by a wonderful author, Laura V. Hilton's book, Patchwork Dreams, (The Amish of Seymour), is now free on Amazon for a short time. Enjoy!

Friday, September 28, 2012


Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14 (KJV)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cooking On The Trail

Men on the trail heading west had to make sure their wagons stayed in good condition, keep the livestock healthy, and watch for dangers along the trail. Women had many responsibilities. They assisted their husbands with the wagon and livestock, took care of their children, assisted other women that they were traveling in the wagon train, did laundry when there was a day available--for 'rest', and most importantly, keep everyone fed.

There were many food items to 'experiment' with along the way; sage hens, badgers, prairie dogs, rattlesnakes, etc. The main staples packed and brought along from the beginning of the journey included bacon, coffee, flour, cornmeal, soda, beans, and salt. They usually made make-shift biscuits or pancakes with bacon for breakfast in the mornings before starting back on the journey. There was usually a mid-day break so the livestock could rest. Most ate leftovers from breakfast at this time. The evening meal usually consisted of beans, some type of bread, and bacon.

After getting her fire started with buffalo chips, sagebrush, weeds, or wood, if it was available, a pioneer woman could have a meal made within an hour or two. Just in time to curl up under the wagon and rest before it was time to start all over the next morning.

Here is a variation of Irish Soda Bread that was popular on the trail:

Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with one cup of warm water. Stir thoroughly. Add 2 1/4 cups of flour and 1 teaspoon of salt. Knead well. You may cook at once, (in a covered, well greased Dutch oven or spider skillet over the coals if you are on the trail), or let rise overnight. Press down to one inch thick and bake on greased cookie sheet at 4oo degrees for about 25 minutes.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Old West Cowards?

I'm sure there were plenty of cowards in the old west. But nothing like Hollywood prefers to portray in movies and television shows. We've all watched endless shows about towns full of cowards that have to be saved by the one, brave hero while the population cowers behind locked doors, leaving their very lives in the hands of one man.

For a look at the real old west and the kind of people that made up those tough, hardworking towns, read Tough Towns, by Robert Barr Smith. You'll be amazed and filled with admiration at the American spirit that these average, everyday heroes had to save their families, homes, and businesses.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


I grew up wanting to be a cowgirl. I loved horses and the outdoors. We had a few horses when I was young, but the neighborhood changed and most of the livestock had to leave. It just wasn't the same being a cowgirl and only having chickens and a few goats, LOL! I've never had a horse since that time, even though I now live in the country again.

But being a cowgirl isn't all about riding horses and cooking out over campfires. At least according to Dale Evans: "Cowgirl is an attitude, really. A pioneer spirit, a special American brand of courage. The cowgirl faces life head on, lives by her own lights, and makes no excuses. Cowgirls take stands. They speak up. They defend the things they hold dear. A cowgirl might be a rancher, or a barrel racer, or a bull rider, or an actress. But she's just as likely to be a checker at the local Winn Dixie, a full-time mother, a banker, an attorney, or an astronaut."

So have a great day and feel free to saddle up and get in touch with your inner cowgirl:).

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pioneer Women

For months, sometimes a year or more, pioneer/homesteading women were isolated from other women, seeing only their husband and children in their daily life. It was a hard life and lonely at times. But pioneer women played a crucial role in settling the west. Their love, courage, ingenuity, and wisdom made settling the untamed land possible. Women brought social events, including churches, weddings, barn dances, sewing circles, and other stability to the wilderness life.

Their letters sent back home and the diaries they kept give us a small glimpse of what their life was like. Every time I read a snippet from their writings from the past, I am filled with admiration and awe at what brave, courageous women helped to settle this country.

I'll be sharing different aspects of women of the past as time goes by. If you enjoy history of women that helped settle America--please join in the conversation!

I especially enjoy reading about the lives of schoolteachers who went west. How brave they must have been to leave everyone in their life behind and go off on their own! In all the movies, the teacher is usually some poor, old spinster woman that no man would look at. History bears out that most were young women of a very marriageable age--and most did marry eventually. The excerpt below shows how women coming to a town changed things, if only for a few hours on Sundays!

For instance, in 1880, all business in Grand Junction, Colorado, barely settled and not yet incorporated, shut down at 2 p.m. every Sunday so all 300 people in town could listen to Miss Nannie Blain, the first teacher in town, read and discuss the Bible. As soon as she was finished, all the businesses, saloons, etc. opened back up. One wonders what she thought about the wildness that stopped for that hour or so, then went on as usual.