The Plain People


Plain people are Christian groups characterized by separation from the world and by simple living, including plain dressing. This is a very simple definition of Plain People.


This is a photo full post with most of the pictures of  Plain People I captured in the Amish/Mennonite Communities in parts of Indiana and Holmes County Ohio.














This photo is a drive-by snap of a Barn Sale.







Ending with this school yard photo of the children at recess.

I’m linking up to ABC Wednesday for P is for Plain People with thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt and Roger plus the ABC team.

Since these photos are mostly from farming communities I’m also linking up to The Barn Collective with Tom the Backroads Traveller.

Fall is living up to it’s name in our yard. Dear went out and rustled up all the leaves this morning and then the winds came and there are more leaves than before on the ground. That is the price we pay for the beauty of our changing seasons. It’s worth it.


As I type I’m watching more leaves fall and it’s a lovely sight.

Shipshe Flea Market Signs


When we were in Shipshewana we spent some time at the Flea Market and saw these signs and other merchandise.



The Time Out chairs cracked me up.



“I had a Fit Now I gotta sit”  and Time Out ~ “Have Mercy on me O Lord For I’m in Trouble”

There were lots of items I wanted to bring home with me but alas my suitcase wasn’t the size of a pick-up truck.


I bought this Celebrations sign with discs and hearts to add for our family birthdays and anniversaries.

We are being threatened with a mighty wind storm and lots of rain to blow through our region. We have been busy “battening down the hatches” at this old house. We’ve mowed and cleaned out the planters and soon we’ll have more leaves to deal with because of the mighty winds. Hopefully we won’t lose power. Hope y’all are enjoying Fall!

Linking up with Lesley at signs, signs.

Heritage Trail Mosaics…




On Sunday the 25th of September we traveled along the Heritage Trail in Amish/Mennonite Country, Indiana. These shots are from one of our first stops just south of downtown Shipshewana. This reminded me of the Goldilocks story for some reason.

We have had a soggy weekend with some sun breaks here and there. We have been quite lazy here at this old house this weekend. We were in church early Sunday morning where we started a new series on the Holy Spirit. It was a good start with more to come. After church we had breakfast out and stopped at Fred Meyer to buy some ingredients for chicken chili for our second meal of the day and it was real good. These days we are happy with two meals a day.


How was your weekend? It wouldn’t be hard to accomplish more than we did at this old house.

Monday is Thanksgiving in Canada and I wish our good neighbors a very Happy Thanksgiving Day. May God bless Canada today and forever…

Linking to Mosaic Monday with Maggie at Normandy Life. Thank you Maggie for being a great hostess of this meme.

Amazed in Amish Country…


E & S Sales: Come enjoy their unique varieties and wide selection of bulk flour, candy, nuts, snacks, dried fruit, baking ingredients and spices. They have cheese, meat, produce, jams & jellies, salsa, noodles and many other products. You can sit in their deli and enjoy a sandwich, salad, soup, slice of pie and ice cream. Check out their antiques on display while you browse the store and remember they are not open on Sunday!


We just kept pointing and exclaiming to each other as we walked the aisles. This is not your Costco variety bulk.


Me and my fellow shoppers.


The parking lot.


theater-blue-gate-048This is my niece’s mother in law.  She and her hubby traveled from Michigan for our cooking show and offered to take us around to some of their favorite spots in Shipshe. I’m sorry I didn’t get a photo of the 4 of us together. Besides E & S they took us to their favorite snack spot, JoJo’s Pretzels! JoJo’s is located in the Davis Mercantile, four levels of shops with a carousel on one of the levels.



They have a sense of humor, too.

blue-gate7We finished off our morning at Yoder’s Red Barn Shoppes not to be mistaken for Yoder’s Meat and Cheese. I’ll save that for another post. Thank you Arden and Mary Lou for your hospitality!

We are having a soggy stay inside Saturday here at this old house. The colors are changing nicely in our corner of the world. Our Canadian neighbors are celebrating Thanksgiving all through this weekend with Monday being their official Thanksgiving Day. Here’s a photo of the back of our home with some fall color. I took this photo yesterday morning.


Enjoy your weekend everyone…

Early Fall Favorites…


We’re home from our week long trip to Shipshewana, Indiana and Sugarcreek, Ohio for the Showings of the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Comedy Play. It was such an interesting area filled with things we don’t see everyday in the Seattle Area.


We were sorry to have to miss the annual Crafter’s Fall Fair that started after we moved from Indiana to Ohio. One of the nice treats on this Mennonite Girls Can Cook trip was that most of our husbands came along for the ride and it was good to have their support.


Fourteen of us arrived on Saturday night to Shipshe and on Sunday, our only full free day, we took the Heritage Trail driving tour of the Amish/Mennonite countryside. We fit into three cars for the tour and Harv and Bev came along with Dear and me. We had lots of stop on a dime moments and the cameras were snapping away.

shipshe-bevThese corn horse photos were taken at the very end of the tour after we had come full circle.





Thank you Lord for:

1. A good safe trip driving many miles in the countryside. 2. Uneventful flights to and from Detroit. 3. Beautiful scenery. 4. Our kids who dropped us off at the airport and picked us up at the airport. 5. Good times with friends during this trip.

This is a bonus thankful link that comes from Rattlebridge Farm on How to Be a Happy Blogger. I found it to be very encouraging.

I’m linking up with Susanne at Friday’s Fave Five , Amy’s Five on Friday., and Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday and Everything Else.

To all my Canadian friends that come here today I’m wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving weekend and Thanksgiving Day on Monday!

M is for Mennonite Girls Can Cook


The “Girls” and most of our husbands have just returned from a seven day trip to Indiana and Ohio to see a production using our name in Amish/Mennonite Country. The Blue Gate Productions hosted us and treated us as VIP’s. All ten of the girls were together at the Blue Gate Garden Inn where we enjoyed “Faspa” on Sunday night before we had our cooking show and saw the production for the first time. As you can see from the first photo above we have fun together.


We took this opportunity to get some photos of all ten of us since Betty and Charlotte live in Manitoba and miss many of our get togethers in British Columbia and Seattle.


This part of the country really enjoy pie and Kathy bought a couple pies for our time together.


The Blue Gate Garden Inn /Shipshewana was a lovely spot with the perfect outdoor space for us to enjoy our Faspa.

“Faspa” is one of those Low German words for which there is no direct English translation.  Faspa is a light lunch about 4 p.m. on workdays.  Faspa also is the gathering of family and friends, usually at 4 p.m. Sunday, for a light meal and fellowship, with an emphasis on fellowship.  The meal always included zwieback, coffee and might also include cheese, cold cuts, and jelly.


On Monday the festivities began at the Blue Gate Theater and Restaurant with a cooking show before a dinner and play and topping the day off with an ice cream social. It’s strange seeing your name in lights!






Lovella, Anneliese and Kathy were on stage for the cooking show and they had a wonderful opportunity to convey who the “real Mennonite Girls” are and what we believe and why we give all of our author royalties to charities that benefit orphans and widows and provide food to those who are in desperate need. They really shined on stage and had the audience entertained. They made three recipe’s from our books for the show and the Blue Gate served those three dishes after the show to the audience.



Later we met lovely people who were able to share their stories with us at a dinner before the show. We really enjoyed talking to these retired teachers from Ohio. Oh my and we ate in the Amish/Mennonite way with more than one protein, starch, veggie, and of course Pie to end the meal. Don’t forget that there still was an ice cream social after the play.


Salad, Meatloaf, fried chicken, green beans, stuffing, noodles, mashed potatoes, and gravy.


Here we are with the cast from the comedy. They were great actors, playing ten separate characters. We were happy that we had the chance at our cooking show to represent who we are in contrast to the play.

theater-blue-gate-052 theater-blue-gate-048

We had the special treat to have my niece’s in-laws come down from Michigan to see the cooking show and to spend the morning with us taking us around to their favorite shops in Shipshewana. It’s always great to enjoy a town with “locals” who know the area. Thank you Mary Lou and Arden for your hospitality to us! In another post I’ll show what we saw with our special hosts.

From Shipshewana we traveled to Sugarcreek Ohio to the Carlisle Inn, another beautiful and well appointed Inn. We were treated to lovely suites for the next leg of our time together.  We had another opportunity to have a dinner where we could share the real story about the Mennonite Girls before the play and meet people at book signings after the play. It was so good to be together with our husbands and enjoy this very unique countryside together.

I have lots of posts that will show the countryside and the people who live in the communities we visited. I’m missing the clip clop clip clop of the beautiful horses pulling the buggies…


Linking up to ABC Wednesday with thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt and Roger and all the administrators of this weekly meme.

Bonneyville Mill County Park


While we were in Amish Country in Indiana the Mennonite Girls and our husbands took a driving tour along the Heritage Trail. One of our stops was at the Bonneyville Mill County Park Bristol, Indiana. The Dahlia garden was still blooming beautifully.

heritage-tour-141 heritage-tour-140

We traveled these roads on a Sunday September 25th when many stores and restaurants are closed in this part of our world. The guide says “find surprises at every turn”. We started the trail in Shipshewana and traveled through Goshen, Nappanee, Wakarusa, Elkhart, Bristol and Middlebury before we returned to Shipshewana.



The barn, barn quilt, and windmill were a bonus to see on this stop on our tour.

heritage-tour-125Sunday the 25th of September was our first full day of fun with most of the girls and our husbands. The Manitoba Girls and their husbands arrived in the late afternoon and then all 10 of us girls enjoyed “Faspa” together before heading to our rooms to rest up for the next several days filled with shows, meals, book signings, and travel. It will take several posts to share many of our experiences. Dear and I arrived home last night after the four hour drive to the Detroit Airport and a four and a half hour flight to Seattle. It was good to put our heads on our own pillows last night. We now have to set our inner clocks to Pacific time!

I’m linking up with Maggie at Normandy Life for Mosaic Monday and

with Tom the Backroads Traveller for The Barn Collective.


I is for Indiana

Later this month all the Mennonite Girls and many of their husbands are headed to Shipshewana, Indiana for …

blue gate

This is all very surreal to all of us and we are excited to see the show and enjoy the experience. I’ve been reading up on the area and want to respect the people in this community. This article is helpful.

LaGrange County and Shipshewana are home to the third largest Amish community in the nation. This community’s simple way of life is the reason many people visit our area—to observe, learn about, pay tribute to, and purchase items from the Amish.

With the travel season upon us, here are a few things to remember as you travel to our area and interact with the Amish:

1. Upon your arrival, you will notice the roads filled with bikes and buggies; many people will be walking, and kids will be riding pony carts.

Please slow down and take extra caution as you travel. Buggies follow the same road rules as vehicles, so they are allowed to be on the road.

2. Please don’t honk at the horses pulling buggies. The sound easily could spook the horses.

3. The Amish in our area understand the fact that visitors come to get to know them. Within limits, they will visit some with you, but if they choose not to, that’s okay. Even if you don’t get into a conversation with them, they will provide a smile and a nod.

4. As part of their religious heritage, Amish believe photographs are “graven images,” so please do not take photos of their faces…grown-ups or children. It’s tempting, we know, but please honor their culture by not taking photographs.

5. DO stop in at their home businesses on the Amish backroads. Many of these businesses help sustain the Amish way of life. You’ll see many signs on our county roads advertising these small “cottage businesses.” When you see a sign, you’re automatically invited to stop in; you’ll be welcomed.

6. Most shops are closed on Sunday so the Amish can honor the Sabbath with a day of rest and spend uninterrupted time with their family. Plan your schedule accordingly.

Welcome to LaGrange County. We’re so glad you’re here!

After a few days in Indiana we continue on to Ohio for the second location of our play at the Ohio Star Theater (Sugarcreek). Somebody pinch me…but not too hard!

I wonder what items I will find to buy and bring home with me from these industrious people.

If any of you have been in this part of the country and you have a recommendation on what to see let me know in comments.

I’m linking up with ABC Wednesday started by Mrs. Nesbitt and carried on by Roger and a team of exceptional bloggers!

Some Sizzling News…

meatball kitchen 002

Click over to Mennonite Girls Can Cook to see my recipe for these delicious meatballs to make an Italian meatball sandwich with!

Opening Soon!

And check out some exciting news on a one act play, Mennonite Girls Can Cook, inspired by our blog and cookbooks premiering in September in Shipshewana, Indiana and Sugarcreek, Ohio.