I hate to be cold. Of course, I hate to be too hot, too. Give me temps between 70 and 75 and you'll see one happy lady. The landscape when covered in snow is breathtaking. If only it snowed in the summer.
This is a shot taken from out my kitchen window. Our creator is fantastic! This picture below is a shot of my bedroom window taken one frosty morning in January of this year. It brought back memories of Disney's Fantasia. Remember when the skaters cracked the ice? One more picture from a December sunset in my hometown in Pennsylvania.
No longer Spring, my hubby and I enjoy these spectacular roses and gardens during our coffee break. The peonies are a thing of the past, their gorgeous blooms trampled by heavy rains, but their lush foliage continues to provide beauty to God's gardens.
I hope you are enjoying your summer and fulfilling your dreams. May and June are my favorite months. Lots of sunshine and colorful gardens. For me, as a writer, it's truly an inspirational time of the year.
I haven't been posting lately. Forgive me for ignoring my site, but I have spent my time writing a new book -- a follow-up of the 3-book Amish Series. Yesterday I added "The End," followed by a drawn out sigh of relief. However, it is far from the end, more like the beginning. For now the 'work' begins. I love writing fresh work. My creative spirit expands as my characters take off in unexpected directions. They become alive to me and on paper. The first edit pulls me down to reality, and I cut and paste, delete, switch tenses, and get rid of all the redundant phrases.
The next time through, I look for discrepancies in the time line, character depictions, and a multitude of other areas that could create problems for the reader.
Writing is fun. I thank God everyday for the talent he's given me to write from a Christian perspective and stay true to my beliefs. But writing is also work -- and can be draining.
My new book is called, Waiting for Belinda. You will still be in touch with our friends from Lancaster County who we met in Ruth's Dilemma, Emma's Choice, and Katie's Discovery, but now we slip over to Holmes County, Ohio, where we are introduced to Belinda, Gabe's niece, who is causing grief to her Amish parents as she uses her time of Rumschpringe to try her wings. Her adventures continue as she spends time in Pennsylvania, creating problems, not only for her family, but for herself as well. You'll love her, want to strangle her, and everything in between as she discovers who she is and what she wants to become.
My books are wholesome enough for young adults, but interesting enough for all ages. (Even men enjoy them, though I've been sworn to secrecy by some)
I hope to have Waiting for Belinda available this summer. Jah, that would be ever so nice.
It's so nice to be back in Pennsylvania after wintering in Florida. While I love the warmth and sun of the southern state, I miss the deciduous trees and spring flowers so abundant in our northern haven. My husband and I live in a small town in central Pennsylvania and are privileged to have the best of both worlds - winter in Florida and summer in PA. Suitcases are unpacked and I'm ready to return to the real world. I'm excited as I work on ideas for a new Amish book, which will keep some of my friends and family from the "Zook Sisters of Lancaster County," as it adds new characters and fresh romance. Before I begin the draft, I'm working on a series of "Julia," a young woman who discovers love in a far away country, but finds herself thwarted by a domineering mother and... Well, I'll tell you more when it's ready to publish. I hope some of you will follow my blog and correspond with me. I love to hear from my readers. Blessings, June
Yesterday America spoke. Obama will be the executive chief and president of these United States for another term. For many, those who voted for him, it is a victory. For those of us who follow politics closely, it is tragic. We may never be able to come back - fiscally or morally - to be the great nation we once were.
As the populace increases its dependence on government to provide, the size and power of the government increases. History will repeat itself. the seduction of socialism is powerful, but the end result is always the same. What sounds enticing in theory, turns out to be impractical. The only people who benefit are the leaders who indulge themselves and take from the people. Anyone who has lived under the scourge of true socialism/communism will warn you of the slippery slope we find ourselves on. Weaken the military and leave yourself open to threats and domination from outside forces. Obama plans to do just that, decimating the forces that keep us free.
Personal responsibility is at an all time low. People were warned about the storm Sandy, yet many did not even bother to purchase extra water or batteries, expecting the government to be there in their time of need. Even mandatory evacuation was ignored by some. Yes, we need help during natural tragedies, but the logistics sometimes make it difficult to be on site immediately. We must try to foresee our own needs to prevent further suffering. People tend to live from paycheck to paycheck, or welfare check to welfare check. We can learn to live without all the goodies.
Stories of those on long-term unemployment abound, noting their unwillingness to accept jobs as long as they receive checks from the government. Sometimes it doesn't pay them to return to the workforce since child care is expensive and then they wouldn't qualify for some of their other benefits such as medical assistance and food stamps. Can you blame them when the government makes it difficult to wean off of dependency.
Many of the schools are so miserable, even if you make it through high school, you may not be trained to do anything constructive. That is a true problem, but unions have put the teacher first in many instances. Romney wanted school choice. He wanted to encourage people to get off welfare and be productive members of society. He offered a fresh start. Free enterprise systems can only survive if people are willing to work and be part of the solution. We can not sustain the excessive spending in Washington much longer. Our debt is going to swallow us and we will be another Greece - rioting, unable to fulfill the promises of the earlier generations.
The left-wing Democrats want control and they're getting it. Our freedoms are being jeopardized. Obomacare will cripple us further. Note that our politicians do not live by the same standards as they expect us to live. They will always have excellent medical care and pensions. What other group of people has the ability to give itself raises, vacation time, and benefits?
Can we get through four more years with Obama at the helm? Yes. Will it be the same country we remember growing up in? No. Be prepared. Be vigilant. Be wary of the media, which has an agenda. I believe they are responsible for this election ending as it did. Where was the coverage on Libya? On Fast and Furious? On the excessive spending of the first family? On the outrageous health bill? On the consequences of disallowing private religious groups to determine their own health policies for their employees? Missing in action on all counts.
Check your facts and stand up for your beliefs and rights. We can not sleep. And get on your knees and pray to God to forgive this nation for its sins. IIChron: 7:14
My letter to the editor: Press Enterprise, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania - October 4, 2012
Wake up America, you are being deceived by the very people who should be informing you. For years I've watched as the media becomes more biased with each election. It is the media that now determines the election outcome. Instead of being the watchdog for the people it has become a lackey for its party of choice, whom it got elected in the first place. Think of it. On the one hand we had a war hero, public servant, known for honesty and patriotism running for the presidency and on the other hand - a man with no history, glib, but a record so vague as to be laughable. Yet he was raised on a pedestal. Here was the man who would bring change; turn Washington around and bring transparency to the American people so they would see everything that went on and be part of the process. And a black man at that. All the talk of racism and hatred would be dispelled by a man who would be a salve for the nation's past ills - a leader who would take away the divisions and bring us together. He would look out for each of the citizens. And what did we get?
A partisan of the far left. We should have known. Look at his background, those who formed his early belief system, the socialistic friends in academia, his church, his background in Chicagopolitics. What did America expect? Do you know how many were killed by the extraordinary program, Fast and Furious, that allowed guns to be purchased in the US to be given to the drug lords in Mexico and actually orchestrated by the American government? Did you hear about that on NBC or read about it in the New York Times? Did you hear about the number of bundlers and heavy donors to Obama that got special treatment and millions of dollars from the stimulus that we, the tax-payer paid for? Remember Solyndra?
What about the fact that Obama took time out for "The View" and other foolish programs rather than meet face-to-face with leaders attending the UN? A requested meeting with Netanyahu was rejected - our president was too busy to meet with the Israeli prime minister. In fact, for the first time in two decades, a USpresident did not meet with any leaders. Is it because the world is so calm? How many mid-east countries are burning our flag shouting "death to America" right at this moment? What about the four patriots murdered in the vicious attack on our consulate? Make no doubt about it. It was an act of terrorism on 9-11 and everyone - everyone knew it! But after gloating at the Democratic convention about Osama being dead and Al Qaeda being insignificant, how could the administration come out and admit their policy failures. Osama is dead because for years Americahad been working toward that end. Our intelligence community spent years working on the plan to remove that man. Obama gave the final okay, but it wasn't his life at risk. No, but as soon as it was accomplished, the White House leaked sensitive material, causing undo threats to our intelligence community. Why? For his next election. So he'd look good as a world leader. He is weak, our world standing has been significantly reduced and yet he still has approval ratings that are astounding for the damage he's caused.
The day after the tragedy in Libya, the president took off to Vegas for a fundraiser! Can you imagine how Bush would have been vilified if he had done something like that? I'm sick of not being told the truth. Sick of lies. Sick of the destruction to our great country. Where are the investigative reporters? They got rid of Nixon and there were not four dead people involved in Watergate. Security was lacking. You don't need the FBI to tell you that. There are four caskets that prove it.
Now the media is determined to get Obama re-elected. Go onto the Drudge Report where you can investigate on your own. You can read newspapers from around the world. Please, educate yourself. There has never been a more important election.
A week passed before there was a knock on the door. Rachel was cutting onions for the soup simmering in the black iron kettle. She laid her knife aside and opened the door to find her pastor and a stranger standing before her. She noted the man was about her age, of sturdy build, and had a steady, honest expression. He was taller than Ezekiel had been, and his hair was darker and wavier.
"Rachel, this is David Harper. He's, planning to join the wagon train forming in Independence, which is heading west sometime in late spring. He wants to stop for a month or so to replenish his supplies. Told him about you and your need here, and he said he'd help out if you'd put him up."
"Come in," she said awkwardly, as she wiped her hands on her apron. She stared at this man standing in her home. Who was he anyway? Could she take a chance on some stranger living here -- especially with a young daughter? Why hadn't she just kept her problems to herself?
David Harper turned the rim of his hat several times in his hands before Rachel continued. "I...I think I'll be okay. Lucinda has planted one field already. It was nice of you to--"
"Ma'am, I know you don't know anything about me, but I can be a help to you, and I don't eat much -- not too much, anyway," he added, grinning at the pastor. "I'm a God-fearin' man and a widower at that. I sure could use a place to rest my head for a while, and I see you have a barn out there. Plus you got a lotta land yet to till, if Pastor gave me the right boundary lines."
"Well, I guess we can try it for a few days. I can't pay you money."
"I explained everything to him, Rachel. He's got money. He just needs to take a break before the wagon train leaves."
"I come here from Pennsylvania, ma'am, and I got ambushed by some stray Indians. They only left me my oxen, wagon, and my axe. Only reason they didn't get the axe was because it was hid."
"I have to get over to Mazie Turner's place," Pastor Beckenridge interjected. "They want to talk with me about a wedding for their daughter. I'll stop by in a couple days and see how things are going." He turned and shook David Harper's hand, nodded to Rachel, and took off.
As he mounted his horse, Lucinda returned from the field, soiled and exhausted. She entered her home and stood back when she saw Mr. Harper standing near the fireplace.
"Honey, this is Mr. Harper. He's going to help us out for a while. He's a God-fearing man and a widower at that." Her mother repeated his words and smiled to reassure Lucinda.
Lucinda nodded and took a cloth to wipe her face. "It's getting pretty hot out there, considering it's only April," she mused as she removed grime from her forehead.
"You can take a break now, missy. I'll pick up where you left off, soon as I get a little sustenance. That soup smells mighty good."
Rachel noticed he smelled of perspiration as she ladled a bowl of soup for him. "There's a shower round the back of the house for when you have a need for it. Have to load the bucket first, of course. We've had lots of rain, so take your time. We've plenty of water."
He looked up at her and grinned. "If you're givin' me a hint, ma'am, I can take it. It sure will feel good to clean up a bit. I wasn't near a river for five days."
Today is Chick-Fil-A appreciation day around the country and it will be interesting to see if the half million supporters actually visit a Chick-Fil-A. I, for one, would love one of their delicious lunches, but live too far away from one of their restaurants to show my support.
Do I hate gay people? Of course not. As a Christian, I do not hate anyone. They are people with the same frailities as anyone. Many are kind, talented people. Some are friends.
Chick-Fil-A chief executive officer Dan Cathy is quoted in the July 16 Baptist Press article: “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”
That is not a declaration of "hate." It is a proclamation of his religious beliefs.
Do I support gay marriage? Absolutely not. It is not out of intolerance or hatred that I support only a marriage between one woman and one man. God has ordained marriage. It has been the accepted practice for thousands of years. Nowhere in the Bible, which I believe was written by men through the power of the Holy Spirit, does it allow for homosexuality. It, like adultery, murder, stealing, etc., is a sin. Is it worse than other sins? Many feel it is since it is called an abomination in the old testament, but being a sinner myself, I won't rate the degree of sinfulness. Only God can judge.
Our society is failing with the demise of the family. There is a reason to have a father and mother in a home wherechildren reside. There they can learn to identify with the members of their family and continue their role, one day marrying perhaps to give security to the children born of that union and thus continue the cycle.
The intolerance comes not from Christians, but from those who berate our beliefs and refuse to accept our position on moral issues. We are still a nation of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, though if we don't stand up for our beliefs, it may not remain so for long.
In my essay about Obamacare, I discuss the issue of Catholic institutions being affected by the new laws. How sad that we don't all rally behind the call to change that part of the law before doors will close and the charitable works of the church will no longer be forthcoming.
I pray that the divisions in this nation will be tempered by all of us. We can respect each other's views without spewing hatred and accusations of intolerance if we but speak and act out of love.
Now that the Supreme Court has issued its decision to allow the health care mandate to remain intact, albeit as a tax, the unwieldy 2600 page bill may remain the law of the land. Since it was jammed through before it was read, we learn details only as they dribble out from the pages.
The intent on the surface sounds honorable. After all, who can be against health care for everyone? But to expect the federal government to handle such a huge task without massive corruption and ineptness, is to wish upon a star. Can we presume that a government that has put itself into debt to the extent of trillions of US dollars can suddenly discover a way to handle the health care of every single citizen in this nation better than the free market?
Perhaps the skeptic in me prevents me from viewing this as the true purpose of the bill. Is it not more likely that it is just another way of controlling the populace? Our life and death would be determined by bureaucrats. The physician and his patient would be held captive in decisions made by those in Washington. How sad that we cannot learn from the mistakes of other nations that have followed the path to socialism. The western European nations are nearly bankrupt from this system of government. Great Britain has exposed the fact that last year alone, over 130,000 elderly were euthanized. When initially put in place, the decision to aid those suffering from terminal cancer and other fatal illnesses by quickening the inevitable, may have appeared to hold merit. (My personal opinion does not matter.) The slippery slope became an ice-capped cliff and, as a money saving technique, the death camps were initiated.
Another concern has been the reduction in mammograms. After people were outraged at the plan to reduce the number of mammograms given, the ruling was altered. Now we have been informed that the PSA test (a prostate cancer diagnosis tool) will not be given routinely. What else haven't they told us?
In a recent family situation, the waste of money spent on medical care became very evident. A family member needed a simple in-and-out surgical procedure. She was in surgery less than an hour and in the hospital for only four hours. The bill was more than $20,000. No wonder we have a problem. The more the government subsidizes the hospitals, the higher the cost. The same in the educational system. As government steps in, costs go up.
A serious consequence of this bill is the damage it does to the 1st amendment on freedom of religion. It is not only the Catholic Church which should take issue with the government's stand on contraceptives, we should all be concerned with the consequences of that part of the legislation. Once the government steps in to tell you what you must accept, or lose your status as a religious charity, we are on our way to losing all rights. Certainly we can pay for our own birth control devices and not expect insurance to cover that area of our lives. What happened to personal responsibility?
If the Republicans take over both houses and the White House in November and are able to repeal the flawed health care plan, they will need to offer other options. Yes, as Senator McConnell, Minority Leader, stated on Fox News Sunday, they will need to use caution as they explore ways to improve the system. Tort reform would decrease the amount of malpractice insurance, which is passed on to the patient, and would eliminate the need for unnecessary testing, which accounts for an enormous expense. Competition across state lines would bring the market into play and premiums could be reduced.
Under ObamaCare there will be a 500 Billion dollar tax increase, half a trillion dollar cut to Medicare, and between 800,000 to a million jobs lost. Is this what we want for the future of America?
Please, fellow voters, forget partisanship. Think of the good of the country when you pull that lever in November. We need less government intrusion in our lives -- not more.