Archives for posts with tag: amish country

Bakery

 

Recently I was able to make a quick trip to Pennsylvania to see my Amish friend Ruth (fictional name to protect her privacy). I first met Ruth when I was researching A Gift of Grace, the first in my Kauffman Amish Bakery Series.

Ruth lives on a dairy farm and has seven children. Our first encounter consisted with sitting in her kitchen for two hours and talking, and I found that she was soft-spoken, warm, and patient person I’d ever met. She never lost her patience with her children. And, since she has seven children, I was impressed. I have two boys, and I find myself constantly raising my voice. I knew when I met Ruth that I could learn to be a better person by following her example.

My friendship with Ruth has grown tremendously during the past five years. We’ve moved from occasional phone calls and visits to more regular calls. She and one of her daughters read my manuscripts and help me with the details and accuracy of my books.

During my most recent visit, Ruth invited me to come to a dinner that she was hosting in her home. Some Amish women host dinners for Englishers (non-Amish) as a way to make extra income. It gives Englishers an opportunity to experience an Amish home and meal. While I had visited Ruth many times, I had never had the opportunity to attend a meal like this.

There are approximately two dozen visitors who attended the meal. Ruth had a small table and also one long table set up in her kitchen. She invited the guests to come into the kitchen, and she asked me to sit at the head of the long table. Before the meal began, she said a prayer, thanking God for the beautiful day and the opportunity to host her new friends in her home.

She then began to serve the meal. Normally, Ruth hires two fifteen-year-old girls to help her since her daughters are busy working and her sons help with the farm. This evening her helpers were busy, so I did what I could assist her with her meal, which included fruit salad, barbecue meatloaf, green beans from her garden, and homemade chicken and noodles. The meal was serve family style. For dessert, we served coffee, chocolate, and coffee flavored pudding. The food was delicious!

After we ate, Ruth sat on a stool and asked the group where they were from. There were visitors from as close by as New Jersey and as far away as Europe. Ruth answered questions about the Amish culture, and she and her youngest daughter sang a beautiful song for us. She then led us in a verse of Amazing Grace.

I stayed after the guests had left and helped her wash dishes and clean up the kitchen. We talked about our families while we worked.

It was a blessing and an honor to experience a meal in Ruth’s home. I look forward to visiting Ruth again soon.

If you are able to visit Amish Country, I highly recommend that you have a meal in an Amish home. I’m certain you’ll have a wonderful time!

Blessings,

Amy Clipston

 

Amy Clipston
Amy Clipston has been writing for as long as she can remember. She has a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and is a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She is the author of the bestselling Kauffman Amish Bakery series and the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series with Zondervan, which is part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Amy works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. She lives with her husband, two sons, mother, and four spoiled rotten cats. Readers can find Amy at AmyClipston.com, as well as on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/AmyClipstonBooks and on Twitter: @AmyClipston.

It’s finally warming up in Charlotte, NC, and I’m relishing the first days of spring. It’s such a beautiful time of year as we enjoy hearing the birds sing again, and the earth is renewed. I always look forward to seeing the daffodils sprout up in our yard. Daffodils are special to me since they remind me of the huge backyard behind the house where I grew up in New Jersey. My father once told me that the squirrels moved the daffodil bulbs, explaining why the flowers would poke up in random locations throughout the yard.

This year spring is even more special because the next book in my Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel series is set to release June 3. A Mother’s Secret is my favorite book in the series. Carolyn Lapp, the heroine of the book, is different from the other Amish women I’ve featured in my previous books. Due to her painful past, she’s more outspoken and less traditional than any other Amish character I have created. I also enjoyed giving Joshua Glick his own story since he had his heart broken in A Hopeful Heart.

 

MothersSecret3

 

Readers can pre-order the e-book version of A Mother’s Secret for $4.99 until June 2. Just follow this link to pre-order the book. Below is more information about the book.

Book Description

In A Mother’s Secret Carolyn Lapp dreams of marrying for love. But will the errors of her past destroy this dream forever? Carolyn Lapp longs to have a traditional Amish family. But she lives on her brother’s farm with her parents and her 15-year old son, Benjamin. Carolyn has never revealed the identity of Benjamin’s father and lives daily with the guilt and shame of her youthful indiscretion. Her brother simply will not forgive her. His answer is to arrange a practical marriage for Carolyn to Saul, a widower with a little girl. But Carolyn isn’t convinced that Saul really loves her and believes he is simply looking for someone to help raise his daughter. When Benjamin causes trouble at a local horse auction, horse breeder Joshua Glick decides that he must be taught a lesson. Carolyn and Joshua are unmistakably drawn to each other, but Joshua mistakenly assumes that Benjamin is Carolyn’s brother. Carolyn fears that if he discovers the truth, her past will destroy their budding romance. After years of shame and loneliness, Carolyn suddenly has two men vying for her attention. But which of them will give her the family—and the unconditional love—she’s longed for?

The Making of A Mother’s Secret

A Mother’s Secret was inspired while I was writing A Hopeful Heart. I felt Joshua Glick needed his own story. This book is dedicated to my amazing editor and dear friend, Becky Philpott.

I plan to give away advance copies of A Mother’s Secret beginning in May. You can check my Facebook page for contests.

I hope readers enjoy A Mother’s Secret. Book three in the series, A Dream of Home, will follow in December.

 

On March 5, I traveled to South Bend, Indiana, for a live television interview on The Harvest Show to launch my memoir, A Gift of Love. My literary agent, Susan Brower, drove to South Bend and met me at the airport, and we had a wonderful time visiting together. I had never traveled to South Bend, and I didn’t realize we were staying right by Notre Dame. Sue and I took a windshield tour of the campus, enjoying the beautiful architecture, along with the piles of snow.

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Sue and I had dinner at Legends, a restaurant located on the Notre Dame campus. Above is a photo of Sue posing outside of the restaurant.

Amy_Legends

The restaurant was decorated with Fighting Irish sports memorabilia, and the food was delicious. Sue and I shared a delectable piece of carrot cake as a special treat for dessert. Above is a photo of me with examples of the memorabilia in the background.

On Thursday, March 6, Sue and I had breakfast in the hotel and then took a shuffle to the Harvest Show studio. I was nervous, but I felt at ease when I met the friendly members of the Harvest Show staff. My interview was scheduled for 9:17, and I waited on the set until my time came to join the host and hostess. I quickly felt comfortable and enjoyed discussing my book with them.

Here is a link to my interview.

After the interview, Sue and I traveled back to the hotel, and we packed up our things. Sue took me to the airport, and I started my journey home to Charlotte. I hope to have the opportunity to travel back to South Bend sometime soon.

Amy Clipston is the best-selling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. Her novels have hit multiple best-seller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. In addition to her passion for writing, Amy is incredibly passionate about blood and organ donation. Her memoir, A Gift of Love, which details her journey as a kidney donor, released in March 2014. She and her family live in North Carolina and are so grateful for their health and time together as a family. 

central Texas

central Texas

Gardens Among the Amish

I think that most of us are ready for spring. My friends to the north have had enough snow to last them several winters. Here in Texas, the temperatures have bee extraordinarily cold, then warm, then cold again — pretty standard. The one thing we’re missing is RAIN. Other states are experiencing drought as well–California, for instance. Please pray for us, that God will send us rain to fill the streams, replenish the lakes, and water our gardens.

As I watch for signs of spring, I start thinking about my garden. When is it time to plant? Can I be sure it won’t frost again? What new things do I want to try this year? We have a problem with deer in our area as you can see from the top picture. Generally they find a way to eat anything I plant. But this year, my husband has built a fence around the patio, and we also have a homemade “greenhouse” that we hope to grow some things in. I love fresh vegetables and herbs!


Growing up, we always had a garden, but as I got older and had a family of my own–I became too busy. Or I thought I was too busy. Then I started writing Amish stories and visiting Amish homes. If you’ve been to Amish country, you know that their gardens are a site to behold. There are flowers alongside vegetables. Sunflowers for birdseed, and even objects to add art and whimsy, like the propane tank in the picture above.

shipshewana, INSo what did I learn from my visits to Amish and their gardens?

  1. Growing a garden is hard work, but it’s also quite satisfying.
  2. All the family can help–we saw everyone from the young children to grandma and grandpa helping.
  3. Gardening has a spiritual aspect. When we’re in “the garden” it’s easier to focus on our Lord.
  4. Gardening is healthy. It produces healthy food. It gives us exercise and time in the sun, and it’s a balm for our spirit.
  5. Homegrown produce tastes better. That’s not a scientific fact, but it sure seems to be true. Perhaps it’s the hours you’ve put in caring for your garden. Maybe it’s the way you’ve watched the tomatoes ripen, waiting for the moment you can pick one. I can’t explain this, but it seems that homegrown does taste better.

Garden webWhen I was asked to write a novella for the collection, An Amish Garden, the first thing I did was go back through my pictures of my time visiting the Amish in Indiana, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Oklahoma. These places are all different, with different types of communities, buggies, dress, and even styles of farming. but one thing they had in common was the family garden.

I plan to expand my garden this year. And hopefully, this time, the deer won’t reap the rewards of my labor.

Blessings,

V

Happy September!

I blogged two weeks ago about how much I love the fall. Not only am I excited about the weather and the upcoming holidays, but I’m also excited to peek at my events page on Facebook and see all of the book signings that are coming up. I thought I’d share the list with you here.

I’ll be in Indianapolis next week for the American Christian Fiction Writers, and I will participate in two multi-author signings:

Thurs., Sept. 12, 6 p.m.
Family Christian
715 East Carmel Drive
Carmel, IN 46032

Fri., Sept. 13, 1-3 p.m.
Barnes & Noble @ IUPUI
Campus Center
420 University Blvd., Ste 155
Indianapolis, IN 46202

fLYER

More upcoming events include:

Sat., Sept., 21, 10:30 a.m.
Amish Brunch with Amy Clipston
Montgomery County Public Libraries
215 West Main Street
Troy, North Carolina 27371

Thurs., Oct. 24, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Ladies’ Tea: A Book signing and speaking engagement
Matthews Christian Library
116 N. Ames Street
Matthews, NC 28105

Fri., Oct. 25, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Ethel K. Smith Library
Wingate University
110 Church Street
Wingate, NC 28174

I hope to see you at a book signing soon!
Blessings,
Amy

Amy Clipston is the award-winning author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. Her novels have hit multiple best-seller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Her new novel, A Hopeful Heart, released June 2013She holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled rotten cats.

I love everything about autumn. I love shopping for school supplies for my boys, buying school clothes, and seeing brightly-colored fall decorations pop up in local stores. I look forward to seeing the school bus rattle down our street as it stops on the corner to pick up my younger son and other neighborhood children. I relish a slight chill in the air as we pull out our light jackets for the morning commute to work and school.

If you asked me what my favorite holiday is, I would tell you it is Halloween. Not only do I enjoy decorating my lawn with our silly inflatable pumpkins, but I also look forward to seeing the neighborhood kids (especially the itty-bitty ones!) parade up and down my porch in their costumes. It’s so fun to fill their pillowcases and plastic pumpkins with candy and tell them how amazing they look.

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Above are a couple of photos of from Halloweens of the past. As you can see, my boys like to act silly while posing with a couple of our porch decorations.

This year, however, I won’t be home for Halloween. Instead, I’ll be on my way to Berlin, Ohio, for the Amish Heart Tour and Book Signing. I’m excited that I’ll be joined by my good friend Shelley Shepard Gray. I can’t wait to see Berlin in the fall!

Here’s more information about the event:

For your rest and relaxation, Amish Heartland Tours is holding a block of rooms at the newest lodging facility in Walnut Creek, The Wallhouse Hotel.

This unique package includes your choice of a one or two night stay along with the full day of touring beautiful Holmes County and spending time on the motor coach with both Amy Clipston and Shelley Shepard Gray. The tour is offered on both November 1 and November 2. Tours will be given in a deluxe 54 passenger motor coach.

Itinerary ~

8:30 A.M. Group will depart from the Wallhouse Hotel for a picturesque driving tour with our local tour guides. A stop at the popular Lehman’s Hardware in Kidron offers thousands of non-electrical housewares and hard to find items.

11:30 We will return to the hotel with both Amy Clipston and Shelley Shepard Gray joining the coaches. Together as a group, we will be hosted by an Amish family for a family style meal in their Old Order Home. The menu consists of a salad, homemade bread, peanut butter spread, hot and cold beverage, roast beef, baked chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, noodles, green beans and assorted homemade pies.

 After lunch, Amy and Shelley will spend time on the coach sharing about her books and answering questions from the group as we continue to travel scenic back roads.

Both groups will meet up at the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center for a tour of the historical mural, Behalt. This mural showcases the history of the Amish and Mennonites on a 265′ x 10′ cyclorama mural which is guided. The center boasts a large selection of cultural reading and local cookbooks.

Amy and Shelley will then join the other coach for 2 hours of sharing with one visit to Wendell August Forge, specializing in hand hammered giftwares from pewter, aluminum and bronze.

6:00 We will return to the Wallhouse Hotel to conduct the book signings with an evening assortment of local cheeses, fresh fruits, veggie trays,  finger sandwiches and beverages to enjoy.

For tickets, reservations and more information, please check out the website.

I have more events coming up this fall I’ll be in North Carolina and also Indianapolis, Indiana. Please check them out here.

I hope to see you soon. And happy (almost!) fall!

Blessings,

Amy

Amy Clipston is the award-winning and best-selling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. Her new novel, A Hopeful Heart, released June 2013. She holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled rotten cats.

So a couple years ago I picked up this little gem of a book:

amish folk medicine

 

There’s a lot of buzz about returning to more natural methods when it comes to feeding and taking care of our bodies. The Amish have been doing this forever. While they don’t eschew English medicine or hospitals, they often look for natural remedies to cure what ails them before making a trip to the doctor.

Here are a few bits of advice from the book, which was researched and by a well-known dietician. Although the book is 19 years old (at least my edition is) the advice is ageless. NOTE: this is just advice to consider, not a substitute for medical attention or treatment. Another NOTE: you can purchase this book on Amazon if you’re interested.

Acne: “After washing the face in the evening, make a poultice of white sugar with a small amount of water and dab on the affected skin parts.”

Age spots: “Herbs that may help include: dandelion, ginseng, gotu kola, licorice sarsaparilla.”

Allergies: “Chew honeycomb honey to help dry up a runny nose and unblock congested sinuses.”

Burns: “Apply honey directly to the burn, cut, or sore.”

Colds: “To both prevent and cure colds, cut open a fresh onion and lay it out on the kitchen shelf.”

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If you ever come over and smell onions, this is what I’m doing. 🙂

More tidbits next time!

Kathleen