Sunday, October 16, 2016
Around the same time birds began to be disturbed, soybean fields began to show yellow patches. Those lighter colored areas spread out further and further until everything turned a brilliant gold. Every breath of air drew crisp. Canada Geese flew back and forth across the sky in partially formed V’s, not always south, but in every direction. It was clear that it wasn’t time for them to leave, yet change was coming.
Lenny sat behind a team of horses, with an unsettled feeling in his heart, watching the whole thing unfold before him. He told his horses, “Living the Amish lifestyle in autumn is a new experience for me, and winter sounds like a nightmare. Grandpa already told me how brisk weather affects horses, making you all flighty and frisky. Maybe Amish young men look forward to their horses being more lively and willing to move quickly without being coaxed, but for a guy like me it’s downright scary.”
Lenny wondered out loud, “Why couldn’t summer last forever?” Misty nodded her head up and down, possibly in an effort to stretch out driving lines that held her bit too tight. Lenny chose to see her head shaking as an agreement with his comment. “I was dreading fall. Now that I told Noey I would help with harvest and give him an answer before winter, I hope autumn lasts forever.” He clucked and his horses stepped off quickly. Lenny and his team finished feeding cattle. He tossed off hay as the horses circled through the herd.
You have been reading an excerpt from English River, Amish Horses Series book III
English River is an Autumn story. Let Lenny and his horses take you away... out into Amish farm fields during the harvest season.
Sunday, October 2, 2016
I'm a helpless romantic, both forms of romance:
1)My books are dominated by idealism, a desire for adventure, and a touch of chivalry.
2) My writing may be characterized by a preoccupation with love or the idealizing of love.
What better backdrop could exist for this type of story, than an Amish countryside?
(not bad to have along... just be smart enough to silence the thing!)
They go slow enough that you can look into each other's eyes for a moment and not miss a turn or run a red light.
Bring along a light meal or a refreshing drink. Stop down by the creek and give the horse a much-deserved rest. After you wade in the stream for a while, your horse will be ready to make the return trip.
If it's warm out, leave off those heavy shoes. If it's chilly, snuggle.
You will be behind the horse all the while. Notice the view is always of the backside of a horse. Don't forget, they are living creatures that need to relieve themselves every now and again. Although, they don't use gas... they do produce quite a bit.
Horses don't seem to have a problem with privacy and are not shy about taking care of whatever business is at hand. They don't check with your human conversation to see if their contribution is timely, or not. I have even imagined that my horses use these functions on purpose if they don't like the conversation.
Sunday, September 25, 2016
We have two wonderful horses at the time, Karma and Coke. They are getting older and at the point where they are perfect for children to be around. It's too hard to imagine what life would be like without them.
Karm and Coke know what is coming when the children come into the barn. Our grandchildren love to pour oats into the feed bunk and then give them handfuls of hay. They love to brush the horses and sit on their backs. Our oldest granddaughter tries to braid their manes.
Shari (my wife) asked if we could take the children on a wagon ride. I had the wild idea that maybe we should have a picnic lunch with the horses first.
Karm and Coke ate hay while the children had a sack lunch. I harnessed up the team right after taking this photo.
We stopped under our big shade tree after every round we made.
While the horses rested in the shade our grandchildren traded places. Each of the four got a chance to take a round riding up front with grandpa on the wagon seat.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
I will try to keep this as simple as I can
to help you become a better book fan.
"I know some new tricks,"
Said the Cat in the Hat.
"A lot of good tricks.
I will show them to you.
Will not mind at all if I do."
Open with a short description of the book. (Do Not give away the ending of the story!) Authors spend hours and maybe even years piecing together a story "like a quilt." The ending is meant to be a wonderful surprise, or a lesson. If you give away the ending you spoil the fun for everyone else.
You may write something like this: The Cat in the Hat is the story of two tweens (a youngster considered to be too old to be a child and too young to be a teenager) who are home alone for a few hours. These tweens hear a bump that makes them jump, and discover that they have a very interesting house guest. This is a really fun children's story about a wild adventure that took place on an otherwise boring afternoon.
Don't just say, "I loved it!" or "I hated it!" Although that may be your opinion, and 2, 4, or 5 stars may communicate something, it's really not much help. We may have the same interests or we may have nothing in common. If you loved or hated the book may have nothing to do with how I will feel.
Tell me why, or what, you loved or hated.
For example: I loved Cat in the Hat because it was a simple, imaginary story that my children enjoyed listening to, and I had fun reading the silly rhymes.
Another person may say: I thought I was buying a novel and was disappointed that it was a short children's book. I've never been a fan of poetry and I don't have any children. You may like this book if you like sing-songy poems and funny cartoon pictures.
These examples above are quite opposite from each other, however, they both told us why they felt the way they did about the book. Now, I can use their opinions to help make a choice about whether the book is right for me, or not.
Find a way to give your opinions in a kind, constructive manner. Some people think that they make themselves look intelligent when they bash the weaknesses of another. Instead, they only make themselves look harsh and cruel.
Please do share your feelings on Good Reads, Amazon, or Barnes and Nobel. We are all very interested in hearing your honest opinion as we attempt to decide whether to buy a book or not. Try to write it in the same way you would describe the book to your mother.
So, what would you tell your mother, or your friend,
if they asked about a book you were reading, without telling the end.
"And Sally and I did not know
What to say.
Should we tell her
The things that went on there that day?
Should we tell her about it?
Now, what should we do
What would you do
If your mother asked you?"
Here is a link to some reviews on Amazon: Catbird Singing Reviews
Check out what others wrote as a review and see what you think.
If you have read any of my books, please post a helpful review and a link!
Sunday, September 4, 2016
Every Sunday morning multiple thousands of horses clip clop down roads around the countryside heading to Amish or Old Order Mennonite church.
That is not the only time they can be seen gathering...
Amish teens and young singles gather often for Singings, volleyball and other social events.
If you live close enough to the gathering, you will walk. That is much easier than hitching up a horse and it is pleasant as well. These gatherings all include food! After someone comes for a visit from miles away, in a horse-drawn vehicle, you wouldn't think of sending them away without having something to eat.
Even the horses are often given some hay to much on while the people visit. (as pictured above)
Sunday, August 14, 2016
Everything is still, except for a soft tinkling of feeders as livestock wait for you to give them their morning grain. Birds began singing softly, as first, as though they also are rubbing sleepy from their eyes, too.
Baby foals lay near their mamas until they decide to rise for some warm milk.
Sunday, August 7, 2016
The Amish Horses Series: A Different Kind of Tale
Under the Heavens is a coming of age story about a teenage city boy who spends time with his Amish relatives. Sort of a, Tom Sawyer meets Anne of Greene Gables. Only, instead of taking place in the old days, the setting is in this century on an Amish farm.
|Drawings like this are at the heading of every chapter|
The Amish Horses Series is a different kind of tale.
Climb up onto the buggy seat beside Lenny as he takes the ride of his life!