Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Top Five Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas Books

It's always fun to read Christmas Stories around the Holidays. So, why not sit back with a good old-fashioned Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas. Grab one for yourself, or give as a gift to a loved one.

1) Pennsylvania Dutch Christmases
This is a pictorial history focusing on the nineteenth-century Christmas customs of the Pennsylvania Dutch. Some earlier beginnings and traditions that continued into the early twentieth century are also included. The book includes Christian and secular observances of the holiday such as carols, trees, gifts, and superstitions. Kershner also traces the roots of Christ Kindle, Kriss Kringel, Belznickel, Saint Nicholas, and Santa Claus.

2) Pennsylvania Dutch Night Before Christmas

Children will enjoy this retelling of the Christmas classic by Clement C. Moore, which blends Santa Claus with the traditional Pennsylvania Dutch figure of the Belsnickel, a thin, cantankerous old man who visits children before Christmas and rewards or punishes them based on their behavior.

3) The Night Before Christmas: Pennsylvania Dutch & English; Die Nacht vor der Grischtdaag (English and German Edition)

Full-color illustrations complement this favorite children's story in English and Pennsylvania Dutch!

4) A Very Marienstadt Christmas

It's Christmas time in the Pennsylvania Dutch town of Marienstadt and everything is sparkling. You are invited to come spend the holidays in a community of people where tradition is strong and love is all around. When The Reluctant Belsnickel of Opelt's Wood was released in 2011 it quickly climbed Amazon's charts to #1 in Folklore. This novella tells the story of a sad, lonely man who finds joy and love when he is persuaded to play the folkloric role of Belsnickel for the children of Marienstadt. Published in 2013 The Christmas Daughter: A Marienstadt Story, is a novel about Boone Wilde, a former biker and heartthrob, who discovers he has a 12 year old daughter who needs him--a daughter that he comes to need even more. Treeing, in which a solitary antiques dealer is on a quest to find a holiday punch bowl for a traditional Marienstadt Treeing party and who finds much more in the process. In addition, Lola Eckert, the founder of Lola's Strudel Shop, a Marienstadt institution, shares with readers a collection of her most requested holiday recipes. Included are instructions for making strudel, including five strudels mentioned in the stories, plus keuchels, apple and peach dumplings, rhubarb tarts and more. This is a Limited Edition Gift Book for Christmas.

5) An Amish Christmas: December in Lancaster County Celebrate Christmas with Four Amish Romances.
A Choice to Forgive by Beth Wiseman After Daniel disappeared that long-ago Christmas Eve, Lydia built a life with his brother. But now she's a widow and Daniel has reappeared, asking for forgiveness. Can she go back to her normal life with her long-lost love as her neighbor? A Miracle for Miriam by Kathleen Fuller Seth is no longer the arrogant young man who shattered Miriam's confidence and broker her heart. Will he be able to show "plain" Miriam that she is truly beautiful to him? One Child by Barbara Cameron The birth of one child forever changed the world two thousand years ago. On a snowy Christmas night in Lancaster County, another child changes the world for two very different couples. Christmas Cradles by Kelly Long When Anna Stolis takes over for her aunt, the local midwife, Christmas night heats up with multiple deliveries, three strangers' quilts, and unexpected help from the handsome and brooding Asa Lapp.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

National Thrift Shop Day

PA Du August 17th is National Thrift shop day. Rather then buying new, now would be a good time to put into practice reduce, reuse, and recycle. Where and when it came to be I have no idea. But, I can tell you a few shops in Pennsylvania Dutch Country you might want to hit up for some great sales. And while your at it, clear out some of that clutter that is sitting around your house and donate it One man's trash it another man's treasure.

Shrewsbury Goodwill- 535 S Main St Shrewsbury, PA 17361

York Rescue Mission Economy Store-283 West Market Street York, PA 17401

Salvation Army Thrift Store- 1244 Manheim Pike Lancaster, PA 17601

Another Chance Thrift Store- 3560 Fairfield Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325 Parking and entrance on west side of building

Community Aid Thrift Store- 4833 Carlisle Pike Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania 17050

And for Inspiration to help you get started repurposing:

Buy Here

What thrift shops do you like to visit? Leave a comment below.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Ultimate Travel Gear Shopping Guide for PA Dutch Country and Beyond

When it comes to travel nothing is more important than convenience and style. These gadgets and accessories promise to make your experience, convenient, easier and fun.

First, let's start off with your luggage. Getting everything to fit inside your suitcase can seem like an overwhelming and monumental task. Long gone are the days of jumping, sitting, and standing on your suitcase trying to get it closed. Spacepak is here to help. Let their system help you get two weeks worth of clothing into one carry-on bag. No more standing around in long lines to check in your luggage. Their system allows the clothing to be compressed resulting in more items in less space. It comes in many different styles and colors to choose from.

Now, of those clothes you are taking with you, some of them should be fast drying clothing and able to wick away moisture. I absolutely hate walking around with damp clothing. Whether your here in PA Dutch Country or in the tropics nobody likes to walk around with damp clothes. And right now it is like the tropics just take a look at the weather from Tom Russell at CBS21 In fact, you will thank me for packing those fast drying clothing when your spending the day at Hersheypark and getting splashed by water rides or taking a walk through one of our parks and working up a good sweat. I wear this type all the time when traveling around and they really are comfortable.

Next is what I consider a travel necessity. A water bottle is a very useful item that can be used in your day to day activities as well as road trips, hiking, and flying in an airplane. You should never be without water. Your body needs to stay hydrated to perform its best. Water increases your energy levels. Most daytime sleepiness is actually caused by mild dehydration. I even have a water bottle sitting here while I'm sitting at the computer, that way I don't have to worry about knocking over a glass of water. If I knock over my water bottle my electronics and desk stay protected. I own several different styles of water bottles for different needs. I like this one for traveling about it keeps water nice and cold and on those frigid Pennsylvania winter days it keeps coffee nice and hot.

Remember all that talk about keeping dry. Well you never know when your going to hit with some rain showers. Be prepared and carry a travel umbrella or a rain poncho.

For all of you that know me, you know I love to read. I prefer to have a physical book in my hand most time, but you cannot beat the convenience of a Kindle when you are traveling. The last thing I am going to do is pack a bunch of heavy books to lug around. I love my kindle because it is lightweight and I can decide what I want to read whenever I want. If I just take a few books I am limited to only those. I don't like limitations. Therefore the Kindle Fire makes a great traveling companion. Not only can you read, but you can play games and watch TV.

Like I said though, as much as I like my Kindle I still love my physical books. When I go on vacation I like to find where all the local bookstores are. Such as, The York Emporium or The Lancaster Mennonite Book Frolic which takes place every August and now also in February. I usually leave with a nice size stack of books. But, sometimes those books have stickers and such on that are not always easy to remove. That is why I suggest these Scotty peelers to save your fingernails and remove the sticker easily. You can use these on books and other soft items such as cardboard boxes. Oh, and don't forget all those Christmas packages you struggle with every year removing all those crazy labels.

And last but not least, you need to save all those travel memories with pictures and video. The Nikon COOLPIX B500 Digital Camera has features such as: 40x optical zoom/80x Dynamic Fine Zoom super telephoto, Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth® low energy (BLE) maintain a constant connection with a compatible smartphone or tablet, Shoot from creative angles with the tilting 3.0-inch 921,000-dot LCD, Simple, convenient operation for stress-free shooting,1080p Full HD video recording with stereo sound.

That's it for this edition of the Ultimate Travel Shopping Guide. Stay tuned for more editions with a lot more great items to take with you on your travel adventures. Please leave me a comment and let me know what some of your favorite items are that you like to take with you when traveling.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Join Us in Reading Anna's Crossing

Join our book club In July we will be discussing Anna's Crossing by Suzanne Woods Fisher. We invite you to join us in Wrightsville Pennsylvania on July 14th for in-person meeting. Just go on Facebook and ask to join Books and Cocktails Or, if you can't make the face to face discussion join us in a discussion on Goodreads in the group Pennsylvania.

Here is Goodreads description of Anna's crossing:

 When Anna Konig first meets Bairn, the Scottish ship carpenter of the "Charming Nancy," their encounter is anything but pleasant. Anna is on the ship only to ensure the safe arrival of her loved ones to the New World. Hardened by years of living at sea, Bairn resents toting these naive farmers--dubbed "Peculiars" by deckhands--across the ocean. As delays, storms, illness, and diminishing provisions afflict crew and passengers alike, Bairn finds himself drawn to Anna's serene nature. For her part, Anna can't seem to stay below deck and far away from the aloof ship's carpenter, despite warnings.
When an act of sacrifice leaves Anna in a perilous situation, Bairn discovers he may not have left his faith as firmly in the past as he thought. But has the revelation come too late?
Amish fiction favorite Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her fans back to the beginning of Amish life in America with this fascinating glimpse into the first ocean crossing as seen through the eyes of a devout young woman and an irreverent man. Blending the worlds of Amish and historical fiction, Fisher is sure to delight her longtime fans even as she attracts new ones with her superb and always surprise-filled writing.

What others are saying about Anna's Crossing

Publisher’s Weekly said, “This book is a winner.”

Romantic Times gave it four stars.

Booklist said, "Fisher takes readers on an incredible journey in the first of her new Amish Beginnings series. Tracking a 1737 voyage of early Amish immigrants, this inspirational novel is rich in nautical and religious history and authentic detail… Those who summon the courage to read about the raw immigrant experience on this treacherous crossing will find a deeply satisfying story of conviction and hope." And USA Today is going to feature it in their ‘Happy Ever After’ section.

Pick up your copy of Anna's Crossing today!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Say Goodbye to Lancaster's Golden Arch. I love the old retro sign at 1755 Columbia Avenue, but the sign will be coming down next month. The sign was first installed in 1962 when McDonald's first came to Lancaster County. The sign is in need of much repair and parts cannot be found for it.The once glorious arch will be turned into a heap of rubble. The owners tried for a few years without success of finding someone to take the sign.

I love old signs; I wish they would of found someone. Oh well, I will still have my memories as a child of seeing the sign and getting excited because I knew in a few short moments I was going to be joyously eating my Happy Meal with its delicious golden fries and much sought after prize in it.

See more at Lancaster Online