Mulberries.

Screen Shot 07-10-17 at 10.49 AM¬†Here are some fresh, ripe mulberries on our trees, nice and warm from the sun. We have 4 mulberry trees and every time I go by them I grab off a few berries and pop them into my mouth and 2 of my fingers are going to be permanantly stained purple all summer. (so are the bottoms of my feet alot as well when I go out barefoot and step on the mulberries that have fallen off the trees onto the ground and are hidden in the grass!) All the local wildlife enjoy them too and we always see squirrels and birds in the trees, eating the berries and they attract all kinds of different birds so it’s nice to see. People walking by even get some as well from the tree branches that hang out over the fence at the side of the backyard, and I’ve seen them pick them off as they go by. ūüėÄ

As well, the 16 YR old was able to fix the 14 YR old’s brassy hair and she toned it down so now it’s more an ashy blonde and it has purple highlights. She¬†tried to actually dye it blue but that’s how it turned out but at least it looks better than before and it’s not brassy anymore. The 14 YR old also¬†loves being in Toronto just like I do and the NP and social worker at the clinic noticed a positive change in her, that she was different, more alive, more vibrant, more upbeat, more¬†happy, and said that city life has more activity, stimulation and busy-ness, which she thrives on, and she’s not bored(like she is here) and like me, she appears to “blossom” and come out of her “shell” in the city, and when I’m here¬†my soul dies.

The 14 YR old also said in downtown Toronto a¬†drug dealer approached her and her sister and offered to sell them drugs but they politely declined and said,¬†No, thanks.¬†That reminds me of that time in L.A when I got off the bus and some guy asked me if I wanted to buy a gun for 20$. At the clinic I also saw an¬†Amishman in the elevator which isn’t something that you see every day around here very often, and in the waiting room there was also this girl 10 or 11 and her mother and my hubby blurts out to the kid,¬†So, I guess you don’t like eating either? and I said to him,¬†That was a stupid thing to say! and he lamely goes,¬†That’s what everyone’s¬†here for, right? and I told him,¬†Sit down and behave yourself and leave people alone! My God, I was sooooo¬†embarrassed! He’s just so inappropriate! What’s the¬†matter with him?

The cops were over next door again as well, and one of the neighbours next door came over a few days ago too and asked if my hubby could driver her to her medical app’t in¬†another town! Just because we let them borrow our hose (which they never did return, even after a few days, we had to go over and get it back ourselves) and our wet/dry vac it doesn’t mean they can take¬†advantage of us! My mother answered the door and just told her that he had worked all night and was sleeping,which was true, but what¬†nerve though! I also noticed there’s so¬†many teenagers with babies,too, and even the local highschool has a daycare; this town must be teen mom capital of the entire country! It wouldn’t surprise me though, with all the rednecks here! It’s so redneck here that even the¬†women drive pick up trucks, and that’s not even a¬†joke,¬† they¬†really¬†do.

The 16 YR old also dyed¬†her hair, and hers is¬†purple, and she got her first job,too, at the same grocery store the 18 YR old works at! She’s going to be a cashier. It’s just a summer job though for some extra $$$ (that I’m sure she’ll spend on clothes and makeup) because once school goes back she’ll be too busy with that. My mother’s BP and blood sugar are both in normal range today but she’s still convinced she’s¬†dying and pissed-off as well that she called her doctor and he never called her back and that neither him or the ER “cares about her” or are ” too concerned” or taking it seriously, and that she has to “take care of herself” but I think she’s just over-reacting, and she probably just does have a virus like they said and they did the tests and nothing suspicious showed up, so what does she¬†want?

It was my mother’s birthday yesterday as well (she’s 76) and the kids did make¬†her cards, just like they did for my hubby, even though they said they “don’t do” cards anymore, but it’s just me they don’t do them for anymore, and if their aim was to hurt me and make me feel excluded and like shit then you have succeeded. I was the one that gave them¬†life, and I fed them with my own¬†body, and I was the one who did all the “grunt” work of raising them as babies, toddlers, and little kids, the really¬†hard, gritty work, and I was the one who taught them to read and write, and who laid the foundation for their early education homeschooling in the early years which is the¬†most difficult, but I’m the one that doesn’t get a card….and then they wonder¬†why I think¬†they’re toxic and why I feel excluded, why I don’t feel like part of this family, pushed away, made to feel like shit, and how they make me feel unloved, unwanted, and unwelcome in my own home, my ¬†family, my¬†life, and my family and my life make me feel so unloveable, and I do my best but still fall short of what is asked of me( thanks, Asperger’s) and constantly disappoint and annoy everyone, and I feel it and internalize it, their disappointment and exasperation ,and I feel I’m living in a world where ¬†I feel unable to measure up no matter how hard I try and that I’m too ugly to be loved. Even my own¬†family ¬†doesn’t love me and treats me like shit but that¬†says more about them than it does about me.

Book Review: “The Wish.”

screen-shot-10-06-16-at-07-14-pm¬†Leona and Gloria ¬†have been best friends ever since grade 6 when Gloria moved with her family to Leona’s Amish community. They were neighbours and quickly became best friends, like sisters, and Leona spent all her time over at Gloria’s, wishing that she were a part of¬†her family, a family that she preferred over her own, and that she saw as “perfect”, until one day suddenly they just¬†left, and moved away without any word, and Leona was crushed. Gloria never sent any letters, nothing, and Leona was heartbroken. Perhaps she¬†wasn’t her friend for life like she’d thought afterall? She was missing her dear friend, and also her brother Adam who she liked, and Gloria had also been dating¬†her cousin John, but now that was all gone, too.

Several YRS went by and then suddenly a letter appeared from Gloria one day and Leona was happy but surprised,and her fiance Tom, who was the deacon’s son, was concerned, as he knew the reason Gloria’s family left town so abruptly; that her father owed money and was involved in crooked business dealings,and it worried him that Leona might once again pick up a close relationship with this girl, but despite this she phoned Gloria, who was distressed and so Leona decided to go up and see her, to try and help her , to be there for her,and to help her sort out her troubles, because that’s what friends do.

Leona arrived at Gloria’s and found that she and her family were no longer Amish, that they had left the church at the demands of her father, but Gloria was conflicted and torn about that. She was also dating a man named Darren and was feeling pressured into becoming serious with him even though she didn’t love him,and was missing her past, and was carrying around the burden and guilt of her father’s misdeeds. The friends had a nice visit and then decided that Gloria would return back with Leona, to her old neighbourhood where they were happy.Leona also realized during this trip that Gloria’s family¬†weren’t as “perfect” as she once thought,and,in fact, Gloria had always wished that¬†she had parents like Leona’s!

Being back where she was happy was therapeutic for Gloria and brought back nostalgic memories, and stirred up longings of her Amish past, and she decided to leave the modern life behind,break it off with Darren, stand up to her family,confront and make peace with her father, and ¬†return to the faith, incl. going thru the necessary preparation and being baptized, and once welcomed back into the Amish and baptized she will also be dating John once again. She moved back to her old community and she and Leona were able to resume their friendship and pick up where they’d left those YRS ago and Leona’s wish of having her dearest friend return to her¬†and to the Amish community came true.

Return To Amish Finale.

Screen Shot 08-27-16 at 07.09 PM¬†Return To Amish has aired it’s finale and here is the latest on what the cast is up to:

Kate was working as an intern for a designer and participated in Fashion Week in L.A and did a good job and now continues designing her own clothing line and continuing her education in fashion and lives in NYC. She no longer has any communication with Jeremiah since at Christmas he accused her of thinking she’s “better” than the rest of them, and of being “ashamed” of where she’s from and of “abandoning” her former friends.

Mary has decided to return to her husband Chester and the town she used to live in, even though she was banished from the Amish and shunned by the community(I was expecting she’d stay in Lancaster and join the New Order Amish church) but her friends who have become her “adopted family” continue to stick by her.

Rebecca and Abe continue to work on their marriage, which is strained by Abe’s job as a trucker with long times away from home on the road. He has also decided to get his teeth pulled instead of costly dental procedures that they can’t afford. Rebecca is home raising the kids.

Andy is out of jail and now living back at home with his mother Mary, staying clean from drugs and has no contact with his wife, Chapel, since her arrest on drug charges, as he is making an effort to stay out of trouble.

Esther, Abe’s sister, has left the Amish, despite Mary’s objections, and has run away with her boyfriend.

Jeremiah has gotten  married! He surprised everyone by marrying a sweet girl named Carmela that he met online. She has 3 kids and this is his second marriage. He had invited Kate to the wedding but she never came but all the others did as they are all like family. Sabrina questioned whether this was a wise choice for Jeremiah and is worried how it might affect their close bond but wants him to be happy.

Sabrina is clean off drugs, has done her counselling and court-mandated therapies and treatments and was awarded custody of her daughter! She also dropped a surprise bombshell at the very end of the show that she’s¬†pregnant….but WHO is the father? I’m thinking it must be Jeremiah since they’re so close and there was never any indication she might have been with anyone else,and if so, then what happens now? How will that affect Jeremiah’s new marriage, esp. as it would also mean that he was cheating on Carmela during their engagement with Sabrina, and what does that mean for Jeremiah and Sabrina now that there will be a¬†baby? We’ll have to wait until¬† next summer now to find out…..

Return To Amish.

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Return To Amish is back again this summer and since we last left the cast last YR here’s what they’ve all been up to:

Kate is still persuing fashion in NYC and has taken on an internship with a designer but it’s demanding work at a breakneck speed and her co-workers are extremely nosy prying into her personal life,snooping around trying to see if she’s dating anyone. Jeremiah had returned to the Amish when we last saw him in an effort to avoid bad influences and to stay out of trouble but he has since left and now has an Amish donut business where he makes these gigantic-sized Amish-style glazed donuts. He has also been keeping in touch regularly with Sabrina, as she has been struggling thru a heroin addiction. She and her baby had been homeless and were living in her car for awhile until the baby was taken away from her and then she went into rehab and is currently in counselling trying to get her life back and trying to get her baby back.

Mary,Abe’s mother, had previously been shunned by the Amish due to her going to NYC and being “wild” has now been banished which is even more severe, and found she could no longer live in the community so Jeremiah and Sabrina found her a house in another town to rent but her husband Chester loves being Amish and didn’t want to leave the community so he stayed behind and just Mary moved there with Abe, Rebecca,and their 2 daughters. Rebecca is home with the kids but finding it hard with Abe away so much for work. Abe drives a truck for a living is on the road alot which puts a strain on their marriage and makes Rebecca feel like she is a single mother. This causes alot of tension and discord between the two.

Abe’s brother Andy will be released from jail soon but Mary told him not to go back to his wife Chapel as she lies and is a bad influence and for him to stay away from drugs and out of trouble she will only drag him down and if he goes back with her then Mary(his mother) will be out; he has to choose between them, so he chose his wife, whom he says he loves and wants to be with.(I have since heard thru another source that in the meantime she has been arrested with drug trafficking) Sabrina is feeling lonely and lost, like Jeremiah is the only friend that supported her and feels hurt by Rebecca and Abe who she feels thinks are “better” than her and ¬†don’t support her, but they say they have but she just keeps messing things up over and over and they’ve had enough…..

It’ll be interesting to see what happens for this season…..

The Atonement.

TheAtonement¬†Book review: “The Atonement” by Beverly Lewis:

Lucy is a young Amish woman trying to reconcile the sin and poor choices of her past which incl. mending ¬†a strained relationship with her father as a result of those past mistakes. She and her father go to a grief support class together and she thinks he’s going grieving the loss of his father but in actual fact it’s to grieve the loss of THEIR close relationship that they once had but is now broken, and she goes to grieve the loss of her preborn baby 3 YRS ago, which was conceived(and later miscarried) in a forbidden night of passion with her Englischer ex-fiance, a romance frowned upon by her Amish community and that her father ended, causing the strain in their relationship and Lucy’s heartbreak.

Lucy’s past mistake also causes concern for her mother and has been kept secret from her many siblings, with only her sister Martie a confidante,and it has affected her faith and her standing in the church as she struggles to come to terms with God, her faith,and forgiving herself and she tries to atone for her sin and redeem herself thru serving others, incl. helping the homeless and needy where she befriends several people and helps, incl. a single teen mother and her young son,meeting an Englischer man along the way, wary at first of another repeat of the past, also worrying her family, but ends up making a friend in Dale and learning a valuable lesson.

Lucy is also convinced she will never be worthy to ever find love again, settling on being a Maidel,convinced she is now stained or tainted,and rejects Tobe, her life-long best friend, even when he offers to court her, she rejects him even though she has deep feelings for him, thinking she isn’t worthy due to her past, and she is saddened to hear he and his family will be moving away, but with advice from her new friend Dale she finds peace within herself to heal from the past, find self-forgiveness, reconcile with her father, rejoin the church fellowship,and finally accepts Tobe’s love and they eventually marry and have a son. It is a story of redemption and God’s love and forgiveness; that it’s never too late to repent and that any sin can be forgiven, and the past is the past, and it’s never too late to start over.

Return To Amish.

ReturnToAmish¬†The cast from “Breaking Amish” ¬†returned to a new summer series called “Return To Amish” which has just concluded after 7 episodes. Kate is still modelling in NYC and is also trying to launch her own fashion line and came to visit Mary and to see Rebecca as she has her new baby and also Sabrina who was also expecting a baby. Jeremiah also showed up (they were all there for Christmas) and continued to stay on as he had nowhere else to go and considered Mary to be family. Rebecca and Abe had their second baby girl she named Malika and Kate returned to NYC but returned later for more visits. Mary and Katie Ann also soon went up to NYC to give Kate a surprise visit which resulted in both Mary and her husband Chester being shunned from the Amish church which devastated Chester as the church and the Amish identity is his entire life. From that moment on they’ve been trying to be re-instated back into the church.(Katie Ann wasn’t shunned as she hadn’t taken her kneeling vow and become a member of the church yet)They were told in order to do so they must shun their children who have left the faith but Mary refuses to do so and won’t give up her kids no matter what.

Sabrina was pregnant all on her own, not with the baby’s father and with no support from her own family so Mary took her in and she and her friends became her new family and support system and were there for her as she gave birth to a baby girl she named Oakley. She later reconciled with the baby’s father Harvey and moved out of Mary’s house and her parents came to accept her child. Jeremiah continued to get into trouble, incl. being arrested for getting into a fight and decided that things had to change. He and Mary set up a store where they sold her Amish goods such as knitted afghans, quilts, dolls, and baked goods as with Chester being shunned he was no longer able to conduct business within the Amish community and they had to make money somehow. Jeremiah later decided that he wanted to go back to being Amish again as he wasn’t doing well in the “Englisch” world; there were too many temptations for him and he was lost; he needed the structure and sense of community and family that the Amish had to offer,that would keep him grounded and out of trouble.

Katie Ann was finding her parents’ shunning within the community hard as people also judged her and she found it hard to find guys that would approach her but she went to a hut party with Jeremiah hoping to meet guys but was quickly turned off by the wild antics there such as drinking, drugs and making out but did meet a guy and they started dating. She’s still undecided if she’ll stay Amish or go “Englisch” but Mary said she’ll support her either way, and Abe and his brother Andrew are working on mending their broken relationship as Andy was in jail yet again and when he got out his girlfriend Chapel urged him to straighten his life out and he promised that he would for her. Chapel’s cancer then came back and Andrew promised he’d stay with her every step of the way like he did before and asked her to marry him and at first she refused not wanting to put him thru that but later accepted when she realized how much he loved and cared for her. Abe, Rebecca, Mary,and Chester said they weren’t going to go to the wedding which broke Andrew’s heart but they later changed their mind and did the right thing and went.

Book Review: “Child Of Mine.”

ChildOfMine¬†I just read “Child of Mine” by Beverly and David Lewis. Sadly the store I get Beverly Lewis’ ¬†books from is closing after 40 YRS (they’re retiring) so from now on I’ll have to order them online from the Christian books supplier. This book was a bit different than her usual with only one Amish character; usually all them are Amish or all but one or two. In this latest novel Kelly has spent the last 9 YRS trying to find her daughter who was kidnapped as a baby by her father who sold her for drug money. He was found shortly after dead of an over dose and the case went cold but she never gave up. With the help of wealthy benefactor friends and a private investigator she continues to pursue leads checking out children she thinks could possibly be her long-lost daughter.

One day she comes across the possibility in Nattie, a 9 YR old girl who lives with her uncle Jack, a pilot and flight instructor who is being helped to raise her by his sister San and her Amish nanny Laura who she loves like a mother and has been with her since her birth when she was adopted by Jack’s brother and sister-in-law who were killed in a car accident when Nattie was 4 YRS old. Laura has a secret of her own: when she was younger she was in love with Amishman Jonathan and they had sex before they were married and her cousin somehow found out about it and reported their sin to her father the bishop and they were forbidden to see eachother and were shunned and she moved away and was later told that Jonathan had married and had a family so she went to be a nanny for Nattie.

Kelly meets Nattie thru Jack, whom she met by pretending to be interested in flying lessons and the two started dating and Kelly began a relationship to Nattie and they become close. Jack’s sister San, however digs into Kelly’s background and discovers her true motive, that she’s looking for her child and Jack cuts things off between them but not before both he and Kelly have taken DNA samples to see if Nattie is her biological child but Jack accidently takes TWO¬†women’s hair samples and one ¬†comes back negative as a¬†match but the other comes back positive..meanwhile Kelly’s also sent in a sample to the lab and hers comes back negative; she’s not Nattie’s mother afterall…so who IS? Jack figures the other hair sample must be Laura’s and confronts her about it but she denies it and then figures out it has to be San’s….his sister is Nattie’s mother!

San, meanwhile, is moving to New York and Laura has left as well as she and Jack were becoming too close and Jack has discovered by accident that Laura’s love Jonathan still lives in the area and didn’t get married afterall; it was just a lie Laura’s family told her to keep them apart so they reunite and get married and she’s later expecting a baby. Kelly’s private investigator also got a promising lead about another girl that might be a match for her missing child and it turns out to be correct and she moves to Chicago to meet her long-lost daughter but not wanting to disrupt her life and tear her away from the only family that she knows she decides not to intrude or to take her away but rather just to keep in touch and to visit and moves back to Ohio where she is reunited with Jack and Nattie. Jack and Kelly get married and they and Nattie form their own little family. Jack decides to save the truth about Nattie’s birth mother( who she thinks is her aunt) for a later time, when she’s older and asks more about it and will be more mature to understand it better.