The Story behind the First Chocolate Chip Cookie

chocolate chip cookies

“You will always leave something behind. Your influence.” Amish proverb


My grandmother, Marion Woods, was a bundle of high energy. After her five children were raised, she decided to start a tearoom on the sun porch of her large country home called Eagle Hill, on Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts. When my dad brought his future bride home to meet the family, my grandmother handed her a knife and a bowl of tomatoes and told her to start slicing. After all, the tearoom was booked with lunch reservations and Marion needed extra hands. My mother, who came from an oh-so-proper home, was appalled. My grandmother didn’t even blink.

The tearoom was so well received that my grandmother decided to expand Eagle Hill and build cottages that surrounded the lake. She planned to rent out the cottages to vacationing families during the warmer months. In a rare moment of reflection, she   Keep Reading…

Amish Wisdom Spotlight: “Brightest & Best” by Olivia Newport



Amish Education: Public or Private?

If I asked you what percentage of Amish children attend public schools, what would you answer?

A. 0 B. 10 C. 25 D. 50 E. Other

Overall, the percentage is about 10 percent. In some areas with large Amish populations, however, the percentage might be 50 percent or higher. That doesn’t match up with what many of us expect.

A hundred years ago, 100 percent of Amish children were likely to be in public schools. The shift came not in what the Amish believed about education, but in public policies about education.

In the era of small, rural schools, Amish parents established understanding with teachers about what their children needed to learn. But when the general population shifted to larger schools in towns, and students rode buses to get there, Amish parents perceived a threat to their faith and how they   Keep Reading…

Friday Fun: Gender Wiring


Did you know …

A study of preschoolers found that 100% of girls’ vocabulary were discernible words.

60% of boys’ vocabulary were discernible words.

The remaining 40% of preschool boys’ language was . . . noise!

Guns, fire engines, machines, truck and cars.

Another study found that women have 50,000 words per day.

Men have 10,000.

But . . . we didn’t really need a fancy study to tell us what we already knew, did we?

Stop by @SuzanneWFisher’s blog for a fun fact about gender wiring!

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Congratulations to last Friday’s winner of a copy of Amish Values for Your Family, Vanessa Kroeger! Please email your mailing address to info {at} suzannewoodsfisher {dot} com to claim your prize.

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A Day in My Life: Highlights of a Very Special Day!

Fisher - Wedding-002

Here are a few highlights from a very special day… my daughter’s wedding!

My daughter had a “Chinoiserie” wedding—with blue and white porcelain as accent pieces (a nod to our years living in Hong Kong, plus she met her now husband(!) while they were teachers at an international school in China).

The beautiful bride!

Happily ever after!

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Amish Wisdom Spotlight: “Lorie’s Heart” by Amy Lillard


When people ask me about the Amish one of the questions ends up being about the Amish reality shows on TV. Are they real? Do I watch them? And although I do my best not to answer about their validity, I have to admit that I do watch them.

Yep. That’s my dirty little secret. Amish reality television. But allow me explain. I live in Oklahoma, hundreds of miles from Pennsylvania and Ohio. Yes, there are two Amish communities here in the Sooner State, but a visit to either Chouteau or Clarita doesn’t have the same feel to it. They are just so much smaller than other settlements.

So I watch Amish reality television to spark my muse. Sometimes I analyze their stories for potential plot lines and details. Sometimes I simply jot down ‘facts’ to go back and talk to my Amish friends about. And sometimes   Keep Reading…

Friday Fun: Living Frugally


Living frugally seems like voluntary poverty. The very word–frugal–sounds cheap. Parsimonious. Ebenezer Scrooge-ish.

Frugal may sound that way, but that’s not really what it means.

Frugal means not wasteful. It’s Latin word root, dating from 1590, actually means “fruit” as in “producing fruit.”

So living frugally means a lifestyle that produces fruit.

Living frugally means a lifestyle that produces fruit. @SuzanneWFisher #simpleliving

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And learning to live frugally is directly related to simplicity.

In a practical way, living frugally means buying less. Wasting less. And it also means wanting less. (There’s the rub!)

Hopefully, though, the goal of simplicity is more peace in your life. More time spent doing the things you value and with the people you value.

So, oddly enough, living a frugal life does produce fruit. The kind worth having.

In what ways do you live frugally? Share in   Keep Reading…

A Day in My Life: Garden Woes


I don’t know how pioneers survived. My garden is enclosed, well tended, and yet nearly every week, there is some kind of middle-of-the-night invader who ruins a thriving plant.

Below was a gorgeous sunflower, just about to open, that suddenly had its stalk chewed about two feet up from its base. It seemed like the work of a deer, but my fences are too high for deers. A mystery…

I tried to do a repair job on it. Sometimes…it can work. Not this time, though. Alas.

Something else has been nibbling my zucchini. I’m thinking … raccoon. Any ideas?

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Author Spotlight: Rebecca DeMarino


Welcome Rebecca DeMarino, author of To Capture Her Heart, to Author Spotlight!

Tell us a little about your new book . . .

I’d be happy to! Here’s a synopsis of my second novel in The Southold Chronicles:

In 1653 Heather Flower, a princess of the Montauk tribe, is celebrating her wedding feast when a rival tribe attacks, killing the groom and kidnapping her. Though her ransom is paid, she is nonetheless bound by her captors and left to die—until she finds herself rescued by handsome Dutch Lieutenant Dirk Van Buren.

Still tender from her loss, Heather Flower begins to heal in the home of Englishman Ben Horton, a longtime friend of her people. But despite Ben’s affectionate attentions, she can’t stop thinking about the handsome Dutchman who saved her from certain death. Can she find peace again among her own people? Or will   Keep Reading…

Friday Funny: Wedding Comics

Marriage V2(1)

Really hoping the “things come in threes” rule doesn’t apply during this wedding week: our bride rolled her ankle while playing with her 4-year-old nephew, and I cut off my fingernail (the entire nail) while chopping parsley. Hoping for smooth sailing from here!

If you can’t tell, I definitely have all things wedding on the mind and couldn’t help but share a few silly wedding-day comics!

A Day in My Life: What’s Growing in my Garden


Yes, we have a severe drought in California, but I’ve also figured out some great ways to reduce and maximize water. We’ve made some painful choices (our grass looks like hay), but there are a lot of water tricks we’ve got in place that are simple and easy. Buckets in the showers and in the sink, careful usage of water, super short showers. And even though I’m careful … I have to have a garden. I’d rather have a garden than grass.

Anyway … here are some pictures of my garden in early June. I have one cutting garden to use in my daughter’s wedding.

And I just picked the first cherry tomatoes. Deelish.




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