Sunday, September 30, 2012

An Autumn Dream

     Isn't this just dreamy?  I can just imagine the aroma of woodsmoke drifting on the air as Honey steps onto the front porch after a long day at the church...replaced, upon entering, by beef stew simmering on the stove and the house lit with fragrant cinnamon spice candles.  

     After dinner, he'd hear the familiar scritch scratch of my whisk on the bottom of our saucepan as I prepare homemade cocoa to enjoy with big fluffy marshmallows.  He'd settle into a comfortable chair by the fire and open his favorite read aloud -- Little House in the Big Woods.  Ah-- a girl can dream! 

     Some of those things can come true right where we are in our humble little cottage.  Just a little work here and there and I can make this a comfortable and welcoming place for my husband and children.  It's Autumn and time for some cleaning and feathering my nest.

     God bless you all!

Choosing Contentment

Picture credit:  Feathering Your Nest newsletter from Gooseberry Patch.

May I suggest?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Few of my Favorite Things

A few of my favorite things...

rainy days
homemade from scratch cocoa
very fine-tipped black pens
very fine-tipped red pens
hollyberry red yarn from Knit Picks
Knit Picks circular needles
half-price Diet Cranberry Sprite at Sonic price during Happy Hour
roast with mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots, and onions
Jim Brickman instrumental piano music
phone calls from loved ones
the book of Philippians
my promise ring that I've worn for about 28 years now
listening to the wind blow gently through the trees
red maple leaves
Worther's Originals hard candies
packages in the mail
Christmas music from July to January
talking with friends
my Lowell,
my children
my old, full of notes, New King James Bible
my Jesus, my God, and my Holy Spirit

What are some of your favorite things?

Focusing on the Lovely

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Plan for Making and Doing This Week & Funny Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Hello Ladies!

So good of you to drop in today.  I've been thinking of things I would like to get done over the next week or so.  I probably should have started Monday; but, you know how it is.  Always something to do.  So, here are some things I hope to do.

I recently bought a 50 pound bag of thick rolled oats.  Time for some old-fashioned oatmeal cookies.  I didn't get them made last week, and I've been wanting them!  I've baked with this recipe ever since I was a little girl.  I have no idea where it originated.  The only recipe I have is in my own little girl handwriting.  This week I'll adding walnuts instead of raisins.

Jalapeno peppers are still waiting on the vine this week.  I need to get them in before they grow too big!

Canning or Freezing:
I'm not sure yet.  I may make some Jalapeno Jam if I can make time.  If not, I'll just pop the peppers in the freezer... unless I can get Lowell to make some Jalapeno Poppers!  His recipe makes the absolute best poppers. 

YouVersion's Historical Reading Plan.  I'll finish 1st Samuel and begin 2nd Samuel.  I'm way ahead of the reading plan.  Most days it calls for 3 chapters.  I'm accustomed to reading 10!  Sometimes I use Bible Gateway and listen until I need to do something else. ~smile~ 

I've also been reading 10 Christians Everyone Should Know.  I'm really enjoying it.

Watch for review soon.
This week I'll be making plans for Christmas gifts and helping the girls cut out their skirts.

Garter stitch dishcloth.
Size 10 needles.
Cast on 30 stitches and knit back and forth until it measures square. These are for my son Matthew's new kitchen.

Saving Money:
We helped my son buy a new starter for his truck, so I'm trying to eat out of the food we have on hand.  Not an easy task, the cupboards are a bit more bare than usual.  We also lost all of our food in the deep freeze this weekend.  Somehow, it got unplugged.  It had been that way too long to save any of the food.  ~frown~  So, it will be sitting empty for awhile. 

Funny Thrifty Macaroni and Cheese:
We ate some funny macaroni and cheese last night.  It was part macaroni, part broken up manicotti shells, and part spaghetti! 

I made the sauce by whisking a cup of milk and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch together.  I added it to two tablespoons of hot melted butter and whisked it in the pan over medium high heat.  I added a little more milk when it got thick.  Next I cut up chunks of cheddar cheese into the mixture and stirred.  I added milk and stirred until it was of a thickness I liked.  I poured this over the cooked funny macaroni.  Not bad!  It used up odds and ends from the cupboard, too!  I guess I could call it Declutter Mac and Cheese!

Thanks so much for dropping in!  I'd love to hear some of your plans for this week.  It's so nice to have a chat over the back fence  internet with you today!

Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage
Happy at Home

May I suggest?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Free! PaperBack Swap Tutorial

Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap.

I’ve been swapping books since August of 2006. I’ve participated in 584 transactions now. That means I’ve either sent or received a total of 584 books! No wonder I cannot catch up with my reading!

Here are a few helpful hints I’ve come up with along the way once you sign up:

1. List every book that you are willing to send out first. If it doesn’t have an ISBN number, you can follow the instructions at the bottom of the posting page. Don’t forget textbooks. They go great this time of year. You also can post older vintage books. Just check the posting requirements and read what a “good” condition book is.

2. Next, put every book that you know that you want on your wish list as soon as you think of it, read about it, or hear about it. You can wish for up to 200 books or audio books.  They're offered to you as they become available in a first wished first served order.

3. Put other books you’re not sure you want but want to remember on your reminder list.

4. Now, start listing all of your other books that you own on your TBR pile list. That’s your To Be Read list. If someone is wishing for one of those books, there will be a big W on the right side. This may help you decide the order that you read your books in. If someone’s wishing, and you decide to post the book, the wisher will be contacted immediately. That can be a quick way to pick up some more credits.

5. To help you build your wish and reminder lists, you can look at the wish lists of your buddies and people who request books from you or send books to you.

6. Look at what they have to offer, too. You may find something you like.

7. If you want to receive something from a certain person, request it while you’re on their books listed page.

8. If you want to send a book to a certain person, post it from their wish list page. It will be offered to them first.

I do not participate in the forums. I don’t know what they’re like. 

If I can help you in any way, please let me know. Also, let me know what your user name is so that I can take a look at what you have and what you’re wishing for. Who knows, I may have something that I can post for you.

My user name is lauraofharvestlane.  If you sign up, please list me as referring you.  I'll get a free book.

Please just click on the PBS banner above or go see my list of books available here. Don’t forget to tell me your user name so I can look you up on PBS!
May God bless you,

Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap.

May I suggest?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Review: Children of Angels by Kathryn Dahlstrom

Children of Angels: Book One of the New Nephilim Series grabs the reader's attention quickly by jumping right into the action from page one.  This may be a book for youth, but I was totally drawn into the story line. 

Jeremy is a young man, in seventh grade, who is the target of the school bully.  That's a normal enough for a teen book; but, what is not normal is how he responds one day to the bully.  In the middle of the confrontation, there is a flash of light.  His light.

Suddenly, everybody knows.  That leads to an unusual opportunity to go to a private boarding school for kids that can fly.  Things get weird and weirder from there as Jeremy finds that he can do things that even the other kids cannot do.  Like in any good teen book, there's someone with a sinister plan and several somethings to battle. 

I had to tell my 13 year old son over and over that I get to read this book first!  I told him that it's becauses it's a review book; but, the truth is, I preread anything in this genre that the kids read.  Although the book has some initial parallels with a popular book series featuring halfbloods and mythical creatures, it takes a different direction than I initially expected.  It is a good fantasy book.  I did emphasize to my children that it is a made up fantasy story.

My 15 year old just read the book in a couple of days.  She wouldn't put it down.  She read in bed, in the car, at the table (I made her put it down), in a chair, everywhere she went.  As soon as she was done, my 13 year old snatched it up.  Same story.  I'm sure that when my 10 year old is a little older, she will enjoy it as well. 

I think this book would be fine for kids 12 and up.  Some discussion of what is truth and what is fiction with your child may necessitate pre-reading by the parent.

From LitFuse
About the book:“Not my iPod!” Jeremy Lapoint’s day plunges to record lows when Sid Lundahl and his crew stomp the only nice thing he owns-and Jeremy gets in trouble for fighting. With Dad in prison and Mom struggling to scrape by, Jeremy’s life seems hopeless. Until he has this urge to … fly.

One leap and Jeremy soars through the air. With this and his other new-found powers, life is suddenly amazing, wonderful. Until a real-live demon chases him through the school hallways, terrifying him and making him a freak to his schoolmates. He’s the only one who can see the monster. Jeremy wonders if the flying thing’s worth it.

But during the chase, Asiel, Jeremy’s guardian angel, wields his sword and battles off the demon. Later Asiel explains that Jeremy’s a Nephilim: half human and half angel. Jeremy’s shocked. His quest to uncover how he got like this sends him to the Higher Humanity Institute where he meets other Nephilim like him along with a slew of enemies-both human and … not.

In the midst of his strange and dangerous struggles, Jeremy also receives the peace and love he’s always longed for but never knew. When called to lead an angelic battle for the truth, will Jeremy cling to the One who can win the war or let his old doubts and fears overtake him?
Fun, danger, friendship, mystery, and faith-along with awesome angels and demons-fill the pages of this exciting book. A must-read for kids (and grownups) craving adventure with a life-changing message.

Meet the author:
When Kathryn Dahlstrom’s husband was transferred to Los Angeles, she traded Minnesota’s black-bear country for the inner-city and taught children at a Child Evangelism Fellowship Good News Club in Watts. She also began her writing career. In addition to writing six titles in the Good News Club children’s fiction series published by Child Evangelism Fellowship Press, the author is also a screenwriter and film producer. Currently, she and her husband, Tim, live on wooded acreage north of Minneapolis/St. Paul where they care for her mother. They also have an adult daughter, Kristina.
Find out more about Kathryn at
Read more reviews from LitFuse bloggers. 
Buy the book.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review from LitFuse.
Shared with:
Cozy Book Hop

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What Do You Have in Your Hand?

Amy's my little decorator.  This is her display from last year down by our driveway.  Soon we'll be getting our autumn decorations out.  If I don't hurry, she'll do all the fall decorating before I even get a chance!  We did some shopping yesterday at Hobby Lobby.  They had lovely things; but, my budget just won't go far enough to buy decorations this year.  No worries, God will provide!

May I suggest?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Review: A Sound Among the Trees, Susan Meissner

Once upon a time, a long time ago, in the land of not yet saved, I read spooky stories.  In fact, my mom and I would buy a book and tag team read it.  Interesting sort of bonding, isn't it?  When I think of the books we read, yuck!  Thankfully, we both met Jesus and our lives and reading changed.  I hope to do some tag team reading with my daughter, Emily, this year; but, I think we'll be reading a different type of book.  ~smile~ 

A Sound Among the Trees is a book that fits in the spooky genre while still offering a Christian message. 

Holly Oak, a house with a history in Fredricksburg, a town torn by the Civil War.  A house with a past that haunts the present.  What is it about that attic, the cellar, the parlor, and the slave quarters that makes Edna, a self-proclaimed clairvoyant, so nervous?
Susannah, a young woman who sewed Confederate soldiers during the Civil War and was rumored to be a spy for the Union and maybe more.
Adelaide, an old woman nearing ninety, who sews Civil War uniforms just as she has all of her life in the same parlor as her great-grandmother Susannah sewed.
Marielle, a new bride living in a house rumored to be haunted with her new husband, his two children, his deceased wife's grandmother, and the memories or is it ghost of the first wife.
Add in suspicious and superstitious blue haired ladies, and you've got quite a twisted tale.

This page turner made me want to leave off everything else and read.  I found it a bit spooky to read it at night- but I did.  The character development was excellent.  The secrets this family kept, oh my!  I want to share so much, but I'd spoil it for you.   It didn't unfold as I thought it would.  I just couldn't guess what would happen next.  Unpredictable is good.   I liked the way this story stretched my imagination a bit, made me nervous at times, made me smile and even laugh a couple of times, filled me with compassion for the characters and satisfied me with the ending even though I wanted more..  Resolution came in an unexpected way and from an unexpected source.  God's like that, too, isn't He?  This doesn't have the strong Christian message that I'd hoped for, but it is there in a subtle way, different types of love, the need for resolution and salvation, it's there, but not in a strong way.  I think it would cross over into the secular market well. 

It did have two instances where s-- was mentioned, but nothing actually happened in the book.  Still, it's enough that I won't be handing it to my just turned fifteen homeschooled daughter.

Take a look at the trailer, the excerpts and see what you think.  I read the information several times before I decided to read the book.  I am glad I chose to read it.  I found it quite entertaining.

Susan Meissner
Reading Guide

"I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah for this review."
Linked with:
Grace at Home
Cozy Book Hop

Monday, September 10, 2012

Why I Chose Harvest Lane Cottage

I've been blogging since December 2007.  I'd been reading blogs for quite awhile.  My husband had been encouraging me to start writing for months.  I told him I had nothing to write.  ~smile~  I now have about 800 posts on this blog alone in addition to the ones at my original blog, Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage. 

When we moved to the country back in 2001, we named our place Harvest Lane Farm.  We sold you-pick blackberries and had a pumpkin patch one autumn.  There's nothing so grand as all the pumpkins you could want all piled up and ready to sell.  So pretty. 

A couple of years later, we moved into town because of some health problems I was having and some other things.  At that time, we bought a little cottage and fixed it up just like I wanted it.  We dubbed it Harvest Lane Cottage.  I had been on-line as Laura of Harvest Lane Farm for some time.  When we moved to town, I changed it to Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage for the continuity of it.  When I started blogging, it just seemed right to call my blog Harvest Lane Cottage.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Inspiration from Laura Ingalls Wilder

"After Laura and Mary had washed and wiped the dishes, swept the floor, made their bed, and dusted, they settled down with their books. But the house was so cozy and pretty that Laura kept looking up at it."

- Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Little House stories had a great influence on me as a child.  I credit my make do attitude and make it myself attitude in part to Laura's stories.  Mrs. Pamela Higgs was my fourth and fifth grade teacher.  She read Little House on the Prairie to my class.  She also taught me embroidery, macrame, a bit of needlepoint and chess among other things.  It all combined to make me an old-fashioned girl.

Now, this old-fashioned girl is inspired to cozy things up around here a bit after a long hot summer.  Autumn is just around the corner. 
May I suggest?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Do You Find Bible Reading to be a Challenge?

I completed my first reading plan with YouVersion! 

I started back in January as part of a Professor Horner Bible reading challenge sent by my friend Deb.  It was intended to be a one year commitment to reading ten chapters a day, one in each of ten locations, alternating between old and new testament.  The whole Bible was covered plus some books were read repeatedly.  I found it too confusing for me to just move my bookmarks along; so, when I found Prof. Horner's Bible Reading System, I jumped at the chance to have a check list on-line.  I combined it with the use of's audio Bibles.  Listening really made some of the prophets and more difficult books easier for me to understand.  Covering so much Bible so quickly gave me a great overview of Scripture.  I am usually familiar with whatever passage of the Bible Pastor Dan brings up in his sermons.  I look forward to learning more.

I fully recommend YouVersion and to help you jump-start your Bible reading.  I'm going to choose another reading plan today.  They range from 2 days for a topic-related reading to several months for a through the Bible plan.  Go take a look.  Both the sites are free. You might just find something perfect for you. 

By the way, this is another post that sounds like a review.  It's not, it's just a hurray for me!  I did it!
May I suggest?

Linked with:
Raising Homemakers
Faithful Friday with Joy
Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson
JM Home Link-Up

Friday, September 7, 2012

Saving Money This Week

Things I've done that saved money this week:

I made a new dress for myself with fabric and a pattern that were a birthday gift.  
New dress: $5.00 Savings $76.00

Cost of fabric if  I'd bought it:  $66.00 My cost $0
Cost of pattern:  $10.00 if I'd bought it.  My cost $0
Cost of thread:   $5.00
Cost of a custom made dress in my own big girl size, priceless.

I bought Betty Crocker measuring spoons at Dollar Tree for part of a future gift. 
Cost:  $1.00
Amazon Cost:  $4.30
Savings $3.30

A Homeschool Mother's Journal

Welcome to another week of The Homeschool Mother's Journal.  It's a way for us mommas to jot a few thoughts for remembrance and to share with others.  We welcome you to join us!

In my life this week…My oldest son is moving into his own place about a mile down the road.  He decided to stay in Carthage awhile longer.

In our homeschool this week…
We're still trying to get our act together.  I'm just not organized yet.  That's what I get for starting before I was completely ready.  

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share...
Reading... an hour a day every day.

My favorite thing this week was…
Getting my blog back after it was removed mysteriously.

What’s working
Curiosity Files for Science
Amy really likes the Whirlpool unit she's working on right now.
My Review
Review Crew Reviews

Things I’m working on…
Lesson plans

I’m reading…

A Sound Among the Trees: A Novel  
Oh, it's so good.  Watch for a review soon.

I’m grateful for...
the rain I prayed for!
getting my blog back!

I’m praying for…
the victims of Isaac.

A photo to share…
Queen Victoria crocheting. 

May I suggest?
Monday in my Cottage... A Little Busyness

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


This is my friend Charity.  She's the greatest.  If you've called Joplin Family Worship Center to help with tornado relief in any way, she's the gal you probably talked to.  She's just the sweetest gal you'll ever meet.

I don't know what we would have done over this last year, especially right after the tornado, if it hadn't been for Charity.  We joined the church after the tornado to help with the relief and to plant new roots.  Charity was my life-line friend as I tried to get acquainted... making a new friend only to find that she lived in Pennsylvania or New Hampshire or Texas or .... We had volunteers from everywhere help us!

Thanks so much for being my friend and for serving Joplin Charity!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Revive Your Marriage

Women Living Well
Courtney over at Women Living Well is doing a series with some other ladies about reviving your marriage.  Today, she encourages us to pray for our husbands each time we see our wedding rings.  I know that I need to increase my prayers for my husband what about you?  Click on over if you'd like to join in.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Late last night, I discovered something that shocked me.
My blog had been removed, lost.
Imagined shocked silence as I stare at the message, "This blog has been removed."

Deep intake of breath, then panic no, not panic!  I actually did not freak out with worry.  I didn't even drag my computer savy husband out of bed to deal with it.  I prayed, I accepted that the nearly five years of memories, devotions, recipes, encouragements, reviews, and friendly comments were just gone.  Mind you, I was not happy about it, I felt a sense of loss, but I didn't get all upset.  I was calm.

First, I thank God that He gave me peace in this situation.
Second, I thank God that He helped me to pray, "Thy will be done", and mean it.
Third, I thank God that it was a Blogger glitch of some sort. They called me with a code, I put the code in, hit continue, and my  blog was found!

This tested me.  I passed the test and did well.  Thank you for changing me, Lord.

Guess what I'm going to learn to do this week?

Yep, I'm going to learn to back up my blog!

If you read this, I do wish you'd leave me a comment.

Relieved and Blessed

I wrote that early Saturday morning.  As I hit publish, the blog disappeared again!  I got to practice what I preached to myself.  My husband worked and worked and worked on it.  Nothing worked.  I prayed.  I asked God to restore it.  I also asked God to help me to accept it and go on even though it was going to cause some trouble with reviews.  In spite of prayer, I felt a deep sense of loss, almost a mourning.  What I didn't do is give into anxiety.  I actually gave it all to Jesus.  Thank you God.  So, I did pass the test, even if I didn't get an A+. ~smile~

Thank God He doesn't require us to make an A+.  He only requires us to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and trust in Him to be saved.  Saved from Hell, yes, but saved from our own sinful nature as well.  Be sure you know Him so that you, too can weather the disappointments and trials of life.

God bless you!

Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage
So very happy to still be here with you

Shared with:
Faithful Fridays with Joy
Women Living Well