Archive | June 2013

Wow! I was Really Naive!

Twenty years ago this week I got married.

I married the love-of-my-life.

I married a farmer.

Every year (20 of them now) the same man in our church shakes his head and asks, “What were you thinking, getting married at the end of June?”

For those of you who don’t live in Kansas, June is one of the busiest months on a farm. It’s wheat harvest time, haying time and fall crop planting time (if you’re double-cropping). It’s not only busy, but HOT. Today we reached 106 degrees.

But, love was blind and I was so naïve. I really didn’t have a clue in 1993 why we SHOULDN’T get married at the end of June. Now I know that when your anniversary falls during harvest week, you’ll probably get Wendy’s for lunch and you’ll be sharing it with all your kids, but your husband will probably be taking the next load of wheat to the CO-OP. Not very romantic but I’ve had plenty of time to think over some of the changes and my favorite harvest memories.

It wasn't quite so snug when they were all little!

It wasn’t quite so snug when they were all little!

That first harvest was late so as soon as we got home from our honeymoon, Mark got in his combine and was gone. Because I was a good (new) wife, I’d go ride in the combine with him and sit on a little metal toolbox for hours.

The next year I learned how to drive a grain truck. Hot, old grain trucks with a manual transmission (stick shift). Loaded, the truck might go 35 mph.

In 2000, our second son was born in June. It was an early harvest year and a huge storm was rolling in. I wasn’t feeling too good and called to tell Mark. He replied that he just needed to get that field done. A couple of hours later I called again and this time he responded that he was just putting everything away. We made it to the hospital with 45 minutes to spare!

About seven years ago Mark bought a grain truck and trailer. At that point, I suggested if I had to drive that thing, CO-OP might want to enlarge their doors that you have to drive through to unload. Bless Mark, because he suggested a change and I learned how to drive the combine!harvest 13 008

harvest 13 006That is where I am now and even though I have to fight my oldest son for the right to drive it, I don’t plan on leaving the seat too soon! I tell him you have to pay-your-dues and I did for twelve years driving the grain trucks.

Twenty years of marriage and harvesting wheat. I almost feel like I should celebrate by buying a pair of bib overalls! Maybe getting married in June wasn’t the smartest thing for us to do, but I would marry him again–in June or maybe now we’d go for January!

Thanks for letting me share,


Thank you…

…for letting me be a tiny blip on your blog-o-sphere radar. Thank you to everyone who has read and / or commented on my posts.

This is the most difficult blog post I’ve ever had to write. Today is my last post for Pages from Stages. It has been such an honor to be a part of this blog. I love each and every one of my blog buddies here so much! Not to sound cliche, but I really do hold them near and dear to my heart. While I won’t be posting each week here with them, we’re still friends and we’ll be keeping in touch and running into each other in many places, I’m sure.

I am in an extremely busy season in my life. I won’t bore you with the details, but I have a LOT going on. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in a day sometimes. This decision was beyond hard. I agonized over it. I prayed over it for so long. And I received my answer. God is asking me to give up Pages From Stages. What writing time I can carve out needs to be spent on my book(s). God knows His plan for me. He’s in control and He knows exactly what He’s doing. That doesn’t always mean it’s easy. I just have to be willing to obey and trust Him.

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven…” Ecclesiastes 3:1

I have some sadness in my heart, but a great peace. I know this is the Lord’s leading and I trust Him.

I enjoyed getting to know our faithful readers. Your comments have been a blessing and a gift I’ll always cherish.

I’ll be stopping by to comment from time to time. So dear readers, I’ll not say goodbye, but instead…I’ll be seeing you.

May God be with you and bless you,
Susan Hollaway
Mom cover original

And now…the rest of the story!!

The first part of this silly little story was posted on May 19, so you may have to go back to that one for this to make any sense at all.

O’That’lldo revisited–

“You mamas and you papas, just take a look around. It is a shame, it really is, the way the town’s run down. The fences are all crooked, your gardens are a mess. We’ve lived so long in That’lldo, we’ve forgotten there’s R’Best. The reason that folks drive on by is not because we’re small.” Old Granny shook her little head. “No, that’s not it at all.”

“It’s not picnics or parades or shiny gidget-whizzets that will make all those who drive by now want to stop and visit. We must work hard, clean up our yards, paint and scrub and sweep. Straighten fences. Pull the weeds. Old Lazy Lou will weep.”

“We must all work together. We must all do our best. And when the day is over, we will surely pass the test. You see, it’s not enough to just get by, I fear. We need diligence and faithfulness for folks to visit here.”

Then turning to the Mayor, she said a sweet “Thank You. Now please put me down upon the ground. We have work to do.”

How they hurried and they scurried to get this big job done. Mamas, papas, boys and girls—they ALL worked. Every one! They straightened and they pulled, they painted and they swept. Lazy Lou watched all of this, and sure enough—he wept. Oh me! Oh, my! How he did cry. “Whatever shall I do? I am afraid my scheming time in That’lldo is through.”

Now Granny, who was so very old, a hundred years plus two, was the only one for miles around who could see or talk to Lou. She shuffled by, and heard his cry, and he did sound so pitiful that she bent down, way, way, way down and gave him quite an earful.

“It’s your own fault, old Lazy Lou, that you’re in such a fix. No one to blame, no other name, but you and your dirty tricks.”

“You see, my friend, God has a plan for each of us to do. And if we always do R’Best we’ll get rewarded when we’re through. God know we are not perfect, so he doesn’t expect perfection. No, he just wants to see us follow his direction. Now, He wrote it down for us to heed. No arguing or fuss. ‘Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the Name of Jesus.”

Lazy Lou just sat there with tears on his old face. “Do you think, Old Granny, they’ll let me stay in this dear place? I will tell them that I’m sorry, that all I’ve done is wrong.” Then he stood and cried out loudly to the milling throng. “Listen up you people, please come down this way. I have something very important that I need to say.”

It truly was a miracle, a miracle you see, for there stood Lou, right before them, as plain as you and me. “I was wrong,” he shouted, “please forgive me one and all. Far and near, old and young, I’ve been so very wrong. But now old, old old Granny has told me such good news. I want to stay and help you. I want to be of use.”

“I’ll paint, I’ll sweep, I’ll even pull the weeds. But I have a suggestion, and it’s just what this town needs. We’ve called ourselves O’That’lldo for so very long, you see, and I’m afraid that is because you all listened to me. But now I think—no I am sure—we have passed the test. From now on, from this very day, we shall be called R’Best.”

“We’ll put a new sign up, for all who care to visit. And when they see that we R’Best, why! They won’t want to miss it. We don’t need a Fireman’s Ball—though I think we sure could dance to show our love and happiness for getting another chance.”

Now in the country of Perhaps, in the province of Say-Who, there is a brand new village, not the one called O’Thatalldo. No! No! They passed the test and now it’s called R’Best”

And the Mayor now you see, is one old, old, OLD Granny, who is one hundred years plus three!


road 2 we like!

What do you like about summer?

corn on the cobThe hot weather has finally arrived after an unusually cool spring! The flowers are blooming in the garden and my kids have started the countdown to the final days of school. We look forward to lazy days filled with glorious sunshine!


Here are 10 things I love about summer (in no particular order):roses

  1. Fireflies
  2. Roses and Lilies
  3. Swimming
  4. Warm evening walks by the water
  5. Watermelon and berries strawberries
  6. No jackets necessary
  7. Barbecued hamburgers with corn on the cob
  8. Sandals
  9. Vacations with my little family
  10. Slower pace

What do you love about summer?

Cherie Gagnon– Cherie

There she was just a walking down the street…

The prettiest belle you ever saw.

Her name is Holly. Miss Holly Hock.

Her name is Holly. Miss Holly Hock.

The first summer I lived at my house, I was delighted to discover hollyhocks growing along the back alley. This year it’s hollyhock time again. The flowers grow from seed and only bloom every other year.

And they make perfect little dolls.


Here the hollyhocks and lilies bloom in the golden sunset of the summer solstice.

golden june2

Consider the lilies….So do not worry.

I hope you are enjoying the delights of summer.

Susie-3994-EditPS 72

~ Susan

A Simple Blog

Fathers Day 13 026This week we’re writing about our favorite blogs.

Confession time for me: I don’t follow very many blogs.

In fact, there are only two I check regularly and they are as different as night and day!

To me, the blog is a breath of fresh air! This lady has simplified everything. She encourages me to slow down and enjoy life. She isn’t about things or always being on-the-go. She has a beautiful home with few decorations and NO CLUTTER! When I first started reading her blog, it was right before Easter two years ago. During the forty days of Lent, she got rid of forty bags of stuff from her house. The size of bag didn’t matter. I tried it and was amazed. Obviously, I need to do that every year, but for her, this year she didn’t need to de-clutter because she hadn’t added forty bags of stuff. From the objects in her home to her children’s schedule (six kids ages 8 months – 18 years) everything is kept simple. She does it for her family and for herself.

In a world that can easily feel like it’s spinning out of control, this blog encourages me to step back and let go–of the clutter, the wants, and the idea that if my kids aren’t involved in everything, they won’t be as well-rounded. I’d like my home to be that breath of fresh air to my family and anyone who visits!

Have a wonderful weekend,


So many good blogs…how do you pick a favorite?

Thankfully, I don’t really have to. There’s a plethora of blogs to peruse on the internet, and it’d be difficult for me to pick just one favorite.  So, I’m going to highlight two writer blogs from which I glean a great deal.  I also want to share a different kind of blog I just found –a food blog.  Let’s get started…

Seekerville is a great blog for writers. It was founded by a group of writers who have all since become published authors.  They all have a heart to help other writers and they provide so much information. They teach, encourage, and make their faithful followers feel like part of the blog family. They also host many guest bloggers.  There’s always something new to be learned from Seekerville. And more often than not, you will find an amusing tidbit tucked in to make you smile, chuckle, sometimes laugh out loud, and if you’re me –snort!

The second is Kristen Lamb’s blog. She always has something to share worth reading. She’s a no-holds-barred, shoots-straight-from- the-hip kind of gal. She’s smart, witty, clever, a great writer, published author, and a social media expert.  I get her daily blog posts in my inbox so I don’t miss them.

There are other blogs out there that I enjoy visiting. Some of which apply to other areas of my life.  I’m on a quest to eat even healthier and searching for more recipes and ideas with total whole foods packed with nutrition. Oh, and easy.  Right now, I need easy.  Enter  Pepper Lynn, loving people through food.   I’ve just discovered this blog and I think that it’ll be a mainstay in my internet diet.

I’d love you to share what are some of your favorite blogs.

Have a blessed day!

Susan Hollaway

Daily Cheap Reads – My favorite blog

We get to share our favorite blogs – outside of Pages From Stages, that is.

I want to tell you about Daily Cheap Reads. My sister Paula started this blog three years ago this month. I help out with it from time to time, but Paula does 99 percent of the work.

When she told me this idea, I thought it might work.



But I wouldn’t count on it.

Good thing she didn’t listen to me, because it has turned out to be a great addition to the World Wide Web.

Paula is an avid reader and loves her electronic Kindle. On the site, she features Kindle books that are less than $5 and many that are free. This blog combines two of her favorite things – reading and bargains. Having been shopping with her, I can tell you this girl can root out a bargain like nobody’s business.

She makes several new posts everyday, getting up at 5 a.m. or earlier to get the day’s top picks. She also features book reviews, news from the electronic book world and other updates. There is also a Junior Edition for young readers.

Even if you don’t have a Kindle or electronic reader, you can still benefit from the bargains. You can download the books to read on your computer or smart phone. Once the books are in your account, you’ll have them forever. If you think you’ll get a Kindle someday, you can start collecting free books now, then read them on your Kindle. Christian fiction is often featured free.

Susie-3994-EditPS 72I didn’t think I’d like reading on a Kindle. The truth is, I love it and read more than I ever have before. And Daily Cheap Reads is keeping me stocked in reading material!

~ Susan

Daddy and the dog named Orphie

My dad was a wonderful man.  Everybody who knew him loved and respected him. When he died, it was one of the largest funeral’s I’d ever attended.  Today, on father’s day, I decided this story from my sister Karen would be more fun than going on and on about the great dad he was.  So enjoy.

Our dad was a quiet man.  When daddy laughed he always shook up and down and hardly ever made a sound.  I used to love to watch him laugh.

One time at Briana’s birthday probably her 3rd (1976) we had Mom and Dad up for supper and made ice cream. Since it was winter (February 22) we sat the ice cream freezer out on the front step to keep it frozen till dinner was over.  This was when we still had the original house before any remodeling and the porch was on the east side of the house.  Mom and Dad’s dog Orphie followed them up to our house and while we were eating supper, he had tipped over the ice cream freezer and had eaten all the ice cream – all 1 1/2 gallons.  When we went to get it after supper to have birthday cake and ice cream, there was Orphie with his head clear inside the canister licking up the finally drops on the bottom.  He got every last drop. His stomach was huge.

This dog Orphie was given to Mom and Dad by the Danner girls because it was a stray dog that had come to their house and they didn’t want it so the folks took it and named it Orphie because it was an orphan.    It had these curls on its head and did some really funny things. We – especially Dad – got a lot of laughs from that dog.

Blessings on Father’s Day.


A Simple Gift for Dad

Every year it gets harder to find a Father’s Day gift for my husband, father-in-law and my dad. If they don’t drink, golf or grill, there isn’t a huge selection of ideas. One year I gave shirts and another year I just gave cards. My poor husband has more tool chests than he knows what to do with (he might disagree). This was going to be another card year when inspiration hit me!


I did a search and came up with a general idea and then made it into my own.
June13 artcamp 065
I start by making a batch of caramel popcorn and putting it in a bag. Next I found bottles of A & W Root Beer. All I could find was a six-pack bound in plastic, so I had to stop at Kwik Trip for a couple of teas and a drink carrier. Theirs is the perfect color and pattern! The bottles are a bit small for the carrier so I added some tissue paper as filler and some fun ribbon I already had. Instead of making the tag, I found a free printable at The colors were perfect for the box!

It’s a fun gift and something different that a card!


Have a great weekend!