Exciting New Kitchen Implement

At one of my recent estate sales (find me on facebook at “White Rose Estate Sales by Susan” if you’re curious), I found a kitchen tool that, in my 25 years of married life, I did not possess. No, it wasn’t an oddment such as a cherry-pitter, or a corn cob kernel-stripper, it was a humble measuring cup.

But not just any measuring cup. This was a metal two-cup dry measure. Here is a picture of it.


It is about 5″ across and about 3.5″ deep with nicely marked gradiations on the side. Now, you ask me, “What’s the big deal?” It’s GREAT! I’ve had a about two weeks and it’s really come in handy several times already. I have used it for a bread recipe calling for 4 cups of flour, for example, for which I only had to load my cup twice, instead of four times.

I can’t understand why these aren’t more common – they are great to own.100_5294

A review of “Christmas at Rose Hill Farm, by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Hi! Amish fiction — such a mixture! This book certainly proves that out, in a unique way. Let’s start by saying, if you are interested in the Amish, and the horticulture of roses, you will probably like this book a lot.


The third thing I’d like to highlight about this book is a plot element I haven’t seen before in Amish fiction — a touch of the supernatural! Think ‘Yoder Christmas’ crossed with The Shack! Yes, The Shack. I don’t want to give away a lot of the story here, because you’ll want to get all that on your own when you read it.

I will add that this is well-written, off the beaten Amish track, and many readers will find it fascinating.

“The Christmas Cat” by Melody Carlson, a book review by Susan Karsten

Let me get it right out there, I signed on to review this with mixed feelings. Cats are not on my list of “book topics I enjoy” — in fact, normally I would run the other direction from a cat-themed anything!

This book, however, transcends cats. Yes, there are some cats in the story. They are totally superseded and blessedly overshadowed by the fantastic story, the interesting characters, and the utter charm of this romance.

Garrison and Cara will warm their way into your heart and imagination better than any cat rubbing against your legs. The setting is very cool, too — Vancouver Island. I do have my doubts that exposure to cats will gradually take away one’s cat allergy, but will suspend my disbelief long enough to rave about the book and assure you that you’ll enjoy it. Any cat-loving fiction reader would like to receive this as a gift.


Are there any topics you avoid in your fiction reading? Please answer in comments.

Thanks, Susan

“TRADING SECRETS” By Melody Carlson (Susan Karsten’s Latest Book Review)


You are in for a treat. When a young adult book completely entrances me, an avid adult reader of advanced fiction, you know you have a winner.

This book is engrossing, different, real, entertaining, and fun. I would hand it to any friend – young or old – with complete confidence. Carlson handles the Amish dilemmas of life quite well, letting it speak for itself – neither appluading it, idolizing it, looking at it with rose-colored glasses, or trashing it.

In the meantime, she weaves an adorable story about two older teens — I don’t want to give it away, but I would recommend this one. If you give books for gifts, this would be perfect for a teenage girl.

Have YOU ever seen a handsome Amish man? (there’s one in this book.)

PS The English girl’s father has some weak ideas of God, but it’s not the books focus, nor does it take away from the book.

“Surprised by Love” by Julie Lessman — Susan Karsten’s latest book review


How amazing that a young woman in 1904 gets an internship at a DAs office in San Francisco. Such a unique set-up for a story about a beautiful and attractive character. She has to work with a man who used to tease her, and that takes away from her happiness with her job.

But, there’s another man around, who used to think of her as a sister — will she be caught by either of these two? Or will she toil away at the office since she has been educated as a DA?

Have you ever been teased by a man who later loved you?

“A Mother’s Prayers for Her Son” by Rob & Joanna Teigen == Susan Karsten’s latest book review


This book will give you a jumpstart and much food for thought about your son(s). With 77 specific topics covered and example prayer wording, you will be motivated and inspired to cover your dear child in prayer.

From friendships, to discontent, failure, purity, addiction, dating, and muuuuuch more, there’s so much here for the serious Christian mom. Also, you get 17 stories/anecdotes about real live experiences people have been through. So this book is a great combination of examples of prayers, and of real life outworking of answers.

Do you pray with your son(s)?

“At Bluebonnet Lake” by Amanda Cabot — Susan Karsten’s latest book review


Kate, on a vacay with Granny, arrives at a rundown resort. How fun it is for the reader to see her walk through this trial, having a hard time enjoying her trip, for fears of Granny’s health, etc. But…a man…a fabulous man…happens to be at the resort, too. They start playing tennis together, and the rest…well it’s pure romance!!

I don’t want to give away any of the fun, but you will not be disappointed with this one. Lots of detail, interesting plot twists, and characters you don’t want to say good-bye to.

Have you ever gotten to a vacation destination and found it left a lot to be desired?

Bye for now, Susan


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