Category Archives: writing


As we are past Bob’s memorial celebration, I now have to think of other things, like writing.

I have multiple collections of column books started. I guess now is the time to finish one or two.

The trouble is I have to type in all my columns and then find a few photos to go inside. Both seem to be chores but have to be done if I want to save our stories for our family.

Cover of my second collection

Since my old laptop is past its prime, I’m having trouble searching through its depths for the book manuscripts I had started.

It’s not easy updating to a different computer, learning about it, and trying to match up to the old files, too. Ugh! Technology is great when I can get it to work for me.

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved

Farmer’s Market sale

I’m very tired after our time today at the Seymour Farmer’s Market. The weather wasn’t too bad. We had a breeze. It wasn’t until we got home that it got steamy outside.

The big news today is that I made my first sale. Actually, two sales!

One pressed flower bookmark went and the big news is that one of my books was purchased.

Can you guess which one?

Barley Soup and Slug Spit was my first sale at the Farmer’s Market. I hope the person who purchased it gives me a good review.

Bob and I are happy to be home and ready to put our feet up, basking in the brightness of our big, huge, gigantic sale.

Lost in the middle

Sometimes it’s a struggle to sit at the computer and write, especially when it’s a beautiful day. My writer friends think I should be working at my writing, no matter the weather. My gardening friends see it differently. They think a day working inside is a waste.

I try to do both sometimes. When that happens there are too many weeds in my flower garden and not enough words on the page.

Current blooming lilies

It’s a good thing some flowers bloom, with or without my help. Writing is different. If I don’t put words down and say what I want, no one else can do it for me–at least not exactly.

Doggone it

During the early years of writing my column, if I didn’t have a subject idea, all I did was wait around a little bit. One of our kids was bound to do something either crazy, interesting, or cute. After they grew up and moved out I have less opportunity of using them–but I still do now and then.

These days when I’m scrounging around for an idea I look around at critters. They could be wild or domesticated. Our dog, Sunny often turns up in these writings. I think that happens because he’s the closest animal we are related to. Also, he’s handy to photograph, though sometimes he doesn’t want his picture taken and turns his head away.

Sunny enjoying a roll.

I try to take him for a walk every day and most times he starts our adventure by rolling down the ditch. Most times he looks cute, but once he rolled in something disgusting and smelly. That day ended with a quick scrub at home and eventually a trip to get a professional dog shampoo. Ugh!

I’m sure Sunny will appear here in the future, but for now, that’s my blog for the day.

Susan’s first column

The beginning of many years writing a weekly column – printed in the Farmer’s Friend and Rural Reporter.

      What’s rotating besides crops?

      January 17, 1980

It’s always silent. Not a word is ever heard. It’s the heart of every man or woman concerned with crops out in the field. It’s the farmer’s prayer.

My heavenly request started in midwinter. I was trapped indoors with three children and a man crazed with the cabin fever. The one who could end our imprisonment was reached only through prayer.

“Oh, God, let the sun warmed the hills and valleys. Let the green spring come. And let my nervous husband sit once more on his tractor to till the soil…. His winter pacing has a 10-foot path worn across the living room rug…. Amen.”

My prayer was answered… finally, spring arrived. A little late, in my opinion, but it arrived. Was it my fault that came as a wet, rainy spring? Did I forget to say I wanted a dry spring?

“P.S. God, thank you for the glorious spring. I appreciated it very much. But I do have to ask you to hold back the rain. My husband’s still in the house. Now that living room path is 15 feet long…. Amen.”

Well, He heard my prayer again in our crops found their way into the ground. And there they sat high and dry…. I must have forgotten something again.

“It’s me again…. I’m sorry to bother you, but remember that rain you so graciously turned off? Well, it would be greatly appreciated if you could turn it back on again…. Please?”

This year my prayers were answered tenfold. The rain came and gave life to failing fields. But again, I didn’t want to stop. So humbly I approached the Almighty once more… after a while, the weather changed. The clouds remained, but they were dry. Only trouble now is the slight shiver threatening an early, killing frost.

“God, I know winter has to come. I’ll even welcome its white beauty and time. But would you mind holding the cold off until we get our crops out of the field…. I promise not to complain… much… about a long, cold winter, if only you let fall continue warm and dry a little longer…. Amen.” I’m not sure what the answer will be to this last prayer, yet. But I know it won’t be my last request.

Susan a budding author

2019–Things have changed over the years, but praying continues for good weather and a lot of other things, especially good health.