Grab Your Hot Cider For A Fun Read | [SNEAK PEAK and TONS of Great Summer Photos!]

I don’t know if you noticed it last Friday evening, but, with the blowing in of the northwesterly winds, summer is gone, and, friends, it’s fall. So, wrap your hands around of mug of hot apple cider, and read on.

Fall in the Midwest is one of my favorite times of the year. All of a sudden, the humidity is gone, the air is vibrant and clear, and, as if touched with the barest caress of sunlight, the maples start turning, beginning at the very tips of their leaves on the easterly side and fading gently, perfectly into the still-green portions of the trees.

sunset over lake

What I will miss from summer are the foggy drives into work, watching the sun rise over the tree-covered Ozark foothills, rays peeking through in dark blues and grays and in lighter colors—reds, purples, orange—above the low-hanging clouds.

What I look forward to are the effervescent colors of fall, Happy Apples, deer season, and later, the ice-encrusted trees and snow. Oh, how I love snow.  And how I love fall and winter clothes, the intimacy of warm homes, and people readying for the holidays.

But now, at the close of the summer, before the summer-ness dies off, I want to give you one last peek of my summer—some fun, and a project I’ve been working on that’s about ready to launch.

Let’s take a peek back through summer’s swiftly closing door.

Photo of yellow flowers

The New Addition

Piper. Piper is probably the biggest change that has happened this summer like I mentioned in another blog. One of these days I’ll get around to writing a post that is solely for her, so consider this a teaser.

Puppy leaning on stool

On Memorial Day our dog Nicki, at the age of 11 passed away. She was Aussie #2, and, 4 dead chickens (courtesy of a coon) and a month later, Mom and I drove to Kentucky to pick up Aussie #3.

Puppy between bushes
Piper at 8 weeks at the breeder’s home in Kentucky. Doesn’t she look innocent?

Holy Toledo, two minutes into the drive home, we thought we had picked up an entire pack of coyotes the way she was carrying on! And so, nameless-puppy as she was then, got what she wanted (out of the crate), and was daubed (among other things) “the banshee.” She has been a steamroller. Very stubborn, very smart, and incredibly full of personality, and exactly the opposite of Nicki. Where Nicki was scared of the A/C vents, Piper sleeps on them.

Puppy with ball

Where Nicki was easy to train because she was easy to intimidate if needed, Piper . . . oh Piper. Well, let’s just say that Piper does whatever it is she shouldn’t be doing even faster, and more calculated.

But as she grows and her brain starts to catch up with her teeth (the frantically biting teeth of a teething, hyper-hyper Aussie puppy), she seems to be turning out rather amazingly. I’m pretty sure that’s due to the dutiful training my cat, Elsie, has been painstakingly instilling in her since she came home. I’m not joking.

Dog and cat on the swing

Piper has even started sleeping on the porch chairs like Elsie, if that tells you anything.

Needless to say, our life has been much more interesting (and a lot more work). But more about that another time.

Dog in tunnel
My brother and crazy Piper goofing off in the tunnel.

The Best Friend

Ruth and Maddie
Aren’t these two ladies gorgeous?

Hurricane season blew my best friend to me. So, while many people were dealing with the destruction of Florence, I was blessed beyond measure to hang out with Ruth and her husband and their dog (and Piper’s new friend) Maddie at our farm.

Ruth and Ethan and Maddie

After months and months of trying to figure out how to see each other one more time this year, God provided a paid leave for Ruth due to the impending weather in Virginia, and she got to come to Missouri for about four days. Four days is never enough, but we’re so thankful. Moriah graced us with our “whenever-we-are-together” photoshoot, and she did an amazing job. (Remember, moving puppies, moving horses and general craziness.)

Selfie of me with the dogs in the back seat behind me
Driving the dogs to PetCo for puppy playtime!

Ruth and I . . . well, neither of us is very photogenic, and we’re both super awkward, so pictures are not a strong point for us. But Ruth always says, “We need to take pictures of us together!” and I am usually the one to make it happen even though, when we finally are together, it’s the last thing we want to do.

Ruth and Me with the Dogs

We also got to ride together which is special because that is was the original connecting point of our friendship.

Ruth and me with horses

The Project

Now for the real teaser: The Project. The project I’ve been working on slowly but surely for months.

It’s a book. And not a book by me.

[By the way, would you all be interested in a book written by me?]

This particular book is actually a second edition of a book my grandma wrote years ago. She had originally had it self-published and recently ran out of copies, so we revamped it, made it cool (very cool, with the help of Hannah Shockley and her cover design), and it’s about ready to be released.

Book cover
Cover art by Hannah Shockley

My wonderful grandma is not one for advertising, so here is a teaser of my own:

Are you looking for a practical guide on how to believe for your husband’s salvation?

Set Apart for the Kingdom: God’s Plan for Your Husband’s Salvation is a story of humility and God’s grace and miracles—and how you can apply God’s promises to your life through His Word. In short, it’s a dose of God’s Truth that can teach you how to pray and act in a Kingdom manner and, through trusting in the Lord and building your relationship with Him, win your husband for Christ. This truth can be applied in a much broader sense and I think it’s relevant to most relationships in general.

Real strength is walking in God’s way. – Connie Dailey

This book has been a pleasure to work on, and I can’t wait to release it. God will absolutely be using it to change lives.

I will let you know when it releases!

And with that, I shall close. How was your summer? What do you look forward to most in fall? Tell me your summer stories!

Books under futon
I hit up some book sales, and, well, long story short, they were basically free, so I HAD to bring them home . . . yes, they are stacked under my futon. But they are happy to have a home!

Bethany Swoboda is a freelance editor for Wordbender Books. She has always loved reading, reading, reading, and enjoys helping authors polish and develop their manuscripts. Some of her many hobbies are horseback riding, bouldering, helping work her family’s farm, playing piano, crocheting, and volunteering at her church. She has a BA in creative writing and a minor in professional writing from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Us girls holding the horses


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