A Light On The Hill Book Review

I related to this book in a way I didn't expect...

This book plants us in the promised land of Abraham. It has been 50 years since their exodus from slavery in Egypt. Joshua and Caleb are still in control and the dividing of the land has begun to the tribes and we are dropped into Shiloh in the middle of a lush vineyard once charred by the Canaanites that lived there before and nurtured back to life by the hands of an Egyptian man who fell in love with a Israelite girl and her God and was given land by Joshua to thank him for his service to he and Caleb.

From there the story unfolds like the petals of a flower. Enter the vinters daughter Moriyah, a beautiful raven-haired girl and the life-threatening trials she must bear; captured and enslaved in Jericho. Even after she gets free she must live with the gossip the isolation and shame.

Follow this brave lady's story, her tenderness and embarrassment, her dreams and pride and how it shapes and controls her life and chance at happiness. How a simple act she's done a million times before changes her life - maybe forever as she faces a struggle for her life.

The story is great the characters believable and dialogue is enjoyable. I truly did enjoy this book and recommend it highly.

This article contains affiliate links. Affiliate links cost you nothing extra but help to support the Rosevine Cottage Girls so we can continue bringing you recipes, travel posts, garden and farm posts and so much more. Recieved this book from the publisher for our honest review. 

Tapping Maple Trees Part 1

 Maple tapping is something we've wanted to do for a very long time, not just because we love maple syrup or have a bunch of maple trees. We genuinely thought it sounded like fun! So when I unwrapped a maple tapping kit this Christmas I was ecstatic! I could not wait to try it, so- on to the computer, I hopped researching and reading everything I could get my hands on. I typed in "Maple tapping", "How to tap your maple trees" and "When to tap your trees in Tennessee" in the search bar and did more reading until I was finally confident I would mess things up and had a pretty good grasp of when and how to do this (I tend to over think things).

Tennessee Maple Tapping

Step 1: Identify Your Target -The Maple Trees-

We already knew which trees were maples so we skipped the identification stage, over the years as we added trees and other plants we drew a map of where things were and what they were. Making the first step a breeze. Many types of maples can be tapped (not just sugar maples) the most common are silver, red and black maples. Trees should be at least 12 inches around and healthy.

Fun Fact - Birch and Walnut trees can also be tapped.

Step 2: -Supplies-

We already had a kit (you can find the one we bought here) so we stopped by our local home away from home (not to be confused with Hobby Lobby) that's right Lowes and picked up 1-gallon food grade buckets and lids. (We realized later we could have used gallon water jugs for this). Our kit came with ten spiles (also called taps) so we bought 10 1-gallon buckets and a 5-gallon bucket to pour it in.
Tapping Maple Trees
Spile or Tap

What we used: 
Tapping Kit
10 1-Gallon Buckets
1 5-Gallon Bucket
5/16th Drill Bit
Electric Drill (cordless would be easiest but if you are impatient like me and don't want to wait for the battery to charge you can use a corded one like we did)

Our tapping kit came with hoses, so we drilled a hole just big enough for the tube to be inserted in each lid. The easiest way to get the hoses in is to dip the ends in hot water for several seconds and then insert that way they are softer.

Related Article: Making Butter In 7 Easy Steps

Step 3 -Charge!-

Drill into the tree using the 5/16ths drill bit at a slightly upward angle, you are going to want to go in about an inch past the bark into the white wood (eye protection is recommended- I have a feeling they would frown at my use of sunglasses for this job).

drilling for the maple tap

Insert the smooth end of the spile into the hole you just drilled and gently tap with a hammer, loose is better than tight in this scenario because you are going to need to take it back out after the sap flow has slowed down or the tree buds out (after this point the sap will taste funny and not make good syrup).

tapping maple trees

If you haven't done so already (ahem! We took our own root and attached them when we were preparing the buckets, connect the tubing to the spile (again hot water will help with this).  Secure buckets to the tree, we simply tied it with twine.

Related Article: Making Jack Cheese

Collecting maple sap

Ok, I admit it I've been checking the buckets like crazy the last few days (you only need to check it a couple times a day). The best days for collecting is when the high is between 50-60 degrees and the low between 20-30 degrees. This causes the sap to rise to the top of the tree while it is warm, and return to the bottom when it is cold.  It will take around 6 gallons (yes you read that right) to make 1 quart of syrup.

This article contains affiliate links. Affiliate links cost you nothing extra but help to support the Rosevine Cottage Girls so we can continue bringing you recipes, travel posts, garden and farm posts and so much more.

Churches of Nuremberg | St. Lorenz

We are back in Nuremberg today, wandering the cobblestone streets and taking in the beautiful sights. It's cold but so worth it to be able to explore this city, I could spend weeks here! Today we stopped by St. Lorenz or St. Lawrence dedicated to -you guessed it- St. Lawrence will come back to him in a minute but first I want to tell you about the church.

The nave of the church was completed around 1400. In 1439 work was begun on the church choir in the form of a hall church in the late German Sondergotik style of Gothic architecture. The choir was mostly completed by 1477 by Konrad Roriczer (though the intricate vaults were completed by Jakob Grimm).

Nuremberg Germany

In the choir you can find the carving of the "angelic salutation" by Veit Stross and the "monumental tabernacle" by Adam Kraft (which includes a sculpture of the sculptor).

Related Article: Churches of Nuremberg | St. Jakob

The building and furnishings were cared for by wealthy citizens of Nuremberg along with this city itself, which is probably why the art treasures were spared during the Iconoclasm during the Reformation Period. Despite the church becoming one of the first Lutheran churches in Germany in 1525.

Nuremberg Germany

The church was badly damaged during world war II (you can read more about the city during WWII here) and later restored.

It's namesake St. Lawrence or Laurence (thought to be born December 31 225 AD - August 10, 258 AD) was one of seven deacons of the city Rome under Pope St. Sixtus  II. He was martyred for his Christian faith under the Roman Emporer Valerian.

Nuremberg Germany

At the beginning of August Emperor Valerian ordered an edict that all bishops, priests, and deacons should be executed and their goods confiscated. Pope St. Sixtus was captured and the 6th of August and put to death leaving St. Lawrence in charge. The Roman prefect order St. Lawrence to hand over all of the churches goods. St. Lawrence asked for three days to gather the money, this the prefect granted.

Related Article: Churches Of Nuremberg | St. Elizabeth

But instead of using the time to gather the goods, he used it to give away as much as he could so it wouldn't fall into the prefect's hands. After the three days St. Lawrence returned to the prefect and when ordered to produce the goods he brought forth a party of poor, sick, blind and crippled and declared them the treasures of the church. One account records him declaring "The church is truly rich, far richer than your emperor,"

Nuremberg Germany

While in prison awaiting execution he baptized his fellow inmates.

Related Article: Churches Of Nuremberg | Frauenkirche

In an account by St. Ambrose of Milan, St. Lawrence is said to have told the prefect "Behold the poor persons the treasures which I promised you; to which I add pearls and precious stones, those widows and consecrated virgins, which are the churches crown," The prefect being furious ordered a gridiron prepared with a large bed of coals beneath it, and St. Lawrence placed on top of it. Legend says that after St. Lawrence had suffered a great deal he declared "I'm well done, turn me over," however scholars debate if this was true or merely a translation error.

Because of his conspiring to hide and protect the written documents of the church, he is known as the patron saint of librarians and archivists.

Mr. Cottage

End Of Log.

What to read more about my trip to Germany? Check out all my travel logs.

Tortellini With Marinara

Tortellini was a favorite when the girls were little. Our dear friend Nanette (called Nanu by our wee girls) introduced them to it with alfredo sauce and the girls began calling it Nanu pasta after our friend.

Fast forward to today, we still enjoy the wonderful taste of tortellini. With butter and salt and pepper flakes to wonderful marinara or alfredo, this is a really wonderful pasta. We like the fresh Tortellini in the refrigerator section of the grocery store like Buitoni brand rather than the dry boxed variety. We could never seem to get it to taste done and not gritty.

This is our Auntie Betty's Pasta sauce that is topping our delightful pasta and a slice of crusty bread.  You could just as easily make this an alfredo one too. See our recipe for Alfredo Sauce.

Related Article: Shrimp Linguine Alfredo 

So click on Auntie Betty's Sauce if you want a marinara and start first with that.
If you want alfredo, get your water boiling for your pasta first.

Add your pasta to salted and lightly oiled water. Cook per the directions on the packaging and then drain when firm yet tender.
I like to put it back in the pan and toss in butter or oil.

Plate the pasta and ladle over the top your preferred sauce or add some Himalayan pink salt and red pepper flakes or black pepper and enjoy.  Serve with a nice green salad and maybe a slice of crusty bread.


Waiting To Live

People having fun all around you, but you just can’t seem to join in.

Maybe next time…

Maybe next year…

Maybe next week…

Maybe tomorrow...

Maybe then I’ll …

Fill in the blank

Maybe then I’ll be happy.

Maybe then I’ll take time to make that phone call.

Maybe then I’ll call so and so.

Maybe then I’ll live.

Have you lived like that?

Have you said those words?

Have you felt that tug to put off until tomorrow to really live, to really laugh.

You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. Psalm 16:11 NIV

To spend time with the ones you love. To play that game with your kids, to hike that waterfall and breathe in that fresh air. To call your loved one, to say I’m sorry.

We were never called to live a joyless life, but to live life abundantly, beautifully.

We are bearers of the Good News. Deliverers of good tidings. Tell me, what does someone with good news look like?

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation… Is 52:7 NIV

No, I don’t mean are they tall or short, thin or heavy, blond hair or black. I mean their countenance. The bible said the feet of those who bring good news are beautiful but I also think that the faces of those with good news are beautiful. Think of a time you had good news to share. To your parents, your best friend, your spouse, your sibling. You were glowing with the good news. How can we live our lives with that glow of the good news all over our face. To draw others to His glow. 

Ecclesiastes 11:9 You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. .. NIV

How do we really experience life with our family our friends with your co-workers and show off our beautiful feet as we go and our beautiful face as we live and share His good news, as we live out of this life. Taste the sweetness, smell the roses, enjoy those around us as we share the good news that we have been given.

Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

A Song Unheard Book Review

We were offered the opportunity to review the book "A Song Unheard" by Roseanna M White and were so excited. This is the second book in the series called "Shadows Over England" ( The first book titled "A Name Unknown" we have not yet read).

This book opens in war-torn Europe during World War 1. The curtain draws open and we are introduced to our main character Willa abandoned at the age of six to a life on the streets of a poor London neighborhood that finds that family is more than blood as she and her "siblings" take care of the children of London no one wants among intrigue, war, and the quest for the cipher key that could save Europe or destroy it! There is beauty and music, the struggle of life and death, there is selfishness and redemption, danger and espionage, there is hurt and rejection and the risk of learning to trust again.


This was a truly good book that I didn't want to end. I wish I could have read the first book first and I think it may have helped me understand the beginning better but it was a truly lovely read. I look forward to reading the others in the series.

Check it out for yourself

Purchase the books here

A Name Unknown
A Song Unheard

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