Making It Yourself: Why Bother?

Kathy's homemade soap. Find the supplies you need to make yours at Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

Kathy’s homemade soap. Find the supplies you need to make yours at Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

I recently taught a workshop on soapmaking at our local folk school. I was telling a friend about it and she asked a pretty profound question: Why do you bother? Continue reading

10 Things Jay Lehman Says

Tomorrow (April 21st) is Jay Lehman’s 87th birthday. Jay started Lehman’s back in 1955, as a 1,000 sq ft hardware store in tiny Kidron, Ohio. His first employees were his father, brother and sister. My, how things have changed. But some things never change…like the endearing sayings Jay likes to use. The following examples are courtesy of Jay’s daughter, Glenda Lehman Ervin, VP of Marketing. Please join us in wishing Jay a very happy 87th birthday!

10 Things Jay Says

Pfeffernusse: Tiny, Spicy Bites of Christmas Tradition

pnuts5

We all love the soft, fluffy, iced and decorated sugar cut-out cookies – and it wouldn’t be Christmas without those, am I right? But, if you’re looking to add something a little different to your baking this year, step back in time and make some peppernuts!

The history of these tiny, spicy, crunchy cookies is varied and vast – and most of the modern recipes contain neither pepper nor nuts. But it appears peppernuts are a centuries-old Christmas tradition in several European countries. 

In the Netherlands, the cookies (called pepernoten) are linked to the feast of St. Nicholas (December 6), when children receive treats in their shoes left out overnight. In Germany, pfeffernusse are more closely tied to Christmas itself.  Continue reading

Have you heard of The Mennonite Game?

The author's Mennonite Grandparents. An Amish couple would almost never pose for a photograph, but Mennonites have accepted most forms of modern technology.

The author’s Mennonite Grandparents. An Amish couple would almost never pose for a photograph, but Mennonites have accepted most forms of modern technology.

“You’re Amish!”

I glanced back to see where the words came from. The kid was staring straight at me.
“No, I’m not,” I replied.

I had just taken my seat on the bus the first day of attending a new school. Twelve years old, and going into the seventh grade, this was a day I had been dreading. It was not easy to be around new people. Now this.

The kid who spoke appeared to be a couple years older than me, and kept staring accusingly. He wasn’t backing down.
Continue reading

Our Amish Neighbors

All Amish groups are not the same - but why, and what are their differences?

All Amish groups are not the same – but why, and what are their differences?

How about a little lesson? We’ll keep it short and interesting. Let’s call it: Some

things you always wondered about the Amish and Mennonites, but didn’t know who to ask.  

I am a Mennonite who lives in an area of Ohio with a very large Amish and Mennonite population (in fact, it’s the world’s largest).  Allow me to share a very brief overview about the Amish and Mennonites in these parts.

There are four distinct groups of Amish living in the Kidron, Ohio area.
These are:

  • Swartzentrubers
  • Dans, also called Danners
  • Old Order
  • New Order

Continue reading

Positively Downton!

Many of us here at Lehman’s enjoy the ragingly popular “Downton Abbey” series. And

downton abbey house

Photo source: www.telegraph.co.uk

maybe it’s our trained eyes, but when we see something on the set that could be straight out of our store, we get a little excited. As some of you know, Lehman’s has become sort of a “one-stop shopping” destination for many film crews and set designers, especially for period pieces like “Downton Abbey.” And while it would take quite a bit of digging to find out if any of the things we spot came directly from us, we still like to point them out – “Hey, that’s just like the one we carry!”

If you’d like to bring a little bit of Downton to your home, you may be interested in some of the things we’ve noticed on the show. Read on… Continue reading

4 Ways You Can Learn From Great Depression Wisdom

My 85-year-old grandmother was a young girl during the Great Depression, and her family, like many others, went through some extremely hard times. Her father, an aspiring white beanstruck farmer, lost everything, and several of her six siblings were literally “farmed out” until her parents got back on their feet and could afford to feed them again. Her only brother went to stay with a farm family at the tender age of eight, to work for his room and board. As the baby of the seven, my grandmother stayed at home. She remembers sitting on her father’s lap as he read the newspaper, perhaps scanning the help wanted ads.

We’ve all heard the saying, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without,” but I wondered if Grandma could give me some specific examples of what her family did to get through those hard times…joyfully and happily, even!

I’m blessed to live right next door to Grandma, so I recently asked her about ways I can apply some of that hard-earned wisdom to my own life, in 2015. Here’s what I learned. Continue reading

What “Amish-Made” Really Means

What’s so great about Amish-made?

These beautiful 100% leather belts are handmade by an Amish family in Pennsylvania. They'll take you from the board room to the weekend with ease.

These beautiful 100% leather belts are handmade by an Amish family in Pennsylvania. They’ll take you from the board room to the weekend with ease.

Lehman’s, in Kidron, Ohio, is located in the heart of the largest Amish community in the world.

Many people think of Lancaster County in Pennsylvania when they think of large Amish communities, but Lancaster’s community of 30,000-35,000 is actually second in size to the approximately 40,000 Amish that live in southern Wayne and eastern Holmes County, Ohio. These Amish people are our neighbors, our friends, our customers and our vendors. Continue reading

Grandma’s Apron: Nostalgia Lives At New Year’s Eve

Our friends at the Antique Stove Association published this in their newsletter some time back, and for me, at least, it certainly captures the spirit of the holidays that I want to pass along in my family. Do you remember Grandma’s apron?

Best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year from all of us at Lehman’s and Country Life!

Grandma’s Apron
I don’t think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven. Continue reading

Sights Along The Road: 2013 Fall Vendor Tour

Sure, there are lots of photos of our “Made In USA” small businesses and the great stuff they make to come. But in between stops, there are all kinds great things to see. Here are a few that we’d like to share with you!

Spied along State 31 between Brownsburg and Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

Spied along State 31 between Brownsburg and Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

Continue reading