Ninepatch is the monthly publication of a non-profit organization by the same name. In the pages of this Ninepatch magazine, women – and the men who support them – share their spiritual journeys and life experiences through letters, essays, poetry, book reviews and more. Ninepatch offers a forum where contributors can be heard and enjoy an atmosphere of sharing and acceptance. Such sharing is vital in helping everyone find their place in an eternal spiritual circle where all know and are known.

Betsy’s open door



the people's exchange


Sounding like an old dog snoring, dark liquid drips through my Mr. Coffee. A train whistles in the distance as I spoon my raisin bran with skim milk –these days without sugar.

My breakfast partner is “The People’s Exchange.” A weekly-published booklet of over a hundred pages, it advertises farm animals, construction offerings, health products, auctions and sales, and household items.

Every issue of the “Exchange” also holds a reader-provided recipe. I turn every page until I find where it has been tucked in.  This issue offers “Stuffed French Toast,” a dish one prepares the night before and sets in the refrigerator before baking.

I don’t cut it out.  Recipes I want are salads and casseroles—items I can easily put together and carry to the potlucks so prevalent in my social life.

Scanning the pages, I also look for “benefits.”  Usually a group is putting on a meal, raising money for a church mission, school activity or a needy family.

When my husband visited in August, we enjoyed an Amish all-you-can-eat fish fry benefit. The religious group offered the meal inside the Antique Sale Barn in Shiphewana, Indiana.

Amish horse-and-buggies outside the Antique Sale Barn

Amish horse-and-buggies outside the Antique Sale Barn

Inside, a large white cardboard box for “donations” stood at the head of the food line of both “English” and other Amish.  Bearded Amish men and women wearing sheer white prayer bonnets served not only fish and more fish, but also scooped coleslaw and placed a roll on each of our plates. JK and I each chose a dinner roll and later a slice of pie from several tables filled with cuts of all kids. Women wearing aproned green, purple or blue dresses poured water, lemonade and coffee.

The-not -for-profit atmosphere soothed my soul, weary of glitzy ads and the world’s overwhelming competition for the “almighty dollar.”


“The People’s Exchange” continues to be a simple staple in my Indiana life.


I am blessed.

Frances Fritzie

Frances Fritzie

Monthly Question

Our question for March, “My favorite TV show is….” will continue for April. A new question will join it: “What animal would you most like to house in your backyard, if you could?”


Ninepatch Birthdays


Carol 10

LindaSue 16

Ellen Christenson


Gail 22

Amy Karen 24



Ninepatch is updating our web site and looking for additional writers. We want weekly bloggers, monthly comments and occasional small pieces. We are even thinking about short stories!


Contact Editor, Frances.


Ninepatch is a non-profit. Every person who works for us– including Frances—is a volunteer. No one is paid. However, we do have business expenses. Paper, ink, software, labels, and Internet connections, are a few.

While e- readers see color, our paper readers seldom do. It’s too expensive. Yet, due to mailing costs and postage, they bear the brunt of “donation-for-service.” (Financially speaking, E- readers ride their coat-tails.)

If you enjoy reading our magazine and have not already made a donation for 2016, kindly consider making one. $5 is not too small.

We have a Paypal account, or you can send a check to our mailing address:

1014 NW 52nd Ter.

Gainesville, Fl. 32605

Thanks to those of you who support our outreach though coin-of-the-realm, service and prayers. Special thanks to our Board of Directors: Christa and Georgene, our membership coordinator: Dottie, our proofreaders: June and James and the sticky note writers: Leigh, James and Georgene. We appreciate their service.

Of course, you who contribute letters, stories, poems and drawings are the lifeblood of the newsletter and we are especially thankful for you!

Those who give in any way know the greatest return. Hence the old saying, “You reap what you sow.”

Editor, Frances


black and white sketch of tulips