October

October

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Benificial Weeds


One of my secret desires has always been to be
a "herbalist." I have always been interested in
things we consider weeds that other people, in
other cultures consider gold.
Take for instance this little bit of gold that grows
almost everywhere. While not native to the America.
It has taken over. It was brought here by the Pilgrims
as a good source of Vitamin A and C.
My Herb book says, " The flowers are made into wine,
the buds are pickled, and the leaves, rich in vitamins A
and C and minerals, are eaten in salads.
The leaves are a powerful diuretic, treating urinary disorders
and fluid retention without depleting body potassium. They detoxify
the blood, so are given for acne and eczema. The white sap
treats warts and corns. The root reduces inflammation and
is an important liver stimulant used for jaundice, gallstones,
and rheumatic joints. The roots yield a magenta dye."

They are the first flower that we see in the spring, well here
in California. I have been known to make a tonic of this with
carrots and apples, just for a bit of energy.
I was going to talk about another magic herb,
Nettles.

But I will save it for next week. Nettles are even
better than dandelion. Remember the rhyme from,
Squirrel Nutkin by Beatrix Potter? "Hitty Pitty will
bite you. That is about the amazing weed,
nettle.
I hope you have a restful Sunday.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Storms


I was thinking about storms, since we are in the midst
of one. Yesterday the wind blew. I guess March is coming
in like a lion. Before it started though, I was walking around
and I saw just a few of our fruit trees with some blooms
but not too many just lots of buds.

Then later when I went out to feed the bees and water
the chickens and collect eggs, I found almost all of the trees
blooming. I was thinking about that and I thought,
the trees must need the wind to help them open the
buds so for the trees it is a good thing to have a storm.

I thought then if we have trials then it is a good thing
for us, because it makes us bloom? Right?

Then I started thinking about these two old oak trees
I saw one time while on a drive. We had stopped the car
and we had got out and were looking at something, then
I saw these two oak trees that someone had nailed
barb wire to, I touched the bark of both trees, one tree
was standing straight and tall and hardly had a dent where
the wire had grown the bark was starting to take it away.

The other oak tree was no longer standing tall and upright,
but was bending over the wire and becoming twisted and
bent. Part of the limbs were dying and it's bark was falling
off around the wire.

As I stood there looking at it I was struck by this thought.
I can be like these trees, but I must choose. I can let hard things
come into my life to make me stronger and better or
I can let trials turn me into this twisted, bent and crooked
tree letting the hard things kill me too.

I think that is how life is, to make that choice of allowing
trials to make us bloom or making us twisted. One of the things
I love are the evil queens in Snow White and Sleeping Beauty,
just because as I age, I identify with the Queens and not the
young girls. Nuts, but true. I think the evil queens are beautiful.

Don't you agree. As I thought about them though,
They may be beautiful on the outside, but on the inside
that are scary. I think if I go even deeper, they let
bitterness take over their lives and they became
evil. But after all they made a choice didn't they?

So to bring this back to God, I loved this quote:
"Through my deepest waters, hottest fires
and darkest valleys God has taught me the deepest
and the most eternal lessons." ( A Path Through Suffering,
Elisabeth Elliot.)
" You who have shown me great, and severe troubles,
shall revive me again, and bring me up again,
from the depths of the earth." (Psalm 71:20)
Have a great Saturday!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Chicks


This morning my brother called. (He owns a feed store.)
I had asked him earlier if he was going to get in a
breed of chicken called a Cuckoo Maran. He said, that
he was but that they were hard to get because so
many people want them.
I had got online earlier and thought about ordering eggs
and getting a incubator but decided to ask him.
He said when I talked to him that he didn't expect any
until the end of March or beginning of April. I was okay with that
not really ready for chicks yet. He picks up his chicks at the post
office every Thursday morning.
He called and said that he had 25 Cuckoo Marans did I want some
I said yes, and I would be down to get them.

I got to the feed store and walked into his chicky room and he had so many
other kinds. I kinda went crazy. I got 2 New Jersey Giants, (my very favorite hen.)
4 Cuckoo Marans, 5 Silkies, 1 Silver Laced Wyndotte, 2 Welsummers.

The Marans and the Welsummers both lay really dark brown eggs. That is why
I wanted them. I am so excited. Nothing says spring, like baby chicks.
Happy Friday!










Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thankful Thursday


On Wednesdays, our daughter and daughter-in-
love come over and we do a Bible study together.
since there at 3 almost 3 year old's and 2 babies,
it gets pretty wild. I laughed so much at the piano,
with all of the Lego's I just had to take a picture.
They were so carefully placed on the keys.
It still makes me smile.
So I bet you can guess what I am thankful for today.
Yep, you guessed it all five of them. I sometimes
want to fall down on my knees right in the midst of
every thing and sing praises to God, that God would
give me, of all people 5 precious grandchildren.
I have the loveliest young women that want to hang
out with me on Wednesdays, so on Thankful Thursday,
I am so thankful for that.
Sometimes, I can look back at my life and really, I was such a
mess, before Jesus. Before my husband and I got married
we did go to marriage counseling. After our six sessions were
up, the sweet pastor looks at us with this sad face shaking his head, and said
" You know, I shouldn't marry you I really don't give you six
months. You both have so many problems. But I feel that that
the Lord is leading me to marry you anyway." We did have problems. You
know that verse that says, " Nothing is Impossible with God?
Well, that has been our marriage, in April we will be married
30 years, if anyone could make mistakes I did. I also prayed
in Roman 8:28 that God works all things out to those
who love Him and are called according to his purpose? Well, I sort
of took that to mean that He would turn my mistakes around
for His glory. He has.
So now I still want to pinch myself because of God's goodness
to me.
I only have a few things at the time I knew to ask God for when
I got married the first thing I asked was that I would do only good
and not evil to my husband and he would be able to speak within
the gates and that my children would rise up and call me blessed.
That I would be a woman who built her house and did not
tear it down with her own hands.
I am thankful that God answers prayers and I am thankful
God never gave me what I deserved.
Great is His mercy and it endures forever. Have a
wonderful Thursday.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pictures From My Walk



I went out for a walk, well really, I went to feed
my chickens. As I walked under a tree by my back
gate I looked up, and there was this bird nest all
decorated with blooms. It must be a dove nest
because it looks like a bundle of sticks.

I thought to myself, it must be a very fancy dove
to want flowers to adorn her nest. I hope it is the kind
that looks pink to match her flowers.

As I was walking outside, I could hear the meadowlarks
singing in the pasture next door. I love meadowlarks and
listening to them in the morning and then again at night.

Before we had such a fox problem, there used to be a burrow
of burrowing owls. They are something to watch in the spring
because they do a little dance at twilight outside of their hole
then they make the saddest little cry at the end. I keep hoping
they will return.

I found some lettuce coming up in the garden. It was all I could do
to keep from eating it right there in the garden, maybe Saturday I
will pick it.

Then over by my bee hive I found a Fair Time
Peach tree starting to bloom.

We might get wind today when the new storm
blows in, so I hope the other blooms stay asleep until
all of the danger is past. In the fall I think fall is my
favorite time of year. But, I do love spring and all
of the smells and all of the trees and flowers coming alive around
me. For my friends in the snow, remember this, when
your spring comes, we will be having summer and spring
will be for me but a memory so I will get to enjoy your
pictures. :) Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Baking Day


My daughter came in and said that she would like to
bake a cake with her friend. Would I mind? Nope,
not at all. They wanted to make a cake from scratch.
I was thrilled and I think the cake turned out beautiful.
not to mention it was so yummy. I told her that no
way can she bake this cake again. I could have stood
at the cake pan and devoured the whole thing. I was so
glad her sweet friend took half of it home.

They wanted to make a 3 layer cake, with cream
cheese frosting. They used the recipe on the back
of the Hershey's Cocoa can.
Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake
2 cups of sugar
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup of boiling water

Heat over to 350 degrees, grease and flour two 9 inch baking pans ( they used 3)
combine dry ingredients in large bowl, add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium
for two minutes. Stir in boiling water. Batter will be thin. Pour into pans. Bake 30 to
35 minutes. Or until wooden pick comes out clean.
cool, completely,
Cream Cheese Frosting
Two 3 ounces packages of Cream Cheese
2 teaspoons of vanilla
3 cups of powdered sugar

Mix all together and frost cake.

See how yummy! Now grab a fork and eat the whole
thing.
P. S. Not Weight Watcher friendly.

Monday, February 22, 2010

What Our Kids Do When They Are Bored.

One day the kids and their friends were bored so they came over and
made a video. I thought it turned out nice and they were a great group
of kids. Happy Monday.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Simply Sunday


It is simply Sunday. A day of rest. When I wake
up on Sunday morning, my first thought is, "Oh
Yay, it's Sunday. I love Sunday mornings.
We have entered the Lenten season. I think for
a Christian should be one we celebrate more than
Christmas. The last 40 days before the death, burial
and Resurrection, of Jesus.
I always think it should be when for 40 days we read
the gospels. I heard it said once, that if your walk is
feeling cold, read the gospels and you will fall in love, with
Jesus all over again.
I know sometimes I get so caught up in trying to live the
Christian life, I forget who I am doing it for.
I ran across this little blurb this morning.
'The obedient heart is the heart that will learn,
the heart that is ready to change, the heart that doesn't take its cues from
everything the world is saying but is ready to line
that up with the Word of God."

"The Word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so
you may obey it."
(Deuteronomy 30:14)

I have never read that verse before. That is why after 20 + years
of being a Christian, I still think it must be a daily thing of memorizing
scripture, because there are times and situations where you don't have
a Bible in your hand and ever so quietly, you hear the voice of God
telling you the direction to walk.
I have lived in the world and out of the world, and I have tasted all
that Satan has to offer, and hands down, God and His word, and having
a relationship with Him is so much better. Have a lovely Sunday.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Odds and Ends


Here is the little quilt I made yesterday, it is such
a tiny little thing, it took all day to make. It is worth
it, it looks nice on my old treadle sewing machine.
This is going to be a short post. Today is computer
moving day. I want to say a month ago, my husband
and son spent all day trying to fix my computer and
it did fix some things but it has caused things to die
like the part that is internal that lets me hook
up to the internet. I keep getting these messages
Your internal network card has died, are you going to
fix it? Other types of notices. Since it is a
laptop, and a old one, I will tell it right now, no I am not
going to fix you.

My husband bought a new computer so I am going to get
his old one, only it is not old, he bought it less than a year
ago, so I get to move. Part of this is hard because it means learning
all new things again. But all of the software is new compared to
my laptop.
I get a bigger screen and lots more storage and a faster computer.
I should be happy, I am it is just the learning curve.

How did we ever live before computers?

See you soon,

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fiber Friday


I am hoping for a storm today on Fiber Friday.
That way I can stay in the house and ignore
the weeds. I can be Farm Girl another day.
Today I want to work on projects.

This is the first one I want to work on, I want to
make a tiny quilt for one of my tables but I wanted
to use all of this pretty spring fabric I have leftover
from something else I made.

I then want to work on this new pattern for needle punch.
I think it is the cutest little rooster. I went last night
and bought the colors for the pattern. I think what
I love about needle punch is I bought 4 skeins of
embroidery floss for 35 cents a skeins and I already
had the pattern that I paid 2.00 dollars for in a mark
down sale so it isn't like some projects I have got into
that cost a arm and a leg.

Then last but not least, this is my rug. I made the
star yesterday and I was so happy. It looks like
it is supposed to, and I am going to work on that
later this afternoon.
I do love fiber Fridays! I love that my house is all cleaned
and the laundry finished so I get to spend a day doing
sewing projects. I was thinking this morning when God
finished up creating the world and all that is in it and finished
up the day with creating Adam and Eve and said it was very
good, it was a Friday. Then He rested on Saturday. That is how I
feel about Fridays, they are very good. ( Oh I might add, God didn't rest
because he was tired, God doesn't get tired.)
Have a good one.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday


I went outside yesterday, to chop weeds.
For once, I remembered to take my camera.
I found this plum tree starting to bloom. I keep
telling them not to do it, don't be lulled into thinking
it is spring. They just won't listen.

Then I have this gorgeous sunflower growing
in my strawberry bed. You can see the cold has
been hard on it, but it doesn't matter, it is still
doing it best to find the sun. It outer leaves are
a little bit bedraggled, but it makes me so happy.

This is the Acacia tree behind my fence. I tried
to get pictures of the bees working in the blossoms
but they were shy. They kept flying away from me
into higher blossoms I couldn't stand tall enough to
reach.
I woke up during the night, and as I was counting
my blessings and thinking over all that I have been
blessed with, I am very content.
What I am thankful for today is that I can chop weeds
every day and still have the strength to do all of my work.
I am thankful that I have the gift of staying at home.
I am thankful that my husband still likes to hang out
with me after almost 30 years. I am thankful that
that my kids still like me. Even the
teenagers. :) My grandchildren even miss me and
want to go to gama's. Yes today, when I count my blessings
one by one, I have been given a Wonderful Life, and really,
dreams do come true.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sewing Projects


Punch Needle
I finally finished my first punch needle project.
I found that if I buy a kit then I can see how it is
done and after many trials and errors, I did it.
I found that I really do enjoy punch needle and I
look forward to more projects. I had bought some
patterns from bird brain designs. They came with
punch needle patterns already inside so I can't
wait to start those now that I finally no how to do
it.
My next project is Rug Hooking.

I bought this kit too, and even though I had been
trying on my own, it makes it so much easier to see
how wide the strips need to be and what the backing
fabric should look like. I have looked for classes in
my town for a long, long time so this helps and the place
I bought my kit from has step by step directions. I bought
this one from Yankee Peddler rug hooking kits.
I have this favorite place I visit all of the time because
I love every thing on this website and it is called Colonial
Crafts
.
So I am excited about learning all of this stuff, I am still
working on that button, 10 minute hooker or what ever
it is called. :)
Have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Planning Gardens



I thought today I would post a picture of my relish.
As I was planning what I would grow for next year,
I know one thing that I have to plant is the ingredients
for Yellow Squash Relish. My Aunt Jimmy's recipe.

My Aunt Jimmy was very unique. She worked until she
was in her late 70's as a home health care nurse. She said
she knew it was time to retire when her patients were
younger than she was. I believe she had 5 husbands
and out lived them all. She also was a foster mother and
lived I think life to the fullest.
After she retired she went into gardening and I believe
had the most beautiful garden ever. She ran
her own produce stand from her front porch and she also
canned.
I am not a big fan of relish and she called one day to tell me
she was selling her relish for 5.00 dollars a jar. She said,
that she couldn't make enough to sell as fast as people were
buying it.
Now not being the least bit interested, I said, well, why don't
you give me the recipe. So she did, and here it is:

12 cups chopped yellow and green zucchini.
4 cups chopped onion
2 green bell peppers
2 red bell peppers ( hot peppers if desired)
Sprinkle 3 Tablespoons of salt and soak over night in the fridge.

Next Morning:
rinse the salt off of vegetables.
Heat 3 cups white vinegar
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons pickling spice, ( omit if desired)
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp turmeric

Bring to a boil and add vegetables, bring to a boil again and boil 4 to 5 minutes.
Pack into hot jars and seal with jars and rings,
process into water bath canner for 10 minutes.

I can eat this stuff with a spoon and I put it in tuna or eat
it with crackers. I put it in my pinto beans and have been known
to put a little in my cornbread.
I love the stuff. I give it at Christmas and have been told that
they would like more and was even told by a friend she would buy it
for 5.00 dollars a jar. :)
I haven't started selling produce from my front porch yet,
but it might not be a bad idea sometime.
Have a great Tuesday. I hate to brag, but it might
get up to 70 degrees today. Me and the chickens
might have some together time.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Presidents Day



I am not creative today so this will be very short.
I am coming down with a cold, so between sneezing
I think I counted 8 times. My mind is blurry.
So just a picture of cold, snowy February.
Even though, if I went outside I know I could find
a tree or two blooming.

I hope you have a lovely Monday. I am going to be
on vacation, after I do the laundry, and clean the house,
and walk the dog, and feed the bees and the chickens.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day


I have often thought that as English speaking people
we have over used the word "love," In Greek
the words for love such as philieo, agapao, and
agape. All of the different kinds of loves, words
for as a mother feels for her child, or a couple for
each other and other words that describe love.

" Our modern idea of love is such a poor, weak, soupy,
sentimental one---so far from the strong, pure, steel-like
grip with which God's love holds us---far from the kind
of love that you and I ought to have for God. "
(Elisabeth Elliot)

" For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son."
(John 3:16)

God has shown us through His actions how much love costs
it costs so much more than I know sometimes I am willing
to offer. But yet because of the picture I am shown every
day by reading the love letters in the book God left us
to read, I am reminded of that love.
Love cost God everything, yet He gave his son for us.
He continues to love me in spite of who and what I am
today.
Have a blessed day.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Finished A Quilt


Okay I finished the quilt. I even hung it on the wall.
As all of my family has said, "Wow, that is a nice
pineapple." I told my husband I was glad that
the people who visit our house aren't quilters,
because they would walk in take one look and
fall down on the ground laughing.
I know I need more practice, okay, lots and lots
of practice. But my experiment is finished.
I used all of my bits and pieces I did not buy anything
for it except the batting inside. Yesterday, in the bottom
of the stash box, I even found about 4 yards of material
to finish up the backing.
Never try and do a quilt like this when your Mom is sick and
then go through all of the emotions that went into her
passing because so often I would sit down and could not remember
what it was I was doing or why.
That I even finished it is such a huge hurdle for me.
I don't know how long it will be on the wall but for today
it is there.
I always think of my grandmother coming for a visit, quilts
were for being on the bed, not on the wall. She looked up,
sort of puzzled and asked, " Did you break a window and need
a quilt to cover it up?" I still laughed as I was hanging this one.

So today, I am a weed-chopper. So many weeds, but I will
be out in the sun so it will be a good day.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Could it be Spring?


I was out looking at the trees and there are buds
on the fruit trees. The bees are coming back to the
hive with their little pollen sacks filled with pollen.
I can smell the smell of the ground warming up.
That smell makes me so crazy.

I found these little blooms on the lemon tree.

I have so much work to do before
I am weed-free. I went to the feed
store yesterday and they were
already getting their first batch
of chicks.
It was a bit cold today but I stayed
out in the sun as much as I could.
I am going to try and get my quilt
together today. My time for projects
in the house is coming to a close I think.
I will start being outside as much as
I can.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Sunny Morning



I had to walk out to the mail box this morning,
and this was in the weeds in my flower bed next
to the road. It makes me think of sunshine all
bottled up.
I was all set to share pictures of our grandsons,
today but as I looked at the pictures I had taken
they are nothing but blurs. I guess that is why I
like taking pictures of flowers, they don't move.
Last week, my daughter-in-law published her schedule
on her blog, "http://bitoflifeblog.blogspot.com.
I love reading other people's schedules so I thought
I would add mine.
5:00 to 6:30 AM, wake up, Ron brings me coffee in bed and we
chat until 6:30 when he gets in the shower to get ready for work.
While he is getting ready, I am cleaning up after my son's dog,
putting her outside, and starting laundry.
6:30 to 7:30 I am fixing lunches, making toast and having my second
cup of coffee while Ron eats breakfast, and getting whomever has a early
day at school off and out the door.
8:00 I do my blog if I haven't done it already the night before.
I have my quiet time too if I haven't already done it.
8:45 I take my shower, and wake up boys upstairs.
I clean the kitchen and fix whatever the said boys want for breakfast.
9:00 to 9:15 We start school upstairs. I have a 9th and 11th grader this
year and having only two boys left to teach, it is like having a party
every day.
12:00 lunch
1:00 clean house, laundry
2:00 -3:00 because of the weeds, I must go chop weeds each day for a hour.
3:30 I feed chickens and collect eggs and go for a walk.
If I am making bread that day, I put my yeast, and sugar in warm water to soften
while I am outside.
4:00- 4:30 I get my dough ready and let it rise, also I am fixing dinner and
setting the table as kids come in from school and we sit and visit and they talk
and we all have coffee together. Ron comes in from work
5:00-5:30 We have dinner also with whom ever the kids have brought
in that day.
6:00-6:30 clean the kitchen, feed the cats, finish up laundry if it is a Monday.
7:00 to 8:30 We might watch a movie, or I read in front of the fireplace, or sew
while Ron plays his guitar, or he reads programming books.
8:30 I take the dogs for one more walk and put them in the laundry
room for the night and I get ready for bed.
9:30 bedtime.

So that is a sort of a daily schedule, the days are different because of Bible Study
with the girls on Wednesday and Piano lessons of Fridays but it is like that much of
the time.

I hope you have a lovely Thursday, my thoughts today are these: Faith is the willingness to receive whatever He wants
to give and the willingness not to have
what He does not want to give.
(Elisabeth Elliot.)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Foggy Day


I am showing today a picture of a trip to the beach
that my husband and I went on with the kids.
Yep, that is me and my husband in the distance.
It is so foggy here today, and wet of course and cold
that I just had to post something with the sun in it.

I think of the people that have to go through another
blizzard and I am very thankful for the weather we
have today, I know that in California we will be having
spring soon. I drove by a bunch of pear trees yesterday
and they were in full white bloom.
Every day I watch the trees across the road and every
day the green gets darker. I noticed in my back
yard that the ash trees are getting fuzzy things.
No, I didn't get a picture because I didn't want to
go out in the fog.
All of those scary movies I have watched, go on
replay in my mind when I am outside in the fog.
I can be out there and I can hear things but there
is no depth perception.
It is Wednesday, and a baby day. I will post one tiny
picture I love.

This is our granddaughter, our only one so
far, she was helping gama, I am so very blessed
Have great Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Flowers on the Brain


I just can't seem to leave flowers alone right now.
I just want to take pictures of them and play in the
dirt and just be outside.
I let the chickens outside today. They were very happy
to be strolling around the back yard. Except for this white
Silkie who just wants to be left alone,

I had already stolen her eggs so there is nothing
to be sitting on and I got rid of the rooster so there
really is nothing at all for her to be doing in the nest.
I know why they are such good mothers because she
really does like being a mother.
When I get chicks in the spring I am going to get some
more silkies and I want a rooster so we will see if I do.

Today when I was outside with the chickens they must
have been lonely because they just wanted to hang around
and visit.

It is okay for now as hardly anyone goes out in the
back yard but they just want to come up to the back
door and look in. They just never learned that they
are chickens and not dogs.
I do love chickens, and I do love flowers. I guess I am just
a farm girl at heart. :)