July

July

Friday, August 31, 2012

Good Bye August!

I am always so glad to see August go, I am not even very happy to see August arrive. Most of August this year has been with 100 degree temps or higher. Lots of monsoon moisture too. This morning my husband and I were in the car and I said something like" tomorrow is September." He said, " September is a frowzy-headed, unkempt woman." I laughed and said, " Why is September like that?" He said that August is so hard on everything that by the time September gets here everything is dead and brown and even the leaves on the trees are messed up. Not to mention it is still hot so poor September doesn't have time to shine like October does." I thought it was an fair assessment. August has been so hard on our fruit trees this year. Our poor avocado lost all of its fruit and now I hope we don't loose the tree.

 I have had a nice summer. I had to play the fiddler today though. I knew it was time to face my arch nemesis.  I bought batteries for my scale. I haven't weighed all summer. I have ate and not written down a thing and it has been nice. I have jean weather coming and I refuse to by a bigger size. My husband changed the battery and he said, " I guess we have to buy new scale I still weigh 80 pounds."  I thought about that for awhile and I asked him, " Do you think that is kilos?" I said, do you think there is a button on there that weighs like that?" There was and he weighed. You know I have a ritual that I do but I decided to just bite the bullet and see what kind of damage I have done. It is bad, really, really bad. I am not telling but I will say this, I had six children, my babies were 10 pound babies when I had them and I didn't weigh as much as I did today.

So yes, it was a nice summer, I made ice cream and had floats, I made pies and cakes and cookies. I baked to my hearts content and just had fun. I have always enjoyed baking the best. I have cooked lots and lots and used lots of really fun recipes. But now I have to pay the piper.

So I will be greeting September with my shoes in my hand and my pad and pencil to keep track of the food in my mouth and hope I can get some of it off before it gets cold.
Have a nice Labor Day weekend,
Thanks for stopping by today,
~Kim~

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Recipe for the Coconut Cake

Yesterday in my Chat I shared about the Coconut Cake I had made. I thought I would just share the recipe here today. It would be easy to change to a gluten free recipe and to make the vanilla pudding from scratch. It was easy and tasted wonderful.
I got the recipe from Taste of Home.

Coconut Poppy Seed Cake Recipe

Coconut Poppy Seed Cake Recipe 

Coconut Poppy Seed Cake Recipe

15 2 35


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chats on The Farmhouse Porch

I am going to join in the Farmhouse Chat today with Patrice. I am glad she posted questions this week.
I hope your week is off to a good start. Now onto this weeks questions:


1.    What's the last thing you baked?

I baked this wonderful creme filled coconut cake. My family isn't that wild about coconut but I am so I made it. They loved it so maybe now I have some converts to coconut.

2.    What's your favorite thing about fall?

Everything. The colors, the weather, the cooler weather. I love fall!

 3.   What's your favorite room in your home?

I know this will sound silly but I love all of the rooms of my house. Each room has it's own personality, I love how each room the sun shines in the widows with its own light. When I am in each one I like that one best.

4.    Who handles bill paying in your house?

My hubby, he has graphs and charts and projected things and keeps us on a budget and he has his spread sheets and I love that he does it all.

5.    Tell whatever you'd like to share with our chatting friends.

Yesterday was the craziest Monday yet, but we made it. I might have slid in side ways last night but it was a good Monday.
Please keep Amherst, Nova Scotia,  in your prayers and that they can get the fires out that started in the downtown buildings.

Thanks to Patrice for this weeks questions.

Everyday Ruralty

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Morning

We are back to getting up at 4:30 each morning. It is a love/hate thing for me. Getting up at 4:30 makes me grumpy and in a bad mood, but the good thing about it is I have all of this lovely quiet time in the morning after my husband leaves and before the kids get up, not to mention starting laundry around 5ish means I get lots more done. My body is finally adjusting to it. I am wide awake now instead of stumbling around the kitchen trying to fix my husband's lunch.

This job my husband is on was supposed to be only a one week job. This one has turned into 4 weeks so far. He works 11 hours every day. I have learned lots about myself through it and I have found I am a complainer and a whiner and to watch him has really shown me how I am spoiled and I really need an attitude adjustment. My husband just never complains.

In my other life, the one that we lived before the crash in 2008 or before that when the company my husband worked for 22 years, before it was sold to investors was way different than the one I live today. My husband was offered a job at the place he is now working. In these 4 weeks it has shown us what is important. If he took the job, I could go back to the way I lived in that life long ago. My husband would go back to being on call 24/7, he could live in that corporate world again. We could take vacations, and have wonderful medical insurance. I could go back to buying new clothes every time I felt like it.
This weekend, I was watching my husband play his guitar, I watched him work on his Bonsai trees. I watched him work on his trees he is going to learn to graft with. As I watched, the thought came to me,
"Why do I want to return to Egypt." Then as I thought, I don't really at all, we have just what we need when we need it. We have been happier in these last few years than ever before.

Last Thursday, my husband was so tired. The company he works for now has every other Friday off. He hasn't been able to take one off because he is being contracted to work for this other company. He works the way they tell him. Before he left that morning, he said, " Lets pray about this, because only God can change this man's heart." So we did, we reminded God of these promises that He has in His word, like, "If two or more are gathered together, He is in their midst." When my husband called at lunch, he said, " well I guess I will be working on Friday, I guess God has other plans for me." About 4:00 o'clock my husband sent a text that he was off on Friday. When he got home, he told me how God had changed schedules and changed minds and how he was now off for three days. I really was in awe of that prayer. The really neat part was when he sent me that text, I was talking to my two youngest sons who had just watched a debate between an Atheist and a Christian. They were asking how to know if God exists if you don't have faith?

Then as simply as could be, I got the text from my husband, I showed them and I said," because God answers prayers." Only someone real hears and answers us when we ask Him.

I am so thankful to live this life I now live and I can say that I don't need more money to make me happy, but I do need more God and I need Him to guide my steps. Thanks for stopping by today. Happy Monday!
~Kim~

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Odds and Ends on Sunday

Today we finally, have a breath of ocean breeze aloft. I feel almost like a "human bean" that is what Pod called human beings in one of my favorite books, "The Borrowers." The movies cannot capture the magic that is in the written word of those stories.

I wanted to share my latest finished cross stitch. It is called, " Hilda's Alphabet Brew." By Brenda Gervais from Country Stitches.

Instead of making this into a pillow, I am thinking of just framing it. This one was just fun making little cats, pumpkins and then the tiny witch with her broom and cauldron.

I love the colors of fall. They just make me feel such a feeling of contentment and peace. Just quiet I think as I work.

I drew out rug patterns last weekend then I started school. I always forget that I don't have as much time once school begins as I had in the summer. I did manage to hook a tiny bit yesterday. So here are my very ambitious projects.

This is supposed to be a quilt pattern from the magazine, Primitive Quilts, but I know I would get it finished if I did it as a rug. Even though I love the quilt, and I really do have plans to make it one day, as a rug it will get finished. I am just not a good quilter and it takes more time than I have at this moment in time.

 I wanted to show you this little rug I got drawn out last week. I need to dye some wool so I haven't started this one yet. The design is from Cathy Greschner. She has lovely patterns. She has the Red House Wool Studio. As soon as I get a bit caught up I am going to buy her 1820 Sunflower pattern.

My next pattern may really be too big for this fall and may have to wait until next summer. I like it too but it really is a big rug. It took almost a yard of backing to draw it out on. I don't know what it is with me but I just keep making bigger and bigger rugs.

This comes out of the book called Pumpkin Patch Threads, by Need'l Love. It doesn't look that big in the picture but it is and I just love the giant size of the crow.

Next weekend we plan on tearing out the garden. The heat wave all but finished it off. Even my tomatoes died and you know how hard it is to kill a tomato vine.
Always so much to get done around here.

I hope you have a nice week next week. I am so glad to see August end and to turn the page to September.

~Kim~

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Chicken Story

It has been awhile since I told you a chicken story and I thought today would be a good day for one. I have 5 Silkies now and 3 Mlle Fluers. It is a good thing that Mlle Flures are tiny chickens because if they were bigger they would rule the world. I have one hen who wants to fight the big hens all of the time and does and no matter how many times they beat her up she never gives up. She is just spunky.

I have spent most of the summer fooling with the chicks I bought in the spring. I had to introduce them into the coop so they could all live together. They don't want a happy family. The Silkie doesn't seem to mind and I catch her even going with the others. She has been the only Silkie most of her life and seems to have taken to the new invaders just fine.

I let them out in the yard in the morning and then put them up at sundown. The other night I was standing outside the coop watching. The older hens were pecking on the ground and not paying any attention to me. The chicks who are now almost full grown were crowded next to the door in a little furry clump begging me to let them out or save them. On first notice you would think it was the chicks who had the problem because the older hens looked like they were minding their own business.


One of the things I am always telling myself is they are chickens, they will work it out. I kept wondering if I should just walk back and put these guys on the roost so they don't get pecked. As long as I stood there peace and calm was every where. I knew the older hens were watching me intently and I knew the young ones were terrified. I couldn't see why though. I wish I understood chicken because I am sure there was some language going on in that coop.

 I turned to go toward the house when pandemonium broke out. My oldest Mlle Fluer had went right into the middle of the group like in a bar room brawl, and if chickens could laugh she was standing there with a white feather in her beak and an black and white chicks were flying everywhere. I sighed and went back and got in the coop and caught each chick and put it on the roost while all the while I knew that hen was laughing at me because she had won some battle I know nothing about.

When as a young girl I greatly identified with Fern of Charlotte's Web. As I was standing there thinking and watching I thought, my life really hasn't changed too much from then. Who needs Television when there is drama in the chicken house every day.

But I am secretly laughing up my sleeve. This next spring, the white and black are both roosters. You know what roosters do in the spring. Those little hens will be getting a  lesson when those roosters start doing what roosters do pulling out neck feathers.

Then we will see who is laughing.

Have a great Thursday,
~Kim~

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Chats on The Farmhouse Porch

It is time again to have a chat with Patrice. She has a nice blog called Everyday Rurality. Each week she hosts a group of questions and it is nice to visit and learn about others week to week. 


QUESTIONS

1.    Are you a list maker? (grocery, to-do, goals, etc.)

Yes, I am a list maker. I keep a note book with my lists in them, I make grocery lists, I keep track of the miles I walk and I keep track of the number of books I read in one year. I have started keeping track of the rugs I have made too. Gosh the list goes on and on.

2.    Do you have overnight guests often?
No, not very often now. We really aren't set up for it. My favorite guests are my grand babies and even they haven't got to spend the night in awhile. Quite a long while.

 3.   Where is your laundry room, or the area that you keep your washer and dryer?

I have a laundry room just off of the kitchen. I stand and fold clothes and because my living room is a great room it is all kind of together.

4.    How are you with tools? Power tools?
I love, love tools, any and every kind. I love to go look at tools when we go to the farm supply store. I have my own scroll saw and I have a drill and a drill press and a belt sander.  I have a nice little hand tool that does wood carving. So I love tools. Right up there with my sewing machines.

 5.   Tell me something that will make me smile. Please.

When my grandsons were spending a day with me when Momma went to have their brother. It was cold and I let them watch way too much Duck Tails. I was feeling guilty about it and I told them that we needed to go outside before they all turned into couch potatoes.
T. looked horrified and I knew that I had said something that upset him. So I tried to explain and the more I explained the worse it got. So I just said, " Never mind lets go outside." T is a deep thinker, later he looked at me and said, " Grandma, I can't turn into a couch potato because I am blood and bones. Potatoes don't have blood and bones."  I told him he was right and now I really watch what I say.

We have a Volkswagen that my husband has been restoring. My other grandson was walking with me and A. asked me, " What is that? pointing to the car. I glanced at it and said, " Oh, it's a bug." He stopped in his tracks, He looked at me and said, " Grandma, that isn't a bug!!" I was laughing so hard as I tried to explain.

Thanks to Patrice this weeks questions.

~Kim~
Everyday Ruralty

Monday, August 20, 2012

Happy Monday!

I had to pick these cute little pumpkins yesterday. The heat has caused my vines to die and I wanted to save these guys. Even though they needed a bit more time on the vine. I think they are so pretty and they do make me feel like fall is trying to come anyway.

I just love this bushel basket full of goodness. My husband is still leaving the house very early in the morning.
This morning I opened the blinds early and had my cup of coffee as I watched the sun come up over the mountains. As the suns first rays hit the grass in the yard it turned the dew in the grass, to a yard of diamonds sparkling in first bit of day.

I decided since it was so early it would be a good time to get back on my walking schedule. I went out to start walking and I hoped for the smell of September. The smell of burning was on the wind. There are forest fires in Northern California and the prevailing wind brings it here. So all around me is the smell of burning wet wood. Time to return to my regular schedule. I admit to liking schedules. I get more done. I am thankful for dreams, and for life and for yes, even trials that help me to keep my vision a bit clearer. It makes me able to feel joy in spite of the circumstances.

I hope you all have a great Monday.
~Kim~

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sweet Days

I took this last year, but I was thinking of fall today. When I was a kid school started the day after Labor Day. I might be starting school on Monday, but in my heart, that real first day of school is still the Tuesday after Labor Day. New hot clothes, having to wear new shoes when I had ran barefoot all summer. Riding the bus every morning. New pencils, new notebooks, boxes of crayons. I still want to buy new boxes of crayons every year. The smell of the class rooms. They all still have that wonderful smell. I have never figured out if the janitor has some wonderful can of stuff he sprayed to make if feel like home.

I am going to repost a blog I wrote in 2009. It says it better than I can say today. Have a lovely weekend.

I looked outside today and my yard was littered with leaves. I told the kids about it as they looked out the window, and one of them remarked, " that is the best tree, it always mourns for us because school is getting ready to start. As I thought about that, when you live in a place you grew up, as Robert Lewis Stevenson put in his book.

From Child's Garden of Verses
As from the house your mother sees
You playing round the garden trees,
So you may see, if you will look
Through the windows of this book,
Another child, far, far away,
And in another garden, play.
But do not think you can at all,
By knocking on the window, call
That child to hear you.  He intent
Is all on his play-business bent.
He does not hear, he will not look,
Nor yet be lured out of this book.
For, long ago, the truth to say,
He has grown up and gone away,
And it is but a child of air
That lingers in the garden there.
So as I stand and stare at the tree, I see all of the children who have clung to its
branches in the last days of August, knowing that summer was almost over.

Life is good.

~Kim~

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thinking On Thursday

Now that school starts on Monday, I can say, summer is over. I go back to being teacher Mom and having a schedule. All summer I have prayed for an answer to a prayer that God has said " No," to all summer. I had the thought many, many times why should I bother to pray anyway. This summer, God has answered lots of prayers but not in the way I wanted. Yesterday, I was having my devotions and wouldn't you know that every time I pick up something it is about prayer. Not giving up. I wanted to share it here today. It has given me comfort. I am taking it out of one of my favorite books by Elisabeth Elliot, " Keep a Quiet Heart."


In  this story she shared a letter she received from a gal named Brenda Foltz of Princeton, Minnesota.

" I started up the rock as fast as I could, determined to " set my face like a flint" toward the peak. After a time, I came to a difficult ledge, and my breathless scrambling came to and abrupt halt. Suddenly, the rope was pulled too taut and hit me square in the eye. "Oh NO!" I  thought wildly,  " My contact lens is GONE!"
From my precarious perch I looked everywhere on the rope and the sharp granite rock for a tiny, transparent lens, which could easily be mistaken for a water droplet.

" Lord Jesus, help me find it!" I prayed and pleaded, knowing the hopelessness of my search with such limited mobility. I looked as long as I could maintain my hold praying with a sinking heart. Finally I resumed my climb with one last glimmer of hope---maybe the contact was still in my eye, crumpled in the corner or up under my eyelid. When I reached the top. I had a friend check to see if she could find it in my eye. It wasn't there. Every hope was gone.

I was disappinted, and anxious about getting a new contact so far away from home. As we sat and rested, surveying the world from such a gloriously high perspective, the fragment of a verse popped into my head: "The eyes of God go to and fro through the whole earth."
God knows exactly where my contact is this moment from His high vantage point, the amazing thought struck me. But I'll never see it again, I concluded.

So, still glum, I headed down the path to the bottom where the others were preparing to climb, About  half and hour later another girl set out where I had also begun my climb. She had no inkling of the missing contact. But there, at the steep bottom of the rock face, she let out and excited cry. " Hey you guys---did anyone lose a contact!" I rushed over as she continued yelling, " There's an ANT carrying a contact down the mountain!"

Sure enough. Special delivery! I bent down, retrieved my contact from the hardworking ant, doused it with water and put it back in my eye, rejoicing. I was in awe, as if my Father had just given me, though so undeserving, big hug, and said, " My precious daughter, I care about every detail of your life."

After I finished reading this story, I put my book down and cried. I suppose I always think that I am the exception, that for some reason my prayers are not heard nor are they important enough for God to pay attention too. I thought about it all day, that girl in the story lost her contact, which an ant picked up and was bringing it down a moutain so I could read it and be encourged that yes, God has heard my prayers, but "chooses instead that sometimes He says no in order that He may, in some way we can not imagine, say yes.
All His ways with us are merciful. His meaning is always love."

I just thought I would share this today. It continues to be on my mind.

Have a great Thursday,

~ A much more peaceful Kim~

I am linking today with Doodlebug and her Faithful Fridays Post.
Sweet girl and a lovely post to go with it.
Doodlebug


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Finished Rugs

I finished a couple of rugs on Monday. Well, except for the binding. I just can't face sitting with a hot rug on my lap right now. I am trying to get the rugs I thought I would get done this summer finished so I can move onto other rugs I have.

This was fun to work on, I dyed the colors for this one. I used all of my new dyes from my dye kit I bought. I really enjoy dying wool. It just gives me such freedom that I really enjoy about rug hooking. I even over dyed colors that I thought would look better and that was fun too. The more I do rug hooking the better I like it.

This was a small rug that I am going to make into a pillow. It took me so long and I should have been able to do it in just a day. But using just black and white made it so hard for me to keep hooking on, I would think of lots of other things to do rather than work with just black and white. I need lots more color to work with. Color just makes me happy.

I really like Primitive and I like the colors but something happens to me when I am working with those drab colors. I just want to throw in some really bright colors. I feel like I am hooking along following the rules, and then something takes over and I have to do something bright. Same thing would happen when I was making jewelery. I would say, just stick to the pattern. But I never do. I wonder if that is a some deep seated character flaw? Failure to obey rules?

Okay, sorry, that is all I got today. I will not complain, I will not complain. ***hint*** sun comes up--- high pressure system---August= You know that word.

So if you are getting to have nice, cool, lovely weather, enjoy it because I am so happy for you, because you went through lots more this summer than Ole complaining me.
Have a great Wednesday!

~ I am not complaining Kim~

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch

It is time to have another chat with Patrice today. I think I would like to go and visit with her, she said she can feel fall. That would be so nice. A nice cool breeze would be perfect. If you get a chance stop by say hi to all of the nice people who are there today.

Questions:

 1.   What was your biggest fear as a child?
When I was 10 there was a girl at out school who was in junior high, her mother passed away at the start of the school year. I would stare at her and I was terrified to think of that ever happening to me. My Mom wasn't even sick at that point, and I would think about what would I do. Then that summer my Mom got sick and she was gone, she was sick 3 months. I started school in sixth grade almost like that other girl. I have always wondered about it, was it a premonition or an early warning.




2.     Who taught you to cook?
When my Mom died, I was the lady of the house. So I taught myself to cook. I remember thinking it can't be that hard, and I can read so I started with a cake mix and went on from there. Now meal planning was something different, but I can't remember not knowing how to cook, nor can I remember not liking to do it. I have always read cookbooks.





3.     Do you have a lot of books in your home?
Oh yes, way to many books. I have to say my first love has always been books. I think it is the legacy passed down to me from my great greats and further back. In my family there wasn't much money but what they have passed down has been books. One of the fun things now is passing them on to my children.



4.     Do you like carrot cake? Patrice says frosting is good on top. If you like that cake, what kind of frosting do you like best? On top? Hmm. I guess you wear it like a hat.

I can't think of carrot cake without cream cheese frosting. After my Dad remarried, life changed for us. My birth Mom was a very frugal, careful woman. When he remarried, we had a house keeper and a cook. The lady who cooked for us made this wonderful carrot cake with cream cheese frosting but she would put poppy seeds in the frosting. I always think of her because of that. Now that I am older, I know God blessed my Dad like he did and sent those lovely women to us and they made our very crazy life a haven.





5.     What's did the last funny t-shirt you read say? (It doesn't have to reflect your personal feeling about the topic, just be funny and family friendly.)

I don't think I can think of any off hand right now.

Thank you Patrice for this weeks questions.

Everyday Ruralty