Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Just A Day At Home

Baby and Mom and Dad and brothers all went home today. My house is quiet and the cats are all walking around freely looking content that the house is back to normal. The dog is passed out under my desk. Trying to take care of busy little boys everyday is a lot of work for her. She would hear them talking in their sleep and want to go out and check to see if they were okay. (Except she gives too many kisses.)
I got to see the new boy that God has been so gracious to give to our family. As newborns go just perfect. Tiny perfect baby. It is always hard to think of that perfect little face having whiskers someday.

Today the twins asked what I was fixing for dinner tonight. I told them I thought meatloaf and mashed potatoes. The said, " Tell Mommy and Daddy to pick us up after dinner." I laughed and laughed.

I had the privileged of seeing the boys see their new baby brother for the first time. I felt like an intruder, it was like a holy, family moment. I was thankful none the less. One of the boys just grinned and said, " Hi baby,
the next one bent down ever so carefully and kissed him on the forehead, but then concerned turned to his Mommy and wanted to know if she was okay. Then- the- used- to- be- baby, said, Hi baby as he climbed into his baby seat.
They left and that was always my favorite part, was when all are safe in your home for that first time and then when you lay down to sleep, it is with contentment and peace that all is well.
 I am thankful for the joy of getting to spend time with the boys, thankful that the new baby is here and thankful that tonight all will sleep in their own beds.
Last night I was sitting in my chair and I had two boys sitting in my lap. I remembered sitting in my grandmother's lap the same way. She never complained of us sitting all over her, and now I know why.
There is something special about this age, something special about having your children's children sit on you and know that you are blessed.

One of my grandsons is not a kisser or a hugger.  He never has been. Last night I had sat and talked to them before they went to sleep. One of them asked for a kiss and a hug and as I kneeled down to do that, the other one asked if he could kiss me goodnight and then gave me a hug. I know that no matter what I may of thought I gave up, it was all worth that one tiny kiss on my cheek.

You know one of the things about me is I never wanted to be a wife or a mother. I never wanted to be a stay at home Mom, none of that. I look at my life and always imagined if I had chose my life that I thought I wanted, it would not have been this.
You know what? I am glad God over ruled and gave me what I love. I am glad God knew me best and I am so happy to be here at home, being a wife and a mother and a grandmother.
Thanks for reading the ramblings of me today. I really do need to go sit and cry for a bit. Life is always full of surprises, thank you so much for sharing mine.


Chats on the Farmhouse Porch

I am feeling like this flower, a bit bedraggled but still blooming. We have a new grand baby, but when Mom has time to blog about it then I will tell you lots, but Mom needs to do it first. They are good though. I have had the other three boys and they are good too. They are watching Chip and Dale and I thought If I hurried I could chat with you on Patrice's porch. I have never missed one and I don't want to miss this one. :)
1.    What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Lets see, breakfast, was a ham and cheese omelet.

 2.   What's your favorite kind of juice?  I hate juice. I would rather eat my fruit.

3.    Have you tried Pinterest yet?
Yes, I do and I even have lots of pins and I enjoy it very much, it feels like a vacation when I visit.

4.    I can't wait for __________ from my garden (or farmers' market/CSA/neighbor with green thumb).
Fresh tomatoes.
5.    The worst job I ever had was __________________. It is hard for me to think of a job as bad, I have done jobs I haven't liked very much but in them I learned things I wouldn't have learned in other circumstances. I know that if I can stick with it that I will end up reaping rewards. I know that I can end up finding that place of gratitude that only doing hard things force me to do.

Thanks to Patrice for a Chat it was nice to visit this week.
Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Time Away

I will be away for a bit. Just some things I need to take care of and will have a full report when I get back.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Best Brownines Ever

I have been reading a series of books by the author Joanne Fluke. She writes about a gal named Hannah who has a cookie shop. There is always a murder but it is a cozy kind of book as everything happens around cookies and coffee. The recipes are for lots of different kinds of cookies, pies and cakes. In one of the books, called A Cream Puff Murder, she had a recipe for brownies called Brownies Plus.
It was a library book so I didn't have it and I have been on Weight Watchers now for 8 weeks so I didn't even write any recipes down just in case I was having a weak day.

Friday we were having company and I thought it would be safe to make them as there were going to be lots of people here. Since I could only sort of remember the recipe this is what I did.

I bought a box of brownie mix. I followed the directions on the box. I put half of the mix in a 13 by 9 pan. Then on top of the brownies, I took two large Symphony candy bars and laid them across the brownie in the pan. Now I had only bought two and I remembered that I needed at least 4 to cover the whole pan. But thinking about this I took out a whole package of peanut butter chips and sprinkled them on the top of the candy bar. I then took the rest of the brownie mix and put it over the top of the candy bar and chips.

I had to bake it for 40 minutes because it was thicker.
I would like to make them again only use Nestle Crunch. Then as I thought about it I thought maybe a candy bar with caramel in it. Then I thought what if I used say mint chips the things I could think of are endless. You can't see so well in my pictures but it looks so cool to have brownies with a filling. 

Next time I would just use my own recipe for brownies. I was in a hurry so I bought the mix. I don't normally like mixes but with the additions of the candy bar and peanut butter chips, you couldn't taste that it was a mix.
They are very rich so I cut them in smaller pieces than I normally do, and being so rich tasting you only need a small taste. They are wonderful with coffee. Oh and yes, I did sample them. They are dangerous I admit.
I want to give credit to Joanne Fluke, it is her recipe. The book is called the Cream Puff Murder. I just finished the whole set of books. They are addictive, just like cookies. If you are on Weight Watchers I hope this doesn't make you stumble if you are not, then Happy Eating. :)

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sticky Fabri-Solvy

This week I ordered a product I am crazy about. It is called Sticky Fabri-Solvy. I really enjoy embroidery but I don't like using my light box and trying to get the design on the muslin that way. One of the blogs I visit all of the time is called Bird Brain Designs.I have used their designs for years. I found myself not embroidering as much anymore because of the light box issue. They have offered this product for a long time and I finally broke down and bought some. I am smitten.
I took my pattern I was using and scanned it into my computer. I took a piece of the paper that is in this package.
Put this in like regular printer paper and printed the design on to one side of the paper, then peeled the paper off that was holding the sticky, web like stuff and pressed it to my muslin.

Sorry I took it off my hoop so you could see it. Then when I am all finished with the stitching I just get it wet in warm water and it dissolves and my design will look like it was always there. I have so many projects I can do now that I have been putting off.
I want to do Calendula Patterdrips Cottage from Crab-apple Hill
I have put it off for a year because I just couldn't face tracing the designs using a light box..  So now I don't have any more excuses.
I just had to share this because if you are like me and like to embroider and have put this off this is a great product. Now I wish I was receiving some kind of kudos for this commercial but I am not. I was just so excited about this stuff.   I just thought I would share.
It is nice to work with too, my needle doesn't have any trouble going through it, like with some other products I have used before. Oh and the ladies at Bird Brain designs are fantastic. They sent my order next day without charging me. I forgot how much I had enjoyed buying things from them. They also offer lots of different freebie designs.  Meg and Crab-Apple Hill is just as nice too and both blogs are fun to visit and dream.
Thanks for stopping by,

New Life Out Of Old

This morning when I was walking around, I had no intention of taking pictures but when I saw this pear tree blooming, and the title of this post popped into my head, "New life out of old." I knew I needed to get my camera and take some pictures. I guess that is what spring is new life. No matter how hard the winter might have been seeing new life always changes my focus.

I read this today. My house, my kitchen, my desk, my very body are meant to be holy places in this world for the eternal God. ( From All That Was Every Ours. p.9) I thought about it some more and I thought, When God created the world, it was brand new, and sin had not yet entered it, God made Adam and He put Adam in the garden. The place that was most perfect in the whole world was a garden. I am always so happy that I am a gardener. My head just seems to clear and this time of year, I think I am happiest watching winter begin to change into spring. 
When I was a young Mom, wife, all of the things that go with finding yourself in a place that life had not trained you for, sure I knew how to work in the workplace. But staying home day in and day out with a baby and no one to talk to, I guess it is sort of a identity crisis. So when I found Elisabeth Elliot and she told me that my work was a holy vocation. The world began to change for me those values I had held onto so tightly, I was suddenly shown the world that my grand mothers had excelled at seemed to make the most sense.
Maybe this stuff is on my mind, as I watch my daughter struggle with having a boyfriend vs being single. She doesn't want my life, she likes her life with college, her job, having her own money, and her schedule and doing what she wants. She doesn't understand that choosing to give up sometimes is the way to freedom.
I don't suppose I can explain it very well, but choosing to live your life for other people can be rewarding and can have it's own trials and pain and heartache but it also has its own beauty and fulfillment and joy. Because
sometimes life is about giving up our old life so that new life can blossom.
I didn't come in here to write this, my fingers sometimes just do their own thing. I was going to write a different kind of post.
Well, it is Saturday and it is beautiful outside. I hope you have a wonderful Saturday,

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Real Me

I was thinking today, you know you might have the wrong idea about me. I don't want that to happen. I over heard one of my son's talking to the other one. The conversation went like this:
" Have you ever read Mom's blog?"
" No, Why?"
" Well, you know I live here and I know she takes pictures with my camera, but well, it just looks so fancy."

So I have been thinking about that. I never ever want to give the idea that I am  something I'm not. In fact this week, I blew it lots.
I got into a knock-down drag out fight with my husband. Yep, even told him the divorce word. Why? Because of the dog. We have had three major fights and they all involved animals. He even said, I cared more about animals than I did people. Is it true? Well, just a little. Okay, maybe a bunch.
Today when my grandsons came over was I a good grandmother who baked cookies and told them stories and made crafts so they could take them home?
Nope, I put them in front of the TV, and we watched cartoons. I gave them bags of potato chips at 9:30 in the morning. I sat and drank coffee and watched Duck Tails. Did I do school with my son, nope, I let him sleep.
This is my flowerbeds. I had my son use the weed eater so that you couldn't see the weeds from the road. I need to clean flowerbeds but I haven't got to them yet. I just wanted you to know, because I am always careful about letting you see the only the pretty part.

This week wasn't a week where I got a gold star. Well, really if you want to know the truth no week   do I get the gold star. I just wanted you to know. I blow it all of the time and some weeks are worse than others, but tomorrow is another day.
I just wanted you to know...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Finished February Word Play

I had to show you some spring pictures I took today. This is the plum tree. I was thinking when I walked outside that it looked like a bride dressed in white. It just looks so pretty. It was warm today and the smell of flowers on the breeze just made me crazy. I even saw Mockingbirds fighting.

I finally finished my February Word Play and it isn't March yet. I liked this one because of the red. I like working with red. I bought this pattern from Country Stitches. I have March and I will start that tonight or tomorrow. With all of the birthdays we have in March, I don't know if I will get it finished before April.

Here is some more of the detail. I also changed the little hearts from white to red. I just liked red hearts better.
.This was fun to do except, I cannot spell chocolate to save my life. I could have been finished a week ago but I was looking at what I had done and sure enough I had even misspelled on this. So I had to rip it out and start over.
 I loved the little people and enjoyed stitching them. I just love when I do the faces because they look like tiny faces in six stitches.

I made some bird houses this week. This has been fun for me too. I start working on them and all kinds of ideas pop into my head.
It looks good hanging in the tree outside my bedroom. I don't know if any birds will live in it. I would like to have some orchard bees come take up residence but I don't know if they would.

I had some more pictures I wanted to show you but I have to wait. My husband is working from home tonight and me uploading pictures makes his work slow down. He is finishing up a two year project so I think his stuff is a little more important than mine.

I hop you have a nice Thursday. I will have my grandsons in the morning so Momma can go visit the baby doctor. It is never a dull moment around here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch

It is time to chat with Patrice on Everyday Rurality. It is time for a chat on her porch. It is 42 degrees out on my porch. To cold I think to sit and chat. We would have to go in the house. I think by later in the week it will be much nicer. We got the swimming pool looking ready to swim in yesterday, That is one of the ways we can tell the ground is warming up the pool starts changing temps. Now I need to get the porches ready to be livable.

So lets get to this weeks questions.

1.    What's you favorite kind of salad?

Oh any kind of salad, I could eat salad even for breakfast. My favorite when I got out to dinner though is a Chicken Ceaser salad.

2.    How old were you when you learned to cook?
I was 11

3.    What's your favorite kind of store? (grocery, garden, department, cooking, bookstore, etc)

If it has store in the title I am good to go. It used to be bookstores. Then I found the library and how good it works just to use the inter-library loan system I love garden stores and I love feed stores and just about anything since I spent so many years of my life in a grocery store I still really enjoy grocery stores too. I do try and stay away though. :)

4.    If you could have lived during another time in history, what time would that have been?

I like these times that I live now. Just because God chose this time for me and moved lots of people to get me where I am in this place. It always takes my breath away to think of all of the pieces it took to get me here. I only think of living in the 30s and the 40s for the awesome clothes they wore and hats and gloves and the shoes and coats. But that is all, I love technology, I love computers and texting. All of it I am glad I have and it would make me sad to go back to a time without microwaves and heating and air conditioning.

5.    I'm looking forward to_____________. Megan's baby, my newest grand baby. Spring, It being daylight longer, putting in a new garden, getting my flower beds cleaned and ready to plant more flowers. The grass turning green. New baby chicks. My daughter's 21st birthday. Our Grandson's turning 5 and the next bunch turning 3 and the current baby turning one. Our 32nd wedding anniversary. Lots and lots of good things happening.

This quote from C.S. Lewis says it best. " There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind."

It is all good and I am very thankful to be alive on this morning.

Thanks to Patrice and for being so faithful in doing these chats each week.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Magic All Around

Yesterday in the garden, we planted 12 more berry vines. I think that brings up our count to 47 total. My husband was on the tractor working the leaves we had piled mixed with manure into the soil. He was putting gypsum down as he plowed. I was sitting watching when I saw this butterfly struggle up to a limb of a tree.
It had come out of it's cocoon. It made it to a branch to sit and dry off and warm it's wings.
I watched at it tottered out on this limb fluttering and sort of jumping, it's wings not yet developed enough to fly.
It was way above my head, so I had to go find a box to stand on to get close. It was so still and it was so out in the open I was afraid of the birds.
I liked the little blue dots and then the bottom of the wings looked like old lace. Each pattern perfectly spaced.
My husband on the tractor, told me later he couldn't figure out why I was taking so many pictures of a old leaf on the tree, because from a distance, it did look like a old leaf. Isn't that like life, it is only when we are up close and really looking do we begin to see.
It has expanded it's wings and I thought that maybe I was starting to disturb this very private moment so I thought I would get down from my box and leave it alone.
I walked away to look of more signs of spring and I found that one of the ash trees is already getting it's little helicopter seeds and is starting to put out the little buds as a precursor to leaves.
 This is really early for the ash trees. They didn't even loose all of their leaves until late December. They barely had time to rest this year.
All of this and I forgot to take pictures of the new berries. Our son has berry vines at his house and they multiplied so he took 12 little plants and gave them to us. We were thrilled. To buy that many would have been about 50 dollars. They are thorn-less boysenberry's.
I hope you have a lovely Sunday, filled with rest.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Weekly Top Shot Week # 18

I am going to link today with Madge and her linky today Weekly Top Shot. She has beautiful blog with fantastic pictures. Her blog is called A View From Right Here. I just haven't had the shots to share and this week I got this one. I know it isn't as close as I wish it was, I use a Cannon point and shoot. The shutter speed is very slow, like 3 seconds. I saw this flock of Canadian Geese and I knew it would be a miracle if I got this shot at all. I only had a second so I thought, "if I was shooting these birds with a gun, how much lead would I give them,"  so I tried it with a camera. I pushed my button on my camera before they were even in my window.  When I came in and put the photos I took into my computer I was so excited. 
Later I had my son, who uses Photo Shop all of the time come in and get the shot closer I was thrilled.
I am so happy to get to share this photo today. I have always enjoyed watching birds fly south. To see this one on a beautiful spring mornings was just magic.
Thanks for letting me share this today, and stop in and visit the other top shots for this week.

Thanks to Madge too,

Thursday, February 16, 2012

First Signs of Spring

After the storm, comes the first signs of spring. On mornings like this I feel so rich. I walked and I could smell the warming earth, the hint of blossoms on the wind, and my soil in my pasture of mostly diamonds. As the sun peaked over the top of Bear Mountain, and it's first ray's hit the ground, that was when all of the diamonds glittered in the early morning air.
I know this isn't a very good picture, I only had a second to snap it as this little flock of Canadian Geese flew over. I heard them before I saw them. I could hear the distant cries and then the sound of their wings. They were flying south. I have never saw them flying in that direction before.
Today this green plum will open it's blooms. I was thinking this morning. We had wind this week, and we have had rain and this morning frost. The wind causes the limbs on the tree to blow and move,the ground has been warming up long before I knew it, so the sap has began to thin. We had the rain that brings nourishment to the soil and then the frost, that helps the bud break the hard shell to bloom.
I can't help to see how trials in our life do the same, it is only when my hard shell is broken that I can bloom and be all that I was created to be.
This is the blooms on an Acacia tree. It is the first thing to bloom here at My Field of Dreams. In the Bible when God gave Moses the plans for the Tabernacle, lots of the wood they used was from the Acacia tree. It is very hard wood. The bark is twisty and very hard. When it dries it is very hard to cut. When we moved here I wanted all of the trees to be from the Bible. 

Moses brother Aaron had a staff that budded, and is in the Ark of the Covenant somewhere with the tablets of the Ten Commandments and the jar of Manna, I thought today as I looked at this almond tree, that staff that Aaron used was made of almond wood just like this and this is how it must of looked when it had buds.

 This is a Red Tailed Flicker. This is the first year it returned without it's mate. It shows up about late October and will stay until about May. In the fall I always hear it before I see it. It's cry is like that of the Sharp-Shinned Hawk. I mistake that call all of the time.
This morning, in the cold, I could hear the Meadow Larks singing the sun to come up. They remind me of the places of long ago that live only in my mind. I am glad that spring is coming, I am glad that the seasons change and I am glad that the sun shines.
I am glad that joy comes in the morning.

Have a lovely Thursday, thanks for coming along on my walk this morning. Yes, these pictures are from today.I finally didn't have to go back into my other pictures to find flowers. :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch

It is time to have another another visit with Patrice this week. I hope you are all having a nice Valentines Day today. So without further Adieu on to the questions.

1.    Did you do anything special for Valentine's Day?
No not really, I fixed my husband's favorite dinner, Kung Pao Chicken and Nik came over and had dinner with us too. Just a nice evening. My husband is sitting here by me, I showed him Pinterest and he is going crazy looking at all of the pictures of Bonsai. We are in the same room. :)

2.    What was the last craft item that you made?
I made Valentine gifts.

3.    Are you planning a garden? Are you swamped with seed catalogs?

Yes, I am planning a garden, and Not to bad this year. The place I buy my seeds from only has a online catalog now so that is really the only one I ever care about and  they send me emails.

4.    What cosmetics do you have in your purse?

Just a tube of lipstick. I don't even use that very much, when I see my grand children I don't want to get grandma lipstick on them when I kiss them so I leave it off. :)

5.    When there is a room to be painted in your home, who does the painting?

We both do, we both do all of the work together. He is the cleanest painter in the world and I always look like I take a bath in it. I will be covered head to foot and he won't have a drip. We take turns with the ceilings. It is hard on the neck.
Thanks for stopping by today.
Thanks to Patrice for questions this week..

Happy Valentines Day

I hope you are having a wonderful day today. I will share my idea of what I think about Valentines Day. This is always my goal and as person. I fail at this every day, but it is my goal and someday I hope I may attain it. This is what I wish I could be like on Valentines Day.

" To aim at loving instead of at being loved requires sacrifice, Love reaches out, willing to be turned down or inconvenienced, expecting no personal reward, wanting only to give."

" Love is patient, is kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."
(1 Corinthians 13:4-5)
Have a wonderful day today,

Monday, February 13, 2012

Just Chickens Today

You have all been very patient with my addiction, love for chickens. I admit to thinking I had perfect chickens. As chickens go there is very little fighting that goes on in my chicken coop. They are very sociable chickens and like to stay with me where ever I am. I have a terrible deed to tell of my chickens and this is not for the faint of heart.
 These little chickens are innocent and not involved in the story at all. I just liked the picture. I don't think these guys would do what happened the other day in my coop.
I hate to admit this to you, but I am terrified of mice. Sasha knows when I scream that I have just seen a mouse or a leaf or a piece of paper, being so scared of mice, I scream at anything that moves. This winter I had some field mice move in to my coop. Now they are fat and healthy and imagine a circle with a tail and cute little ears. They are tiny about the size of a silver dollar. That is how I thought I would draw them if I ever drew a picture because they are cute. Except, for my fear.
I have a small chicken feeder and the field mice fill it up with dirt in the bottom I think they want to make a house in it so every time I feed I lift it up and knock the dirt out. Sometimes I see a mouse and drop it and run and sometimes I don't.
The other day, I lifted the feeder and a mouse just sat there, quick as a wink, one of the hens ran over and snapped that mouse right up in her beak. I was so shocked. Mortified is a better word. They began to play chicken football with the mouse. It squeaked. I will stop right there as it was graphic. I left. I just walked away so I have no idea what happened, but of course, having a good imagination I have a idea.

I thought it was a total fluke. I didn't think it would happen again. Until Saturday when I was cleaning and rearranging my chicken pen and came across another mouse. This time there was no hesitation. They went for it. I guess they like chicken football.
So now I am feeling sort of sick about my perfect chickens. I know what this means they need protein. I am at a loss though to figure out in what form. Milk maybe or cheese. So if any of my chicken owning friends have any ideas I would appreciate it. With the new chicks coming in May, I do not want the new girls learning such a terrible habit.
It is Monday again, I hope you have good start to this new week. We have a lovely rainy day. We have had so few this year, this one is such a treat. It smells like spring outside. I have decided I just have to accept that winter is over for us. Our almond tree started blooming on Saturday, the rest of the trees are soon to follow.
Thanks for stopping by today,