Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

This morning I woke up wondering why Good Friday was called Good Friday. No one really knows for sure but here is one reason I found out today.
    The origin of the term Good is not clear. Some say it is from "God's Friday" (Gottes Freitag); others maintain that it is from the German Gute Freitag, and not specially English. Sometimes, too, the day was called Long Friday by the Anglo-Saxons; so today in Denmark.

If Good Friday were called good because English adopted the German phrase, then we would expect Gute Freitag to be the common German name for Good Friday, but it is not. Instead, Germans refer to Good Friday as Karfreitag—that is, Sorrowful or Suffering Friday—in German.

When I first became a Christian, I attended a Mennonite congregation. On Good Friday at the noon service, the elders and deacons and even the pastor would wrap a towel around their waist and they would wash people's feet and then there was communion. I would watch and I never had the nerve to let them do it. It always made me cry and in fact remembering it still does.

Then on Easter morning, the men would greet one another with, " He has risen," Then the other person would say, " He has risen indeed." It was like a code word. Remember, I was totally pagan, totally in the world and I had investigated every cult and ism. I wanted the answer I was looking for to be anything but Jesus. Going to this church, and watching and seeing that these people so gentle in what they believed began to melt my stony heart. It was a simple act of washing feet and greeting one another the way they did that began to lead me down the road I now live on and I am so thankful for it.

 I hope you have a lovely Friday. I have had a nice week. Thank you for visiting me this week.
We will be painting today. Which means no one will get paint on them and I will look like I took a bath in it at the end of the day.

Have a lovely Friday,

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thursday Day 4

It has been a good week, and it has been nice to stop. Today is filled with those things that have to be done like grocery shopping and laundry and that stuff. I did work on my rugs yesterday. It was very pleasant to do that. My first rug is very different for me. In fact it is so out of my comfort zone. It is nice to be stretched

.It is a pattern I got out of that book called Garden Gate Threads and the design is by Maggie Bonanomi.
It is hard for me to work on because it has too many colors. I have found when I make a rug, I am most comfortable with 3 colors. My husband and I both have very different styles and he likes this rug. I just shook my head there are just a few things we will never be joined at the hip about. Which is good or one of us would be unnecessary.

I am also working on a chicken rug. I could sit and work on this one all day long. I love the colors and the design. After my daughter moves I guess I will have to draw my own rugs. When I do, prepare to laugh. I see life a little different. So it reflects in the way I draw.

This is more me, whimsical. Big shapes. I really do like hooking chickens. I can't wait to start on the sunflower. This one I am enjoying so much I find myself lost and so happy just hooking away. I can tell by the way my hooking looks. In the flower rug, I am agitated and no matter how hard I work at trying to get my loops even I just can't. My chicken rug I can see I am at peace and it just comes together.

I like the colors too.

I still have a long way to go on this one. I think I will be fighting myself the whole way. I think it is that way when you have to learn new things, you have to fight to make yourself do things that you wouldn't normally. Or it is with me.

I just had to take a picture of this very old Wisteria bush at my sister in law's house. It is huge and this is just a bit of it. I never can get a decent picture of it so I am going with this one. The original people who homesteaded this place planted things so that every month something was blooming. There used to be a old tank house with it growing on it and I guess my grand parents had it removed, that is one thing I don't remember about. So this just grows where it was. One day a very old lady with her great niece stopped and wanted some of the blooms. She was the grand daughter of the people who homesteaded it. She told how they planted that every where so that in the summer they would have a cool place to rest. I always think of her when I look at the Wisteria.

That is it for today, I need to get to the grocery store. I was hanging around because this guy was going through my trash cans at the road. I hate that. I had walked outside to take pictures and I didn't know he was there and Sasha started barking at him in her great booming bark and he about jumped out of his skin. Poor guy. I still don't like it. He left but I have the idea he is hanging around waiting for me to leave. He knows my schedule. So I am doing things different today.

Such adventures all around.
Have a nice day,

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wednesday---Day 3

This morning, outside it looks like the beach. High clouds, cool air and after it warms up I am sure it will be another wonderful day. March this year came in like a lamb and it is going out like a lamb too. NOT normal. I keep waiting for the wind. I expect that our March weather will come in April.

This year around the first of March, my husband started grafting trees. When we were kids one of our favorite pages in the encyclopedia was about learning to graft trees. When we met somehow we found out that we always wanted to graft trees. So he has done it. I watch. Here is a picture of one of the little tiny branches he grafted from one of his Japanese Maple trees to his root stock.

See the tiny leaves and the little bit of bandage around the little trunk? He has used three different kinds of things for grafting. His favorite though is what hospitals use for wounds. It is this gauze like stuff that one side is sticky and when you pull it and wrap with it, it sticks to itself. He has had the best luck with that.

 This picture isn't very good but there is a tiny bit of what looks like bandage on this crab apple. This limb came out red while the parent tree is green. He grew these crab apples from the seeds of the parent tree and
grafted a limb from the parent tree back to the seed tree.

When we were kids and we went on field trips, one of the places we visited in Fresno California was an underground garden. It is called Forestiere Underground Gardens.
It is an amazing place. There are orange trees with, lemons, grapefruit, growing on one tree. After visiting there even though we both didn't know each other, we both wanted to learn to graft trees. I tried and tried when I was about 10 or so to teach myself how to graft rose bushes. I never had very much luck. That is why I love that my husband has done this, it is like watching a long ago dream come true.

Today I am really too tired to work outside so I think the heaviest think I am going to lift is a rug hook and a needle and thread. That is if I can make myself stay inside. I am really enjoying the weather.
It doesn't stay like this very long.

I hope you have a lovely Wednesday.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tuesday---Day Two

Yesterday was a perfect day. I expect that today will be the same. Perfect I mean for working. Not to hot and not to cold. The right kind of breeze so time passes very quickly. I can plug in my I Pod put on some really good music and I don't know how tired I am until I come in the house. I chopped weeds for 6 1/2 hours. My husband got home from work and grabbed our two youngest sons and in 45 minutes they did more work than I did in all of those hours.

Today I am going to not worry about the rest of the weeds because my husband said that when he gets home tonight they will just finish up. I am going to play in my garden. I thought I would show you a picture of my tiny garden this year.

This isn't a very good picture but I liked it because it has a bit of my husband trees that are in the ground and it has a bit of the berries that we planted last year and they are going to be covered in blooms. I can't wait to pick berries.

I want so bad to plant something. I may just go down to the garden shop and stare at tomato plants.

I just had to show you this cottonwood tree. Last week it had two leaves on it. This was yesterday. It just exploded with leaves. There are already so many leaves that standing under it you can hear it muttering to itself. I always think trees have personalities. This one is a happy tree. The leaves are starting to shimmer.

I wanted to show you my husband's latest project. A couple of summers ago my favorite Sugar Maple tree died. Earlier this year my husband removed the stump and cut it up like this. For the last couple of weeks he has been turning the old stump into bases for his Bonsai trees.

He sanded and then put a special kind of epoxy on them. They turned out so cool that we both go out and stand and look at them.
He already gave this one away to a lady who wanted one for a cake stand. The lady who is making Emilie's wedding cake is doing another party and she wanted a piece of wood like this so he was happy to give it to her.

I will stop here. I have things to do today. I hope your Tuesday is just great.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday---Day One

Day one of my vacation starts today!!! The sun hasn't peeked over the mountains yet. I have seven lovely days to do what I want, or at least I will try. I do have a whole laundry room filled with dirty clothes today. We trimmed trees this weekend. Sanding the white railing around the porch was started. A bit more then it will be time to paint. I worked on the rug I started.

I have been reading about how drinking raw apple cider in water has so many health benefits. I was so skeptical . I saw a bottle of it at at the store and decided that it might be interesting to try it. It sat in my cupboards for two weeks and finally I thought what the heck I will try it. I drank it in 8 ounces of filtered water for a week. I have been walking in the mornings five miles. Since I started drinking it I don't have the muscle soreness I normally have. I think the best thing I noticed that my hands aren't sore and I can hook again. My hands had got so bad I couldn't even turn a door knob. I could hardly hold a hook in my hand to make rugs. I knew I was getting Carpel Tunnel. I couldn't hardly use my mouse anymore. Yesterday, I noticed after hooking a couple hours no soreness in my hands. My mind is clearer and it is easier to wake up. But that part could be because it is vacation. I always think so much of this stuff is just in my head but my hands, that isn't. So I will keep drinking it.

The tomato/tobacco moths are hatching. It always makes me happy when they are out at twilight. They always arrive about the time the orange trees start blooming. I love to walk out to the orange trees and watch as the dusty millers are hatching too and the trees will be full of moths. These are the only big moths that we have around here. I think that I like the giant moths more than I like butterflies. The ground has to be warm for them to start coming out of their pupae  cases. In the afternoons the June bugs are flying around. Not really flying sort of bumbling around. It is early for them. Most of the time it is around May. I have seen lots of them already. When the big moths hatch, I can always imagine that they really are fairies in disguise. If I sit very quietly they will take the little striped coat off and there will be a tiny, little fairy in golden clothes, with a tiny crown upon a little head.

So it is a nice Monday, filled with dreams and sunshine and promise. The dew is heavy upon the grass. The earth is warm and waiting for seeds. The trees are filled with tiny little fruit. Last night I saw little tiny cherries hardly bigger than the head of a pin.The trees in the back yard are filled with tiny little leaves that look like lace. I hope your Monday is nice too.

Oh, I was supposed to do a give a way for March. I have to postpone any more giveaways until after May, and possibly June. There just isn't room right now for one more thing. I have stuff piled every where waiting to be turned into flower arrangements, and lights and you just have no idea. It is really hard for me to be creative when I am living in a state of chaos in the house. :)We have seven weeks left.

Thank you for stopping by today,

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Just Chickens

I promise no more sad posts or thinking ones for awhile. I am driving myself nuts. I told myself, if I sit at the keyboard and write one more sad thing I am going to quit blogging. So for now just simple posts.

On Thursdays I go grocery shopping. It is not a chore I like to do but the fun thing I do now that makes me so happy and excited about shopping is I buy my chickens great big bags of greens. In the bags it has spinach, turnip, collards, mustard greens. Sometimes I think about just taking a bag in the house and eating all by myself. They get such a kick out of it that I can't wait to take it out to them and I love watching them eat it because they do enjoy it so much. It has I think really increased my egg production. Yesterday I got eggs from every hen.

 One good thing I have noticed that since I have roosters. There is peace in the chicken house. The hens don't fight because when they do the two little black and white policemen break it up. They strut around bossing everyone around. I am not a big fan of roosters just because their favorite sport is rape. My poor little older Silkie is the hen of choice. I know it is just nature but I sure get tired of it. I am glad my big hens are too big. They are very entertaining. They run constantly up and down the yard when I have the hens out. They are trying to keep those hens in order and you know trying to keep hens in order is like herding cats.

I was trying to get a shot of all of my hens. I have two Cuckoo Marans, Two Welsummers and some New Jersey Giants. I also have a couple of Plymouth Rocks. There are two Silkie roosters and three silkie hens and two Mlle Fleur hens. Oh and one Silver Wyandotte. Then the oldest hen I have is a cross breed Araucona because she lays green eggs. The oldest hen is 11 and one batch is six years old and the next 4 years old and then the roosters will be a year old along with two of the silkie hens.

I was thinking today I might like to buy an incubator and hatch my own chicks. I was thinking of ordering some fertilized eggs and doing it that way. Of course I am ready to have chicks and not a single broody hen.
Who knows, I just sit and think about chicks and hens and how nice it is to have them.

I finished school today so our spring break starts today!!!! I am so glad to have a whole week to do what ever I want. That is the plan. I made menus so all I had to do was remember to put it in the crock pot and I will be good to go. It feels so nice to think about a week break. I got some new wool and it is just lovely waiting to be turned into chicken rugs. There is so many possibilities.

Thanks for stopping by and being such an encouragement to me. Bless you all.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wednesday Words

I have my husband's old computer and for some reason, it has decided that it will no longer upload pictures from my camera. I will have to use the photos now on my computer which is really sad as there are so many pretty shots I am missing. Yesterday, there were so many pretty, twinkling, green leaves that dressed the trees.

Each year at the end of December, I sit with an open Bible in my lap and a notebook in my hand and I stare out the window and pray and as I do, I ask God to give me a verse or a word that will be as it were a sign post to hang my hat on in the new year. This year when I did it the one word He gave was relinquishment. I didn't want that word. this is what it means.
re·linquish·ment n.
Synonyms: relinquish, yield, resign, abandon, surrender, cede, waive, renounce
These verbs mean letting something go or giving something up. Relinquish, the least specific, may connote regret: can't relinquish the idea.
Yield implies giving way, as to pressure, often in the hope that such action will be temporary: had to yield ground.

To tell you the truth, I jumped up, put my Bible on the shelf and went outside and walked and in my mind I argued with God why that wasn't the word I wanted. As I have watched the changes and each one, I open my hands to God, and relinquish each day as God taps me on the shoulder and asks for one more thing that I am afraid to say, has become an idol in my own life.

 The other day I was reading the passage in Genesis 31:34 Rachel has stolen her father Labin's household idols and put them in her saddle bag on her camel. She was sitting on the idols as her Father is going through every thing in Jacob's tents. Rachel tells her father it is that time of the month for her while she is sitting on the camel.
As I thought about her sitting on the idols it came to me that Rachel wanted a god that she could keep in her purse. I am the same, I want a god I keep in my purse that does what I want that makes me happy and makes me comfortable. Not one that says to me, " Will you trust me?" A god in a purse is easier to deal with than one who comes to die on a cross so I might have life more abundantly. Having an abundant life means giving up my plans and my desires so I may walk in a place that I might not want to go but when I get there I see so much more than I ever dreamed.

So today I add one more thing to that list of things God asks me to relinquish this year. In two weeks my oldest daughter and her family, will be relocating to Arizona. Yesterday as I was weeping and feeling sorry for myself and accusing God because He wasn't doing what I wanted. He does remind me quite often that " My ways are not His ways and my thoughts are not His thoughts, and His thoughts are way above mine."

 I don't know how this happens I am not asleep and it is like watching a movie but it is all going on in my brain. It could just be memories. ( I was eleven at home in bed)  But all of a sudden, I was seeing my grand mother standing at the bedside in the hospital and my mother had just died. My grand mother was the age I am now and my mother was the age my daughter is now. As I watched it dawned on me how blessed I am, what a gift I have been given. I live in a time with email, computers, skype, airplanes, and cars. When God took my mother home at 31 my grandmother lost her only daughter until they saw each other again after 25 years. In Heaven. Arizona isn't as far as heaven. My daughter will be raising her children. Not having to watch the hell that went on in my grand mother's life after my Dad remarried. I know nothing of brokenness. God is and has been so merciful to me.

When I was young and had no idea really what lessons I would be learning. I prayed this prayer. It is a verse from Philippians 3:10 ...That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; I don't think I thought it would hurt. Or that I would have to relinquish those things I have loved to the point of idolatry.

I have peace in spite of the changes that are coming at me so fast sometimes each day I feel I can't catch my breath. I think I need to change my thinking to not the things I loose, but to the adventures that are just around the corner. Yesterday, I felt like the Israeli's after they left Egypt. The Red Sea in front of me, the Pharaoh and the Egyptian Army at my back. As I stood there on the bank, I heard these words. " Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.  The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”   "There is no panic in Heaven; God has no problems; Only Plans" ( Corrie Ten Boom)

When I was a young mother and I had read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. It became sort of a model of how I wanted to live life. Her words continue to give me comfort. I always told myself I wanted to keep my hands open and have God take what He wanted and to put in what He wanted I find that I close my hands and the pain comes when He has to open my hands. I broke one of the rules that Corrie taught me. " Hold everything in your hands lightly; otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open."

These are my thoughts and my words today. I am thankful that I have been given this life. I know that God has more than I ever dreamed of and I am thankful I can trust Him.

Have a Wonderful Wednesday,


Saturday, March 16, 2013

My Field of Dreams

I think you should know that if not for my husband, I wouldn't have a blog, nor would I live here I always think I am more like Lisa Douglas from Green Acres than anything else. I used to have pretty hands with painted nails. Once we moved here I started having dirt under my nails, I found out the other day, I even have callouses on my knees! I thought I wish it was from praying, but it is really I think from scrubbing floors and crawling around on my hands and knees in the garden. Anyway, I wanted to share today about all of the fun things my husband does.

The above photo is a Japanese maple. He had a bigger tree and he took and scraped  bark off one of the limbs and then put a pot around that limb put in potting soil and left it. Then about a year later he had a brand new tree. See the little things that look like blooms? Now they are tiny seeds. This is going to be one of his little Bonsai trees.

I thought you might like to see what is called the air layer tree that the little one came off of. I love the leaves and the red tips.

Here is another shot of the parent plant. I love the lighter green leaves and I just love how they get those red tips.

Here is another one of his experiments. This one starts differently than other plants. He wanted to start some of these because they do make pretty Bonsai specimens. You have to let them callous.   You take the leaves and you put them in a dark place. I thought it was interesting because you don't put them in water or in soil or anything. My husband thought the best place for them to be in the dark was his underwear drawer. So for three days that was where they were, that week when I would be putting away laundry I would open the drawer and there were the leaves. It always made me laugh. It worked too now we have so many of these plants.

Now I love these things. I am not a big fan of succulents. but I love these. This is called a Jade Plant.
 watching him clip and wire and do all of the things to make the trees look more appealing.

This is a Trident Maple. He started this from a cutting from another plant. He just put it into his potting soil and now he has this tiny tree.

We love these kind of trees. We have about 10 Cork Oak trees from acorns we gathered at a park downtown. We just love the way the bark looks on them. We didn't know there were other varieties of  Cork but then we found out about Cork Elm Trees. He started this little tiny tree for a tiny limb from the Cork Elm we bought from the Bonsai nursery. I love how tiny and beautiful it is.

See that tiny little spout? That is called a Black Pine Sprout. One of my favorite Bonsai looks are the ones done with Black Pines. We had looked and looked and we couldn't find any at the nurseries around here.
So my husband in October drove around and looked at parks. They have them planted in parks so he gathered pine cones and did experiments. One bunch he just planted into potting soil, another group he soaked in water and the ones that float you remove and plant the rest. He now has 10 little tiny trees.

This is a Japanese Root Stock. It will someday be an awesome Bonsai. See that curve in the trunk? You want lots of different shapes for Bonsai so you see the movement in the tree. It is very important as it appeals to your eyes. Now growing them for your yard you wouldn't want that  But in Bonsai the more curvy and twisted the better it will look.

When my husband was taking pictures he took some of the blue berry bush. It is so pretty and I like how you can see they look like tiny bells.

I hadn't shared about his trees in awhile. It is so fun this spring to see all of the things that he has coming up. I enjoy watching his hobby and all of his experiments. I have always loved growing things but I am just not that good at it. I don't have the time or the patience. My school of gardening is if it can't take a little abuse then it isn't the plant for me. My husband on the other hand, is patient and gentle and loves to see what works and what doesn't and will keep trying until he accomplishes his goal. Kind of like our marriage. He just never gives up on me. Thank goodness. I would have got rid of me long ago. ;)

I just thought I would share a bit of what we do on Saturday mornings. We sit and stare at trees a bunch.

Have a nice Saturday.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Just Chickens.

I cleaned flowerbeds yesterday. My son used the weed eater for 4 hours so now it is all clean around the trees in the pasture. My husband was talking about painting the railings. It was so warm I am thinking it might be nice to be outside painting. I know I said this post is about chickens and it is. I only have time right now to watch them for little bits of time.

They all look so pretty and fluffy now. I am getting about , on the average 10 eggs a day.

I just love  fluffy little chicken bottoms. I like my roosters but I think they will only be around for a season. The roosters are just so noisy. Sometimes they will crow it seems like 100 times in a row. If they see me or hear me. They just crow and crow.

After the rain last week, the pasture turned green. We walked out and there in this place was volunteer sunflowers. Lots and lots of sunflowers. My husband wanted to keep them and I didn't. I just think it would end up being just a helter skelter mess. I hope he disks it under soon.

This part got all weed whacked yesterday so now it looks all nice and clean. These two hens were so proud of themselves. They came outside the fence while I was getting feed and water. I have to watch them now that there is a red fox that watches every thing I do. He isn't afraid of me. It is always unnerving to feel eyes on me and look and there he is watching. He is prettier than most at this time of year so he is getting fed regularly I think. He has tried to dig into my coop though.

This is the view outside my bedroom door. It is one of my favorites when I have the chickens out. I love how green the grass is growing day by day. The trees blooming and getting leaves. Thank you for stopping by today. It is going to be another very warm day. It feels like May instead of March.

Have a pleasant day.