Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday Wonderings

It is already Wednesday and almost August too. It is supposed to be 104 today with some moisture from a hurricane or cyclone in the Pacific. Putting the dishes away at 6:00 A.M. from the dishwasher made me sweat. It will be that way all day. Someone missed the memo that this is dry California.

 Writing a blog makes me notice things. The birds are starting to molt. The blue jays look crazy as they have feathers sticking every which way and tail feathers are missing. I wondered the other day, does missing tail feathers make the bird that is flying go different directions like a rudder does a boat? My white Silkies are loosing feathers at a rapid rate. My chicken pen looks like it is filled with snow.

I was watching my new little hens interact with the Silkies and the older hens. I noticed something that made me very sad. My new little hens, just for the fun of it beat up my Silkie hens. Then they laugh like bullies in a school yard. I thought I raised them better than that. I personally think it is the berserk rooster and his hen. I wish I could remember what kind they are because I will never have them again. They are just crazy and I am thinking that when my son takes the rooster to butcher, he might get to take a hen too. 

I loved this picture when I took it. The day was cloudy, and the sun came through the clouds as it illuminated the opening out into the garden. I would say what makes me the happiest no matter how I feel at the time, going out through this gate always lifts my spirits. I always feel like I am home. I have often wondered, do you think that in the beginning when the world was perfect, and God made a garden and put Adam in it that is why gardens are so nice? In that perfect world, it doesn't say house. Just wondering.

This morning when we woke up at O Dark Thirty, out in the yard was a skunk. I went and got my camera.

Because I couldn't make myself go out on the pouch and I was hiding behind the door with my arm sticking out to get the picture. I am a coward. Though I did wish I had a rock so I could have chunked him to see what happened. I always like cause and effect experiments. He was really pretty, there also was that little desire to find a baby next year and see if I could tame one.  My SIL told me she just yells at them and stomps her feet and they run away. I wondered what will happen if a skunk is having a bad day?

Well, that is it, all I got today. The heat has started to take its effect. No thoughts seem to be there anymore.
The sun is up now, so the skunks and the foxes have all skedaddled it for home. Time to go water everything and sweat.
Have a delightful Wednesday,

" Life knocks a man down and he gits up and it knocks him down agin....What's he to do when he gits knocked down? Why, take it for his share and go on."

---The Yearling, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, 1939
( One of the most beautiful written stories but one of the saddest books I have read except for Where the Red Fern Grows which remains the saddest.)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Busy Week

After my week of playing, it is nice to be back. I wish I had a whole list of things that I did. I don't.
Our kids were all at camp as leaders. Ron and I tried to do different things. Though we did work in the garden. Just a bit though. He worked in his trees and if you look closely in the picture of the garden, he is there trimming his trees.

 I canned some and I baked zucchini bread. I ended up with nine loaves and still mountains of zucchini.
We didn't go out there as much as normal so on Saturday morning when I walked out I couldn't believe my eyes. The zucchini, green and yellow squash, okra, green beans and cucumbers were covered in white flies and the plants were gasping for air. It was just heart breaking. So we decided that to save the rest of the garden we would pull out all of those plants and spray pesticide on the pumpkins to try and save them at least until mid August. 

I found some Harlequin beetles and squash bugs and stink bugs. Not a lot but one is too many. The best way is to get rid of the trash and dispose of it so we did. The White Flies are the worst though. I couldn't believe how they had multiplied.

I think next week I will bring soapy water out here and see if I can wash some of the sap from white flies off the plants so they can keep producing. In a perfect world, I would like to wait until mid September to harvest pumpkins, but I don't think I will be able to wait that long. I hope I  can make it through August. 

 I wanted to show you my black/purple tomatoes. They are a new variety for 2014 and they are very firm and nice. For a cherry tomato they are pretty large. 

 Now with a good portion of the garden gone and I won't be out there so much, I hope to get my weedy, poor neglected flowerbeds cleaned. There is always so much work to get done. Next week, Meg is coming over to help me go through the doom closet. We will go through all of the boxes and boxes of curriculum that I have packed in there. Her boys are excited because of the treasures they think is in there. 
It is so nice to be able to give all of these books away and still it doesn't even begin to touch a fraction of what I have. 

I hope you have a lovely new week, this last week of July. It sure went by fast didn't it? 


" A prudent person avoids unpleasant things; but a wise man overcomes them."
---The Chatterlings, Michael Lipman, 1928

Friday, July 18, 2014

Going Barefoot and Other Things

One of the summer things, I thought I might try was going barefoot. I realized that when we moved here, I never went barefoot anymore, but always kept my shoes on, when I got out of bed to when I got back in bed at night.  But I decided I would...Go barefoot.
 I have walked through wet grass, and wiggled my toes in our sandy soil. I have sat outside and propped my feet on the railings and stared at my toes. I have ran and jumped and put them in the water of the pool. It has felt nice to go barefoot this summer. It reminds me that I can slow down, I can put my feet up, I can reflect on deep things like " Why haven't I painted my toenails yet." 

Today I picked up my copy of Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman. He has wrote other deep insightful books. Since I am in summer mode, I put it back on the shelf. I think this summer, I am going to clean off a whole shelf and put books that I am going to read starting in September. I think I will put that one there along with The Closing of the American Mind by Alan Bloom and Slouching Toward Gomorrah by Robert Bork. They have been on my book shelf for years, books I have wanted to read, but never took the time. My brain needs some challenging. I think I will put Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis and Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton.  I think I will take notes. I ran across a list I made 10 years ago of what I wanted to do with my life.

Six on that list was a Theology degree from Wheaton College. Four was  I wanted to study Philosophy.
I was teaching still and I wanted to be a better wife, a better mother and a better teacher. I also wanted grand children. That one I pondered. I still had young kids at home. Peter was nine.

What I found missing from that list was much more interesting. No place was blogging nor gardening.
Hooking rugs wasn't there nor was sewing. I was working on 20,000 steps a day, every day. I felt like a slacker when I only made it to 12,000 a day.
I just sat there and looked over my life now. How those things then that I thought were so important aren't now. I don't need a Theology degree, nor do I need to study philosophy. I am thankful I am a grand mother. I am thankful that what I thought I needed to be happy is so different from what I am now.

 Being a blogger has been the nicest surprise. Learning how to take photos. Writing out loud.
Making friends from all over the world. Having friends and sharing lives has expanded my life and changed my goals. For that I am thankful, I am thankful to be invited in to share your lives too.

I haven't said thank you in awhile. Thank you for sharing my life, for watching my struggles, and my joys. Thank you for laughing at my stories and for always leaving me such nice notes. You have blessed me and when my life was growing darker, you gave me something to look forward to every day. You have given to me far more than I could ever return to you.
So Thank you so much for coming into my life and for just being yourselves. You have given me the world. 


" You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose."
---Oh, the Places You'll go!, Dr. Seuss, 1990

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ten Things I Love Today

With all of the lovely days of summer racing by, I thought I would show you some of the things I love today.

Summer bouquets, blue jars and dog who like them.
Canning jars filled with good things to eat.
My pantry filling up.

A new rug to hook on the frame.
My basket of goodies to stitch.
Blue Skies, the heat broke and the humidity gone. I feel human.
The swimming pool that is getting to be used, even by me. 
More precious than gold, paper patterns to draw out and hook.
My lovely chickens.
I feel so thankful for small things today. Spending the night sitting up in bed because of a migraine makes me appreciate all of the good things when it is finally morning. I am thankful that it is the first one in nine months. I am thankful that when a bucket fell on Mr. Munchie and it cut him, he didn't have to have stitches and that Megan had three big helpers who helped her. It is the little things that make all the big things seem not so big.

Have a lovely day,

The second desert rose blooming, 

" It is ever so much easier to be good if your clothes are fashionable."
---Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery, 1908

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

In This Life

In this life there are days when I feel about as interesting as a wet blanket. I have an old book and in it there is this selection that I try really, really hard to follow.

" If we wished to gain contentment, we might try such rules as these:
1. Allow thyself to complain of nothing, not even the weather. ( I am working really hard to not complain about the weather right now.)

2. Never picture thyself to thyself under any circumstances in which thou are not. ( Like being at the beach, or playing in the snow or foggy days, or goodness, a rainy day.)

3. Never compare thine own lot with that of another. ( Like wishing I was getting some of that polar vortex this week.)

4. Never allow thyself to dwell on the wish that this or that had been or were, otherwise than it was, or is. God Almighty loves thee better and more wisely than though dost thyself. ( Sitting here thinking of fall leaves, or ripe pumpkins or hooking a rug without sweat dripping down my back.)

5. Never dwell on the morrow. Remember that it is God's not thine. The heaviest part of sorrow often is to look forward to it. " The Lord will provide."  ( Things never turn out like I imagine anyway, the what-ifs just exhaust me anyway."

Every morning before the sun comes up. Ron goes to the garden to turn on the water. Because it is drip line and the water runs so slowly, we leave it on about an hour. I turn it off after he leaves for work. I have watched him every morning, as he goes out the gate, he looks around to make sure it is safe. This morning I wasn't watching so I missed this. I am sad about it too, I know I would have been laughing. He told me later, he opened the gate looked out and right there was the skunk. He said, he jumped back in the yard, and slammed the gate. Then he opened it to see where the skunk was, and it seems as the skunk was just as scared of him and was high-tailing over to the neighbors next door. To think, I missed it too.

I am so glad that we are at the middle of the week. This week is just flying on by. I hope your days are nice and cool and pleasant.

Happy Wednesday,

"It does not do good to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that..."
---Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone, J.K. Rowling, 1997

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Cloudy Monday

Moonglow pumpkin
We have clouds today. It even sprinkled on me. We get really excited around here for a tiny bit of weather.
Even though, the weather man said it might get to 107 today. It is still nice to have some change from sunshine. :)

Look at all of the lovely green beans I picked this morning.

I will sit and snap these pretty quick. I just love sitting and snapping green beans.  These will be dinner

Along with Eggplant Parmesan

. When I first started making it, I had no clue how in the world and I found this little tutorial. Now after fixing it a few times, it still remains my favorite way to make eggplant. We love this stuff and I never dreamed in a thousand years it would become such a favorite.

I am thinking some cantaloupe will go good with this and maybe a nice crusty loaf of french bread with butter and garlic. Whatcha think? Sound good?

I hope you have a wonderful Monday. I am having a hard time getting my motor in first gear.


After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps
not so much to be resting yourself, as to see
all the other fellows busy working.
---The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame, 1907

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Early Morning

Early in the morning, when all is quiet and the sounds are just beginning. Out in the garden, the sounds of the bees in the pumpkins. The singing of the mockingbirds. The screech of the jays. All of it speaks of a peace that draws me and the feel of the dirt under my feet. Still cold from morning. Today, will be a hot day. The morning glories have already closed up for the day. The sun shining its golden rays over the mountains. I was taking pictures as the sun came up and I captured the first ray on my sunflower.

Time began in a garden. I know why it did. In a garden, you can see time change faster than that day to things that keep me so busy I don't notice. In the garden, already the sunflowers are tired. The pumpkins are showing the signs from the heat that beats down on them day after day. The leaves are turning yellow, and the stalks are starting to dry. Already, my thoughts are moving on to planting for the next spring. I have always wanted sweet peas, and I have decided that this year, I will make a place for them to grow.

The gourds have gone completely crazy. We counted 20 cantaloupes in there yesterday. I don't try to count gourds. When I was a kid, and in the summer I lived on horseback. We would ride as far as we could in those days. There was a place that in the summer gourds would grow wild. Then when winter came we would ride back and they would be dry. For some odd reason, we thought it was the best fun to have our horses step on the gourds, because they made the nicest popping sounds. Looking at this yesterday, it reminded me of the simple things that give joy.

I had to show you these pumpkins. They are starting to get their warts. I planted them because they are called warty pumpkins. I am so glad they will be that kind.

Another thing we did in the summer was we would ride to this place. These people must have had hundreds and hundreds of pigs. We could smell them before we could see them. We would sit on our horses and watch the melee of these pigs in the huge fenced area. We would laugh and just watch. I don't know why it gave us such a thrill. The people who owned the pigs, never paid us much attention. I kept telling my Dad about them and finally talked him into getting on a horse and coming with us. We rode over and we got to the place and we were sitting there just laughing watching the pigs and my Dad looking at us like we were crazy, because he couldn't see anything funny. The man came out that owned the pigs, and said hi to my Dad and called him by name. We sat there with our mouths hanging open. Dad knew that man? How could Dad know that man who owned all of those pigs?
They chatted for awhile. Come to find out the man would pick up the produce trimmings from Dad's grocery stores and that was what he was feeding his pigs. They laughed about it. Dad introduced us and apologized for us sitting there laughing at the mans pigs. The man was very gracious, and said we could come anytime.

That place lost its fascination for us after that. We just never went back. There are houses built there now. I always wonder if the people who live there ever smell pigs when they work in the yard.

Summer brings back memories. It must be the heat and how time just slows down. Gone are the dirt roads and the cotton fields. There are no more sounds of the frogs at night. Just the sound of the cars traveling on their ways. I find sometimes even now, the memories come in and become more real that the things that remain now.

Have a lovely Sunday.

The night wind with the big dark curves of the night sky in it, the night wind gets inside of me
and understands all my secrets.

---The White Horse Girl and the Blue Wind Boy,"
---Rootabaga Stories, Carl Sandburg, 1922

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sweet Summer Days

I do hope you are having a wonderful Summer. One filled with just lots of wonderful memories. My grandson and I were talking before he left to go home. I told him something,  I asked him, if for me would he look for one thing every day to be happy about. I realized that I need to look carefully around me and pay attention for the good things to be happy about too.

This is one of the things that I found that for some reason gives me such joy, that I laugh to myself every time.
I am leaving them right here until next time the boys come over to swim. These are Mr. Munchie's he must have taken them off when he was getting his bathing suit on.

This is what I found this morning to be happy about.

Socks missing a boy.
Baby Gourds
Bumblebees in flowers.

Cinderella Pumpkins waiting to be turned into a coach.

Springs on vines.
Moon glow waiting for fall.

Sunflowers on a beautiful morning.

A five gallon bucket of beets waiting to be pickled.
The desert rose blooming, (aka fat bottom girls) 
So many wonderful things today to be thankful for and to be happy about. I hope you have wonderful day. I have so much to get done this morning. Like beets and pickles.


" What is the use of a book," Thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations?"
---Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll, 1865