Busy Busy September

It seems that Autumn is coming early to our area. Yesterday it was 73 in the house all day with the windows open. It was even cooler out of doors. This morning, the air coming in the windows is actually chilly! As thoughts turn to Autumn this year, I’m cheered knowing that this year we’ll be warmed by a wood fire in the woodstove. No, we’re not buying a woodstove. We’ll be moving to a cottage just a few miles out of town. It’s old and in need of paint and a few updates. It’s the caretaker’s cottage for an old colonial style house. No one lives in the big house right now. The owner lives in a nearby city and doesn’t want to keep up the grounds and the house. So, my master gardener husband will get to work to his heart’s content in the beautiful park like yard.

As for me, I’m gathering my thoughts about paint colors, what my to do list will contain and how I’m going to get the to dos to done. ~smile~ So, for now, I’m off to get busy.

Happy Summer/Autumn!

Laura
Blessed Beyond the Stress

From the Back Yard to the Kitchen to the Table

Good morning!

Yesterday was a rewarding day.

Early in the morning, my husband went out to the garden to work, as he often does. After he picked tomatoes, he found the corn ready to pick! He called to me to bring him a basket and a knife. The sweetheart not only picked the corn, he shucked it too before he brought it in! While he was shucking, I picked our first green beans. Oh, how I’ve been looking forward to green beans. They’re a close third behind garden tomatoes and corn for me.

Lunch menu:
fresh buttery corn on the cob
green beans from the garden seasoned with ham and onions
homemade cornbread made with fresh eggs from our young hens and with fresh corn and a can of green chiles mixed in

Oh my, it was a feast! What satisfaction knowing that much of it came from our own back yard.

Happy Summer Day!
Laura

Something to Think About for Those Who Homestead or Want that Simple Back to Basics Lifestyle

I have read a blog off and on for quite awhile now that I really enjoy. It is called Maple Grove Farm. The descriptions of farm life and a self sustaining homesteading typle lifestyle are intriguing. In three and a half years, April and her family have made quite a home for themselves.

Now, I don’t see myself doing all the things she’s written about; but, she does get me thinking about things that I can do right here in my small town big yard home. She just gives me something to think about.

We all need something to think about, don’t we?

Laura

Flowers and Friends

My Friend Sue, of Country Pleasures, wrote about flowers and friendship today. See her blog in my blog list. She mentioned, “My theory is you can always tell a good Mother by the way she tends to her garden and friends. ”

Oh boy, I hope she’s not right about that! I’m afraid the three lovely flower gardens that my husband planted for me in our front yard are sorely in need of weeding. The pansies, petunias and snapdragons are loving the rain and temperatures we’ve been having; but, so do the weeds! I guess that’s something to put on my to do list.

One of my dear friends, Sherry, recently moved to a new house in the country. I spent a few hours helping her yesterday. It’s an old farm house that the Lord has worked so many details out for. She has nice big airy rooms with big windows that felt fine even without air conditioning in 85 degree weather. It’s great.

I’m so happy for her. She was content even before the Lord made a way for new cabinets, counters, appliances, and floors in the kitchen. That’s contentment. God often blesses us most when we are content, truly content, with the least.

How’s your contentment level? I’m working on mine. There are a lot of unknowns for all of us right now. The thing is, all we truly have is right now. Chances are, right now isn’t as bad as we might have thought it was going to be when we worried about it!

I encourage you to do your best to be content with the right now, right here, right the way it is. You may be surprised at how your thoughts begin to brighten.

Blessings,
Laura

I Woke Up Early On My Own This Morning…

So, I decided to fancy things up around here a bit. I’m feeling pretty in pink. That pretty chicken is one of our chicks we got back in March. Amazingly, I woke up before he did this morning!

I may be mistaken; the kids are the experts on telling the boys apart. But- I think that this guy is the one the kids named…mind you, we live on the edge of the Ozarks, just minutes from Oz…
BILLY JOE JIM BOB JUNIOR!

I am so enjoying having the chickens. Maybe that’s because my girls feed them and Michael cleans their little home! I just get to watch them strutting around the yard, eating bugs, greens, and scraps, or watch them take off across the yard like they’re being chased by coyotes every time something or someone gets too close.

Between our big garden and our little flock of a dozen chickens, we’re living more country than we did when we lived in the country!

Last night we ate crunchy sweet peas from the garden. They’re the kind that you can eat the whole pod. So hubby made a delicious stir-fry. Yum yum!

Well, the morning’s getting on. The family will be up soon asking the first question I always hear, “What’s for breakfast?”

I’m off to the kitchen!

Have a blessed and thankful day!

Laura

UPDATE: My youngest, Amy, 7 said, “We know by the heads of the chickens that the speckled ones look the same; but, they’re not the same. The one with the not so speckled head is Freddy. And the one with the really speckled head is Speckles. Freddy is my chicken. Speckles is my sister’s. In the picture is my sister’s chicken, Speckles. Amy

Well there you have it. I was wrong about the name; but, who could resist writing Billy Joe Jim Bob Junior? ~smile~

By the way, there’s no senior. Beats me why they named him Junior!

A Room with a View

It’s a beautiful cool cloudy day here. Don’t tell the weather man that it’s June! I’m gazing out the window at lots of green. I’m on the second floor, so I am looking at branches where I can often see birds or squirrels. Down in the yard I can see the weathered white rail fence, the clothesline awaiting a load of clothes.  I won’t hang them today though; it might rain.

Two large wooden crates that have been fitted with doors and adapted as temporary night time housing for our dozen chickens. The chickens themselves are hiding somewhere out of my sight. We let them free range in our back yard.  They are a great learning experience and just plain fun, too.

We have a large garden back behind the fence. We tasted the first lettuce and a radish last week. I think our sweet peas will be ready by the weekend. I’ve not had that delicious pleasure for years.  We may just eat them raw in salads!  We’ve also used some of the basil and parsley from the garden. My husband is the gardener. In fact, he went through the master gardener course this year. So, we have the best looking garden ever. I’m just so looking forward to the first fresh juicy tomatoes!  Nothing says summer like fresh sliced tomatoes, corn-on-the-cob, and watermelon!  May I have that with a glass of icy lemonade please?

Tonka trucks at the back edge of the yard and hubby’s burn pile complete the view. It’s wonderful to have such a large yard in town. The yard is so deep, and there are so many trees, I cannot even see the houses behind us in the summer time.   God is good!

The chill in the air tells me it’s not summer yet, though. I’m in no hurry!

Blessings to you!
Laura

Bags and Bags and Bags

of Granny Smith Apples!

Last night our family went apple picking. Boy did we go apple picking. We have several bags of apples covering our counter and on the floor just waiting to be processed. We were blessed to be able to pick the trees of a couple of ladies who didn’t want to use their apples this year. We came along at just the right time. Did I hear God calling us that way? ~smile~

So, I’ve been a peeling and a coring. My little kiddles have helped me, too. It’s so nice to work on something old fashioned like this with them. I’m taking a little break to get some of them cooked up.

What am I going to do with them all?

To start with, I’m making apple butter. After that, maybe an apple crisp. After that? Maybe apple pie filling. But first, apple butter. I’d like to make a whole lot of it.

It’s been a long time since we had to drop everything because of a harvest. I miss the farm, that I do. We were there just a couple of years; but, it changed us somehow. Now we long for a little land again. It’s that cow/chicken thang, ya know?

God bless you and happy harvest!

Thank you Lord!
Laura
Up to her elbows in apple peels!