Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Quick Post

Friends~ I will be unable to put any new posts up for the next week-My family is taking a short trip and will be gone a week. I shall try to post pictures and all about where we've been, the adventures we had, and of course the normal goofyness that follows my five brothers everywhere they go!!
Be sure to check back next weekend! I might have a post up by then!
Have a great week....

From My Bookcase

"Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day, makes that day happier"~ Kathleen Norris

Oh how I love a good book!! I don't have much time to read anymore so when I do curl up with a book, I want that book to be GOOD!!!

I've been spending that past month or so reading through "The Annotated Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen which was annotated and edited by David M. Shapard. This is the second time I have read Pride and Prejudice and I must say that this reading was much more enjoyable!! Being able to read what is meant or implied or even just having something explained helps me to understand the story line so much better. I'm almost done with the book now; only two or three chapters to go!!!

Earlier this year I bought several Lamplighter books on sale and I've been rationing them out since I then!! The Prisoners of the Sea is the last one for me to read and I'm anxious to do so! I've heard that it's a really good book. From the Lamplighter website....
"Amidst the tumult of life at sea, myriad adventures of piracy, capture, and escape stand in contrast to the heroic, steady determination of Huguenot heritage. The final chapter adds to the intensity as it meets us head-on with a bolt from the blue, making an unexpected, legendary disclosure!"
This is enough for me to read it right now but I shall restrain myself until.....

A friend had recommended the puppy training book from The Monks of New Skete and I decided to get this book. My dogs aren't puppies but they sure have some rough edges!! I've read a little of the book so far and it's really good! Some of the things they recommend are things that I already do with the dogs!

The bag that Mrs. Paula made for me, is going to be my book bag for our upcoming trip!! It's roomy enough for me to fit everything I'll need in it, and it's very attractive!!
My reading list is very small this month! I'm finding that it's better to have a short list rather than a long one. Besides, I don't feel like I HAVE to read everything in ONE month!!!
Ohhhh, now I want to go curl up with my books and a cup of coffee or hot cocoa!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

From the Sewing Room

Despite the business of the past several weeks, I have been able to get some sewing done!! I have been amazed with myself for I have not hit the point where I can't stand to sew anything else!!

"All spread out"
I knew that I was going to have to start this project weeks in advance of when I needed it! I originally planned for this to be the dress that I wore at The Father Daughter Retreat in April, but I soon realized that I could also wear it for Easter!

"Putting in the Hem"
This dress was made in a very unique way; see, my Mother has come up with a "rendition" of the Regency Dress pattern that consists of different patterns and it of course it doesn't have "how to put it together" instructions!! Momma and I worked on it together as she is the only one that knows how to "sew it up"!!
"The finished product!"
I was thrilled to finally stitch the last button in around ten o'clock Saturday night! I got up Sunday morning and gave it a good pressing to make sure I had snipped all of the loose threads.I do hope that you can see the picture in a "larger sense" when you click on it.... I haven't quite figured out why I can't always do that...
Simple details
Momma and I decided to add a few simple extras such as a band where the bodice meets the skirt and.......
......a band around the neck. Hand sewing these to the dress was a first for me and I definitely learned allot!!
I'm so pleased with my dress!! I only have one problem with it..... and that is, I know where all the "boo-boos" are. I can be a little bit of a perfectionist at times, and not having a garment I made be without obvious mistakes (to me) is something that I am trying to overcome.
I have really learned from making this dress though and not all of it was sewing skills. No, I learned some character skills too!
"Do You Mind?????"
I hope I'm not the only one who has a cat that seems to think that all of your sewing projects are her personal property. Sometimes I wonder if she has a separation anxiety disorder or if she's just trying to exert her "authority" over me! Has anyone else been ironing their sewing project only to have the cat show up on the ironing board and not leave?
My family says that the cat goes with me when I marry........ theoretically, she's not even mine. I just scoop the litter box and get blamed for all of her "bad behaviour". Technically, she's Mommas cat.

This dress will carry some very fond memories with it. My fondest is Momma and I getting up before seven o'clock on Saturday morning to sew but instead sit and talk at the sewing machines until nine o'clock! Precious memories....

"Two Peas in a Pod"
I just have to share this picture!!! I'm reminded of the verse in Revelation (I think) where it says something to the effect of, the lion shall lay down with the lamb.
Happy spring time!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Over the Garden Fence

My garden has really come together in the past several days and it was all un-planned and un-meditated!! I started working on one area and it just progressed into other areas!!
My Garden Basket
I began planting seeds last Thursday and my basket is serving as my "center of operations" these days!! I have seeds, bulbs, Marmees Garden Diary, scissors ~to cut flowers, a vase~to put the cut flowers in, hand rake and shovel, and "mr. bird" to liven my garden up!!
It's time to go a gardenin'!!!

" A Conference on How Tall the Plants will get"
My first goal was to place a birdbath and plants shasta daisy, black eyed susans, lupine, and cosmos seeds around it.

Bird Bath area before I did anything.......
.......and after placing the Bath and planting the seeds!
It was simple to make this bird bath! All you need is a "log" and a ceramic/clay dish for the bath; it takes minutes to assemble!! I put a flat rock under my base to help keep it from tipping over.
I'm very pleased with the results!

Chasing a Bee
Lila is my garden "helper" although I tie her far enough away so she doesn't do any damage!! She mainly just sits in the shade and keeps me company. I love taking a few minutes to rub her belly or give her a "doggy massage" which she relishes with delight!!

"Soaking up the Rays!"
The second goal was to start planting the other seeds I had.
The only problem with this picture is that Buck is laying right where I had planted butterfly weed seeds fifteen minutes earlier!! As my Daddy said.... "he was compacting the seeds for you!".

Most of My Garden
I figured out how to use the stitch assistant on my camera!! The garden looks huge and spread out but it really isn't. On the right is the strawberry patch (you can see fresh brown mulch in it). The area on the left (around the circle) is the newer part.
These pictures were taken on Thursday and then I really got going Friday and Saturday!! I'll have to share those pictures another day!
Happy Gardening!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Hymn for Sunday

Hail the Day That Sees Him Rise

Hail the day that sees Him Rise, Alleluia!
To His throne beyond the skies. Alleluia!
Christ, the Lamb for sinners giv'n, Alleluia!
Enters now the highest heav'n. Alleluia!

There for Him high triumph waits, Alleluia!
Lift your heads, eternal gates. Alleluia!
He has conquered death and sin, Alleluia!
Take the King of Glory in! Alleluia!

Highest heav'n its Lord receives, Alleluia!
Yet He loves the earth He leaves. Alleluia!
Though returning to His throne, Alleluia!
Still He calls us all His own. Alleluia!

Still for us He intercedes, Alleluia!
His atoning death He pleads. Alleluia!
Near Himself prepares our place, Alleluia!
He the first fruits of our race. Alleluia!

Words: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788; Thomas Cotterill, 1779-1823
Music: Robert Williams, 1781-1827
Have a Blessed Easter!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Odds and Ends

Whew!! What a week!! I'm glad it's over for I'm ready to slow down a bit and recuperate for several days!!

"A Picnic"
Sawyer generally has a snack after his nap and has been bringing that snack out to my garden lately. Here he's eating some of "Mee-Naws" bread with honey. Jasper.... well, he takes whatever he can find!

"Tossing the Salad"
Sawyer has become quite the helper in the kitchen! He observes what you are doing or have done, and then does it himself. Here, I had told him to "mix the salad" up.... which kept him busy for twenty minutes!! Last night he "woll and pat" (rolled and pat.... he and Momma read a book in which the little girl rolls and pats her own crust out.) one of the pizza crusts for me!!
It's a real treat to see him wanting to help and be involved in what you're doing!
"Basking In the Warm Spring Sunshine"
It's getting to the point where it might be a little warmer outside than inside these days!! Therefore, eating ice cream requires sitting in the sun!

"Putting In the Shelves"
The pantry is done and boy are Momma and I excited!!!

As soon as it was completed, Momma began moving in!! She is thrilled to death to have someplace to put all of the "kitchen clutter" that had been piled up on counters, under tables, and against walls (can you tell that we didn't have very much kitchen storage space?!). Oh it's just wonderful!!

"Drivin' Home"
Last Saturday, Daddy, Trevor, and Tristan went to a farm auction in Due West looking for a tractor..... and look what they came home with!!! It has been in constant use ever since as there are trees to be knocked over and dirt piles to spread. The boys are really enjoying this new piece of machinery!

Last Saturday found most of us trying to escape the rain! Some how Sayre wound up in the sewing room making masks, costumes, and harness and leash for one of his rabbits. It was quite interesting especially when he sat down at Mommas sewing machine!! Now picture Trevor and Sayre sitting at the machine TRYING to figure out how to use it!!!! It was very interesting for sure!
I'm off on the next great adventure for today!! Finishing up some sewing!!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Hymn for Sunday

Come, Christians, join to sing- Alleluia! Amen!
Loud Praise to Christ out King- Alleluia! Amen!
Let all with heart and voice, Before His throne rejoice:
Praise is His gracious choice: Alleluia! Amen!

Come, lift your hearts on high- Alleluia! Amen!
Let praises fill the sky-Alleluia! Amen!
He is out Guide and Friend, To us He'll condescend;
His love shall never end: Alleluia! Amen!

Praise yet out Christ again- Alleluia! Amen!
Life shall not end the strain- Alleluia! Amen!
On heaven's blissful shore His goodness we'll adore,
Singing forever more, "Alleluia! Amen!"
Words: Christian H. Bateman, 1813-1889
Music: Benjamin Carr, 1769-1831
"Come Christians, Join to Sing" began as a Sunday school song for children. Originally entitled, "Come, Children, Join to Sing," the hymn's name was changed when its author realized everyone loved to sing his hymn. The hymn was written in 1843 and first appeared in a Scottish hymnbook for children entitled Sacred Melodies for Sabbath Schools and families.
The words "alleluia" and "amen" are found in each stanza, drawing on rich biblical language. "Alleluia", the Latin equivalent of Hallelujah, is found in many of the Psalms and means "Praise the Lord." "Amen," of course, ends many prayers, and it simply means "truth," "assuredly," or "so be it."
Combining the praise of "Alleluia" with the jubilant assertion of "Amen" this hymn resounds with praise for Christ our King. Calling on Christians to sing praise both now and forevermore, it's a fitting hymn for children and adults alike.

Friday, March 14, 2008

From My BookShelf

I have a good many books. To state it correctly, I most likely have over one hundred and fifty books. Most of them are from my Grandmothers' collection which she left to me two years ago and all of them were published before nineteen-fifty. Grandma lived in Michigan right on the Michigan/Indiana state line, and was an avid yard saler. She has been known to get to yard sales well before the advertised opening time and help take the covers off of the tables!! I have some very fond memories of her "escapades"!!

As my Momma says, "if Grandma didn't think a particular book wasn't good enough to read a second time, she wouldn't keep it", therefore, I must have the cream of her crop of reading!!
I loved going up to Grandma's and Grandpa's because I could spend the whole week reading Gene Stratton Porter books or whatever else I thought sounded interesting!!
Gene Stratton Porter is one of my favorite "old timey" authors. I love how her books are centered around gardening and the outdoors. I always come away with a desire to have gardens like those in her books!
Let me share a few of my favorite Gene Stratton Porter books!...

"A Girl Of The Limberlost- published in 1910"
This is one of my FAVORITE books and I certainly enjoy reading it over and over again!! The movie that was made quite some time ago doesn't even do the book credit AND the movie ends less than halfway through the book.
This book also stirred my curiosity about collecting butterfly's' as it sounds like a really neat thing to do!! Have any of y'all done this?

One of the things that endears this book to me is the illustrations and art work sprinkled throughout the story. The pictures always add a special touch for me.

"The Keeper Of The Bees-published 1925"
This book is also among my favorites collection. It is the story of a wounded soldier who overhears doctors discussing that they don't expect him to recover from his wound, and the results of what hearing this prompts him to do. You will be surprised at all the twists and turns this book takes and rejoice when he finally regains his health!!

I think this book is what first got me interested in gardening!
I've bought several of my Gene Stratton Porter books over e-bay at very good prices. I prefer to buy the books that have the beautiful illustrations and art, along with not being "the normal library books" with plain covers.
I've had fun working on my collection, but the fun part about it is getting to read it over and over and over again!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My Brothers

My brothers are active, hardworking, outdoor loving guys!! They do not like to be cooped up inside!
I witnessed a "brother moment"-meaning things they do or get themselves into- at our pond today and it brought back many a memory of last summer.......

"Tristan and his favorite work vehicle last summer"
Out of all of the boys, Tristan (almost eighteen) is probably the one that works the hardest and longest. If he wasn't here, we would be in big trouble as he is the one who mows our "acres" of grass, keeps up with maintenance, and clears brush. He has recently finished building a fence around a good portion of our field, and is going to get some cows in April.

"Nailing the fencing to the posts"
Saturdays' and sometimes Fridays' are spent working outside or working on the addition. They have been very faithful with the projects. Here, Daddy, Trevor (almost 22), Tristan, Sayre (twelve), and Sawyer (two) are working on Tristan's' fence.

I must explain the next batch of pictures.... Sayre asked me to help him last Friday; he's into catching frogs and crawdads..... he really knows allot about aquatic creek life! So.....

"First you tie a rope around the raft"
Sayre wanted to see what was under this pine log raft and as we have found/see/run into copperheads and other snakes around the pond, he needed my help. Using the truck I was to pull the raft over and he would see/protect himself from what ever was under the raft!!

"Making sure the rope is tight"
On a different note, our pond has doubled in size since Christmas!! It's muddy looking because it doesn't have a creek feeding it. It's purely a rainwater pond.

"Can I get in on the action?!"
I had to post this picture because it's a "classic Buck" picture!!! Buck is Tristan's' dog and acts like he's about ready to fall asleep half the time!!!

"Protecting Himself"
I won't tell you what he found under there..... Oh, he's been watching out for all of the eggs that the frogs have been laying lately!! I've found a mass of them myself and they are quite interesting!

"Dust cloud in the garden"
This is how the boys "plow" the garden. They take dirt bikes, four wheelers, the truck, or anything that has wheels and burns gas to the garden and practice their donuts or fishtailing or whatever else they can the vehicles to do!! This practice is now being considered bad as we need all of the dirt in our garden!!!

"Getting it unstuck"
Believe it or not (and I'm ashamed to admit) this is what our pond looked like last August. It got much lower as the months went on...... Anyway, this is right after the boys acquired the four wheeler so they were trying out it's limits!! Tristan (on the left) seems to be "on call" to pull people out of our pond. He's gotten to the point that if he evens see a truck headed to the pond, he pulls out the chains or rope and drives down there!!! Notice how Collin seems to be relaxing while Tristan is doing all the work..... !!
Sayre wants me to let you know that Collin sprayed mud all over the canoe right after he had "spruced" it up. He had spent time washing it and caulking the cracks it has. He was not happy when he found that Collin had destroyed all of his hard work!
My brothers are a good group of guys; I can't wait to see how the Lord uses their different talents!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

From My Garden

Before I get to the gardening part of this post, I'd like to share a few pictures that made me laugh and smile!

"I have been under allot of stress"
This is Jasper.... Just to give you an idea of his size- he weighs over fifty pounds and is probably the size of a Lab. He's a "pound puppy" and is pretty much spoiled rotten!
Sunday evening found me staying home from church with Sayre, who was feeling awful. I took it into my head to clean out my closets and so began pulling everything out. Jasper was on the bed, then moved to under the bed, and finally decided that the top of the stairs was the safest place for him! Apparently I had way to much stuff pulled out for him to be comfortable with!! I had to laugh when I watched all this take place!

"Lila and Little Miss Moo Moo"
Lila is also my dog and is the same size as Jasper. She stays outside all the time and is the biggest sweetheart you have ever seen!! She would sit all day in your lap (if you allowed it) if you would lavish her with attention!
I found Lila and the calf "hanging out" together yesterday afternoon, and since this is a rare occurrence, I thought I would post a picture of it!!!

Now onto the gardening part!!

Daddy had bought me two more Phlox plants at my request last Thursday, and it wasn't till yesterday that I got them planted. I don't know if you can see the "trench" that I dug.... I put some bricks in there in order to keep the dirt from washing off the plants.

I'm calling this little area my "Spring Time Garden" as I put in iris rhizomes and a bunch of daffodil bulbs!! You add in the Creeping Phlox and it's going to be ablaze with color next spring!! I can't wait!

I also decided that it was time to get my Elephant Ear Bulbs in. I know, it's a little earlier than when the recommended planting time is, but I know that these are planted deep enough that if we were to get another frost, they wouldn't be harmed.
This is the newer section of my garden and also the shadier. I planted three bulbs on each side of the path; you can probably see the holes or the pile of dirt! I also planted the "leftovers" behind my bench..... I can't wait to see if they come up!

I had several plants that didn't die back at all this winter. All three of my Foxglove plants are alive and thriving which I find amazing! This plant in particular seemed to get bushier and bushier as the winter went on!! Two of the plants bloomed last summer and I've heard that they won't bloom this summer. Matter of fact, I've heard that they are suppose to die after the summer that they bloomed. Can anyone tell me if this is true?
My Columbine seemed to gain momentum this winter also! It struggled along last summer so I'm amazed that it's still alive. Maybe it will bloom this summer!
Mrs. Greene let me pull up some daisy like plants from her yard last summer and these little guys are from the seeds that fell!!! Oh excitement!!!

Even my strawberry plants are deciding to get in on the action!!! It's a little early for them to bloom though...

And of course the weather is perfect for the pansies to be in full bloom!!
Oh the joys of gardening!