Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Of Boys, Dogs, and Cows...

Late yesterday afternoon Tristan called and asked if Sayre could water his heifers for him as he was in the midst of baling hay. It was already six o'clock and getting close to dinner time, so Sayre asked if I could drive him over to Bull Run (he normally rides his bike there and back). I agreed, so we loaded Sawyer and three of the dogs in the 'burb... :o)

In the back...
Buck sat on the left, Sawyer was in the middle, and Jasper sat on the right...

Up front...
Things were a bit more interesting in the front!! I was driving, Sayre was in the passenger seat, and Lila sat on the console between us!! She was so excited to be going someplace and paid very close attention to everything that was quickly whizzing by!!

Fill 'er up!
Once arriving at Bull Run, we slowly drove over to where the stock tank sits; as we neared it we were able to see 'the girls' grazing all around it! They, for the most part, ignored us after the initial "oh, someone is here" look that they give with grass hanging out of their mouths! They are such characters!

While we wait...
"Dis water feewls good, Ashwy"
What is it with little boys and water?

Sayre and B-Moo
Each time I get to observe Sayre with B-Moo I am amazed. Amazed that the calf knows who he is; amazed at how the calf will follow him around; amazed at how docile and friendly the calf is. Sayre has done a really good job with him... he has a big heart for all of his critters.

The view from the top of the hill
While I waited for the stock tank to fill up, I was able to look around and see how the scenery has changed since the last time I was there. I loved seeing the different shades of green amongst the trees and the grasses. It is a beautiful time of year!

Hmmm... what does it taste like?
The cows enjoy 'sampling' the 'burb. They will lick is and some will even nibble at it!

One happy pooch!
With the stock tank finally filled it was time to load everyone up and head home for supper!

Can we, huh? Can we, huh?
These two wanted to drive... or maybe they wanted to help drive! :o)

Saying 'Hey' to Trevor and Thelma...
As we wrapped things up and headed home, I couldn't help but think that this little excursion was the perfect way to end the day. Being out as the sun is slowly going down and taking care of animals as natures begins to wind the day down is so relaxing and peaceful. I love spring and summer evenings!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hymn for Sunday

Blessed Assurance

Words by: Fanny Crosby
Music by: Pheobe F. Knapp

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!

Heir of salvation, purchase of God,

Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood!

This is my story, this is my song,

Praising my Saviour all the day long,

This is my story, this is my song,

Praising my Saviour all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight!
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight!

Angels descending, bring from above

Echoes of mercy, whispers of love

This is my story, this is my song,

Praising my Saviour all the day long,

This is my story, this is my song,

Praising my Saviour all the day long.

Perfect submission, all is at rest.
I and my Saviour am happy and blest;

Watching and waiting, looking above,

Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

This is my story, this is my song,

Praising my Saviour all the day long,

This is my story, this is my song,

Praising my Saviour all the day long.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Gardening We Go!!!

With the warm temperatures and beautiful sunshine that we've had this week, I've been itching to get out in it all and garden!! Walking around and observing the new growth on trees, watching the flower buds slowly develop and bloom, and mowing grass with the breeze in your face is oh so enjoyable, but something was lacking in it all... I hadn't officially gotten my hands good and dirty and there was no dirt under my fingernails.
Until yesterday afternoon that is...

Working together...
Momma, Sayre, and I had a lunch time discussion about weed control in our garden and planting seeds which led to us deciding to work in the 'big garden' together that afternoon. However, the first order of business for Sayre was to bring a load of pine needles over to the garden. So while Momma and I finished up a few tasks, he and Sawyer found a tarp, attached it to the lawnmower, and went 'pine needle raking' together.

Old fashioned weed control
While they were occupied with discussing various cow breeds during the 'pine needle collecting time', I was busy pulling weeds out front of the shop. The rain that we have received recently had caused the weeds to grow quickly and put on seeds which were on the verge of being distributed. Something had to be done immediately, before seeds were scattered and new growth begun... it's all weeded now and looks one hundred percent better!

Out in the big garden
After our various jobs were completed, we all headed out to the vegetable garden to plant seeds, weed, and hoe dirt up. Momma has the garden divided into plots with paths running throughout the whole garden. I claimed three plots and set to work working the dirt up in each. Sayre was so helpful and offered his assistance in hoeing each plot! I really appreciated that!

To be planted...
One can never have to many sunflowers!!! :o) My idea is to stagger the plantings so that I can have sunflowers all the way into the fall. I did this last year and it was so neat to see!! Now I just need to sit down and figure the logistics behind it all out!

Rest and relaxation!
While Momma, Sayre, and I were out in the garden, Ham-Man was supposed to be taking a nap. Whenever our backs were turned he'd get up and frolic in the grass, pull Jasper around, jump on the tire swing, and in general act like he had never even heard that it was nap time!!! One shout of *Sawyer!* and he would collapse back onto the blanket and pretend that he was trying to go to sleep!!! Little boys....what would we do without them for entertainment?!! :o)

All finished
Finally, after an hour or two of laboring, most of my seeds were in the ground and Momma had made progress on her end of things!!! The picture above is of the two sunflower spots; there are about four rows in each plot, with each row marked by a stake at the top and bottom of the row (so that I don't forget where they are planted and inadvertently pull up a seedling while weeding!)

Can you see it??
This is an awful picture, but there is a mound in the middle of that plot. I planted gourd seeds in there and have two more mounds that I need to form and plant today.
I love to go out and watch for little seedlings poking out of the ground! Excitement and hope runs high as I watch them grow!!

But the big garden isn't the only garden to have been worked in recently!

Yes, my garden is bearing the fruit of last spring,summer, and falls effort!

Garden entrance...
The iris' are just beginning to bloom are a sight for sore eyes after a year of missing them! So far white seems to be the predominant color, but I know there are several other colors yet to come!

New garden art!
Sayre made me a bottle tree!!! He surprised me with it one evening and has been collecting bottles for it! It definitely adds a special touch!

Contrast in color
Oh, and the poppies and bachelor buttons are blooming!! The poppies are from seeds that I scattered last fall and the bachelors buttons re-seeded themselves! How simple is that?!

Going... and going... and going...
This is the third year that my columbine has bloomed! That is neat!

Dew on the rose bush
I love walking out to my garden at any time during the day. Seeing the changes that each day brings, smelling the flowers, pulling the weeds and planting the seeds all bring a sense of satisfaction to my day. I simply l.o.v.e. to garden!!! :o)

Happy Gardening Y'all!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Recent Additions...

It will be three years, this September, since my family and I moved from the city to the country. How we thank the Lord for orchestrating everything that took place in order for this move; we can see His hand throughout the process which makes our little place in the country all the more special!

In the past three years we have accumulated quite the menagerie; a cat, four dogs, rabbits, a goat (for a short period of time), cows, puppies, a duck.... the only thing we haven't had is fowl (the duck doesn't count). Momma has a deep desire for some chickens which we are working towards getting at some point.

The newest members of our animal clan!
This brings me up to two weeks ago when the turkeys our friends had ordered came in! The plan was to purchase several of the chicks from them since they had ordered 'extra'. So, we have five little 'chick-a-doodles' (as I call them) here!! I do believe that these little birds are will be what gets the ball rolling with our chicken plans!

Rapt attention...
For the first week we kept them inside; this large metal tub in the kitchen was their first home. My Daddy, being the thoughtful man that he is, went and bought Momma a heat lamp for her 'chicklings' which took a great load off her! We were using a lamp to keep them warm which just wasn't quite enough heat for them. She was so pleased when he walked in the door with it!
We had to watch the wild-life that shares our home with us. Jasper would sit transfixed with watching the chicks, his tail wagging the whole time! we didn't let him sit and stare; he was told to get to his bed more often than not!

Watching the chicks for Momma
Sawyer has been really enjoying the chicks! He was shown how to carefully hold them and since then has done a very good job!!! Anytime he would hear peeps coming from the tub, he'd run in, pick up a chick, take it to Momma, and then take it back to the tub! This process would be repeated until he had brought her several chicks!!!

Their new home
Last Thursday the chick-a-doodles were moved out to a larger pen in the shop. They had begun to jump/fly out of the tub and were growing very quickly so it was time to move them.

Not so little anymore...
They are truly growing like weeds! Their feathers have been coming in, their legs are growing, and they are in general beginning to look like turkeys. They still curl up under the heat lamp but are spending more and more time investigating their surroundings. Any time one goes out to the shop, they are sure to be greeted by five little heads and cheeps! It is so neat!

But the chicks aren't the only animals to have found a home here...

As of the beginning of March (I think),Sayre is the proud owner of a calf!!! As I type this post up, I can here him out there moo-ing! It's a really neat sound!

May I help you with that?
The 'little tyke' has quite the personality! He's friendly, inquisitive, playful, enjoys being around people, and is simply a happy little calf! He is in the big pen with the dogs and the thought "does he think he's a dog" goes through my mind once or twice a day; when Lila begins to run around, he runs around! He curls up by the dog house and treats the dogs like they are old friends! It's a hoot to see!

These recent additions have brought a delightful dimension to our lives, these past few weeks! What a joy it is to watch them grow up before our eyes. We anticipate other additions to our animal clan over the next few months and years! It's great living in the country!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Recent Occupations

With springs much anticipated arrival, comes many wonderful new tasks; many of them being of the outdoor and sprucing up nature! I love this time not only because it means being outdoors, but because it has a refreshing and clean feel to it. One comes in, or accomplishes something, with such a feeling of satisfaction and delight, knowing that whatever has been finished is a job well done!
So what exactly have the Castlebury's been up to this spring???

'Emptying the Freezer'
Collin spent two day grinding up the freezer full of deer meat he had accumulated. He ground most of it up for use in spaghetti sauce or casseroles as well as packaging the 'younger' deer into roasts or saving pieces to make jerky out of.
At one point he had some much meat coming out of the grinder that he needed help packaging it all up, which is what I am doing in the picture.

'Enjoying a romp in the 'burb'
Cleaning out vehicles is another task on these beautiful sunny days! With all the rain that we had received right at the time of the wedding, it made for a vehicle that desperately needed its' interior vacuumed! It's amazing how much dirt seven or eight pairs of feet can track into a vehicle, even when people are trying to be neat!

'Main occupation at this time of year!'
Two Saturday's ago Daddy, Momma, and Sayre got the garden plot measured out and marked. Daddy and his 'math mind' had figured out a way to get the corners 'just right', so they spent a wonderful afternoon marking everything! Daddy knew exactly what he was doing for it looks really nice out there!

'Getting things ready'
Momma and Sayre have started working on one portion of the garden; Momma has peas growing with onions planted just on the outside of the 'pea plot'. Sayre has been building the trellis out of smaller sized logs from the woods.
We haven't planted anything other than peas and onions yet. We're still waiting on the seeds to arrive, so Momma has been marking rows and getting things 'ship shape' for when they arrive.

'The protectors of the garden'
Well, maybe not as they have a tendency to walk over everything (has anyone figured out how to keep dogs from running helter skelter through out the garden? Short of putting up a fence that is!). As you can see, the strawberry plants are doing just great! They are in bloom and have green berries on them! I can almost taste fresh from the vine strawberries!

This past Saturday we had Trevor and Thelma over for breakfast. It was good to see them again and hear what they are up to these days! After breakfast, Momma and Thelma talked over different ideas that they had... They are amazing and willing to tackle anything!

'The joy of childhood'
In my subconsciousness I knew that the pecan tree by my garden was missing something, but I never gave much thought to it. Then one day, Sayre rigged up a tire swing for anyone adventurous enough to swing on it; instead of rope, he used a discarded hose and it works just great!!! Sawyer, and I, are loving it! :o)

'In our free time'
We have received quite a bit of rain since Trevor and Thelma's wedding, which is something that we are very thankful for! We are still quite a bit behind in our year to date rainfall, but if it keeps raining like it has been we should be almost back to 'normal' sometime soon.
The pond is full... perfect for canoes ride AND for inspecting the 'pollen swirls' on the water. It's very relaxing to get out there a paddle around, and around, and around...

What is your favorite thing that you have done so far this spring?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fun and Relaxation!

Sunday, which was the last day of the Pelc's visit, dawned simply beautiful! We had spent the past three or four days under a deluge (or so it seemed) of rain- yes, it was raining for the wedding- so to see the sunshine once again was a thrilling sight!

Hey! Let me get your picture as well!
We spent part of the 'early morning' sitting around the living room talking and goofing off, until it was time to head out and feed the animals. It was during this time that camera's were abundant (Sarah's, mine, my parents, the cell phone) and quite a few interesting pictures were taken!

Ride 'em cowboy!
As you can tell, fun times were had by all that morning!

Lunch preparations
Getting lunch on the table involved everyone! Leah and I made chunky pecan bars (where we learned that substituting molasses and honey for corn syrup really does work! The bars were almost as good as when they are made with the correct ingredients!), Sarah and Sawyer put things on the table and poured drinks, Ryan made coffee, Sayre washed dishes, and Mom pulled food out of the oven! Thank goodness we don't have a small kitchen! :o)

Patiently waiting...
Once lunch was finished and cleaned up, we headed over to Bull Run. However, we had to make a quick detour into Honea Path for dishwasher detergent (I really didn't feel like washing a dishwasher full of dishes that evening!); we had Jasper and Buck with us... Bucky-Boo discovered that Leah's lap was the perfect place to sit!

Meeting the Cows
Once arriving at Bull Run we had fun tromping through the fields and gullies as well as 'petting' the cows. I was surprised the cows let us get close to and even touch them! They still have their winter coats so they appear soft and fluffy. Bee-Moo was a little sweetie... he is really soft as well.

The things we do for exercise!
After messing with the cows for a bit, we headed down towards the creek where the boys were 'rounding up' one of Tristan's cows that had gotten out. After watching them get everything put back to rights, we proceeded to walk down the creek for a ways. The plan was to follow it all the way to the road but we were on a time constraint and soon realized that we needed to head back towards Trevor's house.

Lively conversation :o)
Around five or six o'clock we all headed indoors where we found an informal supper laid out; left over pizza and chunky pecan bars! YUM! We were all starved! My Aunt, Uncle, and cousin from Michigan had come down for the wedding and had come by for a visit Sunday afternoon. All 'us kids' sat around the dining room table chatting for hours... literally! It was a wonderful time that was enjoyed by all!

Sunday was a wonderful, relaxing, fun and memory filled day! It was also the last day of the Pelc's visit which was sad; I'm so glad for memories though! What would we do without them?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Before the Wedding

Never having been in a wedding before (other than being involved in the music) I wasn't really sure what to expect upon arriving at the church Saturday morning. All I knew was it involved hair and make-up...

Adah appears to be enjoying her 'make-up session'!
This is what met my eyes as I walked into the 'bridesmaids room'! From this one look I knew that I had no BIG say in my hair or make-up... thankfully, Thelma is a woman of sense who told them what she wanted done to me!

I'm not so sure about this...
Imagine, for a moment, sitting in a chair and having TWO girls come at you with HOT items that are plugged into a wall! One is a curling iron and the other is a straightener... the combination itself is humorous as it seems they cannot make up their minds as to what they want to do to my hair! :o) It was quite the experience...

I think it's goes like this, Sarah!
While I was waiting my turn for the 'make-up chair', Thelma was explaining to Sarah how to make a bow tie for the ring bearer. Sarah managed to get it figured out and made before brunch was upon us! It looked really good and was one less thing that Thelma had to worry about. I would never have guessed that it had been made simply hours before the wedding!

Lighting the candles
Sayre and Jeb, Thelma's brother, manned the guest book as the guests began to arrive. Here, however, he has been put to work helping to light the candles. It's amazing how one can become involved in the last minute details if they will only be ready and willing to help.

Two of the Groomsmen
Collin and Jon, Trevor's friend, talking about something while waiting their turn for pictures.

After all of the bridesmaids were out in the auditorium it was time for pictures.

Thelma's family

The look says it all!

The wedding party
What I found so neat about the wedding party was the amount of family involved. Thelma had her two sisters as bridesmaids and Trevor had two of his brothers as groomsmen. Thelma had the grooms sister (me) as a bridesmaid and Trevor had the brides brother as a groomsman. The ring bearer and flower girl were Thelma's niece and nephew, the ushers were Thelma's brothers', and the guest book attendants were my brother Sayre and Thelma's brother Jeb! It was very family centered!

I shall let Thelma post her own pictures and tell her own story from the wedding! Rest assured that it was a beautiful time!