"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands........" 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Saturday, July 11, 2020

It is now July..........

 fluffy clouds gather in the sky, in some of the prettiest pastel colors, along comes welcoming rain showers
The hot, hard packed ground, with a great thirst, soaks it up......what remains are puddles that invite the wild song birds to drink and splash.
I love the way the golden color of the  summer sun spills into the windows and onto the shelves of old dishware, giving the kitchen a warm and comforting  glow at the end of the day.
Vintage glassware beams with a new life as the light shines through.  
It has also been a happy time, as some of our scattered children come home for a visit. They are a  bright ray of sunshine that brightens up these dark troubled days, reminding me that there is still such good.......... away from this world of turmoil.   Fresh cups of hot brewed coffee and long conversation melt the minutes away up into the wee hours of morning as we catch up with each other's lives . How blessed I feel for moments like this. 
 Independence day arrived with  a morning of hot sun and heated wind blowing.  I still kept my plans to cook our holiday dinner outside on the grill........by the time I had it all cooked and on the table, I wondered what was grilled more..........the food.....or myself?
The day ended with a firework display that we could see from our back property. In the distance from over the field and pasture, the dark sky was filled with glittering of red, gold, and blue.   We enjoyed and appreciated the selection of lovely fireworks  that our distant neighbor chose. As soon as this display was over, as if on cue,  the full moon came out from the clouds and lit up the rest of the night. 
Although we have gotten rain, this is the time that triple digit heat is on us.  It has bounced from 102 to 105.  It is predicted to get up to 110 next week.   Despite the heat, it is a cheerful, noisy, place with the wonderful sound of different chirps , tweets, and calls.......... for the water bath in the front yard has attracted many wild birds.  Quail come running down the long graveled drive with their many offspring  following close behind.  Some are still so tiny and they look like little ping pong balls as they roll up to the water bath.  They eat some of the feed I have placed out, and enjoy drinking and splashing in the water.  Then with mother, they all hollow out the ground, nestle close to each other and take a rest in the shade of the tree.
.  It's not long that mother quail gets up and her little ones follow her back up the drive and back to their home tucked away somewhere in the woods.
Other creatures seek out water during this time.  I am always surprised when I gently drop water from the garden hose , in front of the tarantulas, as they walk, their bodies are just above the hot dry ground.  The water drops form a tiny puddle and they instantly stop and dip down into the water and drink.
Lizards come out and drink droplets from the flower leaves that I have watered 
and graceful dragonflies dart in and out of the water sprinkler and land on the wet stalks
The large black witch moth.......although it is brown.......stay in the shaded corners of the house.  By the way.........where do these names come from?
Don't you agree that  this moth deserves a much prettier name? 
The heat has not slowed the egg production of the chickens that my friend has.  She comes for a visit and brings a bounty of wonderful home grown vegetables from her garden and  the most wonderful large eggs in the prettiest colors. For her,  I have a small batch of my very  tiny eggs that my Millie Fleur hens have laid, and a starting of some plants from my flowers.   We enjoy a visit, with chatter of the latest happenings and always chicken talk, over coffee.    Time passes too quickly and our visits never seem long  enough.
( just in case you are wondering?.........it is never too hot or too late for a fresh cup of comforting coffee)  don't  you agree? 
My friend will set the tiny eggs from my hens underneath one of her large hens that is wanting to sit , and in just a short time, she will have these delightful tiny " Millie" chickens, newly hatched.
For me, with all of this bounty of fresh eggs, a homemade angel food cake will be a perfect thing to bake.  I have posted this wonderful recipe a long while back on my cooking blog, so if  you would like the recipe, just click onto this link.  
The rest of this month, I expect things to be without change and to go about in the same peaceful manner it has been from  day to day.  I will be dragging a garden hose constantly behind me, trying to keep what I have growing ,protected from the scorching heat.
  I sit out in the early part of morning, when it is cool, underneath the shade of the canopy of trees....... collecting my thoughts and plans on what I need to do, and then, I head inside the rest of the day, avoiding the heat. 
    In the late afternoon,  the temperature has dropped slightly, the loud ringing of the cicada has quieted and the noisy chatter of the birds dies down to just a coo of a dove, drifting over the trees from the woods.  The days seem to go so quickly, even in this "slowed down" time with the current virus and before I know, July will have soon melted into August.
So tell me.........what kinds of birds and creatures are visiting  your back yard? 
Is the summer casting down it's heat or are you enjoying cooler temps? 
I hope this finds that these July summer days are bringing you much  peace and contentment.

Friday, June 26, 2020

I still have eggs in my pocket........

with a chick, chick, here

and a chick, chick ,there,

here a chick,

there a chick,.......(and.....a rooster or two) 

everywhere a chick, chick ........

and the wonderful sound of an early morning crow! 
and in case you are wondering........yes.....there is always a needle 
in my hand. 
I have been making very tiny hand stitched quilts.
You can read about these on my embroidery blog at this link
Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Well, my goodness, this year just can't seem to get on a good start......

the sickness and death from the COVID virus,  the hardships that many people are facing, 
the unrest, the injustice, the hostility, in our country......and now in other areas
of the world, is about the only "news" on the television these days.
 Like most of you, no doubt, 
my mind has been overwhelmed with it all and I just want to 
run and stick my head in the sand and hope it has all passed when I surface.
However, I have faith that we are a strong people who have a deep love and respect for
our country and each other.....and that somehow......through all of this,
we will come out of this, and see calm and happier days ahead.  
That is my hope at least. 
I try to avoid posting things on this blog , such as this, and I try to keep it 
cheery and light........but , 
I feel, we are all in one way or another, touched or affected by the past few weeks events, and 
I just don't want to seem that I am ignoring what is happening around us. 
So with this being said, wherever you are, what ever you are going through,
my prayers and good thoughts go out to you.
and now................
one can never know what lies ahead on a back road in Texas. 
And I can tell you that I was just as surprised as you probably are 
right now,  to see a herd of Gemsbok antelope and zebra calmly grazing underneath
mesquite trees in a field outside of a neighboring town. 

I have asked friends about these unusual ......and displaced
animals.  It seems that ranchers raise these animals on their ranches 
here........not all ranchers......but a few.  I still do not know if 
there is a reason.......but it is a pleasant sight to see.
As much as I have complained about prickly pear cactus taking 
over the acreage and am constantly trying to remove it.........
I actually love cactus and have a very nice "cactus garden"
growing in containers. ( I know........the house needs a coat of paint....sigh)

This is not the prickly pear, but a cactus that is called "Devil's Claw"
or as ranchers call it "cattle killer"
It is cactus that ranchers will kill and remove because it has hard thorns that
can cripple a horse or cow when stepped on.
I love them for their round shape and have found that when 
grown in containers, they get very large and beautiful.

I also have some growing in a small "ground cactus garden"
but they seem to grow better in containers. 

another round cactus I dig up on the acreage and transplant to containers
is this round cactus that is very pretty when it blooms.
I also purchase any unusual round cactus when I come across
it in nurseries. 

Although it is not round, this cactus blooms so beautifully
that I have to have it in my collection. 
I have found myself enjoying just to walk around the grounds, enjoying what
is blooming and growing at this time.  It gets me away from the dreadful news
and gets my mind to focus on other things.
So dear friends, I hope this finds you all well, 
safe in your homes,  and that your area is at peace. 
  Look after yourselves and keep close to each other.

Monday, June 8, 2020

“The moon is a friend for the lonesome to talk to.”
Carl Sandburg

Friday, May 22, 2020

Fresh and cooling rain

has come several times......leaving us with much needed moisture,
a fresh fragrance, and lovely rainbow afternoons.

As much as you have read about my dislike for the cactus
that is trying to take over the acreage......

this time of year......I have to say.......I enjoy
it's unique beauty.

Cactus rose blossoms in the prettiest colors of soft yellow,

peachy orange,

and vibrant yellow, cover each thorned paddle and are
 filled with busy, buzzing, bees. 

These past few days, I have kept my hands busy making 
miniature decor for my miniature kitchen scene.
I have to say........I can get completely lost in making
miniature things!

 I want to invite you over to my " My Country Kitchen"
blog to share a wonderful cool and delicious recipe with you.
This is such a wonderful dessert/fruit salad for those hot days of summer
and for get togethers.  It would be wonderful for this Memorial Day 
weekend!   Just click onto the link below
for this wonderful recipe! 
Have a safe Memorial Day Weekend.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Sometimes we come to life's crossroads
And we view what we think is the end.
But God has a much wider vision
And He knows it's only a bend-
The road will go on and get smoother
And after we've stopped for a rest,
The path that lies hidden beyond us
Is often the path that is best.
So rest and relax and grow stronger,
Let go and let God share your load
And have Faith in a brighter tomorrow,
You've just come to a bend in the road.

(Helen Steiner Rice- The Bend in the Road)

wishing you a clear view and happier days soon!

Friday, May 1, 2020

Pretty days......and hopefully......happier days ahead?

I hope this finds all of you well and that you have not suffered from this dreadful coronavirus.
I hope you all have found a way to "hang on" and to get through this difficult time.  Sunny, pretty days always give me hope that things will be better..........I truly hope that this will be true when it comes to this virus.
Today.........come take a walk with me, and look at the crooked, twisted mesquite trees that are fully leafed out and make every space
look welcoming......even on the hottest days.

New paths have been made deeper into the "woods"
and now there are more spaces to create more 

Usually, everyone in this area knows the mesquite trees are 
small thorny bushes.......which , we have plenty of those. 

Here, on the grounds, we are also happy to have very old and 
large mesquite trees that are actually "trees"
even the large stumps that look dead
have new growth sprouting and twisting upwards

I love the way they bow over to each other, making a
natural archway. I am in the process of making a "sitting area " here.

All along the grounds, hundreds of wildflowers are in bloom.
Many have sprouted in the spaces I have cleared in the woods.

They seem to know exactly where to sprout and to show their beauty.

Wild birds are filling the air with their songs.  

Wherever there is water, they are sure to show up for a drink or a splash

As many of you have seen through the news media, one positive thing this virus has brought out......
is the spark of creativity in many. I hope after this has all passed, that everyone will still hang on to 
their imagination and keep creating.
From the grounds, there are so many "gifts" from nature. With just a little bit of time, 
you could create  rock flowers along some paths with the natural rocks that you find along your walk.

they also serve as a great decorative accent to the cement walk ways

The latest thing I have discovered is the beautiful color that
the flowers and plants give in the process of natural dyeing. 
I am not an expert on this.....so if  you are interested, you can find many helpful tips on
natural dyeing on the internet.  Go out and see what plants in your yard can give you an amazing color.

Even on the hottest days........Sophie still loves to tag along and 
 explore the grounds as much as I love to.

Now ......tell me.......what is growing in your backyard?
Have you found time on your hands and a new creative pastime?   
Whether it be in sewing, carpentry, gardening, or any other
creative outlet, I would love to hear about what  you are creating!