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

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Our Wintry Guest Has Left

I just want to tell all of you who stop by to visit and leave a word or two, how much I enjoy hearing from you! From commenting on the farm critters and that silly old frog, to talks about gardening ... it makes my heart glad!
Old Man Winter was a good guest....he didn't stay too long... and he didn't damage anything! He left a few decorative touches and a few gifts. After watching the news... I realize that we just got a dusting of weather compared to what folks are going through up north. But here in Texas...we are not used to slippery conditions.. and unfortunately some deaths occurred in our area. So for us here,... it was enough.

Sophie and I stepped out into the cold morning air and went to find what old man winter had left behind. The cotton fields had a good amount of ice in their rows and the ranch land off in the distance was white. The camera didn't capture it, but it looked like diamonds shining across the country from the sunshine.

As she and I stepped, the crunching was loud in this frozen morning silence.

Even old Mrs. Spider had a visit!

Anything that was out on the grounds was frozen in time.

I love the way the weeds and flowers froze. They look like cake decorations.

Doesn't this look like rock candy on a stick?

I have to say, Old Man Winter is a creative old soul.

Poor Muddy Mildred....my scarecrow. She has been keeping guard in a vacant garden since summer passed. She is in much need of a makeover, and a hairdo. She still has a smile on her frozen face....I think she is glad Old Man Winter left.

Here in Texas, we can have the biggest snow(if we do get snow) or the biggest ice storm one day....and the very next day... it's gone... as if it never happened. The sun soon came out and the trees started thawing leaving hundreds of ice cubes on the ground.

One of the best gifts Old Man Winter has left is the much needed moisture I was hoping for. In no time everything was dripping and running off into flower beds and containers. So for all of you who are probably experiencing even a worse taste of this frozen visitor... I hope he soon leaves and I hope the sun will soon come out and warm your day!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Old Man Winter Came By To Visit....Such A Cold Old Soul!

I was awoken at 5:30 this morning by the ringing of the phone. "The school will not be having classes and the buses will not run until 10:00 A.M due to the severe weather from last night." A few minutes later the bus driver calls to say buses will not run at all but that my son would have an excused absence from school if we did not want to risk driving him in.We live 30 miles away and the roads are treacherous during these times... So today... he is off.I bundle up to step outside to check on my critters. The woods surrounding me creek and crack under the weight of the ice that old man winter dressed them in.
The wind chill is already making my hands numb as I take these photos, but the air is so clean feeling and there is a still quietness surrounding me. I am lost in the moment' s peace.

Nothing is stirring....even with the wind blowing, the leaves and stems are frozen in time.

Our giant pine tree....standing tall and strong, dressed in an icy sage green. Pine trees always seem to possess a beauty in snow and ice.

I make it out to the pens and hen house and hear the barnyard gossip of chickens and ducks before I even get the frozen gate open. I stuffed their house and nest boxes with extra hay yesterday when I heard this spell was on the way. They are fluffy and warm and eager to see me. It is supposed to stay this way up until Friday... and we will then see temperatures in the 60's. So I'm off to make a pot of soup, hot chocolate, and to stitch all day. Everyone stay warm and I will catch up with you next week!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Where Would We Be Without Hope?

I have loved pictures of praying hands as long as I can remember. They have always filled me with a sense of faith, promise, and hope. I live my life based a lot on hope. Hope in the way things turn out, hope in hearing from someone from far away,and hope that God will hear me when I call to Him. I've only to look for it... and it seems that I can find hope in all things.
I find hope in the clouds forming above me. Hope that rain may soon come to our parched grounds.

I find hope in the budding plants,..hope, that soon

they will burst forth in color and fragrance, cheering my day.

I find hope in the brown potted mass in my greenhouse. I still water...hoping that it will hang on...

and find that life is pushing forth. Hope in the spring to come. We had a cold spell a few weeks back, and my sweet old bullfrog Jeremiah disappeared from the pond. How I hoped that he was ok and that maybe I would see him again in spring.

(click on picture to see a better view of Jeremiah)
Today, as I was working around the pond, I noticed something moving in the earth. Thinking it might be a snake, I carefully pushed away the dirt.....and Jeremiah pushed out his foot and blinked a very sleepy eye at me! How wonderful to see him! My hope, fulfilled! And now, I hope to hear from all of you and to hear what are some of the things you hope for? I can't wait to hear from you!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Important Day of Opal Cluck

Out in the hen house, in a nest full of hay,
Sits Opal Cluck McChicken...ready to start her day.
She stands and fluffs her feathers, and stretches her wings out long.
She starts to scratch her chicken dance and croons her cackling song.

To the farm she's important...just look at that smiling beak.

Her one egg a day produces enough
for all baked goods all week.

For this feathered friend, I'm thankful...
I count my blessings and luck.
And I hope you, too, have a chicken
Just like old Opal Cluck.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My last post was on the flower gardens...now here is the vegetable garden plan


My last post, I showed you my flower garden areas that I was planning out,.... I also have a vegetable garden area planned as well.

I will be planting onions in just a couple of weeks,

I am planting the lettuce seed early in my greenhouse...and for the garden....

This may look like an odd place, but it has served well for the garden spot. The folks that had the house before us, kept horses. I, unfortunately, have not gotten a chance to try my hand at those critters... so I started using the corral area to experiment growing things like..


and cantaloupe. Every thing I have tried, has turned out wonderful. So the other day, I tilled all of the pens in this area.

The pens were a perfect choice because they had the iron post going around, a good skeleton to put my wire to keep varmints out and there are 6 pens, which are very large plots of land. Each divided by an iron post fence.

I also plan to plant watermelon, blackeyed peas, green beans, tomatoes and whatever else sounds good!

I use chicken wire to keep all critters out. It runs all around the structure, plus along the middle dividing fences as well.

I plant morning glory along the outside fence structure. It is a beautiful wall of color in the morning and a perfect shade for the plants in the hot afternoon.

I still have plenty of blank canvas laying around the grounds. This one patch is between the vegetable garden and house and is right beside the well house. I would like to get it plowed and to remove the young mesquite trees. I would then like to make a mini orchard of different type of fruit trees. Now my question to all of you....what is your favorite vegetable to plant and why? I can't wait to hear!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Fresh Dirt.....my blank canvas

It's that time of year again!! My mailbox is stuffed full of the new seed catalogs. Garden tools and gloves find themselves in my shopping cart. I have 13 acres of untouched ground .....my blank canvas..... calling out to me.
I love getting garden and seed catalogs in every year.....but how I love those old vintage catalogs that use to be mailed. This one pictured above is from 1887 and the vibrant colorful cover makes me just want to work outside all day and order everything they have in the catalog!
I worked on several blank canvases today.... my arms are aching from the tiller... but for now, I will start by showing you my enormous flower garden I have tilled and planned on. I have a large area for a vegetable garden as well, but that will be a later post. I love flower beds tucked around every corner of the house, but I have always wanted a "flower garden" . It took me 3 hours to get this tilled up. {:

This past summer I had a lot of Zinnia. They did so well. I harvested a lot of the seed and I will also purchase more when the time comes. I plan to have a large amount of Zinnia in this garden this year.

I have never tried California Poppy, but I love the way they look. This is a new one I will try this year. Such a dainty flower full of petals. Don't you just love old seed packets? These came from around 1920.

Another favorite flower of mine is the Cosmos. These flowers will stay and bloom all the way up to November. I have more flowers planned for this garden and will decide as I go along. I still have much work to do in it before I plant. I am adding compost that I have worked on all year to the grounds and I still need to put a fence around it so that my chickens will not have a flower buffet. I will also till the ground a few more times before I get ready to plant.

My next blank canvas is this wire archway that my husband made when we first moved out here. I have tried grape vines, but they did not do well.

Today I tilled on both outside walls of the archway. I plan to plant the decorative gourds that did so well for me last year on one side. They have enormous leaves and would make a great shade for the inside of the archway.

The ground looks like it needs nourishing. I will work on that before planting seed.

On the other side of the archway, I plan to plant morning glory. It is hardy and it's leaves are also beautiful. Ok, everyone....I am sure some of you are getting those seed catalogs in the mail as well..... what are your plans? Where is your "blank canvas" at? Are you going to try to plant something you never tried before? I would love to hear!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A New Day Dawning

The morning sun streaks across the room
painting a lace curtain onto the wall,

as if to say....imagine...it's another day ! A new day to be creative. New possibilities await you!

It's another chance to plant new ideas...new seeds along the path of this journey you are taking.
Don't sit and let the day's dust settle on you...to find another chance gone...another dream put off for another day.

This day is your blank canvas....

waiting for your palette of color to make it anything you choose!