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

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Where Roots Run Deep

There's a tree, out in the front yard, ...........an old mesquite, that is as old as I probably am.......even older.

As I work the grounds, I look up at it and think...........there is so much that it and I have in common. It stands, out here, in solitude......watching life, pass it by, yet it is in peace..............

that is how I feel...............

It has weathered the many storms in life.................some storms it saw coming............some it was attacked and surprised by. Once it was hit with a large bolt of lightening, hitting it so hard and splitting it to it's very heart and soul. Such a hard hit, how could it ever go on?.............Yet, it hung on, growing around it's wound, showing it's leaves even brighter.

I have known such storms in life. Not so long ago, life's painful bolt struck me by surprise, leaving my heart and soul,........... broken. The wound is still there,and the pain,............. if I go back and remember............however, when I thought this was the one thing I just could not bear, I did get through it, and time passed, and I once again smiled.

This tree has been host to many visitors and has had the sweetest little family growing within it's arms. Then it has watched the little ones, fly away, following the wind to another tree.............

I also, have watched my little ones grow..................

and leave.................

This old tree has seen new extensions of life grow out on it's limbs, while other limbs have fallen and died away..............
I, too, have seen babes born into my life..........and at the same time, I have lost precious family members along the way.

The outside of this old tree has become harder, from life's enviornment. Preparing it to not get so chipped by the hits and bumps that come along the way.

I too, have become "tough skinned" though life's lessons.

This old tree, no matter how hard life's winds blow, still stretches it's arms up to the heavens, never drooping.... ....never giving up..........
How I wish I could be that strong when life's burdens come weighing down on me.........

Here it stands, facing the road that leads up to our home. No matter what has come against it, no matter what it has weathered, it's roots still run deep, not willing to give up and run. Ready to face each new day, with what ever storms life has in store. Waiting for the sweetness of family to come back to visit..........showing it's love and joy, by sprouting new leaves each spring.
I, too, often look down the road.....hoping for that "someday" when the ones who flew away, will fly back in for a short visit.........
Knowing that storms will also come for me to weather out.......
and always enjoying the new day that has been given to me. I will let my roots run deep, I will stand and face what I have to in life..........and I will enjoy the sweet rewards along the way.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Stock Flower

The first time I ever heard of and handled Stock Flower was a few years back, when a friend gave a bag full of young plants, ready for the ground, to me.
I have loved it since.
Stock Flower, ( Matthiola Incana ) which only blooms during the colder months from February through March, is a hardy fragrant annual.
It grows rather thick and tall and is wonderful for backgrounds and filling in spaces. It stays green all year long. I have quite a bit of this on the grounds.................and as you can see, it is already starting to bloom! The fragrance is just lovely! Since the wind and dirt has died down these past couple of days, I transplanted many of this year's young sproutlings to a long row that runs beside my flower garden. As they grow bigger, they will serve as a natural fence for the flower garden.

They look like this when they fill out and start growing. They are just now starting to bloom, and when they get their full head of blossoms on, I will show you the pictures.

As you can see, the garden will look great with a fence of purple stock flower around it.
By the way...........this is not from the garden book, however, I have found it to be the most wonderful tip...................that came from a dear elderly lady I once knew..........
You can transplant anything as long as the month has the letter" R" in it.........like February. It really does work! Everything I have transplanted during the months with the letter R in them, has always done well.
How about you? Do you have Stock Flower in your area? Is there a piece of sage advice passed down from someone that has worked? I would love to hear!
**********one more note***********
Want a great treat for your best friend???
Go to my cooking blog and get the recipe!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Outside, the wind is howling and banging anything and everything up against the house. The air is full of the smell of dirt from the nearby cotton fields, and the sky is a dusty orange. Typical west Texas weather.
Inside the tulips tell of another day, soon to come............crisp, fresh and full of color.
And as I look at their beauty, I listen to the whistling and banging outside the door, I can't wait for winter to pack her bags and leave.
How about you? Are you tired of cold, damp, blowing wind?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Shadow Has A Cold Nose

When I get prepared to head outside.................

this is what I see EVERY DAY!

And as I get my outside work done...........she is never far away.

No matter where I am ....inside......outside........

I look over my shoulder........

and this is what I see. How much I love my "cold nosed" shadow!
How about you? What kind of shadow do you have?
I would love to hear!

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Gardening Season Is Beginning

The weather has turned much warmer,
with the early mornings, covering the grounds in a blanket of fog.......and by noon, the sun is shining..........and warm.
Nelly, the tiller, got a good going over, and now I am able to get out and break up the garden spaces. Out in one of the gardens, the onions from last fall, have already poked their heads up through the cold ground. The Italian Jasmine and Stock flower are budding and starting to show their blossoms. I will be digging up the young plants from these and transferring them to other spaces and potting some to sell at the market this summer. My gardening season is beginning. I have much to do! I am so ready! How about you? Have your grounds thawed out and are you beginning your garden work? Or are you still underneath a blanket of snow? I would love to hear!

see this latch?? Opening this latch is like lifting the lid on Pandora's box! To find out what I mean.......go to my cooking blog, My Country Kitchen and see!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Someone To Watch Over Me

We all know how different a house becomes when our little ones grow up and fly away to their own lives. From once a house that was filled with running feet, shrieks of laughter, slamming screen doors, the TV blaring with the booms of video games, ........to now.......stillness........quiet.......peace............and somewhat lonely.
For 27 years, Cookie has seen all of this take place, and has survived............
In the beginning, it was just Cookie, myself, and my newly wed husband. We lived in a tiny apartment, and with both of us gone during the day at work....Cookie lived in quiet. As the years went by, he met the many furry creatures that came to inhabit the space along with him.......and then the babies......quiet at first, but then changing our nights and days into constant activity.He soon learned to bow up and hiss at the curious cats and dogs that came to sniff and paw at him....scaring them away. He learned to delight the little ones by jumping onto their fingers and heads.......and then to squawk a warning that he wanted to be left alone. And here we are , 27 years later............quiet.......
As I do my stitching.........

I look up, and this is what I see............. Cookie, who during the young years of my children's life, lived in the quietness of my bedroom,( because the loud noises from the television really bothered him), now loves to sit on the lower extension of my sewing lamp, keeping me company, watching every stitch.

He used to fly after me from room to room,.................. a game he and I played. I would run to hide and he was right behind me, always landing on my head as soon as he caught up. He doesn't fly anymore........I don't run anymore.........the years have slowed both of us down. He has watched my life start from learning how to not burn the night's dinner, to becoming a young mother, and an on the run mother of teens, to the once again quiet , but older woman, talking to....... him.

After all of these years....I have been the one to cover his cage at night, to uncover him in the morning, to keeping him fed and watered......the one to watch over him.......but looking up at him now...... I realize.................
it has been Cookie who has been watching over me.
Now my question to you....do you have a pet that has been with you for years and has seen the chaos of family life dwindle to quietness? I would love to hear.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mirella Has Done It Again!

In my November 1, 2009 post, I told you about the Aloe Vera plant, I call Mirella, who bloomed last year and who also has quite a large family. Well.............
she's done it again!.......
Towards the beginning of December of 2009, I noticed she produced a stalk, with once again a cluster of buds. With this being the first year with the heater in the greenhouse.........I just wanted to wait before I announced this...........
Along the past few weeks, the buds have gotten larger.............

and now they have opened up. This looks about as big as it is going to open up. If the temperature and weather were warmer, it might open a little larger. I just love this color, don't you?

Also........my tomatoes are blooming! If you remember from my recent posts, this was one of my "greenhouse goals" for the winter. Now if I can actually get tomatoes on the vines...........I will be ecstatic! I have more news and photos of the greenhouse, but will save all of that for a later post. Hope this finds all of you readers/bloggers, staying warm!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Just A Thought For The Weekend

".......for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, ....to be content."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Frosted and Icey

Sophie and I went out in the icy, frosted morning to get the morning chores done in a hurry.
I love the way the leaves look like frosted Gingerbread.........don't you think?
....................*From the Garden Book*..................
This is a good time to till up your flower and garden spaces if the soil is not frozen or wet to expose it to the beneficial effects of freezing which breaks apart the heavy clods causing them to crumble. This also exposes the eggs of many insect pests to the effects of sun, wind, freezing temperatures and food hunting birds.
A quick run into the greenhouse to cut some fresh rosemary for the skillet rolls I am making for the day's supper. Look at that big ole tongue! Sophie knows there will be a hot roll for her as well. For this recipe come visit my cooking blog, My Country Kitchen

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The memories and wisdom found in very old books

Old books.........I love them. There is something about the images and the print in old books. I have such a book.....among the shiny and inviting covers of my garden books, sits this very unassuming book. Printed in 1935, The Complete Book Of Garden Magic, by Roy E. Biles, is the first book I reach for and keep beside me throughout the year.
It may not look like much, but once opened, the wisdom of garden know how pulls you in and once tried, the results in the garden, make this book priceless. This book was given to me, when I lived in town and only dreamed of gardens, greenhouses, and chickens. My elderly neighbor, Ruth, passed away, the only good soul left in the neighborhood. We would often spend late afternoon hours out on the sidewalk, talking about flower gardens and children. Her daughter found this book among her mother's things, and knowing that Ruth and I often exchanged flower cuttings with each other, brought the book over to me. I have cherished it since.
This is the book, from where I am going to share wonderful tidbits of good garden advice with you! It is full of things on how to make your soil better, composting, greenhouse managing and so on. One particular section I have grown to love is the garden calendar. In this section, the book takes you through each month, telling you what you should and should not be doing during a particular month. And so, for this month of January..........a note about Poinsettia
If you were fortunate to receive one of these Christmas beauties and have trouble on keeping them after Christmas, maybe this tip will help.
Protect the Poinsettia from draft, keeping it in a temperature of seventy degrees in the daytime and not lower than sixty-three at night. Water twice a day with tepid or slightly warmer water from above. When it has finished blooming and begins to drop it's leaves, set it aside and give it only enough water to keep it from drying out. In April, the plants are pruned back hard and repotted in a rich light soil. They are kept growing in a light position and in early June are plunged in the garden, where they may remain until late September.
* Please note that this is from a very old book. I have not worked with a Poinsettia, wish I had gotten one at Christmas now, however.
If you have tried this and it turned out to be a wonderful way....please let me know, I would love to hear.
Now, how about you? Are there any old books that you hold dear and have found to be a good source of wisdom or comfort? I would love to hear!
*If you want to see what I cooked from The Blue Willow Inn Cookbook, please visit My Country Kitchen blog. http://countrykitchenkat.blogspot.com

Friday, January 1, 2010

Looking Forward Along The Blogging Path

A new year..............
so many things I want to accomplish! I have so enjoyed blogging here and meeting all of you wonderful blogging/readers! Although I have 3 other blogs, this is my social blog it seems. I carry on about the every day things that happen in life here more. One thing I do want to do with all of my blogs however, is to offer tidbits of helps or things of interest for you.
I have a farm journal blog which I call Pleasant Prairie Farm....the name I have decided to name the farm I am trying to create..........
it is more of a journal of the struggles and victories I come up against in doing such.
On my cooking blog, I have decided to work my way through a whole cookbook.....getting my inspiration from the Julie and Julia movie, but doing it differently. You can read about this on my cooking blog. I will post here occasionally about it.
And then there is my embroidery blog..........my true passion in life.............embroidery! I have decided to tackle those unfinished projects this year and I will also post new stitches to try and new projects for you to try as well !

And for this blog, I have many wonderful garden books............including
this wonderful old book titled
The Complete Book Of Garden Magic
It was printed in 1935 and is full of wonderful garden advice on just about everything.
I will post helpful things out of this book to pass along to you.
I am looking forward to walking this year's path with all of you who stop by.
What are your plans with this new year?? I would love to hear!