"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, December 29, 2022

The last space of this years calendar

will soon be marked off and a new calendar with serene photos.....
each with a hope filled verse, will be hung on the nail in the wall
for the new year.
I glance around at the still, dry, brown, areas of the yard and to where everything
lies in winter slumber.  In just a few weeks the tiny cheery yellow blossoms of 
the Italian Jasmine will be in bloom and just a few weeks after that, the fragrant
purple blossoms of the stock flower will be growing tall. It seems that nothing 
stays asleep for too long.
The usual excitement and activities that occur for the "sending out
the old year and welcoming in the new" happens all around in the
scattered cities......miles away from our home. For us, the new year arrives as 
quiet and calm as the old year leaves. We may play a game of cards, watch
fireworks and celebrations on the television, and maybe end the night with  a toast and a clink
of glasses when the time arrives.
New years day will have us enjoying a home cooked meal with the
"traditional" side of black eyed peas and we move on with the 
unfolding days with hope of good things to come.
The first days of this new year are predicted to be pleasant and sunny. 
Not too cold with just enough warmth from the short day of sunshine.
We had extreme low temps a few days ago before Christmas and now the trees have
let go of their remaining leaves but still have a winter loveliness with 
their gray limbs and moss patches on their rough bark.
On the bare limbs, I can now see empty bird nests and dried wasp nests that
were filled with life just a few months ago when the weather was warmer.
I reflect back on the year that is almost gone. There has been some 
worry, some sad moments, and some trying challenges.  But there has been
much joy and contentment in this quiet life that we are blessed to know, 
away from the maddening chaos that unfolds in front of us on the television. 
What this new year has in store and what it's days may bring to us, only 
time will reveal.
In my heart there is hope for peace filled days ahead and the prayer
for courage and strength to endure the challenges .....
come what may.
This is my wish for you as well and for the new year unfolding.
Wishing you all a very blessed new year.

" Winter does her own pruning. And I think that, as the new year begins, 
I might well do some pruning in my own life, keeping the essentials, the real values, 
and letting go the part that is no longer contributing to the growing time of my 
                                 Gladys Taber


Wednesday, December 21, 2022

The colorful lights from our Christmas tree


shine through our front window.........giving our home
a pretty Christmas card look..........
although there is no snow........it still looks nostalgic.
We, as probably all of you, are weathering extreme cold
days and nights. 
Wishing you all warmth and comfort as 
these hours fly by into a wonderful
Christmas day.

And, so, Christmas comes to bless us!
Comes to teach us how to find
The joy of giving happiness
And the joy of being kind.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "There Will Always Be a Christmas," 1940s

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Now Comes November

The days are shorter now and the skies have been more overcast 

with grey and purple clouds, with patches of blue peeking through. There is a chill
in the late night that continues into the early morning hours all the way
up till sunrise. 

The winged v shape of the Sand Hill Cranes fill these skies,
their calls carrying for miles across the prairie and fields.
These birds always fill my heart with awe...........and I 
really cannot put a finger on the reason why.....
but each time, towards this time of year, my ear is anxiously
awaiting to hear them.  Perhaps it's their arrival that is the final notice that 
summer has left us and that the wonderful days of autumn are here. As if
they pulled this blessed season in on their wings.  I truly love this time of year.
The flowers in the garden are still lovely
and full of butterflies 
and the trees are still dressed in green......although
I do see a hint of yellow here and there. 
As I write about my love for the fall season, I am eagerly
snipping and collecting flower seed with the plans of planting garden 
spaces filling my mind in looking forward to next spring.
I am sure you feel the same as I when I say there is such an excitement
in planting seeds to watch them sprout and bloom.  I place the seed pods
into brown paper bags to allow them to dry thoroughly 
and then I place the seeds into bottles or jars.
There is one "volley ball" size pumpkin still growing on a 
very tired and weary pumpkin vine.  The pumpkin will
either sit on the porch for a decoration........or
it may just be perfect for a pie or two.
Now is the time to enjoy an outside fire on the patio and to 
sit out into the night gazing in fascination
up at the moon or into the star filled dark canvas of the sky.
The warmth of the fireplace inside gives comfort with the crackling
sound of the burning logs as the wind outside howls.
It is also the time for family and friends.......scattered across the miles,
to come and gather in the comfort of food, happy catching up, along with
good memories in the making.
My thoughts also gather upon those I used to know who have gone on
but who have left behind some of the sweetest memories.
Here's wishing you lovely autumn days and a Thanksgiving
full of happy times made with  memories for years to come.



Wednesday, October 5, 2022

It is October

 The nights have gotten chilly and the daytime sun is not as intense as it has been during the sunny summer..........Autumn..........welcome!

I have noticed that the hummingbirds have not visited the feeder these past days and I suppose they
have taken flight on their journey to their warmer winter retreat. 

 The monarch butterflies have made their way here, rested during their visit, and now they too are gone.
I will miss them all.  They have given us much joy and entertainment on our early mornings as we sit outside to enjoy the fresh cool start of day.
Everything that has been struggling to grow and bloom through the past heated summer days is now flourishing in this wonderful balmy weather. 
I hope the climate stays this way for a few weeks longer so that I can continue enjoying the 
beauty that surrounds me. 
Taboo also enjoys these days.   The grass is sweeter to chew on,  to lie in ,and the morning sun makes it just comfortable enough to catch a nap

It wont be long until my outside work will have slowed down incredibly and I can focus on more things inside that I want to do.   As many of you know well in your own lives......no matter how the seasons slow down one form of work, there is always plenty more things that still need to  be done and to keep your hands busy
Here's wishing you the loveliness of balmy autumn days ahead!


Sunday, September 4, 2022

Storm clouds gather

and drop welcoming rain these last few hot summer days. It is amazing how many things the fresh rain can bring forth.
Mushrooms have popped up everywhere throughout the woods,
and on our walks, Taboo and I have met the most curious creatures
A lot of volunteer moon flower sprouted in one flower garden this early spring.  I transplanted 15 of these young plants.....to mostly underneath the large twisted mesquite trees all along the yard. 
They are now all beginning to bloom their large fragrant white blossoms just before night falls.  Hopefully the seeds will replant and the moon flower will all come up next year in the same spaces. 
 Many flowers are in vibrant bloom, 

while some have faded and now it is time to gather seeds and pretty petals.
Do you save and dry special bouquets or clippings from your gardens?
 I save the colorful petals of flowers and seeds when the flowers start to fade and place them in old jars or bottles.
The jars of petals and the bottles of seeds are a cheerful reminder of the season that has  passed and gives hope to think upon the planting season to come. 

It is at this time for my thoughts to gather.....sometimes, overwhelmingly, upon the upcoming holidays.  I think of the recipes and ingredients to gather, the plans, the loved ones and all of the memories.......soon to be gathered .....for now
It's September





Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Rain has come to our dry patch of heaven


making the air and the grounds refreshed.
Our little great niece, Taylee, has been praying for God
to send us rain........she is delighted to hear her prayers were answered,
and so are we.
The Black Witch Moth has come to our home, stopping for a short while from 
it's long journey to rest.

The same curious little lizard watches as I tend to the porch 
flowers.......we have gotten so used to each other that I have named
it Piccalo Drago (little dragon in Italian).
These characters showed up , there was a group of 5............
upon seeing them, I searched the grounds for any lifeless thing,
but found nothing.  I suppose they were taking a break from their
search this day.
The flowers are starting to introduce themselves to me, the bees, and the 

and the days come and go in a quiet bliss, for which we
are always thankful.  How are things in your backyard?
What kind of visitors do you have?  What is popping up
in your grounds?  I would love to hear!



Tuesday, May 17, 2022

New Visitors


The trees in the woods have all leafed out in their best dresses of green and they sway in the hot blowing wind that has come to us during this time in May. It is 102 today.  At this time, the air has a sweet fragrance of honey from the mesquite tree blossoms. 

 We have gone months with no rain........yet, we are used to this......we have lived in this climate all of our lives.  Through the dry and the heat ,  the trees, wild flowers , and prairie come to life, showing off their colors of green, pink, yellow, purple.
The wildlife have also started coming to the grounds in search of water more than for something to nibble on.  I give up my comfy cool spot where I sew in the late afternoon, and get brave enough to go outside to drag the heavy water hose around to my flower gardens and to fill water trays for the wild birds and wild creatures to drink. 
I startled a coachwhip snake the other afternoon and it slithered up a tree, eyeing me as I watered the ground beneath it.  It was patient enough for me to take photo after photo........
but just as anyone else would be of constant pestering .......it's patience ran out and as you can see from this photo........it was time to turn off the camera and to say goodbye.
Another visitor has started coming into the yard, just before sundown.  One that we really do not want to stay because of it's temperament.  Wild hogs are mean and destructive and usually run in large packs.
This hog however has been alone each time we see it.....only wanting to eat the remaining feed off of the ground and to enjoy a drink of water.  
My husband has already scared it away 2 times.........hopefully it will stay away.

I still work in my "dry garden" and many of the round devil's claw cactus I dug up and transplanted have done so well and the garden is slowly starting to take form.

. One side of the garden path has cactus, and
 on the other side of the path, I have cement pumpkins and leaves that I made one year from my pumpkin patch
My husband made a bottle tree to add color to the dry garden.  It is so pretty in the late afternoon when the sun shines through the bottles.
Since I am working on this space by myself and with my hands,
the work and the garden will take a long time to ever complete the way
I have it pictured in my head.  But most importantly,
I am enjoying the process no matter how long it takes.
The only type of cactus I enjoy growing is the round "pincushion"devil's claw.
It is easy to handle and blooms beautifully.
Many of the cacti are in large containers.  They grow better and are safe from rats.  
This one devil's claw I have grown for 6 years. I dug it up when it was only about 2 inches round, now it is 8 inches round and lovely.

I gathered seeds from this cactus last year and planted the seed in a garden container.  Many of the seeds have sprouted and are now growing into little cacti.  It takes a long time for them to grow big and round. They start out tall and skinny,
and then start forming a round ball.
At this time are you  enjoying working out in your gardens or watching the wildlife that come to visit you?  Perhaps you are just enjoying staying in the shade or the cool of your home?
I hope this finds that no matter where you are, that  you are having pleasant weather and pleasant days.