Monday, April 3, 2017

Hello April 2017

Hello April,
Hello friends!  

So much has been happening around here.
 First I have to give a praise report because the last posts I shared were about our 
son and how he'd been having really scary health issues.  
-- Thank you to everyone who has prayed for him because he is doing
 great!  I thank God with everything in me and give Him all the praise
and glory.  He's getting back to his ole self too.  Just this week I was
headed up on the porch from the garden and heard someone hollar:  "Hey Momma!" 
He was on his lunch hour and had walked down to the pond fishing and 
had caught a big ole bass. Ya know somethin... it wasn't long ago we spent a couple all nighters in the hospital
with him; I can promise you- fishing was on 
none of our minds.  I'm just so grateful he's back 
to himself again.  

Well, remember the storm came and blew a big part of the barn roof off?
Myguy finally decided it was time for her to come down.  
So one weekend we started cleaning it out.   
 What a mess.  
The junk we hang onto?  
Had to take a few pics though because Gladys Kravits our Araucana hen 
was into everything.  See her in this photo?  Everything we turned over she had to inspect. 
When I backed my truck up to load stuff, she even jumped up on  the back of it?  
Snoopy hen!

We worked a good part of the morning.
  Myguy took some of the nice gates he and Tony built down.
Also I wanted the olde door off the feed room and the chicken coop!  
The first thing I went for though was the wooden cross up above.  
It's in a safe place and will sit there til we have a new barn one day.  
Oh looky, there's ole Gladys again.  
Then just around lunch time; 
Tony and Michelle came over to help. 
That's Tony on the backhoe finishing the barn off.  
Someone asked  if I was sad to see it go... but not really.
I have a lot of really good memories in there... but it was just time.  
Michelle, Blakelea and I watched the demolition for awhile from the porch.  
The Little Bloomer loves to be outdoors and it was actually quite a show.  

The hardest thing was the fact that our chicken  coop was part of the barn.  So for a few short days 
we were scrambling moving chickens here and there.  
I can't just turn them loose because almost all of them are bantams and 
the hawks just come and carry them off.  

 Amid trying to pick up a billion nails, and sheet iron and lumber;
we needed a place for our chickens.  So Myguy bought this little coop.  
 It's now attached to our existing outdoor coop and 
we worked til midnight one night setting paver stones and 
mixing concrete to make the whole thing varmit proof.  
 About half our chickens so far are in it.  
About the same time all this was going on; I figured out many in our flock
had gotten leg mites. I guess I'd not noticed because of the feathers covering their legs.  I had to start catching all of them and started smearing vaseline
on all their legs and then bought D earth to sprinkle around.  I'd never even heard of it.
But it all works!  

 Two hens had been setting already awhile so I had to carry their 
nest boxes to a different shed to let them finish their business.
This hen has 13... the other one is still setting.  

 Before I forget... look what I learned  to do!
I have to share this trick with you if you've never seen it or 
have this problem with your Roosters.  My pet Rooster Ole Spur gets
too long of Spurs all the time.  It had gotten to the point that he could barely 
walk or breed.  The last time we basically held him down and cut them about half off with a wire cutter.  This new way was awesome though!  I learned it on youtube! haha 
So what you do is hold your Roo like you love him; nice n close. lol
Then with just a regular pliers grab ahold of the Spur about an inch from his leg,
and while holding his little leg so you don't hurt him just with the pliers squeezed tight-
just wiggle it back n forth.  In just a short moment they just pop right off!  It doesn't hurt them or anything!  Barely bled a drop.  After Spur was ... de-spurred... I set him down and he took
a step and stumbled around because seriously he was having trouble walking before.  Then he started walking and kept bending over looking at his feet like, "where'd they go?"  -yeehawwwww I'm free! 
He's like a new Spring chicken now.   
The guy in the video that I watched sprinkled the wound seal powder on but I didn't.  
Spur was fine.  I did watch him though to make sure no one started pecking at his feet.  They didn't 
bother him.  Maybe  because He's Ole Papa Spur King of the barnyard.   
Okay sorry I know I did get a little long winded there,
Moving along... 
this is where the olde barn used to sit.  
Myguy .... is my hero that's all I can say.  
He is one hard workin man. xoxo 

 This little darlin and her Mommy are always a highlight of my days.  
We even get to have a playday once a week!  
 I can kinda tell the Grandma skills are not as shabby anymore.  
That's a miracle right there.   
One thing I've learned is  snaps in a onsie- well, they're not my friend.*  Thankfully
the kids just know if they send her in snaps..
they might not get her back done up just right.
These little ones are FAST yall.   

So many blessings.  
The storms have been weekly now.  It's definitely Spring in the south.  
Myguy was out of town this week and always texts
and warns when storms are fixin to hit here.  
He told me he was watching one red hot spot on radar that
was just about to hit here and said he prayed and as 
he kept watching the radar he could see the storm split in two and go around me.  
I was so glad he shared that with me- what a testimony!  
 I'm so thankful the Lord has protected us 
and that I also have a husband who prays for me.  

 Last but not least... it's been time to get the gardens going!
This past weekend I moved dirt  like a prairie dog.  
First the garden here and then the corn patch.
The tomato seeds I started were beginning  to get lanky lookin.
So even though it could still frost, I planted about half.  The other half
are still in the green house in case I jumped the gun.  
I'd taken almost all the old posts out of the garden and fences so had
all that to do again.  Addie and Francie kept me company.  

I try to just use what we have around here as much as possible,
so this little wire fence will be the pea trellis
as well as a few beets went in there too.
 I needed a post in the center and couldn't find anything so,
used this broken rake to hold up the middle.   The handle is busted so it worked okay 
and I can't wait to stand right here in the early mornings and 
eat raw peas for breakfast.  
Aint nothin better!
 This is a new find for me.
French Lavender.  
 My neighbor always gives me 
a pot of lavender every Spring and I've tried and tried
to grow it but #Ikilllavender.   The leaves on this Lavender  looks totally different but
smells divine.  I hope and pray it's not so fussy and I can keep it alive.
 The Azaleas are in bloom so I keep looking for the hummingbirds.
Made a fresh brew of nectar for them and filled a new feeder for 
any early birds.  
 I also spent two whole full days cleaning the greenhouse and potting shed.
It was soooo bad.  Ants were  nesting in junk and ant eggs and mice- not to mention
how it turns into a catch all every winter.  
It feels sooo good to have it clean and tidied up again.  
The twinkle lights had burned out and I found this new style and got them up as 
well as the star light a neighbor gifted for Christmas.  
We're gearing up for Garden season!
 This picture I took inside today on Instagram.

Last but not least...
I share a scripture picture with yall of the first Peony bloom of April.  
I've shared this verse before here and it's still fresh on my mind.
Feel free to share it.  
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy  in the  God of my salvation.

Okay friends,
I've gotta go babyproof the house.
The Little Bloomer learned to crawl this week 
and tomorrow is our playday.  

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Random Blessings Lo and Behold

One of the reasons I enjoy  recording  all of life in journals
and taking so many photos is for sacred reflection.
To remember daily happenings and give thanks for them.  
To find simple joys and gifts in not only the easy and happy-
but also through the dark muck of things. That last part is not
 my default.  But journaling .. helps.

There, in daily pages of sacred space I  reflect and move forward .. to grow
in whatever direction the Lord guides me so long as I'm seeking His will. 
And it's there I reflect on  those scrawled gifts and give Him thanks and praise.
So here I share, a few random blessings from my journaled week:

For a "warm"  Winter? wind that blew gray frizzed strands across my face 
working garden soil in shirt sleeves. I love to be warm.

I'm thankful for protection through storms and that an insurance adjuster
said he found more damage than we even reported.  
I'm thankful that no matter the outcome...
I know God's in control of everything and He always makes a way.  

... to continue learning that  sharing the love by "illumination" doesn't mean having to go somewhere else at all
but it means sharing the love right where I am; with whoever I'm with- every ordinary extraordinary day using the gifts He planted in me.
In the epic, in the mundane, in the beautiful mess of all this.    
-Learning that He planted me right here on purpose to share love for His purposes. 
As daughter of the King.   
Simple wife, Simple Momma, Simple Grammy, and Simple friend.
Even as a simple keeper of... a shabby olde potting shed--  
Lo and Behold!
To just love those in my simple path
 ... no matter how insignificant that ever seems to anybody else. 
Thank you for this great privilege Lord.  

For the Word that draws me in and nourishes this soul like tender stewed meat.

For grace to move forward and on when regret and un-forgiveness holds me back like
an olde paint mare who chomps  at her bit and throws her head. 
For grace that lets go of the reins be turned loose; and set free to run again.
For do overs.  

For a holy hush when a fellow believer's criticism went against the grain 
of what I know to be true for my own purposed walk.  
A  hush that kept peace and did not waver; I'm thankful. 

For the lone purple hyacinth and her distinct scent of Spring; so florally sweet.

For those crazy chickens taking up residence  on our kitchen porch and gratitude that we get to live here with them.  :)

For the strength of God in that big  rough hand as it grabbed mine and prayed so hard.

For the three souls and her new, toothy smile that stumbled in and rallied with us 
through the middle of  a long dark night.  
For their always unconditional love, faithfulness and unity.

For the nurse who shook her head then walked away ...only to return later lugging  chairs
through the door.  For her compassion and how she
went the extra mile because she cared to see and feel a stranger's need.  

For her love that stayed at his side;
curled into the tightest ball sleeping  on two chairs pulled together. 
.. melted hearts.. and togetherness.  

For neck rubs, and love pats.

For blankets that comforted and fought off the chill.

For good reports and listening ears.

For protection on the interstate through bloodshot eyes.

Texted prayers and messages from even strangers reaching out.

For an amazing Sonrise that brought hope with the Light of day.

For the man who dug deep; giving coins to a beggar for the bus.

For the God  I follow who gave discernment to un-follow and not be a part
of a group of tormentors.    

For a simple bowl cornflakes and toast with real melted butter. 
Simple pleasures. 

A clerk who's uplifting singsong voice was joyful music to my ears and heart.

For amazing love that washes right through the can's and can'ts of legalism
to freedom found only in Christ.  

For this time change and the longing to walk longer in the Light.

For all these things and so much more...
Thank you God for my every thing.   



Saturday, March 11, 2017

Giving thanks In All Circumstances

 Hello friends,

It's  sleeting and snowing some here, and while there is not supposed
to be any accumulation ; we're  supposed to get a  hard freeze.  
So this afternoon, I found empty flowerpots, and buckets and covered my Momma's 
peonies that are already several inches tall.  I don't know if it will even help- but ..  
I'm  hoping and praying for the best.  
Will we have pears this year?  Peaches?
I wonder?  
Some of our strawberries already have little blooms, and the greenhouse without a door-
well; I'm sure the pots of  Dianthus are feeling very cold and neglected. 
Should have brought them all inside but the dirt is probably full of ants. 
I really don't want to worry about any of it... although if I'm writing it...
you can bet I really do care.
--At least the vase of paper flowers above are safe and sound!
They were a sweet surprise sent in  the mail from my dear niece!   
Her talents never cease to amaze me.  

Well something besides a hard freeze has been consuming my thoughts.  
Out of the blue this past week; while working with his Dad-
our eldest son started having stroke -like symptoms.  He's just a young man?
Myguy rushed him to the ER... and they did a cat scan and 
admitted him over night.  After 4 hours? he was feeling  better.
He got out Sunday, and was having a pretty good week but
then it happened again; only more serious this time.  
We've been scared to pieces.  
They sent him by ambulance from our hospital to Little Rock for two days 
doing tests.  We literally camped out  on the floor at his bedside.  
 In the middle of the night we found this lobby to stretch our legs 
a little.  We were the only ones there.  No wonder; was cold as an icebox,
so we went back to his room.  Isn't it something how if you watch 
a clock ... time goes so slow?  
Finally morning came.   
The sunrise was such a welcomed sight.  
That beautiful Sonlight lifted morale.

Our son's tests all came back clear which was an answer to prayer and yet...
we still don't really know or understand what the heck  is going on? 
If you are a believer please would you pray for him; it would really mean alot.  

It sure felt good getting back home.  
When he came to work; I kind of found myself wanting to just hover.  
Throughout the day, I kept going to the shop checking on him.  
When something goes wrong with your child no matter what age; it can sure 
put a Momma in a tailspin.  

 As the day went on; I discovered this  floral box.
The David Austen roses came!  
You're supposed to soak the roots over night before planting.
I did that last night but today with the weather as it is;
I brought them inside.
 They're in our bathtub but bathing in this old washtub... just treading water til they meet 
Arkansas soil.  Yall know I have to get rabbits now.  
Gertrude Jekyll needs at least one Easter bunny.  

I sign off tonight with my supper samich.  
I just had to share with yall.  
A friend of mine shared the  recipe on Facebook and it sounded so good
to me that I made a special trip to the store for the fixins.  
Myguy had to work late so it was the perfect night to give it a try. 
I'm tellin ya, he  wouldn't touch this thing with a ten foot pole.  
Maybe one of you might like to try it though?

Avocado Egg Salad Recipe
7-8 hard boiled eggs
1/4 cup mayo
1 tsp lemon juice or lime
2 Tablespoons minced cilantro
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt to taste
fresh cracked pepper
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and 
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 medium large ripe avocado chopped small
serve with crackers or on bread.  

..When I was growing up I don't ever remember seeing an avocado in the house much
less ever tried one.  But recently I bought some and it's been true love.
Today was my first time to ever buy cilantro, or Dijon mustard, and cumin.
I've decided to start branching out and trying new foods and recipes.  
This one; is a keeper and a sharer!
I'm thinkin the herb bed needs to make some room for cilantro. 

Thanks for stopping by the potting shed,

Monday, March 6, 2017

Catching Up, Zipping uP and Buttoning uP

Catching uP:   
Today has been one of catching up in my Documented faith moleskine. 
This is where I turned the page from last week...
 to this week.  
I usually venture off from the documented faith verses..
and use the ones in my own daily devo's 
The whatever's keep coming to me.  
Ya know; ..I've tried to memorize Phil 4:8 so many times in the past, and I don't know why
I can't get it to stick?  If you're good at memorizing ... and have any tips; please share.
I want this verse in my mind.  I don't know how many times I've written it before....
and for some reason ... it jumbles in my head.  I'm starting to wonder if it's 
because of the many different bible translations I've went at it from.  
Reminder: ..I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me... even this! 
So I'm not giving up.  

Zipping It uP...
I wanted to share this book a friend wanted me to do with her through Lent.
The timing ... perfect.  A few days after buying the book; I felt frustrated with
someone and said something I regretted almost immediately afterwards.  
The word says, Be angry and sin not. 
Yeah well, the sin not part flew right out the window. 
So 40 days keepin it SHUT... was not a bad idea.  
Plus ... wouldn't ya just know Phil 4:8 is today's verse.  
Imagine that?
 Buttoning It uP...
So ... I've been outdoors today wondering what to button up again.
Once again, the weatherman is calling for severe storms tonight after midnight.
Wind, hail, and possibility of  tornadoes. 
We still have trees on our back fence that we haven't had time to cut up and 
mend wire.  And the new tarps been flappin on the barn roof all day with the 
wind coming up.  We have sheet iron still down the driveway and Myguy has 
told me not to pick any up coz he wants the insurance guy  to see all this but
still ... no show. I don't remember if I shared this or not yet but they did 
say it was an E-F 1  tornado that went over last week.  I've thought of that so many
times - remembering the sound of that storm going over.  
And so thankful God protected us.  

As I went in the greenhouse today and was taking photos 
of the newest bloomers as well as  the coral bells up above;

I discovered one of the greenhouse panes of glass
had fell inside and was broken behind this Dianthus.  
I never noticed it before but found other panes loose and in need
of caulking.  I hope they stay put tonight!  
 Inside the house; 
we have babies.
 It's always so exciting to find new sprouts.
This pot is a litter of salvia.
and we have lots and lots of tomatoes.  
It's always hard when they get a little bigger and you have 
to decide which sprouts get thinned.  
For now... they all are doing well.  

To sign off tonight,
I made this "share" to help me remember those  whatever's.  
And also... share it with all of you.  

Til we meet again... 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

March Blew In Like A Lion Alright

It feels so wrong to write everyday for 28 days and then 
skip a day!  But here we are again.  
So the last day of February was beeeauitful yet "weird" feeling here in our neck of the woods. 
The weather station was calling for severe weather and the air was heavy. I decided to take
advantage of the warm day and start cleaning up remaining garden mulch.  
By garden mulch I mean;  the excess straw and any leftover underpaper from last 
gardening season.  If you follow along with me you may have read before that when I plant
my garden, I lay down several thicknesses of wetted old newspapers then cover that up with 
old hay and straw to keep the weeds down.  It's back breaking work and takes a whole day or more
to get it all done but afterwards looks so pretty for weeks and weeks.  Last year, I tried something new.  Since we have a mechanics shop; we get so many boxes for parts and jugs of oil etc.  I'd read
that you can cut those down and use the same way as newspaper.   My biggest worry was snakes getting under it but ... if they did... I was never aware of it.  It really worked pretty well.  One friend commented here last year wondering what kind of mess it might be after it was all done?  Would there be lots to rake up that didn't break down?  But I can tell you; hardly anything was left!  Keep in mind... I let it go all through Fall though til now.  After I got it raked; I text Myguy and asked him if it would hurt my old tiller to run if he hadn't changed the oil or tuned it up yet?  He said no not at all, but told me he doubted it would start since it hadn't ran in months and is getting so old. 
I coaxed her out of the red shed, then topped her off with gas.  She started on the third pull!  :)  
(Man I love that old tiller)  Sure beats a hoe!  
It felt so good tilling up a sweat and even though it will need done again come April tenth-ish;
it will all go easier when that day does indeed come.  Got the onions all planted too.
We have five heavy chickens and a few roos that get to roam free everyday and they 
had a grand time in the freshly turned soil.  It was their last day to free range because they keep 
getting in the herb and peony beds.  It's been one thing to 
 deal with them poopin on the kitchen porch- 
but another to mess with my peonies.  

As evening wore on; we didn't see even one  raindrop.  
But the radar sure showed us right in the center of some ugly weather.  
Myguy and I prayed before bed ...then hit the hay and awoke to an absolute  racket outside.  The wind got crazy!!!!!!!---
and we could hear stuff blowing right off the porch.  We jumped out of bed and ran to the door
trying to "see" anything... but it was just black out there.  
Then the power went out.  Dark is an understatement.  Myguy had flashlites
ready so we turned those on and just waited it out.  When it calmed down we went 
back to sleep and come morning ran out to see if all the animals were alright.
Thankfully the cows were still in the pasture but 

our olde barn took a lick.  The roof was totally gone over our chicken coop side.
We got on the four wheeler and checked fences and one tree is still laying on the fence in the back pasture.  So we called the horse and donkeys to the barn  and got them in a different pen til we can get the tree cut and fence picked up. 

Behind the garden; a rabbit cage was overturned as well as the antique, wood cookstove.  Some trees were snapped off but nothing like our neighbors across and on down the road.  Big ole trees are uprooted and others snapped right off.  And it wasn't til just a little bit ago that our power came back on.  It wasn't too bad at our house because Myguy brought one of the welders home and fired up a generator so our fridge worked.  Plus the coffee pot!  :)  

After Myguy got off work yesterday we  went to town and bought a couple big tarps and screws.  
We had to get something over the roof to keep predators out and the chickens in.  Plus we have lights etc that were all exposed too.  We gathered up some old boards to lay here and there over the tarps that might help with screwing them down and looking up here came our youngest- Tony to help.  
What a blessing he is!  Our old barn is soooo  dilapidated and I just prayed like crazy while he and Myguy were up on that rotten roof.  Thankfully no one fell through and for now.. it's patched.  We don't know what we're going to do yet- it's just hardly worth fixin anymore.  The termites have eaten all the posts off and while it's probably time to build a new one; ... money is a definite factor.  
Tony kept talkin the whole time how we're getting a new barn.  That it's time.  lol  
Of course we joked around that Blakelea will need a nice stall for her little pony.  
We shall see?  The main thing is everybody is  alright; ya know?  
Thank God for that.  

Well speakin of horses; I better go water the horse and donkeys and 
figure out what to fix my sweetheart for supper.  I didn't thaw anything 
since I didn't know we'd have a stove tonight!  
I sure do enjoy electricity don't you?