What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Homegrown eggs result in fluorescent breakfast pizza.  FYI.

It is rainy and dreary and SO, SO COLD in this house!  We have no form of heat other than wood in this house and that ran out for the year quite some time ago.  What's worse is that with every damp, rainy, windy cold day the house gets that much more damp, windy and cold.   I am thinking gas insert fireplace.  I am thinking pellet stove.  I am thinking GET ME OUT OF THIS FREEZING HOUSE BEFORE THE TIP OF MY NOSE FALLS OFF.  It is spring, for goodness sake.  I am not supposed to freeze to death in April, even April 30th.

I think I might go uptown today.  Shopping.  In a car with a heater.  In stores with a thermostat.  I need to get a few things anyway.  Sympathy cards.  Wedding presents.

In the next five weeks I am going to THREE weddings, one of which is this weekend!  All the brides are young and lovely.  And as the daughters of my friends get married off, I catch myself wondering at the fact that I was once 'the young bride'.  It seems like just yesterday but apparently it was longer ago than I thought.   I have never felt old until now.   I am not old yet, am I?  Shouldn't my peers be getting married still and not the next generation? 

Corynn asked me this very morning "Mama, when you were born had pants been invented for girls yet?"

Gee willikers. 

I suppose I can't be the young bride AND the mother of a 10 year old who asks about the invention of girl pants.  Or of a boy who catches dozens of frogs in every stage of development with my kitchen strainer.  Or of a girl in the LIL SIS shirt who finds little flowers to spoil me with.  Or the boy who says proudly "Mama, take a picture of me with my toolbox!" and then notices that the picture doesn't properly show his pocketknife so asks for a redo. 

While the fancy white dress and the painted fingernails that don't chip with dish-washing and diaper-changes, the bouquet of flowers and the smile that just won't fade is such a beautiful beginning to a new season of life...

the life lived is pretty beautiful too.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Spring Fencing


Though the weekend was a bit stormy, we were able to begin the first big project of the year~ fencing off pasture ground.  Matt had split the fence posts several weeks ago, using as much locust as he could find and supplementing the last of it with soft maple.  Soft maple won't last as long as locust, so I am told, so we kept the soft maple toward the back of the pasture, in the wooded area.  We'll have to replace them sooner but they will work for a few years, anyway.

I have to say, I upped the ante of 'farm girl' status by running the post pounder.  That thing was scary.  I was SKEER-ED.  Imagine a metal beam slamming down at you full throttle just inches away from your precious hand and then landing with a huge BANG, shoving the post deep into the ground.  It was THAT CLOSE to doing that to my hand.  And then imagine doing it about 4-5 times per post... for over a hundred posts.  Yeah.  This is my lot in life.

And that face up there? Only one of the many facial contortions I mustered throughout the ordeal and by far the least impressive.

Andrew, too, felt pretty empowered when he was able to drive the truck with posts through the field.

8 year old boys like that sort of thing.

It was difficult to decide where to put the pasture.  It seemed silly to put it across the road from the barn since we'll have to be hauling animals twice a day across the road.  But then again, the only running water source (a creek) happens to be BEHIND the house and to put the pasture there means not having to haul 20+ gallons of water a day to thirsty animals in the summertime.  Eventually, Matt just put some posts in the ground and there was no going back.

I don't really prefer the pasture fence being so up close to the house.  I call it the 'prison fence'.  Matt says I have come a long way~ from being a 'city girl' to feeling claustrophobic and boxed in by a pasture.  But there it is. 

I hope to eventually get used to it. 


In the meantime, two sides of the pasture are lined with fence posts.  Two more sides to go.  And then Penny (our Jersey) and Skeeter (our mini dwarf horse) can roam free as birds. 

Or as free as Jerseys and dwarf-horses.

May my fingers and hands stay firmly intact throughout the remainder of this pasture project. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Finances on Friday


One big, huge way I have been able to save money is by not being too proud to accept hand-me-downs and castoffs.  When you are open and thankful for the cast-offs that people are getting rid of, your friends and neighbors and even at times strangers are much more willing to send things your way and much more likely to think of you when they are deciding to get rid of something.   I happily take everything that people give me.  Sometimes it is junk, sometimes it is brand new and sometimes it is both, mixed together.  It requires work on my part (sorting and distributing takes time!) but is well worth it in the end.  The only word of warning is that it can become very easy to become over-cluttered with excess stuff (since, after all, it was free!) that you don't need and shouldn't keep.  I sort out the things that would be helpful to me as soon as I get it and try to get rid of the stuff I don't plan to keep ASAP.  Sometimes it is thrown out, sometimes it is donated, sometimes it is passed along to someone else.  I have even been able to sell some things at rummage sales or the consignment shop.  I am not perfect at this (our granary can attest to this fact!) but I try hard to keep on top of things.

Through the generosity of others and because I wasn't too proud to accept them, I have been blessed so abundantly and in so many different ways.  Because they know I will happily take these things off of their hands, they think of me when they are about to get rid of things.   Almost all of our furniture has been picked from the side of the road or given to me by someone who no longer wanted it.  I have even had wonderful blog readers (you know who you are!) send me boxes of beautiful yarn and give me an old sewing machine when mine broke down (which I still use a few years later!)  My Judahbear is clothed almost entirely by the castoffs from a friend at church, my girls and our bookshelves have been outfitted abundantly from another such friend, almost all the green beans I canned last year were given to me by a neighbor who was overwhelmed by her crazy bean crop, my perennials have grown exponentially through the kindness of neighbors who know of my love of flowers or see me out working in the flower circle and the list goes on and on and on. 

I know some of you do this- just a few weeks ago on the FOF link-up, I read that pounds and pounds of coffee beans were able to be gleaned from a coffee party that had used coffee beans in the bottom of vases.  How cool is that?

This week, in particular, was a wonderful week of castoffs for me.

* A neighbor who is cleaning things out sent along some mattress covers, curtains, a comforter and some sheets.  She also sent along some candles, a few bud vases and a soapdish.  The rest of the  knicknacky stuff I will not keep. 

* I got a garbage bag full of clothes for my Judah (including pj's, socks and shoes!) from a friend who has essentially clothed the boy his entire life.  A good thing since Andrew pretty much destroys all his clothes before the season is over.  I never have to look at yard sales for Judah and I LOVE it.

* I sorted through 2 more grocery bags of clothing for the girls.  Some of these were such high quality I might try to consign a few of them.

* I was given some lilies, poppies and a very tall yellow flowering plant to add to my perennials.

A few other financial things this week~

* I bought five fruit trees!!!  Extremely excited about this. (Hence the bazillion repetitious photos on this post!) I have been meaning to get fruit trees going since we moved in and kept missing the deadlines so finally I just decided I would buy the trees from a local greenhouse. 1) I can see them.  2) I know they will thrive in this area 3) They are more mature than their mailed counterparts 4) No shipping 5) It ACTUALLY HAPPENS.     There was no sale happening and I had searched for coupons to no avail so when I got there, I asked the guy if he would give me a discount if I bought more than one tree.  He took $10.00 off EACH TREE!  I was so excited!  I was able to get the trees at about the same price I would have paid through a catalog I had earmarked!  I saved $50.00 just for asking!!  I got a sweet cherry, a pie cherry, two peaches and a nectarine.   I hope to go back when I have some more money to get the other trees I wanted (plums and pears!)- otherwise, FEDCO it is for the rest of the orchard.

* Made the crocheted Easter dresses and bowties for Easter from yarn I have had for several years.

* Made the slips for the girls using stuff I had lying around (though I admit I would have paid money for the slips had I found some!)

* set up a free trial month of Amazon Prime to get free, fast shipping on some spelling books I needed to order (and pronto!)  I wrote on the calendar the date at which I need to cancel the subscription so as not to be billed.  I hope to order next years' school stuff before the month is up.

* Everything I made to serve for Easter was from scratch, including the French bread. Others brought food along with them too.

* Made ham and scalloped potato soup with the Easter leftovers.

* Got a bunch of jars and tablecloths ready to go to a friend whose daughter is getting married.  (Love that they are just asking around for stuff to borrow instead of going out and buying everything!)

* Used a 50% off coupon to buy 25# of air-dry clay for art projects.

I guess that is all I can think of and I am already getting this post up late...so I will leave it there.

Anyone else want to chime in on their financial pursuits?

Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014







The day before Easter I had the realization that though the crocheted dresses for the girls were done, slips would be necessary for underneath.  I went to town, hunting through stores and stores only to find that the days of slip wearing girls have long since past and I never got the memo.  Everyone I asked raised eyebrows and wondered at the craziness of the curious lady wondering about a (what was it?) slip.  Some even laughed.  Out loud.  So that night I was forced to figure SOMETHING out which led to me converting a tanktop to Adele's slip and a slip of my own into one for Corynn while every now and again glancing up to watch Man of Steel into the wee small hours of the evening/morning.

Easter was a mad dash to get potatoes sliced for scalloping, egg yolks plucked for devilling, French bread rolled for baking, dust bunnies swept and furniture polished for being inviting, chairs brought in for sitting and plastic eggs scattered for finding.  We rushed out of church to get home before our guests arrived and to get the oven warmed up in time.  Though rushed on the outside, my insides were calm and peaceful.  The Lord reigns.  Oh death, where is thou sting?  He lives.

Needless to say, I got very few pictures of our Easter- only four...of my mom and my brother and my husband-love and the blueberry pie that wasn't quite sweet enough.  All other pictures were taken today by a very patient group of children who were told to put on their Easter things so I could take pictures.  "And for goodness' sake, don't act cold!" 

Even though, of course, it was cold.  Very cold, indeed.

This was the pattern I used for the dresses, though a word of warning- opt for a bigger size than you think you'll need and keep adding on rows at the bottom until you get to the length you prefer because the pattern (in my experience anyway) produced much more of a tunic than a dress and was certainly on the small size.  I worried that Adele's might not even fit her after it was done!)  The bow ties were easy peasy too...I didn't follow a pattern but here is quite a selection of patterns to choose from.

I am not sure what project to get started/finished next and will wait until inspiration strikes.  In the meantime, I am busy reading An Everlasting Meal: Coking with Economy and Grace.  Hope you had a wonderful Easter.