Wednesday, June 7, 2017

My Garden Within the Garden

May has come and gone, and I'm thinking June has a spring in her step, much like May's!


My tulips put on a glorious display in my garden which lasted for several weeks.


Their bright happy faces a welcome sight to see after waiting so patiently for flowers to bloom this spring!



We've had several days of quite warm weather (high 80s, and some days in the 90s) so much that Annie was wishing for snow again, lol... seeking out the cool shadowed places to rest in.


The chickens enjoy the sunshine as they take their daily dust baths.


I've been having fun "puttering" in my little garden shed.



A peek inside at my work space, I'm loving it!  It is great to have a place to organize all my tools for the garden, to pot plants, and such.


I have plans for a proper potting table, but for now, this old table I scavenged will do!


My "Garden Within the Garden" is coming along nicely... the plants are starting to bloom and fill out, and it has become a quiet haven of peace and rest for me.


My plan is to eventually have it bordered on one side with raspberries, and roses down the other, and someday, a trellis with roses to enter it... someday!



An weathered ladder I found at a yard sale has a couple of old metal tackle boxes filled with succulents bordering one side of the little garden space.


My tea pot is filled with dianthus, which overwintered in my greenhouse, and are now blooming again!

An old wagon that works! It was found by my husband and father at the dump, and has found a new reason to live again :)


I found a place to rest my hat from last summer on this weather-worn chair and old tool box.


An old rusty tea cart has found its place in my garden too.


This vintage, worn-out high chair is a perfect resting spot for some pansies and succulents.


I've got my garden fully planted now.  I was late starting my tomatoes from seed (due to my Easter Texas visit I didn't want to start them until I got back), so I had to purchase some tomato plants from a lady in town who starts them in her greenhouse.  On the left hand side are planted my tomatoes, and on the right hers.  It will be interesting to see if mine can catch up!  :)


Maybe one of you can tell me what this barrel's original use was, I can't be sure. However, I picked it up at a yard sale several years ago and have turned it into a home for my columbine.


When we first married, my husband gave me a gorgeous lamp one year for Christmas. Unfortunately in one of our moves, it suffered a huge hole in its side.  I've kept it for years, just hating to part with it.  I finally found new life for it!  In my garden, it now is a support for my columbine growing so prettily. I also had a gorgeous flower pot that had broken, and it too, has found new recognition in my garden of re-purposed things!


My corn is in the foreground, strawberries in the background.  A saying around here about corn is that it needs to be "knee-high by the 4th of July"... well, many of my corn are already close to knee high, so I hope we are ahead of the game this year!



This is a painting that my daughter just sold to a local college satellite campus, and it was a pretty exciting event for her.  She is part of an art club at the college, and will be getting more exposure with her paintings this summer.


Now that many of the dead trees have been cleared away, I have a clearer view of the mountains from my kitchen window.  About 8:30 a couple of evenings ago, this gorgeous sunset graced the skies.


And it is now the season for our wild roses to be in bloom! Oh it is just beautiful to look around in the yard and see the beautiful pink blooms everywhere!


Lots of these pretty yellow wildflowers are blooming everywhere too.


And of course, the lupins have finally made their glorious debut!  I am telling you, between the blues, yellows, pinks and white wildflowers blooming, it is truly beautiful to see.


'Ole Sal out in the yard, enjoying the nice weather, with his momma close by, although in the chicken world, we don't talk about such things, lol!


He is sure a handsome fella, as is his brother, Mr. Pepper.  They have a funny relationship.  Mr. Pepper dominates the landscape and 'Ole Sal trails behind. Occasionally there is a bit of a scrap, but 'Ole Sal just runs, and no fights ensue, for which we are thankful for.


Annie walked with me through the yard, and as I snapped a picture of the yarrow, she stuck her head into the picture :)


Mr. Simba was trying to tell me it was past his bedtime, and to let him inside.  In the summer, he sleeps all day and roams at night.  I was keeping him from finding a comfy bed inside that was cool and quiet by roaming around the yard with my camera. Cats don't fancy any business that is more important than theirs! LOL...


One of our large woodpiles of dead wood, waiting to be split and stacked this summer.


My strawberries are in full bloom, and making great progress, I expect to be enjoying my first ripe strawberries very soon.  I planted 100 strawberry plants last year, and this will be their first year of a real harvest, so it is very exciting.

So that is my update for progress in the garden thus far.  With all the beautiful blooms around me, and the happy sight of plants growing in the ground, I imagine June will slip by far too fast as well. We are enjoying every minute of the sunshine and warm weather, although we are in for a bit of cooler weather now and some rain, which will be welcome too.

~~~~

On a different note, if you believe in prayer, I would ask that you pray for a couple of serious requests from two of my dear blogging friends.  Kelly-Anne who blogs at http://kellycountrydiary.blogspot.com wrote a post this morning sharing how her family narrowly escaped a fire that destroyed everything in its path, including their home.  This is a precious family who loves the Lord, and who now have no place to call home.  I was amazed as I read back through a couple of her most recent blog posts, and how it seemed that the Lord was preparing her for such an unthinkable thing!

She wrote on Tuesday, June 6:

In our lives, we need to realise that we will face challenges of many kinds (James 1:2-3)....  We are not promised a life of ease or comfort, but rather of trading our selfish motives and desires to physically pick up our cross and follow the Lord Jesus (Luke 9:23).

But in the midst of difficulty, pain or trial, we need to maintain an Eternal perspective and embrace what the Lord is teaching us and lean more on Him... Our fight is not against flesh and blood (Eph 6:12)...  And this is just our temporary home...

This dear girl and her large family lost everything in a fire last night, and are coveting prayers for the Lord to help them find a place to live.  Thankfully, all of them escaped, even their animals.  8 lives were lost in their area last night, but thankfully their lives were spared.  Pray for this family in the loss that they have suffered. 

And I also ask you to join in prayer for Kristen, whose story can be found here... she has a blood clot in her right lung that could let loose at any time, and is in her last trimester of pregnancy.  The doctors need direction on how to go about delivering the baby safely and keeping the blood clot from moving.  It is a very delicate and desperate situation, and Kristen and her family would appreciate prayer for them as the next few days will involve the delivery and the precarious situation of the blood clot.  

There are many other needs of dear friends and family that I could mention here, but the Lord knows them all!  Your prayers will be most gratefully appreciated for both these families, and for those families in the UK and around the world whose loved ones didn't make it home in the recent attacks.  

This world is so full of heartache, sorrow, suffering, pain, and distress.  How thankful I am that in the midst of very dark and difficult situations, that we can go to the Lord in prayer, and find strength that we need for whatever we face.  

As I spend time outside working in our yard, and garden, I find peace, solace and comfort as I work, by praying and talking to the Lord and lifting up the needs of my friends and family.  There is something quite comforting about the earth, soil, flowers, blooms, trees, skies, the sun, and clouds around me and as I lift up my eyes to the heavens, I know the Lord listens, loves, knows and cares about all these needs, and my heart is quieted within me.   

This passage in Isaiah 26:3-4 never ceases to comfort and bless my heart, and I will leave you with its message today... 

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, 
whose mind is stayed on thee: 
because he trusteth in thee.  

Trust ye in the Lord for ever; 
for in the Lord JEHOVAH 
is everlasting strength."  
Isaiah 26:3-4




Friday, May 26, 2017

A Collage Of May

May has been such a busy month around here, we have had lots of doing, and not much time for the computer and sharing/blogging.  It is a good thing to have mostly sunshine, mixed with clouds, rain and wind at times, but overall, we are thankful to have seen more of the sun recently, and this has given us more of a chance to get outside and enjoy springtime.

I want to forewarn you though... this post is about several different events, four of them I've turned into a collage to shorten the post, and hopefully make it a bit easier to see why this May has been full of activity for us :)  Really, each of the collages could have served as a post of their own, but my time challenges won't permit me this luxury, so I will share them with you like this.


~~~ UNEARTHING A TIME CAPSULE ~~~~

Our local grange (community center) closed its doors several years ago due to lack of membership, and the board has decided recently to put it up for sale.  One of the ladies who was heavily involved in the grange is a neighbor of ours, an active and beautiful 91 year old.  She remembered that there was a time capsule buried near the front entrance of the grange and that it needed to be opened before selling the grange.  The grange used to be a schoolhouse, and back in 1929, the schoolteacher there created a time capsule with her students and buried it. 


There was an approximate area it was buried, and so a backhoe began to slowly dig out the area. Lots of bottles, nails, and even an old stovetop was found, but no bottle!  My husband was down by the backhoe helping to look for anything that could be the time capsule.  Suddenly, he spotted something, reached down, and there it was!  My husband was the first one to touch this time capsule since 1929, quite an exciting thing for him!  He handed it immediately to Mrs. L and then the excitement arose on how best to open it.  It was filled with liquid, most likely water, because the cork had gone bad.  Soon enough, the bottle was opened and gentle hands pulled the paper from the bottle.  It was a recording by the teacher of all the student names there in beautiful handwriting.  Here is a closeup of it.


Some of the names were familiar to many of the community and neighbors who had gathered there, and some were not.  It was just an amazing experience to see that this piece of paper written back in 1929, put in a bottle whose cork had dried out, that was still able to be legible and readable! The paper will be preserved as part of the grange's history in this area.  It was a really neat experience for all of us. Some of the lilac bushes were dug up in the search for the bottle, and I took a couple of the bushes home to plant in my yard... a little piece of the history of that day will always  be with us :)

~~~~ EVENING MOODY SKIES ~~~


A storm had rolled in, and was in the clearing stages when my husband and I took a little drive down river.  Oh, it was magnificent!  The colors in the sky, try as I might, really didn't show up well on my camera.  Yet, you get to see just a bit of the beauty of that night as we enjoyed the glorious skies after the storm.


~~~ CELEBRATING MOTHER'S DAY ~~~~


My family treated me in special ways for Mother's Day with flowers, chocolate, very sweet cards and gift cards, and a gorgeous blue birdbath for the front yard. We ate out at our favorite Mexican restaurant and enjoyed the day together, ending it out by the pit with a fire later that evening.  So blessed and thankful for my precious family!

~~~~ LOST IN THE 50'S ~~~~


A city nearby has a big celebration every year, "Lost in the 50s".  One of the big thrills of the weekend is the parade that kicks the event off.  I don't think I've EVER been in a parade that long!  It just kept coming and coming and coming!  The classic cars came 2 by 2, and even still, the parade took close to an hour!  Oh it was great to see all the old beauties all shined up, but I think my favorite picture out of the whole night was this one ...


The expressions on their faces just made my heart smile too :)

~~~~ CAMPING ON THE RIVER ~~~~



As we traveled down the road towards our camping spot, we spotted movement in the hills, and before long, this lone moose made her way across the road, and back down the hill.  She was not too concerned about our presence, and seemed quite content once she reached the other side of the embankment.  It was very exciting seeing the moose just a mile or so from where we were camping.  We kept our eyes and ears out while we camped, but saw no other large wildlife while we were there.


As we reached our destination, I couldn't help but just stand and look at the views around me.  You can't tell from this picture, but the river at this junction flows east and west, with snow-capped mountains backdropping both the east and west.  It was an impressive sight to see... wherever you saw the river, the mountains were in the background, still covered in snow.


From the east side of the river, in this picture you can't see the mountains, but they were there! The shadows hid them from this vantage point.


Setting up camp is always lots of fun, deciding where to situate things and getting the fire going.


As we worked to set up camp, the wind began to blow, and I looked up and saw this incredible rainbow forming overhead!  It was magnificent!


A light drizzle of rain began but it was more like a mist than rain.  The rainbow continued to form, growing brighter and brighter as the storm hovered around us.


And then two of them formed!  Can you see the second one?


Absolutely incredible to see both these rainbows hovering over the mountain in perfect formation.


I caught this splash of brilliant color as its glorious colors filled the sky.


 Meanwhile, Riley had found something quite interesting to chew on, so she stayed with me while I snapped pictures of the rainbow, completely unaware of it all, enjoying her own joys of camping...


Soon there was a roaring fire built and it was time to get supper.  Whenever we camp, I like to bring a meal already cooked that can just be heated, as setting up camp sometimes can take longer than you realize.  Today, I made a Cowboy Soup and brought homemade cornbread with it.  It was the PERFECT meal after the busyness of setting up camp, and watching the rainbow!


Isn't that the cutest beggar you've ever seen? Yes, she has the science of begging down to a fine art!


After dinner was cleaned up, we walked downstream and in this picture you can see our campsite off in the distance.


We found quite a few Morel mushrooms as we walked, and that was very exciting!


As the sun began to set, we made our way back to camp, enjoying the gorgeous sunset colors in the sky.


The weather was perfect for sleeping, in the low 50s.  Soon a beautiful morning dawned upon us.


In the still morning light, the river was calm while the sleepy sunlight lazily bounced around us.


A picture that speaks of the serenity and beauty of this little camping spot.  After we ate breakfast, we read through several chapters of Proverbs, and shared what many of the Proverbs we read meant to us, and lessons we could learn from them, and then we had prayer together. It was a very special time with us and the Lord, outside in the most beautiful, peaceful setting.


After all the excitement of morning coffee and breakfast of bacon, eggs and fried potatoes, the cutest little beggar needed a nap...


My husband and I took our lawn chairs down by the riverbanks and stretched out to enjoy the sun and the view.  I think we both napped too... :) The soothing rush and constant roar of the river was music to our souls, the kind we like best.


I know I took far too many pictures of this little piece of heaven we were camping in... as quite soon the snow will be gone off the mountain peaks, but for today, we enjoyed the luxury of feeling warm in the cool breeze off the snow-covered peaks.


Many trails beckoned us onward to explore...


While walking on one of the trails, my husband spotted this snake, that I was just about to step on! My husband, being the native Texan that he is, is a pro at spotting such things.  I was just happily walking along enjoying the moment, oblivious to the slithering going on by my feet!


Luckily this was just a harmless little snake that soon was scooped up and taken back to the banks of the river where his home no doubt is.  North Idaho has no poisonous snakes, and of course my husband assured me that he had no triangular shape to his head, so we were fine.  Whew!


After our little excursion, and snake adventure, we all needed a nap, Riley included.  She managed to find the softest bed around!  The rest of us napped in lawn chairs, while our friend got out her cot and napped on it, with Riley all snuggled close.  She likes her creature comforts!


We woke up to hear the shrill call of the hawk overhead, circling for his dinner.  He moved quickly, and I was lucky to get this picture of him.  He kept his distance from us.


One last view of the mountains before it was time to pack up and head home.  Our hearts were full of contentment and simple serenity and joy of being able to camp and enjoy the beauty of the Lord's creation with our good friends.  Plans are already being made for another such camping trip. We won't be going camping this weekend, as more work needs to continue - trees, garden, house maintenance, and the like... but as soon as time and weather permits, we hope to get out and camp along the river again.

So you can see that the month of May has been a busy one ~ from the time capsule ~ to evening rides ~ to Mother's Day celebrations ~ and taking in a Lost in the 50s parade, along with working on clearing out our dead trees (always an ongoing job), that we are busting at the seams with joy for the delights of springtime in all its glory here.

As we remember the heroes of our country this weekend, who have put their lives on the line for our freedoms and while we enjoy good food, friends and fellowship, may we all remain very thankful for the freedoms that we are afforded in this country and a heartfelt gratefulness and thankfulness for the bountiful blessings of the Lord that we enjoy each and every day.  Let us never take it for granted! Happy Memorial Day to all :)