Smoky Days and Soaking Rains

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Summer is drawing to a close here in our beautiful North Idaho. I had lows in my garden of 38 degrees in July! We've had many nights in the low 40s in the last couple of weeks.  My plants are doing their best, as I support them and give them everything I can think of to help them - but we all know that Fall and the first frost are close at hand... 

August is always a month full of glorious beauty, an abundance of harvest, and a soaking up of the garden's precious offerings - blooms, fruit, and gorgeous sunsets! 

My sunflowers are showing off! Look at that bright happy face, shining so brightly within the gorgeous sunset skies! 

In the last couple of weeks, we have had gusty winds, and many fires have started in our area. It was a very worrisome period for us.  The smoke in the skies was heavy and at dangerous levels. Thankfully, we had no fires that threatened our home, but hundreds of our Washington neighbors lost their homes that weekend. Churches and communities are mobilizing to assist those who lost so much. I can't imagine the heartbreak and loss these folks experienced! 

We had planned a neighborly get-together the weekend the fires started.  We planned to sit outside and visit. The smoke and fires changed our plans, so we set up the potluck inside our son and his wife's shed which is a work in progress to become a tiny home.  It was wonderful to visit with our neighbors and friends! 

Our daughter Danielle brought her puppy to entertain us, he is a corgi, and just precious!  So very sweet! 

I saw this bee in my garden just sleeping on the dahlia in the midst of all the smoke and wildfire haze- and I thought -  I need to do this too!  Wouldn't it be just wonderful to curl up for a nap in the petals of a flower {smiles}  I realized this as I watched the little bee - I just need to rest in God's provision too, and enjoy His beauty in spite of what is happening in the world around me!


Finally, we did get some rain! What a relief it was to walk in the cool weather, with the wind blowing, and rain pelting my face.  The rain slowed the fires down, thankfully, and most evacuations have been lifted. 

A tomato sandwich! The tomatoes are ripening in the garden and making their way into every meal in our home! There is just nothing like the taste of a homegrown tomato! 

The cattle panel trellis has an abundance of green beans growing on it! I've been picking pounds of green beans! It is a good harvesting year! 

Early August morning in the garden - fog hanging low as the cool temps mix with the warm ground -  there is a sense of contentment that fills my soul to see the green lush beauty within my garden. 

Cauliflower is growing in abundance - I will be blanching and freezing :) What would you do with about 15 heads of cauliflower? My family are not big pickle fans, so I think freezing them will be the best way for us to enjoy them through the winter. 

Just a view of a neighbor's home as the sun shines, and another rainstorm approaches.  We are thankful for all the rain we have gotten - how we need it! 

The second August supermoon - also known as the blue moon, as it comes up over my garden. You can see all my solar lights lighting up the garden. 


Garden's best - green beans snapped and ready to can!
I canned about 20 pounds of beans this week. 

I use the raw pack or cold pack method for my green beans.  I find it less labor intensive, and also the beans in hot packing seem much more mushy, as they've been cooked twice.  What is your favorite way to can green beans? 

18 pints of canned green beans - feels good to put food
away for our long winter months! 

Here it is - the August Blue Moon! Well, the skies look blue, although 
the moon was just beautiful as I took this picture :) 

You will find me here for the next few weeks - soaking up all the goodness of the garden - enjoying the bountiful harvest,
and always praying for the extension of our growing season. 

Yes, I do spend a lot of time in my garden praying - it's a beautiful place to talk to the Lord and to spend time in His presence. So much to pray about, and the peace I find here helps me to rest in the Lord. There is so much happening in the world around us that can be hard to understand.  

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan 

with all power and false signs and wonders, 

and with all wicked deception 

for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth 

and so be saved. 

Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, 

so that they may believe what is false, 

in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth 

but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, 

brothers beloved by the Lord, 

because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, 

through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 

To this he called you through our gospel,

 so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions 

that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.  

1 Thessalonians 2:9-16

This verse was made brought to my heart this morning and reassured me that we must just keep on trusting the Lord for He has a perfect plan for all things, and we can rest safely in His care.  Just like the little bee resting amongst the beauty of the dahlia as the smoke was thick around us, it was a picture the Lord gave me of how we can rest in His care. He will be with us! 

Here is a short video of me in the garden at sunset the night the colors were so vibrant and rich. It was the night before the fires in our area started, and the sweet beauty the Lord gave us stayed with me and kept us through the long days of smoke!

Sharing this music video I created some time ago - spend some time in prayer today - the presence of the Lord is refreshing, and will give you strength to face what lies before you.  

Blessings to all! 


  1. I loved the video of you in your garden, Marilyn, reflecting on the beauty of God's creation, and imagining the wonders of Heaven. I always feel closer to God when I'm out in nature - just the setting takes me away from myself and my worries.
    It's hard for a Georgian to envision a summer as brief as yours, too. We're just coming off a terrible heat wave, and it probably won't be until early October that we have a chill in the air. You do wonders with your garden in spite of the short growing season.
    Many blessings!

  2. Marilyn, Everything looks so beautiful!!! We finally got some rain. We needed it to cool it down some and relieve the dryness for sure. The plants and grasses said a big AH!! LOL Please tell me about the cold pack method for your beans!!! Have a lovely weekend!!!

  3. Marilyn, I love this post! The photos are so beautiful and refreshing!
    Yes to fresh tomatoes! So yummy.

  4. What a bountiful summer you have had! And those photos of the purples and golds and your gorgeous lush garden are just stunning! I can see why you want to just stand out there and take it all in, and pray too. I loved seeing the video of you! I used to can and freeze like you are doing now.. it was SO satisfying. I never did the cold method of beans. Please post how to do that.. I always thought you had to use a pressure cooker for beans! That must have been so scary with the fires so close. We've had alot here in central Oregon (still do) and have had many smokey days.. and last week some very "high danger" ones where it was so bad it was just dark during the middle of the day. I stayed inside for sure (except to water my parched flowers). I'm glad you got rain. We haven't had any for months.. but maybe tomorrow will receive a little bit.. I'm hoping and praying. Madras has had less t han 5 inches of rain this year! xoxo Marilyn

  5. Your garden and mountain views bring peace to my soul, even through the computer. How I miss the northwest. We have several friends who lost homes in the Gray and Oregon Road fires. We prayed and prayed for rain and God sent the cooling moisture. Other friends have been allowed back to their homes and we're grateful for that. We've been told that the community has been wonderful in rallying round the fire victims. Praise the Lord!
    I do miss putting up green beans. They are my favorite garden veggie. I just used to wash and blanch them. Then I would freeze them in a single layer before putting into quart ziplock bags. To cook I would put them in my steamer and they were oh, so good. Especially if I had a little bacon or bacon grease to add to them.
    May God bless you Marilyn as you soak in all He has for you in these days leading up to fall.
    Blessings and love,

  6. Marilyn, your garden is beautiful. I am so sorry about the fires. I pray everyone will be safe. More rain is also needed here. Everything is dry. Take care, Blessings

  7. Listening to you talking at sunset in your garden reminded me of 1 Corinthians 13:12 ~ 'For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.' Your hard work in the garden has provided great dividends for you and your family. I love reading, too, of how you reach out to your neighbors and show them hospitality. Beautiful photos. We were so thankful to wake up in the wee hours and hear rain falling. Our son (not as a firefighter) had to patrol the (Oregon Road) fire for a couple of his shifts and it was hard for him to see the devastation and the homes lost. Enjoy the ending of gardening season! Blessings.

  8. Dearest Marilyn,
    What a bounty of vegetables in your garden!
    Those cauliflowers you ought to cover up for keeping them 'white' by folding the leaves over them.
    Dad was called the Cauliflower King for producing firm and solid pure white cauliflowers:
    You sure have to freeze them, they're so good in soup and as a vegetable on the side.
    Love the images for the Sweet Hour of Prayer! Well done.

  9. What a bounty to behold out of your garden. I used the cold pack for all the beans and peas and limas I grew once upon a time. I miss the food but not the work now that it's been 15 years, lol. Beautiful photos. We watched the Blue moon set this morn. I am so sad about the fire destruction. Burning in one place of our great country and hurricane in another. Thank you for sharing prayers. Lynn

  10. Such a beautiful garden! And I love the sunsets!!!!!
    So glad you're safe from the fires and that you got some rain. Here in Texas, we've had triple digit temperatures for months and are under a burn ban. Several fires have occurred and still are. Thankfully last Saturday we got a downpour, but we really need some more. But I know that was a blessing from God, a sign of hope. :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts on God's care and the verses.
    God bless, Valentine

  11. Thank you for sharing the riches of your home and garden with us dear Marilyn.
    Your video is so restful and encouraging.... Hugs to you

  12. Your photographs are lovely.
    Sorry to read about the fires, there seem to be a lot of them in so many countries.
    Stay safe and enjoy the coming month of September.

    All the best Jan

  13. Oh wow you are getting some low temps aren't you. We got down to 58 last night which was a welcome change from the high 70's we have been having. Your garden is looking just great and it looks like you will be ready for the winter with all your goodies. I haven't canned in years, I do freeze some things but that is it.
    So sorry you have had to deal with all the smoke from the fires but I am so thankful you haven't had the fires come close to you or your land. Happy September to you, and hope it comes with a little warmer temps and some good rain :)

  14. Your garden is beautiful, Marilyn, and I can imagine the feeling of peace you find while you are there. The scenery is always so lovely there, and especially so with the colorful sunsets and moonrise. You have put in a lot of work growing and harvesting and putting it up for winter, but it must be such a satisfying feeling. Your impromptu potluck inside looks delicious, too. So many have experienced fires and smoke this year and when you live in a forest it is a constant worry, I know. My heart breaks and I pray for all those who have lost their loved ones and their homes. I am glad to hear that you are getting some much-needed rain now. Such a blessing. Hugs xo K

  15. How fun to see you on video, Marilyn. Your garden is lovely, it's so full and colorful during August. You have an emerald thumb. The fires are terrible, I'm so sorry. My heart goes out to all those affected. I hope the fall brings kinder weather. Enjoy the weekend.

  16. I love your garden Marilyn. Praying for those... so much destruction all around. And to think our area is still cleaning up for our winter storms!!
    We are thinking of getting a Corgi, please share more information when you can... do they shed a lot? do they need daily work or will a walk or run do the trick and any other information you think helpful.

    We are planning to get some ducks.
    xx oo

  17. Your garden is beautiful! I always do cold pack beans because that's the way I like them! I'm so glad you were safe from the fires that destroyed so many lives in the Pacific Northwest. Thank you for the reminder from I Thessalonians. In this difficult times we must continue to be strong and give thanks. I love your videos.

  18. I love your sunflowers and your beautiful garden. The green beans look delicious. I'm glad you are safe from the wildfires. I like that scripture from I Thessaloniasn.

  19. I so enjoyed seeing your bountiful garden! And especially enjoyed the video of you speaking from your garden. I could just feel the peace and serenity there. Wow! That is a LOT of green beans!! I know they will be so delicious. You have worked so hard and now God is sending the expected and hoped-for harvest! Praise His holy name. I so enjoy your posts and seeing peeks into your life, dear friend. May the presence of the Lord continually guide and bless you and also continue to comfort your heart, as you miss your dear Dad. I love and appreciate you dearly.

  20. Beautiful my friend, thankful you all are safe from the wildfires, beautiful garden!

  21. Your words and pictures are all so beautiful. Your posts ar always so calm and serene. Thank You!

  22. This is the first time I've read your
    blog. It was so beautiful and peaceful.
    Your garden is lovely.
    I needed the scripture!
    I pray and then forget to trust it to God
    sometimes. It is an excellent reminder.
    The cattle panel trellis is a brilliant idea. I plan on using it in my garden
    next spring.
    Now that I've found you
    I'll be back!

  23. What a beautiful and inspiring video you created. I could never make something like that. The photos of your garden are so stunning and beautiful! All that canning makes my back hurt just thinking about it! The bee flower, is that some kind of Dahlia? It is so pretty.


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