Monthly Archives: December 2016

Beautiful Flowers

My hubs loves flowers. When he see a beautiful bloom, his first reaction is to pull out his phone and take a snap shot of it. Here’s a collection of some of the lovely blossoms he’s captured throughout the year. Hope you enjoy!

Lilies of the valley.

Roses

Double mock orange.

Lilies Varieties!

More Lilies.

“Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?” (Luke 12:17)

 

 

 

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Hay!

It’s something new we tried with the garden this year. Derek had researched that laying a down news paper and covering it with hay or grass clippings reduces weeds significantly.

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The hubs hard at work. Since I was already all tuckered out from working that day, I sat outside as his photographer and cheer leader. After a while, we found that laying the paper became tedious and unneeded extra work. Laying the grass down thickly did the job just fine — and required less bending.

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Thankfully, we rent on a acreage where Derek can mow freely and use the grasses that are left over. Derek raked it all into piles, let it dry, and loaded the truck by hand. I tell you, it might seem like a lot of work, but boy does it pay off!

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Where grass and straw had been laid, we had hardly any weeding at all to do in those rows at first. Once the plants got established, we had none. One hardworking afternoon of laying down hay definitely outweighs the hours of weekly weeding that would have happened.
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It made the plants much happier to boot! Since the hay also doubles as a mulch, it kept more of the moisture in and protected the plants. Many of the plants grew double as big as those without the mulch and the sweet potatoes turned out huge!!
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Derek plans next year to make the garden as self sustaining as possible using a combo of landscaping fabric and mulching with hay and grass. When it 1 man against 3 acres of garden, hay and other tips become unspeakably helpful!

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Deer in the Snow

As Sunday afternoon approached, the snow began to tamper off. I went to the window to check on the sky. I discovered that we had visitors.

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Four deer lingered on the edge of the tree grove just south of the garden. Two didn’t clear the trees enough for a good shot, and the other two walked up along the fence line, grazing.

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Zooming in, I discovered one was a buck! Looks like a 3-pointer to me.

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Which of these animals do not belong?

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What a surprise! Here I am, photographing deer, when five or six turkeys come wandering by, right in front of my lens! I was so taken aback (and the turkeys in such a  hurry) I only managed to snap a picture of the last one. img_1592

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As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God. (Psalm 42:1)

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Canning Expeditions

Every year, Youth for Christ sells Colorado peaches for a fundraiser. (And Georgia peaches, pecan, and pears.) We sign up for a bunch every year because, well… delicious, sweet, soft, juicy, tender, divine, melt-in-your-mouth, tangy, wonderful, there’s just not enough adjectives! (If you’ve ever tasted a ripe Colorado peach, you know what I’m talking about.)

The 30 lb lugs arrive around August here. The hubs and I have made a tradition of canning them. Peach butter is one of our favorites to eat and sell. It’s well worth the effort.

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Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving – a nice starter book with easy recipes!

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How could you not what to bury your face in that? BEST. PEACHES. EVER. These were lucky to even make it to the canner.

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Getting an early start heating things up.

This summer, I had to be kinda careful with my energy. So my hubs took over and learned how to can pickles. He single-handedly took care of all the cucumbers this year, turning them into sweet gherkins, dill relish, lime pickles, and…

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Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving

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Derek’s lovely dill pickles. These are his favorite snacks.

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Post-canning clean up. Few things make a mess like processing fresh produce, but it is SO worth it!

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The First Snowy Morning

Since nearly October, I’ve been eagerly anticipating the first snow. I’ll admit, it’s a little difficult to drive in snow at times. What else isn’t there to love about snow? It’s quiet, soft, and beautiful beyond description. You can make snow angels, snow men, snowball fights out of it. There’s nothing quite like the feel of waking up one morning to a world transformed.

That’s what happened Sunday morning. Padding out through the dim, silent living room, I peered out the window to find a blue dawn. I couldn’t help but grab the camera and capture a few shots before the hubs woke up.

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Just beyond our doorstep.

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Faded Sunflowers.

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My pots ‘o Things. Here’s to a good winter’s sleep, herbs. Hope you make it to spring this time!

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Sleepy, snowy garden. You can’t see it but snow is still falling.

After setting the camera aside, I sat my chair next to the window with a biscuit and a cup of tea and savored the long, quiet moments before the day began.

Praise God that life’s finest pleasures are His free gifts! Who needs riches with such a morning as this? How amazingly good God is.

 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail?” (Job 38:22)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17)

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Cherries and Berries

IMGA0966Harvesting is without a doubt a favorite part of gardening. Fruits hold a special place among the ranks of produce that come in. “God’s candy” is Derek’s name for it.

A highlight of the spring is the first of the strawberries. These rarely make it out of the garden, not because of pests, diseases, or poor conditions, but the dreaded hungry husband.

 

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Such a sweetie, Derek always finds and gives me the best one…

 

 

 

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… but I must model the strawberry for a picture before eating.

 

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Group shot!

 

 

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Close up!

 

 

 

 

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Not sure what’s up with this one. Defective ones, sadly, are consumed. Sadly, our strawberry patch is spent out. Next year it’ll be time to move it and plant fresh plants — and that means no more fresh strawberries for next year.

 

 

 

 

A summer highlight is driving down to visit Derek’s grandparents in late June or early July. His grandma has kindly let us raid her cherry tree for the last three years. It’s a mature lovely tree and always has such wonderful red fruit! It’s thanks to her tree and it’s fresh fruit that our cherry jam turns out so well.

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My hubby working hard. (He has a tendency to get a little woolly, specially when he’s been working in the heat.) I wasn’t feeling well at the time, so I enjoyed sitting in the shade, writing letters, and cheering him on.
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Lovely fruits of his labor. We didn’t have time to turn these into jam. For now, they’re waiting patiently in the freezer for making jam this winter.

Thank you, Eva, for all the cherries every year!!!

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