Wednesday, June 30, 2010
First, know your family..what are you personally able to endure? What are your reasonable limits? Can you endure days, weeks or longer without electricity? Are you able to save and store necessities, rotate them, and use them? Do you have responsibilities that keep you here (we have a farm)? Once you know your limits, strengths, weaknesses, you can plan from there. If you have small children- it may be wiser for you to move to higher ground..especially if family is in a better location than you are. We have teens, animals that depend on us, and we are experienced at stocking, rotating and using staples/nonperishables...we have plenty of camping experience and equipment...this known, we tend to stay put.
Second, know your environment- what is your area likely to experience? At what point, if any, do you flood? Does your home seem to be in a sheer wind or tornado pathway? Do you have a safe area in case of tornado or wind activity? We personally live in an area that has had minor street flooding, though none has ever entered our house - to date. Also, this house has experienced several scrapes with sheer winds and tornadoes..and we live in a wooded area, so tree damage is very likely (we have had our share of it).
Third, know what you know- do you know how to store necessities, or enough food to sustain your family, or the water you would need for several days, gas, feed? Can you cook outdoors? Wash clothes without electricity? Are you okay without air conditioning? Do you have a generator- does it work- do you have gas to run it? We grew up this way- we stock and store- we rotate supplies- we know how to prepare food on open fire and on a grill (and have propane and charcoal if needed). We have washed clothes on a washboard and line dried them...we are not accustom to air conditioning...and we have a generator (only since last year), gas, and the ability to repair it.
Another important point..know what's around you...do you have younger families near you? Elderly? A nursing home? A church? Be aware of persons that may need extra assistance during distress or disaster..help another when it is in our power to do so. Knowing where a shelter in place is located could be vital not only to yourself, but someone near you. We have older family near us that manage well on their own, yet live in a flood prone area...we keep check on them. Our road has many young families with small children...we check on them. Our church is a shelter in place, had a food pantry, and is situated near persons who live in the river bottoms...they need checked on in a disaster.
Now, most of this is information to ponder- yes, however, it is always wise to at least store water (some for drinking/some for other), a few nonperishables...do up your laundry (if you know a storm is likely), and have a plan. Our family knows - if you're caught outdoors either head to the barn and tuck yourself between the stalls and hay bales, or head to the house and tuck yourself in the hall. They know to turn off TVs and computers and stay off the phones- and away from windows. We have certainly learned some of this the hard way!
God gave us a great many blessings in our day and age...use them to your advantage, be wise, be prepared.. it is not wasted. Take care of yourselves, pray for others around you, pray for those whom this storm has already touched, and pray for those in its path. We will be praying...God bless.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Tomorrow we are listing some fillet crochet items from simplyjen so keep an eye out. Thursday we should be listing some art pics from simplynrae. Both of these talented gals have had a rather busy summer...but now they have a few items ready to go. As for the farmboy..he and farmdaddy have been doing some well maintenance.
VBS was fun, but it's good to be "back in the saddle again".
Saturday, June 26, 2010
This past week I had the privilege of working alongside five wonderful volunteers. We had never met each other before this week so we had no idea what to expect of one another - no heads up as to temperaments, preferences, personalities, energy levels- you get the idea. Yet, in God's perfect plan, they were a blessing to me and to the children we worked with. Each one brought a different element to the classroom- unique and necessary.
To give them a much needed dose of appreciation, the farmkids and I put together some Cowboy Cookie mix in a gift jar. Simple, yet handmade, this gift shows care and effort in its making. The elements are everyday household staples, lovingly layered and attractively packaged. We thought we'd share the recipe with you.
Cowboy Cookies Mix (in a jar)
1 1/3 cup oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chocolate chips
1 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Layer these ingredients in order given in a one quart wide mouth canning jar...note I say wide mouth- it's best- if you use a regular mouth, it will be tougher..but you can do it. Press each layer firmly in place before adding the next ingredient---this is important- they will not all fit in the end if you don't press after each addition. I use a small gravy ladle to tap down the ingredients. Now, decorate as you like - raffia, ribbon, fabric strips, whatever fits you're mood. Next task is to make a label for the jar with the following instructions.
1. Empty jar of cookie mix into large mixing bowl. Use your hands to thoroughly blend mix.
2. Add: 1 stick butter or margarine, melted
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
3. Mix until completely blended. You will need to finish mixing with your hands.
4. Shape into balls the size of walnuts. Place 2" apart on greased baking sheets.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 11 to 13 minutes- until edges are lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to racks to finish cooling.
Makes 3 dozen cookies.
We hope this inspires you to give a dose of appreciation to the extra hands that help you here and there. Or maybe send this special gift to a friend or neighbor who just needs a pick me up. Now, you may even want to just make a batch for yourself!
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
week with fifteen kindergartners, however, we ended to yesterday with twenty-six! Wow! Of course, these are energetic and excited youngsters bursting with enthusiasm. Trying to keep up with them is proving quite a challenge for us. Yet, it is a blessing to see so many kids coming, interacting, learning about the Word, missions, themselves. Well, better set up some more activities...tomorrow will be here before you know it.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Now, they sat in my fabric bin for some time because I have a thing about cutting favorite materials (yes, this was one of them). However, practicality overruled and the panels were brought to the table. Two small panels were part of the set: a scrappy heart and Holly Hobby herself.
I decided to quilt these small panels using cotton embroidery floss: blush pink, baby blue, and chocolate brown. The scrappy heart took on the crazy quilt appearance...simple, yet embellished. Bound with dark country blue fabric cut on the bias, the little panel is just right for a wall or to use for a pillow case.
Monday, June 21, 2010
This year (after a few years of sabbatical) our family has returned to the joyous servitude known as Vacation Bible School. Sharing the work with an another area church, we are using the Saddleback Ridge program; right up our alley. Time and effort (and lots of crayons) have gone into preparing for this week.
Pray for us as we take on the roll of preschool director for this summer VBS- you gotta love preschoolers to teach this! Today we had fifteen lively little joys in our class and you never know what tomorrow may hold...so we'd appreciate your encouragement.
Also, if your church (or a church in your area) is hosting a VBS, prayerfully consider helping out. No task is too small and no person is incapable..join the fun! If you have children preschool to completed sixth grade, have them attend a VBS...they'll never be the same.
We're off to load the car with object lessons, goldfish crackers, and lots of farm items for tomorrow's excitement...and you never know what may come of the simple seeds planted in these next few days..oh, how precious to be part of it!
simplychele and the farmkids (or this week- ranchhands!)
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Our family wishes a blessed Father's Day to men everywhere. Please take the time to remember the men in your lives who use their time and energy every day providing, protecting, and praying for you. Consider their needs, hopes and dreams; what makes them tick. Instead of spending money on a random gift..spend time on them..on their desires..feed their souls for a day.
Here on the farm we know that this farm daddy is not impressed with pricey gifts or outlandish to-do's. He appreciates respect, faithfulness, hardwork, good food and plenty of love from his family. Our gifts are usually handmade- accompanied by a home cooked favorite meal- and time together. We attend church services together and honor fathers in our community and in our nursing facilities.
God bless your holiday weekend; we pray you enjoy time with fathers and grandfathers..all your loved ones. See you next week.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Not a particularly harmful lot (however, anything with a mouth will bite), these spiders are quite ominous to encounter. Their body alone can be as large as your thumb; then add in legs that are even longer. Bold in color and striking in size, you can't help but notice one if they are around you. Females are large and bold in color; males are much smaller and tend to stay neutral in color but similar in pattern. Orb weavers have several different external appearances, yet are identified by their circular web pattern.
Each year we have at least one web that spans the entire width of the greenhouse (always barricading one door). The open corner of our barn awning is home to another, and last year two took residence outside our backdoor. We do not bother them, but let them do their work to keep nastier creatures at bay. If bothered they tend to scurry to a hiding place near their web, making no attempt to attack us.
This year, once again, we are home to many of these amazing arachnids. Soon males will be seen on the web with their mates (yes, she devours him when his job is done..and leaves his exoskeleton hanging on her web...interesting, no?). Later then, egg sacs will grace every corner of the barn and garden buildings. God continues His glorious seasons in nature and life.
We encourage you to learn and know about the creation that shares space with you...a wonderful way to marvel at God's amazing beauty and intricate plan. To read more about the orb weavers we have here on our farm please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orb-weaver_spider another interesting site is http://www.spiderzrule.com/orbweaver1.htm.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
While we were away, the rest of the family had to keep the house and little farm in order. Farmboy did a wonderful job milking pour Willow- who desperately missed her goatmama. Simplynrae kept our chickens in order- no small task for anyone (I have lost count of how many hens we have now). They shared the burden of garden, rabbits, dogs, cats, dishes--all while keeping their classwork and other commitments in line. They had some adults around... farmdaddy was home between shifts; a grandmother made sure they were fed and where they were suppose to be; and a great-grandpa was not far away in case anything came up. They did an awesome job holding down the fort!
It seems as if the farm missed us while we were away. Driving up the path we spotted beautiful sunflowers all in a row, facing the gate as if they were waiting for our return.
So it is, we are home. With it..chores, gardens, laundry all need our attention. Trying to return to your routine can be quite daunting, yet, a stroll around the farm has lifted our spirits and renewed the purpose in us. This is home; it is where we have built a life we love. Yes, it is hot and the mosquitoes are staging a take over...yes, there is more work than we can do in a day....yes, we fell behind while we were away. Nonetheless, it was good to be away..and it was good to return.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Once home, these berries were cleaned, packed in two-cup portions, and frozen for later use. Around here, they are eaten straight from the freezer, blended in a smoothie, sprinkled over crepes or waffles, and baked in fruit crisps, cobblers, or pies. They pair up nicely with fresh yogurt and granola for a light breakfast or snack. Yum!
The rest of the day has taken a drastic turn; storms rolled through our area. High winds, thunder and heavy rains whipped around us. We made it to the barn just in time for small branches to fall from trees near the garden where we were picking today's produce. All safe now, and the weather has settled down.
We will be away from this space for the next two days; headed for a food show.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Summer is off with a boom..we have had some showers (thankyou. Lord)..much needed, and several days of just muggy heat. Mosquitoes are in full swarm as are the flies..seems they are planning a "hostile take-over" around here. All normal for this time of year. Planning and preparing for hurricane season is in order..we set up storage provisions to get us through..and are stocking the church pantry as well.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Pretty spring print fabric of yellow, soft blue and green colors made cheery cotton covers ready to fit any standard sewing machine (they even fit over my new heavy duty machine- which is a bit larger) and a standard serger.
In our home a machine cover is a must. Being open air (we have open windows and doors day in and day out), dust collects quickly in every uncovered space. For a sewing or serging machine, this is trouble. Dust can build up causing the machine not to function properly. We have a cover for each of our machines..simplyjen has a flannel turtle print cover for hers, our serger is green with a light floral print, simplynrae has a bandanna fabric cover, and mine is covered with a warm chocolate fabric printed with the names of Jesus.
We have not decided if there would be an interest in machine covers, so currently we are not listing them in our shop...leave us a comment if you have a thought on the matter. Also, if you are interested in one for yourself..contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, on hand ones are $15.00, or custom order one for $20.00 (special fabrics would require discussion).
Now, we are off for an afternoon away...there's a birthday in the family...see you Monday.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Now tell me you could pass such lovely fabrics up. Here is a sweet little quilt panel with the Winnie the Pooh motif. The color combinations and interesting layout just called to me. Next to it on the rack was a cute yellow fabric with little bees placed here and there; seemed a perfect backing for the Pooh panel; yes, I brought it home as well.
My intention was to purchase a backing fabric for this Java Dresden wheel; I did. Warm brown fabric, the color of bittersweet chocolate, lightly printed with deeper brown wisps of leaves, the color of dark chocolate, was chosen. Of course, the minute I arrived with my goods, the pins and scissors were called to order and the Java table runner was layered for quilting. Now to layer to Pooh panels (I bought two)!
Lest you think it is only me, simplyjen had her own quandry. She intended to purchase only a skein of yarn needed to complete a commissioned piece. Not finding it in stock, she did not let that discourage her..she also came home with a tote full of lemon lime summery yarns..and visions of the many things she could do with her finds!
Oh, don't fret..I never leave home for a trip to the fabric shop without my dear farmman's permission (yes he knows me very well). I am cautious to put the fabric to good use and to make my selections wisely. Never do I purchase a piece that doesn't first speak a project vision into my heart. Often I find my treasures in the remnant bin..making the discount an even better reason to purchase the goods. My dear farmman always gets a hearty laugh at the way we manage to bring home such "frugal finds" (and provide some interesting ideas as to why these particular items came home with us).
Now, the trouble is, which project to work on first today!
Thursday, June 3, 2010
We can breathe a sigh of relief; there has been a bit of rain. The dusty soil was in desperate need of replenishing..our gardens are standing a bit taller. Even the pretty little birds decided to come out and enjoy the moment.
With corn on the stalks and tomatoes on the vine, rain becomes quite crucial to our garden's needs. Dusty soil and dense humidity carry quite a tole on even the farm animals around here. Breathing a sigh of relief with them, we are ever thankful for the rain.
On this wet day, handwork is taken up...somewhat neglected lately due to other things demanding our attention. Our farmartist is creating some beautiful new art projects from our own farm scenery (hope to share some with you soon). Our goatmama has been tending a needlcraft that has been waiting her little hands. Farmboy, well, he gets restless cooped up in the house, so he takes to books and patterns to plan a new wood project (which can be done in our shop if there is no lightning). Farmdad has been making repairs to this and that (with farmboy's assistance), and working hard as always. As for myself, some binding and handquilting are calling my name; they have waited far too long for me to come back to them. Little fans and a pretty table runner are near completion..just need my attention.
Thanks to each one of you who visited our Etsy shop; hope you enjoyed your stay. Pass us along if you can. For now, I'm off to join the children around the livingroom for handwork and chatter..where our hopes and dreams are shared and nurtured.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Goodness, the garden is growing! Pretty zinnias are mixed with sunflowers out in the far pasture. Red runner beans are creeping up the cornstalks and cantelopes are crawling beneath them. Nastursiums bloom in the green bean bushes and under the tomatoe vines. Cucumbers are climing their trelis and giving fruit daily. Kale is still thriving among the remaining onion beds and the blackberries are still giving plump juicy fruit. We have lemons and limes on the trees with fragrant herbs all around. Yes, the garden is growing.
Today, we are placing some listings in our Etsy shop and setting an email to go with it. Please drop by and browse our "shelves" and pass us along to others. We are all so excited to be taking this step; branching out a bit.
In addition to our daily classes, we have cheese to make, weeds to pull, waterbuckets to fill and floors to sweep...better get to it! Have a blessed day..we are hoping for rain to come our way and refresh the soil..enjoy your weather whatever it may be.