Sunday, March 9, 2014

While I Was Away...

    Please excuse my absence from blog world; I have been quite busy running here and there. Days have been filled with all manner of extremes; thunder and rain, ice and sleet, gray cold, mixed in amongst sunshine and warmth. These crazy days forced me to find creative ways to get it all done while getting to work- and to work out. Sometimes, there just aren't enough hours in the day.
      My herbalism classes keep me quite intrigued and busy. I find it quite amazing how our body responds not only to illness, but to medicines. The knowledge of plant, nutrient, environment health is not only an inspiring challenge, but a lifelong journey. It amazes me, the foresight God had to place all these things before us.
       A bit of canning came to be as I have been part of some canning classes our extension office has been hosting. Though ,my experience does not always match up with the scientific end of canning, it never hurts to familiarize ourselves with the education that is out there and be a resource for novices learning their way.
          Mad-rush quilting blew through the sewing room this weekend along with a baby shower! Our oldest is expecting the first grandbaby which means a quilt must be made- not just any quilt, but a quilt just right for her. Needless to say, it came, I completed, now I breath a sigh of relief. The shower was lovely, the food was tasty, and the quilt was beautiful (as was the mommy-to-be). The best part of it all was time together with family. These days we don't see each other as much as we'd like to.
        Oh my goodness - look how old that picture must be! Hurried preparations are being made for spring chicks set to arrive tomorrow. This year we are branching back to non-hybrid birds seeking to return to production as close to heritage as possible. Our plan to order a little later and avoid the battle to keep warm has been spoofed. This week is not only a wet one, but a cold one as well. Tonight we set the brooder inside instead of in the brood pen.
        Recent weather, unfortunately, left us with frozen seedlings. Most of the summer crops we started in January/February are lost leaving us with a few scraggly new starts to work with. This year tomatoes and peppers may have to be purchased instead of home raised. You just never know what will hit your greenhouse during a wild winter storm.
          Much to our surprise, outdoor cool weather crops seem to have survived the crazy, out of place storm. Spinach, carrots, lettuce, kale and broccoli look wonderful; herbs and fruit trees look like they faired well. Just today, apple blossoms popped open as pears and pomegranates leaf out along with the figs. I spied blueberries among the leaves today! That's an encouraging sight. On the down side, the strawberry bed seems to have suddenly been taken over by stinging nettle. I'm trying to decide weather to harvest and dry the nettles or just tear them out with a hoe.
          In the end, I am taking deep breathes- trying to stay centered and focused. I have spent time with my work, time with my husband, with each of my children and with my mother. Learning to embrace the change is a challenge, but each day we get through it in a different way. Painful changes come and new challenges arise- that is life.
         This week finds me stepping away from my office and into my garden- seeking the center I long for; the Lord I feel so distant from. I look forward to soil under my nails and earth beneath my feet. It is time to cut out new patterns and test a new recipe.. to return to the balancing nourishment I crave and find rest in the simple things.



a8383 said...

Wow- I am tired just reading all that! And amazed. : ) What kind of jam did you make in the winter? Angela

Simply Scaife Family said...

I'm tired too! I am canning from produce harvested and frozen last spring/summer, though we do have strawberries starting to come in.