Wednesday, August 22, 2012

This Is Neat and Scary At The Same Time!

With this new phone I can stick a post up anytime or save drafts to edit later at home. It sort of creeps me out. Anyway, it is rather convenient and so I will use it for now. I can also add photos and wow you with 'up to the minute journalism'!!!
Crazy, but very useful!

I picked a very small first tomato today. All my toms are small, cherry or paste.
With the unexpected care for my Mother-in-Law, there was not much gardening this spring. Actually, most of the things I posted earlier this year as goals, took a back seat to 'real life'.
Father God had His own plans in mind. God will use life lessons to prune and mold us and transform us into the image of His Dear Son. Some lessons sure are hard, especially when He lays your soul bare and exposes things He wants to purge. It can be quite painful actually, but if we want to grow in Him, we must allow Him to consume us. It all boils down to His will versus my own will. I pray for the wisdom to lay my own will down every time.
Bigger update later. I just wanted to try this out.
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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

my one word-thanks

my word for the day would have to be


it seems that that is what the Lord has been
trying to get through to me lately.

no matter what...we should be


not only 'in' all things, but 'for' all things.

what's that you say??? with an incredulous brow...

our Father knows every situation that will come our way.
He is the know...that holds entire
galaxies together...that made every single thing we see...
with His Word...the Loving Father who is so
patient and kind to us, all the while
teaching us to be like His Son, Jesus Christ.
that Father.

He tells us in His Word:

1 thessalonians 5:18
'in everything give thanks for this is
the will of God in Christ Jesus
concerning you'


ephesians 5:20
'giving thanks always for
all things
to God and the Father in the Name of
our Lord Jesus'

we have a Father who fashioned all we
see and who has made His dwelling place
inside us-if we truly obey His Word;

we have
a Savior who has died and risen from death
and who has made His dwelling place inside us-if we truly
give our lives to Him;

we have the Holy Spirit
guiding and directing our lives and speaking
to our hearts every moment
and who has made His dwelling place inside us
-if we are truly yielded to Him ...

since our relationship with God the Father,
Jesus, the Son and the Holy Spirit is so intimate,
is there any situation that they
do not know about in our lives?


even when I fall in the chicken coop;
even when I drop the full crockpot out of the
fridge onto my foot and ankle and then the floor;
even when my son is having hard physical difficulties;
even when things all about me seem hectic and tense;
even when prayers seem to bounce off the ceiling;
even when I cry out to God and I do not see an
answer for ever and ever so long;
even when...(you fill in the blank) ______________________.

we are called to put on the whole armor of God:
-our loins girt about with truth
-the breastplate of righteousness
-our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace

then he says:

above all

-taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able
to quench ALL the fiery darts of the wicked

-and take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit, which is
the Word of God

-praying always with all prayer and supplication
in the Spirit, and watching thereto with all
perseverance and supplication for all saints.
ephesians 6:14-18

i heard a good thing this week. if we do not take the
shield of faith, we will not be able to overcome,

to God and the Father
in the Name of the Lord Jesus,

always for all things, no matter:
proves we believe God's Word.

then the rest of the armor, while dented
maybe a bit dinged here and there,
a spot of blood or two...

will be sure, along with the shield of faith-above all,
to quench 
the fiery darts of our enemies,
and even those circumstances in life
that would try to take our eyes off
what the Lord has done for us-
cause us to faint, lose heart
and to quit persevering...

to God and the Father
in the Name of the Lord Jesus,
always for all things,

assures not only us, but also the
spiritual realm
have faith in

and we
in the
and in the 
power of


Father, we are so thankful that we can come to you in our trials and testings and know that you hear us. we do not serve a dead god that is made of rock and wood, but a living God who is faithful and who promises us so many things that we can hardly fathom the love you have for us. we ask now that you would strengthen us in our hour of trial. help us to be mindful that you provide us with armor that we can use to quench the fiery darts of the wicked one and also your Word, the sword of the Spirit, to brandish that faith to all that which would come against us. You are a mighty God, help us to not forget all your benefits toward us. help us remember to give thanks for all things-because you are faithful! In Jesus the Christ's Name-Amen

Beloved-shout out thanks to God always and declare forth His grace, mercy and faithfulness via His Word-there at your home-sweet this very moment!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Quick Wednesday Note

i've been stitching a jumper for Lydia much of the afternoon and into this evening. photos to follow tomorrow.

i thought i'd share a couple of photos of WIP's around here:

we've been spackling since this photo.
it sure looks better-
wouldn't you say?

hey Mom, thought
you'd like to see the
back of me! :) and the
heart bunting i wanted to have
done for valentine's day!

i'll be back tomorrow for a better update.
it's late and i think i'm calling
it a day (or a night)~!

good nite all!

Lord, thank you for your presence and for showing us
that you are a friend who sticks closer than a brother. i pray you stay near us tonight as we sleep and keep us all safe and well. In Jesus Name, Amen

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

bit of a crazy day!

just wanted to let you all
know that

i love you!!

(i'll get on here and add my photo tomorrow...
the light was bad and i didn't want
it to look bad)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Meditation/The Remnant and Martyrdom

the remnant and martyrdom
by Michael Howard

below is a 12 minute video clip of a
message given

pay attention to the prophecy starting
at about 8 minutes to the end... we want God to use us
no matter what the price?

Do we rest in Christ?

Do you know your calling?

Beloved, this is the day of the remnant.
Out of the remnant comes the new wine.
It is the remnant that God is focusing upon this day.

We are called to be ready.

Precious in the sight of Jehovah Is the death of his saints.
Psalm 116:15

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Show-Me Saturday/Busy Day!

Back today from a couple of post-free days. Post-free but not activity-free!

I am always trying to keep things 'cooking' behind the scenes here at the Home-Sweet. I've got more projects going here than Australia has kangaroos! The thing is balancing them all with everything else. When the children were small, I could move a lot faster than I can now. It seems like I got more done then. Maybe I did, it sure used to be busy around here. It still is, but in a different way. I miss that old busy-ness.

It was a sort of gray-ish day. But we planned and actually started to work on the kitchen wall that got a new window a couple of years back. We've had the stuff to work on it for years, just didn't get around to it with so many other things going.

So, I asked a couple of weeks ago if we could pick a Saturday to work on it. Of course, this makes me very happy! Dave-not so much. Thank God though he knows how to do all this stuff! We should earn a merit badge for frugality in that area! We've been working on bits and pieces of this place for years and mostly because of tyranny of the urgent. There are some major things that need to be done around here. Over time, Lord willing, they will get done. This is one area that I struggle with, spending money on a house that will perish. Still, I'd like to get it where I am company ready at all times. Not quite there yet, but I'm a lot closer than I was a few years ago!

OK...picture posts for goes! Have a most blessed Lord's Day Rest tomorrow.

this has been the sad state of the dishwashing
station night unto three years now. finally,
it is getting fixed (yay!)

somehow this does not look fixed! but there
is still hope within my heart and a
vision of the finished product! i tell
my heart to never fear! dave can fix anything
(and he can you know!)
will keep you updated on the kitchen updo
(i have to add-i cannot wait for those
cabinets to GO!)

on the homestead-chickens have really
started laying! we got 23 eggs today!
almost 2 dozen-WOW!

here is a fine bunch of eggs all washed up
and ready to be packaged when dry.

speaking of chickens, this project is
a fun thing i have concocted in my
brain. something fun, yet strange-which
is nothing more than what you should
expect from me. i will fill you in with
the details as it becomes necessary,
but not before!

here is another project i started today. i
have to keep taking indoor photos on the
very edge corner of Sir Writing Desk since most
other places in the house are covered with kitchen
things! this delightful project will be a heart bunting.
i found it online and will most definitely share
where i found it and my own tweaks on the pattern

last, but not least i wanted to share a
book that i've had for quite a while tucked up
on the bookshelf. it is full of granny goodness.
so many types of granny patterns. one of my favs
is this cover photo of a gingham granny afghan.
i LOVE gingham. i cannot help it.
it says grandma to me, old-fashioned, country,
homestead, garden and childhood dresses.
i LOVE gingham!

i will now share some pages from
this lovely granny square book

who can forget the lovely
poncho they wore to grade school?
i think our neighbor friend made
one for my sisters and i one year

i know it's hard to see this
colorful poncho, i could not
get the camera to take a clear
shot of the page. in the right
color combo this might actually be
pretty. it sort of has a stained-glass

this pillow top is pretty, i may try
to put one together in the midst of
all my other projects this month

i like these two projects. who doesn't
love a tea cozy? and the placemat is folky
and i'd like to try some of these, they look
like they'd make up quite quickly-with proper endurance!

yes, yes, more blur, but are these not some
too-cute potholders? i need some new ones, maybe
i can swing these for a summer project. crocheting
afghans is too hot in the summer, potholders
are a good size. they look like old sweaters.

i like this tote. i like it better
than the bright red ones i have in
my car-you know, the ones i
always forget to bring in aldi's
and save-a-lot? those.

i like this granny puppy jacket. i think
this doggie likes it. i think my dogs might
get used to it. i might make one for jack
right away and then mr. timmy. it only takes
16 squares-i am getting f.a.s.t at them and could
whip that up in a few days! i'll keep ya' posted
(i have no clue where i will get all this sit-down
crochet time-but i'd better get to it-spring is
around the corner!)

One more photo post for today-it's not a great shot of him because he does not sit still. So here he is:

jack. he's a mini-pincer/chihuahua mix.
he is a ball of energy. he loves dave.
he is very protective. he lurves to
chase chickens! most heartily!

That sums up this long photo post. I'd love to
hear what's going on in your Home-Sweet. Drop a
line and let me know!

Tomorrow is the day of rest. I pray you are able to set aside the time to be still and know that He is God. It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Let us enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him and bless His name. For the Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting and His truth endureth to all generations! Amen!

Thank You, Father for showing us Your goodness toward us. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You that we can enter into Your presence because of what Your Son, Jesus Christ has done for us. Thank you that we can come boldly to Your throne of grace. Thank you for your enduring truth and everlasting mercy. Help us to take this prayer and ponder and consider You and Your goodness toward us. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Bless you as you rest tomorrow in your own Home-Sweet.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

This Is War - Paul Washer

I was moved by this message tonight from Paul Washer. It's not a new one. I've been slowly reading portions of 'The Practice of the Presence of God' and there are pieces of this message that are a good reminder of what I'm reading. Do we realize what it means to be in God's Kingdom? Do we understand what is required? Are we true soldiers of Christ? Have we forsaken all? Have we picked up  our cross? Do we follow Christ or someone we have concocted in our own imaginations? We must examine ourselves to survive this walk here in this evil, wicked kingdom as strangers and pilgrims in a foreign land. We must remember to live according to the rules of the Kingdom we say we belong to. "Come out of her, my people, and touch not the unclean thing..." saith the Lord.

Are we honest enough with ourselves to let God and His Word be specific in our lives?  

This message reminds me to keep everything in proper perspective, even here on my blog.

Listen prayerfully and God Bless.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday Catching Up

Well, Monday is past and Tuesday is nearly over, so I thought I should put up a post to share what I've been up to for a couple of days.

Writing Desk is fitting in nicely, awaiting his color choice.  I have not ventured out for color swatches yet. I thought I'd go to Home Depot to see what they have. Not sold on green or pink yet, it it gets too crazy, I'll put it in a hat and choose.

I worked on the top shelf backing for Book Case. I must admit, I was totally and extremely filled with pins and needles of glee when I stepped back and gazed upon the frutition of what I imagined it would look like. It came out quite apiffy, if I do say so myself. It's done in a quilting style, only with scrapbook paper. You know me, I love the many things one can do with scrapbook paper!!! My Sweet Mommy sent paper home with me the last time I went to visit in Illinois-thanks Mom!! :)

Here is a peek:

this is the nearly finished product
of the top shelf of Mr. Book Case
I think it looks just like a quilt...and it inspires me to sew one now. Just a simple patchwork. I always wanted to make a quilt for each of my children. This certainly whets my appetite!

This Sunday past I cooked rabbit for the first time. A friend told me her children call rabbit '4-legged chicken' and I can see why. The meat cooks white like chicken, and really, it's close to chicken in flavor and texture. This has sent me to reconsidering breeding meat rabbits now and waiting on angoras for a bit. They were YUMMY!! I could not get my 'eldest' daughter, Nettie, to try any though...I guess she's just too citified (well, it's a long story really about pin feathers on chickens...).

Here is another pic for your perusal:

this is some of the rabbit from the frying pan ready to be baked

The whole process was really quite simple. I spiced up some flour with lots of thyme, salt, pepper, garlic powder and stuff...friend them on the stovetop, then moved them to the oven until the meat pulls from the bone...about an hour or so. I did not get a photo of the finished product because we were hungry from the yummy smell and it was devoured...sorry! I'll try better next time!

One last post and ending with a tidbit of a new painterly project for the ever-working painty brush!

What a task to get these to take the spiffy high gloss white paint! This will take a while, but it will be worth it. I am going to make myself a 'wonder wall'...or a 'dream wall' or an 'inspiration wall'...whatever you like to call it, I will be hanging things that I like there!

I did not forget about sharing my many beloved pets. I want them to look their best and most fresh...and it seems all our photos are of them this...

...and so now I will leave you with this sleepy keke...

God bless your Home-Sweet.

What projects have you been working on?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Meditations

For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Hebrews. 4:12

Friday, February 3, 2012

Why is a Raven Like A Writing Desk?

I do not think there is an answer to that question!

Today was just a wonderfully spiffalicious day! I'm telling you, trying to keep up with this blog is sure helping me get some projects done!

I was gifted this week with a quaint, old, brown writing desk. Very stylish, except for the chippy brown paint. Now, don't get me wrong, I like chippy paint as much as the next girl...but brown? And it reminds me of the muddy brownish color people used to paint their furniture to make it look like wood. It's just not workin' in my decor-know what I mean?

Just when I thought I could wash little Sally Mae Paintbrush and put her away in her plastic bin home, here comes the Writing Desk...and she was called to duty again! We both thought she'd done a marvelous job putting 4 coats of high gloss white paint on the almost finished Book Case this week, and she was looking forward to a little R&R. But, Sally Mae Paintbrush knows how to give it her all, and she has agreed to another round of painty goodness to help spiff up things here at the Home-Sweet.

Writing Desk in his
brown castoff sorrow

Writing Desk is a castoff. He was forlorn. He was painted in the most morbid shade of brown a soul could be painted. But when I saw him, I knew there was hope! I told him, "Fear not little Writing Desk-there is hope for you yet!" Today, in the beauty and the warmth of the sun, on the little front porch (that now also holds my small freezer that moved to make room for a sewing nook-and is waiting to move to the basement), I took off that horrid brown color with my trusty friend, P. Alm Sander. He is a hard-working tool, I must say! He worked and toiled and sanded away at Writing Desk until there was no more paint of any kind on him. Now he is quite bare and awaiting his new color.

Writing Desk's Drawer
with P.Alm Sander
and friends

I am thinking of painting him either a light whipped minty/milky green OR a light whipped milky pink. I have not decided yet, either color will go with my main colors, but it's got to be a color that can be lived with. Now I can live with pink anyday, but I am not the only one living here. Miss Lydia also thinks pink is a lovely Writing Desk color and she is a kindred spirit. I think Mr. Dave does not care what color I paint it as long as he does not have to eat dinner at a tray in the living room much longer! He seems to like eating at the dining room table for some reason! What a patient man he is! I took a general teenage concensus and green seemed to be the color that won in popularity. At any rate, the paint will be high gloss, whatever the color is, and there will be many coats applied and little Sally Mae Paintbrush will earn herself a good rest-unless another castoff comes my way. I seem to be unable to resist finding a home for castoffs. It is a weakness, I think!

Book Case awaiting
his spiffy
new backing

I am almost done with Book Case. The only thing left to do is the backing. I have a lovely idea that I will work on hopefully tomorrow and have it all bright and fresh to blog on Monday. I will also at that time chat more about gardening, since I have been a slacker and spent the day obsessing over sanding Writing Desk with P. Alm Sander. Alas, I had to stop when I ran out of sandpaper and was unable to finish the roundness of his spindly legs-which must be done nonelectric/by hand. So, his spindly legs and lack of high gloss pink or green paint are the cause of Writing Desk standing patiently in the dining room. He does seem to be fitting right in with everyone else in there though, which brings me much relief. So far, there has been good conversation between the pieces in the room. (It is such a task to make mismatched furniture get along. Know what I mean?)

I desire to take photos of my most important gardening tools at present. Since reading 'gardening when it counts' by Steve Solomon, it seems I lack in that area too. But, I manage to make do with what I've got for now. I do try to obtain at least one tool per year to add to my garden tool collection. I do enjoy gardening!

Speaking of books, I know I've shared my booklist of 'books I most-likely/will read', but I am also the type of person who reads by 'inspiration'. I was inspired to read 'The Practice of the Presence of God' by Brother Andrew and 'Mimosa' by Amy Carmichael and have since obtained 'If' by Amy Carmichael. I found 'Mimosa' very spiritually stirring and it gave me many things to think on, I thought in a more serious post I'd share some quotes that spoke to my heart. 'The Practice of the Presence of God' I am chewing on very slowly, at bedtime with the old Virgin Mobile flashlight cellphone that I have from years back. That is what I use for a reading light! I shall straightaway start 'If' as soon as I am done publishing this post. It is not a big book, but I can tell from the little scan I gave it that it will be a challenging little book as well.

Miss Lydia and her
chicken pal sharing
a granny scarf

I thought I'd share a couple of photos I took yesterday of Lydia with one of her chickens. She is crazy over animals of every kind. I asked her if she minded being online for all the world to see, she consented. I'm sure you'll enjoy this Mom...and the chicken told us after she's done with modeling for good! :) After this little photo shoot, we have decided to make little capelets for the girls just like Beatrix Potter did in her stories. Watch for them! Too much fun!!

If chickens could talk,
what do you think
this one would
be saying? :)

Does it not look like
this chicken is smiling?
Too hilarious!

I think tomorrow I will share photos of my menagerie of indoor animals. We do have quite a collection-you know-and I'd love to introduce you!

And that is all the news that is happening here, Friday, February 3, 2012. All in all I'd say it's been a very blessed day, and a very productive day. All glory to God.

I will add that I have also been 'practicing the presence of God' throughout the day. Remembering to speak to Him all through the day and to be thankful in every way and in all situations. What a Savior!

Father, I thank You that I can share bits of my day with my family and friends. Please bless them and teach them to practice Your presence as well and to always be thankful. Blessed be Your Name, Amen

Remember to practice His presence throughout the day as you work to make your own Home-Sweet and family an offering to Him! In His presence IS fullness of JOY!!!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Seeds, Transplants and Seed Companies

A long post, with text and no photos-sorry, I had a lot to say and no time to add photos. I'll try better tomorrow! Also, all the links are clickable, not sure why they are not underlining.

Seed starting is very serious business to me. It is like being a settin' hen or an expectant Mother. (*Note: I am no expert, just a student, but I'll share the little bit I know in the simplest terms I can here.)
You plant a seed, setting each one in its little prepared bed of earth, hoping it will soon come forth in its little green sproutiness. You wake each morning anticipating the new arrivals. You nuture and care for them, making sure they have enough water and warmth. Then lo, one day, one splenderifous see the faintiest peek of a little sprouty sweetness poking out of the soil. Then another and then another. And are mother to a gazillion little sprouts all crying for water, sun and warmth!

You do everything you can to make sure they don't go spindly on you or dry up gasping for a drop of water or get burned with too much sun. And you pray that their little markers you made don't fall out of their place or get switched because a gazillion matching children will not be distinguishable until they get their true leaves and even then, all those varieties...oh my!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then comes the day when you can place them in the ground, and they are like older children going out on their own. You hope they don't succumb to the cucumber beetle or the blight. You pray they make it to full growth and are able to bear fruit and make all those days and weeks of toil worth it! But my-oh-my, the taste of the first red tomato, or the first warm green bean, tender and fresh...there is nothing like it in all the world! (Well, I'm sure there is but bear with my exultation here!)

Still, it is, to me, something quite like the book of Genesis, like being in the Garden of Eden, like Adam and Eve in a 'the way it's supposed to be' sense...when you anticipate planting seeds and growing and working in the warm soil. Children are thrilled to plant and wait and watch for the wonder of it. Elderly people bask in the therapy of it. It is an act that God created us for, to be stewards of the earth, His earth, and to grow things and enjoy them.

Ordering Seed and Buying Seedlings

I used to be one to go into a home center and pick out the plants or pretty photo seed packets I desired in the varieties I knew or heard would grow great for my area. After much wasted time, money and effort, I can say that unless I knew the person grew it locally and they are sought after and raved about, I would not buy any flats they sold.

Think about it, who knows who grew that flat of seedlings in that home center or super center? Where did the soil come from? What type of seed did they actually use? What conditions did it come from? Remember, this will grow into something you may eat at some point in the future, wouldn't you want some details?

Here is some good advice from "gardening when it counts" by Steve Solomon. When I sold real estate, we had a saying ever agent knew. It was 'buyer beware'. He mentions some questions to ask when purchasing a transplant:
Should it be transplanted in the first place?
Is the seedling mislabeled?
Is the seedling a home garden variety in the first place?
Is the seedling pot bound?
Are they soft seedlings?

I would say, that Mr. Solomon answers many, many questions and gives advice and how-to's that many beginner and novice gardeners alike can use in their own gardening ventures.

He advises planting your own seeds. Many seeds can be direct seeded into your garden rows as is without starting in a pot. How easy is that? That saves a lot of steps. Many MUST be started this way if you want good results.

However, if you know a good, local grower of seedlings who have high standards and know what quality is, by all means, purchase their transplants-only make sure they are the ones that do well as transplants.

The other way is to order your own seed and start your own transplants. Certain plants must be started at certain times. Did you know that? You only have a certain time frame to get your plants started and transplanted into the ground or it will not have enough time before first frost to give you a crop. This is a total waste of effort! Learn when the first and last frosts are predicted for your area and figure from the back of the seed packet when to start them.

Do you know your Zone? This is important to the type of seeds you buy. It is better to buy seeds from companies that are in the same growth zone as you. Know if they do variety tests on their seeds. This is good because then they can tell you how well the seeds grew within their growth trials. Buying picture packets in the home centers cannot tell you that, their beautiful packet photos may mock you come harvest time! I know this to be quite true!

Not all seed companies are created equal either! Mr. Solomon says, "...retail garden-seed suppliers are mainly distributors. They buy bulk seeds and repackage it.There is no commodity more open to misrepresentation than vegetable seeds." many seed packets am I saving from my local home center???

Mr. Solomon goes on to name seed companies who responded to a survey he did for a magazine article in Harrowsmith years back. Many would not respond to his questionnaire, but out of those that did, he chose several that he felt were valid, good quality seed sellers.

I am going to mention here the few that I know my sister-in-law buys from. She has had many years of experience and planted many seeds in her lifetime. Most of her choices match Mr. Solomon's list.
They are:

Some of these companies my not be right for your Zone. We are in Zone 4-5b. Zones seems to be changing too. Our zone is warmer and can grow some things now that were not possible before. You can order their catalogs online and also sign up for their email newsletters. Lots of good information is a click away.

Saving Seed

Today, I'd like to go over one way (and I'm sure there are many methods and ways to do this) to choose seeds. Some gardeners have mastered the skill of saving seed. I tell you, I still have not figured out how to be diligent enough to save lettuce, for instance. I did find this resource though. It's from a seed company called Fedco. They have a chart here called "Seed Saving For Beginners." And they have a whole PDF guide called "From Generation to Generation: An Activity Guidebook in the Living Tradition of Seed Saving" by Eli Kaufman. It is a 49 page guide to a school gardening program. Nothing says you can't incorporate it into your homeschool curriculum, they've got ideas from K-12th grade. It's printable and sharable. Good stuff! Lydia will be reading through this and I will too.

So to encapsulate today's lesson: know your Zone; buy your seeds from companies that you know test and trial their seeds and report it on their site or in their catalog; don't trust pretty photo-packet seed envelopes in home or garden centers; buy transplants from reputable, local, reliable growers that you know care about your dollar.

I hope I answered some of your questions. I'd like to talk about a few good tools and some other things to have on hand. I'd like to share a little tutorial on how to make your own paper pots, so easy and recycling at the same time.

If you get a chance, click the book link by Steve Solomon, it's a good book endorsed by many gardeners better than I, and plus I make a little 'something' if you purchase one!

Thank you Lord, for giving us the opportunity to see Your miracle of creation each year we garden. It is such a blessing to watch the process of Your provision to us and reap a good harvest from Your bountiful Hand. In Jesus Name, Amen

Enjoy planning the garden at your Home-Sweet. May the Lord bless the work of your hands!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gardening 101

I had very good intentions of starting out this week with a full-on talk of gardening. I have my gardening source down the drive and whenever I have a question, I give a call or stroll down and ask. She is always generous with her vast knowledge. I am, of course talking of my sister-in-law, Arlene. She has fed her family for years from her garden, as did her Mother before her. I am very thankful she puts up with my endless questions-really. I have learned a lot from her and my Mother-in-law.

This year we have already discussed the starting dates for seeds and her favorite seed companies. Which I will share tomorrow. 

Today would like to share my idea for a gardening binder. I need to keep better track of what I'm planting, when I'm planting it, plotting, methods, harvest, yield, etc...

How to Spiff Up A
Garden Binder

  1. binder with cover and spine that allow inserts
  2. light posterboard
  3. scrapbook paper (you will find I love to use lots of this item!)
  4. glue stick (I'm finding this little chap very handy too!)
  5. scissors
  6. something to label your spine (I used tissue paper)
  7. ruler and pencil

First, you need to measure the cover and the spine of your binder.
Trace your measurements onto the posterboard.
Cut out posterboard according to your specs.

Now use the posterboard to trace the spine and cover measurements onto the scrap paper of your choice. Trace on the wrong side so no pencil marks show. Glue the scrap paper to your posterboard using glue stick for fast results!

Now that you have your scrap paper glued, place it in the front cover insert. You may want to decorate yours a lot more than I did. For the sake of time I just left mine plain for now.

Before you add the spine insert, use rubber stamps, magazine letters cut out, or your printer like I did to spell out 'garden'. I used wordpad on my computer in size 48 and printed it downward. I used a glue stick to stick tissue paper to cardstock and put that through the printer. I let it dry for a while. Then I very sparingly used a glue stick to put on binder spine.

Easily identifiable Garden Binder! YAY!!!

I also intend to enlarge my already large garden this year. We plant out a huge section of butternut squash each year, and now many rows of parsnips, turnips, beets and rutabegas. They take up quite a large section-my soup pot section. Whenever we make soup or stew throughout the winter, we trudge out to the garden and use a garden fork to dig them out of the ground. Parsnips get better with cold.

parsnip plant in my garden
still green in january!

Then the tomatoes take up their own bit of room with all their varieties. Not to mention peas, green beans, lettuces, peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, etc...I'd just like a little more room to move around.

flock of tomato cages
awaiting summertime jobs

this is the garden facing east
i must have gone in when it
got cold and haven't been out since.
it's a mess out here!

garden view facing north
what a mess! next nice day
i'm outside moving buckets

Tomorrow we can discuss seed companies, ordering seeds, starting seeds, how to figure when to start...etc...

Today it was so spiffaliciously nice out! I got tons done. Tomorrow Lydia and I are going outside to put lights on the duck fence so when we put them in at night we can see what we're doing! We really do not like going outside in the woods in the dark. We always remind each other to keep our imaginations in check!

So that's it here on the Home-Sweet! Praise the Lord for a very fruitful day and for the warmth of the sun which He reminds us in His Word that shines on the just and the unjust-the Lord is good to all! Praise His Name!

Do you have a garden on your Home-Sweet? Leave a comment and tell about your gardening ventures! I'd love to hear them!
So, I have some ideas, but I'm not sure I will get to them all this year. I'd like to section off the garden inside the electric fence as the fence does not bother the chickens who insist on going inside, which is fine, but I do NOT want my rows scratched to bits! They also will eat the leaves of some plants-rendering them weak and pitiful looking!