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!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Meditation-Take My Life

Today I'll share two Scriptures and a Hymn that I believe best expresses the right 'posture' we should have regarding them.

(Exodus 32:29) "For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves today to the Lord,..."

(Luke 9:23-26)  "And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him;

deny himself,
and take up his cross daily,
and follow me.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for My sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? For whosoever shall be ashamed of Me and of My words, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when He shall come in His own glory, and in His Father's, and of the Holy angels."

What is our response to the verse above? I pray we let this song be our daily theme. I only share the music so you know the tune, but he leaves out Verse 4 which is sad, because if we do not have that attitude, is Jesus really our Lord OR is it our way to save our lives and make it into heaven (which will not work out right)?

Take My Life and Let It Be

1. Take my life and let it be
   Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
   Take my hands, and let them move
   At the impulse of Thy love,
   At the impulse of Thy love.

2. Take my feet, and let them be
   Swift and beautiful for Thee;
   Take my voice, and let me sing
   Always, only for my King,
   Always, only, for my King.

3. Take my lips, and let them be
   Filled with messages from Thee;
   Take my silver and my gold,
   Not a mite would I withhold,
   Not a mite would I withhold.

4. Take my will and make it Thine;
   It shall be no longer mine;
   Take my heart, it is Thine own!
   It shall be Thy royal throne,
   It shall be Thy royal throne.

5. Take my love; my Lord, I pour
   At Thy feet its treasure store;
   Take my self, and I will be,
   Ever, only, all for Thee,
   Ever, only, all for Thee.


Almighty God, my Father, what do I have to offer You? Only my 'self', broken and marred. Please,take my surrendered 'will', and make it fit for Your own use. It's not about 'me' when I desire to walk with Christ, in obedience, it's ALL about Him. I want to understand that, and in that truth, break me free from the grip of this wicked world and its death sting, and set me free, not to do 'my' will, but Your eternal, perfect will; unashamed before God and man. In Jesus' the Christ's Name, Amen

 Blessed be the Holy One who reveals this truth to us; only we must desire it with all our hearts, even at the cost of our very lives.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

This Week in Photos

upcoming project

the girls are getting busy in the
nesting boxes again

beef stock made from a cow
recently butchered-so rich
it looks like gravy

introducing spiff-a-licious 
newly madeover
Miss Switchplate

loving the mushroom bird

this beauty of God's creation
inspires me to share
Psalm 148 (listen here)

Have a wonderful day of rest in the Lord of Hosts tomorrow. Rest in all the goodness He has bestowed unto us through His awesome gift of salvation! We receive this salvation in the death and resurrection of Jesus, our Redeemer! Remember to Praise Him every single day for this unmatchable gift given to us by an even more unmatchable Christ!

Father, thank you so very much for your goodness and kindness to us. Your unmerited grace and mercy toward us puts me in absolute awe of you. Your love for us rings out in my heart and I am set to singing your praises and testifying of your Son, the Christ here in my Home-Sweet. Blessed be the Name of the Lord! Amen

Miss Switchplate Makeover and Plans for Garden Talk

Yesterday I said I'd share a quick spiffer-upper for those boring old switchplate covers-the poor neglected things, they quietly do their job and never complain. How happy they will be when they get a makeover for pennies on the dollar with stuff you probably have already in your house!

Look at this poor downcast dejected switchplate cover.
Very forlorn if I do say so-and almost *naked*!

You'll need the following for your switchplate makeover:

  • scrapbook paper or any type of paper such as: pages out of an old book, photocopied images, wrapping paper you like, etc...
  • scissors
  • decoupage glue
  • scotch tape
  • ribbons or something you might want to use to embellish your switchplate
  • exacto knife to cut switch hole and screw holes
  • oh yes, a clean switchplate crying out for attention!
Begin by figuring up the size of your particular switchplate (mine happens to be a Miss and so from this point on will be known as Miss Switchplate). Mark the paper if you need to, or size it up, be brave and cut that paper to size, leaving enough to fold over the back.

Placing Miss Switchplate on the paper 'yardage'
for her fitting! She is so excited!

Next you will spread decoupage glue all over your switchplate, use your fingers, it's OK...have a paper towel handy to wipe the glue off your fingers. Make sure it is covered on the front only.

Miss Switchplate getting her 'spa treatment'.

Place paper on the front of your glue-y Miss Switchplate and press firmly to remove air bubbles. Turn over and gently begin on the sides to fold the paper around toward the back. Secure paper on the back with pieces of scotch tape. So easy!! You can do this!!! Don't be frustrated!

Getting ready for her new duds.

Continue folding the paper around Miss Switchplate's sides and then do the top and the bottom-folding the paper to the back and securing in place with the tape.

She's almost all tucked in now.

Miss Switchplate feeling quite like a
new girl already!

After you have the edges fully taped down in the back, turn over and cut a little slice in the switch hole with your exacto knife. Cover entire sheet of paper on the front with decoupage glue. Remember to wipe your fingers often so you put an even coat on the cover and don't  muss up Miss Switchplate's pretty new dress. Set her aside to relax and dry from her spa treatment.

You can then apply any embellishments you'd like. I would advise keeping to flat items so you don't knock them off each time you turn the light on. I used ribbon and ric-rac on Miss Switchplate here-again, attaching it securely on the back with scotch tape. She is so happy with her new looks and made friends quickly with the curtains since they have their gingham-ness in common. Which really is rude of the curtains-I think-because they snubbed their noses at her plainness before! How rude!!

Here is Miss Switchplate with her new look.
She is so happy, she's even made friends with
the curtains!

I did not mention it in the directions, but I colored the tops of the screws with a red Sharpie Permanent Marker. I love doing things for the house using what I have! It really does not need to cost a lot to do some things in your house that brighten it up! How frugal!!

Tomorrow is Show-Me Saturday, so it's photo post and then Sunday Meditations. So I'll be a bit quiet for the next couple of days.

Next week, I intend to talk GARDENS...all week! I am excited! Garden time is almost here-but it also means lots of work, and this year we are enlarging our garden and starting our own seedlings too. I am tired of not ever finding what I want when I go to the garden centers. But, that is talk for next week! I plan to photograph our way through planting seeds to harvesting and canning and encouraging you all to try it too...from balcony gardens to container gardens to raised bed gardens to cold frames to hoop houses and lots more in there too, and sometimes I'll be learning as I go and sharing it all with you here!

So, next week will be lots of stuff to talk about, and I'm hoping you comment and ask questions so we can all learn together! We can make this a family affair!

Father, thank you for another week gone by to be a blessing in our home. Another week to glorify your name and show your love to others whose paths we cross along the way. We place our plans for gardening in your hands and ask you to bless us as we learn and put our hands to the tasks needed to plant, take care of, and harvest a garden. Help us to learn and encourage one another as we go. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Have a most blessed weekend at your Home-Sweet and enjoy your time and fellowship in Christ!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Some Changes and a Poem

Perhaps you are noticing that it looks a bit different around the Home-Sweet...you are correct!

I am trying out some new page designs and adding some things. January is such a month for new beginnings-isn't it?

I will be working on a neato new spiffy header over the weekend, so you'll have to bear with the off-centered old header that's up there now. I cannot figure out how to center it (I am a centering freak)-which is driving me bananas!!!!!

But at any rate, I'll keep posting in the meantime and hope you can ignore the offset header.

Tomorrow I am going to show a fun thingy I did with my dining room switchplate cover-just adding a bit of color and accentuate the place! I'm for color...I've simplified it and had it that way while I rethought some things, but now I think it's alright to add a bit of color here and there.

For now, I will share a little poem on hospitality-which is a gift from God and also something He wants us all to show to each other and those who are not treated so good in this world! It's from an old book I have called, "Mother, Home and Heaven".

by Oliver Goldsmith

Blest be that spot where cheerful guests retire
To pause from toil, and trim their evening fire;
Blest that abode, where want and pain repair,
And every stranger finds a ready chair:

Blest be those feasts with simple plenty crown'd,
Where all the ruddy family around
Laugh at the jest or pranks, that never fail,
Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale,
Or press the bashful stranger to his food,
And learn the luxury of doing good.

Praise God from Whom ALL blessings flow. Magnify Him and be thankful for a home, of whatever sort that you can bring others into and bless them with comfort and rest and food and whatever Home-Sweet Things He has given you. Thank you Father! In Jesus Name, Amen!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What God hath Promised

God hath not promised skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through.

God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the laborer, light on the way;

Grace for the trial, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, Undying love.

"The Lord is good to all." Psalm 145:9

I liked this little poem the moment I saw it. It is also dear to me because it's on this little plaque that used to belong to my Great-Aunt Etta. She was always an example of God's faithfulness and a testimony of a true soldier in God's Army!(Remember, God's soldiers do all their battle on their knees-in prayer! We do NOT wrestle against flesh and blood...)

Sometimes the rains, sorrows, pains, labors and weaknesses seem to last a very, very long time. Why do we wait so long to acknowledge the only one who can send us the comfort we need? Why do we stubbornly go our own way? Is it our pride that keeps us from calling out to the Lord? Unbelief in His unfailing love?

So many trials and tribulations come upon us-many without warning and so many without sign of relief. Sometimes the Lord seems very far away. Still, He has given us His Word. His Word tells us what our response to Him should be.

I encourage you to read the rest of Psalm 145 and meditate on it. Sift through and dig out the riches of this beautiful Psalm of God's wonderful-ness and our response to it.

Psalm 145:2 says, "Every day will I bless you; and I will praise your name for ever and ever." Is that my heart toward God, even when the answers to my prayers are bouncing off the ceiling? Even when no answer seems to come?

Yet, in Psalm 145: 18-19, the Word says, "The Lord is near to all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear Him: He also will hear their cry, and will save them."

"The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy." Psalm 145:8

We must choose to believe God's Word and what He tells us about Himself. God CANNOT lie, He is love. Let us learn to be still and know that He is God. Let us learn to trust Him. He is as near as a whisper.

We need to know these things about our awesome God and bow our knee to the trials He allows; to mold us into the vessel He wants us to be. To go through the fire, and come out on the other side a beautiful vessel, fit for the Master's use.

We cannot allow our hearts to be bitter, we must yield to the Potter's hand. Then comes the beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Why? So HE may be glorified. HE is what it's all about friends. It's about HIM. Anything else is mixed up.

Like the Laodicean church in Revelations 3...do we have eye disease? Are our eyes focused on us or Him? He says to anoint our eyes with eye salve that we may see. I pray we turn our eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow stangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.
Father, in Jesus name we come, help us to be vessels fit for your use. Help us to anoint our eyes with eye salve and turn them upon you. Grant us hearts to believe you, Lord and to call upon you for our salvation. Turn us away from our own selfish motives in life, and let us live to glorify you, today Lord. Amen.
Praise His Works and Declare His Mighty Acts to Another Generation in your Home-Sweet Today! (Psalm 145:4)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Foodalicious Sunshine

A drear day, gray and rainy. Definitely a slow moving, hodge podge kind of day.

I've got lots on my mind to do though. Bringing it all to fruition always takes much longer than I prefer.

I tried on this dark day to photograph a bookshelf I want to spiff up and use in my sewing station. Photos tomorrow-I think sunshine is forecast!

So, since it's dark, gray and rainy, I think I will share photos I took of different food ventures Dave and I spent time on one Saturday in the autumn of 2011. I'll share some bright, sunny, colorful foods from our garden and little homestead. Pretty and yummy!!

Butternut Pulp and Juice for Soup;
Veggies from the Garden

Shades of Chicken Broth

The Long Row of Giant Jars

Yellow Chicken Broth

Just Some More Jar Fun!!

That'll do!

Praise the Lord for His bounty and provisions for the Home-Sweet Things! God is so good!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Meditation

And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.

Verily I say to yo, they have their reward. But you, when you pray enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall rewawrd you openly.

But when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Be not you therefore like to them,: for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask Him.

After this manner therefore pray you:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.   


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thursday Happenings

Good Day Dear Ones!

Another routine Thursday.

It did have some highlights though. The sun shone again-spifferoo! Lovely! Always welcome in my book!

Noticing the girls out in their shed all hoping for a turn in the sunlight, I decided to let them have a turnabout scritchity-scratching around the yard. They really enjoy roaming about the yard and taking their sunbaths-no matter how chill the air. As much as a hen can enjoy herself-I think it is quite enjoyable for a feathered girl to roam free and spy a speck and scratch at it, and peck and poke at it. I think it gives a feathery girl as much joy as can be had-for one with aviary inclinations.

See here as they run fast and free into the leafy, dull yard as if it were streets of gold!

They don't seem to mind the many shades of brown, brown, brown as they huntscratchspypeck, huntscratchspypeck. The boring brownness is way too bland for my taste though. Way too! They were so busy scratching, they didn't even pose for their photgraph!

Here I am for your viewing pleasure doing my 'Peter Pan' impression. The girls are securing my shadow to the ground before I lose it again! (It's OK if you have no clue what I'm talking about-I get that a lot! ) I put this here for you Mom (one of my biggest fans!)-and those of you who love me know what an aversion I have to getting my picture taken!

Another Sweet-Thing that happened today was this cuteness overload,(it was taken through the back door window-so it's got a bit of a blur-bear with us-it's too cute not to share).

Picture #1:

Picture #2:

Of course, we have much squirrel-love around here! It wasn't always so, but we are 'nuts' about them!!! What a pretty girl.

Some would be totally perturbed that she got into their chicken feed, but some would have put the feed right away and it would not have been an issue! Still, I do not mind sharing some pellets with this furry chunk of sweetness!

I thought I'd share a little sampling of a project I am working on, not quite sure just how it will work out, although I'd like to make a couple of half-panels for the Dining Room windows in front of the sewing station.

Really, really liking the colors-fit right in with my 'decor'...and I am making them with yarn, not thread, they are a bit bulkier and chunkier, but not too much. This book appeals to me in many ways, I would have taken a couple of inside photos to share, but the camera batteries died and I was called away to other things. Maybe when I get a bit farther.

On another note, the book is written entirely in Japanese-which really makes it challenging if you'd like to know hook size, when to turn, etc. The pattern is not written out, it is in chart form, but it would be nice to know what symbols stand for what. At any rate, I just did what I thought to do from the chart, and this is what I got. Acceptable to me, so I wrote down as I went along so I can do it again and again.

One more fun thing, my cousin came over and we went to visit a nearby farm here. Freedom Hill Farm is owned and operated by Rick and Julie Vreeland-very lovely folks! And most beloved to us-family really! :) So long since I've seen Julie and we talked and chatted and caught up and then Rick joined us and we talked about all the wonderful things the Lord is doing! So very encouraging! Julie asked about all my family (Mom, sisters, brother, etc...) and it was such a blessing to hear all their news too!

Ah Lord, you give us so many blessings in one day-sometimes your goodness overwhelms me! I am so thankful for the opportunity to visit loved ones and enjoy your creation! How wonderful are your works Lord!

What good things has the Lord done for you today? Remember to be thankful as you enjoy the blessings each day inside and outside your own Home-Sweet Things!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Perfectly Spiffy and Sunshiny!

It was a perfectly spiffy, sunshiny day today! So thankful! Sunshine does always seem to pull one out of the doldrums-grey has its purpose, it makes things more restful-but I like a good sunshiny day!

I worked a bit on my sewing station move-about before my visitor came. Pulling something away from a wall, when it's been there a while, always reveals dust bunnies and certain items you wish you knew how they got there. Amongst all the dust was an acorn. Why? I am sure I will never know! At any rate, I got the freezer pulled out and it will be moved down to the basement tonight. A good time to do freezer inventory for my Grocery/Pantry Binder.

I had to paint the wall I took a shelf off over the weekend and put in my kitchen. It holds more and since we have become quite the tea collectors, I needed more room for all the varieties we have. There is nothing quite like a good cuppa in the late morning or afternoon, and then at evening, now is there?

So, the freezer will be moved and the wall is painted. I need to get in the basement and clear the wall for the freezer and also decide what bookshelf I will use to hold fabrics and necessary, needful handiwork items I'll be using. Whatever I decide to use, I may go to the thrift store or to Craig's List to find a glass front cabinet. Maybe. I just haven't decided yet. Whatever I choose, it will be at a thrifty price-I don't want this to cost anything if I can help it-at least not more than it should! Trying to save for some supplies to work on the inside of the house! (This comes from my newfound knowledge of Dave Ramsey and the 'envelope system' and working on making it happen.)

Since my #2 Son is not at home this evening, I had to forgo my freezer basement placement, but this gives me a better chance to do inventory at a less frantic pace. So, inventory in the a.m., moving the freezer to the front porch where it will be ready when it's time to move. Yes, there is an outlet on the porch, so all is well inside the freezer.

Now, my booklist. I think it is quite large. If I get to actually read ALL of these books I will be very happy.

My long list of books (after the Bible) includes (but is not limited to):

Practice of the Presence of God
Forgotten God/Francis Chan
Erasing Hell/Francis Chan
Assembling Together/Watchman Nee
Not I But Christ/Watchman Nee
Do All To The Glory of God/Watchman Nee
Love One Another/Watchman Nee
Shepherding A Child's Heart
The Long Road Home/Pablo Yoder
Tears of the Rain/Ruth Ann Stelfox
The Pilgrim Church/Broadbent

Laura The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder/Donald Zochert
Gardening when it counts/Steve Solomon
You Can Farm/Joel Salatin
Four-Season Harvest/Eliot Coleman

That's my list and my stack of all stacks of books I'd like to read this year. At this time, at the same time, right now, I am reading Forgotten God, Practice of the Presence of God, Assembling Together and Tears of the Rain. I do not mix them up-I simply have different times I read them throughout the week. So, at that rate, it shouldn't take me long to read most of them.

The Nee books, I mark in (yes, I am a 'book marker'!!!)-there are such a richness of things I want to remember in them, to look back upon and meditate on, chew on. I'm sure I'll mark Shepherding a Child's Heart and possibly the gardening books. Well, if there's something I want to remember, I expect I'll be marking any book if I own it! I always seem to reference back to things I've read and share them with other people.

What will you be reading this year? Have you picked out a few books?

Father, You told us in Your Word that there is no end to the writing of books. Looking at the stack here in front of me, and all the books on my shelves, I can understand why you said that. Still, I pray for a mind that can glean all that You would have me learn in them. May I grow more like You in the reading, and again, learn that it is just not about me-but it is always and at all times, about You! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Take time, get a cuppa, sit down in a comfy spot and make the time to read. Whether it's the Word of God, a testimony, or some other edifying piece of literature, Whatever you read, read it to God's glory and let it work out as a blessing to those in your Home-Sweet!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday Bright Ideas and a Small Sewing Spot

I had a 6 a.m. bright idea this morning between sunrise and coffee time. I thoughtfully pondered setting up a sewing station for myself. Whilst running my mind through the various rooms in the house, there was nary a one I could use. Every one of our 5 bedrooms has an occupant. No room for Mama's sewing machine.

Upon further contemplations, I struck on a wonderful place! My Dining Room!! It has the brightest light with two windows side by side and is still in the hub of the house.

It would take some rearranging, (something I am noted for) but I was determined now.

After driving my eldest son to meet his boss, and feeding and watering the outdoor and indoor animals, and tending to the fire, I set about my much-anticipated task. It was now 9:00 a.m. Floors to sweep and give a mopping, cupboards to move, tables to find, machines to settle, little tables to situate.

Of course, since it's winter, darkness was upon me and so, I had to give up finishing my happy beginnings and will continue tomorrow.

The Dining Room has been in a state of remodel, for quite a while now. There were other things, outdoors to attend to, and as long as the necessaries indoors work, men tend to think out of doors is most important first. I suppose they are right, for if the roof is leaking and the foundation needs mending, the rest of the house may fare badly! And so, one who peruses this blog, will have to excuse the floors and the ceilings and the lack of window frames. There is nothing to be done for it right now. Still, I will focus on the positive: I shall be sewing and crafting and stitching and creating to my heart's content.

So, somehow, while I expect a visitor tomorrow, I will try to fit in more sewing station goodness-but alas, I fear I may have to wait until Friday to work on it again. In the meantime, I shall dream of appropriate shelf space and the banishment of my deep freeze to the basement. Thank the Lord for two strong sons who can do the job successfully.

I have a photo to share of the little bit I've set up so far, some things just to try color and others to just see how they might fit together. At any rate, there will be little spurts of moving about until it gets situated.

I've been also gathering books together today to share tomorrow. Books I intend to read this year.
List coming tomorrow, and pictures to share dreams of a work station for my faithful 'Mathilda'...who never complains when awakened at a moment's notice to make a stitch or two upon one thing or another. I plan to make her a spiffy cover to keep her from getting dusty, now that she'll be living out of the cabinet.

Are you planning to do some spiffy new move-abouts in your home this new year?

Heavenly Father, thank you for creativity, the blessing to enjoy making something and sharing it with the family or those you put in our path. Please bless our endeavors and give us strength to bring it all to swift completion. All for your glory Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen

Praise God for a new year and new beginnings. Remember that this is the day that the Lord has made, rejoice and be glad in it. Enjoy your Home-Sweet and bless your hands as you work in it!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Meditation

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Show-Me Saturday

Since Saturday is a day when we are all at home working on projects, I thought it would be good to make it a day to share some photos of the Home-Sweet!

This is Bloo Bunny. She is quite content in her spiffy bunny house!

This pretty girl is wearing two of my favorite colors-white and red!

These girls are eager to get out to peck and scratch!

Here are our muscovy ducks. 3 Hens and a Drake basking in the sun.

Here is their duck motel! A camper upcycled!

I was enjoying the colors in this dish drainer!

Have a great day and God bless your Home-Sweet Things today!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Home, Homestead and Handiwork Goals Revisited

This is a long post, but wanted to share some things I plan to do in more detail.

Tomorrow I will post some photos of some of the things I've discussed here.

I've been reading other blogs and been inspired again to think about some of the projects I want to work on this year. I do have some DIY projects for the house, but also on the 'homestead' too. There are also some handiwork things I'd like to do throughout the year.

So some of my list for now is:

House Projects:

Kitchen-entire, massive project!

I have quite a mess at my kitchen window! Sheet rock missing and insulation hanging out all over since we did a replacement. It just needs to be given a temporary 'makeover' until one day we get to redo our kitchen. I've lived here for 23 years and this kitchen is very different from when we moved in-we changed a lot.

Still, anyone who has lived in a trailer knows how it goes with them. They are just not meant to last. The whole entire kitchen needs gutting and updating! My idea of updating is probably not normal ordinary though.
When I cleaned out a house, I was able to acquire an old porcelain sink, a really heavy one! It has a cabinet underneath that I'm not sure I'll use, but that is what I want to replace  the sink I have now. It's so old fashioned! Then I want to move my fridge and add some more windows on that wall. Maybe a garden window so I can put plants in it. We'll see how it all goes. For now, I have to get that budget going to save for it all!

DR and Kitchen-floors and ceilings-big project(!)
They are on the trailer side of the house and just need to be updated. The ceilings are that horrible trailer popcorn ceiling. If you happen to raise your hands and move them you may be cut on the sharpness...I want to cover it up with beaded ceiling panels.
We were blessed with land from Dave's family's farm property 24 years ago, and being a young couple (then!), bought a brand new trailer to put on it. Not what I would do now, but at the time, it was a Godsend!

Years later we added on 2 bedrooms and a large living room with a full basement under it.

We are still working on finishing it all-years later! But I am really feeling much better than I have in years-thanks to a HUGE diet change due to systemic candida. I've lost about 50-60 lbs and actually need to make some new skirts as my old ones are way too big now!

Tomorrow I will take a photo of my sorry kitchen window and try to come up with a plan to get it looking better. I have some old wainscot I got somewhere-at a yard sale or out of a basement or garage when I was selling real estate and doing a 'clean sweep' so the sale would go through. But not sure that's what I want to do with my wainscot. This weekend I am going to decide and will blog it.

Living Room Floor and moulding around ceiling

These are huge projects and most likely will only be done bit by bit, but writing them down makes me happy and gives me a visual.
I have started my Home Improvement Binder with a tab page divider for each room and have constructed a page where I can write notes for each room and measurements, etc... (Again, I'll share as soon as I figure out how to add PDF files to blog pages. If anyone cares to send info, please do!)

Homestead Projects:

Hoop House for birds (chickens, turkeys, ducks, roosters) - OR  small houses for turkeys and roosters to live in
Chicken Tractors
Make housing for milk goats
Move 4 raised beds
Move sidewalk blocks to make new walk to front door
Rebuild stone wall in front of house
Move all perennials and plants to front of house
Make site for cold frames
Move clothesline
Enlarge Garden

Handiwork Projects:

Work on rugs
Figure out how to warp my looms
Make new skirts and try my hand at jumpers for Lydia and I
Make draft dodgers for windows in Lydia's room
Knit socks
Make one chair slipcover
Make a quilt for oldest son, Brendt
Time for cross-stitching project I bought 2 years ago because I really liked it and have not started it yet
Finish afghan I started for Lydia's bed when she had a twin, now she has a full
Start my woodworking projects-should be first on the list because it is the most needful right now-need to get in basement and bring saws in and set up cutting area (yes, I do use all types of saws and can work in a workshop quite well!)
As I see them again, I need to get some things done right now on the Handiwork Projects List-like draft dodgers, I was in Lydia's room today doing a bit of clean up while she wasn't home and thinking about posting about 'Getting a Teen To Clean'...and the wind was howling up a storm. This was not good because we just put those windows in a couple of summers ago. But howl, howl, howl! They were not locked, and even when I locked them, they were not airtight! So, I will make some little window draft dodgers for the rest of the winter so the howling winter wind cannot sneak into her room.

I will also take some photos of my peg loom Dave built me and show the rug I have on there now. I want to make some rugs and put them either on the new site or in my new etsy shop. I'll let you know where it's all going. There is something about rugs that I really like and want to make lots and lots of them! I want to try to make them in all types of fabrics too. Will keep you posted!

That is a bit of my long and tedious to-do list-again-for 2012. These are things that I will enjoy doing-if the Lord grants me strength! I try to upcycle/recycle too, so it will be challenging to do some of this using old stuff.

It is enjoyable to dream of the things we'd like to do in our Home-Sweet, yet let's keep it all in proper perspective. This 'kingdom' is but a temporal one, God's Kingdom is eternal, let us remember to put our hearts where true treasure is and not substitute the temporal for reality!

Father, help me to set my hands to fulfill your desires and create a home to show hospitality to others thereby bringing glory to your name. Let me do any Home-Sweet task considering others and using good stewardship of your money and time. May those weary souls who visit us find rest and comfort and the burdened receive joy and peace. In Jesus Holy Name, Amen

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Defining My Day

I'm trying to 'Define My Day' and not having a very easy time of it. I read about doing this back when I ordered a copy of 'Managers of Their Homes' and began using the charts and setting up a schedule. Then there were numerous blogs that offerered free charts that I found around August of 2011. I know it was August of 2011 because that's when I started my Homemaking Binder.

Just making a daily to-do list was a challenge for me, but having that simple binder did help me keep many things together that formerly were quite scatterred.

Not being a 'Type A' personality, I just have a hard time sticking to a schedule rigidly. I am easily distracted, I admit it. Some may call that 'flexible'. I do agree that we must not be so rigid that we cannot be led by the Holy Spirit to drop everything to go minister to others, or weep with those who weep, etc. I had company all day and did not even get to look at my Daily Goal/Habit/Discipline List...maybe I'm afraid of it. I think I might be. Still, like all medicine, it doesn't always taste good, but it helps you get better!

I see peace and joy in a day that is set in order and has in it certain accomplishments that bring blessings to our homes. I believe that's part of what God knew would be the joy of the Proverbs 31 woman-whom I still look at in amazement.

I am so very far away from being 'that woman' that it sometimes discourages me. Still, I know she is shown to us as a standard of a righteous woman. I fall very short-but have to always keep in perspective that the Author and Finisher of my faith is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, and He is always revealing to me that in this daily walk, I am being transformed into His image each moment. It's not so much the 'doing' or the 'not doing' and then praising or beating myself up for the consequences, it's walking in His presence, communing with Him and learning to say 'Yes, Lord' in every detail, no matter how mundane I think it is. He gives me strength to make it through.

I think I may read Brother Lawrence's book "The Practice of the Presence of God" once again. It's been a long time since I've read it and could use a good reminder that it's all for the glory of the Lord and simply enjoying His presence in every situation.

As soon as I learn how to stick a PDF file in here, I will share the 'Yes, Lord' phrase for you to print out. Hang several of them here and there throughout your house as a reminder that whatever we do in word or deed, we do it unto the Lord. That particular phrase is borrowed from Amy Carmichael and ever since I saw it, I try to bring it to mind as often as necessary.

For one of my January to-do's...I called Territorial Seed Co. and requested another catalog. I was on their list, but did not receive my 2012 catalog. My Sister-in-law has the greenest thumb I've ever seen. I'll tell more about her and her planting schedules and such tomorrow. In fact, I am going to try to meet with her to find out when she's going to start her seeds this year. I try to follow her methods because she has such good results. She feeds her entire family ONLY on what she grows, bakes and their livestock. She comes from a family background of this and has carried it on-many times out of necessity. A good example of diligence in my opinion! It humbles me.

Lord, Help me get honest with myself and tough on myself and get these hourly/daily/weekly/monthly yearly commitments documented so I can do the things that need to get done this year. Please give me strength and a mind to get it on paper so I can see it and use it daily. Please remind me often that it is by your grace that I even breathe each moment. Give me a heart attitude that always says to you, 'Yes, Lord' no matter what my flesh is telling me to say.

Take heart Dear Ones, even in the smallest Home-Sweet tasks we are very near the Lord and His desire is unbroken communion with us every moment.