October 28, 2010

Goodbye To Summer's Garden

We brought in the last of the basil today.  I hung it to dry last year, but am trying it between two screens this time.  After a hot summer, I'm looking forward to the Fall/Winter garden season.  We have cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts and garlic in the raised beds.  The brussel sprouts sure are cute at this stage.  Tasty?  I don't think I like them!

Basil is not only great in mediterranean dishes.  You can also rub basil onto your skin to ward off mosquitos.

October 18, 2010

I Would Have Taken Your Place

Time stood still when you were in the water
Calling to God was all I knew to do
9-1-1, hair plastered, your clothes dripping
My body ached to hold you

Wail of sirens, body board, neck collar,
Calming words, maintaining control
Had I given you a happy life? Did you feel loved?
Had God saved your soul?

The blur of sounds in the ER
Severe pain, fear, dread
Touching you, looking in your eyes
I wished to God that it were me instead

Many parents have known the feeling
A hurt child -- others see him as a man
My little boy, I could lose him
How can this be part of the Plan?

Minutes became hours
Hours have become days
Time has changed life
You've grown in so many ways

Always so proud of who you are
Now, even more so
Using this time to further help others
To mentally and spiritually grow

Cliches have real meaning now
The plight of others more understood
To everything there is a season
All things really do work together for good

Connie Riggs

October 15, 2010

Fall Is In The Air!

Autumn Fires
by Robert Louis Stevenson

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

Molly is wishing for Thanksgiving!

July 24, 2010

Summertime Means Fishing!

We usually catch perch and bass from our pond, but thought there might be some catfish there also.  Clay caught the first one today! Whoo--hoo!! What a fisherman! 

July 8, 2010

Saying Goodbye To An Old Friend

Cupcake died yesterday. Named Cupcake because she was given to me for my birthday, she lived up to the sprightly name. She was more than a dairy cow who gave our family delicious, healthy raw milk. Cupcake loved to wander up into the yard and hang out with Laura and Clay while they went about their play, and we had fun watching her from the back window acting the part of an over sized family pet.

I think the memories that I'll hold closest are those made when J.R. and I milked Cupcake together.  His two big hands bumped occasionally into mine and the peaceful sound of milk hitting the pail and creating a beautiful froth often compelled me to pour my heart and mind out to him.  Many times I've wished to write a poem or book entitled "On The Other Side Of  The Udder".  I could never quite get past it seeming too humorous a title, and  was sure I'd never be able to convey what I felt while milking a cow and talking with my husband. It makes me smile to think what you as the reader must be thinking now...The smell of fresh hay, the sound of Cupcake munching her feed, the milk hitting the side of the pail, a husband bound to a milking stool and forced to listen to a rambling wife.... :)  Once again, Cupcake has made me smile.

Laura's first butter from Cupcake's cream

J.R. praying for Cupcake when she was losing her calf

God made us to be over the animals and caretakers of the animals, not animal rights activists.  So for us, most farm animals come and go with nothing more than a mere, that's-the-way-it-goes-on-the-farm attitude.  Not so with Cupcake.  We'll miss her.  She's buried beneath the apple trees.

July 6, 2010

Shade Tree Mechanic

J.R. found a go-kart for Clay at the scrapyard....minus a motor and several other very necessary components. :)  He took the motor and gas tank from a tiller, and the sprocket, gasket, chain and who knows what else from here-and-there.  All of these, along with Clay's paint job, have been a fun project for Clay to learn from.  

The most important message we're trying to send to him is that fun can be created without spending lots of money, and how rewarding it can be along the way. The money saved can be used to further someone else's happiness....it's a win-win situation.

Shade Tree Trainee

July 1, 2010


"Why doesn't your bucket make the plunk-plunk sound like mine does, Clay?" 

"Because you're eating all of yours, Laura.  My bucket is filling up...."

We are in blackberry season and having a great time picking them down in the back pasture.

Graduation Pictures

Leaving for graduation

The big moment!

June 18, 2010

Ummm....Is This My Son?

Barley leaves for stunt driving school today.  He explains why  HERE.  There actually is a method to this madness.....  :)

June 7, 2010

Fun On A Hot Summer Day

And they say everything is bigger in Texas.....check out this Arkansas waterslide!

June 2, 2010

From Field to Freezer

Planting beans in two week intervals allows you to have fresh beans until the first frost. Interval planting also spreads out the preserving time if, like most of us, you have lots of other things going on during the summer.

The best quality beans are picked when they are young, tender beans which have only small beans beginning to form in them.

Pinch the ends from the beans and snap them into preferred sizes...bite size or left whole.

Avoid the "Not beans again!" syndrome by varying your preserving method.  These were blanched for three minutes, (dropped into boiling water for three minutes and then ice water to stop the enzyme activity) packed, and frozen.  Beans can also be dried, pickled, cured with brine, frenched, or cut in imaginative ways such as on a slant or in different lengths.

Green beans have only 44 calories in a whole cup and are packed with nutrition.  I love to eat them raw while working out in the garden.  Really refreshing!  They have vitamin K, vitamin C, manganese, vitamin A, dietary fiber, potassium, folate, and iron.  They are also a source to go to for magnesium, thiamin, riboflavin, copper, calcium, phosphorus, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and niacin.  Wow!  They are loaded with all kinds of goodness for yourself and the kiddos.