Thursday, July 31, 2008

"Bloom Where You're Planted" . . . .

I am often asked, "How are you spending your summer?" So I thought I'd show you how I spend a lot of my summer days . . . . enjoying my yard and the beauty that surrounds me. We had a cold, wet spring but the month of July has been a beautiful and my flowers and yard are loving the sunshine and warm weather.
And here's a few of my favorite quotes about gardens:

"Happiness must be grown in one's own garden".
"One who grows does not grow old".

"I plant vegetables to fill my stomach . . . but I plant
flowers to feed my soul".

"You're only here for a short visit. Don't hurry . . . don't worry. . .
and stop and smell the flowers along the way."

"For mine is just an old-fashioned garden
where the flowers come together to praise the Lord
and teach all who look upon them to do likewise."
"A house without a garden is a temporary home."

"Scatter seeds of kindess."

"Good gardeners know the best dirt."
"The way to a green thumb is through dirty fingernails."

"Seeds of discourement will not grow
in a thankful heart."

"Just living is not enough . . . one must have freedom, sunshine . . .
and a little flower."

"Like life, few gardens have only flowers."

"Come to the garden
The soul's sweet bouquet
The flowers of tomorrow
Are in the seeds of today."

"How could such sweet and wholesome hours
be reckoned but with herbs and flowers?"
"A flower is a living jewel."

"Every garden begins with a dream."

I'm so fortunate to be able to spend much of my time doing things I enjoy. To be able to spend part of each day in such a pretty setting, to listen to the birds singing and to see the fruits of my labors is very rewarding. I am truly blessed. Many times when I see the beautiful flowers in my yard, I think . . . "I'd like to share this with someone who'd appreciate them." Now I have!
I hope you are fortunate enough to spend part of each day doing something that brings you joy. It's part of "Enjoying the journey" . . . no matter what season of life you're in.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Haying Crew

What could be better when there's a big job to be done than having some good strong backs and willing bodies to help with the project. Randy and I usually get the hay we need for the winter's feed by ourselves . . . but it turned out that the hay was baled and ready to be hauled the 4th of July weekend. Ted, Carson, Craig said they were up for an adventure, (Craig had never hauled hay before) so after a little preparation of finding work clothes and gloves for the "haying crew" the project began. And, of course, Carson wanted to be included with the work crew.

It was a good thing that Randy had some help because the bales of hay this year were extra heavy. . . he'd never been able to lift them on his own. Carson rode on top of the bales as they were loaded and yelled "whoa" to the pickup driver each time they needed to stop to load a bale - - so he had an important part in the haying project. When the haying crew got home with the load of hay they had a refreshing popsicle break before the unloading process began.

It was so nice to have Ted and Craig's help. Craig gained a new appreciation for working on a farm and Ted admitted that he even kind of enjoyed the whole thing - - but only because he didn't have to do it very often. I'll have to see if I can bribe some extra help again next year when it comes time to get our season's hay. It was nice to watch for a change instead of trying to help haul the heavy bales.

Carson is looking on as his dad hauls a heavy bale into the barn. It's hard work - - and always a good feeling to have the job done.

After the hay hauling was done, Ted and Carson headed for the sprinkler to cool off. I loved seeing Ted and Carson have so much fun together. . . just a couple of kids enjoying a hot summer day together.

Carson was filling the wading pool so he and Mitch could play in the water. Next thing I know I see Ted standing in the pool trying to get cooled off after his hay hauling work out.

It doesn't take a lot of water so you can have a good time with your boy. I'm glad I was in the backyard to capture this moment. The sight of Ted sitting in the wading pool with Carson will go down as one of my favorite moments of the weekend!

Some photos are truly priceless. . . and this happens to be one of them. Father and son playing together on a hot summer afternoon - - and me standing nearby with a camera. How lucky can you be! What a wonderful weekend working and playing together!

Friday, July 25, 2008

RTK . . .Lumberjack

Ted will get either the credit or the blame for this project. It all started with a conversation while he was home over the 4th of July weekend. He said something like. . ."that pine tree is in the way--you can't see around the yard--it blocks your veiw". That was all it took to get Randy thinking and he never stopped thinking or talking about how to get rid of that tree since then. So Thursday evening after Randy got home from work, he said, "I think I'll start working on that tree!" He'd been thinking about it and how he was going to do the job for weeks and he couldn't wait any longer. I wanted to wait and start the project first thing Friday morning- - -but no way! Next thing I know I hear the chainsaw. . .I go outside to find the project had begun! (6:30 PM)

The limbs came off a row at a time. This is as high as he could reach with the step ladder. One pickup full. . . and lots of tree left!

Then the taller ladder comes out and you take off more limbs. . .around and around the tree you go--until you have a second pickup full of limbs.

Then you reach as high as you can on the taller ladder. . .tie a rope around the tree--as high as you can reach . . . that's so Ilene can pull the top in exactly the right direction when the top gets cut off.

Then you climb to the top of the ladder. Notch the tree on the side towards where you want it to fall. And then cut off the top of the tree on the opposite side of the notch . . . which then falls EXACTLY where you wanted it to . . . so nothing in the yard is adversely impacted. When's the next lumberjack competition ?

Then we load the 3rd pickup full after cutting all the limbs off of the top of the tree.

Now we REALLY have a pile of limbs down at the bottom of the pasture. That's going to be SOME fire when we light that pile. Maybe Spud Day. Maybe sometime in October. We'll see. The wind has gotta be just right you know. So! That's how it's done. Time: 8:45 PM.
I left a tall stump . . . cuz maybe we'll want to put a big birdhouse up on top. We'll see.