Sunday, September 29, 2013

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ September 29, 2013

I was so busy this week that I neglected to take pictures most of the time.  There was little time to think about the camera.  That is the {real}ity of September, when the garden is still producing and school is in full swing.  Being a homeschooling mom, a part-time teacher, and a student of Greek while gardening, canning, etc. means extra activity. I'm ready for a frost to bring the gardening to an end for the year!

So. . . this week I'm going to share a few of my favorite quotations from my commonplace book that fit each category interspersed with a few favorite, random pictures.


Tomatoes and mint from our garden are beautiful even in an ice cream bucket.

"To live within a just order is to live within a pattern that has beauty.  The individual finds purpose within an order, and security~ whether it is the order of the soul or the order of the community.  Without order, indeed the life of man is poor, nasty, brutish, and short."~ Russell Kirk


"I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions and not upon our circumstances."~ Martha Washington


"Scientists have odious manners, except when you prop up their theory; then you can borrow money of them."~ Mark Twain


"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."~ C.S. Lewis

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ September 22, 2013

Linking up with Like Mother, Like Daughter, as usual. :)  Lizzie tells me that she and Arane read my {phfr} post every Monday.  I think that's fun!  I also think that one day I will be glad to have this week-by-week record of our lives.  Thank you, Rosie and Leila, for the inspiration!


Aren't these squashes from our garden pretty?  I never stop being amazed how you can rather haphazardly put a tiny seed into the ground and end up with an abundance of food from that one little speck of nothing. . . though in this case, these five squashes are the sum total of our squash harvest this year.  Butternut squashes are exceedingly easy to grow, but this year a fungus killed the plants mid-summer.  Nevertheless, aren't these five so pretty stacked up on our pantry shelf?  


Speaking of my pantry, it makes me happy to walk in here and see how our shelves are filling up with homegrown, home-canned produce, some of it grown by ourselves and some of it given to us by generous friends.  

Here's the top half~

And here's the bottom half~

We have tomato sauce, tomato juice, carrots, peaches, herbs, and a few jars of applesauce and green beans.  There is also some homemade soup.  I love, love, love having homemade soup in jars ready to be opened at lunch or when we need a quick meal.  It's so much nicer than commercial soup and doesn't feel like cheating to me. lol  And we aren't finished yet.  We were given more apples and the gardens are still producing.  The green beans were not prolific this year due to a bunny invasion, so that is disappointing.  But our freezer contains 16 gallon bags of frozen corn and a gallon and a half of raspberries, not to mention the quarter beef we ordered from a local meat processor.  There are turnips in our fridge too.  And as I said, the gardens are still producing.

Dave and I recently visited with an elderly lady from our church who showed us pictures of the garden she maintained in her earlier days.  She had a large family, so she had a large garden and canned hundreds of jars of food each summer!  It was during the Depression and World War II and after.  She said they hardly had to buy any groceries.  Her pantry shelves were five jars deep.  I admire her industry! 

Just a few close-ups~


This is what it looks like when I study Greek.  Dave said he approved of my lay-out.  (He also said this should be my {happy}. lol)  That's a Greek New Testament in the front left along with the notebook where I take notes.  There is also a Greek grammar and lexicon and an English New Testament, which I use for verification purposes only, I promise.  Well, okay, usually.  The homiletics and Lutheran theology books are Dave's, thankfully.  Greek is more than enough for me right now!  It's {real} because I have been doing most of the homework the day before class, a practice I want to stop.  I just have to make some time on other days for a little Greek.  It'll be so much better to have a daily sprint than a hours-long marathon!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ September 15, 2013

Whew!  What a week!  Classes began at The Potter's School, where I teach music, and with everything else already going full-swing, life has been busy. I have tried very hard for the past several years to build more margin into our lives, but since Dave added pastoring a church to his responsibilities, unscheduled time has been harder and harder to come by.  I will keep trying because I think it's important.

Anyway, I'm linking up with Leila at Like Mother, Like Daughter for {phfr}!


I bought a few mums the other day, a little one for the kitchen table and two bigger ones for outside.  I like adding flowers to this little vignette when I can.  It makes the kitchen so cheerful!


Hannah has been making a quilt for her cousin who is getting married in October.  Here she is working with the backing and the batting all spread out on our floor.  She is taking an on-line quilting class right now and expanding her skills and repertoire of techniques.  It always makes me happy to see Hannah quilting, which is virtually everyday!

You can see a bit of the actual quilt top on the right side of the photos.


I'm hitting the books as a student again.  Last year, Hannah and I took Dave's Greek I class through The Potter's School. (Besides pastoring, he teaches.  He's been with TPS since 2001 as their classics teacher, though he's now handed the Latin over to another teacher so he can dedicate more of his time and energy to our church.)  Now we are in Greek II, which meets at the awful time of 7 o'clock Monday mornings!  I'm back to doing homework again whenever I can squeeze some in.  We are reading the Gospel of John this year!  

Hannah has also got Latin on her agenda.  She's loving both languages, but I'm going to stick with one at a time! :)

Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ September 8, 2013

Welcome to {phfr}, the Garden Edition.  Turns out that's all I took pictures of this week!


I was surprised today to discover blossoms on our sweet potato plants.  Since sweet potatoes are tubers, I didn't expect them to have flowers, but what do I know.  I took this picture at dusk, so the flowers are closed.  They are even prettier when open.


There is just something about a pumpkin patch, isn't there?  I love to look at this little guy growing in our garden.


This is our sweet potato bed.  It makes me happy because last year our sweet potato crop was a complete and utter failure.  Everything looks hunky-dory now, but the true test will come when we start digging.  Only then will we know if we were really successful or not!


From the vine . . .

To the kitchen. . . 

To the juicer. . .

To jars (along with the green beans).  Happiness!


Our green onions have gotten totally out of hand.  They are nothing like the little ones you buy in the store, though they were tiny, wee things when we planted them. When we wanted some, we just came out here and cut some off, and they continued to grow.  After a whole summer, this is what they look like~

As you can see, they have reached softball size and have pushed themselves out of the ground. The green is gone except for one little straggler in the upper lefthand corner.  I wonder if they are good for eating. . . 


Lest you think all our gardening endeavors are successful (setting the green onions aside), here are our poor, pathetic viney things: squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, and gourds~

Pretty sad, eh?  One regular pumpkin, one miniature pumpkin, ten or so various gourds, and five butternut squash, the sum total of our harvest. This is compared to a bumper crop last year.  The squash plants are dead, and the others are a pretty motley lot.  Due to the cold, wet spring, by mid-summer they were afflicted with powder fungus, which was new to us.  The fungus is killed by simply spraying the leaves with water with a little baking soda mixed in, but by the time we realized what was happening, a lot of damage was done.  I am most disappointed in the pumpkins.  Last year, we had masses of mini pumpkins and gourds for decorating, but this year I will have to buy them if I want them. :(

They are making an excellent come-back, though these blossoms will never reach maturity before cold weather sets in.  At least we know they like climbing the fence. :)

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Sunday, September 1, 2013

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ September 1, 2013

It's September!  Hurray!  August is usually so sweltering that I'm always glad to see September, but this year August has been terrific.  I can't remember a more beautiful summer.  We have had a mere two weeks of 90+ temperatures, and usually the weather's been moderate enough to keep the windows open.  Now that's my idea of summer!


We planted a whole row of sunflowers last spring, but alas, only one survived.  I am impressed by its enormity!  I've not really been a fan of sunflowers in the past, but I'm a believer now.  They burst on the late summer scene with huge, cheerful, irresistible flowers.  Here it is opening~

And here it is a day later~

There is almost always a fat bumble bee flitting about.

Look at the size of the stem!


We hosted a church-wide picnic last Sunday (hence no {phfr} post last week) in which corn hole~ or bean bag, as it's known around here despite the fact that the bags are usually full of corn and not beans~ played a significant role.  Lots of happy people engaging in some good, clean fun.


Notice anything odd about this card?

I bought a box of all-occasion cards a couple weeks ago at the local printer's shop, which also carries a small stock of Christian-themed items.  In that box were several of the cards you see above.  The funny thing is, that's not the Lord's Prayer that is printed!  And if  you look inside, you see this~

Notice at the bottom, it says "Psalm 23."  Seems to me that someone somewhere sometime would have caught the discrepancy before a bunch were printed!  (These were printed by a different company than the printer's shop where we bought them.  I would not want to besmirch their good name by laying the blame at their innocent feet.)

{More Pretty}

Hannah and I painted her room this week, aided and abetted by her father, who moved things in and out for us.  We had promised her we could do it this summer, and so it was paint this week or break our promise. She's making a new quilt for her bed, so we took a swatch of fabric to the farm supply store and matched the paint to it. Hannah likes to wear hats and she owns many pretty ones, some of which we were always worrying about getting smashed in inadequate storage.  Then she saw this idea on Pinterest.  It was fun and economical, so we went to the local thrift shop and bought the biggest frame we could find.  We took out the glass and the ugly picture and Hannah painted the frame.  Only five of her hats would fit, but they were the most likely to suffer damage if left lying about.  Now they are safe and decorative!

See this nice, vintage-y thing she has going on here?  

I'll post more pictures when the entire room re-do is completed.

Thanks for stopping by!  Be sure to visit Like Mother, Like Daughter for more {phfr} fun!

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