Sunday, March 1, 2015

gratitude is happiness doubled...

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought;
and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
~G.K. Chesterton

I am constantly pinching myself these days at the goodness of God toward our family, toward our son and his beautiful family. So this is how a family tree grows...such a happy, happy thought. :)

Another sunny day and week are in the forecast! Oh, how I am itching to get my hands in the dirt, to watch seeds erupt with promise, to watch them grow.

And to watch these loved ones, dear to my heart, as their own family grows...

Oh my, I am overwhelmed with joy. :)

In case you missed it, only two more days to enter my give-a-way!!


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Friday, February 27, 2015

six yards of soil later...
that front porch flower bed is finished!

Remember this overgrown mess?  I promised pictures when this project was finished, and I'm finally getting to it. :)

Last Thursday the soil was delivered, and Friday morning the work commenced! While Anna and I enjoyed breakfast with an aunt and cousin in Battle Ground, the guys worked hard digging out all the plants (and weeds). When we girls arrived back home later in the morning, we had the job of dividing eight years' worth of bulb and perennial growth while the guys moved all that soil. Thankfully, the weather was perfect -- mild in temperature (upper 50s) and skies just overcast enough to prevent our transplants from drying out before we could get them back into the ground.

Altogether I think we worked from about 9 a.m. until 4:30 in the afternoon when the entire bed was thoroughly watered. As of today, one week later, I am thrilled to say that we didn't lose a single plant. It remains to be seen whether we will lose any bloom this spring (only 3 weeks away!). The satisfaction in seeing the project completed is incredible as I've envisioned this since we hastily planted this bed when we first moved in.

A few words about the plants...

The "chicks and hens" are transplants from my grandmother's yard back in Pittsburgh; a gift from my brother who dug them years ago when Grandma's house was sold. They are treasures to me. :)

My bearded iris and blue bells are transplants from our previous home in town, so they, too, are special. The deer like to nibble the blue bell growth as soon as it pops up, so they don't look very nice now. Thankfully, they still bloom for me and provide many sweet smelling bouquets. :)  The rest of this bed is filled with plants given to us or purchased when we moved in: Japanese iris, a rhododendron, shasta daisies, daylilies, forget-me-nots, and a calla lily. Daffodils and crocus will go in this fall, but I won't get ahead of myself.

Looking forward to spring and tackling more of our homestead projects!  I'm working on a dedicated page called "around the homestead" in which to document our projects as well as to keep track of the gardens. :)

It's not too late to enter my give-a-way...


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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Celebrating 100 Sales!!! {join me for a giveaway!!}

My little Etsy shop is like the little engine that could...100 sales in 4 and a half years! Woo-hoo! I'm ok with that, though. :)

Many thanks to Erica whose purchase pushed my 97 sales figure up to 100! (Erica, your package is going out in tomorrow's mail!)

To thank Erica and to celebrate, I'm hosting a giveaway! Both Erica and one lucky commenter will receive their pick of any item ($15 and under) from my shop! In addition, now through Saturday, March 7, use coupon code "100sales" at checkout for 10% off any purchase! The giveaway part of my little celebration ends promptly at 10 p.m. PST next Tuesday, March 3. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. I'll announce the winner on Wednesday, March 4th! :)

Good luck!


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no, it's not Monday... :)
{mindful Monday #7}

{Mindful Mondays}
a good starting place for the week
and a nifty way to document what I am...

Reading: A Light in the Window (Mitford #2)

Listening to:  My Cry Ascends: New Parish Psalms

Studying: the Word

Creating: a lovely flower garden along my front porch

Cooking: pasta alfredo for dinner tonight

Educating: still listening to Dr. G's Modernity lectures during our Monday and Wednesday drives

Feeling: good about the work we accomplished outdoors this weekend and happy about the cooperation of the weather!

Thinking: about current world events and how much we need to be...

Praying for: Christians around the world, wisdom for our national leaders, boldness to stand for the truth, and for God's mercy upon us

Thankful for: the opportunity to visit with my niece who is home from serving in ministry in northern Iraq, for the beautiful silk scarf she brought me from the local market there, and for God's protection and provision for her (we met for breakfast here on Saturday -- yum!)

A day late, I know...better late than never!
What are you mindful of today?


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Friday, February 20, 2015

herbs, deer, and homestead plans...

Five months ago we visited a local rock quarry and built ourselves a rock wall...

...we also planted a new lawn, but fall slipped away and we never finished our project. Now that spring is just around the corner, we've got to dig everything out of this bed, fill it with soil, and then replant. We'll likely lose the bulbs that have poked their noses through already, but it's a job that simply needs to be done and the sunny weather forecasted for this weekend means it's time! (I'll share pics, I promise, when it's all done!)

Deer. What can we do? We live in the forest!! Our fruit trees are protected with fencing, and the vegetable garden is surrounded with deer fencing as well, but the herb and flower gardens are not. Dan thinks that if we get a dog that will keep them away (and if we get a dog our AnnaLynn would be thrilled!)... Stay tuned on this one.

In order: oregano, chives, sage, rosemary, thyme, lavender. Not pictured is garlic, echinacea, and stevia. Our herb garden has been cleaned up, plants have been pruned, and all that's left to do is to add additional soil to our raised beds. I'll be adding more lavender this spring, too (one of the few herbs the deer don't mess with)! The metal hoops we cover with bird netting which helps keep the deer from nibbling, but it's not always successful as the local deer can be rather clever. :)

The northwest corner of our house which needs some serious attention...

...and our back deck which also needs to be finished. The plan is to build stairs along the open edge down to the lawn.

Daffodils in waiting...

So, so much to do! Slowly, but surely, and project by project, the work is being completed. The satisfaction of seeing the 2.5 acre slice of wilderness we purchased just ten years ago become a productive little homestead is priceless.

Truly happy in Dole Valley,


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