Friday, May 15, 2015

Life in general



Spring beauty
May 10? How did we get that far in the year?? The trees are green, the air is clean... or not. Those who suffer from allergies are getting a real hit this year. A white fuzz was coming down around here for a couple days. It looked about like it was snowing and in some places on the ground it resembled snow. Never saw the likes before that I remember.

We were talking about the beauty this spring and how it seems so very beautiful this year. We realized that the winter was not as long and bitter and there haven't been any late frosts to speak of. Fruit trees are loaded with a promising crop.
A view of the front lawn. The weeping peach is just visible behind the dogwood.
Closer view

Garden & illness
The garden has been our focus the last while. It is kind of slow going with just me and the three youngest. They can do a lot but there is so much to do. We need to haul things from afar- compost, hay from the pasture and mulching hay. We nabbed the truck one day and the men took the van to work. Another day we used the older van we have, to haul buckets of compost.

And then we've been fighting illness plus I can't take heat. Not as in, "I don't like to be out here, it's too hot" but I literally get sick. It is very annoying but I realize God has made me this way for a reason. Other sickness that has detained us is Lyme disease (potentially) and earache, the victim being Melvin in both cases.

He was very ill a few weeks ago with a very high fever. Simultaneously I noticed a dark red blotch on his back where he thought a deer fly bit him. Knowing how vicious those bites are explained its bad look but I kept an eye on it and when it widened out into a large "ringworm-looking" circle I immediately took him to our Lyme doctor. Doc said,"I don't know any other rash that looks like that" and put him on Amoxycillin for a month. I presume that is what ran his system down to where he got a bad earache. We fought it with oregano oil and he's up and running once again.

So back to gardening- because I can't take the heat we go outside for a couple hours in the morning and then come in to work on our school work. I know morning is prime brain time but you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes.

Yesterday I bought seeds, plants and seed potatoes. Our big garden space for potatoes, corn and other things deer won't eat got tilled last evening. Now we can lay into that and get it planted. Woo-hoo!

We planted some strawberries that I had little hope for. They came in the mail while we were in PA and sat at the post office until we got home. Then they sat here awhile longer until we prepared a space for them. I prayed over them but not with much faith. Surprisingly a number of them are growing!
One of the boys captured this bee in action

Work
Thomas is finally back into a good work schedule. He has been taking Stephen and Austin with him. The boys also helped another contractor a couple days when he needed help. It is a huge help to me when those giants are profitably employed! After they get so big and so old they are too much for me.

Recent projects have been- cleaning and refinishing a log home exterior; repairing and painting soffit and trim on an old farm house; doing various maintenance projects for an older single lady; repairing a storage unit that was backed into and doing some landscaping maintenance for an older couple. Jack of all trades?
Gorgeous tree peonies

Mother's Day
Special mother things have been on the agenda. The annual mother-daughter banquet was the 3rd of May. We had a fun evening of food, fellowship, games and admonition. Wanda & Heidi Eash were in charge of that. They had a young lady from PA come to speak to us. I don't know how to spell her name so I won't tell you who she is.

Today we were served the special Mother's Day meal that the men prepare for us annually. Ham, potato and carrot roast, lettuce salad, rolls, cake and ice cream (not always the same menu). Thomas made ice cream with Matthew's help. I don't like to see men fumbling around in the kitchen not knowing what to do but it is a tremendous treat to have them do that for us!

We also had a sermon for mothers that was challenging and a bit depressing as I realized I never seem to measure up. A call to keep trying, and work on improvement with the Lord's help.
Another color of tree peony

Lost & found
We had an exciting depressing thing happen here the last couple days. A calf was born to a wild mommy. Turns out baby is wild too. When Matthew got near to it, the calf decided to bolt... through the fence and into the woods. Before Matthew could get over the fence he lost track of the thing. We searched and searched and searched but couldn't find it. My nieces and nephew (Sylvia, Mervin & Jean) were here searching yesterday as it is really their calf. Finally around mid-afternoon Jean spotted the calf and came running in with the exciting news.

The rest of the children leaped up and ran to go with her. I cautioned them to not scare the calf off again. So they quietly and carefully tried to surround the thing. But away it bolted again. This time they kept it in sight and finally Mervin was able to grab its tail and hang on. They then flipped it and sat on it until they got help to haul it out. Baby and mother were joyfully reunited.

We had thought that surely if he was close enough to hear, he would go to his bawling mother. Any ideas why he didn't go? The fruitless search had everyone in low spirits for awhile but then when he was found there was great rejoicing. Joe (my bro-in-law) tied the calf's hind legs together and slung him around his neck. The message had been sent to the church earlier to pray that they could find the calf and then the message was sent, The calf has been found! Doesn't that sound like this parable-

And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
(Luke 15:3-7)
The lilacs are just loaded 

Baptism
A highlight in April was Austin's baptism. There was one other young man baptized along with him. Thomas' aunt JoAnn and his sister Yvonne & Carl came for that occasion. My parents wanted to come but were not able to. It is exciting and humbling to have our children decide to follow God.
One of a number of azaleas on the place

Correction
In my last post I posted two pictures of weeping cherry and labeled the one as a weeping peach. I realized later when the weeping peach bloomed that I had it wrong. Weeping peach has a bright pink bloom.

A few random photos
The first iris of the year
I don't know what kind of tree this is. Do you?

Broom

Azalea
 Chicken Little
One of the boys who attends the Romney Kid's Club gave us two chicks that his class at school hatched out for a science project. He wasn't allowed to keep them in town. The white one is definitely a chicken but I can't figure the other one out. Do any of my readers recognize it? The three youngest boys and I slapped this cage together. I helped them get the top square put together and then Matthew & Melvin used their imaginations to complete it. I thought they did a great job with what they had to work with!