"These happy golden years are passing by, these happy golden years." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Next Week ... Next Year ...

I just love when January rolls around. A fresh new start. A clean - unmarked calendar. Vacation plans that are for 'this year' .. instead of next year. This is the month that I start my really deep cleaning. Washing walls. Pulling furniture away from the walls. Cleaning under the washer and dryer. Washing and storing seldom used china so it will be clean and ready at a moments notice. Polishing furniture with oil instead of just using a feather duster. The lazy end of December will be just a memory of .. well, just that ... a lazy memory that needs to be shoved into a mental closet and forgotten for a long, long time.

In between all of the household chores will be some bright spots. Looking at the seed catalogs and plotting my garden on paper. Hubby has promised to buy me a 'mulcher' .. although I know he means rototiller as a birthday present. He's so practical, eh;)

This time next week there will be a spring to my step. No more gloom. With or without mountains of snow, I will take a few winter walks; I'm prepared with shoe chains and snow shoes for ice and for powdery snow. No more excuses! No more resting on the couch recovering from Christmas. And did I mention that the kids will be back in school? Aaaah.

Image from here

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas At the Macs

This year has come to a close and just about slipped into one of the many photo albums stored down in the basement. Here are a few impromptu pics taken on Christmas and at a local fire station charity breakfast with Santa, soon to be added as well.

Mr. Mac was able to get the day off work and the entire clan was home for Christmas. We had a nice breakfast ... mid day snacks ... and a sit down dinner with all the trimmings. Nathan made an appearance for the gift exchange .. then withdrew to the safety of his room. He wasn't too cooperative about getting in the family pictures ... hence the misc. pics of him from the fire station. Ann's birthday dinner pics that include her beau, Greg, on a break from his fireman duties ... she's now a 'un-teen' ... hip, hip, horray! (sigh of relief;)

Have a memory filled last week of the year as we wait for a brand new one filled with many possibilities.

Thank you Jesus for giving us reason to hope and celebrate!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Menu Traditions

Traditionally for breakfast we have:

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Breakfast Sausage
Orange Juice

I never serve lunch because we eat our dinner early

This year's dinner menu:

Locally Raised & Smoked Ham
Local Natural Turkey
Cranberry Relish
Sean's Potatoes*
Steamed Broccoli
Green Dinner Salad with Homemade Basalmic Vinegar Dressing
Home Baked Dinner Rolls
Sparkling Apple Cider
Birthday Cake**

*Sean's Potatoes: This is Sean Patrick's favorite side dish his Grandmother Betty would make for family get-togethers. When he was stationed in the Army for eight years away from home, it was comforting to have a family meal with his favorite dish. In our family, this dish is known only as 'Sean's Potatoes'.

8-10 medium potatoes, boil with skins on until barely tender
2 cups sour cream
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, plus additional for topping
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped green onions
salt and pepper

Chill the boiled potatoes in refrigerator, peel and shred (grate). In a small saucepan, melt butter and cheese. Mix in sour cream. Together in a large bowl, gently mix the shredded potatoes, cheese mix, green onions, and salt and pepper (to taste). Pour into a 9x13 in. pan. Top with grated cheese. Bake 45 minutes at 350F

** In honor of remembering Christ's birth, we are having a birthday cake for dessert.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Minimizing Christmas Stress

This Christmas season I've baked, perhaps, one or two batches of cookies. We no longer feel the need to go overboard in the baking area. It's too easy to grab a cookie on the long way around to the kitchen ;) ... out in sight .. on the mind. Years past I would bake beautifully decorated cookies. Pack gift tins for each of my older children's teachers ... they were in Jr. and Sr. high so multiply 7x3 and that adds up to a lot of cookie tins. It would take a week to properly clean the kitchen floor from all of the spilled flour and ingredients. Hubby's motto .. Keep It Simple Sweetheart ... has become a way to survive the holy days ... and reflect on the simplicity of Christ's Mass.

Monday, December 07, 2009

... On Being A Keeper At Home

I have to confess, since we got rid of our cable TV, life has taken a much slower, less hectic pace! Either silence or beautiful Christmas music fills the air ... and the pitter patter of my grandson's little feet. Reading books, knitting, writing letters, baking and occasionally watching an old movie have been rediscovered. A friend and I get together once a week for prayer time as well. Then there's my weekly trip into town for perishable groceries. Exciting life, eh? But it suites me well. There's no place like home, aaaah!

Monday, November 30, 2009

What's Up?

Well, I'm with limited computer/internet for awhile. I'll be checking blogs and Facebook with my iPhone ... but I can't make new posts on blogger ... just comments. Hopefully, I'll get to know my library again for some good books (and to sneak use of their computers) once in a while. Will be back as soon as possible.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Relax This Thanksgiving

Take a tip from our Canadian friends, they too celebrate Thanksgiving, albeit a month earlier than in the U.S.A. I had the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada last month. I must say, they are way more relaxed about the holiday than the lower 48 states. To grocery shop the day before was a breeze .. no different than any other day. No long lines, shortages of cranberries, road rage in the car lot over a parking space. A simple meal of ham, veggies, potatoes, cranberry sauce made for a tasty meal. I think we Americans over emphasize the non significant ... and ignore the significant reason for most celebrations. This year in keeping with my new found 'freedom' from slaving away in the kitchen, I'm going to simplify my Thanksgiving menu. We still will have turkey, mashed potatoes/gravy, sweet potatoes, one green veggie, and cranberry sauce. Gone will be bread stuffing, salad, rolls, three desserts, and tons of munchies before dinner. Keep it simple sweetheart is my hubby's motto. Pumpkin pie is being provided by Elizabeth, mashed potatoes are being prepared by Ann. And EVERYONE will help clean up the kitchen ... or no listening to the football game on the radio ;) (yes, radio ... we have no TV service) (yes, on purpose;)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday's Praise

Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord.
Praise the name of the Lord
From this time forth and forever.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
The name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations;
His glory is above the heavens.

Who is like the Lord our God,
Who is enthroned on high,
Who humbles Himself to behold
The things that are in heaven and in the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust,
And lifts the needy from the ash heap,
To make them sit with princes,
With the princes of His people.
He makes the barren woman abide in the house
As a joyful mother of children.
Praise the Lord!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Garden Treat Day

I'm currently reading a great book titled, The Omnivores Dilemma. This is a fascinating book about how mass produced food arrives on our dinner table and compares it with locally grown, farm fresh foods. Today as I was tending to a little bon fire, I wondered over to my veggie gardens. They are resting for the winter, building up good soil for another God orchestrated production next year. While there I spied carrot tops. I couldn't resist digging up a few leftovers still holding tight to the soil. They are sweet as sugar! A treat for sure as winter approaches and waiting for next summers crop.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mrs. Mac Rants About Plain Old New Junk

What is happening to newly manufactured products. Nothing is made to have lasting value any longer ... be it new household appliances, kids toys, printers, etc. This week I've been searching for a whistling tea kettle to give as a gift. It's to replace an inexpensive one my oldest daughter, Elizabeth, bought when she first got married three years ago. Hers is already falling apart. After searching high and low and examining the ones for sale at general merchandise stores, I have not been able to find a decent replacement.

Last month the control panel on my microwave-hood combo short circuited/warped. Purchased new when we built our home in 2007, it just couldn't handle the heat from the way I cook .. i.e. canning .. and the last time I cooked my kids a fried chicken dinner, it went kaput. Both our new refrigerator and stove have needed repairs as well. And while the repairman was out I had him listen to my (supposed to be ultra quiet) noisy dishwasher ... he informed me the pump had between six months to two years left on it. Not to mention my high efficiency washer that needed several costly repairs before I got an old fashioned replacement with push/pull/dials and no brain; it uses more water and power, but at least it runs. There are several manufacturers involved so I'm not outing any one in particular {LG, WHIRLPOOL, JENN-AIR}

Makes me wonder if the manufacturers are partners with the repair folks. Also makes me wonder how efficient and 'green' such junk/appliances/merchandise is if it prematurely ends up in the landfill. What new junk have you had to get repaired or rid of lately?

My little short circuit episode set me back nearly $700 to replace the microwave with a heavy duty exhaust hood, installations fees, and repairing the tile back splash when the microwave oven was removed.

I wonder if this is one of the 'efficient' ways our government is trying to get more people gainfully employed ;(

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday's Bible Message

I love our 'plain wrap' Christian church ... using only the Bible to teach from, today's message came from John 14:23-27 (NIV)

Jesus promises the Holy Spirit: "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear and are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

My sincere thanks to all United States military veterans. Some of you have been overlooked, forgotten by your government, and misunderstood when home from war. But the majority of your fellow American's support and thank you for keeping our nation safe at home and abroad.

Does It Take A Snow Storm ...

... and being stranded at home to slow down? OK, I just cursed myself so to speak. But perhaps that is what it will take for the Good Lord to put in my path to find a little more time at home. There's a chance later this week for at least the snow.

Hubby and I just returned from Leavenworth, WA and a trip up to N.E. Washington with some dear friends to visit a WWII war veteran relative of theirs. Mr. Mac so enjoys meeting the vets and hearing about their war history if they are so obliged to share. This war hero had plenty of stories, faded photographs, medals, and moments he was willing to relive for us.

I'm so ready to hunker down for the winter with a good book.

Photo: alp horn serenade in Leavenworth, WA, picture by Mrs. Mac, 11/09

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Full Circle

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea ...

Geneses 1:26a (NIV)

abstract photo-art: spawning salmon, by Mrs. Mac, October, 2009 'Full Circle'

Monday, November 02, 2009

Good Morning Monday ...

Loving the time change ... a whole extra hour alone in the morning when everybody else is using their external alarm clocks ... I'm still using my internal one .... coffee in the stillness of the morning ... before the rush of the day .... ALONE ... aaaah, reason to rejoice!

Photo: Orange Marmalade Sunrise by Mrs. Mac 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Carpe Diem

Aaaah, Saturday!

  1. sleep late
  2. be less strict with Nathan's diet
  3. trip to the public library
  4. make 'sticky chicken wings'
  5. Nathan's friend to come over for the evening. Menu: self made mini (English) muffin pizzas, salad, and the above referenced wings, hot apple cider, visit a few local neighbors for treats, and a spooky kids movie
  6. clean the guest room and bath
  7. change beds and wash sheets/towels
  8. call my parents
  9. write two thank you letters
  10. respond to being the winner of a blog contest!
Photo: By Mrs. Mac, October, 2009, Lake Okanagan, BC

Thursday, October 29, 2009


by: Robert Louis Stevenson

      NAKED house, a naked moor,
      A shivering pool before the door,
      A garden bare of flowers and fruit
      And poplars at the garden foot:
      Such is the place that I live in,
      Bleak without and bare within.

      Yet shall your ragged moor receive
      The incomparable pomp of eve,
      And the cold glories of dawn
      Behind your shivering trees be drawn;
      And when the wind from place to place
      Doth the unmoored cloud-galleons chase,
      Your garden gloom and gleam again,
      With leaping sun, with glancing rain.
      Here shall the wizard moon ascend
      The heavens, in the crimson end
      Of day's declining splendour; here
      The army of the stars appear.
      The neighbor hollows dry or wet,
      Spring shall with tender flowers beset;
      And oft the morning muser see
      Larks rising from the broomy lea,
      And every fairy wheel and thread
      Of cobweb dew-bediamonded.
      When daisies go, shall winter time
      Silver the simple grass with rime;
      Autumnal frosts enchant the pool
      And make the cart-ruts beautiful;
      And when snow-bright the moor expands,
      How shall your children clap their hands!
      To make this earth our hermitage,
      A cheerful and a changeful page,
      God's bright and intricate device
      Of days and seasons doth suffice.

      Photo Art: By Mrs. Mac, October 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Psalm 118

Psalm 118

1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.

2 Let Israel say:
"His love endures forever."

3 Let the house of Aaron say:
"His love endures forever."

4 Let those who fear the LORD say:
"His love endures forever."

5 In my anguish I cried to the LORD,
and he answered by setting me free.

6 The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?

7 The LORD is with me; he is my helper.
I will look in triumph on my enemies.

8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.

9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in princes.

10 All the nations surrounded me,
but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.

11 They surrounded me on every side,
but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.

12 They swarmed around me like bees,
but they died out as quickly as burning thorns;
in the name of the LORD I cut them off.

13 I was pushed back and about to fall,
but the LORD helped me.

14 The LORD is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.

15 Shouts of joy and victory
resound in the tents of the righteous:
"The LORD's right hand has done mighty things!

16 The LORD's right hand is lifted high;
the LORD's right hand has done mighty things!"

17 I will not die but live,
and will proclaim what the LORD has done.

18 The LORD has chastened me severely,
but he has not given me over to death.

19 Open for me the gates of righteousness;
I will enter and give thanks to the LORD.

20 This is the gate of the LORD
through which the righteous may enter.

21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
you have become my salvation.

22 The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone;

23 the LORD has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.

24 This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.

25 O LORD, save us;
O LORD, grant us success.

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.
From the house of the LORD we bless you.

27 The LORD is God,
and he has made his light shine upon us.
With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
up to the horns of the altar.

28 You are my God, and I will give you thanks;
you are my God, and I will exalt you.

29 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.

I received this Psalm in an email today from Felisol. It spoke to my heart in many areas, especially in regards to our bankrupt political system.

Photo: by & digitally 'mastered' by Mrs. Mac. October 24, 2009. Taken aboard a fast moving train in Northeast Washington State.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Imagination At Play .. The Great Pumpkin Train Run

Play and imagination are great tools for children to develop. Yes, some use their imagination in such a way as to become something outside their ordinary capability. Take my son, Nathan, for example. He is rather standoffish most of the time until you are invited into his social world. In this world, he is just an average (well maybe not so average .. but for him, it's average ;) kid with some of the similar likes and dislikes as any teen: A girl he's sweet on; the most current movies (albeit, still in the Disney mode); video games (OK, not the violent ones), and so on. Then there is his imaginative side. The one that comes out once in a while when he dons his 'Mr. Incredible' costume. A macho side that struts with his (fake) pumped up muscles to show the world that 'he's all that' (to quote a passe teen phrase). The imagination at play is hysterical from my view but important none the less. It shows me a more 'typical' side and what Nathan is capable of.

Yesterday our family went on a scenic fall train ride ... and for a few moments Nathan was able to SHINE while he pretended to be Mr. Incredible. Then the spell was broken when some nearby train patrons decided to laugh and cackle out loud SO much as to send him back 'inside' his being. Back to a standoffish little boy that has quirky behavior (autistic traits) and needs the protection of his family. But, oh for a few moments, he shined brightly!

Pics: Top .. Mr. Incredible/Nathan
Bottom .. Nathan with big sister Elizabeth and his little (dragon) nephew Jacob

Friday, October 23, 2009

The 'Sweeter' Side Of Life

We never did make it over to Banff, Alberta, Canada. The highway was through the Canadian Rockies and snow tires were required ... which I don't have. Next year maybe Mr. Mac and I can make a trip up there for a few days and enjoy some of the famed hot springs along the way.

My friends, Irene & Belinda, were good traveling buddies. We made quite a 'Three Musketeers" group of gabby gals. And, of course, what would a trip to Canada be without a few stops at Tim Horton's for Coffee and goodies, eh? And a few more bakeries ... perhaps ... hey, we're on vaca.

Photos: Mrs. Mac running out of Tim Horton's :),
Mrs. Mac inside T.H.'s
The 'Three Musketeers' glamor shot inside a model
home for sale (a little diversion for the salesman;)
Oh, another 'Blissful' bakery in Peachland, BC

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Way We ...

... Were

I have finally put up my portrait on the wall above the office desk. Next to it is Mr. Mac's gun toting portrait in uniform. The way we were ... in the mid 1990's. Funny to see these two much younger versions of ourselves staring back at us from the days of our youth. I wasn't going to put my pic up, but my blank 'trophy' wall next to Mr. Mac's 20+ year career trophy wall was beginning to get 'occupied' with more of his plaques of platitude. I had to put a stop to that! Now intermixed with his official looking certificates and professional on the job pictures, I have hung a few of my unrelated items ... hey, it's my wall, ahem. BTW for the record, that's my shotgun he's holding :)

Next month we celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary. He's making plans for a romantic get-a-way here and here

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Those Geraniums

... my favorite potted plant ... geraniums .. whether the scented variety, or plain ol' Tango Red, scream summer, white picket fences, sailboats on blue shimmering seas, friendly cats, rocking chairs, porch swings ... you'd think they were some lofty snooty flower from the places they call home. This window flower box arrangement was spied, captured .. and 'enhanced' via computer wizzardry to become a watercolor snapshot of delight. However grand geraniums can be, the winter winds and frosty mornings let them know that they're not the boss :)

Wilted and withered down to a clump of mush is a geranium left out on its own in the winter climate. There's just no reviving them, no mater how sweet you talk. So if you have any potted ones left out on your porch, be sure to tuck them away in a cool dark place over winter to see if they will give you another showy year.

Here are a few more pictures from my
recent trip. As you can see, God has
such talent when he created our earthly home. The beach was all mine for a moment in time. And the waterfall (Hardy Falls) is at the end of a stream used by spawning salmon. The hike to the falls followed a shallow stream with fish ladders. Some fish were still swimming upstream. To imagine the thousands of miles each fish swims .. then to return to the same place it was hatched. Amazing creation!

Photos: Top, 'Geraniums In The Looking Glass' .. taken and enhanced by Mrs. Mac. .. downtown Peachland, BC (10/09)

Middle, Lone beach, Peachland, BC

Bottom, Hardy Falls, Peachland, BC

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Falling Into Autumn

In years past my scrub maple trees began turning red in September. This year they got hit all at once with cold temps in Mid October causing their leaves to turn crispy brown before changing colors. There they stay on the trees ... crunchy .. brown ..leaves not wanting to FALL off. Bare trees with colored leaves swirling around their feet are a much prettier sight than trees with brown crunchy leaves wanting to hang on. OK, I'm done complaining. A few days ago I returned from my trip to Canada. Relax became my middle name. Over the next few days I'll try to post some pictures. For some reason life is getting in the way of my blogging time. I suppose that's OK, but I do miss visiting and writing down my thoughts (as shallow as they are at times ;)

Photo by Mrs. Mac: Lake Okanagan, 10/09

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Silver & Gold

Make new friends but keep the old ... some are silver ... others gold.

Next week hubby will be on his own with the troops (Ann, Elizabeth, Patrick, Ryan) taking charge of the home front. I try to run a tight ship and have a schedule that looks rather official. Taking a vacation from my family requires an act of God. Nathan just needs to be looked after all the time that breaks from him are far and few between. So while the family is busy watching Nathan and figuring out the schedule (on/off the school bus, bed time, bath night, etc), I hope to be enjoying a get away with some silver and gold gal pals to British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. Will most likely not be posting much if any while I'm away ... so don't hold your breath.

Be back after my batteries are recharged :0)

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Changing Of The Guard ....

Rain, autumn leaves,
wind rustling through the pines, cloud draped moon, breath suspended mid air, a tinge of frost with the last of the garden
hanging on by deep roots
and straw bed covers. Oh how I marvel at the work of
God's creative hand
exchanging the pages of summer for the warm fire glow of fall.

Words and picture by Mrs. Mac, 10/3/09

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This & That

Inquiring minds want to know ;) ... what has Mrs. Mac been doing for the past few weeks to keep her from posting regularly?

  1. canning
  2. cleaning
  3. baby sitting
  4. knitting
  5. baking
  6. visiting
  7. canning
  8. cleaning
  9. knitting
  10. baking
  11. baby sitting
  12. cleaning
  13. canning
  14. garden work
  15. garden work
  16. knitting
Now aren't you sorry you asked ;)?

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!

It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,

yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.

Proverbs 6:6-8

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Message

I'm writing this journal entry in response to Dr. Boucher's request. She is a gifted occupational therapist that has given me much encouragement over the past year in regard to my son, Nathan, the possessor of an extra chromosome.

This post is stretching the limits of my brain power having to think so far back. But with a little quite time, I am going to recall a most interesting period in my life.

I had been married to the Mr. for about eleven years; had three beautiful children being home schooled ... all was well. One day I perceived (I assume from the Lord) that there was yet one more child for us to raise. Specifically, a boy with special needs. Not knowing what to do with this so called enlightened information, I mentioned it a few times to a select few and tucked the message away in my heart.

When you are a Christian home schooling family, prayer time can be very spontaneous having everyone's attention all day. My children were no different from other kids in asking for us to add another child to our family. Hubby dear was not too keen. The children became rather pesky about the topic so I mentioned that Dad's heart was closed to the idea. Perhaps they should pray that God would soften his heart.

Fast forward five years: Now I'm hear to warn you, don't assign prayers to children unless you expect them to be answered!" Pray and pray they did. And guess what! God answered their prayers. We were expecting our fourth child .. me being 38 and hubby 45; not exactly spring chickens, eh?

The blessed day arrived and our son, Nathan, was born. Off in the corner of the delivery room I overheard a nurse mention something about Down syndrome. Being groggy I pushed the notion out the window. However, the truth of the matter he has down syndrome. I immediately had a flashback to the day I had a (message) notion about being the mom of a boy with special needs.

If you're wondering why I did not know our son had DS before he was born, here's my response. Children are a great heritage from the Lord; all children, not just some children. Each has worth. I did not have any invasive genetic testing done during my pregnancy. If children are a gift from God, then why on earth would I jeopardize a life. We'll take what we get was our view about being pregnant later in life.

Would I change anything today? Is life easy for our family? To these two questions I'll answer NO.

Is our life enriched and blessed? Do we as a family have more empathy for the afflicted? Has God used our son as a witness that all human life has value? Our resounding answer is YES!

(Photos: top ~ Nathan age 3, bottom ~ Nathan age 13)

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:13-16 NIV

Swimming in Tomatoes

OK, OK, I'm up to my eyeballs canning tomatoes :) And going on dates with the Mr. .. and frying chicken dinners for my kids .. and sending daughter to college this week .. and putting the garden to bed .. and looking for my paper to send to Dr. B. The sky is falling, it just hit me on the head ;)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Five Words

OK ... this blog is being neglected as I try to keep up the the Scarf Sisters .. and now Cooking With The Scarf Sisters. So to fill in a few posts, I'm playing a five word meme that Pat posted a few days ago. If you want to play along with five random words, just leave me a comment. I'm taking five days to stretch this meme out. Today's word is:


As a relatively new transplant to this state, I've come to think of no other place as home (except for a vision of heaven down the road :) Having lived east, west and in between, the north has exceptional beauty. Hubby and I have pioneer spirit and have moved to quite a few states. Now Idaho is home sweet home to us. We have our names written in the soil so to speak. When I think of Idaho I think of: Potatoes, huckleberries, streams teaming with fish, hunting, wild animals, thick forests, alpine lakes, wild flowers, volcanic deserts, ghost towns, and culture mixed with a wild west flavor. From my front porch rocker I can watch the sun rise over a tree covered mountaintop .. and in the evening, I can watch the sun drop behind another ridge from my backyard patio. There are so many places to explore within an hours drive that living here seems like a permanent vacation.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Becoming a Garden Seed Saver

Last post I wrote about the importance of knowing about open pollinated/heirloom seeds. My lack of knowledge in the matter has given me a new area to study and a place to start from scratch. Here is a good post from a well seasoned gardener that will help explain the difference in seeds and the importance of heirloom seeds.

Down to Earth .. Raising open pollinated seeds. Consider this a 'jumping off place' as there are other links worth visiting here as well.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Biggest Garden Flop

... this summer: planting seeds saved from store bought winter squash last year. When did science mess with God's creation to produce fruit/veggies with sterile seeds? Now I'm on to the importance of heirloom and open pollinated seeds that you can save yourself year after year. More on that topic later on my garden blog. Needless to say, the 'seeds' produced lots of blossoms and leaves ... and took up considerable valuable property in my garden! Thank goodness I planted some winter squash from a seed packet as well ... although these seeds are probably not open pollinated or heirloom so I will need to buy more next year. Am I the only clueless gardener on this topic? Things will be planted a bit differently next year, Lord willing. Let's see: Plants that produce sterile seeds equals more money to the seed vendors, duh! Let's see: planting heirloom seeds that eventually adapt to the growing conditions in your area, can be harvested and planted again year after year. Our forefathers knew this procedure; why on earth has our generation become so inept at the cycle of our food supply? I actually had a young person visit this summer that asked if you stored corn stalks in the garage in the winter and replant them in the spring! And also told me it was such a lot of work to plan, plant, and tend to a garden if you had to start over each year. What a sad scenario. Too many days spent playing video games instead of playing in the dirt as a child, eh?

Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so.
Genesis 1:29-30 (NIV)

Photos: Mrs. Mac's backyard rock wall, a sunflower ` mid size, you should see the largest!

Friday, September 11, 2009


The following comment was posted earlier this summer. I leave you with these words to ponder as we remember the suffering and destruction .. and rising up from the ashes of a dark day in history.

"Oh, and the constitution... indeed there is move all over the world to weaken the spiritual fiber holding the world together, but special prayers are needed for your country. The USA has been such a strong bastion of democracy, and Christianity... and we need to pool our prayers together so that her flame will not be snuffed out. Praying for you and for your country..."

Thank you Lidj for your well spoken words.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Biggest Garden Surprise

Growing watermelon in the North Woods. I planted the seeds directly in the soil mid May and picked some sweet eight pound melons by the first of September. Yummy. Now they are gone (sad sigh) .. but we're enjoying some cantaloupe and Tuscan melon.