What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Watermelon Baby

What does one do with a watermelon slice?

Is it to play guitar?

Is it to serve drinks?

If only it wasn't so hard to hold onto!


I wonder if it is edible?  Maybe the green part? 


Yes.  It's edible.  DEFINITELY edible!

Unless, of course, one gets a seed.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Around Hopestead

The main garden two weeks ago

The main garden on Saturday

Thanks, all, for your many well wishes for my surprise appendectomy.  Indeed, I am back up and running now and feeling quite well.  I am surprised how little I was on the computer while semi-laid up and supposed to be resting.  That would have seemed a perfect time for blogging but, as is evidenced by the lack of noise on this blog, you and I both know that didn't happen.  The porch, you see, was calling to me.  I would sit out there among the birds and flowers and the breezes (we don't have air-conditioning, you know) and I would convalesce.  The porch is the best place to keep an eye out for children as these days they don't stay in the house for very many minutes of the day and when they are out, they scatter to the four winds.  I am pretty sure I did nothing of substance for a good three days except crochet oodles of dishclothes for the kind people who brought us snacks, meals or flowers.  I used up plenty of cotton yarn remnants!  The porch was a perfect place to rest all except for one bit...

The children wave at every car that passes by, which means the cars have begun to look around for us as they pass, which means everyone who passes by always looks up onto the porch to see if there is anyone there.  This is a bit embarrassing for a girl laid up for a day or two- out in the open.  I did wonder about the people passing by the house- what they must have thought of me sitting out on the porch when they went past in the morning and when I was still there again in the afternoon.   A road crew was working our road on one of those days, the men driving back and forth, back and forth, all day long.  They waved every time they passed and I did too... but inwardly I groaned and thought how it must look to them- a girl sitting on the porch and doing nothing every time they passed by.  I felt I should paint a sign in big bold letters I AM NOT LAZY, I AM CONVALESCING.  

The garden has gone crazy- but in a good way.  The children and I are keeping on top of the weeds and garden chores better this year than ever (45 minutes right after breakfast and chores) and they look beautiful.  The first picture with little baby tomato bushes, taken a few weeks ago, look nothing like that now.  The tomato plants have reached the top of the wire fencing at this point and Matt got to taste the first ripe tomato just this week...a little orange cherry.  I am so looking forward to those first delicious bites of garden tomato- and judging by all the little green orbs dangling down, it shouldn't be long.  Along with the lone tomato, we've harvested quite a few zucchini, a few hot peppers, garlic scapes, radishes, kale, swiss chard, chamomile flowers, basil, dill, yarrow and beet greens.

A little tidbit- if you procrastinate long enough on thinning the beets- you'll get baby beets to eat with supper instead of just greens.  Pairing those delicious baby beets with homemade feta.  Nuthin' betta.

My flower circle is looking pretty sad right now- many of the flowers bloomed prematurely due to the heat and the plants look haggard and old because of the lack of rain.  Rain, or lack thereof, seems to be a topic of discussion around here lately.  Drought is whispered.  Heads shake, and people have begun checking their well levels and springs.  I know of a couple of families that had to move in with relatives because their wells have run dry.  I haven't watered the gardens or flower circles because people and animals are a priority here- but everyday I wonder how much longer we have until rain.  A cow drinks a lot of water.  Four cows drink even more.  And cooking, drinking, washing, and laundry for a family of seven takes a fair amount of water too.  So the flower circle stays parched and I (and our neighbors) pray for rain.

I have a ton of photos on my camera~ I hope to be a more regular visitor to my own blog in these coming weeks.  A watermelon eating baby, summer swims, blooms and blossoms in every room and the delicious feasts of summer.  Lots of beauty these days, lots of abundant living.  It's so, so good.

Monday, June 27, 2016


The irises moved to peonies and now the peonies are spent and the loosestrife and roses are the main attractions in the flower circle.  I make bouquets and I take pictures and I shove my nose down deep and inhale slow, trying to soak up all these wonderful, beautiful, spicy sweet aromas of summer but I can't get my fill.  I just can't.  It all seems to be happening so fast.  I count down summer by the flowers and that we are already at the roses is incomprehensible!  Next it will be tiger lilies and zinnias and then daisies and outhouse bush and then summer will be all over!  

I've been showing all the signs of Lyme disease for two weeks or so and couldn't get into the doctors about it until next Friday.  Knowing Lyme is a nasty thing indeed if left untreated, I was considering going to the walk-in.  Then, Thursday night my stomach started cramping terribly and nothing I could do about it.  I justified the stomach pain as a million other little things that don't matter but that night I spent awake, chilled to the bone and shivering like a leaf but pouring sweat and burning to the touch.  Around 3:30 I wrote hastily a pleading cry for Matt to take me to the walk in...on the off chance I would actually be asleep when he woke up.  I knew, with the fever, that it was definitely Lyme and I didn't want to wait any longer than I had to in order to get things taken care of.  But still- the stomach had me hunched over in pain.  I didn't think I could drive and I didn't want to burden the in-laws with babysitting as they were due to go on vacation the next day.  Matt could go to work after the walk-in.

I walked into the doctors office, Matt staying in the car and hanging with the children until I got back out, and the doctor on call asked "So- what brings you in today?"  "OH- I just want to be tested for Lyme- I am showing all the symptoms and I want to get the bloodtest so I can get it treated."  She gave me a funny look and said "Well, why are you walking that way?   You seem like you are in a lot of pain..."  "Oh- yeah.   My stomach has just been hurting really bad...I am not sure what that is about...."  She started quizzing me and feeling around a bit (ouch.) and told me she wanted me to go directly to the emergency room.  I believe you are having an appendicitis.  I sat, flabbergasted as she said "I can call you an ambulance or you can go and get your husband."

Many hours and a surgery later, I was heading home from the hospital- sliced open and stitched shut but with not even a nice new baby to show for it- having had an emergency appendectomy.  TOTALLY cramped my style, let me tell you!

Matt never made it to work that day (or even today!) and has refused to allow me to do anything since.  I just sit on my mattress on the porch, looking out at the flowers and enjoying the breeze, trying not to make a mental list of all the things I need to be doing right now.   People have brought me meals as news travels fast in the country apparently, the children have been sweet and helpful and Matt.   Matt is just such a treasure.   This morning he deep cleaned my kitchen for me.  The grimy stove glistens, the kitchen aid sparkles and the tiles shine.  His big man hands smell faintly of Windex as he brings me some tea and I think Proverbs left out an important person in that verse.  A righteous man walking in integrity blesses his children after him, yes.  But this wife feels pretty blessed too as this man of mine has blessed my socks off.  

For a bit, I'll be moving at a snail's pace in this fleeting summer.  Perhaps, like the tortoise and the hare, I'll win in the end?  In any case, I am taking time to smell the roses.