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, June 27, 2017

Pirates Get the Gold

Last year, knowing our town parade needed a bit of zip, we entered a circus float.  The children had so much fun they knew they wanted to do it again this year.  And apparently, every year hence.  Forever and always.  (What have I done?!?!)

Thankfully, we all decided on the theme the day of last years' parade.  PIRATES.  ARRRGh Matey!  

Knowing our theme ahead of time meant  CLEARANCE DEALS!  After Halloween, I got sword/eye patch/earring kits for 90% off.  They were a dime a piece.  I got gold coins after St. Patrick's day for a song and put them in the freezer to toss out of our 'treasure chest' at the crowds.  The week before the parade I went to Salvation Army on half-price day to get some pants to cut and shred the bottoms off of and a vest for Andrew.  Oh and the satiny moo-moo sort of thing that I made Adele's mermaid tail out of. Matt brought home lots of cardboard which helped with the 'details'.  Everything else was using what we had or could borrow.  (As in...the tractor, boat and haywagon.)   

I used this tutorial to make Matt's tricorner pirate hat and this as inspiration with Ineke's parrot costume.  I totally fudged the mermaid tail- leaving a skirt from behind and a tail from in front (Adele's feet were able to walk when she needed to and able to hide when she didn't.)

Doing things like this don't have to cost a lot of money.  If they did, we wouldn't do them.

Two days before the parade, the house was in shambles.  Every inch of it.
Actually, a few days after the parade too.  ;-)

But messy houses mean crafty houses, am I right?!?  

Here are the pictures of our pirate float...  

PS. We won first prize again!  WootWoot!



Home Again, Home Again
It felt good to be crafty again.  It's been a while.  It's always nice working outside on the porch too.  An outdoor sewing room.  

And now that I have electricity out there, I was able to plug in my radio and listen to the rest of the audiobook To Kill A Mockingbird while I was working.  The version read by Sissey Spacek was flawless.  I don't remember reading this book in school...(maybe it was banned at the time?)  and that is a crying shame.  

Because it a beautiful book about a child grappling with honor, respect, hypocrisy, and courage.  And children learning justice even when outcomes are not always just.  I enjoyed listening to the audio version but I bristled every time I heard the cursing or very prevalent bigoted and ethnic slurs.  An important part of the story, and yet I wondered what my neighbors would think if they heard the too-frequent "n****r" word echoing from my porch.  I wonder though- how the title came to be.  I guess I don't know about how to kill a mockingbird.  
What it implies...what does that mean?  

Friday, June 23, 2017



After  a hard days work and a long commute home, the last thing Matt wants to do is stay in the car longer.   But he gets trapped by well-wishers the minute he pulls in.


They thought they would thrill Ineke with a petal shower...

Ineke didn't quite look thrilled.  But it worked for some others!

a cow hoof in the garden is never a good sign

FINALLY!  I canned up the freezer stew meat.  It took the hottest day thus far and many months to finally get it done.  It isn't exactly a pretty picture (looks more like dog food) but it makes me happy looking at it anyway.

Homemade maple yogurt with the few strawberries we'll be able to harvest here.  And mint!  Lots of mint!

I don't know how it happened but the peonies came and went without a single bouquet being brought inside.  What?!?!  The irises too.  Where was I?!?  Between vacation, garden, health stuff and raindrops, this month has pretty much disappeared in a blink.   It is a strange thing indeed to not have had any flowers brought indoors though- very unlike me.  I saw a small late-blooming peony the other day with a swollen bud.  I'll be sure to get that one for my bedside.  

The garden took a lot longer to get in this year for some reason but it is finally in.  I am probably most excited about the carrots- I planted carrots in containers this year to see what would happen.    Carrots have never done very well for me because of all the stones and clay soil.  They come out short, squat and curly from trying to grow around stones.  With deep containers and NO STONES, they should be beautiful.  (I hope!) 

 Probably 90% of the beans were eaten by something as they came up so I had to replant them yesterday.  This happened last year too.  Sprinkling cayenne peppers on them helped so I'll be sure to get that done as soon as I see some growth.  

The weeds are crazy because I couldn't get my hands on any hay mulch this year.  I am trying to get cardboard down to help out but I am fighting a loosing battle.  Thankfully, I have many hands helping me fight.  

The worst pest to the garden?  Our cow Ellie who, the other morning when we all got outside, was found wandering around the yard.  We got her back in the pasture just fine and I was thankful that getting her back in the fence was uneventful.  Good girl! 

But then I started looking around at the damage she had done while on her freedom adventure... and I could have turned her to beef right then and there.  She ate blueberry bushes and trampled a few (of the very few) good strawberry plants I have.  She destroyed my cabbage patch and brussel sprouts (they may not recover) and ate the tops off of 97 corn plants.   97!  And it is probably too late to replant some more corn.  Nothing more destructive than a cow in a garden.

It's funny how gardening keeps you humble.  No matter how hard you try, you inevitably are at the will of forces outside of your control.  It's a good lesson~ a needful one albeit a bit painful too.  We are so not in control.  We are so dependent.  The sooner we realize this truth, the sooner we can find joy and gratitude in the gifts.  

Because that is exactly what they are.