Friday, August 28, 2015


May your days be filled with God's glory.

His peace to your homes.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Canning Journal

Do you remember the year of tomatoes?  That year when Mr. Marvelous had over SIXTY tomato plants?

I think I overdid the emphasis on that because this year he planted not quite thirty.  It was also not a best-year-ever for tomatoes.  So far I have canned a mere three quarts of tomatoes from the garden.  Sigh.  Not very impressive, is it?

Yesterday I drove up Chandler Mountain.  This little mountain community is known as The Garden of St. Clair County.  It is a lovely place and they have a micro-climate in which tomatoes thrive.  There are two or three tomato farms up there and these are my little homesteading secret.  When we don't produce enough tomatoes in the garden for me to can, I scoot up to Steele, run up the mountain and buy tomatoes.  Shh.  It's our little secret, okay?  Would you believe that I planned this so that I could support a local small business?  I didn't think so.  That is a side benefit of our crop being so underwhelming this year though.  

As I said, yesterday I ran up to Chandler Mountain and bought two boxes of paste tomatoes.  Guess what I will be doing all day tomorrow?  If you don't hear from me by Monday you might need to call out the St. Bernards; I may be buried under an avalanche of tomatoes!


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wednesday Prayers

Good morning Prayer Warriors and thank you for your faithfulness in praying.

In reading through II Peter the other day I came across a description of God that hit my heart. 
Peter says,

For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.    II Peter 1:17-18

A few things stuck with me on these verses.  First of all the understanding that Peter is giving an eye-witness account of this.  Can you imagine having been there to see Jesus being transfigured and to actually hear with your ears the very voice of God Himself??

Even more, the description that captured my heart is this:  The Majestic Glory.  Let that one soak in today.

Please keep the following in your prayers this week
  1. Katie is starting her very first week of teaching school.  Please pray that all will go smoothly, that she will continue to be a reflection of Jesus to the children entrusted to her care, and pray for her Mama who misses her.
  2. Sarah started chemo yesterday.  Please pray for her as she begins this process.
  3. Lisa is having problems with blood sugar that are severe enough to put her in the hospital.  Please pray that the doctors can figure out what is going on and get it under control.  
  4. David is traveling out of country this week.   Please pray for him and for his wife and family who are waiting for his safe return home.
  5. Please pray for the family of Louisiana State Trooper Steven Vincent as they mourn his murder
  6. Tom is having surgery today
  7. Please continue to pray for our churches.  Pray that we would be bold to proclaim the Truth of the Gospel, and mix that with the compassion of Jesus for the lost in the world.  Pray that our focus will be on the Glory of God, rather than our own glory and the distractions of the "urgent" things around us.  
Thank you again for joining me in prayer.  God's peace to your homes and hearts.

Friday, August 21, 2015


Dive into the weekend with abandon
And remember to set aside some time for Sabbath rest!

God's peace to your hearts and homes.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Homesteading Update

Changing Seasons

Have I mentioned a time or two that Mr. Marvelous is most happy when he is actively gardening?  

Summer is coming to an end around here.  The light is changing and the days are getting shorter.  The angle of the light is shifting, giving the homestead and the back hill that "here comes fall" look. 

The dogwoods are turning red. 

It has been a milder summer with only a few days of temperatures over 100.  Fall is on its way.

Our cucumbers are finished for the year.  

We thought we would get another batch, but it just did not happen.  Fortunately I have a good supply of pickles in the basement.  I will be picking beans today and canning what I find, but I'm not sure it will be another 15 pints.  The peas and tomatoes will probably hang on for at least another month.  Our second planting of squash is trying to decide if it is going to do anything. 

The peppers are doing great. 

The Scotch Bonnets are finally turning orange.

That Carolina Reaper is growing and putting out fruit and looking frighteningly hot.  I won't be handling that one!

Mr. Marvelous has been busy getting ready for fall.  He has already started planting some fall crops in the basement under the grow-lights, and the plants are already coming up. 

We are trying broccoli, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, tomatoes, and chives.  If we can find some seed potatoes from somewhere we will do another fall crop of those too.  

Do you remember the hens' hoop-house?
The hens have been moved into tractors out front so Mr. Marvelous is doing his marvelous magic and turning this into a greenhouse.

It's thirsty work!

We should have let Jack help.
We are putting it up against the garage door so that we can open the garage to help heat that end of the house (which also helps keep the greenhouse from getting too warm).  

We will also put a full water barrel in there. 
That helps keep the humidity up and helps maintain the temperature.

Since it is being built on the concrete ~ which chills faster than the ground ~ that will be important for the plants. The plan is also to dig up one or two tomato plants, some of the peppers, and maybe the rosemary plants to overwinter there in pots, giving us a jump on next Spring.  

I'm wondering if we might even be able to put the chick brooder in there once the chicks start feathering out (we don't have any chicks right now, but I am planning on a hatch in January).
I'm not sure what Mr. Marvelous will think of that idea though.

I'll keep you posted on the progress with this.  In the meantime, if you know a place that has seed potatoes for a reasonable price, be sure to let us know!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wednesday Prayers

Good morning Prayer Warriors,

I just have a few things this morning before I race out the door to run an errand:

  1. Please pray for my sweet husband this morning, who is driving the Little Red(neck) Truck to work.  Little Red(neck) is being cantankerous lately and I'm worried about it conking out on him!  Please pray for a smooth and uneventful trip both to and from work today.
  2. Pray for Jody as she marks one year without her dear husband Danny.
  3. Jeff and Melanie are celebrating ten years of marriage this week.  Praise God for the example of a  loving couple who are centered in Christ!
  4. Some friends of mine recently traveled out of state for the funeral of a beloved, godly Grandmother. Please pray for this family as they adjust to her not being there.  Pray especially today please for comfort for this lady's great-grandchildren.
  5. Brenda is facing surgery next month.  Please pray that God will protect her from anxiety as she waits for this, and for opportunities to continue to share Jesus with the medical people involved in her care.
  6. Next Monday is chemo day for Nancy. 
  7. Please be praying this week for the people who serve in church nurseries; both paid staff and volunteers.  Pray that they will stay focused on the importance of loving the babies and toddlers entrusted into their care, and that they will be faithful to teach them about Jesus.  Pray that they and the church will not neglect their own spiritual growth and nurture as they spend Sunday mornings caring for these treasures.
Have a wonderful Wednesday!

God's peace to your homes.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Singing With Jack

Jack will not be helping me hang out laundry today.  After complaining expressing some concern the other day about how dry the garden was getting, we are making up for that with a few days of rain. 

Jack is making the most of the opportunity.

I even caught him watching this.  

I suppose he is practicing for when we find the gnome of his dreams.

Happy Rainy Tuesday!