Readying for Spring

On a clear day last month in February, we decided to thin out some dead, and too close trees and branches on one part of our property. Using our chipper shredder machine was more work than I was expecting. It is supposed to chip up to three inch trunks, but what we found was that it kept stalling the machine when it was that big, and fishing the branches down the shredder was more time consuming than expected, as you couldn’t put very much in without clogging it. We are planning on taking out all the trees in this area eventually, as we want to put in more parking, and the chicken house and run here. We will still have trees behind here, as the neighbors property is very close. All in all, it was a longer project than desired, because of the slow going with the shredder.

I found a lot of ivy and some holly to clean out of this area. Not sure why ivy was planted here. Ivy is not a good plant to have in a forest area, as it grows up the tree trunks, making the trees more susceptible to blowing over in the wind.

Thinning the trees.
The chipper shredder engine stalls with trunks this big.

To get ready for the vegetable garden, I had five yards of compost delivered. We began to spread it on the area, but I decided there wasn’t enough to put over the whole area, and would only put it on the rows. We got our silage tarp out, and laid it down to kill the grass, and didn’t finish spreading the compost yet, but covered it up too to prevent leaching.


I have chosen to begin study with the Yarn Council of America to become a knitting and crochet instructor. I’m hoping to teach people in the area to help provide fun, and potential income from selling items in a shop in town.

This is one of the five inch squares to make being blocked after knitting it. says that blocking knitting makes it look and fit better. It sets the stitches, and enhances the drape of the fabric.

The Rainbow Knit Blocker set was from Paradise Fibers. My husband gave me a gift certificate at Christmas time, and they were some of what I chose. They are located in Spokane, Washington, but I bought online. It was fast and easy. I don’t have an affiliation with them. I just enjoy their fiber, and accessory products, and thought I would give a plug for them.

Blocking the knitted square.


The first day of spring got me wanting some flowers, so we got our indoor greenhouse up, and I planted some seeds to start. Zinnia’s, Impatiens, Marigolds, China Aster’s, and Nasturtiums are the ones I have planted. Looks like only one of the China Aster seeds came up, and so far none of the Nasturtiums.

It turned out the soil was so dry it was water repellant, and I had to wait for a day after watering for it to soak up.

Flowers for Spring!
Starting seeds indoors.
Seed sprouting!

Growth in Scripture:

From 2nd Corinthians 9:10

Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.”

May God richly bless you, and help you live a righteous life,


Elderberry Time

Hi there. I received the elderberry cuttings I ordered from Burnt Ridge Nursery. Our family has been sick, so we are quarantined, and I wasn’t able to get out and buy some pots to start them in. Instead, I drilled some holes in large yogurt containers using our drill press. I made them large enough to drain well, but not so large to lose a lot of soil.

Added holes to yogurt containers

Next I added about 1/2 soil mix, to 1/2 perlite in each container, and wetted them down well.

I took the cuttings, wetted down the bottom end, dipped it in rooting hormone, made a hole in the planting mix, and put five cuttings to each container. It is not necessary to use rooting hormone, I just wanted added insurance.

Then I put a plastic bag over the top to keep the cuttings from drying out. I also labeled the containers and bags to keep them identified.

I will make sure to keep the soil moist, and keep you updated on their progress. The first year, if it flowers, I will cut the flowers off, and dry them for tea. I won’t want the plant fruiting the first year so that it will concentrate more on growing roots, and becoming established.

I’m planning on planting them along a fence line to our north, to screen our property from the neighbors there. It is recommended to plant them six to ten feet apart. I will want to test the soil soon, and see what I need to amend it with. I will also mix in some compost, cover the soil with carboard, and put some mulch on top. I plan to once a week look for any weeds sprouting up, and pull or hoe them, before they get big.


One other thing I purchased to help with preserving the harvest was an Excalibur food dehydrator. I recently made some banana chips. I was able to cut the banana’s fairly uniformly to the recommended 1/8th inch thickness. I put at the recommended 135 degrees, and even though I went over the suggested time of 6 to 10 hours, they didn’t turn out the brittle that we wanted, but still rather stiff, and a bit chewy. All in all, it is really very good.

Before drying

This will be one of the main ways for me to preserve the elderberries, and elderflowers. But of course we will be doing so much more with it, preserving the harvest of our garden, and seasonal fruits we purchase.


A hobby that I learned in a high school course was calligraphy. I recently purchased a new calligraphy set, and want to print quotes from the Bible to have in the home. Here is one of them.

Bible quote in calligraphy

One of the more exciting things in my knitting and crocheting hobby, is that I have sent away to become a certified knitting instructor through the Craft Yarn Council of America. They have two levels of learning for knitting, and two levels for crochet. I intend to do both sets eventually. They give you six months to do each level. I also spoke with the library in town, and they would like to have someone teach knitting, possibly as soon as March. Part of my instruction is to teach fifteen hours of knitting, so that will work out well! There is also a couple that will be opening a shop in town for people to display and sell hand crafted items. Looks like God’s timing is perfect.

My dream is to teach knitting and crocheting to low income people to have them sell things to increase their income, as well as their self-esteem. I would love for the town I am in to become well known for its splendid craft work, and bring in many people who appreciate the skilled craftmanship.


Here is a picture of my third ever sweater finished. It is a pattern and yarn from Love Knits called the Mountaineer Sweater. This is the second of the type I have made, the first was supposed to be for him, but turned out just a smidge too small. So that one is for me, and I made the second larger for him.

Husband wearing Mountaineer sweater

Here is a picture of the two together, before blocking.

Two sweaters for the sweethearts!

I was feeling daunted by the known blocking process of wetting the garment, pinning it to shape, and letting it dry. I found another method called steam blocking that I seemedB much easier, and less time consuming. This was on a YouTube video from Carlos and Arnie, two professional knitters from Norway. You wet a towel, lay it over the garment, and use a steam iron on the wool setting to block it. It worked perfectly, and took just a little time. Here is a picture.

Steam blocked sweater.


A reminder from the Bible to read His word, and keep it in our heart.

Psalm 119: 1-8

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord.

Blessed are those who keep his statues and seek him with all their heart-they do no wrong but follow His ways.

You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed.

Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees!

Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands.

I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws.

I will obey your degrees; do not utterly forsake me.

That’s all for now.

Blessings to you and yours,


Holidays on the Homestead

Thanksgiving and Christmas

It has been pretty hectic here the last couple of months, and I have really enjoyed the holidays we have been through this first year in our new home.

Christmas came quickly, and I am never totally prepared for it. Besides my immediate family members, I only sent out a few cards with a simple gift of a handmade dish scrubby to some close relatives, I kept one for myself as well.

Festive dish scrubbies!

Lots of Snow!

We have had a white Christmas here, with some big winter snow storms, and snow is still thick on the grassy areas this January 11th. We bought studded snow tires for our car, and a snow blower after the first small snow just in time before the big drops. I even was put up in a Hotel one work night, as it was unsafe to drive home overnight. Here are some pictures.

Our son using the new toy. See the frozen flamingos in the background?
Before the big drops of snow.
Elk hoof prints in the snow.
My husband had fun writing in the snow with the snow shovel.
Beautiful scenery in our area.
The tree at our church.

Now for some interesting news.

I have decided that I will grow elderberries, and make elderberry products in the future. Elderberries (the blue or black ones, not the red) are very good for your immune system, and can help you feel better sooner from the flue, colds, etc… I have ordered 20 elderberry cuttings, 10 cuttings of 2 kinds each, and a food dehydrator. The first year I will cut the flowers off, if any, and just use the flowers, so the plants can build energy in the root system. You can make a tea with the dried flowers, which is good for the immune system.

The book ‘Elderberries’ by Alicia Bayer (2017) on page 66 states that “…elderflowers work well as fever reducers and in supporting the respiratory system and immune system in general.”

It gives the directions for a tea of: “2 heaping teaspoons of dried elderflowers to 1 Cup boiling water. Steep for 5 minutes, strain the flowers out, then add a squeeze of lemon and some honey if desired. DOSAGE: Take three to four times per day at the first sign of symptoms. Children can take half a cup, three to four times a day.”

I’m expecting the cuttings between the end of January, and the middle of February. Elderberries are very easy to root up from cuttings. Many people just stick the cuttings in water or soil, keeping warm and moist. I am going to use a rooting hormone compound, just for a little insurance of better rooting.

After they root up, and put out some leaves, I will take a week to harden them off, which just means to slowly get them used to being outside. Then I am planning to plant them as a hedge between us and the neighbors to our north. Eventually, I am going to sell products from the elderberries.

Emotional Strength:

It’s easy to be anxious in these times. Here are some Bible verses to give us strength.

“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7

“I want you to be free from anxieties” 1 Corinthians 7:32

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels not demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” Romans *:38-39

That’s all for now. Keep on doing the good work God has preordained you to do!


Homestead Happenings

Some goings on from my last post:

My husband and son put up an antennae for their ham radio. We have started preparing the garden for next spring. I’ve got several crafting projects going, and am starting to plan a yarn and needle arts guild. Halloween happened, and our granddaughter got a nice surprise from her mother for her costume, and we are now signed up with a 4-H group in the area. We will be working with chickens in 4-H. Don’t have any yet, but she wants black or blue chickens. Lot’s going on around here!

Up Up and Away!

My husband and son have been busy putting up an antennae for the ham radio. First they pounded 8 feet of rebar into the ground for a ground for it. Then they used a manual auger to drill a hole to cement in the mast, the antennae was assembled, and up it went with the mast. The mast can bend like a lever so that it can come down when they want it too. His first contact with this antennae was on the east coast our fair country, from us on the west coast!

This is a manual auger my husband and son used to make a hole to cement the staff for the antennae.
Assembling the mast
The antennae to be assembled.
Up Up and Away!

Readying to Garden

One of the things we have been doing to ready the garden, is purchase a chipper shredder so we can shred the leaves to put on the garden. Here is a picture of us using the shredder. Unfortunately, it kept clogging very easy, and was taking a long time. So the next day we raked the leaves into rows, and ran over them with the lawn mower. There was a little difficulty, because someone had raked some wire into the leaves, and the mower had to be stopped, and cleared of the wire, which had wrapped around the blade of the mower. We still have a lot of brush and small trees to chip up, so we will find out how the chipper works with that.

Then, when it was shredded, we put some cardboard in the garden, and covered it up with leaves. There wasn’t enough cardboard or leaves for the whole garden. I will soon buy some compost to put over the grass, and cover it with landscape tarp to let it mellow. Hopefully, this will get a lot of worms busy!

Crafting Time

I’ve started several crafting projects. one is pajama’s for my husband. The first set had a pattern with frogs. I’m currently reworking the waistband of the bottoms, as I didn’t do a step of sewing the seams down in the waistband, so found it difficult to get the elastic bands to go in, as the fabric in the seams kept blocking the elastic as I was moving it through:(.

I’m also spinning some fiber into yarn. I’m pre-drafting the fiber, and winding it loosely onto a distaff (I’m using a wooden spoon for my distaff), then spinning from that. Here is a picture of it.

Ive been washing some yarn my daughter-in-law was going to throw away, because it smelled bad.

Lemon Verbena scented soap m-m-m-m.

I’ve decided to make another sweater for my husband to match the one I have. I ordered the yarn, and got the pattern from Love Crafts. The yarn came today in the mail!

This is my sweater.

I’m also planning to make placemats for Thanksgiving. I bought the pattern off of ETSY. Sorry the picture is sideways.

We had a good Halloween. My granddaughters mother knit her a Hogwarts scarf, and my granddaughter made a wand at the library during a crafting session. That completed her costume for Hermoine in the Harry Potter series books which she is “obsessed” with at this time.

Hermoine from Harry Potter

We also painted our pumpkins this year, instead of carving them. They all seem a goofy lot, just like us!

Let’s not rush over Thanksgiving, but let us fully enjoy the season where we give thanks to God for His presence in our lives.

The Lord bless you, and keep you. May he make his face shine upon you, and give you peace.


Will the Elk Let us Have a Garden?

October 19, 2021

Hello, I’m so happy to be back on the blog, and updating you finally on what has been going on with our move, and how we have been settling in.

We have been without high speed internet until last week, so that has been a big delay in the blog, and a common problem in the country. Finally, we have been able to get a hot-spot for our internet, until a fiber optic provider will be coming through in, hopefully, a few short months.

One of the major reasons for moving to our new home in the country, was to have a large vegetable garden to provide food for ourselves. What we didn’t account for was having elk use our land as their breeding grounds! This has been delaying me in preparing the land for growing next spring. Just this morning we were entertained by the sounds of antlers crashing together as two bull elks fought, while the cows contentedly ate grass nearby.

Here is one of the elk, a beautiful specimen of his kind.

I have already bought the seed for the garden, most of it. It’s important for me that I can save my own seed, so I don’t want hybrid seed that won’t come true on the next generation. I purchased heirloom seeds from Eden Brothers, and I am really excited about the crops that will come, depending on if we can figure out this elk problem. Two different ways to solve it, are deer fencing, and growing inside a hoop house tunnel. I’ll be blogging on that more later when we have more of idea of the cost.

Two of the larger crops I’ve been planning are for peas and beans. I got a fourth of a pound of ‘Little Marvel’ peas, and a fourth of a pound of ‘Kentucky Wonder’ beans. One of the more important aspects of growing a garden is to plant things that you already love to eat. I also got some broccoli, which I have not grown before, but we do like. I have a long list, so I won’t go into a long list, but, I’ve divided the crops into cool, and warm season crops. Peas are a cool season crop, and beans will be planted later when the soil warms up more. One other thing I bought was a black cherry tomato. I’m looking forward to that. Another purchase from the Eden Brothers was some seeds for flowers; Impatiens,Nastrutiums, China Aster, Zinnia’s, Mammoth Sunflowers, and African Marigods. It’s important to have those plants to attract the pollinators, and to beautify the property.

House Problems

Buying a house used has a few drawbacks, and unknown things to fix is one of them. Unfortunately, the RV bay, and the decking where it attaches to the house have some leaking issues, and a couple things in the RV bay have gotten water damaged. One of them is a Brio toy train set that my daughter-in-law has had since childhood. Hopefully, some of it can be saved, it was a very large set. So the leaks will take precedence getting fixed over installing some sort of central heating. For now we are heating with the oil filled plug in radiators, and the occasional use of the gas fireplace, which seems to be working to heat us OK for now. The people who built this home used it as a vacation home in the summer, so they didn’t put in central heating.

School Time

Our granddaughter is adjusting well to her new school. It has been live up till now, but with more Covid outbreaks, they are going to online beginning tomorrow for about a week, and will keep us in touch if they will start back up soon in person depending on how things go.

Her new school is more modern than her previous one, and has three play yards with a total of twelve swings. She is complaining to me of being “Too popular” like at her old school, I am glad she is doing well. Here is some pictures of her school grounds.

Big toy fun!
Physical fitness area
Eight swings here!

I joined the music group at church, and will participate in singing. I am also looking into joining a 4 H group with my granddaughter, and getting into chickens. My hours are changing at work, I will be going to three twelve hour shifts, and will have the weekend totally free, so I will have time to work on projects around the home.

A verse of the Bible comes to mind, as I finish up this blog.

‘Thy word I have gathered up in my heart, that I might not sin against thee’. Psalm 119 verse 11.I’m planning on reading my Bible more.

That’s all for now,


Leaving and Going Home

August 31, 2021

Well, we are on countdown to moving on September 2nd. Technically, we don’t own our home we have lived in for the last 26 plus years we are in right now. We have 3 days to move in, and boy we have a lot of stuff! Thankfully, we have hired movers to help us on September 3rd.

House sold in two days!

I am looking forward to having an acre of land to have a large garden, and some chickens too. Where we are moving has no home owners association, and is not in the city limits, so we can have freedom from HOA rules, and have our homestead!

The previous owners of our new home told us of the elk that come to visit on our property, so we will have to take great measures to protect our garden from predation. My son Mark suggested starting out with a greenhouse, I like his way of thinking! I will probably start out with a polytunnel from Boot Strap Farmer, and screen in the ends.

My granddaughter will be able to be in 4H, and have the chickens as her project. She is thinking of having blue or black chickens, perhaps Blue Austrolorps. She can sell the eggs, and will learn about many things involved in having a business with them, as well as show them at fairs.

This is the new home we are moving to!

We are leaving our garden, and new owners will have some food to harvest left in it, but we have had some good harvest from it ourselves up till now. It started with lettuce, peas, then artichoke, 22 pints of beets, three grocery bags of carrots, a surprise potato harvest, a towering giant of a sunflower, tomatos, and lastly we have been harvesting from our bush beans.

Beets getting ready to pressure can.

Three grocery bags of carrots harvested.

We are leaving behind more bush beans to pick, a teepee of lima beans, more carrots, nasturstiums galore, tomatos, and for a house warming gift, a new hummingbird feeder with nectar in the refrigerator, and instructions for making more nectar.

Lima bean teepee!

Next time I write will be from our new home! We will miss our old home, but enjoy the extra bathroom, more storage, and being able to have our adult children, daughter-in-law, and grandchild all together.

Blessings to All,


Big News for our Homestead

July 27th, 2021

It’s been a long time coming, but we are finally moving! We have been very busy looking on real estate websites, and preparing our home for the market, but now it has come to fruition, and God has blessed our move. Here is a picture of our future homestead!

This is the view of our home from the backyard.
This is the extra large front yard at our new homestead!

As you can see, the front yard is HUGE!, and will be the area we will practice our homesteading skills with a garden, some chickens, and in a few years some goats for fur and milk! Our son wants to have some fruit and nut trees, and I’m not going to stop him.


Speaking of homesteading skills, I recently canned up 22 pints of homegrown beets. Here are a few pictures, and some things of how I did it.

Best harvest ever of beets from my garden!
Striped beets!

To get the beets ready to can, first you boil them a few minutes to loosen the skin. Then you take the skin off, and cut into either rounds or cubes.

Pint jars of beets.

After cutting them, I put them into mason pint jars that had had boiling water in after cleaning the jars to keep them hot, empty the water, put the beets in, cover again with boiling water to within one inch, clean the rim, then seal them before using the canner.

Ready for canning.

The picture above shows them in my canner stacked two high. This is the first year my beets have really grown well, and I canned 22 pints!

Future food on the new homestead!

Here are a few pictures of the garden we are leaving to new owners.

Ah the garden!
Carrots, and a surprise potato.

Feelings, and musings

When we got the news of the offer on our present home, I was so overcome with both joy for the new place, and grief on leaving the old place. What a mixture of feelings that was!

Making an herb garden

Another thing I have recently done is to create an herb garden. I had a half whiskey barrel that had a rose that was always a lot of work from diseases, and pests, and also was over filled now with daffodil bulbs, and tulip bulbs. So I dug them out.

In digging them out, I discovered the ant hill in it that had the ants that were trying to invade our home. Good thing I was getting rid of them at the same time!

Digging out the old soil.
Replacing with good soil.

When filling up a pot, or large planter, it is important to put in a good potting soil, not soil from your garden. Soil from your garden would become too compacted, and ,unless you sterilize it, will have weed seeds, pests, and diseases.

Herbs to plant

I situated the herbs I wanted to plant, then planted them even with the soil level in the pots, watered them in, and that was my new herb garden that the next owners will also enjoy!

Me in front of my flower garden.

Good things to look forward to in the future, and good things to remember from the past. Thanks to God for all.

Blessings to all,


Growing Surprise!

We planted an artichoke plant a couple of years ago, but it hadn’t grown any fruit. A professional gardener had told me it was an ornamental plant, so it was with complete surprise when I saw it had grown an artichoke on it! We cut it, and had it for dinner. I also saw some smaller ones below it, and was hoping to get a second crop.

To cook the artichoke, we boiled it in water for 25 minutes. The edible parts are at the bottom part of the leaves: the meaty part of the leaf where it attaches to the heart. Then after you have eaten that, the heart of the artichoke is left. We dipped the leaves and heart into melted butter, then ate them. You can also dip them in mayonnaise, ranch dressing, or anything your heart desires.


Boy! What a surprise when I cut it, the smaller ones below it, shot up fast and were quickly usable for another crop!

WOW! The replacements came on fast!

Other things needing to happen in the garden were thinning the carrots and beets so they have room to fill out. Here is a before and after thinning picture of the carrots.


After thinning


We already had four blueberry plants, but when finding some plants for sale at the store, we just couldn’t resist getting two more. Finding a place to plant them was the difficult part, but we finally settled opposite from the vegetable garden.

First, we turned the soil over, inverting it. Then we centered two holes in it, digging about twice as big as the soil in the blueberry pots. Putting the soil level even, we put the plants in the holes, and filled in around them. I put landscape fabric over the area to prevent weeds. Last, I put same landscape fabric pins in, to keep it down. Soon, I will get some bark chips, and cover it up with that. The best fertilizer to use with blueberries is rhododendron fertilizer, as blueberries need an acidic soil, just like rhododendrons. Coffee grounds make a great addition for that reason too.

Beginnings of an Herb Garden

I had taken out the rose in the half whiskey barrel tub as it was diseased, and the bulbs in it were too crowded. So as I was wanting an herb garden, I cut down the leaves of the Tulips and Daffodils. I have a couple chive plants to start, but have not taken out the bulbs yet, as I want to give them time to dry up. Then I will dig them out, and plant them elsewhere in the yard. I will at that time, move the barrel into a different place in the yard, opening up that space, as it was in the way.

Rose and bulbs gone, making way for herbs.

Spinning it Up.

I’ve been having some fun with my Ashford Traditional spinning wheel. I have spun up two bobbins of some blueish sparkly yarn, and am in the process of plying them back on each other to make a two ply yarn.

This is a single ply yarn in progress on the regular sized flyer.
Here I have the Jumbo flyer and bobbin with a two ply yarn in progress.
This is the product. A beautiful two ply yarn!
This is my Ashford Traditional, pre-1973

Wildlife in our Yard

Let’s not forget the wildlife in our yard. We had to take down the feeders for two reasons. There was a salmonella warning that birds were dying from the disease passed to each other through feeders, also, we had a rat come into our yard. It was helping itself to the peanuts, corn cobs for the squirrels, and bird food we had out for the birds. Our neighbor caught the rat in a trap, but now it is recommended also not to feed them in this time as there is enough natural abundance for them.

We have also had more rabbits come to our yard. I’m a little nervous about that, as they are so cute, but I don’t want an over abundance of them helping themselves to our vegetables.

Got your picture

Bible Wisdom

I will sign out with some words of wisdom from 1st Corinthians chapter 3 starting at verse 5.

Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God gives the increase.

Let’s remember that, and be thankful for what God gives us. Amen

Garden, Microgreens, and Knitting

A lot has happened since my last post.

You might remember that last summer we were in the process of moving to someplace where we could have a homestead, and provide more for ourselves to be less dependent on the grocery store.

We ultimately decided to delay looking until such a time where we could move to somewhere where the prices for housing are much lower. Which might mean waiting as long as until my husband is retired. I hope we don’t have to wait that long, although it could be as soon as three years. But we are still continuing to look into the possibility of moving at this time or purchase land to move to. Also, we are continuing to learn new skills for self-reliance, improve the home we have to make it more valuable, and build upon the current things we are doing to provide for ourselves.

Our family has been looking on the Zillow site at a couple areas of the country to move to. It’s fun, and frustrating at the same time. Kind of like looking forward to Christmas, and knowing you can’t have it now. When you think you have found the right place, and yet you can’t quite see how you can do it yet. I tell myself to remember, there will still be many right places in the future, trust God for His provision.

I started some microgreens a little while back. Here are some pictures to show you. It was called Spicy Micro mix. They have a little spice/zest in them more like a radish, so not too strong. (I’m a spice wimp).

I will give these out to people at work for a sample. If they like it, perhaps they will want to buy, or tell friends and family about it.

Apples for the future!

The grape plants to either side of the arbor into the vegetable garden weren’t doing well, and I wanted to replace the apple tree in our yard, because it was too big for me to prune and spray. We took out the grapes, and had an arborist take out the old apple tree.

I had ordered some apple trees from Rainier Nursery in Washington state, for one red, and one yellow type apple trees. Here is a picture of them planted. They will look good pruned into a tiered flat shape on either side into the garden. We put a wire cage around it to protect the bark from a rabbit that likes to hang out in our yard sometimes. As you can see, we put some cardboard down, and mulch on top to keep down the weeds.

Future apples protected from rabbit.

In the background of the picture, is the garden with a silage tarp on it to kill the cover crop, and when the seeds in the soil also sprout, the silage tarp will keep the light out, so that they will be killed also. Then the tarp will be taken off, and the vegetable seeds can be planted directly in the soil without tilling up the whole garden. This is one method of ‘No Till Gardening’. No expensive tiller, or hard work of shoveling it by hand.

Lavender and Wildflowers Galore

I had started some lavender seeds in my indoor greenhouse, and potted them up after they had grown some. I also had started Milkweed for the catapillars, and Wildflowers to attract pollinators to the garden. Here are some of the lavender plants potted up.

Wonderful Lavender!

Up-doing Our Home

In getting our home nicer for ourselves, as well as making more presentable for increased price when we sell, we hired a gardener to redo the garden bed under our front window.

Here is the front garden bed. The Mexican Orange smells wonderful!


After taking off the tarp from the garden, all I had to do was plant the seeds, because the silage tarp had for one blocked the light and killed the plants under it, but it also created a warm spot for seeds to germinate, and being no light there, they didn’t live. That created a planting bed terrific to start seeds in, with a leap ahead on the weeds.

To create the garden, I bought two bales of hay, and spread them around where I wanted paths. We also got out our soaker hoses we bought from Harbor Freight last year, and positioned them to give out water for the new growing plants.

This row has edible pod peas growing in it.

At the end of the row is and Asparagus plant. There are three Asparagus starting on it!


I have finished the sweater I was working on. It was a pattern from Love Crafts called Novita. I had intended it for my husband, but it is a bit tight in the underarm area. So we decided that I would wear it, and make another one a bit larger for him.

Sweater for my sweets!

That’s all for now.

God’s blessings be upon you and yours.


Soft Homemade Bread

I made some bread last week that I found was very popular with my family. It was so soft, and yet held up to being sliced well with our electric knife.

This recipe is from the all recipes website ( It is called Amish White Bread. I made one difference in it, I used half white bread flour, and half wheat bread flour. Here is a picture, and the recipe.

Softest bread I ever made. Amish White Bread.

Amish White Bread Recipe


2 Cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

2/3 Cup white sugar (I used organic)

1 1/2 Tablespoons active dry yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 Cup vegetable oil

6 Cups bread flour (I used 3 cups white and 3 cups whole wheat)


Step 1

In a large bowl, sissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeat. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.

Step 2

Mis salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a will oiled boul, and turn dough to coat. cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise unil doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

( To have a warm place for the bread to rise, I heat my oven for two minutes, then turn it off, and place dough to rise in it.)

Step 3

Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9×5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until the dough has risen 1 inch above pans. (my rise time was 50 minutes to have rising 1 inch above pans. Your time may be different)

Step 4

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.

Here is a picture of them risen in the loaf pans.

Risen before baking.


Last spring some Scrub Jays decided our yard was a good place to come. I finally got a picture of one of them. It works hard at trying to pick up two peanuts at the same time, before it goes to wherever. The Scrub Jays are not native to the Pacific Northwest, they have migrated up from California. Global warming has them expanding their area.

We had a snow storm recently, And we made sure to have food out for our furry and featherd friends.

Scrub Jay from California
Loves the peanuts

I also made sure to put out lots of fresh nectar for the hummingbirds. You use four cups water to 1 cup sugar, I use organic sugar. Heat the water to a boil, turn off the pan, and disolve the sugar in the water. I put any left over in a covered jar in the refrigerator, and lable it with the date.

Valentines Day

My husband was sweet, and didn’t buy me sweets for valentines, as I am on a low carb, low sugar diet so I can loose a few pounds. So he brought home a vase of roses for me.

Beautiful Roses, and a new vase.

Yarn Crafts

Last writing I showed you a sweater I started on for my husband. Since then I have finished the trunk, and am starting on a sleeve. I am finding this pattern fairly easy to follow. My husband looked on Ravelry, but didn’t find something he liked. I found this pattern through Lovecrafts online.

Novita sweater for my husband.

I was signed up for Paradise Fibers fiber of the month club for spinning by my husband. This is from February’s box. This is the first time I have been able to spin a lace weight yarn consistently.

More about the snowstorm

We ended up having a snowstorm this month. I live about 45 minutes from my work, so they put me up in a nearby hotel, and I worked an extra night. Here is a picture of the hotel I stayed at. Didn’t go in the pool!

Snow man

My granddaughter and I took advantage of the time we had off, and made a snowman. She also loved to throw snowballs at me!

That’s all for now!