Saturday, June 9, 2018

Of Gardens and Life....

Last summer I did very little gardening - just picking from my mother's bountiful harvest when she had extra.  We were so busy remodeling our shop and trying to build a business that we barely had time to sleep, let alone garden.  For the first part of the summer I felt guilty that I wasn't helping in the garden, however, I finally realized that there is a season for everything under the sun and that was a season for building, not for gardening.

This year is different.  We are no longer building a business, but running one and although my days are still full to overflowing, I have the ability to carve out a few hours to dedicate to the garden.  And oh, the joy I feel running my fingers through the soil and breathing in the heady scent of freshly turned earth.

Long before the snow gave way to grass, I began pouring through catalogs and planning my summer garden.  I bought heirloom seeds and started them inside so they would have a good start before hardening them off for the garden beds.  With more rain than sun, my poor little plants have grown a bit yellow and a few have curled their leaves in protest, but most of them have soldiered on and hold the promise of life.

Over the last couple of weeks we have been working the soil, pulling the weeds and building beds, trusting our work will bring sweet rewards.  Today, Sir Knight tilled the big garden (or what he could reach of it with the tractor) and we planted a few more rows.  Potatoes, carrots and lettuce were sown, leaving room for more bush beans and peppers and cabbage.

Freshly tilled

As I was preparing the garden to be tilled, I dug up even more strawberry plants.  We have been giving them away as fast as we can dig them and I'm sure the freshly dug plants will be no different!! It is so much fun to share in our bounty of plants!

More strawberry plants to give away!
Our morning spent in the garden was remarkably timely.  Almost as soon as the tractor was stabled in the equipment shed rain drops began to fall.  We hustled inside and I began an afternoon of cooking and baking.  Miss Serenity leaves tomorrow after church for a 5 month stint as a wildland firefighter and I wanted to send her off with some of her favorite goodies from home.   Oat rolls and Filled Oatmeal cookies are two of Serenity's favorites and they are both full of energy to keep her going through fire school.  While the rolls raised and the cookies baked, I made a big pot of Leek and Potato soup - perfect for a rainy spring day - and even more perfect with fresh-from-the-oven oat dinner rolls!  It was so satisfying to watch the rain water the freshly planted garden while the scent of leeks, potatoes and bread permeated the air.

Potatoes and Leeks ready to go into a soup

Sautéing leeks

Fresh Oat dinner rolls

Filled Oatmeal cookies (AKA Survival Cookies)

Rolls and Cookies packaged and ready for Serenity to take to fire training

Miss Serenity
And today was a red-letter day in another respect.  Maid Elizabeth closed on the sale of her old home - finally!!  Elizabeth was originally supposed to close on her house on May 3rd - one day before her birthday.  Our entire family traveled to her home to move her (including my parents and our pastor).  When we arrived, we learned that the house sale had not closed.  Maid Elizabeth had already quit her job and packed her home, and now, everything was up in the air.  We went ahead and moved her in spite of the complications, and she has spent the last month praying and hoping and praying some more.  After a number of upgrades to her old home, the loan finally went through and her home was sold.  We are rejoicing!!!!  Now, while still in her 20's, Maid Elizabeth owns her home free and clear.  Only God can do that!!!

After a year of upheaval, our entire family are settled here, in the Highlands.  We are together.  We are home.  We are ready to see what God has for us next.  And we are grateful.


  1. Your garden is beautiful as is the area you’ve moved to. It’s a joy to have the family close, isn’t it? Ours aren’t all in the same town, but still yet close enough we can go visit and back home in the same day. So very thankful. Thank you for sharing. I always enjoy your posts. Have a lovely day.

  2. We are so happy for you and your family. We will keep Miss Serenity in our prayers that she stay safe. As for Maid Elizabeth, how can a 20-something possibly own her home debt free? I thought it took a decade or two to just pay off student loans while renting or living with parents. Oh that's right...

    Do any universities teach 'sweat equity'?

    Dock Guy

    1. Maid Elizabeth is reaping the benefits of wise choices. Anyone can, but all too few do.
      I'm not much older and while I have a loan on my house, I can pay it off at any time.

  3. Praise God. I am so encouraged by your posts as I continue to trust Him to work out some things in my own life.
    SJ in Vancouver BC

  4. Looking forward to seeing pictures of Maid Elizabeth's "new" home also.

  5. Oh the rolls look good any chance you would share the recipie

  6. Con
    Maid Elizbeeth has the birthday the same day that I do. May 4. But I feel
    like a 100 years older. Well at least 40 something older

  7. Hey
    this is off the subject, but I was house cleanning over the weekend and
    came up with something that I did back in 1999.Here in Montana for home
    schooling and public schools also there are traveling trunks. I think
    that Idaho may have them also.But in the days they were free, I was shock
    at the price of them now.But you may still get some for $25-$30 dollars
    a week.But if you want to use any of them you will have to look them up
    on line and see what Idaho has.Also you can get them from Mt and maybe
    even Organ.But any way it is a homeschooling idea that I used somethimes and I am not sure if it would fit into your schule

  8. As I read both your blog and Patrice's from Rural Revolution I am blessed by what you have achieved with your families though it is bittersweet. I didn't grow up with the attitude of Christian independence that you have and consequently sent my children into the liberal mind warp of Oregon's public education system. My 18 and 23 year old adult children-though wonderful people share very little of my belief system and I rarely see them and certainly don't enjoy the family unity that you all enjoy. I wish I could turn back time to make my choices differently and I entreat the young families reading this to mark my words and choose accordingly. Out with iPhones and the internet and in with fresh air and wholesome pursuits! I continue to pray for my children and am comforted by Romans 8:28 "and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." I agree I have seen God do amazing things and have faith He can save my little prodigals also. With Love, JP

  9. Blessings for your garden this year. It gives me much joy pottering in mine too. I will pray for Maid Serenity's safety with her firefighting work. Thank you again for your updates. I do look forward to them and appreciate you taking the time to share and inspire despite your busy lifestyle. Jenny