Tuesday, November 29, 2016

reflections from the farm

      
     "In His Hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind."  Job 12:10



      This month we have watched our one and a half year old yellow lab, Latte, get too close to death's door.  After two weeks of sickness, he stopped eating and then drinking and the vet still didn't know what was wrong.  We prayed and asked others to also because we know God cares about every creature.
     

        By  Thanksgiving our walking buddy was eating and drinking again and our hearts were full of gratitude. We are grateful for the gift of life.  What were you most thankful for this Thanksgiving?  I'd love to hear from you in the comments.

       I have texted the verse above to my husband when he has lost a patient after hours or days of working hard to save their life. Some of you have loved ones suffering.  Some of you need to know their life is in God's hands, not just their caretakers.  You also need to know that the doctors, nurses, PA's, and technicians who take care of your loved one, also care about them.  When life is lost, they feel the pain too.  After they hold it together to save a life, and all their efforts have failed, they sometimes go into another room to shed a tear. 

      I just recently listened to a book through our library eAudio lending system called "Me Before You", by JoJo Moyes.   If you haven't tried this method of reading (listening) to a book, I highly recommend it.  I am almost constantly listening to a book when I am doing mundane tasks like dishes, walking the dog, etc.  The best part about it is - it's free and I can use my phone to listen.  If you don't like to read (or listen), it was also released as a movie this past June.  

        This novel dealt with a young, athletic, lawyer who becomes a quadriplegic through an accident and how he deals with life afterwards.  It is told from the viewpoints of his parents and care-givers and even other quads.  It was very thought provoking and I would highly recommend this book.  It does have foul language and deals with the topic of suicide, but it's one clear message to me was LIVE! 

     

    LIVE today with peace and joy and remember that even your breath is in His hands!





Wednesday, November 16, 2016

tulips

       I planted what looked like little round pieces of bark in the ground last week around my rose bushes, but next spring  they will look like this.  It always amazes me.  The gift of seeds or bulbs, darkness, dirt, water and patience, and we get something more beautiful than we could ever imagine.    



             They are called  Anemone Black Eye Beauty and they were a gift from my sister.  

        Many of you are digging in the dirt right now too planting bulbs for Spring, so I wanted to share with you this amazing tool my husband bought me. It makes planting bulbs a cinch.  This tool digs holes in the ground easier than drilling a screw into wood.  If you haven't heard of it and love flowers like this. . .


 you will want to get one of these . . . a tulip auger.
  

       It works great unless you have heavy clay soil and of course you need a drill to attach it to.  The field of tulips pictured above is from the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival which we had the joy of visiting several times when we lived in Washington state. If you're looking for a spring get away, visiting here is like walking around in heaven.  Tulips and blue skies with a mountain backdrop.  It doesn't get any better than this.

      It looks like Spring will also be closer to when our house will be blooming too.   The weather and worker's schedules have kept things from going at a pace we would have preferred. But we are still making progress.  Here are the latest pictures of our beautiful sun room back porch. 
 





And now a full length view of the south side of the house with the porch addition.


       My hands plant in faith, knowing that the piece of hard, brown clumps will rest in the darkness and sprout into beauty in a few months. Waiting, resting, and trusting are the parts of life we struggle with the most, aren't they?  But Patience is slowly becoming my friend and I am learning to live with her and rest. Maybe that's the biggest gift the remodeling of the The Noah (rest) Farm is giving me - learning how to rest.  

Links to my mentions above:

Anemone Blacked Eye Beauty 
/www.longfield-gardens.com/plantname/Anemone-Black-Eye
These are actually hard to find.  Currently sold out at this location.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
visitskagitvalley.com/skagit-valley-tulip-festival/

Tulip Auger - Many places sell this online and for varied prices.  Your local nursery, Home Depot, and Lowes,  may have them too.
www.lowes.com/pd/Blue-Hawk-2-3-4-Garden-Bulb-Auger/3556926




Wednesday, November 2, 2016

       Have you ever wanted to make a quilt?   I just made one - out of wood! 
        When I first lived in Washington and had no friends, my sister encouraged me to visit a quilt store to start a small project.  It was great advice because through my first little wall quilt, I eventually met a friend, Lori,  who invited me to ride with her to Sisters, Oregon for the world's largest outdoor quilt show.  Visitors come from all 50 states and even foreign nations to see more than a thousand beautiful quilts hung up outside along the main street of this picturesque mountain town. 



         The three sisters mountains are not far away from this sleepy town.   Lori and I had a beautiful trip that inspired me to spend more time quilting and also began a wonderful friendship.
              
        So when I saw these pictures of barn quilts on Pinterest, I fell in love and had to make one. 

           For practice, I started with a smaller one,  (2' x 2') to put by my front door.  Here is what it looks like.

 It was a lot of fun and pretty easy to make.  I used 1/4" plywood, craft paint, frog tape, and polyurethane. These small ones would also look good on a garden shed, garage, fence and of course a barn.   When we get closer to having most of the remodel done, I will paint our front door black, hang some black shutters and this barn quilt.  

         By why did I chose these colors for my barn quilt, you ask?  Because our new roof is getting put on and it is . . .  BLUE!



             We love how it is turning out.  The back part of the house where  the new addition  was just rebuilt, will get a blue roof on it after the back porch walls and roof have been completed.    Here is Steve, our contractor, working on the new addition roof.  If you look where he is standing you can see the old roof line and how it has been changed.

     Here is what it looks like from the inside.  My kitchen sink will go where the double windows are on the left in the picture below.   The room is  now open all the way to the living room and front door, (which is open in this picture).   We will leave the kitchen/dining room ceiling open and clad the trusses in wood.  






        Here are the beginning stages of our three season room.  We are putting in lots of windows to enjoy  nature all around us.  I think I will put my bed in this room and just live in it.  

        My next barn quilt will actually be for the barn.  Here is the design I will tackle next. 


       Don't be afraid to try something new.  Quilting gave me a great friend and allowed me to use my creativity.  Now I can use this old skill to make something new.  I can't wait to make the bigger one for the barn and hang it.