Monday, May 14

I Love Summer!

Hi!  We've been busy here.  I love having warm weather!  It just gives me such an appreciation for the beautiful world around me.  It's so inspiring to see all of the trees with leaves, the bright and cheerful flowers in bloom, the birds sitting on their nests, and the plants sprouting up in the farm fields.  There is nothing like spring and summer in the Midwest still has a feeling of the good ol' days.  It gets hot, but usually it's not unbearable.  Corn, wheat, and soybean fields surround you.  In the middle of the summer, during the hot, muggy days, you can smell a storm coming--a fresh, wet smell that swirls around you and mixes with the smell of the corn fields, and then I long for a covered porch with a swing to sit and watch the storm rage.  I like to let my imagination take me back to days in which I did not live, and imagine what it was like in the summertime long ago.  I like to picture in my mind an old, weathered house with a big front porch, a family sitting around a table at dinnertime eating a delicious dinner cooked on an old wood stove, and maybe a radio broadcasting a baseball game in the background.  The house is surrounded by fields of tall corn, and the stalks rustle in the breeze while the family talks about the day they had.  Wouldn't that be great if we could still have such quaint gatherings?

But I digress, and return to the present time.  As I mentioned, we've been busy here!  Where to begin?  I'll begin last Thursday.  I came home from work and began preparing dinner, and my dear husband came in and told me that he had heard on the radio on the way home that the local Farmer's Market was having its grand opening night that night, and did I want to go?  OF COURSE!  I love going to the Farmer's Market here, but it's actually at a really odd time--Thursday nights from 4:30-6:30.  It's hard for me to remember.  So, we hopped in the car and headed over to the fairgrounds.  There were only a handful of vendors there, since it's a bit early for most produce, but I did leave with some great treasures: a parsley for my patio, a jar of raw honey (which, by the way, is the best honey I've ever tasted!  I had no idea that heating up honey for processing takes so much flavor out.  I'm now hooked!), and handmade soap.  As my interest in organic gardening and homesteading has grown, and I've read more about these things, it's becoming more and more obvious to me that a lot of things that we buy at the store are incredibly bad for us, despite their convenience.  Now, I'm not to the point of swearing off sugar and such, but I'm leaning farther and farther away from purchasing processed items and chemical detergents and hand soaps.  Unfortunately, I have little choice right now, but maybe some day I'll be able to make my own bread doughs and preserve my own garden produce, and eliminate the need for buying these things from the store.  I'd also love to find a local farm that raises and butchers their own meats, and would be willing to pay extra for fresh meat instead of purchasing it from the grocery.  All of these things in time, I suppose.  I still have student loans to pay off before I can consider quitting my day job and devoting my time to pursuing my passions. 

Friday, as I was getting my husband's lunch together for work, I noticed that my African violet had buds on it.  Now, to most people this is not a big deal.  To me, however, it was huuuuge.  You see, I've had this violet for at least 3 years now.  I bought it in the wintertime not long after we moved here, because I wanted a houseplant.  I know, deep reason.  Well, I brought it home, and it bloomed for a little while, then suddenly--no blooms.  Ever.  I replanted it in a bigger pot and set it in the sunniest spot in our house.  Still nothing.  It remained very healthy, with thick, healthy green leaves, and eventually got too big for the pot again.  So, I replanted it yet again, buying some African violet potting soil and feeding it with two different kinds of African violet plant food.  Still nothing.  So, I decided that I at least had a nice-looking houseplant.  So now you can see why I was so extremely excited when I looked at the plant on Friday and saw buds--and not just a few, like you see in the photo.  Three clusters of blooms, hidden in and around the leaves!!  I'll be sure to post pictures once they begin blooming.  For now, here's a picture of some of the buds.

Saturday, I went out to check my garden.  It had been over ten days since I planted the seeds.  Plus, I purchased  a tomato plant and needed to plant him in the bed.  I found to my pleasant surprise that several things had sprung up!  I have two pumpkin sprouts, several bean plants, four ears of corn, and I'm seeing growth on my peppers and cucumbers.  So exciting!  I love watching things grow!

(Hmmm.  Here is where I would normally insert photos of my garden for you to see the progress.  As I tried to upload the pictures, I got an error message saying that I've exceeded my storage limit for photos in my account, and that I'd have to buy storage space.  I'll have to look into this further, but I guess for now, you'll have to use your imagination, since I don't make money from this blog and don't really plan on buying space.)

Sunday, hubby and I started a project here in our front yard.  We took up a patch of grass and are in the process of changing the space into a garden bed.  We've received several plants from others and needed a place to put them, plus we decided to use the grass as sod along the front curb that the city replaced last summer and grass has never grown back.  We'll see how it grows.  I'd love to post pictures here, but...well, see the paragraph above.  We haven't finished yet, but we're close.  I thought I'd finish tonight but I'm so sore from the work yesterday that it hurts to move.  I'm walking around like a 90 year old woman!  Everything aches.  But it should look good when it's done; you'll just have to take my word for it!
Our future flower bed, about 14' x 7'.
Hubby dug this whole patch up--thanks for all of your hard work!
He encountered many roots.
Stage one: complete.  Stage two: after a trip to the store.
Hubby working on transplanting the dug-up grass patches.  We'll see if they take.
Update!  I have found the reason for my picture dilemma.  I'll be working on this over the next few posts, because I guess I have to shrink my photos quite a bit more than I have been.  Oh well, at least it means I don't have to buy storage!

Honey is so sweet.  I've never liked it until I tasted the raw honey that we just bought.  It's no wonder that it's spoken of so highly in the Bible.  So, in honor of honey as they ate it in Biblical times, and our upcoming anniversary, here is a verse from the slightly racy Song of Solomon: “ How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride!  How much better is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your oils than all kinds of spices! Your lips, my bride, drip honey; honey and milk are under your tongue, and the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon."  Happy anniversary to my love and my best friend, and may we have many more decades of milk and honey together!


  1. It sounds like you have been having a blissful time lately! Have a wonderful week ahead~

    1. Thanks, Emily! I just checked out your blog...very neat. It sounds like you have a lot of great hobbies and interests, too. Have a great week, and God bless!


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