July 6, 2014

Fourth of July Weekend

On the Fourth, Walter and I woke up and got to work. He had the day off so he had us do something he had been wanting to do a while-- put a new door in at the cottage.
This door was not intended for exterior use. It will get some interior use in the rock house.

Since he's wrists have been impaired, which, in essence, means his two arms are unable to be used, he taught me how to use all of his tools so we could get the job done.

I had to cut out the old door jam as well as about six inches of wall for the new door to fit.
Now, you'd think I'd have done that a long time ago, but it's just quicker when he uses them. You see, I have to have a mini tutorial before each tool (and sometimes each cut). It took us all day, and we still don't have it completely finished, BUT, it is hung. So that was great.

We took a break for a late lunch cookout with Mom, Dad, and Mammaw. Dad grilled some big, juicy steaks for us.
Looks good, right? (That is if you are a meat eater, if not, stare at the veggies.)

We also had a nice spread of farm fresh produce.
(I contributed the lettuce and a couple cucumber.)

Mammaw had brought the green onion, pepper, and another cucumber.
Walter and I ended the night watching the neighbors fireworks in our truck bed cuddling with Wilbur and Ruth who were both completely terrified of the booming noises echoing throughout the area.

Then, yesterday, we went to work on something I wanted-- putting up a pool. We had bought it and put it up at Mom and Dad's when we didn't have a place, and we were content with leaving it there. But Mom wanted to change things up at her house and I guess that's hard with a Sunny Escapes pool.

We worked all day leveling the ground and we have sunburn to prove it.

We invited them for a night of (50%) fireworks and a campfire. They accepted. However, at our place you always earn your recreational and relaxation time first by helping us work or clean or both (which was the case last night).

Well earned relaxation at our camp fire.

See the pool. Not spectacular looking, but wet and cool which is
all one can ask from a pool. Walter and I are beginning the ceremony
with a Citronella torch lighting.

As you can see, it was a bit of work putting them into the ground.

Of course, we had to roast marshmallows.

Following Mom's advice on the right way to cook a marshmallow. Burn it.

Cooked it for five minutes to golden brown perfection. Dropped it on the ground. In the ashes.

Finally able to eat one.

The bombs bursting in air. (Or at least fireworks.)
And the grand finale.

July 4, 2014

Produce the produce

The days have been beautiful. Hot, but beautiful. Since my garden gets full sun, I prefer to get up early (which hasn't happened yet) or wait until the evening hours to work in it.
What we saw before heading to the garden to work. Walter is mowing with his tractor in the background.

I'm learning a few things in my gardening experience such as:
1) It's ok to remove the lettuce leaves and eat them. They will grow back. (This comes from the fear that all my plants will die.)
2) Sometimes you got nothin'.
3) A day after you got nothin', suddenly everything is ready to pick. So check back often.
4) Make sure to thin corn and cucumber plants.
5) Weeds are evil. Especially those prickly ones.

Now that I've shared my wisdom...

Mom and I weeded the garden. We checked to see what was growing as well. We found my sunflowers were starting to bloom, my corn was growing ears, and cucumbers were growing like wild things. (Also, I found two florets of broccoli.)

What's growing on. I'm sad to say that my watermelon was captured during the night and never seen again. I'm determined to grow at least one plant though.

My corn is vertically challenged. It ranges from 3-5 feet tall. Probably going to have small ears.

Since the cucumbers were growing like crazy and beginning to take over the broccoli, we put some pallets up as a boundary for the cucumbers to (hopefully) climb on.

About a ten cucumbers (Mom took a couple), two green peppers (one mini) and a purple bell pepper. 

We had three bags of harvested lettuce (Mom took one). It's robust flavor is almost more than Walter can handle, but I think it makes a nice addition to our burgers.
And while I had no luck growing berry plants (or fruit at all for that matter), I have noticed that blackberries are popping back up. (Walter was afraid he might've mowed them over.)

Not quite ripe yet.
Enjoy your cookouts and fireworks today. May you have some fresh produce along with it!
Happy Fourth of July!

July 3, 2014

The Time When...

... we were at EBC (Emmanuel Bible Camp).

Sometimes, there is a lull in farm life. Or sometimes, I just want to share things outside of our homestead. Thus, this post.

Last week, I was a counselor at Emmanuel Bible Camp, a camp which was founded back in the 1945 by my husband's grandparents. This place is a great mission field to children in our area and God always does amazing things in their lives-- and our lives as workers-- year after year.

(Originally, I was only going to recap my week, but I had so much fun looking through old camp pictures that I had to share a few.)

Walter worked at camp as a teenager growing up along with many of his family members. When we dated in high school, he invited me to go, but I had to work (or maybe I just got too nervous about having to spend a week around him). Whatever my odd teenage reasoning was, I wish I could go back in time and change that decision, but I can't.
See why I fell for him? 

EBC staff in 2004 (I think)

2005 (?). Man, Walter had a lot of hair. Little did I know that one day I'd be related to almost half the people in this picture.
Walter and Luke both worked at EBC camp. I still did not. (They're both going through their shaggy hair stage.) And I'd be related to 100% of the people in this picture.
When I was 19 (the last possible year you can be a camper), I was a finally teen camper with Walter.

2005 Teen Camp. Still nervous, I convinced my best friend Jennifer to come with me.
Working together even then.
Walter convinced me to take counselor's class with him. Good thing because five years later, I'd be a counselor.
The summer I got hired for a teaching position, I spent the whole summer counseling at EBC. I've volunteered as a counselor ever since.
2009 Summer staff
2010. Most of the summer staff.
2012. Coolest staff picture in EBC history.
This year, I'm only counseling for two weeks for a couple reasons 1) we are building a house and 2) five weeks is a long time to be away from each other.

Week 1 I was a Bible study teacher which I enjoyed (despite that smile that looks forced!).

My Bible study class last week.
Chorus time. Each cabin sings a song for the others.
Studying the Word. What it's all about.
The counseling staff this week.
Relaxing with the campers.
First place! Because our girl's were verse masters.
It was a great week! God moved, children started a relationship with Christ, and grew in the Lord! I'm blessed for the opportunity to minister to the same children I teach throughout the year.

God is good, all the time!

July 2, 2014

All creatures great and small.

Sometimes, I could just watch the wildlife in our yard all day long. I'll wake up with fog blanketing the ground. As I skim the area, I can always find something going on. Even in the hot, humid midday animals are gathering food. As long as they aren't gathering from my garden, we're good.

When we get a chance, Walter and I try to capture some shots of our woodland friends.
Thumper munching on grass.

Our rabbits have been multiplying like, well, rabbits. I watched two babies play in front of our barn yesterday. (The one pictured is the same rabbit.)

We almost always have a visitor.
Meet Wilbur. He's befriended Ruth and also our doe, Faline.
 Speaking of Faline...

...while I was gone, Walter said she came close to the house several times. He snapped a few pics for proof.
She had to jump the ditch Walter dug for our water and gas line.

For a while, Wilbur and Ruth would bark at her, but now, they play together. Weird, but adorable.

July 1, 2014


My brother Luke and I are two years and a week apart, so we usually celebrate our birthdays together.

So, we celebrated in Lexington the weekend of my birthday which also happens to be Father's day weekend at a restaurant called Bella Notte.

After we ate, Walter stopped at Best Buy and had me look at camera bags. I picked out a small one at first. He told me to think about my lenses, too. I responded with, "Um. I only have one extra lens... so..."

This comment caused him to have to give in and tell me that he and my parents were going to surprise me with a new camera (Nikon D7100) and a new lens (35mm prime lens). I was so happy I almost cried right there in Best Buy. Luckily, a worker came over to interrupt. So, I've now retired my Nikon D40.

Big upgrade.

Dad, Mammaw, and I went shopping at our local Vendor's Mall and I got a few items for my b-day there as well:
I bought this myself, but it was too retro to pass up.

Mammaw bought me this cute blue tinted mason jar.
 Walter also ordered two canvases made from some photos I took of our beautiful home. They turned out pretty good.

The following weekend, I got to take some pictures with it on Luke's birthday weekend. (Yes, we had celebrated it already, but we didn't have cake then.)

I made him a Reese's peanut butter ice cream cake. The recipe was for snickers, but all I did was change out the candy.

It was a fun time with the family. (We had planned to take more than just one photo, but it stormed for too long.)
Taking a family photo with my new camera. Tripods are great.

Nana, Pappy, and Evangeline