Thursday, July 5, 2007

Busy-ness

There have been so many things that my family and I have been doing the past month or so and often I think "this would be a great journal entry". But then we've been so busy that there hasn't been time to do one. Finally, here is an entry with a brief summary of some of what we have been doing.

For several weeks, many of our evenings were spent out at Ryan's place working. Earlier this year, grass was planted on the property and it has been growing very well. As has the volunteer sorghum. Volunteer meaning, we didn't plant it nor do we want it. Thus we have been using the 'old-fashioned' method of cutting out the unwanted plants. We have several poles with a sharpened metal V-notch on the end which slices right through the stalks. We have slowly been making progress, but as more time goes by the stalks get bigger and more difficult to cut through! We may not get it all out this year, but next year we hope to have it all removed. It has been a fun family project and it has been such a blessing to be able to help my brother in this way!

My vegetable garden is another thing that has been requiring much of my time. Every aspect of it I greatly enjoy from planting to weeding, harvesting to putting up the produce. The garden had been doing very well, but then last Wednesday through Saturday we got 5 to 6 inches of rain and since then plants have been wilting and some of the bean plants have died. The deer visitors haven't helped matters any either! But thankfully we have had several dry days and the plants are beginning to look better. I've harvested several zucchini, a couple of cucumbers and peppers and I've been eagerly eyeing the tomatoes for the first hints of orange. The past week or so the green beans have been ready to harvest and so far I have had three pickings. That has kept me busy with washing, snapping, blanching and packaging beans for the freezer.

On the vines ready to be picked

This is the first picking of beans - Washed and ready to snap

This past Friday morning and afternoon, Leah and I watched three young children for their mother. What a special time we had together! Before the children came, I had picked and washed a bunch of green beans and then the girls both helped snap them. It went so much faster with more hands! They also greatly enjoyed it and felt quite grown-up helping. We sent some beans home with the girls and the oldest was excited about that as she had helped snap them!

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One a different note, our family was blessed by the gift of many flower plants and Leah and I have enjoyed planting them. Two of our gardens (Leah's and mine) were badly in need of more plants so Mama, Leah and I decided that those were where the new plants would be put. I have a shade garden which was started when I was around 12 years old. It began with a few daylily and hosta plants and some little plants that I had found blooming in the woods (it looks like it may be a type of wild violet). Over the years these plants have spread considerably and are turning up in many unwanted locations. They are pretty during the blooming stage, which is very short, but then are quite unattractive. So I removed all those plants and put in their place some of the flowers. Here is a before photo with the wild violets in front of the daylilies:


and after:


Today Leah and I planted flowers in her garden.


Lately I have had several instances that remind me how dear my brother and sister are to me. They are both such special people and how I love them!

Ryan