Thursday, September 27, 2007

Garden Mouse

See this old hard left over cob of corn in our garden? Well, we have been watching a tiny charcoal gray mouse as he nibbles and chews at this corn. I have been trying to get a picture of this cute little guy for some time now, but he is just too fast.
Here he is! I finally got a picture and isn't he just as cute as can be? He is sitting very still, thinking he was hiding next to the very bottom of the corn stalk. I had to be extremely still and quiet to get this photo shot. I don't expect him to survive too long, our 14 yr old cat is always hunting and sniffing for such treats as a Garden Mouse. We also have a very pretty stray cat. He has long black fur and very pretty golden eyes. He has been around for almost a year and seems to get braver all the time. So our little garden mouse better be very careful and alert at all times.

This is the last week of September and we still have lots of garden produce. As you can see from this picture, our green beans started blooming and producing again. I just love it when that happens. Like my husband who is originally from the south says, "that's a nice mess of beans." I think with such a hot summer they just go dormant until it cools off and the days get shorter. It has still been getting up in high 80's but cools of to about 45 or 50 degrees at night. We have had quite a few nice cucumbers, bell peppers, and tomatoes too. Yes, we are still eating green fried tomatoes weekly.

We have several nice squash. I love these baked and served with butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper. I remember as a young girl it was always my job on the Fall Sunday mornings before church, to cut in half the squash and take all the seeds out, put it in a pan and in the oven to bake while we were at church. Usually at the same time I was doing that, My mother was preparing a chicken or young rooster with dressing for the oven. When we walked through the door after church, it smelt so good and was ready for the Sunday dinner table.
(dinner was always our noon meal, supper was our evening meal, we always ate meals around the table, together as a family.)

Fall Pumpkins

Tis is one of 4 musk melon, We have already eaten two of these and
they were absolutely sweet and delicious.

This is crisp ruffly kale. We have had plenty this summer and it usually lasts even after the frost, even the hard frost. This is good in salad, cooked or fried with a bit of bacon pieces.
Kale is also very nice to decorate a plate serving of food.
The nice green color and ruffly leaves are very decorative.

This is collard greens. We normally eat these fried in a bit of bacon grease with bacon pieces.
These collard's also last well into fall, after the first few frosts, very hardy plants! I never had greens as a child but my down south husband introduced me to a lot of new foods.
Green fried tomatoes was one of them, and I am glad he did!

I have about 10 big health cauliflower plants but only one has recently started a head of cauliflower. I don't understand why. The plants look gorgeous and about 36" tall.

A kind neighbor of ours brought over a nice box full of ripe juicy pears. They grow here on pear trees but aren't quite as large as those one would buy from a grocery store. When we lived in Germany about 15 years ago, we had a couple pear trees in our yard and they were also Delicious. We also had a Bing Cherry tree and plumb tree. It is so moist in Germany that many things grow nicely.
The same time I was out with my camera trying to get a picture of our Garden Mouse,
our yard squirrel inquisitively came down from a tree and seemed to want his picture taken.
So I obliged him. This is about as close as I can get to him but my husband sometimes gets much closer, but then he doesn't have a camera, right?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Nutritious Food

Last Saturday Sep 22nd, The LWML (a women's group from our Lutheran Church) had a zone workshop. There were about 65 women there. I was on the morning coffee committee so we planed a Donut, Carmel roll, muffin and fruit pizza coffee hour. I made the two large fruit pizza's.
First I pressed the crescent rolls from a can unto two large pizza pans. After it had baked about 10 minutes and cooled, I covered it with a creamy mixture of cream cheese, brown sugar and a little vanilla flavoring.
Now it was time to slice different types of fresh fruit and place around in circular fashion as seen above. It was fun but things like this take longer then anticipated.

Here they are! Don't they look scrumptious? This nutritious treat sure did not last long with over 60 women to sample it.

This close up only enforces the beauty of this fruit pizza. Not only were we fed physically but we had great nutritious spiritual food too. Our day was filled with an intense Bible study on Joy, The book of Philippians. Philippians only has 4 chapters but there is plenty of good food to digest here. We had a great leader and time went fast. This was one of those Bible studies you just didn't want to end! Verse 9 - 11 says, And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ -to the glory and praise of God.

Another favorite verse is chapter 4, verse 4-6 and then verse 13
Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Let our gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.
Even though Paul was in prison, he wanted God to use him for His work and His kingdom. God can and will use us according to His will and give us strength.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


When I see a big tall strong tree I think of My Dad and how PS. 1 reminds me of him.
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. . . . He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
My Dad on his 4 wheeler with the farm in the background. My Dad was born on this farm 89 years ago today. He loves the farm and has always done a great job of farming the land. God has blessed my Dad greatly with many years.

This is one of my favorite pictures of my Dad. No one has any idea who took this picture or at least claims taking this picture. It was taken along with my daughter about 12 years ago on the day of her wedding rehearsal. I just love his big smile and also the hat he is wearing has his name on. Today on his 89th birthday, when I look at this picture, I can almost hear him laugh. What a special Dad he is to me, I thank God for

choosing him as my father. This picture is from a few years back when my Dad would faithfully milk cows at both 5 AM and 5 PM. He had always milked cows along with farming and was always able to support us his family.

My Dad has a good friend, Spot, his dog. His dog loves him a lot and looks forward to a ride in my dads pickup everyday as they drive a short distance down the road to get the mail from the mail box. My dad also spoils Spot with special treats and an occasional visit in the house. My dad has always had a dog on the farm. The names I remember are Smoky, Rex, Lucky, another Smoky, Lady, Cindy and now Spot. This is in the 61 years of my parents marriage.

My Dad in the combine. He still helps with the harvest and dose a darn good job of it too!

My Dad on the swather. Notice the big red barn that has always been the landmark for our farm.

My Dad has hunted for many many years and always gets his own deer. You can see his Dog Spot up in the pickup bed taking in the hunt conversation and getting a few free pet's too!

My Dad in the tall sun flower field.

My Dad has always taken us to church, He reads His Bible and prays. These are my Dad's hands. You can tell they have worked hard for many years. He trusts in God and is a great example to all of us. I TRULY LOVE MY DAD!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Fall, the time of year that the birds and squirrels feast from the ripening plants and berry's. We leave a few of the volunteer plants from the bird feeder seed grow each year so we can watch the birds in fall. I tried to get a picture of some birds balancing on this Millet plant picking out the tender green seeds but as you can tell, I failed miserably.

It doesn't take them long to clean up one of these plants, sometimes there are 3 to 5 little birds on one plant.

I'm not real sure what this one is, Milo or sorghum? But the birds like it!
A Bible verse that reminds me of Fall is Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.

They like to pick the tiny wild sun flower seeds. They eat on these well into winter.

This is our choke cherry tree. You can see that the birds have busy eating on these berry's.

We have some volunteer wheat, it looks pretty in spring and as it heads out and also makes good bird food. Something that Jesus said in John 12 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. This is teaching the principle of life through death as seen in the plant world. If it were not for Jesus death on the cross we would have no chance at eternal life.

On September 14th we had a frost. It got down to 29 degrees so some of the taller leaves on my squash and pumpkins froze. I did cover some of the other vegetables and flowers. I always like to try to extend their life a few extra weeks. This week has been much warmer and things are growing.

The best part of the frost is the trees start to turn beautiful fall colors. I really love fall even if the title of this blog makes it sound other wise.

We have a good 60 feet of hedge around part of our yard. This hedge is the most beautiful in the fall when it's leaves turn many shades of green, gold, orange and red. I'm sure I will be posting more fall colors later as things progress in this area. Here is a site to see some of the nicest fall colors in SD at beautiful Spearfish Canyon.

Our sweet corn is finished and turning brown.

The flowering crab apple tree is filled with little red apples that many birds feed on through winter and early spring. Robins, Blue Jays, Ceder Wax Wings and others.

This is our tall, gorgeous, 30 year old Oak tree. You can see how tall it is by our blue house size at the right of the picture. This oak tree was so small when we moved into this house we could reach the top of it. Every Fall this tree is loaded with acorns.

I do believe all the neighborhood squirrels just wait and watch for these acorns to be just right for eating and burying. The big blue jays also love the acorns so you can imagine the competition, noise and antics when they see which one gets the most acorns. They are fun to watch.

But oh no! Look at the big mess they create under the tree. This rough mess covers a big area under the tree. I definitely can't go bare foot there anymore. PAINFUL!

Next spring we will have many new Oak seedlings popping up. The squirrels are in such a hurry to bury these acorns I think they forget where half their treasure lye's.

My Flowers are doing so well now that it has cooled off and since we have had more of Gods nutritious rain. I just had to take a picture of them before it freezes for good. I always hate that part of fall but look so forward to every spring when things start over fresh and new.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Deck Report

The deck floor is finished. The last board was screwed on about 12:45 today. I had already started the oil stain waterproofing. It was a bit darker then I had wanted but we had to hurry and get the job done since there is rain in the Tuesday forecast. Now, let it rain, let it rain!
I finished up the staining about 1:30 pm.

This is after it had dried, this is the progress one week from when this project began.
Now we need to finish (sometime) with real steps and the railing. I think we will enjoy this new sitting/grilling area very much.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


After we put down the ceramic tile in the utility room My Husband took out the small window and purchased a new door for that room. He then took out the old door and replaced it with the small window. Lots of work, I only had to help a little now and then with holding the door etc.
Here you can see the new installed door. This was when we had two doors next to each other for a couple of days.
You can see the small window has now been put in place and Monday Sep. 10th He started with the 6' by 16' deck. I did have to help with that. We originally wanted it 20' long but by cutting it down to 16' we could literally save hundreds of $$ since the 16' boards were greatly on sale!

Now this is some Maple flooring that was purchased several years ago. We have it in our family room and it surprisingly looks great. It came from a Gym floor. That wood from the Gym floor has since covered 5 floors, made 250 beautiful cross's for the LWML Convention, about 50 other cross's for Easter craft project for our Indian Mission at Porcupine and you guessed it, now we are using the left over wood to cover our new deck. After all, it is just laying around doing nothing right? It would also save us from having to purchase deck flooring. If you think the ceramic tile looked like a lot of work, just read on!

Each of the 88 6 foot long pieces had to be run through the planer about 5 times to get all the old stain and varnish off. A plane is a carpenter tool for shaving a wood surface to make it smooth or level.

This is the Craftsman planer that I gave to my Husband several years ago for Christmas. It certainly had done a lot of work and paid for itself time and time again. You can see how each individual board has to be fed through the planer. It is very loud so ear plugs are a must!

Here is a pile of hard wood that is about ready for the deck.

Saturday we started putting the maple flooring on the deck. We are using screws as you can tell.

This is as far as we got on Saturday. My Husband did most of this himself. I did help with the last few boards. Those long pipe like things are big clamps that work very nicely to fit the wood pieces tightly together.

This is another wood clamp that my Husband has used numerous times for numerous projects and it sure saved the day with fitting this flooring together. You can see from the edge how the groves fit.

Look at the nice job My Husband did fitting the flooring around the banister post. He is very handy and sure has done a lot with wood these last couple years.

We attended our Church this morning and then went to a 50th Anniversary of a Pastor being in the Ministry. It was late today when we got started on the deck but after 43 boards in place, we are at the halfway mark. We are hoping to finish tomorrow between our School Bus runs.
I really want to get it stained and oiled as soon as possible. We are expecting rain on Tuesday and we certainly don't want it to rain on our Maple deck before we can get it waterproofed!
I will update my blog once this project is finished!