Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Month Away From Fall

It's hard to believe that in a month we'll be saying good-bye to summer.  Already the air is cooler and the trees are starting to drop their leaves.  The grass, however, seems to be in spring mode since the rains came back.  It amazes me how quickly it returned to bright green and growing quickly mode.  My guys will have to stay on top of this change.  We got out of the habit of mowing weekly when the drought was upon us.

This weather has drawn us back outside.  Weekly trips to walk about our favorite pond can happen once again.  The kids and I love this ritual.  I must make the time to stop our busy days and get us outside.  All too soon, the cold winter will replace the hot summer days that kept us indoors.  

One of the things that I enjoy most about this lovely weather is being able to have the windows open.  I love hearing the birds chirp, the cicada humming, and the cooler breeze blowing through the house.  I can wait for the day we cannot keep them open.  

This summer has been one of extremes.  I should have known that the drought would not last forever, but it just seemed eternal.  Alas, I am not really a very patient person. I am a grateful person, however.  So grateful for this change in weather pattern!  The Lord heard our prayers and sent relief in His good timing. 

So now, I feel a change in myself.  I feel an urgency to get out there and enjoy what is left of this summer.  There will be some hot days left in which to swim.  There will be cool mornings in which to walk.  There will be a day that comes that I will no longer be able to keep an open window.  Until that day, I will do my best to enjoy the outdoors.  And beyond that day, I will just put on some more layers and get on to enjoying the next season! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Garden Finale

Grandpa's geranium is doing well.

These guys are popping up. 

The mint has taken over!

Fresh grass clippings added to the compost. 

No broccoli flowers or cabbage, yet. 

Tomatoes gave 12 ripe ones yesterday.

Love my volunteers! 

Just to show how green the grass is again! 

Somehow these popped up despite no watering. 

The drought seems to be easing up.  The temperatures are more like August in Indiana and not Arizona.  I am grateful for this moderation in weather.  As I write, a giant storm system is coming towards us from the north.  I am praying it dips down enough to get us. 

Next year we are going to concentrate on herbs and flowers for the bees.  I will try tomatoes again, but that will probably be the only edible in the garden.  I want to start them earlier, too.  Who knows what next growing season will be like.  All I do know is that I love trying to grow things and part of it is adapting to the challenges of weather.  All in all, the garden has been a fun project this summer.

Monday, August 13, 2012

School of the Woods

Do you read older books?  Yes, they are sometimes more challenging and not usually a quick read, but so worth the effort.  A mother sometimes needs to read something deeper, so I recently picked up my late grandfather's copy of School of the Woods by William Long.  Grandpa loved books and passed along several favorite ones to me, his book loving granddaughter.

First thing one notices when looking through this treasure is the beautiful sketches of animals in nature.  Mr. Long describes how animal mothers train their children in addition to their God given instinct. He gives all the animals he describes native names because they are more descriptive of the animal.

I do hope that I persevere.  I've read the first few chapters.  I will take my time and little by little, I hope to finish before winter. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Late Summer Thoughts

This was a challenging summer.  The drought and heat took it's toll on all of us.  We were reminded that we are pretty much helpless without rain.  There is nothing we can do except pray and wait.  Thankfully, we got over an inch of rain this past weekend.  We are still many inches in deficit, unfortunately.  But, cooler weather and rain is in the forecast for tomorrow. 

Challenging is not always bad.  As my pastor says,"Life is hard, and hard is not bad. It's just hard."  I think part of the challenge was wanting to be carefree like the summers of my childhood.  That just isn't possible anymore.  I need to be OK with that.  Life is hard.  Hard is not bad.  It's hard. 

It wasn't a bad summer, really.  We got to do many things we enjoy.  We just didn't do as much as we planned.  All is not lost.  We have plenty of warm weather ahead of us.  Plenty of time to swim, camp, hike, grill outside, and general outside time.  Another great thing is that the bugs didn't bother us as much as usual, either, this summer. 

I suppose we are all a little wiser for this summer.  I certainly appreciate rain more than I ever imagined.  I recall being disappointed in rainy camping trips last summer. 

We learned how to keep plants alive, how to cool the house on a budget, how to rejoice over volunteer flowers when the seeds you carefully planted did not germinate.  We enjoyed a handful of green beans and a dozen cherry tomatoes!  We decided that farm markets were great, but not always in the budget. 

I think the best thing about this summer will turn out to be its end!  I am really looking forward to fall.  Perhaps healing rains will come.  Certainly the cooler air cannot stay away forever.  We hope to do a little fall camping, too.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wandering Around a Pond

Took a lovely walk around a favorite pond, again.   I hope you will enjoy these simple pictures taken with an inexpensive camera phone.  They sure bring joy to my heart, so I thought I should share them here.