Flannel Jammies Farm

...praising God on our 1/5 acre of suburbia

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My new job...

God is good.  All the time. 

Even when you think you are losing a job you ADORE and coworkers who have supported and loved you through the worst of the worst times.  Even when you think your husband will expire thinking of the loss of your paycheck and the size of the payment on that Jeep Commander you drive.  Even when you have NO IDEA where you'll land and what you'll do.

God is good.  All the time.

I really do love my new job.  I haven't even really gotten my feet wet yet.  I haven't answered all the questions nor learned all the procedures nor added to the resources available.  But I see what He's doing:  He's growing me.  He's somehow taken the haphazard set of skills I've acquired and cobbled them together and given me an opportunity for a faith-leap. 

God is good.  All the time.

So, I've lept, full of faith and excited for the freefall into His goodness and provision. 

Deep in prayer & thought, building a display of resources for the Presbytery meeting

Many are the plans in a man's heart, 
but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Quiet Life

 Colonial Williamsburg, April 2010

But we don’t need to write to you 
about the importance 
of loving each other, 
for God himself has taught you 
to love one another...  
Make it your goal to live a quiet life, 
minding your own business 
and working with your hands, 
just as we instructed you before.
1 Thessalonians 4:9, 11

 Colonial Williamsburg, April 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

Stay-cation Joy

I am very perishable.  Just ask my family.  I travel like an over-ripe strawberry, arriving battered and bruised and looking quite yucky indeed.

Since my latest surgery last May, it's even worse.  I am getting out, but I tire easily and must stop to find a fainting couch to collapse upon with a heavy sigh and a waving hankie.

For these reasons, we have decided to have a stay-cation this week.  We had planned a lovely trip away, but realized that both my husband and I would be happier if we stayed closer to home.

Yesterday, we spent the day along Main Street in Gloucester.  What a quaint and lovely place to visit!  Historic buildings, tasty and artsy eateries, lovely boutiques, and we arrived on a week between their Daffodil Festival and their Historic Garden Week tour.  The buildings had beautiful wreaths on their doors and gateways and tulips and daffodils were rioting up and down the thoroughfare.  What delight!

Last night, I studied topically on 'night' and 'nightwatches' in the Bible.  I am often up in the middle of the night... what does God's Word have to say about that?  It was fascinating and wonderful to take the time to dig in and study for a block of time.

Today we visited garden centers and then returned home to work on our own little piece of Paradise.  I planted some pickling cucumbers and some globe-shaped basil and some garlic and more borage and one more eggplant.  After surveying the progress and cleaning up, I was treated to dinner and a white rose corsage by two of the sweetest friends EVER!  Truly friends are one of our greatest blessings on this earth... it was so special to take time to share a meal and the bond of friendship without squeezing it in or hurrying through it!

Next, the cute guy and I will pack up and head off to Williamsburg.  We'll tour the Colonial area, shop for antiques and pretties, eat scrumptious foods, and just be together.  We'll pray and plan and praise the Lord for His grace, healing, and provision.

Dear ones, it would have been so easy for me to say, "I'm just not up to doing anything" or "Let's take a trip another time".  It would have been so easy to continue to work, do laundry, make dinner, and kiss my husband on the way to bed.  But my God is able...

So I chose to do what I could do.  I thought outside of the box.  I said, "Yes" when "No" was the easy way out.  And something miraculous occurred: I was blessed beyond what any tropical cruise or faraway spa retreat could have offered.  I connected with the Word, with God, with my husband, with friends, and with myself, right now, right where I am.  I hoped and I believed and I was blessed.

Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul,
"Therefore I hope in Him!"
Lamentations 3:22-24

Monday, April 12, 2010

Food and Faith Challenge

So, I was wandering the web this evening, checking in on some of my favorite blogs and discovering new ones.  Thank you, Amy, at Homestead Revival, for posting about The Local Cook and her Food and Faith Challenge!  This is a series of topics presenting the benefits of eating locally and seasonally... 'each week will include Scripture, readings from the Simply in Season cookbook, commentary from a guest poster, questions for reflection, and an assignment which will help you make steps towards eating locally and in season.'

I'm a bit late, but I'm getting started today.   Join in for a deeper understanding from a biblical perspective.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Garden Update...

What a lovely Spring day!  I promised to keep you updated on our garden progress, and I'm delighted that you've stopped by to take a peek.  Just come through the gate on the south side of the house...
I know it still needs a lot of tender loving care, but my sweet husband has been so kind to help me realize this little vision.  There are the six raised beds with tomatoes, tomatillo, peppers, swiss chard, kale, radish, peas, eggplant, yellow squash, onions, garlic, celery, borage, cilantro, and marigold.   We'll be adding cucumbers, zucchini, and sunflowers very soon. 

There are a couple of baby blueberry plants under the star on the shed, and a couple of asparagus plants (we've had a few spears already!) near the house.  The trusty composter, a gift from a special friend, is cooking nicely.  We've added a bee house to the shed to shelter our dear pollinators, and we have a garden of their favorite plants just outside the white fence: bee balm, butterfly bush, lamb's ear, purple coneflower, black eyed Susan, daisy and a wonderfully gnarled vitex!

It's such a warm and beautiful afternoon... won't you join me for a cup of tea?  Have a seat and I'll bring it right out...
I'm so glad you came for a visit!  

This is the day the Lord has made...

I will rejoice and be glad in it!

Psalm 118:24

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tom's Favorite Spring Recipe...

Ah, Easter... a glorious day of hope and joy and celebration of our Lord's resurrection.

Now, just one day later, there's Easter grass all over the house and extra delicate laundry to be done and leftovers, leftovers, leftovers.  Do you have lots of these hanging around in your fridge?

Hard cooked eggs are great for deviled eggs, egg salad, sliced on a green salad, etc., but every year we have my husband's favorite Spring recipe: Egg Rice Salad.  I know, it sounds a bit weird, but stay with me here.  I found the recipe YEARS ago as a young, I-can-burn-water-without-even-trying wife, in a 1982 cookbook, "Betty Crocker's Working Woman's Cookbook".  Now I didn't work and I was certainly no Betty Crocker, but I gave it a try.  It's been one of his favs since then!  I've since learned that it's a very old, cost-saving recipe with many variations, but here's the recipe I use:

10 oz. frozen peas
8 hard cooked eggs, coarsely chopped
3 cups cooked rice
2 medium stalks celery, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
4 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 1/4" - 1/2" cubes
2 oz. diced pimento, drained, if desired
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon prepared mustard
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried dill weed, if desired

Rinse frozen peas under running cold water to separate; drain.  Mix peas, eggs, rice, celery, onion, pimento (if using), and cheese.  In a separate bowl, mix mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and dill weed (if using); toss with egg mixture.  Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours but no longer than 24 hours.  This recipe serves at least six, so I usually halve it.

My husband will be overjoyed when he arrives home to find this on the dinner table! 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Blessings

Wishing you all a very blessed and beautiful Easter... 
celebrate by sharing the joy of the Resurrection with those around you!

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Garden Rhyme...

what's that I see
a little pea
a little pea
for you and me 

tho' tiny tiny shoots 
they soon will be
plump and full
just wait and see

what do I spy
with my own eye
new green leaves
as I pass by

all in a row
so neat and spry
soon in my salad
my, oh my

what's over there
yes, over there
in the bright sun
so green and fair

they'll grow and grow
in God's good care
so many to come
I'll have to share

a lovely day
and not yet May
lilacs and laundry
and butterflies play

my little 'farm'
I love it dear
it brings me joy
to praise God here
- a little rhyme from the heart of donna rae