Flannel Jammies Farm

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

Monday, May 31, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Getting Ready for the Weekend

It's 10:30 on a Friday, sunny and 70 degrees.  We're preparing for joy...

My sweet son and his beautiful bride are coming for a visit,  bringing along Pickle, our adorable granddog.  Darling daughter is off this weekend, beginning a new job next week, so she'll be here, too.  My whole family will be together.  It's true bliss!!!

Much to do: clean the house (well, some of it, at least), bake bread (in the machine), hang out the flag (Betsy Ross version, of course!), create a menu (who's eating what now?), straighten the outside area for 2 vibrant pups to romp (put Lawn Doctor on my list), and on and on. 

Yesterday I found a fun new doormat for the back patio...

Let's see.  We'll need cool drinks.  Iced tea!  I'll make some in the garden...

Now, finish the laundry, dust and vacuum, make Strawberry Festival plans, tidy up the porch...

Uh-oh.  Scarlett has given up on me.  All this reads like too much work in her book.  She's decided to have a sunshine nap and wait for Pickle to come and play.  Maybe she has the right idea...

Praying safety and joy for each of you this holiday weekend!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fridays in the Garden

Life is good... really good... even when it's not so good.  It's been a difficult couple of years, but a faithful and healing God has brought us through, teaching us and molding us along the way. 

Part of the journey is learning to ENJOY this life I've been blessed with.  To let go of perfectionism (not totally, of course, I am a work in progress!), to stop waiting for the bigger house or for the house I'm in to be clean enough.  To stop worrying about what 'should be'.  To 'dare to let go'.

Enter "Fridays in the Garden".

Each Friday, we're in our garden from 4pm until 6pm, with snacks and cool drinks, expectantly waiting to be surprised by the visitor(s) coming through the garden gate. 

We never know who it might be: a friend from church, a former neighbor, a coworker, a nine-day old wee bit of sunshine and joy.  It's a protected appointment for fellowship, for TIME with friends and family, rather than just a "Hi, how are you?" in passing. 

The visits are sprinkled with smiles and laughter and joy, and I consider them a gift from God to celebrate this life I'm living.  How do you celebrate this precious life with friends?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Come to the Meadow...

"Come to the Meadow" was the theme for this afternoon's country tea and installation of officers for the women of our church.  It was a beautiful day of fine weather, dear Christian sisters praising and laughing together, and delicious teas and treats.

Our church courtyard was appointed with country finery such as quilts, antique linens, and fresh hydrangea and jasmine from the plants therein.

Friends gathered for prayer, devotion, and the installation of officers before wandering into the courtyard with tea fare.

It was my joy and blessing to help decorate and brew teas for this special day.

The responsive reading was so lovely and moving, and was written by the outgoing leader of the women of our church, a dear friend of mine for many years...

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.
He leadeth me beside the still waters.

He leadeth me beside the still waters.

If the day is dark and my spirit is low, 
that I see my reflection gives me hope because I know I am still me, child of God,
And He will be with me until the day brightens.

He leadeth me beside the still waters.

If I have been maligned and my friends have turned away
and I have a sense of being all alone to face my adversaries,
in my reflection I can face myself and know that my God will not abandon me.

He leadeth me beside the still waters.

When those I love are taken up to be with God and a great void is left in my life,
I can look into the water, see my image and imagine it surrounded
by the spirits of those loved ones whom God now holds in His hands...
And I know that He will fill the void and help me continue.

He leadeth me beside the still waters.

If I take time to pray, If I mediate on His word...
if I do my very best in an increasingly difficult world,
I know that His hand will guide me and He will lift me when I fall,
and my reflection will always be there.

He restoreth my soul.  Amen.

Take care, my friend, open the Word, share a cup of tea with friends, and make each day a thing of beauty.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What if...

In my study last night, my weary eyes scanned a verse I know they have scanned before:

"Teach me Your way, O Lord, 
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear your name."
Psalm 86:11

UNITE MY HEART.  The words rose from the fragile page and gripped me.  UNITE MY HEART.

My heart can be so divided, so impure, so scattered.  My day is filled with household duties, constant health monitoring, obligations to work and friends and church, passions for family and farming and local food and art, time sacrificed to television and Facebook and blogs.  The divisions are endless.  Each one in a separate little compartment of my heart, leaving little room for the the walk.

The walk: studying the Word, praising Jesus, praying for others (and myself!), listening to wise biblical teachers, being still before my Holy God. 

mosaic tile formed from the broken pieces of a treasure

But WHAT IF I practiced what I know and what I 'preach'?  WHAT IF all those divisions, those pieces of my day, were surrendered to the Holy Spirit for direction along the walk?  WHAT IF each little compartment was given as a gift of service to my Lord along the way?  WHAT IF I would allow God to UNITE MY HEART?  It is His work, His teaching... I need only to walk in His truth.  He has given me, in this small verse, a glimpse of the infinite impossibilities that await before my daily, moment-by-moment united heart, given completely to Him.  Praise be.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

these women make us into the people we will be...
by what they do and what they do not do,
by what they say and what they leave unsaid,
by what they allow and what they prohibit.

 my father with his mother and sister

these women show us how to care for others...
by the way they care for those around them,
by the way they share love with each of their children,
by the way they nurture their children's children.

my mother and me

take joy...
in their children's laughter,
in their children's learning,
in their children's love.

my gorgeous, gifted, silly ones
rejoice in the truth,
bear all things,
believe all things, 
hope all things.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)

 our family christmas, 2009

My greatest joy in this life is being a mother... 
thank you, dear ones, for letting me mother you... 
my love for you is never ending.

And for my mothering friends...
remember to love EXTRAVAGANTLY each day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Another of Tom's Fav Recipes

A quick check of the garden revealed some gorgeous kale, young and tender and ready to be picked.

And what to do with that basket full of green goodness?  A pot of Tom's favorite soup, of course!  Soup is the perfect food:  warm, comforting, soothing, nutritious, freezable, and goes great with salad, cornbread, croutons, crackers, or a nice baked potato!  Recipes for Kale and Bean Soup are as plentiful as freckles on my face in the summer, but here's a mash-up of a couple of different recipes found while wandering on the Web a few years ago:

a teaspoon or two of olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
4 cups of fresh kale, remove the thick center vein and chop the remaining leaves
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cans, 15-oz. each, cannelli beans or other white beans
1 can, 15-oz., petite diced tomatoes
fresh rosemary and thyme, a couple of teaspoons each (or to taste), chopped
salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until soft.  Add garlic and saute a minute more.  Add kale and saute until wilted. 

Add 3 cups of the broth, 2 cups of the beans, tomatoes, herbs, salt, and pepper.  Simmer 10 minutes.

Using a blender or food processor, puree the remaining broth and beans until smooth.  Mix into the soup (this thickens and enriches the soup).  Simmer 15 - 20 minutes. 

Serve to those you love!