Blooms & birthdays

Saturday, June 26

Today was more of yesterday – hanging out on the porch, reading, cross-stitching, watching the birds and simply enjoying the sights and sounds of the outdoors. I was reading through an old issue of Southern Living from 2003 (I told you it was old!) and came across an article about a town nearby. It was kinda cool reading the article written nearly eighteen years ago – long before we even dreamed of moving to Kentucky. The article mentioned several businesses. I knew of one artisan that was no longer in business and I wondered how many of the businesses mentioned were actually still in business eighteen years later.

While I enjoyed hanging out on the porch CountryBoy was fishing. He has been chomping at the bit to do some fishing so he took his little skiff to a lake nearby. He caught some nice keepers but by early afternoon the sun had warmed the air considerably and he was too hot and too tired to bother with cleaning them so he let ’em go. Other than sun-burned thighs and hands he enjoyed his time on the water and catching some fish. The rest of the afternoon was spent indoors where it was a bit cooler.

Sunday, June 27

The morning started out slow and easy which is just the way I like them. It was a nice, cool morning for sipping coffee on the porch, watching birds and petting cats. I finished the book I was reading, did some cross-stitching then got ready for church. Once we got home the day sped up as I fixed my water bottle and headed to work. I was pleasantly surprised to find fewer sheets waiting for me than I had anticipated and there was only one load to wash. Knocking those out fairly quickly I was able to get some time on the computer updating some info that’s emailed to guests as well as spending some time on the big project – cleaning up the contacts list. I’m pleased with the progress that I’ve made so far but there’s still a ways to go before that project will be complete.

I came home fully expecting to hear that our guest had already arrived and was settled in. Nope. After our check-in time and come and gone we made several attempts at contacting the guest to no avail. Our bedtime came and went and we determined it was going to be a no-show. We were right. We’re not really sure what happened and we may never know.

Monday, June 28

Even though it was a restless night I managed to get some shut-eye here and there. My mind kept wondering if our guest would show up in the middle of the night and if so, what would I do? LizzieBelle was restless and finally sat up around 4 o’clock. I took her out, she got a drink and after that we both fell fast asleep until CountryBoy got up a little after six. I laid awake for a few minutes then decided to get up. With the temperature targeted to be in the low nineties today I wanted to soak in some cooler temps while I could before holing up indoors. LizzieBelle continued to sleep and finally stirred after our second cup of coffee. Sleepy girl.

I actually enjoy getting up before the sun, turning on the stove to brew the coffee and have it percolated and steeped before the sun comes up. We are usually on the porch well before the sun comes up and when it does we get to watch the day unfold…

Some days are magical…

By the time we finished our coffee the sun had burned off all the fog and the day began to warm up. Time to seek shelter indoors.

I spent part of the morning researching whether or not it was possible to add an online shop or shopping cart to the blog. I discovered that it is indeed possible but at a price. A rather pricy price for a small-time crafter such as myself. More than likely I wouldn’t even break even at the end of each month. More importantly, due to the cost factor I believe I would feel more pressure to continually create/craft items to sell rather than making them out of sheer enjoyment. Maybe I’m wrong but at this point I’m not willing to set myself up for that. I did learn that I can put a Payment widget on the blog so I just might create a Page in the blog and fill it with images I’ve created that will show the items(s), description and price of items for sale. The drawback is that entire process will be time consuming and customers would have to ‘order’ in the comment section of the blog since there would not be a ‘cart’ available. The verdict is still out on tackling all that. I may also consider getting back on Etsy. I’m just not a fan of some of their financial policies required on the seller’s end.

While I was looking into and pondering all that CountryBoy had gone to a neighbors to cut up the tree he felled last week. It was a good size oak and will give us several weeks worth of wood once it’s split. yay!

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In spite of lack of rain the garden is doing well. The plants are the healthiest we’ve ever had. We’re not sure if it’s the soil we added to the rows before planting, the seeds we ordered from reputable companies, or if it’s a combination of both. Another factor could be the use of the weed cloth we added this year which not only helps keep weeds at bay but helps retain moisture underneath. If all continues to go well it won’t be long before we’re harvesting goodies…

I’m just hoping we have enough jars when the time comes to put up veggies for the winter. It’s a good problem to have!

Tuesday, June 29

Today promised to be a hot one and it was. We enjoyed our coffee on the front porch before the sun came up but after that one needed to find some shade when working outdoors.

After coffee I stayed indoors behind the computer laying out and proofing pages for the paper. CountryBoy found some bits of shade and began splitting some of the logs he recently brought home.

He got half of them split and stacked in the wood shed then stopped to shower and cool off before cleaning and getting the cabin ready. Since things were zipping along at the paper we decided to go to Rural King this afternoon for our monthly supply of feed. He also wanted to get a small trailer for his boat. We got the feed but said no to the trailer. They’ve gone up several hundred dollars in price and we’re just not willing to pay that price. In fact, everything’s going up. I’m so glad I listened to that still, small voice about leaving the paper. That’s three days and thirteen miles each way of gas I’m not using. I was joking early in the year (sort of) when I said that I was going to leave the paper when gas got up to $3 a gallon. As it was, by the time my last few weeks at the paper rolled around gas did climb up to $2.99. Good timing I have to say.

After filling the bird feeders I grabbed my camera. The Pink Perfection Lilies are blooming and are smelling so good…

They are the tallest they have ever been with the most flowers as well. All these from four or five ‘sticks’ that were given to me that I thought were dead. I planted them anyway and this is what happened. Another metaphor maybe? Gardening can teach us so much. Maybe more people need to get their hands in some dirt!

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A co-worker asked me today if I was staying busy now that I had more time at home. I told her that I was actually enjoying slowing down a bit. In fact, it got me to thinking about this simple life we’re seeking and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not so much a simpler life but a slower life because the homesteading lifestyle is definitely not simple by any means. However, a slower life is one where we work hard but after the work is done we rest. We take the time to enjoy the place God has given us. We brew our coffee and cook the slow way and both are always worth the wait. We’re intentionally slowing down in this fast-paced society where there is always some place to be or something to do. We are choosing what we do, what we get involved in, and how often we go (leave the farm). Slowing down has been good for the soul.

We closed out the day on the porch again after it cooled off a bit and enjoyed watching some intense clouds form behind the barn…

Wednesday, June 30

There was time for one cuppa coffee on the porch then it was time to head to the B&B for work. A few weeks ago I had to go in early to beat the road closure but I’ve continued to go in early even though the road is open again. I discovered that the extra hour was the perfect time to work on the big Contacts cleanup project I’ve been working on for the last couple of months. I’m happy to report that I am seeing the end of the project possibly in the next several weeks. By noon I headed to my ironing station and spent the next three hours ironing and doing the laundry. By the time I got home I needed a shower as it was another hot and humid day.

We ate leftover country ham & beans on a homemade slice of bread with some fried taters then watched a Biblical documentary on the end times based on the book of Revelation. We ended the day on the porch talking about what we had just watched and believing that we are witnessing many signs of the end times and glad that we are ready.

Thursday, July 1

Happy Birthday to me and with that half the year is already gone. What?! Even though we’re seeking a slower life the days are still flying by. Enjoy them my friend.

We are finally getting some rain. The garden will be so happy!

This morning’s birthday breakfast used up some leftover refried beans and taters…

… along with some farm fresh scrambled eggs and pepper jack cheese for me and cheddar for CountryBoy. So good!

We headed to the big city of Lexington (ugh!) this afternoon for a birthday lunch/dinner at Bella Notte. It’s a charming restaurant and was recommended by my B&B boss. We sat by the olive tree…

… and enjoyed a delicious meal with only a few others in the restaurant. I had Ravioli with Meat Sauce…

… and CountryBoy had Seafood Linguine. So good!

We finished with Panna Cotta for me…

… which looked so good I immediately dove into it before taking a picture! CountryBoy had the Triple Chocolate Cake which was so rich he couldn’t finish it. I had a hard time finishing mine but I did it. (Probably because I took half of my ravioli’s home, ha!) But truthfully, we’ve been staying away from sweets and I think it was just a lot of sugar all at once after not having much lately. CountryBoy said he felt like his tastebuds were having a seizure halfway through the cake!

Of course, sugar or no sugar it wouldn’t be a birthday without a birthday cake so after letting our food digest we had a late ‘supper’ of ice cream cake. CountryBoy picked up my all-time favorite birthday cake while we were in town the other day – a Carvel ice cream cake. They remind me of my childhood birthdays. There was a Carvel ice cream shop a few miles from the house and occasionally we would go get an ice cream cone which was a special treat. But for birthdays there was always a Carvel ice cream cake! (You can get them at Walmart in the freezer at the bakery section.) It’s a layer of chocolate ice cream, then a layer of chocolate crumbles (my favorite part), then a layer of vanilla ice cream and covered in a thin layer of frosting of some sort. Yum!

It was a good birthday. I hesitated in venturing out in the rainy weather but I’m glad we did. It was in the low seventies today and cool enough to take LizzieBelle so it was the perfect day to go. (We can’t leave her at home alone for very long. She doesn’t like to be alone now that she can’t see or hear and when she needs to do her business she needs to do it right then and there. Whenever possible she accompanies us or one of us stays home with her. She’s good with that and so are we.)

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