Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering Gods grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:9-10

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Photo Update

The new henhouse seems to be working out just fine for my little darlings!  Of course it can house up to thirty hens and I've only got five!  I told my Dad we'd have to wait on a rooster to see how I would do with the chickens I have before adding more :)  I hope they turn out to be good layers - we go through a lot of eggs in this household.  Especially in the winter when I bake tons more than the summer!

Speaking of baking, this is my new venture into the world of cupcakes - vanilla cake with strawberry pudding filling, topped with a kiwi buttercream frosting.  The cake turned out a little dry and the filling overly sweet but the kiwi buttercream was A W E S O M E !!!

Another new venture in preserving...mock zucchini marmalade - and it's really delicious!

My Roma tomatoes are really coming on - I just love fresh homemade tomato sauce!

Foggy (and cold) night at the beach Tuesday.  We still managed to have a really great time!

Wild man's newest activity!

Have a great day everyone!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

On Being Productive

The Bible says the following about productivity:

To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.  By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return." 
Genesis 3:17-19 (NIV)

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
Proverbs 6:6-8 (NIV) 

Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.
Titus 3:14 (NIV)

Clearly through the folly of Adam and Eve, God has charged us to work hard for our food.  We must labor and toil to get the hard land to respond to us and give up its fruits.  Maybe this is why it is so satisfying when we see the results of all our hard work.  Harvest season is beginning here in Maine and evokes in me a sense of hope and feeling of a job well done.  We have been truly blessed this year and I've been working hard thinking of creative ways to preserve all our garden-y goodness. I've started canning tomatoes and making sauce.  Next I'm hoping to have enough Romas harvested to try a batch of paste - I'm super excited about this!  We are big red sauce eaters in this family and in the winter it's so nice to trot down cellar and grab a tasty jar of homemade sauce to brighten up a dull day.  I think of the ant proverb when I look at our growing collection of homemade goodies.  

I remember the last year before my mum passed was a banner year for their garden.  My mum was a country girl from way back and canned, processed, froze and preserved everything she could get her hands on.  I have a picture from that year of the pantry shelving packed full of that years harvest.  When she passed away the following year there was more than just her presence missing.  We were missing her busy-ness, her constant productivity in providing for her family, whether it be standing by the stove cooking whatever that days meal was or flouring her bread board to knead some freshly made dough.  As the next several years went by, that full pantry diminished and with each jar consumed we thought of the wonderful woman who worked so hard for us.  Finally I was left with a few precious jars of my favorite thing - canned green beans.  I hesitated each time I wanted to open the last one, wanting to save it for a special occasion.  In the end, I added it to a simple meal and savored the last bites, knowing it would be the last thing I would ever have that was made by her loving hands. My mother was a servant to the end and went home to her Lord in December 1993. 

Now when I can and preserve my harvests, I always think of her in this same kitchen, slaving over a hot stove with the pressure cooker ticking and hissing next to her.  The kitchen is alive again with the sights and scents of another harvest year.  My counters are heavy with zucchini marmalade, wild black cherry jelly, tomato sauce, pounds of nearly ripe tomatoes, several long cukes and a pile of zucchini!  We're waiting on the green beans to kick in - they're coming, too, we've already had a meal with some freshly picked.  We also have onion and potatoes for later in the season.  Each year we add something else, next year I'm hoping for garlic, bell peppers and carrots - we'll have to see!

In the meantime, I'm striving to follow the Lord's commands from Proverbs and Titus - to work hard and not live an unproductive life.

Stay safe and God bless you on this gorgeous weekend!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Seed and Bean - New Local (sort of) Coffee Shop

This coffee shop??  It's fantastic!  I heard about them from one of my Ravelry groups (thank you so much!)  I was invited to attend their Thursday knit nights there.  I haven't been to knit night yet - I'm thinking of going next week!  But their shop, oh it's just beautiful.  It's an urban refuge in a rural setting!  It's a gorgeous old renovated farmhouse and attached barn with refinished hardwood floors, lovely hardwood tables and chairs, soft leather couches - very modern yet cozy at the same time :)  It has a great ambiance, local artwork on the walls, and a barn cat they call an attack kitty!  Apparently he will try to climb your legs - I didn't get a chance to meet him this time.  He's out in the renovated barn which is where the men's room is...LOL!!!  I had an iced latte with a shot of blueberry (they have every flavor possible) and it was delicious!  I also had an absolutely to-die-for orange cranberry scone that was flavorful, moist and not too sweet.  I will be going back soon AND I'm spreading the word!!  It's called The Seed and Bean and it's located on 154 Alfred Rd, West Kennebunk - Google map the address or type it into your GPS and you will be able to find it with no problems!  They also had a display of luscious looking muffins, donuts and pastries - not for the fat- or sugar-free die hards - and an impressive menu of drink offerings.  The staff was super friendly, too!  It's a bit of a drive for me, about 30 min, but so worth it I'm going to try to get out there at least once a week :)  My four year old son loved it, too!

Give this place a try - if you love great coffee in a fabulous atmosphere you'll love this place!!

Stay safe and happy knitting!  

Seed & Bean on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Some very good advice!

Women Living Well Blog

Check out this site I recently discovered in my blogging travels!  I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it and viewing the videos Courtney has to offer.  She gives some sound advice from a Biblical standpoint, she's well written and engaging on camera!  She reminds me of Beth Moore in many ways!  Today's posting is about teaching your children the same lesson over and over again.  I know I can relate with the wild man!  He has been so challenging since he turned 3 last year!  We've noticed some progress with his aggressive behaviors in the recent month since he's turned 4.  For some reason, he thinks 4 is pretty grown up!  I'll take what I can get!  More to the point, I've found myself on my knees more than once in the past few months praying and asking God what I was doing wrong.  I felt I was consistent in his discipline yet he was continuing to misbehave in the same ways.  I want to thank Courtney for the reminder that he has only been on this earth for 4 years and is a sponge soaking everything up around him.  It must be extremely overwhelming to be that age, curious about the world, wanting to explore, yet having what must feel like constricting boundaries.  He's a wonderful blessing in my life and I need to continue to remember what that childlike curiosity feels like :)

On another note, I've signed up to do book reviews a site called Book Sneeze that allows bloggers to review books on their blogs.  I thought it sounded pretty cool and signed up!  My first book is Captured by Grace: No One is Beyond the Reach of a Loving God by Dr. David Jeremiah.  I'm very excited to get started!

Journaling has been difficult lately.  I haven't written anything since July 27 and then my entry was interrupted by the wild man.  It had been fairly cathartic for me - jotting down thoughts in the old fashioned way!  There's nothing quite so therapeutic, well, except for knitting or a really great movie!  I see my journal lying on the coffee table with pen beside it and pass it by every day, thinking "oh, I should really sit down and write a little" yet it doesn't happen.  It was nice, I was writing down what I was thankful for that day, my prayers, my concerns, conversations with God, rants about the wild man, thoughts on that weeks sermon.  I need to get back into it.  It helps keep my mind on the right path.

Fall is quickly approaching and so is fair season!  Oh, I can't wait for the first fair!!!  There is nothing like the smell of the animal barns or the fair food, or the sights of all the crafty exhibits to feed the creative mind - it's my favorite time of the year :)  Too soon after comes hot days and cool nights, fall harvests, yellow mums, apple picking, trees changing color, Halloween. *Sigh* Unfortunately it all goes by so quickly.  I'm thinking about entering one of my knit items in a show - maybe a selection of hats?  I don't know!  I'm going to soak up the atmosphere as much as I can to carry me through winter's colorless season.

I have some unexpected quiet time so I'm heading outdoors to enjoy the late afternoon sun and watch my hens for a while :)

Hope you all have a wonderful week!  Stay safe and happy knitting!

Books on Tap for 2011

  • Knit Together - Debbie Macomber
  • Captured by Grace - Dr. David Jeremiah
  • Murder Most Foul - A Collection of Great Crime Stories
  • Fireproof - Eric Wilson
  • There's Something About Christmas - Debbie Macomber
  • Questioning Evangelism - Randy Newman
  • Murder Uncorked - Michele Scott
  • A Sacred Sorrow - Michael Card
  • Prayer: Does it Make any Difference? - Philip Yancey
  • Get Out of That Pit - Beth Moore

Books Read in 2011

  • What a Sista Should Do - Tiffany L. Warren
  • 90 Minutes in Heaven - Don Piper
  • Forgotten God - Francis Chan
  • The Purpose Driven Life - Rick Warren
  • Dead Reckoning - Charlaine Harris
  • Shadowfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Chill Factor - Sandra Brown
  • Heaven Has a Blue Carpet - Sharon Niedzinski
  • Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Wednesday Sisters - Meg Waite Clayton
  • Stealing Home - Sherryl Woods
  • Bound for Murder - Laura Childs
  • Bloodfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Faefever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Darkfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Under Her Skin - Susan Mallery
  • The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan
  • No Wonder They Call Him Saviour - Max Lucado
  • I Still Dream About You - Fannie Flagg
  • I Am Number Four - Pittacus Lore
  • The Last Olympian - Rick Riordan
  • Spider Bones - Kathy Reichs
  • A Thread So Thin - Marie Bostwick
  • The Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan
  • The Search - Nora Roberts
  • The Titan's Curse - Rick Riordan
  • Wicked Appetite - Janet Evanovich
  • The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan
  • Awakened - PC & Kristen Cast
  • The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan
  • Photo Finished - Larua Childs
  • Keepsake Crimes - Laura Childs
  • Sizzling Sixteen - Janet Evanovich
  • The Icing on the Cupcake - Jennifer Ross
  • Fleece Navidad - Maggie Sefton
  • Dyer Consequences - Maggie Sefton
  • The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree - Susan Wittig Albert
  • Heaven Has a Blue Carpet - Sharon Niedzinski
  • Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning

Books Read in 2010

  • The Yada Yado Prayer Group - Netta Jackson
  • Silver Borne - Patricia Briggs
  • The Hole in Our Gospel - Richard Stearns
  • A Winter Marriage - Kerry Hardie
  • So Long, Insecurity - Beth Moore
  • Knit the Season - Kate Jacobs
  • Dead and Berried - Karen MacInerney
  • Murder on the Rocks - Karen MacInerney
  • where do i go - Netta Jackson
  • be sweet - diane hunt
  • The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
  • Raven - Allison Van Deipen
  • Push (Precious) - sapphire
  • Faces of the Gone - Brad Parks
  • The Lace Reader - Brunonia Barry
  • Burning Lamp - Amanda Quick
  • Fired Up - Jayne Ann Krentz
  • The School of Essential Ingredients - Erica Bauermeister
  • Matters Arising - Sarah Harrison
  • The Sheen on the Silk - Anne Perry
  • I Saw the Lord - Anne Graham Lotz
  • The Dangerous Protector - Janet Chapman
  • The Seduction of His Wife - Janet Chapman
  • Re-reading all the Tintin graphic novels - Herge
  • The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen
  • the last time i saw you - Elizabeth Berg
  • Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen
  • Wild Ride - Jennifer Crusie & Bob Mayer
  • Dead in the Family - Charlaine Harris
  • The Girl Who Chased the Moon - Sarah Addison Allen
  • Grave Secret - Charlaine Harris
  • Crawl Space - Sarah Graves
  • The Honey Thief - Elizabeth Graver
  • The Otherworldlies - Jennifer Anne Kogler
  • Saving CeeCee Honeycutt - Beth Hoffman
  • A Face at the Window - Sarah Graves
  • Draycott Eternal - Christina Skye
  • Shelter Mountain - Robin Carr
  • Virgin River - Robyn Carr
  • Death by Cashmere - Sally Goldenbaum
  • An Ice Cold Grave - Charlaine Harris
  • Grave Surprise - Charlaine Harris
  • Grave Sight - Charlaine Harris