Thursday, April 23, 2015

Adorable Chicks and Sweet Garden Blooms

Dear Friends,

Yesterday was one of those days when my long, long to-do list turned into "hold Hyrum until his fever subsides." Thank goodness I have lots of helpers to change the water and feed for the chicks and ducks!

We decided that the chicks needed the portraits taken, while they are still somewhat tiny. Some turned out better than others.

Don't you love this hair on this one? We're really hoping it's a hen, and not a rooster like it seems to me.

Our Silkie is a complete sweetheart, that never fusses when she gets picked up.

These two are twin "chipmunks~" We hope that they are Speckled Sussexes.

We're not sure what little Yin/Yan chick is, but she's a sweetie, too.

We think that the gray chick on the left looks like an owl, and the white one looks like a regal eagle!

Lowe's was having a sale on their bedding plants, so we splurged and bought enough for everyone to have several of their own.  Even little Hyrum picked out a pansy for his pot.

This has been "The Year of the Violets" in our yard, but they are quickly coming to an end. Every year we don't get around to making jelly with them, but we certainly have eaten lots in salads and smoothies!

Last abut not least, we proudly introduce our first official music video, featuring an original song written by yours truly (thanks for Tasha for editing it, and for arranging the music). I hope you enjoy it~



Saturday, April 18, 2015

Birthday Blessings

 Dear Friends,

This Wednesday I celebrated another trip around the sun. It was a drizzly, gray day, but being home with my family made it bright.

We made a cake with sugar-free marzipan mushrooms, some with dark chocolate-covered ginger caps. It was our first time attempting marzipan, and was a fun experiment!

I have never had a water garden before and thought it would be fun to try using a big pot to grow a water lily and a few fish. This fake lily pad came with the plant I bought, which is just starting to grow down in the bottom. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we'll be able to add some fish soon, as well as a little fountain.

AnnaMarie and I went to a local Asian store and bought some groceries and decorations for our little birthday party (poor Mr. Graham was sick that day, alas!).

This honeycomb decoration is a bit of sunshine in a dark room!

This sweet tea canister followed us home as well. We named her "Sakura" for obvious reasons (Sakura means "cherry blossom" in Japanese).

The sun rose bright and shiny on the day after my birthday, making magic with the dewdrops on the lawn~

We harvested our first "French Breakfast" radish then, and were grateful for the little things, once again.

 Sleeping bees in a cold, wet flower~

A snail partaking of nature's bounty (and not my lettuces!)~

 Flowers in pots to fill in spaces while the perennials are still sleeping~


These things and many more make me feel extremely blessed to be alive. May I make this the best year ever!




"A visitor was being shown around a leper colony in India. At noon a gong sounded for the midday meal. People came from all parts of the compound to the dining hall. All at once peals of laughter filled the air. Two young men, one riding on the other's back, were pretending to be a horse and a rider and were having loads of fun.

As the visitor watched, he was told that the man who carried his friend was blind, and the man being carried was lame. The one who couldn't see used his feet; the one who couldn't walk used his eyes. Together they helped each other, and they found great joy in doing it.

Imagine a church like that—each member using his or her strength to make up for another's weakness. That's what should be happening in every congregation of believers. Paul likened spiritual gifts to various parts of the human body. Eyes see. Ears hear. Hands work. Feet move the body forward. All are essential. And when each fulfills its function, the whole body benefits. All of us have weaknesses, but we also have strengths. We are all different, but God has given each of us at least one spiritual gift to use for the good of the church. We need one another. In Christ's body there are no nobodies." —Dennis De Haan

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Lone Trillium, 4-6-leaf Clovers, Felines, Country Bairns | Local Natural Wonders (Guest Post by Miss Audrey Graham)

Tasha found a patch of four-, five-, and six-leaved clovers in our backyard, and is pressing them in her dictionary to preserve for the Graham Museum of Natural History we will establish come the realisation of Dream Come True Farm, which shall feature acre upon acre of groves, tree-houses, gardens, stables, and a lovely little Museum twenty paces west of Frankie and Hyrum's workshop.

Meanwhile, inside, Ginger Snow attempts repose in the abode of countless photographically skilled eyes.

You will be found and snapshot even in the vain seclusion of a cardboard box, Mr. Puss!

Our youngest bairns, Rebecca and Hyrum, have been enjoying greatly the sunshine of spring.

This is the only trillium that bloomed for us~

Every one has joined in the work and pleasure of gardening, down to potted peas with makeshift stakes~

We're delighted at all the wee mushrooms sprouting up hither and yon, especially if they happen to be a gargantuan patch of morels* ~ you know that trillium blooming wasn't just for show!

*Note: this morel patch mentioned is something of wishful thinking ~ we are in hopes of finding one...

The yard is sprinkled with violets and ground ivy, making a lovely sight for the eyes and the heart~

Maple seed-pod "helicopters" on a branch~

And in farewell we leave you with our birdbath.

Spring is the season
Of gardens anew
Of plantings peas in
Pots rimm√ęd with dew.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Happy Sunday

Dear Friends,

We recently visited a local nursery to buy a few marigolds for Tasha's flower bed, and were treated to the aromatherapy of soil and flowers.

Audrey shot these photos while we were there, to help us remember the day.

If I were ever tempted to work outside the home (not having my own greenhouse), I think that I could be quite happy working here all day, amongst the growing things!

But then again, there aren't hop toads there at the nursery like there are in our own backyard!

I hope that you have had a wonderful weekend, and are enjoying a restful Sabbath day.



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Cloud Watching

 Dear Friends,

Lately we've had some gorgeous skies that have made us "ooh!" and "aah!" and grab for the camera. Last night's sky was especially amazing, and we took a walk to get to the area down the street that has the best view.


Of course while we walked, we noticed the beautiful display of colour being put on by the dandelions and other wildlings (some call them weeds!).

When the walk was over, our hearts were overjoyed to see the daffodils that planted last year, finally fulfilling the measure of their creation and blooming beautifully in the front yard.

 Our rose geranium has faithfully stayed alive in our kitchen window all winter, and she is finally enjoying much-needed fresh air and sunshine.It's the little things that make our hearts sing!




I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

~William Wordsworth