Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The Trimmings from the Tree Collards


The trimmings from the tree collard cuttings did not go to waste.
I put them on a paper plate for my redfoot tortoises. 
Chevelle (left) ate them all while Ranger (right) watched.
I'm still trying to figure out nearly imperceptible actions what she takes to show dominance to make him back off.

I first learned about the tree collards last year and decided to take the plunge and try my hand at growing them this year. I love raising heritage breed livestock and growing heirloom, nearly extinct, or unusual vegetable plants. We are losing far too much that might prove to be beneficial to future generations.

Monday, August 10, 2020

What's Happening

Hannah had a tooth break Sunday. It has a piece that is still attached but unstable. We keep a few dental repair kits in our home/auto/hiking/camping first aid supply kits, so we patched it with that until she can see our dentist. She was in some pain until we patched it. She has no pain currently, and we hope to keep it that way. We are home and trying to get her seen today but CoVid. Sigh. Please pray we can get her tooth fixed asap, and that we can keep it from causing her pain until then. 

Update: We have an appointment at 4:30 today.

Update #2: The dentist liked the temporary filling we put in Hannah's tooth. She is going to need a root canal, and then they will fill the tooth. I was upset that her adult tooth is so damaged, but God sent some perspective through a good friend who is battling an insurance company for her special need child's necessary tanks of oxygen. Hannah is blessed it's such a minor thing and so easily repaired. She has not had any pain since we filled it. 

Clint's and my time away over the weekend was interrupted, but that's OK. Life happens, and when it does, we tend to roll with it. I honestly do not care where I am as long as I am with Clint. He says he feels the same about me. 

We had someone beg us to meet them for a farm sale on Friday. It was the only time they could come since they had to travel all the way from New York. They asked nicely, so we obliged them.

We are usually within an hour or two from home, so it wasn't a big deal. It had to have been God's timing that we were home for the farm sale...

Thankfully we were present when Emily had a caustic chemical squirt in her eye from a malfunctioning pump dispenser causing instant and terrible pain and a lot of worry. I am afraid our first aid treatment looked a lot like waterboarding, but we got her eye rinsed out very well. We kept her laughing through it too. We had her lying in the tub so we could pour bottled water into her eye within 15 seconds of the accident. God gave me a fast reaction time, and it has certainly been a strong asset with our large family and the events we've gone through. He designed me specifically to be a mother to this large, happy, fun loving, and crazy family. 

Caleb went to the store and purchased Emily Visine to help soothe her injured eye. I love how our family is automatically "all hands on deck" during an emergency to help one another any way we can. Most of the time, I do not need to ask for a wet washcloth for a sick family member or a bag of ice for a bump or bruise or whatever...the family just goes into action while Clint and I assess the situation. Emily had some scary moments especially when the pain was great and she could not see. Praise the Lord, her eye is right as rain today. 

Emily said she knew we'd fix it if she could just figure out how to get to us. Since walking blind didn't work well, she cried out to us until we heard and went to her. That's was a good reminder to look to my Heavenly Father with that complete trust in His goodness and abilities. All I have to do is cry out to Him and He will respond. He is even better at helping the blind to see and taking our pain from us. Even better, He doesn't waterboard us like two crazy scared parents trying to save their child's sight. :-)

Amanda is asking for prayer for deep, restful sleep between the overtime she has been taking. She has three weeks to go before the employee returns. Her taking extra shifts is freeing an employee to help with CoVid relief. She is basically working and sleeping, and we can see the toll it is taking on her. Our family is trying to help her where we can.


Hurricane Isaias damaged our corn JUST before it would have been mature. We don't believe in crying over spilled milk around here. We find a way to make the best of whatever life throws at us. Our rabbits are munching on the undeveloped corn. The stalks have been pulled and will help fill in a new raised bed this fall. We have one stand that survived somewhat, and we will give it time to see what it will do. We have two more plantings in the early stages that did just fine through the storm. And, we are getting ready to replant again since we have time before our estimated first frost. Our gang is so ready for cooler temps to make working outdoors more enjoyable.

Please keep praying:

Shonda is still on hospice. Her pain is intense at times. She says she is ready to go home when the Lord calls her name.

Katherine-The judge said he will not make a decision about custody until he hears more. 

Timmy is going to have his kidney stones removed soon. He also has some bed sores that are not healing like they should.

Thank you to those who pray for our family. We are very grateful and covet those prayers. Please let us know how we can pray for you. Love to all from all of us!


 Thank you again, Skyler and Joseph!

With love, Mama Asbell

Tree Collard Cuttings


I am getting a TON of questions regarding the purple tree collards, so I am posting pictures and info about them over the next few days.

These cuttings came from The Clayton Farm.
I also purchased seeds from them to start more.

I stored them in the fridge until I could get to them (about a day and a half).

I cut new diagonal ends with an alcohol treated knife and soaked them in water while I prepared the rest. 

I removed all except two leaves and dipped the ends in honey (kills bacteria that might prevent rooting).


I put them in plastic cups (20 ounce) filled with potting mix.
I watered them from the top to help remove air pockets with water that had the rooting aid pictured above.


Then, I reused plastic utensils to support a 1 quart freezer bag to help keep the cutting from drying out so quickly. We will see how it goes!

Update: They are looking good so far!

Sunday, August 09, 2020

What Governs Your Mind?

The mind governed by the flesh is death, 
but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 
Romans 8:6

Dear Reader, we become weak minded when we give room for worldly thinking and selfishness. To become strong minded, we need to discipline our thoughts with God's Word. This life is not a game. There are no dress rehearsals. We are told to put on armor because we are soldiers! Live accordingly.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and 
we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 
2 Corinthians 10:5

Saturday, August 08, 2020

It is Biblical to Store for Lean Times

If you've been reading the blog for a while, you know I like working with heritage breed livestock and heirloom seeds. I could not get some of the seeds I wanted from my normal suppliers, so I had to look a little harder. I am glad I keep years worth of seeds on hand. I was still able to get the rare squash seeds I hope to grow ordered. 

Here's the note that came with the order:

"Since we are all still living with the effects that the pandemic and subsequent economic unrest, it should be no surprise to hear that disruptions can possibly occur that may slow delivery. Just as there are no cuts in line at your local store, we fill orders fairly on a first in / first out basis. Please DO NOT ask for preferential treatment, it will not be considered.

Due to the unprecedented interest in gardening during this pandemic, we have been experiencing higher than normal order volume. Although we will try and ship as quickly as possible, it may take up to 7 business days from receipt until we mail your package to you. This email is confirming that your order has been received and that it is in our queue. Another email will be sent when your order is mailed and on its way to you. Also keep in mind that the U.S. Postal Service is experiencing delays; currently 3 to 10 days, depending partly on the class of mail service that you selected at checkout."

Dear Reader, If you are a Christian who reads the Bible and believes it gives us instructions for living, then you should be preparing for lean times. It does not take as much money as you may think to put a little away each time your grocery shop. I started with a lean income and a houseful of seven growing children. One of the easiest ways to build up your food storage is to look for ways to reduce food waste. Another method is through gardening. Instead of planting landscaping varieties of bushes and trees, I planted grapevines, fruit trees, medicinal plants, etc. There are many ways to accomplish the same goal, but you will get anywhere until you get started. You don't need to be on a farm either. I have friends who live in cities who are very, very well stocked up for lean times. 

There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise,
But a foolish man swallows it up. 
Proverbs 21:20

Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber. Proverbs 6:6-11

Friday, August 07, 2020

Vaccine Research

credit in image

Clint and I did all of those things and more before we made our decision. 

Clint was informing nurses and doctors of what was written on the vaccine inserts of the shots they were giving children every day. He made them get an insert and he pointed out the sections to them. THEY were floored because they had no idea!! It never occurred to them to read the insert which listed ingredients, side effects, and much more. Don't assume the medical professionals know what they are putting into your child.

With corruption as widespread as it is in every level of every industry, blind trust is not an action of the wise. Ask questions. Do research. Demand answers. Your child is counting on you to stand between them and possible harm.

Please take the time and do thorough research. 
Their health is worth it!
Your health is too.
Whatever you decide, I will support your choice, 
but please do the research and make an educated decision.

Thursday, August 06, 2020

I like him just because he loves her so much!


Grey is Bethany's cat. He was originally Amanda's but he chose Bethany. He was so depressed when Amanda moved with him into her new house. So, Amanda brought him back home to Bethany where they are happy as can be! Here's how Grey holds onto Bethany's legs while she is doing her college course work. He also watches over her when she sleeps. If she is away from home for too long, he finds me and stares at me until I give him reassurance she will return. He will also stare at the door for hours.

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Thank you!

Thank you Luke and Katelyn!

Care packages mailed!

"Aunt" W

Hurricane Isaias

We did not have very much damage compared to areas north and south and west of us. We were awoken many times by tornado warnings and watches including one for our road. We lost a bit of siding, and the corn fell over. I also found a shingle, but I can't figure out where it came from. The girls and I will try to stand the corn up after the garden dries out some. We'll see what happens. Thank you to all who prayed for us and asked after us. I am not ignoring anyone. I am very busy pressure canning and planning for a long weekend at our little hideaway along the East River (starting @ 4 today) with that handsome man of mine! 

Love to all!

Prayers for Brandon

Brandon begins his new job this week. Please keep him covered in prayer for a smooth transition for the big changes ahead.

He is Faithful

If we confess our sins, 
he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, 
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
I John 1:9

I love this verse and the promise it holds.

Dear Reader, aren't you thankful we have a loving Father we can share our hearts freely with saying all of the things that other people might judge as sinful, shallow, or foolish? We can be REAL with Him. We can find REST with Him. To ignore the opportunity to be truly seen and heard and accepted as we are with Him would be foolish. What a blessing to have an intimate relationship with the Holy God! Love to all!

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Brandon's Job Announcement


I put this up for the family and friends who said they wanted to see/read it.

Our entire family is still over the moon and back happy for Brandon's great success!

Can I Save Seeds from Grocery Store Produce?

Can you name these squash varieties? Answer at the bottom of the post.

A sweet, young mother of two asked me: 

Can I Save Seeds from Grocery Store Fruits and Vegetables?

We can always find some good in everything. CoVid has certainly brought a lot of suffering and hardship, but it is good to hear from so many who have a new or a renewed interest in gardening, preserving a harvest, and becoming more independent in providing for one's needs. Proverbs 21:20 tells us that the wise store up the good things they need, but the fool uses it up right away. 

The answer is: yes, you can. Somethings will do better than others. Heirloom varieties are best choices. Research the difference between heirloom and hybrid to understand why.

I rinse them off, pick any bits of pulp out, and dry them on a plate for a week. Then, I dry them a little more in my dehydrator making sure they stay lower than 95F. Any higher will kill the seed. Then, I store them in mylar zipper top bags. 

I always save seeds from winter squashes, melons, tomatoes, peppers, and more. 

You can even get mushroom spores to grow. 

You can regrow the ends of celery and lettuces. 

Many grains and legumes will also grow and produce food.

You can regrow the tops of carrots and parsnips too. They will not grow a new root you can eat, but you can get them to produce seeds.

Seeds used for culinary herbs and spices will also grow.

Some fresh herbs are easily rooted to start new plants. 

Tubers like potatoes, sunchokes, horseradish, sweet potatoes, turmeric, jicama, and ginger will also grow. (Whenever my potatoes sprout, I cut them up, let them scab over, and plant them.)

Fruits like apples and pears can grow trees, but the fruit may not be consistent in quality...meaning the fruit may be completely different than the fruit you took the seed from. 

You can harvest blueberry and strawberry seeds too.

Look for organic and grown in the USA when you can. Some vegetables, especially potatoes are sprayed with growth inhibitors. I have rinsed off (rubbing the skin with my hands) nonorganic potatoes, and they have sprouted for me. Also, some fruits and vegetables that are imported are irradiated and that will affect growth. Somethings may take multiple tries, but experimentation is part of the fun in gardening!

I am sure there are more ways you can take advantage of the grocery store offerings to increase your garden, but this is what I could think of off the top of my head. 

Happy Gardening and Mothering!

Answer: green-acorn squash, yellow-spaghetti squash, tan-butternut squash

Monday, August 03, 2020

Hurricane Isaias


See that little dot in the red along Virginia's coast? 

That's where we are located.
We will see sustained tropical force winds.
Other than our corn, I don't expect much damage.

another good day in a very beautiful and abundantly blessed life!

The sweat has been dripping off of us like rain while we storm prep for the hurricane in this oppressive humidity. I've been looking at my corn which about a week or two from harvesting and thinking to myself it's "done for" due to the winds we're going to get.

Then, Clint's car broke down. I couldn't find one of the straps to our tow dolly. Frustrating moments.

I'm going to praise the Lord anyway!

I am healthy and able to work in the heat to prevent storm damage.

The corn will feed our poultry and rabbits if we don't get to enjoy it. I have more planted for fall harvesting, and we have plenty of food to eat without it.

I've been trying to get my hardworking husband to purchase himself a nicer vehicle for years now, but he likes to drive them until they are DONE. That car is done, so I get my way finally :-)!

And, I have the cash from farm sales to pay for his new used vehicle so we don't have to touch our savings account!

We have a tow dolly, so we don't have to pay a tow truck.

Brandon, Caleb, and Bethany took the suburban and tow dolly to Clint so I could continue storm prepping with Emily and Hannah. I love how our family pulls together!

Clint found a way to tie the car down with another strap to replace the missing one.

When you've been through some hard stuff like FEMA disasters, major fire losses, that endurance teaching hyperemesis gravidarum, and those awful, heart wrenching, life changing, faith defining nine stillbirths and miscarriages, it gives you perspective on what bad days really look like.

From my perspective, today is another good day in a very beautiful and abundantly blessed life!

Thank you, Lord!!

Update: 1:05 p.m.

Well, our tow dolly broke. With the car on it. I am still praising the Lord! 

The failure happened in a parking lot instead of on the I64. Caleb, Brandon, and Bethany were there to help Clint get the car off the dolly so a tow truck could come get it.

No accident was caused. 

No one was hurt. 

A tow truck arrived within five minutes of Clint calling. They should still be able to get home before the thunderstorm hits.

We had planned to go back with our trailer to get the tow dolly, but the tow truck driver said he could get it on the truck even with the car and would bring it home for us for free. (He feels bad we've had such a challenging day.)

God is good! He is so good, that I refuse to complain or let my mood slip over the craziness in this day. He is worth to be praised even when things are not going our way. 

Snake Eggs Part 2

While it has not been two weeks since it was shared in the blog, it has been two weeks since Amanda candled the black snake eggs she found outside of her home. Wanting to show good stewardship over God's creation, she decided to hatch them and then release them (with permission) at different locations. They are in a container with latches, and so far, it appears to be going very well. Our entire family has taken an interest in her snake eggs, not because we are huge snake enthusiasts (we're not), but because we love Amanda and it is a part of her life she wants to share with us. Those parents who have ears, let them hear.

The eggs appeared to be larger than last time.
Unlike chicken eggs with their hard shells, snake eggs have leathery shells.

Not only does Amanda take joy in learning new things, 
she also enjoys sharing knowledge with others.

pink = blood = life
We could also see it moving inside.

I am not feeling very positive about this one, but Amanda thought she saw movement. It might just be developing slower which happens with poultry eggs too.

Amanda plans to bring them back in two weeks, and I will do my best to get pictures and update the blog about them for our homeschooling friends.

Sunday, August 02, 2020

Prayer Requests, Katherine, and Isaias

Please pray for a co-worker of Clint's who lost his 17 year old daughter when her Jeep rolled over. 

Another co-worker of Clint's is asking a lot of questions about faith and the end times in the Bible because of current events. This person use to be very hostile to the gospel and now, he is desiring to know more. He asks Clint questions. Clint shares and encourages him to find some answers himself. He comes back again and again sharing what he's learning!

Things with Katherine are not good. She became suicidal again. Please pray for God to reveal the truth about what is going on and for Katherine to get the help she needs soon.

Shonda is still with us, but her pain at times is very great. Please pray for her pain relief and gentle passing.

I've been asked about the hurricane headed our way. Thank you for the concern. It will be weakened when it gets to us. We are expecting 40-60 mph sustained winds with higher gusts and 4-6 inches of rain sometimes on Tuesday. Those are the current predictions as I type this. We are close to the center of the current track and have been told there can be tornadoes and minor flash flooding. Things can change very quickly, and we'd get less or slightly more wind and rain. We're not very concerned at the moment. We've seen much worse come through. I'll update after it passes us.

Thank you to all who are praying. Love to all from all of us!

How Much Does He Want?


Source: Standing Strong: How to Storm Proof Your Life with God's Timeless Truths Written by a man who loves God's people and knows that we can be victorious through life's trials, this is a book filled with the timeless truths of Bible doctrine to help the reader gain stronger convictions for a lasting faith. For the teacher, book provides understandable explanations one can use to answer students' questions and because of that, it is a good book to review before or while teaching others. 

Saturday, August 01, 2020

brought glory to God

Abraham never wavered in believing God's promise. 
In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God.
Romans 4:20

It's Arrived!


My copy of my friend's book Chasing Glory is finally here!

A candles loses nothing by lighting another. -James Keller

Friday, July 31, 2020



Still rejoicing!

Brandon told us his news in person, but I sent him a text to let him know his sister was home so he could come tell her in person too. This was part of the conversation:


How he greets me:


Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Kitten (toxic dog food?)

I can not say for certain, and we did not get an autopsy done. I will just state facts, share my opinion, and let you draw your own conclusions.

My daughter's 7 week old kitten appeared very healthy and active. Kitten ate from bowl filled with a pouch type of dog food sold by a mass merchandiser under one of their well known labels. I had purchased it as a treat for my 9 year old 5 lb toy poodle who is missing some teeth. The kitten was opportunistic and grabbed herself some...effectively offending the poodle into snorting loudly and walking away. Her great disdain of cats may have saved my poodle's life!

Over the next several hours, the kitten gradually slowed down and became lethargic. My 16 year old daughter observed the kitten's extreme weakness and brought the kitten to me. Its limbs were extremely weak...maybe even paralyzed? It had no control over its neck or limbs. She was limp as a dishrag. 

A vitals check showed the kitten's respiration and heart rate were very low. After a few minutes it gasped for breath and died in my hands. The only change in the kitten's routine was the food.

My daughter searched the internet and learned that brand and type of dog food has killed many pets in the past.

I am convinced something was wrong with the dog food. The kitten did not have access to anything else it could have ingested other than its mother's milk. I threw away the rest of the dog food and will never purchase that particular type under any label again. 

I am not a vet. I am a hobby farmer who has done 95% of her own care and has cared for hundreds of animals over 25+ years. I read the Merck vet manual for fun. While my lack of expertise may mean a lot to some, I call it as I see it. And, I strongly suspect botulism due to the paralysis and time frame. I will avoid that very big mass merchandiser's brand of pouched foods for my pets. In fact, after the reading we have done, I won't be buying ANY pouched foods for my pets or my family. 

18 months ago, we asked for prayer for

18 months ago, we asked for prayer for a young lady named Sophie who had a massive stroke due to genetics. She was unable to walk or talk.  

Today, she is fully healed! She is not only walking and talking, but she is dancing and jumping on a trampoline!

God is good!

Please join us in prayer that she can get into a medical trial to try medicine that will drop her very high chance of a stroke to almost nil. Most of her family also has the high risk marker in their blood. I do not recall the details, but it has to do with how their blood clots.
New Blood Test Finds Alzheimer’s 20 Years Before Symptoms Appear

Brandon's Big Blessing

Brandon was growing frustrated in his position because things he had been promised had not come to fruition. Part of that was due to a manager who let the department go downhill. Then CoVid happened and caused more delays. Brandon talked his disappointment over with Clint and I many times, and we could tell he was very discouraged.

We encouraged Brandon to keep praying and looking to the Lord for direction. Our whole family joined him in those prayers. He felt God was telling him to stay put, so that's what he did.

It paid off! He did not get the raises and higher ranking he had been promised and had been looking forward to receiving. No, God had something much better in store for our hard working son.

Brandon is now the Tech Support Supervisor over SIX industrial plants and has five men working under and directly reporting to him! He received a total increase of $25k and will have many extra perks, bonuses, and regular pay increases. He is also given a higher percentage of the company's bonus payouts than he was receiving before. He also has a new boss who was recently hired to correct the issues left by the former.

When the position came open, Brandon was so discouraged by his job that he wasn't going to apply. He did not feel he was qualified. Clint and several others encouraged him to apply anyway. Some of those others included every single man who is now working under him! He has the support of his entire team!

Brandon was told he was given the job because he has the drive and work ethic they want and also is a faithful and responsible person who has shown great integrity. 

This position takes Brandon further along the path he wants to pursue. The next step will likely have him moving to another state. 

Please join our entire family in praising and thanking the Lord for His goodness to Brandon!

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God 

so that at the proper time he may exalt you 

I Peter 5:6

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

When God Speaks to a Heart

A humbled servant's heart will respond even if afraid. (Samuel)
A proud and rebellious heart will balk, delay, and make excuses. (Jonah)

Dear Reader, when the Lord has spoken to your heart in the past, did you respond or make excuses? How can we prepare ourselves to respond readily for the next time God speaks?

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Black Snake Eggs

15 eggs laid in early July

Teacher Amanda
We saw veins and movement in each egg.

While all of the eggs Amanda found  were viable, there were a few with these spots.
In poultry eggs, these spots indicate a break down in the egg barrier. Bacteria can get into the shell this way and weaken or kill the embryo.

Amanda found black snake eggs when she moved a tarp at her place. Wanting to show stewardship over God's creation, she chose to incubate them and release them with permission on properties where they are welcomed due to their beneficial nature. Seizing an educational opportunity, she brought them home to us so her younger siblings could see her candle them. As it turned out, everyone was home and wanted to see except Caleb. He was working and has requested to be included next time.

Dear Reader, Clint and I were raised to fear and kill every snake we saw. We felt God challenging us to change our attitudes to be more in line with His Word. God called His creation, which included slithery things like snakes, GOOD. Snakes, although not my most favorite creature, are very, very valuable to the environment. They do a tremendous service for humanity just by keeping the rodent populations down. We are not showing wisdom, maturity, or good stewardship when we indiscriminately kill God's creatures or encourage others to do the same. 

Monday, July 27, 2020

Hard day

So many friends have died or suffered severe attacks on their health lately. 

I still have friends on hospice.

I have "virtually sat" all day with a sweet friend who waited for what turned out o to be concerning results from her doctor. I am still "virtually sitting" with her as she waits for an interpretation of those results which were promised "in an hour" many hours ago.

My neighbor could not get a health care worker to come to his home today..."none available." He has food and drink, but he has other needs only they can do. I am his only outlet when things like this go wrong. Sometimes he takes his frustrations out on me. I understand he does it because he is at his limit, has few outlets for coping, and knows I will still be here standing as his friend.

A very dear family thought they were finally to a point where they could get some relief from a long and mighty struggle only to be met with strong opposition, dishonest tactics, manipulations, and more as evil people scheme to take that relief from this family. I am so angry I could spit nails over this one. She's had to change her name online to protect her family because the tactics are far reaching and down right dirty. The more money involved, the more people lie, hide the truth, and try to steal. It's even more sickening when they want to take from hurting people and children. Insurance = corruption.

A beautiful young lady who has a life threatening condition can't get the medical care she needs due to CoVid. They keep scheduling it only to set the date back further and further. It's been going on for months. She's passed out and has had to basically lay around most days since early 2020. Her procedure was set back even further today. She's so disappointed and concerned for her well being. 

A very pregnant young friend fell on her belly injuring her legs quite a bit. She was in the hospital all day while they tried to check out her baby. The baby is fine, and she was sent home to rest in bed for a few days while her legs heal.

I am the main or sole support person for a lot of people in my life. I try to give them more of my time and attention because of this. 

And, I held my daughter's tiny kitten in my hands as it died. There was nothing I could do to save it. I could only offer it compassion and comfort. 

Dear Reader, this world is often so harsh and cold, we forget the about the abundance of goodness and grace in our lives. Maybe you are feeling weary too? If so, I encourage you to turn off the many distractions and focus on God's promises and the Truth found right there in His Word. When we are focused on Him, we are better able to encourage others. 

Prayers for Comfort, Please

One of my friends on hospice, for whom I asked prayer for a while back, has passed away. Please lift the Laurie Bluedorn family in prayer for peace and comfort. 

Laurie was a Christian, an author, and a pioneer in the homeschooling movement who challenged the next wave of homeschoolers to excel in teaching children. She lovingly poured so much of herself into others. I was influenced and made a better homeschooling mother and child of God because of her. While I grieve with her family, I take comfort in knowing the severe pain, from the cancer she fought so hard against for years, is no more. She is with the Lord and now knows a peace none of us can even imagine being possible! 

Prayers for a Friend, Please

For a few weeks now, a sweet friend has asked us to pray regarding her health. There is some concern over a spot on her breast mammogram, and the blood test results are also concerning. She sent them to me, and I can see her concerns. Please lift a prayer for her.

Neat Find!

Joshua's friend told him about these drinks. They are less sweet than American soda and they are fun to open. You assemble little tool and then use it to break the seal. When the seal is broken, the glass ball drops from the top. Joshua found them in an ethnic food market. At 99 cents each, I am getting several to give to friends and family at Christmas.



The depressions in the neck of the bottle hold the glass marble back so it doesn't block the hole. We refilled one with water and held it upside down. It held water, so now we are wondering how they can be reused.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Fall Garden Crops

I have been getting a lot of questions about fall garden crops. This article covers NINETEEN high yielding fall crops. You will have to see when to plant for your zone. 

Here are the crops featured:
  1. Kale
  2. Collard Greens
  3. Arugula
  4. Peas
  5. Beets
  6. Kohlrabi
  7. Bunching Onions
  8. Rutabaga
  9. Cauliflower
  10. Carrots
  11. Bok Choy
  12. Broccoli
  13. Spinach
  14. Cabbage
  15. Mustard Greens
  16. Brussels sprouts
  17. Winter Radishes
  18. Parsley
  19. Turnips

That should give you a good place to start. Somethings may need to be started indoors. I recommend picking a few favorites, and then doing the research. Love to all!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Tree Collards Zone 7

If you have grown tree collards in zone 7, successfully or not, I would like to hear your experiences. Email is in the header of this page. Thank you!

A Peek Inside One of Our Grapevines


This was taken a few weeks ago. 
I need to talk a walk and check on them again.

For every tree is known by his own fruit.
For of thorns men do not gather figs,
nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
Luke 6:44

Thursday, July 23, 2020

What a blessing to rest in this verse...

This was shared with our local group of young people: 

The sinfulness in every person's heart, including mine, clouds situations and makes others think they know you when all they really know is their perception of you based on so many different hidden factors that I wonder how we can ever have enough pride to think we can even begin to guess what is going on inside someone else. 

We are all guilty of it. 

We are all also victim of it at one time or another. 

When you find yourself wanting to defend yourself, I encourage you to be still and know God is enough for your situation. Forgive them quickly (Ephesians 4:26) and resolve to love them with kindness (love is an action verb) even when they are unloving towards you. 

Work towards unity with other believers. The old adage is true, "United, we are strong. Divided, we fall." When there is a a division, we are more vulnerable to sinning. Some people may never want unity, but that speaks of their heart just as loudly as the actions do of those seeking it. 

Dear Reader, You pull the weeds in your heart, do the right things, and let God deal with them. It could be your Father, who knows all and sees all, is protecting you from the trouble they would stir up because their hearts are not truly right with Him in that situation.

I know that there is someone to defend me and that he lives!
And in the end, he will stand here on earth and defend me.
Job 19:25

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Around Here July 2020

I have not had an opportunity to do a family update in a while. I apologize for typos and repeats. 

Clint had a good Father's Day and birthday. He received communications gear that he requested. Due to CoVid, he's had to work more hours which at first was OK, but now the family is ready for some normalcy and more time together. Clint was presented with a very challenging project, and it took some time, but he ACED it winning a lot of respect and accolades. He was told the coronavirus Hero Pay he was receiving will end since the state is opening more, but if it shuts down, he will continue to receive the Hero Pay. Then, a couple of days later, he was told the place he works is in a higher risk zone. We are waiting to see if they reinstate the Hero Pay.

Brandon got one of his Beetles running. He sold a second of the three VW Bugs he purchased. He also purchased the Kia which was in the blog. He has a man who offered to purchase his truck for $5k. The man is working to raise the money. He also got his Jeep put back together and running. All of this was possible since he was able to work from home during the coronavirus shutdown. There are other things he accomplished around his home, but I could not keep track of it all. He was back to working out of his office, but now he is back home due to the higher risk of CoVid. Brandon been blessed by the Lord in an unexpected way, but I can not share about it yet. 

Amanda volunteered to help out while a co-worker was called away to help with coronavirus. She has been taking on extra 12 hour night shifts to cover his four month long absence. She's been purchasing new appliances, furniture, and also bought a new pet. The new pet was a very pretty corn snake. Only, the corn snake let itself out of the tank and is now free inside of Amanda's house. We're laughing about it. (For the first time, I am glad she does not live at home anymore. LOL!) She's not been around as much due to the increased hours, but she texts all of us daily. Our group texts keep her informed of happenings in the family, and she can read them once she is awake. She prays over us while she works. She also has an uncanny knack for coming home when food is cooking too! Her OT should end at the end of August when the co-worker comes back from helping out in areas hard hit by CoVid.

Joshua has been in charge of the kitchen at the very fast paced restaurant where he works. For his first day as kitchen manager, they gave him the day where they went back to the full menu and started running all of the equipment again. It was a crazy day! He enjoyed the responsibility and was told he did very well with it. This was part of his training to take a managerial role. It will probably be a good while before he can assume the role since CoVid has slowed so much down, but at least he is seeing progress on this front. Joshua has a very busy social life. He is always headed to this party or out with a girl or hanging around with a friend. He and Caleb are both in high demand! Joshua often brings home meals and treats for his three little sisters. Joshua is very thoughtful and generous!

Caleb still has both of his jobs at the restaurant. He has taken on a third role which is training other employees which increases his pay. Caleb is forever working on the many projects he has which earn him money on the side. He and Joshua regularly play paintball and airsoft with a group of young people. Caleb just repaired the air conditioner in his truck himself with some guidance from Clint. He recently paid for a young man (8 years older than Caleb) to target practice with airsoft with him. He asked the young man to pick up and reset the cans one time. The ungrateful and lazy young man complained about having to do it. Caleb provided the guns, ammo, cans, and had reset the cans all of the other many rounds. When the young man complained, Caleb called him on it and told him the guns were being put up. All of the sudden, the young man was eager to reset the cans, but Caleb put the guns away. "Learn to be grateful for what is given to you." This young man had shown his ungratefulness and laziness many times before. Once was in Amanda's home where she asked for help washing dishes to the meal she purchased, cooked, and served. The young man was very rude to Amanda. Caleb held his tongue because he was angry, but he said something to him later when they were alone. Hopefully Caleb's lessons will take root. Caleb is a brave and bold individual who is quick to stand up for what is right. 

Bethany hitches a ride along with her brothers as often as she can, so she has a busy social life too. They love taking her along. She's slowed down on her college courses. While she really liked the idea of graduating from college at an age much younger than most which was her goal, she told us she wanted to go slower and enjoy just being a young girl hanging with her family for a while longer. She feels rushing through, for her, would be a mistake. This time will pass and not return. That takes a lot of maturity to realize and speak up about, so we are proud of her. I think CoVid shutting down so much has influenced her change of heart. She's still drawing (mushrooms currently) and has been a tremendous help in the garden. The girl loves grilled green tomatoes. Well, she loves any tomato! I've shared with her how much her grandmother, Midge, enjoyed "mater sandwiches." I grow grape tomatoes just for her and love watching her eat them. 

Emily asked for and received Ford Mustang gifts and art supplies for her 13th birthday! Yep, our beloved Yiddee has turned into a teenager! Her character is really shining, and we see great things ahead for her. She has really stepped up to help out around our home, farm, in our ministry, and is a big help with projects for ourselves and friends. I love listening to her as she shares her innermost thoughts because what is blossoming is a beautiful heart for the Lord and others. She loves going anywhere her brothers will take her, and they are taking her to play Airsoft at Swamp Fun Park with their friends very soon. She will be the youngest player in the group, but everyone has assured us they will look out for her. We know the owner, and he is good about safety for the younger players. 

Bobby, my friend from elementary school, owns all six Let's Play Paintball locations. I think highly of him and mention it because I don't want to get in trouble again. :-) Love ya, Bobby! Gave you a little free advertising!

Hannah is a delight to talk with because she is both serious and humorous in a cute package. She still loves her precious Yiddee and does everything she can with her. These girls very rarely argue with one another. The last time they had a serious disagreement was over three years ago, and it was over in less than an hour. They are extremely close! Their relationship is such a joy and blessing to witness. I hope they value, cherish, and protect their relationship always. Hannah is really good at seeking out the ripe vegetables and has been taking on more and more cooking projects. She scarfs down zucchini fritters!

As summer ends, I will be away from home more as I help friends with their homes and doing some hauling back and forth. Clint and I have been getting away to our spots in Kings Creek and along the East River along with some visits to other places. I highly recommend Tides Inn on Carter's Creek as a place to get away and relax. They have redesigned their rooms, and it is really nice. It's a bonus that we know some of the people who work there. That Asbell and I have been taking at least one long weekend away together every month. 

The garden is really producing, so we four ladies at home are keeping exhaustingly busy. Our main garden is 2700 square feet, and it is intensively planted. Our front deck alone has over 150 plants. There are other areas planted all over our acreage. It's a big job, but I get much more out of it than gardening. 

We are behind on a massive amount of yard work, but that might work out for the better. I am going to cut and dry "artisan hay" for my rabbits with my new electric hedge trimmers because what I have been getting in 2020 is horrible. The goats and rabbits will only eat about 1/3 of it. 

After taking a long break from it, I've been raising puppies again. We currently have two litters with three more coming soon. If interested, send me an email (header). I have started hundreds of vegetable plants indoors for our fall garden and will put that "in" as soon as the summer crops come out. I have a huge painting project I am responsible for (a friends interior) and after that, plan to paint several rooms in my own home. Then I have outdoor structure to paint. Sooner or later, I plan to overhaul my kitchen too.

My ministry to women who have had baby losses has evolved over the last couple of years. I now also have a ministry to several young women who are new wives and/or mothers. Some of these young ladies lost babies and found me that way, and it just grew from word of mouth. My heart is very tender towards these precious young women's friendships, especially those who have a heart for the Lord. 

When the heat is extreme like this, it makes extra work on those of us at home because we do routine checks on our pets and livestock and give them fresh cold water which takes about an extra hour each time we go out. Some of the animals get cold treats to help cool down their core longer. The rabbits really suffer during these days. We had a litter of bunnies born, but I do not expect the kits to live due to the extreme temperatures. We also have to water our deck garden twice a day in this heat and the main garden needs watering. Just the main garden takes about an hour to an hour and a half to water.

That's enough to keep everyone reading for a few minutes! :-)

Love to all of you from all of us.

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

We Need Solid Nutrition Over Sweets

If you always enjoy sermons, 
the minister is not a good steward. 
He is not acting wisely 
who deals out nothing but sweets. 
-Charles Spurgeon

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Growing Lettuce in an East Facing Window

Girl, what are you growing here?
Specialty lettuce.
Tell me how to do it!
I tell you what, I'll take pictures and put it in the blog...


I topped off the hydroponics solution and snapped a few pictures. 
One thing about the Kratky method I LOVE...seeing the roots!


Seed price: less than a tenth of one cent. I buy seed in bulk. 

Rockwool (.14), net cup (.30), jar (.50 from thrift store), newspaper (free from Willie), rubberband (free recycled from mail), pea gravel (.10 a plant)-all reusable dozens of times.

Consumable: hydroponic solution (approximately .26 a gallon)
Buttercrunch lettuce is a specialty lettuce and is $3 a head currently. 

Each seed will grow three heads of lettuce, but the last two will be a bit smaller.

You can cut the first and second heads off leaving the base of the plant in the net cup. After the third head of lettuce grows, it gets too bitter and tough. 

I have 15 jars growing lettuce at different stages.

$135 of lettuce for a cost of next to nothing. 
It's a good way to practice stewardship!

This is a very frugal way to feed our family and some of our pets/livestock (tortoises, poultry, goats, rabbits).

Update: I have added more jars because the lettuce is being consumed so quickly. Hannah LOVES it!