~Pear tree lane farmhouse~

~OH! how I love this house~

Written by Sue, Wednesday, April 25, 2011       cool, partly sunny, a beautiful day, temps. 50's

A few weeks ago we decided we would drive by and see how "the old home place" was doing. My grandmother, a widow, bought this home and farm the year I was born. At the time my dad was stationed at a nearby military base, and we lived with her and her brother, my great uncle, a veteran of WWII, who worked the farm with her. My great uncle never married, it seems while he was overseas, he got a "dear John" letter from his fiancee, telling him she had married someone else. I know "very sad."

I spent so many wonderful years at this home, my grandmother and my mother both had a kitchen of their own, ~smile~ someone was very smart! Probably my dad. lol, but most of the time we ate together like the Walton's, I think one reason I enjoy the Walton's series so much is that I relate to them in so many things, my mother and grandmother did the household chores together, though my mother didn't milk the cow, nor feed the chickens, that was my grandmothers job, with us children's help.~wink~ They churned the milk and worked the gardens, and did laundry together.
The memories I have would fill a book.
See the tree trunk... My dad planted this tree, and 7 more by the driveway, they had just been cut down. boo hoo



I remember so many times following my uncle as he plowed with his mule, (he later bought a tractor) trying to step in his foot prints.I can just smell the freshly plowed soil, and hearing my uncle call to  his mule to "Gee", means turn to the right, "Haw" turn to the left, or Whoa!,we all know what that means. lol Many times I brought him cool water while he was working.My siblings and I used to play under a big oak tree in the back field while my grandmother and mother weeded and thinned the cotton.

Eventually my dad was transferred to another base in Georgia, that was one of the saddest times in my life. But when uncle Sam says "GO", you go. When he was sent to Korea we went back to live with them. As I grew older, and after living at different military bases, we finally settled in a county nearby.

When school was out for the summer, we spent those summers on the farm, working and were willingly paid well to buy our school clothes. Did I jump for joy about working, no, but it taught me a work ethic that carried over into adulthood. And for that I am most thankful. It also afforded me the opportunity to spend quality time with my grandmother, and my great uncle who was just like a grandfather to me.

Look at this big oak tree, it was there when I was a child, I was so happy to see it.


To see how well preserved and taken care of this "old home place" is makes my heart so glad. I would give a jar of my strawberry jam to be able to go inside and take a look see. lol
Jeremiah 29: 11~ I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I am writing this today for several reasons one being to say how important I think family farms are in this country, and each year for one reason or another family farms are becoming obsolete.
Another important reason is  sharing a few memories, and to re-interate the importance of spending time, and making memories with our children, and grandchildren, here is an example......

Early one morning this week, I woke before day, just lying there meditating, when I heard one of our roosters crowing, I was immediately brought back to this "old home place", and of long ago hearing another rooster crow,all the while piled high under so many quilts that I couldn't turn over, ~smile~, and smelling coffee, not brewing, but boiling on the stove, as my grandmother was making "home made" buttermilk biscuits.  
I smiled,  pulled the covers up tighter and just lay there relishing those memories. A great way for me to start my day.

~The same chimneys are still there~ ahhh! memories
 I wish I had the time to talk about all the memories of time spent at this "old home place", memories that I have stored in my memory bank, and of how special I was made to feel, no matter how busy the adults were here, they always stopped, gave us lots of hugs, answered our questions, explained what they were doing, and why. You see memories like these will carry us through the "GOOD" and the "Not So Good", times. 

Sometimes we can get so overwhelmed with life, and a memory will come and we reminded not to worry that everything is going to be alright.
You see the other morning as I was awake, I was thinking about some stressful situations  in my own life, and after praying,mediating and reviewing this memory, everything seemed to take on a better light.

To be continued.......
Love,
Sue

~Why do we love certain houses,
and why do they seem to love us?
It is the warmth of our individual
hearts reflected in our surroundings.~

T.H. Robsjohn_Gibbings

How did I go from....

Written by Sue,Monday April 23, 2011                  cloudy cool day,temps. 50's


this......


 To this..
 To this
To this

Look how it glistens in the light.....
Let's have some fun!!!

After growing the berries I pick them....  
wash and dry them, and then...
slice into large pieces, as you want to have real fruit in your jam,  measure 4 qts. of strawberries with 8 cups of sugar if berries are real sweet, if not had an extra cup of sugar, let


 then sit for about 4 hrs. or until the sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally,this is where I test for sweetness,  I then
 place  them on the stove and bring to a boil, keeping it stirred, once it boils I add a pat of butter, no substitute, why butter? Butter cuts the foam down significantly, where I have very little skimming  to do off of the top.

Once it starts to boil  I turn the heat down just a tad, add 1/3 cup juice from a real lemon,continue to boil until
 the berries become clear and the syrup thickens.While the jam cooks, I  already have water in a canning pot boiling on low, and my jars sterilized, as well as the
 caps and lids heating
Now that the jam is ready, I pour it in jars, wipe the rims with a clean damp cloth, (very important!!) add
 caps and lids, and place in canner, I then let them process in a boiling water bath for 10 mins.
 Viola!!! this recipe will produce 12 half pints with

 just this much left over for my food critic. Would anyone like to guess who that is? BTW it passed his inspection with flying colors. ~wink~

Jams make really nice gifts and you can dress them up with raffia, pretty cut fabric cloths as above, I like to give baskets of jams, relishes along with homemade breads,with either handmade a tea towel, or a pretty apron for gifts at  special occasions. 

I have some very sweet older ladies at my church that love getting jams, because they eat light  for breakfast, having a piece of toast or biscuit with jam with coffee or hot tea. Hand made gifts are always welcomed with open arms.

 I apologize for the long post, put wanted to share this recipe, as it is soooooo gooooood!! I pinky promise you, your family, and friends will enjoy it!

I even like to display jams on shelves  in my kitchen....
If you don't grow your own berries, there are a lot of local farms and farmers market where you   may purchase them. It is so much more economical and fun to make your own., not to mention knowing that you are the final one who handled your food. ~ smile~
Happy jamming!!
Until next time,
Hugs
Sue

Ecclesiastes 3:13 ~That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil------ this is the gift of God.~

~Saturday's excursion~ or let's get busy~

Written by Sue, Thursday,April 19,2011                                   cloudy, temps. 70's


Last Saturday we decided it was time to get our hanging baskets made, so off to our favorite nursery we went..... I get so excited this time of year and a trip to a plant nursery, is my kind of date. ~smile~
Mr P. loading our wave petunias
This is our potting shed, it is near the back door and makes it easy for us to pot plants. As you can see it is in need of a new paint job, and that is the project we have been working on this week.
Mr. P. loosening up the fiber roots, this is necessary if you want your plants to take off growing. When you take a plant out of the pot it is usually tight what we call root bound, the roots have to be loosened and some of the roots taken away.

 It is now ready to be potted in the new pot, in our case a hanging basket.
Press the soil around the plant, and water......

The guy below is my charming gardener, I am forever thankful  for him., and I get to keep him too~wink~!!!
Here dh is attaching the hangers to the pot.... Just in case some might be wondering, I did help plant these baskets. ~grin~

Voila!! I took this photo this morning..




5 days after potting I was amazed at how fast they are growing.


Happy Gardening!!


I big thank you to all those who stopped by yesterday for Vee's Note Card party, I appreciate and enjoy your encouraging comments so much., 


Today I will be picking berries,between showers, freezing them and making jam, I enjoy cloudy, rainy days in spring because I don't feel guilty when I am inside working, when my heart wants to be outside.~smile~
Until next time,
Sue

~A notecard kind of day~

Written by Sue, Tuesday, April 17, 2012                                 OH! what a beautiful day, 80's

~Notecards of our fine feathered friends~

There's always room for one more!
No peeking!!

 Hey! wait for me.

Now! isn't this nice?

A most gracious hostess is having a Notecard Party, today. Thank you Vee, for the invitation, please come and share your photos. Until next time, 
Hugs,
Sue

~And what have we been doing?~

Written by Sue,SaturdayApril, 14, 2012                        absolutely a sun kissed day, temps, 80 degrees
This project is almost finished!  Just a few touch ups,  putting the gate back and adding the wire to keep unwanted guest from helping themselves to our dinner.

Savoring a few moments,... Can you see the mallards flying in the Carolina blue skies?
Meet our new orphaned lamb, how could a mother abandon a beautiful baby like this one, though her face is a little dirty from drinking and then playing in the dirt, she is still adorable, and has the sweetest personality, typical child, ~smile~ We have been feeding her for about three weeks.  She also is in need of a name! If you have a child that would like to help us name her, please let me know and I will put it in a hat, and draw it out.


She wants to be with us at all times, and when out of her pen she is alway near by, except when
running around,and up and down the rows in the  garden wanting me to play with her. What we really need around here are some grandchildren to help babysit , any volunteers? ~smile~
I have been busy gathering strawberries, making jam, recipe will come later, and let me tell you it is so simple and delicious.

"Whew! I am tired and need a rest!"says she. Animals are like us, they thrive on love, and kindness!

"Okay, nap time is over, now lets play."
"How much  do you love me? I know my face is dirty, but hey! I am just a kid."

This is what my lavender looked like two days ago, I didn't check it today as I was afraid the frost might have hurt it. I absolutely love the fragrance of lavender, and it is so pretty too!!
The bees were enjoying them too!
 This cabbage will soon be ready.
I must run as we are going to be visiting my favorite garden nursery, and making our hanging baskets today! We have also been planting and tending both veggie and flower gardens, repairing the farmhouse, painting and still savoring our days at the farm! God is good!! all the time , and yes!!! even in the trials of life we find His peace, and contentment in knowing Who is in charge.  Enjoy your day and savor each moment as they are gifts from our heavenly father.
Love, 
Sue

James1;17~ Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
The farmer and his friends
Thank you so much for coming by, please come and visit anytime.

~Welcome home~

This blog is dedicated to my dear family who live many miles away, and to you dear ladies , who have a heart for keeping the home fires burning. You, who love and cherish your family, and have a desire to create a home that says "Welcome, you are loved and cared for."

My desire is that when you leave that you will be encouraged and know that you too are loved.

Sue~

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