Pear tree lane farmhouse

~Farmhouse news and a personal note~

Written by Sue, Monday, October 13, 2014            Beautiful, warm, temps.80's

We are having such beautiful fall weather, I was out early this morning chasing butterflies, something I enjoy especially in the fall. I find so much solace in God's beautiful creations, just look at how the color of the butterflies blend with the lantana.

We planted a late garden of green beans, okra, turnips, collards, leaf lettuce, and for the first time arugula.

While in the garden I happen to check the green beans, I think they need picking, you think!


so I did..


After snapping the ends, I washed them, oh!so fresh, I am thinking at this point of how blessed I am to be able to grow these beans with no pesticides,and free fertilizer, (our sheep supplied that) and to know who and what handles them. The most amazing thing is it doesn't take a lot of space, raised beds work so well.

~Steps to canning green beans~
After snapping and rinsing, I fill hot sterilized jars with beans, add 1/2 tsp. salt, fill to neck of jar with very hot water.


 take the air bubbles out with the stick,


 wipe top of jars with clean, wet cloth


 place sterilized lids and caps on jars, and tighten, place in canner, process according to directions. I process mine on 10 lbs. pressure for 15 minutes.


 Here they are, it is so unusual for me to be canning beans in the fall, usually beans are canned in June, but the deer ate our first crop, so DH planted these, it took three hours from the time they were picked to sitting on my counter. I think that it a pretty good investment, don't you! yielded 18 pints!


I try and practice this rule... always start and end with a clean kitchen,whether I am cooking, baking or canning this makes the work go so much easier, and have found that when I didn't things took longer and I was easily frustrated. ~grin~ See the little pot, it's got beans in it, that's for dinner tonight.
A personal note....
The bravest person I have ever known,and my hero~
This photo was taken right after a drs. visit, she is so beautiful both inside and out, a source of strength
 for her family
This summer has brought many changes for us, some I can share, others I will wait. One reason I haven't been around in blogland lately is My dear sweet mother is experiencing a major health crisis, one that took not only her, but her family totally by surprise. She is the bravest person I have ever known, and is fighting this disease as she has with every trial in her life,with  grace, dignity, and her unwavering faith in God, Jehovah! The diagnosis.. Breast Cancer! I ask that you pray for her through this journey!
Much love to all my friends,
Sue
Proverbs 31~10~Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.


Well! Hello Dear Friends~

Written by Sue, Wednesday, August 27, 2014      Such a beautiful and pleasant day, temps.80's, Ahh!

Where does one begin again while being so sporadic with keeping her blog updated? I have contemplated this question so much lately, (at one point thought of pushing the delete button), but just couldn't as blogging and blogger friends have become so much a part of my life, so once again I am attempting to journal here in blogland!

This summer, as most summers are on a farm, has been very busy with late to bed and early to rise. Our days begin with devotions, and coffee on the front porch, and always ending in the late evening with another cup of coffee,(decaf) on the back screened in porch( dodging those mosquitoes,) comparing notes of the day's events, and planning the next day's chores.

This summer found a few challenges for me, but as always God is so faithful, he renews my strength from day to day! I have been studying to be certified as a CNA, something I have wanted to do for some time. If I were younger, I would try for the RN degree. ~smile~ Who knows, anything is possible! My mind and spirit are so young, now if my body would get the message maybe we would all be in sync.Ha! Ha! Anyone knowing this lady,(my Mom, mentor) knows this is true.Just look at that smile and those cute socks, she, by example, has always told her children we could be or do anything we wanted to.


When I see DH get the Bush -Hog out and start to clip I know that the fruit and veggie season is drawing to a close, this week as I watched Mr P. mow I had mixed emotions, one was a sigh of relief, glad to take a breather, the other was a little sad as I know my time in the garden,(which I love and enjoy so much) is drawing to a close for this year. However, I still have my herb garden and flower garden so all is not gone, yet. ~smile~

 This is an earlier photo, I haven't had much time to work with the herbs lately, and the garden is a little messy. Grin~

One of the best thing for me is, I will once again be able to blog, I have missed this so much, and Dh husband knows this, he is so sweet, the other morning after closing in prayer, and we were about to get going, he said, "I will be glad when this canning is over so you can get back to blogging, I know you have missed it!" OH, how right he was!

                                                               So what did I do today?
I finished the tomatoes for this season, Whoopee!! I made tomato salsa, and canned tomatoes.This is the best salsa evah! Daughter Susan gave it to me, and everyone knows SA Texas makes the best Salsa, the recipe comes from a dear Hispanic grandmother who operated a restaurant!



I am so thankful the pantry is once again restocked!

                                          Thanks for taking the time to stop by and say hi!
Blessings,
 Sue

~Giving thanks for God's bountiful blessings~

Written by Sue, Wednesday,July 16, 2014        Clouds with showers, temps. 80's,  a great day for blogging.
If you come looking for me from  May through August you will probably find me here in the kitchen canning and preserving foods from the garden, or out in the garden. To  plant a seed and watch it sprout,then grow into a beautiful plant that produces either fruit or veggies, and then to be able to gather the fruit, walk a few steps into your kitchen and  begin to create your master pieces is so rewarding. 
A big hug and thank you to my two, ever present helpers, I could not do this without your help and support!
This corn is called Ambrosia, so sweet, this was our first year growing this variety! We finished canning the corn yesterday. I had 54 pints, you might ask why so many, it is divided with our children who live many miles away, our deal is this, we grow and preserve they pay for shipping! ~Grin~ So many times while I am preserving, I am praying for the one who will receive the food! The best reward is when I get a phone call and a child says "Mom, you will never guess what we had for dinner last night, some of your peas, and corn, and it was so delicious!"
I will try and put the steps of canning corn in my recipe page soon.

This is blueberry jam, I made 15 half pints this week, most for gift giving, before it is given it must be taste tested, by none other than Mr P. ahhh!! it passed with flying colors! A true cook will also taste her own concoctions, I call this a concoction because most times I never make something the same way. The recipe only called for sugar and berries, but Sue added cinnamon, lemon juice, a dash of vanilla flavoring, and several pats of butter,(the real thing). These extras only enhances he flavor of the berries!

The color is so rich looking!
I  will be finishing with  the cucumbers, today,here are 5 kinds I have made, a most delicious sweet pickle recipe given by a friend,  dill relish, sweet relish, Kosher dill, and dill chips!

This is our first cantaloupe for the season, what a whopper, I asked Mr P. if there were more like this in the field, "Sorry this is the only large one" he replied. This will last for a while. ha ha you think?

Enjoy your day,
love,
Sue 

~Friend of God~

Written bu Sue, Sunday June 28, 2014                     A most beautiful day, low humidity, temps. in low 80's

 It is early "Pa" and Susan are peacefully sleeping, I slip quietly out to the screen porch for some alone time with my Friend, as I sit here listening to the birds, and other animals give praise to the One who made this day,  I too join  them in giving praise, glory and honor, to this Friend of mine.
In my devotions I have been studying in Genesis and of Abraham's life, today I read in chapter 17-18 of how God changed Abraham and Sarah's name, and of the covenant that was made between them, with the promise of Abraham being the "Father of many nations,"Sarah being the "Mother of many nations."  it being sealed with the covenant of male circumcision.

The power point for me was of how unique God and Abraham's relationship was, their relationship was so solidified that Abraham could ask God for anything, even bargain with him over the  wicked city Sodom, where his nephew Lot and his family lived, and God so willingly listened and agreed, sadly the end result was destruction, but God saved Lot and his family.

There is such a big difference between "knowing about God", and really "knowing God intimately", Abraham had this intimate relationship with God, in Isaiah 41:8, Abraham was called "The friend of God," Isaiah 41:8~ "But you, O Israel, my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham, my friend,

In this study, I am challenged more than ever to maintain my friendship with God, How about you? I have learned through life experiences that friendships take time, they need nourishment,  open communication, always listening and willing to heed advice.  I find this to be even more so with my friendship, and relationship with God!

On a personal note: I have been very busy with gardening, and preserving the fruits and veggies, and enjoying visits from family, with more to come during the 4th of July! What a blessed summer this is for me, I love having my family home!. I so apologize for not visiting your homes,please understand. I will try harder, I promise

Comments are off on this Sunday, rest with your Friend

"In times of troubles"

Written by Sue, Friday, June 7, 2014,,                Overcast temps. 80's

God is so good to me, yesterday with temps. in the high 90's, and very high humidity, let's say it was "HOT". I noticed the air condition was running all day and it wasn't cooling like it should, so Mr P. called the repairman, he stopped by this morning, the unit was frozen, before it could be fixed it would need to be cut off until it thawed, and that he would be by this evening to fix it. Today, I am about to be in the kitchen most of the day canning yellow squash, and making the last strawberry caramel sauce, (oh so yummy great for pouring over  ice cream and pancakes).You might wonder what's the big deal?
Sooooo with no cool air and a hot kitchen, God gave me an overcast sky, and much cooler temps.today! "Thank you heavenly Father."
Nahum 1:7~The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him. I noticed the words,"in times of trouble," meaning this won't be the first nor last time troubles come, but He will always be there for He cares for me. Aren't you glad God doesn't lie? And yes, He cares about strawberries and squash

Washed and ready for slicing

This time of the year finds me almost meeting myself coming and going, but oh! how I love and enjoy it. I just tip my hat, smile, and say,"Carry on my Dear!"
I am trying to take the time to realize how much God is involved in my goings on each day,and to always take the time to say, "Thank You Lord, I Love You".  We as parents and grandparents love to hear the words, "Thank You"," I Love You." I imagine our Heavenly Father does too!
Be Blessed today,
hugs, 
Sue

~Pajama Cowboy~

Written by Sue, Friday, May 23, 2014,                         Showers, temps. 90's
Per our usual routine first thing in the morning, we have coffee and devotions sitting on our porch, so what was different about yesterday? I was the first out  and what did I see, a big pile of dung on the front lawn, actually there were four big piles that weren't there last evening.
 OOPS! Someone must have left the gate open last night. When Pajama Cowboy, saw the pile, he immediately jumped on his ATV with ever faithful, Lucy, following closely behind and off they went, round and round, chasing the horses. What did Sue do, grab her camera of course, we bloggers have a job too you know, our cameras always near by! Grin~

 Folks! this is what freedom looks like!!!


 Na Na Boo Boo catch me if you can!!!

 This went on for about twenty minutes. Finally Pajama Cowboy got off the ATV opened the gate, and walked them through.
You should have seen the look Rusty gave  PJ Cowboy, it was like he was saying, "That's what you get for leaving the gate open, just wait until next time, it won't be so easy!""HE! HEEEE"
 Now the sheep on the other hand were begging to leave their small pasture to get into the main pasture, go figure. It just goes to show that most creatures, animal and humans alike think "the grass is always greener on the other side!" ~smile~ There is never a dull moment on a farm when you have animals!

 Lots of thinks going on here at the farm, but first there is a wedding we must attend this weekend!! We are so happy for this young couple.
 Until next time.

Wishing you a most blessed,and safe Memorial Day weekend., as we remember those who gave, and continue to give  their all that we might enjoy the freedoms we have!
Sue
Personal note... To all of those who visited me at Vee's Note Card Party, I say "Thank you so much."

~Notecards for May~

Written by Sue, Tuesday, May 20, 2014                A beautiful day, sunny and warm 70's

I call this month's note cards....
~God's little Creatures, Designed and Created by Him~

~I am praying for you~

 ~If I can do it, so can you~


~Congratulations I knew you could do it.~


Hang on, things will soon change

~My note card box top~

I don't think I did this post justice, my only excuse is, I am so busy here at the farm, but I could not let the day go by without joining one of my favorite friend's party, and the  hostess with the mostess. Thank you Vee for hosting. I will be by this evening to visit all of the guests, as we are working on a major work project today. 
Blessings, 
Sue
Please join us at A Haven for Vee, and share photos that you think would make great notecards.

Would you like to know how to....?

Written by Sue, Wednesday, May 14, 2014       Sunny, very hot and humid, 90's, 

Though I have been sweating up a storm,(old southern saying) I won't complain about the heat and humidity, because I promised Mr P. last winter I wouldn't, no matter how hot and humid it got. ~smile~ I sure hope I will be able to keep this promise, cause a promise is a promise, I forgot to tell him my fingers were crossed. ~smile~

      ~Herb gathering, and preserving~
Has anyone bought herbs at the grocery store lately, such high prices they are charging. Do you use herbs, if so, I am here to tell you that you can grow, harvest, dry and make your own herb blends for minimum money..
You don't have to have a large space, herbs do well in containers, and in raised beds, they even like living among your flower beds.
 For some reason my herbs are producing early this year, last week, I gathered, different thyme's, oregano's, parsley, and marjoram. This week sage, and more of the same, herbs should be gathered about mid morning not early, as mid morning is when their flavors are at their peek for the day.

 Wash in cold water,handle with care and  try not to bruise the leaves as that releases some of the oils,
 Place in salad spinner, my salad spinner has become one of my best go to for veggies and herbs, makes work a lot easier and quicker, and quicker works for me, see that brown speck on the leaf it went the way of the trash can, always inspect leaves and stems.
I then place them on the counter with paper toweling underneath, feed sack towels work well too! I also picked strawberries and made more jam.
 There are several methods for drying herbs, a dehydrator is quicker, but I am told, vie the internet, this method might dry the oils to much, I used this method last summer and didn't find that to be true, however.. I have decided to try both ways this year. And then there is
 the old fashion way.  When you air dry, you don't have to keep rotating trays,  I bunched the herbs and placed a small rubber band around them, hung them on  a wooden clothes dryer in a bedroom that is dark, this bedroom has a ceiling fan which I ran on low just to keep the air circulating. 
This is what the herbs look like today, coming along so nicely, I have added a bunch of Mother's Day roses and lavender to dry. Once they are dried I will show how I store them, so stay tuned.
Not hard at all, was it.  
While out dead heading roses today I decided to bring a few inside along with more lavender to dry.I have some great ideas for using lavender, absolutely one of my favorite herbs.

Enjoy your day,
Blessings,
 Sue


Seeing red and loving it~

Written by Sue, Wednesday, May 7, 2014,Sunny, very warm, so nice, temps. high 80's

Our Strawberries are now producing, so what does one do with a big bowl of berries, make jam of course. If you don't grow your own , there are a lot of "pick your own farms" and local farmers markets. I am one of those who believes in supporting local farmers, besides the produce is always fresher.
 Here is how I made mine, going from left to right and skipping the middle photo. ~smile~
Pick berries, wash and drain them, sterilize the jars in dishwasher, place berries in food processor and pulse, measure in pot, add sugar and lemon juice,  put on heat and cook, once the berries begin to boil you will notice foam on top, just place a big helping pat of butter in pot, the foam will dissipate, well almost, cook until jam sheets off of spoon or until the desired consistency, scoop into sterilized jars, wipe tops with clean wet cloth, then place sterilized caps and rings on and tighten, place into the boiling water bath, process for 12 minutes.


Ingredients for jam.
This bowl of berries when chopped measured 16 cups of berries.
I added 8 cups of sugar,(this time around I used organic sugar,) sounds like a lot I know, but jam really has a lot of sugar, when it starts to cook you might want to taste to see if it is sweet enough for you,What's that you say "more sugar" don't laugh after all, the berries determine how much. ~smile~
juice of 2 lemons
1 pat of butter.
And the secret ingredient is "Love".
That's it, easy peasy. The yield was 8 1/2 pints, in jelly jars that would have been double, ~grin~

Tip: you might want to put the jam in decorative jars for gift giving, I will be doing this next time, but these will be going to my family who live far away. Hopefully I will remember to share some ways to make them more appealing, but you really don't need anything the "Jam" speaks for itself.

 I can't remember when I last used Sure Jell, I am trying to  keep everything as organic as possible, and to me there is a taste difference, having said that, feel free to use Sure jell, it certainly is quicker.
I on the other hand take the time when stirring the pot to meditate, pray for loved ones, and listen to my favorite radio station, music always makes everything so much better.

A word of encouragement to  those who have never made jams and jellies, this process might seem a little over whelming to you, but trust me, it really is easy and so satisfying, as long as I have been doing this I always get such a wonderful feeling when I take the jars out of the water bath canner, and I hear the pop, pop, sound of them sealing, but the best reward is when someone says'"Wow! this is the best jam ever,"just as Dh did yesterday, as I always save him some, and just think you made it with your own loving hands!
Just to prove how quickly this is, it only took 2 1/2 hours,from the time I brought the berries to the house, and they were sitting on my counter, time well spent!

Thank you to all who stop by and take the time to read, and for your precious sweet comments, Please feel free to email me if you have any questions!
Blessings, 
Sue

~It has officially opened~

Written by Sue, Saturday, May 3, 2014        Beautiful sunny day, temps. 70's.Good day to a hang laundry outside.

Thursday officially started my food preservation season for 2014,  spinach and kale were the first to be gathered this year! It doesn't take a lot of space to plant a garden, ours is a little large, simply because we share with family and friends!
Without being to over zealous one day soon I hope to share the importance and joy of home gardening, and preserving food. I bet you can hardly wait.~smile~
It is hard to imagine that only a few weeks ago these were tiny seeds being planted into fertile soil, and with a little time, and nurturing,they are now ready to serve us. That's the way it is with our life as Christians we are planted in fertile soil, God nurtures us and after a while we are ready to be used of Him for His service.
II Corinthians 9:10~ Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.

~Preparing Spinach for the freezer~
Once gathered, it is washed and rinsed in several waters,if needed the wooded stems are trimmed, 
 I then spin the leaves in a salad spinner until almost dried....
Then placed in air tight Food Saver bags,...  If I were using regular plastic bags I would blanch the leaves for a few minutes, cool in ice water then bag, I opted to try it this way to preserve the nutrients. I hope it works as I have had success with other vegetables.  A Food Saver is a great investment!
 "Voila", ready for the freezer.

Yesterday, as Dh and I were working in the garden I said, "I could stay out here all day,"...and I did ~smile~  the weather was so comfortable, overcast skies with an occasional peeking of the sun, pulling weeds was actually not bad at all.

I love gardening and being near God's creations, where all of my senses are touched in some way, I get to play in fresh air, kissed by the sun with the scent of honeysuckle flowing from the nearby woodlands, Our produce is organic, so tasting is always a must, rinsed first at the nearby faucet.~smile~ Watching butterflies flutter around the flowers, ladybugs feasting on aphids, toads, and the chameleons, along with the call of the Mourning Dove to its mate, birds singing.

In the far distance I hear the nearby train whistle,(one of my favorite sounds) as it nears Beard Station. I have often wondered why I love this sound so much, occasionally, when I can't sleep  at night, and the  house is quiet I hear the train whistle again, it always makes me smile.  Years ago towns were built near train tracks and near rivers, it was for necessities and made for easy travel!

Life is simple here at Pear Tree Lane, but not without problems, but God is my strength and my refuge!

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, and ever present help in trouble.



Enjoy your day!
Sue
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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