Berry Plants

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Most summers growing up our family would venture to North Carolina on vacation to visit our extended family. We always stayed at my grandparents house, unless we all rented a cottage at the beach (that would be a whole other post!).

Summer vacation at Grandmama and Grandaddy’s house always included lots of playing with cousins, visiting with Aunts and Uncles, playing Roll-A-Bat in the large yard, digging in the sandbox, climbing the dogwood tree, or planning and putting on shows and “spook” houses.

Meals were always full of home-grown vegetables out of my grandfather’s huge garden, prepared lovingly by the womenfolk in the kitchen. Sometimes we would make homemade ice cream (hand-cranked) or consume huge wedges of watermelon at the picnic table in the backyard. One thing that we could always count on during our visit was Grandmama’s Dewberry Cobbler, made from fresh Dewberries, picked by my grandfather out in the garden. The berries were so delicious and it became a dish that we looked forward to every visit.

I have always dreamed of growing berries on my own land and making my own cobblers just like my grandmother did. We tried blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries last year. We lost all but two raspberry plants and all but one blueberry plant (and it is hanging on by a thread!). The blackberries survived, but just need to grow bigger in order to start supplying more berries. Here is one of our seven blackberry plants –

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Imagine my excitement when Jeff called me one afternoon with the news that he had run across actual Dewberry plants at Home Depot and was buying six of them to plant around our pool fence. They were nice big plants that were already flowering and growing berries. I never expected to find Dewberries in Texas – assuming they were native to the East Coast. Since then, he has planted them along the fence – three on one side and three on another with the blackberries in between. Here they are still gathered around a stake – we will be untying them and attaching them to the fence soon, so that they can get better air circulation.

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We are hoping that they will establish themselves and that soon we will be enjoying Grandmama’s Dewberry Cobbler once again. Somewhere I have her recipe, if you could call it a recipe. One summer I interviewed her as she was putting it together – ” about this much flour and that much sugar . . .”

Blessings,
Nancy

Our Front Porch Birds

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I was able to get a couple of really great pictures of our front porch nest and birds the other day. Here is the best picture of the babies that I got ~

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When I looked at them today, I could clearly see 4 babies – I had thought that there were only 3. They are almost too big to all fit in the nest. Here is one of them practicing flapping its wings ~

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I also finally got a good picture of the mama bird ~

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I had thought she was grayish at first, but she is really brown instead. I still haven’t been able to identify her in any of my books. Anyone have any ideas?

It is a rainy afternoon here, which will make for a nice cozy evening at home tonight. I am feeling the magnetic pull of my quilting basket, so I’ll be settling in to sew after posting this. Have a lovely evening!

Blessings,
Nancy

Fun with Sticks

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The kids had much fun outside on Sunday afternoon playing with expensive toys totally free sticks from around the yard and pond. Here is a bit of the story ~

Boy with stick ~

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Another boy with stick (note the serious expression) ~

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A boy without a stick ~

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A girl going to find a stick ~

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Coming back with . . . ~

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a stick and a tree ~

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A happy boy with a very big stick ~

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Finding more sticks ~

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or trees ~

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A little pruning to create . . . ~

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the ultimate light saber! ~

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For little Jedis too! ~

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If you collect enough sticks . . . ~

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you can open up a stick store ~

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Later you can take your sticks inside and paint them ~

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The next morning when the dualing begins inside the house, you can hear the mother order all sticks to be taken back outside, to which a reply is heard, “But they’re painted sticks.” ~ I guess once a stick is painted, it earns the right to live inside.

Nevertheless, outside they went. And when the rain stopped in the afternoon, out the children went too, to continue their duals and battles. Imagine the boys’ excitement when they found out that their Keepers Club lesson this week would be fencing!

Blessings,
Nancy

The Simple Woman’s Daybook ~ April 27

Here is my Daybook entry for today ~

Outside my window. . .a nice rainy day for our gardens, barn cats taking refuge on the patio, new apple trees planted in the yard, and baby birds on the front porch almost too big for the nest ~ flying lessons should be starting soon!
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I am thinking. . .that today would be a good day for baking cookies and sewing on my quilt.
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From the learning room. . .Just a few weeks left of school for this year ~ we’re winding down with our basic subjects and spending lots of time outdoors, exploring and observing the world.
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I am thankful for. . .the rain for the gardens and for the growth that it will bring to them.
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From the kitchen. . .Bbq sandwiches and french fries for dinner tonight ~ home-baked cookies for dessert ~ chocolate chip & butterscotch or Snickerdoodles . . .
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I am wearing. . .pink t-shirt and denim capris.
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I am creating. . .I’m ready to start sewing on my Row by Row quilt (and chomping at the bit), so I’ll be setting up the sewing machine this week to work on that.
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I am going. . .to enjoy staying home out of the rain today, doing cozy indoor things.
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I am reading. . .new issues of Family Fun and Country Living magazines.
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I am hoping. . .that the apples and berries that we have recently planted will survive and grow up to bring us wonderful harvests in the years ahead.
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I am hearing. . .children talking, “I Love Lucy”, the ceiling fan ~ the rain has stopped for the moment, so no pitter-patter on the roof.
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Around the house. . .Easter baskets (will be going into the attic today!), lots of dirt tracked in over the weekend, legos strewn across the floor.
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One of my favorite things. . .my new “Forest Fun” quilting fabric with it’s camping theme that came in the mail the other day ~ can’t wait to start working with it.
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A few plans for the rest of the week. . .sewing, Keepers Club (girls will be learning beaded jewelry-making and the boys will be learning about fencing), shopping for a few white shirts for the boys for our family picture this weekend, delivering a large load of diapers to a local Crisis Pregnancy center that were donated by our church during our Keepers Club diaper drive this month, a family gathering to take a family portrait and to celebrate my sister’s birthday.
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Here is a picture thought I am sharing. . .

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An old chair on the front porch sporting a new patriotic bell.

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To read more Daybook entries, please visit Peggy at The Simple Woman’s Daybook, and have a lovely day!

Blessings,
Nancy

Happy Birthday David!

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I am really late on this one, but wanted to share it anyway. David’s 3rd birthday was a few weeks ago, and he chose Chuck E. Cheese (as always) as the place he wanted to go to celebrate. Here are pictures of our fun outing – I must have been feeling pretty lazy that night, because all of the pictures are at the table – none around the rides and games, or maybe I’ve taken so many of those before that I just sat back and enjoyed the night – either way, here’s some of the ones that I did get –

Blowing out the candles on his cupcakes –

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Time for presents –

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A new tricycle! –

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Some new glasses (a requested item) –

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He wore his glasses most of the rest of the evening –

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A new ball, always a favorite item on David’s list –

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A big pizza and cupcake smile –

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My baby is really growing up. I’m sure that in no time he’ll be as big as his brothers (notice the phones!) –

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Thankfully, he still likes to snuggle up with his Mommy when he gets tired of all of his adventures, so maybe we can hold off on the cellphone for awhile!

Blessings,
Nancy

Roses Abloom

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Some of our roses have started blooming, and are filling the air with a beautiful aroma. I was so excited when we found this home to discover that the original owners had planted a rose garden around one side of the house. While I am not a rose expert (or even close), I certainly have enjoyed having them, and hope that I will learn enough as the years go by to keep this garden going to enjoy for a long time.

Thought I’d share a few pictures I took while out in the garden the other day ~

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We’ve been working hard getting the rest of the gardens finished planting, and there are a number of crops coming up now. I’ll share pictures as soon as I can. Temperatures are supposed to hit 90 degrees today, so we will be spending the afternoon outside!

Have a wonderful day!

Blessings,
Nancy

My Prairie Girl

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Anna has spent the last few days galloping around the house on her broom horse. Yesterday she donned her bonnet and traded her indoor broom horse for her outdoor broom horse. Sarah captured these pictures of her to my pleasant surprise when I went to upload pictures this morning.

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Riding off into the sunset . . .

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Have a nice day!

Blessings,
Nancy