Decorating Tip

We moved things around quite a bit this year when decorating. No plan at all, the kids all brought up boxes and got to decking and we switched things up. We wanted to move the junk tree, but trees take up so much room there aren't many places for them.  Then I thought why not leave off some branches and just put it right up against the wall? 

Now, I'm thinking they should actually sell half trees! More people would have room and less money for the tree.  One is probably available somewhere.

But of course, you make your own half tree by just leaving off branches.  Now my junk tree fits perfectly in a new space and doesn't obstruct the traffic through our dining room.

I thought maybe someone else could use this idea too.  I'm sure it's not original, but it was to us here.

You can see the original junk tree posts here and here.

Off for more baking, wrapping, scurrying....

Book Tree

You may have seen on Instagram my post about all of our Reader's Digest books.  I found more after I posted that! Sooo....there are somewhere around 145 books here.  Give or take. :) 

A few years ago we made a book tree on our fireplace mantle. 

I had no intention of a book tree when I gathered all of these Reader's Digest books together!

  The book tree we made a few years back took FOREVER. Mostly my son built it while I ran around looking for the right books.  

This was easier, but still a bit putzy.  Turns out it's not easy to make a circle with rectangles.  It's a geometry thing which apparently, I'm not as good at as I once thought. Ha!

Then I thought about ornaments.  And these book page people came to be! I developed them from the ornaments I designed for our 4h tree in 2012.  You can see that tree here.

I could have played with these readers for a long time! 

It was like playing with paper dolls, but better.

I have more ideas how I would like to make more of them.

But, it's hard to say if I'll get back to those ideas or not. 

Reading to my kids---favorite memories of mine.

Aren't the covers of these books wonderful?

The top of the tree is made from parts of two books with folded pages and then glued together.

Can you see yourself here at all?  Cozied up with a book?

I see my kids.♥

So now, my conundrum.  I was trying to free up space and get rid of these books.  Now.  I love this tree.  Do I box them back up so I can put this out again next year??  Do I just leave it up for a long time after Christmas and then move the books along??


I hope your Advent is going well and that in the midst of book trials (tongue in cheek) you are finding space in your heart for the Christ child to be born into.

Harvest 2018!

It's truly a wonderful time of year!  The younger girls and I went up to the farm on one of their fall break days.  They love to ride in the combine and I love to ride with my husband in the truck and to take pictures.  This year I drove the truck for the first time.  I'm not sure why it took me so long to do this as I've wanted to for a long time.  It took a bit to find the gears.....  It honestly makes me sad that none of my kids can drive a standard transmission nor will it be likely that they will ever learn.  I was told that even a lot of the semi trailers now have automatic transmissions.  I learned on a 1967 Plymouth Fury which had become our school car.  I then taught one of my friends to drive it.  We were driving around our little town and I'm pretty sure it wasn't pretty.  But, boy was it fun. 

I put together a little film of our trip to the farm. ♥

No Photos

Here's a first.  A post with no photos.
What photo could you possible choose when you are writing about the deep heartbreak of the crisis in the Catholic Church?
If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I cherish my faith in Christ and my faith that has flourished through the Catholic Church.
I don't write about politics and I don't often comment about world tragedies here.  Not because I don't have thoughts, feelings, and concerns about them, but I think enough is said publicly and I don't believe I would have anything to add (publicly) that would help.

But to be silent on this subject of the defilement of the sacrament of Holy Orders in the Catholic Church I think would add to the pain and suffering of the victims and the Church.

So what do I have to say?

I've been asking myself that now for days.
To even speak of the crimes against the Church and the youth would not do it justice. 
The words fail.

This is what has come to me.
Please do not confuse the simplicity of the use of this idiom with the seriousness of the situation.

"Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater."

This can be looked at two ways.  Two very important ways.

For some, they are going to want to turn away from their Catholic faith in the wake of this crisis. 
Please don't.

But, for some, they are going to be afraid of losing their Catholic faith that they hold so dear and close to their hearts if truth is spoken.  They are afraid that if they throw out the bathwater, they will lose the baby.
Please don't be afraid.

You don't need to protect the Catholic Church.  That is God's job.  Not yours.  You may need to step up and defend your faith at times in your life.  But that means defending your faith in God and maybe your faith through the Catholic Church, but you do not need to protect your Church with any kind of concealment.
If you don't throw out the bathwater, the baby will not come clean.

So I pray.  

I've been praying that the blood of Christ will wash the Catholic Faith clean again.  
I pray for the victims.
I pray for our priests.  
I pray for courage for those who need to come forward yet.
I pray for guidance for those involved in the process.

When the tragedy of 9-11 happened, I was scheduled the next day to meet with my spiritual director, a Priest (a good and Holy Priest).  I was going to cancel because of what had happened.  It didn't seem like I should be carrying on like everything was okay.  He told me that he thought we should continue on as planned. In the face of evil, we do what God has asked us to do.  Over the years after that, I've come to live that advice.  When there are world problems and tragedies that seem too big for my comprehension, I try to do my life the best I can.  So in the next weeks, I will be back to posting here, doing my life. 
And, it will all be wrapped in prayer.

The last thing:
We may not all share the Catholic faith, but in Christian charity, I ask for your prayers too.

Garden Post Part 2

Continuing on....


The tub from the other side.  On the other side of this Cockscomb, is a pumpkin vine of some sort.  Like I said in the last post, trials and errors.  I transplanted a "Pumpkin on a Stick" flower in here and as it grew, it became clear that it is not like the other Pumpkin on a Stick flowers that I have.  So I'll watch and see if it produces something.  I should just pull it out and give the wave petunias in there room to grow, but I'm curious.

Cardinal vine.  So many volunteered that I transplanted them around.  I was thrilled to have them.

Last year, the washing machine tub sat empty, but I got it filled this year.  Coleus.  

If you look closely, there is a wire cross above the wire vine pot there in the middle.  I have moved that cross around everywhere in the garden.  It gets lost visually.  The hope was that the wire vine would crawl up it, but that doesn't seem to be happening as the vine is really slow growing.

I'm still looking for a place to mount that mailbox name plate I came across.  For now, it sits crookedly in my sink.

Hens and Chicks in bricks.  I bought them years ago in one brick at a garage sale and over time, I added more bricks.  slow growing for sure, but fun to watch none the less.

A late planted coleus and snap dragons waiting for cooler weather to bloom again.  There are also late to pop up Chinese Lantern Plants in there I planted from seed.  I don't think they were getting enough light, but Randy and I remedied that. :) Maybe they'll bloom this year?  I don't think so I'm afraid.

The cardinal vine is just beginning to get blooming!  These all volunteered back. ♥

Another Scarlet Runner Bean that also wasn't getting enough sun as the blooms are scarce yet.

A favorite spot.

I have no idea what that succulent is called there planted in the cinder block in the bottom of the photo. (The block that you can no longer see.)  I've planted the same thing a few years and I really like it there.

The flower spikes continue to grow and flower from the end, just like Cleome does.  I think there is term for this, anyone know it? Neat flower I think.

There has been one bloom on this Corkscrew Vine!  It is lavender in color and if you peer closely you may see it. It smells sweet too.  Hopefully, more soon!

Small little details like this vine meandering behind the window make me so happy.

I haven't had the greatest success with Dianthus so these pots are a little wanting.  Plus I've been cutting out the Dusty Miller for flower arrangements.


The really big plant in my herb tank is Sweet Annie that I've posted about on Instagram.  New to me this year.  It smells like Juicyfruit gum.  I understand that it's used for dried arrangements so that's my plan for this fall.  I have more in the cutting garden and will probably not put it here again next year.  It's a little out of scale here, ha! 

Bee Balm...another favorite this year.  I think it's quite wonderful and it's in one of the herb pots.

The Salvia has been great this year too.


The Sunflowers in the cutting garden are doing well!

This little guy was dangling from the thinnest string of web from the tree.  Later he disappeared after his little photo shoot.

This morning I found a caterpillar on one of the milkweeds.  Hopefully, it's a monarch!  

Photo Heavy Garden Post

I could comment at length about each picture because I am always learning and experimenting.  But, because there is so many photos, I'll probably keep quiet, ha!

I hope you are inspired to plant!

Hyacinth Bean Vine

Flowering Kale (these are so neat!)








The sweetest little wrens have been keeping me company down here all spring and summer!





A volunteer vine is eating up my little trike. :) 

This is a Scarlet Runner Bean that is new to me this year.  I planted it in a couple of places.  I like it, but not sure I'm a big fan.  While the leaves are nice to have that light green as a contrast, I think I"ll keep it more to the background next year. The red flowers are pretty, but not overly impressive either.  The pods haven't set yet so that will be fun to watch.  They are edible.  So maybe I'll change my mind if they are delicious!

Hmmmm, I do like this little sprout though!





These plants had a late start so their time is coming yet! 

A miniature birdhouse gourd vine. 

♥ vines



One of many Salvia varieties that I have this year.  For some reason I just love them!

My tub is kind of a goofy conglomeration of plants this year.  Trials.  Errors.  

I'll end with this one for this post and come back on Monday to post the rest.

I hope you enjoyed the little tour so far.

Have  a great weekend!

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