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Between the Lines-Be-calmed at the Change of Seasons

Be-calmed

florida sea by aaron

The be-calmed ocean.

Photo by Aaron Clyde

A strange malady befalls me at the change of seasons.

The best way I can describe it, is that I become ‘be-calmed’ during the changing seasons of Spring and Fall. It seems to happen every year.

During the days of the old sailing ships, to be-calmed was a term to describe the occasions when there was no wind to fill the sails, and the ship could only sit in the sea, at the mercy of the ocean currents, until the winds rose again.  Sometimes for days, sometimes for weeks.  It was a discouraging thing to be be-calmed at sea, and not be able to travel as usual.

I seem to become be-calmed in the Spring and Fall.  There is so much beauty.  There is so much to do to prepare for the changing of the new seasons; spring into summer and fall into winter, but here I sit, not finding the wind for my sails.  I am good at making plans, making lists and thinking about all of the things I should, and could be doing , but not being able to put myself in gear and go.  When I do find the right gear and get going, I find that I am usually hopelessly behind!

So, I have just come through my Spring season of being be-calmed.  The winds have returned, and are filling my sails, and I am sailing again!  Busy skittering along the ocean that is my life.  And thankful for it!

*

They come and go so quickly

Spring and Fall…..

as if they had not really

come at all.

Perhaps

we could not take

too much beauty, 

breath-catching glory,

ecstasy without relief ;

and so….

God made them brief.

poem by Ruth Bell Graham

*

Ecclesiastes 3:11

“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time:

also he has set the world in their heart,

so that no man can find out the work

that God maketh from

the beginning to the end.”

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Sweet Peas

 

Growing Sweet Peas

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I have never grown flowering sweet peas before.  This is the year for them!

I had planted a mock flowering orange shrub by the front porch a number of years ago, thinking that the blossoms of it would be a nice fragrance for whoever was passing by the porch in the spring.  It didn’t work out well-the blossom time was so short, and I couldn’t detect any fragrance from them, and the shrub itself became a very unruly looking mess, crowding out the other planting around it.  So, out it came.

In it’s place, a trellis, or tee-pee was made from bamboo poles.  The bottom ends of the bamboo was dug into the ground a ways, ( I will add stakes, pounded into the ground, later to anchor it more) and they were tied together at the top-very simple and easy. Prunings from the grape vines were wrapped around the tee-pee trellis, and the sweet pea seedlings, that I started inside on March 16, were planted around the base of it.  The variety is ‘Mammoth’.

 

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With visions of sweet smelling sweet pea bouquets in my head, I am waiting!

Will post an update photo if it comes about as I envision it!

*

Ecclesiastes 4:6

“Better is an handful with quietness,

than both the hands full with travail

and vexation of spirit.”

 

 

 

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A Quilting Mistake

A quilting……mistake!

I have been working diligently on hand-quilting the Legacy Star quilt.  I have been at it since the end of January, and figure I am about 3/4 done with it.

I do my quilting in the living room, in front of the large picture window for the best light.  I usually quilt just during the daylight hours, to take advantage of the natural light.  I do not care for quilting by overhead or lamplight.  The quilting frame sits in the middle of the room, and just the other day, while sitting in my easy chair,  I glanced over at the quilt….and saw this!

Can you see it?!

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A big mistake!   The 2 rays of the star on the right are not facing the right direction!

I could not believe what I was seeing!  I pieced this block, and did not see it.  I pieced the whole quilt top together, and did not see it.  And I have been quilting on it for a number of months now, and still did not see it!  I even marked the quilting lines for this block, and was all ready to quilt this area, and did not see it.

They say that the fine quilters of years ago. would purposely make a mistake on the quilt top, because they did not want to make something perfect-only God is perfect.  Well, I am far from perfect, and this quilt surely demonstrates it!  This was not done on purpose…..I still cannot believe that I didn’t catch this mistake till now!

I was all ready to begin ripping out this patch and re-piece it correctly.  I showed it to Maria- she said leave it.  I showed it to Dan-he said keep it just the way it is, said it would make it more precious in the future.

So the mistake will stay, and it will be quilted just as it is.

What would you have done?

Psalm 119:111

“Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever,

for they are the rejoicing of my heart.”

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Rhubarb-Growing it…and a Recipe

Ahhh, Rhubarb!

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Rhubarb in early spring

Did I ever tell you that I love you, rhubarb?

Yes, yes, I do!  So, why do I love you so?  (Are there really folks out there that hate rhubarb!?)

Rhubarb is faithful, to return every single year no matter how harsh the winter was.

Rhubarb is so easy to care for.  It even likes fresh chicken manure!  I can throw the manure on it with abandon.  And it never becomes unruly!

Rhubarb is right up there with the garlic in the race to poke its head up in the early spring.  What a happy sight!  How nice to see those red knuckles of rhubarb emerging.

Ahh, and rhubarb pie!  Just close your eyes and relish!

 Rhubarb

About rhubarb

  • Rheum rhabarbarum, is a perennial vegetable, used as a fruit.  It is grown for its red stalks, which are very tart.
  • Rhubarb is a large showy plant, with large, heart-shaped , crinkly leaves on reddish stalks.
  • Likes full sun, but will take some shade.
  • Likes deep, fertile, moist soil.
  • Grows in zone 2-9, but needs 2 months of cold temperatures to thrive.
  • It is seldom bothered by pests.
  • Rhubarb is long lived, so give it a place where it can live for many years.
  • Rhubarb is one to the first vegetables that can be harvested in the spring.

How to grow

  • Plant each division about 4 feet apart into deeply dug and well manured soil.
  • Keep the bed weeded and mulched.
  • Manure the bed each year, spreading a 1 inch layer over it.
  • Rhubarb likes to be well watered.
  • Rhubarb should be divided about every 4 years or so or the stalks will become spindly.
  • Dig and divide in the early spring, just after it emerges, and before it leafs out.
  • It is best propagated by root division, and not from seed.
  • To divide, slice down through the root crown with a shovel, lift and replant.  Keep well watered after replanting.
  • Do not harvest the first year.  Wait until the 2nd. or 3rd. year to begin harvesting to let the plant become established.

How to harvest

  • Do Not eat the leaves-they are poisonous.
  • Stalks can be harvested when about 12-18 tall.
  • Grasp an outer stalk near its base, twist and pull away from the main clump.  Do not cut with a knife.
  • Do not harvest more than 1/2 of the plant at a time.
  • Rhubarb can be harvested till about mid-summer.  The spring stalks are the best tasting.
  • Rhubarb will let you know when to stop harvesting-the stalks will become spindly, and it needs to rest.
  • Leave the plant to rest for the rest of the summer.

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Rhubarb will send up flowering stalks-you can start new rhubarb plants from these seeds, but it is far easier to just dig and divide it.  I always cut these flowering stalks off, to keep the clump producing more stalks.

Rhubarb is one of my most favorite perennial vegetable to grow!

And, now a quick and easy recipe to use with your rhubarb.  I will be posting more recipes later.

Rhubarb Pudding Cake

3-4 cups diced rhubarb stalks

1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar

A white or yellow cake mix

  1. Place the diced rhubarb in the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
  2. Sprinkle the sugar over the top of the rhubarb.
  3. Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions-use 1 less egg than called for.
  4. Pour the cake batter over the rhubarb.
  5. Bake as directed.
  6. Cool.

A pudding type sauce is created on the bottom of this cake.

This cake is best eaten the same day as baked.

This is good to make when serving a large group.

It is amazingly good and so easy to make.

Enjoy!

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Who am I ???

Child of God, pastors wife, mother of five, grandmother of ten (and counting), gardener, quilter, homemaker, reader, homebody and dreamer…

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