Monthly Archives: June 2012

Tomato trellising experimentation

After many years of just using hay-mulch around our tomato plants, we are experimenting with a couple different methods of trellising the plants this season.

One row is using some old cattle panels – angled & attached to metal posts. The idea is for the plants to grow up through the squares so the fruit stays off the ground. Theory sounds good to me! 🙂

We’re trying the “Florida Weave” on another row. It’s just horizontal rows (8 inches apart) of twine woven around plants & posts. Set-up wise, Mike likes this method better – much less labor intensive. 🙂

We’ll see how harvesting works out… I’m prayerful these methods will keep the bulk of the plants supported and less rotten maters hiding under foliage. 🙂

“Gate Guides” for Father’s Day

my Father’s Day gift to Mike:

Ever since I memorized John 10:9, every time I see this crushed gate sitting by the barn, it makes me think of Jesus in this passage.  I love turning something that seems worthless or is a reminder of a past mistake into a new creation – a “remade remnant”, just like me!:)

The boys helped me move the gate for these pics, I added the words, and a friend printed them for me as 5×7’s.

And to get more of the “depth look” I wanted in this frame, another friend had some dried grass/seeds I glued onto the matting.

This framed project inspired “Part B” of Mike’s gift…Gate Guides.

Just some favorite Scripture and hymn/song refrains I know Mike likes, printed on 11×17 paper, attached to old file folders for a little more stability, covered in contact paper, and tied to gates…  (Note:  I used a better tool to poke holes through on this project – an old gutter nail, lol!)

My original plan was to have one attached to every gate – until the boys and I counted them all… We have 27 gates!!! Wow, doesn’t seem like we have that many – but once you start counting them, they all add up! 🙂

I ran out of contact paper, so I put the 8 up I finished, & will get the rest up as time goes on. The boys kept Mike occupied with a John Wayne western movie Saturday evening so I could get them hung.  It was fun walking with Mike as he saw them afterwards… 🙂

Lord, I pray these gate guides will help Mike stay focused on You while he’s out working in Your Creation.  If he’s having a rough day, may they be an aid to guide him back to You.  Rid his mind of the doubts satan likes to plant, and replace them with Your Words from 2Timothy 1:7 – that God does not give us a spirit of fear, but one of power, of love, and of self-control. If he’s having a good day, may he use them to sing Your Praises as he walks – perhaps guiding him to a familiar tune to hum.  May we always remember to encourage one another and build each other up, as You tell us to in 1Thessalonians 5:11. Amen

Hawk rescue pics

Hard to believe this happened 13 months ago!  I mentioned I’d try to post these the other day, so here goes…

Mike & Michael had been moving cows up in Gray Heaven, when they noticed a hawk walking around pretty close to them.  They thought perhaps it was a younger one learning to fly, so they watched it and stayed away.  All week Mike kept saying how much he wished he would have caught that hawk…  Well, that wish came true!  The following week, he was in Gondor & saw the SAME HAWK walking in the woodline.  Now he started thinking something might be wrong with it, because as he got closer, it didn’t fly or even try to fly away.  He made some phonecalls, and found a rescue farm not far from us who said they’d take it if he could catch it!  OH WAS HE EXCITED!!! 🙂

I was the willing photographer… Here’s the story in pics:

Look at those talons!

Here is Turtle Spring Farm Wildlife Center, Inc., checking out this Krider’s Red-tailed hawk…

This hawk is a female, and it was determined she had nerve damage in her wing, so she couldn’t be released back into the wild.  Instead, she is an educational bird now!  We went to see her in August of last year at a function in New Philadelphia.  Here are 2 pics from that day.  Isn’t she beautiful??!! 🙂

Saved 2 Indigo Buntings today!

Mike’s parents just put the nets on their blueberry bushes last evening, and today there were already birds stuck in them. 😦

Fortunately, Mike & the boys love birds & are good rescuers. 🙂 (Notice I didn’t include myself in that – I am afraid of birds…don’t like flapping wings, lol. Though I’m always willing to snap the pics!)

Mike was excited to be able to save not one, but TWO Indigo Buntings today. What a beautiful color they are! 🙂

I’ll try to put a post up soon about the Krider’s Red-tailed Hawk Mike rescued last year. AMAZING! 🙂

Search me, O God

I woke up the other morning reciting “Search me, O God, and know my heart…” This has long been a passage I wanted to memorize, so I thought perhaps that was the day to write it out on a notecard to begin that process. After my devotion, I began my hunt for where this verse is in Scripture. I knew it was in a Psalm, and a quick concordance check brought me to Psalm 139:23-24.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Too funny – I just finished memorizing verses 13-16 of this same Psalm with a baby blanket I just crocheted…I wonder if I should just plan on memorizing the whole Psalm, lol!? 🙂

About an hour later, I was working in the milkhouse & had about 15 minutes to listen to Moody Radio. Just so happened to be a short program by Joni Eareckson-Tada on. Imagine my delight when she began her program with this same Psalm passage as a song!!

After milking, I went online & printed Joni’s program – click here to hear/read it. Then I went to one of my favorite sites – and downloaded the background music for the song. Click here to go to that site.

As I weeded a raised bed that day, I just kept playing this song & practiced memorizing/praying the first verse.  Search me, O God, and know my heart today. Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray.  See if there be some wicked way in me.  Cleanse me from all my sins and set me free.  It was such a comfort for that day – especially since the devil seemed to be working overtime here: cows went through a fence, so Mike had to spend WAY more time than he wanted to getting them back in – boys came home from a sleepover at a friend’s house, so they were SUPER tired & cranky – paid $85 for washing machine repair man to fix an overflow valve only to have the washer still leak after he left… 😦

But somehow, my spirits weren’t dampened that day – hmmmm – wonder why?? 🙂

And the blessings out of those “issues” that day? Well, Mike got the cows back in + all the roundbales moved so they wouldn’t get ruined if they broke through again; the boys rested & were more pleasant after that; Mike was able to re-attach a tube to the washer so we didn’t have to bring the repair man back! Praise God for leading me to LIVING WORDS that helped me to not dwell on our circumstances, but delight IN HIM! 🙂

One final note – I love that the first line of the song ends with “today”. After I’ve had a “high” day with the Lord, I often find myself “coasting” along the next day – perhaps forgetting/neglecting to pursue Him like I did the day before. I like the thought of communicating this request with Him EACH DAY. May I remember Matthew 6:34: Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Help me to remember that You provide the perfect amount of grace that I need EACH DAY. But also, that I still need to seek You each day – not because You won’t still help me or You aren’t there, but because I NEED to remember that it IS NOT ME winning the battles, it is You, working through me. AMEN

Tag-team hay…

Mike & Bill continued to work together in hay yesterday.  With the threat of rain (WHICH WE SOOOO DESPARATELY NEEDED/NEED), instead of Mike raking all the hay, he only raked a row or two, and then Bill quickly followed with his roundbaler.  They got more than half of the hay baled before the sprinkles got steadier, and they stopped for the day.  Today, the rained-on, unraked hay will dry out; and Lord willing, they’ll be able to finish up tomorrow.  🙂