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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I Used to Know All These Things


This past weekend we had some of our grandchildren, (AKA The Cowboys and the Super Heroes) out to the farm for a play day. The two sets of cousins love to play together and they get along fabulously. The Super Heroes had come to the farm early in the morning and they were ready to go upon arrival. The Cowboys were scheduled to arrive about noon so we had some time to kill.

 We started our day by Grammy and I taking the Super Heroes down to the pond in my truck to water “Grammy’s Trees”. Grammy’s dad and mom, Nana and Papa Mac, gave us two trees to plant and we planted them on the pond berm. The kids love to fill containers and water “Grammy’s Trees”. It is my hope that one day the kids will climb on these trees. In the interim, we are constantly on the look-out for good “Climbing Trees” here at Four Sisters Farm. We have 13 grandchildren and tree climbing is going to be a big part of our future. So, periodically we explore the farm to evaluate the “climbability” of trees. While Grammy and I get input into which trees make the list, it is the kids who ultimately decide. On this morning, we drove all around the farm trying different trees and making a mental note of likely candidates.

 At noon, the Cowboys arrived. This was a celebration in and of itself and the day just got better. After a quick lunch, we got busy playing. The kids divided and conquered. There were two on horse swings, two climbing trees and two in the tree house. It was Grammy’s and my job to play safety officer, swing the horse riders and occasionally rescue the tree climbers. We ran from one to the next and laughed and teased and totally immersed ourselves in play. They ran wide open for about an hour and then the two little cousins had to surrender to a nap. Grammy took the two "Littles" inside and I was left to spend the afternoon with the big boys.

 At this point, the four big boys and I started gathering equipment to go to the pond for the afternoon. I had plans to fill the game feeder and set up a game camera so I started gathering the supplies to accomplish these tasks. I was not sure what was on my crew’s agenda but they soon enlightened me as to what they would need. We stood around the truck (as men like to do) and negotiated what equipment would and would not make the trip down to the pond. After serious negotiation, the list looked something like this:

  • 2 Ropes 
  • 2 BB guns (nixed at the last second by Pop; “You’ll shoot your eye out”) 
  • Beef Jerky 
  • Water bottles 
  • Sunflower seeds 
  • 2 Five gallon buckets 
  • 1 Hideout (AKA pop-up hunting blind) 
  • 4 Frisbees 
  • Gloves 
We drove to the pond and unloaded the equipment. I parked my truck strategically so I could keep an eye on them without appearing to hover. They scoured the area and made a group decision about the most covert location for a hideout. I provided the skilled labor and set up the structure. Afterward, I wandered off to get my little jobs done while still staying within acceptable distance to supervise four boys. As I puttered around I began to realize that I was enjoying two separate and distinct experiences. On the one hand I was accomplishing a few tasks in the “physical” world as I worked on my projects. On the other, I was peripherally involved in the world of “play” and “make believe”. 

This is a magical world where you are no longer subject to limitations based on age, physical ability, financial constraint, social status, laws of physics or anything that borders on reality. Time is not important. Physical environment doesn’t much matter. Nothing has to make sense or conform. You can literally be a spy one minute and a cowboy the next. You can magically develop ninja fighting skills and find yourself fighting beside the Incredible Hulk to save the world. You can call time out, pee on a tree and resume the battle right where you left off. It is not unusual to develop X-ray vision and morph into a Power Ranger to fight gallantly beside a secret agent. It is totally acceptable to play multiple roles and use different voices for each character. The only rule is...there are no rules. No limitations. If you can imagine it, you can incorporate it into this wonderful world.




I used to know this world. At 53, my memories of it are faded and distant. When I try to clear my mind and go there, too many adult things get in the way. But, I do remember that the outdoors was a sanctuary for me. It was a place to hide when chaos reigned. It’s where I was most at peace with myself and the world. So, I closed my eyes and tried to get my mind to return to this other world. Try as I might, I had little success. Then, I took another approach. I closed my eyes and listened. I mean really listened to our grandsons at play. In just a few minutes, I was moving in the right direction. Children can help you go back. Only children can help you because they do not even entertain the thought that this world is foolish or silly. They will reintroduce you with no thought or preconceived notion about whether you belong. And, if you are really lucky, you might get to play a major role in an epic battle. When’s the last time your world offered that possibility? Let me just tell you, when I got my chance to join in and save the world, Grammy would have been proud of her man. That’s all I’m saying.


At some point during the afternoon I finished my work. I let the tail gate down, crawled up in the back of my pickup and used a rolled up sweatshirt for a pillow. I laid there watching my boys and listening to their play. Here are some of the things that I used to know but had forgotten:
  • A stick can be a sword, drum stick, gun, shovel, grappling hook, machete, hammer and back scratcher. 
  • A rope can be a rope, lasso, saw, force field, electrical power cord, fire hose, fence and an island (use your imagination). 
  • A bucket can be a drum, ladder, bomb, hat, helmet, and seat (which you can sit on and eat jerky). It is possible to be invisible. 
  • Peeing on a tree is good. 
  • Good guys always, always win (I had totally forgotten this). 
  • Play “fast” is the fastest “fast” there is. 
  •  It’s OK to just eat the whole sunflower seed. 
  • A time-out can be called at any time under any circumstances. 
  • If you spread your arms out and run fast, YOU CAN FLY! 
  • To climb up 4 feet in a tree is scary and takes much courage (but can be done with encouragement of your buddies). 
  • Being cousins is second only to being brothers. 
No one who knows me will describe me as peaceful and laid back. It is just the way I am wired and I have learned to accept it. When I do experience times of peacefulness, I cherish them highly. On this day, at this moment, I was at peace. So this led me into a spirit of thankfulness and drew me into conversation with my Heavenly Father. I thanked Him for letting me live long enough to see my children’s children. I told Him I knew I had done nothing to deserve such rich blessing and to the contrary knew I had failed miserably so often in life. I discussed grace with Him and told Him I was so grateful for His grace, forgiveness and love. I promised to try and pass on these gifts as best I could. I told Him how much I love our precious grandchildren and how much that love has helped me (at some level) understand His love for me. I asked Him for the wisdom and understanding to be a blessing in the lives of our children and grandchildren. I shared with Him that I wanted to be a source of support and encouragement for them. I told Him I trusted Him with them. I asked Him for the strength and courage to be their protector if ever called upon in this life. I petitioned Him for the ability to believe in and understand them even when the world does not. I asked Him to make me more than I am so I can be more to them.

At some point, I was beckoned out of my conversation with God by a tiny voice calling “Pop”. I got up and walked around the truck to see Grammy walking toward us with the two little cousins. Super-girl was running as fast as she could toward me calling my name. As she approached, I knelt down and she ran straight into my arms. She laid her head on my shoulder and gave kind of a contented sigh. Almost immediately afterwards, the littlest cowboy arrived and hopped on board too. We checked on the big boys, played a little longer and headed to the house. It was an awesome day. I got to play and it was good. After pondering the experience, I highly recommend it. You really ought to give it a try. You might remember what you forgot! You might be like me and remember what’s important.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Porch Project

I was reviewing old blog posts and realized that I had neglected to finish one I had started from 2010.  It was a stroll down memory lane for me and I thought you might enjoy it as well.

It was a sad looking little farm house when we first bought the farm. Tired paint colors, strange porch railing, no front steps, broken lattice. Just sad. Sniff.

The Porch - Before

Then Pop devised a plan. He and I bought wood. We bought ballusters, 4x4s, 2x6s, stair treads and risers. We asked for help - lots of it - even more help than wood. We followed Pop's direction and leadership and put the wood together to create a new porch to make the house look happier. Oh, yeah - we also repaired and painted the house. It took us much of the spring and summer. We think it was worth it.

Our renovated porch already holds many memories...late night visits...iced drinks while sitting in rocking chairs...Fourth of July celebrations, etc.  Good stuff.

The Porch - After

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Words on my Wall

I had a space I wanted (okay, needed) to fill up above the "pass-through" window between our kitchen and living room.  I checked out custom ordered vinyl lettering but decided it was a bit pricey.  So like any good do-it-yourselfer, I searched Pinterest and came up with what I thought might be a good solution. (here's a link to one of the tutorials I found.)

So I went to work at my computer and found just the right font and figured out the height to make the letters look right in my space.  Then I printed out what I wanted to say and cut/spliced my paper to put it all together.  This is what it looked like when I taped it up on my wall and tried it out for a few days...

Then I took it down and scribbled on the back side of the whole thing...each letter.


After that, I taped it back up in place and traced around each letter, which left a faint outline of the words.

I just now noticed that the word I focused on for the outlining picture is "love".  I think that is perfect.  It makes me smile.

I used an ink jet printer, regular printer paper, transparent tape (of course you could use about any tape), a regular #2 pencil, black acrylic paint, and a small slanted/angled artist paint brush.

I am really happy I gave it a try...now where else do I need to put words on the walls?



Sunday, November 11, 2012

It's Like Here...Only It's There

Pop recently invited me to accompany him on a weekend trip.  Sounds exciting, right?  Romantic, right?

While Pop truly is increasingly more romantic as time goes on, this was not a warm and fuzzy invitation.  It was purposeful.  He was making plans to hunt at one of his favorite places in the world and he takes his hunting very seriously.  Did I say VERY seriously?

This trip involved preparatory work.  Did I say WORK?

We had to begin planning for this trip several weeks in advance.  We had to shop.  We bought fabric.  We bought PVC pipe.  We bought weatherproof foam.  Then we started to work preparing to prepare.  That's right...preparing to prepare.  We drew out plans, we  measured, we cut, we created.  We made a sand blind and we made pads for tree stand seats (out of camouflage fabric of course).  We patched and painted an old deer target to be re-purposed as a decoy...then we repainted it...twice...to get it the right color.

Pop Scouting for Deer
Then, when it was time, we loaded up and headed out.  Pop drove while I worked on some tee shirt rugs (that may be another blog later on) and we visited on the way.  I had been there one other time but it had been a while and it was a really short visit, so I was excited to go and visit with our friends who live there...we have known this couple for a long time...we actually got to know them because they are related to other (even older) friends of ours.  They are really special people and their place is special too...It's like here...only it's there.

When Pop has gone there, I've noticed he comes back calmer.  I have known that this place touches him somehow in the deep recesses of his being.  It's rejuvenating for him even though he works hard as he hunts.  By the way, it is compound bow hunting for deer.  It is for the iron-willed, tough-minded folks who appreciate the hunt as much as they do the venison.  So anyway...
The Cowboy and Mrs. Cowboy

When we arrived, we stopped and talked to The Cowboy (not one of our grandson cowboys but an authentic, boot and hat wearing cowboy who rides horses and works with cattle) and let him know we were there.  His wife, Mrs. Cowboy, was still working so I rode off in the truck with Pop to begin preparing for his hunt.  We toted a camo blind and other essentials off to a tree row where The Cowboy had seen signs of deer activity.
I helped Pop set up the blind which involved a lot of thought on his part.  He had to determine the right place for it most importantly.  Setting it up was easy...it's sort of a pop up nylon tent thingy...then the hard work started.  We had to camouflage the camouflaged blind with branches and brush and make it nearly disappear into the tree row.  In the process, I walked into a tree limb and got a nice scratch on my forehead and tripped while walking and did a nice belly flop on the ground.  But my best trick was when I felt something crawling up my leg.  Turned out it was just a long piece of tumbleweed that had sneaked up in between my jeans leg and boot...the harder I tried to shake it out, the higher it "climbed" up my leg!!  I nearly disrobed to get rid of it...it all happened SO fast!  Pop just shook his head.  I think he felt sorry for me in a "bless her heart, she's pitiful" sort of way.  Oh well...I would do it again...all of it...because besides spending time with Pop, it allowed me two incredible things.

1.  I got to see why he loves hunting there, and 2. I got to spend some time with The Cowboy and Mrs. Cowboy.
(We got bonus time with one of their three awesome offspring as well.)

This place where The Cowboy and Mrs. Cowboy live and work is incredible.  It is beautiful and it is peaceful...It's like here...only it's there!  There is a river.  There are trees everywhere - the cottonwood tree branches were loaded with golden leaves that reflect the rays of the sun.  There are miles of land to be explored.  Hills to climb.  Rocks to study.  History to learn.  It is an incredible place.

Like Four Sisters Farm, it is peaceful...it is much larger and offers a wider variety of beauty...but it is the peace that makes it feel like here.  It is lovely... incredibly lovely.  It's like here...only it's there.


Mrs. Cowboy and I tagged along for part of the time we were there keeping Pop and The Cowboy company while they did some of the prep work.  We visited about all kinds of important heartfelt matters and mulled over some of the world's problems.  We also perused catalogs and pins on Pinterest while we talked about their plans for renovating their kitchen (and then some).

We looked at rocks, found some old bones (probably cow bones) near the river bed, marveled over God's creation, and compared notes about grandchildren, among other things.

We visited with Pop and The Cowboy over meals and when it came time for us to leave, I can genuinely say that Pop and I had a hard time just going.  The Cowboy and Mrs. Cowboy are people we love.

I am grateful we got to know them...grateful for the way God puts people in our lives who share our love for Him and others...grateful for the way they share what God has given then...grateful that they love us too...grateful that His peace abounds in ways that we can feel in different places...places that make me say, "It's like here...only it's there."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Blessings of Choosing Obedience (I'm Not an Expert)


I was reading in John 9 about a man who had been blind since birth. Some thought he had been born blind due to his sin or the sin of his parents.

Jesus said that neither had sinned...that the man was born blind so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.  Wow!

What struck me as I read this passage is that after Jesus put mud on this man's eyes He told him to go wash...which means that the man had a choice. He could have continued on His way, ignoring Jesus' words; but instead, he obeyed and was healed.

There is much more to the story and to how this chapter of Scripture could apply to our lives; but it makes me wonder how many of us are choosing to wander around blind...needing Jesus' healing touch...but too stubborn or proud to just "go wash" or do whatever it is that Jesus is telling us to do.

I hope you will take the time to read and ponder this chapter ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+9&version=NIV).

I would also love to hear what you think and/or how this story relates to something in your life.

Monday, October 29, 2012

2012 Four Sisters Farm Family Fall Party


Pumpkin Decorating is a must at our Family Fall Party...note the "Picaso Kitty" pumpkin face by SuperGirl!
Superman summed up this year's fall party like this, "Pop, I'm having so much fun it almost drives me crazy!"

Iron Man on Duty
I think I know what he means!  The grandkids went full speed all day - not only with our planned activities like the costume parade, hay rack ride, food, and games - but with just sheer, all-out running and playing with their cousins.  They loved the new climbing wall Pop had just installed at the tree house and challenged each other to new feats of strength.  The tree house was well protected with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and a Secret Spy.

The Climbing Wall at the Treehouse
The Fishing Game
The weather was a little chilly but didn't freeze out any of our plans.

We were missing a large part of our usual party participants this year!

PhoJo and his folks (who usually come party with us) were gone to a memorial service many miles away - They made a decision for Rock Star and the superheroes to stay home instead of logging all the miles.

Romeo's parents had a 60th wedding anniversary celebration to attend and adopted grandkids from church so their weekend was already packed as well.  I'm guessing they will have a little Bitty Princess costume parade of their own! :-)

We missed the Unconventionals in a HUGE way now that they are residing in Indiana!  We also missed Doc's parents who usually come to the fall party.

Pop and Grammy with 9 of the 13 GRANDkids
We partied on with our much smaller troupe and did have a great time.  Pop surprised us all and dressed up as Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation and Grammy donned a crown (an extra from Cinderella) to become the Camo Queen.

The pictures tell the story of good food and fun.  Enjoy!
Farm Chick, Rock Star, and Pretty Princess hamming it up

The Superheroes helping make pies

Super Girl and Q sharing a moment

Bitty Princess and her daddy, Romeo riding the horse swing

EJ (aka Angry Bird) flying

Q enjoying a cake pop made by Aunt Pretty Princess

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Safe Place

A precious young friend of mine came to visit us at Four Sisters Farm recently.  She has an incredible heart for the Lord and for His children.  She works as a Children's Pastor at her church several hours away from us and takes her job very seriously.  She was in need of some refreshing and we were privileged to have her here.

I enjoyed feeding her, visiting with her, and just basking in sweet fellowship. I had an opportunity to love on her and to pray over her. She got some rest....even a short cat nap in the hammock...literally...as our cat Boots snuggled up with her! I hope she will be able to return soon as her schedule allows. I was blessed beyond measure to see God use Four Sisters Farm as a safe haven for her and pray that He will continue to bless this place as He uses it for His glory and the good of His children.

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” 
Mark 6:31b (NIV)


Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Pole Cat at the Farm

Not a smelly skunk or musky weasel critter...Just Ranger...Pole Sitting.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Not for Us


Pop and I had a busy day today.  He was off work, so of course we worked at home!  He has had plans for some time to clean up the "mountain" by our pond.  I helped him for part of the day planting grass and clearing brush. What Pop sees as he does the work is our children and our grandchildren enjoying the pond, the dam, and the hill.  He sees sledding in the winter and picnics in the spring, summer, and fall.  He envisions a bench atop the hill for us to enjoy watching the kids as they play.  The work he does is not for him.

Later in the day, I left Pop still working on the hill and headed back to the house to do one of the things on my list.  I needed to seal the porch decking today so it will be ready for winter.  In the quiet of the afternoon I thought about the work we do at Four Sisters Farm.  As I applied the sealer, stroke by stroke with a wide paintbrush, a thought came to me softly from somewhere deep within..."The work you are doing isn't for you."  

I paused and pondered that thought and realized how true it is.  Oh, it is "our" place; "our" house; "our land."  In reality, it belongs to God like all things and we are the grateful stewards of what He chooses to give us.  

The work isn't about us at all...this place is a tool to be used as God sees fit.  We bought the place knowing that God had plans for it that we knew nothing about.  It brings us joy to share it with our family and our friends; and to wait and see what God will do with it...and us.  

As I continued painting, I came across the dents in the porch decking made by our young superheroes with small hammers.  I had no idea how strong they were (and are)!  Then I came across evidence of spilled wine that Daina and I enjoyed as we played with tiny kittens one evening.  There are red marks from the rocking chairs I painted for EJ and Farm Chick when they lived here that defy being covered by the "honey oak sealer" and skid marks from a small bicycle that was ridden on the porch when it rained one day.  As I came across each of those "scars" on the porch, the memories associated with them warmed my heart.  We could sand out those stains and dents...but why?  

Those imperfections in the porch are hallmarks of our lives here.  They reflect the growth of our grandchildren.  They bring to mind times we have sat on the porch...We once sat there with friends on a summer evening, sharing funny stories until it was later than any of us intended to stay up.  Another time, Jewel and I sat in rocking chairs praying for her mom when she was taken to the hospital (glad to say she is fine and still baking pies).  Of course, our Fourth of July fireworks are viewed from the porch as well as our annual costume parade of the grandchildren at our family fall party.

I realize that the work Pop and I are doing out here at Four Sisters Farm, means so much more than just physical labor.

As we work, the images that come to our minds have far greater implications than completing the task at hand... We see our young grand children at play...our children visiting and drinking coffee on the porch...evenings spent with friends...sunrises and sunsets...changing seasons...new phases of our lives coming. 

Ecclesiastes 3:9-13, "What do workers gain from their toil?  I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.  He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.  That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil -- this is the gift of God."

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Unconventionals Make a Move

The Unconventional Kids - September 2012 in a kitchen table hideout at Four Sisters Farm
The Unconventionals have moved...they are now several states away for the time being.  Before they left, Pop and I got to have them overnight.  We picked them up on Sunday evening and I got to play with them on Monday since Pop had to go to work.

We tried to cram in as many things that we love about the farm into a short amount of time...we played basketball, rode the go kart, made a hideout, baked some zucchini/pear bread, made some pie crust cinnamon and sugar crunchies (since they won't be at our annual family fall party), had pancakes (made in shapes, of course) for breakfast, invited cousins out to play, climbed trees, swung on the swings, played with the kittens, and of course, played our own "alphabet game" at bedtime.

We were in constant motion...all feeling the uncertainty of the upheaval in our lives.  The stress on the kids showed itself in fussing and fighting and being annoying to one another.  I fought my own emotional battles while they were here.

I alternately enjoyed them and wondered what God will do in each of them through the move and time away from family. I met their needs for food, clean clothing, and tended to the usual scratches and scrapes that come with playing at the farm.  I love to care for them and listen to them and watch them as they grow. I hugged them close, wanting to make the move go away; while knowing that Doc and DW are doing exactly what God is calling them to do.

I often have delayed reactions to big things in my life...sometimes just minutes...other times hours...and once in a while days.  I sometimes employ the "Scarlett O'Hara" principle and tell myself, " I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow. "

Well...it is more than tomorrow and I'm thinking about things...and crying.  When I met DW to turn over the kiddos,  I hugged her goodbye.  I held onto her tightly and told her I love her.  As we parted I told her that I had the luxury of going home and curling into a ball but she did not.  As it turned out, I didn't have that luxury either - we had forgotten to pack up some important things that the kids had brought with them...the most important being a "Pop Bear" that one of the unconventionals relies on for comfort.  I drove back to the farm...crying most of the way...to retrieve things are drive them to the Unconventionals Kansas home.  It afforded me another hug for Lou, DW and Doc (the other kids were sound asleep already).  I held myself together and drove back to the farm again...and delayed my emotional breakdown until yesterday and today.

Yesterday, Farm Chick told me she wishes she had hugged DW tighter the last time she saw her.  I feel her heart in this statement. Farm Chick knows that DW knows she loves her; but it doesn't hurt to remember at a time like this that we need to take advantage of every moment we are given and risk people thinking we are overly emotional.  We need to take the time to love and laugh and help and remind our loved ones how important they are to us.  We are given no guaranties for more time on this earth.

I look forward to seeing the Unconventionals via Skype and when they come for visits or we go there.  I know it isn't "forever" and I know we will all be okay.  It just stings a bit right now.  Pop and I moved our girls multiple times as they were growing and put our families and friends through this same type of grief...but it does pass...and reunions are sweet.  I trust God with them and I trust them to do what God calls them to do.

I choose to employ my "heavenly thinking" now instead of my flawed earthly thinking. I am grateful to God for the gift of His Son, Jesus that offers us eternal life where there will be no more separation from the ones we love.  No more tears when someone leaves.  No more worry about how they are.  I'm looking forward to that as I deal with the emotion of today.

DW texted to let me know they were enroute and I replied, "You go with God." What a blessing to know that is true.  Enjoy Indiana, Unconventionals.  Do well.  Have fun. We will see you soon, Lord willing.

I love you all.

Grammy

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Perfectly Imperfect

Just so you know, not everything I do here at Four Sisters Farms turns out perfectly (or even perfectly imperfect).  Sometimes, I fail.  Farm Chick doesn't delight in my failures but recently I shared one of my attempts in my home decor venture that was pretty bad and she said she was glad things don't always work out for me...she said it makes her feel a little better about things.  I got to thinking about that...no one really likes anyone who appears perfect from every angle, right?  In our right minds, we know that no one is perfect regardless of how perfect things appear.

We have all had those thoughts about someone who looks like they have it all together...a house straight from Better Homes and Gardens, children who look like models from The Gap, husbands who stay in top physical condition and help with the children and listen to their every word...you get the picture.

I have a great life.  I am blessed. But I am far from perfect and I like it that way.  I like trying new and different things and love succeeding as much as anyone.  However, I have to say that as I've matured, I recognize that my failures teach me much.  I have learned that there is no such thing as perfect apart from God.  He is perfect and one day I will be made perfect in Him...but not in this life.

All that to say, I just had to share an "epic" fail with you.  I call it the The Great Dye Debacle.

Pop and I bought a set of sheets for our bed recently...the most expensive set of sheets we have ever bought.  It was on sale but it was still expensive.  It is quality.

and...

after only using them for a short time, I ruined them.

I washed a load of RED towels and rag rugs one day.  (You know where I am going with this already, don't you?) Then I started the next load of my cherished, expensive, nearly new white sheets.  Yep.  When I went to move them from the washer to the dryer they were a beautiful shade of pastel pink sheets.  Really?????

Well...that is only the first part of this epic fail story.  I decided I would just dye them a shade of tan.  Tan would work with the color scheme.  I could live with tan.  I did my research and purchased a popular brand of dye.  I followed the instructions as well as I could.

Since I was dying 100% cotton, the instructions said to use salt in the dying process.   So I did.  But the salt refused to dissolve.  So I even put it on the stove top and boiled it.  Still, the salt did not dissolve.  I don't know if our water had anything to do with it, but there was a grotesque scum on the top of the water...so, I did my best.

I poured the dye mixture out of the pan, trying to keep the scum and the undissolved salt in the pan and instead of counting my loss and abandoning the process, I went ahead with it.

Here is a picture of our sheets after being dyed...they are sort of tie-dyed, bohemian chic.  Don't you think?

Oh well.  Next I will try to dye them brown.  Until then, we will sleep on them.  They don't bother me at all in the dark.  Stay tuned.  

My attempt to dye white sheets (that were accidentally dyed pink) to a tan shade.  Fail. 



Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Girls, Grasshoppers and Go Karts

My friends, Jewel and Daina came to Four Sisters Farm for a visit recently.  It has been a hot and dry summer and the grasshoppers are bad...really bad!

No one really enjoys grasshoppers jumping on them but Jewel really hates them...she hates them so much that she thought up a way to keep them from joining us in the go kart.  Check out our very "smart" go kart windshield!!  Go, Jewel!!

We enjoyed our rides nearly grasshopper free...but not excitement free!  Daina is a fun-loving friend but Jewel (the quiet one) is the true sport...she goes where few dare to go...like into the almost dry pond...while Daina was at the wheel!!  Ha!!  Then, a little later Jewell grabbed the wheel again to force a donut spin with Daina screaming all the way.

I knew nothing about go karts when we moved to the farm, but Pop knows some stuff...and he taught me how to avoid rolling over the go kart and, yes, how to do donuts...so I sometimes share that mad skill with my friends.

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Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.
(Proverbs 27:9 NIV)