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My first Crochet Project

I learned how to crochet.

I did a simple search through Pinterest, and found a super easy to follow tutorial for beginners.

Yarn colors

Yarn colors

In just a few hours, with many pause & restarts of the video, I finally got the hang of it.  I made Crochet flowers.

My very first Crochet flower

My very first Crochet flower

Crochet Flowers

Crochet Flowers

Next, I made several long braided ropes using my own technique which is very similar to crocheting, only using just my hands and cotton twine.  I then positioned & sewed the crochet flowers onto the braided ropes.

Lace Curtains with Crochet flower tie backs

Lace Curtains with Crochet flower tie backs

 

Crochet flower tie backs

Crochet flower tie backs

What do you think? Did they come out okay?

Below is the video that taught me how to crochet my pretty flowers. I am so Thankful for the talented woman (Laura) at HappyBerry Crochet, who put together that video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQeq7Hci_qU

When did you learn to Crochet? What did you make the first time? Please share in the comments below.

Have a great day ya’ll!

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Birthday Boy!

 

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

My Blue Healer is 8 years old today!  His main priority is playing catch!!!  He Loves the Tennis ball.  He likes Tomatoes, Beggin Strips, dog biscuits, and his daily slice (or 2 or three) of bread in the morning while I am eating my toast and tea!

Blue enjoys going for car rides, and sitting in the trailer picking up sticks while being driven around on the mower. “Blue” knows commands such as sit, stay, jump like a fish,  give me your paw, high five, up, get on your bed, Go get….(insert name) and more. He can say “I Love You!”  He watches cattle shows on t.v. or any commercial and show that has animals in them.  A favorite pastime of his is playing hide and seek, and he won’t stop until he finds you! He has so much fun and brings us so much joy.

It’s no wonder Dog is God, spelled backwards. They love you unconditionally, and with all their hearts.  Happy Birthday Bluey!

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

An old dog, even more than an old spouse, always feels like doing what you feel like doing. ~Robert Brault

My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue. ~Author Unknown

I talk to him when I’m lonesome like; and I’m sure he understands. When he looks at me so attentively, and gently licks my hands; then he rubs his nose on my tailored clothes, but I never say naught thereat. For the good Lord knows I can buy more clothes, but never a friend like that. ~W. Dayton Wedgefarth

Seed Harvest

Bluey and The Sunflower 2014

Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature. ~Gerard de Nerval

I harvested my Sunflower seeds on October 5th with the help of my Blue Healer!   I had two sunflower plants this year.   This one was huge and produced tons of nice plump seeds.

Sunflower measure 2014

When the flower head was brown and very dry, the seeds were ready to harvest, and they came out pretty easy.   I then set them on a single layer on newspapers to dry them even more.

Drying Sunflower Seeds Harvest2014

‘Tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes!
~William Wordsworth

After drying, I have stored them in several jars for planting next year.   I collect all sorts of everyday jars that are perfect for storing seeds.  Notice the small 2″ ketchup bottles?   All the seeds shown here are from one Sunflower head.   There was quite a bit more that I left on the head for the Momma and her baby deer that visit our yard.

Sunflower Seeds 2014

With all these seeds, I have more than enough to plant rows of sunflowers in the spring.   Its gonna be a looong winter of waiting.  Do you have a favorite plant or flower you collect seeds from?

With every seed that is planted in the garden, it’s growth is your hope for a brighter future. ~Pamela Kinney

Autumn Tree 2014

Happy Fall Ya’ll!

Sowing in the Sunshine; goodbye Summer

I Love Sunflowers!  I sowed several Sunflower seeds this year, just outside my back door off the wood deck. I wanted to be able to be greeted by the sunny brightness when I look out my kitchen window.  Only two took to root.  The first plant to bloom, grew a mere 4 feet, but what it lacked in height, it grew an abundance of flowers.  I counted about eighteen.   Its largest was about 9 inches in diameter.   I enjoyed several vases from this one stalk.  I was thrilled to bring their happy, bright bouquets into my kitchen for a few weeks.

Where flowers bloom so does hope. ~Lady Bird Johnson

Sunflower 1st bloom

Sunflower 1st bloom

He changed sunset into sunrise ~ Clement of Alexandria

Sunflower1 bunchThe second Sunflower plant to bloom grew to a massive height of over 10 feet.  It’s only flower ~ bloomed into a huge 18 inches in diameter.  That’s a large pizza pan!  Its center had a thickness of approximately 5 inches front to back.  This is the largest sunflower I have ever seen, or grown, (as of yet).  I Love it!!!  It grew in the exact location of  my sunflower last year, and the perfect place.  This giant is the first sunshine I was able to see out my kitchen window (day or night).  It grew so top heavy, that it’s weight lowered the flower head about two feet….and it still tried to reach the sun.

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change. ~Buddha

Sunflower Giant 2014

Sunflower Giant 2014

Top heavy

Top heavy

My Tomato plant to date, has provided 19 tomatoes from one single seedling.  I planted along the backyard fence, where it received morning and early afternoon sun. It was in the shade in the later part of the day, and I presume that is the reason for it’s spindly vine, and long ripening process.  All in all, they turned out very well, and I didn’t find the need for any bug sprays etc.  I am super excited & look forward to the growing season again next year, when I will plant several Tomato plants in full sun and give them their very own garden.

The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses. ~Hanna Rion

I still have not yet dug up my first Potatoes. I shall put on my gloves and dig in the dirt over the next few days. I have my fingers crossed for them.  I won’t be surprised if they haven’t grown properly, as I mistakenly planted them in full sun.  This year was a learning experience for sure.  Next year, I will be better prepared and hopefully, more knowledgeable about potatoes! I have a lot of reading to do!

Additions to my garden this year, (Russian sage, Moonlight Coreopsis, and Black~eyed~Susan) took off, and provided many flower arrangements along with all the other seasoned perennials in my gardens.  My Rose bush however, didn’t have as many recurring blooms this year…thanks to an invasion of beetles.  It’s perking back up finally after many treatments of Sevin dust.

For the third year in a row, (for fun) I entered in the Baking and Gardening exhibits at my local Fair.  I took home 2 Blue (First), 1 Red (Second), and 2 White (Third) ribbons! A whopping $23 😀 came with them….. It’s not a get rich quick scheme, but rather an little added bonus for doing something I love! You can find my recipe for the cookies here: https://countrypkin.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/cranberry-oat-squares/  Let me know if you make them!

~My Ribbons~      Fair 2014

~My Ribbons~
Fair 2014

So summer is over for another year.

 My helper "Little one" in my wheelbarrow of weeds

My helper “Little one” in my wheelbarrow of weeds

Often times, someone can help just by being near you.  They don’t even need to lift a finger; or a paw!

Wheelbarrow2As I cleanup the wilting flowers & weed out the overgrown flower beds and grasses, I am reminded that everything has its time and season.  I am thankful for the harvest of sunshine, and flowers. No need for sadness, even gardens need to rest.  I am thankful for the coming fall, and look forward to the winter season that also follows.  Christmas will be here before we know it, and the biggest celebration of all will once again be ours, to honor the Father who made ALL life possible.

Bringing in the SheavesWe faintly hear, we dimly see In differing phrase we pray; But dim or clear, we own in him; The life, the Truth, The way. ~John Greenleaf Whittier

Rose

Sunflower vase

Angel. A kitten of any other name, just wouldn’t be the same.

I once lifted a lifeless, near frozen kitten out from under a wooden step. His mother had refused to feed him and left him trapped under our back porch deck. For several days he was under the deck. I never imagined a mother could abandon her baby like that, but she did. I only assumed, and had hoped that she had been taking care of him. I was wrong. She had left him to die.

A baby is born with a need to be loved – and never outgrows it. ~ Frank A. Clark

The tiny kitten, had somehow managed to crawl himself under the connecting porch step which was sealed in front, top and sides (basically it was like a box with a sealed lid). I heard his cries getting softer. At first, I had hoped that the mother’s intuition would kick in, and she would finally nurse her sickly sounding baby. She never did. It had gotten quiet, and I could barely hear a sound. I thought I had to be mistaken. I ran over to the step, and listened. Nothing. My heart started to race with panic. Did I wait too long? I hollered into the house, for my husband to get his crowbar. I needed him to pry the step apart.

Love unlocks doors and opens windows that weren’t even there before. ~Mignon McLaughlin

My own heart skipped a beat, as I saw the baby kitten through a tiny crack that was made from the crowbar. He wasn’t breathing. In mere seconds, the top board was off. I reached in and picked his hardening, and ice cold, lifeless body out from the step. Was I too late? Please God, no, (I prayed over and over in my head). I refused to let him pass from this life. I refused to let him die.

I carried him inside the house, and grabbed a few kitchen dish towels. I heated the towels in the microwave for 15 seconds each, and wrapped them around this kitten. I did this “every five minutes” for the next four and a half hours. I held him in my arms, while sitting on the couch (semi watching tv), and talking to him and to God. With each trip to the microwave, I hugged him close to my chest. The towels warmed my hands, while thawing his tiny body. I was determined, I wasn’t prepared to stop. That is, until slowly, a tiny, furry white arm, reached out from under a towel, as if to say ‘alright, I’m alive, stop it with the hot towels already!’

With God all things are possible. Mat. 19:26

In that moment, I felt one of the greatest feelings I have ever felt. I saved a life. I felt as if God himself had done his work, through me. It was beyond amazing. It was itself, a miracle. My eyes teared up. I was overwhelmed. with joy, with relief, and also with a sadness that I could finally let go. I no longer had to feel sorrow. I didn’t need to because he did not die. For a few minutes I felt like a hero. It was pretty cool. My micro waved towels idea – they worked. But wait, it wasn’t just me…..it was really my prayers that had been answered. That’s what worked. Ultimately, that is what healed him. Without further thought, I had found a name come rushing to my mind. I called my little kitten “Angel”.

Nursing "Angel" back to health

Nursing “Angel” back to health

Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much perfoms much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well. ~ Vincent Van Gogh

In the days following, I began to nurse him back to health. He wasn’t the ’prettiest’ to look at, at first as some might‘ve thought. He had teary eyes and looked a little sickly. He almost died after all! My “Angel” was not stunted in any way, from his moments (technically hours) of death. Over a time, he grew to a normal size. He was quite healthy, although he did have an occasional bout of lazy eye, and he was a little deaf. I would stomp on the ground when I wanted to get his attention. A couple of thumps on the sidewalk and Angel would come running from around the corner, always happy to see me. Always full of energy and spunk. He was my little pal. He was so cute. So cuddly soft, and the whitest of white thick fur with patches of orange stripe. And did I say cute? Yes, he was adorable. He really was….lazy eye and all. His lazy eye was kind of funny at times and the hubby dubbed him “Chico”!

Angel on road to recovery

Angel on road to recovery

Like a Mom, I taught Angel how to climb a tree, just as I did his brothers and sisters before him. He followed me around the yard, while I watered flowers, pulled weeds and took pictures etc. He was learning. Learning about me, as much as learning about himself. He learned what he could and could not do. He also made friends with his once estranged brothers and sisters. Angel and his Mom bonded once he was well again. His Mom, Callie, tended to give Angel the cold shoulder, but on so many occasions I caught her tenderly grooming him, and then holding/hugging him during naps. If Angel happened to “ignore” his mom, she would taunt him with her tail, until he played with her.

omma Callie & Angel taking a nap

Momma Callie & Angel taking a nap

He became best buds with our outside yellow Lab. Angel and Jake routinely slept together…..that is, Jake, (often reluctantly), allowed Angel to sleep on top of him. (I had many photos of the two, but as of this writing, I sadly cannot locate them on my computer. If I find them later on, I will edit and add them).

Angel would only climb trees if I was nearby.

Angel would only climb trees if I was nearby.

Angel and a Thistle. (She loved to pose!)

Angel and a Thistle. (She loved to pose!)

Angel was always rubbing into our Labs’ face…somewhat annoying him, perhaps getting fur on his nose…..getting Jake to stand up and move…..over and over again. It was Angels’ little game. Angel was a very active, and playful two year old. He paled around with me, Jake (and the other cats) for about 2 years. That is, until one day, he just disappeared.

Angel

Angel

Angel was never one to leave my yard. He was always here. He ’never’ went beyond the fence he sat on…..unless I carried him. He would always stop short, as if there was an imaginary boundary telling him to stay put. It has been over a year now since he disappeared. I like to believe, that a traveling salesman picked Angel up and kept him to be his own pet, because the guy thought our cat was cool (that was the last time I saw him). I am hoping also, that he is still playing with someone else’s dog and sleeping on them too, like he had done with our lab. It is a much better thought, than the alternative.

I loved that little kitten that I rescued from under the wooden step, and I love & will remember the fun, happy, playful cat that he grew to be. I also know that I will see him again to, after all…. he is my little “Angel”

In Remembrance.

In  Remembrance of you Angel, wherever you are. <3

In Remembrance of you Angel, wherever you are. ❤

If we deny love that is given to us, if we refuse to give love because we fear pain or loss, then our lives will be empty, our loss greater.