Homespun Gathering

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Joy of Home

Early Friday morning I decided to sit on the back patio with Abigail and a cup of coffee.  I wasn't out there more than five minutes when I heard honking.  "NO WAY!" I thought excitedly.  I only get to hear the geese migrate a couple times a year and only if I'm out there at just the right time, but I've never ever gotten to see them. After 15 years, today was the day.  A few moments after hearing them I saw the gaggle soaring in a v-formation above our house and then past the trees in a Southwesterly route.  There was no time for me to get my camera, but I have the memories to last a lifetime.  What a blessing.

My Dad would have turn 83 on September 1st this year.  He was the oldest of five children growing up in Michigan during the Great Depression.  He spent time in the Air Force, Army, and was a Navy Chaplain which meant he was a supply chaplain for the Marines and Coast Guard.  On the civilian side he spent shorter periods as a teacher and more full time as a small church pastor.  My heart for special needs children and adults definitely came from him.  At the end he was a teacher/lead teacher in a couple of alternative schools.  My love for photography definitely came from him as well.  Because he grew up in the Depression he was grateful for anything on his plate and cleaned it better than anyone I know.  God blessed him with my mother who is a wonderful cook.  It's a wonder he stayed slender throughout their 46 years of marriage.
Dad asked for German Chocolate Cake each year for his birthday.  He also drank more coffee than most people I know.  Each year Mom, my sister, and extended women folk on his side like to join me in making "his cake" and drink some coffee in his honor.  
I really do frost the sides of my cakes, but clearly not the last two. :-)
Because I don't eat a ton of sugar on a regular basis the 2 c. in the coconut pecan frosting was a little overwhelming.  I added a 1/4 teaspoon of instant coffee crystals in honor of Dad, and I found I really liked it.  Dad would have too.  I should also mention there was a cup of coffee in the cake--so good. My dad was a night owl.  He would make instant coffee and stay up for hours on the computer--another love.

My mother inherited the family home.  It was built in 1809 by the original family that lived there about 125 years.  My grandfather bought the home and adjacent farm about 20 years later.  She primarily uses a wood stove for heat with some wall units in a few other rooms.  The stored firewood was mostly used up last year.

I remember praying asking God this Spring to create a way for us to help her and the fire wood situation.  It is hard for her to accept help since she is so independent.  This March we found out our local electric company needed to cut some trees in the wood line behind our house and our neighbor's houses. Of course, this made me ecstatic we could give something to Mom that she would accept. She's very independent, but we're working on her :-).   The Wood cutters were more than happy to leave the wood for us so they didn't have to haul it off--maple, oak, and hickory, all good wood for burning.  Some trees were already dead, so we didn't have to worry about seasoning it for six months to a year.  We were very happy to have firewood for Mom.  Another gift from God.

My husband rented a log splitter to get everything split before the winter of 2030.  DH and DS started two doors down.  It wasn't supposed to rain, but when the truck bed was about 3/4 full guess what happened.  They listened to Pandora in the truck cab until it finally quit.
Look closely.  You may see the rain.
Today it was absolutely beautiful and not supposed to rain.  You guessed it.  It rained hard for about 20 minutes after this shot was taken.  No worries.  It's Suday, and no one was working today.
There are at least four more loads of firewood loads just like this.
Yesterday while my men folk did man stuff I did girl stuff.  I finished off my quilt series audiobook on CD while I worked on Lori Brechlin's freebie.  I hope to finish it today.  The finish will require power tools, but I think I'll like it.
Lori Brechlin's "Summer's End"
Not Forgotten Farm
It's time to finish this quilt (my first) before my Mother is no longer living.  Before you think I'll never finish such a monster, you should proably know I do better with larger projects with lots of effort involved.  I'd like her to see me finish it.  Of her two daughters, I'm the one most into quilting and the most likely to quilt one.  I find this surprising with all the sewing my sister has done.  She just visited a quilt show with a friend so there is hope.  My quilt (picture in my quilt trough) was inspired by a green and white family quilt over 150 years old.

The family quilt is a Triple Irish Chain.  Mine will only be a double Irish Chain with navy and bone kona cotton.  I've seen what happens to wool and silk over time, and I want this quilt to last a bit longer.
This may be utilitarian stitching but I'm still very impressed.  Each of these smaller quilted squares is about 1 cm. square.  WOW.

Until next time, count your blessings--God's gifts to you.

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