"My heart is overflowing with a good theme;" Psalm 45:1a

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


One Christmas we had an interesting experience that I would like to share.

Halfway through December we were doing the regular evening things when there was a knock at the door.  We opened it to find a small package with a beautiful
 ceramic lamb inside.  We looked at the calendar and realized that the 12 days of Christmas were beginning!  We waited excitedly for the next night's surprise and only then, with the gift of a matching shepherd, did we realize that the lamb was part of a nativity set.

Each night we grew more excited to see what piece we would receive.  Each was exquisitely beautiful.  The kids kept trying to catch the givers as we slowly built the scene at the manger and began to focus on Christ's birth.

On Christmas Eve, all the pieces were in place--all but the Baby Jesus.  My 12-year-old son really wanted to catch our benefactors and began to devise all kinds of ways to trap them.  He ate dinner in our minivan, watching and waiting, but no one came.  Finally, we called him in to go through our family's Christmas Eve traditions.  But before the kids went to bed, we checked the front step - - no Baby Jesus!  We began to worry that my son had scared them off.  My husband suggested that maybe they dropped the Jesus and there wouldn't be anything coming.
Somehow, something was missing that Christmas Eve. There was a feeling that things weren't complete.  The kids went to bed and before I went to bed, I again checked to see if the Jesus had come - - no, the doorstep was empty.

In our family, the kids can open their stockings when they want to, but they have to wait to open any presents until Dad wakes up.  So one by one they woke up very early and I 
also woke up to watch them.  Even before they opened their stockings, each child checked to see if perhaps during the night the Baby Jesus had come.

Missing that piece of the set seemed to have an odd effect.  At least it changed my focus.  I knew there were presents under the tree for me and I was excited
to watch the children open their gifts, but first on my mind was the feeling of waiting for the ceramic Christ Child.  We had opened just about all of the presents
when one of the children found one more gift for me buried deep beneath the limbs of the tree.

He handed me a small package from my former teaching companion. I had been her Sunday school teacher for a couple of years and then, when she was asked to be a teacher herself, she requested to work with me.  I had learned over time that she and her family didn't have much for Christmas.  Of necessity she and her husband focused on their children.  It sounded like she didn't get many gifts to open, so I had always given her a small package -- new dish towels, the next teacher's
 manual -- not much, but something for her to open.

I was touched when at church on the day before Christmas, she had given me this small package, saying it was just a token of her love and appreciation.  As I took off the bow, I remembered my friendship with her and was filled with gratitude for knowing her and for her kindness and sacrifice in this giving me a gift.  But as the 
paper fell away, I began to cry.  There in the small brown box was the Baby Jesus!  He had come!

I realized on that Christmas Day, that Christ will come into our lives in ways that we don't expect.  The spirit of Christ comes into our hearts as we serve one another.  We had waited and watched for Him to come, expecting the dramatic "knock at the door and scurrying of feet" but He came in a small, simple package that represented service, friendship, gratitude and love.

This experience taught me that the beginning of the true spirit of Christmas comes as we open our hearts and actively focus on the Savior.  But we will most
 likely find Him in the small and simple acts of love, friendship and service that we give to each other.
This Christmas I want to feel again the joy of knowing that Christ is in our home.  I want to focus on loving and serving.  More than that, I want to open my heart to Him all year.

May the spirit of Christ be with you and yours
 this Christmas and always. . .

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

UPDATE FROM THE COUNTRY! - What a Country Christmas is all About...

This was sent to me via email... But I wanted to share it with you. I pray you not only enjoy the story but also remember.... 

This is what a country Christmas is all about...

Better bundle up - the goose bumps will freeze you!  I think we all need to read about a real country Christmas every year around Christmas time.  I hope you feel the same way after reading this.

"Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities.  But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors.   It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.

It was Christmas Eve.  I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn't been enough money to buy me the rifle that I'd wanted for Christmas.  We did the  chores early that night for some reason.  I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.

After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible.  I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn't get the Bible, instead he bundled up again and
went outside. I couldn't figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn't worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.
Soon Pa came back in.  It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. "Come on, Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's cold out tonight." I was really upset then. Not only wasn't I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see.  We'd already done all the chores, and I couldn't think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this.  But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one's feet when he'd told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens.  Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house.  Something was up, but I didn't know what.

Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled.  Whatever it was we were going to do wasn't going to be a short, quick, little job.  I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load.  Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand.  I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me.  I wasn't happy.  When I was on, Pa pulled the sled  around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed.  He got off and I followed. "I think we'll put on the high sideboards," he said.  "Here, help me."  The high sideboards!  It had been a bigger job than I
wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever  it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high side boards on.

After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood - the wood I'd spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing?  Finally I said something.  "Pa," I asked, "what are you doing?"
"You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he asked. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road.  Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight.  Sure, I'd been by, but so what?

Yeah," I said, "Why?"

"I rode by just today," Pa said. "Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They're out of wood, Matt."
That was all he said and then he turned and went back into  the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him.  We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it.  Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait.  When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand.
"What's in the little sack?" I asked.  
"Shoes, they're out of shoes.  Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning.  I got the children a little candy too.  It just wouldn't be
Christmas without a  little candy."

We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen's pretty much in silence.  I tried to think through what Pa was doing.  We didn't have much by worldly standards.  Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most  of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it.  We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn't have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy?  Really,  why was he doing any of this?  Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn't have been our concern.

We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door.  We knocked.  The door opened a crack and a timid  voice said,  "Who is it?"

"Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt, could we come in for a bit?"
Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in.  She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders.  The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly  gave off any heat at all.  Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.

"We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Pa said and set down the sack of flour.  I put the meat on the table.  Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it.  She opened it hesitantly and took the  shoes out one pair at a time.  There was a pair for her and one for each of the children - sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last.  I watched her carefully.  She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started  running down her cheeks.  She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out.

"We brought a load of wood too, Ma'am," Pa said.  He turned to me and said, "Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile.  Let's get that fire up to size and heat this place up."
I wasn't the same person when  I went back out to bring in the wood.  I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too.  In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running  down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn't speak. My heart swelled within me and a joy that I'd never known before filled my soul.  I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference.  I could see we were literally  saving the lives of these people.

I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits soared.  The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her face  for a long time.  She finally turned to us. "God bless you," she said. "I know the Lord has sent you.  The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us."

In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again.  I'd never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true.  I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth.  I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others.  The list seemed endless as I thought on it.

Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left.  I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get.  Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.

Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face again when we stood up to leave.  Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug.  They clung to him and didn't want us to go.  I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.

At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, "The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow.  The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals.  We'll be by to get you about eleven.  It'll be nice to have some little ones around again.  Matt, here, hasn't been little for quite a spell."  I was the youngest.  My two brothers and two sisters  had all married and had moved away.

Widow Jensen nodded and said, "Thank you, Brother Miles.  I don't have to say, May the Lord bless you; I know for certain that He will."

Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn't even notice the cold.  When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, "Matt, I want you to know something.  Your ma and me have  been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn't have quite enough. Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square.  Your ma and me were real excited,  thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do.  Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand."

I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again.  I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it.  Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities.  Pa had given me a lot more.  He had given me the look on Widow Jensen's face and the radiant smiles of her three children.

For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much  more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life."

Don't be too busy today.  Share this country Christmas message with someone.  God loves you!  Have a real country Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Greetings to one and all! It's almost Christmas, I hope everyone is ready! I still have to do a little more shopping. Unfortunately every bill was due at the same time so I have to wait until Monday when my sweetheart gets paid and this coming Friday when I get paid to finish everything. Oh well, I have always been a last minute shopper!

We have a new addition to the family. My son brought home a lab/pit mix. She's a year and a half old. And she's very pretty. She has a good nature and is well mannered. Of course Dorito has to show her that he's the dominate dog. Jack has taken a liking to her. But he likes most female dogs.

The chickens are doing well. I get eggs every day. They have a new door now. 

I woke up this morning to a dusting of snow. Now it's all gone. But I'm sure my sister in Washington has a lot of it. She usually will get more than us. In fact, she took some pictures and I have a couple to share with you. She has a beautiful view where she lives with her wonderful husband. 

This was taken from her living-room around Thanksgiving of this year. Isn't that pretty?

We got our Christmas tree up. Calvin and I went to a shing-dig put on by the internet provider in this area. We bought a real pretty Noble fir, had hot chocolate, a cheeseburger and went for a hay ride. It was a real nice evening. 

Our neighbor's son came up to the house the weekend we got the tree and he helped me decorate the inside of the house. Here are some pictures...

This deer is not Rudolf, that's for sure!

Hmmmm... can we say Calvin has big expectations from Santa this year!?!

Our Christmas tree (Try to ignore the mess!)

Another look.... yep.... it's not Rudolf... the lights are the wrong color!

My sweetheart hadn't decorated his house in a long time, so, Brodie and I thought decorating the deer heads would be good for him.... it was a huge success when he walked in the house and saw everything lit up. He got a real kick out of the lights in the deer's nose, not to mention the light strung around the inside of the house. 

The Christmas tree really does look pretty. The picture just doesn't really do it justice. But that's all right. 

I did set up a train set underneath the tree. Calvin had to help me with it because I couldn't get the tracks to lay down right. Dorito tries to bite the train when it goes around the track. It really is kinda funny watching him chase the train. Today Kima did accidently knock the train off of the track. So my honey will have to fix it. 

This has been a weird year for the holidays for me. I'm happy to be spending them with my beloved and my new family, yet, I miss my daughter and her children. I miss my best friend as well. Perhaps next year we will all be together. That would be nice. It truly is a bitter-sweet time for me. 

When I was going through the Christmas decorations I discovered I had left my decorations in Arizona and the ones I had belonged to my daughter, Minyon. It was difficult going through those things and seeing things I had given her to use to decorate her Christmas tree. At the same time I was missing my own decorations my mother had given me many years ago, that had belonged to my grandmother. 

I realize they are just decorations, but the sentimental feelings attached to them is what makes this a little hard. I feel like I have suffered much loss over the past few years that it was just one more loss to deal with, not having those decorations. What can I say, I spent one day just crying. My beloved is so wonderful though, he just held me and told me he loves me. I am truly blessed and I need to leave the loss in the hands of God. He is much better equipped in dealing with it than I am. He gave His only begotten Son for me. 

Well, now that I have made everyone else depressed.... No really, sometimes this is the only place I feel I can express myself. It really doesn't matter if you agree or disagree with me. Of if you don't really care. Here I can say what I feel and believe and am going through. And here I can express my hope and expectations and joy and just everyday living experiences. 

I do appreciate everyone who does read my blogs, and even leave comments. You really are precious to me. 

Okay... here is something that's kind of cool..... 

Calvin and I went mistletoe hunting yesterday. Mistletoe only grows in certain places, namely very tall, old oak trees around here. You can't find it just anywhere. We found some in one of our neighbor's trees. So, with shotgun in hand and a plastic bag to put it in, Calvin shot some out of this very tall, old oak tree. After shooting a few rounds and only getting a few small pieces, we decided we need bigger shot. That's this week-end's adventure.

Now, did you know that mistletoe is actually a parasite? I didn't. So I googled it. There is a whole lot about mistletoe on the internet. Oh.... Here's a couple of pictures I downloaded....

This is what it looks like growing in the tree tops

This is a picture of mistletoe and holly

Oklahoma's state flower is the mistletoe... Did you know that? I don't remember learning that, but I did read that today. It's believed the name is derived from two words meaning dung and twig.... That's a lovely thought! The parasite is carried by birds and deposited when they go... well........... you know.... and it builds up and out grows this unusual plant that only grows in winter, that we shoot out of trees and then hang in door ways to kiss under! By the way, the white berries have a purpose.... when a girl was kissed under the mistletoe, the boy who kissed her plucked a berry. When all of the berries were gone, so were his kissing privileges!

Now that you know a little about that garland you hang from your door..... I have some hanging from mine as well..... Don't think about what it really is.... dung on a twig..... (a little humor here) but what it means... a kiss with privilege! 

On that note, I do want to close this today with a Christmas blessing.... 

May the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who laid down His glory to be born a humble baby and grow to be the Perfect Lamb, who rose from the grave victorious and is returning again one day as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, may He reveal Himself to you this Christmas season. May you experience His joy, His peace, His love, His mercy and His grace. May your homes be filled with the wonder of His perfect love that He has for each and every one of you. And may you renew your relationship with Him, making Him King of your hearts and lives, Lord and Master of all. Amen.

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, and angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around then, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: Yo will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hose praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us." And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. (Luke 2:8-16 NKJV)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Greetings and blessings to you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! I pray all of you are safe and sound on this "fall" day that feels more like the middle of winter! It's 23 degrees outside right now as I am writing this. I'm thankful to be home and not driving on the icy roads. I did call my job and tell them I wouldn't be there due to the road conditions. The streets in town might get sanded but my road sure doesn't and since it's got a creek on one side and a ditch on the other.... I figured I would just stay safe at home. My job is not worth my life. 

Have you ever had a moment when you said, "What happened here?" Of course you have. Well, I had one of those moments just a few minutes ago. I went into my articles to so I could finish my Lighthouse Honeymoon story and the story is gone! Now how that happened I don't know... But I have to start all over again and that's frustrating. 

Okay, I just went outside to check on the chickens... their door is frozen shut! Uh oh! I'll have to wait until my sweetheart gets home to get it open. But they seem to be doing good. I couldn't see if they had layed any eggs but they were talkative! 

I got the dogs to go outside in spite of the icy conditions. They weren't out real long.... just long enough to do their thing!

We have a dusting of snow on the property accompanied by a lot of ice. My sweetheart did put a heat lamp under the pump that pumps the water into the house. But if the pump down at the spring freezes then all the water we have is what's in the tank. May everything keep working and not freeze!

The wood stove is going full blast... I keep adding wood to it to keep it warm in here. It should be nice and toasty when all of the family shows up Thursday. With the added body heat and the oven going we should be just fine!

Okay, it's taking me longer to write this because I'm watching Christmas with the Kranks. I keep cracking up! It is soooooo funny!

I decided to put some of our pictures from our honeymoon into a slide show..... That way you can see some of the great things we got to see. I hope you enjoy it.

I'm going to close this for now. I will write again later. I pray all of you will have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving. 

And don't forget to give thanks to the Lord for all of His goodness and mercy and grace during this Thanksgiving holiday.

Psalms 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Greetings and blessings to all of you this day! I thought I would stop by and say a little something while I had a moment to do so.

The Holiday season is upon us, whether we are ready or not. This can be and is a difficult time for most people. For me, it's been difficult since my mother died in 1998. But, I do want to take the time today to talk about what all I am thankful for, because I have been blessed.

I am thankful to my Lord and Savior for His continued presence in my life. I am thankful for my health. I am thankful for my job, in spite of the trouble. 

I am thankful for my dear husband, whom I dearly love. I am thankful for my children, they are a joy to me, even when they break my heart. I thank the Lord for Richard, Minyon, Jennifer, and Nathan. I thank the Lord for all of the grandchildren they have given me. I thank the Lord for Trinity, Izzy, Lily-Ann, Haley J'Lynn, Alizebeth, Logan, and soon to be with us, Abigail Rose. I thank the Lord for the grandchildren I haven't met yet because they live elsewhere. But I still love them.

I thank the Lord for bringing me back to my beloved Oregon, to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, especially Forest Grove. 

I thank the Lord for my in-laws, Dad and Mom Kintz. They are truly a blessing for me. I have always loved them and it's a joy to know they love me as well.

I am thankful that my baby brother is able to join us for Thanksgiving dinner with his girlfriend and the gentleman they care for. 

I am thankful for so much that for me to complain about anything is terrible. So therefore I won't complain. I will be thankful.

I won't complain that the roof is leaking, I am thankful that I have a roof. I won't complain that I hit my thumb with a hammer while hanging pictures, I am thankful I have walls to hang pictures on and pictures to hang.

I won't complain about having to stack wood my hard-working husband has split. I am thankful to have the wood to heat my house with and keep me warm.

All in all I have nothing to complain about. But I have so much I am thankful for. I can't help but miss my mother, but my heart is full knowing I will spend this Christmas season with my dear mother-in-law. I can't help but miss my daughter, Minyon and her daughters, Lily-Ann and Haley. But I am blessed to have Jennifer and Randall and Trinity and Izzy. Not to mention Richard and Crystal and Alizabeth. And last but not least, Nathan. Minyon and the girls are in Arizona. And I pray they will have a good Thanksgiving and Christmas in spite of our being separated. 

I am also so very blessed to being married to Calvin, who is the love of my life. Though we have only been back together for almost a year, after a 30 plus year separation, this is the marriage I have always wanted, with the man I have always loved. He makes being married easy. He makes loving him easy too. The Lord has blessed me with a truly loving husband. One who puts others before himself, one who protects his family without controlling the family. One who loves me even when I'm silly. 

So I am going to close this today by saying....

Thank you Lord for all that you have done and all of the blessings you have bestowed upon me, who is worthy of none of them. May I always be thankful for all You have done for me.

And I pray that all of you, my family and friends, that you will take the moment this time to thank the Lord for the many blessings He has bestowed upon you. 

And together with me, let us thank Him for the greatest gift of all, the gift of His precious and only Son, Jesus the Christ. For that is the reason for the Christmas season.... Emmanuel, God with us, the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us. The Perfect Lamb, The One Who for by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him. (Col 1:16 NASB) 

Let us thank Him and seek His face and see His glory in all that He has done and is doing and is going to do in our lives.

Giving Him all of the glory, honor, blessings for He is King of kings and Lord of Lords. He is the One who reigns upon the throne. Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Greetings and salutations to all of my friends and family! My prayer is that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, has blessed everyone and kept all safe in His arms.

I couldn't believe it has been so long since I last wrote, but, it does seem right. We, my beloved and I, seem to have fixed the computer; so I should be able to get back to writing on a more reasonable schedule. It had gotten so bad that I couldn't even open my writing program or get on the internet. Let me tell you, we were not happy people. I never realized how much time I actually spend on the computer until it wasn't working! I did get my  ancient laptop running. But it takes forever for it to do something. And since it is so old, it runs out of virtual memory and has to adjust which makes everything run even slower. Needless to say, I didn't do much on that one. Checking email was about all I could do. Anything else would have caused it to overload and explode! I have been informed by my dear husband, that if I am a good girl this year, Santa may bring me a new laptop. I told my sweetheart I am always good, bring on the laptop! So there should be a new addition to the family and I won't have to tie up my husband's computer with my writing and blogging and book reviewing and whatever else I want to do. I am blessed being married to such a wonderful man. 

Okay, enough of the computer saga.... on to better things!

I love the Fall. I love how the trees have changed colors and I love the smell of the air. I think foggy mornings are beautiful and something about seeing clouds nestled between the hills tugs at my heart. Two of my favorite spots on my way to work are probably overlooked by everyone else, but to me I think they are beautiful. One is on Carpenter Creek just before I get to my road. There is a field to the left and behind the field is a row of oak, alder and maple. The colorful leaves of the trees and the honey color of the field is very pretty. The second place is on Stringtown Road. The place is called Westwind Gardens and lining the road is Redleaf Maple, fir, another type of maple and more fir.... It is so pretty seeing the dark green of the fir between the wines and golds of the maples. Now that I think about it.... it's almost a Christmas type of colors...... I know my eyes enjoy looking at them as long as the leaves last.

I did gather some leaves to place in a bowl. Just a little fall to enjoy in the house. Here is a couple of pictures.....

They are pretty, aren't they. Fall is my most favorite time of year. 

What next..... Oh yeah.... The chickens.... 

I still have all of my chickens. However, I believe there are really 15 hens and one rooster. We finally got nesting boxes built and on a good day, I am getting 15 eggs. One of the black chickens actually acts like a rooster. He doesn't cock-a-doodle-do but he does let you know he is the king of the hen house. I also have a broody hen and my husband tells me they do that if there's a rooster.... so I may have some baby chickens... if I leave her eggs alone. One of the leghorns is laying double yolkers, HUGE double yolkers. She is quite noisy when she lays them, which is about 3 to 4 times a week. 

We finally got some chicken wire, so now we can fix the outside for them and keep them safe from other critters who happen to like chickens as well. The coyotes are hanging around liking the smell of my chickens so I haven't been able to let them go outside. When my dear heart has an extra minute, he's going to fix things for the chickens. 

We still have the pheasants. But they shall soon be pheasants under glass. Not this coming week-end but perhaps the next one, they will be in my freezer. This week-end, my sweetheart is going deer hunting with his friend and will hopefully bring home a nice big deer. The deer will become ground meat and the hide will get tanned. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, I might just put it on our bed. We'll see after it gets back from the tanners.

Because of all of the rain, the garden didn't do as well as I had hoped. No one's vine vegetables did well. I think I am going to do it a little differently next season. I still have carrots to pull and I need to get the last of the apples in for applesauce. Mmmmmm.... yummy... I love applesauce!

My dear husband and I did manage to take a honeymoon of sorts, finally. We did a three day tour of lighthouses. We have lots of pictures so I am going to put them in a slide format and then post it with the story. Hopefully I will be able to do that this week. I'm back to working six days a week but I have been told that we are getting a couple of new people so my hours will start going down a bit. I am looking forward to that happening since I have a lot to do to get ready for Christmas. I am making gifts for the family and I need time to do that..... it's rather difficult when I'm working 40 plus hours 6 days a week.

Hmmmm..... remember when I told ya'll that I drove our dump truck? Here's a picture of it....

You can't see it, but it says in gold paint "Kintz" above "Excavating". That is just one of the many loads of dirt we moved from one end of our neighbor's property to another.

The sawmill got put on hold until Spring, but my husband put a log on what has been done, just to give himself some encouragement and to show me what it will look like.... check it out.....

Pretty cool, huh?! It will be awesome when it's operating.... just needs a few more things done and we'll be sawing some lumber!

Now, when you only have a wood-stove for heating, you need to have some wood to burn. If you don't have any wood to burn you have to go find logs to cut. That means there has to be downed logs that have been seasoned because green wood doesn't burn, it smokes. The week-end before my husband  and I took our trip, we went and cut up some very large logs into rounds. Those got loaded into the bed of the pickup by me, Cal and our neighbor/friend, Kerry. Well, I did as much as I could until my hands were completely numb up to my shoulders due to the carpel tunnel. After we got back from our trip, Calvin started splitting the rounds into burnable sizes that will fit into the wood-stove. The whole point of this is so I can tell you what a genius I am married to..... He rigged up a conveyor system that allows him to split the wood and put it on the conveyor and the conveyor dumps it into the woodshed. All I have to do is stack it! Between the wood-splitter and the conveyor... he has eliminated several back-breaking steps! I would include foot-wearing but, if I'm not fast enough the wood will fall on my poor feet reminding me to MOVE! Ahhh.... to be married to such a genius..... He really is the best!

Well my dear friends and family I'm afraid it's that time. I must bid you adieu until next time... which will hopefully be later this week or next week and not next month. Watch for our story of our lighthouse trip. I will be posting that soon.

Until we meet again..... I pray our Lord and God will keep you and your families safe, healthy, and blessed. Please pray for my mother-in-law (such a sweet lady, I love her so....), she is undergoing tests. The doctors are looking at her pancreas. Please pray for her, her husband (who has Parkinson's), her children, the doctors, we all need strength, hope, peace, healing, and Jesus to lift us up. I am praying that there is nothing there and she is going to be fine. Her name is Grace. Please remember her as you pray.

May the Lord bless you and keep your families safe and well.......

"Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies'
Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."    Psalm 103:1-5 (NKJV)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Update From the Country!

Greetings and blessings to everyone! I pray you had a safe and blessed week-end. 

I cannot believe where the time has gone! I have been working forty-hour weeks and then trying to get fruits and vegetables canned when I can. I haven't had a moment to sit down and write much less breath, until today. I have started this blog several times... I hope to finish it today. 

I have been getting some reading done, on my lunch hour, so I have been trying to get the reviews posted. Be sure to go to www.latawniakreviews.blogspot.com and see what I have been reading. May be you will get a couple of ideas for the book worm in your family!

Well, let me get you updated on what's been going on here in the country....

The chickens are doing well, and laying lots of eggs. I am gathering at least 10-14 eggs a day. Since they still don't have nesting boxes and they like to hide them, my count isn't the same every day. My hard-working husband said he will try to build the boxes this week. 

There is one hen who always follows me around when I gather the eggs. She is one of the black sex-links. She talks to me and allows me to pick her up and pet her. Sometimes she will hop on my back when I am bent down gathering the eggs! She's really quite sweet, for a chicken. Then one of the leghorns likes to try and take the eggs out of the bowl. She wants to keep them. I think she's the one who likes to bury them so I can't find them.

I have been trying to think of different ways to cook eggs.... I have also been giving them to family members and I have started to sell them. I have eggs everywhere! What do you do with a dozen of eggs a day? I think I am going to see if there is a community food box place in town where I can donate some of them. 

I have also been canning. (The above picture isn't of my work.... it just a picture I found. I haven't had time to take pictures of my work!) I have canned several pints of beets pickled, carrots pickled, and plain carrots. I have also frozen many quart bags of rutabagas and beets. I am getting ready to freeze corn next. I cut my fingernails down because they were turning various shades of brown and purple! Oh, don't let me forget... I also put up 5 quarts of applesauce. I still have lots of apples, so I still have lots of applesauce to make. I am also going to try and make apple butter. A good friend of mine gave me a website where I can find a recipe for apple butter in a crockpot. I can't wait to try that!

Well, the computer has decided to not work right again.... Lord, I need a new computer! 

I was trying to find a picture of a tractor like the one we have so I could post it but the computer went stupid, so no picture.

The reason for the picture was because I wanted you to see what I was driving this week-end when I got sunburned! I was helping my husband working down on the neighbor's property. This neighbor hires my husband to dig ditches, move dirt piles, clear brush and other things. This past week-end we were filling in a ditch with dirt we had moved from another ditch that was dug a month ago. (I got to drive the dump-truck when we did that job.) 

I was down there riding on the excavator with Calvin when he decided he needed help moving the dirt. He went and got the tractor and I drove it for five hours, moving dirt down to the other end of the ditch we were filling in. Oh, silly me didn't were a hat or put on sunscreen. So I got nice and burnt. It was such a beautiful day that I didn't even think about getting sunburned. I was just enjoying the day, driving the tractor and happy that I could do something to help my sweetheart with this job. 

When I got home and looked in the mirror I realized how burnt I was. Let me tell you, next time I will wear a hat and long sleeves!! No wearing just a tee-shirt for me! 

Well, my dear friends and family, it's that time for me to go. I hate to cut this short... but I have to get ready to go to work. Until we meet again, I pray that Jesus, our Lord and Savior, will bless you this week with His sweet presence and He will strengthen you when you need strength, give you the words you need to speak of His grace and mercy and supply all your need.

God bless all of you!

"How sweet are Thy words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" Psalm 119:103 (NASB)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Update From the Country!

Greetings ya'll! I pray everyone has been well and blessed. It's been a couple of weeks since I last wrote, so I have a few things to get you caught up on!

Things are still hectic at work, which means I am still working lots of hours. I got one day off last week. So I haven't had time to do much, except work, eat and sleep and see my husband for an hour here and there.

The birthday party was great. Everyone showed up and we had a good time barbequeing and eating and just being a family. Calvin got a RC car/truck. It's one that he wanted, so Nathan and I got it for him. He's been having some fun with that! I was also able to find him all four of the Fast and Furious movies. That was a great find because my dear heart is such a stinker and can usually figure out what he is getting and he had no clue about those!

Our oldest son got married on the 27th of this month. It was a nice wedding. I have to say though, weddings in this family are a bit different, at least for my husband's children. This was the second wedding I attended and the girls wore flip-flops with semi and formal dresses. Hmmm.... can we say just a little red-necked here? Oh well, you gotta love them!

The weather here today is a bit damp. I have a feeling our summer, short as it was, is just about over. The weather forecasters say we are suppose to get a few more days of sun.... but... we'll see. Not that we don't need the rain, it will help with the fires.... but a little more sun would have been nice. (Maybe having spent the last 13 years in Arizona has something to do with wanting to see a bit more sun....)

Today is the last day to enter the book giveaway I am having on my book review site. So be sure to enter! There are two great books being offered.

This weekend I found several eggs in the hen house! How exciting was that! I had went in there to feed the chickens and roosters and saw eggs... we haven't had a chance to build them nesting boxes yet, so they were burying them in the dirt! Crazy birds! I have to go back in there today to look for more. They should be laying eggs every day.... Looks like I'll be taking eggs to family and co-workers!

My beloved picked the first ears of corn from our garden last night and we had barbequed corn with pork steaks. The corn is still a bit immature, but tasty! I've been picking green beans and beets and rutabagas for a while now. The potatoes and tomatoes are doing good... can't wait to pick those either. It's almost apple sauce time as well.... those apples are just about ready!

I did have this past Sunday off, so my darling and I and our son Nathan went to the Oregon State fair in Salem. That was a lot of fun! There was so much to see! We looked at farm equipment... dreaming about a new cat.... enjoyed the food there... looked at chickens (of course.) We also looked at some pigs.... I think we are going to buy one in a month or two. We rode the Fairlift from one end of the fair to the other. That was a good way to see what attractions we missed. Friends of our had their monster truck down there and were giving rides. That was neat! And we watched the dwarf cars race. Those things can go pretty fast. (For those who don't know, dwarf cars are big go-cart with bigger engines.... I didn't know either) All in all it was a good, relaxing time.

My sweetheart and son also indulged me by going through the art exhibits without too much complaining (hehehe)... actually we all did enjoy the paintings. There was one there that we agreed on was the best. It didn't even look like a painting, it looked like a photograph it was so good. Of course it was only $2000.00 if you wanted to buy it.... actually that would be a good investment. That artist is very talented. Not that we bought it. But I am sure someone did or will. I really had a great time with my husband and son.

Well, I think that's about it for now. The sawmill is still being put together. We had to wait for some parts to be made... we finally got those yesterday. We still have to get a motor for the lathe so Calvin can modify the flywheel for the engine that will run the sawmill. He's been doing some side work to earn a little extra money so we can afford these parts. Let me tell you what, that is one hard-working man. He isn't afraid of hard work or working long hours. Do pray for him though, strength for his body, health and good sleep. Working like he has and trying to stay awake for me (I'm still working the late shifts) is taking a toll. We got to see each other for about 45 minutes last night. He just couldn't stay awake, my dear husband.

Well my friends and family, I must go now.... it's time to get ready for work. I pray all of you will be blessed this week. I pray for safety, peace and joy for you as well. Keep me in your prayers as I keep you in mine. May the blessing of our Lord and Savior rain down on you today.

Until we meet again.....

"I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust." Psalm 91:2 (NKJV)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Update From the Country!

"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!" Eph 1:2 

I don't know about anyone else, but today I need that grace and peace! Things have been a bit topsey-turvey around here. Well, more so at work than anywhere else. But because things are so crazy at work, it has made things at home that way, as well.

I have been working 36 plus hours, all of them the closing shift, for the past 3 or more weeks. Needless to say, that doesn't leave me much time to spend with my husband, clean house, care for the garden or write.

I am having a birthday party here at the house Saturday and the place is a wreck! The party is just going to be family and friends, but still, a clean toilet would be nice!

My dear husband has been doing his best to stay up with me when I get home, but the poor man is ready to drop in his tracks! He just isn't getting enough sleep. It doesn't help if I watch tv or read in the bed, either. But he doesn't like going to sleep without me by his side. (He is such a sweetheart.)

Well, I can't remember if I told you all... but we have discovered we have not one, not two, nor three but four roosters in the hen house! Four of those leghorns are roosters! They are finally old enough to determine sex... maybe the giveaway was the fact they have large combs and wattles! Not to mention attitude! So.... three of those roosters are going to be dinner and we'll keep the one... until he gets mean. Then he becomes stew. Who knew those hens were hes!


There is a drawing for two books on my book review site. Just click on the link to LaTawnia Kintz Reviews and sign up for it. The drawing ends August 31st.

You can also sign up for email subscription of this blog or my other one. Just fill out the box to the side where it says, "Subscribe via email."

Hmmmm.... I know there was another one.... but I can't remember now.

Oh well..... It's time for me to go.... So many blessings to you and yours. Praying the Lord keep you safe. Until next time....

"Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen." Eph 6:24