Monthly Archives: June 2008

Contentment

“Contentment: Being happy with I have.”

Contentment is not easy to obtain. There are things in all of our  lives that we would love to change, things that we just aren’t happy with.

I ran across a great quote this week:

“Whenever I’m in the kitchen smelling the aroma of beans slowly cooking for our evening meal, my mind goes back to my childhood when this food was vital to our survival. We may not have had many material things, but we never went hungry thanks to beans and corn bread.

This simple meal reminds me that the essentials of life need not be extravagant. We often think that to be happy, we need bigger and better things. And yet, when I was growing up, there was so much love in our family that we just didn’t think about needing anything more.

I’ve never forgotten that period of my life, or that depression-era meal. It remains one of my favorites, and I still enjoy cooking up a ‘potful of the past”‘

~ Oneta M. Whitlock, excerpt from We had Everything but Money: Priceless Memories of the Great Depression

“But Godliness with contentment is great gain.” I Timothy 6:6

Photo courtesy of Carstor.

Black Raspberries

black raspberriesIt was absolutely beautiful yesterday afternoon here on the farm, nice breeze, mild temperatures and low humidity. The perfect day for a walk with my husband.

It seems like taking a walk is one of the few places where we can still talk freely and not worry about being overheard, especially around birthdays.

With a very hectic next 3 weeks (including 3 birthdays!), we needed to touch base about several things and make some plans.

I carried a bucket with me just in case we discovered some wild black raspberries. They are abundant here on the farm, but this year they are late. We’ve been watching but so far have found just a handful.

But as we walked yesterday, we kept seeing small patches in the fence line and along the ravine. We would stop talking, move over and pick them clean before moving on. None of the patches had a great abundance of berries, but by the time we were done, we had picked over half of an ice cream bucket full.

I thought on the walk home, that picking those raspberries was a great illustration for how we’ll manage the next few weeks. We’ll just do the next thing.

I need to pick the patch that’s in front of me and then move on to the next one. Just pick one raspberry (or event) at a time and soon my bucket will be full.

Just do the next thing…

To Everything There is a Season…

DelphiniumI remember that growing up my mom’s flower beds were nothing to brag about. She had a few brave flowers that withstood neglect and abundant weeds.

Mom had other things that were more important than beautiful flower beds. She had five children who needed to be feed, clothed and loved.

There were meals to make, laundry to wash, chickens to butcher, green beans to can, 4H projects to supervise, attitudes that needed correction, hurt feelings that needed to be soothed and a myriad of other tasks.

Somehow flowers never quite made it to the top of Mom’s priority list.

coreopsisThen one by one the kids grew up, married and moved off. Suddenly the house stayed cleaner, the laundry piles were much smaller, and there was a lot less food to prepare.

Mom had time for those flower gardens that she always dreamed off. She shared these pictures with me this week of  some of her flowers.

But as much as she enjoys them, I know that she sees her children as the most precious flowers in her garden. The years she spent “tending” in our lives will reap an eternal reward.

I’m so thankful that Mom had her priorities right!

Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is a time for everything and  a season for every purpose under heaven.”

Fresh Garden Peas!

Fresh Picked Homegrow PeasFinally! Some fresh garden produce!

Although it’s a little late, we were able to finally enjoy some garden peas. If you’ve never eaten a pea from the pod right from the garden, you don’t know what you are missing!

I can’t even describe the flavor. Canned or frozen peas don’t even come close!

The best way to eat them is standing in the garden, leaning over a vine. You pick a plump pea, split it open and pop the fresh juicy peas in your mouth!

Talk about simple pleasures!

Polka-Dot Cookie Bars

We had one cool and rainy afternoon this week that I decided to take advantage of and do some baking.

I discovered these yummy bar cookies in a cookbook. They went together pretty fast and everybody loved them!

Polka-Dot Cookie Bars

Cream together: 1 cup butter, 3/4 cup sugar, and 3/4 cup brown sugar.

Add 2 eggs, beating well after each addition.

Add 1/2 tsp. almond extract.

Combine 2 1/4 cup of flour, 1/3 cup baking cocoa, 1 tsp. baking soda, and 1/2 tsp. salt.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture.

Add 1 10 oz. package of white chocolate chips (saving out 1/4 cup for decoration if you wish).

Spread into a greased 10″ by 15″ baking pan. Sprinkle with remaining chips.

Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

Fast, easy and delicious! We’ll definitely make these again!