First Evers

     We’ve had a wonderful week so far.  After working 37 1/2 hours of overtime last week, my husband took all of his days off this week, and we couldn’t have been more delighted to have him home and with us!  The overtime was a blessing, of course, but it was good to have him home this week.

     Yesterday we joined a few homeschool families from our church to attend an opera performance.  It was a student-length production, and we enjoyed it very much.  The opera was Amahl and the Night Visitors, and this was the first ever opera attended by our family!  We all enjoy musical theater, but opera was a new experience.  We have tickets for two more of these student operas – the Magic Flute in January and Cinderella in March.  We’re very much looking forward to those.  We enjoyed a sweet time of fellowship with a couple of other families after the performance over lunch at an outdoor cafe. 

     From our first ever opera to our first ever winter garden!  I have been reading, and enjoying, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life for the last couple of weeks now.  Though the author’s political and theological beliefs are quite different from my own, I have still enjoyed and learned a great deal from her book so far.  I have, in the last few months, been motivated to once again expand the use of this piece of land that the Lord has blessed us with.  To that end, this book has been not only encouraging, but inspirational!  Unlike the author’s home state, the growing season in my neck of the woods is quite long.  I had already planned to start some seeds indoors right after New Year’s Day for an early spring garden; and I’ve been perusing catalogues and planning what I would like to add this year to our orchard, berry patch and other growing areas.  However, it occurred to me over the weekend that there were things that I could be putting into the garden now.

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     To that end, Aaron had his first ever solo flight with the rototiller this morning, and tilled one end of our big garden area for me. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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     The garden had only recently been tilled under and put to bed for the winter, so a single pass across the end was sufficient to till up the compost rich soil.  The soil looked and smelled wonderful!! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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     Aaron raked up a few little raised beds for me and helped me plant them.  We now have a large bed of yellow onions, and a smaller bed of a different variety of onion. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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     We planted a long row of garlic, planted two wide, as well.  These will over winter in the garden, begin growing very early next spring and be ready for harvest earlier in the season than if we’d waited and started seeds indoors in January.  I’m hopeful!

     I also planted a few Rainbow Chard.  Oh, these little seedlings are so late going in; but as I said, we do have a long growing season.  My plan is to protect them on the nights we have our first frosts and see if I can’t coax them along for a harvest yet this winter.  The Chard is another first ever.  We’ve never eaten Chard!  However, it sounds like something we would like, and here’s the deal.  The little six pack of seedlings was cheaper than a small bunch of organic Rainbow Chard from the store.  So, if we harvest a small bunch yet this year and don’t like it, we’re no worse off than if I bought a small bunch from the store.  However, if we do like it, we’ll be able to harvest another bunch or two, Lord willing and weather permitting.   

     Dani and William held down the fort in the house today while Aaron and I worked outside.  They tackled most of the daily chores along with the Wednesday tasks.  This is the week that we tend to the longer term, deep cleaning in the bedrooms and bathrooms.  Dani blessed me by doing a good portion of the monthly (and longer term) deep cleaning in the master bathroom while I worked outside in the garden.  It was nice to work in the ground again and get my hands dirty.  It was even nicer to come back in to such a clean and shiny house!

     The boys and I rounded out the afternoon with homeschooling, laundry and sewing, while Dani did some paper crafting.  I wasn’t able to get to my hoped for half hour of sewing in on Monday or Tuesday, but I made up for lost time today.  I worked on pj pants for the boys for about an hour before dinner, serging all of the seams.  I then sat down at the regular sewing machine to overcast the top edge of the waist and the raw edgesof the pants legs to prevent fraying.  (The serger, of course, takes care of this step for me on all of the seams.)  I was able to finish all of the overcasting within that before dinner hour, as well. 

IMG_7789      After dinner, I pressed under the overcast edges and pressed down the waist bands and pressed up the hems.  It was fairly quick work to sew the rolled hems and waistbands, thread the elastic into the waistbands, and sew the waistbands closed.  I always take the extra step to top stitch along the front, back and side seams to hold the elastic in place and keep it from rolling in the waistbands.  The stitching runs from the top of the waistband to the horizontal stitching that closes the waistband, a distance of about an inch.  It takes a bit of time, but keeps the pajama pants comfortable with no rolled elastic in the waistbands and is well worth the time.  The jammies were ready for the boys by the time they were done with their showers – the goofballs!

 

 

 

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     We’ve one more first ever coming later this week.  Copper’s dad, a retired law enforcement officer, rides with a motorcycle club of retired and active police officers.  The club will ride in a parade this Saturday in a nearby city, and Will has been invited to ride on Paw-Paw’s trike with him in the parade!  It’s his first time ever on the trike, and he is excited!!!  He’ll spend the night, all by himself, the night before, too.  Big times for the boy!  (This picture is a year old….the boy has grown a lot since then! Wow!)

     We’ve had a few “first evers” this week, and they have been fun.  Our days, though, for the most part, are made up of the steady pace and dependability of normal routines.  We thrive on that!  Most families do.  The fun, special activities would not be as enjoyable if they were an everyday occurrence.  We are in that time of year when special annual events begin to pop up on our calendar, too.  The first of these on our calendar, a huge arts and crafts festival that we enjoy attending, is this weekend.  While we enjoy taking part in these holiday traditions, I find it even more important that we stick to our routine as closely as possible on non-event days.  The holidays can be stressful and overwhelming and no one enjoys that!  We, as wives, moms and homemakers, can really help our families keep an even keel during a busy, busy season.  Have those fun “first evers”!  Attend the traditional events and gatherings that your family enjoys!  Just be attentive to your family and their needs at the same time.

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27
 

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27 comments to First Evers

  • What a great bunch of “first evers!”

    Love the PJ pants! Those would make great Christmas gifts for guys!

  • Cheryl,

    With your interest in gardeing you might be interested the this website  http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/

    This family is located in California & garden only in their fairly small backyard but with great results. As with most site you may not agree with all their beliefs but it is interesting. This site shows what you can do with a little land.

    Sharon C ( a reader — but don’t post much) 

  • Love the pj pants…your models are very charming! When I sew them for my kids, I overcast the edges of the waistband and the hems with the serger. I think it goes quicker and I prefer the look of the serging to the zig zag of my sewing machine. I usually do this after I have sewn the the front to the back so it’s one time around to do the entire waist. I do the hem before I close the leg seam so it is a flat piece to sew.

    Thanks so much for your ongoing encouragement…your thoughts on the holidays are so wise and well stated. I am tucking them into my heart and my planner!

  • Thank you for taking the time to post. It helps me so much to see that a life like yours is possible. I am a million baby steps behind you. I appreciate your wisdom and willingness to be that Titus 2 woman to a bunch of ladies that you don’t even know.

  • @tjsNana – My guys will be getting a couple of pairs each under the tree!

    @Sharon1228 – Thanks for taking the time to comment, it was great to hear from you.  I’ve visited their site before.  Pretty impressive!

    @Elizabeth V. – My sewing machine actually has three or four overcast stitches to choose from.  Since I have to thread the machine to do the hems and waist band anyway, I go ahead and use that for the overcasting.  I do the waistband as you do (after the pants are sewn together), but I do the pants legs “in the round” too.  I’m able to pop off the attachment box that forms part of the front of my sewing machine, which gives me a nice, small area to run the pants leg around.  It really takes no longer than the serger to overcast this way.  Thanks for the tip, though.  I’m really a newbie with the serger and have yet to practice and learn all the wonderful things it can do!

    @Ruth – Thank you, dear one, for your sweet and encouraging words! 

  • Hi Cheryl,

    First are wonderful. Enjoy every new door opening up. I pray Will has a wonderful time with his grandpa.

    Blessings,

    Elizabeth

  • I love that picture of your goofballs! 🙂

  • Ohhhhhhhh Chard is a wonderful veggie… My favorite summertime veggie… I just steam it and slather it with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper… I’ll anxiously wait to see how you enjoy it.

    Louise from Alberta, Canada

  • Ohhhhhhhh Chard is a wonderful veggie… My favorite summertime veggie… I just steam it and slather it with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper… I’ll anxiously wait to see how you enjoy it.

    Louise from Alberta, Canada

  • @elizabethq – Thanks, Elizabeth!  I’m sure he’ll have a blast.

    @butterflymommy – This is my life with these boyzzzzzzzzzzz!!!  I love every minute of their goofiness!

    @sohappy2b55 – It sounds perfect!!  A quick, easy, yummy veggie dish.  Question for you……I’ve seen and heard mixed recipes for using, or not, the stalks.   I bought the Rainbow Chard (red, orange and yellow stalks) after hearing about kids enjoying the bright colors, but most recipes I’ve seen call for just the leaves. Do you use the stalks, too? 

  • Cheryl,

    Yes I cook stalk and all when it is young and as it grows bigger I LOVE removing the stalk and steaming it separate as well… AND my mom used to make a mustard pickle with the stalk which was quite good too…. similar to mustard beans…

    Louise

  • Cheryl,

    Yes I cook stalk and all when it is young and as it grows bigger I LOVE removing the stalk and steaming it separate as well… AND my mom used to make a mustard pickle with the stalk which was quite good too…. similar to mustard beans…

    Louise

  • @sohappy2b55 – Thanks, Louise, that makes sense!  Cook the stalks, too, when they are harvested young and then the leaves only when they are older.  I can’t wait! 

  • Thank you for praying – I feel (amazingly) better this morning. Not 100% by any means, but for sure and for certain bEtTeR! <><

    509 years ago I was in a high school production of Amahl and the Night Visitors. I was in a number of productions in high school and beyond (community theater). It was a wonderful experience.

    Love your garden, Cheryl. Aaron worked hard to bring the soil to a place where you could plant. Sweet young man. You’re a Proverbs 31 woman to plan ahead as you do, seeing the big picture rather than merely the day as it stands just now.

    What fun for Will to ride with his grandfather, and on such a fine machine! Wow! He’s going to be giddy over the excitement. :o)

    Your Dani-girl is a treasure. Does she hire out? ;o)

    Your silly boys in their fine jammie bottoms. hehe.

    Copper worked 37.5 overtime hours last week, in addition to his regular hours? Bless his devoted heart. And bless yours for lovingly supporting him in his desire to care for his family. Such an example for all of us. Consistently.

    I love that you are seemingly never ‘idle’. There’s always something to do – planned or chosen – to care for your home and those that reside therein.

    Blessings,

    Jane

  • No, you CAN cook the stalks with the leaves when they get older..but I prefer to eat them separate. It is just a matter of choice. I, myself, have never done the mustard pickles but I always enjoyed mom’s pickles. So you just have to do trial and error. and by the way, my mouth is drooling for chard right now… in the midst of winter where I won’t get any chard until next summer…. Lucky you.

  • @ladyjanesjournal – So glad to hear that you are bEtTeR 

  • No, you CAN cook the stalks with the leaves when they get older..but I prefer to eat them separate. It is just a matter of choice. I, myself, have never done the mustard pickles but I always enjoyed mom’s pickles. So you just have to do trial and error. and by the way, my mouth is drooling for chard right now… in the midst of winter where I won’t get any chard until next summer…. Lucky you.

  • @sohappy2b55 – Thanks again, Louise!!  I’m hoping that we are able to sample our chard yet this winter.  It’s a bit iffy not knowing if we’ll have a hard frost that would kill the sweet little plants between now and then.  And then there are the wild turkey…………………..

  • Do you shoot and eat Wild Turkey??? Or are they an endangered species??? And do you get snow where you live cuz I can’t see how chard or lettuce, etc would survive in winter.

  • Do you shoot and eat Wild Turkey??? Or are they an endangered species??? And do you get snow where you live cuz I can’t see how chard or lettuce, etc would survive in winter.

  • @sohappy2b55 – We could shoot them and eat them, but we’re not quite up to the task of dressing a big, wild bird.  Yet.  No snow here.  We get a little flurry mixed with rain about once every ten years or so.  We generally have relatively few nights of hard frost even.  Here in the central California, lettuce, broccoli, chard and the like are considered a fall/winter crop.  I still have a grape tomato plant and a bell pepper plant blooming and setting fruit!

  • okay, thanks Cheryl for answering my questions…. and dressing a turkey isn’t hard. I used to raise turkeys and had my killing technique down to a T and then hung them to let them bleed out, then had a huge metal garbage can full of hot hot water to dunk them in and plucked them… Then gutted them immediately….. Oh how I miss my farm.

  • okay, thanks Cheryl for answering my questions…. and dressing a turkey isn’t hard. I used to raise turkeys and had my killing technique down to a T and then hung them to let them bleed out, then had a huge metal garbage can full of hot hot water to dunk them in and plucked them… Then gutted them immediately….. Oh how I miss my farm.

  • Chard – here in NZ we call it silver beet.

    That trike is amazing – I want to ride on it too You enjoy your time on it with your Paw-Paw Will!!

  • Just had to pop over to see how you were doing. Sounds like you have been busy as usual. I have to say I love the way Dixie is always near at hand when Will is doing his homework. There’s nothing like a faithful doggie companion for a youngster. (or us bigger “kids” 😉 )

    Hope Will enjoys the ride. 🙂

    Looks like the boys like their PJ pants. 🙂

    Be blessed

    Edited to add: I forgot to say that you will probably get a song stuck in your head from the Magic Flute. I saw it in highschool. You will see what I mean, I am sure.

  • I’ve been reading that book for months! For some reason I can’t seem to stick with it!  I planted swiss chard for the first time this year and we’ve also never eaten it. But I made Swiss Chard and bean soup a few weeks ago and it was delish (with some homemade bread)!

    Bless your husband’s heart for working so much overtime! I know y’all enjoyed having him home!

    Manuela