Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dealing with Deer, Part 1

Along with my friend, Danielle, I've had it with the deer. When I complain about the deer on here, I tend to get comments like, "Well that's what happens when you live in the country." But you see, this is why I am even more angry. The deer are brazen city dwelling deer.

They are not cruising my yard amind acres and acres of untouched meadow lands... I'm in suburbia. It makes me so irrate that they come right up, day or night, and help themselves to anything they want from my yard. Just feet away from people, pets and cars. I told Julian I was tempted to kill a deer and let the whole thing lay and rot in the yard just as a warning to all the others what their future holds.

Tomato and Petunia:

Hot pepper (what eats a hot pepper plant?!?!):

Spinach, munched and uprooted:

 Hosta scapes:

Hosta (salad anyone?):

This is what angers me most. These are daylily scapes that had been heavy laden 
with blooms that I have waited for these past two years. TWO YEARS!
(you can see how close all our houses are)

 Hosta before ----------------------------------------> Hosta after

And this dear, sweet, blowzy gem...? It is no longer with us.
We tried the spray repellent, Liquid Fence. We tried the fishing line trick everyone swears by. Now, $43 poorer, we have decided to employ the ScareCrow motion activated animal deterrent sprinkler. 

While we were at Walmart purchasing this thing, I got a phonecall from the neighbor who said he'd witnessed a deer coming down my back bank, looking him straight in the eye, and swaggering over to clean out my bird feeder. Said deer wasn't swaggering anymore after Neighbor Scott put four hot orange paint balls on its rump. Thanks, Scott.
Wish us luck.

Linking up:

BeadForLife Party

I'm excited to be hosting a BeadforLife party on July 28th, from 1-3pm. I hope lots of folks come out and learn about the organization and take home some great bead loot! I'm wearing some of the pieces to the office each day as advertising and people are quick with their compliments. The only bad thing is trying to figure out which ones are my favorite!

More about the Bead for Life organization: 
BeadforLife is a nonprofit organization that works to eradicate extreme poverty by creating bridges of understanding between impoverished Africans and concerned world citizens. Ugandan women turn colorful recycled paper into beautiful beads. Women in Northern Uganda, displaced by the 20 year war led by Joseph Kony, are now rebuilding their lives by gathering shea nuts and pressing them into shea butter for cosmetics and soaps. And people who care open their hearts, homes and communities to buy and sell both products. The beads and shea butter become income, food, medicine, school fees and hope. It is a small miracle that enriches us all

And now for what came in my box - 

Sanyu Short Necklace (about 20"): $13
Sanyu Long Necklace, each necklace is one color (about 40"): $18
Satin Drawstring Jewelry Purse: $15
Leena Earrings: $15
Leena Three Stand Necklace: $20
Musana Bangle: $5
Etana Necklace, can be doubled, tripled, or worn as a belt (about 80"): $28
Sanyu Bangles, they come in so many colors : $5

Leena Three-strand Bangles: $15

And last but not least, there is shea butter peppermint lip balm and 
lemongrass lavender shea soap for $4 each.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What's Blooming

I have little time and no energy so here is a quick post on what's blooming in the yard. I am so irate that just hours after I took these, deer came through and mowed down my hosta, nipped the buds off my daylilies and grazed the hydrangea down. There's always next year, right? Stay tuned for a few posts on what I think about deer.

Hosta scape and bee balm,  Hosta and Monarda

A beautiful daylily that I started from foraged seed, finally coming into its own, Hemerocallis
My sister's wedding hydrangea (was a live plant decoration), Hydrangea macrophylla
Dwarf butterfly bush  and purple coneflowers, Buddleia davidii and Echinacea purpurea

Asiatic lily,  Lilium asiatic
Zebra Mallow (from seed), Malva sylvestris "zebrina" 

Linking up to A Rural Journal:

Linking up to This or That:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

About a book - The Enemy Within

One of the many things I love about Julian is that he is a great out-loud reader. During calm seasons of our lives, we tuck into bed at night with a good book, and he reads aloud to help us both quiet down from the day. We've read the entire Lord of the Rings series this way, and we like to read Nancy Guthrie's devotionals at Easter and Christmas, too.

I am excited to have started a new one this week, Kris Lungaard's The Enemy Within.The book is formatted for a lesson group with small sections and discussion questions at the end. Lungaard draws from the writings of 17th century reformed theologian John Owen so much so that the author admits if Owen were alive today, he'd have grounds to sue. But by doing so, the author makes Owen's concepts much more accessible to a modern audience.

Being wiped out after two hours in the kayaks, we didn't read for long. But we read long enough to find the first nugget of truth in what promises to be a vast gold mine. Sin is a law - like gravity. I don't know why this hit me with such profundity, but it did, and it makes perfect sense. In this out-of-Eden world, saved or unsaved, we cannot escape sin any more than we can escape gravity. It is pure and simple nature of how the world works. Accepting this truth allows us to stop wasting time and energy trying to evade sin in our lives but rather to focus on the next steps of conquering sin and bringing light to the dark places of our hearts.

I'm excited to have more to share in the near future.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer Reading List

As follow up to this post and inspired by Danielle, I am posting my summer reading list. I hope to get these books read over the summer, at least in part, and do a bit of a review. Please note that I mean "review" in the loosest sense of the term (aka what I liked, didn't like and why).

Over the last few years, I've developed a habit of reading several books during one season, starting several, deciding which ones are worth it, and plodding along at random intervals on whichever book strikes my fancy for the mood or moment I am in. Book summaries are copied from other pages and are not my own.

The Campaign for Domestic Happiness by Isabella Beeton

Firmly of the belief that a home should be run as an efficient military campaign, Mrs. Beeton, the doyenne of English cookery, offers timeless tips on selecting cuts of meat, throwing a grand party and hosting a dinner, as well as giving suggestions on staff wages and the cost of each recipe. With such delicious English classics as rabbit- pie, carrot soup, baked apple custard, and fresh lemonade - as well as invalid's jelly for those days when stewed eels may be a little too much - this is a wonderful collection of food writing from the matriarch of modern housekeeping. (Note: this was originally published in the 1860's)

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow

In Washington: A Life celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one-volume life of Washington, this crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his troubled boyhood, his precocious feats in the French and Indian War, his creation of Mount Vernon, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's first president.

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

A Moveable Feast is a softer novel-cum-memoir, a story of a young artist--impoverished and living in Paris. The book is also tribute to the numerous characters he meets. Hemingway projects himself to us as a young man. He examines his younger self--his foibles--but we also get a sense of nostalgia for the struggle and hardship that characterized his introduction into a writer's life in literature.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cabbage Whites

The past 14 days have been a whirlwind. Julian's dad had a total knee replacement so we traveled to Virginia for that. At work, we kicked off
which will have me busy as a bee for the next little bit, well... until Dec. 31, 2015 to be exact. So, I went to Virginia, dropped Julian off with his parents, came back to Morgantown for the week and Sunday I went back to get him. Despite being crazy, the surgery went well and recovery seems to be going well. We all can exhale now.

Last year, my father-in-law had his hip replaced because the bad knee had been so bad, for so long that the hip sustained damage. The entire hip replacement experience was terrible, as we all discovered that my FIL had an undiagnosed heart condition AFTER the surgery had been performed. Heart issues + blood thinners + anesthesia = very scary times, so you can imagine how the weekend prior to the knee surgery was accompanied by a big fat elephant in the room.

Fortunately for everyone involved, it was also accompanied by these:

These little white (sometimes ivory) butterflies are 'Cabbage Whites'. They dance around flowers, herbs, trees, mud puddles - nearly everything this time of year. In North America, they don't have an "in-season" like they do in other parts of the world. Basically, if the temps are above freezing and the sun is out, you're likely to see one. Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with them as their caterpillars are big green nasties that plague my cabbage, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. But they are so commonplace it just wouldn't be summer without them. 

This is one of about a hundred that were out on the lavender when I was snapping this. They were also flitting around the tree tops. Any time the room got quiet and the elephant started to shift its weight, someone would say, "I've never seen so many Cabbage Whites." And we were all thankful for a break in the silence.