Thank You, Darlin’ Dot

Shirley has a lot to thank her darlin’ Dot for.

Dot is the professional photographer in the family at large. Shirley wrote about her earlier this year: Shirley and Snoot are real proud of this talented, first Daughter-in-love of theirs.

Once again she has opened the window of photography a good bit wider for Shirley, an amateur photographer. While taking in the outdoor view on a recent visit to the farm, Dot mentioned the wonderful photos that could be captured. Then she asked Shirley the killer question—“Where is your camera?” She answered her own question, “I know, it is put away neat and tidy in your case.” How did she know that, Shirley wondered?

Opening the pantry door, Dot pointed to an empty spot on the shelf. “This is where I would keep it all the time. A camera in it’s case is seldom used.”

Before being too hard on Shirley, dear reader, it is helpful to know she is ‘a-place-for-everything-and-everything-in-its-place’ sort of gal. Neat and tidy. Sometimes to a fault.

Well, later that very day, Shirley proudly showed Dot the ‘new home’ for her camera. The exact spot Dot had pointed out to her. One more little tip our amateur photographer learned from her professional Dot—-keep the lens cap off!

Shirley says it reminds her of a verse from Scripture: Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; But much increase comes by the strength of an ox. Proverbs 14:4

Shirley would like to share some of the wonderful moments in time caught because of having her camera closer to hand:

Shirley thanks her darlin’ Dot for opening her photographic mind and window a little bit more.

God Meant it for Good

But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good…Genesis 50:20.

Do you know this Biblical account from the book of Genesis? The history of Joseph and his jealous brothers? The coat of many colors? This account begins in Chapter 37 of Genesis and goes through the end of the book. It is a fabulous story of a brave young man who loved the Lord and always believed in His goodness for his life. Through hatred, lies, and imprisonment Joseph gave God the glory through it all. Do you know it?

Someone asked on one of the blogs I follow just how has this COVID virus has effected me and my family. This is my response, “God meant it for good.”

While I cannot say, dear reader, just how or where this virus came from (though we all know it came from Communist China), I can say I feel it has been turned into a plandemic. ‘Do not let a good crisis go to waste’ is the driving force of many of the power-hungry politicians currently ruling in much of our country. It is disgusting. In our fair state of Virginia, abortion clinics are ‘allowed’ to stay open (they are “essential’), while churches and other ‘non-essential’ businesses are not. Convicts are being released from prison (give them a mask!), while the public is threatened with arrest? Is this for real? ABC stores are “essential”? Yet our sons business is not? Just exactly what is essential? It seems to me that anyone that has a house payment, or rent, bills to pay, and a family to feed is essential.

So what are you getting at you draconian politicians? More control over the people of America is your driving force is what I would say. What else could it be? To preserve the freedoms and rights for we the people? Not hardly. To keep us “safe”? Safe means control.

But here is the joy of it all. God meant it for good! Glory! I have chosen to seek the good in it. The following are some examples of the blessings in our families in these times:

1. Our one son and his wife have been the hardest hit by the edict of ‘essential’ business. Yet, in spite of it, they look wonderful! Actually, the best I have ever seen them—at peace and joyful.

2. We have had loads of more times visiting with and having our grandchildren here at the farm.

3. Gardens have been planted by our families for the first time ever!

4. Our homes have had beautiful improvements made to them.

5. We have more money in our pockets because no stores are open (which means we can give more to our community).

6. More family dinners together than ever!

7. Fishing! Lots more time spent fishing—oh yeah!

Here are some photos of the joy we have found through these past months of over-bearing politicians trying to gain their upper hand in our lives. I think they have forgotten just how resourceful and independent Americans really are.

The Wise Woman

The wise woman builds her house…Proverbs 14:1.

Happy Mother’s Day to every mother that has shown herself wise. Her own works praise her. Such a lovely time of year to celebrate mothers too. Nature seems to be singing praises as well!

My mother and mother-in-law have passed on. But there are plenty of moms that are worthy of praise. I hope you enjoy the beauty of the season in these photos as they join me in wishing each and every one of you a


In Focus #7—Flowers in Vase

Spring is here, in full bloom. Glory!

That means busy times here on the farm and in the gardens, regardless of any virus. Plants have no opinion about it, and go about their business in full force of the season.

It is time to bring cut flowers from the gardens into the house for Sunday meals with family. Virus or not, we have our Sunday meals together. We believe in the rich value of family, fresh air, and community immunity. Fresh air is magical.

There is little time to be on computer, as the outdoors is quite demanding this time of year. Spare moments for this primary farm operator are spent trying to catch the beautiful Barn Swallows on film out in the barn. Apparently they are camera shy, for every time I am out at the barn without my camera they are everywhere working on their homes in the barn. When camera is in hand, there is not one to be seen anywhere. I’ll catch them yet!

So in the meantime, here are a few photos of flowers in the vase on the dining room table. The floral arrangement in the second set of photos are not from the garden. I did not like the usual vase they were delivered in, so I put them in the ceramic one after the beautiful lilacs expired. The iris are blooming, I believe they will be next!

Thank you for stopping by. Hope these photos inspire the hope and joy of this Spring season in you.

Hope springs eternal. Blessings to you all.

Is there anything that smells sweeter than a lilac?
They are easy to grow as well. Which color is your favorite?
Sunday family meals are important.
I did not like the usual flower-shop vase these flowers came in.
This ceramic vase is lovely.
The iris are blooming.
They will be the next to fill the vase.

At It Again

The ‘highly educated’ are at it again. Ho-hum.

It is the same old song and dance from over thirty-five years ago. Talk about beating a dead horse. These ‘educated folks’ are tiresome with their old rhetoric of the ‘dangers’ of homeschooling.

It appears they are worried, that with this shut-down, more and more parents may realize they could teach their children at home, and indeed shall. I know of one family that is planning to do just that. Do you know of any?

This particular family sends their children to a pricey private school. Yet, I recently heard them say that even some of the things taught there did not line up with their viewpoints. This shut-down has brought to light to them the joys, simplicity and freedoms associated with homeschooling. This young family is excited about the free time they will have to travel and visit family.

It is not as hard as one may think. In fact, for the most part, it is fun. The biggest issue is to not fret. I should know. I started homeschooling our five children in the 1980’s when hardly anyone knew anything about it. In those early days, when we had only two children, we would not go out in public until after 3 p.m. because of the barrage of questions I would get. I was young and not fully prepared to answer all those questions.

It did not take long to find my voice in the matter. I read excellent materials on the subject, i.e. Raymond and Dorothy Moore’s books. They put into words what I felt on my heart in regards to the education of our children. They gave me courage and a guiding light on that poorly lit path.

(1) Home Grown Kids–A Practical Handbook for Teaching Your Children at Home; (2) Home-spun Schools–Teaching Children at Home-What Parents Are Doing and How They Are Doing It; and (3) Home Style Teaching–A Handbook for Parents and Teachers.

These folks knew what they were talking about. Sound reasoning may be out of style, but not relevancy. I also found other families that were on the same track as we were. Some of us, to this day, are still close friends with wonderful memories.

I had good practice in finding supporting folks. You see, dear reader, I also had most of my children at home. The most important thing I remember my lay-midwife tell me was to surround myself with positive folks that supported our decisions. Seek and ye shall find.

That is why I can say with certainty the lame excuses these ‘educated folks’ are using against homeschooling are empty, and have been soundly refuted. Behind those old arguments is an intense desire to shape and mold the minds of our children. Cookie cutter minds are far easier to teach and manage over independent thinkers.

For those of us that want to homeschool, kindly leave us alone to exercise our freedoms. For those of you that prefer government or private schools, please, stay on top of what is being taught to YOUR children. They are the hope of the future.

These books were an important help in my homeschooling days.
We volunteered at a local historic site. Our families have remained friends after all these years.
Homeschooled kids are some of the best at interacting with folks of every age.
They travel a good deal, learning about the history of all Americans.
They learn exciting skills, i.e. fishing…
Engine work. The fun of racing…
How to defend their own property (top photo), and how to defend their country.
They got used to folks taking photos of them, and answered all the questions visitors asked them.
They learned the importance of following directions well. These beautiful historic dresses earned ribbons for these girls at their county fair.
Outside makes a great classroom.
Imagination grows with free time. So do family ties.


I dare you.

I dare you to make the call. Make the call to Jesus right now. We all have the extra time with the virus shut-down. So, #makethecall. Ever tried before? It does not matter. Jesus is waiting to hear from you. He will hear your call. He has promised that. Put Him to the test. He can take it. He will take it. He has taken it.

He is not like our politicians who pretend to hear our calls, then go about their own selfish business, (which, by the way, is an extremely human trait). He hears. He listens. He cares—truly cares. But how would you know if you have never made the call? Dare to believe those that have called on Him. They have been where you are in your unbelief. Have you been where they are in their belief?

I dare you to call out-loud (so you can hear yourself) to Jesus for a week, this beautiful Psalm of David:

Psalm 23 Psalm 23 Print Psalm 23 Poster Bible Poster Bible Print ...

Call on Jesus. Ask Him to put this Psalm on your mind throughout the day in these trying times. Test and see if you will not feel a peace that passes all understanding.

Put Him to the test. I dare you.



The Diva

I work with a diva several times each week.

She is nice to handle much of the time. There are times when it is obvious she is not going to cooperate at all, or Heaven forbid, I forget her. That is always a disaster. She takes it very personal and falls flat on herself.

But when she has a mind to perform. Man! She’s great! Everyone enjoys her.

I have fooled around with many divas over my years. Currently my favorite is Whole Wheat Raisin Bread. She is pretty fussy and often does not rise to the occasion, but this recipe is very satisfying.

This diva—Whole Wheat Raisin Bread

I know folks must be baking more at home since virus broke out because finding flour is tricky.

So happy baking folks! These divas are testy, but keep trying. You’ll be glad you did!

When she is happy, she rises to the occasion and delights everyone!

Happy baking and have fun with your diva!

In Focus #6

My momma used to say, “It’s a rainy ‘ole day. Good day to stay in and write. I like rainy ‘ole days once in a while.”

I like them too. Guess I got that from her. But too many straight in a row can get the best of me. So today is a good day to post some cheerful farm photos taken yesterday while cleaning the barn . The only sunny day this week. Needless to say everything is soggy and damp. Physically and mentally. So, hopefully these fun farm photos will help lift your soggy spirits too, should you have any.

Hope you make it a be-a-blessing-to-someone kind of Saturday.

Pause a Moment

Times have been topsy-turvy here at home, and all around the globe. Normal life has been thrust into a worrisome, and unknown mode with this coronavirus. Schools, colleges, restaurants along with many other businesses and churches are closed in an effort to stop the spread of it.

The times seem very uncertain right now. However, if one would pause a moment to think about it, really everyday is an unknown. We just have this way of thinking everyday is normal. Surely there are issues that are bigger than others and this virus is one of them. It has thrown us in a panic.

So many fine blogs have been written on this current scare. I am sure I could add nothing to any of them. I so appreciate the positive and hopeful outlook of them.

Yesterday I made a phone call to my grandchildren. I “read” a book to them over the phone. My goal was to help, even in a small way, their momma and daddy with occupying the children a bit. It did not last long but was fun! We have also been having great fun sending photos back and forth over gmail. I asked my little 3 year old girlie if she has been enjoying the flowers around her house. She has. I told her how pretty ours were and promised to send some photos.

Little did I know just how comforting this promise to my granddaughter was to me. I walk everyday, but to stop and take photos of the flowers was therapeutic. So I think if there is anything I could add to all the positive blogs of coping with our current issue is to please pause a moment. Look at this beautiful world God has laid out for us. Give thanks, and know that He is in control. This virus has not taken Him by surprise. Call on Him. May the beauty of His world in my simple photos give you a sense of His calm and peace. Glory!

May you pause a moment and know God is near.

The Fun of Limericks

One of my blogging friends had fun with her photos and writing a limerick. She made an invitation to join the fun. So I have! You are welcome to join in the fun as well. Check out her blog. She has lovely photos and fun poetry!

A limerick is usually a humorous poem. Five lines. The first, second, and fifth line rhyme, and have seven to ten syllables and the same beat (rhythm). Third and fourth lines rhyme, and each live has five to seven syllables.


There was an old man with a beard

Who said, “It is just as I feared!–

Two owls and a hen,

Four larks and a wren,

Have all built their nests in my beard!” —Edward Lear

This was a fun challenge for me because we grew up listening to our mother read poetry aloud. She was so good at it. One time a person over hearing her reading out loud asked me if she was a professional actress. So here is my humble attempt at a limerick:

There once were two best friends from Nain

Who had two big horses with mane,

They rode out one day

On a trail far away,

And returned with much saddlesore pain. —-Mitzy Bricker

… and a couple photos to go with my limerick. Hope you enjoyed it!

Two best friends…
…from Nain.