Friday, April 29, 2011

Exchange Place this weekend!

This weekend, we'll be at Exchange Place Living History Farm in Kingsport Tennessee for their 27th Spring Garden Fair.

This is a beautiful, historic farm from the 1850s and is located at 4812 Orebank Road in Kingsport.   The cost of admission is $1 per adult and .50 per child.  The money goes to support the farm. Hours are 10 to 5 on Saturday and 12 to 5 on Sunday.  I hope y'all will come spend a day under the beautiful trees and enjoy the atmosphere of a farmstead from the mid-1800s!

We'll be there with all of my soaps, salves, teas and more!  I have about 8 new soaps that will be on display for plenty of sniffing! I'll be speaking Saturday at 3:00 on how to cook with the herbs you grow and I'm really looking forward to that!

There will be thousands of plants for sale with an emphasis on herbs, native plants and heirloom plants along with garden related arts and crafts.  Gardening and farming experts will lead "Talks and Walks" and Master Gardeners will be there to answer all of your gardening questions.

There will be plenty of things for families to see and do - heritage breeds of animals, demonstrations of life in the 1850s from working the garden with a horse and plow, shaping iron over a forge, sheep shearing along with spinning and weaving of the wool,  cooking over the hearth, children's garden crafts led by the Girl Scouts, 4-H groups showing animals, Ol' Timey music and traditional foods.

There is a Porch Sale filled with many garden items, linens, pottery, furniture, doodads, gizmos, and thingamadoodles...proceeds help feed the farm animals! The boys and I always find incredible treasures at this sale!

On Sunday you can learn to work a Gee-Haw Whimmy Diddle and participate in the competition. It's a fun thing to watch and do for kids of all ages!  The reigning national champion will be overseeing the competition!

We'll be very busy for the next few days - this weekend is a fun filled one for my whole family and my boys, my mama and I all work together to make it happen! We will be finishing our packing, loading the van and setting up in Kingsport.  I'll be taking a blogging break for the next few days while we are gone.

If you're in the area, please stop by and introduce yourself, I'd love to meet y'all!

Please Pray

Please be praying for the people of our county.  Many have died and the devastation is great.  While we were huddled in the basement with candles and flashlights, many homes were completely flattened. The last estimate I heard was that over 170 tornados were sighted.

I have often grumbled during the winter months that snow storms headed straight for us would divide and leave their lovely cover of snow on either side of us.  No more. The tornados that were headed straight for us divided and although we are safe and our homes are intact, there is great devastation around us.

We lost several trees.  One huge tree is still standing but every limb has been broken and either hit the ground or is hanging loosely. It looks as if someone walked around it snapping limbs in a circle. We'll be taking them down over the next week or so.

We had a bit of flooding in both houses but nothing to complain about.  We are thankful we had a basement to go to, thankful we planned ahead and were there before the storms hit, thankful our animals survived and thankful that all of our family and church family are well.

We continue to pray for friends and others in our area and across the south, whose homes suffered great damage and for those who lost their homes, their friends and even family members during these storms.

Please pray.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


We knew it was coming....we just didn't know how bad it might be.

We spent a good part of last night in mama's basement with candles lit while tornados were spotted all around us.  We had a bit of flooding down there - good thing we were there to take care of it.

When it was finally clear to come back home, we found our kitchen flooded.  We're still working on how/why that happened.

Once the sun rises, Jeremy will check everything out. Josiah and I are on our way to U.T. for an exciting field day and to participate in a focus group on BDMs. Can't wait to share all about that!

What a night!  I'm very thankful for His protection and provision for our family.  We were safe, dry and warm.

Please pray for the families throughout the southeast who lost homes, friends and family members.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Seder

This Passover we were invited, by a dear friend, to attend a Seder dinner. We were so excited to go.  The location was beautiful...we looked out over vineyards and many dogwoods in bloom.  The evening was beautiful..the air was filled with song birds and the blowing of shofars.

The tables were beautifully decorated with the traditional Seder plate and plate of Matza on each table.

The teaching was wonderful!  The components of the Seder plate and the cups were explained in detail. Did you know that the Seder meal and Passover Supper were the same? Did you know that the meal ended with "communion"? The explanations of "what and why" for the tradition of the Seder were eye opening! The fact that we are still commanded today to celebrate this feast pricked my heart!

The power point presentation made things so easy to understand!

After the main portion of teaching, we were treated to a traditional meal.! Smoked lamb, roasted potatoes, herb & gingered carrots, salad with Honey-Lime Basil dressing, flat bread and baklava for dessert! Such a feast!
After the meal, there was a bit more teaching and then a time of worshipping Him who died for us!

Along with plenty of shofars sounding off!

It was amazing how much the Seder pointed to Yeshua (Jesus), our Passover Lamb!  

Did you know Yeshua, our Passover Lamb, was crucified at the same time the Passover lambs were being slaughtered?

Did you know that when the Passover lambs were entering the gate, the people would sing Psalm 118 because the lamb designated to take away the sins of the nation was with the Priest entering that gate?  

Did you know that when Yeshua entered the gate the people were singing this same song to Him

Did you know that at the very hour they were binding the Passover lamb to the alter, they were binding Yeshua to the cross?

Did you know that when the High Priest slew the lamb for the nation he would say, "It is finished!"?

Did you know that at the very time they slew the passover lamb, Yeshua said "It is finished!" and died?

Did you know that the Matzah bread is bruised, striped and pierced just like Yeshua was for our sake?

There is so much more...if you don't understand the Hebrew culture at that time, the feasts and their purposes - you miss so much of Yeshua in the Old Testament!

If you would like to learn more  about the Spring Feasts you can visit here.

When our Savior came the first time, he fulfilled all of the Spring feasts.  When He comes again (and He will!), He will fulfill the Fall feasts.

What an exciting time we live in!


Monday, April 25, 2011

His Endless Gifts....

In the midst of two incredibly busy weeks, I am trying to slow, to see, to give thanks.

#715 - #740

uncountable night lights in the heavens

the seder dinner and all that it reminds us of

birthday celebrations

embracing His feasts

the ability to work hard

hugs from my boys

family that visits

spring flowers

evening breezes

mechanically inclined sons

food in the pantry

the blessings of giving

wedding celebrations

a hand slipped in mine while we walk

a laptop that travels where I do

phone calls from sons "checking" on me

my daughter, wife of my son, - such a delight!

family working together

our garden growing well

lashes on cheeks as they sleep

digital cameras - recording our memories

mama by my side

sunlit lace reflecting on walls



portable tables

We are learning to see His gfits as a continual love note that reminds us that He is always here.  He is faithful and He loves us passionately!  Will you worship Him with gratitude by counting His gifts with me?  You will discover that He is your source.  He is your healer.  He is your provider.

He never fails...

He never forsakes...

He leaves me breathless....

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In the Studio Again!

Jeremy has spent a lot of time practicing the drums these last few weeks.  He is playing for a local high school graduation and for a local college graduation.  He's also been in the studio again with The Willi.  They are recording another CD and from the time I spent listening in the recording booth it is going to be amazing!

Tuning up...

Jeremy setting up this kit - he has to program each drum pad to the sound he needs.

Walter getting read to play

Nate...ready to go!

Angie providing vocals for timing - although her voice is not being recorded at this time, she can be heard in everyone's headset.

Kasie on keyboard!

I can't tell you how much I love these kids young people! They are what my Grandma would call "all 'round good 'uns". We love to spend time with them, and their parents, - in or out of the studio. 

My point of view in the soundproof recording booth.  It is amazing to watch and learn how a CD is made. The people who own and run this recording studio are some of the nicest people you'd care to meet.  

That's my boy!

If you haven't heard The Willi sing then click here.  You can listen to songs from their first CD.  Be sure to listen to The Tattered Old Flag.  This is an amazing family who dearly loves our Father and strives to serve Him in all things with honor.  

They write music, they write lyrics and they sing beautifully together.  

I can't wait to hear the rest of their new CD!

We love you guys!


Monday, April 18, 2011

His Endless Gifts....

It has been a busy week... school, a birthday, a Civil War Ball, time with friends and lots of time in the garden.  It's been hard to squeeze gardening in between the rainy days.  Seems as soon as the soil is dry enough to work, it rains again. I've also been busy in the greenhouse - I think we have almost all of our seeds planted that need to get in the ground soon.  Now, it is time to plan for our fall crops and when they need to get planted.  

We are so thankful for this season, for what we've accomplished so far and for the vision He has given us for our gardens this year... and so we continue to count....

#688 - #714

snow peas beginning to climb the trellis

wheat planted

oats planted

lettuce growing like crazy

tomatoes peeking up through the soil

passing my test!

gifted books - enough to read for years!

projects completed

garden plans

strawberry blossoms

raspberries climbing the trellis

apple trees in bloom

exploring our Jewish roots

our walk behind tractor


moonlight through lace

blueberry bushes growing

seder dinners

focus groups 

new fruit trees that survived the winter

peach blossoms that survived the frost...we think!

learning new ways to garden

ambitious plans for canning this year

stars filling a velvet sky

sleeping with the windows open

greenhouse filling up

working together as a family

We are learning to see His gfits as a continual love note that reminds us that He is always here.  He is faithful and He loves us passionately!  Will you worship Him with gratitude by counting His gifts with me?  You will discover that He is your source.  He is your healer.  He is your provider.

He never fails...

He never forsakes...

He leaves me breathless....

Thursday, April 14, 2011

All grown up!

One of my babies turned 21 yesterday.  Now how did that happen? Seems to me it was just last week that he needed to be rocked to sleep.

Jeremy has to be at home group since he's the leader. After Doodles' recent surprise party there, Jeremy  was sure to tell me that he didn't want any surprises, cakes or singing.  Isn't it grand that we don't have to obey our kids?

Some of the young ladies were gracious enough to bake a cake since I was "being watched".

It was also suggested that when Jeremy asked for volunteers to read the scriptures for the evening, one of these young ladies would volunteer - but instead of reading, she'd start singing Happy Birthday! What a great plan!  We ate snacks, fellowshipped, worshipped and then sat down for teaching time.

Jeremy was surprised when, instead of the scriptures, song burst forth!  At the same time, the cake was brought out.  Soooo many candles, it took 4 people to light them all :)

I'm so proud of this young man who loves the Lord, loves his family and strives to please Him in all he does!

However, he is as windy as ever - just took him a second to blow all 21 candles out!

We had a great evening of fellowship and fun. Thank you to everyone who helped me pull this off!

Happy Birthday honey....your mama loves you!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I thought I'd share my recipe for home made taco seasoning.  I've been making my own for some time now. This is so much cheaper than those little packets in the grocery store. You can also control what goes in it and how "spicey" you like it.  I promise - the flavor is so much better too!

TNfarmgirl's Taco Seasoning

3/4 cup chili powder
3 tsp. garlic granules
3 tsp. onion powder
3 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
4 tblsp. dried crumbled oregano (or 3 tsp. ground)
2 tblsp. paprika
1/4 heaping cup ground cumin
3 tablespoons sea salt
3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

Put all of these ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until thoroughly blended.  Store in pint size canning jar or other air tight container.  Use 2 spoonfuls per pound of meat or use to taste - just depends on how much flavor you like.  Increase or decrease chili powder and red pepper to your desired level of heat. 


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Garden time!

My greenhouse is popping with little plants - this is Calendula just peeking through the soil.  I use a lot of calendula in salves and in soaps.  It's such a beautiful plant and is wonderful as a border plant in the front of a flower bed.

Our snow peas getting ready to go in the garden.  

We've been holding off because our weather has been goofy - warm then heavy frosts and back to warm all in 36 hours!  Yesterday evening the sky looked like this...

and when it was all done it left ball size hail!  So glad my plants are in the greenhouse and not in the ground yet!

Our bush beans waiting to be planted!

Chamomile peeking through the soil!

Our cover crop of winter wheat!

Each of these sections holds 5 beds that are 4 feet by about 30 feet. You can see our chives and comfrey in the herb border on the right.  We enjoy fresh chives from spring till hard frost.  The comfrey is used around our house for poultices, compresses, salves and teas.

Our rows of strawberries are in the black plastic mulch.

The boys are digging an irrigation trench. We have underground drip lines in the top 5 garden areas. By adding the line here we will be able to irrigate the back 2 garden areas with drip line.

These stakes mark where our potatoes are planted.  We've planted Red Norlands, Yukon Gold and Kennebec.  We're trying an experiment with some of the potatoes this year.  Instead of planting them in the dirt, we are covering them with a thick layer of straw.  As the green tops poke through, we will continue to add hay.  When it is time to harvest this section, we will just need to pull back the straw and pick the potatoes!  

How are your gardens coming along?

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