Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Time Is Here!

How can you post without sounding repetitive?  I'm speechless.  :/  For me an impossibility sometimes.  I think of many things to write about that I actually think of while sleeping - don't laugh, that is when I'm not busy.  At times my mind is so busy and doesn't make for a restful sleep, I don't like that - but I tuck ideas away to post on later dates; that should be written down as to not forget!  So I have a little blog book to jot thoughts and don't most of the time.  Go figure and  a hearty LOL!

Here are some pics just to let you know I'm still around.  Taken yesterday morning - finally some reprieve to the heat we've had and unusual warm weather for this time of the year.

The mountain always looks so big - it is, this is the side shot.








I heard that our mountain got over 18 inches of snow! Yippee!!  It's definitely a good thing for us here in the desert.  We've hardly had rain this year.  Last night it got down to around 24 - the bad thing for cold is that people don't always care for their animals and sadly there are people out there to.  I've been praying the Lord will keep all safe and warm.

On another note ~

With all the troubles in the world and in this United States, things can look hopeless.  We look to much with our natural eyes.  Our natural eyes can see the beauty around us as well as, things that are so horrible and hard for many of to even imagine.  The reality - evil is at work in the world and is very evident.  We forget and much by choice to believe that God is evident also - at work in this world; things seen by the natural eye and mostly things we don't.  That's where faith comes in.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen.  Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)

We have been slowly programed over the years - being desensitize if you will - to be shock maybe and if only for a short while then only to move on as this is the norm.  Questioning, If God were real why would he allow such things to happen?  I'm always surprised at the reactions of those who don't believe in God, how quick they are to blame Him for all the evil.  I'm equally surprised at how most people who claim to be Christians believe.  For they have this image of God, one they've created for themselves.  And, by not knowing the true God that only comes with having a relationship with Him,  choosing to make up one that suits them to justify their own actions.  To the extreme - groups such as Westboro Baptist Church - to the lesser, those that might just like their ears tickled on Sundays and go on their marry ways.

Yes, Christmas time is here; a time when family and friends set aside to shower what they can afford / or not, in gifts.  Not that giving gifts are wrong ~  Our old friend and pastor used to say he didn't care for this time of year in fact he didn't like it at all . . . the expectations put on people to only be unappreciated and let down!  Forgetting that this time was set aside for a much different reason. 

"For God so loved the world (all of us everywhere and everyone), that He gave His only Son (Jesus), that whosoever (that's anyone) believes in Him (Jesus and the one who sent Him) should not perish (that's died spiritually) but have everlasting (eternal - forever) life."  John 3:16

Prophesied of old (Isaiah 9 just read through all Isaiah :D) and born in a manger being rejected - having no place for Mary to give birth being born among animals.  He is still being rejected today and why?  Because of the real evil in this world and the deception that people choose to believe.  You see God has given us free will; He is a gentleman.  Just think - freedom of choice - we choose to believe in Him or not - everyone has free will.

"Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (our choice) And this is judgement: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.  For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.  But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God."

So a couple things here.  I used to wonder who "the wicked" as referred in the Bible are.  Wicked, a word I don't know if I would have use though what is written and defines all; yes everyone.  It's defining those who do bad or evil things as one would believe.  Let's say this in a shortened version.  Adam and Eve was created, fell into sin - world now leased by Satan - because of sin we live in a fallen world and everyone born is born into sin having a sinful nature, so here we are.  There is GOOD NEWS though!  God still loves us and provided a way out.  That's why Jesus came into this world - He's the out.  Though it's still a choice.  Simple - yes?  Yet misunderstood for man tries to think and rationalize with his mind - you must come as a child.  That is faith.

Remember Hebrew's 11:1
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen.  It's believing without seeing.

Anyway, I hadn't planned to share all of this.  Do to recent events you realize just how short life is. When bad things happen it usually gets one thinking my pray would be is that you take heart and not lose hope.  Exercise your faith and just like free will God has given each one of us a measure of faith.  The more it's used the more it grows.  We can't always begin to understand everything, but exercising your faith grows more in a relationship with the Lord.  You are precious to Him - 

And, for a last word.  While working on this (short post) I/we, were called away for a bit by our neighbor for help.  Her mother hadn't been well for sometime and sadly we had to say goodbye to a dear friend today and that was hard.  Please say a pray for those she life behind.  Life is short and adding to my prayer is that this Christmas season you take time to celebrate the reason for this season.

In Him,
Vicky




Monday, October 29, 2012

Taking Time From All The Noise ~

On my last post I thought the month just flew by -- and boy did it! But, I must have blinked to long ~  We did get to pick some apples this year and my surprise was when I checked my dates and pictures (Sept) I realized another month went by and was to late to pick one last time before the season here ended.  :(







We enjoyed going, as always, though the apples liked the most weren't quite ready.  So we figured we'd get back or I would in a week or so.  Right ~  Last Friday we drove up the mountain again and it was closed.  No sign posted as before and we left thinking maybe they left early that day.  We, the we being my husband and me, also drove to another little area so I could find some acorns.  That was also fruit less, and I really wanted to try them out since they are edible.  On my venture out and about took a few interesting shots with my cell.

On the way to pick apples I found my Dad of 79 up in the tree to take care of the dead limb that was bugging him!

Something hunters use.

You guess? lol

Ah Mistletoe getting ready for Christmas!

So now heading home went into town and to my surprise (not really) I grabbed 35-40 lbs of Hatch chili - you know not to go home empty handed.  It was the seconded batch this year first being the first and last time we picked apples, LOL.  Since the chili was fire roasted I left them wrapped and steaming until they cooled.  Which turned out to be when I felt like tackling them.  Next day! 

I worked on them cleaning off the outer skin and laying them in bowls until I decided what I was going to do.  This took the good part of the day and in between I thought I'd do an "apple run" one more time.  You can guess my disappointment to find them again closed; knowing now for the season.

This time for me wasn't a waste of time as some might think.  True I missed out on apples but today was blessed with a box from Angle Orchard given to my Dad from the owners.  My time on the mountain and even only a short drive up this time, is always a blessing to me.  This year I haven't taken the time until now to go and listen to quiet.  In fact, it's so quiet I had to stop my walking (when taking the few pics above) I was making to much noise over the broken twigs and leaves that I could hear the quiet.   I truly can't describe the beauty that I see, smell and feel when I'm there. 






I realize I probably gone overboard with the pictures this time.  I'm taking the liberty to do so (:D) I do love this time of the year.  I love the leaves and colors they change, I'm happy to soak it in.  All of the pictures were taken surprisingly enough with my cell!  I did save the best for last a few video clips that you at least can view and hear.  They're a bit shaky but I think you'll get the idea.  Still nothing - not pictures or clips can truly give us the taste of what we can experience first hand.  I'm hoping you take time from all the noise and find a quiet place. 




Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.  Psalm 62:5 NIV

Thursday, October 11, 2012

September Here & Gone ~ Here's October!


As you can see I haven't been on that much - sadly, I miss posting -using my "bit" more creative side; I love sharing.  I keep very busy but don't seem to have the time to get it here.  I try to keep some notes before I loose my thoughts on what I want to post though I have to laugh I start forgetting.  LOL For instance I have several things I do for Savoring Flavors - with recipe notes (sticky) stuck on the inside cabinet or written in small notebooks or used mail envelopes - - pictures on my phone (poor) and memory card I transferred - but didn't name it etc.  You get the idea! It's slow and I'm striving to get better.  There are several recipes I've been making and new things I've been doing so I hope you stop by and check I just might have something posted. :)
This year we (both me and hubby) made it to the Salsa Festival Car Show.  The turnout was great, very nice to see the town active since most of the time it isn't.  :(  Of course business like banks, salons, local (yeah--short break it's raining! Awesome!) Restaurants, few clothing stores do having a trickling to steady business.  Safford is a touch place for small business to succeed.  I have to give them credit they work at it very hard to compete.  Mostly we shop small business and do our best to avoid Wally World altogether!  Most of the time (and the rain stopped) L it's the very last place we would stop and most of the time we decide we don't need it and don't!    
Back to the Salsa Festival - we didn't see the Chihuahuas races or the salsa cook off or even shop the little booths.  We just did the car show and we enjoyed that!  Posted are some of the pictures I took of a great mess of cars.  



Now as much fun and joy that getting to go to the car show might have been  - and now into October; nothing compares to the joy we have seeing a picture of our first grandbaby!  Yep it's hard to believe it.  I shared with a friend I look nothing like my grandma's!  We hopefully will see him soon he sure is a sweetheart!
 
Logan Michael
By the way I do hope you take some time and check out the cars after you stop staring at Logan :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Autumn Is Coming ~

Autumn is coming
Angle Orchard is open.
And, I saw birds migrating
I long for this time of year ~
VLB 9-5-12

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Diaper Bag ~

I've been going through pictures and found a few I hadn't shared, like this diaper bag I made for my sister about 8 years ago - it's hard to believe!






I was very pleased with how it turned out and I've been frantic trying to find the pattern(s) - we have a baby on the way - in fact our baby is being blessed with two - I'll be a "Gram" and also an "Auntie!"

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
(Psalms 127:3-5 ESV)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I'm Needing Some Inspiration! :/

I've had a few set backs in the gardening dept. and slowly mind you - slowly, trying to get up to speed and aside for that - frankly it's way to hot, way to early!  So I've been compromising and working inside on things neglected for to long.  It's possible I'm repeating myself here! lol  I have a few other excuses also, my dad hadn't felt well so I helped out for a while with all his chickens.  Most recent I significantly cut my finger, long story, and when I was cutting onions to dehydrate I cut another finger same hand! Big time OUCH!  "I need some inspiration soon, AAUGH!"
One project I've been happy to start back up is a quilt that has been long over due.  I think its called Julie's quilt! lol Actually the pattern is called Turning Twenty click here to see some finished quilts at Donna's In The Attic, I hope it doesn't take me twenty more months or years to do ~  Soon Julie soon.  I am remaining hopeful  :D



I sure miss my old sewing room - the dining table worked out well though - I need to get it done, pronto!

Books I've been looking at:
Sonoran Desert Food Plants, by Charles W. Kane (Edible uses for the Desert's Wild bounty)
Amphibians and Reptiles in Arizona by Thomas C. Brennan and Andrew T. Holycross  (pretty cool field guide)
How To Get Started In Southwest Gardening by Janice Busco with Rob Procter (very nice)

I guess the most important thing that is on my mind is Children's Church.  Originally we thought we were sharing in the class, taking turns, now we are the only ones.  Sometimes there's 0 - 2 kids sometimes more - but no more than 5.  Ages 5-11.  Planning is difficult,  preparing for maybe :(  - So if you're a praying person send up a few for us.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

It was time . . .

Yep, I started to think and thought it was time to dusted off my sewing machine and get busy!  I have many unfinished projects and some to start.  :)  Pictured is a recycled pair of shorts I took from my friend Joan that she wasn't using, made into a bag.  I'm still not real happy with the handles but I couldn't put it off any longer.  Over all happy with it.  Hope you like your bag Joanie!







What have you been putting off?  Sometimes, - NO - it is important to step aside from busy and do something you enjoy or used to!    :D

Had to add a couple pictures - I did start this in Ohio.  :(  But it's done now.  :D


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hummers - Sept. 2010

I was looking through some pic's on my cell phone and found this.   I must say, I was pleasantly  surprised since I forgot I even had it.  I think at the time I had more time.  LOL  BTW - this was the third attempt to post the clip.  On my desk top its great and in my Vik's pics file.  From there to here it's another story.  I'll keep trying.  :/ (Just loaded it through You-tube crossing fingers lol)


We've had 3-4 hummers that stayed with us for two winters now.  This past winter it was mild but the  previous to last we did get into extremely cool temps even had deep freezing and the little hummers were in 18 degrees and less.  With the wild chills it was rough but these little birds are very tough.  In fact the Palo Verde trees  in the clip froze back so much we lost large portions of the tree.  Since then one has come back and we've planted a new tree.  The links are a great place for kids and adults to learn state symbols and identifying hummingbirds. 

We have been getting many back not as much as 2010 - I'm hoping :)  and of course we also have the orioles that share.  Hope you enjoy ~

More cool links:

Hummingbirds Species (you might not believe the list - amazing)
World of Hummingbirds
Exotic Hummingbirds

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,  yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Matthew 6:26-30 ESV






Monday, April 16, 2012

And Enjoyable Morning~

The day before my previous post we knew that we were in for a day of blowing dust.  "Blowing dust," a term also used by the NOAA  and a term NO ONE here looks forward to - that a day of blowing dust, as I don't have to imagine as we live through them - no one would.  LOL  But, it is/can be a more common occurrence here than some other places.   We had a slight reprieve you could say and nothing was show or "blowing" for that matter.  So I worked in the garden as shown in the previous post.  It was a beautiful day overall - nice temps etc.     And, "BD,"

It was just late!  Yep - showed up while we were trying to sleep - - and lasted ALL night long.  :(  NOAA also reported that we were to have rain for the next two days (it only last morning :(  ).  The morning after the "BD," I rose to a calmer, quieter, over-cast, spring showery kind of day.  It put a :) on my face!   I was also "BLESSED" with watching humming birds and orioles.  We have at least 2-3 different species of each, more on that later.   Any who I was able to catch a few short clips on my cell phone of a couple female hummers.  This is a first through a window.  The weather was perfect for this - all the birds seemed to be enjoying the shower - we sure were.

I would like to apologize for different background noises you my hear it wasn't a planned thing.  You can hear the hummers. :)







I couldn't decide on the videos I wanted to share so I uploaded those you see ~ 

Here is a really cool site I just found on Arizona: Beetles, Bugs, Birds and more . .
Also Birds found in Arizona here ~  I believe I have a possibility of three different Orioles; Scott's, Hooded and Bullock's.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Doing Some Gardening ~

Yep - Doing some gardening here! Okay, still learning the desert gardening thing and I'm happy to say that everything, that was supposed to - and some, made it over the winter.  I'm pleased.  :)  Having a milder winter this year helped.  Especially when I wasn't out there as much as I would have liked.   You know that there is always a before and after?  In gardening, as most everything, you don't always share the before pics - only the after "prettier" pics.   Here are some before(s) for you.

Weeding the soil from grass runners is the worst!

Some herb growth past couple years~
If you've left a tatter or two~

Of course, the pictures aren't the pre-before, before(s) lol :)

In front are strawberries I separated and rescued.
The strawberries were planted two seasons ago.  Last August was soooo hot!  I couldn't get out early enough in the morning to do any thing and way to hot in the day; you'd just say forget it.  I pretty much left it except to water and harvest what was ready.   So the "milder winter" allowed me to go out and weed (de-grass) the strawberries.  I literally had to dig them out to remove the roots (long runners) of the grass!  This well give you an idea what it was like.

This bit here took most of the day :(
As you can see roots of grass down below.
There are strawberries in there!
Bermuda Grass root!
Each time they break they make more!
The collapsible garden container at the top and the plastic (10-15 gal) is full of the stuff!  What a job :/ to say the least.  I know there are easier ways of dealing with unwanted weeds and mostly grass however, I don't want to use anything that wouldn't keep our garden organic.  I also wasn't sure how well the strawberries would do after separation and they did have some blossoms on the plants before I took all the grass out and as irritating as the grass was it kept the plant safe through the winter.   How funny is that!  lol   We also had a slight freeze and lost the blossoms but the plants over all are doing well.   Here is a picture of last years growth and I'm hoping this year they will produce as well.

2011 strawberries - you can see the grass coming through.
I took so many pictures of last years gardening adventure though I was so busy I didn't get to post any.   I'm hoping this year I'll be able to share more of what I'd been doing.   

Sophie still loves the garden!
 I still have many things to plant and a long hot summer ahead.  The boots I bought sure have had a work out and are the easiest things to deal with.  Slip them on and off as I come through the door.  I'm still hoping to put my feet up soon ~

Just to let you know we have some grass that I do leave ~













FYI

Bermuda Grass or Wire Grass
Types of Grass / for lawns
Burnout Organic Weed Control  Just saw this and I'll have to check into it.

If you are a gardener and as you are taking care of your garden remember to take care of you. 

And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.  Isaiah 58:11 ESV

Monday, March 19, 2012

What's This!

Spring is March 20, yep starts tomorrow and today we actually had our first snow here at our elevation of 3300 + feet~ you can check your elevation here.   I enjoyed the snow and it sure came down pretty good.  The melt down well be another story and not as pleasant, lol.  We knew the weather was going to turn for the next couple days and I'm happy to say I didn't get anything planted - waiting for the "last" freeze and motivation.  My fruit trees and grape vines started to get their leaves so I'm hoping they'll be fine. 



It snowed a bit more and then cleared up. I don't mind the little break in the weather - for once it gets hot it will be that way for a long time. Looking forward to spring~

Saturday, March 3, 2012

How's your day been going?

It started out on the right foot - and I was thankful for that since the past few days have really been something!  We've been concerned for a female dog and her pups that's been abandoned or a run away - hopefully that has been resolved, maybe I'll share more on that another time.  (Very stressful I have to say).  I also could barely walk, my knee had been giving me trouble - actually killing me, though I'm thankful today much better.  So all in all off to a good start this morning.
I had planned to slow cook a pork shoulder and had taken the meat out a couple days earlier - all in preparation to make something tasty.  I also had planned to use up the bananas that seemed to be turning into a soon science project but still usable for what I was thinking.  And, what was I thinking?!  No, not a mix of the two, interesting thought though. 
Well feeling pretty decent and off to a good start I thought I'd make a rub and get the roast ready - I did, check!  While that was setting for awhile I chose to make my Blueberry Almond Banana Bread I had everything for it and then make, with the bananas left, Muffins (I didn't get to this just yet, though started). 
So here, I finished the bread placed in oven - turn it on and set timer to the appropriate time.  Slow oven 325 F for 60 minutes.  I have to add, on the recipe I noted that I left it in a bit longer.  Today that wasn't the case; I set the timer on my stove at exactly 60 minutes.  Started to get the muffin ingredients ready to bake for when the bread came out.  I did some things out side being mindful of the time and would check often but not opening the oven door as "normal."  Okay it was just about ready to come out of the oven and I opened the door and to my surprise - - burnt!!! Oh yeah - burnt.. How was it possible?!  I made this before and never had any problems.  So I scratched the muffins for the time being and thought I'd just drop the temp. to 250 F and put in the roast to slow cook.
So back out side I went and mowed a bit - we had a mild winter and I'm thankful since those pups and mama was out apparently most of the winter - came back in and noticed the oven smoking!  Of course I did put my roast in our Emeril Cast Iron 4-1 smoker with wood chips but couldn't conceive that to be the reason since I've used this method before with "no problem."  Opening the door lots of smoke.
What to do?  I started the grill to finish the roast off and set it to finish slowly - while that was heating up I checked the roast - WHAT! it was scorched on the outside and looked almost half the size!  I checked the temp of the meat and it was 100 degrees on the inside. . . . I barely could carry it out to place on the grill. my silicon holders it truly were heating up so fast I had to fold them in half, talk about hot!  And, as hot as the oven was it still needing cook on the inside.  :/
So I opened the oven up again it was hot and not cooling down!  Remember I dropped the temp. this was to "slow" cook.   At this point I decided to checked the oven temp. with my husbands (Craftsman 1000 Degree High Temperature IntraRed Thermometer - yes he does have one) and it was well over 500 degrees F!!!! Shocked is right and a malfunction wasn't acceptable or even in my vocabulary for the day... I then noticed that the bread wasn't properly done on the inside though more then well outside.  But WHY?  It's a mystery~    :( 
So went back out checking the temp of the grill and it was good; so, I let it go just checking a couple time to see how the meat was doing.  When getting close to where I thought it might be ready I went out for the last check and the grill was OFF!!  I pulled the roaster out; brought it into the kitchen and exclaimed I'm done!  That's it!  Done!  Believe me know pictures weren't taken or required you can use your imagination for this.  :)
Of course I still needed to know why the oven wasn't working.  We haven't a clue.  :/  Though I've mentioned a few previous times I didn't think the oven was working as it should.  I'm very used to and familiar with gas; I actually prefer it so I thought maybe it was me.   So after it cooled down I thought I'd try and see what happens starting it again and setting a temp. to bake the muffins and it wouldn't start.  My husband thought maybe if we kicked the breaker to the oven off maybe it would reset that didn't do --- so on to the manual~
I was happy and surprised it was actually where I thought I put it this time!  :)   "Thankful for that you have no idea how much I dislike looking for things.  Well the manual was a help and I was able to reset it by the use of the timer, odd and the start button.  Wallah it worked! 
~
Some time has pasted since the excitement of the day~  A few hours.. Had to go into town for some things.  After getting home - I went back to the roasted to tackle what I wasn't quite sure I would be getting myself into.   Only to find it was tender, tasty and shredded up beautifully.  With enough that I made (since I took another break to eat) 3 pulled pork sandwiches and enough to make something else.   That's also was something else to be thankful for~  And the bread? Well it turned out though you can peel off the burnt part.  As for the muffins?  Well they will have to what til morning.

The oven will have to remain a mystery for now. . . still haven't a clue.  I'm thankful its work and I'll have to keep a close watch when I use it for now.

As usual I'm thankful to provide a bit of humor to maybe lighter you day.  :)  It's good to laugh and not to stress and worry.  Though I can't lie to you it was frustrating off and on.  It was good to walk away for awhile. 

So how has your day been going?  I'd love to know.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Out The Kitchen Window 6:30 am~



 A winter picture this morning;
I thought it was gone!
Not ready for the heat.
Happy with cooler;
Hoping it lingers on.

But, it wont~ 
VLB 2/15/12