Be a Rock Mover

“Put your shoes on. We are going outside now.”

“You push the stroller, and I’ll push the wheelbarrow.”

“Mama! Wait for me. Don’t go so fast.”

“Okay, kids. I need you to look for rocks about this size, but they can be any shape. When you find one, put it in the wheelbarrow. I’ll help you. We will work together. I want to fill this wheelbarrow with rocks this size.”

“The wheelbarrow is half-full! We are doing well. Good job. Thank you for helping me.”

It was about this time that Sprout looked up at me, dirt on her face and hands, and asked, “Mama, why are we putting these rocks in that wheelbarrow?”

Ah, the faith of a child. The faith of a little rock mover doing what appeared to be a meaningless task without question, without hesitation.

“Well, we need to load them in here to take them elsewhere because they are small, but heavy. It would take many trips if we carried them in our arms.”

“Oh. Okay.”

We continued loading, filling the barrow about halfway. It was as heavy as I could manage at that point, especially as we had to travel slightly uphill to our destination.

“No, children. We are going this way. Follow me, please.”

We arrived at the spot where my new flower beds would be.

“Okay, here’s what we are going to do. I’ll lay out some larger rocks every so often to make the shape I want, and you two can fill in with the smaller ones. Place them as close and tightly together as you are able. Do not worry about the size of each rock or fitting them together perfectly. I will come back and fill any gaps that you accidentally leave.”

We began laying the rock border for my new flower bed.

“Mama, why are we putting these rocks here in the grass?” she said with a confused look.

More faith. A little rock mover tasked to lay out the rocks. She did so without hesitation in precisely the manner I had described. She stopped, wondering what the purpose of this job was — not questioning the job itself, just desiring a deeper understanding of the puzzle of this work.

“We are making me a couple of flower beds. I want the rocks to go around the edge like in that space over there. Eventually, we will add mulch. Without the rocks, the mulch would spill out all over the grass, and the edge would not be neat. With the rocks, Daddy can spray to kill the grass and make a neat edge.”

“Oh. Why do the rocks need to be so close together?” she asked as she carefully laid another.

“So that the mulch won’t slip through any large cracks.”

The faith of my little rock mover shined that day.

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:2-4 (NIV)

Be a rock mover. Have faith.

For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Matthew 7:8 (NIV)

Yes, ask your questions. Ask with the faith you have. Seek and knock for answers that strengthen your faith. But do not hesitate to step through the door, make the call, answer the pressing in your heart, do the impossible, perform the task.

Be a rock mover of great faith.

She Gardens: First Harvest!

I harvested our first fruits from the garden this year: peppers. I picked 1.3 ounces of jalapenos (on the right in the photo below) and 2.6 ounces of serrano peppers (left). They look very yummy! Now to consider some dishes to use them in this week. 🙂

She Gardens: A Late Start

As the title says, we got a late start with the garden this year due to a cold, wet spring. And my memory is a little hazy about most details, so forgive me for that! I think we got the plants in before May. We planted 6 jalapeno plants and 6 serrano pepper plants and two or three dozen onion starts. We also have four cucumber vines growing. And we planted about 120 tomato plants.

Yes, I did type “120.”

No, it was not a mistake.

Yes, we planted that many intentionally.

We know that there will be a lot of tomatoes, but in all fairness, they probably won’t produce as heavily as you might predict. Our garden does not get full sun, which will reduce their production. And we are sort of counting on having the squirrels get some of them, like they did last year. (It would seem I never wrote about that problem, but I can sum it up for you: the squirrels ate our tomato plants last year. Not just the fruit, but the entire plant, chowed to the ground. They would hang their fat little bodies upside down by their toes from the tomato cages and just munch away!) And we did have a slight problem with blossom-end rot and birds last year as well, so we are expecting to lose some those ways.

We really love tomatoes, though. I buy them canned a variety of ways: paste, sauce, crushed, diced. We consume a lot of salsa, and Nate really loves tomato juice to drink.

If we can more than we need for one year, we may not have to grow any next year. Knowing I will have a toddler next year makes that prospect very appealing.

And if we are still swimming in tomatoes after canning all we could possibly use in a reasonable amount of time, well… we have lots of friends and family who may like some. And there is a farmer’s market in town… maybe we would have to look into selling there. 🙂

I don’t have an overview picture of how the garden is doing, but I hope to take one soon. As I write this, Nate is tilling in the remaining clover, grass, and weeds between rows. That will make for a nicer picture anyway.

Garden, Pregnancy, and a Sneak Peek!

I know I haven’t been blogging very much lately. We haven’t been sitting around like vegetables, though–there is plenty to say, but words are failing me. I’m well into my second trimester (nearly 16 weeks now), and I have been feeling better. I still get nauseous sometimes, but I have more energy and my appetite is slowly returning. I had enough energy last weekend to help Nate with the yard and garden work. I pruned all of our bushes/small trees (wisteria, crepe myrtle, etc.) while he mowed the back yard. Then I tilled the garden while he mowed the front. After tilling, we seeded the garden with clover as a winter cover-crop. We hope the clover will increase the nitrogen in the soil and will keep weeds (and grass!) down over the winter.

tilled and seeded

tilled and seeded

Mojo has gotten so much bigger–here’s a complimentary photo (with a tail-wag-blur!):

so happy!

so happy!

Around the hosta (what’s left of it, in some places, anyway), some red spider lilies are popping up:

I have been knitting and crocheting, but both are secret projects. One is a Christmas gift, so you won’t see it for a long time. The other will be revealed Monday, but here’s a sneak peek!

ladybug!!!

ladybug!!!

Final Harvest, 2013

We had a good time getting dirty as we harvested the final crop from our garden: carrots! We did not thin our carrots, so we had some very fat ones and some teeny-tiny ones. In all, we harvested about 5 pounds. We gave nearly a pound of the prettiest to a good friend who cannot grow carrots (a meek offering, but one that was appreciated all the same), and the remaining 4 pounds were put up in 6 pint jars.

I’ll tell you, I had my day planned out yesterday. I thought, surely I could get those carrots canned by lunch and then have time in the afternoon to shop for groceries. Bzzt! wrong-o! I didn’t even get the little suckers cleaned before lunch time and didn’t get them jarred and in the canner until 4 pm! But I know when I pop the seal on one of those jars in a few months, the memory of the toil will fade quickly. (Don’t worry–we didn’t go hungry! I had resources for tomato soup and grilled cheese for supper.)

Harvests This Week
Sunday — 5.01 lbs carrots

This Week  5.01 lbs
This Month (August)  5.01 lbs
This Year  18.02 lbs