Our Backyard Zoo

Today is the last day of April and the final letter for the April A to Z Challenge. Our back acres are a mobile zoo of sorts. The animals come and go as they please. The birds fly in and out.

 

 

 

There are a few other animals and birds who come and go into our backyard zoo that I haven’t managed to get a photo of. It’s always a treat to see someone new show up for a visit. Our yard was totally fenced in when we first moved here but we’ve taken a few sections of fence out for Dear’s shop project so the four legged variety of animals have easy access now.

And that is the finale for the April A to Z Challenge for 2020.

Hope things are well with all of you on this last day of April. Will May bring good news of loosening of the Stay at Home orders? We are hoping for that. We did hear our Farmer’s Markets are opening and that fishing and hunting are also okay with social distancing.

Off With Your Heads!

On the letter O today and I’m using an old saying to show our tree service chopping or felling two trees we were concerned about on our property. Two Douglas Fir trees came down in a jiffy with the right equipment. The grinding of the stumps took a bit longer.

We didn’t like how this tree was leaning towards our bungalow.

Timber!

Our experienced tree service guy said it was a really good choice to take this tree out as the base of the tree was rotting on the side of the trunk towards our house. We were thankful for that decision. We were only going to have the one in the back taken down until the tree people offered to do this one for half the price since they were on our property with all of their equipment already. They got in a full day of work with good pay and we got two down for the price of one and a half! We are counting our blessings!

There are more photos I’d like to share from the grinding and the chipping but my country broadband is acting up again. I’ll have to also show the wide open spaces we now have with these two trees gone. Dear and our son chain sawed the logs into manageable rounds that have been hauled up to our sons place to be stacked to dry. Our son will have enough wood to keep his place warm next winter from these two trees and then some. We haven’t had to burn wood to keep warm at our country bungalow.

Today is Friday y’all. I know some of us need to remind ourselves each day about what day of the week it is!

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 (ESV)

 

Labors of Love

L is the letter for the day and my bandwith is low, low, low so I can’t upload any new photos right now. I’ll have to look to my archives and decide on a subject for the letter L. I chose my Labors of Love post from 2016.

I love Easter and all that it holds and all that it means. I like the idea of new Life, a resurrected Life. The greatest Love that was demonstrated on Good Friday and the Life that was resurrected on Easter Sunday.

Here are photos of our Easter weekend labors of love and celebrations 2016.

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This was the end result of our labors on Easter Saturday 2016. Top left an Russian Easter sweet cheese spread called Seernaya Paska. The X and the B stand for Christ is Risen. On the right is the finished and frosted Russian Easter Bread called Kulich or Paska surrounded by Russian shrink wrapped eggs. The sign in Russian on the bottom left says Christ is Risen so you see where the X and B comes from.  Now I’ll show you some of the process of getting here.

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First you gather your labor force. This is my sister Lana who arrived early so that we could get the Russian Easter Bread (Kulich/Paska) started.

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The rest of the laborers arrived and donned their aprons and head scarves.

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At one point in the process of mixing the dough I thought I made a big boo boo so we prayed over the dough and Lana and I laid hands on the KitchenAid.  I didn’t want to start over again. All turned out well…

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Lana showing how her slippers match her apron.

The other photos in the collage are of kneading the dough and shrink wrapping the boiled eggs. While the dough was rising we enjoyed lunch together. Home made tamales and beans with guacamole, chips, and Dan and Jamie’s home made salsa.

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After lunch it was time to prepare the cans and to punch down the dough after it’s first rise. The Peter Rabbit bunting was completed by Katie and hung by Laura and Katie. Josh and Laura gifted me the bunting kit for my birthday last week.

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After the second rise we punched again and prepared the dough by hand for the cans pinching off enough or almost enough for each can we picked for this time around. Short, medium and tall.

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The guys were busy outside in the sunshine solving several world problems.

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The finished eggs and kulich on Easter day. I’ll show more from our Easter table in another post.

When the baking was done and the cheese mold was in the refrigerator setting up for our Easter Sunday meal the kids went out to dinner with their aunt and uncle. Dear and I stayed at home and crashed…

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All of our kids together enjoying each other and extended family fills us with joy and not having to make dinner for them after a full day in the kitchen was a bonus!

We love and treasure these traditions and hope to carry them on through the years and pass them on to the next generation. I’m happy to report three of our nephews wives took on this labor of love alone in their homes and had very successful outcomes!

Keepsake Quilt

We are on the letter K and I’m choosing Keepsake for my post.

This is a quilt my mother in law made before Alaska and Hawaii were part of the United States. It was in 1959 that Alaska and Hawaii became states so Verna made this quilt well before 1959. Rex and Verna got married in 1945. Verna was a one room school teacher in Kansas during World War II.

Each of the 48 states were represented with the state bird and state flower.

Verna’s children, grandchildren and great grandchildren live in the states of Washington, New York, California and North Carolina as of this date.

Verna with my hubby long before we met. This is probably 1966 or 1967.

Dear’s Parents, Rex and Verna with their 4 grandchildren in 1982. Two more granddaughters were born in 1985 and 1991. Rex passed away in 1985 before they were born.

Rex, Verna, Dear, Josh me and Dan in 1982.

This photo was taken in 1988 or 1989 at our first home in Washington State. Verna was living with us at this time. My folks, sister and her girls were visiting from California.

This collage is of Dear’s only brother and him and Rex and Verna. I put this collage together to show the similarities the two sons have with their parents. Terry with Verna and Dear with Rex.

We had an unusual social distancing gathering on Easter at our kids home to exchange Easter meal goodies and to see JJ and Addy at their Easter egg hunt. It was a different but good Easter celebrating our Risen Savior! Later in the afternoon we had an extended family Zoom meeting sharing our highs, lows and buffaloes with each other. It was so good to see many of the family units from Texas, Indiana, California and Washington and sharing some prayer requests. I trust you all had a good day.

As soon as my broad band lets me upload my photos from yesterday I’ll share them.

Wednesday Hodgepodge ~A Homey Easter

For A to Z challenge and the letter G scroll down below Wednesday Hodgepodge!

1. How will you celebrate Easter this year?

This will probably be the first Easter in my whole life that I will not be inside a church building celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ with other Believers in a jammed packed auditorium.

This year Dear and I will enjoy our church service online. We plan on delivering Easter goodies around town beginning with our kids and grandchildren staying at a safe distance. We won’t have our traditional meal of lamb or our wonderful Easter Bread (Paska/Kulich) or the delicious cheese spread, Seernaya Paska. Sigh…

My dining room table will not be set for a crowd.

2. Is it easier for you to receive grace offered or extend grace to another? Explain.

Definitely easier to give than to receive. It is a humbling experience to receive grace, to be forgiven. Pride likes to rear it’s ugly head. It’s easier for me to help than to be helped. Sometimes we are laid low and we can learn the lesson of humility in having to receive instead of being able to give.

Acts 20:35

35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

3. Do you say grace before meals? If so do you have a standard dinnertime grace or is it more ‘off the cuff’ ? Do you say grace when dining out? Do you have a favorite grace? Any special memory associated with ‘saying grace’?

We say grace when we have family around the table. When it’s just Dear and me we usually will say “Thank you Lord for this food!” Our grace changes as the season warrants. If we are having a meal around someone’s birthday we’ll include thanksgiving for them and what they mean to us. We always end our prayers with, In Jesus Name we pray, amen. Sometimes we say grace when dining out but not always. Lately Addy has been interested in saying grace and those are memorable. Our dear Pop’s prayers at special gatherings are very memorable as well.

Our father shared in this video that our mother thought this might be the last year they’d be having Christmas together and that did come to pass as she was ushered into heaven in September of 2013, on their 70th Wedding Anniversary. Our Pop followed our Mom to heaven in June of 2018.

4. What are some challenges you think the next generation will face? (Generation Alpha-born between 2011 and 2025)

Generation Alpha will have a very hard time honoring the purpose for which God created Man, Woman, Sex, Marriage and Family because of the twisted deconstructing of family and marriage that this world is legislating and forcing on us now. Like generations before they will be duped into believing it’s okay to kill a baby in the womb.  May God have mercy on us all.

5. Share a favorite quote or lyric featuring the word faith.

Current favorite quote about faith:

Faith is not a power which you possess to create your own future. Faith is a God-given ability to trust the future that God has promised you. ~ John MacArthur

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

My sister Lana recorded our Dear Pop answering some questions about prayer and fasting. Note: Our pop has a familiarity with the disciples. He calls John, Jack and Jacob and it might be in this video where he calls Peter, Pete.  Our Pop wasn’t perfect by any means but he knew what was important and that his righteousness came from Jesus.

Thank you to Joyce for posing the questions and thank you to all of you who visited my post. The link to the Hodgepodge is HERE.

Grandchildren

For Wednesday April 8th we are on the letter G and I’m choosing grandchildren and grandmothers for my theme.

Both of our daughters in law are the cream of the crop. During this distancing time Jamie had Addy and JJ’s hand prints made for the sweetest hugs I could get when hugs are out of the question. This is the note that came with the handprints connected with yarn:

Here is a hug with a handmade touch. Reminding you I love you this much!

So sorry but the internets at this country bungalow are not uploading my photos of my handprints. boohoo. As soon as I can I’ll add them to the post.

In the meantime here are the latest photos of the grands that I have from our DIL.

We’ve had some beautiful sunshiny days and the grands have enjoyed the sunshine. Addy is enjoying painting rocks and JJ is supervising.

The whole family have enjoyed some walks in the sunshine.

Addy received her birthday present from Uncle Andrew and Auntie Katie and this is one of the creations from these magnet blocks.

This little guy is 9 days shy of being a year old! He will not have his epic 1st birthday party on his day or anywhere near his day. It was going to be a lumberjack birthday with ax throwing and log rolling for the adults!

Here’s the latest photo of me, the paternal grandmother/baba of these two…

Here I am in the mask I made from my Beatrix Potter fabric that is from my stash. It’s over 40 years old.

The following photos were posted randomly as they showed up in my media library. They are not in chronological order. With my internet issues right now this is the way it is…

This is a photo of me with my mother and maternal grandmother. We called her our little Babushka. This is in the early 70’s. April 8th was our mom’s birthday. She would have been 97 today.

After our little babushka had an apartment of her own that was just a few doors down from the Russian Baptist church that we attended we’d enjoy Christmas breakfast before church services at her apartment. The photo above is of her with our sister Lana.

Photos from our wedding at the end of 1974.

My paternal grandparents at my sister’s home in Huntington Beach in the 70’s.

Our maternal grandmother with all of her grandchildren in the mid fifties. She would enjoy 5 more grandchildren born in the late fifties and early 60’s. Our mom only had one brother who survived into adulthood. Our mom’s only brother, Uncle Paul and Aunt Nina had 4 children. Our parents had 4 more children after the time of this photo which happens to be an Easter photo.

Our little babushka is in this group. Can you find her? This was taken at our second home in Huntington Beach where our 2 sons were born. Our little Babushka Vera died in March of 1980.

These photos with me and my babushka are at my 9th grade graduation and 12th grade graduation, 1965 and 1968.

Our maternal babushka had a more hands on relationship with all of us but that is not to say we didn’t have a relationship with our paternal grandparents. We honored them and loved them but we didn’t enjoy as close a bond with them as with our dear little Babushka. Since she immigrated as a widow she was more free to spend lots of time with us.

I’m sure all grandmother’s are looking forward to spending hands on time again with their grandchildren. We are missing those sweet hugs and face to face interactions.

Favorites

Today is the letter F and it took a while to settle on a theme or a word starting with F. How about Favorites from Easter’s Past or Flashbacks from Easter Past. These photos were from a cooking class the Mennonite Girls Can Cook taught at Lepp Farm Market in Abbotsford, British Columbia in 2014. The class was for Mennonite Heritage (Russian/Ukrainian) foods we enjoy at Easter especially Paska (Kulich-Russian Easter Bread), Seernaya Paska (Sweet Cheese Spread for the Paska) and other Mennonite foods.

Paska (Kulich) a very traditional Russian/Ukrainian Easter bread that is frosted and sprinkled!

Our daughter Katie traveled with me to Canada for this cooking class and took most of the photos during the class. This will be an Easter where our family does not gather to bake Russian Easter Bread together.

This is what our family’s Easter bread looks like. We bake the bread in old coffee cans we’ve saved from years past.

And here’s a flashback to the fifties, a family photo in our Easter finery. I’m in yellow with my classic Buster Brown haircut!

Back to the present. Today is Tuesday April 7, 2020. Yesterday I started the process to try to make a couple face masks. Pray for me because sewing has gotten me into so much trouble in my past. I was sent to detention in 7th grade because of something I said to my sewing teacher. OYE! My sisters are more talented in the art of sewing than me. My mother was a great seamstress, too. Me…not so much! I hope I can finish a mask today!!

Elastic is so hard to come by these days and look what I found in my sewing bin! A new package of the right kind of elastic for making masks!

I can’t remember why we bought this sewing machine but there it is and here I am hoping the threading is right and the tension is right and the stitching will go without the bobbin thread getting all backed up, etc. etc.

But…look at my delightful fabric that I’ve kept in my sewing bin for over 40 years now! Our firstborn’s room was themed after Peter Rabbit/Beatrix Potter and I bought this fabric thinking I’d sew curtains or something. Now I’ll be able to use it for Covid19 masks!! Who would have fathomed!

Forging Forward full of faith forever founded in Father God the author and finisher of our faith!

Looking forward to fun family and friend fellowship in the future!!

Do you sew? I’m sending my excess elastic to my sister Vera who has received requests for her to sew face masks for them. Eeek but now I have to make sure and finish a mask before I head to the Post office to mail that elastic to her!

Happy Tuesday y’all!