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.

Beatrix Potter ~ A to Z Challenge

I’m stretching the letter X in the A to Z challenge to include it’s part in the name Beatrix.

On July 28th in 1866 Helen Beatrix Potter was born. She lived to be 77 years old.

Here is my collection of Beatrix Potter figurines to date in the following collages…

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I bought most of the figurines in England in 1973 and 1974.

This little rabbit made her famous with The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

“I don’t know what to write to you, so I shall tell you a story about four little rabbits whose names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter….”

“And that – a letter to a small boy called Noel- was the beginning of the Beatrix Potter Books.”

I started my Beatrix Potter Collection in the summer of 1973 while touring England. I bought the Biography The Tale of Beatrix Potter by Margaret Lane in Oxford July of 1974.

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Dear and I bought two full sets of Beatrix Potter Story Collection at Foyle’s in London and had them shipped home to us. One set for us and one set for our first niece born in 1973, Jenna. I suppose technically she wasn’t my niece until Dear and I were married in December of 1974. You can see our set is well used and loved.

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The fun story behind The Tale of Little Pig Robinson revolves around our firstborn son, Josh. We would let him pick a bedtime story for us to read to him each night and he caught on real quick that The Tale of Little Pig Robinson is one of the longest tales in the Beatrix Potter collection. He’d request it each night to extend the time before bedtime! Each of our three children are brilliant in their own way…

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In the summer of 2014, Dear and I made a 40th anniversary trip to England and on this trip we spent an afternoon in Gloucester and of course had to visit this sweet shop close to Gloucester Cathedral.

gloucester cathedral 029-001We knew about this shop in Gloucester and were determined to visit it while we were in Gloucester 41 years after I started my collection. gloucester cathedral 042

gloucester cathedral 030 There are lots of shops relating to Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit in England.

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2014-07-11 gloucester cathedralThis shop had a lot of fun displays filled with memorabilia.

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I’ve enjoyed all these books about Beatrix Potter. The latest book I received was from Josh and Laura, Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life. The book on Beatrix Potter’s Derwentwater was a great resource for a walking trip we took with good friends in 2006 staying at a farm on the Derwentwater for a few days during our time in Great Britain. So sad that while we were in the Lake District we didn’t visit Hilltop! Maybe on a future trip we’ll take the time to visit.

2016-07-27 Beatrix potter9This was a sweet surprise from my mother when they sorted through my dear Babushka’s apartment after she died. I sent her this postcard trying my best to communicate in Russian from England in 1973. In 1973 and 1974 Dear and I toured England and beyond singing with a Christian Rock Band. I share this here even though it’s not directly linked to Beatrix Potter but it was during the summer where my love for all things Beatrix Potter started!

A little update on the water situation at our country bungalow. Dear is heading under the house to start the process of pumping out the accumulated water from our leak of “who knows how long”. There is a very tough woven plastic liner that covers the whole bottom of our home. The plumbing and insulation are above that liner. The water has accumulated in the liner and it is sagging from the weight of the water. We have to poke a hole in the liner and try to catch the water in a large tub and pump it out. Dear spent Monday talking to an engineer from the manufacturer of our home. He was very helpful. We then tracked down a flat discharge hose (100 ft.) to use to pump our the water. We are fortunate to have the very efficient pump from our pond that will be almost too powerful in pumping out the water. More news to follow.

We’re in Hot Water!

So how timely is it that we are on the letter W for Monday April 27th!

We have not had our heat going a lot the last few days which aided our discovery of a noise that was confusing. We heard the noise in one of our guest rooms that is also the grands play room.

We have determined that it is a hot water pipe leak somewhere in the vicinity below this room.

We have a couple call outs to local plumbers and hope to get this glitch addressed soon. I will be calling our insurance company to see about our coverage for this problem. One of the options in addressing this is to go through this floor to pump out the water and repair the leak. If that’s the case it will be great to get rid of this carpet and put some new flooring in this room. Our entire crawl space has a bladder between the floor and the crawl space and that’s where the water has been accumulating. It’s ready to burst! Yikes! We will know more once we get a plumber out to assess what needs to be done. In the meantime here are more water photos from our favorite walks along the beach, Emma Woods in Ventura, California from 2008-2010. The waves of Emma Wood.

God is in control of the waves of the sea and all the waves in our lives, too. If you don’t believe that I pray that God will reveal himself and his power and sovereignty to you so that you can believe.

Happy Monday to y’all. I’ll let you know what the plumber reveals. Makes us thankful for social distancing since hot water and showers are at a premium right now to keep the leak under control.

Variety

For this last Saturday of April we are on the letter V. I have a variety of things I’ll share for today.

We’ve had a variety of visitors to our country bungalow in the last month.

Can you see the beard on the larger turkey?

Some verses from the Bible I noted in my readings over the past couple of weeks. These are from the English Standard Version.

Proverbs 18:2 ~ A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

Romans 12:12 ~Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Romans 15:13 ~ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

And this is a portion of Psalm 19 that we have memorized and continue to keep in our memory, verses 7-11.

The law of the Lord is perfect reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever,
the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping of them there is great reward.

One last verse from Psalm 19,

Psalm 19:14 ~ Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

This week we finished our last puzzle that we had in our stash. This one is an old one we’ve had around for years since the Soviet Union fell in the early 90’s and became Russia again. This was a tough one and at the end we thought we had one piece missing but were happy to find it under the table. Have you been putting together jigsaw puzzles while being sequestered in your home?

Have a good Saturday y’all. We are predicted some rain later this morning. I mowed the lawn on Tuesday and it already looks ready to mow again.

Tough Times for Tea Rooms…

On the letter T for the A to Z Challenge and I’m choosing Tea Rooms and Tea. I hope all the Tea Rooms in Great Britain survive the COVID-19 shut down! All these photos are from our trip to England in July of 2014.

Stow on the Wold 028Although we passed quite a few tea rooms while we were in England I only had tea once and it wasn’t in a tea room. Oye. I will show you many lovely tea rooms that you can choose from if you travel to England. Lucy’s was in Stow on the Wold.

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This one was in Broadway in the Cotswolds.

Our daily timing was way off for stopping to enjoy a cup of tea in the afternoon. By then we were usually a bit warm and needed something cooler to drink.

Broadway Day 7 072Love the name of this one, Mrs. T. Potts…pretty clever. It was real close to Martha’s coffee house on the main street running through Moreton in Marsh.

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Sunday-Banbury 010On our way to Banbury we saw Mrs. Brown’s Tea room.

Bourton-Gloucester 020In Bourton on the Water there were a few tea rooms to choose from.

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This restaurant/tearoom was less appealing than the Small Talk Tearoom above.

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If we didn’t manage to walk right past a tearoom we enjoyed seeing signs for tearooms.

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2014-07-12 Hay on WyeWe got a little closer to a proper tea experience with these delicious scones and clotted cream but the drink of choice on this morning was coffee in Hay on Wye.

To Windsor 158On one of our last days in England I decided it was high time to have some tea so as not to totally disappoint my tea drinking readers.

To Windsor 162It wasn’t the finest of tea services in the bar of our hotel. The scones were no where near as nice as the ones we had in Hay on Wye.

To Windsor 159This was my tea and tea experience. One hot and the other one cold. The cold one may or may not have had some alcohol in it.

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post I hope that the many tea rooms in Great Britain will survive the COVID-19 lock down. We are hoping that things will look good enough come September for us to keep our flight and apartment reservations for Oxford, England. We wait and we’ll see.

What is your favorite tea? Do you have a favorite Tea Room? Have you ever attempted to host a proper Tea?

Use It or Lose It Hodgepodge

I’m combining Wednesday Hodgepodge with the A to Z Challenge for the letter S today. Strength, Survivor and Sinner are enough S’s to qualify. Sigh and snicker…

1. What’s something you resolved to do this year? Have you done it?

My motto for the the next few years is “Use It” or “Use It Up”. Ribbons, paper, stationary, stickers, paper napkins, paper plates, etc. etc. Instead of stashing these things away and forgetting about them I want to use them. If I have no intentions on using aforesaid items then I want to give them away.

2. Where do you go to find quietude?

The place that I go for my quiet time activities is our office at our big oak desk that sits in front of our bookshelves. I like being surrounded by the books we love. Bible reading in the Old Testament, a chapter in Proverbs, and finishing up in the New Testament. Then I move on to books written by authors I trust like Spurgeon or MacArthur or Sproul or some of the Puritans to dive deeper into understanding Bible truths. One thing I want to improve on is being more faithful in prayer.

3. A friend asked this question on her Facebook page and said I could borrow it for the Hodgepodge…you’re only allowed to buy 5 things at the grocery store, and all must start with the first letter of your first name. Whatcha’ buying?

I was surprised to find a lot of things that start with the letter E.

  1. Eggs
  2. Enchiladas
  3. Elderflower Cordial
  4. English muffins
  5. Eclair

4. The television show Survivor, the Gloria Gaynor song ‘I Will Survive’, survival mode, survival of the fittest…pick one and discuss.

Survivor, the television show. It has been a show I’ve watched since the beginning. That’s a lot of seasons. I am fascinated by how the human race interacts in this setting. I’d love to reference this show to that professor of mine that wanted us to write a paper on how all humans are inherently good. Haha…no, Mr. So and So, all humans are not good but they are sinners in need of a Savior and I’m one of the chief sinners. So thankful that God provided a way out! I also know I’d never survive on that show. If I ever made it to the island I’d probably be voted off first thing if I didn’t collapse and have to be medivaced out of there!! To other Survivor fans…wasn’t last week’s show one that was so emotional and amazing to see all those children that they flew in!? I was in tears and a little concerned on the welfare of those kids having to leave their parents behind…

5. Share a favorite quote or saying about strength.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:1

6. Insert your own random thought here.

This little guy turned 1 last week and we had fun with a lumber jack photo shoot. I will be posting 1,000 photos as soon as I can upload them all. We had his social distancing party last Thursday and then when the weather warmed up on Sunday we managed a social distancing photo shoot. You have been forewarned.

Thank you to Joyce for coming up with the questions and to all who read my answers! Click here to read more Hodgepodge answers.

Roozengaarde Tulip Farm

On the letter R and let’s go back to remember better days when we could schlep about the muddy tulip fields during the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. The Tulip festival of 2020 had to be cancelled and the only way to see the Roozengaarde Garden is by a virtual tour.

Our very first visit to the tulip fields in Mount Vernon was a brief one in 1989.

This was in the late 90’s when my folks visited us in April and Katie was at least 10 years older. These photos were taken in the Roozengaarde Farm Garden.

We celebrated my mom’s birthday while they were here so we know they were here before and after April 8th.

The first time I met some of the Mennonite Girls Can Cook face to face was during the tulip festival in 2010.

That was the beginning of a incredible adventure.

In 2014 Katie and I visited the Roozengaarde again before she moved back to Jacksonville, North Carolina.

In 2015 as many of the Mennonite Girls who could, traveled down into the USA to meet me at Roozengaarde.

In 2018 we had a very muddy windy schlep through the fields with my sister, daughter and DIL.

We don’t live on the “Coast” anymore so a quick trip up to the tulip fields and to Roozengaarde Gardens is not easy anymore. I have lots of good memories and photos to remember.