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.

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.

Ultimate Lumberjack

I was unable to come up with a good U word so I hope you’ll understand the pressure I was under to make my post fit with the letter U. I give you the Ultimate Lumberjack themed photo shoot from this side of the Columbia River. The broadband I had today was not useless as before and I was able to upload many of the photos from last Saturday the 18th of April. You are under no obligation to view this post. It is ultimately for my use and pleasure. You will undoubtedly confirm Jaymison is the cutest little Lumberjack under 3 feet.

Jaymison Joshua our little lumberjack.

This was my greeting as I got out of my car arriving on our kids’ mountain. Addy was letting me know I needed to keep my distance. UGH! We are going to have to do some un-conditioning once this virus threat has subsided.

Addy rode her little battery operated 4 wheeler over to the photo shoot and climbed through the fence to join the fun.

Hats off to our daughter-in-law for the props, the beards, felt ax rattle, the one sign and to our son for staging his wood pile with the axes and sawdust!

We are so thankful for how you are growing dear Jaymison Joshua. You are mastering walking well. We love your vocalizing and how you are starting to stand up for yourself. It will be interesting to see how you and your sister work out your individual personalities, hopefully with lots of love.  Soon and I hope very soon we will be able to come closer than 6 feet from you. We want to give you a big hug! Baba and Gramps love you so much.

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.