Tuesday, June 2, 2009


The other day, I sat on the deck watching my husband mow the back yard. As I watched him make those incredibly straight lines with his beloved push mower, I thought about how blessed I am to have a husband who cares. He is very thoughtful about the appearance of his lawn. His yard is his signature. Next, is the garage, but we all use it and he can never have it just like he wants it. Needless to say, he is a man who always has a project. In the winter he does a lot of woodwork and I have many treasures in my house he has made for me. In the summer, his focus is outside. Recently, he built a lattice wall around the air conditioner unit and all of the wires/boxes on the back side of the house.He painted it white and put a small flower bed in front of it and took it around the back side of the house. It looks wonderful and hides all that "mess"Everything back there is still accessible with the removal of 4 screws. He is a worker, that guy. Being laid off the last several months has been a 2 edged sword. On the one hand, things are tight. On the other hand, Sweetheart is much more relaxed and seems very happy. He was so stressed out before. It was not good for him. He is a car man, so you know how that is going. He is no longer laid off, as the dealership he managed is now closed. Very sad. The owner, is a wonderful man who did all he could, but it was not enough. If this genus of a business man could not keep the doors open, then no one could. We know God is in control and whatever doors close, He is behind it, and whatever doors open, He is there too. So we all have projects going here. The money being tight brought with it another project. I am not a frugal person by nature. I am teaching myself to be though and I am doing better than I thought. I have some changes in the kitchen....most of my money spending happens at the grocery store. I started my sour dough again, with Charlotte's promise she will leave it alone. It is under the towel, fermenting away.I also started a batch of yogurt. We eat a lot of yogurt here. I eat Activia every other day and the kids devour any yogurt that comes in the house. This will save many dollars!I went to the grocery store(s), yes I went to 2....I will do that once a month, but not every time as I detest grocery shopping. I found a 2 oz. bottle of PURE vanilla extract for 1.99! Can you believe it? Amazing....I bought 2. Plus that large bottle of ground cinnimon...1.99 also! The extra virgin olive oil was only 3.99 and I know I saved big on that too.Saving money at the store is a project in it's self for me!
Another project is the garden. It is small. Really small, as in 3 tomato plants......2 pepper plants......and 1 cantaloupe.
I still have room for some green beans and sugar snap peas....oh and there is a row of onions in there already. Next year will bring a different kind of garden. We have tried to compromise on the garden. It is so little I can not grow much more than what is there. Sweetheart does not want his yard dug up. He came up with a solution.
This area next to the garage is wasted space.....

He will remove the end of the fence with the gate, extend the fence line down to just before the drain pipe and reattach the end section with the gate. That will ALL be garden!!! It does not look like much, but it is more than I had hoped for and will give me LOTS of room to grow food for canning. I don't call him Sweetheart for nothing!

My latest project is giving me fits. I have it on my design wall and am just not happy with it. I tried to use the background fabric as setting blocks, but it was too drab. So I added color in the corners...see that end setting block?Nope. I need to get a fabric that has a color. Something that reads solid like a tone on tone, but in a sagey green or a powdery blue or a lavender....what about a sunshine yellow??? What do you all think? There will be 4 rows of baskets and 3 rows of setting blocks, plus the setting triangles all the way around. Lots of wonderful quilting space!
So those are the projects for now...Sweetheart is now working on the front yard. He trimmed all the bushes and trees and now is ready to lay mulch. We lost a bush this year. No idea why, but it just died. It rained all day and it is suppose to rain tomorrow. What projects do we have to look forward too? Fox News and Cubs....in that order!! Lord, have mercy!
I wanted to share my little TJ with you. He came to Grandma's for a few hours to play and he spent all his time with "Uncle" Zachary. They played cars and got along so well. (They argue sometimes....ok a lot)At one point when they were playing, I heard TJ say, "Zachary, I sure love you." AWWWWWW. My heart melted. It was so sweet. Zach never even looked up. He just said, "I love you too, TJ." Those boys are awesome!Be Blessed,


Fruit of her hands said...

Bren~ You are truly blessed with a husband like that. I too have a do it husband and I appreciate it so much...we are both blessed.You have a beautiful yard. We have 2 tomato plants so I guess our garden is smaller than yours. Vegetables and fruit here are pretty cheap so sometimes for us it is not economical to plant things. Have a wonderful Tuesday!!

Milah said...

I agree, you are blessed. I will pray for your husband as he looks for a new job. I know he is carrying a heavy burdon right now wondering what the future holds. At least he has closure which in some ways is comforting.
He has a good supportive wife too, that makes all the difference.
I have a suggestion....maybe he can start his own business, Handy Man For Hire! Think about it.....;D

Andrea Cherie said...

I love the lattice piece Sweetheart built! I would be so proud too- your yard is immaculate!

Connie W said...

Such a nice post with lovely photos, Bren. This economy is affecting so many lives and it's sad and scary. Faith is a good thing during the hard times as well as the good times. You sound happy and cheery. :D

Tonya's Sewing Room said...

Love this pics of the boys. My hubs name is TJ. Your house and yard is beautiful.

Love Bears All Things said...

Wow, that lawn is so pretty, just made me want to run in my bare feet.
I suppose you're getting a taste of what having a retired husband is like before it is time.
I'm thinking of getting some sour dough started, my self. I don't suppose I would need to make bread but once a week even if Honey Bear was retired. I had some when the children were still at home. I made bread for everyone in the community, cinnamon rolls and dough nuts out of it too.
I was wondering what he put in his new room downstairs.
Mama Bear

Rose said...

You have such wonderful photo's! The boy's are so cute~and your lawn is beautiful. I saw your posts on DeNiece's blog and thought I would stop by to say hello. God bless, Rose

blushing rose said...

B ~ Your garden is about the same size as mine. Love it! Darling the children, the shared words of love.

My DH built a similar surround as did yours, to place the trash bins in as I didn't like them sitting out for the world to view & it took away the appearance of the house.

TTFN ~ Marydon

christine said...

The space at the back of your garden would be a great place for a trellis and you could grow cucumbers, peas or beans from it. Don't forget to use the vertical space as well.

Don't take up space in your garden with the tomato plants...grow them in containers on the patio or around the flower beds...you can also grow herbs and lettuce in small container gardens.

How about planter boxes off the railing of the deck for extra planting space...you could grown lettuce and chives or herbs in those boxes.

Donetta said...

Good Morning Bren
You are blessed.
That yard is to pick nick for :) LOL
I love that latic work around the AC I think I will show My husband that.
It really does look grand.
You know on your garden plot that water off the roof could not be mor perfectly located. I am getting ready to harvest rain water and you have the perfect location to do so . Or to even design that garden to be able to do so with gravity.
I have been ready a lot about recessing the beds a few inches and the path bing highter. The path stays dry adn the water goes to the foods. 4 ft wide is the ideal for the bed and 2' wide the path. That space is great.
The hard pan in the garden existing shows the soil has a need.
It needs organic matter check over at BEE BLISS
Starting a compost now is a good way to get ready.
That reminds me I need to make some yogurt too.
The kids are a hard sell on the home made bread. Steve loves it!
I think I will try a hamburger bun recipe that has egg and lots of rapid rise yeast in it.
More like store bought.
There is a link about a book that is a wonderful help and it is linked on the BEE BLISS.
Hay perhaps it is the photo but that upper right block looks like the color does not match the others. Does it have a yellow to it tone?
The others flow well it seams to conflict.
That is so pretty I love the ideas of the boarders and such adding color.

Nancy said...

Maybe you could use a soft color Kona Cotton as the setting blocks, then you could quilt baskets into the setting blocks. Any of the soft colors would be wonderful. Linda (all-stitched-up) just had a post with a link to Kona on sale...

I don't like to garden, so I do my part to boost the economy at the local farmers market.

Winona said...

Bren, your yard looks beautiful. Sweetheart is doing a great job with it. With a trellis you could have pole beans. I think any of the colors you mentioned would work fine for your quilt. You just need something with a little color to set the basket blocks off. I think your garden space for next year will be great. It takes a while to get sod broke up, so you will probably want to get the soil prepared this fall. I really love it when my garden is all tilled in the fall. Sure makes spring time planting easier. (grin) That was so sweet about the boys telling each other that they love each other. Ahhh! They may argue, but they care. Have a good day, my friend. Winona

Sarah said...

Your yard looks beautiful, Bren. We are going through hard times, too. I lost my job in May and I was happy that I found another job quickly. I found out a week ago that my second job will end at the end of June and I will be unemployed yet again. Thank goodness my husband starts getting his teaching salary in July. Through this all, we can still see God's goodness shining brighter than ever. Blessings to you and your family!

Copper's Wife said...

Wow, your household is busy, busy, busy...in a good way! That new garden space will give you lots of room. Does it get plenty of sun?

DeNiece Barnes said...

You have a beautiful yard and both you and I are blessed with hard working husbands, they work really hard. Your grandson is as cute as a peach, I love seeing what you do in your home you guys stay as busy as my home does :)

NeeCee said...

You are so blessed to have a husband who knows how to do repairs. I love your lawn.

As for your quilt, I think the sunshine yellow would be so cheerful. It would just make you smile to look at the quilt. Just my opinion...which is coming from a baby quilter, so what do I know. :0)

Robin said...

Hi Bren,
Just saw your comment over on Deniece's blog. You are so right! We need to anticipate God speaking to us and be ready to record it. Our God is so amazing, isn't He?

Take care!