This blog is simply the story about my little life
with my sweet family that the Lord has blessed me with
and the day in, day out things that we do.
It basically is my online diary/photo album of our life.
I'm glad you're here!
~~~o0o~~~

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Connecting with my inner artist....

 I want to sit down and paint.

I have been wanting to do this for a long time now and I finally did it!

My ultimate goal is to learn how to oil paint and I really want to paint old fashioned cabbage roses. Since we moved out to the country, I have also been wanting to paint rustic, folk-art type farm animals. This is my first attempt and although my cow is a little simplistic and looks like a kid painted it, I like him.
These guys are my inspiration. They are the friendly cows that live across the street from us and I see them on my morning walks.
I also found inspiration from pictures I found on the internet.
 I wanted to paint the background of my picture that the color of the bright green grass that I see in the fields where the neighboring cows live. I decided to pick a few weeds from the field that had the bright vivid color and use them to match my paint.
 This forest green looks pretty close.
 Yep, that looks like a pretty good match.
 I didn't buy a new canvas, I painted over an old picture that was in my pile to take to Goodwill.
I purposely added brush strokes to give it that oil painting feel. This green is a little too dark and mossy looking than what I had in mind, so I ended up mixing in some yellow and found the brighter green shade I wanted.
I have been going through a very sad time of mourning in my family (yes, partly the loss of my mother-in-law, but mainly the mourning of another type with one of my kids that has been the deepest kind of pain I have ever felt). Painting was such a wonderful cathartic release for me. God is so good to me. He gives me strength and joy. I am thankful that He put this creative spark inside me.
I started with the main body of my cow, I actually was very nervous! It was hard to get the proportions correct.
I forgot to take more in-between pictures, but here's my cow when he's almost done. I loved sitting at my farm table on a Saturday morning using my hands to create. It was really wonderful.
 He's looking pretty good, but he's too bright.
 To give it more of an aged look, I simply took a cotton ball and dabbed on some brown paint all over the picture.
 That looks better. He's all done! He's a silly cow, but he's enduring, don't ya think?
 I hung my creation out on the front porch.
I like him hanging out there greeting us when we come and go. I am excited to experiment and do more paintings of cows, chickens, goats, bunnies and other farm animals as well as learn how to paint the old fashioned cabbage roses!

My heart has been broken since July and some day I will share with you what has been going on. It has been horrible going through this journey, but God has been so faithful and He gives me strength, joy, peace and hope. It has been a real time of growth for me and I have gotten so close to the Lord. I know that He will work everything out to His good.

"God is with thee in all that thou doest." Genesis 21:22

Hugs, Sharon

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The hazards of working in the woods....

 A few weeks ago we were working out on our property on a Saturday and we had a wonderful day, but.....
 ...the next morning I was here. :( I was getting ready for church and as I got out of the shower I noticed a big dark thing on my back at my bra line. I was freaked out thinking it was some kind of cancer, but upon closer inspection I realized it was a tick! Yuck! I quickly found my husband and he removed the darn thing with tweezers.
 This is what it looked like (this photo was actually taken two years ago from a tick that had bitten my son, Hayden).
 We felt like my husband had gotten it all out because we saw it move around on the counter and it looked intact. But later upon closer inspection, it looked as if there was something still in the wound.
 We decided it be best that I go to the doctor. My husband went on to church and I head down to the Urgent Care.
 The doctor came in and inspected me and said my hubby did a great job and got the entire thing out, but that it was wise I start on an antibiotic to help prevent Lyme's disease. I am so thankful that I saw it otherwise he would have been chomping on me for several days. The doctor said the chances of getting Lyme's disease is significantly lowered if you get the tick out in under 24 hours. I felt a pinch in that spot at 4:00 pm on Saturday and we got it out about 10:00 am Sunday, so that was good. The upsetting thing is that other than that initial pinch, I never felt a thing and would not have even noticed it if I didn't see it! I'm so thankful I saw it and we got it out! My son had a similar situation, he felt the pinch and then actually felt the tick when he was washing in the shower and he got it out with his fingernail. I feel so bad that he didn't go to the doctor, I believe he was going somewhere and he didn't want to go to the doctor. Thankfully, he didn't have any signs of infection.
 Speaking of Hayden, here's another hazard that we encountered while working in the woods. Both Hayden and I contracted poison oak! Hayden's was far worse than mine, as he got it in his eyes. He had to go to the doctor to get a steroid injection, which helped within 12 hours. My poison oak came a few days later and I still have it, but it is finally drying out. I tend to get it pretty bad. I put apple cider vinegar on it and that seems to help it a lot.
 I am always confused on what poison oak looks like and so with the help of my husband, we identified it and I took some pictures. This is a regular oak tree, it is safe and will not cause harm.
 It has three leaves, but it's a matted color, not shiny.
 This is poison oak.
 It's leaves look very much like the regular oak tree, but it's more waxy and shiny.
 Wow, just looking at it makes me itch! I bet that shiny waxy look is the oils that spread to our skin and clothes. There's an old saying, "Leaves of three, let it be!" or "Leaves of three, stay away from me!"
 So next time you're doing this......
.....and you want to avoid this, beware of the hazards that are out there. Next time I will spray on bug spray with lavender to ward off the ticks and I will be more aware and careful of the poison oak!

"The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; the world and all it contains, You have founded them." Psalms 89:11

Hugs, Sharon

Monday, March 2, 2015

A beautiful winter day....

 Last Saturday we had the most beautiful winter's day. We had a busy fun work day out on our property.
 The day started with our son, Grayson, coming over and borrowing our tractor. He bought a 17 acre place just 1 mile from us where him and Rachelle will live together after they get married! Right now he is fixing up his property and borrowed the tractor to help with his latest project of building a fence.
 The rest of us were up on the grassy knoll working hard. I love this picture that I snapped of Eric walking towards me and Grayson is driving the tractor away.
 There goes Grayson. I absolutely love having him for a neighbor. The wonderful thing about it is that he lives down a curving road, so him and Rachelle will still have their privacy, yet they are so close to us. I teased them and said I'm going to just show up unannounced like the mom from "Everybody Loves  Raymond."
Last year we planted 100 trees just below this area and sadly we lost about 30 of them (click here to read about that). Eric thinks that it was because we planted them later in the season and the seedlings were not the best quality. This year my hubby purchased 200 more trees to plant to finish off this part of our property. The first thing he did was cut back all of the wild blackberries and other brush.
We had a very special helper on this day, Eric's father, Jim.
Our son, Hayden, was helping too. Here he is dismantling an old fence.
Jim and I had the job of picking up large sticks and throwing them on the burn pile.
This was hard work!
We got a pretty good little workout carrying those sticks up this little hill.
It was so much fun working together on this beautiful sunny February day!
The burn pile got pretty big. I didn't think it would burn because the limbs were wet, but it did!
Time for a little break.
Blondie is hoping that we will throw a stick her way! haha
It was really fun for us to see that we had a little more property than we realized once we got in here and cut down the brush.
Working hard!
Playing hard!
Eric's teaching Hayden how to plant trees. I love this shot of the two of them together.
Eric had the trees soaking in water to make sure they were hydrated before getting planted. He purchased Ponderosa Pine and Incense Cedar.
A gorgeous day!
Reforestation!
Hayden caught on to tree planting right away and did a wonderful job.
Grandpa Jim tended to the fire.
I love the smell, it reminds me of camping!
Hayden with his Grandpa. What great memories we created today!
And someday there will be a forest here to commemorate this day!

"Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord, for He comes to judge the earth." I Chronicles 16:33

Hugs, Sharon
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