Saturday, September 26, 2009

Heavy Rain

So far we have had 4" of rain TODAY ...
after nearly 6" of rain over 7 days
last week. Things are really soggy !
They say they have not seen the water
this high on this bridge in many years.
And that they are expecting the water
to top this overpass by the morning.
That will cut off "the falls" and the
upper parts of our area.
These first 4 photos are of the river where
we love to play and swim.
Obviously, it's much too rough
to play in today !
And the rain from the higher mountains
hasn't even begun to come down yet.
It's going to be rough for a while.
Normally this rope swing,
at the icecream place,
hangs several feet from the
top of the water.
Today it looked to be at least 2ft under.
The roar of the water today was
soooooo loud !!
On Wednesday, some dear friends joined us
to play in the river (at the icecream place).
Some of the older children waded a bit
downstream, going from big rock
to big rock.
Those big rocks were no where
to be seen today, as the water
rushed over them.
It rained had like this for most of today --
above is the end of our barn,
with a "waterfall" off the side.
Thankfully, no water made it
into the barn itself.
Heavy equipment on the move in town.
A local restaurant's parking lot
nearly flooded.
And the road into it was
closed with 2ft or more
of water over it.
We were supposed to go to the home
of friend's this evening to play.
But when we stopped for gas
and heard the local "road" conditions
and heard that more flooding was
expected, we turned around to
head back home.
We did not want to get stranded,
unable to get to our home.
Hopefully tomorrow we will
be able to get out of town for church.
The rain is filling much depleted wells
and the water table after 3 years of rain.
But as of right now, our area has had
over 9" of rain in the last 10 days.
Things are going to be squishy
for quite a while ... maybe
a break in the rain would be nice ?

Investigating Our Natural Surroundings

Could this be an American Chestnut tree ?

Although all of the books say that the American Chestnut was all but exterminated by a blight in the early 1900s, this particular tree, which is most definitely a Chestnut of some kind, does not meet the criteria for being the more commonly found Allegheny Chestnut. The one main trait that sets the Allegheny apart from the American is that the Allegheny has one single nut inside the spiny seed pod -- and the American has 3 separate nuts inside it's seed pod. We have heard there are other non-native varieties (hybrids ?) of Chestnut trees which have been planted in recent years, and still can be found, however, they are not in our Tree book. We will need to do more research before we can make a positive identification of this tree.

In the mean while, this particular Chestnut tree is full of seed pods. (pictured above) And when you are determined and brave enough to crack open the still-green seed pods (and have stemmed the bleeding from the scratches and puncture wounds - ha !), the "nut" inside is actually 3 separate distinct nuts -- 2 smaller and one larger. Very curious, isn't it ?!?!

So, we are going to continue to investigate. For now, we only know that this is a Chestnut tree.

Stay tuned for a better identification.

UPDATE: We have it on good authority from a member of the local Forest Service that this tree is indeed an American Chestnut. They do still grow here ! However, since the blight some years ago, the American Chestnut tree does not grow very large, succumbing to the blight within 5 or so years.

There are many Oak trees here (12+), under which the ground is covered in acorns. And Pecan trees are plentiful at this house, with not less than 6 trees of various ages on the property. (Pictured above are some acorn shell fragments and an unripened pecan).

The Oaks, Pecans, and the Chestnut are all are heavily laden with nuts. It's a "good" nut year ! Yet, the squirrels still find it necessary to fight over the nuts. More than plenty for all, yet they bicker, chase, stalk, and assault one another from sunrise to sunset. It makes for very amusing "watching" at least. And it is a constant reminder for the Cherubs that they should not be selfish.
The leaves are starting to change -- tinges of color here and there.
Rough Stemmed Golden Rod
Solidago rugosa

Growing Up

A certain young lady, or filly if you prefer,
is growing up really quickly.
It seems impossible that she has grown
so much in only (nearly) 4 months.
SunnySocks (called Sunny, for short) is such a dolly.
She walks on a lead, loves to be petted,
stands while being brushed, and actually comes
when called by name.
She is very docile and sweet natured.
And she lovessssssss her human family !
As you can see,
DadToCherubs has taken
quite an interest in Sunny
since she was born (June 9th).
He really enjoys caring for her.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Roasting hotdogs and
s'mores over a campfire
right in the back yard.

What better way to celebrate
the new house ?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Blog Carnival

The newest edition of the
Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival
is ready.
Enjoy !

Monday, September 21, 2009

More Rain ?

God blessed us with wonderful weather during our move. Sunshine, mild temperatures, and slight cool breezes. And we are thankful.

We finished moving last Saturday, bringing the last load to the new house just in time for dinner.

And on Sunday, the flood gates opened ... or so it seems. It has been raining almost constantly since last Sunday. Some heavy downpours. Some light sprinkles. Steady rains. And some spotty showers.

My rain gauge has yet to be installed, but our "guess" is that we have had close to 3" of rain in the past 7 days.

Just this morning a Flood Watch was issued for our area .... telling us to expect 1"-3" of additional rain to fall today.

We know this rain is good for the fields, good for the trees, good for the wildlife, and good for the wells. But we admit that all these cloudy days and rainy weather are causing us to feel a little "dreary" .... or is it "drippy".

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Time To Share The Big News

Grandma Moses' "Moving Day"

(view from front door)
Our BIG NEWS is ...
we have moved.
No, not our blog home ...
but our real home !
If you had asked us
3 weeks ago
if we were moving,
we would have laughed.
We had finally finished painting,
and were settling in for the
coming fall and winter.
But situations arise in life
that force us to act.
Simply put,
there were circumstances
that were beyond our control,
in which our family could not
continue to live.
Thomas Paine said it best,
in Common Sense,
"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong,
gives it a superficial appearance of being right."

Just over 2 weeks ago,
and I prayed together
concerning the situation
we were facing.
"Lord, if we are to move from here,
throw the doors open wide.
And if we are to remain here,
close them up tight."
Let's just say that the Lord
not only opened the door,
but threw it open wide,
rolled out a red carpet,
and hung a WELCOME flag
when we visited this place.
And after the fastest move
in history (ha !), we are completely
moved into our new home.
We arrived with the last "load"
Saturday evening around 6pm.
We had a CELEBRATION dinner
after unhitching the trailers --
hotdogs and s'mores over a campfire.
The horses are settled, enjoying
their own clean private pastures
and a beautiful barn.
The dogs are enjoying the calm
and the lack of "traffic".
The chickens are loving
their new "free range" lifestyle.
And our 4 cats are safe and sound,
busily pouncing and exploring,
without risk of being chased
or eaten by farm dogs.
The Cherubs are enjoying
their new found privacy.
They have a grand new "fort"
in the loft of the barn, complete with
furniture and lights.
They are looking forward to spending
rainy afternoons up there !!
And they are delighted to be able to explore
unencumbered and unrestricted.
Initially, they did not relish the thought
of moving from the old farmhouse.
Then they came to visit the new place --
after which they couldn't pack
and load fast enough.
Who could've imagined ?!?!
Even Cherub 6 was ready
to say "goodbye"
to the tractors and the farm.
DadToCherubs and I are at peace.
No more inconsiderate neighbors.
No more "farm drama".
No more old farmhouse, with it's "quirks".
He is thrilled with the privacy,
and of course with the DSL internet.
He has found a perfect hammock spot,
and is looking forward to cookouts
and picnics in the screened room.
I am looking forward to using the beautiful
garden spot to grow more vegetables,
harvesting pecans and fruit from these trees,
nurturing my flowers and watching them bloom,
as well as raising and teaching our children
in this spectacular Masterpiece
created by God.
He opened the doors wide ...
and it is lovely indeed !
Cherub 3 said, as he peered at the mountains
from the front doorway, last evening:
"I shall never tire of this view."
God is so good !

Friday, September 11, 2009

Big News

We have taken a brief
break from blogging
due to some chaos.
Be sure to stay tuned for
(the end of the chaos)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A Lovely Visit

A lush pasture.
Campfire ring and screened room.
This area screams "explore here !"
(a dear friend sharing an adventure with the Cherubs)
What a view !
Imagine it in the fall !!
(from front windows)
An Office.
What a lovely Living Room. It leads into
the kitchen, and then to a
dining room beyond.
Very open and airy, but quite cozy too.
An amazing Kitchen !!
Can't you just see yourself cooking here ?
What a fantastic barn --
perhaps for horses and other critters ?
Or maybe just to play (or work) in ?