Wow – it’s hard to believe that 2009 is over already…and that the last time we wrote a letter to all of you was nearly a year and a half ago after our last trip to Paraguay! Sorry we haven’t been better at staying in touch! The time since then has been eventful and life-changing, so we wanted to make sure we got out a holiday note this year to fill you all in.
In our last letter in Sept. 2008, we mentioned that our little church was facing big changes as we and our fellow VLI-grad took on the leadership of the church. Along with our new service time and name, the PRV has been growing by leaps and bounds since then. We’ve seen some turn-over in attendance as is expected when there are leadership changes, but we’ve been excited to see new faces and have been consistently having 30-40 people every Sunday. We still have a good core group from before that have been stepping up in leadership more and more. This summer we finally made the official break from the VB and became our own church entity and just this month we finished jumping through all the hoops and are an official part of the USA Association of Vineyard Churches. Of course through all of this my (E’s) job has gotten bigger with the addition of accounting and more paperwork, but with more people in the church taking on event organization, etc. it hasn’t been too hard to handle. Continue reading The Long Awaited, Overdue 2009 Newsletter→
One of the benefits of living in the country is the wonderful, clean water from our own well. To keep the well from freezing during the winter months, it is housed in a small building next to the main house.
One day I walked out to the well house to get some tools and got quite a shock…someone had ran into the building and knocked it off its foundation.
At first, I thought someone had merely “tapped” the building and simply busted in the wall near the door… but as I dug into the problem this Monday, I quickly discovered how hard it must have been hit.
It is amazing thing, but without bees you can not have a garden – or, actually, you can have a garden, but you wont be harvesting a lot….
Luckly for us we have lots of bees in our garden – meaning that we have lots of corn to harvest…
This of course, brings it own set of problems – namely the fact that two people can not eat that much corn… [@more@]
So we decided to blanch and freeze a buch of ears.
Start by shucking the corn – unless you want to eat frozzen corn husks… Once the water is boiling, put the corn ears into the water and let boil for about 10 minutes (depending on the diameter of the corn ears).
After the 10 minutes, dunk in ice cold water for 10 minutes and then dry.
Wrap in alumninum foil and then place inside a frezzer bag. Place in freezer for a few months and then enjoy wonderful home grown corn in the middle of the winter.
Remember those peas we pick? Well, we decided to postpone the enjoyment of our taste buds for a few months – saving them for the cold winter months instead of gorging ourselves with peas today.
This is where blanching comes into play. Speaking of blanching – who ever thought of such a word? Ever time I say the word I think of the banshee in Darby O'Gill and the Little People…. ok… so I'm a tad strange…
Anyway, so in order to keep the peas we harvested this weekend, we boiled them in a pot of hot water for two minutes – then immediately dunked them into ice cold water for another two minutes. [@more@]
This process – called blanching – is supposed to allow the peas to be frozen while keeping all the healthy vitamins and nutrients.
While the process seems straight forward, it was actually a tad scary as our cook warned us against under cooking the peas in the boiling water, over cooling them in the cold water and everything else…. sigh….
We took the "a-few-seconds-here-or-there-shouldn't-kill" approach. Hopefully we will still be around next Spring after enjoying our peas all winter.
After the blanching process, we sealed the peas into four quart size zip-lock freezer bags and stuck them into our deep freezer. We will continue to add to this stock pile over the summer so that we will have plenty of home grown vegies this winter.
This past weekend was a joyful occasion as we were able to harvest the first fruits of our garden.
You know, when you think about it, gardens are pretty amazing. You dig up a piece of dirt, throw in some tiny dry seeds – add water and the next thing you know you’re standing the middle of a vegetable aisle!
*smile* I know there must some kinda of spiritual lesson there…but I’m going to skip commenting on it and tell you just to read Mark 4.
Peas where the first vegetables we were able to pick (some of our co-gardeners harvested some radishes before hand, but we missed out on them). = However, a few days later we were able to pick a few tomatoes – and let me tell you, these tomatoes were awesome!
Eating these first fruits is a reminder that all the hard work of weeding, watering and taking care of the garden is worth it. It just takes a little patience. [@more@]
Rumor has it that Southwest Idaho has broken the all time record for Spring rainfall. Regardless if this rumor is true or not I believe it!
Why do I believe it?
Because my basement staircase is crying!!!
You read correctly my staircase is crying. The ground has soaked up enough water that it is starting to force it back through the concrete into my basement. Sigh.
At first I thought the water was coming in under the basement door so I placed some towels by the door and waited. The next day, the basement floor was flooded and the towels where dry.[@more@]
At this point, I was very confused. A friend said he thought it may actually be from a pipe or something similar, so suggested I should find a plumber just in case. I took a look at a few websites, like https://valleyservice.net/fargo-services/plumbing in particular, but decided to sleep on it.
Today however, it was raining when I woke up meaning that I had a chance to find the leak. I kept thinking of all of the areas in the house on where it could be coming from. Perhaps it was an issue with the roof and I needed to get in contact with someone similar to carolinahomespecialists.com/areas-we-serve/greensboro-nc/, or perhaps one of my water pipes had burst.. who knows! After staring at the staircase for a while, I finally figured out where the water was coming from!
Once I knew that, I hooked up a system to where the water coming out of the staircase could run directly into my shopvac. Problem solved!
Or so I thought…
I had found one leak…there where multiple leaks through out the staircase…
Tonight at Bible study one of the guys told me that there was some chemicals you could put on the concrete that would seal it up. Alternatively, I could just look on a website similar to www.paultheplumbernh.com/amherst-plumbing-heating-cooling/ to try and find a professional solution to my leak. This would probably be the most reliable method of returning my home to its normal state.
All I must do now if find some of that stuff and pray for the rain to stop!!!
This has been one of the worse allergy and sinus Springs on record. Well, at least, it is at the top of MY list!!
There was a time when I used to mow and bale hay without trouble – minus the first few days when everyone was sneezing. Now days – in my old years – I live on allergy medicines and tissues.
I guess I need to eat more local honey.
Oh – speaking of Spring – we have a garden!
Yeah, this may be old news for most of you – but to me it is still pretty cool! This would be my first “real” garden since I was eight or nine. [@more@]
We are sharing the garden with several ladies in the community – which is nice when it comes to watering and weeding the garden. However, it also comes with…shall we say…challenges? As with anything, the more people you have working on a project, the more opinions and comments you get. I guess the Lord wants us to work on our team building skills.
Yesterday was my day to work in the garden. It seems that the soaker lines we placed in the ground were not reaching the corn or tomatoes rows. I also bought some new plants from a company like Gardeners Dream and it seems like the water hasn’t reached them either. I hope they’re not ruined and I can somehow revive them! I spend a lot of time in my garden so I was really disappointed to see that the soaker lines aren’t working properly. Seeing that not having water is bad for the plants…yesterday was a day of moving water lines, digging trenches, and adding new soaker hoses.
Lord willing the plants will get water and the vegs will grow.