Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Water softener

The water softener at the Cookie House gave up the ghost a couple of weeks ago. It would cost over $700 to fix it, the repair man told us, and $1,200 to replace it. We gulped. It wasn't a question of going without a water softener, though, since our water is very hard. It's 22 (whatever that means), or in English major measurement, hard enough to turn my toilet bowl yellow in a week. 

So, when I remembered that my co-worker Colette recently had city water installed at her house, I sent her an email asking if she knew of anyone with an extra water softener. She had two. Saturday Dad installed our "new" water softener and with a little iron-out, my toilet bowl should again be white.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Thanks be to thee,

my Lord Jesus Christ,
For all the benefits thou has won for me,
For all the pains and insults thou has borne for me.

O most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother,
May I know thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly, and follow thee more nearly:
For ever and ever. Amen

St. Richard Chichester (1197-1253)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tree fall

It was no surprise to wake up Thursday morning and find a dead limb from a dying tree had smashed on the road in front of the Cookie House. What was surprising was to learn that my parents' back-yard shade tree blew over during the night. We gathered under that tree to celebrate Libby's graduation two months ago. Over the years we ate dinner on the picnic table, played on the swing set Dad built one year on Joel's birthday, and designed cars and baked treats in the sandbox, all under that tree. With the old red barn gone and now the tree missing, my parents' backyard looks different than I remember as a kid. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Killing time

Afternoons can be long at the blueberry farm. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Green beans

Between teaching and working at the blueberry farm, I've hardly spent any time at home lately. It was relaxing Friday afternoon to pick the short row of green beans that Julie planted in our garden. Then I sat on the back porch, the way I learned from my mother and grandmothers, and snapped green beans. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012


for anyone who enters God's rest 
also rests from his own work, 
just as God did from his. 
Hebrews 4:10 NIV

Saturday, July 21, 2012


 A group of students came out to tour the farm after class one day this week. They were especially interested in our Arabian horse named Saudi. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

White pines

I love the white pine trees at the blueberry farm. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Flower garden

I've decided on the "wild flower" look for my garden (i.e. I haven't been able to tame it like I would have liked). 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Saturday, July 14, 2012


The sun sets as boaters wait to view the fireworks in Bay City last Saturday.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Amanda and I witnessed the biggest display of fireworks in Michigan's history on Saturday night with 50,000 fireworks in 50 minutes. Along with the usual Independence Day celebration, Bay City, Michigan was marking its 50th year of fireworks. Veteran's Park, along the Saginaw River, swarmed with people. Carnival rides and booths added lights, sound and smells to the hubbub of thousands of people. Venders with glow sticks hawked their wares along streets, dodging campers and parked cars. 

The firework display was incredible. A local radio station broadcast music that corresponded with the explosives from the bridge. Thousands people watched from the lawn, and boats. My favorite was the beginning section with red, white and blue fireworks synchronized to the National Anthem. 

The firework display was incredible, but the drive was just as memorable. Too memorable actually. It took us two hours to drive five blocks and it was two in the morning before my head reached my pillow. In the early morning hours, it didn't seem like it was worth it to see the fireworks. But, by the next morning (when Amanda and I discussed caffeine fixes before Sunday school) the memory of the bumper-to-bumper traffic was dimming, leaving the memory of the spectacular fireworks. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


The light was splendid Saturday afternoon in the straw field. Straw is made from the stems left after wheat, or other grain, is harvested. It's much lighter than hay and my brothers look forward to baling straw because they consider it a fun, easy job. Straw has many uses including animal bedding, landscaping and target practice. The straw my brothers baled on Saturday will be stored in barns and sold throughout the fall and winter. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Quiet waters

He leads me beside quiet waters
Psalm 23:2 NIV

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Friday, July 6, 2012


The goal is to finish first cutting hay by July 4th so our family can take some vacation time over the holiday. This year, that goal was achievable and we've been able to stave off much farm work during our vacation week. Aaron's still been working with the tree service, Julie's put in a couple of days at her accounting job, Betsy didn't get any time off from the nursing home and I have been teaching ESL classes, but we are officially on vacation this week-- no hay or blueberries. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


I took the Beachy Buggy to the shop on Saturday. First, I called to make an appointment. I called my brother and asked him if he had time to charge my air conditioner. Then I drove up the lane to the shop. While Aaron worked, I looked around at the shelves and cabinets and tools. The equipment looked so neat and organized that it made me wish I knew how to use it.  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


If you crop it just right, my upstairs bedroom looks pretty good. Never mind that the rest of the room isn't painted.