Monday, June 29, 2009

Dear John,

Wow! It's been six years since you came to the farm. We bought you to replace my old Palomino; Todd was sick of me crying myself to sleep. Thanks for healing the pain. I was pregnant with Jed at the time but rode though all my pregnancies; so it was nice to have friend carry me through the woods on my short rides again.

Not long after we brought you home we discovered you had West Nile. Those were hard days but we made it! Countless hours were spent on your back as you taught me to be a better rider.
You and Rock are getting up there in years. We aren't sure quite how old you are but we know you are close to 30 years old. We are having a hard time keeping weight on both of you and keep you on pasture as much as possible. Your eyes are getting much worse and now I think all you can see are shadows. We don't have many years left and it makes my heart ache to imagine life without you guys.

But anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for the ride tonight. It was just like old times wasn't it! You have taught me so much and I am thankful for all the time we have had. I hope we can go for a ride again soon. I promise to take the paths that we've traveled already so that you won't need to be afraid. Oh, but we going to have to use a saddle next time. You sure don't seem short on energy when something startles you and you almost dumped me tonight!

I love you,

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Swarm!

One of my son's hive swarmed Saturday. He has been sick (Ulcerative Colitis) and got behind. I thought you guys might enjoy seeing a few pics!

Here is one of the resident bees checking out my foot :) No worries, she's a gentle lady.

In this picture you see brood that Joey uncovered while he was attempting to remove the queen cells.
Here are some queen cells under construction. When the hive gets too full, the girls start building queen cells so they can split the hive and take up residence elsewhere.
Here is the swarm heading back to the hive.......

BTW if anyone of you have any experience with colitis please contact me. Joey just received an official diagnosis Monday so we are in need of any tips any of you may have. Thanks!!

Friday, June 12, 2009


This week (Thursday to be exact) is the 4 year anniversary of the day we lost our son and were forced to live the rest of our lives without him. I hope you will take a moment to read the following excerpt of his journal, which we found after his death.

The War
How I see it.....
Todd Louis Peck II, February 2005

My intention in this journal is to record as best as possible the spiritual warfare surrounding my recent relapse of cancer so that I may later remember the lessons learned and perhaps share them with others. In fact, sharing the lessons is actually the bigger of my two reasons. My greatest hope is that through my fight and this record of it, others will be equipped and encouraged to take the fight to the Enemy. I believe that all of life is a war fought over the souls of each individual and everything that happens in life somehow fits into this war, whether we know it or not. So when hardships and trials come they ought to be viewed as Enemy attacks and dealt with accordingly.
In war, the purpose of any attack is, of course, to gain some sort of advantage that will in some way bring you nearer ultimate victory. Rather, that sought after advantage is the destruction of some threat which the other has or the gaining of a position that leaves you a better position to threaten the other. The point is always to somehow harm the other's overall position in the great scheme of things.
Thus, this relapse of cancer that God allowed was and is inteneded by the Enemy to somehow gain him something. That something, in this case, is porobably to neutralize what the Enemy's high command perceives as a danger to their war efforts.
That threat may or may not be me (thought I like ot flatter myself that it is) but the fact is that, for whatever reason, I seem to have been chosen as the main point of attack. I therefore, as a soldier in the King's Army, have responsibility to stand and fight to make sure that the Enemy gains not an inch. For it is my (and every soldier's) duty to even turn this attack to the advantage of the Cause and the glory of the King.
This whole thing reasches far beyond me, however. It reaches into my family and into my church and community. I am just on fect of what is a large and complex battle being fought in this small theater of operation called West Michigan. The full extent of this larger fight I will not ever be able to fully comprehend this side of Heaven. Nor will I likely ever understand the extent to which my own standing or falling will influence the larger picture but I will stand!
Indeed, I am resolved to not just stand, but advance! I may be a small part of a huge batle but I will press my influence to its limits for the sake of the Cause.
Lord, have mercy if I should be cut down (i.e. if I allow the Enemy to get the better of me) fo rthe greater the effort, the greater the defeat in the case of failure. But by the grace of God, I shall not fail! As He wills, so may it be. Amen.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Side Garden: Phase One

Or one woman's attempt to take control of her yard!

I tackled the garden today! First I needed to remove the weeds (and if you remember the first pic, you know there was a lot!)

Hidden among the weeds I found this Hardy Hibiscus (which may or may not be still alive). Unfortunately I can't remember what color it is, red maybe?

This unknown plant.....I used to know the name but it escapes me now. I do know that it is about 2 feet tall and has yellow flowers.

And lots of these yellow irises.....

I took a walk around and checked out the other overgrown gardens. I found lots of lovely things, some I remember the name of, some I don't. The one below is Rosemary (I think?) It is a lovely ground cover but not what I need for the garden I am working on.

Aha!!! A geranuim! I need one of those (well, according to the plan I need nine. Hmmmm.......)

Wonder what this is? Any guesses? It's one of those "I'll know it when I hear it" any rate it is very tall with white flowers (you can see the buds in the pic below.)

This is Morning Glory, very tall and grows almost as thick as a bush, with yellow flowers.

Balloon flower I think, if memory serves it's purple. This could possibly go in with the Geraniums.
A strong willed Lilly! It is the only one out of many that has survived my clay ground, better keep it where it is......(yep, I plan on getting this garden into shape too.)

Artemis I think......silver foliage plant no flowers, nice accent. I may use this one.

Another unknown, better get out my plant books........

OOh, ooh, this one I know! Daylilly, I have a whole bunch of these, lots of different colors. This would be a good choice to divide and use in the side garden, perhaps in place of the Switchgrass.

This is Josiah, my 13 year old. He helped me rake away the weeds once I had pulled them all. Isn't he a doll?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Monday, June 1, 2009

Garden Plans

So I headed over to the BHG website in search of free garden plans. I wish I could plan it all from scratch but I am not quite that talented. Remember my plan is to go from this:

to beautiful!!! Unfortunately the grass has taken over, but hidden in the chaos are a few plants, such as Iris and a couple others I have forgotten the names of......

The plan I picked out from BHG is call the Summerlong Garden Plan under the No-Fuss Sunny section. Here in White Cloud we are a zone 5 so all the plants will grow well here, however I am going to swap a few out b/c a. I already have a bunch of perennials and b. money is tight!

Here this list as written:
Hydrangea: Light O-Day
Hydrangea: Enless Summer; Blushing Bride
Shrub Rose Little Mischief
Dwarf Mock Orange
Geranium Rozanne
Siberian Iris Sky Wings
Switchgrass Prairie Sky
Lilac Tinkerbelle
Oakleaf Hydrangea Snowflake
Astible Snowdrift

The next step it find out how tall these plants grow so that I can find suitable substitutes. Last time I tried planting Hydrangea it did not go well so I know I will be substituting those.
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