grateful for potatoes

on to double points

on to double points

on to double points


catching dragonflies

catching dragonflies

catching dragonflies


Nigella, Bachelor button, Calendula

Larkspur began moving her hat stitches to double point needles today.  She knits slowly and deliberately, enjoying each stitch while giving the impression that she can hardly believe that she is actually creating them.  Her attention span is still quite short though, and after filling her first needle, she asked that I finish the move for her.  With the exception of the ribbed brim and those few stitches today, she has ever so slowly knit this hat all by herself.  And funny, even though this is her first project, she wants to give it away when she finishes.

We noticed a swarm of dragonflies near our garden today.  I am not sure that I’ve ever seen so many in one place before.  I found an interesting blog about dragonflies, and evidently the type of swarm we saw is known as a static swarm and often occurs when a storm follows a period of hot dry weather.  We had a storm last night, and it has definitely been a hot dry week.

Temperatures were a bit cooler today, so Jonny and I took a walk around our property to better survey the damage from the big storm.  A heaviness settled over me as we realized that there are large broken branches hanging dangerously from nearly every large tree in our yard, most of them black walnut trees.  The projects we had planned to accomplish over the next couple of months will have to wait.  It is going to take weeks if not months to recover from this.  Seeing my stress level, Jonny was motivated to tackle the one tree that wouldn’t require special equipment, and then helped the boys mow the grass so that things would at least look neater.  I went inside, turned on some Bob Dylan Pandora radio, and started dinner while he sang out that the times they are a-changin’.

Since arriving home, we’ve been eating food that we brought home from the trip in coolers and what was left on our pantry shelves, because I want to stick to my Tuesday grocery shopping routine.  My mom called while I was scrubbing little red potatoes from our garden, already feeling better than I had earlier.  I turned off Bob, and then shared with her my despair over the trees, but also told her that I was working hard to keep myself in the moment.  I said, “Right now, I am just really grateful for these potatoes.”

Dinner was created from a few chicken breasts, three zucchinis, a basket of red potatoes along with garlic, a red onion, and some rosemary.  All but the chicken we grew ourselves.  Never mind that I had to crawl on my stomach under the broken pergola to reach my rosemary plant.  That just made gathering my ingredients more interesting.  Never mind that we thought we were supposed to be working on a whole host of other home improvement projects over the next few months.  We’ll cut up trees instead.  Well, Jonny will.  I’ll work in my garden and try to avoid the grocery store.


  1. I don’t always comment, but I do soak up all the loveliness from your photos, your life. Yes, to be grateful for potatoes.

  2. I just love your blog. Thank you.

  3. Good ol’ Bob. 🙂

    “Right now, I am just really grateful for these potatoes.”
    Thanks for the reminder, Ginny. God love you.

  4. I just wanted to say that reading about your difficulties has truly put our own moaning about the relentless rain into perspective. I wish you and your family great peace. Prayers and blessings to you all.

  5. “it is a gift to be simple”, I love that song. It reminds me that in hard
    moments and in easy ones we always have the gift of simplicity. Your meal,
    her knitting, the clearing of the downed trees. Peace to you during your simplicity.

  6. I love the knitting pictures. Such concentration. My daughter is very good at starting knitting projects, but not at finishing them. She has started 4 different things and I’ve said she has to finish at least one before she can start something new.

  7. I feel your mood oh so well! We recently moved to some land in the forest, a neglected garden for many years, so much potential, so much work… as I lay trying to sleep last night, I was thinking just bit by bit. I too am trying to get my food garden planted out for some early harvesting… it’s all from scratch, so hopefully won’t take too long! Larkspur is inspiring! xx

  8. You have a great positive attitude. It is always good to be grateful for what we have. I love that you are teaching your daughter to knit. Hope you can get your storm damaged trees taken care of soon.

  9. One of my primary goals in life is to avoid the grocery store! A meal prepared and eaten with a grateful heart is the best kind 🙂

  10. I feel for you so much right now! We (thankfully) haven’t had storms this year, but we did have a broken refrigerator for most of last weekend. It was a mess, and I can’t imagine having to go longer than we did. Good for you for trooping on and making those potatoes!

  11. Oh girl… I get it.. I know I said it the other day… but clean up from the storm is intense. And what was with the Black Walnut trees? They are a pretty strong tree… but I see it time and time again, since the storm hit… black walnut everywhere… and you can’t mulch them or they will kill (nearly) everything you mulch them with….so it is all fire wood that isn’t useful for a year or two…or just dump them.
    We are still chopping and tearing out…. I hear ya about all the other projects that needed to be done…
    I am surprised to see you with the same damage as us… you and I are separated by many miles but we did go through the same storm.
    Hang in there…
    p.s…. I heard some are making money on the black walnut if they contact timber crews?…

  12. Betsy M says:

    Ginny, I am sorry about your trees. My husband is an Arborist so if you guys are doing the work yourselves and have questions/problems e-mail me and our husbands can talk. Wish we were closer so we could just come and help. 🙂
    Oh, and that sounds like a lovely supper. It is smart to focus on the little blessings – kids knitting and good potatoes and such. I always have to remind myself of that.

  13. I love that she is so willing to give away her hat that she is working so hard on. Very interesting about the dragonflies. I had wondered why we had so many of them.

  14. I forgot to add that I think your daughter is lovely to knit her hat. My granddaughter spent months on a scarf and gave it to her teacher. Sweet!

  15. It’s a shame about your trees. You have the right attitude about set-backs, it just takes a little time to readjust your plans. Nice garden! I am mostly staying out of the grocery store too, I definitely don’t go into the produce section, it’s nice to eat from the garden.

  16. i’m so sorry about the trees. what a huge job. i have also found being in the moment helps me cut down on my anxiety/sadness over a certain situation. i am glad you found gratitude in the potatoes. 🙂

  17. I am SOOO happy that you are all ok, and home again. Sorry your summer plans/projects were derailed by the storm damage. Prayers headed your way!
    Pax Christi,
    PS Would you please join my Blog Hop ( hope I did it right) Do You Have a Home Altar? And if I did it wrong;…HEEEEELLLLP! Lol I am soooo bad at this blogging thing.

  18. I love the simplicity of a garden-foraged meal amidst all the wreckage. That’s sort of how your blog feels to me everyday. xo

  19. Well I am glad that you are all ok and that the damage is not too severe. and what a blessing, that your garden can, at least partially, feed you.

  20. These times they are a-changin’, is my mantra! I am a single parent of a disabled child, and ever since I had my son, my life has been a series of changes: consecutively, consistently, without fail. I have grown to love the uniqueness that each change brings, whether brought through fair weather or foul. It never ceases to amaze me what you are capable of doing with the new strength these changes instill. Many thoughts and prayers are with you, you do not stand alone during your challenges.
    Be well,

  21. I can relate to how you feel. It seems there are always unexpected projects popping up around here. Last winter we had some wild storms and a bunch of trees fell. They missed our greenhouse by centimeters on each side, hit the house (but didn’t damage it), and hit the truck (but didn’t damage it.) We felt so grateful everything was okay, but it made us realize that we really needed to remove a few trees that were too close to the house. We’ve had two removed so far and are still working on the clean up from that (plus some small trees are still fallen over from the last storm and waiting to be dealt with.) We’ve got a few more trees to go.
    All the other projects we wanted to work on are being put on hold. Sometimes our progress is slower than we’d like. I keep telling myself “slow and steady wins the race.” It makes me feel better. 🙂

    That meal sounds absolutely delicious.

    I’m thinking of all the gorgeous black walnut wood you’ll have to work with from all those branches down.

  22. oh, ginny.

    i am glad you’re back home. i am glad of your potatoes. i am SO glad you are all safe, amidst the wreckage.

    blessings, patience, and laughter to you all, as you set aside expectations and plow through reality.


  23. With big trees come big messes. We paid a lot of money to have branches trimmed high in our trees this spring, otherwise we would have a lot of branches down too. It’s frustrating to be sure, but trees can be as dangerous as they are beautiful.

  24. Sorry about all the damage. We always cross our fingers when big storms come through. Our property is surrounded by woods and our front yard is quite wooded. Our black walnut tree looks like it’s half dead-do they have a short life span?

    Well I do hope the tree cutting goes swiftly and your worries drift away. The potatoes sound delicious!

  25. We have days where we have to be quite creative with our cooking too. We are always amazed at how much and how good the meal is when we initally feel that our meal is going to be meager because of lack of abundance in our fridge or pantry. Your dinner sounded delicious.

    Your daughter looks so sweet while concentrating on her knitting. My daughter wears the same look in her face when she knits and I cherish that. God bless you and your family.

    Oh, can you use the fallen branches to build an arbour for your garden or a hideout for the kids? Just a thought.

  26. Jessica says:

    Oh, the little twists and turns that are thrown our way. It is just a reminder that we may make plans upon plans of our own but that somehow we are led to God’s plan for us. Though we may not know what those are, let’s hope that we can always welcome them with open arms and have faith that it is as it should be.

    Don’t know that my thoughts above correspond with trees, siding and trim. Either way, they’re from my heart.
    Thanks for sharing your woes as well as your blessings.

  27. Dear Ginny,

    I was sad to see the damage you’ll had from the storms. Praise God you have electricity back – my folks’ farm in Amherst hasn’t had electricity (or water) for 13 days and still not sure when it will be back. They gave goats, cows, chickens, turkeys, guinneas, cats, dogs and horses. Since they were out fo town on vacation when the storm hit, their blessed friend has been hauling water twice a day to water the animals!! I am so glad that you had a place (of blessing!) to go when the electricity was out. I love making lemonade out of lemons.

    I want to also say how beautiful it is that your meal last night was almost all from your garden. That is absolutely beautiful – your children are receiving so much more then food to nourish their bodies – but their souls too. Seems like you able to have gratitude even in the midst of ‘this beautiful mess’.

    Peace be with you.

  28. I know your love of trees and I remember the heartbeak that came when they cut branches down this past spring. Tdisappointment you must feel because of the change in your plans, I am just so sorry. Ginny. If you need help with the clean up, please let us know. That is what my husband does, by the way, he takes care of trees. Among other landscaping maintence and his chainsaw is at the ready! He immediately wanted to jump into action when he saw your photos. We are here, if you need us. Your dinner sounds delicious and you reminded me of a post I stumbled on yesterday. I hope it helps

  29. I’m so sorry Ginny and hope repairs and clean up happen quickly.
    Thank you for the dragonfly link, we have had more dragonflies here
    then I ever remember seeing before and have been enjoying them.

  30. I’m sorry about all the devastation to your trees. Being in the moment is something I need to practice as well.

  31. I love the head band on your daughter! Your dinner sounded really good, wish I had potatoes in my garden. Keep your chin up……this summer has been a hard, disappointing ,hot summer I think for a lot in this country, what with the storms out east and the fires in the west not to mention the HEAT! but winter will be here soon and we will all be pining for the next summer and the possibilities it may hold.

  32. I love seeing children concentrate, even if it is briefly 🙂

    One day I hope to make a whole meal from stuff we have made or grown ourselves, go you for doing that and I am sure it brought you some happy cheer.

    Can you use the fallen branches as firewood??

  33. I put off grocery shopping too. It does bring a bit of creativity. We were without water yesterday after the recent storm. Our building has a generator which handles power but couldn’t handle the water pump. We are back with running water after a transformer was replaced late last night. Feels good. So sorry about the trees. I do understand that worry. Congratulations to L on her hat. I will be showing Aine as she is between projects. Perhaps a hat is needed. Our time here in VA is drawing to a close. I am trying to soak up as much goodness as I can in the last few weeks.

  34. Teresa C says:

    Good job at foraging your food… I hope everything settles soon. I am sorry that you have to change your plans, though, but I’m pretty sure everything will turn out alright.

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