Monday, July 28, 2014

Virginia Farm House Eviction

We've been spending the last couple of days at our Virginia farm house cleaning up after the eviction of our renters. It's been a job and we're not at all done, as after we remove their belongings we start the repairs. Scott and I went up on Saturday, mowing/ trimming the yard  and cleaning up the back yard.  Today Randy, Ethan and I tackled the inside of the house filling up a dumpster. After seeing the condition our renters left our house in, I must admit  I wondered if it's worth all the effort, but our house is dear to us and filled with many memories.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Little Rain Makes Green

It's been a cool, but very dry summer! In Tennessee, it's either hit or miss with these summer showers and they've missed us. We've only had a few sprinkles this last month and our lawn was turning brown. I went three weeks without mowing so that tells you how dry it's been. We finally got a good rain a couple days ago and the lawn turned instantly green.  Our garden is growing well and we still have plenty of blueberries to pick. The thorn-less berries are starting to ripen too.  Happy summer to you all.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Little Royston Visitors

Jason, our youth pastor, and his boys came over for a visit to scout our land out for camping. They hopped on the 4-wheelers to find the perfect spot.  I didn't think twice about it and thought Jason meant his family, however I learned later it was all the youth in our church!  We feel so blessed to host if the weather will hold out as we're expecting rain.  Later in the evening Charles brought Brittney over for a visit; it was so good to hug her.  

Charles is hiding a Sees sucker behind his back from Bear....I can't believe he still has Sees suckers from Christmas favorite!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Off To Market

Off to market our steer goes...Bulls Gap Custom Meats market that is. I'm not sure how many pounds he is, but he's a big one, about two years old.  Our freezer will be filled with meat for months to come. On a side note- Lucy, our cow we bought several weeks ago, had her calf..a little bull. Ethel, our other cow, also had a little bull, so we have two baby calves.  All mothers are doing fine. I'll take pictures soon. PS. Don't you love how Randy photo bombed our cow! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

TRW Fun Day At The Lake

The first day back from New York we headed to the lake for a TRW day.  Several of the engineers and their families camped over night.  We met up on Saturday morning, bringing our boat, spending the day pulling everyone on the tube.  It was a fun day visiting and meeting some of Scott's co-workers.  

Saturday, July 12, 2014

New York Vacation

We had a wonderful time in New York, visiting Scott's folks.  Scott and I drove up July 5 with minimal traffic, arriving that evening, 13 hours later.  Mom and Dad Little stayed up for us and we gathered around the table filling them in on our was so good to hug them.  We spent most of our days at home working around the house and in the yard, visiting with friends and family, and of course lots of time talking around the kitchen table. The days flew by much too quickly.  For this blog I wrote under each picture, giving you the general news of our trip.  Many of our memories are tucked away in our hearts, but one memory I will share with you...their zapper.  Dad pulled it out the first night we got there scaring me half to death. It's like a tennis racket that you swing at insects and it makes a lightning sound, electrocuting the poor things....they are fried! Dad and Scott used it all week and I just screamed; I never did get used to it which tickled them.   What a blessing to share this week together and dearly wish there was a way to be in both Tennessee and New York at the same time. We love you mom and Dad♥ 

 On our first morning we got up early, heading to Stewarts  to catch our friend, Mike, for a visit.  Mike will be retiring this December and moving here to Tennesssee.  We surprised him with a hug and after a quick phone call  to his wife, Pam, we all went to  a local diner for breakfast.

Tom and Mary Phibbs, dear friends of the Littles, are also 80 years old. They had converted their Gold Wing motorcycle into a tricycle, giving them more stability on the road.  They were so kind in letting us take it for a ride.

We visited several hours with the Phibbs out on the deck.  L to R: Mary Phibbs, Chuck, Tom Phibbs, Scott and Lillian.

Mom has a difficult time walking, but that doesn't stop her in the grocery store.  She does quite well with the electric carts, though I admit I held my breath several times as she barely missed a store display!  We had a great time shopping together.

All the locals bring their wounded or abandoned animals for Chuck to care for....he's just got a way with them.   His newest pets are 3 ducks that he received from the local elementary school.  He let them out each day to run around their property; it didn't take them long to find the pond out back. Sometimes it took both Scott and Chuck to gather them back to the cage each night.

Mike stopped by in his oil truck to say hello a couple days later.  He was in the area and took a slight detour! It was so cool to see him at work, spending many years delivering fuel to customers. He's counting down the days until his retirement.

I spent most of my time in the yard.  Believe it or not, the weeds were as tall as their blueberry bushes that were planted along their fence.  Good thing I brought my farm clothes and boots for weeding.  I'd rather be outside than inside anytime.  Dad and I went to a local nursery, picking up some flowers and strawberries for their yard.

We woke up early each day to their rooster's "Cock-a-doodle-doo" bringing on the morning. The chickens seemed to follow me as I worked in the yard, pecking at the new weed free dirt. Probably finding lots of bugs.

Scott and I before heading out to dinner with Mike and Pam.

 Mike and Pam treated us to a wonderful dinner at Kaye's restaurant nearby.  The dinner was delicious, especially the sea food chowder.  I know what I'm going to order next time...the dish that Mike and Dad ordered with shrimp/scallops/ pasta. Thank you Mike and Pam!

Uncle Randy and Jennifer: They made us a delicious spaghetti and meatball dinner with Randy making a Boston Cream Pie for dessert!  Perry, Darshan and Michelyn  were also able to come over. We spent several hours around the kitchen table visiting.

Uncle Perry, Aunt Darshan and Michelyn.

Scott spent most of his time in the shop with his Dad.  L to  R: Scott, Chuck, next door neighbor, John and friend Mike.

This picture was taken at the beginning of their drive way.  Dad and I spent one day mowing, dodging all the sapplings...little trees everywhere. I sure would have loved to be on my zero radius X-Mark mower!

The Little's home...all weeded

Mom at her computer reading our blog and keeping her mind alert with jigsaw puzzles.

Scott with his parents and Tippy

On our last night we all went over to Perry and Darshan's house:  Chantal and boyfriend, Jarrett.

Mom and Dad Little with their boys.  Scott, Randy and Perry.

One last picture of their home the morning we left. I love to see their house through the seasons!

Friday, July 4, 2014

July 4th Lake Time

Scott, Randy, Ethan and Preston ended our 4th of July with a guy's trip to the lake.  I stayed home and got some quiet rest, but sent the camera with them.  They all skied and stopped off at the rope swing; looks like they had a blast.  As I'm blogging, I thank the Lord for the blessing of living in America and beautiful Tennessee, celebrating our freedom this holiday. I'm reminded of how Christ has set us free... For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Gal 5:1 Thank you Lord for your grace and mercy! Happy 4th of July to our family and friends. 

July 4th Canning Fruit Cocktail

Ethan had mentioned several times about wanting to can fruit cocktail and even found a simple recipe on the internet. I had never canned fruit cocktail myself, but Ethan had it all planned out.  After our cornhole tournament we all headed to Food City and bought fresh peaches, plums, white grapes, pears and a pineapple...also a lemon that Ethan wanted to add to a couple pints as an experiment :)  I showed him step by step how to cut up and scald the fruit to remove the skins. He did everything himself so he could learn, also making the sugar syrup and preparing the jars and lids. We ended up using the pressure cooker and water bath so he knows how to process both ways now. We made 11 pints.  I got tickled when Ethan made notes on his recipe, recording the types and amount of fruit he used, how much syrup he made and how many pints he ended up with as I do the exact same thing after I'm done canning.  He is very meticulous and I'm guessing we'll be making this again. Now about the lemons...he loves lemons and he added several slices to three of the jars!